Have a Little Faith

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I recently finished reading the book of Mitch Albom that was released internationally. I do not have a copy of this book yet. But, I will definitely get one. I know that many people will be benefited if I would get a copy. :) Besides, it will complete my Mitch Albom collection. :) I already have, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, For One More Day and Tuesdays With Morrie. Soon, I will get Have a Little Faith. :)

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The book was released in 2009. When I read the teaser of the book, it didn’t really interest me. But since, it was written by Mitch, I have this confidence that it is a good book. Something that is worthwhile reading. :)

My friend and colleague Ruth, lent me her copy. When I started reading the book, believe me, I couldn’t take my eyes from it anymore! I just need to convince myself to stop for a while and get a good sleep for I need to go to work in the evening. Sometimes, my mother will just turn off the light in our room so I would stop reading!

The book is about two leaders from different religion; opposing religions. One was a Jew rabbi and the other one was a Christian Pastor. Rabbi Albert Lewis was Mitch one and only rabbi. Mitch was asked by Rabbi Al to do his eulogy. Mitch didn’t know then that the rabbi had cancer. On the other hand, Mitch met Pastor Henry Covington in Detroit. He was the senior pastor at I Am My Brother’s Keeper. Mitch learned about the humanitarian activities led by the pastor in his church and Mitch wanted to extend some help.

The two church leaders may have different beliefs, follow different traditions and may have been raised differently, but both taught us to be kind and be a accountable for one another. :)

I am Christian, a Catholic. Yet, I admired the late rabbi of Mitch. I learned a lot from him by simply reading the book. On the other hand, Pastor Henry taught us that each one of us was given a chance not only once but God is patiently giving us chance after another to renew our faith and turn back to Him. Pastor Henry made us realize how forgiving our God is. He also reminded us that in the end of our life, we will still be judged by what we have done.

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Mitch with Rabbi Albert Lewis

The book only states that Rabbi Al passed away and Mitch also wrote his eulogy for Rabbi Al. He also kept his promise to his Rabbi, that the Reb will not die a second death. Second death: which the rabbi said as being forgotten. He also mentioned the help that was extended to Pastor Henry’s church in Detroit.

As I finished reading the book, I prayed to Rabbi Al. I believe that we may have different faith, nor he wouldn’t know, I believe that he is now happy and rejoicing with God. :)

On the other hand, I searched over the Internet about what has become of Pastor Henry. I was able to find his church website and learned about the hole in the roof of their church. And, the memorial concert for his foundation.

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Pastor Henry Covington

I was really surprised when I learned that Pastor Henry has passed away as well. He passed away peacefully on bed while sleeping in one of the hotels in New York in December, 2010. He and Mitch attended in an interview earlier that day. :( Upon learning about his death, I immediately offered a prayer for the late pastor.

Rabbi Al and Pastor Henry taught us that even if we came from different faith, there is only one God. We may call our god differently, we may have different traditions and festivals to commemorate our faith, at the end of the day, we still worship one and only God. And, whatever congregation or religion we belong, we are taught to love, care, respect and be accountable for our neighbors. :)

I believe that Rabbi Al and Pastor Henry are both with God now. Both are happy. Both are content. Both are lucky that in their lifetime, they have met a good friend in Mitch; who made a way for them not to die a second death. Truly, both Rabbi Al and Pastor Henry will always be remembered.

I recommend that you get a copy of this great and inspiring book. :)

Ciao! :)

Is Sto. Niño a saint, too?

All About Faith, Feast and Festivities 1 Comment »

The follow up question there was, “Is Jesus a saint, too?” :) Those were the questions that Nonet asked me as we watch the parade last January 15 (2012) to commemorate the Feast of Sto. Niño. In the Catholic calendar the feast of the Sto. Niño is celebrated every third Sunday of January.

In our parish, the parade was held after the 6:30AM high mass. I used to participate in this feast when I was younger. Well, I don’t remember anymore the last time I joined the said feast. It was either when I was still in high school or a freshman college student. When my sisters and I were younger, our mother used to take us to the altar of Sto. Niño in the Immaculate Conception church in Pasig during our birthday. We lit candles and pray before little Jesus. We also whisper our wishes to him. :) Happy memories of childhood. :)

Since, we’re not able to participate in the parade; we just brought with us our little Sto. Niño. As we wait for parade to pass by our “looban”, Nonet asked if Sto. Niño is a saint too. I said no. I told her that Sto. Niño is Jesus in a child form. I guess, she still didn’t quite get it, so she asked again; “Is Jesus a saint, too?” I told her that Jesus is God. Since He is a god, He is holy even when He is a child. I told her that in Spanish, a little boy is called a niño and since he is holy, we call Him in our native language as Santo. Thus, Sto. Niño means holy child. I bet she understood my explanation, because she asked me how a little girl in Spanish is called. I told her, it was niña. She smiled to me and said; “I am Niña Nonet.” :)

As the parade passed us, we enjoyed music from the marching bands. Nonet loves watching the kids play the drums for the parade. She also wanted to have a kids drum set. Well, maybe soon. Hehehe! :) We danced our own Niño as we watched other statues of Niño danced and dressed in different costumes. :)

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The feast of the Sto. Niño is celebrated in different parts of the country. The two famous celebrations of Sto. Niño are Sinulog Festival in Cebu and Dinagyang Festival in Ilo-Ilo City. There are lots of street dancing, music, food and colorful costumes. People from all over the Philippines and even from other parts of the world flock to these cities to join the festival. I have not been to any but I hope one day, I would. :)

I don’t see anything wrong in celebrating feast and festivals like this. For me it is a celebration of faith, of what we believe in. But, I just hope that above the beauty and fun that these festivals brought us, we shouldn’t forget the reason behind these celebrations.

In this feast and festival, we remember Jesus as a child. It may be said easier than done, but the feast reminds us to imitate the characteristics of Jesus, when He was still a child and as He became a man and redeemed the world from sin. It is okay to be a devotee of Sto. Niño, but we shouldn’t forget that Sto. Niño and Jesus is one. And that He is part of the Holy Trinity of a one and only God. :)

God bless us all!

Ciao! :)

Enchanted Kingdom: The Magic Stays With You

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I believe the most awaited place in the educational trip was Enchanted Kingdom in Sta. Rosa Laguna. We arrived at the park maybe between 12:30 to 1PM.

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It was my third visit and Nonet’s first. My first visit was when I was in 4th high school. Long long ago. My second was in 2004. Quite a while still. I was really happy to be back. Nothing much has changed in EK since my last visit. But, I am still enchanted by the park’s beauty. The stone train still sits in the Boulderville. I had a picture in its first coach, and I had Nonet’s picture taken in the same spot. :)

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It was a Thursday and there were only few people around compared to the number of people during weekends. We’re able to enjoy almost all the rides. I was surprised on Nonet’s bravery. She was not afraid to try the different rides around. :)

Our first ride was the roller coaster. I was carried away with Nonet’s excitement and courage. She even raised her hands when the coaster goes down. :) We enjoyed driving the bump car and the bump boat.

Her friends enjoyed the different kiddie rides especially the carousal. We also went up aboard one of the cabins of Wheel Fate. Nonet was not afraid of heights. I kept on telling her not to look down but she enjoyed our height and the top view of EK park! I enjoyed that ride, too. :)

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We saved Riogrande Rapids for last. It’s a good thing, Ate Mhiles asked me to bring clothes for Nonet and I. I brought extra pair of jeans, shirts and undies for both of us. Pau’s bag was a big help, too. It was truly a waterproof bag!

We took the rapids twice. The kids enjoyed it too. They loved getting wet! :)

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After changing into dry clothes, Nonet and I had a little shopping. I bought her and mama a shirt. I also bought Wizard wand and the penguin. I asked if she wanted Eldar instead but she preferred the penguin. Before I brought the penguin; we had an agreement that she will be more obedient and kind to mommy and mama. So, every time she gets a little “pasaway” I always remind her about our agreement with the penguin. :)

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Truly it was a day of fun, laughter and camaraderie. I get to meet parents and make new friends. It was one day I would never forget. :)

Ciao! :)

At the Gourmet Farm

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Our next stop was the Gourmet Farm. On our way to the said farm, we were able to pass through and admire the beauty of the world’s smallest volcano, Taal Volcano. From the distance, it looks so harmless and quiet. But, the said volcano is still active even to these days.

Nonet and I were able to enjoy the beauty of nature as we headed to Gourmet farm. As expected, Gourmet farm houses “farm” of culinary herb. Rosemary, basil, oregano and many more. I wasn’t able to write down the different herbs around the farm. They also offer fresh lettuce and other veggies that you can find in a garden salad. Their products include salad dressings and sauces. I believe that the children were able to enjoy that visit. The parents did, too. The farm’s landscape is fantastic. The fresh air that blows our hair is very relaxing and calming. It was really time to unwind and to energize. (We would need a lot of energy going to our next stop).

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I learned that Gourmet farm’s prime product is coffee. I am a coffee person but I wasn’t able to buy one from their store. The available coffee on their shelf needs a coffee maker. I don’t have a coffee maker yet at home.

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We had our lunch in Gourmet farm. They served us a very delicious iced tea. :)

Hope to come back there again.

Ciao! :)

The Gardenia Aroma

Little Antoinette No Comments »

Last January 12 (2012), Nonet joined her classmates and friends in their school’s annual educational trip. Due to budget constrain, mama wasn’t able to join us in the trip. Only Nonet and I were able to come. The itinerary of the day includes visit to Gardenia, The Gourmet Farm and Enchanted Kingdom. We were aboard Milesmine bus and Tito Edward was our coach captain. Ate Ann was our tour guide. :)

We had different ice breakers and mini games inside the bus. Nonet and I actively participated and we got a limited edition bag tag and pin! You bet, those items are not available in any malls around. :P

Our first stop was Gardenia in Binan, Laguna. We’re able to see the plant but were not allowed to take pictures inside the plant. I bet there are surveillance cameras and baby monitors like equipment around the facility. As we know, production field is a company’s top secret. :) I was really amazed on how the baking process has been developed from pounding wheat to manually mixing the ingredients in making bread to an automatic process! Certainly, the end product is untouched by human hands.

I remember Nonet telling me that when we buy bread, it should be Gardenia, so we’ll be assured of its freshness! :) Gardenia was able to win a customer in my daughter. :)

We’re not able to take pictures at Gardenia grounds because of me. I bought some bread from the company’s store. The loaves of bread were placed in paper bag which was torn apart even before we got into the bus. I needed to go back to the store to get another bag.

Nevertheless, we really enjoyed the tour inside Gardenia’s plant. :)

Ciao! :)

A Guide to Twilight Saga!

My Books No Comments »

If I am not mistaken, I have been waiting for this book to be released in the market since 2010 (or 2009). Finally it was released in April 2011. I was really excited when I saw it at National Bookstore. I told myself that I will have a copy of it. I didn’t have enough budget to buy the book when I first saw it, though.  I decided that I will buy the book in December, when I received my 13th month pay. :)

When we had exchange gifts in the office, I didn’t have any second thoughts of choosing this book. I really like it and whether or not there is an exchange gift, I still would have buy one. When we’re asked to fill out the wish list, I asked for this book. The price of the book cost twice the amount the team has agreed on. When I wrote my wish list, I added a note that I will just pay the difference. :)

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On December 23 shift, we had our team’s Christmas dinner and exchange gift. I was really happy to receive this book. Thanks to Master Weng Mosura who is really kind. He has saved me a thousand peso. :)

I really wanted to go home then and started reading this. Hehehe! :) I was able to complete the 4 novels of the Saga in 2009. I got all of them from Fully Booked! I have waited 2 years for this book to arrive and you bet, it is worth the wait! Thanks Stephenie Meyer! :)

Ciao! :)

Welcoming 2012!

Feast and Festivities No Comments »

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR to all! It may sound late already but, hey we had just completed the first week of 2012! :)

We celebrated New Year’s Eve at home like we always do. Since, my sisters and my daughter are asthmatic, and I am afraid of fire crackers, we didn’t really get out of the house to watch beautiful fireworks display. But my mother did. :)

My first week of January 2012 has been the same like any other week.  Work, home, a little Internet, a little TV, reading books, playing with Nonet and doing house chores. There’s not much difference. Nothing new? None yet, I guess. Hehehe!

When I was younger, I used to do a list of New Year’s Resolution. But, when I become older, I do not do the list anymore. Because, if you want to change for a better, then you can change today. You don’t need to wait for a “new year” to do a difference in your life. You can do it today! :)

There had been a lot of speculations about 2012. That, the end of the world will be this year. That the recent, calamities happening around the world are signs that the end is near. But, if you think about those calamities, like the recent Typhoon Sendong (which took almost a thousand lives), the reason of flash floods and land slides is because the mountains surrounding the area are bald, due to illegal logging. Now, who’s to blame? Are we going to blame it to God again? Well, I don’t think so. God loves us so much that He even gave His son to suffer and to die on the cross to save us. I guess, it’s time for us to take responsibility of our doings. I really hate those people who keeps on blaming others, the government, for their misfortunes.

We can only pray for a better year. An abundant and better 2012.  As for the end of the world, no one really knows when it will happen. We just have to be faithful and pray, pray and pray. We shouldn’t be afraid because God loves us so much!

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Ciao! :)

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