Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Of Death

(Photo source:

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde's untimely death came as a total surprise, as Jen was telling me about it on the way to ATC yesterday. I don't know the man personally. Heck, I don't even remember his face! Lol. I haven't read any of this articles nor watched him intently in the news.

OK, what actually caught me by surprise was the fact that he died alone in his bathroom at a very young age of 51. I haven't read or seen much news about his death (because I haven't been watching TV recently), but Jen was telling me that the Press Secretary lived alone here in Manila and that his family was based in Cebu. Upon hearing that, I thought that his passing was such a sad way to go; he died without his family by his side. And he lived his recent years just working and working away from his family.

Some of us, we work hard in building our careers or in engaging in our businesses. We sometimes fail to spend time with family and friends. We fail to create time for recreation. We think, "I'll just relax and spend time with friends and family when I retire from work. I'll have the time then." But this sudden passing of Remonde should remind us that time is of the essence and that life is truly short. We do not know when we'll go and how sudden or how prolonged death will come to us. The retirement age that we envision may not even come upon us. Our time may be up before we know it.

So live life NOW. Spend time with people who are important to you NOW. Yes, do not forget responsibilities, but do not also forget your loved ones. Try to always be happy and to feel blessed and grateful (I'm also saying this to myself! hehe).

Monday, January 18, 2010


(Photo source:

This is a long post. Brace yourself.

Yesterday was a day of correction for me (I think!).

Scenario 1: Morning Mass. The priest says "Tanggapin natin pagpapala ng Panginoon" as he always does. I was suddenly struck by this. It was like actually "hearing" what that statement meant.

Scenario 2: South Feast*. The reading was Hebrews 4:16. It went, "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." The only words that got to me were "approach with confidence and receive."

"Why all these scenarios?," you say. Well, I think I was being corrected yesterday for not being accepting of the blessings that are given to me.

Last week, I was chatting with Mazel regarding Jennina's donations. The latter was planning to give the kids a bottle of multivitamins EACH. So that's 35 bottles. And I was telling Mazel that I was nakokonsensya. I meant I'd be happy with just 15 to 20 bottles, but 35 was just way over the top. I was nakokonsensya that I'm asking for way too much.

Last Saturday night, I received an email from Ate Lyn, saying that she would be sending X amount to my account as her donation. And my reply was, "ha??? as in X amount??? ate lyn, sobra naman un. masaya na ko sa 500pesos. promise!!! baka wala ka na magastos sa new home mo.. naku naman..."

Last Friday, I received a pledge from Rechelle; she's going to donate all 8 boxes of juice drinks I needed. And I answered, "NO! ang mahal nun! maghati hati na kayo." Imagine someone saying NO to a great blessing. Ang wirdo di ba? Ako lang ang pwedeng maging ganyan ka-weird! I was just amazed and guilt-ridden as to the tremendous generosity that people have been showing me. I feel nakokonsensya because I feel like I'm robbing these people of too much until they assure me that it is OK.

It finally got OK with me, i.e., this great show of support and help, only yesterday. In the two scenarios above, it was like I was being reminded that, "Hey, you asked. So I'm giving it to you." I felt like I was belittling God's power to give. I forgot that I can ask BIG and I can receive BIG. The only problem with me is I ask but I'm NOT ready to receive. I feel like I do not deserve this huge kindness. And then I remembered that, heck, God is just good. Whether I deserve all these blessings or not, God will give and give. Nothing that I do or do not do will ever change His generosity. It is just plain His nature. Ang galing no?

So given that, I will not hesitate receiving anyone's help anymore. I will let God showcase His goodness. That means I am SO ready to receive your donations! hehehehe

*The South Feast, a weekly gathering of the Light of Jesus (LOJ) Community, happens every Sunday at Festival Mall Cinema 10 at 11am and at 3pm. It is led by Feast Builder/Main Preacher Arun Gogna.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dream Big!

(Photo source:

Last Tuesday, over lunch, one of my friends in the office expressed his desire of joining the academe. It has been a few years since he graduated from UP, and he has realized that he would like to teach History. He said that it was that one thing that he would like to do in life.

Throughout this revelation, we were just encouraging him to go and give it a shot. We told him to look up on how to gain education units, how long it would take, and possible schools or institutions where he can choose to study and to teach. I was telling him to go ahead and realize that dream.

That normal lunch discussion actually reminded me of what the Kerygma Conference (KCon) last November taught me: Dream BIG and realize that dream!

To most of us, we'd ask, "And just how do I do that?" or we'd say, "I don't have dreams. Dreams are for five-year-old Little Miss Philippines candidates answering the pang-pageant question 'What do you want to be when you grow up?'"

I asked and thought the same things, until KCon changed all of that. With this, I want to share my learnings from that relevant event. I will begin my KCon Dream Big series notes here really soon (as soon as I find those notes! haha).

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Birthday Katripan Update 02

Thank you to my new donors: Kittiekits, Ems, and Drigs, who are my sisters from SOLV, and Laie and Odee, who are my former officemates. They have pledged monetary support and donations for my birthday party.

Thank you also to Jen, my officemate, for donating 35 face towels and mini soap bars for the kids. I will add these to the lootbags. Thank you for keeping up with my being demanding. She asked me last night through SMS, "Do I need to wrap them pa?" And I replied, "Pwede? Para di na ko bibili ng pambalot.hehe" That was how demanding I was, but she was still OK with it. Thanks Jen!

Thanks friends! I will pray for you all. I still promise to offer a Divine Mercy chaplet to you for a month. Pramis yan!

For those who would want to donate to the Sarnelli Center for Street Children, just leave a comment here, and I will get in touch with you. Many thanks!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Kris Allen in Manila!

I wanna see this!!!

Shine Your Light

(Photo source:

On last night's The Correspondents:

Karen Davila: Two thousand pesos a month?

Efren Penaflorida: Hindi naman po ako nagstay for the money; this is for the kids. Tingin ko po eto ung calling ng Lord sa akin. Kung saan kang nilagay na darkness, you have to shine.. shine your light.

Very well said.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Birthday Katripan Update 01

I spent Sunday afternoon scouring the racks of Shopwise and SM Hypermarket, canvassing stuff to use for my birthday party. I had a list of things whose prices I need to check, among which are loaf bread; ice cream in tubs and in cups (of which I found none!); sandwich spread; and party cups, plates, and utensils. By the way, I checked all imaginable brands and flavors of juice drink in tetra packs. I definitely forgot that there are brands other than Zesto and flavors other than orange, mango, and grape! Lol.

After the edibles, I went checking different soap and toothpaste brands, and different kinds of rice (I didn't know there was sinandomeng, dinorado, long-grain, etc. whew!). After the party, I plan to donate toiletries and a sack of rice. I figured that they would need these as the Center accepts drop-in street children, who go there just to be fed and washed and after which go back to the streets. I found that to be a little sad, i.e., them going back, but I learned that it is always the child's choice if he/she wants to stay at the Center for good or not. Anyway, I thought the would-be donations would be good.

While listing and listing and listing each and every price, I was asking God to provide me the resources to buy those stuff. I will soon start a begging campaign. Lol. I just have to finalize the list of stuff that I would need.

Many thanks to Ate Karen, who replied immediately to my text last night, when I was asking her for help. She pledged money from her first paycheck this coming 15th. Thanks thanks!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The begging has just begun.

I was already losing hope last Friday night. Ask Mazel at how weird I was, crying at my workstation because I was so afraid I may not be able to pull this off.

Yes. It's official. I am WEIRD. I was crying over the fact that my initial budget would not suffice. I was worrying that I may not get support from friends, even before I had asked them for it. I was doubting that I will be blessed until...

- Leda promised to take care of the name tags and other printables, and to donate pencils for the loot bags;
- Mazel started the begging campaign for me, asking some of our bros and sis from SOLV to donate;
- Ate Lyn emailed me, saying that she will send money to help me;
- Charles, a SOLV bro, pledged help, asking me (through Mazel) my account number;
- Jennina informed me (again, through Mazel) that she may be able to get a couple of medicines for the kids at a discounted price.

And just this afternoon, Ate Ross and Ate Jeng pledged help and showed great support to this cause. Thanks to all of you! As promised, I will pray for each one of you the Divine Mercy chaplet for one whole month. Pramis yan!

To my other friends, wait til I begin begging from you too.hehe

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Filthy bug

Ouch! Sapol!

I have been in the doldrums for the past few days. Low self-esteem is slowly and menacingly creeping up to me like some virus that is eating me alive (OA but true! lol). For some friends I am constantly interacting with, this may be hard to believe. I appear to always be confident in my own skin and, as one friend had said yesterday, bubbly and cheerful. Yeah, I may send that kind of impression, especially to those close to me, but there are just some days when I don't feel like existing at all (weird huh? lol). It's those times when I don't want to get up from bed because I think nothing that spectacular is going to happen and I'll just be going about the same darn things the whole day. It's those times when I don't feel sure of myself, of what I'm doing, and of where I'm at. Sounds weird right? Well, I'm weird. Lol.

I have gotten around losing this weird perception a few months back, but I guess, when one's losing grip of what is true, the wrong ideas and the weird stuff come right back in, trying to instill negativity. Okay, nothing of this may make sense. What I just want to say is that my GodWhispers email is so true. I just have to see the goodness in the life that was given to me. I just have to look beyond what is lacking and realize that I am waaayyy blessed. I just have to learn to be grateful for everything. If I re-learn to do these, it's not me but that filthy low-self-esteem bug that will go down in the dumps!

P.S. If you what to receive encouraging words straight into your inbox for free, check out GodWhispersClub.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I am scared.

What the heck did I get myself into? I was asking myself that very question as I was riding a jeepney back to the office early this morning.

At about 10 AM this morning, I met with my friend Schelley at the Baclaran Church, where she serves as lector, to talk with the spiritual director of Sarnelli Center for Street Children. I was to ask permission to celebrate my birthday, which is this January, with the kids that they nurture there. Schelley, knowing almost everyone there and having served the kids often, introduced me to the people that I will be working with on this plan. I met with Kuya Bimbo and the others (I already forgot their names! lol), and I learned that this doesn't usually happen, I mean someone celebrating his/her birthday in the Center. Thus, they were pretty excited about it. They were so excited they were already thinking of getting the whole youth ministry involved with emcee-ing and facilitating the games, booking either the Romano Hall or the courtyard outside the center, talking tables and chairs, among many other things. Whew! All this time, I was just dumbfounded as to how "big" an event this is slowly becoming. And this left me INTIMATED.

There is no other word I can think of right now that can describe how intensely afraid I am that I may not be able to pull this off. By the time, Schelley and I parted ways, I wanted to go back inside the church and make my way toward the altar on my knees. Lol. I was already praying for God to provide for me the money to feed 35 kids ranging from 6 to 15 years old, 4 houseparents, 9 social workers, about 10 youth ministers, my friends, and myself. I was also to provide loot bags for the kids and prizes for the games. And if the budget doesn't allow it, I think I might need to scrap that idea I had of donating to the Center a box full of toiletries, including soap, toothpaste/brush, and other hygiene stuff. You can just imagine the ton of numbers circling inside my head as I did mental calculations during the ride back to the office. I think the math dried out my brain cells to point of wilting! Lol.

Haay. How am I going to do this? I only have a certain amount to spend. Dear Lord, help me raise enough money to get this party going. I just want the kids to have fun just this once and provide for them some of their basic needs. God, ikaw na bahala. We can do this. AJA!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Holidays galore!

This is a repost (Philippine Holidays for 2010! Time to mark those calendar):

Here is the schedule of Philippine holidays and long-weekends for 2010 based on RA 9492 and Proclamation 1841:
  • January 1 (Fri) - New Year's Day (five-day long weekend from December 30 to January 3)
  • February 22 (Mon) - EDSA Revolution Anniversary
  • April 1 (Thu) - Holy Thursday
  • April 2 (Fri) - Good Friday (four-day long weekend from April 1 to 4)
  • April 9 (Fri) - Araw ng Kagitingan (three-day long weekend from April 9 to 11)
  • May 1 (Sat) - Labor Day
  • June 14 (Mon) - Independence Day (three-day long weekend from June 12 to 14)
  • August 23 (Mon) - Ninoy Aquino Day (three-day long weekend from August 21 to 23)
  • August 30 (Mon) - National Heroes Day (three-day long weekend from August 28 to 30)
  • September - Eid'l Fitr (to be announced, calculated September 10, possible three-day long weekend from September 10 to 12)
  • November 1 (Mon) - All Saints Day (three-day long weekend from October 30 to November 1)
  • November - Eid 'l Adha (to be announced, calculated November 16)
  • November 29 (Mon) - Bonifacio Day (three-day long weekend from November 27 to 29)
  • December 24 (Fri) - Non-Working Holiday
  • December 25 (Sat) - Christmas
  • December 27 (Mon) - Rizal Day (four-day long weekend from December 24 to 27)
  • December 31 (Fri) - Non-Working Holiday
  • January 1 (Sat) - New Year's Day (three-day long weekend from December 31 to January 2)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Google Results

I suddenly had the urge to google my name this morning, and, along with my thesis paper, this was what I found. Read on.

Part 1

Part 2

I suddenly remembered sharing this in SOLV way back in March 2009, after the Crossroads Retreat that they facilitated in Tagaytay. I was so struck by the homily and the sharings of the other retreat participants that I had to share myself. I was contacted by Sis Aby, who was the Editor of The Vineyard, and asked me if it's ok if they print it. I hesistated a bit but then said yes. I never got a copy of the newsletter, so I thought they must have changed their minds, until Bro Dale ym-ed me and said that he read my testimonial. It was only now that I finally saw the copy of the newsletter.

They say that "In time, all wounds are healed." I say, it's just not just time, it's God time. In God's time, you will be healed of whatever hurts you. You just have to be open to His healing. That is the first step, but isn't the first step always the most difficult? But if you overcome that difficulty and open yourself to God's healing, expect that you will fully recover. Remember Romans 11:11:

Did God's people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not!

So you ask, "Will I be healed of this hurt/misery/failure?" There is your answer. wink

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's all Cotton Candy

January 1st. I was disposing ten year's worth of Candy and Seventeen Philippines magazines. (I started collecting them in March 1999!) I was scanning through some of them in the process and then found this:

Some crushes are like cotton candy--they look yummy and totally tempting. But when you actually get a taste, there's not much there. Suddenly, you're left with disappointment and no crush. Sometimes a crush should stay a crush and live as a delicious daydream. That way, you'll always have someone sweet to think about as you drift off to sleep.

I can't remember for which month, but this is from an issue of Seventeen Philippines. So what do you think? So true?

Monday, January 4, 2010


(Photo source:

I was reading yesterday's reflection in Didache. The prayer went

Lord, may I be a mirror that reflects Your glory. May others feel Your love through the acts of love I share with them. Amen.

Then I remembered receiving a text from our church group leader, asking us to respond to this question: How can you reflect God's glory this 2010?

This was my answer:
I'd like to think that God's glory is shown by His Great Love. By doing everything in life because we want to somehow reciprocate that Great Love, we become reflections of His Love and, thus, of His Glory. This year, as my way of doing that, I pray to be more generous with my time and talents for His service, more patient to those whom I don't always see eye to eye, and more understanding of difficult people. I know that this should be a daily commitment, but with prayer, this can be done.

I do not know if my answer is "correct." What I know is, when you do things to please the God who loves you so much, you already glorify Him. Your acts do not have to grand; you are not out to glorify yourself but to glorify Him. They just have to be meaningful and of pure intention. When you decide to be and work on being an obedient son/daughter, a trustworthy friend, a supportive parent, a helpful brother/sister, or an honest employee, you already glorify the God who made you. When the people around you say that you have been a blessing to them, you already make them see the God who provides abundance and creates wonders.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy People

(Photo courtesy of

I was checking on Liunize's blog and found this comment that I posted a few days back:
"The happiest people are those who do what they love doing and get paid doing it. We can be one of those people.
It may not be now, but we can work on it. It won't be easy, but it's not impossible. Never give up on the dream. AJA!"

Reposting it here because I want to tell myself the same thing now. Believe!