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GAGA GAZETTEER

  • ADVENTURES WITH A (DYING) DOG

    1.21.15-I-Took-My-Dying-Dog-on-a-Bucket-List-Adventure1-590x442

    This one made me weepy this morning. Girl finds out her bestfriend and roommate -- a 160-lb English Mastiff has terminal bone cancer and only has a few months to live. So armed with a bucket list of adventures she would like to share with her dog, they go off on canoe rides, road trips, visits to both busy spots and quiet spaces and, finally, spend a last day together by the ocean in Maine, where she finally finds peace and acceptance. This is real love, people.
  • THE HEALING POWERS OF KEEPING A JOURNAL

    N-JOURNALING-large570

    I still keep a journal despite having a blog. No matter how spill-all-my-guts-out open I may seem, there are many things I do and think that I'll just never tell. I've always thought it kept me sane to be able to express myself without fear of being censored or criticized. Whenever I pick up an old journal, even one from my 13-year-old self I realize that as much as I've changed so much is still the same. I just know how to dodge bullets faster and better. From: HUFFPOST Healthy Living, 01/20/15
  • WRITING YOUR WAY TO HAPPINESS

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    Which is why I've decided to keep this blog around, at least for a little while longer. I've always picked up a pen (or sat in front of a keyboard) any time I needed to make sense of my world; writing allows me to get into my head and get all my thoughts out without having to worry about how ridiculous I sound (that's where the editing comes in). From: The New York Times, 01/19/15
  • HOW TO BECOME A WRITER
    This was lovely. The post is by a novelist who was asked how to encourage a young writer. It sounds eerily like the story of my life -- now all I need is to keep reading and keep writing (and, okay, start submitting). From: M Molly Backes' blog, 07/12/11
  • THE "PERFECT" FEMALE BODY

    Greatist_body

    Every day at work I see all kinds of female bodies: athletic, boyish, curvy, voluptuous, natural, enhanced, preteen, post-baby, postmenopausal -- thousands of different bodies I've seen up close and personal in my lifetime. This infographic shows that the description of the ideal female body changes every decade or so, going back hundreds of years. I hope that soon we define the "perfect" body as one that is simply healthy and functioning; that what matters is that we're comfortable in our own skin. From: Greatist, 01/15/15

GOODREADS

  • READING NOW

    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
    The Normal Bar: Where Does Your Relationship Fall?
    All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost
    Gun Dealers' Daughter: A Novel: A Novel
    Crazy Rich Asians
    The Undomestic Goddess
    Self-Help
    The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World


    Gigi's favorite books »
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September 04, 2005

Comments

kimoi

i really feel for you....religion is still, i believe, an important matter on man's salvation. many have soul searched for the truth, many have been misled, many have gone stray. i suggest you listen to a known filipino preacher Bro. ELi Soriano. no i'm not trying to force you into a religion, i just want you to experience a different kind of spiritual enlightening.Or you can log on to this site: www.angdatingdaan.com

----moi

Raquel

Amen to that! I know what you mean by people trying to "help" you, thinking that you have been led astray and need help finding your way back. I've had the same experience with numerous people thinking that I need saving with attempts at getting me to attend mass, prayer groups and retreats. My belief is religion is a very personal matter, what or who I believe in is my choice just as it is their choice to believe in whatever they do belive in. I say live and let live, peace!

chiqui

For some reason at 32, I was enlightened. It all became clear to me. Religion was out of my life. I thought: it can't be as simple as geography (ie. you're born in Manila, you're Roman Catholic, you're born in Israel, you're Jewish...) and all it seemed to do was divide people. Of course it has its uses - it comforts people in time of need, etc. but on the whole, I think there would be less wars and the "the world would be as one" with no religion, as John Lennon wrote.

Gigi

Hi Kimoi - Thanks for gently suggesting instead of outright condemning. I've always been open to reading about different religions -- not because I'm looking for one to follow, but because I find there is always truth everywhere.

Hello Raquel - I have friends and acquaintances who tell me about their faith: of how it saved them and others. I have no problem with that. But once I sense or hear judgment, then I most certainly do. I admire those who profess their faith, and then act accordingly; I have no patience for hypocrites, however.

Hi Chiqs - In high school I decided I believed in God (or some higher being) but Catholicism/Christianity was not for me. That's why our senior retreat was sheer torture; so many things just didn't make sense. I told Fr. R my thoughts about certain things and I remember how he embraced me during our final Communion; I sensed he considered me one of his lost sheep and hoped (prayed) I'd find my way back.

A few years later, although I still remained curious about different world religions, I realized I clung to a notion of God because I wanted to; I needed to believe there was one. Today I suppose I'm an agnostic, and not an atheist. Organized religion is not for me, although I'm constantly preoccupied with what makes me a good person and keep evaluating myself in terms of my ethics, even moral values.

chiqui

Same. I'm probably an agnostic bec I do think there is a point in living and it doesn't just end here (this is where Torn and I differ). ANd I also am preoccupied in trying to be a good person while I'm on this earth. Not for any reward later on but just because it's the right thing to try to do. I don't believe in clouds & St Peter's gate. Heaven is here on earth.

bugsybee

You don't have to believe in any religion to be good. Period. :)

Gigi

Hi Chiqs and Bugsybee -

I agree with you both. You can be good regardless of religion -- whether you have (a different) one or none at all.

For instance, not too long ago I worked in a company owned and headed by Scientologists. Now, I know many like to call them crackpots and crazies -- as I did -- but I got to learn a lot more about their beliefs. No one ever tried to convert me while I was an employee, but my boss (whom I was quite close to) talked a lot about how his religion saved his life and even let me read Scientology materials. He was a good man, as were many of the folks I worked with.

Honestly, there was a lot that made sense and that wasn't too different or far from from traditional religious/spiritual beliefs. I won't be converting to Scientology, but I'm grateful for the experience and knowledge. There is truth everywhere, I'm convinced, if you just open your mind to it. And definitely lots of good people of every faith, persuasion, or belief system if you allow yourself to see them.

kulas

I say this without malice and with all sincerity - pretty and intelligent people like you remind me of God's existence . . . yun lang po

Gigi

Hello Kulas - Thank you for the kind compliment. Really. :)

kulas

Hi Gigi, you are very much welcome and . . . . God bless you :)

jhaya

Hi Gigi,

The first time, i saw your blog i said to myself that I am going to start my own blog - - i am so inspired by the philosphy behind this beautiful expression of your self. Somehow, you touch other people's life and make them reflect.

I think the key to it all is having an open mind and a big big heart to live a full and meaningful life...

Gigi

Hi Jhaya,

I really enjoyed visiting your blog site-- I'll definitely be back over and over again. :) After visiting all the pinoy bloggers from Oz, I'm determined to visit your country soon. So beautiful!

And thanks so much for the kind words; I do agree with what you said about how to live.

JMom

I stumbled into your blog from Batjay's tambayan, and I enjoyed reading your posts; not intending to leave a comment until I came across this one.
THANK YOU for writing what I have always felt. Both my husband and I were brought up in a religious environment, and sadly that only showed us the hypocrisy in organized religion. We still believe in a god or a force stronger than us, but man's religion is out.

Gigi

Hi JMom, Thank you! I liked your last sentence -- so well put.

micketymoc

Hehehe, ikaw rin pala.

Depending on the audience, I call myself an atheist some days, then on others I'm a Cultural Catholic. I'm happy to realize from reading Torn's entry, from reading your very heartfelt entry above, and from all the comments here, that living free of religion is a catching proposition. :-)

Gigi

Hello Micketymoc -- Excellent post! After undergoing 15 years of intense Catholic inculcation and upbringing, I find it automatic to think, say, or do certain things. For instance, I always cross myself before I drive. And when I'm expressing sympathy or condolences, I say the grieving person or family is in "my thoughts and prayers" -- only because I haven't found a fitting substitute for "prayers", and "positive thoughts" just doesn't seem to cut it. Yes indeed, the term "Cultural Catholic" seems to fit me, too. :)

The comments to this entry are closed.

GAGA ABOUT

  • LISTEN: "Pluto" by Chamsom

    Boong-

    I don't have to understand Korean to love this song, although I think it's about a person who was in a rocky relationship that ended but still feels deeply for her former lover and is feeling lonely tonight. "You're like a little star that's far away from me and keeps disappearing." I suppose the title -- Pluto used to be known as the ninth planet from the sun but now isn't even considered one -- might provide a bit more context to the song's meaning. Spotify
  • IMMORTAL PERFUMES

    Immortalperfumes

    Immortal Perfumes is a Seattle-based micro-perfumery specializing in historically inspired, handmade perfumes. All perfume blends are original recipes made from a mix of jojoba, essential and fragrance oils. None of the oils used in this shop are derived from animals. Every bottle is handmade by JT Siems in her Seattle studio. I'm already in love with the fragrance inspired and named after Duchess Georgiana Cavendish. Notes: Black Tea, Lavender, Jasmine, Amber, Bergamot. Read her story here. #6mosnoshopping