Monday, March 29, 2004

Getting to know...

Joseph John Mari A. De Los Reyes aka Deeeeck
Vitals: Met freshman year of high school in 1992. Iya and I were talking to Jhoette on the phone and he was telling us about their new friend Joe who graduated from St. Brendan. After raving about how cool he was, Iya and I were like, “Oh cool, can’t wait to meet him.” To which Jhoette responded, “Oh good cuz I gave him your phone numbers already.” Joe called about 5 minutes after that conversation = 12 years and counting
Role In My Life: Caring and Accommodating Friend – Caring and accommodating are the only words I could think of to translate into English a tagalong term I think describes Joe: “maasikaso.” I’m not that confident about the spelling, but anyhow, it means he’s all about making sure everyone’s taken care of, whether it’s calling to ask if I needed a ride home from school or following me home when I drove from Irvine to Glendale for the very first time by myself.
Good Times: In the summer of 1997, Joe and I took a geography class at Glendale Community College to help fulfill some social science class requirements for UCI (This is when we he was a bio major and I was a chemical engineering major. Little did we know we’d be all about social science classes after that summer!) The class was 8 weeks long (I think), Monday-Thursday, 8-10 am. Our ONE fieldtrip took place on a Saturday morning, to the Palmdale section of the San Andreas fault. Joe took his navy blue, Honda civic…NO AIR CONDITIONING!…IN THE MIDDLE OF JULY!…AAAAAAAAAAAH! We drove all the way there and back with the windows open and the blaring heat and sand all up in our faces!
In his own words: “Hey, don’t hate.”

Sunday, March 28, 2004


I have accounting homework to finish (of course), but I just finished watching *NSYNC: TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY on E! and I am reminded of how much I miss these guys so I HAVE to write an entry about it. Go ahead and laugh! I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes, talkin' your smack, but hey, I was and always will be a fan.

Since I watched their Disney concert special in 1998, I was hooked! Yes, I will admit, that I liked the Backstreet Boys too...I liked them like I like, ummm...Beyonce or Dido. Cool songs, I'd buy their cd's, but that's it. Something about Justin, Chris, Joey, JC and Lance caused an unbelievable attachement issue with me though. It wasn't just their music and their dancing or their looks and their fashion that attracted me, it's that they looked like they'd be fun to hang out with. Their songs, some which were so ridiculously catchy and others just great to listen to (corny ballads and all), were pleasant to the ears. Oh man, was I in trouble upon this discovery! It was New Kids on the Block all over again...or was it? How long, I wondered, would THIS phase last?

All of a sudden, others around me began to cave in to the boys' charm as well: Ate Tin-Tin (who accompanied me to my very first *NSYNC concert at the forum, convinced me to ditch class to drive up to Big Bear to see them), Iya (who when she was at my house and I was recording *NSYNC on the Tonight Show said, "Who are these guys, the Backstreet Boys?" and "oh my gosh I can't believe you memorize their dance steps?!"), Leia (who refused to pay anything over $20 to watch a concert when I asked her if she wanted an extra ticket we had, but ended up going to like 4 of the 8 concerts I attended), Fantone (who 2 days after seeing them in concert for the first time MET JC!), Isa (who couldn't believe she got convinced into attending the NO STRINGS ATTACHED concert in San Diego but came out WITH AN *NSYNC GLOW STICK AROUND HER NECK talkin' 'bout "SPACE COWBOY WAS MY FAVORITE PART OF THE SHOW!!"). I gotta give it to my lovely Irvine gals (with the exception of Annie, who stayed true to her love for 311 and NO DOUBT), for being down to drive to the Rose Bowl, for being down to get up at 5 am so we could be part of MTV's Road To Celebrity before the POPOdyssey tour in San Diego and for being down just to join in the fun! I'm sure Iya is really proud of her fellow UCLA *NSYNC crew as well: Irene (the one true Lance fan I know), Rochelle, Randy, Rachele, Fernand and Marnelli! I'm proud of them too!

So, 6 years, 4 albums, 8 concerts and a gazillion magazine covers later, I'm still a fan (among others) and I think that says something about them (they're no flashes in the pan) and me (I wasn't a fan just to be a fan because they were hot at a certain point in time). Many have allowed the *NSYNC mania to flush out of their system and that's cool. At least they got to experience it. As for the millions of us faithful diehards left (Hey Ate, Ate Cyn, Iya and Rachele!!!), we wait breathlessly for whatever the boys have in store for us next. With this I shall depart with *NSYNC's most famous words...ByeByeBye...

Thursday, March 25, 2004


I’ve known the Morelos’ for 14 years because they’re Iya’s family and I love them like my own! Lemme break ‘em down for you all, just for fun. Head of the family, Tito Nesty, soft-spoken and calm (like many of our dads are), always has a smile on his face and an occasional cap on his head. He’s Mr. Tennis Pro who loves and real often sounds like Frank Sinatra (wow, sipsip!). Tita Susie, Iya’s mommy, has always reminded me of Cindy Walsh, Brenda and Brandon’s mom on 90210. It’s cuz she’s such a caring, well-spoken woman, a problem solver, who always has a solution to life’s problems, big and small. She’s also quite the brain, which validates Iya’s “intelligence” I guess…hee hee hee…just playing Iya! You know I’m justh jealousth of you! Iya’s got two older brothers; Kuya Dennis, who has inherited Tito Nesty’s taciturn disposition, is married to Ate Myla, a nurse. They're expecting their first baby this summer; Kuya Francis, funny man who proudly works for DREAMWORKS, is married to Ate Jenny (a future singer I tell you!). They’re expecting their first baby this May (or maybe April, according to their doctor) and my sister and I had the pleasure of assisting Iya with their baby shower this past Saturday. You already know Iya so I won't talk about her (Refer back to her Getting to know profile on January 26th for further info).

So the baby shower, themed with moon and stars, was inspired by the DREAMWORKS symbol. It was so funny because so many of Kuya Francis and Ate Jenny's friends are having babies too. There were AT LEAST 3 or 4 pregnant women there this weekend, I kid you not! I think that’s so wonderful! All their kids have future playmates already! I can’t wait until all of you who are reading this start having kids! Can you imagine? 10 years from now, most of us will be parents! Scary thought considering the boys are still way into their lemme-try-to-grab-your-crotch-as-my-way-of-saying-hello stages. Anyhow, everyone had fun at the shower with the fun games and great food provided. GREAT JOB NINANG IYA!

On Sunday, I attended a memorial service and mass for Iya’s ninang, Tita Annie, who passed away last week. Bittersweet was the day, as most memorial services tend to be. Sad as everyone was for her passing, it was also a day that celebrated her life. Iya’s relatives from the east coast even flew out here to add to the loving farewells to a family member who I know they will miss dearly.

Seeing how a family reacts to two such juxtaposing events such as those that surpassed this weekend is a true telling of their character. Joyous was Saturday afternoon, overflowing with excitement and anxiety for the new parents-to-be, not to mention the freshest little light of life to come. Sunday was somber, filled with a regretful sadness that only death can bring, but capped with a unique comfort that only family can provide. These are the Morelos’, and spending time with them this weekend only reminds me of how lucky I am as well, to be part of a family as fun-loving, quirky and caring as they are. Ever present are the trials that life can bring, but so too are the ties that bind, that which we call family.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004


Last Friday we celebrated Edwin’s birthday at a wonderful little restaurant in Toluca Lake called Mardi Gras. Decorated with beautiful paintings and artifacts, you’d swear you were in New Orleans. The tables were set with beads for each place setting. The highlight of the evening, however, was not the great food or the unique ambiance, but the biggest surprise we could imagine.

Iya had advised us earlier that week that she was bringing her sister-in-law, Ate Jenny, to dinner and that she might arrive a little late. Half of us got to the restaurant at 7:20 pm and by about 8:30-ish, everyone else but Iya and Ate Jenny had arrived (We were supposed to be there by 7:00 pm. Pilipino time I swear!). Rochelle received a phone call from Iya shortly after asking if they were the only ones we were waiting for and she said yes. Awaiting Iya’s arrival, we all just sat there talking, waiting to order when who walks through the doorway?…JHOETTE! I think we all got whiplash from the shock, our heads snapping back at the surprise. We weren’t expecting to see him until Saturday night. It turns out, Iya had picked him up Wednesday or Thursday night, but he wanted to surprise all of us so he made her keep quiet until Edwin’s birthday dinner. What a wonderful surprise!

We spent the rest of the evening at Edwin’s house, playing mahjong and tearin’ it up on the magic mic. Could we BE anymore our parents?

Monday, March 22, 2004

Getting to know...

Carlo P. Loredo aka CAHlo
Vitals: Met in 1982 in kindergarten. It used to take Carlo’s mom forever to leave because he SO didn’t want to be left at school. He totally used to cry = 22 years and counting
Role In My Life: Quiet But Ever-Present Friend = We punk Carlo a lot for being so quiet and reserved, and he’s such a good sport about it. We often wonder what’s going through his mind because he seldom, if EVER, speaks. Being a person of so few words, he’s the friend who lets his actions do the talking. If you need him to be somewhere to watch you graduate, leave the country, or just have coffee, he’ll be there.
Good Times: When we were in the 8th grade, we were assigned to write an ORIGINAL short story to read out loud in reading class the next day. I worked mighty hard on that story about a girl recounting a drug overdose, realizing at the end of the story that she was the girl who o-d'ed. Anyhow, after a few of us had had our turns, Carlo was up to read his story. Here’s a little taste. This isn’t verbatim but it’s close: “Roman had been gone for so long that Marlena had forgotten what her own husband looked like. Seeing the man who had stood beside her all these years, she realized that this was not the Roman she had married, but a man named John Black.” When Carlo was reading, in my head I was like, “What the hell man! That’s from DAYS OF OUR LIVES!” Yes people, Carlo, during our junior high years, was so obsessed with DAYS OF OUR LIVES he incorporated it on a reading assignment!
In his own words: “Dickdude, I dunno though…really though?”

Friday, March 19, 2004


...That's ME in a nutshell! I haven't made a sound decision on anything in so long that I've just about floated through this vast body of water I call life practically void of mistakes and, sadly, experiences to learn from. Making choices is a weakness for me because I've developed a chronic mistrust in my decision-making skills, trying to avoid any unexpected losses of pride. Take note, for example....

For the last few months...okay the last few YEARS, I've been wading through life, trying to get a feel for my career options so I can finally start doing something I am comfortable doing. It has been 4 years since I got my blessed B.A. and I feel (as most of you know) absolutely lost as to what comes next. Back in the easy streets of college life, I never thought PAST attaining my bachelor's degree. It was hard enough to get THAT! But I've come to realize in the last few years, however, that a B.A. in International Studies is...just a B.A. It's no Master's, and everyone knows that if you graduate with a B.A. in a social science/liberal arts major, a Master's is almost always forthcoming. So was anyone planning to tell me any of this BEFORE I dropped out of the B.S. race in Chemical Engineering? No, not really. I haven't had one 24-hour day where I wasn't wondering when my life was going to change.

So tonight I decided (FINALLY!) to take a matter into my own hands and attend an informational meeting with the University of Redlands extension in burbank on attaining an MBA. An MBA? ME? Do I LOOK like I could be one of Donald Trump's apprentices? Not yet, but I could be. Wedding planner - MBA - CPA - writer - photographer...oh the possibilities are endless! But to be honest with you, sometimes I hate this free will thing we have. I'd rather someone just tell me what I'm good at and what I should do with it. But NO, we get to be the makers of our own futures! How bittersweet is this gift from God?

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Getting to know...

Vitals: Met the summer of 1999. I was working at the bookstore and Andrew, Larnie’s brother, called from Clone Notes (downstairs) to let me know his sister was on the way up to the bookstore and for me to meet her. It wasn’t hard to figure out who she was cuz she looks just like her 4 older brothers = 5 years and counting.
Role In My Life: My Star – Larnie is an entertainer. Every time we talk, provided neither of us are venting over current issues, we’re always always laughing. Furthermore, she’s my volleyball all-american superstar. Talk about talented and dedicated to the game and to sports in general. An aspiring kinesiologist, you’ll see her in a few years on tv stretching out athletes before games.
Good Times: When Larnie was a freshman, I used to pick her up from the dorms…like every other day. And she’s always carrying a pillow, her backpack, and a basket of laundry to do at our apartment!!
In her own words: “How do you curl the bottom?”…the bottom what?…”Eyelashes!”…Larnie you don’t curl the bottom eyelashes with an eyelash curler you silly!

Sunday, March 14, 2004


I know geez, what a long title, but I just finished watching the ABC family movie, CELESTE IN THE CITY and I just had to talk about this. (For future reference, Iya, Rochelle and I love ABC Family movies. They're all pretty predictable, but so God-awfully entertaining and heartwarming that it's hard to resist).

Anyhow, you've all seen it; a girl (or guy) in a movie is not the hippest, not the best dresser, not the most popular, is kind of a geek or weirdo and some form of intervention decides to dote upon this poor, tactless being an opportunity for a new making them more "attractive" so as to instill some form of confidence. Upon this make-over, suddenly people begin to notice they're worthy of attention, thereby cueing the most popular girl or guy around to fall madly in love with this newly made up person they had ignored before their "big change." SHE'S ALL THAT, CAN'T BUY ME LOVE, MISS CONGENIALITY: These are all examples of this situation and I liked all these movies. But deep inside I think it sucks that it always takes something like a make-over to make someone notice you, in order for them to WANT to spend time with you AND THEN realize you're a person worthy of their love. WHAT A CROCK I think sometimes.

But this movie tonight, it was a little different. I loved it because Kyle, Ethan Embry's character (the "leading man" if you will) fell for this girl, Celeste, BEFORE her stupid make-over. It's kind of cute because she initially thought that he was gay so she acted like herself, not feeling the need to be prim and proper to impress him. Anyhoo, he did so many wonderful things for her and he loved her company, before she had her frizzy curly hair straightened, got contacts and found some fashion sense. It was nice to see. I hope there are people out there like Kyle, who won't fall for someone because they look like Brad Pitt or Britney Spears. I remember telling someone that the guy who falls in love with me when I'm in a sweatshirt and warm-ups, glasses and headband is the definitive keeper. Is this optimism or what?

Friday, March 12, 2004


Man, I’ve been layin’ out entry after entry this week haven’t I? Well, I’ve had a lot to talk about. First the marathon, then realizing how much I love living here, then Matt getting his new job, and now this!… I don’t know if any of you have ever heard that superstition that when you right palm itches, you’ll be coming into some money, somehow, sometime soon. Well, my hand’s been itchy this week and on Wednesday night I found out why. I got a refund from the DMV after the freakin’ $400+ registration fee I paid in December for my car! I didn’t vote for Arnold during the whole recall elections and I wasn’t that convinced he could live up to anything he said, but THIS REFUND! I was just shocked. Thanks terminator! What else can you do?

Thursday, March 11, 2004

"911 - emergency response..."

Someone I know is trained to take action upon these very words. My cousin Matt, who left me for dead in a closet when we were 5 years old, has just been hired by AMR (American Medical Response) as an EMT!! (Ironic, isn't it?) I'm so proud of you, Matt! Congratulations! I can't wait to hear all your 12-hour shift stories and of course meet all your hot co-workers (do they all really look like the guys in Third Watch?)!! Good for you, cuz!

This blessed event couldn't have come at more opportune time, as Cile and I had another one of our "talks" last night about people's futures and ambitions. I was saying how proud I was to know such goal-oriented people, such as herself, who have gone out there and attained what they set out to attain. I told her how I've become a lot less unhappy lately but am still completely confused as to where life is leading me. Now that I know how much my parents need me to help support my sister's high school education (She got accepted into Providence High School by the way. YOU GO TIN!), I feel the need to search for a better-paying job above all else; above what I think I'd like to pursue. This now worries me. Can I find a good job I will be paid sufficiently for AND be happy working at? Or am I trapped in this "settling" state of mind? Upon this dilemma, I receive this. Check out what my horoscope for Thursday says:

AQUARIUS: >>Thursday, March 11

The Sun is at odds with Pluto, the planet of transformation, reminding yet again that money can't buy happiness or fundamental contentment - but that you can't eat love, either. However: Somewhere there's a happy medium between your creativity and your bank account, and it's a reasonable bet that if you look for it, you'll locate it.
Today's star rating: ***

I guess this answers my question, doesn't it? If I look for it, I will find it; whatever IT is. As much as I hate walking forward without knowing where I'm going, I'm gonna have to have some faith that there's something right out there for me; whether it's working for the state, working for a non-profit organization, getting my MBA, planning people's weddings...or something completely beyond what I expect I can do.

Bottom line: I'm inspired everyday by other people's accomplishments. Matt, you're my source of inspiration today. That's my cousin, Matt, the EMT.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Look at my nephew!! Cile, can I hook him up with Arianna? He's really funny! Take a look!

    Happy 26th Birthday Edween!!! And Happy 27th Birthday to my cousin in Cincinnati, Ohio, Chrissy!!!


    I was driving home from Cile’s house on Sunday and I just have to say that it dawned on me how much I love living here in Southern Cali, LA mostly. (I habitate in Glendale but LA is like a 2 minute drive) Yes, I can totally picture myself living in San Francisco or San Diego, and of course I wouldn’t mind having an apartment overlooking the Washington Monument in DC, but something about living around LA makes me smile.

    Cile, Tommy and I drove to McDonald’s somewhere in Hollywood on Sunday afternoon and Tommy saw someone dancing on the sidewalk by herself and Tommy was like, “Damn, LA has so many weird people in it” and it totally made Cile and me laugh cuz it’s so true. Weird, of course, being in the eye of the beholder, but you know what I mean. Anyhow, I saw the HOLLYWOOD sign so clearly in the distance and I said “wow” to myself. What a landmark to live by!

    After we watched Ate, Leia, Fantone, Annie and Jeff walk by in the marathon, Cile, Gwen, Joe, Andrew, Tommy and I hung out in Cile’s yard for half an hour and then headed off for an afternoon stroll down Larchmont. Cile sipped on some Jamba juice, Andrew enjoyed a sandwich from Starbucks along with Tommy, who I believe had a mocha latte, and I had a vanilla latte w/ soy milk from the Coffee Bean across the street. We just hung out there for no longer than an hour and then headed back to Cile's house. And on the way to car, guess who I saw? NIA VARDALOS AND IAN GOMEZ! The lady from MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING and Javier from Felicity (her husband!). I know that a couple of years ago, JaJa saw Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt sitting at a restaurant on Larchmont too!

    We don’t rub elbows with celebrities on a daily basis or anything, but when you live in LA, running into them is no rarity. THEY’RE ALL OVER THE PLACE!…if you have a keen eye for them. But other than celebrity sightings, southern cali screams delight! We’ve got everything here, don’t we? The beaches combed over with great-looking California hotties; Hollywood, the mecca of film-making; In-N-Out!; the Lakers (who still have a fighting chance so please keep hope alive!); the Grove and Farmer’s Market where you can eat every kind of food possible; Disneyland and so much more I can’t even begin to talk of right now. If you haven’t had a chance to hang out here, COME OVER and we'll do lunch!

    Tuesday, March 09, 2004



    Monday, March 08, 2004

    Getting to know...

    Vitals: We met when I was a sophomore in high school. Matt and I used to live in the same apartment complex and one day he came home with Edwin = 10 years and counting
    Role in my Life: Constant Cause of Anguish and Frustration…ha ha ha…just kidding Edwin! For me, Edween is the Undercover Wise One - Seriously, as well as this guy plays the jackass, and the fact that he is proudest of himself when he’s being mean to people, hitting below the belt every chance he can get, he’s got some of the most insightful things to say when you need it.
    Good Times: It’s easiest for me to tell this story via dialogue. Some of you may have heard this already but I know you won’t mind recalling it. Picture me and Edwin in my car:
    Me: Hey Edwin, guess what I bought!
    Edwin: What?
    Me: The extended version of LORD OF THE RINGS!! (Fellowship of the Ring)
    Edwin: Oh dope, how much did you get it for?
    Me: $29.99…not too bad. I thought it was gonna cost more.
    Edwin: You didn’t get the $60 one?
    Me: No, why there’s a version that’s $60 bucks? Is it even longer?
    Edwin: No, but it comes with bookmarks.
    Me: Oh…(puzzled look on my face). They’re freakin’ charging $30 more for bookmarks?
    Edwin: Yeah…
    Me: Okay, that’s dumb…(5 minutes of silence pass cuz I’m still wondering why you’d pay $60 just for bookmarks). Are they gold-plated?
    Edwin: What?
    Me: The bookmarks?
    Edwin: No. They’re just bookmarks. They look like stone.
    Me: Oh okay…(Stone? still puzzled. 5 more minutes pass)…Why the hell would you pay $30 extra for bookmarks? Must be like a set of collectible ones huh?
    Edwin: Naw, they’re just bookmarks. There’s two of them. Remember that part when they’re on the boat going down the river and they see the huge statues of the former kings and they’re like this to each other? (Edwin makes a gesture with his hand as if to say “Stop in the name of love.”) They hold up the books on each side.
    Edwin: Oh…we never had this conversation…
    In his own words: “Yeah, I bet you guys can’t even wear BELLYbottoms.” – It’s BELLbottoms dummy!

    Sunday, March 07, 2004


    This past friday, Iya, my sister and I went to Barnes & Noble to "study." What ended up happening was, the three of us sat at one of the tables at Starbucks, my sister did homework and Iya and I talked...well, I talked and Iya listened. I hadn't talked to her in a week and I had a lot of stuff to cover!! YOU'RE SUCH A GREAT LISTENER IYA! We had fun reading through horoscope books to see if what they say about our signs is true and which signs we're compatible with. HILARIOUS!! So we've established that Iya the scorpio (which is the sex sign of the zodiac by the way) is, in short, jealous, secretive, manipulative and fierce. (IYA? Manipulative and fierce? No way!) In addition, she's attracted to "rock stars and guys who are already involved with someone." INTERESTING EH? She's compatible with another scorpio daw. She hasn't met any male scorpios though so please be on the lookout for her, thanks! I am an aquarius (the friendly sign of the zodiac, which validates my fortune in having you all in my life, but sadly also reaffirms my lack of "lovers"). I am a free-spirited individual who loves her freedom apparently. Based on this fact, I've hypothesized that maybe the reason why I've never had a boyfriend is because deep inside my subconscious, I really don't want one (added to my inability to communicate emotions but that's another entry)...Hmm, don't quote me on that though because Friday night was also spent talking about crushes.

    I told Iya that eversince she and Mark broke up and I've been hanging out with her more, I've gotten as boy crazy as she is. I feel like I'm 10 times more aware of minor and major attractions towards the opposite sex in the last 2 years. Crushes are super-fun...when they REMAIN crushes that is. Once you pass that and enter the "like" zone, THEN it can become heartbreaking, but that, too, is another blog entry to be explored...

    So...what do you guys know about YOUR signs?
  • Check it out here

    What a perfect day it was today. Sunny and hot, the climate was right for a walk on the Santa Monica Pier, a stroll down Larchmont, a day at the park...and a marathon! I would like to take a moment to give a big, huge congratulations to Ate Tin-Tin, Annie, Leia, Fantone and Jeff for finishing the LA Marathon!!!! Joined by Cile, Tommy, Andrew, Gwen and Joe (DeLos not mama), I stood in front of St. Brendan Church observing in woderment as thousands of people walked, jogged and ran through mile 21! In all the years I've been an LA resident, I've never once sat/stood along the marathon route. 26 MILES!!! Holy Lord! I do 15 minutes on the treadmill and I'm sore as hell! Mucho pride for these five friends of mine! Perhaps next year we'll join you!...Or stand by and wait to give you Gatorade...whichever...

    Thursday, March 04, 2004


    Will everyone please pray for one of our friends, Cheryl and her family? Her grandmother passed away this week and I’m sure they’d all appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

    Wednesday, March 03, 2004


    Is that what the sky really looks like? I had almost forgotten! After weeks of rainy, lethargic weather, here we are under the bright blue backdrop that is the sky. The first sunny day after a rainstorm is one of my favorite things! I love how windy it is after a storm so that there isn’t any smog looming over us. As Molly Shannon’s SNL character the joyolist would say, “I love it I love it I love it!”

    I’m in such a weird mood right now. I think it’s because I’m keeping myself from being a stressed about nothing and just being cool. On Sunday, after our drive down from Running Springs, my friend Thuy and I were getting out of the car at St. Elizabeth’s and I was all short of breath cuz I was scared we were gonna be late. So she put her hand on my shoulder and she’s like, “Anna, relax. We’re here, everything’s gonna be fine.” And I was like, yeah Anna, chillax…

    Ok that’s all. I just wanted to share that with all of you!

    Monday, March 01, 2004


    Please take a few seconds and read the following lyrics to a song by Basil Valdez, a Filipino legend when it comes to singing and song-writing.


    Life is not at all that bad, my friend
    If you believe in yourself
    If you believe there's Someone
    Who walks through life with you
    You'll never be alone
    Just learn to reach out,
    And open your heart
    Lift up your hands to God,
    And He'll show you the way.

    And He said, "Cast your burdens upon Me
    Those who are heavily laden,
    Come to Me, all of you who are tired
    Of carrying heavy loads,
    For the yoke I will give you is easy
    And My burden is light,
    Come to Me and I will give you rest."

    When you feel the world
    Is tumblin' down on you,
    And you have no one
    That you can hold on to,
    Just face the rising sun
    And you'll see hope,
    And there's no need to run
    Lift up your hands to God,
    And He'll make you feel all right.

    And He said, "Cast your burdens upon Me
    Those who are heavily laden,
    Come to Me, all of you who are tired
    Of carrying heavy loads,
    For the yoke I will give you is easy
    And My burden is light,
    Come to Me and I will give you rest."

    I spent the weekend up in Running Springs (it's by Big Bear, but not quite so far up) to help out with a retreat. Actually, I almost didn't make it. All week last week I struggled with this decision and it seemed that every time I stumbled upon a reason not to go, something or someone always found a way for me to make it. I don't know what was stopping me. Homework? Family gatherings and obligations? A friend's party? All of it mattered to me, but something inside kept pushing me to go. I literally decided to attend the retreat late Thursday evening and I packed so haphazzardly that I didn't even know what the heck I put into my duffle bag when it was time for me to change on Saturday afternoon.

    So I did participate and I'm so glad I did. It's funny how God works sometimes. We ask for help, we ask for relief and when it comes time for our prayers to be answered, we're so pre-occupied that we don't notice it. The last few months have been nothing short of hectic for me and as much as I enjoy hanging out with friends and family, I suddenly grew very tired and I felt like I was wearing myself thin trying to participate in every event, every outing, every conversation, etc. I remember saying how I'd love to just be away for a weekend with my cell phone off...just me. But alone time, I've found, is a luxury. This past weekend looked like another task to me when I first thought of going to this retreat. But I'd have to say that it was exactly where I was supposed to be. Granted I was accompanied by at least 40 or 50 other people (wonderful wonderful newfound friends!), our reason for being up there was where I found solace: to be away from our daily stresses and spend some time with God. Just me and You, God.

    I've been teased since I was little about being "holy" or "immaculate" and at first I thought it was a compliment. Later on it became a burden; as if I were this prude putting on a show for people. "Look at me, holier than thou." It was never about that, but I know it's what some of my friends might've thought. For a long while I did re-examine this theory. WAS I being self-righteous or did others just not understand? And then I realized, it's no one's business and my faith is my own.

    LIFT UP YOUR HANDS (reminds me of my friend Glenn, but that's a story to be heard from the eye witnesses...hee hee hee...Dorothee, write about it in your blog please!) - I love this song because it signifies a solution to everything I find difficult to understand or deal with, and that's prayer. I can't recommend it enough.
    Getting to know...

    Jesus Christ...aka JC...ha ha ha...jk
    Vitals: Met when I was only 1 month old. That was my baptism day = 26 years and counting
    Role In My Life: Friend, Brother, Father / Lord and Savior - As I've gotten older, I've come to personify our God as not only this entity we Catholics worship in the silent prayers of our hearts or praise during weekly mass, but a Spirit who lives in everything and everyone; a source of faith we turn to in times of joy and especially in times of sadness and pain.
    Good Times: Everytime something good or bad happens, there He is beside me.
    In His own words: "And I tell you, ask and you shall receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will open to you." (LUKE 11:9)