It has been a trying time due to the pandemic – Covid-19. Everyone has been anxious at first, but as days/months passed by – some people gathered their courage and stood up. Others may still feel uncertainties and have the feeling of being stuck, but hey you need to move and do something.
With the ample time we have while we are at home during the lock-down, use it for introspection. Let me say what’s on my mind;
It’s up to you, help yourself – do not pity yourself because you are stuck, do not think that you can’t do anything on your situation, instead change your perspective, have the courage to step up and move forward (at least a baby step), look for the good things that you gain during these difficult times. It’s because you can.
It’s up to you, grow yourself – feed your mind with information, with good stuffs, motivational and inspirational reads, improve your skills, re-assess your passion and work it out. Set your goals, dream about it to keep you going. It’s because you can.
It’s up to you, seek peace – learn to meditate, practice to accept unchangeable things, control yourself instead of your environment. Don’t compare, be satisfied on what you have. It’s because you can.
It’s up to you, free yourself – be responsible on your own decisions, follow your heart’s desire, the universe will conspire right? Be what you want to be, do what you want to do. It’s because you can.
It’s up to you, be someone’s sunshine – reach out, be kind, help whenever you can, share your time, your presence, your ear and your heart, cheer for someone, console, pray for someone. It’s because you can.
It’s up to you, nurture your relationships – serve your loved ones, care for them, spend time with them, join them on your meals, appreciate them. If you have differences – be humble to accept it and compromise. It’s because you can.
It’s up to you, be with God – know Him more, receive His graces, spend alone time with Him, listen to Him in silence, be guided with His words, let Him transform you, let Him love you more, let Him to fill you. It’s because you can.
This topic and its title were drafted a year ago after my conversation with a colleague. We were in the same department, somehow sharing the same sentiments in work and in life. Having our own different reasons, she left work first and I followed. A year had passed and we reunite, today is December 2017 completing this post.
At work I encountered different moods from everyone: they wake up feeling happy and good, they feel home-sickness and missing their family, they are angry at someone or at something, they were the same as yesterday, they are loud and can speak a lot, and they are in complete silence. Working abroad is both easy and difficult, thus, these moods should be respected the whole time.
So when she was quiet for some days, I thought that was just normal as she had concealed her feelings very well. Then, one day she told me that she was leaving and will go back home. I was surprised with her news as I did not get any hint about what was happening with her. She explained some reasons and I understood. I then realized that she had something within herself: battling over decisions, and keeping herself being okay and to look fine.
We have different voices within us screaming in distinct level referring to our life’s role; a son, a daughter, or a sibling for our family responsibilities, an employee for our job duties and future savings, a lover and a friend for relationships, and a person for our own self. Time and situations change the level of these voices, will you listen to the loudest scream or will you try to hush it, or will you ignore it and focus on the other voices? Decisions should be made weighing the things that really matters. Please listen to your HEART and PRAY harder.
If you listen to your heart everything will follow, you will be at ease and you will have a peaceful mind.
Did I and my colleague made the right decision? Of course we had, we are now having a happy heart and a peaceful mind. We regained the part of ourselves that we had lost for years, and we were thankful for the experiences that made us today – a tougher and stronger soul.
There are still lots of experience that can happen in the future and it makes us excited to welcome and to experience them as it makes us GROW.
Kerygma Conference (KCon) is an annual event by the Light of Jesus Family where it inspired people about God’s love and His promises. This year’s conference was held on 23rd to 26th of November at SMX Convention and Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Manila. It had a three-day classes, a plenary talks, and worships, and a Grand Feast on the last day. It was my first official KCon as I only attended a Kerygma Grand Feast, a one day event outside the country.
I joined The Feast Abu Dhabi for the past two years, but was not able to be a part of a ministry and be a servant. After coming back home, I immediately looked for The Feast Video Culiat (Angeles) here in Pampanga and became part of this community. Then I found myself saying the same phrases within these two occasions; “I will be a member, I will attend regularly, I will be part of a ministry, I will serve, and I will commit myself to God and to the service”.
I am a person who plans ahead of time for the future and for almost everything. I decided to study in another country or work again overseas in 2018. This goal has been at least initiated and I am working it out for its completion, but it seems that I cannot get it as quickly I could. So I worry about it, that is me – worrying about the future and compromising my present.
KCon was truly a life changing. I was overwhelmed by the event as the classes, talks, and worships were powerful, and God’s grace was overflowing. I cannot say that it was magical as this word is for Disney, not the word fulfilling as it is for employment or education, but I can associate it with love, healing, forgiveness, enlightenment, and blessing, and my right word for it is miracle. I restored my light heart after the longest time not having it. ❤
On the Grand Feast I let go of my own-made plan to give way to His plan, that it is now the time to commit and serve Him. My plans may get delayed, but I trust His will.
So I stopped saying “I WILL”, and now I can say that “I AM COMMITTED”.
There are life moments that make you feel that you are consumed with everything that surrounds you, and that you are losing your own self and even your own soul.
It feels like you are only moving on a four corner walls. If you move an inch, you will find out that there is no difference from where you have started. If you make a big move, you will bounce back to the center where you left. Then, you will assess the situation and you will try to think of a solution on how to overcome your dilemma. And at that very moment you will realize that you are actually stuck.
In order to come out in the four corner walls, you need to make an enormous step than what you did on your first attempt. And a full force bounce is required for you to surpass the level of bounce you did the first time. A great effort and great courage, from within should be manifested for you to overcome the difficult situation that you try to run away with.
And when you have retrieved a great effort and great courage, from within, you will finally make it through your situation. You will be at ease. You will be relieved. And tranquility will come into you: deep into your soul. You will be outside the four corner walls; that you will never feel again that are stuck, that you are not moving, and that you are bouncing back. You are free. A different light and a breathe of fresh air will welcome you as if things are anew. Your old self will be regained to live the life you have forgotten in the longest time.
Ferrari world is an indoor amusement park located in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE. It was built for the tribute with the Ferrari enthusiast of all ages. It brings the feeling of having a luxurious Ferrari. Part of this park had the Ferrari story. There were rides and shows that showcases all about Ferrari. We’ve got to experience some of those and we were thrilled with these experiences.
Formula Rossa – The World’s Fastest Coaster. It has a speed of 240km/h in 4.9 seconds, in which it only took more/less than a minute that was the reason I have the guts to try this ride. We got the safety googles, the seat belt or the strap, and our grip to hold on tight on the strap. They say that feeling with this ride is the same as finishing and being a champion on the race.
Bell’Italia – the experience to ride on a small-scale Ferrari 250 California, circa 1958 on a relaxing speed and having a tour in a miniature Italy with her landmarks.
Red Show – an amazing performance of acrobatic, dance, and mega wheels. It was a fun and finding ourselves applauding with every part. But it ended too soon.
As year 2016 has ended, I returned back to the experiences I’ve been through. There were happy moments and there were struggles; as living and working away from home was a real challenge specially in this holiday season.
I went for a 30 minutes walk to recap 2016, but that period was not fully enough to cover everything. My journey of life seems to be in slow-mo; days were fast but I felt my time was too long, how ironic it was. The struggles were real through my slow-mo journey, I was thinking how I surpassed it, I’ve tried, I’ve tried to look for an answers, and ended up with one- God. He was there all through out, and He never left. Thou the struggles were real – He overcomes it.
After I attended a New Year’s Holy Eucharist, what Father Troy emphasized is “Huwag Kang Mangamba” which means Do Not Be Afraid. That phrase strengthen my thoughts about my 2016, and faith in the coming 2017.
I was never alone, and will never be alone. 🙂 At ease with Him.
Jean Valjean, Fantine, Cosette, Eponine, Marius, Javert, and Thenardier and his wife came in United Arab Emirates to perform the classic phenomenal Les Miserables.
The show started on 10th November and ended on 2nd December this year.
As I heard that there will be a Les Mis in UAE, I’d never had a second thought to see it. It just been a literary piece in the university, a movie in 2012, and now it happened as a Broadway show. I was in awe the whole performance as it was live, superb actors and their deliveries, smooth scene transitions, and of course the story itself, Victor Hugo’s.
Parts that touches my heart and soul.
1. Bring Him Home (Jean Valjean) – during the barricade scene, Marius got the courage to stand besides his friends to fight after he had met Cosette. Valjean prays to keep Marius safe for Cosette, as he will not be with her for long to protect her. At the time, he decided to get the custody of Cosette, Valjean became a great father and focuses on Cosette’s welfare. John Owen-Jones was really great as Jean Valjean. Father’s love.
2. Do You Hear the People Sing – The courage of barricade boys together with the people led them to fight in the barricade. It was how they stand and fight until their last breathe. The effects of shooting sparks and sounds, and the smell of gun powders had made the scene more memorable. Of course Gavroche, the little kid, who was one of them made it more dramatic and intense. Friend’s courage.
3. On My Own (Eponine)- On My Own made my Les Miserables experience complete. How she felt broken with Marius and Cosette. She loved in silence. And I found myself whispering and singing her words as well. Love and pain in silence.
4. I Dreamed a Dream (Fantine) – the life of Fantine had gone worst after she was kicked out from her work. Without her daughter, Cosette, she supports her and longs to be with her. But the people around her make her life worst; from supporting Cosette’s alone, to being prostitute, up to her death. Life’s sorrow.
It was my first international Broadway show, and even I am solo I really enjoyed watching the show. If given a chance, I will watch it again.
We celebrated our friend’s birthday (Jenny Rose) by having an adventure in Yas Waterworld, Abu Dhabi. Thanks to her birthday treat as we really enjoyed this adventure.
Yas Waterworld has four level rides; the Shaheen’s Adrenalin Rush, Dhabi’s Exciting Adventure, Hamlool’s Moving and Grooving, and Sultan’s Young Fun-which we never tried as it is merely for kiddos.
Hamlool’s Moving and Grooving. We tried some of the the activities on this level; the Marah Fortress has slides, interactive device for kids and families, and the highlight is the water bucket. The big water bucket was placed at the top of the area and it will dump volumes of water. We were thrilled with the dump and the splashes of the water. And after trying the adrenaline rushed activities, we ended the whole adventure with a lazy riverfor relaxation, the Al Raha River. We let ourselves flow in the lazy river while laying in their floating device, which we called “salbabida”.
Dhabi’s Exciting Adventure. The Bandit Bomber-an interactive water suspended roller coaster, it is a 550 meters roller coaster that keeps you hanging; you can see the aerial view of the park. It has a water gun which you can shoot and splash people walking below but unluckily we did not noticed them as we were focused on our screams. We were not allowed to bring any camera due to the speed and turns of the coaster. Next is the Sebag, it is a six lane mat racer slide and it was the longest single slide I’ve ever tried. We got our own mat and went to the top of the slide. At first, we were hesitant to try it as our heartbeats were all over our body – but still we did it. This tube slide has unpredictable twist and turns as half of it was dark, and you feel the slide rush after seeing light of the sun.
Shaheen’s Adrenalin Rush. And this was the extreme levels. My throat has been over-used with my screams of fear and joy. We tried the group slide of Falcon’s Falaj, a six person’s hydro-magnetic mammoth raft ride and a feel-like roller coaster as the course has ups and downs. And the Dawwama, a six person’s hydro-magnetic tornado raft ride, which Yas Waterworld termed it as “The most exhilarating tornado ride in the world!”. It was indeed exhilarating. I tried not to scream but it cannot be controlled, so it’s waaaaaaaaaaaahhhhaaaaaaahhhhhaaa.
We did not got the chance to try all the rides due to our limited time, it should be a one whole day activity. At least once in a while, everyone needs to over scream, to have adrenaline rush and ride thrill, to make your heart feel the sudden ups and downs, and to enjoy and have fun.
Home is the most comfortable place in the world; where we can be ourselves, wear our old favorite t-shirts, have a genuine relationship, and a place for family and love.
My grandparent’s home will be rebuild into a new establishment, as I have heard this news and seen the below photograph, all the memories at home flashes back. 🙂
As I enter the main door; on my left, I took the stairs to go in the second level – which was made with wood. As I passed in the small hallway; I carefully walked as the floor squeaks with each steps I made. The hallway has its open window and uses a tarpaulin as a curtain when rain comes. Remembering my childhood days, I used to sit in the open window balcony – where I can swung my feet in the air and feeling the afternoon breeze. And seeing our neighbors, their homes, and vehicles that passes along the road. Back to the small hallway, before entering the two rooms I stopped and looked at the hanged cloth portrait of the moon and a girl (my siblings and cousins where still in an argument if the portrait is creepy or not). I grew up knowing that these rooms has not been merely used as bedrooms. As I enter the left room I saw my late grandmother’s cabinet-with her clothes; most of her pink dresses were kept there, and the photographs that had been tucked in the glass door of the cabinet. And on the other corner of the room, our family’s catholic religious items were placed on a small table. The room seems empty and silent. While, the right room served as storage room with my uncle’s some wooden furniture. I remember that this room was dark, the only things that brings light in the room during daytime was the open window on the small hallway and the old yellow bulb during night time. We played a game in which I would name as “hide and seek in the dark”, others will get their spots-but they can move anywhere, while the one who seeks has blindfolded, he will make use of his sense to locate the others. It can now be an old game in today’s generation.
While going down; the lower part of the stair’s step has coins that somehow engraved-an aesthetic purpose during my grandparent’s time. The living room was very spacious and has two sets of sofa – one cushion and one wooden. I usually stop and look at the photographs hanged on the wall. These photographs were my grandparent’s and family portraits, in which portrays our family history-as they usually taken during family reunions. You could see how our family becomes bigger as years passes by, and how each of my family changes from being teens to becoming parents. Photographs were our treasures, and I will never ever get tired looking at them.
My other favorite thing was the displayed name of my grandparent’s and their children; Lino & Emiliana – Lino Jr, Luis, Leonardo, Leonilo (my father), Leonicio, Leopoldo, Laila, and Lea. All first letters has been followed to my grandfather’s name (first letter). The old television was still at the corner of the living room. While, at the center table there were sea shells in which I would listen to – and hearing the sounds of waves. The living room was our story telling area – for us ladies and kids, while my brother and cousins were outside – doing their manly stuff ;). Our dining on the other room seems to always have a lot of food during occasions – especially during our grandparent’s birthday. I remember how my grandmother kept her plates and utensils – she even put her initials so they will not be lost; that was how she really value her things :).
The two lower rooms has two small stair steps; my grandparent’s room and my aunt’s room. My grandparent’s room became my grandfather’s room in the year 2005. In here, his checkered polo was hanged near the door, his sandals were kept below his bed, and his shoes which he was really proud of – that he bought them during their time for only Php 2.00 ($0.04), very shiny and very durable. His bed was fixed while he was seating and watching basketball games or news on the television, and sometimes he play cards too – solitaire. Behind the header board was his cabinet, his milk, biscuits, fruits, and also his medicines. While, on the other side was the television and electric fan, which was adjacent to the window. Then, my aunt’s family bedroom was on the other side; she has stuff toy of a rabbit and garfield.
At the back of the our home was the bathroom and the kitchen. We have the manual stove – with the usage of woods, and our manual water pump (pos0). On other side was the Duhat tree (Java Plum) in which we used to climb at and pick its fruits. Our grandmother would then wash and scramble them with rock salt (very tasty). And in front of our home-were Santan plants, which has yellow and red flowers.
Today, our De Luna home would be rebuild into a new home – a two story establishment. My memories with our home; the experiences, the feelings, the sorrow and fear that we’ve been through, the love and laughter that has been felt will remain in my heart and in my family’s heart. I might have little experiences and stories to tell but they will surely be cherished forever. Preserving my memories. And as memory was remembered, all the feelings would be felt again.
This experience happened last year in 18th of December, and to be posted today. 🙂
I traveled alone from my place, Abu Dhabi, going to Dubai via bus for 2 hours. Arrived at bus terminal, and the place still feels strange as for me the city is still a BIG CITY. I waited for my friends and went to the nearest McDo, and in an hour while waiting for them I took a cup of coffee plus my handy story book.
From Bus Terminal, then to City, and to get to our destination with the help of the GPS we arrived at the Miracle Garden.
The excitement I felt bursted upon entering the garden, and oh my smile would be very big as this :D. The flowers, their colors, and figures were wonderful. Our photographs below says it all.