Friday, June 25, 2010

That word has been spoken about me quite a number of times now: blooming. You mean looking beautiful, having that inner glow or enchanting aura of some sort? Blooming, undergoing maturity?

In my imagination, blooming is a pretty girl with blushing cheeks and pursed lips in a cologne commercial. It's pretty unbelievable for me to receive that compliment. My eyes are dark and skin bad due to sleeping late and waking up early. To hear it from friends, partnered with endearing looks and a sincere heart is music to my ears--more a word to ponder with. My definition of blooming is quite different. To me the physical kind is just a manifestation from within, which makes it a little bit unusual to hear for me.

There is a creeping feeling of unsatisfaction. I am a junior college student, two years to go before graduation. Although being blessed to have join publication before and a church the past two years of college life, still there is that feeling I haven't accomplished that much yet: I feel that an organization would complete my college experience. Would I choose, however, to undergo application processes even if it means going through those with people younger than me (the question of pride) or even if it makes me feel like I'm starting a whole new gig with my life again that just might not work and interfere with my studies and waste my resources on?

In spite of those thoughts, though, today I walked in to an organization's orientation. It is a business-related organization, quite interesting enough that I knew that I would have a blast in joining them even in going through the application process. But my comfort zone is too hard to leave right now, since it has been everything I wanted: a church. Nevertheless, I feel as if I'm not blooming in terms of that too:

During our breaks especially this June when freshies are everywhere having no one to hang out with, we approach them and try to engage them into casual spiritual conversations. We try to get them sharing their ideas, and afterwards, ask if we could get their number and schedules. To a stranger, that is a pretty awkward and scary situation. I've been there myself, but it is something to risk. The problem is that when someone says no, I quickly move on, to the point that I do not have that persuasion powers to motivate them. I don't seem to have that manifestation of a real desire to share the gospel. It frustrated me when it came to my consciousness.

Like any other significant life events, I know blooming is a process that should not be rushed and should be undergone rigorously, even painfully to a point. The results do not come in a snap. Bet on it that this self-perceived-underachiever is not about to sit on the sidelines this semester.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stop Condemning Yourself

The last few days I've been torturing myself with the thoughts of a broken heart: as in pumping my earlobes with wretched love songs and playing back the good ol' memories that are now gone. But after Ate Rai shared about guarding the heart "for it is the house of all desires" last Wednesday, I realized that nursing hurts is detrimental to one's health and pysche. I know, it's an understatement. But it's true and I personally do it all the time!

In a snap, the urgings to self-pity came to a stop, halted in an instant. Now every time there is a creeping negative feeling, I tell myself to stop and acknowledge that God is working on that weakness.

Photo taken by Gelo at UP Diliman. Old photo.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Time is Slower in the Morning

Someone is trying to mend ways to become a neater, 'morning person' since none of the abovementioned adjectives describe her. That would be me: the girl who sleeps at 2AM and dashes off to class, but tardy anyway. I'm still trying.

Since three years ago, I've been returning to Mom the things I borrowed--accessories, shoes, some clothes. When I was in High School, I have always been itching to get out of her shadow. Mom is pretty and smart, and next to her I was self-conscious and childish, but God has a way of making you find out who you ought to be without all the itch (LOL). Nobody needs to rush in finding out who they're growing out to be. My result? Fewer shoes, fewer clutter, and more of the meaningful trashes things inside my room. Everything is mine now! Everything is accountable to me.

That's great. More responsibility.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Today I went to my high school best friend's church. Years ago, with my desire to really have a church, I held on to Aya because she was a Christian and very active on her church. I wanted to be converted into another religion just to have a church. I was that desperate. Now that I'm a Christian and I have my own church, Stillwaters, I realize that all those rituals and sacraments really matter less. What's more important is having a relationship with Christ. Thank God that He has answered my prayers to have a church.

It was raining and I arrived a little late during ICF's worship service. Aya looked up from the piano and waved at me. When the students were called to the front to be prayed over, we met and held hands tightly all throughout. I wanted to cry. She's leaving for Canada this July, and to say I'll miss her a lot would be an understatement. I'LL MISS HER A LOT. Visions of our last hug flooded my mind, and also our many memories together. I really pray the best for her in Canada. My promise is that if I'll have to fly to Canada to attend her wedding, I will. And I will keep that promise. In the meantime, I'll be attending her church, as I've promised years ago. Next Sunday I'll be going to ICF again, and I will commit. We were told to have a home church, so that even after graduating from UP I can have fellowship with other people.

Pastor Jason introduced me to Missiology. They offer scholarships abroad for those willing to go on missions. My heart gave a little leap. It was my childhood dream to be sent to places with a mission, probably a reason why God kept me in Sociology. I'm so excited and thankful that God used the girl I call "Bhez"as an instrument to make me a better person. Friends Forever.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ilocos Love

Shot by: Angelo Avendano

I am overwhelmed just tonight when I saw the pictures from Gelo's camera--the images were so vivid, my heart gave a little scream: The Ilocos trip with my high school pals!

We stayed at Lyka's aunt's place in Laoag, Ilocos Norte for four days, taking trips to Pagudpud and Vigan. We visited the Bangui windmills, the bell tower (not familiar with the names) and of course the sandy shores.. the beach! :D We did nothing but snap away! There was one night that we decided to sleep on the beach because it was an adventure. And hell yes, it became an adventure. There was a group of drunk, adult gays in their briefs dancing creepily around their bonfire. They were running towards the crashing waves, like it was a full moon (and I think it was). The next thing I knew, my friends woke me up in panic because they were hitting each other with bottles. Creepy! I didn't want to sleep on the sand so I slept on a table in one cottage and for the next two days, I had rib-pains. LOL.

Another was unforgettable place was Vigan. It has always been my dream to go there, and although we didn't do anything much but ride the kalesa, visit the potteries, gardens and the cobblestoned streets, the moments were unforgettable. And so were the food and car hours. One item crossed on my bucket list. :) This summer is just a whirlwind of good memories :D

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hope: Laguna

After six days of stay in Brgy. Langkiwa, Binan, Laguna, HOPE really changed lives. Ondoy ravaged the metro six months ago. I thought that after the clean-ups and the relief goods, everything has been restored, but it turns out I was wrong. We visited the Marikina segment of Southville. They are numerous families from different communities in Marikina who were rellocated after the typhoon because their houses were destroyed during the deluge. They now have decent, newly-cemented houses that look alike, they live in streets very close together; but there are no livelihood except sari-sari stores, and nothing much to do during the summer but to stay at home or play with the neighbors. We targeted the youth sector for there are already enough programs for the children.
When we started, we were warned to take it easy because these youths have trauma with the past flood. I thought they were exaggerating because Ondoy seemed a long time ago, but the very first time we met, I saw in their eyes that they are traumatized and very much affected until now--teenagers, whose parents are going home only during weekends because their jobs are still in Marikina, stopped their schooling and were separated from their peers. While we can say that we have almost recovered from the flood physically, psychologically and spiritually, there clearly are damages. The question asked was "During Ondoy, did you think that God was with you?"

The immersion we did was not for us, but for the community, unlike what I did during High School. We did a spiritual immersion instead of a physical one. Gathering more or less 60 youths from different blocks in the Marikina segment to join HOPE, for four days, we shared the Gospel and God's message of faith, hope and love that fit their context. I was especially thrilled to see the youths given Bibles and training material, and of course, sharing their hearts even though we met for just a short while. Seeing them consistently coming to the trainings despite the rain showers was also a blessing to us. Unforgettable hugs, tears, laughters and friendships were formed during the process. In my group, the youths have gained neighborhood friends whom they used to ignore. I'm glad we left something valuable for them and I really pray that they continue to have a relationship with Christ even after we left.

I cannot wait for another year of HOPE. It's just an experience not of physical enjoyment (for we have to sleep on mats and pump water; it was really fun though). But it was a spiritually refreshing experience-- witnessing God working with us.