Share My Comings And Goings

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My brother Allan and Our Conversion Story!

Right now, I am at Camarin chapel of the Novaliches Philippines Stake waiting for my brothers Mike and Allan to finish. My brother Allan, after twenty years, was advanced to the office of an Elder in the Melchizedeck Priesthood. I'm really happy for the spiritual leap he had after being stagnant spiritually for years.

His being active started only when we move to Deparo ward almost two years ago. But it was my brother's Mike call as a bishop two months ago that served as a catalyst for his spiritual advancement. My brother Allan was very shy and his inactivity in prior years was mainly due to him not being able to speak at Church or participate socially where he was expected to act like this and like that and he hated that feeling. But his complete turn-around came and now he is ready to overcome that shyness...

Looking back at our conversion story, twenty one years ago. My love for storytelling led to my conversion to the Church. Living in Tugatog, Malabon, I spied three Filipino men and thought of them as storytellers. I saw them at our neighbor's house.They were wearing ties and had a big book, which I later on discovered as a flip chart. I waited until they were done with the neighbors and asked them how much I would have to pay to hear their stories. They said "we will tell you stories for free if you can have your whole family to listen". To me that was easy. As the only girl in the family of four, my parents love me and would do anything for me to make me happy. My whole family listened to the first discussion and that story touched us. For the next discussion, I invited my uncle's family, and the next discussion my aunt's family. The missionaries,Danilo Cruz, Cirilo Laceste and Jason de Guzman challenged my whole family to be baptized on April 11,1987. I and my younger cousins were ready to be baptized. I told my cousins, who were younger than me, that we had to go ahead and be baptized so that we would be examples to our parents who were still working through some of the missionaries' other challenges, such as the word of wisdom.With our parent's approval, me, my cousins,and two younger brothers Allan and Joel met the baptismal date. The example we set was followed quickly. A week later, my older cousins and older brother were baptized. The following week, my father and uncles were baptized. Four days later, y mother and aunt followed the same path. So for the month of April, 27 members of the family were baptized.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mission Life: A fulfilling Journey

One of life's journeys I was blessed to pass through is my 18 months of mission life in the Philippines San Pablo mission. I was in my library
awhile ago and has browsed through my mission journals and albums. Judging from the five journals, seven photo albums and two huge binders, you'll know that i love this particular journey through life!
One of the advice I received before my mission is this:" After your mission, I assure you will remember only the good qualities and fun times with all of your companions. So I say unto you, Love your companion, understand her needs and you will have the best friendship with all your companions in the mission." I couldn't but agree! I was blessed to have 22 companions and each one is special to me!
I will write about each one of my dearest, precious companions and how the bond of love was forged and continue to link us until now, eventhough we are separately journeying through this life!

Laguna and Rizal: Kaleidoscope of Sceneries

In August 10, 2008, on our way back to Manila from our 080808 Quezon adventure, we decided to pass through the back door so to speak. Mark served in Quezon City mission from 1998 to 2000, almost the same time I was serving in the San Pablo mission. We actually joke that while he was in Malaya, his princess to be was just on the other side of the mountain (Tayabas Quezon)! It was exciting to venture through that uncharted route and visit my prince old areas of Malaya and Antipolo.

We drove along seventeen municipalities of Laguna and Rizal which include Lucban, Majayjay, Luisiana, Cavinti, Pagsanjan, Lumban, Paete, Pakil, Pangil, Siniloan, Famy, Jalajala, Pililia, Tanay, Baras, Teresa and Antipolo City. I was overwhelmed with the kaleidoscope of sceneries and natural wonders as we hop from one destination to the next.

In the comfort of our car, we found ourselves enjoying the lush and verdant countryside. Laguna and Rizal are endowed with bodies of freshwater, golden rice fields, coconut plantations, tropical rainforest, hilly terrain, therapeutic hot and cool springs, waterfalls and rivers. Because of this merry mix of natural attractions, Laguna and Rizal are veritable tourist paradise.

Quezon: My Chosen Destination During Triple 8 -080808!

Number 8 is widely considered a lucky number in most parts of Asia, including the Philippines. A countless many booked that date for their special events, making August 8, 2008 the most anticipated date of the decade. With my prince in the Philippines at that time, it was easy to jump on the lucky 8 bandwagon without having to spend a fortune. We decided to drive to Lucena, Quezon on that day to meet the Mangu (Nilo, Ruel, Corin and Del) so they can get –to-know my prince Mark! By stroke of luck and because my prince had to work then, the trip actually started at exactly 08:08 pm of August 8, 2008! That’s a lot of 8s! And Yes, it’s also the date and time that the Chinese decided to begin the Beijing Olympics!

My fun, excitement and thrilling discoveries on this unbelievably popular day started with my prince taking the driver’s seat from his office at Global City. I’m sure my driver Mario was so delighted at that chance! Because my prince was driving, I have to take the front seat and read through the map, in case he couldn’t find his way (all-new experience for me!). But oh that didn’t become necessary. My prince is such a great driver and is very good at directions!

We traversed the entire Pan-Philippine Highway for four hours before we get to Lucena, passing through the four provinces of Laguna (Calamba), Batangas (Sto. Tomas, Alaminos), San Pablo City, and Quezon (Tiaong, Candelaria and Sariaya). As we drove through the loop, I enjoyed the rare experience of sitting side by side with my prince and holding hands with him from time to time! (For awhile I wondered why I was holding hands with my driver!!!). It was really a smooth drive and I was treated to genuine warmth and love from my luckiest find – my prince!

The province of Quezon is known for its tapestry of mountains and beaches, as well as the Pahiyas festival in May 15.

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan in Lucban, Quezon

Pagbilao, Quezon

We attended the sacrament service of Tayabas ward. It was my first area during my mission and so I was asked to give my testimony.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Batangas: A Seaside Paradise!

Our family gathers for a reunion when the sun is at its hottest and the sea, at its bluest. Yes, in summer – anytime during the first week of May. For our 2007 reunion venue the run-away winner is Batangas. It only takes a three-hour drive from Manila and my family can be made to fit my Adventure wagon without too much enduring to do. As the organizer for every family reunion, I was blessed to experience every beach resorts in Batangas and I can say that indeed Batangas is a divinely blessed seaside paradise.

San Juan, Batangas. We chose the Kabayan beach resort because it has accommodation for 28 people at very reasonable prices. The beach has a fine white sand and good swimming shore that everyone even the kids can safely enjoy.

Anilao, Batangas. This is famous for divers as many great dive sites are in this part of Batangas. We checked out Outrigger resort, Mainit Point and other resorts nearby. Since I am the only one who dive, any of the sites, however, are not fitted for the kind of adventure that my parents and the kids can enjoy. But for those who love to bring their masks and snorkel tubes, your fascinating sea life adventure can find its ways to Anilao.

. with delilah fernandez

Verde Island, Batangas. I went there with my friends for an adventure i woudn't forget...the pristine waters is truly fascinating!

The Farm , Batangas. Only 85 kilometers south of Manila, The Farm rewards visitors with its well-preserved nature.

with Bonnie Pollock at the Farm.

Pagudpud: Unspoiled Northern Escape

My chance to visit Pagudpud came in only in June 2008 courtesy of the family of my nephew Kenneth who hailed from there.

Located at the northernmost tip of Ilocos Norte, the trip takes between 10 to 12 hours from Manila and for me, that is too much to drive alone or be in a bus so I kind of waited for this chance.

My nephew Kenneth's mom, Juries, lived in Pagudpud before she married Steve and became residents of London. They arrived in May for family visit and has a long family coach that can accommodate one more person in. I was invited to join.

With a big Yes to the invitation, I found myself in the unspoiled scenic environment and distinct serenity of Pagudpud! It has white sand beaches, mountains, hills, waterfalls and valleys that made my visit truly fascinating!

Saud White Beach is the most popular attraction in Pagudpud, and we are so lucky that its owner is Juries ninang (god mother). She also used to work as a cashier at the resort during her teen years.

Saud Beach has a fine stretch of white sand and clear blue waters that allow a clear vision of the colorful reef.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Baguio: Frequently Visited Destination

Dubbed as Philippines’ summer capital, Baguio City stands amidst the mountainous region of the Cordillera. It is one of the few places in the country blessed with cool climate because it is situated 1,500 meters above the sea.

Because Baguio is so close to Manila and can be reached by land transportation, I think I have visited it more than 30 times already and had sampled every “bests” and sightseeing “musts” from January to December, year after year. For me, there are just so many reasons to be in Baguio - whether for shopping for that cardigans and sweaters, enjoying the cool climate when you can't take the heat in Manila during summer, delighting on freshest vegetables and strawberries, visiting friends and (even boyfriends then), enjoying the Panagbenga festival, or simply resting from the ordeal of a city life, Baguio is a destination to be.

My very first trip to Baguio was in November 1988, exactly two decades ago now. I was a delegate of our school, Pres. Sergio Osmena High School, in the National Secondary Students Conference at Teachers Camp. Our class Valedictorian, Elma de Jesus and our teacher Ms. Teresita Santo Tomas were with me at that time. I can still remember how I dreaded taking a shower in the morning because the water was as cold as “ice” and Teachers camp did not have hot showers. But the majestic sites of Mines view and other exciting places such as Burnham Park, Wright Park and The Mansion elicited great excitement for me to overcome the cold water.

Baguio’s splendor beauty was unexpectedly and extensively devastated by a killer earthquake on July 16, 1990. For almost four years,I took some kind of a Baguio hiatus.

In 1994,I was again able to visit Baguio as a participant to the Tripartite Conference of the San Sebastian Institute of Law. Tripartite Conference is attended by a faculty adviser, president of the student council and the outstanding academic student from all year levels. I was then a freshman and happened to be the number one student in the Dean’s List.

During that visit, Baguio again presented a beautiful scenery, different from what I have seen on tv during the quake. I went to the Strawberry farm in La Trinidad, Bell Church, Lourdes Grotto, Botanical Garden, and danced my heart out at the Spirits Disco!

That started my yearly visit to Baguio except for another hiatus in Nov. 1998 to April 2000 when I was on mission in San Pablo and in 2002 when I was in the US: 1997 - with Sister Davis (from Hawaii) and her family; 1998 with Matthew Mori and family; Nov. 2000 with Ate Dearie, Jean Palapala and Angie Launico;December 27-May 2001 bi-monthly visits to my then boyfriend Josh; February 2001 with parents for the Panagbenga Festival; June 2001 with Bureau of Immigration Makati staff and Dave Shaw; 2003 with Dana Cummings and Hanni Miller; 2004 with Steve Allan and my family; 2005 with Fairview Stake Single Adult; March 2006 OGC visit; April 2007 OGC visit; June 2007 with Leily, Phil, Jean and May 2008 with my sister in-law Juries.

Some recent pictures of Baguio:

Mines View Park

Club John Hay

Philippine Military Academy

The Mansion

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Boracay: A Tropical Paradise

Many talked about Boracay as a paradise. And it is indeed! I experienced Boracay’s tropical paradise – crystal blue waters, powder white sand, liberal doses of tropical palms and flowering plants, and a healthy marine life under the seas.

As a 35th wedding anniversary gift to my parents, we flew to Boracay last December 15 to 19, 2005. It was my mom’s first time to get on an airplane so that added to the treat.

WATER FUN-The beach beckons for some serious swimming, or just wading by the shore.
STAR GAZING –In Boracay, there’s plenty of room to sit back and look to the heavens for inspiration. You can have a visual delights moaning over a sea of stars, watching of parade of white clouds, or basking in moonlight.

My Mom Enjoying the Cool Blue Water of Boracay

My Papa Enjoying the Cool Blue Water of Boracay

WHITE BEACH – Probably the famous stretch of the country, White Beach lies on the west coast. It features bright fine sand and clear, shallow waters. The mood is very casual. Dress light. Walking is great for exploring the island’s numerous white sand beaches, fresh water lagoons, coconut plantation and fishponds.

SCUBA DIVING – “I look better in a wetsuit” so I got into my scuba diving stint and enjoyed the healthy marine life under the seas.

Bohol: Distinctive, Timeless Attraction

One of the many places I was able to visit because of my work as a legal manager is Bohol. But unlike others who felt lucky enough to enjoy Bohol’s beauty, I initially was ungrateful. I flew there for the first time last July 21, 2007 (Saturday) for an appointment with the Registers of Deeds in Tagbilaran first thing Monday. The Saturday flight was the only available flight so I had no choice. Because I flew in the middle of the Sandugo Festival celebration, all the hotels were fully booked and not getting a prior hotel reservation for a first timer was really a bad idea. I spent hours at the airport figuring out where to spend the night. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, I left my prince alone in Manila and not able to spend the weekend together like how we want his remaining weekends in the Philippines (only two left) to be. Barely a month in a relationship, to be away for a day, feels like forever for me. Of course, my prince really wanted to come with me then but because I have changed my flight a number of times, he wasn’t able to get his ticket changed.

After hours of choosing, I finally found a place to stay and a good taxi rental. And that started my adventures enough to over power the hassles I just had. Bohol has the distinctive, timeless attractions and nature that anyone would find breath taking! I did!!!


I checked in at Amarella Resort in Panglao Island at night and it is an enchanting scene. Lights guided my path to the beach. Down to my room is a swimming pool that is so cool at night and enjoyed swimming. The owner of Amarella was the former partner of Quisumbing Torres, the law firm that the Church uses and it felt good to be at a resort where you call the owner on a first name basis and be able to dine with them. My room is really spacious and comfy, (but somewhat expensive because it is intended for double occupancy). I stayed at Amarella only for that first night coz I got the reservation for Sunday night at a hotel in Tagbilaran City where my appointments were.

The next morning, I checked out of Amarella to move to Metro Center Hotel. Since I can only checked in after 3pm, I decided to first look for a chapel to attend church service. The car rental driver, however, did not know any LDS Church so I just decided to tour Bohol and enjoy its beauty.


Hike up to the public viewing area, pretty majestic scenery 214 steps from observation area

Touristy site of the blood compact between Bohol’s Datu Sikatuna and the Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.

BOHOL’S FAMOUS TARSIERS which you can view deep within their natural habitat.

MAN-MADE PARIS – The manmade mahogany forest makes a tour of Bohol seem like a drive through California or Baguio- when it still have trees

Friday, November 21, 2008

Double Milestone Birthday

Last Saturday, November 15 we celebrated my mom's 60th Birthday and my nephew Jay-M's 8th Birthday and Baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is somehow difficult to find a common theme for these celebrations. After many attempts, I finally able to see the connection: both 60th and 8th Birthdays are Milestone celebrations! 60th Birthday is a milestone because not everyone reaches that age. Turning 8 years old however is considered a milestone for LDS members. This is the time the person can be baptized into the Church.
The celebration started with Jay-M's baptism tehn followed by the birthday party. The baptism was very memorable. Jay-M's teachers and classmates who were all non-members were there. We also invited relatives of my sisters-in-laws who are non-members to witness the baptism. It was a great baptismal service and the missionaries found a lot of new investigators. Sister Gabel and Sister Gungob were actually the speakers and they did a pretty good job.

The second part of the milestone celebration is of course the party! We prepared so much food (courtesy of Kuya Mike, Jay-M's father while the cooking was all done by my sisters in-laws Belenda and Imee. Belenda's mom and sister also helped out in the 8 - dish menu).

We played two games during the party. The games were all about mom but were played by both kids (Jay-M's friends) and adults alike. The first game was a Charade Relay entitled "All About Mom". The words to be acted out by participants and to be guessed all relates to my mom like she is a SEWER, loves to takes care of her grand children, cook during Family Get - Together, etc.)

The second game is called "Merry Tailor" with the kids as participants. Two teams lined up. In each line men and women take their turns. In each line, the players choose a tailor. The tailor takes a wooden stick ("a needle") with the thick thread in it. (wind the thread into a ball). At the command the tailors begin "to sew". The tailor "sews" the gentlemen's trouser - legs (passes the thread from one leg to another) and lady's sleeves (passes the thread from one sleeve to another). The tailor who "sews" all his team the first wins the game.

We had so much fun. It was really a fun-filled birthday celebration. We gave my mom of course a new Sewing Machine!!! She was delighted at the gift!


I have seen three musicals for the month of November 2008: Sleeping Beauty, 100 Years of World Class Music and Hairspray. To date, it is the most number of musicals I have seen in just a month through out my lifetime, but may not be the last. Thankfully, my cultural appetite has become much healthier this time.

The three musicals I’ve seen used different methods of story telling – song, dialogue, dance and even video. Video was used in “100 years of World Class Music” staged at UP Theater to suggest places and things, and to give a contemporary flavor with the growing technology. My brother and sister-in-law were part of the backstage production, so I got a free entrance to the show that seemed to me like a reunion of UP arts veteran.

“Sleeping Beauty” was staged at SM Southmall, Las Pinas. Humor, choreography and music characterized this Tagalog version of the all time favorite fairy tale, the enchanting Sleeping Beauty. Alexis Aubrey Fernandez (AA, for short), a single adult in my ward (Deparo) is one of the stars in the musical and invited me to be her guest along with her mom. It was a real treat. After the show I learned that this original Filiino children‘s musical was written by my classmate in college, Dennis Teodosio. We haven’t seen each other for 15 years now and I’m so glad to find out that he is now a multi-awarded playwright.
The story of the play begins when the kingdom christens the beautiful Princess Annabella, played by tv young star Aiza Marquez. The good fairies, that act as her godmothers, give the princess gifts – from Margarita (played by AA), the gift of charm and beauty; Armida, the gift of music and dance to the newborn tot. Before Esperanza declares her gift, she announces the betrothal of Princess Annabella to her young nephew, Reginald (played by Noel Rayos, also in the Hairspray musical). She then gives the princess the necklace, a token from Reginald’s king father. Lucinda, the Mistress of All Evil, barges in the party, fuming mad for not having an invitation to the christening. In her anger she curses the princess to die when she touches a spinning wheel’s spindle on her eighteenth birthday. Fortunately, Espranza uses her gift to weaken Lucinda’s curse; the princess will not die when she touches the spinning wheel instead; she will fall asleep until she is awaken by the power of true love’s first kiss. Thus, the musical moves on with the princess and prince individually growing up as they search for life’s true meaning and discovering the wonders of romantic love, a battle between good versus evil ensues, and in the end, the question of “will they live happily ever after? gets an answer.

“Hairspray” is a two and a half hours of musical comedy heaven at Star Theater, CCP Complex last November 22, 2008. Despite its name, this show based on the John Waters film is not about big hair. It is a story of Tracy Turnblad, a 16-year-old heroine who is determined not to let circumstance dictate her future. Tracy is a girl with a big heart and bigger hips wants nothing more than to dance with boys regardless of their color but this is 1962 in racially segregated Baltimore. She sets out to get the boy, become a star and integrate a tv show. She reminds us, time and again, that we can all achieve our dreams regardless of size or color. In this spectacle with a message, Tracy’s quest becomes a metaphor for the struggle of racial integration in America. In addition to the delightful stage sets, costumes and music, I really enjoyed the finest performers from Ateneo student Madel Ching as Tracy Turnblad, Tim Espinosa as Link Larkin, Christine Allado as Amber Von Tussle, actor Michael De Mesa as Edna Turnblad (he is so beautiful), and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Velma Von Tussle. I was also surprised at the dance moves of the terrifically talented singer Nyoy Volante (Seaweed J. Stubbs), Dulce (Motormouth Maybelle), Noel Rayos (Corny Collins), Gabe Mercado (male authority) and the crazy – talented ensemble of youthful singers and dancers.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November 5, 2008: Strange Feeling

I don't understand why, but I suddenly cried and it made me real gloomy when I learned that Obama is the new president. I just felt something ominous is about to happen. I don't know really, but I hope it won't be anything too bad.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Am Lucky!

This month of November marked as my fifth year of being an in-house lawyer, and third year in my current position as an international legal manager for a corporation sole with global corporate affiliates. Since I was then only in my late twenties, landing an in-house counsel job is considered to be a lucky streak in the sense most people use the word. As with other awards and commendations I received – among others, passing the Philippine Bar Examination in 1998, and consequently becoming one of the youngest female lawyers in the country, graduating as class valedictorian in the college of Law, cum laude in the University, and becoming a recipient of several awards and scholastic achievements since my elementary days, I remember family, friends and colleagues coming to me extending that heartfelt word of “congratulation” and a pat on the back saying I am either- intelligent, smart, hard working, diligent and lucky. Then, I don’t like to be called lucky! For me, luck connotes an unpredictable attribute, something beyond my control to change or reverse, such that those who are blessed with luck is raised to the heights, while plunging those whom it eludes to the depths of self-pity and defeat .

My view has changed after reading the book “How to Attract Good Luck” by A.H.Z Carr. The book was a Christmas gift by my friend Doris in 2003 and it has helped me ever since. As I learned the true nature of luck, I made good luck a constant factor in any project I wish to bring to fruition and I constantly take positive steps to attract luck in my life. LUCKY becomes my favorite word!

At the outset, the book differentiates “chance” and “luck” – (words I used to think were closely related, and often used interchangeably), but according to Mr. Carr actually contains a world of difference and are only distant cousins. “Chance” is defined as the “unknown, or unidentified, cause of events not subject to calculation” while “luck” is the effect of “chance” in our lives.

Mr. Carr’s book is replete with various lucky people’s actual experiences that left me no doubt that good luck can be induced. It lies within our power to influence, not chance, certainly, but our relation to chance. And by that very fact, none of us can escape a measure of responsibility for our own luck. I began to see that in order to become known as one of the lucky ones, we need to develop a number of characteristics which have an especially close relationship to the workings of chance: zest and generosity, with their power to attract luck into our lives; alertness, self-knowledge, judgment, self-respect, and intuition – all of high value in the recognition of a favorable chances; and qualities of especial significance in our responses to chance - energy, confidence, and determination – imagination – and the courage, sense of proportion, and integrity that grow out of faith.

Yes, I am lucky! And as I continue to develop the qualities that relate to luck, I can well be on the way to a higher luck-potential. Taking Mr. Carr’s advised I pick for a beginning in luck-development a promising characteristic which is merely underdeveloped rather than one in which I am gravely deficient. As an example, I focused my energy in developing zest and generosity which acted as magnets and attracted favorable chances of becoming an in-house and corporate counsel at a fairly young age.

To be zestful is to have within our minds a secret and exhaustible fountain of youth, which could be attained either through a more productive reading, a hobby, a new experience or the broadening of our human contacts, according to Mr. Carr.

I was visiting my friend, Atty. Jon, at his office in Makati sometime in November 2003. I soon learned that he had been Almeda, Inc.’s in house-counsel for barely two years at that time (and would soon be leaving the company once appointed as a Fiscal). When I was ushered into his office, he was having a discussion with boss Edwin. The heated discussion revolves around eminent domain (a concept in law that the State can take a private property for public use). Jon introduced me to boss Edwin as his law school classmate and class valedictorian. That introduction invited interest in the eyes of boss Edwin. He then asked me of my thoughts on the eminent domain issue which I readily obliged. I do not remember now what I have said but that started my career in the company as its In-House Corporate and Litigation Counsel! Taking Mr. Carr’s word, here’s a quick completion of luck-cycle: the zestful me –the stranger boss Edwin – the favorable chance – the stroke of luck.

My generous spirit, on the other hand, paved the way for my present position. In June 2005, at my friend Brian’s request, I agreed to meet Karen and Wendy, American law students who were then doing internship in my current company’s Hongkong’s office and visiting the Philippines. The information their boss Jim Pollock learned from them brought some kind of a déjà vu to him of my name and positive description! (Deja vu is the feeling that one has seen or heard something before). Jim asked if I have time to do something for the Church’s corporation. I instinctively said yes even though I did not know exactly what he would possibly ask me do. But whatever that was I was very willing to do it, at no cost. About a month later, I got a phone call from Jim’s office and the rest is history. So again, quoting from Mr. Carr, “Selfishness invites bad luck, while our warm-spirited behavior tends to pull lucky chances toward us”.

“How to Attract Good Luck” is an excellent book that can serve as a blueprint for everyone. It did for me! I’ll learn that – any person can attract luck with almost mathematical certainty. It is simply a matter of one’s personality – an adequate self-image, a capacity for hard work, a careful self-evaluation and certain other attributes can change a negative and failure prone personality to a positive one that admits no defeat and recognizes that good luck is not an accident.

As I have seen from the book of Mr. Carr, the influence of chance on our luck is profoundly shaped by our own actions. Now that I have written about the book “How to Attract Good Luck” as an entry to My Favorite Book contest is in itself a chance. So to me --- good luck!

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