Archive for the ‘Closer to God’ Category

Aching arms.

Blistered fingers.

Would you believe? I gardened for three hours straight this afternoon but I am finally done with trimming the carabao grass, close to the roots because sudden rains make them grow like crazy. My son joined me an hour later and took charge of re-shaping and  trimming our other plants. The Arius tree is now a perfect cone-shaped. We usually decorate it with lights during the Christmas season.  Watch your calendar, it’s sixty-three more days to go before Christmas.

Our two pets Mimi (the kitty) and Noki (the dog) are happy when we stay in the garden for a while.  I laughed when Mimi turned her face and looked at me while trimming the grass and with each snip of the garden scissors in my hands, she bobbed her head, that was crazy dancing I expect :)  If she could speak aside from the “meow, meow” we always get to hear when she’s hungry, maybe she would say “dance with me, let’s go crazy”.   Noki is happiest when he could run around, bark at the passersby and makes himself cozy between our Fukien tea plants.

I always bring my small radio outside when I garden. Don’t you think it is nice to listen to familiar songs and music of your younger years? There was this program aptly called Saturday Memories, an eclectic mix of 60’s, 70’s and 80’s music interspersed with OPM. OPM is an acronym for Original Pilipino Music.  Filipino singers are a talented lot. They are internationally recognized  in the music world.

I sang  along with some of the songs that I knew of old. Perfect day to garden, perfect day to enjoy music.  There was a portion of the program where they played inspirational songs and for a while there I stopped and listened. Footprints In The Sand narrated with a background music…how lovely. It’s one of those messages that make me cry, emotionally charged with  a good feeling that God will always be there no matter.  Then the inspirational poem Desiderata followed.  Until now, when I feel down, the words of  Max Ehrmann inspire me.

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story….”

I think most kids of the late 60’s and 70’s are familiar with these lines. As if those were not enough, they played  You Raise Me Up.  Goose bumps to the max. I suddenly remembered Dad. They played this song at Daddy’s funeral almost nine years ago.  It is a song of faith and belief in God.  And every time I hear Josh Groban sing this, it makes me want to cry.  And Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli’s version of The Prayer is the highlight of the afternoon. It was here that I cried.

♪♫♫I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
As we go our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your Grace
To a place where we’ll be safe….♫♪♫

It’s indeed a Saturday of memories.  What song made an impact in your life?

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It’s a wet and cold morning and it’s been raining on and off since the start of the weekend.  Hanging habagat  (southwest monsoon) is definitely here. It was a busy weekend though. It’s a good thing we were able to finish some gardening chores early.

When you are forced to stay at home because of the weather, you either keep busy or you relax to your heart’s content.  I did both…haha! Aside from gardening, I was able to find time to read two books over the weekend and to watch two movies on YouTube.  Yes, you heard it right.  For the first time in so many years, I caught myself finding some inspirational movies that would lift the soul and strengthen faith. The Song of Bernadette did just that. I could not remember the last time I watched this movie. I found a version in Blu-Ray. The Song of Bernadette is a 1943 drama film that tells the story of Bernadette Soubirous, a young visionary of Lourdes  who later became a saint. From February to July 1858 in Lourdes, France, she  reported eighteen visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This  film is based on the true story of Bernadette Soubirous, and adapted from the book written by  Franz Werfel.  What a lovely, lovely way to spend two hours straight infront of my computer and see this film.

Lately, I was lucky enough to find more books on faith and redemption and how beautiful life could be  despite the treacherous journey  and the unfaithfulness of mankind.  Alicia Ruggieri  is new on my list  of authors  and I like her writing style. She writes grace-filled and Christ-centered fiction. If you have time, try to read her A Time of Grace trilogy. The first book made me really cry and think of life, it’s beauty and its angst. The Fragrance  of Geraniums is such a beautiful book.  I am in the middle of reading the second one entitled All Our Empty Places  which picks up the story where it left off in the first one. I wonder if I’ll be able to find the third and the concluding book in the trilogy. I am not really into trilogies but this one is worth it. There are those stories that make you feel they’re real and you get into them like you would a story of a friend or yours, you feel the sadness, the triumphs and the pain. You feel that hope is not a dead thing but a journey that makes you look forward to another day.

A friend  suggested another writer and poet. The blog is truly inspiring. I searched the link. You may visit it here.

It’s raining still  and I am caught with these words, we are all special in God’s eyes.  God’s grace overflows.


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I’ve always been in awe of candle light photography. I remember those photos I took of lighted candles at the St. Padre Pio Chapel near our place.

Watching the flickering flames somehow brings that inner peace in one’s soul, the quiet of the moment, fervent prayers uttered, the beauty of the Now.

A niece who is vacationing in France sent me some photos of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Paris and these is one of them. She knows that I love subjects like this and she told me, “I took those photos for you auntie”.  She hasn’t shared it on other social media sites, she said I could use them any way I want, be it on my blog or as personal collection.  Thank you Annabelle.

I am imagining myself right there at this moment, reflecting about life, its beauty and its angst while watching the flames sway and dance.

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It’s one of those Sundays that we spent just hearing mass,  having a simple meal afterwards  and a bit of shopping on the side and going home tired  but happy. I seldom go out but Josef agreed to accompany me to travel to Quezon City to get my “pasalubong”  which Lovell left at Sto. Domingo Convent a few days ago. A perfect time to visit the Shrine of the Most Holy Rosary of La Naval. The last time I was here was during  Lovell’s ordination as a priest back in 2012.  Time flies, it’s been a while.

Precious gifts from the Holy Land

Since I collect key rings, these two from the Holy Land are certainly lovely additions to my collection.  This is the second rosary that Lovell gave me, the first one was from the Vatican.

How was your Sunday? I hope it was a blessed and a happy one too!




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Holy Thursday 2016

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  – Matthew 16:24

Paschal Triduum, or The Three Days – the final three days of  Lent and Holy Week.  It begins with the liturgy on the evening of Maundy Thursday, the vigil of Good Friday and ends with  the evening prayer on Easter Sunday.

A blessed Holy Thursday to all.

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When you walk through life with pain and suffering, God is there walking with you, holding your hand lest you stumble and fall. When you reach your destination, He is there rejoicing with you.

I posted these words on my FB wall a year ago. A few words culled from an earlier blog post,back when the journey of getting well was my priority.  For every pain, there’s a moment of rejoicing. For every setback, there is a time to contemplate. For every smile that comes your way, it seems like there is a light bulb that mirrors your path to happiness. Sometimes  nature does that, it makes you rejoice, contemplate and show how life makes you feel and it enriches your soul.

It’s another day to feel God’s love and let you know that life is wonderful.

a banana blossom

I miss our garden in the province where we have this lovely ornamental banana plant  nestled among the trees, trying hard to show its face.

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, the start of  Holy Week,  I pray that it would be a solemn and blessed celebration for all of you.



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It’s still a long way to go before the sun shows its face. and I sit in the quiet savouring the sounds that an early morning brings. Who would not know the beauty of stillness? Who would not love a  beginning of another day?  Who would not crave for the peace that reigns in one’s heart amidst the noise of daily living?

And I long for this,the beauty of the day in all its glory.


Capones Island

Capones Island



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