For whatever I can share to inform, inspire, enlighten, and bring joy and hope to others, then this blog has best served its purpose.

Monday, January 30, 2012

What now my love--it's Valentine?

It's two weeks to go till Valentine's Day, but I hope you will remember this poem of my original composition, which I happened to post in my blog this early, come Feb 14. There are lots of ways to celebrate it though, and here's just a few of what I can suggest (through the verses):

What now my love--it's Valentine?
I'll put a flower in your hair
And take you to a dinner date;
Or what is purest love affair?

What now my love--it's Feb Fourteen?
I'll kiss you sweetly on the cheek
And hug you tight that you can't breath;
Or what is more that you could take?

What now my love--a Day of Hearts?
I'll whisper something in your ear
And grab your hand but palm to palm;
Or should we settle it with beer?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stumbling down with joy over sorrow: The quest for happiness

Van Gogh's depiction of grief in his drawing titled "Sorrow" is stunning. He was able to perfectly capture the emotion of his subject, immortalized it in a paper, for future generations to see but as fresh and alive as he has first penciled such a masterpiece. But why did he choose to draw such a depressing subject for art? Perhaps this particular drawing depicts more of his inner side than what a such would like to suggest for anything else. Was he a sad man his entire life? Did he fall victim of trying to do everything for happiness and yet, as a result, only found himself all the more wanting or craving for it? And, in the middle of unstable sanity, his love affair with his art offered him no best option than that of taking his own life when he's at the peak of what he loves to do producing one masterpiece after another.

Don't let the glow of your smile be covered with the gloom of sorrow in your sunny face, Vincent. Life is a garden by which we have to radiate back the fullness of its beauty, joy, and love to the world. Laugh, love, express, dream, and truly live.

Sometimes some things may come to exist because we keep them alive in our hearts. Keep, therefore, the good things and discard the undesirable ones. For the most part, in our desperate quest to be happy, we hit the wrong side of the road. There is more than what happiness can only do and offer: it is joy. The joy that brings us all above the material things this world has plenty of.

To be joyful is to be able to feel happiness in the midst of sorrow. It's not about what makes us happy, but in the delight of being used as God's instruments for good. Joy is the inner satisfaction, a state by which we wouldn't want to be anything else than what God wants us to do and to be.

Pieces of me: Life is meant to be broken and shared

It was one of those lines I happened to grasp with as an idea where I should base what I must write about for a particular topic (whether a prose or poetry) that I came up writing "Pieces of me"--a poem I wrote in only less than an hour of time. The line goes something like this: "Life is meant to be broken and shared." It resembles much of Christ, like the symbolic representation of the breaking down of bread and the cup of wine in the Holy Eucharist, to be shared by all. But that's how we're all supposed to be as well for each other.

Life is all about relationships, giving love, making connections, and doing good to others, and as far as it is also a journey, every strand of good or bad experience being wove into our web only enrich what every little facet of our selves can possibly acquire to become the persons that we must be as we continue to trek on further like pilgrims approaching a Shrine. Bad experiences teach us lessons, while the good ones, on the other hand, inspire us all the more. I hope you'll enjoy the poem, as well as the prose in what was the introduction:

I need to know what pieces of me
you can absorb as you try to cross

the beyond that must be bridged.
There I mixed up with the air

out into space scattered like cards
thrown from a magician's hand;

there I danced to what directions
the wind might have led to,

out of my fragments--but where
would I be than to what becomes

my own substance.
Were the hands faster than the eyes?

I need to know what pieces of me
you could still spot on

from all illusions involved
and learn to reverse the effect

so as to grow back again the form
that has evolved--but where would I be

than to what becomes my own substance.
I need to know if you could feel my presence.

From out of your darkest night
a tiny spark emerges

to become the beautiful light
that guides--but where would I be

than to what becomes my own substance.
Would you treat everything with respect

knowing, out of your wildest thoughts,
I might be there?

Would you say a little prayer for me?
I need to know how I could influence

your being and existence--but
where would I be than to what

becomes my own substance.
For I was a thing that must be broken

and shared. I need to know if there is more
that I could do than that.

The bridge must one day be crossed
and everything will be

for its own fulfillment--but where would I be
than to what becomes my own substance.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hangover (after a dose of a night's loving)

One evening, I wrote what was one of my Neruda-inspired poems in my own dialect which is the     Cebuano-Visaya . I then turned it into a couplet with the impromptu and direct English translation on every second line. I hope you will find reading this poem interesting:

sa paghidangat sa kagabhiun
as the night descends

sa pagpiyung sa mga mata
upon mine closed eyes

mingsalingsing ang bulawanung mga damgo
there sprout but golden dreams

sa hiyas sa tumang pagkamatinud-anun sa tinguha
of pure desire, ever faithful

ug ang katam-is sa himaya pagatimbaon
to extract sweetness from out

diha sa sugilanun sa mga saad
of a tale's promises

dungan sa pagiswid sa kaakuhan
yet giving in to

umulon gugmang giatay
what love can make

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How to spend your Valentine's Day for good

Valentine's Day is only just a few weeks away. On that day, lovers should renew their vows and commitments for each other and make love and bonding stronger. But there are lots of ways to celebrate it, though. The following are just some of my personal opinions/suggestions on how to make your Day of Hearts a little bit different and memorable at the same time:

  • Invite your lover to go to the church with you. It is important, for the married ones, to be in the place where they have been united in marriage. It will serve as a reminder about the wedding vow they have said: "To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, 'till death do us part." As for the unmarried lovers, taking time to spend your Valentine's Day in the place of worship will earn you blessings from the Almighty God.

  • Write a poem and recite it in front of your beloved. Your lover may find it corny (or perhaps not), but by doing so you would have done one of the most romantic ways of expressing your feelings. Poets are skilled to win or win back someone's heart through their verses. Because poetry is intended for both the intellect and emotions, the receiver would surely be delighted with you making her or him your subject.

  • Bring your special someone to a karaoke bar and have a light drink with her or him. While in the place,  sing about those songs you want to dedicate to her or him but, most importantly, your theme songs. Singing doesn't require that you must have a golden voice but as long as you can sing along will be just fine. Some of you probably might disagree about my adding a "light drink" in the menu. Well, a right amount of alcohol infused into our system would keep our guts surging to reveal some of our most innate of characters. Heavy drinking, on the other hand, would ruin it all.

  • A candlelight dinner for two in a secluded place is ideal. A quite, comfortable, and laid-back environment is the best place where you can talk to your partner well and share the moment with utmost privacy. Talk about those good things you and your lover have shared together and also of the bad things you have gone through and weathered both.

It has been said that love is not just about feelings but, also, an ability. Relationships may fail, but there are countless ways  to preserve and fix them. Winning someone's heart requires a skill, or sometimes wisdom, and it comes with a great responsibility from that time on. You may pick one of my suggestions, but you can as well pick all of them to do in a single day. Advance Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Breaking free the chain of a doubtful heart: A Sto. Niño experience

If you happened to be in the Basilica del Sto. Niño de Cebu this past week, you'll be amazed at how overcrowded with people the place has become. A lot more would be expected to swarm the Philippines' oldest church today until the 15th which is the third Sunday of January, the feast day of the Holy Child Jesus. Roads have been closed for vehicles and served as the church's extension where people from all walks of life patiently waited in standing position to hear mass rain or shine.

I happened to be in the area yesterday at dusk and the pouring down of heavy rain cannot even convince me a bit to not go there. I had an umbrella with me as most of the people attending the mass also have. Yet,  my shoes got soaked in water and it has to be dried (which I did anyway) thanks for the beautiful weather this morning the shoes dried real quick under the scorching fury of the sun.

But what's really in there that people have to keep coming fanatically? Yes, it is a place of worship we might say  but should we have to be dealing it with great interest and of this magnitude? Should we have to make it this grand and lavish? What's in Sto. Niño, by the way?

I have never seen a people so much devoted and so very deep in their faith as the Filipinos. I have been a devout catholic myself but there was a time in my life when I chose to become a "non-practicing" one. It's only been three years of my stay here in Cebu and Sto. Niño has touched and slowly broke the chain of my doubtful heart completely. For me, Sto. Niño is the tangible metaphor of a Supreme Being worthy of all our praise and worship.

It's been 490 years ago when Magellan, a Portuguese explorer who served for the king of Spain, has first landed on this island and spread Christianity. The original image of Sto. Niño he has brought with him from Spain would also be almost 500 years old now. It's God's will, no doubt. Viva Señor Sto. Niño!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sinulog 2012: Cebu's grandest of festivals will be as colorful as ever

While  the longest Christmas celebration in the world is about to end, Cebu city's festivity is not yet over. In fact,  it is anticipating for this year's Sinulog festival which will be on the third Sunday of January. Sinulog festival is an annual celebration in honor of the Holy Child Jesus accompanied with lavish street dancing and other activities.

Christianity was first brought to the Philippines by the Spaniards in what was historically acclaimed Magellan expedition led by Ferdinand Magellan himself. Magellan, by the way, is a Portuguese who served for the king of Spain and was regarded as the first man to circumnavigate the world. His discovery of the Philippines on March 16, 1521 has marked the beginning of  Christianization of the natives as well as the colonization of the islands by Spain that lasted a little over three hundred years.

When Magellan arrived in Cebu, he was met by the local chieftain Raja Humabon. They made good friendships with each other and Raja Humabon was baptized later on and his name was changed to Carlos. Magellan handed Raja Humabon, as a gift,  the image of Sto. Niño he has brought with him from Spain including the image of Jesus Christ also called as the "ecce homo".

Sto. Niño has become, for the Cebuanos, a symbol of love, hope, joy, and prosperity. The Basilica del Sto. Niño de Cebu, one of the oldest churches in the Philippines, is overflowing with churchgoers especially on Sundays. While some of the people in other parts of the world have slowly vacating the sets of their churches, Cebuanos overcrowded their own place of worship and continued to deepen their faith.

Sinulog 2012 will be as colorful as ever. Expect more participants in the street dancing and devotees will have increased their numbers. All in all, experience a unique blend of local Filipino tradition and Christianity mixed up so very well in one celebration.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New year, new hope, new beginning

"Every end is a new beginning."          --Proverb

2011 has ended and another year unfolds. The past year will be remembered for both the negative and positive things it has brought to the world and to each one of us. Some people would rather choose to forget all the bad things happened and try to focus, instead, on the positive things this year will have to bring. The unpredictability of living and all the hardships surrounding it are necessary not only in building our character but also to make the journey we call life a very beautiful experience.

Life is never without a challenge. Everyday, we are set to face whatever it is being thrown at us and it can only make us stronger each time as we continue to trek on further. 2012 will be a much better year than the previous one.

Of course, this year will never go unblemished. There will still be chaos, calamities, and violence, etcetera. The point is we would weather all of those much beautifully this time around.

Love shall rule. Peace on Earth. Happiness. Joy. Prosperity. Brotherhood. Unity. 2012 will have a lot of good things in store, let's make them happen. Happy New Year!

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