Thursday, June 30, 2005

Hangin' Out

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Hangin' Out With Randy, Leslie's Den Canon Rebel 300D

My brother. Three years my junior yet three feet taller than me!
Okay. I'm exaggerating. Maybe one and a few inches.
But I am telling the whole truth when I say I have missed him so very much.

We drifted apart way back when our lives were running full speed ahead.
Too speedy for comfort, or for our own good if I may add.
Now that we have families and kids of our own
Life has balanced out.
Thank God!

We used to play together a lot as kids.
Hide and seek, bike racing, sliding downhill on coconut branches, chasing each other scared-silly with snake-laden photos of Medusa from the Wonderful World of Disney encyclopedia
And there's our favorite "sprikitik" -
A game my brother invented wherein we inched our way up Inang's blue and green tile pillars and slide down fast
That got us our shots from our disciplinarian grandmother
She said it was too dangerous to be climbing up and sliding down those slippery pillars
We'd sneak out of the house during nap time and did it anyway
And we'd get caught each time
And we'd earn a good spanking each time
And you bet we'd cry our eyes out each time

I made my brother cry a lot
And he made me and my sisters cry a lot
I remember how at one time, my big-sister-discipline act got a bit too far
I accidentally - well, somewhat accidentally - smeared chili into his eyes
And I'm talking about those tiny, scorching hot variety we call "siling labuyo"
Ooh, how I regretted trying to act like little pretend mom that day

That made him cry lots
That made me cry lots...after I got my spanking from our real mom.

We laugh about all this now
And speaking about laughs this guy makes me laugh big time
He's got that natural comic timing that sends me laughing until my sides hurt and tears are rolling down my cheeks
The last time we had a laugh fest it was in a restaurant called Chili's
(I guess for old "siling labuyo" time's sake! haha)
I was laughing so hard I couldn't concentrate on ordering my food
Of course it didn't help that we had a few rounds before that

I'm so proud of my brother.
Randy is so talented I don't even know where to begin.
He's an excellent artist, a computer wiz, an entrepreneur, a cook, a baker, a golfer, a swimmer (and he saved my bestfriend, Myra, from drowning once!)
He has two amazing daughters - my darling nieces, Sandra and Martina, speaks a total of five languages and can do two full hours of cardio without breaking for air
And the list goes on and on
Did I mention that he's also a champion triathlete?
He's also the reason why my sisters and I are all crazy about cycling at the gym

I've missed my brother so much.
Our getting close again is an answered prayer.
There's nothing like being able to hang out and talk about everything and nothing.
There's nothing like being able to laugh those snicker-snort laughs until you cry.
There's nothing like being one complete big happy family once again.

And am I glad that to this day, we can still make each other "cry".

I love you, bro!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Soul Sister

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My beloved sister, Joey...doing what she does best. ,
Araneta Coliseum Canon Rebel 300D

Joey just got engaged last week.
I couldn't be happier for her.

She is my youngest sister.
Youngest in years but oldest in spirit.
She has been a guiding light for me.
For the family.
Hers is a kind of light that shines bright and true.
No matter how lost you are she will surely help you find your way again.
The reason for this, of course, is obvious.
The girl is plugged into the right Energy Source!

I wish you pure joy always, my soulsis.
You deserve every bit of it!
Thank you, thank you for your constant illumination.

I love you.
And Pat, too!
Congratulations on your engagement.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Sol and Oona On My Nokia

My celphone is bursting full of their photos.

Sol and Oona playing.
Sol and Oona eating.
Sol and Oona bathing, swimming, drawing,
Even Sol and Oona pooping.

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Sol and Oona at the dentist
Sol and Oona at the mall,
And at grandma, grandpa's
Sol and Oona making calls

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They love each other.
They hate each other.
Sometimes they remind me of me and Jack.
Correction: MOST times they remind me
Of me and Jack.

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They are like me and then they are not.
Mostly I just sit in awe and wonder.

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Sol and Oona.
Their smiling, crying, ketchup-smeared faces
Clowning around or wrestling it out
Are all over my celphone
But mostly they are all over my heart.
My mind. My soul.

And some days I can't seem to get them out of my hair.

Sol and Oona.

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Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Voice

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One of my inspirations in music
Gary Valenciano

I used to be a professional singer.

It was good. It was bad. It was everything in between.
I reached the highest high. I dropped into the deepest depths.
It made me feel alive. It made me feel like dying.
After a while, it made me want to give it all up.
I said to myself, what's the use.
The glory I experienced was fleeting.



So I left.

I did not sing for a very long time.
Except to my little ones. And my big one. At home.
There was fulfillment. My heart was full.
Family completed me.

Or so I thought.

In spite of having "everything"
There seemed to be something missing
This thing. This empty feeling.
This nameless longing.

I tried to ignore it.
I tried covering it up.
I tried filling my life with comings and goings
All the time doing, doing, doing
I tried very hard.
And failed. Miserably.
Yes, I would surface from the darkness.
But I would find myself back in it again and again.
I went into a deep depression.
I felt lost.
My big question was:
How can one have everything and still feel this emptiness within?
How selfish of me. How self-centered. How neurotic. do I change it?

How do I? I asked.

I begged for an answer.
The Answer.
I needed it like a living being needed air.
I was lost and dying.

This time I was angry.
My anger stemmed from having to come back
Over and over to this putrid place of darkness
It stank of stale resentments, unlearned lessons
A dull, throbbing, insistent ache seemingly without a cure

I even cursed at God
For making it all so difficult, so painful
So utterly hopeless
I hurled curse after curse at Him, Her, It
Until I ran out
I was crying in anguish and hopelessness
Then my ultra conservative upbringing
Slaps me in the mouth
And stops me cold

How dare I be angry at God
I thought to myself, Now I am damned for sure.

Surprisingly no punishment came
Instead a quiet answer.
In the dark heaviness that surrounded me
Came a most gentle, loving voice
The Voice embraced me whole
The Voice took me in entirely as I am
In all my incompleteness
and angry imperfection

Then all became still

How do you change it, you ask?

Well, child, you don't.
I do.
Let Me.

Slowly, it washed over me.
The calm.
The peace.
There was a quiet realization that all I needed to do
Was turn over the reigns.
I needed to let go. I needed to trust the Voice within.
I needed to because, plain and simple, I have ran out of choices.
I let the change come.
I surrendered to it. Yes. That was the difference.
I totally surrendered this time.

I realize that the Music and the Voice are one
Back then I was so distracted by the inconsequential
That I failed to hear the real music
I may have been singing but to an entirely messed up beat
I believe I have found my rhythm now
And I choose to sing and dance to it wholeheartedly.

The passion for true song I have suppressed.
I let the noise of the world take over the gift.
I say, no more.
I may have chosen to leave my music once before.
But it has never left me.

My soul cries for genuine expression.
My spirit needs to share.
And so I choose to sing again.
But for a very different reason at this point in my life.
I sing not for self-glorification.
I sing in gratitude for the gift that has been entrusted to me
I sing because it gives me joy
I sing because it is my passion
I sing because not doing so means death to my soul

I sing to give glory to the one that has given
My life back.

The Voice has a name by the way.
He is the One. The Only One.
He is the Almighty God.
And to Him I give back all the Glory.
Now and forever.
In Jesus Mighty Name

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Passion is holy --- a profound Mystery that transcends and transforms through rapture. We need to accept that a sacred fire burns within, whether we're comfortable with this truth or not. Passion is part of Real Life's package because we were created by Love, for Love, to Love. If we do not give outward expression to our passions, we will experience self-immolation --- the spontaneous combustion of our souls. Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance

Friday, June 03, 2005

Fruits & Things

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Prutas atbp. Tagaytay Highlands, Tagaytay City Canon 300D

Do you realize...
that for the simple, yet mind blowing, fact
that you're even "HERE"...
you're deserving of all else?

what would be the point?


My First PhotoFriday Entry

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Rare Divers, Ocean Park, Subic Canon Digital Rebel 300D

I'm biting the bullet
I'm grabbing the bull by the horns
I'm silencing the critic
I'm taking a shot (I did. ;-))
I'm submitting my first photofriday entry

I'm clicking on "enter"


Thursday, June 02, 2005

Tangled & Rusty

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Anchor, Marina, Subic Bay Yacht Club

I have been feeling it for quite some time now
This dark swirling thing deep inside me
It may be chemical, emotional, psychological
Definitely spiritual
I am impatient for it to be gone
Hopefully forever
But I know these dark swirlies come
And stay for as long as they like
Like some unwanted guest
And one can only hope
For it not to break too many things
For it not to create too much irrepairable damage
For it to leave as quietly as it came
So one can finally say:

Adios. Hasta la vista, baby!

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."
Rainer Maria Rilke

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

My All-Time Favorite Link

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I "met" Jen almost a year ago.

Jen is real, raw, soft, hard, sunshine, rain, a blizzard, a breath of fresh air and more. She is the intensity of the seasons all rolled up into one wonderful angel being. She loves kindness because she has got one of the biggest, kindest hearts herself.

She inspired me to start this blog. Truth be told, she saved me. There I was, drowning in my own victim-inspired hole full of negativity, desperate for anything positive for a change. Then one day, I chanced upon her website, thanks to SARK (another angel being) who listed Jen's note-worthy site on her newsletter.

Jen has an uncanny way of putting into words heart-things tangled up deep inside. If I'm feeling it nowadays, you bet Jen's writing about it and feeling it too. I believe it's her super-sensitivity that helps her connect with me, with us. Yup, there are a lot of us loyal Jen fans out there.

It's been almost a year since and her website still touches me with as much kindness, love, passion.

There is not one photo posted here that does not have Jen's spirit in it. I got my Canon Digital Rebel 300D (I just love it!) because of her. Everytime I post, I think about the muse who help start it all and say to myself, "I wonder if Jen would like this...".

Jen Gray, thank you. For saving me then. For saving me now.

Simply put, you inspire me.