Tag Archives: st norberts

Updates on Diaspora Diva SoCal show, laundry, and 2 fundraisers!

I just posted this on my FB feed a few days ago:

“Not very happy to announce that the Dance Pavilion Show in Fullerton, SoCal is a No-Go. My co-producer informed me of the work visa issues. We don’t have enough time to take care of the problem. The best solution: Postpone the event for Feb, 2014. The good news: We’re still going to California!”

Grateful for the sympathy from friends, some dear ones even emailed me privately with an “Are you okay?” message. (I love you, and You, and YOU.) They know how hard I’ve worked to make this happen. But then, all in God’s time, which we’re hoping is Feb., 2014 for this show.

When something’s not ready, no matter how hard we try to push, it just won’t budge. Unless, of course, we’re talking childbirth and mom opts for a C-section. But that’s another story… 😛

Back to the show. It’s been quite a ride.  Some days, more like being inside my washing machine… on spin cycle!  I was invited by a friend, Ms. Gigi Villavert, to do a fundraising event in California for the Marian Missionaries.  We’ve been hard at work, and by we, I mean my co-producer, Ms. Villavert, friends here in Toronto – Joy, Justin and Bing and there’s me.  We built ourselves into a frenzy of excitability only to find out that we can’t do the show. It turns out that I needed a work visa which takes a month to process and costs almost $2K to get! Thanks to a lawyer/promoter friend in LA, I got the vital information early enough. There was the alternative idea of using the “Bakasyon lang siya” line at immigration. But then, is it worth the risk?  The answer is a big “No way!”, of course.

The #1 lesson learned, among the many, is this: Due diligence, do the research! This experience subsequently jumpstarted a lot of performances. Now, I have not one, not two, but three shows in the next couple of months! Magic happened. I think it’s called media attention, and this blessed idea to help and so it goes…and the rest is history.

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To Be of Help, An Invitation to Kababayans and Other Kind Hearts 

I am partnering with the ABS-CBN Foundation International to raise funds for the Bohol and Cebu earthquake victims. This idea was hatched while talking to a schoolmate who is a very active community leader in the U.S. (Thank you, Adrian Lecaros! Wala kang pagbabago sa iyong serbisyo sa bayan, mabuhay ka!) So on November 22, Friday, at Max’s Restaurant & Lounge, together with other artists, we will be singing our songs to raise funds and awareness for our kababayans in Southern Philippines. It’s time to share the blessings we enjoy in the North Americas.  Many of our brothers and sisters are stripped of their very basic human needs of food, clothing, shelter, medicines.  Some of them living in tents!  If you feel a call to help out, please leave your contact information on the comments below and I’ll get in touch with you for further details.

I am both very happy, VERY and at the same time a bit nervous, this being my first fundraising event that I’m spearheading.  Basta iniisip ko na lang, tulong ‘to. This is first, to help, to be of service, and there’s no right and wrong when intentions are pure.  Basic of all intentions is it makes me happy to be of service to others.  Note to self: CP, you are getting old..er.  And older, thankfully, equals wiser.  I hope I don’t sound like a self-aggrandizing shmuck when I say that.  I simply mean that as I grow older, I realize there are other things more important than my own first-world pain.  Not that I am for ignoring one’s sorrows, if anything, I believe in venting and letting these hurts out and into the light.  It’s the wallowing in it that I believe we need to unlearn as we grow older.  I’m learning that there is great wisdom behind this: That when we feel most alone and broken, we simply need to go out and seek those that are more broken than we are.  There is and always will be those more shattered than we are.

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Wash AND Dry

In other news, the laundry is up to date! 😊 Surprisingly, after doing this for 12 years and counting, I realize that even twice a week of washing clothes works – once by me and the other by hired help.  As long as you dedicate the labada day – ok, not the whole day but focus, Chiqui, focus! – to washing AND drying and rally the kids to my most dreaded part of the job: folding! Agh. Just the thought of it sends the hairs at the back of my head rising. It’s when the wet laundry gets forgotten in the wash that all smelly hell breaks loose. Don’t’ forget the vinegar trick, (Salamat, Jeanette) if and when you do forget and it gets stinkypooey in there. 1/2 C white vinegar to a full load of the forgotten laundry, one cycle and this time, remember to take it out and into the dryer!

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I Invite You All, Part 2

If you’re in the area, I’d love to have you spend an evening of soft, inspiring music and celebrating early Christmas in November with us. Come help a church raise funds for their building’s maintenance. St. Norbert’s is a Roman Catholic Church in North York, ON (100 Regent Road). It’s always been a good experience, singing in and for a church. So much raised vibration, if you know what I mean. So along with Ms. Becky Cezar, head of fundraising activities and Tita Evelyn, a co-volunteer at the Kalayaan Centre, over lunch at Spoon and Fork (Yummy!) we planned out the details of the show. It’s only $15 for a ticket and the Couples For Christ Choir and Ms. Amsky Ramos Chan will be performing, too!

Here’s the poster for the event:

Kat Toronto Poster copy

To reserve tickets, you can call Becky @ 416-317-2390 or Cynthia @ 416-636-0213.

As always, I thank you and give you a deep bow of gratitude for keeping me company on this creative journey…

Courage in creativity,


Singing Makes Me Happy

And sa akin lang naman talaga eh makakanta, mai-share ang mga awitin ko sa iba…yun na! Masaya na ‘ko sa karaoke-time with the klasmayts, the lunching amigas Wednesday Group, the occasional BBQ with the neighbors na mga Bisdak like me and love, ohhowtheylove to sing! 😊👍🎶💕🎶💕🎶💕

The beauty in doing what you love, I’ve learned is that when you do do it in and for itself, all good things come, like icing comes to a cake at the end of the joyful baker’s baking it. All good things come like that gentle rain after an already perfect summer’s day at the beach. All good things come like a child’s hug after your already blissful snuggle-with-a-book time with her on the couch.

I’ve always lived by Joseph Campbell’s words: Follow your bliss. There were times I’ve forgotten or got distracted by life or just downright became stubborn as a mule and didn’t listen. Those times were nothing short of depressing. Hell on earth on some days. Like pushing a boulder up a mountain.  Add rain, thunder and lightining.  And you’re naked.

There were a few years when I even decided to give it up, to give in to a beloved’s request. I went against my personal values – to express and share one’s gifts – and turned my faith over to her idea of keeping the peace.

What about my peace?!? I gave that up believing, at that time, that it was best for everyone. I know now never ever to do that. Turning your power over to somebody will never bring any positive results. Also, there is no such thing as “best for everyone”.  There is best for yourself and what makes you whole and this, in turn, will be the best you can share with everyone.

So I’ve come around. It took years. Why? Many reasons. But the bottomline reason, to be more accurate, the bottomline excuse was always this: I’m afraid. I feared change. I feared losing control. I feared what others will say, think, do! It was the big fear of failing at it. It was the fear of making it happen.

The last one, of all the skerdy Kat moments, is the most potent of all obstacles. Because, in my mind, if it happens, if I make it, if I succeed, all my other fears will come true: Things will change. I will lose control. People will say/think/do stuff and by stuff I mean the painful stuff because that’s just the nature of beings, particularly, hate*full-beings.

What I’ve missed looking at, until now, are these precious things: Life will change. But if the Intention was and is and always be pure – as in to create joy, to share one’s gifts, to help others – the changes will absolutely be for the better.

You will lose control because you will give the control over to God/Allah/Higher Power, the best controller of all, bar none.

As for people, well, there’s not much one can do about that. Like the kids say these days, “Haters gonna hate.”

But let’s focus on the lovers and I’m not talking Eros love here. Oh, good God in heaven…Lovers, and I mean the ones who love, support, believe in you will LOVE and continue to love in a big way, bigger than you’ve ever imagined and from places you’ve never expected it to come from!

So I sing. Finally said yes to the call to SING and share this gift with others. And more recently to make it happen in a big way and by big I mean in helping others, most especially those who are desperate for help because they’ve lost the very basic human dignities that we take forgranted here in the Americas.

So I sing. To help raise funds for churches of different denominations here in Toronto and in the U.S. Nothing big, just small gatherings of folks, mainly kababayans who simply want to reminisce and remember the good old days…always a welcome experience for us in the middle years of our blessed lives…

All these while raising a family of three young human beings together with one amazing husband who loves and supports me 100%. All these while making sure I leave a legacy, the right lessons to my very impressionable kids: Be strong and stay strong. Life will not always be easy. In fact, life is quite challenging and messy and dirty. (See kitchen sink and laundry rooms.)

It would have been great if we were given a manual for graceful and problem-free parenting or the easy-peasy way of living the diaspora life or argument-and-fight-proofing your marriage. But all that is fantasy, baby. If you want fantasy, go get a fiction book by J.K. Rowling from the library.

At the end of it all, I want my children to learn this above all things: That you go and do that which you love because what you love will be good for and to you.

It will not be easy. Do not, I repeat, do NOT take shortcuts. Observe nature and see how She does it. Be the same way with your life’s loves. This is the best way. No, this is the only way. Any other way is bogus or at the very best, temporary. (See: Lotto Winners sad stories)

Singing makes me happy.
Singing is a Love and that’s why I do it. That’s why I choose to do it.

I hope and pray you stand by your Love and do it, too.

Thank you for joining me on this page today…and I hope you join me and help to continue raising funds for our disaster-stricken countrymen in Southern Philippines.

For now, I leave you with my favorite short and sweet quote from Ms Maya Angelou:

When we know better
We do better!

Here’s to knowing and doing better and better and better!

Courage in creativity,