Priestly Love

Image result for priest in love
Pray for your priests.  (Photo credits to the owner)

This post was supposedly intended for Valentines day. Well, I meant to write it sooner but due to several deadlines, now is the perfect time. So, here goes. Is there such a thing as love at first sight for priests and nuns? I don’t mean to be cheesy but can nuns and priests survive on God’s love alone ?A conversation with three priests revealed that they have feelings too and that they are prone to falling  in love. It’s just a matter of staying in love or acting on that love which makes love highly reprehensible or simply put, sinful.

When a priest falls in love, love becomes evil because our society mandates that priests remain celibate until they retire. On the the other hand, the woman who is similarly lonely/attracted could either reciprocate that love which makes her an evil temptress or choose to ignore  her feelings for the priest which is what social norms dictate and highly expect of her.

Recently,  Pope Francis raised the possibility  of ordaining married men given the shortage of priests. The pope ruled out the prospect of allowing single men who are already priests to marry but was open to the idea of allowing unmarried laymen or men already married to be ordained.

So what happens now to the priests who fall in love and want to celebrate their love freely with their partners? In our Catholic faith, it is either they get out of the ministry or simply give in to their hearts’desire but  risk  appearing sinful/taboo in the eyes of the public.

In this season of lent, let us pray for our priests. They become scarcer by the number because not many are attracted to the idea of a lonely mandated celibacy for life.


Be wise, make your own evidence

I presume that most most lawyers know this. But these tips are for non-lawyers.  Yesterday, my younger brother was worried about an account which was recently assigned to him. His problem was, the period to collect from the debtor was about to prescribe/expire.You see, most transactions, debts, death claims, right to collect amounts and other benefits, like it or not, contain periods to observe; otherwise, you may lose your right to recover. How does one prevent or hold the period from expiring? Better yet, how do you win in an ordinary case without solid evidence? Solution, make your own.

The following tips are proven effective:

  1. If you get  hurt,  threatened, be it a death threat or an ordinary threat, report it. Not just verbally, have it blottered/registered in your local police then get a certified or photocopy.
  2. If someone slaps you or inflicts injuries on you, don’t forget to do a SELFIE. You don’t have to post it on Facebook. Further, go to the nearest hospital and consult a medico-legal practitioner so that should you decide to file a complaint, you have evidence.
  3. If somebody borrows money from you, make him sign a letter acknowledging receipt of the money. Photocopy it  a lot of times. Putting a date is optional. A date could work for or against you. Should you decide to put a date, use the same pen and ink color.
  4. Bringing a friend to witness the borrowing is helpful too.  You could even ask the witness to take pictures while talking with the debtor or as he is  signing the promissory note.
  5. If you neglected to follow up in writing an account or debt, call the person concerned; if no action,  write a letter: “This is a follow up on your outstanding debt..” To make it make it appear that you’ve followed up several times.
  6. If someone owes you money and you don’t have evidence,  write him or her a letter saying: This is pursuant to our agreement that you will pay $ 10,000 upon signing….
  7.  Please buy a clear book. I have proven that record keeping is easier with a clear book. If you bought something, say an appliance or furniture,  or after you’ve consulted a doctor who prescribed you medicine, before you decide to clear your wallet and desks, put all your receipts and prescription in your clear book. You never know when you will need proof.
  8. If someone slanders you or maligns you in Facebook or cellphone text message,  print screen it ASAP because that will serve as evidence.
  9. One warning though, before you click the send button on your email or text, review it first. Omit words which might be used as documentary evidence against you. Chances are, a potential litigant might have consulted a lawyer or read this blog.
  10. Lastly, are you aware that Facebook posts may be used as evidence?

The bottom line is, written evidence is better than verbal evidence because writing has more staying power. God bless!

Be wise, like an owl.

Being popular for a day

I’m too shy and too slow to have my picture taken beside Senator Manny Pacquiao. My son Miguel (in red striped shirt) was sorely disappointed.

Today, the union officers in our office were  inaugurated by no less than  the very popular, eight time world boxing champion turned senator, Manny D. Pacquiao. Who does not know Manny  Pacquiao? Everyone dreams of becoming as rich and  as popular as he. Actually, for me,  I would settle for rich.However, the idea of being popular appeals to me also. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all be popular even just for a day? Actually, my dream came true sooner than expected; I did become popular for a day when this came out several years ago :

I am not a topnotcher ; just lucky.

Imagine the delight of all my relatives and friends when my face appeared in the front page of one of the dailies. How did this happen? I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Back to Manny. It is no secret that Senator Manny Pacquiao came from humble beginnings. During his speech at today’s inauguration, he confirmed that he used to live in the streets and would experience hunger from time to time.Gifted with strength and agility, he harnessed his boxing skills until he reached the peak of his career as an Eight-division Boxing World Champion. Everybody dreams of becoming rich and famous but I don’t think  anybody wants to experience what he has gone through prior to his superstardom.

Meeting a celebrity is always a dream which does not always end up positive.There are several horror stories which will put you off meeting celebrities for life.  The nice part of the brief encounter with Manny is he was always willing to accommodate anyone who wants to have a picture.My office mate and fellow lawyer Atty. Jasper Sales was fortunate to have a selfie with Manny.

Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Atty. Jasper Sales and Mrs. Leonor Sales

So why didn’t I have a selfie/groupie with Manny? First, everything happened so fast. Most people in the crowd were armed with an advanced high tech cellphone. Next, they were tall. Thirdly, they were quick! The exact opposite happened to me because my cellphone conked out as the Pacman alighted from his car. Next, those who were successful in getting a selfie with Pacman were either tall or armed with a selfie stick. Neither of which, I possess. Thirdly, I was too slow because I was wearing high heeled shoes and had a small boy in tow.

The secret to being popular is simple in this day and age. There is the long and hard way.  Study hard to become a topnotcher. Or if you want instant fame, jump off from a building in a thickly populated area.  If you’re lucky enough to be alive after such a daring feat, you will find yourself immortalized in you tube and other social media. Lastly, you can do what I have done,  be in the right place at the right time.

Flying green

As I drove down the smooth road with trees lined up on both sides, I lowered my car window to breath in some fresh air. All of a sudden, a green locust charged and landed on my window. Distracted, I looked at it and it stared back with its beady eyes. Like this:

Resulta ng larawan para sa grasshopper
Photo credits to the owner. You know who you are..

Creepy right? I was caught between raising my window so it gets squished or tapping the window to make it fly away.

Eleven years ago, as I was resting comfortably in my bed,  a  seven inched green grasshopper burst in and flapped in circles, reminiscent of Peter pan. My husband caught it and whispered something to it before he  sent it  out of the window. Perplexed, I inquired why he didn’t squish it. Jokingly, I asked whether he  considered these locusts as food or something sacred.  He said, in the Ifugao custom, these insects could be reincarnated beings or sent by the Creator to deliver messages.  Well, he admitted that grasshoppers are jumping delicacies across tufts of grass that sometimes farmers eat these things raw.

What do you think is Miguel eating?

Fast forward, the natural diet of these creepy crawlies include grass and leaves. In fact, I must admit  we have the same diet. Almost. Over the years, I gained pounds and a lot of inches on the waist which became unhealthy that the the doctors recommended I change my diet. I am now a Pesco-vegetarian. “Pesco” is actually  the Latin word for fish. Considering that  these greens  do not fully satisfy me, I included macadamia, walnuts and  almonds as extenders. I’m so good with eating fish and veggies; even if I run out of nuts, I will never eat a grasshopper.

So, back to the grasshopper in my car window, instead of squishing or delivering a prayer before  sending it away, I merely tapped on the pane. Away it flew.


It is often said that countenance based emotion conveys more than body movements.In the picture below, apart from father and son bear resemblance to each other,their faces express security and contentment.

Col. Ruben Guinolbay with his son,Miguel.

In the picture below, different faces show delicately complex and understated emotions ranging from happy to unexplained disgust.VARYING FACES.jpg

Good thing, apps were invented to mask or remedy one’s facial expression.App is  short for application or software downloaded by the user.  In the series of pictures, note  how my face vary because of the app snapchat. Thus:

See that? However, just like any advancement in technology, apps has its positive and negative side. The positive side of using apps in your pictures is it makes presentation and entertainment a lot easier. The down side of it is it makes app users lazy and less innovative. Well, I don’t think that will be my problem because first and foremost, I am an artist. Creative juices run through my veins.

Who would have thought?

So what is the point of this article? In the ancient times, if you want to have a strong photo, you make sure that your picture either tells a story or  should have nice backdrop with proper lighting. It takes a lot of season and practice to be able to come up with a very nice picture. Thanks to apps, our selfies would always look good.


Do you believe in luck?

To complete my to do list every advent season, I had my yearly confession. As I sat in the confessional box, the priest repeatedly uttered the words heretic, heresy and handler. We’re clear on the word heresy because heresy means  a practice/belief contrary to established norms or  what is generally accepted. A heretic is well, somebody who practices heresy. What caught my attention was the word  handler.  Even if you  google it, it does not have many hits.  The priest mentioned something about having a guardian angel and a “handler”.  A handler is the opposite of angel. Don’t get me wrong, as earlier professed, I am a devout Catholic and would surely die as  Catholic.  However, the idea that I have a handler is something I don’t like to agree with, much less imagine.  For those who are expert on the subject please by all means, educate me.  Father Joey also described  me as heretic.  Maybe I am. I’m trying to avoid being one; but, like any other person, I grew up in a family with existing beliefs and superstition. And much as I want to throw away those heretic beliefs, it is rather a long process which I am continuously struggling in.


So, do you actually believe in good luck or bad luck? I am fond of wearing black because some people say it repels bad luck. Exorcism Society of the Philippines encourage me to wear black because it is said to repel bad spirits. It’s really a matter of perspective. In some cultures, black means mourning.

The picture above was taken during the Itchyworms concert held in our office. Itchyworms is a famous Filipino boy band. My office mates and I arrived late because of a seminar; but nonetheless, we got the best seat in the gym where we could actually get a good and closer view of the performers. Further, the official photographer took our picture which was published within the local  office paper and Facebook.

Before the year 2016 ended, I had money in my bank account thinking that if I have money in the bank at the start of the year, for the rest of the year I will not be as financially  drained. But before the week ended, my car refused to start and its aircon lost freon. When I  attempted to start the engine, it wont start.  When I finally succeeded in making it start, as I parked the car, the  rear lights became grounded which required the batteries to be removed. The bottom of the story is I need to spend money for car repairs AGAIN. So much for having money at the bank at the beginning of the year.

02 January 2017, I fired my maid for her repeated and over extended vacation. This maid has been with me for four years and her primary assets are her intellect and strength. What a way to start the year. However, two days later, on 04 January 2017, my cousin, Rolando Ramos gave me a 58 year old maid who drinks coffee a lot BUT cleans the house perfectly. I have never seen our house that clean for the longest time. The negative trait of this old lady was, while she cleans the house well, along with it the coins and spare change in our wallets.

Friday the 13th

On January 11, my son, Ruben,  reminded me that the coming Friday would be Friday the 13. Nothing could go wrong, right? It’s just superstition.  Come  January 13, I woke up late hence I cannot bring my car because of the color coding scheme. I thought,  I am obliged to take a taxi on my way to work.  However, when I reached for my phone, it refused to power on.  I charged it for half an hour but still it wont open. Fortunately, my maid lent me her charger and my cellphone finally powered on.  See, nothing could go wrong. Finally the whole day went by without anything irregular happening, until I accidentally dropped my 1000 pesos and didn’t have any money for my taxi fare. Great. Thank God for friends. My friend Atty Janell lent me 500 pesos.

Good Luck Bad Luck!

There is a Chinese story of a farmer who used an old horse to till his fields. One day, the horse escaped into the hills and when the farmer’s neighbors sympathized with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?” A week later, the horse returned with a herd of horses from the hills and this time the neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”

Then, when the farmer’s son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”

Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer’s son with his broken leg, they let him off. Now was that good luck or bad luck?

Who knows?

Everything that seems on the surface to be an evil may be a good in disguise. And everything that seems good on the surface may really turn out evil. So we are wise when we leave it to God to decide what is good fortune and what misfortune, and thank him that all things turn out for good with those who love him.

So, do you actually believe in good luck? As a devout Catholic, I learned the principle that one must not rely on good luck charms nor superstitious beliefs in their daily activities. Instead of hanging on to these superstitious beliefs, hold on to God and the ability to see the positive side of everything. God bless.

A Camp and a Fort in Baguio


Happy new year everyone! As I write, I have two pleadings pending this week. One is a comment to the motion for reconsideration and another is an investigative report. However,  I’d rather blog about our recent trip to Baguio to start the year right. You see, as I imagined,  my children had a blast in Baguio.  Before deciding on this trip, our agreement was to visit all the Philippine tourist spots which begin with letter B.   Although my children visited Baguio twice  when they were  babies, I don’t think they enjoyed the trip as much as they did the last.  Further, I know that Baguio offers a lot of fun stuff for children.  Hence, we decided that the best way to end the year 2016 was to go to Baguio.

Baguio, for the information of non-Filipinos, is the summer capital of the Philippines. It has several  references  actually, which include the City of Pines, Philippines’ mountain resort, Home of the  Igorots, Ifugaos and Ibalois ( Philippine northern tribes who are denizens of the mountains) among others.

Baguio is a haven for the fashionistas  ( a devoted follower of fashion) . It is the perfect place to  get your signature clothes at a very cheap price. Thrift stores abound. Further, you get to buy and actually wear, winter clothes given the cold weather.

Look at my Soviet boys

I could go on and on describing what a wonderful place Baguio is but allow me to just focus on two attractions.

Camp John Hay

When I was a kid, my family and I often visited  Camp John Hay to dine and  buy imported chocolates and toys. Although much has changed since I was five, the camp still gives me an eerie feeling because of the  presence of  old American colonial structures. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the Americans, it’s  just that the place retained some of its old colonial structures which date back to World War II period. ( Read: ghosts soldiers and unexplained noises)  Originally known as John Hay Air Station, Camp John Hay  was established on October 25, 1903.

As I said, it’s not my children’s first time to be  in Baguio.  The last time we went  was in 2009. After seven years, I figured  now is the perfect time to suit up on their battle gear.  You see, as children of an officer, my children idolized their dad and inevitably dreamed of wearing camouflage and doing soldier stuff like rappelling, vine swinging or target shooting. Camp John Hay is fully equipped with zipline and rappelling facilities.

RG rappelling

Miguel rappelling

Miguel swinging

As a mother, seeing your children strap up and swing  to an altitude of 65 feet is enough to make me faint or vomit. It’s my sons’ first time to zip line and I didn’t want to play the killjoy role by saying to forget about the zip line and rappel  idea and just eat strawberry ice cream. But as I watch them, I had to be brave  and act happy  yet secretly praying to God Almighty that the ropes don’t break.

Next, there is also a shooting range and a paintball arena in Camp John Hay. Initially, my children were refused entry in the paintball arena because the age requirement to play this game is 12. I don’t know maybe because  we repeatedly and patiently lined up for it, they finally allowed us on the condition that I sign a waiver.

As my children queued to get their tickets, the other children  were envious of my children’s outfit, specially the hats. Since I am a self-professed creative lawyer mother, I figured this activity would be picture perfect if they wore  an army garb.

Lastly,  at Camp John Hay’s  Le Monet Hotel, they even had snow.HPIM0950.JPG

Philippine Military Academy / Fort Del Pilar

Of course, the Baguio trip would be incomplete without a trip to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). My husband and I often bring RG to PMA since  he was a baby.

RG ‘S first trip to PMA. Picture taken on 11 February 2006

PMA was established on December 21, 1936 by virtue of  a law -the National Defense Act. PMA is actually the Philippines’ military school.My husband Ruben “Gino” Guinolbay, was a member of PMA Bantay laya Class 94. Below are his pictures taken inside the PMA campus during his cadet days.

During our recent trip, my children preferred to have their pictures taken with the tanks. Inside the campus are old tanks and howitzers.

2431, 308,1,401,256,328,2365,169,4

See these tanks? I’m pretty sure that  you once  dreamed about climbing these amphibians in your childhood days. When I was a child, I used have pictures taken with these old tanks too. One of the purposes of this blog is to give you guys an idea on where to have your next photo shoot.

All told, the entire Baguio trip was very exhausting given the long walks and the unavailability of taxis in view of the Christmas season; but seeing my children revel at the realization of their battle dreams, was priceless.