Archive for the ‘AFCC Global Tambayan’ Category

I received this wonderful text message from Lovell, a close friend from Sto. Domingo Convent. It’s written in Tagalog which I really appreciate . It’s a lovely greeting for Mama Mary’s birthday today:

Salamat sa Diyos sa pagkakaloob kay Maria!  Salamat kay Maria sa pagkakaloob kay Hesus! Maligayang bati sa kaarawan ni Maria! Pueblo amante de Maria!

I love it! and I am just so overwhelmed by the number of views I am getting since last night. In my more than two years of blogging,  today I got the highest number of clicks in one blog so far and the highest  in one day. As of this writing, my bar graph is getting crazy, yesterday, it registered 398 and today it is 1, 280 as of this minute and still counting.  Amazing that almost all my blogs on Mama Mary are on the top-rated list.

We regularly update our AFCC Tambayan page by posting topics which the members could relate to and comment on. One of the questions I posted today was about friendship. What do you think is the most important ingredient of a lasting friendship? How do you keep the friendship alive?  Do you have best friends?  I got lots of comments and a lively discussion, some  even touching on platonic friendship. Who can keep a secret, a boy or a girl? Most of them are of the belief that communication, honesty, trust, love, patience and understanding count for a lasting friendship. Nowadays, friendship is loosely defined as something that is fleeting and temporary. You call someone you’ve just met a friend, but for friendship to be real, it needs  nurturing for it to grow. One needs time for a friendship to bloom. Communication is one thing, I think it is the main ingredient for a true and real friendship. It will die a natural death if  you don’t communicate. Once you find true friends, treasure them because they are more valuable than gold.

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“August rushes by like desert rainfall,
A flood of frenzied upheaval,
But still catching me unprepared.

One wishes for more
But it suddenly turns to leave,
Dragging summer away.”
–  Elizabeth Maua Taylor 

The days come and go like a whirlwind passing through the edges of one’s thoughts. August is almost gone and the days seem so short. Since I can remember, some radio jocks always begin the first day of September playing Christmas songs on air, it’s the “ber” months, so they say. I don’t know but I always feel happy when Christmas is near. Are you excited awaiting Christmas just as I do? It’s a different kind of feeling altogether, like a child looking forward to having a new toy to play with, anticipating and counting the days and hours until he holds it in his hands.

August is just fine, the highlight of which was our 2nd official AFCC (Apostles Filipino Catholic Community) gathering held just last Saturday, August 27 at Bahay Dominiko in Sto. Domingo Church. We had eighteen members, including Fr. Louie and me who attended. I won’t say, it was good because  it was the best. The camaraderie, the laughter, the fun  and sharing – priceless moments that hopefully we will all treasure and reminisce as the days go by.  We are all looking forward to a third one maybe, next year.  I am thinking of actually blogging about the event and the various activities we had, foremost of which was the lovely and meaningful celebration of the mass with Fr. Louie as  presider.

I started reading a new author, it’s Jennifer Weiner. My daughter says the book is a  chick lit but I don’t mind really. I’ve been reading serious stuff the past few months. We need to laugh sometimes, right? And I am saving the best for last, another book by Nicholas Sparks.

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He stopped for a while

Hesitant to enter the door

He scanned the faces of the people inside

A slow smile hovering on his lips

This is it, he said.

Will I belong? he asked.

He was met by smiles

A round of applause

A pat on the shoulder

A hug for a greeting.

A warm embrace.

Welcome, they said

This is my family

My AFCC family, he thought.

He belonged, after all!

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I am still laughing out loud just looking at the pictures we took yesterday at our 2nd AFCC (Apostle’s Filipino Catholic Community) gathering which was held at Bahay Dominiko in Sto. Domingo Church, Quezon City. And here’s one shot that I love so much because it has perfectly captured the laughter, fun, and sharing we had yesterday.  We’re really one big, happy family.

(photo courtesy of our good friend, Paul Cardenas)

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Early this morning, I thought of  “Men are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” as the title for this blog. But that is not very original, don’t you think? I don’t want John Gray to sue me copying book titles for my blog. What brought this on, you ask?

I was watching another episode of  Kris Tv this morning (one of those times that I didn’t forget to switch on the TV) and their topic deals on differences about what else, men and women, boys and girls who form a relationship. What makes them tick?  An hour would not really be enough to tell and discuss the differences between a boy and a girl when it comes to relationships. Kris has the Us Girls Iya Villania, Angel Aquino and Cheska Garcia-Kramer as her guests, with Jimmy Bondoc and Kean Cipriano on the other side of the fence. Keano said he is apparently single (whatever that means) and Jimmy said he has a semi-serious relationship with a businesswoman. In Facebook, that reads, the relationship is quite, quite “complicated”.  The girls are into long-term relationship except for one who has just broken up with her guy this year.

Women could talk about accessories like shoes, bags, and dresses the whole day but men would rather focus on sports, watch Discovery Channel, and some DIY jobs that need to be done at home. When it comes to arguments, women always love to have the upper hand (in Tagalog, ayaw patalo) and the last say. With men, they discuss their problems with their buddies, say, high school friends instead of an outright confrontation  with the women in their lives. I guess, this is all subjective, not all men can downright share what’s bugging them with their buddies since they have this feeling of being called weak when they can’t face their problems  on their own.  Jimmy says, however, that you won’t even attempt to hide anything when you are with your true friends.  I agree to a certain extent but there are things that should be left alone with the couple to decide,(assuming that they are married) there are things that should and may remain private in the four walls of their homes. 

When is the right time to break up?  Should it always be the girl who should initiate it? In any relationship, when you feel that you are not growing as a person, when you feel that there is no more “me” inside you,  will it be time to say goodbye? This may be easier in a getting to know you stage or what they call the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. In marriage though, the ballgame is altogether different. You can’t just walk out on your husband or wife just because you had an argument, you can’t just walk out from your family just because you are no longer happy on where the relationship is going. In any break-up you realize too late what you’ve lost.

We have these posts and comments at our AFCC Tambayan group. Some of our members are single men and women in their early thirties. Some of them are looking for serious relationships. Everyone is playing cupid and matchmaker and one of them started calling me Ninang Arlene with Fr. Louie as their Ninong and officiating priest, if ever.  We had some good laughs about it all.   All is fair in love so they say, what’s stopping you guys? We might witness the first ever love team in our group one of these days.

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Time really flies fast don’t you think? It was another busy Sunday for us, at least for Nissa and me. Just after the 9am mass, we went to Cubao to get the shoes and bag she will use for the wedding. Wow, how nice to see the pair of shoes she ordered which I think will really go well with her wedding gown.  I don’t want to spoil the surprise but it will surely be here when the big day comes.  I had my pair of shoes custom-made too for my gown. It is easier to order than to roam around malls looking for a perfect pair of shoes. They are Marikina-made so aside from being elegant, I am sure they are sturdy as well.

Next stop was at National Bookstore in Ali Mall. Gosh, I was surprised when I went to look for a comfort room and what used to be a public CR turned out to have a lady on guard collecting P10.00 for every woman who enters it. I would not mind a paid comfort room for convenience but at least they should see to it that it is clean and complete with tissue paper and hand soap. Compared to other comfort room in big malls like Gateway and Ayala, this one could not even reach a low 10%. The floor was wet and the trash can was not even closed. It really fall short of what I perceive a paying customer would expect.  They had a public comfort room on the second floor and it was cleaner than the one with paying customers.  Gosh, aren’t all malls supposed to provide something that would  make the life of shoppers convenient at least? How could you patronize an establishment like this when the simple comfort of its customers could not even be met?

Back to our adventure at National Book Store. They have started with their annual book sale but again, I was disappointed that the books on display with  discounts are not even on the bestseller list. I was trying to look for the bargain bin which another branch at Galleria has but even their bargain books were still expensive. I was able to buy two copies of a children’s fairy tale, fare enough at half the price, and a copy of The Shack  by William Young which I have long wanted to buy but  the price is too high for my meager allowance on books. Anyway, the trade paperback copy was P5.oo cheaper than the mass-market  produced one. I bought the trade paperback of course, still costly  at P247.00. Would really love to visit more branches, I might find a bigger surprise in one of them.

Next stop was at St. Paul’s. I love visiting this place just looking at the lovely rosaries on display and the books which they have on their shelves.  It’s my dream to own one of those books about saints. I bought  center medals ( an image of Pope Benedict)  and some connecting medals for the rosaries I intend to make once I am no longer busy with other things.  Hopefully, I will be able to go on another trip to Quiapo to buy some materials.

I slept late at 12am, finishing my blog and uploading pictures I downloaded from the albums of the AFCC members who attended our first gathering at Bahay Dominiko, Sto. Domingo Church in QC.

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