Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dare with God

I dared to be frank… and I got the answer I desired. There is something to look forward to.


I dared send in my application... and it brought me to wonderful places.

I dared accept the responsibility… and I grew up.


I dared subscribe… and I learned a lot.  And learning still.


I dared send my request… it was denied. It’s okay. I am being taught to persevere.


I dared ask to be part of the blog tour. Even if I am at the other side of the world. And I am happy to be one of the first ones to receive a copy of the Wild Goose Chase. It is helping point me to chase the Spirit of God.


And I am telling you… Dare with God.


You have all to gain and nothing to lose.


I am excited!

Chase the  Goose!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Memories of Kadayawan Festival in Davao

I knew that I was really in Davao when the strong smell of Durian welcomed me at the arrivals section of the airport. To the uninitiated, the scent of this unique fruit may be overpowering. But to us, it reminds us of the South. 

The Maranao tribe was one of the participants.

And then off to breakfast at Tapps. It is now, officially, one of my favorite breakfast places in the Philippines. Why? Because of its unique design. A never-ending narrow and misshapen table partnered with many stools. To maximize the space. And specifically because of the many choices of combo meals. I chose Tobangsilog.Where else would one find such an interersing name for food? TOcino, BANGus (milkfish), SInangag (fried rice) and itLOG (egg). Moi, who loves variety when eating food, finds this place simple yet heavenly.

The Eagle Center is well-maintained. Surely, it is a learning place. Even the plants all over the place had nametags. The long pathway which guided the visitors to their destination was full of stones with carved names… of sponsors. I saw our famous monkey-eating eagles. I wished that they were flying free but I do understand that they are being bred so that they won’t go extinct. Before leaving, I saw a bird flying high above, with outstretched wings. It was a nice good-bye.

Paradise Resort in Samal island will now be my benchmark for services rendered to guests. The staff was friendly, gave the right instructions and information, and most importantly, courteous. An overnight stay may be a little limiting to judge the place completely but it was enough. Flower petals inside the bathroom bowl, ready slippers, bottles of water, towels, a pail and a dipper (even if there was a working shower available), and an instant connection to the reception once you lift your phone. There were even fresh plastic bags to pack in your wet clothes! The shoreline is constantly being cleaned (really!). The waiters at the restaurant were always ready to take your order. And it is just a 10-minute boat ride from the city! I have to mention that the boats look new and clean. Kudos to the owners and management of this resort. I hope to go back someday. May the service continue to be the same (or even get better).

I missed seeing more than half of the participants in the street dance (Indak-indak sa Kadalanan). But taking hundreds of pictures and mingling with the last few groups of dancers more than made up for that. It was funny that even in Davao, the kids also make a “V” sign when their pictures are being taken.  The colors were striking, beautiful in their brightness, amazing because of the details. Later that afternoon, I saw them dance on television. Remembering that there were many who seemed to be as young as five years old, I couldn’t help but be amazed. I salute Davao for celebrating celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of each ethnic group.

The floral float parade (Pamulak sa Kadayawan) was a mixture of flower floats and the parade of humans in colorful clothes. There was a bit of frenzy over some actors. I got hit by a candy being thrown from a float. A policeman shooed people to the sidewalks but in fact, he was at the center of the road and blocking my view! The most amusing float was the large carabao as led by a man and flogged by another. I include here a few of the lovely flower floats.

I felt unsafe on the roads of Davao City. Only because I felt unsettled by their way of driving. They drive fast and stop suddenly. One never knows which car will go first. Or maybe I just got used to the many stoplights in Manila. I am fairly certain that DavaoƱes follow a certain rule that I do not understand. Other than that, I felt right at home. The people were helpful. The streets were clean. Big billboards dotted the roadside. It is a city that is homey. And the fruits. They literally flooded the streets.

What really hit me about Davao is the number of coffee places I saw. I am probably wrong about this but it seemed like there is one in every two streets I passed. Take into consideration that there are no international brands and thus be amazed about the choices of coffee places one has. I only visited two but their uniqueness makes them stand out. The two-floor building of BlueGre within Matina Town Square was modern yet makes one feel at home. Unfortunately, it was too dark to take its picture. What is is famous for? Durian coffee! Ever heard of such? I think only Davao offers this variety. Bits of durian come into your mouth with every sip of the hot coffee topped with whipped cream. Surprisingly, the slightly bitter taste of coffee mixed well with the unique taste of durian.

Not too many foods embrace a cause. Then learn from the Coffee for Peace, a charming coffee shop with a heart. It provides you with a healthy supply of caffeine while assuring your of fair trade, protection of the environment and the promotion of peace. While there, I couldn’t help but try their most expensive coffee. But it was cheaper than its counterpart in Manila (double or triple the price). Yeah, I tried Jack Nicholson's expensive coffee in the movie "Bucket List." The famous coffee that passes through a civet’s behind (or Kopi Luwak or Alamid locally). What I liked about it? It left no bitter after taste and it was cool to my throat. Did I mention that there is free wifi almost everywhere? Heavenly.

Davao deserves another visit. I know that there are many more places to discover and foods to savor.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008




I am so excited!

I even put on my shirt on the wrong side! A first, after so many years!

I am excited!

:- ) 

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to reality

It is one of the things I hate about traveling... that I have to go back to my real life. Especially if the reality you left for a few days is something that you don't want to deal with.

No one told me that adulthood means responsibilities. Maybe it was for the better. Otherwise, I would not have wanted to go through the process. But then, who among us can shirk from this natural course of things? I may try but it would just be denying something that is true.

I am glad for the prayers of people around me. I need those. Badly. And in His infinite mercy, God gave me a breakthrough. Well, at least for one particular problem. For the others? I know they will get resolved. One at a time. 

Just thinking aloud.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not the real Cinderella I was looking for

I should have taken it as a sign. The heavens were downcast. But then, I love the rain and thus, I hoped for a good show.


As I watched the story of Cinderella unfold, it suddenly dawned on me. It was, in fact, a timeless narration of the many opposites in life.


The rich and the poor. The wicked and the kind. The magical and the real. The possible and the impossible. The happy and the lonely. The single and the couple. The beautiful and the unlovely. The silly and the clever. To stay or to leave. Inside or outside. Safety and adventure.


The musical?


Enchanting. The only word that can describe the stage design. Specifically in the first half. Noteworthy is how smoothly the set transitioned. The most memorable was the magical transformation of the pumpkin into a coach. And of course, the stairs. The wonderful stairs where Cinderella glides in to capture the heart of Prince Charming. A necessary part of any fairytale. The second half was mostly a repetition of the first. The costumes were glamorous. But why did the stepsisters don gowns that were ludicrous? The rationale might be to make them stand out. And they did. It seemed their silliness was a bit too silly.


I wonder if anyone noticed that Prince Charming seemed to be the odd one out. No, not because he was so beautifully handsome. But he was much like the Prince Charming in the movie “Enchanting” who was out of place in a modern setting. Cinderella’s Prince Charming had the Shakespearean way of talking. And he was too emotional for my liking. Another rationale in the story: he did study abroad and he got the accent there. Question… was there any electricity between them? Or was I just too far to notice the sizzle that should exist between them?


My favorite is the fairy godmother. She remained consistent throughout the play. Her lines were funny. An interesting development from the classic story was how she initially insisted the impossibility of achieving Cinderella’s dreams. I see it now as a way for Cinderella to remain firm in her belief that the impossible can happen to those who have faith.


Something was definitely missing in the music. Passion? Chemistry? That X factor that we find in models but cannot pinpoint? The music was lively yet the first act felt flat. If the purpose was to make the 2nd act stand out, it succeeded. But not enough to carry the whole show. True, there are songs I liked. Such as “In my own little corner” and “Impossible.” But not good enough to make the show memorable. Frankly, I am beginning to forget what I saw and heard. For a moment or two during the show, I had to ask myself… did I go to a musical or to an amusing & visually breathtaking play with songs?


I left the show wanting for more.


The battle of the opposites became more palpable in the end when those if us in the balcony were deprived of seeing the heads of Prince Charming and Cinderella during the wedding ceremony. I know we paid for the cheapest among the tickets but we do deserve more than something which tasted like a pirated movie.


It’s elementary. Any girl or boy who had a semblance of normal childhood knows the story of Cinderella. Either it was narrated to us by our elders, we colored fairytale books or we attended birthday parties of this motif. Thus, we normally watch a musical about a well-known story not because we want to discover what happened. Instead, for a few hours in our busy lives, we desire to be transported into a world where the impossible become possible. Visually, Cinderella delivered. But as a whole? Ask me something else. 

Monday, August 18, 2008

A few treats...

After two weeks of crazy late nights over schoolwork, I finished another chapter! Yahooooooo!

I deserve some time off. Before I start with the next one. So what do I do?

Fed and played with my virtual Labrador puppy, Pokey. Other people from facebook have been feeding him. :- ( 


Gave medicine to my real Rottweiler dog, Cashmere. (just imagine! she has amoebiasis !) Poor dog. She is so sweet even if she does look serious. Try to imagine how to give two tablets of medicine to a dog? For five days, day and night. 

Opened emails and a friend suggested I watch a youtube about Laminin. Remembered that I also heard about it in the message of Pastor Jesse (his blog here) a few weeks ago. 

What else? Wishing that my book will soon arrive.

Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson


Most of us have no idea where we’re going most of the time. Perfect. 

“Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit–An Geadh-Glas, or ‘the Wild Goose.’ The name hints at mystery. Much like a wild goose, the Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed. An element of danger, an air of unpredictability surround Him. And while the name may sound a little sacrilegious, I cannot think of a better description of what it’s like to follow the Spirit through life. I think the Celtic Christians were on to something….

Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty also goes by another name: Adventure.” --from the introduction.


Author Bio:

Mark Batterson is the lead pastor of Washington , DC ’s National Community Church , widely recognized as one of America ’s most innovative churches. NCC meets in movie theaters at metro stops throughout the city, as well as in a church-owned coffee house near Union Station. More than seventy percent of NCC’ers are single twentysomethings who live or work on Capitol Hill. Mark is the author of the best-selling In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and a widely read blogger ( He lives on Capitol Hill with his wife, Lora, and their three children.


Cover art:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rick Warren's Faith Forum between Obama and McCain

For those who follow the election campaign in the States, watch and listen the answers that these two candidates gave to Pastor Rick Warren's questions. There are 12 clips (but only watch the first 9 since the last 3 are only ads and newscasters' interviews). 

Why did I watch these? Because we will be affected by the results.

On heaven and hell

If we insist on keeping Hell (or even Earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell.

I think earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region of Hell: and earth, if put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself.

Good, as it ripens, becomes continually more different not only from evil but from other good.

... from the Great Divorce, C.S. LEWIS

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Making an effort

It happens each time. When my schedule allows a visit to the gym or lifting some weights at home, the lazy in me kicks in. I find many reasons not to go. The gym is too far. There are so many people that I wouldn't be able to run on a treadmill. It is too hot. And so on and so forth.

And I go. And every time, I was happy that I did go. That I was able to increase my time running. That I lifted heavier dumbbells. That I stretched a little further. 

Much like Bible reading. It is so easy for me to find justifications not to open the great Book. Too tired. I forgot. Schoolwork. Movies to watch. And each time that I fight against the undisciplined in me, I find treasures in God's Word. 

I got reminded again when I watched this - - > Cremeans Court

Double Bind from Wild Goose Chase

Wild Goose Chase from Mark Batterson

Can I share a personal conviction? I think vision is the cure for sin. One reason many of us get entangled in sin is because we don't have enough God-ordained vision to keep us busy. The more vision you have, the less you will sin. And the less vision you have, the more you will sin. It is a vision that keeps us playing offense spiritually. 

Too often we try to stop sinning by not sinning. That is what psychologists call a double bind. It's sort of like saying, "Be spontaneous." You can't be spontaneous now that I've told you to be! The way to stop sinning is not by focusing on not sinning. The way to stop sinning is by getting a God-sized vision that consumes all your time and energy.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Inverted Christianiy

If you would describe your relationship with God as anything less than adventurous, then maybe you think you're following the Spirit, but you have settled for something less--something I call inverted ChristianityInstead of following the Spirit, we invite the Spirit to follow us. Instead of serving God's purposes, we want Him to serve ours. And while this may seem like a subtle distinction, it makes an ocean of difference. The result of this inverted relationship with God is not just a self-absorbed spirituality that leaves us feeling empty; it's also the difference between spiritual boredom and spiritual adventure.

What ifs...

Should I go towards that destination?

But if I do, what is waiting for me?

If I don't, I might miss the possibility of...

To go or not to go.

I don't like making decisions.

That's My King by S.M. Lockridge

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yawning Angels from Mark Batterson


Yawning Angels

Here is another book byte from Wild Goose Chase. Sharing a daily dose of Wild Goose until the book releases on August 19. 

Here's a thought that fired across my synapses not long ago: Do angels yawn? I know it seems like an inane theological question, but I seriously wonder if angels have the capacity to get bored. More importantly, I wonder if some of us are living such safe lives that not only are we bored, but so are our guardian angels

Chase the Goose! 

Sunday, August 10, 2008

What a week!

It has been a week since my birthday. I wrote several wishes on the spur of the moment, never really thinking that I would get most of what I mentioned. But good friends abound. Well, good friends who read my blog and then shared them to other friends.

For a week now, I have had new songs lined up in my iTunes. Thank you so much Claude for the music of Chris Tomlin. Gina surprised me with the latest collection of Lifehouse. I am happy to listen to these new songs again and again. And just today, Mean gave me a 4GB worth of music and movies. Beng must have raided SM when she decided to give me five new movie cds to watch! Ate Shawie promised to send me asap some health websites and to lend me what she considers a good book. I am also excitedly waiting to receive a new book through the post. Though I paid to see the musical Cinderella, I had dinner as a treat of friends. And included in Mean’s cd is a copy of Mamma Mia. I also watched a cute movie last Friday, for free, thanks to Mavic and Jason. I got a pretty blouse from my sister-in-law and another one is on its way, thanks to Mommy G. What’s more important is her promise to teach me how to put on make-up! In the middle of the week, I had a wonderful time with Arlene at Starbucks. I am still waiting for that valid comment but Ptr. Jesse always provides me with that. PJs, thanks for the greeting you posted in my former blog! Ate Grace completed the list when she handed over the envelope for the student I help send to school. Three other friends also helped out in this goal.

I received a pretty bag, a bracelet, a cake, 3 overseas phonecalls, a unique scarf, 3 e-greetings, and so many text and email messages. I am still receiving some more belated greetings.

Gina posed me a question about when was the last time I felt loved. The answer to that? This past week. I was happy to stop and receive the love and appreciation of friends and family. A special mention to my Makati Influencers ladies. I can’t imagine what life would be like without all of you.

And of course, I am thanking God. He has been revealing a lot of things in the past few weeks. I am glad that as we physically age, He allows us to mature spiritually and emotionally. 

I cannot see what the new year would bring but I have the assurance that the adventure with Him will continue.

Now, why didn’t I write down twenty items in my list? :- ) 

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Cut-and-Paste Christianity

From Mark Batterson (

In the beginning, God made man in His Image.

Man has been making God in his image ever since.

Call it naturalism. Call it anthropomorphism. Call it idolatry. Call it what you will. The end result of this spiritual inversion is a god that is about our size and looks an awful lot like us. And most of our spiritual shortcomings stem from this fundamental mistake: thinking about God in human terms. We make God in our image and what we’re left with is a God who can never surprise us, never astonish us, never overwhelm us, never transcend us. 

Thomas Jefferson loved the teachings of Jesus. In fact, the author of the Declaration of Independence once called them the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. But Jefferson was also a child of the Enlightenment. He didn’t have a cognitive category for miracles so Jefferson literally took a pair of scissors and cut them out of his King James Bible. It took him two or three nights. And by the time he was done, he had cut out thevirgin birth; cut out the angels; and cut out the resurrection. Jefferson extracted every miracle and the end result was a book titled the Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth or what is commonly referred to as the Jefferson Bible.

Hard to imagine isn’t it? And something rises up within those of us that believe the Bible is divinely inspired by God. Part of us scoffs or scolds Jefferson. You can’t pick-and-chooseYou can’t cut-and-pasteYou can’t do that to the Bible. But here’s the honest truth: while most of us can’t imagine taking a pair of scissors to the Bible and physically cutting verses out, we do exactly what Jefferson did. We ignore verses we cannot comprehend. We avoid verses we do not like. And we rationalize verses that are too radical. And we may not cut them out with a pair of scissors, but the end result is the same. We are trapped by our own logic. Our lives are limited to those things we can comprehend with our cerebral cortex. And we end up in the cage of our own assumptions. And the more assumptions we make, the smaller our cage becomes.

Excerpt from Wild Goose Chase

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Now I understand

Though it was sent to heaven, I still wondered why. So many possibilities, so many chances, but nothing materialized.

And then, it really dawned on me today. It really is so easy. Find it anywhere if you dare. The great question though, is it right?

For sure, I will still ask. I am writing this post to remind myself to remember the answer to that.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

A birthday blessing for me...

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above. James 1:17


A good person, out of the good treasure of the heart, brings forth good things. Matthew 12:35


Good people will be remembered as a blessing …. Proverbs 10:7

I am unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield


I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Oh, oh, oh

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten

Oh, yeah, yeah


Check out her website here.


Thankful that You are my friend! 

Birthday wishes

Any of the items below is welcome :- )

1. A CD copy of your favorite songs. I would like to develop my taste in music.
2. A copy of your favorite movie. I am sure that I can learn a lot from your point of view.
3. A short list of the websites that influenced you so much. I am interested to learn, too.
4. A copy of the book that had a great impact in your life. Or just lend it to me for awhile. I, too, am thirsty for wisdom.
5. Let's watch a musical. Your treat. I am easy to please.
6. If you have the budget, get me a pretty blouse.
7. Let's have coffee. This time, allow me to talk also.
8. Teach me how to put on make-up. That is a very good gift, indeed.
9. Make a valid comment on my recent blog. That is heartwarming.
10. Help me send a student to school. That can change the world. His world.

I am a simple gal. Greet me a happy birthday tomorrow.

Friday, August 01, 2008

What Paris means to me...

When I learned that my one-month training in Paris was given away, I felt betrayed. Why let a gift be bestowed and then have it taken away? I allowed myself one cry and brushed aside the tears. There is no use letting my eyes get puffy over something that I cannot change. It was a case of “God gives and God takes.”


Four years later, I have been to Paris thrice. And also to Geneva, to Rome and to London. Who could imagine that a girl who used to sell sweets to her classmates to earn extra would be able to travel to places one can only dream about? God’s faithfulness has seen me through so many stages in my life.


Trying to remember now, was it really my desire to go to France? I am not completely sure. I have this nagging feeling that it really was not my own dream. Possibly, I saw it as the culmination of what I studied in school. To go to the dream place that everyone else was raving about. The reality is, it gave me a sneak peak of more beautiful places to discover. It became my window to the world.


We have this tendency to want things, not realizing that they are not really the things we want and that we do not know what we want. When I went to Paris, I only had a slight idea of what I would find. Through Paris, I was able to go to Rome. And I realized, I love Rome more. I am not discounting the value of Paris. It is beautiful. In fact, I want to emphasize what it means to me. It will always be a reminder to me that I sometimes do not know what I want and love.


One other thing. If God can bless me with wonderful things that I thought I so desired, imagine what He can do with things He knows that I truly love and want? A real father would only want to give the best to his child. And I know that my Father in heaven has always surprised me with everything He knows is best for me. 

As He continues to teach me to dream my own dreams and to listen to His will, I will continue to remember Paris for what it has pointedly taught me.  

Do you want to grow?

Feed yourself with wisdom!

Read the Bible!

Lion Chaser Manifesto

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshiping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Chase the lion.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson (