There was a time when I felt I had too much. I disconnected myself from the world until I learned that it’s okay to NOT sleep beside your mobile phone or jump upon each text message beep. I regulated my connections focusing on family and self. Then, gradually, I opened up to the world again. I stayed connected but this time I am more mindful of the connections I make.
Wading through the blogging waters is a most fulfilling connection for me. When I read blogs, I find myself lost in the thoughts of others. I think. I feel. When I read comments, I feel good that somehow, my thoughts are heard. When I find online friendships, I find comfort and inspiration. And when some blogs I follow do not appear in my reader for quite some time, I wonder…
These thoughts run through my mind.
Where could he be?
She must be busy.
Maybe she’s off to another great adventure! I can’t wait to read about it.
Is she okay?
I hope he is okay.
You mean, if he doesn’t go back to his blog, it means I lost him forever?
(I’m not on Facebook so this is possible, I guess.)
And then after some time, some lost bloggers get back through a post. Some explain their absence. Some just continue from where they left off. Some put out a great, beautiful adventure post which explains what he was up to. Some share a rough spot that has hindered their blogging. But when that single comeback post reaches my reader, I am relieved. I am comforted. I am happy to be back reading the precious blogs I follow.
But then, there are some who haven’t come back yet. And I continue to wonder and ponder at the amazing connection I have made through blogging. There are a still a handful of bloggers I am waiting for. As I wait in the wing, I hope and pray that they’re really just okay.
I don’t like steel. It’s cold. I don’t like gray. It’s dreary. Perhaps, this is why I am not so fond of robot movies. I never understood why Star Trek was such a popular hit. There are a few though that I managed to sit through and finish. And I even found these robots endearing.
R2D2 of Star Wars is a darling robot to me. His beep-beep-boop- beep voice spells warmth, wit and loyalty throughout the film franchise.
Another droid from the Star Wars film franchise, C 3PO is a typical service robot running on efficiency and immaculate orderliness. I remember scenes of C 3PO trying to help his master even with a torn leg or a lost arm. That makes me think of the human side of robots.
A highly commercial and action packed film, this movie is geared toward pure entertainment with the ultimate objective of being a blockbuster movie that it was. The Terminator by its name is supposed to be cold, unforgiving and relentless in pursuing his target. With its power guns, enormous blasting effects and hard core action man Schwarzenegger in the lead, it was surprising to find tears towards the end. This is far-fetched, I know but it was still an attempt to reflect kindness even among the cold metal creatures.
Andrew of The Bicentennial Man
Andrew of the Bicentennial Man movie is one of the robots closest to discovering the power of emotions. The film in itself radiates the possibilities of merging the human character and the robot advantage. The story is thought-provoking. Then again, what Robin Williams film is not?
My Robot of the Hour: Iron Man 3
This film is nothing deep or profound as it is a highly entertaining and gripping commercial movie like any super hero flick. In this movie, it was Robert Downey Jr. who made me fell in love with the Iron Man. (His performance here was so good.) I like the movie because it was fun and entertaining. I like Iron Man because he taught me once again that arrogance and power is all fluff and that eventually, when it overwhelms you, you run empty in the end.
I ultimately enjoyed Iron Man. I’d love to talk about it more but Jessica Zafra, one of the most admired writers in the country has done a great job reviewing it, as usual. She aptly states, “It’s not the suit. It’s the man.”
In his new photo book, Vertical Horizon, photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagreze has captured the density of Honk Kong from the ground up. While images of Hong Kong’s crowded skyline are common enough, Jacquet-Lagreze’s abstract take on the city’s elongated architecture from a worm’s eye perspective give the urban landscape a new sense of awe.
The past days, in my neighborhood, I noticed there were more children than usual roaming around the football field. I peered through our window and saw some kids having their pictures taken with community landmarks of the camp as their background. I realized that the Philippine Marines “Football for Peace” sports program is in full swing.
Football for Peace, now on its 3rd year is a program by the Philippine Marines that hopes to promote the value of friendship, discipline and teamwork among the children of Mindanao and other parts of the country. The children have come to love football, as soldiers taught them the skills needed to enjoy the sport. Every year, the kids are brought to Manila to participate in the annual Football for Peace festival. This year, it was being held in our neighborhood for almost a week.
I watched the children admiringly as I hang out in the football field. The week was quite different with them around. An air of kindness and childlike wonder lingered around. I am just a spectator but I was able to gather snippets of stories about the children’s experience.
I was proud that it was my husband’s ship that transported the children to Zamboanga City to board their plane going to Manila. Coming from Tawi Tawi and Sulu, the players were all excited about their trip to Manila. Some were first-timers. My husband was amused with the happy faces filled with anticipation. He saw the kids preparing their soccer gear —spike shoes, shin guards and all!
For one night, families in our community hosted dinner for the children, adopting kids for a family dinner. This allowed intimate interaction of our children with the kids from Mindanao. There were some kids who were brought to Jollibee, the nation’s most famous fast food chain. The happy bee definitely made the kids more excited! They also went around the city to visit popular tourist destinations. I heard that the skyscrapers alone were enough to amaze the kids!
The sporty kids also got a chance to be trained by famous Phil and James Younghusband of the Philippine Azkals.
And when it was time to compete in the festival, they played football and gave their best. As they started off not knowing what an actual football looks like, they were trained by the Marines in Mindanao to play the sport. Playing against schools and clubs where football is a popular sport, the Mindanao footballers showed that they too can play the game. As they went up against players from Xavier, Ateneo, Don Bosco and teams from the Philippine Army and the Philippine Navy, football has never been as fun and as hopeful. This time, it is not only about winning the game. It is about helping the children dream and believe they can live better lives even when the war-torn and poverty-inflicted reality confronts them.
Ever since my son loved the sport, I have learned to love football too. And now, I saw first hand how it is being used as an instrument to promote peace and build dreams. I love it even more. I am also proud and happy that the uniformed men of the country has taken a step like this to reach out to young and innocent minds in the quest for peace and better lives. The children are on their way home now. As much as they hold on to the happy memories they have gained, they have touched lives here as well.
I always prayed for a better relationship with my father. There is no question about how we love each other but what I had with my father was often a turbulent part of my life. Sometimes, I attributed this to the overwhelming love that comes along with it.
This year, we both have been at a certain low point in life. He, with his discovered heart problem and I, with daunting business challenges. It’s funny how life’s low points bring you closer to the people you love. During bad times, there are feelings of hopelessness, vulnerability and sadness. But along with these, one also embraces faith and appreciation for the more meaningful things in life. During bad times, we let the love shine through. These are perfect moments when we can actually make our love and support count. I remember my dad being at his best as a father by being there for me whenever I failed.
And so, I continued to pray for a better relationship with my dad. I didn’t know how it could happen but recently, unconsciously, I slowly noticed that things were better for him and me. As we went through the process of life’s low points, being with him is easier, better. My husband Constancio has a lot to do with how my Dad and I are in a better state now. Constancio helped me to let go and forget, to understand and accept.
I smile at my father’s presence. He is much more around now, playing chess with my eldest son, bringing my daughter to swimming practice and opening the refrigerator in the middle of the night to sneak out some goody snacks prohibited in his diet.
I guess that one — it won’t really change! =>
I marked the 20th of April in my calendar for the Blog Inspired workshop to be given by amazing women bloggers I have admired from afar for the past year. I said, I would attend this gathering at all cost. I did. After hopping off a Victory Liner bus from the countryside, attending to my sons’ soccer games, I left at the middle of the day to attend the 3 hour session, with the hope of not missing my son’s goal when I get back to the soccer game.
The world of blogging has evolved radically for the past years. From the simple joy of sharing your thoughts to the world, blogging has become a powerful tool for marketing and money-making. This has to be said. Yet, in this exciting world of blogging, there are stand out bloggers who continue to inspire, encourage and motivate. These bloggers have successfully echoed their voice amidst the tempting possibilities of commercialization. It is time to go back to the real reasons why one is part of blogosphere. These thoughts are the premise of the Blog Inspired workshop.
During the time when I was a slave to work, I had a dream of being a lola blogger (grandma blogger) because I thought that would be the only time I will slow down in life. But happily, I got to blogging sooner, especially when I learned that the gift of blogging was available 10 to 12 years ago! Here are 5 beautiful lessons I picked up from the workshop,
1. Define your blog’s purpose and go back to it every now and then. Only you can define your blog’s purpose. That purpose will serve as your anchor. From purpose comes meaning.
2. It all starts with sincerity. A sincere voice resonates. Insincere thoughts come across readers through blogs more evidently than you think.
3. Tell your story. Each one has a story to tell and somewhere out there, there is someone who can learn from it. Share and connect but do so with dashes of wisdom.
4. Your blog is not your life. It is one of the most powerful tools you can use to live the life that you want. Blogging is a journey. Personally, when I go back to my older posts, I am amazed at the paths I have left and followed.
5. Blog about what makes you happy. You can choose to find a niche or not, or just write about all things random or focus on the something you are passionate about. The happiness will show. And sharing this happiness — it’s a lovely contribution to the world.
Of course, I met 4 lovely women bloggers during the workshop who have successfully inspired and are continuously inspiring the world in their own beautiful blogging ways. Meet them.
Martine of The Dainty Mom
Martine is a wonderful writer, who blogs about the blissful things in life. I admire how she lives life ‘prettily’ while working for excellence in life —whether it be as a mother, a wife, a blogger, a woman.
Jayme of OptiMommy
Jayme is the ‘Chief Inspiration Officer of Optimommy, a blog on positive parenting and mindful mothering. I love how she has put that!
Michelle of Beyond the Silver and Gold
Michelle is a homeschooling mom, advocating sincerity and diligence in blogging.
Toni of Wifely Steps
Toni is behind the blog, Wifely Steps where she talks about things close to her heart and she does so with so much wit, ease and sincerity.
The Blog Inspired workshop is the first workshop on blogging that I ever attended. I am not a very experienced blogger but I am glad I am on the right track. I know my purpose. I have worked along this purpose for more than a year. I am proud of the small community I have in my space and I must say, it thrives on sincerity, stimulating conversation, the lightness of life and graciousness. And yes, being here makes me happy. We have all heard about these lessons but along the way, we have also lost them at some point. There are times when questions just pop out: “What do I write about in this post?,” or “Why am I blogging?” or “Should I share this with others?” These lessons can help us thresh out our thoughts and find the answers as we allow our blogs to grow.
That was a workshop worth going to. And oh, I missed my eldest son’s first ever soccer goal. Sheesh. You really can’t win ‘em all. =>
Solace — it means to give comfort in times of distress or grief. When I entered Solace Wine and Dine in San Lorenzo, Makati, I felt solace at once. The lovely interior design of the place was comforting. The touches of green spread around me was inviting and perfectly comforting. It gave a modern chic feel to anyone who enters while providing that soothing ambience.
As the green pears and apples accented the entire place pleased me, sadly, I can’t say the same about the food…or the coffee. On a Monday morning, hot tasty coffee is a must for me and my husband. The coffee on that morning was served cold. And it tasted not so good. When the main breakfast entrée came, my husband was immediately disappointed, I can tell. The picture boasted of a big breakfast meal that looked like this…
Well, the pictures do not really show the difference I wanted to point out but really, as it also tasted just ‘ok,’ it didn’t make our morning. As for me, I had this…
And like what my husband had, it was just ok.
I guess we had high expectations of the place after reading a lot of good reviews. The expectations were even set higher as the interiors were nicely done. Or maybe, breakfast is not just their thing.
I’m not closing my doors. I might just go back for their other interesting entree for lunch or dinner like the Lamb with Blue Cheese Mashed Potato. Just having that on the menu gives Solace a second chance from me. Hmmm…