Saturday, November 30, 2013


"People are the way they are for a reason."  -  "..Know their stories"  Oh??  -  The trouble is they hide their stories, thus we can't know nor understand. Why? Because they're afraid of baring their true selves to a very judgmental kind of world we have. Easily condemning, easily crucifying, easily criticizing, and embracing false standards of character. And double standard too? --  'You can't do that but it's okay if I do'. 

Maybe it is time we should learn.  I guess that is just what Pope Francis is trying to tell us.

The truth is, people are the way they are for a reason. If we would take time to know their stories, we would be much more forgiving.
 The truth is, people are the way they are for a reason. If we would take time to know their stories, we would be much more forgiving.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Maxie with her bff Miko the King cat

My family and I are dog-lovers having three in the house.. and a king cat. But at one time, we had all seven considering our small household  and yet it was a joy to love and be loved by seven gorgeous dogs. But their time came when finally they each would through the years move to their forever home in dog heaven. But this post isn't about pets leaving us, I am sharing this wonderful piece here in my blog to honor the words of this amazing six-year-old kid.

I saw this article this morning and hesitated not one bit to share this on my page.  Has anyone ever wondered about that? Why do dogs leave earth first? A little kid gave his answer. Here's the article in full.
And I'd like to repeat that.......   He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?"  The six-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."       ----  Unquote.

Truly Wisdom from the mouth of babes.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Lovely post I saw this morning and gladly sharing on my page. Good words to live by.....  "Magis is generosity without a selfie."       - Fr. Arnel Aquino, SJ

I pray this takes root in the hearts of many. As it thrives in the hearts of volunteers and workers and foreign friends near and far for/in the Visayas. Thank you, Fr. Arnel Aquino, SJ for this blessed piece...  and to Mark Lopez for sharing.
To quote:

Two Saturdays ago at the Richie Fernando Covered Courts, I was in a human chain with some young people whose faces were awfully familiar. We were unloading a truck of rice and we were laughing at how we struggled with the weight of those darn sacks. I couldn’t quite put names to their familiar faces, let alone remember where I had met them. 

When we had fully unloaded the truck, Brother Mark walked up to me and said: “Fr. Arnel, I saw you in the chain with our Payatas boys.” 

Well, there was my answer. I met these kids in Payatas when I said mass there in October. The picture now was complete…and very moving: boys living in a landfill and now happily uplifting the hungry and homeless of Yolanda: the “widow’s last coin” happening before my very eyes. It was magis in its truest sense of not counting the cost but still giving, of not heeding the wounds but still fighting, of not seeking any rest and reward, but still toiling and laboring…and even having fun while doing it. In other words—offering from what little you have, enriching others from your own poverty, giving from your dearth.

For many years, I’ve noticed how our students and alumni understand magis in quite a different sense (and I blame us, Jesuits, first of all for having let it go unchecked, surely we dropped the ball on this one.) They describe magis like this: soar higher, fly faster, achieve more, be smarter and hipper, not just 3-peat, go 4-peat, no, go 5-peat; more distinction, more fame, more glory to God, yes, but glory to us doesn’t hurt along the way!

Go back to Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and we realize that magis in the quintessential sense means—are you ready?—more humility, more simplicity, more self-outpouring, more poverty of spirit, and should God desire it, more material poverty, even. See, the Prayer for Generosity is the incarnation of the spirit of magis. Run the lines in your mind (give and not to count the cost, fight and not to heed the wounds, etc.) and you’ll realize that true magis is giving to others from our own dearth, building others from own homelessness, healing others in spite our woundedness. In other words, think of the Prayer for Generosity when you think of the true spirit of magis. For magis is generosity without a selfie.

See the difference, sisters and brothers? Magis is all about God, therefore, it is all about our neighbor, therefore, it is not all about us. This is the magis behind the widow’s last coin, behind the Payatas boys’ willing and joyful hands.  Magis is to do both the great and the small for God, but without the selfie…because then it becomes all about us, really.

Incidentally, I was thinking, if I were to change a line in our alma mater song, I would probably replace the one that says, “Win or lose, it’s the school we choose.” I wonder if that line does not in fact belie the spirit of “down from the hill, down to the world go I.” I have a creepy feeling that the line is a selfie. And I’m sure you’ve noticed, dear sisters and brothers, that this thing we call “selfie”, it comes in a thousand different forms. But in all of those forms, the thing that comes between our eyes and the world that we should be looking at — is us looking at ourselves.

Dear Father Ignatius, help us remember the generous widow in our Lord’s story whenever we think of your magis. Amen.

*delivered at the ADMU College Chapel noontime mass, Nov 25, 2013


(I stumbled upon these beautiful posters (thanks to the internet) to further essay such beautiful thoughts.)

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Got this in my inbox this morning, from friend Mr. Quote Man........

“There are three things extremely hard:   
steel, a diamond, and to know one's self.” 
------ Benjamin Franklin

Oh but we know that, don't we? And most of us also know that just because it is extremely hard (and that even is an understatement) ....  we still would keep working at it until we get the steel to build the foundations of our houses, the diamond to enhance our pleasure, and the effort to better our selves.

Nothing is nor comes easy to achieving something that which is good. The law of the universe. To come out better or best, things and mortals are passed through the fire. The fire is rough, inconvenient, intensely challenging. But it is a necessary process to peel off useless unnecessary layers in order to reveal the precious treasure within.

In the task of self-improvement the challenges are greater and huge. Because we would have to deal with our centuries-old habits, beliefs, and attitudes those which apparently no longer serve a good purpose and which instead stand as obstacles to a better self. The challenges nudge us out of our comfort zones which by our human nature is definitely a most unwelcome change or task. I struggle with that, too.

The aim today and each day that comes to us is to become a better version of who we were yesterday. Hard... yes... but not impossible.

May today bring you endless treasures and blessings, in Christ.

Friday, November 22, 2013


My thoughts this fine God-blessed morning...

I like these words from Francis Kong. (See below)  So true that no man is without this precious gift or talent. No one! God made sure of that. All that we have to do is make the best use of it.... to develop and nurture self as we journey through life, to serve others with, to bring greater glory to God.

So then figure out what your gift/talent is. Don't wait too long to do that. Further, there is no small or big talent... all are the same: gifts from God for a purpose.

Remember 'no man is an island', we all stand connected. And if you think that you can live by yourself alone and independent as you think you are --- think again! Are you having your breakfast now? Because the food that you are feasting on was planted, harvested, prepared, transported, processed by many working human hands here or in some far away country until it got to your table.

Know your gift. Appreciate it. Put it to best use. Share it. And certainly not the least..... Thank God for it!

Have a lovely and blessed day, everybody! Good morning!
 To quote.....

We have different gifts according to the grace that God has given us. Most of the misery in life is not in the absence of gifts but the misuse of it. Mine is in the area of communications. Think about this for a moment. Process this and share (only if you are comfortable)...what is the gift that God has given you?

Sunday, November 17, 2013



See that??? LOOK FOR THE HELPERS! ... instead of sitting on your high chairs and checking out for flaws. Get down here and get your hands dirty too, brother and sister! Or if you can't go physical for some reason or another, then >>>> SET THE SPOTLIGHT UNTO THE HELPERS (by word or print or get your cameras working and post them on social sites online) ... they are many! Bless 'em!!!

Let's drown out the negativity around us with POSITIVE IMAGES OF POSITIVE PEOPLE --- hearts and souls regardless of age, gender, race, color, or creed --- joined in one common NOBLE cause!!!

The post below is an eye-opener ..............

From Rob Crilly, a journalist, who was in Ground Zero in Tacloban:

But I have been shocked to see that the story for the past few days has been dominated by criticism of the relief effort.

These things take time. They can never, ever move fast enough when ships are the only way to deliver the colossal amounts of aid needed. No-one predicted that Typhoon Haiyan would be quite so lethal. And there is little left in the way of local government.

And you know what? One of the least reported aspects of this whole crisis has been the patient stoicism displayed by the victims. Most of their help has come from extended families. Relatives are looking after each other, pooling resources and sharing what little food they have. Those who have homes are taking in the homeless.

To lambast the international aid response and the local authorities is to misunderstand how humanitarian relief operates – and to overlook the humbling charity already on offer from people who have little to give.

Friday, November 15, 2013

SO THAT MANY WILL UNDERSTAND - 2 - Haiyan/Yolanda super storm aftermath

One more BRAVO to the person who wrote this fantastic post!! Thank you, Jerome Christopher Hernandez. Ah but there's many out there still writing something like this. Keep it all coming, brothers and sisters, because many need to understand. And those who get to read this, please share.

A post by Jerome Christopher Hernández 

To quote.

This calamity, this disaster, is the worst of its kind in the WORLD. It might just be the strongest, most destructive typhoon in the history of human civilization. Any country who would experience this would be dealt upon a great blow.

Now, please consider these:

1.) The Philippines is a third-world country. The country's entire Air Force owns only three working C130 (cargo) planes. Only three! And it's supposed to serve a country of 100-million citizens! So are they too slow in delivering relief goods, medical equipment, personnel, etc.? But of course! Let us understand that they are limited by the resources that they have. I could imagine how eager our military/government personnel are to help!

2.) In Tacloban, out of around 200-plus police officers, only twenty of them reported for duty the day after the storm. Yes, 20! The couple of hundred others cannot be reached or found. Most likely, they're attending to their own families who are themselves victims of this tragic calamity. Heck, they might even be dead as well! So are they too slow to respond? But of course! What is it that you cannot understand there?

3.) Most, if not all, commercial flights to and from Tacloban have been cancelled in the first few days after the storm. The airport isn't safe to land on due to the absence of radar, lights and other essential facilities. How can the replacement government personnel go to their assignments quickly? How can you go to Tacloban to volunteer and lend your own two hands? Even if you wanted to, you just cannot go to Tacloban. And that's the CAPITAL CITY of Leyte! What about the smaller towns in remote islands? How do you get all the help to these places instantly? Consider, too, that the roads are clogged with debris, carcasses and cadavers! It's a logistical nightmare! So, is help too slow to arrive? Unfortunately, yes! How is it humanly possible not to be slow? Enlighten me if you know how, please!

This is a very extraordinary situation. Hurricane Katrina knocked the US down, and it took a while before they stood up again. The super strong earthquake paralyzed Japan, and it took a while before everything normalized. These are the two wealthiest countries in the world. They have the most equipped, most advanced military in the planet.

We are the Philippines: a third-world country with a military who calls an old US Coast Guard patrol vessel as its biggest, strongest warship! So before any of us dares to blame the government, think hard. I'm not saying that we must stop criticizing. But if we are to criticize, may it be constructive, and having considered the entire picture. And most importantly, it must be criticism that's bundled with an alternative solution! If your mortal human brain cannot conceive of a better, doable way to address the problems at hand, your criticism, sadly, is worth manure.

Let us all pray to God almighty for the strength to endure this extraordinary tragedy.

There's no Batman. Just us. As one Filipino people.


SO THAT MANY WILL UNDERSTAND - 1 - Haiyan/Yolanda super storm aftermath

This morning I was asked: “why not just tell your Government to move out all those people there. You see in the news all dead people around?” I told him it is difficult because there are just too many people affected.

Put them in camps, he said. We have evacuation centers but still not enough, I said. It is very easy, he pushed, put them in airplanes and boats then send to camps. I asked, “Did you know the place well? Heck, have you even seen how the islands look like?” He smiled and said, “NO”.

So this is how I made him understand.

I showed him this map of my country. My hometown is at number 15. The areas affected are roughly from numbers 32 to 53; can you see those islands and how far they are?

Yes, we can fly people by plane but airports are broken and no electricity. Yes, we can take them by boat, but the docking areas are full of debris and dead people. How can we shift them to the next island, if the other island is also in ruins? To this he just smiled and said: “oh yah, huh”

For most who don’t know, my country is made out of 7,100 islands, give or take. Number 21 is where the command center is and where most goods and resources are coming from. They fly and ship them to the areas affected, that means logistics is really a challenge.

Things are easier said than done, for most of us who are not there, directly involved. Easier for us to say “what the hell are they doing?” “where are the donations made?”.

By watching the news, reading the paper and social media updates, OUR knowledge is empowered and magnified. Our words and comments become swords that draw blood, ignite more pain and hurt to those people who are already giving all their best to help.

Help us more not only by making donations but also by understanding why things cannot be done as easily as how we think it will be.
Share · November 13 ·

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


WHAT'S ON THE NEWS TODAY?  (Haiyan-Yolanda)

Okay, somebody said on TV  that help is there. So then let's see the action.....

Show the help happening. Show the helpers.

- the clearing of roads
- the aid trucks, ships, and planes
- the medical teams and centers
- the power lines being restored
- the water supply
- the temporary shelters built
- the kitchen soups
- the transportation facilities
- the communication lines restored
- the security measures in place
- the dead buried
- the packing of relief goods
- the individuals and groups with their donations
- the priests and religious groups ministering to the flock
- the global community reaching out to help
- and much more....

You say it's just starting. That's right! So we follow the help happening from day one of help happening. We would like to see...  we would like to know... We would like to appreciate and thank the helpers and the help.  We would like to cry in great joy and applaud.

We already know about the 'why' of this horrible catastrophe. And it's very sad. We'll never be the same again as individuals, as a people, as a community, as a nation.  And I think we have learned our lessons, too.

But please Stop replaying the tears, the anguish, the misery...  we feel their pain. We do! But please do not try to overkill the images. It's like rubbing salt on an open wound. That truly hurts deep.

Now show us the --- what,  when,  where,  who,  and  how of its
solution... restoration... rebuilding... recovery... the efforts to rise from a very very horrible fate.

Show us the spirit of ---  hope,  faith,  prayer, compassion, brotherhood,  courage, unity, generosity, the national and global community separately and collectively towards a singular cause, the basic goodness of man ........... show us the spirit of life!  Show us GOD at work!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


BAYANIHAN ------  n. A Filipino term taken from the word 'bayan', referring to a nation, town or community;  bayanihan refers to the spirit of communal unity to achieve a common purpose.

Here are a few random images, in good or bad weather.  The spirit shines even brighter --- something you can't douse cold, Haiyan/Yolanda!

One nation ----- One bayanihan.   One world ----- One bayanihan.

Moving house with bayanihan effort.
Landslide with the spirit in action.
The same spirit braving the high flood waters.
Volunteers, young and old, packing sacks of aid.
All together now...... p-u-s-h!!!
The spirit shining brightly in the young.
Brothers for a common cause.
One world --- One bayanihan.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Haiyan smashes through the Visayas.

Haiyan obliterates the coastal homes in Tacloban City, Leyte.
Super storm Haiyan flattens Guiuan, Samar.

Haiyan in Catanduanes City.

Haiyan topples down a giant Christmas Tree in Cebu City, Cebu.

I'm lost for words ----------

Rebuilding....  but not without you, God!

Please help via

(Pictures provided for on/by the internet.)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Two quotes I got in my inbox ... wonderful quotes on the pursuit of happiness.

----- "Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it."  -- Andy Rooney

----- "We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have."  -- Frederick Keonig

Both quotes say what we need to see, hear, and listen to. We all are chasing after happiness in some way or another, tangibly or intangibly, believing that happiness should be found outside of ourselves and certainly not from within. What a big lie! We have been brainwashed to believe that happiness is achieved from buying a gorgeous red dress with matching red stilettos, a new gadget, new house and car, much money in the bank, travel round the world, a high position and corresponding paycheck, and the like. Oh but I'm not saying all that is bad. We know that those things can lend us some amount of happiness and does help ease the drudgery of living and could be useful perks in life. Yes, I wouldn't mind a fat bank account myself. But, and it doesn't end there ... there must be more to it than just acquiring things.

There is! And it's right here .. in ourselves. It's called learning how to appreciate and value the simple pleasures and joys of life and living. Yet so simple that we often tend to take it for granted or consider it just part of the furniture. Ordinary, nakasanayan na eh. So we treat it as 'Okay fine, no big deal!'

I would disagree to that because contrary to what most think the simple pleasures of life are such big huge colossal deals. All are tremendous boosts to an otherwise mundane life. Life is crazy and we do need something to keep our sanity.

Like wonderful moments such as these.......
-- when someone unexpectedly sends off a nice greeting for you
-- when I see flower buds bloom in my tiny pot garden
-- when a nice refreshing wind blows the heat away from your day
-- when a neighbor greets you with a brilliant smile when you pass by
-- when someone remembers it's your birthday
-- when a man offers his seat to you on the train
-- when a young person opens the door for you
-- when the fruit vendor nicely puts in an extra fruit into your basket
-- when you see a glorious sunrise...  or sunset
-- when your pet dog snuggles close to you on the couch
-- when in the company of wonderful friends
-- when bonding with family on trips or travels
-- when having the family at the table sharing a blessed meal
-- when one day you find a prayer answered
-- when Divine Intervention gives you the solution you need
-- and so much more.....
Just be happy, everyone. True happiness, the kind that truly matters, comes from within. It's just there within always ready for the picking. Be blessed by it and stay blessed, too.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Big thanks to friend Mr. Quote Man for this wonderful quote......

'Tomorrow is the most important thing in life.
Comes into us at midnight very clean.
It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands.
It hopes we've learned something from yesterday.'
 (John Wayne)

Tomorrow gives us a chance for a clean slate to start our life with. Yet some say that we never get a chance in life. Well, this poem says otherwise. On the contrary it says that we get a chance every day..... everyday to create, to build, to shape, to forgive, to try it one more time, to improve on something, to live anew.

That's great, isn't it?

But did you see the catch there?  '.....It hopes we've learned something from yesterday.'  You see, the chance it offers us is connected with yesterday's lessons. Meaning, we will and can create a new day and life armed with yesterday's lessons and learning. We cannot build something with nothing at all. A carpenter cannot hope to build a structure without the proper tools of his trade and the necessary materials for the project. There always has to be something of value, no matter if it be minute or colossal-tangible or intangible, which will give us that mighty push forward to do something.

So what could those be?  Those could be many different things to many different people, I now understand. I asked a few friends and they looked back to their yesterdays or yesteryears in serious retrospect. To quote.........

'...  a firm resolve not to be poor for I have known the misery of poverty'
'...  a strong spirit to fight injustice for I have learned the bitter lesson that justice delayed is justice denied'
'...  to build on good character for I have learned that money and fame does not make the man'
'... to value good relationships for I have lost good people with carelessness and neglect'

To name just a few.

They were ready for it armed with the lessons of their yesterdays. Nope, they didn't wait for that  'one big chance in life'. Because they knew that they would get it everyday.  My friend summed it up with this.......  'You'll  always get a chance with your tomorrow.'


"It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands.
It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."

Blessings, everyone. Tomorrow's waiting.
(Thanks to the internet for these lovely pictures.)