All The Sweet Moves

“For it is God’s will that by doing right you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” 1 Peter 2:15

Holy Monday, and here in Bahrain it’s business as usual.  I’m unable to go to Sacred Heart church all by myself,  yet thanks to technology, there is no lack of literature and videos that could somehow remind us of the importance of this week.  Not to mention the Holy Bible.

I’ve been distracted the past weeks.  Had recurring respiratory ailments, was busy with the tender , still concerned with Miguel’s pending leap from a career in films to a life in the kitchen, excited about Megan’s graduation, and worried about the hot weather when we come home for vacation in Pinas.

In similar situations prior, I vent all my perceived helplessness by binging on food.  They say sweets are great stress busters.  Especially chocolates.  But somehow added stress goes with the end result of having to lose the extra pounds later.  So eating just for the heck of it, is just a temporary relief.

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Now I found another sweet way to battle my way out of  the “insanity” of  it all.  Who says only the young can play candy crush?  It’s calorie free, but it’s bad for my eyes.  And it makes my back ache.  Yet for some precious MY moments when I reach home, I transform from a middle-aged, tired, sickly, corporate lady to a fresh and vibrant girl again.  All because of candy.

As I play it over and over, I learned that no matter how I try, if I am meant to stay on one level for a period of time, my jellies won’t get crushed, even if only one has to remain.

It’s not about the candies. It’s how they fall on my favor.   Because even with candy crush, someone wiser designed them so.  I just have to persevere. But not lose the enthusiasm  to play the game.

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Do you feel stuck where you are now? That you are heading nowhere despite the effort?  Do you instead get negative results after all the hard work and late hours? Do some obstacles block the plans that you so long prepared for?

We don’t have five lives.  But we have infinite chances to learn. We just have to try and try.  Even if all options seem exhausted.  We just need to wait. Try once more.  Until we got all the right moves. And everything falls into place.

Harry Potter is my son!

“The firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem. And none shall appear before me empty-handed.”  Exodus 34:20

SPECIALIS REVELIO! This is a spell which causes an object to show its hidden secrets or magical properties. One of many in the Harry Potter series. Maybe, the very spell which causes HP followers to yearn for more.

When the first film was shown in movie theaters years ago, my children were then 9 and 6 – old enough to understand the story despite the accent, but young enough to be bedazzled with its awesome special effects.  From then on, our household increased by three – Megan, Miguel plus Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.  My kids loved their new-found siblings, and in Hogwarts, they would meet new friends with whom they would grow up with in time.

My kids indeed have grown now.  So did Harry, Hermione and Ron.  It is amazing to note the physical transformation.  But it is more noteworthy how their bond grew stronger through the years.

10 years, 7 books and 8 movies after, JK Rowling did a great job to steer our kids’ imagination towards a love affair with books.  Such that national bookstore was like a candy store to them.  The significant influence is written all over our children’s chosen career path.  Megan is a prolific writer with a passion for creative production layouts.  Miguel, on the other hand, dreams of becoming a filmmaker.  Thus, Harry Potter casts his spell .

We knew someday our kids would go and follow their own calling.  But Harry Potter had to go too, and we are sad that it all ends now.

On the contrary we are blessed, that in our time, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, their masters, friends and villains, came to life. Our household had been stupefied by their presence, and like a son, Harry Potter would live on in our hearts.

Thanks to GOD who is ever greater than magic and the creator of JK Rowling, Harry Potter would triumph over all evils for ages to come.  EXPECTO PATRONUM!

an answered prayer

“And He took them up in His arms, put His hand upon them and blessed them.” Mark 10:16

yesterday, my son’s geometry teacher called me on my mobile and asked me to take a cab to school and take him to the hospital.  i tried my best to calm down, as i thought about how to possibly heed the call.  bhoy was still miles away from a meeting in jubail, and there was nobody in our office to drive me to the school.

even if there was, a woman is forbidden here to ride in a car with a man other than her husband.  and to take a cab is very risky and equally dangerous, and would probably create more trouble.  so i really had no option but to wait anxiously for bhoy to finally get hold of miguel, and do whatever was necessary.  it was hard enough to learn that my son was in an emergency situation.  but it was harder to be just pinned down on my seat and not be able to do anything for him.

as i waited in agony, i opened the page on which i saved the prayer card of St. Josemaria Escriva (thanks zita!) and just prayed for his intercession.  i remembered that when situations get out of hand, i just let go and let God.  yes i got really worried as i heard the concerned voice of my son’s teacher, but as i began to pray, a deep sense of calm took over.  then i knew that miguel was going to be alright.  less than an hour later, bhoy called and said they were already in the parking lot waiting for me.  not to go the hospital, but home.  miguel was already well and good.

they say God never says “no” to our prayers.  He just responds in varying, but always positive ways.  i believe so too.  He either answers  “YES” right away, or sometimes He will say “MAYBE SOME OTHER TIME“.  on other circumstances, He will tell us “I HAVE A BETTER IDEA”.

when daddy was recently diagnosed with the big PC, we began to pray so hard for him.  even begged God to make him well again.  although we know that a miracle would be necessary, we still continue to pray.  and it is amazing how, when we pray deeply enough, we lose ourselves to the divine presence of the Lord.  so powerful yet so tender that nothing else would ever come close to us.  only His loving assurance that everything will be taken care of.  and that everything will be alright.

it is also noteworthy how “unanswered prayer” and “an answered prayer” sound almost exactly the same. the difference lies on the strength of our faith in the absolute and divine power of God, and our constant communion with Him in every aspect of our daily lives.

we usually pray in the morning as we start our day.  before and after meals.  at night, before we go to sleep.  during sunday mass or novena days.  but to be in prayer doesn’t really need a schedule.  nor does it require an appointment with God.  anytime is prayer time. if we only learn to place our lives in God’s ever holy presence, then there’s always time and space for prayer. 

our prayers for daddy will go on.  and on. and on. no matter what. for we know deep in our hearts, the Lord already gave His answer… long before we even prayed for it.

(you may get the prayer card of  St. Josemaria Escriva at www.opusdei.org)

a heart-warming summer

“I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” John 16:28

almost a week ago,  we saw megan off  to Bahrain where they would board a plane back to Manila.  we had just spent 36 days all together as a family. how time really flies when you’re having a great time. it seemed only yesterday when we picked her up at the airport in Dammam.  and now that she’s gone back home to Laguna,  we are just so grateful to God for those precious bonding moments that we had shared.

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there were very few tourist spots here in Khobar where we can take her.  but the corniche provided that perfect place where all four of us became one with nature. we had picnics in the parks along the corniche of Khobar, Dammam, Jubail and even the roadside going to Asisiyah basking in the great view of a small lake lined with dates. 

 stolen (joke!)

the beachfront near half moon was not as pristine as that of boracay’s.  but the fact that we were together made it just the perfect site for a fresh level of togetherness.  we grilled fish and chicken, went fishing and ate to our hearts’ delight.  it didn’t matter that we were cramped together in our small tent watching james bond’s ‘the quantum of solace’ on the laptop, nor that we were not able to sleep soundly after.  as we look back to that night that we’re all up together, trying to amuse ourselves with silly stories and corny jokes, made me realize how great a time we had.

starbucks moment

we remember those nights when we went mall hopping just strolling around.  we don’t have much to splurge on shopping, but we did have some for venti and cappuccino after those tiring walks.  and those small talks that we have over coffee; believe me they are worth far more than anything that money can buy.

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there were other things too that keep reminding us of megan’s stay.  like that pink shark balloon she begged us to buy for her.  it still in miguel’s room until now.  how she loved broasted chicken so much and the garlic mayo too.  the movies that we started to watch together, but most of the times ended up with poor me already sound asleep. how she loved to sleep in her abaya.  how tatay always dives on all three of us in bed with that sweet embrace shouting ‘group hug!!!!!!!!‘ the joy rides that we loved complete with video reporting like they were made for cnn.  and surely megan will never forget how we were swarmed by four young girls at a ladies’ rest room in Dammam corniche.  for some reason, those girls started embracing and kissing us the moment they saw us went in.  we had a very hard time trying to escape from their ‘clutches’ especially megan who they even followed to the car.

tgi fridays

this year is also the best mother’s day that i had so far.  the three of them conspired to give me a surprise.  well, they gave me roses and a certificate for being a good mother (i just wish that i really am) and treated me to a sumptous dinner.  but there was something in the manner that they executed their ‘performance’ that words can never describe.  it was just so sweet.

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 i believe that our bond together as a family only grew stronger.  we rediscovered each other as persons, and tried to showed each other our affection like we were trying to beat a deadline.  and as we saw the bus where megan was riding, out of carlton and on to the highway going to Bahrain, we realized that time is up.  but then again, amidst all the tears of goodbyes, the joy that we had together is now replaced with hope as we look forward to Christmas when we would all be together again.

imagesthere is one day far greater though, that we should all look forward to.  the ascencion of Jesus Christ gave us the hope that someday, He shall be coming back.  and as we wait for that day, let us  focus all our energies and our gifts for  the glory of GOD, especially by spreading HIS LOVE; that is His Good News to everyone.   so that when that time comes, we shall be worthy to welcome Him again, and take us together with Him in His kingdom for all eternity.

 

 

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…