Friday, June 30, 2006

dancing tita

Taken using my brother's cellphone camera last Saturday, during Lingkod QC's Lord's Day and E-night celebration where our respective families were invited. The sisters danced to Gary V's "Shake it Off" from his latest album, "Relevance".

Monday, June 26, 2006

Li'l Pink Ears, Nose, and Eyes

This cuddly White Rabbit kept following me around the garden! First I played tag with it but then I got exhausted, so I went to the chapel for sanctuary. It respectfully stayed outside, and sat still, so I could take this picture.
Posted by Picasa

When I went to the morning mass at the Our Lady of the Pentecost Parish (which was newly-built, featuring a beautiful Cathedral window of the Pentecost scene, with tongues of fire descending upon Our Lady and the Apostles), I thought it was going to follow me outside the gate! But a staff of the Cenacle said that the rabbit knew its boundaries and would stay inside. It did.

Furry fat wabbit. You are soo cute.
I wanted to take you home with me.

Cellphone Camera-Shy Caged Lovebirds

Tell me, do you want to be free like the maya birds you see? Or would you rather stay in the cage with your loved one?

Love hurts, said the birds. So why do you stay? Then fly away! What love is worth the pain of staying?

Maybe this is true freedom, to give up the world, and be with our Loved One. Posted by Picasa

Cracked Jar of Clay

But it's still standing! Looking like a jar with character, and dignity, and history, and wisdom, and maturity. Go, jar! Posted by Picasa

Song from a Garden

Celebrating a year of my yes to God this June. In lieu of my perennially long sharings, I will just post the conclusion of my two-day personal retreat at the Cenacle.

I was inspired to write a song with simple words and a simple melody. You’ll hear it one day IF I learn to play the guitar, or overcome my shyness/fear of playing music:

Song from a Garden
(a.k.a. Ella Went to the Garden… The Cenacle Garden)
By Ella del Rosario (you may forward this if you wish, but please let me know in advance, thanks!)

As I sit in the garden and drink in this land,
Left my pen and my notebook, not even Bible at hand.
In my room is my cellphone with my trusty iPod,
So I sing at the garden, fully alone with my true God.

Yes, Lord Jesus, I see You in this place,
I sing to you, my Jesus, as if I see You face to face.
More than Master, Comforter, Warrior and Friend,
Jesus You’re my Brother, my Savior and my King.

As birds drink from the fountain that trickles nearby,
I see how, if you plant flowers, soon will come a butterfly.
I talk to a tree to say, “Today was fine,”
It replies just by standing that though old, its life is Thine.

Jesus my Companion in this journey You’ve taken me,
You’re my strength, my deliverance, in Your arms my tears are free.
I’ve almost given Your place, the seat of my heart
To other loves, even missions, that have taken me apart.

As I watch in this Garden creation carrying about,
Your breeze plays with my hair and this song flows from my mouth.
A white rabbit nibbles the green grass, with its pink eyes looking at me.
I notice yellow little flowers, facing the sun, for they all see-

That You, my Jesus, are our light and our shield;
When we cast our pains upon You, to Your love we must yield.
In the silence we can hear You, and our hurts disappear;
If we but stay this close to You, You’d conquer all our fears.

As I dance in Your Garden and I stare at the leaves,
The birds chirping, branches swaying strum a few chords into my ears.
Your gifts never run out, your provision is true,
I soak, I take my fill, through Your Creation I am renewed.

My God, you have called me, but I didn’t give my all,
I will listen and will wait now, will stop building my walls.
I want to hear You, Lord, my Savior, every moment of my life,
Not just when you hold my hand like this, as I retreat into my heart.

Yes, Lord Jesus, I see You in this place,
I sing to you, my Jesus, as if I see You face to face.
More than Master, Comforter, Warrior and Friend,
Jesus You’re my Brother, my Savior and my King.


I want to love you every day,
Be in Your Garden filled with grace,
To hold Your hand all my days,
And so behold You face to face.

I was amused to realize that iPod rhymes with God! Although the former could never be a substitute for the latter (as nothing ever could), it got me started writing.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Lingkod QC Lord's Day and E-Night - with the Posh as my guests. Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 19, 2006

Now Playing: The Day is Dawning

The Day is Dawning
Jill Phillips; Kevin Max
The Prayer of Jabez CD

Give me a chance, I want to change my ways

Cause I can't live here and look the same
Let me look up, let me look to Your face
And set me in my place, oh Lord
Set me in my place

The day is dawning and I am just rising
I pray my (strength, hope, love) won't fail
I pray my (strength, hope, love) won't fail
The day is dawning and I am just rising
I pray my (strength, hope, love) won't fail
My (strength, hope, love)
My (strength, hope, love) won't fail
My (strength, hope, love) won't fail

The day is dawning and I am just rising
I pray my (strength, hope, love) won't fail
My (strength, hope, love)

Give me a chance, I want to rise above
And grow in the knowledge of Your love
Help me to be someone who follows You
And make my heart like new

The day is dawning and I am just rising
I pray my (strength, hope, love) won't fail
I pray my (strength, hope, love) won't fail
The day is dawning and I am just rising
I pray my (strength, hope, love) won't fail
My (strength, hope, love)
My (strength, hope, love) won't fail
My (strength, hope, love) won't fail

The day is dawning and I am just rising
I pray my (strength, hope, love) won't fail
My (strength, hope, love)

Give me a chance, I want to change my ways
Cause I can't live here and look the same.

Another bride, another groom... Paul and Melissa during their Lingkod QC wedding announcement. Our Branch Leader Ted leads in the honoring for the couple. Posted by Picasa

Luigi, Lightning McQueen and Mr. Pitstop! I've memorized our favorite scene due to their repetitions - "A real Michael Schumacher Ferrari! Dis is da most glorious day of my life!" And Luigi faints. Sometimes when our greatest dream comes true, our hearts can't take it pala. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Kasalukuyang Pinapakinggan: Gaya Ng Dati

Hindi lang pala ako ang nakakaramdam ng ganito. Pati si Gary V. din.

This is my prayer.

Gaya ng Dati
Artist - Gary Valenciano

Laman ng puso mo ay ang pangalan Ko
Lagi Ako sa isip mo
Inaawitan pa lagi ay may ngiti
Mga mata'y nagniningning
Ngunit ngayon nagbago ka
Nasa'n na ang init ng pagsinta
Pangako mo'y hindi magwawakas

Di ba't noon
Samyo ng bulaklak at ihip ng hangin ay kapansin-pansin
Di ba't noon takbo ng oras ay di mo napapansin
Laging naglalambing
Ngunit ngayon naglaho na
Sigla't tamis ng iyong pagsinta
Pagmamahal Ko ba'y kailangan pa

Mga pangako Ko'y kandungan mo't lakas
Sa pagsubok ay kay tatag
Di ba't noon
Sa kaibigan mo'y Akong bukambibig
Bakit ngayo'y anong lamig

Di mo alam Ako'y nasasaktan
Sa di pagpansin sa Aking pagmamahal
Lumapit ka't Ako'y naghihintay
Naghihintay, ohh

Ako'y nasasaktan
Sa di pagpansin sa aking pagmamahal
Lumapit ka't ako'y naghihintay

Di mo alam Ako'y nasasaktan
Sa di pagpansin sa Aking pagmamahal
Lumapit ka't Ako'y naghihintay

Ako'y nabulag ng mandarayang mundo
Ako ay patawarin Mo
Mula ngayon ang buhay kong ito'y
Iaalay sa Iyo gamitin mo ako
Gaya ng dati

Gaya ng dati
Gaya ng dati

Saturday, June 17, 2006

FIFA Fevah

I am the most un-athletic person I know, but this fever somehow got to me - the FIFA World Cup fever, that is. I've realized that I can understand football an inch more than baseball (despite several long-winding explanations from my well-meaning male friends) and I can actually enjoy watching football games .

With my parents, siblings, and some relatives on vacation in Munich right now; with my nephews sporting World Cup shirts and showing off their inflatable red soccer ball; and with some of my friends talking about this FIFA thing nonstop, I got curious and started reading, watching and surfing World Cup myself.

Tomorrow June 18, there'll be a big game - Brazil v. Australia. Brazil, as the defending champion, used to be my team of choice, but being Pinoy I have a heart for the underdog. Yes, it is the first time for the Socceroos (with a name like that, one need not wonder...) to be back in the world cup finals since 1974! That being the year I was born I can count 32 years of waiting for our friends Down Under. So I'm rooting for the underdogs. But if Brazil wins, I'd still proudly wear their shirt - I like their colors. Hopefully I get one when my parents come home! Hiiint. Hiint.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Star Journey

Star Journey
Naomi Madgett (1923-____)

Alone I tiptoe through the stars,
Precipitously steep,
Watchful lest I wake the gods
And angels from their sleep.

Alone I climb the secret hills
Unknown to mortal feet
And stand upon a peak where you
And I can never meet.

To you who do not dream, I am
A gently tilted head,
A voice that chatters, earth-aware
A gay mouth painted red.

Better that you possess a cold
Impenetrable stone
Than woo my body while my soul
Tips through the stars alone.

I saw this poem in one of Papa’s anthologies at our house in Olongapo more than a decade ago, and wrote it down somewhere on a notebook that I only found again tonight. I know one should read between the lines especially in this poem, but whatever it really means, I just find it interesting.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Gate

I'm just thankful and glad that I got to see the Golden Gate bridge before Magneto re-routed it in XMen 3: The Last Stand. Our home PC was down for two weeks so I wasn't able to blog about that film immediately after seeing it. I loved it! Though it did not stick to the Dark Phoenix Saga, it was a very entertaining movie. Loved Kitty Pride, she had a really cool role (this part of my post has been corrected, thanks to Mel's comment :D). Was amused at all the mutant cameo appearances, too. Wonder why they didn't give Colossus more exposure....

Maybe you can guess now ... yes, was a geek. Used up a huge chunk of my allowance subscribing to Marvel Comics when I was in high school and college. And lived to tell the tale. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Having a Dose of my Own Medicine

Having a Dose of my Own Medicine

Kakasabi ko pa namang masarap maging Tita!

Two boys who have the closest claim to calling me Tita taught me a lesson today without them knowing it.  I always write about my nephews Luigi and Miko with fondness for they are so easy to love and also generous with their appreciation of such love.

Yesterday I treated them to one movie they had been waiting for for a long time, Disney/Pixar’s “Cars”.  My nephews, my brother and I watched before having dinner, so I got them sandwiches and popcorn to quiet their grumbling stomachs, as they didn’t want to wait for the later showing.  They loved the movie, with their fascination for race cars.  

Luigi, in particular, was beside himself with joy that a character had the same name as him.  He was one of those boys whose favorite word for the first few years of his life was “car!”  Every birthday and Christmas, he only wanted to receive cars.  Miko laughed so hard at the movie and couldn’t stop telling his parents and grandparents about all of his favorite scenes long after we got home.  

Then, as requested, we ate at Jollibee where they feasted on Jolly hotdog, Chickenjoy, and cheesy fries.  My treat, of course.  I’m mentioning this because I don’t get to do this often for them and because it has a relevance to the moral of this story, for me.  I helped them wash up and removed the rice that stuck on their clothes.  I forgot to brush my hair and even check the mirror after this babysitting ordeal, but it was ok as I was having fun.  (By the way, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in about 10 years while I was in the midst of looking like a harassed mother of two, so had to explain to my friend that I was just their aunt, but I’m sure he must have been shocked seeing me looking more like a yaya than a lawyer, which he must have heard I turned out to be.  End of aside, little moral learned there, too.)

The kids slept over at our house last night so I helped them get quick showers.  Lola and Tito Ric were the ones who succeeded in putting them to bed, though, so we parted ways at night.  The next morning, despite the complaints of all the joints in my body, they woke me up at 6:30 a.m., which doesn’t usually happen in my little planet.  I got up and watched them eat breakfast.  Then, everyone had to leave and I had to babysit them.  They begged for ice cream right after breakfast.  I bargained with them to wait a few more hours, which they did.  I helped them with their bath time again, watched them watch TV and draw, tried to fix the computer so they could use it, and cooked their favorite lunch – nuggets and hotdog.  The hardest part was refereeing them whenever they started to fight.  

I was exhausted that I took a nap as soon as the rest of the family arrived.  Later in the afternoon, I bought them taho.  Then I went to my room to prepare to go to Mass.  I knew that their parents were planning to leave early because they had other appointments.  While brushing my hair, I could hear the commotion from doors being banged and bags being packed.  I thought to myself, I’m sure they won’t leave without saying goodbye.

Then I noticed the silence (no TV, no music, no shouting – something a babysitter/tita/mom could get used to).  I opened the door from my room and looked out.  I asked my mother where the boys were.  She said that they had gone home with Mommy and Daddy and forgot to say goodbye to me and to Lolo (who was also in his room) because their mood changed when they realized that their one and only Tito Ric was going back to Germany in two days.  I said, “They didn’t even notice I wasn’t there to wave goodbye and exchange flying kisses with???  How could they, after all that I had done for them this weekend?”  Papa said I should understand the boys, and not feel bad that they forgot about me, because they were affected by a bigger problem – that of missing their favorite uncle for another year.  

I wasn’t really going to make a big deal out of it, as I knew my nephews.  They blurted out “I love you’s” often enough for me.  As I went to mass, however, I realized how I often behaved like those children before my God, and I felt ashamed for even complaining.  

Everyday, I ignore God and forget to thank Him for all the blessings that He keeps on pouring my way.  My excuse?  Mundane worries, problems, concerns, and anxieties.  Those were the things that preoccupy my mind for the most part of everyday that I often forget to look up to heaven and thank Him for the rain, or the sun, or the air.  Day after day, and not just on weekends, God provides for me not just my basic needs but even my little wishes.  He gives me people to love and be loved by.  He gives me gifts, talents, skills, options, opportunities, and treasures.  He does all that out of love, and I sigh contentedly in His arms until something else catches my attention – something or someone I lack that I want to have right at that moment that I think of them – and my Heavenly Father’s loving embrace is forgotten.  I then walk as if I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders.

Serves me right to experience this from my beloved nephews, then, to show me my own lack of gratitude and appreciation towards the One who has made me the apple of His eye.  

Lord, thank you ha.  And I’m sorry for behaving like a petulant child towards You these days.  I hope to do better in counting my gifts and in thanking You, the Giver.

Alone before my Lord during mass, I was able to hear Him more clearly.  I was strengthened by His assurances that I belonged to Him alone, and was inspired to take up my Cross and to follow Him, even while there were still things going on that were beyond my understanding.  I was able to offer a prayer of surrender, that I wouldn’t resist anymore my circumstances, but learn to embrace them for as long as I was called to be still.  I promised not to move, even though of late I was of the mind to do so, unless He explicitly told me to.  

Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own”, today’s Responsorial Psalm said.  I belong to Him, and therein lay one of countless scriptural bases for the fact that I am blessed.

I was reminded that I am blessed with nephews whom I love and who love me back, even if sometimes they get distracted from saying it.  Mana-mana lang pala yun.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Buhay Kuwago

Yung dating Diary ng Isang Pogi, naging Buhay Kuwago na.
Sa wakas, naayos ko na rin ang link ko sa blog ni Marlon. Iniwan niya ang blogger kasi available pa sa wordpress ang pangalan niya.
Maganda yung bago niyang tula. Itong si Marlon bukod sa pogi, makata. Maganda ang kinabukasan mo bro...

The Birth of Three Babies

Last night, three women I know went into labor. This morning of June 9, 2006, three babies were born into the world from families who are close to my heart.

Jerreen gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Carmela Therese. Her doting Tita Karreen and I agree that it's a beautiful name. Madreng-madre ang dating. Pang-Carmelite.

Trina, who went into labor around the same time that I got the text message about Jerreen's, gave birth at 8:20 a.m. to a healthy baby boy. Garie said they will name him Ethan Jacob. I said, pang-Mission Impossible ang pangalan. Since he's going to be my godson, I claim that he's going to turn out to be more good-looking than Tom Cruise, the original Ethan. Or Ethan Hawke. Basta gwapong bata ito, sigurado, mana sa mommy at daddy. Trina is one of my closest friends from Sandiganbayan.

The third child of Kuya Joe Dean and Ate Ardis Sola of He Cares Foundation was born. Her name is Marianne Grace. I know she will inherit not just the good looks of her parents, but their passion for service and mission as well, and glorify God in her own way someday.

Ang sarap maging Tita! I don't go through labor, yet I see the beauty of God's creation all over again.

Vincula: The Day After


There is little I can add to what Ted wrote about the death of the death penalty in the Philippines. It has been a good fight.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Learning to Embrace Change

Time had flown so fast and I was surprised to find that it was the month of June once again. This particular month had always been a time of transition for me. Every schoolyear, which always started in June, had signaled in a new set of teachers, subjects and classmates. I had my first day of work at the Sandiganbayan in June 2002 and had my last day three years later, in June 2005. I was installed as a Branch Women's Moderator in June 2003 and lingkod QC became a fully-governing branch on the same month of the same year. Finally, I stepped down from service in June 2005 and had said goodbyes to some family members who migrated around the same time.

Through the years, I've come to look forward to Lingkod QC anniversaries as opportunities for God to speak in extraordinary ways to me and to the branch I belong to. This year was different, however, in the sense that there was no bombastic, earth-shaking, career-shifting message for me. Since the call for us is to Go Back to Basics (Back2ba6), I was struck by a basic lesson in servanthood. While singing at the First Friday Mass, I was moved by the Offertory song - the Prayer for Generosity.

Teach me to serve you as I should. The prayer seemed to echo in my mind even days after the start of our anniversary month.

For as a servant I still was limited by my own "oughts" and "shoulds" about everything. I have a long way to go in giving and not counting the cost; in fighting and not heeding the wounds. I toil but I often seek for rest. I labor, but honestly I ask God for rewards! Clearly, I have taken orders but marched off without waiting for the rest of the instructions. Upon hearing God's will, I refused to do it His way and in His time. Does this sound familiar? These are classic mistakes of impatient perfectionists. Maybe I'll learn these lessons when I'm in heaven already. While here on earth, I stumble on the same pitfalls and it is only by Jesus' love that I am able to stand up and walk again. Yes, the blogger is a child. I have not lived up to my own ideas and ideals. I know it's time to get real and start a new year with more awareness, and acceptance, of my infirmities.

As I am in the middle of transitions again - in my family and my community, another change is taking place close to home. During Pentecost Mass last Sunday at our chapel, Fr. Steve gave a beautiful homily on the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He even gave his personal testimony of how he was transformed from a very shy kid who was terrified of public speaking, into a preacher who loved to talk during gatherings big and small. I told some brothers and sisters afterwards of being blessed by these homilies from a little chapel two streets away from my house, and they said they wished they too did not have to go far to hear a good homily.

And it would not be limited to homilies anymore. He also announced that Don Antonio Heights - Our Lady of Fatima sub-parish will soon become a parish, with neighboring subdivisions under it, to be finalized by the Bishop. The announcement was met with applause, but not as loud as that for the one succeeding it. Fr. Steve said that the Missionaries of God's Love, in his person, would become our parish priest. The applause was deafening. The people loved him and looked forward to serving under him. He told me that it was one of the duties of the parish priest to bring out the gifts of the parishioners and invite them to share the same to the body. Now if only I could hide from the MGLs!

As I live in Barangay Holy Spirit, our subdivision sponsored the 2nd Kalapati Festival of Quezon City. Kids dressed as kalapatis (doves) paraded and there was a program held right after the morning mass, outside the clubhouse. QC officials, employees and residents packed our little clubhouse grounds. I felt it a fitting way to mark our birth into the map as a parish.

It made sense to me that as we commemorated the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit empowered us all to fulfill another mission - to build a parish, one that would be evangelistic, Spirit-led and Spirit-filled. I told the MGLs that I would do anything they asked of me. And then I said a prayer: Here I am Lord, saying yes to you again, but, please, teach me to serve You as I should.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Say Sesame!

This Lingkod QC Anniversary is brought to you by the number Six...

Our theme is Back2Ba6: Simplicity, Singlemindedness, Servanthood at Six.

Sounds so deep and mature, with good use of a tool in literature - alliteration. Yet looking at our anniv logo it just reflects the state of mind of the members - young at heart. Isn't this the trash can from which Oscar the Grouch pops out?

Oh well, as tradition dictates, we'll have a month-long celebration, with a kickoff tonight, a concelebrated Mass with Fr. Geoffrey Coombe, MGL and Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL followed immediately by Alumni Night, where QT's young and not-so-young are invited to attend. We'll have Lord's Day and E-night, which will be open to everyone, on June 24.

The reminiscing, rehearsing, and restoring has begun. For 2006, we're going Back to Basics! Back to God's Love, that is.

Happy Anniversary to my beloved brothers and sisters from Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon- Quezon City!