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"It's time to disengage ourselves from the turbulence of living with emotions, our senses saturated with feelings, and to accept that love--the living, enduring kind--can be there no matter what the temperature of the heart may be."
- Harold Sala

Reminder to self:

"Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel


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Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Like I said...
Now that my life has turned telenovela-tic, it amuses me to cut back to this.

Real life is so much more interesting than television, movies and the stage put together,wouldn't you agree?

Posted at 3/19/2008 1:29:54 pm by all_kaput
Magsalita ka!  

Thursday, March 13, 2008
Work in Progress
I learned a number of things about myself the last couple of days--things that have not been brought to my consciousness before. Most important of which, I think, is that

I'm quite a bitch sometimes.

That's right, an authoritarian, know-it-all, haughty, judgmental, sharp-tongued little bitch. No need to sugarcoat it.

I pray to God that he grants me grace to be humbled and changed for his glory.

Posted at 3/13/2008 1:23:26 pm by all_kaput
Magsalita ka!  

...and don't feel like working at all.

Posted at 3/13/2008 12:49:18 pm by all_kaput
Magsalita ka!  

Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Wand'ring and Wond'ring, Part 4: Cross-Country Highlights
26 days.

That's how long I was away from home. It would have been great to come up with a blow-by-blow account of all the things that happened to me while I was in the US--save for the most significant ones, anyway (for reasons I shall carry to my grave)--but as I actually have a full-time job and (something that resembles) a social life, I guess I'll just have to chronicle some of the highlights:

Textbook NY tourist

I had such a gracious hostess in my brief visit to New York. Tita Ade really took care of me, and made sure that I got a taste of Pinoy living right in Queens. Her daughter Ria with whom I went to high school, was so great, too, meeting up with Tita Ade and me twice and giving me access to Broadway discounts, yey!! :-)

Since I was unable to do it last time, I paid homage to the city's top celebrity: The Statue of Liberty, of course! Part of the package was Ellis Island, which was actually the one place I'd been wanting to visit since seeing "Gangs of New York" several years ago.

"I Dreamed a Dream"

Finally, after years and years and even more years of dreaming, I got to see Les Miserables on Broadway. AND, the huge bonus was that I got to see it with Lea Salonga playing Fantine! I swear, a 10-page journal entry cannot capture my delirious joy. And I didn't even care at all that I had to watch it "On My Own." (shucks, I'm so corny.) And did I mention I also stalked her quite a bit to get an autograph? No re-touch din for me prior to the stalking so dyulalay look ako sa picture namin. Hehe..Weeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!


It could've been on primetime TV: my 24-hour Washington, DC visit, hosted by dear friends M/T and J. With more than commendable patience and energy, these two got me on a marathon tour of the city and beyond, culminating in wine and good conversation right at their porch. May I also just say that I loooved their house? J's so sweet, too, with the welcome sign at the guest room door and the graciously served breakfast, making me anticipate going back for a longer stay :-)

"What happens in Vegas..."

I never thought I'd say that line, but for totally different reasons from the usual (no wild, drunken parties here), I am keeping mum on most of what went on there. Suffice to say that it was absolutely fantastic to be able to spend time with my family, and more so to be able to celebrate Mom's 50th birthday. So happy to be with my mother, bond with my baby sis, see dada again, meet my new brother Mario, and meet Minnie! The Camaras also treated me to dinner, and it was great to see them there. And, the trip to the Grand Canyon was just to die for!

Just have to say this, though: After getting over the lights and the glitter, one can't help observing that Las Vegas is such a lonely place.

Anyway, there goes my US trip summary, which took an unbelievable 6 months to complete. You don't want to know why ;-)

Posted at 3/12/2008 8:20:33 pm by all_kaput
Magsalita ka!  

Sunday, August 19, 2007
Wand'ring and Wond'ring, Part 3: Dory, The Spaced Out Tourist Fish
Early morning following a night of beer and goodbyes, I left the University of Connecticut and officially began my vacation. First stop was Danbury, still in Connecticut, for breakfast and a little catching up with a former schoolmate who's now doing her residency there. Doc Ella was nice enough to accommodate me, treating me to breakfast and to a tour of her new town. It's always nice to know how people are doing, especially people you've known as a child; I was particularly happy to see that she's doing quite well, living her own adventure and enjoying her independence here in the US. (On another note, I also observed, upon arrival at the town, more than a couple dozen men, all Latinos, standing around the vicinity of the bus station; I learned from Ella that these were immigrants without legal papers, awaiting recruiters for possible employment. I actually saw them run after and flock around a car that arrived, apparently with such a recruiter behind the wheel. Life is difficult enough in this country, but definitely so much more for these people who came here dreaming the American dream.)

Ella also gave me instructions for getting to the house of Tita Ade, our former teacher who would be hosting me for 2 nights in New York. For my Metro ride, the instruction was simple: take the 7th train to Queens, and get off at 69th-Fisk. I inputted, "69th Fisk" in my mobile phone just to make sure I don't miss it. A couple of hours later though, as I stepped into the 7th train, my brain for some reason started dictating, "46th, 46th, 46th..." And what do you know, I got so confused and disoriented when I saw that the stop at 46th Street said St. Bliss instead of Fisk, that I ended up getting off at the next stop--52nd Street! I went down into the street carrying my heavy luggage, realized I was lost, and walked 2 blocks deciding I would just find a taxi. When I finally hailed them, 2 cabs one after the other told me they were from Manhattan and were not familiar with Queens, so i just swallowed my pride and called Tita Ade to report that I was lost. It was a couple of minutes into our conversation that I realized I had totally forgotten the right stop! I also remembered then having inputted "69th Fisk" in my phone. What. A. Smart. Little. Lady. :(

After more sweat (it was early afternoon, and the summer sunshine was killing me) and lots of cursing (directed towards myself, of course), I got back up to the metro, arrived and got off the right stop (finally!!), and reached the house. Buti na lang Tita Ade gave me unconditional love and welcome; I should've been punished for making her wait so long for me, but instead I got fed kare-kare, Queens style!

Posted at 8/19/2007 7:01:56 am by all_kaput
Magsalita ka!  

Wand'ring and Wond'ring, Part 2: The UNESCO Intergenerational Leadership Programme
"Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, find its destiny, fulfill it, or betray it."
-- Frantz Fanon

The UNESCO Forum was quite an experience for me. The barrage of lectures and the interaction with dozens of human rights practitioners from all over the world impressed upon me the reality of a common human struggle for the enjoyment of rights, transcending boundaries of state, race, gender and faith. For most of my life as a development worker I always reasoned with myself that I am in this profession to serve Filipino children, to make even the most minute contribution to improving their plight and to lighting up the future of my country. But as I was made to ask by former atomic bomb scientist turned peace advocate Charles Prewitt, "What is a country?" Borders and territories and nationalities have all been so arbitrarily put into place over centuries of war and political turmoil, but really, aren't we all the same human species, and doesn't service to one child bear the same meaning and significance regardless of the arbitrary labels identifying the served and the servant? "Go where you are called; go where you are needed" is a mantra that I always strived to adhere to, and now I can see that sticking to it can present even greater challenges to me than it always had, especially now that I am seeing more clearly. I feel the need to step up and ready myself for whatever and wherever God has in store in this vocation that He has chosen for me.

The forum was also an opportunity for me to be inspired and to fire up my passion for the work I'm doing. There is something about being with people who have not lost sight of the meaning and purpose of what they are doing, who are commonly impassioned to (pardon the trite expression) make a difference, that makes one forget how lonely this kind of work can be. It's like finding soul brothers and sisters, whom you know are one with you in this struggle for "peace, love and harmony" haha [sorry, that was a private joke in the forum] :-)

Posted at 8/19/2007 6:05:47 am by all_kaput
Magsalita ka!  

Wand'ring and Wond'ring, Part 1
I'm in Las Vegas right now, staying with Mom and Dada and Dee-an and Lola. Nearly a week after the UNESCO forum in Connecticut, I am finally able to take time to write about it and about my experience here in the US so far.

When I came here last year I spent most of my time in meeting rooms, though I did manage to squeeze in a few activities typifying New York tourists--such as walking the length of 5th Avenue, strolling along Central Park and watching a Broadway musical (Phantom of the Opera!). This time my itinerary is so much better plotted: 1 week of work and 2 weeks of pure, unadulterated (for the most part, anyway) vacation!

Posted at 8/19/2007 4:42:33 am by all_kaput
Magsalita ka!  

Monday, July 30, 2007
On my way, finally!
I have finalized my itinerary and booked my flights. Totoo na ito, I'm really taking a break, yahoo!!

On second thought, it's not really a "break" in the strictest sense of the word. I am, after all, attending a forum for about a third of my time in the US; I have also allowed partners to bully me (for the sake of diplomacy? for a bit of glory? by mere idiocy?) into taking on a technical editing task for a huge document that has been in the works over the past year. Shoot. Darn. Stupid, stupid.

Still, I'm bent on enjoying this time out. I'll be meeting so many very interesting people, learning a lot, doing my version of a cross-country tour, visiting friends, watching Lea on Les Miz (this is a real highlight), visiting the Grand Canyon, and best of all, spending time with my Mom, Dada and not-so-little baby sis.

I'm so excited!!!

Posted at 7/30/2007 9:37:28 am by all_kaput
Mga nagsalita (1)  

Monday, July 23, 2007
Here's the closest I can get to becoming a Simpson's character:

You can also create your own Simpsons avatar here

Posted at 7/23/2007 10:27:50 am by all_kaput
Magsalita ka!  

Thursday, July 12, 2007
Here we go again
Okay, so I'm hitting the gym again. (Was actually having second thoughts about blogging about it for fear of jinxing myself.) Maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to keep it up this time. I really have to, considering how I already wasted a little fortune paying for gym dues for more than half a year now, with nary a single visit!!

Superhon and I have been leading relatively fitness-conscious lifestyles these days--I say "relatively," because we only go so far as working out, he with his bike and his Judo team, and I with my, eherm, 3 trips to the gym so far (Just started this weekend!). I guess you can count "relatively" (just have to qualify again!) diet-conscious eating habits as well; we remain a couple of workaholics, though, and sleep is still low on our priority list of ways to spend time. But hey, we can only try so hard to be healthy, hehe...

Anyhow, I have one goal in mind as I sweat on the treadmill and do my near-fatal (that's what this drama queen feels about it anyway) crunches: RIPPED ABS. Ha!!

Let me get back to you on that in a couple of months.

Posted at 7/12/2007 7:30:34 am by all_kaput
Mga nagsalita (1)  

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