Monday, January 29, 2007

The Greener Grass

Ever wonder why you order exactly the same dish as your friend in a restaurant but hers looks more appetizing or her portion seems bigger? I get friends saying that to me: “Why does your food always look more appetizing than mine?” I always laugh and say, the problem is not the food, it’s me, I always eat with more relish and that’s what people see and envy, not the dish.

I call it the “greener grass” syndrome. We all have our moments when the grass is greener on the other side of the fence—well, at least, I have. When I see a very slim, statuesque woman pass by, or a starry-eyed newly wed couple, or a mom coddling her baby, or when I visit a friend’s beautiful house. I have my moments.

But God always brings me back to a passage in the Bible that struck me as strange the first time I read it, but it has made more and more sense since I

Psalm 16:5-6,
“Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, surely I have a delightful inheritance.”

The sense of contentment brims over and has spilled on me. I learned to look at my own lot and care for it, and thank Him for the boundaries and limitations that He has—for want of a better word—imposed on me.

I could spend my time looking enviously over the other side of the fence, seeing my neighbor tend her garden and admire her blooms. That would mean my own garden would be untended—weeds would grow, vines would creep uncontrolled and strangle the other plants, worms would have their feast on every green leaf in sight, while other plants die of thirst. Then the other side of the fence would truly be greener.

It helps to know that God apportions our respective lot with wisdom and an intimate knowledge of who we are and how we can turn out to be. Once in a while, I look over the admire and allow a twinge of envy, but then I move back and work on my own lot. I survey what my lot looks like and so far, it's been good—despite, or I should say, because of, the boundaries God has blessed me with.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Beautiful Mati

A few months back, I joined a team from my church to a medical and dental outreach conducted in a fishing community somewhere in Mati, Davao Oriental. It was great to be able to extend help to a needy community for two days, this was a real treat--and the fringe benefit was also great: an afternoon in a small uninhabited island across the fishing village. The view was so beautiful that it inspired the 'artist' in below are a couple of my amateur attempts at capturing what I find hard to put into words. :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


If you want to win in a game of Jenga, the first thing you need to make sure is that you don’t play against obsessive compulsive friends. This happened to me--and being so NOT obsessive compulsive myself, I often ended up screaming my lungs out when I see the tower leaning unstoppably towards a topple on my watch.

Funny how much a game tells you about yourself—and your friends! My three friends’ obsessive compulsive tendencies became obvious as they slowly circle around the Jenga tower, angle their heads left to right, up and down--to analyze which piece to move, then touch and poke gently to make sure they choose the right piece, and patiently tap on the piece they finally decide to move until it falls off.

I, on the other hand, touch and poke from where I’m sitting. I don’t get up and go to the other side of the tower—it never occurred to me that there could be other possibilities that might make themselves obvious from another angle—then I pry as patiently as I can manage (a feat!), whichever piece of wood that’s relatively loose. Of course, my patience snaps and I give the piece a not so gentle tug and voila! the earth’s gravity wins.

Patience, gentleness and attention to detail is the key to winning--and making sure to play the game on a solid table standing on solid cement floor.

But hey, it has to topple over some time, right? So why not do the honors and ease the tension that has built up. Allow your friends the luxury of a good long scream as they witness the tower topple in slow motion. Added bonus would be helping them remember their need for oxygen.

After all, winning isn’t everything, right? What counts is being kind and considerate (ahem).

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Passage of Time

Time flies.
Time heals all wounds.
Time waits for no man.
Time’s up.

Time. What a precious, precious commodity. It can be either frighteningly flitting or agonizingly slow.

There are times when I wish I could grab time by it’s tail and will it to stand still or go back, even just for a moment and allow me to restore relationships that have been neglected, change the way I acted on certain occasions and erase regrets, soak in precious moments just a little bit more before it is finally over.

Then reality sets in: time does not stand still, even if at times it seems to. It can be merciless, resolute in moving on for everyone. Leaving us with a trail of memories that are either agonizingly vivid or regrettably hazy.

But time also reproduces itself, giving us a new day, new hopes, new chances, new opportunities—to heal, to reach out, to change, to grab hold of, to enjoy, to be blessed. Mercifully, memories left behind can be hazy for those moments we need to forget so we can move on, and vivid for joys that are refreshing to remember.

As time moves on, I hope to keep in step with it…appreciating the fact that it is precious and that it does bring us nearer to a place where time will no longer matter.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Wheeee! Wifi!

Oh Joy!! Finally! A decent-paced wifi connection at NCCC Mall here in Matina,Davao. And you can imagine how much of a joy this is after four agonizing days of snail-paced connection? My brother told me at dinner about this strong wifi connection from what he read in the local newspapers and off I went, with family in tow. I managed to convince them they needed to do some grocery shopping. And so off we went!

So here I am doing all I need to get done, downloading my emails, replying to them, chatting with a friend, moderating my blog comments, etc etc...Wheeee! All these while sitted at a bench and my laptop on my lap (for a change). Since Christmas set me back quite a bit in finance, I sure am glad I can just sit on a bench and do my email without the obligatory cup of latte.

Ahh, what would one do without internet connection...come to think of it, what can one do with SLOW wifi connection??

Wish that Taiwan earthquake-caused communication problem gets worked out soon, or else...(shudder!)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Hi's and Lo's in Bacolod

Beguiled in Bacolod
*10pm, December 28, 2007

I feel like blogging tonight…too bad wifi is not available in the pension house that I am staying in here in Bacolod, and for those who know me, being off line for two straight days is a big deal! Surprisingly, I’m not too bothered about it, because there were three things that set me in a great mood:

1. Being treated with big, oh-so-fresh, melts in the mouth oysters (along with barbequed chicken) for lunch and dinner. And I am hopping for the whole seafood galore tomorrow!

2. Enjoying the light drizzle for the past two days while walking to the conference site. Haven’t done that in a long time so that was great, especially coming from oppressively hot Davao.

3. Last but not the least, the disarming Bacolodnons! From they’re cute, lilting accents that convey a sense of fondness for anyone they talk to, even strangers, and I get the feeling that for most of the time, its real and not put on. They have one of the rarest species known to man: the nice and courteous taxi driver.

Definitely a place worth coming back to.


Tortured in Transit
*8am, December 30, 2007

I was supposed to wake up all set to leave Bacolod this morning. I was—but not with a full-blown fever! My companion who came with me at this conference in Bacolod is not in her best condition herself—tummy problems and she suspects Amoebeasis.

I seldom get sick so I wondered if it was the 1 1/2 heaping servings of oysters I finished off the night before, or the fact that I gallivanted around rainy Bacolod in true DavaoeƱo fashion, (ie. sans umbrella) thereby finding myself soaking wet half the time.

So there I was with my friend, Loida, experiencing agony with a capital “A” as we waited for the lady in the Cebu Pacific counter to issue our boarding passes. And for the life of me, I had no idea took her soooo excruciatingly long to issue them, did she have to compose an essay of how we should get from Bacolod to Davao via Cebu? Or was she using old-fashioned Morse code to transmit to Cebu our names for the transfer?! Aaargh!!!! There were a couple of reasons that kept me from being downright nasty: the fact that I was too weak, and the fact that Bacolodnons have a sweet way of talking to you that keeps you from being rude to them, no matter how agonizingly amoeba-paced their service was.

As if that wasn’t enough, the flight from Cebu to Davao was delayed as well, and there we were in the departure lounge, Loida and I, she doubled over because of stomach pains while I was almost flat on my back on the lounge chair, finding some comfortable position to support my stuffy head. I am sure people are walking around were clucking their tongues and wondering what these two silly girls were up to the night before..oh well, at that point, I didn’t care what people were thinking, I just wanted to get home!

Oh, well, life and its hi’s and lows.

Thanks, all for dropping by my blog. May you embrace both the high’s and the low’s of the coming year and allow them to enrich your life!