What is your treasure?

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The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

In today’s gospel, I am struck by the question, what is your treasure? What is your pearl? What is that something that you are willing to give up all that you have because you find the best in life.

I remember the time when I stayed in a retreat house for a few days because of the injustice I felt I experienced at work. I had a hard time accepting the fact that those kind of things really happen in life. People who will accuse and attack you personally discarding all the effort you’ve done in the past. In the first two days, I found myself complaining to God. I would sit in the chapel looking at God with those angry eyes, shouting from the top of my lungs inside of me (I cannot really shout in the retreat house, they might think something is wrong with me). But no matter how I prove myself right and them wrong, God remain quiet. As if He is just there in front of me, patiently looking at me. Nodding His head from time to time but saying nothing. Until, I am exhausted. I am tired of everything. And then, I felt His embrace.

Then, I realized, I forgot what is the most important to me. Is it my job? Is it the opinion of others towards me? Is it to prove that I am right? God reminded me to look inside and see what is important to me. Then, for the next few days, I searched and searched. I looked deep inside of me. I am searching for a treasure, a precious pearl.

Before I left the retreat house, my heart is light, my eyes are bright because I finally found that treasure. And since that day, no matter others do, no matter what others think, no matter what others say, I will just look at them and smile because I found my treasure inside.

 

 

The Mystery of the Music Box

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The Mystery of the Music Box

 

The Girl’s Craft Store is famous for its beautiful music boxes. All the little girls in the world would love to received a music box from this store. What makes the music box distinct from all other is the delicate, smooth and almost perfect little doll dancing when you open the music box. The sound coming from it can make any girl feel calm and beautiful.

Claire is the queen bee of South Eastern University. She’s only 16 but all men fall to their knees when they see her. Because of this beauty, Claire will use men to get what she wanted. Some of these things are asking a nerd guy to do her assignments with the promise of going on a date with him, which never happens. She would also ask someone to buy her food, clothing, bag or gadget. She would also get out from any trouble she finds herself in. All the other women hates her but wants to be like her. All the men like to have her but she never allows anyone to have her.

Then, one Friday morning, all the students of South Eastern University were called to the school’s auditorium. They said that Girl’s Craft Store is looking for a new model. And there will people from the company who will go around and spot female students who can be a candidate. Everyone was excited. Claire promised to herself that she will be the next model of the Girl’s Craft Store besides who else can beat her when it comes to beauty?

Then, on the final selection, 10 of the most beautiful women in the school were invited to the company’s warehouse. After 5 hours of asking questions, standing in front of a camera, taking pictures, the selection was down to two women, Claire and Belle.

During the break, Claire approached Belle.

“Hi, I never noticed you at school before” there is no friendliness on her voice.

“Ummm, yeah. I am rarely noticed.”

Then, Christoff, the head photographer, approached them.

“Hi girls, congratulations. We are now down into the two of you.” The smile on Christoff’s face can make any woman take their breath away. It is also easy to be comfortable with him. He never shouted at them or give negative comments during the selection process. Both Claire and Belle are listening with him with enthusiasm.

“There are few things we need to ask of you. Here’s a parent’s permit. You need to ask your parents to sign it so you can fly with us to our main office. The final selection will happen there. Do you think you can do that?”

“Absolutely” answered Claire eagerly while Belle just shook her head.

“Good. Now, I want both of you to be back here tomorrow at 10am. Don’t worry about your school, we already inform them.”

The two girls were escorted by the craft store’s personnel out of the warehouse.

Then, a man appeared, walked towards Christoff.

“So, who do you choose among them?” the man asked.

“I am thinking both of them” answered Christoff coldly.

“Both of us know that we cannot choose two women”

“I know, but it is better to have an alternative if the other cannot make it”

“You have to make sure that this one works. Remember, we only have one diamond left.” Then the man walked out. Christoff has to control his temper when the man is around. Besides, he owes his life to him. But there are times that he wished he shouldn’t have accepted his help. His slavery to the man’s wishes on gives him pain and suffering. Besides, those women. They haven’t done anything to deserve it. Christoff felt helpless  now more than ever before.

The next morning, on the car going back to the warehouse, both Claire and Belle are sitting quietly at the back seat. A man on the wheel suddenly stopped the car and looked at the two women.

“Why are we stopping?” asked Claire with irritation on her voice.

“Look, you shouldn’t go back there.” The man said.

“Why?” now both women asked the man.

Then, a the man looked at them.

“Daniel?” Claire recognized him immediately.

“Listen, those men are evil. You will never come back alive if you go there.”

Now, fear is in the air.

“Come on Daniel, what’s this nonsense? Can’t you wait for me to come back after the final selection? I told you I will say yes to you when I came back.”

“Oh please Claire, I told you I am not interested to you” he is looking at Belle.

“Oh, you’re kidding yourself Daniel. The popular guy likes a quiet, lousy, boring girl? Haven’t you realized that the queen bee only deserves the best man in campus? We are perfect match!”

Belle is quite all this time.

“Say whatever you want to say Claire but here’s the thing. My sister was selected three years ago. But she never came back.”

“But she met an accident right” Claire said.

“No she’s not. When my sister disappeared three years ago, I investigated the company. Haven’t you noticed how incredibly accurate the little doll inside each Girl’s Craft Shop Music Box?”

Belle is not alarmed with what she heard. But Claire just laughed.

“Of course because that’s how great they are in making those music box. Come on Daniel, stop this nonsense.”

“No, Claire. The reason why those are almost perfect is because the women they get from different schools are….”

Then, suddenly someone knocks on the window of the car on the side of Daniel. All three of them jumped out of surprised.

Daniel lowered down her window.

“Yes, officer?” Daniel asked nervously.

“We received a report that this car was taken. Please go out of the car sir”

But Daniel did not moved.

“Officer, I think you are mistaken. This is my car and these girls here are my friends”

The officer looked at the two women on the backseat both are silently and looked terrified.

“I think you need to go out now sir”

But Daniel remained inside the car. Planning of what to do next. But the officer suddenly put his hand inside the car and unlocked the door and open it. He grabbed Daniel out of the car.

Both Claire and Belle screamed.

“Don’t worry ladies, you are safe.” A hot looking guy said looking at them from the window in the driver’s seat.

“Thank you officer. I will take this from here.” Then, the man went inside the car and started the engine.

“Stop them! I am not the one you should arrest! Murderer! Belle! Go out of the car now!”

But its too late. The car is far away now. With the two women unusually quiet because of fear. No one dared to ask question. The man introduce himself and said that his name is Mark. He said that he is the head of the security of the Girl’s Craft Store and that he will make sure that they will arrive safely at the warehouse.

When they reached the warehouse, they saw a small jet parked on the spacious area on the right side of the warehouse. They were greeted by Christoff, who asked to go inside the jet immediately. Claire and Belle noticed the exchanged looks between Christoff and the man named Mark. Both of them felt there’s something wrong. But either of them wanted to do anything.

They flew for a few hours. Then, they arrived in a private island, neither of the two women did not know where in the world it is located. They landed in a big old castle. Now, both of them are really scared. Claire finally had a courage to speak.

“What are you going to do with us?”

 

Christoff looked at them with no expression at all.

“Oh come on, what do think? Are we going to offer you as a sacrifice so our business will remain successful and we remain alive? Where do you think you are? We are on the 21th century now”

Both of the women suddenly feel relaxed.

“I hate that Daniel! I will punch on his face when we get back!”

Both women were ushered towards the castle. Both of them were given separate bedrooms. The whole afternoon were filled with instructions on what will happen the next day. Though Christoff emphasizes that they might choose only one person as the Chosen One but the other one can be a reserve if the Chosen One cannot fulfill their expectations.

The night fell. Claire cannot go back to sleep so she went out of her room. She suddenly find herself peaking at a small opening on a door on the far end of the hall where they are staying. She heard Christoff and Mark’s voices.

“I only need one” Mark is saying

Claire’s interest was fired up. She wants to know if who among them were the Chosen One.

“Again, we can just dispose the other one if we have to. Again, Claire is just a reserved. If Belle failed atleast we don’t have to do the same process again. Remember, we don’t have time left.”

Claire heard Christoff is saying. Claire’s eyes were wide open. She couldn’t believe it. They’ve chosen Belle over her? This is not happening! When she was about to open the door and speak up, a creepy cries sounded all over the castle. Claire looked around. The cries are real. What’s happening? Who is that girl crying? Is it a ghost?

“It’s the cry of the first ever woman we sacrificed and gave us eternal life and make our business successful” answered by a voice at Claire’s back. Claire slowly looked back and saw the evil faces of Christoff and Mark who were now standing in the door looking at him.

Claire’s scream is the last sound that proved that she lived.

Pag-ibig

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Ano nga ba ang pag-ibig?

Ito ba ay ang mga nakaw na sandali?

O mga kasinungaling natutunang bigkasin?

Makasama lamang ang taong iniibig.


Ang pag-ibig ba ay ang mahihinang usapan?

Sa hatinggabi habang ang paligid ay tahimik?

O ang madalas na away at selos?

Ngunit magbabati rin naman pagkatapos.


Ang pag-ibig ay parang isang barya.

May dalawang mukha, may dalang halaga.

Nasa atin kung alin ang titingnan

Ang masayang umpisa o ang sakit sa dulo ng kabiguan?


Kung ikaw ay iibig dahil sa kalungkutan

O dahil sa ikaw ay nasaktan

Ang payo ko lamang kaibigan

Pag-aralang unahing mahalin ang sarili bago ang sinuman.


Dahil walang sinuman ang kayang magmahal sa iyo

Maliban sa iyong sarili at sa Diyos 

Kung pipiliting sa iba hanapin ang pagmamahal na hanap mo

Naku, ihanda ang puso sa anumang sakit na dulot nito.


Words are Empty

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Words. What are they? Words are combination of letters that we assign to a specific thing, person, action, event, place, ideas and a lot more. But knowing a word does not mean experiencing whatever that it represent.

I love words. Maybe this is the reason why I choose to be an English teacher. I am fascinated by how words can describe a place, can stir up emotions, can bring up memories. But as I grow older, I appreciate words more when I experience it.

For example: paradise

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The word paradise has different meaning to a lot of different people, for me paradise can be a place where I can see God’s magnificent creation. I love mountains and lakes and oceans, and when I am in these places, I experience paradise.

Another word is friendship. Everyone knows the dictionary meaning of friendship but the true essence of this word can only be felt by those who are experiencing it. I am blessed to have a lot of friends. Through them, I understood what friendship really means. When I talk about friendship, I remember them. Here are some of my friends. Forgive me for those I failed to include their pictures here, like what I said, I have a lot of friends.

writing friends.jpgMy writing friends. Our friendship was formed because of our desire to become writers. It is good to experience friendship with those who have the same passion that you have.

LLR.jpgNow, they are my newly found friends when I attended a Single’s Retreat. They are fun and amazing people whose imperfections are offered to God and therefore transformed into something beautiful. It is great to experience friendship with those who like me are also stumbled and failed but never give up and stand up again.

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They are my friends on the meditation group that I belonged to. It is amazing how being together in silence can strengthen friendship.

And my last example is the word Love.

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We know the intellectual meaning of the word Love but we will never understand its power if we never experienced it. Men go to war to fight for love. Women endured the pain of waiting, of labor, because of love. Impossible become possible because of love. Though some attached some negative meaning to the word Love, I believe we as human beings still choose to love.

I will close this with the words from St. Paul,

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthian 13:1

Yes, words are empty until you give them meaning. You can only give them meaning if you experienced it. Use words wisely. Use it to build and not to destroy. Use it to show compassion and care and not hatred. Use it to love because in doing so, living here on earth has a beautiful meaning.

 

 

 

Encouragement to Women

Throughout history women are suppressed. They are either a commodity, a prize, or even a curse to a man. Though men are to rescue them and rally war for them, women are kept silent. They are to obey their father’s wishes when they were young and to obey their husband’s command when they are old and married. And throughout history, we can see how some women rise up and stand for themselves. These women were not afraid to face criticism from their family and friends. And because of these women, we are now free to live the kind of life we are meant to live.

Still, there are those who are afraid of their own light. Women who prefer to be on the background supporting a man. Though this might be considered noble and admirable to some, I believe it has to be done with the total permission from the woman. Because like a man, a woman has her own purpose in life. She has her own needs, her own desires, her own fantasies. And to neglect these these that make her an exquisite creature to behold, she will lose the fire, the passion, to continue nurturing the earth. And to these moments of confusion, I offer these encouragements as they were my own encouragement in my moments of despair and disappointments.

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Phenomenal Woman

By Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
(Source: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/48985)
Maya Angelou, a woman who inspired millions of people despite being a black woman. On this poem, she showed how woman can be phenomenally for just being who she is. I love the lines “When you see me passing,  It ought to make you proud.” because it reveals that we are not be competing with each other but rather become proud of who we become as a woman.
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A prayer written by Marianne Williamson on her book Enchanted Love shows how strong a woman can be. We can pray for someone’s happiness even though that happiness did not include us.
Dear God,
I pray for the loves of my past,
those who chose me and those who did not.
I pray for their happiness,
their growth and their good.
May their hearts be filled with light
and their desires fully satisfied.
May they find what they are seeking,
although it could not be me.
Amen.
And to those women who decided to live an ordinary life because it is easy and comfortable, may this message from Nadine Stair encourage you to stand up, wear your bootstrap and continue living an adventure-filled life.
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If I Had My Life to Live Over by Nadine Stair

If I had my life to live over,

I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.

I’d relax, I would limber up.

I would be sillier than I have been this trip.

I would take fewer things seriously.

I would take more chances.

I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.

I would eat more ice cream and less beans.

I would perhaps have more actual troubles,

but I’d Have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I am one of those people who has lived sensibly and sanely,

hour after hour, day after day.

Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again,

I’d have more of them.

In fact, I’d try to have nothing else.

Just moments,

one after another,

instead of living so many years ahead of each day.

I’ve been one of those people who never goes anywhere

without a thermometer, a hot water bottle,

a raincoat and a parachute.

If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If i had my life to live over,

I would start bare foot earlier in the spring

and stay that way later in the fall.

I would go to more dances.

I would ride more merry-go-rounds.

I would pick more daises.

(Source: http://www.simplybeing.org.uk/index.php/poetry/78-if-i-had-my-life-to-live-over-by-nadine-stair)

      And one last thing my dear friend, don’t forget that you are never alone. A man might not understand your mood swings and your unconditional love but remember, there’s always a woman willing and ready to listen to your stories because all women know and understand how lonely it is to be in the world.

 

 

If I am brave enough

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If I am brave enough to live my life

I will ride a bike every morning under the sun

Feel the wind as it touches my face

And dance in the sound of nature

If I am brave enough to admit what I want

I will climb mountain, and valleys

Swim on rivers and lakes and seas

Go an stare at the baby’s laughing trips

If I am brave enough to say what I feel

I will tell you how much you mean to me

The laughter, the struggle, the little moments

Which makes the every day, extraordinary

If courage is all I need

To live this life to the brim

I will take tons of it

To pour out as I walk the street

 

My Essence is Heart

Today, I am blessed to attend the Day of Stillness and Silence at Benpres Building under the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM). We had Sir Rivkha Rogacion, RGS who shared about “Grounding your Essence with Meditation”. She talked about the different types of Essence. Though everyone have these essences but there is always one dominant. She shared that the three major essence of a person is the Head, the Heart and the Gut.

What I love about Sister Rivkha’s sharing is that she done through demonstration. She picked up three people from the audience and told us certain signals that will tell us which has the Head, the Heart or the Gut essence. And through these people we identify what essence we have.

At first, I thought I have the head essence. I think a lot and most of my friends would tell me how mental I am. But as the demonstration went by, I realized I have the heart essence.

The World of the Heart Essence

I always see the goodness in a person. Before I judge him, I will easily give my trust. Believing that “All men are good”. Though the negative side of that, I am easily abused by people. Sister Rivkha said that our own essence when it is pushed into something intolerable became our own weakness.

“Our own essence cannot be changed”, according to Sister Rivkha.  We are fashioned by God when we are inside our mother’s womb. The changes seen on the pregnant mother is not the qualities the mother gave to her child but the child’s characteristics shown through the mother. Sister’s words are “the mother was somehow possessed by the child inside her womb.” And the interesting thing about it is that, once the mother gave birth to the child, the mother returned to her own self, her true essence.

Now, I appreciate myself more. It seems that this sharing answered my questions to God this week, “Why I am like this? Why I am so emotional. Why I easily get depressed. Why I think of others so much while I have to think of myself first.” Also, I appreciate others more. It seems a heavy burden was lift in my shoulders. I don’t have to change others. I don’t have to change myself. All I have to do is to accept who I am and who others are. Yes, a person will always have negative side but I just have to remember that these negatives sprung from the positive side of their essence. And that, in the end, all is well.

Namaste.

P.S. You want to know more about the World Community for Christian Meditation, visit http://www.wccm.org/

On Past and Future

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The past has no hold on me anymore. I made peace with him.

The future cannot make me worry today because I have faith that everything will turn out great.

The present is all I have. He is not an enemy but a friend.

Like the Holy Spirit who guides and reminds me of who I really am, I allow God to work in my life.

Right now, at this moment, I experience God’s mercy, love and grace.

On Sex

April 06, 2015

Sex is not a need. From the time we were born until the time we discover sex, we live. If it is a need, we should be all dead now. Sex is a reward. A reward from God for staying faithful to Him and by allowing ourselves to extend the love we feel to another human being. This is the reason why guilt happens after we had sex with someone we are not committed to or not committed to us because deep down our hearts we don’t trust that God will give us this gift. We snatched it from God like a little kid who thought he deserves the candy that an adult is withholding from him before breakfast. We get what we think we deserve, sex, but hate it afterwards. God created sex as a wonderful experience, for two people who made the decision to express God’s love through marriage and extend that love to others.

5 Reasons Why I Don’t Have My Man Yet

For the past three years, I allow myself to receive and experience self-love. It is not because I am deeply hurt from my past relationship that I find myself promising that I will not love again but because I realized, I am loving others but forgot to love the most important person in the world, myself.

Now that I told God that I am ready to receive the man who will journey with me in this lifetime, I found myself with the following realizations, that maybe, just maybe, these are the very reasons why he has not knock on the door of my heart.

1. He is focus on buioding his career. He wants to be a man wjom he can be proud of himself as much as I, and the family that we will build, can be proud of him.

2. He is building his financial independence. He loves himself and his family so much that he allow himself to learn how to earn, save and grow his money. In doing so, he will be able to not just share this blessings with our future family but to pass on these wisdom to our children and grandchildren.

3. He is learning to understand himself as he interacts with others. Building lasting and loving relationships is one of his priorities. He might not have learned it from his family but he is taking responsibility to undertand his responses to the different people he meets. So, in return, he will be able to express himself fully.

4. He is taking care of his health. He might not yet reached his ideal physical health but he is taking the time to watch what he puts inside his mouth. As he build this habit, he will share it with his family, so we will enjoy our life together, staying strong and healthy.

5. He is allowing God to change what needs to be changed about himself as God is preparing him to receive the woman of his life, me.

To the man who is also wondering where I am now, please remember the reasons above, for these same reasons why you don’t have your woman yet, me.