30 Minute Write: Family

funny pic during Honie’s wedding at the restroom🙂 Couldn’t resist🙂

It may be a cliche to say that “my family is the best one in the whole world”.  We are not perfect but I would dare say that we are rich in love.  My family has gone through a lot in the past 10 years.  We’ve faced bankruptcy, my brother had to give up school for a year or two so his two older sisters could finish college first,  fights (sibling vs. sibling), a period of 6 months without power because we did not have enough income to pay the electric bill but after all these shaking, tests and trials, I am blessed and happy to say that one of the joys of our lives is spending time with each other.

I especially love Sundays because this is when I get to have dinner with my nephew S and my niece A.  They’re my sister’s kids and they are just adorable and lovable.  I think every aunt or uncle thinks that way of their nieces and nephews.😉

As for my dad and my mom, we have been blessed to have parents who raised us up “equally” and “fairly”.  For me that means parents who don’t compare us with one another and who don’t talk against the other child to another.  Respect, respect and respect were always the words my mom hammered unto us when we were still young and even now when we have disagreements or arguments.  She would always say that “even if you are siblings, you have to respect each other.  Respect your siblings even more.  Don’t just take them for granted just because they’re your siblings.”

One of my fondest memories as a kid was that time when my sister and I had the chicken pox and we were in danger of missing a summer vacation in Hongkong because we could not get into the plane for danger of contagion.  My dad cheered us up by letting us fly a kite under the heat of the sun.  We were supposed to be “hiding” or in isolation but he let us play freely and I will always remember and treasure those times that he ran and flew that kite for us.  Of course suffice it to say, he also got the chicken pox from us.

Another fun imprint on my mind was that time my feisty sister and I climbed up the Ford Fiera (it’s an Asian Utility Vehicle) that my dad and the mechanic-driver were repairing in the garage that was a bit inclined.  The gate was closed and the keys were not in the ignition.  But my very curious sister had seen my dad and the driver start the vehicle with a starter.  A button that one had to press that revved up the engine.  Vrroooommm…It suddenly started and we were moving!  I looked at my dad’s and the driver’s very shocked and surprised faces and we waved goodbye as the car started going down the inclined driveway and bang!  It hit the gate, opening it and down we went crashing into the fence of our neighbor across the street.  My dad and the driver went chasing after us.

Daddy was furious.  That was an understatement to say the least.  He was boiling mad.  “What if someone was walking along the road and you hit him or her?  You could have killed that person!  What if a car had passed by?  You guys could have been killed!”  Ooops, we had not thought about that.🙂

Looking back to that time, I believe it was the hand of God that protected us or any passerby or car from an accident.   My mom wasn’t home at that time.  She was in Hongkong with some clients and after my dad called her to report to her what we had done and how furious he was, he was calling my sister and I with the loudest voice while we started hiding.  He took a piece of flimsy firewood and starting running after us.  I don’t know why that in our foolishness we were giggling and laughing while looking at Daddy chasing us with a firewood and running up and down the house.  Of course, we eventually got a hard spanking and we were “punished”.  Hahaha!  But still, that incident never fails to make me laugh thinking about daddy’s anger and how he looked running after us.  We were so young then.  I think Happy was 6 years old while I was 9.

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30 minutes + 7 more minutes for uploading photos😦

“dream” guy

I did not have a good night’s rest last night as my dad and I were busy tinkering with his new gadget: the new iPad. It was 4am when I finally hit the sack and even then my mind and my eyes refused to cooperate. They wanted to stay awake. Finally at half past four in the morning I slept, I think. I woke up early again around 6am, went back to sleep and woke up again around 8 or 9.

But what struck me in those drifting in between sleep and waking up was that I dreamt of the “man” and he was nothing like the men who fit my type. Physically, he was far too different. I have always been drawn to skinny men. I don’t like men with extra “fat” on them. I have always been drawn to skinny, lanky men.

Next, the guy in my dream was not the sensitive, serious, artistic types that I like and prefer. He was outgoing, warm and funny and he liked hugging me in that dream. You see I have always liked serious men. Men who are more artistic and creative in temperament rather than the “hi, how do you do” types.

What’s more was that it happened in Thailand where I supposedly went to for an outreach with kids. When I met him there IN THE DREAM, I wasn’t even remotely interested in him because he was totally the opposite of what I wanted in a guy.

It was only when I woke up and thought to myself “what a weird dream that was” that it hit me that probably the guy God will give me will be far different from what I prefer and I’ll meet him during the most unexpected of times. Another thing that jiggled my mind when I woke up was that in the dream, my brother J liked the man and approved of him, telling me “he likes you, tsi” and “he will take care of you”. That is something. You see my bro is quite outspoken when he doesn’t approve of a guy I’m seeing and won’t mince words.

I said a prayer after processing the dream and how I felt afterwards. In my mind I kept telling myself “he’s not my type” but I felt loved, respected, at peace and unafraid. Some of the things I have been asking God to be present in my relationship with my future husband after quite a tumultuous and confusing experience in the past.

Lord Jesus, wherever he is, guide him, protect him and make him into the man You want him to be.:) Amen. I’m excited.

Covenant :)

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These are the gentlemen and the ladies I practically grew up with through the years.  Can still remember those times that we had prayer meetings aka sleepovers at the former prayer room now-turned Tabernacle.  We’d pray ‘til midnight and stopped after a neighbor threw a stone at the church’s roof because of the ruckus we made.   In my mind I can still see some of the men in this pic 10 years ago still dressed in their school uniforms.  That long and that old, huh?

Now, we’re all ‘grown up’ as Ate Sal puts it and all dressed up for a good friend, H.’s, wedding. No longer “youth” but thank God for covenant.  Different personalities, backgrounds and interests brought together by One Man – Jesus.:)

Thank You, Jesus, for brothers and sisters in Christ.

Photo credit {c} Ms. Mitzil L.

 

 

 

September: Life in Snapshots

Here are some photos of how September flew.  I think the song with the lyrics that say “Wake me up when September ends…” is somehow apt to describe how fast this month passed by.  It came like a dream.  Quite.a.rush.

But one good thing about being busy these days is that I’ve been busy studying, meeting up with long lost friends, cousins, bonding with my nephew and niece and good friends.  It was worth the full sched.🙂

One Friday evening with my cousins, Joan and Ken {the one who took the photo} at SM City Cebu
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My sister Happy {the one beside me} and I had lunch with J., a good friend of ours from Manila. She tells me it’s been 8 years since we last saw each other. Surprisingly, it felt like it was only yesterday since I last saw her. That’s how you know you’re with a friend.🙂
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Had a great time playing “Breakthrough” with M, a good friend & now-cousin-by-marriage, at Cafe Caw. :))
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One Sunday evening after our family dinner at my sister’s place, we played dominoes with the kids. Losers get lipstick streaks. Boo! The three of us lost to my sister {their mom} and my bro-in-law. It was a hilarious and fun time with family! Precious moments.
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This is how the Marvel dominoes look like.:) The cause of all those lipstick marks on our faces. ^_^

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I look forward to spending one hour with them every Sunday afternoon. Our church has scholars and as part of their scholarship privileges, we also have bible studies with them. I am blessed and privileged that God allowed me to be a part of their lives in this season.🙂

Where art thou, Lady?

I thought it was only August that brought with it its own rush.  Also September.  What with all the Long Tests and projects of my tutees plus my mom’s birthday’s surprise {Her birthday is on the 22nd.  That’s Saturday here} and two weddings on the same weekend! Wooh!  Just thinking about ’em is enough to keep me busy.

But what’s actually keeping me busy these days is that I’ve started my self-review for the coming Teachers’ Board Exam this coming March or April.  It’s actually a face-your-fear turning point in my life.  I am baring my heart out here.  You see I’ve dreaded taking this exam since it’s been a looong time since I’ve faced major tests/exams since I last graduated.

Today, my motto is “I’ll study, do my best and GIVE God the REST.”  I’m actually excited as I’ve been studying almost everything from Math to Science to Professional Education subjects.  I study whenever I can.  And tonight, I’ve de-cluttered and rearranged my study table to give way for my reviewers and my notes.  I kept and phased out my teaching stuff from the two years that I taught preschool and put my reviewers and books on the limelight here on the table. 🙂

As I went back to studying Principles of Teaching, Teaching Methods and Strategies, Educational Assessment and the nitty-gritty details and technical stuff, God taught me one very important thing about teaching through my tutees, M.  I will write more about it when I’m not pressed for time and their LTs {long tests} are done.  He reminded me again that more than techniques, strategies and critical thinking activities, LO.VE is still at the heart of teaching and what’s really at the heart of His Kingdom.

Surely, surely, “Perfect Love casts out all fear.”  That verse became so clear to me tonight as He was talking to me about how to handle, encourage and just plain love my tutee…AS IS.

Like a Lion {David Crowder band}

Verse:
Let love explode and bring the dead to life
A love so bold
To see a revolution somehow.
Let love explode and bring the dead to life
A love so bold
To bring a revolution somehow

Pre- chorus
Now I’m lost in your freedom
This world I’ll overcome.

Chorus:
My God is not dead
He’s surely alive
He’s living on the inside
Roaring like a lion

Verse 2:
Let hope arise and make the darkness hide
My faith is dead
I need a resurrection somehow

Bridge:
Let Heaven roar and fire fall
Come shake the ground
With the sound of revival

Here’s sharing with you guys one of my favorite songs that we sing in church.  It’s safe to say that this is one of my “theme songs” of my life in this season.🙂 Enjoy!  OUR GOD IS ALIVE.  HE’S LIVING ON THE INSIDE ROARING LIKE A LION! Isn’t that just awesome and oh so mind-blowing!?🙂

I could listen to this song for hours and sing this song over my nation whenever I’m so tempted to wallow in self-pity and hopeless just by looking at the social realities that “accost” me whenever I go out into the streets.

The teenagers who are strong but choose to beg in the streets.  Those two young high school students who flagrantly disobey traffic rules and walk across the flyover inspite of the speeding jeepneys and cars without a care.  The conductor and the jeepney driver who obey traffic rules only when the traffic enforcer is there and when he’s not around, ignore the traffic signs and lights.  When I see these things, despair floods my heart. Why? When we were in college, my sister and I were convinced that the traffic behavior and attitudes of a nation reflect its culture and how we look at authority, submission and obedience.  This was confirmed when a study came out about this.

But God…as always, without fail, tells me “don’t look at the physical.  Call out things that are not as though they are.  Set your eyes on heavenly things.”

Thank God for His Word or else I would have said things that would have put another nail on the coffin called “Philippines” but I refuse to dwell on what I see and believe that this nation has hope and that one day – soon – God is going to visit my beloved Philippines and turn it upside down, right side up.  I am hoping, believing and praying.  We need a love that is so bold that it will bring a revolution in this nation. Yes, I’m seeing trickles of change in the land now but I’m praying for a revolution that will bring radical change in the roots of our culture, our thoughts and our identity as a people.

There’s got to be more, Teacher

As a nation, we need a curriculum that demands more from our students than the mere memorization of facts, and a move toward a curriculum that supports deep and meaningful understanding of content, creative and critical problem-solving skills.

from Janet English quoted in “What is a Good Teacher Worth?

I think her sentiments are not only what’s needed for American education but also for the Philippine educational system, too.  As we are now implementing the K-12 program, there is still a need for teachers to focus on critical thinking and, I think, the more important quality to be developed – a love for learning – in the students.

I think students who are inspired to know more, learn to ask and probe issues and matters at hand rather than students who just memorize are the ones that will go on to invent new stuff, come up with new ways of doing things and shake the prevailing mindsets.

We must teach kids and students to think, dream and connect the dots instead of settling for just parroting us and what they read in the books.

one of my practicum classes in a public night high school🙂