Thursday, 17 July 2008

WYD 08: Super Thursday - "Beyond Description"

"The Icon" Photo courtesy of Rieka.

Today is what has been dubbed as Super Thursday of the Sydney World Youth Day (actually a misnomer since it is more closer to a week rather than a "day") 2008.

This reminds of a childhood friend, Recy; who wrote a while back. She said:

"I just visited your page ( and thought of sharing photos that my daughter Rieka took during the Journey of the Cross and Icon (WYD 08) from the 8th to 9th of April in the Liverpool area.

The Cross and Icon were brought to Freeman Catholic College in Bonnyrigg Heights and stayed in John The Baptist Catholic Church for the overnight vigil. This event was attended by hundreds of people including students, teachers, local parishioners, members of different communities and people from nearby and outer suburbs.

It was a night to remember. It was raining and very cold, there was a lot of people including myself, eagerly waiting. Songs were sung by talented students from different schools while waiting for the cross. And then the cross and the icon arrived. After a few minutes of arrangements, we had our turns in venerating. The feelings were beyond description.... "



"Beyond description" is a phrase I heard and continue to hear again and again on TV and print media that tries to "describe" the spirituality, the experience, the euphoric, the excitement of WYD 08 participants. A lot of whom are young people "still" full of life, full of hope and idealism. Of faith.

Maybe some of us need to experience to believe... because IT is "beyond description"!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

SYD WYD 2008: Inaugural Mass

Photo shows the Marayong Polish Church.

Just finished watching on TV the inaugural mass of the "first day" of Sydney's World Youth Day 2008. The celebration of the Mass reminded me of certain events and people:

My friend's brother Eric, who, a couple of months ago sufferred aneurism. He is now able to walk and talk, and is on weekend "detention" at home. Chona, his wife can pick him up Friday nights from the respite hospital and "return" him for more therapy. Progress and recuperation for him is short of miracle, he now recognises his wife, children and relatives and friends!

My friend's brother, Father Roy. He visited Sydney more than five years ago and we had dinner with him while he was here. I received an email from him a couple of years later and he recounted some testing times in his life. He "went out" of priesthood and found a life partner. They are starting their own family and I hope he found what his purpose in life is. I know he is still a devout Catholic inspite of his "resignation" from the priesthood. I am sure he will serve God in another capacity.

My mom , who just turned 89 years old and seems too eager to meet her creator. I think she's a bit tired of life. She tries to be of "use" to her kids, but we do want her to just relax and for us to serve her. I hope that picking her up every Fridays, spending time with her will give her a new lease on wanting to live and celebrate life.

My Kuya Meno, a cousin from my mother side, who I just learnt was given a two-week deadline to live. Uncle Danny, who I heard was suffering from kidney failure and requires constant care.

My niece, Kamesh who was weeks ago was abducted and was somehow released unharmed.

My Bro Manny who is recuperating from stroke. Sis Mela and Sis Connie who are recuperating from serious illnesses.

Nanay Cion, my friend Tony's centenarian mother. She just celebrated her centenary this year and we learned her tremendous story worthy of a tele-novela or movie. I am just waiting for Tony to sent me the text of her story (he already sent me the drawings he made), and I will create a blog of her own; telling her story.

Of Maxine, my friend Allan's daughter. At a young age of 20, she sufferred a viral infection that attacks her nervous system and brain. Again God is good and she is back home recuperating.

Of Roxanne R (a daughter of Bro Rudy), who is participating and singing in the SYD WYD 2008 Mass. She was even featured in the Catholic Outlook front page (as reported by Sis Do, click her name or Catholic Outlook to view her picture and the July 8 issue). According to Bro Rudy:

"Yes, it was Roxanne in the picture. It was taken during the Bishop's visit at St Patrick's church last weekend. Roxanne is very active with the Saint Patrick's Youth Choir and she will be singing with the WYD Choir during the Pope's visit." Wow, what an opportunity!

Of Sis Do and Bro Manny's daughter, Rosanna or affectionately called "gurl". She was looking forward to SYD WYD 2008 and was scheduled to participate. Unfortunately, she twisted her ankle and has to be operated on and thus was out of action. I am sure she will be doing her bit at home, where they are hosting a couple of Filipino priests (home stay).

Of Ina... although I do not know her personally; who travelled all the way from San Francisco for this pilgrimage.

of Relly, another childhood friend; who is recuperating from cancer. I just spoke to him the other day to say hello and to know how his recent overseas trip was. He said it was great to meet and re-connect again with high school and other friends. I am so glad he made this trip!

Of the countless other people I know, relatives and friends. What a pilgrimage of what we call life! And I hope these young WYD 2008 pilgrims will find whatever they are looking for. That their pilgrimage is more than physically travelling to a central point but rather a spiritual pilgrimage towards their faith and their passions.

Tilapia: Good or Bad

A friend emailed me this bad news: Tilapia fish has a high concentration of Omega 6 fatty acids vice the Omega 3 "good cholesterol".

Above photo shows my wife's fried tilapia and the Thai green mango salad that goes with it (or goes with whatever fried fish). Tilapia happens to be a favourite since they don't have that much bones and the flesh are tasty.

I've googled (tilapia + omega 6) and found the following link that explains it all:

I just saw my doctor last week and he gave me the results of my blood test. All's a-ok, except for the ratio of my good and bad cholesterol, and he advised me to eat more fish to raise my good cholesterol. Although he did not specifically mentioned tilapia, it came to my mind as one of my favorite fishes. I guess I'll eat more canned tuna or salmon.

To make the Thai green mango salad: You need green mango (not the ripe one), fish sauce, shallots or red Spanish onions, fresh coriander, chillies, and mint. Chopped all ingredients as finely or as coarsely as you like and add fish sauce (this is salty!) and chillies to taste. The sourness of the green mango and saltiness of the fish sauce gives the Thai flavour you associate with this "salsa verde" or green salad.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Li'l Lost Betty

"It's 2008 and I'm still not sure what to do with my life. It's just funny how most of the time we all think we have our whole lives planned out and that all we need to do is work hard for it. Then all of a sudden when you're just in the middle of fulfilling all your dreams and making them all stop and try to ask yourself why you want it in the first place. You lose the drive to continue what you're doing because you just lost whatever reason it is that you have to do what you're doing." K-Bette