Posted in Polaris' Place of Solitude, Reflections

Let the Journey Continue…


Series of events are happening lately, and these are happening so fast I can’t keep up. Sometimes the introvertness inside me is kicking in. Life is full of surprises, and I’m in for a treat!

I’m not physically at my best lately, I’ll post the reason why by next two weeks.

Today I’ve got my site an update, got my own domain which is awesome! It’s a blogger’s dream to have a dot.com, makes a site more presentable. Let’s see if it yield any result. I’m genuinely happy.

Personally, I can’t complain.

All the forces in the universe are working together on my favor so I can reach my personal legend ~ paraphrased from Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist

I have high hopes, I had a share of happiness and moments of doubts. It will just get better on time, it always will.

Thank you for sharing with my happiness.

Posted in Devotions, Reflections

Easter Hype


I had a rather overwhelming exposure with celebration of Easter this year, from social media to … er’ just social media. I can’t expect Qatar as a Islamic state to take part on Christian events such as Easter anyway. Ironically, Christmas is being observed in shopping malls, hotels, and airport. Seeing a 10ft christmas tree is a common sight.

I bet statistically, people nowadays are much more aware of Christ’ sacrifice. I could name a person or two who religiously watch Passion of Christ and The Ten Commandments during lenten season. Facebooke memes are temporarily sidelined, replaced by Easter-themed messages. Personally, that’s good news. We don’t have to explain the significance of the cross as an ultimate sacrifice. I am encouraged.

Then a realization struck me. Now that people are more aware and appreciating Christ’ atonement, how far are they willing to go? Will it change their usual walk to be righteous in the eyes of God? Will they turn away from sins?

Christ did His part, let’s do ours. Let’s seek His will and purpose in our lives. Desire intimate relationship with God, lest this will settle into a hype that stirs us in repentance every year only to come back a day after like nothing significant happened.

Posted in Family, Let's Celebrate!, Reflections

Turning 36


Today i turned 36. It’s just a number, what made this day significant is that lot of people expressed their heart’s contents which are genuinely tear-jerky. Your greetings melt my heart.

Being away from my family amplified the longingness. My wife asked me about my wish. Well, just like every family man would wish, I wish I’ll be home. But it’s not that easy. Nonetheless, I found comfort in appreciating thoughtful people who greeted me. You have no idea how happy I am right now.

Family

To my wife who always stood by my side in every season – I love you. Thank you for understanding me in my time of weakness and stubbornness. May the Lord grant you you heart’s desires. Salamat sa pagtyatyaga. I love you always. For my son, thank you sa greet! Pakabait palagi!

To my parents, thanks for all your hardships and dedication raising me up. Ivhope I made you proud one way or another.

For my siblings, thank you for the greetings. I wish I can spend more time with you all.

Church

To Church on the Rock family, thank you for your faithfulness year in and year out. Together, we grow in faith.

To Jesus Christ the Living God, thank you for welcoming me back with arms wide open. Special thanks to Pastor Francis for the prayer.

Colleagues

Aside from church, Fugro is my next home here in Qatar. Thank you for the friendship and support.

TFIOB (The Fault In Our Blogs) community

Ang kalipunan ng mga makakatang amateurs (pro yung iba #aysanstics) pinanday ng panahon. Thank you for the greetings. Thank you for making this boring virtual world of introvert writing so exciting.Β 

THANK YOU ALL GUYS FOR SHARING WITH MY HAPPINESS!

*capslock para intensed πŸ˜€

——

These are the people i owe a cup of coffee with πŸ˜‚ *i’m just kiddin’ as they specifically mentioned “pakape ka naman!” Our alter-greet i supposed πŸ˜„

Colleagues: Ferdy, Ealvin and friends, Industrial with friends..

Church: Sid, jeffrey, RJ, manang erlyn, sis golda, kathleen, and friends πŸ˜€

Posted in Family, Reflections

Life as we know it


When life turn its clock on your favor, you can’t help but be grateful of each sweet opportunity in the table. Truly the end will justify the pain it took to get you here where you want to be. Allow me to share with you God’s plan unveiling right before my eyes.

Character development

Gone are the days when I’m seeking my purpose and identity. As stated in the last verse of the preacher, we’ve got to love God and fear His commandments. This is the entire duty of men. I can live with that. As God’s love strenghtens me in season and out of season, so is the realization that all things work together purposely (matt.8:28). Contrary to a notion (in which I believe) that life is cruel, it seems that all forces of elements are working in my favor. Being an overthinker, it’s my constant worry of regretting living the life I shouldn’t had, or missed the life God designed me to live. God is so keen to remind me about worrying. I can say with a smile in my face that this life is what God designed me to live (if I’m not mistaken haha). I learned not to dwell in my past. Inasmuch as I desire to connect with those who once been my close buddies in my early twenties, I realized that I have to let them go – they’re not coming back. This is one of the concept in life that is not meant to be understood, but to be accepted. Instead, I learned to focus my energy in new acquaintances. Living the present. If buddies from my early years connect with me, I’ll welcome them with arms wide open.

Family

Our siblings came into maturity of our relationship wherein we set aside our differences (it’s not easy) and seize the moment together as time and commitments permit. There are times when major issues need to be mutually agreed to avoid potential conflicts – we don’t want any drama, been there, done that. I’m investing to have quality time with my parents and siblings. If there’s a positive trait in me, I can say it’s the persistency. I’ll keep pounding in to connect, gonna wear down the walls eventually.

There’s always room for improvement with regards to my relationship with my wife. In our seven years of marriage, much more to learn and to live with. I can’t see myself living my life apart from my wife and son. I hate the standard of living our society is injecting in our mindset. Infidelity and insecurities are words I don’t want to associate in our marriage. The norms nowadays are not normal at all! As for me, I chose to set my full affection and focus with my wife and son. The beauty of it is that it’s never enough, but we can enjoy what life has to offer. It’s like steadfast love of the Lord, never ceases. They are new every morning (quoted from Don Moen’s song).

Workplace

When it rain, it pours. My hardwork (coupled with smart move of staying low profile hehe) finally paid off, details below:

  • Recipient of employee of the year twice (2008,2017)
  • Transferred to sister company, new working environment
  • My salary increased. An answered prayer.
  • As a bonus, our company awarded me a brand new iPad as a prize to the contest I participated. Yey!

It’s a wise saying that behind every man’s success is a woman. Fully agree on this. While I’m busy in the corporate world, my wife is filling in her prayer list and crossing out answered prayers with thanksgiving. Happy wife, happy life indeed.

Thank you for sharing with my happiness.

Posted in Reflections

The Journey of Life


It’s a usual hard day’s night. After chatting with my wife and son, I randomly watch videos in YouTube to pass time. After jumping from one channel to another, my attention is drawn on ‘sugod-bahay’ channel. It’s a segment in noontime show in the Philippines “eat bulaga”. There are three videos that I watched consecutively and all are equally tear-jerky. I must be homesicked!

  1. Joana – beloved daughter of mentally challenged mom
  2. Roniel – 9yr old child missin’ his 5yr old brother who never saw for one year
  3. Lorena – a struggling wife having lost their two children (first in 2011 and second in 2012) then her husband was electrocuted but miraculously survived.

As I watch each episode, tears are rolling out. I can relate one way or another. It’s not hypothetical, I’ve been there one way or another. The beauty of journey of life is that everyone is fighting each own battle. I am not going to spoil the fun of watching these videos, feel free to reflect the scenarios with your own journey.

Growing up, I thought my struggle in life is dealing with other people. When I was a teenager, I struggle to express my freedom, along with seeking my own identity and walk of life. It’s a crossroad for me. Information overload, pressure to please the norm. On my twenties, my struggle is financial freedom (was a breadwinner) against my dream to finish my study. Of course I can only choose either of the two – law of tradeoff. During these years, I’d dealt with toxic, narrow-minded people that I have to leave behind. Here in my thirties, I realized that it’s not about me against the world. I am not the deprived, the underdog. I am actually in constant battle with myself, with my own standard. Come to think of it: if I choose to do wrong, no one will stop me unless it’s criminal offense. Works the other way around, if I choose to do right, who cares? Here in my thirties I am starting to perfect my craft of not giving a f*ck. There’s a short book about it, read πŸ™‚

I am not removing the “God factor” in the equation. My principle in life is I rather believe God and found out that there isn’t rather than refuse to believe and found out there is. After all, this faith thing keeps my morale standard acceptable – to my scale of righteousness at least. This faith doesn’t slow me down, rather giving me inner peace.

After watching these episodes, I was reminded of my moral obligation to be kind and understand that we all experience these trials. I am asking myself when is the last time I gave encouraging advice to a friend? When did I actually helped?

Let’s keep our journey exciting by lending a hand to a friend, after all we’re travelling on the same road: different path, various terrain – destination yet to be known. I pray that when I am in the end of my journey, there’ll be no regret instead a sense of fulfillment knowing that once we crossed our path and left a mark of a friend before we part ways to continue our journey.

Posted in Qatar, Reflections

Coping Up with Daily Demands


I’m an organiser, or perhaps the pressure in our workplace forced me to pick myself up and put my gear in the game. Whichever, I’m arriving in the same state of mind – not being satisfied upon hitting the due dates but feeling paranoid always. As if a monster from the manga/movie Death Note (japanese version, the scary one) is lurking in the shadow, persuading me to lose half of my lifetime in exchange with an ability to see the future (only anime lovers will understand, apologies). Notwithstanding, I gained confidence and grasp of real-time demands which save my skin.

Here comes social life. Colleagues and friends want to hangout with me. I envy them because they seem to have all the time in the world to dine, travel here and abroad, and having some fun away from the workplace. I’d read countless articles discussing tips and tricks on how to spend your day 7-5pm in the office and the rest with your personal life. Most are convincing enough, but I almost got fired when I applied those πŸ˜‚ Naturally, management is not pleased. At the end of the day, it’s a case-to-case basis. I love my job because I love what I am doing. And being productive is self-fulfilling and pleasing to the eyes of the bosssss (plural, pun intended) at the same time more food for my family way back home which is the main reason I’m serving my life sentence here 🀣.

Here comes personal life. I am committed to keep in touch with my wife and son in a daily basis. As a seasoned employee, I managed to be professional enough to avoid chatting during office hours. I understand some may argue: “Will it do harm chatting while working?” I don’t know about the nature of your job, but in the office my gear starts at 7am, and by 8am I am accelerating. And chatting will swerve my focus on the road. Recollecting my thoughts will take 5-10mins, long enough to accomplish one of my tasks. For that reason I opted out. Of course there will be few coffee breaks throughout the day, that’s the time I’m engaging in the conversation. I’m chatting with my wife early morning (lunchtime in the Philippines, 5-hr timezone difference), and after office everyday. Chatting with my family is my most sought-after engagement in a day. There, I’m expressing my love to them and feel genuine compassion from my wife and my son. That’s my charging spot. There’s where my life is. I am living an alternate world in parallel with the actual world: family. Some sort of setup in the movie “The Matrix” to visualize it. Before disconnecting, I’m telling my son “ikaw na magpatay,” (you push the end button) then he complies. Lately, when I’m waving my hand as a gesture to goodbye he told me “daddy, ikaw na magpatay” (Dad, you push the end button). He’s smart, must be my wife’s gene πŸ˜‹ 

How about my me time. I should have, right? Of course! I will not be able to write a post this long (I’m boring you hehe) if I don’t have the time. I have to find time to kneel down and pray, devote and reflect, and if time permits do some exercise. I read books for my mind muscles, do some brisk walking (in the shopping mall mostly), and run for my life everytime dogs in the neighborhood chase me down with an intent to bite whenever i do cardio. I also have a knack on rearranging my room from time to time – an OCD I guess. My roommates casually say “again?” Whenever I shuffle my space. 

Here comes weekend. I’m shying away from work’s demands when it’s my dayoff – it’s called ‘off’ for that very reason. However, submission to clients on the next working day hampers the idea. Thankfully, I can claim overtime pay for that – thank You Lord.

Am I balancing my time? Well, almost. When all the planning and efforts fail and eventually will, it’s an art of dodging the bullet and trusting your guts when your neck is in the line. That’s why there’s Plan B.. to Plan Z if necessary. I usually settle on Plan D because before I can think of Plan E, I need to act. This is how it works: 

Plan A: ideal, low risk, compliant with standards

Plan B: alternative, minimal risk, deviating slightly with the usual practice

Plan C: worse-case scenario, medium risk, still legal πŸ˜‚

Plan D: worst-case scenario, high risk, who cares? Shoot now, ask later 😎

Plan E: i’m out of the picture, jobless by then 🀣

Thank you for taking time to read, I’m grateful. 

Posted in Polaris' Place of Solitude, Reflections

Quest for meaning of life


In my life, choosing a path is the hardest part. Then I live with my choice, whatever the consequence(s) may be. 

It just occurred to me the thought that reflected by the Preacher (King Solomon) – that “life is meaningless.” I can’t agree more. 

I was raised to be educated and find stable job, doubted my mere existence in between. Then I started a family, will retire in the next 20 years perhaps. 

Being aware that I will live for about 40 years more max 50 years, sends thrill to my system. I can go all day narrating how I want my life, the “should have-might have” feeling of regret. What if I’m not leading a life designed for me? 

I took comfort in last verses of Ecclesiastes:

*[[Ecc 12:13]] KJV* Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Our duty is to fear God, yet fearing Him doesn’t make much difference. James 2:19 says: ‘even the devil believes God, with trembling.’ Obedience completes our duties before God. We have to keep His commandments.

*[[Ecc 12:14]] KJV* For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Here comes the consequence. God loves you, but being a just God that He is, each action we commit triggers consequence. 

All accomplishments, titles, worries, goals, and wealth will melt away in the beauty of His holines. I remember the post I’d written way back 2011 on my last day on earth, the message remains the same. I guess the realization that stricken me in the face of death will serve as a reminder for me that everything is meaningless when it’s about time to meet your Maker. 

I do have regrets, I’ve seen better days.. yet I’m glad I’m still on the right track. Fearing God and obeying Him will preserve me until I see the Perfect Day.

Posted in COTR Zaragoza, Ministry, Reflections

An Attempt to Balance the “God Will Provide / Living By Faith” Concept


Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. – Matthew 10:16

For we live by faith, not by sight. – 2 Cor. 5:7

As christians, we are governed by scriptures. Sure, we pick up those that are easy to get along. However, there are principles that we need to develop over time. Scripture is supposed to change us, not the other way around.

The phrase “living by faith” must be balanced. Some christians are settled in that phrase, they are passive in working out. One of my leaders once said: “Blessings are unmerited favor. You should work for your family. Your salary is not a blessing – it’s the fruit of your labor. In short, salary is a duty. Learn to distinguish blessing from duty.” That makes perfect sense.

Once I was saddened when a pastor friend came to me to fix his laptop. Btw, I’m a professional computer technician. When I’m handing back his laptop and asked for PhP350 as service fee, he said “pwede 300 na lang. Alam mo naman tayong mga pastor, supported lang ng ministry at misis na teacher.” [Can i have a discount,make it 300, you know us pastors are just supported by ministry, and my wife who is a teacher]. I rebuked him saying “pastor, you don’t have to reason out being a pastor. I can even give my service for free, all you have to do is ask. Elevate your mindset,you’re destined to think better than this! I understand that being in a ministry is sacrifice, but don’t settle to live in poverty. I understand we live by faith, but we have to work out to improve our standard of living. Romans 12:2 be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Tips: use scripture whenever you argue with a pastor especially when rebuking. It hurts me upon rebuking him. I am a pastor myself and I know struggle is real. Never did he brought his laptop on me again, and yes he paid 300 πŸ™‚

In our church, we believe that soliciting is not for us. There’s nothing wrong with soliciting especially to be honest we need money to run a ministry. But we believe and proven that God is able to finance His church utilizing internal resources. We need not to seek monetary support from the outside. Simply put, we discourage sending letters outside the church asking for cash. To be perfectly clear, that’s our practice in our local church. Soliciting is legit and is being practiced in churches. There’s time for everything, our local church just prefer not to do so. Instead, we encourage church to be tithers, and motivate them to pledge/offer for the church. It’s not easy and struggle is real, myself included. But I’m setting myself as an example, let the rest be convicted.

This summer, we hosted three main events, and God by His grace and provision made each event successful. Our drive is to cultivate Christ among children (Vacation Bible School), fellowship among women (Zumba), and evangelism among young people (Youth Jam). 

  • Vacation Bible School (two different locations) one week each: Total expenses 20thou pesos.


These include training for VBS teachers (young people), props, foods/refreshments, graduation expenses, and transportations.

  • Zumba. Project of Women’s ministry. They aim to do it regularly. It’s an income-generating project. They’ve garnered around 7thousand pesos. Please don’t refer this as solicitation. Minimal registration fee are in place, supported by our Pastor’s Association and Local Govt Unit.

  • Youth Jam. One-day programme for youth. Organized and conceptualized by our youth, appropriately dubbed as #Easy-han mo lang Bes.

    Each event work both ways: exposure/training among facilitators, and evangelizing participants. 

    Surely  God will sustain.

    ..being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – Phil. 1:6

    To God be all the glory.

    Posted in Everyday Living, Polaris' Place of Solitude, Qatar, Reflections

    Why is it so tough to move forward?


    Lately I’m pondering about this question. Then my mind sails afloat the sea of thoughts. I then find myself trolling around scenarios of “what if?” “why not?” exchange – like a tennis ball. 

    Tradeoff is the main factor. If I move forward, I will leave point “A” and embrace point “B.” There’s no turning back, I have to burn the bridge! Lest I might turn to a pillar of salt (inaalat tayo *wink*). I will leave all comforts and perks in point “A,” and start a new adventure. The mere thought thrills me. But sweet journey come with a price, I’m not sure I can afford.

    By the way, it’s about leaving my job.

    I spoke with my wife about it. She told me that if I’m not happy anymore I can always go home. She added: “God will not forsake us.” Well, that’s comforting πŸ™‚

    So I sought my Lord Jesus Christ.. and He led me in 1 Corinthians Chapter 13. Although it’s a popular chapter, it never occurred to me that I’ll meditate on this. Two insights strike me, I’m hoping these can contribute to you guys, especially if you’re in crossroads of decision-making. 

    v. 8: Love Never Fails

    Why I’m so hesitant to move? Because I’m afraid to fail. Do I still love my job? If so, I’ll never fail. If not, it’s time to move on. That’s the practical approach. 

    Subjective/spiritual approach is this: if I put my faith in God, who is love, I shall never fail. 

    So long as I have love, I can stand the test of time. (This is the point where I want to scream like Augustus in the movie Gladiator: “are you not entertained?!!”… and by the way I want to face my boss when delivering that – haha). 

    v. 11. Think like a man

    I’m not referring to a movie with that title, sorry πŸ™‚ 

    I have to think maturely. Thinking outside the ‘box’ so to speak. This means putting aside personal feelings, and weigh the situation as logical and objective as possible. No grumbling, grudge or envy. Better to overthink about consequences rather than be surprised with unforeseen exigencies. No room for mistakes here, the price I’ll pay is high enough for me (paraphrased from Karen Carpenter’s i know i need to be in love #credit).

    I’m still stuck. 

    I want to reflect in v. 12. This is what I’m seeing now..blurry, uncertain. But in God’s perfect time, everything will fall in it’s proper place. This is just a cliffhanger, the end will justify the pain it took to get us there (from Relient K’s song “Let It All Out.”).

    Verse I’m clinging onto: Romans 8:28 “…ALL things work TOGETHER for GOOD to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to His purpose.”

    Posted in Let's Celebrate!, Reflections

    Celebrating my 34th Birthday


    With my colleagues

    Thanks for all the well-wishes.

    So I’ve got an ice cream cake courtesy of my boss, a sweet gesture that assures me I’m not screwing up yet πŸ™‚ 

    Had lunch out in FRIDAY’s with (one of) my boss and colleagues – two years in a row! πŸ™‚ am really grateful.

    For me, sweet thoughts are the best!

    Lovely, isn’t it? Contents are way lovelier!

    Thank you guys! God bless and may your tribes increase!

    With my family

    Thank you, anak! And special credits to my loving wife

    Palabok with palitaw..yum!

    Evidently, nag-eenjoy ang bata πŸ™‚

    Sweet smile! He sang “happy birthday to you” with his mom on videochat, touching his father’s heart.

    Posted in Devotions, Reflections

    God Heard Us The First Time


    ​*[[Dan 10:12]] ISV* β€œβ€˜Don’t be afraid, Daniel,’ he told me, β€˜because from the first day that you committed yourself to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard. I’ve come in answer to your prayers.

    I admit I have my shares of doubt. I asked God one favor, years gone by and still my prayer remains unanswered. 

    I started to work my way to please God. Later, i realized that I want to manipulate God. His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are way above ours. God moves in His perfect time. We have to align ourselves.

    In my three decades (+4yrs) of existence, I can say that most of my unanswered prayers have something to do with my readiness. Say if the Lord will  bless me with 1million pesos, I can live with that. However, how can I be sure to do the same if we’re talking about 1million dollars? Am I capable of handling that? It’s not the greed that I am concerned of, it’s how to manage it properly. How ready I am for the challenge? If I’m not ready, it will destroy me.

    The scripture above comforts me. I’ll never give up, He heard me..

    Posted in Everyday Living, Reflections

    Let Not Your Past Dictate Your Future


    This one’s for those labelled as misfits out there.

    Had you ever felt an emptiness? Vague? Felt like you’re a failure? Like you didn’t lived out with people’s expectations in which sometimes somehow You set a standard for the first place? Worry not, you’re not alone.

    Look at me. Well, I failed in numerous aspects, but i’ve got the face value -haha. Allow me to share some of my experiences in which life’s failures taught me lots of lessons, to be where I am now – still handsome (i know you heard me first time, i know).

    Being a college dropout, need to say more? I can’t help but to have an insecurity built all around me. But I have Jesus. I may sound unfair of bringing my faith in the table, however I don’t have much under my sleeve. While my classmates are busy finishing their degree, I am busy working all day, if not sulking away. I will be a hypocrite if I did not envy them. Then God taught me one strategy: if I can’t beat them with their diploma, I’m going to beat ’em with skillset. So I focus on learning new skillset, crafting it, and mastering into perfection. All my efforts are paid off. Even today, people are being amazed of my skills which I humbly and shyly refer to as ‘due to years of working.’ 

    On one occasion, I broke someone’s heart. It’s a failure in handling a relationship. Many contributing factors popped up, however, cultural norms (wherein people favors a woman) – ended myself guilty as charged. I took the blame. But that did not stopped me from loving again. I knew God must’ve His reasons why I experienced that. He should have! My pain is real. 

    You know, there’s a tendency to hide in a cloak of invisibility. I’m not referring to some kind of superpowers. It’s the pain behind a smile, bitterness behind cheerful aura, insecurities buried in the deepest of our being. That’s a cloak of invisibility. The drawback? no one seems to notice, no one seems to care EXCEPT those who went through, or are still undergoing the pain you are into. 

    Here’s where we are good at. We can blend in our surroundings, while God in His lovingkindness, is shaping our bruised heart. Yes, we are tired. We never wished for it for the first place. We did our best, given our all, but we’d fallen short. Listen to this: you have to focus on the growth factor. Believe that everything is essential for your character development. And keep believing that God is preparing you into something – in which you will fit in, in due time.

    If there’s one lie you should not believe, is the voice that telling you ‘You’re a failure.’ We all fail, but don’t let that setback hold you back from reaching your destiny. God, throughout history, called people who are notoriously/horribly failed. He called the doubtful (Thomas), the proud (Peter), the coward (Gideon), the insecured (Moses) – to fulfill important missions. Inspite their failures/shortcomings, God thought they’re fit for the job! So let God humor the humanity once again by choosing YOU as important piece to complete a mission that in due time, God will call you to fulfill.

    Look at me, I am a school dropout, yet have a job. I once believed a failure in relationship, yet happily married with a son. If there’s one trait that did not changed is my confidence with my face value (laughs). Yeah, that’s what we do, we laugh – genuinely.

    If you are still reading up to this part, let me tell you this: God is not finished with you yet.