Monthly Archives: October 2012

Cool Days with the Kids (Part 1)

Standard

Why do I love teaching? I came up with this list.

 

1. It’s a good way to exercise and to lose weight.

2. I get free hugs and bonus kisses from the kids.

3. I see them blush when they’d call me mom.

4. Birthdays are always special – theirs and mine.

5. I’ll never run out of gifts (teacher’s day, graduation day, Halloween, Christmas, etc.).

6. I receive flowers and chocolates on Valentine’s even when I don’t have a date.

7. I see children argue and make up quickly in the end.

8. I can showcase my hidden talents in singing, dancing, and acting on my own stage.

9. We can get silly, dirty, and still be merry.

10. When I see them outside the school, I feel like a celebrity.

11. They tell me their secrets, like I’m their trusted friend.

12. Because they tsismis almost everything to me; into the lives of their mom, dad, kuya, ate, yaya, driver, etc. I can get a peek.

13. I witness growth every day, eye to eye. 🙂

14. I’m forced to read and know a lot because of their endless why’s.

15. And last but not the least, every day is a happy day because of these…

Here’s a collection of jokes, most of which hilariously yet innocently delivered by students I had the pleasure working and learning with in GLC.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ria: Teacher what’s the name of this insect?

Teacher Jen: That’s a grasshopper.

Ria: What do they eat teacher?

Teacher Jen: They like to eat grass.

Ria: Oh, They’re like my mom teacher.

Teacher Jen: Why Ria?

Ria: Mommy likes to eat grass, too.

 

Teacher Jen: Francis, what’s your baon today?

Francis: (showing his pancit canton) Wow teacher! It’s my favorite.

Matthew: Teacher favorite ko din yan. That’s my favorite in the whole world.

Diego: (moved closer to Francis) Francis dapat di ka masyado kain niyan. Sige ka makukulot-kulot ang buhok mo. Gusto mo ba yun?

 

Teacher Odet: Who wants to go to heaven? (Everybody raised hands except Anjo) Why are you not raising your hand Anjo?

Anjo: Ayoko heaven teacher. Gusto ko Circle C e.

 

Teacher Jen: Kids did you do your homework?

Joseph: Yes teacher!

Matthew: Me, too.

Mac: Me three.

Andrea: Me four.

Diego: Me five.

 

Teacher Jen: Why are you moving the chairs Leila?

Leila: Kasi magpe-play kami bahay-bahayan teacher.

Teacher Jen: E sino’ng mommy?

Kids: Si Airah!

Teacher Jen: Sino’ng Daddy?

Airah: Si Angelo.

Teacher Jen: Sinong kuya?

Paolo: I’m the big brother teacher.

Leila: And I’m the sister.

Teacher Jen: E sino si Ron? Ba’t ka nasa likod? Ba’t di ka nakaupo sa chair?

Ron: Teacher ako kasi yung dog. Raf! Raf!

Teacher Jen: E sino kaya si teacher?

Kids: (thinking very hard)

Airah: (breaks the silence) Alam ko na teacher! Ikaw na lang yung manang.

Kids: Yehey!!!

Teacher Jen: (speechless)

 

Airah: Teacher Jen nanonood ka ba ng Sana Maulit Muli?

Teacher Jen: Hindi po e. Maganda ba yun?

Ria: Oo! It’s about love teacher. Just like the love of me and Joseph.

 

Miggy: Teacher you know I have a girlfriend already.

Teacher Jen: Really? What’s her name?

Miggy: Bianca.

Teacher Jen: Is she pretty?

Miggy: Yes teacher and she’s also sexy.

Diego: Teacher ako din may girlfriend na ko. 2 sila. Si Chezka and Sofia.

Teacher Jen: Ba’t 2 Diego. You should only have 1. Right Miggy?

Miggy: Yes teacher, only one.

Diego: Pero gusto ko madami teacher. Maganda yun para mabango lagi car ko.

 

Ron: Teacher alam mo ba madami kaming pera kaya madami akong pambili ng toys.

Prime: Teacher ako bibili ng toy na Spiderman.

Airah: Ako teacher yung Bratz na bag sa SM papabili ko sa Mama ko.

Leila: Ako nga may piggy bank sa house namin. Pag in-open ko yun bibilin kita teacher.

 

Diego’s Rules

Rule#1

Diego: Teacher dapat di makulit ang mga bata di ba?

Teacher Jen: Oo nga Diego. Di ba dapat lahat ng kids mag-listen kay teacher. Kasi if you don’t listen what will happen?

Diego: Naku teacher magiging ipis tayo. Mabaho yun.

Kids: Yuck!

Teacher Jen: (whispering to Diego) Sino nagsabi sa ‘yo niyan?

Diego: (very proud) Mommy ko!

Rule#2

Diego: Teacher dapat di tayo magtawa ng tawa.

Teacher Jen: Okay lang yun Diego para happy tayo. Pero dapat not too loud kasi we will disturb the other class.

Diego: Hindi pwede teacher. Sabihin mo sa kanila mag-stop na.

Teacher Jen: E bakit ba kasi Diego?

Diego: E kasi teacher pag tawa tayo ng tawa mapupuno ng laway yung tiyan natin. Iikot yun ng iikot.

Teacher Jen: Sino nagsabi sa ‘yo nyan Diego?

Diego: Si Mommy ko!

Rule#3

Teacher Jen: What food are we going to eat so that we’ll grow healthy and strong?

Joseph: Fish!

Francis: Vegetables!

Alex: Fruits!

Diego: Yes teacher kailangan natin mag-eat ng madaming madaming fruits kasi pag di tayo kumain non alam mo ba mangyayari sa atin?

Teacher Jen: Ano po Diego?

Diego: Mapupuno ng madaming madaming lansones yung mukha natin. Madaming bilog bilog. Di na tayo maganda tsaka gwapo.

Teacher Jen: Alam ko na kung sino nagsabi sa ‘yo nyan Diego.

Diego: Mommy ko!

 

Alex L.: You want? (wet wipes)

Teacher Lei: Ok! (wiping her face)

Alex: No no no! Don’t wipe your face, for pwet only!

 

Joseph: Teacher Odette you should buy a new radio, not that eating radio! (pointing to our cassette recorder)

 

Carla: Do you live here teacher?

Teacher Jen: No Carla. My house is far. I have to ride a jeep to get here.

Carla: How about a cab?

Teacher  Jen: I can also do that but it’s cheaper when I ride the jeep. I don’t have enough money to pay for the cab everyday.

Carla: Don’t worry teacher when I open my piggy bank I’m gonna give you some dollars so you can ride the cab.

 

Pierre: Teacher nagpunta kami sa sementeryo. Nagkita kami ng syota ko.

 

Teacher Lei: O Jade, what animal gives the sound moo, moo…?

Jade: Moo…moo…

Teacher Lei: Eh what animal po?

Jade: Moon!

 

Nico: Teacher o! Sementeryo! ( pointing to the drawing )

Teacher Ching: Sinong nasa sementeryo?

Nico: Ikaw!

Teacher Ching: Sa taas, sa ilalim?

Nico: Sa ilalim.

Josh: Teacher dapat may U sa pangalan ko.

Teacher Ching: Bakit?

Josh: Kasi, Matthew – “ Math- U”

 

Nicole: Teacher Lei, kita ka namin ni Mommy ko.

Teacher Lei: Oh talaga? Saan?

Nicole: Sa church!

Teacher Lei: Huh? Bakit di naman kita nakita bakit di mo ako tinawag para nakita kita?

Nicole: Eh teacher, di ba dapat kapag nasa church quiet? Pa’no kita tawagin nun eh nasa church nga di ba?

 

Sophia: (Singing)

Teacher Bebet: Are you attending voice lesson?

Sophia: No! Girls lesson.

 

Teacher Ching: Saan makikita ang vegetables? ( answer: FARM)

Chloe: Sa palengke!

 

Josh: Ako malaki na ako, 6 na ‘ko!

Classmate: Ako big na din, 4 na ‘ko!

Another classmate: Ako, bigger, mag 24 na ‘ko!

Josh: Hala! Sobrang big naman yun, hanggang langit na yun!

 

Teacher Lei: Ay! Don’t say pangit to your classmate. Sabihin mo lang, maganda at pogi ka.

Karl: I know!

 

Trishia: Ako sad ako kasi wala yung mommy ko.

Josh: Bakit? Nilayasan ka ng mommy mo? Lumayas na siya?

 

Thanks Teacher Odette for keeping a copy of this. 🙂

Advertisements

Beauty from Chaos

Standard

Happiness is a choice. Sometimes though, choosing it is not that easy especially when one has gotten used to being lonely. When there are just so much wounds to heal and more than enough bad memories to bury, finding joy can be quite a challenge.

These thoughts were plaguing my confused mind again. And no matter how hard I try to remind myself that “I am totally, completely, and perfectly loved” the words somehow lost its significance – which is a sad thing as well.

So the fight began again, the fight against all those ugly feelings and thoughts wandering in my head. And while this mental battle was on, an uninvited thought presented itself to me. Why not look for the article you wanted to read this morning in school? So I did and surprisingly I somehow found a treasure of help.

Title – Why I had to go through my Pain? Writer – Bo Sanchez. Talk about good timing. 🙂 Using this I got to know a woman preacher named Joyce Meyer. I discovered her struggles which led her to many years of loneliness. But the inspiring part there is that just like Bo, she emerged victorious in the end. She didn’t let painful episodes of abuse from her own father get in the way for her to succeed and to serve. She even mustered enough strength and courage to forgive. Yes beauty has risen from chaos! Interestingly, while her story amazed me I allowed myself to swim in the pool of great possibilities. Now with little excitement running in my head, I tried so hard to filter through my memory and search for even just one moment when I personally witnessed something glorious coming from a complete disaster. After some minutes of trying, this is what I found.

These pictures were taken a few years back (in the year 2009 if I’m not mistaken). This is something very special to me and I’ll forever thank Teacher Isbel for bringing us to this wonderful place. This is the summit crater lake of Mount Pinatubo which is located near the boundaries of Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales provinces. It was formed after its climactic eruption on June 15, 1991 which wreaked serious havoc to many people residing near the area. In those times, hope was nowhere to be found but then after many years, the very same thing that caused them pain and suffering is giving them a sense of pride and profit as well with the flock of tourists wanting to get a glimpse of its grandness. Seeing this astounding work of nature with my very own eyes brought too much joy to me. Never mind the long walk, the sun and its royal hotness, the dust, the sweat dripping profusely on our faces, the price is worth the climb. I could almost see and feel God’s hands. 🙂

And so gradually I began to realize that we actually have the skills to win over depression or any other sad memories pushing its way into our system. But then we have to try really hard. In some occasions, there’s even this kind of unhappy feeling that can hit you so bad you can almost touch it. It also has its way of affecting you physically so you just tend to feel lazy, wanting not to do anything other than to engage in a mental note of all the sad events that took place and even play it repeatedly in your mind.

These are some of the things I found useful to do or maybe wise not to do when down and feeling gloomy. It’s worked for me (and is still working) and you might want to try it, too.

1. Identify its roots. Recall the events that took place before you started feeling down. Writing them down helps a lot. Try to get a picture of how your day was spent. Who were the people you talked to? What did they tell you? At the very bottom if you dig some more, you will realize that there’s something that set it off. And the events that followed merely supported or worst highlighted that thing which started it. It’s never random at all.

2. Don’t wallow. Once you learned the cause, reverse the exercise. Make black white. Or maybe red, yellow, pink? This time catalogue all happy thoughts you can think of. No matter how bad your day has been, surely you can come up with a few simple things that somehow made you manage to give even just a faint smile. A cute baby seated next to you, a text from a friend, a compliment given randomly, a good meal maybe. Focus on that, and allow it to grow. Before you know it, a few more happy parts will be added to your picture. Be thankful for those simple joys you witnessed or experienced.

3. Find a creative outlet. Turn this negative energy into a positive energy. Squeeze all the creative juice in you. Draw a picture, play an instrument, sing, cook, eat if that’s creative enough for you. Get your mind busy with other things. Make yourself productive. I remember an art class I took when still in college. I learned about Picasso and his “Blue Period. ” From 1901 up to 1904, he produced essentially monochromatic paintings in shades of blue and blue-green, only occasionally warmed by other colors. His works depicted melancholy using models who were somber and cheerless. All these reflected the depression he underwent due to some sad events in his life including the death of his friend. During those years, he had a hard time selling his paintings because it did not command much interest and excitement from the crowd. These days, however, the very same paintings were among his popular works.

The Old Guitarist (1903)

It’s also good to know that this lonely period ended with the coming of more optimistic and vibrant masterpieces. The “Rose Period” began and from 1904 onwards, Picasso’s dark and downbeat colors were replaced by dazzling and vibrant hues together with happy subjects. So let’s take comfort in knowing that doleful phases in our lives also have expiry date. But then again it requires effort on our side.

4. Do something active. Studies show there’s a link between physical activity and feeling happy. Exercise promotes happiness and has an anti-depressant effect. It activates a special part in the brain that produces endorphin, the hormone which block pain and responsible in giving us feelings of pressure as well. So lace up your shoes even when you’re feeling down. Go for a walk or run around, drop by the gym, be happy and healthy at the same time.

5. Don’t stay inside your room. If you can’t help it, don’t lock your door. When we’re isolated, the more we feel depressed, the more we think we’re alone and unloved. Let others see you. Allow them to help you. Underneath all these ugly feelings is a person crying to be understood and to feel loved. Also, there’s an added pressure to fight sadness when you see people looking at you. The scary part with confined rooms is that the walls may whisper something bad to you – a shortcut to finding that evasive happiness??? a second rate version of happiness??? There are many destructive things you can try when no one is watching. These thoughts you shouldn’t entertain. They will only give you temporary fix. Leave your house if you must. This way, you see other things and other people and they’re all moving. You remove the attention from yourself and from your feelings. Let the surroundings entertain you.

6. Don’t open Facebook. Now this may sound weird. Sometimes no matter how much you wish to feel happy for others, you just can’t do it because you don’t have the happiness they have. While pictures of friends, relatives, and other familiar faces are proudly displayed on your wall with their big smiles that call for a celebration, you may start wondering how come they’re happy and you’re not. Instead of sharing their joy, you began to envy it. And the more you start feeling depressed because their happiness highlights your sadness.

7. Find good role models. Search for people who’ve been through the same situation and were able to turn their lives around. Let their stories inspire you. I remember one thing Brother Bo said in one of the Feast sessions. “If you don’t see good people around you, then you’re hanging out with the wrong crowd.” I was stunned. It makes sense actually. Look for good people, successful people, positive people. Widen your search and don’t just settle. If you can’t find real people just yet, then use the Internet. Read books, watch movies, listen to some talks. Don’t give in to the idea that you’re a victim of poor circumstance and bad people.

8. Journal your feeling. Write everything, the triggers and also the solutions if you’re able to help yourself. This can be of aid to you. Use this to study your patterns. What situations usually make you sad? Can you move away from them? Are there people pushing some painful buttons in you? Are there vampires sucking the joy in you? Is there a way for you to avoid them? Your journal will help you get to know yourself and your issues.

9. Talk to someone. Pour out your emotions. There’s someone out there who’ll find the time to listen. Join groups and engage in conversations. If your loneliness is too much to bear, then it’s time to seek professional help. Accept the fact that you can’t deal with it on your own just yet. That will not make you lesser of a person. If all else fails, remember there is always someone up there ready to listen. Talk to Him in prayers. Write a letter for Him if you can. Listen to the words He will tell You. You may not understand it at the moment but then in His own time you’ll make sense of it all. Pain is there for a reason. Loneliness is telling us something so just keep hoping. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”- Deuteronomy 31:6

Happiness is a choice but more than that it’s a conquest. It’s a territory that has to be fought over and conquered. You don’t just wish it. You work hard to get it. It’s a conscious decision you make even when you’re in a mess or you have been in a real mess and the residue of which still runs in your veins. You consciously decide to turn the tides in favor of you and not against you. So let’s all strive to be happy. Every day is a gift. Open it with a smile even when tears are falling from your eyes! 🙂

Hands

Standard

At long last, I finished this article. Yey! This took place many weeks ago when I joined the grade 1 students of Raya as they explore and witness the beauty of Laguna and the craftsmanship of its people. It’s just that busyness or maybe also laziness got in the way.

We had a jam-packed schedule. We left the school early in the morning wanting to do a lot. Unfortunately, we were greeted by heavy traffic so we had to adjust our plans. You can just imagine the never ending “Are we there yet?” hirit of the kulit kids. The more they felt heart broken when we finally reached Laguna but then we had to find a different route on our way to Pakil because of the high water that prevented the van from moving forward. Most parts of the bucolic place was flooded due to heavy rains in the past few days. Good thing Teacher Sarah who hailed from Laguna was there as our dependable tour guide.

After more than a 2-hour drive, we were able to reach our first stop. The Whittler Arts and Crafts of Pakil. Yahoooo!!! And wow! It’s like a mini paradise with all the nice and seemingly real displays that they sell at very affordable prices. We were surrounded by vivid colors that call happy thoughts everywhere. There were flowers, fruits, vases, statues, boxes and many other home decors. And yes, since it’s almost Christmas, Santa Claus was all over the place. Our eyes went big with amazement.

Pakil, Laguna

Hand Works

All of them were made from wood. They call the process whittling. These snooping eyes we have even went bigger when Kuya showed us how they do it. His hands worked like magic. The tiny piece of quetaña wood with the aid of a sharp knife was transformed into a lovely bird in just a few minutes. Lucky Anya got it. 🙂 The others however did not hesitate to spend a part of their precious baon to buy something nice and pretty for their families. Daniel bought so many gifts for himself and his parents. 🙂

The Demo

Next we went to Paete. And in this special place we saw their old but still beautiful church. There was a friendly guide who briefly explained the history of the town. I sat there listening and at the same time looking at the retablos. The last time I saw them was when I was in college touring with my classmates for our Art class. I was still swept away. Then the same man in front told us about the old painting situated at the back. They are planning to have it restored. It’s been there since the time of the Spaniards. Too bad the termites are attacking it and the painting that was once in its glory and rich hues is now dilapidated and is almost in ruin. The residents of Paete are asking for donations from the kind visitors who go to their place.

Paete Church

Outside the church, is a small table filled with taka works. Taka is the Filipino word for paper mache. It’s been a popular industry in this small town. Quickly, Ate showed us how it’s done.  First, tear the paper into smaller pieces. Get your mold (which can be ready made) and put a small amount of wax on it. This is to easily take off the paper when dry. Soak the paper into a bowl of home-made glue which is basically gawgaw and water. Put the paper onto the mold one at a time. Press hard to make sure there are no bulges. The goal is to see the mold’s perfect shape. Add more layers and wait for it to dry. When done, slowly take off the taka from the mold. You may add paint to make it look more real. The Rayans gladly took the chance to showcase their artistic gifts. Excitedly, they used their small hands to make their own masterpiece.

Taka session

When the session was over it was already lunch time. We took a short walk towards a small eatery. There, our empty stomachs were filled with foods that were served with love. Some kids brought their own lunch. Those who didn’t feasted on the crunchy shanghai while the others could not hide their heart’s content with the hot and yummy pancit served on their tables. As for the teachers, nothing can beat the energy brought by rice. As in madaming kanin with sinigang na manok  and sweet and sour fish to match. We needed much to compete with the kids super high energy, you know. 🙂

Happy eating!

When everyone’s full, we walked again this time to get back to the van. We could not help but admire the many other taka works being sold at the shops we passed by. Every now and then, no matter how we wished to hurry, we would stop and take a peek at the treasures inside each store. And we were all in awe. Here’s just one of the breath taking works we saw. Thanks Teacher Jobelle for letting me use the pics.

Window shopping

We’re still overwhelmed by the beauty of the takas when another work of art presented itself to us in the small town of Lumban. We visited Burdahan. It’s a tiny place that caters to world class embroidery carefully woven on piña cloths, some of which were interestingly dyed with inviting colors. What a beautiful shop filled with beautiful dresses, carves, barongs, and even bags made more attractive with their intricate designs. One of the staff told us how they do their job. The owner even showed us pictures of some stars who wore their gorgeous clothes. I wish to go back to this some other time not feeling guilty of buying something I really like. 🙂

Burdahan

Tired and again hungry we all felt came mid afternoon. But the best part was yet to come for we’re on our way to Aling Taleng’s Haluhalo. Yumyumyum!  The once quiet store, was in an instant filled with hustle and bustle the moment we arrived. All credit to our ever rowdy kids whose excitement is quite contagious yet still unparalleled. We waited patiently, but more eagerly. And when the glasses of haluhalo were finally right there before our eyes our glee level went super high. Wow! The kids’ joy was too much to handle more than the cold ice, sugar rush and the perfect blend of the all the ingredients at hand. We stayed there for almost an hour, bought some more delicious treats, and then got ourselves ready to go home.

Aling Taleng’s Haluhalo

Again what a loooong trip. It was even made longer this time around, because it’s Friday. The long line of cars slowly inching forward was completely a depressing sight especially when one is exhausted and too eager to lie on bed. We were in fact there too long it’s already dinner time. The children were complaining their hungry and there’s nothing left to eat anymore. Luckily Teacher Jobelle still had some crackers which she generously gave to the kids. And what happened next was a sight to behold. Surely, it will stick in my mind. All of a sudden the children are searching their bags, inspecting their food containers, making sure there’s nothing left inside. After a few minutes, there were food all over our small place. Jaco brought out his biscuit that’s salty and spicy (He super likes spicy food) but the kids didn’t mind. There were peanuts and cookies being passed around. Kiev opened her container and offered the chicken that her mom cooked. The kids huddled in a small circle while eating the leftover kanin with their bare hands even when there was no ulam left. Teacher MJ and I were both laughing the whole time. Kawawang mga bata. When everything has been shared and finished, the kids were recharged. They were noisy again, and having their own party with Gabe’s torch as their disco light. They were waving their hands up and down, dancing to the music they proudly sang. Quite an adventure we had!

We reached Raya at 7:30 pm if my memory served me right. There were parents waiting, children laughing (some crying), and stories that can’t wait for tomorrow. Well I have my own story, too. For that day, I saw many hands. Hands at work, hands that tire, hands that rest, and hands that work again after a little while. There were those hands that took us safely on their wheels, hands that showed us magic is real. There were hands that served, hands that made, hands that can restore. Busy hands, loving hands, hands you can’t ignore. There were hands that fed and hands that led. There were hands that shared their little joys.

I know my hands can do more. What can your hands do?

Lost and Found

Standard

You will seek me and find me if you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:13

Good job Mathilde!

I’m on cloud nine. I’m once again taking a walk along the love avenue. Watching “A Very Long Engagement” left my senses in such a happy state. I wanted to see this movie many years ago. I don’t know what took me so long to find the time.

The plot was actually simple. The setting was France in the time of war against the Germans. There were 5 French soldiers who were sentenced to die for using self mutilation as a means to escape military service. One of these is a young man named Malech who just got engaged to his girlfriend Mathilde. It appears that all the convicted men were killed based on the stories of those who luckily survived the dreadful day. However, Mathilde refused to believe them. Trusting her heart, she went on a desperate search for the missing love of her life.

This quest lead her to a web of more mysteries, scandals, heartaches, and triumphs. With the help of a detective she hired, loving guardians, and also a touch of luck, she was able to discover the interesting stories of the other men who supposedly died with her fiancé. All these tiny bits of information were put together for her to get a better picture of Malech’s whereabouts.

Being glued to my seat for almost two hours is a bit challenging. I find it hard not doing anything when watching something. But I got hooked with this. I was completely charmed.  You see, I have a thing for search drama kind of film for I’ve been doing my own kind of “searching” as a kid. I’ve been looking for one thing person I thought would make my then sad life complete. I even tried cyberstalking for years. I was lucky technology was on my side, unlike Mathilde. But then she made it. She’s beaten the odds. While in my case, it took a really long time. But it doesn’t matter now. I still won in the end. 🙂

And with this small victory that changed the course of my life, I would like to share some steps, I believe will be useful to people engaged or is thinking about engaging in some form of “searching”. All leads are worth pursuing. So read on if you’re interested.

  1. Know what you’re looking for. Discern if it’s worth your time and effort. Will this lead to you becoming better or will you end up losing a part of yourself? What makes search operation exciting is that you don’t know how it’ll end. There’s no ironclad guarantee you will win. Are you ready to accept what this has to offer you even when it’s in stark contrast to the picture you painted in your head? If your answer is yes, read number 2.
  2. Take the challenge. If you feel ready and you’re open to getting hurt, go for it. This is not easy. You can take counsel from your family and friends. But sometimes, these people love you so much that they’d end up sheltering you from more heartaches. But then, the decision is always yours to make. When they frown at your choice, assure them you’re prepared for anything and you’re not willing to accept defeat. You are less likely to be blown apart by others’ judgment if you know you’re ready.
  3. Seek help. Help always comes. There are people who will come to our rescue but we have to ask first.  Also when we do this, the burden that we feel to be ours alone dissolves. A heavy weight is lifted off our shoulders. In Mathilde’s case, there was the detective. Then came the other characters like Biscuit’s wife, Tina Lombardi, and the farmer just to name a few. We have to tell them our stories and give them our trust. Weird as it may sound, we might be striving for the same end. Our needs and cries are interconnected. After all, our stories were written by the same hand. Sometimes even in the most unlikely situations, there’s a fountain of hope that springs. If all else fails, don’t forget that God’s line is always open. 🙂
  4. Celebrate small victories. Any kind of “searching” is hard. You will encounter many twists and turns. You will win as much as you will fail. Focus on the little triumphs you’ve accomplished. Remember you’re always in a much better position than the last. Any kind of result only means one thing. You are doing something. You are moving. Don’t get discouraged. Keep hoping and keep moving. Let your little victories inspire you to move ahead. These, after all are the branches by which you’ll catch and climb. Remind yourself there’s a bigger prize waiting in the end.
  5. Fight till the end. What’s inspiring about the film is the knowledge that truly a determined spirit is a strong human trait. When we are willing to run the race before us and finish it till the end, we will be rewarded. It may not always be the ending that we hope to get. But then, we’ll realize that the journey itself no matter how difficult it may be is our prize to claim. For by taking it, we’re able to discover untapped resources, strengths we never thought we have. So press on. Though you can’t see the finish line, there’s no reason to stop. Keep your optimism alive and afloat but always be ready for anything.
  6. Love prevails. No action is ever wasted when you do it with love. Search with a hopeful and loving heart. Any kind of atrocity is to be denounced. Let there be no grudges. Push hatred and prejudice aside. We are able to give more if we allow ourselves to. We are able to do more if we try. Let love inspire you to do the impossible. Love will guide us to knowing the next right step. And before we know it, the last step is right there before our very eyes.

I hope to live very long. In those many years to come, I’m certain that there will be many more things to look for. I wish to find them all. :)I know it’s not easy but I will persist. After all, I was once lost but then found. Only because You didn’t give up searching. You searched for me and You found me because You looked for me with all Your heart. 🙂

May we all find what we’re looking for. Cheers to all our dreams and hopes!

One Day

Standard

One day I will go to Your place. I will look at You eye to eye and I will only see loveliness. I will run towards You just to feel Your warm embrace. While You will extend those loving arms of Yours and excitedly wait for me at one end. Every step I’ll make is a step towards perfect happiness. No more worries. No more hurt. No more sadness. You will wipe every single tear coursing down my cheeks. All the wounds and scars I have will vanish. You will burn away my imperfections. You will take away my sins. I will rest my head on Your chest and I will clearly hear Your heart beat. It will speak of love, forgiveness, trust, joy, hope, faith, and peace. You will tap me on the shoulder, and give me a smile that’s big, wide, and certainly the sweetest.

One day. No rush, Lord. One day, I’ll see You face to face. For the meantime, I’ll find my own heaven here on Earth. 🙂

Forgiveness

Standard

Why is forgiveness never easy? And how come You’re so good at it? What do You have that we, humans lack? You can easily forget even the biggest mistakes we did without us having to say we’re sorry. You’re love for us is bigger than the whole universe. Indeed, we are Your special sons and daughters. You see how beautiful we are despite the dirt, smell and ugliness brought by wounds that won’t close and sins that won’t budge.

These thoughts linger in my head these past few days. I can’t help but think about some distant memories. It brought me melancholic thoughts when I revisited them. But what’s hard when you think about these feelings is that you can’t push aside the people who caused them, too. It’s a package deal, I think. There’s never a crime without someone out there who started it. They always go together. And then gradually, I don’t feel sad anymore. I feel angry more than hurt, asking more than crying. Forgiveness is hard. I wish there’s a manual for it and I can just condition myself to learn it in a few weeks and then days after that I’ll be perfectly happy and whole, completely healed and looking untarnished and unhurt. How I wish wounds heal easily, maybe forgiveness will come easy, too.

But is that the kind of forgiveness You want us to practice? I know it can never be forced but do we have to wait for our wounds to heal before we can be ready to do it? If not, when is the best time for it? Do we do it while we’re hurting, while we’re nursing our brokenness? Or do we do it when our perpetrators are in deathbed, suffering extremely, in pain, delirious yet certain of dark things to come? Maybe that’s one beautiful face of death. It paves the way for making up, mending broken relationships, realigning priorities, and yes forgiveness even when no one’s asking for it or is willing to admit mistakes. It’s such a humbling experience. It makes us realize how small we are and how big Your love is that You’ll always find a way to make us experience it even up to the last minute, fill our hearts with it and share it with others including those we hate or at some point in our lives hated. Little by little, atrocities made in the past are diminished into pieces. They suddenly become petty, unimportant. For during these times, You’re the only one that matters. Love is the only thing that heals.

Lord teach me to love just like You. This way I can forgive others, even when it’s hard because it still hurts and they won’t ask for it. Help me learn from Mama. Help me find joy in doing it.

Thanks Tita! I’ll remember the cake all my life.

Sister’s Keeper

Standard

For 26 years, I have a younger sister. And that makes me feel glad, sad, bad, mad, and then glad again. 🙂

Two Red Noses

Growing up together, we had a pretty long list of crazy things we did as crazy little girls. Do you remember the tiny store we put up with friend Daisy as our sole customer? The gift hunting in Tita Yholly’s closet so we’ll have something special to give to Mama on her birthday. What about the endless fight over who’s going with her to the market? The long and tiring chase around the old mango tree every time we’re caught red handed for silly crimes we did. And the secret agreement whenever we’re forced to eat veggies.You always take small bites from my plate so I can be spared from spanking, right? And the siesta we hated so much, with the crystal clear image of the wide yard and all our neighbor friends having fun in our heads. Going to school together in a tricycle and scheming a way to get discounts from Manong driver. The petty fights over who will get the nicer toy. And will you ever forget the fire incident in Bagbaguin? The one we completely ignored despite the thick smoke entering the house because we were so into who’ll get the Ms. Asia Pacific title? What else can I think of? The field days and wearing Mama’s make up. All our Christmas dresses with little bags to match and the search for all our ninongs and ninangs. And a whole lot more.

Years passed and those stories changed. Some of them became more beautiful, others scary and sad – losing baby, missing Papa, Ondoy, getting sick, getting better, feeling down, standing up again.

I’m sorry I didn’t look after you as much as I can. I wanted so much to do it. The thing is I was also young then. I didn’t know how. We were forced to grow up due to all the many chaotic things that took place without prior warning. But the problem with learning once forced is that it never becomes that effective. You get some of it but you end up forgetting lots of it. I must say Brother Bo was again right when he said we should allow the natural ripening of things, not just things actually but even people.

We’ve been through a lot. I’m sure there will be more. As you said, we can do this! We could have done this actually, if we didn’t get scared. God bless us. Happy birthday!