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4th-Sep-2008 01:24 am - posible
zoob

What does it take to bring me out of my lethargy and back into the pages of an almost obsolete on-line journal (especially since after the appearance of many other alternative blog choices)?

 

JOY

 

…the unadulterated kind

…the kind you had when you were a kid

…the kind you learned to forget as you grow into adulthood

…the kind you remember when you get more than you hoped for and achieve more than you dreamt of.

…the kind that fathers feel when their sons/daughters experience victory.

 


I knew muoNsteR Inc. did the best they could given the time they had and having fun at the same time.  But still, I couldn't help but feel anxious about the "unpolished" practice at the hidden lair two hours before 3pm.  Worse... I couldn't exactly show them my anxiety could I?  So we just practiced over and over and over again until we had it right.

It seemed to have paid off.

During the performance proper, the puppets&puppeteers were eerily creepy but very interpretative.  And the gloves and black lights effect was simply magical.

There we were, jam-packed at the 3rd floor audi.  I sat slumped at the floor after watching 8 sayaw interpretasyon performances.  I could hear my heart pounding.  This was it…

 

3rd place went to IV-Truth

 

I remember thinking we lost our chance to make it to the top 3.  Our competitors were intimidating, to say the least.  But I was still hopeful that we might, just might, make it to 2nd place.

 

2nd place went to IV-Tau

 

My heart sank.  I wasn’t surprised but I wasn’t too disappointed either.  Somehow, living an “adult’s” life with “adult” frustrations and “adult” problems has taught me to hope for the best and expect the worst.  
 

1st place goes to…. IV-Muon

 

Wait!  Did Sir Martin just say IV-Muon?  As in IV-MUON?!  It took me a while to finally realize that we did win 1st place.  I remember jumping up and down several times.  I remember hugging people (I hope they were Muon students).  I remember being dazed somewhat.  And then it dawned on me… we DID win!

 

It felt like a dream come true… like a fairytale ending…like a feel-good movie that makes you want to shout out loud, “POSIBLE!”

 

muoNsteRs Inc., I am very, very, VERY proud of you all!  CONGRATULATIONS!

 

 

**now if we can only cause a solar eclipse on Friday…it would make life a lot easier… but that’s another story

21st-Apr-2008 12:07 pm - be heard...
zoob

Dear PSHS Alumni,

I am not sure if you have heard of the recent PSHS BOT decision regarding the graduation status of three PSHS '08 students:

http://raffysaldana .blogspot. com/2008/ 03/clarification -on-issue- value-of- pisay.html

In any case, there have been some issues and concerns that have been raised by some PSHS alumni and PSHS faculty:

http://kikyouoneesa ma.multiply. com/journal/ item/317/ The_Value_ of_a_Pisay_ Diploma

47 PSHS faculty members have signed, as a show of support, the letter of appeal of Mr. Jose Manresa Espanol IV and Ms. Dinah Gutierrez to the PSHS BOT to reconsider and revoke its previous decision to allow the three '08 students to make up for their grade of 5.0 in Math5 during the summer -- after successful completion of which, they will be eligible to receive a PSHS diploma

For its part, the PSHS Alumni Association (PSHS AA) has taken some initiative to come out with a stand on the issue:

http://raffysaldana .blogspot. com/2008/ 04/pshs-alumni- association- board_16. html.

I think the PSHS National Alumni Association (PSHS NAA) will also be including it in its agenda in its upcoming meeting on April 26, 2008 (Saturday):

Sa lahat ng Pisay alumni (all campuses), pakipasa... (Thanks Tina for this forum)... Raffy Saldana (http://raffysaldana .blogspot. com)

Notice: Philippine Science High School National Alumni Association (PSHS NAA) Annual Meeting
PHILIPPINE SCIENCE HIGH SCHOOL NATIONAL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, INC.
Philippine Science High School, Agham Road, Diliman, Quezon City 1104, Phillippines

TO ALL CONCERNED: NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING
WHAT: Philippine Science High School National Alumni Association Annual Meeting
WHEN: Saturday, April 26, 2008
TIME: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
WHERE: Philippine Science High School, Agham Road, Diliman, Quezon City

PROPOSED AGENDA:
1. Reading of the minutes of the previous meeting and action taken thereon;
2. Unfinished business;
3. New business;
4. Election (only for vacant positions in the PSHS NAA Board of Trustees)
5. Ratification of the acts of the board and the Executive Officers;
6. Other matters.
6.1 Update on the PSHS Alumni Association and PSHS National Alumni Association unification efforts.
6.2 Update on the PSHS Summer Remedial Program.
6.3 Other updates

Notice Prepared By:

(Sgd.) Dr. Rafael P. Saldana
Corporate Secretary
PSHS National Alumni Association
11 April 2008

Contact Details:
Telephone/Fax: +63 2 7090907
Mobile: +63 928 5043121
E-mail: raffysaldana@
gmail.com
BLOG: http://raffysaldana .blogspot. com/


Inasmuch as the AA and NAA are supposed to represent the PSHS alumni, as Dr. Iggy Agbayani ('82) has reiteretad in his comments on Tina Bargo's ('99) blog, I am sure they would welcome your own feedback on the matter.  Please feel free to send this to your Batch egroups or any other PSHS alumni in your contacts.  You may direct your feedback directly to:

 AND/OR join the discussions at:

 http://kikyouoneesa ma.multiply. com/journal/ item/317/ The_Value_ of_a_Pisay_ Diploma

I believe the PSHS Foundation trustees, through Dr. Ciel Habito ('70) and Adee Sipin ('82), have also shown some concern regarding this issue.

The faculty has been told that the BOT meeting is scheduled on May 2, 2008, where they will discuss and act appropriately on the letter of appeal submitted by Mr. Espanol and Ms. Gutierrez.

Thank you for your time and I hope and look forward to your interest, concern, and partcipation regarding this urgent and important development in the policy direction of your alma mater.

with much prayers...

12th-May-2007 04:19 pm - ALMANA
zoob

"It is easy enough to tell the poor to accept their poverty as God's will when you yourself have warm clothes and plenty of food and medical care and a roof over your head and no worry about the rent.  But if you want them to believe you -- try to share some of their poverty and see if you can accept it as God's will yourself."

                                                    -- Thomas Merton, Seeds of Contemplation


It can be argued that the Philippine economy has seen some improvement in the past several years.  Granted that this is true, the challenge that remains now lies in how economic improvement will be redistributed and will trickle down to the people that need it the most... the poor, unemployed, marginalized and unrepresented.  Otherwise, what is the sense of such economic improvement?

Economic development was never envisioned to be the end goal.  We strive for economic improvement not so that we can proudly call ourselves a developed country.  We do so in the hope that the lives of the people who belong to this economy will improve.  Society was not made to primarily serve "economic development"... economic development was made in service of society.  Unfortunately, the economy and market forces, left to themselves, are ill-equipped to equitably perform this redistribution.

Does this mean we should change our economic system?

Not necessarily...

It is an acceptable maxim in law that those who have less in life should have more in law.  It is primarily by political action (aside from social-civic actions and religious programs)... thru the executive, legislative and judicial functions of government, that such redistribution could be best achieved.  The party-list system envisions such legislative representation.

Hopefully, we have not yet reached that level of cynicism or indifference or apathy that we surrender the political realm to people who have less-than-noble intentions and motives.  Let us make sure that the people we vote for truly represent the people's interest and the party-list we choose are those that truly represent the unrepresented.


**In case you still do not have a clear party-list to vote for this May 14, 2007... you may want to consider voting for ALyansa ng MAmamayang NAghihirap (ALMANA) which seeks to represent the disenfranchised poor and legislate laws focusing on food, health-care, employment, education and housing.

10th-Feb-2006 12:47 pm - tarpaulin magic
zoob

It is almost the end of the YMSAT week and I couldn't help but notice how this year's YMSAT started (aside from the Indian President's visit, of course) compared to previous YMSAT's I've experienced.

PRE-2006 YMSAT (names have been changed to protect student identities):

0600H:

The ASTB, not surprisingly, is the venue of last-minute efforts to hang STR posters, cut out letterings, glue pictures, etc.  Already, there are at least 5-10 STR groups frantically finishing what should have been a completed poster.

0630H:

  • Romulo:  "Nasaan na ba si Michelle?"
  • Judith:  "Ewan ko... nasa kanya pa ung printouts eh.  Nagpriprint pa siguro sa bahay."
  • Romulo:  "Anak ng Jueteng, galit na si Mam Xavier!"
  • Judith:  "Eh anong magagawa natin?"
  • Romulo:  "Ayan, gupitin mo yan... kulang pa tayo ng O, X, I, D at E para mabuo ang "Calcium Oxide from Talaba Shells as Additive for Hollow Block Production" (not a real STR project)**

0700H:

  • Monica:  "O guys, you should be finalizing your work.  The ribbon cutting is at 8:00 am.  All students should be out of the ASTB before then."
  • Shinchan:  "Sh*t naman o... idikit mo na nga iyang mga pictures!"
  • Christopher:  "Teka, teka, nakanino ba ung glue gun?"
  • Emma:  "Paabot, paabot naman oh."
  • Clive:  "Oi, pano ito isasabit?  Hindi kaya ng thumbtacks... mashadong makapal."
  • Renee:  "Bakit kasi tayo nag styrofoam e?!  Sabi ko sa inyo illustration board na lang e."
  • Clive:  "Ewan ko, ang arte kasi ni Jade"
  • Reuel:  "Fudge!  Tama na away!  Sir Vlad!!!  Meron po ba kayong tali?  Pako?"
  • Josh:  "Sir Vlad!!!  Pahingi naman nung masking tape nyo...salamat!  Baka meron din po kayong mahihiraman ng extension cord." =P

0730H:

  • Anna:  "Ok... out!  Everyone out!"
  • Monica:  "Please make sure to clean your work areas.  I don't want to see any litter in the ASTB."
  • Vlad:  "O, ayan narinig nyo... labas na raw."
  • Enya:  "Wait lang, patapos na kami... peksman.  Lalagyan na lang ng plastic cover... pramis.  Sir, baka may gunting naman kayo dyan."  @_@

 

2006 YMSAT:

  • 0600H:  The ASTB is quiet.
  • 0700H:  With the exception of 2 or 3 groups finalizing their STR posters, everyone is nowhere to be found.
  • 0730H:  Students are congregating outside waiting for the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony.
  • 0800H:  Students slowly flock to their exhibits to prepare for the coming of the judges.  Not much flurried activity, scuffled preparations, hyperventilating students, shouting teachers, last-minute additions, etc.  For once, I didn't have to bring my "STR bag" to lend masking tape, extension cords, push pins, scissors, yarn, etc.

Why the sudden and glaring discrepancy?

Innovation?  Revolutionary Technology?  Discipline?

TARPAULIN!

Magic!

 

 

**Actually, my group's entry to the CEAP-NCR Science Fair was: "Talaba-Fortified Blocks" which was based on a previous Pisay STR project.  Ma'am Caintic was part of the panel of judges.  We won 2nd place (we should have gotten 1st but our project was not original).

 

P.S.  thanks to Nya for teaching me how to spell tarpaulin! =D

10th-Feb-2006 09:23 am - proof
zoob

Last February 4, 2006 after card-giving, I caught the movie Proof with the Math unit.  It was an engaging and entertaining movie (even if it wasn't action-packed or suspenseful or based on a best-selling novel... of course it was based on a play).  What I found funny was not so much that the movie was funny (although admittedly, it was witty) but that the Math people laughed/reacted the most even when most of the audience was silent.  After all... how many would have gotten the "i" joke or much less appreciate it unless one had some background akin to that of Mathematics or Pisay?

Being the non-mathematician in the group but rather a student of human personality, psychology and character, it was intriguing to see how different points of view played themselves out in the movie... particularly between that of the sisters.

But what caught my attention the most is the conversation between Catherine and Hal.

  • Cathy:  "...all these, the numbers, the handwriting, they are just evidences.  They don't prove anything."
  • Hal:  "What would?"
  • Cathy:  "Nothing. You should have trusted me."

Facts are not the same as truths.  Facts have an evidentiary and physical nature to it.  And more often, because of its temporal and incomplete scattering over time it tends to be circumstantial rather than conclusive (beyond reasonable doubt).   Truth on the other hand, is more abstract and metaphysical.  Contrary facts do not always negate truths.  Take for example the following:

  • Consider that "God Loves You" to be a TRUE statement.
  • Even if there are factual evidences (circumstantial) to the contrary (suffering, pain, discipline, adversity, etc.), it does not change the Truth that God still Loves You.
  • If God is truly faithful, even if events in our lives seem to point to His unfaithfulness to us, God's faithfulness is not negated and will eventually be revealed and understood from the point of view of eternity.

Which is why the issue of God is not an issue of KNOWLEDGE alone but of RELATIONSHIP.  More than an issue of BELIEF... it is an issue of TRUST.  Based on what we know about the nature of God, WILL WE TRUST HIM?

The facts of life may temporarily point to the contrary, but WILL WE TRUST HIM?

God promised to be faithful.  Even if the fulfillment of His promises were delayed, WILL WE TRUST HIM?

Trust is a relational concept and activity.  We can believe something to be true without being relationally attached to it.  But we can rarely (safely) trust someone without having established a relationship on which to base that trust on.

  • Stranger:  "I heard 71 people died in the recent Wowoweee 1st anniversary celebration."
  • Father:  "Really?!"
  • Stranger:  "Yeah, it's all over the news.  Do you believe me?"
  • Father:  "Well, I haven't read the news lately.  And, you seem to be an honest person, yeah, I believe you."
  • Stranger:  "In that case, now that you believe I told the truth, can I go out on a date with your 13-year old daughter?"
  • Father:  "NO.  I believe what you said was true but that doesn't mean I trust you."

Belief in God is an ACADEMIC pursuit.  Trust in God is a RELATIONAL story.

 

                                     ----- o -- o -- o -- o -- o -- o -- o -- o -- o -- o -- o -----

 

In the movie, Anthony Hopkins' character delighted in the number 1729 because it was the largest number that could be expressed as the sum of two cubes in two ways:

  • (9)^3 + (10)^3            and            (12)^3 + (1)^3

I recently discovered that in my family, the relationship among the numbers 66, 55, 33, 22 to be significant too:

By December 31, 2006,

  • My dad would be 66 years old
  • My mom would be 55 years old
  • I would still be 33 years old, and
  • My sister would be 22 years old.

=D

 

9th-Feb-2006 01:28 pm - d prophecy
zoob

No... the JRev night is not only about singing and dancing and worship and praise.  It is also about a relationship, a message, and a challenge.  And because of the shift in focus to an audience of ONE, what began as a group activity suddenly becomes a personal pursuit.

What’s fascinating is that while all are singing the same songs and dancing to the same music, each one is praying a personal prayer to God according to his/her circumstance, need, and desire.

Even though the words of the songs are the same for everyone, something marvelous happens… God speaks and people hear His WORDS.  God begins to deal with each one separately: convicting some of sin, encouraging others in their frustration, comforting those in despair, loving the lonely.  In other words, God is being a FATHER to His children.

And just our earthly father prepares us and encourages us for adult living; our Heavenly Father strengthens us and challenges us to live the life of a MATURE Christian.

 

  •                          “The Lord is going to require new levels of excellence in everything
  •                          that you do for Him.  I believe the Lord is taking us all to the next level,
  •                          not in what He will do for us, but in what we will do for Him.  2006
  •                          will be the year in which all we do for God will be done excellently
  •                          or not done at all.”
  •                         "2006 is going to be very different.  It is going to be a good year
  •                         – a blessed year, but a very, very different year than most Christians
  •                         would expect!  It will not be a year about the Christian, but a year
  •                         about the CHRIST.  It will not be a year about me, mine, and us. 
  •                         It will be a year about HIM, HIM, and HIM!  `This is My year,’
  •                         says the Lord, `2006 will be all about ME.’” **

 

One powerful message necessitates nothing less than a powerful response.  And we, who were there that night, were given the opportunity to respond to God individually, sincerely, and according to each one’s level of faith and relationship with God.  The responses need not be grandiose or spectacular or mind-numbing.  They could simply be being faithful to our daily devotions or deciding to study God’s WORD more often.  It could be re-committing ourselves to be part of a d-12 or cell group.  It could be better stewardship of our gifts, talents, and blessings.  It could be answering a call to serve in missions or ministry.  It could be abandoning a sinful habit.  It could be a renewed dedication to bear the fruits of the Spirit (be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, humble, disciplined).  It could be struggling to forgive others.

Whatever challenge God planted in our hearts that night, God has given us His CALLING. He awaits our RESPONSE.

The REVOLUTION has begun…

 

** the quoted prophecy is taken from what Dennis Cramer received from the Lord for the year 2006

8th-Feb-2006 03:57 pm - an audience of ONE
zoob
The 1st JRev (JESUS REVOLUTION) night in Pisay, sponsored by ACTS last February 3, 2006, turned out to be more overwhelming than I ever imagined.  I couldn’t help but compare the usual fair concert/battle of the bands with the JRev performance.  They both look the same: people stood most of the time that the band was playing.  People jumped, danced, shouted out loud.  The crowds waved.  The sounds of electric guitars and drums filled the air.  Lights flashed.

But after some time, you could see and even FEEL the difference.

In the usual band concert, the focus is on the performers and the performance.  The crowd shouts the name/s of their favorite band (Go Choco Chip!), singer (We love you syk0saje!), drummer (Gwapo ni IE!), guitarist (Puco Rocks!).  Pictures are taken.  Autographs signed.  You mutter to yourself, “Damn! They’re good!!!”

The performers know this: THEY ARE the STARS.  They feel it, drink it in, bathe in it.  You could see it in the way they act and carry themselves.  They are there to please and awe the crowd.  So they show-off their skills, pose for cameras, stick out their tongue, exude pure coolness.  In the process, egos are elevated up a notch (not entirely their fault… whose ego wouldn’t be lifted up by such adulation from a waving, shouting, admiring crowd?)

Strangely enough (and to the shock of first timers), that’s exactly how the JRev looks like too!

With ONE significant difference.

And this difference occurs after some time has passed…

 

…after focus shifts,

…after self is surrendered,

…after God’s presence is made manifest.

 

If you look carefully, you WILL see it.

The audience begins to forget the performers.  They may have attended to watch the performance but eventually, even that takes a lesser priority.  Who cares if the performers are famous or not?  As songs of worship penetrates one’s being, it ceases to be about the concert or the performers.  The focus shifts towards God.  Songs become prayers set into music.  Dances become living offerings to God…

 

                                  …all for an audience of ONE.

 

And you end up shouting “Praise God for His glory and righteousness!  Praise God for His mercy and lovingkindness!  Praise God for His mighty hand and justice!  Praise God for His promises and faithfulness!  Let everything that has breath Praise God!”

Not surprisingly, the performers also change.  They may start out to please the crowd.  They may worry what others will think of their performance.  They may be anxious and self-conscious that they might make a mistake.

But as each song envelops them, they also cease to sing for the crowd.  They too now focus on God and perform for an audience of ONE.  You could see it in the way they act and carry themselves.  They are no longer there to please the crowd.  Their performance becomes an offering of skill and talent to the originator and giver of such gifts.  In the midst of songs, they meet the ONE true God.  And in the process, they are humbled before a holy God.  And in His presence, they are lifted by His grace and mercy and lovingkindness.

In the end, we leave the place strangely but unsurprisingly touched… awed… in tears… changed by an encounter… Because on that night, amidst the noise and the shout and the songs… in the cool breeze… under the stars… upon the grassy field… God met me.  And in His eyes, I too, was HIS audience of one.

7th-Feb-2006 09:58 am - d simple life
zoob

HOTELS have a funny effect on me.  The mere aroma of the carpeted corridor and the familiar ambiance of the room itself transport me to my 3-month stay in Japan.  Strangely, there's just something about staying in a hotel room that's sentimental for me.  While such rooms are rarely personalized (unless you have enough money for the suites), they exude a sense of comfort and convenience.  Or maybe it just reminds me of my independence... finally experiencing having to live on my own (quite distinct from living with your parents).

Just before Christmas, my uncle dropped by the Philippines before returning to Denver, Colorado from a visit to Malaysia.  After a dinner feast last December 18, 2005, we brought him back to his hotel before returning to our own home.

Guess where he was staying?  The Manila Peninsula.  Yup... the very same Manila Peninsula where '06 will have their gradball celebration.  The lobby was spectacular.  A 25-or-so-foot Christmas tree provided the central piece of a feast for the eyes.  The view was exquisitely framed by dozens and dozens of light and poinsettias.  It was nothing short of breathtaking.  As I walked through the center stairs, I felt almost like royalty.  Even though I was wearing a simple polo t-shirt amidst a throng of 3-piece-suited and barong-clad gentlemen, I indeed felt RICH.

On the ride home, I couldn't help but ask myself... do I want such a life?  Admittedly, such a luxurious lifestyle beckoned to me. There are days when I do wish I had enough money to enjoy the finer things in life: A carpeted air-conditioned room. A bathtub with running hot water in a bathroom large enough to allow me to dress up without having to go out. A library of books. Fine dining: salmon, sushi and sashimi. Frequent eat-all-you-cans at Dads/SaisakiOccasional treats at Italliani's.  80-peso blueberry cheesecake slices for desert. Travel to Europe and the US. An upgraded laptop. Ahhhh.... such a life!

The strange thing is that I'm not as passionate about it as some of my friends are.  Sometimes I even ask myself if there's something wrong with me.  Why don't I feel the tug of getting a newer celfone (especially one with a camera)?  Why do I "resist" shifting into digicam world and instead hold on to my manual olympus camera?  Why am I not "excited" in getting a flash drive?  My mom keeps encouraging me to "invest" in my own appliances: DVD player, air-condition, TV, etc.  I keep thinking I'll buy when the ones at home are fully depreciated.

I keep remembering my mom's words and challenge: "Wala ka yatang ambisyon eh."  I don't know if it's true.  I'd like to think that I do have some aspirations but sometimes I find myself easily contented with what I have or don't have.  I remember buying a Sony Discman in Hawai'i simply because (1) I didn't have one yet at that time and (2) I had enough money to buy it.  The strange things is, I only got to use it less than 10 times total.  It's still with me... gathering dust... a testimony to things I believe I need but really don't.

Don't get me wrong... I have my own material addictions (MTG) and expensive hobbies (books) which others might consider wasteful (last year alone, I spent around P5,000 on books).  I also tend to splurge on food every now and then.

I know I will not be able to afford such a lifestyle on a meager teacher's salary.  Most of my students who have graduated from college and are working make more money than I do... and a lot more money at that!

The only comfort I take is the belief... the knowledge that this world is not all there is and that some treasures are never tangible. To most, this is justification and sour-graping at its lamest.  I wish I had more answers and insights about my dilemma.  Unfortunately, I am left with more questions than answers.

Maybe life isn't so simple after all...

1st-Feb-2006 11:51 am - three one two zero
zoob

**this has long been overdue... finally, the story can be told =D

 

They say that lightning never strikes the same place twice.  Could I be so fortunate enough to be the recipient of unexpected grace in the span of the same week?

 

As if the free Teriyaki Boy meal (december 14 entry: no such thing as a free lunch?) was not enough... I just had to experience being the recipient of one of the most surprising Christmas gifts EVER!

 

I have never been the type who won anything in a raffle.  I didn't see any reason for that particular day to be any different.  It was December 13, 2005.  It was the day of the Pisay faculty-staff-admin Christmas Party.  Usually, in events-of-chances, Sir Petri would be the most fortunate among us... having had several winning streaks in the past.  So it was such a shock to Math&friends when he was one of the earliest called to win a "lesser" raffle prize.

 

One by one, in the course of the Christmas party program,  names were called...

 

 

Mardan

 

Dinah

 

Natnat

 

 

There were still several faculty members whose names haven't been drawn yet... and mine was one of them.  At that point, I started to wonder, "What are the chances that I could possibly win the grand prize?  I had a fighting chance but dare I expect?"  Personally, it was too absurd for me to even consider but I made a silent prayer anyway... who knows?

 

More names were drawn and called.

 

 

Joyce

 

 

It was one of the funniest raffle events I've ever witnessed.  Each name called did not elicit delight from the winner but it did bring exhilaration from those who weren't called (less competition for the grand prize!).  Imagine this: faculty, staff and admin giving up a thundering clap while a distraught and regretful Joyce comes up on stage to receive her prize... almost as if she didn't win at all.

 

By that time, only a handful of prizes were left and only 40 or so names from which to draw the winner.  For each name called, my heart would beat a bit faster and my breath would be a bit shallower.

 

Could it be?!  Was it possible?!!  What are the chances?!!!

 

Another name called...

 

The grand prize was now at stake and the name of the winner had been drawn.  Atty. Perez looks away from our side of the hall and gazes towards the other end of the ASTB.  She knew the winner was seated there.

 

 

Ed Cip

 

 

My heart sank... but only a little and for but a moment, I was hopeful but not expectant (a trait I learned in college: expect the worst; hope for the best).  I didn't win... hey, what else is new?  I could live with that.

 

 

"wala!" the crowd shouted.

 

"wala?!"  I muttered to myself.

 

People started counting down:  "5....4....3....2....1  forfeited!"

 

 

Things moved too quickly by then and before I even knew what was happening, I heard my name called.

 

Time really does stand still at moments like this.  It was surreal.  I was going through the motions absent-mindedly.  My mind raced... questioning all that was happening:

 

 

This can't be real... OR could it?

 

It was!

 

 

There it was... I held in my hands the box of the 3120 I now so gratefully use.  It was like a dream... but it wasn't.

 

I managed to utter a short, mumbled prayer of thanksgiving to God.  So the next time someone "compliments" me regarding my fone, I reply with, "God is good!"  But even then, I would sometimes receive quizzical expressions that hint at the silent question: If this is about God's blessing and not luck, then why YOU and why not ME?  Does God play favorites?  No, He simply exercises His SOVEREIGNTY.  Does this make me more special?  No, it just magnifies God's GOODNESS.  Does this mean that God was not good to those who did not win the grand prize?  Hardly... it just means that God's goodness to them takes on A DIFFERENT FORM... perhaps good health, a close-knit family, a promotion, stronger faith, forgiveness, hope, loyal friends ... take your pick.  God NEVER runs out of good gifts to give away.  We just need to know how to recognize them... because they don't always look like 3120's.

 

Every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17).  To GOD be ALL the GLORY!!!

26th-Jan-2006 10:56 am - beauty & madness
zoob

A beautiful thing is a sight to behold!

There is such a thing as a standard for beauty and (you may not like this) it all depends on the originator of beauty.  The “person” who created and defined BEAUTY (not the beautiful object) gets to set the standard of what is truly beautiful.

As for the “gut feelings,” I think most people say “gut feelings” more as a shortcut to explain or justify their actions.  For some, it is an escape from having to really think things through.  Understanding why we do things is not very easy… most of our motives are complex reactions and responses that have been influenced by a myriad of factors.  But yes, I agree that when we say “gut feeling,” there’s usually something deeper behind it… it’s just a matter of being truthful and persevering in figuring things out.  I may dislike a person A out of "gut feeling" only to realize after some time that it is because he/she reminds me about someone who betrayed or hurt me in the past... not really because I know enough about person A to judge him/her as likable or not.

One reason why people believe that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” is that sometimes, the basis for seeing something or someone as beautiful becomes more PERSONAL.  Have you ever noticed that the people we love tend to become more and more beautiful in our eyes while the people we despise become less beautiful?  There is still a basis, although it is no longer just the fact that she’s attractive, has deep, rich eyes, possesses a wonderful personality, etc…  This time, her beauty is magnified by one's love for her.

What about people who believe that something is beautiful?  Does simple belief make something beautiful apart from a standard for beauty?  I’ll have to say NO.  There is such a thing as a corrupted sense of beauty.  A distorted sense of beauty does not make something beautiful but it does convince us that it has a semblance of beauty, even if it were not truly beautiful.  Like all distortions, it is a counterfeit of the real thing.  And like most counterfeits, it mimics the genuine article WITHOUT being one.

We are not Loved because we are beautiful... We are beautiful because we are Loved

** the above entry is inspired by a comment in </a></b></a>yopi_maroon
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