The Hope That Faith Brings Through Adversity

I would like to share the takeaway for this year’s Midyear Prayer and Fasting in church. ❤

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Be Renewed: Midyear Prayer and Fasting, Women’s Summit 2019

I find it timely for events such as the Midyear Prayer and Fasting and the Women’s Summit to take place this month and next month just when circumstances for the past weeks demanded nothing but tons of prayers and a lot of faith. God is always the God of perfect timing, eh? 😉

I also felt the urge to send an invite to all the women who shared the predicament they are in right now when it comes to the concubinage/adultery case I posted 4 months ago. Until now it is being re-shared across Facebook and I still get comments mostly from married women about their husband’s infidelity.

I did reply to some of the comments by sharing the website of the Public Attorney’s Office where they can seek legal counsel over their situation for free or for a minimal fee. But I know the best that I can only do is to pray for them – pray for ways how they can be healed, how their marriages will be restored, and how I can connect them to a spiritual family.

I also know how it felt to be in a “dark” situation 6 years ago when I wasn’t a born-again Christian yet. It was also faith that brought me out into the light and gave me a new hope and a fresh start in life. I have high hopes they will also experience freedom from their past and salvation that only God can provide.

I shared that particular post not because my husband and I went through the same thing but I just felt I had to. I thought the Women’s Summit event, which will be held in our church at Victory Fort, came just in time for women to uplift fellow women and pray for those who are in dire need of prayers.

I hesitated sending the invite tho to each one of them thinking it might come intrusive and just settled with sharing it publicly on my profile instead. I hope they will see the post and attend the event because I know it is only the church and the spiritual family who can help them get through a tough ordeal just like how they helped me get through mine. 🙏

To all those who are interested to attend the Women’s Summit event on August 10, 2019 from 9:00 am to 12 noon, you may register online here: https://victoryfort.org/ws2019/. ❤

From a sister in Christ who mourns and prays for fellow sisters who are afflicted,

LAYA 2019: The Arts and Music Festival That Was

Hello, my beloved readers! My apologies for the long hibernation here on WordPress. I had a lot of things going on lately. But I promised myself I can never miss a post here on my blog. So, for my comeback article, I’ve decided to share a photo essay instead.

Hubby and I weren’t able to celebrate our wedding anniversary nor went out on a summer vacation as a couple last year because we had a lot of constraints. This year, we were given the opportunity to have a summer getaway and I told my husband this will be our advance wedding anniversary, too. lol Do take note though that we were married on August 17. 😀

While I enjoy traveling, the practical me would still want to save money for other (more important) things. It’s a good thing hubby also shares the same sentiments with me. Since we saved up for this vacation, I told my husband that it has to be a collective experience and we’re not just going to have a summer vacation for the sake of Instagram-worthy photos. Because we can do that at any time of the year.

I had no idea where I will find an event that’s going to give us a collective summer experience but maybe God heard my prayers because I stumbled upon the LAYA Arts and Music Festival. This was our first ever music beach festival that we attended so I must say that the experience was indeed one for the books in our travel adventures as a couple. Do continue reading and find out why. 😉

LAYA Arts and Music Festival (May 31-June 2, 2019)

Day 1

We left Manila at 6:30 am and arrived in Zambales at 11:00 am exactly under the midday sun, which was perfect for taking photos of the event place. The art booths were also set up but hubby and I decided to take a nap by the beach first and stroll around. I haven’t slept the night before but I guess the excitement just got me going. 😉

Came nighttime, there was a short drizzle before the night one concert started. But it didn’t stop the crowd from enjoying the music performed by the awesome lineup of talented artists such as Ben and Ben.

For our accommodation, we availed the “Glamping” package at Crystal Beach Resort. The resort’s glamping feature exceeded my expectations. It’s very comfortable set up with a light bulb, a fan, two comfy mattresses, toiletries, blankets, pillows, a locker, a socket, a wet clothes rack, and your own set of benches and a table.

Our tent was also pitched facing the beachfront so it was such an adorable sight for us either at daytime or during nighttime. The resort has quite a number of bathrooms, showers, wash areas, and comfort rooms in every corner of the campsite. Though there were a lot of guests during the event, there’s no need to wait in line and they keep the wash areas clean always.

We had buffet breakfasts as part of our event package and if you’re going to buy food from the resort’s restaurant, their serving is good for sharing at an affordable price. But if you prefer a cheaper alternative, the Bamboo Food Strip located just outside the resort offers your regular Pinoy favorites such as ihaw-ihaw, snacks, and lutong bahay.

The resort doesn’t allow any single-use plastic inside the site so this means you will have to surrender all the chips and bottled water or soft drinks you brought with you at the entrance.

This is part of the resort’s effort to keep the beach clean and plastic-free, which is why I totally love Crystal Beach Resort. I believe this is one advocacy that all resorts can adopt to better protect our environment.

This is actually more effective, I think, than doing a beach cleanup every now and then to lessen the plastic waste. As they say, “prevention is better than cure.”

Day 2

For the second day, the activities were jam-packed with a long lineup of fun things to do and hubby and I felt we just had so little time to try them all. What we’re able to try out though are the Drum Circle workshop hosted by Anima Tierra and the Tie-Dye workshop facilitated by Yana Ofrasio.

They are such talented and amazing artists. Brian and I were very excited about how our chosen designs in the tie-dye workshop will turn out. To our surprise, the outcome of my chosen design kind of looked like a Cross (orange and purple). It does look like a Cross, right? 😀

Aside from the Drum Circle and Tie-Dye Workshops, the following are the other daytime activities:

– Flow Arts Session
– Sound Bath Session
– Yoga Session
– LAYA Talks on mental health, gender equality, etc.

– Mask-making Workshop

Watercolor Workshop
– Dream Catcher Workshop

For the night two concert, something amazing happened and that I will share in the next article about miracles. Oh, and before that, we had the Sunset Bonfire Jam and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. 😉

Day 3

This was our free time and we can do anything we wish while waiting for our check-out time at 2:00 pm. We just spent it basking under God’s beautiful creations – sea, sun, and nature.

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We would like to thank Travel Factor for arranging everything for us and making sure we enjoyed the LAYA event from Day 1 until Day 3 as well as for the freebies! ❤

Always enjoying God’s creations may it be the sea or the mountains,

P.S.

Hubby and I availed the round-trip bus transfers from Manila to Zambales and vice versa just to get the summer vibe with fellow campers and festival goers. It was fun but we’ll bring the car next time for a change. 😀

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P.S. (2)

Thank God for a hubby who just waits for me patiently all the time. ❤ Indeed, he has a master’s degree in waiting. hahaha Nah, that is why I love my man to pieces. I just assured him that ladies are really like that. It’s part of every husband or boyfriend’s duties to wait for their ladies in anything – long shopping, long time taking a bath, long time dressing up, etc. He posted in his FB Stories the photo below with a written text. 😀

When Your Writing Becomes Unintentionally Funny | My 3 Writing Bloopers

We all know how bloopers are all like. They’re that after-credit multiple retakes of some scenes in a movie. Or that hidden camera video logs of pranks-turned-entertainment shows. Or it can be that plain embarrassing moment of doing something that you didn’t even plan on doing but still ended up doing it.

In writing, there are also bloopers. Yes, they may come in the form of mistakes but instead of eliciting a displeased reaction from your audience, they ended up laughing over the mistake. Or let’s say, I ended up rolling on the floor laughing because of my own mistake. 😀

So, here’s my list of writing bloopers which I’m sure you’ll be able to relate to one way or another. Laughing is permissible on these grounds. I allow it as long as I don’t hear it. —-> lol 😀

Because Laughter is the Best Medicine | The Fun in Writing Bloopers

1. “Gaaaah!!! What is THAT WORD doing there?!?!”

Yes, this is precisely the moment when you’re done publishing a post but because you were too sleepy or feeling unwell, you just went ahead and wrote a “quick” and yet sloppy article. Only then did you realize your mistake after it’s been published for hours a.k.a. a lot of people have already seen your errors. You know it can be the end of your reputation as a writer or even your writing career when you’ve got misplaced words inappropriately used all over your content both in structure and in context.

The best word to describe this phenomenon? It is this – C.R.I.N.G.E. 😀

2. When distractions hit you hard.

This is partly connected to item #1 and also the reason why I love to write in solitude where I have minimal distractions. I don’t work in cafes but work inside the comfort of my own room/office instead. If I’m going to be working in a company’s office, I’d probably request for a work station facing a white wall. And no, not because I am being punished.

But because I’d like to avoid that moment wherein an object, a person, or a situation caught your attention while you were writing or typing something. The next time you read what you typed, whatever object, person, or situation you saw, they are now part of your story and they’re totally unrelated to the topic. Think of a tiny plant growing in the middle of a skyscraper made of pure concrete, that’s basically it. 😀

3. When it’s just all gone.

Now, this blooper may be a blooper to me at first, but I usually end up crying (this is an exaggeration, of course) afterward. Not tears of joy but that of desperation and anguish. I am very sure this happened to all of us regardless if it happened back when you were a student or as a working professional now.

It is that ever blooper of being too eager to start on your article, forgetting to save the document, deciding to do something while in the middle, closing your laptop and hurriedly clicking a reply to a prompt, and then asking yourself later on, “Oh wait, what was that prompt all about again?”

And the worst part is realizing you selected the “No” button for “Do you want to save the document?”.

The way I describe this feeling while laughing and crying at the same time is this – NOOOOOOO. I now hate my laptop. And myself. And the world. 😀

Writing is not just about grammatical errors. It can also be a whole lot of fun and laughter. I am sure you’re going to laugh at me now if accidentally deleting written content you’ve been working on for hours is my idea of fun. It is a horrifying mistake and must be avoided at all times. But I just try to see the good side of it thinking maybe that write-up wasn’t meant to be published.

Or better yet, the new version will be delivered in a better way because the ideas are still fresh on your head and yet the situation may have presented you a different angle on how to attack the topic. Think of it as an auto-correct where the system just deleted your entire work because its quality is subpar. With the first item, it’s a lesson learned to edit and do more editing even if it’ll take hours before the article goes live.

How about you? Do you have other writing bloopers aside from the ones I mentioned above? I’d like to hear your experiences, too. Don’t worry, I won’t laugh at you. That is, without your permission. 😀

Always writing for the sake of writing,

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Pasig City In 2019 And Beyond

There was one time my dear husband suggested about getting our own home. I told him that it wouldn’t be a feasible idea because as I see it, God is calling us to be nomads for now – hold no permanent residence. 🙂

My siblings and I used to rent an apartment in Cubao and we’ve stayed there since 1998. When my husband and I got married back in 2015, we decided to stay there, too, since I was the only one left to manage the place. Come 2017, hubby and I decided to move to Makati City close to his workplace – he used to travel for a minimum of 6 hrs from Cubao to Makati City and vice versa. My family then decided to keep the apartment in Cubao, though nobody stayed there anymore, as a storage place for all our belongings and furniture.

In 2018, my sister was able to buy a condominium unit in Pasig City and my family decided to transfer all of our things from Cubao to Pasig. Since there’s a yearly rental increase in our Makati condo unit and my sister also lives in Norway, hubby and I decided to leave Makati and relocate to Pasig after agreeing with my sister that we’ll shoulder the condo’s association dues and utility fees and handle the upkeep of the place.

This was also the reason why I couldn’t settle with an office job in the past how many years. But God has been faithful enough to provide me with other means of income by being a remote worker. I took a lot of risks though and yet this has always been my prayer:

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Officially A Pasigueño

My husband and I can now officially call ourselves as Pasigueños because this will be our semi-permanent residence. And yet, I told him that I don’t see ourselves staying here until we grow old. There are just so many endeavors and visions that God is calling us to fulfill in the future.

After finally settling here in Pasig City last year, it didn’t cross my mind that the mid-term elections will be held a year after. For 27 years, the city has been under the ruling of a political dynasty – the Eusebios. But with the recent mid-term elections, that long-term reign was ended by a 29-year old councilor from Pasig who’s the opposing candidate for the mayoral position.

I did my research on now Mayor Vico Sotto and he does carry the right credentials though political analysts referred to him as somewhat too young and a bit inexperienced to hold the position as a mayor. But while watching all his interviews during the campaign period, I can tell that he was called to hold the spot at just the right time. It is true that he doesn’t have the campaign machinery compared to the Eusebios, and yet, there is something about him that made the people decide to vote for him.

We cannot dismiss the fact though that he is good-looking being the son of popular showbiz personalities, Ms. Coney Reyes and Mr. Vic Sotto (all ladies will agree here). This can be one reason why he won but it was evident in all his interviews that he wasn’t interested to be on the showbiz limelight. His campaign efforts were also simple without the usual full entertainment lineup of famous showbiz personalities though he has the means to do so.

In all fairness to the Eusebios, I haven’t stayed here in Pasig for a long period of time to speak about how they have ruled the city in the past 27 years. Just like in the Bible, God allows certain rulers to lead a kingdom and ends their reign in His perfect time, too, to satisfy His greater purpose.

History Repeating Itself – David and Goliath

But what got everybody interested in the race for the mayoral position between Mayor Vico Sotto and former Mayor Bobby Eusebio is its similarity to the David-Goliath story in the Bible. Here is a more experienced, bigger victor who’s challenged by a younger, less experienced opponent. And just like how the story in the Bible ended, David won.

On a side note, I am also in this season where I am desperate for God’s wisdom because circumstances, yet again, called for another big decision. I asked for His will and His instructions asking Him to clear my heart from any motives that might displease Him. And to reveal a part of His plans as well as the sacrifices that I need to make even if it means going against what most people would have wanted, losing “worldly privileges,” and not being on par with the world’s standards. His answer came from the story of David found in this verse:

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Going back to Mayor Vico Sotto, he wants to end the trend of political dynasties and he already promised he won’t be staying long in the seat of power because he only wanted to leave a legacy. The way I see it, it is like David training a successor in the likes of Solomon. If Mayor Vico doesn’t plan on being the mayor of Pasig for a couple of terms, I am praying he will have a successor who will also follow in his footsteps (God-led ways) and fulfill God’s plans.

It’s just amazing how the scene where David came out of hiding and stepped up to regain the throne that King Saul left when he and his son died was very similar to Mayor Vico Sotto’s statement why he’s running for mayor – no one else was contesting the spot and he felt he has to do it. The way I see it, though, it is only the start of the many trials that the new mayor will encounter in facing even “bigger Goliaths.” And this is the part where I would like to cover him with prayers for protection, guidance, strength, courage, and most of all faith in God and God alone.

What Pasig Can Expect From The New Mayor

While listening to him share his political agendas and platform, I was relieved to find out that he is focusing on social development. This includes improving the healthcare privileges of Pasigueños and in engaging the citizens not just in the civic and social affairs but also in the political agenda of the local government such as the “Freedom of Information” bill or the Pasig Transparency Mechanism Ordinance, which he passed last year as one of the city’s councilors. It is also good to note that he promised not to remove all the existing programs implemented by the previous mayor but to enhance them further.

While doing this article at work (I love my editor for being a blessing to me in so many ways), I also came across the Youth Development Center in Pasig. I did my research and found out that it is a facility that provides educational support to underprivileged youths and offers assistance when it comes their social development. They provide free workshops in music, theater, arts, culinary, etc.

It is among my long list of plans, God willing, to hold a free writing workshop for kids or teens and I thought that this is one great opportunity. I just pray that this is also one of the city’s programs that will receive the local government’s full support.

Serve the Country By Serving the Community

I always have a heart for community outreaches and social services. I’ve been volunteering in the community outreach programs organized by our church and even by other organizations in the past. This is the least that we can do to help our community and not rely on our government alone.

When it comes to assessing the political agendas of our government officials, I also hope this will be our mindset – they do not have that one-solution-for-all program where every single problem in the community will be addressed and resolved overnight. If the society thinks that we have failed leaders in the past, methinks they have also served a good purpose in God’s plan.

From the perspective of a Christian, changes happen depending on God’s timeline and according to His plans. Though He appoints leaders, some of which we presume as “bad” according to our standards, and yet with God, it doesn’t seem to be that way.

A Better Life For All

If we want to aim for a better community and a better life, it has to be a collective effort between the people and the government. I am praying for a government whose best interest is to uplift the lives of its constituents and who fears God most of all.

Yes, Mayor Vico Sotto may have promised he will only hold the office for a certain period of time as he is not in favor of political dynasties. And yet, I know God has His own timeline for every government official and political leader.

In cases where His plans aren’t fulfilled because of our own free will, He will also make a way to appoint in due time those who rightfully reign and this includes preparing the right successors among the next generations of servant leaders.

“For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9

I believe the time has already come for the transition to take place when it comes to passing the baton from the generations of”Baby Boomers” and Gen X, to the Gen Y or the millennials and Gen Z. But let’s not forget that we are who we are because of the people who came before us. And we won’t accomplish anything if it is apart from what God wants to be done. 🙂

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

Praying for the best in Philippine politics this 2019,

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All About Leadership: Which One Fits You? | 3 Types of Leaders

I initially have no idea how this inclination to research about leaders started. My guess is that the experiences, circumstances, and opportunities that came along for this season probably have something to do with it.

While editing this article though a couple of days later, I realized that the Philippine general election this year (midterm election) has just concluded and a new set of government leaders are to enter office by June 2019.

I am usually mum when it comes to politics and everything involved with it. My husband is usually the one who shares his complaints about politics and why he doesn’t vote. His reason was that his one vote won’t mean anything against the greater percentage of Filipinos who will vote for the wrong candidates.

I also don’t vote but only because I haven’t felt the need to do so. And yet in the coming elections, I hope to participate as a voter and use this privilege as a citizen of this country. A privilege to a few citizens of this world actually as it is the cause of bloodshed and uprising in some countries just so they can exercise their right to vote.

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How Our Leaders Have Fared Throughout History

I believe it’s a given that we cannot change the government now no matter how much we rally against them and show them their incompetencies and what they lack. This might sound less convincing coming from someone who graduated from a university that is popularly known as a breeding ground for activists. But for the record though, I didn’t attend any single one of the student-organized rallies in our school opposing how the government runs.

I told my husband that decades have already passed and activists still fight for the same causes and ask the same demands from the government. I see rallies as good, though. Why? It raises awareness on the social and political problems that our country faces each day for decades already, centuries even.

And yet decades have passed, too, and still, nothing happened. All their pleas fell on deaf ears. Corruption is still there, for one, among other third-world problems. Maybe it is about time we bring that change through our own efforts. God also has a good purpose why He allowed the appointment of our government officials now and though we have a choice on who to vote, we cannot really dictate the results of the election.

Start The Change, Be The Change

The kind of change that we can instill is how we raise the next generation of leaders. Are we going to raise them wherein fear of the Lord matters more than anything else? Are we going to raise future citizens who are going to be men and women of integrity even if it means going against the system? Will these future leaders remain true to their calling even if persecution comes and their lives will be at stake a la Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? Can we raise a generation of future leaders who are idealists and yet not of this world but of a higher standard which is that of God’s? Can we raise future leaders who will serve God first and their countrymen next?

I believe my stumbling upon the different types of leaders came by no accident. It is not just for the purpose of identifying different leaders but knowing the ones who honor God first and second, possess the leadership traits that our society, as a whole, needs.

The Different Types of Leaders

I found several types of leaders but just an overview, each of them has his/her own strengths and weaknesses and satisfies a particular need in every organization. I thought it best to discuss in this article the ones that will benefit an organization on a holistic level.

I came across transformational leadership through a Linkedin article and I was reminded of it again after a getaway with my college best friends. It was out of curiousity then that made me question the difference between a transformational leader and a visionary leader. I did my research and found these helpful links about their definitions and the delineations between each type.

What Is Visionary Leadership? | 7 Traits of A Visionary Leader

What Is Transformational Leadership? (The Benefits and Impact)

Charismatic Leadership: The Good, Bad, and Best Practices

Charismatic and Transformational Leadership: Characteristics, Similarities, and Differences

Are You A Visionary Business Leader?

Visionary Transformational Leadership Model

Future Leaders Need Mentors

Given all these, what the generation of future leaders needs from us now are mentors who uphold these values and leadership traits, live them out, and lead people towards God. Who are the figures of authority we see in our organizations now that are not driven by money, worldly success, and selfish gain?

It is my prayer that more and more of these people will be exposed to the limelight that they may become the salt and light to the youth. It is my belief that if we want to change how our government runs, it is not through ousting the current officials. But it is through honing the next set of leaders and learning from the mistakes committed by our leaders today.

Each and every one of us has a role to play. It is not just through our votes alone. It is more about our participation in raising the future leaders who will one day assume office in God’s appointed time.

I don’t involve myself in all the political bickering because every system has its own flaws. All we can only do is to learn from the failures of our system and our generation now and hope, pray, and involve ourselves in making sure the future generations won’t suffer the same fate.

You Are A Leader

Better yet, let us be the leader that God wants us to be in our homes, in school, at work, and in our communities. I see every individual who is part of an older generation as a leader because they have the wisdom and experiences that the younger generations don’t have (yet). There is no apprentice if there is no master, so to speak, and vice versa.

We don’t need a title to lead people. If we are called to make disciples, then that means God has already appointed us to be a leader not just inside the church but more importantly, outside our spiritual family. Every one of us is a born leader regardless of the status, background, and capabilities. This is our calling and whether we accept it or not, God’s purpose for us will still lead us to lead others.

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12

“Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith.” – Hebrews 13:7

I’d like to end this article by leaving this question for us to ponder:

“As a leader of today’s generation, what does God want us to do now with the resources, knowledge, and skills bestowed upon each one of us?”

Making disciples and leading through this blog,

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Transformational Leadership with God, Nature, and People in Mind: Not Your Ordinary Hike @ Mount Purro Nature Reserve

“GNP – God. Nature. People.”

Oftentimes, the first thing that comes into our minds when we think of GNP is related to economics – Gross National Product. At Mount Purro Nature Reserve, it refers to “God, Nature, and People.”

My college buddies and I have been planning for a get-together/quick getaway after not seeing each other for 2 years. We did make it a habit to meet at least once a year. But tight schedules and commitments made it impossible for us to organize a get-together for the last 2 years.

For this year, one of my college buddies, Ja, suggested going on a day tour hike at Mount Purro Nature Reserve as we can only allow a day’s worth of catching up and unwinding from the daily stresses in our lives. So we made a reservation in advance and readied ourselves for the getaway.

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Mount Purro Nature Reserve is just an hour ride away from Metro Manila. It’s the perfect spot for anyone who wishes to unwind without going through the hassle of long travels. When we arrived, there were already guests checked in the night before and there were also other groups waiting for the day tour.

After presenting our vouchers, a guide rounded us up and showed us a video for a brief orientation and background of the place wherein the owner discussed how MPNR came to be. Our other college friend, Mench, is an Economics graduate and I’m sure the GNP concept struck a chord in her (right, Mench? 😀 ). I’m also guessing that the owner of the place, Sir Toto Malvar, who is a former corporate employee, may have also worked in a similar industry before deciding to pursue the project. I need to research more on this though. But for more of MPNR’s mission, you may check out their website at https://www.mountpurronaturereserve.com/our-story.

After the orientation, we prepared for the hike and the guide asked us to get our own stick/wooden staff, which we will use later on when we descend from the mountain. I, being the remote worker that I am and a homebody, honestly did not prepare for the hike. I was expecting a normal hike with trails that aren’t too steep. But lo and behold, when I saw the mountain, I had no choice but to face one of the most challenging hikes in my entire human history. 😀

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The hike was the first activity in the day tour’s itinerary – a 1-hour trail going up to the Malvar’s Peak and another hour coming down. Some hikers took advantage of a tree-planting session, which is part of a different day tour package at MPNR. But there are also some of us in the group who wanted to back out and head towards the camp. With the guide’s encouragement though, we all made it to the top. Hooray! I guess we all deserved a nice pat at the back and of course, kudos to our ever patient guide. 😊👍

After the climb that sure made all our limbs shaky and our tummies hungry, we witnessed the traditional cooking of the locals from the Dumagat tribe. They used bamboo poles cut into several parts to make improvised pots before roasting them over the fire. I must say that eating bamboo-cooked rice and sour pork stew is, by far, one of my most memorable experiences when it comes to interacting with the locals of a particular community. The first one was during my immersion back in 2013, which was a part of the requirements in one of my college Anthropology classes. As a souvenir from this recent experience and because I also love to cook, I bought one ladle made from a molave tree and handcrafted by the Dumagats.

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After the hike, a line-up of Filipino dishes that are truly Pinoy welcomed us for our buffet lunch. It’s just the perfect meal for someone who’ve used up all the energy from the hike and the perfect way to enjoy a native Filipino cuisine at their nipa-hut-inspired restaurant. Their buffet lunch starts at 12:00pm until 2:00pm, half of which we spent catching up with the happenings in our lives. At around 3:00pm, we decided to swim at Mount Purro’s swimming pool to cool ourselves down from the summer heat.

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The experience, I must say, is one for the books compared to all my other travel adventures. It’s because MPNR was able to integrate all three successfully: God, nature, and people – by raising awareness on how to sustain nature, by helping the community through livelihood opportunities, and by honoring God through the first two.

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Sir Toto Malvar actually made it to my list of mentors and influential people. That is, when it comes to the family project that my siblings and I have felt in our hearts to pursue in God’s perfect time. My other mentor is Sir Dodong Cacanando. What these two mentors have in common is their desire to honor God by being good stewards of His greatest gift – nature. And by doing so, help others (most especially the local community) benefit from the endeavor.

I see them both as “transformational leaders” based on what I’ve read in this article by the Harvard Business Review entitled “What The Best Transformational Leaders Do” and supported by this article from CIO, “What is Transformational Leadership? A Model For Motivating Innovation.

Wikipedia defines it as:

Transformational leadership is a theory of leadership where a leader works with teams to identify needed change, creating a vision to guide the change through inspiration, and executing the change in tandem with committed members of a group;[1] it is an integral part of the Full Range Leadership Model. Transformational leadership serves to enhance the motivation, morale, and job performance of followers through a variety of mechanisms; these include connecting the follower’s sense of identity and self to a project and to the collective identity of the organization; being a role model for followers in order to inspire them and to raise their interest in the project; challenging followers to take greater ownership for their work, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers, allowing the leader to align followers with tasks that enhance their performance.

To cap off the experience and end this article, I can say that indeed, building a business on faith is more like building your business on a solid foundation. Putting God at the center of our endeavors just makes everything we do worthwhile and helps us better appreciate the people who matter to us most – family, friends, and the community. 🙂

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

A hiker with God as the guide,

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P.S. Thanks to sis Mench for some of the photos! ❤

Bleeding Love: Why Women?

This post is related to my previous post about my Facebook status update on concubinage and adultery. I posted it last March 19 and a month after it is still being shared on the newsfeed.

If I will be given the luxury of time to conduct academic research on the topic, I would gladly do so. But unfortunately, time is gold for me right now. In fact, I will be discussing my observations briefly in this article.

When I posted the status update, I must say it was more of a Spirit’s leading rather than a testimonial because my husband and I never went through the same predicament as the people who shared their experiences in the status comments. And looking at the comments, the statistics came up with 22 females and 1 male who have been victims of concubinage and adultery.

One question came up: Why women?

I cannot make an assumption or generalization that infidelity is an issue committed only by most men based on the results of that one single Facebook post. There are a lot of factors that come into play such as the idea that maybe women are more vocal about it than men. Or maybe men can move on easily than women.

Another question: Should you meddle with other people’s affairs?

There is a huge difference between meddling and providing information for someone’s benefit. I believe I have been successful with the latter and yet there is one thing that I believe is actually the exact reason why I was prompted to post it.

There are so many hearts that are bleeding because of love in what supposed to be holy matrimony – God sees it. The 22 women who have commented and those who have sent me private messages are in need of healing.

And no, I believe this is not the kind of healing where you get to hear their stories, suggest the legal actions they can undertake, and then expect them to get on with their lives. I am feeling there is something deeper than that – the kind of healing that only One person can provide.

Third question: Who will be the instrument towards that healing?

I am 33 years old with only 4 years of experience when it comes to being married. I am neither a professional counselor who went through proper training. And yet I am seeing a harvest, a huge number of it and I think the church can provide the support that these women need i.e. spiritual mentors backed by decades of experience in a marriage – a Godly one.

More specifically, mentors who are married women. A spiritual group, perhaps, where women who went through and are going through the aftermaths of infidelity will feel safe, assured, and last but not the least, loved. A group where they won’t feel left out because they’re no longer with their husbands and yet help them find themselves again through the loving grace of God.

As A Seed of Hope, An Instrument of Change

We are all being used by God every single day in school, at work, at home, and in our community as an instrument to lead people towards Christ and salvation. Just like the metaphor used in the Bible about a Christian and faith. Before a seed becomes a plant, it will go through several phases in several mediums before it will start to blossom or bear fruit. And yet God is the one who will keep it alive.

I felt like I haven’t done much of my part when I shared what are the legal actions to take in cases of concubinage or adultery. I feel that it has to be something deeper and something more than that. It is now my prayer to God to instruct me on how to lead these people towards salvation and eventually experience spiritual and inner healing without being obtrusive about faith. An opportunity where they will be the ones to seek Jesus as their Savior.

But for now, I believe we all need to be ready when the seed is due for planting. Any growing seed will need the TLC of a Gardener who will water and nourish it until it has grown its roots and been firmly planted on the ground. So no matter how harsh the elements around it are, it will and it will survive. 🙂

Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” – Matthew 4:19

“…Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20

Always a mentee with God as the coach,

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P.S.

This post reminded me of a photo I took several weeks back. I needed to place all my herb plants inside our room (a la greenhouse vegetable farming) because the winds are just too strong in our balcony. My plants were having a hard time growing new leaves so here I am, the gardener, “nursing them back to good health.” 😉

Paano Ba Ang Tamang Pagpapatawad? | Relationship Goals

To my non-Filipino readers, I wrote this article in the vernacular because I felt the message will go through much better in this medium. But you may use the Google translate button below or at the sidebar of this page. I just hope Google will do a fine job of translating it. *wink*

“Paano Ba Ang Tamang Pagpapatawad?”


Noong nakaraang buwan, may isa akong status update na ni-post sa Facebook. Ito ay tungkol sa kasong adultery at concubinage. Hindi namin pinagdaanan ito ng asawa ko kaya sa mga nagtataka bakit nga ba bigla lang akong nag-post tungkol doon, wala akong ibang maisagot kundi dahil sa naramdaman ko lamang na kailangan ko syang i-post.

Infidelity: Kasong Concubinage at Adultery

Ang infidelity o pagkakaroon ng kabit o karelasyong babae/lalaki maliban sa iyong asawa ay isang sensitibong usapan pagdating sa ating lipunan. Madalas natin itong napapanood sa mga pelikulang Pinoy at teleserye. Ngunit sa totoong sitwasyon, ito ay itinuturing bilang isang kahihiyan. Kaya hindi nakapagtataka kung bakit maraming mga biktima ang piniling manahimik na lamang at indahin ang sakit at mga pasakit na dulot nito.

Ito ang isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit naisipan kong i-post ang tungkol sa adultery at concubinage case. Dahil nakita ko ang dalamhati nila, ang sakit na dinaranas bawat araw, at kanilang mga sakripisyo sa pamamagitan ng pagiging matatag sa kabila ng lahat alang-alang sa kanilang mga anak at ikatatahimik ng lahat.

Ang iba naman ay nagpaubaya na lamang dahil hindi sapat ang kanilang impormasyon tungkol sa infidelity at sa mga batas na nangangalaga sa mga karapatan ng isang asawa. Kahit saang bansa sagrado ang tingin ng batas at ng lipunan sa isang kasal o pagsasama ng isang mag-asawa.

Ang adultery case ay iba sa concubinage case. Ang una ay kaso ng isang asawang lalaki laban sa kanyang asawang babae at ang kabit nito. Ang huli ay kaso ng isang babaeng asawa laban sa kanyang asawang lalaki at ang kabit nito.

Para sa karagdagang kaalaman tungkol dito, maaari ninyong basahin itong artikulo:

“A Brief Discussion on Infidelity, Concubinage, Adultery, and Bigamy”

Hindi ko inakala na maraming kababaihan ang dumaraan sa ganitong mahirap na sitwasyon ngayon at walang alam kung paano ito resolbahan. Nakita ko ang mga komento ng iba’t-ibang kababaihan na naglahad ng kanilang mga kanya-kanyang sitwasyon. Hindi ko rin napaghandaan na ganito ang magiging kalalabasan ng post na iyon na ni-share ng mga kaibigan at ng mga kaibigan nila.

Ngunit ipinanalangin ko sa Panginoon na gabayan Nya ako kung paano makakatulong sa aking mga kapatid na kinakaharap ang ganitong masalimuot na sitwasyon. Ang itinuro sa akin ng Dios ay ang website ng Public Attorneys Office at ang mga numero kung paano ito kontakin. Ito ang kasagutang aking naibigay dahil hindi ko masasagot ang mga katanungan nila at hindi naman ako abogado.

Ano Ang Iyong Gagawin Bilang Isang Kristyano?

Marahil sa puntong iyon ng pag-post ko, marami sa mga kaibigan ko ang nagtaka lalo na sa konteksto ng pagiging isa kong Kristyano. Dahil ang utos sa Bibliya ay magpatawad at huwag maghiganti sa isang maling gawain na ginawa saiyo.

Mga minamahal, huwag kayong maghihiganti; ipaubaya ninyo iyon sa Dios. Sapagkat nasusulat, “Akin ang paghihiganti, ako ang gaganti,” sabi ni Panginoon. – Mga Taga-Roma 12:19

Ngunit ayon din naman sa aking pananaliksik, ang pagpapatawad daw ay laging may kaakibat na kondisyon. Dahil ganoon din ang hiningi ng Dios sa atin kapalit ng ating pagkakaligtas – tanggapin si Hesus bilang iyong tagapagligtas at talikuran ang masamang nakaraan. Pero meron din namang nagsasabi na sa anumang uri ng pagkakamali, palaging maging handa magpatawad.

Naisip ko na may rason ang Dios bakit Nya pinagawa ang sampung kautusan kay Moses noon na ‘yun ang naging basehan ng ating mga batas upang mapanatili ang katahimikan sa lipunan ngayon. Lahat ng ito ay naglalayon na mapangalagaan ang karapatan ng bawat isa sa ating mga mamamayan at mamuhay kasama ang iba ng tahimik at may respeto sa kapwa.


Sa usapang infidelity, and katanungan ng karamihan ay paano ba magpatawad at nararapat bang kasuhan ang iyong nagkasalang asawa? O patawarin ko na sya kaagad at ibaon ang lahat sa limot?

Kung walang nangyaring paghingi ng kapatawaran, para sa akin, mas pipiliin ko pa ring magpatawad. At sa ilang beses na naging bigo sa pagtupad ng kanyang pangako ang iyong asawa ngunit patuloy pa rin na gumagawa ng kasamaan at patuloy ding humihingi ng iyong kapatawaran, mas nakakabuting hingin mo ang payo ng Dios sa kung ano ang nararapat gawin.

Nakasaad sa Bibliya na ang adultery/concubinage ay isang sapat na rason para iwan mo ang iyong asawa. Ngunit nakasaad din dito na ang tunay na pagmamahal ay handang magpatawad sa lahat ng oras, sa anumang pagkakamali, at hindi basta-basta sumusuko.

Ang mga batas natin ay hinayaan ng Panginoon na maisakatuparan dahil ito ay may magandang pakay para sa lipunan at sa mga mamamayan. Hindi ito ginawa para lamang panakot kundi magsilbing gabay sa mga tao para gawin kung ano ang tama at maturuan ang mga may sala na talikuran ang paggawa ng masama at mag-bagong buhay.

God Is Always With you

Para saiyo kapatid na patuloy na nagdadalamhati sa sakit at pait na dulot ng infidelity, ito lamang ang aking maipapayo:

  • Hindi na mahalaga na tanungin mo ang iyong sarili kung saan ka ba nagkulang at nagawa ito saiyo ng iyong asawa. Lahat tayo ay may kakulangan. Pero kung totoong mahal ka nya, kaya nyang tanggapin ano mang pagkukulang mo at kung mahal mo rin sya, kaya mo ring tanggapin ang buo nyang pagkatao.
  • Hilingin mo sa Panginoon ano ang dapat mong gawin sa sitwasyon ninyo ng inyong asawa. Tanungin mo Sya kung nararapat bang kasuhan ang iyong asawa ng adultery o concubinage case o patawarin mo na lamang sya, talikuran ang mga nangyari, at hayaan na lamang na panahon ang maghilom ng lahat.
  • Dios ang palaging nagtatama ng lahat. Ngunit tayo ang kikilos ayon sa Kanyang mga utos. Ika nga nila, “Nasa Dios ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa.”
  • Huwag kang panghinaan ng loob, hindi lamang ikaw ang nagdurusa at nasasadlak sa ganitong kalagayan. At lalo na, hindi ka nag-iisa. Maraming tao ang handang tumulong saiyo sa anumang paraan na alam nila para ikaw ay makabangon muli.
  • Patatagin mo ang iyong kalooban dahil karamay mo kami at ang Dios. Sa Dios pa lang, panalo ka na. Hayaan mo Syang igabay ka sa mga tamang taong tutulong sayo at gagabay din sayo sa tamang daan.
  • Lahat ng bagay may simula at katapusan. Ang paghihirap mong ito ay matatapos din. Ang unos ay titila at ang araw ay lalabas din. Madilim man itong dinaraanan mo ngayon pero liliwanag din sa huli. Manalig ka na lahat ng mga nangyayari sa mundong ito ay nakikita ng Dios. Dios ang pinakahukom kung saan lahat ng bawat kilos natin ay ating pananagutan at sisingilin Nya sa atin pagdating ng tamang panahon.
  • Bumangon ka kapatid. Harapin mo ang bawat umaga ng may tapang at lakas. Na sa kabila ng pinagdaraanan mo, mananatili kang matatag. Isa kang magiting na sundalo na sa bawat laban, ang bandila mo ay patuloy na mamamayagpag. Higit sa lahat, isa kang magiting na mandirigma dahil kakampi mo ang Dios. At ito sana ang panghawakan mo palagi:

“Tinutulungan Niya ang mga nagdurusa at ‘di binibigo ang walang pag-asa.” – Mga Awit 34:18

Patuloy na nananalangin ng taimtim para saiyo, kapatid,