Thursday, June 26, 2008

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

God's Yellow Pages


Got this link from my high school classmate Arminda's Multiply site.  Let your fingers do the walking through the Bible. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Crawling Out From Under My Rock

Everyone I used to hang out with had other plans this weekend, and I found myself with some time on my hands, to do with as I pleased.

It was an unfamiliar feeling.  At first, I was restless and bored witless.  I did take home some work but felt there should be more to life than work, so I set that aside for later.  Much later.

I made a list of things to do this weekend and went through the list one by one, as my book "When There's Not Enough of Me to Go Around" suggested.  It's a book written by perfectionists for perfectionists, and when a friend of mine learned that I bought such a book to help me cope with my perfectionism, she said, "How perfectionist is that?"

I thought it was the perfect time to sort through my clutter in the store room to make way for my plans of moving into my own place this quarter.  Before I realized it, I was knee-deep in papers, letters, and souvenirs, further proof of what a packrat I was.  My mom was only too happy to see me throw away old reviewers and case digests.  I was unwilling to let go of them for years until I realized that they might no longer be good law, and remembered that I worked for a company that specialized in digital archiving.  I should walk my talk, anyway if I needed any case, law, issuance, or commentary, they were available in our office database.  So out went a balikbayan box-full of law school notes and other materials.  

I found it weird that pests got to some of my most precious memories - my only article that came out in Kerygma and my only published paper in the Philippine Law Journal - but stayed away from the most trivial of documents such as scratch papers and doodle pads.  I saved what I could of the magazines and journals, and vowed to buy those huge plastic containers with wheels and handles that were anti-flood,- termite, -cockroach, and -mice.

I was probably the last of my law school batch to let go of my photocopied materials, and I did not even have the heart to let everything go.  How could I throw away the witty and fascinating reviewers prepared by A'-99, my block, which reached law students all the way to University Belt even years after we had left law school?  All the memories from those years came back, of recitations and digests that shaped me into the lawyer that I am now.  I remembered the people who helped me prepare for the bar  through tips, reviewers, forms, and books.  I remembered and I smiled.  I could look back at those years and not feel incomplete anymore.  I had moved on from the failure of the 1999 bar to the drama of the 2000 bar.  I could face my blockmates again, and I did, a month ago, in Makati, and I did not feel that their love for me had changed.

It was I who had changed.  I was no longer just Ella, the Obiter Master (my self-proclaimed title everytime I prepared  a case digest with a Calvin and Hobbes footer, or did the lay-out of a finals reviewer with a Star Wars theme).  I was Ella, the renewed Christian, more radical, passionate, and idealistic than I ever was. 

I slowly moved to the files from my law firm days at Tan and Venturanza, and decided to keep them all.  I went through my folders from the Sandiganbayan - of notes and summaries I had made on different crimes - and decided not to throw away all the efforts I exerted in preparing for those cases.  I saw some files from my Privatization and Management Office days, all six months' worth, and put them back into the cabinet.  

I even saw grade school memories, college notes, files from my different organizations and councils, and kept some of them, for it always made me smile when I looked back at how life had been - how full, how challenging, and how rewarding.

It takes me a while before I let go of people and things.  That's who I am.  And after several years of Lingkod, just Lingkod, both comfort and joy, sorrow and pain, I finally looked at the rest of the world and tried to re-integrate myself.  For I am not just a sum of different parts - of the past, present and future, - no, I am a complete person wherever I am.

There is one identity I'm sticking to, hopefully until forever, and that is, Child of God.

Everything else is just an effect thereof.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Night to Remember

Chopin's Etude In E Major Opus 10 No. 3 (basis of "No Other Love")
Hatinggabi by Antonio Molina
Mayon (Fantasia de Concierto) by Francisco Buencamino, Sr.
I Could Have Danced All Night  (from My Fair Lady)
Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal by Ernani Cuenco

This list reads like the Top Five Hits From My Childhood, for I grew up in this music, as they are just some of my parents' favorite songs. Imagine the joy my Mama and I felt when all these and more were performed last Saturday during "A Night to Remember", a fundraising concert for the projects of the Parish of Saint Benedict, held at the Don Antonio Heights Homeowners' Association (DAHHA) Clubhouse.

Internationally-acclaimed artists May Gorospe-Favis (soprano), Angelo Favis (guitar), and Charisse Baldoria (pianist) treated the parishioners and friends of St. Benedict to world-class music. Mama and I particularly enjoyed the jaw-dropping set of six out of seven songs composed by Manuel de Falla, where husband-and-wife team May and Angelo displayed their versatility in evoking a myriad of emotions through Siete canciones populares españolas ("Seven Spanish Folksongs").

If I were Mama, I would miss Papa during the concert, as the latter is currently on vacation in the U.S. The celebration of music reminded us that true beauty comes from God and art such as that reminds us of what our soul aches for - heaven. I have seen concerts at the Vatican and in other grand churches - on TV, as I wasn't invited - with the Pope in attendance, and last Saturday, I felt that grand. May also performed Psalm 23 and a song for Saint Clare that gave me goosebumps.

I could not help but admire the artists for their skill and talent. The priests asked me afterwards if I was inspired to practice the piano more and perform for them after watching that concert. I said, "As a matter of fact, No. You know me, I would choose not to do something if I know I cannot do perfectly."

I love music though and I bought Angelo's two CD's where he recorded Philippine music with his guitar. Love was in the air that night and I could not help but catch it with a smile. Love for God. Love for music. Love for friends. Love for community. And Love for my parents, who taught me all that.

My friends Hanzel, Marla, and Tess watched the concert, too, and we enjoyed the cocktails together with Mama, Fr. Steve, and some friends from the Parish Pastoral Council afterwards. We could not help laughing and having a great time, and it was not (just) because of the overflowing wine.

Forgive me for using a cliche, but I must admit it was indeed "a night to remember".