Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Shine on!

Dear Lord,

Thank you very much for this long and fruitful day!

Though tired, my spirit is rejoicing in the works of Your hands. Truly, every moment of my life is filled with Your love and mercy. Each day and each night is full of amazing manifestations of Your presence and guidance. You have blessed me with so many wonderful friends and acquaintances who are helping me grow more like You, Lord. I pray for them all - You know them by name and all that is in their hearts. Bless them and send them Your Holy Spirit so that they may be strengthened and filled with the wisdom they need to face the challenges and opportunities of each day.

Honor and glory and praise be to You, forever!


The Parable of the Revealed Light

"No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him."

- Luke 8:16-18 (NKJV)

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I wasn't much of a girly-girl when I was growing up.

During my freshman year in high school, I still acted like 'one of the boys'. I had very short hair reaching only upto my ears. If not for our school uniform which was a blouse and skirt combination, I would have worn pants or shorts and t-shirts all the time. I was very active in sports and didn't mind having tangled hair, a sweaty face, and wrinkled clothes at the end of the day. Neat or not, I was happy with myself. It didn't occur to me just yet that perhaps boys like girls for being... well... girly. It didn't cross my mind until my mid-teens that at some point, I needed to start acting (even just a tiny bit) more lady-like.

Little did I know that time would present solutions to my problems.

Slowly, that little thing called "self-consciousness" started creeping in. I was starting to get annoyed with my bob cut and began growing my hair for as long as I can manage it and tried different hairstyles. I experimented with my clothes and tried on more girly outfits like skirts and dresses. I also accessorized - hairclips, bracelets, earrings, you name it.

Nevertheless, my discovery of a more feminine side of myself didn't turn out to be a crazy transformation from boyish girl to a fashion junkie. I wouldn't dare let myself get caught in "The Devil wears Prada" whirlwind of fashion. Instead, I made the styles out there fit my taste rather than let it run my life. Modesty is still the best policy. More importantly, I know who I am and I am happy with myself as long as I am growing up to be the woman of God He wanted me to be. :D

Honestly, I am still more of a t-shirt/blouse and jeans kind of person and I think it's going to stay that way. Of course, certain occasions in life would call for different fashion statements and more classy get-ups like formal dinners, awards nights, case conferences, weddings, and so on. I believe it's not going to be a problem. Flexibility has always been one of my great skills.

Moving on, I'm not a huge fan of make-up either.

In our humid country, I easily break into a sweat by just walking outside. I keep my face clean by washing it with a certain soap and applying sunblock during the day. I also use the basic powder and lip gloss but that's about it for everyday. I say: eat lots of fruits, get decent sleep, and drink lots of water. :) Anyhow, I also get regular facial treatments if I've been able to save for it. :D

Don't get me wrong though, there's nothing bad with wearing make-up. The Bible mentioned that women were made to exude beauty, which is told in the story of queen Esther. :) I just don't think my skin can handle the make-up on a daily basis.

By the way, just this year, I've rewarded myself with nail care, spa and massage treatments, too. I find it a very effective way to bring wellness to oneself. I am a firm believer that 'prevention is better than cure' and one way of doing that is by taking care of the body God has given you right now and not when it is already breaking down. Taking drugs or medicine isn't the cure to everything.

There is great truth in the mind-body-spirit connection and God has provided natural ways to heal our bodies long before the dawn of drugs. When I went to a chiropractor, Dr. Gary Bolen, for the first time during my trip to the US, I discovered a lot of new things about health and wellness. He gave me a book "Body by God" by Dr. Ben Lerner and I was glad that I read it.

I also believe that from good health and wellness springs true beauty. :) I read this book, "Who Calls Me Beautiful?" by Regina Franklin and I think every girl, young lady, and woman out there should read it. It tackles about how we are all created in the image and likeness of God while the world convinces us we're ugly by Hollywood standards. It's time to wake up to the truth that we are all beautiful people the way God sees us.

Speaking of this pursuit of health and wellness, I would love to go to The Farm, health and spa resort, at San Benito, when I have some money set aside.

Maximizing Human Potential Through Optimal Health

Rediscover the wellness within you at The Farm, one of the few truly medical and wellness resorts in the world. Located an easy two-hour drive south of the Philippine capital of Manila, this award-winning 48-hectare resort offers an exceptional healing environment for the holistic treatment of the body, mind and soul. Making use of Nature’s own remedies, our mission is to guide and educate you toward your maximum total health potential.


The Farm is near where I live. It's a well-known place for health and wellness not only in the Philippines but all over the world. I've heard a lot of great feedback regarding the place but it's rather expensive. You don't need a lot of money to be and stay healthy. Going to The Farm is just a gift I would like to give myself and my family some day. :)

I have not been to The Farm yet but I have met the chief of their Medical Department, Dr. Marian Alonzo, in a seminar I attended at Protégé Special Education Learning Center in Xavierville, Loyola Heights, Quezon City entitled "Art Therapy for Children with Special Needs and Their Caregivers" last May where she was the facilitator. She gave a lot of insight regarding the topic at hand. In spite of our brief encounter, to me she looked like someone who considers health and wellness extremely important besides the fact that she is a medical doctor.

Anyway, my journey towards a work-life balance made prosperous by health and wellness continues. Let's be well and stay healthy. :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009


In the early months of 2006, the Psychology Society talent pool held auditions for those equipped with musical prowess. Thus, TiEMPO was born into the realm of music. And by a certain twist of fate, tiyempo - a Filipino term – means ‘timing’. True enough, it was perfect timing that brought very talented individuals together to create amazing melody.

TiEMPO music is deeply rooted from reggae fused with the elements of soul funk rock and jazz. Here’s what makes the band very much stand out: the infectious and groovy tunes of Ray Tadeo on bass, the steady reggae of Dianne Ponciano on keys, the jazzy rhythm of Ryan Gonzales on vocals and guitar, dancehall beats of Jigs Cabatit on drums, accentuated vibes of JB de Lemos on percussions.

In December of 2006, this group of brilliant students from the College of Science and the Conservatory of Music won champion in colliSCIon: the College of Science battle of the bands. During their college years, they have been a mainstay in many school events: acquaintance parties, the Recess concert sponsored by Science and many more. They also have gigs in different local music arenas.

Former members of TiEMPO include King Molina on vocals (2006) and Lou Aguinaldo on drums (2006-2007). The band also has a horn/wind section composed of Rickson Poonin on trombone, EJ, Lester, and Sid on trumpets, and Kiko on alto/soprano saxophone.

TiEMPO is driven to experiment and fuse roots reggae music with funk, jazz, and rock riddims. Listen and FEEL the vibes as TiEMPO captures every drop of the steady beat of reggae.

Watch their debut song "I Found You" on Flippish!

P.S. Yours truly is a big fan of TiEMPO and was one of their documentary persons a.k.a. camerawoman during their college performances. The excellent members of the band also happen to be my good friends. :D Cheers, mates!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Salamat, Tita Cory

Maria Corazon "
Cory" Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino
January 25, 1933 - August 1, 2009
"Faith is not simply a patience that passively suffers until the storm is past. Rather, it is a spirit that bears things - with resignations, yes, but above all, with blazing, serene hope."
(Image from

Today is a national day of mourning for the passing away of a Philippine gem, former president Cory Aquino. Today she was laid to rest beside her one and only love, former senator and Filipino hero, Ninoy Aquino at the Manila Memorial Cemetery.

I am very humbled to be a part of this great moment in Philippine history.

My dad, who served in the Philippine Air Force during the Marcos regime and the Aquino administration, was part of the struggle during the Martial Law and the challenge to keep democracy attained after EDSA Revolution. He fought during the bloodiest coup d'etat in 1989 and experienced firsthand the battle for freedom. Years later, he remembers the important role former president Aquino played during the People Power.

"A day before December 1, 1989, at the height of the bloodiest coup d’etat. I brought the helicopter to Lucena because we had information na 'papasukin ang Sangley'. I was the only one able to bolt out of the base the day before, hence I was the only one called by the Chief of Staff to support them in Camp Aguinaldo at all costs. While supporting the friendly government troops, three F5 fighter planes from Basa Air Base supported the friendly forces in Sangley Point that cost the life of Major Danilo Atienza after disabling the tora-tora used by rebel soldiers. We were hit by enemy groundfire, luckily it hit the side of the armor plate, which was an inch away from the co-pilot.

Due to our wholehearted and unfailing support for President Corazon Aquino, our commander-in-chief, even with bullet holes from our main and tail rotor, we managed to fly the helicopter to give support to the government troops. We stayed overnight at Basa for it was the only safe place to stay then. On the wee hours of the following day, we supported again the friendly troops in Camp Aguinaldo firing the 2.75 rockets successively. That historic event ultimately contributed to the defeat and fall of the rebel forces, and there, frustrating again an attempt. For conspicuous gallantry acts of heroism and exemplary demonstration of utmost loyalty as combat pilot above and beyond the call of duty to preserve our democracy that led to the fall of the rebel soldiers, we were given the second highest award, the Distinguished Conduct Star."

Today, he and I went to Roxas Boulevard to await the funeral cortege of the late president Cory Aquino to pay our respects for all the sacrifices that she has made for us, for the the Filipino people.

Her story, for me, is that of a modern-day Esther. God had big plans for Cory that no one could even begin to imagine. When Cory's husband, Ninoy, was assassinated because of the ideals he stood for during a chaotic time in our history, the simple yet outstanding housewife became president of the Republic of the Philippines. I believe that it was destined to be so in God's plan. Ninoy and Cory's life is a beautiful story of unconditional love, enduring longsuffering, and brilliant heroism.

I wish to share so much more but words escape me that is why I decided to express myself with the pictures I took during today's emotional funeral for the late former president.

Hover on photos for captions. Click pictures for a larger resolution.

The entire time we waited for the funeral march, we were listening to the radio in order to know what was happening during the funeral mass at the Manila Cathedral. When Cory's youngest daughter, Kris, gave her speech - I tried to hold back my tears. So did my father. We were both sitting in the car quietly lost in our own thoughts.

The event today was a real awakening of history sleeping in the pages of millions of books. This is the authentic History 101. Memories of singing "Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo" during my second grade Social Sciences class came into mind with much greater relevance. So this is what it was like. I now understand the importance of history. His story, her story, our story. It is still alive and flowing in my veins.

After hours of waiting, I finally had the chance to see the former president's casket and pay respect to this great woman of prayer and democracy.

Cory Aquino loved the Filipinos dearly up to the very end even after leaving the seat of presidency. Now it's our turn to show her and her family how much we love her in return.

My Sony Cybershot camera ran out of battery after taking the photo below, hence I used my Nokia phone to take the rest of the pictures.

According to the news, Cory's funeral was very similar to the funeral of Ninoy. Once again, thousands of people gathered as one family... this time to mourn the loss of such a great Filipina. Being a part of this lamentation as one with the nation is something I can share with my future children and grandchildren (God-willing). I promise myself this day that I will do my best to strive for the ideals that the Aquino couple stood for, fought for, and died for.

"True people power is prayer power." Indeed.

Maraming, maraming salamat po, Tita Cory.
You will live on forever in our hearts.
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