Saturday, January 26, 2008

Trinoma day

Field work yesterday brought me in the vicinity of Trinoma, the meeting place of several blogger friends for a dinner. A working lunch allowed me to end the day a bit earlier than usual (we're flexible). What to do with my precious two hours before the dinner? I was thinking of grabbing this chance to watch a movie since I don't get to watch that often anymore (considering that I am normally a movie addict!). But I felt dizzy. I knew I needed a quick sugar fix. The chicken meal from Jollibee was not sufficient to get me through a whole afternoon of meetings with people.

Went up the escalator. Looked around. Passed by Mary Grace. Saw Orange Juice. Nearing National Bookstore. And then, it hit me! Mary Grace! That was the place Pastor Jessie was telling me about! We were planning to go to the Fort Boni branch but I never got to actually savor its much-touted ensaymada. Hmmm... feed the stomach or feed the mind? But then, a month-long nightly date with Darcy (my iBook) to do my school work left me with a constant heaviness in my head. I need peace and quiet. And sweets!

I retraced my steps and settled myself in a corner. There were various choices but I opted for something light. I wanted to enjoy the dinner later. The prices of the sweets were okay but the heavier meals are a bit pricey when you think that it is not really a normal restaurant (like Cravings or Cafe Provençal). I ordered four kinds of the tiny square desserts (food for the gods, lemon cake, brownies and prune cake) and a frothy iced drink (forgot the name, but it was red and refreshing). I knew I was not supposed to read but I couldn't help but notice the interesting books all over the place. I picked the one about not sweating the little things in life (I forgot the title. But what's new? : D ). The entries were short and practical. Just the right company for me while I waited for time to pass by. The book reminded me not to focus on little things that can destroy a whole day, if you let them.

I enjoyed my time alone at Mary Grace. I should do this more often.

National Bookstore was the next stop. I wanted to buy a gift for a good friend of mine. It's hard to give her a gift though. She's one of those people who seems to have everything. But with the color combination of my gifts, I know she will love them, simple that they are. And oh, I bought two Philippine history books. I have to read them. I really am not too enthusiastic about it but it is required. Hay... this is going to be a trying time. And of course, give a girl some extra time, a mall-wide sale, a ready credit card, and voila, I bought a cute shirt from Orange Juice.

And then off to Gerry's Grill to meet blogger friends. Three were already there. Beng (, Carlotta ( and Sngleguy ( Then Verns ( It was my first time to meet her but I already visited her site. Her 99 things reminded me to finish the list I planned to do before the end of the month. I hope I get to finish it in time.

Of course, food at Dencio's has always been good. We enjoyed the crispy kangkong. Then there's the ever present sisig. Though I am not really a pork lover, I took some of the inihaw na lechon (but didn't eat the fat part). And of course, I savoured the squid, my all-time favorite. There's also the tasty vegetable kare-kare (Beng remarked that it only contained vegetables!). Oh, before I forget, just a comment, their lemonade was watered down too much.

There's time for some coffee. Verns led the way to Starbucks. It was right beside Landmark. And I admired its slick look, the grocery section anyway. I have to go back there and check out the women's section. I heard from another friend that there are pretty dresses there. Back to Starbucks, I totally enjoyed the verbal sparring of Verns and Snglguy. :- ) It was all for fun.

The shops began to close. Carlotta's eyes began to fall down. Beng was starting to yawn. The taxi line was getting longer. It was time to go. We just reached the beginning of the taxi line but twice, taxis kept zooming past us and go to the end of the line. I realized later on, inside the taxi we had to run after, that the orientation of the line was the other way around. Taxi drivers get confused. Trinoma should maintain a single direction for taxi lines.

I got home safely, filled with food and happy for a well-spent day in Trinoma. By the way, it was my third time. I plan to have a fourth, a fifth, sixth, tenth....

Trinoma picture from Superpatrick (

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Best friends

I've never believed in the concept of one best friend. The poem (forwarded by a friend) below is true for me.


When I was little,
I used to believe in the concept of one best friend,
and then I started to become a woman.

And then I found out that if you allow your heart to open up,
God would show you the best in many friends.

One friend is needed when you're going through things with your man.
Another friend is needed when you're going through things with your mom.

Another will sit beside you in the bleachers as you delight in your children and their activities.
Another when you want to shop, share, heal, hurt, joke, or just be.

One friend will say, "Let's cry together,"
another, "Let's fight together,"
another, "Let's walk away together."

One friend will meet your spiritual need,
another your shoe fetish,
another your love for movies,
another will be with you in your season of confusion,
another will be your clarifier,
another the wind beneath your wings.

But whatever their assignment in your life,
on whatever the occasion,
on whatever the day,
or wherever you need them to meet you with their gym shoes on and hair pulled back,
or to hold you back from making a complete fool of yourself ...
those are your best friends.

It may all be wrapped up in one woman,
but for many, it's wrapped up in several..
one from 7th grade,
one from high school,
several from the college years,
a couple from work,
on some days your mother,
on some days your neighbor,
on others, your sisters,
and on some days, your daughters.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I miss blogging

Just like the image... moi... for the next six months! wahhhhhhhh!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Culture in National Treasure

I didn’t think I’d enjoy National Treasure that much. But then, I should have known. Nicolas Cage is very good in choosing his projects. Most of the time, they are blockbusters.

Of course, the adventures were really enjoyable. Several scenes represented tension to the audience who waited with suspense for the next incident. I didn’t expect to chuckle almost throughout the film. The last time it happened was when I watched Robin Williams’ movie “License to Wed.” Yet, it seemed like there were times I was the only one laughing. Either my laughter button was too sensitive or the others didn’t get the joke. Useless to speculate. Either way, I might be damaging myself.

I will always remember that this movie was, in some way, a cultural experience. Snippets from various countries. The unique accent of a Frenchman when speaking in English. The literary knowledge of a French policeman. The run-down of British insults that do not sound like one. The handsome British security men. The narrow and wide roads in London. The origin of the Statue of Liberty. And others that I no longer remember.

There seemed to be numerous impossibilities in the movie. But then, it is Hollywood. It can make things possible.

Great movie to make one laugh. I really enjoyed the steady stream of deadpan quips of Justin Bartha. If only I could remember what the first National Treasure was all about.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Wanted : True-blue

I am beginning to think that they are on the brink of becoming extinct. The true-blue, anyway. True, some varieties exist in my world but the quality is not quite the same.

I can count with my fingers those who subscribe to the unwritten code. In fact, the criterion has evolved. Much like so many things in life. It has to, in order to be up to date to the changing times. It doesn’t signify though that change means it is for the better.

I often look for this quality among colleagues, relatives, friends, and more so, aspirants. But most of the time, I do not succeed. Yet, I cannot completely put the blame on their side. My category demanded too much parity that it has become tougher for them to delineate between equality and chivalry.

But what do I mean by the description “true-blue”? They are not those who open the doors, give up their seats, lift a heavy load, safeguard those who cross the street, and so many little gentlemanly acts, but directed only to those they woo. No, the true-blues are much better than. Why? For they behave in this thoughtful manner to everyone and anyone around them. To those who require some form of assistance. To those who could use some courteous deeds.

Lest I might be accused of simplifying things too much, let me supplement these conditions. They are concerned with your well-being, even willing to travel far to make sure you safely reach your destination. If unable to accompany you, they would surely check up on you. Even if they tease you extensively, their words still demonstrate respect and consideration. You would see their deference towards the elderly, especially to those who gave birth to them. There is the constant impression that they are willing, in any way possible, to lend a hand. To a girl or a boy, to the young and old, to strangers or pals, and to pets or humans.

I am finding it hard to describe in detail what it is that I search for. But I think everyone knows what it is I am trying to portray. Unfortunately, their race is dwindling. Pity. For it is one of our deciding factors.

I can count with my fingers the ones I truly consider as true-blue. I am hoping there could be more of them. There is still hope, I know. Still, I ask, where are the true-blues?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's so funny!

According to facebook, i am a strawberry. And the explanation is so funny! If you know me, you would know why! :- )

I'm a Strawberry
The sexiest fruit of them all - you ooze sex appeal! Who doesn't love some strawberries and whipped cream to spice up the evening - the official fruit of the Wimbledon, you are quite exotic by nature. While not easily found, you tend to hang around with others of your kind and understandably so, you sexy thing!

2007 Miracle list

Tonight, together with fellow influencers, I opened and read the list I made a year ago. I listed down five things, praying that God would make a miracle out of them and make them real.

Three were granted.

One was the gift of travel back to Europe. A total surprise since I was only on the waiting list. And most often than not, based on our experience, it meant that you really have to wait. For the approval of a training… the following year. But our Father can really astonish us with his wonderful gifts.

The second one was to understand my work better. And it dawned on me tonight that all the extra work I did a year ago, because someone bungled over a project assigned to her, helped me to have a better grasp of the field I am handling. I wished I realized it then. I wouldn’t have complained as much as I did. God works in mysterious ways.

The third was just a simple request. To meet new friends. I have been flooded last year with new experiences with people who entered my life recently and also got to know better friends I’ve known for so long. I learned a lot from them. To hear their perspective in life, to learn from their experiences, to analyze myself through what they have been through, or to just have pure fun in their company. To friends I met through this blog, to friends from my ICS family, to friends from Makati, and to so many other friends, I thank you. Your lives have enriched mine.

The two that were not granted will remain unwritten. I know God is working on them.

It was also during our time of sharing that I finally realized another proof of God’s constancy in my life. It was at this exact time, one year ago, that I became, partially, the head of the family, that is, financially. I became anxious, wondering how to work out the family budget from what seemed like a limited source. But the past year gave witness to God’s faithfulness. We are still being provided, beyond what others would consider enough. It was a reminder that I need not worry. He will provide. Always.

I plan to write another five things in my miracle list. Or maybe 10. Or 20. I am already excited to see how God would answer each one of them. There would may nays, yeses, and wait. But for sure, it will always illustrate how God makes miracles out of our lives. And I love Him for that!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Necessary change

To change. To become altered or modified. To become different.

This is not an easy path to take. Its likelihood will make one fear and be full of worry. It can paralyze the strongest person to take the first step. It will make the most courageous shudder with fear.

But it frightens me more to have a life that is not changing. I am more afraid of staying in the same place, the same situation, the same anything and everything.

I like change. It makes life interesting. Change brings variety. It colors life with different hues and sounds. It creates astonishing experiences. It teaches you. It makes you stronger and equips you to face greater challenges.

I do not want to wake up one day and be in the same situation I was three years ago. I dread to think that I could be the same person I was in my teen-age years. I would be dismayed to be doing the same thing over and over again for ten years or more.

They say that the only thing constant is change. True. But there are those who resist change. I am like that sometimes. But I realize, we can thrive more when there is change.

A warning, though. Change should always be for the better. Otherwise, resist it. It is no longer called change. It is stagnation.

Thank God, we can be changed! Come on, change! I welcome you.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happy centennial!

Me gustas cuando callas by Pablo Neruda

I just like the poem. :- )

Me gustas cuando callas porque estás como ausente,
y me oyes desde lejos, y mi voz no te toca.
Parece que los ojos se te hubieren volado
y parece que un beso te cerrara la boca.

Como todas las cosas están llenas de mi alma
emerges de las cosas, llena de alma mía.
Mariposa de sueño, te pareces a mi alma,
y te pareces a la palabra melancolía.

Me gustas cuando callas y estás como distante.
Y estás como quejándote, mariposa en arrullo.
Y me oyes desde lejos, y mi voz no te alcanza:
Déjame que me calle con el silencio tuyo.

Déjame que te hable también con tu silencio
claro como una lámpara, simple como un anillo.
Eres como la noche, callada y constelada.
Tu silencio es de estrella, tan lejano y sencillo.

Me gustas cuando callas porque estás como ausente.
Distante y dolorosa como si hubieras muerto.
Una palabra entonces, una sonrisa bastan.
Y estoy alegre de que no sea cierto.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I like you when you are still because it is as if you were absent,
and you hear me from afar, and my voice does not touch you.
Your eyes seem to have flown
And a kiss seems to have closed your mouth.

Like all things that are filled with my soul
You emerge from the things, filled with my soul.
Butterfly of your dream, you are like my soul,
and you are like a sad world.

I like you when you are still and it is as if you are distant.
And it is as if you are complaining, a butterfly cooing.
And you hear me from afar, and my voice does not reach you.
Allow me to be still in your silence.

Allow me to speak to you, too, with your silence
clear like a lamp, simple like a ring.
You are like the night, still and constellated.
Your silence is that of a star, as distant and plain.

I like when you are still because it is as if you are absent.
Remote and sad as if you had died.
One word then, one smile suffices.
And I am happy, happy that is not certain.

Translation by Alice M.Sun-Cua

I love this song!

I love this song. It was sang by Noel Cabangon. I learned it was made for the recent election. I can't get hold of a copy. But I hear it every morning from the station DZAS. I wish Filipinos would do as the song says...

If anyone has a copy, can you send me one? :- )

Pagkat ako’y ay isang mabuting pilipino
Minamahal ko ang bayan ko
Tinutupad ko ang aking mga tungkulin
Sinusunod ko ang kanyang mga tuntunin

Tumatawid ako sa tamang tawiran
Sumasakay ako sa tamang sakayan
Pumupila at di nakikipag-unahan
At di ako siga-siga sa lansangan

Nagbababa at nagsasakay ako sa tamang sakayan
Di nakahambal at parang wlang pakialam
Pinagbibigyan ko ang mga tumatawid sa kalsada
Humihinto ako pag ang ilaw ay pula
(Repeat Chorus)

Di ako nangongotong o nagbibigay ng lagay
Ticket lamang ang tinatangap kong binibigay
Ako ay nakatayo dun mismo sa kanto
Di nagtatago sa ilalim ng puno

Di ako nagkakalat ng basura sa lansangan
Di bumubuga ng usok ang aking sasakyan
Inanayos ko ang mga kalat sa basurahan
Inaalagaan ko ang aking kapaligiran
(Repeat Chorus)

Lagi akong nakikinig sa king mga magulang
Kaya’t pag-aaral ay aking pinabubutihan
Di ako gumagamit ng bawal na gamot
O kaya’y tumatambay at sa eskwela’y di pumapasok

Pinagtatanggol ko ang aking karangalan
Pagkat ito lamang ang tangi kong kayamanan
Di ko binebenta ang aking kinabukasan
Ang boto ko’y aking pinahahalagahan
(Repeat Chorus)

Akoy isang tapat at totoong lingkod ng bayan
Ang ???? o lagay ay di ko pinapayagan
Sapat ang serbisyo ko sa mamamayan
Di ko binubulsa ang pera ng bayan

Pinagtatanggol ko ang mamamayang Pilipino
Mga karapatan nilay kinikilala ko
Ginagalang ko ang aking kapwa tao
Pinaglalaban ko ang dangal ng bayan ko

Recitation (fading)
Panatang Makabayan

Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas.
Ito ang aking lupang sinilangan.
Ito ang tahanan ng aking lahi.
Ako'y kanyang kinukupkop at tinutulungan,
upang maging malakas, maligaya at kapakipakinabang.

Bilang ganti ay diringgin ko ang payo ng aking mga magulang.
Susundin ko ang tuntunin ng aking paaralan.
Tutuparin ko ang tungkulin ng isang mamamayang makabayan at masunurin sa batas.
Paglilingkuran ko ang aking bayan ng buong linis at katapatan
Sisikapin kong maging isang tunay na Pilipino,
sa isip, sa salita at sa gawa...

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Smashed in figures


Two offices.

Two, even four, kisses on the cheeks.

A lot of yearly good wishes.

One toast.

One glass filled with champagne.

One empty stomach.

One dizzy head.

Two weak knees.

One sofa chair.

One glass of water.

One visit to the loo.

A load of hors d’oeuvres

Endless sweets.

One full stomach.

Two feet on the ground.

One lesson learned.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Learning year

I declare 2008 to be a year of learning.

To gain knowledge. To obtain more information. To get hold of real wisdom.

To improve my mind. To hone my talents. To be better in my giftings.

To be more patient. To forgive easier. To be more trusting.

To acquire a new skill. To summon back forgotten abilities. To be better in just about anything.

And most of all, I want to always, always, see the beauty that God brings in everything.

*To learn to see bad experiences through the good we have gained from them. (Mark Batterson, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day)

= = =

I met new friends last Friday. It really is interesting to encounter people, to put faces to written words they post in the virtual world.

Abaniko made me remember the difference between the use of “batch” and “class.” Thanks Abaniko! ( Carlotta ( reminded of my desire to discover Manila. Let’s go take those walking tours! And though snglguy ( mentioned that he is the oldest, I think his memory was the finest among us all. Beng (, in her red dress and beautiful pearls, made us feel like we were in the company of the rich and famous.

Shy they were, but here they are : (in order) Abaniko, Beng, Carlotta and Snglguy. Til next time!

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 (