““Always remember this: ‘A kiss will never miss, and after many kisses a miss becomes a misses’.” John Lennon

Any wedding makes me feel so giddy and romantic. Next week, my husband and I will celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary so I am feeling quite romantic. My husband and I were watching the Royal Wedding. Well, I told him to watch it with me.

(Photo via abc)

He sat just in time when Kate and William came out of the Buckingham Palace to kiss.

The first kiss seemed so tame. I guess they were feeling overwhelmed. When they kissed for the second time, my husband teased me. Haha , I think the second kiss was longer and more endearing.

I am happy for couples in love who tied the knot especially those that have had long engagements. Kate and William were together for 8 years . I know how that feels. Butch and I were a couple for 7 years before tying the knot. No wonder they are thrilled to be married. They have gone a long way. I read excerpts of the book, “Will and the Real Girl” from the Vanity Fair. “The path of royal love rarely runs smooth, and Prince William and Kate Middleton certainly stumbled along their way, not least over all the other gorgeous young women in the prince’s orbit. ”

Their message shows their sheer joy after all those challenges:

“We are both so delighted that you are able to join us in celebrating what we hope will be one of the happiest days of our lives.

An official photo of Prince William and his fiancee Catherine Middleton, released April 28, 2011. (Credit: Mario Testino)

The affection shown to us by so many people during our engagement has been incredibly moving, and has touched us both deeply. We would live to take this opportunity to thank everyone most sincerely for their kindness.” , a statement from Kate and William.

They even wrote their own prayer which I hope they will remember throughout their marriage when the going gets rough. Here is their prayer which all newly wedded couples should also bring to heart:

Prince William and Catherine Middleton have written their own prayer:
God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.

In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.

Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.

While everyone else is busy with this Royal Wedding coverage, I curated photos and some Twitter reactions as the Royal Wedding unfolded.

BBC Breakfast compiled on the best bits of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Remember my article Discovering Tranquility in Luijoe Meadow? I felt something good was going to happen. Positive developments on the resolution of the Willing Willie incident looked promising. During the Holy Week, I received news that a child advocacy group would file a complaint of child abuse against Willie Revillame. I kept the good news to myself.

What I did not expect is I would actually be a co-complainant in a suit filed by DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman. Together with ““running priest” Fr. Robert Reyes, environmentalist Froilan G. Grate, advertising executive Frances Irene Bretana, and myself, we filed separate but joint complaint-affidavits before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office, charging Willie Revillame for violation of the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act (Republic Act 7610).

Sure I had plans to file a complaint against Willie Revillame but I was awaiting a formal report from the Commission of Human Rights.

Trying to keep the issue burning, I initiated a ““blog and twitter carnival” in which people online are invited to write articles and express their views about the controversial March 12 incident concerning the crying dancing boy. The blog carnival began on April 18 and ends tomorrow April 28. Not many seemed interested to blog and instead chose to tweet their views.

I was afraid the child abuse issue would die down after the holidays. As I said earlier, this Willing Willie episode erupted to such madness that it zapped so much energy from me. I got sick for two days with one day totally bed-ridden. My immune system must have gone haywire. I knew I just had to be tranquil for a day. I needed to let go when things are just beyond my control.

I prayed hard to Luijoe to show me the light. The image of the crying boy just could not leave my mind. I must do something. If filing the case was not meant to be, I will accept it. Even if Luijoe is not around, I still talk to him. I told him about the six year old boy. “What should I do Luijoe?” Is filing the complaint a good step? Then I lifted my prayer to God.

Truly, God is faithful. Yesterday, I got word from End Child Abuse Community Facebook administrators Froilan Grate and Frances Irene Bretaña that we could be co-complainants in a suit filed by DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman.

I yelled “I am in.”

Today we walked the talk . We filed this child abuse complaint so we could speak in behalf of the children who have no voices.

This is not about networks. This is not about Willie alone. This is about our children, the future citizens of our country.

I will now let the Courts take care of this as I cannot make comments anymore on the complaint and Willie after today.

Every child deserves a nurturing family and a safe environment, free from fear, abuse, and neglect. Parents, guardians, relatives, and neighbors all share a responsibility to prevent these devastating crimes, and our government plays a critical role as well.

I am a firm believer that one of the solutions to our country’s economic woes is that more of us should start a small business and be self-sustaining. With the advent of the internet, business can even start online.

Women entrepreneurs are an ever-growing part of the economy, and one of the best opportunities to start is through online selling on your own platform or using one like eBay. I had the opportunity to talk to eBay Philippines a few weeks back. I discovered that eBay Philippines provided our women to run successful businesses right in the comfort of their own homes.

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Easter Day will always remind me that my son is just around me. I believe he is somewhere living an eternal life. This station of the cross painting is also a reminder that I am comforted by many “St. John’s” in my life. In those temporary moments of deep sadness, these two memories bring me comfort.

Inspirational messages or reflections from bible passages are another source of comfort. Friends like Jay Jaboneta often share meaningful reflections. Today he sent an Easter Sunday Message from Fr Celestino Say of Texas , USA. Let me share it here.

“A warm welcome to all of you, who have come here to rejoice because Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. This is the greatest news that the world has ever received. Death has been conquered. It no longer has the final victory. Christ is risen, and his resurrection carries with it the promise of new and unending life.

St. Paul in the second reading tells us to ““Set your minds on things that are above.” If we are to be people of the Resurrection, then we must live as people whose lives are overshadowed with the light of Jesus’ resurrection. It does not mean that we are asked to live in another world. We are not to have our bodies here, and our minds somewhere up in the clouds.

The things that are above are the realities of everyday life that really count. If we are only seeking more and more possessions, if we are concerned exclusively with our own welfare, and neglect the good of others, we are not seeking the ““things that are above.”

When we believe in the resurrection, that means we believe in the power of Christ to make all things new. If Christ has the power to raise us from death, then he has the power to heal us from failures and disappointments that life brings so often. He has the power to restore relationships that have been broken, or even damaged so badly that we have given up hope of any healing.

Being people of the Resurrection means that whenever the opportunity arises for bringing new life to people, we jump at the chance. Without hesitation, we do what has to be done to bring the message of new life to whomever we can.

There is a story told of a school teacher who was assigned to visit children in a large city hospital. She received a routine call requesting that she visit a particular child. The teacher took the boy’s name and room number, and was told by the teacher on the other end of the line, ““We’re studying nouns and adverbs in this class now. I’d be grateful if you could help him with his homework, so he doesn’t fall behind the others.”

It wasn’t until the visiting teacher who got outside the boy’s room that she realized that it was located in the hospital’s burn unit. No one had prepared her to find a young boy horribly burned and in great pain. The teacher felt that she couldn’t just turn around and walk out. And so she stammered awkwardly, ““I’m the hospital teacher, and your teacher sent me to help you with nouns and adverbs.”

The boy was in so much pain that he barely responded. The young teacher stumbled through his English lesson, ashamed at putting him through such a senseless exercise.

The next morning a nurse on the burn unit asked her, ““What did you do to that boy?” Before the teacher could finish her outburst of apologies, the nurse interrupted her: ““You don’t understand. We’ve been very worried about him. But ever since you were here yesterday, his whole attitude has changed. He’s fighting back; he’s responding to treatment. It’s as if he has decided to live.”

The boy later explained that he had completely given up hope until he saw the teacher. It all changed when he came to a simple realization. With joyful tears, the boy said: ““They wouldn’t send a teacher to work on nuns and adverbs with a boy who was dying, would they?”

Do we ever treat people as if they were dying? When we give up on others, or just ignore their needs, we treat them as if their life isn’t worth anything. But Jesus’ resurrection is the clearest and boldest call we could ever receive, challenging us to be life-giving men and women to others. Each of us holds tremendous power – power for good or power for evil. Our circle of influence may be small or it may be large. The size of our influence doesn’t really matter. What does matter is the life we bring or refuse to bring to others. Whether your whole life is devoted to the care of one handicapped person, or to the welfare of thousands of people in need, what matters is that you bring hope and encouragement to whomever God has sent you.

May the Risen Jesus fill your lives with newness, may his power in you bring that newness to many others. God love you!”

Thank you Jay.

As always, it was a wonderful day to be at my son’s resting place and bring flowers. Though the day was warm, the gentle breeze was soothing. The light from the candle served to light our lavender scented incense.

There lies my son, the reason for my passion to live a meaningful life and to be part of the solution of this country’s problems.

“When we are unable to find tranquillity within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.” Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Discovering a tranquil peace at Luijoe meadow leaves me energized and comforted. Luijoe’s grandparents named this “Luijoe meadow”, a playground to frolic at their mountain residence in Benguet. They had named this lovely meadow after their only grandson, Luijoe even before my son passed away in May 27, 2000.

Luijoe meadow somewhere in Benguet

It was Holy Week in 2000 when we all vacationed in this picturesque pine valley hideaway. My energetic young man wasn’t in the mood to have his photo taken by Luijoe meadow then but I insisted. He was in a hurry to run around and just be. That Holy Week was well spent talking about the death of Jesus on the Cross, the comfort of Mary by John the Apostle and more. I didn’t know my son was preparing me for his death a few weeks later.

Painting on the wall of Church of Holy Sacrifice, UP Campus

My son’s death reminds me that life on Earth is fleeting that there is far more meaningful tasks that need to be accomplished before the promise of eternal life. There are poignant memories that comfort me today. Luijoe often gave me a hug and reminded me before bedtime. “Mom you haven’t prayed”. I catch myself during chaotic situations, praying to God for serenity. I remember my son’s gentle reminder and lift my problems in prayer.

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So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, ““Do you realize what I have done for you?” (John 13:12)

At the St. Francis Chapel inside Padre Pio Center in Libis

The Holy Week is always special to me as I recall my last Lenten holiday with my son 11 years ago. Every year since I lost my beloved son, I often reflect about the meaning of my life and the death of my son. It gives me comfort to pray. My son often reminded me to pray when he was alive so when things are really down, a prayer is enough to calm my nerves.

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Ang inyong anak ay hindi ninyo anak, sila’y mga anak na lalaki at babae ng buhay. Bagama’t nanggaling sa inyo, sila’y hindi inyo – L.Bautista

That Tagalog quote is actually taken from the poem “On Children” by Kahlil Gibran.

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

I am once again reminded of the recent events in Willing Willie and the alleged child abuse and coincidentally, the Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness month that is observed in the United States. I am often reminded that a child’s dignity and respect must never be violated.

It boggles the mind that the Willing Willie producers, Willie Revillame , the parents of the boy and even TV 5 Manila do not see anything wrong with that March 12 incident. They can claim that they had no intention to exploit the kid, but in any case of CHILD ABUSE, the INTENT of the abuser is IRRELEVANT.

There is not much I can do with regards to the programming aspect of Willing Willie. The child abuse incident is being taken cared of by DSWD and the Commission of Human Rights. The MTRCB is in taking charge of the possible violations of the program.

What I can do is raise awareness on child abuse prevention.

I believe our children are the country’s most valuable resource, and they need our support to thrive and grow into healthy, productive adults.

Every child deserves a nurturing family and a safe environment, free from fear, abuse, and neglect. Parents, guardians, relatives, and neighbors all share a responsibility to prevent these devastating crimes, and our government plays a critical role as well.

Please speak for our children.

Join the Blog Carnival

It will help if we can first raise awareness among ourselves. Speak out about child abuse issues. Raise child abuse awareness by writing in your blogs be it a self-hosted blog, blogger, wordpress, tumblr or facebook note. All of your posts will be placed together in a blog post called a “carnival”. A Blog Carnival is, at its heart, a themed collection of permalinks to other blog posts.

Here is how

1. The blog entry can be a personal experience, a commentary, proposals to raise awareness on child protection laws. If you do not have a blog, you can also post here at blogwatch.tv Just register at http://blogwatch.tv/wp-register.php

2. Once your blog entry is posted , submit the link to the Blog carnival.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.

The first thing I do when I wake up is read my tweets. The RIP AJ Perez was most prominent in my timeline. Who is AJ Perez? I found out that AJ Perez was the lone fatality of an accident in Tarlac. AJ was declared dead on arrival by a hospital in Paniqui shortly after the accident took place at 12:10 a.m due to 2 multple head injuries.
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. It’s the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead

I had a long day. At 10:00 AM, I was informed that Unilever pulled out ads in all live game shows in all networks. Excited beyond belief, I was about to tweet when I got another message to hold off announcement until 5:00 PM. Exciting. I tweeted everyone to await positive developments.

Then the bombshell. Unilever made a bold move in addition to its pullout. Unilever Philippines said they will continue to positively influence the media landscape and work on strengthening our long-standing partnership with all TV networks. I think there was a domino effect. Before I could say hello Willie…your days are numbered… Cebuana Lhuillier, CDO, Nutri-Asia followed suit. Yes, a bandwagon effect.

By 6:30, while attending a birthday celebration with college classmates I was tipped off to turn on Willing Willie. He had an important announcement. The show took forever to end. Finally at 9:30, he delivers this dramatic spiel. See video below :

I cannot believe what he said. He was just unapologetic. (read transcript) He claims he will be on leave to reflect. Let us check his quotable quotes (via Gary Orense):

    Napakasakit ng ginawa sa akin ng Procter and Gamble, ng Mang Inasal. Pero hindi ako hihingi ng tawad. Wala akong ginawang masama.” -Willie

    Willie: Ginawa n’yo na nga akong kriminal. Kayo nga ang lumabas sa gate, mamigay kayo ng pera. Yan dapat ang ginagawa nyo!

    Tinira ako nina Aiza, LeaSalonga, JimPareders, Leah Navarro, Tuesday, Bianca Gonzales, ano ang nagawa nila sa sambayanang Pilipino?- Willie

    “Aiza Seguerra, magpakalalaki ka. Bata ka pa nagtatrabaho ka, di ba exploitation yan?” – Willie Revillame

    “Agot Isidro, wala ka pang anak hinuhusgahan mo na ako.” – Willie Revillame

    Willie: “Kayo ba ang nag-donate ng isang milyon sa Bantay Bata?”

    Willie: Dahil ba sinuportahan ko si Sen. Manny Villar? I’ll stick with him. Dahil orange ba ang kulay ko kaya pinag-iinitan nyo ako?

    Willie Revillame: “Starting Monday hanggang Holy week, pag-iisipan ko muna kung babalik ako sa industriyang ito.”

    Willie Revillame: Wag kayong magalit sa MTRCB. Tatlong board member nila connected sa ABSCBN.

    Willie: DSWD, kunin nyo ang mga bata sa kalye. Human Rights chairman, tulungan nyo ang kababayan sa ibang bansa.

    Willie Revillame: Nangangako po ako kahit wala kaming commercials, kahit isakripisyo ko po ang sweldo ko kasama ang TV5.

    Willie: Hihingi ako ng tulong kay Mr. Manny Pangilinan, kahit malugi kami basta makapagbigay kami ng saya.

    Willie: Kahit idemanda ako ng ABS-CBN hindi ako natatakot. May lalabas na witnesses.

    Willie: Sa mga tumitira sa akin sa Twitter, ididemanda kita!

    Willie: Mawawala kami ng dalawang linggo. Mahal na mahal ko kayo. Ipagdasal nyong makabalik pa ang programa.

Wow, how humble he is !

Seriously, without advertisers, there is no show. I am so tired and I will just continue writing my thoughts tomorrow…For now,t I want you to read the Twitter reactions. Willie is mad at the “attack” against him.

For now, thank you advertisers …Jollibee , Unilever, Procter & Gamble, CDO, Cebu Lhuillier, Nutri-Asia and Del Monte for choosing the side of decency and good programming.

(to be continued)

I had no idea what awaited me that Sunday afternoon as I clicked on a Youtube link provided by a concerned blogger who wanted me to write about it. My heart broke as I watched a six-year-old kid gyrating like a macho dancer on the variety show ““Willing Willie,” with TV host

Willie Revillame making fun of him and the audience amused beyond belief. It was truly sickening. I cried as I watched the boy’s pained facial expression. I couldn’t take it anymore. The first thought that ran through my head was, ““Could this be a violation of Republic Act No. 7610, or the ‘Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act’ Section 3 (b)?”

What I witnessed was Willie repeatedly humiliating a boy in front of millions of people tuned in to the TV station. Where is the dignity in that? Why did he allow the boy to  dance like a male Chippendale dancer for the general public entertainment? The adults who taught him to dance that way? Ugh, the very same people responsible for his well-being.

This incident reminded me of Human Rights Day last year when I wrote on ““Who will speak up for our children?“. A conversation with a friend made me realize that our kids don’t have a voice unless an adult speaks up for them. When a child is caught in a tussle when their parents are hitting each other, who will speak for this child? A child can be silently suffering from domestic abuse, bullying and corporal punishment. In the Willing Willie episode, who will speak up for this six-year-old boy who cried as he gyrated to the music? The fear and embarrassment written in his eyes was undeniable. I wanted to hug him and rescue him from his discomfort and tell the boy that he didn’t have to do that dance.

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