weird is worth it

Love After Valentine’s Day

Is it always a good time to talk about love? I didn’t really expect me to talk about such a mystical and yet ubiquitous subject matter like love but I got quite a handful of readings about it the other day, which I intend to share with everybody.

I’m reading the book Inferno for the second time. As I was going through Canto V, where one of the most celebrated writers in history, Dante Alighieri, illustrated the damnation the lustful suffers in hell, these lines caused me to pause for a little bit so I decided to read it over and over again:

Love, that can quickly seize the gentle heart, took hold of him because of the fair body taken from me—how that was done still wounds me.

Love, that releases no beloved from loving, took hold of me so strongly through his beauty that, as you see, it has not left me yet.

Love led the two of us unto one death.

Such beautiful composition! Aren’t they?

Then I remembered that for this week I’m actually studying the life of Rachel, Jacob’s second wife. And her story tells us of a predicament about love—presently a cliche—the love triangle. It was Rachel whom Jacob loves and adores but Leah had him first; it was her who bore Jacob his first sons. God sees the unloved Leah as He sees the barren Rachel, and both He blessed (Genesis 25 – 35).

All these make me wonder. Do any of us in this world know what love really is? Are all the definitions we have assumed, reflected, analyzed through the course of our experiences enough to grasp its full meaning?

Relationships isn’t really my strength. In fact, I already had six failed relationships and currently have several complicated ones with family and friends. I discovered that love is too big a word for me that I could never truly understand it apart from what Jesus did on the cross. The thought of love without God, without knowing who He really is is an impasse, a dead end. Love is too incomprehensible because that is who God is.

It is funny that as I think of ways to end this post, I found out that the devotional I read today was wrong. I accidentally advanced to the next chapter. But it did provide me a fresh insight about God who has purposefully plotted all the details of my life. I skimmed through the page that I was supposed to read today and I truly felt God’s love speaking to me.  Earlier this week, I was being skeptic about Genesis 30:22 that says, “God remembered Rachel; He listened to her and opened her womb.” And I felt dismayed because to me it implied that God forgot about Rachel, but I am wrong. To prove that He listens to my thoughts, He answered me straight to the point and with such great humor and love; my devo reads:

God remembered Rachel, but He had never really forgotten her. When the Bible uses the word remember, it doesn’t mean that God forgets and then suddenly recalls. As if the all-knowing, all-powerful God of the universe suddenly hits his forehead with the heel of His hand and says, “Oops! I forgot all about Rachel. I’d better do something quickly!”

No, when the Bible says God remembers something, it expresses God’s love and compassion for His people. It reminds us of God’s promise never to abandon us or leave us without support or relief. He will never forsake us. He will never forget us. He will always remember us. (Source: Women of the Bible, Spangler and Syswerda)

To give my short musings about love a perfect ending, let me part not with happily ever after but with this verse from Luke 1:49 which to me is equally romantic:

The Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is His name.


The Golden Age Thinking at Midnight in Paris

How happy I am to not let this day end without watching Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, I could not shout loudly enough. It felt like after months and months of climbing impossibly sharp crags I have finally reached a very beautiful pinnacle where my musings of becoming friends with the great writers of the old suddenly came to life. Here’s a story that I followed frame by frame, line after line, gasp along gasp. It literally puts Paris on a quaint plating and it stirs me to dream for it, to long for it, and to just embrace life, wisdom, creation, questions that come with wanting to be OF the ARTS.

Midnight in Paris

Descending to an Ascent

There is no better day to revive what has been lost than new year’s day. It’s time that I descend from my usual state of fear and doubt so I can break into a new ascent. Today is a great day to revive hope and passion… 🙂

To start off madweord’s 2014 is this light movie, The Descendants. It is emotionally charged with charm, fun, and sadness. I wasn’t really a fan of George Clooney; not the type who was taken by his Ocean’s 11 cunning cleverness. I so thought–even after watching Up in the Air–that he is one of those whose reputation and alarmingly charming personality obscure poor acting skills, shallow characterization to boot. In this movie, however, a great piece of writing came to an elated state of art with Mr. Clooney taking a role of a cuckold, that is very much played with acute and precise depth.

So much to digest like love, betrayal, death, grief, family, and a great inheritance of a land–which now makes me think which among the possessions we have in life can we really call inheritance–all these issues are in the grasp of a talented cast; this movie gave me more than what I have expected from a neglected and old DVD stored in one of the plastic drawers at my parents’ house.

Now to all my weord readers, munch some popcorn while you watch director Alexander Payne’s The Descendants.

The Descendants

The Reality of Oneness

If you are lucky enough in life, you’ll find that person who will dream the dreams that no one has ever dared to. If you’re really lucky, you will have that person by your side fighting for the same things you’re fighting for.

So there we have it; the truth that it is in times of happiness and greatness that we will often find ourselves most alone and friendless. As I have been losing my wits figuring out where I am headed to in this life, I’ve had the honor and pleasure of watching these films. They serve as a creative reminder that finding THE ONE is life’s most precious mystery and understanding this mystery is a prime human need. We all want to get lucky, don’t we?

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

High Noon

High Noon

Turn My Water into Wine

I have cringed in shame.

In shame, a life under curse has lain.

Every day I labor and pray.

This heart, this soul needs change.


Truths frees and some stings:

Like knowing that inside, wickedness never flees.

This weight of sadness presses on,

like a jar of not so potable water that I have to drink on.


But before I came to be, you knew my water can never run as deep

So, you came in so much slick, in your own time, steady and humbly

while I’m being poured to my own reek;

married to darkness, engaged in a lifetime of ignominy


I have called and perhaps not,

yet you knocked and listened to an insolent pride.

You stirred me in love and gentleness

my empty jars, you filled with future and promises


From your truth, grace and peace whence emerge my Vine,

Always, you would invite, ‘Come and I will turn your shame into wine.’

You lifted my curse, patched waves into my staleness

and for this, I have longed and thirst for what all men have yearned so long ago.

A Savior.


Excellence in the Workplace: Becoming the Best You Can Ever Be


It has been a week since I attended the Excellence in the Workplace conference in SMX Convention Center. Writing this blog just now would only mean that I have been mulling over it too long because applying what I just learned is harder than I thought.

The first speaker, Miriam Quiambao, willfully said, “Success comes from God.” The next speaker reiterated what the former beauty queen said but with more drive and power, “Believe we are designed for success and destined for greatness.” Anthony Pangilinan followed that grand statement with more mind-booster concepts but one particularly struck me the most. The chief disturber–that’s what he billed himself as although supported by logical reasons–asked, “Can you tell this to yourself: There’s no one else I’d rather be than me (inside and out)? That alone disturbed the ordinary cycle of my thinking. And lastly, Francis Kong, put a life long reflection on an even simpler note: Understand that I am unique.

I am 26 years old and for me, life at this point is full of confusing cross roads. I’ve been working for the past 5 years, jumping from one job to another, yet I am still lost. What am I really looking for? Two months in a new job, I am all excited and optimistic. The days that’ll follow, all I could ever see is a bunch of reasons to leave. “What do I get out of this job,” I would ask myself. There’s a whole self-centered universe going round my daily angst against life and my job. To me, labor is a curse.

Then I was hit exactly at the core of my disdainful heart. Francis Kong advised, “Change your vocabulary.I should love the fact that God gave me a job. I should love and appreciate the fact that I have a job. Miriam Quiambao offered a loving take on work and asked us, “Do I serve with love at work? What do I do for others?” It has been a long running concept but it rings truth nevertheless: We make life by what we give. What will turn this whole dilemma around is to think, and accept that God-love-life-work are interconnected.

I was fascinated by the fact that hanapbuhay (Filipino word for job or work) actually means to find (hanap) life (buhay). And the only way to actually find life is to find God who is love. And so, my prayer took a slight shift after learning that enthusiasm actually came from a Greek word which means to be inspired by God. It’s exactly what I need! Miriam wrapped up her talk with LIFE which we all should apply not only in the workplace but also at home or just about wherever God places us:

L – Love in action

I – Inspire positive change in people

F – Fulfill a vision

E – Engage and build relationships

Anthony Pangilinan shared with us tips on how to improve our gifts/talents:

M – mentor. Find a mentor.

A – apprentice

X – exercise. Keep on going, Keep on training yourself.

I – Investment. According to Gallup International, talent invested on is equivalent to strength (Talent x Investment = Strength)

T – Testimony. Share to others how God has nurtured your gifts. It is now your time to inspire and encourage others with the same inspiration and encouragement that God gave you.

However, to those–like me–who are at odds at identifying their gifts or talents, here are some key points that will help you in your discovery:

C – Contribution (Where do I have value? Am I able to contribute something good?)

E – Excellence (Can I excel?)

N – Natural ability (nature nurtured = #1; Where do I perform well while exerting less effort? What am I most productive at with less effort?)

T – Turn on (Does it give me joy?)

S – Spirit leading (Does it have God’s approval?)

News reporter Atom Araullo covered these plaguing problems of mine: complacency and attitude. I fail to nurture a culture of discipline for myself. I tend to be lax at doing things. In my head, as long as I was able to give an output, that’s the end of it–never mind the quality of my work or evaluating myself to pinpoint rooms for improvement. I love writing. I dreamed of becoming a writer but what am I doing to help myself do better at my next projects? I instead cower like an ashamed recluse and quit at life, at the world and change yet again directions. I lack focus.  Atom used the hedgehog concept to portray the effectiveness of knowing where I am good at and focusing my energy on that alone. I’ve also been meaning to try his tip on making a Stop Doing list.

Veteran inspirational speaker, Francis Kong, braved the stage with strong, inspiring statements such as: Blaming others is a loser’s game. There is no shortcut to success. Only Jesus can exalt you without making you proud and only He can correct you without making you feel like a loser.

I am so blessed to have been given the opportunity to attend this conference. I do hope that I may be able to absorb all these and put it all into action. Job: this aspect of my life has since been a struggle but I know deeply in my heart that through Jesus Christ, I will come out of this renewed and stronger. I was almost in tears when this verse from Jeremiah 29:11, the first verse that I came to know as a child, was mentioned: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. I long to be one with God in everything that I do because only with Him will I bear good fruits and have an abundant life.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10

Movies I Thought of After the Revolution

Something is in the cold night breeze. Maybe it’s the weight of darkness that my country is shouldering right now and the even more horrifying events that happened in Syria. Just to get a break from it all, I watched these movies. I believe movies provide the best temporary escape. You can watch them too and have that well-deserved getaway from bad events.

Molly Ringwald was the perfect muse of the 80’s teen/coming-of-age movies. I first saw her in The Breakfast Club where she played “the princess” in the group of troubled students. The plot of Pretty in Pink was quite telenovela-ish for me. But hey nobody does this kind of telenovela-ish movie here in the Philippines like John Hughes.

I heard of Field of Dreams and Weekend at Bernie’s from the two best TV shows of our time: Friends and How I Met Your Mother. I was curious of their pop culture references so I did my research.


Extraordinary Yogi Morning at Yogi Fair

Here’s a tale of an extraordinary Sunday morning.

It has something to do with enlightenment. I supposed life is gifted with metaphors that I, most of time, fail to see. But today, with jumpy spirits, I woke up with a nudging feeling of wanting to make my friend happy. She’s one very promising cook. Just recently, she launched to the public her online food store which she aptly called, My Vegetarian Cuisine.

My Vegetarian Cuisine joins Yogi Fair.

My Vegetarian Cuisine joins Yogi Fair.

Other than gobbling delectable vegetarian dishes from My Vegetarian Cuisine, I was surprised to find myself in a threefold glorious experience which consists of food, arts, and yoga. Thanks to the bright minds behind the Yogi Fair.

Yogi Logo

Yogi Fair is this tastefully executed exhibition of  handcrafted and eco-loving products, ranging from (but not limited to) foods, beverages, crafts and accessories, soap, perfume, and oil, all of which promote the enlightened, holistic and balanced Yogi lifestyle.

Yogi means an enlightened person or it can also refer to somebody who is knowledgeable in Yoga. If I am not mistaken, most of the exhibitors conduct Yoga classes and some even have their own Yoga studio. The fair aims to reach out to the public and promote non-violence and a harmonious relationship with the environment through cultivation of inner peace within the self.

A growing segment of ARTrepreneurs showcased their handcrafted designs and their very own organic formulas proven to have helped ease stress and lighten up, say, a weary spirit.


Here’s a list of delectable vegetarian dishes from My Vegetarian Cuisine.


We tried the Pasticiatta&Korean BBQ. Both viands made us drool for more.


Vegetarian Barbecue


Vegetarian Caldereta


This vegetarian Palabok is a must-try!


A slice of egg-less chocolate cake perfectly sealed our enlightened brunch!

Last summer, I was really trying to work on my tan, but I completely failed. When I saw this, it made me miss my hometown, La Union. I feel sorry that I didn’t have enough money to buy this! Something tells me this is a more potent tanning formula!




To quench my thirst, I bought a bottle of Spinach, Cucumber and Mint mix from the Juice Barista. It was so beautifully refreshing! Plus, the lady and I had a short talk and I find her to be very enterprising.



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Though I was hoping to buy myself a pair of earrings, I decided to just settle with a really cute, red coin purse from Yadu.


Here are a few fragrant items that had me stopping to sniff for more 🙂




And lastly, as I have said earlier, it was a tripartite Sunday treat. A fair set on an art gallery was not only unique, but also a buzzing brilliant idea! The Yogi Fair was held at this little, cozy gallery called My Little Art Place.



Percussive vibes on all the gallery walls!


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So much around us that we don’t see. As I was off to go to celebrate our church’s 29th Anniversary, I discovered the so many themes that matched life at a certain point. And today’s theme wasn’t just calling for enlightenment, it’s all about friendship, culture and gratefulness working from within our souls.

Photographer: CJ Anter

My Vegetarian Cuisine


My Little Art Place


Yogi Fair


What’s the Future for Filipino Jeep Drivers-Conductors

I have always been a commuter. I have days when I would almost curse the traffic nightmare in Guadalupe, Makati and the boorish, undisciplined jeep and bus drivers in EDSA. But I still couldn’t help but admire these people. There were moments when I will find myself wondering about their living condition and family background: “Were they able to finish high school? Where did they learn Math? How many children are they feeding? How much are they earning after a day of driving (to the same route over and over again) with a bunch of hot-headed, competitive drivers?  How much savings do they have? Then I would be consumed by furiously blaming the government — specifically the Binays, who claimed to have beautifully painted Makati while leaving Guadalupe and its reeking garbage of prolonged curse and rottenness behind.

If given the opportunity and resources, these Filipino jeep drivers and conductors will very much excel in life. I can never do fast Math while driving. And it fascinates me how dexterous they are in  collecting passengers’ payment, breaking down bigger bills, keeping their eyes on the road and being able to tell who’s paid and unpaid. A full jeepney has more than 20 people who are simultaneously paying their fare; some are annoyingly selfish because they all wanted to go first, get their change so fast that you’d feel obliged to manage a comfortably seated throng of professionals and students and ask them to just settle down.

Most jeep conductors stay in the terminal. These are young men who could have conquered the corporate world or teenagers who could have spent their nights out with friends and groupmates accomplishing school projects or reports. I could still sense their joy in their own space of ‘hard work notwithstanding the dark, putrid and polluted place they spent their nights at. I often wonder if these young men have time to play sports or go to malls. Maybe they are satisfied to watch a movie some meters away from the dilapidated stall of pirated DVDs. Movie directors or writers may have emerged from that group.

I have also counted a few jeepney drivers whose taste in music are far richer and more extensive than the usual music buff. Who knows, some of them could have been a great musician or an underground indie artist.

If I am in an awfully bad mood, I sometimes see them as rude and dirty brutes but they are not, at least not all of them carry the same scoundrel feather. I can still remember the times when a kind jeepney driver would give me a ride even though my money was not enough to pay him. One time, a downpour caught me unprepared with no umbrella and with not enough money for a taxi ride, this grumpy driver put a jeepney-roof over my head. To me, it was such a dear blessing.

Poverty in the Philippines has since ached the hearts of many. A quarter of the government perhaps is doing the best they can to defeat corruption. As of late this pork barrel scam with billions of money involved has unraveled stories over the Internet about the suspects’ lavish, superfluous lifestyle. The driver-conductor segment is not even the most impoverished among the social classes in the Philippines, but I know for a fact that most of them are the same people we labeled as informal settlers. It’s funny because just a few months ago, a local celebrity opined that these informal settlers are being treated like babies.

These “impoverished babies,” who have not a single centavo to spend to hire lawyers and fight for the injustices/crimes committed against them, who have never experienced celebrating their birthdays in a hotel or having their photo taken set on a photowall, compared to our long list of corrupt politicians who have probably spent our hard-earned taxes on “a-time-of-their-life” guilt-less binge, who can most of the time fly away from thievery or just plain enjoy the convenience of house arrest,  well, babies do need someone to cling on to so they can learn how to walk, talk, and live. Their future, for now, lies in the hands of their parents..But who can stand up for them and give them an unconditional parental love and guidance?

Smart Jeep

I took this photo while I’m aboard the Ay-Mak Jeepney going to Bonifacio High St., Taguig City. It has a CCTV camera. All passengers were admiring its modern interiors and its hi-tech sound system. The driver was happy as if he’s being recognized for his innovative designs.

Fairytale and Folklore

I was waiting for my friend in Podium when  this art exhibit lured me into taking snapshots of its interesting oeuvres. Walking around and exploring the intricacy of such artworks was indeed a time -of waiting- well spent. The paintings were created by two young artists in the blessed name of Nacion and Ongchangco.



It’s quite fun to imagine that Thumbelina listens to Jazz music (though she is not a character that I am very familiar with even when I was a child). It would be really cool if kids learn to appreciate Jazz at such a young age.


I was taught to believe that fairy tales are for children, but if you would really ponder about it and consider their original plots, something freakishly adult and wicked lies in its message. So as for this piece, I find these two worlds– that of a child and of an adult — meeting in a confluence of harshness and innocence. Why wouldn’t they just let the poor child sleep and find some other way to know if she’s a true princess or not!




Philippine folklore has one of the most interesting and creepiest themes and stories among other literary pieces. Here, the mystery that is uniquely a mark of a Philippine folklore was complexly combined with vivid colors and lively patterns (details). The creatures shrouded by the smoky and foggy breeze of the night was mystifying. It attracts such curiosity that I was drawn to their existence and at the same time, non-existence.

I wish I could learn more about arts. However inadequate my knowledge is about it, I am glad to be one of the people to revel at its beauty.

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