everyday's a blessing

you're never a failure until you've lost the lesson Romans 8:28

The Proposal October 15, 2011

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The Proposal  Oct. 14, 2011 21:35 pm Room 303 Airport Road Abu Dhabi UAE.

Wedding proposal especially lines such as “Will you marry me” or “Will you be my wife” have been greatly anticipated by ladies of marrying age. I for one was not an exemption. I enjoyed watching stories about proposals. In particular, movie show such as The Ultimate Proposal never left my nerves keyed-up.

But since Mac and I had planned for our wedding way ahead, even before I flew for UAE, I never expected him to surprise me of his proposal. And with all honestly, I tried to forget about it. They say, the less you expect, the less you’ll get hurt. So I kept telling myself “there will be no proposal taking place, if it does, then great, but better not to expect”, as if this was my mantra.

September 13, 2011, Tuesday Mac’s 29th Birthday, it was scheduled as our prenuptial pictorial at Greenery Bulacan. We drove to the place late and it was raining hard that we almost lost our way. Good thing Mike (one of our videographers) recognized that we went kilometres ahead Bulacan and are on our way to Pampanga already. So we had to go back. We reached the place at past five in the afternoon. The rain just stopped yet the sky was so gloomy. We thought pictorial won’t be doable. But the Lord is gracious; He calmed the sky and thus made it possible.

Around past seven in the evening, we were almost done with the night pictorials. Yet to the very end, Mac and I wanted to have one picture of us taken in front the Grand Villa. I had to change dress so not to have a monotonous motif. To my surprise, he was not there to assist me. That night, I had to change by myself having only two open doors of the car to cover me. The office of the greenery was already closed that time so there was no way for me to use the dressing room. I needed Mac to cover me on the other side yet that very moment, he was not around. So I had to maneuver in the most ingenious way I could. I managed to put on my outfit despite small lit coming from the street posts and despite the too-narrow “fitting room”. It was a bit scary scenario as I was thinking that someone might suddenly appear and just grab me there. Gladly, no one did.

After I geared up, I had to go back to our previous prenup site since they were all there. I met Mac along the way. I asked him what took him so long, He said, he had to discuss the last set of shots with them. “What? I thought we will only have one in front the villa”, I said. “Yup”, he said “That’s it”. Then he signalled me to go ahead since he will change his get-up and so not to keep them waiting.

When I reached the photographers and videographers, I was surprised that they were still directing some shots on the gazebo. “Kuya meron pa? Di pa kayo pagod”, I pleaded. “Ma’am last nalang po, upo po kayo diyan na parang inanatay niyo po si Sir”, Mike said. “Naku baka mawala na sa kwento yung mga shinoot niyo a, ang dami dami na kaya”, I said yet I obeyed their instructions. So I sat and acted as if I was waiting for Mac. When he arrived, he was holding a bouquet, an over-used bouquet we kept on holding during the pictorial.

Just then He knelt on his knees and said, while trying to pull something out of his pocket, “Alam kong sobrang late na nito pero……” Just when I knew what he was doing I reacted right away and said, “Ay ang korni mo Hon”, but deep down, my heart was beating wildly. I could not help but pinch him on the cheeks because of the “corny-moments”. I was not used to him doing such.

Mac put the diamond ring on my finger and it fitted perfectly. Then we hugged each other.

Yes, he didn’t have the chance to say the lines as I reacted so excitedly. Haha He lost his momentum. Pity me, if only I shut my mouth I should have heard him say the most-awaited-lines. Tsk tsk.

But without a doubt, if asked if I’m willing to be his wife, I will definitely answer, “Surely, I will”.

On our way home, I kept thanking the Lord. Though I made bloopers on my own proposal, I’m very much grateful because He allowed me to even experience it from the very person I dearly love. He answered one of my heart’s desires.

Indeed the Lord knows our deepest longings, no matter how much we deny and hide them. This is only one proof that I don’t need to worry; If He could answer those wants that I secretly keep to myself how much more my obvious needs.

Thank You so much Lord, my Jehovah Jireh!

Matthew 6:25-34 New International Version (NIV) Do Not Worry

    25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own

So here’s the story board of The Proposal.

So there’s the story and the rest is history. c’,)

Much thanks to the accomplices: Paul Bonin Vargas (our photographer), Marvin Barbarona and Mike (our videographers):  you all did a great job my brothers!

 

Pain,Trust and Power August 31, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — everyday's a blessing @ 1:13 am

Pain,Trust and Power August 30, 2011 23:54  Room 303 Airport Road Abu Dhabi UAE

I had (and somehow still feeling some trace of it) the worst pain today. In my nth year of existence, this is so far the most unbearable physical nuisance i had.

I know to myself that I am a strong person; that I have a stretchable tolerance on hurts and aches. I did several times, to divert to meaningful distractions and was successful in bouncing back whenever Im faced with sufferings, yet today I was on the brink of falling.

Today was my very first time to cry over physical pain. I wanted to be strong but the human me felt so helpless. I could not even eat, nor talk and smile. Tho my stomach was really making alot of attention, i opted to be insensitive of its plea for a better reason. Stomach pain is more tolerable than this pain, i assured myself. Poor stomach who had her last meal (milk and some oats and nuts) at 11 am today.

Odantalgia/Odantalgy (aching pain in or around a tooth)

Odantalgia/Odantalgy (aching pain in or around a tooth)

The pain is so sharp and excruciating that it paralyzes my whole day.

I was supposed to be at church today for the praise and worship recording but how could I when even the smalllest opening I could to to my mouth, stretches my jaw consequently touching my swollen gum and whew! P A I N results; a SEVERE one.

I tried alot of remedies. Afterall i thought that I could nurse myself. Yet every four hours Panadol was futile and for this I miss Mefenamic Acid from the Philippines. I tried to cushion my gums with cotton and even massaged it countless times but vain labor. I thought sleeping would also work but this pain even gave me trouble in starting a nap.

I surrender. I cannot solve this mess; not even my dentist who thinks that this is normal; part and parcel of having a fixed bridge. How can he say that this is normal if it feels so unusual for me? If it caused me my entire day.

Pity me. A single OFW who has no roommate and who is away from friends. I had to endure the pain alone.

But out of the gloomy situation i remembered Someone I know Who could make a difference. Someone Who makes all things possible as long as He wills. “Nothing is too hard for You Lord”, I whispered. (Jeremiah 32:17)

In my desperate move I prayed,

“Lord, please once again prove to me that You’re real in my life. Take away this pain Oh Lord.”

Not that i dont trust in Him.In fact TRUST is the only weapon and reason I have that keeps me going despite the adversities that challenge me.

Yet this time, i wanted to dare the Lord. I believe that even in the book of Malachi, He Himself invites us to test Him. (Milachi 3:10)

Besides, I had no other treatment in mind, but to seek comfort on His Word. I searched for the word “pain” in the subject index of my devotional Bible but could not find one. Healing was not the best word to capture what i wanted.  I searched some more and found this instead.

GOD's POWER

God’s Power. It was the last antidote i had.

I quickly browsed on each devotional pages.

As always, the Word never disappointed me.

God is El Roi: The God Who sees and knows where i am and how i feel.

God is El Shaddai: The Lord God Almighty, the One Who can change my condition or Who could walk with me in this plight.

God is El Elyon: God Most High, Whose ways are higher than my ways.

God is Elohim: The Creator Who made me and even allowed things to happen to me for a purpose.

Absolutely, everything that happens to me good, bad or indifferent, God knows and cares about.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

After my short meditation and prayer, the pain became more tolerable that it even permitted me to write on my experience. Slowly, I was able to move my jaw, open my mouth, utter words and make some grins.

It was more than magic. Miracle indeed.

The Lord even gave me additional blessings. Knowing that i have caring friends who are concern on me, made the pain more and more endurable.

Special thanks to my FB friend, relatives, and churchmates who were intrigued and asked me whys, to my GBC friends Aleth and Lau for reaching out and praying for me, to Ate Melanie’s touching FB message, Oteph’s “full-of-effort” delivery of Nesvita and colorful straws and Mac’s sacrificial early morning prayer over skype and morning call just to check if im totally alright.

20 Dirham Nesvita

A Box of Colorful Bendable Straws

All of these made me more courageous to try some more sips of warm Nesvita using a straw. This is so far the best gift I could do for now, to my starving tummy and extremely dry throat.

A Cup of Warm Nesvita Slurped Using a Straw

 

Delicioso August 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — everyday's a blessing @ 6:27 pm

Delicioso August 17, 2011 16:17 Room 303 Airport Road Abu Dhabi UAE

“Marriage is helping your partner see the greatness and goodness of the Lord in your life.”

Since i had a serious interest on love, courtship and marriage tru the different activities of my numerous Christian orgs, i was made to believe that singleness (some of its time, not all of it) should be spent preparing myself to be the best partner to God’s perfect equal for me. Since then, i’ve been evaluating myself on how ready i am to enter into a life-time committment. This constant self-appraisal made me venture to deeper ground work.

One of those is Cooking.

Nurse’s life is pretty hectic. Imagine working 12-hour shift sans the time alloted for “before-work-preparation”? It involves physical, and yes mental, emotional, social and spiritual exhaustion. Name them, i have it. At times i’d rather buy instant meals just to save me from T and E. Time and Effort.

But recently, when i knew that the wedding bell is unmovable, I decided to be more serious in this endeavor. I long to be just like my Mom who does best in her cooking. I desire to satisfy my soon family’s food cravings. After all, they say, the fastest way to a man’s heart is tru his stomach. Not that i needed to do this to attract or impress my Mac but one of the many ways to keep him. (hihi)

Now, cooking is beginning to be my passion. All the more I’m stirred to cook, blog and have shots on food.

In connection to this, i made a new page on my blog. DELICIOSO.

Delicioso, my new blog page.

You read it correctly! The name itself defines what its all about.  It will feature my journey on cooking.

Why am I doing this?

This is but part of my training as soon to be Bride, or shoud i say Wifey. Barely 5 months to go. Yehey! c”,)

 

Lola Basing August 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — everyday's a blessing @ 11:03 pm

Lola Basing Agusto 15, 2011 08: 30 ng gabi Silid 303 Airport Rd Abu Dhabi

Habang aking inaayos ang listahan ng mga bisita para sa aming kasal, hindi ko maiwasang hindi umiyak sapagkat labis ang aking pananabik sa aking lola.

Siya si Mrs. Visitacion Reyes Tobias, Basing kung tawagin ng karamihan. Isa siyang retiradong guro. Mapagmahal na Ina at Lola sa amin.

kuha noong aking huling kaarawan (2011). buti nalang at nakasama ko pa siya noon.

Paanong hindi ko siya makalimutan, siya na ata ang taong sobra kung mag-alala sa amin. Kadalasan, kapag tinatanong ang sinuman sa kanyang mga anak, apo or kapatid, isang katangian niya ang namumukod tangi. Siya ay “too-concern” or kung may hihigit pang salita para diyan, siya na yun.

Madalas, nililihim namin sa kanya ang mga problema sapagkat ayaw naming siya ay mag-alala. Hindi kasi maikakaila kung siya ay magdamdam para sa amin. Ngunit sa di maipaliwanag na dahilan, madalas nalalaman niyang may mga dinadadala kami. Ganun nalang siya ka sensitibo at kahit pilit naming itago, nararamdaman at nalalaman parin niya.

Naalala ko nung huli kong uwi sa Pinas, tumira kami nun ni Mama sa bahay ng aking tita kasama si lola. Nang dumalaw ang aking bunsong kapatid, ninais naming wag na siyang umuwi sa bahay sapagkat dis oras na ng gabi; takot kaming baka may mangyari sa daaan lalo na’t may nakaingkwentro siyang mga “siga”. Asa taas noon si lola, nagpapahinga na. Tahimik kaming nag-uusap usap ng bigla namin siyang nakitang pababa ng hagdan. Sabi niya “Anni Yari?” (Ano yun?) Sabi namin, “Wala Lola”. Sagot niya, “Anni gare nga, kagiyan nu i problema, ammu nga igga, isussussu nu lang niyo.” (Sabihin niyo ang problema, alam kong meron, tinatago niyo lang sa akin.) Nagkatinginan kami nung sambitin niya yun. Nagsabi nalang si Mama ng mas mababaw na dahilan. Alam kasi niya na kung sasabihin namin ang totoo, magdamag na mag-alala si lola; baka hindi na naman makatulog.

Mother instinct ika nga nila. Kahit na di pa kami magsalita, alam niya na may problema. Ganun kagaling bumasa si lola ng tao.

Noong bata pa kami, madalas kaming kumakain sa bahay nila. Siya ang aming “master chef”. Sabi niya di daw siya ganun kagaling magluto, ngunit pag natikman namin ang luto niya ng balatung (munggo), agaya (black eyed beans)kaya bistwelas (white beans) man o pinakbet, napaparami ang aming kain. Kahit ng ako’y tumanda na, tuwing bibisita ako sa kanya, gaano man siya kahina o kahit hinihingal na siya sa bawat kilos, pinipilit niya parin akong lutuan. Isa yan sa bagay na namimis ko sa kanya. Sobra siya kung mag-aruga. Binibigay niya ang kanyang buong lakas, mapagsilbihan or mapasaya lang kami.

Haayyy….

Sana pwedeng balikan ang nakaraan. Sana bata pa ako.

Noon, madalas ko siyang datnan na asa organ. magaling si lola tumugtog nun. Siguro nga, sa kanya namin minana ang hilig at talento namin sa musika. Salamat Lola.

Nagsisisi ako kung bakit noon, naiinis ako tuwing dinadala kami kay lola, lalo na pag bakasyon. Ibig sabihin kasi nun;  konti lang ang magiging oras namin sa paglalaro at halos pagtulog ang aming gagawin. Importante kasi ang afternoon naps kay lola. Wala kasi siyang ninais sa kanyang mga apo kundi ang lumaki kaming malulusog, masisigla at matatalino. Ganun nalang ang impluwensiya niya (maging ang aming mga magulang) kaya lumaki kaming may pagpapahalaga sa edukasyon. “Competitive” halos ang kanyang mga apo. Talaga namanng natutuwa siya sa tuwing nalalaman niyang sumasali kami sa mga paligsahan sa eskwelahan o inter-school, inter-dividion, regional or national man. Pinagmamayabang niya sa kanyang mga kaibigan ang mga natatamong rekognisyon ng kanyang mga apo. Sayang di na niya naabutang naging abogado si kuya, malamang abot tenga ang ngiti nun sapagkat isa sa mga apo niya ang sumunod sa yapak ng kanyang butihing asawa; si Lolo Atty. Leonardo Tobias.

kuha pagkatapos ng recognition day, kasama si proud lola syempre.

si lola kasama si grace

si lola kasama si jesselle

Si lola? Banker din yan kung tawagin namin. Isa sa pinaka palaimpok na tao. Hindi nauubusan ng cash, at hindi maramot. Madalas, siya ang life-line namin. Di pa man kami humihingi, may kusa na siyang inaabot. Madalas nga’y di na niya inaasahang maibabalik pa sa kanya ang mga tulong na yun.

Sobra rin siya kung magtipid. Minsan tinanong ko siya kung bakit ganun nalang ang kanyang pagtitipid. Hinikayat ko siyang i-enjoy ang kanyang pensiyon habang siya ay buhay pa. Ang sabi niya sakin, maigi na raw ung may natatago, para kung may pangangailangan kami, may maibibigay siya. Self-less lola talaga.

Sadya nga namang hindi madaling mag-move on kung ganun ka-especial ang taong lumisan na. Malamang hindi lang ako ang nakakaramdam nito kundi kaming lahat na nabiyayaan ng pagpapala; yun ay ang maging Ina at Lola si Mama Basing.

Ang tanging hinanakit ko lang ay sana asa tabi niya ako nung siya’y pumanaw. Sayang, naalagaan ko man lang sana siya sa kanyang huling hininga. Ano pa’t naging nars ako kung ang sarili kong mga mahal sa buhay ay di ko naman maalagaan. Masakit at tila tagos hangang buto ang hapdi sa tuwing nabibigyan ako ng papuri ng aking mga pasyente rito;kung paano nila nagugustuhan ang alagang ginagawa ko sa kanila na hindi ko man lang maipadama sa aking mga mahal sa buhay. Ang konting halagang naibigay ko sa kanya nung ako’y umuwi ay hindi sapat kumpara sa mga yapos at kalingang kinailangan niya at naibigay ko sana. Sana lang, naging mabait at maalagain din ang huling nars na nag-alaga sa kanya. Ito ang isa kong dalangin; na sana ang bawat arugang inaabot ko sa mga pasyente ko, ganun din o higit pa ang maibigay sa aking pamilya.

Buti nalang at kahit papano naipadama ko rin sa kanya ang aking pagmamahal. Madalas nun, noong ako’y nagaaral pa sa UP o kaya’y nagtatrabaho sa PGH, sinasamahan ko si lola sa kanyang mga lakad. Ako ang naging dakila niyang alalay. Noong malakas lakas pa kasi si lola ay mahilig siyang maglakbay. Palipat lipat siya sa kanyang mga anak; sa Bulacan, Antipolo, Theresa Rizal o Laguna maging sa kanyang kapatid na asa Quezon City. Hinding-hindi ko makakalimutan ang mga mahihigpit niyang mga hawak, ang mga pangungumbinse niyang wag nalang umuwi sa aking dormitoryo bagkus ang samahan siya sa kanyang pagtulog, ang bawat halik at yakap sa tuwing magpapaalam ako sa kanya at ang mga pabaon niyang pilit binibigay sakin. (haaayy….luha, luha, tama na.)

Buti nalang din at kahit papaano ay naramdaman din niyang may apo siyang nars. Hanggat kaya noon ng aking iskedyul ay sinasamahan ko siya sa kanyang mga checkup. Sayang nga lang at di na naayos ang problema niya sa mata. Sa akin din o kaya kay Tita Myrna (ang manugang niyang doktora) siya madalas magtanong tungkol sa kanyang mga health concerns. Masunuring pasyente si lola at talaga namang health-conscious.

ang tatlong maria. si lola, lola ticay at lola besie. kuha ito matapos namin silang dalawin ni mac. noong araw ding yun ay kinuhanan ko siya ng dugo para mapaeksamen sa PGH.

Anim na buwan na ang lumilipas, pero madalas ay naalala ko parin siya.  Madalas napapaluha at walang katapusang mga “kung sana” ang pumapasok sa utak ko. Kung sana, andito pa siya makikita pa niya akong maglalakad sa aisle bilang unang bride sa kanyang mga apong babae. Kung sana andito pa siya, makikita pa sana niya ang una niyang apo sa tuhod. Kung sana andito pa siya, naipasyal ko sana siya sa aming bagong bahay o kung san pa mang lugar. Kung sana andito pa siya………

Pero buti nalang din at naipakilala ko sa kanya ang kanyang unang manugang sa apo. Salamat dahil kahit sa konting hiram na panahon ay nagkakilala sila at nagka-bonding.

unang pagkikita nila lola at macoy sa laguna. madalas sabihin sa kanya ni lola (at talaga namang tuwang tuwa si mac) na i look older than him. si lola talaga sadyang bolera.

sa mga oras na ito ay kami ay super busy sa pag-phophoto shoot samantalang sila, ayun ang lalim ng pag-uusap. tuloy, wala sila sa mga pictures.

tuwang tuwa si lola ng makita si mac na halos nagroundtrip lang na umuwi sa Tuguegarao nung aking huling birthday. super effort daw. kaya kahit na giniginaw at hinihika, pinilit parin niyang ihatid si mac sa bus terminal.

Pero salamat sa Diyos, nagpapahinga na si Lola. Asa langit na siya at malamang mag-alala na naman yun kung makikita niya akong umiiyak at nalulungkot. Kaya pipilitin kong maging masaya sa tuwing maalala ko siya. Sapagkat sa langit,

1. di na hihingalin si Lola,

2. di na aatakihin ng kanyang hika

3. di na niya poproblemahin ang catarata at ang pagluluha ng kanyang mga mata

4. di na sasakit ang kanyang mga paa (di narin kami mapapamasahe.hehe)

5. di na siya mag-alala sa mga problema.

Kaya pala ganun nalang ang pagkasabik ni Lola sa langit. Sabi ni mac, nung huli raw nilang paguusap hinikayat daw niya si lola na lalong magpalakas para makita pa niya ang mga apo niya sa amin. Ang sagot ni lola, baka raw di na niya maantay, gustung-gusto na raw niyang magpahinga.

Tama si Lola, sa langit tuluyang makakapagpahinga na siya.

Sila’y gagabayan Niya sa mga bukal ng tubig na nagbibigay buhay, at papahirin ng Diyos ang bawat luha sa kanilang mga mata.”  Pahayag 7:17

mama, lola, at mac.

si lola kasama ang ilan sa kanyang mga hijas

si lola at ilan sa kanyang mga manugang.syemps kasama na run si mac. (hihi)

si lola at ilan sa kanyang mga nag-gagandang mga apo. (naks)

ilan sa mga nerdy dalagitas ni lola

at ilan pa sa napakaraming mga apo ni lola.

Paalam Lola! Namimiss kita pero alam kong magkikita rin tayong muli. At ang araw na iyon ay paka-aabangan ko. c”,)

* aral na aking natutunan: huwag sayangin ang mga pagkakataon na ipadama at ipakita ang pagmamahal sa ating mga mahal sa buhay. sapagkat ang buhay ay hiram lang, at kung kailan ito babawiin, hindi natin malalaman. Marapat na pahalagahan ang bawat relationship upang kung ito’y bawiin man, walang pagsisisi sa bandang  huli. c”,)

 

Michael August 7, 2011


Michael August 7, 2011 13:04 Room 303 Airport Road Abu Dhabi

Michael showed me Who God is in his life. And this is the best gift he has given me.

I met Michael or Mike (as i’m more used to call him) in a college camp. He was in his senior year as architecture student at UP Diliman, while i was on my junior year in nursing at UP Manila. We were both delegates then in the said camp; but he was one of the counselors and organizers while i was a plain camper.

In one of those spiritual retreats  (where we were asked to have our own “space” and to meditate and reflect on God’s Word) i came to know him personally. It was three in the afternoon. I spread my colorful malong under the mango tree, sat on the malong and leaned on the mango’s trunk and started reading the Bible. Just then he came from my back. I was really startled by his husky voice when he said “Pwedeng pashare sa mango tree?” Trembled a bit (as if i had an encounter with a ghost), i just nodded my head and said not a single word.

We sat back to back, yet i must admit it i was not able to concentrate that time.Not for anything else; but its been my habit to really be alone on my quiet time.  So i decided and quietly stood, folded my malong and went far from distraction. Good enough i found another mango tree but it was not as shady as the first tree.

To my suprise, he sat next to me on our dinner time. Then with his “robust” voice he uttered “Kamusta naman ang SR mo?”. It was as if he was teasing me, as if he knew that i was not comfortable with him and that i did not concentrate during my SR. “Ok naman, buti nalang nakahanap ako ng isa pang mango tree, the Lord is indeed gracious”, i sarcastically replied back. I wanted to let him feel that i was displeased with his act.He was a counselor he should have known what SR is; a time to be “alone with the Lord” and that is really literal.

He has a good sense of humour. In fact loud laughs came most from our table. He made us laugh and laugh beyond our vocal chords could do. Such laughs made me forget my disappointment with him.

The following morning, we were assigned to our small groups or SG. It was our “family” for the whole duration of the camp. We had “mom” and “dad” from the counselors. Practically in this group, we will have most of the “sharing times”.

Guess what?…….

Yes, your right. He was my “dad”. I was assigned to be in his group.

During those SG moments, i felt more at home with “mom” and “dad” and my five other sisters and brothers, there was no dull occassion. We had the best group (well as far as i know) and we had the sincerest sharing and most serious digging-of-the-WORD. Our group was usually the last to break the night.We didnt want our session to end.

After the camp, i thought i will never see him again. But inter-school activities such as DOP or day-of-prayer, large group fellowships and our org’s anniversaries made our meeting possible. In most of those times, we would go out with other friends. We walked tru the green field of Diliman, played freesbee once in a while, ate “isaw”and other street foods infront Kalayaan Dormitory and walked tru the sunken garden, sat for sometime as we enjoyed the sweet breeze from the mingling of the wind and the dancing trees.

our fave place in UP Diliman. those shady trees are places for respite.

the best Isaw are those served in UP Diliman Campus especially those infront Kalayaan Dormitory

It was really a pleasure.

Days, months and years pass and we became closer as friends.

He wont miss a day without sending me sms or giving me calls just to know im ok.

Ive shared him alot; from small secrets to my deepest and from funny to the saddest stories i have.

He was the sweetest man i knew then. He never forget any of the special event and he will never miss making me feel special. He usually brought me flowers; in bouquet or in pots, sweet candies, cakes and chocolates, stuffy toys, funny to corny and cheezy cards and other presents he just felt giving me.

I remember the Japanese plant he gave me. It was the dearest of all his presents. He knew i love flora and flowers thus he even paid much to the custom just so he could bring home the said plant from Japan. When he was in Japan for the student convention, he never failed to give me a ring too, nor to send me emails.

Bamboo indoor plant from Japan

Such a buddy!=)

During his graduation day, he reserved a seat for me. Her mom, being too sweet and generous, even allowed me to go to the stage and receive one of his awards with him. He was brilliant!-someone who could master english, math and science at the same time. Well rounded in short. And Yup!, fabulously artistic!

One day, he asked me to join in their church anniversary. I declined at first since i had many obligations being one of the youth leaders in my church then. But because he was persistent, i finally said yes!

His church is awesome; structure wise and the people itself. They were all smiling while they shook my hands. He introduced me to his pastor, cell groups, co-instrumentalists and to alot more people i could not even remember.

I sat beside her mom, tita Annie and her sister Michelle on the first pews of the church while he was on the stage as he was the churh’s guitarist. He sang while he played the guitar.He really sang from the heart and i was always envious of such talents.

As part of the church tradition, the Pastor welcomed me on the pulpit. I was astonished when he said ” Let’s welcome Michael’s special friend and the one he has been praying, Sister Che”. Then the congregation clapped and exclaimed.

Just when i sat down, i asked “What does Pastor Dave mean by that?”. Was Michael really praying for me? He never shared me such secret.

I came to my senses when Tita Annie put her hand on my shoulder and she smiled.

After the anniversary, i thought he will explain what his pastor has said, but he didnt. I too never had the courage to ask him.

One summer, i went with him and his family to their rest house in baguio. I felt as if im one of the members of the family. Tita Annie who prefered me calling her Mama was too approachable and too open. She treated me like her daughter. She was very good in designing clothes and she made sure if Michelle has newly sewn dress, I had too.

Michelle was sweet too, she made sure she kissed me goodnight and yes when she wakes up, she never forget to kiss and hugg me. She always want me beside her during meal time and even on her sleep. I really miss her.

In one of our sharing time on a cup of cofee overlooking the strawberry plantation in Baguio, i learned from Tita how devastated they were when her husband died of cancer. He was a great Preacher and a known architect during his lifetime. He even designed their splendid church in Quezon City. He was a good supporter, faithful to his fulltime wife and super thoughtful husband and dad. He never missed his family’s special days.  That was how tita would describe him.

According to tita, being prepared of his father’s death, Mike at 16 years old tried his best to be the dad for them. He made sure he goes home on time after school to help Tita in the chores and to play with Michelle. He continued to have the daily Bible stories with Mich before bedtime and assisted Tita even in attending Michelle’s PTA meetings.

Tita was so greatful to Michael; for truly he was a big help on how the family adjusted to their lost. She was in tears while she was telling me stories.

Senior year was very hard for both of us. We rarely see each other. I was assigned to Nagcarlan Laguna for our community exposure. I went home once a week or worst every after two or three weeks. He was busy in his work too as apprentice in one of the architectural firm. Yet, we kept the communication open; daily sms and calls made the distance short for us.

One busy day, i sat down on a swing and i was contemplating on what to give my foster family as a token on how they’ve treater me well in my stay in their house. Just then, i received a call from Tita Annie, she was crying, but she never told me why. She just asked me to pray for them. I rang Mike right away, after i dropped Tita’s call. He said “Kamusta ang araw mo? I hope you had a great one as i did.” Hearing him, i was relieved. i told him about her mom’s call that bothered me, he said “Nothing to worry, everything’s under God’s conrol.” Such assurance made me more relieved.

Community Immersion’s over. I was so excited to go home, i will have more time to bond with him and his family. I missed Tita’s strawberry pancake and her own style of cooking “Pinakbet”. On my way home, i texted him “Pauwi na ako, see you soon!”. For the first time, it took him some time to reply. He said, “See you sa PGH, room 707″.

I was troubled by his message. Who was admitted and for what reason? I tried to calm myself and reasoned that maybe a churchmate or orgmate is sick. I reminded myself of his favourite mantra “God is and will always be in conrol”.

I dropped my bag in my dormitory and hurried to go to PGH. I dont usually ride a pedicab since they are expensive yet that time i had to, i didnt have the strenght to run and all i wanted was to be there the soonest possible time.

The line in the PGH elevator was so long and it took minutes for the elevator to finally reach the ground. I saw a good friend of mine who was a resident and asked him if i could join him in the employee’s lift. He grabbed me along and asked what’s the hurry all about. I just shrugged my shoulder and said “Wala naman po”.

Room 707. I knocked softly and Tita Annie was the one who opened the door. Just when she saw me, she embraced me tightly. My whole body shook and shiverred when i saw Mike on the bed with IV fluids on both hands. I wanted to ask why but i could not speak. Tears fell on my cheeks instead.

I went beside him and cuddled him. Then he whispered “He is in control” and held me closer to him. With his words, i regained my strength. I must trust him for he had been tru much challenges of life. He surely know what it is to entrust everything to the Lord.

When he was asleep, Tita Annie told me that that doctor confirmed that he is in his terminal stage of leukemia, just as his dad. She wanted to hide me such truth because that was what Mike requested from her; to free me from hurts and pain. Yet since she considered me as her daughter, she honesly shared me the truth.

Hearing that news, tears kept flowing from my eyes. They were bottomless. My lacrimal glands must have mourned too. I wanted to ask the Lord “whys” yet deep down i always remembered his mantra. I knelt in prayer and really asked the Lord to be in control. I told Him to help me maximize my time with Mike.

Mike chose to be admitted in PGH since he knew it will be easy for me to see him everyday. True enough, I committed myself to stay with him every day and night. I packed my things and brought them to the hospital. Whenever my shift and classes are over, i rush to his room. I assisted him in most of his activities. He was too weak to even perform them. Yet when he played the guitar, ironic as it may seem, he usually got his vigour back. He tried to play most of our favourite songs tho he had two IV cannulation on both hands. He sang softly and at times could not even complete the words or reach the note. He was very weak. Whenever he failed to reach the note, he smiled at us. Such smiles were encouraging. It made us expectant on what HE could do with Mike’s case.

February 23, 2005 Wednesday at 1800, prayer meeting at church. I texted our prayer coordinator to pray for Mike and for his family. I asked to be excused to our prayer meeting. I wanted to spend more time with him. After my last subject i went to Robinsons Manila and planned to buy him something special. I saw a band with engraved “Forever ’till Eternity”. I bought four bands, for me, Mich, Tita Annie and for Mike.

On my way to PGH, i pondered on what has been engraved on the band. Am i really ready for this; to accept the idea of eternity for Mike? I whispered a prayer and said “Lord, tulungan Niyo po ako.”

When i reached the unit, i saw gloomy faces from the nurses especially when they saw me approaching. Oh noh, dont tell me he left, i told to myself. As fast as i could, I ran to his room.

Good thing! He was still there and even smiled and recognized me. He asked me to lie down beside him and i did. I gave him the band and i saw from him, the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen since he was sick. He pinched me on my cheeks and said “Sweet naman!”

I mean what was engraved. If his dying is unavoidable, I’m  left with a choice to learn to move on. Nevertheless, i will never forget our memories together. He will forever be cherished till eternity (if that is indeed possible).

While we were lying, he looked at me face to face and said, ” I love you and have prayed for you since the first time i saw you in the camp. But i know it would be inappropriate to let you know of this, for soon i will leave you. i wanted to spare you from more aches. Yet somehow, i hope i was able to show you how much i care about you. i hope you felt them.”

I nodded. I did. I felt them, all of them.

I had mixed emotions that time. Happy for finally he had the courage to tell me what he feels about me, yet grieving for soon, it will all be over. I thought that he was unfair too. Why did he not tell me ealier, i should have freely expressed how i feel about him too. I was always in restraint since i didnt want to pre empt him.

Yet that day, i said “Mahal din naman kita e, pinigilan ko lang ipakita.”

He smiled foolishly as if he won something. Then he kissed me on my cheeks and hugged me.

After that, the next thing i saw was his last breath at 21:47 pm. Tita Annie agreed with Mike’s request to have a DNR  order (do not resuscitate).

Off course we cried. Mich was the loudest. Seeing her hug her brother tightly while she uttered “Wala na akong ka-bedtime stories,di pa natin natatapos ung book a.” And she cried again. Tita Annie and I were more silent. Yet deep down it was very painful, too unbearable.

He was cremated and his ashes were placed on an urn. Tita decided to keep them both. He placed Mike’s urn beside his dad.

this is Mike's urn. if only i could ask it from Tita Annie. but that would be a selfish move from me. She needed that, for her to finally move on the second time.

When the service was over. Tita handed me a letter. She said she found it beside Mike’s guitar when she was fixing the things in the hospital.

My heart had the fastest lub-dub. I ripped the enveloped and read the letter. Enclosed was a lyrics of the song Friends by Michael W.Smith and a CD. Mike recorded his own rendition of the song.

Friends by Michael W. Smith

Words: Deborah D. Smith
Music: Michael W. Smith

Packing up the dreams
God planted
In the fertile soil of you
Can’t believe the hopes He’s
granted
Means a chapter in my life is through
But i’ll keep you close
as always
It won’t even seem I’m gone
‘Cause my heart in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

Chorus:
And
friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend
will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let
you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long to
live as friends.

With the faith and love God’s given
Springing from
the hope we know
I will pray the joy you’ll live in
Is the strength that
now you show

But I’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem
I’m gone
‘Cause my heart in big and small ways
Will keep the love
that keeps us strong

and at the bottom of the letter he wrote:

“You will always have me beside you. Kausapin mo ako lagi a. Share me everything as you did. I will always look at you from heaven. Sorry, tho i wanted to spend more time with you, The Lord said its my time. Syemps, iba parin pag kasama na si Lord, incomparable. Yet, you will always be treasured. Take care Mom and Mich for me a. I love you so much!” PS: stop crying na please, you will make me pout in Heaven, kakahiya kay Lord. c”,)

Tears flowed again……It was as if he was there telling me those personally. I really miss you Mikesobra!,  i whispered.

Incidentally the Japanese flora died just when he left earth. I went to my dorm to drop my things and to get some newly laundried clothes for the funeral services, there! I saw in my table a whitered plant which i totally forgot to water.

Pause.

The Lord held me in those days i lamented with his loss. Whatever challenges i face, i reminded myself of Mike’s mantra “God is in control!” That was the precious lesson Mike’s life thought me.

Truly, when the Lord, closes a door, He certainly opens a new and better door.

Two years later, i met Mac. He was not like Mike for no two person are the same; not even Mac and his twin brother John.

Mac was unique in his own special way and that is one of those i love about him. And all the more I’m excited to know him better. Very soon, yes! very soon my Groom!=)

*For those who had been led  and intigued with the story, i want you to know that Mike was just the product of my mushy brain. He did not exist in real life. He was my dream guy since my college years. I created him with my nifty brain.

Such guy was too good-to-be-true for you, the Lord said. Wait and see how I’m moulding My perfect gift for you.

True enough on July 13, 2007. I met God’s perfect gift.  And that’s no other than Mark “Mac” Sotelo Edralin.=)

 

A Lesson From Hiah/If Two Shall Agree August 3, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — everyday's a blessing @ 3:49 pm

A Lesson From Hiah/If Two Shall Agree- July 31,2011 22:00 Airport Rd Rm. 303

I must admit it; she was one of my hated patients (if not most-hated). Every time I go for work, I usually look on the white board particularly on her name and ID number and see if I’m assigned to her. My shift would be sunny if I don’t have her in my assignment and “hell” if she’s one of them.

I cannot find words to describe her. Maybe words aren’t enough. ANNOYING? IRRITATING? These would be superficial descriptions for her. My colleagues would agree with me, for truly she was the best actress “KSP” (Kulang Sa Pansin) patient.

She would pretend to be in respiratory distress especially if nurses are in her room then such dramatic acts would disappear once we’ve stepped out of her room.

She even had this treatment on us wherein she feels as if she’s the queen, her children princesses and prince and we nurses are her slave. She didn’t want us asking favours from her children. Minimal as they were, asking her children to reach for even the lightest thing such as comb, towel, cup etc would mean a disgrace for her.

She used to press her call bell and asks us for unnecessary stuff. Worst is even if we’ve just gone out of her room 5 minutes ago.

Her bathing and praying routine have been consuming most of our time too.

Yet something in her inspired me. And from that day on, i’ve tried to appreciate and understand her (tho difficult to do at times).

One day, she was suffering. She had this terrible lung infection that’s making breathing so difficult for her. Assistance from the mechanical ventilator was also frustrating. Every activity was a big effort for her; for as much as we wanted and as much as her body needed, she should have been preserving her energies.

Nonetheless…..

There she was, with much exertion and effort tried to fix herself readyfor her “Salah” (Muslim Prayer).  She managed to comb and to put a pony on her hair despite her trembling hands. Even her skinny cold hands made attempts to brush her teeth and wash her face and extremities.  I imagined the days when my asthma attacks have been frequent. All I wanted then was to sleep; not to do a single move for this would make me gasping for breath. my OCness  (obsessive compulsive) especially on hygiene was usually ignored. Breathing was my priority then more than anything else.

Once in a while she would pause, as secretions pool in her tracheostomy. She then suctions herself, breathes deeply and hardly with the use of some accessory muscles, then regains her momentum to continue in her prayer.

salah is the practice of formal prayer for Islam

Seeing her in that very moment, i was frozen. I felt humiliated. And realized how I neglected my prayer life.

How can i not pray the way she does; knowing that i have an all powerful God who hears and answers prayer?

Yes! Busy schedules and unnecessary activities always grab my
time for prayer. Often, I’m occupied with alot of  pursuits, too tired to pray at night. Consequenly i wake up late in the morning and hurries myself to prepare for work or other appointment, leaving me a prayer-less life.

The next thing i knew, it became my habit. i totally uncared for my prayer life and allowed other not-so-vital activities to eat  most of me; my time and effort in particular.

sighhhhhhhh……..

Just recently Im done reading a book entitled “If  Two Shall Agree: Praying Together As a Couple”.  (Thank you nanay Diane, my dearest mentor and soon to be our ninang for the many helpful books you’ve given me and mac. and this is one of them)

a gift from nanay diane. nanay's really an expert in choosing books.=)

In this book, my attention was caught by this truth: “Does God really answer prayer? If He does, why are we not coming to Him more often; why are we as a Christian university not expecting as much more from Him than we are now?”

Yes! We know from the many Biblical verses and promises that He really grants the prayers of those who believe in Him, yet still our prayer life says much on how little our faith is on Him. Truly, the way to more faith is to exercise the faith we have, and prayer is one way to work it out.

i remember a story about a congregation who prayed for rain as they suffer greatly from the dry season in their country. The following day, only one of the members brought an umbrella with her when she went out of the house. That’s how faith really works. Our prayers especially how we behave after we pray says alot about our trust in Him.

“The paradox of prayer is that it asks for serious effort while it can only be received as a gift. We cannot plan, organize, or manipulate God, but without careful discipline we cannot receive Him either. (Henri Nouwen in his book Reaching Out)

I was convinced by the many testimonies (especially from the authors of this book) of how significant prayer is in all areas of our lives even in maintaining a strong couple relationship. Thus it is ought to be a priority in an individual’s life and even as a couple.

They said that the most important goal of prayer together is that it keeps the relationship as a couple intimate and close and it keeps hearts open before the Lord as a couple.

WOW!!! i would love to have that!=) an intimate and close relationship with my Great Dad Jesus and yes, with Macoy.

Just when i read this, i was inspired to share mac about it and how i wanted to send him the book so he will be blessed personally. i shared mac what the Lord has taught me tru this book and eventually we decided to have daily prayer time. Distance and even time difference will never be a hindrance for we know that as we honor God in this simple commitment, and as we continue to entrust Him all our concerns, He will honor our prayers.

thus we committed to a daily prayer time, as individuals and as a couple.

Lord, may You bless this desire: for us to be prayerful at all times.=)

Since we started on this daily prayer, (tho to be honest, we missed some days), we’ve seen how the Lord indeed answer our prayers. And all the more we are committed to do this and expectant of what HE can do in our behalves.

this song reminds me of the importance of prayer.=)

jaci velasquez – on my knees

There are days
when I feel
The best of me
is ready to begin (the
end)
Then there’s (the) days
when I feel
I’m letting go
and soaring
on the wind
‘Cause I’ve learned in laughter or in pain
How to
survive!

I get on my knees! (x2)
There I am before the Love
That
changes me
See I don’t know how
But there’s power
When I’m on my
knees

I can be
in a crowd
Or by myself
and almost
anywhere
When I feel
there’s a need
To talk with God
He is
Emmanuel
When I close my eyes,
no darkness there
There’s only
light!

I get on my knees (x2)
There I am before the Love that changes me
See I don’t know how, but there’s power
In the blue skies, in the
midnight
When I’m on my knees
I get on my knees (x2)
There I am before
the Love
That changes me
See I don’t know how, but there’s power
When
I’m on my, oh, when I’m on my
When I’m on my knees

Truly, WE CAN NEVER OUT-GIVE THE LORD! a simple 2-minute prayer daily will reach thousand miles.

 

“E Ano Kung Sigurista Ako?” July 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — everyday's a blessing @ 12:13 pm

“E Ano Kung Sigurista Ako?”-Hulyo 23, 2011 15:07. Room 303 Airport Road Auh UAE

akalain mong meron pala sa yahoo ang salitang "sigurista"?

Noong bata pa ako, madalas akong sabihan ng aking Ama, na ako daw ay “sigurista”. Bata palang ay palaimpok na ako ng pera. Nag-iipon ako mula sa aking mga baon at sa paunti-unting pagtitinda ng kung anu-ano sa aking mga kapatid at ka-eskwela. Di ko nga halos maisip na mayroon din pala akong talento sa “business” o sa “entrepreneur” noon.

Madalas ay hindi ako palalamang sa mga kapatid ko. Kadalasan din ay pinapagalitan ako ng aking Ama sapagkat kahit pisong utang ay di ko pinapalampas. Lahat sinisingil ko; lahat ng nakasulat sa maliit kong kwaderno.

“Accountant” rin pala ako noon. Nakatala ang bawat mga gastusin ko at ipon. Takot akong mawalan ng pera. Madalas nga noon ay umuutang pa sakin ang aking Ina sa tuwing nag-kakaaberya sa padalang “remittances” ng aking Ama. Daig ko pa noon ang mga langgam kung mag-ipon.

Dala-dala ko ang nakasanayang yun mula sa aking pagtanda. Ngunit hindi  ako lumala. Mas naging bukas ako sa mga posibilidad na di ko mababalanse ang aking “ledger”. Yan ang isa sa maraming naituro ni Oble sakin; ang mas maging handa sa anumang mga tadhanang ibibigay ng buhay.

Ngunit ano nga ba ang masama sa pagiging “sigurista”. Hindi ba’t tama lang na sa ating mga gagawing yapak ay dapat tayo ay sigurado?  Na ang ating mga desisyon ay dapat ayon sa mahabang pagbubulay-bulay at hindi sa madaliang kaisipan lamang?

Minsan ay bumili ako ng “balikbayan-box”. Ngunit dahil hindi ko magawang ihambing ng husto kung sino ang mas malaki? (Makati Express or LBC), ninais kong magpadeliver muli sa ibang kompanya. Gumastos uli ako? OO. Nag-effort? OO. Ayos naman, ang importate sigurado ako. Sayang naman ang malalaman ng karton hindi ba? Lalo pa’t hindi basta basta ang layo ng destinasyon nito at hindi rin biro ang presyo.

Ngayon, alam ko na kung san ako mas makakatipid, kung saan ang mas sulit.

lbc box

box mula sa makati express cargo

Mahirap magkamali, ika nga nila. Lalo pa’t madalas ay sa bawat kabiguan hindi lang ikaw ang masasaktan, bagkos ay madadamay pa ang mga mahal mo sa buhay o ang mga taong di dapat masali sa sitwasyon.

Gayundin sa pag-aasawa. Mahirap ng magkamali. Habang buhay mo itong dadalhin at pagsisihan kung sa una palang di tama ang iyong ginawa. Sabihin na nating uso na ang “annulment”, “divorce” or “legal separation”. Pero hindi ba’t sa bawat nasirang relasyon ay di lang ikaw ang damay? Ma-da-ming tao ang apektado. Higit na mahirap kung may nga supling pang walang kamuwang muwang at kamalay-malay. Sa ayaw mo’t sa gusto, itanggi mo man ang katotohanan, da-may sila!

Kaya mas mabuti nalang ang “huminto” saglit. Mag-isip ng marami pang beses.

E Ano Kung Sigurista Ako? Sinisigurado ko lang na sa huli di na ako uli iiyak.

“Panginoon, gabayan Niyo po ako dahil alam ko pong hindi lamang pagbabago ng estado ang pag-papamilya; ito’y pagpasok sa bago at mahirap na responsibilidad at pagtatalaga ng sarili sa taong ibang-iba kaysa sa akin. Patnubayan Niyo ako sapagakat ang pag-ibig ay hindi lamang damdamin o sagot sa kalungkutan at pag-iisa kundi isang pangako’t desisyon. Tulungan Niyo pong makapag-asawa ako sa tamang dahilan, sa karapat dapat na nilalang at sa tamang panahon. Amen.”

 

 
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