Monday, October 31, 2011

One More Hour

Processed Photo by Ronald (All rights reserved)

Last Saturday, just like every year, the time clock has been set, one hour earlier to take advantage of the daylight saving time. And I wondered: "What would it have been if instead of just moving the time one hour earlier, we were given the chance to go back an hour in the past, what would we have changed had we been given that opportunity?" I certainly would have done a lot more than what I am capable of doing in a normal hour of time. I would have done something more important instead, or would have done things differently.

One more hour, it seems so short and yet so long depending on what we are doing at the time. If we were having a good time, catching up with a deadline, or simply taking a nap, an hour will seem insufficient. However, if we were waiting for a snail to cross the street, waiting for the results of an exam, or waiting for a baby to be borne, an hour will seem eternal.

One  hour more,  or one last hour to "judgement day",  it is a matter of perspective. It is our own perception of our hour glass.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

When We Love Someone

When we love someone,  a lot of times the best way to show it is to not only let them use their own wings to fly, but is also to encourage them to fly as well.

Loving someone isn't about keeping them all to yourself so that the world isn't able to see their light shine bright, but is instead holding them up as a candle to the world to create more light. Seeing someone that you love happy will make one feel a thousand times more fulfilled than them being happy themselves alone.

Source:  Poems and Quote

Love seems simple but at the same time complicated.  When we love someone, we try to make that someone happy but in a way, we base our efforts on what we think shall make us happy ourselves.  We forget to take into consideration the fact that we are all different individuals and that what makes us happy may not create the same effect to the person we love.

This brings the idea that love can sometimes mean "sacrifice"  that is, to sacrifice our own feelings of happiness for what makes our beloved  happy in his own concept of what happiness means, assuming there is no illicit behaviour in between.  That when we love, the sentiment is inconditional and we take the person we love NOT ONLY for his virtues BUT ALSO for his shortcomings as well, all in one big package.

And  love can come like a thief in the middle of the night, without any prior warning to steal our heart.  And thereafter our heart no longer belongs to us but to someone else....  We are lucky when we get another heart in return otherwise,  misery steps in our life with a broken heart until someone surprises us  like a Santa Claus that goes down the chimney... with gift of a new heart.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vanity of Vanities...

King James version of Ecclesiastes literally "Book of the Teacher" 1:2 says:

"Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity"

The first time I heard this phrase was when I was in grade school.  I was wearing a beautiful fancy dress that my mother so patiently has sewn for me to celebrate an event in school and she wanted me to wear the best dress that she could provide for me.  As I proudly walked around in my soft blue, organdy dress, I saw our Mother Superior (I was in a school run by nuns) and I greeted her with a beeming hello.  To my surprise,  the only reply I received was her words:  "Vanity of vanities, everything is vanity".

For a long time, I thought about that phrase and there was only one meaning that I could think of  then.  "That I should avoid wearing lavish and fancy clothes".

In our everyday English usage, the word vanity conveys an image of excessive pride in oneself or in one's appearance, a picture of conceit and perhaps even arrogance. But what did the author of the book of Ecclesiastes actually have in mind?

In my later period of life,  I came about a more extensive explanation:  That everything in this physical world is transitory, ephemeral, impermanent and without any enduring substance. We often try to cling to things, and attempt to resist changes, but alas that is wasted effort, like trying to chase the wind.  (Source:  Living from the heart).

Everything being transitory, ephemeral and impermanent, we should enjoy every second of our time of co-existence but at the same time not to forget that we should aim at pursuing kindness and goodness towards one another leading to eternal peace.

On the other hand, is there anything wrong with being vain?  No, if it is not an obsession. No, if you want to take care of your appearance and create a good impression.

Everyone has his own characteristics and unless it becomes an obsessive behaviour, then there is nothing wrong.  

Source of image:  Clip Art Guide

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Search For 2011 Happiest Pinoy

Winston Maxino [Philstar]
How do we measure one's level of happiness?  Can happiness be quantifiable?  How do we compare how happy one is compared with another?  Well, it seems happiness can be evaluated.

"Happiness is an attitude, a mindset, a choice... We Filipinos are known for our optimism and inner strength", according to Cebuana Lhullier Insurance Solutions general manager Jonathan Batangan, organizer of contest for the search for the "Happiest Pinoy", now in its second year.

Winston Maxino coveted the title of "Happiest Pinoy in 2010" and received an award for 200,000 Pesos.

Last year, Winston Maxino, who aside from being president and chief operating officer of Hooven Philippines;  serves as president of the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines and a self-proclaimed balloon artist and magician for his family, was declared the "Happiest Pinoy" by CLIS.

Maxino was chosen for exhibiting an optimistic outlook on life, a cheerful disposition, the ability to rise above life’s challenges and having a positive impact on the life of others.

Maxino is battling a degenerative bone condition called Ankylosing Spondylitis. Almost at the same time he was diagnosed with the disease he discovered that his daughter Brina Kei suffers from Down syndrome.

According to him:  "We rise above our physical pain and limitations to live full happy lives. Happiness is our daily therapy and positive outlook gets us through the most trying times. May our stories inspire you to believe that laughter truly is the best medicine because it is free. It has no expiry, it does not require a doctor’s prescription and it is internally generated so it never runs out of stock.”

This year, the search is on for the 2nd year of this award with the "goal of rekindling the values of optimism, resilience and hope in the Filipino nation".

The candidate must cumply with the following requirements:
  • has a constantly cheerful face and optimistic outlook,
  • has a proven ability to rise above life's challenges, and,
  • has a positive impact in the lives of others.
Nominations will be accepted from October 21 to May 30 next year. The ten finalists will be announced on June 2012, with the Happiest Pinoy receiving a trophy and P250,000.

The Philippines is the 14th happiest country in the world, according to the 2009 Happy Planet Index published by the New Economics Foundation, an independent think tank.
The country scored better than its neighboring countries like China (20th), Indonesia (16th) and Malaysia (33rd).

A total of 143 countries were scored from 0 to 100 in the Happy Planet Index based on three factors: high life expectancy, high life satisfaction and a low ecological footprint.

Source:  Posted on February 22nd, 2010 under Art & Living Achievements   and October 20th, 2011.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Poem About Family

Photo Of "Griffin Family" at All Women Stalk

What is a family like?

A Family Is Like
© Nicole M. O'Neil

A Family is like a circle
the connection never ends
and even if at times it breaks
in time it always mends
A Family is like the stars
somehow the're always there
families are those who help
who support and always care
A Family is like a book
the endings are never clear
but through the pages of the book
their love is always near
A Family is many things
with endless words that show
who they are and what they do
and how they teach you so you know
but don’t be weary if it's broken
or if through time its been so worn
families are like that-
they're split up and always torn
but even if this happens
your family will always be
they help define just who you are
and will be a part of you eternally

There's one sad truth in life I've found, While journeying east and west
The only folks we really wound, Are those we love the best.
We flatter those we scarcely know, We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow, To those who love us best."
~ Ella Wilcox

Source:  Family Friend Poems

It is quite common in families that there be differences that cannot be patched but even when  we choose to run away from our roots, eventually we all go back to our "proverbial egg that we were hatched from".

Sunday, October 16, 2011

This Sheep Thinks He's a Dog


What happens when a sheep is raised as a dog? Will he acquire the habits of a dog? And what happens if you put him with his flock?

Well, A sheep in England thinks it's a dog and Jack the sheep is so convinced he's a dog that he nudges his owner until she puts him on a leash.

The sheep's name is Jack, and it's not his fault he's confused. Alison Sinstadt and her partner Simon Sherwin, who have a farm in Shropshire, England, brought him indoors when he was just a wee lamb because he was quite small. They raised him with their springer spaniel Jessie, and now Jack is so convinced that he's a dog too that he fetches sticks, walks on a leash, and even tries to bark (though it comes out more of a baa-rk).

And putting the 6-month-old ovine in a field with his own flock doesn't help a bit: he just tries to herd them. It's positively unherd-of!

I wonder how long the friendship will last between the dog and the sheepdog! And if they say that a dog is a forever friend, can we say the same thing with the sheepdog? And what about Jessie, does he also think that Jack is the same as he is? Oh, my, oh my!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Here Lies Love

While I was visiting another blog site, I ran up with this video on Imelda Marcos by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim.  It is an interesting  narration of Imelda's life in songs.  The CD discs consist of 22 songs and the first song is Here Lies Love and has the same title as the album.

Here Lies Love is a concept album and rock musical made in collaboration between
David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, about the life of the former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos along with the woman who raised her—Estrella Cumpas—and follows Marcos until she and her family were forced to leave the Philippines. The album features 22 guest vocalists and was released on April 6, 2010, under Nonesuch Records and Todomundo in several formats, including a deluxe double-Compact Disc set with a DVD of music videos from the album and a 120-page book. The title is taken from a comment made by Imelda Marcos during a visit to her husband Ferdinand Marcos's embalmed body. Imelda Marcos expressed that she would like the phrase "Here Lies Love" to be inscribed on her tomb stone.  Wikipedia.


When I was a young girl in Leyte
My dresses were all hand-me-downs and scraps
I’d see the people smile, when I would sing for them
How happy they all seemed—when I would dance

We lived a stone’s throw from the palace
A simple country girl who had a dream
The ladies passing by, a better class than I
How much it meant to me to be like these

Is it a sin to love too much?
Is it a sin to care?
I do it all for you
How can it be unfair?

I know that when my number’s up
When I am called by God above
Don’t have my name inscribed into the stone
Just say:
Here lies love…here lies love…here lies love—
Just say:
Here lies love…here lies love…here lies love—

The most important things are love and beauty
It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor
To prosper and to fly, a basic human right
The feeling in your heart that you’re secure

Is it a sin to love too much?
Is it a sin to care?
I do it all for you
How can it be unfair?
I know that when my number’s up
When I am called by God above
Don’t have my name inscribed into the stone
Just say:
Here lies love…here lies love…here lies love—
Just say:
Here lies love…here lies love…here lies love—

Source of lyrics:  Here Lies Love - David

Friday, October 07, 2011

Wool Urban Street Art

A new fad has began called "Yarnstorming: the art of enhancing a public place or object with graffiti knitting" (Or putting knitting on something unexpected in public and running always giggling wildly) or so is it described by the friendly knitters in their blog.

Magda Sayeg, known as Knitta, is considered as the "mother" of this activity which started almost by accident in 2005. It occurred to Magda that by covering the handlebar of her store's door (in Houston) she would be able to attract passerbys along the street, her instinct proved to be right. And she started to knit for urban furniture starting from street lights, billboards, and cars which inspired a group in Valencia to knit covers for their famous bollards. (Pls refer to Post on Knitted bollards of Aug 14, 2011).

If you want to see more of their graffiti knits visit their blog at

Source of article:  El Pais by Mari Luz Peinado Oct 6, 2011

Photos by:
Mary Roland - trees
César Ortega - bus
Jean Michel Sicot - sock
Urban Knitting - butterflies on trees              

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Spanish Food in the Philippines

I ran up today with an article on a Spanish restaurant that is making a hit in the Philippines.  I refer to the restaurant Dali, (named after the Spanish surrealist painter, Salvador Dali) the latest addition to the thriving QC dining scene.

What called my attention is not the fact that there is a newly opened Spanish restaurant in the Philippines but knowing that the executive chef Pia Abadesco Herrera has dedicated herself in the study of the Culinary Arts Institute in New York, and has worked as private chef in America all this time after growing up in Europe. Strange to me when I would think that the one to be responsible would be of Spanish origin.

Although the menus are more or less adapted to the Filipinos' tastes like the paella being well done instead of "al dente" as to how they are typically served in Spain, or bocadillos with tenderloin steak, instead of the common beef fillet served as a fast food in most cafeterias in Spain.
It is nice to know that now the Filipinos can savor some of the Spanish food like the Manchego cheese, made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of sheep of the Manchega breed, which is aged for between 60 days or two years. Manchego cheese usually carries the label of origin that guarantees its authenticity. Or the typical jamón serrano,  a type of (dry-cured Spanish ham), which is generally served raw in thin slices, or occasionally diced.  A foreleg prepared in the same manner is called paleta.

Jamón Serrano

As to the desserts, I am not familiar with what they have mentioned like the orange custard just as I have not had so far the "sorbet of red and white sangria", which is more likely tagged to call attention to the well known  Sangría drink in Spain.

But prices seem to be affordable with  average prices ranging from P105 to P285.  Maybe some of you can try their menus when you celebrate one of the important occasions.  "Bon appetit"!

Surreal array of Spanish staples

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Rainbow Colors

Rainbow over Kansas
Photo:   Patrick Emerson

When the Sun is shining and there is rain as well, you may see a rainbow in the sky!

As sunlight passes through the water droplets, it is bent and split into the colors of the rainbow. Sunlight is known as visible or white light and is actually a mixture of all visible colors. Rainbows appear in seven colors because water droplets break white sunlight into the seven colors of the spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet).

You can only see a rainbow if the Sun is behind you and the rain in front. The main rainbow becomes visible at an angle of around 40" from the horizon. You might be able to see a second rainbow above the main one in which the colors are in reverse order. You can even make your own rainbow using a garden hose or water sprinkler to form the water droplets in the air on a sunny day.  Source of text:  Kids' Crossing

Rainbow over Melbourne
Photo: Jes

Double rainbow caught in black and white over Melbourne
This photograph proves that rainbows look stunning even in black and white. Notice the pronounced and dark Alexander’s band (the space between two rainbows so called after the scientist  Alexander of Aphrodisias, who first described the phenomenon).

Monday, October 03, 2011

October Winds

October has just started and although in Madrid it feels more like summer in most hours of the day, autumn slowly gets to invade the early mornings and evenings with its soft, cool breeze that seem to announce the crossing of autumn in the season's cycle.

I love Autumn just like I love spring for the changing colors of the leaves which in certain trees are much more notable just like in maple trees and gingko which turn into different colors before they fall on the ground or easily blown away by the slightest whisp of the wind.

Autumn, it seems, tries to get us ready for the coming of winter, to be able to finish the tasks left over from the previous season not being done due to the warm heat of summer, stressful by itself. Autumn is a nice time to go for a walk and observe the colors of the parks as they change hues, and if you are lucky you can also see some of the few birds that lingered behind chirping as if looking for the rest of the flock to join them. Happily, and merrily, welcome Autumn!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Like Noah's Ark

The rooftop serves as veritable Noah’s Ark of a few animals—cats, dogs, chickens, ducks and a pigeon—after the owners abandoned the submerged house in Gugo village, Calumpit, Bulacan. Unfortunately, rescue workers could only evacuate humans. LYN RILLON…

While people are being transported by boat.

From June to December every year, Filipinos have to cope with the ruthless typhoons that affect several regions in the Philippines.  Although the government has become aware of the importance of avoiding loss of lives through evacuation of endangered areas, the citizens are hesitant to abide mainly because of  the fear of looting of what can be their only possessions left behind by the aggressive trail of the typhoons.  Likewise amidst the warning of being  swept by the passing of the typhoon, some people think that the government is exaggerating and that they would be better off holding tight to each other and not move away.  Neither would fishermen allow themselves to lay aside their daily tasks of going into the sea to lose their earnings for the day.

But people learn, even if the hard way.