Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mother Angelica: April 20, 1923-March 27, 2016

I have been downloading programs from EWTN lately for my daily reflections and Mother Angelica's videos are among my favorite. Mother Angelica, is a sort of a rock star in Catholic broadcasting. She is instrumental in establishing the cable channel EWTN which is my favorite source of religious shows and my sanctuary in case life's problems becomes a little bit unbearable. 

Mother Angelica was born Rita Antoinette Rizzo in Canton, Ohio on April 20, 1923.  She was the only child but her father left her and her mother when she was just five years old. From then on, it was a struggle for her and her depressed mother. At one time in her life she said, she is not doing poorly in school and her attention was more on whether her mother would commit suicide that day. For a comprehensive biography of Mother Angelica, read Mother Angelica, television nun -obituary. 

I started coming across Mother Angelica's program and EWTN sometime in 1995. But most of the time I ignored it being a religious channel.  Then a family tragedy happened a couple of years later that changed my attitude towards the channel.  That year, EWTN got most of my time daily with their prayers and other programs. 

One of my most unforgettable episodes of her program is about a priest who had a near death experience and told about the pleadings of the Blessed Mother for people to repent because the wrath of her Son is unimaginable to those who deny goodness and chose evil. 

My mother who suffered a severe kidney disease in 1997 brought me to EWTN and Mother Angelica.  Watching EWTN every day gave me hope. My mother miraculously survived her illness for 12 years. She stopped dialysis in what could be the greatest escape from death. 

My mother has since passed away 7 years ago.  But still seeing Mother Angelica's videos made me cherished those moments when mother was still alive watching Mother Angelica on TV. 

With Mother Angelica's passing, I somehow feel a personal loss. Godspeed Mother Angelica and may you meet my mother in heaven and tell you how her children are a big fan of yours.  

Monday, March 28, 2016

When In The Soul Of The Serene Disciple - Thomas Merton

When in the soul of the serene disciple 
With no more Fathers to imitate 
Poverty is a success, 
It is a small thing to say the roof is gone: 
He has not even a house. 

Stars, as well as friends,
Are angry with the noble ruin. 
Saints depart in several directions. 

Be still: 
There is no longer any need of comment.
It was a lucky wind That blew away his halo with his cares, 
A lucky sea that drowned his reputation. 

Here you will find 
Neither a proverb nor a memorandum.
There are no ways, 
No methods to admire 
Where poverty is no achievement. 
His God lives in his emptiness like an affliction.

What choice remains?
Well, to be ordinary is not a choice: 
It is the usual freedom 
Of men without visions.

Bobby Vinton - He (1980)


He can turn the tides and calm the angry sea

He alone decides who writes a symphony

He lights every star that makes our darkness bright

He keeps watch all through each long and lonely night. 

He still finds the time to hear a child's first prayer

Saint or sinner calls and always finds Him there

Though it makes Him sad to see the way we live

He'll always say, "I forgive"

He can touch a tree and change its leaves to gold.

He knows every lie that you and l have told.

Though it makes Him sad to see the way we live

He'll always say, "I forgive"

Monday, March 14, 2016

My Winning Photos of the Kahimunan Tu Bayugan 2016

5th Place, Street Category

4th Place, Contingent Category

Finally, after the wait, the results are in. I got two entries enter the winning circle. Though, its not that high placings, its enough for me to feel happy and rewarded. 

This competition is tough than it may seem and so I just feel fortunate I manage to get the nod of the judges. 

With these twin victories, I think I have to take sabbatical for photo contest for a while. I just feel I have to shift my photography a little bit. Part of moving on and maturity. 

Ultimately, I am profoundly thankful to God for these blessings. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

My Entries to the 2016 Kahimunan Festival Butuan City

The results of the Kahimunan Festival Butuan Photo Contest are out and unfortunately for this year, my pictures were not as lucky as last years. The picture above is my highest ranked picture among the 6 entries that I submitted this year and to be candid about it, its the least that I expected to get a good ranking.  This picture placed 6th Place in the Grand Kahimunan Category. 

Well, its not really good for me this year. On the first day alone, I negligently erased my entire shots for the Festival Highlights category which already became a distraction for me for the rest of the competition. 

I also experimented in the Street Dancing category when I used a 35 mm lens all the way, thinking there are a lot of Street Dancing participants. By the time I let go of the contingent which I followed for most of the way, the succeeding contingents were not that spectacular as to get a good shot. 

The Grand Kahimunan category completed my forgettable competition this year. As last years, a throng of photographers already occupied the front row. Complicating things is that the performance venue is too close to our positions rendering my 135 mm Prime Lens utterly useless. By the time, I shifted to the 35mm lens it was already too little, too late. 

My consolation though is that I really enjoyed the camaraderie and rapport of Caraga photographers. Its a whiff of fresh air for the daily boring routine in my normal life and this breakaway is a welcome respite. 

Here are the rest of my entries that didn't make the cut.