Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

I was once enjoying late lunch with a friend when out of the blue a large fly swirled around us trying to get its share of our exotic meal! The waitress at the restaurant was embarrassed yet attentive enough to see our situation and immediately brought a medium-sized candle on our table –apparently to help shoo away our uninvited guest.

But instead of avoiding the clear sign of danger, the impulsive insect dove straight into the candle light as if toying with its fate. It naturally burned its wings and within a blink of an eye dropped onto the plate of my horrified friend. We couldn’t believe how fast things happened. We found ourselves trying to get the fly off the table while its body wiggled and struggled to get out of its predicament. It dropped onto the floor and while my friend told me to step on it, I only watched it literally “walk” its way out of our presence, limping and squirming with pain. It must’ve been terrified by the thought of its imminent death as well. We never knew if it made its way back home, or if its wings ever healed again, but it certainly suffered the excruciating consequence of its action.

We paused for awhile and thought how foolish that fly was for going straight into the candle light without thinking of the consequences. Yet between the long pauses, all my friend could utter was this: “Temptation.”

How many times in our lives have we acted like this foolish fly? We recognize danger and yet we sometimes think we are strong enough to withstand it so we head straight towards it and eventually burn our “wings.” Hopefully when this happens we won’t be placed in a situation where it’s too late to turn back and like the foolish fly suffer the consequences of our actions. I pray that in our dealings with our weaknesses and temptations we can gather the essential courage to mend our ways, get back on the right path, and be given enough time to eventually make amends and set things right.

Enjoy the weekend everybody and keep these thoughts in mind the next time you see a fly swirling around a candle light.


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I strongly believe in the message of this video clip. I believe that for relationships to work, we should spend time with, cherish, and express love to the people we hold dear. Enjoy watching! 🙂

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(Photograph by Melanie Gapiz)

After three years of planning, preparation, and thousands of cumulative hours of participant rehearsals, the Jubilee celebration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has finally come!!! 🙂

As I sat on the edge of my seat watching the festivity and cheering the other participants, I was extremely grateful and my heart was overcome with emotions for having had the privilege of being part of the momentous occasion! 🙂

Throughout the course of the rehearsals, I witnessed how the opposition worked his way through various means, using different people and their weaknesses, to try to stop this effort from progressing.  I have seen many frustrated faces, and people quitting in the midst of all the preparations due to disappointments and discouragement. Some left simply because they got exhausted and did not see the grand outcome that was meant to be. Many cynics doubted and some begrudgingly supported the event.

Yet a great majority withstood the test and endured to the very end. These are the ones who enjoyed their journey and learned the sweetness of its value as they looked forward to their destination. These are they who, despite their mortal differences, learned to exercise the virtue of patience, long-suffering, forgiveness, and humility. They are the ones who experienced the joy of service, unconditional love, and found among themselves new and lasting friendships.  

At the end of the celebration, I realized that all the grand preparations made were befitting the occasion. It was a token of gratitude from the Filipino people to our God and King, for all the blessings we received on this land since the preaching of the gospel 50 years ago. It was worth all the hard work putting everything together—our talents, our time—to come up with the best that we could offer Him. Hence, I was moved and most grateful to hear, by the mouth of one of His servants, that our offerings had been accepted.

I think that life in general will be like this Jubilee celebration. The preparations will not be easy for the glorious end. Many will fall and lose their way. Yet those who will endure to the end will receive their sweetest reward—much more than they have ever imagined.

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(Painting by Greg Olsen)

My heart is brimming with happiness during this most festive season!! It also coincides with the month I am celebrating my birth on the earth! As I celebrated my birthday, I was filled with so much joy and gratitude for all the wonderful blessings I have received; for the countless greetings from family and friends; for the warmth, love, and kindness of the people around me; for the opportunities to serve and the inexplicable feeling of bliss which comes along with it! Oh, how my spirit swells!!! 🙂

I’d like to wish you all the same feeling of joy and happiness! May you find peace, love, and a feeling of gratitude that will make your hearts swell as we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ this season!

A very merry Christmas to all!!!

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

I don’t watch a lot of TV so I was oblivious to the heartbreaking tragedy that took many innocent lives on Monday until a co-worker pointed it out to me when I arrived at work later that day.  Just a couple of weeks prior to the incident, I was at the exact location where the hostage-taking unfolded, sight seeing and touring the area with a foreign friend. 

In retrospect, I thought how desperate a measure it was that the man took hostages in an attempt to bring back whatever dignity was left of him. I wonder if he had a chance to ponder about the serious repercussions of his plan. Was he able to think about the numerous lives that might have been lost? The many hearts that will be broken? I wonder if he had a chance to get down on his knees to pray for guidance and comfort. I wonder if he received enough support from his family and friends before he committed his fatal act. Clearly, he wasn’t in his proper frame of mind when he did what he did. It was an unfortunate tragedy that left many people saddened, angry, and some scarred for a lifetime.   

In a similar scenario this week, I witnessed how an act of unselfish service blessed the lives of two women who had been through a recent traumatic shooting incident themselves involving loved ones and friends. Someone in a position to help quietly went out of their way to offer comfort and lift the trauma off these women’s distressed minds. I witnessed the real meaning of charity come to life and was deeply touched by what I saw. It was the gospel in action. I wish the hostage-taker had someone like this person reach out to him during his contemplative moments so he didn’t end up doing what he did. But then now it’s too late.        

I sympathize with the families of those whose lives have been lost in such a senseless manner. I wish that those who have passed on have already lived their lives to the fullest and have already accomplished what they came here on earth to do.

In the darkest moments of our lives, it is good to remember that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. That we will not be given anything we won’t be able to bear. That there is help if we but seek it. Heavenly Father is there for us. He is the Father of our spirits and He loves us beyond our comprehension. He will help us when all else fails and we’ve done all that we could. Despite our many challenges and trials, our lives don’t have to end in any kind of tragedy. We can rise above the blues. Our Father wants us to succeed in all aspects of our lives. And He is there watching…and waiting. We just have to reach out to Him.  


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(Photograph by Roxanne Juele-Montojo)

I accidentally watched the final part of a beautiful sunset today inside the car while my friend and I were stuck in heavy traffic on our way to the grocery. I didn’t move the car until I couldn’t see the orange part of the sun anymore. I guess the driver of the car behind me was just as fascinated with the view because I didn’t hear any honks as I enjoyed the moment—or perhaps I just zoned out and time stood still. It felt at that time as if it was just me and the setting sun.

Anyway, earlier in the day, her dog gave her a dead bird “offering” which she found a little bit gross. But I related to her a story I once heard about a cat offering its owner a mouse in exchange for his kindness. In its unique feline world, bringing a dead mouse as a gift must be the grandest and ultimate thing he could do to express his gratitude to his owner for giving him all that he had.

How similar our offerings are to our Creator! He who owns everything in this world does not need anything we can ever offer. But He appreciates all that we do offer Him and asks for no more than a humble heart and a contrite spirit. And when we finally give whatever it is that He had asked of us, He blesses us even more!!

How can we ever repay Him and His goodness? Our offerings must be like the dead bird or mouse. Yet He continues to paint rainbows in the sky and gives us breathtaking sunsets. We are eternally indebted to Him for everything that we have and are, and yet as a parent myself, I know that our Father in Heaven doesn’t need any of our offerings for Him to continue loving us unconditionally and unequivocally. He simply does.


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(Photograph by Franco Advincula)

I’ve been regularly communicating professionally for the past seven months with this complete stranger through various means of modern technology: emails, phone calls, Communicator. Despite the apparent distance (we are located in different parts of the world) and anonymity (except for voice recognition), we managed to virtually accomplish things together and achieve corporate goals set within the confines of our mutual environment.

As days turned into months, respect was slowly earned through small acts of constancy, dependability, and willingness to lend a hand whenever necessary. I felt that being my professional mentor, this person took my growth to heart and sincerely did things to help me progress in that aspect of life.

Many personal battles have also been won during these times and in each case I felt that the professional line that stood between us was carefully treaded to offer comforting support beyond what was called for. By and by, this person became not only a professional colleague, but a virtual friend in every sense of the word.  

Then came the pleasant surprise. We had a chance to meet in person for the first time after all these months of knowing each other only virtually. I was a bit nervous on how it would turn out. I wondered if this person would be the same face-to-face as the person I had been communicating with online.

And it turned out very well.

From the moment that we’ve said hello, I felt very comfortable around this person like we’ve known each other for so long. As we spent time together that day, I realized that our differences in upbringing, race, language, and even our perspective in many ways are bridged by our humanity. That although we were brought up separately and differently, our longings as human beings are the same. That what we consider important in life are similar. That our values and aspirations are alike.

How grateful I am for the grand design of our existence. No matter where we are in the world, we are indeed brothers and sisters who belong to an enormous eternal family. I am grateful for the knowledge that life doesn’t end here, and that our associations here are some of the finest things we can bring with us beyond the veil. And although we hardly recognize each other here on the earth now, I know without a shadow of doubt that none of us are strangers after all.

Enjoy the rest of your week everybody!!! And try to say hi to some of the strangers you come across this day. 🙂

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