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Thursday, June 29, 2006

What VIAMARIE is thankful for this week

There are always two explanations for conflicts that exist in our relationships with others. And just last week when I experienced a confrontation with a senior officer of the company , it was unfortunately very difficult for me to see the opposing point of view. Out of fear, I resolved to incriminate the other side in order to defend my own behavior.

It was easier for me to be right than to admit I had any part in the argument I was having with her. I forgot that: The one who joins the fight is just as guilty as the one who starts it. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

A few days later, I noticed that the conflict between us has started to affect the operations of the company so I started to reflect on what transpired and prayed hard for guidance on how I could release myself from this destructive conduct. Then just a day later, a junior officer who happened to be in the same meeting when the confrontation took place, joined me for lunch and while she was sharing with our other lunchmates what transpired during the meeting, I started to realize that I was wrong in behaving that way towards the senior officer.

After lunch I invited the senior officer to the cofffe shop and there I apologized and so did she.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Things since then started to normalize and I am very thankful to God for using the junior officer to remind me of the simple plan of action of just being honest enough to admit that I am not always right.

From now on I will always remember that honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness to accept the fact that we might be wrong, can usually resolve our inner conflict. By nurturing ourselves and healing the inner anger, we will no longer have reasons for battle.

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7:38 AM | Permalink | 11 comments
Wednesday, June 28, 2006


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Monday, June 26, 2006

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Victorias Milling Company Inc.
Negros Occidental, Philippines

My father who was the head of Civil Construction of this company together with Ade de Bethune, a Belgian-born American artist and liturgical art expert of Newport, Rhode Island built this chapel in 1948. This chapel has become a landmark in the history of liturgical art because of its modernism. The mosaic decorations on the outside of the chapel were made of broken pieces of plates & bottles (coca cola, milk of magnesia, beer and whisky) which the mill site community contributed. The mosaic figures have a Filipino folk-art quality.The religious images are brown skinned and wearing Filipino clothes: Virgin Mary in saya & St. Joseph in barong. The artistic elements that have made this small chapel world-famous (it has been featured in Life, Liturgical Art and Progressive Architecture among others) retain their iconographic power and splendor of form. It shocked the sensibility of the average churchgoer long accustomed to the religious images found in Philippines churches, which on the whole are conservatively bland.

This is where I was baptized and where beautiful memories of my childhood days were created.

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6:44 AM | Permalink | 12 comments
Sunday, June 25, 2006


My friend's daughter who was in sixth grade broke her right arm and for a while was able to keep up with class work with the help of her wonderful teacher. One day, while her arm was still in a cast, she and a friend who happened to be waiting their turn on the orthodontist's chair, chatted about school.

"You've got it made," her friend teased. "No reports to write, no written tests to take". "Yes," she laughed. "And when this heals, I might just break it again!". "...and all that special attention I get from the teacher." "You're being jealous," she joked. "After all, I'm unique!"

A few days later, my friend and her daughter were called by the principal. In a stern tone, she relayed that a woman who had been in the reception room at the same time they were had telephoned the school to report what she overheard and she was disappointed at how the teachers in the school were tolerating students who think of themselves as unique and deserving of special attention.

My friend at first was too stunned to speak. But then she realized that the woman had not deliberately lied. She had only repeated her daughters' words out of context and in a manner that totally changed their meaning.

Has this happened to you? What about that something you've recently heard and plan to tell a friend? Are you sure that you have it right? Will the tone of your voice or its injection amend the real meaning? Will your repeating it embarass or hurt someone else? If so, it's best to leave it unsaid.
12:53 PM | Permalink | 4 comments
Saturday, June 24, 2006

This Week's Theme: Love


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Friday, June 23, 2006


Photo # 1 - FLAG

The Philippine Flag in front of our City Hall

Photo # 2 - FIRE ENGINE

These are the fire engines stationed in our subdivision.

Photo # 3 - RED, WHITE & BLUE

This was enjoyed by all the mall shoppers in Makati City-Philippines

Photo # 4 - FIREWORKS

This is what we call a "Rocket Launcher". My hubby mounted in on a ladder before he had his photo taken. Unfortunately, it was not properly mounted so it fell and started to launch its rocket in our neighbor's garage which later on caught fire. This was the last firework we had. The year that followed, we celebrated our New Year's Eve by staying overnight in a hotel. We just watch all the beautiful fireworks display from our hotel room.
6:45 AM | Permalink | 12 comments
Thursday, June 22, 2006

Thankful Thursday:
What VIAMARIE is thankful for this week

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI’m thankful for my dear friends who cheer me when I’m blue

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI’m thankful for the gentle rains that have started to come for it has made the air cooler and the grass greener after many rainless months.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI’m thankful for a restful night and the beautiful blue sky this early morning.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI'm thankful for all the prayers said for my sister-in-law for they have made her more awake and more conversant these past few days.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI’m thankful for a loving God who meets my every need.

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Click here for the Thankful Thursday code

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6:50 AM | Permalink | 11 comments
Wednesday, June 21, 2006


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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Here is my story as my tribute to a dearly beloved father on Father’s Day.

When my father died, I was overcome with guilt that I hadn't been with him. Then he came to me in a dream...

After he stopped working as a consultant in a company, my dad tried to stay healthy and active. Each morning, until the weather turned too cold, he would wake up ahead of every one to prepare our breakfast and water the plants in the garden.

By his late eighties, he accidentally tripped on an electrical cord in his bedroom which fractured his left femur. He had to undergo orthopedic surgery and everything went well. But because of his age, my dad had noticeably dwindled in strength and energy.

By age ninety one, he was unable to move around anymore even with his walker or cane. All he could do by then was to sit in a chair beside his bed. He depended a lot on my mom, who is eighteen years his junior, for his personal needs and this made him feel depressed. Every time I would visit him I pretended not to notice. His mind was clear, but his disabling arthritis had worn him down. One day he said to my mom, "In case of an emergency I do not wish to be kept alive by any extraordinary means and I want to be cremated." " He smiled his wonderful, broad grin and said, "I've been blessed to have had reached this age and to have you as my wife for 57 years and see my three children all doing well so I'm ready to go."

In less than a week later, my mom called to say that daddy was coughing so I asked the maid to come over to the hospital to get the medicines prescribed by the doctor. I was in a meeting with my staff when suddenly, a jolt shook me and I felt my heart stop beating. It was at this instance when my secretary peeped at the door of my office to tell me the maid was on the phone. "Oh, my God," I said. "Something terrible happened to Daddy. I felt it!" I jumped up, then called the Emergency Room for an ambulance.

When I got to his bedroom, I saw him still sitting on the bed with my mom beside him. I hugged my mom tightly and asked her what happened and she said that he was trying to cough out a sticky phlegm when he suddenly choked and stopped breathing. I then hugged and kissed my dad and laid him down in bed.

While waiting for the funeral parlor car, I started to think that it had seemed to me that this beloved man could never die. He had been such a solid, loving presence in my life. In spite of his age, my heart refused to believe he died so suddenly. I raged inside, believing I had let my dad down by not being at his side. I could have gone to see him when mommy called and personally check on him but I didn’t. I could have held his hand and told him of my love as he had passed on. That's the way it should have been, my inner critic scolded. You should have told him how much you loved him, as he had always told you. You should have been there for him. It would have meant a lot to him. That's what you should have done! And I felt the relentless heaviness of guilt mingled with grief.

Knowing I'd been an attentive and loving daughter wasn't enough as the months and years wore on. Nothing made a dent in my stubborn conviction that I hadn't been there when he'd needed me the most.

Now a dream has set me free.

After 4 years, my father came to visit me in a dream and tell me his side of the story:

You know I worked long past retirement age, and when my knees just couldn't carry me anymore, I felt disgraced by being so weak. Most of all, I never wanted you to see me as a helpless old man dying in a hospital bed. It would have hurt too much to have you there. So I'm telling you the truth, my darling daughter: I know you loved me as I loved you. And I did not want you there at my death, and I did not want you holding my hand when I died. That was what you wanted, not what I wanted. My death was perfect, just the way it was. There are two sides to everything - even death.

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2:29 PM | Permalink | 14 comments
Friday, June 16, 2006

This Week's Theme - SPORTS

Tenpin Bowling was my favorite sport for many years. In fact I was the champion tenpin bowler of our community in the associate division for quite sometime. Had to stop when I was diagnosed to have carpal tunnel syndrome. This photo was taken when my team in the hospital where I work won the championship over 25 other competing companies in 1994. Those were the days my friends....
8:05 AM | Permalink | 32 comments
Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thankful Thursday: What VIAMARIE is thankful for this week

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThese past days a lot of personal achievements have been accomplished and I would like to thank God for all of them. They were small ones but I am very grateful for them. They are the measurements by which I see that I have contributed something worthwhile to the world, and made the world a better place. They are real treasures that see me through life, and make me feel I am making sense with my life. They provide me with some meaning and purpose in life - some feelings of affirmation, encouragement, and inspiration. My life matter with my achievements, and I am not left out in the world of indifference. My feelings of failure and loss are not isolated from my feelings of success and achievement. They are an essential part of being human.

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7:15 PM | Permalink | 5 comments
Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Lights at the
Philippine Interventional Convention Center

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Today, we are celebrating our 108th Independence Day and the different towns and cities of the entire archipelago will be doing their own share of festive celebrations . For Filipinos here in Metro Manila, Mr. Rome Jorge has this to say:

Monday’s Independence Day started with a glorious government-organized parade and will end with hard-hitting indie folk protest music! From a look back at our heroic history to a stirring call to action on today’s most pressing issues, Independence Day celebrations offer something for everyone.

Welcoming the eve of the country’s 108th Independence Day was a pop concert at the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) that began at 8 p.m. Sunday night. Entitled "Hinabing Gunita [Woven Recollection]: Independence Day Asalto [Welcome] Performance," the hour and half-long celebration employed a repertoire of ageless folk and pop songs to narrate the story of the country’s long journey to freedom.

The performers comprised some of the finest of the country. Artists included the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Ballet Philippines, Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, Tanghalang Pilipino, Grace Nono, Bituin Escalante, Dulce, May Bayot, Noni Buencamino, The CompanY, Julia Abueva, Nanette Inventor, Reuben Laurente, Jed Madela, Gerald Santos, Hail Mary the Queen Children’s Choir and UE Chorale. Alex Cortez directs the event with musical direction and arrangement by Chino Toledo, production design by Gino Gonzales, choreography by Alden Lugnasin and lighting design by Monino Duque.

Organized by the Department of Tourism and the CCP, the event espoused the government’s theme of "Pagkakaisa para sa matatag na republika [unity for a strong republic]."

But the last say on Independence Day belongs to indie artists.

Noel Cabangon, Joey Ayala, Bayang Barrios, Cooky Chua, Cynthia Alexander and Gary Granada—all legendary voices of an entire generation that by themselves alone would make for must-see performance. Together, they promise an Independence Day like no other Monday at 9 p.m. at the Conspiracy Garden Café on Visayas Avenue, Quezon City, with "Freedom Jam: an Independence Day Celebration."

Forged and tempered with years of uncompromising political, environmental and artistic struggle, these well-loved veterans of folk, rock, jazz and ethnic music get together once more for a night of music that is insightful and provocative, mellow and militant.

The concert is more than a celebration of the freedom; it is a reevaluation of the state of our freedom and poses the question on whether or not we are satisfied with the quality of freedom that we have today. It is a reminder of the continuing struggle for us to afford ourselves the kind of lives that we think we deserve to live.

"Freedom Jam" continuous the yearly tradition of Conspiracy Garden Café which is co-owned by Cabangon, Ayala, Barrios, Chua, Alexander and Granada, among others. The café itself is an example of artists empowering themselves. Their latest songs still bite and sting. And they themselves are still fixtures at events for worthy causes. Whether it is with their business, their music, or their advocacies, these artists don’t compromise. According to the artists, their establishment’s name also means to "co-inspire."

Ayala explains, "Independence is just as much about interdependence. It’s about relationships. We have to remember where we came from, where we are going, who feeds us, who our friends are and who our enemies are."

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Saturday, June 10, 2006


in front of the Basilica de Sto Nino
Cebu City-Philippines in the Year 2002

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006


A transportation vehicle in the Philippines

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Monday, June 05, 2006
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Today, I will greet the day with a smile
so that I may open the door for happiness,
friendship, and love to enter.

I received a call from a new acquaintance in our Purpose Driven Life Seminar and she sounded really sad and lonely. She had just separated from her husband and was still trying to cope with it. She needed someone to talk to so I listened while she cried her heart out.

When I put the phone down, I felt good. I've been doing this many times but for close friends and people I work with and it felt good too but this kind of feeling was entirely different. I realized that when we lend a sympathetic ear to someone who is in trouble especially when she/he is not close to you or when we pray for another person's health, happiness and prosperity, we feel a wonderful sense of belonging and being a part of the human race.

It is only through loving others that we can begin to love ourselves. Learning to give of ourselves unconditionally to another human being can be a healing and self-nurturing experience.

When we are faced with the challenge of life's daily trials, we must seek out unselfishness. As we develop this behavior, we will soon realize that it is in our thoughtlessness of ourselves and our thoughtfulness of others that we are able to have a greater understanding of what love, peace, joy and happiness really mean.

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Mirror: This Week's Theme

An office building in Manila, Philippines
that is like a giant mirror.

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Friday, June 02, 2006
We turn not older with years,
but new every day!
Emily Dickinson

The other day an officemate asked me how I will be feeling about becoming a year older in a few days time. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. For me old is way past 70 years and I'm just in my fifties. Upon seeing my reaction, he was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let him know.

Growing old, I decided, is a gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body ... the wrinkles and the baggy eyes that have started to be noticeable. And often I am taken aback by that aging person that lives in my mirror, but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less grey hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.

I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly decor that I didn't need, but looks so beautiful on my patio. I am entitled to overeat and to be extravagant.

I have seen many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 a.m and sleep until noon?

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love . I will.

I will dress in a manner I choose to , and they have no right to complain or to criticize.

They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten and I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when a beloved pet dies?

But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair start turning grey, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could start turning silver. I can say "no," and mean it. I can say "yes." and mean it.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like growing old.

It has set me free.

I like the person I have become.

I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.

And I shall eat dessert every single day.

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10:18 AM | Permalink | 14 comments
Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thankful Thursday: What VIAMARIE is thankful for this week

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingTo have wonderful friends who lift up my spirits when I'm feeling low.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingTo God for allowing my sister-in-law to see more clearly now and for her to be pain free even if cancer cells have metastasized to her brain.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingTo God again for working his way through my brother and his two sons because they have now fully accepted my sister-in-law's condition in a very positive manner.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingTo my boss for allowing me to take a birthday leave which I have not been granted in such a long time.

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Links to other Thankful Thursdays
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Click here for the Thankful Thursday code

Click here for Chrixean's blog

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10:20 AM | Permalink | 10 comments