We all want to have a magical day every day.

Is it even possible? Does waking up on the right or wrong side of the bed really have an impact on how our day is going to be? I don’t think this idiomatic expression holds true. How we feel waking up the next morning has more or less something to do with how we were feeling the night before.  It is very important that we take into consideration the emotions we are feeling before we go to bed.

How about having a magical day without using a spell or a special incantation? The not-so-secret secret is in knowing the magic word. The magic word is so common that sometimes we took it for granted. We use it every day, yet we do not really feel or manifest the real meaning of the word.

The magic word is “gratitude”. Or the even simpler form , “thank you.”

Photo: graciousrain.com



I am not an expert on new age thinking, or on anything, but I read, a lot. And I am glad that I have read "The Secret" series, because it did helped a lot in changing the way I think. Also, there are so many experts who really believe that gratitude is magic. And through reading, I learned the magic of these simple words. And I have started to apply what I read in the book and believe it or not, I have started to manifest magic in my life.


If you have read Rhonda Byrne series of books, then you know what I am talking about.The application of gratitude in our life can bring in all the things that we want in our life. Let me share to you some of the things I learned about gratitude.

Gratitude is the answer to almost every problem we encounter. It can heal broken relationships, not necessarily bring back your ex, but it could change a lot on how you deal and think about the relationship. It can also bring you the money you need for something.  By being grateful for all the money that you have been given throughout your life, you will attract more.

Gratitude can magically change your life, because when you apply it in your everyday life, you are making changes to yourself, so the things that you are attracting also changes.

Photo: gettingcomfy.com

It is not just saying thanks to favors from people, but gratitude is a way of life. Practicing it daily will have you experience radical changes in your life.  It is a feeling. Your goal in practicing gratitude is to feel it as much as you can. It must be heartfelt and sincere.

              
Photo: lifehack.org

So how can we practice gratitude?  Here are ways that I know of on how we can. Some were based on the book “The Magic”.


  1. Count your blessings. And write it down.
This is so simple and powerful in changing your life. I have actually tried this one out as a suggestion of someone who tried to rescue me from a downward spiral to depression. As I was starting to feel the worthlessness of my existence, someone asked me to write 20 things I am grateful and guess what, by the time I reached 20, my mood suddenly changed as I realized that I have so much to be thankful for.
Read your list.  For every blessing you wrote, say thank you three times (thank you, thank you, thank you) and feel the gratitude coming from your heart.

Photo:wordsonimages.com


  1. Take a magical walk. (Based on "The Magic's" Magic Footstep)

“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.”

-Albert Einstein
 Albert Einstein showed gratitude 100 times daily, and we can do that also. His reason for it? You can google that up. J We can achieve saying thank you 100 times more easily if we take a magical walk. It is not really important that you reach 100 steps , but  we can gauge that with a 90-second walk. With every step we take, we can say thank you. I do this by the moment I wake up, I thank God for giving me another day (I started doing this after my Haiyan experience. I just got so thankful for life even more),  on my way to the bathroom , for every step, I say thank you in my mind. This also gives me a reason to walk more, so I get my daily exercise on the side.

Photo:pinkchocolatebreak.com


  1. The magic pebble. ( technique adopted from the book “ The Magic”)
The magic pebble is something that we can do before going to sleep. Because I am forgetful (comes with the aging process), I have a magic pebble to help me remind myself to be grateful. Or you can get anything that you can put beside you and help you remind about something. Before I go to bed, I hold it and think about how the day had been and how I would have wanted it to go. I would also play in my mind what I want to happen the next day. If we cannot plan for one day, how do we expect to plan our future?

Photo: positivecultures.ning.com



  1. Being thankful in advance.
When you want something from someone, isn’t it better to thank them in advance for the effort that they will be doing? I find this practical and true because once we thank someone in advance they know that all the efforts that they will do for what we are asking as a favor, is appreciated and they will feel happier in making your request. Please note though that this is not intended to manipulate others into doing what you want.

Photo: girlfriedology.com


  1. Thanking the people who helped you.
By merely thanking the people who have helped you in the past  or in the present, you manifest magic in your life. If you cannot personally thank the person, you can just thank them in your mind. The best thing to say to people is “Thank you, I appreciate it.” It is different when you just thank them for something and appreciating what they did. It really makes people feel good about themselves. And when people are feeling good about themselves, they tend to do and give more.

So, have I practiced these  things in my life, you ask? Yes I did. Life may not be perfect, but since I started practicing gratitude and believing in the Law of Attraction, I have started to manifest magical days. If you do not believe in any of these, you may say that it’s merely a coincidence.

Photo: Oprah.com


I realized that the reason why I have my kids with me now, after a custody court battle, was because I never did once thought that they will not be in my care. In short, I always believe that I will have them with me.

During my court journey, I visualized that I was holding them in my hands, sleeping next to them and hearing their voice. And I was so keen on holding that vision in my mind. I was grateful to everyone of them who helped me throughout that journey. Believe me, sometimes I could not fathom the things that happened to me as though a magic wand was waved and everything happened in my favor. So I thought, if I had manifested overcoming that most difficult time in my life and be victorious, then I surely can do that in other areas of  my life.

Photo:lovethispic.com

I am still but human. There are times that I move backward, instead of moving forward. There are moments that I am filled with uncertainty. There are instances that I think of negatively of things. But because of this thing I learned about living in gratitude, I will be able to change my way of life and correct my thinking.
I always try to remember this all the time : Not practicing gratitude in life is like taking everything we have for granted. What we do not really want to do is to take for granted all the wonderful things God or the Universe is giving us.

Even Oprah has something to say about gratitude.

“Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.”
— Oprah Winfrey


 And so to everyone reading my blogs, to all the people who have been a part of my life's journey, either to help me or to teach me valuable lessons in life, here's to you:

photo: anextraordinarylifenow.com

Still keeping the faith,

Mei

Aside from the people and history, our culture also boasts colorful dances, costumes and songs which can only be best described in a cultural presentation.

Me and friend Anica, Officer In Charge of the Museum of Weaves



It is very seldom that I get to watch cultural presentation but the feeling after watching it is the same every time. The park has its very own cultural dancers, out-of-school youths that the foundation has housed and taken care of. But they are not merely dancers, but employees of the park as well. I always watch out for the Singkil, my favorite among the very many traditional cultural dances that we have. In high school, I was lucky to be a part of the curriculum of studying cultural dance like the Malong for P.E. But that was a long time ago, and I have already forgotten the steps.


From Wikipedia:
The Singkíl originated from the Maranao people who inhabit the shores of Lake Lanao. It is derived from a story in theDarangen, the Maranao interpretation of the ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana. The name of the dance itself means "to entangle the feet with disturbing objects such as vines or anything in your path". It is a popular dance performed during celebrations and other festive entertainment. Originally only women, particularly royalty, danced the Singkíl, which serves as either a conscious or unconscious advertisement to potential suitors.
The lead dancer, in the role of Putri Gandingan (the Darangen name for Sita), graciously step in and out of closing bamboos poles arranged in either a parallel, rectangular, or criss-cross fashion while manipulating either apir (fans), mosala (scarves), or even just their bare hands. A kulintang and agung ensemble always accompanies the dance.
While often erroneously referred to by non-Maranaos as a "Muslim dance", the Singkíl is in fact secular in nature, performed by the Ummah communities of the Maranao and Maguindanao. Initially, the dance was performed with just one pair of bamboo poles, eventually adopting the use of two criss-crossing pairs. 


            
            











Paso Doble 

One of the dances we inherited from the Spanish. This is almost similar to the flirtatious Spanish Flamenco Dance. 










La Jota Manilena or Castanets Dance








Pista sa Nayon

The Philippines is a country of festivals. And each day from January to December, a town is celebrating a feast day of their patron saint. Here, the Nayong Pilipino Cultural Dancers showcased the festivities through dance.


Sayaw ng Bulaklak or Bulaklakan 








Tinikling


"The tinikling is a pre-Spanish dance from the Philippines that involves two people beating, tapping, and sliding bamboo poles on the ground and against each other in coordination with one or more dancers who step over and in between the poles in a dance. The name is a reference to birds locally known as tikling, which can be any of a number of rail species; the term tinikling literally means "tikling-like."[2] The dance originated in Leyte among theVisayan islands in the central Philippines as an imitation of the tikling bird dodging bamboo traps set by rice farmers. The dance imitates the movement of the tikling birds as they walk between grass stems, run over tree branches, or dodge bamboo traps set by rice farmers. Dancers imitate the tikling bird's legendary grace and speed by skillfully maneuvering between large bamboo poles." - From Wikipedia




/Guest Participation

Guest Participation



Sayaw sa Bangko











                              

Sayaw ed Tapew na Bangko (dance on top of a bench), is a dance which originates from Pangasinan and researched by Jovita Sison. It is performed by a couple on a narrow bench, inching and hopping from one end to another. Dancer show skill in staying up the bench as they exchange places by moving their way around or the girl thrown in the air while boy moves to the other end. They do not compete but rather complement each other so that no one falls. It is usually performed during town fiestas. - Likha.org


Music: Nayong Pilipino Rondalla


Laro-Aral ( Traditional Malong Dance- The Many Ways to Wear a Malong)

The Laro-Aral ( Study-Play) Program of the Nayong Pilipino is something that we can be proud of. The students (for educational trips) and foreign visitors can actually have a feel of wearing the traditional malong. The Malong has many uses

The malong is a traditional "tube skirt" made of handwoven or machine-made multi-colored cotton cloth, bearing a variety of geometric orokir designs. The malong is akin to the sarong worn by peoples in MalaysiaBrunei and Indonesia. The malong is traditionally used as a garment by numerous tribes in the Southern Philippines and the Sulu Archipelago.- Wikipedia

The pictures show the Nayong Pilipino dancers the many uses of the malong for men. Also, after many, many years, I was able to actually wear the many uses of the malong. I have a malong at home, but it's main purpose for me is to be a blanket.








Beat and rhythm of the dance comes from these traditional folk instruments

We get a first hand experience in trying the malong. 


I am earnestly trying to digest the instructions on how to wear it on women.

Still struggling..using it as a mask.



Isn't it obvious I am struggling to get it right?

Finally, after a few attempts I got to wear it the simplest way!






            

The best part of all of these is just like having to travel the whole Philippines in just a matter of hours. It is just a shame that the government is not subsidizing the park. And that the finances used in the maintenance solely comes from the park's revenues. And mind you, they are still being taxed. 

Comparing to other 'world-class" theme parks we have here in the country, I think that preserving and maintaining Nayong Pilipino is more important because this is what our children need more, an educational institution that would re-introduce them to their roots. If we have friends who visits our country, this is the best place for us to bring them, to give them a better experience in culture immersion in one day.


My overall experience in Nayong Pilipino surpassed my expectation.The only problem and reason that I know why the park isn't getting any walk-in visitors is the location. It is so difficult going to the park when commuting. Clark Freeport Zone does not have any form of public transportation inside area. Even the staff would walk about 2 kilometers from the main gate to Nayong Pilipino.  


In my opinion, if the government can spend millions of pesos in gaming facilities, why not invest in something like the Nayong Pilipino and this would definitely be at par with other world-class theme parks.


Keep the faith,


-Mei

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