A Taste Of Heaven Here On Earth

Up in the mountain where the earth meets the sky, I got a taste of heaven…It was pure bliss to sleep in fresh, crisp, white sheets and fluffy pillows. Being awaken from deep slumber at night and being scared shitless by all these nocturnal animals like that tuko paying homage from our screened window. It felt good not worry about getting the sheets mussed or having it changed or putting the bed in order…eating food that you would not even thought about preparing for yourself. Healthy appetizers (veggies in assorted dips and sauces), well thought out main dish and sinful desserts served in porcelain plates and silverware…fine dining and being served upon by charming ladies at each meal. In an ordinary day, I would be eating a hurriedly prepared meal and I wouldn’t think about using different kinds of plates, spoons, forks and knives at each course of a meal since I’d be thinking about the pile of dishes that i had to wash…It felt good being waited upon and not to worrying about a thing…spending the afternoons strolling along trails and enjoying the breeze and the sloping view of the mountain and the city far away….spending mornings doing quiet meditation or solemn prayers. In that place where there is not that much noise you can clearly hear your thoughts and the desires of your heart. It felt good confessing to a priest who got amused with my sins, hearing him laugh out loud while I was recounting with him little anecdotes of my sins. He never made me feel awful for being a sinner like some priests i know but instead he made me feel good in knowing that no sin is ever great not to be forgiven. At that time, I felt like it was really God I was confiding in.
I was reluctant to spend those three days up there in the mountain because for me it was very hard to leave my busy, comfortable life, and I felt guilty being away from my family that long. But with all the countless blessings I have been receiving, how can I not give just three days of my whole life to commune with God. While I was there, I realized that we are tied to our “busy” life as tightly as we would like to be, when we loosen our hold we will realize that the world that we left behind did not stop just because we let go. Sometimes we need to be with our self to find again our balance and our purpose, to reaffirm our beliefs and values, to not get our “self” lost in that busy state called life…When I left for three days, the world did not fall apart, no major catastrophe happened, no major conflict arose like what I feared, instead everything just work out on its own..It is true that everything is ready in the plan of God.

My "Wow" Moments

I need a perk up. It’s been difficult lately. I am a bit shaken by some thoughts of impending changes in our life that might be too soon in coming. I have to remind myself to think happy, positive thoughts. And so I will, by writing down the moments in my life that bring/brought smile on my face and that make/made me feel grateful and happy..
Here are some of those moments when the word WOW aptly describes everything…
the first time I had a heart to heart talk with my dad, who just did the opposite of what i expected would be his first reaction. Instead of getting mad at me and throwing me out of the house he laughed at me and hugged me and promised me that he would take care of everything
the first time my husband and I kissed and made love
the first time I held my daughter in my arms
the first time my daughter walked her first steps and said her first word
the first time I witnessed a butterfly coming out of its chrysalis
the first time I saw all these amazing sea creatures up close especially my favorite sting ray
the first time I sat behind the wheel again and drive after seven years of not driving
everytime my husband hugs me and kiss me and says I love you unexpectedly
everytime my husband go to great lengths just to please me
everytime my husband wakes up at an ungodly hour without complaints just to get me water or to accompany me or my daughter in the bathroom to pee
eveytime one of my close friend says exactly the right words that i need to hear or words that will soothe me and make me feel alright
everytime I receive answered prayers
everytime I experience deja’ vu
everytime I wake up without the help of my handy alarm clock at exactly the time that I am supposed to wake up
everytime I meet twins and the thought that I have nephews who are twins also
everytime I notice some semblance of myself or my husband in my daughter
everytime I find underneath drawers or cabinets things I have long forgotten already
everytime I gaze at our pictures in our photo albums and seeing how much we’ve grown and changed over the years
everytime I receive unexpected windfalls especially when we need it most
my bridal march during my wedding day with my daddy sniffling loudly at the background
those times before when my dad tirelessly played with my daughter and turned putty in her hands when he was still alive–he was after all a Police Colonel..:)
that time when my dad survived despite being in critical condition in the hospital for a month and how he was able to live another full month where he made sure to leave us many a happy memories that are still vivid in my mind
the sight of our flowers blooming everyday in our garden patch thus affirming my husband’s long standing belief that he has a green thumb
witnessing a garbage dumpsite successfully becoming a Gawad Kalinga community and being part of it all
being told by a student that I am the best teacher in the whole world
receiving a spontaneous hug from a student who is not part of my class but who just feels like giving me one
being told by this kid all the time that I look like 20 rather than my age 30 not so much because I really
look like it I’m sure, but because she just wants to go out of her way to make me feel good about myself and to see me smile
not experiencing any serious accident, injuries and illness for the past 30 years
staying married to the same guy for the past 8 years and still feeling blissfully happy with it despite of some minor problems that happen once in awhile
thinking about how everything always turns out well and how everything in my life just feels like a thousand puzzle pieces fitting perfectly together right from the start
the thought that whatever will happen, it has been planned and carefully thought out by that Mighty Hand…and the feeling right now that amidst all the confusions and uncertainties I feel at peace knowing that He will always bless me and my family and will always make sure to give me lots of things that will make feel..Wow..

TO DO LIST for this Year

I realized that there are a thousand things I want to do in my life. Some I have started doing last year and just need follow through, some I had totally forgotten until now and a lot more other things that I haven’t started yet…
So now, I’m back at my desk again just like last year making a list of things that will occupy my mind and energy for the whole year…here are some…
EXERCISE…I intend to do this regularly. Not to have that body to die for (I would leave that to my single friends) but to have that strong and healthy body that I need as a wife and mom. I’m sure nobody would want an obese and sickly wife and mom. I owe this much to myself and family.
LAUGH…Don’t get me wrong, I do laugh, what I really mean is that I would not take life much too seriously and enjoy life to the fullest. They say laughing exercises a thousand muscles in our faces and releases happy hormones in our body that rejuvenates our whole system thus making us feel real good.
COMMIT TO A CAUSE…I think that with so much blessings I receive everyday, it is time to give something back by helping others. I will give a piece of me in this future cause for I know that whichever cause I will involve myself with will complete me as a person.
START MY OWN BUSINESS…I have grand ideas in my mind but up until now they are all still in my head. This year, I will make them happen.
TRAVEL…I’ve been wanting to go to these places for quite some time now and this year I will see to it that I will be at least in one of those places with my loved ones…I can almost see us there.
WRITE…I still have a lot of things I want to write about and I will. For writing makes me see things differently and helps keep me grounded.
LIVE NOW…yesterday’s the past and tomorrow’s the future. Sometimes I tend to dwell too much from the past and get stressed over the future. To save myself from regrets and worry, I will take each day as it is. For like what they say you cannot change things that happened already nor outrun time, but you can do something about now.
BE FINANCIALLY WISE…I will put a balance in our spending and saving. I will be a smart buyer, a wise spender and definitely a very good investor this year.
GO BACK TO SCHOOL…yup, time to stop putting off going back to school. I will take that long overdue master’s degree or any short courses that would interests me this year. It is something that will help me become better in my field.
ATTEND A RECOLLECTION/RETREAT…I am fortunate to be working in an institution that takes care not only of our professional well being but spiritual well being too. This year, I plan to take advantage of the monthly recollection that they give so I can feed and nourish my soul.
GO OUT ON DATES…more often with my husband. We have very few “together” moments lately because there of a lot of things happening in our life right now but I know we need this to keep us insanely in love with each other more. I will definitely resurrect this.
BE WITH MY DAUGHTER…we are together in the house and goes to the same place for school and work everyday, and yet sometimes I feel like I am not giving her quality time. This year I will. We will have girls day out, we’ll talk more often about trivial things and do funny, silly stuffs together.
KEEP IN TOUCH WITH FRIENDS… I realized that I haven’t been in contact with some of my close friends. This year, I will be in touch with them constantly so as not to loose the connection we were able to build because aside from family they are my treasures.
And there’s a lot more, a whole lot more. I guess I have my whole lifetime to do them so there’s really no hurry. The important thing is I have a lot in my hand this year to keep me busy.:)

New Year's Resolutions and Why They Don't Work

Ever since I was a kid, I always make New Year’s resolutions which I would not be able to keep. It is part of the New Year ritual like jumping up and down when the clock strikes twelve or wearing red polka-dotted shirt or dress to (sigh!) attract money in the coming year. The favorite line during a lull in a conversation after the new year funfare for a while there is, “So, what’s your new year’s resolution?!” In the pre-school where I used to teach and even now in the big school where I am now teaching, writing down one’s New Year’s resolutions is part of the back to school classroom activity.

Over the years, I noticed that people’s New Year’s resolutions are most often things that they detested to do but got to do that is why these New Year’s resolutions usually die out faster than a virus being exposed to the heat of the sun. That is also the reason why these people (me included) easily falls in to that trap of  I can’t do it coz its soooo hard to do crap. Take the case of these following new year’s resolutions:

1. I will quit smoking (If you’re a chain smoker, the thought of not havin’ that fix will completely freak you out and the more you would stuff your mouth with those cigarettes)

2. I will not fight with my wife/husband or sometimes boyfriend/girlfriend. (It is like getting a knife and slitting your own wrist. That suppressed anger will definitely give you a heart attack)

3. I will go on a diet. (if you put this in your new year’s resolution list, every food that you will lay your eyes on would beacon you to go taste and stuff them in your mouth)

4. I will go to the gym often. (believe me, every step towards that gym would be so heavy that you would believe that you really are not feeling well for that workout)

5. I will not shop so much. ( If you’re a girl and you love to shop and you put this on your list, you will be forever depressed)

6. I will forgive those who have hurt me and forget about it. (The thing about pain, it goes away with time. You cannot just force yourself to be fine with something that you feel just isn’t right that fast)

7. I will save up my money.(and forever feel sad for not buying that favorite book or that smashing outfit or that little surprise for your loved one)

And I’m sure there are a lot more new year’s resolutions that we tend to make with good intentions but were not able to keep because they’re just so unattainable. Last year, I scrap new year’s resolutions in my mind and replace it with little goals for myself. I definitely don’t have a timetable for them. I told myself I’ll just find time over the year to do it. No pressure on my part at all. My little goals were things that I would like to do but haven’t really gotten around to doing. And instead of forcing myself into changing my bad habits, I put in my list of little goals, things that would make me feel happy and proud of myself. As I was reviewing my list, I was surprised to see that I was able to do most of them like keeping a journal (I did it thru this blog), getting back to my scoliosis work-up and exercises, controlling my temper, getting my finances in order, giving my husband some slack (hehehe), eat healthy food, consult with my doctor often and be more creative in my teaching etc. etc.

Our new year’s resolutions don’t work out most of the time because we put a set the bar too high and force ourselves to reach it. Most often they are  also the negative things that we truly hate that is why we are not motivated to do it.  Also, these New Year’s resolution that we force ourselves to do are even vague to us that we tend to question its whole point. Change do not happen quickly but gradually. When making resolutions remember to focus on the positive and make them clear and specific to you. We can restate the previous new year’s resolution into the following:

1.   I will smoke half a pack a day instead of the usual 1 pack.

2.   I will let off steam only after listening to his/her side.

3.   I will eat five small meals a day or will treat myself to 2 slices of cake a week instead of the usual 2 whole ones.

4.    I will do 15 minutes treadmill, 50 counts crunches and lift say 3 sets of weights a day.

5.    I will be a smart shopper.

6.   I will see the good in everyone.

7.  I will deposit 500 in my account every pay day.

Remember, make little goals that won’t deprive you of anything and will make you feel good and proud of yourself. Goals that are positive, clear and specific work best instead of the usual New Year’s resolutions that we have been used to that only last as long as the last embers of the fireworks die. Happy New Year everyone.:)

Top Ten Worst Christmas Gifts

Christmas is coming.  I can feel it in the air.  The cool breeze that greets me each morning clearly spells christmas.  I am starting to get giddy with excitement.  I am excited to put up that christmas tree, hang that capiz chistmas lantern, set-up the belen, plan the christmas menu and  of course hit the malls and different bazaars for my christmas shopping.  Over the years my list has become shorter and shorter.  Not because I’ve become stingy at this old age but because giving gifts for me has become short of something special.  Hey, I’m no Santa Claus, I am more likely one the reinders cursing Santa for putting us through those long agony of delivering presents all over the world if I had ever lived during his time.  Anyway, back to my stinginess, I mean my reinvented gift giving.  I used to give everyone I know gifts. I used to spend my whole christmas bonus buying gifts.  I would buy things in bulk and give them away, you know, whatever is cheap in bulk in divisoria so I can give everyone gifts.  But after receiving the same items that i gave away for christmas myself one christmas, I started to feel aghast and question my whole point of christmas gift giving.  And so I lay down the rules for myself, i would only give gifts to people who are very dear to me and I would only buy gifts for them that I know they would truly like and love.  I don’t want them to feel disappointed every time they open up their gift after tearing the wrapper in excitement only find the top ten worst christmas gift ever..that’s truly a heartbreak…so if you really, truly care about the person you would give gifts to this christmas, do not give them these:
10. Fruticake…Whoever invented this cake, I want to strangle him/her.  Every year we receive a lot and not even one we eat coz we suspect that these things called fruticakes are just doing the rounds because not everybody wants it.
9.  Rosary…I mean everybody has one special one so why think that he/she needs another one.  We only need one to be able to pray the rosary.
8.  Scented Candles…no imagination at all, the giver of this.  The regular brownout is long gone so people don’t really need this, it will definitely just stay in one corner until given away as recycled gift or will be used to shoo away the flies during a party. Sad.
7.  Handmade Soaps…let’s face it, not everyone will experiment with their skin and use these handmade soaps all at once.  Besides, anyone I know has already his/her own brand that he/she absolutely swears on.
6.  Picture Frame in plastic, in wood or in cheap crystals...not everyone is a picture display addict.  Now, they would rather store it in there notebook/laptop and click it at their own convenience.
5. Handkerchief/face towel with name…man! this is so last year! or worst so last decade! I mean the person you’re giving it to would totally not forget you–that is everytime he/she wipes his/her sweat or blows his/her nose..ew! you don’t want to be remembered that way, believe me!
4.   Silver/gold Parker pen…it is so unimaginative and boring, unless he/she has this peculiar way of collecting these kind of pens.  It is for people who can’t waste time in thinking so they resort to the most convenient gift–pens.
3.   Chinese coin purses..if you give this, the ones in divisoria or in the streets of baclaran…you have this word written all over you—MAKUNAT a.k.a STINGY.
2.  Planner/calendar…you are in deep danger of becoming a relly boring christmas gift giver if you resort to giving away this one.  You will not be the only one giving away a calendar or plannerr to that person believe me.  By the end of the year, that person will have 2 or more of those calendars and that person definitely will use only one unless he/she puts them in every corner of the room.  So unless its something chic, unique or personalized, scrap this from your gift giving ideas.
1.  Mugs...if you give this away as gift you definitely are makunat (stingy), unimaginative and boring rolled into one.  Absolutely no originality and creativity in his/her bone.  You will be at the lowest level in the eyes of your recepient, a total crass.  Why? because you gave away something he/she already has since he/she graduated from the bottle and learned how to drink from the cup! Each person has one special one that he/she uses from his/her milk guzzling years down to his/her beer guzzling moments now.  Replacing his/her special mug is unthinkable.  So, your mug will just do the rounds like the others after the usually hypocrite “oh, so cute!” because nothing can replace the goo ol’ mug that a person’s mouth has been used to.  Shame on you for even thinking about it!:)
So if you want to be remembered in a nice way, do not give these gifts to your loved ones this christmas.  They say it is the thought that counts.  For me, it is not only the way the person remembered you that matters,  but add to that also are the exta mile that that person willingly went through, and the thought that that person put into that gift just so that he/she can give you the perfect one also matter.
Happy christmas shopping!:)

An Amusing Day at DFA

This one is for the books also, worth writing about just like my not so recent trip to LTO for my driver’s license renewal a few months ago.  I now kinda enjoy doing business with these government agencies with all the amusing things I’ve been experiencing and all the different characters I’ve been meeting there…my real life drama this time, well okay okay, comedy, happened at the Department of Foreign Affairs a.k.a. DFA…and here are the wacky and horrendous characters I met there…
CHARACTER NO.1: THE LONE SHARK. When we got off from the cab, this lone shark together with the other piranas swarmed before us, shouting “ate! ate, dito o me form dito, ano pa kelangan mo? picture, halika dito ka, 2 minutes lang gaganda ka pa! (WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN!)”… grrr, of course my ego was hurt, but like what my husband instructed me to do, i didn’t mind them.  And so this lone shark followed me, almost pushing me towards the photo shop and since we didn’t have any photos yet, we gave in. She didn’t stop tattling. She keeps on insisting that they have the best photos there coz you will come out beautiful in your picture (imagine at this point smoke coming out of my ears).  When she saw my DFA appointment letter and my duly accomplished application form though, she blurted out to the other pirana, “Tsugi ko nato, wala naman pala ako kikitaan dito” (AS IF?!) and with that she left in a huff.  (HELLO, ANO KO JUNK NA PAGKAKAKITAAN?!)
CHARACTER NO. 2: LOLA STRESS BALL.  And so we were in line, waiting for our turn to go inside when she arrived.  She was quite a spitfire, chatting with us and interviewing us.  There’s just one problem, she had this word written all over her forehead S-T-R-E-S-S.  When she saw me arranging my daughter’s copy of school ID, she blurted out in panic “School ID? school ID, kelangan ba nyan, wala ako nyan, naku, wala ako nyan?!” (HELLO MANANG, 50 GOING ON 60 KA NA HANAPAN KA PA BA NG SCHOOL ID?!).  A few minutes after reassuring her that it is only required for minors like my daughter, she had again another panic attack when she saw my daughter reading her baptismal certificate.  She shouted, “Baptismal, baptismal, meron ako nyan, teka papaphoto copy ko, teka, save nyo ko dyan” and off she ran to the copy center not even waiting for me to tell her that I just accidentally brought it with me  and it wasn’t needed (SI MANANG TALAGA O, ADIK!).  She never stopped chatting and panicking from processing all the way to encoding.  She even bullied my husband into asking the guard and the man in charge if we need to staple the pictures and if we need to use glue or paste in attaching the pictures.  She asked the same question to anybody she happened to make eye to eye contact with, “Ano ang requirements?!” (PRIVATE JOKE FOR MGs: I asked myself  lots  of times this afternoon when I was with her, “MRS. L_G_SPI, is that you?! the voice down to her brown hair were spookingly like her and of course the you know what..hahaha)
CHARACTER NO.3:  MISS BAD TRIP. She was behind me, silently observing Lola Stress Ball.  When Lola Stress Ball made eye to eye contact with her and asked her the question “ano requirements?”, she screamingly told her, “Tingnan mo kaya likod ng form mo, andyan o, basahin mo, baaasaaaahiiiiin moooo!”. We were all shocked.  I was waiting for them to pull each other’s hair. I was so disappointed when it did not happen..hehehe…I later found out that she was duped by a fixer outside DFA. He asked her for three hundred pesos for the picture and the application from.  She saw red when I told her, well because she asked me, that I downloaded mine from the internet for free and I paid 150 pesos only for the pictures.  She was ready to kill that time and she almost killed Lola Stress Ball.  (DI KO NAMAN ALAM, EDI SANA SINABI KO NA LANG SECRET?!hehehe)
CHARACTERS NO. 4: POWERPUFF GIRLS. These three girls are all set to follow their dreams that’s they were eagerly lining up outside DFA for days now like this afternoon.  They were waiting to be blessed with the much coveted philippine passport.  This is the third time they went back there. Patience and perseverance at its finest definitely.  Bubbles is chasing her dream of becoming a domestic helper in Singapore, Buttercup plans to be a waiter in Dubai and as for Blossoms she is trying her luck in Japan together with her band.  They told me the same thing when I commented that it’s a good thing they don’t get tired coming back there at DFA (they are twice rejected for lack of supporting documents/proof of identity).  All of them answered me with “Para te sa pamilya ko to.”  Talk about filial love at its greatest.  They were all so excited and full of optimism. That is why when I got so impatient in line a couple of times, I restrained myself from having a tantrum fit because seeing them made me think that my discomforts were so little compared to what they’ve been through just to get there.  My husband told when we got home, “Be, ang saya natin kanina nun magkasama tayo, di kasi naginit ulo mo!” If he only knew the self-control I was exerting that time.:)
Well, that’s about it.  There are a lot more characters there, I’m sure, but I didn’t have the chance to meet all of them.  I would love to meet some more but I had enough for the day I guess.  The world is full of amusing people, you just have to go out of your way and meet them.  Our parents always say when we were little kids, don’t talk to strangers.  But you’re not a kid anymore.  Sometimes you just have to smile in welcome to the stranger beside you and you will be surprised to see a different world from their eyes.  For all you know, these strangers might make your day the way Lola Stress Ball, Miss Lone Shark, Miss Badtrip and the Powepuff Girls did to mine.
Some DFA tips: 1.  Better have your picture taken there at the 2 minutes photo shop.  Although nothing spectacular happened to my face like what Miss Lone Shark kept promising, their photos don’t get rejected at all.  It’ll save you another trip back to DFA.  Plus, they have a wide array of blazers to choose from if you’re not in your collared shirt, with a wide array of smells though–from patis to pawis kinda smell (ew!)–never mind that, focus on your goal instead–not to have your photos rejected  2. Bring also your original and photocopied local civil registry birth certificate.  My assesor asked for a photocopy of  my birth certificate from the local civil registry aside from the original NSO certified  3.  Bring a fan with you, it’s hot in the auditorium where the encoding takes place but its more efficient now meaning fast unlike before 4. In the reviewing of documents, choose the line where the assesor is an old lady.  They are more respectful and accomodating unlike the younger ones who are rude and haughty (you will think–UH, IMMIGRATION LINE BA’TO, AM I AN ILLEGAL ALIEN?!).  This pimpled lady acted high and mighty thankfully not to me but to my husband when in fact she was the one who was wrong.  I guess they don’t like their job at all 5. Better show your driver’s license, PRC, SSS and company IDs.  If you don’t have any 3 of these, they will require you to get an NBI clearance which I think is horror of horrors.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to get that or else I’ll have again another exciting trip to another government institution.  If that happens, I won’t be writing about a comedy, it will most likely be an action or suspense drama! Thank God I wouldn’t have to go into that:)

My Special Date with My Husband

I do go out on dates with my husband but often times it is usually a group date or a cosy twosome.  It’s been a long time since I went out on a real date with him alone.  Well of course when we were just dating, we do that often.  By date I mean, being together just the two of us, talking non-stop about anything and everything, holding hands, teasing around, looking at each other’s eyes, sharing secrets, reminiscing, simply having fun and enjoying each other’s company.  It did not happen in a fancy restaurant or in one of our favorite bars.  We did not even dress up for it.  But I can truly say that it was the best date ever.
My husband is great in creating the mood, of setting the tone for an upcoming date.  All the way home yesterday, he can’t stop sharing his plans for this grand date.  I must admit, he got me excited also.  After he picked up my mom from work and the customary dinner with my daughter and mom, we dressed up for our date.  Me in my favorite comfy shirt, pajama bottom and puffy slippers, and he in his favorite tattered white shirt and boxer shorts.  Like I said the date did not happen in some fancy place.  We had it in the lanai of our house.  He was ready not with a full course dinner but with bags of chips.  We did not drink first class wine but bottles of beer.  We did not have a string quartet to serenade us but music coming out from our ipod hooked to our good old speakers.  For the first time after a long time, we were alone…talking, laughing, teasing, holding hands, singing together and stealing kisses.  We’ve never talked as openly as we did that moment and  we never shared thoughts with each other as much as we did last night.   Of course in every date there’s bound to be intruders but instead of spoiling the moment for us our little intruder added a dash of fun to it.  We were visited a couple of times by this little giggling photographer who keeps taking photos of this special moment.  At some point during the evening also I saw little pair of eyes peeking out from the room window, she was snooping and she was smiling widely in our direction.  It was great. I never wished to be some place else last night and I never wished for that date to be any different.  It was for me, just perfect.
Married life demands so much.  There’s always a lot of things happening and a lot of things taking your time. It is a constant balancing act of making sure the circus is running smoothly.  Often times in a day, my husband will just catch me for quick kiss, peck in the cheek, surprise hug or nuzzle in the neck and a whispered I love you. For him and for me those things are enough to pull us out of the chaotic married life for a moment and bring us back to our own little world.  Those things  make up for the dates we planned that did not happen because of  this little girl and old lady we just can’t leave behind. That is why I never love my husband as much as I did last night because he planned our special date that way.  Because he knew that if we had it in a fancy restaurant or in one of our favorite bar, I would never have enjoyed the food, the music and everything for I would always think of the two special persons we would have left behind.  He is that sweet and thoughtful. The night as expected ended in a special way, but of course I would not go into details anymore, it is just too private. hihihi(“,)

Dealing with Dextroscoliosis

You wake up in the morning still feeling overly tired after a long night of sleep and sometimes with a humongous headache to top it all of.  You do your usual thing and feel little bones snapping here and there as you move.  You also have leg or hip pains especially after a long, tiring day. You just can’t stand being on your feet too long and sitting in that same position for long periods of time.  These are generally  what people with dextroscoliosis usually go through.
It is a burden, literally and figuratively, having dextroscoliosis  because it affects the spine which supports our body and the rib cage which protects our internal organs.  Dextroscoliosis is a slow, sideways rotation of the spine together with the rib cage which results in its curvature.  Well, that’s actually to put it mildly and simply.  If detected early, there’s a big chance for the spine to be corrected back to its proper, normal curve through series of therapy and back braces. But if detected too late, like in my case which is 45 degrees already, series of therapy not to correct the spine but to slow down the progress of the curve is highly recommended.  Spine surgery is also the only way at this point to correct the spine.  There is also dextroscoliosis, like again in my case, where a simultaneous curvature at the lower back or what you call “S” curve happens.  The lower curvature compensates for the curvature in the upper back.
There’s no scientific evidences yet that suggest that scoliosis of any kind is hereditary or is in the genes.  Rehab medicine points out to the kind of lifestyle a person has as the main reason for the development of scoliosis.  Improper posture, constant carrying of heavy loads, lack of exercise, strenuous activities and sometimes accidents are just some of the major culprits.  There are no medicines either that can cure scoliosis.  Change of lifestyle is the only cure for scoliosis.  Daily exercises recommended by your rehab doctor which sometimes consist of: Strengthening exercises for the back such as stretching in the direction opposite the curve, curl ups or crunches to strengthen abdomen which should bear the brunt of the heavy load we carry, and stretching/strengthening exercises for the hips and hamstrings of the legs are highly recommended.  Scheduled therapies for the back and hips for pain management are also required.  The therapy machines which have internal heating capabilities, help relax the bunched up muscles which most often causes the pains.  Adapting a healthy lifestyle such as eating healthy food especially those rich in calcium is very important.  Loosing weight or keeping your weight in proportion with  your height should also be practiced because excess weight strains the spine.
A person with scoliosis should adapt a positive attitude.  For without this, you will feel that self-management of scoliosis will just be too hard and will just be too much too handle.  Self-discipline should also be developed because without that all efforts of fighting off the progress of the curve will just go to waste.  For those who have scoliosis like me, always remember that our back doesn’t set us apart from others, what sets us apart is our determination to not let this thing get in our way of enjoying and embracing life and everything that it has to offer…
Vive bene’ spesso l’ amore di risata molto (live well, laugh much and love often)
See my some of my management exercises here : Managing Dextro(Scoliosis) Through Exercise

Latest Fad to Hit Town: Cancer

Yep, you read it right. The latest fad to hit town is cancer. Cancer which used to be a hush hush topic before, cancer that at one time in the past only embraced few people we know are now invading our comfort zones with such rapidity and at an alarming rate. Now, I’m sure you know of one person personally who has cancer. Before, it used to hit only the elderly and the weak but now even young children and the healthy ones are suddenly afflicted with cancer.
I was having a nice lunch in our own little haven in our faculty last week when I decided to read this article about cancer which totally freaked me out. I realized that if there is such a thing as Search for Outstanding Cancer Candidate, the title would go to me hands down.   It says there in the article that each of us have cancer cells in our body, the kind of lifestyle that we have and the strength of our immune system will determine if these cancer cells will mutate in big numbers or shall we say stay at a level that is safe. Cancer cells like to party on in an acidic environment.  Meat lovers out there like me produced so much acid in the intestine. I’m sure the cancer cells in me are having a blast everytime I eat those crispy pata, steak and inihaw na liempo. Geez! It goes on in saying that cancer cell diet is mostly protein based, meaning the more you eat red meat which are high sources of bad protein, the more you are feeding those cancer cells making them big and strong, and not to mention multiply in numbers. And those icky green vegetables are just what we need to control these pesky cancer cells. These greens contain oxidants that flushed out acids and such other things in our body. I am a certified meat lover, fish and anything coming straight out of the water are absolutely not in my food list. But after reading that article, I guess i have to change my eating habits if i still want to enjoy life and not be haunted by the thought that I’m a walking cancer bomb waiting to explode. More greens, fish and chicken meat which are sources of good protein are highly recommended.
Of course genes also count. If there is cancer history in your  family, the more you need to be vigilant in living a full, healthy life. Living a full healthy life doesn’t only mean eating the right food and adapting a healthy lifestyle (resting and getting a good amount of sleeping everyday to rejuvenate dying cells and repair damaged good cells which can fight off cancer cell) but also having that positive outlook in life. The article goes on in saying that negativity such as anger, selfishness, unforgiving attitude and stress make our body produce deadly acids and toxins that are food for these cancer cells. So next time you get mad, think and say those negative words, think of the thousand toxins you release inside your body and the thousand cancer cells happily lapping it up. The stress in your life is actually your own doing,  you create stress when you choose to respond to something in a negative way. So when you feel an anger boiling in the surface, intense pressure at work or frustration over an unresolved problem– stop, relax a bit, pray, do a quick meditation or settle into your yoga position, or call someone whom you can release all of these stressors with so they won’t go inside your body as fuels for toxins but simply out of your system.  Or better yet think happy positive thoughts…:)
May cancer not be with you…:)

Stress-free Life

I have been surrounded by stressed out people lately.  It seems that all of them are almost at their wits end because of the varied stressors that seem to be attacking their universe.  I can say that at some point in my life, I have been in their shoes so I completely know the feeling of somebody who is about to lose their sanity because of those relationship problems that are just too much to handle.  Here are but some of the simple things that I learned from different people and from the school of hard knocks that helped me get through those horrific stressful moments in my life with (whew!) my sanity still intact…
Tips for a stress-free life:
Always think happy thoughts…do not dwell too much on past hurts.  If shattered to pieces by some big blow of life, pick up where you left off when you were just happily going about your everyday life, dust off to make sure there are no remnants of the hurt left and move on…
Think positive…in this way you will attract blessings and good things. Negative thoughts and words coming from you will block the positive energy coming your way and instead attract negative things back to you
Stay away from toxic people…walk away from a fight or to a person itching to have one, turn your back from gossip mongers or from a person whose main agenda is to destroy people and relationships.  You don’t know how good it feels thinking that you yourself chose not to go down to their very low level
Surround yourself with good people…people/mentors who can give you sound advices, friends who will not tolerate your lunatic tendencies but instead help you become a better person
Accept your shortcomings…like what I always say, you can blame others for all the misfortunes in your life but in the end there’s really nothing to blame but yourself, for in life we are forever presented with choices, your choice is defined by the kind character, attitude and  values that you have..so make peace with yourself
Forgive yourself…you cannot successfully move on if you have a lot of excess baggages in your life that need sorting out.  Deal with your personal issues so you will not commit the same mistakes or find yourself in the same stressful situation again
It’s okay to be angry…I am known for my quick temper in our family.  My husband knows how to play with my temper.  It is okay to get really really angry, what is not okay is to stay angry for a long time coz in the end you are the one who will suffer even if you’re the one who has been wronged..so chill out
Acknowledge that people are different…sometimes we get frustrated because we expect others to act the way we like them to.  Well, surprise, surprise, their umbilical cord is not connected to you, your hearts don’t beat as one and you both are not thinking the same thoughts.  So it is useless to expect the person to love you back just because you love him/her or stick it out with you just because you sacrificed a lot for him/her
See the good in every person…sometimes we tend to focus on the bad side of the person just so we can reassure ourselves that our bad action towards him/her is totally acceptable.  Try forgetting the bad stuff and instead look for something good or remember the good in that person so that the thought of him/her just living in the same universe as you is not so bad after all
Accept that there are some things better left undone..same as there are some things that are better left unsaid.  Things have its own way of working out.  As long as you did all your best to straighten it out that is enough.  Know when to stop and give up
Strive to be the person you can be proud of…I always say that what others think of you is not what is important but instead how you see yourself and how proud you are of what you see are what’s important
May stress-free life be with you…