Finally Understanding A Priest’s Homily

One opposite of living a normal life in a Catholic country like the Philippines is not having a Catholic priest as a friend.  In this particular aspect, I have long considered myself as abnormal, a nonstandard and an aberration. 

Yeah, I guess I am one of those self-promoting folks in Manila who lacks a saintly priest as a friend.  Dealing with a Catholic priest on a regular basis is an unchartered territory for me.

Maybe one of the reasons why I don’t have a Catholic priest friend is because I am seldom impressed by their delivered Homilies during a Holy Mass.  Commonly, priests in their Homilies would often talk too vague and too imprecise and they would move from one topic to another in a nonsensical fashion.  Their line of thinking often times is so ambiguous and so formless I would often suspect that priest’s common mental illness is schizophrenia.

But the priest I heard last Monday during a Holy Mass in Greenbelt Chapel to commemorate the death of my boss (Sir Larry Cruz) eleven years ago was somebody who was impressively different.  He was specific and was exact.  He was coherent and was so cohesive in his Homily.  His talk was well research.  It was actually enjoyable, charming and was very inspiring.

 

that’s me (left) with super friend dominic… nagdadasal? thanks to mj for this blurry photo. hahaha! 
i was so impressed, i took a glimpse of the greenbelt chapel’s priest

He talked about the man whom the Holy Mass was for and successfully correlate my amiable boss’s vocation and persona to his homily.  He was inspiring when he said that it is not about the years in your life that counts, but it is the life in your years that matter.  And what struck me most about this priest’s Homily was his wisdom about: “people will forget what you said”andpeople will forget what you did”butpeople will never forget what you made them feel”

If I am to make friends with a priest that Greenbelt Chapel priest would be the first dude in line!

Hay salamat at sa wakas, naka-intindi rin ng sermon!

Malou’s Prayer 2019

In my country, the Philippines, any corporate event or gathering will not be complete without the Invocation otherwise known as the opening prayer.  It is as if the event will not be successful if the organizers chose not to supplicate and plea to the heavenly spirits for guidance, strength and protection while the affair is on-going.

Surprisingly, one of the most popular posts I have in this blog is an Invocation.  I often see my blog’s stats sour high during Christmas season because folks assigned to lead the prayer in their respective event, program or party seem to search online on samples of beautiful prayers.  I can attest that Malou’s prayer has been so popular in the past few years! 

needs to have my photo before the whole stressful yet fun event starts!
malou & edwin, the designated hosts of the program

Last January 21, being the yearly designated organizer of a company’s Employees’ Night Grand Ball, I again designated Malou to compose and lead a gorgeous and inspiring prayer.  Despite having so much going on in my head that night – anxiety, pressure, worries and apprehensions – to ensure and make the party a success, Malou’s pleasing prayer consigned my being at ease.

And because of that, I again requested Malou for a copy.  She said okay when I told her that I am to post it in my blog.  Here it is…

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the blessings of 2018.

Thank you for bringing us together tonight and giving us another reason to celebrate our successes, our friendships, our teamwork, our lives.

We thank you most of all Lord for giving us 40 fruitful years and may we be blessed with so much more.

As we face the New Year, may You grant us the strength and the courage to live each day to the fullest, being a reflection of Your love to each other.

May you grant us the wisdom to perform our daily jobs and bless us with the inspiration to carry on each day.

Deliver us Lord from everything that will destroy us and help us to put our trust into your perfect care.

May we be to each other a beacon of light, a loving and forgiving friend, a strength to hold on to, a joy to look forward to, and an inspiration to keep us going.

May You bless our company with another 40 years of success and may we be a blessing to the people we serve.

All good things are not possible without You, Oh Lord.

 All glory and honor be to You Lord God, now and forever, Amen!

 

Gondohhh, di ba???

Surprised by the Museum of Natural History in Manila

Lowering expectation is one simple secret to achieving amazement and happiness.  Setting high expectations tends to result to frustration especially when measuring reality against imagined reality.  High expectations often wrings the joy out of experiencing something for what it is.

This were my exact thoughts when I and a bunch of colleagues decided to have a detour and headed to the Museum of Natural History in Manila before driving back to our office after some brief business meeting in Intramuros.  Knowing Manila being a run down, sullied, traffic-infested and over-populated city, finding something amazing seem next to impossible. 

this hall houses some of the most important artifacts
world-class!
my county’s “under the sea” features is one of the best
biggest croc on record is in the philippines it’s name is “lolong”

But our visit to the Museum of Natural History in Manila was indeed a big surprise!  It is one destination on the City of Manila that definitely deserves a visit! 

What I love most about this museum is that all exhibits – flora, fauna, earth formations, etc. – were of Filipino representations.  Also, segmentations of exhibits were really well thought of.  It’s like being so at home yet you would discover new and amazing natural wonders of the country. 

some fauna with two lucky folks
open up! admission is free!
the old-fashioned “botica”
i love this!
hall full of rocks!

Me and my colleagues were a bunch of pre-millennial species that is why we could really relay and seem so familiar with some of the indigenous exhibits.  Some of us could actually recall childhood encounters with some of the now rare flora and fauna displayed in the museum – dragonflies, beetles, birds, fruit crops, seashells, clams, freshwater crabs, etc.  Too bad, these floras and faunas we played with during childhood has started to become so rare it can now only be found in a museum.

I also like the fact that some of the exhibits are interactive.  I and my colleagues were so surprised, we could not keep ourselves from saying “Wow!” every time we enter a gallery full of amazing collections. Museum of Natural History in Manila was one surprising experience!  I have been to some of the top museums of the world and I can say that Manila’s National Museum of Natural History is world class.  .  It’s truly a fantastic feast for the senses! 

museum of natural history, manila, philippines
…was so impressed!

The National Museum of Natural History in Manila is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Entrance is free.

Ang ganda. Inferness!

Thank You Miss World, Miss Philippines is the New Miss Universe

Yey! Miss Universe 2018 is Philippines!  First of all, I want to say congratulations to everyone in my country.  Catriona Gray, our representative in this year’s edition of Miss Universe was crowned the queen! 

got this photo from catriona;s instagram

Catriona Gray was amazing throughout the Miss Universe pageant show.  She set a new standard of beauty pageant “walk” because of her now viral and infamous slow-mo twirl.  And her red fire gown during the finals night reminded me of Katniss Everdeen in the book Hunger Games!  She was the clear winner and she was indeed a cut above the rest! 

Since joining the elite beauty pageant world, Catriona has been amazing.  She has always been the girl to beat.  She did us proud when she landed top 5 in Ms. World a couple of years ago.  I thought during that contest, she should have won because aside from being so stunning, she gave the best answer.  But though she was robbed in that contest, I am now thankful that she was because she obviously is up for bigger and better things.

The Ms. World organizers must now be scratching their dense and dimwitted heads. So thank you Ms. World for letting us down during that time because otherwise, my country would have not clinched the most coveted pageant title in the universe for the fourth time.

In the past week, I got the chance to view YouTube videos of Catriona’s journey in Ms. Universe.  Her approach was really different as compared to other equally amazing Ms. Philippines representatives in the past.  Catriona chose to put meaning and representations in almost all elements of her joining the Ms. Universe pageant.  She is so in love with the culture and colors of the Philippines, that she made sure these are included in her presentations. 

fun art on catriona;s national costume. got this too from catriona’s instagram

After watching those videos, you would just know how much effort, time, dedication and heart was poured by Catriona in reaching for her ultimate goal of being crowned as the new Miss Universe. Equipped with beauty, charm, sharp thinking and excellent communication skills, Catriona Gray truly deserves to win!

Congratulations Catriona.  Congratulations Philippines!

Pinektusan ang Unibers!

China Has Yet To Discover The Colors Of La Ciudadela

In my past travels abroad, one usual reference for me to know if I am in an actual tourist destination or near it are the hordes of Chinese tourists.  This group of tourists has always been my basis to ascertain if I am on the right spot.

And once I see a bunch of Chinese tourists (usually loud and boisterous), I am somewhat glad that I am actually at the correct tourist destination and that Google Maps did not fail me.

However, in Mexico City, there seem to be a lack of Chinese tour groups.  I don’t miss them but I was left wondering how come they are not around.  The Chinese touring population seem to have yet discover the sites and beauty of what Mexico City has to offer.    

To confirm and with hopes of bumping into this touring Chinese clusters, I set a date of going to Mercado De Artesanias La Ciudadela, a colorful 16,000 square meter market that sells traditional Mexican handicrafts and regional specialties like textiles, ceramics, silver works, embroideries, handwoven blouses, blankets, guitars, etc.

I know that Chinese loves to shop and splurge their wealth every time they go on tour out of their country.  La Ciudadela would definitely be the best tourist-location to find them.  But to my surprise, they however were not around.  I even thought that I was not at the correct La Ciudadela that I even asked a German-sounding tourist shopper if I am indeed in the right artisanal market.    

Well I guess, Chinese tours has yet to discover Mexico City which for sure they would eventually will.  I instead enjoyed my shopping at La Ciudadela, took a lot of photos and got myself some colorful trinkets of memories of this wonderful Mexican adventure.   

Wala ang mai-ingay!

Impressions of Mexico City

I planned of going to Mexico City more than 6 months ago.  I purchased my airfare and booked my hotels about the same time.  Problems arose along the way especially regarding the online travel agent I got who cancelled and refunded my 6-month old plane ticket 10 days prior to the actual flight and have yet to inform me the reasons for such cancellation.  Two days after such cancellation, I still decided to still push through with the adventure by courageously buying a Turkish Airline ticket bound for Mexico City.

Prior to me leaving for Mexico City, lots of friends and colleagues are questioning me why I chose to do a solo travel in such a dingy and dangerous place.  They relayed that they have read and heard a lot about Mexico City being precarious, unsafe and pick-pocket infested.  But since it is one country that welcomes me without having to apply for a tourist visa (since I am a US and Japan multiple entry visa holder), I did not listen to friends and relatives and still push through with my journey.   

Now, I am here in remarkable Mexico City, spending almost two weeks already – not that I am asking – yet I have yet to feel and experience the worry and uneasiness that my friends and colleagues has informed me.  I must admit that I was a bit worried at first, but all these anxiety and fear were totally erased once I walked the busy streets of the city.  This was fully reinforced when I survived a train ride during a rush hour!  Besides, I grew up in a similarly perilous and dodgy City of Pasay in Manila, thus, I can actually use my innate and fully developed skill in dealing with the crooks, the felonious and the delinquents.

Similar to Metro Manila, Mexico City is vast and humongous!  But I personally prefer the weather of this city as compared to the Manila weather.  Mexico got 4 seasons, Manila got 2.  You can never let me wear a jacket outdoors in Manila, because it is either hot or very hot!

I hate to compare but the architecture in Mexico is a bit better as compared to the structures found in Manila.  Metro train system in Mexico City is of course more intricate and more reliable as compared to the rundown, often-busted and politically-exploited metro train in Manila.  And though Philippines and Mexico similarly experienced more than 300 years of Spanish rule, Mexico seem to have maintained its Spanish roots because they seem to possess more European looking buildings.     

The similarity between Manila and Mexico City I guess would be regarding cleanliness and the people.  There are lots of people everywhere and both cities needs to improve a lot concerning cleanliness! Another similarity would be the traffic.  Though Mexico has intricate and more developed metro train, its traffic is as bad as that of Manila.  Both cities are traffic-infested!

Mexico City love art!  One noticeable person printed on their money (500 Mexican peso denomination) is an art goddess, Frida Khalo.  Also, I was actually surprised to find out that this city got the most number of museums.  And even on the street, people tend to express themselves through art.  Humongous mural arts, lots of colorful graffiti and numerous art performances can be seen on the streets of the city.      But I guess the one thing that Manila is better as compared to Mexico would be the smile.  Though Mexicans tend to be more passionate and expressive – there’s lots of sensual kissing inside the train, amatory hugging on the streets and even lgbt members freely holding hands while walking – we in Manila smile more, we seem kindlier and seem gentler as compared to the fierce and audacious people of Mexico City.

If you would ask me if I will go back and revisit Mexico City.  I would definitely will!

Di naman nakaka-shokot… Biba Meksiko!

Taipei Gay Pride 2018

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Taipei was that I and my friends got to attend the biggest gay pride parade and party in Asia! Me, MJ, JB and Willie were among the 130,000 people who attended the event.

The energy and vibe that night was truly brighter than my future! Hahaha!  The ability to connect with gays from all around the world was truly an international experience.  And since we are foreigners in Taipei, we somewhat let loose for there weren’t any conservative watchful eye to answer to (like if we were back home in Manila).  We knew no one in the event yet everyone was joyful and very welcoming.      

Though we arrived a little late, we still got so awe-struck by the people!  There were Drag Queens and Kings, there were Queer Super Heroes, there were Cosplayers, there were Happy Smiling Angels, student protest groups and tons of fit non-heterosexual abdominal muscles flashing! 

I never hesitated asking interesting people to take their photos with MJ and Willie and no one refused!  We were like being a part of the big LGBTQ+ family fighting for the same cause.

When we joined part of the pack who started to head home to their respective vibrantly amazing lives, I took the chance of buying a bracelet as a souvenir.  This trinket signify that I took part on being one with the happy rainbows that day.  

Ang saya saya!