Hope is gone.

I couldn’t get over this desperate message of a teacher. He is bidding the world good-bye. As of this writing, he may be dead, his corpse among the pile celebrated upon by the murdering lust of terminators. A body count? Not needed.

Hope is gone.

That is a statement from a father who wracked his mind how to save his loved ones from the impending massacre for the longest time. Now, there is nowhere to go, no place to hide.

Hope is gone.

I call upon the Powers for help. God in His enormous mercy, spares those who ask for help. So dear God, I pray, and humbly I beg, have mercy. Send your Powers to help these people.

Cracked.

Advent is a season for reflection, the time one reviews one’s self, not simply as preparation for Christmas, but this time and age, when millennials race for their dreams and ambitions their techie/selfie way, this is the one moment they stop to think about their wish lists and their resolutions.

It’s a juvenile thing that I didn’t expect to find my self into. I have had my life and lived it, and I am grateful for the simple and yet stress-laden life. Whose life isn’t, any way?

My meditation though springs not from more desires but from the misgivings friendships has disillusioned me with. I have deleted friends from my life, friends I shared my secrets and my passion with, friends I went running and swimming with, friends I spent hours on the jurassic telephone with, trading tips on this and that, friends I sat on recitals with and shared moments of fun and laughter over dinner tables, pricey or otherwise.

Who would think that someone you trust your life with could be jealous or envious or sour with you, when all the time, you believe that love abounds in that friendship. Exactly how I felt when a friend told me she didn’t like my daughter. Wow. I didn’t know how to take that. Another told me that I must not narrate stories about my daughter not unless she is boarded a plane to jet set the world. I was shocked. Another friend estimated my daughter’s future pay, which she believes will be totally super in comparison to her own child’s pay. How we got fast forward into the future, I didn’t know, but I was fine with the today’s meals, no matter how humble.

And when someone calls me best friend for life but does not return my calls nor messages, comes to me only when she needs me, I think I have to redefine the acronym BFF. It doesn’t sound right.

I am cracked. Honestly, when I decided to end the friendships. there was a pain that pinched my heart. I allowed a few tears to roll down my cheeks. It was for the sadness over the loss of people I thought loved me back. Hu Hu

So, in my melancholic state, I have resolved to start friendships again, with fresh faces from the strangers I meet. There is the newspaper peddler who was surprised I sat beside him for a chat, the grocery cashiers and baggers, the disers. the guards, the mendicant children who got ecstatic over a loaf of bread or the value-pack meals I give them from 7-11.

For a time, I didn’t think of these lowly people as friends. They were just there at the moment. But when I see them again. they become ecstatic, delighted to see me and strike another quick chat about anything under the sun. I indulge them, of course, I realized that I have so much time to pour in a thought or two to people who genuinely listen. These ordinary people are so true, grateful for the little time I was with them, and wish me safe and all right when I say good-bye.

I don’t think I am cracked any more.

My snowflakes.

The event I look forward to this time of the year is my wordpress snowflakes. I am delighted with the scene on my page. Makes me feel the Christmas warmth yet to come, and I wish for my miracle.

Advent is a time of waiting. It is also a time of soul searching for me. The girls are bonafide professionals, serving the country and the people the best ways they know.

I am left home with my melancholic meditations. The garden is therapy for me, especially when the flowers bloom and the butterflies come to kiss.

But lest I become a bonafide recluse, my daughters bring me out to eat, or in this picture, to watch a musical. I love drama. If I wasn’t a teacher then, perhaps I’d been a playwright. Wow. That was then. Not now.

About that third commandment.

Talk about how time seems to have been so lost in the nature of our busyness, that our undertakings always take precedence over our Sunday appointments with our God, then that is exactly what happened with us on the very first day of the new liturgical year: Advent.
Wait, the greeting must come first, especially to us Catholics: Happy New Liturgical Year!
Oh well, my little family was, as usual, rushing from here to there, picking the most necessary things we need, like food ha ha, and the doggy food, and we all desperately need some sweet slumber moment, that even if we planned an anticipated Mass at our old St. Paul, it was foiled by the horrendous Barangka traffic.
Plan B meant an early hour Mass at Christ the King, because Tish goes on duty at exactly 7 am. We were there, all right, and we certainly enjoyed the feel of Advent air, but Father’s homily, theological and realistic. took more than the usual admonition lashing (joke) that before we knew it, we just have that little time to dash to the hospital. Meaning? We missed the second and most important part of the Mass: Communion.
Sigh. If that is a foreshadowing of the year to come, because we Filipinos have this silly notion of believing that what happens on the first day will happen throughout the year. Good thing that I don’t buy such baloney. I will take the bacon, please.
Confession is now in order. The third commandment was not exactly obeyed.
And why so? Precisely because Advent means a time of purifying our selves, for the coming of our Messiah.
Once again, Happy New Liturgical Year, every one.

A brief moment to get together and party.

BUSY. These days, there ain’t no time for making memories. There is too much work to attend to. My daughters, being young professionals, are caught in that whirlwind of a world. Jean said that when she comes home to our humble abode in the outskirts of the metro, it is like relaxing in the province, where the sound of silence is distracted only by the  chirping of the birds and the barking of our doggies. And Tish, how she sprawls on the bed and catch up on the much-needed sleep.

Rush Rush has been my daughters ways of life for a long time now. And we believe we have become anti-socials, declining invitations, simply because of time conflicting with hospital duty and disaster planning conferences.

Oh well, this Sunday was different, for we actually made is to a nostalgic party, my friend’s mother celebrated her 95th birthday. Splendid shindig. Befitted a lovely lady who gracefully raised her ten children. Wow.

And so, I prodded the waiter to snap a picture of my daughters and me. For the memories of a brief moment together.

On Ninoy Aquino, a comment.

I was so impressed with the genius and the courage of this man. He also has the gift of gab that magnetized people to come and listen to him. I was so sad for his life cut short, and sort of grieved we would not have the pleasure of listening to his ideas. his thoughts, his musings. All of a sudden, though with much prodding, his wife took over,. and ran a nation with the way she knew best: attend to the family’s needs. Little did she know that she was preparing her own son to a job his father has inadvertently loaded on his shoulders. I was shocked. or rather surprised by the brilliance of the son, his father’s legacy personified in his statesmanship. and ran the nation with utmost moral ascendancy and genius absolutely befitting to be the hero’s son. Thank you, Ninoy. for the supreme sacrifice. You gave us not only your life, but your family as well. It has brought the country to greater heights. But to Noynoy, is it too much to ask that you assist Leni. We need a leader like your father and mother again. We need you.

My Daughter’s Take on Human Rights

We are in perilous times once again. The world is in the winter of discontent. Just when we’ve thought globalization and mobilization, almost all citizens of the world connected through a five inch cellular phone, then we realize we are caught off guard by the seeming rise to power of despicable forces that threaten whatever peace we have enjoyed so far.

Sadly, many a collateral damage couldn’t be undone. And the inevitable war against evil is upon us. That is reality. And all is written in our history books. My mistake, I did believe that somehow, after the little contribution I participated in for my country, I would be spared of the harshness of brutal deaths and inhuman disregard to life that sporadically terrorized the world.

Yesterday, I was surprised by an article written by my own daughter, about human rights. I hope the write-up reaches the United Nations, the New York Times, the European tabloids, the Middle East, our own Asia especially China and Indonesia. because this is a youth’s perception of why we are fighting. We have allowed the bullies to tramp on us. And we need sanity, understanding, information and logic. So please read and pass. For our children.

http://opinion.inquirer.net/96413/in-my-burgis-opinion

I am very proud of you, Jean.

Bourne Again

I was asking Jean and Tish what the title of the sequel to the Bourne series was, and they simply said Jason Bourne. Oh well, being a Ludlum fan, I was particular about those titles:The Bourne Identity, Bourne Ultimatum (film), The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Legacy. I was thinking about a word with a letter Y at the end that would be appropriate for the latest Bourne movie, one that came rather long from the last Matt Damon starrer. I was hoping, after Erin Cross with Jeremy Renner, the two assets would team up for a spectacular revenge against the covert CIA program that used and abused government special forces for their self-serving purposes. Thus, there was much excitement on my part to see Jason Bourne, even if I Knew Matt Damon would not be dashingly slim nor young anymore.

So it was a date, yours being truly thankful Tish got a Sunday to spare, and Jean willing to shoulder the tickets, the buko juice and the steaming dimsum and mami later,

Oh it was Jason Bourne all right, and after several years, he still has not remembered his own identity fully, has gone to physical brawls, as if it is the only solution by which he could deal with an elusive past, and it took an original character, Nicky Parsons, a CIA clerk, who hacked on the program files and saw the David Webb file, Bourne’s real identity, to prompt Jason to be who he really was.

Thus, the movie Jason Bourne,

It was all right, as I said. All the Bourne trademarks are there: the plot, the sound effects, the script, an all original Bourne, including the deception and the betrayal, the chase,the fast action, and all the super Bourne intelligences: driving cars and motorbikes, natural intuition on impending danger, map reading, direction, wire skills on creating sirens for diversion, etecera.

It was a good movie, our cup of tea. But over cups of tea at Hap Chan, for lack of more things to talk about, just sad on losing Nicky, and agreeing her character needs to go, the movie was simply all over, a Bourne again.

On a response to the difference between the world’s two most practiced religions.

I responded to a social media question, if we know the difference between the world’s two most practiced religions.

Last time I checked, there are 2.3 billion Muslims, and 1.7 billion Catholics. I do not know the figure for all Christians. As to the Catholic Bible, Jesus is God, in the Muslim Koran, Jesus is a prophet. Nevertheless, in the Koran, Mohammed, I think, was mentioned 3 times, and Jesus, 23 times. Mohammed died, Jesus resurrected. There is one woman mentioned in the Koran, her name is Miriam. That’s as far as I know.

Someone replied:
  It’s Mariam and not Miriam.
I answered:
Thank you. I stand corrected.
And there was a clarification. I did not include the lengthy explanation because the text is not mine.
 Mariam or Maryam – is it an arabic name for Mary the mother of Jesus (i.e. Eesa) (peace be upon them), there is one whole chapter in the Holy Quran name after Virgin Mary (Maryam) chapter 19 with 98 total verses . . Mohammed (pbuh) was mentioned 5 times and Jesus (Eesa) (pbuh) 25 times. . . In Quran, Jesus (pbuh) is a prophet 
 And this was my response.
Thank you very much for this profound information. I sense that you are very keen in your study of the Koran. I was surprised at the one whole chapter, all with 98 verses devoted to Maryam, the Virgin Mother of Eesa, or in our Christian language, Jesus. The Born Again Christians do not regard Her with much honor as we do Catholics. The divisiveness in Christianity happened in the last few centuries, ironically, when in the 13th century, towards the end of the Dark Ages, the Blessed Mother started inspiring people from all walks of life in Europe, thus the magnificence in that continent’s architecture, literature, music, the arts, such as painting, sculpture, and most importantly the mystics, or what we Catholics call saints, such as Francis and Clare of Assisi. Anyway, I’d like to know if there is also a background on Mohammed’s family in the Koran, since Maryam is the lone woman mentioned. And why was Mohammed minimally mentioned, as compared to the prophet Jesus? As to Eesa being a prophet, I googled some of the verses you wrote there, and the word prophet was used to describe the seeming wonder the people felt about a mystifying Man in their midst. The people were in awe of Someone Who narrated beautiful parables about the Kingdom of God, and healed the sick, and rose the dead. It was the people’s perception. They didn’t know yet He was God. But I am also curious as to what instances, in the five times Mohammed was mentioned, was the references to him was about. I will surmise that the 25th time Jesus was mentioned was about the resurrection. For us Catholics, that is the triumph over sin, in the very long history of salvation, spanning 3(?) millenniums of Bible stories. Jesus was the Messiah, the Savior, the Christ. He sacrificed His Life to save man from sin. As to His Divinity, with God, all things are possible, most especially, making Himself Man. Thank you very much for responding to my comment, and may the good God bless you, too.

What to write in my own Bucket List…

Some people I know have crossed out items in their Bucket Lists, and are down to just a few items more, and yet I have to write mine.

I have learned about the Bucket List sometime ago, when I noticed a friend on facebook forever adding places to visit in her own Bucket List. And it seemed to me her list will have no ending, for there is as much more exciting place some corner of this earth that will be good to visit.

Anyway, after a few attempts to watch the Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman starred movie entitled The Bucket List, I finally got to finish the movie today. And what a heart opening movie it is.

The story revolves around two  completely different strangers who went to see the world, instead of lying down in the hospital for treatments of their terminal illnesses. in the process of living out the adventures of their lifetime, they get to fulfill their simple but very meaningful wishes in the Bucket List.

The Bucket List is actually a list of things one desires to fulfill while one awaits death.

But why wait when one is ill or old? We can make our Bucket Lists early on, and see if we could cross out some of the items we have done.

Mine is difficult to make, because I still have to search my heart about my dearest desires. But here’s a start. (for editing later, pending more wishes) Not necessarily in the order of importance.

  1. Watch people sip coffee while reading books in my own library.
  2. Sign an autograph on any of my blogs.
  3. Ride a jet. (Far flung)
  4. Adopt a child.
  5. See the Northern Lights.
  6. Walk the slopes of Ireland and dance in a tavern.
  7. Take care of my own grandchildren.
  8. Read the Bible cover to cover, one more time.
  9. Find a best friend.
  10. Embrace my family who lives in Los Angeles.

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