Monday, October 26, 2009

Word play

I can't remember ever taking up "anagrams" in school... but today I learned about anagrams, thanks to Mommy Life! Cool huh?

When you rearrange the letters:
When you rearrange the letters:
When you rearrange the letters:
When you rearrange the letters:
When you rearrange the letters:
When you rearrange the letters:
When you rearrange the letters:
When you rearrange the letters:
When you rearrange the letters:
When you rearrange the letters:
When you rearrange the letters:

Modesty aside...

I've been thinking about modesty lately -- specifically, trying to think of another word that means almost the same thing. It seems that this word has become misunderstood, that if I talked to another girl about it and we happened to not be on the same page about things pertaining to love, relationships, character and virtues, she may react as if I had said "chastity belt" or something equally antiquated.

Thing is, though "modest" often refers to clothing styles and manner of dressing, it can go far beyond that to include speech, behavior, thought. I won't even go into that here, but I will share this piece that I stumbled on once again while roaming Modesty Zone, that site I used to go to when in search of delightfully counter-cultural ideas. Talk about non-conformity! Definitely stuff one wouldn't see in mainstream media.

Here's an excerpt from the piece titled "Confessions of a former hoochi mama":

I began to realize that in my "hoochi mama" days, instead of showing off my cool new figure, I was actually degrading it by making it so easily accessible to any viewer. Despite some of the protests of my friends, I began to realize that modesty is not about sexual shame or a negative attitude toward the body; instead it is very much pro-body and pro-woman. Who knew?

Another thing I learned was that the word modesty, in its origin, simply means "to moderate." When St. Thomas Aquinas deals with modesty in the Summa Theologiae he links it to the virtue of prudence. Between moderation and prudence, we can thus understand better how to deal with modesty in this day and age where there are so few guidelines concerning dress. To me, applying moderation to this concept means that on the sliding scale of today's fashions the modest girl will land somewhere in between the prude and the exhibitionist.


When women of the sixties and seventies were encouraged to take on a more male nature, they abandoned and, in some cases, suppressed the beauty of female nature. By nature I don't mean the body per se, but rather what is greatest about women: things like compassion, fidelity, warmth, and a capacity to nurture. But today we are to suppress all these virtues, and be feminine in body only.

Read the whole thing here

Thursday, October 22, 2009

We like them as they are

Frankly, for a while now, I can't say that I still get starry-eyed over what most people consider thrilling, like sightings of -- or encounters with -- actors and other such celebrities. Seeing tennis player Roger Federer would probably send me to cloud nine; being in the same room as the Pope would also give me a certain high -- but of course that's on an entirely different plane altogether. Broadcast journalist Anderson Cooper is admirable, so hats off to him, too, and I'd certainly get a thrill out of even just seeing him in person or listening to him talk. Boxer Manny Pacquiao, too, though I am no boxing fan, is one person I would love to shake hands with and even get a picture with! Maybe it's his way of uniting the country, maybe it's his apparent simplicity in responding to questions despite the iconic status he has reached. I really don't know why I regard him so favorably and even anticipate his next match even though I can't tell schoolyard punching apart from what happens on a professional boxing ring (bottom line, in my eyes, both are demonstrations of violence).

But I can get somewhat starry-eyed when it comes to babies and young children. Which is why coming face-to-face with this 7-month-old from the South got me all excited before, during and even after the photo shoot. Needless to say, she didn't feel the same way about me, refusing to break into a smile during those moments I held her *sniff* -- still, she held my heart in her tiny hand :-) Even the way she let out little grunts as we struggled to put her in the first cherry kimono (it was a size too small) I found charming.

This is Queen Elizabeth ("Queenie") Pacquiao, the latest addition to the boxer's brood of four, whom we photographed in the family's home in General Santos City in August. I jetted off to Davao, where photographer Eugene Lara is from, and together with his assistant Ferjan we took the two-hour drive to General Santos for the 10am pictorial. How did the shoot go? You'll just have to get a copy of Baby magazine's October issue to find out :-)

See that small photo of another kid on the cover? That's Princess, Queenie's 3-year-old Ate, who makes an appearance in the same issue via a fashion feature. As with the last kiddie fashion feature we did, I'm feeling very contented about the outcome of this shoot, handled by photographer Ralph Alejandrino, even though it ended up happening in a hotel -- not exactly a child-friendly environment, and not brimming with spots that will bring out the natural glee in children at play.

Well, it turned out quite nicely -- with the help of board games, hand puppets, funny glasses, a pair of colorful maracas and even a little umbrella that Princess decided to twirl and wave around. And of course, though a bit of (ehem) "fashionista-wannabe kind of posing" happened for a few moments upon the urging of the little girl's companions, it became clear that when we let innocence and a wholesome atmosphere prevail, the charm of childhood really does come out. None of the come-hither looks that characterize kiddie images nowadays, nothing like the hands-on-hips supermodel stance and attitude taking over the styling. Just natural, happy, free-spirited, child-like fun. Because our "model" was a child. And it was plain to see that she was having a delightful time; I almost felt like reinforcing her genuine demeanor by telling her, as Ringo would have sung to her, "all [you] gotta do is act naturally." :-)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Silence that matters today

We have a choice to be silent. They didn't. The choice was made for them. Permanently.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

And I say it's alright

A little about the song

Specially for you

Anybody who cares for a person -- whether a child or an adult -- with special needs knows that the responsibility comes with challenges that require more patience and creativity. Is he a brother? A sister? A son? A daughter? A friend? I think each of us knows somebody who has "a little something extra" (as teacher and book author Barbara Curtis has put it when referring to people with Down Syndrome) or is lacking in something, making them different from others in more ways. Thank God we can rest assured that the value of every person's life depends not on what he can do but on what he is -- a child of God. And for any creature there can be no higher dignity than that!

It may also be comforting to know that even though most kids with special needs have a more limited ceiling when it comes to the level of understanding and intellectual capability or of physical tasks that they can carry out, the joy and the sense of wonder their presence can bring about in those around them, are limitless. That, and the depth of self-giving that they can enable their families and caregivers to reach.

This may provide some boost and assurance to those who spend a lot of time with people with special needs. I think it also gives us a deeper insight into things that special people also need (and feelings they may experience) which we have taken for granted or probably aren't aware of to begin with:

Beatitudes for friends of special needs kids

Blessed are you who take time to listen to difficult speech:
For you help us to know that if we persevere,
We can be understood.

Blessed are you who walk with us in public places,
And ignore the stares of strangers,
For in your companionship,
We find havens of peace.

Blessed are you who never bid us to "hurry up",
And more blessed are you
Who do not snatch tasks from our hands to do them for us,
For often we need time rather than help.

Blessed are you who stand beside us
As we enter new and untried ventures,
For our failures will be outweighed
By the times we surprise ourselves and you.

Blessed are you who ask for our help,
For our greatest need is to be needed.

Blessed are you when you assure us,
That the one thing that makes us individuals
Is not in our peculiar muscles,
Nor in our wounded nervous systems,
Nor in our difficulties in learning,
Nor any exterior difference.
But is in our inner, personal, individual self
Which no infirmity can diminish or erase.

- Author Unknown

H/T: MommyLife

Thursday, October 08, 2009


This is probably as honest as one can get when it comes to the sentiments of any woman at the moment she finds out that she's pregnant -- especially when pregnancy was the farthest thing from her mind. Come to think of it, the more oft-used "Pregnant? Need help?" is just as genuine, but a touch of humor can elicit a smile. And who wouldn't want that?

I clicked on Generations for Life's blogroll and got a site that was under construction. But the group's old website was accessible, and this led me to Project LIFEBOARD, which is another way for the group to call a pro-life billboard. What a delight to know that some people are making it possible to have such life-affirming displays put up in various states in the US!

I sure hope one day we'll see a giant billboard somewhere on Edsa with a message like "Chastity rocks -- it does a body and soul good." I think something like this would be welcome (or at least it's needed, even if some people are bound to scoff at the message) since it proclaims what each person knows deep inside.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Puppy power

This little creature is so cute, I can't stand it! :-)

"I Want My Phone Call!"

Source (of photo and caption): Cute Overload

Now that I think about it, bringing cute animals such as puppies, kittens, rabbits etc., to some of those who are grappling with the situation brought on them by the recent typhoon can probably do much good. Pet therapy has worked wonders for people with illnesses or battling depression. I imagine the folks at nursing homes would welcome the sight and company of a puppy or a friendly breed like a Labrador. And cuddling and caring for a puppy can be therapeutic.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


No matter what's going on around you, when a baby laughs (and laughs like this 9-month-old), it's a wonderful reminder that there is always hope.

It's all about ME

Always, there's lots of food for thought over at Feminine Genius. Here's a serving:

Any culture that successfully peddles magazines called Allure, Self, Glamour, Ms, O, and Lucky doesn't seem to have any esteem problems. Add to that all the self-help columns, sex advice, and beauty items (cashing in $billion$ monthly) and we seem to detect a society that is already all about "happy!"

Perhaps a better message would be to indicate that those who've been blinded by "It's all about me!" life-styles are chasing waterfalls and not terribly happy in the end. There's something to be said for authentic love which places God and others in the queue ahead of facials and retail therapy. And oddly enough, when God is first, sometimes He indulges us in unforseen ways.

Read her take on an interview with US First Lady Michelle Obama for Prevention here

* Girl at the Mirror (1954) by Norman Rockwell

Saturday, October 03, 2009

She ain't heavy

No amount of imagery will accurately paint the conditions that families displaced by Ondoy (international codename: "Ketsana") have been under and will continue to experience. So I'm posting just a few photos; it shouldn't make a difference whether one sees 2 or 200 pictures illustrating the extent of the damage to people and property. These are our brothers and sisters and they need our help.

Please remember to pray for my people more -- for the displaced victims, for those who have suffered loss of lives of family members and/or loss of their houses and other belongings, and for the aid workers and volunteers who are working away to serve the victims of this calamity.

You may help materially by sending your donations directly to the Philippine National Red Cross, which can now be done via PayPal --

The following information on more donation options is courtesy of Moon Girl --

Donate through your community

There might be people in your community gathering relief goods and donations. Find them and go.

  • Australia (Melbourne): Drop-off donations near the Melbourne CBD through Coco Quizon’s residence @ 8 Vale St., North Melbourne. You can contact Coco through 0458603723
  • Australia (Sydney): Deliver donations to 303/5 Stromboli Strait, Homebush Bay 2127. message for questions
  • Australia:
  • Australia: Filipino students in Australia are also helping out by collecting 5-dollar pledges. Contact Coco Quizon 0458603723 (Melbourne), Aiya Buendia 0437 967 259 (Sydney) and Michelle Leonardo (Canberra)
  • Australia: PAL shipping donations from Australia Free Of Charge! Sydney Delivery point for donations in kind: Revesby Press 3/50 George Street Granville. Ph:9760 0933. Urgently seeking donations of clothes, blankets, canned goods, medical supplies. Please segregate clothing according to: infants, girls, boys, women, men, shoes! Please call 0414-736-231.
  • Austria: Cash: message Charmaine Taus ( she’s having a benefit concert on October 22! concert details to follow.
  • Belgium: For those based in Belgium they can contact Shiera Catalan at +32485328811 if they want to donate goods for typhoon relief
  • California (Burlingame): MANILA BOX USA is now accepting donations in kind & will provide FREE shipping to Manila. Items will be sent by Sea Cargo and will delivered to the Whitespace Relief Center/Mar Roxas Headquarters in Cubao. Please drop them off at their warehouse: 361 Beach Road Burlingame , CA 94010 or call (650)342-2858. Please pack them in boxes for easier handling. Business hours Mon-Fri 9am-6pm
  • California (Carson/Hermosa Beach): We are collecting donations to send to flood victims in Manila. Our goal is to fill up a 40ft container in one week with new or used clothing,shoes, blankets,medicines,canned food items, etc. Dropoff Location : 205 West Torrance Blvd, Carson, CA 90745. We will be setting up a booth on Oct 3, 2009 at the Substance event in Hermosa Beach CA. THANK YOU and God Bless Manila. TWITTER (Socal4Ondoy)
  • California (Cerritos): Our house is temp drop off point while we find a bigger venue. We’ll facilitate immediate shipment to Manila. Thank you in advance for your help. Pls pass. Dino & Jan Home:16622 Amberwood Way Cerritos, CA 90703; (562)404-0625
  • California (Hayward): Fil-Am Invitational BasketballLeague(FIBL) will send out relief goods in the philippines for the victims of the floods cause by typhoon ondoy…. if you want to make a donation clothing,canned goods or money please bring it on sunday 10/04/09 @ el rancho gym 541 blanche st. hayward ca. from 2:00 – 6:00pm please visit our website for direction
  • California (Daly City): Please contact Ryan Leano (626)534-4971. Liwanag Cultural Center, Hillside Park Clubhouse, 222 Lausanne Ave., Daly City‎, CA‎ 94014.
  • California (LA): Relief goods accepted in LA! ANSWER ofc, 137 Virgil St, Rm 203, Los Angeles, CA
  • California (LA): TULONG SA PILIPINAS (STP): Accepting donations cash or check. Send to People’s CORE, 1610 Beverly Blvd. Suite No 2, Los Angeles, Ca 90026. Donations more than $50 is tax deductible. Material donations drop off ( donations; shoes, clothes, canned goods. medicines etc. ) at ANSWER LA office at 137 Virgil St. Room 203 , Los Angeles, CA 900042.
  • California (LA): Manila Forwarder will provide free balikbayan box shipment to Philippine National Red Cross, churches, and other government agencies directly responsible with relief operations. Please drop off the relief goods at: Manila Forwarder Headquarters, 4249 Eagle Rock Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90065, 1.800.210.1019323.478.1599
  • California (Oakland): Please contact Ryan Leano (626)534-4971. Asian Pacific Islander Youth Promoting Advocacy & Leadership. Attn: Armael Malinis, AnakBayan-East Bay. 310 8th Street, Suite 215. Oakland, CA 94710
  • California (San Diego): Alas Cargo 3126 E Plaza Blvd National City, CA 91950 (619) 470-1023; Eastern Express 8965 Mira Mesa Blvd (858) 578-8567
  • California (San Francisco): Stanford’s Pilipino American Student Union (PASU) is also collecting donations to be sent to the Philippines to help victims of Typhoon Ondoy (international name Ketsana). If you would like to make a donation, please contact AV David at or (650) 491-4561.
  • California (San Francisco):
  • California (San Francisco): Manila Forwarder will provide free balikbayan box shipment to Philippine National Red Cross, churches, and other government agencies directly responsible with relief operations. Please drop off the relief goods at: Manila Forwarder Northern California, 5750 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94112. Tel: 510-750-3036 / Tel: 209-3499576 / Tel: 415-239-9576
  • California (West Covina): Bamboo Bistro, 1559 E Amar Rd, West Covina, CA 91792. (626) 810-6131
  • Germany: Contact Denise Matias at or +63917-4280966 (text only, no calls).
  • Hong Kong: Filipinos in HONG KONG… Here’s how you can help: Ateneo Almuni Association HK is calling for donations to support relief efforts for the victims of Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) in the Philippines. Contact: Mike Reyes at +852.67131869
  • Hong Kong: Volunteers are requested to come to St Joseph’s Church in Central on Garden road, Hong Kong, tomorrow, Oct 1, 10AM to help pack the relief goods collected by various organizations for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy.
  • Illinois: Contact Raymond Maximo of Northern Illinois University – or
  • Japan: Japan Red Cross: They’re acception donations from September 30 until October 30. More info:
  • Japan (Tsukuba): You may get in touch with the Filipino Association of Scholars in Tsukuba, Japan also known as FAST thru fast99[at]yahoogroups[dot]com. I heard they are organizing a donation drive too. Just in case you are nearby Tsukuba area.
  • Japan (Tokyo): Philippine National Bank Tokyo – DONATION Remittance charge is FREE: 1) GMA KAPUSO FOUNDATION: PESO – 121003200017, DOLLAR – 121003200025; 2) CARITAS MANILA: USD – 1085-6660-0025; 3) PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RED CROSS: PESO – 3623-3680-0011
  • Kuwait: Kuwait Drop-Off Points for Donations for Typoon Ondoy/Ketsana calamity – you can send them at RAMTRON International, UTC Bldg, Kuwait City. Tel : (+965) 22413304 or (+965) 66671624. Look for Mr. Roylan A. Buenaflor. Donations are also accepted at the Intl Committee of the Red Cross – Kuwait Chapter @ Block 5, Street 3, House # 32, Kuwait. Tel : (+965) 25322061.
  • London: Cash: Acct. Name: P. A. Cortez / Acct. Num.: 58099901 / Bank: HSBC UK / Sort Code: 400500
  • Malaysia: For those in Malaysia, LBC is accepting donations in cash and kind. Their numbers are: 2026-8536 / 2070-0557. The office I know is at Kota Raya in KL.
  • Malaysia (KL): Pauline Warneck is gathering donations for Ondoy to be sent by Fri c/o CebPac. Email for details.
  • Netherlands: Donate (bank transfer) to: NFS – Nederlands-Filippijnse Solidariteitsbeweging (’Dutch-Filipino Solidarity Movement). Location: Leiden. Postgiro: 8118425. Subject: Support for flood victims / “Steun aan slachtoffers van grote overstroming”
  • Netherlands: Friends in the Netherlands can start sending donations in kind for victims of Typhoon Ondoy! Thanks to Balikbayan Europe :D Contact Erliza Apero (0617925369)
  • New Jersey: Sinugba Cafe – 561 Westside Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07304; or Casa Victoria – 691 Newark Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07306-2803 You can send CASH through Metro Bank acct. 3 189 14540 1 For BAYAN’s “BALSA” (Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan). For donations in New Jersey please contact: (201)621-3156-Yves Nibungco or (917)476-7855- Nick Cordero
  • New Jersey (Central): We are organizing a donation group for ondoy…we got drop offs to be put up by tomorrow afternoon or morning (9/30) ……contact me at 908-644-9889 or email me at, or ym ray_snoop_doggy02
  • New York: Ondoy New York Disaster Relief drop off center @ Pandayan Center, 406 W 40th St. Between 9th and 10th Aves. New York, NY 10018 or call 212.564.6057.
  • New York: NAFCON (Nat’l Alliance for Filipino Concerns)/SANDIWA Nat’l Alliance of Fil-Am Youth are now receiving relief donations (clothes, blankets, medical supplies, monetary). NY drop-off @ BAYANIHAN Filipino Community Center, 40-21 69th St. Woodside, NY 11377. Call (516)901-1832 or email if you would like to help.
  • Qatar: Meet noli perez dq ramada parking 6:30 today 9/29 for ondoy donations, call him 5642942.
  • Saudi Arabia (Eastern Province): Please collate your donations and bring to Al-Ettifaq Club gymnasium, Sports City Dammam this coming Friday, 2 October 2009.
  • South Korea: For the Filipinos and concerned citizens in South Korea: Pease support PIKO (Pinoy Iskolars sa Korea) fund-raising campaign for the Ondoy flood victims in the Philippines. Let us all help by donating to KOOKMIN BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER (498101-01-232756). Your help counts!
  • Spain (Madrid): For those in Madrid – starting tomorrow (9/30), you can bring your donations to the Philippine Embassy on c/ Eresma, 2 (Metro: Republica Argentina L6). They will accept food, clothes, blankets and other relief goods.
  • Spain: More pick up points around Spain: LBC in Madrid, Malaga and Barcelona. Addesses listed on this website –
  • Thailand (Bangkok): The Philippine Embassy will be receiving only donations in kind (ie., used clothing, shoes, blankets, and the like, and canned goods) …anytime between 9am-5pm until Fri. For queries, please contact the Philippine Embassy at (02) 259-0139 up to 40 or (08) 992-65954, or at
  • Texas (Houston):
  • Texas: Manila Forwarder will provide free balikbayan box shipment to Philippine National Red Cross, churches, and other government agencies directly responsible with relief operations. Please drop off the relief goods at: Pinoy Kargo Manila Forwarder 2 Honor Oaks Court,The Woodlands, TX. 77382832.768.0277832.744.2078.
  • UAE (Dubai): Lingap Kapwa – Ondoy Victims: We need to unite once again to help our Kabayans back in the Philippines that were badly affected by typhoon Ondoy. Current requirement: Clothings, Food, Money. Please get in touch with Pres. Jo (050-7456452 3 Drop Off Points for the donations: West Zone Supermarket (Karama, Satwa and Deira)
  • United Kingdom: Visit the OXFAM website
  • Washington, DC: Donations can be dropped off at the Forex office: 5222 Eisenhower Ave Alexandria, VA. (703) 823-1508. Philippine Red Cross is requesting for canned goods since there is not enough food.
  • Washington, DC: Fundraiser by Filipino Young Professionals: “Overcoming Ondoy: A “Happy” Hour to Help” – (A fundraiser for Typhoon Ondoy/Ketsana victims). When: Thursday, October 1, 2009, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Where: Skye Lounge, 19 & I Street, NW, Washington, DC
  • Washington, DC: The AAAA-Washington DC Chapter has set up a collection for funds to help the victims of Ondoy. I will be accepting checks made out to: Religious of the Assumption North American Province. Please send me an e…mail ( to get my mailing address. Also please let me know if you would like a letter of acknowledgment for tax purposes. “Because I love, I serve!”
  • Washington, DC: FOREX in Washington, DC will be taking your donations at no cargo cost to the Philippine Red Cross and to the relief center in Ateneo in Loyola Heights. A container will be leaving in a few days. The drop off center is located at: 1717 K Street, NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036. Call 800-883-6739.


Addendum: I wish I had come across this information days ago! On the other hand, better late than never. Here's where to buy items in bulk and come out spending less (thanks to Weewee for posting the link on Facebook):

From Bury me in this dress --

Where to buy bulk items for donation

Groceries are running out of relief goods because of the generosity of so many Filipinos so I’m compiling a list of where to buy relief items in bulk . A couple pesos saved might be enough for another survival package.

  • Viva and Wilkins Mineral Water – contact Arnel Ereso at 0917-8148998
  • SMC Mineral Water – contact Bau Bautista 0922-8497001
  • Mega Sardines (easy to open pack) – contact Jean Tiu Lim at 0917-7161005. Free bulk delivery
  • Toothbrush at 5 pesos per piece (minimum order of 500 pcs) – contact Abi Portillo at 0917-8898178
  • Relief goods - contact Gie of SuySing at 7068866 or 0918-5055430
  • Generic medicines and sanitary pad in bulk – John Talamayan at 09178980411 or
  • Environment-friendly containers – contact Paul or Tina 7124492
  • Bottled water 35o ml. at 5 per bottle (minimum of 500 bottles) - Call Cecille Baysa (or May) of Zectra Enterprises 911-4708 or 0920-9823028.
  • Wholesale prices of medicines from St. Francis Drug StoreG/F St. Francis Square Julia Vargas Ave. cor. Bank Drive Ortigas Center Mandaluyong City (632-1010 loc. 285 & 428; 0916-3612873). Minimum purchase of P3,000 for free delivery within Metro Manila.
  • Wholesale food goods – contact Camille 7068819
  • Banana leaves at 1.50/pc. (1 bundle=500 pieces, that’s P750) – call Binalot
  • Wholesale rice – contact Maria Rice #7 San Rafael St. Capitolyo, Pasig City. Tel Nos. 631-4421/631-4458/ 0917 856 2639
  • Tuna and other foodstuff - Allan Cabral Espino 09175236627
  • Paper boxes – Tope Tan at 2410805
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will donate relief goods for Ondoy victims – Text this number for any medicine needed 0917.894.4624.

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