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April 2007

Silver Lining’ 82: Women Helping Women Heal

phil-typhoon.jpgEvery now and then I look for causes that are close to my heart. Sometimes I discover them through newspapers or magazines But I really don’t know the reliability of the persons behind the noble cause. I admire my friend, Cathy Babao-Guballa for spearheading A Silver Lining For Bicol’s Mothers along with other women and mothers. I might know everyone in the group but I definitely know Cathy as an honest and sincere person who pursues a project till the end.

So please take time to read the mission behind A Silver Lining For Bicol’s Mothers and know you are in good hands with the organizers.

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Cheap Travel Fares Online

cheap fares onlineWhat does being broke mean? Does it mean being down to the last million peso? or down to the last 100,000 pesos or the last 1,000 pesos? There was a time, we only had 1,000 pesos in our savings/checking account way below the minimum bank requirement. We even had a negative balance due to a service fee charge for dropping below the minimum. Our saving grace was Lauren who had savings which we borrowed to keep us afloat. In the strictest sense of the word, our financial situation was not entirely hopeless. We were not bankrupt but we were not liquid either. Though we had other assets, it took time to convert them to cash. Though in the red, we didn’t incur credit card debts, renege on our mortagage or borrowed from the bank. These financial challenges a few years ago inspired me to be more responsive to income opportunities. I grew up in financially secure family because my father was hardworking with an astute sense of financial responsibility. We were blessed with a family bakery business and a father who invested his earnings wisely . Despite his illness,and unable to work since his stroke at the age of 55 years old, dad had enough money to last him till his death at age 71.

Not that my husband and I were financially incompetent. With a thriving law office , the financial future looked great. Butch brought in most of the income while I stayed at home and puttered on my hobbies. I felt like a queen being pampered by my King. In the past, I often turned down a lot of projects or refused commissions because I wanted the other party to benefit more than I did. I felt guilty over my earnings. Then the financial crisis hit us like a rock. Stress and hopelessness in our life drove us to be a bit more complacent. We lost focus on our financial affairs. Too bad my king faltered. I had to wake up from my queenly slumber and grab opportunities as they came before we went totally bankrupt.

The past certainly brought me lessons:

  • It was okay to profit.
  • It was alright to make an honest living.
  • It was good to save up enough for a rainy day.
  • I need not feel guilty if I earn.
  • It’s great to offer quality services at affordable prices.
  • It is wise to diversify sources of income.
  • Set Goals.
  • Do my best ,today, to take responsibility for my finances.
  • Believe you deserve the best, financially.
  • Believe God cares about your finances.
  • Let go of your fear and TRUST.
  • Let go of money and concentrate on Living.

So what does my entry “[tag]Cheap Travel Fares Online[/tag]” have to do with all these? I sound like one of those crazy spam words.

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Eternal Life

I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” (John11:25,25)

resurrectionI have so much faith in the above biblical passage. Most bereaved families derive comfort from that verse with the hope of reuniting with their loved ones. It gives me hope that one day Luijoe and my family will be reunited in heaven with God. [tag]Resurrection day[/tag] or [tag]Easter day[/tag] reminds us that we will have life after we die – a resurrected life in heaven for eternity with Jesus!

Do you believe in [tag]eternal life[/tag]? Do you believe that our life here on Earth is temporary and our real home is heaven? How does one deserve to be in [tag]heaven[/tag]?

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I am uh sarcastic. Bless me Father for I have sinned….

You will have to surf through the comments in Yuga’s entry Blogging is a privilege, not a right to understand why this blogger by the name of Blogie of ( starts to judge my spirituality because of a “sarcastic” comment I supposedly made. It’s funny that I am “condemned” like this on a Good Friday. Now I know how poor Jomar felt when his stand on the invocation was ripped to pieces. Here is what the offended Blogie posted:

Before you even try to argue what bourgeoisie or the concept of bourgeoise is with me, I suggest you look them up in the dictionary first. I will engage in a debate with people only when both parties are on the same intellectual plane.

I’ve seen your blog — how can you purport to write about God and spirituality when you can be as sarcastic as you are in your last comment?? Sarcasm, Noemi, has no other purpose but to hurt. Sarcasm has no place in intellectual exchange because it leads to nowhere. If you aim to have a meaningful discussion with me, stick to sober language.

Must have hit a raw nerve on this blogger.

I am so not in the same intellectual plane as he is. So bless me for my feeble mind, dear readers…and allow me to rant about it here as I am not worthy to be in a meaningful discussion. This is my space after all.

Anyway, I replied to Blogie’s comment that sarcasm can be compared to a glass which is half-empty or half-full.

But see, this person doesn’t know me so he judges me on the surface of one or two entries. So let’s give him some slack.

I have seen comments in many blogs about the Philippine Blog Awards. I didn’t realize how a situation can be overblown or overreacted.

Let’s count the ways again…

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On Death and Dying

I am no stranger to death and dying. Let me count the ways:

  • 1976– My mother succumbed to breast cancer
  • 1990– My 28 year old brother, Reuben died from Fulminant Hepatitis A
  • 1999Oscar, my 40 year old brother died of leukemia (AML- 6)
  • 2000Luijoe died from accidental drowning at a beach resort in Cebu
  • 2003Dad died of diabetes complications after being bedridden for 4 years.

Two of the above deaths were quite sudden without grief preparation of inevitable death unlike an illness where there is time to weep. I witnessed the dying and death of my mom, my son and my dad. The passing of our parents before us is a normal course in life. The passing of a young sibling and a child is not the normal course of events. It’s unimaginable.

Can you imagine the torment that the Mother Mary must have felt when she saw his dying son nailed to the cross?

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God as We Understand God

God is subtle , but he is not malicious– Albert Einstein

Love one anotherIn the course of my grief recovery and encounter with other recovery groups, I learned that recovery is an intensely spiritual process that prods us to grow in our understanding of [tag]God[/tag] . My understanding of God is based on my Catholic upbringing (now verging on being cafeteria catholic to Baptist) that God is real. Loving. God is Good. The more I turned my mind and heart to a positive understanding of God, the more God validates me.

I often meet parents who are disappointed that God did not save their child from death, or made their child suffer. I also met parents who are grateful to God that even in death, they feel blessed. Not everyone shares the same feelings towards God.

In the Twelve Steps program, words like “A Power greater than ourselves….” “God as we understood Him” introduces spirituality. In that program, the person has the freedom to define and understand , our Higher Power—God–as we choose.

And what about the Geeks who are often Atheists…

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Iblog Summit 3: Third Philippine Blogging Summit

iblog summitNow that the 2007 Philippine Blog Awards are over, let’s not forget that there is another bloggers’ event called iBlog3: the 3rd Philippine Blogging Summit . It will be held at the School of Economics Auditorium, in UP Diliman, Quezon City this April 13 and 14, 2007. This event is organized by the University of the Philippines – Internet Society Program. Register Here. It’s FREE!

Don’t miss it, okay? Lauren and I are one of the 25 speakers in this event where we will talk on a wide range of topic ranging from the Blogging for Newbies , Professional blogging to Increasing blog popularity and whole lot more. It’s also another venue to meet up , right?

The program :

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Vampires live in my Home

vampireI am not talking of the blood-sucking monstrous vampires or human living vampires that exhibit vampiric characteristics or the need, compulsion, or involuntary tendency to “feed” upon some substance or some kind of energy produced by other living things, primarily other people. I’m talking about one facet of vampires which is the repulsion to strong light. On the first morning in our new home, L came running to my room complaining that her room was too bright. I went to her room and noted a stream of sunlight on her writing table. What a bright and sunny day, just perfect mood to start the day.

But noo…L wanted to sleep in.

“Vampire?” (knowing L’s fascination for vampires during her teen years)

“No, I just hate the light. I want to sleep in.” L groaned.

“That’s not too bad. The sunlight is not hitting your bed” I teased. On the floor , our two cats squirmed for a spot under the dark corners of L’s bed. For about a week, I heard the same complaint all day long. M could not stand the afternoon sun hitting on her bedroom. She had massive migraines during the first week.

It got me thinking that so our old home seemed encased in a tomb. . The design of our old home is narrow where certain parts of the rooms barely received the sunlight. The walls that partitioned sections of the home prevented the flow of sunlight. I noticed I always turned on the fluorescent lights in the family den and the dining room. The only room that received sunlight was the living room during the mornings and the kitchen in the late afternoons. The rest of the rooms screamed of darkness and gloom. Is it one reason I felt so despondent in that house? With blinds to shield any meager source of sunlight, their rooms were a virtual nightscape. It’s no wonder that L oversleeps and wakes up at 1:00 PM when she has no school. One time, I even slept in L’s room and woke up at 10:00 AM to my utter disbelief.

I love the light. Maybe my vision is a bit impaired which makes me yearn for better lighting system. Our new home is situated in a corner lot with ample and huge windows which means more sunlight streaming in all directions.

I love it.

The chorus of the family members “WE NEED CURTAINS NOW”

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