Sunday, May 24, 2015

Great 'Finds' (May 22, 2015)



SUN BOOKMARK (PhP 133)
This fancy bookmark with a Maori Proverb reminds me of St. Thomas Aquinas whose iconographic representation is the sun. The tassel is classy.



MULTI-COLORED SELF-ADHESIVE COLOR INDEX (PhP 26/set)
If you want to effectively divide your book into chapters for easy reference, this would be a great solution.


CAMOUFLAGED T-SHIRT (PhP 349.75)
I find military-inspired shirts attractive. Since it's very hot in the Philippines, this thin linen will make you feel comfortable yet stylish.




PERSONAL SEAL SET COMPLETE WITH WAX (PhP 695)
I admit, this is quite costly. However, as a Harry Potter fan and a Medieval History enthusiast, this will surely give me the 'feel'.



Saturday, January 11, 2014

Pagdarasal, Pagsunod, Pagsaksi


PAGDARASAL, PAGSUNOD, PAGSAKSI

A Homily delivered by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle
during the Mass for the Traslacion of the Black Nazarene
on January 9, 2014 at the Luneta Grandstand, Manila.


Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat. Happy fiesta po, Happy Fiesta!

Nagpapapasalamat po tayo sa butihing Diyos [dahil] tayo po ay Kanyang tinipon na naman at binigyan ng lakas; binigyan tayo ng magandang panahon upang ating maparangalan ang Kanyang bugtong Anak sa Kanyang taguring Jesus Nazareno. Salamat din po sa ating mga government officials, sa lahat po ng  ating mga collaborators at sa inyo pong lahat na walang sawa na ipinapadama sa ating mahal na Diyos ang ating pasasalamat; ang  atin pong pagtanaw ng utang na loob.

Ano po ang nararamdaman ninyo kapag tinititigan ninyo si Jesus Nazareno? Ano ang nadarama ninyo kapag siya ay inyong nalalapitan? Bakit mayroong lumuluha? Bakit mayroong napapangiti habang ang mga mata na nakatitig sa Kanya ay nagluluningning? Bakit mayroong pagkatapos makalapit sa Kanya ay parang iniakyat na rin sa langit? Ano ang inyong nakita?  Ano ang ating naririnig sa Kanya? Ano ang ating nadarama? Siguro po bawat isa ay mayroong natatanging sagot sa tanong na ito? Siguro, sasabihin nung iba, “Naramdaman ko, hindi ako pababayaan ng Diyos.” Siguro ‘yung iba masasabi, “nakita ko kung gaano ako dinamayan ni Hesus.” ‘Yung iba siguro magsasabi, “Narinig ko ang kataga na matagal ko ng hinihintay, ‘Kailan ma’y hindi ka magiisa.’” Iba-iba siguro ang ating magiging tugon, subalit iisa rin ang patunguhan, ganito tayo kamahal. GANITO TAYO KAMAHAL NG DIYOS. Iyan si Poong Jesus Nazareno. Pinasan Niya ang ating hirap. Bakit, bakit Niya ginawa iyon? Walang ibang dahilan kundi PAG-IBIG. Bawat isa sa ating ay mahalaga sa Kanya. Bawat pamilya ay mahalaga sa Kanya kaya’t kaya N’yang pasanin ang lahat para sa atin. Gan’yan tayo kamahal ng Diyos!

Ano ang ating tugon? Ang tugon natin ay debosyon. Kaya maraming deboto pero para sa  Poong Nazareno ang mga deboto ang tawag kalimitan ay mamamasan. Bakit? Si Hesus na pumasan sa ating buhay, sa ating pagdurusa, ang ating namang tugon, Hesus papasanin ka rin namin. Ganyan tayo minahal ni Hesus, ang ating debosyon  ay tugon ng pagmamahal. Love for love. Ang bigay na pagibig sa atin  ay walang ibang karapatdapat na tugon at sukli kundi pag-ibig.

Dalawang taon po ang nakararaan, baka naalaala ng karamihan, mayroon pong balita na magkakaroon ng kaguluhan, baka daw [magkaroon ng] terrorist attack sa kapistahan ng traslacion. May nakausap po ako na isang deboto. Tinanong ko  po, ayon sa balitang iyan, kayo po ba ay hindi na dadalo, kayo po ba ay aatras na? Ang ganda po ng sagot niya. Sabi niya, “Bishop, bakit ako ho aatras? Si Hesus nga pinasan ang ating mga hirap hanggang kamatayan? Bakit hindi ko haharapin ang kamatayan para sa Kanya?” Iyan ang deboto. Naunawaan niya, nadining niya ang pag-ibig, ganito na lamang ang pag-ibig ng Diyos, hindi masusukat, kaya narito ako, tutugon ako. [Sa] ginawa Niya para sa akin, hindi ako manghihinayang  na gawin rin para sa Kanya.

Mga kapatid sa tema ng ating fiesta sa taong ito hinahamon po tayo, sa taon ng layko ipakita ang pagmamahal kay Hesus na unang nagmahal sa atin sa tatlong pamamaraan. Paki-memorize po ito! Tatlong pamamaraan ng pagpapakita ng pag-ibig kay Hesus na unang nagpasan sa ating dala ng pagmamahal.

Una, MAGDASAL. Ang pagdarasal ay pagpapakita ng pag-ibig. Tayong mga Filipino [ay] may magandang salita sa pagdarasal. Sinasabi natin, hindi naman ako nakakalimot tumawag sa Diyos. Ang pagdarasal ay ang hindi paglimot. Di ba mayroon  tayong kanta, “Maalaala Mo Kaya?”  Ang nagdarasal ay laging nakakaalala sa Diyos. Ang pag-aalala, pinakikinggan, kinakausap at ang nakakalala sa Diyos, makakaalala sa kapwa. Kung tunay tayong nagdarasal; kung tunay tayong kaugnay ng Diyos, hindi natin makakalimutan ang kapwa.

Mga kapatid, mga kapwa deboto kay Jesus Nazareno, huwag kakalimutan, kasi malimit makalimutan, ang mga kapatid natin sa Tagum, Davao, na sinalanta ng bagyong Pablo, marami sa kanila hindi pa nakakaahon, nakalimutan na yata. Huwag kalilimutan din ang mga kapatid natin sa Nueva Ecija; karamihan ay magsasaka na dahil sa bagyong Santi ay nasira ang kabuhayan at ang mga pananim. Nakalimutan na yata. Parang unti-unti na ring nakakalimutan ang mga kapatid sa Zamboanga. Baka unti-unti na ring malimutan ang Bohol. At hanggang kailan kaya maalaala ang mga kapatid na nasalanta ng Yolanda? Hindi nakakalimot sa Diyos, [kaya’t] hindi [tayo dapat] makakalimot sa kapwa.  Kasi ganoon ang Diyos sa atin, hindi tayo kinakalimutan kaya ang tugon natin sa Kanya, “Hindi kita malimot”. At kapag laging tumatawag sa Diyos, lagi ring maalaala ang kapwa.

Ang ikalawa, ang PAGSUNOD sa Kanya. Ang pagsunod [ay] hindi lamang po iyong lumalakad ako sa likuran niya. Ang pagsunod, ang ibig sabihin, dahil ako ay nagdarasal, dahil hindi ako nakakalimot sa Kanya, dahil siya ay nasa aking puso, ang kanyang aral, ang kanyang halimbawa, ang nagiging pamantayan ng aking buhay. Hindi pupwede na susunod ako kay Kristo pero ang laging laman ng isip ko ay kuwarta! Hindi pupuwede na sasabihin ko, susunod ako kay Kristo, pero kaya kong dayain at pagsamantalahan ang aking kapwa. Ang tunay na nag-iisip lagi kay Hesus ay hindi gagawa ng mga bagay na taliwas kay Hesus. Ang pagdarasal ay nagbubunga ng pagsunod kay Hesus. Kaya mga kaibigan, araw rin ito ng pagtanong sa sarili, ako ba ay tunay na sumusunod? Ako ba ay tunay na napapalapit kay Hesus at ang Kanyang mga habilin ay aking sinusundan?

At ikatlo, PAGSAKSI. ‘Pag sinabi pong saksi, ibig sabihin pagpatotoo, ipahahayag ko sa kapwa sa pamamagitan ng aking salita at aking gawa na totoo si Hesus, na siya ay buhay! Makita sana sa aking ugali, sa aking pagkatao, sa aking ugnayan na talagang nagdarasal ako, na talagang hindi ako nakakalimot kay Hesus, na Siya talaga ang sinusundan ko. Makikita sana sa aking buhay na ang katotohanan na aking sinusundan ay si Hesus. Hindi po ‘yung, sabi nga nila, ‘yung sinasabi ng labi ay kinakabig naman ng puso. Hindi po. Talagang ipakita na si Hesus ay buhay, lalo na sating pag-iibigan. Mga kapatid huwag tayong mahihiyang ipahayag sa mundo: Mahal ako ni Hesus, mahal ko si Hesus. Nakakapagtaka  nga eh, ‘yung mga dapat ikahiya, hindi na ikinahihiya. ‘Yung pagnanakaw hindi na nga ikinahihiya! Dapat iyon ang ikahiya. Iyang korupsiyon, dapat ikahiya! Uulitin ko, ‘yung mga nakakahiya hindi na ikinahihiya. Pagnanakaw, korupsiyon, hindi na ikinahihiya. Nasa front page pa nga. Huwag ikahiya si Hesus! Mahal tayo ni Hesus, mahal ko si Hesus.

Yung tatlo po, ho: PAGDARASAL, PAGSUNOD, PAGSAKSI. Inaanyayahan ko po kayo na tumahimik sandali damhin natin ang malalim na pag-ibig ni Hesus sa atin at tayo po ay tumugon, mangako magdarasal, susunod sa Kanya.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Tatay is a Spartan: A Celebration of Life amidst the Mayhem

MY TATAY IS A SPARTAN: 
A CELEBRATION OF LIFE AMIDST THE MAYHEM  
Jeromel N. Candido 
  
When super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) wreaked havoc in the Visayas in Central Philippines, our tatay (father) was in Baranggay San Isidro, Hernani, Eastern Samar, one of the devastated areas. Anxiety set in for no news, no words were received from tatay after the blackout, which completely cut any communication possible in the area. After nine days, on 18 November 2013, Monday, I received an unexpected call from tatay himself! At the time when hope was almost gone and tremendous apprehension ensued, he called and we talked for an hour as he imparted the details of his arduous ordeal and the challenges the survivors faced in the aftermath of the catastrophe.

According to tatay, Yolanda started hammering at 11:30 pm of 7 November 2013, Thursday. He used his cellphone to track the time. At 2:00 pm of the following day, our bahay kubo (nipa hut) was already blown away and ripped into pieces.  Miraculously, he got out in time and secured himself in our pigpen, which was made of concrete materials. With deadly winds that can reach up to 195 mph, even its roof was no match to Yolanda. Nevertheless, tatay got hold of our old "batya" (laundry basin). It was the only thing that shielded him at that moment. Try to get the picture of a Spartan’s shield from the film "300" that was used in protecting the body’s of soldiers while on defense mode... that's how big our battle “batya” is and that’s how resilient our tatay is. 

At 4:30 am of 9 November 2013, the situation changed from worse to worst: strong winds were whirling as if one is inside a washing machine that is spinning out of control. At 6:00 am, the wind reached its peak and sounded like crashing and rolling boulders that produced a horrible scream (just like in a horror movie). It was not just once that tatay asked himself, “Could this be the end?” At 10:00 am, the wind dwindled down; but the casualties that Yolanda left was far beyond words. Everything was gone in our farm: our bahay kubo, our crops and our livestock. It is as if everything was harvested in just a blink of an eye just like the online games Farmville and Hay Day. Our good ol’ pigpen stood still and sheltered tatay for the next nine days. 

At the brink of psychological breakdown, my tatay managed to cope up with the situation through prayers. On the fifth day after the typhoon, the relief operations of the government reached the place, handing the survivors a kilo of rice, a can of meat loaf, and a pack of instant pancit canton. It must have been a relief for the desperate survivors to have food. They must have been very grateful yet the operation only pushed through days after the typhoon. A survivor to survive such a situation must be extra resourceful. The noodle was good for only one serving and there was no regular ration. For nine days, my tatay endured having only coconuts to nourish and sustain him. There was no potable water so the coconut juice sufficed at that moment. Hopefully, the situation has improved.

He also related that there was a time when he was already confused, wandering blank and just snapped out of the bewilderment after hearing the voices of his family calling him. The people in San Isidro may have survived the wrath of Yolanda, but most of the survivors find it difficult to survive, or worst, have died trying to survive because of hunger and sickness. It was such "a very depressing scene", said tatay.


After a period of denial to what had happened to our farm, a sense of acceptance and gratitude for God’s gift of second life lingered. From Hernani, Eastern Samar, tatay decided to travel to Catbalogan, Samar where our nanay (mother), Mely, together with my family, was. My uncle Rey described a very emotional encounter of my parents. Saddened and still on the state of grief for we have a number of relatives who passed away in Tacloban City, Leyte, where Yolanda smashed everything and only few survived, we nevertheless still managed to celebrate for the return of our tatay. In spite of everything, I would say that, “God is good all the time and all the time God is good.” We should move forward, be positive and accept everything as a gift. God loves us very much no matter what. There is always a brighter side on this. Let us all trust in God’s mercy, grace and love. Amen.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

FOOD TRIP: An Ivatan Feast

AN IVATAN FEAST

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Any great fiesta in Batanes will not happen without the entire settlement participating. I’ve seen it in Mahatao during the blessing of the newly-renovated Church and in Ivana during the feastday of St. Joseph the Worker. As early as 2:00 am, men slaughtered cows and pigs and the women cooked their traditional food and rice afterwards. The children also have a contribution in helping their mothers prepare for the feast. A typical feast contains upland rice, meat and rootcrops.

Not everything that we can find ordinarily in other places can be seen in Batanes. There are no funeral parlors, no movie houses, no malls. Root crops, upland rice, some fruits abound but other foods are imported from the mainland. It was only in 2007 that the Bishop blessed a small market in Basco because the people are self-sufficient. They use the abaya[1] leaves as plates; upo as drinking vessel; cogon grass as roof; and another kind of grass as basket to mention few. Their resourcefulness is amazing. In stormy season when the rice supply is depleted and there’s no means of transportation, they can survive eating wakay (camote) and ube (whitish in color) and luñes[2]. If potable water is not available for a long period of time, the sea water can be cooked with garlic and onion for them to drink. They recycle their left-over food and call it balance for the following day. They adapt to their condition. They taught me how to be resourceful, innovative and flexible.

[1]Kamansi in Luzon.
[2] Pieces of fried overcooked pork in lard which can be stored for a long period of time even without refrigeration.

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Fr. Zenki Manabat of the Prelature of Batanes indulged in another Ivatan feast when he went back to the Beautiful Province of Batanes in the summer of 2010. Whew! I miss Batanes. Here, the scenery is for free. Not mentioning, the peace of mind brought about by the serenity of the place.

FOOD TRIP: Spicy Korean Food Trip

Spicy Korean Food Trip 

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To celebrate Easter, my Filipino Dominican Brothers and I ate at Gainn Korean Restaurant in Rome last 8 April 2010 (Easter Thursday). Without thinking about it, it seems that we craved for spicy food. The food tastes great especially because it has been some time since we ate here. 

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Korean food is, in my opinion, healthier than Chinese food. It's more expensive but it's worth the try. The numerous side dishes really spiced it up. We ordered rice and I was the only one who ate two orders of rice! I must be really hungry.

FOOD TRIP: Top food to keep you young

Top foods to keep you young
Source: yahoo.ph

Most of us are keen to stay looking as fresh and young as possible, and although there's no way to pause or turn back the clock, there are few age-proof strategies we can employ to make sure we stay looking good. Maintaining a healthy and well-balanced diet is one approach, and the good news is that there are some foods that are thought to give you extra ammunition when it comes to combating the signs of aging.
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Green tea: There is no end to the benefits of this super drink; green tea boasts a wealth of benefits that earns it the top spot in our anti-aging food list. Green tea is believed to help regulate blood pressure, lower blood sugar, boost the immune system, lower cholesterol and studies have even shown that green tea can be effective at preventing cancer. That's as close to the elixir of life as you can get.

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Leafy greens: Whilst eating spinach won't be enough to turn you into Popeye, it's certainly excellent for boosting the body's immunity from illness. Spinach and other leafy foods like kale and collard are high in folate which is vital in preventing DNA and blood vessel damage. If you can maintain a healthy circulatory system you are reducing your risk of developing conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and dementia.

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Dark chocolate: Who would have thought this sweet treat would feature in an anti-aging list, but the good news is chocolate can help fight against some signs of aging due to its cocoa content. Cocoa is rich in a group of antioxidants called Flavinoids which help preserve healthy function of the blood vessels. And healthy youthful circulatory system lowers risk of high blood pressure, type II diabetes, kidney disease and dementia. Don't go overboard though, a square a day is a good guide and make sure you go for the over 70 per cent cocoa bars.

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Soy products: Like fish, soy products such as tofu are also a great alternative source of protein than red meat or even dairy, since they have little or no saturated fat. A diet that's low in saturated fat will reduce your risk of developing heart disease and lower blood pressure. As a staple part of the Japanese diet, soy products are great at helping keep down cholesterol and are a useful addition to a healthy diet.

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Yogurt: Judging from their frequently bad press, you might assume that all forms of bacteria are out to get you. Thankfully, this couldn't be further from the truth. 'Good' bacteria is great for regulating the immune system, by increasing its antibodies and preventing the rise of pathogenic organisms like salmonella and E.coli. Many yoghurts include a high volume of 'good' bacteria that help maintain gut health and diminish the incidence of age-related intestinal illness. Yogurt is also rich in calcium, which can help stave off osteoporosis.

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Red wine: A glass of red wine adds up a good dose of anti-aging elements including polyphenol antioxidants, minerals, and resveratrol. Resveratrol which helps to increase 'good cholesterol' levels in the body and prevents blood clotting and a healthy circulatory system. Resveratrol found in red wine may also be beneficial for women during the menopause by reducing the risk for conditions for example breast cancer and osteoporosis that result from reduced oestrogen levels. Like the chocolate, it's not carte blanche to guzzle as much as you want; we suggest a standard glass every other day is a good approach.

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Water: Few people — whether active or not — drink sufficient water, and side effects of even slight dehydration include headaches, fatigue and low concentration levels. Yet increasing fluid intake can increase energy levels, aid digestion, give skin a boost and help boost your anti-aging armoury. Concentrate on drinking little and often throughout the day, being extra vigilant after exercise or when you've been confined in a dry, overheated or air-conditioned environment.

FOOD TRIP: Top 7 myths about drinking water - busted!

Top 7 myths about drinking water - busted!
Source: Yahoo.ph

In almost every culture in the world, water has been elevated to the status of miracle drug that can cure everything from dull skin to diabetes. This might, however, be pushing the truth. While water is absolutely essential for the body, its celebrated magic qualities need to be taken with a pinch of salt. Here’s a reality check on the most popular water myths
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Myth 1: Drinking water between meals is bad for digestion – This is one line that has been passed down from generation to generation. However, there is no scientific evidence to indicate that it will affect the digestive process. At the most, it will probably fill you up and reduce your appetite for dinner. But besides that, go ahead and enjoy a glass of water with every meal.

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Myth 2: Drink 8 glasses a day for good health – Drinking 8 glasses of water a day is one of the most popular myths in circulation today, despite scientists saying that there is no clear correlation between good health and sipping on water all day. Doctors recommend drinking water only when you are thirsty!

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Myth 3: Drink water, you can never have too much of a good thing! – Recent studies reveal that drinking too much water can in fact, be potentially harmful. Excessive water consumption is dangerous in that it can lower salt concentration in the body. Water intoxication, a life-threatening condition, occurs when there is dilution of blood sodium because the kidneys are over-worked, and unable to excrete the excess water as urine.

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Myth 4: Water cleans out the body’s toxins – The toxins in our body are filtered out by the kidneys. And common myth says that drinking more water means clearing out the toxins. Wrong! In truth, drinking large amounts of water will actually reduce the kidneys’ ability to function as a filter

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Myth 5: Drink water for healthy skin – It is widely believed that since our body’s composition is 60% water, drinking a lot of water will give you glowing skin. However, there is little evidence to support this idea. Healthy skin is a result of many things, including diet, weather, pollution and genetics.

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Myth 6: Drinking water can aid weight loss – Water has been touted as the secret drug for all dieters. “Drink water and you’ll shed those pounds like magic.” This is hardly true; as we discussed, water will, at the most, fill up your stomach and reduce your food intake at mealtimes. But water is far from a miracle drug to lose weight.

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Myth 7: Drink as much water as you can during a workout – It is widely believed that a workout increases chances of dehydration, so common myth says you need to increase water intake during exercise. But dehydration sets in only when you lose 2 percent of body weight. Do the math, and it is unlikely a normal workout requires increased water intake. Instead, ensure you are well-hydrated throughout the day, without over-doing it.