Less of me, More of God

Came across this while browsing the web. Thank you, http://www.helpguide.org. 🙂 Maybe it’s time I read this daily. 

 

  • Don’t fight your feelings – It’s normal to have lots of ups and downs, and feel many conflicting emotions, including anger, resentment, sadness, relief, fear, and confusion. It’s important to identify and acknowledge these feelings. While these emotions will often be painful, trying to suppress or ignore them will only prolong the grieving process.
  • Talk about how you’re feeling – Even if it is difficult for you to talk about your feelings with other people, it is very important to find a way to do so when you are grieving. Knowing that others are aware of your feelings will make you feel less alone with your pain and will help you heal. Journaling can also be a helpful outlet for your feelings.
  • Remember that moving on is the end goal – Expressing your feelings will liberate you in a way, but it is important not to dwell on the negative feelings or to over-analyze the situation. Getting stuck in hurtful feelings like blame, anger, and resentment will rob you of valuable energy and prevent you from healing and moving forward.
  • Remind yourself that you still have a future – When you commit to another person, you create many hopes and dreams. It’s hard to let these dreams go. As you grieve the loss of the future you once envisioned, be encouraged by the fact that new hopes and dreams will eventually replace your old ones.
  • Know the difference between a normal reaction to a breakup and depression – Grief can be paralyzing after a breakup, but after a while, the sadness begins to lift. Day by day, and little by little, you start moving on. However, if you don’t feel any forward momentum, you may be suffering from depression.

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For the Love of A.

It took me a while to get to write another blog, and this one is no picnic. I’m writing this to pay homage to a really good friend whom I have lost recently.

Let’s call him “A”.

I met A a few years back, for a company we both worked for. He was clean, with very nice teeth and smile. He dresses well, like he is always going to meet clients. He is jolly and will find ways to cheer up an otherwise dull day. We became fast friends, and I learned a lot about his life. I’m amazed with what he has gone through, from his career, rising from the ranks, to his family life, being a breadwinner when we were just of the same age. At times he’d complain about making ends meet, but in a way, he’d sound like he’s just joking his way through it. He’s hardworking, never heard him complain about the early call time for events, or the fact that he will have to be the one to man booths and set them up himself.

One of the things I love about A was that he is very gracious and thoughtful. I remember before, he used to buy me lunch daily as I don’t want to go out of the office and walk towards the store. I loved the fattening liempo and lechon kawali, and he noticed that I ordered the same thing everyday. He’s concerned about my health, so for a couple of weeks, he pretended that liempo and lechon kawali were  not available so I’d be forced to order chicken or fish. I got pissed but realized quickly,wow, this person cares!

He also always mentions the things he appreciates in a person — whether its the work ethic, generosity, or sincerity. I think that in the midst of this cruel world, A will always see the good in others, and that is what he helps me remember.

When I left the company, we still kept in touch, and even had a couple of projects tied up and worked together. We do not regularly talk, but when we see each other, we’d talk non-stop until we realize it’s already late. I hated that he called me “Ms. Jan” in front of others, but loved it when he says I taught him a lot of what he does on his own now. I wish back then I also said to others, that I learned a lot about him too.

Come March, we found out that A was very sick. On that same week, another friend and I visited him, and cried at what we saw. Very thin and sickly, he smiled weakly at us and talked as if he wasn’t scared. I gave him a book, and left it with a note in the middle of the grocery bags we brought for him. I was just entering my car when I got a call. A was half laughing and half crying, telling me thank you and not to worry about him.  A couple more visits and another month came along, and suddenly, he was gone.

We were told to expect it, but like everyone else, we did not expect it to end so soon. I miss his smile. I miss his criticisms, especially when he tells me I look fat in what I wear. Up until he passed, I didn’t realize how much he was part of my life. My friends from events know him, my family and relatives, my ministry-mates, and even the people I work with now. Everyone who got to know him, remembered him.

So to A, whom I know is looking down on me right now from heaven, THANK YOU. IT WAS A GREAT PLEASURE KNOWING YOU AND KNOWING YOUR LIFE. IT WAS AN HONOR WORKING WITH SUCH A HARDWORKING MAN LIKE YOU. I WILL FOREVER BE GRATEFUL FOR OUR FRIENDSHIP. You’re home now, and that leaves us with peace. No more pain, just joy and memories we will always keep.

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Location: Taktak Road, Antipolo, Rizal

Cuisine: Swiss

Price Range: P300-P500

Food Rate: 9 out of 10

Ambiance: 8 out of 10 (casual dining, very homey and laid back)

We looked for Vieux Chalet one rainy afternoon in August. Our reservation was for a brunch date, as people say it’s best to go there in the morning, but it was raining like crazy, and it wasn’t an option to postpone it at that time, as we were celebrating our 20th monthsary (cheesy, I know), and we thought it was the last monthsary we will celebrate together before RGR leaves from abroad.

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The rains, the leaves, the cool air of Antipolo made every single thing about Vieux Chalet more romantic. It is an old house turned into a quaint restaurant, fit for the real meaning of the name which is “old cottage”. The staff were courteous and smiling, even showing art store below the restaurant and the cottage beside where one can stay overnight and enjoy the pool and breakfast the day after. The food was incredibly good, too. Here are the photos of the food we ate: shrimp salad, pumpkin soup, four cheese pizza, pasta and dessert sampler which included a swiss chocolate cake. Everything was heavenly.

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It’s a hole-in-the-wall, indeed, and yes, well worth the trip going back.

New Age Resolutions

It’s not the first time I spent the New Year’s on my bed, waiting for the clock to strike twelve and then go back to sleep. Believe me, it’s not as bad as it sounds – it’s actually very peaceful and has given me time to pray and recall the highlights, both ups and downs of my past year: the travels (Bohol, Donsol, Legazpi, Sorsogon, Bangkok, Misibis, and Caramoan), the attempts to diet and exercise (yes, attempts meant my trials and failures), finally giving golf a try and falling in love with it slowly and surely, helping out plan and implement three of my closest friends’ weddings while simultaneously being a bridesmaid and a maid of honor, finding new reasons to be passionate about my work, and learning once again how to exist in and survive in a long distance relationship as RGR had to leave to study his masters abroad.

 

Generally, 2012 has been good to me. I just know that I need to step it up another notch this 2013. I’m 28 and in two years I will be hitting the big 3-0, and although I am happy where I am now, I need to keep on going to be where I want to be when I reach that age. This is not just professionally and financially, but also on my emotional and spiritual level.

 

Last year, I learned that in lieu of New Year’s Resolutions, it’s so much easier to summarize one’s goals in just one word. A word that will serve as a mantra of some sort. Last year, mine was CENTER. Last 2011, I felt that I tried so hard to do everything and didn’t learn when and how to stop, that it exhausted me so much. It was so hard to be perfect and please everyone around me. I got hurt at the smallest remarks, even though I shouldn’t. So when 2012 came, I promised myself that I will just work from my own center – the core of my being, and not rely on the criticisms and praises of the people around me. This helped me focus on what matters, and helped me find the right amount of passion I should be investing in every project I got myself into. It also made it easier for me to forgive myself in the small boo boos that I made, knowing that I gave it my best shot. I was no longer a slave to anything or anyone.

 

This year, I would like to focus on three words: NEAT, FIT and LIGHT.

Neat – I’m not particularly vain. I don’t like wearing tons of makeup, and there are days when I just pull whatever from my closet and wear it to work. I guess when I gained weight, I also lost that teeny tiny bit of interest in dressing up or fixing myself. I don’t think I look like a mess, not most of the time. But it’s not only once that I’ve heard how attractive I can be if only I just learn how to fix myself. Again, I am not particularly vain. I don’t want to be a beauty queen but I want to look neat and smart – all the time. Not just sometimes. I’m finally growing up. Yay! 

Fit – Of  my 28 years of existence, this is my heaviest. Seriously. And I’m talking about a 25-lb difference in a span of 3 years. As time passes, I really feel that my metabolism is becoming slower and slower. Not only that, I have consumed my 15-day sick leaves at work! All of them! Extra effort is needed, and it’s not just to lose weight, but to be fit and healthy. So this year, I would like to be fit. Nothing too drastic, but gradual changes can be done so I can be at my prime.

Light – Being a control-freak has some disadvantages – when things don’t go your way you end up with a heavy heart. But life’s too short to cry over things that don’t matter much, and this year, I would like to feel light about everything that life throws at me – enjoy the good things and face the bad things.

Neat, Fit, Light. Neat, Fit, Light. Neat, Fit Light.  2013 is going to be another awesome year. 🙂

 

My Father, My Hero

In the light of the painful demise of Secretary Robredo, I remembered my own father.  I can only imagine the pain of losing a father, who, despite the busy schedule, is hands on with his kids.

My Dad celebrated his 61st Birthday last August 10th. Wow. 61st. How time flies so fast. Although we didn’t get to celebrate together as we’re miles apart, I thank God for the wonders of technology that I am able to hear and see him regularly. We talk and laugh the way we always do, not minding the distance between us. I think more than anything, the painful distance strengthened us as individuals and as a family. I looked at my dad, not looking quite like his age, but still looking very learned and wise. He’s been my superhero all along. I remembered the some of the lessons he has, time and again, told us, to live by –

  • Do everything and give everything to your parents – someday your kids will do the same with you.
  • You’ll see a person’s character by the way he treats his subordinates, and not his bosses.

  • Be your partner’s best friend. It’s the only way you won’t fall out of love.
  • You’ll know how a man will treat you by the way he treats his mother.
  • Live your life in a way that when one speaks evil of you, no one will believe them.
  • You can’t put a good man down.

 

Thank you, Papa. Through our lives’ ups and downs, you have been our steady rock. Thank you for loving Mama unconditionally, since you were 15. Thank you for letting everything go just to make sure we’ll have everything we need and want– you have more than moved mountains for us. Thank you for these life lessons which, I pray, shaped us. Thank you for arming us with values that will help us face the real world.

I love you Papa! Always and forever will be your girl.

Here’s a petition I sent via http://www.change.org, a place where you can have a voice by signing petitions you believe in. Kindly find time to read my cause, and sign if you believe the same. 🙂 Click on the link below if you would like to find other petitions, or create petitions of your own! Let’s change the world one cause at a time! 🙂

 
 
 

For the longest time, Muslim students of Pilar College, the oldest school in Zamboanga City, have been forbidden to wear their hijabs or Islamic veil. 

Amid numerous protests, the school defended its policy last week by saying that they can’t deviate from their Roman Catholic origin. They also invoked academic freedom. 

As a devout Catholic, I would also be insulted if I were to be asked to give up something very sacred to me. This is why I started a petition on Change.org appealing to the administrators of Pilar College to revoke this policy and respect religious freedom.

Click here to add your name.

We have a rare opportunity. In a meeting with the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Tuesday morning, it was reported that Pilar College agreed to issue a joint statement that they’re open to re-examine the hijab policy. But the final decision still befalls upon the approval of their superiors.

They could make their decision any day now. If thousands of people help speak out, Pilar College President Sr. Maria Nina Balbas will no longer think twice about allowing students to wear their Islamic veils — click here to sign my petition.

Every Filipino should sign this petition. The hijab ban is a violation of the Magna Carta of Women, and I believe that just by ignoring this issue, we already contribute to the discrimination of Muslims in Pilar College.

Let’s show Muslim Filipinos that we are behind them in this Right to Hijab movement.

Thanks for taking action,

Janina via Change.org

 

Pamana, Tagaytay

Very visible along the Tagaytay Highway, Pamana has always left me curious. It’s Filipino cuisine, alright, but with bright lights on as early as 6pm on a summer night, you kind of feel that it’s really calling your name.

 

So one night, we just gave in. No reservations on a Friday night, we walked in, and surprised to find that this brightly-lit place actually felt homey. Maybe it’s the tables and chairs you’d typically see inside your lola’s house, or this gigantic wall of photo frames and mirrors.

Wall of frames and mirrors

 

We were still full, as we ate just a few hours before. But we couldn’t resist the Filipino dishes we love: Bagoong Rice, 3 types of Adobo, Pinangat, Pork Binagoongan and Turon for dessert, one of their best sellers.

Eating here reminds me of fiestas in my lolo’s province — everything  is rich with Filipino flavors. Though our choices of food are a bit salty (that’s how I like it!), we were able to taste and savor each dish. 🙂

They have great service too! Always on the lookout on what you need, or if you would like to add more orders. Very polite, pleasant and accommodating.

This is the kind of place you’d bring your whole family to — especially balikbayans. Great food and hospitality — both Filipino trademarks we would like to Pamana (pass on) to the next generations.

 

 

Pamana is located along the Aguinaldo Highway in Tagaytay City. For reservations, contact 0920 856 1970.

 

Beautiful Vigan

 

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I’ve always loved old houses with these gigantic windows made of capiz, so I know I’ll never pass on a trip to the beautiful Vigan, home of ancient Filipino houses and of course, Vigan longganisa and empanada! 🙂 Being a sucker for long drives and great food, I know I’m in for a treat!

Leaving late at night, we got to complete the 8-hour drive with just 2 stops to eat – one along the highway and another in one of the popular bus stops that surprisingly offered decent mami and tocilog. The drive was cool, peaceful, and with great laughs from my RGR and our other couple friends, Anj and Waf. We reached Ilocos Sur in no time.

We earlier booked the perfect hotel – near the plaza and Calle Crisologo, plus it wasn’t the old creepy place – Hotel Salcedo was a classy Filipiniana type with a good restaurant and WiFi (it’s a must for all our trips or else RGR will go crazy!) Best of all, it’s affordable!

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After our short nap, we decided to walk around, it was really sunny, and a perfect day to take pictures as it wasn’t as crowded as we’d expected. We then landed on Café Uno, which was connected to Kusina Felicitas. There was just the four of us, but we were so hungry, we ordered double of everything! A sumptuous lunch indeed!

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Vigan is quite a small city, as we were able to tour most part of the town for 7 hours riding a calesa. We got to see Gov. Singson’s Baluarte and its zoo animals, the Syquia Mansion or the house of former President Elpidio Quirino (beautiful home with so much history to tell), the Vigan Beach (unfortunately underdeveloped so we didn’t get to swim), the Vigan Bell Tower overlooking the entire town, and two churches, one of which is the Cathedral at the Plaza. Of course, the astonishing stretch of Calle Crisologo filled with souvenir items from small trinkets to the famous Vigan longganisa, and even the rice coffee and rice wine. We also tried the popular Cafe Leona –– known for their exquisite Italian cuisine, and Leila’s Cafe, which was just a few steps away from our hotel. 

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This place is very quiet and family-friendly. No noisy bars or dancing at night, just quaint cafés that will remind you to relax and take it slow. I’d surely recommend this place, especially to those who would like to be reminded of reasons to be Filipino and proud. 🙂

 

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Realistic Promise.

I came across this photo while browsing through my tumblr account. 

 

Such a simple yet meaningful promise. This is for you, and you know who you are. 🙂

Be a Gracious Guest.

I just learned about this a couple of weeks ago… 

Often when I get to the Sunday mass late (during Homily, or worse, after the Offertory), I get distracted more easily. I stay quiet and pray, as I wouldn’t understand the gospel anyway, and stay on for a bit after the mass ends.

I also don’t take the Holy Communion. It has just been my practice (and my family’s) ever since. I feel that it’s inappropriate. Until One Sunday….

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I was at our Ministry’s reunion when I had to run errands, not figuring that the mass was already about to begin. When I got back, I reached the final part of the Homily. During the Communion, I didn’t fall in line. At the end of the mass, I was asked by a good friend – someone I really consider my big sister, Beng: Why didn’t you take the communion? I simply said, “It’s embarrassing, I just reached the end of the Homily…”

Then she went on describing she was the same as me in the past. But then someone shared with her that the Mass is similar to a feast which God prepares for us each Sunday. The food we will partake is His son, Jesus. Isn’t it disrespectful for someone to come in late and not partake on the feast that was prepared by the Host? There’s a reason why it is called the “Eucharistic Celebration”. 

Still, this isn’t an excuse to be late each time. Of course, being a gracious guest means valuing the effort and hospitality of the host — being on time shows eagerness to be part of the wonderful event. Here are other ways to be a GRACIOUS GUEST 🙂

– Arrive when you say you’ll arrive.

– Be clear in communicating your plans with your Host. Talking and listening is the key.

– Respect your Host’s home and privacy.

– Be flexible and adaptive. Not all homes have airconditioning and comfy chairs. You may also be served food you do not like – but it does not mean you don’t have to be appreciative of what your host can offer you.

– Keep yourself neat, clean and presentable.

– Say thank you, twice.

– Always remember the hospitality your host has given you.

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Food for your Sunday thought.