Thursday, August 30, 2007


With no idea what the movie was all about, I was happy to discover that it was wonderful to watch. Hairspray revolves around the story of a young girl, Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky), who dreams to be part of “The Corny Collins Show,” the famous dance TV show. Normally, Tracy shouldn’t fit it and there lies the beauty of the story. From “Good morning Baltimore” to the last song (I can’t remember it, sorry), I was able to enjoy the story, the songs, the acting, etc.

John Travolta did well as the mother of Tracy. Some may say that he is not so convincing, but then knowing that it is him playing the role made it more interesting and funnier. There is grace in his steps and his facial expressions were endearing. I think he did great. Christopher Walken’s role as a dense yet caring father is a departure from his usual kontrabida roles. I love seeing his smile since it starts from his lips and crinkles up to his eyes. It was remarkable to see the handsome (he really is!) face of James Marden (Cyclops) and discover his talents in singing and dancing. Who would believe that he could do both? Another surprise is Michelle Pfeiffer and her lilting voice as she reminisced about her Ms. Baltimore days.

It even tackled serious issues such as the integration of the blacks and whites in performing TV shows, going after your dreams even if everyone is saying that you are not entitled to have them, and also stepping out of your comfort zone to discover what the bigger world could offer. It presented the reality that it is possible for the “different” to defeat the mainstream (especially regarding our idea of beauty), for love to see beyond skin color or physical distinction, even for children to go beyond their parents’ limited dreams for them.

True, it somehow has the Hollywood formula of a happy ending but hey, these things do happen in real life. And I do love leaving a cinema with a happy feeling. Even if only for the beauty of the songs.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pursuing Him

The first two lines of Michael W. Smith’s Draw Me Close make this song a favorite. This has always been my prayer to God. For Him to never let me go. To always draw me close to Him.

It so easy for life to engulf us. It is so easy for the cares of the world to sneak into our hearts and to forget what matters. It is so easy for us to get so busy that we fail to remain connected to our first love.

Lately, I have been thinking that this is happening to me. It was not evident at first. That was part of the deception. The warning bells are so faint. It was so hard to hear them. What made it more awful is that the guilty conscience doesn’t seem to be working. It was then that I realized I have to do something.

I need to get back to Him. Even though I am not feeling any sensation, my mind was telling me that something must be done. I got reminded of the song. And I prayed it. Draw me close to You. Never let me go. The more I prayed, the more I realized that He has always been there and He has been constantly drawing me to Him. It was me who was slipping from His hold.

According to Philip Yancey, God is shy. Shy? How can He be shy when He has created me and the whole world? Isn’t He the one in control? But it is true. He is shy to intervene. He is shy to act. He lets us be until we let Him in.

I am learning something different. For me to get back in His fold, I need to pursue Him. It must be my choice to return to Him.

The pursuit is exciting. I know there will be wonderful things to discover about Him.

= = =

The sensation of silence cannot be helped : a loud and evident God would be a bully, an insecure tyrant, an all crushing datum instead of, as He is, a bottomless encouragement to our faltering and frightened being. – John Updike

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Omnium-Gatherum (Random thoughts 2)

I have been trying to get serious with my thesis for the past week. It took me quite a long time to muster the courage to face 367 pages of translation. The idea itself is so daunting that I have made so many reasons not to start. It is so much easier to do mundane things and call on to my propensity to put into oblivion responsibilities that must be done.

And I just finished doing the first review of the first chapter. And I am trying to complete the translation of the second chapter. For those who are not familiar with translating written works, it is necessary to review again and again the translated text until you get the feel that you finally achieved what the author was trying to put across to the reader. It can be crazy. It can be interesting. I am satisfied to say that these days, I am finding it very interesting indeed. The momentum is there. I just hope it will last long enough for me to reach the conclusion. I have to. I am nearly reaching MRR and I don’t want to overtake the record of the last one who just graduated.

= = =

No wonder men are getting confused with what we women want. We say that we want equal rights yet we still expect men to give up their chair or open the door for us. But it makes a man more endearing when he safeguards her when crossing a busy street, when he suggests to carry a heavy package, when he offers to give her a ride or even to just ask if she can safely go home.

Lest I be charged with inequality, I have to mention that we can be gentlewomen too. We give up our chairs to grandfathers, grandmothers and pregnant women. But not for the strong, young and able men. In fact, we are giving you the opportunity to rise above our esteem. I just hope you will get it.

= = =

I read an article that, most often than not, we look for partners who share the same interests, qualities, characteristics, even physical dimensions that we have. Like looks for like. Those who love to read would find readers interesting. Those who love sport activities would enjoy the company of a partner who finds it thrilling to run after an inanimate ball. Singing the same kind of songs would seal a connection. Sharing the same perspective in life could strengthen the beginnings of the ever after.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. There always will be. That is the beauty of variety and individuality. But I believe there is truth in the article. First of all, they did research. And second, it is easier to connect with someone you have something in common with. Now, let us start thinking of what the qualities we have. Or maybe, look at the qualities of the person you like. See if there is any similarity. Search away! I hope you find something!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Five Love Langauges

A friend heard for the first time about the different love languages. And he asked me to give information about them. In fact, there are five kinds. Yo capn!

Though many may think that these may only apply to romantic relationships, I have found that it is wise to harness this tool to everyone around us. Understanding the love language of your parents, siblings, friends, bosses, co-church workers, business contacts, etc. could help a lot in improving the relationship with them.

And so I encourage you to find your love language and tell it (with subtlety, or not :- ) ) to the people around you. This will help them understand you better. And know the love language of the people you encounter. It will really make a world of difference in your interaction with them.

I think my love languages are : words of affirmation and acts of service... what's yours?

The Five Love Languages

Words of Affirmation

Mark Twain once said “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Verbal appreciation speaks powerfully to persons whose primary Love Language is “Words of Affirmation.” Simple statements, such as, “You look great in that suit,” or “You must be the best baker in the world! I love your oatmeal cookies,” are sometimes all a person needs to hear to feel loved.

Aside from verbal compliments, another way to communicate through “Words of Affirmation” is to offer encouragement. Here are some examples: reinforcing a difficult decision; calling attention to progress made on a current project; acknowledging a person’s unique perspective on an important topic. If a loved one listens for “Words of Affirmation,” offering encouragement will help him or her to overcome insecurities and develop greater confidence.

Quality Time

Quality time is more than mere proximity. It’s about focusing all your energy on your mate. A husband watching sports while talking to his wife is NOT quality time. Unless all of your attention is focused on your mate, even an intimate dinner for two can come and go without a minute of quality time being shared.

Quality conversation is very important in a healthy relationship. It involves sharing experiences, thoughts, feelings and desires in a friendly, uninterrupted context. A good mate will not only listen, but offer advice and respond to assure their mate they are truly listening. Many mates don’t expect you to solve their problems. They need a sympathetic listener.

An important aspect of quality conversation is self-revelation. In order for you to communicate with your mate, you must also be in tune with your inner emotions. It is only when you understand your emotions and inner feelings will you then be able to share quality conversation, and quality time with your mate.

Quality activities are a very important part of quality time. Many mates feel most loved when they spend physical time together, doing activities that they love to do. Spending time together will bring a couple closer, and, in the years to come, will fill up a memory bank that you can reminisce about in the future.
Whether it’s sitting on the couch and having a brief conversation or playing together in a tennis league, quality time is a love language that is shared by many. Setting aside focused time with your mate will ensure a happy marriage.

Receiving Gifts

Some mates respond well to visual symbols of love. If you speak this love language, you are more likely to treasure any gift as an expression of love and devotion. People who speak this love language often feel that a lack of gifts represents a lack of love from their mate. Luckily, this love language is one of the easiest to learn.

If you want to become an effective gift giver, many mates will have to learn to change their attitude about money. If you are naturally a spender, you will have no trouble buying gifts for your mate. However, a person who is used to investing and saving their money may have a tough time adjusting to the concept of spending money as an expression of love. These people must understand that you are investing the money not in gifts, but in deepening your relationship with your mate.

The gift of self is an important symbol of love. Sometimes all your mate desires is for someone to be there for them, going through the same trials and experiencing the same things. Your body can become a very powerful physical symbol of love.

These gifts need not to come every day, or even every week. They don’t even need to cost a lot of money. Free, frequent, expensive, or rare, if your mate relates to the language of receiving gifts, any visible sign of your love will leave them feeling happy and secure in your relationship.

Acts of Service

Sometimes simple chores around the house can be an undeniable expression of love. Even simple things like laundry and taking out the trash require some form of planning, time, effort, and energy. Just as Jesus demonstrated when he washed the feet of his disciples, doing humble chores can be a very powerful expression of love and devotion to your mate.

Very often, both pairs in a couple will speak to the Acts of Service Language. However, it is very important to understand what acts of service your mate most appreciates. Even though couples are helping each other around the house, couples will still fight because the are unknowingly communicating with each other in two different dialects. For example, a wife may spend her day washing the cars and walking to dog, but if her husband feels that laundry and dishes are a superior necessity, he may feel unloved, despite the fact that his wife did many other chores throughout the day. It is important to learn your mate’s dialect and work hard to understand what acts of service will show your love.

It is important to do these acts of service out of love and not obligation. A mate who does chores and helps out around the house out of guilt or fear will inevitably not be speaking a language of love, but a language of resentment. It’s important to perform these acts out of the kindness of your heart.

Demonstrating the acts of service can mean stepping out of the stereotypes. Acts of service require both mates to humble themselves into doing some chores and services that aren’t usually expected from their gender. However, these little sacrifices will mean the world to your mate, and will ensure a happy relationship.

Physical Touch

Many mates feel the most loved when they receive physical contact from their partner. For a mate who speaks this love language loudly, physical touch can make or break the relationship.

Sexual intercourse makes many mates feel secure and loved in a marriage. However, it is only one dialect of physical touch. Many parts of the body are extremely sensitive to stimulation. It is important to discover how your partner not only physically responds but also psychologically responds to these touches.

It is important to learn how your mate speaks the physical touch language. Some touches are irritating and uncomfortable for your mate. Take the time to learn the touches your mate likes. They can be big acts, such as back massages or lovemaking, or little acts such as touches on the cheek or a hand on the shoulder. It’s important to learn how your mate responds to touch. That is how you will make the most of this love language.

All marriages will experience crisis. In these cases, physical touch is very important. In a crisis situation, a hug can communicate an immense amount of love for that person. A person whose primary love language is physical touch would much rather have you hold them and be silent than offer any advice.

It is important to remember that this love language is different for everyone. What type of touch makes you feel secure is not necessarily what will make your partner happy. It is important to learn each other’s dialects. That way you can make the most of your hugging, kissing, and other physical contacts.

Find out more from the book of Gary Chapman with the same title. Why not take the test? Get the complete information from

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Delusion Angel from Before Sunrise

Delusion Angel
- David Jewell

daydream delusion
limousine eyelash
oh baby with your pretty face
drop a tear in my wineglass
look at those big eyes on your face
see what you mean to me
sweetcakes and milkshakes
i'm a delusion angel
i'm a fantasy parade
i want you to know what i think
don't want you to guess anymore
you have no idea where i came from
we have no idea where we're going
lodged in life like two branches in a river
flowing downstream
caught in the current
i'll carry you you carry me
that's how it could be
don't you know me
don't you know me by now.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


It all seemed a blur. Did all these things happen? What did each person say and do? But I have a bone-tired body to testify that I had a full day. And mighty happy for what has transpired.

It was a full house. There wasn’t any available space for people to roam around. And it reflected how my heart felt. It was full of joy.

From the start, the boys from the Children’s Garden were full of thanks. I loved it so that they were appreciative and respectful. I enjoyed hearing them say thank you and happy birthday every time any one of them passed me by. I know that it was a full turn-around for some of them who grew up in the streets. It showed much of what the workers had instilled in them.

The afternoon was full of surprises. Not all of them were good. The power point presentation was not working. The food was delayed. The music CD jumped to the sound of its own music. The room became too hot. I was not prepared with my thanksgiving message. Bits and pieces of unwanted things that we wish did not happen. Yet, I take them in as part of the experience.

I want to emphasize the good side. The delayed food was much more than enough. The disarranged powerpoint presentation elicited laughter and smiles from the audience. The unfinished dance that brought forth claps of appreciation and calls for a repetition. And those who helped…

Warning: this may become boring but I want to thank in detail those who took part in this.

JC and Love: for doing the hosting… I knew you were up to it…
Beng and Gina: for rendering into music the theme song
Beng again and Anjou: for creating into reality the words and design of the invitation
Nio and Adrian: for braving the distance and teaching the boys how to dance
Bakery: for providing the before and after snacks of the boys
Children’s Garden’s workers: for everything you have done…
Drae: for the gift song
My father: for cooking the turon and serving the guests with much needed liquids
For Josh and Val: for being our music guy and gal, and josh, thanks for being the techie guy :- )
For Reah and Enoch: for making the powerpoint work
Christian and Claude: for patiently taking the pictures. You did great!
Ptr. Chad: for uttering the birthday prayer for me
Ate Grace and ate Malou: for the cake and the flowers.
TIta Linda: for cooking the delicious pancit and preparing the sweet sago’t gulaman
Kuya Inar: for baking and delivering the carrot and banana cakes
James: for willing hands to help (for being ready to get things and buy extra drinks)
Joseph: for ordering and bringing in the barbecue.
Jay: for rushing to bring the projector
Dexter: for preparing the give-aways
Elizabeth: for making pretty the envelopes and photocopying the colored invitations
Paula, Claude and Val: for manning the table of gift envelopes and give-aways
Ate Aster: for taking care of the utensils, coffee and the drinking water, for your heart full of service
Clarizz: for partnering with me in this event

I am trying hard to think. Did I miss anyone? I hope not. I wouldn’t want to miss out on thanking those who helped. I am a stickler for giving full appreciation to those who deserve it.

Let me not forget ALL OF YOU who came and spent that great day with me. Your presence is gift enough. I feel valued that you considered me enough to travel quite far. There were those who wanted to come but circumstances prevented them. I know that the event was in your mind, more so in your prayers. You told me so and I thank you for this.

As I mentioned in our official thank you letter, I know that many appreciated the efforts that we have done to come up with this unique event. I reiterate the fact that this wouldn’t have been possible without your willing hearts to give. The full impact of this realization hit me later in the night. Most of you, if not all, who came are dear friends and loved ones. Your support will always be remembered and appreciated. And I thank you. Totally. Fully.

I know that we filled the hearts of the young boys to the brim. I do pray that there would be other ways that we can make this happen again. For them to have full lives.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Celebrating and redeeming time

We can only say thank you. Thank you for celebrating our birthdays with us. Thank you for partnering with us. Thank you for redeeming time and changing lives.

Many of you appreciated this wonderful idea of reaching out to those who need our help. God deserves the praise. He gave the burden to our hearts. But we couldn’t have done this without you. We all had a part in this wonderful event. Our success is your success for we did this together.

For those who gave their talents and time, we are grateful that you joined us in this endeavour. We appreciate all of you, who, through prayers and financial support, went with us from the start to finish.

When we started this, we had our faith amount. In our minds, it would be hard to reach. But God showed that He could work wonders. With joy, we share the good news… we achieved our faith goal!!! And a few friends are giving some more.

We believe that what we did last Sunday must not be its end. Investing in the future of human beings must be sustained. Twelve boys need to finish elementary and high school. All of them must learn a vocation. For our endeavours to be not in vain, we encourage you to spread the call: to reach out, right here, right now.

Continue what we started. Please send to your friends the video link of Children’s Garden ( Tell them to visit the website ( And most of all, pray that there would be more hearts like yours.

Jennifer and Clarizz

= = = = = == = = = = =

You can also deposit your cash donations at:
Planters Bank, with account name: Children’s Garden of the Philippines
Savings Account No.: 167036937

Saturday, August 11, 2007


I am half-excited and half-afraid. Excited for my birthday celebration (together with a friend) this coming Sunday. For what it could bring to the NGO that we have chosen to be the beneficiary of the event. For what we can contribute to the future of needy kids. Half afraid that no one would be coming. Half apprehensive that there won’t be enough food. Half –anxious that we might not raise enough.

I don’t remember anymore if I mentioned it here but two friends celebrated this year their entry to a new decade. They encouraged me to do the same. They said that I would be sorry not to celebrate my birthday this year.

To be truthful, I never had a birthday party in my whole life, the real, honest to God birthday party with dress ups, invitations, dances, etc. Don’t get me wrong. I am not bitter about it. It is just the way it is. When I was younger, we didn’t have enough money for parties. And also, it was not in our family culture to celebrate events with a bang. Later on, it became too much of a hassle to organize them. Easier to just eat out with friends, have some food delivered in the office, buy yourself your own gift, etc.

But the suggestions of my friends were convincing. Why not, indeed? It would be nice to experience a party. True, I can be a sentimental fool. I would relish the fun time I had with friends and loved ones. With fondness, I would remember the people who came, especially those I haven’t seen in ages. But then, the practical in me realized that it couldn’t be a normal celebration. Yes, I get to feed some people some good food. I will receive various gifts. I may even be able to take home some left-over food. But I do not see a regular party to be in sync with my life mission to make a difference in someone else’s life. It just isn’t me. There should be something more than fun, food and gifts.

I’m half environmentalist. Half because I am not really doing anything much about my advocacies. I throw trash in the proper cans. I try not to waste water. I recycle paper and plastics (I know! I know! I shouldn’t even be using this!). And so I thought of doing a tree-planting birthday party. To make people aware that we need to plant new trees. To show them how I so love to breathe fresh air all day. But circumstances prevented me in pursuing this. The nearest place I can think of, Lamesa Dam, is quite far already to some people’s standards. Their planting area is 30 minutes away from the recreation area. Yes, I want my birthday celebration to have a purpose but I also want my guests to be comfortable.

And then, I get invited to the relaunching of Children’s garden. Halfway the program, it dawned on me that I have another option. To invest in the skills’ training of young boys. To help them acquire a future for themselves. My torn heart was swayed easily. I thought it more important right now to make a difference in these young lives.

In the office, I shared my plans to a friend who is also celebrating her birthday this month. Our decision? We cut in half the cost by sharing the expenses. We each bring in half the number of guests. For the same purpose. For the same goal. To raise enough funds for the boys to finsh school. The thirteen boys, anyway.

Here I am, half past midnight, still blogging and thinking. Wishing that all would go well come Sunday afternoon.

I just wish that some people wouldn’t give only half of what they promised to do.

But then, we can only hope for the best, despite our half ways. And pray that God would bless this event.

I know He will. God has never been the halfway kind.

Monday, August 06, 2007


This is me. Cannot be recognized because of the various contraptions. I even tried the flippers. It did made us swim faster but boy, were they heavy! I was feeling the cramps later in the afternoon.

Good thing our new found friends decided to buy an underwater camera. Otherwise, we wouldn't have captured the beauty of the sea. It can be challenging though. What with the strong waves and the diverting variety of the corals and the sea. In this picture, she was only able to catch half of my body.

This is a stone! Nope! I think it is another kind of coral. Or is it a dead coral? Hmmm...

I so love watching the fishes of the sea! Thank God that we were able to see a school of fish! I hope we didn't disturb the class! Hehehe. I miss Apo Island!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Thanksgiving with the ABCs

I make it a point to start a new year by writing down things that make me thankful for the one that just passed. I was not able to make one early this year. It flew too fast. So I decided to write them down as I start a new year that is more real. I am turning a year older.

Thanks Gypsy for the pattern! (

A: Answers. To many of my prayers. Spoken or silent. Even those that are so entrenched in my subconscious.

B: Blogging. In words or in pictures. Postings make me remember. To cherish the good memories and to learn from the bad ones.

C: Camera. Thank God someone created this technology, especially the digital ones. Capturing the imagery has become easier. Now, if only I can replace the broken one.

D: Darcy. My beloved McDarcy. He has been accompanying so much in my writing adventures, limited they may be. Kudos to Apple! No virus to worry about and better specs to offer!

E: Eyes that could see better. I took a courageous step this year by having LASIK. The better to see the world.

F: Family. I wouldn’t be alive without the parents who gave birth to me or the brothers who bugged me. :-)

G: Grub. I love to eat even if I don’t look it. Meat. Fruits. Desserts. Pasta. Fish. Anything and everything. Just don’t make me eat anything with coconut milk. :- )

H: Health. Mine is not perfect but I am happy to be able to walk, to see, to hear, to laugh, to work, to just be.

I: Internet. The DSL, most especially. Connecting has become much easier.

J: Jesus. My Saviour. Life would be so hard without His presence. He is loving and merciful. Faithful. Forever forgiving. He is constantly drawing me to Him. Despite me, mine and myself.

K: Kindred souls. There aren’t many of them but they make life better. Our diversity and similarity makes living more interesting.

L: Language. Its nuances. Its complexities. Fascinating part of interaction. Local dialects, foreign tongues even sign languages.

M: Me. I am thankful that I am me. Despite and because of myself.

N: Nos and naps. I have learned to say no. And still learning. Naps. I am beginning to appreciate them. Especially the long ones. Power naps! Yo!

O: Open-minded. Constantly learning how to be one. This is not easy but I am getting there.

P: Promises. Those that are written in the Word of God. I can always hold on to them when things don’t look so good.

Q: Quid. When you have them and you get to buy what you need and want. I only wish there are more of them to go around. :- )

R: Responsibilities. There are days that I hate them. I know though that I need them for direction, for stability, for the strengthening of my character.

S: Surprises. I love getting them. Especially those that make me shout with glee and jump up and down. A recent one is the promise of an unexpected trip.

T: Travels. I love to travel and see the world. Thank God for those that I got for free or subsidized!

U: Ubiety. For being born in my beloved country. Ironic that the more I travel, the more I love my country. Pilipinas kong minamahal. If only there would be less pollution and better roads. Or better yet, less politics and more actions.

V: Variety. There is beauty in variety. It is wonderful to try out new things and rediscover old ones.

W: Thankful for the WORK that He gave me. Makes me think and allows me to learn new things. There’s variety. I get to go out of the office once in a while.

X: Xystus. A garden path lined with trees or pillars during the Roman times. :- ) It is so hard to find a word that starts with an “x!” Maybe I should be thankful for a xylophone? :- )

Y: Youth. Technically, I may no longer be part of this group but hey, in my heart, I am even younger than most young people I know. Hurray for the young at heart!

Z: Zest. For life. Most of the time. I just hope that I won’t run out of supply.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thief of Always by Jaci Velasquez

Before the winter chill has gone
The springtime rivers run
Before the setting sun has disappeared
The moon is risin high

And time waits for no man
Seasons come and go
In the midst of an ever-changing world
This on thing I know

You've got to live every moment
As though it was your last
Before the thief of always
Steals tomorrow from your grasp
Before the chance to know his love
Has somehow passed you by
Let your heart reach out
Right here, right now
For the Lord to touch your life

Before the trees have shed
Their autumn gold
To leave the barest bark
The frost beneath the our feet
Will sparkle bright
Like crystals under the sky

And time waits for no man
Seasons come and go
In the midst of an ever-changing world
This one thing I know

Repeat Chorus

Don't ever doubt that God
Can lift us high
Allow the flame of Heaven
To be our guide

Repeat Chorus

Lion Chaser Manifesto

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshiping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Chase the lion.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson (