Strive to be Gentle

Photo of Ria G. Rombaoa

By Buena Laoang


Last night, the mother in me cried.
My youngest was having a hard cough, and crying in bed, I was trying to pacify her. My eldest, who saw the pillow her sister was using, pulled the pillow away, declaring “That’s mine!”
I cried, more than my youngest. Something inside me was hit by my eldest’s behavior at that moment. Scolding her in between tears, I was brought to make her see how blessed she is that when she was younger and still an only child, she’d been pampered and has been taken care of every minute. Why is she being harsh to her youngest sibling, who had to deal with divided attention and actually has been her and little brother’s “eager,  always present servant”?
Then today, I thought of people- like bosses in the workplace, or wives like me, or friends who think twice at returning calls or favors. Has anyone also observed somebody who is harsh other than how he or she should act? Like the boss who complains about unfinished assigned tasks- how much portion of his salary was because of simply assigning the work to other people? Or the wife (me not exempted!) who gets mad about the absence of her husband for a while, and does not ponder how long he had been there working for and supporting the family? That friend who shows pouted lips when asked a favor- while too many times she had run to you for something…


Why the harsh behavior? Why the selfishness? Don’t we see all the blessings that surround us?

Have we forgotten to appreciate? Especially these people, who serve us.. who make our lives lighter and more bearable for us. We neglect to see that truth.
You see, it’s natural when we were children. But now we are grown-ups, we should clearly see the difference, and strive to be gentler.


I saw Santa Claus last night

I saw Santa Claus last night.

No kidding. I did!

Neither was he kissing “me” (as I am a Mom) or I was kissing my “Santa” underneath our tree, but the real Santa!

I saw him. Yes, last night!

As I was laying down just after I said my Christmas prayer I saw something flickering in the sky. Normally, I would thought that was an airplane taking off from the Logan Airport but this time with the sky clear and the Christmas bells ringing, it was different. Yes, it was Santa and his sleigh crossing the Boston sky – and I, in bed watching him wave!


Could it be the real Santa?

Could it be because my prayers centered on my desire of seeing him?

Could it be just a plain airplane?

Could it be (as my mother said) just my wild imagination?

I know I am a grown-up and I am not supposed to believe in Santa anymore but see, this was not the first time I saw him.

At Christmas time when I was just about six, I snuck out of bed around midnight and watch the evening sky while everybody was asleep. There, in my bedroom I stepped on my stool and watched for Santa and his reindeers to come by. Minutes later, I heard the clomping and the jingling – and there it was in front of me St. Nick waving his hand and smiling at me!

There it was my first encounter with Santa – and ever since then I knew that someone, somehow a red-bellied and mustached kind, old and jolly man lives in the north pole – and every year I always wish to see him again right in my own eyes. His kindness and thoughtfulness shower the whole world. His cheerful voice brings hope and happiness to all who want to hear. His gifts of abundance, prosperity and wealth always fill his sack and share them with everybody who welcomes them. Oh, what a wonderful Saint Nick he truly is.

And I believe me, I saw him – again – last night!

And I know I will see him again and again as long as I believe that he lives in my heart and I will never forget to grow up like my own child. For Christmas is meant for the child in us; it is meant for the believers; for those whose hearts are open to dream, to believe and to give.

And – as long as you believe you will see and seek the true joys of Christmas – which is peace and love – you too will perhaps see Santa Claus someday soon either In your hearts, in your minds or in front of your two eyes.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!


Love, Peace and Good Fortune,

 Alpha Miguel-Sanford
Editor and Founder

Let Go of Any Jealousy

Photo of Ria G. Rombaoa

By Stuart Young


Take the opportunity today to let go of any jealousy you are feeling.


The Letting Go process is so powerful I thought I’d continue with it a while longer. The more you use it the easier it becomes and the more likely you are to experience a breakthrough. When you can get to the point of allowing a negative emotion to dissipate until it is no longer discernable you have successfully let go of it. That’s not to say continual practise is not necessary - it is! The more you do it the better you’ll become and before you know it life will just seem easier, more joyful and relaxing.


Try it now with jealousy. I used to find it difficult to tell the difference between jealousy and envy until I used a technique that gave me clarity. Envy, to me, means wanting the same as someone else, whereas jealousy means wishing to deprive someone of what they have so you can have it instead. See if you have any feelings of jealousy – and if you do, let them go.


Take care! Merry Christmas to all!

Is it tomorrow yet?

By Charm Moreto Damon


Is it tomorrow yet?

Because today, I am flabbergasted by the inexplicably terrible news,

News that I only think occurs in someone’s imagination,

But I was wrong, because all of this is true, the country has lost many lives too soon.


I am angry, I am confused, I am sad, and I have cried,

Because today, I am flabbergasted by the inexplicably terrible news,

I am a parent, but not of the angels that were taken from theirs,

So I could only imagine what they feel and think, if someone so distant like me could feel so hurt and lost.


They were our children, and they were our teachers, no less,

But today, I am flabbergasted by the inexplicably terrible news,

How, oh why, could anyone think that taking others and himself is the answer to his pain?

And I could only imagine what his parents feel and think, if someone so distant like me could also feel so hurt and lost.


Is it tomorrow yet?

Because today, the country is mourning,

The country and every heart is mourning,

Because maybe tomorrow there is less pain and crying.


But tomorrow is too far away,

Today is another day, another day to mourn, to smile, to hug and to forgive,

Today, we can choose what the day will be, to choose to celebrate lives,

Lives that were lost, and lives that still are.


Tomorrow and today, we will not forget the angels and heroes taken from us,

And today and tomorrow, let us celebrate the angels and heroes that are still here with us,

Because waiting for tomorrow may be one second too late,

To let our loved ones and ourselves know that they are loved,

That we are loved.

That you are loved.


About the Author: Charm Moreto Damon is a mother, a TESOL professional and a freelance editor.  She graduated from the University of the Philippines, and pursued graduate studies at the Ohio State University, where she also taught academic writing and research to international students.  She is currently a stay-at-home-mom, and keeps herself busy with family, friends, and editorial work.   She writes for regularly. She may be contacted at




Photo from Peanut Gallery

 By Buena Laoang


Yes, it is hard.

Especially when you have forgiven, then they still do it again, expecting that you’d forgive them over and over? Sometimes, it gets irritable.

But we had been forgiven by God Himself once and for all. Time and again we become like Paul, doing things we don’t want to do, and not doing the things we want to do.. yet the truth remains, we had been set free.

It’s a matter of opening our hearts to that truth. Have we truly accepted the truth of our salvation, of us having been set free? Because if we do, we let Him act in our lives and to do according to His ways can already be easy.

Even forgiveness.

But if one continues in his old ways, of doing the wrong things, or of not being able to forgive.. then maybe, he still has part of his or her heart, closed.

Think about it. I also did, and decided to open my heart, fully.