“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay.”—Dalai Lama
In the quest for inner peace, external forces and the behavior of others should not affect your state of grace. Keeping this inner stability helps us navigate through different kinds of relationships. Compassion and love are extremely important in any human encounter. According to the spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, compassion and respect towards one another are greater than any knowledge gained.
Peace is not the absence of conflicts because differences will always be present. Peace means resolving issues with a compassionate heart through dialogue, wisdom and knowledge and in humane ways. Understanding these differences with a clear mind helps us make the benevolent decision to act accordingly.
Patience, tolerance and understanding are just some of the elements needed to bring harmony and peace to the situation. These important aspects prioritize the human factor as well as the laws of nature. This is not just a dream, but also a necessity.
I was lucky to have had an audience with the Dalai Lama some years back. I listened to one of the most enlightened leaders I have ever encountered and gained so many insights. He didn’t share any life-altering advice, but instead shared the importance of putting extreme value on love and compassion. Without these two elements, no real spiritual growth could occur.
Feeding my spiritual essence with yoga and meditation, I have practiced daily quiet time in the mornings. Together with Mass and prayers, I have been divinely guided through my life changes. I have also been a devotee of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
Thanks to Gambia Consul Ma. Agnes Huibonhoa, I discovered the humble little chapel for Our Lady of Manaoag in Sampaloc, Manila. A staunch Marian devotee, Agnes has been supporting the chapel for decades, ever since she used to work under her uncle, Teofisto Guingona Jr., who was then the executive secretary. It’s located near Malacañang, and Agnes visited the chapel frequently then. She shared with us the stories of faith and everyday miracles.
Back in the 1960s, the chapel’s location was marked by abject poverty, criminality and violence that were so much a part of the people’s daily lives. In the middle of all this stood a humble makeshift shack that served as a chapel with only car chassis for posts and pews fashioned out of wooden planks mounted on hollow blocks. Shining like a rare jewel was a framed image of the Virgin Mary that drew droves of devotees from near and far.
I was delighted to join Agnes and some friends to see the Grand Marian Procession exhibition inside the chapel. The display is one of the highlights of the Golden Jubilee. It features the numerous Marian images from the different parts of the metro.
As the first hermana mayor of the barangay, Agnes plans to come up with a more meaningful and spiritual fiesta. For this once-dejected community, which has been touched and inspired by this Lady, so full of grace and love, life will never be the same.
The next day, I joined Philippine Tatler editor Anton San Diego for an intimate dinner for this month’s issue. Tatler tackles sustainability with eco-warrior and one of this generation’s superstars Nadine Lustre, who graces the cover.
Shot against the verdant surroundings, a crystalline river and the breathtaking mountains of Tanay, Rizal, by talented photographer BJ Pascual, Nadine and the team had their fill of adventure in this thrilling outdoor shoot. In charge of styling was the amazing Joanna Garcia, while beauty was taken care of by talented hairstylist Paul Nebres and makeup artist Jelly Eugenio.
Espousing sustainable and green living, Nadine is one of the talented actors today who use their voice and influence to amplify their advocacies. In her case, it is all about saving the planet, the importance of mental health and fighting for animal rights.
The issue is also dedicated to one of Tatler’s dearest friends, Maurice Arcache, whom we lost last March. He was the magazine’s society editor from its maiden issue in September 2001 to 2019. His passing spells the end of an era; undeniably, he was a party persona unmatched. Maurice, thank you for enriching us with your life.
After celebrating the birthday of good friend Charmaine Lagman, also in Manila House, I flew to Davao to enjoy some R&R with a couple of friends. Davao recently hosted Chefs on Tour at the Dusit Lubi Plantation Resort and Dusit D2 Davao. This extravaganza was described by guests as fun, fabulous, fantastic and phenomenal! Master planner and PR guy Keren Pascual gathered the guests and organized every detail to perfection.
Twelve chefs, the daring dozen, descended upon Davao to share their gustatory flair and kitchen skills, and a grand time was had by all. Local foodies were happy to sample the genius creations of the chefs. And young culinary students from Davao culinary institutes were able to rub shoulders and assist these chefs, who are like modern rock stars in our food obsessed pop culture.
The chefs each created a dish that showed off their creativity and a bit of their life stories. The first night was at the Dusit Lubi Plantation Resort, so primal band music played and a mind-blowing fire dance brought on the heat. The second night was at the grand ballroom of the D2 Dusit, and while it was a more elegant occasion, it was still a lively, super fun night with the “comedians dressed as chefs,” as event host Ces Oreña-Drilon called them.
We all know that food unites all our dearest loves: family, friends and good memories. And when food is elevated to art, that’s a show worth taking on the road. INQ
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