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Posts Tagged ‘simple truths’

In 2009, when typhoon Ondoy devastated cities and towns (including mine) with unprecedented number of deaths in Metro Manila, I thought I already saw the worst—and then came typhoon Yolanda.

Super typhoon Yolanda (International Name: Haiyan) was declared as an “Extremely Catastrophic Super Typhoon” by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) a few days before it made its landfall in Central Philippines on November 8, 2013. At its peak wind gusting up to 380kph (235mph), it registered as a Category 5 Hurricane in the Saffir-Simpson Scale and was declared the fourth most intense tropical storm ever recorded and the strongest to ever hit land.

As we watched from a distance here in Manila how the affected families rose above the situation—with an estimated death toll of 5,632 (as of this writing and climbing), damage to properties and agriculture amounting to PHP 30.8 billion, many missing members of families, children’s education standing at a halt, people sleeping on the streets after losing their homes with no food and water for many days—we cannot help but reach out to find ways on where we can extend assistance and provide support and comfort, even from afar.

I had the privilege of volunteering for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in their effort to donate 10,000 personal hygiene kits and 10,000 food kits from Manila to the survivors of the calamity a couple of days after the typhoon hit.  A total of 1,500 volunteers from different ages, races, and backgrounds came to the Aurora and Quirino meetinghouses to repack goods which were afterward picked up by Alagang Kapatid Foundation and the Philippine Navy for distribution to different parts of Leyte.

I also had the opportunity to assist in the interview of the first batch of missionary survivors who were evacuated from Tacloban to Manila and to listen in as they shared their individual stories that helped increase my faith in God and in the goodness of the human race.

Despite the bitter pain and trauma that most of the survivors experienced, they were extremely grateful that they survived the ordeal and that their lives were miraculously spared. Most of them lost all of their material possessions, but they were still very thankful that the most important of all their possessions were still with them—their families.

In this season of Thanksgiving, may we remember the things that matter most in our lives and have the heart to share some of ourselves—be it our time or material possessions—to those who are in need. Many lives have been lost and even more lives have been changed by this recent calamity. We are in a position to help lift heads that hang down and provide comfort to those who are in need of comfort. May we find time to reach out and offer a helping hand. As we do so, I know we will find joy in our hearts that no amount of money can buy and appropriately express our thanksgiving for all the blessings that we have.

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I love spending time with my family. Even if my siblings and I already have our own families, we always spend long vacations together or just hang out on Sundays at my Dad’s place. It’s a great way to stay connected and in touch with each family member. Families are forever! 🙂

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school bus

I was balancing my budget for the month and paused when I saw the entry “school bus” from the list. This entry is for the monthly payment of my son’s school bus fee, and since he would already be graduating from high school this month, then I would have already made my very last school bus payment for the rest of my life! I had mixed emotions about this—relief because it was one less bill to pay, but at the same time I felt nostalgic as I realized how fast time really flies. There is no turning back. My son (I originally wrote “baby” here) is growing up fast and there is no way I could stop it from happening.


Yet such is life, as I always say. We move on and progress from one phase to the next. This is an eternal principle that we must all go through. We cannot remain stuck in one place and expect growth that way. We should be ever learning, ever seeking for something better than we were yesterday. Life is a journey and I believe that every day is a chance for a new beginning.


As I see my children grow up and explore new things in life, I sometimes fear the thought that we wouldn’t be as close as we were before. Letting them go seems to be a sad and uncomfortable thing to do, but I know it must be done. This way they can find their own spots under the sun and bless the lives of those they come across with. I will not hold them back knowing what wonderful people they have become. It’s such a privilege to have been given a chance to raise them as their mom. I am very proud of both of them and grateful for the opportunity given me to have been part of their lives. They have taught me many things, above all, how to give and receive unconditional love. I thank our Father in Heaven for all His blessings and for helping me raise them up. Having them has been the greatest joy and priceless blessing of my life.


And now on to more adventures in life!


Have a fabulous week everybody!!! 🙂

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ValentinesDay

It’s my first post in 2013 and it’s Valentine’s Day!!! 🙂 A lot of people in the world are celebrating this special day. I just feel like sharing the love with everybody today.

No matter where you are… Whatever language you speak… Whatever color of skin or hair you have… I want to wish you all a very happy Valentine’s Day!!

Let us share this day with people we love—our family, our friends. And if we feel like we don’t have anybody, remember there’s One up there who loves us so much more than we will ever comprehend.

Have a fabulous Valentine’s Day everybody!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Christmas is a time our hearts turn to the Savior Jesus Christ. This is a true story of one woman’s experience as she learns that the Lord loves us and knows our specific circumstances.

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Two days ago, I was requested to participate in a series of corporate training called the “Fearless Leadership Program.” At first I thought it was a waste of my time. I was already being pulled in many different directions and I thought that one more training—with many succeeding sessions—was too much for me to bear. I thought I had more important things to do, but I was wrong.


I didn’t know what to expect from the training. The title itself sparked my curiosity. Fearless Leadership. Will they be providing a lecture on how to become fierce in implementing mandates from executive management? Or teach us how to be tougher or more strict towards our team members? I couldn’t wait to attend and find out.


All my qualms were quenched after the first session. To my surprise, it wasn’t at all what I thought it would be. The initial session focused on understanding our entire lives—from childhood to present—and analyzing situations that happened in the past that influence the kind of persons we are today. I was very uncomfortable at first. I didn’t want to reveal some things about the past—my childhood, my family, my experiences—that I’ve always kept hidden, even from myself. But as I saw how the other participants opened themselves up and shared their experiences freely, I allowed myself to open up and share my experiences as well. By doing so, I was able to understand myself a little bit more—why my priorities are such; what motivates me; why I react to certain situations the way I do. It was, I should say, a liberating experience.


As I listened to the stories that were shared that afternoon, I learned that people have common experiences—albeit different scenarios—that either make them or break them. In most instances, seemingly negative experiences that each participant overcame brought about success beyond what they expected or imagined. Those who thrived during the trying moments came out victorious as they looked at their previous challenges as stepping stones instead of stumbling blocks.


Some of us may be in a similar situation today. Some may be struggling to overcome certain challenges that may appear to be too negative at the moment. Let us keep in mind that these circumstances are temporary and if we gather the courage to overcome, we can look forward to that day when we could look back and stand, having a better perspective that these things will be for our own good.

Enjoy the rest of the week everybody! And remember, there’s always a rainbow after the rain! 🙂

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This clip made me laugh. I’m my children’s “Number Zero Fan” and sometimes they get embarrassed to hear me cheer them on like this from the sidelines. I guess family members are the best cheer leaders! Enjoy the clip!

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