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Showing posts from December, 2018

The Greatest Story In The World

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Saturday Stories December 29, 2018

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The Christmas story I love most is about the baby Jesus born in a manger, the only place where Mary and Joseph found shelter. Then came three mysterious men who were on a quest to find the child, guided by a bright star that showed them the way. And my second favorite Christmas story is about a young man named Hafiz who found them. He had with him an expensive blanket he was supposed to sell to prove that he can be a salesman, to  show that he could be more than a camel boy. But he gave it to the shivering baby, and somehow, he knew it was the right thing to do.

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As he made his way back to their caravans, he tried to think of a way to explain to the merchant Pathros, his master, what he had done with the blanket. At that same moment, Pathros was standing outside his tent, watching in awe of a bright moving star that seemed to have come from Bethlehem. Pathros was known as the greatest salesman in the world, and he had looking for many years for …

Kings and Wise Men

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Saturday Stories December 22, 2018

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A poet friend and I have composed many poems together. I call it "Co-creation at its best," a phrase inspired by Abraham Hicks. Many of our poetry duets have been published in various literary sites. Our most recent was last Monday, December 17, in Galaktika Poetike Atunis, an online poetry magazine based in Albania in southeastern Europe.     

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I'm happy that our poetry themes are now mostly about our own Philippine heritage – our myths, folklore, history, culture, heroes. Yet poetry knows no bounds of time and space. We once did a poem about ancient Palestine, posting our stanzas in the Comments section of "Hearts In Atlantis," my Facebook post for May 11, 2018. She spoke about the Middle East conflict that has been there since Old Testament times. The poem itself is still unpublished, but I think our poetry collection could become a book. Who knows?

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My lines are inspired by the Three Wise Men who found the baby Jes…

Talking To God (2)

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Saturday Stories December 15, 2018


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Henry David Thoreau once wrote: "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." He meant that many people feel a sense of being incomplete, and they try to fill the gap in their own ways. There are those who are unhappy, deep down, even if they may not appear that way. I've been up and I've been down so I know how it felt, and this is why I don't judge people because of their situation at any given moment. There was a time when I felt there was something missing, and thank God those days are over. Speaking of God, in the early nineties, He saw a letter addressed to Him that was full of sadness and anger, and most of all, pain – and He answered it.

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"Thy Will be done," we say when we pray. But what exactly is God's will? A lot of us believe that the will of God is what happens in our lives. We think that God gives out cancer or senseless deaths like a judge giving out sentences or Santa Claus giving out gift…

The Ancient Wisdom of The Toltec

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Saturday Stories December 8, 2018

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The British philantropist John Templeton once said: "It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice." I love that quote so much that it is now a personal mantra. One of the most significant lessons I learned is that our words and actions can affect others, often in ways we may not even realize. I have known it as a concept, but last week when I read "The Four Agreements" by the shaman Don Miguel Ruiz, my life flashed before me – and I saw the things I have said and done from a larger perspective. Don Miguel shares the ancient wisdom of the Toltec, a civilization that flourished from the tenth to the twelfth century in what is now Mexico. Toltec shamans have been masters of the mystic arts even before aliens showed themselves to the Mayans and the Aztecs.

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I now understand that who and what I am is the sum of all my beliefs – or, more precisely, of all the things I have chosen to believe. Don Miguel says: "…

The Greatest Lesson I Learned

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Saturday Stories December 1, 2018

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Sometimes, the people you meet when you were young are the ones who change you forever. I first met Don Juan Matus, the Yacqui Indian sorcerer, through Journey To Ixtlan by Carlos CastaƱeda when I was a kid. In the early 2000s, when I began to get published in national magazines, Don Juan was a star in one of my feature articles, "My Most Unforgettable Literary Characters," along with many others including a seagull named Jonathan. In a way, he was my first mentor. He was my first guide to a place that most people have forgotten, and some don't even believe is real – the world of the mystic.

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Don Juan appeared again towards the end of 2014 with impeccable timing. It was during a major turning point in my life, which I've put down in words in a memoir I called "A State of Grace." I wrote – "I shivered as chills ran down my chakra points when I saw a rare copy of Tales of Power where the author, the anthropologist C…