Saturday, April 16, 2016

Cowhide Rugs - The Ultimate Nature-Made Rug For You

Finding the right accent pieces to add to your home d├ęcor is rarely simple and easy. There are a seemingly endless range of options available, but you may be struggling to find accent pieces that bring character and flair into your space. You may want accent pieces that have unique personality and that will be talking points for those who walk into your home. The perfect solution is to use natural cowhide in your home. You can decorate in a number of ways with cowhide rugs, and all of these gorgeous rugs can provide you with the results you desire. 

How to Decorate With Natural Cowhide

Cowhide rugs are most commonly placed on the ground as a floor covering, and they can dress up the floor with tremendous results. However, this is not the only option when decorating with cowhide. For example, cowhide can also be strewn over the back of a chair or sofa as a throw, adding softness and unique personality to these features. Some people will even hang up a cowhide on the wall as a tapestry wall covering. When you are shopping around for accent pieces to place in your home, consider how different types of cowhide may look in each of these areas of your home. 

The Beauty of Cowhide 

If you have never considered decorating with cowhide, you may want to take a closer look at what this gorgeous material has to offer. Many people are drawn to it because of the fascinating color options that it is available in, including black, white, buff, rust and more. Some cowhides may have two or more colors mottled together, and they may be mildly or intensely mottled for more personality. This can change the entire look of the rug, and this can give your space a different element of character. You typically can choose the exact cowhide rug that you want in your space, so you have complete control over how mottled or speckled your rug is. 

A Rug You Will Love for Years 

Some area rugs are made out of fragile or delicate materials, and these may easily show signs of wear and tear with regular use. Cowhide, on the other hand, is a durable material that will withstand wear. It will continue to look just as fabulous years from now as it does on the day that you purchased it, and this holds true even if you place it in a high traffic area of the home. More than that, it is a hypo-allergenic material, so you can truly love the rug in your home even if you suffer from allergies. 

There are many natural and synthetic materials that you could incorporate into your space when decorating. However, only cowhide rugs have the charming, rustic, natural look that you are searching for, and they bring this look into your home in a hardwearing, hypo-allergenic format. You can begin reviewing some of the many lovely styles of rugs available today to find the right style for your home.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Holy Week 2016

We visited only two churches last Good Friday, out of the originally planned five churches for our Visita Iglesia itenerary for this year, since we headed out already late in the afternoon.

Our first stop was at the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Makati City. It had already started to get dark when we reached the church, but we were able to do the Stations of the Cross inside the compound, along with other visitors.


The National Shrine of the Sacred Heart

Inside the church
The 9th Station

What I found particularly interesting in their version of the Stations of the Cross is that for every station, there is a corresponding activity that will help you feel, understand and contemplate more on the readings and reflection of each station. For me, it gives more meaning to the act, rather than just merely reciting the words.

Activity for the 9th Station

Red pieces of paper with several scribbled notes pasted on the Cross 

My Little Lady and my niece cutting a piece of what represents as Christ's cloth during crucifixion 

BandAid paper where people can write their emotional wounds and paste them on the Cross

My Little Lady carried the Cross while reflecting on this station  

The 13th Station

Our Lady of Sorrows

Jesus in His tomb

Painting of  The Sacred Heart of Jesus photo courtesy of the NSSH website

THE 12 PROMISES OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS


Every First Friday of each month, devout and faithful Catholics consecrate to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the spirit of reparation. Jesus Christ Himself made the following promises to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, in favor of those who fervently practice and promote this devotion. 

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life. 

2. I will give peace in their families. 

3. I will comfort them in all their afflictions. 

4. I will be their security and refuge during life, and above all, in death. 

5. I will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings. 

6. Sinners will find in My Heart the Source, and Infinite Ocean of Mercy. 

7. Lukewarm souls shall become fervent. 

8. Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection. 

9. I will bless every place in which an Image of My Heart is exposed and honored. 

10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts. 

11. Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart. 

12. I promise you in the excessive Mercy of My Heart, that My all powerful Love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months, the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in My disgrace, nor without receiving their Sacraments. My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.


NATIONAL SHRINE OF THE SACRED HEART

4 Sacred Heart St., San Antonio Village, 1203 Makati City, Philippines
Tel. (+632) 895-6331 / (+632) 890-5357 
Fax: (+632) 899-6340 
Mobile: (+63) 0922-8981006
E-Mail: nsshparish@ymail.com
Website: nsshph.blogspot.com
Facebook.com/NationalShrineoftheSacredHeart
Twitter: twitter.com/NSSHPH
Office Hours are from Tuesdays-Sundays
8:00 AM-12:00 NN / 2:00 PM-6:00 PM

SCHEDULE OF CELEBRATIONS

Rector / Parish Priest: Rev. Fr. Victor Y. Apacible
Resident Guest Priests: Msgr. Romeo A. Violeta / Rev. Fr. Rogelio A. Orpiada

WEEKDAY MASSES
6:00 AM, 6:45 AM and 7:30 AM * 12:15 PM * 6:00 PM

SATURDAY MASSES: 6:00 AM, 6:45 AM, 7:30 AM
ANTICIPATED MASSES: 5:00 PM / 6:30 PM (Tagalog)

SUNDAY MASSES
6:00 AM, 7:30 AM (Tagalog), 9:00 AM, 10:30 AM 12:00 NN
2:30 PM (Children's Mass Tagalog), 4:00 PM (Tagalog),
5:30 PM, 7:00 PM and 8:30 PM

SPECIAL MASSES - Second Sunday
7:30 AM Mass for the Elderly (Tagalog)
5:30 PM Mass for the Youth


St. Andrew the Apostle Parish Church

Our second and last stop was at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish Church. I only took one photo, but marveled at the design and structure inside, that veers away from the regular architecture of most churches.

The church was very solemn, and the instrumental music that was playing that time rendered the place more conducive for praying and deep reflection.


ST. ANDREW THE APOSTLE PARISH

62 Constellation Street, Bel-Air II Makati City, Philippines
Tel. (+632) 890-1796
Website: http://www.saaparish.com/
Facebook.com/saaparish


SUNDAY MASS SCHEDULE 

6:30am - Filipino
8:00am - English
9:30am - English
11:00am - English

12:15nn - English

3:30pm - Filipino
5:00pm - English
6:30pm - English
8:00pm - English


Overall, our shortened Visita Iglesia this year was spiritually enriching, nevertheless. For it lies not on how many churches one has visited, but the quality of prayer one has completed in the journey.

Hope you all had a blessed and meaningful Holy Week.  



Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New Year in March


If I am to create my own calendar, my year will commence months after it has officially began for everyone else (even later than the Chinese celebrate their New Year). Just like my typical week starts on Tuesdays, my days start at noon, while my energy and creativity surge profusely at night.

I am a nocturnal being by nature, with my body clock wound counter clockwise and I still do not understand why experts insist that waking up late does not compensate for sleeping late, regardless if it still amounts to 8 hours of recommended sleep (most of the time, even more). They say “the body knows its proper rest schedule or when it is day or night” and once you upset it, the balance is tipped and your health is put at risk. But how did they know what the body knows?

Yes, it is no doubt a complicated mystery under the perennial shroud of that thing we call ‘Science’, where everything must have a rationale. Besides, who am I to argue with the so-called “experts”? It does not necessarily mean though that I fully believe in them or that I will follow what they say is supposedly true and right. As a nonconformist, I rebel at the thought of being told when to sleep and wake up. I feel it is best to listen to my body and heed its signal— to sleep when I feel sleepy and to wake up when it needs to, regardless of time.

But that is just me in my own utopic universe.

The truth is, we live in a world where everything has been placed under a certain schedule or order, from where we base the plan of our own timetables. This is the prevailing state we were born to follow in order to move in congruence with the rest of society.  

Regardless of what the world dictates, my year still starts beyond January; my week begins any day except on a Monday, my sun rises at noon--when it is at its scorching brightest, and my nights end when it is time for the rest of humanity to start a brand new day.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Which Way do You Want to Go?


It is the first month of the year. A new beginning towards our journey through 2016, and the last thing I would want to write about is death.

This post was originally composed last November 2015, meant for All Souls’ Day. Apart from commemorating and praying for our dearly departed, it is also a time to reflect on life. But I believe that the topic of death remains relevant regardless of time, since it is one reality that we all have to face at any point in our lives. Whether it happens to a friend, family member, or eventually, to ourselves.

As a positive, blessed-with-sunny-disposition-always-optimistic person, I have the natural aversion to negative, sad, depressing topics and pessimistic point of views. It is precisely why I don’t like watching the news, for obvious reasons, or watching movies that do more emotional turmoil than provide a blissful escape from the real world.

Life is naturally seasoned with events that bring us sorrow and pain. No matter how we shield ourselves from all the negativity and sadness in the world, the fact remains that we coexist with it to provide a sense of balance in the emotional ecosystem. After all, how can we appreciate the sweetness of happiness if we do not know the bitterness of sorrow and pain?

I do not want to entertain the idea of death at this point in my life, because I know I am not yet ready for it. In fact, I don’t think I will ever be. I still have a lot to do and accomplish--so many dreams to fulfill and plans eagerly waiting to be realized, especially for my Little Lady. But I know that no matter how much we want to live longer more than we are supposed to, only God knows when we will truly go. Regardless if we are ready or not, I believe we can only bargain for an extension or the preferred circumstance of our grand exit, from the Giver of Life.

People die every minute, every day, in many different ways. But if you will be given a chance to choose how you will go, which way would it be?

As for me, I prefer a painless demise while in deep slumber, dreaming the most beautiful dream. Take note that this can only happen any time after I turn 101 years old. Yes, I declare that I plan to live a very long life.

How about you?

Have a blessed and meaningful Sunday, everyone!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sayonara 2015!

New Year 2015

As 2015 finally comes to an end, it suddenly hit me-- can I bear the thought of having a single post recorded for this year? I only realized that I had been most MIA this year that the previous ones, and I desperately NEED to snap out of this year-long stupor already. That is why, at past 5:00 am today I started typing this, or else things will get in the way again before I can publish. Sleep, for most part, some cleaning after, and making lasagna for our New Year's Eve dinner.

I know it feels like visiting a home while the owner is on vacation, but I hope my previous posts kept you company while I fulfilled real world responsibilities. The year 2015 has been a good year for me, but as much as I wish I was able to share my moments with you, time already slipped away and I can only look forward to a better 2016, where I can hopefully learn to have improved time management skills.

Yes, seriously.

My goal for next year is to maximize my time and do more. My head is overflowing with ideas that need realization. So much creativity and potential, but lack of planning, strategy and implementation. I know for years that the way I manage my daily activities need to change if I want to see improvement in all areas of my life, including this blog. Let us wait and see how it will turn out this time around (fingers crossed).  

In the meantime, let me greet you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed Happy New Year 2016 to you and your families. May God bless us all!

Sayonara 2015!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lessons in Music

If only Northampton Massachusetts piano lessons are available here in the country, I am positive that it would be one of my top choices for my daughter’s activity this summer. Although piano lessons abound almost anywhere in the world nowadays, whether offered by an institution or on a personalized level, these are not created alike. Suffice it to say, not everything provides high quality and standard training. As a staunch supporter of honing my little lady’s talents, I always choose providers that prioritize excellence to fully maximize the value of time and money invested. 

When my musically-inclined daughter was much younger, she enjoyed classical and piano music during play time; while the same served as her lullabies that provided comfort to attain a good night’s sleep. I can still vividly remember when she hummed her first song, Canon in D by Pachelbel, when she was barely one year old. Since then, I could not help but wish and dream a bright future for her in the music industry, like any normal parent would. 

While growing up, she took an interest in playing the piano and guitar on her own. With no one to teach her at home, she made learning possible through watching tutorials online that taught her the basics. I was amazed at how much knowledge she has absorbed out of sheer interest, patience, and determination. She can even play a piece by just getting a feel of the keyboard without reading notes at all. Given the right education and professional guidance, I trust that she will reach her full potential and excel in this field. 

There are many self-taught artists that relied purely on talent and perseverance to achieve their dreams, but I believe that if one has the capability to afford to take formal lessons from a reputable educator in the industry, it will equip him/her with the proficiency and expertise through tried and tested methods and techniques that will direct the path to becoming a full-fledged artist.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Letter to My Daughter


Originally a handwritten letter I made for my little girl on January 2010, but never had the chance to publish.   

Dearest Chestene,

I thought about writing you today because I’m missing you this very minute. I am here at work, and while doing the usual things that I do, my thoughts turned to you. I don’t know if it’s because you lost something again in school. I called the “Lost and Found” section and they already informed your teacher about it, in case they find your eyeglasses. Yes, Mamita told me about it.

I’m not mad, really. It’s just that I want you to be RESPONSIBLE in all aspects, at all times. I know it’s a very big word, but I want you to learn it early in life. When you grow up, you will realize how important it is.

But apart from that, today, I just want you to know that I love you—very much, more that anyone could love you today, tomorrow or any day in the future, because I will love you forever. Always remember that even when everybody else leaves you, I will stay and remain to be your best friend and number one fan for life.

Every night, when I look at your face while you are sleeping, I feel overwhelmingly blessed. Extremely blessed. I may not have all the riches in the world, but I have YOU— and that makes me far richer than the richest person in the world. I thank God all the time for bringing you into my life. I often ask Him, what  have I done to deserve such a precious and perfect gift? You are everything I wished for, everything I imagined, every single detail I asked Him for you to be, He has molded and beautifully created.

I just forgot to ask Him to give you clear eyesight, but don’t feel bad. Your eyes are brighter than anyone I know, for it serve as the window where the pureness of your heart shines. Like what I always tell you, it is not something that makes you imperfect in my eyes or in His, but just a slight reminder that you are human, and all humans each have a share of weakness in different forms that make us all unique.

You are beautiful, intelligent, funny, loving, kind, thoughtful, creative and all good things rolled into one. You can be whatever you want to be and so much more, so DREAM BIG. I know you will be the best that you can be. Live each day with the strong confidence and belief that you can achieve whatever you set your mind and heart on. You deserve only the best because you are worth it, so never settle for less.

You will always be my little girl, my precious one, my number one. I promise to do my best to give you the brightest future I could provide. You have so much ahead of you, so many beautiful things and blessings God has in store for you. I have always believed that you are destined to do great things. So live each day full of hope and enthusiasm. Just be patient and prayerful and everything that is meant for you will come in God’s perfect time.

I’m not sure if Mom’s adult talk is boring you already. Probably you are already waiting to be done with this so you can draw, read your books, or write stories. But you can keep this and read it again another day—next week, next month or next year, it doesn't really matter when. Because the words here that show what’s inside my heart, will never ever change.

I love you forever,

MOM

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Happy Single Valentine's Day!


My Colorful Heart 2013

So it’s almost Valentine’s Day

Do you feel or have succumbed to the pressure of one of the most celebrated events every year? Well, I don’t. You see, one of the perks of being single is the fact that you don’t have to plan your world around the existence of another person you are romantically attached to, everyday—not just on V-Day.

Just a shout out to other fabulous singles: there are things that you can actually do this time of the year, other than cuddling and canoodling or haplessly jumping into a relationship just for the sake of  having someone to spend it with. You can:

(a) stay at home and sleep the day away (saves you money!);

(b) organize 'I Hate Valentine’s Day' party with your single and brokenhearted friends and revel on how being in love sucks;

(c) watch a romantic movie, depress yourself a little, and gorge on the tastiest and 'junkiest' food available;

(d) go out and treat your amazing single self with some head to toe pampering;

(e) write the bucket list of all bucket lists (it’s about time!);

(f) buy yourself flowers and chocolates (read: love yourself!);

(g) list down the qualities of your ideal partner, then envision and practice the Law of Attraction (if you don’t want to spend the next Valentine’s Day alone again, that is); and

(h) a whole lot of possibilities!

You can be bitter or better—whichever you choose, it’s your call. After all, the truth is, it’s just another day and no one can judge you on how you decide to spend it.

Of course, the invisible pressure and the cheesiness of the day will still be squeamishly felt, while ants feast on the sweetness of the syrupy occasion. But there’s more to spending the day as a lovesick couple. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE BEING IN LOVE—so much, I hope I feel it again very soon. It's just that I believe, one can also turn this day into an opportunity to appreciate OTHER people they love. You know, the ones who stay along the sidelines when your world is revolving around one person alone, yet stays with you to pick up the pieces of your shattered heart and help you rebuild your life again, long after the love of your life has moved on to another prey.

Spread the love to those who need it too, like family, friends, or even strangers, and make a difference on someone else’s Valentine’s Day. You’ll be surprised how much it will mean to both of you.

As for my plans, sure I’ll spread the cheer around by sending heart-shaped greetings, but I guess I’ll go the usual road of mediocrity with some dose of fun, and end up spending it meaningfully with the people that matter most to me—my family.

Trust me; it will be just as sweet and cheesy, with dozens of assorted heart-shaped Krispy Kreme donuts to devour coupled with big hugs and small kisses.

Happy Hearts' Day!


P.S. Took this photo of the sky last year and turned it into a colorful heart, somehow. Please feel free to share and link back. :)


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Under Promise, Under Deliver


I have under promised and under delivered 3 blog posts last 2013. Time breezes so hastily, making it hard hard to catch up and write (Read: Yes, I have been my laziest self). I had so many things going on in my head, words included, that needed to be written and regretfully, just dissipated into oblivion after some time due to memory gap. 

Details to follow on my next hopefully upcoming post soon, but for now, let me greet you a remarkable, fabulous and amazing 2014, loaded with bliss and overflowing blessings! :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Fathers' Day!


To our very own Man of Steel, to the admirable men who carry on the noble mission of fatherhood, and to the great women who lovingly fulfill the duties of both mother and father, may the good Lord bless you with immeasurable joy and happiness always!

HAPPY FATHERS' DAY, DAD! WE LOVE YOU! 

P.S. Made this layout for Dad's 75th and Sofia's 5th joint birthday celebration in 2011.