A Day with Nicholas Sparks!

In the News, My Books No Comments »

The most awaited day for all Nicholas Sparks fans has arrived. Last October 28, he had a book launching and book signing at The Podium in Ortigas Center. In my previous post, I told you that I was able to get a copy of his new book, called The Best of Me. My friend and officemate, Babylyn and Ann decided to go to the mall even before it opens. Like what we have been thinking, they may have arrived at 9AM but there were more than 50 fans waiting already. They intend to be part of the 50 early birds but were not able to. Luckily they were able to get a “YES” from the lucky draw which gave them a signing pass.

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I sent a text message to her at 11AM and was told that the line was already up to the 5th floor of the said mall. Since, it was Nonet’s birthday, I may not be able to come early because Nonet and I will hear mass at 12Noon. We heard mass in our parish and the mass ended passed 1PM. My sister Pauline who introduced me to Nicholas novels, met us at the parish. We only have 1 chance to get a signing pass and its pass 1PM already. We both know that we may not get the chance anymore but we decided to take our chance still.

We took an FX to Podium. There were only few people on the line when we arrived. I prayed to God that He will bless me to pick a YES for a signing pass. I also told Nonet that hopefully, she will be my lucky charm. When it was my turn to pick from the box, I was really happy to find a YES on the piece of paper I picked! I was really excited and happy to get one.

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The actual program will start at 5PM and it was only around 2PM. I thought of sending Nonet home but we decided to stay instead. I bought Nonet a meal from McDonald’s. Good thing she brought a toy with her that kept her busy. I was able to get a chair as well (with Nonet’s help, too).

We patiently waited for Nicholas. When he arrived, everybody became so excited and happy. I was screaming for joy! I needed to carry Nonet so she can get a good view of Nicholas. When she saw him, she started screaming too. She became excited as well. She whispered to me, that Nicholas Sparks is good looking. :)

Our signing pass is number 532. Nonet got tired after the program and she asked me to go home. I decided to leave my signing pass to my sister Pauline. I know that she likes Nicholas as much as I do. Besides, she was the one who introduced me to the wonderful works of Nicholas. Her favorite Nicholas book is A Walk to Remember, while mine is The Notebook. Since, she will have a close encounter with Nicholas, I told her to have my favorite book be signed. Good thing, she did.

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It was really fun. Something that we will never forget for the rest of our lives. I know that Nonet will be a Nicholas Sparks fan in the making, too. My plan now is to complete all his 17 works. We only have 7 novels right now but I will be getting the 10 other novels and his novels yet to write. :)

Good luck and more power Nicholas Sparks. Please come back to the Philippines.

God bless you!

Ciao! :)

Nonet @ 6!

Little Antoinette No Comments »

I never realize how time flies so fast. Last October 28 my daughter, Antoinetter celebrated her 6th birthday. I didn’t throw her any birthday party but we have some extra food on our table and a cake to celebrate her birthday. :)

Before going home, I dropped by Saint Pio’s church and lighted three blessed candles for Nonet. I have been praying for her good health and that she will soon outgrow her asthma. As I pray before God, a thought came into me that I have been a mother for six years now, too. Yet, what made me wonder was, have I been a good mother to my daughter? I know that I have been working to support her needs but I know that being a mother doesn’t only mean providing your child or children with material needs but most importantly, making them feel that they are loved and cared for. That, material things are the least that you need to give them. And the first things in a mother’s list are love and attention.

As I looked back, I believe I have been a loving and caring mom the best that I can be. Although, I know that there are a lot of things that I still need to work on, I believe I was able to make Nonet feel that she is loved not only by me but our family. :)

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So then, I prayed to God on Nonet’s birthday that He will bless me and guide me to become a better mother for Nonet. She is only six years old and I have a long way to go.
I have entrusted Nonet to the Lord and I know that I have nothing to worry about her. I believe that God loves my daughter as much as He loves me. :)

Happy birthday anak. Mommy and daddy loves you always. God bless you!

I found this song from Mamma Mia, and I hope that I wouldn’t be singing this song anytime soon.. :P

Ciao! :)

Christmas Breeze

Feast and Festivities No Comments »

My sister Patty and my cousin April are heading off to Quezon. They decided to travel early to prevent being caught in a traffic jam. I had a terrible headache last night that I fell asleep after taking an ibuprofen. I walk up very early (around 2:30AM I guess) and found my sister and my cousin getting ready for their trip. It’s a long vacation because of Undas or All Saints Day.

I waited for them to take off and after they left. I started cleaning the house. Our house was a mess! I arranged my daughter’s toys and drawing materials. I swept the floor and did a little dusting on cabinets.

Then, I let our five cats out of their cages. When I opened the door, I really felt the breeze brought about the Christmas season. Yeah, Christmas time is just here once more. Christmas season is my most love day or season of the year. I love it more than my own birthday. Christmas brings a different joy in my heart, and a different happiness that makes me really smile.

I know it still early to send out Christmas invitations and get Christmas cards and gifts but, I guess it would be best if you get those done as early as possible especially if you have enough budget. It would be more convenient to buy gifts, card and invitations this early instead of cramming and getting into “Christmas rush”. :)

I have yet to finish my Christmas list though but I am working on it. Due to budget constraint, I have limited my list to the people who have really touched my heart and made a difference in my life this year. :)

Ciao! :)

Halloween Party @ OLRLC

fashion, Feast and Festivities, Little Antoinette No Comments »

The school where Nonet goes held their Halloween Party last October 26, 2011. Every student were asked to wear a costume and parents are requested to bring candies, chocolates and cookies for the children. I would like to wear Nonet a Cinderella gown and with a crown and a glass shoes (if we can find one). But, knowing my daughter, she wouldn’t wear it. My friend Manoline gave her a Wizard hat when she was around 3 years old. So, instead of Cinderella costume, we decided to make her a she-wizard! :) Which she really loved actually! :)

My aunt is a dressmaker so we didn’t have a hard time finding a costume for her. We searched EK’s wizard outfit in the Internet and showed it to my Tita Evelyn. My mother looked for a violet and a yellow “retaso” from my tita’s stuff. My mother cut out stars from the yellow cloth. Then she saw it on the wizard’s robe that my tita made. :)

The costume turned out to be outstanding. :) I also asked her to make a foot sock for Nonet but we ran out of cloth already. I bought Nonet a wand to complete the outfit. :)

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She didn’t win the best dress award though but she really did enjoy the party. :) This will be her last year in the said pre-school. I didn’t have any regret in sending her in Our Lady of the Rosary Learning Center for she learned a lot from it. Most of all, her Catholic faith is enriched and cultivated. :)

I would always be grateful to Teacher Elhay Guirnalda, Teacher Evelyn Santos, Teacher Nene Vitor and Teacher Christy Ramos.

God bless you all! :)

Ciao! :)

The Best of Me

In the News, My Books No Comments »

Since the time I learned that Nicholas Sparks will be visiting Manila to promote his new book entitled, The Best of Me, I have marked my calendar so I can find ways to be part of that event. Luckily, his book signing is scheduled on the same day that my daughter will celebrate her 6th birthday. I have filed for a vacation leave for that day like 2 months ago. Glad to know that it has been approved.

According to updates, the new book will come with a registration paper that will enable you to be part of a lucky draw. Yet the said paper is not a guaranteed signing pass. I told myself that I will still take a chance.

When I had my grocery last Tuesday, I asked auntie if we can drop by Bestseller to buy the said book. I told her about Nicholas Sparks and she was delighted. I told her that buying the book is not a guaranteed signing pass, but I’ll take my chance. :)

So, with the help of Auntie, I was able to buy The Best of Me. I was able to buy, Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie as well. :)

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“Everyone wanted to believe that endless love was possible. She’d believed in it once, too, back when she was eighteen…” – Nicholas Sparks (THE BEST OF ME)

I am really excited to read the book. In one of his interviews, Nicholas said that it is pretty much like, The Notebook. I like The Notebook so much. And, so far, it is my Nicholas Sparks’ favorite book. My sister Pau has been asking me to cover the book with plastic so she can read it. I’ll tell you more about the book signing on another post. I am really excited about it. :)

Ciao! :)

Angels in Disguise

Something Good No Comments »

I had immediate financial needs this week and I really don’t know how to resolve it. I don’t know where to find money. At the back of my mind I know that God will help me resolve it, that I just need to have faith. And, He did. God never let me down. :)

I asked few friends but they didn’t have extra money anymore, too. Yet, they helped me in their own ways to find some. I really appreciate the gesture and their efforts to help me. :) I was worried then but I didn’t lose hope. I know that everything will be okay for I have God. And, once again, He never left me.

In spite of the many terrible things that happen in our world today, it is still good to know that there are still people around us that we can really call as our friends; that God truly will never leave us no matter what happens. We just need to have faith and never lose our trust in Him.

Thank you to all my friends. You are God’s sent to me. You are all my angels in disguise. :)

God bless us all!

Ciao! :)

Water Spa with Mom

Beauty and Health No Comments »

It is generous of my sister to treat our mother and I to ACE Water Spa. It was her gift to her. She actually purchased two vouchers to use. The original plan was, she will accompany our mother to the spa. But, since she’d been there already, she decided to give the other voucher for me to experience it, too. Maybe, she sensed that I needed a relaxation and a spa would be great. :)

We went to ACE water spa last Sunday. It is a must that one would wear a swimsuit with no underwear. At first, I felt uncomfortable with it but I found a lot woman in the locker room wearing 1-piece or 2-piece swimsuit. And, they do not care whether you have the curves not. Like what my sister, Patty, told us, “walang pakialaman dun”. :)

After taking a shower, we headed to the pool area. Since, my vision are worst that my mother’s, she actually acted as my guide.

Well, I really enjoyed the different massages offered in the spa. The water is lukewarm and there are different water massages designed to a specific part of your body. There is waist jet massage; buttocks massage, chest massage, head and shoulder massage (which mama enjoyed the most). There are many more kinds of massages that I don’t remember the name. What I enjoyed the most are the dry sauna, the Rainfall Acupuncture and the hydro-buoyancy massage. :)

I almost fell asleep on while I was on the Rainfall Acupuncture. The rainfall was really like needles pricking the whole body but it was really good! :) The dry sauna offered relaxation to the tired body as it absorbs the heat. Then the hydro-buoyancy massage makes you float without an effort. It was really fun! :)

I also tried the herbal sauna bath for few minutes. Mama is not allowed in that area because of her heart illness.

I thought of bringing Antoinette there, too. She will not feel cold because the water is warm. She would definitely enjoy the number of water fountains around the pool area.

There is also a buffet restaurant in the building. The spa will actually make you hungry. The buffet cost Php499 while the entrance to the water spa is Php550. A thousand peso will not hurt your packet if you want to treat yourself once in awhile. It is still good to relax after days of work. :)

I would definitely come back to ACE water spa. :)

Ciao! :)

A child needs a mother

In the News, It's my Life, motherhood No Comments »

I just finished reading news about a 13-year old who hanged himself because he felt neglected and unloved by his own mother. This incident is just one of the many suicidal incidents we heard over the news or read on news paper. It is very alarming. :(

I become a mother at the age of 24. I am already working and people would think that I am at the peak of my career when I got pregnant. I got pregnant out of wedlock. I knew then that many people would criticize me, will question about my pregnancy and all. But I didn’t think about them. What I thought of was the interest of my baby to be. I thought about the baby’s future and how I would be able to give birth safely. I was lucky that Tata didn’t leave me. He supported me all the way and he was there when I gave birth. :)

I did not come from wealthy family. But God blessed me with a good job that I was able to support and provide enough for my daughter. Her father provide something for her, too especially when he has extra money. When Nonet is sick, I often get absent from work. Although she has my mother, mama still wanted me around when Nonet is sick. I remember one time, when I decided to go to work instead of staying at home, my mother and my sister rushed her to the hospital during the wee hours of the morning. Due to high fever and asthma, my daughter’s toes are turning violet already. My mother was so nervous, then. Since then, as much as possible, she wanted me to be around when our baby is sick.
I have been absent for two days now because Nonet has high fever. Gladly, she is not having any asthma attack. Otherwise, she would be confined at the hospital by now.

Since, I wanted to provide Nonet the best that I can give her, I have considered of working overseas. I believe that I would be able to earn thrice or even four times what I am getting now. But for some reasons, I am not able to own a passport. It’s not that my name is blacklisted or something, but every time I attempt to get a passport, something would happen which prevents me from getting one. Maybe, when my purpose of getting a passport is for travel and leisure only; maybe then I would be able to get one. :)

The news about the 13-year old boy hanging himself to death caught me because I am a mother. In the reports, the boy felt unloved and was longing so much for his mother. He needed maternal care and attention. He needed the love of his mother. He needed his mother.

His mother was away because she needs to work for her family. The child was a product of a broken family. If he had a father to take care of them and to provide for them, his mother wouldn’t need to work and be away from her children. But the mother didn’t have any choice. :(

I realized that in spite of the material things that a child receives from his or her parents; the most important gift that a child receives from his parents are still love and care.

Today, many parents are working and children are left under the care of their grandparents or nannies. I do not deny the fact that my daughter is also left under the care of my mother because I need to go to work to provide for her. Yet, I see to it that at least once or twice a month or whenever our budget allows, Nonet and I go on a date. I make a point to spend quality time with her at the mall. We eat at her favorite fast food. We play at amusement park. We go a little shopping. I buy her a toy, a book or new clothes. Sometimes, she requests for a movie disc. :)

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At home, when I am reading book, she also grabs her own book and she reads beside me. When she is tired of reading, she would ask me to read a story from her Children’s Bible. She loves that book so much. :) If I am being lazy reading or telling her story, I will just ask her to draw something. Sometimes, we play chess. You bet, she knows how to play chess. She even enjoys playing chess in computer. I don’t know how to play chess. She just teaches me how to move the pins. :P These are just few of the many things, that parents can do to spend quality time with their children. Things which will make their children feel loved and cared for.

I am aware that many parents need to do a lot of sacrifices leaving their children behind to work far away to provide for them, too. But the point is, our children needs love, care and attention above all material things.

Holy Family, bless the Filipino Families and all the families in the world! Amen.

Ciao! :)

Marian Exhibit

Marian devotee No Comments »

In lieu of the barangay fiesta, in our barangay, the Legion of Mary in our parish held Marian Exhibit. It showcased the different forms of Mary, the mother of God. Our patron saint is Mama Mary as the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. After the 3:30PM mass, two Sundays ago, we decided to visit the said exhibit which was located on the left wing of our church. It is really amazing to know that Mama Mary took many forms. But, in spite of the many forms Mama Mary has, she is still the one and only, mother of Christ. In every form she takes, her message is just the same; Pray the rosary. Pray. :)

I didn’t know exactly how many images were showcased on that exhibit. I enjoyed viewing the different appearances of Mama Mary. To name a few, there was Our Lady of Manaoag, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of the Assumption, Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (who is the patron saint of Antipolo), Our Lady of Carmel (which is known for the Brown Scapular), Our Lady of Penafrancia, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mater Dolorosa (the grieving image of Mary), Our Lady of the Abondoned, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of EDSA, Our Lady of Perpetual Help (which is the patron saint of Baclaran Church), Immaculate Concepcion and and a lot more.

I really like the image of Mary called as Nina Mary. It is very seldom that I see image of little Mary. Of course, Mary as mother in the Holy family was showcased as well.

I also prayed before the image of St. Joseph. St. Joseph being a role model of father and a family man, I prayed that I ney will be someone whom I can entrust to have a family with. Right now, I am just praying and praying for the both of us and especially for the welfare of our daughter.

We enjoyed the exhibit. Antoinette took pictures of Mama Mary’s images. Before, leaving the exhibit, I prayed before Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. I prayed for my daughter’s welfare, her father’s safety in Saudi and welfare. I prayed for my family, for all the people I care for, for my country, for the world, and for myself.

God bless us! Mama Mary, pray for us!

Ciao! :)

Marian Concert

It's my Life, Marian devotee No Comments »

I decided not to join our team building last Saturday for I just wanted to be with myself and spent time with me. I have been so emotionally stressed the past week and I wanted to rejuvinate my spirit by rediscover myself. I also want to have moments with me because of the recent heartaches I went through.

The weather is gloomy and the rain pours unexpectedly. I just decided to watch the Marian concert in our church. I haven’t seen Marian concert in our parish in a long time. I invited my friend Vic to watch the said concert. I knew in my heart that brother wouldn’t be there anymore, but I still keep my hopes high. :)

We thought that we’re already late. Yet the concert started around 8PM. We found available seats in the back pews. The concert started with a doxology led my Icthus choir. Then a welcome greeting from Bro. Billy.

Vic, Ken and I enjoyed listening to the beautiful voices of the choir. I really enjoyed the concert especially when our parish priest, Fr. Lito, sang his own composition, Just Believe in Him. :)

I remember the days when I used to sing in Marian concert. I really miss singing in the church and I miss singing in the choir.

I hope that one day I will have a chance to sing in the choir again.

Ciao! :)

Maybe, I am NOT really designed to get Married..yet

It's my Life, relationship No Comments »

When, I was younger, I was so idealistic about wedding. I have the design of my wedding gown, the flowers, the music and all. I just love collecting pictures and stuff for my “wedding” to be. I remember, Ma’am Do (from Speechpower) told me once, that I shouldn’t be so excited and planning so much about my wedding. Often times, the planned “wedding” doesn’t happen. Or, the woman doesn’t get married at all.

I was only 18 when she told me about it. I was so in love then and so naïve about love and weddings. The irony there, is that I am now 30, yet, I am not married still. I believe that God has purposes and reasons and plans why I am not married still. Maybe because, the man I would like to marry is not ready to be married yet. :(

Well, I guess there would really be no diamond rings on my finger anytime soon. :(

God for me is not just my God. He is my saviour, my provider, my king, my protector, my teacher, my healer, my guardian, my architect, my engineer, my carpenter, my papa jack, etc etc. But most of all, God is my friend. When I go to mass, I talk to Him as my friend. I laugh with Him in the silence of my heart. I cry before Him. And He knows, what I am going through, what I am feeling even  before I tell Him. God is so wonderful.

I knew in my heart that whatever problems ney and I have right now, everything will be in their places in God’s wonderful time. I believe that He wanted me to be prepared, to really prepare when the time comes that I will get married. I know that it will. :)

Ciao! :)

God keeps the love grow

It's my Life, relationship No Comments »
I was 18 years old when I went through a terrible heartache. My first love and my first boyfriend got his ex-girlfriend pregnant. It was a pain which other may call, “tagos to the bones”. I remember having dinner with my family, when I would suddenly cry because of the pain. As part of healing, I prayed the holy rosary as often as I can. I hear mass every Friday and light a candle at the grotto for emotinal healing. I prayed and prayed harder.
When I was studying for an upcoming exams, I decided to open my Bible and see what the Lord is going to tell me. I just opened the Bible randomly and to my surprised, it opened in 1 Corinthians. I believe that God has really spoken to me then. The exact verse where my fingers landed on was; 1 Corinthian 13:4-13. Here’s what is says:

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I hold this verse into my heart. I cried and cried after reading the passage. I knew that God is there with me especially during those painful days. I continued to pray and hear mass and light a canlde for my personal healing. But, I asked God through Mama Mary, that if ever ney and I would be together again, then send me a red rose.

On the same year, I was invited to participate in PREX, or Parish Renewal Experience. My relationship with the Lord is deepened through this seminar. I know that God loves me and all, but I learned to put everything under His charge. It was really an experience. :) On the last day of the seminar, we received letters and flowers from family and friends. I share the table with my godsister, Katrina and I saw our common friend Pete holding two roses. I knew already that one will be given to me. I just don’t which will be given to me. As he approached our table, my heart was already beating so fast that I could hardly breath. Then, he gave me the red rose. It was a happy moment. Though I didn’t realize yet the greater pain that I need to go through.
My friend Pinky, told me once, that when it is right, things and situations are simple, but when it is wrong, then things are complicated. True enough. Ney and I were in each others arms again after five years. But things, were not as simple as they were. We have gone through so much to fight for this relationship. I have fought for him and for love. But maybe, those are not enough, if God is not with you in the fight.
We have different beliefs when it comes to faith. Often times we argue about faith. He criticize my faith as Catholic. He criticize the priests, the practices and all that goes with my faith. And, I am hurt. Sometimes, just to prevent the argument which will lead into a fight, I just keep quiet yet in my silence, I pray to God that He will send the Holy Spirit and enlighten his mind. I pray to Mama Mary and I pray to Jesus. I pray everyday for his conversion. And up until today, I continue praying for him. Especially for his safety.

It has been 12 years since, I read that passage from the Bible. It says that the three remains, faith, hope and love. And the strongest of them all is Love. But, love without God is useless. Love without God will never flourish, it will never grow.

Inspite of all that we have gone through, I still got a priceless gift. I have my daughter whom I know will be a better and wiser woman than her mother. Right now, I only pray to God for Tata’s happiness and good welfare. I cannot just throw all the good times we had and besides, he will always be the father of my daughter.

God bless us both!

Ciao! :)

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