Friday, September 28, 2007


the best definition i've heard so far, from Deepak Chopra--

"Intuition is the voice between thoughts."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Honey's Report

i got a kick out of reading my sister Honey's report of our 12 days here so far, which she sent via email to family and friends, and i'm sharing this with you : ) ohhh i love how she describes it! --

Just a slice of life im enjoyin' here. some things that remind me i'm in a 1st world country when going household shopping with my mom (please read in Southern/Georgian english accent, okay?):

doors automatically open even if im 3-4 steps away
revolving doors revolve fast...really fast... at first, i feel like joining a jumping rope to slide in..teehee! or where superman loves to change.

groceries are called warehouse stores, true! double or triple that of sm supermarket
grocery carts have built-in seats for adults too! not just for kids (kapoy lakat ay)

cashiers are automated computers like atm to pay for groceries..
i insert dollar cash and they change it too
reminds me of the airport at Delta..self check-in via automized terminals
grocery packers pack goods with only 2-3 items per plastic bag
so imagine going home with more than a dozen packages for just five days' supply

credit cards are preferred than cash in making payments
vegetables section have a sound-effect: thunder and rainstorms then
you get hit by hidden sprinklers to give a shower!
baby tomatoes, baby potatoes, baby eggplants, baby carrots everywhere
pre-sliced vegetables, ready-to-cook julliened items for convenience's sake
giant sized tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, carrots, plus...more
and the seafood section? oh my! surely caterers' delight!
all are fresh, neatly filleted and packed
meat section too with samples of packaged ready-to-go themed cuisine food trays to choose from
and lots of food-sample carts, sa sampling pa lang, mabusog ka na.

their cakes and week na, namit pa...
label says, no preservatives man...hmmm hmmm..
people of all colors greet you all the time "how you doin?..doin okay ma'am?"
when you say "thank you", be prepared with a loud reply "YOU ARE WELCOME!" gurl!

when yo go lukin' for cheap items? go walmart...for cheaper itmes..go "food stamps stores"
for newer bright items? go publix, or costco, jc pennys..etc.
never an outing with momma without buying flowers, oh beautiful flowers already arranged in bouquet-ready-to-go too!.

nice to just sit around and do people watchin'
but be ready to put a smile on your face as if you are admiring..
rather than staring...

and so many obese people, im not kidding
if i am large-sized back home, i am small here...

abundance of food everywhere...
to think of hunger in 3rd world countries
sometimes shocks me

i love lookin' at families go together
saturday mornin' is grocery time for folks here...

no yayas, no family helpers..
nice to see parents lugging around babies
with two or three others following behind

so that's it for now...
"driving and life in the streets" next.

This is Honey Grace Catalan, CNN (Chill! NannnaNaaaanaaaa)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Georgia On My Mind

two glazed doughnuts, a banana, and ice cold water.

that's what i just had for breakfast-- after walking about two or three miles around the community with my sister, Honey.

it's quite a change from my usual big breakfast fare in Bacolod of rice, eggs, meat or fish, and Tipco juice.

but, i guess, ironically, in a land of (excess) food Abundance, i am learning to scale down.

i eat only an average of two meals a day now. each meal is quite big enough, with really large servings. i am not able to fully digest one before another one comes along.

one time, Mama brought us to Atlanta Bread Company, a fastfood place, really, and also serving soups, salads and sandwiches. each of us ordered their Half-and-Half special (half soup, half salad; or half salad, half sandwich), and it was good, like all food here seem to be. but we couldn't finish our Half-and-Halves even... that's how big the servings are.

Honey and i joke around that we love it here-- we get to fit into Petite sizes (when we're Large and even Extra-Large back home!) and we look slim and dainty compared to the huge number of men and women here who not only fill up their clothes, but even overflow them, if not for their wearing really huge tent-size shirts and pants and dresses!

the other day, Carmen, Mama's assistant in shipping the butterlfy wings products, took us to Stonecrest Mall and treated Honey and i to three Victoria's Secret panties each (which were on sale for 3 for $30). we couldn't decide which sizes we were as the flimsy, lacey and silky panties all looked almost the same size. we asked the ample saleslady which size she thought we were, and she looks us over briefly and declared, "i think you'd fit into Small!"

oohhhh, women's heaven!!! : ) : ) : )


Georgia is beautiful, pleasant, with an old-worldish charm, a slow-paced lifestyle(compared to L.A., our brief layover, and Hong Kong, what we know of New York, etc.), with lots of trees and greenery all around-- a lot like Bacolod and Silay.

for our 12 days here, we have only gone to CNN and downtown, a lake named Blalock, and looked over the beautiful houses in the newer, upscale side of Atlanta in Peachtree City. most of the places we go to are the food and grocery shops-- Publix, Costco, the smaller convenience stores-- as those are the only places Mama can only go to these days now. With her thrice-weekly dialysis sessions, she gets easily tired. so, it's her friends who take turns taking us to the other places.

i have yet to visit the Martin Luther King, the Margaret Mitchell and Gone with the Wind Museums, as well as Stone Mountain Park and Six Flags.

as in Bacolod, im not really into the mall and pop culture touristy spots like the Coca Cola Museum; im more into the arts and culture and history sites, as well as the nature sites.

Honey and i plan to learn and master the MARTA (train and bus system), but we haven't gotten around to it yet. we are still enjoying just basically staying at home with mama, talking, cooking (i know the basics now! yippee!!!), doing housework (i am discovering that i love washing best, particularly dishes, laundry-- anything that gets my hands into water!), talking long walks, meditating (me, while Honey prays), working on the pc (me, mostly), massaging mama... just bonding with mama and each other again as women now, something we never got to do while we were growing up.


we live in East Point with mama and our stepdad, Larry, at Ben Hill Road, in an older community. Larry is a big boss at the school board. we like him. he is quiet and wise, gentle but firm, and funny, too. like the father everyone should have.

there are a lot of black people here, as Atlanta is 60% black. but, unlike the tv and movie stereotypes, they are educated-looking, conservatively dressed, polite and friendly.

same with the white people, too. by the way.


we only got a whiff of L.A. culture in our layover at the airport, but immediately, one could tell the difference. there was an over-casualness and informality there, while here, upon landing at Hartsfield Airport, we could immediately sense the more conservative and formal atmosphere of the people and Atlanta.


i like it here. the weather is very similar to Philippine weather. and the lifestyle fits my own preferences and needs, too.

except for the excess food everywhere, that is.

every time i eat with others, and there are still huge leftovers which just get thrown away--and this, after one or two more meals eating the leftovers--i feel sad, because i remember our folks and street kids back home, who barely have enough to feed themselves one decent meal a day.

when i get assigned to throw the leftovers into the trash bin, i am careful to wrap them separately and cleanly-- just in case some hobo somewhere gets into our trash and finds our leftover food for his/her own need, although i haven't seen any hobo yet.


Mama wants at least one of us to stay here longer with her, but we can't. Honey has only a month or so on leave from her tv hosting job, while i have to get back to my book launch and other projects.

but, we're also open to the idea of maybe coming back again soon. we have 10-year-multiple-entry visas after all.

we'd like to come back with our children and family next, though. we'd like them to see the sights we see, experience the experiences we live here, and realize for themselves, too, how, the world is really so much bigger, wider, and more abundant than how we've been conditioned to live it so far, way back home.


now, if only there's a way to ship the "leftovers" (i would rather call them excess food, in the first place, produced too much and over and above what people really need) here to the rest of the world out there, too.

life would be so much better.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"He Brought Me to You"

thanks to Rousel in my Multiply network who posted this first. i never even heard of this song by KC Concepcion(Sapphire? i'm kind of getting mixed up) and Christian (Bautista? sorry... i am not very familiar with today's pop artists now)... but i love the lyrics and im keeping them here for posterity.

this is how my life is turning out to be right now... a dream is coming true... i'm keeping my fingers crossed as it's happening, but a dream is coming true, at last.

In search of my life and my one true love
I prayed to Almighty God above
And His masterful voice directed me to
The many things I was destined to do

So I sailed across the mighty seas
Pursued knowledge of the highest degree
Took to learning new skills
Experienced new thrills
Felt my life was completely fulfilled

At the end of my amazing quest
After proving myself
By achieving success
I hoped to find the prize so rare
A priceless treasure beyond compare

For God promised He would bring me love
A love without measure, trusting and true
And behold, my dear Sapphire
He brought me to you
He brought me to you


In search of my life and my one true love
I prayed to Almighty God above
And His compassionate voice directed me to
The many things I was destined to do

And in my private reverie
I read of lands across the seas
I imagined enchanting hallowed hills
Growing beyond my window sill.


And through all of these my fancy quests
I cherish the secrets up close to my breast
I hoped to find the prize so rare
A priceless treasure beyond compare

For God promised He would bring me love
A love without measure, trusting and true
And behold, my dear Christian

[C] And behold, my dear Sapphire
He brought me to you
He brought me to you

My heart knew this without a doubt
That's what destiny's all about

God promised He would bring me love

A love strong and true

A promise He fulfilled above
He brought me to you

He brought me you.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


today i leave for Atlanta, Georgia, to be with mama again, as well as with all my two other precious siblings.

in exactly 6 hours and 30 minutes, my sis Honey and i leave for the manila airport on our way out.

today is also a New Moon with a Solar Eclipse-- a time for fresh starts, and leaving the past behind.

6 years ago today, i arrived from Hungary and Romania via Paris, my first trip abroad-- the day after the world changed and terror struck half a globe away-- deciding i didn't want to be married anymore.

... oh how much i've grown and how far i've come since then!


my bags are packed, my papers ready.

but my old life is still hanging on.

as i write this at almost 5am, running against time running out--

- i have to finish updating my personal and business, especially the business, emails, as i will be offline for at least 2 days;

- finish autographing the books for distribution in 3 hours;

- finish writing the solicitation letter to our Chinese Family Association for sponsoring the book launch cocktails;

- finish checking my students' Grad. School papers and return them later this morning (or maybe i should just ask Thea to bring these to the Grad. School later in the day, huh? but still, i have to finish checking...)

- deliver the books, the solicitation letter and the Grad. School papers;

- by 6am, call the water tank repairman again to come ASAP as the water tank chose to break down again last night, the eve of my departure (but i focus on the silver lining: at least this happens now while im still here and i can do something about it, not when the kids are left alone with the housekeeper to fend for themselves);

- still feeling mixed emotions from the recent outburst with B... and just finished watching's "Give Each Feeling Its Time" short video clip, which is making me deeply reflective about Love's Lessons again, NOW, when i also have to be working double-time too, and can't really afford to muse and contemplate (i can do that later in the airport and in the looooong flight)...

today, i leave for a new phase in my life, a new world and adventure, even if only for a month. i am sure i will come back transformed, as most trips usually inspire... fast-tracking personal transformations because of the temporary hold on living up to the everyday social pressures and roles one has to conform to in mundane life...

today, i leave, and yet some part of me holds back, too.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

My Soul's Advice

in my early morning meditation today, i asked for guidance on discerning the true path of my Heart, of what (or more appropriately, Whom) to choose... now that opportunities for fulfilling my romantic dreams are again suddenly developing...

i waited for quite a while in meditation for an answer to come, but there was just... Silence.

and then, as i finished my meditation and softly blew out my meditation candle, the gentle answer came as a clear, strong voice in my head:

Whoever shares your spiritual path.

Monday, September 03, 2007

My Quiz Result... Teeheee...!!!

click on the title above to get to the quiz, "Which Ultimate Beautiful Woman Are You?"

My result:

You are a Goddess, pure and simple.
You are the epitome of grace, beauty and strength.
All women secretly want to be you
And all men yearn after you.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Today's Quote : )

"When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly." -- Barbara J. Winter