Search the Web

Custom Search


After Christmas Email

Merry Christmas 2009

from the Walker family!

Yet another year has flown by – seemingly in the blink of an eye! We’re hoping that for all of you, it has been a good one!

For us, it’s been a year geared mostly towards the kids. Sarah graduated this year from the University of California with a degree in Electrical Engineering. She married Perry Newman on August 8 in an outdoor wedding (on a sweltering hot day), here in California . They’re living just a few blocks away from us and Sarah’s currently working as an Assistant Manager at Microsoft - and Perry’s working as a Computer Sales Manager at Alpha Electronics in Colorado. Sarah’s looking into teaching and what she needs to do to get there. For now, I believe they’re waiting to see whether Perry stays at Alpha Electronis store or ends up somewhere else… meaning that they might be moving. So, were enjoying them while they’re still here.

Dave and Tracy got married, on June 3rd. Theirs was a simple, private ceremony with a judge at the county office building. Tracy recently gave birth to Kevin Walker on September 18th. So, with them both coming up on just 21 years of age – and already with three kids - we really hope the baby factory gets shut down for a while. At the moment, neither of them is working and (to make matters worse) they are now without a vehicle (after “blowing up” the engine in their Blazer). They also live just a few blocks away and Kate’s been busy chauffeuring them around town. Justin’s fast approaching three years old and is generally fun to have around (he has his moments). Mariah just turned one and is walking - and enjoying her newfound mobility.

We (again) didn’t take the usual summer family vacation this year. Kate and I made a few trips to Black Hawk to do some gambling and have some “private” time together. Kate and Sarah also made a couple trips there and each won some nice jackpots. My hunting season was quite satisfying this year, particularly the taking of a nice mule buck with the bow. I also traveled (again) up to the Jackson Hole area in September to accompany my huntin’ buddy, Jim, on his bull bison hunt. It was pretty bizarre that I got drawn last year and he got drawn this year. After days of walking in the area’s National Forest lands, he got his bison…and it was (as it was last year) a lot of work – but all worth it!

Kate and I had (again) planned to get started with fly fishing this past year, but it didn’t happen (again). We’re still looking forward to spending that time together on the water and in the woods – this coming year for sure (we hope)!

And now, again, as Christmas and the year’s end approaches, we feel so very thankful for the many things in life that we enjoy, but mostly feel blessed merely for having one another to share life’s journey with. We truly hope that this card and letter find you in good health, good spirits and good fortune - and wish you the very best for now and the coming year. Take care.

With warm regards, Ted. (on behalf of the entire Walker clan)


An Invitation on December 15 for the, "A Puppy, Not a Guppy" Book Tour

There will be a virtual tour of the book : A Puppy, Not a Guppy by Holly Jahangiri which is scheduled in my other blog Jena Isle’s Random Thoughts on December 15. It's a collector's item, and you'll learn why on December 15.

To make it more exciting, a contest would be held; the detailed mechanics will be posted on December 14, 2009.

There would be four (4) winners of the contest:

1. Two (2) winners of the Contest proper, to be awarded by the book author – Holly Jahangiri.

2. One winner of a $10 prize (thru paypal) to whoever would be asking the book author the most interesting question. I will be sponsoring and selecting this winner. A link back to my blog, ( if you have a blog) would be the only requirement.

3. One free Inspirational Book (Anthology of Bloggers all Over the World) would be awarded to whoever has the most interesting comment on the blog post about the book tour.

More detailed information about the book would be posted at Jena Isle’s Random Thoughts on the date scheduled.

Holly Jahangiri would be answering all your questions.

I look forward to your participation!


Philosophy and Religion

Philosophy is defined by Webster as: "The pursuit of wisdom". In short philosophy is the study of life itself: its mundane intricacies, problems and roborant challenges. Since religion is a part of our daily lives and of humanity since time immemorial, it would be difficult to separate one from the other.

All throughout the ages, philosophers had presented various arguments about the existence of God. One who moved away from the common fold is Friedrich Nietzsche. Although he popularized the slogan “God is dead,” and had frowned on organized religion; I concur with his succeeding argumentation that our personal relationship with a “God,” should be evident in our existence. He focused on the role of acting out our religious beliefs in our lives instead of allowing them to rusticate in the dustbins of our minds. True faith should be active, doing good works.

Religion could only exist when coupled with philosophy which has a vital, dynamic role. This is because without philosophy, religion does not have any means of clarifying itself to prove the existence of God.

I will not delve deep into the complexities of the logical fallacies of philosophers or with the diversity of beliefs of any religion but I will deal with generalities.

What are the specific roles of philosophy in religion? The following are considered as the roles of Philosophy:

1. Philosophy has an essential role in establishing and proving the existence of God. When a person wants to prove the existence of God, one has to use philosophy. Empirical methods do not completely support the existence of God. One has to go through the process of hypothesis, logic and then a logical conclusion.

One specific example is this:

The universe exists.

Only someone more knowledgeable and powerful than man could create the universe.

Only a super being like God could do that;

Therefore, God exists.

2. Philosophy is also constantly used in debating the various theories of different religions like,

"The Divine Trinity", "Heaven", "Purgatory", "Reincarnation", "Karma", "The Middle Way, and many more philosophical hypotheses.
Since faith and religion could not be proven through experimentation and research, they now could only be presented logically through philosophy.

3. Religion has provided a place where people could be able to find peace and contentment by way of philosophy.

Philosophy acts as the pacifier and serves as the venue for believers to be able to renew their faith through "philosophizing".

In reality, religion is the product of philosophy. It is because of philosophy that religion came to be. If man did not seek the answers to his existence, to his meaning in life, to his purpose in this world, then religion would not have been established.

They say that religion acts as the panacea for all human illnesses and problems and this is probably true because men tend to rationalize poverty and illness as a means of purifying themselves spiritually.

Religion without philosophy is like a lost, rudderless ship; it is sailing but with no specific destination.

Philosophy gives this direction to religion and at times, religion too gives direction to the formation of a person’s philosophy in life. We are not mere myrmidons of the specific faith that we have professed, but we are also products of our own myriad of experiences in life.

It goes without saying that the two coexist with each other. They are in a symbiotic relationship; for what is philosophy without religion? And what is religion without philosophy?

I have come across this video which answers the question: "Did God create evil?" and I would like to share this with you, because I know you'd agree that the data presented here is significant. Oftentimes, in our arrogance and ignorance we think we know all the answers, but truly educated people are aware that what they know is just a tiny drop in the vast ocean of knowledge.

Your contribution would be gladly noted.

Video courtesy of Rockdragun
Photo courtesy of Krishna


WOOF Contest – Top Picks for November 20, 2009

WOOF Contest – Top Picks


Jena Isle – “Terminus“Parting is such sweet sorrow.”

dragon blogger – “Last Great BattleFantasy poem about the battle of Ragnarok.

Zorlone – “Twin Souls” – Finding the other pair of an otherwise incomplete soul.

Jennifer M Scott – “Excuse me While I UnloadA stream of conscious poem.

About Writing

RasoirJ – “Johnny Mercer and the Art of ReticenceWhat fiction writers can learn from the great lyricist Johnny Mercer.

Brought to you by PlotDog Press with the Serial Suspense Screenplay “Intervention”

(WOOF participants should re-post all the links above by next Monday. The following links may be excluded as long as you include all the above links.)

Presenting the finest of the writer’s blogs by the bloggers who write them. Highlighting the top posts as chosen by the November 20, 2009 WOOF Contest participants. Want in to join the next WOOF? The next contest ends November 27. Submit a link to your best writing post of the last 3 weeks using the form on this page. Participants, repost the winning link list within a week and you’re all set.

Other WOOF Contestants for 11/20/09


Roy – “Chapters” – “A short poem about different chapters in our life.”

Sire – “The Child Of GodA poem of religion and zealots.

Jennifer M Scott – “ThanksgivingA poem for thanksgiving written in acrostic.

Jennifer M Scott – “Excuse me While I UnloadA stream of conscious poem.


This Young Lady Can Sing

She's young, intelligent and talented; that's Manel for you. She is a singer - just like Rey Jr. - and is a member of the college choir.

She appears to be the "serious" type, but when you come to know her better, she's really a wacky, funny person.

Manel, good luck with your singing career , and here are three cheers from all of us. Hep, hep, hurray! hep. hep, hurray! hep, hep, hurray!


The Millennium Development Goals Song: Tayo Tayo Rin

I have come across this at work: The MDG Song - Tayo Tayo Rin. (No One Else But Us) Transcribed as The Millennium Development Goals Song. It was sang by big-named stars in the music industry. I was impressed by the lyrics, so I'm posting it here together with the video.

If we work as one, we could achieve almost anything. This is what our young people should know; and the government is promoting this concept. Look at the "bayanihan" spirit of Pinoys during the "Ondoy" onslaught; "Nagkaisa tayo, kaya tayo nagtagumpay." (We worked as one, that was why we succeeded to overcome the disaster.)

This program had been adapted on a global phase and the time frame is from 2000-2015. Education for all, equality rights, alleviation of poverty, health services for everyone, are some of the goals for this on-going program.

The Chorus:

Sino pa bang magdadamayan
kundi tayo tayo rin?
Kung may pagkakataong tumulong
Huwag palampasin.

Simulan na ng pagtanim
ng mabubuting gawain.
Dahil sino pang aani
kundi tayo tayo rin?

This song was composed by Cecilia Datu and given melody by Rico Blanco.

Very meaningful lyrics. Let's share in the fulfillment of the government's goal.

Mabuhay ka Pinoy!


Ways to Burn Excess Fats and Stay Healthy

To be able to burn fats quickly, you should couple exercise with dieting. Fats could only be "burned off" if you exercise those muscles and use the stored fat in your adipose tissues.

Sweating it off during exercise converts fat into energy which is then excreted out of your system. Dieting is not enough to lose those layered deposits. You could prevent fat from coming into your body but what about the fat deposits already existing? These could only be eradicated from your body by burning them off as energy.

Here are simple steps to shed off those excess pounds. Follow them religiously and reap the benefits of a slimmer body.

Eating frequent but small meals is a good way to diet.

An example of a small meal is:

1 small piece of lean meat, half cup of rice and a banana.
If you are used to eating snacks, don't deprive yourself, just reduce the amount.
Instead of eating a whole sandwich, eat just half of it, with a small amount of filling.

If previously you ate 1 cup of rice make it cup this time.

Eat foods with low calories.

Examples of foods with low calories are fruits and vegetables. Avoid meat fats, dairy products (milk, cheese, ice cream, white chocolates). Avoid foods in fast food restaurants. These are usually rich in Trans fats, which are bad fats and high in calories too. They would increase your likelihood of becoming obese.

Fruits and vegetables, aside from having fewer calories are also easily metabolized into vital substances for body utilization and proper body function. Certain components of fruits and vegetables (i.e. polyphenol) act as an antitoxin and anti carcinogenic agent.

The -" no -food - after 7 pm practice" has been proven successful to many dieters.

Eat your frequent, small meals during the day, but after 7 pm in the evening, no meals or snacks are already taken in. Water and fruit juices are allowed, but without the sugar or milk.

This is because at night time, we spent less energy, so taking in more food would cause this to be deposited in our adipose tissues and consequently make us gain more weight.

Drink lots of water and fruit juices.

Water is good for the body. It has zero calories, hydrates the cells and tissues of the body for proper functioning; rejuvenates the skin and enhances the excretion of toxic waste products of biochemical reactions out of the human system.

Eight glasses or more is advisable. Drink whenever you can.

If you crave for sweets, drink fresh fruit juice, tea, or cocoa instead.
Orange juice tops the list. Grapes, cranberry and other juices are also acceptable.
You could prepare your own juice to ensure that there are no additives and food colorings which are usually present in commercially prepared ones.

Fruit juices contain fewer calories, but have more significant nutrients needed by the body.

Exercising does not need to be strenuous as long as it is done daily or regularly and is coupled with dieting.

This maybe a simple exercise like brisk walking or jogging.

A minimum of 30minutes everyday would make exercise effective.

You would be surprised to notice the reduction in weight if you couple your dieting with any daily exercise.

You may also try aerobics, swimming, cycling, Tai-Chi (a Chinese graceful form of exercise involving the arms and the legs, much more like self defense mixed with dancing).

This will depend upon your physical stamina and capability. If you have a debilitating condition, then you have to consult your physician first.

Exercise is also good for the heart, increases circulation, lowers your blood pressure, and most importantly, burns fats that are still stored in your adipose tissue by converting them into ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) and energy.

The important things to remember are: to replace your dessert with fruits, reduce fat and carbohydrate intake (fats meat fat, dairy products; carbohydrates bread, rice, sugar); eat more vegetables, and exercise daily.

The dynamic combination of diet and exercise is a powerful method to reduce weight and stay healthy.

Try these methods, and surely with determination and proper motivation, you will succeed!

Photo by mikebaird


Join LinkedFromBlogs Blog Advertising

I have been introduced a new link by a friend -Justin from power fifty and now I've signed up.

This is the LinkedFromBlog blog advertising which gives bloggers the chance of writing paid posts. It looks promising. Imagine receiving $ 50 for each qualified referral.

There's no harm in trying so here I am. I'll buzz you when this works for me. I am excited to venture into this.

Wish me luck!

Advertise with my Blog


$1,500 Thanksgiving Giveaway Contest at Jaypee Online

Jaypee Habaradas of Jaypee Online is celebrating Thanksgiving with a ton of prizes for the taking in his Thanksgiving Giveaway Contest.

His site deals with blogging, template designs, web hosting, gadgets, and many significant "techy" stuff that a blogger like you, would definitely be interested in. If you're not a blogger then you would still enjoy reading his diverse articles.

For the ongoing contest, the prizes are awesome and worth blogging about. Imagine winning for yourself beautiful WP themes and cold cash too. WOW! Wouldn't that be worth your precious time? Read the details of the contest in his blog and participate now!

These are the PRIZES AT STAKE:

1st Prize

Pro Plus All-Theme Package from StudioPress ($199.95)
Single Theme License from Pro Theme Design ($79)
Single Theme License from Press75 ($75)
Single Theme License from WP Zoom ($49)
1 Year Theme Club Membership from Elegant Themes ($19.95)
1 Year Hosting w/ Free Domain from DreamHost courtesy of Jehzeel Laurente
$50 Cash via PayPal from Jehzeel Laurente

2nd Prize

Single Theme License from Pro Theme Design ($79)
Single Theme License from Press75 ($75)
Single Theme Package from StudioPress ($59.95)
Single Theme License from WP Zoom ($49)
1 Year Freedom Plan Hosting from WP Web Host ($80)
$25 Cash via PayPal from JaypeeOnline

3rd Prize

Single Theme License from Pro Theme Design ($79)
Single Theme Package from StudioPress ($59.95)
Single Theme License from WP Zoom ($49)
Single Theme Licenses from WP Now ($29)
1 Year Freedom Plan Hosting from WP Web Host ($80)
$10 Cash via PayPal from JaypeeOnline

Consolation Prizes

Single Theme Package from StudioPress ($59.95)
Single Theme Licenses from WP Now ($29)

The generous SPONSORS are the following:

1. StudioPress
2. Pro Theme Design
3. Press75
4. WP Zoom
5. WP Now
6. Elegant Themes
7. WP WebHost
8. Jehzeel Laurente

9.Batang Yagit


Building a Lifelong Relationship with Your Daughter-in-Law

Mothers-in-law are most often seen as the monsters or villains who make married life miserable for daughters-in-law. I am a mother-in-law myself, so let me speak from experience. In my desire to help, I often interfere with everything my daughter-in-law does; from meals served, to cleaning feeding bottles, to how she should manage my son's personal concerns; thus encroaching on her turf and responsibilities.

My only genuine desire then, was to make sure everything would be as they should be, and I was not aware that I was creating enmity and bad blood between me and her.
Eventually, I noticed the bouts of uncomfortable silent moments that I often had with her, and this made me re-assess how and why our relationship went sour.

I remembered when I was a newlywed myself and the brief moment that my mother-in-law had stayed with us; how I had "hated" my mother-in-law when she interfered with my decisions and had always made some comments in everything that I did. I realized this must be what my daughter-in-law was feeling at that moment I did the same thing to her.

With that in mind, I began to iron the kinks that stymied what should have been a good relationship.

Below are pointers that I did myself to build a lifelong relationship with my daughter-in-law:

1. Allow her to make her own decisions.

When you want to interfere with her decisions, think back to the time that you were her age. The only way that you had learned was when you were left alone to make your own decisions. You can guide her by pointing out the pros and cons of both sides of the equation, but she should have the final decision. In keeping with that liberty, she should accept any consequences that her decision entails. You won't always be there to decide for her so let her learn now.

2. Be generous with your praise and slow with your criticism.

This is a motto that is always applicable for any given situation. Destructive criticisms are like red lights; they stop the progress of people. If you have to criticize – make it constructive - do it out of love. You can say something negative in a positive way.

Have some suggestion in mind when you do so. Do not just say: "These curtains are awful". You could rather say: ""These curtains would look more colorful if they were tied in a bough." Or: "These curtains are colorful but they should be adorned with something."

Be innovative and tactful when giving out suggestions. Remember, she is also a lady of the house who is entitled to her freedom of choice.

3. Be sincerely interested in her as a person

Spend some time with her and be interested in her hobbies. Do some activities together. You could also spend a quiet afternoon in the park just talking. Times like these would strengthen your bond because it shows you care for her as person.

4. Don't impose your old motherly rules with your son.

Your son is married now and imposing the same old rules when he had been a bachelor is no longer advisable. He should be taken cared of by his wife and not by you. So what if his shirt has not been starched? Your work on that area is done. Let the two of them work out things for themselves. This way, they could also learn.

5. Don't interfere when she disciplines her children.

This is a big NO. Allow her the liberty to institute discipline as she sees fit. As long as she does not physically and emotionally abuse the children, then let her do this tough job. Your work has been done disciplining his husband. Step in only, if she asks for help and when things get out of hand.

There are still various ways to build good, lifelong relationship with your daughter-in-law. You just have to remember the old cliché that you have "gained a daughter" and had not "lost a son;" so love her just like you would your own daughter and she would be a daughter-in-law who would truly love you back in return.

Do you have additional pointers to contribute? Feel free to leave them in the comment section.

Photo by russelljsmith


Teaching Boys How to be Sensitive

Sensitivity is defined by Merriam Webster's dictionary, as "the awareness of the needs and emotions of others". In other words, it is the feeling of empathy that you feel for other people. You are sensitive when you are able to feel what the other person is feeling; therefore, it belongs to the affective domain which is a behavioral branch of science.

How can you raise your boys to be sensitive?

You have to be aware that since it is an affective behavior that you want to cultivate, then you should devise the most effective method.

For teenage girls this is easier but for teenage boys, it could be more difficult as society expects them to be tough. Like when a boy cries, you can hear the mother say: “Stop crying, you're strong. You're a big boy now," implying to the child that crying is only for the weak.

It is in these cultural norms that teenage boys grow nowadays. Before you could effectively teach them how to be sensitive to people around them, you have first to change their perception of what and how boys/men should behave. You can only do this if you start "teaching" them at the earliest time possible.

To raise your boys to be sensitive then is a great challenge for parents.

Below are suggested methods of doing this:

1. Teach by example

A lesson can only be taught effectively if you, as the "teacher", demonstrate how it is done. You instruct them: "Be sensitive to other people's needs." But they observe you ignoring their grandmother or being insensitive to the feelings of other family members. Do you think your sons would believe you? Genuine learning would not occur because what you say are not in congruence with your actions.

On the other hand, if you show concern and take time to attend to their grandmother and other family members who need you, then they would learn about one specific way to show sensitivity.

Inculcating in them the Golden Rule could help a lot in this endeavor. Sometimes when boys are not “taught” how to be sensitive, they grow into men, who are also callous, self centered and selfish.

You should also teach them the value of being considerate. This story by Holly Jahangiri "Promises, Promises" is an appropriate example of how the teacher -who is supposed to be a responsible adult - demonstrated an insensitive behavior.

2. Let them read a book that touches on sensitivity

There are interesting teen books on line and in bookstores that talk about how to care for the welfare of others and how to be concerned about other people's feelings. "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Growing Up" (, The Little Prince are two of the many books that you could allow them to read.
If you have more suggestions, feel free to contribute them in the comment section.

3. Bring them to a community outreach program

When they see other people serving others without expecting anything in return, they would learn the value of noble, generous service. You could allow them to participate in the distribution of gifts to poor children. This would be an actual exposure and immersion for them and would leave an imprint in their young minds. The joy of being able to help and make other people happy would be a unique "high" for them. They would be more aware of being “sensitive” to other people’s needs.

4. Instruct them on the importance of body language

Body language would be a good way of knowing the emotions of other people. Being sensitive to other people's feelings would promote a more peaceful atmosphere. Teach them how to "sense" a brewing problem through gestures and actions. "Actions speak louder than words," so they say. They should learn - through observation - the negative gestures that could warn them of impending trouble.

5. Teach them the skill of effective communication

Oral communication should be utilized to "sense" what someone is feeling. They should know how to utilize spoken language to convey and determine what the other person is feeling. Some pointers include: listening carefully to what the other person is feeling, facing the person one is talking to, having an eye to eye contact with the person, not interrupting when one is speaking, and several others, don't use sarcasm on children. Here is a helpful article from Patricia Rockwell on doing this effectively.

All in all, sensitivity can only be taught through demonstrative action. This is because it is a behavioral output. To be able to effectively teach your young boys to be sensitive, you must have this trait within you. Persist in showing them how to be sensitive through your own actions. You could never give what you don't have!

What about you? Do you have any suggestions about this topic? Your ideas would be highly appreciated.

Photo by mikebaird



PAGASA has announced that: Typhoon "PEPENG" {PARMA} is still on its predicted track, and I quote:

"...with maximum sustained winds of 195 kph and gustiness of up to 230 kph. It is forecast to move West Northwest at 19 kph."

Although it is still signal no.1 in the Pampanga area, Tarlac, Bulacan, etc, the strength of this typhoon corresponds to signal n0. 4 already.

This is an EXCERPT FROM THE PAGASA SITE. I would like to post it here for emphasis.



  • The disturbance is dangerous to the communities threatened/affected.
  • The sea and coastal waters will be very dangerous to all seacrafts.
  • Travel is very risky especially by sea and air.
  • People are advised to seek shelter in strong buildings, evacuate low-lying areas and to stay away from the coasts and river banks.
  • Watch out for the passage of the "eye" of the typhoon indicated by a sudden occurrence of fair weather immediately after very bad weather with very strong winds coming generally from the north.
  • When the "eye" of the typhoon hit the community do not venture away from the safe shelter because after one to two hours the worst weather will resume with the very strong winds coming from the south.
  • Classes in all levels should be suspended and children should stay in the safety of strong buildings.
  • Disaster preparedness and response agencies/organizations are in action with appropriate response to actual emergency.


In the end, prayer is still the most powerful weapon we could wield against anything.


A Guest Post for Bing of I Love/Hate America

Viviene Coyne, fondly called Bing by her friends, is one woman you could not fail to notice in the blogosphere because of her undaunted style of presenting her thoughts and stories.

She talks about her life as an immigrant in the US , and many more in her blog I Love/Hate America. I feel honored to have been invited to be a guest writer in her blog with my story.


A Duet Back in Time - Martina Mcbride and Elvis Presley

Cutting edge technology has made almost anything possible now. We have witnessed how movies have evolved using the “green screen” where directors can virtually put the actors into the center of a scene without them going to the locations themselves. There was even a “rumor” about an actor doing all his dangerous and adventurous scenes in the confines of the production studio.

Here is one video in which MARTINA MCBRIDE is transported back in time to join ELVIS PRESLEY-The American Idol of All times (in the 1970s) in this duet entitled: “Blue Christmas”. Enjoy!

Video from: ElvisFanatic1


The Kreativ Blogger Award from Holly

This “Kreativ Blogger Award.” was given by Vivian Zabel, president of 4RV Publishing and author of the blog, "Brain Cells and Bubble Wrap", to Holly Jahangiri of the blog "It's All a Matter of Perspective: Mine"

Holly , also the author of the children's book - "Trockle" - has now passed on the award to me. Thanks, Holly.

The mechanics is to write "Seven Things About Me That People Might Find Interesting" and then pass on the award to bloggers whom you think are "kreative." The rules are found below. I lifted this verbatim from Holly's site:

Start of excerpt

The “Rules”

Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.

End of excerpt

So here are the seven things about me that you may find interesting:

1. I love music and I could carry a tune. Perhaps if I had started training while I was still young, then I would have developed this talent. Unluckily, this was not granted so I just sing in the confines of my room, or in the comfort room....he he he...My favorites are Kenny Rogers, Carpenters, ABBA, Mariah, Celine, Westlife, and Savage Garden.

2. I have acrophobia, most people do. But it's different with me, I only fear high-rise buildings and not mountain peaks or flying; the ground seems to be beckoning, ouch!

3. I once wrote a sci-fi short story which I believed was my best. I had created an entirely new world for it, with matching vocabulary; but alas, it was rejected by all local magazines while some of what I thought were not so good were accepted. I don't know where that manuscript is now.

4. My next project after the Inspirational Book is a poetry magazine with three poets - Zorlone and Roy and of course me. I am still deciding whether to include other poets. I'm so excited about this, as this would be with colored pictures. I hope you'll reserve a copy. The first one will be available by first week of October.

5. I love crossword puzzles. Whenever I find one, I try to answer it, but I never bought a book on crossword puzzles. Come to think of it, perhaps I'll buy one soon.

6. I played the quitar when I was in college, sang James Taylor, Carole King , John Denver and even the Stylistics. I played for the church choir too.

7. I hate hypocrites. Pompous people who believe that they alone have the monopoly of all the goodness and virtues that God has handed down to humans. People who fulfill their religious rituals exceptionally well, but who are indifferent once they are outside the confines of their churches. Well, I am hypocritical too at times but I don't shout to high heavens that I'm better than anyone else.

So these are the things I hope you'll find interesting about me. The other more shocking truths, I have to keep them to myself.

I would like to pass this award to:

Aleluia Sanjuan a.k.a Punky Paige of . Her blog is one creative venue for anything under the sun from political commentaries, to poems, to videos, to random thoughts and many more. It would surely take a very enterprising blogger to come up with various posts in different categories.

I also passed this on to anyone who thinks he/she can be creative.

Feel free to post this in your blog. Happy Blogging!

Incidentally, I have new posts:
My Blogging Friends.
A Poem for My Son (in Zorlone's Blog)


I Survived Raising My Teen

I got married at a very young age; that was why when my children were growing up, I simultaneously learned how to be a responsible adult and a good mother as well. It was a Herculean task! But I was an optimist (and still am), so I bravely faced all the challenges with a grain of salt and a smile on my face. I had to perceive these experiences as fun and joyful because they were peppered with humorous episodes along the way.

These are a few of those joyful memories that I and my son experienced in our quest for maturity.

When my son had his first crush, he went on all day and night, bugging me about what would be an appropriate gift for her on Christmas day. After we did our rounds at the mall, we decided on a cute pink teddy bear. He was so excited when we finally bought it. The party came and he was literally bouncing with joy. At last! he can now express his feelings. I was as excited as he was. He wrote his letter and tucked it into the arms of the teddy bear before requesting me to wrap it. He went to the party with a lilt in his steps as I waited anxiously at home.

When he came home however, he was sad and sullen. "What happened? She didn't like the gift?" I asked worriedly.

" Well, she didn't want to accept it," he replied sadly

"Why?" I inquired, surprised.

"You see mom, it was not her name on the gift card" he exclaimed , and there were tears in his eyes.

My heart stopped for one interminable minute. What name did I write? Was it Cindy? Or Claire? In my haste and excitement, I didn't double check with my son.

"I wrote Cindy," I said mortified. "I did."

"Well mom, her name is not Cindy, it's Claire!"

You could just imagine how I felt. I was thinking how dumb I was not to have verified her name! I reprimanded him for not double checking the card himself. But eventually I had to apologize because it was clearly my fault. We were both so excited and I had inadvertently made a mistake.

I was worried that this first "girl- experience" might traumatize him . My worries were unfounded however, because after two days, he came to me and said: "Don't worry about it now , mom. If she couldn't understand a simple explanation, then I don't think we could hit it off as friends," and with that, the matter was conveniently forgotten.

We had learned a lesson though. In his succeeding gifts, he made sure he wrote the cards himself. He still asked for help when deciding on what to buy and when gift wrapping; and yes, sometimes I still wrote the names, but he always double-checked them before handing them over to the recipients.

Another event that made a mark also in his teen years was the time that he was establishing his adulthood. He was a college sophomore then and fraternity was the "in" thing. The concept among his peers was that: you were not a "man" unless you belong to a fraternity. The problem was that in previous cases, the process of their "neophyte initiation," serious injuries occurred and some even resulted to death.

This made me very nervous and I was praying to high heavens that they would leave him alone. He; however, was not spared. He came to me one morning with that dilemma in his mind. A classmate was recruiting him for a certain fraternity.

I had to consider that he was no longer a young child whom I could command according to my wishes; that in the end, he would be responsible in deciding what course of action he would be embarking on.

It was serendipity that one of my students was an ROTC officer and they were enlisting new recruits for officer's training.

" You don't have to prove you're a man, " I said with all the confidence I could muster. Earlier, I had talked to my husband about this and he had assured me that we had brought up our son well and he would have to decide correctly on his own.

"Only those who are not sure of themselves will have to prove themselves, " I said to my son.

"I know mom, but I would like to join primarily because I want to strengthen my physical stamina and learn how to be a good team player."

"Okay, I have a more attractive alternative, " I winked at him. " The ROTC will be training new recruits for their staff. I don't have to enumerate the benefits you could reap from this, if you pass their intensive training."

To make the story short, he opted for the ROTC officer's training. He had undergone one month of rigorous physical and mental training. The last day of their training was what they called the "Hell Day", where they would have an overnight stay at the school grounds. I have heard that they were physically manhandled and severely exhausted by their training officers on this last day. Whoever could not make it on that particular event, would be eliminated.

So there I was, so high strung , even summoning my student to ask if the rumors were true. He just smiled and said: " Trust your son, Ma'am."

I could not relax though. When it was nearing midnight I stormed the school gates demanding to be allowed inside the campus. The kind security guard allowed me in when I refused to leave.

My son's face was a mask of embarrassment when he saw me. The Officer In Charge however was accommodating. He even offered me a seat as their guest of honor and I had a bird's eyeview of what was happening in the entire field.

They were going from one training officer to another and they were made to do exercises (crawling below a barbed wire fence, kneeling on peas for several minutes, running around the field until the officer told them to stop, etc. etc.) I felt exhausted just by looking at them.

After sometime, there was a nudge on my shoulder. I turned to face my son who said: "Mom, don't worry about me. I'll be okay. You're the only parent who's here, please don't embarrass me. "

He bent, kissed me and whispered :" I love you," and before I could reply, he was off in a flash, back to his marathon.

I stood up and felt hot all over. What a fool I was! Indeed, I was the only parent in the oval. I waved at their OIC and left hurriedly, assuring myself that my son would be fine, that I had nothing to worry about. He came home the following morning with raw bruises and minor wounds - but he was alive!

Of course, he graduated from the ROTC officer's training the following week , with flying colors! As I stood there proudly, pinning his medal, I learned another lesson: I was there to guide him, but he has to tread his own way to manhood.

Presently, at age 31, he is the youngest major in the regional military camp here in our locality; and had been assigned as the OIC of one big division.

There are still numerous events that we both encountered in his growing up years, but suffice to say that raising my son was a great learning experience not only for him, but also for me. I would like to categorically state that I had survived raising my teen, and what a wonderful journey it was!

Photo by: mikebaird