Warning:

This blog contains opinions, experiences, thoughts and observations of the author from his day to day living.
It is subject to comments, criticisms and corrections, and all will be dealt with constructively and do leave your comments I would love to hear from you.
There is no intention to offend, discriminate nor degrade anybody or anything for that matter, only shared feelings, emotions and angsts at the moment.
Welcome to my world.







Thursday, January 29, 2009

Seven Deadly Sins - Lust


What it is: Lust is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body.
Why you do it: Oh, please.
Your punishment in Hell will be: You'll be smothered in fire and brimstone. Not kisses.
Associated symbols & suchlike: Lust is linked with the cow and the color blue.

There is this one thing that I do, that I do with gusto. Lusting over men I like. Too gruesome to hear, yes, too condemning to others, yes (wait till you hear the stories whenever I give in to this sin!) How can you stop? When everyday you see these gorgeous Middle Eastern Men, one of the handsomest breed of men, that you only see in your dreams and magazine covers?
Here they take notice of you, flirt with you and if you’re lucky, you’re going to see the heavens and the stars tonight!
I am not justifying what I do, nor being proud about it, I am just saying that when it comes to pleasuring my own body, I am pretty much guilty of this sin.
Imagine, instead of smoldering kisses and brimming hard manliness, I’ll be smothered with fire and hell-hot brimstones! Ouch!
In this age of rapidly increasing statistics on HIV and other dreaded STDs, one can only be too careful about having a quicky with someone. Carelessness is next to regret.
How to cure this lust? Find a partner! A loving and caring partner! But where is thou my Romeo? Oh Romeo, my Romeo? Good luck, girl!
As Miranda Priestly always says (Devil Wears Prada) – That’s all!

Corn and Oats Cupcake



I am getting better and better in baking, here's another masterpiece, hah!
Want to have a bite?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Strudel Model

I am re-posting this amazing youtube clip that I came upon last 2006. I think I would like to do the same...just to know what it would look like!

Enjoy!

The Seven Deadly Sins - Envy


What it is: Envy is the desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation.
Why you do it: Because other people are so much luckier, smarter, more attractive, and better than you.
Your punishment in Hell will be: You'll be put in freezing water.
Associated symbols & suchlike: Envy is linked with the dog and the color green

And to add to my guilt, is there really a blessing in waiting?

I am just human, sometimes impatience comes to me and like termites, slowly chew their way inside my consciousness, my way of thinking, my beliefs and my confidence.
And I get irritated and envious, I am in Envy, and I am scared.
But what can I do? I am trying very hard to wait and hoping that in the end there will be something to gain, a salary increase perhaps or a better opportunity to alleviate my present life to a much, much better situation. Everyone deserves to have something, one gets what he works hard for, maybe I have not done enough? Why does a colleague got a raise and I do not? When we started at the same time? And work as hard?
They say patience is a virtue but I am running out of it, and still to those, who toil hard and waits will surely receive their blessing.
I should stop complaining, nor get envious, for I will only put myself in a miserable state. I should be trusting God and myself that just by concentrating on the present things I do and focus on the now, tomorrow will be a better day. And for whatever it’s worth, God knows, He sees and the Bible tells us the He answers all prayers in YES, NO, and WAIT.
Still, I am human, forgive me Lord.

Life

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So love the people who treat you right.
Love the ones who don't just because you can.
Believe everything happens for a reason.
If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands.
If it changes your life, let it.
Kiss slowly.
Forgive quickly.
God never said life would be easy.
He just promised it would be worth it.

The Seven Deadly Sins - Pride


We were told in one form or another, that there are sins when committed will surely earn us an all expense paid, no round trip ticket, to hell. Human as we are, we are prone to these sins, all of them for a fact.
Let me enumerate and define each one:
The SEVEN DEADLY SINS
PRIDE
What it is: Pride is excessive belief in one's own abilities, that interferes with the individual's recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity.
Why you do it: Well-meaning elementary school teachers told you to "believe in yourself."
Your punishment in Hell will be: You'll be broken on the wheel.
Associated symbols & suchlike: Pride is linked with the horse and the color violet.
Whenever we did something worthwhile that gains popularity or praise, we can’t help but felt proud of ourselves and our accomplishments. So much that sometimes it gets to our head and we look down at others’ effort. The first deadly sin and summarizes everything, is PRIDE. We are arrogant, snotty, snob, and look at others as lower than us. We put ourselves to a level of too much confidence and boastful atmosphere that people start to hate us.
We are better than others, beautiful than others, intelligent than others, we are the best and overlook our own faults. We have an ego as big a holiday float on a parade! We never seem to be at peace whenever someone else has overrun us. Someone else has a better thing going and we try to put them down.
I am guilty of this sin, at times I tend to look down at other people because of their inefficiencies and lack of sensitivity, their shortcomings and faults. (I sound like being proud right now, sigh.) It will be hard not to, there is no excuse, but it will be hard. God, help!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Worthwhile Friends


It is always a blessing to meet new friends. It was always said that friends are precious and angels to help you and guide and be with you in your journey towards life.
I am blessed to have found these people whom you see in the pictures.
Von, Zhari and Ivy, we’re like sisters in a way. Four individuals who in one way or another compliments each other, Von with his outgoing and great personality, Zhari the clown, the little sister, the “loka” and Ivy, just simply the best. I love these guys! It was always a great time when we are together, whether just talking the night away, eating, shopping or “tsismisan” to the nth level, I always feel good whenever we part (aside from Von who is my roommate).


Raffi and Ardon, well, formerly housemates now good friends too. Raffi with his no-care at all, what have you attitude, sense of humor and cool personality, which I like so much and Ardon, well, despite his “closet-ness” if ever there’s a word, his constant singing until his lungs beg for mercy, is a cool person too. I like the way Raffi let things be, he never let anything and anyone bother him to the point of irritation. Whilst Ardon, well, the singer, or so he thinks, ha! “Etchos!” He still has to reconcile his true self with himself, if you catch my drift! “Kalokah!”
Together all these people make my life fun, exciting, colorful and most of all meaningful. In a place where life can be such a drag, all of them are best friends despite our individual differences and misunderstandings, but that’s what life is all about! Overlooking the flaws and just enjoy each moment together.
Like what I said, I am blessed.

Understanding Our Experiences

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul, and you learn that love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't mean security. And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts, and presents aren't promises. And you begin to accept your defeats with your head held up high and your eyes open, with the grace of an adult, not a grief of a child. And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans, and future has a way of falling down in mid flight. After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much, so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And you learn that you can really endure ... that you really are strong, and you really do have worth. And you learn and learn ... with every goodbye you learn...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cooking It Up With Carlo

(Me cooking rice Noodles and Fried Chicken simultaneously)

I love cooking. One of the best things I can do.
I learned how to cook as young as 7 years old, I started with simple egg-frying to rice cooking. I love observing my mother in the kitchen. I watched her cut, fry, blanch, boil, stir, mix, and what have you. Whenever I can, I try to imitate how she did a recipe. She is a great cook and my clan always look forward to her menus during family reunions. They particularly love her Chinese Soup made of pork knuckles with Chinese herbs and spices. Her rice noodles, stuffed milk fish (relleno), beef stew, pine-apple chicken and menudo.
Not to mention, wantons, beef steak, adobo and the list are endless. It is always treat whenever she serves us lunch and dinner during weekends.
Another thing, whenever I get to eat out and find a certain dish tasteful and get to like it, I try to savor the flavor and look at the ingredients and try to imitate it down to the flavor. I may not exactly get the taste, but at least it’s close enough to be edible.
So far no casualties to date, God forbid! Ha! Ha!
(A friend getting ready!)

Jason Mraz


Jason Mraz. I am not familiar with this artist until my brother told me to use one of his songs entitled “I’m Yours” as a background music in his wedding video presentation (which I made). It was a cool music, light yet upbeat, specially the lyrics which really matches the 8-year long relationship of my brother and his wife.
Nonetheless, I fell in love with the song. I looked up for other songs by this artist and fell in love with them too. I love particularly the “Beauty In Ugly” which is obviously the theme for the world famous show Ugly Betty, and the lyrics is an inspiration for those people having low self-esteem. “You and I Both” a romantic song towards a love one, and other nice-to-listen-to songs. His voice is cool, clear and soothing, well for me.
His “Wordplay” where he tells his unique style of singing, playing with words, how he applied words to the melody, kind of like a tongue twister, indeed when I tried to sing along with “I’m Yours” I get tongue-twisted.
Good artist, cool voice, nice songs, couldn’t ask for more, but maybe listen to him live, but that’s wishful thinking. But who knows?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

You Want a Better Life? Try these...

Tips for a better life

Tips for Better Life
1. Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day. And while you walk, smile.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.3. Sleep for 7 hours.
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
5. Play more games.
6. Read more books than you did the previous year.
7. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.
8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
9. Dream more while you are awake.
10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
11. Drink plenty of water.
12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
13. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
14. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
15. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
16. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
17. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
18. Smile and laugh more.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
22. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about. Don't compare your partner with others.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
25. Forgive everyone for everything.
26. What other people think of you is none of your business.
27. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
28. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
29. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
30. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
31. The best is yet to come.
32. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
33. Do the right thing!
34. Call your family often.
35. Your inner most is always happy. So be happy.
36. Each day give something good to others.
37. Don't over do. Keep your limits.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

To Where You Are - Josh Groban

Who can say for certain
Maybe you're still here
I feel you all around me
Your memories so clear
Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You're still an inspiration
Can it be (? )
That you are mine
Forever love
And you are watching over me from up above
Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you're there
A breath away is not far
To where you are
Are you gently sleeping
Here inside my dream
And isn't faith believing
All power can't be seen
As my heart holds you
Just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me everyday
'Cause you are mine
Forever love
Watching me from up above
And I believe
That angels breathe
And that love will live on and never leave
Fly me up
To where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile
To know you're there
A breath away is not far
To where you are
I know you're there
A breath away is not far
To where you are
Last night, before I sleep, I played some music to set the mood, to let sleep come to me, and of all artists in my Ipod, I decided to play Josh Groban, and the first song was To Where You Are. The song eventually reached into my heart and I remember loved ones that had gone and in the company of angels. I cried a bit. I felt sad and lonely.
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile
To know you're there
These lines, take hold of my heart, and I felt so sad and I missed my father so much. I wished even for a minute, given the chance, just to hug him so tight and kiss him and to tell him how much I love him and how sorry I was for disappointing him and leaving home and not being there. Just a minute.
I kept saying that I never regret anything I did, 'cause I chose to do them, but there is only one and only one thing I did regret, and that is I never told my father how much I loved him and how thankful I am for everything he did. But we never do, do we? We are always too late. That's why, time and again, we are told to never take a day for granted to tell our loved ones how dear they are to us 'cause we never really know.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Riyadh Family



What's wrong with the picture?






Nothing, for these are my extended family here in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. they made my life here easy and exciting and at home.
The husband and wife team of Benjie and Ivy, they were one of my favorite couple in the world (and to think there were only quite a few). What can I say? They're the best! Ivy is a sister to me and Benjie is both a superior and a friend. I love these guys very much!
Vonnel and Zhari, my "kumares", friends that you can rely on in fun and laughter, in "kalokohan" and togehter with Ivy....SHOPPING!
All in all, we are like family here, in a country when you need someone to always be there for you. I say, I am blessed to have these people around me here.


Carlo Magno a.ka. Charlie


For those who wants to know, my real name is Charlemagne, and Carlo Magno is another version of the name. I like it both, but Carlo Magno is for me, better sounding, with class, so to speak, in my opinion (might be a brand of underwear someday, for I am planning to put up and underwear store being an uderwear addict that I am, why not make a business out of it, right?).

My friends call me Charlie.

Ode To Death

There's this line from the movie, THE MUMMY, that tells something about death and dying and goes like "Death is just the beginning."

Death is just the beginning, well, for me it is. I believe when one dies, an everlasting life comes after, the Bible tells us about this also. God promises an everlasting life, given that one believes in Jesus as Saviour and Lord.

Nonetheless, a sad day came to my family once again when our Tita Elsa died of cancer a week ago. It was so sudden and to think she was there at my brother's wedding last Dec 6th and I was told she was also there in the family gathering in a resort a week after that when one of my cousins from the states came to visit.

I don't have much memories of my Tita Elsa, but whenever I think about her, scenes of laughter, smiles and the way she calls me "Jon" with a little "lambing" to it, makes me teary eyed at the same time smile. She was always the first during gift giving at Christmas, being the eldest of 10 siblings. She will definitely be missed. Like the rest of our loved ones who were called by the Lord, Tita Paz and of course my father.

Death, are you afraid to die? I believe also that only those have not lived their life yet, are afraid to die. I am afraid to die, because I still have lots of things to do, places to go to and see. I still have to see my family is well off and happy.

But we don't own our lives, it is in God's hands. When He say time is up, then we only have to obey. He alone knows when you already lived your life. Because sometimes, we are too preoccupied with many things that we forget that we already did what we are supposed to do in this life.
Death, a sad time, when someone dies, we cry. It's as if the world had ended, like we lost an arm or a leg. We sometimes feel helpless, alone and vulnerable. Yes, we can cry ourselves to sleep, but tomorrow will always come, it's a new start.

Our loved ones will forever be in our hearts, for that is where their legacy will remain. As long as we remember the happy times, their smiling faces, their words of wisdom, their good examples and relived them, then they will always be there with us.

Death is just the beginning, yes, because we begin a new life without them, it is a test,that whatever they instill in us, we would learn to apply in our daily lives until such time when we will be together again.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I AM WHAT I AM

I Am What I Am
I am what I am, love me or hate me. Take me as I am, do not contain me. I will free myself and never catch me.I am my own person, do not attempt to change me. I will change if I find it the right thing to do.I like things the way it is, but am not uptight for sudden changes.I will never agree with something against my point of view. But I will give way to yours.If I fall for you, I really fell for you. I will stay by you until you tell me go.I have my life you have yours, I will never interfere with your dreams.You got to live it and go for it. I will support you. But it would be nice to build our lives together.I will love you for all that you are and expect you to do the same.I believe in what goes around, comes around.Be kind, be sweet, be thoughtful. Surprise me. I love it.I love my family, I will love yours if you love mine.I love my friends, respect them and I'll befriend yours.Don't tell me what to do, I know what is right and what is wrong. Unless I misjudged what I am doing.Just be who you are and we'll take it from there. Likewise.
from my Old Blog Post, dated: Oct 31, 2006

My Little Companion

Aside from keys, wallet, my "Iqama" there is this little gadget that I never leave home without.

It's with me everywhere I go. It keeps me company, uplifts my spirit, inspires me and all in all, helps relieve work load side effects - tiredness!

Its my handy IPOD, kudos to the inventor of this gadget!

You can bring your whole CD/Music collection with you! Imagine that!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Little Nook That Is All Mine

I am proud of my little space in our apartment here in Riyadh. Four people under one roof can be chaotic, four personalities mind you. It's crazy at times, but it's fun. It is never lonely.

But when all the noise and the hustle and bustle gets to me, I retreat to my little nook and be at peace with the world.
I read, enjoyed music, write poetry, on that bed! Most of all, I sleep so soundly there and dream all night long.

There are many stories that happen on that bed too. But not now I'll leave you hanging for a while. ;-)

My New Hobby - Baking!

One of the things you'll learn here when boredom sets in is to find new things to do. Activities that you never think of doing for reasons like, "it's not your thing." But you do it anyway just to pass time. I never thought I'd learn how to bake. But I did anyway.

Here's one of them, my very first BLUE BERRY CHEESECAKE!

Looks yummy? Well, it was, according to my housemates, who were the ones who got to taste my "works of art" before it goes to the public (my officemates) who always look forward to a treat of cookies and cakes.

It is fun and a nice way to relieve stress and boredom. I usually do baking at night when it is quiet and I can concentrate.

Another "work of art" but more of an abstract is my very first BIRTHDAY CAKE, complete with icing and all, I mentioned "first" because I still have to perfect how to put icing and slicing the cake proportionally. It was gift to a very dear friend of mine who had her birthday last October 2008. A chocolate cake with butter icing and sugar flowers, not bad! Ha! Ha! Ha!


It took me 3 hours to do this. It needs more practice, but I'll get there.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Saudi Arabia



Of all countries in the world that I prayed to work in, God sent me to Saudi Arabia.


I never dreamt of going here, in fact I sometimes made jokes about it.


But here I am, in the land of desert sands, camels, strict culture and men in "thobes."

Where it is forbidden to look at women (how can you? when they are covered in "abaya" from head to foot), people pray five times a day, and the weather is from extreme hot to below zero freezing cold!

Anyway, people adapt to their environment, so I can say, I made Saudi my home, for the meantime.

Life here is extreme also, from super boring to great adventures.


It is up to you how you will make your life here. I see a lot of my "kababayans" who think that working themselves to exhaustion is the norm here.

Yes, there are no clubs here, no cinemas, no partying (so to speak), no alcohol (yeah, right!), but there are many things to do to alleviate yourself from stress and boredom.

I myself read books, go to malls (except on family days, when no single person can enter malls, only families) for window shopping, play with my laptop, listen to music...shopping...eat out with new friends or just hang out...shopping...try to see places, explore areas...shopping...and meet men and shopping!

There are house parties, but we are careful not to be too loud with our music as "mutawas" might notice and we all might end up having a jail party or worse, inmates might have a "party" from us.



It's almost two years now...I am thinking, how about 3 more? But I sure am going to miss this country after that for reasons you'll know as I update this blog of mine. God, how I miss blogging!

Monday, January 12, 2009

I AM BACK


I am back!

Did you guys missed me? For I sure am did missed you all.
Anyway, I created a new blog in reference to my old blog at http://carlo-magno.blogspot.com/
which you can still visit from time to time to view my early posts.

How I missed doing this.

Hope you're all still there to welcome me back into your lives.