Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January 30, 2013

Innocence of the World :-)

Irish Capuccino at Euro Cafe

Yesterday, I went to Euro Café for a quick meal, I just want to relax and de-stress so I decided to drop by. Though this café house at the basement of Gaisano mall is surrounded with a play house with noisy children from all walks of life jostling inside the area and with their tiny voices screeching everywhere, I love resting there to indulge on my curiosity about children’s behavior. You see, I love discovering things even how trivial it is ^____^.

So while waiting for my order: Gideon Grilled Chicken and Irish Cappucino, I observed them closely. Oh! How I love the noise of the children, it’s so exciting at the same time appalling, I could see the innocence of the world in their smile and laughter, it’s so fantastic to hear them scream and screech, chuckling on a senseless stuff, jumping and shoving as if they own the world while their parents struggled hard to prevent them from falling. But as I see it, the kids did not mind with their parents’ predicament, all they cared at the moment is having fun and laughter. And that’s what makes the world of innocence very fascinating and carefree!

And this little scene of life wrapped me up and really made my day, it’s just a simple thing, so immaterial and yet the happiness I felt is so priceless and relieving. Through the laughter of the children, I felt the world is so lovely and wonderful, so harmless and virtuous.

The different behavior of the kids intrigued me, felt like I am in a battlefield of toddlers with distressed adults unsuccessfully taming them, watching them fought and scrambled with their parents or guardian just to allow them to play more on an extended hour until the last drop of coins were released, enthralled me to no end thinking what if I became a parent also?

What would I do with this kind of wrangling and wailing if I have my own kids? What kind of discipline I would instill to refine their attitude in public? What kind of preparation of parenting I would undergo to ensure they would never become so hardheaded and spoiled brats? Is a finishing school (a training school for character refinement dealing with manners and etiquette) concept of early educating kids are so timely and appropriate? Oh yes, so many thoughts, so many ideas fidgeting in my head at that moment.

Haaay! It’s just so amusing to see children wiggled with sad faces of parents’ expressions darting nearby hehehe!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

January 27, 2013

At Euro Cafe Again

Whenever I want to unwind and relax and “hide” from annoying people, one option I would always consider is to escape to a café house. There, I would find peace of mind and serenity. The environment is so calm and cool. The quietness and homely atmosphere of a café house made me feel so protected and pampered and I have plenty of time to think about myself, about what happened in a day and about contemplating what to do with my future.

If I have my laptop with me, I would go to a café house with a free wifi, my favourite destinations usually are Kangaroo, Café Demitasse or Yellow Hauz, these places are so quiet and away from the bustling city so I can explore what’s on my mind at the moment without intruders. But if I leave my laptop at home, I would just go to Euro Café in Gaisano Mall for a quick meal.

 When I am at Euro Cafe, my favorite drink is always IRISH CAPUCCINO. I am not a regular coffee drinker but this one tastes so good I cannot resist the temptation!!

I love its oh so smoothie taste!super yummy :-)

Yesterday was just another day for this routine. I was so overwhelmed with so many thoughts about life that I felt I need to de-stress. Since the idea just hit me while walking on the road with no particular way to go, I decided to visit Euro Café.

I took a deep breath upon reaching the area, felt like I was home again. I ordered a simple meal: Gideon Grilled Chicken and Irish Capuccino. It tastes so good! While eating, I watched the show on television just in front of the glass wall of the café. I chuckled a bit because it was a GAG show, not sure if it was a British edition or US. I was so engrossed watching this show that I did not mind the passing of hours!

Gideon Grilled Chicken!

It was so hilarious! I had a great laugh that afternoon, so while sipping Irish Capuccino, I thought about how wonderful God is, how huge is His love. He never fails to delight me, to let me know that the world is a happy place to live in despite chaos and frustrations, that life is not all about sadness and disappointments, not all about misfortune and rejection but it’s also about inspiration, joy and excitement.

God always finds way to make me so contented and so grateful. Thank you God for another gift of the day, another gift of laughter and amazement, another reason to dream and hope.

So the next time I would feel so alone and disgruntled, I will make sure to visit a café house, it’s a two way happiness, aside from savoring delectable European dishes, I have plenty of time to acknowledge God’s love and think about my life in general.

Monday, January 14, 2013

January 14, 2013


I am a TEA drinker but hardly an addict :-) 

The difference between an addict and simply a drinker is the amount of the beverage consume in a day. An addict is someone who cannot resist the craving and temptation and who consume several cups in a day but a drinker is someone who only drink when necessary. I only drink tea when necessary, say, when I eat starchy foods and desserts, when the weather is super cold and when I am sick.

So I am just a drinker and not a Tea addict. As much as possible, I want to take everything into moderation, not just for Tea but for all beverages and foods I am consuming, it's always bad to go beyond the limit. 

Tea has caffeine which brings no good to the body when taking in large amount. I've read once that caffeinated beverages are bad for women who are pregnant, planning to have a baby or into breastfeeding because caffeine blocks the absorption of Folate in the body. Folate is necessary for the proper brain development of the child, lacks of it can cause birth defects. I am not getting married in the coming months but it's better to be prepared all the time than feel sorry, right?

As for my Tea drinking habit, I preferred Green Tea over other tea variants and coffee because Green Tea is loaded with high antioxidants which protect women from premature aging, cancer and other chronic illnesses. Coffee contains large amount of caffeine which is not good. For other people, coffee might be a comfort drink but for me it's an annoying drink because it irritates my mood and my stomach :-(
The tea I am drinking now

I've tried several TEAs already but there's one brand, according to a study, that contains the highest concentration of antioxidant--Celestial Seasonings Green Tea in AUTHENTIC variant. So this is now my Tea choice. I always put honey  on it to add a spike of sweetness and to balance the tea's bitter taste. Honey is also loaded with plenty of vitamins and minerals. 

I've tried Apple Cider Tea too, it felt good, very therapeutic, it provides remedy to an upset stomach.
I'd tried this once

But I want to be more natural with my Tea drink, I want something fresh and authentic, so my mother told me to bring a fresh Tea plant from our backyard which my father planted a year ago, it's now growing abundantly and consumed by my parents freshly, chewing the leaves after plucking. 
Our homegrown Green Tea fresh from our backyard

My parents are into herbal consumption too, almost all kinds of herbs have become part of their lifestyle in the province. They regularly consume yellow ginger powder mixed in malunggay stew, in milk and oatmeal. My father makes Lagundi syrup regularly as a natural remedy for cough, cold, fever and headache.

According to my father, herbs contain the highest concentration of antioxidants and other healthy benefits when harvested at early dawn, between 4:00 and 6:00 in the morning. So everytime he prepares Lagundi Syrup, he would wake up early to pluck fresh lagundi leaves. He used pure honey instead of sugar when making syrup.

Yeahh!Herbs are excellent it provides natural health benefits to the body and Tea is fantastically good to soothe stomach upset and headache. I love its bitter taste too when eating suman and other starchy foods.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

January 13, 2013

20 Things About Me

Okay. I am officially bored. But far from sad hehe!

And when I am bored I just want to update my blogs, posting entries endlessly, confiding emotions, sharing what's on my mind to get me through the day without being cranky. 

Today is another day. 

Wow! Days are moving so fast ! And still I am procrastinating hehehe! I should be making advance reading for our subjects in the comprehensive exam ahead of our review next month but here I am putting off my plan to read books hahay!

We heard that in Ateneo MBA, taking comprehensive exam is more difficult than writing thesis, professors will really make students' life more miserable by giving a gruelling exam. So I really have to prepare :-) 

Last Saturday, I met my MBA classmates at Ateneo, we have to submit one copy of our transcript of records to the SBG (school of business and governance division) office before we could take the exam so we went there to file a request.

We also got our grades from our last semester subjects and so happy to have a higher grade in strategic management! This is one of the most difficult subjects in the MBA, with all the stress and tension to undergo and a strategic planning paper to do, having a higher grade is such a big accomplishment.

So now I am very inspired :-P I am confident I could land a good job after graduation, I am fervently hoping all my aspirations in life will finally come true this year.

Okay now I got myself busy writing again haha! I will start studying next week, promise hehehe :-D so while waiting for my boredom to subside, I will have to write anything that comes to my mind now.

Last night while blogwalking (to different sites), I read this very interesting post of an Indian blogger, it's all about 20 Things you want to know about her, I was so fascinated with her post that I immediately made my own version too haha!

1. Typically I am a girl...
     because I love the color Pink!

2. My greatest crush is....
    Direck Lino Cayetano. He has this very poetic set of eyes that seem lurking when he smile. He is very intelligent and smart.

3. I like guys....
   Who are incredibly smart, intelligent and determined and vain hehe! I like guys who know how to take care of themselves, you know the physical appearance stuff of grooming, cleaning nails, keeping everything neat all the time. I am easily attracted to someone who is a good conversationalist, someone who talks about delicate and complicated topics. I like to ask questions and if he can quickly answer my inquiries and my curiosity, wow that's great!!!

4. My typical day starts with...
   A full breakfast. I don't want to miss breakfast because this is the most important meal of the day.

5. My night ends with...
   A rosary. I always make sure I pray the rosary every night.

6. I hate...
    Bars,disco houses and all sorts of night life, cigarettes, liquors and Kate Middleton hehe! :-P

7. I admired...
    Warren Buffet (because Steve Jobs is now gone). His brilliant investing strategies are some of the most successful techniques in the world of business. Hope  to learn from these techniques.

8. I am obsessed with....
   blogging!It's my way of relieving tension and anxiety of everyday life.

9. Hope to find more time....
   Cooking and baking! I love experimenting recipes. And Jogging too, my belly is bulging!!Hope to trim down a bit before summer hehe!

10. When I am sad or just idling in my room, I would...
    Re-watched the episodes of ROSWELL and LEGEND OF THE two favorite TV series!

11. I dreamed to own...
    A small house with a beautiful garden and lots of glass windows.

12. I am collecting...
    Books about monarchy, world wars and biography of famous people.

13. My idea of a relaxing getaway....
    Taking a roadtrip somewhere and laying in the beach at sunset, listening to the splashing of the waves, waiting for the dusk to come.

14. I can get mad, really mad when...
    People started pushing me to a guy not my type. Yucks! My mood would really turn 180 degrees to hell and would make me vomit in disgust. It is something I find very repulsive and stupid.

15. I wish I could...
   Get married and have kids haha!

16. One hint that I like a person...
    When I love talking and when I would be communicating non-stop and when I felt very comfortable.

17. I hardly go outside without...
    Putting on facial cream with SPF at least 20. Having an umbrella even without rain. Heat of the sun is so harsh now and I want to protect my skin from photo aging :-)

18. When I have money and given a chance to splurge, I would...
   Buy kitchen wares, cooking materials, blouses, sandals, bags, a wallet and MacAir :-D

19. I wish I could learn...
   French and Italian languages!Hope to learn these languages before I turn 50 hehehe!

20. If I could live life all over again, I would...
   Take masters early on, get a great job and take my parents into a leisure trip around the country and abroad.

Friday, January 11, 2013

January 11, 2013


This is my third year of creating this list!

Yeah, the idea is somewhat perfect because this would give me a chance to tell the readers how each person had inspired my life and made it worth living the past year.

I've been reading TIME magazine since my teenage days so creating this list is somewhat very special.

TIME's Man/Woman/People of the Year are chosen based on how someone created a powerful impact and history to the world. The stories behind the recipients' achievement, influence and power are incredibly inspiring and moving that each year it becomes the most-awaited issue of TIME. So while the magazine looked for people in different parts of the world to bestow such honor, I would not look beyond borders for there are people in my circle who provided the same impact in my life

They are the people whose friendship, kindness, generosity in any form, comfort and sympathy helped me discover my strength, weakness, potential and value as a person. So this post is dedicated to them.


My blogging and cafe hopping buddy!:-)

I have countless reasons why I considered Kathy a huge influence in my life. Due to our common interest in writing we easily hit up. When we became friends in 2009, I discovered we have so many things in common.

We are both into blogging so we have lots of things to talk about in a day. Her expertise in web development became a huge help in my online writing activities. In 2010 she introduced me to Davao Blogging Community. We also shared other fields of interest - French language and photography!

Merci Kathy, apprends french un peu (thank you Kathy, learn French a little :-D)

With Kathy at Gusteau's last December 2011

She helped me understood the world of web technology better, she would take time to explain complicated terms and other technicalities. She is a great help to my blogging passion, every time I have something to ask, she would immediately rush to my side.Thank God she has plenty of patience whenever I badgered her with too many questions about creating a template or the coding tasks.

Another interest that bonded us together is FOOD!

Yeahhh we both indulged on starch and Japanese dishes!! In 2011, we would make a trip to a cafe house almost every week, it was her who introduced me to the best and finest Cafe restos in Davao city and to yummy foods! But we never go out just for pleasure, we mixed it with business. Between sip and chew, we would talk about internet marketing and online job.

She is a fantastic lady with incredible talent and skills. A web developer, blogger, photographer, fashionista, gosh she has it all! She is an artist by heart. A wonderful friend, someone I can rely with, who is always there when I needed her most.

Thanks Kathy for a beautiful friendship! ^____^


We've been friends nearly 15 years now,

Our closeness is somewhat unique, less than traditional. We never go in the same company, I have my own set of friends, he has his, but we understood each other pretty well and could count on one another when time calls it.

We may have some disagreement, petty arguments and misunderstanding from time to time but the same differences helped me to appreciate life more. Towards the end of the day I realized I should not look on the bad side of life, everybody has his/her rough side, if we allow bad things to overwhelm us we will never discover the golden side of humanity.

He's so good to me for the past years, remarkably generous and kind. Despite his achievement in life, he remained very humble and down-to-earth. He never brag about anything. He would just walk "silently" in the street sometimes in deep thoughts.

Every Christmas he would take time to buy a gift for me! Thank you so muchhhhh!


Helen is such a dear friend to me, more like a sister. I'd known her since college. We became close when we both work in UIC. She is someone I could really trust. She knows all my life's secret stories, it's her whom I confided my anxieties and silent heartaches and longings  because I know everything is safe in her  :-)

Helen is full of wisdom and her compassion is so amazing. When she was still in Davao, we would find time to go out and often take a trip to Pink sisters to pray silently. When she decided to go to UAE to work, it felt like I lost someone who had been my closest confidante.

We have the same principles in life, we breathed on the same faith. One thing that bonded us together is our loyalty and devotion to Catholic faith, we agreed that true love waits no matter what it takes haha!

She is incredibly generous and supportive. If ever I would die and be born again I would choose Helen as my biological sister because she is just so incredibly kind and level-headed! Thanks Helen for all the wonderful memories and for your generosity.


With Maam Emma last Institutional Christmas party, 2010

She is my immediate boss who doesn't act like a boss when we're in the office. We would talk silly stuff, then laughed and giggled on things that are not really big deal to others hehe! She would share valuable info about family life, about motherhood and being a wife. I learned so many things from her sharing.

I felt very comfortable and relax at the workplace and I am free to talk and share anything that comes to my mind. Lately, we've been very close, we could talk anything in a day, she would confide almost everything that happened around her, from family life to job-related stuff to the people she detested. 

She is very well-grounded and humble and very generous too! And as the year ended, she fulfilled one of my wishes - to own a book related to Steve Jobs. Thanks Maam Ems!


The first time I saw Juvy was in 2006 at the carenderia while having breakfast, I noticed she was so quiet and would just look at me with strange eyes hehe! Until Helen Montero introduced us when I went to the Finance Office one day. Since then we became good friends. She is someone who can be easily approached.

In 2011, we (with Kathy) regularly go out, dining and just going around to spend time laughing and sharing stories. She got married last year and she and her husband, Roy, granted my request --- two slices of their wedding cake hehehe! I asked for it days before their wedding for reasons that only us knew hahaha!

I went with them at the Pearl Farm following their wedding, our accommodation was sponsored by Joice Lagat. We had so much fun while at Pearl Farm, hope we could find time to be on a holiday trip someday.

Wishing Juvy for a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery! Yeahhh I will be ninang again haha! Thanks Juv for being a great friend, for accommodating me last Christmas in your house and for all the wonderful time together!


I knew her since 2009. She left UIC in 2010 but our connection was never lost despite distance, we occasionally get in touch through text and Facebook messages, exchanging updates on many things, of our whereabouts and what we're up to at the moment. 

Last year, we're able to meet again at the wedding of Juvy and Roy. I spent one night with her at the hotel and we shared some girly talks, laughing and giggling. One thing I'd missed about Joice is her hearty laugh. It's so genuine and giggling! There's no boring moment with her because she has a tremendous sense of humor that really made me roll into laughter. 

She invited me to join them at Pearl Farm last August 2012, it was her treat to Juvy and Roy. We spent a day in leisure and laughter. It was a nice reunion, we had so much fun , I was able to relax and unwind.

Thanks maam for a fabulous holiday getaway and for a beautiful friendship, hope to see you some other time!


My closest MBA classmates, Gerlie Deguinion, Lucy Quibol, Dory Lungtad and Janice Guerra, are just among the people in my small circle of friends that made my 2012 a very happy year. We've known each other since 2010.
With Dory, Lucy and Gerlie during our educational trip at Mt. Apo Geothermal Powerplant 
in Kidapawan last February 2012

When I started attending classes in the graduate school of Ateneo de Davao, I felt very anxious because there's no one to turn to in the classroom, they were all strangers to me but as months progressed I became more acquainted with my classmates and was able to form a unique bonding with some of them.

Gerlie, Lucy, Dory and Janice are my closest. One thing that bonded us together is our very simple lifestyle so we easily understood each other, we shared common interest in life and unlike some of our classmates who are so "high end" and so "social" hahaha! the five of us are just...uhmmm... minimalists :-)

We came from different companies. Gerlie and Lucy are both CPA and working in Marsman and One Network Bank respectively while Janice and Dory are working in the Finance office of Ateneo.

My life in the graduate school became so relaxing partly because of their company, we never missed classes and every break we've to go out and eat and eat hahaha! We also talked about putting investment and starting a small business.

We remained very close after we finished our academic subjects last semester (first sem of school year 2012-2013), we still find time to meet and talk beautiful things in life. We planned to take a relaxing getaway after our comprehensive exam this March. I truly missed them.

Thank you guys for making a big difference in my life last year.

You've just meet the people of my year 2012!

To them...Thank you very much for everything, for being so good to me, for your kindness, generosity, support and for always being there...Godbless you all and Have a wonderful 2013!

How about you readers? Who are the people who made a huge impact in your life last year? Make your list too and tell a story how lucky you are having them around....

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

January 08, 2013

Things I want

So it's 2013, the year of the black water snake according to Chinese astrology, I am not really into astrology so I did not put so much effort reading its significance to my life this year.

It seems all the predictions related to my zodiac sign are not accurate so I stop reading it. Predictions never amused me because I find it ridiculous and stupid, so this black water snake is not a big deal to me, whatever it signifies, I don't care.

For the past years, it felt like I'd traversed a thorny and dilapidated road, pushing my life into uncertainties, I continued believing in fantasy, assuming things wrongly. I'm tired doing it. The one hope that I kept saving seemed a big illusion, I misinterpreted the niceties.

Last holiday breaks, I discerned hardly whether I would continue allowing myself to be hurt with my assumption or change focus. Up to the last minute of 2012 I kept holding on. But the emotions I'd kept for such a long time seemed getting me into nowhere, there's no chance of realizing it, so I decided to loosen my grip. Even if it hurts.

This year will be my most challenging year. I really have to make up my mind where I would be heading. I am not getting any younger, it's time for me to decide what path to take. But one thing for sure, I want to get married haha!

I want to have children, I want to nurture a family, but my love life continues to be a long hell of a sad story, why no one seems interested to take me in? I felt love once but it was rejected, the guy instead chose someone else and continue looking for somebody. It was painful but I have to accept it, I cannot force someone to love me. Everyone has to make a choice whom to spend life comfortably. But I am not losing hope, I still believe in the idea of romance, I know there's still someone out there whom God prepares for me. Someone who could accept me as I am. All I need is a little patience. True love waits.

But I want to take precautions. I cannot afford to commit a mistake. I want to put everything in order. I know I am ready to take bigger responsibilities. Life is great all I have to do is keep praying.

So here are my random thoughts about what I want in life and the things I dreamed of...

1. New Self - No, I did not dream to be more daring or loud. I just want to explore the other side of me and what's beyond my conservative self. For the first time I had my hair rebonded, in the past, I thought this would be impossible because I detested experimenting my locks, but now finally, I gave it a go.My lifestyle is still the same but I want to put a little spice on it without sacrificing my dignity.

2. Trendy Apparels - The other year I was fascinated with Burberry, but last year I became enthralled with Chanel! Double C dropped earrings and Chanel bag/wallet are part of my 2012 Christmas wishlist, but wishes are just wishes anyway, I did not dream to waste my hard-earned money to luxury stuff. Maybe someday, I will consider it hehehe!
Double C dropped earrings

I am not into Louis Vuitton apparels but this bag looks great and gorgeous!
Burberry Wallet. I am fascinated with wallets!

3. I want to change my wardrobe (hahaha!) - yeah, for the first time, I want to refurbish my fashion style. I want to be more trendy, I want to wear something that defines my playful and artistic side. Last December I bought clothing apparels from Zara collection, accessories and high wedge I never thought I would dare wearing. I like Zara because it defines the true essence of being a lady, it's a high street fashion label from Spain (founded by 8th richest man in the world, Amancio Ortega) who cares about women. I want to wear lace clothing too, there's one I found in Victoria Plaza, a sexy maroon lace blouse, hope it is still there when I have money. :-) I am experimenting on accessories to compliment my outfit.

High wedge sandal

The lace trend I want to have in my closet

4. I want to travel abroad this year - If my finances would allow me, I want to take a trip abroad this year because my passport will soon be expired and I don't want to renew it at DFA without a stamp from a foreign embassy hehe. Hope God will grant this wish.

5. New Career - This April, I will be graduating from MBA and I am hoping I could find a great opportunity to work either in a government office or in a private corporation. I felt being stuck with time in my present work, so this year, it's time to explore. I don't want to be left behind.

6. My dream Job - I want to work as a Product Research Analyst!hahaha!Sounds fantastic isn't it? Anyway no harm in dreaming everyone is free to dream big things. I wondered if there's such a position in the company. I never heard about it but hope to work in a research department of a company. I love doing research, I love discovering new things, new ideas. I like working on challenges, it invigorates my mind.

7. Close relationship with God - I want to make it a point to attend mass every Sunday. Last year, I almost perfected the Sundays of the year attending masses, this year I want to make it happen. I want to have a very close relationship with God. Pray a rosary every night and make Novenas.

8. Build a house - I want to have my own house. I have few sketches and designs already. I want a simple house with glass windows, sliding doors and a beautiful landscape. I designed a cozy kitchen with a pantry on it (a pantry is an old English home tradition where food and kitchen utensils are kept). If I cannot build one in the city (due to high cost) maybe I will have to help my parents renovate our house in the province.

9. Steering business - My soap business is going well. I received so many orders. There are people who are expressing interest to become dealers. But since I am working on it alone it is very hard to increase production. Hope this year I can pay more attention on it.

10. Join Forex - I am learning forex trading now, reading everything about this form of investment, doing research and studying the market analysis trend. It yields highest return compared to mutual funds but due to the volatile foreign exchange market environment and fluctuating currencies, it needs enough experience and knowledge to avoid financial disasters.

And the long list of the things I want, continues...

I am not dreaming something really big, I just want to have at least some security in my life. I don't want a messy future. I want to put everything in order. I am an organized person, I like organizing things accordingly, I hate clutters in my surroundings. That's why I am taking things one step at a time. I make decisions carefully. I don't want to see myself ruined in the future. If God allows me to marry and have kids, I want to be hands-on. I don't like house helpers.

Hope this time, fate will be at my side. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

January 07, 2013

Hoping for the best

We should never get tired of fighting for love, for what we feel, but if we noticed that it's getting us nowhere then it's better to leave the battlefield and get hurt at once than continue bleeding fighting a war that cannot be won.

For the past years, I'd kept holding on for that something, stretching my patience to wait for a beautiful moment to come. I'd watched myself wounded, humiliated, rejected, I endured pain, sacrifices because I was hoping one day, destiny might favour me. That one day did not come, my sacrifices did not pay off and as the year ended, I realized one thing, that in life we should never assume things wrongly, that pain is certain, just like death.

I don't want to expect too much from my destiny this time, none of my expectations last year happened anyway, so this time, to minimize the level of disappointment, I would not expect anything. But I will continue hoping that one of these days I could get what I want in life. It's very important to cling to that little hope, otherwise, I would not work hard, I would not dream high.

So I let it go even if it hurts me. Time will come, I could get over with it completely. I don't normally write New Year's Resolution because I don't believe on that, it often becomes a crap without focus and determination, but there's one thing I want to do this year for my own self.

I want to be very cautious in making decisions. I don't want others to treat me anymore like an excess baggage in the society.  I don't want to dig too much on my emotions.

Now, I am ready to face what life has to offer and accept my fate no matter what it is, I don't want to lose hope for a better tomorrow. I will try to do hard to improve my redundant life.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

January 06, 2013

2013 is the Year of Faith

We had a very fruitful recollection last January 5 at Eden Nature Park, Toril, Davao City. It was facilitated by Rev.Fr. Russell Bantilles. In his lecture, he emphasized the true essence of Catholic faith and how everyone must understand the depth and value of being Catholics, of being faithful to the religion and to God.

Well, I grew up in the province, in an environment where Catholic faith is the center of our daily lives. My father had been serving the Catholic parish as a lay minister for more than 50 years now. I was taught basic catechism early on and had followed religiously all those teachings.

The words of father Russell rung true, it was genuine, I admired his effort to drill to everyone's head the true value of being Catholics, of being Christians. I agree with what he had said, that a genuine religion cannot be measured with the speaking charisma of a pastor or a speaker, it's on how he speaks for the truth and on how his preaching manifested the true value of religion and scriptures that make the whole thing difference. 

You know what I noticed in the city, why people are so easily convinced by other sects, it is because GKK is not active in parishes, the Catholic community is not properly organized, thus people are easily dissuade and if they find other groups' practices appealing they immediately hop in. Catholics here need to be lectured thoroughly about the core of Catholic faith. If they only understand the Catholicism deeper, if they are only guided properly by the Diocese then they would never look beyond the fence.

What horrifies me is the emergence of fundamentalists, posing as Catholic preachers, luring people through their unique speaking abilities to join their group/s offering attractive activities, Catholics who are confused with their faith and who are looking for deeper explanations about life and religion are the most common victims of these groups. But we don't need to change direction to experience a deeper spiritual journey, Catholicism already have it, we only need to get in-touch with our parishes to take part of it. The Diocese has enough programs to support the spiritual needs of its parishioners.

These fundamentalists mislead Catholics, blinding them with deceitful programs not authorized by the Roman Pontiff, thoroughly confusing people with what Catholic values, tradition and practices to follow. As genuine Catholics, we must abide with the rules, practices and teachings of the Vatican carried out by the Parishes of the Diocese.

Father Russell reiterated that there's no such thing as "same religions", he said, there's always a true religion, and if you believed that all religions are the same then you are an atheist. Everyone must expressed loyalty and devotion to the religion they embraced and believed in to experience the real relationship with God.  A religion that always stands for the truth and what is right and just.

Pope Benedict XVI is worried that the next generation of Catholics will no longer walk on the path of Catholicism that most of them will be deceived by fundamentalists who banked on their speaking charisma and time will come, the genuine Catholic practices and beliefs will be thrown out by its followers due to charismatic practices pushed by fundamentalists, thus, the Pope declared 2013 as the Year of Faith calling all Catholics through out the world to go back to the essence of Catholicism.

I am glad I have a very strong Catholic life foundation.

January 06, 2013

Christmas Recollection at Eden

FYI: Christmas season starts on the 25th of December (and not September) on the birth of Jesus and ends on the Feast Sunday of His baptism (after the Epiphany). In the Catholic calendar, Feast Sunday of the Epiphany, better known as the Three Kings, falls on the first Sunday after New Year ( regardless of date). Advent season starts on the first Sunday of December and ends on the 24th day (Advent means preparation on the birth/coming of Jesus Christ).

We had our annual recollection last January 5, 2013 at Eden. It's called "Christmas Recollection" because Christmas season has not yet ended.

This was the second time that our recollection was held at Eden, the first time was in November 2008.
With Juvy

I'd come to visit Eden three times already. The first time was in 2001 with some colleagues. I noticed nothing much has changed with the place's structure and amenities. No amusing facilities, the old cable swing (I could not understand why they called it "Indiana Jones") area that made me so excited in 2001 was still there and for the third time I hopped in, there was thrill but no more excitement.

We left UIC main campus at 7:00 in the morning and arrived at 8:00, our session did not start until 9:00. It was only a half-day activity so after lunch, we're free to explore the place, but I was not interested to stroll around. Aside from the fact that it was my third time to visit the resort, I just went home lately and Eden has no difference to the physical features of the province I grew up with. Same surroundings of green plants and trees and rolling hills.

I was extremely tired with my travel last January 3 from Surigao to Davao, I seated for 9 hours in the bus, I wasn't able to take a good rest upon my arrival because I cleaned my room and washed my clothes on the following morning, January 4, then I attended the First Friday mass at the Cathedral and went to The Peak to dine with my good friend, Kathy, at Cafe France, so I was not in a good condition to make "lakwatsa" at Eden the next day. 

My third time to ride this swing
Second time. During our 2008 Recollection

But I enjoyed the day though, because I was able to spend some quality time with friends, our recollection session was great, we'd a nice facilitator, Father Russell Bantilles, actually I knew him from way back then. He is a good friend of my younger sister, but I preferred not to approach him during the session, I did not dream to start blobbing about things in the past. He is still the same man I used to know from the words of my sister. His sense of humor is still tremendous, his sharp intellect is still prevailing. 

I gained weight during the holidays!Waaaah!!

It was a beautiful day for all of us. We left Eden at 2:30pm. I was so tired that I fall asleep during our short ride back to the city.

When I reviewed my photos, I noticed I again weight!Nyaaah...this is the result of indulging on too much foods during the holidays. Every time I am in the province my weight would shoot up to an unpleasant level hehehe. Now, I am back to my old habit of eating only oatmeal at night and drinking one glass of hot milk before going to bed.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

January 05, 2013

Great Miracles

Despite sad events, unfulfilled dreams and frustrations, still, I believed I had lived my life happily last year, and looking back, I should say, 2012 had been a very good year for me. I have so many reasons to thank God for performing big miracles in my life never mind if some of my wishes did not come true (maybe it's not for me). 

I encountered so many good people, generous friends and nice colleagues, my parents and siblings are in excellent conditions, we are mentally and emotionally healthy, our place was spared from the deadly typhoon, Pablo. I finished my academic subjects in the graduate school with excellent marks, I am safe and healthy and I did not encounter trouble in the workplace. These are great miracles that happened in my life in 2012 to which I am very grateful.

Last Christmas, I wasn't able to return home and had to spend it with my friends. We'd a pre-Christmas lunch at Grub Resto Cafe along Illustre street, it was a Christmas treat by Kathy Dacanay, it was a nice get-together with good friends, Juvy, Roy, Darlene and Kathy, we enjoyed the foods, the ambiance was fantastic, almost residential, at Grub, you can feel the comfort and serenity of a simple and quiet home.

With Kathy and Juvy
Foods at Grub Resto Cafe

I returned home on the 26th, I left Davao at 6:00 in the morning and arrived in our place at 3:00 in the afternoon. It was a long travel and as we passed along Compostela Valley and Agusan provinces, I saw the devastation left by the typhoon, it was horrible and very sad, just could not imagine the pain and sufferings experienced by the people there, so terrible. That's why there are plenty of reasons to thank God for continue protecting us. Prayer is such a powerful thing to hold on when times get tough.

When I reached Marihatag, it was raining, the environment was dark and cold due to another typhoon, Quinta. All through out December until New Year, our place did not experience a sunny weather but still I enjoyed my brief stay there. There's nothing more extraordinary than be with your family during the holidays.

One thing I loved about returning home is the essence of family bonding. The feeling of being loved and comforted unconditionally by parents, siblings, relatives and friends, the genuine happiness and laughter, sharing good memories, it's so priceless I don't have time to think about my own emotional struggle and worries in life. Their attention and support are enough to say that I am loved and blessed.

Pesto Fettuccine I prepared last New Year
Green Tea plants in our small backyard

On January 1, together with my mother and brother, I visited my maternal grandmother, she is already 93 years old but her memory is still very active. I missed my Lola, she took care of us when we're still young, I had the best childhood memories with her, when I was still in my teens, I often spent my vacation with her and grandpa (he died in 2004), she cooked exceptionally, I tasted the best native delicacies in life through her expertise.

Upon our arrival, she instantly recognized me. She's still the same person I used to know despite her frail age: warm and thoughtful. I inherited my grandmother's skin, she has a Chinese-Spanish blood, thus, having a fairer  complexion.

With my 93-year-old maternal grandmother. She has still a good vision, I just let her wear my sunglass for this shoot hehe

It was a satisfying holiday break indeed. I was able to spend good times with my family and some relatives and friends, we had a wonderful New Year celebration and everyone was in a festive mood. I requested a Berenghe (rice cooked in yellow ginger and coconut milk) a specialty of my paternal grandmother (she died in 2005 at the age of 98), but my mother did not get it right hehehe anyway that was a good try, we ended up laughing.

My mother cooked another kakanin, Rice Puto and I cooked a quite modern recipe--Pesto Fettuccine--which did not suit well to the taste of provincial people hehehe, they find it very strange. Pesto Fettuccine is an Italian recipe, I love cooking so I collected different recipes and tried it at home whenever I can.

I went back to Davao on the 3rd of January because we've our annual recollection on the 5th. There was a slight sadness when I left our place, I missed my family. There's something deep inside longing to be with them for a long time. Hope I can visit this summer again.

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authorI am a blogger from the Philippines. My interest centers on travel and food, global affairs, European royals and self-help. I've a great passion in traveling and photography. I am also a book author with five published books in Amazon.
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