March 23, 2012

Langga's Graduation

Today is my niece’s graduation from grade school. Oh but she’s slowly turning into a young lady. I must admit, I still call her ‘litol gerl’ with a slip of the tongue every now and then. Her mom would immediately ask “litl gerl pa ba ‘yan?”. She’s grown taller and trying to act all grown-up already but mind you she still takes some time to play with toys and re-read her old children’s books.

Their theme song for their graduation was You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban. Ah, i realized that's why i keep hearing her singing the tune for a couple of weeks now. I appreciated the homily that the mass celebrant gave during this morning’s Eucharistic celebration. He mentioned about the story of Derek Redmond, the runner who was out to get the medal for the 400-m race in Barcelona back in 1992. He was determined to bring home a medal, whichever color medal it may be. Once the race started he was actually doing well, when suddenly, about 175m from the finish line, he heard a pop and felt pain. He had pulled a hamstring. He tried limping but fell on the track agonizing over the pain, thinking “There goes my medal.” He knew he was out of the race. This dashed every last hope of him winning an Olympic medal.

Medical aides were rushing to his side to help him but he sent them away. He decided to finish the race. Hobbling on one leg, bearing the pain, his tears running down his cheeks, he inched his way slowly through the race track. His dad Jim, who has been his coach all his life, pushed through the crowds and came running towards him. He told his son he will stay with him and they will finish the race together. Derek sobbed and slowly father and son made their way towards the finish line. All the spectators stood up to applaud and cheer them on. Nobody paid heed on who finished first. All eyes were riveted on the couple slowly making their way forward. A few steps from the finish line, Jim let go of his son so that Derek would step through the finish line on his own. I'm posting this video that i saw on youtube on this story. All credits due to the one who posted and to ESPN.

I admire the close son-father relationship displayed in the story. They exemplified what a good parent should be to his child, always walking along with him/ helping him, but ready to allow him to finish a task and take credit on his own.

That is what God the Father is to all of us. If we just call on Him, He will not leave us to go through life alone, beating the odds alone, taking all the pain alone. Each time we fall, He is there ready to pick us up and hold us up if we but remember that He is a Father watching over all of His children.

I remembered the poster that hang on my housemate’s room way back in our university days. It said: “The race is not always to the swift and strong but to the one who keeps on running.” I do solemnly agree. For me, life is not a race but a journey, an adventure that we need to enjoy and hence savour every little experience that life has to offer. It does not matter if we are a late bloomer or slow learner. The memories we make, the values and meaning we pack into every moment of our life is more important than all the money or wealth that most people are trying to accumulate nowadays. Quality time with loved ones is very important. We cannot chase after materialistic dreams and successful life status symbol if it is at the expense of human relationship with family and friends. What empty success and hollow victory that will be.

Such story is one of triumph of the human spirit. We all go through difficulties in our life. There are times we fail. But this is not always because we are not good enough or that we did not try or give our best. There could be several reasons why this happen. It may just simply be not meant to be. But if we continue striving and keep pushing forward, overcoming weaknesses and turning them into strengths, then we are on the way to a very meaningful victory in life.

Kitakits Na Naman

Met meanne and lexa again yesterday. Av set a meetup at her place as lexa requested to see me before going to dumaguete this morning. Since thea and her bro and sis-in-law were staying at a hotel near av’s place, we thought of going to dampa and feast on seafood. At around 6pm, av called to say she was yet to get off work, meanne would still be leaving from malvar, batangas and kwini cannot leave before 8pm. With everyone coming late, we decided to just buy stuff and cook at av’s store. Camille, av’s niece, was also there. But alas, kwin was not able to come. missed you there kwin!

So off we went to check out the seafood galore in the seafood market along Macapagal avenue. We had good fun ogling the seafood fare on display. I must admit there were some creatures i did not recognize so I had to ask. Av is really good at haggling. Thea was amazed how we saved a hundred bucks for a kilo of shrimps. We ordered for the sinigang and baked tahong to be cooked at Cuzina restaurant already while we went around the shops some more. We met groups of Koreans on our way to the fruit stalls. Imagine our surprise to see even more Koreans sampling the various fruits on display. Indeed there's a lot of them here in our country appreciating our culture and our way of life, what with the very low cost of living here compared to their own country. Of course they can afford to feast on seafood anytime.

After waiting for our orders to be cooked, we went back to Av's place and had the crabs and shrimps cooked. We had hinilabos na alimango, buttered shrimp, baked tahong at sinigang na panga (ng maya-maya), all with green mango ensalada and tokwa’t baboy. Looking at just the four of us girls, thea’s brother was surprised to see the food served in front of him. Oh yes, kuya, we have big appetites. We know how to appreciate good food. bwarharhar!

Talk was equally good. Was kept abreast of what’s been happening so far in each other’s lives. Am so happy to hear of news about old friends again. This is one of my life’s little joys.

We said our goodbyes after watching the replay of American Idol. Well, we’re all still cinderella’s in our own little world, so before the clock struck twelve, we bade farewell to each other and promised to keep in touch.

March 19, 2012

March Update

Talked to daddy yesterday. He asked about langga’s graduation. Our little lady will be graduating from elementary this friday. Finally, she can really say, "Yey, i'm free from school." (well, grade school that is). Mom called this afternoon. Today is my lola susing’s birthday. They went to visit lola at the cemetery and afterwards shared a simple lunch at home. Lolo vino, lola susing’s remaining brother alive, led the prayers. They had just come from pagadian this weekend to attend the wake of a relative. Truly, mom continues to forge strong family ties within the sapong clan.

Have just finished watching (for the nth time) a fave knovela, the legend, starred by no other than love of my life bae yong joon. J

(* photos courtesy of Google search)

Sorry folks, please bear with my quirkiness. Just can’t resist watching that beautiful smile. I really am enjoying life’s simple pleasures these days.

And faithfully waiting for life’s little miracles.

March 15, 2012

Life's Miracles

i am so blessed to have a lot of me-time these days. have been trying out recipes, downloading my fave songs, watching my fave dramas over and over again, reflecting on God's words regularly, and writing again.

i must admit that at the back of my mind i have that fear about my future nagging at me. but still, i am grateful for a lot of different reasons. and i have learned to appreciate so many facets of life this way.

just this evening, when i opened my facebook page, i read the sharing of a high school batchmate about her struggle to beat breast cancer. she learned about it last year when she was 34 weeks pregnant with her second child. and it has been such a struggle (emotionally, physically, psychologically, spiritually). it is such a blessing that she has a very supportive and loving husband and there was an outpouring of support from family and friends. she underwent mastectomy 2 days after her scheduled induced delivery. she cried a lot when she realized that she could only breastfeed her second daughter for 2 weeks from her right breast while she breastfed her first for about a year. given the fact that she was 38 years old (considered young), her doctors advised aggresive treatment against the big C.

when her hair started falling off 2 weeks after she started chemotherapy, that night her husband shaved her hair. she cried when she looked at herself in the mirror, thinking: "how can anybody say bald is beautiful?" asking her husband if she looked okay, her husband said she's beautiful and hugged her. she wore a wig since and a beanie which was perfect during the winter season. she joined a support group of cancer patients and survivors and that has been a big help.

after 8 rounds of chemotherapy she is now on remission. thanks be to God! it is truly amazing how miracles happen in our lives. i can just imagine how happy she and her family must be. to be able to stay with your family and loved ones longer is such a blessing. what's more important is that she became even closer to God during this journey. naoms, stay strong and firmly rooted in the Lord.

in this journey, "forward, always forward", we go! tomorrow will certainly bring more miracles.

March 11, 2012

3rd Sunday of Lent

"For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength." - 1 Corinthians 1:25

heard this song again during today's mass. felt God's love once again. a blessed Lent to everyone...

March 08, 2012

Araw ng Kababaihan

today was the last day of exams for my niece (exams from monday this week, including today's NAT). kaya naman heto ang idinikit niya sa wall ng room namin.

hahaha... natawa ako. to think nasa elementarya pa lang siya ha. she'll be graduating in a couple of weeks. at aabutin niya ang 6-year high school program na ipapatupad dito sa pinas beginning 2012. mahaba-habang pag-aaral pa langga ang haharapin mo. i hope you'll still be carefree and be able to go through life hassle-free. but we have to take each day as it comes. just continue to be passionate and let your voice be heard. grow in wisdom and virtue and continue to be as your name says, malaya.

btw, it's international women's day.

to all women, i pray for freedom from harassment, from persecution, from discrimination, from violence, from tyranny as well as freedom to choose, to be heard, to act, to love, to work, and simply to live equally among all men.

isang pagpupugay sa mga kababaihan saan mang sulok sa mundo! God bless you all! God bless you mommy!

March 06, 2012

Walking with the Lord

another re-post.....

"You may not know where life's road will lead you.
But keep moving.
God is walking along with you. "

it's one of life's mysteries- where the road will lead us to. but the challenge is the journey itself. the road can have its twists and turns, uneven pathways and perilous climbs as well as days of quiet meandering and level fields. but i aim to savor the journey. i want to...

stop to smell the flowers,
take a nap under the shade,
listen to the chirping birds and
the sound of running waters,
enjoy the local fare,
sway to my own dance rhythm,
share warm memories with the people sent my way,
look out for angels,
relish each second,
treasure breath-taking moments,
expect the unexpected,
fill my senses with proof of God's glory.

March 05, 2012

Siksik, Liglig at Umaapaw

Today's Gospel reading is lifted from Luke 6:36-38

Jesus said to his disciples: "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you."

March 04, 2012

Next Chapter Coming Up Soon

let me quote this from my cousin's FB page:

"Never beg people to stay against their will,
sometimes the gift of GOODBYE opens up another DOOR for you.

MOVE ON, WALK out your history,
and CREATE the next chapter in your life."

Not Safe in LB

it's very sad to hear of news about the rape-murder, holdup-murder of young students in the LB vicinity these days. to think that back in the days, we used to walk the streets of UPLB even in the early morning hours, dahil sa inuumagang pag-w-workshop ng org o di kaya practice ng group activity sa klase o kaya pag-g-group study. but now, it's no longer safe to do that.

i hope that the local government will do something to improve the security in the area and make LB a safe place for students and residents once again.