The True Meaning of LIFE.

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It has been more than a year that I never updated my blog. I rarely open my WordPress Account these days.

Seems I’m so busy lately and that I perceived life as still Goin’ Bananas…Definitely NOT!

I can proudly say that now I have LIFE.

A life that this world did not give but a life that was REDEEMED by JESUS CHRIST.

Yes, you read it right. I’m now living my life for JESUS.

If there is any life worth living, it’s the life living for the ONE, TRUE and LIVING GOD.

I used to believe I am a nobody. I am unloved and unworthy. A nerdy-looking guy living a mediocre life.

But God said: I am Fearfully and Wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

I used to believe life is full of uncertainties and that you have to live your life day by day because you are not sure about tomorrow.

But God said: For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah29:11)

I used to spell success as working so hard, making a lot of money and that rest and relaxation means living in a nice, comfortable house, dining and drinking in fine restaurants or bars or staying in fine hotels.

But God reminded me: For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? (Matthew 16:26)

Now I clearly understood that Life is more than what I see or feel.

Life is all about knowing and loving JESUS and living it according to His will and Purpose.

I never felt more at peace than what I am feeling now. Troubles or problems may come, but I have peace and joy in my heart. For I have the peace of God. (John 14:27)

I will never feel alone and empty. For I have a Heavenly Father who loves me so much and will never leave me nor forsake me.
He wants to give me His full inheritance through Jesus Christ.

He loves me and forgave me of my sins. He has forgotten my past and even saved me from eternal destruction.
I am a new creation in His eyes. (2 Cor. 5:17)

And the good news is, He doesn’t show any favoritism. Yes, I am special in His eyes. And so are you!

His love and mercy is for the whole world. For those willing to accept Him. (John 3:16)

He is giving it to you. Receive Jesus in your life and your life will never be the same again- 100% GUARANTEED.

God bless all of you!

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A Note to God…


Note from the author: This post is not inspired by Charice Pempengco’s song with the same title. My inspiration for this post is God.

For more than a month now, my family and I are in extreme stress because of my Dad’s ailment. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer 2 years ago.  He was in perfect shape before that (except for some occasional muscle cramps as he still loves to play Basketball and regular jogging with my mom to maintain healthy level of blood pressure). Suddenly, there was blood in his urine and finds it difficult to pee. He was admitted to the hospital and tests were made. Then they found a tumor in his bladder. It was eventually removed and comes the dreaded result of the biopsy. The tumor is malignant.

The family consulted several doctors about his case and some doctors recommended to have the bladder removed so the cancer will not spread out. However, my Dad do not want this idea because it will be very uncomfortable not having your bladder and only an artificial urine bag working for you. They went to a Doctor specializing in an alternative form of treating cancer, that is through Detoxification. There were so many foods that were prohibited that are cancer causing. He has to eat only organic foods and strictly no oil or salt in his diet.

First few months saw a sudden drop in his weight due to change in diet and lifestyle but we think it is working quite fine. The treatment and food ingredients (organic products) are very costly though. At certain point my Dad started to complain and misses the “normal food” so we obliged.

Unfortunately after almost 2 years when the tumor was removed it recurred and was detected last July. An immediate operation took place but sadly, part of the tumor cannot be removed cos the root is deep and the only way to take out the tumor completely and avoid spreading to other organs is to remove the bladder by surgery.

We had to agree it is the best move though it may be hard for my Dad. He actually do not want to have the operation because he knows it will be very costly and also because it’s back to back operation and he still yet recovered from the first one. In addition, his lifestyle will be changed from now on.

I am not ashamed to admit we are not a rich family. We are just a normal middle-class family who are living comfortably but not extravagant. Since my Dad retired from Government service more than 5 years ago, they only rely on his monthly pension as well as support from their children including me. After serious discussions and convincing, the operation was arranged.

Another challenge has come up before the actual operation. The hospital said we had to prepare at least 5 bags of blood from donors because it is the number of bags they expect to be used for the operation. Though there is a blood bank, we have to replace the blood. It was such a rush considering we learned about it only a day before the operation. We asked relatives and friends for help and even posted in Facebook. There were several kind-hearted volunteers but the hospital is quite strict in the selection of donors so many were rejected. Though they give a word that we can replace the blood later even after the operation so we were a bit relieved. Fortunately, only 2 bags of blood were used in the operation and we managed to get it from supportive friends.

The operation was successful thanks to the able hands of the Doctor and the medical team. He stayed in the hospital for 1 more week after the operation. My dad had a post operation trauma and he had nightmares so he don’t want to sleep for fear he will not wake up again. It is really stressful and the family had to endure it especially my Mom who was with my Dad all throughout. We had to assure him that he should not worry because the critical stage already passed and he must only think of recuperating.

As the days passed, the hospital bill is going up and so is my Dad’s blood pressure and blood sugar. Since he can’t eat anything including his medicines, it was higher than normal so they had to inject him some insulin to stabilize it. These added to the bill. Me and my siblings had to raise the money quickly cos the doctor already said he can go out in few days. Considering there was a previous operation done not over 1 month ago, it was really a tough time in terms of our finances.

Though it is really challenigng, I realized we have many relatives and friends who tried to help in every way they can either through some monetary help or a message of support through SMS, Facebook, e-mail, etc. We are really loved.

Moreover, it also proved that our family is stronger and despite the problems we are holding on to each other.

Importantly, I know God is with us and He remained faithful to my Family.

We had been very stressed but fervent prayers made us whole. God is with my Dad during the critical times and now as he tries to fully recover. God is with my Mom and continuously giving her strength and good health. God is with me and my siblings and giving us wisdom to support our parents in these trying times.

We pray very hard and everything is just falling into the right place. God’s hands is really on the works.

Before I retire to bed every night just after praying, I make it a point to listen to various Christian songs before I eventually doze off. There is this line in one of my favorite song “My Desire” by Jeremy Camp wherein every time I listen to it, I can’t help but be teary eyed and really feel humbled by God’s extreme sacrifice for us.

The line goes, “there’s not much I can do to repay all you’ve done so I give my hands to use”.

Truly there is really nothing much we can do to repay God. That’s why I am writing this note to express my sincerest love and thanks to Father God. It’s one way of bringing something back even how small it is to HIM.

I am so blessed. My family is so blessed. Thank you Lord. Thank you Jesus..

Analysis by Winnie Monsod

While I was watching various videos of update on the Super Typhoon Pepeng and the damage of the last typhoon, Ondoy, I saw a video in YouTube about the analysis of Professor Winnie Monsod on the Government’s spending especially Foreign Trips which the President has spent over 10% of her total days in the office since she assumed the Presidency. What’s more alarming is not the number of days spent abroad but the costs spent on the trips.

The news anchor Ivan Mayrina said he view the trip as essential especially the last controversial US Trip since the US is the country’s major trading partner.

Agreed.

However, reviewing further the costs of these trips based on Winnie’s analysis, if we are to average out the cost of trip, Winnie said that in 2002, cost per day is USD 45, 880/day and within 5 years period (2007) it rose to 6 times or worth USD 255,600 per day. She also claimed that it is not attributable to inflation, cost of trips (e.g. Hotel accommodation, airline, etc) has increased because it will not increase more than 20%. over that period.

What was said to have contributed to the tremendous increase as quoted on the video is a.) The size of her entourage must have increased tremendously b.) their per diems must have gone up enormously c.) some combination of both.

Winnie’s suggestion: Continue the trips but cut down on the expenses. (I can’t agree more on this proposition).

In connection to this analysis, I saw another video in GMA New’s website on the same News programme wherein Winnie talked about the tragedy of Typhoon Ondoy and it’s relation to what could have done by the Government.

Link to this video: http://www.gmanews.tv/video/48659/qtv-analysis-with-winnie-monsod

She said one factor is that PAGASA (the Government agency tasked to give weather forecasts) do not have a DOPPLER RADAR which is used to determine the rain content of storms and the intensity of flooding that may occur and wind velocity. Cost of this Doppler Radar is a “mere” USD 300,000 to USD 1 million or roughly PHP 15M to PHP 50M. She tagged the amount as “mere” because the cost of this useful equipment is much less than the Pork Barrel allocated to a Congressman (reportedly worth PHP 70M for each Congressman) or PHP 200M pork barrel allocation for each Senator.  Whoa, such a big amount of money really.

Prof. Monsod also compared the cost of this radar to the Foreign trips of the Government. As earlier analyzed, cost per day of a foreign trip is USD 255,000 in 2007. This means the cost of the radar is anywhere between 1-3 days cost of the foreign trips of this Government.

There were many other human errors that she intelligently analyzed.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council reported a loss of PHP 4.8 Billion in damages across Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon and claimed the lives of 277 and counting.  Had the government given priority on these essential instruments , it  could have saved the lives of all of these people and properties even if it costs more than USD 1MILLION.

Of course we cannot blame all of these damages to the Government because I believe everyone is partly to be blamed. All of us in one way or another has contributed to the climate change because of unguarded if not uncontrolled use of energy and natural resources and continuously dumping trash improperly. But many people are trying to point out is for the Government to come to its senses in allocating the budget on priority projects and spend the taxes paid by the Filipinos wisely and morally.

Surely, as a nation we have encountered many natural disasters in the past and we have overcome these tragedies. Soon, everything will be back to normal. Of course, we cannot return back the lives of those people who have died in the calamity but we can do something to correct or improve the way we do things or the way we live.

I fervently pray that God will spare us from more natural disasters and for God to bring a true leader to the country in the next election. I believe the Philippines deserves a better leadership…

The fury of Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana)

I am sure by now many of us already know what happened to Metro Manila and nearby areas on the fateful day of 26 September 2009. Typhoon Ondoy (International Name: Ketsana) claimed the lives of over 200 people (and counting) because of torrential rains said to have produced a month’s worth of rainfall in just 6 hours. Typhoons and tropical depressions are common in the Philippine islands because of its geographical location which is within the typhoon and earthquake belt so a typical Typhoon like Ondoy should not cause too much of a panic compared to previous Super Typhoons and since Manila was declared to have only public storm signal no. 1 (the lowest typhoon warning).

The rain poured heavily and non-stop most of the day last Saturday. By noon, many areas are already flooded. Few hours more, the waters are getting higher and many areas which have not experienced flooding ever saw nature’s fury on that day. Metro Manila and Rizal province was literally a water world so to speak.

My family has been living in Marikina for almost 3 decades now. The city became popular in several occasions: 1.) It always hugs the news whenever heavy rains or strong storm pass by the country due to the fact that the city is actually located in a Valley being surrounded by higher areas like Quezon City, Antipolo, Cainta, San Mateo 2.) There was a fear amongst all residents when many years ago experts says Marikina is sitting in a major earthquake fault line so there is a big chance a major earthquake will struck anytime in this area and so many property owners try to sell their house or lot out of these fear. 3.) There were several cases of rape+homicide of pretty ladies which made Marikina look like a dangerous place to live in. Seems Marikina has full of bad publicity because of natural or human threat.

On the contrary, these news were wiped out because…3.) Marikina has been a role-model amongst cities in the Metro and the whole Philippines by winning many awards for the clean & green, river restoration, zoning projects and efficient crime prevention by the local government. Marikina become an ideal place to live. The city is almost always in competition with Puerto Princesa City, Palawan which also boasts of natural beauty and efficiency in local governance. Marikina was even dubbed the “Singapore of Philippines” because of its cleanliness and orderliness which has been a source of pride to all of us Marikenos.

And once again, Marikina my beloved city hit the news big time. It is really sad if not heart-breaking to see the news and videos of the extensive destruction to life and property that Typhoon Ondoy brought us. Marikina River suddenly looked like a sea because it swell so big. Provident Village a semi-exclusive village located near the banks of the river I believe has the most casualties in terms of lives and properties.

Our Home in Marikina which was lovingly and painstakingly built and maintained by my parents  since 1982 is now a disaster. Sure, the structure is still there but all the appliances, furniture, clothes and important documents are all wet and covered with mud and unfortunately cannot be of any use at this point. Our village has not experienced heavy flooding for many years now due to the improvement in drainage system and prompt garbage collection. As far as I know, the heaviest flooding we encountered has only reached the front of our gates (which is equivalent to waist deep water already) and never hit our garage, much more inside our house. But on Saturday, the water just flowed relentlessly into our humble abode and in the process tumbling big appliances and furniture. Our car was stucked in the road as well and submerged in flood water because according to my Mom, they just went to the wet market to buy the usual weekly food stock and are unable to go back home because the flood rose very fast and there was heavy traffic on the way back home. To put it in detail, they got wet more than they’ve expected.

Above all of these things that happened, I thank God so much because the destruction is only on our property, not lives of any member of my family or relatives. Surely, it will be very tough for us cos we have to start building our lives all over again but we can rebuild it as a family. What will be more difficult and unbearable is the thought of losing someone that way and totally unprepared. I was so anxious Saturday and Sunday after I learned about the disaster since I cannot contact anyone from my family or relatives through mobile phone or landline and at that point, I am clueless as to my family’s situation. I am just so glad to have finally contacted them yesterday and talked to them lengthy on phone.

I was watching various YouTube videos as well as news clip from GMA News and ABS-CBN and I really can’t help but feel very sorrowful on different experiences of people who had been to that tough situation.

One woman was crying her heart out because she lost several relatives including children. One of her family members tried helping others but at the end lost his own life. The lady said yes it is good to know the person did not die in vain and even became a hero because of saving other lives but it will be very difficult for them to accept the sudden death. Moreover, when they tried asking for help, no one can help them because of the extreme weather condition. This cost the death of 2 children who could have become an inspiring president or an excellent doctor in the future but have gone too soon.

Another man who is a company messenger cannot help but cry because he saw the Desktop computer he gave his child as a gift being destroyed by the flood. He said it took him very long time to purchase the computer even have to loan the money to buy but now the equipment is just a piece of garbage. One good thing I saw in him is his positive outlook that despite all their properties are lost and he admit nothing he can do anymore because it happened so soon, he still has faith in God and he believe it will all come to pass.

(To Apollo, you can see the video of the Man and the child whose computer was broken in this link sorry, dunno how to upload video not coming from YouTube in my blog. Hope you will find a way to donate a computer to them as you have intended. God bless you) : http://www.gmanews.tv/video/48395/after-floods-residents-now-deal-with-muds-in-metro-manila-nearby-provinces

Indeed at this time, all we can do is Help and Pray. Help all victims anyway we can through donations or whatever support we can extend. More importantly we need to pray. Pray for God’s mercy… Pray that it will not happen again… Pray that the human casualties will no longer increase… Pray for the salvation of the lives that were lost..Pray for healing of memories of all people who had gone through this bad experience.

I was told by my Mom that my young niece and nephew seemed traumatized by the incident. When they saw the flood going inside their home last Saturday, they cried and embraced their Dad (my brother) tightly for comfort. Then the next day when it started to rain again, they told my brother that they are scared cos it’s raining again…I really hope they will forget this harrowing experience very fast.

God bless my family and loved ones.. God Bless the Philippines.

Imagine a world without music…

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Last night, I was thinking of a new topic for my blog since I have not updated my blog for the longest time..been really pre-occupied lately. Since I was talking to my friend Boni, he suggested a topic about a world without credit card.Hmm, sounds interesting. With modernity looming and internet booming than ever, using credit card is almost inevitable.
 
However, as I opened my blog site, I had a sudden change of mind (which I had been doing a lot often recently)…I now am writing about what the world would be without music…A world without music? Hmmm…
 
A world without music means taking your daily shower before going to work or school or getting off to bed like a silent lamb. It means we cannot express our patriotism every Monday Mornings through our National Hymn. It means our Sunday Mass would just consist of the reading of the Scriptures, a Sermon, Homily and Communion without the Angel-like voices of the choir.
It means blowing a birthday cake would begin with just a simple greeting of “Happy Birthday”. It means Graduation Ceremony is less memorable because a heart-felt graduation song is missing. It means the bride walking down the aisle in her wedding day is like a thief silently walking in the night..
 
It means our Christmas nights would be less enjoyable without kids singing carols in our front gates and asking for some Aguinaldos..The word “harana” may not have been created as well.
Babies may have a hard time sleeping without the soft lullabies of their moms whispered in their ears…
 
Michael Jackson could have died an ordinary man…
 
…the list goes on and on. I really can’t imagine a world without music.
 
As they say, music has no language. No matter which country you come from, you would know a good music when you hear one. You don’t have to know the meaning of the lyrics to enjoy the song in full. Music speaks to one’s heart.
 
Thank God for the music..Thank God that I can still sing whether its a good or bad situation.
 
I am sharing a short poem I read in this website:
 
A world with out music is like a girl with no doll
A sky with no sun
A boy with no ball
A world with out music has no meaning at all
No meaning to laugh
No meaning to care
No meaning to love
and no meaning to share
no one would speak
no one would give
no one would play
no one would live
so thank God for music
thank him a lot
because without his music
our story would have no plot

-Brooke Field

Keep on singing my friends!

What should you do if the responsibility is BIGGER than you?

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As a young child, I was given some more responsibility by my parents than some of my siblings even if I am a middle child.  Maybe because they think I am more matured in thinking for my age or maybe it is because I am dependable (or so I thought?) LOL.

When I studied, I cannot consider myself as an intelligent student. Just an average person though there are times I got some best in this subject or best in that subject..well maybe the most award that I get as a child in school which actually illicit laughter amongst my siblings is my being a consistent “MOST BEHAVED” student. They always teased me that maybe I am so silent that even when my teachers would call me to participate in class, I just keep my mouth shut and just wait until the school bell rang..so I can head back home.

During my College days, that was the only time I became a little bit more active in school activities. I had my share of leading a group in a class or even being a Chairman of a Committee for a project or activity organized by my class or Department.  I was even a part of a group that represented my University in the Chefs on Parade, an annual competition for Hotel and Restaurant professionals or students which we won a Bronze medal in the Inventive Buffet Table Setting category among almost 20 schools competing.  A good enough feat for us…

I guess my most cherised moment as a leader in school is when I headed my group in our Thesis about the importance of having Multi-cultural Awareness in the Hotel Industry for 3 selected hotels which we painstakingly researched and interviewed staff and handed out questoionnaires. Come the Defense, we have successfully presented our Thesis well and I even got a flat 1.0 grade in my Research class.

As I started my professional career, I never dreamt to have a big responsibility. Back then, I am ok with a routine job which after hitting the bundy clock, I don’t have to worry about problems or stresses at work. Then, I had my second job. I was hired as a Marketing Coordinator then. First week of work, I find my job too boring already and lack challenge. I was thinking then if I made a right decision to accept that job offer since I also have some applications to consider then. My boss noticed my persistence and gave me some additional responsibilities. Soon, I found myself getting involved in some special projects and finally I was promoted to Marketing Manager at the age of 23. I never realized I have such big responsibility at that young age. Well, maybe for some people, they even have GM or CEO or CFO post almost right after graduation. That is an exceptional case. Maybe, either they are too brilliant or their family owns the company.  But for an average person like me, being a head of an important department at 23 is an accomplishment but a daunting task as well. Everyday, there are so many challenges, so many problems to solve, so many thinking and analyzing which oftentimes, gives me no time for personal stuff. But personally, I find all these challenges very satisyfing if I get to solve them successfully and the outcome is what I want it to be.

Then I had another job as an Operations Manager but is equivalent to a Business Unit Head. This job is really very challenging since I had to do all the ground works. My boss which is the VP and CEO gave me the vision and framework of the Business and I had to do all details of the job including setting up standards, supplier relations, business development and all. On top of that, I was also selected to be part of the company’s in-house academy for the “chosen few” to attend a rigorous 2 year course about Management and Personal Development.

Unfortunately, I had to quit this job and the schooling for another bigger responsibility which is my current job. Offhand, I am helping to manage around 40 staff. My boss and I have gone a long way as far as improving the standards of our operations as well as business development and we will not stop there..of course we have to sensitive with the market trends and our competitors as well. At times, I find it difficult to manage an organization this size especially if some of the staff are more senior (in terms of age and maybe have more professional experience than me) but there lies the challenge.  Moreover, I cannot avoid thinking that at my age why do I have to pressure myself with a big responsibility which at times I think is even bigger than me? Why not just opt to put up my own noodle shop or coffee kiosk so the pressure is not bigger or even choose to be just an ordinary worker.

However, I feel that is not my destiny. I believe God gave me the wisdom to walk on this path cos HE knows I can handle even bigger responsibilities in life.  When I say responsibilities, it doesn’t mean only professional responsibilities but also being responsible to my family, my loved ones and all aspects of the society. If we feel the responsibility is bigger than us, just look up then we will realize we have an even Bigger God.