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Breakfast For One ♥

So I uploaded this photo on Instagram with a very long caption which, unfortunately, was not posted. Pang-blog daw kasi sa haba. Haha.
Anyway, here's the story behind that photo. 
It's the least wonderful time of the month again, and it's when I most miss the love and care of a mother. I woke up with two of the things I hate the most: migraine and dysmenorrhea. Instead of just staying in bed the whole day (like I used to do when Mama was still here), I had to prepare my own breakfast (that photo above), heat water (for bathing and for hot compress), and try to distract myself from the pain. Not only that, I had to go to work because I have already used up all my leaves. 
Good thing I have Mama Mary, my Spiritual Mother, whose face alone gives me comfort and consolation. Thank God for Mama Mary who is ever-present and ever-caring as a real mother. And thank God for Mama who showed me the example of unconditional love and genuine care. I can't wait to go home this Decem…

Come Lord Jesus, Come!

On the second Sunday of Advent, Bishop Broderick Pabillo exhorted us to take away the hindrance that blocks Jesus' way: SIN. 
He beautifully related it to the readings:
First Reading: Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11 Second Reading: 2 Peter 3:8-14 Gospel: Mark 1:1-8
Sin can be translated into these three Filipino words:  1. Pagmamalabis (Greed/Covetousness) 2. Pagkukulang (Shortcomings) 3. Liko-Liko (Crooked)
As written in Isaiah, we are to prepare the way for the Lord by: 1. Making straight in the desert a highway 2. Raising up every valley 3. Lowering down every mountain and hill 
In other words, we make amends for our sins by:  1. Making straight our crooked ways (Ituwid ang mga liko-likong landas.) 2. Breaking down our walls of greed and possesiveness (Tibagin ang pagmamalabis.) 3. Making up for our shortcomings (Punuan ang mga pagkukulang). 
We learn from John the Baptist three characteristics that would help us avoid sin:  1. Simplicity. His message was proclaimed not just through his voice but by the s…

Ready or Not, Here He Comes!

Journal Entry for 30 November 2014
#LatePost

Happy New Year! :) 
Today marks the first Sunday of Advent, the beginning of the liturgical calendar for 2015. As we bid farewell to the Year of the Laity, we welcome the Year of the Poor, which is consistent with the theme of the Papal Visit this January, Mercy and Compassion. 
In today's Gospel, the Lord tells us to be watchful, stay awake, and be alert, because we do not know when the time will come. 
I attended the mass at Monte Carlo this afternoon and the priest, Fr. Freddie Penoliar shared a beautiful reflection on the Gospel and the Advent Season in general.
He began by telling a story. A bishop and a newly-ordained priest went to Vatican. They stayed in the same room, on separate beds. Before they went to sleep, they both said their prayers. The bishop told the Lord, "Dear God, I am a bishop and the person I am with now is a newly-ordained priest. I will pray longer than he does so that he would know that I truly am a praye…

Make My Wish Come True :)

♪ all I want for Christmas is... ♪

Please vote for my dream board! ♥ Click here. :)

I was about to sleep last night when I received a text message from Ate Chie telling me that my dream board was one of the finalists in the Canon and Belle De Jour Power Planner's Dream Board Contest. I was so elated at the good news but since I don't have internet connection at home (we live in a cave! :D), and Facebook is blocked in the office, I told her to like the photo so that I could have at least one like before I could check it out maybe this weekend. :D (But since voting is until December 15, only, I need to make my move now!)
I know the other bellas submitted beautiful entries too, probably a lot more beautiful than mine. I must admit that the only reason why I bothered to create my own dream board (for the first time!) was because I so wanted the prize (Canon Selphy). :D


I first saw that beautiful little thing back in 2012 while I was on a short-term mission in Thailand. Canon was on…

#RubyPH: Our God Is Greater!

Aside from the items listed, there's one thing more important to do: to seek the protection of our God who is bigger than any storm.
And so we pray:

Oratio Imperata (Obligatory Prayer) for Deliverance from Calamities 

Almighty Father, we raise our hearts to You in gratitude
for the wonders of creation of which we are part,
for Your providence that sustains us in our needs, and
for Your wisdom that guides the course of the universe.

We acknowledge our sins against You and the rest of creation.
We have not been good stewards of Nature.
We have confused Your command to subdue the earth.
The environment is made to suffer our wrongdoing,
and now we reap the harvest of our abuse and indifference.
Typhoons, heavy rains, floods, and other natural calamities 
occur in increasing number and intensity.

We turn to You, our loving Father, and beg forgiveness for our sins.
We ask that we, our loved ones and our hard-earned possessions
be spared from the threat of calamities, natural and man-made.
We beseech Y…

Message from God :)

And now [God] says to us what he has already said to the world as a whole through his grace-filled birth: 
"I am there. I am with you. I am your life. I am your time. I am the gloom of your daily routine. Why will you not bear it? I weep your tears -- pour yours out to me, my child. I am your joy. Do not be afraid to be happy, for ever since I wept, joy is the standard of living that is really more suitable than the anxiety and grief of those who think they have no hope. I am the blind alleys of all your paths, for when you no longer know how to go any further, then you have reached me, foolish child, though you are not aware of it. I am in your anxiety, for I have shared it by suffering it. And in doing so, I wasn't even heroic according to the wisdom of the world. I am in the prison of your finiteness, for my love has made me your prisoner. When the totals of your plans and of your life's experiences do not balance out evenly, I am the unsolved remainder. And I know tha…

On Stewardship :)

We had the privilege to attend the recollection led by Bishop Ambo David to the members of the CFC Board of Elders and the International Council tonight. Thank God for the gift of technology we were able to watch it live via UStream. :D 
Bishop Ambo talked about stewardship as discussed in the pastoral letter (Stewardship: A Disciple's Response) on the topic released by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 
According to the letter, A Christian steward is one who receives God’s gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner, shares them in justice and love with others and returns them with increase to the Lord.
From that statement, we derive the four characteristics of a Christian steward, namely: 
1. Receives God's gifts gratefully.  "For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." (Matthew 13:12)
The key to having more is gra…

Prayer for Hopes and Wishes ♥

Let us pray: 

Dear God,
I am full of wishes, full of desires, full of expectations. Some of them may be realized, many may not, but in the midst of all my satisfactions and disappointments, I hope in You.
I know that You will never leave me alone and will fulfill Your divine promises. Even when it seems that things are not going my way, I know that they are going Your way, and that in the end Your way is the best way for me.
O Lord, strengthen my hope, especially when my many wishes are not fulfilled. Let me never forget that your name is Love. 
Amen.
*prayer by Fr. Henri Nouwen

Spiritual Exercise at Monte Cueva ♥

One of the blessings of mission is the opportunity to explore and be awestruck at the beauty that the place has to offer. On our last day in Maasin, our generous host brought us to a holy place called Monte Cueva, officially known as the Diocesan Shrine of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus and Our Lady of Assumption. 

Entrance is free as it is maintained by the Diocese of Maasin but you have to pay a minimal fee for the use of the toilet. (Sorry, I was not able to ask how much.) 
Monte Cueva is truly a sanctuary of prayer. By the time you enter its gate, you know you are standing on holy ground. We did not count but we were told that we are to climb 400 steps up to the peak of the sacred mountain. To me it seemed like the stairway to heaven because with every step, I truly felt closer and closer to the Father.


The way up was both a physical and spiritual exercise. Aside from the stations of the cross, there are beautiful reminders posted around the mountain. One cannot help but reflec…

On Success :)

Another workweek has ended. We must have been seeing TGIF posts (or in Tagalog, "buti na lang Sabado bukas") all day.

But I have something better (I think) to share: Don't just thank God for Fridays. Thank Him for Mondays (and for every workday), too! :) Because the more days you work, the closer you get to being successful. As Conrad Hilton realized (and I agree), "Success seems to be connected with action. Successful men keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit."

I know Mother Teresa said that God did not call us to be successful but to be faithful. But for me, to be faithful is to succeed in overcoming temptations and obstacles. To be faithful is to keep going, keep moving for and with the Lord. And so, if we want to be faithful, we need to be successful in being faithful. :)

And what makes one successful? Here's a beautiful infographic posted on LifeHack.org, created by SuccessStory.com.


May this not be just another weekend, but a produ…

Befriending the Will of the Wind

One of the popular songs in the early 90's goes like this: 
The will of the wind You feel and then It will pass you blowing steady It comes and it goes And God only knows You must keep your sails on ready So when it begins Get all that you can You must befriend the will of the wind
Having meditated on the reading for the 12th day of the 33 Days to Morning Glory Retreat, I realized that the term "wind" in the song actually refers to the Holy Spirit, God Himself. 
We will never understand the will of the Father, but we can know and choose to befriend whatever that may be. 
During a vocation seminar with the Carmelite sisters, the vocation directress, Sister D, illustrated this "befriending the will of the Father" through the simple clapping of hands. God's will is our one hand, and our will is the other hand. Unless the two hands join together, no sound will ever be produced. Our lives won't have meaning, our pursuits would all be empty, our hearts would be restl…

Tacloban For A Day

Last week we went to Southern Leyte for a special mission: to conduct Knights Tale and Princess Diaries Weekend Retreat. But since there's no direct flight from Manila to Maasin (venue of the retreat), we took the Manila-Tacloban route. 
As we all know, Leyte was greatly hit by Yolanda last year. And we were witnesses to how the province is still struggling to get back on their feet a year later. From Tacloban, we traveled four hours to Maasin, passing through Palo and other municipalities that were badly affected. While there are already several structures that were restored, there are still a lot that needs to be rehabilitated. 
I am grateful for the overwhelming help that the global community, and the local NGOs and foundations has extended to our brethren in Leyte. I am well aware that not everything will be back to their original state. The lives that were lost will only remain a memory, the terror of that fateful day will continue to haunt them, but with our steadfast suppo…

Prayer :)

Sunday is a sacred day indeed. Today, God allowed me to spend some time de-cluttering. I was led to browse through my journals from way back 2011. Here's one gem I found: 
Lord, help me please... -to be able to say the right words -to be able to think clearly -to be more patient and loving -to be understanding and forgiving -to know when it's time to let go -to never give up -to know Your will -to be determined to know Your will -to have the courage to stand up for You -to proclaim to greatness -to introduce You to people -to focus on what is truly essential -to become the best that I can be -to be sensitive to Your leadings -to be always aware of Your presence -to see You in every person I meet -to reflect You in my life -to remain in You -to be faithful at all times, at all cost -to surrender my worries -to deepen my relationship with You -to establish and guarrd my sacred time with You -to deliver my tasks and accomplish my projects -to remain humble and fair -to endure life's hardships in full…

Love Song For No One :)

"Every song you love, every memory you cherish, every moment that has moved you to holy tears has been given to you from the One who has been pursuing you from your first breath in order to win your heart." -Captivating, John Eldredge
I don't know if I just have a hangover from the Princess Diaries Retreat or it's just Friday (♪ I'm in love! ♪), but I'd rather think that it's simply God serenading me and reminding me how sweet it is to be loved by Him and how wonderful it is to love. :)
This song has been playing on my mind since I heard it yesterday morning. It's a love song for no one else but my Greatest Lover, my Constant Partner, and my Faithful Warrior. ♥
I guess you've heard, I guess you know In time I might have told you, but I guess I'm too slow. That's overly romantic but I know that it's real I hope you don't you mind if I say what I feel. It's like I'm in somebody else's dream, This could not be happening to me.
Bu…

Happy Birthday, Lolo! ♥

Today should have been your 91st birthday. Still a happy birthday to you, Lolo! 
I love you and I miss you so much! 
Have you seen Lola already? She was called home on the day of my birthday. I didn't want to let her go just yet but because I knew she would be spending eternity with you and with God, I finally surrendered and allowed the Lord to do what is best for her. I bet she brought you your favorite food. Enjoy your feast there in heaven. :)
Thank you for your lives, I am alive. Thank you for your inspiration, I am inspired. Thank you for your legacy, I am motivated to live life to the fullest. I will never forget you both. You are forever in my heart. ♥
Eternally grateful, Your most beautiful apo :D
Lolo and Lola so happy together. :)

I Give Up

Last month, I had a thrilling ride on an emotional roller coaster. But I would say it was all worth it because of the many realizations and lessons I have learned. 
Today, I was welcomed by A LOT of work. But thanks to the equally many inspiration that the Lord has provided me with. :) 
Here's a list of resolutions I found in one of the emails that I received. And beginning today, I resolve to do them with the help of God's grace. :) 
Give up complaining . . . focus on gratitude.
Give up harsh judgments . . . think kind thoughts.
Give up worry . . . trust divine providence.
Give up discouragement . . . be full of hope.
Give up bitterness . . . turn to forgiveness.
Give up hatred . . . return good for evil.
Give up anger . . . practice patience.
Give up pettiness . . . put on maturity.
Give up gloom. . . enjoy the beauty that is around me.
Give up gossiping . . . control my tongue.
And if I may add, give up giving up... persevere in faith, hope, and love. :)

Cheers to a great week ahead…

Prayer for All Saints Day

Dear God, thank you for the example of the Saints.
I desire to join in their company, worshiping you forever in Heaven.
Please help me follow their footsteps, and yours, Jesus Christ. 
Please help me to conform myself to Your image, seeking Your will in all things, as the Saints did. 
Please help me to devote myself, and all that I do, to Your glory, and to the service of my neighbors. 
Amen. 


#1MCleanToilets Domex Campaign

On October 11, I bought a pouch at National Bookstore, SM Aura, and when I paid for it, I received a 150ml sachet of Domex. The pamphlet states, "By receiving this Domex sample, you have contributed your pledge for clean toilets!"


At the back, the following are printed: 
"You are now one with us in the Domex 1M clean toilets campaign. P5 has been donated on your behalf towards support of the UNICEF sanitation program."
Apparently, Unilever, through its brand Domex, has launched the One Million Clean Toilets Movement. The campaign came to be due to the rising cases of diarrhea, the fourth leading cause of deaths among children under  5 years old. According to their study, over 90% of households in the Philippines don't realize that there are still germs in their toilet that may lead to diseases like diarrhea. 
Through the One Million Clean Toilets Movement, Domex aims to educate and help Filipinos develop the habit of proper toilet hygiene and sanitation to redu…

For The Second Time: Blogapalooza 2014

Before going to the airport for my birthday journey, I first went to the biggest business-to-blogger event at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura. Since I had limited time, I already planned my "itinerary."

The first thing I did when I arrive was to look for my friend, Mars. I found her and Ray at the Krispy Kreme booth. While I was waiting for them to finish designing their own doughnuts, a beautiful lady approached me and asked me if I could pose for Canon. I visited their booth, had my photo taken, had the camera registered, and got my own gift pack full of goodies. :) 
Next booth we visited was Chooks To Go where Mars and I participated in their Kwelavan and won a bucket of chicken! :D 


Then, Ray, Mars and I visited Ace Water Spa and Ace Hotel's booth where we also had our photos taken and got several goodies as well including a GC! :D 
At that time, Mars and Ray had to leave so I was left to explore on my own. Here's a complete list of the booths I have visited …

Meet Senor Santo Nino De Kalibo

Since RB Lodge is just near the cathedral, I had the chance to attend the Sunday mass before I traveled to Iloilo. I didn't know the schedule of the English mass so I watched the TV mass first. I arrived at the cathedral a little before 7am and the mass hasn't started yet, but the commentator was already reading the intentions for the mass... in English. :) 

The Gospel at that time was about the wedding feast where many were invited but only a few responded. And among those who responded, still there came one who was not dressed appropriately for the feast. During the homily, the priest said that the Kingdom of God can be likened to the wedding feast. All of us are invited, a few accepts the invitation, but only the chosen ones, those who responded properly and those who came prepared, are worthy to stay. 
After the mass, I decided to walk around the cathedral until I found the shrine of the Sto. Nino in Kalibo where the famous image of Ati-Atihan is enthroned. People line up…

Restful and Blissful Stay at RB Lodge, Kalibo

A day before I left Manila for my week-long vacation, I called up RB Lodge in Kalibo to ask if they can still accommodate me. I searched for the cheapest place to stay in Kalibo and among the results listed, it has the best reviews. 
The guy on the other line (sorry, I forgot his name) answered in his soft Visayan accent which I found very comforting. He said they still have a room and when I asked if they accept walk-ins, he said I'd better reserve the room just to be sure. He didn't require me to deposit any downpayment but he already reserved a fan room for me. 
I inquired if they also offer service from the airport to their place. He said he could arrange for a tricycle that can pick me up from the airport. He just asked for my flight details. I gave him my schedule and told him I would just send a text message once I have boarded the plane. (I paid Php100, by the way, and that's already cheap considering the distance. I remember being charged Php100 in another place …

Bittersweet Birthday

God has prepared me well for the worst that could happen. On my way to Iloilo, He pampered me and filled my heart with so much joy and gratitude. He filled my love tank to the brim because He knew I would be needing all the love, joy, peace, and sense of gratitude for what was bound to happen on my 28th birthday. 
Unlike in the previous years, I never had any cake this year, I wasn't surrounded by friends and there wasn't really a birthday feast. It was just an ordinary day in the province. I spent most of the day beside Lola Rosa, praying for and with her, singing songs of praise and worship, reading the Gospel, and some chapters of the book, The Fifth Mountain. 
After lunch, I cooked spaghetti and went back beside Lola. She was struggling to stay alive. She was barely breathing. I knew she was already tired of fighting for every breath, but she seemed not ready to go yet. Mama and I spoke to her as we witness how her nails turn to violet. I whispered in her ear how much I l…

Pampered! ♥

I couldn't think of anything else to say but THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU, TOO, LORD! ♥ 
He prepared everything for me and made sure this journey would be as smooth and as comfortable as possible. :) 
Let's start with Friday or rather Saturday. :D I got out of the office a little past 12 midnight, after finishing all my deliverable for the day. I made sure everything is properly endorsed as I won't be around for the whole work-week next week. 
When I got home, I was already too tired to fix the things that I would be bringing to Iloilo. I woke up early on Saturday to pack and prepare. I figured I would need a sako bag so I went to the nearby market with Php100 thinking that it wouldn't cost me more than Php50. When I finally saw one, I was surprised to know that it actually costs Php120, and that's already the cheapest. I asked the vendor if he sells any other quality at Php100 because that's all I had. He told me he doesn't but he was kind enough to give me t…