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~ Keep Em Comin’, God ~

Today is such a wonderful day. Went for an early mass at the convent for my beloved Tata whose birthday is today. On my way there, I thanked God for St. Peter, St. Paul, the rest of the apostles and all the early Christians —the people who dedicated their lives for JESUS to make known and proclaim the Good News to the whole world; the same folks who were persecuted, threatened, tortured and martyred —all for the sake of JESUS… so that the people of today, like you and I may know, love and serve Him. I am thankful. Though these folks with apostolic zeal suffered a great deal while ministering on earth, they now delight greatly in the company of Christ as GOD promised. It brings me great joy that we too can hope and desire for celestial harvest.

And here’s the best part. The Gospel for today May 17th is John 21:15-19 (I didn’t know this beforehand); it is the gospel about Jesus asking PETER three times if he loves Him. The priest in his homily, talked about Peter, how he suffered, how he died, and is now in heaven! Oh wow!—I couldn’t help it but tears started streaming down my cheeks for the gratitude and grace of this spontaneous experience of God’s love, and for the few minutes to enjoy it …

BTW, my dad’s name is PEDRO aka PETER! God is so awesome!

Here is a video clip of the gospel –John 21:15-19. Fast forward to 1:09:47.
Super love the scene when JESUS asks Peter three times if he loves Him.

Peter appeared nonchalant about it the first time he was asked but he sensed how important this to JESUS that our Lord had to ask him three times just to make sure Peter “gets” it; a scene so powerful as JESUS was preparing Peter to take care of His Church.

~ Never Pitch Black And Cold ~

My dearest Ima


Photo credit: Evelyn De Ramos

~ Sweet Whispers ~








God our Father, thank You for Your love. Have mercy on my Tata’s soul.

God our Father, thank You for Your love. Have mercy on my Tata’s soul.


Originally published on April 12, 2011 at http://magsmagat.blogspot.com/2011/04/sweet-whispers.html

Amidst the absence of audible sound
When every moment fades into a black ground
Every anticipated desire into a standstill
Brings forth sensations of refined and ethereal seal
Melancholic longing resounding
And sweet caress and exuberant talk dawning and imagined.

Each passing night
I try and close my eyes
Mere thoughts of you
At times they break me up
And pull and rip me apart.

Each passing night
Before I close my eyes
I ask God to let us come together
And meet you in my dreams to never
Let no moment pass us by
No matter how transient, no matter how far
To hold each other tight
When everything else seems not quite right.

Each passing night
I hope and anticipate
a date with you, my dearest Pop,
In my dreams that I could scream
I LOVE YOU with all my heart!

Tonight I was sound asleep
Smiling, you kissed me on the cheek
Dried the tears that burn my eyes
And whispered sweet nothings in my ears
Like you used to when I was two.

I Am My Father\'s Daughter

~ I Wish You Had Stayed ~

That Wednesday morning my dearest Ima recalls
Pacing back and forth, and in & out of the hall, you took that call.
Little drops of rain began floating down, and we cheered
Never would have imagined that later we will be drowning in tears.
You said, “Let me play with little Bianca and stay.”
But you grabbed an umbrella instead and started your day.
You were rollin’ and reluctantly hit the road, I was told.

Arousing feelings of helplessness and uncertainty filled the air,
Extreme anxiety and deep sorrow we dared not to bear
As we dealt with the news of an unfortunate fate
The premature taking of a life so amazing and so great.

The tragedy has pierced my heart and shattered my soul
And divided a field what used to be whole.
My tears weighed a ton and my heart so heavy
With the loss of a brother whom I loved so dearly.

I’ll spend forever wondering what might have been
If you stayed that day I can’t even begin to imagine.
Great memories of you are all I have
And the occasional dreams that our Lord allows me to have.

I grieve for thee, Lazaro my brother
You were my great delight sent from up above by our Father.
Yes, I mourn and struggle with the tragic loss, and I strive
But it’s GOD’s love that keeps me strong and alive…
Who speaks to my soul, and sings to my heart.

Our beloved Lazaro with little Bianca, Set and Paolo

Can't Cry Hard Enough by Williams Brothers

~ My Grooviest Bittersweet Nostalgia ~

Father’s Day perhaps is one such occasion that gives us an opportunity to not only acknowledge our dad’s role, how important they are to us and to express it well, but it also sets up a tone of overwhelming emotions, geared up towards a spectrum of a double-header emotion, a two-fold kinda happy-nostalgic celebration in the mix, at least in my case. This day I believe strikes the right emotional chord that keeps on bubbling up.

Allow me a quick trip down memory lane. It just doesn’t seem that long ago when Tata whom we fondly called Daddy Groovy would sit up either on his bed or couch with all of us kiddos cuddled up together listening attentively to his made-up sagas of “Anyang Misan” (Once Upon A Time) stories. I can’t seem to recall much of the tales but I remember that we laughed a lot. We were just too eager to listen to his spontaneous good-natured antics in an attempt to revive old stories or come up with something inventive and imaginative. His style was nowhere near that realm of wearing thin! If it was his intent to make us laugh then, it can be assumed that he succeeded in his quest without trying too hard. Whether it was time for bed or one of those blackout energy-saving powerless nights back in those days, Tata always seemed to find ways to amuse us with fun-filled avenues that cater to our then simple, easy to please, uncritical little minds.

Lara’s Theme, Somewhere My Love from Dr. Zhivago was a household tune as my Tata would sing or hum the melody all too often, and would dance with our mother, and later on asked me and my sisters to dance with him. We loved the endless spinning around and around not minding much at all the dizzy spells and whirling sensations we felt afterwards. He also loved to sing Dandansoy, I Must Leave You Today, a famous folk song from Culasi, Antique Philippines; he sang this us to put us to sleep and when he was about to take a long work trip anticipating a distant journey away from home. For us kids back then, there could be no doubt those days were the longest wait ever. On the day that we knew our Tata was returning home, we’d walk our way through our local Sunset Boulevard (adjacent to our parish Santa Monica Parish Church) and would wait for hours, fully determined to escape all sorts of possibilities to miss anything so there’s little chance of messing up. Catching a glimpse of our Tata stepping out of the jeepney was indescribable… it was worth a thousand words!

Oh well, that is just a brief flash of light about my Tata, and the major morphs of growing up haven’t even made it into the scene. They have yet to emerge! There is just a vast and overpowering amount of tales and awe-inspiring stories that can be told that I’m sure we all want to share about our dads and pay tribute to their extraordinary impact and influence. It’s foremost on my mind someday, it will be my joy and utmost desire to grant each tale its moment to linger. I know for certain that if I’d talk my Tata into moving the moon for me if it were at all possible, he’ll do it in a heartbeat! If he sees a stranger drowning, he’d rescue him; if he sees someone hungry, he’d give him food even if it’s his last; if he sees someone seeking for truth, he’d lead him to The Way, The Truth and The Life —The One who finds, who gives, who loves each of us as if there were only one of us, and who will reveal Himself to the one who seeks Him.

My Tata taught me to live for God, His Church and His precepts even if at times, they seem so hard to follow; to be lttle, be last in line but first to serve—and be a willing servant. He has taught me that “humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” He had chosen the path, that others may be preferred and I set aside, and to love until it hurts mantra— the road I hope to take and can measure up.

Truly, GOD handed me my Tata who has given me so much love, and who took great pride in everything that I do.

Thank you, Tata for loving me for the rest of your life. The greatest gift God gave me next to our Lord was YOU and the gift of being given the chance to take care of you when you were sick. God is my constancy amid change and you were right there along with Him.

Happy Father’s Day to the grooviest dad who is now in heaven! I love you all the way right up to the moon and back.

Sweet Whispers
I Am My Father\'s Daughter
“~ Losing Family ~”>

~ Rough Draft ~

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.”

There is something very special about the rose. I was fourteen when I received my first ever bunch of dozen red roses from a very sweet guy.

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.

What I find charming and delightful: chivalrous, gentleman, who loves our Lord and His Church. (In short, my own version of Saint Joseph)

What I find charming and delightful: chivalrous, gentleman, who loves our Lord and His Church. (In short, my own version of Saint Joseph)

~ Small Town…You Blink And You Miss It…Not This One ~

A historic milestone for my hometown MINALIN in the Philippines! Today is the day that our town’s parish Santa Monica Catholic Church, built in May 17,1614 receives a rare and prestigious recognition and becomes a National Cultural Treasure.

National Cultural Treasure: Sta Monica Parish Church, Minalin, Philippines

Those of you who lived this way understand the nostalgia I felt as I watch the video and read through the captions. Countless moments spent at this church in this very small town of faithful and peace-loving Minalineños, bring back once again a state swayed by sentiments and wistful yearning for warmth and happiness shared through the years, that exude heartfelt comradery and a feeling of kinship not only among families and friends but with the whole community what seems like a genuine brotherly bond and a spirit of good fellowship among the young and the old alike. To celebrate this remarkable achievement on the day of the Feast of our Patron Saint Sta Monica makes this historic event even more special.

Kudos to Father Greg Vega and all the Minalineños responsible for this undertaking. My dear Tata would have been so thrilled and mighty proud to witness such honor and prestige brought to our beloved town. ALL for the glory of God!

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Photo Credits: Cathy L. Dysangco, Joji Mendoza & Mandis Naguit

~ Happy Father’s Day, Tata ~

Sweet Whispers
I Am My Father\'s Daughter
Former Minalin Vice Mayor Pedro S. Magat Honored

“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. 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. I’ve learned to adopt this humbling philosophical direction from a very wise man whom I genuinely admire and greatly respect…my beloved dad. Happy Father’s Day, Tata!

~ My Daddy Groovy ~

Can\'t Cry Hard Enough – Bellefire
Thank You For Loving Me by Bon Jovi
Former Minalin Vice Mayor Pedro S. Magat Honored

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Today marks what would have been your 82nd birthday. Can’t believe it’s been two years. I hope that you are at peace, my beloved Tata and that you are still smiling up in heaven as I always dream of you smiling, the way I remember you when you were alive. I’m glad that I dream of you smiling and laughing because I couldn’t bear it if I saw you any other way. I’d like to think of you smiling down on me from heaven also. Of course, it is impossible for us to envision what heaven will be like but I imagine heaven to be a place where we witness the true depiction of ultimate happiness, indeed; the fulfillment of all our desires…the realization of all the dreams concealed; authentic, unparalleled and beyond description, that elevates mortal susceptibility to a heightened level of trance-like state that transcends normal consciousness, and links humanity with celestial bliss that ONLY a supreme nature with divine power can take ownership of. I am inclined to hope for a future to reunite with you after this life ends as GOD promised before the world began.

Ta, I hope I make you as proud of me as I am of you; everything I do, by the grace of GOD, I am doing for you because that is what you did for me.

You will always be my daddy, and I will always be your little girl you put up with all those years who made your life pretty “interesting.”

Well, I shall see you again soon. Take pleasure on your birthday, celestial style! :)Please kiss Jesus, Mama Mary and my dear Lazaro for me. I love you and always will. Oh yeah, I miss the heck out of yah, Daddy Groovy!


~ To The Moon And Back ~

What a lovely day! It’s Mother’s Day for the awesome moms, and First Communion for the children. What a special day, indeed. A regular Sunday at Church turns into a double celebration! Congratulations to all the children who received the Eucharist for the first time… the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

To my dearest Ima, the most special woman in my life…I’m afraid I’ll do a lousy job describing what I appreciate most about you. For everything you’ve done for me, I’m thankful and appreciative; for the woman I am, I am indebted.

I love you all the way right up to the moon and back! I miss you, Ima!