““To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others.” Pope John Paul II

Popes John XXIII and John Paul II will be canonized tomorrow, April 27. Whenever I look at the photo of Pope John Paul II, I really feel he is a saint. He just has this serene and holy look on his face that makes him one of the most beloved pontiffs in history. John Paul II’s holiness is obvious.

The only family member to have been blessed by the Pope is my second daughter.

my daughter and pope john paul ii

She is blessed to have met Pope John Paul II at the the Raigiubeleo celebration of the Jubilee for Children at the Vatican on January 5, 2001. At that time, the pope was already frail and didn’t have the energy to bless all the kids in the Manila Children’s choir so only two were chosen.

The Vatican surfed for children’s choir right after Christmas Day of 2000 and landed on the website I created for the Manila Children’s Choir. There were not that many websites then for children’s choir. I guess I was lucky that the Vatican found us. The event was a gathering of children’s choir around the world to sing for the Pope on closing day.

The Pope loved music. He once said “I have a sweet tooth for song and music. This is my Polish sin.”

During the beatification of Pope John Paul II in 2011, a Filipino Choir got the distinction of being one of only two groups singing during that day. What an honor!

Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters

I am not too familiar with the process of being a saint. A woman whose “miraculous” recovery “from an inoperable brain aneurysm paved the way for the late Pope John Paul II to be declared a saint at a ceremony at the Vatican this weekend has described how the Polish pontiff appeared to her in a vision.” Her cure, which the Vatican insists cannot be explained by science, was declared a miracle last July by Pope Francis, in a move which gave the final approval for John Paul II to be canonised.

My only prayer in 2011 was that the Reproductive Health Bill be passed. I thought “Fat chance to get a miracle but I could try, right?” Well, the RH Bill did not pass that year but the following year on December 19, 2012 . Now with the Supreme Court upholding the RH law, I believe it is a miracle. I don’t think this is the kind of miracle the Pope wants. After all, he coined the word “contraceptive mentality” and “culture of death” .

I pray there are more Pope John Paul II ‘miracles’ now that he will finally be canonized as a saint.

pope john paul ii
Pope John Paul ll at the beginning of the Papal mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in October 1979. (Daily News )

I am now in a new stage of my life where my children are now living independently away from our home. One is in Germany and the other lives in her own condominium unit. On special occasions, aside from giving gifts, I have this tradition where I give cash to my girls for them to buy a new dress and footwear.

The question is how do I send money abroad that is fast, easy, reliable and hassle-free? There are many ways to send money abroad but I wanted one that my daughter will receive in minutes and more importantly, she will not get charged for receiving money.

Western Union came to my mind because I once sent money to a friend in Batangas and it was a pleasant experience. My friend received the money in minutes. I have never used Western Union to send money abroad. I usually make use of bank transfer to remit money to my daughter when she was still studying in Australia but it took 3 banking days for her to receive the money.

western union direct agent

I wanted my daughter to receive the money before Christmas day so she could buy her dress. Western Union was the answer. It is easy to spot a Western Union branch in most malls. I like the fact that it is open seven days a week unlike a bank where one can only transact during regular banking days/ hours. Bank transfer is also dependent on network of banks or partners in host country. I went to the Western Union website to check the possible location where my daughter can receive the money. Because of Western Union’s extensive network, I know she will receive the money in the location nearest to her home or office.

On December 23 at around 10:00 AM, I went to my neighborhood Western Union agent. I filled out a form detailing the amount sent (in Euros), name, and address of both receiver and sender. Along with these information, the agent asked for my identification card after I paid the required amount and money transfer fee. It is that easy. After a few minutes, the agent provided me with the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) that my daughter needed to know so she could receive the money.

I emailed my daughter, a scanned version of the Western Union receipt along with the MTCN. I was pleased to know that this transaction is found at the website when I logged in with my Western Union number. By the time she woke up at 2:30 PM (Philippine time), she was ready with the information. A few hours later, she contacted me on Viber that she received the money.


It is that fast and easy! I even received an SMS that my daughter received the money. Now that is what I call reliable.

Western Union does not require a US Bank Account to do a money transfer. Sometimes it is just not feasible to open a bank account as it needs several documents. When I need to send gift money, I now know a reliable way to send money in minutes that is easy, fast, and accessible .

Unlimited hours. No breaks.

real interviews

This video contains a powerful message which you need to watch till the end.

job posting

This is about a fake job where it was posted online and in newspapers at a company called Rehtom Inc. with the job posting: director of operations with these requirements

The requirements sounded nothing short of brutal:

    • Standing up almost all the time
    • Constantly exerting yourself
    • Working from 135 to unlimited hours per week
    • Degrees in medicine, finance and culinary arts necessary
    • No vacations
    • The work load goes up on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and other holidays
    • No time to sleep
    • Salary = $0

Even if I knew it was a fake job interview I was still caught unaware at the end.

Watch this:

pac you from mommy D

The memes are really funny. Mommy D and Kim Henares are the top winners after Manny Pacquiao won over Tim Bradley via unanimous decision. In a report from USA today, “Manny Pacquiao’s mother, Dionesia Dapidran-Pacquiao, was just as entertaining as the action in the ring. As her son fought Timothy Bradley, Dapridran-Pacquaio was dealing with the stress of a prize fight as best she could. The commentators speculated that she may have been trying to put a hex on Bradley. She instantly became a Twitter sensation.” Mommy D is clutching on to a rosary in her left hand while her right hand displays a dirty finger or pointing two fingers towards the ring . I think Mommy D is playing “segurista” to make sure both prayers and “kulam” will ensure a win for her son. Many comments in social media show she is the star of the night.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of social media jokes that BIR Commissioner Kim Henares is happy that more revenue will be collected from the Manny Pacquiao fight.

Here is my compilation of memes via Storify.