my amnesia girl

“Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  1 Peter 5:8

something funny happened while we watched “my amnesia girl”.

first of, the movie was about Apollo and Irene, who were in love with each other that they decided to finally tie the knot.  on the day of the wedding, Apollo got cold feet and chose not to go on.  Irene was deeply hurt and heart-broken.  but on one fateful day, their paths crossed again.  Irene pretended she did not know Apollo and just asked “Sino ka?” as a way to protect herself from being hurt again.

it was a typical romance movie except for corny but kilig similes and metaphors that Apollo and Irene used throughout the movie.   my husband and i were amused at how we could relate to the pick-up lines… considering our age.  in fact, we were so amazed at how romance could be old-fashioned and yet so updated. 

here were some:

“ulan ka ba?  kasi lupa ako. at sa ayaw at sa gusto mo, sa akin ang bagsak mo.”

“alam mo, bagay sa yo yang damit mo.  pero mas bagay ako sa yo.”

“para kang pustiso, i can’t smile without you.”

“Thank you Lord, pandesal lang naman ang hinihingi ko sa inyo.  hamburger binigay Nyo. me fries pa!”

we were like having too much fun with the lines that we totally forgot something!

our son barged into our bedroom, and asked if we were cooking. that was the time we remembered the beef.  my husband and i rushed to the kitchen.  it was already filled with smoke. like we were enveloped with clouds.  i wondered if that was how heaven looked like.  it didn’t smell like it though.

my husband immediately turned off the stove and removed the pot cover.  there it was, our dinner totally scorched and charred.

LOL! somebody had amnesia! 

they say forgetfulness is a sign of old age .  i sometimes wonder about how i would become when my memory would finally fail me. good thing is, when that moment comes, then i would never know.

on hindsight, it could have been a tragic experience if our son did not find out soon enough.  but thank God!  we lost our dinner, but not the lesson.  it is one thing i’d probably remember for the longest time.

there are plenty of things that keep us occupied throughout the day.  and there are times when self-inflicted amnesia brings us to another dimension. to some kind of out of body experience. like a whole new world of triviality.

it is best to stay alert and focus on the essential which only the heart can see.

and which the heart would never forget.

UPCAT and other admission tests

“Because He himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.”  Hebrews 2:18

as graduating students this school year, Miguel and his batchmates have prepared really hard for college admission tests months ahead.  for UPCAT, he attended Brain Train review classes instead of enjoying his summer vacation.  for the test, together with other families, we travelled four hours to Riyadh and stayed overnight to prep the kids for the early morning schedule the following day at the embassy inside the Diplomatic Quarters.  the same for USTET and Mapua exam, just minus the travel time and overnight stay, but equals the stress, and excitement – or anxiety, depending on the level of preparedness for each student.  and the months of waiting for the results were just as heart-pounding as the exams themselves.

The Oblation

sadly, Miguel did not pass the UPCAT.  it’s human to feel so. but he did Mapua and we’re happy about that.  now we’re still waiting for USTET results.

when Miguel goes back to the Philippines after graduation, i can just guess how many more college admission tests he will take, and which university he will eventually enrol in.  at the end of the day, it’s really up to the Lord. our absolute trust is in Him.  His will be done…

it is understandable for the children, and for us parents, to be excited and hopeful about exam results.  although the outcome will not define their future, it is a crossroad where our children would inevitably have to decide on; to which direction they would take.

as parents, we too are given tests on and on.  some are easy, some are agonizing. some we pass.  but there are those that we fail miserably.  and when we do, it looks like we reach the end of the road and all we want to do is stop.   wouldn’t it be a shame to give our children that example?  that instead of us being their guide when they reach that crossroad, we, ourselves, drift away in our own road to perdition. 

Jesus Christ is the Son of God who became man.  and because he became man, He was subjected to tests.  like we are. no exemptions.  and He passed each test, to show us that we can too.

so next time we are given one, don’t hesitate to take it.  because if we pass, then we move on straight away. but if we fail, we will be given our second chance, and review where we went wrong.  both ways, we learn our lessons and become better persons. if we remain steadfast and constantly strive to be the best that we can for God, then we would surely pass the HAT – heaven admission test. 

when the time is now

“Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” 2 Peter 3:8

we’re now ten days into 2011, and i still don’t have a list of new year’s resolutions.  not that i even plan on having one, but it has been tradition that before the old year ends, the list should have been done and must be followed from Day 1 onwards.  but since it’s a bit late already, maybe my new year’s resolution is to not have any new year’s resolution at all.

before Christmas, Megan was giving slight hints here and there about what gift she really wanted-a canon 550d camera.  since it is quite expensive and we don’t have the money to buy one just yet, i told her that patience is a virtue. wittingly she responded that time is goldhaha!  that camera might as well be gold!

aah youth! –  carefree, always in a hurry as if there’s no tomorrow.  but only with age will they realize that time is just a passing fancy.  and i sure finally did. in fact, as i grow older, i perceive time as a curse.  especially when life is defined by the years, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds, nanoseconds… 

when i was younger, i used to believe that time is really gold because our culture dictates our life in terms of the years that we live.  like when at 12, one has to finish grade school.  one can vote or date at age 18.  by 20, one has to finish college.  by 30, one has to have established a career already, earned his 1st million and settled down.  between 30 to 40, one should already have a family, built a house for them, sent kids to school…

between 40 to 50, one would be preoccupied with advancing with that career, take care of seeping health issues and playing on retirement plans.  at age 60 onwards, one should then enjoy the fruits of retirement, then eventually die of natural causes or old age.

imagine the frustration when one doesn’t catch up with the hands of time.  i won’t be surprised if that expensive rolex, that cheap wall clock or that annoying alarm clock can be as deadly as a butcher’s knife.  these timepieces may actually be the number one cause of stress.  and stress as we all know is the number one cause of any illness, or the reason some diseases get even worse  for that matter.

 it’s been two months since my surgery, and i’m still stuck here in my room. since i felt stronger, i think that i should be elsewhere doing something else, which “culture” expects of me.  but God put me exactly at this spot at this very moment. just as He planned.  building up my patience, strengthening my faith and bolstering my confidence in what He has in store for me.

we should be defined by the moments we live. not the hours we spend catching up with the future.  not the minutes fighting off the ghosts of the past.  we are in the here and now. and whatever we think or do now, will shape up our tomorrow .  or change how we look at our yesterday.

if you want a taste of hell, go ahead.  stare at that clock as it excruciatingly tick-tocks your life away.  waiting for that something that may just happen only after a century, or worse, may not happen at all.  do whatever you can wherever you are-NOW.

remember that in heaven, there are no clocks.  no calendars.  no new year’s resolutions. only moments of everlasting joy and infinite bliss with our Lord.  so savor each moment like you’re already in heaven.

roobee doo bee doo

“And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” John 16:22

over dinner last night, bhoy and i wondered if people would still know each other in heaven.  we  also wondered how we would look like. if the same as when we were younger, or when older. though we may have preferences, it would make no difference because apparently no one will care about appearances anymore.  everything is beautiful.  and heavenly to be more precise.

there are stories of near-death experiences where heaven was a tunnel of light where choirs of angels sing. bhoy said souls would probably look like baby angels there.  and  i pointed out that there are depictions of angels as grown ups too. like the archangels.  well, we wouldn’t really know until we get there, would we?

it’s been a year now since roobee passed away.  there’s no way of knowing how she looks as an angel (i believe she is!).  and there is absolutely no way that we can track where in heaven she is.  even if there is GPS, it would be out of range, unless someone invents an HPS (heaven positioning system), which is a remote possibility. not ever. at least not in this lifetime.  or lifetimes ahead.

but after that initial shock when one gets to learn that someone dear is gone,  the difficulty to process grief into profound sorrow,  (four times in a span of one year for me), there seemed no choice but to get it over with and move on. question is do we?

by God’s grace and mercy, i have learned to dwell instead on the precious blessing of our friendship rather than the void she left. and boy i tell you! it’s huge!

as we watched clash of the titans last night, i can’t help but smile as i recall watching the 1981 version with her when we were still in high school.  one by one, random memories of the amazing 80s come to mind.  my sharona, esavy, we are the champions, straa, campings, retreats, jewa, balut, bagets… i could go on and on.

now as i listen to Apo Hiking Society, i can almost hear roobee singing doo bidoo bidoo.  with the choir of angels singing with her.

Pope Benedict the XVI on “All Saints Day”

10/30/2009

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

‘With great joy, we celebrate today the feast of All Saints. Each is different from the others, with the uniqueness of their own personality and their own spiritual charism’

 

On this day let us revive in ourselves an attraction toward Heaven that calls us to carry on in our earthly pilgrimage. Let us lift in our hearts the desire to always unite ourselves to the family of the saints, of which we already have the grace to be a part.
On this day let us revive in ourselves an attraction toward Heaven that calls us to carry on in our earthly pilgrimage. Let us lift in our hearts the desire to always unite ourselves to the family of the saints, of which we already have the grace to be a part.
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ROME (Catholic Online) – The feasts of “All Saints” and “All Souls” are celebrated as Holy days and the “offices” which report the news from the Holy see are closed. We present the 2008 Homily of our beloved Holy father, Pope Benedict XVI and will present his homily for this year after the Holy Days:

Pope Benedict XVI ON “All Saints Day”

Dear brothers and sisters!

With great joy, we celebrate today the feast of All Saints. Visiting a nursery garden, one remains taken aback at the variety of plants and flowers, and spontaneously begins to think of the Creator’s fantasy that made the earth a marvelous garden. These same sentiments come to us when we consider the spectacle of holiness: the world appears to us as a “garden,” where the Spirit of God has sustained with remarkable wonder a multitude of saints, male and female, from every age and social condition, of every tongue, people and culture.

Each is different from the others, with the uniqueness of their own personality and their own spiritual charism. All, however, were marked by the “seal” of Jesus, the imprint of his love, witnessed upon the Cross. All now are at joy, in a feast without end as, like Jesus, they reached this goal across toil and trial, each one encountering their share of sacrifice to participate in the glory of the resurrection.

The solemnity of All Saints became recognized in the course of the first Christian millenium as a collective celebration of the martyrs. Already, in 609, Pope Boniface IV had consecrated the Pantheon in honor of the Virgin Mary and All the Martyrs. But this martyrdom could be interpreted in a wider sense, that of loving Christ without reserve, a love expressed in the total gift of oneself to God and one’s brothers and sisters.

This spiritual measure, to which all the baptized are called, is accomplished in following the way of the evangelical beatitudes, that the liturgy offers to us on today’s solemnity. It’s the same path traced by Jesus and that the saints pushed themselves to follow, always aware of their human limits. In their earthly existence, in fact, they were poor in spirit, pained by their sins, myths, starved of and thirsting for justice, merciful, pure of heart, peacemakers, persecuted for righteousness’ sake. And God himself gave them a share in his own happiness: previewed in this world and, in the hereafter, enjoyed in its fullness. They are now consoled, have inherited the earth, are sated, pardoned, see the God whose children they are. In a word: “theirs is the Kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3,10).

On this day let us revive in ourselves an attraction toward Heaven that calls us to carry on in our earthly pilgrimage. Let us lift in our hearts the desire to always unite ourselves to the family of the saints, of which we already have the grace to be a part. As a celebrated “spiritual” song says: “When the saints go marching in, oh how I’d want, Lord, to be in their number!”

May this beautiful aspiration burn in all Christians and help them to surpass every difficulty, every fear, every tribulation! Let us place, dear friends, our hand in the maternal one of Mary, Queen of All Saints, and let ourselves be led by her toward our heavenly homeland, in the company of the blessed spirits “of every nation, people and language.” And let us unite ourselves in prayer already recalling our dear departed ones who we’ll commemorate tomorrow.

– – –

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our notebook, there is just too much love

“No one has ever seen God.  Yet if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is brought to perfection in us…We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.  God is love, and whoever remains in love, remains in God and God in him.” 1 John 4:12, 16

 “The Notebook” is a touching story of true love that lasted a lifetime.  it is the story of noah (ryan gosling, james garner) and allie (rachel mcadams, gena rowlands) who met one summer during the age of their innocence.  it is the summer they would always remember when they began to know about each other other and experience the time of their lives.  in short, it was when they fell in love.  but just like the summer that was, the magic had to end, at least for a while.  after so many years, and maturing from other less significant relations, their love never really died and somehow the passion of that summer had its way to pull each other back to each others arms. such love story was read from an old notebook by noah to allie, who was then at her old age, and was suffering from alzheimer’s disease.  they both believed that if noah untiringly read their story, as he did, allie would be reminded of the beauty of their love and her memory would come back.  i’d rather that you watch the movie for you to find out and experience the entirety of this beautiful story of noah and allie, as well as the heartbreaking end.

like noah and allie, bhoy and aninie also met during a time when all they knew was kids’ play.  they were too young then even to remember when they started to fall in love.  but unlike noah and allie, bhoy and aninie, never let go of their first summer together.  they held on to it, God knows how, and will surely do so until God knows when. 

the Lord has blessed me with so much, and most of it comes from having bhoy in my life.  he brings just too much love, it overwhelms me.  and that love radiates to all the people who know him and love him in return.  he is an angel personified.  and i thank the Lord for this day, when he was brought to this world to make it a better place especially to me and our kids, megan and miguel. like noah and allie, we’ve been through the hardest and toughest times.  but there was just too much love between us, only the happy times matter.  like noah, bhoy constantly reminds me of the one true great love that we have, and like allie, i will never forget, no matter what.

“The Notebook” is a movie based on the novel with same title written by Nicholas Sparks.  Ours is a true to life story of great love written by God in heaven.  It started the day Bhoy was born…