Thursday, May 28, 2015


The animated film "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" has been our grandchild Natalie's---she's turning three this June---MRM (most requested movie) three weeks and counting.

We've watched it often enough that we find ourselves going ahead of the characters in reciting their lines.

It's a most endearing tale of an accomplished Nobel prize-winning dog (Mr. Peabody) whom no human wanted because he was quite different. While other dogs chased sticks or toys, the boy Peabody sat on a corner to read Plato. 

Even with his achievements (graduated vale-dog-torian, some inventions, and achieving much for world peace), Mr. Peabody felt compelled to adopt a boy. He found the baby Sherman in a box one day and asked the court for custody. 

"No boy should be without a home," he said.

It's a LOL (laugh out loud) movie all the way; but its theme of unconditional love is fairly evident as parent and child learn from each other while they cris-cross time zones, meeting historical and mythical characters along the way through Mr. Peabody's invention---a time machine. 

The scenes with Da Vinci ("I make-a machines! I paint-a! I don't-a make-a people laugh-a!" he admonishes pouty and stubborn Mona Lisa), Agamemnon, King Tut and the French revolution (liberte, egalite, fraternite) characters were rib-ticklers. 

Towards the end, Sherman---who was being taken away from Mr. Peabody by child care services because a dog could not be a qualified parent---claimed: 

"Then I'm a dog too! If it means never giving up on someone even if he messes." 

The movie's punchlines and one-liners should delight any advertising copywriter who dreams of producing a rip-roaring all-the-way-through-laugh-in movie. (I envisioned myself doing one a long time ago, yeah.) 

Go grab a soda and and download the movie's CD if you haven't seen it yet. (We watched it on Netflix.)  

It's a pretty neat vehicle to teach children about a father's persistent love. But it should also open kids' eyes to the fact that their parents are far from perfect, and in spite of their effort to give them (kids) the best (or when they try to discipline them), parents may still be clueless about many things. 

So love---both ways---must abound.

Deutoronomy 6:6-9---"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."

Or watch a movie with them. And while you're at it, enjoy, laugh and snuggle.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


It feels funny-weirdto see yourself in your son's kid.

Take for example three year old Natalie, our apo this part of the planet (USA; the other two, Joaqui and Charlize, live Down Under).

"You look just like her," my older sisters tell me, recalling how cute I was when I was that agewide eyed, expressive nose (like an airplane taking off the runway), pouty lips; and because just like Natalie, I sported full bangs with my bob.

I probably score higher in the tantrum department. Natalie may scream louderenough to shatter a mirror; but my tantrums were wilder. A face-the-wall is all she ever gets. I remember getting the belt after Tatay caught me throwing shoes and bakya from the top of the stairs on my biggest tantrum yet. I never dared throw another after that.

One big tantrum prior resulted in my high chair keeling over and me falling with it. (Yes, may high chair na nung panahon ko!) Taught me to never to kick and misbehave at dinnertime.

This same deja vu feeling comes when I realize that my habitssuch as the way I house-clean, dish-wash or recycle food into new dishesare throwbacks from my mother's ways.

I even see in my convoluted shape today her multi-storied tummy and exact same wrinkles which she used to slather with tons of lotion. No wonder I go gaga over lotions, especially at my age.

Our hereditary characteristics or looks are of course a function of our DNA. But we also become our mother or father's clone as we unconsciously take on their habits, be they good or bad.
We can't do much about the way we look, can we? But parents can nurture children of character through their example, their works speaking louder than their words, and guided by biblical truths:
Luke 6:43―"For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit."

Proverbs 22:6―"Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it."

The most valuable inheritance? A character of integrity!

Material riches perish. The acquiring of knowledge stops at some point. Beauty fades. But a godly character can see one through thick and thin, giving him the passion to pursue his God-given purposetill the very end of his life.

2Timothy 1:5―"For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well."

Reared by devoted Christian women, Timothy, the apostle Paul's trainee, pursued a calling which dramatically touched lives.

Kids will be kids. They will always want to have their way. Natalie is at that stage, testing her limits. But for as long as the adults around her keep the love-discipline balance, she'll grow up to be a fine individual, just like her parents.

"Come closer to me, you might fall off the bed," Natalie cautioned her mom as they snuggled in bed.

"Nice shoes, Lola Yay!" said she when she happened to glace at my feet when I stepped into the car.

Hmm… the makings of character? 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Once in a while, awesome gets to be endless wow-some.

We tasted that in a recent three-day road trip (Thanks, Carlo and Opal.) spanning 1,600 miles across California, Nevada and Arizona.

Wow number one: Las Vegas, as usual pulsing with its mesmerizing lights and soundspost the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. We got a glimpse of our Pambansang Kamao's fighting form plastered on buses plying its busy streets.

Vegas is of course gamblers' paradise. But I've witnessed families fall apart due to gambling so I wasn't that thrilled; especially since its hotels cum casinos reeked of cigarette smoke. 

Las Vegas always reminded me of the Lord's encounter (Matthew 4:1-11) with the devil who took Him to a very high mountain to show off the world's kingdoms and their splendor.

"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me," (v 9).

Brainless devil! How could man-made grandeur compare with the magnificence of God's handiwork?

Grand Canyon versus Las Vegas? No contest!

From Vegas, we drove eight hours to Williams City prior to Grand Canyon, Arizona; on the way stopping by the Hoover Dam (Boulder City, Nevada), an immense arch-gravity dam built for flood control, irrigation and hydroelectric power. Regarded as a man-made wonder even if constructed back in 1931, the Hoover Dam is a testament to man's God-given ability to tackle seemingly impossible tasks.

But Hoover Dam itself is puny compared to the other wows which awaited us:

The Grand Canyonmagnificence beyond compare. It's like beholding Godprobably the same reverential fear experienced by Moses when God spoke to Him from the burning bush.

Exodus 3:5"Do not come any closer, God said. Take off your sandals, for the place you're standing is holy ground."

Of course, instead of taking my rubber shoes off, I shot away.  But pictures alone could not convey this overwhelming wonder in the presence of God's glory. It's as if I've touched the face of God and lived to tell it all.

1 Chronicles 29:11"Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is yours."

This verse resonated as we passed plains, mountains, hills, plateaus, and valleysall differently hued and textured either with giant boulders, rock gardens, endless sand dunes, forests and intimidating wildernesses; acres and acres of wheat and vegetable plantations, windmill farms, cow pasturelands and ranches; while the heavens stared at us through crying clouds or clouds pregnant with rain, and happy clouds of whipped creams, crocodile, chariot, French bread or whatever we imagined. We even had some snow the eve of our Grand Canyon adventure.

Good thing our GPS directed us to the back roads of Nevada, Arizona and California, not the usual freeways. Our wows just would not let up.

How surreal is that? Alice's wonderland does not even come close. A grace avalanche, indeed!