I shall return! - Gen. Douglas McArthur

Do You ReallY KnoW YouRSElf?? IF yOU ArE GoiNG to Ask mE tHe SamE QuEstIoN, I woULD deFiniTeLy tELL yoU I dO noT. SimPLY BecaUsE I aM inTO conFUsiON. FoR ThE PasT FeW WeEks, I cOULd haRDLy unDErsTanD WHaT I ReaLLy waNt in My LiFE. QueStioNS, anD DouBTs, oveRWheLM thE InNeR ParT oF My BeiNG. ThERe ArE ThiNGs ThaT I Do, EmOtiOns thAt I FeEL, aND ThouGhTS thAt ComE IntO mY MinD thAt aRE nOt acCePTaBLe To Me BuT TheY'rE ReaLLy There--eXiStiNG, ReAL, AliVe. LiFe iS meaNT tO be ENjoYeD oF BuT iT seEmS tHat I aM NoT LiVinG wItH iT aS iT iS.


My little worries - Master of Arts in Demography

Inside a passenger bus on my home to Tacloban

I feel the release of stress and worries after submitting all my requirements today. This semester is my first semester in UP Diliman for my MA degree. I feel the pressure in my studies for being a scholar from a certain research foundation. As stipulated in the fellowship contract, every scholar should maintain a grade of 2.0 or better for EVERY subject, or else, the fellowship will be terminated.

Maintaining my grades is one of my worries. I really find it hard to do. Perhaps I still don't have focus. I still don't have a clear goal for my life. For one thing, I didn't have the plan to pursue a master's degree. I was just driven by the opportunity.

But anyway, I'm so much thankful to a lot of people, especially my friends here in Manila and Kuya Sean, who helped me in one way or the other throughout the semester. With their help, I was able to survive and ease the burden on my shoulders.

Now my question is: Will I make it in maintaining my grades? What if I'll get grade of 2.25? What will I do next semester? I just hope and pray that it will not happen to me. But if my scholarship will be terminated, well, I have to accept my fate. I just leave everything to God and trust Him. God is so good and gracious to me always.


UP Los Banos Escapades with Friends

Our first picture shot in UP Los Banos - Jojo and I

Say 'cheeezzzzzzeeeeee!!!!!! - Rose, Me, and Kuya Yuan
Jojo, me, and Yuan the Lakas-Angkan.. Hihihi.. Ang lakas talaga ng angkan nila.. :-) Jojo, what are you looking at?
Jojo on the right and Rose on the left, pwede ring baliktarin.. Jojo on the left and Rose on the right.. Basta ako i'm @ the middle.. Hehehe!

I am a model of a certain brand of umbrella! See? Hmmmm, look at my left hand... Bad boy.. LOL! :-) at International Rice Research Institute (IIRI) in UP Los Banos, Laguna....

Man does not live by bread alone.. Pinakain ko pa ang school of fish (ang mga mahilig mag-correct jan sa grammar, etc, etc, hala, i-korek niyo na ako, hehehe)...

Frisbee Play and Jogging at Sunken Garden, UP Diliman

Yaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! Wanna fight with me??! Lol! Whew! It's really good to have a jogging exercise every morning, right? Rose, Gina, and I played frisbee at the famous Sunken Garden in UP Diliman last Saturday morning.

I'm flying! I'm flying! I'm flying! Hahaha.. Ang sarap mabuhay sa mundong ito.. At least, nakakalimutan ko ang mga problema when I am with Rose and Gina, my close friends! Wahahaha!

Ang pangit!! Hindi bagay! :-)



Taong makasalanan
Di dapat sa kaharian
Diyos na rin ang nagsabing
Ang nagkasala'y papunta sa kamatayang walang hanggan.

O Panginoon ko
Patawarin Mo po ako
Sa mga kasalanang
Nagbigay pasakit sa Iyo.

Kung kumilos ay parang banal
Kung magsalita'y tulad ng sa Maykapal
Sa kanyang pakikisalamuha ay may tatag at saya
Isip ng iba may Diyos siyang talaga.

O Diyos na maawain
Sana'y ako'y Iyong dinggin
Tulungan Mo po akong mabago
At ang kasamaan ko'y maglaho.

Ano kaya ang ginagawa niya
Kung siya ay nag-iisa?
Kabanalan ba ang nasa puso't isip niya
O hangaring makalupa at sariling pita?

August 11, 2003 9:00 PM
Boarding House, UP BL Compound
Tacloban City



Cno kaya ang katabi ni Jojo sa itaas?? Hehehe... (forget about her, juk!) Hmmm, Jojo is a bunso to me.. He's 18 years young at napamahal na siya sa akin.. He's a kind guy and you'll always have fun with him.. Hindi ko pa cya nakikita personally but we often have our chats in the net.. Often ba? Sometimes lang yata, hehehe.. Hope to see him this April! I call him Bunso for a very special reason.. He's a younger brother to me! Thank you for coming into my life.. I am blessed to have you, Bunso.. Hope that our friendship will last forever, centered on Jesus Christ Himself!

To JB my Budoy who easily penetrated my heart recently.. Thank you for coming into my life.. Thank you that you allowed me to be your Kuya.. He's a talented guy, too like me.. He's a worship leader in his church! Praise God! Di kita pababayaan, Budoy, pramis! I am blessed because of you! :-) See you on October 15! (And as we had planned, hope na magkita tayo prior to that day)..
To Kuya Sean who is always there for me.. though he is in London, i feel like he's just near the Ipil Residence Hall where I reside.. Hahaha! Thank you for the encouragements.. Thank you for being my Tatay.. I'm looking forward in meeting him face-to-face and hope to be with him in the same roof and sharing the same food, di ba Kuya?! :-)

This is Kuya Matt.. He likes cat! Hehehe.. See the pic?? Black cat! Wehehehe.. Thank you Kuya Matt for the times that we chat, for giving me a portion of your time, hehehe.. And also, thank you for the phone credits (Smart Load).. Hehehe.. I pray that God will help you in whatever you're going through these days. He's your Comforter!

To Raymond na akala ko nung una ay hindi ko magiging close.. Kahit na sa text lang.. Hehehe! But when I told him about my problems, hey, ang galing nyang mag-advice! Thank you for the encouragements..

To Dave, my friend in Bohol who also my source of encouragement.. Thanks for the text messages that added color to my life and also for the phone calls (drama).. Thank you for sharing your life with me, and just hope that we'll be very close friends, too where Jesus is the center of our relationship.. You entered the very heart of my heart (ano daw??!) :-)

To Jay for teaching me a lot of things in this life.. My desire is that my life will be a blessing to you and your life may a blessing to me, too.. Thank you sa pagpapahiram mo sa akin ng CD player mo, at ilang CDs.. It's an encouragement to me to hear Christian songs.. At last, nagkakulay ang room ko.. Hahaha.. I will always treasure my friendship with you.. I will not forget you.

To Marc na super-talented. Ang galing na photographer, hehehe.. Juz look at his pics in Friendster.. He is accomodating (hospitable ba), kind (pampalapad-atay), etc.. Thank you for coming into my life... I enjoy being with you.. and daming kwento.. Di nauubusan.. hehehe..

To Jojo whom I considered one of my closest friends here.. Thank you for loving me and understanding me in spite of my weaknesses.. Thank you for being there for me.. Salamat sa lahat-lahat!

To James na isa ring gwapito at mestisong unggoy.. Meron bang mestisong unggoy?? Hehehe.. He's really a cool friend.. I enjoy being with James too lalo na pag namamasyal kami sa UP together with Jay.. Mag-swing ulit tayo next time!

To Rose and Gina (my 'close friends', laughs!) for being cool friends.. Palagi nila akong nililibre.. Hehehe! Sila ang may sweldo eh.. :-) They are my only friends here na mga babae na naging close ko talaga.. (nakiki-close, LOL).. Ung mga recent photos ko, kuha yan sa digicam ni Gina.. I am always happy when I am with them, really! Maglaro tayo ng frisbee!

And dami kong dapat pasalamatan na mga tao.. I am so thankful! I am so blessed! These friends are God-given gifts to me.. I will always treasure the moments I have with all of you, guys.. I am praying for you.. God is really great! I give Him the praises and thanksgiving that are to due to Him. To Him be all the glory and honor today and the ages to come! Amen.



Sa wakas, matatapos na din ang semester na ito.. Hayyy, i'm so excited! Sumasakit na ang ulo ko sa kakaisip sa mga exams at mga requirements.. It's good na wala na kaming pasok sa 3 subjects namin.. But I have to focus on my exams and papers..Nakakapagod talaga

Recently, I had encountered a very difficult situation.. Para akong napraning dun.. I felt like high in drugs.. Hehehe.. I felt depressed, confused, self-condemned, etc, etc.. But God is always there for me.. He doesn't want me to give up in this life.. He always there to cheer me up..

Hmmm, wat's new to me now.. Well, nagja-jog na ako regularly.. Every other day... I really desire to have a regular jogging exercise.. So I have to sacrifice ung pagiging late ko nang magising tuwing umaga.. I wake up at 6:00 am and will jog until 8:00 am.. 2 hours of exercise is good for my body.. Hehehe.. So wanna join with me? Just text me, at liikot-ikutin natin ang buong oval dito sa UP.. Ang dami ring taong nagja-jog dito everyday, especially during Saturdays and Sundays..

Smile, for you deserve to be happy.... Wehehehe! Ano yon?? :-)



We watched a piano concert at the College of Music in and yes, the performance was great.. I was just amazed of how the pianists showcased their talents.. Hope I could also play the piano.. :-)

Can you point at the picture on the right where we seated? :-) If you locate us, just send me an email and you will a reward of P 1,000,000.00. Hahahaha :-)

At Chocolate Kiss (a restaurant located at Ang Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman): With me is Rose my kind and generous friend.. A fellow UPian, a piano master (tama ba?), and of course, a Christian.. hehehe... While waiting for our dinner, we took pictures and here I am, look! I'm a model of tongues.. LOL -)




Ha Sinirangan sinmidlit an adlaw
Daw sirak hini sugad hin kamasilaw
Naghatag hin kahayag ha kalibutan nga masirum
Kinabuhi han tawo nagin masayon

Ha kulupay natawo usa ka batan-on
Kalipay ha kag-anak kita ha mga nawong
Binantayan nga di masabod bis hinin bayhon
Pagpaura ug paghigugma gud man nagpapadayon

Waray pa sarabutan inin bata nga natawo
Tubtob pira ka anyos ini in tinmubo
Nag-eskwela elementarya, sekundarya ug kolehiyo
Iba-iba nga butang naadman ha iya ulo

Samtang ako nagsusurat hinin akon siday
Hunan-huna ko diri natutuhay
Ha akon kasing-kasing an pagkuri hinay-hinay
Diri maabat an tinuod nga kalipay

An akon huna puno hin kawurok

Danay na la ako in ha hangin nasuntok
Ha akon mga mata nabagisbis an mga luha
Hin kamakaluluoy ko na gud la

Ano daw la it matatabo ha akon kinabuhi
Ako na la in nagngunguyngoy ha akon kalugaringon
Baga ak yana hin humay nga binhi
Tinmurok, gintanom, tinmubo, namunga ngan ginlapyas han alipuros...

December 17, 2004
9:30 A.M.



There was a young man who has been inflicted with painful experiences for years. When he was sixteen, he received Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord. For three years, he is haunted with bitter memories of his past. Since that time, his one goal was to overcome or at least reduce the pain in his heart. Because he was a committed Christian, things like drinking, although tempting especially at his young age, were out. He felt reluctant to allow himself to become close to anyone, and therefore shared his burden to no one.

Contrary to what he's been expecting, he fell again to sin. Enticed with the worldly passions, he began to associate himself with his former friends--what he considered his "barkadas". Until such a time that Satan finally caught him in his net. He was so weak, frustrated, confused and no one seems to understand him. People around him whom he considered his "spiritual leaders" could not take the reality that he fell to a deep abyss. He could not feel the love and care from them. Or maybe he could not grasp it that time. He became rebellious, letting himself be influenced with things that are in this world.

And here comes the "turning point" of his life--he then realized that he has to stand up, to be firm in his faith, to show the world that God is able in his life. He met persons who helped him a lot to become strong in the Lord. In spite of these, there is still longing in his heart that is unmet. The only method he'd found that could soothe his throbbing soul was to become active in the ministry. Once more, he attended church regularly, pray as often as he could, participate in his para-church ministry where he is involved, and the list goes on. In his understanding of things, he was turning to God for help. He was renewing his mind through time in the Word. Whenever the images of his past crowded into his mind, whenever the circumstances that lead to his downfall flooded him, he quickly reached his Bible and read verses. He quickly prays to the Lord that all those things fade away totally from his memory and he firmly believes that God will answer. For three years, he'd been following this procedure. As a result, he became nervous. His life presented him with a level of pain he was determined not to feel.


The young man obviously wanted to relieve the ache in his soul that comes from unsatisfied longings. When the pain of rejection, isolation, failure, and weakness began to creep in his stomach, he feels like he's approaching to death. His very survival seems to depend on numbing the pain and finding some way to feel better. Eating, going with his friends, masturbating, studying, joining church activities, etc.--the young man got to do something to avoid the paralyzing ache he fear so deeply. And that was a routine for three years! The simple fact that he has to face is this: Something is wrong with everything! No matter how closely he walks with the Lord, he cannot escape the impact of a disappointing and sometimes evil world. A core sadness that will not go away is evidence not of spiritual immaturity, but of honest living in a sad world.

Now that the young man has found his strength and joy of his salvation in the Lord, he is enjoying God's presence with gladness. He draws hope from others who are learning how God meet them in their struggles. He longs for what he designed to enjoy: It's okay to desire. And he want what he cannot have until Heaven: it's okay to hurt. Jesus said: "If anyone is thirsty, let him come and drink."


I am thirsty. I long for what I do not have. I'm already a Christian. Insofar as I know my heart, I will follow Him for the rest of my life..



Sometimes, it's hard for us to accept the reality that we need people, we need companionship. Maybe because we see ourselves strong. We try to hide the ache that is brought about by the unsatisfied longing we have in relationships, longings that we look in people whom we consider important part of our lives. But the reality still remains: People will not always satisfy us. There are times that we just cry in the corner because of unexplainable feelings we feel. We are just left confused. Instead of running to God, we run away from Him. We try to ignore to face the reality. We are afraid. We immediately dig our own wells, which, we think would somehow satisy any thirstiness that we have in our hearts.

Lord, may we feel Your unconditional love for us. In times of distress and loneliness, comfort us. Give us strenght and courage to face the internal realities of life. Help us to realize that people will not always satisfy our longings of our souls. It is only in You where we could find rest.



Source: http://www.unfpa.org/swp/2006/moving_young_eng/Noraida/Noraida.html
I have a sister who has been working in the Middle East countries for more than 20 years now. She has been the breadwinner of our family. She told us about her experiences, and most of these experiences are not worthy to be remembered. I am hoping that I could write her story here in my blog someday.

Her first migration led Noraida to her aunt's village. It was only two hours by bus, but for Noraida it was the start of a different life.

Noraida was born in 1982 in the overcrowded, poverty-stricken Al-Salam Mosque Compound in Quezon City, the Philippines, the fourth of eight children of an imam and a fishmonger. By the age of eight Noraida had already dropped out of school and spent her days playing in the streets. She was home, however, that afternoon, when her aunt came by:

"I overheard my aunt, who was childless, ask my parents if she and her husband could adopt me. I just went in and said I'll go."

Noraida imagined that life would be better for her if she went, and that it would also ease the pressure on her parents who were struggling to feed so many mouths. Her uncle worked as a security officer: he had a good income and the couple treated her "like a daughter". Unlike her mother, who would be away all day selling fish, her aunt was always there for her. Noraida helped her with the housework and didn't miss her family all that much.

When Noraida was 13, her aunt suggested that she go as a domestic worker to the Gulf of Arabia. That meant she would have to travel on a fake passport because the minimum age for working abroad as stipulated by the government was 18. Noraida readily agreed; she knew of other girls in the village who were working abroad. The fact that she did not know anyone there and that she did not speak Arabic or much English, did not bother her.

"I was so excited about going abroad and earning money and helping my family that I did not think very much about all this."

So the aunt got her a placement through an agent and Noraida was sent off without even getting a chance to say goodbye to her parents.

Upon arrival, Noraida was welcomed by her employers, who were appalled when she told them her real age. Noraida was lucky: she just had to be a companion for their five-year old daughter and one-year old son, and they treated her like one of the family. She was permitted to help herself to whatever was in the refrigerator and the family took her everywhere with them, to the malls, amusement parks and the beach. And they were consistent about wire transferring her monthly salary to her aunt. It was so different from her life in the Philippines. She quickly picked up Arabic and there was so much to do that Noraida cannot remember ever having felt homesick during the three and a half years she spent with them.

But when she returned to Philippines, it was back to her parents' house in the Al-Salam Mosque Compound. Relations had soured while she was away between her parents and the aunt, who had given them nothing from Noraida's earnings. Noraida was saddened by her aunt's betrayal, by her parents' continued struggle with poverty and sadder still that her life had brought her back where she had started. For a while, she worked as a salesgirl in a department store, but the money was far from adequate. So Noraida decided to migrate again. Her knowledge of Arabic and her "ex abroad" status - meaning one who had worked abroad - stood her in good stead. She was able to get a visa in just three weeks - a process that may take as long as a year - and was placed as a domestic worker in the home of a senior member of the Saudi judiciary, a widower with two daughters.

It was a large, opulent house and Noraida was one of ten domestic workers. She was assigned to the younger daughter, a 16-year-old medical student, and her responsibilities were limited to cleaning her rooms, washing her clothes and serving her meals. Noraida was happy. She worked regular hours, enjoyed the company of the other domestic staff and more importantly, was able to send her entire salary of $200 to her parents, making it possible for them to buy some land and build a house of their own.

Two and a half years later, she returned briefly to her home town before getting another placement through the same agency. She was also hoping to save for herself while continuing to help her family. Very few migrants save enough during the first contract to sustain families in coming years. Moreover, employment opportunities and alternate sources of livelihood in the Philippines are so few that most returnees are pushed back into overseas employment. Their children and grandchildren may follow their example.

But this time Noraida was greeted quite differently:

The husband was friendly, but the wife had a frown and the children refused to come to me. I didn't worry much and thought it would all settle down.

It did not. The family lived in a two-storied house with two living rooms, four bedrooms and seven bathrooms: Noraida had to clean and dust the entire house every single day, wash and iron, cook all the meals and take care of the children including a baby only a month old when she joined the family and a 4-year-old daughter who had to be bathed, dressed and taken to and from school.

"My day began at 5:30 every morning and rarely ended before midnight because my employer would
shout, curse and rap me on the head if the chores were not done. I was being exploited and I hated the verbal insults and physical abuse. Sometimes the husband would intervene. He would say, "Don't mind her. She is like that," while trying to calm down his wife."

After a few weeks Noraida found herself shouting back at her employer, something she had never done before. By the third month she was desperate to escape.
"I was working day and night yet nothing I did seemed to please my employer. I was lonely, weary and homesick. I had no access to the telephone and was not allowed to talk even to my parents. All I wanted to do was leave."
The opportunity came about a month later. The husband had asked for a cup of tea and when Noraida was handing it to him their hands touched in passing. The wife noticed; the next morning she stayed home from work and when the husband left she started to hurl abuses and curses at Noraida. She called her a "dirty woman" and began pushing her around. Fed up with the abuse, Noraida threatened to leave. The response she got was "The door is open, you can leave."

"And that is what I did, I just walked out of the house. I was so angry and upset. I had nothing with me. No money, nothing, and I didn't even know where I was going."

Then just as she reached the gate the husband came home. He asked her why she was crying and tried to calm her down, but she insisted on going to the agency that had got her the placement, so he accompanied her. She complained to the person there of how she was doing all the housework though she had been hired as a nanny and that her last month's salary had been withheld. The husband said that he could do little because his wife claimed she would not pay unless Noraida improved her work.
Noraida had no option but to continue working for the family: if she broke the contract she would have to pay for her passage back. So she agreed to work for another three months and returned to the house with the husband.

"For about a fortnight after that there was calm in the house. Then the shouting and abuses started again. The wife and I were constantly quarrelling and I was a virtual prisoner. From now on one of the parents would take and fetch the daughter from school so I was never allowed to leave the house. When they were not in the house, the telephone was disconnected and I was locked in from the outside."

A couple of times Noraida managed to connect the phone and complain to the agency. But this only made matters worse: the agency would tell the couple that she had called, and the wife would get furious. Noraida later learnt that two other girls had left this family before completing their contract.
So in just seven months Noraida was back again in her parents' home. She came back empty-handed: she had nothing to show but the bruises that she got when her employer had grabbed her and pushed her against a cabinet the day before she left.

Noraida decided she would never migrate again. A few months later, she married Alam, a 27-year old neighbour, with hopes of making a new life for herself in the Philippines. It has not been easy. Alam ekes out a living selling pirated CDs, while Noraida takes care of their 10-month old baby. They live in her parents' home, a dimly lit space partitioned into two miniscule rooms and a kitchen. The rest of the house has been rented and Noraida and Alam share this space with her parents, two unemployed brothers and six nieces and nephews, children of her sisters who work in the Gulf.

There is nothing in the house, no fittings, no furniture, and no sense of well-being, though four of Noraida's siblings work abroad. The children play outside the front door next to an open drain. Clothes hang on lines along the wall for want of cupboard space. The kitchen is piled high with dirty dishes and the stove needs to be repaired. No cooking is done and the family is surviving on rice made in the cooker and twice a day some curry bought at the market.

What is the difference between your life here and in the Gulf?

"I would say the difference is between wealth and poverty. Our lives here are so full of hardship and want. My parents run the house and we try and chip in when we can. Sometimes the mothers of these children send small amounts but it is hardly sufficient. And none of the others can help because they have their own families to care for.

Noraida finds herself at a crossroads. She is dogged by uncertainties. Her last experience abroad has taken its toll and she is wary of seeking employment overseas. But if she wants to pull herself and her family out of the morass they are in, she might have no other option but to migrate again.



I wrote this article few months ago.. I just want to post it here.. Hehehe..

There are 3 things that God revealed to me for the past week through His Word and His Holy Spirit. I was in the state of hungerness and thirst for His presence these days that I wanted to cry before Him. These revelations from the Lord one night overwhelmed my spirit. The fear of the Lord began to tear my heart and think of God's justice over humanity. As I opened my Bible, I felt like somewhat unworthy before Him. But He constantly reminded me of the righteousness that Jesus Christ--God's Son--had imputed on me..

In the chapters 28 and 29 of the book of Isaiah, I've learned 3 important things that kept on reverberating over my mind until now. And I believe that these were inspired by the Holy Spirit and should not be ignored. The first thing that God told me is this: GET OUT FROM THE NEUTRAL PLACE. For some years in my Christian life, I lived in the state of neutrality. I equate neutrality with lukewarmness. Being in a neutral place had successfully robbed my joy in Him. It crippled my spirit. It drew me away from the Source of Life Who sustains everything in this world. The Word of God is very clear that He will going to spew out from His mouth those Christians who are lukewarm; those who know how to play the game with God; those who make Christianity a joke. As I remembered my past years, I realized that I had hurt God so much. But in spite of my weaknesses, He lwt me see His abounding love and mercy for me. He loves me truly. He wants me to get out from the neutral place and start serving Him faithfully. My prayer before the Lord is that He will give me a spirit that will aggressively take radical, positive steps in life and an expectant heart of the good things from Him.

The second thing that God had told me has something to do with what I have now--all the blessings that I enjoy.He said: I WILL NOT GIVE YOU SOMETHING THAT WILL RUIN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH ME. God knows every detail of my life. He knows the times that I fell into sin. He knows the moments when I wanted to stop breathing and remember no more. And He also knows my efforts in keeping my faith stronger and facing every circumstance that comes in my way with courage. Not even a second that His eyes are close for me. With all the trials and hardships that I had faced and still facing, I know that I would not be able to surpass each one of them without the grace of the Lord. It is because of His grace that I'm still living. It is because of His grace that He patiently wait for me. I thanked the Lord with all of my heart for pouring out all the blessings in my life these times. He allowed me to finished my 4-year college degree successfully. He sent many people in my life who are ready to support me in prayers, finances, and advices. People in my community look at me as if I have all the "luck" as they call it. He let me avail a full scholarship for my masteral study. Then I began to ask God. Will these blessings ruin my relationship in You? It is written in the Bible that those who disobeyed God will really face the consequences--the wages of sin. I asked Him, "Lord, I have experienced the consequences of the mess I created, but why is it that there are still blessings?" I thanked Him that He let me understand this fact: Blessings can be deceiving! At first, my focus has been in the blessings and not on the Giver. I began to trust men who have end of their strength. My attention have been in God's presents instead of God's presence. Now, I understand that these blessings have been given to me by God first to let me see His goodness in my life, and second to make my life a channel of blessings to others. I thanked the Lord that He shifted my mindset and attitude towards these blessings. One thing is sure: God will not give us something that will ruin our relationship with Him. In my case, He gave these things to me, along with the bad consequences, to let me understand that He is still good to me.

As I continued to study His Word, I felt like God talked to me personally. His message was very clear, and this is the third one: I WILL DESTROY YOU IF YOU WILL NOT RETURN TO ME. Fear dominated over my mind that I wanted to close my Bible and stop reading the chapters. It was very, very clear. He will going to destroy me if I will not return to Him. Tears flowed in my eyes that night (which is not usual for me when I study His Word alone). Truly, the Holy Spirit convicts. All I desire is to enjoy His presence here on earth, live my life in simplicity. But my heart had been hardened. I acted like I do not know the justice of God. I did not take heed of His Word. I pretended to be ignorant of His warnings. But I just thank Him for opening my heart and mind to the workings of the Holy Spirit. I know that God can just stretch out His hands and kill me in a second. I always tell everyone, including my family, that God can take my life away if He wishes if I commit grave sin against Him.

But God made a promise to me and to everyone. He invited us to return to Him and to trust Him quietly, then we will be safe and secure. That promise of God encouraged me. Yes, I have mistakes, failures, shortcomings, and sins in my life but His grace is sufficient. I repented before the Lord of my sins and believed that God had already forgave me and blot out all my sins. I asked Him to strenghtened my faith so that I could leave my past behind, fight for any temptation which wouls surely lure me into darkness, face life with courage, and hope for as better future that lies in the hands of God. Only by the blood of Christ that I received righteousness and holiness from God. Without His grace, I will not be able to see His will and glory.

Now, I would leave Tacloban City with a clear mind and heart and a clear conscience. Yes, I will face another batch of trials and testings but greater is He Who is in me than he that is in this wicked world. Praise belongs to the Lord and I give Him thanks for what He is doing in my life today.



All of us have emotional needs. As social beings, we want to belong to a certain group of people. In the process, we meet person/s who is/are closer to our hearts than the others and whom we consider to be more special than the others. Sometimes we don't understand why we feel that way. From them we draw strength, love, comfort, and encouragement. We are able to build more confidence when we are with them. We love their company. It seems that our life is complete when we talk, play, eat, etc with those people whom we value.

However, there is a danger on this. In any human relationship, jealousy is always present at different degrees at some point in our lives. It would depend to the person how would he going to handle it. And i believe to feel jealous on someone is not just common but also natural. However, when we overly express this emotion in a very negative way, the result is not good. We may become possessive. We are hurt when someone becomes close to the person whom we consider our "life".

Jealousy is just like a cancer of the bone. Little by little, our mind and our heart are being swallowed up into the dark pit of selfishness. It's a fire that burns our soul. It ignites the fire in our hearts to take revenge, to hate, to envy, to feel mad, to be anxious, to feel alone, to doubt ourselves and even paranoia. When it consumes our thoughts and triggers to harm relationships and harm other person/s, there's really a big problem to deal with. It would weaken our personality. It would destroy our relationship with people. It would destroy our relationship with God.

If we fail to deal the problem, this would be a monster in our life forever. Until one day, we will wake up in our beds downtrodden, far from God, far from the people we truly love. Do you want to live in solitude for the rest of your life? I have a suggestion: Become jealous selfishly and manifest it through words and actions. The choice is yours.




Calasiao Falls in the Island of Biliran

Sa bawat yugto ng ating buhay,
Sakit at hirap ang siyang kaagapay.
Ngunit ‘pag Diyos ang Siyang maging gabay,
Kanyang papawiin hirap at gagawing tagumpay.

Sa bawat yugto ng ating buhay,
May mga taong dumarating, iba’t iba ang pakay.
Dala-dala ng iba’y pighati at lumbay,
Ang iba nama’y saya at sa Diyos ang akay.

Masarap isipin at sa pakiramdam,
Pag may kasama ka na mapagkakatiwalaan.
At nauunawaan ka sa mga kamalian,
Higit sa lahat mamahalin ka nang walang alinlangan.

O aking kaibigan na nakilala,
Saglit na panahong kami’y nagkasama.
Iyakan at tuwa, palagi ko siyang kasama,
Dalangin ko sana’y hindi na siya lumayo pa.

Pag naaalaala ko ang kaibigan kong ito,
Di mapigilang pumatak ang luha ko.
Tinuring kong kaibigan na nagbibigay-payo,
Higit sa lahat siya’y naging kuya kong totoo.

"Kuya" ang tawag ko sa kanya,
Malambing, mapagbigay at palatawa.
Mga yakap niya’y nami-miss kong talaga,
Kaya’t ‘pag naaalala ko siya, ako’y napapaluha.

Ako nama’y nagpapasalamat sa isang tao,
Na naging bahagi rin ng buhay ko.
Kung di sa kanya’y di ko makikilala ang Kuya kong ito,
Dahil din sa kanya’y marami akong natutunan sa mundong ito.

Buhay nga nama’y sadyang mapagbiro,
Mga di kanais-nais na mga pangyayari dala’y pagkatuliro.
Salamat kay Hesus na Siyang Pastor at Puno,
Tagapagbigay-aliw at lakas, Kanyang Banal na Espiritu.

Ako’y nananalangin sa Poong Maykapal,
Ibayong lakas at sigla sa kanya dumatal.
Magkalayo man kami ng Kuya kong ito ng matagal,
Dalangin ko sa kanya’y mga ninanais niya’y walang makasagabal.

Di mawawala sa isip ko’t puso,
Mga alaalang naiwan ng Kuya ko.
Masakit man isipin ang pagkakalayong ito
Handa ko itong tanggapin ‘pagkat ito ang totoo.

Kuya, kung wala na po kayo, pa’no na po ako?
Isip-bata ko’y kailan mababago?
Salamat po ng marami sa inyo,
Sa pagdating niyo po ng maaga sa buhay ko.

O Diyos na aming gabay sa lahat ng bagay,
Buhay naming tatlo sa Inyo ko po inaalay.
Pag-ibig, samahan, at pagkakaibigan na Inyo pong ibinigay,
Di ko po makakalimutan hanggang sa kabilang buhay.

October 24, 2004 Sunday
6:30 PM
Roys Internet Cafe (Old)
Tacloban City


It's good to trust, right? But there must be something that we should always remember: don't expect too much! For the past two weeks, this has been the statement that stick to my mind. And I know why.

When you trust a person or something, you put your confidence on that person or thing. But I want to be specific. Let me focus to trusting someone. If I put my trust to a friend, I would easily tell my deepest secrets to him/her which I could hardly confide to other people. Perhaps I'll share my visions, dreams, and ambitions in life. Perhaps, I would always tell him/her every detail of my day-to-day life, such as, "Hey! I'm eating banana", or else "Hi, i'm on my way to school". But trusting for me is far from that. You must feel security, comfort and love from the person whom you have put your trust. If you do not feel these, there must be wrong. There must be questions that should be addressed to. One thing to consider is this: do that person know that you have put your trust and confidence on him/her? Or you just pushed yourself to be loved and feel the security you are longing for? This is crucial. Now, I am talking here of relationships--human relationhips. How do the person treats you? Do you feel that you are important to him/her, just like he/she is important to you? If not, you have to check yourself and the situation. You have to reconsider everything. You will only be hurt eventually.

Don't expect too much. Each of us expects from everything, from someone, from the people who are close to our hearts. But that expectations should not exceed to what it ought to be. Sounds crazy? We can't measure that. It's hard to delineate the expectations which are just "enough" from that of "too much". Make reservations for your self. I received a forwarded text message which says, "Don't make someone a priority when he treats you like an option", but this is not a right perspective. People are just people. We have limitations. We make mistakes. We are not perfect. Sometimes, they will fail you. Or shall I say, will always fail you.

With every circumstance that I face, I consider it as a challenge. When I say challenge, it means that there must be something that I should do. It includes thinking on something, doing the necessary actions I must take, and believing that something good will happen.

We can trust in many things, in many people.
None of these, however, offers the plan of protection, the long term security, the satisfaction of our human longings, or the benefits that trusting in God offers. All of the other things in which we place our trust can fail. Only in God that we could surely find everlasting peace, love, joy, comfort, and encouragement. Begin to trust in the Lord. As His Word says in Proverbs 3:5,6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths" (my favorite Bible verse) and I'm sure that God will never fail you!




AN MABAYSAY NGA BUKAD (The Beautiful Flower)

Mayda ko ginkikinitaan

Usa nga Bukad ha tanaman

Hin kamakalilipay pagkinitaon

Hin kamakaruruyag pagpinggoton.


An Iya alimyon sugad-sugad hin insenso

Kamaupay ighalad ha altar han Ginoo

An Iya korti sugad-sugad hin sarapati

Maanad, mabuot, pero matibaksi.

Karuyag ko gad nga inin Bukad maangkon

Pero baga man liwat hin waray ko gahom

Ako na la in ha kalugaringon nagdadahum

Nga bisan ha akon inop ini Bukad maangkon!


Kablas nga Estudyante
ni Marlon B. Raquel

Hay, kamakuri gud an kinabuhi han estudyante,
Labi na adton kablas o pobre,
Adlaw-adlaw, gab-i gab-i kinahanglan mag-study,
Kay bangin allowance kuhaon ngan diri na magin STFAP grantee.

Hay, estudyante nag-aantos,
Kawarayan kwarta nga igagastos,
Danay hiya nakakapakiana,
Mayda pa ba katapusan ini nga problema? 

Kon hiya naghuhuna-huna ug nag-uusahan,
Pamilya nga kablas nahihinumduman,
Diri na la hiya nasabut ha kamaihaan,
Luha ha mga mata mayda na ngay-an.

Amo man ini an kamatuoran,
Kinahanglan karawaton ug tindogan,
Kay dinhi hini nga kalibutan,
Masakit nga realidad an kapobrehan.

Note: This Siday was published in UP Vista,
the Official Student Publication of UP Tacloban College
(2nd Semester, A.Y. 2002-2003, I forgot the publication date.)

March 1, 2003 7:00 AM
Boarding House, UP BL Compound
Tacloban City



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