Thursday, December 20, 2007

Anxious

So anxious with something deep inside, oh God help me to understand the thing that's beyond my control.

I kept myself busy to forget some thudding underneath, hope the coming Christmas will give me so much joy and contentment.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Talking about my Favorite topic hehe!

Taking a break from writing diary...

A royal thing ^___^

Currently, there are only ten European royal houses that exist: Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands. Other royal houses were abolished in the second world war when communists overtook the government and the monarchs were forced to abdicate. Greece retained its monarchy status until 1969 when King Constantine II was forced to leave the country by the military Junta, the monarchy was abolished in 1973.

Among these former monarchies, only three previous rulers are still alive until today. King Michael of Romania, Tsar Simeon II of Bulgaria and King Constantine II of Greece who now lives in London with his wife Queen Anna Marie (sister of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark). Constantine, is a brother of Queen Sophia of Spain and the closest cousin of Prince Charles. As descendants of Queen Victoria, they are all listed in the line of succession to the British throne with King Michael being the nearest because he is a great grandson of Victoria's second son, Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Early Dawn Mass

Happy to establish a good friendship with someone. I always admire him because of his very prim personality. He's very intelligent too! I adored guys who are really smart and intelligent, I am in great awe with them!

Tomorrow morning is the first Early Dawn Mass, very excited to wake up and attend the mass even if I will going to walk in the street alone. I am not afraid of any bad elements anyway because Bonifacio street is so safe.

I am determined to complete the nine novenas this year. Good luck to me haha!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wonderful Time of the Year

Christmas is in the Air!! Excited to attend the Early Dawn Mass at the Cathedral. I can't wait to wake up each morning and go to the church hehe!

Sad to say, I'll not be returning home to Surigao this holiday season because I am currently saving so hard for our Retreat in Baguio next year. But I will be sending money for my parents to spend on Christmas.

Haaay! So many anxieties, so many tension. Felt so restless in the office, don't know what is it, a certain emotion perhaps, errrrr!!!

Hope to find answers to many questions...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Year that was...


HIGHLIGHTS OF MY YEARS 2004-2006

MY YEAR 2006

Two Thousand Six. I was bubbly, vibrant and full of great anticipation for the best outcome.

New hope, new beginnings, new start. It seemed everything was perfect. I made a return to my old job which I missed terribly. My hands were full of expectations and excitement. I was able to unite with my old friends and had a wonderful reunion. I also had a great crush working at Sun Cellular, hahaha!Oh such a very foolish feeling then I found out he has a live-in partner, Arrgggh! So the emotion died a natural death hehe!

 I celebrated my birthday with two of my good friends, Lorna Borja and Mhai-mhai Pesadas, at Kuya Ed because there's a package called "free birthday treat for the celebrant" so I was able to save, hehehe!

After living several months with a relative somewhere in Maa, I decided to move to a rented room near the school I worked.  I lived in a room with three other occupants and I became closed to them, I got to know lots of people, met new friends and wished that my life would tell a different story this time.

I continued writing and reading books. I created the initial plot of the Queen Consort during this time, but neglected it for the next years because I still need additional research to accurately work on it.

I went home in December for the Christmas holiday because I did not return home in 2005. It was a wonderful holiday celebration with my family in the province, I was able to eat foods not usually found in the city. We had a reunion, then visited some of my high school friends and spent quality time with them. 

MY YEAR 2005


A very agonizing year for me. So many sad events happened, so many frustrating circumstances occurred.

Two Thousand five was the year I lost some of the most important people I adored and loved.

In January, my paternal grandmother suffered a bad fall and had a hip fracture, she was 97 years old and despite her frail body she still sufficient energy to move around. She would love to talk, love to read books (in her lifetime she never wore eyeglass, she had a fantastic eyesight until her death), love to share stories from her younger days. What amazed me was her ability to recall significant events in her life, at her ripe age she had a terrific memory.

My grandmother was a woman of deep faith in God, she had served the Catholic church as mother’s butler for most of her life and part of the Apostolada group,she prayed the rosary everyday, novena and never missed Sunday masses. Her intense devotion to the Catholic faith influenced all of us in the family and her passion in serving the parish was inherited by my father and my uncle who are both Lay Ministers in our home town.

During this time, my grandmother, once very active and strong-willed now needed a support to walk and even going to the batroom. There were nights that I would go to her room and talked to her, she still managed to throw some smile and humor, but clearly, she was already suffering hard.

My grandmother was transferred to my uncle’s house by March. My father visited there frequently and he would update us about grandma’s condition. One day she would feel better, the other day would not.

Towards the end of this month, sad news about the deteriorating health condition due to some illness of Pope John Paul II was also broadcasted on television. It sent a terrible blow to my heart since he was my favorite and would often pray hard to let me allow one day to see him.

I kept praying for the Pope’s condition, asking God to let him live longer for the sake of mankind. But on the 2nd of April, devastating news of his death hit the world like thunderstorm. What made it so unforgettable was, it happened on my birthday (though April 2 in Europe the date of his passing was at the early dawn of April 3 in Philippine time).

The news was relayed to us by our Parish priest on the 3rd day of April during a Sunday morning mass. I tried to appear calm and cool but my throat began to constrict with emotions and tears. I cried when I reached my room. I watched his funeral on TV.

Another news on royalty made me upset. Prince Rainier III of Monaco died on April 5 after a lingering illness and his only son ascended the throne as Prince Albert II. Elsewhere in Europe, Prince Charles of England married his long time mistress, Camilla Parker-Bowles which pissed me off.

Back home, another terrible agony swarmed in my already devastated emotion.

My grandmother died in the morning of May 5. It was the most upsetting moment of my life. Though at her age (98 years old) we were already expecting this would eventually happen, her demise was still agonizing. I cried as if I never cried in my whole life. In the past decades since birth that I became very close with my grandmother, I must admit there were times that we couldn’t get along. One root of this misunderstanding was her obvious favoritism to my cousins that would lead sometimes to competition. 

Weeks after her funeral, my father’s blood pressure rose to unimaginable level, we rushed him into the hospital but several days later the doctor advised us to bring him to Davao City and because the hospital in the province is a government run, the doctor recommended DMC, but I and my mother were hesitant to bring him there because of the unimpressive service of this hospital. I wasn't mistaken, when we reached at this damn hospital we experienced a very rude service so we moved to a private hospital.

By December, I moved back to the city for good. I first helped my friend run a beauty shop at the mall. Several months later I moved back to UIC.

MY YEAR 2004

Two Thousand and Four. Another milestone....

After spending two years in the province, turning down two job opportunities (one in a rural bank and one in a government office) I decided to go back to the city.

My parents thought I was mad for refusing two wonderful jobs, but I felt life would be totally miserable if I would remain in a remote place where luck equates madness.

Traveling back to the city gave me hope and freedom. It felt as though my spirit had a total make-over and my self-esteem regained its lost magic. A former colleague and good friend, Helen Montero, was generous enough to welcome me into her home. Finally, I landed a job in a travel placement company with a boss I often described as impossibly arrogant and ruthless, less than two months later, I quit.

I spent Valentine's Day with my former colleagues in UIC, dining until the wee hours. It was truly liberating, we hopped from one restaurant to another. Then came April. The month I dreadfully described as revolting. It was not a pleasing month, oh, not when I saw my age breathe a new era.

I ended up going home. But we had a fantastic Christmas and New Year celebration in the house.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

THE BRITISH THRONE

American biographer Kitty Kelly made an impressive research about the lives of the world’s oldest surviving royalty, the British monarchy. In 1994 she started a controversial compilation of “The Royals”, a blow by blow account of the British royal family since the creation of the House of Windsor in 1917. The book was praised in the US (and even managed to become number one in the New York time magazine listing of Best sellers) as a fine masterpiece biography of the world’s most famous family but ridiculed in Britain as merely gossiping with inaccurate facts. Oh is it? I read the book in 2004 and very intrigued with the revelation of Kitty Kelly.

According to Ms. Kelly, royalty has a rather appalling, than mesmerizing concept. She was quoted that in Great Britain where there is a strict rule for social status; people solely defined by bloodlines, not character, education, achievement or wealth. Royalty stood at the top of humanity’s ladder, everybody else scrambled below with no hope of ascending. During ancient times, commoners were not allowed to mingle with royalty, and no one dared to defy the rules set by them.

The book exposed the most sensitive aspect of the monarchy and the scandals involving some prominent members including the heir apparent, Prince Charles. The first edition was released in the summer of 1997, so controversial that it was not published in Great Britain and the royal family even threatened to file a law suit against the biographer.

During Queen Victoria of England’s reign, royalty looked up by many as the true model of elegance, modesty and refinement, but as the 20th century approaches, this medieval principle gnarled to merely illusions as royals themselves are the source of scandals and controversies that hugged headlines throughout the world. In Britain, The Queen’s subjects are all disappointed with their future king, Prince Charles’ behavior that the local newspapers thundered: ABC (Anybody But Charles) and chanted “God Save the Queen and save us from her heir”.

Perhaps the most unforgettable scandal that rocked the establishment was the controversial voluntary abdication of King Edward VIII, eldest son of King George V. When the first Windsor monarch died from pneumonia on January 1936, Prince David ascended immediately as Edward VIII, but his first few months on the throne were marred by controversies that threatened an institutional crisis, the sensitive issue on whether he could take Wallis Simpson as his consort without the opposition of his subjects was the most common topic. Mrs. Simpson, a twice divorce American woman, did not pass the requirements of an ideal Queen Consort, she was even called “Edward’s unholy lover” by the King’s mother, Queen Mary. The Prime Ministers in the British commonwealth of nations reinforced the sentiments of the public by urging the new King to either abandon Wallis or abdicate.

Edward made no hesitation when he chose his lover over duty and tradition. In his unforgettable abdication statement, he said that it’s too impossible for him to continue his kingship without the support of the woman he loved. The news spread through out the world that, according to at least one account, one reporter in New York City exclaimed “it’s the greatest news to hit the world since the resurrection!”.

Edward was created Duke of Windsor and literally banished from the court sending his shy brother, Prince Albert or Bertie to the throne. The Duke of York, who by then married to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the daughter of the 14th Earl of Strathmore and has 2 daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret, was favored before hand by his father to inherit the crown. Amidst his stammering habit and reluctant nature, he was proper, solidly married and represented the monarchy with dignity in various official engagements, unlike his older brother who cavorted with married women to social gatherings. At the end of his life, George V, cursed the primogeniture succession that barred his second son Bertie from acquiring the crown, but within eleven months after his death, his favorite son began his rule and reigned for 16 years as George VI and was succeeded by his eldest daughter Elizabeth.

The British monarchy surrounded by mystique and charm, rely mostly on pomp and pageantry, where according to poet Noel Coward “that’s where they do best”. Its ancient symbol, the Windsor Castle, is the oldest inhabited castle in the world dating back from 11th century, when William the Conqueror choose the site as his official seat of court after his successful invasion from the last Anglo-Saxon King, Harold II. The fortress, composed of cobbled stone and dark archways, is situated south of London above the placid Thames River at Berkshire. 19th century diarist Samuel Pepys dubbed it as the most romantic castle that is in the world.

Today, the monarchy is still alive though haunted with loads of controversies, yet the mystique is still the status symbol of Great Britain. Its current head, Queen Elizabeth II, reigned for more than 50 years since her accession in 1952 on the death of her father King George VI, continued inspiring her subjects and all its territories and nations. Scandals and controversies however overshadowed the prestige of the crown. 20th century was probably the most trying times of the monarchy, where all members of the royal family deals with individual’s scandals, but as the old adage goes:" still the show must go on".

Friday, October 5, 2007

Dreaming Europe ^___^

When I was still in my fourth grade, my father brought home a glossy, life size calendar featuring some of the best holiday destinations in Europe. My 10-year-old mind glued on the breathtaking sight of Veyvey,which I found, a milk dominated farm in Eastern Switzerland (home of Nestle Food Company, known as Societe de Produits Nestle in their local tongue).

The magnificent sight features cows and sheep gnawing green grass on the scallop mountain. It was a childhood fascination that triggered my innocent mind to discover the other side of the planet, well, EUROPE in particular.

I started clipping articles, pictures or anything I found in my father's desk (much to his fury) that has Europe in it. Until I become of age, this European thing fascination evolved into another layer of dream. To really travel to the continent. The rocky mountains of Switzerland, the mystical region of Burgundy in France, the romantic surrounding of Tuscany in Italy, the breathtaking scenery of  Cornwall in England and the romantic beaches in Greece and Monaco are just some of my childhood dreamed holiday escapes. 

London is an exciting city, I supposed, with all its splendor and sophistication it's hardly a boring place to visit.The Big Ben, Buckingham palace, Westminster Abbey, Parks and the Tower of London are just few of England's enthralling landmarks, STONEHENGE in Wiltshire, across the Salisbury plains is a breathtaking ancient wonders. Windor Castle, which Samuel Pepys (a 17th century diarist)described as the most romantic castle in the world, is a cobbled fortress located in Royal Berkshire above the placid Thames river, it's an ancient symbol of the British Monarchy and the weekend residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the current head of the Royal House of Windsor. Across the English Channel lies France, Paris, its capital, is said to be the most romantic city in the world (I'm yet to discover why)as the old adage goes:come to Paris and discover romance.

Then there's Monaco, a tiny principality ruled by His Serene Highness Prince Albert II, it is often a favorite honeymoon destination of the rich and the famous, the privilege and the glamorous cavorting to the classy resort of Cote de Azur.Well, well considering the high price (a whopping 6 digit figures in euro)you'll spend by taking a single step there, it's a bit challenging-financially.

Why not take on the nearest border, Italy, of course, still romantic as Monaco.The region of Tuscany is just as captivating as Burgundy in France with its vast winery vineyard overlooking the artistic city of Florence.Venice on the northern part is famous for Gondola, many exciting couples eagerly waiting for a dreamy vacation, find a boat ride in the Venetian wide canal, a worthwhile experience.

Traveling to Scandinavian peninsula maybe not be a perfect idea, but Norway in particular is a sort of paradise, known to travelers as the Land of Midnight Sun, it's a place rarely visited by Diana or Artemis or Apollo.Fjord in the countryside is refreshing as the English Lake District, Grasmere (home of the poet William Wordsworth) where beautifully cultivated Hangerias sprouted.

Above all, I still consider Scotland,in the British isle, as the best place to explore where pageantry and history blended regally. The ancient castles of the early Scottish royals still stood imposing. The Culloden Moor (the last battle ground of English and Scottish wars where the Bonnie King, Charlie Stuart, defeated by the advancing army of the English King, Edward II). It offers scenic views of the historical ground of Fort William and Loch Ness, where hunting expedition of the European aristocrats usually held.

Isle of Skye in Oarkney Island is a spectacular boating and fishing destination that would not be missed. Glasgow (Scotland's biggest city)is the most orderly and beautifully governed city in the world(according to Compton Encyclopedia),hardly no beggars, street children and sidewalk vendors. Lifestlye in Glasgow, is far from radical or liberated.Scotland, I think is a lot safer than England.Terrorists might think twice in detonating bombs in the hinterlands, they'll not spend a huge amount anyway if only geese and bushes are the victims.

Philippines is still a paradise country to live, but isn't it a wonderful lifetime journey if we could, even once, visit another land, not to work (and endure the rant of bully employers),but to taste the life of just being there, sipping champagne, dining regional foods, walking around, rubbing elbows with fellow travelers and the good feeling of experiencing life itself.