Archive for October, 2009


We cannot lift another unless we’re on higher ground.

As a human being, I sometimes find myself at the bottom of the pit and unable to write uplifting messages for this blog site. But there is one faithful reader among you who just won’t allow me to wallow in my mire of misery for a long time. She consistently asks me why she hasn’t received any updates by midweek if I fail to post my entry by Tuesday—and for that I am most grateful!!! Her reminders give me a reason to pull myself up from whatever puddle I am in and work my issues out so I could get back up and get going. This morning she sent me this note which I’d like to share with the rest you. This may come as a surprise to her but I will keep her identity confidential so as to protect her privacy. She wrote:

“Good mornin’. May the Lord bless you with a bright day today! You know what? When I’m feeling low I kneel down and pray and ask [Father] to help me with all my burdens. And God gives me wisdom. If I’m too stressed because of my household chores, I take a break then eat some sweets. You know what my favorite is? Flat Tops! It only costs 1 peso each. It really works for me plus I do some inhaling and exhaling and think that I am beautiful or any [other] positive things. Oops, I know you’re smilin’, but it’s true and not a joke. And put in your mind that God always wants us to be happy. And because I love you, I want you to be happy just like when I’ve first known you…”

How grateful I am for people around us such as my sweet friend!!! Her words provided the lift that I very much needed today. And perhaps some of you could benefit from her wisdom as well. Kneel down and look up when our burdens become heavy to carry. Keep working hard despite the stresses of life but remember to take chocolate breaks! (Yes!) Think positive thoughts and remember who we are—beautiful sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father who watches over us and only wants nothing but our happiness. And finally, keep loving and sharing that love with others!!!

Have a great weekend everybody! 🙂


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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

There was a story told of a girl being bitten by a rattlesnake on the ankle and her friends chasing the snake first before remembering to get back to her to extract the poison from her leg. Unfortunately, her friends took too much time to avenge the infliction that the girl’s leg had to be amputated below the knee after a few days of being poisoned. Had the venom been extracted early on, the girl’s leg would’ve been spared.

The price of revenge is too steep in almost all cases. This situation is pretty much similar to holding grudges and resentments in our hearts. It poisons us more than it heals and we should strive hard to rid ourselves of all its stains.

Bishop H. Burke Peterson, who related this story, said: “The longer the poison of resentment and unforgiveness stays in a body, the greater and longer lasting is its destructive effect. … The poison of revenge, or of unforgiving thoughts or attitudes, unless removed, will destroy the soul in which it is harbored.”

How true!! I was almost tempted to keep this kind of poison in my heart, but I couldn’t stand it for more than a couple of days! I was physically getting ill and I thought last night I was going to have a heart attack from the pain. It was literally poisoning me!!! So I decided to let go and I was magically healed instantly!!! YayYyY!!! 🙂

How very grateful and ecstatic I am for this beautiful morning—feeling the cool breeze, seeing the sunrise, walking down a grass pavement, and having a wonderful breakfast after being made well by the amazing balm of sweet forgiveness!! Life is good!!! 🙂

Have a wonderful week ahead everybody! And let go of all those negative emotions in your heart!! Life is short! Keep it sweet! 🙂

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(Photograph by Franco Advincula)

When I was a young girl, my mom gave me a gold necklace with a butterfly pendant and a charmed bracelet that gorgeously dangled around my wrist. I was fascinated with their colorful design and liked them so much I wanted to wear them everywhere everyday. My mom warned me not to wear them in school for she said I might lose them during playtime, but I didn’t listen. A few days after she issued that warning, I lost the necklace.

Needless to say, I was in big trouble when she found out. Not only did I get reprimanded, but she also took back the bracelet and told me that I wasn’t ready for such a responsibility yet. My young heart broke, but I was taught a lesson that I carried with me throughout my life—sometimes when what we want conflicts with what is right, it is always in our best interest to stick with what is right and put our personal desires aside. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but it always is the best.

As an adult I’ve learned that we are granted blessings based on our obedience to certain commandments that Heavenly Father previously provided. There are times when our wants are inconsistent with the laws that were given, but if we choose to obey and do what is right we would always be blessed.

I haven’t mastered this principle yet. Time and again the defiant little girl in me surfaces. But when my wants conflict with what is right, I am grateful to be reminded of this incident and the sacred trust given by our loving Father in heaven to keep me from going too far astray.

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I witnessed last Sunday how being there for someone in times of need is sometimes all it takes to make them feel better. One does not even have to do anything, but listen.

The efforts to reach out and help those who have been affected by the storm continue. Some homes are still under water, families displaced, and many hearts are left weary. Yet despite the devastating situation surrounding the people in our neighborhood, it was amazing to catch a glimpse of the emotional strength that they exhibited in the midst of this crisis. In spite of their own loss, they went out of their way to offer relief to those who needed it more. In turn, their own burdens were made light and in blessing the lives of others they were comforted.

I must admit that I initially froze at the sight of all the destruction that this typhoon had caused—the number of lives that have been lost and shattered. I was immobilized by thoughts that I might not be on higher ground and wasn’t in a position to lift up another, so I stayed put—snuggled in my own little corner, keeping a safe distance from it all.

But I’ve learned that in giving service to others in dire situations we find our own solace and strength. We don’t even have to hide the fact that we are weak and powerless in certain moments. We just do the best we could. I also realized that it takes a lot of humility to accept help from another and to acknowledge the fact that we need help. Trials such as these can truly be a humbling experience. Finally and most importantly, I’ve learned that one of the most comforting gifts we may receive during a difficult time is the mere presence of those who truly love and care for us—even if they do nothing but listen.

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My heart is beating fast as I write this blog entry due to the stress that the storm Ondoy caused a lot of people in our country, including myself and my family. Unfortunately, we were in the middle of it all.

I couldn’t believe it was happening. I got text messages from my friend telling me that water was quickly rising in their home and that they were moving their things upstairs. I looked outside our window and although it was raining hard, the street where we lived on seemed fine with no trace of flooding. I turned to my son who was then watching a DVD movie and told him that my friend needed help and that I didn’t feel right sitting comfortably dry at home while my friend’s family was struggling to save their things. In my heart I knew we had to go and extend whatever help we could give.

So off we went, armed with just our umbrellas and willingness to assist. We decided to leave our car in the parking lot and take public transportation to avoid driving through the flood. To our surprise—after we got off the first leg of the trip—people were already wading through knee-deep water inside the subdivision where my friend lived because no transportation was available. I looked at my son and when I saw the sense of adventure in his 13-year-old eyes, I knew there was no turning back for both of us.

We waded through the flood for a few blocks under the rain until we saw four men riding an inflatable bed who agreed to give us a ride to my friend’s house. I held my umbrella on my right hand while I tried to keep myself on the inflated bed with my left. I think those men were heaven-sent! 🙂 We didn’t have to wade through the flood the entire stretch and we arrived at my friend’s flooded home ala-Cleopatra! 🙂

As most people in the world already know, the storm didn’t stop and it poured a record-breaking amount of rainfall that eventually flooded our own village and put our home and car under water. We didn’t get to see it happen in our neighborhood because we got stranded at my friend’s place. We watched from their second floor window how the water went from knee-deep to waist-deep until half of the van parked in front of their house was submerged in water. As electricity was cut-off, we relied on text messages to find out how other friends and strangers went through the ordeal themselves. Many lost their homes, some their lives.

As I contemplated on the things that happened and the effects that this storm had on so many lives, I cannot help but feel blessed that we are now safe. Although we have lost a lot of things, I know that those things can easily be replaced. But what stood out most in my heart was the overwhelming kindness of people as they extended their arms and hands to help their fellowmen in need. How people put aside their own comforts to embrace those that need support in all aspects. How individuals went out of their ways to ease the burdens of another. Human kindness was overflowing and it touched my heart deeply.

I’d like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to those who have extended help to us in any way during this trying time. My heart is filled with gratitude for you. I will not forget the sacrifices you’ve made and the kindness you’ve shown. Thank you so very much from the very bottom of my heart.

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