Early this month, I wrote about a project being undertaken by a non profit organization called Spirit Jump 2010.
As I have resolved and committed myself to share in whatever way I can , I urged the help of some of my friends and awesome kids who were willing to share their talents with those people, especially the young children stricken with cancer.
Prior to the distribution of these priceless cards, I would like to give you a glimpse of what they have done – the end product of their remarkable time and effort :
From these raw materials:
To these priceless wonderful results:
(photos property of myusefultips.com)
My heartfelt gratitude and thanks to the tiny, fragile, soft yet sturdy hands of the students. They're truly talented awesome guys !
I realized that the formation of our new choir occurred in spring time and that its first recital, so to speak, happened during the same time and Easter season.Was it a coincidence or was it really God’s plan? We all know that Easter season usually takes place during spring time as it is correlated with one another since both entail new life. It is during this time of year wherein we start to feel that warm weather and see trees and green grass growing leaves, and flowers blooming nicely. Spring is my favorite time of the year, not so cold and not so warm. It is a new beginning, a renaissance , the time of year where one can see light at the end of the tunnel!
Yes indeed, a light for the new choir despite the lack of resources! There were overwhelming blessings that came about. From one member to 15, from an amateur to an expert guitarist, from one to many different voices, it is truly amazing!
Some of the members were so generous to share their treasures by providing brand new binders, inserts and their musical instruments of their own volition. Such remarkable kindness, only you can see here from this choir! However, it was the members’ mutual love of music and dedication to the service which made it easy for them to learn the new songs and hone the God-given talents.We may all know that we have been given a gift, although we’re not the best at singing or playing the musical instrument. We may not be the perfect people, perfect singers but when we sing we are reminded that we can share a gift, i.e. God's love and ultimately share the same to everyone.
The first performance came. Majority arrived as scheduled and dressed in proper attire. We helped each other in the logistics requirements. The choir space was tight and the chairs were lacking, but the choir was flexible and focused. It was a pleasure to sing in such a beautiful tight yet cozy space with all of them facing the congregation. As the one leading, I saw to it that everything is in order, everyone feels relaxed and joyfully singing the songs.
It was only after the mass that we were able to chill out …at last we successfully did it! The people and the leadership of the Apostolate applauded and congratulated the choir for the great job. In fact, one of the leaders was teary eyed because he couldn't believe that the choir has evolved to a notch higher level.
With the said encouraging and flattering comments, deep inside we were happy and thankful for the opportunity to share our God given talents, our joy in music and hopefully to impart God’s good news to our fellowmen despite our weaknesses and regardless of who we are.
With this, I hope I was able to share with you some lessons and tips on how attitude of choir members can shape the success of a newly organized choir.
Let’s admit it, most of us consumers have not been so keen and zealous in our stance towards green living. As mentioned in my earlier blog, I for one am not quite an eco-friendly product enthusiast despite my positive outlook on the importance of the use of and patronage for the said products. I have tried using earth friendly products in the past up to now but it is only for very few items. This kind of a so-so attitude towards going all out for a green world is not only true to me but to the majority, especially those in developing and least developed economies. People living in the West such as the United States and other developed and industrialized countries are fortunate enough to have tons of environment related advocacy organizations which are proactive in this endeavor. Thus, there are more and more people in these countries who have become fully aware and have supported the cause for the common good. But just the same, it is still not enough, people are still not in sync and conscious about the use of organic and eco-friendly home products .
Why is it so? Why is it that people are still not going green and don’t even bother to buy eco-friendly products (i.e., from food, personal belongings, cleaning items or even gifts) despite the massive info and awareness campaign about it? Do you have any idea how many environmentalists are there in the blogosphere? I was surprised to see myself that there are plenty of bloggers,probably thousands, crowding out in the internet, marketing and supporting environment conservation, broadcasting certain pressing issues such as impact of global warming and other related events, among others. There is so much more to learn and I was overwhelmed to read various topics ranging from low profile items (organic food,etc.)to big ticket environment related transactions (e.g. renewable energy and the like).
(Note: As much as possible when I share tips for a certain issue, particularly if it concerns quality of life and humanity, you may have noticed it that I don’t delve and go directly to the point at hand. Rather, I try to explain further the rationale and importance of the said tips and how would it be helpful and useful to your daily life. What matters most to me is that the message has been sent across and that I was able to accomplish my duty to give back to this beautiful world where I dwell and to stop contributing to the bigger problem. I just felt it is one of my responsibilities to make others more aware about it, in the humblest way I can).
So, why are people, like most of us, are still reluctant to go all out or even attempt to try going green, at least for our home use? Why is it that people would not even consider eco friendly products a necessity or a priority even if they are aware that using said products have so many benefits to the environment and to the humanity? Oh, the series of questions - so mind boggling!!!!!111.!!!
There are schools of thoughts but the following comments are based on my personal experiences and observations about eco-friendly products:
I may be wrong but there is this perception that eco-friendly products appear to be catered more or less to middle and high income earners as the same are marketed at a much higher price than regular products. With the current precarious economy, many of us would want to tighten our belts and save for the rainy days! Some of us would choose which of the available options would give us the best bang for our buck. If people can’t afford to splurge on these products and is likewise being given an alternative choice, I don’t think they would go out of their way just to buy these products, unless as I said they have the dough for it. This is the reason why sometimes organic products are branded as for the elite and not for the have nots. A classic example are the fruits sold in the supermarket, the price of organic apple for instance is about1.99/lb. versus a regular apple for a sale price of $1.00/lb, which is half price lower .
The foregoing are just samples for the small items , what more for big ticket items? How about for eco-friendly clothing? I came across this organization selling high end fashion green clothing and mind you, a piece of “green friendly” bermuda shorts costs a whooping 275 bucks! Shocking isn’t it? I was able to see the rationale behind it, it was of good quality and for a cause by the way! But just the same, the price was just too much to bear! Some people would say that there is a need to balance the cost and the benefit but for people who are not affluent enough, who simply don’t have the means, they will just buy the products that they can afford – the cheapest available – without even considering if the same is eco friendly or not.
Majority of the businesses and other manufacturers would probably argue that there is a limited market for green products, that it is costly and time consuming, hence they are resistant to change. However, if they really see the need and they have the social responsibility, so to speak- the concern for the environment and the heart to help majority of their consumers (specifically the “common people”), then they could have started re-designing their process and technology to fit in with the earth friendly world and produce green products gradually.In so doing and in the long run, there would be economies of scale (i.e.. lower pricing, among others) since people would be able to afford and start buying eco friendly products as there would be no choices anymore on the shelves in the supermarkets for similarly situated products. Who would not buy a product that is proven and tested to be good for their health and the environment, anyway? This is a great thing to do, right? Unless there is a political will to change this kind of attitude from all of us, then it may take a little while for us to go all out for green living!
2. Accessibility and Availability
In New York City or in other metropolis throughout the world, accessibility may not be a crucial issue since you can easily find eco products in supermarkets and in some organic retail stores. Despite this however, some supermarkets sell only few items and at a higher price. On the other hand, organic store retailers are very limited and you really would have to go out of your way and search for their location, how much more if you are situated in far flung areas? In my case for instance, I have to take an effort to sometimes use the subway or take a bus just to reach the e-friendly store where I often buy small items such as nuts, jams, vinegars, etc. because there is no organic store available within the vicinity. What more for people who are not even aware of these things, they would just buy any products available in the nearby supermarket or in a local Asian market which sells fresh fruits and other commodities at a very affordable price.
3.Inadequate/Lack of Relevant Information
It is a fact that almost all of the people would prefer to buy eco-friendly products if only they have the means and an adequate knowledge about it. Yes, we can see e-advocates campaigning, lobbying, protesting over the internet , the tri-media or even in the streets, but do most peopleknow what andwhy they do it? There are skeptics around that they would think of this as merely a media hype- these people have doubts on whether or not said products are indeed organic or earth friendly.
The problem is, there is not much information on the importance of using earth friendly products. There should be like a personal level campaign to inculcate in the minds of everyone that going green, especially in the organic product industry, would truly give them positive effect in their lives and the environment as well. The governing rules and regulations (e.g. government certifications, etc.) covering these products particularly on food should be publicly disseminated not only to the upper class of society but down to the grass roots level.
Now, the Useful TIPS!
Having said all of the foregoing and as a smart certified grocer shopper myself, I have some useful tips for those of you out there who for the first time, the “greenhorns” so to speak, are contemplating to try buying and using earth friendly home related products. There are lots of remarkable earth friendly/recycled products to choose from but the following suggestions would include some basic must have items which I am currently using:
1.For a start, you may try buying an eco friendly bathroom tissue paper and paper towels. Some of them may not be as inexpensive/expensive, as immaculate and as soft as the regular tissues that we’ve been used to. But definitely, using an organic product will give you an assurance that what you’ll be using is free of chemicals, bleach, dyes and perfumes, and that they are naturally biodegradable, safe for septic tanks and no animal testing. One brand that is being marketed today is that of Seventh Generation which has produced a very popular 100% recycled tissue papers, bathroom tissue and paper towels.What is good to know is that this company has very strict guidelines and they are in collaboration with the Environment Protection Agency (Design for Environment Program).
2.Home cleaning products are also a must. Seventh Generation has variety of these products (detergents, shower cleaner, etc.) in their line too. What I’m using right now for cleaning which I bought from BJ’s superclub is an inexpensive natural all-purpose cleaner from Clorox , named “Green Works”.It really works, perfectly cleans and it does not emit a bad smell as others do have and it has the same cleaning power as traditional cleaners. Greenworks is 99.93% natural and is supportive of the cause to protect and preserve our planet and its environment. To wipe the dust off and dirt, use your old clothes and towels for cleaning, as an alternative to the recycled paper towel.
My favorite very useful baking soda will always be in the list. You can use it in disposing of your garbage to neutralize odors. You may grind up lemon, lime, orange peel or the smaller specie “calamansi” in the disposal. Likewise, a dash of baking soda on the carpet before vacuuming will freshen and produce a good smell. Baking soda with a drop of vinegar are great cleaning products too. In fact, they’re cheaper and don’t have nasty chemicals and awful smell.
3.Personal care products such as moisturizing lotion, styling gel, face and hands liquid soap, lip balm, shampoo and others which I bought from an online store which has utmost respect for nature and is environmentally conscious and accountable.Their products are relatively reasonable compared to the leading designer label beauty and cleansing products.
4.Some eco food related items which I normally buy from organic stores like bread, nuts, chips, jams, salad ingredients and dressings, apple cider vinegar, brown rice vinegars are in my list.
5.Start using cloth napkins for meals and keep dish towels for kitchen sink use and yes, carry your good old cloth traditional handkerchief!
By the way when you go out for shopping, as much as possible, bring some of your reusable bags to make an impression that you are not supporting the plastic grocery bags that supermarket nowadays are giving us for packaging. If you don’t have any, there is the so-called EnviroVogue reusable tote bags made from recycled plastic bottles. You can purchase them on line at envirovogue.com. In any case, there are stores that use paper bags out of recycled paper, as one of your options.
As I said there are so many things to know about green living and what I’ve shared with you is just the tip of the iceberg. However, with all these things in mind, I trust you will consider the said tips and start eliminating various types of waste from our world. Trust me, this is something we can all be proud of. You can make a big difference when you start supporting e-friendly products. So, take the time out and start venturing green living today!
Almost anywhere in the world, the lessons learned from the financial debacle experience have more or less helped shape people’s conservative spendinghabits , especially on both luxury and non-luxury items. One affected area which may not be considered indispensable to some people is fashion and its related accessories. However, for fashion die-hards and enthusiasts, it would almost be unbearable not to be updated with the fresh trends taking into account the degree of influence fashion mags, runways and the who’s who in fashion have on them. They would always find ways and means on how to stay on top of the craze come hell or high water!
Spring and summer seasons are the best times of the year to get out and enjoy frolicking under the sun, having fun with our family and friends. It is the time when we want to wear our best summery and breezy clothes and show some “skins” and feel good about ourselves regardless of age and body type. Basically, it is the clothes we pick and wear that would give us that confidence we need, as long as it is glam, trendy and stylish. Hey, hey, hey, you might say, but how can I have glam and fashionable clothes without spending thousands of green bucks and ruining my cash flow just to have a complete makeover of my wardrobe? Well, there is a solution to that. As I said in my previous blog, a real chic “fashionista” doesn’t have to be an ardent fashion follower , there’s no need to buy expensive clothes and accessories, instead make an effort to be a trendsetter- from professional to fun and cool look !
So, to be a trendsetter in a tough economy requires someone to be smart and creative. A genuine fashionista is the type of a person who at a snap of a finger, would be able to determine which outfit is appropriate. However, for those who are not as “savoir-faire” as the rest, there’s no need to fret about it- as you can simply check
yourcloset and examine which actually can be utilized and fitting for the season. For spring and summer time, you may take out and keep aside black ensemble and those with dull and dark colors and replace it with your existing brighter, bolder, hot, trendy yet cool outfit and accessories which lay still in your wardrobe.
The Budget-Friendly Tips – Fashion Must Haves
1.If you’re a dressy person like me, you may opt to wear clothes with floral prints and some super cute accents such as ruffles, ribbons and bows . While 2010 fashion color is turquoise or in shades of blue, white and pink colors are still preferred by many. These colors are soothing to the eyes and would reflect an appearance of femininity, youthful innocence, fun and excitement! It doesn’t have be a pure white or an all pink outfit, it could be matched with a printed or plain
stuff. I am sure you have some beautiful sun dresses, blouses or skirts in pastel colors of blue, pink, white, yellow and some earthy tones with some cute accents and a touch of flair . A nautical striped outfit may also
be good to look at.All theseform part of my existing favorites
A spaghetti sundress with a style on hemline,
an off-shoulder printed dress for office wear and night out ,
a chiffon printed blouse with dainty ruffles, a weekender dress for worship/mall window shopping , a tank topand a jogging pantsfor a lighter moment!
2.For simpler yet modern style,capris , workwear denim, ripped jeans, and wide leg trousers which you may find in your closet are cool substitutes. They can be used during these times of year. Yes, you’ve heard it right, ripped, torn and peek-a-boo denim shorts and jeans are still in – from last year’s success in the streets- it is here once again!If you don’t have it and wouldn't want to spend your hard-earned money for ripped jeans but would have wanted to explore wearing it, you can actually cut up your old jeans and let the fringes from the cut hang.
3.A cardigan for a charming spring/summer dress for office wear or a boyfriend jacket and blazer with sleeves rolled up is super cool, especially for spring and mild summer night.
4.Check your shoe rack and select onepair for partyor social networking gatherings, a pair of workheels, sneakersortennis shoes for a brisk walk, sandals/wedges/clogsand flip flops,that would fit and match most of your clothes. Spring and summer times are just perfect to show off your wow shapely legs and nice neat toes!
5.As an alternative to your large and oversized bags, you may wish to use your smaller, bright colored trendy bags still hanging in your closet.
6.Sunglasses, scarves, hats or umbrellas are definitely necessary, especially during warm summer days.
7.A swimsuit or any related beach apparel for your beach, cruise or weekend getaway.
8.Aside from a pearl stud earrings, you can wear chandelier earrings this year. It is okay to wear chandelier earrings if you’re comfortable with it as it adds glamour to formal (night out) or informal outfits (e.g. white shirt and jeans) . However, if you’re not used to wearing earrings , it is also fine – a simple natural clean look perfectly fits for summer time.
9.Go to your nearest beauty parlor and have your hair styled. This is an inexpensive way to stay in fashion!
With all these tips in mind, you’re now set to go out and show that individuality of yours. I am sure you will have a brighter, cooler, and trendy spring and summer time! So, what are you waiting for? Come on, flaunt it!
Early this year, you may have noticed and read in the dailies that several advocacy groups both from governmental and non governmental organizations have already initiated efforts to disseminate information and encourage all people worldwide to take part in the global action to prevent environmental degradation and its adverse impact on our planet Earth.
These groups hold yearly celebrations both at the local and international level to inspire worldwide awareness and appreciation of environmental issues. There are two important related events being celebrated this year: one is the Earth Day 2010 on the 22nd of this month and another is the World Environment Day , being spearheaded by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), scheduled on the 5th of June. Said events are expected to be people and e-friendly activities as several groups all over the world will observe this in many interesting ways such as tree planting, school essays and competitions, street rallies/clean ups, recycling drives, bicycle parades and the like.
Likewise, on March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. (local time), the so-called Earth Hour succeeded its mission calling for all individuals, families and business communties throughout the world to stand up and get involve by turning off their lights for an hour with the end goal of having a sustainable future specifically to fight against climate change.
I became aware and had the opportunity to be involved in environment related discussions when I was still in the public sector. The responsibility is far more different when you are assisting policy makers to formulate and address related issues on environment vis-à-vis when you are part of the group in the streets lobbying and advocating behind these issues. My personal contribution and duty then as a responsible bureaucrat was to make sure that the recommendation, at least from the technical level, should always include strategies on how to resolve issues confronting the environment and that proposed projects be implemented in an e-friendly atmosphere.
Now that I am in the private practice and as part of a blogosphere organization, I felt obliged once more to share with you some useful thoughts about Earth Day 2010, which incidentally will mark its 40th anniversary this year.
Earth Day 2010 was first launched in the 70’s here in the U.S. basically calling all the people worldwide to be mindful of the protection and conservation of our planet Earth and its environment.
As inhabitants of this world , it is our utmost responsibility to contribute in the humblest way we can to make our planet Earth clean and healthy! Why is there a need to care about the Earth and its environment? Obviously, we have only one Earth which is our home - this is where we live, eat, breathe, raise and enjoy the company with our loved ones. IT MAKES SENSE, right? If children in the lower/primary and middle schools are now being taught on these issues, how much more for us grown ups! If we care and love this place, its next generations, your children’s children, we should have the heart to be actively involved even in the little things.
You may say, oh well, there are high profile organizations like the UN and its affiliates actively handling these matters. But the UN and other groups like the Earth Day 2010 can only do so much at their level. The initiative should come from us, ordinary citizens, who comprise by the way, the bulk of the pie. We have a vital role to play, we are the major stakeholders, and as such our contributions are deemed important.
I’m far from being an avid green activist, but as being part of this world, I would like to share with you some very helpful, practical, simple and useful tips on how to save our planet and its environs.
But before proceeding to the tips, it would be prudent to give you a brief scenario of the impact of the said environmental degradation. Based on UNEP’s yearbook, apparently there are cumulative effects of the degradation of the ecosystems, the overexploitation of natural
Clean and e-friendly street along Forest Park, Queens , New York City (myusefultips photos 4/10)
resources, cost of climate change, and the economic and human loss because of conflicts and disasters. Another effect as espoused in another report is the endangerment of the lives of certain plants and animals mainly due to forest reduction, pollution and hunting activities. As technology improves, the more the problem on pollution is hard to resolve. Those of us living in the metropolis can attest to this that pollution has become a problematic area to handle with. We may be aware that there are some industrial companies which may be guilty in releasing dangerous levels of chemicals, oil, garbage, and sewage into the atmosphere, not to mention littering and landfills. All these keep polluting the land, oceans, rivers and seas and if not eradicated and prevented, we might all end up extinct!
THE USEFUL TIPS
Starting from our Respective Families
Everything starts at home…within our respective families. The parents being the head of the family have the primary duty to teach their children on how to make their surroundings clean and healthy. If possible, they should set as role models to them, both in words and deeds, on what and which lifestyle to follow. Activities such as biking, recycling, reusing, and avoiding buying necessary things are just a few to mention.
Kids nowadays are being taught in school on how to recycle things (e.g. soda aluminum cans, plastic and glass bottles) so it wouldn’t be hard for the parents to ask them to help out sort the garbage for recycling and take them to recycling centers.
Wash your clothes once a week (full load). It is more energy and cost efficient than washing every other day (which contains only a half load).
Use silver wares and real plates when eating and clean them afterwards – better to use a human dishwasher!
Start planting flowers and vegetables if you have a space in your home’s front or backyard
Newly planted flower plant in the front yard of a home along Park Lane, New York City (myusefultips photos 4/10)
Buy and use “green” and eco-friendly products, as much as possible. Said products conform with the guidelines of the concerned environmental protection agency where ever you’re located.
If your work is relatively near from your place, it is advisable to walk or ride in a public transport, or use your bicycle instead of using your car so as to lessen the fuel emissions in the air.
Last but not least is to avoid using plastic bags, plastic plates and the like. There have been some hard efforts and plenty of lobbying to implement existing laws and guidelines. Apparently, this is one thing that is hard to police and monitor – what is needed is a political will not only from the authorities but from all of us as well.
To the Community We Belong
For sure, there are groups of environmentalists in your area where members of your family or anyone can volunteer in their activities like cleaning up the beaches, drainage system, and important landmarks in your community. These activities can be fun not to mention the worthy cause and the new faces and friends you will meet in these gatherings.
Do not litter. Pick up trash in public places such as the playgrounds and plazas.
Plant a tree to beautify your neighborhood and to keep the air clean. We all know that trees give off oxygen for humans to breathe.
The neighborhood at Richmond Hill, New York City (myusefultips photos 4/10)
Participate in any fundraising activities for environment related projects. You may also join groups and help them distribute flyers and posters as part of their info campaign on environment related projects such as global warming and its effects on us and other living things.There are lots of resources on the web which are very useful and informative.
You may have some other tips to share , so don’t hesitate to share it with me, with your friends and neighbors. Taking care of our planet and its environment should neither be a burden nor be done only for one day. In fact it should be a lifetime commitment. If you have been so lukewarm about environment related advocacies, I hope you will try your best to actively participate from now on and start rolling your sleeves and get to working with the rest of he h teh
Ah, Fashion! One of my weaknesses – yet luckily I have never been or will never be tagged as a fashion victim despite the loads of clothes in my closet! Or, is there such a thing?
First, let’s dissect what fashion victim means as invented by fashion gurus and as defined in the web. Encarta World English Dictionary describes "fashion victim" as a person who is overenthusiastic, overzealous or uncritical follower of fashion trends, making the said person vulnerable to the so called “materialism” and “faddishness”.Oscar de la Renta who apparently first coined the term stated that a person may be a victim of fashion if he is unable to identify commonly recognized boundaries of style. On the other hand, Versace said that a person becomes a fashion victim if he excessively changes her looks and style from season to season.
For purposes of discussion, fashion would refer not only to garments and clothes, but also its related accessories such as bags, jewelries and footwear – in effect the entire caboodle of the fashion industry.
Second, let’s examine what makes or what influences someone to be a fashion victim. There are various factors. One is wrong values, but the most visible and prominent is the massive tri media campaign on latest fads and trends specifically aimed at the young, hip and cool teens and tweens (until late 20’s), also known as the mini fashionistas.
These are the people who may easily be lured by the advertising strategies and techniques used by multinational corporations in the business shown everyday on tv, billboards, posters, fashion magazines, dailies and the like. These are the people willing to spend much money just to satiate their wants, following and trying to catch up with the latest trends even if they don’t need it, even if they cant afford it, and forgetting the more important basic needs (e.g. food, education, health, family, spirituality, among others) in their respective lives.
Using the above explanation as the premise, let me give you two classic examples I have encountered before wherein greed and vanity made certain people fashion victims. They were my two pretty dorm mates, one was a college junior student who was considered la crème de la crème among her batchmates and another was a young budding urban professional with a promising career in the business world.
The said college student in her late teens can be considered as a certified fashionista. She was always the person who was not only “in” as far as fashion is concerned from head to toe but was also a deans lister vying for an honor in her years. In fact, most of the students envied her style of clothing and wished they could also seize the same opportunity.Little did they know that this student was hooked to a different kind of addiction – a fashion addict. Since she was simply a student who completely relied from parents for tuition fees and school related expenses, she had no choice but to go for the local brands marketed in high end malls. There was no weekend that she would visit branded stores and wouldn’t return to the dorm without ashopping bag full of stuffs making her closet full of new and never been worn belongings which had become dated because of the rapid change in fashion craze. To her, it was happiness when she was able to get something similar to what she saw in latest fashion mags or in tv from showbiz personalities, but in the long run it turned out to be a vicious cycle. In view of her excessive fashion spending, she could no longer pay her tuition and rent mainly because she used the money elsewhere intended for said expenses. As a result of this, her studies were affected and she wasn’t able to graduate and without honors the next school year because she had to stop, leaving her parents frustrated —only because of her becoming a fashion victim!
On the other hand, the second case in point involved a young urban professional in her late 20s who was obsessed at and used to buying famous designer label dresses, bags and shoes so as “to keep up with the joneses”.Some of her officemates of her stature were wondering how on earth could she afford to buy said stuffs and showoff the same during departmental meetings. It was found out later from a friend that this young lady would have to go out of her way befriending older “loaded” men and would entice them to buy said stuffs for personal gain and satisfaction. In short, the young lady’s story turned out to be poignant, because she was fired from her office for certain valid reasons. Her budding career went awry in view of her materialistic views and her being a fashion victim!
Oh yes, I can now say that indeed fashion victims in this world do exist. Not only it has negative impact on peoples lives but it is also harmful to self development and professional growth. It may be acceptable to us consumers to be pampered by fashion retailers with the rapidly changing fashion styles, but we also have the option on whether or not to oblige with the said spoiling fashion trends.
While I still believe on the significance of fashion particularly in economic development (e.g. employment generation, tax revenues, etc) and for aesthetic purposes , what is more important however is that we should learn how to balance between quality of life and whims and caprices . Fashion should be regarded as something that would make you feel beautiful, confident and great in what you’re wearing and can have a huge impact on your performance whether in school or in the workplace. There's no need for you to be an overly devoted fashion buff, strive to be a trendsetter instead. In so doing, you could be a true blue blooded fashionista!
On the other hand, there are some people who are affluent enough to acquire the latest couture, high avant garde fashioned clothes but they just don’t have the “it” and simply don’t know how to carry themselves, in that sense they could be considered fashion victims as well!
1.Don’t be a compulsive buyer. Think twice before wasting money on certain things which are not so necessary in your daily life. You can buy the essentials and the basics needed in your fashion wear, just like this one.
2.Don’t spend beyond your means. You’ve learned what happened to the two young ladies as illustrated above. There are also instances where some groups would be tempted to shop using credit cards and ending up with bills not getting paid. If worse comes to worst, some people would even go the extent of engaging in shoplifting just to get the latest fad they’re craving for. This is absolutely a no-no. One important trait to nurture in yourself is to be frugal in spending habits.
3.Don't be disorderly in your personal things. Scan, clean and organize your wardrobe closet so it would be easy to look for things needed on a daily basis. Mixing and matching your outfits will make your wardrobe selection wider. Allot some time and make yourself available to arrange your clothes and personal necessities according to color, design, type, importance or brands. You may donate your old clothes to charitable institutions and set aside some which you think are worth keeping and can be used 10 or 20 years later! Believe me, this is a lesson learned from my own experience!
4. Don'tdress to impress – Never go for couture, designer labeled clothes, avant garde, high street-rip off clothings if you don't have the means; if it doesn’t suit you or match your age and personality, even if you’re comfortable wearing it, as the same may only make a bad impression on you.
5.Do browse the helpful tips shown in my previous blog about power dressing (under "Fashion" category). The said blog likewise mentioned about several tips which may be useful on how to prevent from being a fashion victim. Feel free to read the article and I am sure said tips will be of use to you too!
Having said all of the foregoing, let us learn how to tame our attitude towards fashion and most importantly let’s avoid being a fashion victim. However, let us not also forget the importance of fashion which is also a means of expressing ourselves.
Three days ago, I joined an organization of bloggers whose objective is to utilize the clout or influence of “blogosphere” or the members’ respective blog spaces to make the world a better place. Members are expected to write or contribute something on various areas of interest which ranges from poverty, health, education, community development, environment, migration, human rights and other facets in life.I am still contemplating on which field I would like to focus on but I would like to make sure that it is in consonance with the objectives of my blog.
One area which has a soft spot in my heart concerns about health and its effect on the quality of life of the people worldwide, especially the children and those who can not afford for their health care (e.g. immunizations, childbirth services, chronic diseases) and hospitalization. Health in itself encompasses a broad spectrum but for the month of April, the concerned bloggers are specifically supporting the following events:
1.World Health Day 2010 which was held two days ago, April 7, 2010, and
2.Spirit Jump 2010 which will be held tomorrow, April10, 2010
World Health Day 2010 focuses on urbanization and health. Events in various cities worldwide have been organized calling on authorities to open up streets for health related activities with the end goal of improving health. It was too late on my part to join in any organized activities here in the Big Apple in view of my very recent involvement with the organization. But we all know that the advocacy for health in general did not end two days ago; It is a continuous process and you and I can still be a part of this mission.
Tomorrow, April 10, 2010 takes a higher emotional level. The said day is especially dedicated to the many people including children battling cancer. Spirit Jump 2010 was launched as a non profit organization primarily to help those affected people by bringing hope, comfort and happiness to cancer patients despite their weak and distressed conditions. While there are public and private charitable institutions dealing with care of cancer patients, there is still a need for some kind of support for these patients from advocacy groups and individuals particularly at a more personal level.
The Spirit Jump for instance shall be collecting cards from various groups, family members, neighbors, schools, youth groups and the like. Cards can be handmade or purchased from stores and should bear the message to help JUMP the SPIRIT of someone who is battling cancer.
From my side, I shall request the help of my former and present colleagues, friends and family members who have generous hearts, and/or probably from the students in schools to make cards for these people. While the distribution of cards is due tomorrow, I believe the giving of cards doesn’t stop there, If it is only possible to give them get well and cheering cards on a weekly or monthly basis just to perk up their days, that would even be better. I shall utilize my free time during weekends to design my own cards for these people. I have already purchased the materials I will need for devising my own cards. I hope you will likewise have the huge heart and the desire to do so.
As I mentioned in my Easter season reflection, this is the time for us to somehow give back the blessings we received from HIM to the people in need and in pain.
Since some of you are living in other parts of the globe and it would definitely not be logical to send the cards to me for distribution, I would advise and encourage you instead to deliver the said cards to your local cancer or health centers for distribution. I would just like to ask a favor from you to take a photo of your cards and to where did you send it so that everything can be listed and accounted for. We need to know how many cancer patients have been given well wishing cards for 2010 from all of us.
So join me by spreading the mission and for sure we can make this world a better place to live in. Smile and the world will smile at you!
Last February, I received a communication from the Apostolate requesting me to guide and lead the singing during the mass. Wow, what an effortless request! But little did I know that it was a form of spiritual leadership accompanied by a critical responsibility brought upon on my shoulder.
What could I say? How could I say no to the call for help for God’s glory? I simply responded in affirmative, and everything started there! I thought that was one way of touching me to be of help to others in the humblest way I can, which incidentally is one of my advocacies in life.
As a brief backgrounder, my choir experience dates back during my childhood days. My kids buddies and I used to sing as members of the choir and it can be attributed to our love for any kind of music, from pop to slow rock and …..the liturgical music! I learned my church songs, first from my parents, then from my older siblings, my music teachers who were nuns in our school and from the church where I used to go. But my love for music didn’t stop there, it evolved and it continued up to these days.
As I prayed for God’s guidance, the present responsibility wasn’t a burden at all. Humility aside, I can sing with a little knowledge of playing the guitar. At first, some generous people from the other parish showed up to help in the singing, then the second time with only one. But with God’s blessings, the group blossomed with more or less 15 people volunteering to be part of the team. In all honesty, I felt a sense of relief and the assurance from someone up above that everything will be all right! I realized that the success of the choir does not depend on the person leading it, her talents, her skills but on God’s keeping control of it. And that makes it amazing!
Our kick-off meeting/rehearsal really went well, probably because the members are musically gifted in their own rights but I believe they were also commissioned to be part of the new choir. We started our rehearsal with a prayer and some kid stuffs as part of our agenda. And thereafter the rehearsal began. I say, Amen. Welcome and congratulations to the new members! From one to 15 members – a combination of the young at hearts and the real young ones with the youngest member, Erynn who is only 6 years old! That makes it even more amazing!
As a sense of duty, I felt the need to share series of thoughts and knowledge gained since childhood days from previous choir masters who were experts and considered “maestros” in the field of music. Most probably some of the members may know this already but for purposes of reminding everyone, I would like to share the first batch of the said thoughts with my colleagues and other “newbies” out there who are contemplating to organize one and/or simply be a member of a choir.
“Singing is Praying Twice”
I have heard this over and over again as far as church choir singing is concerned. According to some, the said saying was first coined by St. Augustine. However, based on an article published in the Catholic online forum, it was clarified that what St. Augustine wrote simply means that when you praise God thru songs, then something happens to the song of the praiser” because of love. Part of the excerpts of the original translation cited: …”he who sings praise, is not only singing, but also loving Him whom he is singing about/to/for….”.
In any case, the message being conveyed by St. Augustine only implies that whether or not you are a choir member, one should deliver the songs very well, with respect, with love and with the purity of intentions. When the choir sings together with the congregation, it is like everybody is praying together. In fact, Jesus said this that “…when two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”.
There are also times that when you sing during the mass and the song coincidentally fit well to how you feel at that particular time, like if you feel frustrated, bothered, broken hearted, abandoned or in any state of emotion, you tend to cry out to the Lord thru the songs and then you realize that your eyes start to have “clouds” and even to the extent that the tears start to flow down on your cheeks. But after that , you feel some kind of an unexplainable relief, giving you a new hope and a form of healing from the Almighty. Have you experienced this before? Believe me, it happened to me not only once but many times!
Relevance of a Choir
In view of the importance of the choir in the liturgy, it may be imperative that the choir practice very well the songs to be sung so they would be confident during the actual singing presentation. Similarly, a well rehearsed choir would be able to impart the message of the song and eventually be able to shape and pave the way for the true faith of those who worship.
Choir members absolutely doesn’t have to be professional singers….anyone who has the knack, committed and is willing to volunteer their time and talent for the love of God, are the perfect members you could get. What an awesome gift from God! All the best to all of us!
Note: The next topic that I would be blogging on would pertain to the benefits of being in a choir, the choir decorum and some vocalization tips (minus the piano)!
If you feel the article was useful , please feel free to comment and it would be greatly appreciated. If you don’t have comments, it is okay I do understand. But just the same, it would still be good to hear your thoughts , pleasant or unpleasant!
On a lighter note, people from all over the world celebrated Easter Sunday according to their respective traditions. We see various popular icons symbolizing Easter such as Easter eggs, Easterbunny,Easter lily, Easterbasket,Easter flower pots,Easter chocolate and cookies , Easter bell and yes! there is also Easter fish and many more.
The most prominent and observed is the egg hunting activity during Easter day, especially for the children,
regardless of whether or not you’re doing it for 5 or a hundred children, it doesn’t matter. I did this before and have witnessed that this activity could be fun and challenging for the kids to be looking around for the Easter eggs with promised prizes at stake for them.
Since preparations for real egg hunting is more time consuming and tiresome as far as the host is concerned, another better and enjoyable option is to use plastic eggs. Using plastic eggs vs. real eggs is more safer, has lesser risks, and even much more economical. Plastic eggs and stuffs (e.g. miniature chocolates such as kisses, etc, assorted candies, small toys, notes, etc.) in big packages can be purchased at discount, party or wholesale club stores. Just make sure you have plenty and a variety of colors for the plastic eggs and the treats to go into the Easter eggs, depending on the number of kids participating in said activity.
There are several useful tips found on the web which you can adopt in your next eggs-citing and eggs-ploring activities! So, enjoy surfing the net!