Archive for the ‘love’ Category

My blog was quiet for the most part of 2013 – I used Facebook and Instagram more often, indulging myself to the easy way of taking photos, editing it and just writing a few sentences.

I miss writing though… the long kind of writing that doesn’t care if it garners likes or shares… the kind of writing that I just pour my thoughts on anything under the sun that I feel deserves a bit of internet space. So for this year, I hope I get to write more!

For the meantime, let me share snapshots of how my 2013 looked like:

JANUARY

I welcomed 2013 with my family in Philippines. We went to celebrate the countdown at Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s ancestral house in Kawit, Cavite. Gen. Aguinaldo, the 1st President of the First Republic of the Philippines, first proclaimed our Philippine Independence from Spain from the window of its grand hall. Yes, too many firsts on this one!

Infront of the Aguinaldo Shrine with my nephew Ezboy, my mom and my sister-in-law.

Infront of the Aguinaldo Shrine with my nephew Ezboy, my mom and my sister-in-law.

As my birthday month, I spent my 27th birthday with Peter at Universal Studios Singapore! My favorite ride was the Transformers! I chickened out from the Battlestar Gallactica though… booooo…

Optimus Prime showed up to greet me a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Optimus Prime showed up to greet me a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

FEBRUARY

Ah the love month! We skipped the expensive dinner in restuarants and instead had a poolside date at our place. What made this special was that we both surprised each other, not the common one way street – as guys do deserve this, too, thanks to my gender equality background hahaha.

Everything that is lovely and cheesy Valentine's day. <3

Everything that is lovely and cheesy for Valentine’s day.

This was also the Chinese New Year period and I thought it was nice to spend it here in Singapore… but it was raining most of the time and we got so freaking bored that I vowed never to spend it here again. 😛

Year of the Snake - 2013 Chinese New Year at Chinatown, Singapore.

Year of the Snake – 2013 Chinese New Year at Chinatown, Singapore.

March

We spent the month enjoying what Singapore has to offer starting with a cycling trip around Pulau Ubin. Pulau Ubin is the 2nd largest offshore island, after Sentosa. This island is the last “kampong” of Singapore that is preserved from urban development – but there are news saying this may not be the case soon because the government is eyeing on developing Pulau Ubin like Sentosa. I hope they will really reconsider as this place is perfect the way it is.

Cycling is the best way to go around the island. There are a lot of bike rental shops at the port with varied designs to choose from.

Cycling is the best way to go around the island. There are a lot of bike rental shops at the port with various designs to choose from.

It was our first time to take part in the Holi celebrations and we were glad we did! Holi is a spring festival and more popularly known as the Festival of Colors.

Colorfully fucked up during the Holi Festival at East Coast Park, Singapore.

Colorfully fucked up during the Holi Festival at East Coast Park, Singapore.

April

Peter and I officially welcomed summer in Bali, Indonesia. After a few days stay in Seminyak and Kuta – lazing in its sun, motorbiking to famous spots, indulging in a luxurious couple spa with milk bath; doing some adventure sports which the only one that I can recommend is the white water rafting at Agung River (we were pissed off with the snorkeling/turtle island packaged tour, thus, not recommending it) we headed to Ubud, the island’s center for culture and arts. We also did a motorcycling trip from Ubud to Mt Batur, a volcano with a deep crater lake.

A spot at Nusa Dua that we found. It's a place for surfers.

A spot at Nusa Dua that we found after trekking down following surfers.

Monkey Temple in Ubud. Look, the two monkeys!!! :))

Monkey Temple in Ubud. Look, the two monkeys!!! :))

May

A trip to Singapore was my pre-birthday gift to my Mom and also a pre-graduation gift to my eldest niece, EJ. It was a fun time for us touring the city, going to the safaris, USS and showing them the day-to-day life in Singapore.

My niece EJ, Mamocka, me and Peter having the obligatory tourist photo infront of Marina Bay.

My niece EJ, Mamocka, me and Peter having the obligatory tourist photo infront of Marina Bay.

IMG_2245

Enjoying an afternoon dip in the pool at home. Another way of burning those Singaporean food calories.

June

This was a ‘dark time’ in Singapore… dark due to the haze that enveloped the country for the most part of the month. The PSI hit a new high record of 371 which breached the hazardous zone. It was tough during these times because we lived in the 17th floor with huge windows and we would wake up with an ‘end-of-the-world’ view as darkness was all that we saw. I am glad that nothing serious happened though thanks to the Singapore government’s actions towards safety precautions, restricting outdoor activities and initiating talks with Indonesia.

The normal surgical mask was no match to the haze so my office gave away N95 masks.  This was a 'trendy' fashion accessory for a time.

The normal surgical mask was no match to the haze so my office gave away N95 masks. This was a ‘trendy’ fashion accessory for a time.

July

One of the things that I do is managing events for the School. It was fulfilling for me to handle the NUS Initiative to Improve Health in Asia (NIHA) – a forum that involved most of the Ministers / Director Generals of Health in the region as well as the academe and public health practitioners who came together to discuss policies and programmes related to Health Technology Assessment.

NIHA Forum at Traders Hotel, Singapore. This photo was the 'calm before the storm'.

NIHA Forum at Traders Hotel, Singapore. This photo was the ‘calm before the storm’.

After NIHA ended, I went to another overseas trip as my way of rewarding myself. I spent a week of relaxation, shopping, having my fill of Thai food and reuniting with my friends in my 2nd home, Thailand. Bangkok, the capital city, never failed to keep me entertained and bringing out the crazy me!

A trip to Thailand will not be complete without a beach bum moment. This was taken in Koh Larn, Pattaya.

A trip to Thailand will not be complete without a beach bum moment. This was taken in Koh Larn, Pattaya. I went for an overnight trip together with my Thai friend, P’Nong, and fellow AWCF-FK, Erika.

August

We moved in April to a spacious condo unit in Normanton Park with a great view of the city. The space and view would be a waste if not shared so I decided to start hosting house parties which unto this day is a joy to organise. It amazes me though that we often end up with more food than what we prepared because my fantastic friends would also bring something to share. So, til our next house party! 🙂

Potluck dinner with CouchSurfing friends.

Potluck dinner with CouchSurfing (CS) friends.

August saw me getting back to playing frisbee again, a sport – yes, it is considered as a sport and not just a thing that you do with your dogs 😛 – that I used to play a lot when I was in college. Our School joined the NUS Staff Games and we landed 4th place, not bad considering most of us only learned it in 2weeks time.

Frisbee with our colorful shoes! Can you guess which one is mine?

Frisbee with our colorful shoes! Can you guess which one is mine?

September

Peter and I visited China’s 2 Special Administrative Regions: Macau and Hong Kong, as part of our Anniversary celebration.

Macau is a former Portuguese colony that still has remnants of the past but also went full steam ahead in building huge casinos with amazing architectural designs that even non gamblers, like us, would visit.

A night walk at San Man Lo, Macau's Historic Centre that showcases Macanese culture - the mixture of Chinese and Portuguese traditions. This photo was taken infront of the Ruins of St Paul, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A night walk at San Man Lo, Macau’s Historic Centre that showcases Macanese culture – the mixture of Chinese and Portuguese traditions. This photo was taken infront of the Ruins of St Paul, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Together with my friends, we toured Hong Kong with its modern architecture, expansive skyline and harbors.

Before watching the Symphony of Lights at Victoria Harbour, we walked around the Avenue of Stars - giving Jackie Chan a "low-five". (hope you get the joke here hehe)

Before watching the Symphony of Lights at Victoria Harbour, we walked around the Avenue of Stars – giving Jackie Chan a “low-five”. (hope you get the joke here hehe)

Of course, a trip to Hong Kong wouldn’t be complete without being a kid again in Hong Kong Disneyland!

“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” ~ Walt Disney

“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” ~ Walt Disney

October

This was my most stressful month at work. The trying times gave me sleepless nights, buckets of tears and my most unhealthy self. Looking back, it was a test of character and the struggles did help me to be better in what I do and also a better perspective of what I want in life and who I want to be.

Despite all these,I was just glad that I still had time to spend my first business trip in Manila with remarkable people.

My first business trip and it was in Manila! Awesome time Sentro, Bonifacio Global City. With my 2 wonderful colleagues, Jananie and Joanne, together with my long-time friends, John and Karl.

My first business trip and it was in Manila! Awesome time at Sentro, Bonifacio Global City. With my 2 wonderful colleagues, Jananie and Joanne, together with my long-time friends, John and Karl.

My first Fashion Week experience!  Being fab at the Philippine Fashion Week with Jananie, Ellen and Rae. Ah lovely ladies!

My first Fashion Week experience!
Being fab at the Philippine Fashion Week with Jananie, Ellen and Rae. Hey lovely ladies!

November

It was a crazy month with an uber packed schedule.

November 1 was my first time to participate in the Singapore Halloween Dancewalk. It was a lot of fun from thinking of our costumes, doing face painting and dancing crazily with my friends! A fellow CSer did a good job of videoing the whole thing so you can check it HERE.

Nov 15-17: I was able to organise an elementary reunion, well only a few came but what the heck, we still had fun! Attended a wedding and college reunion rolled into one and a day to do a bit of shopping, meeting friends and trying to squeeze in a Salon pampering – finally got a PERM!

SLS Batch'99, Elementary Reunion with my long-time friends: Rae, Wi, Karl, Jhoana, Kat and Cla-Cla.

SLS Batch’99, Elementary Reunion with my long-time friends: Rae, Wi, Karl, Jhoana, Kat and Cla-Cla. Photo collage by Rae.

Chuckie and Vida's Wedding.  Group shot with my Nav friends during my college years.

Chuckie and Vida’s Wedding.
Group shot with my Nav friends during my college years.

The fab team of Toni and Jackey's Salon who did a wonderful perm job. I highly recommend this salon as they also have excellent service and amenities.

The fab team of Toni and Jackey’s Salon who did a wonderful perm job. I highly recommend this salon as they also have excellent service and amenities.

November 29 – December 10: A few weeks after my last trip to Manila, I went back again this time with Peter. It was our pre-Christmas holiday as we opted to spend Christmas in Singapore. The decision to stay longer in Solano, my hometown, proved to be a good one because Peter had more time meeting most of my relatives and friends. We also had time to decorate mom’s new apartment, which we both are paying. My decision was to pay it myself but Peter said he wanted to be the best son-in-law and wanted to pay half of it… so now the rent is divided to 50-50. 🙂

Solano Public Market. Fresh produce, clean surroundings and nice sellers - things that I love in this 'palengke' (Tagalog for market).  My friends, Angela and Marco, were a huge helped in my reunion preparations! much love.

Solano Public Market.
Fresh produce, clean surroundings and nice sellers – things that I love in this ‘palengke’ (Tagalog for market). My friends, Angela and Marco, were a huge helped in my reunion preparations! much love.

Christmas feeling in our new apartment in Solano.  With mom and my sister's daughters: MikMik and Yza. Photo taken by my sister, Chatty - you might be able to see a glimpse of her in the mirror.

Christmas feeling in our new apartment in Solano.
With mom and my sister’s daughters: MikMik and Yza. Photo taken by my sister, Chatty – you might be able to see a glimpse of her in the mirror. And oh yeah, I won the sala set in a raffle draw! I do have the ‘lucky hands”.

December

Hands down, December will always be a month of celebrations, reunions, feasts and everything that is good and happy!

I was one of the bridesmaids at Kythe and Dan's wedding. This was also the first time Peter attended a Catholic wedding and met my college friends.

I was one of the bridesmaids at Kythe and Dan’s wedding. This was also the first time Peter attended a Catholic wedding and met my college friends.

Our office, External Relations, hosted a Christmas lunch with our ex-MD11 colleagues and friends.

Our office, External Relations, hosted a Christmas lunch with our ex-MD11 colleagues and friends. It was also the luncheon meeting of Santa’s reindeers.

The debut of my tiny monopoly during the Christmas Eve party that I hosted at home. It was so freaking cute that I had to buy it! It's also a good travel must have especially if i get stuck in the middle of nowhere - will just invite fellow travelers to play!

The debut of my tiny monopoly during the Christmas Eve party that I hosted at home. It was so freaking cute that I had to buy it! It’s also a good travel must have especially if I get stuck in the middle of nowhere – so I’ll just invite fellow travelers to play!

Shot nights!  Crazy FK Reunion with Deenu.

Shot nights!
Crazy FK Reunion with Deenu.

New Year's Eve Countdown at Marina Bay with Peter, Vichelle, Deenu, Ash and Shyam, Followed by Olga's rooftop party. Photo by Ash, post-processed by me.

New Year’s Eve Countdown at Marina Bay with Peter, Vichelle, Deenu, Ash and Shyam, Followed by Olga’s rooftop party til the wee hours of the morning.
Photo by Ash, post-processed by me.

With that, I greet you all – who had the patience to check this blog post all the way to the end, a BIG FAT HAPPY NEW YEAR! May 2014 be as awesome or if not more awesome than 2013!

Advertisements
Life challenges us...

To see beauty amidst imperfections.
To answer hate with love.
To feel joy despite the tears.
To be at peace in the midst of chaos.

To glorify in our sorrows.
To be grateful in the presence of pain.
To realize the necessity of suffering.
To exalt Him in moments of tribulations.

Ram is a kuya, tatay, friend, Bible Study leader, counselor, walking knowledge on anything cool, great story-teller, bonggang coffee-maker that can make Starbucks go bankrupt if ever too many people realized how yummy his coffee is without spending big bucks (ssshhhh), counter-cultural, an advocate of High-trust cultures and many more so to cut it short – he is one of God’s precious gift to me.

Meet Ram. The Chizbol photo will properly replace this once I received the scanned photo from our ever reliable repository of everything great photo memories, Ate Trins.

I met him through my friends in Kalayaan Dorm. Me and my roommate, Mei-mei, went for a dinner with the other guys at Likha Diwa in one cold night of December 2003. That dinner was the start of creating great memories with Kuya Ram and the rest of our BS group. Since then, we would meet for TNT’s (Tuesday Nights Together) and Thursdays PLUS sleepovers in their apartment in Kalayaan Ave (thanks also to Kuya JayArre, Chuckie and Kuya Mike!) or the Pinzon’s Apartment in Anonas (thanks to the Pinzon family and Hobbes!). He then rented a place with Roy in Katipunan. It was small BUT amazingly it can fit a dozen people! Well, we do love sleepovers so we didn’t have problems with sleeping set-ups. We even devised shifts: the others would watch series, play games or keep on talking while the others who need to go home earlier the next day sleeps (or sometimes didn’t sleep at all!).

BS. Thursdays have never been the same. Do we have a complete BS group photo tucked somewhere???

Kuya Ram’s passion easily rubbed on me (I would like to use US but then the others might have a say on this so I’m leaving it to them). He talked with so much enthusiasm that I didn’t get bored at all. I would intently listen to him whether he talked about a particular scene in the Horse and His Boy, sang along with matching jump and drumming hands to Jars of Clay, read aloud the properties of a newly bought coffee pack, tells us how delicious a particular brand of cake is, or create a yummy sound while eating Soft Batch cookies.

Looking back, I realized how Kuya Ram never made me feel such a loser for not knowing about things. I remembered when we would discuss a new book or even a Bible verse and at first I don’t get what the author was trying to say, but because of his love for conversations, we would eventually get what the book is about. Discussions would go on and on (with matching coffee and cake/cookie on the side or even without those) until late nights when all the sound in the campus would go silent – and in between Ipil and Yakal Dorm, in the darkness of the UPd Navs Tambayan, we would each say our prayers for the things that we’ve learned, things we didn’t understand, things we hope for, of people we care about and of our own journey to knowing God whom we, as a BS group, is trying to get closer to upto this day.

He shared about these things "panushet-ly" that I have come to love them as well.

He shares his passion for things in a way that made me appreciate them too. Words are not enough to describe how much I love this man, how much this man has changed me in so many ways just by knowing him, how this man influenced me to be the person that I am now, how this man made me believe in a high trust community that being vulnerable is okay, and how this man was able to bless my life with his passion and enthusiasm. How can I forget him when most of the things that I love now was because of him… That’s how influential this man is!

Happy Days. On our way to CDO for the Navigators' Leadership Camp.

Thank you so much Kuya Ram!

I super love you and super duper miss you!!!

I’m sure your coffee maker misses you, as well as your coffee drinkers in the Philippines!

Toast to more great memories!

*Extra Note:

CONGRATULATIONS on your masters and a great HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I don’t really know when will you be able to read this or even watch the video but as sure as how I am secured of your love for us, I am sure that you will eventually read this one when you get hold of an “internet-connected” computer after your Wheaton Days. 🙂 Looking forward of seeing you, hugging you, listening to you and tasting your newly found brand of coffee!

I was supposed to make a photo collage of us greeting you but I never got to email you due to the lack of photos and eventually me not being able to do one myself. Haha excuses (sorry naman), anyway highway, here are the two photos from Garn and Mei-Mei:

I was surprised Garn sent me a couple of photos. Excited much for this :). Check it out, he's still sporting the bonnet look! And look at your handwriting Kuya Ram - I miss it with your SUN drawing, too!

My Kalai roommate Mei-mei. Aminin! We both had a crush on Kuya Ram during the first night that we met him and gushed over it after the Likha Diwa dinner hahaha

We Are Sisters

Posted: March 22, 2011 in love, Personal Projects
Tags: , ,

KICK! SCRATCH! PUNCH! CRY! PINCH! GRAB THE HAIR!

This was a typical thing that my sister and I did when we were younger. Since we share the same room and the same bed, we were very “close” to do these things. Our parents’ room was beside ours so they could hear us fighting each other over petty things. We have 3 older brothers and my sister is 4 years older than me – we should had been the best playmates but we weren’t.

Those were the days and the HAIR! Manang Chatty, Mamocka and Me.

As we grew older, we also grew tired from the fighting and found a thing that we both liked doing – our “pocketbook” adventures. I say adventures because our Mom wouldn’t allow us to read romance pocketbooks plus considering most of them were in Tagalog (yaaaay! busted!). We spent some of our allowance in borrowing pocketbooks from Bon Ami or if we were lucky, borrow some from Manang Kammen, the wife of our cousin, for free! We would read it either with our back facing each other or we were on the opposite ends of the bed. Our mom would shout from the other room that we should stop reading because she can still see the lights were on and it was already midnight. So sometimes we would resort to using flashlights or “gasera” (haha thanks to our Papang who made it for us). We were both cry-babies so we had a roll of tissue in between us while reading – with matching blowing our noses scenes.

Then my sister went to University of Sto. Tomas for college, giving us the necessary distance that ended our fights. I eventually missed her and would always asked Mom to bring me during their visits in UST. I remembered the day when she toured me in her school. It was beautiful! The students look cool in their white uniforms, there were trees and lots of benches, it was just peaceful for me sitting there watching the students walk and chatter in between periods. The church inside the school was also amazing especially when the choir started singing, filling the atmosphere with their angelic voices. I told myself, I will also go to this school just like Manang. Well, I eventually chose another school.

The sisters finally doing some bonding time aside from pocketbooks and the fighting. 😛

She went home during sem breaks, and I specifically remember that she would always cooked “kalabasa” or the pumpkin dish typical in the Philippines. My brothers and I would joke her about it – she had an excuse though that it was the only thing available in the kitchen (ahuh?) Between the two of us, she’s the more responsible type. Well, she cleaned the house, cooked, washed the dishes, and was way more organized with her things. She’s older so she should be (ahuh, this was my excuse). Mom, won a La Germania stove with matching oven during their office’s Christmas Party. So aside from the Pumpkin dish, she then baked banana cakes (always during sembreaks!) – again saying due to the availability of materials in the kitchen (but I think the reason behind was that it was so easy to do hahaha).  Now that she was married, she can cook a wide variety of dishes – to name a few: wicked pasta dishes and the sinigang!!! Oh the pork Sinigang! She never failed to cook something whenever I visit them in Taguig – so this goes without saying my expectations when I go back home ;).

The Morales Family. Ate Chatty and Kuya Dante with their pretty girls: Yza and Mikmik.

I see her as a strong woman who found the very thing that she will fight for – her family. She is doing a pretty good job being a wife and a mom to two beautiful girls. Despite the responsibilities that she had to share with Kuya Dante, she still is as funny as ever. My GMP friends and I agree that she was funnier that I am. She was also dubbed as “Kapitana” (Female Captain) at work because she can both make people listen to her or read her emails whether they were serious or just corny jokes. Just like me, she still has a kid’s heart because she happily beamed while sharing to me how she won a Quiz Bee contest at work, getting all those exciting goodies, or just finding a good pocketbook . She also never failed to think of kiddie games for family events.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MANANG!!! I LOVE YOU!

I miss you Manang and I am looking forward for your visit here with pretty Yza! May God strengthen you always! AJA AJA! Maligayang Kaarawan Kapitana!

***MANANG is an Ilocano word that means ATE or OLDER SISTER. MANONG is used for guys. Thanks to soap operas for using it to call their paid help (inserting sarcasm here just in case you didn’t get that), now those two words were commonly used at such BUT I still use MANONG and MANANG to call my older brothers and sister because those words have a closer meaning to me.

A Mother’s Love

Posted: February 9, 2011 in love, random thoughts
Tags: , , , ,

A mother who has sacrificed so much of herself for her family deserves to be treated like a Queen. I miserably failed to make my mother feel that way.

Mom and I

My Mom, Charito Cueto Fernandez, is a short woman (just a little above my shoulders) sporting a boy-cut hair for as long as I can remember. We would tease her when we were younger because she would always save the best things (from new blankets to Corelle dining sets) and use it for special occasions or when we have guests. She can be  a real chatter-box, too, who will always tell you stories of this or that.

But beyond Mom’s quirks, she was and always is an ever supportive and loving mother of 5 children (my 3 older brothers, my older sister and to me, the youngest). Our family had been through a lot – from financial crisis, to sleepless nights of fighting, to separation etc. But our Mom tried her best to still keep the family together. She sacrificed a lot for us, too. She gave as much as she could… and even if she had nothing to give, she would find ways and alternatives to still provide.

Mom with her kids, in-laws and grandchildren

She was always there for us. I can vividly remember some circumstances that she was there for me:

– I was prone to accidents when I was a kid, from cuts to my left eyebrow to chipped off toe nails, thus she would wake up late at night just to clean my wounds so that I won’t feel any pain

– when I was sick, she never failed to buy me Royal, Skyflakes and noodles, towel-wash my body and made sure that I drink my meds on time

– when I was in High School, I was hospitalized for a week. She dished work to take care of me when I seemed like a baby again because I can’t even change my own clothes, go to the bathroom and take a bath by myself

– when I was in college, I suffered from a severe migraine and felt like my skull would crack and I was gonna die. She traveled to my dorm armed with one of my fave dish of hers (ampalaya with egg and tomatoes) and made me sleep in her lap as she gently massaged my head

– when I decided to drastically shift from Engineering to Tourism and was afraid that my Dad won’t support it, she was there to assure me that whatever my decision is, she will be happy about it

– when I jumped from one work to another finding the right company and job that I would really love to do, she always believed that I would find what I was looking for

– when I would get awards and achievements in school, she was always there beside me to proudly receive it

My list can go on and on about the things that my Mom did and still is willing to do for me but I want to stop here and shift on my Sorry’s.

Proud Mama

They say that the people we love the most, hurts us the most. Well in that case, I sure did hurt my Mom big-time! I failed to live up and be the best daughter that she deserves to have…

Sad but true...

… I am sorry Mom for not being too patient with you and showed you irritation. I am sorry for not always being there for you when you need some company. I am sorry if I was not able to protect you. I am sorry if I fight with you about petty things. I am sorry if sometimes I make you feel that I don’t need you. I am sorry for hurting you. I am sorry for all the things I have done that hurt you and I was not even aware of it. I am sorry for taking you for granted.

Through all the things that we've been through, I know that you will always love me... and I hope you also know that I will always love you, too.

Your love for me can not be measured and the sacrifices that you made can never be repaid. That’s why I hope I can still make you happy in so many ways. Some of my prayers had been answered already because you are living your life again. I am glad to know that you are now enjoying the things that you never enjoyed before.

 

Mom says: Ok, let's go!!! Excited to experience Palawan's Underground river with her High School friends.

I am looking forward for June because you will be here in Thailand with me. I am excited to treat you to the yummiest thai food, to shop the best dress for you, to accompany you to the Grand Palace and Temples, to let you try thai massage and among other great things that we can enjoy here.

For now, keep safe and enjoy the rest of your travels and gimiks 🙂

***We also fondly call our Mom, MAMOCKA. My sister and I read a short story when we were kids about a boy who got lost and when the villagers asked him who his mother was, he answered: My Mamocka is the most beautiful woman in the world. So they all gathered the ladies with exceptional beauty but none of them was the boy’s mother. Then suddenly, a short lady with features that you can’t really say beautiful, came running… and the boy run towards her and embraced his Mamocka. The story shows how our Mom can really become the most beautiful woman for us. 🙂

May 18, 2010 (Imported from my Facebook Notes)

My UP life wouldn’t be complete without Tuesdays and Thursdays… not just because these days are really part of the week BUT because Tuesdays and Thursdays are days that are meaningful for UPd Navigators.

Tuesdays would mean that at the end of the day, there will be a TNT (Tuesday Night Together – I was told that the younger batches still holds TNTs on Wednesdays hahaha ang kulet). TNT is a time for fellowship for different batches to come together. We usually start late, and while waiting, some would chit-chat, eat, play nertz, review? (really questionable) or tell corny jokes (right Roy?). We usually have guests speakers during TNTs – mostly alumni or some of the elders (no violent reactions please). We have praise and worship, read God’s word, share our insights and then pray (which we were usually broken up to smaller groups so as to accommodate each other’s prayer time).

Thursdays are for our BS Group (composed mainly of Batch 2003 and Kuya Ram, our BS leader – we also have honorary members like ATE kythe). What i love most about Thursdays are our late night moments of Bible Study (BS), dinner, Kuya Ram bringing us “sosy” food like Shoppersville/Chocokiss cakes, SoftBatches, his own brewed coffee etc., our Batch who usually put in a lot of insights on the table (a subtle way of saying beating around the bush hehe), rotation on who will lead, laughters, lots of prayers, stories and more laughters. Thursdays were usually extended till weekends as we go on overnight (a.k.a akyatbahay gang) to our Kuya’s and Ate’s places. We continue our fellowship by nertzing till dawn, watching movies, playing other games, prayers, eating pancit canton, more coffee etc etc.

If there’s really one thing I really miss about my college life in UP, that would be those moments. God has indeed blessed me as He lead me to one of the country’s best schools… He blessed me with opportunities of great learning and also making it our there. But above all, He has blessed me because the time that I was in UP, that was the time I was able to know Him… That was the start of an awesome relationship with My Creator.

After almost 3 years from graduation… I asked myself what I have become after I stepped outside Philcoa and beyond. Again, He blessed me with work experiences and colleagues who taught me alot about professionalism and how to make it in a tough world. Last 2009 and 1st quarter of this year alone, He had granted my desires, of a job that I am passionate about, gives me the opportunity to travel and explore.

My next trip is a step-up on my exploration. I’ve been really looking forward for this not only because it will be my first time to go out of the country after exploring the beauty of our own, nor that I was able to save (really forced myself to really save!) for my budget, nor I will experience one of my top destinations to go to before I die – that is the Angkor Wat – BUT because I realized that I’m going to a country that for a time i considered doing Missions.

I remembered when Ate Zeny talked in one of our TNTs and shared her experience in ministering in Cambodia – a country that is still healing from its great lost during the Khmer Rouge. Some of the UPd Navs were able to do missions there last year and I’m sure they learned a lot from this experience. I on the other hand will be a traveler… But I pray that my time there will also be an opportunity to share God’s word and share His love abundantly. And as for my longing for Tuesdays and Thursdays, I pray that God will bless us with a common time for BS, a common time apart from work as we get together once again in His presence.

Why I miss you like crazy??? I miss spending those moments of prayers and BS with God… But I also realized that he misses me more… crazily missed me… I also remembered one of our Valentine’s FunNyt entitled Crazy Love… He is indeed crazy in love with us 🙂

our beloved tambayan... saksi sa aming kakulitan, kasiyahan, kadramahan... A place of great blessings and memories 🙂

Updated January 18, 2011:

1. I was told that our tambayan between Yakal and Ipil dorm was demolished 😦 So the younger batches use mats for their BS. Sad state but I’m glad they still continue meeting despite the circumstances. I’m looking forwward to reconnect with the younger batches when I go back. 🙂

2. My trip to Angkor Wat was AMAZING! Siem Reap was the highlight of our Vietnam-Cambodia-Thailand trip.

I was not able to meet Ate Zeny though since we only stayed overnight in Phnom Penh and she was busy with the school they put up. But I was glad I was able to share my faith to Kim, our very kind TukTuk Driver who works really hard in order to send his younger siblings to school and provide for his family. He also keeps a stack of English books in his Tuktuk and spends time reading them while waiting for his passengers – it just shows his passion for learning 🙂 I hope someday I can meet him again. If you have plans of going to Siem Reap, let me know and I can give you his contact details.

 

Karlo and Kim eating a delicioso ice cream after a tiring but fun trip to Bantay Srey. Kim is one of Siem Reap's Hidden Treasures for me. Every time I remember Angkor Wat, I remember Kim, too 🙂

A Love that Transcends

Posted: April 26, 2009 in love

* below is an excerpt from my friend’s blog. I cried a lot while reading this and I want to share to you a story of love. To follow Katrina and Sam’s unconventional love story click HERE.

Today, I mourn the death of my first love. He said, I was God sent to him to make it easier for him to fight his battle and to surrender unto His will. We could have built a family together. He left me here on Earth, wondering what to do next. But I remembered, he promised to wait for me. Like Abu said, life is too short no matter how long we live; we’ll see each other soon. Love is not measured how frequent you see each other in person, not by how many kisses and hugs you exchange, not how compatible you are in bed but how you inspire each other to become a better person. Love is despite and in spite of all things. Love is what remains when you have exhausted all the excuses/ reasons not to be together and still choose to be in that same position that you are with him/her.

Too many promises, sweet words and declaration of love were exchanged. I told him to write a book about his life to inspire people. He told me that to inspire people; you have to start one at a time. It is not an overnight agenda. He indeed started with me. And I am sharing you this because I wanted to inspire the next person who will find his story moving.

IN MEMORY OF MY SAM MCDEER (1980-2009).
WHO WAS A PRODIGAL SON, WHO CAME BACK HOME TO HIS FATHER’S EMBRACE.


Much Love,
Katrina Ann