Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Chasing after the wind

I just recently tried/learned asking God boldly of my desires. I don’t usually do this because God is God. Even before I ask for anything, He already knew it and might have as well answered it. By asking boldly, I mean asking Him what I really really (for emphasis) want- citing even the smallest details. Though I consider this as my virtual journal, I still want to keep details of my requests just between me and my God.  I have made three points, as follows:
     1. Wisdom to be able to go back to school
    2. Grace to continue working while studying, to continue to earn and save and buy all the things I want
     3. A Love story written by the greatest Author, God

I was full of hope because I know He is faithful. He was faithful in giving me my new job. He was faithful when he gave more than enough grace for me to graduate with honors. I am sure He is able to do that again. He remains the same and will never change. That’s the very reason why the wisest thing to do in whatever situation is to trust Him.

I know that God is working but I really want to know what’s going on behind the scenes. Because of my osyosera nature, through the days I grew desperate, impatient, and very weary. I suddenly find no joy in my new work because not a single assignment was assigned to me yet. I actually should rejoice because I am paid doing nothing, yet that’s not the case for me. I really hate being idle, wasting my time doing nothing. I over think making focusing on God’s voice so hard.

God answered me this morning with His three points:
 1. Wisdom is meaningless
       2. Pleasures are meaningless
       3. Toil is meaningless
(These are the section titles of the first two chapters in the book of Ecclesiastes.)

I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! I have seen all things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 1:13-14
Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this too, is a chasing after the wind. For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief." Ecclesiastes 1: 17-18
So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This is too is meaningless." Ecclesiastes 2:17,22-23

Reading through the verses made me think, “Seriously, God? After learning asking boldly of my requests, now You are telling me to stop asking for things that are MEANINGLESS?” Although quite frustrated (as I do not like what I am reading) I continued reading, knowing that God will soon make me understand His point. Not long enough, I found the answer:
A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This, too, I see, is from the hand of God for without Him, who can eat and find enjoyment? To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and happiness... Ecclesiastes 2: 24-26
I became too focused on MY efforts to pursue my dreams and (unconsciously) try to answer my prayer requests that I failed to look unto God Remember Matthew 6:33 saying that all other things will be added to you but you have to seek Him FIRST. Finding satisfaction and enjoyment in whatever we do is a gift from God. It is only by honoring Him and giving glory to His name that we can find joy and real meaning in whatever we are doing in this life. 

Photos are from <http://ts3.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4604030013671214&pid=1.7> <http://ts3.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4680184082203742&pid=1.7>

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


After my countdown to my last day in my previous work, I was not able to blog again. Here are some of the pictures taken during my last day, which by the way, was a whole day celebration! Aside from (our usual) pancit/palabok-chicken handa, we had tuna pesto (courtesy of Mommy Cy, requested by the bunso, yours truly), ice cream, cake, and fruits. After eating lunch, we watched the movie "Now You See Me" at our conference room. I felt so loved but at the same time, I didn't know what to think. Were they that happy that finally, I've decided to leave??! haha! :p

Back row, left to right: Maan, Ate Hilda, Ma'am Lyn, Ma'am Agnes, Mommy Gracia, Kuya Clem, Ma'am Amy, Ma'am Sonia, Mommy Ef
Front Row, left to right: Ma'am K, Mommy Cy, Me, Inang Cot

Kidding aside, I am grateful and blessed for being part of this family. They have been are my friends, mentors, nanays and tatays not only during my 6month stay at BETP, but forever! After a week, finally, I had the courage to once again view these pictures, and blog about these awesome people. 

With Ma'am Agnes
Ma'am Agnes: Ganitong-ganito ang pakiramdam ko lagi kapag tinawag niya ako, IYAK-TAWA. Haha! Joke. She is my direct boss. She likes to ask my opinion on just about anything. She gives me assignments which I didn't think I could deliver, but I did. She pushes and challenges me to be better and to grow in every aspect of my life (especially in my career). I am thankful for her trust and confidence in my abilities that in my 6-month stay, I was exposed to a lot. 
Back row, middle: Ma'am Amy
Back row, rightmost: Ma'am Sonia

Ma'am Sonia and Ma'am Amy: The most nice and kind bossings we have. 

My two kapitbahays, Mommy Cy, and Kuya Clem
Mommy Cy: My Nanay #1. She makes the best ampalaya salad, and I recently tasted the best tuna pesto she made! She is the funniest (the best impersonator/storyteller with all her facial expressions and gestures) and coolest (she wears stylish clothes- from leopard-printed boots to neon-colored scarves!) Nanay in BETP. Every morning, she greets us with "Good morning, everything!" and never fails to play (the most requested) old songs at around 4:30pm. When she calls me (by my nickname, Den), she sings Michael Jackson's 'Ben,' changing 'Ben' to 'Den'. Haha!  

Kuya Clem: My Kuya and Mentor. He is certainly a proud Bicolano. (And a haciendero). He is proud to be humble (yes, that ironic). He likes to argue about anything, and would often ask me "Is your argument sound?" haha! He is the most patient in the group. He knows the best words to encourage and even to cheer us up, and he knows the right time when to say them. He was the one who really trained/mentored me on delivering my work. 

Ate Vivian: She is the most sosyal among us. Haha! She keeps us busog with all the food she brings (from Manila Pen!). I let her eat my home-cooked baon, while I eat her ManilaPen-cooked baon. haha! Fair enough, right? :p 

Mommy Ef,  my Ilocana Momma, who likes to share her love stories with us. She is also kikay!

Mommy-Gracia, my young looking Nanay. She was the most emotional during my last day. I felt so special, not until I have learned that she really is emotional everytime someone has to leave. haha! :p She never fails to call us, shouting "children" when it is time to eat (our favorite time of the day, making the pantry, our favorite hangout place! haha!).

Ate Cot, my Inang. She makes the best tasting coffee! Believe it or not, may mas bubully pa sa akin, at siya yun! Basta swak kami. She may be lokaret, but she has a good heart. 

(Not-so) Behind the Scene Drama Photos 

(PS special thanks also to those who were not in the photos, Sir Rodel, Sir Erik, and Alea)

I shall be back, guys! No goodbyes, just "until next time!" ;) 

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Back to Basics

It is wise for young professionals (like me) to first start with the basics, that is, investing on basic items that will not grow out of style easily. These items may include a pair of jeans, white top, ballet shoes, classic pumps, black cardigan, and of course, the little black dress! As for me, I really prefer keeping it simple, which explains my mostly white/black and plain attires. (I guess I am not that kikay enough yet to shift to colorful pieces.)  Haha! Here is my outfit for today. 

It is Firday (and my last day at work) and so I get to wear denim jeans! 

And just to perk up my whole outfit, I used my yellow bag.

"Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance." -Coco Chanel

Top: Giordano| Pants: Levi's| Wedges: Chocolate Schubar| Belt: Guess| Bag: Longchamp

Photos by: Alea Portia N. Gomez

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

I shine

It was  quite overwhelming that my bosses had exposed me to a lot and pushed me to go the extra mile for the past five months. I would like to highlight in this post the conversation I had with one of my officemates, as he was encouraging me to say yes to one of my bosses who, at that time, was just about to assign me as the Project head and at the same time the program host of the seminar that our bureau organizes once a month.

Officemate: Man, you really should do this. It is your time to shine!
My answer: Hay nako kuya! I’ve been shining ever since!  

Pompous as that may sound, but let me set out my statement’s implications:
I was confident. Although I was a newbie, I was not intimidated by the people around me. Although I know that speaking in front of a lot of people is really not my thing, I still accepted the challenge. I was reminded of 2 Timothy 1:7, that God did not give me a spirit of timidity but of power. My identity is defined by my God, and by His grace, I will remain still and confident forever (as promised in Isaiah 32:17).
“for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared” –Proverbs 3: 26
   I do not need to do anything to shine even more.  Again, that should be my first "moment," my chance to show everyone what I got, but I did not consider it anything special. I was not pushing myself too much to become better than I was before. I was not pressured to please anyone, not even my boss. I am secured that my God knows that in my heart, I desire to honor Him (only Him.)  
“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men,  would not be a servant of Christ.” –Galatians 1:10
Seeing ourselves the way God sees us, really is the key to being confident!

"... for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory." -Isaiah 60:19

Photos by: Alea Portia N. Gomez

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Four days to go!

 And so the count down begins! Today marks my (approximately) 125th day being a Trade Industry Development Analyst. As this is my first ever job, I get to experience a lot of 'firsts' here- first time to receive my salary, first time to be acquainted with (mostly) aged experienced people (no offense meant here, haha!), first time to attend meetings with people from different walks of life (mostly lawyers), first time to head projects, first time to wear smart casual/semi-formal/corporate attire everyday and so much more!

When I was still in college, I look forward to these days when I'll get to wear smart casual/semi-formal/corporate attire everyday, not knowing that this may be stressful (at times). Haha! Since I am an Iskolar ng Bayan, I am used to wearing shorts-shirt-sneakers or anything comfy that would allow me to rush from one class/building to another. And so during my first weeks as an employee, I really had to adjust and even (gradually) change my wardrobe. 

And for my first "fashion" post (yuck, HAHA!), here is my office attire

Dress: Kisses & Co.| Cardigan: Esprit | Wedge: Forever 21 | Sling bag: Nine West | Watch: Fossil | Necklace: Bought from a Cebuano Exporter 

Photos by: Ate Cot and Ate Vivi :)

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

About to go.

My friend Natalie tirelessly reminds me to update my blog. It has been seven months since my last blog post, and I guess it is about time to start writing again. 

Well, I am in my transition phase now. I am about to leave my current job here in Makati to work for another government agency in Quezon City. 

My considerations before saying yes to the better offer my soon-to-be office has given me were: (a) my opportunity for growth (chance to be promoted in the future), (b) employment status (being regular), and (c) office location (for I plan to go back to UP to study).

For the past two months, I’ve been seeking jobs, sending out application letters and resumes to different agencies, and waiting for calls for scheduled exams and interviews. Surprisingly, this season of job hunting made me so excited and very hopeful, not because I already knew where I am heading to, but because seasons like these (seasons of uncertainties and confusion) are usually the time when God teaches and shows you His ways and reveals to you His will for your life.    

PRAY. Pray for each step that you’ll take. Pray for a discerning heart to carefully follow where He leads you. Pray for the grace to keep on trusting and believing in Him even if reason tells you otherwise. Pray not for your will, but for His will to be done.

READ GOD’S WORDS. Praying is our way of communicating to God. On the other hand, by reading His words, we get to hear from Him. As said in 2 Timothy 3:16, ALL scripture is God-breathed. The closer you are to God, the more time you spent with Him, the easier it is for you to hear from Him.

At this point in time, let me share to you the message that God has for me during this season- His very Words that has given me confidence and encouragement that indeed, He was, is, and will always be with me all the way:

Deuteronomy 6: Love the Lord Your God

“…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts… 10 When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery… 18 Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors,…” 

Deuteronomy 8: Do not Forget the Lord

“...3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10 And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you…17 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day...

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Making Things Right

This is a season of revelations hence, today, what God revealed to me are: a.) I was blinded by the wrong kind of love; b.) I was praying for the wrong kind of man; and c.) I was trying to write my own love story.

Love is not about feeling electrified when you hold his hands; it is not about feeling ‘kilig’ whenever he looks straight into your eyes; and not even about the times and memories you shared. The bible has provided us several verses that would define what love really means. In fact, chapter 13 in the book of 1 Corinthians is devoted to that. However, merely reading this may not be enough to understand what it truly means to love. I am not saying that I am an expert when it comes to love, but as they say, you will never know that there is light, when you haven’t seen darkness. In this case, I was able to realise that I was trapped in a wrong conception of love by knowing deeper the greatest epitome of love- God Himself, for we can find in 1 John 4:8 that God is love.

God’s love is selfless, as Romans 5:8 states 
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We are sinners hence, we do not deserve His love yet He chose to love us. And He demonstrated that by dying on the cross for us. 
God’s love is unconditional
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39). 
God’s love is everlasting: 
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness (Jeremiah 31:3). 
God’s love is perfect:
 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love (1 John 4:18).
God is the source of love: 
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him (1 John 4: 16).

With the Truth about love enumerated, I think I am ready now to proceed to God’s second revelation. I am not ashamed to admit that I was hoping for my prince charming to be macho, good-looking, smart, etc. I thank God for saying ‘no’ to my prayers, for rescuing me from my past relationships, and for changing my perspective on this matter. Relationship with the opposite sex means commitment that goes beyond your emotions and feelings; and in the long term, leads to marriage. Ephesians 5: 22-33 talks about the responsibilities of both wives and husbands:
 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 
These verses let me realize that I must desire for a man who can lead me and our family in the future, having a vision and direction in life- a man whose plans are in line with God’s will. He must be a man therefore, full of wisdom, whose source is God alone.
 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
He must be able to selflessly protect me, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.

28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. 
Above all, he must be a man of God- a man who knows God and loves God. It also follows then that he obeys God’s commands for this is what it means to love God. Having the knowledge of God, he shall see me not as an ordinary woman but a daughter of God- worthy of his love, respect, and faithfulness.

Finally, I would like to share with you how I was trying to be the author of my own love story. Last year, I asked God to prepare my heart to fall in love, once again.  This year, I am asking God to let me start my love story with Mr. God –given-special-someone. What is common in both of my prayer requests is that they are both self-centered. I read books to help me prepare my heart. I organized outings with friends (who are mostly boys), hoping that one of them may be my boyfriend. I was doing things on my own- my own means, own strength based on my own understanding of love. It was hard for me to find joy in being single. No wonder I became impatient, felt so lonely, and often, complained to God. Guess what God has reminded me today: that He knows the desires of my heart, and He is more than able to give the man He has for me only for one condition- I must let Him be God!

I am His ‘work-in-progress’. You are, too. Everyday is a chance to make things right- not by our own means, but by God’s grace working in us.

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. -Habakkuk 2:3