Biyernes, Disyembre 19, 2014

Bridgeport Connect


Rotary Exchange Student Malu Tiongson-Ortiz; 35 Years Later

By Julie Perine on January 27, 2014
Those who attended Bridgeport High School in the late 1970s may remember Malu Tiongson, a Rotary exchange student from the Philippines who shared her senior year with the class of ’78.
Pretty, personable and involved, she won the hearts of her peers, who elected her to the senior homecoming court. She was also a cast member of the senior class play and implemented her artistic talents by painting wall murals in the building. 
Thirty-five years later, Maul Tiongson-Ortiz is still a queen of hearts.  In her home of Pasig City in the Philippines, she is an artist, Christian writer and mother of three. It was her youngest child and only daughter, Clarissa, who changed her life and shed a brand new light on her talents. 
“I understood now God's purpose for giving me a child with special needs,” she said. “He gave me Clarissa to make me the person He wants me to be - to mold me, to draw me closer to Him, and to teach me to rely on Him for strength, and not on myself.”
When Clarissa, now 26, was 18 years old, Ortiz gave her career a backseat and committed all her time to mothering and teaching her daughter, who had been born with Down syndrome and bipolar disorder.
As Clarissa came into adulthood, it was discovered that she was also hearing impaired. Despite those setbacks, it turned out that Clarissa had a gift for art.
It was exciting to discover that the mother and daughter, who were spending their time together - and depending heavily upon sign language to communicate - shared a passion which they could pursue together.
“Art is gift from God,” Ortiz said. “There are no hard and fast rules in appreciating art, but God gave us a special gift because it is through art that we can communicate with each other and display (His) amazing work through our lives.”
The women had been blessed with the same gift, but with different abilities to display it.
“God gave (Clarissa) eyes to see colors and hands to paint incredibly beautiful artworks,” Ortiz said. “(He) gave me the gift to collaborate with her and interpret and finish her paintings.”
Through Clarissa, Ortiz said she has learned to put priorities in order and become the mom she never thought she could be. The journaling of their shared experiences has led to the book, "Embracing God's Purpose for My Special Child," penned by Ortiz and available here at Amazon. 
Her hands-on approach to mothering ultimately led Ortiz to vice-presidency of the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines.
“I am part of fundraising committee and help conduct early intervention seminars for new parents of children with Down syndrome,” said Ortiz, who also volunteers for counseling duties.
It is all by God’s grace, she said. God created Clarissa for a very special purpose.
“While I teach her the A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s, she teaches me the more important things in life such as unconditional love, patience, perseverance, contentment, simplicity etc.”
As 2014 begins to unfold, Ortiz continues to seek out ways she can use her gifts to glorify God and enable others see their own God-given talents. She hopes her soon-to-be-released book, “Ikaw na Ang Maganda: How to Be Beautiful Inside Out" does just that. In the book – which is bilingual (Tagalog and English) – Ortiz, also a makeup artist, shares not only how to apply cosmetics, but also kindness, gentleness, patience, goodness and other fruits of the spirit.
“(In 2014), I also want to grow in my spiritual walk, to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength,” she said. 
Read her "Clarissic Expressions" blog posts  HERE, where Clarissa's art gallery can also be viewed. 
After attending Bridgeport High School, Ortiz graduated from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. 


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Huwebes, Nobyembre 20, 2014

A MOTHER'S KIND OF BEAUTY BOOK (The kind of faith-based appeal that doesn't fade with time)

AUTHOR with her daughter
AUTHOR with her daughter
One of the chapters in OMF Publishing’s book, “Ikaw Na Ang Maganda,” by Malu Tiongson-Ortiz, mother, makeup artist, interior designer and advocate for parents of children with Down syndrome, talks about “18 Steps to Inner Beauty.”

She shares what she has learned from women. Excerpts:
Make God the center of your life, your top priority.

If your family is your No. 1 priority, there will be frustrations and a lot to worry about. If it’s work, you can get discontented and burn out. If your love life is your priority, you will end up feeling empty because husbands and boyfriends are only human. Money can destroy you and even your relationships. But if God is at the center of your life, He will bless your family, career, love life and finances—all for His glory.

Value family relationships.

The No. 1 command of God is that we should love Him. And His second most important commandment is that we should love others. Often, we show love to our family members based on our feelings. This is selfish love. We cannot expect to have a smooth relationship with our man or children if our priorities are distorted. People can sense whether we value them or not. But if we prioritize other things above our family relationships, we will one day feel empty and dissatisfied.

Give cheerfully.

“IKAWNa Ang Maganda,” by Malu Tiongson-Ortiz
“IKAWNa Ang Maganda,” by Malu Tiongson-Ortiz
Generous people will be blessed because they allow God to use them as a channel of blessing to others. Giving grudgingly is not giving at all. When we give cheerfully, our hearts experience a certain joy that will be manifested in our aura.

This joy puts a smile on our face and on the face of the recipient. Remember: Generosity is not only about giving financially. It also means generously giving of one’s time and talents.
Eat right.

Lahat naman tayo ay mahilig kumain—but not all food is good and healthy for us. We need to let go of unhealthy food and junk food. These can give us health problems. Because our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and because we are the stewards of our bodies, we need to take care of it and eat what is right. Ang kasabihan nga ay “Eat to live, not live to eat!”

Have a good sense of humor. Laughter is the best medicine. Many think that when a person becomes a Christian, nawawala na ang sense of humor niya. This is not true. God wants us to find joy and laughter as we live each day in His presence. We have to fill our hearts and minds with things that are pure and admirable, and God certainly wants us to be joyful.

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Linggo, Setyembre 21, 2014

"Ikaw Na Ang Maganda" (How to be beautiful inside and out)

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.  Instead, it would be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."  1Peter 3:3-4

I just launched my second book, "Ikaw na and Maganda," (How to be beautiful inside and out) on September 17, 2014 at Manila International Book Fair at SMX.

This book will give you practical tips on how to enhance your physical beauty.  But in the bigger picture, we women must realize that we do not have to invest so much money in beauty products in order to look beautiful.  The Bible tells us hat being beautiful is not about looks.  Now, I am reminded of Miriam Quiambao, a beauty queen who is a friend of mine.  She's tall, beautiful, sexy and yet, at one point in her life, she was not happy.  She's not the only woman who feels this way--- many other beautiful women have almost everything and yet, they are depressed and insecure.

There is something more to being beautiful on the outside, something that, in the eyes of God, is even more valuable.  This is called inner beauty.  In such a woman, we can see in her eyes and in the way she speaks that she has a good heart.  Her aura radiates, and the sincerity of her heart and her kindness cannot be ignored.   We can see Jesus in her.  

This book is about having inner beauty, the beauty that truly lasts.  May this book be a guide to enhancing your outer and inner beauty.

In Christ,

*Ikaw Na Ang Maganda" paintings by Clarissa and Mommy Malu...

MIBF 2014 Preview: Ikaw Na Ang Maganda by Malu Tiongson-Ortiz

Take a quick peek at one of our titles to be launched during the Manila International Book Fair this September 17-21 at the SMX Convention Center

Ikaw Na Ang Maganda (How To Be Beautiful Inside and Out) by Malu Tiongson-Ortiz

Sometimes you can’t help thinking, “I want to be beautiful too!” It’s when you see the models on billboards. It’s when you notice wrinkles and greying hair. It’s when you want to be attractive to your boyfriend or husband.

How can one become beautiful? That’s not a shallow question. This friendly and honest book will teach you how to enhance your outer at inner beauty. Learn from Malu Tiongson-Ortiz as she shares helpful tips in applying makeup, as well as woman-to-woman advice on how to have lasting inner beauty.

Learn how to have beauty inside and out. And learn how to make it last.

Topics include:

Bakit name-makeup ang mga babae?
Paano bang mag-makeup?
The five basic makeup looks
Your self-worth
What makes you ugly?
What makes you beautiful?
18 Steps to Inner Beauty
Look at what some people had to say about the book:
“Good makeup enhances a person’s physical beauty, but real beauty comes from within. This is the joy and peace that is the priceless reward of a relationship with the only One who can give real beauty, Jesus Christ. This book you’re holding comes from a writer who knows all about it. “
- Kuh Ledesma, Singer, Actress and Fashion Designer

“Looking for a book on how to be truly beautiful? This is it! Charmingly written, not only is this book full of make-up tips to enhance outer beauty, it also offers helpful advice and testimonies on how to cultivate true and lasting inner beauty.”
– Deonna Tan-Chi, Pastor’s wife, married to Peter Tan-Chi, (Senior Pastor of Christ’s Commission Fellowship)

“I love Malu’s style of writing! Very NOW —Taglish, easy to read, like she is just talking in front of you. A true artist who appreciates beauty, Malu writes with wisdom from experience and from Scripture. This book is also seasoned with insights from women who have grappled with the true essence of beauty, and from men who appreciate inner beauty more than the external. Surely, charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (Proverbs 31:30)! This book is a must-read for both women and men alike. ”
– Kata Inocencio, Vice President, CBN Asia

This book is written in conversational Taglish and will SOON be available at OMF Lit Bookshops and OMF Lit E-shop (print) and through Amazon, Buqo, Flipreads and Kobo (ebook).

Miyerkules, Hulyo 16, 2014

Ayala Mall, Cebu Art Exhibit by Clarissa

CLARISSA art exhibit at Ayala Mall, Cebu

Clarissa, a painting exhibit set in Ayala

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

FROM July 18 to 25 at The Gallery of the Ayala Center Cebu, catch “Clarissa,” a self-titled painting exhibit that shares the thoughts and feelings of young artist Clarissa Tiongson Ortiz.
Clarissa is a young adult with Down Syndrome who is hearing-and speech-impaired, physically disabled and bipolar. She is the daugher of Malu Tiongson-Ortiz, author of “Embracing God’s Purpose for my Special Child.” Her mother, a fine arts graduate majoring in interior design, home-schooled her from the age of 18.
“When I began to home-school her six years ago, I repeatedly taught her at home what she had been taught in school and in her speech therapy class. I continued to pray for my daughter’s ability to speak. She hasn’t spoken except to say ‘Papa,’ but that one word gives me every reason to persevere and trust that God will not fail me. I thank the Lord for giving me the ability to draw and paint. I am able to teach my daughter through the talent that God has given me. For her to understand what I am teaching, I have to draw everything. I had no other way to teach her except through pictures and signs and have been delighted to discover Clarissa’s artistic ability.
She is truly gifted!” shares Mommy Malu.
At the age of 15, Clarissa started copying her mother’s drawings of men and women, and drew herself stylized portraits of family members and friends, prompting others to say that her portraits are reminiscent of those somewhat exaggerated portraits by Picasso.
She uses vibrant colors and chooses amazing color combinations in her oil pastel and acrylic paintings.
Parenting talk
Clarissa and Mommy Malu make collaborative paintings. Clarissa cannot finish a painting without Mommy Malu’s help, and Mommy Malu cannot start a painting without Clarissa’s help.
“God is good. He gave Clarissa eyes to see colors and hands to paint,” said Mommy Malu, who will also hold a special parenting talk and book signing on July 25, Friday, from 1-3 p.m. at The Gallery.
In line with the celebration of PWD (person with disability) Awareness Month, Ayala Center Cebu, in partnership with the Cebu Provincial Government, Gualandi Volunteer Service Programme Inc., and the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines Inc., has lined up a series of activities, talks, exhibits and events to celebrate diversity by promoting dignity, respect and inclusiveness for the PWDs community.
With the theme, “Breaking Barriers; Opening Doors,” the month-long festivity aims to empower the PWD sector through a series of events and activities.
For inquiries, one may contact (032) 232-0380. For the latest updates, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter and Instagram @AyalaCenterCebu.