July 24, 2006

happy birthday to me =)

i'm happy not because it's my birthday, but because i don't need to wait for the 24th of july to be happy. (yay! =) )

and, a tiny disclaimer: i'm not superstitious, especially because the division of the Bible books into chapters and verses was done hundreds (?) of years after they were written. still, these ("7"-"24" passages) are nice reminders :)

so, thank you God, because i'm happy on my birthday =)

"Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."
(John 7:24)

"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock."
(Matthew 7:24)

Vienna sausages in heaven

It was eating time in the Pulido residence and our “guests”, my uncle, aunt, cousin and cute little nephew were just arriving.

“Ninang! Happy birthday,” greeted my cute little nephew.

“Hi there =) do you have a gift for me?” i asked.

“No. But I brought this,” and he showed me this small can of Vienna sausages.

Oh dear. Uh-oh. We had a delicious feast prepared, and here was my nephew, clinging to his one favorite food. i pointed out as much to him right then and there, and while we were eating i kept convincing him to try the chicken, or the crab, but to no avail.

Ivan’s appetite didn’t really surprise me; he usually just eats rice, or rice with some soup, and that’s it. And since his grandparents returned to the country with a stack of canned goods i usually saw him eating those sausages out of the can.

But in carrying canned goods to a family gathering, Ivan completely missed the point of why he came to our house. We came together (i) to enjoy each other’s company, (ii) to remember my grandfather who passed away six years ago, (iii) to finalize some details regarding my grandmother’s burial, (iv) to celebrate my birthday the next day, and of course, (v) to eat. Hey Ivan, you came here to eat special food, not those typical ordinary canned sausages!

i don’t really have anything against Vienna sausages; i can actually relate to Ivan, i did have a phase when that’s all i wanted to eat too. And the fact that he actually brought to a lunch party what he himself wanted to eat, does border on the humorous. (Did i mention he’s five years old? Hihihi.)

But if he only knew what he was missing out on!

He missed out on the delicious food and the point of why he visited us for lunch.

Which reminds me of people who similarly missed the food and missed the point.

First off: what would you do when faced with the food that gives life?

(1a) Some did not accept the Bread of Life.

“I am not like the bread your ancestors ate. They ate that bread and still died. I am the bread that came down from heaven, and whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

…When the followers of Jesus heard this, many of them said, “This teaching is hard. Who can accept it?”

…After Jesus said this, many of His followers left Him and stopped following Him.

(John 6:58,60,66)

(1b) This woman asked for the Living Water, and got it.

Jesus said, “If you only knew the free gift of God and who it is that is asking you for water, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

The woman said, “Sir, where will you get this living water? The well is very deep, and you have nothing to get water with. Are you greater than Jacob, our father, who gave us this well and drank from it himself along with his sons and flocks?”

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give will never be thirsty. The water I give will become a spring of water gushing up inside that person, giving eternal life.”

The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water so I will never be thirsty again and will not have to come back here to get more water.”

(John 4:10-15)

Second: would you get the point, or miss it?

(2a) The disciples needed a little hint.

Jesus’ followers went across the lake, but they had forgotten to bring bread. Jesus said to them, “Be careful! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”

His followers discussed the meaning of this, saying, “He said this because we forgot to bring bread.”

Knowing what they were talking about, Jesus asked them, “Why are you talking about not having bread? Your faith is small. Do you still not understand? Remember the five loaves of bread that fed the five thousand? And remember that you filled many baskets with the leftovers? Or the seven loaves of bread that fed the four thousand and the many baskets you filled then also? I was not talking to you about bread. Why don’t you understand that? I am telling you to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”

Then the followers understood that Jesus was not telling them to beware of the yeast used in bread but to beware of the teaching of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

(Matthew 16:5-12)

(2b) At times i still don’t get it; i need all the hints and signs i could get.

All have sinned and are not good enough for God’s glory,
 and all need to be made right with God by His grace, which is a free gift.
 They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ.
 (Romans 3:23)

When people sin, they earn what sin pays --- death.
 But God gives us a free gift –-- life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 (Romans 6:23)

God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him may not be lost, but have eternal life. God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through Him…
 (John 3:16-17)

 I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it.
 (Ephesians 2:8-9)

i cannot brag about it.

i cannot brag about my independence; i truly, madly, deeply need God, in life and in the afterlife.

i cannot brag about my good works; they are inadequate and insignificant compared to what Jesus did for me.

i cannot brag about my Vienna sausages in heaven.

Like aunt, like nephew, eh? ;D =)

Man, the Leader 3: To Be a Man

before giving the book "For Men Only" to my dad, i just had to read it first. not all of it, just about "The Man and His Marriage" (but of course!!!). so here goes =)

from the book: "For Men Only"*
the section: "The Man and His Marriage"
the article: "Man, The Leader"
by David W. Augsburger (radio speaker, 'The Mennonite Hour')

To be a man
Is to possess the strength to love another,

Not the need to dominate over others.

To be a man
Is to experience the courage to accept another,

Not the compulsion to be an aggressor.

To be a man
Is to keep faith with human values in relationships,

Not to value oneself by position or possessions.

To be a man
Is to be free to give love
And to be free to accept love in return.

* “For Men Only: The Dynamics of Being a Man and Succeeding at It,” edited by J. Allan Peterson, Living Books, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Illinois. 1973.
Article originally from “Cherishable: Love and Marriage,” Herald Press, Scottdale, Pa., 1971.

Man, the Leader 2: Christocratic Leadership

before giving the book "For Men Only" to my dad, i just had to read it first. not all of it, just about "The Man and His Marriage" (but of course!!!). so here goes =)

from the book: "For Men Only"*
the section: "The Man and His Marriage"
the article: "Man, The Leader"
by David W. Augsburger (radio speaker, 'The Mennonite Hour')

Comparing the authocratic personality (A) and the Christ-ocratic personality (C):
  • A: gives orders without asking questions, without permitting questions
  • C: asks questions, seeks to truly hear, suggests alternatives
  • A: makes demands, dishes out directives, lays down the law, is defensive if challenged
  • C: respects freedom and dignity of others, can affirm the truth clearly and concretely but nondefensively
  • A: requires compliance regardless of consent or agreement
  • C: values willing cooperation, works for open agreement and understanding
  • A: pushes and manipulates one-man rule in over-under position
  • C: leads, attracts, persuades personal relationships in side-by-side identification
  • A: says, "You do, you must do, you ought to have done, you'd better do"
  • C says, "Come, let's do, we might have done, can we try?"
  • A: depends on his own external authority to motivate others
  • C: depends on [others’] internal integrity to motivate them
  • A: generates friction, resistance, and resentment
  • C: generates acceptance, cooperation, and reconciliation
  • A: separates and isolates people
  • C: unites and helps persons to relate to each other

* “For Men Only: The Dynamics of Being a Man and Succeeding at It,” edited by J. Allan Peterson, Living Books, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Illinois. 1973.
Article originally from “Cherishable: Love and Marriage,” Herald Press, Scottdale, Pa., 1971.

Man, the Leader 1: What is Leadership?

before giving the book "For Men Only" to my dad, i just had to read it first. not all of it, just about "The Man and His Marriage" (but of course!!!). so here goes =)

from the book: "For Men Only"*
the section: "The Man and His Marriage"
the article: "Man, The Leader"
by David W. Augsburger (radio speaker, 'The Mennonite Hour')

  • If leadership is "helping and serving so that both move forward," then it is an action done by either person in a way that liberates both. It may go unnoticed. It happens best when unrecognized. It is accepted most easily when it is unselfconscious, selfless, self-giving, when it is exercised in the Christ-way of giving help.
  • Helping another is best defined as giving another the freedom to change, and change voluntarily. This is a creative exercise in leadership. In contrast, authoritarian doctrine prohibits free choice, and inhibits free interchange and the freedom to change.
  • Leadership shared in mutual respect can establish a climate of dignity, freedom, and responsibility, creating an atmosphere which is both comforting and stimulating to both --- a Christian atmosphere. In it, each is free to grow toward personal maturity and each is eager to see the shape of Christ forming in the other. [teci: can’t remember if this is a personal note or the author’s, but this brings to mind Galatians 4:19 --- “My little children, again I feel the pain of childbirth for you until you truly become like Christ.”]
But where one seizes power, or both struggle for control, an atmosphere of competition and conflict chokes communication and understanding. Even the unconscious assuming of power by one partner or the other will mold the relationship, perhaps in ways neither desire.
  • Leadership is a function which should always be shared.
Authority in one area or another is a responsibility which is mutually designated to one or the other through honest negotiation. It can be renegotiated at any time.
  • Life together is life shared. Shared love, shared work, shared opportunities, shared leadership, even shared initiative. Man, the nominal head, may function officially for both in public matters of leadership. Woman, recognized as equal in leadership, leads with, and not against him. Together, they choose to grow.

* “For Men Only: The Dynamics of Being a Man and Succeeding at It,” edited by J. Allan Peterson, Living Books, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Illinois. 1973.
Article originally from “Cherishable: Love and Marriage,” Herald Press, Scottdale, Pa., 1971.

July 22, 2006

reminder for a Princess =)

This is such a wonderful, gushy-mushy text from a dear friend of mine. :)

"No man will ever claim you unless he claims you from Me.

For I reserved a man for you who has My heart

and loves Me even more than He will you.

For I won't give you unless he asks you from Me.

He's asleep;

don't wake him.

He's busy for Me,

for My kingdom.

Soon you will know him,

but I have the perfect time.


you're My DAUGHTER.

Let no prince claim you unless He asks you from My hand

for I am your Father, the KING of Kings.

You, My princess, are worth loving."

there's something about marriage...

THIS (first) intro is written by me, teci. (the message was from a friend.)
That's right, there's something about marriage. It's GOD. GOD is the one you promise everything to: to give your very life for this other person, in the small and in the big things. you're promising a lifetime of commitment and love for this other person, but you're making that promise to God and ask His help for you to keep that promise. :)
(end teci's intro)


Eduardo Calasanz was a student at the Ateneo Manila University, Philippines, where he had Father Ferriols as professor. Father Ferriols, at that time was the Philosophy department head.

Currently he still teaches Philosophy for graduating college students in Ateneo. Father Ferriols has been very popular for his mind opening and enriching classes but was also notorious for the grades he gives. Still people took his classes for the learning and deep insight they take home with them every day (if only they could do something about the grades...)

Anyway, come grade giving time, (Ateneo has letter grading systems, the highest being an A, lowest at D, with F for flunk), Fr. Ferriols had this long discussion with the registrar people because he wanted to give Calasanz an A+. Either that or he doesn't teach at all...Calasanz got his A+.
Read the paper below to find out why.

Partners and Marriage
by Eduardo Jose E. Calasanz

I have never met a man who didn't want to be loved. But I have seldom met a man who didn't fear marriage. Something about the closure seems constricting, not enabling. Marriage seems easier to understand for what it cuts out of our lives than for what it makes possible within our lives. When I was younger this fear immobilized me. I did not want to make a mistake. I saw my friends get married for reasons of social acceptability, or sexual fever, or just because they thought it was the logical thing to do. Then I watched, as they and their partners became embittered and petty in their dealings with each other. I looked at older couples and saw, at best, mutual toleration of each other. I imagined a lifetime of loveless nights and bickering and could not imagine subjecting myself or someone else to such a fate.

And yet, on rare occasions, I would see old couples who somehow seemed to glow in each other's presence. They seemed really in love, not just dependent upon each other and tolerant of each other's foibles. It was an astounding sight, and it seemed impossible. How, I asked myself, can they have survived so many years of sameness, so much irritation at the other's habits? What keeps love alive in them, when most of us seem unable to even stay together, much less love each other? The central secret seems to be in choosing well. There is something to the claim of fundamental compatibility. Good people can create a bad relationship, even though they both dearly want the relationship to succeed. It is important to find someone with whom you can create a good relationship from the outset. Unfortunately, it is hard to see clearly in the early stages.

Sexual hunger draws you to each other and colors the way you see yourselves together. It blinds you to the thousands of little things by which relationships eventually survive or fail. You need to find a way to see beyond this initial overwhelming sexual fascination. Some people choose to involve themselves sexually and ride out the most heated period of sexual attraction in order to see what is on the other side. This can work, but it can also leave a trail of wounded hearts. Others deny the sexual side altogether in an attempt to get to know each other apart from their sexuality. But they cannot see clearly, because the presence of unfulfilled sexual desire looms so large that it keeps them from having any normal perception of what life would be like together. The truly lucky people are the ones who manage to become long-time friends before they realize they are attracted to each other. They get to know each other's laughs, passions, sadness, and fears. They see each other at their worst and at their best. They share time together before they get swept into the entangling intimacy of their sexuality.

This is the ideal, but not often possible. If you fall under the spell of your sexual attraction immediately, you need to look beyond it for other keys to compatibility. One of these is laughter. Laughter tells you how much you will enjoy each other's company over the long term. If your laughter together is good and healthy, and not at the expense of others, then you have a healthy relationship to the world. Laughter is the child of surprise. If you can make each other laugh, you can always surprise each other. And if you can always surprise each other, you can always keep the world around you new. Beware of a relationship in which there is no laughter. Even the most intimate relationships based only on seriousness have a tendency to turn sour. Over time, sharing a common serious viewpoint on the world tends to turn you against those who do not share the same viewpoint, and your relationship can become based on being critical together.

After laughter, look for a partner who deals with the world in a way you respect. When two people first get together, they tend to see their relationship as existing only in the space between the two of them. They find each other endlessly fascinating, and the overwhelming power of the emotions they are sharing obscures the outside world. As the relationship ages and grows, the outside world becomes important again. If your partner treats people or circumstances in a way you can't accept, you will inevitably come to grief. Look at the way she cares for others and deals with the daily affairs of life. If that makes you love her more, your love will grow. If it does not, be careful . If you do not respect the way you each deal with the world around you, eventually the two of you will not respect each other.

Look also at how your partner confronts the mysteries of life. We live on the cusp of poetry and practicality, and the real life of the heart resides in the poetic. If one of you is deeply affected by the mystery of the unseen in life and relationships, while the other is drawn only to the literal and the practical, you must take care that the distance doesnt become an unbridgeable gap that leaves you each feeling isolated and misunderstood. There are many other keys, but you must find them by ourself. We all have unchangeable parts of our hearts that we will not betray and private commitments to a vision of life that we will not deny. If you fall in love with someone who cannot nourish those inviolable parts of you, or if you cannot nourish them in her, you will find yourselves growing further apart until you live in separate worlds where you share the business of life, but never touch each other where the heart lives and dreams. From there it is only a small leap to the cataloging of petty hurts and daily failures that leaves so many couples bitter and unsatisfied with their mates.

So choose carefully and well. If you do, you will have chosen a partner with whom you can grow, and then the real miracle of marriage can take place in your hearts. I pick my words carefully when I speak of a miracle. But I think it is not too strong a word. There is a miracle in marriage. It is called transformation. Transformation is one of the most common events of nature. The seed becomes the flower. The cocoon becomes the butterfly. Winter becomes spring and love becomes a child. We never question these, because we see them around us every day. To us they are not miracles, though if we did not know them they would be impossible to believe. Marriage is a transformation we choose to make. Our love is planted like a seed, and in time it begins to flower. We cannot know the flower that will blossom, but we can be sure that a bloom will come. If you have chosen carefully and wisely, the bloom will be good. If you have chosen poorly or for the wrong reason, the bloom will be flawed. We are quite willing to accept the reality of negative transformation in a marriage. It was negative transformation that always had me terrified of the bitter marriages that I feared when I was younger. It never occurred to me to question the dark miracle that transformed love into harshness and bitterness. Yet I was unable to accept the possibility that the first heat of love could be transformed into something positive that was actually deeper and more meaningful than the heat of fresh passion. All I could believe in was the power of this passion and the fear that when it cooled I would be left with something lesser and bitter. But there is positive transformation as well. Like negative transformation, it results from a slow accretion of little things. But instead of death by a thousand blows, it is growth by a thousand touches of love. Two histories intermingle. Two separate beings, two separate presence, two separate consciousnesses come together and share a view of life that passes before them. They remain separate, but they also become one. There is an expansion of awareness, not a closure and a constriction, as I had once feared. This is not to say that there is not tension and there are not traps. Tension and traps are part of every choice of life, from celibate to monogamous to having multiple lovers. Each choice contains within it the lingering doubt that the road not taken somehow more fruitful and exciting, and each becomes dulled to the richness that it alone contains. But only marriage allows life to deepen and expand and be leavened by the knowledge that two have chosen, against all odds, to become one. Those who live together without marriage can know the pleasure of shared company, but there is a specific gravity in the marriage commitment that deepens that experience into something richer and more complex.

So do not fear marriage, just as you should not rush into it for the wrong reasons. It is an act of faith and it contains within it the power of transformation.

If you believe in your heart that you have found someone with whom you are able to grow, if you have sufficient faith that you can resist the endless attraction of the road not taken and the partner not chosen, if you have the strength of heart to embrace the cycles and seasons that your love will experience, then you may be ready to seek the miracle that marriage offers. If not, then wait. The easy grace of a marriage well made is worth your patience. When the time comes, a thousand flowers will bloom... endlessly.

not for abuse

Do you suppose, O man --- you who judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself --- that you will escape the [righteous] judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
This was to show God's righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins. It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
-- Romans 2:3-4, 3:25b-26

touche (measuring God's love for us)

Very few people will die to save the life of someone else. Although perhaps for a good person someone might possibly die. But God shows His great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners.
-- Romans 5:7-8

in case i still don't get it...

there’s this movie about this series of books that reminds me of this other book. (ok, that sentence has got to be the most understated one i have ever written…)

anyway, you, dear reader, might probably have heard of the following words dozens of times…or not. but i hope something would speak to you, as the entire chapter has spoken to me in recent weeks. God, thank You for speaking to me through X-Men! (there! i said it! hahaha…)

  • If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

  • And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

  • If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

  • Love is PATIENT.

  • Love is KIND.



  • Love is NOT ARROGANT.

  • Love is NOT RUDE.


  • Love is NOT IRRITABLE.

  • Love is NOT RESENTFUL.








  • As for prophecies, they will pass away;
    as for tongues, they will cease;
    as for knowledge, it will pass away.
    For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
    but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
  • When I was a child,
    I spoke like a child,
    I thought like a child,
    I reasoned like a child.
    When I became a [woman],
    I [should!] give up childish ways.
  • For now we see in a mirror dimly,
    but then [in the future] face to face.
    Now I know in part,
    then [in the future] I shall know fully,
    even as I have been fully known.
  • So now
    abide, these three,
    But the greatest of these is love.


Hope? Check.

Although for a season i really lost all hope.

Then i learned about God, and learned how to trust Him.

So i started to have faith. (Check.)

Then my hope returned. (Check.)


i cannot give what i do not have.
i now laugh because i used to do so much of what love is not (does NOT keep a record of wrongs, is NOT resentful, et cetera).
But my faith and hope rest completely on the God of love.
Hey everyone, be patient with me! (love is patient!) i’m still learning :D

no more.

with eyes wide shut…

…and my whole being already wincing in expectant pain, i waited for the stones…

…to come crashing down…

…on me.

They never did.

i open one eye.

And then another.

My muscles start to relax. A little.

“Has no one condemned you?” He asks.

“Wait, sir,” i replied. “This can’t be right. I’m sure if we just wait a little longer, some of them might return. Yeah, that’s it. Or maybe someone else would show up. You know, someone who really hasn’t sinned and all…I know the type…” My wary eyes start looking for them already.

“If no one has condemned you, then neither do I condemn you.”

That’s nice, i thought. (Unlike the adulterous David, i still hadn’t realized then that all sin is against God and God alone.) i was still looking over His shoulder for the human law-enforcers who were duty-bound to punish my all-too-human crimes against my fellow humans. After all, isn’t that what justice is all about?

“You just want everything to be fair,” my brother once grumbled. Grumbled! What’s wrong with that?! Ah, but that was when i thought i could fulfill all the dictates of the law. Apparently i couldn’t.

And so here we were.
“Go,” He continued, “and sin no more.”
No way.
No. Way.
FIRSTLY, i STILL have to be punished for my past before being allowed to move on.
SECONDLY, He KNOWS my track record for bad behavior; how can He TELL me to just go and…um, not be me anymore?! Sometimes He tells people to go and sell all they have, and/or glorify God, and/or tell everyone the Good News. But now, He’s just telling me to

Go and sin no more.

Boy, that’s hard.

(Can i just be punished and get it over and done with already?)
But not a stone touched me.
i realized that no matter how painful punishment is, i was more comfortable with the idea of justice rather than mercy, of law rather than grace. my mind was still fixed on the old way of doing things. here i was, talking with God who became man, and i still didn’t get why He came in the first place.

Truly, God is just --- sin will be punished.
BUT God is merciful --- a sinless Jesus was punished in our place on Calvary.

Truly, God is Lord of all, whether we acknowledge it or not.
BUT His commands are for our sake; His plans for us better than what we can ask for or imagine.

Truly, God gives us the (dangerous) freedom of being able to accept or reject Him.
BUT God also gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him, to empower us to do the right thing.
And --- that’s right --- to empower us to go and sin no more. =)

Truly, there will be consequences for our actions, right or wrong: either way, people will be affected, and we will answer to God on the day of judgment.
BUT with Christ i am a new creation. =)

i am still far from sinless. But each day --- hopefully! --- God is molding me to become more like Christ.
With Jesus, each decision, each action is an opportunity to sin no more. =)

And so here i am. i called out to God for help only when faced with imminent death, but i stayed because of His undying love. No stone of judgment touched my flesh, but more importantly, His unfair, irrational grace changed my heart of stone into a heart of flesh.

No more, He said.

Truly with God all things are possible.


Apart from Him i can do nothing, He says (John 15:5).

Indeed, in the past weeks, i was mediocre at everything, or worse. i was having fits of temper around my family again. Half my class flunked their first, supposedly easiest, exam. i was not able to prepare well for the classes i was teaching, the Bible study group i was leading, the ministries i was joining, et cetera. it all culminated in a weekend-long sickness. (my very own Good Friday to Easter Sunday =) )

Deep down i knew i had to change; i had to stop. i had to pray. i stopped praying when i started doing my thesis. (whoa, that just sounds…wrong.) which means, i stopped praying when the year 2006 began. (so, so wrong.)

In my busy-ness and worry i kept talking to God at the back of my mind, or maybe just imagined talking to Him. But listening? And because a new schoolyear kicked off as i was still revising said thesis, i “could not” --- would not? did not? chose not? --- to listen.

We’ve all heard the saying, we’re given two ears and only one mouth so we can talk less and listen more.

James says, let every person be quick to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19).

More to the point, Mother Teresa says that when she prays to God, she is simply listening. And what would God be doing? You guessed it: God is listening as well.

Last Saturday (July 15, 2006) i had a meeting, a class, and a seminar to go to. (plus this science-fiction and fantasy convention held but once a year!) But i was too sick to even eat. (Yes, i was that sick.) And all of a sudden i was forced to examine my recent past. In spite of the endless movies and talk shows that paraded before my eyes that weekend, or maybe because of them, i realized anew how empty life had become without God --- without seeking, hearing, listening to His voice.

Especially for me, because i'm a writer --- nay, His writer: His own personal secretary on call 24 hours a day. (yay =) ) If i don’t hear His voice not only can i not do anything, i really am nothing.

For all my mistakes i'm glad i can learn from them. =) when everything falls apart, perhaps i’m apart from God. more than time management or teaching skills or anything else, when circumstances start putting me down, or when the least of these circumstances make me fearful and anxious, it’s really God’s presence that i need. =)

So what happened?

Within hours of requesting for His voice,
  • i got to write and testify for Him again (for others!)
  • i suddenly become an effective teacher, literally overnight!
  • i come home and relate well to my family.

But these are just good signs that He’s back in my life. Even without them, i’ll live. But i cannot live apart from God Himself, and i wouldn’t want to. His presence is more than one will ever need.

For those of you who still haven’t felt His presence, just ask. He promises that you will find. In the same way that i asked God for His presence and things literally started turning around, i just know that YOUR life will turn around too. =)

July 1, 2006

things teci doesn't really want to hear (wink, wink)

the F-word: focus.

the S-wordS: submission. sacrifice. selflessness.

the P-word: patience.

all the more i need to hear and obey :)

thesis thanks! =)

(what follows is the entire SIX-PAGE acknowledgement section on my master's thesis. i could not thank everyone (there are still those i didn't get to mention), and that very fact is something i'm thankful for as well :) i also noted at least two grammatical errors, one in English and one in Filipino, but i'll keep them here for sentimental reasons...and so you'll be forced to read everything, ha! pero really, thank You God. it is over; it is finished; it is done. :) )
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

1 Corinthians 1:27 :)

My MS life and this MS Physics thesis could not have been possible if not for the following people. I am so blessed to know, to work with, to laugh with, to laugh at (hehehe!), and to be with all of you. :)

Jesus Christ, my Savior and my Lord: Though i’m such a bratty evil kid You’ve never loved me any less. In grad school i've learned so much about You. Life with You is nothing short of amazing and truly without comparison. Thank you so much for speaking my language, for realigning my dreams, for reawakening my talents…but most of all, for dying so that we would live together forever. All of me is all for You. :)

Sir Caesar Saloma: Sir, thanks so much for all the insights and for always looking at the big picture when i get bogged down with details. Thanks for reminding me through example that scientists need not be oblivious to the world around them but should actually share their expertise with society. Thanks for all the big laughs, even those at my expense, hehehe! God bless sa pagiging CS Dean and always, more power and more grace (hindi po grace sa pagsayaw!) :)

Ma’am Marisciel “Dixie” Litong-Palima: Ma’am! Sana po hindi lumaking katulad ko sina Ned and Mat! Or kung maging katulad ko man, at least nahasa na po to the max ang inyong patience and tolerance. Ma’am Dixie, i cannot thank you enough for being my adviser. Kung meron mang magtatanong about God’s bottomless immeasurable mercy, tandaan niyo na lang po ang tiniis niyo sa akin during thesis time. Hehe...Paano ba ‘yan Ma’am, i'm still here! Ayoko pong mangako at mapako, pero sisikapin ko po na hindi na maulit ang (in your words) “harrowing experience” na ito. :)

Sir Christopher “Chris” Monterola: Hi sir! Sana nakapag-adjust ka na sa “new me”, hehehe! Sir, more than the drive to be excellent, natutunan ko po sa inyo na binigyan tayo ng talents and blessings para gamitin. PhD? Indeed, why not? Thanks for having not just one motivational talk with me: it paid off, i’m here! It’s inevitable that your enthusiasm and energy would rub off on everyone you meet, including moi. Thanks for reminding me why i'm here, and why, despite all my “outside plans”, i choose to stay. God bless on being a daddy :)

Ma’am Cristine Villagonzalo: Thank you po for being a fine example of a scientist and teacher. Ma’am, kinuha ko po kayong reader because a dear friend said that having you as a panelist/reader sets the bar much higher up. Totoo po ‘yan! Even without saying anything you exude excellence, and if i'm going to do anything why should it be anything less than excellent? Thanks po for showing that, even if pass-fail lang ang thesis, mayroong 100% and 1.0 na grade because these standards can be and are being reached. :)

Sir Ronald Banzon: Thanks po for being all cheery and lighthearted! Kaya po na-mislead niyo ang buong batch namin nung nag-102 kami, akala naming madali lang, nyuk nyuk nyuk…Thanks po for being the reachable, accessible one, na pwedeng bulabugin even for a change of grade in 232 kahit wala nang pag-asa. (Well, hindi nga po napalitan yung grade, pero at least hindi po nakakahiyang lumapit, hihi…tsaka abot pa rin po pala sa 2.0 grade average cutoff so ok lang…) Sir, let’s continue smiling! (Hehe, sinama ko pa sarili ko!) :)

Johnrob “Jrob” Bantang: Hey Jrob! Thanks so much for all the input and meticulous program encoding…With your readiness --- nay, eagerness! --- to help, grabe, i sometimes forgot that you were doing your own dissertation and advising two people who were defending their own theses! You were never too busy to help this lost girl, and i really appreciate that. And, more importantly, thanks for the eye-opening discussions on faith. Like the scientist that you are, continue searching for the answers, and like the teacher/adviser/mentor that you are, continue sharing what you’ve learned with others. God bless being a new daddy! :)

Ma’am May “May” Lim: Thank you for being such an inspiration. Even though wala ka dito sa lab, it’s still your abilities and your mark of excellence that sets the standard for us, and for me. You do everything so well and it seems so effortless, compared to few results and much effort for me. A, tama, tayo yung bin-alance out ni Lord! Hehehe. We can’t wait to have you back with us and share what you’ve learned from the “outside world”, but in the meantime we’ll slacken off muna, joke! :)

Margaret Louise “Meggy” Honrado: Hey meggy, grad students na tayo! When are we going to write those books ala Tolkien and Lewis? Yeah! Let’s start early para marami tayong magawang international bestsellers, diba? Thanks for being my outlet for cheesiness! Thanks because i love to disagree with you, even if deep down i know you’re right…ooops! Siguro tayo na ang best proof that Jeannie has a split personality, nyuk nyuk nyuk…Bring on the Wolvie movie para ma-okray ko na!!!... I love being a girly giggly fan (of anything!) because you are too. Thanks for telling me *years* ago that if i want to do something (write, join UP Quill), i should just go ahead. Hindi ko agad nagawa then pero i'm getting there…And thanks for giving me enough slack in thinking that i just need to be “reminded” of some things, hehe. Thanks for the friendship, see you sa New Worlds! :)

Sarah Katherine “Achee” Alfonso: Hi Paris Hilton in overalls! Hahaha! OK lang yan, di ka naman kilala ng karamihan dito…Salamat sa…free ride sa kotse! Yun lang! Hahahahaha!!!! Chee, sino ba mauuna sa atin ikasal? Baka unahan pa tayo ng apo ni nina! Pero all in His perfect timing diba? (Lord, paunahin mo na ako ke ach! Hehehe!) Chee, salamat talaga for all those loooong talks long ago, kahit ako lang naman talaga yung nag-talk at nasa very public place ako umiiyak. Ang galing ni Lord, ‘no, you were there all along. Chee, remember how we became friends? Me fanfiction pa tayong nalalaman ‘nun! E ngayon, me real-life adventures ka na; ako meron din pero dito lang sa good ol’ Diliman. Alam mo, our lives run better than any fic or fanfic. Grabe, it’s eleven years since high school, and eleven years na tayo friends! Coolness! Here’s to another decade of…me hitching a ride! Mwah mwah! :)

Anna Nina “Ninsky” Chua: Ninski! Kelan ba kayo magkakaanak ni Dan? Para ninang kami ni chee! Alam mo bang you’re my friend for the longest time? It’s been 17 years girl! Salamat for your loyalty, salamat for all the times we just hung out and bummed around, salamat for just being there. Sino ba sa mga Battle teammates ang totoong friends, and still communicate, hmmm? Tayo lang! (Ooops oo nga pala, dalasan nga natin mag-email!!!) Life is fun because of you. Sana you’re having a blast sa Oz. (Nakita nyo na ba yung Wizard? Ay corny…) Dalaw ka naman minsan, you know we all miss you girl! Or basta, usap naman tayo, kahit email para “free”, pero gusto ko sing-haba ng PhD dissertation ang kwento mo ha? Ha? Ha? Just show them how great you are! Mwah! :)

Gwendolyne “Gwenee” Pascua: Thanks for your noble spirit: it keeps me going! Lagi nating tandaan ang Philippians 4:8! At tanggalin na natin ang ating pagiging ___-hater, hehehe! Let’s keep fighting the good fight, superwoman! :)

Geraldine “Gege” Dumlao: Thanks for being cool and quirky! Your looking at the other side of things balances me out. Thanks for being sensible when i'm just…fanatical! Ge, i-me-makeover mo pa ko right? At mag-v-Victory Weekend ka na right? :)

Aristotle “Aris” Calamba: Your humility and your gentleness and your kindness amaze me. Clean slate talaga! Instead of being resentful or envious i should be inspired, and i am. Thanks for being an inspiration --- pero someone i can still laugh with, and laugh at! Ooops! :)

Catherine “Cathy” Serrano: To my 2006 Valentine, yihi! Some people just click ‘no? Well, magka-wavelength talaga eh! Ang difference lang ata natin ay field of specialty, pero pareho pa rin namang science! Pero there’s enough “differences” to keep our friendship from being boring. Thanks for your being you, an instant friend for keeps! :)

Gay Jane “Gayjane” Perez: Hi batchmate! Bumabalik na unti-unti ang batchmates mo pero that will never stop our being…”sisters”! Diba sabi ko nga nung grad party with us hindi halata kung sino ang counselor at sino ang counselee! Gay, i love how you can balance our acads and socials. Hindi ako ganun pero knowing you keeps me sane (and insane, hahaha!). Bili uli tayo flowers for ourselves, hehe! :)

Godofredo “Gudz” Bautista, Jr: Uy gudz andito pa rin tayo! Yihi, most outstanding MS student! Salamat sa many good times we’ve had, palibhasa araw-araw na ginawa ni Lord e nagkikita tayo! Gudzie ikaw na lang ang matulog at kumain for me, ako na lang mag-games, o diba? Abay kaming lahat ha! :)

Maria Leilani “Lani” Torres: Thanks for being a source of wisdom and maturity. Early on nag-PDL ako at nakapag-cell at nakapag-kids church dahil sa iyo, things that hey, we’re still doing now! Your experiences and examples keep me balanced. Undergrad pa lang nagtatanungan na tayo kung ano gagawin natin, and look at us, papunta nang PhD! Yeah! It’s great walking with God along the physics path because you’re walking with me :)

Vera Marie “Vera” Sastine: We love BuBu ChaCha and Bo Sanchez…and everything that’s ideal and noble and good-hearted. Thanks for those insightful overnights, even if wala akong nakuhang data e nag-grow naman ang spirit ko. You’re such a kindred spirit. Ngayon, wala na akong madadaldal nang ganun katagal at ka-effortless, pero i just know that God is both with you and with me even if we’re far apart :)

Joy “Joyguev” Guevara: Thanks for being a great example of what a woman of God should be: strong, sensible, selfless, offering all her talents and her very life for His glory, never afraid to think out of the box, still managing to laugh at the simple things. Ma-mi-miss kita Joy; you’re an effective discipler because you live it. :)

All my ka-kosa (cellmates) --- Je, Imon, Leila, Cathy, Gen, Dinky, Sherille…Ron, Malkha, Scion, Bing…Cherry, Andrey, Angie, Jenny (Caspe), Winkie, Lala…Tin, Jenny (Constantino), Gwen, Cel, Lani, Yel, Marge, Bess…and everyone else i failed to mention because we’re so many (!!): You’ve all been there with me, shared, cried and laughed with me. Thank you for your time, your stories, your love, your welcoming arms. Thank you for helping me know God and how to deal with life as we follow Him. Thank you for friendships that suddenly bloom and will never stop growing. Truly, sisters in Christ are friends forever :)

Jeni Rose “Jeni” Lazarte: Thanks for being just a text away, for supporting and encouraging me even if we don’t see each other much. Salamat for being such a friend. Hindi tayo makapag-gimik masyado, dahil sa ating mga workload, pero pipilitin ko talaga i-postpone ang lahat ng iyon para makapag-bond tayo uli. Salamat sa friendship talaga, for being such a wonderful person :)

Liza Marie “Liza” Villorente: Naaalala mo pa ba nung in-apply natin ang physics 121 (or 122?) sa pag-optimize ng combination ng fishballs-cheesesticks-squidballs? All right! Sayang pagkatapos natin magka-lab hindi na tayo magkasama masyado. (Who am i kidding? Nahiwalay ako dahil nagpa-distract ako sa ___, hehe!) Thank you for all the BIG laughs; thank you for being my best friend in college. Thank you for still being the same ol’ Liza that’s so easy to be friends with. I love you! :)

Ricelle “Cel” Parinas: Once upon a time nagkapareho tayo ng circumstances pero magkaiba ang ating reaction. (Kaya nga nangayayat ka, tumaba naman akoh!) I know you’re living your life right now, pero always remember what we’ve learned ha? Don’t ever forget how He rescued us. PDL reading buddies tayo, cell-mates, and true friends. Bon voyage! :)

Charlene “Len” Hintay: Salamat for the privilege of knowing God more through you. Alam mo ba, your questions keep me on my toes, they keep me alert and relevant and sensible. Salamat for the honor of answering them and for just being a friend who can be there with you. Thank you for reminding me of the important things. Here’s to newfound life, eternal and complete, with Him! :)

Melissa “Mel” Camacho, Jennifer Anne “Jenny” Constantino, and Portia “Porsh” Mendoza: Thanks for the honor of going through the foundations of faith with you. More than disciples, you are my friends. (It’s He we all follow.) Thank you for opening up to me, for listening to my own stories, thank you for the chance to grow together in the likeness of Christ. :)

Maria Bleshielda “Mayshelle” Flores: Maysh, thanks for all the food and style advice and emergency outfits! Salamat sa shoes sa defense day, woohoo! Galing! Continue walking with Him! Buti na lang ginawa tayo ni Lord na roomies though hindi pa tayo nagkasama um-attend ng service. All things for His glory! Mwah! :)

Loujie “Louj” Senatin: Si Louj lang ang parang pagagalitan pa ako nung sinabi kong gusto ko na mag-give up sa thesis…”Ano ka ba?” sabi niya, “Many of us believe in you!” Grabe, na-shock ako nun, at sobrang na-encourage. Salamat louj, napakalaking tulong ng simpleng sagot mong iyon. :)

Maria Veronica “Bonics” Sibayan-Torralba, Katherine Valerie “Val” Ballesteros, and Florence “Flojo” Binua: I miss you both so much! Minsan lang talaga tayo nakapag-chikahan, pero pag nagkaabutan parang walang lumipas na…taon! (Hala ang tanda na natin friends!) Sana magkaroon uli ng chance na magkita-kita tayo, but i know that you’re all going to be successful and bless others so much with who you are. Mu-wah! :)

Kharim “Khar” Omambac: Salamat sa pagiging sober kapag kailangan. Salamat for giving us a taste of BS life outside NIP, para maiba naman diba? Salamat sa iyong sing-song voice na kahit hindi ko pa naririnig yung sinasabi e alam ko na na joke-joke na naman yun. Hay khar, instant batchmate ka talaga namin. Thanks for all the laughs! :)

Mark Jayson “Mark” Llena: Thanks sa dedication mo sa kids and reaching out to friends! Talagang you’ll go out of your way to serve and minister. Mark, be a blessing sa industry, cutthroat competitive world pa naman yan, be a light! :)

Marko “Marko” Arciaga: Si Marko pasimple lang pero pamatay ang mga hirit! Soft-spoken pero ang tindi ng mga sinasabi! Salamat sa pagiging inspirasyon sa teaching at acads. Well, ganyan talaga ang mga genius e! Continue to do everything for His glory! :)

Jenny “Jen” Aggangan: Thank you for your simple quiet ways that say a lot about Who’s in your heart. Iba man ang personalities natin (hehe) pero you’re still such an inspiration. Continue to be a shining light wherever your feet take you. :)

Mary Grace “Ghing” Bato: Hi ghing! Thanks for being so cool and fun. Parang ipinamana ko na sa iyo yung econ topic, so naging ok yung closure for me to move on to other things. Kita ko namang fruitful sa iyo yun e. Parang wala tayong age gap (sabi ko lang yun!)…Just keep on being a well-balanced gal :)

Stephen Daedalus “Dael” Separa: Dael, thanks for continuing to be my friend. I’m happy to see na umuuwi ka na sa inyo, yay! Take it from me and play more with your nephew, awww! Although mawawala na ang housemate ng bayan sa lab, you really owe it to yourself to be with your family…and play more soccer! Yung totoo ha, hindi yung pc or cellphone game! Oo nga pala, “Stephen” na itatawag ko na sa iyo ha :)

Andrew Rafael “Andrew” Banas: Thanks for being so funny and quirky even with the simplest almost-unintelligible words you mumble. You make working overnights much more interesting :)

Mary Jacquiline “Jacq” Romero: Sino pa ba ang maaasahan kong mag-sub sa lecture even without my asking? Jacq can do it all, and with class and style, too! Thanks for being an inspiration, a friend who’s always ready to help out, and most importantly someone who really lives out her faith :)

Elaine Juliet “Laine” Fabonan and Rowena “Weng” Matusalem: Hi lain! Your simple quiet ways are...not my ways, hehe! Magkaiba tayo ng ugali pero oks lang! Weng, ang tagal na nating hindi nagkita, kwento naman dyan! Sana makapag-bonding uli tayong lahat. Thanks sa friendship! :)

Louella Judy “Wewe” Vasquez: Thank you for an example of what it means to follow Christ and to grow in maturity in Him. Thank you for your fearlessness and honesty in just pressing on, and walking by faith and not by sight. Salamat sa privilege of delegating the NIP Women’s cell to me, naaalala nga kita nung pinag-usapan namin kahapon yung Philippians 1:1-11. We, just go forth in His power! Hugz! :)

Alfred “Edu” Samson: Si Edu laging me quiet smile sa mukha --- pinagtatawanan na naman ata ako e! Thanks for all the inspiring text messages and for being a reliable friend. And for all those SonicFlood mp3’s, although, na-co-convict ako na bumili na lang ng sarili kong CD’s, hihi! :)

My texting angels --- Erwin “Erwin” Navarro, Cielo “Cie” Ferraz, Janice “Jan” Navarosa, Kristine “Tin” Velasco, “Julie”, and “Ricky”: Salamat sa napakagandang mga text messages na pinapadala niyo sa akin. They inspire, motivate, encourage me. Salamat for using technology to share God’s Word with everyone. And so i shall do the same :)

Maria Ella Angela “Mea” Marfil: Thanks for the mutual sharing of insights…and dreams! Hihi! Truly, God has written a beautiful love story for each of us, something far better than what we can imagine or hope for. Ang hirap mag-walk by faith, and long-term pa, pero because He has been faithful in the past we can trust Him with our futures. Thanks for reminding me of all these :)

My RM-mates --- Merv, Meggy, Carlo, Gay, Ekkay, Tons, George, Jan, Harry, Earl and Johnrob: Thanks for all the input and for simply taking the time to listen to me. (Na madalas lang sabihin nung thesis crunch-time eh, “Sir, debugging po.”) Your support helped my head and my heart. Even if our research pursuits are individual, truly no woman is an island. :)

Cedric Ivan “Ivan” Pulido: My day immediately brightens up when i hear that chirpy little voice saying, “Ninang!” i am so blessed to be the godmother of the most wonderful child in the world! i love you so much ivan! MWAH! :)

Kim (our puppy): thank you for being so gosh-darn cute! Some people have punching bags to release frustration, but God sent me the cutest puppy in the world when I was this close to the breaking point. Yay =)

Maria Ophelia “Mama” Pulido and Angelo “Papadey” Pulido: Ma, salamat sa advice, sa laging napakasarap na pagkain, sa pagiging konsensya ko especially when the truth is hard to face. Paps, salamat for the opportunity of being your daughter and sharing my faith. i am so blessed that i belong in a complete home, and that you both encouraged me to follow my dreams and not your own. Thank you so much. :)

Dexter Daniel “Jing” Pulido: The coolest bro in the world. i loved you as a cute little cheery baby, pero even when you outgrew that and “out-talled” me i still love yah. Thanks for being my kenkoy outlet, and my connection to being young and un-stressed. i can relate well to my students and to kids because i had much practice early on. Thanks for being you :)

Instrumentation Physics Laboratory: i lab my lab! Thank you for all the opportunities to grow, for all the challenges and skills, for the chance to work with the best so i can be the best. Salamat :)

The Filipino people in general, and the Department of Science and Technology in particular: You have been sustaining and providing for me for eleven years now. Thank you so much. i will pay you back with my efforts. Again, thank you :)

My clans --- The Pulidos, Riveras, Lizardos, and Libunaos: I love being part of a large family, with so many extensions and family friends pa! (Kaya nga abot ng six pages ang thank-you’s eh!) Just belonging, even with all our differences, makes life worth living. Salamat sa inyo :)

Victory Christian Fellowship: I cannot thank you enough. You’ve welcomed me even without knowing who i am, and when you did know you still loved me. You’ve watched and helped me grow as i've watched and helped many of you grow as well. Truly this is a fellowship, truly we are victorious, but all because we are in Christ as Christ is in us. :)

My students, old and new: Thank you for the privilege of being your teacher and being your friend. i hope that i would be able to inspire you, to give you both knowledge and wisdom, and a hunger for the most important One in life. Thank you for the time we have together. i will remember you all :)

Salamat sa inyong lahat.
May God be with us all. :)