22 March 2013

29. Have a Little Faith: The Story of a Last Request

Image from goodreads.com

This is my fourth Mitch Albom book and as always, he never disappoints. His simple story telling has this incredible power of drawing his readers into an immersing, emotional experience, a journey of faith which in fact, this book is all about. 

We all have different traditions, different beliefs BUT WE ALL WANT THE SAME THINGS WHEN THE WORLD QUIETS TO THE SOUND OF OUR OWN BREATHING: comfort, love and a peaceful heart. This book somehow made me realize that we don't have to be the same, we just have to understand that we're all different. We don't like the same things, we don't dislike the same things but that doesn't make the other less of a person. That, we have to understand... that, we have to respect. We all fear the same thing about death, and that is, being forgotten. It's the blending of the different notes that makes the music. We just have to learn to give and expect nothing in return. 

"Having more does not keep you from wanting more. And if you always want more - to be richer, more beautiful, more well known - you are missing the bigger picture. Happiness will never come." -Albert Lewis

There's so much to learn, so much to know about. And Have a Little Faith might just have exactly what you're looking for. It started with a question and ended with answers. 

So read and feed your soul with sermons by Albert Lewis and Henry Convington. 

PS: "Reb" aka Albert Lewis (Albom's childhood rabbi) wants Albom to give him a eulogy, years before his death, that's the last request. 

M x

16 March 2013

PHOTO DUMP: Before & After"Shock"

Thessa - Nessa - Richelle -Megan
Tita Lynna Birthday Party (5 years ago?)
Change outfit for Thessa's 16th birthday party!!! :)

With Ate Jade :)

At Lolo Boi's Wake
Lola Betty's Birthday (2010)
Mi familia!!! (Aug 2010)
Tres Marias :)
Wynluv's Wedding. 2011.
March 24, 2012
05.26.2012 (Ring a bell, Teng???) HAHAHAHA. =))

Siblings by blood, from another set of parents. 
J-nissi's 16th!!! October 2012
Feb 2013
家族. Family. Familia. Famille. Familje. Familie. Perekond. Perhe. Fanmi. Aile. Keluarga.
Teaghlaigh. Famiglia. Rodzina. Familj. Teulu. Pamilya.

Through thick and thinliterally and figuratively.
I can't wait for the next BIG REUNION. 

M x

15 March 2013

28. For One More Day

For One More Day unmasks the beauty and complexity of the relationship between a mother and her child. It also gives you the chance to ponder on what family really means, to the world and to you, most of all. In just a few hours, you'll come to realize how many stupid times you've failed to express how much you love your mother, how much you've taken her for granted. And just when you've come to your senses? Poof. It's already too late, your mother's not with you anymore.

This is Chick Benetto's story, an ex-baseball player. He got a slap on his face when he got pictures of her only daughter's wedding looking so happy (without him). He felt so shut out and so he decided to just take away his life. He had a near-death experience.
He had one more day with his mother. And that's when the secrets of the past got uncovered. 

It's amazing how one book can change how you feel or how you see life, how you see the ones you love. I love how this book made me love my mother a million times more. I mean sure I'm the "black sheep" of the family and I've done so many stupid things, but that doesn't mean I love my mother any less. If there's one person in this world I love so much, that would definitely be her. And right now, all I want to do is to start on a very clean slate and make it up to her as soon as possible. Nothing's certain, only a mother's love is. There's nothing a mother won't do just to see her children happy. There's nothing a mother won't do just to send her children to school. 

"A child embarrassed by his mother is just a child who hasn't lived long enough."
This one is very true. I believe you'll never really understand something if you're not experiencing it yourself. I am already a mother (single) too and I can really say that I've never seen my mother now the way I've seen her before. I have high respect for her, for the things she's done and is still doing for us. No words can ever express how much I love my mother. I have taken her for granted, I didn't know what I was doing back then. I was so young and so impulsive but I've learned my lessons. Now it's time to give back, to make her feel special, like she's Queen Elizabeth. 

"...when you're looking at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know"
It's truly amazing how a mother loves her child. Like I said, I'm like the "black sheep" of the family but never did my mother make me feel like I'm not worthy of her love. She is the most compassionate person I know, the most patient, the most kind. She never gave up one me... and that's what keeps me going. 

This is a very good read, it will touch your innermost soul. Everybody has a mother. Everybody should read this. Let's all be the daughter or son that every mother deserves. They're supermoms and they deserve nothing but the best kids!!! 

To all the mothers out there, especially mine, we love you. We thank you for the unconditional love you have for us. We are very much proud to have mothers like you.
Nanay, one day, you'll be proud to have a daughter like me. I'll strive to be the best, like you. You are my Wonderwoman. I'll make your dreams come true, that's a promise I'll sure keep. I love you to the moon and back!!! 

M x

13 March 2013

Habemus Papam Franciscum!!!

Habemus Papam Franciscum is We have Pope Francis in English. It's the new Pontiff's first tweet which has already been retweeted 52,981 times and favorited 13,361 times as of this moment (04:42 AM PH time). 

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is a 76-year-old Argentinian Jesuit until Wednesday, March 13 at 7ish PM, when his fellow cardinals voted for him to be the new Pope. He is the first non-European Pope, the first Latin American. He was elected the new Pope after the 5th round of voting on the second day of conclave. He chose the name Francis (St. Francis of Assisi) as it symbolizes humility, poverty and simplicity. The new Pope, like the name he chose, has been living a quiet and simple life. Back in Argentina, he doesn't grant interviews so often and doesn't want to, if only he has the choice. If he goes elsewhere, to Rome for example, he flies economy class. Wow. He doesn't have a car and rides the public bus to work, he even cooks his own meal. He is the 266th pope and the 265th successor to the apostle Peter AND my third pope. :)

He is considered a straight-shooter who calls things as he sees them, and a follower of the church's most conservative wing.

Wow! It feels amazing. Just amazing! 

Pope Francis waves and smiles to the large crowd.

"As you know, the duty of the conclave was to appoint a bishop of Rome. It seems to me that my brother cardinals have chosen one who is from faraway. ... Here I am. I would like to thank you for your embrace." -Pope Francis I

Personally, I like him. The very first time I saw him as the new Pontiff, he made my heart happy. I'm pretty confident he'll do his job. He looks so cute and so lovable. It seems like he's really very down-to-earth, very approachable. He looks like a Pope. And I cannot wait to see him do his Papal "chores". I sometimes miss seeing Pope John Paul II in Vatican, presiding mass. He was my first Pope after all. But seeing Pope Francis up there, seems like he really was born to be one. I can tell, he kind of looks like Pope John Paul II from afar. (which is a good sign, for me at least) His Papal "cassock" or whatever it's called even looks so good on him, like he's worn it several times already. 

Vatican says Pope Francis' inaugural mass will be held on March 19, Tuesday but will most probably say Mass this Sunday, March 17th. 

God bless you, Pope Francis. Please visit us soon. 

Kisses from the Philippines!!!

M x

11 March 2013

Sun & Sand: Tatay Ade Beach Resort

Just like most places in the Philippines, Southern Leyte also has a long stretch of white sand beaches. It might not be as white and as powdery as the sand in Boracay or El Nido but its good enough for an afternoon of relaxation, away from the hustle-bustle of the city life. 

About 30-45 minutes away from the capital of Southern Leyte, lies the very peaceful and very charming beach of Tatay Ade Resort. It isn't like one of those luxurious beach resorts wherein there's concierge 24/7 or a spa or a gazebo. Tatay Ade only has a few cottages. There's only a few sari-sari store on the way to the beach, you really have to bring your own food. It's like a bring-your-own-stuff kinda thing!!! :)  

Tatay Ade Beach Resort is in Buscayan, Macrohon, Southern Leyte. There are lots of beach resorts in the area, it is famous for its crystal clear waters and white sand beaches. 

Harmless fishermen!!! :)
The clear waters (at night).

If you have your own car, you can stay there for as long and as late as you want... you can even stay overnight if you have your own tents. They have these new cottages which are good enough for overnight stays but they only have one common bathroom (which isn't really tidy but good enough). 

Night swimming with the fambam!!! 

See, we were the only ones there for the night so we had the whole beach all to ourselves. Woohoo. 

Leave only footprints. 

PS: if you can't find the signage of the beach resort, you can always ask the locals. They'll be very much willing to help you find your way to the beachfront.

PS: bring your own food (no corkage as far as I know) and your cameras. 
Let's open SUMMER 2013 with a dip in the enchanting clear waters of Tatay Ade Beach Resort, Buscayan, Macrohon, Southern Leyte.

M x

10 March 2013

27. The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Every one has his own idea of heaven and this is Eddie's heaven, not an idea, not a destination but an answer. Eddie is an 83-year-old man. He fought for his country some time ago and got wounded. Since then, he's been different... All his life, all he's wanted is to go out of Ruby Pier (where he's working). Thus, he's always thought he's living a worthless, meaningless life. And that's what the five people for, to give light to the dark, to give answers to the unspoken questions. 

Eddie's five people:
  • The Blue Man
  • The Captain (soldier)
  • Ruby (where the amusement park got its name)
  • His wife... the one and only woman of his life. (Aside from his mother, of course. Haha.)
  • Tala, a Filipino girl

Oh yes. I love this book!!! I love it simply because it features the Philippines, well kind of, but still. 

PS: When Eddie enlisted, he was sent to the Philippines. 

A conversation with the captain: Eddie's second person

Ahhhhh yes!!! Only in the Philippines!!! :D

I am a happy Pinay nerd but I'm the happiest whenever I read some things about the Philippines in a best-selling novel or like if I hear a best-selling author talk about the Philippines. That's good publicity. =)

I hope one day, authors would include the Philippines more often. 

Mitch Albom, thank you. If you or haven't been to the Philippines, visit again and we'll welcome you with big open arms. xoxo

Read this book. I know at the end, you'd think who you'll meet in the afterlife. I know because I did too. Hehehe. Will I be in your list? Or will you be in mine?

PPS: I love the ending. Must-read. 

M x

08 March 2013

L'Oreal Talent Recruitment Philippines: Brandstorm 2013

Hey guys!!! My cousin Kathleen Barretto and her team got into the National Finals for this year's L'Oreal Brandstorm competition!!! Woohoo. 

Please help them win the People's Choice Award simply by hitting the LIKE button here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=617794924912643&set=a.617794491579353.1073741827.121085807916893&type=3&theater☺ 

Please like only the crazy, fun and beautiful Team Vector!!! Haha.
The team with the most Facebook likes will receive a special award during the Brandstorm National Finals and L'Oreal goodies! Voting ends on 21 MARCH 2013, 12:00 NOON.

National Finalists get a chance to work with advertising agencies to develop their communications campaign and project designs. This year, our contestants are working with McCann Worldgroup Philippines.

On March 21, the six teams will vie for a chance to be named Brandstorm 2013 National Champions. The winners of the National finals not only get an all expense paid trip to Paris but they also get a chance at winning EUR 10,000 in the international finals!!! WOW

Please share the link to the photo on your walls on Facebook or reblog or recommend or tweet, as well. Thank you so much!!! ❤

M x

06 March 2013

26. Tuesdays with Morrie

I once was asked through http://ask.fm/mhygsz a few months ago if there’s one book I think everyone should be required to read... I thought so hard... I've read a good number of really influential books but I couldn't think of one thing in particular which could seriously affect significant change to its readers. Now that I've read Tuesdays with Morrie, I finally know why I hadn't answered that question, not that I don’t want to, I just didn't have the answer yet until now. So here I am, answering that question... 
If there’s one book I would love everyone to read, it would definitely be Tuesdays with Morrie. It is a very powerful and important book. It is a work of love. It is about Mitch Albom and his dear old professor’s final project, Morrie Schwartz’s death.

Morrie is a very intelligent man. He is very wise. His glass is always half-full. He knows the right words to say and when to say it, a man of very good words, and a man of aphorisms. Mitch is his favorite player, his favorite student and Morrie... well, Morrie’s everybody’s favorite professor, and he is Mitch’s coach, his favorite coach.

On a hot humid day in August 1994, Morrie and his wife Charlotte found out Morrie has ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) which is a brutal, unforgiving illness of the neurological system. It never occurred to Morrie to just surrender to the disease. Instead, he was intent on proving that the word dying isn't synonymous with useless. In fact, he still attended a semester in the university.

He would not wither. He would not be ashamed of dying. Instead, he would make death his final project, the center point of his days.”

One thing I like about this book is, it’s really very educational. It teaches you about love, life and death. He’s just not teaching every reader to love life but to love death as well. Everybody knows death is inevitable yet nobody believes it. On their fourth Tuesday, they talked about death and this is what the old intelligent man has to say, “Learn how to die, and you learn how to live.” On their sixth Tuesday, they talked about emotions. Morrie is very brave. He dealt with ALS very well. He even said, 

I’m not afraid of being lonely, but now I’m going to put that loneliness aside and know that there are other emotions in the world and I’m going to experience them as well.”

In my heart of hearts, I know Morrie has touched me. If given the chance, I would very much love to talk to him. He is full of wisdom. He is very much willing to share what he's learning about life and the essentials of living. He wants to share his story. Morrie is also a great listener, he believes in being fully present. When he talks to you, he thinks of only you. Never have I stumbled into a man whose intention’s so pure, whose number one preference is to impart knowledge to his students as Morrie Schwartz. He is the ideal professor. The whole world needs lots of professors like him.

Please take time to sit down and read about Morrie. He won't disappoint you. I'm pretty sure  he'll make you get a pen and a paper and you'll just scribble and scribble and scribble. There's just so much aphorism you'd hate to forget.

Some of Morrie's aphorisms:

  • The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love and to let it come in.
  • Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are going to have other people to trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too - even when you're in the dark. Even when you're falling.
  • Detachment doesn't mean you don't let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate you fully. That's how you are able to leave it.
  • I delight in being a child when it's appropriate to be a child. I delight to being a wise old man when it's appropriate to be a wise old man.
  • You can't substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship.
  • Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
  • Status will get you nowhere. Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone.
  • Do the kinds of things that come from the heart.
  • Don't let go too soon, but don't hang up too long.
  • Sometimes, when you're losing someone, you hang on to whatever tradition you can.
  • Accept what you are able to do and what you are not able to do. Accept the past as past, without denying it or discarding it.
  • Learn to forgive yourself and to forgive others.
  • Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn't. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted.
  • A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.

and of course, my favorite Morrie aphorism...
"You are not a wave, you're part of the ocean."

 PS: Don't forget to have a hanky with you. A tear will roll down on your cheeks as you flip another page. Now sit down, grab the book and spend some QT with Morrie. It's so worth it. 

M x