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.

Mar 29, 2008

A Teacher's Prayer

Loving God, our Father
We thank you for giving us a share
in the teaching ministry of Your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through Your Spirit dwelling in us,
strengthen us to carry out the service of love
with joy, perseverance and dedication.
Help us realize that our work has a place in Your purpose
so that we may go about it
with sense of responsibility and enthusiasm.
When results are disappointing
and we cannot see the expected outcome of our task
help us not to be discouraged;
Give us faith to find meaning in it all.
Father, in our desire for efficiency and competence,
help us to be patient
when things are slow to happen.
Give us an understanding heart
to respond to the cheerful ones,
the lonely and the frightened,
the difficult and the stubborn;
Let us reassure them of Your love,
through our gentleness and kindness.
Thus, by Your love transparent in our person,
may we be Your instruments
drawing our pupils and students into fullness of life,
and may we be their companions and co-missionaries
in transforming this world of love, hope and peace.

This is the prayer by all the Educators during this school year's Closing Program for Grade 6 pupils and Graduation of the IV year students last March 26 and 27, 2008 respectively in the academic institution I belong. I hope that through this prayer, I am able to share a part of my vocation to all of you who happen to drop by my site. For I believe that through the teaching ministry of Christ of which I am a part of, I can, in my own little words and ways make a difference in the lives of others.

To all Batch 2008 Graduates: CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Go... Build Communities of Love Through Servant Leadership!

Mar 26, 2008

A Love Story That Never Was

Alumni Homecoming.

Twenty years. Quite long. But it seems it was only yesterday when I last set foot on this same ground in my high school quadrangle.

Mixed emotions. I felt my tummy filled with butterflies. Bringing nausea to my senses. My heart is beating fast. So fast that it seems I will break into tears.

“Haaahh! Twenty years. Would my classmates still know me? Maybe. I have a couple of friends I still communicate with even right after graduation. But the rest, would they recognize me?”

“What changes have I been to? Just the humungous butt, more fats under my belly, in my arms and legs, and some unwanted wrinkles.”

I became more hesitant.

“Argh! I have grown fatter.”

I wasn’t sexy then. The more that I am not now. I wasn’t extra-ordinarily pretty then. The more that I am not now. I wasn’t that intelligent then. Just an average girl. What now?

I asked myself, “What are my achievements so far after twenty years?”

“Not much. I mean, none so far I can really be proud of.”

I started backing out. Not walking. I am more like running. Then I bumped into someone. I almost fell to the ground with my heavy torso.

“Maria! Maria, is that you?”

“Hhmmm… not bad. Somebody recognized me. But was that an interrogative statement I heard?”

“Myra. Yes, it’s me. How do you do?”

“I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m in the advertising. I usually come out in commercials for shampoos, bags and garments. Oh well, the undergarments. You?”

There was an emphasis. I looked at her towering beauty. I closed my eyes before I can say a word.

“I’m a preschool teacher.”

That’s it! I blew it off! I didn’t sound impressive. The more that I didn’t look impressive with my jeans and plain white shirt. No accessory. Just powder and lip gloss.

“Come on. Let’s get inside. The rest are there waiting for us. I heard there’s Bless from Canada, Delia from Dubai, Glenda from London, Roa from Denmark and Tina from California (blah-blah-blah!!!). And guess who I saw early this afternoon?”

I didn’t want to guess who she was referring to. In my heart, I knew who he is. And in my heart, though I prayed for this moment to come, I wish that I just burst like a bubble and be gone.

Myra noticed my silence. She didn’t pursue the topic. Instead she pulled me back to where the crowd was and like in the movies, in slow motion, I was there in the middle of all the classmates I journeyed with in my four years in high school.

“So this is the feeling of going back.” I thought to myself.

There were the people Myra mentioned. Some are still dark-skinned. Others fairer than before. One of them said she is a cosmetic endorser. The other giggled off, “I spend much time at the spa. Scrubbing off every dead skin cell in my body. Quite expensive though. But it’s fine with my British boyfriend.”

I laughed with them. But with jarred pent-up emotion I cannot name.

Some I noticed have yellow gold all over them. Not just one in both ears. They have several in the neck, in their wrists and in their ankles. For some, they look as plain as I am though more sophisticated.

“Nah!” shoved off by that little voice inside me. “They only look more confident. Try leveling your chin to your shoulders. Sit, not slouch. Smile more often. Look at them in the eye when you talk or when you listen to what they are saying.”

I did.

After some time, I became more comfortable. I stopped comparing myself to the rest of the group. My laugh grew more genuine now. I’m starting to enjoy myself.

Our conversations went on. Stories of men in engineering and architecture. Snippets of women’s struggles in a men-dominated area. Tessa was one of them. Very inspiring.

Then came cars they own. House and lots in various points in the archipelago and outside it. Investments here and there. Stock market. Economics. Politics. Commerce. Fashion. Toners. Eye-shadows. Bags. Perfumes. Movies. Local and Hollywood stars. Name it, we have discussed them all. An hour. Two. Three.

Dinner was about to be served.

Our tête-á-tête seem not to reach an end. And just when I thought I am almost gaining confidence, I saw those pair of deep-set eyes. Same pair that melted my heart. Same pair that broke my heart into bits and bits of pieces. I wanted to look away. But they have their own lure that made it difficult for me to do so. Those eyes still have the same effect as it was then.

He was looking, too. Staring intensely. Seem not aware that he was with someone. His wife.

I looked down my feet. I noticed my fingers fidgeting and felt my toes as cold as ice. I felt ashamed. So awkward.

“Hi!” was his short greeting. Same voice I fell in love with.

Then I was transported twenty-three years ago along that small street to Bless’s place.

“I will be coming tomorrow whether you invite me to your birthday or not. I don’t care. My brothers already left for Manila. I asked them that I stay because I want to be with you on your special day.”

I felt so happy. But I didn’t say a word.

“I’ll bring you home.”

Inside the tricycle we were so close I can feel his deep breathing and his heart beat… seems heaven to me. But I didn’t say a word.

“Hope you liked my gift. It’s not as expensive as the stuff toy you received from Eman but hope you appreciate it.”

I smiled. I told myself, “I will forever carry it with me.” But I didn’t say a word.

“Care for another room in your umbrella?” was the chant of almost wet youngsters in the school shed.

I looked up my room. I saw my class adviser by the porch from whom I have promised to strive harder in the academics.

“No boys!” she said early that morning.

“No boys!” I repeated.

Then I walked passed him. Not saying a word.

“I would rather hurt myself, than to ever make you cry. There’s nothing left to say, though it’s gonna hurt us both. There’s no other way, but to say goodbye.”… goes their song.

I head on without looking at his direction. Not saying a word.

“Do you love him?” was John’s question. “He’s waiting for you. He needs you. His mother is not well.”

I went on arranging the flowers for the recognition. I didn’t say a word.

“He’s with someone now.” John confirmed.

I just stared. Moved away with tears welling from my eyes. I didn’t say a word.

“Maria,” Bless’s calling my name brought me back to reality. “Miss Si wants to see you.”

I excused myself. Thankful a bit. At least I have time to think and decide whether I leave the place or stay and hurt myself even more.

After a light talk with my then adviser-mentor turned colleague, I opted to just go home and call it a night.

I passed through the darker alley at the back gate where I usually pass through every time I escape from scrutinizing gaze way back in high school. My mind went back to its natural flow of recollection.

This was the alley that witnessed my tears when I learned he was with someone. I sat near the plants. I even pulled some. All my frustration, my anger and my depression poured into the innocent plants.

Then I heard footsteps. I turned around. I saw his penetrating eyes overpowering me – the little confidence that I have.

Was that pain? I wasn’t sure.

Was that hatred? I’m not certain.

Was that love I see in his eyes?

“You have really mastered the art of escaping.”

I just stared back. I wanted to capture that love in his eyes. I wanted to say something. But at the last minute, I decided to keep my silence. Then I walked away.

If it was impossible then, the more that it is now.

Yesteryears, I should have said something, but I did not. That, I know is my greatest mistake.

But now, if I said what I should have said, I will not just destroy my life and his but cause so much pain to innocent people we both care about and love.

I smiled to myself. A bitter smile.

Then tears welled off my eyes.

Tears that ended a love story that never was.

Mar 24, 2008

Human Nature. God's Nature.

We ask.

We wish, not hope, that it'll be granted in a sec.

We blame Him and ask questions when our prayers are not granted or when problems come along our way.

We doubt His power.

But we fail to truly listen to what He is telling us through the bits of experiences day by day.

We only look at ourselves. We disregard His own feelings.

When in reality, He has received all the pain and suffering that was supposed to be ours. We failed to hear when He said:

"Are you alright? I might have missed a small piece."

Mar 18, 2008

Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono

I arrived late in school this morning. While in the bus, I was contemplating I could conduct a follow-up interview to complete the Student’s Individual Inventory Form. But to my dismay, in addition to my being late, I forgot that today is still an exam day and the students will only be in school in the morning. So there is really no chance for me to catch them in their sleeves and ask them how much their parents earn annually or who their single parents are dating at the moment.

And like the previous frustrating events, the only thing that can bring me back from my topsy-turvy disposition is to read a book. Lucky for me, I left my current Coelho read under my pillow, so I dashed through the school library and forced Amy (the school librarian and my bestfriend) to lend me a book even when there are strict orders that this week should be “RETURNING OF BORROWED BOOKS. NO BORROWING OF BOOKS FOR INVENTORY AND CLEARANCE.” both for students and school personnel. Anyway, I promised her to return the book this afternoon (even without her permission).

I browsed through the NEW ARRIVALS SECTION of the library and saw this intriguing title: SIX THINKING HATS by EDWARD DE BONO. It says in the subtitle: THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER that has changed the way the world’s most successful business leaders think.

My initial reaction was, “Well I’m not into business so why care to read this book.”

But after browsing through all the books, nothing caught my bookworm’s intuition of the best possible read for my present emotional condition. So I went back to the HATS stuff and picked it out of its shelf. Amy was shouting over my shoulders when she saw me leaving the Borrower’s Card on top of her desk despite her plea that I am not allowed to borrow a book.

“Oh well,” I told myself, “I’d rather run away with this book than spend the rest of my day grumbling over a messed-up schedule.”

Upon arrival in my office, the intercom was ringing like hell. Assumed that I might not answer the phone, Amy turned on the speaker phone and was yelling at me to return the book. I told her what I had in mind while running away with the book and as expected, my good friend lent me the HATS stuff but she asked me to swear to return the book before I go home this afternoon. And so I did with all my heart.

Flip-flapping through the book, just reading the summary for each color symbol, I finished the HATS stuff in 3o minutes. These are what I can share to you based from the book:

The Six Thinking Hats method capitalizes that THINKING is the ultimate human resource. But most of us, even the most successful people are left unsatisfied with their most important skill. No matter what we have achieved, it seems we can never get enough of the world. We want to be better.

And let me just quote:

Usually, the only people who are very satisfied with their thinking skill are those poor thinkers who believe that the purpose of thinking is to prove yourself right – to your own satisfaction.

The main difficulty of thinking is confusion .We try to do too much at once. Emotions, information, logic, hope and creativity all crowd in on us. It is like juggling with too many balls.

Argh! Got me on that!

Now what do the SIX HATS of different colors symbolize:


Think of paper. Think of a computer printout. The white hat is about information. When the white hat is in use, everyone focuses directly and exclusively on information. It stands for facts and figures. It is for truth and philosophers.


Think of fire. Think of warmth. Think of feelings. Using the red hat gives you an opportunity to express feelings, emotions and intuition without any need to explain or justify them.


This is the most used of all the hats. The black hat is perhaps the most important hat. The black hat is the hat of caution. It is for being careful. The black hat stops us doing things that are illegal, dangerous, unprofitable, polluting and so on. It focuses on content and process. It is the past and the future.


Think of sunshine. Think of optimism. Under the yellow hat a thinker deliberately sets out to find whatever benefit there may be in a suggestion. Under the yellow hat, the thinker tries to see how it may be possible to put the idea into practice. It also stands for speculative-positive thinking strategies. It encompasses the positive spectrum of circumstances and of ideas. The yellow hat is also supported by reason and logic. It is for constructive thinking. Thus, it is in relation to creativity.


The green hat is the energy hat. Think of vegetation. Think of growth. Think of new leaves and branches. The green hat is the ultimate creative hat. It is the lateral thinking of the brain. It focuses on movement instead of judgment. There is a need for provocation to encourage more alternatives. The green hat’s major emphasis is on personality and skill.


Think of the blue sky above. Think of “overview”. The blue hat is for thinking about thinking. (Whatever that means!) The blue hat is like the conductor of the orchestra. The conductor gets the best out of the orchestra by seeing that what should be done is done at the right time. The blue hat is like the ringmaster of a circus. The blue hat is for the management of thinking. The blue hat is for the organization of thinking. It is for process control. It gives us the focus. It provides the program design of our brain. It speaks about summaries and conclusions, control and monitoring.

After reading the summary pages, I said to myself (hope I really did), “This is a good read for my day’s drama.”

But I want to make an add to the colors of the thinking hats. May I say we also need an:


Think about crunchy autumn leaves (well, we don’t have autumn in the Philippines, but there are a good fields with dried leaves) under your bare soles while you are running out in the open with friends and other people. It replenishes the spirit. The orange hat emphasizes on play. It focuses on relaxation. When the mind is set out for thinking alone – an all work without play thing, sanity would not stand for long. The orange hat also symbolizes hope that after every fall, comes the spring.

So may I then suggest that after a long day of work, stop thinking for a while. Act on impulse. Do whatever you wish to do. Say what you have to say. Speak spontaneously. (As long as you would not be hurting yourself and others.) Like when I ran away with the book without thinking about the rules. If I didn’t do so, perhaps I would end this day without a blog entry.

What do you think?

Mar 15, 2008


I always complain for having the lack of time in doing the things I want to do, especially reading my favorite books. Most of my books are still on my shelf, with plastic cover and sealed with its tag on it. Those in the open are gathering dust each day. But some lucky ones are picked from the shelf once in a while and read inside the bus on my way to work and again inside the bus in the evening on my way home.

But pondering on that, I think my whining is unreasonable, because last night, while dusting my shelves, I saw only five books left unread out of the dozen books or so I bought and the Coelho's my brother bought starting last September. So I don't need to whine over not having the luxury of time. In fact, I have all the time in the world.

Now this is the picture of a watch I saw from an e-shop that I intend to buy as treat for myself for having kept myself busy yet gave myself much time to do what I really wanted to do -- reading books, studying and of course, bonding with my kids and family and friends. Hope I will be able to buy this before the year ends.

I realized that I don't need an add of another twenty-four hours in a day just to do what we want to do. If our heart is into finishing a task, we can find time, no matter how busy we assume we are. To include from my list of "have done", so far this is what I can think of:

1. I have finished three allied courses in four years time (one of which is my MA in Guidance and Counseling -- bagging the "Best Thesis" citation), including my MA in Special Education which I intend to finish until next year.

2. How did I do it?

a. I review for my exams inside the bus (it really helped plus my eyeglasses on).

b. I do my homeworks while eating my snacks and lunch at work.

c. I do my reports, my thesis included at eleven in the evening onwards, when my kids are sleeping and my dogs are snoring.

d. Finishing my thesis was tough, but I managed to squeeze it in by designing a program for my school (my place of work) as output, so the administrators welcomed my study with open arms.

3. I was able to counsel 100% of the kids under my care with follow-up to those who needed extra help. With this is the Career Pathing Program and the Developmental Program for children of OFW parent/s.

4. I made friends here and there. Re-discovered some like with that of Maricel, Tatah and Issa. I strengthened my bonds with most. And just an add, I have three batch of new-found friends -- my Special Ed class (Education for Deviates) with Miss Naoe, my Geometry class of seven with Dr. Gacayan and the CHED scholars in my Graph Theory class with Dr. Quiambao.

5. I maintained my being a Special Ed teacher after my counseling hours with Rob. Now, he is about to finish his third year in high school. One school year more and he is to graduate from senior high. Not to mention I started with him when he was in pre-school.

6. And most importantly, I was able to raise Beatrice with quantity and quality time. She is now five, will be recognized as first in her Kinder class at the end of this month. And of course, I gave birth to another girl, Gabrielle while finishing my thesis. Now she is one and a smart kid like her sister.

7. And in between, I am a wife to my Ronald for almost eight years now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed though as I'm writing this post that I have been able to provide him the warmth of love a wife could give her husband.

8. To give it a final touch, I am also a sister to my brother Jomar and to my siblings-in-law, a daughter to my mom-in-law, a grand-daughter to my grannies, and last but not the least, a child of God, my Creator, giving meaning to the life He has bestowed upon me; so that in the final bend of my TIME, He shall be proud of me.

Mar 13, 2008

Love Quiz by Leo Buscaglia

Asking yourself questions and answering them honestly is a good path to self-knowledge. In keeping with this idea, I'd like to propose a few end-of-the-day questions for each of us:

1. Is anyone a little happier because I came along today?

2. Did I leave any concrete evidence of my kindness, any sign of my love?

3. Did I try to think of someone I know in a more positive light?

4. Did I help someone to feel joy, to laugh, or at least, to smile?

5. Have I attempted to remove a little of the rust that is corroding my relationships?

6. Have I gone through the day without fretting over what I don't have and celebrating the things I do have?

7. Have I forgiven others for being less than perfect?

8. Have I forgiven myself?

9. Have I learned something new about life, living or love?

I got this short LOVE Quiz from Leo Buscaglia's page. Hope it'll make you a little more humane not just to yourself but to others.

If all your answers are YES to the questions, like I did (I'm keeping the positive energy pass through me, within me, in me and onto others), here's what it says about you:

I had a great day today because I:

1. made someone a little happier because I came along today

2. left concrete evidence of my kindness and love

3. tried to think of someone I know in a more positive light

4. helped someone to feel joy, to laugh, or at least, to smile

5. attempted to remove a little of the rust that is corroding my relationships

6. went through the day without fretting over what I don't have and celebrating the things I do have

7. forgave others for being less than perfect

8. forgave myself

9. learned something new about life, living or love

So "Congratulations" on having a terrific day!

Indeed "Life is made of our attitudes." according to Paulo Coelho (The Fifth Mountain).

And "What we are is not of what we feed our mouths but what comes out from them." according to Jesus (I just can't remember what Gospel and chapter or verse we can find this line).

The lines I mentioned from the three gentlemen in my life (aside from my husband) is of equal value. And they drive at one important thing:

The life that we live is our choice. No writer, no matter how bulky his books are, could help us achieve that self-actualization Maslow designed in his heirarchy of needs, unless we ourselves determine the path we take.

Mar 11, 2008

Leo Buscaglia Collection

Got so sentimental upon remembering an old friend today because of Leo Buscaglia, college days and autumn leaves. So I browsed over Buscaglia's page and saw an array of books, some I have read but don't have a personal copy. My passion for reading in college was a bit frustrating because I need to wait a long while just to borrow the best sellers from the university library. Or I'll just be contented in waiting for my boardmate to finish what she was reading before I'll get my hands on a book.

After browsing the net, I have arrived to a new list of best buy books for the summer, all by Leo Buscaglia. Hopefully I will havethe luxury of time to read some and ofc ourse, will have the money to buy some more. Ooooopssss... I mean, hope my brother would grab these books for me:

1. Born for Love
2. Love
3. Leo Buscaglia's Love Cookbook
4. The Fall of Freddie the Leaf
5. Seven Stories of Christmas Love (recommended for the summer!)
6. Bus 9 to Paradise
7. The Disabled and Their Parents
8. Papa, My Father
9. A Memory for Tino
10. Personhood
11. The Way of the Bull
12. Because I am Human

Oh well, my list is very Guidance Counselor. Hope you will enjoy the books as much as I imagine myself enjoying them.

Bookworm's Picks 4: The Fall of Freddie the Leaf

The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: The Anniversary Edition, the wonderfully wise and strikingly touching story, has become one of the most popular books of our times. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, The Fall of Freddie the Leaf, has released its Anniversary Edition at a time when stories of comfort and inspiration have become more important than ever. The Fall of Freddie the Leaf is a classic fable for anyone who has suffered a permanent loss. The tale is an inspiring allegory illustrating the delicate balance between life and death - as Freddie the Leaf and his companion leaves change with the passing seasons, finally falling to the ground with a winter’s snow. The book offers solace to adults and children alike. The Fall of Freddie the Leaf’s message that death is part of the natural cycle of life has comforted countless men, women, and children worldwide. This classic fable is, “Dedicated to all children who have ever suffered a permanent loss, and to the grown ups who could not find a way to explain it.” (from Leo Buscaglia's page)

“It's not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.”

Leo F. Buscaglia1924-1998

To my friend Vanessa who loves autumn leaves, I think this is one of the best buys you could have.

Oh well, it just reminds me that you were the one who introduced Leo Buscaglia in my life. College was not complete if it weren't for the quotes we get from Buscaglia's Living, Loving and Learning book. My homeroom report always starts with a line or two from this book. Miss those days...


A lad with so many dreams
“I wanna graduate,” he says,
“just give me a chance.”
A future withdrawn.

Find out the drama that unfolds inside my counseling cubicle in
Life in Stanzas

Mar 10, 2008

Rocking Chair

Rocking chair
I sat on your lap
sweetly, you carry me
comforting my fear
from that hairy monster
grandpop created in my mind.

Read on from my collection of poems in
Life in Stanzas

Mar 6, 2008

Eight Lies of A Mother

Mothers always lie..........

This story begins when I was a child:

I was born poor. Often we hadn't enough to eat. Whenever we had some food, Mother often gave me her portion of rice. While she was transferring her rice into my bowl, she would say, "Eat this rice, son! I'm not hungry."

This was Mother's First Lie.

As I grew, Mother gave up her spare time to fish in a river near our house; she hoped that from the fish she caught, she could gave me a little bit more nutritious food for my growth. Once she had caught just two fishes, she would make fish soup. While I was eating the soup, Mother would sit beside me and eat what was still left on the bone of the fish I had eaten. My heart was touched when I saw it. Once I gave the other fish to her on my chopstick but she immediately refused it and said, "Eat this fish, son! I don'treally like fish."

This was Mother's Second Lie.

Then, in order to fund my education, Mother went to a Match Factory to bring home some used matchboxes which she filled with fresh matchsticks.This helped her get some money to cover our needs. One wintry night I awoke to find Mother filling the matchboxes by candlelight. So I said,"Mother, go to sleep; it's late. You can continue working tomorrow morning. "Mother smiled and said, "Go to sleep, son! I'm not tired."

This was Mother'sThird Lie.

When I had to sit my Final Examination, Mother accompanied me. Afterdawn, Mother waited for me for hours in the heat of the sun. When the bell rang, I ran to meet her. Mother embraced me and poured me a glass of tea that she had prepared in a thermos. The tea was not as strong as my Mother's love. Seeing Mother covered with perspiration, I at once gave her my glass and asked her to drink too. Mother said "Drink, son! I'm not thirsty!"

This was Mother's Fourth Lie.

After Father's death, Mother had to play the role of a single parent. She held on to her former job; she had to fund our needs alone. Our family's life was more complicated. We suffered from starvation. Seeing our family's condition worsening, my kind Uncle who lived near my house came to help us solve our problems big and small. Our other neighbors saw that we were poverty stricken so they often advised my mother to marry again. But Mother refused to remarry saying "I don't need love."

This was Mother's Fifth Lie.

After I had finished my studies and gotten a job, it was time for my old Mother to retire but she carried on going to the market every morning just to sell a few vegetables. I kept sending her money but she was steadfast and even sent the money back to me. She said, "I have enough money."

That was Mother's Sixth Lie.

I continued my part-time studies for my Master's Degree. Funded by the American Corporation for which I worked. I succeeded in my studies. With a big jump in my salary, I decided to bring Mother to enjoy life in America but Mother didn't want to bother her son; she said to me "I'm not used to high living."

That was Mother's Seventh Lie.

In her old age, Mother was attacked by cancer and had to be hospitalized. Now living far across the ocean, I went home to visit Mother who was bed ridden after an operation. Mother tried to smile but I was heart broken because she was so thin and feeble but Mother said, "Don't cry, son! I'm not in pain."

That was Mother's Eighth Lie.

Telling me her eighth lie, she died.


M - O - T - H - E - R

"M" is for the million things she gave me,

"O" means only that she's growing old,

"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,

"H" is for her heart of gold,

"E" is for her eyes with love-light shining in them,

"R" means right, and right she'll always be.

Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER" -- a word that means the world to me.

For those of you who are lucky to be still blessed with your Mom's presence on Earth, this story is beautiful. For those who aren't so blessed, this is even more beautiful.

And shall I say, painful; because this reminded me of my own Mother who was so selfless and died of Cancer, too almost four years ago.

To Maricel who forwarded me this short story, thank you. Words are not enough to express my gratitude of the gift of friendship.

Mar 5, 2008

CABAnata 16: Decisions

We’re in the same stage right now. I still love my work as a Guidance Counselor, but I also feel I have a heart for kids with special needs. I’m not a hypocrite though. I want to feel the snow in my palms, but just the thought of leaving my children for at least six months breaks me. I now experience doubts to pursue my American dream. My goal now is geared towards having my own home school for Filipino children with special needs. I can be an educator and a counselor at the same time. The problem now lies on where I would get my finances for that great dream for a home school.

Funny! Yesterday, I just finished reading “Who moved my cheese?” and I find myself smiling. Then laughing out loud for the coincidence and yes, the irony of life. Ironic though, but wonderful.

My choice, I’m letting the tides of fate bring me to where I really should be. Idealistic? Yes. My place under the sun.

But whatever that is, I won’t stop writing, too.

This was my comment in one of Hazel’s blog entry last week. I decided to post her entry but I failed to ask permission. So I opted not to post. Instead, I encourage you to just drop by her Filteany site to check out on her post.

I am in a crossroad.

My previous entries, I said I will resign from my present job as a Guidance Counselor and look for a teaching job as a Special Ed teacher. I resigned. I applied. But found out the schools don’t fit my personality… or moreso, my principles in life.

I handed my resignation but I took it back. Not because I feared I won’t be able to find another job (In fact, two schools – a university and a college, contacted me to be a college instructor, but I just declined. It’s not my cup of tea I must say.), but more of my principles once again.

Indeed, I am a bit idealistic. I find it hard to leave my present school because for one, the school’s vision-mission support what I too believe in. Secondly, my heart is with the kids I deal with everyday. And a whole lot other reasons I cannot verbally express.

I was just lucky I was totally honest (still am) to my principal. This I have really learned from this experience:

Honesty begets trust and respect.

For the next school year, I will still be a Guidance Counselor, handling the freshmen and kids with special cases – children with OFW parent/s, children of separated parents and single parents. In addition to that, I will also be the school’s allied Special Educator, designing programs for our mainstreamed kids who have been diagnosed with ADHD, with certain specific Learning Disabilities and of course, those with emotional disturbances (not to mention their specific cases).


It is. And I’m looking forward to spending another year inside my cubicle.