2:45 PM

Year of Abundance: Inner Peace, Love and Generosity!

Posted by Prosy Delacruz

Maura Brito surrounded by Parisian gay men welcoming both of us to Paris in March.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Church's Second Night of Simbang Gabi
Tatiana Ali, Jannelle So, Edelyn Aubrey, Prosy ( her one night as an actress ) - back row
Antoinette Daus, and Marissa Esperanza Catubig - front row
Carlo, Corina, Sergio ( back row ), Prosy and Enrique ( front row ) at Roy's, Los Angeles
The Blessed Virgin Mary and her child at St. Brendan's Church
My hubby and I celebrating our 30th at Roy's on Jan. 4, 2009

“You want to learn to abandon your ego – which identifies with the world of things, possessions and achievements – and reenter the placeless place from which you and all others originated. By doing so you regain the mystical, almost magical powers of your eternal Source of being. Here, you live beyond the world of form."- Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, 2007

2009 is not quite over and I want to revel it in much longer by writing. I can only capture what the year has been, starting with ‘something good is now true,’with an American president, in the person of Barack Obama, who was elected with over 68 million votes, the highest number of electoral college votes received ever.

At the inauguration, a new feeling swept Washington, DC. Everyone was helpful, joyful and on top of their game. The colors of the rainbow were omnipresent -- people of all ages, in varying size and shapes clad in their winter gear warmly exchanged stories, even food. It was a different, welcoming, generous Washington, DC. That was the tone set in 2009 for me.

Of course, personally, it also opened with a grand celebration of my 30th wedding anniversary, not with accoutrements and accessories but grand in the warm spirits of our young adult children’s company (Corina, Carlo and Corina’s fiancée, Sergio ) and of course, my husband, Enrique. Usually only the two of us celebrate our anniversary , but since this is our 30th, we recognized that we are both close to vintage and decided to share the celebration.

My column Rhizomes was born on November 2008 in the Los Angeles edition of Asian Journal. Working closely with my editor, Nickee, we have yet to realize its full potential. Rhizomes symbolizes exotic blooms and new shoots of growth from plants that gain roots by being planted deep into the ground. I viewed the 10 million overseas Filipinos as rhizomes, residing in all countries around the world, making way for new influences and new cultural practices, but deepening their spirituality, art and musicality.

Our collective dreams
We revel at how the world looks at our iconic symbols: Manny Pacquiao, winning a streak of not one, two nor three, but seven weight division titles. He overcame poverty at age 14 by following his passion for boxing. And yet another passion emerges -- his penchant for singing. Pacquiao was so inspired to perform not just eight, but ten songs in his after-fight party, despite nursing bruises and a stitched-up right ear.

We have Efren Peñaflorida who walked away from a potential life ridden with gangsters, theft, and deadly weapons to embrace instead, his calling to educate streetchildren with his kariton (pushcart) classes.

We have Arnel Pineda who grew up in slums but found success through singing, his life’s inspiration. His dream has made him the frontman for Journey and has given him the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grace Oprah Winfrey's show.

Then there's the phenomenal success of Apl De Ap of the Blackeyed Peas, who hails from Angeles, Pampanga. Despite his stellar success, he never forgets his roots and continues to be an active member and provider for the Fil-Am community and his kababayans back home.

The Black Eyed Peas opened for the 24th season of Oprah, with over 20,000 folks in Chicago dancing to their music. They recently garnered 6 Grammys nominations.

We also have Charice, who fought her own battles, seeing her mother being physically abused by her father. She participated in every singing contest until she was discovered by Ellen de Generes and later, Oprah and David Foster who were blown away by her God-given talent and introduced her to the mainstream population in Las Vegas, Florence in Italy and now, around the United States.

The Asian Journal was privileged enough to have Charice perform at Handog ng FASO sa Pasko last December 6. FASO (The Filipino-American Symphonic Orchestra) is the brainchild of Roger and Cora Oriel, an idea that came into fruition over drinks with friends in their backyard.

Charice is truly one gracious person, just as gracious as her mom, Racquel, who made room so I can have a photo with her daughter at the Pearl Gala, the pre-inauguration ball in Washington, DC, where she serenaded Maya, Pres. Barack Obama’s sister.

They all posses the power to imagine that their dreams can come true, opening up to the Universe, and trusting the Higher Power to actualize them.

Flow of abundance
Let me share this flow of abundance, not in material things, but in the generosity of folks who shared themselves and their collective power to imagine new realities in Washington, DC, Paris, Provence, Hilversum, Manila, Bohol and Los Angeles.

I am grateful for the many stories that were shared -- the triumph of folks over poverty, grief, depression; success in law, coordinating public events, authoring books, creating magic for others, creating art, sculpting new lives, painting new canvasses and making a new script or playwright.

My column breathed new life when my editor was assigned to work with me. She chiseled off the unnecessary, made thoughts and ideas flow better, brought clarity and removed redundance.

My articles were edited with care and became effective, thus, readers gave me positive feedback.

One piece generated several emails -- a story which touched them. "Our Hatinggabi" was about my 19-year-old nephew, Joff Tecson Fernandez whose life was cut short by dengue fever. He lived each day with love and peace in his heart as proven by the thousand who came to his wake.

When you have a caring editor, like Nickee, the barriers disappear and the reader can read and enjoy the piece in its entirety.

I give credit to my publishers, Cora and Roger Oriel, for the growing readership of my column. They strive for quality and reliability in their publications of Asian Journal. Everywhere I go, whether a community event, public art viewing, a book launch, or hair salons, bakeries, churches and stores, I hear positive comments from readers about the paper. When businesses advertise with them, I have been told, for example, that the ads work to attract Filipinos even as far as Santa Clarita to come to LA on 3rd and Vermont to patronize the Filipino-owned businesses there.

The five-star Balikbayan Magazine, almost a year old now, is as rich as National Geographic in its printing of photos. The essays showcase stories about prolific writers like Nick Joaquin, Edith Tiempo’s writing workshops in the Visayas or gifted writer Louie Jon A. Sanchez, and quality businesses in the Philippines.

When I opened up to readers, they in turn refer folks for me to write about. I feel inspired to write what I see. Without my eyes and feeling heart, I would miss the nuances. But I also give credit to my editor who challenges me to dig deeper and to not get lost in the superficiality of feelings. She pushes me to articulate the essence of a person -- what their quiet strength is. Concepts like these can only be excavated if one is a good observer of life.

I wait for stillness before I write. Writing with noise dampens my writing and it is not what I am aiming for. When I am stuck, I walk to my bakery of miracles, La Maison du Pain. Inevitably, Carmen and Josephine get me unstuck and move my imagination forward.

During a period of drought and isolation, a surprise invitation from Janet and Ruben Nepales comes up to join them for the screening of the film. And the mother of all surprises and dreams, I was able to chance upon an opportunity to meet Miss O in person.

There were a lot of things to be grateful for this year -- a lunch prepared by a gourmet chef in Spago’s, film screenings of Delhi 6, An Education, an invitation to travel to Paris from Maura, my cleaning lady, seeing the tulips and cooking classes from my classmate, Reme, joining Loida at a fundraiser for Ayala Foundation.

All these experiences inspire me to write, to unleash my muse. And I am grateful to be given all these opportunities.

Rhizomes continues to thrive because of you, Asian Journal readers and the stories that you generously share with me. Because of you and the Higher Source, 2009 flowed in abundance! Happy New Year and bring on 2010!

P.S. Included in my year of abundance, was my one night as a performing artist after getting the cast by Ted Benito in Vagina Monologues, and acting classes from Dom and Saachiko Magwili to inhabit the character of a 72 year old virgin woman, the entire monologue in Tagalog.

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