An Outreach @ Gabihan

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When my sister Pauline was working on her thesis entitled; “I Survived; The Phenomenology of Ondoy Survivors, she was able to meet people who were greatly affected of the said typhoon. Typhoon Ondoy hit Metro Manila and its nearby provinces on September 26, 2009. In the news, we learned that many people lost their lives especially those who live in Providence Village in Marikina City. In my sister and her team’s research, they found out, that there were more unreported casualties in Tanay, Rizal. That paved way in finding the relocation site in Gabihan, Tandang Kutyo, Tanay Rizal.

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Instead of having a Christmas party, the praesidium (Legion of Mary) in which Pau, my cousin and our Tita Evelyn belong to, they decided to do an outreach program for the residence of Gabihan. They got donations from kind hearted people and from our barangay council. Most of the groceries were out of pocket expenses.

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Pauline and April re-packed the goods and used clothes into 40 bags. The following day, Tita Evelyn brought in more goods so while they are preparing for their trip, I helped Sis. Nida and Sis. Lori re-packed the rest of the groceries and rice. When I learned that they were only six women to go there, I decided to join them.

With God’s blessings and Mama Mary’s help, we didn’t have a hard time finding an empty jeepney which will take us to Tanay. The trip lasted for almost two hours. When we reached Barangay Tandang Kutyo, the barangay officials let us used their service going to Gabihan.

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The relocation site is being managed by Gawad Kalinga. The housing project is being helped by Teleperformance. There are certain categories before a family can truly own the house they are occupying and turn it into a concrete one.

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The houses that were provided to people affected by Ondoy are made of sawali wall and stainless roof.

The life there is simple yet, you know that people are having a hard time living. Most of the families in the area do not have any means of living. There are few who works in town, but most of them depend only for whatever help that will come from someone or from the government. I was really moved by how the people and the children look. It was Sunday morning, and yet you may not think that they came from sleeping. The children were deprived from food, from clothes, toys and shoes. Looking at them, I remember my daughter Antoinette, who in spite of paternal family issues, was never deprived of any of those things. Nonet has always food on her table. She has plenty of cookies in her jar. She has number of pairs of shoes and slippers; plenty of clothes to wear and toys. How grateful I am to the Lord. I realized that I shouldn’t be that extravagant anymore when it comes to buying Nonet clothes, toys and shoes. For there are so many children, who couldn’t even afford to have at least a pair. :(

There are around 250 registered families and we only got 40 grocery bags. We were able to add 20 little pales with 2 kilos of rice in each. That made a total of 60 goods to be given. Since, it is still not enough, we decided to have the goodies be raffled off.

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We know that the goods we gave them will not be enough for a week, at least, they would have something to eat for more than a day. We were told by the barangay secretary that what we have given is more than enough.

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It was tiring day yet we were all fulfilled. I learned to appreciate my life, my work, my family and everything that I have, more after that visit. :)

Ciao! :)

Angels in Disguise

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I had immediate financial needs this week and I really don’t know how to resolve it. I don’t know where to find money. At the back of my mind I know that God will help me resolve it, that I just need to have faith. And, He did. God never let me down. :)

I asked few friends but they didn’t have extra money anymore, too. Yet, they helped me in their own ways to find some. I really appreciate the gesture and their efforts to help me. :) I was worried then but I didn’t lose hope. I know that everything will be okay for I have God. And, once again, He never left me.

In spite of the many terrible things that happen in our world today, it is still good to know that there are still people around us that we can really call as our friends; that God truly will never leave us no matter what happens. We just need to have faith and never lose our trust in Him.

Thank you to all my friends. You are God’s sent to me. You are all my angels in disguise. :)

God bless us all!

Ciao! :)

Good deed makes one feel good

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On our way home from the mass last Sunday, I saw a lady accidentally dropped a Php500 bill. The money was drop near the rear wheels of a car. The incident happened very fast, and by instinct, I immediately picked the money and ran after the lady. I was able to give the money to the lady. She was still in shock when I left her. She didn’t know that she dropped a bill, and maybe she was really surprised when it was returned to her. :)

It was a great feeling. :)

I told my mother who was with me at the time, that if I didn’t see the lady dropped the money, and if the money was just lying on the street, then I would take it and tag it as “finders keeper.” But then, I was able to see what happened. Honestly, I didn’t have any second thoughts of returning it. And, even if I am experiencing financial difficulties, I do not have any regrets of doing what I did. :)

Truly, good deed will make you feel good!

Ciao! :)

True Love is Selfless Love

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In our lifetime we may give and receive different kinds of love. There’s friendship love, platonic love, paternal love, maternal love, sisterly love, brotherly love, unrequited love and many other forms of love. One may also say that once in our lifetime we have found a love called, true love.

How do we define true love? How can one say that the love he is feeling is true love? How can you be sure that the love you found is true love?

Sometimes we’ll say that when you found true love it would mean a lot of sacrifices. Yet, amidst all the sacrifices we did, if we didn’t get the kind of love we expect to receive, then we get hurt. Well, it is normal for us people that if we fall in love, we tend to expect love in return.

When we speak of true love, we speak of a selfless love. I remember a song written for the the celebration of the Year of the Son, Jesus Christ, about few years ago. The song was entitled, Only Selfless Love.

It is true that the love Jesus has given and giving the world is a selfless love. His love couldn’t be compared to any forms of love we have felt or we are feeling.

Yet, I believe that we can still find true love in spite of us being human. When we fall inlove with someone and we learned to accept the love he can give or wouldn’t give, and add up ample amount of prayers, then you will just find yourself hoping and praying for his or her success and being happy when he is. I mean truly happy. :) The said person may not know all your good wishes for him or for her; he or she may not even recognize you, yet inspite of these all, you continue to value that person in your heart. And, by simply loving the said person, makes you happy. :)

Wether that person loves you back or not, it wouldn’t matter anymore. You may continue to love and be truly happy when he is, yet there wouldn’t be any pain of rejection or not being loved. :)

If that happens, then you can say to yourself that you really have found true love. :)

Ciao! :)  

Missing my girlfriends..

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Still doing a clean up in my Outlook, and I found an email sent by my friend Judy last August 2010. Too bad of me not to read the email which contains a very valuable message. Let me post it here. After reading this message, I cannot help but really miss my girl friends… :(

A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea and visiting with her mother. As they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter, ‘Don’t forget your sisters,’ she advised, swirling the tea leaves to the bottom of her glass. ‘They’ll be more important as you get older. No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may have, you are still going to need sisters. Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them.’ ‘Remember that ‘sisters’ means ALL the women…your girlfriends, your daughters, and all your other women relatives too. ‘You’ll need other women. Women always do.’

What a funny piece of advice!’ the young woman thought. Haven’t I just gotten married? Haven’t I just joined the couple-world? I’m now a married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup! Surely my husband and the family we may start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile!’

But she listened to her mother. She kept contact with her sisters and made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her mother really knew what she was talking about. As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, sisters are the mainstays of her life.

After more than 50 years of living in this world, here is what I’ve learned: THIS SAYS IT ALL:
Time passes.
Life happens.
Distance separates.
Children grow up.
Jobs come and go.
Love waxes and wanes.
Men don’t do what they’re supposed to do.
Hearts break.
Parents die.
Colleagues forget favors.
Careers end.


Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you. A girl friend is never farther away than needing her can reach. When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley’s rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley’s end.

Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you….Or come in and carry you out. Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, Mothers, Grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, and extended family all bless our life!

The world wouldn’t be the same without women, and neither would I. When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other.

Every day, we need each other still. :)

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Share this to all the you women and girl friends in your life! :)

Ciao! :)

A Carrot, An Egg and a Cup of Coffee

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A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.
She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.
She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it.
After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity … boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water. “Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?
Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Yahweh I Know You Are Near

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After my check up witn an ENT doctor at TMC last Friday, I heard the 12Noon mass held at the second floor of the said hospital. It was a blessing that I heard the mass. :)

Everyday, we face life challenges that test our faith.  Like many others, my family always experience financial difficulties. And now, my sister and I are sick and we cannot go to work. We do not have enough savings to support our everyday needs. I never lose faith in God. But, sometimes, you would really feel that God doesn’t seem to hear your pleas. :( But I know in my heart that it isn’t true. I have this big faith and belief that God can always hear our cries and He listens to our prayers. Maybe, it is not His time yet to answer our prayers.

Amidst the difficulties I am going through right now, I believe and I know that He is there and He loves me more than I ever know. :) When I heard the mass, the communion song was Yahweh, I know You are Near. I am not sure whether it was just a coincidence that the choir sang the song, but what I know God made me feel then that He is near…

He is near and we should not lose faith in Him. Praise be to God!

Ciao! :)

A Mother’s Love

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When you just read the title of Mitch Albom’s novel, For One More Day, you would already have an idea that the main character of the story would ask for another day; maybe to go back to the day where he wanted to correct things he wanted to do otherwise; or wanted to do something which he has not done, which he is supposed to. For one more day.. If you will be given a chance to go back to a certain day in your life, what would it be?

I asked that question to myself long before I started reading through the book’s pages. To be honest, it took me a while to decide which day, would it be. I tried to balance the days that I wanted to go back and do the things I should have and I shouldn’t have. I thought about the things it would do in the future. It was really a headache! :)

Since, I have been asked to have an absolute voice rest by the ENT doctor I have seen due to acute laryngitis, I have all the time to read and finish my new book. ? I cannot work effectively in a call center, if I am asked to do voice rest by the specialist. :)

At first I found the book boring. It wasn’t as exciting as the Five People You Meet in Heaven. But, as I continue reading through its pages until the last, I was able to appreciate the book. I love the story. ? I was able to appreciate more my mother and I as a mother, too. :)

Indeed the book is not only about Charley spending another day with his dead mother, but it is a story of a mother; a story about mother’s love for her family and especially for her children. It is a story of how a mother would stand for her children. How she would endure the sacrifices and the pain she would endure for her children. :)

“..when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.”
(For One More Day, Mitch Albom)

After reading the book, I think of how many more sacrifices I will have to bear for my daughter. She’s only five years old and I have a long way to go. I am scared for I do not how I would be able to raise her and feed her and send her to school like my mother did to us. But, I know that I would be able to do so with God’s help and mercy and with my family sticking around.

I am thankful to God for giving our family a mother like us. She’s not the perfect mother but she’s the greatest. :)

“..parents.. if they love you, will hold you safely, above their swirling waters, and sometimes that means you’ll never know what they endured, and you may treat them unkindly, in a way you otherwise wouldn’t.
But there’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because here is where yours begins

Ciao! :)

For One More Day

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As a price for myself for finishing the book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, I bought another book written by Mitch Albom, entitled For One More Day.  I got the book from NBS sale at Ever Gotesco Mall Ortigas last Saturday. I had second thought of getting this book because, I feel like it would affect me emotionally because it is about mother. I almost return the book to the shelf when  the receipt printer has stopped printing receipt of the customer in front of us, taking it as a “sign.”

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But my sister Pauline told me to buy the book and just get Have a Little Faith as my next price. So I did! :)

I am still reading the book for I have been disturbed lately because of my voice. Well, I will tell you about my insights about the said book once I am done with it.

Ciao! :)

Not Just a Common One

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While I was putting my daughter to sleep, I am contemplating on how a common person would just turn into a royalty. We always thought that it only happens in fairy tales. We have grown up with stories such as Cinderella, The Beauty and the Beast and Rapunzel. All the girls in the said stories do not have any royal blood or do not come from any royal lineage; they are just common persons.

One day we met Kate Middleton as Prince William girlfriend. Today, she is now addressed as Her Royal Highness Princess Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. What a lucky girl she is. She is now part of the world’s most admired monarch.

Two days after her marriage, another common person has been beatified as a blessed person. Pope John Paul II was not born to have a royal blood. He may not be born with a golden spoon, but he is just a step a way to become part of God’s most love saints, and be venerated as a holy one.

Princess Catherine may have been called as a commoner but because of the love she and Prince William shared, she has been part of the monarchs and most love royal family of United Kingdom. :)

On the other hand, because of the good deeds Pope John Paul II has done while he was still alive, God has blessed him to be recognized as a “Blessed” one.

The two may have lived a common life but both of them ended up with a kingdom. :)

Prince Harry may still be single but in reality, it would not be that easy to find a real prince to marry to become a princess. But one thing is for sure (though it may be easier said than done); it is likely that we become a saint if only we would live the life that God wanted us to live. :)

Ciao! :)

Blessed John Paul II

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If I had become a baby boy, my mother would have named me John Paul; after Pope John Paul II. My mother was five months pregnant when Pope John Paul II first visited the Philippines in 1981. My mother shared that she didn’t mind running through Quezon City Circle just to get a good view of the Pope. She was with her aunt when the Pope made a procession on board an open carriage full of flowers. :) She recalled the different feeling of happiness when she saw the Pope; it was an unexplainable joy.

I was in high school when I got the chance to see the Pope’s rosy cheek and his holiness. I participated in the 1995 World Youth Day. I was one of those many people who camped in the Luneta Grandstand to attend the holy mass led by the Pope. I was one of the thousands who waited the turn to see him and to feel the blessings of God through him. It was a wonderful feeling. I can still recall his smile and the love he had for people. :)

Last May 1, 2011, the beatification of Pope John Paul II was held at the Vatican City led by the Pope Benedict XVI. He was beatified for a nun has been healed from Parkinson’s disease through Pope John Paul II’s prayer. One more miracle and he will be canonized to be a saint. :)

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Pope John Paul II has performed a lot of miracles while he was still alive. He was the pope that made a difference. He was the one who tell the world of God’s love. Many people believe that he will be canonized soon. He was loved so much by God and the holy mother.

I have uttered my own prayers through him. But, I hope and pray that he would continue to pray for my country and the all the countries in the world. He was the most loved pope of all times. Who knows, that through his prayers, God will bless us more and our world will have peace and would be a much better place to live in. :)

Ciao! :)

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

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I was really exhausted when I get off from work last Thursday. To release the stress I am feeling I decided to visit a bookstore. I went to NBS at Cybermall on my way home. The store is offering 20% off from selected books. I am planning to get a Nancy Drew or a Hardy Boys Classic Mystery Collection but this branch is not offering it anymore. It took me a while to decide on what book to get. I even had second thoughts of buying one, since I am running out of cash. I went to the Classic books to the inspiration one.

Like me, my sisters love reading books, too. But, unlike them, I do not read books that don’t have any happy endings. I don’t like reading books that will require deep thinking. Reading for me is a relaxation. My youngest sister Pauline loves reading the novels of Nicolas Sparks, Paolo Coeli and Mitch Albom. When she tells the stories of what she read to us, I didn’t really get interested of reading what she had read. Although, both of them convinced me that I would enjoy reading the works of Mitch Albom.

I decided to get one of Mitch Albom’s work, The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I just finished reading the book this afternoon and I enjoyed it. :)

Most of us thought of heaven as a paradise. A place where you can see crystal clear water of the river, birds chirping and flying freely. Abundant fruit trees and flowering plants. A place where there are no hunger and thirst. A place where we reunite with our relatives and friends who came home before us.

In the story, Mitch Albom shared the experience of his own uncle, Eddie. How Eddie met five different people, who had affected his life on earth. It is surprising that Eddie didn’t meet the said people in one place alone. Yet, he met the said people in different places. The places where he met those people are chosen by them. The places they have chosen, one way or another were heaven while they were still alive.

The five people that Eddie met in heaven were not all his relatives. Some, he didn’t really know personally but has touched and made a difference in his life.

Eddie thought that his life was a waste. What he didn’t know that his humble work as ride maintenance head in a pier park, had saved many many lives.

After reading the book, I asked myself, when I die, who will be those five people I will meet that will enlighten me; people who will explain what my life had become on earth and why I died.

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One thing is for sure, we people are all connected. In the end, we would be judged on how we live our lives on earth. Now that we still have time and blessed with opportunities to do good and show compassion to our neighbors, then we must do it now. Like what the Blue Man told Eddie in the book, STRANGERS ARE JUST FAMILY YOU HAVE YET TO COME TO KNOW. :)

Ciao! :)

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