Thursday, November 30, 2006

preparing to receive

i'm back home, but only for a half day. tomorrow, i leave again, for Cagayan de Oro City this time, until Dec. 5.

i went to the bank today to check my Euro balance, as well as withdraw some to help pay some bills. i also paid the last of my Visa monthly installments to fully settle my account with them. ohhhh, that felt sooo good, finally closing that last chapter of my old life behind. in the afternoon, the kids and i did grocery shopping, and the two little ones especially were very very happy because they got to choose all the food items they liked.

paolo kept asking, "are you sure we can afford this, ma?" and he was so cute, looking at the price tags and comparing prices before making his choice. : ) i kept saying, "sure, we can, love. God has been soo good to us!", but he still kept comparing prices anyway.

after all the groceries were put in the trunk of the car, i had to go back to the mall to buy some laundry clips and candles which were outside and farther from the grocery section. the kids chose to remain in the car.

as i was alone, i ventured forth into the home furniture and furnishing department, and soaked in my home-beautifying dreams again this time, as i checked out prices and stuff. the clerk informed me that there's going to be a sale from Dec. 2 to 31, with discounts at 30%!

suddenly, this dream feels soo within reach now. i mentally calculated how much two new real beds and closets and an entertainment rack would cost, and how, if i paid for them using my new Visa now, i would pay off the credit card balance as quickly and as comfortably as i can...

then, too, i thought that even before we can have the new furniture , i would have to have the house repainted first, the inner walls at least, so they'd provide the proper backdrop for the new furniture. the kids and i discussed it in the car and we thought we'd want a happier, cheerier yellow for living and dining room walls this time (we're currently at pale, lonesome blue) and Thea and i decided we'd want our bedrooms to be more feminine and cozy and romantic, so maybe we'd choose something like peach or old rose or something along the hues of purple to pink...

secretly, i also thought that according to feng shui and color theory, this is my way of preparing to receive more Good, especially more Love : ), into my life now.

feng shui teaches that if you want more Love, make your bedroom more Love-friendly with the colors of love like pink and red. the bed must also be arranged so that it is in the middle of the room, so that people can climb on it from either side. (right now, both our beds are right smack against the wall... the feng shui symbol for keeping your distance! i just learned this recently.)

i wish i could do something about the L-shape of our house, though, but that would be a major renovation, or house move, altogether. feng shui says that L is for loneliness... hmmmm.

and then there's our kitchen, too, which is separated from the main house, but in the housekeeper's quarters instead. feng shui says the kitchen is the soul of the house, if the bedroom is the heart. hmmmm again... no wonder ive had the kind of married life (no heart, no soul) ive had!!! heehee.

well, one step at a time.

i asked my brother for estimates re house repainting, and found i could afford it with my funds now. : ) so we agreed that after i get back on dec. 6, he'll send the painter over to start working by december 8.

yeheyyyyyyyy!!! : D

i'll just do what i can, given the resources i have.... all the rest will just fall into place somehow.

i know that now. : D

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

blessings in the midst

i am at the business center of the Iloilo Grand Hotel writing this. the kids (the school paper staff i advise) are in the middle of their individual writing contests now. i have just finished a full and satisfying brunch of cream of chicken, garlic rice, sizzling fish and shrimp cutlets, fresh sliced papaya and pineapple orange juice.

although this is an official business leave for me as moderator of the school paper, it actually is more like a vacation because all i have to do with the kids is to be their chaperon, adviser and morale booster, but being the smart and independent kids that they are, i really don't have to do much except make them laugh. : )

so in a while, after their lunch, i am checking in at the day spa right here in the hotel, for a complete package of full body massage and milk and honey scrub, facial massage, turkish bath, and foot spa and manicure and pedicure!

did i say that isn't it good timing i recently got the full lumpsum amount of my royalties from the first printing (it's all sold out and going on it's second printing now) of Papa's House, Mama's House??????? aside from the surprise P1,500 speaker's honorarium i got yesterday for volunteering to conduct a training on Media Literacy and Peace Journalism (PJ) to campus writers all over the province??????? : ) : ) : )

God and the Universe are truly great and Abundant!

They knew i needed this break more than i cared to admit, and they arranged for it so and things just fell into place!!!

tomorrow i go back, but leave again on friday for a five-day advanced peace journalism training for professional journalists in Cagayan de Oro City. i look forward to meeting old acquaintances and friends again, as well as to a new adventure my PJ colleagues promised to initiate me into-- white water rafting!!! : D

Friday, November 17, 2006

Quote From Dr. Seuss : )

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

Thursday, November 16, 2006


for a few days these days, i bask in local celebrity status as hometown heroine.

a press release issued by the University was published in the local papers last Tuesday, coinciding with the blessing of our University Press, where i was also invited. so, at the blessing, it felt like my own coming out party too, although i was just one of the guests. everyone flocked around me and congratulated me and asked about royalties and stuff. haha. i graciously humored them, sharing the limelight by letting them in on a little secret-- i haven't even received a single centavo from my first award-winning story 3 years ago yet!

then, of course, there's family, telling one and all about my win, and being congratulated, too, for being my family. : ) i enjoy this part, having them bask in the celebrity feeling, too. God knows how they've put up with me and my unpredictable passions all these time!

the Chinese Lee family association put out a half page ad in the local papers today to congratulate me and the family, and proudly claiming me (and the win) as one of their own. : ) then my old Chinese high school's alumni association president wants to interview me, too, as they will put out a big streamer congratulating me right there across the school gates. no problem. the limelight is big enough for all of us!!!

then, earlier today, a journalist-friend sent me an email interview as she wanted to feature me in her column tomorrow. just a while ago this evening, somebody from Manila-based Newsbreak asked for my email address for another email interview they want to do, too, so they can feature me in their next issue. my sister, who's a television host herself, has arranged to interview me in her women's talk show, Amiga, for next week. : )

through this all, what touched me the most, though, were two little comments from a university literature professor, known for her very exacting standards, acerbic tongue and sarcastic humor, who asked for the two other entries i also submitted to the Salanga Prize (but which did not win, as my third entry was the one which won) to be published in the arts and culture journal she was editing.

mrs. G knows my personal story, as she was already a literature professor then way back when i was still studying at the same university im now teaching in. and she has been sitting in at most of the writing workshops i have been granted fellowships to, too, so in a sense, she has watched my growth too as a writer, over the years.

after reading my two other stories (which she calls narrative poems... i didn't even think of them as poems!), she mentioned a grammar lapse or two (of course : >) and then later on texted me, "your stories remind me of W. Blake's Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience." i texted her back, ": > why?" and she said, "they are written with a child's voice, but with a higher mystical meaning at the same time."

that warmed my heart, coming from her.

and then, her clincher: "the drought is finally over, Jean. your time has finally come."

: ) : ) : )

Saturday, November 11, 2006

happy, happy, joy, joy!!!

Manila just called-- I have just been informed that I won the Philippine Board of Books for Young People (PBBY) Salanga Prize for Children's Literature again, for 2007 this time, for my entry, "Tight Times"!!!

: D

Monday, November 06, 2006

First Step

i just signed up (and paid for) a Yahoo domain name of my own, and i am excited!... as the first step to another dream has now been made.

i have my work cut out for me when i take my one year's unpaid leave from my university work by June, 2007, as this will be one main project i want to get off the ground within then!

check it out here.

what do you think? : )

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Root of Joy

From "Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer," by Brother David Steindl-Rast:

Ordinary happiness depends on happenstance. Joy is that extraordinary happiness that is independent of what happens to us. Good luck can make us happy, but it cannot give us lasting joy. The root of joy is gratefulness.

We tend to misunderstand the link between joy and gratefulness. We notice that joyful people are grateful and suppose that they are grateful for their joy. But the reverse is true: their joy springs from gratefulness. If one has all the good luck in the world, but takes it for granted, it will not give one joy. Yet even bad luck will give joy to those who manage to be grateful for it.

We hold the key to lasting happiness in our own hands. For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.

Evolutionary Women

From Evolutionary Women's The Call -

As Evolutionary Women we are co-creating, with our brothers and sisters, an enlightened world that works for everyone. We’ve arrived at the critical time when our very survival depends on us becoming greater than we are now. Many experts, male and female, have acknowledged that the missing element in our social context has been the full participation of the Feminine Principle. We are the Feminine embodied. We are conscious that through our individual talents, skills and presence we contribute to the evolution of all of humanity, individual and collective.

And Barbara Marx Hubbard's explanation--

What is an Evolutionary Woman?

Something radically new is happening in our age around the roles of women. It is almost as though a new kind of woman is emerging.

In the west we are having fewer children and living longer lives. Women’s visibility is increasing as they participate at all levels of society. In less fortunate parts of the world, population pressures are impacting women as well, and the old dictum “be fruitful and multiply up to maximum” does not always apply.

The effect on women of this bio-evolutionary development is profound. We are shifting from procreation toward cocreation. There is a trend developing, away from reproducing ourselves toward evolving ourselves. Many of us are experiencing this trend as an upwelling of creativity, spirituality, and vitality. We find ourselves yearning for life purpose, chosen work, and a vocation that expresses our unique creativity for the good of the self and the larger human family.

I call this the rise of suprasexual cocreativity. Our life’s impulse now is expanding into the creative drive for purpose and self-expression.

We are recognizing ourselves as Evolutionary Women; Feminine Cocreators. We are building a new archetype, a new agency of evolution. This archetype is arising now during Late Transition on planet Earth, along with many crises that we are told might destroy our life support systems within our own lifetimes! It is clear that the current leadership, whether male or female, is not leading us in a direction that will carry through the transition to a future equal to our full potential.

The whole woman, the universal woman, the evolutionary woman, the feminine cocreator is now vital to the survival and evolution of our whole species.

Why the Worst of Times Can Be the Best of Times

a sharing on positive options for the future of humanity (pls. click on "positive options" to get to the link)...