Tuesday, July 30, 2013


When the rains pour down relentlessly outdoors and still the itch for a burger or a movie kicks in... the solution to that comes quick with a trip to the mall with my daughter. Like my mom once said to me... 'neither rain or shine could ever clip your wings when you decide to fly...' Yeah Mom right! :-)

But on this particular Sunday that I did was one Sunday I was glad to have. Because I had the immense pleasure of viewing about what looked like 'bonsai' creations on display at the mall atrium. But I later learned that it was the very first national exhibit and competition on “penjing”.... presented by the Penjing Society of the Philippines (PSP) and hosted by Antipolo City. Penjing is an ancient Chinese landscaping craft akin to the Japanese “bonsai”.

My daughter clicked away at every landscape tray she saw. And so did others more with their phones in quick succession as they were hugely impressed by everything. Even saw a foreigner with his video cam seriously at work and discussing the merits of each display with his companion.

Well, to cut a long story short, here are a few of the pictures taken by daughter. And by the way, this is so much better than a movie or a burger, don't you agree?
(10 photos)

Monday, July 22, 2013


Improve the self. And anything that does not give or contribute to that goal should take a back seat in your day. Tough one I would agree because many times it's the convenient old self that kicks hard to get its way ... the way it has always been used to. That is why LEARNING has always been a struggle to many of us. It is easy to learn something the first time but to RELEARN stuff again and again can be quite boring, annoying to a few. Yet God himself sends us lessons, often the same lessons, to learn repeatedly... and the reason is that we didn't really get it the first time. Until we do.. God will keep sending you the lesson until he is satisfied that you understand what he is trying to teach or tell you.

Another thing which we don't quite warm up to in any way is to UNLEARN those things which do not contribute to our good in the bigger picture of our lives. Well, that kind of good which God has in mind. Because you see, our perception of good is OUR perception of what we think is best for us. That is where our comfort zones lie.

I too have my comfort zones. Sleeping late and waking up late is one of them particularly that I have the luxury of time which retirement now affords me. Not anymore. Early morning walks are first on the agenda of my day. I walk almost everyday according to what my age allows. Just round the neighborhood but it works wonders to my mind, heart, body, and soul. And with this what could be a minor one to others but a huge benefit for me the day becomes one of great and greater wonder and good potential. No, it does not vanish all the evil or ills of the world or in your own tiny corner of it... but it becomes what God promised it would be if we walk in his light.

Let's aim to be good students in life; work for good grades in our report card; strive to put a smile on our Teacher's loving face who's definitely watching from above.

Have a blessed Monday... with tons more in the week ahead.
God bless you.

Friday, July 19, 2013


Here's a sterling piece of quote we should include in our stack of favorite quotes, by Helen Hayes...

"My mother knew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that  --- "achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best in you.  Success is being praised by others, and that's nice, too, but not as important or satisfying.  Always aim for achievement and forget about success."   -- Helen Hayes

She is right, isn't she? Because success sometimes can be quite empty but achievement on the other hand always fulfills. In some instances success isn't about you but on having the right situation, the right circumstance, the right breaks, the right people. You didn't even have to be so smart. It's still success tho for what it's positive worth.

Achievement is a different game. A battle in which you put yourself into a hundred percent. You dig your brains out and splatter it all over the place while your heart goes thumping hard through its highs and lows. You lose sleep over it assailed by doubts and regrets. You wonder if it's worth doing at all? But you persevere because something there inside of you is a spark that won't allow itself to be diminished however whatever nor by whoever. It's your sweat blood and tears, your wounds bruises and hurts, your cliff-hanging moments, your crashing head-on through obstacles, your falling down and standing up again. It may take a longer time but you don't care! This is you and this is what truly matters. And then one day you're there!!

The sweet sweetest smell of achievement. You did it! Plus a bonus as success comes trailing you close behind.

To my young friends out there in the world, success may be sweet but achievement is sweeter.  Aim for achievement. It's worth all the trouble.

To God be the glory.
Have a blessed day, good people!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I watched this movie "Dan In Real Life" in Blink Cinema this morning with my toast, a cup of hot chocolate, and a banana on the side. The movie is also about family and the relationships therein. Nice movie. But the best part was this line spoken by actor-comedian Steve Carell as the movie ended.... 'Plan to be surprised'.

How do you do that? I mean consciously. Isn't a surprise just that.. a surprise? Unexpected, unintended, unplanned. But I liked that line so much that it made me think. Really think. The 'plan' part of it was where my thoughts gathered.

When I woke up this morning quite feeling good with myself.. the day.. and the night that passed. I should explain this that the books I have read over the past few years have undoubtedly influenced the way I look at my day quite more on the track of positivity. And so too has life done that to me. And so I have learned, at least with conscious effort. You have to give me credit for that. So then with an expectant heart leading the way I got up and out of bed anticipating to fill up my basket from the hidden treasures of a wonderful day. Who knows maybe there is ready a surprise or two in it for me. How lovely can that be!

I guess that is the answer. You, me, them, we ---- should set the stage with the mind ready and an open heart willing to be touched by awesomeness, newness, wonder, magic. When we deliberately open our doors wide for blessings to enter (and truly they are blessings), things begin to happen to delight our senses, us, our lives so wonderfully. We begin to see so much better that which we have never paid much attention to before. Things and people we have always ignored or taken for granted.

A day without surprises is not the day's fault.
Be open to life. Surprise! Surprise!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Do you know that in every person is a writer just waiting for its time? Give a person the right environment or reason and he will write. Maybe not in the likes of the great writers of long ago and in our present time but definitely he is his own excellence and expression. Maybe he will be writing one liners or squeeze together plenty of words which to the reader may not make sense but he is his own inspiration and his words his masterpiece. So if right now you perchance feel the tiny push to write.... go write!

Here I now sit by the window with my laptop and occasionally would look out to the tall mango trees of my neighbor across the street. Perched on the branches atop those trees are birds chirping in a language of their own which I so wish I understood. I would like to know that's happening in their day But I guess it is so much the same in the animal kingdom as it is in our own. Daddy goes out to work and brings home the bacon while Mom takes care of the house and her brood.

Then I shift my glance back into the room..... my house. It's modest but it's a home. Much love bounces off the walls -- traipses down every room -- bubbles merrily in a tiny pot of stew -- warms the air we breathe -- and settles in the hearts comfy and secure. I've got a broken down couch and much of the furniture don't match, paint's peeling away in bits, and the ceiling's hanging on to dear life. But it's my home -- I love it and it loves me back. How do I know that? Simple... it has a lovely aura that warms my soul in ways only I can understand.

Sometimes so much is felt in the heart that no words seem to suffice enough to express it all. Have you ever felt that way? This special moment which fills you up to the brim and spills over and out but you never feel diminished by it at all? Somehow in inexplicable terms the world transforms into such a far more beautiful place, even its bad you suddenly seem to understand.

One last thing before I go back to my chores, this is such a lovely morning and I intend to have more such lovely mornings. Perhaps even lovelier as I discover every time that life is so full of wondrous treasure!

May your day be filled with the same. Blessings!

Monday, July 8, 2013


"Let us cry for the spilt milk, by all means, if by doing so we learn how to avoid spilling any more. Let us cry for the spilt milk, and remember how, and where, and why, we spilt it. Much wisdom is learnt through tears, but none by forgetting our lessons."     -- Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton 

I remember being told by an elderly aunt long ago to never cry over spilt milk. Meaning that the mistakes of the past should remain there and that we should never harbor regrets over it. Easier said than done. Because truth of the matter is I cry, in fact bawl, over what has gone by and over mistakes that were made. But did I learn? Not always. You see, when tears come it washes away all resolve you may have valiantly raised to move away from the pain that gnaws at your soul. All you ever focus on is your misery.  So have I learned.

But now, even if I do still cry it's with a difference.  I have learned in the midst of all the tears to determinedly focus on the goal of learning whatever lessons are presented to me through that unpleasant experience or experiences, I can understand that it's all for my further learning and growth. Not always easy, I must say, especially when the wounds of disappointment, frustration, failure, uncertainty, insecurity, or false expectations remain fresh in memory and prick with every thought. Yet in wanting to learn what should be learned I get to analyze... to break it apart and stare at the broken pieces hard... searching for the why --- how --- where or what went wrong. Eventually the answers come out.

Now the sad memory still stings but maybe a tear or two may flow. But just like the sun rises every morning, a smile too rises from the heart which knows that it has learned well and acknowledges that it has been made wiser, so much wiser, by it.

Monday, July 1, 2013


To quote:

“One day we will find our place, for all things fall into place, For all things have a place, in the greater scheme of things.”    Fr. Johnny Go, SJ

True, one day these odd and fractured pieces of our lives will all fall into place. Then we will begin to see or understand that all the unease, anxiety, and whatever else we may have felt then or feel now were and are second only to serving a great or greater end -- to complete the bigger scheme of things. And that even if there be more fractured pieces, more hurt and pain or that we would be tiptoeing through prickly thorns down the road a wee bit more, we can still say to ourselves that something better could be or might be waiting for us up ahead....  a promise of Jeremiah 29:11. This which we experience is but a thread in the bigger tapestry of life.

We came unto this world bawling our fragile lungs out because some masked monster in white uniform slapped our tender butt. But then, crying that furiously flushed out some sticky stuff from our lungs. So there was some good to that after all, right?

So then all of pain and hurt we go through in life does work to lead us to the greater bigger wondrous scheme of things ... By God's design. That's what I have been told and have learned. It won't harm to learn it again... and again... and again.

God bless you and your loved ones.