Thursday, June 26, 2008

God Want Me To Tell You...

What he had told me.

It shall be well with you this year.
No matter how much your enemies try,
this year they will not succeed.
You have been destined to make it and
you shall surely achieve all your goals this year.
For the remaining months of the year, all your agonies will be diverted and victory and prosperity will be incoming in abundance.
Today God has confirmed the end of your sufferings, sorrows, and pains because HE that sits on the throne has remembered you.
He has taken away the hardships and given you JOY.
He will never let you down.
I knocked at heaven' s door this morning, God asked me... My child, what
can I do for you?
And I said, Father, please protect and bless the person
reading this message... God smiled and answered... Request granted.
If you believe, just by reading and sharing and praying you have succeeded .
Be Blessed and walk in the knowledge and assurance that God is about to
turn some things around in your life.
God Bless!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Touching Story from Someone Who is Always Busy

I got this wonderful e-mail and it's something I want to share with everyone, it's something inspiring, it picked me up when I was down. A lot of us rarely read forwarded message, but I do. I hope you read on and pick something to change your gloomy mood if you are in one like I was. It's very touching.

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.
SON: "Daddy, may I ask you a question?"

DAD: "Yeah sure, what it is?" replied the man.
SON: "Daddy, how much do you make an hour?"
DAD: "That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?" the man said angrily.

SON: "I just want to know.. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?"
DAD: "If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour."
SON: "Oh," the little boy replied, with his head down.

SON: "Daddy, may I please borrow $10.00 ?"

The father was furious, "If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work hard everyday for such this childish behaviour."

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.
The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?
After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think: Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that
$10.00 and he really didn't ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door.
"Are you asleep, son?" He asked.
"No daddy, I'm awake," replied the boy.

"I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier" said the man.
"It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the $10.00 you asked for."
The little boy sat straight up, smiling. "Oh, thank you daddy!" He yelled.

Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father.

"Why do you want more money if you already have some?" the father grumbled.
"Because I didn't have enough, but now I do," the little boy replied.
"Daddy, I have $20.00 now. Can I buy an hour of your time?

Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you."
The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness.
It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts.

Do remember to share that $20.00 worth of your time with someone you love.
If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days.
But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.

And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our family.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Happiness Haven will temporarily be inactive until the author finds jher happiness again or at least find something happy to write about. Peace everyone. Be happy!
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Friday, June 20, 2008

I Eat Bone Marrow and Exotic Filipino Cuisine

Recently, I had dinner at the Spiral of Philippine Plaza Hotel as always they never fail to overwhelm me with the wide selection of International cuisine served on their buffet. Whatever your fancy, they have it. Indian, Italian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, and Western dishes, that is.
What’s mind-boggling though is that Filipino cuisine was not included on the menu! To think that the hotel is in the Philippines, it kind of disappoints me but I know that Filipino cuisine hasn’t penetrated the selection or line-up of International cuisines (yet!).

I had on my plate, for that dinner, steaks, mashed potato, kebabs, teriyaki, sashimi, mixed vegetables, and some I couldn’t name except for my culinary curiosity to taste them. The wide selection of deserts had me all gaga and didn’t bother of the calories it could add up to my weight (as if I care counting carbs!).
Despite the BIG dinner I had, I still wasn’t satisfied though. Why? I didn’t have my RICE! Don’t laugh I am dead serious.

Rice is one of the staples in Filipino smorgasbord!

Do you watch Fear Factor? I was watching a re-run about a challenge to eat gross things, included in the list was Balut (almost hatched duck egg). The white male appeared struggling and disgusted over what he was taking in his mouth, almost wanting to puke! It’s like it’s the worst he ever tasted compared to the maggots and other creepy crawlers he ate before that! Duh!

FYI for him I guess, and all non-Philippines native, balut is a favorite by a number of Filipinos specially paired with the ole reliable beer during a drinking session!. Because of this love for this peculiar chow we Filipino’s like a restaurant serving only balut cooked in different ways was established here in the Manila.

I just want to stress, different strokes for different folks. RESPECT I guess. People in the world have different ways, culture, beliefs and recipe and everyone should keep this in mind. If you don’t like what I put on my plate for all I care, just let me have my peace and satisfy myself.

I am very much annoyed when people, especially those who dine with me on the same table, but gross out over what I eat. Common courtesy and ethics! Besides, I am not feeding you this one so beat it!

I couldn’t agree more with Celine Lopez comment in her column at Philippine Star this weekend over her abhorrence over the claim made by a celebrity chef in GQ magazine claiming Crispy Pata (deep-fried pigs trotter) as his discovery and unexpected masterpiece! Mr. celebrity chef we had that over centuries in our fiesta foods!

I also remember an incident while I was devouring an order of Bulalo (beef bone-marrow soup), lechon kawali (deep-fried pork belly with the skin and fat!) when this group of foreigners looks over glancing at my dish of bones and fats as if I am a sick person, probably I looked like Hannibal Lecter for them!

Well guess what? I LOVE salty, oily, fatty, sweet delicacies and most Filipino do!
Maybe I should make as my personal advocacy to campaign for Filipino dishes to penetrate the International cuisine line-up. If the Thais were able to make it why not us?

Filipinos in general, have an adventurous palate. We love dishes and foods that we can enjoy on the dinner table with our loved-ones without worrying over the calorie counts, fats, and cholesterol and sugar.

Filipino food is flat out strange and like foreigners usually utter “you will never know what you will get! Every dish is a surprise, like Sinigang, Laing, Adobo, Pinakbet, Bagoong, Pancit, Pinapaitan and the most loathe by non-Filipino Dinuguan (coagulated pig blood!). We only eat spaghetti, which is sweetened here in the Philippines, hamburgers, and fries as our snack. But we also have our versions of snaks (merienda) like bananacue, kamotecue (caramelized deep-fried banana and sweet potato) bibingka (rice cake), puto't kutsinta, palabok, etc.!

This is just among our famous recipe, a culinary selection and medley of acquired taste made with TLC! Chow!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Best Cities in the World to Live

If you have the hand to choose a city to live where would you choose? What are the considerations for you to select a place for you and your family to settle down? Definitely I’d suppose some of the most important factor would be safety, cleanliness and easy access to place of work, study, transportation and to practice your faith.

A well renowned consulting firm in the world, Mercer Consulting, has compiled again the result of their study for the best places, particularly cities around the world, to live. They based it on detailed assessments and evaluations of 39 key quality-of-living determinants, grouped in the following categories:
• Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc)
• Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services, etc)
• Socio-cultural environment (censorship, limitations on personal freedom, etc)
• Health and sanitation (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc)
• Schools and education (standard and availability of international schools, etc)
• Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transport, traffic congestion, etc)
• Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure, etc)
• Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc)
• Housing (housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services, etc)
• Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters)

Out of the 600 cities worldwide, 3 cities from Switzerland, 4 from Germany, 3 from Canada, 2 cities from Australia and New Zealand made the top 20 roster.

Here they are according to rank: Zurich (Switzerland), Vienna (Austria), Geneva (Switzerland), Vancouver (Canada), Auckland (New Zealand), Dusseldorf (Germany), Munich (Germany), Frankfurt (Germany), Bern (Switzerland), Sydney (Australia), Copenhagen (Denmark), Wellington (New Zealand), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Brussels (Belgium), Toronto (Canada) , Berlin (Germany), Melbourne (Australia), Luxembourg (Luxembourg) , Ottawa (Canada), and Stockholm (Sweden).
Surprisingly none of the cities in US made it to the top 20 and the highest-ranking U.S. city is Honolulu, Hawaii at 28. Paris (33), London (39), and New York (49) didn’t even make the top cut.

Read more about this study here to find out where your city or country ranks. Aside from the best places they also have a list of the safest places to live.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day, Papa!

My elder sister was closer to my Dad, among us, she is the favorite I believed and I think she feel the same. We have different feelings for our father, you can read my sentiments about our father here. While my sister wrote this touching and loving piece for him.

I printed it out (upon her request) and gave it to our Papa printed in large bold fonts for his easy read. Here it goes:

(Start of my sister's letter/post) I have learned a lot from you, though your method of teaching is hmmn, not so traditional.

It has been painful for you to walk for a few years now so your moving around activities are limited to the house, sitting on your chair in front of it and going to and from the neighborhood store. You're turning 77 this July. Your elder sister died a few weeks ago.

You've been ill a couple of days back and had difficulties getting up from bed. Now they say you can barely hear and people yell at you by default for you to be able to understand what they're saying. This is freaking me out so I have to go do this. I hope you appreciate it.

A few months ago, I went and asked you that if your life had been different, what would you see yourself doing other than this life you have now?

You have a ready, curt no-nonsense, four-letter word answer that I refuse to share with everybody - it's mine!

Looking at it now, I should have apologized for laughing my ass of out of what you said. I am sorry. I did not understand then. I do now.

Your life had been a series of challenges since you were young and without a good pair of parents (be it their fault or not) that might have made your life easier. That's no excuse to get deep into a series of alcohol-induced stupor. Adolescence, even adulthood did not offer additional comfort and or has even made you used to uhmm...well...what you're used to. Then comes your fairy-tale wedding. Eventually it grew to a family. I just happened to be on that unit. This marriage and family grew.

At times I think I thirst for what might have been (and since you're still alive - this could very well improve - I can hope, right?) our interactions because I am often told I've always been your favorite. I have no blame but gratitude and the ever constant need & compulsion to take care of you.

But since I'm miles away (and you can't hear me on the phone or even on the webcam), let me tell you this:

As you have always done alone since you were young, keep taking care of yourself.

And oh, I LOVE YOU.(End of my sister's letter)

Our father read the letter alone, it took him a couple minutes, I think I saw him teary eyed. Ack I am too upon reading the letter.

Happy Father's Day!

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mom and Big Bro B-day Dinner

Mom, Bro and his wife. No, Bro and sis-in-law are not sad they just not like smiling on pics because they don't have two front teeth! LMAO!

Mom and Nephew.

Big Bro and Wife.

My cutesy daughty and nephew.

Interesting looks on bro and sis-in-law LOL!

Me and bro on the background! Hi Fans!

Everybody! Bit blurry lotsa people walking by!

My sis-in-laws grandchild and niece, very pretty :).

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Heaven or Hell is Here on Earth

I am not here to argue about religion nor stir controversy. I’m just here to empty my mind so you can load it on yours so that you can have something to think about (lol!).

Is there heaven or hell that we all go to when we die? When I was a child I used to subscribe to this belief but now that I am an adult and exposed to the ways of the world I find myself wondering if I should continue believing it or not.

It is indeed a comforting thought that when we all die (if we are good people here on Earth) there is a place that we will all go to that is better than what we have right now … the place they call Heaven. And rotten people go to a place where they will be punished eternally… Hell.

However, I find it disturbing that after this life assuming I will go to Heaven or Hell I would be sharing the space or the place with the ugly yucky guy I used to avoid in high school because he smells so much and I can’t take the grains of sweat dripping from his head and his big teeth and annoying geeky look! Or worse share the space with a serial rapist or an axe murder or worst Hannibal Lector!

I mean look at it this way, there are 88 million people alive right now here in the Philippines, and I imagine there is 44 billion people around the world? (Correct me if I’m wrong, I really don’t know). Anyway, since existence of man there already has been zillions of people that come and go and what they are either equally divided in heaven or hell? Could you imagine?

Who decides who goes to heaven or hell? Do we actually prescribe to the belief that there is a man at the gates of heaven or hell waiting for us, ask for our name and right there and there can tell you exactly if you belong in heaven or hell?

What I think is this, when we die we die, period. We are good as nothing, zilch, nil. It’s a sad thought but that’s what really happens. We are buried by the ones we leave behind and we will remain a part of history and memory alone. We are no longer part of anything but memory (even memory fades).

Nobody could ever tell or testify the truth about the after life now. When someone dies even if that someone has promised to come back to tell the story won’t come back to life to tell her/his tale. Someone who claimed that he or she has come back from the dead would be someone delusional or has wild imagination that is suited for an aspiring screenplay writer.

There is no single man alive who could ever tell us about wherever our soul goes when it separates from our physical body.

If there is life after death who knows? I only believe in one life and that life is the now that I am living and the one that I know exist as I still exist. This is the only life that we should value and take stock off and not the after life that who knows is there.

Heaven or hell, I believe exist in this life. Heaven and hell is what we make our life here and now on earth. If we live a life full of hatred, anger, pretences, discontentment, envy, lies and regrets, I think that is Hell. If we live life with contentment, love, happiness and desire to bring happiness to everyone around him/her and comes to good terms and in peace with yourself and others, that is Heaven.

When I was a little girl, maybe 8 or something, I used to believe, because that was what the church though us to believe, that bad people go to hell and get punished according to the sins they committed here on earth. If they are liars, their tongue will be pulled out of their mouth and get nailed to a rock and be tugged and pulled till you hurt and suffer for eternity. While heaven is a place where good people go, filled with angels and white light, everything is beautiful, no strife and you can have everything you want. But uhmmm… as I think of it what is heaven if I go there assuming and I be alone with angels I don’t know and leave my loved ones behind me, what kind of place do I go to alone.

Heaven or hell is here on Earth. We should make the best of what we have and what we do now. It is more comforting to know that we live a satisfying life now and that we are happy and content and make the others around us the same and not bank on the here after where we can make up for all that we lack in the now because there is no guarantees that it exist.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm Wearing My SHOE Today

I think it’s been awhile, it’s high time for me to take out my S.H.O.E. and wear them proud.

1. I thank God for keeping my family intact and very close. Despite oddness in my mom and dad’s relationship, they managed to stay together for 34 years; it’s their anniversary on June 18. It’s true that when everyone has turned their backs on you, you can always turn to your family for support.

2. My daughter has so many improvements, it may be small things to others but to me and to someone like her it’s a big thing. She now follows command (with a little prodding) like returning her glass to the table after drinking. She now helps pick-up mess she made around the house. She shows a lot of interest in learning new things.

3. We are safe and warm inside our home. Despite it being far from most relative, we never really faced serious illness or suffered from the bad weather or natural disasters in here unlike in other places.

4. It’s great to see relatives I haven’t seen in a long time. It’s sad that there has to be death to bring back relatives together, but with the way my nephew looks into my Aunt’s death (his grandmother and my father’s sister) “We should celebrate because now she is fulfilled.” (and also released from pain.)

5. Rosalyn Sanchez (the Latina secret agent from the movie Rush Hour 2) was added from the roster of my lucky celebrity look-a-likes like Eva Langoria and Jessica Alba just to name a few. (Hahahaha!) Actually, as long as the one I love thinks I’m the most gorgeous woman on Earth and the last woman on Earth for him then I am happy. It feels great to be reminded of that often.

6. I’ve been shopping for the past couple weeks already. Clothes, machines, food, shoes, accessories and other home stuff.

7. Having a mani-pedi (manicure and pedicure) and home-service massage. Heaven!
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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

To Those Who Were Born In the 1950's, 60's and 70's !!!

... and everyone who can relate...

First, some of us survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us. (sioktong ang inumin)
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, fish from a can ( brand : ligo ), and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints, even our toy horse.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, no kneepads , sometimes our biked don't even have breaks.

As children, we would ride in car with no seat belts or air bags – hanggang ngayon naman,di ba ? ( jeep )

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. ( maykaya kayo pare ! )

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle ( minsan straight from the faucet)

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. Or contacted hepatitis.

We ate rice with tinunaw na purico ( dahil ubos na ang star margarine), nutribuns na galing kay macoy and drank sopdrinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight kasi nga.....


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. (Sarap mag patintero, tumbang preso , habulan taguan...)
No one was able to reach us all day ( there were no celfon , or beepers ). And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our trolleys or slides out of scraps and then ride down the street, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms.......
WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no
lawsuits from these accidents. The only rubbing we get is from our friends with the words…..does it hurt? (masakit ba?) But if your playmate is mad at you he would say "good for you!" (pero pag galit yung kalaro mo,,,,ang sasabihin sa iyo…..beh buti nga ! )

We play in the dirt , wash our hands a little and ate with our barehands…we were not afraid of getting worms in our stomachs.

We have to live with homemade guns – made of wood and tied with rubber band (gawa sa kahoy, tinali ng rubberband , sumpit , tirador at kung ano ano pa na puedeng makasakit...pero walang nagrereklamo) and anything that can hurt but nobody complained.
Pinoy made up games with sticks ( syatong )and cans ( tumbang preso )and although we were told it would happen, wala naman tayong binulag o napatay paminsan minsan may nabubukulan.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Mini basketball teams had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Nobody harbors ill-feelings. (Walang sumasama ang loob.)

Parents are there to watch over their kids but not mingle. (Ang magulang ay nandoon lang para tignan kung ayos lang ang bata….hindi para makialam.)

This generation of ours has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and managers ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned
And YOU are one of them!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the government regulated our lives for our own good.

and while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!

PS - The big font is because your eyes may not be able to read this... at your age!!!

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Breakfast at McDonalds

Despite the hustle and bustle of my days, seeing old friends and relatives, shopping and fun movies, I find it hard to smile lately. I got this beautiful e-mail that got me crying all through the end and it made me more appreciative again. I hope you will feel the same way too after reading this. This story was said to be true, I hope it really is. Here it goes:

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology.

The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project of the term was called "Smile."

The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.
I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway, so, I thought this would be a piece of cake, literally.

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.

We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did.

I did not move an inch... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.

As I turned around I smelled a horrible "dirty body" smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was "smiling".

His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance.
He said, "Good day" as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.

The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation.
I held my tears as I stood there with them.

The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.

He said, "Coffee is all Miss" because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm).

Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes.

That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action.

I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray.

I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand.

He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Thank you."

I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, "I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope."

I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, "That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope."

We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give.

We are not church goers, but we are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love. I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand.

I turned in "my project" and the instructor read it. Then she looked up at me and said, "Can I share this?" I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class.

She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed.

In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's, my husband, son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.

I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn: UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE !.

Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS - NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.

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