Monday, April 28, 2008

Blessings in Disguise

This entry is a sequel to my previous article:

The Setting:

In preparation for the Holy week, the Kayahag sa Diyos Community (KSD), held a retreat facilitated by a priest. The venue was in Saint Mary's Academy in Capistrano Complex at Gusa. Married couples and singles were all together gathered in the said event.

During lunch, as usual, the singles were adopted by the married couples. As everyone happily partake the food holy week activities were discussed. One is about the Sedar Meal, where each single members were to decide which married couple group they would join. The groupings was based on the area or location where each members stay.

Further discussions included the Easter Sunday Party. A service team was tasked to prepare the event. I was a member of the said service team.

Inevitably, holy week getaway were secretly whispered. Specially from the singles. Some were bound to join their company to spend it at Camiguin Island. Some wanted to pray the "Stations of the Cross " at Malasag or at Balubal.

Eating was so fun and mouthful, made our stomachs as full as it can.

The Final Plan:

Since some planned to have holy week getaways, we were able to come up with a plan. To go and make a wish at "Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine" at Balubal with some singles on the following Sunday. Those who will commit will have to be at the meeting place at 5am sharp.

The plan also include bring of our own baons, our own packed meals good for breakfast and lunch. To leave those who can't make it before 5:30am. And to call each other to encourage everyone to be as early as possible

My Dilemmas:

I have my graveyard shift at the date set for our trip.

If I swap my schedule with someone, it will be hard since graveyards shift is not a flexible schedule. If we do swapping it can also mean working straight for 16hours. If I don't swap my schedule it means I will have undertime, a one-hour salary deduction. It can mean a memo from HR too or something.

My graveyards shift means my work ends at 6am. It means I can't cook for my food for both breakfast and lunch. It means I can't make it to be there before 5:30am. Worst it can mean me being left behind by the group.

The Blessings:

When I called Cheryl a day before our trip, I asked her if she can bring extra food for me. During the trip her mother prepared for more than 5 persons. The food was more than enough.

I was able to call all you confirmed to join the said trip. As early as 4:30am, I woke most of them.

In Disguise:

Fe had stomach ache a night before our trip. When I called her up she went back to sleep. At 5:30am she informed me she did not have enough sleep because of what happened. She asked me to tell the group to wait for her and me.

My Joy:

The grouped understand Fe's situation, so they waited for us. I was glad I did not have to swap or make undertime. Or make the group wait for me or make them left me. It was someone who made my way to the shrine. Its God's ways.

Indeed blessings in disguise flooded that day. The time stopped, and because we left our meeting place not at 5:30am but as late as 6:30am, we were able to have the extra ordinary trip in a jeepney. PUJs usually don't go as near as the river bank. But since some college students were heading on the same way as ours on boarded on the jeep, the driver agreed to bring us nearest the river bank.

The Finale:

After the prayer at the chapel of the shrine, we eat our baons. Since a niece of Ching celebrated a birthday a day before, we were able to have pasta and some adobo. And we were also invited to have lunch at their house.

I got home at 3pm with so full tummy. Enjoying the abundance of life God gave and believing my wishes were all granted!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Our Way to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

That night I worked 10pm-6am shift, in between one of my graveyards shift last March 15. The rain poured so hard. I just can't help thinking on how can we get through the crossing of the river. They say its hard to have river trekking with a heavy rain a day before an event.

It was Sunday, March 16, 2008 at 6am, we decided to visit the "Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine". This shrine is located in Balubal within Cagayan de Oro City. Our meeting place was at Dunkin Donuts Divisoria. Then we ride a Bugo liner jeepney towards Tablon Elementary School.

We were fortunate, some college students were also on board on the same jeepney with the same destination, the driver decided to take us very near the river bank. We did not hike more and spend more for another ride with a tricycle. A tricycle actually charges P5 per person.

Taking off the jeepney, we meet some kids. Some of the kids sell candles. The price depends on the size of the candle. It ranges from P1-and up. Some kids sell woods. Why woods? Woods can act as canes for walking down the steams of the river. They sell it for P3. Some sell it 3 for P10.

Some did not grab a wood cane, but we were all set to do the first crossing of the river. Geared with a wood cane, I was confident to make it. Some kids meet us in that first river, they offered to help us cross the river. I did not mind them, I tried to cross the river. I was holding a friend, Fe. She's struggling just like me, I did not expected how difficult it is to cross for the first time.

So in the middle of the river, we needed to give in, we hired the kids to help us cross. As they guide, it will cost us. I did donate some amount of money for them. Some donated more than what I gave. And I survived the first river crossed.

After crossing the first river, we reached the first station. Then we all gathered and begun a prayer, "The Stations of the Cross".

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Macahambus Adventure Park Slides

White Water Rafting Slide Show

Sharing to you my first White Water Rafting experience last October 23, 2003 here in our city. I was with my college classmate and friends from Smart Telecoms and together with some of their friends.

For beginners, we have this 24 rapids experience. Each raft consist of 4-7 persons with a guide in it. Participants get to paddle, so this isn't a sitting pretty thing. This requires each of the participants and the guide cooperation to enjoy each rapid.

Although this is somewhat an extreme sport, kids 5 years old and up are allowed to ride. The kids have the option not to paddle. Anyone interested to experience the trail of this exciting experience can contact me.

My Slide Show

This is an album I have created in 2006 where I included some pictures at our badminton court. Our company thru our safety committee was able to come up with a wellness program. One of this is the successful installation of 2 badminton courts inside our warehouse.

The pictures captured here reminded me of the opening of our first company wide badminton tournament. The program culminated with the abundance of food where everybody get to eat with our Boss.

By the way I have also included two solo pictures here. One was taken inside our department during my graveyard shift, captured by the camera of JSL. And one was taken at one of our Christmas party in 2005 when I experience edema because of steroidal side effects.

Monday, April 14, 2008

First Rain in April

It is so hot this summer. The sun is shining brightly and seems to cook everything under it specially this April.

Yesterday, the rain poured out. I felt happy to know I get to sleep soundly since the weather is of great help. You see I have this graveyard shift at work, so I need to sleep at day time. Without the rain, I can barely sleep during the noon time.

Most of the time, this summer, I missed the rain so much. I know it is ironic for everyone, we miss something we often hate when it is present. Hehehe. Just like during rainy days, we get to miss the sun. An ironic fact.

No matter if its a rainy or sunny day, there is always a reason for it. I would say, I love rain when I want to sleep, but hates it when I want to roam around this world. Hehehe. I love the sun when I do not have to go out without umbrellas or sweating. I love the sun when I go out mountain climbing, so it means I need not to slide down the hills when I don't mean to hehehe.

I am writing this blog just to express how I appreciate the rain on this summer season.

Justified Anger

Today's reflection in Didache (didache-a daily bible reflections for Catholics), made mention about anger. It says a lot about me.

The light switch is like getting angry now and be cool in another minute. Yes I do that at home and almost anywhere. Specially with someone I know or some one I love. It is so easy to get angry then erase it in my senses since they are my friends or loved ones. My anger management is an "A" for me.

But something happened in October of 2003. I got angry with someone because of what he did to a family member. I do not know him and I doubt him, I never cared for him. It is so easy to just hate him or get angry with him for the rest of my life.

I would say I justified my anger over him. I was so angry because I was hurt of what this person have done to my loved one. Because I can't think of how he could simply hurt my family. The family I love most.

So I shed tear and offered a prayer. I tried to seek God's guidance, because it is so hard for me bearing the heartaches with anger. I felt so sorry about the situation and was angry.

December of that same year I attended the Christening of the son of one of my relatives, a close college batch mate in Bukidnon. During the homily, the message was about forgiving. The priest gave a scenario related to forgiveness. What the priest said "Sinners are sorry and having a hard time admitting their wrongdoings, it can be of great help if we give them prayers and forgiveness," strike me most.

After hearing that mass I felt so light, I was able to release my anger and was able to surrender the pain in my heart. Conspiracy in that Mass convinced me to forgive, my Lord healed me!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Recently Watched LOST Online

Since Lost was aired in the national television in our country, most of my officemates were crazy about it. Some even downloaded each episodes and burned in cds. Some even bothered to buy a new hard disk drive for additional storage to save files for internet giving out free downloads for lost.

In the office or in this country I can say that I am the last person to watch tv series like this. I did not bother to buy a cd. Not bothered to buy a hard drive. Or even tried my luck to watch it knowing somebody have a copy of every episodes.

When I decided to connect to the DSL, a broadband internet connection, I did not expect myself to get hooked with the tv series everybody was crazy to watch about.

But then surfing the internet, Lost is always present, always talked about. Very intriguing that I got lost in my senses and bothered watching it anyways.

So I was lucky to find a link where all seasons and episodes were available. I have the chance to see Lost for my self. And discovered how this show can kill my own time. Hehehe!

It killed most of my time for the past 2 weeks I think. Since I stared watching from season 1 episode 1 until season 4 of episode 8. It was like forgetting this world and being lost.

Yes I was lost and now was found hehehe. I recommend watching lost in the day time, for me. Why? Trailers in this show can give you a heart attack plus a night mare hehehe. Why again? I think the directors and the crews did a great job for coming up with a nice trailing and full or action and adventure ind of show. I hope you get what I mean hehehe.

To those who have watched it, I am sure you can relate. The issues presented in this show made it complex and interesting to watch. It created full of mystery and chaos and confusion to the viewers too. The viewers attention are grabbed because of the curiosity of knowing what the island is all about and how can the survivors of the plane crush go back to their homes.

I know my review is very general, but this I think is what I have experience as a viewer. I wanted to talk about each character later in this blog. Thanks for reading.

Lost tv series is worth watching, for me the rating is 9/10 and the moral lesson here is about: Trust, Love and Faith.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

How do I Look at Life Seriously?

Some of my closest friends tells me I am serious with life. Although most of the time I am not aware of this.

Most of the time, I find myself making others laugh. I love making my friends happy when they are with me, those I personally encounter and relate with. They can always share a smile with me because I love to give punchlines to start a laugh.

I know that happiness comes from within. That even though I know I am shaken by the problems surrounding me, even can't imagine how I can get through, but I thank God - how grateful I am to have survived and still doing good. Trials this life brings makes me a better person and gives me the opportunity to be closer to God, that I thank God for the most!

Self pity often happens when we forget to pray. That is why when I am alone, I still try to pray to stop me from crying. I may not know what you are going thru but I think what I am going thru is with a purpose. To cheer those people who I think are sadder than me.

I know someone who keeps asking me how sad I am, I just smiled, she was able to relate that like her I am in trouble, because we both love to laugh and give jokes. We both laugh together so much harder each time we bump with each other.

When trouble comes, the bible said, we only need to trust God and stay faithful. He will deliver us from evil, and nothing can harm the believers, that I strongly believe in.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Time in a Bottle

This is the title of my favorite songs. It is a song originally sung by Jim Croce. I also love Jim Croce's all time favorite love songs which include "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" and "Photographs and Memories". Jim playing the guitar here is very adorable and I guess this made me fall for his songs.

I love the song so badly, this started when my brother taught me how to play the guitar and he too loved Jim Croce's music. This was way back in my high school days. Now I want to share the song to all of you with lyrics.

So there's the lyrics:

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that Id like to do
Is to save every day
Till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
Id save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
Ive looked around enough to know
That youre the one I want to go
Through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
Ive looked around enough to know
That youre the one I want to go
Through time with

And the song from youtube:

One of my best responses in MYLOT:

If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I'd like to do, is to save it everyday the day when my mother was as healthy as before. My mother actually had a stroke last May 2007 and she had a hard time now moving her right body. Although she is in the process of recovering, it is still very difficult for me to see her struggling so hard.

I know that those who are close to their mothers can relate with me. My mother is actually my source of strength at home. But when she suffered stroke this year, I always have this painful heart. I am just thankful for the Lord who is keeping me up.

My strength are all from my Lord. I know that He will heal my mother completely in the soonest time. Please include my mother's recovery in your prayers. Thanks and God bless!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

My Birthday Present for Lola

Yesterday, we paid a visit to my Lola Conching. Today she turns 82. Its more than 2 years now, my Lola is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Since this year, I was inspired to blog and made mention about my Lola, I recalled who she was when I was younger. This blog is my birthday present for her.

My Lola aside from wanting us to go to church with her, she also wants us to eat with her. She would cook healthy foods like fish and vegetables. Dinner time is like learning time. She would tell us the names of the vegetables and explains how good it is for our body. She wanted us all to grow fat as fat as her. Hehehe!

One of the vegetables that everyone hates is "OKRA". I never liked it before. She would tell us to imitate my younger sister who eats a lot of it. She tells us what nutrients are in it, that we need to give in a bite. Just recently I often craved for it, and recalled her.

Food for the body was not her sole concern, she also teaches us the food for the soul. She was the one who brought the bible study in our home. I remember being with my sister, cousin, and friends in our neighborhood of almost same ages gathered together to learn about the bible and make bible study. She used to encourage us to memorize some of the verses and all books in the bible.

Now she can't memorize a name. She lost her memory. She can't even recognize someone. I would say my Lola was not the perfect one. But my Lola was once a pastor, she became a missionary not just for us her grand children but to God's children. No matter how she forgets me and everyone around her now, in my heart I can not forget her. I believe she has full filled her mission to share God's love. I do love my Lola, hope this blog makes her happy on her big day.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Memorized Prayers and Psalms 23

Praying is my ultimate weapon against my loneliness and sadness in this lifetime. I always battle depressing situations by talking to God or just reciting some memorized prayers. In my childhood, when it comes to prayers, I often associate it with "flores de mayo" and going to church.

I am not good in memorizing now, but when I was a child, I can repeat a lecture done by a teacher in our grade school including the actions or where my teacher point or walked while saying the things in front of us. That is how good my memory was.

During "flores de mayo", most of the memorized prayers are require for us to recite one by one. We would memorize them in English as well as in our own dialect. Since I got good memory at that time I got an "A". Most memorized prayers came for the bible.

As a child, like most Catholic do, I am not familiar with the bible. But I was able to memorize David's Prayer which is Psalms 23. My lola was the one who taught me. Until now I treasure this "little treasure" my lola gave me. I pray that one day I can also share the bible to my grandchildren just like what my lola did.

By the way, I am still a Catholic now, but as a Christian I make sure to read the bible everyday unlike before.

Psalms 23

1The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want

2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures,

He leadeth me beside the still waters,

3He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

4Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fer no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

5Thou prepareth a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.

Thou anointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.

6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell

in the house of the Lord forever. Amen

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Seder Meal Experience: "A Taste of Heaven"

When I was a child, I have been to several Lord's Day Celebrations. I actually did not cared about it that much. I just looked around the people around me, while I was playing with some other kids with me. I know they have prepared something to eat, that's why I come along with my lola.

My lola (grandmother), is not catholic, but a protestant pastor. She used to bring me to protestant gatherings and celebrations. Including "Lord's Day". I loved accompanying her most of the time, I know I have to eat later. I love eating.

Eating with the Lord, during the celebration of "Lord's Day" was something I learned later. I realize that man does not live with bread alone, as the bible says. I even envy the homes who does this every Saturday night.

When I joined KSD (Kahayag sa Diyos) Community, I appreciated the celebration more and more. We first had it while we were preparing for the baptism. I recalled my childhood, the times when I don't understand it at all. I realized I am not only matured numerically but spiritually at that time.

This year's holy Thursday, was my first Seder Meal experience. Since am still single, together with other 2, we joined the married couples with their families at Balulang to celebrate the SEDER MEAL. We were adopted by the married couples, it means the singles were sparred from bringing something. But each family brought something to eat, including utensils and wine glasses.

Seder Meals are done every holy thursday, similar to Lord's Day, but this time plenty food and drinks are offered. Some kids played, but most of the children present were sitting in the tables with their parents. I admired each family for being there not just to serve but to worship with their family. We get to know each one including the helps some families have. We eat sharing foods and stories.

I was still the child who loves to eat. But this time, I played no more but felt the presence of everyone. I was with the members who were so great in serving God and the community.It was like a taste of heaven. I have seen happy faces and it was like we were in cloud9. Thus, reading today's reflection in Didache, I became so excited to share with you one of my "Taste of Heaven".