Stranded at Home

In the first place, even machines need periodic breaks to function well. So if you have a chance to rest, kahit gaano kaikli, grab the opportunity.

Para sa mga kabatch ko na nangangapa sa adulting phase kagaya ko, hindi ba sobrang rare moment na mag-stay sa bahay nang tatlong araw straight? Maliban na lang siguro kung work at home ka or nasa season nang pagpapahinga, pero para sa majority, luxury na ang makapagpahinga nang matagal-tagal.

Maganda nga sana kung pure relaxation, kaso stressful ang staycation ko sa bahay. Umatake kasi yung gouty arthritis ko, and it literally had me limping for three days! As of writing, my left foot is still hurting at ang dami kong errands, meetings and things to do na hindi na nabigyan ng attention. Still, grateful pa rin ako kasi I am given a very reasonable excuse to stay at home and sleep for longer hours kahit paano.

I want to grab the opportunity to write a lot but writer’s block got in the way. Kaya ayun, I am just trying to squeeze out whatever I can write about. Namiss ko ang wordpress, masyado akong natuwa sa approval ng Adsense ko na after ilang buwan ay kumita na ng $0.02 hahaha! Pero ok lang, simpleng motivation lang naman. Sabi ko naman sa sarili ko I am writing not for money but as a personal ministry. Pero kung kikita on the side, baka naman. Hahaha!

Anyway, I am trying to learn from this pain. I recognize that because of lack of discipline kaya may gout attack na naman ako. Napuruhan yata sa Yakiniku. But still, I have gleaned noteworthy things from my painful season:

Kung ano pa ang gusto mo, yun pa ang magbibigay sakit sayo.

I am talking about food, pero sige na nga, pwede na rin sa relationship. Gustong-gusto natin yung nasasatisfy ang cravings natin, nakukuha natin ang gusto natin, but left unchecked, ito rin ang magbibigay sa atin ng sakit. Kaya hinay-hinay lang. Hindi lahat ng gusto mo ay puro ligaya ang balik sayo. Learn to control your appetite, learn to discipline yourself.

You can never be totally independent. Kailangan mo ng tulong ng iba.

One thing I appreciate sa ilang araw kong pagpapahinga ay ang total dependence ko sa mga kasama ko sa bahay. Hindi ako makagawa ng ilang gawaing bahay dahil hindi ko maituon ang paa ko sa sobrang sakit. Ni hindi ako makaikot sa bahay. As a result, kahit nakakahiya, they do all the chores na dapat ay natutulungan ko sila. I can’t imagine kung ako lang mag-isa. Perks of living with your parents. Hahaha!

Take care of your body, walang available na replacement.

Natatawa, nalulungkot at nasasaktan at the same time dahil ang mobility ay pagtalon-talon na parang naglalaro ng step-no. Hirap akong magbihis, hirap akong tumayo man lang na matagal, hirap din gawin ang ilang personal necessities. Isang paa lang ito, at di ko maimagine yung mga taong may permanent disabilities! Sobrang hirap pala talaga. Kaya matuto tayong alagaan ang katawan natin, huwag abusuhin.

Grab any pocket of rest available and your body will thank you for it.

To many, being an adult means being on the go non-stop, at nalilimutan natin na hindi nga pala tayo makina para magfunction nang tuloy-tuloy even with a fuel (salary, presence of friends, personal motivations). In the first place, even machines need periodic breaks to function well. So if you have a chance to rest, kahit gaano kaikli, grab the opportunity. Then you will be recharged physically and you will be able to conquer greater height after.

To be honest hindi ko alam ang magiging pakiramdam ko dahil sa unplanned staycation ko sa bahay. Napaka-unfortunate reason naman na dahil sa namamagang paa kaya ako napwersang magpahinga, pero still, salamat na rin kasi I don’t have a reason not to. Masaya rin ang magbakasyon sa bahay, kasama ng pamilya, at bumawi ng tulog. Para sa mga tulad kong nangangapa pa rin sa pagiging adult, I believe this is priceless.

Not my Season

This is not my season.

This is how I try to describe what I have been feeling recently. Amidst all the victories and joyful testimonies of people around me, I find myself sulking over the seemingly “barrenness” of my life. I am on a plateau of emotions, of activity and of spirituality.

Not my Season.png

I am tempted to say that I am waiting for that next “emotional wind” to carry me to a place of joy but I am certain that life is not like that. Trends or any tangibles must not define us. Our happiness must not be dependent on the latest craze or any momentary reason. It must come from within us.

Are you in the same rut too?

If we share the same sentiments, join me in unraveling the painful reality of our situation.

A short story

There was a time when I found myself wading in the mud of depressing emotions. I confided to a friend and I was advised to thoroughly assess my situation in writing, but I have to do it with full honesty. This is because there are times we are not being honest with ourselves because we don’t want to face the ugliness of our situation. We’d rather feel sad and depressed than face our darkest realities.

So I wrote down on a journal all the things that are bothering me that time. At first I felt uneasy. I really don’t know how to begin. Yet, clinging to the “rule” that I must be honest, things started to unfold. As I write down all my angst and my pain, my fear and doubts and all my questions, slowly my pain subsides.

It was not magical, but spiritual. God has been with me as I unload my emotions. It was more like a prayer sans the pretension and formalities. It was a heartbreaking moment with me and my Creator only that the heartbreaking part was also a healing session.

At first I was afraid to write down all my pain and questions, especially my angst, thinking that it is too unchristian to harbor such bitterness in the presence of the Almighty. But then I was reminded, God knows the depths of my heart whether or not I present my case before Him. He is not offended by our honesty. There is no amount of mess that can overwhelm Him.

The ugly reality

Now that I am on the same situation again, I tried to search within me. Why am I sad? Why am I too anxious over things I can’t even understand? Why am I constantly telling myself again that it is not my season? Here are the things that I have discovered. And perhaps, in one way or another, these are true to your situation too. Brace yourself!

  • I have been putting extra burden on myself with an unhealthy view of people around me. Instead of celebrating their victories, I tend to look on them with envy and bitterness. I hate to admit I often think of myself as ‘can-do-all’ person, and whenever I realize that I cannot and others step up for my incapacity, I sulk.
  • I try to catch up with other people’s pace. I want to prove myself. I still have episodes when I regret over my past mistakes and rehearse what should have happened if I pursued the path other than what I am taking right now. I think of my “what ifs” and wonder how it would be different from now.
  • I have also been harboring discouragement over what’s happening with my life and ministry lately. It seems that I no longer can deliver well compared before. My mind wanders; I am often worried about how time runs too fast and I can’t cope up. The weight of all the tasks I have carelessly accepted before are all dawning on me now.
  • I feel too incapacitated to help others, as I myself am drained of words to encourage them. Though before I felt like I was called to be an encourager to people who are in pain, now it seems like I am kicked off the encouragement department.
  • I know the importance of rest, but I often take rest days to catch up with things I cannot do when I am at work. This is no rest at all, but just a diversion from the usual routine, yet same amount of activity. No wonder I still feel tired even after weekends.
  • I lie to myself. I convince myself that I am still alright when in fact I am not just bruised but broken. And when people care less about me because they look at me as strong, I become upset. Sometimes, I feel pretentious, but I can’t help myself being such.
  • You may add your own self-assessment of your situation. Be brutally honest. It would be painful, but it would be great experience, promise!

A testimony

You may believe me or not, but honestly as I am writing this, I felt a bit relieved. My problems did not magically disappear but at least, the heaviness somewhat wore off. This is actually different from how I write blogs before, but it pays to do something different once in a while.

Perhaps the period where we are right now, if you are emotionally wounded like me, is a testament that in a Christian’s life, not all the time is bliss. This is life telling us that as Jesus faced difficult times while on earth, we should not expect less. However, the encouragement at the end of the day is to “take heart, I [Jesus] have overcome the world”. While we may face day to day realities of anxiety and unexplainable sadness, Jesus got us covered with love and grace. We are not forgotten, we are not forsaken. At least this truth is more than a consolation and a soothing balm for our wounded soul. This truth is our hope.

If you are reading this and we happen to be on the same boat, join me in praying that joy may overtake us very soon. Keep the faith aflame!

Broken to be Made Whole Again: My #NFYC2018 Reflection

Brokenness. It was the overarching theme of the #NFYC2018, at least for me. All throughout the convention God has been telling me that I must be willing to be broken to be made whole again. But what does it mean? Am I not yet a Christian, already made whole by the saving grace of Jesus?

Broken to be Made Whole AgainI tried to understand what God has been revealing to me for the past four days of convention. I intentionally had a lot of moments alone to process what is in store for me. My life has been in a hustle these past few months and the whole convention period is a spiritual and physical retreat for me. But receiving a message about being broken is not something I expected. Indeed, it was an unconventional convention.

Writing for the Lord

During one of the sessions, Ptr. Nolan Galido has spoken about embracing the breaking principle. Drawing inspiration from the story of the young boy with five loaves and two fishes, he shared that we must be broken so our resources will be multiplied for the needs of others. The loaves and the fishes were obviously not enough for a multitude of 5000 but when broken and offered to Jesus, a miracle happened right before their very eyes.

One of the gems inside the NFYC Kit

CCT’s majestic view from our room


I asked myself then, what is it that I have that has be broken and multiplied? I don’t have much of a talent, not much of resources, not much of influence. All I have is my desire to write a book and draw people to the Lord with my writings. I felt a thud in my heart. I offered my dreams unto Jesus and surrendered my desire.

As soon as the convention’s over, one of my writing platforms, my Facebook page, has been compromised. For one, I know I’ve been so gullible, and for another, I think God is teaching me a lesson. It has become a source of distraction for me, if not a source of social media ego food source. At first it was hard to admit that I have been so distracted, but little did I realize that I have been enjoying too much the likes and the comments and all the engagements my page brings. I have to be corrected, and be broken.

opening night
Opening night

But I believe God has restored my passion to write more! And now with a clearer purpose! I now know that I am called to write and disciple the next generation with what I write. I am more energized and more determined to be directed by the Lord as He leads me to where He wants me to. Maybe my page will be restored, maybe not. But God has miraculously caused me not to fret because of what I lost, because He has multiplied my reasons to write.

Brokenness as a Bridge

During the session of house to house evangelism, I really can’t remember how I felt. Yes, there was excitement, there was an edgy feeling, but more than that, I can’t shrug off what Kuya Jomer Gallana said before we were commissioned to evangelize: “If Jesus is the best thing that has ever happened to you, then sharing Jesus is the best thing you can do to others”. It was more than just a motivational instruction to share the gospel – it is plainly the truth.

Is getting to know Jesus really the best thing that has ever happened to me? No doubt. Then by all means, sharing Jesus has to be the most exhilarating thing that I have to do. I felt that with the housewife we get to share the gospel with, same with the construction workers. My partner and I came to their homes as total strangers. There was in fact no common ground. But there’s one thing we talked about which every one of us had something to share – that is how broken we are because of sin.

Yes sin, the reason why we are all broken and the common ground of all men. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. We have presented the gospel. They responded. All because of our brokenness, and we all need to be made whole. If I am not broken, they would not listen to me. But because I am a sinner just like everybody else, the message has been heard.

We are treasures in jars of clay. What makes up the façade is nothing compared to what we hold inside. People see us and they can identify with our mess, with our brokenness, but also they see what emanates from within – the radiating glory of Jesus Christ. We may be broken, but made whole. And we are called to minister to those who are broken around us.

Dying to Ourselves

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24

As Ptr. Val Chaves speaks about the necessity of pruning as we abide in the Lord, I was reminded of that verse. Something has to “die”, something has to be given up, so that multiplication can take place. Yes, one can do things on his own and make a productive result, but exponential growth is only possible when we embrace the way God has designed how multiplication has to take place: that we are to die to ourselves and let Him live in us.

Again, another facet of being broken.

I am an overly sensitive person. I often think less of myself, I feel like unimportant. I envy people who can do more, give more, and still remain energized and satisfied. Unlike me who resolves to self-pity even for no apparent reason and often feels tired. While I know my identity in the Lord is secured, my melancholic-phlegmatic personality often takes the lead, which something I really hate. Ika nga, “para akong walang bait sa sarili”.

If I have to die to myself, this is the first thing that I want to bury badly. This dead branch in me has to be pruned, so that fruits will grow and leaves will flourish. Ptr. Val encouraged us to “sow the seed of His promises in the soil of your needs”. Honestly I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to start. I have been a Christian for years but still can’t get pass through my inhibitions. I want to die to my “fears and doubts and self-reliance” and live for God. And God just assured me that time, “let Me break you first”.

“Why the breaking, Lord?”

Broken to be Made Whole

I was very much expectant during the last night; expectant and in full abandon. God has been breaking me since the beginning and it would be foolishness on my part to let the moment pass. I want to be filled with the Spirit. No, I want the overflow of the Spirit.

Ptr. Asaph Shavindran is very anointed speaker. I say this not because many were slain and prophesied as he laid hands on them, but because it is very evident in his countenance and the Holy Spirit really came to those who sought after Him. But what struck me the most during his brief speaking was the fact that we have been neglecting the Person of the Holy Spirit on a regular basis. He is a Person, He is God, but we fail to notice Him, much more remember Him.

I sought after the Holy Spirit like I’ve never done before, and He did not let me down. It was the best moment of my life – not because of the experience, but because I know the Triune God is really in communion with a broken sinner like me, affirming His love and acceptance, His forgiveness and grace.

Maybe this is His answer to my question, “why the breaking, Lord?” He wants me to realize how broken I am without Him. He wants me to know how broken I am apart from Him. And ironically, my brokenness is what caused Him to die on the cross, because He wants to make me whole. As confusing this broken-made whole-broken to minister to the broken-thing, nothing could be clearer to me. That there is a God who loves me in spite of my brokenness, and wants to use me for His glory.

Oh Lord, I am ready for more. Let me multiply for Your glory.



Ahon! My Top 10 Activities to Release Stress

Are you caught up in the web of stressful circumstances? Yung tipong lahat na lang yata ng mga kapaguran na available sa mundo sinasalo mo? Yung di ka na makaahon sa dami ng trabaho, yung pressure ng overlapping commitments sinasakal ka na masyado, o kaya naman yung mga polo mo naghuhumiyaw na sa sobrang sikip na nila para sayo? Nakaka-stress ano?


As stated in my previous post, may mga outlets ako to release stress and tension. Kapag di ko na kaya ang bigat, kapag pakiramdam ko lunod na lunod na ako, may mga go-to places and people ako para maging “shock absorber” (sorry na, peeps!). Dahil lahat naman tayo kailangang mag-unload from time to time para hindi sumabog di ba?

Here are some of my stress-relievers.

  1. Biking

What I love about biking is that you can go places as far as your legs can handle. Kapag masakit na at parang hindi na kaya, uwian na. Haha! It is cheap and healthy activity, pinawisan ka na, nag-enjoy ka pa! Since I am from Marikina, common destinations namin ng mga friends ko pag nagbi-bike ay sa Rizal (Binangonan-Morong-Tanay or San Mateo-Rodriguez), UP or even within Marikina loop, bilang napaka-bike friendly ng bayan kong sinta.


  1. Hiking

When schedule allows me to, I join hiking activities para naman medyo malayo sa stressful work. Iba rin kasi ang yung feeling na nasa summit ka ng bundok, dinadama ang masarap na simoy ng hangin tapos nakaharap ka either sa dagat or sa mga pamayanan. It changes perspective. Yung sobra kang naka-focus sa sarili mong mga problema, tapos mare-realize mo na mas malaki pa rin si Lord talaga si Lord kaysa mga problema mo.

  1. Vitamin Sea

Again, when schedule allows me to, masaya din na magpunta sa tabing dagat para magtampisaw, o kahit na pakiramdaman mo lang ang simoy ng maalat na hangin habang kinakausap ang sarili na kunwari gumagawa ka ng music video. Aminin mo, kakaibang ligaya ang dulot ng paglalakad sa tabing-dagat, binabalik ang lahat ng masasayang ala-ala ng buhay mo na para kang bida sa telenovela habang panandalian mong nakakalimutan na may babalikan ka pang ga-bundok na trabaho sa opisina. Pero at least, di ba. Masaya ka.img_0402

  1. Pet Cafes

Medyo may kaunting gastos pero masaya. Try mong pumunta sa Barkin’ Blends near Sta. Lucia or sa Bengal Brew + Wolf and Bear sa Cubao. If you are a pet lover, surely mae-enjoy mo itong trip na to. Makipaglaro ka sa mga aso. Kumustahin mo sila. Amuyin mo sila. Ikwento mo sa kanila ang mga officemates mong chini-chismis ka, ang boss mo na mahilig magbigay ng trabaho kapag pauwi ka na, o kaya naman yung ex mo na sa sobrang pagka-pet lover, ipinagpalit ka na lang sa pet. May therapeutic effect din kasi ang pakikipaglaro sa mga hayop, pero word of caution, wag makikipag-relasyon sa hayop kasi may damaging effect sa emotions. Hahaha! Sorry na, ang bad ko dun. 🙂


  1. Blogging

Just like now, kaya ako nagsulat ng post na ito kasi alam mo na, stressed ako. Isulat mo ang anumang nararamdaman mo. Isulat mo ang gusto mong sabihin. Type lang nang type. Nakakatulong mag-release ng tension kapag hinahayaan mong ang mga daliri mo ay tumitipa ng keyboard. Mas madiin at mas malakas ang hampas sa keyboard, mas satisfying! Haha! It doesn’t matter kung may magbabasa man ng post mo o wala, may magco-comment man o wala. Basta naisulat mo ang gusto mong sabihin. Pero be careful sa anumang isusulat mo, be a responsible blogger. Wag mag-spread ng fake news. Lagot ka kay Mocha.

  1. Read books

Pumunta ka sa mga book fairs, sa mga book sale mga bookstores, even sa mga libraries. If you are a reader, you’ll agree with me na sobrang satisfying ang makaamoy ng libro. Yung halimuyak na nakakapagpa-kalma sa pagod mong isipan. Tapos damhin mo yung bawat page, yung texture ng papel, ganun. Pero syempre basahin mo rin. Hahaha! Highlight words na nakapagbigay ng impact sayo. It’s always fun to learn and discover new things.img_2227

  1. Watch movie

Given na to. Kapag lunod na lunod ka na sa trabaho, it’s not a bad thing kung gusto mong manood ng movie. Lalo na for me who loves superhero movies, nakaka-alis ng stress ang panonood ng movie. Pero dahil common na nga siya, lagyan mo na lang ng kaunting challenge ang panonood mo: minsan kong sinubukan na manood nang mag-isa, manood ng sad movie tapos pigilan ang sarili mo na umiyak, at manood ng movie tapos magbaon ng pandesal at palaman. Sa susunod nga, gusto kong i-try magbaon ng kanin at ulam. Hahaha!

  1. Play games

Di ako gamer pero effective na pang-divert ng attention ang mobile games. I installed Wordscapes para naman kapag pagod na ako kakaisip ng numbers, letters and words naman. Ang saya di ba. Nag-install din ako ng Idle Poring. Since hindi na kaya ng schedule ko ang maglaro pa ng Ragnarok, which I really loved playing nung bata pa ako, dun na lang ako sa Idle Poring. Pareho din naman ng sounds and ng characters, iba nga lang ng gameplay at interface. Pero pwede na rin, perfect game for busy person like me. Sabi nga ng kapatid ko enjoy na enjoy akong pinapanood yung character ko na tumatakbo all throughout the game. Kanya-kanyang trip yan!

  1. Run to your accountability partners

It’s always good to have friends to watch your back. Yung sasaluhin ka nila sa panahong bigat na bigat ka na. I am blessed to have friends from church, from PSA and from MYA na alam kong nasasandalan ko for encouragement and prayers. Appreciate your circle of friends. Isama na rin natin ang family natin. After a tiring day, it’s relaxing to know that we have friends and family na uuwian natin. Yung hindi tayo ico-condemn. Yung hindi tayo ipagpapalit sa 30 pieces of silver. Yung ililibre tayo ng burger o kaya ng pizza o kaya ng BFF fries.

  1. Go to Prayer Mountain

Kapag talaga hindi ko na kaya, I go to Touch of Glory Prayer Mountain. Di kalayuan sa Marikina pero safe haven ko siya. I pour out to the Lord all my burdens, my concerns pati lahat ng kapaguran ko sa buhay. Para siyang isang electrical outlet for me to plug myself into, para di ako tuluyang ma-drain. Nakakagaan kapag alam mong iniyak mo na ang lahat sa Lord, isinigaw mo lahat ng prayers mo at kahit mapagod ka kakaiyak at kakasumbong sa Kanya, alam mong nakikinig Siya. Wag ka lang matutulog sa loob ng prayer cell. Kasi naman parang sobrang sarap matulog sa loob. Haha!


When you feel like sobrang nakakapagod na at di mo na kaya, don’t lose hope. Kapit lang. It takes a clear mind and a fresh perspective para hindi ka ma-overwhelm ng mga challenges mo sa buhay, ahem, I am speaking to myself. Haha! Mabuti na lang may provision si Lord ng mga outlets for me, para hindi na lang ako basta mag-collapse sa kalsada.

And I also thank God kasi He is always available to hear my prayers and my cries. Hindi ko naman kailangan umakyat pa ng Prayer Mountain just for the Lord to hear me. He hears me even when I am in bed, shedding tears kasi… huhuhu, “Lord, pagod na po ako, payakap naman po”. Try niyo, it is comforting, and it develops an intimate relationship with your Creator.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

I was reminded by the words of Director Phil Coulson of Marvel’s Agents of Shield. In one episode, Season 1 yata ng AoS, sabi niya:

“The world is full of evil and lies and pain and death, and you can’t hide from it. You can only face it. The question is, when you do, how do you respond? Who do you become?”

Ikaw, in the face of your challenges and stress, who do you become?

PS. Baka naman may iba ka pang stress-relieving activities, share mo naman with me 🙂

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!

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.

Bakit Parang Kulang?

Ruminations from recently screened Pinoy movies

Have you ever thought why sometimes, in spite of all the efforts you have put into things, at the end of the day you still feel like you’re either short changed, or worse you feel like a loser? Naalala ko yung isang TV ad tungkol sa isang bata na nag-try outs para makapasok sa basketball team pero he ended up one notch behind sa mga napili. Pero sa TV ad na yun, kahit hindi siya napili sa try outs, may noodles naman na nag-pacify sa kanya. Samantalang tayo, kahit sangkatutak na noodles pa ang kainin natin, mahirap burahin sa sarili na “sayang talaga!”

bakit parang kulang-Sa loob ng ilang linggong hiatus ko sa pagsusulat, medyo nawili akong manood ng movie na mag-isa. It actually started as an idea to cross out an item sa imaginary bucket list ko, but I found out na OK rin pala manood mag-isa. Pero ayokong masanay syempre. Iba pa rin na may kadamay ka sa pagtawa, pagtatanong at pag-iyak kung minsan.

Balik ako sa issue ko kanina. Sometimes I actually get hard on myself whenever I don’t live up to my own expectations. Minsan kasi ang taas ng standards na hinulma mo pero hindi mo nakuha yung output na inaasahan mo. Pero in reality, in life it doesn’t always depend on us. Maraming factors to consider, maraming elements ang gumagana why we end up achieving, or not achieving our desired results. What are these factors? Huhugot lang ako ng kaunti sa aking mga napanood.

Factor 1: Minsan sarili nating mga desisyon

100 Tula Poster

If you have watched 100 Tula Para kay Stella, alam kong kagaya ko, maiinis ka rin how the main characters, Fidel and Stella, decides for themselves. Siguro kung mababatukan lang natin ang mga karakter nila, nagawa na natin. “Dapat ganito, dapat ginawa mo yan, dapat kasi sinabi mo na agad!”. If the movie is about people who mess up with their decisions in life, the movie conveys that message very well. Lumabas ako ng sinehan that time na sobrang naiinis kasi they could have grasped what they really wanted in life but yet because of their irrational decisions, ayun, “nganga”. Pinaiyak lang tayong mga manonood. Ang sakit sa puso.

Pero hindi naman tayo naiiba sa kanila. We also end up making the wrong decisions. Kung sana hindi na natin pinagtagal ang isang bagay, kung sana ginawa na natin agad ang isang project, kung sana kinausap na natin agad ang isang tao… the list goes on. Minsan talaga we end up failing behind our goals kasi we choose the wrong decisions. However, these decisions must not impede us to grow. May these shortcomings serve as our launch pad to success, a pit stop to recharge and keep on fighting. Kaya laban lang mga Fidel!

Factor 2: Minsan mga bagay na wala tayong kontrol

LYSB_Poster_1Sa trailer pa lang ng Love You to the Stars and Back, nag-expect ako na iiyak ako e. Gusto ko talaga sa pelikula yung pinupukaw ang damdamin ko. Hindi ako nahihiyang aminin na mababaw ang luha ko, at gustong-gusto ko talaga kapag nalilinis ang mga mata ko. Haha! Pero honestly, medyo nabitin lang ako ng kaunti kasi di natrigger masyado nila Caloy at Mika ang tear ducts ko.  Pero their story about accepting tragedies in their life, sprinkled with their adventurous search for aliens and teenage antics is interesting enough to keep you focused. Nakakatuwa kasi medyo nakita ko yung sarili ko na parang ang tanda ko na pala, kasi I question the plot like, “Isang araw pa lang na road trip, may yakapan na? May malagkit na eye-to-eye contact na agad? Ang bilis ng emotional bond!” Wala lang, pakiramdam ko unti-unti nang nagma-manifest ang pagiging “tito” ko. Nevertheless, I love the story, siguro kasi may mga bagay na personally naka-identify ako, kagaya ng “bundok natin ito” and the setting is in Batangas. Haha!

Like Caloy and Mika, may mga bagay na hindi natin magawa kahit anong gusto pa natin kasi hindi natin kontrolado, hindi natin hawak ang sitwasyon. Kagaya ng sakit ni Caloy, yung pag-deny sa kanya ng kanyang ama, at ang pagkamatay ng ina ni Mika. Mga bagay na kahit ano pa ang gawin natin, hindi na natin kayang saklawan. We set standards, we set goals, we aim for something, then we end up feeling frustrated, hindi dahil nagkulang tayo, kundi dahil hindi lang talaga para sa atin. I remember the most intense scene sa LYSB ay yung sa bridge kung saan gusto nang magpakamay ni Caloy at nagtatanong siya sa Diyos kung bakit siya may cancer. He didn’t receive an audible answer but in the end, *spoiler* he was cured, and was given an opportunity with Mika. Kahit hindi natin kontrolado ang lahat, kailangan mo lang maniwala.

Factor 3: Minsan kinakain tayo ng sistema

Birdshot PosterI am not talking about oppa and Kdrama. I am talking about Birdshot, an Oscar-worthy movie, sobra. Hindi siya horror, pero kakabahan ka at matatakot. Ma-aappreciate mo ang cinematography at ang picturesque scenery ng isang nameless na rural area, pero gayundin manghihilakbot ka dahil kahit sa kasimplehan ng pamayanang pinakita, laganap pa rin ang korapsyon at police brutality, at kabuktutan sa sistema ng pamamahala. Ito ang pelikula na kahit tapos na ang palabas, nakaupo pa rin ako sa kinauupuan ko, nakatulala at nag-iisip, “anong nangyari?”. Pinukaw masyado ang damdamin ko. Lalo na yung huling eksena, nag-iwan ng marka sa isip ko.

Nakakalungkot na pinakita sa pelikula na ang ating mga ideolohiya, kahit gaano katayog at kaganda, ay kayang patumbahin ng bulok na sistema. Si Domingo, isang batang pulis na may puso upang maglingkod, ay unti-unting nagbago at nakiisa sa sistemang kanyang unang kinasuklaman. Dahil sa takot, dahil sa udyok ng nakararami, dahil pakiramdam niya wala siyang magawa, nagpatianod na lang siya sa agos ng karahasan at karumihan. Pinatay ng kanyang hepe at kanyang “partner” ang kanyang magandang ideolohiya.

Bakit hindi natin minsan naaabot ang inaasam natin? Dahil nagpapatianod na lang din tayo sa takbo ng mundo. Para tayong mga isda na sumasabay sa agos, ngunit sa kaibuturan ng ating puso at isipan, alam nating tanging mga patay na isda lang ang sumasabay sa agos.

Kagaya rin natin, minsan kahit hindi natin gusto ang isang bagay, ginagawa na rin natin kasi inuudyukan tayo ng iba. Ang maling sistema na hindi natin ginugusto ay nagiging bahagi na rin ng ating pagkatao. Bakit hindi natin minsan naaabot ang inaasam natin? Dahil nagpapatianod na lang din tayo sa takbo ng mundo. Para tayong mga isda na sumasabay sa agos, ngunit sa kaibuturan ng ating puso at isipan, alam nating tanging mga patay na isda lang ang sumasabay sa agos. Sabi nga sa Matthew 7:13, “wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”. Wag tayong magpakain sa sistema.

Sidenote: Birdshot is Philippines’ official entry to the Best Foreign Language Film Category at Oscars. Kudos!

Sa tatlong factors na ito, san ka mas nakaka-identify kung bakit minsan parang kinakapos ka sa iyong goals? Pag-usapan natin yan.