Thursday, September 29, 2005


i haven't posted lately, as i've been busy, just keeping my head up above the waters of my "real" world of work and responsibilities.

then, too, there's the recent financial challenge.

as soon as i got my butterfly biz commission income, i settled down to planning my budget for the next cycle, and i felt happy to see that for the first time in a long time... i am finally able to make ends meet!

and then... the blow.

i left for a weekend training at a mountain resort last weekend, thinking that all was well with my world and home, leaving it safe and comfortable. but just as we got down from the mountain to return home sunday afternoon, the jeepney we were riding in had engine trouble. so we had to stop in the middle of a quite deserted highway to get the trouble fixed. after two hours, it still wasn't fixed and my companions were getting edgy and complaining as it was getting dark. i decided to count the stars instead.

by eight in the evening, i did arrive home. i gues the highway incident was just a portent of things to come.

when i arrived home, i found our water tank non-functional and the car unable to start. i hastily texted the water tank repairman, who, to his credit, did rush to fix the problem, even if it was a sunday, and a sunday evening at that, working late into the night. i texted the car mechanic too who promised to tow the car out monday morning.

all that trouble meant only one thing-- a ruined budget for me. of course i had the funds to pay for the major repairs, but it also meant wiping out half of my budget for other things and bills to pay. it didn't help when i learned that the reason the water tank broke down was because the maid forgot to turn the water motor off when they had a brownout earlier in the weekend. : (

at this point, it was easier to whine and complain and even harangue the maid for being so foolish-- see what it cost us! but i rememberd counting stars earlier and the sense of peace and untouchable serenity i got even from those few brief moments, and i resolved to my self i won't let these things get to me, that surely i am bigger than all of these, that i won't stoop down to pettiness and bitching and complaining and making other people miserable just because it's getting me down, too.

i did feel attacked... besieged, though. i thought life was being terribly unfair. here i am, a single mother, doing everything and more just to keep things together and make things right, and it throws these monkey wrenches at me at the most unexpected of times! have i no right to even just enjoy some feeling of non-anxiety from always having to make ends meet? do i not deserve to rest too from all the working and struggling and scrimping and straining?

i cried my self to sleep that night, feeling so alone and helpless. but i never did outwardly complain or bitch at the people around me. what's the use?

i woke up the next day with a grim determination to see these challenges through, again, like i always have. i kept my tongue even when it was most tempting to be catty. i held my peace even when i was feeling most besieged. i went to manila for another meeting, and decided to just temporarily enjoy being away for a while and forget about the problems here...

it is strange, though, that when i came back from manila the next day, things just somehow started to fall into place. the car and water tank bills were huge, much larger than i expected, but it didn't bother me anymore. i figured i'll be taken care of anyway, as i always have been.

and indeed, i am being taken care of!

a client i am doing some writing for asked to meet for more work to do (which means more income for me!) i found cheaper but quality substitutes for some items in my list i had to buy, so that freed up some more funds in my tight budget. i even discovered that i erroneously budgeted for my youngest's tuition twice, so i only actually had to pay half of what i budgeted for her, freeing up some more funds...!

and that's not really just it... the money matters. as i went about fulfilling all my other To Dos, i just found people more accommodating of me, more eager to grant my requests happily. i finally went to the civil registrar to request for an annotated copy of my marriage contract, annotating it annulled. i've put off this task for a month now, knowing how tedious and time consuming the process can be at these government offices. but the other day, strangely, i accomplished it in just one morning! : O

all these little magical things, of the tide turning for me... made me wonder if i've suddenly acquired some magical charm to make people and circumstances suddenly do my bidding. i remember a moment when i even thanked God for the double whammy of the huge car and water tank bills-- isn't it a good thing i can actually finally afford to pay in cash expenses like these? : D (i think i must've gotten beyond desperate, going over the edge in my positivity to giddy silly level!)

but i seriously suspect now that some universal law is at work here.

i've read about it in many books, not just metaphysical ones, but history and literature, too; there seems to be that special time in the tide of human affairs, that particular moment, when nothing seems to going for the hero or heroine, when everything is, in fact, going against him or her, and her last recourse is her faith and will, and she takes hold of those, reclaims those, and decides to rise above her circumstances anyway.... and slowly but surely, the tide begins to turn in her favor... the blessings start trickling in again... the magic happens.

it is an eerie feeling, when one finds one's self in the center of all that, seemingly causing all that, coming face to face with one's Power. i find my self glimpsing into eternity here, understanding the miracle of the fish and the loaves at last, like i've finally found some old ancient key that unlocks all doors...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Where The Heart Is

it is just an hour or so till bedtime but the kids dont want to sleep yet, squeezing out the last few joys of an extra free day from school and work, because of the national transport strike against spiralling oil prices today.

they groan when i remind them of school tomorrow, and i get a sinking feeling too when i think of going back to work tomorrow (although i have the luxury of telling my thesis classes that we will meet next meeting instead, as they still have to submit their thesis proposals tomorrow, which should have been today, if we didnt have a transport strike, so i still get another self-declared free day tomorrow, but to check on students' papers though...).

it has always been like this for us, because home has become not only a haven of rest and relaxation, but also a beehive of activity and interests that arouse our passions.

from the moment we wake up, we craft our day as we see fit. im not a very regimented kind of mom; we follow our feeling, whether its eating or doing anything else... over the years, we seem to have developed a synchronicity to our eating patterns, that we still tend to eat at the same time anyway, and always talking to each other and sharing our thoughts and our feelings and how our day has been.

the little ones go out to play, build houses or buildings from old tables and chairs and toys, climb the roof to reach the blueberries from our tree, drive around the village in their little bikes with the maid or their bigger friends accompanying them, come back for a sandwich or juice, then go out again to explore the world. sometimes they prefer to stay in and watch Disney Channel or Nickelodeon, or draw and paint on their papers and coloring books on the floor, or simple quietly read from their bookshelves, too.

thea and i mainly sit by the pc and laptop, doing our own stuff, surfing, writing, she also drawing electronically or downloading music, or us eating something from the fridge while we watch a movie together, or just reading in bed, in quiet companionship.

and tonight it ends again, as we prepare for another regular day with the usual world out there. sigh.

i am ending it now, though, with a new found possibility i am taking seriously at last-- home schooling. thea has been mentioning it for almost a year already, as she says they all learn more and enjoy more from home than from school anyway, but it is only tonight when i seriously surfed for homeschooling articles, and emailed the government education agency and some homeschooling guides on how to go about it.

thea is right about their seeming to learn more from home, because maybe of our very unstructured setting (we only have two rules-- be honest and kind, and clean up your own mess) at home, and where they are encouraged to follow their interests and speak their minds. the two little ones, especially, ask a lot of thought-provoking questions ("What's God's family name?" "Why do people have to get married?" "Why is a fire truck not called a water truck when it contains a lot of water anyway?") and i try to answer as truthfully as i can, to the best of my knowledge and ability. when i don't know the answer, i tell them so and ask them to check what they find out in Google.

today, paolo exclaimed, "Google doesn't know everything either! I typed in 'heroes of the philippines' and it gave me Batman!" : )

until today, too, i never knew squirrels could fly, according to paolo and bea, that's what they read in Reader's Digest's Amazing Facts. "They glide, ma, not fly," thea corrects. : ) : ) : )


well, at least, with my websurfing for homeschooling information today, we have something to look forward to... even if it's only an idea and a possibility right now. it's a nice feeling we can do something about our situation, at least...

and im warming up to the idea, too, especially when coupled with my dream of working from home, earning from home... : )

after all, where the heart is, there most-- if not all-- of life should be, too, shouldn't it? : )

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Day The World Changed

sept. 11, 2001 - i was stuck with a colleague at Charles de Gaulle Airport in France on our way home, told that our plane would be delayed for 5 to 8 hours. the airport was packed, but the tvs were off, so we didnt know what was happening outside.

i was certain, though, of what was happening inside: a decision has been made-- i didn't want to be married anymore.


today, four years later, i have--

left my marriage,
learned to stand up for my self,
learned to take care of my self and my children on my own,
earned two national writing fellowships,
won a national writing prize for my first children's story,
published my first book,
created and transformed an academic program out of virtually nothing good to speak for it,
launched a speaking and consultancy career,
had my marriage legally annulled,
been there, done that, with men, so-called love and life...
found my true love (knock on wood)
looking forward to age 40 three years away from now with excitement instead of trepidation,
for a life just now truly beginning and yet to blossom in full flowering for the rest of it!

that day in 2001, the world changed indeed.

and oh, how it has changed mine!

Friday, September 09, 2005

keeping my eye on the ball

the cooking fuel did run out last night, and i quickly texted my sister to ask if i could collect only even 1/3 of the amount she borrrowed from me for now, with the rest payable today as promised, or even next week.

thankfully, she came by last night to pay me back the 3k in full, the 500 of which i used to purchase the cooking fuel early this morning. with 2500 in my wallet again, i was feeling quite rich, calculating that only very little things in the household needed replenishment, i would have a comfortable amount left after doing groceries today, enough to tide me over until the 15th next week, when my reguarlar pay from my day job comes.

now, i am home, with a full fridge and a happy little girl eating the food she picked at the grocery store.. but with an almost empty wallet again.

i am still reeling from how fast food and grocery prices have risen along with car fuel prices; there was a time early this year when i could do two weeks' worth of food and groceries on a 3000 pesos budget, 4000 if i allowed the kids their food "luxuries"... but today, it's barely enough for a week! there was a time too when my car could run happily on just 500 pesos worth of fuel a week, full tank each time, but today, even 1500 each week, on the same route, can barely make full tank.

times like these, it's easy to get discouraged when i look all around me and see so many "For Sale" and "For Rent" signs on houses and on cars. times like these, it's very tempting to keep my eyes focused on what's happening, and forget about my desires of what i want to happen in my life.

but i must remind my self that i mainly moved forward exponentially in my life in the past three years, both internally and externally, by keeping my eyes focused on my inner riches and dreams instead, that dreams have come true because i kept my eye on the ball carrying them, to the point of simply ignoring present realities and living with them gracefully, because my mind, heart and soul were intent on something else-- the good, the better, the best that were coming to me and my children.

God help me keep my eye on the ball, today, especially, when it seems so difficult to do so.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


recently, i've started using my baptismal name in my email accounts; the last time i used it was when i was in kindergarten 32 years ago, before the primary school i was enrolling for grade one in asked for my birth certificate, and the birth certificate my parents found in the local civil registry gave me another name instead, the other name i have been using since then : ( , although cousins and friends from childhood still call me "Jeanette" ...

somehow, though, using "Jeanette" again feels perfectly right, with my new life now, reclaiming my self and my life back from the clutches of a horribly wrong marriage and a spiritually deadening administrative career.

i say my name out loud to myself now, rolling it on my tongue like candy... and i find it deliciously sweet. the feeling is both of depth and height at the same time, like earning a purple heart for a battle long and nobly fought and won.

i plan to start using "Jeanette" whenever i can now, mostly as a pen name for my stories and my books. once ive established my name in the mainstream, i also plan to legally change my name and all my legal records someday soon...

"Jeanette" was the name i was blessed with, so "Jeanette" will be the name i will use from now on as i moved on with my magnificently blessed life now, so blessed in many and all ways! :)

i am coming home to me, at last... and for good.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Living On the Edge

my little anxiety-causing problem of the other day was quickly solved yesterday.

as i said, there was the free rice offer from Papa, so yesterday, after picking the two older kids up from school, we went straight to Papa's "for a visit". i'm glad we did, not only because of the rice, but Papa was in one of his rare genial and relaxed moods. i felt better seeing him being up and about and looking strong and active, unlike my last visit almost a month ago when i found him in bed in his darkened room at noontime, feeble and weak. he invited the kids and i to have dinner with him and i accepted. i knew it was his way of prolonging our visit, and i wanted to continue chatting with him too. it would look bad and we would feel bad if we just went there for the rice!

then, early at dawn yesterday morning, it occurred to me to email my aunt, whom i do a website content provision for, to ask her if i could have my monthly consultancy fee of 5k advanced from the usual 15th payout. by early afternoon, it was already transferred to my bank account, thank God for her!

so today, as i needed only 1k to 2k for additional food and groceries for this week, i only withdrew that amount and bought some more food and groceries, feeling safe and secure again that i still have enough left as temporary savings...

however, by midmorning today, my sister texted me to ask if i had any spare funds as they were rushing to beat the deadline at the bank before the checks they issued became overdue. i only thought for a moment or two, and decided that the funds in my possession are not really mine to own and even hoard, that i am just a channel of blessings, even as other people have been channels of blessings to me. so i offered her my remaining 3k left today, which she promised to pay back by friday or monday.

i come home to a house that is safe and comfortable (especially with two airconditioners working now!), made warm and secure by the love and laughter of my children, even if my wallet is, again, almost empty. : )

some part of me is tempted to become anxious again -- what if some household things or the car gas runs out even before the week is over? what if emergencies arise and i have nothing to cover for them? what if....????

so many what-ifs,... so many taunts and jeers against my inner peace, trying to fan my fears and consume my as-yet fragile sense of security today. sigh.

but i take a deep breath and force my self to counter-- haven't i always been taken care of? haven't people and circumstances always moved to take care of my good in the end? haven't things always worked out for good?

yes. yes. YES!

i will be okay, even if this crazy life is lived on the edge a lot. : ) i will be okay. my children and i will be okay.

thank you God, for your unfailing Love and Abundance!!!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Life These Days

Mama called me this morning to ask about how i am, how the children are, what's new these days... gently chastising me in her own roundabout way for my not updating my blog .... : ) so here goes...

hmmmm... what do i "report", huh, since there's nothing earthshaking to tell these days? : )

after the angst and agony of writing those three stories for the contest, i've sort of been coasting along, decompressing in a sense, although now that i've stimulated my subconscious, it keeps on generating story ideas for me in my head, bothering me at the oddest hours of the day and night, so i keep my notebook handy and the pc on almost all the time these days, to catch a title, or the beginning lines of a story... so much so that now, in just a little more than a week, i have four more stories in progress!

also, i've mainly been occupying my self with checking papers and doing grades these days, as well as with my MA Conflict and Reconciliation Studies online and weekend offline classes. there are so many new things im learning about peace and conflict, and conflict analysis, conflict mapping,.... it's all a series of fireworks in my mind!

so you can say ive been on a full and rich mental feast, lately. : )

then, too, i've been mainly reading "abundance" articles and material on the web, starting with The Science of Getting Rich. : )

it's about time. i want more, and im ready for more, and i do sincerely believe now i deserve more, that there has got to be more to life than plodding along financially, when abundance is our birthright!

i've always known about these principles before, from so many readings and courses and practices (from meditation to Silva to Napoloen Hill to Og Mandino to Richard Bach, name it, i've been through it) but the free e-book from The Science of Getting Rich somehow distills them all into fundamentals, and they are all falling into place for me now, making sense and order and clearer meaning...

so im working on being more consciously focused on my dreams and desires now, keeping my mind well fed and keeping mental rubbish away, being grateful every day for what i have, and manifesting abundance and prosperity in all the ways that i am and can be, sharing whatever i can with others, expecting my good, preparing for my good...

even cleaning out my closets and sorting through my stuff and reorganizing my files and books (still undone... going through it little by little) has meaning now-- in abundance literature, it's part of clearing out space for your good to fill in!

although...i must admit, too... it has been quite a challenge very recently.

after paying for the downpayment on a new airconditioning unit for Thea's room, i found my budget suddenly tightened, but which i thought could last me till the next payday. however, "emergency" expenses (the little kids' wanting some extra special food cravings) tightened my budget further, and i found my self suddenly getting a bit anxious about it not being able to last us till next payday. i computed and re-computed in my head, and decided to move some items around in my mental list a bit, like asking Thea and Paolo to bring their own lunch to school for this week, instead of my giving them a daily allowance to buy their lunch from the school food court.

still, knowing what i do know now from all my review of abundance literature, i made extra effort not to fall into worrying mode. i decided that my worrying won't add a single peso to my budget anyway, so why worry? : ) instead, i struggled to really apply the abundance principles this time-- keep my mind focused on my goals and desires for the kids and i, being grateful every day and night, counting my blessings, staying positive...

it is strange how the Universe indeed answers prayers.

one of my unspoken anxieties was where to get the extra funds to buy more rice till next payday. before, rice wasn't a problem because Papa used to purchase sacks of rice for his own household, and since i separated from my ex-husband and lived on my own with my children three years ago, his way of showing me his love and support was to let me get rice from him whenever i needed it, as well as bread from our bakery too, for free. but his stocks have run out since two months ago, and i have been buying my own rice again since.

however, just yesterday, my stepsister texted me to tell me that Papa told her to tell me that i can get rice again from their house today, as his stocks have been replenished! : O

amazing timing, huh.

so i thanked God for it, and took it as a sign from God telling me that the kids and i will be alright, that our needs would be provided for till next payday at least, ... and not to worry anymore. it also reminded me of many many similar other "magical coincidences" before, help arriving at the last minute, in so many ways and from so many sources, that God always provides, that there's always more where that comes from...

and so, today, im back to my abundance mood again, after a day of anxiety and near-worry. : ) i don't even bother to calculate and recalculate my budget in my head anymore, just trusting that everytime i take a bill out from my wallet to pay for something, it will be replenished. (i learned that too, from experience! talk about multiplication of fish and loaves if you don't count what's there, but just give and give and give!)

this reminds me now, too, of Mama's recent "adventure" in asking largely, which i'd like to share here, with her permission. for those not familiar with her situation yet, Mama is a breast cancer survivor and a triple-heart bypass survivor and is now on her dialysis treatment for her kidneys, too. still, people comment on how she looks healthy and vibrant anyway, even healthier and more vibrant than other so-called normally healthy people, because of her spunk and spirit and optimism. she's also the creator of the online business i am involved in now as sole sales and customer service person in charge , helping the kids and i a lot in terms of added income (in US dollars at that), and training me for global business. how she is as a person and how she turns things around into something that works out for her good anyway is always an amazing and inspiring and educational lesson for me and my kids in asking largely and in serendipity and in abundance and in how there is still a good, loving God out there. Thea likes to call her grandmother, "Grand". : )

recently, while on her way from a dialysis treatment, she wrecked her car, but she came out amazingly unscathed and still alive. the car was so damaged the insurance company declared it a total wreck. still, life goes on. so she needed some form of transportation to get her to and from her dialysis treatments, as well as to ship our business orders. that was her main concern...

here is her story which i copied from her email to me and family. Her name is Lourdes but people call her Ludy. Larry is her husband, best friend and true love : ) --

For a while there (about a month), I tried to cooperate with everybody's suggestion
that I take the ride that senior citizens get from the D
ialysis Clinic.

I had a hard time adjusting to my predicament since I was also treated like one of
them HANDICAPPEDS. I had to wait for Larry to come home
before we
deliver the express orders, sometimes he had to work till 8:30 PM
the cut-off
time is 8:00PM. We had to eat supper late, since I want to
to the post office

After the first month was over, I declared to Larry...that THIS IS ENOUGH!...I am
not going to ride with the elderly anymore. I was
to feel like a handicapped
myself and feeling the same way they
are.....acting like ZOMBIES.....!!!

Larry asked how I was going to the clinic without a ride. I said firmly, that I am
going to take his car and bring him to his office and pick
up later, whether he
likes that or not.

So, my first day to use his car, I had the car evaluated by a mechanic since his
oil was leaking. The mechanic suggested that we not take the
in the highway
anymore, since the car will have the tendency to
The leak was all around
the engine.

So, when I told Larry about it....he thought of trading it in. He said we will get a good car
within the budget of $500.00 - $600.00 per month

When we went around the car dealers......I asked the last one jokingly if

he could make us a deal of two cars at the price of one.

Ha...ha...ha..ha..... He did! and so Larry and I have a new car each now!!!

His is a 2005 Chevy Cavalier and mine is a 2005 Toyota Rav 4 SUV.

Whatever Ludy wants......Ludy gets......Hehehehhh...

Thank you! Thank you....Baby Jesus....

: ) : ) : )