The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Receiving Messages Warms My Heart and Inspires My Mind

Today, I opened my e-mail account with much excitement, for I had the feeling I'd be receiving many e-mails today. And right was I! Several friends e-mailed me to express their acknowledgment that they checked my newly created blog site; some invited me to visit their own blog sites, which I did; and an uncle, Tito Jun from California, USA, wrote me an inspiring note.

"Postcard from Louisiana":
I visited the blog site of a former Quorum officemate, Butch Macaalay, whose latest blog entry prompted me to write him a thank-you e-mail.

an excerpt from Butch's latest blog entry he entitled "Postcard from Louisiana" (
Mahilig talaga akong maghanap ng kaibigan. Yun bang kaibigan mo dati.
Tapos mahabang panahon mong di nakita o nabalitaan. Tapos bigla mong nakita o
nakausap muli nang di sinasadya. Mabuti na lang at may Friendster. Muli kong nahanap
ang mga dati kong kasamahan sa trabaho. Mga dating kakilala. Mga dating hinangaan.
Kahapon, nakausap ko uli si Marj, dating kasamahan sa Quorum, isa ng nurse ngayon sa UK.
Si Sir Joel, kumukuha naman daw ng nursing sa Pinas. At si Alfie.. ah si ALfie, nasa Canada naman.
Idol ko talaga itong si Alfie. Ibang klase kasi ang kanyang passion sa buhay. Makikita
naman ang ebidensiya sa kanyang mga panulat. Hindi talaga kami personal na magkakilala o
naging magkaibigan. Pero kilala ko na siya dahil sa kanyang weird outfit noong nagtatrabaho
pa ako sa Quorum, isang encoding company. Alam kong mahusay siyang magsulat.
Humanga na ako sa kanya noon pa. Pero, ngayon, mas lalo ko siyang hinahangaan. Malalim at
makabuluhan ang kanyang tinatalakay. Laging nagtatanong. Laging nagpapaliwanag.
Laging naglalarawan. Binasa ko nga kanina ang mga tula ko e. Sabi ko sa sarili ko, ang layo
naman ng gawa ko sa gawa niya. Kakahiya. Nangako pa naman akong padadalhan ko siya ng
kopya. Pero anong magagawa ko? Alangan namang gayahin ko siya, e english yun!

Now, here's my thank-you e-mail to Butch:

Dearest Butch,

I enjoyed reading your "Postcard from Louisiana." And to tell you the truth, I was nearly tearful when I got to the sentences where you expressed your appreciation about my character. Thank you.

Some would dismiss my reaction as very emotional, but this is what I 'd like to's better to be emotional, for this allows us to be more "in-touch" with the giant world where we're mere animated characters; more so, being emotional allows us to know deeply not only our true selves but also the true character of others...because when we're emotional we lower down our defenses, we put down our pride, we remove our masks of strength--and these actions become our ultimate key to enter the door of others' Souls. For, to be weak is better when we're talking about compassion.

I can well relate with the anecdotes on your postcard, for we're somehow in the same circumstance--so far away from home--from the life we enjoyed--whether happily or sometimes painfully.

I agree with your analysis concerning the life of people like us (who work far away from our home country) back in the pre-Internet days. Yeah, I've also thought about it, every time I would feel down, lonely, and sad--I would think about the plight of our fellow compatriots in another country back in the days when Internet, e-mail, and chat messengers were still unthinkable. How did they survive? How did they cope? Perhaps pens and paper were indeed very useful to them in those times. Thinking about that, I now say to myself: "Hey, cheer up; in many ways, you're far abler to cope with what's happening with you now!" And though an iota of pain still remains, at least comparing my fate with that of others in a positive way proves therapeutical. I can now smile, albeit vaguely, a smile is a smile as long as it's a downward curve of the lips on the face.

Thanks, Butch, for sharing some of your poems with me. Believe me, I delighted reading them...not only because I was impressed by your style but because I somehow see a style reminescent of some Filipino poets I admire, like Virgilio Almario. And most importantly, as long as the feelings we express in our poetry come from within us, the works will always be sacred and worth commending--in the sense that such poetry is a piece of the poet.

And as what my best friend Rain used to tell me every time I would find myself in a state of self-doubt with regard to my writing: “Don’t mind what others will say about what you write, mind what you have to say.” After that, I come back to my senses. A smile, again, curves on my face.

your friend eLf,

Welcome to My Friends' Blog Sites:
To be welcomed into one's blog site I regard as a privilege--a privilege to enter the deepest feelings and thoughts of another--for where else can we learn the greatest lessons in life but from the expriences of people we know and, of course, of our own.
Andrea Duerme's:
Micaela Salinas-del Rosario's: and
Noreen Capili's:
Ronalisa Co's:
Butch Macaalay's:

More so, I will always regard as a rare gift having lots of friends who are fellow writers and musicians and who, like me, share a similar passion and enthusiasm for whatever their avocations in life. Andrea, Mica, Noreen, Rona, and Butch are just a few of my intelligent and creative friends who are seldom hesitant in expressing their true selves.

Most Inspiring Message of the Day:
Among the messages I received today, the most inspiring is the one sent by Tito Jun (Conrado A. Vera Jr.), my mother's eldest brother, who now lives with his daughter's family in California, USA. Since childhood, my sisters and I have always looked up to that uncle of ours, because every time our mother would teach us about the value of education and hard work, she never forgot to cite Tito Jun as a prime example; for Tito Jun (born on June 4, 1936), despite experiencing the difficulties and harshness of life as a child during World War II, still managed afterwards to finish higher studies and rise on his own to provide a very comfortable life for his own family. And according to Mom, Tito Jun's chief weapons in doing that were education and hard work. So, to receive a message coming from someone I highly respect and admire is definitely inspiring and flattering.

Tito Jun's e-mail message I received today, October 28, 2004:
Alfie, thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings thru the Blog Site.
I am impressed on your literary skills. You should continue writing a book.

For as I mentioned before, you can pursue both professions (writing and nursing) at the same time.
Please continue sending me e-mails, messages, photos, etc., because as you grow older like me,

far away from where you were born, and with plenty of time at your disposal,
you would certainly appreciate these kind of things.

Tito Jun

Thank You Very Much, Friendster:
Here's another proof that an online community like Friendster is a big help in getting connected especially with people with whom, through the passing of time, we lost contact. I thank Friendster for this, because through it I'm gradually regaining many of my old and long-lost friends. (May Alcantara is another former officemate of mine at Quorum-Lanier Phils., the encoding company where I worked from 1996 to 1999. She was a member of a staff I handled during my stint as a Coding Supervisor, a position that helped me improve my interpersonal skills and become a compassionate person. More so, May was someone who always paid attention especially when there was a chance to learn something new.)

May Alcantara's Friendster message I received today:
Hi there! This is May here from Quorum. Musta napo? Hope you're doing fine there and in goodhealth condition just like the rest of us here. That's all for now. Take care and God bless!!!

Here's my reply to May:
Dear May,
I'm very glad to hear, or should I say, read from you. It's been quite a long time
since we saw each other. I still remember that chance meeting of ours at McDonald's
in Glorietta, in 2003. So how are you? How's Ferdie and your child?
I'm quite well here despite the homesickness and solitariness, which I feel will no

longer leave me as long as I'm from my loved ones so far away.
As always, I spend otherwise boring days and nights in the house reading and writing.
Since I'm my 89-year-old maternal grandfather's caregiver, I am stuck in the house

virtually twenty-four hours a day to take care of him. I just look at my current plight as
a chance to dwell in a state of contemplation, which I know will have fruits I can enjoy
after a few more years of sacrifice.
You'll be reading more from me from time to time.

Write me also in times you are not busy with work or with other activities.
I love to know what's happening in the lives of people dear to me.
Meantime, you may visit my blog site--my online journal--in your most relaxed and

unbusy moment. By the way, I mentioned you in one of my blog entries for today.

your friend eLf from far away, aLfie.

As I always say, nothing can make me feel closer to home than exchanging electronic messages from family and friends and other people whom I highly respect and admire.

With words I write my mind...
With your patient eyes...
Read my heart.



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