Maraming Salamat Po!

Taken at Lim Ket Kai Mall, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines (with friends)

Taken at Lim Ket Kai Mall, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines (with friends)

Before 2013 ends, I just want to thank you all my blogging friends!
2013 has been a very memorable year because of you.
Thank you for the wonderful exchange of ideas and experiences.
I have learned so much.

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The Morning

The Mockingbird in Me

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The morning paints a smile on my face
As he tickles me with his amusing grace
I stop to see and think and feel
To check if he is even real

Lovely little flowers dancing, aglee
As Mr Gentle Breeze plays with Bumble Bee
Grass and trees — lush and green
Every blade of leaf made picturesque
By Ms Morning Dew’s gentle caress

The birds they tweet as beautifully as they could
As if to greet the leader of the ‘hood’
Lo and behold I see him coming
How strong and mighty yet mesmerizing

Indeed, the morning painted a smile on my face
As he tickled me with his amusing grace
I stayed to watch him blossom
Into a friendship one can never fathom

But you see some good things never last
Mr Morning had to go past
I can only hope to see him tomorrow
As he tickles me…

View original post 5 more words

Wings

Waikato Gardens, Hamilton NZ

Waikato Gardens, Hamilton NZ

I may be little
I, too, can make a difference
Watch me spread my wings

Together

Every moment from now on You and Me
Together in this winding road
Even if the end’s uncertain and left unseen
I with you is all that matters

For in life no matter where this road takes us
You will still be the one
I hear you say everyday, thanking God
For having me in your life

Your never ending love
Has found my heart
Keeping it forever — I will
There is nothing to fear of tomorrow
‘Cause all that matters is
You love me
And I do, too.

*Song composed with Inkversified.

Napag-isipisip Ko Lang

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Ilang taon narin ang dumaan
mula no’ng akoy napadpad sa islang lulan.
Akoy napabaliktanaw sa
aking pinagdaanan —
sambit ko sa sarili ko,
“I’ve never been this happy all my life.”

Maligaya ako kasi
nagagawa ko na ang mga bagay
na hindi ko nagagawa noon —
magbasa ng nobela,
magsulat ng tula,
magblogging,
jogging,
maglakad sa baybayin,
kumanta ng kumanta,
mag-abang sa paglubog ng araw,
mapag-isa.

Maligaya ako kasi
nabibigyan ko na ang aking sarili
ng panahon —
panahon na makapag-isip,
panahon upang tignan ang sarili
at baguhin ang dapat baguhin.

Maligaya ako kasi
nakakapagdasal na ako ng mataimtim
at nararamdaman ko
na nandyan lang palagi ang Panginoon,
laging sumusubaybay.

Napag-isip isip ko
na importante pala na maglaan
ng panahon para sa sarili.
Pinupuno dapat natin
ito ng pagmamahal,
pag-unawa,
at pag-alaga.
Para bagang sasakyan,
pinupuno ng gasolina
upang umandar.
Parang stapler,
nilalagyan ng bala
saka nagagamit.

Ang halaman ay dinidiligan
at inaantay na mamunga
upang makapagbigay ng prutas
na pwedi nating kainin.
Ang isang palabas naman
ay iniensayo muna ng maigi
saka ito naipapalabas sa entablado
upang palakpakan ng mga tao.

Ganyang ganyan din ang ating mga sarili.
Kailangan paglaanan ng oras
at buhusan ng
pagmamahal
upang makapagbigay at makapagmahal
dahil kung hindi
mapapagod ito,
mapupurol,
at mauubusan ng lakas.

*Friends, will translate this later… But for now, try to converse with someone who understands Filipino Language and get him\her to translate this for you. Let me know what they say. 🙂

The Jabberwacky

Gibberish nonsense
Pretending to be witty
Babbling my way to the heart
Hoping I could spark some interest

Hokey pokey
I’m a “jabberwacky
Hope your sugariness
Brings some freshness

Nay, this has to stop
Gotta stop pleasing the lot
Have to focus now
On the purpose

So chuckle not
As I sing my heart out
I only wish to sing
Songs from deep within

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

I’ve flown here and there
So far, you are the grandest
I’m deeply humbled

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Inay

“Inay” or simply “Nay” is the general name we use to address our mothers in the Philippines. Hence, if you’re hungry and in need of food, you would say, “Gutom po ako, Nay.” Moreover, if you’re hurt and in need of help, you would have to yell, “Inay!”

Mahal_Kita__Inay

Today, in response to the DAILY PROMPT which is about the Power of TOUCH, I would like to pay tribute to a person who I consider my second Inay. She was sweet, nice, and very caring — was very generous, too! She was the person we ran to whenever we needed help. She was a source of strength and inspiration. She was our HERO.

lucy2

Nay Lucy died of cervical cancer last year. My mother said she was fighting for her life. She didn’t want to die yet — she still had a lot of plans for the family.

I could still remember her warm embrace three years ago when she said good-bye to me at our local airport. She was sad but at the same time happy for me for getting a new job. She was strong. She never cried in front of me… her way of telling me that everything was going to be alright.

I so miss her powerful touch. I was unable to attend her burial (the saddest part) … and I don’t know how it’s going to be like not to see her when I go home this month.

I wrote a song for her in Filipino. I’ll try to translate in English so you would understand.

INAY

Puso ko’y lumuluha
Habang ika’y minamasdan
Aking binabalikbalikan
Di malilimutang nakaraan

Hahanaphanapin ko, Ina
‘Yong mga hele at kanta
Ngayong ikay lilisan na
Hayaan mong alayan ka

Chorus:
Tulog lang, tulog lang
Ng mahimbing, tulog lang
Damhin ang yakap ko Inay
Maging mapanatag ka na
Sa ‘yong pamamahinga

Nais kong pasalamatan ka
Sa bawat sandaling kapiling ka
Bawat ngiti at hapdi
Ikay laging na sa tabi (chorus)

Coda:
Di ko kayang tiisin
Makita kang nagdurusa
Masakit man sa damdamin
Kailangang tanggapin

Chorus 2:
Tulog lang, tulog lang
Ng mahimbing, tulog lang
Damhin ang yakap ko Inay
Minamahal kita, Inay

Mom

My heart cries
Whilst looking at you
Unforgettable memories
I keep reminiscing

I will keep longing for all of it, Mom
Your lullabies and songs
Now that you’re going
Allow me to sing this song for you

Chorus:
Just sleep, just sleep
Sleep soundly, just sleep
Feel my warm embrace
And be at peace
in your sleep

I want to thank you
For every moment with you
Every smile, every pain
You were there by my side (chorus)

Coda:
I can’t bear the pain
Looking at you like this
Painful as it is
I will have to accept…

Just sleep, just sleep
Sleep soundly, just sleep
Feel my warm embrace
I love you, Mom

*I had to record myself and send copy of the song urgently so that my friend could sing it during the burial. Here’s a very rough copy of it.

Outside My Comfort Zone

When was the last time you decided to step out of your area of comfort and just face a challenge or do something you haven’t done before? It could be anything like probably moving to a place totally new to you, or speaking in public for the first time, or jumping off a bridge while connected to an elastic cord called bungee.

Mine? It happened two weeks ago.

***

“It’s been two weeks now since typhoon Haiyan made his deadly landfall in the Philippines. He’s gone. He’s done. But the trails he left keep haunting us and the world. They are unimaginable, unthinkable, unbearable. It will surely take time before my beloved country will be able to rise up and recover from this tragedy. Millions of people are affected and displaced. Thousands of them lost their homes and properties. Thousands are hungry and in pain. Thousands lost their loved ones.”

The quote above is an excerpt taken from the speech I wrote for a Filipino friend here in Niue who kindly asked me to help her write her speech for the fundraising concert we were cooking up two weeks ago in response to the tragedy that happened in the Philippines. It was a huge concert that had to be shaped in just one week in order not to delay our intention of sending help to our countrymen back home.

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Interview at BCN

Have you ever dared to appear on national TV before to be interviewed for something requiring quick or immediate action or attention? Have you ever dared to be in a radio program for 2 hours appealing for people to help and pledge some amount for a cause? Well, I don’t know what your take is on this but the experience of it was certainly a huge leap of faith for me. It was scary because I was on to something that I didn’t know what the outcome would be like. I was a bit ashamed of myself at first — never really did like to ask that kind of help or favor from people before. However, my local friends here in Niue kept pushing me and the other Filipinos here to create something — a door of opportunity for the locals to enter and be of help. I realized I was thinking only of myself… It was so selfish of me to think that way. I remember telling myself to shut-up and just do it for the people back home who are suffering.

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Our stage managers, Kim and M

I am just really lucky that I am surrounded by very talented Filipinos here in Niue — conceptualizing the concert became easy. Having lived here for almost three years now, I know more or less what their talents and skills are. We have six teachers here (and I’m one of them), one accountant, three IT specialists, four nurses, and some of us working in the shops and bars. A BIG SIGHHH it was, they all agreed to rehearse and complete the concert that I mapped out in mind. I wrote the script and made sure everyone was doing something. But it would have been really difficult to shape the show if our fellow blogger PurpledCompass was not there. I can direct, write scripts, sing and arrange music but I’m never a dancer. I’m so bad at it… and so I needed a choreographer, and Joyce (PurpledCompass) and a Filipino nurse here in Niue who is also into dancing did all of the dancing part for me. Our IT experts were also helpful in producing AVPs (Audio Visual Presentations) that were really stunning and captivating. Our nurses volunteered to do the stage managing. Ahh… that was a big load off me. When the concert started, all I had to think about was to perform and do well on stage — the stage managers did their jobs efficiently as the concert really flowed smoothly as planned. So yup, this bit was another big LEAP of FAITH for me. Glad I trusted that my fellow countrymen would agree to such a very short notice. It was crazy really as I did say a lot of things (regarding the concert) in the interviews that I did that were not yet fully confirmed by my Filipino friends here… and yes, I took that risk.

There were also a lot of very generous students in our campus. They did their own fundraising which amounted close to 500 dollars. There were also those that volunteered to help in the concert and perform. Ahh… that was another big sigh of relief — all the more made the concert possible!

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Joyce and students dancing an Ifugao dance

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Catholic Youth performing “Heal Our Land” by Jamie Rivera

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Joyce and students performing “Subli”

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Intermission number by Niue High School students

The concert was divided into three parts following the three major groups of islands in the Philippines — Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The objective of the concert was to showcase some ethnic, folk, and contemporary songs and dances in the Philippines in order to give the people of Niue a better idea of what Philippines is like — they’ve been asking us about our country and I thought the concert was the perfect opportunity to answer all their queries. So we made the concert as informative as possible. We put up some information boards about Haiyan and the Philippines. We also sold Filipino food an hour before the concert to also give them some time to mingle with us. So the whole affair really was a cultural exchange and at the same time our way of saying thank you to Niue for having shown so much support.

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Filipino Community selling Filipino food

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Tito Butch performing Da Coconut Nut

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Cariñosa

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One of our information boards

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Filipino Community in Niue performing Da Coconut Nut

The whole concert which started at exactly 7 in the evening (as planned) lasted for about 2 hours. It was received very well by the public, and there were heaps of people. After the concert, we were approached by teary-eyed people singing their praises and extending their condolences and sympathy. That was the biggest moment for me, the answer to all my what ifs and worries. That moment when I said to myself, “Glad I decided to step out of my comfort zone and take that leap of faith.”

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Local friends who helped us collect the donations on the night of the concert

As of yesterday, the money that has accumulated since day 1 of the drive has reached to over 13,000 dollars. And that is one really huge amount! It is really amazing what people can do to help. All this time, I thought that people have changed… but I was proven wrong. Compassion, love, and that desire in us to extend care and support still reign. Yes, these graces from God still prevail in us and I’m so glad that they do. They are what make us truly human.

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Who You Are, Is Okay!

I’ve been listening to this song again, so allow me to reblog it.

The Mockingbird in Me

You-have-more-friends-than-you-know-performance
I took some time to pause from work this week, sat down with my buddy, and watched “Glee” season four (4) together. We’re on a school break for two weeks anyway, so I’m taking some time to enjoy.  Wait! Glee season 4? Just now…? Oh yes — the whole season in fact! If you are where I am right now, you will understand why.

Anyway, while I was watching the whole thing, I realized how I’m missing out on a lot of things already. I mean I’m not just talking about ‘Glee’ and the other equally beautiful TV programs — I’m talking about the whole world at large. I’m missing out on the new songs, the newest expressions, fashion. I’m talking about the newest trends and the interesting ways people express themselves.

Don’t get me wrong though. This is not about island life and the simplicity of life here. It’s…

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