Saturday, February 28, 2009

2 Bday Girls

Today is the birthday of two women close to me.

One is a friend, let's call her RC. The other is one of my sisters-in-law, Abby.

RC is nice. She's the quiet type. But she's really gifted, talented in her chosen field. She can be deep and insightful. She has a wonderful blog full of beautiful pictures. I can't say much about RC because she's a private person. Besides, she reads my blog (he he). I am thankful to have her as a friend all these years. Happy birthday, RC!

As for Abby, I can describe her as:

...super mahinhin (feminine), she exudes femininity from the way she speaks, moves, laughs, and dresses up [I wish I were more like her]

...caring and loving, "maalaga" towards her daughter and husband (my older brother)

...the first to laugh at my brother's jokes and antics (she does love my brother!)

...ever willing to help; takes the initiative in assisting anyone

...understanding and compassionate

...concerned about what happens to the Gamo family and its members

...very pretty (she does fit in our beautiful family!)

So, even if February is the month lacking in numbers, it is not without beautiful celebrants (present company included!).

Friday, February 27, 2009

My Youngest Brother

I have three wonderful brothers. (They're quite good-looking but "wonderful" is more appropriate.)

Last Monday, February 23, was the birthday of one of them - the youngest, Nerick. What kind of a sister am I? I've paid tribute to friends and a cousin but how could I have forgotten my own brother?

I'm grateful for having a brother like Nerick because...

...even if he is younger, he gives very good advice - business-wise and otherwise (he's an AIM graduate)

...he is as protective as my other two brothers

...he shows he cares in many ways (big and small)

...he can be relied on to help whenever I seek it from him

...he is a good son, a good sibling, a good husband, a good father, and a good friend - a good man, in other words!

...he makes me laugh (I enjoy his brand of humor)

...he does not make me cry (equally important)

...he is an interesting person, a good conversationalist and a great story-teller

...he makes me feel loved without being oversentimental about it (the way guys and brothers are)

I did remember to greet Nerick on his birthday but I hope he forgives me for this belated tribute to him. (I don't think he reads my blog though he he.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

To Be A Somebody You're Not

No, I'm not going to talk about hypocrisy today.

Remember the get-together I went to last Saturday? Well, there I met the husband of a batchmate in Maryknoll (named Joy). His name is Paul. He is a salesman of telecommunications products. Joy and Paul have twins.

What is interesting about Paul, aside from his being very good-looking (see picture), is that he is the brother of Matt Dillon. Yes, the actor. My friend, Tina, kept saying, "This is the closest we will ever get to Hollywood!" I asked Paul to recommend me should Matt would be interested in getting a scriptwriter.

It occurred to me that it must be difficult to be related to somebody famous. As in as famous as a Hollywood actor like Matt Dillon. Everybody seemed more interested in Matt than to Paul. Poor Paul! Of course, he must be used to it already.

As for me, I don't know if I can handle being the relative - much less the sibling - of somebody really famous. I don't know if I can deal with the comparison. I don't know if I wouldn't mind not being accepted for who I am but more for who I am related to.

Boy, am I glad to be me! I'm glad to be Nimia Gamo and not Nimia Dillon (unless I were married to Matt myself ha ha).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Can I Say on Ash Wednesday?

I know my title rhymes but I'm not posting a poem today.

It's Ash Wednesday and I feel bad that I can't go to mass. My mom was able to go to Ali Mall and have ash placed on her forehead.

But Ash Wednesday is more than just ash on one's forehead. I would have wanted to go to Confession first. How I wish I could avail of the Sacrament of Reconciliation to make things right between me and the Lord again.

So instead of going to a real mass, I went to mass "online". There is this website I log on to Even if the mass is always that of the day before, it's the next best thing to actually going to mass. (During Sundays, I "attend" the TV healing mass of Rivers of Living Water Community at 9 am.)

I also listen daily to Bible reflections by a Catholic priest in You can also listen to daily mass readings in this site.

This morning, I prayed the rosary so I won't be too sleepy to pray it tonight (as if often the case).

I ate bread only this morning. Fish and tomatoes this lunch. And for dinner, I will just eat scrambled egg and rice. BUT I ate caramel popcorn for merienda.

Later on today, I will write a longer entry in my spiritual journal. It's actually my journal of prayers to God. I shall pray for people, all sorts of people - people I love, people I know, people I hardly know, people who don't know me even.

Sometimes when you're confined to a condo unit because of health problems, it is easy to think that there is little you can do for God and for others. Lent is a special time. A time for meditation, for prayer, for sacrifice. I can do all these things without lining up in church for someone to put ash on my forehead.

And for the rest of Lent, I should try my best to be good.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

When to Say "I Can't"

I'm being asked to help a group of college students with their Strategic Management paper. What do I know of Strama? We didn't even take it up in college and that was decades ago! When I read the original paper, I barely understood a thing. Especially all those figures and matrices. I even attempted to borrow their textbook. But to no avail. I just knew I could do more harm than good.

And so, I emailed my former students at UP, asking for help. Of my 58 students, only two responded to my email. I chose the one who has graduated by first sem because I know the other one would be too busy meeting academic requirements in order to graduate this sem.

I learned that this former student is graduating cum laude and has been accepted in a multinational company as management trainee. (She will start work this April.) I also am confident that she is in a greater position to help because she has done a similar paper before and even helped a student taking up Masters with his Strama paper.

There comes a point when one must say, "I can't do it"...and pass on the work to those more qualified. In other words, if you really want to help, don't. If you're not the best person to extend the much needed assistance, have the humility to say "I can't" but look for help elsewhere and not leave certain people unaided.

Lesson understood? Now go and heed my advice.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Games I Used To Play

In our house in Quezon City, we had a terrace which was our play area when we were small. I remember the earliest game I would play was pretending to be hostess as I served tea and food to my imaginary guests. I would also have a doll and pretend to be mom. But I didn't like playing "bahay-bahayan" (house-house) because my older brother would not have wanted to play dad. He of course preferred to play with guns.

Among the games I used to play as a little girl was piko (hopscotch). I enjoyed playing that game because I had a good chance of winning it. It requires just a little flexibility and a pretty good aim within a manageable distance. It didn't need teamwork. So, I played piko for quite a long period of time.
I also played "habulan" (a game of tag). That one, I didn't like. I was often "it" because I ran too slowly. (I've always attributed my running slowly to my being flat-footed.) Same reason I didn't like hide-and-seek.

Looking back, I think the games I enjoyed most are the ones where I could either create my own world or have a good chance of winning. I'm not sports-minded so I hated PE classes involving sports (soccer, pingpong, volleyball). But I would make up through PE classes that have to do with dancing.

In college, I avoided taking up sports for Physical Education. I took up Social Dancing and Camping. Easy and fun!

Today, I like solving Sudoku puzzles and I enjoy playing Scrabble (with or without co-players).

I think, no matter how old we are, we should never stop playing games. Mental games especially. Games not only make life interesting and fun. They make up grow in different ways - socially, mentally, emotionally, etc.

So, happy playing guys! Walang pikunan! (No bad sport!)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Family that Gets Together...

Today I had another get-together. This time, with family.

Lunch consisted of barbecue, 2 kinds of chicken (inasal and flaming wings original), asado, lasagna, pancit bijon, lumpiang shanghai, rice, softdrinks, chocolate roll and brazo de mercedes. I didn't eat every viand but I had my fill.

As usual, I enjoyed the company of my loved ones even if I was not feeling well.

The reason I'm writing this blog late is that I have just finished working.

In the silence of the night, I have time to think...

Even if I had to work in the morning and after the party. Even if my body ached and I was troubled by cough the whole day. Even if I have difficult work ahead of me this week. Even if at the back of my mind I wonder what will the MRI results show the moment I undergo the test?

Despite all these "even if's", I still had a good day. Because any day with one's family is always, always a good day.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Tonight I went to a small get-together...small, consisting of less than 10 people so you cannot strictly call it a party.

It was mainly with a group of former batchmates/classmates in Maryknoll. One just arrived from the States with her family. Another one is leaving, going back to the States. There were three other former Maryknollers, and a couple of Atenistas.

There was plenty of picture-taking, eating, drinking, showing of old photos, and of course, kwentuhan (exchanging of stories).

Even if I wasn't that close with the girls back in grade school and high school, I still had fun. Even if my back was aching, I still had fun. Even if I had cough and colds, I still had fun.

Goes to show, if you set your mind to it, you can have fun no matter what.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Party

It was not meant to be a party for me. Yesterday, I and some friends visited an NGO for abused girls. There were more than 20 of them.

But before we could start our program, the first thing the girls did was sing "Happy Birthday". I was deeply touched and that was only the beginning!

My two friends, Patsy and Tina, taught the girls how to make hand-made paper. The girls enthusiastically learned the craft. Such that my other friend, RN (she wants to remain anonymous) volunteered to buy some of the materials for the girls.

Then, to our surprise and delight, the girls performed a four-dance number! They were great!

We had a couple of games thereafter and the winners got to choose their prizes.

While waiting for the food, I got to chat with a few girls. They may be smiling. Some of them were full of energy. But the eyes...the eyes were sad.

They noticed I was in a lot of pain. They said they will pray for me, "Ipagprepray ka namin, Ate Nimia".

I was starting to cough and had the beginnings of a cold so I asked a girl if she can find me some Vicks. Miracle of miracles! She had one right in her bag! Of all the 20+ girls in that place, I had to ask the one with Vicks Vaporub!

And of course, before we left for home, they gave me a hand-made card...the one I wrote about yesterday.

So, even if I was not feeling well, I'm so glad to have visited that place. I'm sure to come back as often as possible.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Two Birthday Cards

Today I received two birthday cards.

One was actually given yesterday but I saw it only today. It is a store-bought card which says "Specially picked just for hope your birthday is as nice/beautiful as you!" It had a handwritten letter on the side which says:

Dear Nimia,

I'm so blessed to have a friend like you. May God continue to bless you with joy, love and good health as you celebrate your birthday!

Thanks for everything - inspiration, kindness and friendship.

Happy, happy birthday!

The other was "hand-made" and says:

Dearest Ate Nimia,

First of all I would like to say Thank you...Thank you for share your time.. By the way I would like to say Happy Happy B irthday...I wish you all the best & a bright future...and a successful life...God Bless and take care...I'm always pray for yours...God's love you, God always there for you.

Love lots,

_____ girls

Yes, the first card came from a teacher-friend of mine. The other came from a group of girls sheltered by an NGO I visited today.

Two different cards. Both coming from the heart.

Praise God!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's Great to be 48!

I had a great day today, my 48th birthday!

1) I had lots of well-wishers and greeters even before today (because I announced it in Facebook and to anybody who cares to know). [My son remembered to greet me, yehey!] I would say counting e-mail, Facebook, "live"/face-to-face greetings, text messaging, YM but nope no message in a bottle or kite in the sky - I received almost a hundred "Happy birthdays". If that alone doesn't make me happy, I don't know what will.

2) This morning I was able to work on a report and emailed it to Client.

3) A friend and client, Rensy, treated me out for lunch at Dencio's in Araneta Center. We had pancit molo, inihaw na tuna belly, sizzling sisig, crispy kangkong, and drinks. Aside from kwento, we discussed business. Before she left, she gave me a gift - a sweet-scented cologne (just what I needed!)

4) Rensy's daughter, Bianca, and Bianca's two classmates met with me to ask for advice regarding their school paper. I tried to help as much as I could and promised to continue helping them. The "meeting" helped me keep busy for my next appointment which was a dinner date with another good and old friend.

5) Rexy arrived at about 5 pm and she decided to treat me to Italianni's. Sosyal! We had pasta, pizza, latte and Coke Zero. Rexy helped me find a cab and brought me up to my condo unit. We chatted a little longer before she left for home-cum-office.

6) All is set for my charity work tomorrow. Perfect timing! Just the day after my birthday, I will be reaching out to others. I shall give you the details tomorrow.

God is good! I didn't bump into my Prince Charming but a good-looking waiter helped me get up from my seat. Ang babaw ko no? (How shallow of me!)

I didn't get a coloring book but a nice cologne! Tomorrow, someone is giving me a rosary!

Thank You, Lord, for a fun-filled day!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wishes on the Eve of My Birthday

Surprise, surprise! Tomorrow is my 48th birthday! It's no surprise to most of my friends though because I keep reminding them of the day I was born.

So what are my wishes for my birthday? (Don't worry. The list isn't 48 items long.)

1) I wish my son will greet me before the day is over (he does not stay we me all week long).

2) I wish I will have enough load in my two cellphones to thank all those who will remember to greet me by celphone.

3) I wish I will get to eat Japanese food. But if my friend who's treating me out for lunch has different plans, I'm okay with Chinese, American, Italian, Filipino...

4) I wish I will receive enough donations to make the girls we will be visiting on Thursday, (February 19) happy. They are under an NGO but I can't give more details.

5) I wish my other "date", another female friend, will have fun together - she's treating me to merienda or dinner.

6) I wish I will enjoy just looking around Gateway after my lunch date and before my other date and who knows, bump into my Prince Charming.

7) I wish I will be able to collect my receivables and have more projects in order to pay my mom the enormous amount I owe her already.

8) I wish the MRI that I am supposed to undertake won't show that I have to undergo surgery.

9) I wish my medical expenses will go down and/or my income will go up so that my mom will not have to keep paying for everything ahead of time.

10) I wish all my loved ones (family, relatives, and friends) will be/remain happy and that I could contribute to their happiness in my own little way.

See? Ten teeny-tiny wishes. Are these too much to ask?

Noticed that I did not wish for material stuff like jewelry (not fond of them), clothes (have enough for the moment), books (I can always borrow from others). But hey, I'm okay with coloring books.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Two Movies Last VD

By evening of Valentine's Day, I still didn't have a date so I decided to watch a movie. It turned out that I had time to watch two movies.

The first was one of my all-time favorites, "Only You" starring Marisa Tomei (as Faith) and Robert Downey, Jr. (as Peter). It is a romantic comedy of a woman in search of a name - Damon Bradley - simply because a fortune teller told her as a young girl this was the man of her dreams. Just when she was about to marry someone else, the real Damon calls up to say he cannot make it to the groom's wedding. So off to Europe goes Faith with her sister-in-law, Kate, in tow. In her literal pursuit of Damon, Faith bumps into Peter who for a short while pretends to be Damon. Faith learns the truth and gets furious at Peter. In desperation, Peter hires his friend to pose as Damon until his friend goes too far. Once more, Faith finds out that Peter has deceived her.

I just love the last scene. They are both in the airport. Someone pages Mr. Damon Bradley and requests him to go to the information booth. Both Faith and Peter run towards Information. Damon turns around and he looks like a dork. Peter says the immortal words, "Congratulations, you have the right name." Peter leaves. Damon asks Faith the question, "Do you love him?" Only then does Faith realize that yes, it is Peter that she loves. With her charms, she convinces the entire airport and airline crew to change her tickets because the man that she loves is in the plane that Peter has boarded. Faith runs up the plane, Peter sees her, they kiss, everybody applauds. End of story.

Whew! What a movie! Funny, witty, suspenseful, romantic -- all the ingredients of a film that I enjoy watching from beginning to end.

The second movie that I watched is a Filipino movie entitled "When Love Begins", starring Aga Muhlach and Ann Curtis. It starts and ends in beautiful Boracay. I appreciate the fact that Aga plays the role of a concerned environmentalist. But frankly, I found the first three-fourths of the movie rather boring. Only when the real conflict arose did my interest pick up. The reason I stayed the whole time was it is a Jose Javier Reyes film. Joey Reyes is among the writers-directors in the industry whom I admire most.

Anyway, there is little to compare between "Only You" and "When Love Begins". One is a romantic comedy. The other is a dramatic love story. But the two movies are similar on two points. In both films, at least one of the main characters talk about "destiny". The second similarity is that the female leads realize late in the movie that they do love the male leading character. But whereas Faith rushes to get her man, Ann Curtis waits for two years to get back together with Aga Muhlach.

Sorry for spoiling things for some of you who have plans of watching either movie. But I promise to talk about old movies only.

Again, not bad to complete my Valentine's Day. Thank God for cable TV!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

25 More Random Things About Me

I said some posts back that I was tagged again to give 25 Random Things About Me. So, whether you like it or not, here are more things about me that I am willing to share.

1) I love perfume! Over the years, among my favorites were Tatiana, White Linen, and Pleasures.

2) But should I run out of perfume, I'm okay with Johnson's Baby Cologne.

3) My hair is brown, my eyes are brown, but thank God, my armpits aren't!

4) Given the chance to visit one place on earth other than in the Philippines, I think I would love to go to Hawaii!

5) I also long to go on a Marian pilgrimage or a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

6) I hate ginger and pepper on my food with just a few exceptions.

7) In a Japanese restaurant, I always order tempura. If the budget permits it, I would also like some sashimi, California Maki, kani salad, tofu...please.

8) I hate it when restaurants and coffee shops have joint "his and hers" comfort rooms.

9) To keep my face smooth, I wash with Dove soap and apply Pond's cream.

10) I like reading mystery/suspense books by Mary Higgins Clarks, James Patterson, John Grisham, Tom Clancey, Robert Ludlum and the like.

11) In school, the subjects I loved most were Math and English.

12) I have an almost illegible handwriting and yet my classmates would borrow my notebooks because I took down notes practically verbatim.

13) At different points in my life, I lived in an old house in Manila, in a big house in Quezon City, in an apartment near that big house, in a boarding house in Cubao, and now in a condo in Cubao.

14) I love to sing but I sing offkey, it's actually a torture to hear me sing.

15) I've had three cars in my lifetime - a Toyota Corona, a Mitsibushi Lancer (box type), and a Toyota Corolla (ex-taxi).

16) My first car was jokingly called CoGeGa by my friends in college because parts of it were Corona, Gemini and Gallant.

17) My high school barkada (gang) was the quiet type but my college barkada (gang) was the "sosyal" (classy) type according to many people.

18) I prefer sunsets to sunrise. And I love gazing at stars at night and when the moon is full...awoooh!

19) I don't like swimming in the ocean - am even scared of it. But I like walking along the seashore with the feel of sand on my feet.

20) I don't know how to ride the bicycle.

21) I don't know how to swim, much less how to scuba dive.

22) I can type fast all letters of the alphabet without looking at the keys.

23) I noticed that most Filipinos mispronounce the word "comfortable". Accent should be on the first syllable.

24) I like applying Vicks on my nostrils. It's a habit that I acquired since childhood days.

25) I can roll my tongue into a letter "U" but I don't know how to whistle.

I wonder - can anybody really run out of random things to say about oneself especially if that person is nearing 50?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Not So Loveless on Valentine's Day

It's Valentine's Day! (As if I have to remind anyone.)

Nope, I didn't receive any flowers, chocolates, balloons...not even fishballs! No man called up to say "I love you, sweetheart! Happy Valentine's Day! Where would you like to go for breakfast, lunch, merienda and dinner?"

But I did receive a few text messages from friends - all girls (sigh).

And I did have a Valentine date. The most handsome guy on Planet Earth! My very own son, of course!

We just ordered Shakey's Pizza. (Try their Pizza's dellllicious!) We also had a basket of mojos. And I had Caesar's salad and a can of Coke Zero.

Food with the person I love most in the world! What could have been better?

It's a good thing though that we decided not to go out. I would have turned green with envy had I seen many couples holding hands, kissing in public, embracing and hugging each other...the women holding red roses or a box of chocolates. And that unmistakable "I feel on top of the world because I am very much loved!" look...uuggh! Kakainggit! (How enviable!)

But then, I am one for counting my blessings. I have my son. I had my fill of sumptuous food from Shakey's. My mom paid for the most part of the bill. Friends texted me.

Not bad really for someone who is without someone special as of the moment. Here I go again. Still hoping. Still dreaming. (If you have been following my blogs, you will find me contradicting myself so pardon me.)

Well, if it's any consolation, I'm not the only "loveless" but loved person in the world! In this regard, I have plenty of company.

Happy VD, everyone!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Only in Da Philippines

My new friend asked me to write more about the Philippines. (I think she was too polite to ask, "Where on planet Earth is the Philippines?")

Well, there are so many things I can say about my country but just for starters:

...the Philippines is an archipelago so it consists of thousands of islands. The running joke is when asked how many islands are there in the Philippines? The answer is "high tide or low tide?" of the strange things that we Filipinos love to eat is "balut" which is the embryo of duck so for some foreigners it's yuck, for others it is heavenly

...a queer fruit is durian because it tastes like heaven but smells like hell!

...try our leche flan because that is a sweet custard made of egg yolk but if someone says "leche!" that person is actually cursing

...we have only two seasons: wet (rainy) and unless we travel/go to places where there are four seasons, we don't get to experience winter, spring and autumn

...Filipinos are a fun-loving, cheerful people with an incredible, oftentimes warped sense of the midst of crises, we can still spread jokes around. And we just love to sing, dance and simply have a good time

...we are the texting capital of the world! Almost everyone, including janitors and maids, have celphones

...we have a mountain/volcano which is perfectly shaped like a cone - it's called Mayon Volcano

...almost every province in the country has a festival of some attract tourists, yes, but there is always a historical reason for such festivals (to honor a saint mostly) Filipino homes, you will almost always find an altar, a picture of the Last Supper, a pair of huge spoon and fork or a rosary on the wall

...we have a type of public transportation called jeepney which is a very colorful "jeep" which can seat an average of 18 people; btw, if you like roller-coasters, stay in the front seat of a jeepney and you will have the thrill of your life!

...whenever drivers or passengers pass by a Catholic Church, they make the sign of the cross

I could go on and on. But that's enough for now.

All in all, I would not want to live anywhere else in the world...only in the Philippines!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

And the Winner Is...

At last, the OWOH blog event is officially over and I have a winner!

Before I announce the winner's name, let it be known how I selected her. Being the marketing researcher that I am, I did it in the most fair and just way. Each "commenter" had to have an equal chance of winning. There were 110 of them by 12 noon of today which I announced to be my deadline. And so, I wrote 1 to 55 on pieces of paper, and wrote "1st" and "2nd" on two more pieces of paper. I asked a non-biased person, the only other occupant of the condo I am staying in to draw the winning number (my mom, who else?). She drew up "32" and "1st". I counted the 32nd commenter [note: if she had drawn "2nd", I would have picked no. 64, get me?] and so the winner is...

Ms. Diane P. of Illinois, USA!

I immediately contacted her by email and in her own words, she said:

"Wow, I am so excited!!! Thank you SO MUCH!
I am thrilled!"

She, of course, gave me her complete name and address. For her prize, aside from my book, "Things I Learned From My Father", I am giving another book, my first one - "Something to Thank About". (Remember? The one that saved a life as I wrote about some posts back?)

I'm pretty sure she will appreciate both books because Diane happens to have MS. I visited her site and she says in her profile:

"I have Multiple Sclerosis and am on long term disability. There may be nasty surprises lurking ready to pounce, BUT the silver lining to this dark cloud is that I have as much freedom to create as my MS-related fatigue and mild cognitive impairment will allow. It's not always easy, but . . . Life is still good!"

I told her that I have a bi-polar disorder and maybe God has a purpose for putting the two of us together. (Of course, all the other participants are welcome to correspond with me and visit my site anytime. I shall visit theirs, too, whenever I have the time.)

Diane says:

"I have a good friend who is bi-polar, and I know the pain (and heartache) his disease has caused him. His is under control now with medication - I hope yours is as well. I am actually one of the lucky ones with MS - my symptoms are not severe and I can still walk, although my balance causes me to walk into walls a lot. My largest symptom is a speech problem - very unusual in MS - it's very hard to speak and the words don't come out right. The saddest part of having MS for me is the lack of energy - or maybe it' actually that everything is so much harder to do anything - harder to think, harder to talk, harder to move about.

You would probably enjoy a site I found
Read the spoon theory - it's the second article in the center on the home page. It helps me get through the day to think about "spending" spoons and how many I have left."

Yes, The spoon theory is an interesting read. I urge you to look it up, too. I'm going to write about it soon.

And yes, I agree with my new friend. Life is good! God is good! He could bring together two women with their own illnesses and start a beautiful friendship.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mother, Let Me Live

Not many of you may be aware of this but this month is not just the month of hearts. It is also officially the Pro-Life Month.

Years ago, I wrote the lyrics of a song entitled "O Mother Let Me Live". The beautiful melody was composed by my friend, Louis San Luis.

The founder of the Pro-Life Movement in the Philippines, Sr. Pilar Verzosa, used the song in some of their activities.

This song takes on the point-of-view of the fetus inside her mom's womb.

So here goes:

I. Here in your womb, I feel so warm
Far from the cold, from any harm
I long to see your lovely face,
I long to feel your tight embrace.

II. But I can hear you cry at night
I wish I could make all things right.
I sense and know that something's wrong
So listen please to this, my song.

Refrain 1:

Oh, mother, let me live
For I have so much love to give
Don't end my life this way
I have not seen the light of day.

III. Our Father made both you and me
To live a life so full and free
He has made sure this world has space
For both of us, for all our days

(Repeat Stanza II)

Refrain 2:

Oh, mother, let me live
For I hae so much joy to give.
Do you not wish to see
The gift I was meant to be?


I am so much a part of you
If you take my life, you'll take yours, too.

(Repeat Refrain 1 & 2)

Oh mother, dear mother, let me live!
When a friend of mine heard the song for the first time, she was moved to tears! How I wish I could make you hear this song - not because I wrote it but because it might actually prevent an abortion.

Someday, you will watch and hear "Mother, Let Me Live" in YouTube and imeem.

Happy Pro-Life Month everyone!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What's at "Steak"?

In one of my books, I shared the following story:

When I was still young and pretty (I'm no longer young, of course), I went out with an ex-boyfriend. I think he was trying to win me back and impress me by bringing me to this really class restaurant.

When I saw the menu, I ordered the only thing I could pronounce - "steak". Then, the waiter asked the question. What question? That question of questions when somebody orders steak - "How would you like your steak, ma'm?", the waiter asked politely.

I thought for what seemed to be ages. Honestly, I didn't know how to answer the waiting waiter. Sensing my ignorance, he said, "Would you like it rare, medium...". Finally, I got it! I said, "Well done, please."

My date must have also detected my lack of shall we say, class, that he never asked me out again.

Do you know what I almost answered when the waiter asked, "How would you like your steak?" I would have answered, "Delicious!" Thank God for quick-on-the-draw waiters! He spared me from extreme embarrassment (not that I wasn't embarrassed already).

This incident happened many years ago. Why am I re-telling it? Because it dawned on me that it's a good thing that that guy and me never ended up together. He would not have made a good husband for me (or more accurately, I would not have made a good wife for him).

All of us commit boo-boos. But oftentimes, we should just laugh at these personal bloopers. In the greater scheme of things, they don't really matter.

Even my own genius of a father (God bless his soul), applied for a professional driver's license because he was a lawyer. (Get it? ha ha)

So what's at stake when we commit social blunders? In my book, not much. Just a brief reddening of the face. And when we learn to laugh at our own mistakes, that's the best kind of humor.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I Made It Through the Pain

Just two years ago, I was bedridden. Sick with sciatica which means "pinched nerve" and the sciatic nerve is the longest, largest group of nerves in the body.

Oh, the pain! Indescribably excruciating!

And I could barely move. We had to get a maid, Beth, to assist me in almost everything. Beth brushed my teeth, shampooed my hair, fed me, gave me my medicines - and worst of all, changed my diapers and "cleaned me up". (Yuk!)

Initially, I just kept crying. Then, I turned to prayer. Soon, miracles began to happen.

God sent me not one, but two, therapists to help me get well.

He also sent family and friends to come and visit me. They brought food, flowers, cards, books, and cash. The company alone lifted my spirits. Guess how many visitors I had? 87! I know the exact number because I listed all their names.

And so, I survived that crisis in my life. I eventually got well enough to work and function normally.

The reason I'm telling you this story is that I am in pain again. Not bedridden, thank God! But still in a lot of pain. My back has been aching terribly for the past months. And my red blood cell count has been low for almost a year already.

Today, I had a bone marrow test. There was a point when the hematologist asked me to breathe deeply. The purpose was for me to bear the pain. Now, with the wound still very fresh and my back pain, I don't know how I can sleep tonight.

But I know I shall make it through the pain. I've done it before, I can do it again - with a lot of help.

Barry Manilow might not like my changing the title of his song but yes, one day, I shall say and sing again, "I Made It Through the Pain".

Sunday, February 8, 2009

"My Fairy Tale"

Some years back, I joined the International Toastmasters Club. I thoroughly enjoyed myself because I learned a lot about public speaking, made many new friends, and even won a few awards.

One of my mentors was a family friend, Julie Esguerra. She won in a regional contest by Toastmasters for her funny and inspiring speech, "My Fairy Tale". Watch her deliver it in YouTube. [Just type "My Fairy Tale" by Julie Esguerra] My friend, Orly Tugob, another award-winning toastmaster/public speaker, said he never tires of hearing Julie deliver this particular speech.

I myself have seen Julie deliver "My Fairy Tale" many times but I, too, never tire of hearing it.
In the the end she says, "We can all star in fairy tales because fairy tales are but lives lived well when we learn our lessons, listen to our souls, and help other people, the fairy tale in each of us will come true and we will all live happily ever after."

Julie walks her talk. She helps other people especially the deaf. Julie is directress of the Philippine Institute for the Deaf (PID). It's a unique school that teaches deaf persons how to speak. What a noble venture!

What about me? What is my fairy tale?

I used to dream lofty dreams. I used to imagine myself as beautiful as Belle, as white as Snow White, and as fortunate as Cinderella - all of whom had their own Prince Charming.

But time to wake up. I will soon be 48. And there are no princes, not even princes-in-disguise-as-frogs, are in sight.

Today, I listened to a friend tell me about her woes and misfortunes. I helped another friend with a letter asking for financial assistance from a relative. And I expressed willingness to edit the book of still another friend.

Helping friends. No money involved (at least, not always). But the joy of extending oneself. That is my own happily ever after.

So, if my life were a fairy tale, it would start with:

Once a pun a time...

And end with:

And she and they (her many friends and loved ones) lived happily ever after in heaven.

I don't want to be a Belle, Snow White, or Cinderella anymore. I want to be a "saint". And I read or heard somewhere that a saint never made it to heaven alone.

Sta. Nimia - how does that sound?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Rapy

Yup. You read right. The title says "The Rapy". But I'm just trying to be cute (not that I have to try too hard).

Today, I did things that would definitely fall under "therapy" and would delight my psychiatrist. These are...

...I "communicated" with someone I love and threshed things out with that person

...I attended a party (even if I was not officially invited) and got out of the condo

...I ate delicious food including lechon, buttered vegetables with quail eggs, rellenong manok, fish fillet, pancit canton, fruits with Coke Zero at the party

...I listened to great entertainment (a duo sang Beatles songs and a famous instrumentalist played heavenly music)

Best of all, I joined a support group for bi-polar patients like me. It was my first time to attend such a group. I really felt like I "belonged" - in more ways than one. I shared my story as briefly as possible (20 minutes tops). I found the other sharings very interesting, too, but I can't re-share them with you.

There is a book that we shall be studying and different persons will be assigned to lecture to the group. We are also forming an e-group for further communication. Some days, we might have some role-playing/acting, singing, etc. I just know I will have great fun with the group.

God is good. Very good. He turns the worst of crises into the best of times.

Friday, February 6, 2009

If I Had a Daughter

Someone tagged me again in Facebook to write 25 Random Things About Me. Since I just did that yesterday, I will refrain from doing that today. (One of these days, yes.)

What I want to talk about is daughters. Yes, you read right. Daughters.

I have only one child - a male. You can therefore conclude that I don't have any daughter/s.

But IF I had a daughter...

...I would have experimented on her hair - braids, pony tails, pig tails, etc. - no matter how short it is

...I would have bought her beautiful clothes with pretty shoes to match her lovely looks (which she would have inherited from me)

...I would have bought her dolls, tea sets, computer games, and whatever toy is appropriate for her age (and my budget)

...I would have brought her with me everywhere - to malls, movies, parks, zoos, museums - for as long as she was willing to go with me

...I would never embarrass her in public, refrain from nagging her, discipline her only when necessary

...I would have taught her how to apply make-up - not too little, not too much either - to highlight her best features (if she looked like me that would have been her nose and eyes and lips and cheeks and...)

,,,I would have told her about boys - which ones are safe, which ones to approach with caution, which ones to avoid, and which ones to flee from

...I would have spent hours and hours with her talking about anything and everything under the sun

...I would have cried a pail of tears at her debut and buckets of tears at her wedding

...I would have hugged and kissed her as often as I could and in public (as often as she would allow it)

...I would have given her advice when she had problems, I would have given her my shoulder to lean on, I would have embraced her tightly when words were not enough nor necessary

...I would have, I would have, I would have...

But God, in His wisdom, gave me a son instead. And I would not exchange all the joy and happiness for having the son that I have for the daughter I never had.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

These days, one of the most popular social networking sites is Facebook. I've just been tagged by my friend, Mina, to write "25 Random Things About Me" [and I'm supposed to tag another 25 people in Facebook].

To save two birds in one stone, and before I can actually figure out how to do the tagging, here are my 25 random things:

1. When I was young, my favorite color was red. Now that I am much older, my favorite color is blue - electric blue to be specific.

2. My very first non-Filipino crush was Mark Lester (the guy who played Oliver Twist) when I saw a picture of him in a magazine.

3. I prefer Chocnut to Ferrero Rocher.

4. My dream car is a Toyota Vios (brand new or "previously owned"), in electric blue of course.

5. The only place I have gone to outside the Philippines was Taiwan - and only for four days.

6. I have never been to Boracay or to Palawan. Nor have I seen the Banawe Rice Terraces.

7. I love fish balls, squid balls, kwek2 (?) [orange-colored quail eggs], dirty ice cream, balut. Street food galore!

8. I enjoyed reading Nancy Drew much longer than Mills and Boon.

9. Before going to class in high school, I would pass by the chapel and pray, "Lord, give me a boyfriend."

10. On my very first party (first year high school), I met a guy who became my pen pal who became my crush but who did not become my boyfriend.

11. At different periods of my life, I had lice, split ends, dandruff, falling hair and now - white hair!

12. On the street where we lived for the longest time, there was this half-court (basketball court). As a young girl, I was so conscious of guys, I would bow my head whenever the car passed that court.

13. For me, the ads I love most are the romantic commercials of Close-Up (the likes of Gino Padilla's Closer You and I) and the funny ones (too many to mention).

14. I love to dance and the type of dance I enjoy most is swing! (To the tune of "Last Dance", "Souvenirs", "Back In Your Arms Again" - not necessarily in that order)

15. I've been writing poetry since grade school but I was most prolific in high school and college when I was either "love struck" or "heart broken".

16. If I were given 3 wishes, I would ask for - Wish No. 1 - Wisdom. Wishes no. 2 and 3 - If I had wisdom, I would have no need for the other two wishes.

17. Humility isn't one of my many virtues.

18. I would always be asked to be the Treasurer in class because I was good in math and trustworthy (daw) [so they say].

19. My idea of funny is witty; poking-fun-at-oneself; punny/corny is totally acceptable. But NOT green, brown, and making-fun-of-others.

20. I wish I could have met in person one of my favorite saints like St. Therese of the Child Jesus.

21. Procrastination is among the things I don't like about myself...but I'm working on it. Just give me time.

22. Between diarrhea and constipation, I prefer to suffer from balisawsaw (frequent urination).

23. I admire Piolo Pascual for his looks, John Lloyd Cruz for his acting prowess, Martin Nievera for his singing talent, and Ariel Rivera for all of the above.

24. I will NEVER run for president...because I have a bad back.

25. For me, the greatest invention is the computer/Internet...but let us not forget that God is the Supreme Creator (who created the greatest inventors).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Bad, The Good and the Best

How do you eat a slice of pineapple? Some start from the sweet end down to the sour end. Others do it the other way around. Still others start in the middle and go either way at random. In fact, there are many ways to eat pineapple! One can even slice it further and eat any small slice for the fun of it.

I'm the sour-to-sweet type.

So here are some bad news:

...I went to three doctors today and I have yet to see another one on February 17

...Two of my doctors required me to take tests costing about P20,000

...I have no money coming in as of yet

...My back is still aching such that I have to wake up in the middle of the night

The good news?

...Yesterday, I received a can of butter cookies, a bag of sugar-free chocolates
and a cute teddy bear!

...I'm reading a nice suspense book entitled "Tick Tock"

...My psychiatrist set up a support group for bi-polar patients like me

...I'm attending a debut this Saturday

...The principal of an exclusive girls' school liked the talk I was supposed to give this February (but moved the actual delivery to May, which is better to give me more time to prepare)

The best part?

The realization that even if in a span of 24 hours, I received both bad news and good news, I still have the choice not to dwell on the bad but focus on the good.

Happy best news!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sandra Bullock and Me

Yesterday, I did something really, really bad. I felt terrible! And so I wept and wept like a, more like the way Mary Magdalene must have wept.

But God, in His wisdom, made me watch a movie. It's entitled "28 Days" starring Sandra Bullock.

Sandra and I, we "share" a number of things. She's an actress...I don't have a single acting cell in my body. She's famous...I'm not yet there. She's sexy...I'm a bit chubby. She's beautiful...I'm pretty. See how much we have in common?

In the movie, Sandra plays the role of Gwen Cummings, a successful New York journalist and party girl. Problem is, she can never tell when she has had enough to drink. She's addicted to pills, too. And so, she ruined her one and only sister's wedding. Rather than go to jail, she was forced to spend time in a rehabilitation center. We see her transformation from resistant, reluctant "inmate" to recovering alcoholic. We meet other interesting characters but all of them have some form of addiction - alcohol, drugs, sex, nicotine, etc. In the end, Gwen comes to terms with her past and takes concrete steps to avoid the mistakes she made. One difficult decision she made was break up with her long-time boyfriend who was her no. 1 BI (bad influence).

Why am I telling you this? Because, like Gwen, I too have an addiction, a bondage. Like her, I have to break free. And mind you, I'm taking steps in that direction.

How appropriate that the reading for today says "...let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us, and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith." (Hebrews 12: 1-2)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sunday with My Best Friend

Yesterday was supposed to be a quiet Sunday. But to my delight, my best friend Amy came over to visit.

She brought pichi-pichi (delicious!). I gave her chips, dip and juice for merienda. Later, we ate the cabbage roll that my mom cooked.

I showed Amy the blog I wrote about her mom's 70th birthday. She liked it so much, she had a copy printed.

The main purpose of the visit was I asked her to edit the book that I am writing. It is on bi-polar mood disorder which I wrote in obedience to my psychiatrist. I can't reveal the title here because it is supposed to be "anonymously written".

As I read aloud my manuscript, Amy laughed at my punchlines. She gave suggestions on how to improve my work. When I asked her directly if I should do this or that, she would answer. I would say Amy was a great help in polishing my book. [But my other friend, Sy, would not use the word "polishing" because according to him it is used for removing dust off one's television. Funny guy!]

Amy and I go way back. We first met in the mid-1990s when we joined the Tabitha branch of the Light of Jesus Catholic Charismatic Community. Perhaps, the reason we are the best of friends is that we have a lot of things in common:

...we are both separated and single again

...we both have one good-looking child/son

...we both have widowed mothers in their 70's

...we both love to eat so we are both "a little chubby"

...we are both sweet and loving

...we both have a good sense of humor and love to laugh

...we are both involved in marketing research

...we are both pretty (see picture)

Actually, I can go on and on. I thank God for great friends like Amy. Always reliable. Can be trusted. Ever generous. Loving.

Thanks, best friend!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My February 2009 Resolutions

My, my how fast time flies! It's already the second month of the new birth month!

How was January and what are my February 2009 resolutions?

...I was able to throw a lot of stuff away so there's nothing much to throw but I am still not tidy; so I resolve to be neat by keeping things properly stocked and stored

...I was able to write daily in my Spiritual journal and read/listen to Bible reflections; I was able to say the rosary but not daily; so I resolve to pray the rosary daily and read Scripture everyday

...I "cooked" only tortang giniling and gelatin and that's it; I will try to learn how to cook one to two dishes a week

...I learned a lot about the computer, Internet and blogging thanks to my assistant, Khay; I resolve to continue learning this month not just computer-related matters

...I served my mom by washing the dishes, massaging her feet and hands, scratching her back but not on a daily basis; I resolve to do these things more often

...The only time I spent quality time with my son was when we played Scrabble; I resolve to spend more time with him this month

...I was able to write a book on my bi-polar disorder and started my screenplay, "Ang Mundo ng Minda"; I resolve to finish my draft of my book and finish the sequence treatment of my screenplay

...I gained weight this past month; I resolve to lose at least 5 lbs. this month

...I resolve to avoid sin

...I resolve to try to earn money to be able to pay my debt (at least partially) to my mom

And so, January 2009 was not a bad month. But could have been better.

I look forward to a love-ly February. The month when I will be turning 48. Sigh.