Tuesday, March 25, 2014


"When was the last time you dyed?" Pause. Senior moment panic. Did I hear that right? 

"Dye" or "die" -- is there a difference? Well, apart from their spelling, dyeing and dying may have a lot more in common than you think. 

Never missed appointments. For many of us golden girls, a dye day spells the difference between slowing the clock on our locks or readily admitting (Aminin!) -- walang kalaban-laban -- to the whole world that you're a senior citizen card holder. 

(I'm most willing to flash that card only when I need to eat in a restaurant or renew my driver's license -- special treatment kasi, o di ba? But when you walk into your 40-ish gastroentorologist's clinic and he calls you "Mommy," or when the jeepney driver shouts, "Eto po sukli nyo, Lola," you better not miss a dye day. 

Our die day is a definite appointment too. "Everyone has to die once..." Hebrews 9:27a.

Beautiful consequences. Well, your wallet may moan a little for the few bucks spent each dye day, but the color lift seems to lift your droopy face lines too. Bakit kaya?

When I applied to renew my driver's license, one of those in the line was adamant that I went ahead of the rest, till I told him, "Senior po, pinaderetso sa counter," I reacted with a hint of disgust. "Ay, hindi kasi kayo mukhang senior. Akala ko 40 lang kayo," he replied, sounding apologetic. Palusot! My senior ears applauded, secretly.

My husband is pleased naturally. I asked him a long time ago about nixing the dye. (My Nanay had completely white hair when she was my age and she looked fabulous -- not that I'm saying I'd be as fabulous. Kaunti lang siguro, hehe.) 

His cold reply: "Sa bahay ka na lang." He never questioned my salon visits of course. 

But I've lately found them too pricey so I'm back to self-dyeing -- if only to maintain any semblance of young-me in my hubby's eyes. (Imagine walking hand-in-hand with someone who looks younger than you? It's bad enough if people mistake you for his mother, but a sugar mommy...?!!) So the expense and the effort are worth it, ladies. 

The bad news is, dye jobs can't soothe arthritic joints, high blood pressure and increased cholesterol level-the more frightening signs of aging. Grim reminders that no matter how we try to look and feel young -- sorry, face lift, botox, liposuction, etc. fans -- our body which kept on going and going through the years like an unstoppable Energizer battery, will run its course and go kaput. Back to dust where it came from.

So better to be concerned now with what really matters than just maintaining a babe-licious or hunky physique. What really matters? Our relationships, with our Maker and men -- what good we've planted in others' lives.  

The complete Hebrews 9:27 verse: "Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences."

What consequences await us when our body meets the cremation chamber? This I'm  sure of: Bio-organic-me may be bottled in an urn, but forever-youthful-me will surely be high-fiving Jesus and my long-lost loved ones in heaven-for the rest of eternity. 

That's what Jesus assures those who believe and obey Him. Acts 16:31: "... Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-you and your household."

Jesus adds: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven," Matthew 7:21. 

OK, let's start. Lose the vanity. Ouch, ouch! 

Originally published at: 

Monday, March 17, 2014


When did we get to be so selfie?

Hold the dagger looks. Let me explain.

Time was when our family pictures and videos made their way quietly into our living rooms through nicely put together photo albums, and Betamax or VHS tapes, viewed for reminiscing during family bonding times.

Today, we do it digitally. Through Facebook, a baby passes from one stage to the next with his parents' friends and relations daily enjoying front-row seats to an eyeful of cute and LOL moments. 

Take note, hardly any techie-oriented lola takes with her apo photo albums anymore. (One shows off using her I-Pad; another lola, her I-phone.)

I remember seeing on FB right away, almost in real time, our second granddaughter's first ultrasound shot, and rejoicing every time a new baby picture got uploaded after she was born. Our son's family lives in the US, yet technology has enabled us to connect with them even from this side of the globe.

Of course, today too, we're so used to seeing one's nicely laid-out lunch or dessert, a selfie, or a group shot with friends uploaded right away for their viewing convenience. How cool is that? 

Don't you just love it that because of Facebook, YouTube and other social networking sites, connecting and being updated with the status of loved ones and friends have become as easy as pie? Free for cheapskates like me! 

But let me poke your sense and sensibility meter a bit.

While we share shots of our food, eat-outs, vacays (short for "vacations" in case this is your first time to encounter this word), and fleeting thoughts for all our friends to view and read, have we thought of drawing the line somewhere so that we that don't come off as boastful or showing off? 

What impression do we really create in their minds as we fire off those "shares"?

1 John 2:16: For all that is in the world - the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions - is not from the Father but is from the world. The Holy Spirit exposes our hearts.  What does He have to say about sharing a photo or a video or a thought?  

We've seen the worst, haven't we? 

Why upload your own X-rated video?  Why produce it in the first place? Why rant and curse and fill the net highway with profanity?  

Wala nang itinago! 

The bible warns us that in the last days,  "... people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents...  slanderous, without self-control...  reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God..." (2 Timothy 3:2-4 ESV)

Is this referring to our selfie generation?

Connect with your friends and loved ones via FB. Share photos and updates. What's not to love with YouTube with all its downloadable music and videos?  Realize though that as we enjoy these ether-worldly perks,  the Lord will take us to account for every reckless word or wrong intention.
Even as we share photos and thoughts through FB, let your heart be sensitive to His Spirit.

Friday, March 7, 2014


Used plastics may seem like a nuisance or eyesore; but the enterprising collect and recycle them into tabo, batya, park benches or even polyester fabrics-a bit more interesting than what they used to be.

Broken glass made new? Of course! Cullet or scrap glass, mixed with sand, soda ash and limestone, can be molded into high-value glass packaging. 

If engineers and entrepreneurs can repurpose throw-aways, couldn't our heavenly Manufacturer do too with us? He's after all the Mighty God who created everything by His awesome power.

Isaiah 64:8---But now, O LORD, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our Potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand.

How many times have you been broken or crushed---almost sure you were doomed---but you hollered and He scooped you from your sinkhole of despair? 

"W" lurked in dark alleys where sexual perversion became his daily fare. "L" thought her life ended when her husband of many years left her---penniless and homeless---for a woman half her age. 

But to the great Rebuilder, no life can be so totally messed up beyond repair. He promised to transplant our heart of stone with a heart of flesh---able to hear His voice and motivated to zoom through Victory Boulevard. 

Jesus came "... to proclaim freedom for the prisoners... to set the oppressed free," Luke 4:18. Nothing is too impossible for the Mighty God who died on our behalf to ransom us from utter failure. 

"W" and "L" met Jesus just in the nick of time and turned their lives around. Was it easy to escape their barb-wired past? 

Like shattered glass melted in a furnace with heat up to 2800 degrees Fahrenheit---so that they can be molded into brand new beauties, "W" and "L" must have struggled with unbelief, insecurity and the temptation to continue to bear grudges and return to sin's back alleys. 

They leaned on loving family and friends; and learned that Jesus was the only way to bounce back.

Let's face it, rebuilding broken lives is not easy. But that's the reason Jesus came. His grace is sufficient for us, cushioning us from the pain of our past. 

In Jesus, no one is ever a throw-away.