Unspoken Rules on Social Media

Masaya sa mundo ng social media. Pero let us not deviate from its intended purpose, yung maging mas connected tayo sa isa’t isa.

No one can argue how instrumental and monumental social media is sa lahat ng areas ng buhay natin. I grew up in a time na wala pang Facebook at dial-up pa ang internet connection, pero parang hindi ko na yata ma-imagine pa na bumalik sa panahong iyon. Ay wait, i-qualify ko yung sinabi ko. Haha! Siguro yung simplicity ng buhay noon gusto kong balikan, pero pagdating sa mga “tools of the trade” at mga productivity features of today’s technology, malaking tulong talaga.

Unspoken Rules on Social MediaSabi nga, the greater the opportunity for good, the greater the opportunity for evil. Ang bilis ng transfer ng information ngayon. And information comes in different faces – good news, bad news, depressing, informative, cringe-worthy, motivating, etc. Minsan pa nga, detrimental pa to the welfare of others. We live in the era of information right before our tiny screens. Ang tanong lang ay kung paano natin ginagamit ang mga information na ito? Nakakalunod ano? Ang social media na dapat sana ay for “socialization and connection purposes” ay nahahaluan na rin ng kalokohan.

​How do we make the most out of the blessings of technology, particularly that of social media? Meron akong ilang practical tips:

  1. Kumustahin mo rin, wag puro Everwing

I play Everwing, yung bagong game na kinaka-adikan ng marami. Ang catch lang ay kailangan mo pang mag-send ng “play with” message or “challenge” sa mga online friends mo para mas ma-enjoy mo yung game. Kaya naman maraming chat boxes ang napupuno na ng mga Everwing messages. Pati yung mga online friends mo na matagal mo nang hindi nakakausap biglang nag-pop up ang chat bubble dahil sa Everwing request niya. Maraming patay na GC rin ang muling nabuhay. Haha! Pero magandang opportunity to to reach out your long lost friends and catch up with GCs. Makipagkwentuhan ka rin, wag lang flood ng Everwing. Mas enjoy makipag-compete ng scores with friends kaysa naman mainis sila sayo kasi ang kulit-kulit mo. Invite them to play with you, hindi yung binubulabog mo lang ang messenger nila. Haha! 🙂 At sa mga nakukulitan sa akin, sorry po. Laro tayo. Hehe!

  1. Magrerespond ng “going” tapos biglang drawing? Wag ganun.

Maraming pagkakaibigan ang nasisira dito. Kung hindi ka pa naman sure na makakasama sa lakad ng barkada, wag ka nang masyadong magpabida at magsabing sure ka na. Wag kang masyadong paasa. Update the group, kasi effort kaya mag-prepare at magplano. Wag kang basta mawawala kapag malapit na ang usapan. Be honest and transparent, nakakasira yan ng integridad. Pero honestly, wala naman akong hugot, promise. Hahaha!

  1. Cooperate din sa GC para sa huli hindi ka masisi.

Gawain ko na i-turn off ang notifications ng mga group chats where I belong. Madali kasi akong ma-distract sa dami ng messages at nao-overwhelm ako kapag sobrang haba na ng kailangan kong i-backread. Pero try to keep up with the conversation pa rin. Lalo na kung kailangan mong ma-update sa mahahalagang discussions ng group kagaya ng anong oras ang lakad, magkano ang contribution at sino ang magdadala ng pagkain. Kung hindi ka updated, at hindi ka rin marunong magtanong, naku baka masisi ka sa huli.

  1. Wag mo silang inisin sa hobby mong pangsi-“seen”

Same with No. 3, maraming puso ang nasasaktan sa mga hugot at jokes nila na hindi mo naman pinapansin. Sayang effort. Huhu.

  1. Kung alam mo nang may pambubully, wag ka nang sumali

Sa dami ng mga status posts, videos at pictures na kumakalat online, hindi maiiwasan na maraming mga private individuals ang naco-compromise at nauuwi pa nga sa bullying. If you think na hindi na maganda at nakakasakit na, wag ka nang makigaya pa sa iba. Hindi mo lang alam how does a person feel kung ang lahat sa social media ay may hindi magandang sinasabi tungkol sa kanya. Don’t be an accomplice to bullying.

  1. Magtimpi kahit kaunti. Hindi lahat ng drama nilalabas sa social media.

May iba sa atin hindi makapigil sa sarili, lahat na lang sa social media sinasabi. Remember that whatever you put in social media ay maaaring makapukaw ng interest ng public. Kung hindi ka handa sa mga comments ng iba, aba’y magtimpi ka. Given na page mo yan at walang pwedeng pumigil sa mga gusto mong i-post online, pero be more responsible at aware sa mga maaari mong ma-fish na comments. Sige ka, ikaw rin. Pero friendly advice: hindi lahat gusto ng drama palagi ang nababasa.

  1. Be wise. Ang taong gullible, sa fake news mapagpatol.

Ang daming fake news online grabe! Pero ang mas marami, yung nagse-share ng fake news. Hahaha. Pwede ba tayong maging mas matalino sa pagdi-disseminate ng information online? Don’t just base on the clickbait headlines. Basahin rin ang contents. Verify with credible sources kung totoo ang balita. Be responsible online. Wag maging gullible.

Masaya sa mundo ng social media. Pero let us not deviate from its intended purpose, yung maging mas connected tayo sa isa’t isa. Maraming away at divisions ang nabubuo from the very thing that should connect us. Maging mas wise at responsible tayo as we behave online.

 

 

BASAG: A book launch with a dose of #feels

“Acting strong and tough ka pero deep inside, basag na basag ka na”

An afternoon of words and music, of numerous hugot and an inspiring story of an individual marred by heartbreak but made whole again by the grace of God. Mula sa pagiging BASAG hanggang sa pagiging buo muli. Yan ang inspiring story ni Ate Prexy Calvario, condensed in a small book guaranteed to help those who are in the process of moving on from a painful breakup. Ang mga kwento sa likod ng libro ang naging highlight ng book launching event na ginanap sa OMF Literature bookstore on May 27, syempre coupled with spoken word poetry and acoustic music.

Sino nga ba naman ang hindi makaka-relate sa mga kwentong heartbreaks at hiwalayan? Maliban na lang kung kabilang ka sa mga taong hindi pa nakakaranas na lumuha dahil sa pag-ibig, ang pagiging brokenhearted ay isang estado sa ating buhay pag-ibig kung saan acting strong and tough ka pero deep inside, basag na basag ka na. Yung one day, decided ka na to let go of the past pero marinig mo lang ang theme song niyo, cry to death ka na naman. Mahirap talaga kapag brokenhearted! Kaya naman blessing ang book ni Ate Prexy sa mga miyembro ng Moving On community.

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Ate Prexy sharing personal stories behind the book

During the book launching event, may ilang realizations lang akong napulot:

  1. Kagaya ng ex mo na hindi nagpahalaga sayo, your pain, too, shall pass. Hindi yan kagaya ng Motolite na pang-matagalan. Makaka-move on ka rin, promise. Unless mag-decide ka na magtampisaw sa sakit at bitterness, with determination and by God’s grace for sure babalik din ang ngiti sa mga labi mo.
  2. Unlike your ex na puro lang pangakong napako, asahan mo na sa moving on journey mo ay may mga promises si Lord na tutuparin Niya – that is, He will see you through. He will strengthen you. He will help you recover. He will always be there for you to give you comfort and peace. And during such time of emotional recovery, you will realize He is all you will ever need.
  3. After the ordeal of being heartbroken, you are now ready to be a blessing to others in need of encouragement and support. Magiging instant counselor ka sa mga dumadaan sa masalimuot na landas ng pagmo-move on. Maaari ka nilang maging gabay, huhugot sila sayo ng inspirasyon na kung kinaya mo, kaya rin nila. Kagaya ni Ate Prexy at ng kanyang libro, you can be the answer to their emotional need, hindi kagaya ng ex mo na kapag may need lang magaling.
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Syempre I took the opportunity to have my copy signed by the author 🙂

I am privileged to somehow endorse the book sa aking personal blog page, at nagtataka ako bakit may mga HAHA reactions sa facebook posts ko. Sa pagtatanong ko, nakuha ko ang sagot: oo nga naman, napaka-catchy kasi ng title ng libro, napaka-light, pang-masa – lahat tayo makaka-relate. Hindi lang basta broken, BASAG. Worse than being in pain, kundi BASAG. Uncommon for a published book title pero malaking tulong sa common emotional pains ng tao. No holds barred ika nga. BASAG kung BASAG. Wala nang kyeme. After all, totoo namang BASAG tayo nung huli tayong nasaktan di ba?

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Prior to this blog post, I have also written a review of the book in this link: http://bit.ly/2lH6J22

Taken from the back cover blurb of the book, let Ate Prexy do the pitch:

How about taking a special course condensed in this small book? Dahil nakagraduate na ako sa pagiging brokenhearted, baka sakaling matulungan kita. “Been there, done that” ang peg ko. Sabi ng iba, time heals all wounds. Ang totoo, God heals, in time. Through my story, let me tell you how.

BASAG: Bachelor in Nursing a Broken Heart, Major in Moving On is available for only P75. Look for the book at OMF Lit Bookshops, Passages Bookshops, Philippine Christian Bookstores, National Book Stores and other leading bookstores nationwide. You can also order online at www.passagesbooks.com.ph.

Blessed and my 13 Reasons Why

May mga pagkakataon na gusto ko na lang talagang sumuko. Nakakapagod, nakakasawa.

Hindi lang makailang ulit kong binabanggit sa sarili ko na sobrang stressed ko na para magpatuloy. May mga pagkakataon na gusto ko na lang talagang sumuko. Nakakapagod, nakakasawa. Siguro kaya may mga taong pinipili na lang na wakasan ang kanilang buhay kasi hindi na nila kinakaya ang bigat ng kanilang nararamdaman.

13 Reasons Why

In my case, before I even get consumed with my stressful situations in life, with all my worries and fears for tomorrow, I try to diffuse negativities and lies and replace such with truths. I am blessed beyond measure! Maraming dahilan kung bakit dapat tayong magpatuloy. Maraming dahilan para hindi tayo sumuko. I strive to push on with life and let me share my 13 reasons why:

Just this morning, you were able to breathe in life

Pagmulat pa lang ng mata mo, late ka man nagising o sobrang aga, hindi ba magandang isipin na another blank page has been flipped sa pages ng buhay mo, and you are now ready to take the pen and write your own story? Ang haba ng sinabi ko, pero yun na nga. Ang paggising mo sa umaga ay isa nang dahilan para maging mapagpasalamat dahil…

Over the night, no harm fell upon you

May mga taong natulog lang pero hindi na inabutan ng umaga. Maaaring inatake ng sakit, o nadisgrasya habang natutulog, inabutan ng sakuna, trahedya o kung anumang dahilan. Bottom line is, their time is up. Pero ikaw, hindi pa! You are blessed kasi you were given something na hindi na ipinagkaloob sa kanila, kagaya ng…

1 more chance to tell your loved ones, I love you

At the final curtain of life, it is not the amount of money or achievements or earthly investments ang hahanapin natin at papangarapin nating katabi sa tuwina, kundi ang ating mga mahal sa buhay. Unfortunately, marami ang inaabutan na ng panghihina ng katawan o ng mismong kamatayan ngunit hindi man lang nasasabi na mahal nila ang kanilang mga magulang, kapatid, asawa o mga anak. Kaya ngayon pa lang, isipin mo na you are blessed to be given this chance to tell them you love them!

Listen to the sound of nature

Subukan mong pakinggan ang huni ng mga ibon, o ang agos ng ilog. Mahirap ito kapag nasa city ka kung saan maraming ingay, pero pakinggan mo lang ang ihip ng hangin, damhin ang init ng araw. They are telling us a message – they exist to serve their purpose! Kung ang init ng araw, ang simoy ng hangin, at ang kabuuan ng kalikasan ay may purpose sa mundo, how much more ikaw na anak ng Diyos? Kaya sa susunod na iisipin mo na wala ka nang pag-asa, why not listen to the sound of nature?

Add friends and meet new acquaintances

Isa sa mga blessings na dala ng panibagong araw ay ang pagkakataon na madagdagan ang ating mga kaibigan at mga kakilala. Blessing yun! Imagine kung iilan lang ang tao sa mundo, o kung ikaw lang kaya mag-isa sa mundo, di ba ang lungkot nun? Friends and acquaintances make our lives easy. Kapag may nakikita tayong nakangiti, masaya ang countenance, nahahawa tayo. Kung medyo badtrip naman sila, napapaisip naman tayo kung paano ba natin gugugulin ang buong araw natin, kagaya din ba nilang badtrip din? Malay mo, nasa paligid mo lang ang tulong na hinihintay mo, galing sa taong hindi mo minsang inakalang aalalay pala sayo.

New learning and experiences

Ang mga experiences na pagdadaanan mo ay ang siyang nagiging launch pad mo for greater opportunities ahead. Remember, experiences, whether good or bad, makes us who we are now. Ang tanong lang ay sa nagiging mas bitter ka ba or better? You can always choose the latter.

Bukod sa mga bagong kaibigan, ang bawat umaga ay may hatid din na bagong karanasan at pagkatuto. Ang mga experiences na pagdadaanan mo ay ang siyang nagiging launch pad mo for greater opportunities ahead. Remember, experiences, whether good or bad, makes us who we are now. Ang tanong lang ay sa nagiging mas bitter ka ba or better? You can always choose the latter.

Improve yourself and others

May pagkakataon ka to be the best version of yourself, to be better than your yesterday’s self. Ang bawat panibagong araw ay nagbibigay ng pagkakataon sa atin para i-improve ang ating sarili, upang maging mas malakas tayo, mas matatag at mas kapaki-pakinabang. At sa pag-improve natin ng ating sarili, matutulungan din natin ang iba na ma-improve ang kalagayan nila. We are blessed to bless others. Don’t let it stop with you.

Exercise your right to be happy

Wala namang humahadlang sa atin na maging masaya kundi ang sarili nating paglilimita sa ating mga sarili. If people try to bring us down, we can always think positive, realizing that maybe we are evidently blessed kaya tayo pinababagsak. If people throw insults on us, maybe because they’re insecure of themselves. Learn to see the good things behind the bad, and once you’ve found it out, lift them up. We can always choose to be happy, and one good thing to do para maging mas magalak ay ang tulungan ang iba na umangat din, habang iniintindi sila. Of course, this is easier said than done, pero why not try and choose to be happy today?

Do more of what you love to do

Oh yes! May chance ka ulit na gawin ang mga bagay na gustong-gusto mong gawin. Take pictures, cook sumptuous meals, write blogs, read books, whatever your heart and hands want to do, do it for the glory of the Lord! You are given another day for you to enjoy the gifts of the Lord through your talents and skills. Make the Lord happy by enjoying His gifts to you.

Others are looking up to you and cheering for you

Madami ang nakatingin sayo, humuhugot sayo ng inspirasyon at lakas. Kung susuko ka, paano na lang sila? You were given another day kasi you are an encouragement to people. You give them hope, you give them joy, you give them a reason to carry on what they are going through. Kung iniisip mo na wala kang kakampi, just look around you, sa pamilya mo, sa mga kaibigan mo, sa mga nagmamahal sayo. They are cheering up for you!

Leave your baggage behind

Panahon na raw para iwanan mo ang mga mapapait na bakas ng kahapon. Hindi mo kailangang makulong sa mga regrets mo, sa mga bagay na nagawa mong mali in the past. Forgive and forget. Ask for forgiveness if you must. Iwan mo na ang emotional baggage mo at mag-move on ka na. This is the perfect day to do that. Wag ka nang maghintay ng bukas.

Open doors and windows

At dahil iiwanan mo na ang mabibigat mong dalahin, buksan mo na rin ang sarili mo sa magagandang plano ni Lord para sayo. Wag kang magmukmok at isipin na isa kang talunan. Open doors so that opportunities may come in, windows so the rays of hope will shine on your face. Ang bawat panibagong araw ay may hatid na pag-asa, kaya wag mong hayaan na hindi ka makakatanggap dahil nagtatago ka. Open up!

Rest for another day and get ready for tomorrow

At the end of the day, you know what’s good? Yung ma-realize mo na makakapagpahinga ka, at tuloy ang buhay bukas sa biyaya ng Diyos! Anumang bagay na pinu-pursue mo at hindi mo natapos, maaari mong balikan bukas, laying onto God your plans and dreams. You are blessed, dahil hinding-hindi ka mauubusan ng dahilan para ipagpasalamat sa Diyos. Maubos man ang araw natin sa mundo, pero hindi ang kagandahang-loob Niya sa atin. Kaya rest in His love. He knows how to take care of you.

Ikaw, anong mga dahilan mo bakit ka nagpapatuloy? Remember, you are as blessed as I am blessed. Cheers!

Living Room of Heaven

He spoke life to me: “My son, you are accepted. In this living room of heaven, everyone’s welcome. The only question is, are they gonna welcome me in their life as well?”

To us, Filipinos, our living rooms reveal much about our cultural personality. We are known for being hospitable and accommodating to our guests, whether they are really dear to us or not. We are too courteous to welcome people in our homes, asking them to dine with us though we don’t have that much on our plate. We put our best foot forward by allowing them to use our “well-kept” china wares, give them the best portion of our inihaw na manok or sinigang na bangus, and even running to the nearest sari-sari store to buy ice cold soft drinks that we wouldn’t think of buying if not for our visitor. We are even too generous to make them “feel at home” and provide them the best entertainment by giving them access to our most precious “remote control” should they ask for it. And to top it all, the kids will automatically be obedient and silent, on their best behavior as if a switch has been turned on. A typical hospitable Filipino family, right?

Living Room of Heaven

Our living room is the extension of our individual lives. Slowly dethroning the dining room, our living room becomes the primary place in home where families meet together to share their experiences throughout the day. This is because some family members opt to eat their food in the presence of their digital member of the family – the television.

If there is a place where everything must be pleasing to the eye and striking to the senses, it must be the living room. It speaks much about the family who lives in the house. In here visitors are welcomed, entertained and given the best of treatment.

During Bethel’s worship concert held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on March 18, Amanda Cook, one of the worship leaders, expressed that she feels like she’s in the “living room of heaven”. It’s really one awesome moment really to be inside a huge room with your brothers and sisters in Christ while you are all singing songs of praise to the Lord.

Then I wondered, what does it feel like to be in the “living room” of heaven? Join me as I try to visualize heaven with my own silly imagination:

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During a time when my spirit’s too consumed with stresses in work and in ministry, I found myself in dire need of spiritual refreshing and release. I am so full of worries and emotional burden that all I can ever think of is I am experiencing burn out and I need to find my rest.

Then I found myself in front of a door with a sign that reads: “Living Room of Heaven. You are Welcome.” I looked around and found no one so I knocked at the door. To my surprise, Jesus opened the door, welcomed me and asked me to enter. As I enter, I noticed that the room is just a typical room, but the feeling’s so light and relaxing. There’s a couch, a coffee table with photo books, the lighting’s good and the ambiance’s comfortable. I wonder what’s in store for me in this Living Room of Heaven.

Jesus is very welcoming and warm. After a few introductions, He told me that He just have some things to do, and that I make myself comfortable in the living room. A very typical courteous act. So I was left alone in that room.

Are there soothing hymns in the background?

A soothing song is played before my very ears. Unlike the songs I usually hear somewhere, this heavenly chorus focuses on the glory of the Lord. At last, no longer I feel distressed by the songs of selfishness and greed of people around me. I am no longer hearing the songs of disappointments and frustrations. I am no longer dragged down by the depressing song I used to hear: “You can’t do it” by ConDem Nation.

In this place, all I hear are songs of victory, of celebration and of God’s goodness. Songs that heal all wounds and scars will soothe my soul. I feel so refreshed, renewed, strengthened. And all of happened as soon as I entered the living room.

Are there amusing photographs available?

I took the photobook. As I open each page of the photobook, I am amazed how the Lord has kept and captured all the things that has happened to me since I was born. He has captured all smiles, all laughter. It’s a walk down the memory lane as I flip the pages of God’s photo collection.

Yet what puzzles me is that He has also captured the moments I stumbled and earned a bruise for myself. I can vividly remember the times I seemingly failed in life – my first heartbreak, when I lost my job, when I lost someone dear to me, among others. I told myself that I will ask the Lord about such pictures but then I saw below each photograph a note that reads either: “This has made you stronger”, “This has made you wiser”, or “This has made us closer”. For every heartbreak, for every fall, the Lord indeed has a purpose. I can’t help but utter my thanksgiving. I felt relieved. No he is not concerned about my heartbreaks, He is in fact concerned about me.

WAIT! If He keeps such records, does it mean He also has photos of me in my most disgusting state? When I was so full of myself and of the world? I felt so terrified for the first time since I entered the living room. I can’t understand myself, should I continue flipping the pages of this photo book? Unknowingly I came to the pictures when I was 21 years old – the time I can vividly remember I have done a terrible act against the Lord (actually, even before and after 21 years old, I have been a terrible Christian). But to my surprise, some pictures are missing! I thought to myself, how can He lose some pictures, but I also felt relieved that He doesn’t have proof of my waywardness in the past.

Curious enough, I carefully inspected the blank pages, and in marks of red there are notes written: “I remember your sins no more”. Only then I remembered what’s written on my Bible and what my pastor’s been preaching about my sins. I have been forgiven – in full. His love doesn’t keep any record of wrongs.

Curious enough, I carefully inspected the blank pages, and in marks of red there are notes written: “I remember your sins no more”. Only then I remembered what’s written on my Bible and what my pastor’s been preaching about my sins. I have been forgiven – in full. His love doesn’t keep any record of wrongs.

Are there foods to be served?

Oh my! I felt so excited! I became so curious about the delicacies of heaven! To us, Filipinos, food equates to fellowship. So I assumed if there will be food, there will be fellowship! But then again, the reflective me was reminded of how many food fellowships I have shared with people I should not have alliances with. I have compromised my ideals, my principles and my calling by partnering with people with ungodly motives and with no regard to high morals. I have had unholy alliances with certain people God told me not to partner with, and most of our transactions and dealings went over luscious servings of food. I felt embarrassed.

And then one by one familiar faces enter the living room. I remember my childhood friends, my elementary schoolmate, high school teacher, college buddies, even people I am not sure when I first met. They all joined me in the living room of heaven and had a share of laughs and joyful reminiscing. We discussed how we have met the Lord, how one have been instrumental to one’s knowledge of the Good News, and how they have waited to join me in the living room of heaven. But what kept me thinking and curious is that, as beautiful and awesome the living room of heaven is, they said that the whole kingdom is beyond description. That is the place that I should be looking forward to enter into, in God’s time.

Funny thing is, they have seen my excitement in the beginning – that I am curious about the delicacies of heaven. No, they didn’t bring any food with them but they told me that a great banquet is being prepared for the “Wedding Supper of the Lamb”. Amazingly as well, since I entered the room, I didn’t feel thirst nor hunger. If this living room is perfect in itself, how much more the whole kingdom!

But while I am pondering about all these, a very radiant Person entered the room. Jesus, so white and magnificent, beaming with glory and kindness is walking towards me and as He draw nearer, I felt nervous and afraid. At the back of my mind, I’m asking:

Am I really accepted in the Living Room of Heaven?

He motioned me to sit, since I stood up from my seat as He draws close. He looks at me in the eye, not with condemning stare but with eyes full of compassion and grace. His love emanates from His presence, and His holiness is so extravagant that I cannot really look directly at Him. Again I am reminded of my previous life – about how I tried to be good, to be loving, to be gracious to people. How I served Him in church, how I spoke about Him, how I lived my life as a Christian. But all those things doesn’t really count in His presence. No amount of my efforts and sacrifices will make me feel better in His presence.

But in His most reassuring words, He spoke life to me: “My son, you are accepted. In this living room of heaven, everyone’s welcome. The only question is, are they gonna welcome me in their life as well?”

I remembered the time I first accepted Him as Lord and Savior. That’s the time I gained the keys to the living room of heaven. A special place in His presence, where my sin meets forgiveness, my weakness meets strength, my failures meet victory and me as a sinner meets Jesus as Savior.

This is the living room of heaven, where the song of my salvation’s being played, the panoramic episodes of my life is being blessed by the Lord, and where genuine fellowship with brethren is being generously served. This is the living room of heaven – a place where I am accepted. And in this living room of heaven, I can find rest for my weary soul and burn out spirit.

This is the living room of heaven, where the song of my salvation’s being played, the panoramic episodes of my life is being blessed by the Lord, and where genuine fellowship with brethren is being generously served. This is the living room of heaven – a place where I am accepted. And in this living room of heaven, I can find rest for my weary soul and burn out spirit.

If you’re gonna ask me where is this living room? It’s not out of reach. Just seek for the Lord. He’ll lead you to it. There you can find comfort and rest, salvation and hope.

In this living room of heaven, are you willing to meet the Lord too?

A Single’s Journey to Family & Finance Conference 2017

The whole idea of investing emanates from you being a good steward.

I love going to seminars about biblical stewardship and financial management. Partly because yun ang naging course ko noong college, pero mas compelling reason din siguro na kailangan ko ng matinding motivation para maging mas matipid, masinop at enterprising. Kaya nga when I learned about CCF’s Family and Finance Conference on Facebook, I immediately clicked “interested”, without even checking the registration details. 🙂

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Yet when I was notified na malapit na yung event, and I learned that it will cost me P850-1k/tix (P1.5k-2k couple’s rate), medyo napaisip ako. I wanted to give it a go kaso I have bills waiting for me. Kailangan ko ulit I-spell ang P.R.I.O.R.I.T.I.E.S. Sa huli, I decided to give it up (pero narealize ko rin na I really need to learn how to manage my resources para sa mga susunod, hindi na mahirap mag-decide. Haha!).

Eh mabait si Lord. I read from Joei and Me’s Facebook page that she’s giving away free tickets for the event. I messaged her, and she told me to wait until 3pm for the announcement of winners. Since I seldom win in any kind of raffle draws, medyo chill lang. Until I received a personal message from Ms. Joei telling me that I won a pair of tickets! Wooh! Thanks for hosting the giveaway Ms. Joei! God bless you more! 🙂

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So ang medyo inalala ko na lang after ay since couple ticket and napanalunan ko, saying naman ang blessing kung mag-isa lang ako. Syempre meron na ako on top of my mind na iimbitahan, hehe. Kaso, hindi siya available (aww, sad). Then I thought, maybe a college friend? Time to catch up and apply the Pray-Care-Share lesson namin sa church. Kaso I didn’t get any response. Then pag-uwi ko, I realized, bakit hindi si mama? Siya na lang ang ide-date ko! Besides, tamang-tama rin ang seminar na ito as the CFO ng aming munting pamilya. So, ayun na. 🙂

Learning from the gurus

Yung first session pa lang, medyo mahirap na i-swallow. We were asked to conduct a personal financial health check by identifying what we own and what we owe. As an accounting major, at dahil nasa financial management din ang trabaho ko, medyo familiar naman na ako kahit paano sa mga financial concepts being discussed, pero iba ang kabog kapag sarili mong pera ang inaanalyze mo. Pero mas mahirap lalo kung wala ka naman talagang iaanalyze. Haha!

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Then came budgeting. Ang saya! I was encouraged to set financial goal, both for short term, medium term and long term. Ang daling maglista ng mga financial goals natin sa buhay – this age, dapat may ganito na… this age dapat meron na ako nito… this year ganito na dapat…. But setting goals is just the beginning of achieving such goals. It doesn’t end there. Malayong lakbayin pa!

While Joy Mendoza is speaking, alongside her husband Edric Mendoza, about her husband being so in love with spreadsheets, I uttered a silly prayer: Lord, help me to love spreadsheets too. I can’t believe na my whole career revolves around using spreadsheets and yet hindi ganun katindi ang pagmamahal ko dito. Hahaha!IMG_1145

Makailang ulit din tinanong kung ilan ang single sa crowd. Madami rin, considering that the event is a Family and Finance seminar. Magandang pagkakataon to learn the value of finances in the context of the family. The fact that most of the speakers did their talk as couple is something that I really appreciate. #RelationshipGoals indeed.

Ptr. Joby Soriano shared that 2/3 of couples fail to talk about money matters before they say ‘I Do’. No wonder why finances remain as the most argued concern for couples. Contentment is key, he emphasized. We are mere stewards, God is the owner, controller and provider of all things.

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After all the talk, I am convinced that there is really no great divide between the secular and the spiritual. Sabi nga ni Mr. Randell Tiongon, “the whole idea of investing emanates from you being a good steward” and in Proverbs 13:22a, which Mr. Tiongson emphasized as well, “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children”.

 

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Syempre, Mama and I discussed about what we’ve learned from the conference. Medyo inexplain ko yung ilang concepts na hindi niya masyadong naintindihan, but nevertheless I am glad that like me, she’s encouraged to be more enterprising, to save and on top of that to be a good steward of God’s entrusted resources.

On my part naman, mamahalin ko na si MS Excel.

Tsaka parang rewarding din sigurong maging RFP 🙂

 

The Dream

Then a stirring came upon my heart. I need to protect the lady.

 

It was bit amusing yet chivalrous, bizarre yet encouraging, finding myself in a dream fighting to win someone’s heart. I know, it is imperative not to over-spiritualize things, especially dreams which are most of the time product of our ‘subconscious’ personality, but I believe my dream speaks of every man’s journey to search for his ‘better half’ and upon finding her, to serve and protect her with all his might. After all, God sometimes speaks through dreams. And while I do not claim any direct, divine explanation for my story, allow me to just sprinkle some thoughts I pondered as soon as consciousness hit me on my bed that day.

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The story unfolds inside a mansion with many rooms; contemporary in design yet the expanse so big it is comparable to an ancient castle. Some of the rooms are breathtaking in design and intricacies; some are so plain and dull. A fine, attractive lady is escorting me in my trip inside the mansion, bringing me from room to room boasting of its beauty. Her facial expression goes along with the design of the room – plain and mediocre when inside the plain rooms, radiant and spirited when inside the beautiful rooms.

As we progress in our journey that day, I noticed that the rooms are depreciating in splendor. The surrounding becomes damp and crowded; cobwebs begin to be visible and there emanates a stinking smell. Then I also noticed the embarrassment in her face. Our pace reduced and I can see the hesitancy in her eyes. It’s as if all the pain and doubts and worries and fears in life came upon her that moment. But I admired her for being strong. We moved slowly and she led me to the rooms with the worst condition compared to the first ones. She cries as she was telling me the stories behind the rooms. For some rooms, she can cite reasons, for others, she just returned blank stares, suggesting her lack of idea. I joined her in tears until we reached the terrace, which is also the end of my journey with her inside the mansion.

[I joined my friends outside the mansion. There we talked about our respective journeys in life. We poured out ourselves to each other as a band of brothers, ready to protect one another.] But when I gazed at the terrace, there I find visions of men and women contributing to the ugliness of the rooms I have witnessed inside the mansion. Some are even attempting to create new ugly rooms. Then a stirring came upon my heart. I need to protect the lady. I need to rescue her from people who try to add tears from her eyes by building ugly rooms in her mansion.

But we fought on the same battlefield. Our weapons seemed to be small and weak compared to our antagonists’, but we can retaliate. It is as if Someone stronger than anyone else in the field is backing us up.

With friends alongside, we fought the forces. We fought our different battles. They had their own motivations. Mine is to rescue the lady. But we fought on the same battlefield. Our weapons seemed to be small and weak compared to our antagonists’, but we can retaliate. It is as if Someone stronger than anyone else in the field is backing us up. Ultimately, we won. We ended up victorious. And a celebration awaits us.

I gazed again at the terrace. There she is, surrounded still by the horrors of the ugly rooms behind her. With her as well are the people who love her and care for her welfare. But now I can see her welcoming countenance. Without hesitation, I asked her to come down from the terrace. She turned around and bade farewell to the people behind her, as if asking for their approval, which they gave. And with just a glimpse, she joined me at the celebration below; with the happiest face I can ever imagine, ready to build beautiful rooms in our own mansion.

Balik-sigla, Marikina!

Comeback is real mah homies!

marikinaBago pa man tuluyang alisin ang mga Christmas displays along the Animal Trail, at least ma-recognize ko man lang through my blog how I really appreciate our local government’s efforts na maibalik ang sigla ng Marikina. Medyo matagal na rin na huli kong na-enjoy ang paglalakad along Animal Trail – pre-Ondoy period pa. Pero pagkatapos ng delubyong hatid ni Ondoy, at ng mga sumunod na mga bagyong nagpaapaw sa Marikina River, naging matamlay ang Pasko ng mga Marikeño (I’m speaking in behalf of those na nasanay na sa mga barangay Christmas displays at sa masiglang tiangge along the river).  Pero sabi nga, comeback is real mah homies!

Eniwei, simulan na natin ang Tour-de-Filipinas!

Luzon:

Ilocos Region c/o Brgy. Kalumpangluzon-1

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Cordillera Administrative Region c/o Brgy. Marikina Heights

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Cagayan Valley c/o Brgy. Concepcion Uno

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Central Luzon c/o Brgy. Nangka

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South Luzon c/o Brgy. Tañongimg_0998

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Bicol Region c/o Brgy. Barangka

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