Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Pope Bids Goodbye

Christmas 2009 at Aspire Park (L-R : Enor, The Pope, Geeka and Jason)

'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord,
'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,' (Jeremiah 29:11)

Thank You Two Thousand and Nine for the difficult times that we have experienced, during these times we grew.

Thank You Two Thousand and Nine for the limitations we experienced, you have given  us  the opportunities for improvement.

Thank You Two Thousand and Nine for each challenge you have given us, because it help us built  our strengths and characters.

Thank you Two Thousand and Nine for every mistakes we made, it teach us valuable lessons.

Thank you Two Thousand and Nine for the 365 sunrises and sunsets that our eyes have seen, it made us realized that we are more blessed than other people in other part of the globe.

Thank you Two Thousand and Nine for the wonderful new friends that we meet in this blog community, we found love, peace and respect as we share our thoughts and stories across the globe.

Thank you Two Thousand and Nine as we bid goodbye to you, we will stand tall full of faith and enthusiasms as we welcomes the coming of Two Thousand Twenty.

As the New Year is upon us, with hope and anticipation let us celebrate that may all our dreams come true and good health follow us, that may it bring us joy and never be sad.

May 2010 brings much pleasure and memories to all of us so that each of us may have great stories to tell, colorful pictures to share, beautiful music and videos to play and inspiring poems to recite in this blogging community.

May 2010 be the best New Year to all of us.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Romancing With Rizal

On most heroes, we do not pay attention to their everyday life and their romantic relationship is not important to most of us, as we look at these heroes as men and women of steel, let us not forget that heroes fall in love too.

As we celebrate Rizal Day, let us take a closer look into Dr. Jose Rizal's romantic tales, a part of his life that makes him more human like us.

Rizal has been romantically attached to at least nine women namely Segunda Katigbak, Leonor Valenzuela, Leonor Rivera, Consuelo Ortiga, O-Sei San, Gertrude Beckette, Nelly Boustead, Suzanne Jacoby and Josephine Bracken. These women might have been beguiled by his intelligence, charm and wit.

Segunda Katigbak and Leonor Valenzuela, Filipino

Segunda Katigbak

Segunda Katigbak was her puppy love. Unfortunately, his first love was engaged to be married to a town mate- Manuel Luz. After his admiration for a short girl in the person of Segunda, then came Leonor Valenzuela, a tall girl from Pagsanjan. Rizal send her love notes written in invisible ink, that could only be deciphered over the warmth of the lamp or candle. He visited her on the eve of his departure to Spain and bade her a last goodbye.

Leonor Rivera, Filipino

 Leonor Rivera with her mother

Leonor Rivera, his sweetheart for 11 years played the greatest influence in keeping him from falling in love with other women during his travel. Unfortunately, Leonor’s mother disapproved of her daughter’s relationship with Rizal, who was then a known filibustero. She hid from Leonor all letters sent to her sweetheart. Leonor believing that Rizal had already forgotten her, sadly consented her to marry the Englishman Henry Kipping, her mother’s choice.

Consuelo Ortiga, Spanish

Consuelo Ortiga y Rey, the prettier of Don Pablo Ortiga’s daughters, fell in love with him. He dedicated to her A la Senorita C.O. y R., which became one of his best poems. The Ortiga's residence in Madrid was frequented by Rizal and his compatriots. He probably fell in love with her and Consuelo apparently asked him for romantic verses. He suddenly backed out before the relationship turned into a serious romance, because he wanted to remain loyal to Leonor Rivera and he did not want to destroy hid friendship with Eduardo de Lete who was madly in love with Consuelo.

O Sei San, Japanese

O Sei San, a Japanese samurai’s daughter taught Rizal the Japanese art of painting known as su-mie. She also helped Rizal improve his knowledge of Japanese language. If Rizal was a man without a patriotic mission, he would have married this lovely and intelligent woman and lived a stable and happy life with her in Japan because Spanish legation there offered him a lucrative job.

Gertrude Beckett, British

While Rizal was in London annotating the Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, he boarded in the house of the Beckett family, within walking distance of the British Museum. Gertrude, a blue-eyed and buxom girl was the oldest of the three Beckett daughters. She fell in love with Rizal. Tottie helped him in his painting and sculpture. But Rizal suddenly left London for Paris to avoid Gertrude, who was seriously in love with him. Before leaving London, he was able to finish the group carving of the Beckett sisters. He gave the group carving to Gertrude as a sign of their brief relationship.

Nellie Boustead, French

Rizal having lost Leonor Rivera, entertained the thought of courting other ladies. While a guest of the Boustead family at their residence in the resort city of Biarritz, he had befriended the two pretty daughters of his host, Eduardo Boustead. Rizal used to fence with the sisters at the studio of Juan Luna. Antonio Luna, Juan’s brother and also a frequent visitor of the Bousteads, courted Nellie but she was deeply infatuated with Rizal. In a party held by Filipinos in Madrid, a drunken Antonio Luna uttered unsavory remarks against Nellie Boustead. This prompted Rizal to challenge Luna into a duel. Fortunately, Luna apologized to Rizal, thus averting tragedy for the compatriots.

Their love affair unfortunately did not end in marriage. It failed because Rizal refused to be converted to the Protestant faith, as Nellie demanded and Nellie’s mother did not like a physician without enough paying clientele to be a son-in-law. The lovers, however, parted as good friends when Rizal left Europe.

Suzanne Thill, Belgian (Luxemburg-born) / Suzanne Jacoby, Belgian

In 1890, Rizal moved to Brussels because of the high cost of living in Paris. In Brussels, he lived in the boarding house of the two Jacoby sisters. In time, they fell deeply in love with each other. Suzanne cried when Rizal left Brussels and wrote him when he was in Madrid.  There is a debate on whether Rizal had a relation with Suzanne Jacoby (she was much older than Rizal) or with her niece, the 18-year-old Suzanne Thill)

Josephine Bracken, Irish

In the last days of February 1895, while still in Dapitan, Rizal met an 18-year old petite Irish girl, with bold blue eyes, brown hair and a happy disposition. She was Josephine Bracken, the adopted daughter of George Taufer from Hong Kong, who came to Dapitan to seek Rizal for eye treatment. Rizal was physically attracted to her. His loneliness and boredom must have taken the measure of him and what could be a better diversion that to fall in love again. But the Rizal sisters suspected Josephine as an agent of the friars and they considered her as a threat to Rizal’s security.

Rizal asked Josephine to marry him, but she was not yet ready to make a decision due to her responsibility to the blind Taufer. Since Taufer’s blindness was untreatable, he left for Hon Kong on March 1895. Josephine stayed with Rizal’s family in Manila. Upon her return to Dapitan, Rizal tried to arrange with Father Antonio Obach for their marriage. However, the priest wanted a retraction as a precondition before marrying them. Rizal upon the advice of his family and friends and with Josephine’s consent took her as his wife even without the Church blessings. Josephine later give birth prematurely to a stillborn baby, a result of some incidence, which might have shocked or frightened her.

There may be other women that Rizal may have contacted with as he traveled a lot.  He may have met women in the cabarets in Paris, in parks in Germany, at the train stations in the U.S. or in the steamships bound for Spain.  We may never know.

Source: Order of the Knights of Rizal

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thank You Lord!

 My sister Tessie Bermejo  delivers her acceptance 
speech as Palipasan wins PEBA 's Top Ten Blogs

Thank you Lord!!!

The first three words I have uttered after I learned from my attending families in the PEBA Awards Night. Palipasan was voted as PEBA's 6th winner on PEBA 2009's Top 10 Blog Awardees.

It is such an honor knowing that I was competing with 36 other nominees most are best blogs and best writers in the blogging realm.The satisfaction of winning is so immense that until now as my wall clock here in Doha is about to strike 12 midnight, my mind is still fully awake as I savor the glory of winning.

Tremendous thanks to my blogging friends in Kablogs who have encouraged me to join PEBA 2009, to my readers, and followers who never gets tired of reading my post and to my regular commenters who always leaves their trail behind my comment box. And my deepest gratitude to my friends, classmates/batchmates, relatives and unknown generous people who have contributed to Paliapsan's 561 votes and to the bold predictions made by my friends Reymos and Scofiield, Jr, maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat.

Lastly, I would like to thank the Organizers and volunteers of PEBA, Inc., for honoring and recognizing the talents of Global Filipino bloggers, thank you for believing in the talents of the OFWs,

This award is a recognition, affirmation and challenge. Recognition - for a time spent and a life well lived during 2009. An affirmation for the worthy causes in bringing God's word in the hearts of my readers albeit unpopular options taken and challenge to do more and be better.

I am sharing this award to my family who have always supported my blogging passion, my wife Enor; my son Jason; my daughter Geeka and my dearest sister Tessie who have represented me and Palipasan in the PEBA Awards Night.

Congratulations to all the PEBA 2009 Winners.

Life is Beautiful, let us continue our blogging passion in bringing inspiration, joy and peace to our Diasporic community and to the world.

Maraming salamat po at nawa'y magkasama pa po tayo sa PEBA 2010.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Fingers Crossed As PEBA Awards Night Nears

Excitement is mounting as we wait to find out who has won this year’s Pinoy Expats / OFW Blog Awards in honor and recognition to the top Global Filipino bloggers around the world.

The Top 10 Outstanding Blogs will be announced at a fabulous dinner and presentation evening being held at Phil-Am Life Theater in Manila, Philippines, tomorrow night; December 27, 2009. The PEBA  Awards Program is already posted in PEBA site.

With 37 nominees from 21 countries across the globe, it's an exciting moment  especially being one of  the hopefuls as I secretly keep my fingers crossed as I wish that at least my attending family members can  take home some of the gifts that PEBA Sponsors are giving away during the awards' night.

The Global Filipinos  is awaiting to watch this memorable event, we hope that Santa Claus have not forgotten to leave a gift of Video Live Streaming to Kenji's stocking last night; so that we, who belongs to the Diasporic community and are unfortunate to fly home to bear witness the prestigious PEBA 2009 could reach PEBA site to watch it online.

Kudos to the Organizers and Volunteers of PEBA 2009, thank you to its Sponsors and good luck to the 37 hopefuls.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Finding Peace On Christmas

Two thousand years ago the angels heralded the birth of Jesus Christ as they sang,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”  (Luke 2:14)  

Today, we often say that we want a peaceful life.
We wish to be at a place 
where there is no noise, 
no trouble, or no hard work.

But this does not actually mean Peace.
To be in the midst of all chaos of life, 
and still be calm in your heart - 
is what “peace” is.

This Christmas, open your heart
to the coming of the Holy Child, 
only then you can find a lasting peace.

May we hold still this Christmas long enough to feel the “peace on earth” proclaimed by the angels. Then, as the woman who touched the hem of His robe, the Lord can say to us, “…thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace…” (Mark 5:34).

Across the Arabian Gulf,  I am wishing you all a happy Christmas blessed with peace and goodwill. I hope that, through our greetings, we pass on this message of love, joy and peace.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pope's Letter To Santa Claus

Dear Santa,

I know that you are sad as the world clock ticks and little help has been done by the world leaders to end global warming. There’s so much to wish for in helping our world that sometimes it’s overwhelming, and sometimes I feel hopeless. But at the same time I know that our world is still filled with magic and love, and you are one of the great spirits of that wonder.

This season, my family is offering prayers to the Infant Jesus to end the global warming as it has taken its toll on the ice cap in the Artic Circle as it posed great danger to you and Mrs. Santa, Rudolf and the rest of the deers and the elves. Christmas won't be the same without you.

For my Palipasan blogsite:

Dear Santa,  last Christmas you filled my stockings with gifts of creativity and passion for writing which leads me to the creation of Palipasan. As the door opens on 2010, I am planning to start on a more serious level of blogging and I wish you could fill my stocking with a new domain and hosting for Palipasan for Christmas this year which will allow me to  customized my site freely without limitations for greater outlook and functionality designs to give a far better interactive blog presentation to my readers whom I owe my existence in this borderless world of blog.

My deepest gratitude to you Santa for your generosity for the mid-year gifts you accorded to Palipasan as Finalist for the Special Award, Category on Best Filipino Abroad Blog on Philippine Blog Award (PBA 2009); and as 21st Nominee for Pinoy Expats/OFWs Blog Awards Inc. (PEBA 2009).

For my Palipasan readers:

Palipasan has reached its distinction of an average 70 visitors per day, ranked 568,910 in Alexa Traffic and with 80 followers within the span of 11 months, a great achievement for an amateur blogger like me. Dear Santa, I would like to have them back next year, so please keep an eye on them during the holidays. If you could put a little bit of hope in each of their stockings I know they'd appreciate it. Let them know that their blogs is well read too despite I was unable to leave my thoughts on their comment box. Sprinkle a little "Innovation and Creativity Powders" on whatever you leave for them which could help in coming up with fresh ideas for their blogs.

For my family:

Give them anything they ask for. They deserve it for putting up  with me over since January of this year. For staying late at night while being tying up with my home computer for blogging and email; and especially for my embarrassing them by talking to their friends about my blog and soliciting their vote for my nomination entry in PEBA 2009.

For myself:

Well, I’m still waiting for that “48 colors Crayola" crayons set you were supposed to bring me back in fourth grade. Think of those colorful crayons sitting in my office table as I doodle with them during my idle hours, or while on telephone conversation or attending boring meetings in the office.

Thank you Santa,

The Pope


I'll be preparing hot chocolate drink for you and  hot oatmeal  for your deers, please feel free to collect it from my kitchen  (just few steps from my living room)  as I leave my main door unlocked. Sorry Santa, we don't have chimney and fire place in Doha.

By the way, thanks for the regular winter chills you delivered in the Middle East this Yuletide Season which fills the air with Christmas spirits as the cold wind draws us closer with our friends and love ones here and in the Philippines sharing the warmth of love and the joys of gift giving.

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Time Is Now

If there was ever a time to dare,
to make a difference, 
to embark on something worth doing,

Not for any grand cause, necessarily. ..
but for something that tugs at your heart,
something that's your inspiration,
something that's your dream.

Make your life beautiful...
You owe it to yourself,
to make your days here count.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Silent Night's Christmas Truce

  A cross, left near Ypres in Belgium in 1999, 
to commemorate the site of the Christmas Truce in 1914. 
The text reads 1914 The Khaki Chum's Christmas Truce -1999 -  85 Years - Lest We Forget.

Man's fundamental decency surfaced briefly in the midst of hell, and should never be forgotten. For a brief time at least, peace on earth prevailed and goodwill was shared among men whose job it was to kill each other.

"The truce began on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1914, when German troops began decorating the area around their trenches in the region of Ypres, Belgium, for Christmas. They began by placing candles on trees, then continued the celebration by singing Christmas carols, most notably Stille Nacht (Silent Night). The British troops in the trenches across from them responded by singing English carols.

The two sides continued by shouting Christmas greetings to each other. Soon thereafter, there were calls for visits across the "No Man's Land" where small gifts were exchanged — whisky, jam, cigars, chocolate, and the like. The soldiers exchanged gifts, sometimes addresses, and drank together. The artillery in the region fell silent that night. The truce also allowed a breathing spell where recently-fallen soldiers could be brought back behind their lines by burial parties. Proper burials took place as soldiers from both sides mourned the dead together and paid their respects." (Souce: Wikipedia)
I am sharing with you an excerpt of the movie Joyeux Noel courtesy of You Tube, a movie inspired by a true story, which happened on Christmas Eve 1914 during World War I.This beautiful film dramatizes one such section as the French, Scottish and German sides partake in the unique event, even though they are aware that their superiors will not tolerate its occurrence.

Think about the words of "Silent Night" and see how they can bring hostilities to a halt. "All Is Calm, All Is Bright" Who knows about the world's ills better than soldiers who are facing the consequences of war, killing, and death?

"Son of God, love's pure light" is what those men needed in the darkness of that winter night.  The words and melody are simple, yet profound. Hearing the song makes one stop and breathe and be transported to a place of natural beauty and calm. It is a heavenly song and universally loved.

Even though we may not be engaged in physical combat, we all face the battles of everyday life. We can let the peace of that holy night, the night of our dear Savior's birth, reign in our hearts the whole year through.

This Christmas season, let us seek the true path of forgiveness, where love releases those captured by hatred; an era when the sun of peace and justice rises, when greed and grudges do not rule us, and when enmities among us decline; a time when people find agreement, in a spirit of harmony and friendliness.

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Twelve Drummers Drumming

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve drummers drumming,

Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Many people know the opening lyrics to "The Twelve Days of Christmas." But few know that behind the somewhat trivial counting song is essential Christian doctrine.

The song was composed by Catholics in England during the 16th century, who were forbidden by law to practice their Catholic faith. The only legal church in England was the state church. To teach their children basic doctrine, they used nonsense songs that would not raise the suspicions of the non-Catholics around them, but would remind the children of their faith.

"On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me"

The twelve days of Christmas are the twelve days between Christmas Day, Dec. 25th, the birth of Jesus, and the Epiphany, Jan. 6th, the day Christians celebrate the arrival of the Magi (Wise Men) and the revelation of Christ as the light of the world.

"A Partridge in a Pear Tree"

The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, the first day of Christmas. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you would not have it so . . . ." (Luke 13:34)
"On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me..
Two Turtle Doves"
The Old and New Testaments, which together bear witness to God's self-revelation in history and the creation of a people to tell the Story of God to the world.
"On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Three French Hens"
The Three Theological Virtues:  1) Faith, 2) Hope, and 3) Love (1 Corinthians 13:13)

"On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Four Calling Birds"
The Four Gospels: 1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, and 4) John, which proclaim the Good News of God's reconciliation of the world to Himself in Jesus Christ.
"On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Five Gold Rings"
The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch:  1) Genesis, 2) Exodus, 3) Leviticus, 4) Numbers, and 5) Deuteronomy, which gives the history of humanity's sinful failure and God's response of grace in the creation of a people to be a light to the world.

"On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Six Geese A-laying'
The six days of creation that confesses God as Creator and Sustainer of the world (Genesis 1).

"On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Seven Swans A-swimming"
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: 1) prophecy, 2) ministry, 3) teaching, 4) exhortation, 5) giving, 6) leading, and 7) compassion (Romans 12:6-8; cf. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

"On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Eight Maids A-milking"

The eight Beatitudes: 1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, 2) those who mourn, 3) the meek, 4) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 5) the merciful, 6) the pure in heart, 7) the peacemakers, 8) those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake. (Matthew 5:3-10)

"On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Nine Ladies Dancing"
The nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit: 1) love, 2) joy, 3) peace, 4) patience, 5) kindness,6) generosity, 7) faithfulness, 8) gentleness, and 9) self-control.  (Galatians 5:22)

"On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Ten Lords A-leaping"
The ten commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before me; 2) Do not make an idol; 3) Do not take God's name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day; 5) Honor your father and mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness; 10) Do not covet. (Exodus 20:1-17)

"On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Eleven Pipers Piping"
The eleven Faithful Apostles: 1) Simon Peter, 2) Andrew, 3) James, 4) John, 5) Philip, 6) Bartholomew, 7) Matthew, 8) Thomas, 9) James bar Alphaeus, 10) Simon the Zealot, 11) Judas bar James.  (Luke 6:14-16).  The list does not include the twelfth disciple, Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders and the Romans.

"On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Twelve Drummers Drumming
The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles' Creed: 1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell [the grave]. 5) On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Spirit, 8) the holy catholic Church, 9) the communion of saints, 10) the forgiveness of sins, 11) the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting.

Now this "trivial song" we sing at Christmas has more meaning than we thought. So let us sing this song once again with faith in our hearts.

Image snipped from
Uploaded by outofhands

Saturday, December 12, 2009


As Christmas draws near, I am reminded of the great Yuletide memories of my youth.

It cannot be denied that nothing can separate us from our unique Filipino Christmas tradtion.  Saan ka mang panig ng mundo, hindi maipagkakaila na sa puso ng bawa't Pilipino, miss natin ang Paskong Pinoy, ang tradisyong ating kinagisnan, ang tradisyong ating kinamulatan mula ng tayo ay musmos pa lamang, tulad ng pangka-karoling.

As far as I can remember, I have joined my neighborhood friends when I was 7 years old  and formed our own group of kid carolers. And with our creative ingenuity, we equipped ourselves with makeshift instruments to include the tambourines made of pinitpit na tansan strung on a piece of wire, drums made from cans or biscuit tins as we proudly sings even out of out of tune the traditional song  "Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit" from out of our lungs.

We are the group of kids from Pasay City, the "batang yagit" sporting short pants, T-shirts or sandos and rubber slippers hopping from one house to another every night, and the same houses all throughout the Yuletide Season until December 25; singing Jingle Bells, Silent Night and , Sa May Bahay". After rendering 3 or 4 songs, with traditional chant of "Namamasko Po", we wait expectantly for the homeowners to reward us with coin, ranging from 0.50 centavos to 2.00 pesos. Afterward, we thank the generous homeowners by singing "Thank you, thank you, ang babait ninyo".

We have experienced some homeowners request non-Christmas songs. There was a drunk homeowner who have asked us to sing "Lupang Hinirang" and despite the odds we sing it with pride and  were awarded with 5.00 pesos, not bad at all.

There are also stingy homeowners who doesn't entertain carolers which we named "bahay patawad" and others who refused to give us coins or drive us away from their house by simply uttering the traditional words "patawad", we return them a song "Thank you, thank you, ang babarat ninyo. Thank you" and start running away from their door.

After 3 hours of caroling,  I still remember the feeling of delight when my friends and I would split our “earnings” each night.

I wonder if there are any Filipinos in the Philippines that has not experienced the Christmas caroling tradition? Iniisip ko kung ang mga batang mayayaman na kasing edad ko nuon from plush subdivisions ay nagkakaroling rin.

Ikaw, naranasan mo bang mag-karoling?

"Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day" (Psalm 96:1-2)

Image snipped from

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happiness Lies Within You

Realize that true happiness lies within you. 
Waste no time and effort searching for peace 
and contentment and joy in the world outside.

Remember that there is no happiness 
in having or in getting, 
but only in giving.

Reach out. 
True happiness lies within you. 
Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others, 
without getting a few drops on yourself.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Behold The Servant Of The Lord

December 8, we Filipinos will celebrate the feast of Immaculate Concepcion of the Blessed Virgin Mary which is set like a jewel in the observance of Advent. This feast in Advent celebrates our belief that a woman named Mary, like no other human person, has been spared of our human sin from the moment of her own concepcion because of her singular union with God as the mother of Jesus Christ. The feast encourages us to say YES to God.

We heard in the Gospel that Mary accepted this role by responding to the angel: Behold the servant of the Lord. The title, Immaculate Conception, denotes that Mary is unique among all persons in that she was conceived without original sin. It is a very lofty title. But note how Mary responded to the angel, “Behold the Servant of the Lord.” The title, Immaculate Conception, is lofty and grand. Mary’s humility in the scene with the angel is profound.

Because she believed all things are possible with God, Mary could say an obedient yes to his invitation for her to represent all humanity in salvation history. This feast of the Immaculate Conception is a striking witness of the purifying force of God’s will in our life of faith as well. Her example motivates us to seek God’s will with confident faith.

We celebrate Mary, who in the face of God’s challenging request of her in his human mission, said an obedient and humble yes. We celebrate the courage and faith of a woman who was surely given to prayer in her heart. We honor her alertness of faith and pray for the same grace.

This is why this feast is so important in the Church year. God chose to begin the Christian story through Mary saying, “Yes, I am God’s servant.”

It is appropriate that, through Mary’s intercession, we ask that the miracle of God’s grace might strengthen us to be   men and women of courageous faith as we say YES to the part God asks us to carry as salvation continues to unfold. Our role in the story of salvation will not be as awesome as that of the Mother of God, but in our respective vocations we are instruments of God’s grace, too.

As we honor Blessed Virgin Mary on its feast on Immaculate Concepcion, let us pray for a peaceful election in our country in 2010, swift justice to the departed victims of Maguindanao massacre and peaceful ways to heal the wounds of our country. Gratefully, we say "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us. Amen."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Isang Minutong Ngiti Tungo Sa Kapayapaan

"A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles."(William Hazlitt )
Can you promise me that you can offer a minute of smile after reading my post? If you can, this one's for you. For a start, let me share with you this awesome video and the sentimental song which I stumbled upon this morning on You Tube and be part of the growing 2.5 million people who have watched it, enable and adjust your PC speaker volume and click on the play button.

A smile is like a little flame from a candle, it brighten the darkest of times and melt the wax of anger, stress, despair and anxiety and bring warmth to its surroundings. How much more spirited and enjoyable our days will be when mixed with authentic kindness, even if delivered merely by a smile from a passer by.

The "smile face" seems to have universal meaning, regardless of culture and language. A Smile is a universal "gesture" with a timeless and arguably inarticulate meaning. Smiling not only reflects one's own contentment, but may truly, albeit transiently, enhance the recipient's sense of wellness. What a special and free gift to share at will.

Amidst the pain of poverty and the present stressful political climate highlighted by greed in power displayed by the ruling family, we equipped ourselves with courage and faith, and our hopefulness and optimism starts with a smile as a symbol of joy and hope.

The first step towards peace in your life is to practice random acts of kindness without any thought of something in return begins with a SMILE.

On December 8, 2009, at exactly 8:00 pm Manila time (GMT +8) let us join hands in bringing peace to mankind. For next 60 seconds, let us exert a simple movement of our lip muscles, a simple greeting conveyed; a signature of friendship; a mark of acquaintance; an essay of meaning; anything from a mark of friendship, to an ocean of expression, a 60 seconds of smile, let us support A Minute of Smile (Isang Minutong Smile), an advocacy towards peace.

This advocacy project is spearheaded by another Charlie, (a namesake of Mr. Chaplin, the musical genius who wrote the song "Smile" and the star on the above video); Isang Minutong Smile (A Minute of Smile) was launched by Charlie Montemayor (Lord CM), an OFW based in Koror, Palau; President of KABLOGS and author of Dungeon Lord blog site. Bear witness to the first Isang Minutong Smile, supported by Palipasan, KABLOGS and Global Filipino bloggers across the world. On December 8, let us be part of this event, contribute a 60 seconds smile and proudly blog it to the world and send your best smile photos to Dungeon Lord. Blogging friends who made contributions to this event are as follows:

And my apologies to the bloggers who have supported this advocacy Isang Minutong Smile, (IMS) which I failed to mention in this post to please leave your message in my comment box and I will immediately amend this post to include your link which will remain posted until eve of December 8.

And my gratitude to the all bloggers and friends who have shared their best smile photos on Lord CM's You Tube video and to all our blogging friends who remained anonymous for grabbing the IMS logo and displaying it in their sidebars, MARAMING SALAMAT PO sa inyong pagtangkilik at paniniwala sa makabuluhang pagtitipon tungo sa kapayapaan.

Makibahagi. Ang isang minutong ngiti na inyong ipagkakaloob sa mundo sa ika-8 ng Disyembre nawa'y umukit sa kasaysayan ng ating lahi at sa puso ng bawa't makakasaksi tungo sa kapayapaan at pag-ibig sa sangkatauhan sa tulong ng ating Panginoong Maykapal.

Photo grabbed from
Uploaded by Chay [slowly crawling back to Flickr life]

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ayokong Maging Prime Minister si PGMA

Muli na namang susubukin ng Halalan 2010 ang kapasidad ng intelehente ng bawa't botanteng Pilipino. Sa aking ihahalal na kandidato sa Pamahalaan ay aking ipagkakatiwala ang aking sariling kinabukasan, ang kinabukasan ng aking pamilya, ang kinabukasan ng ating bansa.

Ilang beses ng tinangka na imanipula at lapastanganin ng mga kasalukuyang naka-upo sa Kongreso ang kahinaan ng ating Saligang Batas upang palawigin ang kanilang panunungkulan at ng kasalukuyang Pamahalaan dahil sa kasakiman sa kapangyarihan at kayamanan na dahilan sa pagkakalugmok ng ating Bayan.

Sa pagbaba ng Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sa panunungkulan bilang Pangulo ng Pilipinas sa taong 2010 ay kanya naman tatahakin ang landas ng kandidatura sa pagka-Kongresista ng Ikalawang Distrito ng Pampangga. Isang bagay na nagbigay pangamba sa akin at sa nakararaming Pilipino, isang masamang pangitain na nag-uugnay sa propesiya ng mga dalubhasa sa politika na maaring magluklok kay Gloria Arroyo bilang Prime Minister kung sakaling magtagumpay ang panukalang pagbabago ng ating Saligang Batas, isang bangungot na tila hindi malayong maging katotohanan sa takbo ng mga kaganapan sa ating bansa.

Nawa'y mahantungan ng ating mga Cabaleng kababayan ang kasarinlan ng kanilang boto sa darating na halalan sa 2010 sa kabila ng suliranin sa jueteng at korapsyon sa lokal na pamahalaan ukol Lahar Quarry na hindi nabigyan ng kalutasan sa ilalim ng pamumuno ng mga Kongresista sa pangunguna ni Kong. Mikey Arroyo at mga alkaldeng na may malalim na pakikipag-ugnayan kay PGMA.

Mapipigilan lamang natin ang mga mapagmanipulang politiko ng ating bansa kung sama-sama tayong maninindigan at hindi iboboto ang mga trapo sa lipunan. Huwag nating iboto ang mga Kongresista na nagnanais na kumandidato sa Halalan 2010 na naghain ng House Resolution 1109 at mga kaalyado ng kasalukuyang Pangulong Arroyo mula sa Lakas-Kampi-CMD na kakandidato sa Kongreso kung saan muli silang mamumuno bilang mayorya ng Kongreso. Pigilan ang kanilang kasakiman sa kapangyarihan at kayamanan, kailangang manindigan ang bawa't mamamayan.

Kabilang si Gloria Arroyo, ang mga sumusunod na Kongresista na nagsulong ng HR 1109 ay ating kilalanin at nawa'y huwag bigyan ng pagkakataon na muling manungkulan sa ating bayan ang mga sumusunod:

National Capital Region

Party- Lists

"Our nation suffers a lot...

Not because of the corruption of the people in power,
But because of the tolerance of good people;

Not because of the the irresponsible government
and public officials' inactions,
But because of patience and enduring character of good people;

Not because of violence commited by bad people,
But because of silence of good people!

Our nation suffers a lot,
its fate resides in YOU!

Whatever you do not do to this nation today,
will be inherited by the children of tomorrow.

And it could include your own child...

Let us help to make a change."

Hango mula sa aking poste na Our Nation Suffers A Lot, isang pagpapaala-ala bilang mamamayang Pilipino sa ating tungkulin hindi lamang sa Bayan at sa ating mga anak kundi sa mga susunod pang henerasyon ng Lahing Kayumanggi.


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