Dirt and Diamonds

What if we begin to invest in the lives of ordinary folks within our reach?


They say that in terms of being best of friends, dogs are to men while diamonds are to ladies. Though I am not a lady, I wouldn’t mind owning a piece of diamond! Who wouldn’t want one? This piece of jewelry is definitely a fortune. No wonder, if you adorn a lady with such a precious stone, she ends up beaming with pride.

Dirt and Diamonds.png

I was reading a leadership book and I stumbled upon an interesting illustration about diamonds. It says:

“In a best-case scenario, in the world’s most diamond-rich mining locations, about one hundred tons of dirt must be removed per carat of diamonds. In the average diamond mining locations, 1,000 tons of dirt yield one carat of diamonds. That’s a lot of dirt to remove in order to discover a small number of diamonds.” (Murrel and Murrel, 2017)

I realized that in one way or another, we are all polished diamonds in the making. While some have been found out, polished and are already flaunting their sparkling beauty, some of us still lie beneath the surface, waiting to be removed from the dirt. We all have potential, we all have a purpose. However, we have different seasons. Some are being fleshed out from the dirt, some are awaiting discovery.

It’s easy for us to look at people with “sparkling” personality as if they’re the only real deal. We look up to them. We try to pattern our lives with them. But if we look around us, we will discover that a lot of people are waiting for us to lift them out of the dirt and help them to find their “beauty” within themselves. We look at the old cab driver and see him just as he is – an old cab driver trying to make both ends meet. We pass by “mommy” usher in the church and see her as she is – simply a married woman who tries not to miss her Sunday routine in spite of her marital problems. We try to ignore and not give much of a concern to that unruly teenage neighbor because we think we have more things to attend to than spend time with a “delinquent” juvenile.

Only those with glittery lives catch our attention.

But what if we begin to invest in the lives of ordinary folks within our reach? What if, while waiting for our complete transformation to become flawless diamonds ourselves, we try to unearth some people from the dirt, help them clean them up and speed up their “makeover” process? The concept may seem odd and vague but I think you know what I mean – let us add value to people, help them in their respective journeys and believe in what they are capable to do. Let’s give them hope, encourage them, and share our lives to them. Let’s begin to look at them as who they really are – a diamond!

In order for a diamond to be a sparkling diamond, it must be unearthed first.

“But only if we get our hands dirty can we find a diamond in a pile of dirt. Are you ready to get your hands dirty? Are you willing to get dirty? ”

Unearthing is not easy. Unearthing means work. Unearthing looks messy and will get your hands dirty. But only if we get our hands dirty can we find a diamond in a pile of dirt. Are you ready to get your hands dirty? Are you willing to get dirty? If one can find a diamond in a pile of dirt, I bet he’ll say “it’s worth it!”

I am once a resident of the dirt, wallowing in the filthiness of circumstances and personal view of live. But some people helped me up and encouraged me to see life the way God sees it. I began to see that I am not a product of my circumstances but I am a child of God. I began to see the beauty of life. I began to discover that I am not worthless because I am treasured by the Lord. This is because some people saw past through the dirt in me and saw me as a diamond.

I know you have a story to share too! Now share your story to other and begin investing in a life today. Do a good deed, an act of kindness. Look at people pass through their façade. You’ll never know, you might be living under the same roof with a precious diamond.

The #SuperBlueBloodMoon and How We View Life

Peeking through God’s glory and power is like looking through a telescope. We can see a glimpse, but not the whole picture. We can take a peek, but we can never comprehend Him in whole.

Much like the rest of the world, I also was very eager to witness the historic super blue blood moon that happened January 31. I even brought with me two orders of Spam fries courtesy of BFF Diner’s Felipe’s Chicken Fillet to munch while waiting for the spectacular celestial show (unfortunately, it didn’t last that long. Mabilis lang naubos haha!). I wished I should have brought chips and drinks din, as I never thought it would take us until almost 11pm. Buti na lang we decided to take a dinner first before embarking to a long night of “tayuan and tingalaan”.

Super Blue Blood Moon.png

I was with Laarni and her two training mates, Facs and Mercs (yes that’s how they each other). Luckily, the moon and the skies did not disappoint us. The sky was very clear and I can’t remember any sight of clouds the whole duration. I am also fascinated how many people, mostly students, gathered in the grounds of PAGASA Astronomical Observatory in UP Diliman. May media presence pa! Nainggit pa nga ako sa mga may dalang panglatag sa damo, parang ang sarap maki-higa. Hahaha!

I tried to capture the moon with the puny phone camera, but what could I expect? It was like trying to eat a soup with a fork. Hindi kaya e. Mabuti na lang pwedeng maki-silip sa mga telescopes na naka-set up sa venue. At least may clearer view sa bloody red moon. Indeed, it was a sight to behold! Ni hindi ako nakaramdam ng pagkangalay sa for almost 2 hours! It was an amazing experience!

Wala e, eto lang talaga kaya ng phone camera ko. Haha!

While I am staring at the moon that time, I can’t help but be amazed how great and awesome the works of the Lord is. Imagine, with just a word, things such as the light, the heavens and the moon came to existence! With just a word, all things, seen and unseen, living and non-living, came into being. Kung may ipinamamalas pang nakakamangha yung buwan na madalas na nating nakikita, how much more yung mga bagay na hindi pa naaabot ng ating mga mata?

My few seconds from the PAGASA telescope triggered my reflective mood, again.

The telescope and microscope basically has the same function: to magnify things which are barely noticeable with our naked eye. Yung mga bagay na masyado nang maliit para makita natin ang detalye, pinalalaki ng microscope and telescope for our sake. Para mas maappreciate natin, para mas mapag-aralan, para mas mamangha tayo.

But their major difference is that, microscope magnifies things that are too small for us to see, the telescope magnifies things that are too far for us to appreciate.

When it comes to our problems, we end up getting afraid and lost and exhausted whenever we look at it as though it is too big for us to handle, as if it is larger than life. Yes, problems and difficulties may sometimes seem insurmountable and overwhelming. I’ve been through that. Yung tipong hindi ka na makaahon sa dami ng trabaho, sa bigat ng pasanin, sa hirap ng pagsubok. But like anything placed under a microscope, problems, when magnified become more scary and unsolvable.

Nag-set up sila ng projector para mas magnified mong makita yung moon.

Simply put, parang sa microscope, may mga pagkakataong pinapalaki natin ang mga bagay na maliliit, and then we convince ourselves na, oo nga, mahirap to, nakakatakot to. Then we end up feeling defeated and hopeless. Have you ever seen a specimen under a microscope? Ang hirap intindihin di ba? Yung ibang image pa nga, nakakatakot (I have on my mind images of bacteria na may mga cilia, cilia pa. Haha). Likewise, a problem magnified takes away the courage in us.

Punta naman tayo sa telescope. Telescopes are used to have a sight of things that are too far for us to see, like the moon and the stars. Maliit man tignan ang buwan at ang mga bituin sa gabi, pero alam naman natin na hindi siya isang bagay na maaari mong sungkitin. The moon and the stars are enormous in size. Only distance makes them look small. We use telescopes to appreciate them in a distance. To see how do they look. Unfortunately, we can only do so much with our telescopes. Hindi lahat ay kayang ibigay at ipakita sa atin ng telescopic lens. We can only have a glimpse of their glory.

Laarni peeking through a telescope. Tapos ako sa kanya nakatingin. Hahaha! ❤

Peeking through God’s glory and power is like looking through a telescope. We can see a glimpse, but not the whole picture. We can take a peek, but we can never comprehend Him in whole. Kakapiraso, kakapinranggot lang ang kaya nating makita sa enormity ng glory ni Lord. And the best part? Everytime we try to have a glimpse of God, we get more and more amazed, na ayaw na nating tumigil! I remember parang ayaw ko nang umalis sa telescope that night sa UP Observatory, kung hindi lang sa mga nakapila sa likod ko haha! God’s majesty can never be captured even by the best and largest telescope the man has created. Imagine, hanggang ngayon dini-discover pa rin ang mga planets within and outside the solar system. Yet God has created the whole universe just with the power of His words!

May dalawang uri ng tao sa mundo base sa uri ng lens na madalas niyang tignan: ang microscopic or telescopic lens. People who view life through the microscope often look at problems too and ends up exhausted. Nauubusan ng lakas, napapagod kakahanap ng solusyon, nasasaid ang pananampalataya. Moreover, people who view life through the telescope often gets excited with the Lord and receives strength and encouragement from the enormity of God. The problem doesn’t go away instantly but he knows that God is bigger than any problem he may encounter.

Habang nasa UP Observatory ako, I felt reminded: “dear son, no matter how enormous your problems are, no matter how insurmountable your tasks may seem, always remember that I am bigger than any of your worries. I am greater than all of your concerns. If you need encouragement and reminder that I am just here beside you and you are not forgotten, just look at the sky. I am the One who created the sun, moon and the stars. I will carry you through.”

Thank you Lord. You are amazing! Salamat din po sa libreng pasilip sa telescope ng mga taga-PAGASA. Na-appreciate ko ang #SuperBlueBloodMoon.

Ikaw, how do you view life? Through a microscope, or through a telescope?

PS. Di ko lang talaga type ang Chemistry kahit nung highschool ako.

PPS. Pinangarap ko din kasing maging astronaut dati, hence my bias. Hahaha!

Photo credits: unsplash-logoSam McJunkin


Working on a Tight Schedule

A task may demand for your time but a discerning person knows that not every task has to be accommodated.

Last year, with the overwhelming amount of tasks and projects that almost blew me away, I could not believe I was able to make it out completely sane to continue another year. Haha! I had to work with people in facilitating camps, conferences and other programs. I had to make reports and attend to a lot of meetings within and outside of my usual work. If not for the grace and sustenance of the Lord, I am not sure how things will work out for me. But God is good! He strengthens me and continues to do so!

Working on a Tight Schedule

Come 2018, and TADAA! Tasks seem to double and expectations turned gargantuan. If you are like me who finds it more difficult to say NO to people than the actual task itself, this is nothing but normal. Also, if you are like me who never backs out of challenges, this just fuels creativity, passion, and foresight within. But honestly, some challenges really take the best of me.

Speaking of foresight, one thing that concerns me for the rest of the year is how will I manage my limited time when commitments REALLY overlap. Before, whichever is written first on my calendar has the priority over my schedule. If a ministry meeting is announced on a certain day but I already have a prior commitment with my college friends for a catch-up session, I will choose the latter and excuse myself for the ministry meeting. This is because I value commitments. However, I think this should not always be the case. A task may demand for your time but a discerning person knows that not every task has to be accommodated. With this in mind, I drafted a simple scheme to help me decide which task or project takes priority.

DISCLAIMER: After seeing my decision-making guide, you may think that I am too fickle-minded and incompetent to decide for myself. Please don’t judge me. I just want to put my life in order. Haha!

FIRST: Identify your commitments and group them accordingly.

Since my day usually revolves around spreadsheets, I jot down my commitments and tasks using color coded-schematic.

Sched 1

I wrote these tasks and commitments in random. Other things are sure to be added as I remember them. But take note that I grouped my major activities into four areas: Ministry, Work, Relationships and Outlets. Since I am working in a church organization, sometimes Work and Ministry overlap, which is both a pro- and a con- because they often have shared schedule. Nevertheless, I have to define which is which.

* Outlets are activities that help me de-stress when toxicity level escalates.

SECOND: Decide which of your major commitments takes priority over the other.

Inasmuch as I would like to have it as: Relationships – Ministry – Work – Outlets, this is not always the case. Often, Work comes first because it is my primary source of income and usually demands most of my time, followed by Ministry. Relationships come third because they are the most capable of understanding your schedule. Outlets come last because obviously, rest and relaxation comes after all the work has been exhausted, not during and definitely not prior.

Sched 2

* No, I am not trying to rank which is more important and significant than the other, I’m just trying to assess my commitments based on practicality of scheduling. You may have a different view regarding this.

THIRD: Group your specific tasks into HIGH, MEDIUM and LOW

HIGH – meaning this really has to be prioritized because not doing so will compromise your schedule.

MEDIUM – this can be postponed to a later time but must be given attention to afterwards, otherwise will compromise your schedule.

LOW – you can excuse yourself out of these without any drastic effect on your schedule, but can be attended to when the luxury of time permits.


 * I intentionally left some tasks covered so I won’t offend some people because they just ranked medium or low on my priorities. I devised this to help me in decision making, and to spare myself from entangled commitments.

With this scheme, it will be much easier for me to decide which tasks must be attended to first because I have already decided their order of priority. Also, this is a reminder that things has to be done promptly so commitments will not stack, hence a disaster schedule.

Anyway, ang dami kong time at di halatang busy. Hahaha!

If you think this might help you, you may download one through this link: Commitments Diagram. ‘Til next post!

The Gift of Acceptance

The Bible says that it is more blessed to give than to receive, which is definitely true. Have you ever felt the unexplainable emotional bliss whenever you add value to a person by giving a part of yourself? Hindi dahil sa gusto mong magyabang or iparamdam na mas nakakaangat ka sa iba, rather you see a need, and you are prompted to act upon that need.

Gift of Acceptance.png

The ability to give is what makes human. There may be faunas who are capable of selflessness but humanity is endowed with a capacity to think freely, and so to give freely. Di naman siguro tayo mas madamot pa sa mga hayop di ba?

Pero kakabig ako: while we may be wired with the ability to give, minsan nga siguro may pagkamadamot din tayo. Not only in terms of material generosity but also when it comes to treating ourselves better. Minsan madamot tayo sa sarili natin. We deprive ourselves with things that would make us a better – a better giver, a better person. Some of us look out for the interest of others while failing to recognize that we too have our own special needs. In the long run, we may be setting ourselves for destruction.

Are you depriving yourself of significant things? Let me propose things you might have missed out lately:

  1. Accept that some people are better than you

If you are a competitive type of person, this will pose as a challenge. But in one way or another, in reality, there will always be people who can do better than you. You just have to accept that. In looks, in skills, in charisma and even in connections, some are just gifted with much more privilege than you. Does it mean that you are born a loser? Not at all! Their advantages does not mean you are a failure. We are all on a different race so what if they are differently gifted than you? Mind your own race. Treat them as an inspiration, not as a distraction. Wag magmukmok dahil lang naiiba sila.

  1. Accept that there are things you can no longer change

Sometimes we dwell on the past and we regret things we should have done. But past is past, and no one can change it. However, you have total control of your decisions now, and you can make right choices today. Looking back on the good ‘ol days and being caught up with “what ifs” will only slow down your journey. Move on na!

  1. Accept that not everyone will like you or the things you do

You cannot please everybody. Kung sa loob nga ng bahay may di pagkakasunduan, how much more sa labas where we mingle on a daily basis with hundreds of people with different attitudes and upbringing. Not everyone will like you or the things you do because at times they have their own agenda to push through. Might as well learn to be patient with people, habaan ang pisi, and keep your feet on the ground. Humility exalts a person, pride causes downfall. Marahil may ibang pagkakataon pa para sa ideas mo. Or maybe not…

  1. Accept that some of your plans will never see the light of day

All I ever wanted is to have a professional license as a CPA (pero before gusto ko rin maging engineer). All along, after all the efforts and sacrifices I went through, I thought dire-diretso na ako sa path na dinadaanan ko. Until I was led to ministry. Ngayon, nauna na ang ministerial license ko bago ko pa man makuha ang professional license na pinangarap ko noon. Without any regrets, I am happy with the sudden turn of events in my life. I know God have redirected me because He has better in store for me on where I am now. Maybe in your life as well, there are redirections that causes your plans to be misaligned or totally dismissed, but it doesn’t matter that God does not honor your plans. Most of the time He takes away things we value the most so He can give us things that we need and will enjoy the most, all because He values us the most.

  1. Accept that some people are not meant for keeps

This is a sad truth but it needs full acceptance – not everyone are meant for keeps. May aalis at aalis, physically, emotionally or even literally as they are returning to the Lord. Again, this is painful. We invest too much on a person but then we’ll never know if they will stay or not.  We can’t have a person forever. And my realization is this: the reason why God wants us to put Him first kasi people have this tendency to hurt and disappoint us. That is human nature. Kung ang buong buhay natin ay iaalay natin sa tao na hindi naman natin hawak ang decisions, and emotions, not even their lifespan, we are bound to disappointment, pain and frustration. Paano kung sobrang attached ka na then biglang bumitaw na siya? But God will never hurt us, leave us nor forsake us. People come and go, but God is here to stay with us. And someday soon, He will come for us.

  1. Accept that there will always be room for improvement

No one has ever attained perfection. Palaging may room for improvement. We may have invested a lot of sweat and effort, resources and even tears to develop ourselves, but there will always be something to improve upon. We can never be kind enough, kasi there will always be people to express our kindness to. We can never be generous enough, kasi hindi naman nauubos ang mga taong may pangangailangan. We can never be humble enough – kasi the mere fact you are asking yourself if you are humble, you are already in need of it. And when it comes to physical projects, we need to keep on improving kasi the world and its needs are constantly changing. One day sensational ang idea mo, the following day obsolete na yan. Keep on improving.

  1. Accept that pain is inevitable no matter how hard you try to avoid it

Lastly, accept that pain is inevitable. You can never guard yourself from pain. The primary reason is that we are social beings. We deal with people, we interact with them and share our lives with them. Some people can be rude to us, some can be too self-centered. Some are too passive while some are so pushy. Relationships can be messy, but it is always worth the mess. As you may have caused pain and grief to people without you knowing (o kahit pa aware ka), some people will cause you pain and grief kahit pa anong ilag at salag mo. Moreover, pain keeps us stronger. Battle scars indicate us being a fighter.

Think about these things. Masyado ka na bang nagiging madamot sa sarili mo? Accept these truths and set yourself free. Soon enough you’ll find yourself more suited to bless others more.


No Stress-passing

“Life is like a photograph, we develop from the negatives”. Tama nga naman, if not for the unfortunate events in our lives, we’ll stagnate and remain the same as before. Hindi tayo magiging overcomer if we don’t have trials to overcome.

May kakilala ka bang stress-passer? Yung mga toxic na tao na may sworn duty yata na magbigay ng inis sa buhay ng iba? Sila yung mga taong unaware na nagbibigay na sila ng “kakaibang high” sa ibang tao. Stress-passers, parang mga trespassers, pumapasok sa mga emotional boundaries ng iba para magnakaw ng peace of mind. Nagpapasa sila ng mga unwanted emotions and will leave us feeling… ‘intoxicated’.


Pero what if tayo pala ang stress-passer sa buhay ng iba? Na tayo pala ang source ng kanilang irritation and stress? You might think, hindi kaya! Pero who knows? Sabi nga nila, it’s easier to spot another person’s flaw than your own. Kaya naman as we look through the lens of other people’s behavior, assess din natin ang sarili natin if we exhibit the same kind of ‘stressors’ we find in others.

Kung sa tingin mo ay kasing-toxic ka na rin ng mga taong gustong-gusto mong iwasan, here are some tips para naman hindi ka tuluyang iwanan ng mga friends mo.

  1. Communicate clearly

Spare yourself from some disappointments by communicating your plans, expectations, even your frustrations if you have to. No one is like Professor X na kayang basahin ang nasa isipan mo, so please do the world a favor by letting us know what you want us to do.

Tell your peers what you want to happen, and how do want it to be done. Tell your partner how you feel. Let your parents know where you are going and what you intend to do. Sabihin nang malinaw, nang klaro, para walang pagtatalo.

Kung ang mga magkakapamilya nga, halos araw-araw na magkakasama at nasubaybayan pa nila ang buhay ng bawat isa, nagkakaroon pa rin ng misunderstanding, paano na lang ang mga taong tuwing school or office hours mo lang nagkakasama? You can’t expect the world to cave in to your expectations dahil lang naisip mo ito, pero kung ico-communicate mo ito nang malinaw, it will be easier to find someone to join you in your cause.

Hindi kami manghuhula kaya wag kang pa-mysterious, uy!

  1. Increase your patience

Isa rin sa mga toxic kind of people we should stay away from ay yung mga sobrang irritable. Yung kaunting inconvenience lang, todo reklamo na at akala mo wala nang binigay na maganda sa kanya ang mundo. In contrast, those who are very patient, yung kaya pa ring ngumiti in spite of the inconvenience ay napaka-pleasant na kasama, right? Pansinin din ang hilatsa ng mukha ng mga bugnutin… ok, wala na akong sinabi.

In case you are one of this type, I encourage you na magbago ka na nang pananaw sa buhay. Mas maganda ang mundo if you’ll learn to overlook little inconveniences in life. May nag-overtake sayo na senior citizen sa pila mo sa Jollibee? Let it go! May nakatapak nang hindi sinasadya sa white sneakers mo? Let it go! Hindi inaabot ang bayad mo sa jeep ng mga kapwa mo pasahero? Sabihin m kay manong driver, ‘catch’! Nakabayad ka na, may kalaro ka pa! You can’t have peace if you won’t increase your patience.

Learn to let go and overlook minor inconveniences. Hindi lahat sa atin ay exempted sa perwisyong traffic, sa mahabang pila, sa maiingay na kapitbahay, makulit na pamangkin, pasaway na drivers, at demanding na boss. Hindi lahat ng ine-expect natin at gusto natin ay available para sa atin. Kahit mga customer representatives na tinatatawagan natin ay may hangganan lang din ang kayang ibigay na tulong sa atin, kaya learn to let go of the situation and increase your patience.

Wag kang masyadong bugnutin. Maging ubas, wag maging pasas.

  1. Speak life

May kasabihan na “life is like a photograph, we develop from the negatives”. Tama nga naman, if not for the unfortunate events in our lives, we’ll stagnate and remain the same as before. Hindi tayo magiging overcomer if we don’t have trials to overcome.

Pero iba naman pagdating sa pagiging outspoken negative. When I say ‘speak life’, I’m saying that we have to use our mouth to encourage people, not to bring them down. Nakarinig ka na ba ng taong sobrang negative? Iba pa ito dun sa taong impatient. Sila yung wala nang ibang bukambibig kundi puro negative like “hindi natin kaya yan!”, “wala na tayong pag-asa”, “bagsak na tayo, ulitin na lang natin next sem!” Nakakahawa, nakakairita. Stressful sila kasi no matter how you try to find beauty and joy, para naman silang may radar sa mga ka-negahan ng mundo.

If you are a whiner, I encourage you to teach yourself how to appreciate. Simulan mo sa maliliit na bagay – thank the cashier who took your order, thank the cute college chick na nag-abot ng bayad mo sa jeep, magpasalamat ka kay Lord kasi ginising ka pa Niya kaninang umaga! Appreciation even the smallest detail. I tell you, mag-iiba ang perspective mo.

After you learn the habit of appreciating people, you may now begin to teach yourself the virtue of blessing people. Bless them with encouraging words. Bless them with uplifting statements. Sa dami ng mga depressing stories na tinatanggap ng tao araw-araw, dadagdag ka pa ba?

Speak life to people. Maiba lang, wag naman puro reklamo.

Inasmuch as try to not allow stress-passers to ruin our emotional boundaries, might as well bigyan din natin ng chance ang iba na pangalagaan ang mga emotional boundaries nila. Kung paanong pinahahalagaan natin na hindi tayo ma-contaminate ng kanilang ka-negahan, wag din natin silang i-contaminate. Wag kang tumawid sa bakod nang may bakod. No stress-passing.

Bili na kayo ng Church

“The institution is human, it is the identity that is divine”

Iba rin talaga ang nagagawa ng kawalan ng internet connection, much more cellphone signal. I recently attended a Pastors’ and Workers’ Retreat and I can attest to a very significant effect of internet connectivity (or the lack thereof) on human interactions. Mas authentic and tawanan, mas totoo ang kwentuhan, mas buhay ang hagalpakan. In this world digital connectivity, we need to establish more often the significance of genuine relational connections.

Bili na Kayo ng Church

Isa pa sa major feat na naranasan ko while on that retreat ay nakatapos ako ng isang libro in one seating. Dahil wala akong cellphone na need constantly i-check during break periods, I really felt like I am one with nature that time, at parang kausap ko lang in person ang mga characters ni Kuya Rei Lemuel Crizaldo, ang author ng Bili na Kayo ng Church. Ang unusual ng title ano? Pero sa title pa lang, magkakaroon ka kaagad ng idea what the book is about – the emerging commercialization of the church.

What’s interesting about this book is that it is presented in a “he said, she said” format. Para kang nakikinig ng usapan ng magkaibigang sina Sef and Nivz habang nagbabatuhan sila ng mga arguments about the church – answering our questions that we dare not ask sa mga church leaders natin. Sabi nga sa blurb ng libro, “ang pagpili ba ng church ay parang pagsha-shopping lang para sa bagong gadget? Sa dami ng nagsusulputang churches, alin kaya ang dapat mong puntahan? Kung lahat sila ay mag-iinvite sa iyo, anong gimik kaya nila ang makakahatak sa iyo?”


Sef and Nivz presented our view of the church in opposing spectrums: one, that it must uphold and maintain its traditions despite the changing times and two, that it has to adapt to the cultural and preferential shifts of the churchgoers. Sa dalawang panig na pinakikinggan ko (err, binababasa), sa totoo lang nalito ako kung saan nga ba ang bias ko: I can identify with Sef and his frustrations with the institutionalized church, na hindi na tayo kinakikitaan ng mga pag-uugali na unang ipinakita ng early church fathers natin – pag-ibig, pagkakaisa, Christlikeness. I do also agree with Nivz, lalo na sa encouragement niya na huwag tayong mawalan ng pag-asa sa church dahil lang sa dungis ng mga taong bumubuo nito. If Jesus died for the church, why should we give up on her?

Nagpatikim din si Kuya Rei ng interesting facts about the church history in this book. Maging yung iba’t ibang mukha ng iglesia natin ngayon ay ipinakita rin niya: cell churches, house churches, community churches, traditional churches, mega churches, digital churches. May pros and cons. Ngunit kung ang tanong mo ay “should I stay or should I go?” at “if I stay, where do I stay?” ikaw na ang bahalang sumagot niyan based on your convictions. Ang masasabi ko lang, I appreciate how God sometimes lead us to questions unanswerable by either yes or no so we’ll learn to listen to Him intently, even in matters such as leaving or staying in a specific church family.

Before I end this post, I’d love to share this statement from Sef. Pertaining to church, he says “the institution is human, it is the identity that is divine”.

Actually habang binabasa ko ang libro, it’s as if my questions were being articulated and presented to me. Hindi lang pala ako ang may mga frustrations sa institutionalized church in general. Hindi lang pala ako ang nagtatanong, “why does it hurt to be in church?”. Pero through the years that I’ve stayed and served in the church, I began to love it not because of its flaws but in spite of it.

Grab a copy on Bili na Kayo ng Church available in all OMF and Philippine Christian Bookstores.

Use Data to See Photos

Sa panahon ngayon, hindi na lang sa mga eyeball, mga dokumento at mga binibiling produkto tayo napepeke.

Wala ka nang load pero kating-kati ka na na bisitahin ang newsfeed mo. Mabuti na lang at may free data service ang network mo. Habang busy ka sa pag-puso at pag-haha sa mga status ng mga beshiewaps mo sa facebook, biglang napukaw ang atensyon mo sa isang “balita” tungkol sa paborito mong artista na diumano’y pumanaw na kamakailan lang. Dala marahil ng masidhing emosyon, agad-agad din ay pinindot mo ang share button. Sayang, hindi mo nakita na kahina-hinala pala yung link, sabi kasi sa newsfeed mo “use data to see photo”, at wala kang load.Screenshot_2016-06-08-08-51-59-1

Fake. Peke. Hindi totoo.

Sa panahon ngayon, hindi na lang sa mga eyeball, mga dokumento at mga binibiling produkto tayo napepeke. As if hindi pa sapat na naloloko na tayo sa pag-ibig, pati rin pala sa mga impormasyon naloloko na rin tayo. Ika nga ng mga pantas sa social media, hindi lahat ng nababasa natin online ay dapat paniwalaan.

Nalinlang ka na rin ba ng mga fake news na nagkalat sa social media? Yung paniwalang-paniwala ka at nagpupuyos na ang damdamin mo tapos kalokohan lang pala ang lahat? Bago ka pa makahanap ng kaaway online o makatisod ng mga taong mas gullible sayo, narito ang ilang elemento ng isang fake news at kung paano mo makikilala ang PEKE sa hindi.

PPaninira. Madali mong makikilala ang isang fake news kung masyadong biased ang nilalaman nitong impormasyon. Hindi lang basta biased, mapanira pa ng reputasyon. Kaya’t mainam na basahin mo munang mabuti ang nilalaman bago ka mag-react. Objective pa ba ang sinasabi ng artikulo o ito’y opinyon lang na inilahok sa mga elemento ng balita? Maging mapanuri. Kung sa tantya mo ay sa halip na magbigay ng objective at factual na balita ang binabasa mo ay nanghihimok lang ito na maniwala ka na napakawalang-kwenta ng isang tao o grupo, o di kaya naman ay sinisiraan lang ang reputasyon ng iba, baka naman propaganda lang ang binabasa mo at hindi balita. Peke yan, bes. Mas peke pa sa kilay ng kapitbahay mo.

EEngaging title. Ito ang pinaka-effective sa lahat ng strategies ng mga tagapagpakalat ng fake news. Kaya ka nga napa-comment ng “PAWER” at napapindot ng share e. Ang isang fake news ay nagtatago sa isang napaka-engaging na title para maka-attract ng maraming readers. Naaalala mo pa ba yung mga links na patay na raw si ganito, si ganyan tapos may year pa? Sino ba naman ang hindi magiging curious dun, e lodi mo yun? Though hindi naman lahat ng may engaging title ay automatic fake news na, pero majority ng fake news ay kailangan magkaroon ng very catchy title para bumenta. Wag umasa lang sa free data at bumuo agad ng opinyon base lang sa title. At lalong wag agad ma-fall, kaya tayo nasasaktan e.

KKahina-hinala. Ang sabi nga sa isang TVC, “check the label”. Pagdating sa mga articles online, check the source. Wag mapagpatol. Sino ba ang nagsulat? Credible news agency ba? Ok sige, sabihin na natin na hindi ka masyadong bilib sa mainstream media, pero verified ba at supported ng facts and research ang balitang binabasa mo? Baka naman chismis lang. Bago ka mag-react, tignan mo kung sino ang nagsulat, cross-check mo kay google mo kung may iba pang nagsulat tungkol sa isyu na yun. Kung walang katulad na balita, magduda ka na. Kung sakaling statement naman ito ng isang prominenteng tao, bago ka mag-judge, i-check mo rin muna kung talaga bang sinabi niya ito, at kung ano ang konteksto kung bakit sinabi. Linawan ang mata, dahil pati website url nakakalinlang na.

EEmergent. Ang mga fake news, usually parang kabute kung magsulputan sa social media newsfeeds natin. Sunod-sunod, paulit-ulit, daig pa ang ex mong makulit. Minsan pa, kahit galing sa iba’t ibang pages at websites, pare-pareho ng naman ng caption, ng title at ng content. Yan ay dahil ang mga ito ay pinapaikot ng makinarya ng mga taong may masamang motibo sa pagpapakalat ng maling impormasyon. Kaya naman kapag napapansin mo na parang copy-paste na lang ang mga articles sa mga nauna mo nang nabasa, magtaka ka na. Isa talaga sa mga layunin ng mga fake news generator ay maging viral ang post nila sa pamamagitan ng mga gullible at hindi nagbabasang mga mambabasa. Kaya wag ka nang makisama. Don’t click that share button! You are wiser than that.

Umiwas sa P.E.K.E.

Nabubuhay tayo sa social media generation na ang lahat ay malayang magsabi ng sariling opinyon sa isang online platform. Ngunit hindi lahat ng nakapost online ay dapat mong paniwalaan. Pero maaari mo namang hingin ang tulong ng iba para naman mas factual and grounded ang tatayuan mong opinyon. Wag kang mahihiyang magtanong: Totoo ba? Hindi naman nakakabawas ng pagkatao ang fact-checking. Personally, I believe nakaka-cool pa nga ito. Haha!

Magkakaiba man tayo ng political preferences pero alam kong iisa lang tayo ng hangarin na dun tayo sa tama, dun tayo sa totoo. Mahirap naman kung puro lang tayo kuda tapos based sa fake news naman pala. Kaya ano pang hinihintay mo? Mag-load na to use that data to see photos!

Ang blog post na ito ay opisyal na lahok sa Saranggola Blog Awards 2017, Espesyal na KategoryaSaranggola 336x280.jpg