Most Meaningful Christmas Greeting

My Uncle Erning, an Iglesia ni Cristo diakono, visited our home today. Conscious about being sensitive to the religious beliefs of others, I would usually say ‘Happy Holidays’–a greeting more safe. (For those who don’t know yet, INCs don’t celebrate Christmas.)

But when I kissed Uncle Erning’s hand, he smiled at me and greeted me with a voice most joyful and sincere: Merry Christmas, Anak.

So there. The warmest Christmas greeting I received came from a man who does not even believe in Christmas. Most INC members I know are very fiery in the expression of their beliefs. But there he was, my Uncle Erning, realizing that it was not about himself, but about our family’s happiness.

He greeted me… and it was not cliché.

Christmas accomplished.

What is happiness for you?

(These opinions were solicited through a survey board we posted outside our office.)

It is like a broadcast network where every data packet received matters – cmpcsi
It is when your fans ask for your autograph, then they hug and kiss you on your cheeks. -SG
Simply fulfilling your mission here on earth even when you experience ups and downs. -SG
When you forgive someone who hurt you. -Alessandra
When you reach self-actualization –xjoii 🙂
Food is my happiness -:)
No mangabak ti jueteng, aglalo no lima a limit -rayven
It is when other people are happy because of you -Erika Castro
Tong-its —?
When you reach success. Success is when you reach your highest potential with God in your heart. -Ryhenroke
Happiness is when you found your true love -Giselle
It is when you go to sleep, and still wish to wake up the next morning -abes 🙂
It is when my ex-boyfriend still cries for me -eigram
Ti ragsak ket imas, and vice versa
Happiness is like peeing in your pants. Everybody can see it, but only you can feel the warmth. -Cmsc
My Happyness is wrong spelling
Happiness is a matter, because it occupies space and it has weight in your heart and mind -lhairhobesboy
Which do you prefer? A very happy pig or a very lonely man? -crossbred pigman
Happiness is to be experienced, not to be intellectualized
It is the absence of loneliness and anger
It is when I know I have loved and I am loved.
It is brought about by vitamins. More energy mas happy.
Happiness is being contented. It doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It just means you have learned to look past imperfections.
Ragsak kadi no nakaawatka iti regalo ken kwarta ngem… napukawmo daytoy kalpasan laeng ti maysa nga aldaw?
-drama boy
Happiness is having “uno” in all subjects -asa
Hapee is a toothpaste brand —Icalla

Feel free to add to the list..

“Heben” by bhonj

Rusngiit nga uray la gumigis
Arutittit nga sumaplit arigem palsiit
Ngem no talyawem iti aglawlawmo ikit
Awan sabali no di ni Johnny, inka masirit.

Kabayatan iti nagkaado a sagubanitna
Agsusukot, agtutupatop, agsasanga
Maalananto payla’t aggarakgak, agkatawa
Uray na la itangad-tangad, natnag gayam pustiso na.

Arak ti maysa nga inna pangliwliwa
Pammigat, pangngaldaw,pangrabii isu’t danumna
No kastigarem, pampaimas pangan kunaen na kenka
“Ket di mo paylang ilabay”, inka isungbat, ay sultakennaka.

Intunno makaadon, isaganam da bagin
Di mapugsatan ti sao, karyarenna amin
Dayta ni Johnny, katatao na’t managbabain
Ngem no makainom, Diyos ko, mangibabain.

Kiwar ditoy, pinggit dita, dayta’t inna iyul-ulo
Nalaing nga umanunsyo, uray pinagbulan ti baket a kubbo
Ipustananto pay amin a di mangan-ano
Ngem no naatap ni gasat, agtinnagton a tuyo tay adobo.

Awan la’t di awan, tila adda paylang inda masangsango
Siam ti nagsasaruno, adda pay ubba nga agsussuso
Di payen mapunas a buteg, agkaraiwara nga isbo
Ngem no simmangbay da rabiin, dayta manen Apo, otso-otso.

Kastoy ti kasasaad iti kaaduan a Pilipino
Nakakatkatawa a kunaem ngem isu’t pudno
Narway unay inda panagsarak ti rag-o
Sadanto laeng mautob iti nasayaat,
dimmagadanton ken dimmapo.

ARIEL “Bhonj_” AGNGARAYNGAY, is a native of Solsona, Ilocos Norte and a third-year Civil Engineering Student in MMSU.

Happiness is Man-made

(The following is Professor Rizal Javier’s take on happiness. Javier is an important figure in the local philosophy scene.)

HAPPINESS, according to one of the world’s greatest philosophers by the name of Aristotle, is a state of mind wherein one is at peace.

I agree with Aristotle and from him I think and believe that in order for man to be happy, man himself must find happiness first within himself and afterwards radiate it to others.

People very often, if not always, blame their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on this world are the people who get up, think and look for the circumstances they want in order to be happy and if they can’t find them, they have to make them. Do not wait for and expect anyone or anything to give you happiness. Create it. Make it. Simply do it. How?

Make yourself so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Speak of health, happiness, and prosperity to every person that you meet. Have all your friends become aware of the special qualities within them.

Look at the sunny side, although aware of the dark side, of everything and let your optimism or hopefulness work to make your dreams come true. Think, work for, and expect only the best. Be enthusiastic about the success of others as you do about your own. Cast into oblivion past mistakes and go on towards a greater future.

Always wear a cheerful countenance at all times, as a smile radiates warmth and love. Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. And, finally, be too wise for worry, too tolerant for anger, and too courageous for fear.

I end this piece with a line from an old English prayer: Take time to laugh—it is the music of the soul.

Let us be happy.

Jeans Cequina, my kindred: THE Quirkyalone

JEANS CEQUINA is an idol-turned-colleague-turned-friend. Little did I know that she has been my kindred soul all along.

“Kin” dreams of singing in a bar where battered souls and wounded hearts go for healing. I dream of frequenting that bar. In Jeans, reality meets fiction. Born and raised in a sugar plantation in Bacolod, this artist is as sweet and gentle as the pandas that she slept with (until she realized that sleeping alone is still best). I am eternally indebted to Jeans for being a lighthouse in my stormy days. How can I forget those mornings when on my table I’d find notes, paintings, candles, or food– from Jeans who proclaims the gospel of being okay?

Once, on our way to the office, rain poured heavily, I grabbed her hand and ran. To my surprise, I saw Jeans genuflecting, all wet, her left knee hurting. “Even if it were acid rain I wouldn’t run, she said”. She got up and walked gracefully, as if wearing a gown. People who saw the fall laughed at her… but we laughed at ourselves harder. That’s vintage Jeans.
In her essay, which I am posting in this blog (and will hopefully feature in the print edition of my weekly column come February), this woman of many passions celebrates the joys of solitude and being out-of-the-box. If there is one person who can write–with sincerity, depth, and magic– about being a quirkyalone, it is she. I am reminded that one time when Jeans, I, and other friends met for dinner after a long time of missing each other (we meet veeeery rarely), this life-of-the-party wanted to be home before 1o pm. The reason? The next day, the Ilongga was to have a very important date with a very important person–her self.
This spiritual comrade is nothing more, nothing less…than a woman who finds joy in life and in living, …because she views life not as a cross to be borne, …or a world to be remade, …or an oyster to be opened, …or a time to be suffered, …but simply as days to be lived in harmony with all men, …for the glory of our Creator.

(Quirkyalone noun/adj. A person who enjoys being single (but is not opposed to being in a relationship) and generally prefers to be alone rather than dating for the sake of being in a couple. Also, a movement and an international holiday that happens to fall on February 14.)

Read on…
QUIRKYALONE: a self-portrait
I am the puzzle piece who seldom fit with other puzzle pieces.

But I didn’t choose to be different, as you didn’t choose to obey the rules. I was born to a new age of pois, pandas, pixie dusts, dawns, rain dancing, colored sea stones, celtic music, gaels, lighthouses and an eternal love affair with my paintbrushes, my pen and papers.

My rules are not conventional. My spirit cannot be contained in a single receptacle.

I gravitate towards the lowly, idiosyncratic, peculiar and unpopular. I refuse to get entangled in the mishmash of sales invoice, bank statements and or a dismal display of that signature coffee cup in hand. I am your cat in the rat race.

I am different.

My friend is the moon. My music is the bagpipe and the pennywhistle. The only steps I take are tapped and in harmony with the ‘riverdance’. Sunrise is my ally but shadows always teach me things.

I am my own style but I am also beyond it. I partially reside in a closet with a mélange of moods, mystery, magic and other manifestations. I am shaped by my atypical interests and they steal pieces from each other, every single moment, making me a shape shifter and a beautiful walking mosaic.

My irreverent approach to life is driven by my endless imagination (and yes, often by hunches too!) and never a conscious pathetic attempt to look cool or conform to an existing public image.

Making magic and fairy tales come true, for me, lie in seeing the world with a heightened perception like seeing a drop of poetry in the most mundane of things.

My frame of mind is an eternal journey to more and more mystery. And my eyes, aside from being an icon of creation, is merely a peephole to the full shebang that goes inside my heart.

I am different.

I resist the tyranny of ‘couple-dom’. I have a positive space in my heart for singles like me who choose to be single rather than in a mediocre relationship. Yet make no mistake: I am no less concerned with coupling than your average serial monogamist. Secretly, I am a romantic—romantic of the highest order. But I want a miracle! Out of millions, I have to find the one who will understand.

I am different. I inhabit “solitude” as my natural resting state. In a world where marriage, proms or tandem bikes define the social order, I am, by force of my personality and inner strength, a REBEL.

I see the world with different eyes and I am continually amazed by the beauty and madness around me. like my lighthouses, i have a wealth of lovely people beside and behind me ready to fire me up endlessly. and just like a lighthouse, i reflect myself back to them with a connection that is way beyond words.

I am different. I am a “quirkyalone”…and loving every minute of it!

I am overwhelmed because being different gives me all the leeway to sashay my blots, blemishes, failings and flaws. No regrets. No shame.

I am different. I don’t have to be perfect to be whole and happy.

That’s my take on the world.

–jeanscequina (08-08-08).