I am a walker…


I’m no fitness freak, but I like to keep myself fit by walking. Allow me to exaggerate. If I could measure all the walks of my life – from my first toddler steps up to now, I could dare say, those small steps and brisk walks could equal to the distance one can travel to the moon and back.

Roughly 10 to 15% of my high school life was spent with walking. From the break of day, while other students of my batch was still on bed, I was already walking on my way to school, and during the twilight where they were already on their families enjoying dinner, I was still half-way home, walking.

I spent the afternoons-after-work of the year 2000 walking with the elders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints doing missionary work to both members and non-members of the church in the town of San Manuel, Isabela. I never get tired of walking with the Mormon missionaries – spreading and proselytizing the gospel, the best one year of my life as member of the LDS church.

My single all-walking-week was on September 2010, a 7-day trekking from Sindon Bayabo, Ilagan City to the coastal town of Divilacan, Isabela. That was 3 years after I was diagnosed with hypertension. Yet, after the diagnosis, I could still walk for hours and hours.

These days while I am on the prime of my life, I walk from my house to the gate of the subdivision to catch a tricycle ride, going work. And during off work, I opted to walk a few hundred meters from the capitol lobby to the highway to catch a jeep ride going home.

Yet, on top of all these walking, I walk the talk. Because of human imperfection, sometimes I could make mistakes, but more often than not, I make it a point to translate my words into meaningful actions. This is more important than physical walking, per se. One sloppy note to end the month#

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…let the rain fall down upon her
she’s a free and gentle flower, growing wild


..be careful how you touch her, for she’s awaken
and sleep’s the only freedom that she knows


…but if allowed just one possession
I would pick her from the garden, to be mine



…and a silent wind still blows
that only she can hear and so she goes



.. a free and gentle flower, growing wild




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A Taste of Heaven

Can’t put down the book “Glimpsing Heaven: The Stories and Science of Life After Death” by Judy Bachrach (published 2014), while watching tonight’s episode of ABS-CBN’s “My Dear Heart”. Heart’s soul is now in wander, while her physical body is in a coma, just like Mia in Gayle Foreman’s novel, “If I Stay”. Hoping I can pull more insights from the book as I am trying to understand some near-death experiences, and see more light on this complicated topic of our life beyond boundaries.

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Remembering Edsa

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Just pulled my yellow history book from the shelf, and started reading few of its pages, “REMEMBERING/RETHINKING EDSA ” in keeping up the spirit of the People’s Power Revolution, 1986. I can’t help but felt nostalgic because that was the same critical days when me and my classmates feared because of the uncertainty of our graduation from high school, in lieu of so much commotion and chaos. It was all divine providence that it ended bloodless, ousting a dictator. We now enjoyed freedom, yet our so-called “democracy” is still fragile. #NeverAgain


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Rosary Cactus

A houseplant that can withstand neglect


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I had been fortunate to feel the spirit of Christmas when christmas card was still “in” during the ’90s. I received and sent cards via air mail during those times. But with the advent of new technology, particularly the introduction of electronic mails into the millenium, paperless society took place. Gone are the days when I opened a parcel, tore off the sealed card and read the greetings with personal handwriting from a long-lost sender, oceans away. Now, we can receive greetings from e-mails, text and Facebook. But nothing compares to the christmas cards sent through postal office, which I can collect, store in a shoebox, and treasure forever.

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Whatever became of the inn – the one whose keeper could not receive Mary and Joseph on the eve of Jesus Christ’s birth?

Some ancient man built that inn of stone or bricks of clay. Perhaps this builder mixed and spread something across its walls for a smooth appearance, then hung shutters to cover its windows, tamped down the dirt floor, firm and level, and attached a gate or door.

A man and a woman had made that inn their home, prepared food and drinks, and took in guests. Was it the only inn in Bethlehem? If so, then its proprietors were surely well known in town. Perhaps he was prominent in the synagogue, and she was sought out by other women in the town‘s well. This couple may well have had children and grandchildren of their own. Could they have been pleased to turn away the man from Nazareth with his pregnant wife?

Then, after Mary‘s child had been born in one of the inn‘s outbuildings and Herod‘s soldiers came to kill all the little boys in town, whom did the innkeepers lose to this slaughter? Grandsons, sons, nephews, and cousins all fell beneath the Roman blades. Sobs of grief must have echoed throughout that inn as family blood stained its floor.

So whatever became of that inn? It is gone, it is dust. Not only is the inn dust, the innkeepers have returned to dust along with all the jars in their kitchen and guests in their rooms. Only one artifact remains to memorialize their existence – the record of the birth of the Christ -child.

Maybe the story of the “too-full inn” is a parable for us in the season of Christmas: Of all the gifts and gatherings that fill your heart this month, which of them will remain when you have returned to dust? Only Jesus Christ really matters.



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Pointsettia and Me

Just committed an “unforgivable sin” to this soft, yet innocent pointsettia. It brought me so much joy when I saw its almost full bloom, vibrant red leaves that my inner self wanted a photo shoot for posterity. In my hurried pace preparing the shoot, something hard from up above suddenly fall that it caused two of its branches to break apart. “Awww”, was all I could say, in a small, soft voice, almost a whisper, but with deep regret. Then I spotted an empty pot and planted the stalks of the broken branches. How I wish, that in passing with time, these branches will develop roots, and live. I can do nothing more to it, than console myself to the concept of broken things. Isn’t it a wisdom of the ages that a broken seed will sprout a tree? That broken clouds will bring rain, that God loves a broken and contrite spirit? Basically, God loves broken things. One lesson learned. This is my first day of Christmas!




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The Essence of Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Basty’s other pair of SM’s share a bear now find its place beneath the dimly-lit Christmas tree at home. The bear seems lonely, looks like he needs a pair, too. The green one I spotted at SM Toy Kingdom may seem to perfectly fit to accompany him. I hope the child who will receive the other pair of bear will be happy this Christmas.  I always feel, that time and again, the essence of Christmas is SHARING.


Basty's bear underneath the Christmas tree

Basty’s bear underneath the Christmas tree

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Share A Bear This Christmas

Basty shares a bear. With every purchase of twin bears at P200, a kid will have a chance to share the other bear to a child in need. Collected bears will be donated to San Mateo East Central School SPED Center, San Mateo, Isabela. Only at SM City Cauayan Share A Bear this Christmas!


Share a bear this Christmas

Share a bear this Christmas

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