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#Kanser2017: Noli Me Tangere today

We learned of Gantimpala Theater Foundation’s staging of the four literary Filipino classics, namely Ibong Adarna, Florante at Laura, Noli Me Tangere, and El Filibusterismo a couple months ago. Since we have an 8th grader, who has started reading novels, such as Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, A Tale of Two Cities, and the like, not to mention she has Ibong Adarna and Florante at Laura as part of her Filipino reading materials for 7th and 8th grade respectively, my husband and I deemed it proper to watch those plays not only for her to appreciate more these great Filipino classics, but also our culture and values too.

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Last August, we watched Florante at Laura, and it had been a fun and enlightening activity for my daughters and me. It was their first time to watch a Tagalog play, and though it wasn’t exactly for kids, it was wholesome enough for them to watch. On September 17, we trooped back to SM Southmall, this time to watch Gantimpala Theater Foundation’s last staging of #Kanser2017 or Noli Me Tangere for the season. Read More

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The Sunday Currently, Vol. 27

It’s been a while since I last wrote a Sunday Currently post. I opted to discontinue doing it for some weeks because I no longer wrote anything for a time except about my Sundays. A lot of unfinished (travel) stories and articles remain in my drafts folder, waiting to be completed and polished and posted, and in a way, writing only for The Sunday Currently has kept me further from finally getting those things published. But here I am now, back at it, because wouldn’t you know it, I actually missed writing on Sunday nights!

reading the drafts my daughters have each written for their respective books. Oh, you have no idea how proud I am of them! Speaking of books, I still need to revise my husband’s book too, which has already been published online via Amazon and will soon be in paperback. I guess I’m the only one in the family not writing a book because my role is to read, edit, and get their books published.

writing this. Like I said, I actually missed The Sunday Currently. Weekends have been the busiest days of the week for me lately–more than ever–and usually, after coming home from church and malling with my girls, I would go straight to bed to nap before preparing dinner and watching movies online with the family.

listening to our adopted Alaskan malamute play with the water in his tub just outside the girls’ bedroom. Today has been a very warm day and I cannot blame him. I wish we have a bathtub too. I’d probably soak in it for hours, maybe sleep in it too! Read More

Florante at Laura

Did you know that Florante at Laura was recently staged by Gantimpala Theater Foundation at various theaters in the metro? My daughters and I were privileged to have seen it on its last show at SM Southmall Cinema 3 last August 18 for only PHP300 per head. We were apparently the only homeschoolers at the 2 PM time slot; everybody who came to watch came in big groups representing various conventional schools in nearby areas, not to mention they all came in their respective school uniforms. Since there were only three of us in our group, we were allowed to enter first and choose the best seats in the house–front row, middle, that is.

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The good thing about homeschooling your kids is you get to enjoy doing things with them while learning too. I suppose I was the only parent present there who accompanied her children in watching the program. And, mind you, I didn’t feel too old at all, being in the company of kids from both high school and upper elementary levels. Not to mention, I really enjoyed watching the play as much as I enjoyed seeing the animated looks on my daughters’ faces as they were also entertained.

I was a little worried at first that the Tagalog words they’d be using might be too difficult for my daughters to comprehend and they might not appreciate the play. After all, it was the work of Francisco Baltazar or Balagtas we are talking about and kids these days have an altogether different way of talking, using entirely different words (i.e., from the time of Balagtas). Many are not even well-versed in Tagalog. In fact, both our homeschool academic advisers and my daughters’ former teachers from the conventional school they used to attend have shared with me that school subjects that use Filipino as a medium of instruction appear to be the most challenging ones among students these days. Read More

Into light

I’ve been attending Glorious Hope for about twelve weeks now. It is a recovery program initiated by Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF), the church my family and I have been part of for about a decade now. Glorious Hope aims to help liberate the families from the bondage of destructive hurts, habits, and hang-ups through our Lord Jesus Christ and to equip them with tools to overcome them in order to be productive in the community.

In these past 12 weeks, I have started to recall and humbly acknowledge all the things that hinder me from growing emotionally and spiritually, from becoming a mature Christian, a more effective wife, mother, sister, friend, leader, etc. It was painful having to recall all those circumstances and people that caused me pain as well as all the shameful and hurtful things I’ve done to another person in the past.

I have realized that I continue to do the things I do, which I never really wanted to do in the first place, and could not seem to overcome these bad habits, destructive hurts, and hang-ups because I have not fully surrendered my life yet to Jesus… Even if I have prayed to receive Him (several times) and have even gone through water baptism.

I keep taking the wheel from Him whenever I find myself in the middle of a crisis, whenever I have to make tough decisions in life, whenever I struggle with temptations. I somehow never fully understood and accepted the fact that I cannot change on my own, and that’s just insane. I keep forgetting that I have to rely on God’s grace and allow Him to change me, mold me into His likeness. I just happened to know that for a fact, but failed to apply it (consistently) in my life. I keep trying to change on my own and I keep failing. I envy those who testify that God’s love has changed them and has become passionate to share the Gospel. I want to experience that same passion for Jesus, too. Read More

Ramblings of a tired mom

I thought the week would never end. Or rather, all the challenges I have to contend with lately would never end. There have been triumphs, mind you, but it’s taking me a huge effort to focus on them at times, and right now, I still feel a little overwhelmed. I guess I’m just never that good at handling family situations involving sickness, even if I were able to take charge of everything just fine while in the middle of it.

For one, my husband returned to Singapore in a much better health. He was home only for a few days, sick, having probably the worst skin asthma attack he has ever had in years. It’s a good thing I have made good friends with a couple of dermatologists in the area, when I was still very active in the anti-aging business, and we were able to meet with one of them the same day he arrived.

While my husband was home recuperating, we were also rehabilitating an 8-month old Alaskan malamute–my eldest brother’s dog. We have officially adopted him and are now house training and taking care of him. I, myself, am still getting used to his massive size and constant shedding. I wish my brother brought him to our place when he was at least three months younger. Despite being very active, he’s actually sick and my brother seemed totally oblivious to his health condition.

Speaking of my brother, there’s also the constant worry about his safety, giving me sleepless nights. I have already asked nearly all my Christian friends to pray for him and his family. Day and night, I would pray for his and his children’s safety too. Honestly, I’m becoming so much more prayerful these days because of him! Read More

When the dead comes back to life

Lately, it seems like I’ve been encountering people who are supposed to be already dead coming back to life. I’m not sure if I just became aware of it after watching Now You See Me 2 on cable TV, with Atlas’s line stuck on my head: coming back from the dead is the most difficult kind of magic one could ever perform… or something to that effect.

Or, maybe because I’ve been reading The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success by Andy Andrews, where the main character travels through time to meet prominent figures in American and world history to learn a very important lesson from each of them. Obviously, these people are already dead, literally, but they’re the kind I would love to meet and learn from myself. I imagine meeting them, with the experience being fun, exciting, and enlightening.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing for the other kind of dead ones that seem to have resurfaced recently too. Take for example our enemies who live next door to us. Somehow, I’ve become adept at tuning their noises that I was no longer bothered by them. Further, it has also been a while since I last saw any of them walk in the streets, much less hear their taunts. I have come to regard them as long since dead.

A few days ago, however, I saw the wretched male creature looking at our house as he passed by and murmured something unintelligible while wearing a wicked grin on his idiotic looking face. I immediately recoiled at the sight of him, and the incident ruined my mood the whole evening. It seemed all I could do then was look up to the heavens and wonder why he’s still alive. Seriously, I wish he would just vanish into thin air by some very powerful magic! I don’t think anyone would miss anything like him anyway.

Of course, the wretch must still be around because God is giving him a chance to reform, to change. That must be the only logical reason, especially that the poor soul is known to have many enemies and could really be dead anytime now. Yet, as I thought about it, something was impressed on me: Malot, instead of spending your time and energy hating this poor soul, why not pray for him? Better yet, pray for his live-in partner, the owner of the house he lives in, that she would come to her senses, get to know Jesus and follow Him…

Brilliant! If the woman becomes a true Christian, then she would most likely kick him out and hopefully, that would mean we’d finally be at peace in this neighborhood, with him gone, right? Or, she would most likely finally influence him and her lot of wretched relatives in a positive way, at least?

I think this would be the first time I’d be praying for someone’s salvation so my family and I (and the community) could ultimately benefit from it, and not because I genuinely care for the person. As you can see, I have used a few colorful words when describing the creature and I’m not even big on adjectives. And, no, I can’t even begin to call it a man or a person. I guess you’re not being blessed right now by what you’re reading; pardon me, but I really need to let it out and I need your help too–pray that I would be able to forgive fully these vexatious neighbors and trust God (and the law of the land) to deal with them.

Curiously, after this incident, another seemingly dead person has resurfaced: my eldest brother’s ex-wife. Apparently, she has saved my old mobile number and has started to contact me. Interestingly, it has probably been five years since she sent me a text message, and it was not even on a positive note. Now she’s asking me to help her. I was tempted to recount to her the past and how she continues to put in danger my brother and nieces’ lives with her waywardness.

However, something tugged at my heart and I felt compassion for her. I somehow felt compelled to help her in any way I could, except give her money. I knew it’s what my parents would do too, help her, that is. They always told me to help those who are in need, especially family members or relatives, regardless of how poorly they have treated us (and do not deserve our help). So far, I’ve only been helping her through prayers, that she would realize how much she needs Jesus to be her LORD and Savior.

Lastly, there’s another kind of dead that I wish would remain dead, but I must now simply dig up and acknowledge if I were to start healing properly and thoroughly. These are the painful memories that I had since birth, which I must recall now and write down. It’s one of the activities I must go through at Glorious Hope, a Christian recovery program that intends to “…help liberate families from the bondage of destructive hurts, habits, and hangups through our LORD Jesus Christ…”

By acknowledging my past, including getting to know my ancestors, I have begun to understand myself more, even forgive the relatives who had hurt my parents and me, as I go through the process. I have also learned to control my temper, especially around my kids, knowing now where it’s coming from and how it is triggered. Indeed, this is the only kind of meeting with the dead that could be a truly life-changing encounter, helping me deal not only with the present but also with the future.

It’s interesting that despite their differences, there is only one way to deal with these dead ones effectively: acknowledgment and forgiveness. I need to acknowledge the fact that they are real, things really did happen, and I got hurt in the process, with or without these people involved meaning to.

I also need to acknowledge that I am a sinner, I live among sinners, other sinners have sinned against me, and I have sinned against them and God, too. I need to acknowledge that as much as I need forgiveness for my sins, they need forgiveness too. No one is perfect or sinless, and I shouldn’t be so hard on others, even on my own self.

I can’t continue living in the past, thinking about what I should have done instead in certain situations, either. That means I must forgive myself too.

As I see it now, it looks like I’ve been standing by a grave for too long already, making sure that the ones I’ve tried to bury there do not miraculously rise and try to hurt me again. But by doing that, I’m actually giving them power over me, as I’m always worried about what would happen if… No, this must end now and be buried like a real dead one for good. I need to decide to forgive all these people who had hurt me or anyone in my family.

I can no longer allow their sins to occupy both my time and my mind and affect my emotions and my relationships with the most important people in my life. I have already started to acknowledge all the things–both good and bad–that happened to my family and me. Now I need to learn to forgive (fully) and move on.

I guess having the dead come back to life is a good thing then. So long as you know how to deal with them, that is. Besides, what am I really afraid of, when I know for sure that God would take care of me, not to mention vengeance is His?

(Featured image by JJ Thompson on Unsplash)

 

Days 6–10: The 30-day Praise Challenge for Parents

Read: Days 1–5: 30-day Praise Challenge for Parents

Day 6

7 July 2017

I wait for you, O LORD; You will answer, O LORD my God. – Psalm 38:15

Journal: In what areas of your child’s life are you having difficulty waiting for God to act? How might praising God during your waiting period quiet your heart?

I tend to forget that my daughters are still very young children, no matter how smart they are, how tall they’ve grown, or how many things they can already accomplish by themselves. Sometimes I would treat them like adults and would feel exasperated when they start throwing tantrums because they can’t seem to do what I expect from them. I guess I expect God to make them wiser and more mature in a snap, especially when our family’s going through tough times. I know that doesn’t really make sense, and this exercise is making me see how immature and irrational I really have been during those times.

When I get impatient with my children, I’d rather praise God for giving me such wonderful kids who really are far wiser and abler than many kids their age. Indeed, they have already accomplished a lot of things, young as they are, and I must not forget that they have a childhood to enjoy, that they have every right to act like a child because they are still a child.

Children are a blessing, and I praise God for giving me the privilege to parent the young girls He has entrusted to me. I am thankful that my kids rely on me, trust me to take care of them, love them, and provide for their needs. I have seen and heard of families, where the children have already started relying on themselves simply because the parents who are supposed to take care for them have failed miserably in that area and they could no longer trust them. I see now how blessed I am and  I pray that I would always be a loving, understanding, and responsible parent to my daughters. Read More

Getting Down to Business: Turning My Passion into Profit

I’ve been to a lot of business seminars over the years, mostly sponsored by MLMs or direct selling companies and franchising offices. These organizations would usually encourage individuals to pursue businesses which sell products or services that consumers are most likely to buy not only at present, but also within the next few years, even in a decade or so, rather than build a business out of their passions or interests. Although their advice may be sound, and I have personally met a good number of professionals, as well as students, succeed in such business ventures, I am also aware that there are many passionate individuals who have made it big in the business field by simply taking their hobbies and interests to the next level. By living their passions day in and day out.

Hence, when I learned about the seminar that would help creative individuals go into business by turning their creative pursuits into profit, I did not hesitate in asking a newfound friend and fellow blogger, Veni Anabo, to connect me to her coworkers, the event organizers of Let’s Get Down to Business: Turning Your Passion Into Profit at Manila Workshops to get more information about it.

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It turned out that the organizers were currently looking for social media influencers, including bloggers, and they asked if I’d be interested in helping them promote the said event through social media in exchange for a free ticket to the seminar. After getting the assurance that it would be okay for me to bring along Big ‘n Lil Sis–they’re only 13 and 10 years old, respectively–I immediately agreed to be one of their media partners, which was a first for me and SAHMotsari.

I attended the second run of Let’s Get Down to Business, which was held in Alabang, Muntinlupa City last April. That was also the second seminar by Manila Workshops I’ve been to, and I wish I could attend every single workshop that they offer, since they tend to cater to my interests (and my daughters’ too). I have discovered that their seminars/workshops are reasonably priced, usually conducted at easily accessible locations in the metro, and most importantly, facilitated by credible and engaging resource speakers. Read More

Days 1–5: The 30-day praise challenge for parents

Find out more about the 30-day Praise Challenge for Parents and why I’m participating in it here.

Day 1

2 July 2017

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. – Psalm 139:13–14

Today I am learning to praise God for my children’s unique traits, including those I would like to change, instead of comparing them to other children. Indeed, they are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image, and His design is good! When I am tempted to compare and criticize them, I shall stop and praise God instead for my daughters’ unique designs.

Journal: Write down specific qualities that comprise your child’s unique design. Write out a prayer of gratitude for your child’s specific personality. Read More