Follow your road

Just to Keep in Touch

Dear Friends,

My Trisha has moved to a dedicated website for her travel & leisure blogs (she is currently travelling South America). Her old website and Facebook page will no longer be active in a few days, as she transitions to the new one. Please check continuing stories about her new-found insights as a young Filipino woman travelling countries that do not require visa @ www.psimonmyway.com.

You may also place your orders for her new e-Book “Voluntourismo: How To Travel South America by Volunteering” -released a few days ago. (Negotiations are underway with Amazon, although she has already started marketing and selling it online. Find the link to purchase the e-book in her website.) Continue reading

Our Little Fly-Catcher

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Dixie hates it when something is flying around her. She lashes into a tantrum but makes sure she catches whatever-it-is that is bothering her.

 

Dutchy caught me frowning. “Why do you look sad?”I said: “I’m looking at the girl.”Dutchy: “Which girl?”Me: “Dixie. She’s eating a fly.” (Sigh)

Dutchy (Chuckled): “Good! A fly-catcher!”

Me: “Ewe.” (More frown)

Dutchy: “Everybody has a mission. You are lucky when you find it. Hahahaha.”

 

An Open Letter to my Father on Fathers’ Day

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Hey, you! This letter is for you. Yes, YOU, Jimmyboy!

Dear Papa, 

Our shared history had been long and full of sub-stories that you might fall asleep if I’d divulge all the contents of my journal in one sitting. 
You should know that you were my first true teacher in self-care. My awareness to take care of myself began when I was 8, when you first showed me those shocking mug shots of rapists in your police criminals file. Thank you for telling me (without mincing words) what they did to their victims. Because of that, I became paranoid, and ergo, survived the tumults of growing up in a place like Olongapo.

Continue reading

An Open Letter to My Daughters: Embrace Our Stories

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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

I almost lost a friend because of “Game of Thrones!”

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 Sing Songs to My Dog

jamby & me

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,,,)

“… Love is a gypsy’s child,
it has never, ever, known a law;
love me not, then I love you;
if I love you, you’d best beware!…”
Allow me to translate:
“Ang pagibig ay anak ng isang lagalag,
Hindi ito kailan man kumikilala ng batas;
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?!”

 

Positive Thoughts Are Powerful Prayers

IMG_6955When someone asks you to pray for something or someone, do not delay in granting the prayer request.

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.

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Love, Yes- Love Always Wins

 

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(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/)
Continue reading

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Knowing the Right One

 waterfalls 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) 396787_183950198370452_1502532577_nwiel & jen