Choices

When people ask me to define love, I say, "Love is like handing someone a gun, having them point it at your heart, and trusting them to never pull the trigger." (Sponge Bob)

When they ask me why I laugh at my mistakes and even write them with pride in my blogs, I say, "I'm not crazy. I just don't give a damn!" (Daffy Duck)

When one time I was conducting a group activity, a student asked what road sign I love the most, I said, "I like dead end signs. I think they're kind. They at least have the decency to let you know you're going nowhere…" (Bugs Bunny)

And when for the nth time a friend would ask me what do I get from writing, I'm not even sure if there are good old souls out there visiting my site, I just smile and say, "Kung gusto mong maging manunulat, eh di magsulat ka. Simple." (Bob Ong)

And last night when Eva said she wants to quit from her work because nobody believes in her, her boss got mad at her, she doesn't even have friends at her agency, and she's crying like hell, I said, "Either you stay to prove your worth or you quit and just show them you're a loser, you have to strive for your happiness." (MY original)

My CHOICES: I remained believing in love. I continued spicing up my mistakes and rewriting my life, accepting failure but keep on dreaming until words would fade into thin air.

Dec 20, 2007

How to Maintain a Healthy Level of Insanity

1. At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they will slow down.
2. Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.
3. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.
4. Put your garbage can on your desk and label it "in".
5. Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addiction, switch to espresso.
6. Finish all your sentences with "in accordance with the prophecy".
7. Don't use any punctuation.
8. As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
9. Order a diet water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.
10. Specify that your drive-through order is "to go".
11. Sing along at the opera.
12. Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't rhyme.
13. Put mosquito netting around your work area and play tropical sounds all day.
14. Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend their party because you're not in the mood.
15. Have your co-workers address you by your wrestling name, rock bottom.
16. When the money comes out the ATM, scream "I won! I won!"
17. When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot, yelling "Run for your lives, they're loose!!"
18. And the final way to keep a healthy level of insanity... Send me ways you maintain your own.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!

Hope you maintain your insanity this season so that happiness shall be untarnished with the worries of the world!

Happiness is your choice... Hope you choose the right thing!

See you next year... Gotta sign off for the Holidays.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!

Dec 19, 2007

How to do what I want (Daily Message from Paulo Coelho)

When he died, Juan found himself in an exquisite place surrounded by all the comfort and beauty he had always dreamed of. A amn dressed in white spoke to him:

“You can have anything you want, any food, any pleasure, any diversion,” he said.

Delighted, Juan did everything he had dreamed of doing while alive. Then after many years of pleasure, he again searched out the man in white.

“I have done everything I wanted to do. Now I need a job, so that I can feel useful,” he said.

“I’m sorry,” replied the man in white. “But that is the one thing I can’t give you. There is no work here.”

“How awful!” said Juan angrily, “That means I’ll spend eternity bored to death! I wish I was in Hell!”

The man in white came over to him and said softly:
“And where exactly do you think you are, Sir?”

“Laughing out loud!”

Sometimes, that is exactly what we humans do. We search for the most comfortable place to stay where grandeur and extravagance is the name of the game. Freedom ain’t in question because we can do whatever we wish to do in any way, whatever time of the day or wherever and whenever we please. But at the end of the road, we feel that what we have done is worthless and we would die just to change the life that we have tried to live. Yet, life is done and over with us. Chances are... there are no longer chances left for us.

"This is life!" so we claim. But is it?

Biggest mistake! For the beauty of life and the happiness we get out of it is our choice and sometimes our option, well, I mean, more often than not, our alternatives are guised in the meanest and ugliest features that our immediate tendency is to strike the goal with equal meanness and ugliness we shun away from it without knowing that such is our ultimate source of well-being. Success is but just temporary. For a minute of euphoria is an indication that we have to move yet another step -- to another height of our human existence. And life is never all triumph, unless we earn the stripes to have it.

I’m not an expert on this, but I have tried it many times in my life.

Oh, whining!

I’ve been doing that… but little by little I am learning to appreciate the wonder of numbers. Really beautiful!!!

Dec 17, 2007

A Woman's Light

The Woman more often fights with those she loves than with those she does not care about.

The Woman who shields her love ones is never overthrown by the turmoil of living. Her light is strong enough to shine through thick clouds of struggles and shares that light to others.

She, however, is often confronted with inevitable circumstances humans call trials but for her is just a variety of blessings. She tries to transfer these thoughts to her kin, that when her soul may part from her body, somebody else’s light will continue to scintillate. In so doing, she inflames her family and friends into discussion. Mind versus mind. View versus view. Until her mind is no longer hers but her family’s. Until her view is no longer just her own, but her friends’, too.

The Woman establishes her stand and proves her worth through her words, every inch manifested in the life that she lives. And everything follows. Every piece fall into their right destined places.

“Why do you take the trouble in doing that?” asks a bystander, “When the world is a many-faceted evil. What you do is just a grain in a vast ground.”

“Indeed I am just a grain but I belong to a greater ground. If I would just expose myself into the heat without using this heat to transform me into something of greater value, then you shall not be wearing that diamond necklace.”, replies the Woman.

Silence…

Then she added, “And Sir, hope you do know that minerals form in mass that starts in a single grain sharing to its neighboring grain the power of the heat.”

Dec 13, 2007

A Woman's Status

There was once a visitor who had been to the same barrio five years back. He wanted to see for himself the progress and processes of rural development. For many years, he had donated money to his favorite village projects. It was natural he would spend a full day visiting the farmers and hearing accounts of their achievements.

At the end of the day, the visitor left even more convinced and thoroughly impressed. He especially liked the self-help dimension and the evident pride exuded by the farmers. Income had doubled over the years. The people’s economic organization enabled them to manage their own credit, consumers and marketing needs.

There is only one thing the visitor found unacceptable during that visit. The status of women was below his expected standards. The women took second-class position yet they were as able and as hardworking. There was not a single woman among the leadership structures of the barangay council and the cooperatives. The visitor was particularly turned-off when he observed women walking a few feet behind their husband on the way to the farm.

It was natural that on the second visit, he looked for any change in the role of women. True, the economic and health aspects continued to advance. But it was the improvement in the position of women he keenly observed.

As the visitor strolled the familiar main road, he noted a farmer and his wife walking towards the wide path leading to the rice fields. He could not believe what he saw. The woman was actually walking in front of her husband. She was at least ten feet ahead. A sight unseen in the past and not heard of in all the years.

The visitor approached the farmer who trailed behind. “Hey, women have come a long way in their status. Why, your wife actually walks ahead of you now where before she had to walk behind as a sign of submission and difference to macho man.”

“Well, yes, my wife now has to walk ahead of me,” responded the farmer almost meekly.

“That is great!” said the visibly pleased visitor.

The farmer thought for a while and added, “Yes, she now walks ahead because recently, rebel bandits left behind a number of land mines and other booby traps.”



Now how about you, have you treated women you meet the same way as the farmer treats his wife? Hope not.

Dec 12, 2007

Frantic Mom!

I brought Gabrielle Yumi, my one year old daughter to her pedia today. She had flu since Wednesday so I gave her Dimetapp. I thought it will work like it always did. But last Saturday, she woke me up with a cough. I gave her Loviscol. Again, I hoped it would perform the same magic as it did the previous times she had cough and flu. Last Sunday, she had fever. On and off. We gave her Tempra. It worked a little because yesterday the whole day and last night, she had no fever. She was able to eat. Played a little, too. But this morning, my husband texted me while I was on field for the school’s promotion dissemination. Gaby had fever. Doesn’t like to eat and drink her milk. She seemed so tired. She cried a lot. So we decided to bring her to Dr. Gwendolyn Ang.

Her temperature reached 38.6. She listened to her breathing. Her facial expression changed. She made a good full view of her throat. Then sighed. Gaby has an infection in her throat and her lungs seemed to be covered by phlegm. “Dangerous sign,” she said. She wrote some antibiotics on a sheet of paper and recommended Advil. Then she added, “If her fever will continue until Saturday, including her constricted breathing, call me and confine her directly to the hospital. This may result to pneumonia.”

I was frantic. Pneumonia. One of the causes of death among children. The more I worried when I browsed the internet and visited some sites discussing pneumonia. And here is what I have read in
http://www.medicinenet.com/g6pd_deficiency/article.htm :

Infections, such as pneumonia, can also precipitate the hemolytic anemia in persons who are G6PD deficient.


Yes, Gaby was diagnosed to be G6PD deficient. Just an information taken from the same site:


What is G6PD deficiency?


Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is an enzyme deficiency of the red blood cells. G6PD deficiency leads to an abnormal rupture (breakage) of the red blood cells called hemolytic anemia (abnormally low red blood cell count). G6PD deficiency is the most common known human enzyme disease, affecting 10% of the world's population.

What is the cause of G6PD deficiency?


The abnormal gene responsible for this inherited enzyme deficiency is located on the X-chromosome. Therefore, the illnesses associated with G6PD deficiency occur more frequently in males than females, since males only have one X-chromosome. There are different degrees of G6PD deficiency, which vary according to the magnitude of the missing enzyme.


G6PD deficiency occurs more frequently in African Americans, Italians, Greeks, Asians, and other Mediterranean peoples.


The degree of red blood cell rupture (hemolysis) varies according to the degree of enzyme deficiency and the drug exposure. Usually, the hemolytic anemia occurs after exposure to certain compounds with oxidant properties, including drugs such as malaria medications (such as primaquine and hydroxychloroquine), sulfonamides, antiitching drugs, dapsone, and others. Compounds with the property of inducing hemolysis in G6PD deficient persons are also found in the fava bean. This condition, known as favism, occurs within a day of ingestion of the fava bean. Favism can cause fever, back pain, headache, nause, and chills.


How is G6PD deficiency diagnosed?


Patients with G6PD deficiency and hemolytic anemia can develop jaundice (yellowing of the eyes). Sometimes jaundice can occur in newborn babies who are G6PD deficient.


The diagnosis is made by blood testing which can demonstrate the inadequate levels of the G6PD enzyme activity by blood testing.


What is the treatment for G6PD deficiency?


Treatment of G6PD deficiency involves discontinuing the offending drug or compound and treating any accompanying infection. Recovery is the rule. Sometimes blood transfusions are needed when the anemia is severe.


Reference: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, McGraw-Hill, edited by Eugene Braunwald, et. al., 2001.

Frantic? I am. Now I am hoping the medication will work this time. Please help me pray for the health of my little angel.


Thank you so much and I shall keep you all posted.

Dec 10, 2007

CABAnata 13: Geometric Postulates... Life in a Mirror of Figures


Last week, I was whining about being an alien in my Graph Theory class. Last Saturday, I felt not much alienated in my Geometry class even though they were talking about coplanar and collinear stuff. Maybe because I got interested in the postulates our professor was discussing. I found them a good topic for my blog.

Ain’t that nice?

Oh well, it was almost a month since I posted my blessings. Not because I can’t recognize the grace of the Lord pouring down on me but because I was busy whining. That’s too bad of me!

Now I realized my disgrace. I am turning my challenge into a blessing.

Like what I have said, I found Geometry a little like my Graph Theory class. The postulates were stated so inspiringly that I nearly clasp my hands and sigh, “Can’t wait to blog!!!”

But what are Geometric Postulates?

Well, postulates are statements accepted as true. There is no need for us to prove. It’s like a law in Science compared to that of a theory or a concept.

We have learned five postulates and here are they with my every realization attached herewith:

Postulate 1: Space contains at least four non-coplanar, non-collinear points. A plane contains at least three non-collinear points. A line contains at least two non-collinear points.

Realization: Each of us, human and animals and all of God’s creation belong to a space in this universe. God has set forth a plan, a scale unique for each one of us. We may not be alike, moreso, we have great variations, but four of us gathered all together can form a space worth a majestic view of kaleidoscope. Three of us can make a plane with equal beauty. Two of us may create a point we can call friendship; which of course may be our source of happiness and contentment and peace and love and everything nice.

Postulate 2: Two points are contained in one and only one line.

Realization: You and I, as we connect belong to one and the same wavelength. This is the energy that binds our hopes and dreams. Whatever that is, I believe in the magic of the cosmos.

Postulate 3: Three non-collinear points are contained in one and only one plane.

Realization: God has a plan. It is not true that it takes two to Tango. In life, I believe that there should be the mythical three so that every dream would come true. Who are these three? It should be You, I and God. Always making the Creator the center of our lives.

Postulate 4: If two points are contained in a plane, then the lines joining these points is contained in a plane.

Realization: This is a confirmation of the previous postulates. When you and I connect and God is with us, everything shall fall into place. It cannot be that when our intentions are good, our dreams will collapse alongside a simple snap of a finger, because we are inside God’s ordained plane.

Postulate 5: If two planes intersect, then their intersection is a line.

Realization: People are for people. People are for animals. People are for all of God’s creation. We don’t stand alone. We interact. We connect. We intersect. Thus, we all belong in one and only one line – God’s line, the Cosmos.

These are the wonders I have realized in my Math class.

Now, I need not whine but thank God for the new horizon He has opened up for me.

The challenge?

To write a blog after every Saturday class.

Geeeezzzz!!! I’m just kidding.

My challenge is to accept the challenge and make every shadowy figure come in colorful hues of graphical representations for life is a compilation of mysterious but beautiful (and worth thanking) figures – literally and figuratively speaking.

Have a blessed week everyone!!!

Dec 6, 2007

CABAnata 12: Whining!!!

Geeeez… I still have the jitters of workload all piled up on our counseling cubicles. For one, accreditation is nigh. Then we have the annual Teachers’ Evaluation. December, we have Enrolment Promotions. All these at the side dish for our main menu – 100% counseling of students with follow-up and thorough completion of their Guidance Record Forms. Oh well, let me add a written report for every counseling session aside from the anecdotal documentation of some cases.

Then of course, I have this MA in SpEd to attend to, minor in Math which I claim to be my waterloo, but unfortunately, I have to live by and with it for the rest of I don’t know until when so that I am able to increase my marketability for my great American dream. Not that I am anti-Filipino, but because I love the Philippines I want to have my homecoming soon after I have earned enough fortune for me to build a school for kids with special needs – for my Filipino family. You know… great dreams!!!

But I must admit, last Saturday, I was in total mess. I wanted to run to the Graduate College Dean and hand her my class card and shout directly at her face, “Hey, I’m quitting!!!” or maybe, “Girl, I’m dropping-out!!!” or simply put it, “I think I’m dead meat!!!”

You know the feeling of being in a room where everybody knows everybody and everyone knows what they are talking about while you look so terribly dumb in a corner by yourself where all the jargons you are hearing for the first time are simply put on your face yelling at you, “Get the hell out of here, you alien!!!”

Hey, that is what I felt in that little room in my Math class. Graph Theory. Hell! This was my first time ever to know there is some theory about graphs. I encountered a number of graphs in my Statistics class, but never discussed Eulerian G and D or Hamiltonian G and D (whatever these mean?).

And for a little application on our first meeting, we had a seatwork which ended up to be our assignment and ended to be my burden that ended up as my topic in this blog. To share my little problem (that is!!!), here’s a sample of the Problem Set I brought home to answer:

1. Floramel has invited Noemi, Lucila, Jodi and Patricia to her apartment for lunch. She has prepared four sandwiches for them in advance, namely ham, bacon, tuna and chicken salad. Noemi likes tuna and chicken salad, and Lucila prefers ham and chicken salad. Furthermore, Jodi likes bacon and tuna salad, while Patricia enjoys ham and bacon. Can all four have a sandwich they like?

2. Draw the graph G with vertex set {u, v, w, x, y, z} and edge set {uw, wz, vw, wx, wy, wz, xz, yz}. What are the order and size of G?

3. A Chemist wishes to ship the chemicals A, B, C, D, E, F and X using as few containers as possible. Certain chemicals cannot be shipped in the same container since they will react with each other. In particular, any two of the chemicals A, B, C and X react with each other. Furthermore, A and B both react with F and D. Describe a graph that models these relation between the chemicals. Use this graph to find the minimum number of containers needed to ship the chemicals.

4. Janet plans to invite her friends Alex, Bert, Cindy and Dave to dinner. Alex, Bert and Dave all know Cindy. Construct the acquaintance graph of this group of people (which includes Janet) and use it to determine whether the people can be seated around a table so that every two neighbors are acquainted. What is the order and size of this acquaintance graph?

5. Construct a graph of order 5 whose vertices have degrees 1, 2, 2, 3, 4. What is the size of this graph?

6. a. Construct a n r-regular graph of order 8 for each, 0 is less than or equal r less than 8.
b. Determine the complement of each graph constructed in (a.)

Nov 23, 2007

A Woman's View

The Woman says, “Life makes an excellent mirror.”
Then she heads on to meet people from all walks of life. Never judgmental. Never arrogant. Never proud.

When people spit on her head, she just wipes the slime and moves on. When kids run over her feet, she just leans over to remove the dust on her sandals. When other ladies look at her with envy and contempt, she just looks back at them and smiles warmly. When men stare at her with passion and exaggerated lust, she just bows her head and whisper to God, “Thank you for beauty.”

The Woman never fails to see beyond what is physical. She even uses the flaws of others to clean her own. She uses her impurities to wash the total wreckage evil have set forth amidst her.

The Woman never allows others to humiliate her, especially her opponents, though she does not regard them as such despite their causing her some trouble, for she walks in dignity even when she feels incapable.

But in the end, which she knows in her heart, she can summon her confidence and wisdom to view the world in its finest form even when its inhabitants say, “This is what you call life? It sucks!”

She would just repeat to herself, “Life makes an excellent mirror.”

And let me add, “What thou sow with life; though shall reap.”

Nov 21, 2007

"What goes around, comes around."

One day a man saw an old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look safe; he looked poor and hungry.

He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was that chill which only fear can put in you.

He said, 'I'm here to help you, ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.'

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.

As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and! began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn't thank him enough for coming to her aid.

Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty, who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.

He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help , she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added, 'And think of me.'

He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn't erase. The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan .

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be. Then she noticed something written on the napkin.

There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: 'You don't owe me! anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you.'

Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard....

She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, 'Everything' s going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.'

There is an old ! saying 'What goes around comes around.'
Today I post this story I received from my Aunt Lib through mail, and I'm asking you to pass it on. Let this light shine.

Downpour of Blessings Called Friendship

Yesterday I was talking about reminiscing good old college friends whom I have lost contact after graduation. Tata, or in long, Teresa Ann T. Aboy, now Herrera appreciates the magic of google -- the reason why she found me. We have texted almost half the day to update each other's whereabouts. We can't just end off our questions and recollection of memorable days in college.


Then she forwarded me Issa's number. I mean, Karissa Vera-Tan. Words just spilled out like we used to. Though by now, we're all busy with work. Unlike before, we have the whole day and the whole night just chatting like we haven't seen each other for years.


Tata is now a school administrator of a pre-school. While Issa had her Montessori training after college and now a full time mom and maintains teaching toddlers in the comforts of her home.


Yeah... now I believe that dreams really do come true.


After all, as Tata said... "We indeed have grown wiser."


And being wise is following your dream. Being not afraid to live out your own legend.


Thank you guys for the friendship!

Nov 20, 2007

Another Blessing!

I just can't wait for another Sunday. Blessings indeed pour. I just hope things won't turn out bad by the end of this week. Though a while back was a thunderstorm at our office, but I can let go of that... what's important is having connected some links with an old friend, and hopefully another with yet another old friend way back in college.




To Tata, we have a lot of things to catch up with. I remember those good old days you mentioned -- a day under our mango tree, munching fresh mango fruits with bagoong. And those late nights just laughing around at our silliness and craziness and stupidity about love.


I just can't wait to see you, girl. And Issa, too!

A Real Life Story About Angels

A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan.

While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point. On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital.

Upon arrival in the city, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time witnessed to him of the Lord Jesus Christ. I then traveled two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident.

Two weeks later, I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I have treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines. He said, “Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by twenty-six armed guards.”

At this, I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone out in that jungle campsite. The young man pressed the point, however, and said, “No Sir, I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.”

At this point in the sermon, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day that this happened.

The missionary told the congregation the date and the man who interrupted told him this story:

“On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was preparing to go and play golf. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong I called men in this church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you. Would all of those men who met me on that day stand up?”

The men who had met together that day stood up. The missionary wasn’t concerned with who they were – he was too busy counting how many men he saw. There were twenty-six.



After reading the story from a compilation of cut-outs courtesy of Ma'am Alma, I literally had goosebumps and my head seemed to be so heavy with hair. Ah! Angels! As a child, I have always believed in them. Not because my mother used to tell me a lot of stories about them but because I had several encounters with them, too. Usually in my dreams. Dejavu! Maybe. Maybe not. But one thing is for sure, I believe in angels and all other miracles, great and small in this bivouac men call life.

Nov 19, 2007

A Woman's Greater Love

An article in National Geographic provided a penetrating picture of love in the extreme.

After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree.

Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise.

She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had singed her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.

Indeed, a Woman across cultures and across species has this kind of love far greater than an earthly love we can imagine possibly existing.

Hail to the Woman who imbibes this greater love!

Nov 16, 2007

Paulo Coelho Visited My Site!!!!


Dear Paulo,


Thank you for posting my entry in your site. I’m overwhelmed. Your books are really sources of inspiration to many. Keep on writing.


But just a little correction if you permit me to, I think there is some mistake in the link to my site. I tried opening it and it’s the Global Game site that appears.


Thank you.


I have finished 8 of your books. I’m currently reading Veronika Decides to Die. I have 3 more to go. Hopefully by the end of this year, I have completed my list.


____________________________________________________________


God! I'm truly overwhelmed upon opening my site and there I saw Paulo's inspiring grin on my Recent Visitors Log List. Can you imagine that? I am but just a humble fan and yet, my idol visited my site and even posted my entry in his very own website! Goodness gracious.


Ah! Maybe tonight is my first night this week that I'm going to bed with a smile of contentment on my face. This week has been tough for me. In school. In my work. With my kids. A while back we brought Garielle to her pedia because her fever came and went. Then yesterday she had rashes. Dengue! That was the reality close shut to my face. But thank goodness, it is not. It was just a usual tigdas hangin.


Hey! Hey! Hey! Who ever said I was no good to deserve some blessing!


Oh well, that reminded me. Can I make this my early edition for Blog Your Blessings Sunday?


Whoa! Too early for Sunday, eh!!!

Nov 15, 2007

CABAnata 11: Change, My Source of Fear

SPED 219
Education for Deviates

MAE 252
Selected Topics in Geometry

Math 275
Graph Theory

Does the abovementioned details look so familiar? You’re quite right then.

The list above is the summary of my subjects for this semester. To those who might have followed my previous entries, I might as well feed the answer to your question: “Why Math? I thought you’re going to take up Science?”

So I thought, too.

I have already decided… firmly (so I thought, too, again!) But after checking the battery of tests I have undergone myself in my Psychological Assessment class last semester, having interpreted it and pondered on it, accompanied by my brother’s opinion, I have changed my mind… to the last minute.

How many minutes?

Well, just enough for me to knock and enter the room of the university’s Associate Dean last Saturday.

My test result?

Well, let me support first my prose with my grades in college and graduate school. My College Algebra was 86, lower than my 87 grade in Biological Science; but my Statistics with Demography was 88 (I was even exempted in my final exam because our Prof promised that whoever can perfect the long test she gave will be exempted… and I perfected the test!), far higher than my Zoology lec and lab grade of 82 and my Physical Sciences of 72 (damn that Prof in Physics!); I had 89 in my Applied Mathematics while I had 78 in my Anatomy and Physiology lec and lab; I had 86 in my Inferential Statistics while I had 81 in my Inorganic Chemistry lec and lab; I had 82 and 85 in my Psychometrics 1 and 2 respectively and 86 in Taxation; I was able to have a grade of 1.25 in Psychological Testing, Statistics in Education and Methods of Research which is equivalent to 94-96; and of course, my thesis had a grade of 1.50 or 93, which I can proudly say that every painstaking detail of my Statistical treatment was scrutinized by no other person but me.

Do I sound bragging? Hope not! I am just proud of the fruits of my sacrifices.

As for the test result:

My Aptitude test told me I am better in Mathematics than in Science. My IQ Test told me I am good in Non-Verbal Analogy. My Interest test also asserted that I have an inclination to numbers.

Now tell me, was I wrong in my decision?

I have decided. I have six units this semester. I will take another nine this summer while having my Graduate Seminar in SPED. I will take another six in the first semester of school year 2008-2009 in addition with my Thesis 1 and Comprehensive Exam. Another six for the second semester with my Thesis 2. Hopefully in 2009, I shall graduate from another MA degree, this time in Special Education with a minor in Mathematics. And next school year, hopefully again, I will be able to seek a teaching job from a respected school like my present school. Degrees. Experience. Increasing my chances for the US.

But do I really like to go to the US?

Of course I do. Actually, I want to travel around the world. Visit Paris and even Istanbul. But to work there as a teacher, well, I’m not quite sure.

But I really want to earn enough money to build my own school for children with special needs. And the only way I can do that is to go to the US and teach there. I can’t be a nurse! The more that I don’t want to be a nurse!

But then again, as I am thinking over my plans, there is this part of me that doesn’t like to get to the finish line.

"There were two things that prevent us from achieving our dreams; believing them to be impossible or seeing those dreams made possible by some sudden turn of the wheel of fortune, when you least expected it. For at that moment, all our fears suddenly surface: the fear of setting off along a road heading who knows where, the fear of a life full of new challenges, the fear of losing forever everything that is familiar."

These were the thoughts of Chantal Prym when she was deciding whether to continue battling with her Evil and take the side of her Good by not running away with the gold bar.

And I think this too is my story and everyone else’s.

At the back of my mind, I am not also fully convinced if I can really put up my own school. I am afraid to take responsibility. But I want to help. I want to initiate some changes in this side of my town which I love so dearly but seem to have been laid back by economic advancements and positive technology.

I am also afraid to take the plunge because I know I am leaving something I have loved and worked for in the last thirteen years. Testing and Counseling is what I am good at. Though I know teaching is not too far from my chosen profession, I still have hesitations whether or not I can be effective.

And yes, I am terrorized by the thought of setting foot in a foreign land where in the first few months, I don’t have my family with me, that is, Ronald and Beatrice and Gabrielle.

I fear of setting off along a road heading who knows where, I fear of a life full of new challenges, I fear of losing forever everything that is familiar.

But I have changed my life with a flick of my pen last Saturday by choosing Mathematics over Science. I just hope my decision would suit me and would be kind to me. I just hope my decision would bring me to my dreams. I hope against all hopes that my decision can build a school for kids close to my heart.



Nov 14, 2007

The Devil and Miss Prym

“Ah! Sweet revenge!”

That was my very first utterance after flicking through the last page in Coelho’s novel The Devil and Miss Prym.

As the lines go:

She had only returned to say goodbye to Berta. She was wearing the same clothes she usually wore, so that nobody there would know that, in her short visit to the city, she had become a wealthy woman. The stranger had arranged everything, signing all the papers necessary for the transfer in ownership of the gold bars, so that they could be sold and the money deposited in Miss Prym’s newly opened account…

…”They’re going to build a fountain in my honor,” Berta announced. “It’s the price for my silence.”…

…Chantal asked what the fountain would look like. Berta had decided that it should be a sun spouting water into the mouth of a frog. She was the sun and the priest was the frog...

…”And now you are finally going to do as I suggested, my girl. One thing I can tell you with absolute certainty; life can seem either very long or very short, according to how you live it.”

Chantal smiled, gave her a kiss, and turned her back on Viscos for the last time. The old woman was right: there was no time to lose, though she hoped that her life would be very long indeed.

Sweet revenge indeed.

How Miss Prym was able to get such sum amount of money through eleven gold bars courtesy of the stranger is up for you to discover. So is for the reason of my reaction.

This book by Coelho is another worth the read that you cannot even afford to stop and pee because each page reveals the truth about life – with this, the fight of good and evil within a person.

Let me quote from page 39:

Good and Evil have the same face; it all depends on when they cross the path of each individual human being.”

The Devil and Miss Prym concludes the trilogy And on the Seventh Day. The first two books were: By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept (which was the first book of Coelho I was able to read) and Veronika Decides to Die (which I am currently reading). Each of the three books is concerned with a week in the life of ordinary people, all of who find themselves suddenly confronted by love – By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, death – Veronika Decides to Die and power – The Devil and Miss Prym.

Seven days. That is too long enough to change the course of life of any ordinary individual. We just wake up the following minute or even with a blink of an eye, everything in our life has changed. Even with the words we seem to be ordinarily saying can alter the life we so carefully worked on for years. Changes often come when we least expect it. And oftentimes, change is accompanied by challenges to test our courage and willingness to change according to Coelho; at such moment, there is no point pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready.

And in Coelho’s final note:

The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”

So true. There are moments where my Good and my Evil came hand in hand, both look so much alike. And I have to decide fast. Maybe, with just a flick of my pen.

Tomorrow, I shall tell you how.

How about you, do you have your own story of a week of grandiose change?

Nov 12, 2007

Bookworm's Pick 3: Happy Endings

Don’t come swooning at this one, running for a copy in the bookstore just to have a taste of those butterflies fleeing about your tummy when you were in teeny high, like the ones I used to have even with the mere sight of my crush’s extra-ordinary audio flippers!

This one according to FHM is not like that "kilig" you’ll probably find when a Juday-Ryan pair up is in the mix. The title is part of the literary compilation of short fiction by Luis Joaquin Katigbak, which usually tells about reinvented identities, emotional conflicts and Wednesday afternoons.

Argh! Tuesdays with Morrie and first Friday masses for me. Maybe with this one, as I sense it would, will make us realize that love is not all happy endings. That love has many faces. That love can either make or break us. Or even reinvent who we are. Or just yet, pursuit for happiness does not rely on happy endings but happy struggles because happiness is not a destination; it is a way of life. We may find happiness but life doesn’t end there. We move on. And in moving on, we meet failures and heartaches and more of pain’s other features. And so our struggle continues. Life continues.

Happy endings?

I bet my head on that if you can find me… if there is such… in this realm, of course.

Nov 9, 2007

Things I am thankful for:


I can’t wait until Sunday to blog my blessings. I just woke up this morning with a downpour of thoughts of things I should be thankful for. Well, if you’ve been reading through my blogs, there’s a side of me that’s slowly dying, of which I don’t know what! So I was just so happy that upon opening my eyes, my real eyes can now see through an array of what are worth thanking for. Let me enumerate:

1. For the alarm that disturbed my dreamless night. It means that I’m still alive. That this dying thing within me is not who I really am. Whatever that means! Whichever it is… there is still hope. And I am not backing out from the fight.

2. For my yet still weary and aching muscles for both working hard and lulling Gaby to sleep late last night while chanting over and over again, “Five little monkeys jumping on the bed, one fell off and bumped his head. Mommy called the doctor and the doctor said, No more little monkeys jumping on the bed! Four little monkeys jumping on the bed, one fell off and bumped his head. Mommy called the doctor and the doctor said, No more little monkeys jumping on the bed! Three little monkeys jumping on the bed, one fell off and bumped his head. Mommy called the doctor and the doctor said, No more little monkeys jumping on the bed! ……………” and so on until no monkey was left. It means I’m still capable of working hard for my family and I have kids to bring me joy in moments like these.

3. For my uniform that fit a little tighter than last month, snuggling a bit. It means there is more than just enough food to eat set on our table. There was never a day I have grown hungry or thirsty. I may not eat in expensive and glamorous restaurants but I am still able to eat. I think bagoong and talbos ng kamote did pretty well for last night’s dinner.

4. For the mobile phone load I ran out of. It means I have friends to text back to when they forward messages or text to just to keep in touch. That a peso is not important if it means maintaining friendships that have bloomed with time.

5. For the bed that needs fixing, windows that need dusting, and a house that needs cleaning. It means I have a home. It may not be a mansion with unslept rooms and untouched dining. Needless, it’s a home of a grandmother who grunts all day for back ache taking care of two snarling cubs but loves them anyway. A father who may not be in his tuxedo but only in his plain working clothes as he does the cooking and the laundry. A mother who may sometimes nag her husband but still a woman who holds her family closest to her being. And with two lovely girls who may bite each other and ran across the small house ground snarling one time and laughing the next time. Needless indeed, this is a home. And this is my home.


Ah! Tomorrow will be another day. And tomorrow, I will be with friends with the same struggle, much with the same dreams and thrust. Tomorrow, I will belong to a group of Special Educators. Tomorrow, I will spend a day with children with special needs. Tomorrow will be another learning experience. Tomorrow will either be another dying and living. I just hope, my evil will be defeated soon… as soon as when tomorrow comes.

Bookworm's Pick 2: Memories of My Melancholy Whore

After reading that long narrative of Love in Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I am hoping against hope that this striking title he made out for this one is not as boring.

Let us see what FHM has to say:

It begins with the line, “The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin.”

Ain’t that suck! Yucky as hell! But if you wish to read on, just read on…

FHM continues:

This slim volume unfolds on this premise (the quote before my interruption… Oh well, I just wanna interrupt to garnish FHM’s column with my own write-up!) made by an unnamed Colombian journalist (Isn’t that pathetic? Writing a piece about some character with no name, like a horse lost in the desert which has no name? pardon me for my interruption… again!) and teacher – a slightly talented man (maybe he doesn’t even know how to kiss and f*!), never been married (now I understand!), never been in love (a real asshole!).

Oh well (this is me, talking…), everything in the parentheses are mine. Then again, my interruption. I just wanna share my piece of thought as I read through the review. As I’ve claimed, a touch of my madness and spontaneity.

We move on… promise I won’t interrupt. FHM says:

This one is a recounting of love found at unexpected time (…sigh…) and place (…sigh…sigh…), a novel that’s said to be lifted from the author’s own accounts (…more sighs…). Even after an absence of ten years in the literary scene, Marquez’s style never falters (oh, well…). He throws in yet another masterfully crafted parable under his name.

A Woman's Pain

An unknown woman in the Ravensbruck consecration camp wrote this little prayer and pinned it to the dead body of a little girl. I would like to share her prayer:

Oh Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will but also those of ill will. But do not remember all they have inflicted on us. Remember rather the fruits we have brought, thanks to this suffering; our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart that has grown out of all of these. And when they come to judgment, let all the fruits we have borne be their forgiveness.

Betsie Ten Boom, who died in the consecration camp, steadfastly refused to hate the guards who beat her and eventually, beat her to death. Her dying words were both simple and profound. Listen to what she said:

We must tell the people what we have learned here. We must tell them that there is no pain so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.

That is incredible! (William Bausch, More Telling Stories, Compelling Stories. page 28.)

A Woman knows that her pain is experiencing the beauty of life itself. And it is a wonderful life to be lived until her last drop of blood.

Nov 8, 2007

Bookworm's Pick 1: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Hey! I’m done and over with him!

As a matter of fact, ours had a closure, unlike that first love I was talking about. Ah well, on my part, that is.

………………Silence……………

Oooopsss!!! That was a touch of my madness and spontaneity. Surely I know I wasn’t talking about Dexter my past but of a character in the selection by Jeff Lindsay.

This book gets you closer to the way of thinking of a brutal serial killer. Like FHM puts it, this thriller in a way introduces you to the belly of these psychotic beasts flaunting their cunning, deceiving side in the open. It lets you on his slaughter sessions, his rituals, and how his evil mind works. Though the book does not only focus on this evil side but also on the frailties of a more human perspective in comparison to other psychopath tales.

Oh well, at least, no matter how dark the memory comes creeping in, Dexter always had that number one spot even in my list. Geeeezzzz!!!

CABAnata 10: Happiness is a Voyage

First, I was dying to finish elementary and be a teenager… a high school bopper. Then I was dying to finish high school and start college. And then I was dying to finish college and start working. And then I was dying to marry and have children. And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough for school so I could have more time for myself. And then I was dying to retire. And now, I am dying… And suddenly I realized I forgot to live.

This was just a text message from an old friend of which has caught my writing interest. I pondered on it for a while. And not just saved it on “My folders” menu but copied it a couple of times on separate notebooks. It’s not that I have fetish for such (just a sort of…) but I find it as a good material for analysis… introspection… meditation… or call it self-reflection… heart-examination… and soul searching. Or it was just mere foresight that I am now to use it to share something good and of value with you today… on my blog… while I myself undergo what I usually tell my clients: “Reflect!”

Yes, I am reflecting… as always. Reading what nature wants to tell me, pretending to be a real alchemist, that is. Perhaps, it’s just my imagination. Or worst, my hallucination – that I was brought here by the tides of time for some purpose. Like some cosmic conspiracy as I have always believed in.

I’m about to finish reading The Devil and Miss Prym by Coelho. And I realized, I don’t have the expertise of Berta who can understand the signs nature brings or can talk to a dead love one warning me what omens are on their way.

Last Friday, I watched with the luxury of time the long break from school provided The Pursuit of Happyness casted by Will Smith. I may not have shed a tear, but only God knows how my heart broke as the episode unfolds. Whether the movie was right or not; or happiness is spelled with an “i” or “y”; or happiness should really be pursued or not, I find myself that part of Chris Gardener’s life as being true for me – “Running!”

A couple of weeks ago, I received a forwarded mail from my Uncle Albert whose in the US. I had no time to open the attachment though because it was 2.5MB long. I saved it until last night. Got hit by a railway truck a hundredfold. Because the content goes:

(Note: As for Miss Prym and the movie, I’ll save that for another entry tomorrow. Or next week.)

We convince ourselves that life will be better once we are married, have a baby, then another.

Then we get frustrated because our children are not old enough, and all will be well when they are older.

Then we are frustrated because they reach adolescence and we must deal with them. Surely, we’ll be happier when they grow out from the teen years.

We tell ourselves, our life will be better when our spouses gets his/her act together, when we have a nicer car, when we can take a vacation whenever and wherever we would like to, when we finally retire.

The truth is, there is no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when?

Your life will always be full of challenges. It is better to admit as much and to decide to be happy in spite of it all.

For the longest time, it seemed that life was about to start. Real life. But there were always some obstacles along the way, an ordeal to get through, some work to be finished, some time to be given, a bill to be paid. Then life would start. I finally came to understand that those obstacles were life.

That point of view helped me see that these isn’t any road to happiness. Happiness IS the road.

So enjoy every moment. Stop waiting for school to end, for a return to school, to lose ten pounds, to gain ten pounds, for work to begin, to get married, for Friday evening, for Sunday morning, waiting for a new car, for your mortgage to be paid off, for spring, for summer, for fall, for winter, for the first or fifteenth of the month, for your song to be played on the radio, to die, to be reborn… before deciding to be happy.

“Happiness is a voyage, not a destination. There is no better time to be happy than… NOW! Live and enjoy the moment.”

- Author unknown

This is just half of the whole 2.5MB message from my uncle. But I will cut it from here. I will head on for another reflection. But as of the moment, this is my struggle.

I am seeing right before my very senses the fight happening between my good and my evil. Of which I would feed, I know would win. And I’m not sure, in this time of my life, which am I feeding.

As I read all over my notebook of quotes the text message from my friend, I feel something within me dies.

When I turn page by page Coelho’s book, I can sense something in me is invigorated.

As I concentrated watching Gardener’s life, that something inside me is aroused – one with pride, the other with loathing.

While I wrote Uncle’s message in my blank sheet, an impression begins to stir in the deepest recesses of my being.

And even as I tap the keyboard of my pc for this entry, the uproar within me persists.

Until when?

I’m not sure.

And so thus, my REFLECTION continues…

A Woman's Labor

“What are you doing, Hon?” asks her husband one late evening.

“I’m ironing your clothes for the week, Darling.” was her warm reply.

“What are you doing, Mom?” the kids ask during a lazy rainy afternoon.

“I’m mending your uniforms, Dear.” she says with a loving look upon her children’s face.

The following day, her friends dropped by and saw she was busy in the kitchen, they asked, “What are you doing in there?”

She answered with a smile of fondness upon her lips, “I’m baking a cake for you and cookies for your kids.”

That same afternoon, a neighbor passed by her garden and saw she was tilling the soil, he asked, “What are you doing out here?”

Full of compassion she said, “I’m growing these vegetables for the neighborhood. You can have some for dinner if you want. Here, you can take these eggplants for your family.”

This is her… a Woman who labors not for herself but for others. She does things with much love in her heart, even if it means giving all of herself and leaving none for her happiness.

For a Woman knows, it is in giving that she receives more.

Nov 7, 2007

Hope I can have you!

Sounds sooooo romantic!

Conceited?

Perhaps.

But don’t get me wrong. I’m not man-izing, whatsoever. I’m perfectly in love and contented with my husband and I patronize monogamy.

Hope I can have you!” is just my usual outburst if I see books hounding my sight (even in my dreams), book reviews included. It’s the reason why I have my Shelfari account that I will always be in touch with the world of books. And of course, I keep clippings of book reviews from magazines (My hubby’s FHM collection is not excused from my scissors’ crime, cutting that is.) and papers.

Here are some of my list from Psychology Today (Ooopsss!!! I didn’t commit any crime here, eh!):

(Note: This is in no particular order. I just want the books. Hope friends would read this so they will know what to buy me for Christmas. Hahahahaha!!!)

1. The Myth of Self-Esteem: How Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy can Change Your Life Forever by Albert Ellis (thinking like a real Psych pro, eh!)

2. Secret Girl by Molly Bruce Jacobs

3. This Changes Everything: The Relational Revolution in Psychology (Argh!)

4. Self-Psychology: An Introduction by Peter A Lessem (got a dream of being a Psychologist or a Psychotherapist!)

5. Identifying and Understanding the Narcissistic Personality by Elsa F. Ronningstam (now you know why?)

6. Play Therapy Interventions with Children’s Problems by Gary Landreth (my being a counselor and SpEd teacher combined in this one)

7. Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire (well, I’m not!)

8. The Sociopath Next Door (tell me who the author is, please!)

9. Leonardo’s Notebook (who?)

10. Vampires: Encounters with the Undead (getting the creeps from ate Maan…)

11. The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond (our neighbor stuck with her husband told me she sleeps with the second chimp every night… real loud snore!)

12. Cell by Stephen King (I think this is just the second novel by King I wanna read, “It” was the first one. Just accidentally had the first though!)

13. An Argument for Mind by Jerome Kagan (sounds like a good read when I start to get bored!)

14. Crazy by Peter Easley (sounds like a good read when I start to get some nuts crumbling on my head!)

15. The Imperfect Mom by Therese Borchard (the Mom that I am, I must admit!)

16. The Naked Brain by Richard Restak (hope I don’t get bludgeoned!)

17. Profilers by John Campbell (do you have a copy?)


Well, that’s all for now. Tomorrow I’ll post some reviews from FHM (demure… demure… demure… uh-ah!) Remember that I’m a writer in this site, not a Counselor in a Catholic School!

Pardon me my Directress. Honestly, I don’t read the whole mag, I just flip over the Book Review Section and cut them and off my hands go… (I’m not keeping my fingers crossed for this one! Honest! Really I don’t!!!)


Sigh!

Gentleness of a Woman

Gentle Woman

Gentle Woman, quiet light
Morning star, so strong and bright
You are chosen by the Father
You are chosen for the Son
You are chosen from all women
And for women, you’re a guiding light.

Gentle Mother, peaceful dove
Teach us wisdom, teach is love
You are chosen by the Father
You are chosen for the Son
You are chosen from all women
And for women, you’re a guiding light.



A Woman’s gentleness eases not just physical pain but even of our brokenness. Healing external and internal discomforts by the warmth of her touch and the tenderness in her voice.

Like the Virgin Mother who in the Gospels, was mentioned only during Jesus’ birth, suffering and death is a picture of such gentleness. Her restoring presence was evident in Jesus’ life only when He needed strength the most.

Such is a Woman; her charisma is a gift to pacify disputes waged by man against nature, man and himself.

No woman is a Woman when she brings dishonor to her country and family. She is not Woman if she brings division and rivalry.

Nov 6, 2007

A Woman's Calm

“10% of conflicts are due to difference in opinion; 90% is due to wrong tone of voice.”

A Woman knows this fact, thus, she does not rely on wisdom alone; she makes use of her calm, too.

She does not enter into a dispute with a raging thunderstorm but with the serenity of an early morning breeze. Then she opens her heart with her own reason and listens to the other’s. In the process, she discovers that the pain of her opponent is far greater than hers.

The Woman then stops the argument and turns to God for deliverance – not for her but for her enemy.

People who see this would say, “She’s a fool! Why would she retreat from the dispute and pray for her enemy’s behalf?”

But God would grant her the prayer of her heart and says to the Woman, “I was never wrong when I created you.”

Oct 26, 2007

A Woman's Passion

All the atoms the cosmos is made of has conspired to lead the Woman to her dreams.

She lay there on the grassy fields counting the stars and they said, "Let's dance in all majesty that we may entertain her." Then she marvels at the beauty of their rhythm.

Then the grass felt her presence, they said, "Let us emit our most fragrant dew that she may feel the velvety moist soothing her senses." And she felt the sudden rush of calm from within her.

The wind inhaled her scent and they said, "Let us whistle God's hymns upon her ears that she may feel His presence through us." So they did, and she was more than glad.

The skies rejoiced at her sight. Thus the moon highlighted more the dancing stars with their rays of crimson blackness. The Woman was more enchanted.

Her thoughts moved about. Dreams flash like striking lightning. She shivered. Feared the unknown. Her desires swept over the horizon like ephemeral bursts of vivid hues. She knows some of her dreams are like the grass, she can hold them with her bare hands. But she too knows that some of them are like the stars, wonderful to behold but unreachable.

Then just as when she wants to give up on her passion, a wishing star came across the sky and landed at the tip of her toes. She held it with her bare palms and said, "My dreams are impossible no more."

Oct 25, 2007

Intellect of a Woman

One morning the husband returns after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap.

Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out.

She motors out a short distance, anchors, and reads her book.

Along comes a Game Warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says, "Good morning, Ma'am.

What are you doing?"

"Reading a book," she replies, (thinking, Isn't that obvious?)

"You're in a Restricted Fishing Area," he informs her.

"I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading."

"Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment.”

"I'll have to take you in and write you up."

"If you do that, I'll have to charge you with sexual assault," says the woman.

"But I haven't even touched you," says the game warden.

"That's true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment."

"Have a nice day ma'am," and he left.
Indeed, “Never argue with a woman who reads. It's likely she can also think.”


To Marianne, my UP and Shelfari online-mate, thank you for providing me this vignette. I truly appreciate your friendship and the strength of your character. Not all women can be so tough like you in moments of grief and sorrow. We may not have known each other personally, but through your prose, you inspire me to pursue my passion in writing, sacrifice for family and love for children with special needs.

For all Women, if you have read this, remember your intellect and strength in your character. Never allow yourselves be abused and misused.

Oct 24, 2007

Lessons from Warrior of the Light: A Manual

If I have finished The Pilgrimage in almost a month, I have completed Warrior of the Light in almost a week. This is not because I liked the latter more than the first but because time was extravagant with me this week. It doesn’t mean however that I have lesser work this time because I assume it is doubled due to the upcoming accreditation. The reason was: There is traffic everywhere these days! And last night was a tragic night for me because the bus I loaded in waited for almost an hour last night just to pack the bus with passengers. Then after a kilometer away from the station, a police patrol ran after the vehicle for not having flashers (Duh! Whatever that means!). Everyone in the bus was restless. I was grunting like hell. I was hungry. It was almost nine in the evening and traffic is still building up. So is heat. Then a passenger was smoking insensitively like he was the only creature in that side of the planet. An old woman yelled at him and he yelled back. The nerve! Some passengers were also throwing some satirical statements that the police was just worried his finances won’t suffice the upcoming Christmas season that is why he needs to make some money (Pangongotong!). Nice, eh!

But before my stomach get those bruises from ulcer, I opened a biscuit and started chewing like it was the most delicious meal I ever had. Then I realized, I had no water, so I stopped. I opened my book instead and read for all I care I almost finished the book. So this morning, I had only a dozen pages to read. Alas! I’m done. And so I write…

The best part of the book?

Every passage is important. It pictures the entirety of being a Warrior of the Light, fighting the good fight, searching… seizing his dreams, conquering it and living his Personal Legend as an important part of the universal history.

Let me count the ways:

1. A warrior of the Light knows that he has much to be grateful for.
2. All the world’s roads lead to the heart of the Warrior.
3. A warrior of the Light does not rely on strength alone; he makes use of his opponent’s energy, too.
4. He never resorts to trickery.
5. The Warrior sometimes fights with those he loves.
6. He believes that “To persevere is favorable.”
7. He also knows that certain moments repeat themselves.
8. A Warrior of the Light is never predictable.
9. Warriors always have a certain gleam in their eyes.
10. The Warrior does not worry that, to others, his behavior might seem quite mad.
11. He also chooses his enemies.
12. The moment that he begins to walk along, the Warrior of the Light recognizes the Path.
13. The universe is going to help the Warrior.
14. He carefully studies the position that he intends to conquer.
15. He knows his own faults, but also knows his qualities.
16. The Warrior of the Light knows that no one is stupid and that life teaches everyone.
17. Every Warrior felt afraid of going into battle.
18. The Warrior listens to the words of certain thinkers.
19. He does not however postpone making decisions.
20. A Warrior knows that his best teachers are the people whom he shares the battlefield.
21. He too shares his world with the people he loves.
22. The Warrior of the Light meditates.
23. He knows that he must act, but he must allow room for the Universe to act too.
24. He is also a victim of some injustice; he usually tries to be alone, in order to show his pain to others.
25. A warrior of the Light needs love.
26. He knows that it is impossible to live in a state of complete relaxation.
27. He manages to balance Rigor and Mercy.
28. He sometimes behaves like water, flowing around the obstacles he encounters.
29. For the Warrior of the Light, there are no abstractions.
30. He has the qualities of a rock.
31. He however knows when the enemy is stronger.
32. A Warrior of the Light is never indifferent to injustice.
33. He is never cowardly.
34. A Warrior is never in a hurry.
35. He needs both patience and speed.
36. A Warrior often loses heart.
37. But he keeps his heart free of any feelings of hatred.
38. The Warrior remembers the past.
39. He also knows the importance of intuition.
40. The warrior of the Light sits around a fire with his companions.
41. The Warrior is free.
42. To engage in any activity, the warrior needs to know what to expect, how to achieve the objective and whether or not he is capable of carrying out the proposed task.
43. The Warrior of the Light pays attention to small things because they can severely hamper him.
44. He though does not always have faith.
45. But he knows that no man is an island.
46. In the intervals between battles, the Warrior rests.
47. The Warrior of the Light knows that everyone is afraid of everyone else.
48. For the Warrior, there is no such thing as an impossible love.
49. The Warrior of the Light recognizes the silence that precedes an important battle.
50. He is a believer.
51. He has learned that it is best to follow the light.
52. The warrior is always trying to improve.
53. A Warrior of the Light is reliable.
54. He knows that there are occasional pauses in the struggle.
55. A warrior knows that an angel and a devil are both competing for his sword hand.
56. Whenever the Warrior draws his sword, he uses it.
57. Sometimes Evil pursues the Warrior of the Light, and when it does, he calmly invites it into his tent.
58. He unwittingly takes a false step and plunges into the abyss.
59. The warrior of the Light behaves like a child.
60. A responsible Warrior is one who has proved able to observe and to learn.
61. A Warrior of the Light cannot always choose his battlefield.
62. The Warrior is terrified when making important decisions.
63. He accepts his Personal Legend completely.
64. A Warrior never accepts what is unacceptable.
65. The Warrior of the Light never forgets the old saying: The good little goat doesn’t bleat.
66. A sword may not last very long, but the Warrior of the Light must.
67. A Warrior is always vigilant.
68. He does not keep company with those who wish to harm him.
69. At the beginning of his struggle, the Warrior says: “I have dreams.”
70. The Warrior of the Light has the sword in his hands.
71. He never falls into the trap of the word “freedom”.
72. Yesterday’s pain is the Warrior of the Light’s strength.
73. He always has a second chance in life.
74. He is as wise as a serpent and as innocent as a dove.
75. A Warrior of the Light does not accept gifts from his enemy.
76. Often, warriors find their lives meaningless.
77. He is now walking from his dream.
78. Like the fighter, the Warrior is aware of his own immense strength; he never fights with anyone who does not deserve the honor of combat.
79. He remembers the five rules of combat set down by Chuan Tzu – faith, companions, time, space and strategy.
80. He rarely knows the result of a battle when the battle is over.
81. Each Warrior of the Light contains within him the spark of God.
82. Sometimes the Warrior feels as if he were living two lives at once.
83. The Warrior of the Light needs time to himself.
84. He is also wary of people who think they know the path.
85. He knows he needs armor after he has learned how to use the sword.
86. A Warrior trusts other people because, first and foremost, he trusts himself.
87. He views life with tenderness and determination.
88. With confidence, he open the door of life presented to him.
89. A Warrior of the Light practices powerful exercise for inner growth.
90. He also knows the power of word.
91. The Warrior knows the value of persistence and of courage.
92. A Warrior knows when a battle is worth fighting.
93. He too knows how to lose.
94. The Warrior of the light knows that when somebody wants something, the whole Universe conspires in their favor.
95. When the Warrior takes on a commitment, he keeps his word.
96. When he wins the battle, the Warrior celebrates.
97. A Warrior of the Light shares with others what he knows of the path.
98. He has learned that God uses solitude to teach us how to live with other people.
99. He gives before he is asked.
100. The Warrior tries to enjoy the small everyday things of life.
101. A Warrior knows that a great dream is made up of many different things, just as the light from the sun is the sum of its millions of rays.
102. When he is forced to perform the same task several times, the Warrior uses this tactic and transforms work into prayer.
103. When it comes to treachery, he is implacable.
104. A Warrior does not go into battle without knowing the limitations of his ally.
105. A Warrior of the Light has no regrets, because regrets can kill.
106. He uses common sense to judge not the intentions of an action but its consequences.
107. A Warrior knows that everything a person does has enduring consequences.
108. And he never judges someone else’s suffering.
109. So the Warrior fights the Good Fight and he helps others, even though he does not quite understand why.
110. The Warrior of the Light concentrates on the small miracles of daily life.
111. He knows that the most important words in all languages are the small words.
112. A Warrior also knows that the fool who gives advice about someone else’s garden is not tending his own plants.
113. No one is entirely good or evil; that is what the Warrior thinks when he has a new opponent.
114. A Warrior knows that the ends do not justify the means.
115. The Warrior knows about the “waterfall effect”.
116. Then the Warrior of the Light thanks his traveling companions, takes a deep breath and continues on, laden with memories of an unforgettable journey.


And thus, all that has been mentioned has inspired me to start an e-book inspiring women of all ages to take a step in living their own Personal Legends and shed their rays for all to behold as a Warrior of the Light.

The Pilgrimage: A Review

At last, after almost a month, yesterday, I was able to turn the last page of the book “The Pilgrimage”. And I can’t help but sigh in relief and in awe how beautiful and poetic Coelho has conveyed his message of fighting the good fight with its mysterious, seemingly magical approach.

The novel, despite my knowledge that it is an account of Paulo Coelho’s real experience to his way to the Road of San Tiago made wonder, actually ask myself and some friends, whether everything that happened, every detail he has related were really true. Or did he just talk in mysterious ways so as to drive at his point with impact and greater influence to his readers.

“Ah!”, I told myself, “Now I’m acting like the common folks who only believe after a miracle has been performed. What else is there to look for, when my very own existence is already a mystery in itself. Life thriving in every corner of this universe and beyond it is enough proof that there is someone far greater than us.”

And the secret of Paulo’s sword so he will gain possession of it is so simple. So simple that we can say, Paulo is indeed one of us for he too, was not able to realize that in time for the ritual the Tradition has performed in the castle of the Order of the Templars in Ponferrada. He was almost at the end of his journey through the mysterious road when he was able to realize the reason for all his struggles.

We are often like Paulo too, we exist, we are present, but we don’t know why. We struggle to achieve something without knowing the right way to attain our dreams, fight the good fight and why we have set such goals. Lucky are those who do struggle and know why they do, but pity to those who don’t and die without realizing the meaning of their existence and why they have to dream and achieve their dreams.

Let me quote:

“And the secret of my sword, like the secret of any conquest we make in our lives, was the simplest thing in the world: it was what I should do with the sword.

I had never thought in these terms. Throughout our time on the Strange Road to Santiago, the only thing I had wanted to know was where it was hidden. I had never asked myself why I wanted to find it or what I needed it for. All of my efforts had been bent on reward; I had not understood that when we want something, we have to have a clear purpose in mind for the thing that we want. The only reason for seeking a reward is to know what to do with the reward. And this was the secret of my sword.”

If only all of us know this, too, we are more able to muster all of our strength and enthusiasm, our faith, hope and love – the kind of love that consumes, agape and live better lives. Then world will be a better place to live in to. Indeed, we don’t need to walk that Road to Santiago and find our sword too like Paulo, we are pilgrims in our own lives. The way we live this life and clarity of our goals are, are the things that mattered. All rivers lead to the same sea. In God’s house, there are many mansions. In life, we have a numerous paths. The path is not important. What is important is how we stride the path and we let the path walk us through.


Note:
As for the RAM exercises in the book I promise to include in my entries, I find it difficult to post. Not because I lack the time, but I want to pave respect to the Tradition and to the sacredness of the rituals. I feel incapable and unworthy to do so. Hope you understand.


To Mr. Paulo Coelho, I admire your enthusiasm, the fire of agape burning within you which you share in every word you write, ignites the same fire within us, your readers. Thank you for the inspiration. Accept too my apologies for always including in my blogs your writings. For having copied the text as it appeared on your books; this is because I am afraid that my words might not be enough to express what you mean. But there are times like this that I try to explain what I thought of about what you have said and may have explained it too simple or my insights might sometime be wrong, this is because I struggle too in my search for meaning. Either way, thank you for your understanding.