Friday, June 24, 2016



70. Seventy. What does that mean to me? Plenty. Have celebrated my seventieth birthday two days ago with my daughters springing a surprise party. Indeed a huge surprise because I wasn't expecting one But there it was... and another gold nugget added to my treasure chest of golden memories.

Made me think.....

The past is no longer useful to me. It's done its work in my life. Mistakes made. Lessons learned. With that there no longer lies a reason to hold on to what was or what had been. Even those wonderful times that filled my cup full and even took it running over the brim. It had made its mark on me, left its imprints on my mind, heart, and body. I am its creation.

The future holds no more promises. Well, not the kind when I was 20 or 24. It's more settled and defined now. The landscape, blurry and fussy before, is much clearer as I view it with eyes wide open. I can see both the forest and the trees. I can see the journey and the road.

But.. the present. This is where life is!

The present moment allows you to be who you are... pulsatingly alive in mind and heart. Perhaps the body will, too, but understandingly will be forgiven if unable to catch up.

One may chase rainbows and moonbeams in his mind and 'catch a falling star and put it in your pocket'.. (as an old song goes).. 'and never let it fade away'. One may gallop down the full spectrum of emotions... happy, ecstatic, sad, lonely, angry, morose, or just down right silly. Who cares?!! It's life! One is given just that moment to live it. So live it!

This is where I am me now. No more 'I-should-do-this-because' ...or... 'what-would-they-think-if-I-did'. This is where I connect deeply with the wind in my hair, the sun in my face, the wild chirping of birds in my ear, the enjoyment of gazing at starry nights, watching flowers a-bloom down the meadows bathed in color and beauty. Savoring. Relishing. Enjoying. Liking. Faltering and stumbling but Loving it all just the same!!

What a lovely place, time, and moment to be! Thank God for 70!

Monday, June 20, 2016


My daughter and I were walking out to the main street to get a ride to the mall, on an errand... when two ladies hurriedly walked past us. One looking in her twenties and the other apparently thrice her age. Overheard this.....

Young girl: "Bilis-bilisan nyo naman, nay. Ang kupad-kupad nyong maglakad!" (Walk faster, will yuh, mom? You're so slow!"

Old lady: "Eto nga, anak, mabilis na nga." "Doing my best."

Although the younger one showed such insensitivity to her aging mother, let's withhold judgement there because we do not know their stories. Or maybe they really have to hurry to catch up on something important. But I did form an unpleasant impression of that young girl in my mind. I was seething with anger, in fact.

But it made me think.....

On other occasions have I heard of similar words by the young. Sometimes even said in banter to and with their friends. Words such as......

"Para kang matanda; ang kulit-kulit mo ah!" (You're so annoying, like an old person!"

"Ang malilimutin mo naman. Para kang tanda." (You're so forgetful, just like an oldie!"

"Ano ba! Balat-sibuyas.. para kang lola." (Overly sensitive bloke! Just like granny."

"Ano ba! Dali mong matapilok. Tanda mo na ba!?" (Missed your step again! Are you that old!?)

That sounds so mean, harsh, and inconsiderate, even if it be true... or it be a joke. Sure older people can be ofttimes forgetful, repetitively annoying, and buckle down easily in their steps. But that is just the natural course of age and aging. We all know that. It's as normal as eating pizza pie. So why be mean about it just because in their company you would have to slow down or unwillingly rethink the usual things you would be doing in your own 'young' time, space, and world.

Let's nudge your memory a bit, young lady.....

Do you remember when your mom would patiently guide you through your first baby steps?  Or those long sleepless nights she spends by your bedside when you were sick?  Or those times when she listens attentively and patiently to your rambling mumbling incoherent stories?  Or those times when you stumbled and fell but she was quicker at catching you... every time?

This I have learned...... Life is not all about you. When you're done growing up (the time when everything is indeed about you), then it becomes time to think of others, too. Even care for them, serve, shield or protect, encourage or inspire them, maybe teach them too. In fact, if you have learned your lessons well you do all of those things alongside growing up.

Most importantly, at whatever your age --- always... "Be kind."

God bless you with everything good.

Friday, June 17, 2016


This line from a quote may come across as somewhat stern (medyo taray) to some. But I think that's not the intention. It's more of real good simple truth.

To quote:
"I am responsible only for what I say not for what you understand."    --Unknown.

We never can read a person's mind, no matter how close that person is to us. The mind is a mystery and always will be. So is the heart.
So then when I say things or write my thoughts down, I do not expect listeners or readers to see it or understand it the way I would want it understood. Oh but some do and I consider it such a blessing and appreciate it much. But also some won't or can't or will not. Still good, I respect the differences of our respective histories and nature. People are as different as the wide range of colors in the color spectrum. That makes it even more interesting. We may be looking at the same thing but when you may be seeing flowers I may be seeing its leaves instead -- or maybe you see some good where I can see only utter bad, and vice versa.

But I am responsible for what I say or write. I should be careful that whatever is said or written would not in any way be damaging to another person's personal growth or well-being…..… Would not detract from the beauty of his god-given nature and soul…..… Would not diminish his self-worth…..… Would give credit where credit is due…..… and would not feed his fears, doubts, frustrations, or even bias.

Instead in great measure allow for his greater potential and possibilities to shine through and out to the world…..…. To perhaps help sweep away the cobwebs of his mind and help ease confusion and self-doubt…..…. To help understand the good and the bad that comes with life and living…..…. To help understand human flaws and imperfections and that God’s work in us isn’t finished yet…..…. Better yet to help clear his way or nudge him gently along the path of his own life journey, by God's design.

That's quite a tall order, right? But Mom would simply say to that…... "Better trying than not trying at all.  Remember to be kind.”  Yes, Mom! I hear you loud and clear.

I see it that we all are travel companions regardless of gender, color, culture, ability, talent, education, belief or temperament, creed or personal history. You are my brother or sister - equals in this common journey we call life.

It is a privilege and pleasure to travel this same road with you.

Here’s a wish and prayer that you and your loved ones be blessed with huge portions of blessings from above. God bless you!

Sunday, June 12, 2016


Two young girls, apparently students with their books and laptops open on the table, were arguing about the words empathy and sympathy. Apparently working on a lesson. Fortunately, the coffee shop was half empty as it was quite early for the usual coffee habitue's preferred hour. I was sitting at a table next to them with my usual favorite drink waiting for my daughter to finish with her errands inside the mall. So their voices riding on a pitch higher was no bother at all.
Girl 1: "Use the word sympathy cos it's more personal'"
Girl 2: "Can't empathy mean the same thing?"

Well, I didn't wait to listen to how they resolved their problem in the end because I chose to turn off my radar at that particular point and focused on my green tea frappe. But those girls made me think.....
Empathy. Sympathy. Easily one can get their meaning from a good dictionary. No big deal. Mr. Webster can help clear you through a hump down the grammar road.
Let's not talk about grammar here though. "English is not our first language. But we do have a fair understanding of the language..... thanks to our exposure to it via the printed word, the movies, the media, and the Western world." So says a good friend. So there!
If you would ask me, I like the word empathy. Why? It seems to me to have a much deeper connection and conviction. It's like all that you are is contained in that word. When you empathize you bring with it your own experiences, your own deep sentiments, your real understanding into that particular situation which another person is going through.
You know what it is like; you've 'been there-done that'. So then you can understand better. As your own stack of wisdom and ability to connect expands and grows, is heightened, by another person's own set of dire experiences, you learn to respond with genuine care and concern. You see more, listen more, feel more, understand more, connect more, and act better. Or pray better.
Then it even grows bigger to embrace all of nature, all living creatures, the vast universe, all of humanity, and the world.
This quote (on empathy) sums it beautifully.....
"She did not talk to people as if they were strange hard shells she had to crack open to get inside. She talked as if she were already in the shell. In their very shell." ----- Marita Bonner, "Nothing New" (1926), Frye Street and Environs (1987)
You bring all of you, who-you-are and what-you-are, into the word empathy. So whenever you say "I understand." It's real because you truly do!
Enjoy your Sunday, folks! God put in there blessings just for you.

Thursday, June 2, 2016


While sorting through my old stuff meaning to throw away those no longer needed, I stumbled on a piece of paper which was apparently creased badly like somebody meant to throw it away but changed his mind. It was typewritten. Well, I brought it out to the table and began to read it.....
I am even more.

Life has been tough. A roller coaster ride through hills, mountains,
and valleys. I had been bombarded with cares and woes that I've lost
count on my fingers, toes included.
I've lost chances. Plenty of them which could have made my life
different. I've lost people too which could have lent my existence
some joy and fun.
I have faltered, stumbled, and fallen a dozen times. All different
from the other, not the same, but I soon discovered that everything
served the same goal of my learning.
I fumed, cried buckets, felt sorry over lost chances, and regretted
mistakes. Many things angered me, and many more succeeded to break my heart.
BUT..... I have realized that I can't fix everything even if I wanted to or no matter how I try. Strange but some things sorted themselves out. Divine intervention some would say. That then saved me a lot of 'huffin-and-puffin' just to bring the bad ones down. A good number I figured out myself, fortunately. Yet some do not disappear and simply stick out like a sore thorn on the side. You just have to learn to live with it. I learned that, too.
Bruised and scarred by my own battles, (life is indeed tough, amigo) and yet here I am. Still standing. Because I have learned that I am even more. So much more.
Somebody up there must be smiling. I guess HE meant it that way. And you know what... I'm glad that HE did. Thank you!
Heyy.. that's my story! :-) I think it's everybody's story, too. You are even more. If you do not know it yet..... let me say this again --- You are so much more!
God bless you