Sunday, August 30, 2009

Another Day in Paradise

The morning is very uplifting and the plumeria smells are so inspiring. We were enjoying our breakfast that I cooked (bacon and eggs) at the balcony and saw bunch of people having fun at the pool.
Yes, it’s pool time once again but we decided to walk at the beach to the black rock first. We had a little action with the gushing waves. Geee, I wished those waves are not that wild, lol! The neighboring island covered with cotton-candy clouds looked like Camiguin to me.

We had a great time at the pool and guess what? I joined the kids with the slide adventure, lol! It was so much fun!
We drove around town and saw the “pride and joy” of Maui, the Bunyan tree- the biggest in the world. Wow! That tree occupied the whole block! It gives a cozy shade though, very interesting!
We walked through the harbor and saw some submarine adventure signs. We bought tickets and off we went for the underwater quest for the first time. Yeah, that’s very exciting! We rode through a little ferry to where the sub is and as the tour guide counted 1 to 5… and oh, we were so ready with our camera.
The submarine getting ready to surface:D
Oh, there it is! Awesome!

We went down as far as 150 feet. It was very cool!

As we sailed back to the island, there is this familiar smell of the ocean and the sticky feeling from the salt water. Ah, the island life! I remember that (wink, wink).

We went back to the hotel, soaked in the pool. Grab some Italian dinner and shared a glass of MaiTai with the hotel's spectacular view! Yes, another day in paradise!


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Vacation at Last!

So, we got our ticket upgraded to first class. Unfortunately, our flight was delayed for 2 hours. I was playing Bookworm on my iPhone the whole time, draining its battery. Finally, we boarded and the flight was not bad at all. The seats are pretty reasonable size that I curled myself and covered with the blanket all throughout the flight. I drink my husband’s cocktail accidentally. I thought that was just juice and sure enough that knocked me.

Hawaii definitely reminded me of Philippines- humid and warm. We rented a yellow Jeep and off we went to our destination villa. It’s a very neat Ocean Resort (timeshare) and such a great deal for a 12D/13N stay. The kitchen is fully furnished with washer & dryer. I just love the kitchen!
Hurriedly, we changed to our beach clothes and swam a little bit on the sea. The water is very refreshing! Then, we soaked in the pool for few minutes. Got some dinner at Hula Grill. The foods are superb! We did some groceries at Safeway and I’m very excited that I still can cook. That surely saved us some money instead of eating out everyday. Suddenly, I felt like home!
Yeah, finally- we’re on a vacation! Cheers!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Said a Prayer For You Today

I said a prayer for you today
And know God must have heard
I felt the answer in my heart
Although He spoke not a word.

I didn't ask for wealth or fame
I knew you wouldn't mind.

I asked for priceless treasures rare
Of a more lasting kind.

I prayed that He'd be near you
At the start of each new day
To grant you health and blessings fair,
And friends to share your way.

I asked for happiness for you
In all things great and small
But that you'd know His loving care
I prayed the most of all.


Excitements, Award and Escapades

Wow, how time flies. I can’t believe it’s about time to remove my conditional status here in the US. I asked both A&B to write a sworn affidavit for me and they’re both saying the same thing: “Oh I thought you’ve been here longer than that”. My husband and I both thought so too. It’s only been 29 months. I couldn’t say I blend in right away though. But for most part, adjustments weren’t that bad. Probably because I have worked in another country for years prior to coming here.

Life is good and I’m grateful for all the opportunities they gave me. I got a job right away and working for my husband is the best thing. Our marriage is not perfect but certainly, we are very happy and still in love (wink, wink). Couldn’t ask for more!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Anyway, I would like to thank Jackie for this great award. She’s always a modest, sincere blogger who’s not scared to speak her minds. I love her blog and it’s really worth stopping by everyday. It offers a lot of beautiful pictures in their area and some amusing tidbits of her daily life. Thanks, Jackie!

And oh, did I tell you that I'm now counting the days for our 12-day Hawaii escapade? Yay! We're soooo looking forward to that! Yes, 2 more days and Aloha, here we come, lol!


In the Depth of Toils

When in pain, one commonly be apt to gravitate towards people who have been there, done that. There is this feeling that if you bond with people who went through the pain themselves and recovered, we feel revived. This is what happened with Jim’s old friend. His buddy in high school unfortunately met an accident on his early 30’s and was bedridden for 3 years. He’s got a lot of stories, some unusual stories that are very heart-breaking. One time, his step son almost killed him with the telephone chord when he was in bed and can’t move at all. His wife sold his favorite Corvette for 1500 and some other stuff he owned. The most touching part was when he mentioned the story of his friend who’s paralyzed from neck down. His parents totally abandoned him. They left him in bed for 2 days with his legs crossed. One morning, he called his friend and he told him he doesn’t feel good. There are some strange things that keep jumping on his legs. He can’t move at all. And so, he called another friend to check on him. When they arrived at his house, there were rats eating his legs. They rushed him to the hospital and he died the next day of internal infection. I mean, how sick is that? On the lighter side, he spends a lot of times with friends who have the same problem. Sometimes they go to the lake on their wheel chairs and drink some beers. They find ways to make the most of what they’ve got. Still, he has not completely accepted it.

Oh, my heart goes to those people who are going through such rough times. Some people wasted their lives on drugs while some people never gave up despite their health limitations. How ironic that is?

Rants and Sighs

Certainly, times have changed and so has insights. What was once considered inappropriate and disgusting is now widely accepted or became a part of deluded culture. Lifestyles, relationships have been redefined. Or at least, that’s what media have been trying to press on in their daily shows. Ladies dancing like worms and almost naked on a noontime show. As what my husband used to comment, “It’s not so very Filipino”. Yes, watching this noon time show on TFC make me sick sometimes.

Things just went way overboard, ridiculous and uncontrollable since the explosion of cell phones. I remembered being shocked when I came back from Taiwan and found these young kids so busy texting while walking on the mall. I felt like a stranger and so left behind. It’s even more surprising to me when I found out that those kids that used to play on the streets; now on their early teens became Moms. Geeee! What scary news! It’s very sad to realize that the young generations never learned from the past. They’ve been trapped on the same cycle (sigh).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Love is the Answer

Love is the answer to every question.
Why are we here? Love.
Where do we come from? Love.
How do we create world peace? Love.

It may sound overly simplistic to the modern human being, since we want to analyze and look for complex answers to questions. We don’t believe that life is simple and the answers to its problems can also be simple: love.

In truth, what are anger, sadness, pain but the soul’s desire for love?

If we learn to love ourselves without reservation, and to love the world in the same way, the answer is simple. It is impossible, when filled with love, to be aggressive or hate-filled or violent.

When we know that we are beautiful and wonderful, we see the world through those eyes. We see the beauty and wonder in all things around us.

We don’t need to look outside ourselves for the love we seek. It has been there all along. It is the voice of our self-esteem. It is our anger saying, ‘hey this is not right for me. I don’t want this in my life any longer.’

Self-love is saying no to abuse and betrayal. It is wanting the very best for yourself and accepting only that in your life. It is healing the wounds that you have carried all your life.

Self-love is walking away from those who mistreat you, knowing that you deserve better. It is taking the risk to pursue the career that will bring you joy. It is listening to your own inner voice – the one that will always guide you to what is best. It is trusting in yourself completely.

Self-love is following that little voice within that says, ‘ooh I want to do that today.’ Sometimes it means ignoring the voice of 'shoulds' and 'have-tos.' It is believing that, when you seek what you desire and fill yourself with joy, you will also be spreading that joy to those around you.

Love will fill you up so you will know there is nothing missing in your life.

Love will lead you to every answer.
----An Essay by Christine Schaefer

One Fine Day

Wow! What a glorious day today! One thing that struck me is the shapes of the clouds. I’ve never seen something like that before. It’s strange but very beautiful!

My husband had been so busy taking care of the garden. The gardener pretty much does the basic mowing. Even if you asked him to trim the trees and bushes and he’ll be paid extra. Still, nada. It’s frustrating.

Oh well, it’s Friday once again! I’m so happy that our housekeeper’s going to take care of my fish while we’re gone. Oh, so looking forward to that relaxing vacation in Hawaii next week.

Happy weekend, all!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Island's Timeless Life

When I was a kid, time appeared at a halt. I always find myself being impatient. I couldn’t care less of the present situation. Yet, as I thrust myself onto my middle years, time seemed reduced. I was trapped looking for justice and peace at some things that’s really disturbing me while growing up. No, I’m not talking about mysticism or holiness. I’m talking about the distinctive implication of a “timeless life” has for Kamigingnons.

To my neighbors and married relatives, “timeless life” is waking up with the chicken’s clucking so early in the morning and doing the laundry while watching their favorite TV shows in the afternoon. To my father, “timeless life in the island” is going to his farm in the morning and a “karaoke” time with friends before dinner. To my mother, “timeless life in the island” is eating sea foods, leafy vegetables and surrendering herself at the balcony on twilights while talking loudly to some neighbors that passes by. To Kamigingnons, “timeless life in the island” is a reunion with neighbors along the streets before sunrise and after sunset. To the innocent kids, “timeless life in the island” means playing on some empty roads, screaming endlessly in the fields, and swimming eternally on the blue seas. To tourists, “timeless life in the island” is exploring the paradise within.

So, why do “Kamigingnons” choose to stay in the island where life seemed so slow and opportunities don’t come so easy? Why do they prefer to come back after finishing a degree from popular universities in the country? Why do “Kamigingnons” love to retire in the island after saving so much money from working here in the US? Why do “Kamigingnons” decide to live in the island where there’s only one small theatre and no big shopping malls? Why do “Kamingingnons” opt to reside in the island when there’s not enough medical assistance available?

And for just a simple reason: life in the island is worthwhile. We love knowing our neighbors more and care for each other like a big, intimate community. We’re just happy knowing that eating a healthy meal is enough to worry about. And asking for some leafy vegetables, a small amount of rice or grain of salt from a neighbor is tolerable. We are assured that when we cry for help in the middle of the night, neighbors will be swarming around and are always ready to help. We’re not bothered so much about our health problems and wished to die not knowing the scientific terms. We relied so much that our faith will heal us. And if there’s no way to survive, we’re certain that life is worth living.

We don’t have to put through all the traffic jams and heavy pollutions. We may not have the largest productions/industries and highways but we enjoy our natural resources- the cold, hot springs, the two- smaller white islands, clean beaches and the breathe of fresh air. We take pleasure in its serenity.

All of these that I had enjoyed while growing up in a tiny island. The simple things that only simple and ordinary people can appreciate and if you’re grateful enough, you’ll learn to discern that living within your means is like living in paradise.

"Camiguin is a small island province of the Philippines off the northern coast of Mindanao.It is composed of 5 small towns and a population of 81,923. The main occupation of the people is fishing and farming, with copra providing the greatest income contribution. Other plantations are rice, mangoes, lanzones and other fruit trees." ---Wiki


I hate to admit it but I have been addicted to an online game lately. One thing that fascinates me with this particular game is I can design my own farm. I have been dreaming to own a farm someday and so, I just got hooked to it, LOL. It’s funny but I got my competitive spirit going. I spent most of the night farming when I should be relaxing, watching TV. It was entertaining at first but I got tired in the middle part but I just hate to stop. I wanted to get going and worse, I wanted to finish it right away, hahaha! Yeah, I know. It’s not real. It’s dumb and it’s definitely a compulsive behavior. Well, I got over it now. It was a big relief to finally have a peace of mind. Mind you, I am at the market but my mind was all about the farm. I’m worried it might turn to waste if I don’t harvest it right away. Geeeezzz! Well, that was the first time I get really addicted. I’m just glad I’m over it now. It’s really a waste of time. And what did I get from it? Oh well, just a mansion, a drawing, lol!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Good Work of Your Enemies

Do you know why the Lord says “Love your enemies” (Luke 6:27)? Because your enemy does something your friends don’t do. Your enemy, which means the person who bugs you, has the power to bring something out in you that is not like Jesus. When your enemy walks into a room, you’re already disturbed. It shows that there is something in you that lacks love and gentleness. Don’t say, if it wasn’t for that person I could be holy. No. You can be holy because of that person. That person is making you holy; making you choose the good; making you like Jesus.

The actions of your enemy are nothing compared to what you are doing to yourself because of his actions. What’s planted in the soil of memory produces fruit, good or bad. Your memory is so filled with anger and hurt feelings that it cannot hold anything good. But if you show mercy and forgiveness toward your enemies, you can blamelessly live in the present, and God will take care of the rest. ---Mother Angelica, Little Book of Life's Lessons and Everyday Spirituality


Monday, August 10, 2009

A Brief Encounter

“Number 76, 77,78!”, the lady shouted. A middle-aged lady, always wearing her big smile. I’m not sure of her nationality but she looked Japanese to me. She doesn’t have any accent though. She’s always so nice and very helpful.

I was hoping she’ll call my number when suddenly a guy interrupted her. “I’m 60” he exclaimed. A middle-aged Asian guy, wearing some wrinkles on his innocent face. Darn, he really reminded me of my Dad.

“No, no... we don’t go back! Number 79!” the lady continued calling priority numbers. The Post Office is quiet full this time and I just waited patiently on the bench.

“No, I was just here packing my box!” he insisted while pointing on the box at the table.

“You didn’t go anywhere?” she asked. “No” he replied.

“Okay, come over here”, she requested. He didn’t write the labels on it and so she handed the papers he need to fill up. He was so slow. I’m not sure what’s going on but I was guessing, he can’t write it in English or he’s not used at writing alphabets. He’s Chinese, I guessed.

“Stop! Stop, stop!” she said in a much louder voice each time. The guy was so confused and he looked at her with so much innocence and disbelief.

“I’m not done yet” he said calmly.

“Okay, I’ll help you with that. It’s just there are too many people waiting” she said while grabbing the pen and the paper.

“We love you, you know that? So, keep coming back, okay?” she whispered. She realized she had hurt his feelings. "We love you" she repeated with a big smile.

I was touched by such gestures of hers and I could understand her stress at work. On the other hand, I can really see my Dad’s eyes in that guy.

I was a li’l teary when the Postman called my number and even when I told my husband about the incident. Ah, cry baby me, eh?

Friday, August 7, 2009

What Will Matter

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.

Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear. So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to do lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won't matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.

It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought but what you built, not what you got but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.

What will matter is not your memories but the memories that live in those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident. It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.
---Michael Josephson


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Captured Vivid Memory

What is the first thing you can remember so vividly? They say that our earliest memories have an extraordinary force that seems to strengthen with each reminiscence. They suggest at who we have become and indicate the feelings and attitudes that really drive us.

The heat of the sun is biting my skin and the softness of the mud seemed to balance the comfort of bending all day. The dirt smells good with the fresh breeze as it touches my face. My head was spinning with different imaginations and leisure. Every now and then I looked up at the clouds and they seemed smiling and so proud of me.

My Mom, who is brave by heart, a gambler at fault, kept telling me that “there’s nothing impossible under the heat of the sun”. I took it seriously and well, literally. It instantaneously delights me as I continue planting rice on a bright, summer day.

“So, can I tell you a story?” I asked my sister who is planting on the other side of the field. I started telling her a movie just to kill the time and not being so conscious about the sizzling heat.

When there’s nothing to tell anymore, we were silent for a while. Thoughts started building up. I promised myself to get out of the mud someday. I promised to do better than my parents.

Then, I felt so much compassion for the farmers I saw nearby. Their faces wrinkled, their hands so dirty, clothes full of mud and yet never cared eating their lunch boxes under the shades of coconut trees. They are happy people so it seemed. They whistle a lot and some even sing out loud, throwing jokes at each other which echoed throughout the fields.

I can recall so vividly, how happy I was on that day for a job well-done. I was nine then. Ah, I always liked remembering that day. It reminded me of a renewed spirit, joyful hopes and innocent longings of pure gratification.

A Sad Story

DH asked our Dentist (who happens to be Persian but pretty much Americanized) about whether the story of the movie, The Stoning of Soraya M still exists or not in Iraq.

“Ah, more than ever”, he quipped. “It’s not even about religion. It’s all about money and power. Basically, that’s what Iranians are screaming about during their brave, long protests last June”, he continued.

In a world of secrecy, corruption and injustice, a single courageous voice can tell a true story that changes everything. This is what lies at the heart of the emotionally charged experience of The Stoning of Soraya M. Based on an incredible true story; this powerful tale of a village's persecution of an innocent woman becomes both a daring act of witness and a compelling parable about mob rule. Who will join forces with the plot against her, who will surrender to the mob, and who will dare to stand up for what is right. --Official Site

It was such a sad story- father against daughter, husband against the wife and son against mother. And at the end of the movie, when the picture of the real Soraya flashes on the screen, my heart breaks. I don’t know what I felt. I didn’t even watch the part where everybody’s throwing stones at her. It’s definitely hard to believe that it does exist.

Allergies and Coughing

DH has been sleeping all day last Saturday. It was so weird and I could tell he really doesn’t like it. His doctor gave him some steroids for his cough that’s been going on for over a month now. He had seen different doctors and the results are the same: he doesn’t have any infections at all. It could be that he’s allergic to something. I remembered having the same cough last year that lasted for 2 weeks. Then, he got it after me and he was coughing for 2 months. It’s very strange to get the same cough 2 summers in a row. There must be something that we’re both allergic too. We were thinking it maybe the paint coz we painted the house (inner) the same time last year. Ah, allergies. It’s an endless possibility.

Make the Best Out of It

The old couple ordered one burger, one fries and one soft drink at McDonalds. The guy who was seated and eating on a nearby table noticed the old couple ordering one meal. When the couple was seated on their table, they cut their burger into half, poured half of the soft drink to an empty cup and give half of the fries to the lady.

The guy stood up. “I can buy you another burger, fries and soft drink if you want”, the guy offered.

“Oh no, no, thanks!” they answered.

After seating back on his table, he noticed only the husband was eating. The lady never touched her foods. So, he stood up again and asked the couple.

“I was wondering why she’s not eating at all?” he asked.

“Oh, he’s the one who’s got the teeth today”, the wife replied.

The mass attendees clapped after Fr. John finished his joke.

Well, we have to do the best we can for every circumstances. We have to do the best we can for the things and talents we have been given. Basically that was theme for last Sunday’s gospel.

I thought the joke was funny and so I thought I’ll share it here. Hope you all had a wonderful week!


Monday, August 3, 2009

The Origin of Man

One day, eight-year-old Melissa says to her father, 'Daddy, I've been thinking about us humans and I'm a bit puzzled. How did we first appear on Earth?'

'That's a very good question, honey,' her father replies. 'God made Adam and Eve and they had children and then their children had children, and as a result, mankind began.'

Later that day, Melissa asks her Mother the same question. 'Mommy, how did we humans first appear on earth?'

'That's an intelligent question, Melissa,' she replies. 'Millions of years ago there were monkeys from which, gradually, the human race evolved.'

Melissa is confused by this answer and goes back to her father. 'Daddy,' she asks, 'how come you told me the human race was created by God, yet Mommy said they developed from monkeys?'

'Well darling,' replies her father, smiling, 'the answer is simple. I told you about my side of the family and your Mother told you about her's.'