How To Pull Off A Low-Cost Date: Our R.A.V.E. Experience

With all honesty, there is nothing much to prepare when it comes to a low-cost date as the term speaks for itself. 😀 But, I am just writing this article to share the budget-friendly wedding anniversary date that hubby and I had last August 17.

For starters, I am a low-maintenance girl (please read this article: https://thejourneymansmoments.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/how-to-identify-a-low-maintenance-woman-3-things-to-know/) so pulling off a low-cost date with me is not a problem. That is, no hassle for hubby dear. 😀

The Low-Cost Date That Was

This is the part where my husband and I were able to pull off a less than 500php anniversary date. Pretty cheap, right? But it’s yet another memorable experience for the record. 🙂

My husband and I are pretty tight on finances lately because we’re brewing something for the family project. And our motto ever since is this, “live below our means” which was also how my parents raised me and my siblings.

I told my husband that we need not shell out so much to celebrate our anniversary because there are so many opportunities where we can still celebrate it meaningfully and have a good time.

The Plan

A month before our wedding anniversary date my husband asked me what are our plans for the celebration. I told him we have no plans. lol I told him we will ask God for leading where and how He wants us to celebrate the anniversary. So I never planned anything.

Then 2 days before our anniversary, I remembered I came across this rainforest in Pasig near our new place. I was able to check out the place and I thought it’s the perfect spot for our celebration – a breather, more nature tripping, and a way to explore our new neighborhood.

I then proposed the idea to hubby dear and he agreed. But, the day before we went there, I already gave him a heads up that we will be going there a la backpacking. So any mishaps along the way, we will take it as part of the experience.

This is opposite to the getaways that hubby is used to with all the comfort and convenience. I explained that we will be commuting via public transportation and we’ll have to prepare ourselves for any unpleasant and unforeseen challenges along the way.

I guess this is part of being a low-maintenance woman. I love raw experiences. These raw experiences are those unexpected events that made the entire journey as memorable. Not because it is fun but because you learned something along the way.

The Nature Tripping

Back to our nature tripping adventure, it began to drizzle when we went out of the house. We walked to the main road, had a quick lunch at a fast food restaurant, and asked directions on how to get to the rainforest park. We got different suggestions and decided to follow one. We boarded a jeepney, paid 8 pesos for the fare, but here’s where the challenge started – the driver misunderstood the destination where we will get off.

It was only then that we realized our mistake for calling the rainforest park as Pasig Park. lol The Pasig park is actually the one in front of the municipal hall. Thinking we’re totally lost, I told hubby dear we will just get off at a nearby wet market we passed by earlier. There will be lots of public transport terminals there since it’s a public market. It will be easier for us to ask directions going to the rainforest.

At this point, hubby dear is already close to losing his patience and feels like backing out already. lol He told me we are wasting so much precious time being lost and all and the drizzle is starting to become heavy rains already.

Ah yes, these are the moments why I love these “backpacking” experiences. It will test your character’s endurance when situations posit themselves as pretty tough. So I patiently told him that he can go back home if he wants to but I will continue on with the journey.

The Journey in A Marriage

Then I continued explaining that we must take it just like the trials in our marriage. It is not only the good things that happened that made our entire experience as a married couple worthwhile, meaningful and fulfilling but also the bad experiences. What is more important is how we deal with these trials and came out successfully in dealing with all of them.

Isn’t it amazing that I got to share that wisdom exactly during our wedding anniversary? God’s timing is always perfect – never early, never late. 😉

The Trek Must Go On

I was able to convince hubby dear that our plans for that day will push through no matter what. I asked people around how to get to the rainforest. One security guard gave me the directions and asked me to be vigilant. He thought that maybe I was going alone because hubby was walking far behind me. The guard probably wondered why this beautiful lady (according to my imagination) is going to a rainforest alone. lol 😀

Hubby dear was able to catch up with me and I told him the instructions that the guard gave me. We followed the instructions and got to the tricycle terminal going into the rainforest. That was my first tricycle ride experience wherein they placed a small bench inside making the normal 2-seater interior as a 4-seater. I never thought it’s possible but there it was. That’s another new experience to add to my list.

We got there in about 30 minutes. When we arrived, the rain heavily poured. So my husband’s spirits were also close to being absolutely dampened. lol We waited for the rain to stop and after 5 minutes, it did. Unfortunately, only some of the facilities were open to the public because the others were rented out for birthday celebrations.

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We only got to try 3 park attractions but we sure did have fun. We are definitely going back for the other recreation activities that we weren’t able to try. We ended the day with our favorite street foods i.e. “isaw” (grilled chicken intestines), pork barbecue, potato wedges, hotdog on a stick, and a dragonfruit shake. This was my favorite part, by the way. 😉

It’s my first time to try a dragonfruit shake, too. I like it but love, hmm, not really. 😀 It has a peculiar grassy taste but I’m pretty sure it’s very healthy. But after the long walks, you’ll appreciate it enough as refreshingly good.

Here’s our list of expenses for that day (2 pax):

Jeepney fare to Pasig palengke – 16.00php (8.00 each)

Tricycle fare to Pasig rainforest – 20.00php (10.00 each)

Rainforest Park Fees – 100.00 php (50.00 each for 3 main attractions – Maze, Flower Fields, Zoo)

Snacks – 100-200.00php

Tricycle fare back to Pasig palengke – 20.00php

Jeepney fare back to our place – 16.00php

TOTAL: Php 372.00

God’s Plans Are Always Better

By the time we reached home, we were both exhausted and yet undeniably happy. I told hubby it’s a good thing he never backed out from our low-cost date and getaway. He could’ve missed yet another experience to add on to our ever-growing list of couples’ learning experience, adventure, and fun. So, he’s the one who said now that we’re definitely going back. lol 😉

Ah yes, being low-maintenance doesn’t mean your experience will be less. Also, being a low-maintenance woman doesn’t mean I have low standards. In fact, the opposite is true. I have high standards as a woman because my standards are God’s standards.

And in every relationship and marriage, what are God’s standards? These are loyalty, faithfulness, respect, honor, and love as described in 1 Corinthians 13. I made all of these known to my husband even when we’re just dating and I guess they’re among the reasons why we are where we are now as a husband and a wife despite some setbacks.

And of course, the goodness of the Lord just never fails. It never does. And it will remain the same as always and forever. To Him be the glory always. ❤

“Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.” – Proverbs 19:14

A low-maintenance woman with high Godly standards,

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P.S.

By the way, R.A.V.E. stands for Rainforest Adventure Experience. I also didn’t include photos from this experience because I still need to resize them one by one so they won’t take up much of my WordPress storage space (free domain problems. lol) 😀

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How To Identify A Low-Maintenance Woman | 3 Things To Know

The characteristics of a low-maintenance woman may vary differently depending on a lot of factors such as personality, background, upbringing, culture, etc. But one common feature that low-maintenance ladies have is being low-key in almost everything. You may check out the articles I compiled below about low-maintenance ladies and some things about me and why I’m low-maintenance. 🙂

What Do Low-Maintenance Women Have in Common?

How Am I A Low-Maintenance Woman?

These are my personal preferences but you and I might share the same interests so please read ahead. 😀

1. My ideal date is nature-tripping.

Everything that nature offers is for free. But you might still have to shell out a little cash in some cases. Personally, I am not a fan of mall dates. I regard the mall only as a place where we check out new restaurants to try and where I buy all the stuff that I need. Nothing more.

I see other better ways in spending time than to walk aimlessly around the mall looking at all the stuff that I won’t buy because I don’t need them. I am low-maintenance so I only buy the things that I need which will be explained in item #2.

I am not into fine-dine dates either because I find it too constricting. You have to dress like this, act like this, say this and that, and don’t act like this or don’t dress this way, etc. I guess I adopted this nonchalant attitude way back in college where we have the freedom to do anything we wish as nonconformists of society’s dictates as long as we don’t violate any written law. But do it while keeping our honor intact.

In other words, be yourself. Even if it means wearing “home clothes” going to school. Yep, I always go to school wearing big tees and jeans and my favorite pair of all-around slippers. And Havaianas are not yet out during our time. 😉

Always the T-shirt girl.

T-shirt is life.

So when my husband and I were still dating and he asked me out on our first date where I want it to be, I told him that I want it somewhere surrounded by nature. Not a fine-dine restaurant but something casual. And I believe this is the reason why he got my “yes.” He chose just the perfect spot for our first date at Sonya’s Garden in Tagaytay.

You may read more about it here: “It All Started At Sonya’s Garden”

2. I am very practical when buying stuff.

When I see what I need, I buy it and then I leave the mall. No kidding. 😀 So this explains why I only spend about an hour maximum to buy about 20 items I need inside the mall. I already know what I need so when I see them, I buy them.

I don’t spend so much time thinking about whether I should buy this or that or this one is better than the other. My husband is quite the opposite. 😉

There was even one time I teased him that he’s like a woman when buying stuff – we have scourged all the shops, all the colors, shapes, and sizes, and yet he still can’t find the one he likes. And that is only for one item. Oh, dear me. lol

I also have only the basic necessities at home from clothes to toiletries to make up. I overhaul clothes every 20 years. So the clothes that you saw me wearing 10 years ago, you’ll still see me wearing them now. lol And our bathroom, closets, and dressers still have lots of spaces in them.

Because, again, I am the low-maintenance girl who doesn’t need so much except a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, and soap for toiletries; eyeliner, lipstick, face powder, and mascara for makeup; T-shirts and shorts that are mostly not branded for clothes.

I totally love wearing big shorts (hubby’s. lol) and big t-shirts and hubby will just tell me, “Hey, that’s my shirt.” Well, it’s mine now. 😀

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Outfit was stolen from hubby. 😉

But I also make a few exceptions when dressing up and I give in to society’s norms out of our love and respect for our families and friends during occasions. Like the photo below taken during my husband’s friend’s wedding last month:

Dressing up only for a day. 🙂

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Ladylike for a day. 😉

But because I am practical me, would you believe if I tell you that this party dress belongs to my Mom and also my pumps? They are now 42 years old already (they’re 9 years older than me!). haha Yep, the dress was tailor-made but designed by Mom when she’s in her 30s around circa 1970s. You may check out this article for more of Mom’s vintage dresses. 😀

https://thejourneymansmoments.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/how-my-passion-for-art-and-fashion-came-to-be/

3. I am always after the quality of experience and never about the quantity of material possessions I get.

Any place where I’ll have immeasurable fun, adventure, and learning, that’s where you’ll find me. I love to get down and dirty literally with all the mud, the sweat, and the stink (the good kind). lol So I told my husband that when we have kids, our ideal family date is somewhere in the long trails of a mountain, a wide open field for biking, kite-flying, doing outdoor sports like frisbee, soccer, and a whole lot more of meaningful and yet free fun.

I have never been a fan of Time Zone or any “game zone” in the mall not only because I’m not a mall person but because it requires you to shell out cash to have an enjoyable experience. I’ve been on one because I indulged some of my companion’s wishes, but sadly, it wasn’t an enjoyable experience for me. I see it as some form of gambling like in a casino. Because for you to earn more (either cash or experience), you need to earn more chips and for you to have these chips, you need to purchase them.

But then, it all goes down to personal preferences and differences when it comes to interests and I respect that on other people. 🙂

I’ll end this low-maintenance article right here and I must say that again, it is a matter of personal preferences. Some guys may prefer high-maintenance women while some would prefer those who are just not squirmish about everything. 😉

You may also read this article for the low-maintenance date with ze husband last month on our anniversary date: https://thejourneymansmoments.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/how-to-pull-off-a-low-maintenance-date-our-r-a-v-e-experience/.

“And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.” – 1 Timothy 2:9

Always the low-maintenance woman,

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Paperwork How-Tos: Land Titles & Business Registration | Agribusiness

I’ll be temporarily lifting my #everyFridayblogpost rule for now because there are a lot of things that I’d like to share with you. I am no longer following my own editorial calendar because there are some topics that I need to insert in-between. I need to share these topics asap otherwise the thought will “expire.” 😉

Today, I’ll be sharing with you what I gathered from my research when it comes to land titles and business registration paperwork. If you’ve been browsing my previous articles, my family and I are on to this new project which is utilizing a piece of property on a wider scale for agribusiness. We are currently preparing the paperwork requirements for legalities’ purposes and equipping ourselves with all the information and knowledge we can gather about agribusiness.

I have high hopes that even if this family project will not push through (if God wills it), may this help you prepare if God has called you to venture into this endeavor. So while waiting, I thought it best to write this article. 🙂

“Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take.” – Proverbs 3:6

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Land Titles and Business Registration in the Philippines

1. Land Titles: Transfer and Registration

Whether you have acquired a piece of land by inheritance or you’re planning to buy one, these resources are very helpful to guide you in managing your land assets. I won’t include a step-by-step guide as these reliable sources will explain everything in detail. The online resources are as follows:

http://www.lra.gov.ph/frequently-asked-questions.html

https://www.rocketlawyer.com/article/whats-the-difference-between-a-property-deed-and-a-title-ps.rl

https://www.lamudi.com.ph/journal/land-titles-transferred-philippines/

https://www.lamudi.com.ph/journal/qa-how-much-does-it-cost-to-transfer-a-land-title-in-the-philippines/

http://filipinohomes.com/blog/transfer-title-deceased-parents/

https://www.rappler.com/move-ph/issues/corruption/155998-notonmywatch-steps-land-ownership-philippines

2. New Business Registration: SEC and BIR

The next step is registering your business. If opportunities don’t allow you to purchase a piece of land, you still have the option to lease a property. You may check out the following links on how to register your business with the Security and Exchange Commission as well as with the Bureau of Internal Revenue:

http://www.sec.gov.ph/services-2/company-2/registration/

https://philippinesbusinessregistration.com/company-registration/requirements/

**I also included the following resources just in case you will be venturing into agribusiness with a group of people or with your family as well:

https://fitsmallbusiness.com/what-is-a-corporation/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporation

https://mpm.ph/how-to-register-a-corporation/https://www.sec.gov.ph/services-2/company-2/registration/

http://www.pna.gov.ph/categories/agri-business

These land titles and business registration resources may provide varying information and some may not be applicable in your case. But you may further conduct due diligence or seek professional advice with an expert. They can properly address your situation and give you the appropriate help. If you also wish to get in touch with me for other business-related concerns, you may contact me on my social media channels located on the sidebar or footer of this website. 🙂

Lastly, I am praying for God’s leading over this endeavor that I believe will impact the community for the better in the coming years. ❤

“You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.” – Proverbs 19:21

Always at your service,

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Agribusiness: The Future Of Today’s Economy

With all the skyscrapers being built all around, we can expect a rise in the demand for commodities within the metro. When there is a higher demand but limited supply, we can then expect a rise in the prices of goods.

What we can ask ourselves at this point is why is it that there is a limited supply? When I go to the provinces, I see a lot of idle lands that are not being utilized. If we are going to utilize them for crop production, this will then increase the number of supply. Which, in turn, will lower the prices of the commodities and goods once they reach the city where the demand is high.

This is easier said than done because there are a lot of factors that are preventing farmers from utilizing their farmlands on a wider scale. These factors are what my siblings and I are currently addressing in our endeavor now.

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Photo courtesy: Unsplash

Agribusiness Venture

I honestly admit that even though my family’s engaged in palay and copra production for decades already, there are a lot of things that we don’t know about agriculture and farming. As they say, nothing can be learned from the professionals but the best and most authentic knowledge there is available.

So I searched through the web what I can learn about agribusiness and farming. I was able to dig out a lot of online resources readily available and I’m actually taking online courses now. This is how DAR’s e-learning portal looks like:

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This is what preoccupies me most of the time and probably the reason why God was firm in telling me I can’t have a full-time job at this point. For a more comprehensive free online course, you can check this one out:

APO-DAP Agribusiness Management E-Course FREE

We are currently in this season of our endeavor where we are gathering all the information that we need as added learning to make sure the project will push through. We are targeting for the project’s sustainability even if we’re no longer the ones operating or managing it.

It is the project’s mission to promote sustainable agriculture and support the local food movement. If you’re curious what they are all about, the following are the definitions I was able to lift from Wikipedia:

Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable agriculture is farming in sustainable ways based on an understanding of ecosystem services, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment.

It has been defined as “an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will last over the long term”, for example to satisfy human food and fiber needs, to enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends, to make the most efficient use of non-renewable and on-farm resources and integrate natural biological cycles and controls, to sustain the economic viability of farm operations, and to enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.[4]

Key Principles

There are several key principles associated with sustainability in agriculture[5]:

  1. The incorporation of biological and ecological processes into agricultural and food production practices. For example, these processes could include nutrient cycling, soil regeneration, and nitrogen fixation.
  2. Using decreased amounts of non-renewable and unsustainable inputs, particularly the ones that are environmentally harmful.
  3. Using the expertise of farmers to both productively work the land as well as to promote the self-reliance and self-sufficiency of farmers.
  4. Solving agricultural and natural resource problems through the cooperation and collaboration of people with different skills. The problems tackled include pest management and irrigation.”

Local Food Movement

Local food (local food movement or locavore) is a movement of people who prefer to eat foods which are grown or farmed relatively close to the places of sale and preparation.

Local food movements aim to connect food producers and food consumers in the same geographic region, in order to develop more self-reliant and resilient food networks; improve local economies; or to affect the health, environment, community, or society of a particular place.[1] The term has also been extended to include not only the geographic location of supplier and consumer but can also be “defined in terms of social and supply chain characteristics.”[2] For example, local food initiatives often promote sustainable and organic farming practices, although these are not explicitly related to the geographic proximity of producer and consumer.

Local food represents an alternative to the global food model, a model which often sees food traveling long distances before it reaches the consumer. A local food network involves relationships between food producers, distributors, retailers, and consumers in a particular place, where they work together to increase food security and ensure economic, ecological and social sustainability of a community.[3]”

Aside from conducting our own research, the season demands we also look for mentors. And thank God for giving us the right ones at exactly the right time. My brother, sister-in-law, and I are attending a “Farm For Profit” seminar by Semilya sa Kinabuhi founder, Sir Dodong Cacanando, tomorrow. Then next Saturday, I am attending an online seminar entitled “Money Machines: How To Create Passive And Active Income At The Same Time” by Bro. Bo Sanchez.

Ah yes, all I can say is that God has been so faithful to us in this season. He has prepared everything we needed at this point and I know He’ll be with us all the way. 🙂

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8

I believe so, too, that this is not just a plan that He reserved for me and my family alone. I have a great feeling that this is only the start of collective efforts among the body of Christ (every one of us) in addressing some of the social issues that we’re currently facing such as the recent price increase in commodities.

With this, I would like to encourage you to consider venturing into the agribusiness sector. And I hope that you will learn from the opportunities and what I have also learned which I will be sharing in my future blog posts (including our future failures, if there will be any). 🙂

Always Learning

What is constant in every season that God brings us in is learning. When I graduated from college back in 2008, my first job was as a communications assistant for the deaf and mute. With this job, I learned all about the difficulties that persons with disabilities (PWDs) face every day.

I resigned in 2010 with a new goal – learn more about how I can help alleviate the challenges of PWDs and put up my own foundation in the future for special children who can’t afford expensive therapies.

I took a master’s degree in Special Education centered on catering to the needs of children with disabilities. This season introduced me to the field of teaching but then, I wasn’t able to complete the course because God brought me to a new season yet again in 2015 – married life.

But before I quit my grad studies, I took and passed my professional licensure exam as a teacher in 2016 made possible by the teaching units I earned while taking my grad studies. I love teaching but after a year of much contemplating, I felt it in my heart to pursue a career on my first love which is writing.

It brought me to yet another season in the field of digital marketing in 2017. It was the start of the career shift and everything is new to me but I was eager to learn because I love what I am doing.

After a year, I have decided to let it go only to realize now that it is because God is bringing me into yet another new season come 2018 – focus on the family project which is the agribusiness.

God’s Plans

We really can’t see what God’s plans are and only God can tell. I have assumptions but I can’t claim that they are all that they are meant to be. What are my assumptions?

My primary gift is writing. From grade school until college, it was all a preparation. Why take SpEd? It will satisfy some of the objectives of the family project which include putting up a social enterprise that will teach young entrepreneurs and a foundation to help those in need either special children, orphans, etc. a.k.a. helping others. This is the root cause of the project being a not-for-profit organization – so others can benefit more.

As a certified teacher, I can teach young students and it might not be in the area of my expertise which is English but it can be in the field of agriculture, farming, and entrepreneurship.

Why digital marketing? That is the trajectory of the future of businesses. Marketing in the traditional sense can benefit a lot alongside digital marketing. It can boost the growth and development of a company not just in finance but in terms of creating partnerships and remain competitive in the global market.

Writing comes into play when enhancing the company’s online presence in the digital world. Businesses have to be at par with the rapidly evolving digital technology and storytelling is just one of the ways.

My brother’s comment before when it comes to my writing is this – you have such a flair for the dramatic. I told him that well, I was created to be a poet. 😉

My writing appeals to the emotions. This appeal is the reason why I love persuasive writing. I persuade my readers to know the Truth. But if they can’t find out what the Truth is after reading my posts, then I believe I haven’t persuaded them enough. 😀

Going back to God’s will and plans over the family endeavor, hubby and I were having thoughts already of transferring homes mid-2017. We have plans to start investing in our own home even if it is a small one. I shared it with my brother who then proposed the idea of us living at my sister’s place instead. His advice was that so we can save more and get a house that we love later on.

We just agreed that we will pay the association dues since my sister waived the rental fee. At the same time, we will look out after the place for her since she and her husband live in Norway. She can be assured the place will be well taken care of compared if she will have it rented out to someone whom she doesn’t know well enough.

God’s Favors

All of these I am grateful for because they were all favors from the Lord. Yes, my brother is right that this new season of us living in yet another new home will help us save a little. But we can do it even if I don’t have a full-time job. This means I’ll have a decent amount of time set aside in learning all I need to learn for the family project.

My other siblings don’t have the luxury of time to learn them all I felt it as my task to fill them in with all the info I can gather from my research. My other sister in the province will be my partner in applying what we have learned from the e-courses when I go back home. And yet our other siblings’ careers are important, too, in helping fund the project’s expenses.

My other sister and I have the time to learn so much but we don’t have well-paying careers and our other siblings have high-paying careers but they don’t have enough time. Combined together is now a perfect team to make the project work. I bet God is really the best project manager ever He knows the best persons to delegate certain tasks with. 😀

But then again, 5 heads are better than 1 or 2. So yes, I need all of my siblings’ wisdom in this endeavor. And I am glad I have their full support and cooperation. (Love you, my dear sibs!)

Put God First

With all the info overload I gathered from my research, I am estimating that it’ll take about more than a year to study all the business concepts when it comes to agriculture and farming. However, I am always seeking for God’s wisdom what to do with all the accumulated info.

As we all know, learning how to do something is actually very different from doing exactly what you learned a.k.a. theories vs. application. I realized we have a lot to learn in this endeavor and if we want the family project to be sustainable, we need to be equipped with the right concepts and apply them well.

If you are to ask me why we should pursue this endeavor, it is because of this: how we build the world today is how we set the course of the future. That is, I don’t want the future generation to eat vegetables made from plastic due to the scarcity of real ones sold over very high prices. Even if I don’t have kids, I still have high hopes that what we do now will impact the world later on for the better. That is, with God’s guidance as our “chiefest” CEO. 😉

To end this article, here’s a very inspiring message (the best commencement speech for me) from none other than one of the Academy Award-winning and most acclaimed actors, Denzel Washington:

Always a farm girl by heart,

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P.S.

Please don’t blame me if ever you ventured into agribusiness and failed. 😀 Endeavors like this require consulting with God first and foremost because we all have our own God-given purposes.

Writing this postscript actually made me realize that pursuing the things that we don’t have can become only that – an endless pursuit. But if we pursue making good use of what God has already given us, we might actually find our purpose in and through them. 🙂

*Update as of 9/15/2018: “Farm for Profit” seminar was cancelled due to typhoon Ompong.

The Day I Dreamt I’m An Engineer

Before I begin this essay, please allow me to break my own rule of posting articles every Friday only – #everyFridayblogpost advocacy. I just need to get this off my head and I believe the thoughts are also worth sharing. 😉

This is my first time to view a wide-scale construction site a la bird’s eye view from where we’re staying now. When the construction was just starting a few months back and all we saw are lots of digging and excavating here and there, it wasn’t interesting at all. But now that they are starting to lay down the foundations, it fascinates me to see how they all work.

When my Dad (who’s a retired civil engineer) visited last summer, I’ve had this great opportunity to ask him a lot of questions I’ve been brewing being the inquisitive me. And of course, he was able to answer all of them because he’s an engineer. 😉

I got to know what that grinding equipment with a long metal rod (it’s just so hard to explain. lol) is called and the pillar-like structures are called pylons, then why the workers have color-coded shirts and a whole lot more of interesting facts for me.

I wish my Dad is still here to explain more interesting structures evolving from the construction because I still have a lot of questions. lol It really fascinates me to look at the progress, from a vacant land to a now almost finished foundation and the nearby newly constructed buildings are being painted. It’s like a beautiful project that is slowly coming to life.

Just imagine an idea or a concept created on a piece of paper and now becoming real. I really admire engineers especially when it comes to projects like this – turning something as small as a piece of paper into something as big as 3 hectares perhaps. Of course, with the help of a big team of architects, project managers, and all.

Going back to my questions, here they are:

– Do they ever make a mistake with their calculations? (Now I get it why engineering students should be very excellent in Math. Which, sadly, I can never do.) *sigh*

– How many engineers on-site (and off-site?) are required to pull off this project?

– How can you make cement harden inside a pit that’s filled with rainwater?

– How would you know how deep is how deep?

– Did engineers study every single construction material used (which I know are quite a lot) to test which will work in certain structures i.e. type of buildings, land type, etc.?

– Is there a team leader for every color-coded team or only one for the rest of the workers on site?

– How would you know the very exact spot where to start constructing the building? (I am guessing for this one it is through the land measurement which is in square meters. Which means you have to painstakingly measure every single corner of soil and dirt. Whew! Hard work, it is.)

These are just some of the questions I have for now based on what I am seeing from afar. For sure, if you’ll bring me inside the site, these questions will triple. 😀

I once told my husband while watching them how patient every one involved in these projects is. It is a delayed gratification thing and it all requires intense hard labor.

When I look at the construction workers, they seem like teeny weeny tiny ants doing easy peasy work and the construction equipment looks like matchbox cars. And yet I know what they do is no joke and when I see the construction equipment up close, they are sooooo huge. They are overwhelmingly scary to look at. But I am dreaming of operating one of them “Transformers trucks.” (Transformers is my fave movie of all time. Yep!)

And then I see female engineers going in and out and I’m like, “All hail to you alpha females. How to be you?” 😉

It made me contemplate about life. When you’re looking at things through a bird’s eye view, you get to see how every process works and each process is involved in the totality of one goal and completion of the project. And yet if you’re gonna be placed on site and up close to where everything is happening, everything may also seem overwhelming. You can be lost if you have no blueprint, your guide.

Also, you’ll never appreciate the beauty of the going ins and going outs of the process if you’re in the middle of it. It’s like asking why you’re doing the things that you’re doing. But when you see the bigger picture, ah yes, now you know why this structure needs to be here and why it has to look that way and why others are different from it.

Just like you, me, us, life, God…. 😉

Always contemplating about everything under the sun, the stars, and the moon,

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P.S.

The construction noise albeit muffled because of the excellent soundproofing of the windows and doors made me do this article out of a deeper contemplation. lol 😀

I don’t like Math and yet it’s a weird situation I’m in that I’m making calculations now. Though I am happy and relieved every time my bro’s father-in-law brings in the finished output. He’s such a genius craftsman. He can translate your ideas very well and will add something more to make it even better, if not, the best of the best.

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Finished output awesomely crafted by Papa Boyet.

I know how miscalculations can be such a disaster when building a solid project. That is why I take every effort to measure and design everything well otherwise my siblings will kill me if the finished output is bad. lol I’m tasked to oversee the creation and installation of the cabinets and fixtures for my sister’s new condominium since she and her husband are in Norway.

Btw, this is a skill I learned from my parents. If Mom is not a teacher, she’ll be an architect, a fashion designer, a singer and guitarist, and a whole lot more of super mom qualities. Yup, the first ever jack-of-all-trades person in the family. 😀 I always see her and Dad laying out blueprints like this on a table when they’re on to a project outside their professional careers. They both designed our ancestral home in the province with the help of an architect friend and for the recent developments, with my architect cousin.

My 3rd sister is the one who’s gifted with superior interior designing skills. Her ideas will just leave you wondering why they never, ever crossed your mind. 😀 I am just grateful to God though that the skills we’ve been gifted with are being used towards collective efforts to achieve one common goal where many will benefit from.

I guess I’ll cut this short because it’s supposed to be a postscript. haha Sorry, my bad. Storytelling for me is always, always a long trail of words. 😀 Btw, if you’re an engineer and you read this, would you mind answering the questions I posted above? Thanks! 😊

Don’t Pretend To Be The Person That You’re Not | GOD’s Purpose

I have felt it in my heart to post this article even if it is not yet Friday because I have sensed the urgency as well as the accountability on my part.

Since my #everyFridayblogpost advocacy started here on WordPress recently, I have been posting a lot of articles all for the purpose of sharing my day to day journey. This, I would like to reiterate, is not for the reason of boasting what I have and what I can do.

I’d like to begin my article with this premise – I share articles with the hope of encouraging my audience or my readers to gain insights that will help them achieve a BETTER SENSE OF SELF, thus, a BETTER CHARACTER.

I am aware that posting on social media requires so much responsibility and yes, accountability. What I post, I have to make sure that my reader will benefit from it and not the other way around.

I guess I can presume the role of a social media influencer in this case. However, it pains me to see that people interpret what I do as achieving perfection and pride in my achievements.

No, my dear. It is not perfection that I hope to achieve because perfection can only be achieved by no other than our perfect creator who is God, Himself.

It pains me to see people copying what I do, BUT with the wrong motives in the heart. You see, if I exhaust all my talents, skills, and resources that I have, that is not for the purpose of satisfying my own selfish desires because I don’t do it out of fame, popularity, and recognition.

I don’t share my skills and talents to the world just so they see me as the ever-so-talented, gifted, favored by God, jack-of-all-trades woman. No, I share it out of God’s guidance which is this – using my skills to SERVE GOD and OTHERS and not myself.

I write in this blog and other writing communities I volunteer because God HAS INSTRUCTED me to do so. The instruction wasn’t given to me overnight. It was a long, grueling season of waiting and asking God and knowing what are HIS PURPOSES for me.

I use my gift in art and sketching and sketch people because I give these sketches to them as GIFTS. I know the fun and happiness they will derive from them once they receive them. The same goes for all my other hobbies which are photography, playing the guitar, cooking, etc.

I pursue and explore what other talents and skills God has given me not in the context of how I will benefit from them. But it is more on HOW GOD AND OTHERS WILL BENEFIT FROM THEM. This should be the ONLY MOTIVATION and reason why we do things that we do now may it be in our careers, family life, or other endeavors.

My friend, you might be getting it all wrong. Don’t be deceived. Don’t let envy creep into your heart making yourself believe that I am more blessed than you are and wishing you have the life that I have. WE ARE BOTH BLESSED.

Don’t pretend to live the life I have because the life that I have is the life that God has purposefully given to me and to me alone. I sought God’s guidance to lead me to my purpose and this is how He showed it to me. For you, it might be different.

Don’t let envy, bitterness, resentment, greed, selfish ambition, and the lies of the enemy blind you from pursuing God’s will, plans, and purpose for your life. You will not see your God-given purpose (which is way better because God has planned it specifically for you) if you are busy living the life of someone else.

But what hurts me the most is when the lies, greed, and envy (works of the enemy) succeeded in tempting you to sin even more. An example of this is stealing the works of others and presenting them to the world as your own work.

Back in college, UP Diliman’s motto is HONOR and EXCELLENCE. Why HONOR? Because the university takes pride in teaching students and eventually raising individuals who will have a GOOD CHARACTER, first and foremost. Next is EXCELLENCE. You will only achieve true excellence if and only if you were able to do the impossible while keeping your HONOR intact.

That is why plagiarism is punishable by expulsion from the university. Just a single phrase that you’re not able to cite properly well from the original author, it will suffice as grounds for plagiarism. Our society has its own rules when it comes to that. These are the COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT laws.

What do they cover? Any written output, piece of artwork, may it be a photograph, a sketch, or a painting, you always have to give credit to the author or the creator if you intend on using them. That is why here on my website, I have included a copyright claim at the bottom.

I also use a couple of plagiarism software and tools such as Copyscape to determine if my articles have been plagiarized or used without my consent. For my photos and published artwork, I use Google Image Revert Search.

If you intend to share other people’s work because you were inspired by what they do, give them the credit the right way. But if it is your intention to make other people’s work as your own and take credit for it, that is STEALING. And STEALING IS A CRIME.

I am begging you, as a dear friend and a sister in Christ, to take heed. Don’t lie to yourself, to the world, and most especially to God who sees all. DO NOT USE THE NAME OF GOD IN VAIN.

God will not be pleased at all. I am pleading on your behalf so God will give you the mercy and spare you from His wrath. He might be using me to speak through you not to condemn you but as a rebuke and a chance to ask God for forgiveness before it’s too late.

He loves you and I love you, too. In fact, I love you so much I can’t bear it to see you fail in your faith and suffer. I took all the effort and courage I could muster and sought God for His leading for how many weeks now on how I will be able to let the message across inflicting as little pain and hurt as possible.

GOD HAS A BEAUTIFUL PURPOSE FOR YOU AND YOU ALONE. He has wonderfully created you as someone UNIQUE and SPECIAL. Talk to God, speak to Him, and ask Him what kind of life, what kind of person, and what kind of purpose He wants you to live out.

“Seek His will in ALL you do and He will show you which path to take.” – Proverbs 3:6

I am writing this article because I felt I also need to take the blame partly. I know I am also an instrument for the deception of the enemy. But I will also do the best that I can to snatch you from the enemy’s stronghold and bring you back to God.

Because again, He loves you and I love you, too…And lastly, be strong for God and fight the good fight of faith. You are not alone…

A grieving but hoping sister in Christ,

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To The Only Mother I’ll Ever Have

That’s no other than my Mom. 🙂

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I wrote this article to honor our Mom on her 72nd birthday today, September 7, 2018. I know the text, call or Skype greeting won’t be enough to show her how much we love her especially since we are miles away from her. Thus, here’s a little something for the social media.

Her Name is Teacher Eden

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BNCS-A Teachers: Mom is second from the left.

She’s a retired grade school teacher. She’s also one of my former teachers and though she’s my Mom, she never treated me any different from my classmates. I could remember one moment when I was still the talkative girl seated at the front because of near-sightedness. My Mom, who’s my Science teacher back then, called me out by my name and said, “Christine, pay attention!” 😀 Haha

Mom in her younger days.

Yes, no biases for Mom as a teacher inside the classroom. And that is why when asked during a job interview who’s the first person to me who exemplified professionalism, I wrote none other than my Mom. Here’s my answer:

“I have worked in several industries from the BPO, the advertising agency, to the academe but I only found one professional whom I look up to when it comes to the right work ethics and dedication – my Mom. I may be biased but she is the first professional I know who exemplifies what it is to not just be good but to excel in your craft as far as professionalism is concerned.

She is now a retired grade school teacher and has been teaching for 45 years. She was assigned to handle Section 4 in a public elementary school which was stereotyped back then as a class composed of students who were rowdy, often absent, and cognitively challenged. But despite that, my Mom invested in her students through discipline and provided encouragement to always be in class.

Some of them were absent in school because they accompany their parents in earning a living. Some attend school without having breakfast. Some couldn’t cope with the lesson discussed. And yet my Mom made sure they are getting the best quality of education she could offer.

It is through this that I have learned that professionalism isn’t about being employed and receiving a salary but more about what you can contribute to the betterment of the organization you are with may it be in the academe or the corporate world.”

As A Mother

My Mom, and in all goodness of the word, is a “tiger mom” in a way that she instilled discipline above everything else. She has a lot of rules at home but she’s the one who taught us what it meant about taking responsibilities and being accountable for them at an early age.

I can remember how I made a “deal” with Mom about having my first cat when I was around 7 or 8 years old. I asked her if I can keep the kittens. This was what she said, “Yes, you can keep them but you are responsible for feeding them and making sure they are well taken care of.” And yes, we have to take out our cats’ poop when we’re already a bit older. My siblings and I usually try to “evade” this task and you can tell why. lol

Every Saturday, we also had this family thing called “doing household chores together.” 😀 When I was younger (and anyone can relate), this is the part where I don’t enjoy much. But now that I am older, I appreciated my Mom training us to do these chores as part of our weekly tasks.

And no, don’t ever think about cleaning everything in one fast sweep. You have to make sure the place where you’re assigned to clean is 100% spot-free. Why? She will ask you to clean it again if she still sees dirt in them. 😉

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The young Ginetes circa 1980s.

During summertime, kids may have this idea of 100% vacation in their heads. But with us, it is 90% play time but 10% summer lessons. She would ask us to do advance lessons of books that will be used for next year.

No problem for me if it’s English because it’s my favorite (even if I have faulty grammar.lol). But no, it has to be your most hated subject – mine’s Math. 😀 Mom knew the subjects where we’re performing poorly and to avoid the chances of us flanking, she will ask us to do review lessons.

There are actually a lot more that I can share here about how Mom brought us up and made us who we are now. But looking back, I can only be grateful she brought us up that way.

I appreciated every single effort that she and my Dad made to teach us everything from right values, good manners, to the skills that we needed to survive in the real world. It molded the character that now defines each and every one of us, 5 siblings.

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Year 2010: Back when my eldest sister’s the only one among 5 of us, siblings, who is married. 😀

There are times that out of my frustration I would text my Mom about certain people and how different they are from us. And yet what she will always tell me is to stand down. To show to people how to do things right but do it by being flexible enough to understand where they came from. By being able to listen, to never demand, but to adjust if and when necessary.

If God wills it I become a mom, I am going to raise my children like how Mom did with a little combination from what I learned from others and in the academe. My Mom epitomizes a woman of great character, strength, and wisdom. And I can only thank God I was given a Mom like her. With this, I can say that my siblings and I are truly blessed. ❤

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Circa 1960s: My mom (in blue dress) along with my uncles and aunt, grandparents (center), and great-grandmother (center, seated).

To end this article, I’d like to offer a prayer for my Mom and I’d like to invite you to join me pray for her:

“Dear Father,

Thank You for the life of my Mom. May You always shower her with your protection, Your love, Your comfort, and Your grace. Strengthen her always in the times that she is weak and deliver her from any kind of struggle.

May You bind us together as one family through her in the midst of trials and challenges. Thank You because You have been faithful to her all throughout these years. May You shine upon her and give her the wisdom always that will lead not just us, her children, but others as well.

In Jesus’ Mighty Name I pray, Amen.”

“Honor your Father and your Mother” — which is the first commandment with a promise…” – Ephesians 6:2

Always proud to be my Mom’s daughter,

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P.S.

If you want to know more about my Mom, you may read this article: “How My Passion For Art and Fashion Came To Be.”

Politics And The Church: A Collective Effort Towards Social Change (Guest Post)

The government and the church are one in allowing and making God’s plans to come to fruition. Let’s continue praying for the success of our nations and our leaders in this endeavor. ❤
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Thank you so much, The Christian Blog Ghana, for this blog guesting opportunity! I am praying this will only be the start of the collective efforts between your nation and mine to share the Gospel in every and any way. 🙂

The Christian Blog Ghana

In almost every ancient history until today, the church and the government have been working side by side in protecting the welfare of the society. There are instances though of the church and the government’s involvement in controversies. We cannot, however, presume that this is always the case. How does a society benefit from the church and the government’s collaboration and leadership

  • Upholding the Law

The laws that are currently existing in our society have been God’s laws elaborated and specifically modified. The Bible is the oldest “law” ever written and it serves as a tool towards civilization. Both the church and the government have responsibilities to uphold these laws in promoting peace and stability within the society. It is only the government-mandated policies that sealed the laws that were written in the Bible so they cannot be interpreted objectively.

  • Nation Building

The church and the government are one when…

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On Bo Sanchez’s “Happy Poverty”

This book was lying around in our old apartment for how many decades already since I was in college until now. It was only when we recently transferred homes did it capture my attention. I didn’t know who Bro. Bo Sanchez was back then. But last year I followed him on Instagram because of a quote I loved.

I finished reading this book for 20 minutes. That is how I am when I am immersed in what I am reading – time just passes. 😀 This is a short book which is a compilation of different stories but the stories were all wonderfully and beautifully written.

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I totally adored this book from the beginning until the end. I felt like the book was speaking to me or rather, my life’s events are speaking in themselves through the book. In other words, I can 100% relate to everything that Bro. Bo was sharing – ideals, circumstances, take on a lot of things, etc.

The most interesting segment in the book that got me captivated and I found myself smiling and then laughing because I can totally relate to him is the idea of “happy poverty.”

My Version of “Happy Poverty”

If you are to read these articles, it’ll give you a glimpse of what my husband and I went through in the first 2 years of our married life: “Minimalist: What It Taught Me In Life” and “Dressing The Part.” It was not easy but we were able to live by because we have made decisions that we know will forge something deeper in our marriage – trust in God.

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A Commitment As A Married Couple

One of our agreements when we finally decided to look for our own place to stay meant that we will be living in conditions that both of us weren’t used to. We both grew up in comfortable homes where we need not worry about everything we need. And this new season that God brought us in was the opposite – a new and unfamiliar territory. We knew we are up to something very challenging and this meant turbulent and rough seas for us.

To make it short, we decided to enter this “happy poverty” season. For the first part, it was very uncomfortable but we were glad and grateful we went through that season because it was a time of so many changes and growth in all areas of our lives. Because we both agreed to enter it, we were contented with our decision and never had any regrets.

You can imagine the major adjustments in everything throughout this season and we were well aware that we needed to keep our emotions in check because our predicament demanded all sort of negative reactions.

That is, if we allowed them to. Though we failed in some instances, I can still say my husband and I were successful in overcoming all the negativity for the most part. This is most likely because we clung on to a steady Rock who’s never washed ashore no matter how mighty the waves are. And also, because we have the following reminders to lead us. Some of these we were able to learn during the Marriage Preparation seminar we attended in church.

Trust-worthy reminders to live by:

  1. Hold on to the commitment made as a husband and a wife and the act of cleaving.
  2. Consider ourselves totally cut-off from anyone who could help us.
  3. We can’t expect our parents to bail us out or go back home to our parents’ arms whimpering.
  4. It’s not about pride but about trusting God and God alone.
  5. How far will you trust God even if it comes to the point of dying for Him?

Deepened Trust

Looking back now, I can say that that particular season was beautiful. Although during those times there were moments of tears and sadness; disappointments and failures; helplessness and hopelessness – but only for the time being.

We allowed God to work on our lives and rescue us from anything that will be our pitfall. We did experience everything that the word “poverty” can encompass. And yet, if I will be asked to relive the experience, I’d still say “yes.”

Why? Because Bro. Bo Sanchez is right:

“That seasons of famine are permitted by God to give us deepened trust.”

And this verse will support that statement:

“Give your burdens to the LORD, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” – Psalm 55:2

But are there times that I still doubted the Lord? Yes, I honestly admit there are times that I still question God’s will and His ability to make things work according to His plans. This, I must say, I am ashamed in admitting but it also gave God more opportunity to reveal more of Himself to me including His never-ending faithfulness.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

God is Never an Impatient God

Just like this article, developments in the family endeavor, the career opportunities I receive – they were all delayed. Because God revealed September is, once again, a season of waiting.

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“Don’t be impatient. Eat when it is time to eat. And walk when it is time to walk.” – The Alchemist

Why must I or we wait? Because when God asks us to wait, it means He has a big plan that He is currently working on that requires a much-needed preparation and is due to happen in His timetable if we want it to be perfect.

God is a god of perfection and as His sons and daughters, He wants nothing else but for us to have the best. That is, if we have the patience to wait for them to unfold either in this lifetime or the life beyond. 🙂

“Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” – James 1:17

“…in order that in the coming ages He might display the surpassing riches of His grace, demonstrated by His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God,…” – Ephesians 2:8

Rich in God’s love always,

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More About Oyango Ridge: A Story Of Family History And Agenda | Part 2

Before I share this, I’d like to say that oftentimes God makes me cry in awe. Seriously. 🙂 You may find out why below. (This will be a long post but a very interesting one.)

More Updates from Oyango Ridge

If you have been following my blog posts as of late, you’ll notice they are all about the current season that God brought me and my family in – developing a piece of property. You may read these articles to know the full story:

“Business Plans: Still Tilling And Waiting On God’s Ways”

“An Ode To My Grandpa”

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Daddybels in action. 😉

In my recent article about the property, I did mention that what I needed as of the moment is a mentor who will guide us not just when it comes to the business aspect of the project but someone whose values and goals are aligned with us – God-centered. I did mention I found one in the likes of Bro. Bo Sanchez. I only found one but God said you need more.

Isn’t it amazing how God leads us to the right people when we clearly ask Him with all our hearts what we need because we want to fulfill His will more than anything?

It takes such great faith to ask God though. Why? Because it involves waiting on God and trusting Him completely where He will lead you. And yes, you’re in this blind spot where you just can’t see what is about to unfold. But even with the blindfold, you still trust your guide completely.

Just Like Abraham

I’ll be honest here though. I haven’t been much of a very faithful follower. And last Sunday’s preaching by Pastor Will Murrell about Abraham and his somehow wavering faith just made me realize how similar Abraham and I are when God called him out to go to the promised land.

I admit I also came to the point wherein like Abraham, seeing there’s a famine in the promised land, resorted to doing things his way or like what he did to Sarah. I also came to that point wherein I got tired and became too impatient on waiting for God’s instructions that my faith slowly waned and I’m back to doing things my way.

The by-product? I just became frustrated to the point that I would ask my husband why can’t God give me what I want and what I need when I’ve done my best and everything that I could. It is only now that I realized I wasn’t doing things God’s way. And God consistently pulls me back on the right path because He knows I am being led astray. He knows that my heart is not in its right place.

When God Leads

I understand why I had to pass up career opportunities that I would’ve loved to pursue on full throttle now. But I also saw how God gave me career opportunities that will allow me to fulfill the tasks I need to do. And now I know why the Spirit would give me this desire and when to act on it like selecting dates that I have no idea why I selected that particular month or days.

I did mention in my previous article that I felt this need to be in our hometown and help our parents start with the family project. The Spirit led me to the month of September because it is my Mom and maternal grandmother’s birth month. So I previously selected their birth week – Sept 7-14.

But then an opportunity came where I needed to move the dates much later. I already had an inclination to change it even before the opportunity came but I just have no valid reason why. So this opportunity sealed my decision to go home on Sept 16 instead.

When God Intervenes

Here’s what really happened. My brother knows we’re going home but doesn’t exactly know when. When he called last Tuesday, he asked me what is our targeted date to go to our hometown. After telling him, he just said that it is perfect because there is a seminar on farming that we can attend about making it profitable but guided by biblical principles.

When I heard this, you just can’t imagine the hearts in my eyes. Literally, I felt my heart went to my eyes. lol But what is even more fascinating? It was scheduled the day before we leave for our 1-week visit to our hometown. I know now why God delayed all the site developments in our proposed timeline. Because God is not yet done preparing me and my siblings for this season. The opportunities for knowledge and resources are all here which my parents currently don’t have access to.

I also found other free e-learning courses offered by accredited organizations who award a certificate upon completion. Yes, this is what we will be doing at this stage – equipping, as what my brother told me.

I only prayed for one mentor and yet He gave us more than what we needed. Why? When I looked at the link that my brother shared with me, our goals are similar even with our chosen Bible verse. But do take note that I already chose our running verse for the business even before I saw their site. 😀

“Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” – Genesis 2:15

Mission, Vision, and Values

I know it is not a coincidence because I don’t believe in luck or coincidences. There’s no such things in the Bible except for God’s plans and His will. When I was developing the website last 8/8/2018, I already laid out specifics on the content that we plan to incorporate on our website. I told my siblings that the website can serve as our concrete guide for the project’s goals.

When I was piecing the website together, I told myself (or God?) that these are very ambitious plans. From the training camp to the retreat center to the foundation, and even the wildlife sanctuary. I changed it to wildlife sanctuary from wildlife park because I’d like to make it a safe haven for all the animals who are already making the farm as their home ever since. I am an animal lover since birth I even cry when I see chickens or pigs being slaughtered because we have to eat them. 😀

For the social enterprise part, Semilya Sa Kinabuhi and Oyango Ridge share the same goals – bringing in the new generation to appreciate agricultural awareness. I believe with all the man-made structure being built everywhere, God is already calling out to us to preserve what is God-made.

Faith and Fate Intertwined

I am hopeful there will be a fruitful partnership between Semilya sa Kinabuhi and Oyango Ridge – they cater Mindanao and us, the Southern Luzon. And I know this will expand to greater lengths. Why? There is now an ongoing construction of the international airport in Legazpi, a 3-hour ride from our place. Also, we heard that a new subdivision will be developed near Oyango Ridge.

We can envision how the entire community will benefit from agribusiness and farming. We plan to sell seedlings to small-time farmers so they can also contribute to the local food movement and lower the market price of the goods. The more the supply, the lower the prices but better product quality.

And also, when there is an abundance of supply, we can share them with neighboring communities. We will never know, time will come it won’t be impossible to ship these products abroad through the international airport in Legazpi City. My target? Send them to drought and war-afflicted countries where starvation is rampant. Some of the countries that came to my mind are Africa and Iraq.

You’ll probably say, “Tin, your products are perishable goods, they won’t last long and might not even reach their destination.” That’s not a problem. In my previous work, I was able to research about homesteading and this includes canning. Canning is the way of preserving vegetables to extend their shelf life.

You can even do it by using a pressure cooker if you plan to can foods for personal consumption. But you will most likely say, “How easy will it be to transport these goods without being held by militants or any groups who are causing the uprising in those countries?”

The solution is to send these goodies along with neutral entities who are conducting humanitarian services. Who are they? Red Cross, UN, WHO, and I know there are a lot more of them. Or better yet, through our very own missionaries. Partner with them and you’ll be assured your products will be used according to your intended purpose – feed and help people.

Counterattack Lies with Hope and Prayers (Lots of Them)

Oftentimes, this is where the enemy usually comes in. You have this great plan for you and a lot of people and the enemy will counterattack it with lies. Lies that say you can’t do it because of this and that and so on and so forth. And the only way to silence him is this – with God, nothing is impossible so go back to wherever you came from. 😀

This is what I sometimes encounter. Those little voices in your head that say you’re incapable of such things. You lack a lot of things. You cannot achieve that. And a whole lot more of restraining lies. Well, I must admit at some point it even came close to convincing me to totally forget about everything and turn my back on my destiny if ever it is my destiny or purpose.

But then, God is forever faithful. He knows I am weak and prone to these enemies’ lies and He gave me enough reasons to pursue what He tasked me to do. I am also stubborn by nature and sometimes I tell God directly that I don’t want to do things His way because I don’t want to and I just can’t make what He asked from me happen.

But here’s what God will answer me back with, “Is there anything too big and too difficult for me? You are not alone because I am with you. Emmanuel.” The very reason why He sent Jesus into this world in the first place. To be with us. To assure us that God is with us He is even willing to sacrifice His Son to suffer on our behalf just to prove that His presence is watching over us. Obedience is what He requires and trust.

Trust With No Limits

Amazing is our God, isn’t it? I don’t see the bigger picture but God allowed me to take a sneak peek of it because most probably He knows I oftentimes doubt myself and Him. And I am too fearful, much too fearful. I needed lots of convincing and assurances just to break through my stubbornness and unwillingness to accept and do my part.

I know you have a part, too, that is why you got to read this. It may not be a farm and it could be something else but I know for sure He has plans for you, too. A big one and yes, say “yes” too. His even bigger plans won’t happen if the body of Christ lacks the leg or the arm or the head. We may be the arm but we need the head or the leg so together we can do what He wants us to do as the body of Christ. Yes, we would like to partner with you in this endeavor once it became operational in whatever form it may be – prayers, volunteering or paid work, business affiliates, etc.

I am just extremely glad and grateful when just at the time I was about to feel unmotivated, lower my expectations, and start losing hope, here He is with so many surprises that will prove the Lord is faithful with all His promises. And He’s never early nor late but always right on time. 🙂

Now ready to take on my part,

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P.S.

We know now why this is a family calling – all of us in the family loves gardening as a hobby. This is my second sister and bro-in-law’s harvest from their garden in Norway. 😀

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Because urban living deprives me of a spacious lawn, I have grown mine in pots. I propagated these ivys which my brother gave me. 🙂

He and my sis-in-law have their own set of potted plants, too. My eldest sister also has hers in their place. And my 3rd sister was able to successfully grow some vegetables in our hometown, too. I also believe it isn’t a coincidence that my Mom’s name is Eden. Yes, the garden of Eden, indeed. 😉

If you’re curious what’s in my Mom’s garden when it comes to flowering plants, you may check out these links:

“MAY The Flowers Be With You”

“Flora And Fauna – Explored”

Read More: “More About Oyango Ridge: A Story Of Family History and Agenda | Part 1”