Francisca Agravante (1926-2007) 8/30/2007 12:57:00 PM

She passed away at dawn today, 3:40am. I was on the last day of my closed retreat at West Wing, Makiling Conference Center. I was able to offer her the mass I heard. The other associate members of Opus Dei I was on retreat with were also able to pray the Responsory for the Dead for her, some of them prayed it with me.

I'm not really close to Lola Kikay (Lola Kiks for shorter). I guess it must be due to the fact that she simply wasn't in very good terms with my father (who was brought up by his maternal grandparents, but that's a whole different story...) So as a child, I can remember harboring very strong feelings of animosity towards her, for this or that reason,, which doesn't matter at all now. I learned to keep most of those feelings inside. Eventually, when I became an adult, I learned to respect her and love her, although I will admit that I never really learned to like her.

I don't have any fond memories of her... It was more civility than warmth when we visited her or she visited us. In the last year or two, she lost touch with reality. Before I left for the retreat last Friday, she was beginning to slip away, and thus calls were made to other members of the immediate family. Yesterday, Aunt Beny arrived from the US and was able to be with her in her last hours. She was also able to receive the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.

I have yet to go to the wake, as all arrangements are in my father's hometown of Badian, 4 hours south of Cebu City, where she died. Please pray for the eternal repose of her soul.

Just when I thought... 8/24/2007 05:22:00 AM

You really need to sometimes look beyond your own expectations of things to see the big picture. That's what I have been learning recently although I do already know the most likely career path I want to choose... there are small changes and avenues that I can explore as well...You really never know what the world has in store for you...And that's how I see God's gentle hand in my life.

On an earlier post, I remarked that my applications were unfruitful... Well, yesterday, I got a call that proved to the contrary... The timing was also perfect since I was about to finish working on my friend's patient database that afternoon. So, I have an interview and a possible job to now look forward to with a health-insurance organization when I get back from my spiritual retreat next week...

Really, God's timing is perfect!

A Tribute to Yellow 8/13/2007 05:54:00 AM

(for Mhea L., the mellow girl crazy over it)

Oh royal, mellow yellow

How do I love thee?

I can't even count all the ways...

You're the sunshine over fields

Filled with Helianthus annnuus in bloom

Light and bright

You make me happy

The sweet Mangifera indica I crave

Or lovely Musa x paradisiaca in bunches

Yes, I want to eat more

You make me hungry

These trinkets and clips

And socks in your hue

I'm setting the trends

You make me this pretty

Papers and pencils

Notebooks in my fave shade

I start thinking up thoughts

You make me creative

I can never trade you

For any other in your spectrum

'Coz you're my only color-love!


(c. 1999)

^ o ^ o ^ o ^ o ^ o ^ o ^ o ^ o ^

I wrote this for my once-upon-a-time partner-in-crime in organic chem lab. It's ironic that I have never written a poem about my own favorite color (it's deep dark blue, btw...) but I wrote one for a friend's favorite color.


  • Helianthus annnuus - scientific name of sunflower
  • Mangifera indica - scientific name of mango
  • Musa x paradisiaca - scientific name of banana

Return to Waterfalls (Kawasan Falls, Matutinao, Badian, Cebu; September 4, 1999) 8/10/2007 06:00:00 PM

The roar of your might

As you crash down

To the depths below

Has brought me before you again

And as before, I am in awe

Even before the break of dawn

I am drawn towards

Your strength, your courage

As you continue your course

Unmindful of hindrances

Unaware of the seeming inevitability

Of your coming demise

And I am drawn to you even more

I will always have a special place

Imprinted in my heart

For the scenery of majesty

The coolness of the pools

The intensity of the rush

And this feeling of awe

Yes, I shall forever be captive

To you that I deem

A culmination of creation

And at the height of enchantment

I can give you nothing but praise

Though this may prove to be

The final moment left for me

To imagine the ancient rituals

Long gone by

That held part of your history

Worry not

That you may be forgotten by me

For wherever I may go

And whatever heights or depths

May I be allowed to reach

I shall be in your spell

As long as the memories I keep

Shall remain intact in my mind

I will return to you

Within this plane

Or the dimension of my dreams

This is my promise


Rural Service Project Oct 2005 8/05/2007 05:52:00 PM

A short account of the Rural Service Project I joined back in 2005.

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Set in Barangay Tingo on Olanggo Island, 11 souls braved the constant threat of possible bird flu contamination considering the start of bird migration season. As expected, and to our dismay, the bird sanctuary was off limits to us for any excursion purposes.

And so we set out doing home visits, teaching catechism to primary grades and intermediate grades, giving a leadership seminar at the local high school, cleaning up the chapel and keeping house (doing all the chores!) in a place called home for one week which had only one bathroom. And all that with time to spare for prayers and get-togethers!

I left them yesterday in their beach excursion and pondered the coming events of today: the medical-dental mission and the health and nutrition seminars.

The memories of those memorable days spent with unforgettable people: Mirzi, Bea, Grace V., Angelie, Lucille, EJ, Celeste, Bulai, Ivi, and Narsheen will forever be etched in my mind. And now I look forward to my next Rural Service Project, whenever it may be.

Staying Single 8/05/2007 05:41:00 PM

Here's another transferred entry from my old blog, dated September 8, 2005.

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I guess people can't seem to understand my decision to live my life in accordance to the way I know God wants me to. I still find it funny how some of my female classmates in med school who have never been in a relationship before would start lamenting about their biological clock running off. I shall never have that problem because I'm happy with the way my life is running. My silver birthday went well, yesterday, thank you very much. I was surrounded with family and friends, I had my tuna carbonara, a butter-butter birthday cake, ice cream, beehive cupcakes, a homemade card and a rose from friends I had recently met. I felt loved. Yes, you can feel love without having to have a guy around you or going out on a date. People sometimes forget that fact. I thank God for coming into my life in a special way a little over four years ago and making me feel his Love.

As a Patient... 8/05/2007 05:35:00 PM

Below is an old post from the first blog I kept through the Freindster social networking site. I decided to move it here (and another old post) since I plan to delete that blog in its entirety already. This is dated September 14, 2005, a week after my 25th birthday, and a few days afteer being confined at a private hospital for a day, diagnosed with the sometimes life-threatening dengue fever.

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This makes a good blog: my short hospital confinement. I’ll be back to my “work” 7:30am tomorrow, Philippine time, but there are some things I’ll keep with me from that stay. I’ll share 7 of them with you:

1) I realize that being cared for, you can help those who care for you become generous with their time.

2) You have to learn to be hurt in order to be helped.

3) Being sick, I felt the assurance that I will always be cared for, for the rest of my life, no matter what happens to me in the future.

4) Your visitors will serve to amuse you, so take care that you be pleasant with them.

5) Cheerfulness while being sick is possible: Just look at those bright flowers and the even brighter smiles of those caring for you.

6) Your illness serves to help you in one way or another. It’s up to you to find out how.

7) In such a confined space, you can let your heart expand by praying for those around you or not exactly around you. You have all the time in the world to do so.

UNIV and Me 8/05/2007 05:03:00 PM

I had a pretty grueling Saturday yesterday, handling the UNIV2008 orientation at Banilad Study Center by my lonesome .. And I'll be doing the same thing in two more Saturdays (although I hope a friend will be around to give her UNIV testimony next week...)! I'm not complaining though. I like being with college students and listening to the ideas they have to offer, though it can be kind of intimidating learning to handle the LCD projector for the first time and speaking at length about the local phase of an International Student Congress I have just been recently in charge of here in Cebu. I hope my efforts to smile bear fruit.

Because of this responsibility, I decided to let a chance to help a friend out in her research work (plus honorarium) pass by. I don't think it is wise for me to commit to something I won't be able to give my full attention to right now. Time is of the essence and I want to take on only the things that I can handle.