Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Burnout

Oh, 'wag kang tumingin ng ganyan sa akin
'Wag mo akong kulitin 
'Wag mo akong tanungin

Hindi katulad mo, ako ay 'di magbabago
'Di na tayo katulad ng dati
Kay bilis ng sandali

Oh kay tagal din kitang minahal
Oh kay tagal din kitang minahal

Kung iisipin mo, 'di naman dati ganito
Teka muna, teka lang
Kailan ka nga ba nailang?
Kung iisipin mo, 'di naman dati ganito
Kay bilis kasi ng buhay
Pati ikaw natangay

Oh kay tagal din kitang minahal
Oh kay tagal din kitang minahal

Tinatawag kita...
Sinusuyo ka pa...
'Di mo man marinig...
'Di mo man madama...

Oh kay tagal din kitang mamahalin
Oh kay tagal din kitang mamahalin

Mamahalin... mamahalin...



You have just read the lyrics of Sugarfree's Burnout. This song holds a special place in my heart because, when I was feeling tired and drained with all the difficulties I encounter in service, family and work, this was the song that He used to speak to me. 

Come to think of it... what if God can truly sing? I imagine Him with the guitar, in center stage, with a spotlight, singing this song directed to me. I imagined Him putting emphasis on these lines:

Tinatawag kita...
Sinusuyo ka pa...
'Di mo man marinig...
'Di mo man madama...

But sometimes, the circumstances in our lives have hardened our hearts and closed our minds. We reject Him, we reject everything. But does He ever stop loving us?

Oh kay tagal din kitang mamahalin
Oh kay tagal din kitang mamahalin

Guess not. We are already anchored in His love. We were created out of love, saved because of love and He will never stop chasing us no matter how far we go because YOU ARE NEVER FAR AWAY FROM HIS REACH.

πŸ’–






Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Changes

Every time I feel I need to unwind a little at work, I usually check Spotify's Weekly Discovery and listen to some good old music. While doing some paper work, One Direction's Night Changes acoustic version played. I'm not really a fan of One Direction but I like some of their songs. Remember how I wrote in one of my previous blogs how God talks to me through music? I got that feeling that the Holy Spirit is telling me something, incidentally, through this song.

If you listen to the song and read through the lyrics, you will know that this is about a young girl who's about to attend her prom and do something that would possibly break her innocence afterwards (if you know what I mean). But never mind the content of the verses. Let's focus on the chorus:

"We're only getting older, baby
And I've been thinking about it lately
Does it ever drive you crazy
Just how fast the night changes?"


Have you ever had difficulties keeping up with changes in your life? These days, thoughts about changes in my finances, work, family and service are running around my head. There are days when I overthink and there are also days when I don't want to think anymore. Crazy, right? Sometimes, it's hard to accept these changes because we don't want to jump out of our comfort zones. We are terrified of the consequences that are not yet there to begin with. When life presents us with choices different from the ones we used to have, we tend to pick the safest choice because we don't want to explore. Worse, we don't choose anymore. We just let things be and find comfort in the quote, "It is what it is." We want to fill our jars but we refuse to let go of that stagnant water.


"Everything that you ever dreamed of
Disappearing when you wake up..."

I've had my share of uphill climbs and sudden descent. How many times have I failed to keep up with change? How many times have I felt disappointed with myself because I keep failing? How many times have I felt hopeless because I keep working and exerting effort on something that I couldn't really get in the end. Have you ever felt so useless sometimes that no matter what you do, you can't turn your life around?

"But there's nothing to be afraid of
Even when the night changes
It will never change me and you"

Now, these last three lines really made me realize that no matter how often our hearts change, His heart will remain the same. No matter how many times our hearts break, His love and grace will eventually make our hearts whole again. There will be instances when plans don't materialize but let us not forget that His plans are better than ours. His ways are not our ways and no matter how we try to understand, His wisdom will always be a mystery to us. Thus, the only way is to surrender and allow ourselves to change for the better.

Even when the night changes, it will never change us, as long as we stand firm in our faith. The darkness will not shake us because we know where to seek His light. We won't be discouraged because the best is yet to come. Trust the process. Trust His plan and know that if He is with us, no change can go against us.

😊






Wednesday, January 20, 2016

PAANO?

Paano mo pupunan kung sadyang 
malalim at malaki ang puwang 
na naiwan? 

Paanong magsisimulang muli? 
Paano muling ngingiti?

Paano muling sisigla
kung ang saya sa
iyong mga mata ay 
'di na kailan man makikita?

Paanong muling sasayaw?
Paano muling kakanta?

Paano mo muling masasabi 

na kay ganda ng umaga?

Kung ang tanging pag-aalayan
ng pagsinta ay
wala na?

Thursday, December 31, 2015

THE CROSS OVER CHALLENGE

Crossing over is not the end of the line in your service. It is not something that should be avoided, nor something to be afraid of. It's not something to be considered as boring, nor something to be viewed as a promotion. When you cross over, it doesn't mean you will lose all the fun that you had serving in your youth. No, you should not look at it that way. As a matter of fact, that's where all the fun begins. That's where you will truly appreciate the meaning of brotherhood and sisterhood. This is where you will truly discover yourself, and realize how important it is to apply HUMILITY, PATIENCE and RESPECT at all times. Again, at all times (and I'm still a work in progress on this aspect). It serves as a true test of your character and a real struggle to fully embrace the culture that is so much different, in so many levels, from the community you enjoyed serving for many years.

Crossing over is a way to deepen your faith. It is a path for greater maturity. It is where your spirit can grow more. It is a battle between your desires and His desires. It's a life of continuous discernment. It is an opportunity to inspire others and work on magnifying the vision of every single man and woman all over the world experiencing the ultimate love and compassion of our Savior, share what it feels like to love and be loved by Him and be like Him to everyone else.

I had a lot of fun in my youth. I first heard His call when I was younger. And I can say I have reached the ultimate joy of serving Him while I was in that youthful community. But I've never had imagined I'd see, taste and experience more when I crossed over 5 years ago.

It is true that when you say YES, "you will see greater things than this." Your YES may be a YES with reservations, with doubts, with lots of negative vibes and concerns. But didn't the Lord promise you that you just need to be still? That He will fight for you? Didn't he assure you that all good things will come to those who continue to serve Him in His purpose?

My younger sibs, the adjustment will never come easy. The detachment will take some time. I hope that when the call of a higher service come upon you, you'll respond with a resounding YES. A YES that is full of conviction. I challenge you. I will pray with you. And we will all wait for you.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I DECLARE ^____^

I happen to see this while browsing the Notes section of my mobile phone. These were the thoughts in my head the day after we had an SFC sisters' pajama party last year in our chapter. We were asked to think of something that we want to declare for year 2015. And I declared, LOVE. :-)



December 26, 2014

People may continue to tease me because of my "old-fashioned" beliefs and "numerous ideologies" about love, but I know I don't have to rush and settle for less. I believe that you'll find me in the most unexpected time, you'll probably see me in my most unglamorous look... 

But then, the point is, YOU WILL FIND ME, and you will find me in His most perfect time. 

And when that happens, that moment will be filled with joyful melodies and time will be at a standstill. You'll look into me, deep inside me, and you'll see that this heart has been made to beat opposite yours. That I'm meant to rock your world and take your sorrows away. I believe that your love will make me fear nothing and want me to do anything. In time, you will read this. In time, you'd know that the most wonderful love story of our lives will only begin when you've already found me. 

And YOU WILL FIND ME. 

And I'll just be here, waiting while continuously running the race and serving the One who will make all these things possible. 

YOU WILL FIND ME because God says so. Because I can feel him reaffirming me of the plans that are yet to unfold. He keeps reminding me that His love for me is and will always be sustaining... and that all I have to do is to be still and embrace His will wholeheartedly. 

YOU WILL FIND ME and our lives will never be the same again. 

YOU WILL FIND ME. 

I know YOU WILL. :) <3


Thursday, March 12, 2015

FROM MUNDANE TO EXTRAORDINARY :-)


Listening to music while I'm on my way to work has become a ritual to me. There are times (many times, actually) when I feel God is speaking to me through the songs I'm listening to every day. Earlier today while I was again doing my "daily ritual" and pondering on what food to eat since I could hear my tummy gurgling and demanding for something to gobble, my phone played this song from my OPM playlist:


SUNDO
by Imago


Kay tagal kong sinusuyod

ang buong mundo
Para hanapin,
para hanapin ka 

-- Well, I consider this song as an OPM classic already and there's nothing really special about it for me. I mean, I've been listening to this Imago song since it was released 9 years ago! You know that feeling when you do something over and over and over again that you already mastered how it should be done and you can effortlessly do it even with eyes closed? This is supposed to be just another song being randomly played in my phone but then, something changed earlier. It felt like it was the first time I've ever heard of it. It's as if the melody is moving like how my heart was beating during that time: slow yet steady. It's as if the words were freshly composed just for me. And then, the realization dawned on me: this is exactly what He wants me to understand now!


Nilibot ang distrito ng iyong lumbay
Pupulutin, pupulutin ka

-- I think during that moment, the Lord wants me to remember and keep in mind this simple fact: He pursued me before, is still pursuing me now and will always pursue me whatever happens and whatever it takes because I am His child. His beloved daughter. His awesome warrior princess. :-) (yep, I really want to include the word 'awesome' there :-D ) How many times have I heard this message in our community's teachings? During the talks in CLPs? During big conferences and events? Sometimes, words not turned into actions remain blurred and obscured. And at that very mundane moment I realized that there is really something extraordinary moving within me. That these were not just mere words. 



Asahan mong mula ngayon 
pag-ibig ko'y sayo...
Asahan mong mula ngayon 
pag-ibig ko'y sayo...

-- It is like He is assuring me that His love never fails. That for Him to be able to work in my life, I need to entrust Him everything. Every. Single. Thing. Sometimes, I'm wondering if I could still have that one big shot when it comes to love. I keep asking Him, "When will my time come? Why am I the one left behind? Why is it still an "unanswered prayer" when You said, "ask and you shall receive?". Questions that are never ending. Questions that will linger in your mind. Questions that will sometimes crush your spirit. Then, you'll become vulnerable to negative emotions and begin to doubt the road that you are now taking. Uncertainty will creep in and fear of the unknown will now begin to destroy the belief that there is a grand plan designed for you. I know the feeling. I've come across it and barely survived it a couple of times. But then, His love has always been there to save me, to redeem me, to pursue me, and to do these things over and over again. Every single day, He is making me feel more loved than before through my family, through my friends, through those strangers who would offer me their seats on a fully-loaded bus, through my colleagues, my students and many more!



Sa akin mo isabit ang pangarap mo
'Di kukulangin ang ibibigay...


Isuko ang kaba 
Tuluyan kang bumitaw
Ika'y manalig 
Manalig ka...

-- Here is the Lord, reminding me again to just trust Him. Listening to these verses, I felt my face break into a smile while some tears escape from my eyes. It is indeed through faith that one can continue to push further despite the worries brought by the unknown. I can hear Him saying, "Just have faith in me. I know what you need, and I want to give you much more than what you are asking me now. That's how much I love you." I can almost taste His words, it was like the taste of cheese melted perfectly on grilled sandwich. I want to inscribe it in the corners of my heart so that every time it doesn't want to be attuned to Him anymore, it will be reminded of a promise that is and will always remain true. 



Handa na sa liwanag mo... 
Sinuyod ang buong mundo...
Maghihintay sayong sundo...

-- Once, a speaker in a conference asked us this question, "If the Lord asks you, "Do you love me?", what will be your response?" I pondered on this thought and I finally realized that I can't love the Lord the way He loves me. I'm a sinner, I'm impatient, I'm a certified people-pleaser, I'm inconsistent, I'm indecisive, I'm too proud at times. I've got loads of imperfections and a very dark side but why am I always being pursued by the Lord? I guess the reason is very simple. Like a potter to a clay, He molded me and called me His own masterpiece. Like a shepherd to a lost sheep, He would always search for me and find me. And like a father to a child, He only wants the best for me because that's how much He loves me. The security and the joy that His love brings is and will always be enough for me to get up from the fall, move and try again. :-)



Asahan mo...
Asahan mo...

Asahan mong mula ngayon pag-ibig ko'y sa'yo...
Asahan mo, ooh...

-- And as the song ends, I feel Him pulling me into a sweet, tight and warm embrace. The promise of a love that will not cease. And this is probably the only promise that is never going to be broken. <3 :-)



Check out the official music video of Sundo:

Monday, January 19, 2015

THE "Lolo Kiko" ENCOUNTER :)

The night before we went to Luneta, I was so restless...anxious even. I don't know if it's because of the book that I was reading (which proved to be very interesting) or the idea of my once-in-a-lifetime adventure the next day. As a result, I only slept for 2 hours, then I prepped up for Luneta. And my whole idea of standing in the rain will never be the same again. :-D


The crowd of hundreds of people making their way
to Quirino Grandstand as early as 3:00 AM Sunday.
People began flocking Luneta and other neighboring streets as early as 3 or maybe 4 in the morning. Actually, some of my other friends already stayed within the vicinity Saturday night. On Sunday morning, you could see people from all walks of life walking with you from Vito Cruz, which is one of the drop-off points, to the supposedly entrance area at Maria Orosa Street. When we finally reached our destination, we weren't able to get inside because the thick number of probably sleep and breakfast-deprived people have already crowded the area. Some people who were walking back from the entrance told us that we we're just wasting our time queuing the unbelievably long line because they (they're probably talking about the guards in the entrance) are just allowing people with IDs to get in. Later on, we learned that these people were volunteers and they would also need to get through that thick line of people in order to get inside. It got me thinking of the lack of and ineffective crowd control by the authorities. But much later on, I would realize that blaming the police force won't really change the situation because they, too, were physically and mentally exhausted. It was evident that they were greatly outnumbered by the crowd. One police officer who passed by our line even begged the people to let him through, citing the fact that they've been on call for four days. True enough, he looked like he could use some good food and sleep.


Sitting (and standing) very still. 
Test of patience and endurance. :D
Since there's nothing else we could do, we finally settled to wait, just like the probably thousands of people standing (some are sitting and sleeping) at Maria Orosa Street. I waited with my SFC friends. My family was there too, although they were on the other side and I couldn't go to them because it'd be a complete waste of time and energy and there's no way I could call them to know exactly where they are because of the disabled network signals.


We bought a huge plastic cover to
keep our heads from getting soaked.

I didn't have protection from the relentless rain, didn't have any food to eat (special thanks to my friends for sharing their baon with me :-) ), and to be honest, didn't have enough money to conveniently buy any food that I want from the fast-food restaurants surrounding the area. But, with the help and motivation of my friends, I stood my ground. I fought the cold, thought of the rain as a blessing, prayed every time I felt my knees and my mind were about to give in and continuously asked for His grace and mercy to just fall upon us. Not just to me and my friends but also to the millions of people waiting for the Pope who were also as tired and shivering and hungry as us.


I have seen hope in that place that I haven't seen from my fellowmen for a while, it's as if the whole place was glowing in much anticipation of the Pope's mass. If we can weather the storm and endure the cold, what else can we not do? That fact, as well as the beautiful verses and the gospel for that day, brought tears to my eyes and it somehow warmed my spirit.





People were increasing in number every minute (yes, as in literally) and there were a lot of pushing, shoving and growling in the crowd. But despite the heated arguments and endless extension of the arms of the people, there was an unspoken and invisible understanding engulfing each and everyone of us as to why we're so eager to do almost anything that day and that is to see and have a personal encounter with the Pontifex.


And so I waited. We waited. Hours and hours of what seemed to be waiting in vain. Hours and hours of pushing and shoving and heated arguments under the cold rain with other people who probably were also exhausted and hungry just like us. Just like me. There were moments when I just wanted to give up and go home. I wanted to tell my friends that we're just wasting our time chasing pavements here; that we could do better in the comforts of our house. We could still follow the events on TV, I thought. The cold wind and the light but steady outpour of rain while one is hungry, tired and sleepy could be powerful and tempting reasons to finally give in to the idea of going back home.



Despite being included in the not-to-bring list, people
still brought umbrellas which proved to be very useful yesterday.
Our effort was not wasted when we finally saw the popemobile passing by our area. The people who were in front of the line were frantic and shouting with joy. I only saw the top of his popemobile but the smile on my face was so wide I couldn't explain why I was that joyful. Probably, the thought of me and the Pope sharing the same plane of existence is already enough reason to be glad and to be filled with so much excitement that I can't help but reflect it in my smile. :-)


Finally, the mass has already started. Our group tried to enter the Grandstand and hoped to somehow see him even from afar. But our tired feet and legs and shaking bodies were speaking loudly to us that they couldn't go far anymore. So we just decided to find the nearest LED screen and stay in front of it as we prepared for the mass. When I looked around, people were beginning to convene in the stretch of Roxas Boulevard. The rain was still unstoppable but no one can stop the people from hearing the mass at that time. I was thinking, "Lord, these are your people who are willing to sacrifice and brave the storm just to hear Your message today through our beloved Pope. And I am one of them. Awesome!" :-)


While I stood there in the rain with only a scarf, a jacket (that my SFC ate lent me since I didn't have any at that time), and a plastic cover to protect myself from it, I finally understood what other people mean when they say the Filipino spirit is water-proof. I experienced that yesterday. I was soaking wet from head to toe, but I have seen my faith soaring higher than before, ignoring the chill.


"To be the salt of the earth and light to the world for You, Jesus..."
That song just kept playing in my head that time.
The parting words of Archbishop Soc Villegas captivated my heart. "Pope, you are our sunshine. You are our raincoat." It was so true that I was sure even the Pope felt it and was almost teary-eyed (though I swear I saw a tear running down his cheek and wiped it with his right hand). He listened very intently and he responded very warmly to the Filipinos. To us.


I would like to end this note with one of the many things Pope Francis shared with us during his visit here in the Philippines:



"If you lose the capacity to dream, then you lose the capacity to love." :)



Thank you Pope Francis for giving us hope, for filling our hearts with warm words and strong reminders of God's love for all of us. Thank you for encouraging us to always dream and to always hold on to it. Thank you for regarding the Filipinos as the missionaries of the light. Thank you for reminding us that love can indeed cast out all fears. It is our love for you that made us conquer the cold and the rain. Thank you for this unique and memorable Jesus experience. Thank you for bringing me closer to Him. :-) The real challenge here, I think, is applying what we have learned from you in our everyday lives. To still feel inspired to spread the good news and love more even after you've gone back home.


And, even though it's seems like it's impossible for you to read this note, I and my millions of countrymen are and will always be praying for you. God bless you, Pope Francis! Until next time, Lolo Kiko! :-)




PS: That song from the caption by the way is entitled Mission Ready. I just thought the song could sum up all the teachings Pope Francis shared with us during his visit. If you want to hear it, kindly visit this link:


http://www.sfcglobal.org/articles_details.aspx?id=270