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Showing posts from September, 2020

The Idyllic Sumlang Lake

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            Strolling by a rather small but elongated lake to celebrate my birthday, it was a most serene Sunday I’ve ever felt in a long while. The lake, however, was not only serene and picturesque, it was also blessed with melodies from birds chirping around. Small insects made music as well. Can you spot the red dragonfly? The vibe was all but idyllic, both in appearance as well as in sound. Everything was wisteria and sunshine despite the gloomy weather in the middle of rainy September. The lovely volcano did not have to make any appearance anymore; she has let the lowly lake take the credit for all the beauty and splendor of the place. It was after all what we were after, with or without Mayon. Verdant greens are always good for the eyes, but a little pink gives the sight more character... In the middle of the hustle and bustle of my busy life – the evenings of September needed Disney Sleep Jazz to snooze me into dreamland – the visit to the lake was all I needed to rechar

My Fairy-Tale Visit to Peñafrancia (The Fruitful Finale)

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  The exquisite beauty of the retablo of Our Lady of Pe ñ afrancia Shrine. This is the final part of my Five-year Tribute to the patroness of Bicol, Our Lady of Peñafrancia , which I began writing in 2016. I have waited and planned for this for four long years. Because of the ravaging pandemic, I thought it will not push through. Yet, it actually did, and it wasn’t just a normal pilgrimage. Although I would say it was rather simple, it has been joyful in many ways… I didn’t expect it to be so beautiful, it felt as though it came out of a fairy tale. Maybe, it was romanticized by my feelings of gratitude and happiness. Nonetheless, I do feel that there were some things about it that gave it some kind of extraordinary flair. For one, with the pandemic going on, I didn’t expect that I will be able to make a visit. Thankfully, the numbers have been going down since the start of September so I felt that it has become relatively safe to visit the Heart of Bicol . Secondly, again bec

My Big Question (Part 4 of My 5-Year Tribute to 'Ina')

Originally written and published on September 22, 2019...           In 2016, I began a five-part tribute to our region's patroness, Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia. The first part was about my family being deeply-rooted in Bicol Region, and my parents being married on the very Feast Day of Ina.           In 2017, the centenary anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, I recounted that Mother Mary was the last reason that kept me to the Catholic fold, giving me a very strong and flourishing faith later on.           In 2018, I shared my deep love to our peninsular region, from the names of its towns and cities, to its landmarks, beaches, dialects and even cuisine.           This year, the last before my 33rd birthday that will coincide with the Big Feast, I will share the big question I’ve been confronted with since passing the bar… ---           Becoming a lawyer was something I would not have personally desired if I had another set of parents or if I was given the freest choices

Mellow Lights

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On a night despised by all We can’t help but fall Nineteen years they remember But here we were, together   Looking over a small bridge Near a small but scenic beach Illuminated by mellow lights Underneath the starless skies   From my heart, words flew Unceasingly heard by you My mind allowed because Our love was simply true   For love songs and romantic scenes Retell my heart of our feelings Of the many sweet nothings And all the other pretty things   I love everything about us Your magnetic glances My ephemeral kisses And our tight embraces   On this very silent night Of Eleventh of September We will always remember Its magic and the wonder…      

My Love for Bicolandia (Part 3 of My 5-Year Tribute to 'Ina')

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  The Naga Metropolitan Cathedral grabbed from escapemanila.com. Originally published on September 17, 2018.             In 2016, I began a five-part tribute to our region's patroness, Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia. The first part was about my family being deeply-rooted in the Bicol Region, and my parents being married on the very Feast Day of Ina.          In 2017, last year, the centenary anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, I recounted how Mother Mary was the last reason - but a strong one - that kept me to the Catholic fold, giving me a very strong and flourishing faith later on.                This year, 2018, as I get closer to my 33rd birthday in 2020, the next time my birthday will coincide with the Feast Day of Bicolandia, the topic will be about my love for the region... ---                I remember that one day in 1997, as a grade 4 student at BU, I read a page on our textbook in HeKaSi that struck me so much that it has remained in my mind up to now. That moment was

My Marian Devotion (Part 2 of My 5-Year Tribute to 'Ina')

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Our Lady of Fatima grabbed from  here. Originally published on September 18, 2017, which  coincided with the centennial anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima .                This brief essay is the second portion of my five-part series of essays chronicling my spiritual connection to our Ina, the Lady of Peñafrancia.                Last year, I described how our family is a Bicolano family through and through – that my parents, grandparents and most of our ancestors are Bicolanos, that I grew up in Bicol, and that I have Bicol as my mother tongue, and so on and so forth.                This Bicolano identity of mine is something that I am proud of, and being born on the feast day of the region’s patroness is a delight to me, something that brings more flavour to my identity.                This year is about my faith and how it brought wonders to my life. My Marian Devotion                2017 has been the most wonderful year of my 30 years of existence. I could not believe that a se