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Faith is a many splendored thing

Faith. The essence of everything that’s hoped for and everything we strongly believe in. I remember when I was young, I had a strong faith – I had a lot of faith. However, over the years, I admit my faith dwindled. I don’t really know why. Maybe because of all the experiences I had that either broke my heart or broke me all together. It’s not really easy hanging on to my faith when my heart’s being broken to pieces or I am being broken to pieces. Which leads me to think, maybe my faith wasn’t really that strong to begin with.

As a child, I used to love listening to Bible stories. Every night, my mom would read out loud about the wonderful characters in the Bible and I would feel so content listening to them. I remember reading the Bible and even wanting to attend a Bible study class. As I grew up, I thrived on my faith (it helped that I went to a Catholic school). So much so that when I was in 8th grade, I seriously considered becoming a nun. Back then, thoughts of being a nun filled my heart with joy and a quiet contentment that I never knew I could feel. I didn’t become a nun, though I don’t exactly know why I never really pursued it but a talk with my mom comes to mind. As I experienced devastating moments again and again, I began to question that thing  that makes us hold on to something even though the odds are impossible. I think somewhere along the line, I lost my faith. Not completely though as there’s still that little spark in there that now, as a married woman with a child, I am beginning to rev up.

Having a child scares the hell out of me because of the oh so many responsibilities that lie on my (and my husband’s) shoulders. Like all parents, I want to give my son the best, especially in terms of education. But with the rough times I am going through now, I don’t know if I can give my son the best. All these thoughts swirling in my mind, darkening my heart, and clouding my soul have found me reaching out to something I thought I have lost – my faith. Yes, my faith is the hoped for sunshine after weeks of torrential rain. It is the proverbial light at the end of a long, dark, and winding tunnel. It is the air that gives me life. It is my hope. And it is what I cling to whenever the future overwhelms and scares me.

Right now, I hang on to my faith for dear life, and it has saved me from drowning. Faith has given my weary heart and soul a rest from all my fear and anxieties. Life is tough but as long as I have my faith, I will survive. My fear and anxiety still get the best of me from time to time but I know as long as I remember to have faith, everything will be okay. Life is not perfect – my life is not perfect – but with my family and my faith beside me, I will be okay.

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Future (Un)Tense

As far as I can remember, I’ve always lived in the present, never thinking about what may be. All that changed when I got married and had a child. Suddenly, I get cold sweats, worry frowns, and anxiety attacks when sudden thoughts of the future permeate my consciousness. It’s not even on purpose. I’m just sitting there, minding my own business when “wham!” “bam!” thoughts about the future invade my mind and crush my soul. There’s no delicious release in sight. It’s just one overwhelming anxiety after another.

I don’t know what it is about the future that I dread so much. Well, I guess not having a stable job and a savings account would do it but it’s not like it’s too late. I can still remedy those things. I think it’s more that I have a child whose future highly depends on my present actions. The constant question, “Will I be able to give him a good future?” looms over my being. I guess it’s the fear of the unknown. I have always thrived on planning and knowing what’s going to happen but the future is a whole new ball game. It’s so dark and murky and that’s why it’s so scary. Also, the fact that all our decisions and actions in the present affect our future. Who knows how my future will turn out because of what I did in the present. Add to that the fact that I have a child who I want to give a bright future to. Pressure much.

I guess it wouldn’t be that bad if I had a stable job and savings but right now I’m so up to my head in debt that I live from paycheck to paycheck, as most people say. Having a glimpse of the future would help ease my fear but then again wouldn’t the future change when I change something in the present? The future is anything but certain. Scratch that one out, I guess.

Right now, I’m holding on to God and trying to change my lifestyle so eventually I will have some savings. I hold on and pray that it is not too late to save my future, God willing. Hope is all I have and I will cling to it with all my might. That, optimism, and action.

Being married and having a child changes a lot of things, especially your outlook in life. So, before it’s too late, especially if you’re still single, do yourself a big favor and SAVE. Sure, living in the moment is fun but life is not always only about fun. It is also about stability and responsibility. Try to balance having fun with those two and you’ll have a nice future. Your future self will thank you.

Planning to Unplan

There are moments in our life when we either regret or bask in the choices that we make. I hope I can just simply choose what I feel with the events of my life but with the one thing, I wasn’t given a choice, with the other, I kept going back and forth until I just went with the flow. But whatever I feel with the life I lead now because of these events, I know I won’t have it any other way.

My son, Jace Gabriel Wisen, came to my life as unplanned as IMG_3985it can possibly get. I even cried when I found out I was pregnant, as unsure as I was of motherhood. Two years in though, I could say that Jace is my sunshine. My light at the end of the tunnel. My rainbow after the rain. All his giggles, coos, and gurgles send my heart a leaping and it always feels close to bursting because of so much love. He is the best unplanned event that has ever happened in my life. I never thought I’d be grateful for this unexpected surprise but I am, each and everyday.

 

 

On IMG_3872the other had, our dog Hunter, might not have come unexpectedly but he was surely not planned as well. I just came across his picture on Facebook and decided right then and there that I wanted him. Not the most ideal of life decisions when you go about it but I know I made the right decision. He may be an overly rambunctious, hyper social, and somewhat stubborn five month old Siberian Husky I have ever met but he is also the sweetest dog that has come into my life. He may have brought a lot of changes into my life like waking up real early to feed him and getting soaked every week because I’m giving him a bath but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love this dog and every waking hour he just worms his way into my heart more and more.

So you see, making plans for your life is a good thing but sometimes, it is the unplanned ones that give the greatest joy and brightness into our lives. Maybe because it’s God working. It’s His plan, not ours. He planned for our life to be like this, not us. It’s only unplanned because we didn’t take these things into consideration when going about our life. God did and that’s why it still perfectly fits our life.

Ang Panday

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I remember watching my first ever Panday movie, I was about 5 years old and Fernando Poe Jr. or FPJ as he is more popularly known was the dashing hero. Fast forward 30 years later and I am now 35 and Coco Martin is the dashing hero, or the poging tagapagligtas, according to him.

I never would have guessed it but Coco Martin’s take on Panday is one exhilarating, joyful, and roller coaster ride through different worlds of good and evil. There never was a boring moment in the theater as the pacing of the movie was fast. Coco Martin as a director is a revelation. The kid has a knack for directing. The actors were an absolute joy to watch, each and everyone of them was superb. All of them delivered, especially Jake Cuenca, he was so good as Lizardo, the villain. All those courses in the US was worth it.

The movie though, was not without its flaws. It kept jumping from subplot to subplot without ever solidly establishing the subplot and the characters in it. Some of them were, in my opinion, unnecessary to the story line such as the gay pageant and the revelation that Diego is gay. What does that have to do with the movie’s storyline? And speaking of fleshing out the characters, Flavio’s (Coco Martin) love interest, Maria (Mariel de Leon) didn’t have that much dialogue going on for her. She was (almost) just a wallflower in the movie. Why did Flavio like her? Just because she’s tall, beautiful, and sexy? Come on – that’s too shallow.

Given the flaws though, Ang Panday delivered lots of thrills and entertainment. The comedic timings were perfect and the action was jam packed. Despite the mini subplots, it still delivered a cohesive story when it comes to Flavio’s backstory. The CGI was really good, it blended well with the background that you can’t tell it was computer generated. The sceneries were astounding, you’d think they shot in different countries instead of just here in the Philippines.

Ang Panday is as good as it gets, just don’t go into the movie with a bloated expectation and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. After all, this is no Hollywood movie but a Filipino movie who is still into its toddlerhood and is still looking for its identity.

A Mother’s Heart

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Before I had my son, I didn’t know I could love as much as I do now. Friends kept asking me, “What changed?” and during my son’s early months, I couldn’t answer them. I think the change came gradually. Before I knew it, everything that I did was because of my son and for my son. My thoughts and life purpose is consumed by him.

I never knew love as pure and as overwhelming as I look upon my son. He has become not only my world but my life. Sometimes when I hold him, hug and kiss him, I feel as if my heart is going to burst from so much love for him. I think all mothers would agree with me when I say that our heart has grown exponentially just to accommodate this humongous love we have and feel for our child/children. I look at my son and I could see all of my hopes and dreams in this little guy. He has become the personification of all my hopes and dreams. It’s like falling in love for the very first time. The kind of love that you discover the first time, without any pain and heartbreak.

Like all mothers, I know I will never get tired of my child. He, along with his father, is the love of my life and my world. I know nothing is perfect but my life now with my son is close to it. It doesn’t, and will never, get any better than this.

Positivity through Negativity

MILO MURPHY'S LAW

It’s been a while since a cartoon has been more than eye candy. Enter Milo Murphy’s Law.

Milo Murphy’s Law is a cartoon on Disney channel about an accident-prone kid named Milo who’s last name Murphy is the true embodiment of Murphy’s Law which states that, “anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. At first I thought it was going to be a boring show that just shows this kid having accidents every single day of his life. How entertaining can that be? Seriously, how can the writers make a good story line out of just that? Lo and behold, I was proven wrong. Really, it was my fault for underestimating my fellow writers. I should have known better.

The cartoon does show the many accidents and shenanigans Milo and his friends go through but it also shows the trust, faith, and loyalty they have for each other. It also shows some serious optimism in the form of Milo himself. I like Milo’s attitude. It’s the kind of attitude where no matter how many bad things happen, the faith is still there that everything is going to be alright in the end. His catch phrase, “I’m sure it will all work out,” is something we should all aspire to as an outlook in life. As Milo once said, “Life has a funny way of turning out okay in the end”.

How many times has a cartoon taught us something valuable about life? How many times has a cartoon transcend it’s 2D life and reflect real life at its best despite all the worst thing that can and is happening? Not since the 80’s and early 90’s (think Care Bears…yeah I know, I’m being biased here, being an 80’s kid and all! Haha!). In this day and age, it’s a dime a dozen to have shows that are not only entertaining but also teach something about life. It’s best that we pay attention.

Dukot

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Hi everyone ^_^ I just watched Dukot (Kidnap in English) at SM North and it was pleasantly surprising. I didn’t think it would be as heart-pounding and nerve-wracking as it was and I was proven wrong! So here I am gushing about the movie in this quasi-review but do keep in mind that I am no critic, basher, nor fan. Just someone who happened to to watch this certain film because the movie I wanted to watch didn’t match my schedule for that day. This is purely all my opinion so please take it with a grain of salt (and some fries! :D) Without further ado, here we go:

In an industry saturated with romantic comedies, Dukot is a fresh of breath air. It was nice to finally watch a Filipino movie without product placements (hard sell much? makes you think that it’s actually one long commercial disguised as a movie) and hugot lines that sometimes seem like it is trying hard to be classic one liners (I do miss the movies in the 80s and 90s, now those hugot lines where truly classics!). Take heed though, this movie will leave you yawning at some parts as the story builds up to a suspenseful scene and then let’s go leaving you wondering “Why?”. It would have been better if the movie made you keep climbing up and once you’re on top of that mountain, slowly and smoothly let you down. However it was so abrupt that it became a disappointment. Think Jupiter Ascending. There was one scene where Carlo (Enrique Gil’s character) was able to escape and thus ensued a chase scene between him and his captors. Of course, the movie audiences shrieked when it seemed that one of his captor was going to catch up to him, while I hid my eyes hoping he would be able to escape. Naturally though, like with most Philippine shows, he got caught and was beaten to a bloody pulp. Here I am reminded of Mara Clara where Mara is always on the verge of getting his Tiyo Kardo’s diary but something always happens so she doesn’t. It would have been better if Carlo escaped and we are treated to  scenes of the captors bluffing their way with his family just to get the money while also trying to locate their victim and recapture him all the while not knowing that they are racing against the police in getting Carlo because he was able to contact his family. I know the Filipino audience loves that building up the momentum thing then nothing (again, Mara Clara). But sometimes, directors and writers need to give us what we need more than what we want. Write what you want and direct the way you truly do. Make a wonderful, fantastic, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping movie without the formulaic plots and storylines Filipino moviegoers have been bombarded with and they will thank you all the more for it.

Don’t despair though because some parts of the movie will leave you gripping your seat and biting your lower lip. All-in-all, Dukot managed to almost give me a heart attack. One of the things it succeeds at is to make the audience paranoid but in a good way. It makes them become more aware of their surroundings and not to withdraw money from an ATM located on a deserted street at past 1 in the morning. Seriously, what can be so important that you can’t wait until at least 9am?!

Of course, movies rely not just on good acting but also on good writing and directing. It takes a brilliant director to take a seemingly simple screenplay and turn it into a classic or blockbuster, sometimes both. Paul Soriano is a big revelation here. Give him more time and he could very well be the Philippines’ next Lino Brocka or Ishmael Bernal. That’s how good he is. Sure, I’ve heard of his indies but I’ve never watched anything he did until now and honestly, I am looking forward to more of his works.

Meanwhile, Dukot made me painfully wistful for the 80s and 90s (I’m an 80s kid and that decade is one of the best!) action movies with the likes of Jeric Raval (he was one of my big crushes then! haha!), Robin Padilla, FPJ, Raymart Santiago, Rudy Fernandez, and even Ian Veneracion and Romnick Sarmienta (my two biggest crush until now!). This movie proves that the Philippine movie industry will not go silently into the night. It will fight the good fight and with enough support from the government and us Filipinos, maybe we can have our own Hollywood or Bollywood. When that time comes, the only big problem we’ll have is finding a name that has all the pizzaz and flash of the Philippine entertainment industry and that goes well with “-wood” at the end. We already have Encantadia, Mulawin, Probinsyano, Sugo – quality tv shows. It’s time that we also have quality movies and Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles, Moments of Love and now Dukot has already paved the way for that.