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Posts Tagged ‘service’

Photograph by Reddie J.

This morning I read in the news that the husband of an old lady that has been missing was finally found. The old lady put a paper sign on her clothes, front and back, with the photo of her beloved missing husband and sat for many days around the area where he was last found, hoping someone would recognize him. I was moved by the gesture and thought it was such an adorable way to show how much she really loves him. Someone posted that photo on a popular network site and somehow paved the way for them to find each other again. I’m glad they are back together in each other’s arms. They deserve to be happy.

Similarly, on my drive to work, I always see a homeless man sitting or sometimes lying down on the pavement of a certain street of a posh subdivision. He seems like a tall guy to me with a good posture. I know that some people driving by give him food and clothing, and today it made me smile to see him wearing a decent haircut!! Such a wonderful way to show love and kindness towards a fellow human being. This time I could see his face and I had to take a second look to view it. May the generous person who did it for him be abundantly blessed.


While waiting for my daughter to arrive for our movie date on Monday, I asked my son how his day was. He said nothing much happened in school. Same old, same old. Then I asked if he had done any good to anyone that day. He paused. I guess he was surprised that I deviated from the drill—and I suppose I was surprised too. But it got me thinking.


It’s a shame that sometimes a day passes by and we miss the chance to do something good to anybody. Sometimes we get too caught up with our own world and activities that we forget there are people around us whom we can serve in many little ways. Yet I know that it is when we go outside our comfort zones and make others happy that we experience true happiness.


May we open up our hearts and hands to those who need some type of comfort or help. May we learn to give more of our time, talents, and resources liberally that we may experience the real meaning of being happy.


Have a great week everybody! Let’s try reaching out to others and experience the joy and happiness that it brings! 🙂

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Warm Fuzzies

A simple act of kindness goes a long way.

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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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People all around the world were moved by the recent catastrophe that hit Japan. I watched in the news a rescued man speaking about his survival experience and although he spoke in Japanese, I could feel and understand the sadness and trauma that he underwent after his ordeal. An old woman clung to a tree the entire evening for dear life and was rescued the following day. Buildings and homes were destroyed beyond anything anyone has ever imagined. The wrath and power of nature was only to be endured with utmost acquiescence and without question.


Through my years of existence, I learned that no matter what race we come from, whatever language we speak, whosoever we worship, we have similar innate characteristics that prove to me that we all come from the same source and are undeniably all connected as an entire human race.


In the midst of this calamity, tensions had been set aside for a moment among countries. Nations sent all they could to support and assist Japan in their current needs. The resilience of people was remarkable and it was touching to see the overflow of human kindness during this time of grief and loss.


Yet no matter how negative this experience was for many people, a lot of us also learned numerous positive things that will remain in our hearts for a long time. This experience taught me that even strong nations and seemingly independent, affluent countries still appreciate offers of assistance coming from their neighbors in times of trials and adversity. Similarly, our fellowmen who seem strong and independent will appreciate our support and encouragement in times of trials in their lives.


It was also admirable to see how the Japanese people remained calm and focused in spite of the overwhelming devastation that gripped their country. Collectively, they had the determination to rebuild their homes and individually extended help to those who needed it. Survivors orderly lined up and waited for whatever basic relief commodities were distributed to them. A spirit of unity was prevalent across the land.


In our times of trial, we can learn from their example by being still and enduring the tribulation with patience and faith and being grateful for the moral support of our friends and family and the Divine help that is always extended to those who seek it.


It may take a few months or a few years before Japan can get its nation back to where it was before the earthquake, but the lessons we’ve learned should very well not be forgotten.

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(Photograph by Franco Advincula)


My sister and I were making fun of my cooking skills yesterday during one of our many just-catching-up phone conversations. We had a good laugh when I told her that my son was able to tell what for dinner was after four guesses by enumerating what I usually cooked from my limited menu. She suggested that we attend a culinary class in order to enhance our cooking prowess and broaden our carte du jour. However, I told her that based on my many, many, (yes!) many years of experience trying to cook delicious meals and not being successful in most of them, I finally realized that cooking is a talent. I find it hilarious how sometimes people cannot tell what kind of cuisine I am serving by merely looking at the dish in front of them! Nyahaha! 🙂


But I am most definitely NOT discouraged! 🙂 I have two of the most avid and supportive kitchen fans in the whole wide world!!! 🙂 I think it’s thoughtful and loving of them to acknowledge my sometimes “creative” cuisines and even have the admirable courage to eat them!!! Hahaha!!! 🙂


How grateful I am for such supportive family members!! I know that the greatest joy we can find is within the walls of our own homes. It is where we learn to love unconditionally, forgive whole-heartedly, serve unselfishly, and be accepted unequivocally.


Once I was talking to a friend who just sent her daughter off to college. She said her daughter called and was feeling homesick on her first week away from home. She was a little worried about her daughter, but I told her that she should look at it as a good indication that she did a great job in providing a loving home for her daughter—enough for her to miss their home when she went away.


I think we should all strive to create a loving and comfortable home environment enough that we would miss it if we ever went away. Let us make our homes a bit of heaven on the earth; and despite the occasional burnt chicken in the oven and the bland beef stew from time to time, let us love and support our family members enough that we may all look forward to the day when we can be with them forever!! 🙂


Take care, everybody! Try to spend more time with your family this week!! And PLEASE watch that chicken in the oven!!! 🙂

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(Photograph by Franco Advincula)


While cruising down a road that led to our home the other day, I noticed some banners reminding the people that it has been a year since the catastrophic flooding that affected most of the metropolitan area occurred. It was a call for thanksgiving and celebration for the lives that were saved during that time and to encourage the people to keep moving on as they look forward to a brighter future.


It’s amazing how time flies, and the memories that these types of tragic incidents leave us are some that cannot easily be forgotten. They linger in our hearts and in our minds. Yet the wise thing to do is to look for all the good and positive that would come out of it.


What struck me most from looking at the banner was the photo that accompanied it. It was an image of a distressed woman being rescued from the flood, with someone helping her to swim in the water while someone ashore was pulling a rope tied around her body. I imagined how desperate her situation was and how grateful she must’ve been for all those strangers gathered around her trying to help and save her life. And they most probably did.


As I pondered about that photograph, I thought of how noble and praiseworthy those people are. How admirable that they were willing to put their own lives in danger in order to help a stranger from losing her life. And then a thought came to me: There is no wonder our Redeemer was willing to give up His own life in order to save us from losing ours forever. Because if these strangers were willing to do so with their fellow beings, how much more Him who created us and have known us even before we were born? If these strangers could love their fellowmen enough for them to do what they did, how much more exponential God’s love for us is?


And we should all be grateful.

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(Photograph by Dianne Bolo-Bacigalupi)


A few weeks ago, I sent an online inquiry about a fitness center program that I was interested in. Although my schedule was pretty hectic, I thought it would be good to invest in one’s health so I wanted to know more about it. I received a prompt call from one of the center’s employees acknowledging the inquiry and inviting me to come to their gym to see their facilities that day. I had something else planned so I politely declined and uttered the standard courteous response: “Maybe some other time.” To me that was the end of our conversation as I didn’t see any opening in my calendar for it. But little did I know that I was talking to one of the most persistent persons on the planet. 🙂

To my astonishment, I consistently received either a text message or a phone call from this fitness center employee in the many days that followed. And the time varied. Sometimes she would call in the morning and sometimes I would get a text message in the middle of the night. I tried to set up an appointment twice, but had to cancel due to various valid reasons. Instead of giving up or getting annoyed, this person encouraged me ever so kindly and untiringly reminded me to reset our appointment at my “most convenient time.”


Finally yesterday, I was sleeping in a dark room and had my celfone on silent mode when I was awakened by a blinking light inside the room. I opened my eyes and saw that my celfone was blinking. This fitness center employee was calling me to remind me of my appointment with her in about an hour! I was greatly impressed!!     


To cut my long story short, I got out of bed, went to the gym, met the persistent fitness center employee, signed up for the program that I was inquiring about, and became a satisfied gym enthusiast. 🙂


More than anything, I think I learned a lot from the display of persistence and patience that this employee exhibited. She didn’t stop and she didn’t get discouraged until she was able to reach her goal. She just pushed and worked hard for it until she finally got what she was aiming for. I think that’s a great example of how we should achieve our goals in life! We should be hopeful, patient, and persistent.


Most importantly, after all our hard work on whatever it is we are trying to achieve, let us remember to thank Him who blesses us with all that we have and all that we are.


Enjoy the rest of the week everybody!! Keep on keeping on!!! 🙂

 

 

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