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Archive for April, 2019


Just watched The Seven Last Words from 12 pm until 3 pm on television.

Ang Huling Pitong Wika.

It’s Jesus’ last seven expressions on the cross as recorded in the Scriptures. I watched the SVD presentation this time with seven SVD priests reflecting on the Seven Last Words and also seven sharers  who made me cried some, laughed a little and reflected on their shared reflections.

I was particularly touched by the woman who shared her life, abused as a child and further abused by her stepfather growing up. Her wrists are full of marks brought by suicidal tendencies.  She thought of ending her life several times but eventually found her way back to the Lord. There was this priest from the Discalced Carmelite Order who was bullied as a child and while growing up.  He has club foot and find it hard to walk but he persevered to become a priest. Another one is a cancer survivor who bore a premature child while having treatments.  Her husband and little girl were  there while she was sharing her journey. Another became a chef even without both hands. Then Fr. Orbos, an SVD priest shared about his accident two years ago. He thought he died and it was thru his accident that his doctors found it that he had stage 2 lung cancer. He is a survivor like I am.

I often watch  Fr. Jerry Orbos when he celebrates mass on tv. Our journeys in life  are different from the journeys of other people. We may take different roads but the destination is the same, our paths take us to God. With Him nothing is impossible. Fr. Jerry emphasized just to let go and let God always.

What a meaningful and inspiring program. Every year I get to watch each episode, different stories, lovely sharing.

A blessed Good Friday to all.

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Holy Wednesday ended up with a visit from our neighbor who is a good friend. We had a lovely and enriching sharing. She gave me a jar of pickled papaya.  Yum!

Last night I also watched the Sambuhay TV Mass Holy Recollection 2019  with Fr. Pao Asprer who is also a friend at FB.  Sambuhay is sponsored by the  Society of St. Paul. Learned a lot about faith, temptations and prayers. It was a very meaningful and inspiring Recollection. Fr. Pao is that good, a young priest who was ordained four years ago. I jotted some points which he discussed.

  • Proximity to power is power in itself
  • True prayer is listening.
  • If you know yourself, that’s a sign of true wisdom.
  • In the face of temptation, we’ll know ourselves better.

He touched on some quotes by Thomas Merton and I am glad I am reading one of his books at the moment.  The Seven Storey Mountain is a 467 pages book  with so fine prints.  I don’t read it at night because the prints are so small. Good luck to my eyes. It’s not that kind of reading that you have to finish in one go. There are so many words that you can reflect on.  This book has been on my wish list for quite a while. Maybe Grace (my friend from Canada) saw it on Goodreads so she gave me a copy.

By the way, Grace posted  the photos they took when she and her husband were here for a while last month.  She was the one who gave me a copy of the book. I grabbed this from the album she just posted, the two of us together at the lobby of Richmonde Hotel in Pasig City.

We’re getting old, imagine more than four decades of friendship. and I’ve always said that  “when friends meet, hearts warm”.

 

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Reblogging this…for all its worth. I just love the Ecclesiastes.

DREAMS AND ESCAPES

I am in the middle of reading From Beginning to End by Robert Fulghum. A very nice read if you ask me. It’s about the meaningful and spiritual journeys we take in our lives. Some of them may be painful for us to recall, some may be full of joys shared with our loved ones, some may be full of challenges and hardships,  but always in the end, it’s the comforting rituals of our lives that get us through them all.

How do you greet each morning when you wake up? Do you start it with a prayer like I do? Or do you spend a few moments just watching the day unfolds?  Do you welcome the day with gladness in your heart? Do you celebrate each day with anticipation? Are you thankful for another day of blessing?

I love to share with you the lovely Bible quotes from Ecclesiastes…

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I promised myself I won’t start the week in front of my PC and I didn’t. Know what? Our service provider Globe did it for me. We didn’t have internet connection yesterday. It was quiet around the house with only the radio on playing some old songs.

Today is Holy Tuesday. Most shows on television are about the passion and death of Jesus Christ. The best times to watch and reflect. Holy Week is that time of the year where we need more of these – reflections and spiritual readings.

I started on The First Phone Call From Heaven.  I guess this is not one of the best books by Mitch Albom. Except for his two latest books, I read all starting from Tuesdays With Morrie which I like the best. Like the rest of his books, this is an inspirational one. A glimpse of how we perceive what life is like in Heaven.

Gotta start The Seven Storey Mountain in a while, a book by Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk. Accordingly, is one of the most influential religious works of the twentieth century. I encountered his works the first time when I was in college working as a student librarian at  the Humanities Section of the UST Library.  And this book used to be on my wish list but a friend gave me a copy when she went home for vacation a month ago. I completed posting the whole Bible readings for the month of April  at our Catholic page on Facebook.

It’s a nice start for the Holy Week. Holy Thursday and Good Friday are official holidays here.

 

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Today is the last week of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week. We celebrate Palm Sunday. Palm fronds are blessed before the beginning of the Holy Mass to celebrate the joyful entry of Jesus to Jerusalem. The mass is quite long, beginning when Jesus was put in front of Pontius Pilate to be judged  until His death on the cross.

I have always blogged about activities during Holy Week, the highlight of celebrating the Lenten season. For the first time in our parish, they will have THE SEVEN LAST WORDS on Good Friday. Before I just used to watch those reflections on television. Reviewing my other previous posts during Holy Week, I found these lovely words and references from the Gospel which everyone could reflect on. I am reposting them here.

God has positive answers for all the negative things we say to ourselves.
You say: “It’s impossible.”
God says: All things are possible. (Luke 18:27)

You say: “I’m too tired.”
God says: I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: “Nobody really loves me.”
God says: I love you. (John 3:16 & John 13:34)

You say: “I can’t go on.”
God says: My grace is sufficient. (II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: “I can’t figure things out.”
God says: I will direct your steps. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: “I can’t do it.”
God says: You can do all things. (Philippians 4:13)

You say: “I’m not able.”
God says: I am able. (II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: “It’s not worth it.”
God says: It will be worth it. (Romans 8:28)

You say: “I can’t forgive myself.”
God says: I FORGIVE YOU. (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: “I can’t manage.”
God says: I will supply all your needs. (Philippians 4:19)

You say: “I’m afraid.”
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear. (II Timothy 1:7)

You say: “I’m always worried and frustrated.”
God says: Cast all your cares on ME. (I Peter 5:7)

You say: “I don’t have enough faith.”
God says: I’ve given everyone a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)

You say: “I’m not smart enough.”
God says: I give you wisdom. (I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: “I feel all alone.”
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)

Have a blessed Sunday everyone.

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Saw this on “my memory”  app at FB yesterday.  I can’t help but repost it. The value of reading….priceless.

I marked this quote when I started another book yesterday. It’s by  Martin Luther King.

Faith is taking  the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

Gosh, I just love, love this book. For a first time author, Amy Markstahler is pretty good.

Love, family life, second chances – they’re all here. I cried at the scene when Tyler gave a eulogy on the death of Elsie’s dad. That was so sweet.

Another book that I read in one day. It was that good. I was clearly surprised seeing that the author just followed my review at Goodreads. I hope I could find more stories like this.

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Read this in one day and that’s a feat. Another John Grisham book that I love. Although most of his stories are about the lives of lawyers, I love most of his books although I don’t regularly read them.

I love courtroom scenes but this has not much of it. It’s more on  the three characters, Mark, Todd and Zola, law school students thriving on student loans. Though their school is not a top-notch one, a diploma mill,  they try to finish their degree despite individual problems in their families. Zola, although she was born an US citizen, her parents and two brothers are undocumented immigrants. Mark’s brother has his own problems. Todd works as a bar attendant. They were on their last semester of law school and with no job to look forward to and  mounting student debts, so they decided to put up their own law firm despite being unlicensed and undergrads.

This is quite fast-paced, never boring but a little bit unbelievable that just mere law students could dope people. They succeeded for a while until they were on the run. You’d think of course they will be caught in the end but of course the ending is favorable. I am giving this four-stars. Another winner from John Grisham.

 

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It’s cloudy but it is still super hot.  Summer is really, really hot. Yesterday, even the water from the tank was lukewarm.

Haha, Sen. Grace Poe just passed by. NO VOTE for this lady.

If you ask me why I am not blogging regularly, I am now more focused on social media , particularly on those topics regarding the upcoming election. So many things have surfaced lately that an ordinary citizen who loves the country cannot just ignore. Drugs, drugs, drugs everywhere and yet, the three years that Duterte has been president, no drug lord  was caught, those poor drug addicts were the victims instead. And every personality who were jailed because of plunder and such serious crimes are now scot-free. I often ask myself, “where are we really going?”. The  boat is rapidly sinking. It is sinking fast.

I still read at night of course but it is now taking me so long to finish one. Three days and I am still in the middle of it. I found this lovely book about family relationships, how sometimes one person could change our lives.  It’s a story of a child born with a rare health condition.  I was hooked because of the title, The Secrets of Clouds.

Come to think of it, I don’t even want to go out because of the heat. Oreo sleeps in the bathroom most of the time. The tiles are cold to the touch.

I like summer but the humid weather is too much.

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Since last week, Saturdays and Sundays are noisy in our place. Those jingles by the local candidates are so irritating. They are more of noise than anything else. Yesterday, a group of supporters of these candidates paraded inside the subdivision. This morning, it was another batch and another party. They even stopped at the corner, a few meters from our house.

A while ago, Senator JV Ejercito passed by with lots of cars behind. He waved, I didn’t wave back. I am not voting for the guy. Based on what I see on social media, the candidates of Otso Diretso (which I am voting for in the Senate) are doing the rounds, personally meeting those in wet markets and other places where they are scheduled  to visit. Sen. JV belongs to another party which is spearheaded by Duterte’s daughter who is the present mayor in Davao City. The campaign jingle was so loud enough to wake a sleeping giant…haha! Even Oreo who was inside the house kept barking.

It’s just more than a month before  mid-term election. We’ll see how it goes. The administration candidates think they are all sure winners. Many Filipinos are now awake and know what is happening in our country. If it would be a clean and honest one, I am pretty sure they won’t win.

It’s our incumbent mayor’s third term this coming election. His former  vice-mayor belongs to the other party now and is also a candidate for the mayoralty. Almost every one here in our neighbourhood are re-electing Mayor Atty. Kit Nieto. He is the best and made Cainta number one town in the whole Philippines the last three years. A very approachable guy. In more than two decades that we’ve stayed in this place,  it’s the only time that I met a local official face to face. We even had a photo together at his office in one of my birthdays years ago. Our neighbors and I came to visit him to ask him for advice regarding our subdivision’s problems.

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It’s been a while. Just so lazy to stay in front of the computer and write. Sometimes,it really feels that way. You’d think you have nothing to write about  and your mind wanders again. The good thing is I was able to finish two books in between.

For the first time in so many months, I read a love story. It’s fiction of course but it seemed it was based on the royal family. Knowing how the other half live their lives is quite interesting enough, the protocols,  the dos and don’ts and everything, even the  way you walk, alight in a car, the way you dress, the way you address everyone. Thinking about it, it must be really hard to all and still show the world that everything is okay.

Josef and I went to our twice-a-month marketing  this morning buying some meat, lots of fish and other seafood.  It’s always a thrill to find fresh produce in the market. Summer fruits are in season now but some are still a little pricey.

Kaimito

These are star apples. They are locally known as kaimito. They cost around P50.00 pesos a kilo (about four pieces). They are best eaten cold. Back in the province almost every household has a star apple tree so they don’t buy these, they just wait for the fruits to ripen.

I also bought half a kilo of fresh peanuts then boiled them later for snacks.

 

Peanuts or mani in our local language.

One thing that I love about going to the wet market is to see their fresh seafood. I bought shrimps  and lato, an edible sea weed. These are pretty common here. They also call it sea grapes. We had it for lunch paired with grilled milkfish. Yummy. all you have to do is to chop an onion and tomatoes. I added one whole salted duck egg. You won’t need anything else except maybe a pinch of white ground pepper for that kick.

It is always cheaper to buy all of these at the public market than relying on supermarket stores.

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