BLESSED: “Your BIG God comes in small packages.”

            In tough times like family problems, peer pressure, or amidst the catastrophes, or even when you’re not sure about who we are and who we want to be, we ask our self: “Where is God in the middle of all this?”

            The answer: It’s WITHIN US.

            At times we take life so seriously that we never see the brighter side of it. Sometimes we are so critical about our mother or father or even our siblings that we overlook their own potentials and attitudes; similarly, we are so eager to have so many friends who will accept us that we do not learn to be contented with the ones we already have; also, we put so much attention on our workloads and beating deadlines that we forget to go outside and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us; finally, we are so fearful about our future that we never have the chance to enjoy today… that God wants us to live our life – without fear, but with all faith – one day at a time. We may not have noticed it yet, but oftentimes, God works in “big” ways you can never imagine… and these “big” ways may come from the smallest of things we always forget to take in.

            One thing we may have been struggling on is, let’s say, financial crisis. Or, simply, we are just running out of budget. Almost all of us would have reacted in the same way: to worry about the next day, the next week, and the next month. Indeed, money has been a necessity for survival – it’s what we need to buy goods, to go to school or to our workplace and other things we need to acquire. But come to think of it, having financial instability doesn’t make you a lesser person. Why? It’s because you still find yourself waking up each day, with your family beside you to care for you; you still have friends around who continue to make you realize that you are not alone; you still have food on your plate after long hours of working; and you can still go home and have a place to sleep. Aren’t these things good enough for us to be thankful that God never leaves us? Aren’t these things enough to make us realize that life is wonderful even when we’re in troubled times? See? It’s not always about being afraid of tomorrow just because you don’t have enough money; it’s also more about having faith to face the next day, believing that God always will provide.

            Next thing all of us share in common is facing multiple calamities. Just recently, National Capital Region (NCR) and several provinces in Luzon have been gravely affected by flood due to the southwest monsoon (habagat). Some have lost their homes; some have lost their loved ones; but most of us could have lost the faith. But surely, we did not give up. It’s not about you, or me… it’s about US. It’s a call for each one, to reach one. One may have donated in cash or in kind; one may have volunteered to repack relief goods and may have gone to farther places just to lend a hand; one may have risked his life to save another person’s life; and finally, every one of us may have taken the time to just pray – for the strength, for the safety and for the faith of every Filipino. God works in every single people we meet – to bless each other even in the simplest act of helping. Amidst the floods and storms, one could have looked into the eyes of a child, and realize that the most amazing things may come from the most terrible times like this.

            We can never tell that life is perfect. However, we can always be assured that life is beautiful because of the people we care for and who care about us; of the things that make us feel grateful, whether it’s big or small; and most especially, we have God by our side. At times, God comes as the storm… but more so, He comes as the sailor. And even when everything seems to be hopeless, God still works in the smallest of things that go unnoticed. We may have felt it before, but God works within us – by the things that encourage, inspire and persuade us to be a blessing to each other. And just when you fin yourself again in a struggling situation… look up, look within and look beyond – God knows what He’s doing.

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“WALK BACK – AWAY.”

A military nurse invites a young man for a walk – just an innocent beginning. The nurse is absent without leave in the Army. . and the young man is about to get married. Gerry and Arjel haven’t seen each other for years… but their relationship goes back like brothers, in flesh and blood. This walk, perhaps, could be just a start of an even longer journey.

They lived in two different worlds. Arjel was 16 then, when he met Gerry, 20 that time. Arjel used to live in their town province, used to love the fresh air; used to care for their poultries; used to live a simple life. While Gerry, a registered nurse, was living miles above and apart Arjel’s world. He works in the most prestigious hospital, just lying at the center of the city.

6 years ago, they met online. Arjel was famous on a social networking site called Plurk, and Gerry was just hanging around. Arjel was very cryptic in his posts while Gerry was always the one to decipher them. Soon they became constant buddies – keeping each other’s posts updated, sending each other private messages. Until one cold night…

Arjel was strolling back home with his cousin and the road was extremely dark and wet. His phone kept ringing, but he kept on ignoring it. Answering a call amidst this rainy night was not that important to him. Hey had to get home. The rain poured harder and harder and when they reached home, they were literally soaked in rainwater.

8 missed calls. Unregistered number. Arjel was wearing his pajama shirts and was about to sleep when he noticed his phone.

“kkrrrnnnggg-kkrrinnnnggg-krriinnggg!!!”

The phone rang again. The unknown caller was calling. He knew he had to kill his curiosity.

“Hello?” Arjel asked.

“Hey Arjel! It’s me.” Said a baritone voice. It’s a man.

“Yes, who’s this please?”

The man replied in cheer. “Hey, it’s Gerry. On Plurk.”

Arjel felt his smile. “Oh, yeah? Hi! Uhm, how are you?

“I’m good, thanks. How about you? I heard there’s a typhoon in your town. I was worried about you.”

Hearing that words from a man he barely knew, Arjel’s jaws dropped.

 And that was the beginning of a brotherly affection. Or so he thought.

Every morning when he woke up, he would receive a text from him. “Have a great day bunso.” Gerry used to call him bunso, since he was that young for him. Arjel found himself smiling every time. Maybe nurses are really sweet people.

And even before lunch, after dinner, before they went to sleep, Gerry would call him. Asking how his day was, what he did, or anything about his health, his family and his lovelife.

Gerry was really a big kuya for Arjel. He was so thoughtful, caring, loving like a real father and brother to him. The idea was so overwhelming for him because he had never had a real brother, and he didn’t grow up with his father.

But Gerry was there. Always have. Always will.

It’s like he had known this person forever. He was so comfortable opening his problems to him, even if that meant staying until dawn. One time he remembered, his kuya was courting a girl… at the same time he was courting – well, about to court a girl in school. His kuya was always there to give him all the tips and style to get his girl.

Gerry had always been mindful of his carelessness in eating – because his “nurse” was always worried about how he could ever live healthy even when he’s not by his side.

It’s completely amazing that the distance between them was never a wall to show their care for each other… like brothers.

Time passed by and Arjel was in college. Still, his big brother never failed to assure him that, even if he’s not sure where he’s heading in life, it would help to know he’s not going there alone.

*********************************************************************

Nothing new but Arjel having new lovelife. Of course, the first person he wanted to know was his Kuya Gerry…

“Hi kuya… guess what?” he said, his lips sideward.

“What bunso? You seem happy today, huh?”

“Yes! We’re now official. I and Felize.”

“Ohh.” Long silence.

 

 

“Kuya? You’re still there? You’re not happy.”

Gerry, curled up in his bed, teary-eyed, pretended to jump out in joy. “Of course I am! Do everything to keep her, ok, bunso?”

“Yes, kuya. I will. For you!”

“High-five!”

Then he ended the call.

And just so he knew, he was about to lose one important part of his life.

 

Gerry rarely called him, these past few weeks after he had his new girlfriend. He felt so sad for himself, because he was so used to it. The way his kuya treated him was totally different. He felt he was really loved… like a real brother.

He understood the fact that he was a nurse… oh yes; he had so many souls to compete with, to win his attention. But then and again, if he could balance his time before, why wouldn’t it be the same now?

He missed the phone calls before they sleep; those little sermons – or, prescriptions – about his wayward eating habits and those simple greetings in the morning. Was he that so busy? Arjel didn’t know. He was clueless.

Maybe, it’s true that some good things must come to an end.

**********************************************************************

5 years passed by and Gerry was standing in front of that door… where Arjel was staying. He learned that his “bunso” was now in the city, and was engaged to be married. He knocked, and a young man sprang out. He must be Arjel.

“Kuya Gerry?” Ajel asked.

Gerry hugged him tight… tighter. Like he never wanted to let go.

Feeling awkward, Arjel pushed him a little. “How is my big kuya who got away?” He asked with a grin.

Gerry let out a sigh. “I didn’t get away, bunso… because I’ve never been beside you.”

“What brought you here?”

“You’re getting married bunso. I’m so proud of you. I can’t believe it!”

Arjel laughed, half-heartedly. “Thanks.”

“I’m just thinking… if we could go out for a walk bunso?”

“Uh… but I’m busy kuya. A week away and it’s our wedding– ”

“This is our first time together bunso… after all these years.”

I know. But– ”

“She wouldn’t know. This walk will make you just prepared for your wedding. We’ll just talk.”

“Will you be there in my wedding?”

“That I doubt. We’ll see.”

“But why? Hey, you should be in the field right now.”

“Hahaha. I’m in A.W.O.L – Absent without leave.”

“So why did you come here then?”

Gerry remained silent.

“Oh, did you come to see your family, kuya?”

“No. They didn’t know. I came back for you.”

Arjel looked confused.

“I love you, Arjel.”

“O-f-f c-c-ourse… we’re brothers, a-aren’t w-we?” Arjel tried to smile. Thought the moment felt so awkward.

“No, I love you like someone I can spend the rest of my life with.”

“What?”

“C’mon! Let’s take a walk now, bunso. Lett’s make– ”

“I shouldn’t have opened the door.”

“But you did. So, please, just this once?”

“No! You’re not the kuya Gerry I used to know.”

Gerry smiled bitterly. “Maybe I was… until I fell in love with you.”

**********************************************************************

They were taking the walk now, in that long stretch of road where there were the only trees with its weary leaves starting to fall off because of the wind.

“I didn’t expect how much you’ve loved me.”

“Let’s just walk.”

“Don’t you think it’s crazy, Kuya?”

Gerry mused. “I’m so glad to be honored by this crazy feeling for you, bunso…”

“But it’s too late. I’m getting married.”

“I know. Let’s just walk.”

 

So they strode silently, their arms slightly getting closer and closer, creating electricity, they both couldn’t explain.

Arjel felt like they’d been walking forever… yet, he felt so safe with this man.

“S-so, what do you plan to give me?”

Gerry looked away, smiling. “I’m thinking of a to-eat list, so that you could take care of yourself better… without me.”

Arjel laughed. “Haha! She will take care of me… so what’s next?”

“After this walk?” Gerry shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe, shake hands, and part friends.”

Arjel was silent.

“Just remember how much I love you.” Gerry told him.

Arjel looked him in the eye.

It was a glorious moment… so they had to cherish it. For after this they’d be living separate lives.

It was Gerry who made the speech. “I love you, Arjel… because you bring out the best in me. You’ll never know how you completely affect me. I love you like I’ve always been there for you – every morning you wake up… until every night before you sleep.”

Arjel was teary-eyed. Never in their past years of communication had he had the slightest idea that Gerry was deeply in love with him. All he knew it was a brotherly love. No more. No less.

He couldn’t find the words to say. He was just looking a Gerry’s face… his eyes covered with tears… his lips curving a smile… Oh, he wouldn’t forget this face. Never.

They ended in a park where everything was just peaceful. They could hear the chirping of the birds and how the sky was so gloomy because of its dark gray hue. An arc of bridge was just behind them, to witness a love story… that would never be fulfilled.

“I think this is it.” Gerry wiped his tears.

“Y-y-yeahh…” Arjel was tongue-tied. The moment was so painful.

And for the last time he hugged him… and lifted up to kiss Gerry in the forehead.

“You have your life ahead of you, Arjel… where I am not a part of.”

Gerry smiled… then walked away.

Arjel knew if he stopped and called him, his kuya would stay. For keeps.

But no, he did not.

Then, the heaven cried.

It was really really really nice reading this article. I just hope I could find a copy of their photos in the newspaper (since I read it online). Kudos to DJs Chico Garcia, Delamar Arias and Gino Quillamor. Keep the laughters and craziness rolling guys! :))

Strange Fruit

Wow, so excited to see the HUGE article that came out today in Manila Bulletin! Thanks to writer Jaser Marasigan for the insightful article and photographer Andrew Pamorada for the awesome shots (especially that jumpshot)! It’s two full pages and a one-page article on Radio 1 at the back. That was really fun!

You can read the article online HERE. But you’d only see the photos in the actual  newspaper, so you should check it out!

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The Resume of Jesus Christ

I have found and have received a copy of this awesome document entitled, “The Resume of Jesus Christ”. Last night, I served the Lord by serving Singles For Christ – Sta. Rosa De Lima Chapter and its Christian Life Program, where I am one of the Core Team of the said Christian Seminar/Workshop. Last night’s topic was, “Who is Jesus Christ?”, and it was amazing that the speaker handed the participants and all the service team this copy of the “Resume of All the Resumes” (if I may call it hehe). Read and Follow His Ways! :))

________________________________________________________

Address: Ephesians 1:20
Phone: Romans 10:13
Website: The Bible
Keywords: Jesus Christ, Lord & Savior

My name is Jesus – The Christ. Many call me Lord! I’ve sent you my resume because I’m seeking the top management position in your heart. Please consider my accomplishments as set forth in my resume.

Qualifications:

• I founded the earth and established the heavens (see Proverbs 3:19).
• I formed man from the dust of the ground (see Genesis 2:7).
• I breathed into man the breath of life (see Genesis 2:7).
• I redeemed man from the curse of the law (see Galatians 3:13).
• The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant comes upon your life through me (see Galatians 3:14).

Occupational Background:

• I’ve only had one employer (see Luke 2:49).
• I’ve never been tardy, absent, disobedient, slothful or disrespectful.
• My employer has nothing but rave reviews for me (see Matthew 3:15-17).

Skills & Work Experiences:

• Some of my skills and work experiences include: empowering the poor to be poor no more, healing the brokenhearted, setting the captives free, healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind and setting at liberty them that are bruised (see Luke 4:18).
• I am a Wonderful Counselor (see Isaiah 9:6). People who Listen to me shall dwell safely and shall not fear evil (see Proverbs 1:33).
• Most importantly, I have the authority, ability & power to cleanse you of your sins (see I John 1:7-9)

Educational Background:

• I encompass the entire breadth & length of knowledge, wisdom and understanding (see Proverbs 2:6).
• In me are hid all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (see Colossians 2:3).
• My Word is so powerful; it has been described as being a lamp unto your feet and a lamp unto your path (see Psalms 119:105).
• I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart (see Psalms 44:21).

Major Accomplishments:

• I was an active participant in the greatest Summit Meeting of all times (see Genesis 1:26).
• I laid down my life so that you may live (see II Corinthians 5:15).
• I defeated the archenemy of God and mankind & made a show of them openly (see Colossians 2:15).
• I’ve miraculously fed the poor, healed the sick and raised the dead!
• There are many more major accomplishments, too many to mention here. You can read them on my website, which is located at: www dot – the BIBLE. You don’t need an Internet connection or computer to access my website.

References:

• Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my divine healings, salvation, deliverance, miracles, restoration and supernatural guidance.

In Summation:

Now that you’ve read my resume, I’m confident that I’m the only candidate uniquely qualified to fill this vital position in your heart. In summation, I will properly direct your paths (see Proverbs 3:5-6), and lead you into everlasting life (see John 6:47). When can I start? Time is of the essence (see Hebrews 3:15).

One Day: One Movie. Two People. One heartfelt Poem.

I was able to write this poem because I was inspired by the movie, One Day, starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. It’s a tragic love story of two people who became close together since July 15, 1988 and continued to cherish their relationship every year, that same day. a lot of fights, pains and missed opportunities happened, but in the end, their love prevailed. still, it was so sad that death had to end their love story… hope you like this poem. :))

“15th of July”

Those college diplomas made us cry;

Yet, it was a beginning of friendship’s time

We shared the night until the break of dawn

We promised to see each other, when forever was not known.

15th of July when spring was in full bloom

I pictured you were my lifetime groom

But you were there in your luxurious world

While here I am dreaming amidst the world of work.

Another 15th of July when we met again

A cherished moment with laughters and pains;

Together and apart, I always wished upon the stars

To make you feel my love; to heal the scars of past

Winter’s 15th of July had our lives so cold

I’m alone in my bedroom, longing for your hold;

You were there with all the crystal lights

Hoping to spend with you for the rest of our lives..

Another 15th of July had passed

Your embrace never fail to make it last

I realized I can’t live without you by my side

I knew it’s you for the rest of my life.

When tears flowed down my lowly cheeks

That 15th of July when you’re getting married

I’m happy by face; I’m depressed by heart

My dreams seemed to fall and tear me apart

I lived my life that another 15th of July

Had achieved my dreams and made a good life

Then you came along with that amazing smile

I’d had the strength to say, “I love you”, I had to fight.

That 15th of July when we finally reside

On the clouds of love and a passion of fire

That 15th of July when I didn’t expect

To leave you without making our world so perfect.

That summer of 15th of July when an unforgettable event

Took our truest love away; had our faith so bent

That accident that ended our love story

When I, outstretched along the road of the city..

“That 15th of July, the worst year I had

The memories of you never fail to subside

How could life be so cruel to us?

I had you forever but it will never last.

 

I lived in misery, that another 15th of July

All I did was to drown myself with sorrow and just cried;

Now I realized what life was all about

To cherish; to love; to believe without a doubt.

 

That fall’s 15th of July had come

Those pains and sorrows, I never had to overcome

You would live forever in the deepest part,

I treasured you forever in my heart.

 

That 15th of July when everything’s just fine

How I miss you and how we greet that sunshine

I always remembered that first 15th of July

When we vowed to paint an eternal love.”

101 Things to be Thankful For! :)

These are just things that I made and I think they worth the space. Check this out.

(NOTE: these things are listed not on how important the thing is. It is just a list. Not a TOP LIST.)

  1. Being able to see the world.
  2. A food from your plate, 3 times a day, 7 days a week.
  3. Another morning added to your life.
  4. Being able to sing, dance and both.
  5. Having been sent to nursing and pre-school.
  6. Having been graduated from elementary.
  7. Having childhood friends, sweethearts and funny memoirs.
  8. Being able to get in touch with your parents until their 40-60 years of their lives (or up! Honestly, there’s bitterness as I included it.)
  9. A cup of hot coffee during a rainy season.
  10. Entering High school journey.
  11. Graduating from secondary school. (All can enter but only few are lucky. ^^)
  12. Having crushes!
  13. Getting a respectable job.
  14. Having been endowed with a unique talent despite of physical disability.
  15. Being able to walk — to see the sky, feel the air, smell the flowers, taste foods and hear birds chirping.
  16. Having a rest day/day-off after a week of working.
  17. Getting along with your teachers — inspiring or terror they may be.
  18. Going into college.
  19. Joining a contest of writing,
  20. Winning a contest of arts, writing or quiz bee in high school.
  21. Graduating from college — with or without flying colors.
  22. Experiencing heartbreak. Pain.
  23. Forgiving an enemy and befriending him again.
  24. Being an academic awardee despite of status in life, race, religion or gender.
  25. Having been involved in charity works, religious affiliations.
  26. Throwing a party. (a 16th, 1st, 18th, anything!)
  27. A glass of water after a strenuous activity.
  28. Knowing GOD and putting Him in the center of everything.
  29. Being able to read, write and count.
  30. Being recognized in the class.
  31. Getting married!
  32. Having your own family.
  33. If getting marries is in here, I think Being single is too!
  34. Having a quality time together with your parents and siblings.
  35. Hearing “I love you’s” from your special someone.
  36. A shoulder to cry on in times o trouble.
  37. Getting in touch with your old friends after long years of separartion.
  38. Being able to listen to the priest’s family.
  39. Possessing a cellphone, Ipod, PSP, camera etc.
  40. Meeting new friends who share common interests.
  41. Hearing “I love you’s” from your parents, siblings and relatives.
  42. Being televised, in newspapers, or in a one-on-one interview because of your altruistic, benevolent service.
  43. Being a Filipino. (I certainly believe so. ^^)
  44. A long walk with someone you love.
  45. Surrendering your life to JESUS. :))
  46. Meeting your idol — local or foreign — personally.
  47. Having a good night’s sleep.
  48. A passing, satisfied score in prelims, midterms and in finals exam.
  49. Hearing words of encouragement from your true friends.
  50. A warm ensuring embrace.
  51. Having a very sweet dream.
  52. Building strong friendship.
  53. Being able to love and be loved back. (eek.)
  54. A gentle kiss!
  55. Laughing with your friends as if there’s no tomorrow.
  56. A serious chat with your parents & siblings about problems and experiences.
  57. Being able to receive good news.
  58. Being able to wake up on a nightmare.
  59. Having been promoted from your job.
  60. A baby’s chuckle.
  61. Being able to meet a long-lost friend.
  62. Having been offered a bus seat after an interminable hour of standing amidst a heavy traffic jam.
  63. Being able to witness a glorious sunset.
  64. Going to some places you’ve always wanted to go to.
  65. Having been appreciated.
  66. Recovering from an illness.
  67. A caring pat on your shoulder.
  68. Being able to settle a dispute.
  69. Living your life on purpose.
  70. Being able to beat a certain deadline.
  71. Going to school late only to find out the professor isn’t around yet!
  72. Having classes suspended!
  73. Getting on after a tremendous catastrophe.
  74. Meeting your crush smiling and coming at you.
  75. Owning a cherished pet.
  76. Having a collection of your own.
  77. Being able to cook dishes and bake pastries.
  78. Winning a championship game.
  79. Being able to travel around the world with your family and friends.
  80. Having a private moment with your special someone.
  81. Owning a Shakespeare book, poetry book or a J.K Rowling books.
  82. Climbing a mountain, swimming down the deep blue sea or being able to travel in the sky.
  83. Being able to share your talent with other people.
  84. Doing something wholeheartedly without expecting in return.
  85. ACHIEVING ALL YOUR DESIRED GOALS. 🙂
  86. A memorable experience with your high school friends.
  87. Completing requirements.
  88. A scrabble, chess, badminton or tennis moment with your family, friends or special someone.
  89. Spending a summer vacation.
  90. Spending the Christmas season with all your family and relatives, of course with your special someone.
  91. Being able to retrieve a lost belonging.
  92. Loving your job with passion ‘til coming of age.
  93. Being able to inspire people, touching their lives.
  94. Having clothes to wear on, shelter and/or money to spend to.
  95. Owning and reading the Bible prayerfully.
  96. A shower of blessings amidst those trying times.
  97. Being able to keep a genuine friendship.
  98. Trials and hindrances along the way, for they made us stronger.
  99. Learning experiences and growth opportunities that defined (and will define, for that matter) who we are now. (And in the future..)

100. Having strong faith in God. 🙂

101. Being able to read this — that means, you’re still alive and kicking! 🙂