Saturday, July 30, 2005


this morning, while having breakfast, Paolo asked me about family.

mama, did Papao (his maternal great grandfather) have a father?

of course, dear, everyone has a father.

did his father have a father too?

i told you everyone has a father, didn't i?

and his father had a father had a father...?

he started to look awed now.

there must have been a first father then...

oh yes, honey, his name is Adam.

now he looked horrified--

you mean we all come from Addams' family???

: {

Friday, July 29, 2005

Paolo's Book

while going through Paolo's schoolbag just a few minutes ago, to make sure he has all things ready for school, i chanced upon a small booklet of pieces of bond paper folded together and stapled down the middle, with drawings and words in Paolo's penciled handwriting. here is his story ...

Book about rackets and planets

the sun or planets is hot a oxegen. a oxegen is came from the claouds. you now what the oxegen is from the claouds becuse its windy at the sky it can blow you 1700 metrse.

there are nine planets:
1. saturn
2. jupiter
3. neptune
5. pluto
6. mercury
7. venus
8. earth
9. mars

the first man on the moon is neil arm strong and his frinds.

you can be a scientist, but make shure you got the correct matirals and no troubles.

the author is still asleep.

i count on the stage mother's prerogative to publish his work without his permission... yet.

: )

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


there's got to be more than this... this life of simply putting out fires and keeping up.

i am blessed that the fires i need to put out now are only little flames, compared to the forest conflagrations ive had to struggle with in the past three years.

but still, there's got to be more than this, i know, i know.

i've been there and i've been through worst... but what made the tides turn for me?

am reading up on prosperity principles on the web right now... and i am reminded of long-ago lessons i seem to have forgotten:

1. praise, gratitude, thankfulness for what you have -- what you appreciate, appreciates!

2. sharing -- your manifestation that you are prosperous enough to share; don't worry about your not having enough right now, supply will come soon enough, as it always does!

3. insulating your self from negativity and all forms of poverty consciousness -- complaining, worry, fear; and building and nurturing an abundance consciousness instead, your birthright and your power!

4. Spirit is Abundance and spirit moves through everything, including you-- allow it to flow, don't block it with your negativism and poverty conscicousness! God/Spirit/Abundance provides; there's always more where everything comes from!!!


i think now that i recently allowed my self to become sidetracked, by letting little aggravations get to me and plunge me into downward spiralling despair and worry and frustration, violating principles 3 and 4, and causing me to renege on principles 1 and 2, which further caused me to feel "poor"... and frustrated and powerless... further violating principles 3 and 4.... and so on and so forth in that vicious cycle towards a bottomless pit.

i should know better.

it seems ive learned how to take care of my self and to turn away from the big Negatives, but my recent experience shows i still have to learn taking care of the small negatives as well, because they can trip me up as well as the big Negatives can!


yes, there has got to be More... isn't my life now manifesting that "More-ness" from three years ago?

God please don't let me forget and sink back into unconsciousness again.

there is More and i want that More kind of life, more and more of it!!!

Bring More on!


it's been raining hard the past two or three days. without work and classes over the weekend, it was okay, staying cocooned at home, but with the week starting, it got to me.

i already knew my old 1977 Mitsubishi Lancer leaks when it rains, but lately, it more like dripped rather than slowly leaked. then too, the windshield wiper gave up after a few valiant struggles with the pelting rain. so driving unseeingly in the rain, and being soaking wet and cold inside, is not exactly an experience that would encourage cheerful thoughts.

i never knew though, that our roof had problems too until rain started leaking from the ceiling in our bedroom the other night.

then, when i asked the maid the other night too to boil me water for a mug of hot chocolate, she came up showing me a leaking kettle!

when it leaks, it pours huh? : {


little things like these have gotten me down lately. ohhh i know i would have to fix them and could afford to fix them in time... but now is not exactly the time i need more aggravations like these!

double sigh.

(when is the time then? ... heehee... : > ... just trying to cheer my self up...)

i see my blog's tagline above-- when Life happens to you, that is your opportunity to show to Life your statement of Who You Are.

my statement of who i am?

.... hmm....

right now, i am just so down and out i don't even have the energies to make a statement.

triple sigh.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Viva il Papa

i had the strangest dream while i was having my siesta after lunch today.

i was looking at a tall, blond Amazonian woman, dressed so smartly and efficiently, cornering an old woman in frumpy clothes and putting a microphone up to the old woman's face. apparently the Amazon was a media person interviewing the old woman who worked inside the Vatican about certain scandals going on inside the Church.

the old woman was hesitant but the information was probed out of her. after the Amazon left, i saw the old woman wring her kerchief in tears. the kerchief actually dripped water!

then i saw her face change from one of shame and regret to one of firm resolve. she started walking out of the dark alley the Amazon cornered her into and out into the cobbled streets shouting, "Viva il Papa! Viva il Papa!"

i saw an Italian couple inside a Volkswagen get out of their car to join the woman in her chanting. then people all around started chanting and i saw many Filipinos congregating in what looked like a large square, altogether chanting, "Viva il Papa! Viva il Papa!"


what couild have this dream meant?

i normally dream about everyday things and the people in my life, and i have gotten quite adept at interpreting them for my own self-knowledge and self-growth. i have learned that interpreting dreams basically involves 3 levels: the literal, the symbolic and the precognitive.

you start out with any literal meaning/message/warning the dream might have for you in your life. if something rings true inside you, then stop, look and listen and think about what it could mean for your life.

if the literal doesn't mean anything for you, you then move on to the symbolic. usually, when you start out in dream interpretation, you base your dream's symbol on archetypal Jungian symbols, but as you grow more familiar with your dreams you learn to interpret them according to certain very personal symbols. for example, i know now that when i dream of childhood settings--my old elementary and high school, the store my parents had when i was small--i am usually going way way down deep into my subconscious issues and my long ago past. being in water -- showering, or swimming-- usually means emotions for me.

usually, my dream interpretations take on the symbolic, although a recent other dream in my other blog i take to be quite literal, like a message bopping me on the head for my being so dense and for not seeing something so obvious so clearly in the first place.

but this dream... can it be precognitive? (i haven't even read Da Vinci's Code although ive heard of what it says about the Church...) or was i just simply travelling astrally to Italy at noon today?

i have long lapsed in my religious duties as a Catholic, although i was almost a fanatic in my late teens, when i still fervently wanted to be a nun. i have immersed my self quite well in what i later on drifted away from (i actually spent almost my entire teenage years immersed in prayers, devotions, reading the lives of saints and trying to be saintly in all my thoughts, actions and behavior! ... when i could have spent my teens dating and partying and doing all the normal things teens do!!!), so in many ways, i have reasons for my drifting and i don't want to debate them.

but it doesn't mean i have also lapsed in my spiritual growth. actually, my drifting away from the formalities of religiousity has catalyzed the growing and blossoming of a higher, deeper and more universal spirituality in me, so i don't feel like i have "regressed" as much as i have actually spiritually progressed and matured.

still... the dream haunts me.

i won't even presume delusionary notions of grandeur about it being precognitive and with such global implications... i am just concerned about me.

what could it possibly mean to me, in my life right now?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Prayer of Jabez

while sorting through my old files and reorganizing my book cases recently, i chanced upon a little book my sister, Honey, gave me three years ago, soon after i left my marriage and i knocked on their door for temporary shelter, as i tried to get my bearings and discerned what i wanted to do next with my life.

it's "The Prayer of Jabez" by Bruce Wilkinson.

this little book helped me through my darkest times. basically Mr. Wilkinson tries to illustrate in the book how Jabez' little prayer for himself shifts paradigms and transforms worlds.

Jabez stands out in the Bible not for any major accomplishment of his, nor for any outstanding character or personality trait he possessed, but for this one little prayer he made. he is actually mentioned only once in probably the most boring part of the Bible, in Chronicles, where the writer lists a long catalogue of names and their descendants. but the writer pauses in his droning when he comes to Jabez, and mentions the fact that he is more honorable than his brothers, that his name means "pain" because his mother bore him in pain, and then, of course, the little prayer he prayed. after this, the writer continues with his long ancestral cataloguing again.

Wilkinson points out that things started out badly for Jabez (imagine being named "Pain"!) but because of this one extraordinary prayer, things turned out extraordinarily well. Wilkinson points out how Jabez' prayer is an example of supreme childlike faith in the Bigness and Generosity and Wisdom of an All-Loving God, who yearns to give us Abundance if only we ask for it and long for it and seek for it, if only we will it.

And, looking back at the past three years of my life, things have turned out extraordinary well indeed!

when i started out praying the Jabez prayer daily, these were only what my heart desired--

1. to survive and keep a home and a life for my self and my children; earn enough on my own to take care of my kids and i;
2. to update bills;
3. to pay off all debts from the marriage (the deal was i get the house and the kids but i get to pay all debts too) and get back on my feet again;
4. to at least get the annulment case underway as soon as possible; and
5. to learn more about men and life and love and become wiser next time.

at the end of three years and looking back at how ive journeyed so far, here is what i actually got--

1. got out of survival mode; am actually now developing multiple income streams from my research, writing and consultancy!
2. bills updated; sometimes i even pay in advance! : )
3. all but one (credit card) debt has been paid, and which i hope to pay off by the end of this year;
4. my struggles as a separated woman and a single parent led me to write a children's story which won the Philippine Board of Books for Young People Alfredo Salanga Prize in 2004 and which got published nationally!
5. my marriage actually got annulled without my having to spend a centavo nor appear in court, and in a year and a half's time!
6. a lot of learning about men and life and love, and the cherishing and love of one good man now, and the respect and affection of many friends, both men and women!

what does the Jabez prayer say, and what does it mean in my own translation?

Oh that You would bless me, indeed! (i don't care where i came from or who ive been, who i am or who i could only be based on my past-- bless me, bless me, bless me LOTS!!! You are God, bless me ALL the blessings you can bless me with!!!)

And enlarge my territory; (Guide me as you bless me, God, that i may do more for You and that through me, others may be as blessed too!!!)

That Your Hand would be with me, (Guide me as You bless me God, and help me use Your blessings well...)

And that You would keep me safe from evil. (Keep me away from evil, and keep me away from causing evil to others, too.)

Amen. (So be it!!!)


and here are the desires of my heart for the next three years now--

1. a room of our own, for each of the kids and i, and a more beautiful home together;
2. a better-functioning car or van for the kids and i, so we don't have problems on the road, especially when it rains very hard;
3. pay off the last remaining credit card debt so i am officially financially sound and credit-worthy again (not that i intend to live a credit card lifestyle again! it's more of an external affirmation of my getting back on my feet at last.)
4. a Disneyworld Christmas in 2006 or a Disneyworld Summer (april-may) in 2007 for the kids and i, and so we can visit my mom in Georgia too (i think id rather have the Disneyworld summer, as summer 2007 is also my summer free, i get to go on leave with pay for two months!)
5. the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) Writer's Grant 2005 (winning the grant means i get to take a paid year off from my day job to just concentrate on writing 15 stories!) and the PBBY Salanga Prize 2006 (write more beautiful, touching and universal stories for children and plant my own little seeds for better futures!)
6. stable and more multiple income streams, so my money can start working for me now, and i can concentrate more on doing what i love more independently (freelance writing, research and consultancy; a simple home life with the kids, being close to nature, learning how to cook and garden well, doing my aikido and belly dancing and my peace studies and literary studies and creative writing ...)


Oh, that You would bless me indeed!
And enlarge my territory;
That Your Hand would be with me,
And that You would keep me safe from evil.


Saturday, July 16, 2005

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

i did not go to my aikido class last night. i arrived home at about 6pm, too tired and achy to do anything more but shower, eat and sleep.

yet i felt guilty, though; i really was growing to love my aikido lessons, even after only one session. but last night was a "spirit-is-willing-flesh-is-weak" time, and i just consoled my self with the fact that it's my way of taking one step back to take two steps forward next time, by going back to class on wednesday with more focus and energy.

i guess i was tired out from a 5-hour long chat with two old girlfriends yesterday. we had lunch, then later moved on to coffee and sweet cakes.

they did most of the talking while i just listened. both are unhappily married (well, one claims to be "working it out" but her snide remarks of her husband betrays her true feelings) and were naturally so involved in analyzing their angst and problems with their men. i just sat and smiled and nodded and affirmed them in any way i could.

but it tired me out, that kind of woe-is-me-when-will-i-be-happy? kind of thinking.

i was suggesting to a friend to take herself out for little treats, a spa treatment for instance, or a weekend getaway with her lover... but she immediately put up this huge wall of excuses, which eventually boiled down to whether her husband would allow her to do that for herself!

at that point, i felt exasperated, but i tried to gently chide her, "honey, the only permission you'll ever need to be happy is the permission you give to your self."

Friday, July 15, 2005

Sleeping Well

i am sleeping well these days, particularly since i started my belly dancing (tuesdays and thursdays) and aikido (wednesdays and fridays) lessons (both at 7-8pm).

it's a wonderful kind of sweating out-- i have fun doing it and i exult in my body and my womanhood and my personhood. after the lessons and when i get home, i just take dinner and a quick shower, do homework with the kids, and then sleep a good night's sleep.

i've always been a glutton for sleep, but my sleep has always been light. i am still always ready to jump up in case a little one cries out in her nightmare, or another little one wants to go to the bathroom...

then, too, there are times when my sleep is a "problem-solving" kind of sleep-- i go to sleep with a question in my head and i sleep dreaming about things related to the question. sometimes an immediate solution pops out, sometimes it takes days and nights for a way to reveal itself to me.

but both times, i see now that i even work while i sleep!!! : O


these days, though, i sleep like a baby and i wake up refreshed and renewed, calmer and more centered about my day, feeling like there's this strong, palpable powerful part of me again, pulsating quietly but dynamically inside, and untouchable by the world's cares.

it is good to sleep the sleep of an innocent babe again; it feels like coming home, at last.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Law of the Vacuum

it is true; that physical (metaphysical, too?) law that says nothing remains a vacuum for long-- it tends to get filled up any way.

you clean up space in your closet, your room or your house, it eventually gets filled up with whatnots, usually trash. : )

even the famous law of supply and demand in economics admits that--when you have surplus, the "vacuum" from lack of demand is met by lowered prices; when you have shortage, the "vacuum" from lack of supply is met by blackmarket suppliers, or higher prices, or both.

here i was expecting an "easier" life with my resignation from my administrative duties as Chair six months ago; and here i am now busier than ever, but at least with the things i want to do for my self and my future and my children's future. : )

there's my online MA Conflict and Reconciliation Studies course, in addition to my freelance writing projects, and now, an offer from my aunt to revamp their business website as an online copywriter. i hear the new name for it now is "website content provider." : )

then there are my aikido classes (an elective in our MA course) which i will do wednesdays and fridays starting next week, and my belly dance classes with Thea, which we will do tuesdays and thursdays starting next week too. i've always wanted to do belly dancing and when the time to enrol in aikido came up, i figured id enrol in belly dancing too, as sort of a treat for my self every other day, just in case the aikido didnt really make me happy... : (

it's funny, too, how, before, when i was too swamped with administrative work and other people's demands on me, i HAD time and energies left at the end of the day to write on my blogs every day, and even created three different blogs from that beseiged phase! now that my time and my life is my own again, i rarely write on my blogs... : )

maybe i am too busy truly living my life now, as opposed to just wishing and dreaming about the kind of life i wanted to live before.

or maybe, too, it's just an adjustment phase, from the old life to this new one, still trying to get my bearings and making sense of where i really am. : )

at least, i am grateful-- the filling up of my vacuum is on my own terms now.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Here's the full text of Steve Job's speech at Stanford University's commencement ceremonies last June 12, 2005. (emphasized parts mine; my favorite parts... : >)


I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation.

Today I want to tell you three stories from my life.

That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit.

So, why did I drop out? It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife.

Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course."

My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents savings were being spent on my college tuition.

After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life.

So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it.

And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.

Let me give you one example: Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating. None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life.

But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography.

If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do.

Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky - I found what I loved to do early in life.

Woz and I started Apple in my parents' garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation- the Macintosh - a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired.

How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out.

And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating. I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley.

But something slowly began to dawn on me - I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything.

It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life. During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife.

Pixar went on to create the world's first computer animated feature film, "Toy Story", and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did.

You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.

And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.

So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for "prepare to die".

It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it.

And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.

Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.

Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called "The Whole Earth Catalog", which was one of the bibles of my generation.

It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and Polaroid cameras.

It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions. Stewart and his team put out several issues of "The Whole Earth Catalog", and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue.

It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous.

Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."

It was their farewell message as they signed off.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.