Tuesday, December 30, 2008

An Opening Prayer for a New Year's Party

Dear Father in heaven,

As we gather here together to celebrate this new year,

May your bountiful blessings come upon our loved ones
and everyone present here in this gathering.

We pray also for those who are not present in our midst.

May you bless them all with peace and happiness.

May all those who suffer in hospital beds feel the soothing balm of your presence.

Photo by Wyscan

May all those in jail houses discern your saving grace.

May all those who are at war, learn your forgiving ways.

May all those who suffer in poverty see the richness of your blessings.

Give them the strength and grace to endure and persevere.

We also pray for "peace on earth and goodwill to all men."

As we celebrate this new year, we thank you for all blessings.

May we continue meeting our daily challenges with faith in your goodness.

May our lives serve as witnesses to your all-abounding generosity and love.

All these, we ask through Christ , our Lord, Amen.

(You're free to copy this and use it)

Free Blog Hosting and My Plans

Since I started blogging , I have always wished for a free blog hosting , my own URL , a blogging community which could critique my blogs, and one place where I can download large amounts of pictures, videos, and files without living the site. I have planned to categorize all my articles into poetry, short stories, quotations, lyrics and novels.

I also had plans of using wordpress with one of my blogs to see if I could be more comfortable with it. All of these seem now to be fulfilled with this amazing free blog that is available over the net. It has all the features I have mentioned above, and many more innovative features.

In the future, I would like also to buy a domain name. What better way to continue blogging than to have your own name? I am sure this would enhance my blogging experience.

The Inspirational Book is progressing slowly. I need more 12 articles to make it 20 articles all in all. I am hoping by July, I would be having my 2o articles, so that the target date of August 31, 2009, would be met.

In the meantime, I would have to contend with this great blogging opportunity available in the Internet, because blogging would always be special to me.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Metaphor? I'm Not Sure. Merry Christmas!

Kindly replay, to listen to the uninterrupted version. It's a great song!

Here's a metaphor from Aerosmith from their album entitled:
"A Little South of Sanity"

"Life's a journey not a destination
And I just can't tell just what tomorrow brings."

Monday, December 22, 2008


I have an on-going call for comments at my blog: "A Campaign for Non-Violence on Children's TV Programs" ,

Wouldn't it be wonderful to know your thoughts on this? (pros or cons)

Kindly click on the link and contribute your thoughts and win great prizes.


I have an on-going call for comments at my blog: "A Campaign for Non-Violence on Children's TV Programs" ,

Wouldn't it be wonderful to know your thoughts on this? (pros or cons)

Kindly click on the link and contribute your thoughts and win great prizes.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Christmas Post, For a Change

Since it's Christmas, let me digress from the normal posts in this blog. Here's something for you to read:

How to Plan a Memorable Christmas Party

Christmas will always be one of those memorable times in our lives. This is because it could represent several things for us: family reunion, get-together with friends, long vacation, forgiveness, love, gifts and of course partying till the wee hours of dawn.

Christmas parties; however, are sometimes all the same that we tend to forget about them afterwards. If you are planning to host a Christmas party, then you must plan to make it memorable for all the participants. How could this be done? Below-mentioned are several ways to make your Christmas party apart from all the rest:

Let everyone participate.

If you take active participation in an activity, you would not forget it. Encourage everyone to dance, take part in the games, sing, etc. But do not force anyone who does not want to participate.

Read the rest of the article at Helium.com


Photo by KB35

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Recycling Your Christmas Tree

Christmas trees become a significant part of your yuletide celebration that oftentimes, after the season, putting it away together with the other decorations, leaves a certain sadness in your heart. You wish you could hold on to the joyful Christmas moments forever, by holding on to the tangible symbols that you have placed around you. Just like any mundane thing however, everything comes to pass and so does your Christmas tree's role for the season.

The usefulness of your Christmas tree however, need not end in the garbage bin; you can maximize its use by recycling through the following methods:

1. Use as firewood

Trim the tree and cut the twigs, branches and trunk into 1 foot pieces and dry under the sun. After they have thoroughly dried, store them in a dry clean place. You could use them now as firewood for your camping trips, for backyard barbecues, in your fireplace or in your bonfires. You would be surprised at how it catches up fire so easily.

In fact in most countries, they are widely used to start fires and not as plain firewood. This is because they are very combustible and easy to ignite.

2. Use as food trays

You could convert them into small food trays for your kitchen. Select the good branches and smooth them with sand paper. Construct a tray by making use of a hammer and some nails. You don't need to be a carpenter to be able to do this. Just be sure that you have equal sides by measuring with a ruler.

If the tree has cones nail them to the corners of the
tray to add style. Spray with varnish to give a polished touch. Presto! You have your own kitchen tray!

3. Use as plant trellis/rails for your garden

Cut the branches into sizes big enough for your plants. Use them as trellis by arranging 3-4 branches around the plant. You could also utilize them also as garden rails by cutting them into equal sizes. You could paint them to give more visual attraction to your garden.

4. Use as permanent decors

Use your creative mind to devise attractive wall decors.
Rub the branches and twigs first with sand paper until they are smooth. With the use of a hammer and some nails, construct designs like picture frames, miniature toys, houses or whatever your creative mind leads you. Finish your work by spraying with varnish to give shine or you could paint them to add attractive color.

5. Use as foot bridges for your garden

The tiny branches could be used as foot bridges in your garden by arranging them tightly together to form a sturdy bundle. Place them in uneven or soft spots in your garden to prevent mud formation. They would lend uniqueness to the landscape.

6. Use as composite for your plants

The leaves could be placed in a damp portion of the soil or buried, to form a composite fertilizer for your other plants. Allow the leaves to rot and then be converted into rich soil before using it with your plant cultivation.

There are still several ways to utilize your used Christmas tree. Look around your house and backyard. What do you need? Could the tree be converted to supply that need? For sure, you would find it to be useful in one way or another; but for the meantime, bask in the beauty of your Christmas tree!

This has been published at Helium.com
Photo by: by scottfeldstein

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Filipinos, say no to Cha-Cha

From You Tube

Do we really need a charter change? Or are shrewd politicians utilizing this as a way to advance their self-interests?

This video was passed on by Roy of The Struggling Blogger, who incidentally wrote an article - "Bloggers' Connection" about The Inspirational Book which yours truly will be self-publishing next year. Thanks Roy for that generous write-up, I appreciate it a lot. Good luck in all your endeavors. Mabuhay ka cabalen!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

An Angel In Each One of Us - Inspirational Story # 9

By: Angel Cuala

I was a product of a broken family at a very tender age. It did not bother me though, as I did not have time to wallow in it then. Don’t get me wrong, I did want a family that was whole, but under the circumstances, it was not possible, and I did not want to stay miserable, so I had opted to cope up splendidly.

Life was hard those days… I mean really hard… This is due to severe poverty. I ate only one decent meal a day–lunch, but before I can, I had to work first to earn money for it; breakfast was a luxury I did not enjoy.

At the age of 10, when kids my age played with their toys, I worked on my first job in a candy factory. I did not have toys because I considered playing as a waste of time. Instead,
I had a very dangerous job; one small mistake would have cut off my fingers. This is because I and another boy had to cut long and hard candy bars using a crosscut saw. Since I still wanted my fingers complete when I grow up, I did not stay there for long.

At the age of 12, I was able to land another “job”. This job required me to wake up at 4am, rush to the seashore of Manila Bay, and together with other child workers, we would gather mussels and oysters to sell in the marketplace.

I was lucky if I had been able to borrow a worn screwdriver to use as a tool to carve the mussels out from the hard surfaces of the rocks. But if I was not able to, I was forced to use my bare hands. You could just imagine how bloody my hands would be from clawing at the rock surface to get those shells. On top of that, I had to work against time as I had to carry them fast enough to the marketplace where vendors would be impatiently waiting. My activity would culminate in an 8-kilometer walk from the bay to the market; the walk, so that I could save more coins.

The authorities; however, became very strict with children roaming the streets so early, so I had to find another job. I did other odd jobs after that, such as selling street foods and washing taxicabs. The busy streets of Manila became my working area and playground at the same time. Beggars became my friends, and their children were my co-workers along with other street people.

Although people were insulting and belittling us, I did not care as long as I knew I was honest and had never stolen in spite of the prevailing poverty. Deep inside me though, I felt really hurt how people can be so cruel and condescending.

My mother and siblings were in the US but no one knew exactly where they were. I had some pictures of them and me together, but I think I was only 4 years old then.

My father eventually married for the second time. My step mother was very kind to me. Although she had five children courtesy of her first husband, our relationship was wonderful. In fact, she was more persistent than I was, in her pursuit for me to finish, at least, high school. To help make both ends meet, she cooked in a small-time restaurant.

My father was a simple laborer in a paper manufacturing company, but his earnings were not sufficient for all of us. We could not even afford to rent a small room; which was why I grew up in the slum areas.

Rats and cockroaches were part of my neighborhood, along with pimps and drug addicts. My father was not lazy and illiterate. In fact, he was intelligent. He was a wide reader, a good writer, and a great poet. I even heard that one of his poems was once displayed in the National Library. I think he was a real genius. But then, he was among those artists who did not want to earn money from being one. He may be not that smart, but he would always be an artist to me.

As the years went by, I got used to the poverty I existed in, and blamed no one. After all, it wouldn’t change anything, and I feel I had better things to worry about.

I continued to be a working student, but after sometime, I found it was really impossible for my young mind to study and at the same time be physically exhausted, so I had dropped out from high school and became a full-time money maker; I fetched water for my neighbors and sold cigarettes. I didn’t know then where my journey would lead me; at that point in time, I didn’t care about my future.

After 3 years of helping my adopted family, I decided it was time to go back to school. I was very hesitant but my stepmother encouraged me, saying that it was the only way out from the slums. She said that with an education, I had a bigger chance to succeed.

I went back to school and studied and worked simultaneously. I was more matured at that time and I knew I had to persevere and work hard if I wanted my dream fulfilled: a dream that someday I would land a respectable job and earn the respect of my peers. I did not realize then, that it would be more than that, and had never imagined that my going back to school would serve as my bridge to a new life.

I was then 19 years old when I became an officer of the Citizen’s Army Training in school. During the course, one of my lady cadets was not able to attend the Saturday training. According to her, she had been looking for her father whom she never saw. I understood her all along since I knew how difficult it was to have one parent missing; so eventually, we became friends.

She regularly gave me updates about her quest, and as months went by, she seemed to be heading on the right path. On the other hand, I shared with her the history of my parents, and the hardships I had endured during my childhood.

She helped me in any way she could. When she learned I had only one polo uniform, she gave me a white polo which has been previously used by her cousin. She was among my few classmates who became sad upon learning that my father could not afford to send me to college.

A month before our graduation, I received good news from her. She would finally meet her father after 21 years of waiting. I knew that would make her a complete person; and I was very happy for her.

The story did not end there; however, while she was in her aunt’s house (her father’s older sister), she mentioned my name being her superior and the only one who knew her life story. She was proud to consider me as one of her closest friends. The mention of my name turned out to be an instrument to unravel another story.

That day was supposed to be another ordinary school day, but it turned out to be extraordinary. My cadet turned-friend approached me at the corridor with a very tight hug, and she was crying out loud uttering words that I was unable to understand. I tried to calm her down because we were starting to attract attention, but she did not care. So I let her tears flow on my shoulders for some minutes until she got tired. She did not want to let go of me, and she kept whispering to me that I would be alright, that I would be going to college the following year. She assured me that I had a chance to enjoy a brighter future.

I learned later that this was what occurred during her audience with her aunt. When my name was mentioned, her aunt had told her that my full name was very familiar and she went on to determine why. Life is full of pleasant surprises, they found out I was THE long lost relative!

I learned that we were first cousins, that her father was an older brother of my mother. It was a great shock to me. I did not even remember how I reacted. The next thing I knew, we were talking to my father who confirmed everything. He was smiling as he shared with us the story of how my cousin’s father had hit him when he saw my parents dating at a very young age. It felt weird that after all those months of sharing; we did not even talk about my middle name, and worst, her surname did not even strike me as familiar. It did not occur to me why she has such an uncommon surname – Valentin.

When the big day came for me to meet my long lost relatives, I had to borrow a pair of pants and shoes from my stepbrother. My friend - turned cousin- was very excited too. I must admit, I was not able to smile because I had a preconceived notion that I would be discriminated.
I had learned that my aunt enjoyed a very luxurious lifestyle. They had three cars, a big house with a garden, and a good, thriving business.

The lunch was well prepared on a round table, but we still had to wait for my uncle as he was living about a kilometer away. While we were waiting, my aunt showed me some old pictures of my mother and my siblings. She was crying while telling me that my mother had been looking for me all those years. She even hired some people to help in the search, but to no avail; maybe because we had been transferring from one abode to another.

When my uncle came, tears fell like rain from everyone’s eyes except mine. I had mixed feelings, and I was more interested in the food. They didn’t only look delicious; it was also the first time that I would taste them.

After that unforgettable, sumptuous lunch, I did not expect my mother to call. When I heard her loud voice, it was like the best music I ever heard. She was crying really loud and shouting at the top of her voice. She kept on asking me what I looked like, where I had been all those times. What I ate and other questions a stranger would ask someone. She did not give me time to answer any of them though, because she kept talking and crying.

I did not even remember how the conversation ended. I forgot the exact date of that momentous day, but I remembered thanking someone who was very dear to me; someone I knew who had been always watching over me and someone who would always be there when I would need Him most – my Creator. I am not a great fan of any religion, but I accept the fact I am only human and there is that Super Being who knows when a suffering must end.

That was a scene 23 years ago. Yes, my life had changed since then. I did not become rich, but I was able to finish a college course. Now, my work does not only fit my age and body, but also my mind.

Most of all; I am respected by people, my blogging friends and by society. Thanks to the various "angels" who had helped me in my quest for a better life.

Life is still hard these days, but I feel better now. I still skip breakfast sometimes, but my wife never fails to prepare one. I have bought good toys for my children and I can now play along with them. And lastly, I am now enjoying a good lunch!


Angel Cuala aka Guardian Angel owns three blogs - Happy Family Matters, Father Blogger Dot Com, and Humane Blogging Tips.

He is a Filipino engineer who is into full time blogging. He says that:

"...it is really my passion to communicate through writing, I decided to blog. I feel that in terms of audience and speed it is better than just writing.."

He has gained great readership in his three interesting and very informative blogs. Visit his sites to see for yourself.

A courageous person who had triumphed against all the tremendous challenges that had crossed his path. Angel deserves all the happiness in the world.

Kudos to you Angel and good luck with all your present endeavors.

For more effective parenting tips, successful marriage tips and other family issues, tips on blogging, making money on line, and many more, please feel free to visit his blog at Father Blogger Dot Com AND Angel Cuala Online with his post about the Inspirational Book .

Photo 1 by m o d e

Photo 2 by KellyB.

Photo 3 by kevindooley

Photo 4 by aussiegall

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Do You Share or Keep Your Good Books?

Writing is synonymous with reading; “Once a writer always a reader." I still have to come across a writer who is not a voracious reader.

I started reading paperback novels when I was in the elementary grades. In high school, I was already reading Barbara Cartland while my classmates were reading Mills and Boon. When I see a plain looking cover or an unusual exterior, I am compelled to borrow or buy the book.

Unlike some people, I don’t have my own library though. I always passed on the book to my friends if I found it a good read. I didn’t want good books, whether pocketbooks or textbooks, gathering dust in some corner of my house, especially if they are worthy to be shared; I want them read too by other people.

I know some of you feel the same way like I do. If you have old books and you want to share these with others, you can do so by selling them at a minimal prize or just giving them away for free.

It is not easy though to Sell Textbooks or pocketbooks because of many reasons. This problem is solved now; all you have to do is to sell these books back to this site and earn money in the process. You don’t have to worry about shipping fees as there are available pre-paid shipping labels for you. Your postage fees will also be refunded if you sell $10 worth of books.

This way, you would be able to share your used books and also get the best possible prices for them.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

An Attempt at Poetry

This poem was published earlier in this blog (months ago), and at Helium.com

Jim Murdoch of Truth About Lies , Francis Scudellari of Caught in the Stream, and our poets out there; if you happen to read this short verse, PM me your negative comments (winks), but do publish any redeeming comments, if there are any . I would appreciate it a lot, and yes, Ken Armstrong of Ken Armstrong Writing Stuff, our budding poet. Wow!

Webs Of Love

I stared blindly at the ceiling,
blinded by tears of sorrow.
seeing all, but seeing nothing,
unmindful of tomorrow.

Where has the love gone?
So professed some years ago?
I hold the bundle of joy in one,
grateful for the chance to glow.

Go now, my beloved,
follow where your heart leads you.
when you reach the 'dead end',
We are here waiting for you.

Photo by Tom Ruette

Writing, Blogs, and Forums All in One Amazing Website!

When I first started writing, I had a lonely blog and I didn’t even know what a widget was or what an HTML code meant. I would not have been able to start writing my very first novel if I haven’t accidentally discovered blogging.

Slowly I learned through trial and error how to install widgets and upload pictures. I experimented on enlisting my blogs in search engines which slowly increased my page ranks.

Aside from writing for my various blogs I discovered the joy of sharing whatever I knew through writing sites , I also joined on line forums because I wanted to learn and share whatever culture and concepts we had in this part of the world. These I was able to do by joining multiple sites. Lady luck must have smiled at me because I discovered this amazing website in which I could do all of these activities and enjoy myself.

In this website, you can create your own blogs for free, and with unlimited bandwidth; you can also participate in forums, share your videos, podcasts and upload pictures. You get updated with the international news all over the world. You can participate in surveys or be a member of a particular group. What could be very fruitful is the interaction you can have with helpful members of its dynamic community, gaining friends in the process.

I tell you, it has everything just like in a one- stop- shop. You name it; they have them all in this wonderful website!