The Things I Never Blogged About Italy, Part V

4/13

10:51 HAPPY EASTER MONDAY!!! Blasted internets (wow, that was very cheerfully Eastery, eh? =) Haven’t been on with this laptop since God knows when. Yes, I just checked email/multiply/facebook with Daddy’s laptop. Except that there’s 7 emails sitting in my Outbox on here, which means… heh. Until I can get on with this thing, Kim will not know that I am writing something up for the Sisters, Gloria will not know how very worried I am about her because I have not heard from her in a while, Tito Leo will not know that the Lumix broke and how much we are suffering as a result, Lyndon will not know that I did get his email a month ago and that I have not been ignoring him or something, the Leaders will not know that Ed got a new email and that he should be added to the Yahoo Group (on second thought, though, I could really care less), Michelle will not know that I am not in agony as she supposes that I am, Gabriella will not know that I did appreciate the talks she sent me and that I do want to have some catch-up time with her when I come back for a bit, etc. etc. etc. In other words, I am dead to the world at present. Except to say that we were meant to live for so much more have we lost ourselves blah blah blah I’ve found myself re-addicted to Switchfoot recently. And once again, it’s Asher :D oh yes, Asher it was that got me into Switchfoot. Bless that boy, I ought to call him up as soon as I get home, don’t you think? Find out what the heck is happening with my children.

So let me see, two weekends ago we had lunch with Ms. Lina and I had sparkling wine and red wine and limoncello and… oh geeze, I forget what else I had. I had a lot of alcohol, basically. That was fun. Absolutely delicious pasta with artichokes. Super. We met Mr. Giuseppe’s daughter, Ludovica. She’s a few weeks older than Paco and speaks Spanish fairly well and therefore was able to converse quite easily with all of us (mostly with Dad) and we played games (some internet games and some hand games) and she told me a little about her older sister, and it was all great fun.

We’d met up with Ms. Lina downtown and we walked probably more than we’ve walked anywhere, except for in Rome. She took us into several different shops because we were all looking for different things… Yena wanted a journal and Mother was looking for paper and Paco was looking for an international bookstore and I wanted to find a guitar store and Daddy was looking for bicycles and Mother suggested roller blades, etc. etc. It was a lot of fun, and we didn’t find everything we were looking for, but I am very much looking forward to walking there again.

Easter… Holy Thursday, we went to Church at 8 AM, not for MAss, but for the Liturgy of the Hours. AMAZING. I wish they did it year-round… we try to do the Liturgy of the Hours at home […] but it’s something else when you’re with a lot of other people and everyone’s reciting the Liturgy and singing the hymns together… ‘course, it was all in Italian, but hooray for Latin, we recognized enough to follow like what we were praying for and stuff, and hooray that I was learning to pronounce Italian properly in my voice lessons, so Mother and I could sing along… =) It was such a beautiful experience […].

Good Friday, we attended the Mass at 18:30 which went on till about 8, good thing we had the Roman Missal with us… oh, when we went up for Communion, the Eucharistic Minister was asking me if Migi was old enough (I was behind Migi) to receive, and I had no idea what he was saying xD but I figured it was about Migs ’cause he seemed to be hesitant… and then after Mass, a lady approached us, her name is Milena and she introduced us to her friend, Carmela… they speak English fluently, and WOW God is so amazing […] He sends us the people we need right when we need them… Carmela is a Catechist, and Yena is preparing for Holy Eucharist and Paco for Confirmation. Furthermore, she was able to confirm with the Eucharistic Minister, Francesco, that Migi had received his First Communion. Apparently, they receive their First Eucharist later here, around 10.

Black Saturday, we ate out at La Rusticana. Oh, wait, but Daddy was dancing Nino around in front of the mirror in the hall and I thought I heard him say Happy Easter, and I went to Mum and said…

me: Mother, Daddy’s making Nino practice saying Happy Easter in the mirror.
Mom: Huy! Darling, kakamatay lang nga ng Diyos, nag h-Happy Easter ka na…
Dad: Oo nga. Kaya nga Happy PRE-Easter.

Silly Daddy =) so we ate out, yeah… and I think it was another one of those nights where idk if I was really hungry or if it was just my pride… we ordered 40 sticks of Arrosticini — Italian barbecue, lamb. WOW. Daddy told us that when the group (he and his co-workers from PA/Cinci/Brazil, we just refer to them as ‘the group’) eats out there, they order some 150 sticks… and something about Marcello having had 26 the one time or something. Not that I was aiming to beat that, but I did have half of my order of Gnocchi di patate blah blah blah something that means 4 cheese (which I ordered to compare to the Gnocchi at… […] what was it? Maggiano’s? this was even heavier and richer, if that was at all possible), but I had some 10 sticks besides the bread and olive oil we had to begin with and some of the zucchini from Daddy’s veggie plate and… hmm. Yep.

me: So Mum, am I becoming more Italian, do you think?
Mom: No? Just more… masculine?
me: Hwwwhaat?

That was in reference to how much Italians eat…

14:24 Where was I… so then on the way home on Black Saturday, Father reprimanded us for laughing so hard because, “Lent pa rin, ha.” But then Migi said something that made him laugh two minutes later. We were laughing over a bunch of different things… To give you an idea as to the theme… Mother was saying how bungee jumping was invented by someone who intended to commit suicide but he had the cord in case he changed his mind. And then she changed it to that his thought was that if God willed it, the cord would snap… Hmm… that doesn’t look funny when I type it up :P Oh well. I suck at recounting the jokes Mother makes. So anyway, after all of us having eaten so much, laughing so much wasn’t helping and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only whose tummy was hurting. Sheesh. Something about, “Darling, tingnan mo yung mga death wish ng anak mo. Gusto nya mag break dancing… tapos ngayun naman gusto mag motorsiklo…” Bah. Hmph they said I could only get a motorcycle if it had a sidecar. NOT FAIR. And then I said well what if I import one from the Pinas and Dad was like, “Eh di jeepney na lang.” “Da! That’s corny.” No, I don’t think jeepneys are corny, but importing a jeepney INSTEAD of a Pinoy tricycle is corny. C’mon.

Easter Sunday found us in Rome at about 8 AM, yah… We parked within sight of the Colosseum, took us a while to walk to the Vatican, but we made it in time for the Second Reading. […] B16 sounds so young… and it was just so amazing… to remember how old and fragile and yet… dedicated, for lack of a better word… JP2 sounded five and a half years ago when he gave his blessing from the window… and now to hear B16. It was so strange. And so COOL, if that’s not too irreverent to say so =) Cool and very humbling.

20:11 me: NATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nate: NOOOOO
me: …
five minute warning?
Nate: YOURE NOT MY FATHER
me: …
oh.

Oh Nate xD

Oh so Mother was just yelling from her room. Yena’s making an Easter card for Ludovica, and when she was all done writing and stuff, she asked Mum what she should do next, and Mother suggested she draw some hearts and flowers and stuff. So Yena drew an egg and a heart, and then she went and drew two flowers. She wasn’t happy with them. Mother doesn’t know why. The point is, she erased them, and then she asked Mom, “Can I draw the Eye of Sauron?”

20:37 […] I think The Reason is one of the weirdest music vids I’ve ever seen. Or maybe I just don’t look for enough. Who knows. I wouldn’t have hunted for it on YouTube if Uncle Topey didn’t tell me it was good. […]

So we’re getting up early to spend some three or so hours at the mall… […]

4/15

13:27 We (Mommy and Nino and I) are here in my room going through my iTunes by year and playing a song from each year. I feel like sharing. Haha.
1817 ~ Northanger Abbey, Chapter 1 / Jane Austen / Lit2Go: Northanger Abbey
1950 ~ Daniel In The Lion’s Den / Assorted / 24 Catholic Songs for Children
1968 (the year Mum was born, and she goes, “THAT’S AS OLD AS ME?!” lol) ~ Something In The Way She Moves / James Taylor / Greatest Hits
1969(the peace and looooooove era xD) ~ Give Peace A Chance / John Lennon / The John Lennon Collection
1970 ~ Fire And Rain / James Taylor / Greatest Hits
1971 (“Is it ALL James Taylor?” – Mum. No, Mother, it just happens to be the first in each of those years. lol) ~ You’ve Got A Friend / James Taylor / Greatest Hits
1972 (my only song from 1972) ~ Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight / James Taylor / Greatest Hits
1973 (More IT’S THAT OLD?! comments from Mother) ~ Piano Man / Billy Joel / Greatest Hits Vol. 1 [Disc 1]
1974 ~ Waterloo / ABBA / Gold
1975 (I HAVEN’T LISTENED TO THIS IN YEARS… probably since before I ripped the CD. Hahaha.) ~ Mamma Mia / ABBA / Gold

Dude, I am changing my system. I can’t keep playing the first song in each year, ’cause all I’m hearing is ABBA and James Taylor. Lol. So I’m going down one more artist in each year. That’s more fun.

1976 ~ Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Billy Joel / Greatest Hits Vol. 1 [Disc 1]
1977 ~ Knowing Me, Knowing You / ABBA / Gold

[…] listening to Scenes From An Italian Restaurant always makes me go all *happy.* […]

1978 ~ Take A Chance On Me / ABBA / Gold
1979 ~ Jive Talkin’ / Bee Gees / Bee Gees Greatest [Disc 1]

AHHHHH memories! we used to put Bee Gees on and play freeze dance with Kuya Nico and Chiara and Kuya Max and Ben and Vince and Ate Amanda. I think I was almost always the first out. xD

1980 ~ Sailing / Christopher Cross / Christopher Cross

WAAAHHHHH that song makes me cry…

1981 ~ Jessie’s Girl / Rick Springfield / Sounds of the Eighties – 1981
1982 ~ Goodnight Saigon / Billy Joel / Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 (1978-1985) [Disc 2]
1983 ~ Cruel Summer / Bananarama / The Greatest Hits Collection
1984 ~ The Boys of Summer / Don Henley / Building The Perfect Beast
1985 ~ How Will I Know / Whitney Houston / Whitney Houston
1986 ~ Baby Grand / Ray Charles, Billy Joel / Greatest Hits, Vol. 3
1987 ~ I Heard A Rumour / Bananarama / The Greatest Hits Collection
1988 ~ Scarborough Fair / Sarah Brightman / La Luna

HANG ON A SEC that song’s older than me? I mean, duhh of course it’s older than me, but she sang her version of it before I was born?! Hm.

1989 ~ Lullaby / The Cure / Galore (The Singles 1987 – 1997)

Hmm… I’m not really into The Cure. But they make me think of Kuya Vin ’cause they’re one of is favorites. =( Wah, now I miss Kuya Vin…

1990 ~ Without A Song / George Benson / Big Boss Band
1991 WHOOOO… lol ~ Baby Hold On to Me / Gerald Levert / Private Line

Huh. I Only have three songs from ’91. I think that is sad. […]

1992 ~ High / The Cure / Galore (the Singles 1987 – 1997)
1993 ~ Ligaya / Eraserheads / Eraserheads Anthology
1994 ~ Circle of Life / Carmen Twillie @ Lebo. M / The Lion King
1995 ~ Light As The Breeze / Billy Joel / Greatest Hits, Vol. 3
1996 ~ Magbalik Ka Na Mahal / Kuh Ledesma / Ryan Cayabyab: The Silver Album

YIPES. Bakit ako merong ganyan?! Hehehe.

1997 ~ Wrong Number / The Cure / Galore (The Singles 1987-1997)
1998 ~ I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For / U2 / The Joshua Tree
1999 ~ She’s So High Above Me / Tal Bachman / She’s So High (Album version)

Wow, that’s… old. I didn’t realize.

2000 ~ Crazy For This Girl / Evan and Jaron

I though Kuya Vin said that was only like five years old?? Oh lol.

2001 ~ All For Love / Brian Adams, Rod Stewart, Sting / The 3 Musketeers Soundtrack
2002 ~ This Love / Maroon 5 / Songs About Jane

Oh man […] wasn’t that song so insanely overplayed then?

2003 ~ With You / Jessica Simpson / In This Skin

Ah. That was overplayed, too.

2004 ~ Making Memories Of Us / Keith Urban / Be Here

Wow, I didn’t even know I had that song. What is Ate Mariel burning for me?!

2005 ~ Precious / Depeche Mode / Playing The Angel

So… here I was thinking that that song was ages older than I guess it actually… is…

2006 ~ Your Way / Adie / Don’t Wait
2007 ~ Lazy Eye / Silversun Pickups / Live Session (iTunes Exclusive) – EP

16:15 So, interestingly enough, we thought that we had discovered high-speed internet in our backyard… Anyway, we found it two days ago at around 4ish, and it disappeared at 6. Ok, so we tried it again yesterday, I came out at 4 and it was here, and it disappeared again around 6 again… but here I am today, waiting, and it is 4:15 and there’s no sign of it. Should I be alarmed? lol.

16:24 Hmm.. no luck. Mother and I will be laughing in a bit, I suppose, but I was *so* wanting to get on and email Papa. *sigh*

20:01 Yay, I made caldereta for dinner xD  […]

So I had my first shot of white wine last night. Yes, yes, I know shot glasses aren’t for wine and I’m not drinking it properly in one go anyway, but whatever. No wine goblets, and wine just doesn’t look right in a normal drinking glass, so what’s the next best thing? Shot glass. […] Paco also enjoyed the white wine last night, and even Migi pronounced it to be “not too bad.” Only Yena made a face =) Ahh when in Rome do as the Romans do? well then :D “We’re in Italy, guys; might as well enjoy it.” – Mum, in response to Yena’s face. Hahaha. Mother surprised me the other day.

Mom: Maybe that’s something I want to learn to drink.
me: What?
Mom: Beer.
me: What?! But… I mean, I can appreciate wine, but beer…
Mom: Yes, but that’s just it. Maybe it’s good with certain foods or something.
me: Oh. Well. Yuck. I’ll stick to the wine.

I just never found anything to like about it. I can appreciate practically anything… except beer. Scusi, I’m being called =)

20:54 So we opened a new bottle of red wine tonight. It’s the lightest I’ve had since we came here, but to me that has its own appeal. The red wine they brought to my birthday party was pretty strong, but Mother commented that it got grainy at the bottom, and yeah it did, I didn’t like that. So let me see, this is the… fifth red wine I’ve tried since we came here. The last bottle we had was a bit too strong, didn’t like that. The red wine that… oh I forget who ordered it. Mauricio? at La Rusticana was probably just as strong, maybe stronger, but that was more bearable, enjoyable, even, because the taste of it was just richness. Like kalamata olives. I feel like I already told you that. Hehe. The Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio didn’t leave much of an impression on me that I can recall it to compare, but that was alright. But tonight’s wine, I suppose in the big scheme of things, it couldn’t hold a candle to what we had at La Rusticana, but again, the lightness had its own appeal… Mother said it felt a bit too alcoholic for me, but I had two shots, pretty straight drinking. Not so strong that it has to be taken in sips. I’m looking forward to dinner tomorrow. =) You know, thinking about it, it seems strange to constantly have wine in the house… and yet I’m already so used to it that it just feels natural to see it in the ref next to the coke from the last party and the water and the milk. Haha.

4/16

14:14 […] d’you ever get that feeling that God’s just throwing the most amazing stuff at you?

Yesterday’s meditation was titled Letting Oneself Be Helped. That in itself caused a lot of reflection. There’s only so much those around us can do for us… but if we don’t want to be helped, it doesn’t do any good. […] do you ever have those sudden… I dunno… revelations? like you know you’ve been saying a certain something for ages, you’ve told it to other people, you’ve mused over it yourself, but it comes up again in such away that it hits in a way that you just didn’t know it could…? Heh, am I making any sense […]? ‘Course not, ’cause I’m crazy =) Anyway… I know I’ve been talking/writing/reading about it for years, but it’s hitting me again with just the events of the past two, three months, that God is always reaching out and calling each and every one of us to Him by our very nature as humans, and yet how much of a wonder and sometimes even seemingly a curse that we are so free to reject that if we wish. That we should reject the one and only thing can complete us. That’s such a hurtful thought […]. And yet we do it every single day of our lives.

Then the meditation went on to speak of the disciples Jesus met on the road to Emmaus after the Ressurection…

[…] We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. But now they speak of Jesus as a reality belonging to the past: Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed… Notice the contrast. They say ‘who was!’ … And He is there by their side. He is walking with them, in their company, trying to uncover the reason, the most intimate roots of their sadness!

‘Who was!’, they say. We too, if only we would examine ourselves sincerely, with an attentive examination of our sadness, our discouragement, our being a little tired of life […] We would discover how we spontaneously remark ‘Jesus was’, ‘Jesus said’, because we forget that, just as on the road to Emmaus, Jesus is alive and by our side at this very moment. This is a discovery which enlivens our faith and revives our hope, a finding that points to Jesus as a joy that is ever present: Jesus is, Jesus prefers, Jesus says, Jesus commands now at this very moment. Jesus lives.

And then today’s meditation… […] I always knew inside that I haven’t a proper appreciation of Eucharistic Adoration, but I think I understand that part of it is that I have never really made an effort to determine why.

Jesus is there in the nearest Tabernacle. Perhaps just a few miles away or even perhaps a few yards… How could we not go to see him, to love him, to tell him about our affairs, to ask him for things? What a lack of consistency on our part if we were not to do this with faith? How easy it is to undersatnd that centuries-old custom of the daily visits to the divine tabernacles? There the Master has been waiting for us for the past twenty centuries…

That last part was creepiest to me. Creepy in the sense that it’s true. That Christ has been physically present in the world for 2000 years and no wild zeroes, either =) and will continue to be until the end of time. And then, from The Great Heresies… I can’t remember, did I tell you that I’m kicking myself for not arguing harder against Nate V. when I had the chance… the point is, it only just hit me recently that every theological debate I’ve ever been in has already been argued in centuries past. Why am I trying to formulate my own arguments? putting into my own words is sometimes a good idea, maybe, but why am I trying to do all the logic all over again? It’s already been done. It’s nice to follow it, but I don’t have to do it all by myself all over again, not when I’m dealing with arguments and attacks on the Church that date back to the 4th and 5th centuries. Ridiculous. So basically, Hilaire Belloc focused on five main heresies from which she proposes that all other heresies stem. Here’s an excerpt where she’s giving an intro to the last one that she addresses –

Lastly there is that contemporary attack on the Catholic Church which is still in progress and to which no name has been finally attached, save the vague term “modern.” I should have preferred, perhaps, the old Greek word, “alogos”; but that would have seemed pedantic. And yet it is a pity to have to reject it, for it admirably describes by implication the quarrel between the present attackers of Catholic authority and doctrine, and the tone of mind of a believer. Antiquity began by giving the name “alogos” to those who belittled or deinied, though calling themselves Christians, the Divinity of Christ. They were said to do so from lack of “wit,” in the sense of “fullness of comprehension,” “largeness of apprehension.” Men felt about this kind of rationalism as normal people feel about a color-blind man.

She went on to say that this modern attack that she was referring to is the one that my friend Kenny in PA states simply in his Religious Views on FB, and I quote “if science has no proof of it, then we must wait for it.” So basically that anything that cannot be scientifically proven is all illusion, you know it. But I kept on going back to that last sentence… Men felt about this kind of rationalism as normal people feel about a color-blind man. She says men felt… as opposed to normal people feel. May I explain how I read that? She’s basically saying that not all men… are Men. And it just hit me in a heartbeat that I know exactly what she means, and that I totally agree, but that’s beside the point. […] do you remember that conversation we had about how a person could fail to be human? that sin itself goes against our very nature as we were intended by God from the Creation and so every sin is a failure to be truly human? And that’s exactly what she referred to… […] I am kicking myself because I didn’t argue hard enough, because I have been given the grace of knowing in my heart that Catholicism is not a religion but a human handbook; I know I discussed that with you, too. The old joke that the Bible stands for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth has more truth in it than it may seem at first glance. And every attack on Catholicism, every heresy, is a failure to be human. I’ve been so soft with myself […]! when I know inside that everything against Catholicism is heresy, when I know that… “In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.” That so many people talk about life when they don’t know what they need to be living. That they don’t realize that they can be perfect and should be perfect because they were created to be perfect. Completely without blemish, both spiritually and physically. And moreover that there’s logic without a single gap to back up all of that, set in stone from ages past. What’s wrong with me […]? Bahhhhh. Ok so get this –

To concentrate on these five main attacks has this further value, that between them they seem to sum up all the directions from which assault can be delivered against the Catholic Faith.

Doubtless in future there will be further conflict, indeed we can be sure that it is inevitable, for it is the nature of the Church to provoke the anger and attack of the world. Perhaps we shall have later to meet the heathen from the East, or perhaps, earlier or later, the challenge of a new system altogether – not a heresy but a new religion. But the main kinds of attack would seem to be exhausted by the list which history has hitherto presented. We have had examples of heresy, working from without and forming a new world in that fashion, of which Islam is a great example. We have had examples of heresy at work attacking the root of the Faith, the Incarnation, and specializing upon that – of which Arianism was the great example. We have had the growth of the foreign body from within, the Albigenses, and all their Manichean kindred before and after them. We have had the attack on the personality, that is the unity, of the Church – which is Protestantism. And we now behold, eve as Protestantism is dying, the rise and growth of yet another form of conflict – the proposal to treat all transcendental affirmation as illusion. It would seem as though the future could hold no more than the repetition of these forms.

*groan* Four more long years before I can make it to FUS and I’m so dying to get there. […]

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