Thursday, October 20, 2016


I was on the first leg of my early morning walk and was passing through the main street of our village. On the fifth house from the corner stood a middle-aged lady just looking out into nothing (as she appeared to be) from her house gate. When I got nearer I give out a morning greeting.
She smiled and said "Tinanghali ka ngayon ah." (You're up late this time) .Hmmm... I guess I have become a familiar person in the neighborhood with my morning walks.
I smiled back and replied with "Napasarap ng tulog kasi eh." (I overslept)
"Buti ka pa di ka nababagot sa araw mo." she countered with apparent exasperation. (Good for you not bored with your day)
I was surprised by that remark because we weren't close friends and yet she says something quite personal like that. I believe it's something only shared with friends. Quickly I snapped out of my surprise and said....
"Minsan dumarating din yan sa akin. Pero nilalakad ko na lang yan." and smiled even more. (It comes to me, too, but I work it out with a good walk)
She looked at me with disbelief and mumbled glumly.. "Sana ganun din ako." (Wish I was that, too.)
Well, I won't go further into that encounter. It's enough that I tried to make a respectful exit and resumed my morning walk. As she too turned back into her house with her mood apparently unchanged.
But it made me think........
The lady depicted very well that part of our lives which we don't really want to talk about nor put out up front for everybody to see. It's that part of our mundane lives in which we come face to face with --- The turbulent waters of life and living.
weariness, ennui, apathy, unconcern; frustration, dissatisfaction, restlessness, restiveness, lethargy, lassitude; tedium, dullness, monotony, repetitiveness, flatness, dreariness; informal deadliness, boredom, exasperation, dissolution, confusion, failure.
It's known to self but not to others. Sometimes though it slips out, like it did with the lady I met.
But we try to cope with all that with what we know... with our habits, acquired skills and resources, insights and knowledge, beliefs and faith. Others would resort to temporal measures or relief.... with alcohol, smoking, drugs, extreme activities, or seclusion. Some would go on further by putting up a ---- mask, facade, wall, cover and pretense ----- all meant to deflect attention away from their inner turmoil or misery. We tend to hide our tears, most times.
Everybody does his or her thing when life is the subject. It's ups and downs are dealt with according to what one knows, have learned, or was taught.
I have learned that when the negatives of the day or life assail you -------- you can either bawl your heart out or bang your head on the wall or vent it all out on family and close friends...... or ..... stop everything, be still, and know there is a God!.
God bless you with peace, love, joy, and faith.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


This took several sittings before I got what I wanted from it. A good friend remarked ... "Wow! Isang upuan lang... painting na agad." (A painting in just one sitting. Wow!)

Well, that's not how it happens. Painting like any other effort or project takes time. Further, when inspiration comes it can also disappear into thin air without the slightest notice. Just like that. So sometimes it stays there on the table untouched until you're ready to take up the brush again. This can happen a few times more.

I work with inspiration; I don't paint for painting's sake. The result may not be a Van Gogh or a Picasso (from my tiny untrained hands) but certainly it will be one which would make my heart happy. I think that matters. :-)
Allow me a few thoughts about this (watercolor) painting.
That body of water there represents my family. Calm and serene waters. Of course it can be rough and unruly at times in rain and in storm. But that passes soon enough and goes back to its tranquil state. That place of peace is bounded by a mountain range, huge rock formations, and lush trees.These three things represent the three essential parts of our family life..... faith, love, courage.
FAITH (the mountain range)
---- in a God whose great love makes all things possible.

LOVE (the lush evergreen trees/forest)
---- which lends all things its freshness, happiness, harmony, joy.

COURAGE (strong rock formations)
---- which keeps together the hope and belief that everything has its reason for being but that which faith and love can always conquer.
God bless you, friends. Have a lovely and blessed weekend

Friday, October 7, 2016



This is where we bright (that's what we think of ourselves) and yet puny (that's the reality in the spiritual world) human beings fail in almost all of our relationships every time. Sad but true.
I had a niece, smart pretty intelligent successful, who can talk you out of anything... with her words. The thing is she thinks herself to be so good that she swims in that hostile pool of ego and pride without even noticing it.
One day, she came to me with a satisfied grin on her face.
Seeing it I remarked.. "That face gloats."
She replied... "She was saying the wrong things and I simply corrected her. She deserved it. "
"According to you."  I replied.
"Awww c'mon, tita, don't give me that."  she countered pouting.
"And why not?! Did it ever occur to you to wonder what your words did to her?"  I questioned.
"Yeah, I made her realize that she was wrong."  she answered.
"Did you ever stop to think that she could be hurt very bad, right there in the heart where most everything in life matters?"
"That's her problem."  she countered still gloating.
"On the contrary, it's yours. One more thing, it takes so little to be kind."  and I walked away leaving her with her own thoughts.
The post below was done in October 2013 and I'm bringing it back here to be reminded of the importance of .... words. So that I may avoid falling into that same hideous pool my niece has fallen into. It helps to be reminded often, forgetful creatures that we are.
Here it is.....
The new parish priest of our community was celebrating his first mass and with a homily on the subject of  'the power of words'. To sum up, it was truly a good homily delivered in a uniquely light hearted sincere manner yet made such a huge dent on everybody's thoughts if you could gauge it from the attentive response of the people there.
Made me think................
WORDS. What do we know about it except to speak it, to communicate with, or to express our sentiments with. We often take it for granted. Like it's part of our physical body of eyes, ears, nose, extremities, and mouth. So no big deal.
BUT it IS a big deal!
Do we know what words can do? It can make or break, build or destroy, make happy or cause someone to be miserable. 'Make' 'Build' 'Happy' would be easy to understand. Its effect is almost always visible. It's a no-brainer.
On the other hand, 'break' 'destroy' 'miserable' hits very deep. That's a place nobody can see. Can be very hard to understand.
When someone says to us... 'I love you', I am sure that would quickly transport us up to the skies rocketing even higher. Everything to our minds come out rosy and every living creature lovable. Oh I know because just like you I've been there too.
Now when somebody else says... 'I don't like you', I am sure that we would according to our personality type respond to that accordingly. Strong types would deliver a straight punch to that person's (very ugly) face ..... while weaker souls would simply walk away and yes wither away with all that hurt and pain sinking lower deep inside. And if some still don't know it, bullying makes that happen.
I have learned.......
Words may be simply a tool, one of many, of our existence but it is such a powerful one. We should care for it as much as a handyman usually cares for his pack of tools with love and careful attention. We should use it with care, too. Unlike a fool who lets loose a barrage of anger, hate, or meanness through a language which belittles, disparages, depreciates and totally cuts down to size its object deliberately down to the ground... obliterating it with great force. Sadly, we do that often to our... families, spouses, children, parents, friends, the elderly, employees, students, equals, and even to strangers.
We have hurt a lot of people with those ugly words and also at many times have been hurt a lot by those same words.
So then ......why don't we be extra careful in our choice of words, in how we speak them. We should not try in any way be the cause, for any kind of reason thought of as just or something, of anyone's misery or heartbreak deserving or not. If we must say something, choose how to say it. There's enough misery going around in our world to think of adding more to it. Mother Earth is hurting from all the negativity forced down upon her.... 'let's cut her trees down', 'let's throw our trash into the rivers', 'let's bring down the mountains and build a mega mall', etc. Action springs out from words. We did that to her, we're doing that to her. Unless we seriously try to curb old mean harsh habits of speech we shall be doing it to her repeatedly until, well, she explodes. And we shall explode along with her.
Remember the allegory of the ... rock or boulder and on it a continuing fall of tiny drops of water --- drip - drip - drip..... through the years. And then one day to everyone's amazement a hole was punctured on what was once solid rock. That's what words do to anyone or anything it touches. Words can pierce the soul.
Let us try to help ease that pain or better yet to whack off the negative vibes to pieces with a good concentrated dose of positivity. We can do that with WORDS! .Words carefully chosen have the power to restore joy, good, well-being, hope, courage, inspiration, strength, love, faith, and trust. These can help create a better place and world for us.
That, by the way, is also by God's design. HE wants us to be responsible owners and givers of the gift of words.

Be blessed, everyone. God pours out bushels of blessings right there into your day.
(Thanks to the internet for these inspiring images.)

Monday, October 3, 2016



Long ago while sitting in a corner on top of a wooden stool with a sketch pad on my lap and pencil in my hand and wondering what it was I wanted to draw, Mama saw me from the kitchen (in this tiny humble home you can see everything just wherever you would be standing) and spoke out without moving an inch away from her cooking..... "Honey, whatever it is it will be good. Just let your heart do it for you." spoken in the dialect waray.
Mom was a teacher in her time. I would guess that she was a good teacher... because she was great teaching in our home. She taught me a lot about life and living, not just with words or lectures but in how she lived life herself. She also said 'life is the best teacher of all' and that 'the heart always speaks the truth'. I learned much about hard work, resourcefulness, determination, courage, hope, faith, trust, believing in your dreams, and in building dreams with and through whatever life throws at you. Life's tough, she'd say, 'very tough but it's how you respond to it which ultimately will get you where you want to be, sooner or later. You may arrive at the end with a big brass band and deafening applause.. or.. bruised and battered, weary and shaken but still in one piece. All because you learned how to respond to its challenges. And all because you listened to your heart.'
Time and life went by and gave me all that I needed to know and validated the lessons Mom taught. I can understand now, Mom......
Your heart can churn out the best masterpieces... the best achievements... the best work of your life.... the best sketches or drawings or paintings... the best music or sonata... the best speeches.... the best articles or books.... the best cooking or recipes... the best flower garden in your neighborhood... the best homilies in church... or be the best mother, father, son,or daughter, uncle or aunt, grandpa or grandma... the best employee in your department... the best salesman on the job... the best mechanic in town... the best barber in the city... the best barangay captain in the district... the best senator or congressman in the history of our congress... the best policeman or soldier on the job... the best performances onscreen or onstage... the best president or leader of a country.... the best lessons learned... the best friendships for a lifetime... the best role in life you would find yourself in and be the best person you can be, by divine design. The best not as dictated by people with their own created standards. But the best with the best of who you are in your heart. Live with your heart, lead with your heart, listen to your heart.
Well, I finished my sketch that day and when I showed it to her, she smiled and said "It is good." Lesson learned.
Unfortunately I lost all my drawings in the big flood which hit the city that month and year. I cried. But she said.... "You can always draw again."
She is right. We may fail on some ventures, fall from good fortune, lose precious treasures or people in our lives..... BUT..... we can rise up once more, shake the dust, and build again. That's my story; that's your story. It's our story ------ the rising, the falling, and the rising up again. But with our hearts all in one piece. Shining with our Light like never before every time! And you know what, God in all of His wisdom and magnificence put it there. Now you know you're special!
God bless you, my dear friends!

(Thanks to the internet for these wonderful images.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016



So what do we do when that comes to our day and life?

Maybe I will be hearing replies like.... 'not much' - 'I don't know' - 'who cares' - 'so what' - or other soul-wrenching remark such as 'life is mean and cruel'.

Some of us will simply grit their teeth - shrug their shoulders - or feign strength and courage as they carry their burdens and woes inside their backpacks while traveling down life's weary road.

Others will pray.

Allow me some thoughts.....

Whoever you are or may be... no matter your brilliance, wealth, beauty, power, or influence.... no matter your race,color, or creed

I believe that Someone still stands over you.... watching, guiding, protecting, and making sure that everything comes out right with you and your world.


All according to His design, reasons, and plans for you. Do not try to read His thoughts or reasons or plans because these are way beyond your own understanding. Way beyond human understanding.

We, as mere puny individuals or people, are reminded every now and then in a diversity of ways He can devise (painful or not) of one simple task He asks in return ---- to have faith. He would be mighty pleased even with just one tiny-mustard-seed-size of faith!

That is all that would take to open the gates of heaven and release bountiful blessings as He promised. That kind of faith which keeps its eyes firmly set on Him... no matter what the world does to shake it up. No matter what the world does to make you think and feel that there is no Divine Presence in this ugly world, ugly people, and ugly life

And we struggle with that.. simple as it may seem. Why? Because we are a culture of 'instant coffee' ---- we want everything pronto! Solutions must come with a snap of our fingers and it must solve our problems ... instantly!! .We don't want to wait because waiting would mean suffering some more. .We don't want to suffer. I know this to be true. Life has shown me much of suffering.

Our greatest enemy is ourselves.

Yet, He does not give up on us so easily. Pheww! .. thank God for that!

Instead..... He says (and I am quoting this from my favorite book)

 "How I love you! How I lavish my love upon you in great generous helpings! The love of God is boundless, unequaled, in all the universe. None can slip from my grasp, none can go beyond my love, for there are no limits, no conditions to the tremendous love of God. Rest easy in this love. Curl up and rest easy each and every moment of your life. I am with you, I am beside you, I am with you. I am the great 'I AM'. Never do you walk alone, never do you work alone, never do you breathe a breath without Me, without my watchful love surrounding you, cushioning you from all of life's blows."
(Quote lifted from the book "Good Morning... God", by Pamela Steinke)

TREMENDOUS LOVE. Where else can you find that?

And because of His magnificent love we continue to have hope... keep on building new dreams... persevere with our faith... renew our strengths and courage... and believe again and again.

I hope this helps you with your not so peaceful day or days (when it comes). As it has helped me in mine. God bless you.

(Thanking the internet for these lovely images.)



Days come to us in a bucket of wide diversity. They can be nice... pleasant... exciting... happy... boring.... dreary... monotonous... agitated... lonely... confusing... scary... mind-boggling... funny... interesting... bland... peaceful. calm... serene... high-energy... slow... hopeless... promising... creative... challenging... overwhelming... embarrassing... threatening... suspicious... and plenty more heaped on our plate. We respond to it in ways we each have been programmed for since birth by experience, habits, genes, and preferences. All that combined even makes for quite an interesting day.
I like best a calm, serene, peaceful day. Everybody does, I guess.. It's unchanging. It's there just waiting to be called forth. Rising from the heart. Always from the heart.
Peace.... then and now. What a lovely blessing!

(Thanks to the internet for these lovely images.).

Saturday, September 17, 2016



At the usual coffee bar I go to, I sat about two tables away from a group of young girls and boys who were spilling out their frustrations over the flaws seen in their families, respectively. It all seemed so huge hearing them talk about it. They all pined for perfection and yet according to the standards they each had set for themselves. That already by itself seemed shortsighted to my mind. I could be wrong but

That made me think.....

Really, if on some days they get on your nerves or if they seem to impede your progress in whatever you have set out for yourself or when they seem to be oblivious to who you are and what you do..... think again.

If you wished that you had your friend's family as they seem to be so adorable and perfect.... think again.

If you feel that your wings are being clipped unreasonably (that's what you're thinking anyway).... think again.

If you feel that God isn't fair because He gave you such a not-so-cool family..... think again.

And THINK you should.

Wanting a perfect family? Don't sweat it at all because you can't and because you won't have one. You can't choose them as they can't choose you either. God had other things in mind when He gave you to each other. So if you're seeing flaws in them and you feel that you could be better off without them.... think again.

As a mother (as all mothers would agree), I die a thousand deaths to my own dreams, goals, preferences, and plans...... everyday. I can't be myself sometimes but I am me where it matters most to be me ----. a mother and friend. Aside from being the maid and yaya..... driver (to school and back)..... cook (well, pancakes at least)..... laundrywoman (hankies and socks matter too, right?)..... seamstress (broken zipper and missing buttons)..... and other dozen-and-one things they can think of for you to do for them. Not discounting too those times of feeding bottles, diapers, and thermometers of long ago years.

But that's okay because that's what mothers do. So much the same way that fathers have their own tasks rolled out for them, too. So do children... they too have their own respective roles to play as members of the family. That is by Divine Design.

God had something else in mind when He gave you your family and It may not fit your own set of standards and expectations of what a family should be. But whoever told you that HE has to consult you for everything HE does, particularly in your life!?

You don't get to choose your family, really. Somebody up there does that for you. HE is better at it than we could ever be by ourselves. Like many things in life ---- it may not be what you want but maybe it is what you need!

Further, allow me to quote these lines from the prayer of ST. FRANCIS...

LORD, make me an instrument of your PEACE.
Where there is hatred, let me sow LOVE;
where there is injury, PARDON;
where there is doubt, FAITH;
where there is despair, HOPE;
where there is darkness, LIGHT;
and where there is sadness, JOY.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as TO CONSOLE;
to be understood as TO UNDERSTAND;
to be loved as TO LOVE.
For it is in GIVING that we receive;
it is in PARDONING that we are pardoned;
and it is in DYING that we are born to eternal life. Amen

And THAT is what we do to each other in our families inside the home. Humans are not perfect but FAMILY LOVE IS!

May God bless you and your family. 

(Thanks to the internet for these lovely images.)




Mr. Quote Man sent me this story and I promised him that I would share it with everybody here. It's a good one and I think that you'll like it, too. It had no title to it, so I'm going to call it ...... 'Number 3'.


It all started one lazy Sunday afternoon in a small town near Toronto in Canada.

Two school-going friends had a crazy idea. They rounded up three goats from the neighborhood and painted the numbers 1, 2 and 4 on their sides. That night they let the goats loose inside their school building.

The next morning, when the authorities entered the school, they could smell something was wrong. They soon saw goat droppings on the stairs and near the entrance and realized that some goats had entered the building.

A search was immediately launched and very soon, the three goats were found. But the authorities were worried..... WHERE WAS NUMBER 3??? 
They spent the rest of the day looking for goat No.3. The school declared classes off for the students for the rest of the day. The teachers, helpers, guards, canteen staffs, boys were all busy looking for the goat No. 3, which, of course, was never found.

Simply because ………… IT DID NOT EXIST!

Those among us who, in spite of having a good life, are always feeling a -- “lack of fulfillment” -- are actually looking for the elusive, missing, non-existent goat No.3. Whatever the area of complaint or dissatisfaction -- relationship, job-satisfaction, finance, achievements .....


Let’s Stop worrying about goat No.3. Let's enjoy life instead !!!

---------------------- End of Story ----------------------
Thanks, Mr. Quote Man. And thanks to the internet for these wonderful images.
May God bless you all! Enjoy your day.

Monday, September 12, 2016


This is Celia's story but it could be anybody else's.
She's your ordinary person... perhaps your next door neighbor.. or office mate.. or passenger sitting across you in the jeep.. or the person behind you queuing at the cashier's counter.. or one walking beside you, behind you, up ahead on the busy sidewalk or street .. people coming and going.
She and life have never agreed on anything. She has her dreams but life sends her different things which take her off the desired path and keeps her busy with stuff that every ordinary mundane person does on this planet tending to needs which, as we all know, dictate priorities.
Live, love, work, smile, cry, hate, fear.... or be disappointed, embarrassed, feel sad and lonely, know what it's like to have hopes shattered to the ground, know about rejection and betrayal, know about the helplessness of watching life move along without any help from yourself. And sometimes she even wonders if it ever knows that she wants certain things changed....and pronto!
"Oh well, some people have control over their lives and some don't. But life definitely is a hard taskmaster." she would rationalize to herself. But a kindly old priest and good friend of her father, who visited her family one lovely summer's day before her father passed, corrected her with this....
"This life.... we don't run it. We just live it. What you see before you is all that you should do or be doing at that moment it is asked of you. It may not be what you want but definitely it is what you need. Set your eyes on the present. Live it though without losing sight of your dreams and goals. It will come in its own allotted time. Understand that you are put there for a reason. Maybe for yourself... maybe for others... maybe for the world or even mother nature... but definitely it is a part of the whole tapestry put together by divine intent. You must do your part. Nobody can or will do it for you. Everybody has his own allotted task. Be you in the present. Bravely."
Celia's story doesn't end there. The last time I spoke with her, she was beaming with quiet confidence and joy while still tending to the business of life and living. I asked her for its reason. She replied..... "I am me."
I think I understand now.

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Remember my dear friend from India.. Mr. Quote Man? Not his real name, of course. He is a longtime friend since my early days in the blog at Indiatimes. That's about a decade ago. We haven't skipped a chance to connect every time we're online, in both highs and in lows, in all those great years of friendship. A treasure, indeed.
Well, in the past two years or so he somehow made it his mission to pass on to me his favorite quotes the goal of which is to make me write, particularly when I'm down to a 'writer's block'. He knows how it is because he struggles with it, too, being a writer himself.
Making the selected quote the subject of the day we then bombard each other via email (back-and-forth) with insights, perceptions, interpretations enough to fill a book. A thick one, I should say.
It's always such fun and a wonderful learning moment every time because he is such a rare specie of open-mindedness, is broadminded to a fault, unbelievably selfless, and is the least concerned with the usual I-Me-My-Mine of life and living. (Hmmm... I remember someone say this before .. "At this age you don't bother about that anymore.")
Can you believe that!? Yeah, sometimes it does make me think maybe this guy might be from some strange planet in the galactic realm out there.... an alien! A nice alien... so much like some nice earthlings that have crossed my path, too.
Well, this was another quote he sent to my email.........
"Truths, like roses, have thorns about them."   -   (Henry Blinn)
That's right, isn't it?
Truths are not always welcome and why we shrink or shirk from it with elaborately cooked up excuses.  Motivated by so much an aversion or diversion from what could be apparent challenges to one's preconceived notion or notions.  But all for naught because truth will seek you out. Always. Sooner or later.
Know that to be true?

 (I found this lovely quote/poster online and loved it. Again true, right?)