Archive for December 2012

Nanay’s 10 Xmas/New Year Legacies

December 24, 2012

After 21,12,12 went  without ending our life, I remembered Nanay’s lessons and am posting 10 of them for family and friends.

1.Love all the children and guide them towards a life of generosity.  Nanay loved us all unconditionally, whether we were good or disobedient. Have sympathy for all especially the children of families in need.

2. Work  to earn enough to live comfortably and be able to afford summer vacations with picnics and host holiday parties for family and friends.  Like clockwork, we all had memorable summer vacations in Liliw,Meycauayan,Atimonan and Quezon City.  Never  flaunt  one’s comforts nor be ostentatious.

3. Attend to bookkeeping and list down all loans. Nanay  filed all the receipts and budgets in her  notebooks. I saw all our  tuition fees and allowances listed in her annual calendars.

4. Be fashionable, look pretty as May flowers. Nanay made  chic dresses  for the girls and had all our gowns made by a modista  Dakila who was famous for handpainted  gowns.

5. Excel as students but not pressure  nor  force children to be honor students. Allow them enough playtime so they can be happy.

6. Never brag one’s talents nor achievements. It is enough one has fulfilled goals that make the family proud. She attended all our  13 graduation rites, her  20 apo’s graduations and great apo’s nursery events.

7. Be present for the children and teach them home chores.  Mentor the  children to be diligent when running errands and doing duties. Nanay expected all our rooms to be clean and mindful of our hygiene, especially our dental and personal care. Nanay’s undies in the laundry always smelled fragrant.

8. Adore God unconditionally and be active spiritually. Nanay’s spiritual discipline and devotion was consistent with her values and she lived her faith with hope and  charity.

9. Nanay gave Tatay 64 years of   productive love and kept the family bonds growing to include adopted children and relatives. She never threw a tantrum at Tatay and kept her tampo gentle. No fuss, no scandal ever erupted in our midst.

10. Serve the larger community and multiply energies to make this life better for many.

Nanay, thank you for all your lessons. May you have eternal Xmases. We love you.Nene 80cesar and nene villariba


Dying to return home

December 17, 2012

Today, my aunt Araceli Villariba Remigio, sister to my father Cesar, aka Mamang Cely went home. Our Villariba clan  with the Remigios offer prayers for her peaceful journey home. As i wrote to grieving families, my remembering self give thanks to all the moments she made us feel her love and thoughtfulness.

As i grieve and cry, i sense her thoughts that is is a homecoming. Yes, this is her final journey and we hope it will be joyful, reuniting with Nanay Nene,Tio Mario, Tia Anita,Tio Carding, Tia Bella,Tia Lina, Tio Patty and her parents Simporiano  Villariba and Maria Araneta whom we never met since the family was orphaned .

To comfort myself, i searched the web and found the words of Rabbi Abraham Heschel on death as seeking understanding of the meaning of life and death. He wrote that finding the meaning of life and  death leads to  the harvest of eternal moments achieved on earth. I find this significant because Mamang Cely sowed many good seeds while alive and now she is harvesting all these good deeds. So what is the meaning of life?

Rabbi Heschel shares these words and i quote : ”  The meaning of Life is to reconcile liberty with service, the passing with the lasting, to weave the threads of temporality into the fabric of eternity.”

Mamang Cely, now you are Home,we thank you and ask that you keep us in your heart .   It is your time to enjoy the harvest of eternal happiness and  eternal love.CIMG6033

Plant Talk:Ginhawa ng Halimuyak

December 4, 2012

SambongToday is as exciting as yesterday. Why? Because  life teaches us that time is not what it is but what we make of it. I have been reading how our brains compose the world we live in and it is exciting to know that everything, from plants to the animal kingdom, share a common source of energy – PLANTS. All living plants use oxygen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The photosynthesis that plants do is a life factory that no human can ever duplicate. As you look closely at leaves with a microscope, you will see the stomata where  solar energy enters and where the process of making chlorophyll starts. The stomata looks like human mouths and vaginas. They pulsate as oxygen comes out. People who care for plants know the time when these stomata are opening and closing, when they change colors and why these plants are precious.

In the ancient times, many babaylans studied our plants across a thousand islands. They found its many treasures, from food to medicines, from shelter to cleaning rivers and transforming salt water to fresh water. They examined its  shape,scent, color, taste, texture and even its sound as the wind danced around gardens and forests. The ancient study of science began with this botanicals and it developed into horticulture and later, the biological sciences.

Now, my babaylanship is progressing towards  food security and bodytalk with babies, teenagers, terminally ill to final departees and plant talk is very valuable in my service. Every plant has a gift and its message with its aroma is a healing conversation. I  study plant aromas for its life saving gift.

Why are  scents important? When our babies were born, it is our our signature aroma they identify. All of us has a distinct smell. When I travel for days, I  leave a worn cloth for my baby to comfort her.  When we make love, our bodies deliver its love potions with an undeniably exciting aroma. In times of final boarding phase, the departee  whose sight fades but not her sense of scent is hugged by fragrance and comforted by  familiar odor of family members. Our sense of smell ,as doctors say, is the last to fade when we breath our final moment.

For comfort, the fresh smell of sambong leaves can pick you up from slumber. I use it for morning baths and tea. Rose oil scents are one of the finest gifts.  Jasmine, sampaguita and champaca scents are soothing. Mornings are best for picking aromatic plants since their stomata are open. Most of us do not need to buy expensive perfumes. All you need is to eat aromatic plant leaves, drink  oregano or mint tea , of which spearmint gives you the best fragrant mood. As you breathe you exude the air that welcomes love. Ginhawa to the max.

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