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Seriously Awesome

14 Sep

Once in a while you stumble across something so incredibly awesome, it would be almost sinful to not share the joy and the thrill of the discovery.

And so from my piano-loving home to yours (is there anyone who does not love music?), here’s a seriously awesome work of magic.

Whattaguy.

27 Mar

I love surprises. I love it when yet again there is proof, both visible and audible, of the wisdom in this truth: We must go beyond the surface and seek the beauty that is within. And I love it when that truth is proven in such an unexpectedly stunning way.

Hang on a sec, if you’ll just indulge me just a wee bit, I feel the need to gush some more: I especially love it when the underdog rises above a hurtful past and manages to come out so wonderful, not despite but perhaps even because.  I love it that someone who has every reason to be proud of himself chooses instead to remain refreshingly humble. I love that in the moment of victory he remains magnanimous, and doesn’t forget the friend who has journeyed along with him.

Such deep lessons from a seemingly simple video.

And whattaguy, seriously.

Check it out:

 

PS. Clicking above will lead you directly to the video on Youtube since the video doesn’t permit embedding in blogs. Sorry about that. But it’s worth watching, I promise you. :)

Yes, Yep and Yeah!

25 Mar

Wouldn’t it be great if every day every single thing went exactly the way we wished it to, with bright sunshine and happy flowers and smiles on the faces of everyone we happen to pass by on our way? If there were no more fighting, no more wars, no more killing and no more suffering? (And while we’re at it, no more traffic too? heehee).

But then life’s not always like that. Not every day is perfect. Sometimes it doesn’t just rain, it pours. Sometimes no matter how we try our best to control the variables, things don’t go exactly the way we planned. Sometimes even the best intentions fail.

But you know what? It’s okay. It’s fine. That’s life, after all. This is Planet Earth, not Heaven, and struggles and obstacles and setbacks are part of what gives us the strength, the will, even the ammunition to get to that final destination. That is, as long as we hold on to that great don’t-leave-home-without-it essential, Hope.

Yup, that wonderful thing that keeps us going even when the going gets tough. That thing that pushes us back on our feet after we’ve slipped and fallen the 53rd time. That thing that puts a smile on our face, determination in our heart, and a spring in our step.

Methinks it’s really all in the attitude, and if there’s one thing that life has taught me, it’s that the attitude that wins is one that overflows with optimism even in the face of defeat. Kind of like being able to  peer beyond the lightning and thunder and know that there’s a rainbow that lies behind. Kind of like choosing to laugh instead of weep. Kind of like electing to say Yes, yep and yeah instead of No, no way, never again, ever.

Because it is a choice, isn’t it?

As always and in all things, we have a choice. We can throw our hands up in despair, moan groan and wail, gnash our teeth and bang our heads on the table. Or we can smile, dust off the backseat of our pants, and start walking again along the path, grateful for whatever lessons that baptism of fire might have handed us.

I ‘m guessing we all know which choice leads to the path of happiness. ;)

Which brings me to my interpretation of THROUGH, which is the latest WordPress Photo of the Week challenge theme:

(And speaking of the best viewpoints through which to view life, I’m pretty certain there’s a silent—if coincidental—message written between the lines in the image above. After all, that “peephole” in the image above happens to be the back of a chair found in the Happiest Place on Earth ;) ).

Positivity. It’s a great attitude to have, isn’t it?

Suede agrees:

And so, as the Irish blessing goes:

May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that’s always blue.
And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.

And may the birds sing for you today, too, my dear darling friends!

What Albert Einstein Was

23 Mar

… aside from being a genius—and perhaps this even served as the stimulus for his being one—was incredibly curious. He said so himself:

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
~ Albert Einstein

I grew up hearing the old adage, Curiosity killed the cat. But I think now that this might hold true only for things that (cough, cough) one perhaps has no business being curious about. But curiosity, in and of itself, is I believe a wonderful thing. For doesn’t every amazing quest for knowledge begin with a questioning mind?

A big part of curiosity is wanting to see beyond the surface, searching for the unusual in the commonplace, seeking the extraordinary in the ordinary. (And funnily, at the end of that road is often the discovery of miracles that, far from being rare and few and far between, are actually unfolding every day right under our noses, if we but choose to really see).

All of which brings us to my contribution to this week’s WordPress Photo of the Week challenge, with the theme Unusual:

{ Click on the image for a larger view}

Edward Weston said, Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.

I love that. I have always been a firm believer in searching for the special qualities that lie underneath what we otherwise take for granted as ordinary and mundane.

What does the image above look like to you? To me, it looked like some alien creature’s double-tongue helping itself to a taste of tree sap. What it actually is: sliced strawberries surrounded by crystallized and caramelized sugar. Unusual-looking but really just your usual everyday stuff that goes by the name dessert. Ordinary yet extraordinary. (Awesome tasting, too! :D)

So to my dear extra-special friends, here’s to an incredibly extraordinary day filled with curiosity that brings happy surprises to your doorstep!

Of Dark and Light

13 Mar

I have always thought that there is beauty in difference. In contrast. In a juxtaposition of opposites. Chiaroscuro. Light-Dark. Laughter and tears. Somehow the knowledge and comprehension of one seems incomplete without the other.

Take, for instance, the most magical tapestry that hangs on the walls of castles: would our eyes have the chance to behold such stunning beauty without the crisscrossing of threads at the back?

But the key behind the beauty of opposites, I think, is not simply that both exist but that they do so in a peaceful manner, in a way that brings out the intrinsic and individual qualities of each. Kinda like Venus and Mars, no? :)

And this is why I particularly enjoyed this week’s theme for the WordPress Photo of the Week: Contrast.

Here’s my take on it:

{Click on the image for a larger view}

And this is where I have to admit that I couldn’t look at this photo without feeling the urge to hum along with Howie Day’s Collide:

Hope you have a wonderful week filled with bright days and magical nights, my sweet friends!

Shifting Views

22 Feb

I love windows. My home is filled with them. I love that they let light in, and I love even more that they allow me to look out, up, and down.

To me, windows—and the views they allow—are a great metaphor for wisdom. If we look, and look well; if we look and take in different views, odds are we’ll eventually find the answers we’re seeking. Only when one is able to see things from different angles can complete understanding, often even true wisdom, walk in.

Speaking of wisdom, one of the wisest things I’ve learned came from one of my past relationships in my late-teens / early-twenties (yeah, that time when you think you’re an adult but you’re not really there yet, so there’s still a spattering of angst and a tendency to brood over things that don’t quite go the way you want them; that kind of thing :roll: ). I don’t even remember what I was moping about, but the lesson I have kept well and have practiced all the time since, and it is one I have passed on to my kids:

When things don’t go the way you want them to, or something makes you frustrated / depressed / angry et cetera, ask yourself this question:

Can I do something about it?

If  the answer to that is Yes, then go do it. If the answer to that is No, then laugh. That’s right: laugh! You can’t do anything about it anyway, so you might as well keep your sense of humor and get on with the rest of the business of living… of living a happy, good life. Right?

We can be down, honey, but we’ll never be out. ;)

Which brings me to the WordPress Photo of the Week theme (Down) and my take on it:

And extolling the wonders of looking at the world from a different viewpoint, here’s Jack Johnson:

I want to turn the whole thing upside down
I’ll find the things they say just can’t be found
I’ll share this love I find with everyone…

Have a wonderful day loaded with amazing sights and views, and much love too, my friends!

Home Again

14 Feb

He is my best gift from God. He is my greatest treasure. He is my home. (Uhm… along with our five home-lets ;) ).

From me and “my home” (and Adele) to you and yours – may today be filled with abundant love and laughter in a very special way!

Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am home again …
Whatever words I say
I will always love you 

Happy Valentine’s Day, my sweeties!

{No} Regrets

13 Feb

When you think of regrets–that is, if you have any–what is the first thing that comes to mind? Love (unrequited, lost, or still unknown)? Words (spoken or left unspoken)? Decisions (made hastily or not made early enough or not made at all)?

In case you’re wondering why I’m suddenly wondering about this, you can put the blame on WordPress’s Photo Challenge for the Week (I say this tongue in cheek, of course :)).

The theme, no surprises here, is Regret… and I have to admit it was kind of difficult to think of a way to interpret regret visually (especially since I don’t really make a habit of whipping out my camera and capturing someone caught in a moment of remorse… it somehow feels too invasive, if you know what I mean).

Also, I must confess to a certain discomfort with clicking the shutter and freezing a moment loaded with sorrow (for doesn’t regret always bring sorrow along in its wake?). While I do think that most, if not all, of us have had at least one regret, huge or miniscule, in this life, I also personally believe that these pangs of grief must be long in wisdom and short in memory. In other words (yes, the very ones which I often use to counsel my sons), learn the lesson that pain brings in its wake then move on. Perhaps that’s a natural offshoot of my firm belief that negativity and wallowing in gloom are a waste of energy. :)

Which, I hope, explains my interpretation of this week’s challenge:

And here’s a song (from the new, proudly Filipino-made musical: The Ateneo-La Salle Rivalry) that demonstrates how it is possible to go through regret and pain and still come out of it full of hope and optimism.

PS. I just saw Mamma Mia with the hubs and our two older boys yesterday, and we enjoyed it a lot (was especially thrilled when the stage actress performing the role of Donna said “Mabuhay, Manila!” during the encore <heehee> ). Next on the “Want to Watch” list is this musical for which the song above was written and composed.

For my friends who are not from this side of the world, Ateneo (de Manila) and La Salle are two of the all-boys schools that are institutions almost as old as the mountains and seas of this country. I don’t know too many people who cannot claim a connection to either one of the schools, often even both, either from generations past or present. To wit: my dad studied at the Ateneo for grade school and high school then went to De La Salle for university. My brothers went to La Salle for grade school and high school. Two of my sisters went to Ateneo for university. My husband (and his brothers) went to the Ateneo. My two older sons are Ateneans. I have a niece at the Ateneo university and another niece at De La Salle.  And that’s just family… the list goes on and on. See what I mean? Haha!

So the Ateneo-La Salle connection is truly something that many in my country can relate to. I certainly can and am thinking that seeing this musical is very much a “must.” After watching “The Making of Rivalry” my interest in seeing the musical grew even greater! Here it is:

Have a happy week ahead filled with loads of happiness, wonderful music, and absolutely no regrets!

Bring It On!

8 Feb

I love the word ready because it denotes a willingness, an openness, to jump into adventure, into learning, into life.

It also happens to be the theme of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, and here’s my take on it (a triathlete standing on the shore of the beach at dawn, stretching before jumping into the cold waters for the swimming event):

And here’s U2’s singing People Get Ready!

May you be ready for all the adventures this week has to offer! :)

Hope Blooms

2 Feb

In 1991, much of the world was not aware of the existence of Mt. Pinatubo. I’m guessing that, and much of my guess is based on the fact that even I didn’t know of its existence before then… and I’m probably closer to it than much of the world.

After June 1991, the world couldn’t help but get acquainted with this heretofore-unknown volcano, who made its existence known in quite a nasty in-your-face kind of way. The effects of its eruption were felt worldwide, with ashfall that not only darkened our skies and covered the windshields of our cars like thick muddy snow but also reached as far as the neighboring countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malaysia.

Because Typhoon Yunya decided to wreak havoc at the same time, lahar flows were copious. Lahar, an Indonesian word that  describes volcanic mudflows or debris flows, has the consistency, viscosity and approximately the same density of concrete: fluid when moving, then solid when stopped. (Thank you, Wikipedia). Successive rains that are so common in these islands did nothing to alleviate the massive lahar problems (think mudflow-floods, houses buried to the rooftops, destruction of agriculture and once-green lands suddenly grey and dismal as far as the eye could see).

But the Filipino takes pride in being hopeful, in standing straight, undaunted by whatever trials and misfortunes are thrown our way (and that, often accomplished with jokes and smiles, however incongruous they may seem to be). Little wonder then that my people eventually found a way to create stuff made of lahar – bathing “stones,” decorative figurines, export-quality photo frames, even a PC-casing according to a google search.

Now isn’t that just a beautiful demonstration of how hope can bring good out of disaster?

While driving through lahar-ravaged lands, I happened to spot a tiny patch of grass sprouting from what used to be just sprawling acres of grey sandy land. Ah, yes, hope springs eternal… literally.

Which brings us to my contribution to the WordPress Photo of the Week Challenge, with the theme HOPE :

And because children are always symbols of the beauty of hope, here’s a little child-inspired music to fill your day with happy hope!

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