Monday, December 31, 2012

New Project

Project 365?
Photos?
Using my camera everyday?
Framing a real-life scene artistically?

I'm trying to talk myself out of doing this. It's impossible. It's that one project I know I can't do or finish. I'm not a photographer. I just like remembering. Maybe I'd rather do a 365 Random Acts of Kindness and it will make the world a better place. Or a 365 Poetry since I'm wordy. Having too many photos and overdocumenting annoys me. But there is something so temptingly cute about this little photo/art that made it look so cool and easy. And made me want to be part of the challenge:



A day at a time.

I'll try. I really will.
Keep shooting.
Reopening my Flickr.

Let's get rolling, '13.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fear for the New Year

Last night I was sleeping at my grandmother's house in the province. We just came from a reunion, and I lately I was awestruck at God's amazing works this year. Truly unspeakable awesomeness! Then, sudden terror overcame me. A fear of the unknown year.


What will happen next year? What if the next will be worse than the last? What if God chose to take away something I depended on? What if God made me (oh heavens) wait for something I wanted for a long time? What if I fail or lose big time? What if something happens to people I care about? What if dreams never come true? What if we were put into huge, irreparable danger? What if people go broke, die, walk away, hurt me, or develop terminal illness?

This brought me down to my knees. It seemed childish, but I was really afraid of all this... the unknown. I chose to fall back into His reassuring arms and listen to a few songs on repeat: Safe by Phil Wickham, The Same God by New Song, Something Heavenly by Sanctus Real (I urge you to listen to them if you feel the same way). And was reminded.

Of course, 2013 will be difficult. No doubt about it. There will be tears, trials, conflicts, indecision, failure, tragedies... many unknown things that could be truly frightening, truly terrible. But the same God that blessed me this year will not change next year.

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It sounds cliche. We've heard it all before. But God does not know New Year's, centuries, annual events, or millenia -- God is the same. God holds time. 2013 is a fresh page on the calendar for us, but God had everything all figured out from the beginning to the end. God had mapped the times we have separated in years: 10,000 BC... 1521... 1992... 2013... 2024... 2487... xxxx. All the days of our lives, all eternity, down to the measurement of seconds. Our infinity is finite for God. There are no shadows of turning for Him. And even though I am a mere dot in his timeline, I am never out of his sight.

This comforted me and brought me out of my worry. It did not erase the fact that the worst ideas I have of 2013 may come true -- or that there could actually be worst than all my worse ideas! But it assured me that I will still be held by God. Nothing will escape his sight, and we will go through the years -- my whole lifetime -- together. No matter how difficult it will be, there will always be hope. God said that he will never leave us nor forsake us.

2013... I no longer fear you for you belong to God. :)

PS. A glimpse of a past New Year.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Old Homes



I haven't seen these guys (as a group) in monthssssss. In fact, it goes way back to my birthday last March. Our tradition of coming together for a member's birthday (dating way back high school) was broken this year because of mixed up schedules and places to be. I am so grateful that God still allowed us to meet for Christmas, or else I'll be really sad haha.

It was a bit nostalgic going back to Rizal. There are many amusing things -- amusing things that I missed and amusing things that I don't miss, such as the difficulty of getting a jeep in Katipunan at night, the patok jeeps, the streets we walked on, the restaurants we ate at, the homes we hung out at in our uniforms, the things we did in these places, the mall that was a walking distance away from our old house.

Amazing how it was never difficult to catch up, for there were no awkward silences like that of among strangers. I felt a part of me emerge again -- who I am when I'm with them. And it was surprising that most people were there.

Looking back, God did a lot for me this year. I can't even begin to thank him. But I guess I'll save it for a New Year post. :)

Merry Christmas. :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I'm coming back to the heart of... ministry

Ministry. Something I have always desired but has always been a butterfly I can't seem to pin down.

It's been so long since I breached the topic outside my private circle. It has always been difficult. But I can still manage before. Now that I have thousands of things to be thankful for, that I find myself murmuring "Thank you God" out of the blue, the whispers can't seem to come with an audible voice for other people to hear.

My ministry muscles have turned to fat, and fear has kept a comfortable place within the corners of my heart. And to come out of the rock to see the sunshine now means a lot of work. I enjoy my times with Him, but I can't seem to express it comfortably outside my doors. Yes I might have said a lot of words to others pointing to him, but somehow it's incomplete. Something is lost, and that is, being intentional. To have the conviction to say that no, I'm not trying to give you advice, I'm leading you to Him.

Ministry has never been easy. Even as I approached students and children before, there is still that sick feeling in your gut asking you to back off. But the first step, the first "Hi!" with a smile was enough to keep the fears away until I finish the words. And now as I approach the people I have worked with the last five months (at most), I can't seem to say a word about Him who has been so generous to me to even place me there.

Tomorrow, as I pray for a scheduled meeting, all I ask for is an intentional approach. Not to talk about marginal things such as passion, ambition, or even vision. But at the core, God. With boldness and conviction, God, and just God. May I forget my fears, myself, to put him on the foreground of my identity.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Published!

My heart is leaping right now, and my hands are shaking. The article I wrote a few months back got published in the Youngblood section of Inquirer WWWWWEEEEEEEEEEE. Although it's part of my current job to publish articles (and have published too :D), the glory of the byline and writing a piece for you and not for a company is different. :D

This is my third article in the section, first one was 2008, second 2009, and after three years of trying to follow it, I finally published again! One item off my bucket list. :> My first article was about death, the second was about being drunk, and now about finding my calling -- finally something positive :)) I sent way way way more articles than I published, so I hope people would send theirs too!!

It's a bit embarrassing to be published. It's like you're laying down private thoughts for someone to read -- making a piece of your life an open book. But I am hoping to see this as a gift instead of just a skill. A gift I could give to people and offer to God.

Thank you Lord. To You be the glory. :)

*Here is the online version: http://opinion.inquirer.net/42793/unmistakable-calling

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Church. Family.

Last Friday I went on an overnight at a churchmate's place. Christine is from the US, and it's the first time I met kids (that I also knew she had kids~! haha). It's first time to actually see a Christian family interaction. Even before, we didn't really go to mass together as a family to meet a Christian family, and if we do, it's not like we get to know the families of people inside the church. Sometimes neighbors can be too close that you don't really make an effort to know them more.

But here -- children, mommy, Christmas decors, homemade dinner, movie, conversation. It's too cute! When we went to the service the next day, there were kids there too. Fathers, mothers, daughters, a son. I've been used to calling the church a family, but it has never become more real than that time since I was used to having my peers around.

So that's what it meant... It's amazing, to have a family that is centered on God like some sort of a mini church. For the mom to encourage her daughter to have a quiet time. For the dad to lead the household in prayer. For the children to be thoughtful enough to create gifts for their parents. So awesomeee. It was difficult to claim that someday I'll have one of those because it's still pre-mature for me, which kinda difficult if you are usually with friends/officemates older than you.

What God has been impressing in me for now is mission. If it's being a missionary, I would never know. But I would love to have that kind of action in my life, for a lifetime. I have a story about work. I handled an account a few months ago, and really enjoyed doing so to the point that it made me want to stay for an entire year. But the account president met with my boss and said they will cut the PR next year to make way for other priorities, and we'll be around only for ad hoc projects.

The good news is that they praised me to my boss, which is touching especially for the short time I've worked with them and the fact that I haven't even met them. But I wondered what God is doing. Why did he take away that reason to stay? The cause of my closeness with my officemates and boss? The work that I lovingly tended to and now was praised for?

My quiet time is from George Verwer, the founder of Operation Mobilisation, and I'm applying for  community development internship abroad (how I wish) and everything is pointing to missions (to me, a broader version of social entrepreneurship). And as I was on my home to the province last night, I longed for using my resources for the kingdom. Something inside me is waiting to be born, nurtured, and mature -- and it was difficult to even entertain. The Scripture points to clear things, but your heart clings to comfort and conformity so closely.

What I know for sure is that I'm glad to have gotten a glimpse of a family and to be a part of a family who is never about just about its members, but mostly about its Head. Never about being too comfortable at home, but finding a home between the battles and brokenness. Never about being perfect, but finding forgiveness, love, and care with each other. How blessed I am to be part of it!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Old Multiply Post #3: "Rebound Love"

*Haha. Read this again.

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May bago akong crush! Hindi siya cute. Sa katunayan, siya ay boring, kumplikado, at madrama.

Nakilala ko na siya noon. Pero hindi ko siya nagustuhan. Kahit sino namang makakilala sa kanya, hindi siya nagugustuhan.

Emo siya, at halimaw lang talaga ang nakikipag-kaibigan sa kanya. Kaya hindi ko siya pinansin. Panay problema lang ang bukambibig niya eh. Dun nalang ako sa iba na masasarap kasama. Nagpatuloy yun sa loob ng ilang taon.

PERO NGAYON, naramdaman ko ang kawalan niya sa buhay ko. Ngayon ko lang narealize na mahalaga pala siya sakin - na hindi ako mabubuhay ng matino kung wala siya. Masakit man sa pride, oo kailangan ko siya. Ngayon nagsisisi ako kung bakit hindi ko siya pinapansin noon. Namimintas pa nga ako. Nagsasabi ng "Wala kang kwenta, bakit ka pa pinanganak..!" Ngayon, ako naman ang may kailangan. At tila hindi na niya ako pinapakinggan. Gumaganti siya... .Ouch.

Pero magpapakatotoo ako. Mamahalin ko siya dahil kailangan ko siya. Kung gusto niyang sinusuyo siya edi sige, suyuin.

Sana lang ay matumbasan ang mga gagawin ko sa mga susunod na mga araw. Ang pagtutuon ng pansin sa kanya. Ang pagbibigay oras para intindihin siya. Lahat iyon gagawin ko. Kailangan ko lang talaga siya. Nakikinig ka ba, Math? Pramis, hindi na kita itatakwil uli.. Di na kita babalewalain. Wag ka naman masyadong hard-to-get.. :l

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Old Multiply Post #2: "Titulo"

*Here's a profound piece from four years ago. Can you guess what this is about? :)

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Isang storya.

Merong isang tao na sa loob ng dalawang buwan ay nakuha ang titulo ng buhay ko na ‘special someone’.Dalawang  buwan lang, pagkatapos pina-surrender ko na ung titulo. Pero umabot ako ng kulang-kulang sa isa’t kalahating taon bago nabawi. Ang tagal ng delay time. E bakit ko pa ba pina-surrender? Maraming dahilan. Pero puro mabababaw. Masyadong maaga kong naibigay, hindi ko pina-alam sa mga magulang ko na may pagbibigyan ako ng titulo, at kami mismo ay madalas na hindi magkasundo sa negosasyong naganap.

Madaming beses sa loob ng isa’t kalahating taon na yon na gusto kong ipa-sakanya na lang muli yung titulo, tutal sa kanya pa din naman naka-pangalan yun. Mahirap nang burahin, magmamarka pa. Wala pati akong nakitang ibang tao na karapat-dapat na makuha yon. Meron ding mga panahon na dinedemand ko sa sarili ko na kunin ko na agad para maibigay ko na sa iba, kahit dun sa pinaka-malapit na tao na lang. Minsan sinasabi ng ibang tao, lalo na ng mga kamag-anak na hindi naman ako kilala,  na wag munang ibigay ang titulo sa iba dahil ako’y bata pa daw. Hindi lang nila alam na nabigay ko na, at hindi ko pa nakukuha. Kaya natatawa na lang ako.

Sabay lumipas ang maraming oras buwan at taon. Hindi na din ako naghanap ng maaaring paghandugan ng titulo. Nawalan na ang halaga noong tao na yon na dating sukdulan ang importansya, unti-unti, mabagal pero gradwal, pabalik-balik pero deretso pa din, sapagkat nawalan na siya ng partisipasyon sa araw-araw kong pamumuhay. Expired na sa kanya yung titulo. Lahat ng alaala ko sa kanya ay puro nakalipas na. Hanggang tingin na lamang, pag-uusap ng kaunti, minsan pag-aaway muli, basta pakiramdaman na lang. Mahirap maging batayan iyon ng kaligayahan at lalo pa ng personal na titulo. Noong hindi ko pinilit, saka ako nakabitaw. Kinabukasan, nakita ko na sa pinto ko uli yung titulo. Wala na siyang pangalan.

Ewan ko kung alam niyang naibalik na ang kay tagal niyang hinawakan at hindi pinakinabangan. Kawalan na niya, kasi dati ako naman yung nawalan ng matagal. Siguro ay makakahanap din siya ng ibang titulo mula sa ibang tao. Magaling siya doon kahit hindi niya paghirapan.

Napansin ko nga lang noong ilang araw na na sa akin pa yata yung titulo niya, at gusto niya ding bawiin sa akin pero hindi niya alam kung pano. Wala naman akong magawa, pero nais ko siyang tulungan na burahin ang pangalan ko at maiabot na ito muli sa kanya. Ang problema niya, hindi naman natuturo ang proseso ng pagwi-withdraw ng titulo. Mas matagal pa pala ang delay time niya, nakaka-guilty. Sana na lang na matulungan ko siya. Pagkatapos noon, malaya na siyang maibigay sa iba.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Old Multiply Post: "Gumballs"

*Warning: This was a hilarious post from my freshman self! A sneak peak at blogging 2008. :))

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Last night
Friend: Sam, anong zodiac sign mo?
Ako: Aries
Friend: (type type sa laptop) Ui sabi sa horoscope mo, avoid unnecessary gumballs..
Ako: (napangiti) Gumballs?...
Friend: Ang ibig sabihin, huwag kanga gad-agad pupusta.
Ako: Aaaaa!............. Hahaha! Gambles!!!!.................... Hahaha! Akala ko gumballs... (tumigil na sa kakatawa, baka maka-offend)

Today
Nag-gumball ako today. Mayroon kasi akong isang napaka-laking regret last year. Isang katangahan, katamaran.

Kasi, ina-announce noong December 16 or 17 na walang pasok. Edi masaya ako kasi yun ang araw na may exercises kami sa MATH 11, ECON 11, at NASC 5. Edi dahil nga “walang pasok”, hindi ako pumasok. NGUNIT. Nagklase ang NASC 5. At nag-long quiz. 50 items. NA-MISS KO. At walang make-up.

Ngayon, nag-NASC 5 na. Ayoko talaga ng subject na iyon. Ayoko sa lessons na parang review ng High school Biology pero walang punto. Medyo ayoko sa professor kahit magaling siya (madami daw award) at nakakatawa (to the point na akala ko yung jokes niya yung lesson). Pumasok ako sa klase na first meeting this year. At medyo gloomy pa ko sa alaala ng na-miss na quiz.

Nagsimula ang lecture. Sabay dumating sa The Water Cycle. Nagtanong si Sir kung sinong makakapag-explain ng water cycle (may powerpoint sa harap). Naghanap ng volunteer. Wala. Nagtawag sa bawat group, baka may volunteer.Inisa-isa. Wala pa din. Hanggang kinuha niya ang mike at nagtutututok sa mga estudyante na gustong magvolunteer. Tinuro niya sa’ken. Kilala na niya ako. Dahil ako yung tangang nag-text sa kanya ng ”Sir, diba wala pong pasok kahapon?” Ako yung habang naglelecture siya ay tahimik lang at minsan nang nagsabing ”What’s the question?” Ako yung isa sa mga huling estudyante na nalaman niya ang pangalan (mahilig at magaling siyang magmemorize ng names). Basta ako yung mediocre (aww). At tinutok niya ang mike sa’ken.

Binigyan siya ng pride ko ng tatlong segundo upang bawiin ang mike. Sa loob ng 3 seconds, naghintay siyang kunin ko ang mikropuno. ”Sam?” sabi niya. Tatlong segundo. 1. 2. 3. At hindi na nakayanan ng pride ko ang ikaapat na segundo. Kinuha ko ang mikropuno.. Naginhawaan yata ang mga kaklase ko dahil may nag”volunteer” na.

Ayun, inexplain ko ang water cycle. Ang precipitation, condensation, cloud formation, infiltration, transpiration (na nahulaan ko ang ibig sabihin), surface run-off, at iba pa. Natapos ko. Walang tanong naman mula sa mga kaklase (hay salamat!). ”Sige, dahil diyan you get plus ten sa long quiz”. Wow?! Sabi nung isa ”Ay sayang dapat pala ako din!” Ako naman, natuwa na din dahil 10/50 ang score ko sa first quiz. At hindi ako nag-aral. At in the first place ni hindi ko nahawakan yung papel. Salamat! Gagalingan ko na ngayon. Pramis, I shall take more GUMBALLS.