Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Brand New Day; Grand New Way

“Everyday is an opportunity to either: sustain your image of life and add colors to it or dishevel the pieces to rearrange them to make a totally refreshed and better image of life. The power to make your day great is within you!”

Just like every individual, every day is unique from others. The day’s property of uniqueness poses many opportunities for us to make our lives better, easier, and brighter despite all of life’s ‘natural calamities’ (situations thrown at us by others) and ‘man-made disasters’ (result of our personal decisions and standards) that try to wipe out our optimism, confidence, hopes, and wonderful feelings.

No matter how gloomy yesterday was—you failed to beat a deadline, ate too much, spent the day idly, impulsively spent beyond the budget, said a discouraging word—it doesn’t matter today. All that the new day is concerned of is how you utilize it ‘now’ to make it brighter, better, and more beautiful than yesterday.

Today is a gift from God.

It is a daily-basis opportunity that He gives us for us to correct our mistakes and do better every single day until we finally appreciate the fruits of our discipline and until they naturally become our source of motivation and digested by our muscle memory.

A steady motivation doesn’t come from a defeat or a challenge, but from a daily resolute decision to live better and beat your personal record day by day: your calorie intake, times you lie, number of people you help, amount you save, times you snooze the alarm clock.

The power to make your day great is within you! The decision to may your ways grand lies to no one, but you.

The unending ‘today’ and your boundless imagination on how to pump yourself up (and hopefully, would stir others) are just two of the many manifestations of how God wants you to become a victor and how limitless God’s love for us is.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Float on Tears or Fly with Grace

Do you still often find yourself subconsciously picking up all the pieces of shattered memories and pulling through all the yarns that could link you back with him?

Whatever caused our cherished relationships to break, many of us, women, remain locked up in the past that we want to blow life to all the images that flash in our heads and turn them into reality. Since women usually have a relatively longer bargaining phase than men, many of us succumb to our emotions and let go of our pride just to rekindle the old flame. However, due to some not-so-good experiences, there are also others who desire to get their men back in their lives because they want to turn the tables around.

Whatever our motives are in winning our men back, we can always resolve to live our lives in ways that will both favor our victory in deliberately getting our men back and our success in purposely improving ourselves—that may unintentionally lead him back to us.

1. We can have a solid kick off by having a clear and resolute decision of loving ourselves first before anybody else.

Men in our generation are aware that only when one is capable of loving herself enough, that she is able to love others properly. In our fast-paced and competitive environment today, most men prefer women who value and respect themselves for this means security and assurance, whether men are around or not.

A woman who values and respects oneself will not allow herself to fall into wrongdoings that might affect each of them, and eventually the relationship. She will commit herself to continuous growth—discovering what she can do and how she can do it best—so her man will always have something to be proud of her and so she has a good self-image of herself, preventing her to feel insecure and jealous.

A woman who loves herself is naturally caring, understanding, sympathetic, and supportive because she herself knows what love is and how it is to be loved.

2. We must learn the skill on how to properly and decently send our men signals that we are totally over and have already accepted the breakup—although the reality is otherwise.

Making a man believe that you have already moved on usually hits his ego and stirs him to think whether he is your loss or you are his loss. Showing no desperation in winning him back conversely makes him desperate to come back to you to prove his worth and chase the self-sufficient woman that he has just left.

Men over 25 years old usually don’t find women who are clingy, possessive, and obsessed cute and lovable. The older the men gets, all the more they appreciate women who can be their partners rather than their pets.

3. It is also important that we always look our best—internally and externally. Maintaining inner and outer beauty will in no way drive away your man.

Take advantage of how well you have known him in your years together. Put on a dress that has the color and style he likes; arrange your hair the way that he finds sexy; and use the perfume you were using so his feeling will be swept back to the times when you were still together.

Having a girlfriend with a good heart and a prudent mind is nothing but an ideal significant other for most men. External beauty fades through the years, but internal beauty becomes more valuable as years go by—serving as the couple’s armor against life’s series of storms and relationship trials.

Any ex-boyfriend couldn’t help but snivel on the sight of a beautiful woman with a golden heart being admired and respected by other men.

4. Maintaining warm relationships with our men’s friends and family members is also another good move that requires discreet moves.

Being nice and warm with his crowd is like having a free of charge award-winning advertisement on how good you are as a friend and a family member. Nonetheless, sincerity must be the main theme of your personal ad. Friends are like sharks sharp in smelling deceptions and role plays, but they can also be your genie helping you get what you wish for.

Being warm and nice with his clique will show how diplomatic you are in dealing issues. Also, this can signal to him that you are a good partner to be with in both good and not-so-good times.

5. Lastly, let’s just always be ourselves.

Being the woman that you really are will help ignite his feelings once more. Who you truly are was the reason why he became attracted to you. Maybe it’s the perfect time to look at yourself and retrospect. Have you changed a lot? Are the changes because of improvement? Or you have already matured that’s why there are changes.

While doing all these, you are also helping yourself become the esteemed woman you need to be whether he comes back to your or not. If he comes back, it means you are really wired and meant for each other. If he doesn’t, then rejoice because you have already started spreading your wings and now more prepared to take off and soar the vast heavens of possibilities and opportunities.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

When Best is Not Enough

Through all the seasons and faces of life
We’ve journeyed together
Enduring the tide, enjoying the ride
You were here beside me,
Inasmuch as I was to you
You have been my best buddy
I’ve been the best I could to you

“My best yesterday has never established itself to be the best
Because it’s always beaten by what I do today”
I couldn’t settle, I wasn’t contented
Especially if what I do was for you
Don’t worry, though
I relish the tide, I treasure the ride

We walk side-by-side
Our arms kissing each other
Our hands hugging one another
Everyday I assured you
We would be happy, we would be okay
I accepted you, I protected you
I cherished you most
I loved you with all my best

I wanted to improve
I told myself to be the best in everything I do
Especially if it was for you
You made me cry—I smiled my best
I stumbled in pain—I uttered my wisest
We had been away—I initiated faithfulness

I aimed for my best
Coz best was all about you—
It set you special, made you loved
It ignited you, cheered you up
It inspired you, pumped you up

Now the sundown has come
It’s time for you to go
I smile, I breathe, I retrospect
Smile again, and pray
This time I don’t know—
How my best will keep up
And make you cheer up
When I myself don’t know
How to turn the table and go

Until this last bit
I offer my best to you
My tears are for pain
That I have to let you go
My tears are for joy
For this means I am letting you soar—
Achieve your freedom,
Pull off the heavens,
Where my prince,
Who’s you, belongs to

I gave you what seemed to you my never-ending best
But for me, this best had never been enough
Now, perhaps, this is the ultimate test
If I truly love you
I have to surrender you
To the care of the One who loves you most

More than I can ever love you—
All my strength and good intentions combined
Only the Best and the Most,
Our Lord, the Creator
Of my most treasured gift
Can truly protect, save, and fill you

To you my love,
I express best my gratitude
By praying for you
And wishing you well
Now, I bid my best goodbye
I send my joy with you
As I see you go and fly

Friday, September 24, 2010

Single is More

‘Single’ isn’t just a faint no-brainer word uttered by everybody… ‘Single’ is a powerful ‘feeling’ (of contentment). It ain’t just a label thrown at us by friends… ‘Single’ is a dignified ‘title’ (of blessedness) earned through genuine wisdom and patience, and sometimes through the Holy Spirit.

It just takes a good pair of grateful eyes; optimistic mind; cheerful heart; and a tireless pair of generous hands to optimize singleness to the fullest.


…we hear the word ‘single (oh, with her beauty and brains she’s still single?)
…we see the word ‘single’ (line for singles and line for married…shall I reveal that I’m still single given my age?)
…we utter the word ‘single’ (yes, I’m still single and ready to mingle!)

…we hear different reactions. Different people hold different opinions and feel of the word.

In our solitude moments, thinking that we are single incites various thoughts and feelings. Some may be happy, others may get frustrated. Many may feel fortunate, and still others may feel empty.

An English professor may even hold a different opinion—that ‘single’ always means one. Yes ONE! Singular. Alone. With no one. By oneself.

I’ve been to some situations of being single (Yes, different phases—committed single with boyfriend around and with boyfriend away; and uncommitted single). I also witnessed various types of being single, and I discovered that ‘single’ is, not one, and it’s does not just denote many, but ‘more’.

I had a long-time relationship. It was colorful. It felt good to have an all-time partner in doing things and also a long-distance inspiration when I had to study away from home.

However, when we broke up many things changed. I went through my own phasing of DABDA—denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. Fortunately, because of God, things happened so quickly and I was able to see what happened as a blessing in disguise. With a grateful heart, I was able to turn the situation around and use my situation—single again—as a good opportunity and foundation on which I will willingly build on more good things.

With gratitude and hope for a better everyday, wonderful things surprisingly lined themselves up to me.

There are times that we must think of separation or the act of leaving (whoever seems to leave the other) as a very good opportunity for growth. Tell youself, “I’m glad he left me because it means I can spread my wings more and soar new heights of self-improvement with and for God.”

Being single once again means knowing myself more and enjoying myself in ways greater than I can imagine. While I’m single again, I can have more time for myself, my family, my community, and my friends. All this means more opportunities to serve God.

Being single means more time doing the things I want to do and exploring more things I’ve long been wanting to explore but never had the chance to… Maximizing all this fun learning curve before I get married, or simply before another year pass me by.

Single is fun… Single is ‘more’!

My mom is also a single mother. My father died when I was 10 years old, my younger brother was 6, and my youngest brother was only 3.

Being the strong independent woman that she is, my mother is able to happily raise her three musketeers well, or so I claim.

My other brother wins in international motocross competitions and my youngest brother wins in dance competitions, among the top students in his batch, an athlete, and an officer in their school. No to mention, the two boys are more obedient to mama than their ate.

I haven’t asked my mother yet how it is to raise up three children alone. But deep inside me, a little voice tells me, “It’s hard to be a single mother. Your mother is playing two roles, a mother and a father, at the same time. She gives more—time, effort, and resources—to provide your needs. Thus, you must also give her the sweetest love and the priceless gift of ‘the-best-person-that-you-can-be’ as her reward.”

Because she’s been a really great mother to us, come all four seasons, that other people start to appreciate and look up to my mom. My father’s side of the family loves mama more and more. Other people’s appreciation becomes her strong morale booster and her children’s love and appreciation her Olympic gold medal.

Being a single parent is empowering, fulfilling, and rewarding… Being a single parent means ‘more’!

My grandmother (my father’s auntie) opted to remain single despite some suitors. Perhaps she was blessed to be single.

She happily helped in raising up her nieces and nephews…and eventually, their kids. She hopped from one house of her sibling to the next and one town to another to take good care of her getting more and more ‘children’ and bigger and bigger ‘family’.

When my father was sick, she even traveled a rough 24-hour sail just to be with my father.

My lola Miling, who died just last year, found joy all her life in serving her relatives and making us feel special and loved. In return, she received more love from relatives and even from the relatives of her in-laws.

When she died, she not only gained love and respect, but left and engraved in our hearts the important lessons of her priceless gifts of humility, kindness, and love.

‘Single’ is a fountain of abundant blessings that cannot be bought by money and power… ‘Single’ is more!

No matter what we think of whenever the word ‘single’ pops into our minds… ‘single’ always has superimposed images of ‘more’ (time, opportunities, fun, love, and the list goes on) in our imaginations.

No matter what we feel when we realize that we are single… ‘Single’ always has a power to engrave a different feel of gratitude, joy, pride, and blessedness in our hearts.

‘Single’ isn’t just a faint no-brainer word uttered by everybody… ‘Single’ is a powerful ‘feeling’ (of contentment). It ain’t just a label thrown at us by friends… ‘Single’ is a dignified ‘title’ (of blessedness) earned through genuine wisdom and patience, and sometimes through the Holy Spirit.

It just takes a good pair of grateful eyes; optimistic mind; cheerful heart; and a tireless pair of generous hands to optimize singleness to the fullest.

Single is not one, lonely idea… ‘Single’ is ‘more’ than good things, blissful feelings, and opportunities combined.

So next time you chance upon your English professor telling you that single is singular, you may answer in repartee that ‘single’ is more time, more love, and more giving and receiving. ‘More’ is never one and alone and is greater than ‘many’. Therefore, single is never alone and is greater than ‘many’.

Me. I am enjoying my life with my loved ones and friends as I prepare myself for the coming of my one true love who will one day be proud of me—that her woman has done a lot of good things for other and for God.

More so, that he can enjoy his life with his life partner and bestfriend—from plumbing and carpentry to cooking and doing the laundry; from playing chess and scrabble to playing tennis and diving; from helping ourfamilies to serving other people and God.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Greeting and a thank-you letter to the sweetest man…

Thank you pa for marrying a woman who is strong-willed, independent, and responsible. If you only saw how hard it was for her to raise us up alone, yet successfully braved her way through every financial, emotion, and physical trials, you would be proud of your taste and choice. Giving up nor becoming selfish was never her choice.

1948 ...

You were born shortly after World War 2. I was not surprised why you were named Dulcisimo, and much more, I was not surprised you didn't like it, but learned to love and live your name--very very sweet.

You were really such a sweet, caring, and thoughtful papa.

Thank you pa for letting me experience how it was to have a loving father and witness how a loving husband treated his wife—you followed the trail of mama's cluttered stuff and picked them one by one, engaged her in loving plants and pets, and called her attention when she was getting unbecoming to her parents and siblings.

Thank you papa for the memories we shared in that red-white BonBon folding bed, where we usually hung out—we squeezed ourselves together as I sucked my feeding bottle while pulling the hair of your armpit or pulling your earlobe and you, if not flipping the photo album (which by the way you loved doing because you were proud of the photo captions you made using the cumbersome typewriter), you tell me your teenage stories or stories about work.

I so love and miss those times... Through our frequent conversations I learned a lot and I gained some 'kumpares' and 'kumares' at the age of three.

I remember how you would correct me whenever I called the other treasures, auditors, politicians 'pare' and 'kumay'.

Of the many things you taught me, one thing that stood out most is when you uttered the words "value relationships, especially friendships because a harmonious and love-filled relationship starts from genuine friendship. Nothing, even money or jewels, can replace genuine friends in times of storms and be as genuine to them." I remember in my public speaking class in high school, I even used your words as my springboard for my speech. That’s how proud I am of you.

Thank you for being a doer of what you preached... Your actions made me believe your words, that they're so deeply engraved in my memory that even I was just 3, 4, 5...10 then, until now I vividly remember many of your applied examples. By that, I have become a believer of actions rather than of just plain words and I struggle to be like you. (or both a speaker and a doer, the environment you and mama exposed me to just made me talkative and verbose, or perhaps it was the pig's 'pie' which made me like this).

Thank you for making yourself a wise man... I mean for choosing the right woman to love. When you left your physical body, the 'mama-papa' you left us consistently performs her role responsibly...and even goes beyond it selflessly.

Thank you pa for falling in love with a woman who is funny, playful, and witty... Our home becomes alive when she cracks jokes or hit us with her 'pilosopo' remarks. It's not boring when she's in the mood.

Although I'm wondering pa how you dealt with this woman’s pride, volatility, and messiness. But I thank you for balancing her personality with yours. Since you went home to Him she gradually learned to be yielding, pleasant, cool-headed, and organized (in her own amusing way).

Thank you pa for marrying a woman who is strong-willed, independent, and responsible. If you only saw how hard it was for her to raise us up alone, yet successfully braved her way through every financial, emotion, and physical trial, you would be proud of your taste and choice. Moreover, giving up nor becoming selfish was never her option.

One thing I'm not sure if you would be glad, though—seeing her perform in front of a big crowd dancing. Or perhaps you'd laugh you lungs out as you cheer her then hug her after and treat her to a good dinner because you know how much effortful it is for her to coordinate her right foot with the left.

Thank God, you were a varsity player pa, Boyet wins in international motocross competitions; you were a dancer and singer and student leader, Ken-ken wins in performing arts contests and follows your heart for service even though he was just 3 when you left us...thank God your blood is strong pa. You’d be proud seeing them in the podium receiving awards. But you’d be prouder knowing how mama raised us while mama make her own achievements.

Nonetheless, so much thanks to God that the only woman you chose to live with until your very last breath provided us with all the things we needed—tough love, tough love, tough love, and sweet love.

For through her tough love during our formation stages, we were taught how to survive and stand on our own feet as she silently provided us what we needed, making us believe that we were the ones who made all things happen, but it was really her at our backs pushing us while playing another role beside us challenging us that we couldn't do things well, then go behind again pushing us. I can never forget her tough love to me...then balancing it with her funny side (and yes her classic funny antics), and garnishing it with her natural motherly soft-heart covered with caramelized sugar to project her hard sweetness. She knows pretty well her timing when to punish and to reward.

Now that she's convinced that we, your kids, are worthy of her trust and have already proven to her some little things, she's more our barkada than our police... For me, even though she's imperfect, her imperfections are just so right to qualify her as the most wonderful mama we can ever have! Nothing beats her pa, nothing!

Thank you very much pa!

Your presence pa, i don't know but i just think of it this way, has been compromised to make 4 persons become even better and set big goals for their lives... The difficulty associated with your absence made us know God more and become obedient to ma (even though she doesn't feel mine compared with my brothers). Pa, some of mama’s traits are finding their way out now… mama and I have almost the same attitude...don't worry, she knows what I will do next, she knows I will not fail her because I love her. There are just many ways in skinning a cat, sometimes (come closer pa, I'm sure it's also mama's excuse sometimes shhhh...)

We're so lucky you left us with a valuable, priceless treasure... A selfless loving mama who willingly performs her role as 'mama-papa' and whose only desire is for us to become the best persons that we can ever be, even though she's just one supporting your three musketeers.

One of the many things that make me take my hat off is how your beloved woman makes us feel there's nothing lacking in the family and that we're even in a better boat than other children with both parents present.

I was even shocked with my friend's response pa when I shared with her about our family... She complimented your queen and said "I'm amazed how your mom brought you up for not being envious with others who have both parents. You're lucky you have a great mother." Only then I consciously affirmed that, "Yes, honestly I am never envious of other kids for having a great family... I admire them, but I am never envious."

Probably because I had a very good papa and have a great mama!

Now that your babies have already grown up pa, including your queen, our memories of you remain alive and forever will be. For as long as I live, you will live in my heart, in my mind, and in my actions. I never disregard you in discussions about families, besides, I'm always proud of you.

I promise to be always your 'little soldier' who will protect our family, including all the things you left behind—lola, your sibs, your teachings, your dreams for us. Your personal dream of becoming a priest even becomes the double adhesive tape between me and God no matter how playful I have become.

It's so amazing pa how we were able to discuss some of the good stuff, that are timely and prceless, when I was a kid... I though they were just another story-telling, but a life-saving instead.

Our other stories, let's continue them in my dream pa...!

Happy birthday papa! I hope you were here, but I'm happy knowing you're with God already feasting and celebrating everyday.

Tiny, flickering light deep inside

Sometimes I feel so happy, other times anxious. One moment I feel on top, the next moment I feel at the rock bottom. One day I feel pumped up, the following I feel my lazy bones lock me up in my chair.

Being ordinary humans, we change moods and standpoints from time to time.

I say 'ordinary' because people with special gifts and those who have practiced meditation for decades are able to control their states of mind and emotions.

I'm wondering if these people, like the monks, still experience mood swings... And if they do, how do they manage it. I'm also marvel on the stuff usually occupy their minds. Hmmmh...

Whether one is a monk, a priest, a pastor, an imam, or a simple street vendor, he is still human who needs to improve everyday and experience every emotion there is for him to master even more himself—turning anger into a good opportunity to train patience; turning anxiety into a good time to nurture faith and trust; making happiness a strong platform to heal oneself and others; etc.

Aside from our surging emotions, we also have varying temperaments and intuitions. Like one moment you feel inspired, the next you feel discouraged or lazy.

Whatever the situation or concern or mood is, we can always transform and elevate our circumstances by letting the feeling seep in, but not too long, then assess it simultaneously as you already start moving and working on what you must do at hand—feel good and perky; or finish a task.

As you work out your situation, whether it’s now clear to you why such things happen or you already forget that you are assessing, you will just be surprised that you are already feeling better or half done with your task.

The important thing is you are dynamic, you are moving towards your goal—dragging yourself or sliding smoothly—because your progress, no matter how small it is, will fuel and inspire you to keep going, as God blesses even more those whose hearts are sincerely desiring to improve and create good things.

However, don't confuse movement from progress.

Thus, it is necessary to know ourselves better by tapping our every emotion so we precisely know if we are making any progress or it's just another movement. Through this, we will be able to know how we can better motivate ourselves especially in times when there's no one by our side to stir us up—except the person who is wearing the very same shoes you are wearing.

More so, our humility to come before God and ask for His grace to improve us does so much to rekindle our passion and discover our gifts. One day we will just be surprised how His power enables us to accomplish things we never thought we know and can do.

Our passion to improve and accomplish something starts with ourselves, with that tiny, flickering fire deep within our hearts.

This passion, no matter how flickering it gets, when we commit to do our best and ask for God's provision and guidance, grows into a brilliant light…that you can no longer keep it because it keeps on glaring and passing through every hole or ooportunity… No matter how many walls try to block it's glow, it will unflinchingly find it's way out the other shafts.

This light or passion must be kept burning no matter what the season is, for with God's warm love, even though the light flickers, it will keep blazing that you have no other choice but to pass it on, spread it, until it lights the whole community, another community, and eventually, hopefully, the world.

You'll be one day surprised by how great the breadth and brightness of the once tiny light (the lazy bone and mood swinger that you are) has become. Make sure you don't let anything or anyone put out the light that God has ignited in your heart.

No matter how big and bright you become, remain humble and grateful to Him who faithfully provides you what you sought and asked for. For anyone who humbles himself is being raised by God to the sky.

Just have faith in Him, come, and ask... He will sustain you so the world can see His glory through the simple, ordinary, and humble persons like us.

One day, when you already master yourself and you know how to go about your fluctuating fervor, no matter how strong the wind blows, the light in your heart will keep on burning—to provide your own light and perhaps to other people as well.

Desire for progress and focus on it! Remember that where your focus is, there your growth will be.

Just hours ago I felt lazy to write. I decided to hold the pen, even though it seemed 10 kilos for me. Now I'm done... No longer flickering, at the moment. More situations like this in time, I know, but I’m ready to kindle my own fire and ask for His boost.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Nagsimula sa isang tasa ng kape.

Paikot-ikot sa kama, hindi ako makatulog. Marami na akong naipasalamat sa Kanya, hiniling, at ihiningi ng tawad. Alas dos na ng madaling araw, hindi pa rin ako dinadalaw ng antok.

Nakatulala sa madilim na silid, bigla kang pumasok sa isip ko. Napangiti. Napaisip. Tumawa. Umiyak.

Ikaw ang nag-iisang lalake na sobra kong kasundo kahit madalas kaduwelo. Madalas ipinagmamalaki mo ako at bida sa paningin mo kahit numero uno mo akong tagapanggulo at kadebate.

Sa tuwing nadidismaya ka sa akin, walang patumpik-tumpik mong tinatawag ang pansin ko--mapatext, mapatawag, o mapaharap-harapan.

"Mahal kita kaya ayaw kong napapasama ka," lagi mong banat. Sasagot ako at agad mong sasabihin, "Yan ka nanaman eh, ijujustify mo pa. Makinig ka sa akin. Sa tingin mo ba maririnig mo sa iba ang maririnig mo sa akin? Hindi ka sasabihan ng iba na 'tatanga tanga ka minsan'." Sabay tatawa ka at yayakapin ako.

Ikaw lang, pwera sa nanay at tatay ko, ang gustong gusto ng buo kong pangalan at aliw na aliw na tawagin akong 'Christy' (dahil alam mo ayaw kong tinatawag ako non), pero ipapakilala sa mga kaibigan ng 'Faith' habang natatawa kang banggitin ito dahil lagi kang sanay na inaasar ako... hanggang 'Potpot' na lang ang pagpapakilala mo sabay sabi 'baby ko pare.'

Sobra kitang namimiss.

Namimiss ko ang tatawagan mo ako ng disoras ng gabi, lalo na sa disoras ng gabi sa sumunod na araw pagtapos ng kaarawan mo. Tatawag ka para singilin ako na di kita binati. "Taun-taon mo na lang kinakalimutan!" (Sa totoo lang hindi ko nakalimutan ang birthday mo dahil days before nito tanda ko na at nakaalarm pa sa phone ko. Ang batiin ka ang nakakalimutan kong gawin. Ngayon sigurado ako alam mo yan).

Namimiss ko na din ang ititiext kita kahit anong oras ng araw at magugulat ka na lang na nagtext ako matapos ang maraming buwan. "May tanong ako..." "May sasabihin ako sayo..." "Alam mo ba..." "Oist! Miss na kita..." "Ipagpray mo ako kasi..." "Kamusta na? Balita?"

Namimiss ko na din ang paghintayin ka ng ilang oras, minsan araw, lingo, buwan na ang lumipas di ako dumating... Sa muli nating pagkikita, papakainin mo pa ako ng marami, magkikwentuhan tayo at tawanan, tapos pagbusog na pagsasabihan mo ako. Wala na akong lusot kasi, loko ka, binusog mo na ako at kokonsensyahin.

Miss na kita, loko ka! Kanina pa ako tumitingin sa paligid pero di kita makita. Kailangan ko pang pumikit para makita ka sa dilim.

Hai... Ikaw ang taong kakampi ko sa lahat at hindi ako pinahiya sa harap ng mga tao. Laging papuri at biruan, pero hindi mo ako nilaglag o kinucha kahit ilang beses kitang nabigo.

Ikaw ang sumbungan ko at kakampi. Ikaw ang tagapagtanggol ko kahit dalawa lang tayo ang magkausap at nakakarinig at di mo kilala ang kinikwento ko. Naalala ko pa, ang sarap ng tawanan natin sa mga arte natin.

Sa tuwing mapapagalitan ako ni mama ikaw ang lawyer ko o kaya peace negotiator. Hindi mo ako dinidiin pag napapagsabihan. Pero pagtayong dalawa na lang, mahaba pa sa sermon ng tunay na pari ang litanya mo.

Ikaw ang kadabate ko. Ikaw ang tanungan ko. Ikaw ang kasagutan ko. Ikaw ang labasan ko ng sama ng loob. Anong klaseng usapan man, lagi tayong natatapos sa tawanan at biruan.

Naalala ko pa sa tuwing may hiling ako sayo hindi mo ako binibigo, minsan may sobra pang bigay. Lagi mo ako niyayaya lumabas at syempre kumain (kasi yun ang hilig natin), ako lang ang madalas na hindi nakakarating.

Pero ni minsan hindi mo ako sinumbatan. Ikaw pa ang nagsasabi "babawi na lang tayo sa susunod."

Wala ka pa atang nasuway na usapan natin, sa pagkakatanda ko. Pero pag ako ang may kakulangan (dahil late, di dumating, di tumupad), ikaw padin ang pumupuno--masahe, dinner treat, movie, pabango, libro, at iba pa--ang kapalit.

Ang dami kong gustong ikwento sayo! Ang dami kong gustong itanong! Ang dami kong gustong gawin kasama ka! Loko ka, namimiss na kita. Pinaiyak mo pa ako ngayon.

Alam mo ba na gusto paghindi mo ako kinakampihan pero hindi mo ako iniiwanan tapos yayayain mo akong kumain para magkwentuhan at doon mo ako sasabunin pag tayong dalawa lang ang magkaharap, na kahit nagdedebate na tayo at nagtataasan ng boses... Tapos madighay lang tayo at magtatawanan na?!

Ikaw lang ang lalakeng kabiruan ko (pero may laman) pag may nagawa tayong mali sa paningin ng isa’t isa at sasabihing "Hindi mali ang ginawa mo. Mali lang siguro ang instruction ko. Ikaw ang pinakalovable na tao kaya magbago ka na ha... May ibubuti ka pa."

Ikaw ang kapalitan ko ng sekreto. Alam mo ang kiliti ko at kung paano ako ichallenge at imotivate. Alam mo kung paano palambutin ang matigas kong ulo at sakyan ang kabaliwan ko. Ikaw ang nakakaexplain at nakakalinaw ng maraming bagay na kahit tayong dalawa ay natatawa na lang sa sinasabi natin.

Miss na kita! Ikaw ang nag-iisang lalakeng literal kong tinawid ang bundok at ilog makita ka lang.

Buti nahalikan kita, nayakap, at natapik sa huli nating pagkikita. Hanggang ngayon di ako makapaniwala na hindi na tayo magkikitang muli.

Sa isip ko nasa isla ka lang, sa bago mong tahanan at pamilya. Ang masakit, sobrang buhay ka pa sa alaala ko dahil ganito tayo dati, buwanan bago nagkikita, pero kahit kailan kita gustong kausapin andiyan ka.

Ikaw ang pinangarap kong kuya na sobrang mapagmahal at mapagalaga sa iba't ibang paraan, at sobrang mahal ang Diyos na pinagsilbihan mo siya bilang pari ng 1 taon at 5 buwan bago ka umuwi sa Kanya.

Bro, miss na kita! Gusto kitang tawagan at kausapin. Pero iba na ngayon. Kahit gaano ka kabuhay sa isip at pakiramdam ko, di na kita makakausap at mayayakap pang muli.

Maraming salamat pinaramdam mo sa akin ang magkaroon ng mabuting kuya kahit sa dumi ng kuku hindi tayo magkadugo.

Naririnig ko ang tawa mo sa tuwing magaasaran tayo... Maraming salamat sa purong pagmamahal at pagbibigay ng walang kapalit.

At least nagyon, tutulog ako na alaala ko ang ngiti mo at rinig ko sa isip ko ang tawa mo. Malungkot man, masaya na din ako kasi nakita kitang masaya muli kahit sa imahinasyon lang.

Salamat na din sa isang tasa ng kape. Isang gabi ng pagtulog ko kabutihan mo ang isip ko.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Paradigm Shift: Socialites and ruralites are one and the same

Many great things on earth must not be waited to arrive… for they are in everywhere we go already, we just have to open our eyes to see, set our hearts to feel grateful, and free our minds to believe.

For a couple of weeks ago, I had been too busy with work and other stuff, or sometimes I was just busy thinking “What if I text Korsie and catch up? or “What if I send Ate Leony a chat message?” So there, I dropped a message to a friend who’s online.

“Hi Dane!” (cling cling) "Hey Pot!" she chatted back. Hi-hello. Few catching up questions... Poof! Suddenly, we just found ourselves on our way up north.

Everything happened spontaneously. She wanted to feel a different environment and I was longing to do something that would break the toxic urban life. Simply put, we both wanted to have a total relaxation. So after a few throws of messages, we packed up, and let the wheels take us to the paradise we’ve had never been to.

North pole and south pole slowly attracted each other and are now seated side-by-side. She was driving, I was facebook-ing. The soundwaves inside the car were relaxed—long flat line of silence, sporadic short talks, and long flat line again.

It was already a little over noon time when we left the busy streets. I haven’t had anything in my mouth yet since I woke up. Good thing this woman brought a well-prepared lunch box filled with cereals and a bun with garlic sourcream. (The opposite poles are attracting each other now).

The scenery along the express way validated that what was happening was real… I could hear the carabao in the vast rice field telling us “Yes, your unplanned out-of-town relaxation is real.” I could see the colorful nipa huts smile at us—“have fun!” quipped their walls. I could feel the crisp air hugs us, “warm welcome to the province!” I could smell the rain-soaked grass and the clean sea breeze spray out their best perfumes, “enjoy our humble setting.”

All these and more simple things opened up as the rolling grassy mountains of Zambales unfolded nature’s humble beauty and hospitality to us.

My adventurous, backpacking nature was complimented by the ever-ready, organized traits of the other woman. “Zoom in the lens,” her bitchy voice cracked the silence. Oh, there was the screen shot of the map going to the beach resort on her ipod screen.

“Okay, so we’re not fulfilling my dream of sleeping on the sand, grilling fish, getting wet in the rain, eating at carinderias?” I asked monotonously.

To cut it short, things worked for good that weekend… She got what she wanted, to have a beach resort to stay in. And me!!! Later you will find out.Ü

The resort was packed with guests and the only left accommodation was a nipa hut worth just within my budget (because I said the trip must be fun yet economical. I had to be clear with this party woman.)

“You socialite will be a ruralite this weekend, okay?” I emphasized, not waiting for her answer.

Everything I envisioned that we would do happened because this very woman fulfilled them unconsciously… Hooorrrrraaaay! (Because what she wanted was the exact opposite of my plan—decent room, prepared meal, no dancing in the rain only a clear sky for her photography.)

We proceeded from one moment to another doing our own stuff… yes, we walked together (one was ahead of the other). We sat on Love Love Love blanket together (one was taking pictures, the other was eating). We went to the shore together to drink (one was with a new friend, who by the way burned the coal for my grilled fish, and the other one was lying on the soft waves retrospecting in solitude).

How cool is that? Yes, we enjoyed our unwritten rule (of irony): let’s have fun together doing our own stuff independently.

We only talked with each other 20% of the entire time—only when we were eating meals. Most of our chats were even non-sense jokes and gloating of each other.

Our weekend getaway may seem a crap for some… But really, having someone by your side, equally happy as you are while doing her own stuff is far more fun and de-stressing than a tight and sheltered bonding. No bully, no feeling boss, no sensitive heart, no crybaby, no party pooper.

We met new warm and sincere friends who helped us cook my dream grilled fish at wee hours (FYI, they are the crew and the one who practically toiled burning the coal was the owner). We lived in simplicity of our humble nipa hut with no frills of fixing and plugging electrical appliances (we were living in ‘my’ dream palace with only two beds and a light as the furnishing). We were dressed in an unpretentious manner, walking from one place to another, sleeping by the shore and in the hammock while people passed by us. We were eating fresh sea foods and vegetables that were deliciously cooked yet so economical—that one might think we only paid for the labor harvesting and picking them rather than the normal trading price.

After less than 24 hours (excluding travel time) stay at the resort, the observations and realizations we got seemed like reaped from a decade experience.

Sometimes a great life just takes SILENCE (to retrospect and plan), RESPECT (to properly give way and accept), SIMPLICITY (for contentment and fulfillment), CHEERFULNESS (to bless other and be blessed by them), HUMILITY (to know and acknowledge that we are just among the great wonders He owns), and GRATITUDE (to appreciate the worth of small but great things and the abundance of God’s love).

I cannot describe how awesome and great God is for creating all that we see and experience here on earth—the mountains, the sea, the sand, the grass, the people, the carabao, the squid, and the eggplant (all these simple, complicated, big, and small things!)

Many great things on earth must not be waited to arrive… for they are in everywhere we go already, we just have to open our eyes to see, set our hearts to feel grateful, and free our minds to believe.

Now, it’s her time to sleep and my time to hit the wheel and conquer the road back to Manila. Both of us went home with smiles painted on our faces and beautiful things carved in our memories.

Whether in urban or in rural area, by the beach or in the praire or whether organized or anything-goes, prepared or carefree—life’s wonderfulness is the same, as the Maker is one and the same. The difference is just in our perspectives.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Everything will come to pass--so pass it on

By these acts of utilizing and optimizing God’s blessings, we affirm that we can be entrusted of His treasures because we share them and multiply them. Because of this, more will come to us… and we will have more to give and share.

We all know that we will all die one day, on an expected or unexpected day (heavy statement, eh?)

Plants wither. Foods get spoiled. Medicines expire. Houses deteriorate and collapse. And for sure, everything will have its end sooner or later—whether you believe in dying of the sun one day or in rapture.


Seeing the stock of old clothes in my room this morning, I thought out loud, “When I become a mother, I will train my kids to have their own boxes for ‘relatives’ and for ‘brothers and sisters in Christ’ for their hand-me-down clothes and other white elephants.”

I was thinking to train them to do it yearly (I am ambitious. Yes, yearly and I’m dreaming big! And I claim to have it now—I will have a lot of resources to share. At the same time, I’m ambitious until I have the ‘creator’ of my kids.)

As I am writing this, I’m thinking hmmmh, I need to get rich to provide them (yes I will have a big family) clothes this much (layers upon layers of biiig plastic boxes in front of me).

Something in my head is struggling to stick out its mouth right through my ear to say, “All things have their own ends. But if you willingly and happily share them, they will multiply a thousandfold, move many lives, and will come back to you in ways that your joy will be full before they come to their ends.”

Hmh, that small voice has a point… a very good point at that.

If we share love with other people—the less fortunate, the special people, the afflicted, our friends, and loved ones—we make them happy and feel loved, in turn we become happy as well, and God will be glad about our sincere actions.

If we pass on our old clothes to others in need of this basic stuff just to have something to protect their bodies rather than to have a fashion attire to put on, then we are making even better use of our resources.

For many of us, some clothes find their way to the trash bin or to the rag shelf. While for others, clothes are almost like a house already that protect them from the sun, rain, wind, smoke, and dust in the streets.

When we eat at fast food joints or at restaurants, we sometimes order more than what we could eat to display abundance. When, by just looking through the window, a lot of street kids ransack restaurant garbage bags like vultures just to get some bones and excess rice to eat.

I admire those people who make sure their extra food is still clean, take it out to bring it home or give the food to some kids asking for alms. Don’t just leave the excess food you paid for and let it get spoiled or be thrown at the trash bag, where other kids dive to eat.

There are a lot of things we can make better use of and share with others. Let’s not just let them sit still, dry up, and decay in our hearts, cabinets, and plates.

No matter who you are—student, congressman, jeepney driver, celebrity, housewife, CEO, preacher, or a sidewalk vendor—you have the power to bless others and the privilege to receive blessings from God through other people, whatever their statuses in life are.

By willingly and joyfully giving and sharing what we have, no matter how big or small, we can be His instruments in blessing others—as we simply touch others’ lives by ‘passing on’ or by our ‘responsible tough love’ as we reach out to some the proper way [instead of their desired way, usually in terms of money or pity].

You give—resources don’t get wasted; they are being optimized, instead. The principle of recycle, reuse, and reduce don’t just help, but moreso, save lives.

You reach out—time, effort, and wisdom don’t just come to you then immediately tarnish and go without being utilized for good. Hours of your lives become more meaningful.

When you pass on what you have to other people, you help and touch many hearts; you feel better and happier; and you please God and make Him proud of his sons and daughters.

By these acts of utilizing and optimizing God’s blessings, we affirm that we can be entrusted of his treasures because we share them and multiply them. Because of this, more will come to us… and we will have more to give and share.

The cycle of abundance continues—you give (others receive), you receive (others give), you both feel better and learn more, God entrusts you more blessings.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The ‘Hiling’ Ministry

Temple, church, house of God… whatever our religious affiliations are, many of us see the Supreme Being’s abode as a place for two confused things: ‘healing’ and ‘hiling’.

Whenever exam season comes, we visit His place to ask for knowledge and good memory. During financial crises, we go to His house, no matter what time of the day, to beg for sources of income. If we need to restore balance in our lives, we long to feel the serenity of His house so we can ask for His guidance. When we think we already see the love of our lives, we go to church to ask for signs from Him to validate our feelings or instructions on how to get close to our object of admiration.

We don’t run out of things to ask for… well, that’s good! It’s better to come before our Supreme Being and ask for His grace and guidance rather than just relying on our own understanding and strength.

Besides, it is said (for Christians), “Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened.” Yes! The promise that we will be blessed.

Me, whenever I go to the church for sure I am asking my God for something—good health, peace of mind, discipline, discernment, strength, among other things that almost everybody wishes for.

The thing is, many of us when we go to our churches, temples, house of God, or however you may call it, we always go there ‘asking’ for our hearts’ desires then leave thereafter.

Many of us see these infrastructures as places for wishes. And when we don’t get our wishes after arduous asking, we get mad and blame Him.

We sometimes tend to overlook the meaning of what He said, “Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened.” By this, He wants us to ‘ask, seek, and knock’. Meaning, He wants us to do our part, with our best probably, and he will do the rest for us.

Sometimes, we are even asking for things contrary to His plans for us. Thus, when our hearts become persistent to what they want and we grant our wishes with self-made answers (we go ahead of God’s answers); all the more He also becomes persistent in pursuing His plans for us and keep us back on the right course… to complete the best plan of all, in accordance to his glorious riches and best timeframe.

There are also times when He already answered our prayers, but we just don’t notice them because we are so focused on something else—on what we want.

In times of waiting or blindedness, we don't even tell Him, "God, I already labored with everything and did my best. I have hit blank walls. Whatever you want me to do, reveal it to me and I will follow." Faith. Yes, faith! Asking to increase our faith.

Moreover, there are also times when He wants us to wait and persevere so we can learn and grow from our circumstances first as He prepares us for our premium blessings.

When we feel tired from praying and waiting, we blame Him, we go away forgetting that He loves us and all He wants for us is the best, and only the best.

On the other hand, in pleasant times when our wishes have been granted and when our pains or difficulties ebb already, our gratefulness to him simultaneously recedes… then proceed to another ‘hiling’.

We focus more on our own wants, desires, and needs that we already forget the other equally important actions we must offer Him whenever we visit his abode or even just while spending exclusive time with Him somewhere else.

When we intentionally visit His house, we immediately proceed to ‘supplication’ or ‘hiling’, skipping offering Him praises (adoration), asking for forgiveness (contrition), expressing our gratitude (thanksgiving), and sometimes, allotting quiet time to listen to Him.

We are so active on asking and asking and asking… and we can stay awake on our knees until dawn just to ask. But we don’t get shy come thanksgiving time. We just thank Him in two minutes—dashing like in the last two minutes of a hoops playoff.

Now, as we already mastered the ministry of ‘hiling’, we can now start learning and mastering (with just the same zeal) adoration, repentance, thanksgiving, and listening to Him. And perhaps, we are now ready to explore other ministries so we can better serve Him as we become His instruments in blessing others and as we become blessed through others.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More Like Treasure Hunting

“Life is unfair!”

We always hear it. Your eldest sister has a voice that can put a man who drank liters of coffee to sleep. Your bestfriend is the star-for-all-season actor in your school. Your cousin is a Palanca award recipient. Your neighbor travels around the world performing the Philippine folkdances with her co-Bayanihan Dancers.

You? You can do a lot of things too! Like take charge of your yearly induction party in school. You’re the collector of noisy fees. You sing at the bathroom. You naturally make people smile by the mere way you talk. You write on your journal every night… You write every night how you want to be like those people you know who have talents and you keep on asking why life is unfair for not giving you talents, and then you suddenly crack a joke [to make an excuse], that perhaps you were just sleeping when God showered talents to His people.

Life is not unfair. It’s just about being different.

There may be people who were born with talents because their parents are both best at a certain field. But listen! Even the in-born talents evaporate when they’re not being used. They tarnish, they rust. And eventually, they decay.

There are a lot of people who aren’t born talented but emerged as the world’s best because they break away from their fear to commit mistakes, to be laughing stocks, and to fail.

Because of these people’s unwavering determination to grow and know themselves better, they explore, they try, they go out of their comfort zone. They play with people better than they are, they face failure head on, they laugh at their own mistakes, and they keep on trying to hit their target no matter how many times they’ve missed it…knowing that what matters more is the number of hits rather than the misfire.

In the process of trying and trying, they don’t know that they’ve invested time and effort already to what they’re doing… until such time that their ‘play’ is now their ‘expertise’.

Through constant practice Lebron James developed a muscle intelligence that even in a commercial shoot where he needed to miss a shot, he had to close his eyes and take roughly 10 shots before he missed one. Babe Ruth has the most number of strike outs, but he also has the most number of homeruns. The Beatles started as low key 8-hour a day local band performer in Germany before they became an international hit.

Finding our gift of talents is much like a treasure hunting—you have to dig more holes before you find the exact spot of the treasure.

We have to keep on trying so we know where we perform best, or at least find the thing we enjoy most doing and invest time and effort in it.

It all just takes a determination to say YES—to keep on trying and exploring no matter what happens around you—and your willingness to INVEST time and effort.

Finding your gift is like any other journey: 1. you discover; 2. you develop; 3. you deliver.

When you discover, you dig a hole, fail, dig another hole, make mistake, and FIND.

When you develop, you invest time and effort knowing that the sweet fruit is just ahead. At this stage, your availability is more important than your ability. Just DANCE, DANCE, DANCE or COMPUTE, COMPUTE, COMPUTE.

When you have ‘played’ well regularly, you’ll be surprised of the BIG returns of your investment come you deliver. You’ll be in awe about how big your audience is, how many projects arrive, how many invitations to perform you have.

Remember, it’s never too late to hit upon our undiscovered talents and to put them to good use, especially if we use them to bless others and to glorify God.

God doesn’t wait for you to be perfect. He is a proud Father who cheers you as you perform with your best even if your notes jump once in while, or you left foot dominates the right, or you write two-line poem in five days.

When we don’t use our in-born talents, we lose them. If we don’t put them to good use, they peter out and don’t reach their full potential.

Trust that the BEST will happen everyday if we just believe. Even our miss out with the first hole is there to bring us closer to our own talents and failures are there to improve us.

Talents, when put to good use, are built to last… no matter what your age is when you finally find it.

Life isn’t unfair after all. Now we know everything depends on us—our faith, our determination, and our execution.

Stand up! Play! Have fun!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wealthy and Famous? ...You Are Priceless.

Applause. Praises. Tokens. Followers.

These are what we get when we do good in the eyes of people. Well yes, we can be good in different ways. But our being good can be fueled by a range of motives.

In love, we step the best foot forward to impress and win a heart. In sports, we exert our best shot to knock out, hit a goal, or checkmate our opponent. In business deals, we exude confidence and display our expertise using jargons and figures to close a deal… and so on.

We feel high when we nail our target. Sometimes we get so attached to the feeling and becomes addicted to it, that even after few days, weeks, months, or years we still keep on revisiting the euphoria.

Yes that is good. You can use it to motivate you or simply make you smile at the moment.

However, don’t just let your earthly victory drift you to the point of stepping on to others, using others, hurting others just for you to get that feeling of elation again after the show of one triumph to another (at the expense of another person).

Just do what you think is both good and right—well yes, this is subjective I know, for there are a lot of ethical faculties. Just remember the universal law “what you do the universe will reflect back to you, sooner or later, whether you like it or not.”

Moreover, don’t make yourself too attached to secular or temporal objects to the extent of making them your drive why you jump off from bed every morning and drag yourself to the office. Don’t make your possession your idols nor make your fire-proof vaults your world.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it’s bad to be rich…na ah! Of course we need money to provide for our own basic needs and bless more people in need. What I’m saying here is, don’t let your life revolve around them and be sustained by them. Don’t just let your soul be bought by earthly things.

Hey! We are priceless! It’s important for us to know that… every day of ourlives.

If just in one blow someone or a certain circumstance tries to take away from you the things or people you value, yes fight for them. But if the tiniest voice within you tells you that you can no longer do anything but let them go (meaning, you already did your best or it’s just a plain you-can’t-do-anything-about-it situation), then let them go. Put the situation in the caring hands of God. For sure, He has a far better gift for you.

If people hurt you in the process of fighting for the things you value, don’t tolerate them, act on your unwritten social responsibility. Talk to the person personally. However, in cases that you really have no control over them, let them do it without you planning or doing revenge or homing grudge (oh, don’t your shake your head now, this is not martyrdom, wait! Just read on.)

Just let them give you more reasons to be mad and to plot revenge. You have the total control over your mind anyway! And I know your sound mind will tell you the better thing to do—take one-step backward by being composed as you mind your own business moving forward, and later on take two steps forward as God showers you His reward (the one which He intends you to have, not the one your mind told you you must have).

God Himself will protect you and handle the situation for you if you just whole-heartedly surrender it to Him. You will know you have given everything to God when you feel that the only thing you’re holding on is the strongest and biggest rope—your faith in His love and abundance.

Just be still. All these series of joy-pain-joy events happen so you become more creative in facing life; and because you’re more creative now, you will see things more wonderfully and bright… as you look at life that way, all the more the wonderful things line up and traffic themselves toward you.

Well, it’s hard to surrender (both in your quest for survival and in giving yourself to God). Just trust Him, He knows best. Besides, we own nothing here on earth for us to fight for these things at the expense of others. Even our lives He owns.

We don’t have to wait for a tribulation to happen in our lives just for us to know He’s there.

Remember and trust that God loves you! Endure everything with gladness and He will fill your life up with even more beautiful things. Leaping to thousands of years forward, He will bestow you with everlasting joy and treasures—much bigger and merrier than the applause, praises, tokens, and followers that you have now.

No need to worry about your ‘reputation’ here on earth brought by the applause, praises, tokens, and followers… If you have failed, been stepped on, or hurt, these are just merely what people think of you.

Value the strengthening of your ‘character’ brought by the series of joy-pain-joy events in your life. For your character is your reward which will bring you to your rightful home with the Father.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Feast: Six Steps to Optimal Health: 3. Heal Through Loving Relationships

*Genesis 2:18
-“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

*Ecclesiastes 4:9
-“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work”

*People get sick because they are poisoned by their bad/ill relationships or because they don’t have love

*Basic relationship on earth: how’s your relationship with your parents?

*Only LOVE heals


- In 1956, Harvard made a study on healthy men, asking them how their relationships with their parents are. Their choices for their answers were: close to both, only close to mother, only close to father, close to none. After 10 years, the researcher checked their health. The results are below:

>Close to both parents:
-27% sick
-53% healthy
>Close to mother:
-82% sick
-18% healthy
>Close to father:
-91% sick
-9% healthy
>Close to none: 100% sick

- Sickness is separation (sickness is caused by stress, worry, fear, sadness, and other negative emotions)
- Perfect love casts out all fears
- Celebrate. Love. Connect.
Separation LOVE Connection

- When you forgive, trust, and love, you walk towards healing.
- We are not wired for separation/quarrel; we are made for love.

-Some Italians from the province of Roseto migrated to Pennsylvania (that’s why there’s a place there not called Roseto also). Other doctors and scientists found a ‘medical anomaly’ in Roseto, Pennsylvania. All residents there are healthy and live longer compared with other Americans. It was later on discovered that the residents of Roseto, Pennsylvania brought their Italian culture of lovingness, cheerfulness, and close family ties and resisted the individualistic culture of Americans.


- When you love sincerely, you feel healthy
- It’s God who heals… He has given us everything we need, including the power of love to heal our bodies.


Heal Through Loving Relationships

I. Open up

1. Build a Roseto (close family) at your homes.
 build the capacity to give more love and to openly receive love
 spend more time with your family

2. Give more love
 S study was conducted among women with breast cancer. After the study, it was found out that those women with caring group (family and/or friends) lived twice as long; the other group without caring group, most of them died in less than 5 years, some a little over 5 years.
 With a caring group, joy and love are multiplied; and sorrows and sadness are divided.

II. Touch

1. Start showing your affection (go against the culture of individualism)
 Touch, hug, love
 It was proven that a pat on the back from loved ones lessen blockages in arteries by 60%
 Psychologist Sydney Gerard went around the world to observe people touching their partners in different restaurants. He found that:
- Puerto Rico: ave of 180 touches per hour
- Paris: ave of 110 touches per hour
- US: ave of 2 touches per hour
- London: 0

3. Create a culture that acknowledges one another (handshake, beso, hug)
4. Create a culture of “loving”

III. Volunteer

 Cornell University conducted study among 427 mothers with children. Researchers found out that longevity of mothers’ lives do not depend on number of kids, but whether they volunteer or not:
- who did not volunteer: 52% got sick after certain number of years
- who volunteered: 36% got sick after the same number of years

 The fastest and most effective way out of depression (thus, sickness) is OTHERS.
 Help others and you will help yourself.

IV. Accept more

1. Accept and give way.
 There are times that we are convinced that we are right; but we must also accept at times that the other person is also right (and we may be wrong).

2. Let the other person explain his side until he feels satisfied (for couples).
 Bro. Randy Boromeo and his wife never encountered a fight in their marriage life yet because they hear each other’s sides with patience, and whenever they feel that their emotions are mounting already they just hold each other’s hands.
 Make you own cues, be vigilant of each other’s cues, and understand each other.

3. If you want to be healed lose your need to defend your point of view.
 Surrender to God your excess pride
 Have a humble heart
 Don’t judge right away
 Remember that the quality of you life depends on the quality of your relationships.


*Proverbs 22:24
- “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered”

*John 15:15
- “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

*Ephesians 4:32
- “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”


 Forgive! God wants to heal you.
 Live in LOVE
 Accept. Submit everything to God. Trust his love for you.
 Remove pride! Be GRATEFUL and HUMBLE.

It’s everywhere and it wears every face

It comes in the face of mouthwatering food. It wears the most enticing smile of the most beautiful creature. It comes in the smell of crispy money. It sounds like a voice of an angel. It comes in the photo splash of good memories of yesteryears. It’s a pair of shoes that tickles your feet in midst of frolic. It comes in the need to be needed… and more!

Temptation comes in different forms. It has a stash of various masks and it clothes itself with a range of beautiful and fancy costumes that lure our senses.

Sometimes we are strongly guarded by our convictions and principles thus we don’t fall in the grandeur display of the deceiving pit of evil. There are also times when we intentionally wear our vigilant eyes so we can protect ourselves from our weaknesses.

But there are just some times that, no matter how we guard ourselves, we stumble and give in to the bait in the midst of our consciousness.

Like when one knows he shouldn’t give up to the delicious roasted pork in front of him because he has heart problems. Some guys, even while their wives beside them, just can’t resist staring at hot legs when someone in miniskirt walks past them. When one who is in the process of stopping his smoking vice feels full, he would get a single stick and justify that he would just consume half… still, that’s cheating to oneself.

Yesterday had been a terrible day for me… I felt overpowered by evil and I felt weak.

I caught myself ensnared by the enemy when the person who I am avoiding so hard texted me as if he has a humongous problem and as if he needed me because I’m the only one who could give him the best answer. I prayed to ask for guidance—whether I must entertain the message or not.

Before the answer came to me, I already devised my own answer to my prayer and I interpreted it the way I wanted to (to favor my feelings). I thought I have the responsibility to help him as a friend (but it was not just like that… deep inside me I wanted to help because it satisfied my feelings as I revisited our old ways!) What a shame!

So to speak, I did not only talk to him to discuss his concern. We exchanged messages the whole day and we even talked over the phone for roughly two hours after work. Not only that, I almost gave in to his plea of seeing him.

Come bed time, I laid in bed feeling the heaviness of my shoulders, feeling weak, and I was dreadfully tormented. “I cannot forgive you, self! You are so weak! I thought you already entrusted to God everything, but now you’re doing things your way! I hate you!”

I cried myself to sleep… not just because of my guilt. To add insult to injury, I was crying because one, I still love the person who hurt me so badly and fooled me (I loved him unconditionally and sincerely); two, I want to get mad but I can’t (thinking this is more helpful for my moving on process and for my decision not to be maneuvered by anger. Just let God work things out for me.); three, my ego was hurt because I revealed to him my feelings for him; and fourth, I was so guilty!

I was able to manage to ignore him and to move on with my life happily for a long time already. But when he showed up and told me his confusion and suffering, I gave in. I still love him… and I’m loving the wrong person. And I’m loving him the wrong way.

Now, I’m immediately picking up myself again because I don’t want to go back to square one and to fall to the pit of evil—pain, stagnancy, and sin.

As I read my daily bread today, I can feel God tapping on my should telling me, “Daughter, don’t be cruel to yourself. Stand up again and walk in confidence with Me. Just do your best to be on the right track, keep your focus on the path of righteousness, and I will do the rest for you. Because you are my daughter and I love you, always remember that ‘I myself will look after and tend my sheep’ (Ezekiel 34:11).”

I found solace in His word again by reading the Bible. He once again proved to me that surely He is my only Refuge. I must always entrust to Him my circumstances and not be afraid of my walk though the dark valleys for He is there holding my hands tightly.

Now, I just see what happened yesterday as another trial and a chance for me to help the person—I still helped him, I just went beyond my limit. Moving forward, I have learned my lesson and I committed not to fall to the same mistake again. I'm just thankful it happened this early.

Failure is His way of reminding us that our wisdom is not enough for us to succeed if it doesn’t come from Him (if we just make things out of our own understanding). Trial is His way of proving to us that there are things that are impossible for humans, but with Him, all things are possible.

As I write this, I’m telling myself “Don’t be distracted by the things that satisfy your senses. All good things that are not done WITH HIM (assuming responsibility to help others to feed your ego) will not last. Do good things FOR GOD and WITH GOD so you actions can bless others and bless you as well.”

Oh humans! Don’t put your strength and wisdom in the head just like me… Otherwise, by only His single blow, you can ultimately feel weak and dumb.

Fortunately, God is a forgiving and loving Father, who reaches out especially to the broken and unloved, and an indiscriminating Healer, who touches those who aren’t supposed to be touched.

Now I feel energized again.

I smile. I pause. I retrospect. I smile again. Then, I pray.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wealthy and Famous? ...You Are Priceless

Applause. Praises. Tokens. Followers.

These are what we get when we do good in the eyes of people. Well yes, we can be good in different ways. But our being good can be fueled by a range of motives.

In love, we step the best foot forward to impress and win a heart. In sports, we exert our best shot to knock out, hit a goal, or check mate our opponent. In business deals, we exude confidence and display our expertise by using jargons and figures to close a deal. …and so on.

We feel high when we nail our targets. Sometimes we get so attached to them and we become addicted to them, that even after few months or years we are still addicted to that momentous moment and we keep on revisiting the feeling of ‘high’.

Yes that is good for sure. You can use it to motivate yourself or simply make you smile.

However, don’t let your earthly victory bring you to the point of stepping on to others, using others, hurting others just for you to feel good and get another victory. Don’t let your success get into your head.

Just do what you think is both good and right—well yes, this is arbitrary for there are a lot of ethical faculties. Just remember the universal law, ‘what you do the universe will reflect back to you, sooner or later.’

Also, don’t make yourself too attached to earthly things—the object of your affection, your car, your job—to the point of making them the reason why you live, or your world, or your idol.

If just in one blow someone or a certain circumstance tries to take them away from you, try to fight for it. But fighting for it has its limit. If the tiniest voice in you tells you that you can no longer do anything about it except to let go (that means you already did your best or it’s just really beyond your control, the you-can’t-do-anything type), then let go fully. He will take charge. His hands must be at work on it. God surely has a better place for you.

If people hurt you in the process of fighting for it, let them do it without you planning revenge, homing grudge, or uttering curses.

Just let them give you more reasons to be mad and plot revenge (as you move forward and improve the quality of your life), but don’t entertain all the dreadful things that may run in your mind…just play with the thoughts and make better use of them, like make them your caveat and your cue when you have to slap yourself and jump back to reality.

(Hep, hep! You may be thinking this is martyrdom. But wait…)

God Himself will protect you and handle the situation for you. Just do your best to stay on the right track, and He will do the rest.

Just be still. All these series of joy-pain events happen so you become more and more creative in facing life. And because you’re more creative now, you will see things more wonderfully and colorful… as you look at life that way, all the more great things will line up and traffic themselves towards you.

Yeah, sometimes it’s hard to surrender (in fighting for survival and in giving yourself to God). But just entrust your life to Him, He knows best. Besides, we own nothing here on earth for us to fight for these good things until we hurt other people and even our own selves. The One who knows best owns all these things, even our lives.

We don’t have to wait for an ordeal to happen just for us to surrender to Him… our surrender can be a sweet surrender by accepting Him as our God and our Savior.

Remember and trust that God loves you! Endure everything with gladness. Build a strong character. And He will fill up your life with even more beautiful things.

Don’t settle for the good things here on earth…for they are everywhere and easy to acquire. Persevere and wait for the best things. Though difficult to achieve, these best things last forever.

In time, He will bestow you with everlasting joy and treasure—much bigger, more valuable, and merrier than applause, praises, tokens, and followers that you receive now.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The sweetest place to find it is right inside you, deep down…

The love that makes us smile and touch our hearts doesn’t always have to necessarily come from another person, just what many always think. The love that will ultimately make us smile comes from the innermost core of our humanity.

We cannot appreciate the love from another person if we don’t personally know, in the first place, what love really is.

Sometimes we cannot truly love person or a thing when we don’t have any love for ourselves. At times, we cannot be content with what we love or have right now if we don’t love ourselves enough, hence, we keep on loving and hopping from one person or thing to another, hoping to find the greatest love of our lives—when in fact it is just so near to us, just inside us. Sometimes we cannot love what we do because we don’t find enough reason why we have to do things for other people thinking we, ourselves, need help.

Some people tend to pity themselves, thinking they don’t have enough love. That no one values them. Others become promiscuous or polygamous thinking they haven’t found yet the real love that they need.

As it’s been said by the oracle in ‘My Life in Ruins’, “It wasn’t you he cheated. Some people cheat themselves out of living a life with a woman they love.” And my version is, “they don’t cheat to their wives, but to themselves, because they leave the real love of their lives.”

Well, at times we become blinded by our emotions, especially if they’re too heavy because our own love for ourselves has been shut by negativity and hopelessness. Love wakes up all our senses and moves our nerves to work at their best… when we love, we have infinite creative ideas on how to express our feelings.

Me, after putting all my love to a certain things and everything has just been broken, I resolved to love myself humbly first and make it overflow so it can touch many people and clothe many works.

When we gain love from loving…. Happiness, kindness, gratitude follow through from the fountain of love inside us. So do patience, understanding, forgiveness, and discipline. Of course they’re not perfect, but time is polishing them.

Now I learn to embrace and love more people and things and works without a blemish of expectation from their ends. In return, they reflect back to me the things that I give and so I receive more love and warm actions and words of care.

Truly, the two best feelings in the world are to love purely and to be loved sincerely.

(I wrote this after finding different joy, and realizing the love therein, as we cook up a compassionate activity for the “these abled” persons with down syndrome, autism, and cerebral palsy. After all, love isn’t just for and from a certain person (I mean the romantic one); it could also be from an ‘act’ and for more people than one; and between more than two people with a noble purpose to carry out.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hope: No good thing ever dies

We watched the Oscar awardee movie Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King last weekend. I so like the plot, it is so good and realistic and the lines are wittily crafted. (Another movie to my short list of favorites).

One of the many good lines that struck me? “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” This is the line that Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) tells Red (Morgan Freeman) in a letter as he hopes that one day they will share the promising good life outside the prison.

The line is true in the real world, not just in movies or in books created by the ingenious human minds. We all aim for something, and we hope we receive or get it… right?

When my father died, everyday I hoped I could strengthen my mother and help her raise well my two brothers. Whenever I fall down and commit mistakes, I hope I can immediately stand up and avoid the same mistake again. Whenever I get hurt, I hope to heal myself soon, reap all the lessons the situation brings, and to have a forgiving heart so I can have peace of mind. When I’m left with couple of coins, I hope next time I will have more savings… and so on.

Everyday we are awakened, stirred up, and sustained by our hopes. As long as we live, whether we know it or not, we have our big and small hopes inside us. Without hope, our lives become meaningless… our spirit withers and eventually dies.

Yes we may still be physically present, but our minds and hearts stop working when we stop hoping.

As we hope, we are able to utilize our potentials, and even discover our untapped abilities. Our hopes enable our mortal selves to make things happen.

Once this powerful optimism and anticipation is coupled with love, whatever we hope to accomplish becomes light, easy, and fun to complete.

But once our powerful optimism and anticipation is partnered with our strong faith, God Himself becomes more compelled to bring about for us what we think are impossible.

Hope and love make us do our best. While hope and faith makes God do the rest for us.

It’s never a waste of energy to hope (ask), love (feel), and trust (faith). Just sit back and gloriously wait for what you hope for… No good thing ever dies.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Say “I’m better and wiser than that!”

Oh it’s been almost a month now since one of my, if not the only and the most, excruciating and obnoxious encounters with… let’s just say another mortal being, capable of being taunted by mundane things and giving in and leaving you hanging just like that, had passed.

To be fair though, a month before that obscene experience was the doom of our 10 years 8 months bond. Let’s just call it that way. So maybe, just maybe, for him he has now the total freedom to do whatever pleases him, whoever gets hurt or affected. End is end. Hence, so be it.

By the way, it was his personal decision to cut the strings. He welcomed me with that good news (as I see it now) the very day I arrived from a good vacation with my family back home.

Sure things were hard at first. Initially, I had a lot of questions to ask and things to say to practically almost every person in front of me, not discounting him. But I’m wiser than that… I kept my mouth shut and just rolled with the punches.

I have a good friend who stayed beside me through and through my journey in that dark tunnel of adjustment, perhaps. No no no, let’s call it… my journey along the foggy avenue of adjustment.

She never got tired of asking me how I was. That time, I didn’t feel like verbalizing all that I felt and gone through thinking that my feelings’ natural death would just be delayed.

Yes I opened up. I needed  that. But only vague ideas and only a fourth of my experiences had I unlocked.

I was already okay with seeing people or being surrounded by a friend or two. I was fine with that. I wanted to keep my mouth shut and just open up few things when my chest almost outburst.

The only One whom I was spilling everything to was my Man, my God. Whenever I felt like crying or panicking or shouting or asking a lot of things I just went to His place. The solemn Adoration Chapel has been my comfort zone and courage zone, at the same time.

His place was a couple of blocks away from home. I enjoyed every walk to the shabby chic place. As I walk I could free my mind up. I could think better and breathe comfortably. There I could think of gradually forgiving and even thanking him for what he had done to me.

Just like my easy walks, the days passed unnoticed. The keen-to-details in me knew its place. Since I told myself to train my mind, my sharp memory just operates when necessary and hibernates when becoming unhelpful.

Since day one until now, my safest and most comfortable refuge is Him. After all the pain the separation had caused me and the fast-paced, faster than a bullet train, events that really overwhelmed me, only Him gave me a total power-rest and freshing up.

Fortunately God is in the business of filling up vacuum and empty spaces in our lives.

So instead of just letting my energy fritter away and letting myself drown into the murky situation, I went to Him and decided to give up everything and to give my all as I raised the white flag.

Only when we totally, as in totally, surrender to Him all our worries and fears can He totally work into our lives—filling us up with all the strength and wisdom we need so we can turn the situation around and still be grateful about everything.

Now I see the situation as a blessing in disguise.

Early this year I sincerely and completely decided to serve Him and know Him better, by then I said we would do it together. But then we went separate ways, but it’s all fine now. Maybe if things didn’t happen two months ago, maybe by now I am still be figuring things out on how I will better serve and know Him.

In the last two months, I was always greeted by surprises each day how He revealed Himself to me… without effort, I have adjusted very well and progressed every day. It’s because as He unfolds my days, He draws me closer to Him—wraps me with the sweet protection of His word and lays me to the comfort of His unconditional love.

There are things that we tackle with friends and loved ones. But there are also things that we only discuss between Him and ourselves. Just like what Abraham did when he was asked to offer Isaac in the mountain.

I am wiser than just depend on y own strength and on mortal’s understanding.

God is asking us to give our all to Him so we can tap all our potentials, and when we feel drained that's the time He steps in so He can provide us with more of His abundance.

With all that happened, I lost one thing but gained a looooooot of great things—know myself better, closer to loved ones, opportunity to correct my mistakes, brighter and lighter life, and most importantly, the Source of all things is holding my hands tightly as I am knowing Him deeper.

Then it’s not that bad to give up some not-so-good-but-feel-good things after all, no matter how short or long we’ve been holding on to it.

That decade? Oh, it was not a waste of time. He was cooking up a good big platter of life’s best for me. Now, it’s freshly served and I’m enjoying and sharing it with you.

Oh I forgot to mention him. I think he’s now enjoying the life he's long been wanting to have (if only he had been honest with me, I could have understood him better and given him earlier what he wanted and we both could have refrained from investing into the relatioship and from hurting each other). But God knows best. He is never late. He's not in a hurry. and He's always on time.

Snapping back to my sanity, I took the courage to talk to him and I told him "I am not mad and I am wishing you well." It helped me to cope with and advance in my life better.

One thing! God is more concerned on changing YOU than changing your circumstances. He is just building your faith and perseverance as He prepares you to receive more and more blessings without getting puffed up and overwhelmed.