Monday, December 31, 2012

One Last Note for 2012

It started with an unexpected turn at work. But God provides for He blessed me with a better job, a generous and wonderful boss plus the coolest, sanity-saving colleagues. Many of my dreams were fulfilled, a number of my prayers were granted. I met new people; was reunited with college friends and a certain person, who I don't often get to see but to my surprise, has been in my life all along -- and I hope and pray that it is also in His plan that years from now, this person would eventually be the answer to my prayer and that this individual will stay in my life for good. Yes, I am not expecting it in the soonest time for I believe that the things worth having will always be worth waiting for.

It is my ardent hope that the blessings will continue to pour for this coming yer. Nevertheless, indeed, God is true to His promises.

Thank you Lord for the blessings and for answering majority of my prayers. Sayonara and thank you 2012 for being so nice to me. I'll surely miss you. Looking forward to the beauty and the wonderful surprises that 2013 will bring.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A December Weekend Lunch at Italianni's

It's the last weekend of the year. And if there was one nice thing about going to work while everyone else is savoring their lengthy vacation, it's receiving unexpected surprises. Case in point, the following photo:

Another dream come true before the year ends. :-)
A few weeks before Christmas, one of our lawyers in the firm, Suzette informed me that she was coming home for the holidays. And as soon as I returned in the office last Thursday to work the last two remaining workdays of the year, one of the secretaries told me that I should really get in touch with her because she wanted to see us. And upon getting Suzette's number, we ironed out plans about meeting up.

Funny but I was both on work and planning mode at the same time. I was communicating between her, my other office mate Karla (the girl in pink printed dress) and Duncan who was unable to join us because he was spending the holidays in Pangasinan.  We only finalized the meeting place the night before our scheduled meet up.

I was up early last Saturday. Blame it with my working hours or out of excitement but I will not deny any of those; because when I first found out that Suzette was from Manila (she joined the law firm three weeks after I came in in March of this year), I already hoped that I would eventually meet her. And fast forward to nine months, it happened. The three of us met at Italianni's in Glorietta 4. And what more would be expected? I was in a way, star strucked meeting Suzette for the first time (yes despite when she told Karla and I that she sat next to Coco Martin on her flight from Hongkong to Manila).

Just like the other peeps in the Australian office, Suzette was so cheerful and was also excited to have finally met us because she only hears our voices on the phone. Of course, we talked about a lot of things mostly about how it was in the Land Down Under. But then, what happens in Italianni's stays in Italianni's so I could not divulge them here.

Our weekend lunch was one of the best things to cap off the month. And Suzette was hoping to meet up with us again before she flies back to Australia as work resumes on January 7.

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Christmas Card for Dalton

To set a world record is this child's one wish. To some, this could be one out of whim endeavor. If not for one thing:

The little boy who hopes for it to happen only has days if not months to live.

While browsing news articles this morning, I came across the story of 9-year old Dalton Dingus. It was a story that was enough to bring me to tears. You see, this boy was given by his parents everything he wished for for Christmas. But his ultimate wish is that he live to break a Guinness record, and for a long, long time after that.  

To break a Guiness record, is this 9 year old's dying wish. Dylan is suffering from stage 4 cystic fibrosis and doctors had given up on him.

I know, Christmas was days ago. But when I read about this, realizing how people answered the call, I decided that I should do my share too -- after all, I knew I could do something. So before going home, I dropped by the bookstore and chose this card:

They did not give a deadline for sending the cards. But then, better late than never. Thankfully, the news article included Dalton's address. However, since the post office will be closed starting tomorrow until after New Year, I shall be asking my mom to mail this card for me. I had written a message in that card and I can't help but get teary-eyed as I jot the words.

More than being a part of Dalton's success in making it to the Guinness Book of Records, all I wanted was to fulfill a boy's simple wish in my own little way. Like what I have said, God also granted most of my wishes, and now that someone is asking for his own,  which I knew I could fulfill, I want to give it back. And I hope people too will continue to help him reach his goal.

It is my hope that my little contribution will make it to Dalton's door in time.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thursday Inspiration

Shot using my Nokia X2-01 in Sepia
Often the things that we don't mind are ones that surprise us; the person you thought was just "someone" may actually be "the one", and when you come to think of it, just when you never noticed, you'll soon realize the person has been in your life all along.

In the end, it hits you:  This is what "MEANT TO BE" is all about.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What I Got and Gave for Christmas

It's another Christmas Day! And one of the things that we all look forward are gifts. I have not wrapped gifts for quite a while. It only resumed last year and since then I thought of doing it as if it's a tradition.

I was not really anticipating a lot of gifts to be wrapped. I did some last minute gift purchases the afternoon of 24th. But my brother came home with the presents he brought and realizing that mom was still busy with preparing the food for Noche Buena, I just told him to leave it with me. I finished wrapping these three hours before midnight. And while I am not normally fond of wrapping gifts, (I always leave it with gift wrapping counters in the mall) I did the work since last year -- thanks to that episode of My Binondo Girl, I learned the tricks of the trade from Kim Chiu. These gifts range from toys, DVD, a watch, a huge pillow, books and dress.

I also received some tokens from my office mates. From chocolates, trinkets, beauty stuff, a very cute wallet and another year's supply of stationery and notepads (yup. I still have the gift from last year).

What's Christmas without the aguinaldo. I used to give out red Chinese envelopes but when my then office mate (who is Chinese) said those are for New Year and birthdays, I resort to using these money enclosures instead.

This holiday was also a time to fulfill both a wishful thought and a childhood dream. Two months before my birthday, I thought that I'd own an Apple gadget by the time I am 28; perhaps anytime in 2013. I finally got my wish three weeks before Christmas out of my 13th month pay. I just settled for an iPod Shuffle because aside from it's what I could afford, I knew I don't need something downright frivolous just for the experience.

Now, getting a snow globe has a different story. I had been fascinated with snow globes as a child and while it was years ago, I still get amazed whenever I see one so last Saturday, I finally got myself this Santa snow globe which sits on my table in my bedroom -- and it's enough to remind me of Christmas.

I hope your Christmas went as wonderful as you wanted it to be. Merry Christmas everyone.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas Promise

Dear ________,

Tonight is another Christmas Eve. How are you? I never thought that this night would come and I would find myself writing you this note. As I type every word, I wonder how your Christmas Eve is like – if it's the same as mine or if it is rather different.

As for me, I believe Christmas Eve is just the same to how it was years ago. I hate to take the seasonal joke that I am renewing my membership with the SMP group but then, it is somewhat true (at least weather wise).

More than thinking of how stagnant my Christmas Eve is, I can't help but think about you and how your Christmas Eve will be. And this is something new for me. Just a few weeks ago, I came across your page and read some of your posts. Some of them made me laugh, most of them left me amused, a few gave me a glimpse that you somewhat had a strong personality too.

Then there was this post that made me cry. I don't know why but it made me do two things that I have not done for so long. I could not even remember when the last time I sobbed so hard and so long was; but on the night I read what you have written, I found myself crying my heart out.

I just knew that unintentionally, I was shedding tears for someone else's grief and it's not a common thing. For the longest time I wondered how it is like coming home to someone else. Being welcomed by someone you see as significant after a long, tiring day and being asked how it has been. And coming across your words, I realized that in a way, someone else feels that way too. But I never expected that person to be you.

You have always told me that things happen for a purpose; I suppose there is one reason why just like you, I'm still on my own this Christmas Eve. I don’t know what will be in store for me for completing the nine evening novena masses this year. But despite finding it difficult to express my thoughts, I tried hard to tell God about my hope for an answered prayer to something I have been asking Him for so long. Years ago, I made a promise – to take care and stand by the side of someone I thought He had planned for me. While I knew I seriously wanted to fulfill this pledge, God has His reason why He declined. I told God I could not promise Him anything in exchange for my request. And this year, I asked Him again if He could grant me the opportunity to fulfill that once broken promise – this time, hopefully, with you.

The answer to my Christmas request is still a work in progress. And if God would allow it, I pledge that Mickey Mouse will no longer be lonesome and lonely anymore because at the end of each day, I will be the Minnie Mouse who will welcome you home.

One Wish, Nine Lessons

A few hours ago, I just finished the nine masses of Simbang Gabi. I was able to do it for four consecutive years and the last time I accomplished the cycle was back in 2009. I had to set it aside for two years primarily because of work-related obligations.

But this year was different -- totally at that. A lot of good things had happened to me recently and realizing that my schedule finally allowed me to fit going to church for the said endeavor, I really blocked the dates of December 15-23 to perform a sacrifice. It was also more of an out of whim desire for me to do something which I missed doing. But as I get to accomplish one night to the other, I realized that in every mass, I get to pick up a valuable lesson.

I wrote each thought in a memo cube in my desk at the office every single day.
And since I'll be on vacation, I took this home to continue and 
kept it in 
the page of the Bible which was a wedding gift to my parents.

In case, you can't read my handwriting  the following are what I picked up in the nine nights I attended the novena masses:

  1. The best way to show love and respect is to be willing to WAIT for the right time.
  2. A legitimate child comes from the womb. But an adopted child comes from the HEART.
  3. A bad news could eventually become a good news.
  4. If you know how to believe in the impossible, that is when and where MIRACLES happen. CHRISTMAS is a time for miracles.
  5. Saying YES to God does not guarantee that you will be free from problems. Instead, God will assure you that He will be with you during your life's difficult times.
  6. If you serve others, do it wholeheartedly and God will take care of the rest.
  7. Christmas is not about fulfilling the needs of the world, but fulfilling our needs as individuals. It's not about the decorations. The real meaning of Christmas is about Jesus being born in our hearts.
  8. Greetings, more than just "hi" and "hello" are affirmations. And when you affirm someone, always look on the optimistic side. People who affirm with optimism creates a path that leads to meaningful relationships.
  9. No matter how wonderful things seem to be, we all have our own realities to face. Despite of unanswered prayers, remember that God has something special in store for us.
Now, they say that once you complete the nine masses, you are entitled for a wish. It was the least thing in my mind. I had a hard time searching for words to verbalize what I was to ask for until I was halfway through doing this form of sacrifice. I will be giving out a huge lie if I said I did not dare to wish for something. I admit, I did ask too. But what I realized in the end was that doing this as a sacrifice was worth it. It was not easy to wake up as early as 4:30 am to go to work and come home at 10:00 pm from the mass, but God provided me the strength and worked miracles on my schedule just so I will still have the energy to make it to church. And when I think of it, God has been so kind to hear many of my prayers and doing this act that comes once in a year is the least thing I could do to give back with all the blessing that He has provided me with.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Friday Pastime

This was how my office's computer screen looked like yesterday.

Try it for yourself. Click here.

That's what you call Google Gravity. Blame it on my office mate, Sunny, I found a new toy :-p

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking


"When a wife loses a husband, she is called a widow. When a husband loses his wife, he is called a widower. When a child loses his parents, he is called an orphan. But when parents lose a child, there is no name for it."

I first heard these words from a Homily in the mass Fr. Jerry Orbos officiated  years ago and it made a mark. Today, I ponder on it again as I read through the horrifying shooting incident at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.When I first saw the Facebook status of one of my friends living in the United States, I did not have an inkling of what was happening. But as days passed, I would read one article after the other about the death of 26 people, 20 of whom are children the same age as my nephew and my godchild.

As I read every news on the internet everyday, questions and convictions form in my mind. More than just a venue of learning, schools are supposed to be a place where there is a feeling of security as it resembles the home.These kids died young and could have made a difference if they were only given the chance to live.

But they died in a senseless, brutal manner -- and they don't deserve that.

These children died happily anticipating Christmas with their families which will never happen. It is a sad thought that the Yuletide season will never be the same for those they left behind.

My best friend and even my mom once told me, (in the event of) death of a child, half of a parent's life dies with them too -- and it's among the hardest part of being a parent. The other day, while I was in the supermarket fetching the items I was to donate for our company outreach, I could not help but discreetly shed a tear. Despite that I don't have kids yet, I felt like maternal instinct hit me. For the first time, the thought of "what if one of those kids were my son or my daughter?" entered my mind. The thought was enough to throw my heart in a pit of inexplicable grief.

I've always had the belief that children are supposed to outlive their parents and not the other way around. And it is every parent's earnest wish to be able to see their kids grow up and be who they could become. If only that could remain the same way forever. Recovering from a harrowing ordeal as this would take years. I pray that the families of the victims would somehow find comfort from our prayers and in the assurance that in time, Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

What's Your Christmas Anthem?

Aside from the prevalence of shoppers hitting the malls, the presence of  Christmas decorations and the cold mornings (which does not seem to be so lately), you would know that Christmas is just around the corner if you get to hear Yuletide hymns being played left and right.

I've been so used to hearing a lot of those Christmas songs. From the the old ones of the Jackson 5 (yeah, it's revealing how OLD I am) to the likes of Mariah Carey and Britney Spears. But if there would be anthems that would remind me of Christmas, it would be these two:

Whenever I hear Merry Christmas Darling by the Carpenters, that's the right smack sign that tells me it's Christmas time. Yes, the message itself is somewhat gloomy (READ: the song that fits the members of Samahan ng Malalamig ang Pasko) but thankfully, our own OPM artists came up with their own rendition. Right now, I prefer Kitchie Nadal's version as it gives the song a cheery, hopeful vibe.

See? You would just want to dance with it rather than sulk and be depressed in bed -- which is not the spirit of Christmas.

Another one that I love is Last Christmas by the group Wham. I know for sure that there are some people singing this and hoping that, just like how the lines in the song says, this year their heart would go to someone special.

I'm not really thinking much of the message of the song but this reminded me of this weird and funny side story. In January of this year, I had this out of whim, (as in wala lang) thought in my head that if I do hear any Christmas song played not during the Christmas season, I'll finally "have someone special" next year. I did not take that seriously, but guess what? I heard this song being played on the radio, not during the "ber" month but in a warm summer afternoon. And it happened not just once but two times--April 26, 2012 and May 30, 2012 and it really made my goosebumps rise in disbelief. But then again, while it made me smile, I would rather dismiss the thought and take it as just a silly coincidence.

How about you, are you humming to any Christmas song as well? Do you have a Yuletide playlist that you listen to nowadays? Drop me a line and let's sing to that! :-)

Friday, December 14, 2012

I Know I Should Start Preparing

It's going to be Christmas in 10 days and seriously, I seem to have forgotten how each day passed by. It was that swift. While today is a Friday and I am home, I feel like I have left my mind at my desk at work. I still have not thought of how I'm going to spend the short Christmas break that I'm about to have, the gift has not been purchased, the appointment that I should make to meet my dentist and my optometrist still has not been made.

If there is one thing that's easy to accomplish is what to give the kids.

I have the weekend to fix a few things on my list although I don't plan to stay for hours outdoors because I have a personal mission to accomplish. I hope that God will give me all the strength that I need. After all, I have not done this form of sacrifice in years.

This note is going to be useful in a lot of situations!
I better get a restful sleep tonight. For sure, that's all I need and my brain's regenerated to think by tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Two Cents Worth Wednesday: Fifty Shades of Grey

"Katherine often teases me that I'm missing the need-a-boyfriend gene, but the truth is I just haven't met anyone who... well, I'm attracted to, even though part of me longs for the fabled trembling knees, heart-in-my-mouth, butterflies-in-my-belly moments.

Sometimes, I wonder if there's something wrong with me. Perhaps, I've spent too long in the company of literary heroes, and consequently, my ideals and expectations are far too high. But in reality, nobody's ever made me feel like that."

-Anastasia Steele, female protagonist, Fifty Shades of Grey-

These are mushy lines of fiction I know. But who would have expected that what I have always thought of my current state could be found in the page of a rather controversial best seller.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Appeased by the Butterflies

I had a somewhat stressful day at work. And while I'm not much of a fan of Tori Amos, her voice singing Sleeps with Butterflies brought relief to my nerves. I particularly loved the following lines:

You say the word, you know I will find you
Or if you need some time I don't mind
I don't hold on to the tail of your kite
I'm not like the girls that you've known
But I believe I'm worth coming home to

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Nine Months...and Counting

Photo: Google Images

Yesterday, I reached my ninth month of working for the Australian law firm. I joked to one of my friends that if I were pregnant (which I thankfully am NOT), I would be on full term by now and ready to welcome the delivery from the stork.

But for the past nine months, I had been blessed to receive surprises -- and by that, I mean a lot, not from the stork but from above. If you were to ask me how am I feeling now that I've reached this point, nothing has changed with the way I see it. I may not be earning money in hefty amounts but I am rich when it speaks to career experience and the professional and personal side of relationships. Most of my friends are both happy and envious (in a positive way) when I tell them of both the environment and the people that I work with. And if before, the word stress became widely used in my vocabulary, it has been replaced by challenge.

And just like my previous profession of being a writer, I have loved the adrenalin rush my job has been giving me. While I only get about six to seven hours of sleep a day (and would mean less once I start with my personal sacrifice next weekend), I don't mind coming home bone tired because at the end of the day, I get to lie down in bed complete with a fulfilled feeling and a restful mind knowing that I have accomplished something meaningful.

Nine months met and I am eagerly awaiting for three more for another milestone -- reaching my first year and if God would allow it, I'll hopefully be off to my first overseas business trip.

I know The Force will be on my side.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Two Cents Worth Wednesday: Chicken Soup for the Soul: Answered Prayers

"Prayer means placing ourselves at God's disposal so that, for a moment or two, He may accomplish what He has always wanted to do in us and what we never give Him a chance to."

-Louis Evely- 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Turning Tables

Photo: Deviantart

Even now, there are times I would wonder
How could it possibly be that a day like this would come.
It was both funny and odd;
For we knew each other for long.

We would meet at random circumstances
On the streets, on wakes and even on different events
We knew each other's past loves and how things went;
Regardless of how good or bad it has been
And yet, we called each other as friends even back then.

Yet here we are now years after
Renewing a friendship
That I never knew could really exist 
Laughing, talking and exchanging stories
That took years to be told
A bond that is filled with memories that who knows
We could share to each other together
Until we grow so old.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Advocacy: My Dream in a Shoebox

One of the things that I await during December aside from parties and the Christmas bonus is doing something for charity. And this year, it's going to be my second time to join the project called My Dream in a Shoebox.

Taken from their websiteMy Dream in a Shoebox was the brainchild of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) and TeamAsia's partnership with Children's Hour and Department of Education (DepEd). Now on its fourth year, it has become a Christmas tradition of collecting and distributing shoeboxes filled with school supplies to less fortunate Filipino children.

Just a few things

Aside from the usual wording, I just wrote
Merry Christmas from your secret Santa :-)

It caught me by pleasant surprise to find out that the charity event I am supporting is spearheaded by TeamAsia. I am familiar with this marketing communications firm because they were the organization we featured in 2010 when I was assigned by my then managing editor to be the mentor to our then neophyte writer, Jeff Zapanta for what happened to be his first writing stint and my final project (after four and a half years) with the magazine of Meralco Development Center (which is now First Pacific Learning Academy).

Anyway, we were given four options to show our participation for the project. I chose to DIY my box and shop for school supplies to be given. Mainly because I find huge delight at the sight of shopping for school supplies and because the bookstore is my happy place (second to Jollibee). And for this year, I did a little extra special by sending out a Christmas card for the child who is about to receive my gift. This is just a little share of what I could do given the blessings that I received this year.

I'm off to send this to our client services division tomorrow morning and the distribution will start on December 19. I am also in support of another organization which I will tell you in my next post.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Two Cents Worth Wednesday: Words That Matter: A Little Book of Life Lessons

I thought of coming up with this new category and naming it Two Cents Worth Wednesday. I'll be posting random lines of inspiration from different books.  For today, I choose Words That Matter: A Little Book of Life Lessons and this words of wisdom from American life coach, Martha Beck.

"People who are mastering something that fascinates them become fascinating to others. If you want to capture people's attention, put your own attention on something that has nothing to do with them; oil painting, cooking, wildlife rescue. The more you get lost in what you're doing, the more interesting you'll become."

Sunday, November 25, 2012

In Love with Dorothy

But before you think of anything, I'm actually talking about the clothing brand, Dorothy Perkins. 

They do have a branch just three minutes away from my office and en route to work one morning, I found this dress on display and absolutely fell in love with it -- as in immediately!

I only found the time to ask about this dress last Thursday. What they currently have was the same dress in red violet. When it came to the size, I (sort of) found it disappointing because they have the Size 8 -- and it's already their smallest size for this dress. I'm just size 4 (but Beth said she think's I'm either a size 2 or size 0).

The lady suggested another dress which she thinks would fit me (and I might like). That dress was this:

This was the exact same color they have at the store. When the lady showed it to me, I knew it would fit me well but the style was so sophisticated that I doubt  about getting it. Social functions that I attend to could be counted with my fingers so I won't really use this much. Besides, I was madly (as in head over heals) aiming for the blue lace dress (and I don't know what hit me to love it like that). It's just that the size aren't amendable with me (and my budget -- for now :-p).

Oh well, as much as I love the dress, if it's not really meant for me I can't do anything with it. But then, for sure, there must be something better out there that would fit me -- perfectly. 

Blue lace dress and wine lampshade dress images from Dorothy Perkins website.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

This is Friendship -- in 10 Words

I was at Fully Booked this afternoon looking for a good bookmark  for the book that I brought to work to read during my idle time. Instead of buying a quite pricey one, I opted to get this. Not because I was in a hurry; but paying a costly price for it would be a stubborn decision.

But apart from that, the main reason why I decided to leave the bookstore with this choice was simple:

What was written in it reminded me about us. The word "friend" is more than just a simple reference of how we call each other. I realized that this is the appropriate description of the kind of bond that we have. This said so -- exactly.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sneak Peak: Paulo Coelho Transformations 2013 Planner

A few hours ago, I got a comment from a reader (who decided to remain anonymous)  after reading this entry requesting if I could post photos of the inside pages of the 2013 Transformations Planner.

So I did some random shots this afternoon as well.

January- Waking Up

March- Experience

Pages containing the month features an artwork by internationally- renowned illustrator Catalina Estrada.

July- Sharing

June- Surrender

November- Possibility

Each month features a theme.12 different themes for the whole year.

The pages of the planner is made of quality paper, you would want write in a legible penmanship to make the most out of it.

Each page contains quotes from his books too.

The planner is available at bookstores.But  I got mine from National Bookstore after comparing the prices with another bookstore (I realized the other one sells the same planner 100 pesos higher than that in National). The best part was I got to avail of a discount when I purchased one in September.

I guess that's one good perk of being an early bird. :-)

Of Big Days and Answered Prayers

After what had been a long, busy 18 days, I get to sit down and write. Likewise, things related to work had kept my hands tied up, then there was that long November holiday weekend which I spent for errands and bonding time with the family then came my big day.

My birthday was a great one. I had a blast and so far, this has been my best birthday. I celebrated some "firsts". Last Monday, one of my wishful thought of celebrating my big day in the office as someone who's employed (and full time at that) was fulfilled. It never dawned on me that this was about to happen until a couple of days before. Incidentally, last Monday also happened to be my 8th month in the firm and my boss was generous enough to allow me to have the rest of the afternoon all to myself to attend to some appointments and to celebrate.

Photo: Google Images
Some things are worth the wait. Believe it. I've been saying that line for a lot of times. On my special day, this proved to be true -- because God answered my prayer. Aside from those mentioned above, I actually had a "real wish". While I've known myself to seek refuge in prayer for a lot of reasons, it was during this time that I found myself doing something different -- I was more specific with what I was praying for.

But it's not just that. At one point, I came across Eliza Wilson's article about The 7 P's in Prayer and thought of applying it to what I've been doing.
Patient- We all want to get what we prayed for. But God answers prayers in three ways -- YES, NO and WAIT. In my case, He opted to let me wait before revealing to me the best answer which was eventually a YES.
Perseverent I prayed fervently for my wish not for days or weeks, but for 3 months. And I did not mind doing that repeatedly; because it was during those quiet moments in prayer too that I found solace.
Personal- Use your own words when you pray. Describe how you feel in an honest and straightforward way. The strength of a prayer is not measured in what you say, but in how you say it and in how you feel.   
PowerfulWhen I first let out what I wanted, I admit I had both the doubt and fear that God will not grant it at all. But the truth is, as we learn how God works, as we learn to distinguish His voice among the confusing whispers of this world, we also learn to rely on Him. It's all about three things: FAITH, TRUST and above all, LOVE.
Passionate- It means putting your heart and soul into something. You can’t be cold-hearted in prayer. God sometimes wants us to take risks. For unless we try, we will never really know.
 ProfoundA profound prayer can be a prayer reflecting your most hidden inner feelings.
PositiveWe don’t know the complex mechanisms of this universe and how it all works. But we do know there is a balance between good and evil, between positive and negative. God doesn't ask us to understand. But He does want us to stick to the positive side. In the course of three months that I was praying, there were moments when I'd just feel my wish won't come true. But it was at that same time when something would remind me to BELIEVE IT WILL HAPPEN. IT REALLY WILL.
In a way, it was all about believing, praying and working on it that made things happen. Funny but a few days ago, I was telling someone, "that line in the movie when Bea said not because you want it, you'll get it is wrong. It's completely Hollywood :-p"

Because God's Will is what is in your deepest desire. And if Divine Providence intervenes, you do really get what you pray for.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Chasing Sunrise

Photo: Google Images

Today's the first day of my new schedule. While it's just 30 minutes ahead of my previous assignment, trying to catch the sun as it shows up in the morning never felt good. It's such a wonderful, amazing feeling walking to the office with the morning breeze and the sun kissing my face. It's one of the most refreshing sights to behold too.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Preparing the Panic Button

I told myself I won't think too much until the calendar says it's going to be in 20 days. There's something bound to happen 22 days from now and few weeks ago, I made a list of things to do. Some are meaningful, the others necessary.

I think I listed 10. And out of those ten things, I still have 6 left undone. I was up to finish them but because I was given with an assignment by my boss three weeks ago (which might be extended, given that my boss seems to be impressed with how I am currently doing), fulfilling the plans needed to take a backseat while some things in the agenda needed to be placed in a different slot. Case in point, I had been attending novenas daily for three weeks but because I had to to temporarily fill in for someone's job description, had to move my lunch hour which also meant that I would have to do something to compensate missing the novena masses.

Thankfully, I get to find a lot of time to spend quiet moments in prayer after work just before I head home.

The 20-day thought is in two days. I have 6 things left to do in my list and while the thought of leaving things undone had entered my mind, I just don't want to give up that I'd be able to finish them just in time for the big day .

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What's on My Mind as Sung by Maroon 5

There were these thoughts running in my mind for some months now. And I found a perfect description through this song. While the best part is in the chorus, these lines got me best:

You're such a hard act for me to follow
Love me today don't leave me tomorrow, yeah
But if I fall for you, i'll never recover
If I fall for you, I'll never be the same.

To sum it all: If I fall for you, I'll never be the same.

Sometimes, it gives off that good feeling just thinking how it's like to fall and love someone.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sweet Relief

Another Wednesday in my workweek. But this time, I had to deal with a fast-paced working environment; dividing my body in between clients on the phone, dictations needed to be finished and documents that had to be attended to -- urgently.

And just when I thought that was it, I had almost went through a heated argument with someone  who gave me the biggest disappointment first thing in the morning (talk about timing, really). I was fuming mad deep within but decided not to engage in any exchange of words (it's hard to argue with shallow-minded people who just would not stop yakking) knowing that it will just be a waste of time, and I am not paid by my boss for such kind of crap.

I knew I had to do something to lift my mood; my office mate Kat has been mentioning about this pastry shop, Gigi Coffee & Cupcakes. During lunch, I decided to hop by the said store and try their cupcakes. Upon entering the store, I noticed the minimalist, cozy vibe. The green and white interiors were refreshing. And for their products, I got myself these:

This was my half-eaten Buttercream Cupcake. Sorry for the shot, I was already in the middle of enjoying it when I realized to take a photo using my phone. The first thing I told Kat about this was it tastes like milk -- condensed milk.


This was one of their best sellers, the Red Velvet cupcake. All the while as I was enjoying my buttercream cupcake, I am tempted at trying this one too, but decided against it and took this home as my pasalubong to Mama instead.

Their cupcakes are eye candy. Now if you're to ask my verdict, while I loved that the cupcakes were chewy, moist and somewhat melts in the mouth, it's tad too sweet for my taste. Mama has the same thing to say too. Their cupcakes costs 40 pesos. Now, on this, we have different opinions. I think it's reasonable, Mama was surprised and protested at that.

Oh well, I don't plan to eat this everyday. At least I got to try -- for a change.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

An Oxygen-Less Soul

Prior to the implementation of Anti-Cyberime Law, I have been fond of utilizing social media to the point that I totally neglected the vintage way  of placing things in black and white. In a way, I knew I had my own moments of "lapse of judgement" in taking advantage of the benefits of cyberspace.

The newly-administered law was somewhat a blessing and a bother. Given its provisions, it would be a big help especially for people who experienced and are still experiencing the perils of the Internet and it's vehicles (Facebook, blogs and Twitter to name a few). In a way, having this ordinance could further promote responsibility with the use of these social media.

It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time.
While it has its pros, there are some disadvantages to it as well. I believe that reviewing the provisions and  the probability of amending it is necessary. While there is no such thing as absolute freedom, robbing people with the right to exercise their opinion is like depriving someone the right to live. Don't get me wrong. I was once a victim of cyber bullying and while this law could be an effective panacea, I can't say I'm for it but nor am I against it either. The thing about me is that I have difficulty expressing my feelings (anger included) verbally and so I do it in written form. But with the Anti-Cybercrime Law working, it calls not just to be careful but EXTRA careful.

I still believe freedom is not dead. I'm not an oxygen-less soul (yet) and those piles of old journal could prove that (for me). It's still my  sanctuary of comfort. They do tell a lot of stories, compiled my rants, my dumb moments, knew who made me cry then and who could be making me happy now. What's in this blog is just a crumb compared to the whole cake that these diaries keep.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Seventh Heaven

There's a reason to feel like being on top of the world.
The Chinese people has this belief that 7 is a lucky number. Well, I do have a quarter of that since my great grandmother is Chinese so I guess I am entitled to receive some amount of "luck". Yesterday, I celebrated my seventh month of being with and working for the law firm. And while I was reserving the party for the next few weeks, I had to give in to my whim to celebrate the day.

When I got the job in March this year, there has always been a question of how long will this be. In the past, it has always been my prayer that God would let me just get through the first six months. I just don't know why it has been that way. Probably because in my head, I would feel more safe if I would be able to get through the first 180 days of uncertainty and after that, I could finally breathe a sigh of relief.

But just like the Bible verse said, "don't worry about tomorrow. It will deal on its own." The first few days were more of adjusting which was normal and as the days come and go, I realized things have been getting better. I remember telling my friend Januver that while this is a job, I still feel like going to school every single day of my life. And it indeed is; because I keep learning something new each passing day. As of this moment, I've been on the second week of taking an interim post to cover the job of two assistants while they are on leave. Funny but when I accepted it, the hesitation came afterwards; something that I was upfront in telling my boss about. And all the while that I was stressing about will I fair or fail with the tasks, I would later find out that the boss offered me the job because he believed that I was the right person to do it.

I just needed to believe in myself -- the same way that the boss believed in me.

Yesterday, I got to talk to the boss again. Just as we were about to end the phone call, he began his sentence with "and one more thing". Now, this sent some shivers in my spine because I thought I might have screwed something up or perhaps, he wants me to do another assigned task. But instead, I heard the lines that I never expected.

"You've been doing great (with the job). Things have been better since we started having you around and I thought I had to let you know."

I only manged to utter a surprised "oh" (and with a Filipino accent at that) in disbelief over what I just heard. All I knew was that I was just happily doing my job with a fulfilled heart like how it has been in the past months. I knew it was just a random thought when I said "surprise me". Maybe God was randomly visiting Facebook and chanced upon what I said. We wrapped the conversation and I went back to work gratified. The wonderful feedback did not immediately sink in my head. But when I was already in the comfort of my own home, it was then when I tried to play it again in my head and it is enough to cause those happy tears to escape.

God willing, next month will be a double celebration. I keep praying that this is going to be for the long haul.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It Has Been 10 Years

I was about to hit the sack when I realized about something related to this day. And so, before I went to say my night prayers, I decided going through one of my old journals. From there, I found an entry written on this same day, October 3 in 2007 and found the event.
Today marks the 10th year since my college school mate, C passed away. She was just 20 then and I was only17. She died in a motorcycle accident and her untimely demise was the reason why I had always been scared of riding motorcycles. Yes, I tried back riding with a friend in my sophomore year but together with that experience was the fear and the memory of what happened to her, despite of the fact that I was not there. So I never dared to ride motorcycles again.

But aside from that, if there was one big lesson C's death had thought me, it's about seizing the day. The incident enlightened me when I was going through a hard time discerning whether I should be "more than just a friend" to someone. While it caught me in disbelief and sadness and wondered why C had to die in the verge of youth, it prompted me to recognize that I should not put any day or any opportunity to waste. Such thing caused me to realize that if the inevitable were to happen to a person without me saying or doing what I should say or do, chances are I would be spending my lifetime in regret.

A lot of things had happened within the 10 years. I went to places, graduated, made and screwed up decisions and shifted careers. I did not end up with the person I thought was The One but there is a season for everything. And if there's one lesson I learned to be true out of this ordeal, it would be this:
"Life is about chances and opportunities. We are only given today and never promised with tomorrow."

Friday, September 28, 2012

My Life So Far....

...had been going through some necessary change.

It is not the drastic kind however. I was asked by my boss a couple of weeks ago if I could perform additional tasks in the office. Realizing the urgent need, and given the fact that I've done the task previously in a different account, I decided to jump in.

I started with the task last Monday and it will be until the second Monday of October.  so far I've learned new skills -- from attending to concerns over the phone and creating appointments between lawyers and clients. There was an instance that I almost screwed plotting a meeting but I was able to perform the needed damage control. If there is another good thing about the activities I am handling these days, it's the fact that my boss has enough patience in teaching me the how to's of things (especially with the ones that I'm not quite familiar of) despite his busy schedule.

My colleagues overseas were most helpful. One of the lawyers had given me clues on who to give what on the first day which indeed made my task easy. And they aren't that hesitant to give a pat in the back sending emails even commenting on a job well done once in a while.

If there are funny changes this "paradigm shift" has brought me, it's learning how to finish a sandwich in three minutes (the last time I did that was during my days as editorial assistant), wearing my nightrobe as early as 6:30 pm and crawling beneath the sheets at 7:30 pm.

I know this assignment is just temporary. My sacrifice will surely pay off, and I'll be on a long weekend until Monday.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

There Will Always Be One Guy

-Who will view your being lonesome as independence;
-Who will not mind the way you look regardless if you don't have your make-up on.
-One knows it is you walking down the street even from the farthest distance;

-Who will be brave to lay his cards despite the possibility of an impending judgement.
-Who will compliment your hairstyle, not because it was a product of a break up but because it suits you.

There will always be one guy...

-Who will go the extra mile for you; even if he could prefer the easiest, simplest way which is of his convenience.
-Who will regard you with the way you use stock knowledge.

-Who knows how to use "good morning" in making your whole day REALLY bright and wonderful.
-Whose voice and laughter is like a song you would love to play in your heart and in your head over and over again.

Who can describe love in four, powerful words -- IT IS A GIFT.

And there will come a time, that you will find yourself including this one particular guy in your prayer -- that he be spared from hurt and the evil perils of the world; that he will always be safe and guided by the Light.

But mostly, that this guy would always be happy and that he would eventually have your heart.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Poem of Advice for my (Future) Son

Someday I'll be a mother
I shall tell my little boy
That the world is full of laughter
And he has filled my life with joy.

I'll teach him to chase the sunrise
On each day that God would give
And to wish upon the stars each night
As I tuck him off to sleep.

When he is old enough, I'd let him know
Life has ups and downs, soon it will show
Your test in school becomes real in life
Learn to fight and you will survive.

Go find a girl, treat her right
But don't dwell too much with love at first sight
Use your arms to comfort and hug her tight
But never use them to hit her when you fight.

Cherish your wife profoundly, make your heart her home
Profess your love sincerely and to her alone
Saying sorry when wrong will not do you harm
Doing so won't either make you less of a man.

You'd win or lose with each game
But worry not for the day that arrives is not the same
And one thing more, don't forget to utter a prayer
It always helps to make things better.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Wisdom from a Power Couple

I've been down sick for four days now; but I actually feel better today compared to the last three days -- I am just watching out if this simple cough and cold would lead to another asthma attack like it normally does especially during the "ber" months. I'm just relieved that there are not much tasks at the office this week so in a way, I got to really slow down on things.

On the other hand, I don't have any idea that being under the weather would somehow do me good. I chanced upon this interview of US First Couple, President Barrack and First Lady Michelle Obama on the Oprah Winfrey Show aired in May. I've always wondered how life is like being married to someone in politics, much more being hitched to such a powerful authority and finding this video was just in the nick of time!

I got hooked watching this. In particular, I liked how they answered some questions concerning President Obama as head of state, living a normal (read: common) life and Mrs. Obama's response on marriage. To which I quote:

On carrying the problems of a nation:

From the President:
"It's important to remember that I'm not there alone. I've got this incredible cabinet who do great work; there is a  bunch of people in our government who are everyday thinking how do we do a good job in behalf of our customers and our bosses. And I pray a lot."
 From the First Lady:
"Getting children in the good habits of being thankful, being grateful. We try to give back what we get because we know that there are a lot of people praying for us. That we know everywhere we go."
The First Lady on marriage:
"It has to be a true partnership. You have to really, really like and respect the person that you are married to. It is a hard road. Don't expect it to be easy molding two lives and trying to raise others and doing it forever. There are highs and lows but in the end, you can look at him in the eye and say 'I like you.' You'd go through that wonderful love stage, but when it gets hard, you need a little bit more."
President Obama on family:
 "What keeps me sane, what keeps me balanced, what allows me to deal with the pressure? It is this young lady right here and our two daughters. 'Cause when I come home, no matter what I'm dealing with, I've got people there not only do I love but whose company I just enjoy and will bring me down to a level of basic humanity, humor and make sure that I am not taking myself seriously. Not only she had been a good first lady but she is just my rock and I count on her on so many ways every single day."
When they were asked about the subject of rearing their daughters, it impressed me that they did not let fame get too much into the heads of their kids. Despite being first daughters, the first lady instilled that their kids know how to do household chores. In one way, this gave me a different  view that not all kids born into a political family would grow up to be spoiled brats.

These are just some of my observations. In all honesty, while I can't put all of them in words, this had answered the inquisitive thoughts in my mind. And I love the way President Obama threw glances at his wife as she spoke. It just means that as  cliché  sounding as it is, one thing still is true:

Behind every successful man is a woman -- in this case, it's his wife!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Caught Off Guard

Calling it a night after meeting a friend over post-work snacks and stories weeks ago:

FLICKERLIGHT: Ihahatid na kita sa inyo ha?

ME: Dyan? (pointing to his motorcycle)


ME: Ay, it's okay. I'll commute na lang. I can manage.

FLICKERLIGHT: Ano ka ba? Single ka na ngayon. Wala nang magseselos kahit makita tayong magkasama.

Okay. He has a point. :-D And I had to throw a split-second "what did he say?" stare.

In the end, still insisted on my decision of commuting as I have fears of riding a motorcycle; much more doing it without a helmet. But whenever I recall this incident, I can't help but shake my head in funny disbelief. And I will not be ashamed to say that I liked how he looked as he waved goodbye, and the way he steadily  glanced at my direction as the trike whisked me away to bring me home.

Call it dreamy, even such a scene from your usual sappy movie. But in my own words, seeing him like that moved me.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Blessings are Bigger Than Your Fears

I just attended the How to Find Your One True Love  seminar yesterday. Currently, I'm still regaining my strength since I had been away from home for almost the whole day.  When I first received the email announcing the seminar last August 16, I was naturally excited that I sent my inquiries and all eager to participate to an event I had, in a sense, yearned to attend to. Call it being caught in the spur of a moment but that's the apt way to describe what I first did.

But just when everything has been settled and I was only waiting for the directions and the big day, I found myself having these jitters and cold feet. Yes. I had worries. I did not tell my mom that the seminar I will be attending was about those single people who would want to get the know how of hopefully giving their current status a change and hoping to find answers to some questions. I was scared of being tagged as doing a "desperate move" so I just kept it to myself until when I came home last night. Days before the event, prior to getting the directions, I had been worrying if I'd be able to figure out the way to the venue and much more,  I had this fear of getting lost and being unable to make it to the event.

The thought of quitting came to my mind. But one advice worked.

"Never choose in the presence of useless fears."

I realized my fears were indeed of the useless kind. When I was on my way to the venue yesterday morning, I never got lost nor have the difficulty in locating Valle Verde Country Club -- thanks to the cab driver who was with his wife on the trip. Being in that event did not mean doing a desperate move for I met new people -- even friends at that. If you still want to call attending so a desperate move, well, I'm not alone at it (and that's too shallow for me  to be concerned of).

And talk about meeting people, if there was one thing that highlighted this endeavor that I braved, it would be this:

Dream come true! Yeah!

I finally had the opportunity to meet the guy behind some of my favorite Catholic inspirational books! Bo Sanchez was among the speakers in the seminar. I've seen and heard him preach on TV but the experience of hearing him speak in person was more thrilling. He talks with full conviction, faith and humor. I was also able to mingle with another speaker, Rissa Singson-Kawpeng who is the editor-in-chief of Kerygma Magazine. It's now that I think if I opted to back out with what I originally planned, I would have missed the chance of seeing and realizing one of my dreams come true right before my eyes.

It's just the second day of the "ber" month. I'm still 27 and little by little my "old" wishes are coming true one by one. Now, I'm starting to believe at what my colleague Sunny once told me. That often it's good to have some challenge in your life -- and braving it!

Friday, August 31, 2012

This Month, I Learned…

It’s the last day of August! Checking my planner nights before, I just realized that this had been the busiest month so far. The way I see it, this month left me occupied with a lot of things both with my work life and my social life.  

Aside from birthday celebrations, I’ve reached my fifth month in the firm. There had been some untoward incidents this month but it did not happen without any reason. Those events enabled me to realize the kindness of strangers, being able to be a part of something worthwhile, temper management (and I believe I’m getting better one at a time with it) and getting some challenging but interesting tasks at work among others.

But apart from getting older and being challenged at the work that I do, I could sum up my August through words and some of these images:

Cancelled -- in five minutes!
I can really live simply and still be happy minus the unnecessary luxury.

They say the early bird catches the planner -- and cheaper at that!

Some things are worth the wait.

Fostered Friendships
Life is what happens when you're busy making plans. Just when I had made up my mind to see a specific person for a breather after a bad hair day, God thought of giving me someone else who might be the "right one for the job".

I can't believe the "ber" month is here again! I should think about bringing out the TREE!

(Photo credits: Image 3- Januver Tiamson)

(Book) Love is Sweeter the Second Time Around

My love affair with books started long before I discovered fondness with guys. Before I fell head over heels with those hunks and cuties in school (and at work), books had kept my mind occupied most of the time.

Now that I am a yuppie, it has been a practice for me to buy a gift for myself every payday as a reward for the hard work. Prior to being bitten by the Fifty Shades Mania and getting giddy over Christian Grey, I had been a fan of local authors. Among them was Vince Teves who made a name with his Vince’s Life series. I had seen some snippets of the book Vince’s Life through magazines but was not fortunate to read it.

When it’s third and final installment, Vince’s Life:The Wedding came out in 2010, I was lucky to have read it. Yes, I decided to give it a shot despite being unable to read the first two books (Vince’s Life and Vince’s Life the Next Chapter Getting Over Andrea respectively). It was one good book that it became among my favorites in my little library. However, the said book was borrowed by one of my former co-workers and was never returned. For quite some time, I really felt remorseful for that no-brainer decision of lending one of my prized possessions.

But second chances do exist! While I was bookstore hopping on my way home from the office today, I found out that National Bookstore were selling some titles published by Summit Books – and it included Vince’s Life the Next Chapter Getting Over Andrea and Vince’s Life:The Wedding. What made me more excited was it’s on sale at 50% off!

What a steal. Indeed I’m one happy bookworm in love! I’m already excited to flip through its pages again (and I promise not to lend them!). But I’ll have to postpone doing so until tomorrow afternoon or perhaps Sunday morning.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Just a quick post for tonight because it's another long weekend (another work-free Monday, Woot!). Let me share two things I've discovered this week.

Sorry for the blurry photo as I used my Nokia X2-01 because I kept losing my digicam's battery. Anyway, I've had this book How to Find Your One True Love by Catholic preacher Bo Sanchez in my little library for six years now. While it's been in my possession for that long, I really haven't deciphered much of it. Over the past week, I've been taking a few minutes each day to read a page or two. And well, it had to be 6 years in order for me to clearly get the lessons discussed in this book.

I've been a fan of those songs from the past -- including Stephen Bishop. Just yesterday, while listening to the radio, I heard this song, On and On which is among Bishop's originals and one of my favorites being sung by a band named Pido. I never heard of an OPM rendition of this song until yesterday and it's indeed music to my ears, I kept listening on it as of this writing. It's such a refreshing version to an old favorite.

That's going to be all for now. I'll resume with my the research/investigation I'm doing. I hope everyone's having a great weekend.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Week That Was

I'm currently enjoying the first round of a long weekend that started two days ago. But prior to that, I had to encounter some ups and downs, hits and misses. Considering the following events:

Monday, August 13
Just when I was expecting to begin my week right by coming to the office early, it did not go as planned. I reached the office 45 freaking minutes late. My first lesson for the week: Never ride the Crossing-Highway route going to the office ever again.

Tuesday, August 14
I was able to redeem myself. I was at the office by 6 am. Although I am still worrying a bit about salary deductions.

Wednesday, August 15
While it's payday, I had to have my first encounter with another side of law -- products liability. And I received a letter about being endorsed for a credit card -- fuss free. And knowing that almost freaked me out. Read the story here.

Thursday, August 16
I received an email about a seminar that I have long wanted to attend to. Sent a reply back to inquire about the details of the event and keeping my fingers crossed for a reply.

My mom turned 60. I was excited to come home with the birthday cake but my excitement was altered by disappointment and exhaustion because of the horrible traffic in Rizal. The end result? I was able to finish a bowl of pancit in one sitting.

Friday, August 17
The reply was fast. When I was just asking for details, I received a tentative slot reserved for me for the seminar.

I got myself Paulo Coelho Transformations Day Planner 2013 even if the new year is still four months to go. While I was ready to pay the price of 495 for the item, I was given a discount and got it at a lesser price.

And that phone? just before the night ended, I received an unexpected phone call. It caught me by surprise because someone took the time to call me and spend a few minutes of his time to chat with me about what happened the whole day even asked me if I needed anything -- despite that he had the option to send me an SMS. It has been such a long time since I received a call as that. It was time well spent and I appreciated the person's effort.

I still got one day of this long weekend and afterwards, I'll be Cinderella no more because I'll have to return to the real world. But before that, I am humming this song:

"You can thank your stars all you want but I'll always be the lucky one." :-)