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Monday, December 22, 2008

Impossible is Nothing

The bible have so many amazing stories, every one is in awe when someone was healed, man arise from the dead and many things which is impossible to happen but God makes it possible.

Daily readings for the advent season tells us about the miracle of conceiving a child. the angel of the Lord appeared to them and proclaim the Good news of the Lord. It is impossible for a barren woman or untouched woman to conceive (in Mary's case) but the Lord makes it possible. Manoah's (Samson's father) wife, Sarah and Elizabeth were all barren until they conceive a child because of God's grace and goodness. Mary was just in her young age when the angel of the Lord told her that He will carry our Father's Son. These readings is telling us that impossible things is nothing, that everything is possible with God.

It was shameful for Jewish women to be unable to conceive. The Jews believed that it was a punishment from God for a sin the woman or an ancestor had committed.

We are still waiting for our first born child, in fact, we are physically capable of having a child but God have His own time. Sometimes it is very frustrating for us to be in this situation, after experiencing the joy of knowing that my wife is pregnant and all of a sudden it was taken from us?, it was really unbearable, my heart was crumpled, I can't explain the pain (I know my wife is experiencing more pain), but through it all we were able to sustain our love and our trust in the Lord.

I know, the time will come that the Lord will send his angel and and will tell us "Do not be afraid, Ricky and Chie, for you have found favor with God".

Impossible is nothing with God.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Marikina City, From Shame to Fame

I was born and raise in Marikina City, I've seen the worst thing in Marikina (at least in my generation), floods during rainy season, crimes like rape, hold-up were apparent since most of the street in the Municipality then is not well lighted, garbage problem is unthinkable and people don't have any discipline.

In 1992, the city found a new direction under the dynamic leadership of Mayor Bayani Fernando (now Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman). It was not easy for him to implement his plans, there are many who were violently opposing him, I've seen illegal vendors' stall demolished and I've seen rallies against him. But this man was really determined to change the look of Marikina. (He implements the same formula to Metro Manila, but he is having a hard time doing it, but with his determination Metro Manila is slowly transforming.)

Marikina City has won more than 200 awards and citations here and abroad, including The Cleanest and Greenest City in the Philippines (already been a Hall of Famer as early as in 1996, when it was still a municipality) awarded by the Philippine Government, Most Competitive Metro City in the Philippines from Asian Institute of Management, Global 500 Roll of Honour of the United Nations Environmental Programme and The Most Healthiest and Livable City in Asia-Pacific region to name a few.

Progress is on going, new buildings (school buildings, health center, theater) are constructed, sport center rehabilitated, hospital being modernized and a lot more. People are more disciplined than before.

I don't care if many people will say that the Fernado's are also "corrupt", at least I've seen the progress of Marikina, through hard work and discipline, Marikina has since been transformed into the beautiful and industrialized urban city.

Come visit Marikina City, you will definitely enjoy your stay.
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Thing to do and see this December:

Marikina Christmas Festival is every Mid-October until January of the following year. This is one of the much awaited festival among MarikeƱos (Another is the Rehiyon Rehiyon)and nearby cities as well. The Marikina Christmas Festival are highlighted by Annual Display Competitions (This year's theme is Water Festival) participated by the 16 barangay(s) of Marikina and the year-end concert and fireworks display.

There are also the "Tiyange sa Ilog' along the stretch of the riverbank where in you can buy goods at affordable prices.

Visit also the Belen Museum, Kapitan Moy's (founder of the country's footwear industry) 200-year-old house located along J.P Rizal Street, Sta Elena, The Philippine Science Centrum (largest and well-maintained science centrum) located at Riverbanks mall in which the kids and adult will definitely enjoy. Don't forget to see the "World's Largest Pair of Shoes" which is located inside the Shoe Gallery also of the Riverbanks Mall.
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.How to Get There:

In Cubao, Aurora Blvd., Ride a jeep or FX taxi with a signboard "SSS, Parang or Calumpang" or ride the LRT line 2 in Aurora then ride a jeep going to Marikina at Katipunan Station. Estimated time of travel is about 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on traffic condition.

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What Is Your Joy List?

This morning I received another e-mail from our client which makes me feel really mad (aaarrrrghhh!!!!), he is very sarcastic, inconsiderate and inconsistent, too "mataray" as my boss said, but many times I end up winning and he end up having an amnesia, Amnesia because he forgot everything whenever I proved him wrong. For me to forget what had happened this morning I read Bro. Bo Sanchez' Blog What is Your Joy List?


My Joy List

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  • I want to travel more often, here and abroad
  • I want to date my wife more often, have a chat with her. I just love being with her, I feel more love, more macho(?) and a hero whenever I'm with her.
  • I want to climb more mountains
  • I want to have a baby or babies
  • I love to compose more songs for the Lord (Liturgical or Christian)
  • I want to write a book (yes a book not books)
  • I want to own a 50k guitar
  • I want to own a Canon 50D camera (Hint Hint)
  • I want to shoot interesting people, with my camera of course
  • I want to learn swimming
  • I want to travel and take a vacation with my family
  • I want to share what God has done for me, all the blessings, trials, everything... so that other people will be blessed.
  • I want to be rich, so that I could help more.
  • I love watching movies, especially with my wife besides me
  • I want to play the guitar again without feeling any pain.

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Some on my list is not yet happening but just thinking these things makes me feel happy.
I forgot about what had happened this morning.

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Have a nice Day

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Acts of Kindness

The readings today is about acts of kindness, in Luke 14:13-14, it said "When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Since the Lord blessed me financially through my new job, I and my wife have the strong desire to give back our blessings to others. Our blessings might be insignificant to others but for us it is more than enough for us not to share it with others specially those people in need.

I am not bragging about what we are doing or what we want to do but significant or not, we experience the joy in giving. Yesterday, we were able to sponsor another kid from the province for her to go to school, the amount is insignificant since we spent the same amount (or even more) when we go on a date, a mere P600 a month, we were able to send this kid to school, Honestly, we wanted to help even more but our finances is not yet capable of doing it, so we decided to start as early as now to get rich and bless other people.

They cannot repay our acts of kindness but for sure the Lord God will bless us, it may not be financially but it will surely give us joy. The blessings that the Lord is giving me thought me to be more loving and more generous to the less fortunate one, it's not important if it's insignificant in value or not, it's about giving cheerfully.

Share your blessings and God will bless you even more.
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"When we look beyond ourselves, our little gestures could actually touch hearts. As we make people "breathe easier," that's enough for them to see God work out His little miracles. - Marie Franco (excerpt from Didache Daily Reflection)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Perseverance Pays

Today's and yesterday's Gospel is about perseverance...

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Luke 18:35-43 is about a blind man in Jericho and Luke 19:1-10 is abut Zacchaeus both showed perseverance, for them to have what they wanted from Jesus...healing and forgiveness, respectively.

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Perseverance really works, a number of times my perseverance payed off, in work, love life, mission in life and all sort of things.

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The most important thing is perseverance to do good, to do what is the will of God even if people around us ridicule or rebuke us. Even if we are failing as long as we continue to persevere, failing won't matter anymore because in the end we will definitely succeed.

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"Perseverance is failing nineteen time and succeeding the twentieth" - Julie Andrews

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oveflowing

Yesterday, my love tank is overflowing...

My wife and I, along with our mountaineering buddies climbed the peak of Mount Sembrano in Bo. Malaya, Tanay, Rizal, it is a 2 hour trek going to the summit, the weather is good, some part of the trail is slippery but aside from that, we reached the summit with less difficulty.

We were having our socials (getting to know some of the new joiners), when the rain started to pour, (it seems that there is a typhoon), we cut the socials involuntarily and we went back to our assigned tents (my wife and I usually have a separate tent assignments).

Since the rain never stop until the next day, many of us got wet because of the rain going inside the tents. I decided to transfer to my wife's tent hoping that I could sleep there comfortably, the situation is the same but better...

My wife took care of me for the whole night, she never let me soak in water again, gave me pillow, since I was feeling cold because my shirt got wet, she embraced me the whole night...and I slept soundly and comfortably.

I felt more love with my wife's loving arms and service even in that not so good situation...

The water was overflowing in our tent so is my love tank...
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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

God Answers All Our Prayers

Call unto me and I will answer thee"-Jeremiah 33:3

I always believe in the power of prayers... but I must admit, my prayer time is not consistent, I seldom pray or never pray at all...

I remember those days when I pray daily and my friends even asked me to pray for them, because they said that "malakas daw ako kay Lord" (God answers all my prayers). There were so many things I prayed to God and he answered it, I passed the CE Board Exam, I became part of the Feast Music Ministry, I won in a songwriting contest, I married the woman I love just to name a few.

I felt that something was missing... and that is my relationship with God because I was not praying a lot, really...I struggle but I just realized that it's my lost, I took away the privilege of talking to God, of having a conversation with Him or simply listen to His message. I lose all of it, but the good thing is I can have that privilege again...

I know God is not mad at me even if I didn't pray, but I guess it's not enough to worship Him once or twice a week. Prayers refreshes my soul, and it seems so easy to me to face every trials, I was able to overcome those trials because of prayers...

Through the years God is been good to me, God is always with me through good times and bad times and God answers all my prayers...never late always on time.

I just hope that I will be more focused in my relationship with Him through prayers...and still I know malakas pa rin ako kay Lord (God still answers my prayers) ...

"The secret of those people who have their prayers answered is they keep on praying until God grant it"...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thank God I'm not an 'Eye cup'*

Last Tuesday, our Music Ministry held it's first ever Bowling Tournament, I wanted to play, but I am undergoing therapy because of my neck condition (Cervical Spondilosis), instead I commissioned myself to be the "Official Photographer" of the tournament. Everything went smoothly but not on the last part of the coverage.

During the group picture, I set-up the tripod so that I could join the group picture, then a guy took over so that we could have a better angle,he took 2 photos then return the camera on the tripod without securing it (locked it), ah!, it almost fell, thank God I was able to catch it, it has a minor damage... the eye cup is broken and unrepairable. "May kurot sa dibdib" (pinch in my heart) but I have to forget about it and buy a new one which will cost me about P300.

Thank God I am not an eye cup or a camera...

In our life, we seems to be going on the right track,we thought that we are standing on a solid ground but slowly we stumble...we fall...we sin against God... broken.. but the good thing is God can repair us, God can heal us.

Sin took over our life... God on the other hand just look and wait for us to return to His loving arms with a pinch in His heart..he just wait...he is ready to catch us and repair us and forgive us. He wont throw us away. In his loving presence we are secured and the cost of repair is priceless...His Son's life...

Ah, I thank God I am not an eye cup.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Cup

I found this cup/grail in my mother's cabinet, I remember that this 18 year old cup was used during communion of the Holy Mass held in April 1990.

Our family attended a Family Encounter Seminar held in La Salette Shrine in Cavite (I don't know why my brother was not allowed to attend, the only reason I know is, he is already married, it would have been better if he was with us).

This seminar have so many memories which I won't forget, for a fact, it was the first time that every member of our family were able to say everything without hurting each other, we embraced each other, cried, laughed & sung together, we even have these resolutions to strengthen our relationship, like going out together at least once a week, though these never happened because 2 weeks, after my father had suffered from a stroke, he never recovered until he died 5 years later.

This cup is a symbol of our family's reunion... our family's communion...
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What Makes God Smile?

This is my Reflection on Chapter 9 of the "Purpose Driven Life" by Ricky Warren

"May the Lord smile on you... "- Number 6:25 (NLT)

I was contemplating on what makes God smile, it all started when I missed our Music Ministry's services, our chapter's prayer & CG meetings. I was asking myself, "Am I making God frowns on me?"...i guess I still pleases God in other aspect of my life, I understand now that it is not just attending prayer meetings, going to Mass regularly or serving in a ministry. Don't get me wrong, I know that using my God given talent is part of my mission and it also pleases Him when we serve wholeheartedly.

I realized that whenever I kiss my wife or hug her to comfort her whenever she's sad, or spend my time with her and love her more each day. Loving my mom more, go out on a date or simply call her and ask if she's ok...all of these things makes God smiles at me.

Trusting Him wholeheartedly makes God smiles at me, there are tragedies I experienced, pains, failures and delayed promises, but these wont shaken me because I am standing on the solid ground.

Lastly, loving the poor is one of God's commandments. The amount is not important but only the intention. I am blessed by God financially and it is only fitting to share it to others. Starting this school year we are helping a child on her studies through Word Vision Philippines (http://www.worldvision.org.ph/), hopefully we could help more.

This is the right way to live, to deny oneself and love others more...and I still make God smile.

"Smile on me, your servant:teach me the right way to live." - Psalm 119:35

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lingkod Kalikasan Clean-up Drive in Capones Island

The Lingkod Kalikasan Outdoor Adventure Club (LinK) invited some guests to join us on our anniversary Project which we named "3C" (Climb Pundaquit, Camp Anawangin and Clean Capones).

We traversed the mountain for more than 4 hours, explored Anawangin for the whole day. There were more people than we expected but still we enjoyed the beauty of God's creation.
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April 27, Sunday morning we went to Capones Island, we arrived there after 30 minutes of boat ride. I was more disgusted with what I saw, more garbage were scattered all over the Island, thanks to those people who are very irresponsible, they just throw and leave it anywhere they wanted.

We started cleaning Capones Island, picked up all the empty bottles, slippers, plastics and food leftovers. After an hour, we collected about 25 garbage bags. We wanted to clean it more but 30 people can't do it in one day.

Everybody's cooperation is needed to maintain the beauty of Capones. We left Capones with a heavy heart, we only hope that people who go there will clean up their own garbage so that the future generation will still see its beauty. Local government's action is also needed to educate these people, pass resolutions and ordinances to protect the Island.

This is my plea to all the people who go to Capones and other places in our country, "PLEASE CLEAN YOUR OWN MESS".
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Mountaineers has a golden rule, "TAKE NOTHING BUT PICTURES, LEAVE NOTHING BUT FOOTPRINTS AND KILL NOTHING BUT TIME", I guess it applies to all.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Reason For Everything

This is my Reflection on Chapter 7 of the "Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren


"Everything came from God Alone, everything lives by His power and everything is for His glory." - Romans 11:36


Romans 11:36 made me think, How can I see God's glory when there is poverty, corruptions, hatred, violence and crime, do all these things came from God and reveal His glory?. How can we glorify God when we feel oppressed or abandoned?

I guess it's more of how we react on things around us, on things we encounter, on things we experienced. Our attitude will make the difference.

I’ve been serving the Lord for over 20 years now, just like you, I experienced a lot of trials and pain in life and sometimes I even asked the Lord why these things happened to me. Today, I still experience trials and pain but I react differently, it seems that everything which is happening in my life has a purpose, may it be good or bad. I am able to find reasons to glorify the Lord in every details of my life…and God blessed me even more…

I think the ultimate test in my life was when my wife had a miscarriage 10 months ago, I should have question God for what had happened but instead I thanked and glorified Him. That experienced made me a better person, a stronger person, with full of hope and trust in Him

In every single details of my life, I see His glory…

The glory of God will always shine whatever happens…

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Blessings of 2008

I'm sure there's a lot of blog already posted about 2008's blessings and I am one of them who wants to share the blessings of 2008. I should have blog about this last New Year's Eve but I don't have time to do so.

Finances/Career
  • Salary Increase, in effect last January 2008 (see related blog "Thank you Lord...the Novena Works!")
  • $100 bonus for my wife
  • A sideline which I earned a considerable amount of money
  • Christmas Bonus, honestly I was not expecting this bonus since our company is affected by the Global Financial Crisis (I will invest some of it in Mutual Fund)

We are blessed by the Lord financially and it is our hearts' desire to share these blessings through the World Vision Philippines, to date we were able to send 2 kids to school.

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Material Blessings

  • Canon D-SLR
  • Acer Laptop
  • Canon Zoom Lens
  • Wide Angle Converter

We was able to buy these things because of the financial blessings God has given me. Hopefully, I could use it to earn more (I think I am ready)

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Relationship/Travel/Health

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My wife and I were able to have a vacation monthly (as weather permitted), climbed mountains, joined marathon and explored different places (though not too many), through all these things our relationship for each other grows even more and our health benefits from it. We were with our families in some of the travels and we were able to find time to bond with them.

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I was able to climbed 4 mountains, joined 3 marathons, visited around 12 provinces/places and 1 out of the country. I hope the numbers will increase this year.

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Spiritual

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I was able to write my reflections regularly, may it be from daily readings, personal experiences and struggles, Song compositions or simply write whatever in my thoughts for a particular day. Reading daily scriptures and reflections, these helped me to commune with God regularly. It nourishes my spirit, somehow it is my connection with God and it is a blessing to wrote these reflections and learned from it and live by it.

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Community

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Thanks to my community, Light of Jesus Community were I find peace, nourishment, support and friendship. There's no better place than to be with the people who love the Lord deeply and learn from them.

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Postscript:

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In 2007, I said that I planted seeds and will harvest it in 2008. Well, indeed I was able to harvest more fruits than I expected and there are lot more for these year. Definitely 2009 will still be a harvest year for me.

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I bring back all the Glory to our God.

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Happy New year to all!

 

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