Friday, December 23, 2005

I love snail mail...especially when they come in big boxes!

So there I was, sitting quietly at the dining table, writing my holiday cards, when an almost obnoxious, hurried rapping on the door startles me out of my Christmas-y reverie:


Who the heck is knocking so loudly at this time, my very sacred coffee break, too.

I get up, put on my Breathe/Yoga Girl apron (I was not decent enough so I had to cover up my see-through shirt, lest I shock some stranger with my tasadays, mwahahaha!)

I look into the peep hole and see a man. It's the super. Or he looked like the super. Turns out he isn't. Sheesh, I should always check before opening this darn door or I may be in super-big trouble. Grrr.

Turns out there's a package for me. Yay. I wasn't expecting any orders so this was a lovely surprise.

"Dis yur nem?" gruff heavily-accented moustachio ExpressPost man blurts out. He is in a rush.

"Yes." my eyes on the package as I reached out to grab it. He almost shoves it into my hand.

He is off even before I can say "Thank you."

Man, is he in a big hurry today. Must be a lot of hholiday packages going around.

I take the box to my place on the dining table and open it fast. What could it be? Who could it be from? It's heavy. Could it be...could it be...

A book! Oh, joy! A book. A big book! And not just some ordinary book but a Play!Book. and Journal. By SARK!

If anybody knows me well enough, they'd know that I would take books over clothes or shoes or even jewelry anyday. Of course, it would have to be the size of the university library...but I digress.

It's a book from Cecile! She asked me what I wanted for Christmas last year and I told her. It may have taken a while, but hey, I am a patient woman. And the surprise was luuuvly! The card said:

"A creative gift for a highly creative person. I knew you've been waiting for this."

Thanks, dearest Cecilia. You certainly made my day. I am 90% sure it's from didn't sign your name on the card so it could also be from my guardian angel. Hmmm.

Gruff-knocks forgiven.

Oh. I did thank the ExpressPost guy. Via the concierge. Caught him just before he stepped out of the building.

SARK's Journal and Play!book Yummmmy!!!

Wishing you fun surprises in the snail mail this holiday season and always.

Now, where was I...ah, my holiday cards.



I love you, Mom

Dad*Mom, Dinner w/ the family at Penang Hill, Greenhills, during our visit to Andygirl, Nov. 2005

Happy belated birthday to you, Mommylove!

I'm a week late which is nothing compared to a month late
Jack's birthday was last November 10 and nada, nothing, eh!, wala
Not even a peep about it on here.
Hmmm...I wonder why that was
We must have been "busy" (read:grumpy?) at that time
Speaking of grumpy
How's Dad doing?
Woops, I love you too, Daddy.
I better behave at baka hindi dumating "hulog"
Para X'mas(bday, valentine, etc!)
gift ko.

Hello, are we in a jollygood ribbing mood today.
I just hope my parents think my attempt at
A comic routine here
Is amusing enough.

Ehem, seriously now, Mommydearest
May this year be your best one yet...
And many more grandkids (and grand deals) to come!
Er...but not from me their not! Go Leslie Go!
Joey, haboooooool!

I miss you and Daddy so much.
And I miss our fun family dinners, too.

Remember this one?

Think of me on your next bite of yummy rotti at Penang Hill, k?
(With compliments to Pet and Les for introducing me to it the heavenly bread last time)

My cute bro, Randy with me and Joey

Thai FriedFishhead...yum, not! Hey, who ordered that anyway?

Joeygirl and bro-to-be, Pat

Les & Pet having fun with some balls....hmmm...

And more balls...

Tadah! Cute, Pet. Let's see what Andy thinks of Daddy now...

"Eew, Daddy. You look silly. Teeheeheee!"

Joey, Myself and Mom feeding Andytot some of MumzyLesy's Thaifood-flavored milk

"I love you, Tita Chiqui...Love you, too, my sweetangel Andygirl. Sleep na yan baby na yan..."

"I need to let some spicymilk out, help me, MamaGramma.....buuuuuuurp! Ahhhhh...yes. Teynks!"

Love you, Mom.

Hope you enjoyed this little picture show I made especially for you.

Always, your all-time favorite eldest girl,


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Peek-A-Boo, I See You!

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Over Alaska
Canon 300D

Here I am.
Fizzy hair, winter-dry skin, saggy Tasaday breasts*, and a Kangaroo-pouch for a tummy with a bonus smiley scar (thank you, Dr. A of Makati Med for the very unnecessary C-section! Grrrr!) just along my bikini line.
It is five days before Christmas.
Just about the time I get misty, read: angst-y about THE upcoming B-day.

Hello, thirty eight. Less that a month from now (January 15 for my family and friends who want to send something nice! *wink-wink*) I will be two years shy of the big 4-0.
Almost Forty.
Gad, when I was a teenager, forty was granny land.
And here I am playing peek-a-boo with it already.
Forty in two years.
Heck, I better make the most of it and love-love-love it because God knows, I've worked hard at getting here.

A wise man once told me to "live in the moment, my dear." He was a visiting reverend from South Africa and I was a visiting desperate housewife with three small children trying to make sense of it all. The usual dilemna of where, what, why, how was making me stir crazy. It was unfair, the injustice made more blatant by the fact that I was on vacation in my homeland at that time with my beloved family, friends, and the usual bonus of wonderful helpers and drivers around me for a change. I was living a charmed life by many standards. Unfair of me to be acting so bratty. And a tad ungrateful, too.

But the emptiness prevailed.

You keep looking too far on the outside. Come into the moment. You say you're going to Spain? Learn the dance...what's it called...flamegco? Learn to cook paella. Learn the language. Become Spanish while in Spain.

It didn't make so much sense to me as I've heard all this psycho mumbo-jumbo before. Existentialism, I believe, is what it's called. Yeah, yeah, right.

That was six months ago. Embarassingly so, it's just beginning to get clearer and clearer. Slowly but surely.

There are things that happen for obvious reason. And sometimes the reasons are not immediately spelled-out. I've been thinking about the reason for my being here, here meaning motherhood, stay at home style, wherein the most excitement I'd get for the day would be My Favorite Things on the Oprah show. Okay, I'm being mellodramatic. Just the same, I was tired of the emptiness and the fatigue. I had to do something. Proactive. Fast.

It all started at the end of 2004. Thanks to a lady author named SARK and a photoblogger named Jen, I was whisked into a cyberworld filled with fast talking, brutally honest, creative women and a sprinkling of men, who say it like it is. I thought to myself, what a lovely mix. I was thrilled and scared at the same time. The whole experience buoyed, slapped and charmed and confused me intermittently. The many colorful souls baring themselves unabashed was refreshing and terrifying. All this honestly surrounding me. Does this mean I'd have to be honest, too? Yikes!

I was reading a book called Life Makeovers around that time. Then, an idea: since this place was about finding oneself and evolving, why not invite other people to do the book and make deeper friendships at the same time. So I posted a letter stating my desire and lo and behold, there was a huge response to it. Hundreds of other cyberworldlies signified willingness to join me in my quest for a makeover of a life, one week at a time. For a whole year. It was a success. Until the sixth or seventh month when the group began to slacken. Which was just fine. What was important for me was the the ball of self-care got a good rolling start. The self-care consciousness. My big reveal of the year. Balance is about caring for others AND Self. Of course, caring for the Self is tantamount to KNOWING that same Self. How the hell would you get to be more intimate with somebody if you didn't care for them enough, right? Which is what I effing did this year. I got around to taking better care of me for a change. It did not come easy. Oh, I've heard it all. Gad, all the Pete-forsaken ads on the tv and the glossies talk about it. So why the hell did I miss out on it all these years? Programming, I guess. So there I was, reprogramming myself to buy the best beauty products and moisturizer I could find and actually using it. I have learned that if working from the inside out does not do the trick, one can try it the other way around, too. Moisturize, paint, primp, pretty it up to the hilt and more often than not, the insides follow suit and you find yourself strutting around the house like a supermodel on the ramp. Beats cabin fever everytime. There I was forcing myself to get dressed mid-week to get out and go someplace "fun" for a change even if it's a simple thing like a movie and popcorn alone and not get guilty about not doing the grocery first. There I was sitting down when I got tired and napping when I got exhausted and most importantly asking for help when I needed it and admitting finally to myself and the world that I AM NOT SUPERWOMAN and I couldn't do it all.

Yup. The classic case of worldly over-achiever gone spiritual you might say. Yes. Unabashedly I declare this is what I needed. Self-help books, church service or Oprah Winfrey. As the saying goes, there are more ways than one to heaven. It's actually starting the journey that matters. It is A-okay to be an over-achiever. To dream big. To reach for the stars. To want and have it all. But for the love of God and Self, don't do it alone! Even heroes have assistants and supporters. I believed they're called friends and family. And God Almighty. I believe I wouldn't have gotten here - to this realization without me being here - dried out, brittle haired, mostly stressed out mommy mode. I'd probably be stuck somewhere between prissy prickly princess and bitchy biatch diva. Of course, the poor kids would definitely follow along the same lines. Eek!

The love of family and friends and God is incomparable. It was a long time coming. Again, reprogramming was necessary. But now I can honestly say I have learned my lesson and am continuing to learn more about it. Heck, we are all works in progress. And this is what I am human for, I believe. To learn to live with my weaknesses and not hit myself over the head each time they pop up. Instead, I am to open my eyes to them and be more aware of them and in doing so be able to do a better job at being human. Whether I change it or simply chuck it or hide it under the rug, it's my choice. My God-given prerogative. But being aware of it makes all the difference because it puts me in a place of clarity and a position of knowing. And we all know that knowledge is power. Power. Hmmm. Aha! I am superwoman after all. Haha.

I think God gives a helping hand to those people who are willing to be more aware of themselves. Most of the time, we get around our lives half asleep. I, for one, certainly did. I am not blaming myself anymore for it because I did not know any better back then. But now that I know more about how important awareness of Self is, I do not have the luxury of playing the dumb-ass anymore. As one of my favorite authors, Maya Angelou said, "when you know better you do better." And thank God for the grace of awareness. It is not a thing one can conjure up on their own. I firmly believe it is granted by the Powers that Be to those who sincerely seek it. Yes, I forget. Yes, I toss and turn and slide back into drama queen mode every now and then. But they don't last too long anymore. Besides, there's always the guardian angel disguised as a friend or a situation to nudge you back into your skin just incase you fly out too far and ahead of yourself. Engaging in other people's dramas is also, thankfully, a thing of the past. Whew. Used to be my finger being in everyone's pie. I wanted to know the what's and why's of whomever. (insert buzzer sound byte here) Wrong. Heck, I have enough of my own life's drama to deal with why bother with others. Unless, of course, it is a friend in need of meddling with and that is, I have learned more seldom than often. So I have learned to keep my big mouth shut and my pie fingers in my pocket. Well, I must qualify that one, lest it be taken against me when I find myself in a headlock with someone in the future, God-forbid. I'd simply say that most times I catch myself before it gets too bloody ugly.

There really is truth to what Gandhi said about being the change you want to see in the world. Hurray for you, oh most enlightened guru. I can only hope to have half of your light upon my mostly fogged up psyche. And when it is not too dreary and blurry on the inside, I am able to catch a glimpse of the real thrills of my charmed life ~ and that would look like me laughing out loud because of what my kids would say about some seemingly silly but so brilliant declaration about farts and butts; or me hunched over my little drawings and designs making the most of my precious break even made more precious by the scarcity of it, or the loving connection that my husband and I make from a touch, a glance, a word like "bangus" *gigglesnort*; or a surprise visit or phone call from a friend who just has the exact thing to say to me at just the right moment I needed to hear it; or an unplanned blessed visit to family and new babies a darling sister who have just became a mommy.

The real blessings and magic abound. And the real miracle for me is in actually being able to see them.

Ah, motherhood and the late thirties. Certainly has a way of providing a new set of eyes. The grateful kind, if I may add.

You know, it's not so bad afterall. The fizzy dry hair and skin, the tasaday breasts, the smiley scar. I'd take on these inconsequential superficial uglies anyday for the God-given awareness of beauty that I just found in-front, beside, behind and deep within. Besides, my hair is fizzy but thick and a nice color, my skin can be taken care of by the investment in beauty products and moisturizers, the breasts are tasaday-esq because they are ample, and the scar - hey, joy right on the surface of my jellyhappybelly!

Hello, thirty eight. Grannyland forties, I SEE YOU! Come and let me give you a big hug.

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"Blessed are we who allow ourselves the time that we need to learn, to reflect and to grow. Help us to not compare ourselved to others, and to remember that all masterpieces take time." ~ Nancy Vittoria Bello, From Cre-attitudes.


*Thanks, Dra. Becky Singson (Leslie's OB-GYN) for the laugh-out-loud visit and the Tasaday story.


Orchid from Mom's Collection, Leslie's Garden, North Greenhills

I took this photo, which in my opinion, is as stunning as a flower can be, *cough.cough.sputter* while on one of my morning walks with Joshim. It was part of our little ritual which included breakfast, visiting the dogs, getting some sunshine on our walk to the vegetable garden down the street, picking a few flowers from the sidewalk, bath-bath, story and tickle time. Kids really thrive on routines and boy, did our Joshimboy love his. He'd nap contentedly after all this and wake up to lunch with Gigi, his favorite girl and first-ever nanny since he was a wee tiny tot on our last visit in February.

Daghan salamat, ga! Next time, sama ka na sa amin ha. I think I just heard Joeygirl and Mom shrieking in disagreement. Hahaha!

Of course, Mommy and Tita Leslie and occassionally, Joey, would be off shopping somewhere fabulous...and tiangge cheap if possible, in the afternoons. That was the Sisterhoods little routine.

Beautiful orchid, isn't it? Makes me miss the warm, tropical weather - and my family - all over again. Bootoodledeehoo. Hikbi!

Okay lang. My routine visit - which will include a fabulous wedding, by the way, will be here before we know it. Yay!

See you again, soooooooon!!!


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Specimens of a Surprise

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We gotcha good!
Photo by TonyPet Albano

Saying goodbye at the airport...and the 30-hour journey begins Photo by Bahar Azimi

One of Joshim's favorite things: "Eplen!" at the HK airport. Three more hours to go. Yay!

Giant baby on Mommy's lap. "Ouchy bum-bum!"

We finally arrive at our destination. Tip-toeing toward the house. Shhhh!

Joshimboy and I appear. Surprise!

"'re here!!!"

" yooooooo, Mumzies!"

More happy tears. Hooray for family and the Sisterhood! Papa Grandpa finally figures it all out. :-)

A dazed but happy and freshly showered baby with Tito Pet

A dazed but happy and freshly showered SLEEPY baby with Tito Pat..."Dede peese..."

...more later folks!

Time to sleep off my jetlag.

Love and blessings in abundance, always.


The best ever

Meeting Andygirl for the very first time
Photo by Patrick Frias

I just had the best three-week vacation of my life
Thanks to a husband willing and brave enough
To take care of two small children
And the generous and blessed help of my in-laws:
Momoni and Babajaan, Aunt Badaw and Uncle Mikee, Uncle Joe and Aunt Mimi

And all for a very special visit
To my new angel niece, Andytot
And brand new mommy, Mumzyluvy Leslie!

The trip was a 30-hour long, excruciatingly painful flight -
No thanks to two stop overs and snowed-in delays
A butt-numbing experience to say the least
Especially with a 29-pound giant baby strapped on my lap

But all was worth it when I reunited with my beloved family
And met up for the very first time with my one-week-old niece
Precious princess who made my three weeks of pure magic possible

It was a glorious and God-favored visit
Short but super-dee-dooper fun as Joshim's favorite pat, Barney would put it
In alliance with my dear brother-in-law, TonyPet
(Whom I should simply call "brother" from this point on *wink*)
We planned an elaborate surprise
Which included a pre-birthday dinner for Pet
"And by the way 'Tito Frank from Las Vegas' will be joining us"


The next few blogs
Will be an attempt at sharing and describing and reminiscing about
Just how magical a vacation can be
When visiting angels and
Being reunited with the ones you miss and love...

Pure bliss!

and blessings in abundance

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Baked Salmon, Mixed Greens and Oprah

I feel so lucky
And so very blest
In a big way
To have friends like you
Who have the knack
For sensing what to say
For knowing what to share
For intuiting on what to give
To a friend in need
At just the right moment
From a place of honesty and trust

And in turn
Allowing me to say, to share, to give
From my own truth

So, so blest


And Thank You,


Monday, November 21, 2005


The mid-day break.

The first time
That I am able to sit down
For real

I am behind
On so many chores
But I have learned to stop no matter
Because it will never run out

So I leave the mommy-job behind
Even for just a few moments

Speaking of behinds
Mine is right now sitting squarely on my chair
Not hanging to the front to tie somebody's shoes
Not squashed to the back ambling for space on the couch
Not swinging left and right to rock somebody to sleep

The first time during the day
That I am able to do something relaxing
For myself

And my behind

It feels good.

Sitting used to annoy me
Used to be that staying in one place meant
I was either being idle or lazy or both
The crazy spinning top
That's the best metaphor I could come up with
When I think about my life before motherhood

Now sitting is wonderful
It is time to read
It is time to write
It is time to be quiet
Take it slow with my own thoughts and things

Leave the obligations behind
As I sit on my behind.

I am still a crazy spinning top
I guess some things never change
Only more appreciative
Of sitting time
On my behind.

A play of words
Brings me here:
Behind, BEhind, BeHIND, BEHIND
What is it about this word
There is a message here
As mentioned in the movie:
Bee Season
(Again the word "Be...)
Words and letters hold the answers
If only we let them show us the way

An epiphany:
I know it is time
To take the "HIND"
Off the "BE"

To stop looking at the past too much
Instead look at the present moment
To give up on analyzing the what ifs
Along with the should have, could have, would haves
And simple be grateful that I "have"

To see that there is no such thing, really
As being behind on anything
There is simply Being
Right here
Right now
If so one chooses.
For now is all there is.

Somehow, after this little break
I don't feel so behind
On my mommy-job anymore

Friday, November 18, 2005

Andy Update

Alleanda Pineda Albano made her grand entrance on Saturday, November 12, 2005 at around 11:00 p.m. Mom and Baby are doing just fine.

Thank God for you, beautifulblessingofababylove!

Butterfly kisssies, lovelies.

Thank lots for the photo, Tito Pet! Send me a clearer one, k?

This phone photo is not doing my brand new princess niece justice!





Saturday, November 12, 2005

Welcome, Andy!

It's happening as we speak.
A miracle.
Leslie and TonyPet are the co-creators in this.
I am one of the excited and eager spectators

My brand new niece is coming!


A giant miracle in a tiny package named Andy.

They are all in the hospital at this very moment.
And I am a world away.


I pray fervently for you three
Les, Pet and Andy
Who are going through
One of the most amazing, most magical, most sacred
Of life experiences

Welcome to the world, precious, precious Andygirl!


Andy made her grand entrance on Saturday, November 12, 2005 at around 11:00 p.m. Mom and Baby are doing just fine. Butterfly kisssies, lovelies!


Monday, November 07, 2005

Cafepress, here I come!


I actually did it.
Yay! Yay! Yay!
and just one more
Yay! for luck.

I'm so proud of me.

*(insert widest grin imaginable)*

Come visit my fun store, k?

Don't forget to grab yourself a nice jacket, mug and journal on your way out!
And a shirt for Woofy, too!!!


Saturday, November 05, 2005

what the bleep do we know

finally got to watch the movie last night
after waiting
for the one and only copy at rogers
for two whole weeks
apparently, it's a big favorite
"it's the most asked for video now."
store clerk adds
oh, yeah?
so why the bleep do you only have ONE COPY?
i was just thinking that
i didn't actually say it out loud
then there was a part in the movie
that featured the experiment
of one japanese scientist
Dr. Masuro Emoto
whose name i first became familiar with
through the blog of one of my favorite cyberartists,
Andrea Scher
which made me do a double take
on the thoughts i so carelessly form
in my watery brain
my watery head
my watery body

the million dollar question being:
if thoughts can do that to water,
imagine what it can do to US!

thanks for the reminders bleep guys.

thus my thoughts from me to you...


what the bleep do i know?
more today than yesterday, that's for sure!

walking on water

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i've been doodling
and loving it
it's a new direction
surprising in a delicious kind of way
i'm looking forward
to the rest of the bits
and pieces
in the magic pack
disguised in a simple gadget called
a tablet

expect more doodles on here

as somebody put it so succintly

"i like."
(thanks, sg/mmb!)


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Red...Coming Soon!

Wacom tablet illustration

Got something up my sleeve
That I'm so giddy-excited about
I've been working on it for the past few days
And it will be out very, very soon!

This is all that I can say.
For now.
Hang in there.


Saturday, October 22, 2005

Spiritual Activism

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I Love You, Tree; Photo by Marjorie Mella; Canon Rebel 300D

"So often activism is based on what we are against, what we don't like,
what we don't want. And yet we manifest what we focus on. And so we are
manifesting yet ever more of what we don't want, what we don't like,
what we want to change.

"So for me, activism is about a spiritual practice as a way of life.
And I realized I didn't climb the tree because I was angry at the
corporations and the government; I climbed the tree because when I fell
in love with the redwoods, I fell in love with the world. So it is my
feeling of 'connection' that drives me, instead of my anger and
feelings of being disconnected."

—Julia Butterfly Hill

Rob Brezny rocks! Thanks for sharing this message with us today.

Sweets from my Sweets

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Autumn Leaves Collage on Canon Scanner

The other day, I received a really sweet e-mail from my sister, Leslie. She said she admired how, in spite of the busy, busy life I have, I still had time to write meaningful stuff. I am humbled by the 'meaningful' and absolutely agree with the 'busy'. And if there's any meaningful*ness to draw from the words I write, I have realized that it's really what I needed to hear in the first place. If anyone else finds use for my words, that would be the sweet icing on the cake. Leslie can make really good cakes and pies, too, by the way. I so miss our all-favorite, the famous Mango Cream Pie a la Les.

But I digress.

You and I know that taking care of kids is NOT a piece of cake. In fact, it's downright difficult (read:shaitty) With help or without, kids are a challenge to raise. There are days when I'm on top of the world, feeling like the perfect mom to the perfect kids. Funny thing this feelings business because just as soon as you think these I-am-super-mom thoughts, everything goes down the toilet. Today was one of those not-so-perfect days where I was feeling more like a perfect failure. I almost believed it, too. Until one child, barely five, says something so sweet, so simple yet so profound (darn it, yes I am a biased mom!) that I am left with jaw hanging, in total awe and wonder.

Don't forget to say your goodnight prayers, Sol.
Sol: (sleepily) Mom, you do it pleeease...
Me: Honey, it's your thank you prayer so you say it...
Sol: Awww, oh-kay...Dear God, thank you for my wonderful day. (the standard intro bought from Mom & Pop's of good manners and right conduct) Thank you for giving Mommy time to rest today. And dear God, please help Mommy get lots of help so she won't be so tired and grumpy.
Me:(happy tears forming) Oh, thanks my love! That's so sweet. But, uh, you might want to have prayers for yourself, too, ya?
Sol: Nope. I just want to pray for you tonight. Goodnight, Mom. I love you.
Me: (happy tears all over again.)

This is why I write.

I write because I am grateful. I write because I am angry. I write to vent. I write to understand. I write to put it out there so I can create the illusion of having a better handle on the situation and as if by magic, I do end up having a better handle on the situation. In the end, I simply write to write because if I don't I find it hard to breathe.

Writing is a respite. It is the shelter from the ever-changing weather of emotions that are as intense as the freakiest roller-coaster ride you've ever been on. I cherish reaching up, reaching down while screaming wildly, inwardly onto the paper from the depths of my being. I relish the salty waves that crash in and around me leaving me reeling and breathless. I marvel at how I am able to feel so much and how many colors there are to observe, to paint, to share. Best of all, I am fascinated by how I imagine I am the only one on this crazy boat and discover again and again (from others' writings) that I am on a great big ship filled with other passengers going crazy along with me. Isn't it what we all ultimately long for, the connection with and understanding of others?

What is the purpose of all this crazy-making activity? Is there a purpose to it at all? If so, will I find it in this lifetime? If and when I do, what will I do with it?

So many questions in here, so many answers out there...or is it the other way around? Are the questions out there and the answers in here?

Ah, I write and then write some more. And hope, in the noisy silence of my heart, the Divine Universe comes through with the answers I need for the moment's prayer. This, for me, makes writing the best form of prayer.

Oh, and yes, I write to remember that I can have my cake and eat it, too.

Thank you, sweet Leslie, for your delicious words. I love you. And your cakes and pies, too.

Pahingiiiiiii! :-)

For me, writing is the creative expression that allows me to touch and co-create the meaning and beauty I ache for. I know this because when I am writing I never feel I should be doing anything else, be anywhere else or be other than I am. And this is joy. Although I am usually alone when I am writing, I never feel lonely; writing connects me to both my essential inner self and the world around me. Loneliness is a loss of connection with the self that knows its belonging. It can be felt when we are with others. It can be banished when we deeply engage in creative work that feeds us. ~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

It's all about choices

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Lovin It! Me at Boyd Photo By Marjorie Mella Canon Rebel 300D

I found these words today.
Are they random?
Or are they right on?
It's a choice I have to make, right?

Guess which one I'm picking?

I dedicate this one to my Tribe.
Here and in the ether.
You know who you are.
And you know I Love You.

Always, In gratitude,

You're beautiful enough.
You're special enough.
You're sexy, playful, and fun enough.
You've worked enough.
You've cried enough.
You've been grateful, generous, and kind enough.
OK, then? So what are you waiting for?
Give it to yourself!
Your faithful scorekeeper,
The Universe

You see, I'm not the one who needs convincing. Nor am I the one who's holding it back.

Courtesy of TUT which could very well be words from The Universe indeed.

If I choose it.

Season's Change

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Autumn's Red Glory, Boyd Park

It may come with the season's change

The falling of the leaves
May just be bringing about
The peeling away of layers

I feel the need to strip

To peel off the unwanted parts
The useless bits and pieces of me
That I no longer have any use for

I feel the need to strip

To expose the glorious parts of me
That have remained cloaked in shame for too long
Do I have what it takes to have the Light shine on Me?

I feel the need to strip

It's been a long time coming
The message loud and clear
The voice of Instinct must be heeded
Lest one endures more of the shadow pain

"You are only as sick as your secrets."
A wise woman shared with me today
Her courage, faith and vulnerability prevail
I can only hope to have my time come


It may just come

With the season's change

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I Heart MMB

Succulently dedicated to the creative souls on
Planet Sark.

You inspire me!

Yup, you and You and YOU!

I love my new




Sunday, October 09, 2005

Sound Bytes

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Kat's Eyes, Photo courtesy of John Ilao Photography

I felt ambushed.

The original intent was to simply attend a gathering
Have an update or two
On the latest coming and goings
In the local community
Reconnect with old friends
Eat some, drink some
Laugh a little
Laugh a lot

"Are you going to sing?"
A friend of mine asked the day before
"Nope. I just want to enjoy the evening, you know...
relaaaax for a change."

It was always pressure for me
This whole performing bit
The singing part isn't hard
It's the what-to-say parts
It's the what-to-wear parts
It's the say-hello-to-everybody-or-else parts that just *!$@ the #$!x! out of me

So the simple answer was "No, thank you."

But, see, what I always forget is this:
It's expected of me - I am a singer after all
Therefore it will somehow be asked
My original song is a huge hit again after ten years of being recorded (thanks to Gary and Aiza revivals)
So it's only natural that people would like to hear it again

I realize that I have all the right to say no
No matter how much or how little they ask, plead, coax, cajole, beg
It is still up to me

It's the expectations that kill me
More appropriately, it's the dis*ease to please that kills me

What is expected of me anyway?
To sing. To entertain. To be pleasing.
Please. Sing.
Be pleasing?
What the heck is that?


It came to me the next day.
While washing dishes.
Had I known that doing dishes
Could bring revelations akin to those
Achieved during zen meditation
I would have embraced the chore
Much, much earlier

Here's my big lightbulb moment

(insert drumroll sound byte here)

The big gap lies deep within the core of my being
Deep down inside singing IS a joy
The reason I am uncomfortable about the whole thing
Is because I am trying so hard to control the whole thing

To sing or not to sing?
To be or not to be pleasing?
Who to please?

Ego: Everybody.
Me: Impossible.
Ego: But I want, NEED, to or else I don't want to do it.
Me: So don't do it.
Ego:You know you need to be perfect to do it, right?
Me: Perfect...but I've given up on that utterly senseless task already...
Ego: (teasingly) Oh, have you really...
Me: (pulling hairs out) AAAAAARGHHHHHHH!!!!

(insert blooper sound byte here)

I know. I know. Old story.
I know, too, that it is a Divine gift
This voice, this musicality, my ability to sing like I breathe
It is not mine to keep and be stingy about
Therefore, my job is to simply turn "me" off
And turn the "gift" on whenever the opportunity to share comes along

Ah, self-promotion
Ah, hungry, insatiable, evil monster that lives inside of us

Didn't you say you were ready to turn over your gifts
To a higher power to be used for a higher good?

(insert heavenly chorus sound byte here)

There's your disconnect.

It's no wonder it felt like an ambush.
My mind and my heart were at odds with each other
My mind was orbiting too far in the outer regions called Ego-land
As for my soul,
Ahh, yes.

The Soul knows what's pleasing.
All ways.
Soul ways.

Good old Le Divine Conscience gives me a swift kick in the butt and saves the day.

(insert thunderous applause sound byte here)

Here's my flash of insight:
Deep down inside where the ego can't find me
Is a Knowing
A knowledge of Sounds that truly matter
I know nobody can touch this sacred space
I know it was given to me for a purpose
Better and more powerful than just my ego's horn-tooting

I bow with respect and surrender
And say a prayer of gratitude for the remembrance

Now the real question:
Who was/IS doing all the ambushing in the first place?


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

NaNo What?

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It's a scary process. Daunting. Overwhelming. No matter how many times I've done it, it always scares me still.

Jumping into the unknown is always that way. But I choose to do it yet again.

The unknown I am talking about here is the NaNoWriMos. NaNoWriMo is an intensive thirty-day writing program that's all the rage with the writer-wannabes on the worldwideweb. Yup, who doesn't want to be a novelist nowadays, right? The basic premise of the acitivity is that to successfully write and actually complete a novel, one need not have a plot. In fact, one should not have a plot (in the beginning anyway) but instead one only needs to have a deadline in this case, thirty days.

Which is why I think the Nanos have been very successful for the past seven years. It's a crazy idea. But it works. People join in and try to pound out 50,000 words - which is approximately a 175-page novel - in one month. Yes, folks. Fifty Thousand. That's roughly twelve thousand five hundred a week or two to three thousand a day assuming you take one off day a week and which again, assuming my maths are on track. Which I doubt. But I digress. (teehee, I've always wanted to say that. Makes me feel like a novelist already. And so I'll say it again, I digress.

The most I tried writing on a regular basis for a whole month was 100words. A measely one hundred words a day and there were days when I thought I couldn't complete. It's not so much the number of words as it is the what words/ideas/stories to write about.

Which is why I am almost giddy with excitement. Plus the fact that I am not doing it alone...I have my amazing support group at PlanetSarkdoing it with me! And you know how you can always make that work to your advantage - or not. I may very well use that as yet another procrastination tool and end up lounging on the boards which is always way too much fun!

Again, it's a choice. And I choose and declare "Yes, I'm doing it! I am a Wrimo!"

Hello, Aurora! Looking forward to knowing you.

[Book Title: See, Aurora, See! by iKat on NaNoWrimo 2005]

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Woman, You Are Beautiful

Earth girl
You are a true nature girl!

Which Ultimate Beautiful Woman are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Are you...

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I know I am.

Thanks for being gentle with me.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Do tell

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Divine Pottery (inspired and created during my first pregnancy, 2000) Canon Rebel 300D

You have the gift.
Yes, you.
You have the Light of God in your very eyes.
You have the courage.
Yes, you.
You have the Power of the Divine within your very soul.

Be good to people.
But most of all
Turn away from the beckonings of darkness
Nothing but useless whispers
Nothing but idle talk


Keep your mind on the deLIGHTful that surrounds you
Open your eyes to the magical PRESENTation of everyday life
Receive it.
Give it all.
Don't hold back.
Let it go.
All of it.

It was not yours to begin with.

Trust in the Voice Within.
It is your connection to YOU...

You who are Divinity in the flesh.
You who are Love incarnate.
You who are Powerful beyond measure.


Yes, YOU.


Friday, September 23, 2005

Symptoms of Inner Peace

Tabletop Zen Garden

Be on the lookout for symptoms of inner peace. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to inner peace and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

Some signs and symptoms of inner peace:

A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.
An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
A loss of interest in judging other people.
A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
A loss of interest in conflict.
A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom).
Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
Frequent attacks of smiling.
An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend


From Quotable Quotes and dear
cyberpal, Leonielight

Alleanda Pineda Albano

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Andy, 7 months in utero

I had tears in my eyes
I saw your picture for the very first time
I just couldn't believe it
My very own 'baby' sister's baby
Her very own flesh and blood
Her very own heart and soul
Growing inside her bulging belly

Andy for short.

This early I can sense your sweet yet spunky spirit

Two more months and here you'll be

Will you have your mommy's smile?
Will you have your mommy's moods?!
Will you have her quiet strength
And loving sensitivity that goes on and on and on
And when you think it's not at all
Humanly possible to have any more
There she is giving it so openly and generously over and over again

Andy, you are one blessed baby
To have a mommy like the one you do
I know this because
Even though she calls me Ate (big sister)
She has mothered me in so many ways
And the beauty of it all
Is that it always comes so naturally, so gently, so lovingly
In a way only she can give
Which I believe is what will make your Mommy Leslie
The best mommy you could ever have

Your Daddy Pet will be your knight in shining armour
Ever so lovingly protective of his little princess
Giving you his words of wisdom
Teaching you things only a dad's heart can teach
I have witnessed this with my own eyes
The way he has given his heart to my own princess Oona
And treated her like his own
Oh how she loves her Tito Pet


A blessed baby indeed.

I love you already.

Butterfly kisses, my darling girl.

Tita Chiqui

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Daddy Pet and Mommy Leslie with My Baby, JoshimBall
Shangrila Mall, Manila