In a nutshell…
Being the second youngest in a brood of seven children definitely has its myriad of pros and cons. Right on top of the list is the usual “entitlement benefit” to be protected by older siblings from the dangers of the world. But I think the best thing about being the second youngest in my family was I got to borrow my older sisters’ clothing, jewelry and books, and I still got to play the role like I’m still the “baby” or the “favorite” even if my little sister has already officially come into the scene. The youngest child tends to get the attention of the parents by being the baby or, in my case, being the once upon a time monarch (in my own strange little world), I maintained my standing to receiving double the attention and double the benefits… at least that’s what I thought. Looking back, the extra interest and added courtesy were extended to all of us…we all were given a lot of free rein by our father within reason to allow considerable freedom while being protectively held back by our mother to sort of keep the balance. Our dad put lightness and fun to create a sense of temporary absence of burden that most families face while our mom brought the unit back to the real world and kept us grounded. I appreciate and love them both.
One of the best moments of my childhood was being an “angel” at the local church where I grew up—-a place that I greatly miss and cherish so dearly. I wonder though if I just showed off my most deceiving smile in the pic or was it an angelic smile? :)) On a side note, our church recently received a prestigious recognition of becoming a National Cultural Treasure in the Philippines.
National Cultural Treasure: Sta Monica Parish Church, Minalin, Philippines
High school revelations: Naughty or nice? We all had high hopes for a big-league high school stamped with unforgettable (and regrettable) memories. I pulled my share of mischievous acts and pranks when I was younger. One notable bad natured trick played on a classmate backfired as it caused me tremendous amount of embarrassment for carrying out such a reckless, wicked prank on someone! A summons to the principal’s office followed that struck terror in me and my fellow pranksters. That was my first and very last visit to the “graveyard.”
Everything about the Catholic faith, and what it represents and truly stands for is the driving force of who I am. It’s my reason for living that encompasses my hope in the beauty of God’s promise to us to someday be fully united with Him in eternity. The Catholic faith continues to make sense of my life.
Why Am I Catholic
There was one point in time when all I cared about what’s on TV was ESPN and SportsCenter while the rest of my pals were all glued to their sets either anticipating the enduring on and off love affair of Ross Geller and Rachel Green on F.R.I.E.N.D.S, or enjoying the crazy courtroom antics of the fellas and gals on Ally McBeal and their unusual office’s unisex bathroom stalls’ encounters. I was more interested on how many points did MJ score, or did he have a triple double; which teams made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, or how many offensive rebounds did Rodman make, and what paint scheme and silly colorful hairdo did he sport for the night. Oh my, I haven’t even mentioned about his tantrums! And right now, my sports fanaticism (yes, I can be labeled as such) has subsided quite a bit… it’s been ages since I’ve stepped out on a golf course…I shoot some hoops every now and then and I still enjoy watching some ball games. I no longer watch ESPN and SportsCenter. I guess it can be assumed…I’m rehabilitated.
The big heart of my Tata, a father in every sense of the word. “Real education should educate us OUT of SELF into something far finer; into a SELFLESSNESS which links us with all humanity.” —Nancy Witcher Astor
A quote almost akin to my dad’s fundamental concept of existence. Yes, we all fall for the “I” trap every so often especially in a secular world where the “I” part reigns supreme. And yes, it is a struggle at times to assume selfless motives and pass on our own self-profiting interests for the greater good, but it’s all worth it in the end, and life becomes more significant and far more meaningful if only we think less of ourselves, do more for others, and put others’ needs before our own. Abundance in material possession (or lack thereof) should not prevent us from doing noble, charitable acts and good things for others; it should in fact inspire us, otherwise, we will be bound to be stagnant in a secluded place busy lamenting on what we do not have that displaces our good intentions on the back burner and limits our ability to make a difference in someone else’s life. There is something intrinsically satisfying about helping others and witnessing their gratitude.
I’ve learned to adopt this humbling philosophical direction from a very wise man whom I genuinely admire and greatly respect…my beloved dad.
I Am My Father\'s Daughter
My family and my siblings are a vital part of my heritage and are instrumental to who I am and what I have become. My siblings have been with me from early childhood where my life intertwines with theirs. Without them present in my life in all stages, my hope and desire to build a strong foundation for my life is somehow disintegrated and will cease to exist.
The nuns are just a few of the most amazing and helpful people I have ever met! The Sisters’ deep prayerful life and their dedication to the poorest of the poor have inspired me to be more receptive to God and to those who are in need. They are instrumental to my journey and to my spiritual transformation in progress. Being around them and the ladies at the shelter is very transforming, rewarding and revealing. It renders a gratifying and heartening effect on one’s soul… it helps orient me and gives me a better idea of what the world around me is like. Ultimately, my thirst for our Lord intensifies and rises above and beyond all comprehension.