A session with the Spirit Questors
We all opened our eyes, looked here and there to make sure everyone was in the circle --- confirming nobody stood up to switch the toy pumpkin light on and off. It was also made clear to us that the cold and soft wind we felt did not come from the sealed windows. There were no fans or aircons turned on. And although it felt cold, I felt sweat dripping on my temples. The cold wind was obviously made by the entities we welcomed in our circle. And what kind of entities were they?
The head spirit questor tried to communicate with the entities. Take note --- entities, in plural form. There was a water fairy, fire fairy and a dark (most probably male) entity. The water fairy was said to be good, just roaming around the house --- lying on the bed beside the husband, playing with the fax machine, watching over the couple's 5 year-old son. Although she is a good one, her presence in the house should be felt less as she develops a close attachment to the child. The dark male entity is, well, a dark and violent one --- responsible for the broken glasses and giant muddy footsteps. The fire fairy slams the doors. This one, with the dark entity, creates and deepens the conflicts of the residents in the house. So why were they there? The head questor was told they were dwelling in the couple's home because of the arising tension everyday. The arguments, yelling, conflicts, violence --- the couple's married life that was getting weaker invited them to stay in the house. So what should be done?
The couple was advised to fill their home with a good family relationship. Less fighting. Less violence. More understanding for each other. More attention and nurturing for their children, especially the young son. These will keep the dark entity and the fire fairy away from the family. They were also told to put an aquarium in the living area, a part of the house where the water fairy frequently goes to. An aquarium, or any item with water on it (painting of a water falls) will attract the water fairy and lure her away from the young son. The spirit questors reminded the couple and the rest of the group to avoid creating portals for non-human entities. Portals are their doors to our world. Below are 3 portals we humans unknowingly create:
1. a room that is hardly used (storage room, attics)
2. mirrors facing each other
3. a mirror facing a painting of a living thing (plants, persons, animals)
4. strained family relationships
A month after that night, everything was surprisingly quiet in the couple's house. Up to this day, the aquarium is still in their living room. The mirrors in the bathroom were changed to abstract glass etchings. Our experience that night seemed unimagineable --- feeling the presence of non-human entities. I didn't even think they existed. It was both scary and risky. But it definitely was a night full of learning.
*We were told by the spirit questors to change clothes and take a cold bath as soon as we got home. According to them, there had been instances when entities they've encountered followed people who joined the circle. A cold bath was said to drive them away.
I got a text message last night from our friend-priest who officiated our wedding.
Fr. Salvador Agualada Jr., or simply Fr. Buddy to me and my husband, is a gifted young priest who has always been passionate about writing. Back when we were still in Claret School of Quezon City, I would often ask for a copy of his homily so I could read it over and over again. His teachings are always soul-stirring, touching you to the depth of your soul. And his message last night did not come as a surprise at all --- his book entitled Stirrings of a Heart in Prayer won the Best Book in the Emerging Author Category in the Cardinal Sin Catholic Book Awards given last night during the 2008 Catholic Mass Media Awards. The criteria used was content (originality of development of topic, accuracy, clarity and organization) - 60%, writing style - 20%, and book design - 20%.
Stirrings of a Heart in Prayer is a compilation of Fr. Buddy's poetry, homilies, essays and other literary pieces. In this book, he shares to his readers his dreams, questions, experiences, hopes and a lot more about himself.
Fr. Buddy is currently the School Director of Claret School of Quezon City. Congratulations father! Gino and I hope to visit you soon.
A session with the Spirit Questors
In 2001, I joined my sister and some friends for a paranormal session with spirit questors. These were 20-something individuals who have the psychic abilities to feel, see and speak to human and non-human entities from the other world.
Our location was in Valle Verde 5, a house my architect-sister built for a client. Ever since the owners of the house (a couple with 2 kids) had frequent arguments, they began experiencing weird things --- fax machine printing on its own, loud footsteps by the hallway, slamming door, broken plates, muddy 12ft sized footprints in the living area.
After a few reminders from the questors, I found myself seated with the group, hands held as we formed a circle on the 2nd floor hallway. We were asked to close our eyes, concentrate and focus on what the head questor was saying while we sat in total darkness. I remembered how it felt so humid as I opened my eyes, checking out if everyone was really seated in the circle. And we all were! I looked at each person asking myself why was I there --- was it going to be just a waste of my time? Then the head questor suddenly said "We can't communicate with the entities because someone from the group isn't focused enough". Knowing that I was the culprit, I closed my eyes and began focusing. And then it started to rain so hard outside. It began to feel cold in our circle with a light wind blowing on our skins. As we all turned around, we noticed the windows were all sealed. As a toy pumpkin's light started to turn on and off, puzzled and scared, we all knew the entity was in our circle.
To be continued...
It's an off-peak season on my creative department. So here's what I made for next month's calendar. A really simple one, I must admit. The photo I used was taken in La Maison, a French restaurant in Trinoma. For journaling, I used lines from Faith Hill's song entitled Breathe. It's currently on repeat-mode in my playlist.
This christmas will indeed be more meaningful for us. Remember this tag I started? The one wherein you are tasked to write your plans for a meaningful holiday season? My plan is coming alive!
Last Saturday, I encouraged my UP barkada to postpone our yearly Chrsitmas gathering --- and to instead make children from an orphanage happy by giving them a party. And they all agreed to my idea!
The next task I had to do was look for an orphanage --- a small organization where we don't just host the party but where we can also get to know each child on a more personal level. And yesterday, during Bo Sanchez' The Feast, I found the orphanage we are looking for!
The Tahanan ng Pagmamahal was organized May 2007 by some members of the Light of Jesus community. Currently, the orphanage is home to 15 children from ages 3-10 from both genders. These physically and emotionally wounded children are staying in a rented house in Brgy. Oranbo Pasig City with 3 live-in housemothers and a live-out social worker. Several members of the Light of Jesus community serve as the Board of Trustees. The orphanage is registered at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Pasig City Mayor's Office and the parish priest of Brgy. Oranbo.
If you wish to support Tahanan ng Pagmamahal, in cash or in kind, you may contact Rey Ortega at 0922-8597035 or 635-6056. Now is the best time to reach out to the less fortunate. A small act, when put together, will make these wounded children happier.
Aww... It's been like a month again since I last posted a digiscrap. I have been living an inactive digiscrapping life. Hmm... What have I been up to that I have even neglected updating my food blog? No photos worth posting too. The answer may be found below. Scroll down.
Laziness! Dog days! Lethargy! This is just so pathetic. I have to move and create something before my blog gets really boring.
As of press time, 14:15 23rd of October 2008, our very own Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is ranked number 1 in the New 7 Wonders of Nature!
Although we haven't been there, my husband and I are so glad to see it on the top of the list!
Voting for nominees will continue through July 7, 2009. Then the New7Wonders of Nature Panel of Experts, under the leadership of Prof. Federico Mayor, former Director-General of UNESCO, will review the top 77 nominees and choose the 21 finalists, to be announced on 21 July 2009. These finalists will then be put to popular vote. --- from www.new7wonders.com
To encourage my fellow Filipino blogmates to support Puerto Princesa, I added a widget on the right screen of my blog. Just click it and vote!
Thanks to Cebu Pacific's Php500 Kahit-Saan promo. My husband and I, together with my in-laws, are invading the rich scenery and seascape of Bohol.
At Php1930 each all-in, my sister in-law was able to book us a flight to Tagbilaran Airport on February 15, 2009 at 8:00 am and a return flight on February 17, 2009 at 9:45am.
We are so excited! I initially suggested that we stay in Panglao Island. But reading some posts I found written by my travel consultant Ironwulf (sshhh... he doesn't know me), I thought staying in Loboc would be more convenient since it's closer to most of the places we want to see. Panglao is just a ride away from Loboc anyway. I am still searching for accomodations online and I found this very affordable yet decent resort called LobocHilltop Cottage. Although we all agree we'll save up a lot if we stay there, we are still looking for other accomodations. It pays to search and compare the rates, you know. Any suggestions in mind?
It is every couple's dream to have their own home.
For a couple of months now, my husband and I have been comparing our finances with our future plans. Being married for a year and three months now, most of our friends can't help but ask when are we going to have our first child. To this standard question, our reply would always be... well, standard too! "We'll get there maybe in 2 years. For now, we're planning and working on our own home first".
I am a frequent visitor of developer websites. I can say that searching for a home can be a tough job, especially with such a variety of choices. But being exposed to various types of residential properties is a big help because you get to familiarize yourself to the different amenities offered by each developer.
My husband and I came to realize that what we really want is a single-detached house with a small garden where we can entertain visitors and have a cook-out. We are open to even checking out foreclosed properties, provided isn't occupied and is in good living condition. We're looking at Antipolo because we both love its cool breeze at night and the lush greenery (I hope it stays that way even during the time of our grandchildren).
Thinking of interior decorating our dream home keeps my eyes sparkle. I know in God's time, we'll finally find the house we are praying for. In the meantime, my husband and I are on our knees as we fervently pray for it each night in our rented unit.
After a year and a half, my best buddies and I finally met each other again. The last time we were together was during my wedding. And boy, were we ecstatic to see one another again!
A bottle of beer each after a sumptuous dinner. So, what did we talk about while grabbing that San Mig Light? The never-ending "You remember back in High School when blah-blah-blah..." We don't get tired looking back at those days. We just can't help it. Whenever we're all together, those awkward moments we reminisce just leave us laughing all night!
Design Credits: Sueli Colbert_my moment kit , ShabbyPrincess_festival kit
We were finally able to search every corner of the famous Dapitan Arcade.
On a late Saturday afternoon, who would think the place would be quiet, so unlike Divisoria. And to think people just had their paychecks. The price of each item given to you by each store clerk isn't true as you can still make tawad. And up to how much can you haggle the price? Sky's the limit! As long as you have the gift in sweet-talking. Or maybe if you go there looking like an ordinary citizen of the world. Meaning, without your diamond earrings.
So, how do you get there? It's about 10 minutes away from Welcome Rotonda. When you see the branch of Burger King, turn right on Mayon Street. Then just go straight. It's a stone's throw away from the Baranggay Hall. You won't miss it. As soon as you see native baskets and ceramics scattered on the road, you're on the right track. And now, to give you an idea on what you may see there, here are our finds.
The Times Higher Education - Quacquarelli Symonds World University (THE-QS) 2008 rankings has been released and a lot of people, especially fellow UPians, are dismayed with the results.
Ateneo De Manila ranks 254, overtaking the University of the Philippines which ranked 276 this year. It can be remembered that a year ago, UP was at the 398th spot while ADMU was at 400-something.
The THE-QS is an annual study conducted by a London-based magazine. The ranking uses the following criteria: peer review (40%), faculty citations (20%), staff/student ratio (20%), recruiter review (10%), percentage of international students (5%) and percentage of international faculty (5%).
UP officials said they have refused to participate in the survey and asked the THE-QS representatives to respect their decision. But the university was still included in the study. Dr. Francisco Nemenzo, a former UP president, stated that the university does not fare well in the survey since the study puts too much weight on certain areas which the UP system does not prioritize. A clear example would be the percentage of international students and faculty. The University of the Philippines is proud to have Filipino professors who earned their masteral and doctoral degrees in UP or countries abroad. Whereas in the earlier years, most of the faculty members came from the US. Also, UP does not attract foreign professors because of the low salary it offers. Another thing, the university would rather accept Filipino iskolars than students from other countries.
Dr. Leticia Penano-Ho, a former UP College of Education professor said "UP can participate in these rankings but “never should UP be dependent on these external rankings in defining what it stands for".
De La Salle University ranked 415 while University of Santo Tomas ranked 470. The complete list may be viewed HERE.
Profound (adjective): Intellectual; Thoughtful; Deep; Emotional.
And that word fits my husband to a T. Incidentally, his blog also has the same name! Blogmates, please check out my labski's blog at http://profoundmatters.wordpress.com. It is a new hobby he began just last week so there's no archive yet. But expect worth-reading posts.
Remember. ProfoundMatters by Gino Ray M. Magtoto.
How would you like this invading the wedding industry?
I was helping a colleague learn how to create digital scrapbooks and we ended up discussing her wedding preparations. Marissa, our Music teacher is getting married August next year. She began consulting me about wedding details. Just an hour before her, I was reminding Olive, another soon to wed friend, stuff to consider in getting married. In the middle of all these chats, these girls started telling me, "Ms. Jan! You really are the official wedding consultant of Reedley! You can even make it as your business!" I ended up replying, "Yeah, great idea. Grab my labor while it's free!"
And then ideas of putting up a part-time events planning business came up. With an ability in audio-visual presentation, a little familiarity on photography and a lot about events planning, these friends of mine thought this idea would be realistic in a year if we would be serious about it. With their gifts of wit and singing, Olive says she and her fiance can do the rest of the job.
Just dreaming. Who knows this might come alive next year. Right, Joanne?
Flashback. In 2003,I had this very interesting chat with Renz, my Kinder student in Claret School of Quezon City.
I was on my table, fixing some documents. The kids were having their recess in their usual playful and childlike mode. I was wearing a long face as I contemplated on my not so good lovelife. This was way before Gino and I became a couple.
Renz: Teacher Jan? (staring at me with a priceless smile)
Me: Yes Renz? (looking back at him)
Renz: Don't be sad. Things will be fine. (winking at me)
Me: Huh? (clueless on what he was saying)
Renz: Whatever problem you're thinking... it will be fine soon.
Me: Ooh... Thanks Renz. (I've never been this grateful before.)
Renz: Promise Teacher Jan. It will be okay. Smile now.
Without checking if I did, he left and went back to his friends while I went to the bathroom and let the tears roll down.
It's amazing how a 6-year old child can utter such words to a confused adult like me. Such genuine conversations are a treasure we hold on to.
It pays well to plan and work on your plan.
Couple Jesse and Regina handed me their photos about 2 weeks before their wedding. I must tell you, that gave me an ample amount of time to plan, layout, make and edit their audio-visual presentation. Although they gave me not much a variety of pictures, I decided to scrap the photos to make the slideshow more interesting. I added a few lines about love which I think added spice as Eric Benet sings The Last Time. They will exchange their vows this Friday at the Greenmeadows Clubhouse. Being both Christians, the ceremony will follow the Christian rites.
Blogmates, be the first to take a peek on Jesse and Regina's wedding avp.
Filipino videographers are getting much fame and glory in international contests these days. Just 2 months ago in Orlando, Florida, the finest Filipino videographers won 13 awards in the WEVA Expo 2008 in different categories. Imagine the likes of Jason Magbanua and Bob Nicolas competing with renowned videographers from various states in America. Wow, that really is something to rave about.
Among al the videos I've seen I adore the ones Mayad Studios made. My jaw fell while watching their videos. I can't even describe to you how they take and edit their works. No words can ever describe it. The gliding, drama, poetic words and moving music. You may view Mayad Studios' videos HERE. Feel like checking out the other videographers who won? Click THIS and see the categories and the couples' names.
If you are glued on GMA7 as soon as Survivor Philippines starts every weekday, then you absolutely know Patani.
She was a Startstruck wannabe and was said to have auditioned for the reality show for several times. Not even getting close to the eliminations, Patani Dano, a yaya from Cebu, instead tried her luck in joining the first ever Survivor Philippines. She did make it to the show. And although she was the 4th castaway to be voted out, this is what this funny and up-and-coming comedian has to say:
"Kung hindi ako napasama dito, hindi ako makakabalik ng Maynila. Kasi wala akong pamasahe, di ba? Tapos hindi ako magkakaroon ng passport, tapos hindi ako makakapunta ng Thailand. Tapos nagkaroon ako ng eksfosyur". (Courtesy of GMA7)
Obviously, she did get the eksfosyur she's been dreaming. Tune in to GMA7 and you'll see her guesting in Eat Bulaga, 24 Oras, Jessica Soho Kapuso Mo. She was even requested by Lucy Torres to be her co-host in Sweet Life. And this morning it was announced she'll be Unang Hirit's new palingki kwen!
Go Patani! I hope you'll stay humble. Don't forget where you came from girl! Move over Marianne Rivera!
Guess what. I was invited to be part of our first Reedley International School Faculty Photo Exhibit! Hurray!
I got the invitation to join the exhibit last Saturday from our school's Academic Research Head. She was even asking me how many photos I wanted to include! That question made me ran to my computer to check my labskifotografi files. It made me realize that the shots I am really proud of are mostly sunset photos!
I am really excited to join this exhibit because of 3 reasons. First because, like what I said, it is the first faculty exhibit of our school. Most of the exhibits held features students' paintings. Second, because we are only 2 selected faculty members who are going to be featured. And third, because I am only using a Point-and-Shoot camera and yet my photos caught their interest. Woo hoo!
My husband finally has his own place in the blogosphere. And yet, he still tries to be discreet about it. You might be wondering why. Well, he tells me not to disclose his site yet as he has only 2 posts as of this time.
His blog will mainly be about our country --- politics, business and crime. I kept warning him not to be too aggressive in his posts. Although I know he'll write whatever comes up in his mind (and in his heart) especially when rage fills him while watching the news.
I know some of you are uhmm... excited (if I may use that term) to read my husband's sharp-witted thoughts. I'm trying to convince him to let you guys peek into his space this week. Just a little more convincing and I know he'll surely give in. In the meantime, on top of this post is a screenshot of his blog.
It finally happened. Our Lower School Department had the highly anticipated Show and Tell.
With this year having a theme of Dreams and Fantasies, the Lee Kuan Yew Hall was decorated with peripherals related to Fantasia. Our students had to go through a lot of stages before they came up with their speech. Just like how we are trained, our students began with their pre-writing sessions, first and second drafts and the proper way of delivering their speeches. The kids did a superb job! There were minor bloopers but in general, they all made their parents absolutely proud of them as they all delivered above what was expected of them in their Search for the Secret Scroll.
Photos of the Show and Tell may be viewed HERE courtesy of Ms. Soriano. And this is ME in the TechBooth! Here's a video I made of the story plot.
And so it happened.
Away from the lens of the cameras, Claudio Teehankee Jr. last night left the compounds of The New Bilibid prison. And yes, he is technically a free man now.
What would you do if you see him sipping a hot cup of brewed coffee in your favorite coffee shop with his feet raised up comfortably on the cushions?
Executive Clemency. Reprieve, absolute pardon, conditional pardon with or without parole conditions and commutation of sentence as may be granted by the President of the Philippines. -1987 Philippine Constitution
Much as I want to have a no-brainer coffee break for this week, GMA7's 24 Oras left me with a devastated heart last night. And their late night news Saksi showing Vicky Morales interviewing Mrs. Vivian Hultman on the phone roughly tore my heart into pieces.
The president granting executive clemency to Claudio Teehankee Jr. came as a bitter surprise for the Filipino nation. First, because it seemed abrupt. How could it have happened so soon? Second, because the family of the victims were not informed before hand about it. Secretary Ermita claims the Hultman's were notified about the posible pardon but Maureen Hultman's mom says otherwise. And third, because it appeared like the president used her power unfairly. With this, more Filipinos feel and believe that our Justice System is obviously bias and tainted.
I am not really sure about this post. But based on what I have read, both in the internet and the newspapers, Chris Brown is taking Manila by storm!
The talented artist behind the top hits Forever and With You is said to be having a one-night concert at the Araneta Coliseum. Tickets were said to be ranging from Php600 (General Admission) to Php6700 (Front Row). In this teaser I got, it even says the concert will also feature Rihanna, Chris' girlfriend. It does sound impossible to have 2 superstars in one concert. But it won't hurt us if it is true. I'll be there right away lining up to get our tickets if this is for real --- with or without Rihanna.
Updates, to confirm or refute this, coming soon.
For the longest time, I have been thinking of re-dressing my blog. But, for an even longer time, I couldn't make up my mind on the design!
I'm thinking cartoons. Vibrant colors. But I'll be needing some help on doing the drawings. I have some artist friends who, I'm pretty sure, will be willing to rescue me from this crossroad. All I need to do is ask for their help and give them some time to work on it. The questions is, how do I really want it to look like?
Weddings. I just don't get tired of the topic.
I'm in that state again when I feel I just got married yesterday. And it got me so hook on Eric Benet's song entitled The Last Time. Call me cheesy. But I can't help but get goose gumps hearing the song. All of a sudden, all our wedding memories seem so fresh in my mind.
This is current state of bliss is very conducive for me because I have quite a number of tasks to do for a couple of my bride-friends. My other friend is going to walk down the aisle December of next year and I'm giving her suggestions and recommendations in her wedding preparations. And my other friend is getting married on the 18th of the month. And I volunteered in making her AVP. I have collected their photos already. I have researched for sweet love and wedding quotes on the internet. And I have a line-up of the possible songs I might be using for the slideshow. Of course, the top song choice is Eric Benet's song! I am posting a video of the song below. And it's lyrics too.
For 4 straight years, I was a Pre-school Teacher in Claret School of Quezon City. I have created a lot of fun memories in those times. And I must admit. It was difficult not to play favorites on your students. You just have to be discreet enough so the others won't notice. If you don't know yet, kids are very, very observant. They would see and notice things we adults would normally overlook.
So why am I telling you about my job before I turned into a School Counselor? Because I saw an old photo of me with my former students. This was during our field trip at La Mesa Eco Park, my last year as a teacher. Oh God, it made me miss them so much!
How in the world have I forgotten! Heroes Season 3 began already September 22! Well, at least in the US.
I hope this season's better than the last one. Those of you who are glued on the series like me, I am pretty sure you noticed how bitin season 2 was. Remember the time when writers had a strike in the US? Last time I read, the Heroes writers joined. Which explains the bitin season 2.
Anyway, I found a free download of Season 3 Episode 3. Sshhh... It's HERE. Get it while it's hot!
It was an eye-straining night at Tiendesitas. Our eyes were popping out because of the native and antique furnitures we saw there. My husband and I just love 'em all! The ending? We didn't buy anything!
The chests were there. Magazine racks were scattered in every corner. Mirror with intricate frame designs. Basically, everything we wanted to add in our home were there. But we couldn't decide right away which ones to purchase. And so we decided to wait for another weekend to check out Dapitan Arcade. My husband and I both agreed that we have to make sure we'll get our money's worth with the items we'll be getting.
And just now, while checking out Ebay.ph I saw abaca items being sold (or made-to-order) from Clark, Pampanga! Their products are really nice. And THIS chest made of seagrass fiber is so zen-like! Export quality, I must say! If you're into native furnitures, check out their other items HERE. You might find something you like. The owner just texted me. They do deliveries in the Metro for a fee of Php700.00.
Now this new find would add more to our confusion. Teehehe.
Yeeey! It's the end of the week and I'm looking forward to our Tiendesitas day tomorrow!
My husband and I are going to search every corner of their Antique Village for a treasure chest. No, it's not what you think. We're not searching for some priceless treasure. We're just after a rusty looking chest to add it as an accent to our home. The non-conformist part of me is thinking of using it as a center table.
I hope we find it tomorrow. And we will definitely drop by Tita Lynn's Flavored Suman and have a taste of her much talked about rice rolls. Yum yum!
Who wouldn't want to have one of these! If you're from UP, you'll surely want to get one. If you don't want it? I'll strangle you until you choke!
Alright, alright! I'm exaggerating. It's just that I'm so hyper this morning realizing that up to now, my husband and I still haven't purchase any UP centennial item! Except for our Php100.00 bill with the UP logo and my 2008 planner, we have nothing else to commemorate the celebration. I want something we could wear. And this jacket (in colors black, maroon and white) priced at Php800.00 is on the top of my list!
So, what's stopping me from getting one? It is being sold at a very limited time. As of presstime, they only sell it every Thursday at 4-6 at USC office in Vinzon's Hall. Rumor has it that the number of people lining up to buy it is soooo long that when you get your turn it's sold out already!
Would I be overreacting if I go on-leave just to go to UP to get my centennial jacket? Arrgh! I'm getting frustrated!