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"I have found the ONE whom my soul loves..." ~ Song of Songs 3,4"and He has found me."

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  • 07/16/12--08:03: 16th of July
  • I was in a journal writing/ dream interpretation course with some young friends  when I met her... 

    I couldn't remember what I shared in there but she stirred a memory in each one of us in her experience...

    July 16, 1990, 4: 26 pm

    I was with my friend Hazel in the library and just as we were descending the stairs, earthquake shook our country that day.

    Hazel was able to get down to the groundfloor while I retreated back to the library where we were gathered by our librarian in prayer.
    It took several minutes and when everything quieted down, we all went down together.
    I went home where my family awaited me.


    She was attending a conference in one of Baguio's finest hotels...

    It toppled down and left her under the debris...

    ...where she stayed for three days...

    She was among those who survived...
    her other colleagues perished in that incident...

    ...and the eternal question, "Why me?"

    She dreamt of dolphins... 

    'To see a dolphin in your dream symbolizes spiritual guidance, intellect, mental attributes and emotional trust. The dream is usually an inspirational one, encouraging you to utilize your mind to its capacity and move upward in life {Resurrection} Alternatively, it suggests that a line of communication has been established between the conscious and subconscious aspects of yourself.'


    We saw each other again after several years...

    and went together in the Italian language class for four months...

    It was such a blessing!

    She continued her story...

    After the earthquake, 
    she felt that God was calling her for a higher cause...

    she resigned from her work as an accountant and began her journey as a religious...

    I saw how happy she was being one. 

    ... she faced her fears...
    16 July 2012, Monday

    I  recall the earthquakes I had survived in my life and the angels who have extricated me from the rubbles...

    ...the dolphins that revived my dreams...

    ...God who pulled me back to my feet to start a new journey...

    I pray for the souls of those who have died... 
    ...we light a candle of hope for those who remain buried...

    ...and I will always remember YOU dear friend...

    I have seen you in my dreams...
    praying for me...

    ...I am facing my fears...

    We find by losing.  We hold fast by letting go.
    We become something new by ceasing to be something old.
    This seems to be close to the heart of that mystery.
    I know no more now than I ever did about the far side
    of death as the last letting-go of all, but now I know
    that I do not need to know, and that I do not need
    to be afraid of not knowing.  God knows.
    That is all that matters.

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  • 07/29/12--00:08: Neverland
  • part 1
    One of the constant dramas I've had over the past years has something to do with relationships. I wonder if this constant push and pulls inside me would ever cease. 
    I have just updated my vision board when Linda Lee asked me about it...

    Flashing back, she once asked me about the role models I have in life and I started enumerating the names of different saints. She beamed over the status I dreamt for myself and suggested that I start shifting my gears towards that mode... 


    There is inside me that wishes to stay on a spiritual level ~ one of my animators told me that I do reflect a lot but have to be careful in overanalyzing and feeding my ego. 

    It's the 'me' that says that God and the 'children' come first.
    The other side wishes to forget God's call and just go with the flow of human nature. Reaching to that furthest end of temptation to commit something for the heck of it. 
    Reaching my base ~ id.
    It becomes increasingly alarming as it rings a very high note at the very depths of my being...

    It's the one that says I wish to be married and have kids of my own...

    It just isn't me and it is me at the same time...

    This conflict goes on and sometimes I try to push people who are getting too intimate but at the same time I crave for so much attention ~ inordinate attachments...

    I'd look at how I've poured the Peter Pan Syndrome into my subconscious just so I could forego any sexual feelings that I have... 

    I nudge any attraction...

    So, I asked a friend to pray over my addictions to keep my balance.

    Unlike 'substance' where I could just easily pick a name, 'behavioral' is kind of tricky...

    How do I call mine?

    ~ a high demand for respect ~
    ~ being 'good' all the time ~

    ~my thorn in the flesh~

    ~images in pencil and charcoal drawn by me (2010)~

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  • 08/05/12--05:41: Inertia: An Interlude

  • I've been raring to share this post the past couple of weeks...those weekends we weren't at home...

    While others would've culled to stay cozy inside their houses because of heavy rain, my mom won over her desire to go over to my brother's place two Saturdays ago...

    We were stuck on the road for five hours together with the kids... They didn't seem to mind the time. They kept on playing, eating, laughing (and sleeping)  all the way while we, the 'big' ones, riled over the traffic.

    What could ever move one to go out of that enclosed shell? Out on the road to a far away place?

    It's pretty amazing how external forces could push one to do extra-ordinary things... 
    earthquakes, floods (natural calamities), sickness, accidents, death...
    reunions, celebrations, love...

    To go out and seek for answers...

    when God calls

     only to find ourselves being redirected back to the center...

    do we listen?

    Would you like to join this adventure?

    The hunt to find that Pearl of Great Price

    Put that FIRE back into your heart...
    and words!

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  • 08/06/12--15:36: RH BILL: Easing Poverty?
  • Just a couple of months ago, my colleague confided that she adopted a family (a mother and three kids) in her home. The mother was a victim of domestic violence for many years but she sought for help when her husband started sexually abusing the children.

    It was a difficult decision on my colleague's part but she welcomed the family and extended help by supporting her to raise funds so that they could go home to the province where my sister's colleague awaited them.

    What was striking in the story was the entire process... My colleague disclosed that had she left the mother alone, it would've taken her forever to get her papers and solicit money because the mother knew nobody and had no means to contact the 'right' persons... and this, is not an isolated case.

    On Poverty and Ignorance

    My father and I once had a discussion on poverty while watching the news. He asked me, if people had money would they still steal

    Here's a better question, would RH bill ever be a solution to e(r)asing poverty?

    And you know the answer full well... we're speaking of appetites on both cases...

    We say that the RH bill is pro-poor... and passing this out would abate population growth and increase economic strength. But take a look again... where are we patterning our lifestyles? Who are we taking on as models?

    China? Europe? 

    How do we look at 'children'? the 'unborn'? 'LIFE'?

    Are we thinking of long term effects? 

    Woe to women ~ multiplied by the choice not to offer space to life and instead opening avenues to promiscuity and higher risks of cancer and abortion.

    Since when have we left the poor to speak for themselves and have a voice of their own?

    Translation:VALUES EDUCATION should be taught to the youth NOT sex education


    This morning, we talked about inviting someone to write an article for us on RH Bill. One said, it shouldn't be about religion. 

    I think it's not about whose religion we follow. No, it isn't about religion at all ~ it's about whose life we're deciding on....

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  • 08/08/12--13:38: CommUNION

  • It was raining when I went to celebrate Mass one Sunday afternoon. Water rose to knee high level after an hour of harsh rain, and even if the Church was just a walking distance to our house, I knew I would not be able to pass through.

    As I was looking for another way, a young woman came to me and told me that she lived in our street and she saw me earlier walking to the Church. We crossed the foot bridge together and asked a tricycle driver if he could take us to Banawe. All of the drivers refused. I began to panic and prayed Oh God, I couldn't contact my parents (I was thinking perhaps my dad could fetch us but that would be next to impossible) and I didn't have money for transportation. See us through.

    The young lady, as if reading my thoughts, readily lent me her cell phone and paid for me when a jeepney agreed to take us to our street. She even walked me to our house. I looked for her after a few days to thank her and to give her back her money but I never saw her after that.

    This happened in 2010. Her name is Misa. 

    I remembered Misa as I braved the flooded streets of Vito Cruz yesterday. 

    There were no signs of vehicles that would pass to my place so I took the longer and safer route...

    the train...

    I had to take two more jeepney rides before I reach my place but the driver could only take us half way. The road was impassable along De Los Santos Hospital.

    As we waited for rescue, I had a closer look at what was happening around me.
    I saw a group of people distributing goods to the families whose houses were affected by the flood...
    People were out in the street to help each other.

    I noticed that people were talking to one another as if we all knew each other for a long time... I reckon that this does not happen on a sunny day when everybody is so busy to go to work in the morning and so tired to go home after work.

    As I was reflecting on all these, a man approached me and told me that a jeepney was offering a ride.    He rerouted and took the road to Roces and that was a better itinerary. I thanked God for this man's creativity. But then, we had to pass Araneta and Sto. Domingo which were also flooded.

    They were both passable. Although not everybody risked to cross the flood. I felt like we were on a boat ride with all the water surrounding us. It was also raining very hard.

    We were like a team inside that jeepney. I felt genuine concern towards each other. Everybody was asking where he or she would take off and how each could reach his/her place safely. 

    Three beautiful things crossed my mind yesterday:

    It was the Feast of St. Dominic and they celebrated it well. They didn't have to invite people to come because the Church was occupied with all the evacuees in that place. 

    God sent His angels... they were scattered everywhere... in the form of that young woman who accompanied me, the man who told me of the jeepney ride, the drivers who unselfishly volunteered us rides, the people who distributed goods.


    the Filipino term for Mass...

    ~ a Sacrament
    ~ sacrifice
    ~ visible presence of Christ in the form of bread and wine...
    ~ remembrance of God's love...



    "Love one another. As I have loved you."

    Jesus alive in every heart!

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  • 08/16/12--07:44: The Promise

  • My guardian angel...

    I remember I met her when she was already two years old. I was so excited to see her after living in North Africa for sometime.

    I came back for good when she was four. She literally stayed with me when I was sick for several months...

    She was only six when she led me to teach catechism to her playmates two years ago. It eventually became a dream come true in our street last year.

    I do believe God speaks to us through the little ones.


    Last week's rain gave us 'bonding time'. Classes were suspended for a week, so we took out our board games fromThe Catholic Toolbox (click to view)

    Bible Reviews 
    (click to view)

    Since she lives with me, she gets to play the games first. We used Bible Reviews for the younger children in our Catechism class and for the older ones, the Sacraments (in preparation for those who will be receiving their First Communion on December). 

    Who is this?
    I realized that most of them were not familiar with the Bible stories. 

    I asked Belle which story this Bible character belongs to...

    Belle: Tita (Aunt), please give me a's at the tip of my tongue :P

    Me: Okay, his name starts with letter J.

    Belle: I knew it! Is it Jipeto? (Geppeto)...

    Me: Since when did Pinocchio's father join the Biblical scene?

    Belle: Since the whale swallowed him up?

    The Bible Reviews reminded me of Jesus' journey with the two broken-hearted souls He accompanied along the road to Emmaus.

    It was a long walk from beginning of time ~ through the Old Testament we call SALVATION History to the New Testament which culminated in the Paschal Mystery...

    A story retold ~ commemorated and remembered...
        ....and encountered EVERY single day in our lives...

    ~ the story of Salvation ~ and God's covenant ...


    After familiarizing herself with the stories, we prayed for the flood victims we've watched earlier on the television. 

    Last Friday, the sun shed its splendid rays and for several days after that, we were again enveloped with cloudy skies but...

    I believe in God's love...


    His promise...

    to each one of us...

    "How sweet to my taste are Your promises..."
    ~ Psalm 119, 103

    My gratitude to The Catholic Toolbox who allowed me to post the images of Belle with their boardgames. They also have a FB page ( I take most of my inspiration and lessons for my Satur-dates here. Check it out :)

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  • 08/20/12--03:50: The Seeds
  • I just wrapped up my classes with my Satur-dates when my dad asked if I was alright. I confessed that I wasn’t (my head felt very heavy and my knee joints were aching) and would be heading back to bed before dinnertime. My mom came to me and whispered, “You’re wasting time with those kids…” I looked at her intently and shook my head…


    I remember when I was younger, we didn’t have Vision Boards nor blogs, although our teachers would tell us to write what we would like to be five or ten years from now. We didn’t have Catechism class, neither was I very active in our parish. My mom enrolled us all in Catholic schools. Our grandmother would tell us Biblical stories ~ what I remember best was Samson & Delilah and David & Goliath ~ and sometimes, we’d embroil the stories with giants and dwarves and fairies. I could say that most of what I learned about God, I heard from my sister and saw on tv. I vividly recall the ‘Superbook’ and ‘The Flying House’ series.  Most of the videos we watched in school were edifying and so were the tv programs. They use to dish out Lenten and Christmas specials ~ life of Jesus and stories of saints which my nieces and most kids don’t get to watch now…

    I read the Bible occasionally but had not the heart to study it until we had our lesson on metaphors.

    But by not feeding that desire, I forgot about God almost immediately until I was twelve… it was a turning point for me… and it didn’t happen in just one occasion. There were many… and from those conversions, I began to realize how infinite God’s mercy is for us.

    When I was in College, I had a friend who became Jesus for me. She always invited me out to Bible study groups and to read about Bo Sanchez.

    Those were seeds that introduced me to lead a missionary life…


    I opened my mail today and received Bo Sanchez’ Soulfood newsletter and it was God’s reply to my prayer…

    It might seem that I am ‘wasting my time and money’ but I am investing on these children.

    I believe that it IS God’s work ~ "So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, Who makes things grow." ~ I Cor. 3, 7 NIV

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  • 08/26/12--16:55: Snakes and Ladders
  •   *Listen to my blogpost*
    Voice Recorder >>

    My heart's not for two
    What makes me look at you?

    I tried the other way...
    but my decisions I keep at bay...

    "Lord make me pure...
    ...but not yet."

    Have you ever found yourself going back to zero when you're just two steps away from the finish line? It happens in Snakes and Ladders... Just when I thought the game will be over soon, I cascade back and have to run the path again...

    and life... One day, the Lord leads me to taste heavenly joys and delights. I feel high! I see everything through rose-colored glasses. And then the next day, I slip back into my old self and I shrivel like a wilted flower in God's garden. I lose the spiritual fruits I have gathered. My soul is disturbed.

    I have tried running away ~ I thought, 'could it be what I read? see? hear? taste and smell? touch?' ~ But the more I flee, the more it doubles its force to destroy the peace I have already built inside of me...

    I have not fled so far,
    but cooled it down... 

    I have ceased running
    and started walking... 

    The Lord caught up with me and 
    I resolved to change...

    I felt His mercy upon me... 
    (2 Cor. 12,9 NASB)
    everything else faded away... 

     here I go again... 
    at the beginning

    right from where I started.

    "Go on, O lord, and act: stir us up and call us back; inflame us and draw us to Thee; 
    stir us up and grow sweet to us;
    let us now love Thee;
    let us run to Thee..."

    I was reading Catholic Exchange today and realized that it's St. Monica's feast. The Church celebrates her son, St. Augustine, tomorrow, 28 August. 

    Synced with the Spirit today...
    29 August 2012: While reflecting on Rimly's comment, I was reminded of the Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila ~ for further reading, here's the reference: INTERIOR CASTLE
    28 September 2012

    I ask You: "How many times will You pick me up,
    When I keep on letting You down?
    And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
    How far will forgiveness abound?"

    And you answer: "My child, I love you.
    And as long as you're seeking My face,
    You'll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace."

    ~ Grace Lyrics by Laura Story~

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  • 09/04/12--08:10: Day by Day
  • I have revisited Jan Neel's post on Sometimes I Wish having in mind Linda Lee's challenge to me. 

    Neverland 29 July 2012 Vision Board 
    I lifted some photos from google
    The children from May Christine Tandoc
    The bride and groom from Jim Brandano

    It took me a few days of reflection and loads of email advices how come some priorities have been pretty messed up. What was it that I really wanted out of this? What is it that I truly want in my life right now? I was made aware of the reality that no fairy dusts would lift any of my dreams up...

    I recalled writing one of my friends a message, there is only one sign that is needed... and I included it in my VB...

    4 August 2012 Vision Board

    I lifted some photos from google
    The painting of Home for Children was done by my dad
    The drawings on the left by me (adapted from different sources)
    The cross, piano and pastel were my shots
    As if perfected in such a fashion ~ it has allowed me to view my dreams in a better perspective...

    Here comes the challenge ~ how do I achieve this ~ when I haven't included the source of funding for my needs?

    Somehow the Neverland part still surfaces...

    When I was younger, I dreamt that I could give my full services freely the way I saw some people did it ~ some relied on charity and donations to sustain them and some were, luckily, born rich.

    When I graduated in College, I sought experience in government hospitals and offered my services. Two said yes (and I am forever grateful). I was able to go to different countries through generous sponsors. My experiences were enriched by the people I met.

    And then I decided to leave the Garden of Eden and face life.

    For two years without work, my parents allowed me to pay off for what I ate by taking care of my nieces (I am able to use some techniques with the children in our Catechism every Saturdays). I enrolled in a Caregiving Class instead of taking up a Masteral in Nursing (Nursing enrolment has declined). I exchanged my words for company and friendship. I devoted time to art, artgroups and forums and an online gallery with Fher (My talent was later noticed by BS Corinne Rodrigues who introduced me to Roy Durham and he asked me to illustrate for his Christmas book in 2011). I devoured books and edified my soul through retreats...(I am able to share them now through my blog)...

    I spent time with my guitar and keyboards...
    (I met Sulekha Rawat and I began to put music in her poetry)

    ... I was back to zero but I thank God that nobody ever made me feel like a loser...

    I took in a job afterwards that has less stress... less pay but it's enough to cover for my daily expenses...
    I was talking with one of my colleagues and I confided that I lay my dreams bare before God
    ~ I'm not after 'stability' at this moment but I wish to discover what He has in store for me ~

    As I took in Linda's challenge, my attitude towards 'earning' money has changed. We're so fond of 'gratis' and 'pro bono' but I realized that if I would like to have a home for the children, I need to invest on a lot and facilities to go with it. If I wish to adopt (a) child(ren), the Department of Social Welfare and Development will assess my financial status and make sure I'm capable of raising (a) child(ren).   And here's the best part, if I wish to visit India or do a pilgrimage to the Holy Land  with my mother, I have to pay for my ticket .

    While sharing this with my mom, she asked me, would there be any difference in the way I   served if I knew it'll be compensated? Would I be more effective? zealous?  willing?

    Why have I turned down an offer to work at a nursing home two years ago? Would I ever die for a high paid job?  

    Then she reminded me of the most critical part ~ deadlines.

    For several weeks, I've tried to engage in business classes and I found myself withdrawing ~ hmmm, this one's not for me...nor this one...

    Another realization that hit me during these two weeks was... my friends thought  I didn't need the money... I am single and have nobody to care for... I don't earn from blogging, catechizing, making art and music...but God surprised me last Friday. For the very first time, I understood what hard earned money meant for the poor. I worked and got paid for it.

    'Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents...
    "They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of poverty, put in everything 
    -all she had to live on."'
    ~ Mk. 12: 41-42, 44 NIV ~

    The depth of the Scriptures I have come to live by took on an authentic meaning...

    "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear...
    your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
    But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, 
    and all these things will be given to you as well."
    ~ Mt. 6:25, 32-33 NIV ~


    To my dear friend, I know you've waited for a whole month for this post ~ the answers you have to find for yourself...but know that I'll keep working on mine through God's grace.

    Linda Lee, thank you very much!


    Have I confused you dear friend?

    I have reached an age when my ideals met with reality. We all need money that's for sure. 
    I work in a medical journal now, not in the hospital. I have chosen a career that allows me to be more creative...even with less pay...

    Linda's challenge has opened my eyes to the purpose of money, why we work and get paid for our services... It has allowed me to see the 'blocks' inside me that tells me that 'everything' should be gratis... 
    I've started 'saving' money for my dreams :)

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  • 09/21/12--10:01: εφφαθα: First part

  • "Morning after morning He opens my ear..."
    Isaiah 50:4
    ~Morning Ear Introduction by Goergen~


    September passed swiftly like a breeze … 

    and so has one year of my life...

    General Assemblies, conventions, meetings, hospital visits, weddings, catechesis, taking care of my little nieces sandwiched in between

    early mornings and late nights on the road...
             MRT stress scenes...
                  13-17 hours exposure to     
                         computer screen...
                               article analysis...

    It's totally taxing at some point so I learned to switch off some channels

    I counselled less and listened more to...

    10 September 2012. Along the streets of EDSA.
    The road

    The streets have so much to say. 

    They become avenues for the plight of the poor and people's sentiments. 

    Awareness campaigns, strikes, peaceful revolutions, environmental causes have been amplified by crowds and mass media.

    21 September 2012. A typical Fri-day afternoon along Quezon Avenue


    The Sky
    I noticed that traffics become run-of-the-mill... especially on Mondays and Fridays...

    They become frequent sources of incidents and lassitude.

    I continually believe that it is curable if there is more discipline and respect among us.

    Need I say that countless Filipinos live along the streets, under the bridge, in carts?

    Seeing them moves me to compassion. 

    I know the Lord hears their cries... 

    Do we notice? do we even care?

    18 September 2012. Overview of our workplace from 17th floor.

    The sky cries mostly September nights.
    Earlier this year, we experienced a rainy summer.

    By August, most parts in QC and Manila were flooded by monsoon rains
    (This is very unusual).
    Small rains cause water to rise.

    What does Mother Nature say to us?

    My Body

    One of my little ones nebulizing while asleep. All my nieces have asthma.

    When do we actually admit that things are enough?
    I think I do when I find myself in my sick bed for several weeks.

    In a retreat I attended in 2006, a Claretian Missionary shared,

    "The mind can lie a lot but the body cannot lie. 

    In fact, the body is more honest than the mind.
    Whatever the mind refuses to accept is pushed to the body.
    Hence, the body has more memories than the mind."

    Work and leisure...

    restful hours of sleep...
    These are golden because money can never ever buy us back our health.



    ...what my mind refuses to accept is pushed to the body.

    I usually find the refuse in my dreams.

    I had a dreamfest several months ago. 
    Lisa  Marie Farfalla wrote me,
    "Dreams are like pieces to a puzzle and we only get ONE piece at a time..."

    Oh how true!

    Recently, after watching an episode of MMK on tv,
    I found myself again in the sanctuary with some people I knew in my past.

    Today, the dream had its continuation...

    I saw myself celebrating the mass with them (this is the second time I dreamt of them as an assembly). The difference is... they started talking to me.

    I didn't argue...I acquiesced and listened...

    All the anxieties I had over the years...
    the ghosts that were haunting me...
    my shadows...

    They reconciled with me...


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  • 09/27/12--22:57: Sometimes I wish...
  • We're halfway through our Blog Hop

    I'm the 14th among 28 beautiful souls participating in this event.
    I wrote this as I read Mary's post over her blog Living with Food Allergies and Celiac Disease .
    I am humbled and touched by your kindness Mary. You are so loved BS!
    Thank you!


    I used to ask God for enormous things like a 'stigmata' (either on my left or right hand). Just like the one San Francesco and Padre Pio had...

    an apparition from an angel ... 

     I thought it might help me gain respect from other people...

    or perhaps God will protect me from life's harsh realities because I bear Christ's wounds...

    Sometimes I wish...

    God has preserved me from childhood traumas...
    then it would've been easier to relate with other people...


    I wish all children would be loved for their worth ~ 
    and selfishness will be banished from this world...

    Sometimes I wish...

    I could've been more sincere...
    then I could've saved a lot of people from unnecessary pain.


    Sometimes I wish...

    People know the difference between enough and too much.
    Then we'll learn to give and create space for others.


    I reflected...

    I do bear Christ's wounds in my brokenness.
     If I had been spared of all the dramas, I wouldn't even care so much. 
    I would be blind to God's loving mercy and abundant graces.

    All my experiences led me here
    with the children...
    outside the walls...
    God weaves a beautiful tapestry, e v e r y single moment
    even with the loose threads.
    And my history is written in the pages of God's book forever
    without edits.

    Now it's time to bow down and put my dear friend on the limelight...

    She's one of the most gracious lady photographers I met in the blog world.
    She has introduced me to new places in Europe along with the different cultures
    in her blog Nelmitravel.

    One thing common about us is ~ 
    we both love
    Africa :)

    You could also visit her beautiful works at Nelieta Mishchenko Fotografiaand Fine Art America
    Nelieta Mishchenko
    lots of love! 

    What if my greatest disappointments
    Or the aching of this life
    Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
    What if the trials of this life
    The rains, the storms, the hardest nights
    Are your mercies in disguise
    ~ Blessings, Laura Story Lyrics ~

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  • 09/30/12--15:40: Εφφαθα 2: Take hEARt
  • I roused from a dream of a storm... 

    Water trickled from my room's ceiling and the wind banged my window. I thought another flood was coming... I looked outside my window and to my surprise... it wasn't raining heavily outside!

    The Spirit breathed into the dormant regions of my being. 

    Several days ago, God showed me the way to 'reconciliation' also through a dream. I 'felt' the changes it brought me afterwards ~ my body and mind were more relaxed. 

    Yesterday while listening to the priest's homily, the Lord brought up a memory from seven years ago. He pointed out a sin recurring because of postponement. Why am I terribly fond of delaying a decision? "Sin enslaves", I heard the Lord whispered. There's so much emotional blackmails tied in this ~ ALL because I lingered in another whirlpool

    And here comes the Lord leading me to the gates of freedom... choose <life>!
    I looked at myself in the mirror and echoed what my soul sister told me, "It's your inner beauty that reflects on your face."  The Lord sees more... 
    Belle, my niece 30/9/12

    I want to keep my earwide open
    like a door folding out to the sun,
    ready to receive all that the ball of
    of fire spills across the threshold.
    I want the Word to trickle through
    the long canal to the heart and
    find a place to stretch out in a dream,
    then expand through my sense
    to some form in reality. I want
    it to grow sturdy like a tree
    that dances in every emotion
    of the wind, hearing music
    even when there is only silence.

    ~Morning Ear by Georgen ~

    And looking up to heaven, He sighed and said to him,
    "Εφφαθα," which is 'be opened'. ~ Mk. 7, 34

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  • 10/05/12--05:32: The heART exhibit

  • I have distanced myself from the crowd for several years

     but there's something irresistible about my friend's 'tweet'...  Εφφαθα

    Julius Legaspi's painting

    so I yielded...


    It was early morning, 26 September, Wednesday, when my ARTner and dear friend FherYmas tagged my name in an invitation. He was so insistent. 

    "ARTner Melissa you should see this. I hope you can attend the OPENing.

    I know you'll like his works, he's the best in pastel... your forte too right?"

    I acquiesced.  

    I scheduled my visit to one friend on the same day and was about an hour early.  I raced towards the last floor hoping to surprise my friend but she already left the building.

    I casually walked back to the exhibit without plans on mind. I'm very grateful to that *angel who introduced me to the host of the one man show, WALOfounder and brilliant artist, Mr. Julius Legaspi .He in turn introduced me to one of his members, Mr. Edgardo Gamo, Jr. who I asked a bit about their group. 

    I have visited several exhibits in the Art Gallery but this was the first time I ever witnessed an opening. It was truly a humbling experience to be there among several great artists who I only get to see online.

    I caught sight of Mr. Fernando Sena. I remember visiting his works there too. He was filled with pride to see his protégéwhom he met as a child, doing solo and propagating a legacy of love and dedication towards teaching art mostly to the less fortunate. He left us  memorable quotes:

    "Remember the people who have helped you reach the heights..."
    *especially your parents...

    "Poverty is never a hindrance to attain your dreams..."

    "Ang pagpinta ay nakakagaan ng bulsa...
    ang pagtuturo ay nakakagaan ng kalooban." 
    (*Fher, kindly translate this for me, thanks)

    L-R: Julius Legaspi, Ernesto Tabudlong, Mabuhay Mendoza

    Then, there were Mr. Buhay Mendoza, Mr. Ernesto Tabudlong and Mr. Wilmer Faylon of Pinoy na Pinoy Visual Artists Inc.  It was such a delight speaking to them. It brought a spark of interest in each other's works. They were surprised that I was a nurse by profession. But then Mr. Faylon also works in the Agriculture department.  I revered each of them as they shared their own experiences. 

    And so it began...

    and will continue...

    While walking home that night, I felt truly blessed.
    I met a man whose paintings have a soul.

    I love the fact that he held it in the heart institute.

    It was Julius Legaspi's first solo exhibit ~ Congratulations! ~
     I felt God magnifying this star's brightness
    among the multitudes of stars that night.

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  • 10/07/12--03:44: God's Gift
  • Blogger Widgets

    "At Last" painting by Lauri Blank
    music: Carol Banawa's version of If I Believe
    device: OpenDrive
    falling hearts: Blogspot Tutorial

    Pure love...

    Rafa (Be still)... ephphatha (Be opened) ...rakhma (Love)...

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  • 10/15/12--07:30: Closer

  • google image: Twilight 
    I couldn't...


    I've been spending sleepless nights since Sunday (10.07.12)...

    I just couldn't bear that 'that part of me' dies...

    *No copyright infringement intended

    My eyes rested on my Vision Board... 

    For several months, my heart hibernated and refused to be awakened...

    I lost a piece of me...

    but there's a continuous glow that grows inside...

     finding it's way back...


    I Come Back To Myself Slowly
    Shalom Freedman

    I come back to myself slowly
    I have been away for a time
    To another part of myself
    I do not want to be at all ---
    It is the part of Despair and Fear and Loss
    of Hope
    And guilt over my own unworthiness ---
    I have come back to myself a bit
    I am sort of alright
    There is not around me all this weight and cloud and
    all this heavy dragging me down ---
    I am calmer now.

    I say I am coming back to my better self
    I hope so
    I do feel better ---
    But I know Life and the Other Self wait for me and will
    find me again ---
    Up and down, over and out, all around
    The human being is a succession of his own
    continually conflicting selves.


    "There is no fear in love...

    but perfect love drives out fear..."

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  • 10/22/12--07:16: Home... at Last!

  •  I wish it could be like this...

    google image from Tangled
    A friend frantically wrote me, "No news for many days, are you okay?" 

    Oh if you could only see me! 

    I am FEELING for the first time in many years...

    music: Sleeping at Last by Turning Pages

    It was an assignment I picked up since it started way back 2001.

    Where have I been all these years?

    Outside of myself! And now, I'm fully coming in.

    I am inside my 'body' ~ my own skin marked with history...

    I thought I could just fly to God leaving this body behind. Then he hushed me, "We communicate with Him not only with our heart (cuore) BUT also with our head (la testa) and feet (i piedi)... with our whole body (con tutto il nostro corpo)...


    If that is so...

    then what have I been doing sitting infront of my pc all day?

    CAMMINIAMO... to taste!

    October 2012: I ordered a gigantic pizza from Yellow Cab

    October 2012: A friend brought us this special empanada originally from Ilocos...

    ...books to read!

    Belle and I devouring old books from the shelf

    September 2012 Bookfair at MOA

    ...languages to learn!

    ... everyday a NEW thing to paint!

    Mother and Child Belle and I painted together

    Glitter Ballerina I painted at my brother's house... it takes time but it's really therapeutic!

    ... celebrations!

    October 2012: Procession, Our Lady of La Naval de Manila
    21 October 2012, Pedro Calungsod's canonization along with six others at EWTN
    1 October 2012 Julius Legaspi's exhibit
    Linda Lee, not only angel visits but Mama Mary gets to stay with us til the first week of November. music with kids!

    ...illusions and dreams... overtaken by the books I read... and my VB...

    ...hopes... now outside the tower... beyond the walls... to be as light as a feather...

    ...and Him... He'll always be a part of me... no matter what I do... or think... or plan in my life...

    ... "you are going to reach dizzy heights," my friend continued...

    google image from The Twilight Saga

    a friend mirroring my soul...
    there's a mirror PURER and MORE PERFECT than this...

    ''but please...
    remain in the practical world.

    what we see doesn't happen...

    and that which we don't see...

    Well, I want to know what I am living for...

    WHO I'm living for...

    ~ let that song linger~

     I'll see Him face to face
     one day...


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  • 11/01/12--21:31: Life's Marrows
  • "This heart scares easily..."
    - Rancho, Three Idiots 

    I found myself 'discussing' Three Idiots at four in the morning with a dear friend. It is an excellent movie ~totally hilarious and yet at the same timeriveting.

    "Are some parts there realistic?," I curiously inquired...
    "Do their parents determine their children's future ~ as engineers or doctors?"
    "Is suicide rate really high among students?"

    And my friend answered with a curt, "Yes..."


    The movie reminded me of high school ...

    Way back into our Carpe Diem days... Henry Thoreau, Robert Frost and of course, 
    Mr. John Keating...

    We were so eager to suck the marrows of life

    and contribute a verse!

    It was at that moment when my heart was awakened by the beauty of poetry and literature. I devoured Thoreau's contemplation of life and made them my own...

    Read: Where I Lived, and What I Lived For

    I consider myself most fortunate, let's say blest, in every situation in my life.

    My parents were very simple people who wished that I became a nurse so I could fly to the US and form my own family there...

    I had a photographic mind that made it easier to remember facts in History and formulas in Chemistry. Ooo, I remember I liked Anatomy, Microbiology and Biochemistry back then. I just wonder where they all went because it went poof right after I graduated...

    One of my college mates contested that I just memorized that's why I got As. My professors took it as a challenge and composed test questions that required analysis. I faired well, thanks God!

    But that is my 'Eureka'!  I still remember that person and I am most grateful to her.

    Analyze not memorize.
     Understand the concepts and apply them in everyday living.
    Zero in the values that make one a better person and not high grades.

    My life took a turn after graduation when I ventured withJackin the mission field. I was not only nursing the sick but I was taking care of people's souls. I wasn't able to reach the US as originally planned by my parents but I was able to experience God in Italy and North Africa.

    My siblings were very passionate about the arts, music and literature. I learned a lot from them too. I thought my brother would become a great writer someday but he opted to become a doctor. Nobody among us was coerced into a relationship that was pre-arranged.


    "Hey...are you still there? Or have you dozed off?" my friend chuckled.
    I laughed, "Yeah, right here..."

    My friend was caught in a dilemma between design and production. Designing was his passion. I saw his works and they were really unique. He wanted to try production because he could earn more money to provide for his child's future.

    "I know that when the future is mentioned, the heart becomes anxious..." I told him.

    "Should we measure success?
    How much money we earn? the lifestyle we sustain? the vastness of our riches?"

    "Make passion your profession..."
    ~Rancho, Three Idiots~

    In other words...
    be faithful to LIFE... 
    and everything else will follow...

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  • 11/11/12--04:13: Stillpoint
  • I'm beginning to love October...

    It is the month of healing and recuperation for me.

    Song: My Love by Sia Furler 
    co written by Oliver Kraus

    I had three stillpoints in my life outside the walls...

    First, when Sam left... 
    second, when my sister decided to experiment further with her future 
    and lastly, when a very close friend died in a tragic way.

    Something inside me craved for silence... not the one we know of ~ mute... cut off from contacts...  
    but the kind that is filled with the presence of the 'Other'.

    This time around 'we' meditated on 'protect'...

    A particular memory of the 'street kids' we used to assist came to my mind.

    image adapted from a news photo in Tempo

    We took them out of the streets and provided them shelter, food and clothing...
    It was good for a time until we noticed a change in their behavior. They refused to 'visit' their own families ~ the ones they left behind...

    I wished they wouldn't have to go back to their former way of life... I knew we adopted the kids in order to protect them but, perhaps, the message wasn't that clear, to us nor to them. They NEED to recognize their roots ~ and that they could do if they knew why they have to go back to their families...

    I saw the same thing happening between  my nieces and I when they started going to school... well, when they started growing up actually.

    I wish I wasalways there to protect them the way I did when they were younger...

    I watched 'The Miracle Worker' with Belle last weekend... and my eyes were opened...

    When people 'leave' either by separation or death, an unexplicable sorrow fills our heart.
    It is as if 'something' inside us has died with them.

    I remember asking God, "Was I not enough?"

    I think what is not enough is that we protect people. 

    We must teach them skills
    to live...
    to struggle...
    and to fly...
    {without breaking their spirit}

    I finally, finally understood what my SD wrote about 'developing backbones'. 

    There's a time to reach out and carry people 'across', to hold their hands and lead them the way... but there's also a time to sit back and allow them to walk alone in the dark, question life and find answers for themselves.

    We could only live our own lives... not of others...

    It is not my intention to leave noble thoughts in the minds of the people who reflect with me. I am struggling to put these reflections into practice...

    in faith, in charity and in deep joy.


    " Nothing will frighten me...
     If thick clouds hide the Sun and if it seems that nothing exists beyond the night of this life -
    well, then, that will be a moment of perfect joy,
    a moment to feel complete trust and stay very still
    secure in the knowledge that my adorable Sun still shines behind the clouds."

    ~ St. Therese of Lisieux~

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  • 11/24/12--04:12: Hidden Life
  • "You are not meant for convent life...

    ..and if you're thinking about it...

    I beg you to reconsider..."

    I was taken by surprise when two of my male friends wrote me this... perhaps, it was due to my prolonged absence from the social media. 

    I reflected on the occasions I felt myself torn apart by indecision... but it wasn't about this...

    Not at all...

    I miss the life I had ~ I call it my glorious years in the mission field. I was young and impulsive. I didn't have second thoughts. Back then, the moment was right ~ pieces fit together. 

    I dreamt big. I wanted to be included in history as 'somebody' who did this or was good at that...

    But there was also a part of me that wished to remain 'hidden'... and that part could only be touched and visited by God.

    Early on this week, I finally got to visit a friend who was stricken by cancer. I didn't recognize her when I saw her ~ her face was bloated and she wore a wig ~ but I felt her warmth that told me it was her.

    I always see a miracle in sick people. Her priorities changed. She told me before she'd stretch herself to do incredible things but now, she developed 'patience'. She recognized her limitations and became kinder to herself.

    I was at a loss for words. I remember another friend telling my colleague not to ask him how he was. "This {cancer} isn't fever... it doesn't go away after taking an analgesic."

    There was a remarkable contrast in how people dealt with sensitive issues.

    I was reading J.R. Miller's The Hidden Life and in Chapter 1, page 4 he wrote of a similar circumstance:

    "...a few minutes' conversation showed me that in all the wasting of physical beauty her spiritual loveliness had not been marred. She had kept near the heart of Christ in all the bitter anguish, and the joy and peace of her inner life had not failed..."

    My friend spoke to me of her hopes and aspirations. She had the same plans as I, a pilgrimage in Holy Land or a European Marian Pilgrimage. And hearing her spoke of what keeps her alive just made me reflect on the way I am living my own life... 

    This brings me back to my dream. What makes me afraid of being forgotten? not being missed? of being a nobody?

    I like the words Stephenie Meyer used... 

    google image of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart


    That is how I am in God's heart. Why go on further seeking my importance and attention in other people's eyes...

    Interior life,  that is what is asked of us...

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    Kindly visit my Christmas post at We Have A Story

    my drawing of the Madonna and Child on chalk between 2009-2010, adapted image

    "The question is:
    Is the humanity of our time still waiting for a Savior?...

    ...despite its contradictions, worries and tragedies, and perhaps precisely because of them,
    humanity today seeks a path of renewal,
    of salvation,
    it seeks a Savior and awaits,
    sometimes unconsciously,
    the coming of the Savior who renews the world and our life,
    the coming of Christ,
    the one true Redeemer of man
    and of the whole of man."

    ~ Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, December 20, 2006

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