Your mantra for the week: “I appreciate each breath I take. It is God’s greatest blessing.”
Very often we compare our blessings with those of other people; and we tend to believe others are more blessed than we are. But we are all blessed. We all have gifts, different though they may be.
As we discover these blessings, use them and be grateful for them; they increase and multiply in our lives.
We are blessed with a physical body that is unique. It is our gift from the universe. Do not compare it with any other body for your body is unlike any other.
It is only in discovering our gifts that we can use them. We can use them to bring forth the world that we desire, to bring forth the life that we envision for ourselves.
Many times we do not realize that each member in our respective families is a gift. The person is there either to bless us or to be blessed by us. As we do this, we create greater good in the universe, for the love that we give each other creates a power like no other.
Think of everyone in your family now—from your father, to your mother, to whoever you consider part of your family. Those you love very much, those you love a little less, those you are still learning to love… they are part of the gifts of the universe to you. As you learn to appreciate them for the blessings that they truly are, you open greater channels of good for yourself. They make up your soul-chosen family, the ones that were in your life from the start.
You may have had disagreements, misunderstandings, even quarrels, but it’s alright. You may sometimes feel that they are more blessed than you are, but all children of God are blessed with different gifts, but blessed just the same.
When you understand that you are here to give love, you will also understand why people are necessary. When you understand that you are here to learn to love yourself, you will also understand why other people are your “other selves.” Each person brings a lesson, each brings a mirror and all these facets are part and parcel of your life.
Each person in your life moves you on to a greater understanding of life, of lovingness. Each person is an aspect of God presenting Itself to you. This may not seem so at times because of our judgments, but it is God coming face to face with you—your father, your mother, your brothers, your sisters, your mates, your children, and then later, those you treat as family, and still later on, the whole family of man.
Look well and discover: Each pair of eyes that look back at you is a gift, it is God. Understanding this opens your heart to forgive. Understanding this opens your mind to look beyond appearances. Understanding this is really understanding yourself.
When you fully realize that each person in our lives is God making Its presence known to us, our lives bloom, our body temple grows stronger, healthier. Our prosperity increases and multiplies beyond our fondest dreams. Our relationships bring us joy and allow us to be instruments of peace and kindness wherever we go.
This realization opens all doors to every form of success, every endeavor we have, and then every goal is achieved, and it all comes down to knowing our oneness with all people in our lives. After all, it is all God.
For love of country
I ran into the glamorous workaholic Ching Montinola, who, along with Rosanna Fores, assist the Department of Tourism as liaisons to the private sector to help promote the Philippines, gratis et amore, “for the love of country,” says Ching.
She also talked about how her protégé, violinist Joaquin “Chino” Gutierrez, showed his virtuoso talents at the launch of Rosalinda “Baby” Orosa’s book, “Tapestry,” by playing two of Baby’s favorite songs, “Paru-parong Bukid” and “Bayan Ko.”
About Baby’s book, Ching said: “‘Tapestry’ is a must-read because it illustrates how one family can impact the culture of a people and move them to a deeper sense of nationalism.” I agree wholeheartedly. The Sixto Orosa family has done this so admirably!
I was unable to attend the 91st birthday celebration of Antonio Martel Jr. at the Manila Polo Club but I received a copy of a booklet entitled, “A Self-made Man and a Man For All Seasons.” It summarizes his business accomplishments that range from shipping to shopping centers to land development. The booklet ends with birthday greetings from his immediate family and friends.
What caught my eye, however, was Antonio’s working with Andres Soriano Sr., who at age 22 became the president of San Miguel Brewery. Soriano Sr. was obviously the choice of the religious order that controlled the company—really a good choice because he was an accountant.
Many do not realize that it was the Church that put up San Miguel Brewery. People usually associate the company with the Andres Soriano.
In 1964, when photographer par excellence Dick Baldovino was assigned to take pictures of San Miguel’s new set of directors and executives headed by the then new president Andres Soriano Jr. for Asia Magazine, the directors representing the religious order all refused to be photographed.
I remember Dick saying, after a very colorful and popular Tagalog expletive, “Ang simbahan pala ang majority stockholder ng San Miguel Corp.”
To which I countered, naturally, why do you think the company is named after a saint?
Antonio Martel Jr. started his business career working with San Miguel Brewery. His uncle Joaquin Preysler, then executive vice president, recommended him to assist Andres Soriano Sr. on a special project.
After his stint at San Miguel, Antonio decided to become self-employed, and the rest is history.
The gracious Belen Lovina-Ticzon, who took care of Antonio’s birthday celebration, said: “Thank you for 41 years of bonding time with lots of affection, trust and happiness.” Her graciousness extended to as far as including the wedding picture of her husband to Luz Puyat in July 1, 1956.
I noticed that in the portion of the booklet where Antonio’s close relatives wish him a happy birthday, only Carlos amongst his living brothers greeted him. What happened to Enrique, Rodolfo (married to the late Alita Romualdez, sister of Imelda Marcos), Ricardo (married to Leticia Matias)? Do they belong to the typically rich families where siblings do not necessarily agree or get along? Well, in that region of society, it is called normal.
Like a play on Broadway
Sitting in the CCP Tanghalang Huseng Batute to watch a part of the 11th year of the Virgin Labfest—where “untried, untested, unstaged plays are shown—brought back my years in the theater as a stage actor.
I had joined practically all theater groups then but the Barangay Theater Guild with the Avellanas, Bert and Daisy, both National Artists, was my home in my theater life. I love the theater and Labfest has made me love it even more.
Last Thursday, I watched “Uod, Butete at si Myrna”—Angeli Bayani as Myrna, Ross Pesigan as Uod, and Reymund Domingo as Butete—written by Layeta Bucoy and directed by George de Jesus III; “When Sam Met Jo”—Randy Villarama as Dr. Sam Arcenas and Chic San Agustin as Dr. Jo Chua—written by Job Pagsibigan and directed by Ian Segarra; “Dalawang Gabi”—Ibarra Guballa as Lester and Mean Espinosa as Ma’am Debbie—written by Maynard Manansala and directed by Jade Castro.
All parts were acted out in true professional fashion in the same way that the plays were written. However, “Dalawang Gabi” was my favorite—Mean and Ibarra creating stage magic with their counterpoint repartees. Their performances were both touching and moving.
There were moments in the romantic comedy that I felt I was actually watching a play on Broadway. The subject matters covered by the three plays ranged from the realism of a Lino Brocka to a sci-fi psychological time travel venture to an intelligent romantic comedy a la Ishmael Bernal.
Congratulations to all concerned for a five-star evening in the theater!