Thursday, May 31, 2012

Perfect Gift

part 3 on Poverty: "Everything comes from Above..."

photo by Michelle Tandoc-Alamil
"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow."
~ James 1,17

I awoke with 80/60 mmHg ~ slightly dizzy but smiling. I gazed at the window as the sun reached to fetch me off my bed...

May has been a pretty exciting month for me. Unlike the other months I had when we were toxic at work, I had managed to attend two weddings...

my childhood friend's wedding

my cousin's wedding

I was able to keep my Satur-dates except for two...

Saturday before Pentecost 2012
mock trial at the barangay hall

I wasn't asked to do impossible tasks except for a week-long editing
and to wake up at 2 am by my brother in order to check mails. As he 
aptly said, "It was worth all those sleepless nights..."  Our third issue's
out, thanks God!

Rewinding back in April, I silently mourned for two losses...

this life is yet to be lived...

God gave me a few more days to be with Arvy, to whom I promised the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist....

I heard they were evicted from the building where they lived... I cried for several days because he hasn't received the sacrament yet. Then in a dream, he appeared to me and told me, "I'm still here, teacher..." And true enough, the next day, my niece saw him playing with the other children. Apparently, they were given fifteen more days to look for another place...

I could have gotten used to it...
I have lost several patients in the ward...

and have assisted dying people in hemodialysis...


...tutto e' come un soffio...

People have come up with several tributes to honor you...
amidst all this, I chose to be silent...

Only God knows dear friend...

I pray you find the light...

Remember how you used to lullaby me to sleep? And how you held me close when Sam went away?

Now, it's my turn to sing you a song...
 may you find comfort in God's embrace


This has been a blessed time for me to be grateful for everything that has happened these past months...

I sit down before the Lord, I lay down all the gifts He has given me and the things I have left unfinished...

I delight in our accomplishments... I grieve over the demise of my loved ones... 

"The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away; 
may the name of the Lord be praised!" 
~ Job 1, 21 NIV ~

Arvy and his siblings came last Saturday for catechism. They said everybody was ousted from the building except their family.  Now I pray they could stay until Arvy receives the Sacrament :)

My low bp is due to a recurring tooth infection. I'm on antibiotic therapy right now. I promise to see the dentist after my therapy.

We lost our third niece/nephew. We wanted so much to have a newborn in our midst but he/she didn't make it through.

It was one year ago when "we" last talked. I pray "he's" all right.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Young at Heart

part 2 Poverty: On Human Intimacy

I haven’t really been myself these past few weeks. That is, apart from meeting the deadlines at work, I spent sleepless nights reflecting on things I have discovered about myself …

          Music was my sole comfort;
                                 Psalms, my companion and
                                                the children, my slight distraction.

I have set my mind on walking forward, but there always seems to be something that draws me back... 

Rafa-el gently whispered, "Face it Melissa...this time, do it with me..."

November 6, 2010 at 5:57am
I have been reflecting a lot lately about what Archbishop Cruz said... it might be that he was referring to P-noy...but it holds true for most of us single men and women here, "old people,"  he chided.  I enjoy my single celibate life ...
but I still yearn for my love's warm hugs, dates every Friday night, seemingly endless conversations til late, long distance calls, short mushy messages...

I find myself irritable over the slightest things. It appalls me that it happens even outside its normal occurrences, i.e. period or birthday.

It is as if my hormones are prodding me to take another step.

I wrapped myself in a cold blanket of 'longing' and found myself engaged in a deep conversation with God, "You alone are enough...but why do I feel this way?"

Even after work, especially when my little niece is at home, my mind would just race to the house, imagining how happy she'd be when she sees me... spending time with her, playing and reading her bedtime stories...

One of those crazy unrehearsed days 
I'd often imagine coming home to my daughter's delight. Only to be deluded by the reality that my nieces belong to their parents...

Belle with her favorite story book
My mom says I have set my own rules and standards in life. I could've settled for romance when I was 'younger' but my heart was focused on something else. I cringe at the thought of 'blending' in with somebody else at this time...
Oh God, how mysterious You are, I'd say...but He told me that I made my own choices and I decided on what I thought was good for me. "I am with you...," again reminded Rafa-el.

Well, should it be "imprudent" if  I get involved at my thirties? Erik Erikson says I'm still within the domain of "intimacy" vs. "isolation"... 
"It is imprudent for old people---35 years and above--- to get married. Reason? Marriage is a blending of a couple. Old people, however, are already set in their likes and dislikes. And above all realities, they are used to living alone."- quotes Archbishop Oscar Cruz
so I pray, God keep my heart young.  
Yes, I'd give up forever to touch you! *IRIS by the Goo Goo Dolls

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Bestest Mom Ever!

Mother's Day Prayer (source: google)

Belle, 12 May 2012
Saturday morning as I prepared for my friend's wedding, I asked my eight-year old niece Belle to help me with the children's assignment for the day.

We cut out the prayer cards and readied the diplomas for the children's mothers. I wrote them a letter and gave them their homework.

My niece and I, 12 May 2012

As I waited for my friend, I reread my diary...

Journal Entry: April 18, 2009 at 6:29am

It felt odd living in again with my family. It has been years since I left them. I completely disagree with the cliche,"Some things never change..." ---everything does... even that silver cobweb on the ceiling turns gray of dust after a while. 

Finally, I got to participate in occasions I never got to celebrate with them like Christmas, New Year, my nieces' birthday, Lent and Easter!

I remember those many times she prayed for us.
She reminded me of St. Augustine's mother,
St. Monica. I believe that mothers in the
world are saints...
My mother aged a lot, she says out of problem for us. After all these years she's still looking out for us... While having one of our conversations, she confessed that she felt frustrated over our lot in life. Was she a failure as a mother? We all grew up with college degrees, with honors, well-bred, and yet in terms of LOVE, we were all BIG DISAPPOINTMENTS.

Life doesn't have to be a drama all the time. I assured her that after we've chosen our own careers in life, the rest of the decision making were MADE BY US...

My sister chose the person she wanted to be with ... My brother, a complicated life... My youngest sister her profession after several  failed relationships and I... well, it's a totally different story...

My mom and dad never asked us to return what they've given... we were never obliged... Maybe the spot lies on her overprotectiveness... we lived life very mom eased all our pains by carrying them by herself...

I remembered a book I read ( I'm not sure if it was written by Thomas Keating) when I was about to go to Italy. It was about a scientist who helped the butterfly out of its cocoon. He violated a law of nature which smothered the butterfly's flying career--- he made it TOO EASY for the butterfly, it didn't struggle to flap its wings... 

I guess this happened to us... 

When I was in N.Africa, a friend gave me a plant as a gift. She told me not to love it TOO MUCH as to overwater it... it might die.

TOO MUCH LOVE mom...and yet

the return of the prodigal daughter gave everybody a shock... It was unexpected... but it was my mom who relived the story of the father in St. Luke's Gospel, 

as I was walking down the road, my mom embraced me readily without questions...


From her I recognized God's unconditional love. From her, I learned generosity...from her, I learned to value LIFE...from her, I learned SACRIFICE... from her, I learned to have FAITH again...

Mommy at MOA, May 2010
image taken by May Christine Tandoc

You are the bestest gift God ever gave to us!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Soul Friends

Linking into the 'Blogging and Friends' blog hop at

I met with some friends this day. We've known each other since we were ten and somehow even though two of them already reside in the US, we've managed to communicate all throughout these years.
Our traditional lunch at Abe (from L-R: Hazel, Ella, Me, Hazel's parents) 5 May 2012
Sto. Domingo (5 May 2012)

Then I went on a date with my childhood friend. I have not visited Him for a while and I longed to see Him (He was waiting for me ).

I came home and spent time with my friends online...

It was while reading Bonnie's post that I became reminiscent of how my life started in the blogging world.

It was January last year when my ARTner and friend for two years in Tagged asked me if I was interested to publish my ideas. I read Fher's blog but made comments on my online journal for discussion.

I was a bit hesitant but I did open one eventually. As soon as I did, he introduced me to Abhisek Panda and Alpana Jaiswal of We the Bloggers.

It was there where I met my soul sisters Rimly Bezbaruah and Sancheeta Biswas and several other bloggers who became my most trusted friends like Jessica Mokrzycki,Jim Brandano and Sulekha Rawat.

Fernando Ymas of The Art of Realizationism
I also met JR Nova, Lisa Marie Farfalla, Alejandro Guzman and Kriti Mukherjee there.

It was through Jessica Brant that I met Bonnie and subsequently through a guest post, Jan Neel.

I haven't seen any of them in real life. But Fher, who was the only Filipino friend I had back then, had been very supportive of me. He allowed me to create and use my energy for art's sake in those two years that I didn't work. I met many artists here and abroad through him. It was he who encouraged me to open an FB account.
Well, I guess,the seeds of friendship were planted by my dear friend and from there the branches spread out.

Thanks ARTner :)

Alpana formed Bloggers Reflections and Jessica M invited me over to Blogplicity. SJ Klemis and Savira Gupta became my friends after that and so did several Filipino bloggers Corinne introduced to the group: Irene Cortez and Joyce Soriano. I bade goodbye to some groups but these two remained closest to my heart aside from our Tagged ArtLover page. Through BP, Roy Durham graciously invited me to illustrate a Christmas book for him (via Corinne) and it's now out in the market.

Comments that Corinne Rodrigues,  Mary Hudak-CollinsLinda Lee , Becky Owen and Debra El-Ramey made inspired me to follow their blogs. Their words are very soulful and soothing. My reflections widened through them and through Martha Murdy Orlando whom I just recently met in BP.

Jim B highly praised and recommended Tameka Mullins as a writer and friend. His networks allowed me to reach Ma Faye Liana Balatbat, mia pianticella (whom I met in the mall a few days after my birthday),Mari Sterling Wilbur, Aaron Offord, Syed Alfandi and Raven Myth.

I do not usually send friend requests but I did for three exceptional people I saw in BP after my October break: Andy David, Janaki Nagaraj and Leah Griffith along with Manisha Bhatia.

I also have my spiritual daughters and sisters/brothers in the field: Portia Burton, Simran Kaur, Mohinee PuranikGeeta Singh, Monu Awalla, Saravana Murugan.

I truly miss the conversations we used to make over at BR and the personal messages that greet me everytime I open my FB. I find repose after work sharing experiences with  friends. In the morning, I'd catch up with Nelieta Mishchenko, Jenni dela Torre and Pamela Rossow.

Once a person enters my intimate circle I put my whole self into it boundlessly. I don't confine myself in a playpen--- on the contrary, I make sure that I share with them the LOVE I'm experiencing from my friendship with Christ.

Our relationship is like a prayer. Mother Teresa wrote, 
"To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it."

I am very grateful to all of you who've shared yourself with me.
You are all Heaven sent.