Archive for May, 2010

(Photograph by Gary Erickson)

Summer vacation is almost over for most students in the country. My daughter spent some of her vacation time doing on-the-job training to satisfy her school requirement. I saw how she has grown much from this relatively short experience. She has gained a personal knowledge of how it is like to work in the corporate world and consequently broadened her horizon in terms of some temporal aspects in life.

There are things that we can only learn first-hand. We cannot comprehend the kind of love a mother or a father has for their child, unless we become a parent. We’ll never know the happiness that comes from being selfless until we serve or give something without expecting anything in return. We cannot describe the grandeur of a sunrise or the serenity of a sunset if we don’t make time to watch them. We will not know the thrill of success and the strength we can gain from failure if we do not even attempt to try. 

Each of us is in the middle of our “on-the-job training” here on earth. We learn things by experiencing them. Some opt to learn every single detail by being diligent, while some choose to sit back and simply watch as life passes them by. It’s always good to remember that this will also be a relatively short experience and we need to learn everything we can so that when our “summer vacation” is over we may have enough knowledge to bring with us back to our heavenly home. No moment should be wasted, every minute counts.  

As we do so, may we be grateful and strong in the face of life’s many surprises; keeping in mind that when we get a downpour during our summer, it is a welcome break from the scorching heat, a time to walk under the rain, enjoy the sound of the trickling raindrops, and take pleasure in the cool breeze on our face.

Here’s wishing you the best that the summer brings! 🙂



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(Photograph by Charisse Paculanang-Guymon)

My parking space is located in the middle of the fourth floor of a multi-storey car park where I have a good view of the city skyline and the Manila Philippines Temple on the right hand side, and the thick green landscape of the rural mountains on the left hand side. It’s such a complete contrast.

I find myself in awe at the sight of it everyday. I look forward to the car’s ascent to the fourth floor when I approach the parking building—always anticipating this remarkable view—and it never fails me.

Sitting in the middle of these two contrasting backgrounds reminds me of the importance of balance in life. One offers serenity and peace, a close call to nature; while the other offers opportunities for growth in terms of personal skills and experience. I believe that both are important and must be nourished and nurtured in our lives. It’s interesting to note that in the midst of the skyscrapers stands a beacon of light and truth—the temple—a refreshing ensign to those who look to it for strength and inspiration.

Every single day we find ourselves sitting in the middle of things, weighing the better of opposing choices. It may be as simple as picking whether to drink pineapple or orange juice; or as complex as deciding between being selfish and being selfless. But the options are always there.

Once I was told that I would be hated for the rest of someone’s life if I chose to do the right thing. Although it wasn’t the easiest and most convenient thing to do, I did choose the right thing and I never regretted it. There is peace that comes from doing what is right no matter what the consequence is.

Elder Dallin H.Oaks said, “As we consider various choices, we should remember that it is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best. Even though a particular choice is more costly, its far greater value may make it the best choice of all (Dallin H. Oaks, “Good, Better, Best,” Ensign, Nov 2007, 104–8).”

As we make our daily choices, may we be guided by this divine principle and may we have the wisdom and courage to choose the best among all the choices presented our way.

Have a fabulous week everybody and good luck on making those choices!!! 🙂

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(Photograph by Franco Advincula)

Time waits for nothing and no one. As our family mourned the loss of my sister, the world didn’t stop and things went about happening in their own usual schedule—just as they were meant to be. A basic reminder that no one is indispensable on this mortal existence. Life goes on, with or without us. We live. We die. And we hope that whatever we do in between will make a difference in someone else’s life, not just our own. Then perhaps if we do that, we will be happier and more fulfilled when our time to pass through the veil comes.

I’ve learned some positive things from this sad experience. I’ve learned that, indeed, people have their own appointed time as written in the scriptures and we cannot choose how or when we will go. I’ve learned that the “First in, First out” principle doesn’t apply to people’s lives. They die when it’s time for them to die, even if they are younger than us; even if we are not ready to let them go, and even if they are not ready to go. I’ve learned that it’s easier to accept God’s will than go against it. After all, He knows what’s best and oftentimes we cannot comprehend His ways. I’ve learned that having faithful friends reach out to us during a difficult time ease the sadness and warm the heart, even for a small moment. I’ve learned that hot soup, crackers,  chocolates, and flowers are very comforting. I’ve learned that in times like these, good people come out and open their hearts to extend their love even when we least expect it. I’ve learned that it’s great to see old friends and even make new ones during this time of grieving. I’ve learned that being close to our family members matters most and that in the end, they are all we really have. Above all, I’ve learned that at the end of the day, when all is quiet and everyone’s gone, we can only rely on the comfort of the Spirit to give the peace that we need and the assurance that death is only a temporary separation and is an essential part of eternal life.

In behalf of our entire family, I am grateful for all those who have extended their overwhelming show of love and support to us during the past couple of weeks. Thank you all so very much!

And now we must all move forward and keep on keeping on.

I hope the mothers out there had a great Mother’s Day yesterday! Happy Belated Mother’s Day!!! 🙂

And have a fabulous week ahead everybody!!! 🙂

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