Your Horoscope for the week of Dec. 28, 2015-January 3, 2016

YOUR HOROSCOPE BY BLES CARMONA
(blessingsandlight725@gmail.com)

For the week of December 28, 2015-January 3, 2016

For all the signs: Happy New Year to all! Mercury goes retrograde on Jan. 5 (up until Jan. 25), and rather than dread it, we should welcome it with gentle care. For after the hectic pace of the holidays, we can use the next three weeks to revisit our past for lessons learned, review our plans, refine our communications, and regroup our personal energetic forces. We need all these to face 2016 as “confidently beautiful with a heart” as we can.
ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19) So this is how it is to fall in love with your partner all over again. It is a heady glorious feeling! Your intuition will guide you to make only the right decisions and meet the right people. Weekly mantra: I am thankful for my partner in life.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20) You may need to balance your emotions this week as many conflicting forces exert their influence on you. Trust yourself to remain on even keel during this tumultuous time. Weekly mantra: I am contemplative yet enthusiastic.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) It’s time for moving on, my friend. This week marks the end of a phase or situation in your life. Be confident in claiming the good that’s rightfully yours because you deserve it. Weekly mantra: I thank the Divine for endings and beginnings.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) Because you’ve been consistently generous to others, this season is your turn to experience an inflow of abundance. Make sure that your important documents and contracts are in order. Weekly mantra: My present portends a promising future.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22) Ask yourself if your life needs to change right now. If it does, the answer should include the realization that it is yourself who will be the agent of that positive change. Get busy. Weekly mantra: My advancement lies in my own hands.
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept 22) Release the fears that hold you back. What you need at this point is to trust your psychic insights and learn to discern what goes on behind the scenes. Welcome the days ahead with a brave new you. Weekly mantra: I am street smart and intuitive.
LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 22) If you find yourself embroiled in a clash of wills, you don’t need to prove that you’re the better person by choosing to forgive. However, it’s still preferable that you make nice and mend fences. Weekly mantra: I am committed to the resolution of this conflict.
SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21) The end of a difficult situation is nigh. Your prayers for the culmination of this issue have been heard and answered. Welcome this development with a thankful heart. Weekly mantra: I am expecting things to get better from now on.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21) You’ve been dreaming and scheming about your big set of plans for your health. While it is a complex decision, you must nevertheless stop procrastinating and get at it already. Weekly mantra: I am committed to improving my health.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19) You possess great inner strength and boundless compassion. This is a good thing because somehow, people have been irritating of late. You have eyes that have seen it all and the heart that can somehow forgive all. Weekly mantra: I am loving instead of judging.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18) Learning to believe in yourself is the lesson of this week. Don’t let outside factors and events define who you are. You alone can determine your worth, and when you come to think that you were made in the image of the Divine, then you are priceless indeed. Weekly mantra: I am valuable and self-confident.
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20) Your mutable nature allows you to adapt to conditions of abundance or lack. This time, the quality in focus is your ability to become a team player. Collaborate in creative ways. Weekly mantra: I play with my team and help it win.

YOUR HOROSCOPE for the week of December 21-27, 2015

YOUR HOROSCOPE BY BLES CARMONA
(blessingsandlight725@gmail.com)

For the week of December 21-27, 2015: The Full Moon in the sign of Cancer will be on Christmas Day itself. The holidays may be an emotional time for many as we gather with our families and friends. Forewarned is forearmed, of course. Although we acknowledge the stresses of the season, we can choose to focus on the people, events, and things which are positive and nourishing to our bodyheartmindspirits. May all of us have holiday celebrations full of love and cheer!

ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19) A situation that was in a holding pattern will now move forward. You can decide if the situation is to your liking or if it needs changing. Fortune and positivity are on your side now. Weekly mantra: I am inspired and intrepid.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20) This period will teach you a lot about manifesting the desires which serve you and others best. Being in touch with Earth energy, you already know a thing or two about making your dreams a reality. Weekly mantra: With my abilities, life is magical.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Please don’t expect the worst yet. There’s still hope for this situation, and your positive mindset should help you through the seemingly sleepless nights. Accept that things may still be up in the air now. Weekly mantra: I am waiting with faith.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) If you are not emotionally moved, your creativity is adversely affected. So surround yourself with stimulating people and ideas. You’ll know when it’s time to focus. Accept some artistic advice. Weekly mantra: I am motivated and idealistic.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22) Don’t pretend that there’s no problem because there is. But don’t stop there. The solutions may not be so obvious but they are there. When you have enough information, make your decision. Weekly mantra: I am direct and decisive.
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept 22) This week puts to rest your lingering doubts about one particular relationship you have. Your family life is a picture of contentment. You feel that your material and spiritual needs are being met. Weekly mantra: I am thankful and trusting.
LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 22) This week is marked by shiny new ideas that quickly become manifest in the real world with your expert handling. Your self-confidence is soaring, bringing you the rewards of all your hard work. Weekly mantra: I am blooming and brilliant.
SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21) If you feel that there’s something a bit off, then pause and don’t force the issue. You may be hatching some plans that actually still need to be revised at this time. Have faith in the unseen forces in any negotiation. Weekly mantra: I am intuitive yet careful.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21) You’ve reached a peak, maybe in your career or family life. Either way, you find that there are more friendships to be forged, contacts to be made. Trust this forward-moving impetus in your life right now. Weekly mantra: I am renewed each day.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19) The Sun begins to move into your sign this week, so you may find that your health is unusually robust and good. As for your close relationships, carefully weigh your decisions which have far-reaching effects. Weekly mantra: I am strong and decisive.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18) This week you may be visited by memories from your childhood. Your inner child is calling upon you to nurture and care for it like you would your own children, if you have any. Look back at the lessons of the past but don’t linger there. Weekly mantra: I am cherished and carefree.
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20) Your warm and thoughtful ways are sorely needed in this hectic holiday season. However, don’t let your own needs take a backseat to others’. Rather, take a sensible approach should problems arise. Weekly mantra: I am understanding and kind.

Your Horoscope for the week of Nov.30-Dec.6, 2015 by BLES C.

YOUR HOROSCOPE BY BLES CARMONA
(blessingsandlight725@gmail.com)

For the week of November 30-December 6, 2015

ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19) In the face of many stimuli, be discriminating enough to focus on a few that you consider as priorities. This is not the time to rush. Instead, take care of the details and try not to get into conflict with others. Weekly mantra: I rein in my temper and focus my energy.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20) Have you caught yourself thinking too much about material things and worrying about providing for your family in the future? Don’t give in to your fear-based thoughts. Get your ego out of the way and a miracle manifests. Weekly mantra: I reach out and touch faith.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) You will be rewarded for all your hard work. Additionally, you’re finding out that your self-discipline and willpower are bearing fruit in terms of your health and relationships. Your friends ask you how you do it. Do share. Weekly mantra: I am a happy and healthy human being.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) Since you know how emotional you could be, try to approach the next decision-making opportunity with the calmness of objectivity. Would that objective point of view be enough for you to clear away all that no longer serves you? Weekly mantra: I see beyond the obvious.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22) All of a sudden, what sufficed before no longer has meaning for you. You feel the need to move on because you’ve been thinking, reading, feeling the pulse of the planet. Find a willing accomplice in your breakaway plans. Weekly mantra: Despite my serious thoughts, I still believe in fun.
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept 22) Open your heart and mind to those who need your refreshing intelligence and honesty. Do not downgrade yourself in your own eyes. Believe it or not, you are important to the world. Consider being involved in charity work of some sort. Weekly mantra: I give heartfelt and trustworthy advice.
LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 22) You have just finished a major project in your life, whether internally or in the world outside you. After your time of struggle, this period will yield peace and contentment. It’s important for you now to be with family and friends. Weekly mantra: I cherish my blessings in life.
SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21) Unbind yourself from the shackles of your suspicious mind and learn to trust again. Otherwise a significant life event may leave you feeling blindsided in its intensity. The bright side? It might make you realize that it’s finally time to spread your wings. Weekly mantra: When I am hit, I do not flinch. I take the blow and transform it into something positive.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21) This marks a happy and prosperous time for you. Make definite plans, consult your mentors, and position yourself in a guru role to help the aspiring candidates in your field of life. Being the natural teacher and philosopher that you are, these activities are right up your alley. Weekly mantra: I am thankful to Spirit for the right path for me.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19) Don’t pile on your tasks to the point of overwhelm. Learn to delegate and simplify. Your family is aching to be with you, especially during this holiday season. Be the one who spreads cheer and humor in any gathering. Weekly mantra: I choose to smile in the face of adversity.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18) At this time, you may have the desire to seek out similarly-minded people in terms of their academic or spiritual persuasion. You see yourself expanding your horizons and boldly testing your own faith. Weekly mantra: I seek strength and support in a group.
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20) A legal matter will be resolved in your favor. Even so, review documents thoroughly before signing anything. Strive to do what you know is right and stand up for your beliefs. An apology may have to be issued or accepted. Weekly mantra: I am for peace, yet I also stand for fairness.

Your Horoscope for the week of November 23-29, 2015 by BLES C.

YOUR HOROSCOPE BY BLES CARMONA
(blessingsandlight725@gmail.com)

For the week of November 23-29, 2015

For all the signs: We’re having a Full Moon in Gemini on Wednesday, Nov. 25. Wherever in your natal chart [3 deg. 20 min. Gemini] is situated, that’s the house or life concern where you need to let go of anything that does not serve you anymore in a positive way. Indeed, let go and let God, let Goddess.
ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19) Because your thoughts seem to manifest in reality as fast as you can think of them, then keep your thoughts strongly positive. Ease, joy, and gratitude fill your heart. Weekly mantra: I am walking on the path toward enlightenment.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20) You usually stay far away from grandstanding on the soapbox. But now, your group needs a leader with discipline, a sense of organization, and an earthy sense of humor. Who’s gonna fill the void? Weekly mantra: I am true leadership material.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) You’ve questioned yourself if recent situations had been your fault. Don’t worry because points are adding up in your favor. Once again your indomitable spirit has defeated a difficult situation. Weekly mantra: I am renewed and refreshed.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) Every once in a while, wanderlust overtakes you, and that’s when your inner voice beckons you to move in a new direction. Do your research before you do make a move. Consult your nearest and dearest in case you may want to bring them along, too. Weekly mantra: I respect and listen to my intuition.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22) You may receive some exciting news. This may be your chance to show your inspiration and originality. In this new project, express your playful nature that complements your creativity and confidence. Weekly mantra: I am enthusiastic and on fire.
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept 22) You almost never run out of patience. Now that virtue will be rewarded with abundance! You’re also an excellent worker – and goodness will come out of that, too. There’s more where all that came from. Weekly mantra: It’s safe for me to make long-term plans.
LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 22) Even if your thrust at this time may be geared toward self-employment or simply toward enjoying life’s little luxuries, your priorities are better served by first spending quality time alone. Sort out your thoughts and feelings first. Weekly mantra: I am open to introspection.
SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21) For some of you, this period marks the successful achievement of a personal goal, leading to public recognition or awards. For the rest, this week still brings some form of good news. Weekly mantra: I claim the victory that I deserve.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21) You may declare that you have an open mind but your strong opinions say otherwise. Try to see things from the perspective of the people you’re dealing with. Inasmuch as you want to be accepted for who you are, then be as receptive about how others are presenting themselves to you. Weekly mantra: I accept myself and others; I live and let live.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19) In your usual, focused Capricornian way, you’re already ambitious and hardworking. However, if you add a pinch of faith to your dreams and follow them, unexpected opportunities still abound. Weekly mantra: My cup runneth over.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18) There is a need to forgive yourself or others, since you realize that we are all imperfect. Beyond these little pools of self-centeredness is the vast ocean of giving and humanity. So swim, or at least dip your foot. Weekly mantra: I am taking the time to heal.
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20) A “Piscean warrior” is not an oxymoron. You make the most sublime and fair of combatants, and you are now called upon to defend your beliefs and decisions. Stand your ground – you have the crown! Weekly mantra: I choose my battles wisely.

Your Horoscope for the week of November 11-17, 2015

YOUR HOROSCOPE BY BLES CARMONA
(blessingsandlight725@gmail.com)

For the week of November 11-17, 2015

For all the signs: We just had our New Moon in Scorpio on Nov. 11 (11-11), deemed to be one of the most powerful days this year for manifesting our plans and intentions. We still have a little less than 24 hours after the New Moon to write our abundance checks (kindly search for its meaning online), dream big, and act in ways conducive to reaching our goals.

ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19) Respite comes to you after a particularly difficult situation. Consider non-worry to be your default mode because worry never helped anybody – strategic thinking, on the other hand, does. Weekly mantra: I give up my cares to a Higher Power.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20) At this time, you enjoy the fruits of your labor. You begin to appreciate how rich you are – maybe not exactly in money, but in meaningful relationships. Even so, you work hard enough to deserve financial remuneration, too. Weekly mantra: I am blessed with all kinds of wealth.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Turn around your tendency to expect the worst. Plant positive thoughts in your mind and follow this up with faithful prayer. Otherwise, what could be relaxing interludes could become sleepless nights. Don’t let that happen. Weekly mantra: I am accentuating the positive.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) This week marks the culmination of one of your many projects, so much so that an award or recognition becomes due you. Whether it’s your own child giving you a hand-drawn certificate for being the best parent or a more sophisticated appreciation from your peers, you will love it. Weekly mantra: I am thankful for the acknowledgment I receive.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22) Go out in nature and enjoy life’s little luxuries, preferably during your quiet time. Your connection with the earth/being practical is strong now, and you may be inspired to entertain ideas of entrepreneurship for the near future. Weekly mantra: I am ready for the next phase of my growth.
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept 22) There is a whirlwind of events surrounding you, moving at a fast pace, with many things happening at once. The key is to take a deep breath, not to panic, and to concentrate on not dropping the ball. One thing’s for sure: the delays are over. Weekly mantra: I am grateful to resume where I left off.
LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 22) Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. At this time, your attention turns inward, meditating on gratitude, contentment and joy. If you’ve been working towards enlightenment, you will make great strides at it this week. Weekly mantra: I seek the path of inner fulfillment.
SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21) You may experience delays in the fruition of some of your plans. Know that this standstill is simply temporary, and continue holding on to your faith. Attempt to look at your situation from a different, more upbeat perspective. Weekly mantra: I claim the victorious resolution of my current circumstances.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21) You are developing great inner strength at this time. However, you must release the unforgiving judgments you hold against others. You may find that you need more tolerance and compassion towards them – and yourself. Weekly mantra: I forgive.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19) You are the very salt of the earth at this time: generous, professional, responsible, and practical. It may be that you’re already losing patience with people who don’t see the world like you do. Please don’t. Be a mentor to them instead. Weekly mantra: I open myself to great opportunities.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18) You are divinely inspired, brimming over with new ideas that lead to success. With the cooperation of your family, co-workers, friends, and others who are significant to you, you actually think now that positive change is possible. Weekly mantra: I bloom where I am planted.
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20) Be at peace. Material things, negative or fear-based thoughts just won’t cut it at this time. Remember the times when you were so serene, in perfect peace and contentment? That’s a more desirable state to be in, for the health of your own mind. Weekly mantra: I recreate the optimal conditions for my spiritual growth.

Your Horoscope for the week of Nov. 4-10, 2015

YOUR HOROSCOPE BY BLES CARMONA
(blessingsandlight725@gmail.com)

For the week of Nov. 4-10, 2015

ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19) As long as you do your best to cultivate your relationship with Divine Spirit, then the rest of your other relationships will improve and flourish. Weekly mantra: I follow the promptings of Spirit.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20) If you want positive outcomes, then hold positive thoughts in your mind. It sounds like the Law of Attraction, and it is, with the help and guidance of your Higher Self and Divine Spirit. Weekly mantra: I am aligning my thoughts with love and peace.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) If you find yourself getting disillusioned about people and events, hold in your heart the thought that at a certain level, no one is to blame. The causes may be multi-factorial, but may you have a single faith. Weekly mantra: My faith is in God and in myself.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) With your new eagerness for a fresh start and a renewed openness to Divine guidance, positive changes become imminent in your life. Weekly mantra: With thanks, I am prepared to receive the good that is due me.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22) Pay attention to the people entering your life right now. They could be chance encounters, but maybe some of them will turn out to be the change agents in your life. Weekly mantra: I welcome new friends and/or business partners into my life.
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept 22) Has there been friction between you and another family member lately? With a forgiving heart and a gentle mind, try to approach this issue and the person with renewed love. Weekly mantra: I will build mend fences and build bridges with my loved ones.
LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 22) If you are being called to use energy work on yourself and others, the first thing is to do your research and find a good mentor. You are especially open to mind-body approaches at this time. Weekly mantra: I use the force of my energies in healing ways.
SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21) Your brainstorming sessions have yielded a great idea, and this is the answer to your prayers. Follow up on it because it is guidance from angelic realms. Ask the angels for additional support. Weekly mantra: I am developing my idea into a productive reality.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21) What you need more than work is more play right now. Relax, let your imagination run free, and maybe create an artwork or write in your journal. Weekly mantra: I return to work with increased vitality.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19) Wonder why you feel congested lately? You may need more fresh air and walks out in nature. Be energized by the trees, grass, and flowers in your path. Open the windows of your home to let in the breeze as well. Weekly mantra: I am refreshed and renewed.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18) Allow yourself to feel love once more. Open your heart to sweetness and light, no matter if you’ve been with your partner for 15 minutes or 15 years. Weekly partner: I am love, and I share love with my partner, with thanks in my heart.
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20) Nowadays you’ve been holding on to toxic emotions and trying to solve seemingly insurmountable challenges. Ask the angels to lighten your load and refresh your perspective. Weekly mantra: I am ready to release my cares and instead accept love and harmony.

A Quadrifecta of Delightful Experiences

Pilipinasblitz Forever:
Reflections of a lifelong learner
By Blesilda (Bles) Carmona ©2015

A QUADRIFECTA OF DELIGHTFUL EXPERIENCES

Quadri-one: Last Oct. 10, Saturday evening, my sister E, J (her S.O.), and I watched “The Martian” (directed by Ridley Scott) at Century Hayward. Hot daymn! Damon is hot in this one, and one of the ways I define “hot” is if someone is scientifically inclined, like MacGyver perhaps, or here in this film, botanist/engineer Mark Watney. Libra native Damon is a delight to behold onscreen, oozing with self-confidence, charisma, and smarts. Actually he had me at “Good Will Hunting (1997),” this precious precocious screenwriter/filmmaker/actor. I don’t want to spoil it for those who have not seen the film yet, and I don’t recommend movies lightly, but you should definitely see the “The Martian.” Winner line from Damon’s character: “I’m going to have to science the s**t out of this.”

For those of you on a budget, I propose a system on how to determine what is worth watching on the big screen. So for example, there you are in the cinema, watching the “revista” or trailers of films to come. You see the trailer of something called, let’s say, “Easter Lilies,” which is a rom-com, “Daisy Fades,” which is a tearjerker, and “Black Jasmine Patrol,” an action movie. Of course, first determine which of these three you like most. Supposing you love them all, the next step is to ask yourself which one has the most “cinematic” features. Which film lends itself to the big-screen experience? If you like the explosions, fight scenes, wide shots of dystopian landscapes, and other characteristics best visualized on the big screen – then the choice is easy, right? You can always catch the other films you missed on DVD, Netflix, and other more intimate streaming media when they become available later.

Quadri-two: Still, that did not stop me and my friends from watching the Filipino film called “Etiquette for Mistresses” the following week, on Oct. 15 (Thu) at Century Union City. This is based on the book with the same title which was written by social commentator Jullie Yap Daza in 1992. Honestly, I thought I was going to be bored by the film, but I was pleasantly surprised at how the narrative engaged me. Mr. Armando Dela Cruz, a respected film critic in the Philippines (filmpolicereviews.com) put his finger on the one scene that I marveled at and told my friend Yvonne about: “While the film is technically sound—a confrontation scene between Georgina (Kris Aquino) and Chloe (Claudine Barretto), surely the film’s highlight, makes for a compelling moment what with its single-shot chiaroscuro beauty…” Reading that, I felt my own observation vetted by expert opinion, which tells me that my eyes were not playing tricks on me. It was a single-camera, one-continuous-shot “eksena.” Director Chito Roño really knew his stuff on that one. Other co-stars are Iza Calzado, Cheena Crab, and Kim Chiu.

Here are some of the rules that mistresses (and mistresses-in-training, ref: see film) must observe:
1. You’re a mistress, not the wife. Know your place!
2. Mistresses don’t complain. It is the wife’s role.
3. Even if he tells you he loves you more than his wife, don’t let that get into your head.
4. Mistresses should not call the man first; wait for him to call.
5. Mistresses should avoid the wife as much as possible.
6. Mistresses should be able to give up Valentine’s Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Holy Week, and his birthday.
7. As much as possible don’t patronize the wife’s beauty parlor, jewelry shop, dress shop, or father confessor.
8. Wives have their own network of spies and amigas. It is helpful for the mistress to have her own.
9. Perish all thought that someday you’ll be number one.
10. When all fails, leave him.

And the moral of the story is —? Far be it from me to impose morals. I guess that if you’re interested enough, you can always catch “Etiquette…” when it’s out on other media and then decide for yourselves.

Quadri-three: Last Oct. 24 (Sat), the Bataan Legacy Historical Society (BLHS) held its conference at the Koret Auditorium of the Main branch of the San Francisco Public Library. BLHS is a non-profit 501c (3) organization. Its mission is to educate the public on the historical significance of the Bataan Death March and World War II in the Philippines by presenting the war from different perspectives – Filipinos, Americans, soldiers, and civilians. During the conference, we heard from various sectors affected by the Second World War: civilian prisoners of war, infantrymen, military officers and other veterans. Notable personages also spoke, among them State Superintendent of Education Tom Torlakson, Philippine Consul General (“ConGen”) Henry Bensurto, Jr., David Chiu of the California State Assembly, and Congressman Mike Honda. Of course, we also heard from BLHS Executive Director & Founder, Ms. Cecilia I. Gaerlan, and Ms. Consuelo Hall-McHugh, Founding Member of Memorare Manila 1945. There were many an instance during the panelists’ “testimony” that I had to hold back my tears. A part of me is saying, “Why bother listening to these hurtful, cruel war memories?” but then another part of me says, “As long as your gut and tear ducts are affected by war, then you know deep inside that war in any form is wrong and should not be allowed to continue.”

Another good thing that happened in this conference was that I was able to connect with a long-lost relative. She was one of the panelists in the Battle for Manila forum: Mrs. Marietta Carmona-Flores. After the program, several people approached Tita Marietta, wanting to set up appointments so that they could hear more of her experiences as a young girl in the midst of war. The common feedback was that Tita M’s emotional delivery of her statements made it appear like it was a “declamation,” and this moved a lot of people in the audience, aside from the atrocities and horrors that she was recounting. In conclusion, Cong. Mike Honda said that lobbying for the benefits and salary of war veterans should be a community affair, not just the job of the Representative.

Quadri-four: Oct. 31(Sat), my sister E and I went to the “Everyday Mystic Halloween Fair” hosted by Cinthia Varkevisser at the Angel Light Bookstore in Berkeley, owned and managed by Ms. Valencia Chan. Cinthia is a channel, energy reader, graphologist, and coach (www.everydaymystic.com). On this day, a handful of her students were giving 10-minute readings for $10 as part of their practicum. Ms. Cinthia herself was available for readings, and she made me realize things about myself, even going as far as to suggest a “brand” for my astrology and tarot readings to help me along. I also got a reading from Ms. Nancy Leung, a certified massage practitioner who combines Swedish, Shiatsu, Trigger Point, and Deep Tissue Massage with energy reading and interpretation. Needless to say, my sister and I (with J as our chaperone), both having the Life Path number of 7 (the number of the loner, the seeker) are truly into these mystical things and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Every now and then it’s good to get the perspective of someone who can be totally objective with you since she does not know you except for the energy and vibes you give out. It may sound “woo-woo” to some of you and rightly so because metaphysical issues are not really your cup of tea (or tea leaves). It’s all right. Really. Each of us is on a personal journey which you and I know is never the same for any two individuals. At the end of the day, what remains is a live-and-let-live sensibility that does not coerce and force, but loves and respects.

We will always be drawn to the things, people, and phenomena that interest us and capture our imagination. My hope is that, to paraphrase Jalaluddin Rumi, we can still meet in that field beyond all these conflicting ideas.

Maybe someday, huh?

blessingsandlight725@gmail.com
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Your Horoscope for the week of Oct. 28-Nov. 3, 2015

YOUR HOROSCOPE BY BLES CARMONA
(blessingsandlight725@gmail.com)

For the week of Oct. 28-Nov. 3, 2015

ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19) You may have to be the shoulder to cry on for your friend. Pay attention because due to this episode, a golden opportunity may open up for you. Weekly mantra: I am compassionate.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20) You’ve been hard at work. Reward yourself afterwards by going out into nature and getting some fresh air. Your bodymind needs the respite, and your spirit will be refreshed. Weekly mantra: I am a child of the Earth.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) You’ve said your prayers, you’ve lifted up your hopes. Now let go and let Divine Spirit handle this. Expect a miracle. Weekly mantra: I have faith.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) If you were asked to choose between the past and the present, you’ve always wondered why you lean more to the past. This week may bring some answers. Weekly mantra: I am open to learning from my past.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22) Your sign has always had an affinity with children. You’re simply good with them in a healing sort of way. You are being asked to use your skills to help these young ones now. Weekly mantra: I am a child of the Sun.
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept 22) You care about your health and well-being. This week is no different. The reminder is to hydrate (drink lots of water) and if possible, spend time near water, like a river, lake, or the sea. Weekly mantra: I claim my energy.
LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 22) Much of the change happening for you right now takes place at a very deep level. Even so, expect that the changes are beneficial and will bring you great blessings. Weekly mantra: I welcome the changes in my life.
SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21) This is where you get to ask yourself: “What do I really desire?” Look deep within your heart for the answer. Then make up your mind if you’re willing or not to take the risk to make that desire come true. Weekly mantra: I follow the guidance from within.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21) Don’t let a mentality of lack or scarcity bring you down. You are usually an optimist, and a hard worker to boot. See beyond the current situation with faith in your heart. Weekly mantra: Divine Spirit is my infinite supply.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19) You are the strong one in the family. But who is going to be strong for you? Turn to your dearest friend or loved one. There is no shame in admitting that we are vulnerable – to those closest to us. Weekly mantra: I am safe and protected.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18) Don’t give in to naysayers with their hidden agendas. The important thing is that you stand up for what you believe is right even if it’s an unpopular stance. You will find yourself vindicated later on. Weekly mantra: I will take the moral high ground.
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20) You’ve always been endowed with that inner compass that guides you toward the right actions. Therefore, Divine Spirit is saying that in this certain situation in your life right now, you already know what to do. Weekly mantra: I will take action without hesitation.

Your Horoscope for the week of October 21-27, 2015

YOUR HOROSCOPE BY BLES CARMONA
(blessingsandlight725@gmail.com)
For the week of Oct. 21-27, 2015
ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19) Just like you knew you had it in you to indulge, now you realize that you also have it in you to detoxify and cleanse yourself. It’s simply high time you took better care of yourself. Weekly mantra: My cleansing starts from within.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20) Scratch that conservative Taurean surface and you actually get a daring, vivacious, and exciting persona. Here’s lookin’ at you, kid. Weekly mantra: I am never too old to celebrate with joy.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) This week, compassion and understanding figure hugely in your dealings with others. Whether you are the giver or receiver of such grace, express your gratitude. Weekly mantra: There but for the grace of God go I.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) Whatsoever is for you will be added unto you, but if it’s not for you, then consider it gone. It may never have been yours in the first place. Weekly mantra: The Divine Spirit gives and it takes away. Still I give thanks.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22) This is that fertile time of the year when you Leos are urged to give birth to your ideas, projects, and desired conditions. Happy creating! Weekly mantra: I am a fount of artistry and fertility.
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept 22) Don’t be the last one to receive your Divine gifts because you feel undeserving. Learn how to receive gracefully, and this will in turn rev up your energy, intuition, and ability to give to others. Weekly mantra: I allow myself to receive.
LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 22) There are many facets of love and you may be feeling that you’ve gone through all of them, leaving your heart tired and broken. But have you experienced a love that is eternal? Seek that as your next adventure. Weekly mantra: I will seek undying love.
SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21) Everybody knows that you’re the strong one, no contest. But I think they’re missing the sweet, caring, and vulnerable side of you. This is a page out of “How to Win Friends & Influence People.” Weekly mantra: My strength is tempered by my humanity.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21) Your home life is on center stage these days due to some shuffling among its occupants, new construction, and other changes. It can’t hurt to use what you know of feng shui to maximize the positive vibes of your home. Weekly mantra: Upon this rock, my humble home, I will build my kingdom.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19) Your heart is close to the Earth because of your sign’s element. This week Mother Earth is actually calling upon you, especially the Cappies who are at the top of their fields (and there are MANY Cappies up there at the top) to use their influence in saving our environment. Weekly mantra: I am born of the Earth, I am blessed by the Earth.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18) I know, it’s not about ego with you, but you just want to do the job right and on time so you do it yourself, but here’s the antidote to that (that and a possible breakdown): start delegating. There’s no shame in asking for help, even from those “below” you. Weekly mantra: I will work more constructively with my teammates.
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20) Yes, Pisces, you are just about this close to attaining your heart’s desire (as long as it’s for your own good and it doesn’t hurt anybody else). How to do that? Keep your steady stream of thoughts, feelings, and actions focused on your goal, and you will hit the target. Weekly mantra: I deserve a beautiful life.

“NCGR San Francisco: My family by affinity” in this week’s issue of the Manila Mail (Oct. 14-20, 2015; page A5)

Pilipinasblitz Forever
A column by Bles Carmona
For the week of Oct. 14-20, 2015

NCGR San Francisco: My family by affinity

NCGR stands for the National Council for Geocosmic Research, Inc., a non-profit organization promoting astrological education and research founded in 1971 at Wareham, Massachusetts. The name may say “National,” but aside from Chapters located in 26 states, NCGR also has Chapters in four other countries: Japan, Mexico, Thailand, and Turkey. So far there are over 2500 NCGR members both in the USA and abroad. There are also the so-called Special Interest Groups (SIGs) of which there are currently three: Asteroids, Declination, and Uranian/Cosmobiology. In California, NCGR has four chapters: Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, and San Francisco. Ever since December 2012, when I ran for and was voted Recording Secretary of the NCGR San Francisco chapter, I have been a part of its Board of Directors. At this point let me say that of course I have a family by consanguinity, but with my NCGR-SF folksies, definitely it’s my family by affinity.

What moves me to say that? Well, first of all, we are all volunteers, yet I have never seen a more hardworking Board every time we have a speaker coming over. We rent a room at Fort Mason and we have to get the room ready before the guests arrive for the lecture. We need to set up the audio equipment, the refreshments, the chairs and tables, the secondhand books the sales from which fund our scholarship program. We’ve had proven crowd drawers like astrologers Lynn Bell, Christopher Renstrom, and Frank Clifford, for instance. However, no matter who’s speaking, I am personally star-struck all the time since I have read about most of these famous astrologers when I was still a budding astrologer in my teens in the Philippines. Even so, those astrologers don’t need any more publicity. Instead, I am here to give some unsung astrological heroes their due. Who are these people that I’m talking about? NCGR-SF Board members Steve Pincus (President), Joseph (Joe) Kaminski (Vice-President), Aude Guerin (Executive Secretary), Cathy Coleman, PhD (Treasurer & Education Director), Carol Baum (Membership Secretary), and Mary Gow (Media & Graphics Director).

Steve is the owner of Sun Recording Service. He began studying Astrology in 1976 and has maintained an astrological consultation service since 1979. His personal approach to astrology combines contemporary methods with Uranian techniques. He became a certified Astro-Cartographer in 1985 and received his Professional Astrological Certification from the International Society for Astrological Research (ISAR) at the ISAR 2000 Conference. Steve is producer of the Star Dial System, a 90-degree dial designed by Arlene Kramer. Steve is a member of NCGR, ISAR, the Association for Astrological Networking (AFAN) and the San Francisco Astrological Society (SFAS). He is the current President of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of NCGR and also maintains the chapter’s website: ncgrsanfrancisco.org

Steve received simultaneous Bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. He also received a Master’s degree in Mathematics from Pratt. Steve has worked in the aerospace industry as a software engineer from 1968-2012. Born in the Bronx, he moved to California in 1979 and currently resides in Sunnyvale. He has lectured on Uranian Astrology, Cosmobiology, and Astronomy for Astrologers for local astrology organizations and astrological conferences, including the United Astrology Conference (UAC), American Federation of Astrologers (AFA), AFAN, NCGR, ISAR, and the SouthWest Astrology Conference (SWAC). Steve’s love for astrology and drive to preserve the information presented at lectures, workshops and conferences began in the late 1970’s. His recording equipment has evolved over the years from a single Marantz Cassette Recorder to a multi-channel mobile digital studio which clearly records both speaker content and audience interactions.
Joseph F. Kaminski, our chapter’s Veep, is a San Francisco-based astrologer (NCGR Level 3 Certified). Since 1998 he’s been owner of Explorative Communications, a business that focuses on astrological analysis, Reiki healing, writing/editing, and voice production services. Joseph’s studied astrology since the late 1960s when he began intuiting various personality characteristics, sensing key planetary emphasis in some individuals, and observing cycles and patterns affecting him and others. He’s been developing, writing and living by his own philosophy since his teen years. Joseph has been serving as NCGR San Francisco Chapter Vice President for the past 4 years. He’s also a Reiki practitioner, writer, dream journalist and Commissioned Spiritualist Healer. Joe says, “Personal hobbies include the outdoors, camping, backpacking, mountain climbing, scuba diving, geography, travel, gemology, crystals, mysticism, writing, art, and philosophy. Backpacking and mountain climbing bring me close to the magnificence and solitude of nature. Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helen’s and Mt. Shasta include my most memorable mountain climbs. I became a Dive Master during August 1999 and enjoy assisting new divers with becoming more comfortable with the beautiful and colorful marine environment, a dramatic water theater in all directions.”

Now here are the answers to my questions by our scholarly Ms. Cathy Coleman, PhD, our chapter’s Treasurer and Education Director: Q. How did you get started as an astrologer? A. “My younger brother first introduced me to astrology at age 16 or 17. He was a person ahead of his time—knew a little about everything. I gave him a surprise “Scorpio” themed birthday party for his 16th birthday. Then at age 24 in 1976 I moved to Houston, Texas and saw a beginner’s astrology course offered by Jeanne Long, later a famed financial astrologer. I took her beginning course and then an interpretation course. I was hooked by her into a lifelong study of astrology. She was a very organized Capricorn, and made it very easy to learn a lot in each class.” Q. What is your educational/experiential background? A. “I have a doctorate in East-West Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies –and also an M.A. in Family Studies from Washington State U and a B.S. in Home Economics Education from Iowa State (very diverse academic background). I have studied astrology widely. I was one of the first two graduates of the Online School of Astrology; I am a Jim Lewis certified Astro*Carto*Grapher. I was in the first class of the Online School of Vedic Astrology. I have been a practicing astrologer seeing clients since 1983, and have taught classes and lectured on astrology. Of course being president of Kepler College was a big experience in the field in many ways.” Q. What is your current day job? What are your current activities and interests (aside from astrology)? A. “I have recently directed a retreat center, and worked in development and education at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Currently I am searching for new work, amplifying my practice of astrology, and working on building a mediation and coaching practice.”

With Steve, Joe, and Cathy alone, I can already conclude that NCGR San Francisco is in very good hands. But let’s also add Carol, Aude, and Mary into the mix. Carol, our Membership Director, is very much into photography and vocational guidance via astrology for high school students. Aude, our ExecSec who has taken French as a Second Language at the Sorbonne in Paris, is into itinerary planning for French corporate types who happen to be visiting the SF Bay Area. Mary, our Media and Graphics Director, is an award-winning artist who has been exhibiting her paintings for the past 25 years.

All of these, dear readers, are the reasons I want to claim them all as my family by affinity. They’re all brilliant in their own fashion, but when we all come together we work together with humility for the good of the organization. By the end of this year, Steve is stepping down as President after 30 years in the position. However, he will still be supporting us afterwards through his continued recording of NCGR-SF lectures and workshops. Since Steve will not be running for the position anymore, here’s hoping that one or more of you out there, who must be dues-paying members of NCGR, will step up to the plate and nominate yourselves for President. Chapter members will be voting soon.

Astrology is a good part of my evolution as an individual, and that’s why I feel so thankful that I can work on a voluntary basis along with my fellow Board members at the National Council for Geocosmic Research-San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. We all share that same passion for a subject that has fascinated each of us and made mystics out of us, of varying levels of reluctance. I personally believe that the time to be curious and inquiring about metaphysics has come, and as long as NCGR-SF is alive-awake-alert-enthusiastic, then we shall continue bringing you astrological speakers from here or abroad to speak to your respective souls about the topic that occupies a spectrum from an iota to overflowing, but never completely nil, in your hearts: astrology.

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