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Archive for the ‘AFCC Global Tambayan’ Category


Fr. Louie, the chief administrator of our page, Filipino Catholic is so fond of having those games online which he posts every day for his friends to answer. Sometimes, he just posts photos of sellers whose products are named and misspelled incorrectly and we just laugh. A few minutes ago, he posted some photos of our native fruits which are now seldom seen in the market nowadays. It reminds me of those days some years ago, when most members of our page enjoyed our group called Tambayan. We had those hot seats where most members are allowed to question one particular member – anything goes. It was fun.

Our page, the Filipino Catholic has been in existence for ten years now and I was appointed by Fr. Louie as one of the admins a few months after he created it. Back then, he was still studying for his doctorate degree in Rome. We are still at it until now and we have added another admin a few months ago. We are four in all taking care and running the site at Facebook. It’s one reason why I could not give up Facebook because I have to update daily Bible readings for our members. One good thing about it is that we have loyal followers.

Some of them have become my friends over the years and those who are residing abroad who are OFWs sometimes contact me and I invite them to visit me here. We always have those nice and lovely chats about their works and our families, serious discussions about our Catholic faith, food and many more. We had two previous gatherings at Santo Domingo Church – the joy of seeing each other personally and sharing our meager talents in making the events successful. What bliss!

I met a friend who used to work in the US but she has come back home and retired here. Odette is the one who regularly supplies me with those lovely favorite books over the years. She is a member of our page.

I miss seeing them personally, not just through messages on FB. I miss those days of laughter and sharing our lives with each other. Come to think of it, I haven’t ventured out of our gate for almost three months now. The number of those found positive of COVID-19 is still rising every day. May we be all spared from this pandemic.

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Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person – having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”
–  Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

I’ve been a lazy bug lately. No, don’t get me wrong. I am just resting my weary body from fatigue. The last few days, I was so busy that I was not able to check my blog and post something.  Finally, I found time to sit here for a while  and update my blog. When you haven’t been blogging for a week, it seems as if you’re starting all over again.

It’s all worth it though because our little potluck  lunch party was a success – lots of food, laughter and sharing. Those precious and priceless moments that only friends can enjoy together, something worth-reminiscing and the thought of it makes me smile.  We were joined by two priest friends, Fr. Tacky, a Franciscan and Fr. Boy, a Dominican. Not that it matters that they belong to different congregations because  they both studied in Rome and met there.  We took lots of pictures of course, what’s a party without those wacky poses and shots that make us laugh. We even have to use a tripod so we could all fit into the frame. There is this picture window  at our house that never fails to attract our friends and visitors to have their pictures taken there. Believe me, it has become some sort of trademark for the members  of our Catholic community  who drop by when they are on vacation.

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We had an exchange of gifts just for fun. Imagine the laughter we had when we simultaneously opened them and found things like a roll of tissue paper which Darlene said she will take with her on her trip back to Abu Dhabi, a small bottle of efficascent oil from Reena  which Matt got, packs of marshmallows  and so many more. What do you think, the gift should only be worth P30 and what can you buy with P30?  Reymon, aside from bringing three whole roast chicken gave us individual bags of gifts from Bench.

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They were surprised to learn that eating green mango with the skin on is the best way to eat one. I asked Joan to bring me some and when they saw me eating a slice, they all tried it  except Matt 🙂  Endless laughter!

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We can’t get enough so the party extended on to early dinner with ice cream, Fuji apples  and suman na pinipig (the best  suman I’ve tasted) for desserts. And they all said, “sa uulitin”.  Until next time guys.

One of the best gifts that we could ever have is the gift of friendship.

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Yesterday, I posted this personal prayer that I made into a quote  at our Catholic site at FB using a photo I took a few days ago. I was surprised that it earned 248  likes, 445  shares and more than 20 comments on our page.

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Gosh, I was like “oh, oh, where have you been” upon seeing the faces of my three friends two of whom I’ve last seen almost a year ago. And to think this is the first time that they came over here at the house to visit me.

Thank God for surprises! When He tickles you with one, He makes sure that it is really something you will treasure, maybe long after the laughter, the giggles and endless smiles are gone.  Yesterday was another day “worth-remembering”.  That’s really my favorite line, the worth-remembering people, events and surprises in my life. There are moments when you just look up and say a prayer or two that He is giving you another beautiful day to put in the treasure chest of your memories.

Yesterday was such a lovely day spent with friends from my Catholic apostolate group, the Apostles Filipino Catholic Community.  It all started about two years ago when Fr. Louie  Coronel, OP created an online page at Facebook. AFCC has actually been in existence  as a Catholic organization in Rome for the last twenty years. We cater to the global Pinoys and share reflections, news, ideas, and ways of strengthening our Faith and our own journeys as Catholics.  We finally met some of the members  in two successive gatherings  last year at Bahay Dominiko, Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City. Meeting face to face, realizing that they were not just names and pictures on Facebook was awesome.  Truly, God works in wondrous ways.  Forming friendship with people younger than you are, (they could be your sons and daughters) sharing their own spiritual journeys in life, sharing their own pain with you and  sharing their thoughts and aspirations are clear affirmations  that everything is possible when you look together and look forward in  the same direction. Friendship is a lovely thing, don’t you think?

Imagine six hours of sharing and laughter, talking about anything under the sun, touching on such serious subjects like life’s travails and  journeys  and yes, we even touched on subjects  like the stock market and how it works, life in a bank as an employee,  life of a OFW,  photography, faith, and places we want to explore and dream of visiting – they are an eclectic mix of topics alright.

We had a yummy lunch of grilled pork steak, roasted chicken, grilled liempo, sautéed mixed veggies and the ginataang santol which I cooked earlier. Reymon, Joan and Lilet said that this is the first time they have tasted santol cooked as a dish. It went well with the grilled meat. I jokingly asked them, “Did I pass?” and Reymon laughingly  answered,“Wow, ang sarap po Mommy.” Late in the afternoon, we harvested calamansi in the backyard for Lilet to take home.  It was such a joy seeing them enjoying themselves  picking calamansi despite the afternoon shower which turned into a heavy downpour before they left.

Oh, the joys of meeting and hugging each other, and smiling at the thought of shared jokes remembered – what a lovely gift – having friends!  And I’d like to end this blog with these words for they briefly describe what friendship is all about. It was written by Dinah Maria (Mulock) Craik.

Oh, the comfort —
The inexpressible comfort of feeling
safe with a person,
Having neither to weigh thoughts,
Nor measure words — but pouring them
All right out — just as they are —
Chaff and grain together —
Certain that a faithful hand will
Take and sift them —
Keep what is worth keeping —
and with the breath of kindness
Blow the rest away.

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And I mean it is scorching!

A friend sent me a message and asked why she could not see my blog, and I thought, “you mean  a new blog post?” It’s only been three days since I haven’t blogged here. Come to think of it, I am even too lazy to open my PC and update our Catholic page at Facebook.  And you read the title right,  we are experiencing a very hot summer and they say that this will go on until the month of May. I am afraid to venture again outside without a  head-gear because 7 am is already humid. Yesterday though, it was my son’s day off so I asked him to drive me to the nearby Philhealth office in our place. Surprisingly, their service has improved compared to the times I used to regularly  visit  one of their branches to take care of my father’s needs when he was undergoing dialysis more than four years ago. I have to renew my health coverage (without any dependent) and one of the clerks in charge of processing  the MDR (Member’s Data Record) suggested that I can pay the premium in advance since by July of this year, they would raise the premium payment twice the present rate but he assured me that there will be improvements and additional provisions on what would qualify for Philhealth claims.  Oh, well, if you could save more than a thousand pesos, why not?  So I paid in full until December of 2013, one less worry to think about.  And the good news is, it took us less than an hour to finish the transaction, plenty of time to have lunch at Kenny’s and do a little grocery-shopping.

Though it’s a bit late, I want to share this picture which one of my co-admins did at our page. It was our second anniversary yesterday,  two years of lovely journey with the Lord.

This was taken at our second gathering last August 28, 2011 in front of Bahay Dominiko at Sto. Domingo Church. I initially thought of posting some of the members’ comments here on how AFCC (Apostles Filipino Catholic Community) touched their lives but then some are much too personal to put in a blog. Suffice to say, if they are learning a lot reading what we post at the page, we, the admins are also learning from them.  This online Apostolate is so dear to me, a constant reminder of God’s goodness and love for mankind.  If you ever happen to drop by Facebook, you can visit us, just type the whole name of AFCC and click like.

Tomorrow is mom’s 83rd birthday. Happy birthday mom, wish you were here to celebrate with us. I am really hoping to  see you soon. Speaking of birthdays, sometimes I could not imagine myself reaching the ripe old age of 80 and above. My youngest brother once told me that when you reach 80, everything is a bonus.  I told him that it is an even more blessing when you are given a second chance at life, surviving a life-threatening disease like I did. The more each day passes, the more I realize how precious life is.

Why does  celebrating birthdays makes us so nostalgic at times?  It’s because birthdays are really special. Celebrating another birthday is a new year in one’s life.

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The other day, I met a friend whom I haven’t seen in years and she asked how I was. I told her, I am sharing my journey now as a cancer survivor. Whereas before my blogs were all about my treatment and chemotherapy, now I get to meet lots of people through an online Apostolate, the Apostles Filipino Catholic Community and it makes life more meaningful!

Despite all the setbacks, life has to go on. And I am now beginning to realize that He put me here for some other purpose and I am doing it the best way I can. Reaching out, touching people and I get a real high when I hear from them and they treat me like I am a long-lost relative – a mommy to most, a tita to some, an ate to everyone . And to all of you there, even if not all of you have the chance to visit my blog, I’m grateful. You add meaning to my life.

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THANK YOU Lord for the gift of life, thank you for the gift of presence, thank you for the gift of friends, thank you for the gift of family and most of all, thank you for giving me a second chance at life. I could not ask for more, I am blessed, I am loved.

Thank you too for giving  me the chance to meet all these people at AFCC. They enrich my life everyday, they move me to tears sometime but they are always tears of joy.

Thank you Mama Mary for helping me move on with life, no matter how difficult the journey was.

(A short  prayer I posted at our Apostles Filipino Catholic Community.)

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It’s another year of celebrating  the Feast Day of  the Holy Rosary. Last year, I found this wonderful picture on the net and blogged about it. Today however, Fr. Louie made and posted this lovely profile picture at our catholic site.

I found another lovely prayer composed by Saint Aloysius Gonzaga and I wish to share it with you.

Prayer Commending Oneself to Mary

O holy Mary, my Mistress, into thy blessed trust and special blessing, into the bosom of thy tender mercy, this day, every day of my life and at the hour of my death, I commend my soul and body; to thee I entrust all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and miseries, my life and the end of my life, that through thy most holy intercession and thy merits, all my actions may be ordered and disposed according to thy will and that of thy divine Son. Amen.

I sent a rosary today to a friend at our group, AFCC Tambayan via LBC. Then she asked me, did I wait for today to send her one?  She said how special today is because someone gave her a rosary. You are welcome Charlene, I really hope you’ll enjoy using your pink, pink rosary. It was a special request that I make her one with pink beads.

Happy Feast Day!

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Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You.
You know how easily I abandon You.
Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often.

These lines are part of Padre Pio’s Prayer After Communion. It’s his Feast Day today and I attended the Holy Mass at the Philippine Center for St. Pio of  Pietrelcina in Libis, Quezon City.  I had to take a commute since hubby was not around. It was a very solemn celebration which was presided by Bishop Martirez from the Diocese of Antique. I lighted candles before proceeding to the prayer room after the mass then bought some stampita (prayer cards)  to give to friends.  Since last night, almost all of my posts were about Padre Pio, he is one saint that I truly admire.  Even our AFCC Tambayan page were full of stories about Padre Pio when I posted a quote there early this morning. And instead of reading the usual jokes which everyone enjoys, it seems that remembering the Feast Day of Padre Pio, we were all again united in prayer and deep faith.  It is so humbling to feel God’s loving embrace today, through Padre Pio’s intercession.

PRAYER

O God,

You gave St. Pio of Pietrelcina,

Capuchin priest,

the great privilege of participating

in a unique way in the passion

of Your Son,

grant me through his intercession

the grace of …..which I ardently desire;

And above all grant me the grace of

living in conformity

with the death of Jesus,

to arrive at the glory

of the resurrection.

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My stat did a  crazy jig last night. It finally registered a high of 1,553 page views in one day, a first in my blogging history. Anyway, I like to think that it was because of Mama Mary.  If she could see me now, she must be smiling. It was a miracle seeing search views  which were  all about Mama Mary. Although yesterday was not a holy day of obligation, Catholic churches were full.

It is always a riot when  my co-admins and I post various subjects that our members could comment on. Believe me, one topic could branch out into so many interesting  subjects, from Plato to books to dogs, shopping  and always, cooking.  We all agree that when food is the topic of the day, everyone has something to say. This morning we  were talking about bike riding and cooking particularly, the old-fashioned way not using a rice cooker.  They really can’t believe that I can’t ride a bike until now and some of them are in the same predicament as I am. Don’t mind me, I told them, I am already old to learn biking.  Then Fr. Louie asked if they all know how to cook rice without using a rice cooker. You know, something old-fashioned like cooking using a gas stove or the more outdated way , by using charcoal.  I remember those days when I was in grade school and my grandmother used to teach me how to cook. Cooking rice was the first thing I learned. I can’t imagine Filipinos without rice on the table, because rice is our staple food. Paired with anything from a simple  viand of canned sardines to a more special dish like Sinigang or Lechon, it is a perfect meal.

It is always a joy to read their reactions and opinions on every topic of the day. They are learning from us and we are also learning from them. They are so open about their life experiences, maybe it’s because they trust us and that’s something we appreciate a lot.

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