Finding Joy In Simple Pleasures

JUST A THOUGHT: The miracle of your existence calls for celebration every day. - Oprah

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NEW POPE'S SIMPLICITY: What I like the most is the simplicity of new Pope Francis.
He rides the bus, flies economy class, lives in an apartment, cooks his own food, does his laundry. We need a Pope we can identify with. Thank God for Pope Francis.

On the day Argentinian Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio was proclaimed Pope, as I served during mass, I offered a special intention for Pope Francis. My prayer is that he be always blessed, guided and enlightened by the Holy Spirit.

May all of you pray for our new Pope as well in these challenging times for the Catholic church. Please visit the church nearest you today or tomorrow and pray for Pope Francis.

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SIMPLE PLEASURES: What's your simple pleasure?

Film critic Bert Labog says that for him, one of life's surprising pleasures is taking coffee with semi-ripe mango and two thumbs of Butterfinger.

My simple pleasure is country-fied. Give me fried (saba) bananas and brewed coffee any time. You'll be amazed at how fast I can say yes to anything.

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A BOOK CALLED 'SIMPLE PLEASURES': Years ago in the States, I picked up a book called "Simple Pleasures" with the following sub-title: "Soothing Suggestions and Small Comforts for Living Well Year Round."

Written by Robert Taylor, Susannah Seton and David Greer, the book is a wonderful source book of ideas, projects, stories, recipes and inspirational quotations that can be anyone's guide to life and living.

The activities lined up in the book are divided into four seasons, making sure that one's year will be full. The suggestions are really quite simple, such as preparing a particular dish or dessert when one is feeling low or under the weather.

The book also lists down a number of recipes as recalled by various contributors who turned to them at some point in their life to seek comfort.

Aside from preparing comfort food, activities lined up include planning games or getting a massage. Writers recall their favorite hobbies yesterday when they were young.

The book's blurb says it all: "With stories, quotes, tips, and recipes, Simple Pleasures is an unusual and charming guide to appreciating the simple things that make up daily life. From how to make your own perfume and sachets to baking the most delicious Christmas cookies; from a walk in the woods to making a soothing massage lotion, this is a celebration of the art of living well."

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TINY MOMENTS OF ECSTASY: The book reminds me of a line from the film "Lessons in Chocolate," one of a handful of featured films this month on my favorite channel, CinemaWorld.
While the lead characters were being taught in class about preparing chocolate specialties, their teacher tells them that what's more important is "creating tiny moments of ecstasy with each bite of chocolate."

"Lessons in Chocolate," an Italian film starring that country's current hearthrob Luca Argentero, was premiered during a media luncheon at the Makati Shangri-La recently in an effort to drum up further interest in the six-month-old channel known for showing only two types of films: Those that won awards in international film festivals, and those that became big box office hits in their county of origin.

CinemaWorld provides a window for Filipinos to view excellent films from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

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HEART GOES BOLD: Viva Films is currently in pre-production for a mature drama combining three sexy stars: Cristine Reyes, Derek Ramsay, and Heart Evangelista in her first bold role.

The yet untitled film marks Elwood Perez's comeback to mainstream filmmaking. By the way, Elwood's also busy laying the groundwork for his first indie film, part of Film Development Council of the Philippines' Sineng Pambansa National Festival All Masters Edition slated in September 2013.

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TV NEWS ROW: Alex Santos has left ABS-CBN amid rumors of erroneous reporting on his part.

Doris Bigornia is poised to make a comeback on ABS-CBN News as a reporter. Bigornia left the network years back shrouded in controversy.