Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
As the water receded (albeit slowly for some places), I got more news about the situation of my friends and their families. The stories were hard to hear. The houses were submerged, people stayed on the 2nd, 3rd floors, and roofs of their houses. Many went without food and water for 12 to 24 hours. And when the rains stopped and the flood waters went down, what was left were mud-and dirt-filled houses. Appliances, clothes, furniture, books, electronics, documents, in other words, everything, damaged or destroyed.
We are now trying to raise funds and gather material donations to help those who are need. Right now, we could only focus on those we know personally. We know that there are others who are worse off… some completely lost their houses while others perished in the waters. Those people we know are just thankful that they and their families survived.
The admirable thing about us Filipinos is how we could come together when faced with tragedy. We rise to the occasion and do the best we can do to help those who are in need. I just wish we could always be like this, even when there is no tragedy.
I hope there won’t be any more rains for the next few days. Lord, please give us some respite. Blow away the coming storms. We need time to rebuild lives.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
I learned the news and made me think
Was the decision correct?
The right hand was opened to let it go
For in the other hand was kept
Something thought more important
But then, what was within the
Struggled out and it too flew
Nothing now within the
Should despair be the result?
Yes, but it should only be for a minute or two
For in fact, the hands should have remained open
Never keep something back
Allow God to be the one to move
He would place inside what is meant
To remain within forever.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I’ve been trying to hold it off. I was quite busy so I often find ways to make excuses but I knew I needed to do the necessary. So Friday afternoon found me surveying the inside of my closet, executing judgment on my clothes. Which ones should go? Admittedly, I already weeded out the ones that were easy to let go. But to some more I must say good-bye. I didn’t think it would be so hard. But it was. I’ve gotten used to them, comfortable to wear, still presentable, yet I feel that their time with me is over.
So goodbye dear pants and blouses. I will miss you but for sure your new master will appreciate you.
Monday, September 21, 2009
There were no stars in the night sky. The wind blew strongly almost constantly. Ill weather foreboded. It did not rain from the beginning up to the end. Because it was claimed through the most powerful name in this world. Only the tears from the balladeer’s eyes fell on that rainless night.
To many people who watched, it was a very special concert for it showcased two of our country’s very talented singers / performers. I believe though that for Mr. Pure Energy, it was more than that. It was the night that God spoke to the soul of the Concert King.
As he sang a song he did not pen, the Spirit touched him so that the words would come from his soul.
Because You have forgiven me
Too many times it seems
I feel I am not what you might call
A worthy Christian after all
Though I love you so temptation finds its way to me
Teach me to trust in you with all of my heart
To lean not on my own understanding
I just forget, you won’t give me what I can’t bear
Take me out of the dark my Lord,
I don’t want to be there alone
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
But I am learning to be more at peace. Because I know that God is my peace and my hope.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Sunday, September 06, 2009
“I am just a girl, floating in front of a guy, asking him to love her.” Seems like a lame line considering that it was originally from the Notting Hill movie but not when it is delivered by Eugene Domingo. I don’t think I would ever forget this line. Or the movie-long laughter I had as I watched the movie featuring the main character’s awesome talent. Everyone would probably say that I have been living under a stone, but yeah, I was. I might be the only Filipino in Metro Manila who doesn’t know her. My defense? I haven’t watched TV for the last two years.
Who is she? Why is her name a guy’s name? Such inane questions because it doesn’t matter. I truly had fun. And the hundreds of moviegoers with me last Saturday. Everyone laughed.
So what did I like about it? The humor was just right.
And you get a great deal. Imagine, double the talent of Eugene Domingo! You get her as the “abrasive” but competent Kimmy and her twin, the “simple” yet tender-hearted Dora. I am no expert in Filipino comedy movies but the punch lines were delivered just right. Though it was not a GP movie, it seemed like nothing in it could be described as too distasteful. It was just right. Of course, there were irrational scenes, bordering on the fantastic but I think they were made to make a point about the level of emotion of an actor.
My friend rightfully pointed out that there were certain actions that were not consistent with the original personality of a character but she also said that we have to remember that this is a comedy movie. And I completely agree. I think it meant to show the talent of Eugene and in this, it was successful. To be able to shift from one character to the other is truly amazing. Just disregard the unnecessary.
There were a lot of surprises for me in the movie. Appearances of certain actors and actresses. True, there were formula jokes but one feels a sense of unpredictability with regards to the words and actions of Kimmy and Dora. And I liked that the ending focused on the relationship of the sisters.
So please watch the movie. To support the local industry. To laugh. Or both. Or learn from the unique fashion sense of Kimmy and Dora.
Friday, September 04, 2009
I was now knowledgeable on how to return my used MRT cards and to buy new ones. Armed with the instructions of my Singapore-residing friends, Shawie and I bravely took our first metro ride without our unofficial guide. In a way, it was our first adventure alone. At the station where we were to take the bus to the Night Safari, I lost Shawie for a few minutes. Good thing we found each other again. And gratefully, we found the right bus to take.
The bus ride was long. I was able to nod off for a few minutes (Yeah, I was still tired and lacking sleep). I was so sleepy that I bumped my head against the glass window! That really woke me up! Our limited time in Singapore would only allow us to visit one tourist park and we chose the Night Safari. But the entrance to the Zoo Safari was just a stone-throw away so we roamed at the entrance for a few minutes and took each other’s pictures.
The fee (entrance + tram) was quite expensive (around P1000) but it was either that or choose the less expensive ticket and just take a walk around the Safari area. We chose to get the former to truly enjoy what we wanted to see. It is not everyday that we could go to Singapore for a night Safari. So why the name Night Safari? Because it opens at 7:30pm and ends at midnight? Well, yes, but a better explanation is that it is meant to showcase 100 species of nocturnal animals in their natural habitats.
We were again fortunate to talk to a Filipino working in the zoo. He gave us an itinerary to maximize our time and still catch our bus and metro rides. Complete the tram ride, watch the Creatures of the Night Show, try to catch the Fire show and finally take the different walking trails. So we did what he suggested.
The tram ride provided us with a general view of what the zoo has to offer. It was amazing how the management arranged for the place to be safe while letting the animals appear to be in their natural habitat. It was possible to imagine that they could just walk up to you. Thank God for ravines, fences, and wall-length glass dividers. The Creatures of the Night Show was really fun. The hostess was very good (though her voice was a bit too shrill for my ears). The performing animals were very impressive as they followed the instructions of the trainers (and ate the food being given them!). The audience volunteers were happy to play with the various animals which included a python! Because the Fire show already started and we had limited time on our hands, we opted to spend our time on the walking trails. Completing the walkways together with the Leopard Trail, Fishing Cat Trail and Forest Giants Trail was quite challenging. But it was all worth it. Seeing the animals first-hand and from such a short-distance was unforgettable. And of course, my favorites were the paths with lions, tigers and leopards.
On our return home, the few voices echoed loudly inside the near empty train. Our bus ride was again uneventful except for the moment when it was quite hard to find the exact change to pay our fare. And also when we were not sure on which bus stop we were supposed to get off. Thank God we arrived safe and sound to our temporary home.
Our return home:
We rose up early. It was a working day for Christine. I and Shawie must make our way to Changi Airport for our return trip. Time flew so fast. We were once again traversing the tree-lined and very wide roads but now on our way to the airport. My former colleague met us at the airport and fed us a filling Mcdo breakfast. She even surprised me with a birthday gift. On the plane, we had noodles and water for lunch.
It was my birthday and I really didn’t know what to feel. Time stood by and new memories were created in my mind. Time to go back home. Back to reality.
A promotion from a budget airline a few months ago and the presence of a close friend in that part of the world helped seal a spur of the moment decision to take a very short vacation for my birthday. I felt that I would need a necessary break from everything when this time of the year arrived. So Friday midnight found me and ate Shawie (she also celebrated her birthday, a few days before mine) at the immigration of Changi Airport in Singapore.
A very busy schedule in the past few weeks (or months?) prevented me from making my usual habit of checking out the interesting places to see in a particular country. In short, I left my fate to my dear friend Christine. Graciously she provided me with an itinerary. Her long stay in Singapore and her travel experiences with her many visitors (friends and family, and their family and friends! The eternal extended Filipino family! ) could almost make her earn some extra income for being an unofficial official tourist guide.
I was happy to discover Singapore. Ate Shawie and I appreciated the wide and tree-lined roads that led us to our temporary abode. To begin our first full-day, we were led by a dear friend, Christine, to enjoy the Southern Ridges and were treated to an amazing walk on Henderson Waves, Singapore’s highest pedestrian wooden-decked bridge. Under one of its numerous waves, we had our tasty and spicy breakfast. The early morning walk ended up a hilltop destination, Jewel Box, where we took a cable car ride straight to Sentosa. All this time, when people talk about Sentosa, I thought it was a shopping area (I found out later on that it was the Orchard instead!). With our limited time, we quickly roamed around, saw and had our pictures taken with Merlion (a little version), took a bus ride and then a tram to and from Siloso beach (but walked a bit on Tanjong and Palawan beaches). A side comment… we still have (much much much) better beaches.
We next went to Vivo City Mall to meet my former colleague Jen and her husband. Our lunch inside at the Food Republic was delicious (more so because it was free!). It was paradise to those who love hawker’s food but afraid of possible germs and bacteria. We ate gado gado, sop buntot, chicken rice, some dumplings, etc. We burned off those calories as we walked along Orchard. Of course, I just had to try the Singaporean version of street ice cream: the size of two matchboxes and sandwiched between two sweet wafers. Surprisingly, it did not melt. We roamed around inside a few shopping malls, such as the iOn Mall and successfully conquered our impulse to buy a shirt from an expensive Spanish brand. Then off to Marina Square Food Loft to have an early dinner. We wanted to eat at the veranda to enjoy the aerial show (???) or rehearsal for Singapore Day (August 9) but all the tables were filled up.
We went inside the Asian Civilization Museum primarily for the air conditioning and to refresh ourselves. We were also fortunate to buy a souvenir shirt on sale. Then off to Kallang Indoor Stadium to attend a Praise and Worship Celebration. We found ourselves being led to stadium seats that were very near the stage. American singer Bob Fitts, his wife and then an Indonesian P&W team led the singing. Someone spoke, another led the prayer,and then there was some singing again. There were a few moments that I almost fell asleep (because we didn’t get enough rest the night before and we have been walking all day long).
Lion Chaser Manifesto
Chase the lion.
In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson (www.evotional.com)