Hold the Door

“The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”  Matthew 23:11-12

Yesterday on our way out of the office building, we chanced upon a not so older guy in the lobby.  Since we were a  step ahead of him, I held the glass door for him until he was able to hold and close it.

He said “Thank you.  You’re so kind.”  I replied, “You’re welcome.”  But what he said after had me thinking.  He told me “You don’t have to do that.” 

Oh yes, I have to do it.  Given a chance, I believe that it is something we have to do as Christians – to always show kindness to anyone, anytime, in any way.I didn’t get the name of the guy, but I knew in my heart, it made him feel good that someone cared enough to hold the door for him. I can see in his eyes that not everyday someone does that for him.

Next time that he steps out of the door ahead of someone, I’m sure he’ll remember about yesterday’s encounter, and do the same act of kindness to another.  

When we plant the seed of kindness, eventually it will bear fruit and multiply.  Imagine if all of us perform random acts of kindness like clockwork.  What a wonderful  garden of kindness this world would be where fruits of unlimited supply abound.

It’s by God’s grace that chance encounter took place.  It gave me the opportunity to bless others in a very ordinary way, but in my heart it was most extraordinary how that guy made me feel.  Then I remember someone said, “Do everything as if you’re doing it for Jesus.”  Now I know why.

There’s Hope

“…but those who hope in the Lord  will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  – Isaiah 40:31

My work contract ends on March 31.  My bosses are working hard to keep me.  However, visa issues have kept them from making any promises if I’d stay or leave. 

If I’d manage to stay, I would survive a second redundancy case.  Being kicked out is nothing new.  Working in the Middle East as an expat is an uncertainty these days. In fact, it has been, the past couple of years.  My husband was actually one of the first casualties.

It’s sad considering we’re still way above our heads in debt.  And with my husband still unemployed, I should have worried myself to death, or to debt, for that matter.  To even imagine the prospect of being jobless as well, would have made me cringe.

But even I am surprised how the grace of God has given me the absolute trust that my husband and I are not alone in this plight.  I know that He sees what we are going through, and He will not leave us alone, helpless and hopeless.  

I don’t know what’s in it for me by the end of this month.  But God knows.  Because he had already written it long before I was even born.  He planned it for He is the architect of my life.

Surely His plans are not to harm me, but to prosper me.  Exactly how, only He knows.  And if only for that, I should not be afraid.  Because if I depend on what I know, there’s nothing but despair.

But in God, I lean on because only He knows what my purpose is.  Through Jesus Christ, who is the Way, I shall find it.

Godspeed Amang

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1

Today, as I gaze at the sunrise, I think of a loved one who can no longer marvel at this awesome sight. Nor all other sunrises of mornings ahead.

He had gone to rest forever to bask no more in sunshines nor moonshines, but in the light of God’s eternal light. 

We thank the Lord for the blessing of him in our lives. He is a simple and ordinary man. Yet unique, special and funny, even when life slowly slipped away from his frail body, and his memory faded with it.

We thank God for the fine man that he had been, for by him, the standard was raised for his sons and grandsons to follow.

I thank  Amang for his sacrifices and hard work in the name of love for family, which never ever diminished his sunny disposition.  

For this reason and more, I will remember him with every sunrise, and the happy memory of his smile. 

Mary, Mother of Jesus

“When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.  All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.  And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”  Luke 2:17-19

Our Lady of Manaoag

Today, we usher in 2017. What a better way to begin this new year than to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. 

The past year has been tough. On top of all other challenges, our family is under attack by dark forces of this world, trying to pull us apart to different directions.

Through it all, I believe she intercedes for us as we struggle daily to carry on. The rosary has such power to obtain graces as  we pray everyday.

During times when I almost give up, I think about Mary, and if she was in the same situation, what would she have done.  It always gives me the serenity to endure everything, with the realization that she experienced worst.

Yet she never faltered.  She is ever a picture of faith and love, despite the pierced heart from her own son, Jesus’ suffering and death. 

We look forward to a new year with a new hope for our family. May each of us continue to carry in our hearts the unconditional love of Mary for Jesus everyday.  For as long as we do, there’s hope.

The Colors of My Christmas

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21-23 

In a few days, we shall celebrate Christmas. Again. Being Christians, it is as essential as breathing.

I just realized it will be my 50th Christmas. I can remember vaguely, how each year was celebrated. But I’ll never forget how Christmas felt like.

When I was a child, it was all fun. Christmas tree and lanterns, Santa Claus and gifts, apples and grapes. Those were what Christmas was about. As I close my eyes, I see red, green and gold.


Then as I grew up and learned about the Nativity story.  The Belen, the Simbang Gabi and the Gloria became part of the list. So blue was added to represent Mama Mary.

When I got older and had a family of my own, the Holy Family: Joseph, Mary and Jesus became the goal. Christmas should be family.

In 2009, 4 days before Christmas, Daddy passed away. It was a season for families to be together. Hence, his funeral was held a day after, so we could be together at Christmas for the last time. The color I see was purple.

Now at 50, I know now what Christmas is all about- Jesus. Not the one in the Belen. Not in traditions. Definitely not in things. But Jesus in our hearts and mind. Absolutely. 

This year, all that I am used to celebrate Christmas with were taken away. What is expected of me, myself included, is to sulk and despair.

But no. There is a only certain calm and peace knowing that this is God’s will for me. All I can see is white. Pure and simple. JESUS is the reason for this season.


My prayer for you is to not be blinded by the world. Because the world has its way to keep you from seeing the true picture of Christmas.

My heart rejoices for the colors that Christmas brings into my life. May you also find Jesus in the kaleidoscope of your celebrations.

He isn’t far. He is right there in your heart, waiting for you to unwrap His gift of love, hope and peace.

The Lesson from the Socks and the Shoes

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:9-10

I remember fifteen years ago. My youngest who was a cutie, little boy then, could barely open his eyes much less put on his uniform to go to school.

Every morning, from the bathroom, he sat down on a chair with his curly hair still dripping. His eyes drooped as I helped him get into his uniform.

I remember how I would kneel before him when I put his socks, and then his shoes onto his tiny feet. His helpless baby face tried hard to stay awake.

Now he has grown. He can do pretty much all things by himself. As I grew older, my power over him diminished by the day.


There will be challenging situations in our lives, when our human battery will be depleted, and only a higher power can recharge us.

It is our God Almighty. Not Bruce Almighty. Definitely not the Marvel Super Heroes, nor the Fantastic Beasts. 

God is the power bank to which we should be connected at all times.

Notice when, at our weakest, we instinctively call upon Him. Because deep in our hearts, we know God is ever present and powerful. That the mere mention of the name of Jesus, all the heavens hear.

He won’t hesitate to put our “socks and shoes” on for us when we need to, but can’t. So we can go forward.

For as much as we love our children, God loves us even more. 

November to Remember

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12

Before my birthday month ends, let me reflect on gratitude for everything.

It was a difficult couple of years. In the family, there’s been job loss, unpaid debts, sickness and strained relationships. 

On November 9, when I turned 50, there was no party. I was in the office until 5. For dinner, the kids ordered for home delivery, takoyaki’s from Bonchon and chickenjoy from Jollibee.

It was a Wednesday and I wasn’t able to attend the mass.  I wanted so bad to do so.  But it didn’t happen.  

There were more that I would have wanted.  But sorry, not gonna happen says the Guy up there.  

That grand party was not a bad idea. Husband to complete the traditional family photo should be cool. Spend time with God in church would have been great!  Toink, sorry but not this year.  Not on my 50th.

Amazingly surprising was, I didn’t really care.  From the moment I opened my eyes, God was already in control. Though I was not sure where He was leading me to, I just trusted Him.

After each rain, the sun appears.

By the Father’s  grace, no longer do I depend on things seen for happiness.  My joy is in Jesus, whose great love for us is an example to follow- the humility to fulfill the will of God in our lives.

I wished for a happy birthday, and I got it!  Not only a happy birthday, but a great life indeed.  Praise and all thanksgiving be to God, the Lord Jesus Christ who reigns forever in my heart.

The White Flag

“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,”  Colossians 1:9

We recently moved to a new flat near the office.  The vicinity where it is located is dotted with embassies, and as such, there are military personnel posted in each.  Police cars patrol the area on a regular basis.  These brings about a sense of security and unity with the nations, whose flags we see everyday on our way to work.

I recently went on a trip to Dubai and Sharjah for meetings. It was a nervous flight because there was an indication beforehand that said meetings could be unpleasant.

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As the plane from Bahrain began to taxi, I noticed the two vacant seats beside me.  When I began to pray for a safe flight, I imagined Jesus and Mama Mary seated there beside me.  From then on, there was this calm that assured me everything would be alright.  And so it came to pass.  The ugly things that I had expected never happened.

I still get anxious and scared, yet God’s promise is a promise.  I may not see how, but all I have to do is trust.

So my friend, when it seems that you are at war with the world, or even with yourself, don’t be ashamed nor be proud to wave that little, white flag of yours.  It is not only a manifestation of humility.  It is an act of faith in God.

Embrace the Sadness

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

It’s been four days now. So I told Bhoy yesterday that I feel sad and I don’t know why. Being the thoughtful husband that he is, he tried to find ways to make me happy. 

He bought chocolates for me. He agreed to walk 3km in the park even if unsure of the heat and humidity. He tried to make me laugh with his antics. But to no avail.

It’s not just him. I also did my part. I worked to distract my thoughts from my sadness. I blogged. I listened to Wayne Dyer’s podcasts. I watched the Pope in New York. But even that made me sadder because there are many issues in the world and only a few care and act.

But that’s getting ahead of my story.

Today we planned to go fishing and moon watch. They said the super blood moon will appear again only after around twenty years or so. So it’s a must to go and witness this rare phenomenon at least once in our lifetime. 

But we remembered it is a Sunday. We go to mass at 7pm. So there, change of plans. Fishing has to be scrapped. We’ll go to the tree of life after mass and hope that we’ll still be able to catch the moon at its grandest.

There you go. I feel this way because life has not turned out the way I planned it. Even the simplest plan for the day would often be cancelled or changed as needed. 

But come to think of it. Life is not about my plans. It is about His plans for me. Since my life is intertwined with all of God’s creation, I should welcome all that it has to offer, including detours, cancellations, postponements and pleasant surprises.

I still feel sad. I embrace the sadness trusting that God has a purpose for its existence. I may not figure it out yet, but I trust God’s perfect time when all his plans for me including dreams, failures, lessons and achievements will be realized. 

It’s never about me. It’s all about my Lord. 

A Holy Life

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. – Jeremiah 33:3

The Season of Lent may be over.  So is the Holy Week.  

Did it bring us closer to God? I hope so, we all did.  With all the retreats, Visita Iglesias, Pabasa, Meditations on the Seven Last Words, Way of the Cross, pilgrimage, processions and the sacrament of penance, it’s impossible to ignore the presence of Jesus in our lives.

Now we’re back to the humdrum of our usual, ordinary days.  Slowly and surely, we will soon be snatched away from the serene state of being back to our toxic way of living if we let complacency rule.

Simon Wiesenthal once said  “For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.” 

We wouldn’t like that to happen, do we? So we remind ourselves to pray without ceasing. Holy Week or not. It is the only way to stay in tune with Jesus, that in whatever we do, we let Him participate.  In each moment, let us invoke His presence.  

It ain’t that hard. We just need some getting used to. What better way to do that than to practice.

Think of Him when you’re stuck in traffic, or when waiting in line. Pray to Him when waiting for someone in the coffee shop, or while walking in the park. Talk to Him in your mind and with your heart while working out, or while doing the dishes.

Jesus is everywhere.  You may feel His presence in the church or in a grotto.  But you can also feel His presence in the least likely places, if we only let Him in our hearts.

Truly Holy Week lasts but for seven days.  But a holy life is forever.