There’s A Point In Here Somewhere…

I love pointed shoes. I don’t know why, but pointed shoes appeal to me.

When shopping for shoes I’d get very frustrated if pointed shoes for men were not the fashion trend.

I always appreciate a woman who knows how to walk elegantly in stilettos. When asked to draw anything as part of a psychological exam, i’d draw a woman with long hair, long pants, and with pointed high-heeled boots or shoes.

I never did get the meaning of my drawing. Maybe I was told what it meant for me to have drawn that but I wasn’t listening. Maybe if I listened carefully I would’ve learned that I’m such and such or some other thing. But at my age, I don’t really care to know their interpretation of my drawing a long-haired woman wearing pointed shoes. I just know that I love pointed shoes.

I also know this – that God made each of us uniquely, with different tastes and traits. Therefore, my tastes do not actually define who I am, rather, it is God’s will and design for my life that defines me.

As pointed shoes were designed for a purpose, God designed me for a purpose – far greater than anything that I have to spend the rest of my life living it out, otherwise I miss the whole point of my existence.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14)

Freedom From Spaghetti

It rained the whole day. Leaving school at 4pm, we could’ve just stayed out for dinner. But the warmth of home and a home-cooked meal is more appealing.

I have eaten tons of spaghetti most of my life – in parties, fastfood outlets and restaurants, neighbors’ houses, and everywhere else. But three years ago I broke the rules – I bought a package of fettucini and cooked it at home. That night over dinner, a whole new gastronomical world opened up for me. No longer would I be languishing in spaghetti prison – I was now free to explore all the types of pasta available in the supermarket.

Enjoying the cool breeze the rains bring, Liz and I cook up some Linguini with meat sauce. Yes, freedom from spaghetti is, uhhmmm….  liberating!

Fresh tomatoes are in order. I love garlic too. We always use one whole bulb. The garlic we get from the market comes from other Asian countries. Our local garlic bulbs are small and taste better but the price is so prohibitive.

I don’t like onions but I can’t cook without them. Simply put, I can’t live with them, I can’t live without them. So to get around this mess I mince and mix them all up before sauteing.

I threw out all our Teflon pans when I learned that they were unhealthy. I invested in cast iron cookware (for me) and the Cookworks stainless steel set for Liza.

We love to spice up our meals. WE NEVER USE MSG. Herbs and spices are the only way to go.

Now we taste freedom again. Life is good.

(all photos from the Pentax K5 + SMC M 50/4.0 macro)


What else is new? Pacquiao makes the world stop, at least here in the Philippines.

In scenes replicated nationwide, all other things are set aside as we gather to watch Pacquiao fight. Enterprising neighbors charge as low as twenty pesos per head for the live feed, squeezing in as many people as possible per square inch. Others pitch tents complete with local politicians’ names and bring out the big screen LCD TVs.

In small, un-airconditioned  computer rental shops, people view the fights via internet on small computer screens.

It is said that for the few minutes when Pacquiao fights, the roads are clear of traffic, no crimes are reported, and the cops and crooks cheer the ‘National Fist’ together with the rest of the nation.

Should some power-hungry nation wish to invade our shores, it would be wise to do so on days like these. Because we may just be too busy to notice the invasion. Or maybe not. Because on days when Pacquiao fights, we Filipinos are at our best – able to set aside our differences and unite behind someone who has brought honor to us time and time again – something that most of our politicians, sadly, will not be able to do.

True Colors

There were clowns in my godchild’s dedication this afternoon, all dressed up and putting on a good show. After their hour-long routine they took off their makeup, changed to everyday clothes, and got paid. They’ll do this again on their next gig.

We, however, have this knack of being in costume for as long as we can manage. We’d rather put on a show to impress other people, making them see what we want them to see and concealing our real selves. But we can never hide our true colors.

Outward appearances may fool most but clothing will not hide character. How we respond to everyday events and pressure gives us sneak peeks on what’s inside us. God sees us for who we really are. And because we can never hide anything from Him, it’s better for us to come clean before Him. God is able to change us inside out if we let Him and He’ll clothe us with His Son’s righteousness – a whole lot better than the silly costumes we wear in public.

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
(Hebrews 4:12-14)

A Day Out

I love animals, specially felines.  But my disdain for how our government zoo is run stops me from visiting them.  I do not want to see run down cages, starving animals, discourteous zoo employees, and uncouth visitors. Private individuals who try to put up small local zoos are not even worth considering. We are so far from being world class.  However, the foundation that runs Avilon Zoo may be doing things right. On a 7.5 hectare spread, you’d see a variety of animals that are properly cared for. Running for some years now, they’re still building new cages and renovating some. They still don’t have the biggies like the elephants, giraffes, and hippos though, but a couple of bears are coming soon.

I appreciate their providing a canteen and some snack bars in strategic areas.  They even allow visitors to use the dining area even if they don’t buy any food from the Avilon canteen.  That’s service that earns points in my book. Other privately run zoos don’t provide dining areas so school kids who come in buses have to eat their lunch inside the bus.  Today, I just follow my wife’s preschool kids but I still manage to lose them midway – hard to keep my eye on them while taking pictures.

They tell us that this big guy spits on you.  He’s in his enclosure surrounded by an electrical fence and a little moat.  Best to keep him away from rowdy kids.  Today he just checks us out, though.  No antics.

I see this bird and I really do want to shoot some.  This was were I lost the group.  I thought I saw a crocodile gliding nearby.

Pigeons have cribs too, like these ‘pagodas’ out in the open.  The more exotic pigeons are in big cages. I saw some with very interesting colors.

During our time, our field trips would just center on our national heroes’ places of birth or war memorials. There were areas cordoned off so you can’t touch anything. You just had a brief look at things while being whisked away to the next point of interest. Today, kids’ tours have gone interactive and are a lot more interesting and involving.

Next stop was  ‘A Touch of Aura’, almost a two-hour drive because of the traffic.  Something in the name sounds gramatically wrong to me.  Anyway, they’re a group that plays with light and they involve the kids in their presentations.

Our last stop was at Manila Ocean Park near the US Embassy.  In the complex of shops and restaurants is the new ‘Hotel H2O’, another weird choice for a hotel name.  Where do they come up with these?  Anyway, we march on to Seriland (I have no idea what that means) where the kids are treated to the playground, the Hall of Mirrors, the Trick Art Museum, and the 3D theater.

While waiting for our turn at the 3D theater, I go out and try to get a decent sunset shot.  Not the most ideal cloud formation and the sun was still relatively high. I settle for some ceiling lights instead.

Being the husband of a preschool teacher has its perks.  Like being part of this annual preschool field trip.  Front row seat, new places to see, free food (!), a couple of close friends, and The Smurfs movie on the bus ride home.

God really knew what He was doing when He created the world.  He never skimped on colors.  Nor did He let His canvass limit Him.  Just taking time to appreciate His work and celebrate life’s colorful turns.