Thursday, April 21, 2011

On Being Catholic

Image taken from here

Lately, the Catholic Church's been all over the news (and not in a very favorable light, either) thanks to a priest kicking out RH Bill supporters from a mass and some prelates making nigh-near seditious comments about our President.

It's gotten to a point that RH Bill supporters are being exhorted to bring handy gadgets to record priest's Lenten sermons... that fellow Catholics are seriously contemplating leaving the Church... and within the Church, the divide continues to grow between so-called "genuine Catholics" (by virtue of their "correct" stance re: the controversial bill) and other Catholics with "malformed consciences" who do not share their opinion.

I am Catholic.

I am pro-RH Bill.

All this media hullabaloo has become very personal to me, to say the least.

I'm sure there are thousands of others out there, like me.

This is why I'm glad I "stumbled" upon this gem of a reminder in the blogosphere, and I hope others will find it enlightening as well.

"To me, the Church is kind of like having an alcoholic mother: majestic one minute; engaging in some cringingly non-Christ-like behavior the next. But no matter what, she’s your Mother. No matter what, you love your mother. And the way you love her is you notice when she goes wrong, you grieve for her, you mourn for her, and then you silently resolve to help her do a little better. You don’t pretend not to see her faults and get all self-righteous and militaristic if someone attacks her—but you also don’t kick her when she’s down..."
Heather King, Shirt of Flame
(Source: Happy Catholic)

For the past several months, Filipino Catholics have been praying the Oratio Imperata for the Protection of Human Life towards the end of each mass. I know of some RH Bill supporters who refused to pray it, yet I find no conflict between my personal stance and this very-diplomatically worded prayer. I believe it's for ALL Filipinos, for both RH Bill supporters and detractors.

This Lent, let's pray for our country and our people. With one voice, let's put aside our differences, and come together... disregarding religious denominations and political stances, and pray that the Resurrected Christ guide us to a brighter tomorrow.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Summertime


"Summertime... and the livin' is easy..."
~George Gershwin, from Porgy and Bess

While most people would equate summertime as beach/party/snooze-all-day time, for my family and I, it's a different story. The past school year has gone, but there's a lot that needs to be done to prepare for the new one! So it's work as usual, only that it is less hectic than normal and I can look forward to leaving paperwork at the office instead of lugging it home. :)

For me, summertime means a leisurely breakfast in the morning, as opposed to the usual gulp-down-my-coffee-and-pray-the-water's-not-too-hot kind which I subject myself to from June to March. A summer breakfast would be something like this:


Then teaching duties in the morning, followed by handling a stream of inquiries in the afternoon, planning seminars, additional teaching duties... and who knows? Perhaps there's time for a half hour jog around the village before dinner time! And perhaps, a lunch or dinner date with friends during the weekend! No smoke-filled bars, of course... after all, I AM a teacher now.

~ ~ ~

Summer is all about bright cheery colors adding new zest to life! Here are a few of my summer blog favorites:

Matchbook Magazine, an online magazine for the classy lady who loves all things smart and beautiful! I could just EAT the layouts, they're that scrumptious!

Number two is Oh Joy! ,the delightful blog of graphic designer Joy Cho (assisted from time to time by various colleagues and her husband as well... isn't that sweet?). Reading this blog gives us a glimpse into the famous cozy, laid-back California lifestyle!

My next link is the personal blog of yet another graphic designer who calls herself Mrs. Lilien. Poets everywhere will be delighted with this page, a rolicking rampage of rhyming cadences! Illustrating the blog owner's philosophy in life through the "Seven Persuasions" instead of the Seven Deadly Sins, she exhorts us with one-liners like "The Persuasion of Making the Mundane Magnificent!"

And of course, nothing beats watching Nigella Lawson videos on YouTube! I especially love the dessert ones. I adore her passion for life which translates to her passion for good food, and how she insists on having nothing less than full-fat milk! The more chocolate, the better! A woman after my own stomach.

~ ~ ~

Lest you think I'm a totally decadent creature obsessed with leisure and all things frilly, I do have a few intellectual pursuits as well this summer. :)

Apart from the usual lesson planning for the year ahead, I'm also in the Thesis Writing stage of my graduate studies! Yay! I should have a clear idea of my thesis topic before June starts, so that no time will be wasted once I register for the necessary units. Will be doing quite a lot of serious academic reading... oooh... and a lot of academic writing. Better brush up on my academic jargon and Latin phrases over the next two months as well.

On the un-academic reading side, I'll be reading the James Clavell Asian Saga novels (Taipan, Gai-Jin, Shogun, etc.) since my twinnie bought them and hasn't stopped raving about how unputdownable they are. Yeeees... the Asian Civilization teacher within will out!

I also hope to be able to blog more frequently this summer... say, once or twice a week, just to get the writing juices flowing. Am badly out of practice, as my awkward, halting prose shows!

Here's to a fun-filled yet productive summer for everyone!

Summertime


"Summertime... and the livin' is easy..."
~George Gershwin, from Porgy and Bess

While most people would equate summertime as beach/party/snooze-all-day time, for my family and I, it's a different story. The past school year has gone, but there's a lot that needs to be done to prepare for the new one! So it's work as usual, only that it is less hectic than normal and I can look forward to leaving paperwork at the office. :)

For me, summertime means a leisurely breakfast in the morning, as opposed to the usual gulp-down-my-coffee-and-pray-the-water's-not-too-hot kind which I subject myself to from June to March. A summer breakfast would be something like this:


Then teaching duties in the morning, followed by handling a stream of inquiries in the afternoon, planning seminars, additional teaching duties... and who knows? Perhaps there's time for a half hour jog around the village before dinner time! And perhaps, a lunch or dinner date with friends during the weekend! No smoke-filled bars, of course... after all, I AM a teacher now.

~ ~ ~

Summer is all about bright cheery colors adding new zest to life! Here are a few of my summer blog favorites:

Matchbook Magazine, an online magazine for the classy lady who loves all things smart and beautiful! I could just EAT the layouts, they're that scrumptious!

Number two is Oh Joy! ,the delightful blog of graphic designer Joy Cho (assisted from time to time by various colleagues and her husband as well... isn't that sweet?). Reading this blog gives us a glimpse into the famous cozy, laid-back California lifestyle!

My next link is the personal blog of yet another graphic designer who calls herself Mrs. Lilien. Poets everywhere will be delighted with this page, a rolicking rampage of rhyming cadences! Illustrating the blog owner's philosophy in life through the "Seven Persuasions" instead of the Seven Deadly Sins, she exhorts us with one-liners like "The Persuasion of Making the Mundane Magnificent!"

~ ~ ~

Lest you think I'm a totally decadent creature obsessed with leisure and all things frilly, I assure you, I do have intellectual pursuits as well this summer. :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Living Life with Harmony


This past school year, I was the adviser to a darling group of children between the ages of 2 and 7. My first preschool advisory class, Casa Harmony, will forever have a special place in my heart! I really feel like I was the mother (albeit only for three hours a day) to fourteen adorable youngsters, and I shall miss them terribly this summer.


Handling preschoolers is a totally different experience! Some people look down on preschool teachers... I'm ashamed to say that even other fellow educators treat preschool teachers condescendingly. I once had a classmate in grad school scoff, "You're a preschool teacher? Wow! What do you guys teach them? ABC's?" *with matching superior sneer*

Yes, I teach them ABC's. I teach the basics. I teach them how to read and write, and how to count beyond their fingers and toes. I teach them to treat the people around them with respect. I teach them to wash their hands before they eat, how to button their shirts, how to greet everybody that comes in with a cheery "Good morning!" at 7:15 a.m.

I teach them to solve their differences peacefully, not by using their fists, but by talking and sharing their thoughts and feelings.

I teach them how to sing the National Anthem, how to say the Panatang Makabayan and how to raise their right hands properly. I teach them to treat the Flag Ceremony as a holy ritual, for in it we follow the footsteps of the heroes gone before us in swearing to love our country and work tirelessly for its betterment.

I teach them respect for other faiths as we pray together as a class... Muslims side by side with Iglesia ni Cristo, Born Again and Catholic students. I teach them to love everyone around them because everyone is a friend. I teach them how to eat with a spoon and fork like a prince or a princess, and how to clean up after their mess because we all must pitch in to take care of our environment.

And every day I teach them Music. We sing when we start the class, and we sing upon going home. I teach them that there's no problem you can't solve with a smile on your face and a song on your lips, matching the harmony in your heart.

And no, in the preschool classroom, we don't care how much your outfit costs, or how much money you make, or who your father is and what Ivy League school you came from.

In the preschool classroom, we love everyone by virtue of our common humanity. Which is as it should be.

There's nothing quite like teaching preschool students. Try it! It's good for the soul. :)
Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog