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Of School and Peace and Grace

June 24, 2013

Oopsy, it’s been so long since I last updated this blog.

Today, since my work email has been acting up and I can’t yet work productively, I decided that instead of letting the tech difficulties of my email push me to rip my hair because of utmost annoyance, I’ll just update my wordpress.

Hehe.

Just a quick update right here:

My classes started already! Yes! I got accepted into UP’s MBA Program!😀 Praise God, indeed. I can say with all conviction that without Him, I would have probably flunked the whole screening process.  From the GPAT, to the interview, to the Proficiency Exams (and to the retake hehehe), He was guiding and encouraging me. Seriously, during the start of the retake (I had to retake Accounting, Calculus, and Statistics), I almost could not comprehend anything. I was staring blankly on the piece of paper right in front of me. I was so nervous that even my grasp of the English language seemed to have left. So I just really prayed and lifted everything up to Him. Knowing that this journey is all part of His plans for my life.🙂

On a side note, I kinda miss being an Atenean but I am also immensely grateful to be given the opportunity to study in UP. TWO of the most beautiful campuses here. TWO of the BEST universities in the Philippines.🙂

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I am truly in a season of grace. And I am very very very thankful for all the blessings, they might not necessarily come in the form of financial abundance (hahahaha!), but this peace in my heart is worth so much more.🙂

Two things that I try to carve into my heart at this season:

1. Love. Without condition, love. Like Jesus did. This is something I’ve been repeating to myself over and over, because I get annoyed easily. I can hate something so easily. And even though it’s the kind of hate that I hastily decide upon, it will still plant something dark inside my heart. It can ruin my peace and shield me from openly receiving the grace of God. And even though at times my hatred roots from injustice and inequality and human sin that I despise, I have to remind myself that Jesus loved the sinners. Jesus dined with them. Jesus forgave them. It is very difficult to love the unlovable, but LOVE is the core of Jesus’ life.

And:

Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. 1 John 2:6

2. No matter how I try to see beyond, I can only see what the human mind can fathom. But God is limitless. His plans will always be ultimately greater than our biggest dreams. No matter how much we transcend, no matter how far and wide our vision and understanding may go, we will still fall short– we are still too limited. In high and stark contrast to God’s omniscience.

🙂

FAITH!🙂 Reminding myself of these things. And hoping that maybe it can also encourage whoever else comes across this page.

And it all boils down to love and selflessness

April 16, 2013

Earlier today, on my way home from UP, I glanced back at the decisions that I’ve so far made.

What made me choose to apply for MBA? What made me transfer from my previous job to my job now? What made me stay here where I am even when I know there’s much more in the world that’s for me to venture on?

God is sovereign and in control, I am well aware of that. And I know that several months ago, when I could’ve run, he situated every possible obstacle just so I’d remember to be selfless.

Love, Kisses. Love is the core message of Jesus’ life. Had I took off that time, it wouldn’t exactly be a picture of love, leaving as if in haste something that needs you at that critical moment. And for what, for your own interests?

That is not love.

And that’s what I reminded myself earlier.

It’s about love and other people.

So if and when I feel trapped, I’ll remind myself of love and selflessness. Because if there are only two reasons why God brought me into this world, it’s those two.

 

Struggling,

Kisses.

 

P.S. I start with my workshops this week!!! It’s for MBA. So, I guess this is it. No turning back unless I still fail Accounting, Calculus, and Statistics on the 18th of May.

Mga Napagnilay-nilayan sa Pag-alala sa Kanyang Sakripisyo

March 31, 2013

Ilang linggo na rin akong nababalot ng pagkabagabag. Marahil ako nga ay narito sa tinatawag na quarter life crisis. 

Tatlong taon nang gradweyt, pakiramdam ko dapat may naabot na ako. Sa ilang daang libong piso na nagastos ng magulang ko para ako’y pag-aralin sa isang prestihyosong unibersidad, dapat nakakapagbalik na rin ako sa kanila. Dapat tuwing nagkukuwento sila sa kanilang mga amiga’t amigo eh malaki ang mga ngiti nila at hindi na magkanda-ugaga sa pag-isa isa ng aking mga naaabot.

Mali pala ang aking pakay. Mali ang aking intensyon sa pagnanais na magtagumpay.

Itong mga nakaraang araw, ako ay balisa. Ang tanong na paulit-ulit sa aking isipan: “Ano ba talaga ang layunin ko dito sa mundong ibabaw.”

Ilang beses ko nang narinig, ngunit hindi ko pa rin pala naisasapuso. Ang layunin ng bawat isa sa atin ay ang pagpurihan ang Diyos. ‘Ika nga ni Cardinal Tagle sa kanyang mensahe sa mga nagtapos sa Ateneo noong nakaraang linggo, ang pakay ng buhay ng tao ay: “to praise God, to reverence God, to serve God…”

Ayon nga ‘di ba sa Bibliya,

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Do it ALL for the glory of God. Kung ikaw ay may pangarap, mangarap kang bigyang kaluwalhatian ang Diyos.

Matagal ko nang ipinapangarap na magkaroon ng saysay ang aking buhay. Buti pa ang mga doktor, naisip ko, malaki ang naitutulong nila sa komunidad. Buti pa ang mga karpintero, naisip ko, nakakapagtayo sila ng bahay at gusali para din sa komunidad. Naisip ko, ano nga ba ang naidudulot ng aking trabaho para sa ikauunlad ng komunidad? Syempre mayroon din, hindi nga lang ganoon ka-direct ang effect. Yun ang mahirap, yun ang dahilan ng aking pagkabagabag. Hindi ko makita ang saysay ng aking ginagawa.

Nais kong makatulong sa mga nangangailangan. Hindi ko lang alam kung papaano.

Nasabi din ni Cardinal Tagle ang ukol sa nabanggit ng isang retired cardinal sa kahahalal lamang na Pope Francis, “huwag mong kakalimutan ang mga dukha.”

Ilang araw itong tumatakbo sa aking isipan, “do not forget the poor, do not forget the poor…”

At kasabay nito, naiisip ko din ang kwento na ihinayag ni Hesus noon, ang kwento ng “Rich Man and Lazarus.” Hindi ba’t makikita natin sa kwentong iyon ang hindi matatawarang pagmamahal ng Panginoon sa mga mahihirap?

Kung ang Panginoong Hesus nga ay nakihalubilo sa mahihirap, gumamot ng mga may karamdaman, kumain kasama ang mga makasalanan– hindi ba’t nararapat lang na siya’y ating tularan?

Marahil ay dapat akong magpasalamat na ako’y nababagabag sa ganitong paraan. Panalangin ko lang na hindi ko hayaang sa isipan ko lamang mamalagi ang pagkabagabag na ito. Nawa’y bigyang lakas ako ng Diyos na sumunod kung saan Niya ako tinatawag, kung saan ako’y makakatulong sa mga anak niyang nangangailangan.

Bukas Lunes nanaman, ibig sabihin patapos na ang selebrasyon ng Holy Week. Ito ang unang Holy Week na lumipas nang hindi ko kasama ang aking pamilya. Malungkot, oo, ngunit sa gitna ng katahimikan, aking napagnilay-nilayan ang ilang mga bagay.

Ang Holy Week ay isang linggong nagsisilbing paalala sa ginawa ni Hesus mahigit dalawang libong taon na ang nakalilipas. Ako ay lumaki sa isang Kristyanong pamilya, sa aming paniniwala, hindi dapat maging panahon ng pagluluksa sa Holy Week. Sa halip, ito ay panahon ng maligayang pag-alala sa tagumpay (victory) na natamo ng Panginoon. Tayo ay ligtas na. Si Hesus ay pinako sa krus at muling nabuhay sa ikatlong araw. Siya ay nanatiling buhay mula noon.

Subalit sa aking pagninilay nilay, naisip kong… marahil ay nararapat lang din na tayo ay makaramdam ng pighati.

Bilyun-bilyon pa rin ang HINDI nakakakilala kay Kristo. At kahit tayong nakakakilala sa kanya, patuloy sa paggawa ng mga bagay na hindi nagbibigay ng kaluwalhatian sa kanya. Patuloy pa rin tayong nagkakasala. Patuloy pa rin nating sinasaktan ang Diyos.

Sana kahit hindi Holy Week ay maalala natin iyan. At tulad ng aking dasal kanina na huwag lamang sa isipan manatili ang layon kong makatulong sa nangangailangan, dalangin ko rin ngayon na hindi lamang sa salita at mga tradisyon natin maipakita sa Panginoon ang ating pananampalataya sa Kanya. Nawa’y tayo ay humayo at huwag mapagod na Siya’y bigyang papuri at ipakilala sa mundo.🙂

Kisses

 

For the copy of the referenced commencement speech: http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/24656-full-text-tagle-speaks-at-ateneo-graduation

Shards of Thoughts on a Monday Morning

March 18, 2013

I still haven’t found my medium, the language of my soul.

No, most certainly not words–as I often find myself in a struggle trying to articulate with words.

Not art either, as I seem to be always complying and just bouncing in and about the box. Never yet outside it.

Not music, too, because my ears can’t comprehend the technicalities of the harmony. Music for me is just my diaphragm and my heart communicating with each other.

It’s difficult when at 23, you find yourself confounded by waves that push you to the direction that is most turned to. It is difficult when in its truest form, your soul cries for redemption from the confines of this world.

But what is most difficult is when you give up trying; when your passion sleeps by the lulling motion of conformity.

And they tell you that all you can do is watch and maybe wait.

Peers Dinner :)

March 8, 2013

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I’m glad this dinner pushed through! We’ve been thinking about meeting up for ages already.

Ateneo Peers, Core Group 2008-2009🙂 + Mikey. haha.

I couldn’t find our picture when we last met up as a complete group back in May 2011. But I guess we didn’t really change much.

We talked about the same, albeit still veryyyyy funny, things; plus some nerdy shizz like Zimbabwe’s currency, muscular atrophy, astronauts, even Religion and Spirituality, and of course, our work experiences and future endeavors. (Well, we’ve matured, a bit)

🙂

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I’d rather have my heart broken into a million pieces for the things that break Yours, than have it beating for what is undesirable to You.

March 3, 2013

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This is a line from such a lovely song that always speaks to me. Yes, Father, I know that You are speaking to me. And I pray that you awaken my sensitivity, wisdom, and capacity to discern as I strive to listen to Your voice.❤

Thank You for never giving up on me. For shaking me up until I come running back, renewed and refreshed; with a new and springing desire to know You more and more and more.

Lord, teach my heart to break for the things that break Yours. Teach me, Lord, to be compassionate as You are.

Kisses Sia

My Week: 13-19 January 2013

January 21, 2013

I just had quite a week. A flavorful week–let me put it that way.

13 January 2013 – My Birthday at McDonald’s

12AM of 13 January 2013: My sister and I went to McDonald’s Katipunan to celebrate my birthday. Yes, I am happy to age. With age comes experience, and with experience, wisdom. hahaha!

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Finally appreciative of the additional number to my years.🙂

When morning came, we went to church and then had lunch with some cousins, uncles, aunts, nephews, and niece.

Life of Pi😀

Come late afternoon we arrive in Katipunan, quite impulsively, I dragged Bishi with me to watch Life of Pi at Gateway.

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Outstanding movie, really, extraordinary. I got an ebook copy of the novel where it was based and I have started reading it. I am excited to get to the more philosophical parts already. I can’t wait to find time to get down to the serious business of finishing it.

Ice Cream Cake and Post-birthday Lunch

The next day, I treated my teammates to lunch. AAAAAND! They surprised me with a cake (DQ ICE CREAM CAKE, OMG) and gifts!!!❤ Super touched.😀😀😀 Thank you, Lord, for my thoughtful and wonderful team.

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😀 Yehey! I am really thankful to God for a wonderful birthday season. And that was just the start of my week!

Sick Tummy

Tuesday, 15 January 2013, I was my usual careless self. I did not feed myself with proper breakfast and started my day with some chocolate covered wafers before leaving home. When I arrived at work, I even munched on yet another piece of chocolate. So, even though I had lunch (not chocolate), I started feeling unwell by the afternoon.

At first, it just felt like migraine. The nurse gave me a tab of painkiller that did nothing to help. After a couple of hours, I went back to the clinic to ask for paracetamol because my head was throbbing and I felt a shortness to my breathing. The nurse said no. Saying she already gave me painkillers and taking a paracetamol would do me no good.😦

After work, on my way home, I was really not feeling well anymore.

Upon arriving home, I threw up everything that I ate that day. I don’t want to be gross and won’t describe it here haha. Later on, I only had water to vomit and diarrhea started to kick in.

I brought myself (and again, dragged Bishi with me) to Medical City. I was just really worried. A big chunk was because I was actually intending to work from home the next day so I could easily drop by UP Diliman and submit my MBA application. I already told my manager about it. How was I to do that if I were sick and dehydrated?

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Half the cab ride, I was throwing up. Good thing we brought a plastic bag that somehow survived the plastic ban in QC haha.

We only got home at around 2:30 AM. Mama was already too worried because obviously, it’s not really safe for two girls to ride public transport at that hour. She had to call from the province time and again just to check if we were already home. Sorry Ma. haha

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Upon arriving home, I still was not feeling completely well. I really could not understand what had happened that evening, I am starting to think part of it was just psychological. hihi.

When morning came, I was feverish. I turned the computer on to work, but my body was giving up. I had to file for SL.

I rested the whole morning. Come late afternoon, I was sort of pacing at home, trying to see if I was okay and if I could make it to UP. I was still groggy and sick, but I wanted to go to work the next day, so around 4PM, I got up and went to UP.

And I am reaaaally grateful to God for the grace. For when I arrived at CBA, the guard told me there might not be anyone to receive my application. But when she called to check, I was asked to come in!!!🙂 I filed my app, paid the fee (at ISSI, had to ride IKOT), and went back to CBA to submit the OR for the payment.

After that, I went to Mercury and bought meds.:/

The next day, I thought I was already okay. I took a shower, got dressed, and was ready for work. Then, I threw up one last time.😦

My temperature’s still higher than normal. So I had to work from home.

Later in the afternoon, I was feeling perfectly well already. Praise God! He has taught me a lot of things through the experience. I was once again reminded that we should take care of our earthly bodies. Aside from feeling awful for two days, I also made my family worry.:/

Les Miserables

Since I was sick on opening night (lol), Bishi and I watched Les Mis on Friday evening. (To be honest, in the office, I was worried that I was gonna get sick again, but felt that it was only my imagination. hahaha, so I went on to watch the film)

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I first encountered Les Miserables when I was in grade school, I think. My sister, Nestle, the one fondest of reading, owns a copy of the novel. She told me an unforgettable synopsis–about how a character sold her front teeth for money. At that time, it was something I could not fathom. Could people actually do that??? Sell teeth for money???

There was a point when I wanted to read it, for culture’s sake. But, it was too long and the font was too small. hahaha.

I also never watched the musical.

So, aside from the very brief “synopsis” and the familiarity to songs like “On My Own” and “I Dreamed a Dream,” I came to the cinema raw. Prepared for awe–and awestruck I was for this film adaptation of the musical version is a beauty. The music, the actors, the visuals, the emotions. THE EMOTIONS.

Silver Lining’s Playbook

I first heard of this movie when they announced the Oscar nominees. AND IT IS A BRADLEY COOPER-JENNIFER LAWRENCE FILM!!! Will Tippin and Katniss Everdeen???

Haha, stars from my most beloved ALIAS and Hunger Games, respectively.

So, I got curious. Bishi gave me a copy and I watched it on Saturday.

It was pretty. I applaud the cast for a job well done, it was entertaining. But I was sort of waiting for some kind of melodrama. But I’m happy with the ending. I won’t complain! It’s just that maybe my Filipino upbringing has caused me to be used to melodrama that I was looking for it in the film. haha.

But I like the psychiatric drama, and how Pat said that maybe the people who don’t have psychiatric problems do not see or understand something that they do. hmmm.

Volunteers Appreciation Concert

And as if my week wasn’t long enough yet, I chose to close it with a bang. I attended the Victory QC Volunteers Appreciation Concert where Quest, Laserman, and Yeng Constantino performed. It was such a powerful evening that I was really pumped up. I know God is calling me to do something. There is much uncertainty but I am going for it, taking the plunge because I know that His ways are higher. No matter what.

It was such an inspiring night and very enjoyable, too. Just when I thought God has gone silent, He spoke. And who I am to judge that He’s gone silent, when it is my responsibility to listen.

😉

So that was how my week (13 to 19 January 2013) went. A lot has happened, and it’s just January.

From my birthday, to my Gastro-thingy, to the movies I’ve watched, to the concert.

Excited, excited for more of God this 2013😉