The news on KC Concepion’s admission of a breakup with Piolo Pascual is all over. I didn’t really think much about it because I always thought their relationship was a publicity stunt. KC never mentioned the reason for their breakup but social media buzz points to his being allegedly gay as the main issue.

“Kasi ang galing-galing niyang magpakilig.

is what KC says of Piolo.

I’ve met Piolo Pascual twice in the past. I find Piolo so charming, super gorgeous looking guy to put it mildly. Kinilig talaga ako but I didn’t show my giddiness even if Piolo kept smiling away to everyone. Piolo can gaze into your eyes and make you feel beautiful and special. Such a charmer, really. It is rare that I ask for photo ops with celebrities. I wrote about him in Piolo Pascual: On Loving yourself more and even got a video interview. Even though I was thrilled to death, I was aware of rumors about his sexuality. I didn’t mind any of that because I just admired his physical beauty.

Who is to blame? KC? Piolo Pascual? Was she forewarned of the challenges that lay ahead? Did she know “He’s Just Not Into You—At All?”

I believe each mother has their own parenting style. I want to make a theoretical assumption here for the sake of discussion. If any of my daughters fell for someone whom I suspect to be gay or questionable in character, I will tell her just once. In my blog post, A Mom’s guide to daughter’s suitors or boyfriend, I listed guidelines for my daughters which other parents may look into and perhaps learn a tip or two.

In Tip no. 4, I listed “Trust your instincts. Give your opinion on the guy and let it go.” Oh yes, I have done this in the past. I confronted my 17 year old daughter and minced no words about my honest-to-goodness opinion of the guy. Of course, she resisted. The problem with me was that my approach was old-school, manipulative and controlling. Now I know better. I should have just said my piece then let it go and allow her to make mistakes. But no, I told her she couldn’t see this guy. PERIOD. Funny thing was my daughter ended the relationship with this guy two years later, for the reason that I objected to in the first place. I allowed her to make mistakes though painful as it was for me to see her hurting all over. I could have said ““I told you so” after my instincts proved right.

KC is broken hearted right now. If I were there with her right now, I’d say this to KC (and this is true for all those suffering from a broken heart):

““Relationships are not easy, my dear. It hurts because you love him. You are going to grieve the loss of a relationship and loss of a dream. Feelings of sadness , anger, acceptance and moving on will be part of the healing process. Just like I often say to the newly bereaved parents, you will start looking for your ““new normal”. A life without your loved one. That is the moving on phase where you live the life of being single again. The ““we” that was there before is now broken.”

There is grief in broken relationships too. The grief journey, like I have experienced after the death of my beloved child is similar to a roller coaster ride. There are countless ups and downs, highs and lows – each time you catch your breath and have a few good moments..WHAAM ..SMACK, there’s another totally unexpected twist or turn and you spiral – sometimes totally upside down.

KC is bewildered with her anger:

“Ewan ko kung bakit, paanong nangyari yung pain, at saka yung sama ng loob naging galit.

“Na talagang nagugulat din ako kasi first time ko rin na parang napapamura na rin ako.

“Hindi naman ako gano’n, and bigla na lang akong maiiyak kasi hindi pala ako okay.

This anger is all very much a part of her grief process. It can come and go in waves just like an emotional roller coaster, from anger to denial to acceptance and back again.

The roller coaster ride can be quite frightening and treacherous. The lesson is that even though it is frightening, one has to move on through this emotional roller coaster of grief. There is no way out of it. You must go through it in order to come out on the other side.

I always say be gentle and patient with yourself. Take baby steps. Allow yourself to cry, to grieve, and to retell your story to close friends as often as needed and for as long as you need to.

Eventually, KC or anyone with a broken heart will smile and find joy again and may even find her ““true love.”

Here is an unsolicited advice from one of your fans:

A piece of unsolicited advice to KC …. my dear, thank God this happened before it was too late, listen to your parents who will never wish harm on you, focus on God who you will realize will be the only constant in your life, and pray for the special guy who will be God’s best for you. You are young, beautiful and truly talented. There would be boys there and there would be MEN. Some will impress you and believe me, they will treat you like royalty. Be careful because eventually they would turn out to be frogs. On a personal note, I had a ‘magical egg’ whom I thought was IT, then he turned out to be a Humpty Dumpty and even the King’s soldiers could not put him together again. It’s exciting times, Girl!! See a break up as an opportunity to renew relationships that matter, the ones neglected because you focused on a single person. Never cease praying and let all your emotions out on God for He know and understands. His BEST is waiting, just be still and know He is your God. – from an avid Sharonian who has seen the transformation of your mom and has witnessed you growing up in the limelight. You are and will be another bright star. 🙂

Meet my daughter. Of course you know her by now. She is part of Bloggers United, the first bloggers-only bazaar that was created to promote a sense of camaraderie and community among bloggers and their readers. The first bazaar, held on May 2011, was so successful that a second bazaar was quickly organized in partnership with the country’s largest online shopping website, Multiply Philippines.

The thing is she will be in Singapore for business so I volunteered to man her booth.

So yes, me…the momblogger, the mom of blogger Lauren will be there to sell her stuff. (See Lauren’s blog post on this). Our house is cozy and not much closet space so she has to unclog her closet by selling her stuff. Though previously owned by her, trust that each item is of good quality. I will be selling a few of my clothes too (size medium to large). Some of them I just wore once because I hate repeating clothes if they have already been photographed and shown in Facebook.

What: Bloggers United 2
When: Saturday, December 3
Time: 11:00 AM till 3:00 PM ( the bazaar is till 10:00 PM but I have to leave early to attend a scheduled party)
Where: Treston International College, University Parkway District , 32nd street corner C-5 Road , Bonifacio Global City (See map below)
What else?: Entrance fee of 100 pesos
Click teaser photos of some items

Why should you go?

1. You will meet fashion bloggers and of course me! Some of Cebu’s very own fashion bloggers which include Kryz Uy, Eden Villarba, designer Yves Camingue, Gillian Uang and Mildred Zapanta and a few more will be part of this bazaar

2. I will give away volume discounts. A dress is around 200 pesos. (Volume discount of 2 for 300 or 3 for 500)

For tops, it is 100 pesos each, 2 for 180, 3 for 250

3. I will give early bird give-aways (for purchases 500 pesos and above) until supply last. Please come early because I can only man the booth until 3:00 PM. My helper will stay until 7 PM though.

4. This event is the perfect opportunity for both bloggers and their adoring readers to mingle and personally interact with each other. Fun contests and exciting giveaways from sponsors and entertaining performances from bloggers (Walkie Talkies, Reese & Vica) themselves .

5. Part of the proceeds from this event will go to the GMA Kapuso Foundation ( for its school building project, a small but significant step to improve the Filipino youth’s access to education.

This is a one-day-only event that you shouldn’t really miss! This is the perfect shopping day this Christmas because the most affordable and most fashionable clothes, accessories and footwear will be up for grabs. See you there. Look for me at / booth

Here is the map to go to Treston International College,Taguig City

View Larger Map

Most politicians are the same all over. Nikita Khrushchev says it so well , ” they promise to build a bridge even where they is no river.” As editor of Blog Watch, I make it a point to disclose political affiliations. It is a good thing I knew Pia way before she got married, had kids and became a senator. Even my girls could not shake off their shock and pleasant surprise that their Tita Pia is a senator. Not just an ordinary senator mind you. Pia is an extraordinary senator. I am really proud of her achievements unlike some senators who I feel don’t work for the good of the country.

How could I say no to the book launch of a friend and a good Senator?

Her book is called “My Daily Race”, culled from selected blog posts at She started her blog five years ago, probably the same time I started mine. She called it “My daily Race” because it was …”striking a balance between my work in the Senate, my kids and doing the things I love. There is no prize at the end of each race, but there is joy and peace in knowing that I did my best, my children are loved and that life is better for people whose paths I have crossed.”

Media often want to portray her as a triathlete neglecting the good work she does in the Senate: on Women and health issues. Social legislation which is her strength does not hog the headlines the way her brother, Allan Cayetano does. She also admits that she does not have the skils to produce words like a rapid fire machine gun like her mentor (Senator Miriam) does.

Video at the book lauch: Pia talks about the reasons behind the book

Blogging was an option so she could write about her work, not just as a Senator but the work she does outside of the Senate and her life as a mom, a triathlete and the many other things that she choose to or have to be. Blogging was an opportunity to publish her thoughts and work even if traditional media considered it newsworthy or not. When it came to senate work, public work seems to be limited to sensationalized investigative hearings held by the Blue Ribbon Committee.

Many have started to notice Pia’s work as an advocate for women’s rights health and the rights of other minorities. No wonder she was re-elected in the last 2010 elections. The reproductive health bill is discussed over social media and she is quite popular among the RH Bill supporters.

I no longer wonder how she remains cool and collected during RH debates at the Senate. It helps to have a high level of endorphins from running. It helps deal with the negativity at work. Somehow, I agree that senators should do some exercise in between sessions just to be more level-headed in their debates.

Pia and I share similar losses: the loss of a son and a father the past decade. Pia was there to hold my hand during the wake of my son and even took time to talk to me. She even ordered a grief recovery book from the states.

In a way, her book is a grief journal since many entries were written while she was grieving either for her son, dad or her grandmother. It can also be a self-help book if you want it to be.

The book is not meant to picture her as anything more or less than who or what she is. It simply is what it is. Her objective is simply share her life experiences and answer the questions that is often asked of her…what is it like to be a senator? a triathlete? a working mom.

Though she has a good support system at her home and workplace, there are some days that things don’t fall into place.

But she picks herself up and try again.

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. ~ Desmond Tutu

I can’t believe it’s been two years since that gruesome Ampatuan Massacre hit me like a bolt of lightning. Shock, dismay and utter disbelief. Outrageous! I condemned the brutality through social media and a blog post over at Blog Watch.

Photo Credits to Reuter
View Slideshow of Other Photos (Warning: very graphic)

Today I feel the same. Utter disbelief that only two Ampatuans have been arraigned. Only 93 of the 196 accused have been arrested. The 300 and 320 witnesses listed by prosecution and defense lawyers respectively may take 200 years to present to court, according to veteran human rights lawyer and litigator Senator Joker Arroyo.

200 years? Unbelievable.

Why is justice painfully slow? Can’t Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 do anything to speed up the process?

I believe the Supreme Court who has jurisdiction over the hearings can do something to speed up the trial.

1. Can’t the least guilty (drivers, police who were forced to be at the crime sceme) bargain for lesser penalty or become state witness? Make a statement to be used against the other.

2. DOJ Secretary De Lima needs to focus on the Ampatuan trial. Give more resources to Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221.

3. Why not fix the government’s Witness Protection Program (WPP) which have been contributing to the delay of the trial.

4. Whatever happened to the four of the accused who have applied for witness conversion but were denied by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court? Can’t they be reconsidered?

5. Can we have daily hearings? Ignore the complaints of the Ampatuan lawyers on the over thrice-weekly hearings.

6. Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes should not handle any other cases so she can concentrate fully on the documents and the hearing.

Meanwhile the families of the 58 Ampatuan massacre victims – mostly Mindanao based-journalists, continue to suffer from the loss of their loved ones, most were family breadwinners.

I don’t know the intricacies of the Court but I hope the Department of Justice will also focus on the Ampatuan trial and NOT be fixated over the Arroyo election sabotage case?

But you , my dear readers can help. I would like to invite you to use the power of communication and the Internet to speak out for justice and against the continued impunity with which those who wish to suppress freedom of expression impose the ultimate censorship – death – and how the apathy and inaction of government has made this so.

Here is how:

You may use the following materials to join the online campaign for the International Day to End Impunity (IDEI) Blog Action Day on November 21.

Use the hastags #endimpunityinPH #kilosna #IDEI #Nov23 for the campaign.

This is my contribution for Blog Action Day initiated by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines as part of the countdown for the International Day to End Impunity on Nov. 23, the second anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre.

Justice to Journalists/Media Workers killed in the line of duty as of Nov. 10, 2011

CMFR List of Filipino Journalists/Media Workers killed in the line of duty as of Nov. 10, 2011

I thought I’d never hear the day when my daughters would appreciate me for teaching them how to fix their things. Not that I am neat freak, I just want things in their proper places. When they were little girls, I required them to at least fix their beds just before leaving school. Oh they were obedient girls of course. I slacked down a bit as they went into college and lived in a dormitory.

A few years back, they got to see how their fellow dorm mates “organized their rooms” and that I shouldn’t feel bad if I think their rooms are “messy”.

They are adults now so I can’t really be bothered with their rooms. Whenever I drop by their room, I just stay by the door. I don’t step inside because I want to avoid lecturing them on neatness.

I don’t nag my family to the point that my neat freaky attitude drives them crazy. If they are messy with their things, that is their problem. If an item gets lost because they were not organized, it’s their loss. ““Don’t come crying to me that you lost a book , a CD or something”.

I believe that clutter around me creates more clutter in me so I don’t like that feeling.

It cannot be avoided that I’d see a mess or two. On one occasion, I just could not help noticing parcels of tokens or products on the floor in my daughter’s room.

Of course I wanted her to decide on ways to de-clutter her room and if I could help her. She thought she needed a new dresser and remove her writing table. Good idea. I told her: “let’s go to the furniture store and get you the dresser to organize all these beauty products, fashion accessories and other trinkets”.

She loved the idea but on shopping day, I was met with resistance due to previous work commitment. Minutes later, I was surprised that the shopping for a new dresser will push through.

It was a beautiful afternoon and that rare occasion when a daughter is with us on a Sunday. We strolled the furniture section of Market! Market! and spotted this white dresser that went well with the rest of her white-themed furniture inside the room. It was perfect!

Days after the white dresser was delivered to her room, my daughter’s room is now more organized with less clutter.

I praised her “see how nice your room looks now”. We both smiled.

Mission accomplished.

Where do I begin to tell my Nuffnang story? Perhaps it started with that small dinner. I was among the first bloggers to be consulted about the Nuffnang Philippines launch sometime 2008. It was a private affair. What struck me the most is Eric Ramierz, one of the owners sat down with us to listen to our thoughts and suggestions.

There were blog advertising networks back then but I wasn’t too happy with the experience: late payments and selective ads. Without batting an eyelash, I agreed to sign up. I found it challenging as a blogger to grow along with Nuffnang.

with Nuffnang co-founder Tim

I activated my Nuffnang Blogger account on August 24, 2008. It’s been three years now and I have seen its growth, their trials and tribulations. From a staff of two girls, I see now a country manager, a blogger coordinator and many more job descriptions that only speak of Nuffnang’s evolution.

it took me a while to shift to “Gliterrati” where one is exclusive to Nuffnang ads. I saw the income difference immediately when I stopped all other blog ad networks.

What I like most about Nuffnang is they continue to be open to suggestions even if it is not in their policy or stand to lose a significant advertiser. Like, I was totally against milk ads because I am a breastfeeding advocate. Good thing they didn’t pursue the marketing spin of milk companies. After all, we are the bloggers who know about the influence of our community.

It feels like talking to my “parents” about future plans.

“Social Network” Premiere for Bloggers in 2010. Photo by Benjie Tiongco

Most importantly, Nuffnang raised the bar on the value of bloggers. More and more companies are advertising in our blogs. You can see how digital media has been revolutionizing the media sector.

It is not all ads in Nuffnang. We have lots of fun and we meet new friends here and abroad. There are the movie dates, the picnics and the Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards. It was fun meeting other bloggers within the Asia Pacific region.

Meeting a few Malaysian bloggers in 2009

I don’t know where the story ends. More and more we are seeing consumers accessing multiple media platforms simultaneously, especially accessing the internet whilst watching television which many consumers are doing several times per week.

I forsee a bright future for Nuffnang and their bloggers as emerging trends happen.

Come 16th of December 2011, 500 bloggers from around the Asia-Pacific region will flock to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards 2011 in Putrajaya Marriott. The Awards aims to not only honour the region’s best bloggers, but also to bring together blogger communities from across Asia-Pacific. The Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards is brought to you by Volkswagen Malaysia and Putrajaya Marriott.

Win exclusive invites. is giving you the chance to win an invite to the Blog Awards, simply by participating in the blogging contest as outlined below! The contest starts 25 October 2011 and ends 11.59 pm, 19 November 2011.

Photo via Ada Lajara. Glamorous Filipina bloggers gather at the Link Hotel before proceeding to the Pan Pacific Hotel for The Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards Ceremony

nuffnang awards
With Alodia Gosiengfiao, Ashley Gosiengfiao, Jehzeel

Photo Credits to Ada Lajara . Philippine Nuffnang President Eric Ramirez with Filipino Bloggers at the Pan Pacific Hotel

When I was a little girl, I loved reading books about saints. It must have been their courage and faith which struck me the most. There was even a time I imagined the Virgin Mother Mary to appear in front of me. Sitting on a rock at the back of our house, I prayed, clutching on to the rosary beads and waited for the Blessed Mother …and waited. I may never be a saint but I can try to be good to others and do service to my country.

St. Josemaria Escriva, known as “the saint of the ordinary” is a one saint that most of us can relate to. He believed that we need not do ‘great’ things in order to become saints but rather we must find God in the simplest and most ordinary events in our lives.“There be dragons” is a movie inspired by the life of Escriva. It deals with the inner dragons one must face while making tough decisions in life. The movie centers on Josemaria Escriva and Manolo Torres, two childhood friends who took different paths in their lives due to several reasons. One chose the path of peace and becomes a priest while the other chose the life of a soldier driven by jealousy and revenge. Each struggled to find the power of forgiveness over the forces that tore their lives and friendship apart.

The movie tells the story of London-based investigative journalist Roberto Torres (Dougray Scott), who visits Spain to research a book about Josemaría Escrivá (Charlie Cox), the controversial founder of Opus Dei. A New York Times article cited Heriberto Schoeffer, an independent film producer in Los Angeles and a member of Opus Dei when he first conceived of a film dramatizing the life of Escrivá. ““All I wanted is for people to see a good side of him, because so many bad things are said about him and Opus Dei.” Schoeffer mentioned.

I will not be a spoilsport so I will end there and leave the review to a certified movie critic and others at the Review section

However, let me share a few reflections on my life as I watched the movie.

Loving God in times of grief

A death in the family especially that of a child is impossible to describe in words. The young Escriva asked her mother “do you hate God now?” when his sibling died. The mother tearfully replied that she loved God. Not everyone will react the same manner as Escriva’s mother. Some will question “Why God? Why me? why my child?” in anger. Others will accept their loss as God’s will. How should a believer in Jesus, a follower of Christ react when they are in deep grief? It is so easy for others to say not to question God’s will when they have never lost a child. This is a process that bereaved parents have to go through in order to reach the next stage.

The answers were never clear to me for the first five years after my son’s death. The reason ““Why?” unfolded when I earnestly prayed and sought God’s will. I have written about this before that it happened when I sat down on Luijoe’s favorite chair and just like that, I felt God’s presence.

Faith is shown by Escriva in many ways.

Faith is a gift, Escriva tells his disheartened companions, “and God has called us to manifest it in love here on earth. Unwavering love for every child of God no matter who it is, no matter what side, no matter what circumstances.”

There is another scene where a woman catches Escriva praying. She goads him “He doesn’t hear you does he? All this pain and he stays silent. I don’t know how he can allow such thing.” The woman even referred to God as a monster.

Yet the woman said that she loved God which Escriva found odd. “Even though he is a monster?”

She replied. “A woman can love a monster. I fight him with love”.

Just like her, my faith was shaken but in the end, I turned to Him for comfort. I can say the same thing as Escriva did when he uttered, “You were there tonight, Lord. I felt you there.”

God’s world is so full of goodness

“God’s world is so full of goodness,” Escriva says to the Archbishop as he opens a window to showcase the beautiful scenery outside.

There is so much to be grateful and be joyful about.

Did I really think the world is full of goodness? It took some time to realize that and in the end it was a matter of choice. The road from mourning to joy was not easy. Pain is my greatest teacher. Regardless of where the pain comes from, there are always lessons to be learned. Pain from losing my loved ones moved me towards finding the joy. Grief is inevitable but misery is optional. Joy over misery is the path I chose. I tried to find the good in this world, finding the joy in myself, from my husband, friends and family.

Finding joy was tantamount to finding myself.

God’s work

“½Escriva referred to his work as God’s work. Opus Dei — the name is Latin for work of God — “teaches that ordinary work can be a path to sanctity if the believer maintains a demanding regimen of religious practices intended to achieve holiness.” I may not belong to the “Opus Dei” but I believe God’s work lies in each one of us.

When my son died, I wondered why God took my precious boy away when he was so young and full of promise. Why didn’t he just take me away? For a couple of years, I just wanted to waste away and die of natural causes. After a couple of health issues, I found myself, still alive…and wondering ” so why am I still alive?”

There must be some work I have to accomplish.

Bobit Avila in his article, Evil dragons still live within our midst , clarifies the message of God’s work. “Indeed, in the past, the clergy taught the idea that we can only find Jesus Christ inside the church. But St. Josemaria Escriva preached the idea that we are all called to a life of holiness even in our most ordinary work.”

I don’t know enough of the “Opus dei” to write an objective look into it . All I know is the Opus Dei is violently opposed to the Reproductive Health Bill. I have no information whether or not Illuminati shares the views of Opus Dei on the subject of reproductive health interpreted by the Catholic Church as an abortion proposal.

As you might all know, I am pro-life and pro-RH which is part of my work as an advocate for children’s rights and women’s health. It is ordinary work that I took upon myself out of deep concern for women’s health and the quality of life of their families. (more on Why I support the Reproductive Health Bill)

Learning to forgive

The dramatic point of the movie reveals Manolo and his son Roberto in a touching scene where one hopes for a last opportunity of forgiveness.

“½”So many wrong turns in my life,” the dying Manolo told his son. The journalist muses: “When you forgive, you set someone free: yourself!”

How many wrong turns have I made in my life?

A few maybe. Some of these wrong turns were beyond my control. It is not the number of wrong turns that matter now. It is about getting up and moving forward to pick up the pieces. Part of this involved learning to forgive. In learning to forgive and keeping a clean slate, the person I am really freeing is myself.

The capacity of every human being for sainthood

Oscar Wilde once said ““Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.”

Even good people have a past. They’ve done things before which were bad. Every one who’s led a bad life still has a chance to do right. Maybe my childhood dream to be a saint is all gone but I can always strive to do good and not commit the same mistakes in the past.

My childhood dream to become a saint may not qualify me anymore but a dear friend reminded me that “the only difference between a sinner and a saint is that the saint stands uo and tries again when he/she falls”.

Nothing can change the past, but forgiveness can change the future.

The director of the movie says this is a story for “every human being” — who feels, who thinks, who has a family, who feels angry, feels the need for revenge, who feels love, wants love or needs love.” Who hasn’t grappled with these emotions? The movie is “100% about humanity” that will surely touch your hearts.

Here are the complete details of ‘There Be Dragons’ Cinemas and Showtimes (MTRCB Rating PG-13).

It is all over the internet . Wishes ranging from the mushy to political flooded Twitter today as the clock struck 11:11 am on November 11, 2011 (11/11/11).

Photo credit

If I were single, I’d probably be wishing for “I wish he loves me” but well, I’m married and have gone through a lot of challenges that involves other people aside from myself.

The only time I make a wish is when I blow my birthday candles. My default wish is always “I wish for peace, love and good health”. I laugh every time one of my daughters exclaim that I sound like a contestant from a beauty queen pageant. Really what more can I ask? I know they are idealistic but some things are within our control such as my family life. I can choose peace instead of getting angry at small irritating things that my husband does. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

I wish my girls and my hubby to always be happy, and love to overflow . I love conversations, friendship and laughter. I hope to live a meaningful life where I can give back. I wish for no more wants, or musts, or needs.

And good health? Well, health is wealth. Without good health, how can I enjoy life or wish for material things.

They say today is good time to make that wish. If I catch the time 11:11 tonight , then as always I will use my default wish.

What about you? What do you wish for?

The Kingdom of God is inside you, and all around you, not in mansions of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift a stone, and you will find me. –“Stigmata”

Like all Catholic schools, Religion was taught as early as First grade. I can still remember my book with images of clouds, and a man in long beard and a dove or was it a bird I forgot how God was taught by the Belgian nuns. I recall God to be someone powerful who watches over me, yet there was some sort of fear of being a bad little girl. In my little girl’s mind, I looked around for God. Where is he?

As the second sibling in the family, I looked up to my eldest sister, Lorna for her words of wisdom. I took her every word, well because she was a year older and knew more than me. Naturally.

I tugged her sleeve. “Do you know where God is? ”

Lorna nodded and dragged me to the kitchen. She pointed to the leftover mango seed on the kitchen table.

In a solemn voice, she said, “When you crack open the mango seed, you will find God in there.”

My eyes widened, “really?”

Her revelation elated me. God is real.

One day, I thought of talking to God. I got a mango seed ad sat by the window sill that overlooked the garden and slowly pried opened the mango shell. As I opened the shell, I felt awed. I found God! My body felt like a balloon as if I was floating around the garden. It was a joyful moment.

My little girl’s heart cried out in gratitude, ““Okay God. I hope you protect me. I promise to be a good girl.”

I know this “Where is God?” anecdote is really funny. Lorna laughed as I recounted the story to her. She forgot that she taught me this.

I grew up praying to God every day and attending mass at the Catholic Church every Sundays. It seemed too routine until a friend introduced me to the bible and told me to read the book of John. I just knew that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and everything in the bible was true and good and I wanted it in my life.

Pretty soon I had kids of my own but I made sure that God was something that my children felt in their hearts. It had to start with something more tangible at first.

I see the moon and the moon sees me,
God bless the moon, and God bless me.

As a nursery rhyme, I felt the toddlers understood God to be good. Two of my three children suffered from asthma and letting them understand that “Jesus lives in their hearts” so they would calm down and feel more relaxed in prayer. I also felt that it will heal them faster if they are in a relaxed state of mind.

I guess the real test of my faith in God came when my beautiful son died 11 years ago. Questions soon came:

Where were you God?

Why God?

Why me God?

Every parent who lost a child or a loved one ask these questions. I know now that the feelings of “Why me, God?” are real. My pain is real. The questions form part of the grief process. Well-meaning friends often like to point out not to question God’s wisdom. So easy to say especially if that person has not lost a child.

While God may have seemed distant during those bleak moments of my life, it was God who also showed me the light in the quiet still of the room. As I sat on the Luijoe’s favorite couch, feeling despondent over our family situation, I felt a warm tingly feeling that emanated from within me and then feelings of peace and joy. That difficult journey left me literally with a broken heart but not too broken because why did God give me a second wind in life to make a difference in this mortal world? That light…starting and living a new life without my precious son but still living a good life.

It is these good and bad moments that affirmed that God is good, all the time.

While I continue to believe in His words and His teachings, I may not necessarily find God in Churches , disillusioned and disenchanted as I am with the Catholic Church on its stance with the Reproductive Health Bill… but that is another story.

Today, my new dialogue with God is … “God, this is going to be an interesting journey. I’m excited to see how you are going to bring good out of this one. I trust you will!”

Photo credit: and here and here