Hooray To 7 Years With WordPress! ❤

I’ll graze my blog very quick because I still have work to finish. I just need to share this today. 😊

Thank you, WordPress, for giving me the opportunity to share my life experiences (for free, for now) through your awesome platform. I also got to meet a whole lot of other awesome writers in this community, and their experiences are all worth reading. ❤

Indeed, cheers to more years flying with yah! 🥂

Last but not least, thank You to my “Editorial Manager” up there who gives me the wisdom and instructions on what to write here. All glory to You, my Father. 🙏

 

Forever your regular Christian WordPress writer,

P.S. I really don’t know how to interpret those stats. A spike in those bars means this blog is somehow doing okay, right? 😀 I still don’t have plans on monetizing this though, BUT if God instructs otherwise, I’ll go for it. 👍

Movie Review: Same Kind Of Different As Me

I’m having a severe rhinitis attack today. As much as I’d like to use a nasal saline spray, my nurse hubby advised me to go natural on remedies. He explained that using too much of it can result in a thinner mucus lining.

The mucus lining protects our respiratory system from viruses that could enter our body through nasal passages. So, here I am trying to make myself feel as comfortable as I can by writing a blog post. 😀

Same Kind Of Different As Me: A Movie Based On A True Story

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Photo credit: imdb.com

For this article, I’ll be doing a review of the movie “Same Kind of Different As Me.” It is an adaptation of the New York Times’ Best-Selling novel based on a true story about faith, hope, love, and friendship.

I don’t want to divulge too many details about the movie just in case you haven’t seen it yet. So, I’ll keep this review short to limit the spoilers. It is already available on Netflix, by the way, since it was released in cinemas back in 2017.

The Characters

The main characters were played by actors Renee Zellwegger (Deborah Hall) and Greg Kinnear (Ron Hall). Greg and Deborah portrayed the typical couple who started out with relational rifts, which became the starting point of the turnaround of events.

Deborah is a wife, mother, and philanthropist, while her husband Greg is a writer and a wealthy international art dealer in Texas. Djimoun Hounsou played the role of Denver who is an ex-con living in a community for the homeless where Deborah volunteers. He is the person whom Deborah would always see in her dreams.

A Special Friendship, A Beautiful Marriage

What I loved about the movie is how the different experiences of each character have intertwined and changed their lives forever. They all have different personalities and yet were all used by God to fulfill a great plan that will benefit not just these 3 characters, but an entire community.

It’s Denver who mostly shared about his faith to the couple and my favorite quotation of his in the movie is this, “Debbie is getting precious in the eyes of God, she also becomes important to Satan.”

Debbie died of cancer at the end of the movie. She left a legacy, however, that changed lives and resulted in a beautiful friendship particularly between her husband and Denver.

She found out she has cancer in its terminal stage already. This sometimes baffles me how a crippling, incurable illness can be diagnosed without the patient even noticing he/she has it.

I believe this has something to do with Denver’s statement I quoted above, and it can also be that God’s purpose for Debbie was already fulfilled. Indeed, it kind of makes you think that our lives are really shorter than we expected.

Do What You Can Do, The Things That God Asked You To Do

Just like Debbie, I don’t intend to wait until the doctor tells me that I have a terminal illness before I start doing things that mattered to me and to God. I won’t wait for that moment before I do the things that I can do now, and the things that God asked me to do now.

So that when it’s time for us to cross the finish line, we have no regrets, and we die fulfilled. I’ve seen testimonies of dying persons over the internet whose last words were filled with the usual regretful “I should have done this and I should have done that.”

Why Wait if the Time is Now

By learning from these final words, we can also avoid these feelings of regret from taking place in our lives. Let’s use them instead to change how we run our lives now. How?

We can start by asking God what exactly are His plans for us. Even if it means going outside of our comfort zones, we have to obey Him. Debbie, for sure, wasn’t comfortable going to a community that is entirely the opposite of where she lives.

As her husband would remind her at first, the place was dangerous, full of criminals, and dirty. This didn’t stop Debbie though and she still followed what she saw in her dream. I believe her dream was a vision shown to her by God – a prophecy. It is what God was asking her to do.

God Makes Everything Beautiful in His Time

The day before she passed away, Debbie told her husband how things have turned out beautifully. She even got to appreciate the infidelity that her husband committed a few years back.

She said that if it wasn’t for it, then they wouldn’t have been given the chance to reclaim the love they used to have for one another and save their marriage from completely falling apart. I’d personally love to die saying these as my last words.

These are words spoken out of gratitude, peace, and contentment. And I believe it is because of my obedience to God when He asked me to do something that I can proclaim these words and say I was able to live a fulfilled life – a life with purpose and a life with meaning.

A Movie Worth Watching

I believe it is not a coincidence that I was able to watch it yesterday out of the countless movies on Netflix. It could probably be God’s leading that I get to see it so I can share it here on my blog. Because this blog is also the legacy that I will be leaving behind if the time comes for me to go.

Are you also living out the purpose that God has called you out? If yes, are you confident that when the right time has come for you to join Him, you can say with a free spirit that you’re ready?

If not yet, don’t waste any more time. I encourage you to have the courage to pursue what God has called you to do. Just like what Denver said in this movie, “We are all homeless just trying to find our way back home.”

Here are the Bible verses the Spirit has prompted me to share with you and help you discern God’s calling for your life:

“Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.

You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.

For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you.

Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.

May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.”

– 1 Thessalonians 5:1‭-‬24 NIV

Living life according to God’s plan,

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P.S. I’ll just be watching the service in church via live stream. I just can’t disrupt it with my constant sneezing every hour when I’m there, can I? 😀

Bible Verses 10/19/2019

When the scheming enemy strikes you with his attacks, DECLARE this Bible verse boldly:

And if he strikes again and again, CLAIM this verse:

And lastly, PRAY. 🙏🙂

Fighting and praying with you in this spiritual battle,

My Sentiments About Having A Child: Family Life

My husband and I have been married for almost 5 years now. We don’t have kids for reasons that only God knows. But honestly, in those 5 years, hubby and I never felt burdened by the fact that we were never blessed with kids (yet).

In fact, after we had our respective checkups, we accepted that God has a good plan behind it. These are plans that are beyond our control and yet what they demand from us is to continue seeking His counsel every single day as to what to do.

To receive the bad news that our best chances to have kids is thru IUI is far more bearable to take than accepting some of the people’s sentiments around us about our ordeal. 😀 I thank God for our families though because they treated it as something that we shouldn’t be pressured about at all.

Dealing With Social Stigma

Yes, I’ll be pretty honest. Hubby is not completely open to the idea of me sharing this. But I told him that we have to let people around us know to avoid all those awkward moments during reunions and children’s birthday parties about questions when we are going to have kids.

They would ask us casually and yet I told hubby that we can’t blame them since they don’t know exactly what we’re going through. They don’t know the visits to the doctor for our checkups and about being brave enough to endure the medical instruments inserted and injected here and there. They have no idea about how nervous we are as to what the doctor’s findings are and all the financial expenses involved.

IUI vs IVF

An IUI (intrauterine insemination) is different from IVF (in vitro fertilization) in a way that the IUI works by injecting the semen inside the uterus. Fertilization still occurs inside the uterus, while for IVF, the egg is harvested from the uterus and the fertilization takes place in the laboratory. Once the procedure is a success, the fertilized egg will be inserted back to the uterus.

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Photo credit: Pixabay – Pexels

I am not afraid of the physical pain nor am I worried about financial resources. I have faith that if God wills it my husband and I will have kids through any kind of medical procedure, He will provide the means, the courage, and the right time to have it.

Complete Faith All The Way

I just can’t help but admire my husband so much in this season – his courage, his strength, his nonchalance, and his faith. It seems like he displays the character of a devout Christian more than I do. And yet it’s ironic that it is me who claims to have such great faith. 😀

There are some couples going through similar situations such as ours who would get offended when asked by friends and relatives when they’re going to have a baby. Again, we also have to understand that the reason they ask is that they know nothing about our struggles in this journey.

So I told my husband that to break this negative mentality (considered as taboo) when it comes to infertility and the inability to conceive, we have to let those around us be aware of our predicament. Involve them in this difficult season in our marriage by asking them to pray for us and letting them know what exactly we need.

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Photo credit: Andreas Wohlfahrt – Pexels

Sharing to Encourage Others

My husband is partially against this. He said it is too personal. And yet I have a different urge from the Spirit on how to treat the situation. I explained that yes, it is too personal. But God may be using our situation as a testimony of our faith in Him and His saving grace.

And that by sharing our faith in this journey, we could also encourage other couples who are going through the same struggles. Maybe it is through us that they get to know who God is, for one. As typical of my husband, he will concede once he realizes that there is indeed no harm done re a particular intent that I have. 😀 And if he knows I am doing it with the Spirit’s leading.

I pray that all the couples out there who are like us will see this predicament not as a curse but an opportunity to display God’s power. It is also an avenue to show our complete faith and trust in God, alone, that even though we have no assurance as to what will happen, we will still choose to believe in Him. Husbands and wives can also use these trying times to strengthen their bond as a couple even more.

Facing Trials Head-on

This is an unfavorable season that my husband and I cannot avoid. We have to face it head-on with the courage, strength, peace, and wisdom that God gives us. We can’t avoid attending reunions and kids’ birthday parties just so we can avoid being asked the dreaded question.

It also helps us to be open about our situation giving us freedom from any feelings of bitterness, discontentment, insecurity, and hatred because of it. The sooner we accept the fact that God is in control and that what we can only do is to act according to His instructions, the lesser the burden and the more at peace we’ll become.

For those who lost unborn babies and who can never have a baby, it’s almost the same, though the gravity of their situation is even greater. As much as I would like to empathize with them, I know it is not enough. I know I can only offer them prayers that may they still find the courage to continue hoping in God’s beautiful promises despite these heartbreaking moments. ❤

You Have Been Wonderfully Made

To all the couples out there, it is time to break this silence. Because this is what the enemy will use to cripple us through bouts of depression, restlessness, guilt, shame, and unhappiness. Don’t let him make you think of yourself as less than perfect, that something is wrong with the way you were created.

No, don’t believe these lies. Don’t let the enemy win. Don’t let it consume you. We have all been fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. God may be perfect, but we are still a work in progress. We are all imperfect. We all lack something. God is not yet done with us and it is only Him who can blot out those imperfections in us when the right time comes.

Be Free

I pray that all the couples out there who are going through similar trials will be released from this stronghold of the enemy. Be free my brothers and sisters, for it is your faith that will heal you and save you from this struggle.

We just always have to remember that God is always with us no matter what. So we must never stop believing that He knows what is good for us in the long run. Trusting Him completely is the key. 🙏


“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” – Hebrews 10:39

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:11

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:13

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7


A wife waiting contentedly and happily,

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P.S. I’ll just share this song, which my group and I got through draw lots, during our ‘Making Disciples’ class in our church back in 2014.

This post just reminded me about it – being BRAVE enough to break norms by saying what you want to say. 👍🙂

Featured Image: Caleb Oquendo – Pexels

Learning From The Marriage Of Hosea | A 4th Year Wedding Anniversary Special

Hello, everyone! This has long been overdue because August, for me, was the busiest month. I had to juggle several responsibilities at the same time. I thank the Lord, though, because when September ushered in, I was able to “breathe a little.” Thus, this article. 😉

I am writing this blog post to commemorate our 4th year wedding anniversary last month. Hubby and I celebrated it with a simple dinner and some well-deserved pampering.

I guess that’s what really happens when you’re getting older. Any free time you get, you would rather choose to spend it by resting. 😀 We do hang out, though, with our families and friends every now and then just to maintain balance.

Why Hosea?

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I encountered the story of Hosea in the Love Dare book lent to me by my Victory group leader last year when I was going through tough times in my marriage. I diligently followed every dare in the book, and there were times a dare would move me to tears because I was so convicted.

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How could I not know the right way to respond as a Christian wife in the relational conflicts between me and my husband?

The book just laid bare everything vulnerable, crooked, and imperfect inside me. With them all exposed, however, I was able to deal with the real issues behind some of the conflicts I had with my husband.

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One of them is fear. I was so driven by it that little did I know the enemy is already using it against me and my husband to his advantage and to destroy God’s beautiful promises for us. It’s just timely that this year’s wedding anniversary reminded me once again of our Bible verse during our wedding back in 2015:

“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love.” – 1 John 4:18

Next, it was lack of faith. While doing the dare, there were instances where I felt a part of me was wrestling against doing it.

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What I discovered is that I wasn’t humble enough as I claim to be, and there is still pride lurking deep down. I still relied on my own efforts when dealing with tough relational issues instead of trusting God, for one.

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The Love Dare book didn’t just reveal parts of me that I needed to work on, but it also showed me how to better appreciate my spouse and his efforts to make our marriage work. I am sure you are curious by now to find out if it indeed resulted in a more positive and healthy relationship between me and my husband.

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I can say that it did, for the most part, and yet for the majority of the changes, they did not happen overnight. They all required a great deal of discipline in order to see satisfying results. I am just grateful that both my husband and I are willing to work on our marriage regardless of the amount of effort and sacrifice it requires. Yes, we are still a work in progress, and God is definitely not done with us yet.

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When I did the dares in the book, I decided not to wait for my husband to change first before I follow suit. If he does or doesn’t change, that is between him and God. But God’s calling for me is that I change now.

Will I recommend the book?

Definitely.

I am sure any husband or wife out there can relate with every dare in the book 100%, and if you’re going through rough seasons in your marriage, I highly recommend it. It’s also included in the Fireproof movie hubby and I watched a couple of years ago. I already have an idea of what the book was all about, but doing the dares, yourself, is an entirely different case.

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Who is Hosea?

Hosea, in the Bible, is a prophet who was called by God to marry a prostitute. The story revolves around the prophet’s obedience to God in the midst of adultery, which was prevalent in God’s people during those times.

After getting married and having children, Hosea’s wife left him and unfortunately went back to prostitution. This was a very heart-wrenching experience to the prophet. It extremely tore him apart and yet, God asked him to do the most difficult task – ask her to return to him as his wife.

After leaving Hosea and going back to prostitution, Gomer (Hosea’s wife), got herself into undesirable circumstances and was sold as a slave. Hosea, though, still loves her. So, when God instructed Hosea to buy his wife back, he obeyed. He dismissed his own pain as seeing her would probably mean bringing back all the hurt of her leaving him and her sexual promiscuity with different men.

Gomer was full of remorse when Hosea bought her, but he did it on one condition – that she will completely let go of her past sins as a prostitute and repent.

What can we learn from Hosea?

God used the marriage of Hosea to Gomer as a representation of His unending love for His people despite their sinfulness and disobedience. God will continue to make all efforts to bring His people back to Him because that is what He is, He is love.

And there’s just no greater avenue to display the love of God than in a marriage. 1 Corinthians 13 portrays who God is as love, but there are other passages in the Bible that also describe what love ought to be such as loving your enemies and your neighbors as yourself.

The Lesson Of Hosea In A Marriage

When we love our enemies whom we don’t have a close relationship with, we sure can deal with it easily. But in a marriage, it is a tad more difficult and requires greater faith and more grace. To share one roof and sleep beside your enemy is already challenging enough. What more to love whom you disdain every single day?

Yes, there will be times in your marriage wherein you’ll feel you married your worst enemy. Your spouse can be your worst enemy because he/she knows so much about your weaknesses that nobody else does. And yet it doesn’t have to be that way if you choose to see your spouse in a different light.

This is where we can apply the lesson of Hosea’s love story. Just as God will choose to give chances to His people no matter how grave their sins are, then we, too, should do the same. When we were called to be married, God called us to love our spouses just like what Hosea did.

Every Marriage Was Orchestrated By God

I don’t believe in coincidences nor the idea that God does things based on trial and error just like in marriages. I believe that every marriage was orchestrated by God for us to fulfill a certain task. We are the only ones who can determine what these tasks are when we ask God sincerely and devote ourselves to obeying Him and His instructions completely.

Whether our marriages are failing, surviving, or thriving, God has a purpose for it, and this purpose will vary depending on each and every couple. My purpose in my marriage might be different than Hosea’s or any married couple out there. But they all have one goal – to display God’s unending love because that is who He is and that is who He wants us to know and follow.

This is why I don’t judge married couples whether they have God-centered marriages or not for now. Through the story of Hosea, I have surmised that we are not in the position to judge whether a marriage will last or not or decide for a person who he/she must marry. Because every marriage will go through seasons and in these seasons, God will use circumstances to fulfill His greater plans.

It Is A Calling

A marriage is a calling. The choice to marry a person doesn’t merely happen by chance, and it isn’t based on our own free will alone. God also has a hand in it. When I was single, I would read articles on who to marry or what is the type of guy/girl who will fit your personality. And yet reading the story of Hosea changed my perspective on relationships and marriages. It called for an understanding beyond legalism and pre-set doctrines that the world has dictated.

The Bible did state to never be yoked with an unbeliever. My interpretation, however, is that it should be taken with a grain of salt, and it depends on a case-to-case basis. What if the same calling similar to Hosea’s happens now in our generation? As a church, we can only respond to it with prayers. We can never judge because we don’t know what God has planned for a certain couple.

All we know is that it is in a marriage that God calls us to exhibit the greatest of them all – LOVE. We should always remember, too, that no marriage is ever a failure in God’s eyes as long as we seek His counsel on how to run our marriages. 🙂

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Always the goofy husband, when he’s in the mood. lol 😉

Called by God to be a Christian wife in every circumstance,

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Why Bicol Region Might Just Be The Best Place To Invest In Come 2020 Onward

Hello, everyone! Nope, I haven’t forgotten at all to write anything here on WordPress. I just had a lot of things going on in the past weeks that took most of my time and attention. God, however, never fails to remind me because though I was inactive for more than a month already, I still keep on getting blog “Follows” and post “Likes.”

Thank you, all, for dropping by this site and showing your love. May you be blessed as you read along and His revelations be known to you as well. ❤

From A Promise-Keeper To Another Promise-Keeper

I bet God’s reminder through all of you is His way of saying, “My child, don’t forget the promise you made back in 2013 when I saved you that you will make this online journal a testimony of your spiritual journey.” 😀

Yes, Lord. I haven’t forgotten at all. In fact, I now have 64 drafts. Some of them are half-finished while there are those that contain only one word to remind me of the thought that I need to write about.

I originally came up with an editorial calendar to make publishing on a regular basis way easier. I believe, however, that it is not how God intended it to be since I write based on the Spirit’s leading, and it has always been this way ever since I started this blog.

Let me end the long intro here so we can get on with today’s article topic. It’s one of the reasons why I was hibernating here on WordPress – the family business in Bicol.

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How the Rice Tarrification Law is Affecting the Rice Farmers Now

In this previous article entitled “The Role of Climate Change and Rice Tarrification Law in Rice Production: Agri Talk,” I discussed what the RTL covers and how the mandate is supposed to benefit both rice producers and consumers.

Several months have passed since the bill was implemented, and my Dad’s assumptions that it will negatively affect the rice farmers ended up true. When my brother, sis-in-law, and I went to our home province last September, a majority of the rice farmers all over the country are expressing their sentiments to abolish the law.

The cheaper imported rice may have been a solution to most rice consumers, but the local rice struggled to compete with it. This resulted in a lower buying price for the local rice – way too low that farmers no longer gain any profit considering the high expenses involved in rice farming from the planting to the harvesting process.

Local farmers, in fact, had to loan money in order to compensate for their losses in this season’s harvests. Because of this, my Dad plans to skip planting and harvesting seasons in the meantime that market prices for local rice are low.

The Rice Farming Business Through The Decades

Our rice farming business is an additional source of income, and our parents used it to support us financially through college. They managed to send all 5 of us, siblings, to school through it.

My parents shared how their salaries as working professionals being a grade-school teacher and engineer won’t suffice to support all our needs. We also have copra production as my parents’ alternative source of income, however, the buying price of coconuts is also very low.

Both of my parents are retired now and receive a monthly pension. My siblings and I also have our own careers. But what concerns my parents more now is the situation of our rice farm helpers who rely on the planting and harvesting seasons to earn an income.

My Dad told me that should we push through in skipping the planting and harvesting seasons, which fall every 6 months per annum, our farmworkers will be forced to look for other ways to earn for a living. Most of them are skilled in rice farming only, and looking for other types of jobs will be difficult for them.

Some of them will come here to Manila to work as construction workers and leave their families behind. My Dad fears that those who do not have this privilege, considering how bus fares to Manila are that expensive for them, might end up joining the New People’s Army to get money to feed their families.

Support the Local Rice Farmers

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The plight of rice farmers has created an uproar on social media. Joint efforts to support the local farmers have been created such as what Session Groceries has been doing. However, this is only limited to rice producers located near and targeting Metro Manila, which has a bigger market.

For those who are in far-flung provinces such as our rice farmers in Bicol, this isn’t an option. Because selling rice in Manila would mean costly trucking and handling fees. Our only option is to sell our palay and rice to rice traders in the region.

As I type this, I can’t help but feel a little emotional. It’s because I have seen the difficult process of producing rice, all the stress involved, all the resources needed, the amount of money shelled out, and how some of our farmworkers would ask my Dad for their salaries in advance to support their immediate needs.

They have been a part of our family for several generations now – yes, we already see them as a family because they are the ones responsible for keeping the rice production running. We just finance the entire process, but they are the ones who do all the hard work, which is extremely difficult. Agricultural work is hard labor (not to be applied in the context of punishment for prisoners).

I see the RTL as a form of oppression to the entire local rice farming industry. If it will not be abolished and market prices for local rice don’t go back to normal, we have to start looking for lasting solutions and better alternatives.

Just Wait Because God is Always on Time and Never Late

I have been asking God for answers as to why this has to happen. Why let Your people suffer? Why let those who are in power abuse those who are already disadvantaged? Why let the strong continue to oppress the weak?

And yet through those questions, God asked that I trust Him completely. He may not have revealed what His plans are and yet there is the assurance that He is working something good behind it all. Just like what He always does – He is always working.

Impatience can sometimes get the better part of me, and I oftentimes fail to obey Him as a result. I already learned this lesson the hard way in terms of my career. It’s God’s calling I work from home, but since I am expecting positive results once I obey Him, I end up doing the other way around when my expectations aren’t met.

The last office job was God’s final warning for me. After just a couple of weeks working in an office setting, here came the health scare once again. I felt persistent pain in my chest, which prompted me to resign and go through several medical checkups.

Warnings To Heed

To some of you who don’t know yet, I have a high risk for breast cancer having a solid history of breast cancer in my family starting from my great grandmother, grandmother, then to my Mom. They’re all cancer survivors.

God made me realize that the daily commute weakens my immune system at a faster rate. I believe God is telling me that He still has more for me to do and if I want to live a fulfilled life, I should obey His calling.

Aside from the health scare, the work-from-home setup also allows me to work anywhere. This means that if God calls me to be in my home province and help Dad manage our family business, I can go there anytime without disrupting my work schedule.

Setting Priorities Right

This isn’t as easy as it sounds though since the reason why I am still here in Manila is that hubby’s work is here, and he is still my first priority. Hubby doesn’t have any background in farming, and should we decide to live in Bicol for good, it will be a major change in his life. I think hubby isn’t ready for this shift yet.

And God knows that, too. So His answer was this, “Tin, wait. I am still not yet done working. Just you wait.”

For someone like me who is always planning and doing things according to plan, impatience kills me. And yet, this is where God is teaching me the greatest lesson. Though I must admit I sometimes haggle my way through His plans by asking Him to give me even just some glimpses of what He intends to do.

God will reveal some of His plans and yet they are not always a clear picture. Simply because “His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.” He can only show us portions of His grand plan, bits and pieces, because that is only how far our brains could comprehend.

I have realized later on, that God’s wisdom is not to be grasped nor even understood. It is only to be received in faith, showing complete trust in His power and His sovereignty above all things.

A Glimpse of Future Investments

I don’t have the wisdom of God to put the pieces of a puzzle together. And yet, in these pieces that God reveals along the way, I can make out one word – HOPE.

The Bicol International Airport will be completed by 2020; the Bicol Fish Port is half-finished; the construction of the SLEX 4, which will cut 3-4 hours of the travel time from Bicol to Manila and vice versa, has already started; and SM is starting to build several branches in key cities in the Bicol Region including the city closest to us, which is Sorsogon.

Our hometown may not feel this rapid urbanization growth just yet, but when the time is ripe, it will slowly creep to nearby towns and provinces. With the rise of commercialization and urbanization growth, the revenues of a local government will also increase.

This translates to better employment opportunities and a better quality of life for everyone. Those who live in provinces will no longer flock Metro Manila in search of stable job opportunities. Besides, the city will also reach its saturation point. It will no longer be a conducive and habitable place to live in with all the traffic, congestion, and pollution.

A Shift in the AgriBusiness Industry

Some farmers fear this will be the dawn of the agribusiness industry if most of the lands will be converted to real estate developments. I believe not all of the agricultural lands will be converted to support the commercial and residential sectors. We will still have a need for farmlands to produce vegetables and other crops as well as meat products to supply our daily consumption.

I wrote this previous article, “Agribusiness: The Future of Today’s Economy” in this light stating that agribusiness will have a high demand as long as the local government will patronize local products. In our region, God is already establishing the market.

So this is probably the reason why He is asking me to wait. He is still in the process of establishing a market where we can sell our products. He is still “paving the way” to make it happen, so to speak. My siblings and I are initially planning on utilizing another portion of farmland that my parents own for organic farming and other projects. Our goal is to help the local community and use the idle land according to how our grandparents wanted it to be.

We proposed the idea to our parents but they are not really open to it since it’s a new venture, and they’re unfamiliar with the entire process. My grandparents have grown vegetables but only for their daily consumption. My parents don’t have enough knowledge and experience growing organic vegetables on a wider scale.

The Plan

I believe there is no need to worry about competition. With the several commercial establishments that will rise, especially in the food sector such as restaurants, there will be a high demand for a wide range of agri products such as corn for flour, vegetables, fruits, among many others.

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Commercial establishments will start looking for local suppliers as this is cheaper compared if their suppliers will come from the North such as in Benguet where most of Metro Manila’s vegetables are coming from. Can you grow one type of vegetable only and be the supplier of this for the entire region? Yes, it is possible. One hectare can already provide you a truckload or more of produce. If you own a huge parcel of land, you have more options for growing different kinds of crops.

My parents said this will be difficult since there are certain crops that will only grow in a particular soil type. If these are vegetables, especially the leafy ones, they don’t have a deep root system, which means they will thrive on rich topsoil. That is my guess only, however, based on my urban gardening experiment here in the condo.

So I came up with a plan to conduct a“pilot testing” for several vegetables by planting a couple of them in our backyard to see which ones will thrive and which ones won’t. The soil in our garden can be tested along with the soil taken from our farmland to compare if they are the same or not.

The experiment will run for an entire cropping season. The type of crop that is best for the type of soil will depend on the crop yield. If it produced a higher yield, then the percentage of it becoming a profitable venture is also high. It will also include all expenses involved for organic fertilizers as well as the labor, and then compare it to the market price of the selected crop.

If It is God’s Will, He Will Make a Way

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And yet these are all just plans, and these plans may change or may never be fulfilled depending on God’s will. Right now, it is about waiting on His perfect time and acting according to His instructions. I asked for God’s guidance that if my plans are indeed part of His plans, may He lead me to the right resources and the right people who can help me and my siblings with this endeavor.

As typical of God, He never fails when you ask, especially if you are doing the tasks according to His will and His plans. Here are the links I found. Yes, I know, they are quite a lot, but they are all a very good read. Who knows, maybe God will also give you the answers you’ve been waiting from Him through these articles. 🙂

Bicol tops regions in economic growth

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1068281http://nro5.neda.gov.ph/

https://psa.gov.ph/grdp

https://psa.gov.ph/grdp/grdp-id/138508

Here’s How to Transfer Land Titles in the Philippines

Government to expand Bulan fish port in Sorsogon

http://pfda.gov.ph/news/343-the-bulan-regional-fish-port-project

Spotting a good real estate investment

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6556762717389189120

While typing this article, I am also listening to my favorite Worship song playlist on Spotify, and it’s just timely that this song was played twice. I believe this is meant to be the perfect ending for this article circling on this one thought – God will make a way for He is our Way Maker. ❤

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I am posting two versions – the original version sung by Sinach in 2017 and the cover version sung by Leeland in 2019. 🙂

Trusting God to always lead the way,

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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 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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