One is privileged at times spending the day just lazing around, reading snippets of gossip on my news feed ( I know, I know you would say, sometimes they are not worth-reading at all) and I hate it that FB changed the rules again. You can even see several timelines where your friends commented on a post, no matter how irrelevant or how unimportant they are to you. If not for AFCC, I would quit FB but I have an apostolate online that is even more important than the nonsense shout outs that I oftentimes see there.
It’s been raining on and off the whole day. I was caught in a downpour when the mass ended early this morning. Time to bring out those sturdy umbrellas, the rainy season is finally here. I can feel the wind on my face. I had breakfast at Jollibee ordering a favorite combination of fried rice, longganisa, pouched egg and a cup of really hot chocolate. Where else would you find a free copy of Philippine Star for morning news but at Jollibee? I am afraid to admit though that sometimes it’s only the headlines or opinion pages that catch my attention. There are two writers that I admire there, Lucy Torres’ byline Love Lucy and Barbara Gonzales’ Second Wind. Lucy’s articles are a joy to read – such varied and rich subjects like her married life, her only daughter Juliana, her penchant for crafts, the early years she spent growing up in Ormoc and other stories that sometimes make me smile and laugh and get inspired. She extends the Christmas season from early September to as late as February the following year. Barbara Gonzales says that she is in her 70’s, a former executive at McCann Erickson and writes her piece every Saturday. She teaches writing too but she says that the way she teaches is far more different than the way you learn in a classroom seating. I’ve long wanted to attend her class but I find the fee too stiff for my budget. She lives alone and enjoys what she does every day sharing about her life getting on years and growing older. She makes jewelries too and sells them in bazaars. When I get to be her age, I hope I would enjoy every day like she does, making crafts, playing solitaire (not my cup of tea though), updating her journal, enjoying occasional visits from the grand kids. She leads a quiet life but she is happy.
Happy rainy Sunday. Maybe, now is the perfect excuse to drink a hot cup of coffee. I get nervous when it rains cats and dogs. I hope there are no flooded areas in the metro.
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Posted in Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, friends, friendship, journeys, life, my AFCC family, photography, tagged Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, friends, friendship, journeys, my AFCC family, photography, pica-pica party on March 16, 2015 |
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“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
I love quoting these lovely words from one of my favorite writers, Henri Nouwen, for they exactly describe how friendship should be and what it really means to me, when you could be just as you are with them, when they accept you in their lives and in their hearts, warts and all.
Last Saturday was another lovely celebration of friendship. A few close friends came over to just celebrate the day with me and mom. Two of them will be celebrating their birthdays this month and what a fitting way to share laughter, smiles, hugs, serious stuff (you would not believe this but most of our topics touched on our faith and the beauty of being a Catholic) and food of course. Mom was so amazed to learn that they came from places outside Metro Manila and she was full of questions like how I met them, why they are visiting me when we could choose to go out and spend the day in malls, she asked where they work, things that a typical mom wants to know. When they have left, she said “ang babait nila”. Mabait in English has no exact meaning but it encompasses various traits like being kind, gentle, friendly, generous, amiable, considerate, you name it, it is all in there in that single word. We had a good laugh of course while we were taking pictures. They brought their cameras and we took some shots.
That’s mom on the right. She was gracious enough to join us in our picture-taking.
Sinful mango cake from Red Ribbon…
We were all so full we just snacked on polvoron (yummy powdered milk candy from Red Ribbon), boiled peanuts and adobo peanuts while sharing and discussing so many topics, touching even politics and world affairs.
It was a lovely day to celebrate friendship.
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Posted in Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, Closer to God, Faith, inspirational, journeys, photography, tagged Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, Closer to God, Faith, journeys, life, Padre Pio, photography, St. Padre Pio Chapel in Libis QC on April 14, 2014 |
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Woke up at an ungodly hour of 3:30am. Son has to leave the house at 5:00am so for three days each week, it’s a struggle to open my eyes and try to ignore the alarms from my two cellphones on my night table. This morning, I felt as though I haven’t slept for over six hours so I went back to bed and woke up at 7:30am. So much for dreaming of catching at least 3 more hours of rest.
Our two dogs are at the door waiting for breakfast and my plants are waiting for that much-needed morning shower. It is definitely summer here and it’s hot. The previous week has been a busy one so far and it’s now Holy Monday. Holy Week began yesterday with the blessing of the palms. I was at the church early because yesterday, one of our new junior admins at our Catholic page visited me. Ninia and I had a good laugh exchanging news and some tidbits of her life in Hongkong away from her family. Sharing with friends is such a joy, never mind that sometimes, the topic was serious and painful enough and the tears fall, unheeded. Doing an online apostolate is definitely fulfilling. As you journey through, you also grow in faith and yes, in your own little way, you get to inspire others. We will be celebrating our fourth year of being online this coming Friday. When I think of the times when we were just making our presence felt with a little more than a thousand members, I am grateful that so many people from all walks of life found our page. We now have almost 66,000 members who visit the page each day and share our posts.
I would love to go back to St. Padre Pio Chapel this Holy Week, they have several things lined up for the celebration. My only problem is I am afraid to mingle with a big crowd because I have to wear face mask and I can’t stay under the heat of the sun for long. We are planning to have Visita Iglesia on Holy Thursday maybe in some churches in Manila if we have the time.
This is the facade of Saint Padre Pio Chapel in Libis, QC. It’s visited by thousands of Padre Pio devotees from all walks of life.
The prayer room of St. Francis of Assisi.
I am always touched watching the flickering candles at the chapel. The symbolism of having pure light, penetrating darkness and illuminating one’s path is so uplifting.
Some people say that the facade of the chapel is an exact replica of the Shrine of Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy. Last week I watched a feature on Mang Ramon Rodriguez, founder and president of the Philippine Center for St. Pio of Pietrelcina, Inc. He is a devotee of Saint Padre Pio and was cured of partial blindness years ago . It’s the reason why he put up a small chapel which is now a house of prayer visited by thousands of pilgrims all year-long.
Church of Santa Maria della Grazie, containing Padre Pio’s tomb and cell. (Photo credit: sacred-destinations.com)
Have a blessed Holy Week!
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Posted in Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, blogging, books, friends, friendship, life, tagged Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, blogging, books, friendship, life, literature and Fiction, thoughts and ramblings on March 22, 2014 |
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I haven’t visited this corner for a while. No particular reason though except that I’ve been busy the past days. It’s Lent and I have to make advance posts and do some research for my apostolate at Apostles Filipino Catholic Community in which I am one of the admins. We now have an astounding 51,000 members with a total reach of around 5 million views daily. We’re definitely growing.
Last Wednesday, some friends and I had a wonderful lunch at Max’s in SM Megamall. One of our members came home from Canada and she treated us to lunch. I love bonding with them, we could talk about any topic under the sun, catching up on each other’s lives after almost three years – precious moments filled with laughter and sharing. One day is not always enough for all the things that we have to catch up on. Friends are wonderful gifts from above. It was also my first time to visit the chapel located at the 5th floor of Megamall. One of these days, I would love to attend a mass at the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord.
One thing that I always notice every time there is a slack in my blogging is, it’s quite hard to write again. One somehow loses the momentum of sharing one’s thoughts. Oh well, sometimes, I feel so lazy to sit in front of my computer and think. Apart from doing research, I have gone back to reading e-books. Who knows, I may even reach my goal of 70 books to read this year. I am keeping tab of it so I would know. Right now, I am on my 17th book and just finished a wonderful one yesterday entitled The Help. I am less inclined to make a review though because I am excited to read the next book on my list. Finally, I was able to watch the movie adaptation of Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief. Read it four years ago and it was one of the best read I ever had. One can’t compare the movie versus the book because definitely, the book is more detailed but the acting is also superb and charming. Sophie Nelisse is perfect as the protective and loving Liesel. I cried reading the book and watching it onscreen is equally touching.
It’s my grandson’s 16th month today but that would be in another blog.
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Posted in Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, city gardening, Close to Nature, Closer to God, inspirational, reflections, silence speaks, thoughts, tagged Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, Close to Nature, Closer to God, inspirational, life, reflections, silence speaks, thoughts on March 12, 2014 |
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My Mokara orchids are blooming nonstop, same with my Hoya. I noticed two more buds while the last bloom is drying up. It’s such a joy to watch them unfold into lovely blooms. When you are lucky to have Nature’s gifts, you can’t help but smile. I am using most of my shots to make quotes for our Catholic page at Facebook. This is one of them.
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Posted in Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, blessings, inspirational, journeys, life, QUOTE, tagged Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, Closer to God, Faith, inspirational, life, quotes, silence speaks on January 26, 2014 |
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One of the joys of sharing at our Catholic site are the comments and likes that I see every day. I think that no matter how simple our posts are, sometimes, there will always be someone who needs a loving and positive word to go on and the journey becomes light and easy and the joy gives way to hope for a better tomorrow. This quote has earned 586 likes and 171 shares two weeks ago. And it’s fun to make your own quote. Try it!
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Posted in AFCC Global Tambayan, Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, blessings, blogging, Closer to God, entertainment, food, friends, friendship, guilty pleasures, journeys, photography, tagged Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, Closer to God, Faith, food, friends, friendship, get-together, guilty pleasures, life, photography on January 14, 2014 |
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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.
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.
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!
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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