Dear Ana Patricia and Denise Paulina,
At this age, I don’t subscribe to pain (alone) as a fuel for inspiration. A well of happy thoughts can bring sweet water to the spirit. I am so blessed in having them, these moments I call day-by-day miracles. Thanks to you, your brothers, and Wiel.
Once upon a time, life wasn’t like this for me. Continue reading
Don’t laugh, I’ve experienced it myself: No one can truly say when a spoiler is a spoiler. It is not determined by time nor venue where information was released or published. One cannot say, “Ah, but the book’s been out for years” or “It’s not my fault that you didn’t watch it last week” (or last 2 weeks or so on).
I have a precious gf who didn’t have the chance to catch up with regular viewing of Game of Thrones in HBO because of her busy work and mommying schedule. After a week that the “Red Wedding” was shown I posted my reflections, and boy, was she annoyed big-time! She chastised me via open FB and tagged my name to call my attention! Worse, one of her over-zealous FB friends, cursed me and wished for my death. That hurt. Continue reading
I heard the news today, oh girl.
It seems like it was only a moment ago: We were wearing that checkered burgundy and black A-Line skirt with necktie and white blouse for uniform. Colegialas. We were Sorority Sisters, Greek goddesses in-training. Continue reading
Everyday I sing to her. Can you guess what her favorite song is? — Bizet’s aria- ‘Habanera’ (in dog language, of course: aw-aw-aw-aw,,,)
it has never, ever, known a law;
love me not, then I love you;
if I love you, you’d best beware!…”
Huwag mo akong mahalin, at mamahalin kita;
At kapag minahal kita, mag-ingat ka!…”
Jamby would be so excited to hear me sing. She would push her face close to mine, wanting only one thing, as if saying: “Let’s rub noses, please-please?!”
Sometimes we commit the mistake of being forgetful amid the hustle & bustle of our everyday lives.
What if your prayer is the last one that the Higher Power is waiting for, that would help someone you know recover, gain some victory, or survive an ordeal?
I remember my mom telling me when I was little: Every good wish or prayer you utter for a person goes to a ‘baul’ (treasure chest) in heaven that will earn you some good points when it’s your turn to be prayed for.
Others call it karma.
I think positive thoughts have the power to multiply like good bacteria. A positive thought is an expression of genuine concern and friendship. And prayer is a strong form of a positive thought.
The next time someone asks you to pray for his or her concern, do not allow the opportunity to earn points for your ‘baul’ escape you. Pray with that person. Guaranteed to make you feel good knowing that you helped a friend feel safe.
(Note: The title of this story was inspired by a line in a book written by Mitch Albom “Tuesday With Morrie.” Contexts do not matter, whether they are the same or different. Love is all-encompassing.)
My daughter is a peace worker at the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (or OPAPP). It was only less than a year ago when the country achieved a milestone in history when the Peace Pact in Mindanao was signed. (Gov’t, MILF seal preliminary peace pact) I wrote an article (not about the peace pact at that time) but about Denise and her commitment to contribute to the country’s peace efforts in her own little and humble way. (http://www.countrysidewriter.com/there-was-a-girl-a-peace-worker/)
Many summers ago- I asked AIM professor Cecilia Manikan (who mentored Christine Carlos & I in Management Education in the Arts): “How do you know when you found the right one?” (It was a question from out-of-the-blue and unrelated to what was being discussed. It was a time of hopeless romanticism. I was tired of waiting for a fairy tale that wouldn’t come. Let me tell you now that fairy tales are overrated!) However, the whole class seemed eager to know the answer, too. Cecille looked me straight in the eye and said: “When you are the right one yourself.” Just like that. “Please turn to page __ of your reference book.” came her next remark. From then on, life became an education and practice in self-work, reparenting the child within and self-care. One day, Dutchy just fell down from Love Heaven. Many times I was asked by young (and not-so-young) women who came to Cafe by the Forest to partake of our food, our Cappuccino, “How did you know he was the right one?” Each time it was asked I will respond the same way it was given to me by Cecille. (It was her birthday on April 18, I learned from FB. Happy birthday, prof!) Today, I read this letter of John Steinback to his son. http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/01/12/john-steinbeck-on-love-1958/ The last paragraph is timeless and not only it applies to the quest of finding love but also to everything that we are looking for in life. “If it is right, it happens. The main thing is not to hurry. nothing good gets away.” (30)
Strange but true: We are giving Dee Smith a welcome fellowship party @ 6 pm today- cakes and coffee at the Cafe by the Forest. So I thought of hitting two birds in one stone: Buy the cakes from SIH Terrace and annoy Michael like I always used to. i haven’t spoken to him for months so I looked forward to being showered by his sardonic humor.
As I was selecting cakes, the Terrace manager, Edwin, offered me the usual FOC coffee. I said yes cheerfully and “By the way, where’s Michael?” His face turned ashen then sad: “You didn’t know, do you? He died last night at 11 in the evening in the hospital.”
I was shocked. I fought back the tears. I knew that Mike had been sickly of late but I didn’t expect that he’ll leave this early. He had always been robust about life. Some memories flew by as I stared at the cakes.
Michael Wilson, British Honorary Consul in Subic Bay and Subic International Hotel’s GM stood by me during a challenging period in my work life. (The hows and the whys shall remain quiet paragraphs in my private memoirs.) Subic Bay Freeport was young then and so were we. We jokingly called ourselves “survivors of political skirmishes.”
We were gung-ho about a lot of things then. We thought we would see Subic fly like Hongkong in tourism but it’s been nearly two decades and still it’s not happening. And yet, we stayed on, faithful to Subic. I told him once: “I never imagined myself living in another place.” He nodded and puffed a smoke on my face.
Despite this unfulfilled dream of ours, Michael didn’t lose his humor and stayed in Subic. Last time we spoke, I urged him to quit smoking to which he replied: “You’re no fun to be with, lady!” and called a staff: “Give this woman whatever she wants so she’ll leave immediately.” Hahahaha.
Subic will never be the same without Mike. He will be missed and remembered with fondness. (As usual, as it was with all my friends, I never attend wakes and burials. His remains lie somewhere in a funeral home in Taguig, I was told.
The last memory of him in my mind would be his squinting eyes as he told me to: ‘Leave,” his cigarette smoke trailing behind me. I blew raspberries. Our goodbyes always ended in mutual giggles.)
My sincerest condolences to his family and to his friends and fellow workers who are mourning his death.
And Michael, wherever you may be (in case there’s you-know-what), I hope you know that I am giggling while I am writing this.
There was a girl who works in the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (or OPAPP), who sometime ago complained of hyper-acidity and the occasional stomachaches that go with it. Her mother made her take all kinds of tests and after learning that it was from stress (the usual culprit), she sat her down: “Resign, hija. That job is no longer healthy for you, all those 12-hour days!”
Mama was relentless in making sure her daughter explores other job opportunities. She was worried about her health as she was worried about her own sanity. Her friends (some of them can make things happen) were very supportive. One friend offered to hire the girl in her department in a multinational firm. Another offered to help her get a Master’s Degree scholarship in a premier university. (More promising was it may possibly continue to a PhD degree overseas). Continue reading