My Father in Me

Thursday, June 25, 2015

That was Former President Fidel V Ramos pinning his medal of honor

I dedicate this blog to honor the man who may never get to stay longer with us but will forever live in our hearts.

Ricardo was born in Cotabato of Ilocano parents. He was the 5th in the brood of 7. He and his other siblings lived a tough life. He could hardly go to school. They just did not have the means. He juggled jobs in between classes. But because he was persistent and determined, he managed to finish college. Not too long thereafter, he got himself in the P.C. He diligently worked his way up the ranks and eventually, he was assigned as the Assistant to the Regional Comptroller. He loved bowling and won a few tournaments. I remember he also used to play tennis. He was a man of good fashion sense too. He and Mama just looked so perfect together when they go out for social gatherings. Papa was a very loving and caring father to us. But he was also a disciplinarian and perfectionist. 

It was Papang Ric who instilled in me the importance of education. And he didn't mean just studying and finishing school. He impressed upon us that we must strive to achieve excellence in whatever we do. Though I had only spent 4  tender years with my father, I can say he had the biggest influence in my life in terms of my drive for success. That's my father - Never the mediocre, Always the go-getter. 

So picture this, when I was just 3 years old, and I can remember this clearly, my Papa would ask me with his friends around, "What will you be when you grow up?" "Law" is the short answer that he needed to hear from me to make him smile. That was me doing the baby talk then. 

Too bad, he didn't live long enough to see our dreams coming into reality.

At first, I never understood why my Mama would not let me do any household chore. She wanted me to only study at home. And that's what I did, I spent my summers answering workbooks. Before the school starts, I would have already nearly finished my Math and English booklets.

So in all my 14 years in school, I have religiously devoted most of my time in giving my best to land in the honor roll. It became a discipline out of necessity to retain my scholarships. I had it imprinted in my mind, that since we have limited resources with only my mom taking care of all our needs, I cannot afford a second chance. So I had always aimed at 1 shot in everything.

Life wasn't easy for us. We could have hardly afforded quality education were it not for the generous people who sponsored my schooling through the scholarship grants that I worked for and enjoyed in High School and College. 

And now looking back, I just feel grateful to my Papa for the inspiration. Every year, whenever I go up the stage, I, somehow, feel the twinge. I get reminded of that void in my life. I wished I had my Papa pinning my ribbon or putting on my medals, looking happy at what "we" have accomplished - all because he believed in me first. I could imagine him spoiling me with his bribe as a reward. That is my recollection of him, he always gives us the best - our needs and wants. 

Growing up without my Papa has been really tough. There was always that part in me longing for a father, a manly image. But vision of him has made me strong. It helped me get through every hurdle in life. Thank God for Mama too, who did a double job. 

Father's Day just passed by and it's always that time in a year that I wish I had my Papa to kiss during the mass while everyone else would turn to their fathers to greet them. If only I had the chance to hug and thank him, and tell him all the things I could have told him when I was 4 years old.

I know that though my Papa joined my Father in Heaven exactly 28 years ago, I never really lost him. That's because he is still fully alive in me. I will always have my father in me. 

I love you so much, Papa! I miss you everyday! Till I see you again!

5 Things that You Probably Don't Know about Me

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Hello World!

Today is going to be a linkup post. :)

I know for some of you who have been following my blogs, you may have already gathered an impression or some thoughts about my persona. But I bet only few people know me too well. :D

So for this post, I am going to give you guys a peek of the 5 Things that you PROBABLY are not aware about me:

1. Did you know that I only got my first barbie doll at the age of 8? I grew up playing toy guns with my male childhood friends. I was boyish when I was a kid. I sported boy cut most of the time.

During our recognition day in Grade 3

2. Even though I am a blogger and I often express my personal views or publish things about myself, there are times that I get paranoid about "Privacy" issue. Ironic as it may sound, sometimes, I wish to be invisible, unknown or unheard of. But here I go again, exposing myself to the world. I am kinda weird. Now you know! Haha.

3. At 32, I still sit on my mom's lap and sleep beside her like a baby. She still treats me like I have never grown old. And perhaps, even if I'd ever have my own baby, there will always be that little child in me longing for my mama's care and affection. Because of my mom, I am also looking forward to becoming a mom myself someday so I could cuddle my baby all I want!

4. While we were growing up, I was bullied by my siblings for my "cute" nose (to make it sound better than the adjective "flat"). My father used to tell me when I was small that if he had extra money, he would have my nose lifted. According to him, my nose looks like a train had run over it and totally flattened it. Huhuhu.. Seriously?! 

But ain't I cute here? :)

5. This last trivia could be one of my greatest blessings as a woman. I know most women have to go through pains and even spend dollars for a treatment, but I am just lucky enough to not have to deal with it. Do you want to guess what is this about? Haha! O.K. I do not grow hair on my underarms and even on my legs. I never had to shave or pluck. And so, whenever my girlfriends would discuss about their annoyances, I'm like "Uhm.. sorry I cannot relate" and they'd say, "no way! you're one lucky dame!" LOL. So yeah, hearing some would even have their horror stories, I kinda feel blessed. No bragging intended:D

And after all these revelations, you have now learned a little more about me.  Perhaps, some maybe TMI! Eeepss... :D

How about you, I'd love to hear a trivia about yourself too! 

Helene in Between

Toni Gonzaga & Paul Soriano - When God writes a Perfect Love Story

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I love watching wedding videos. To me, they are like fairy tales coming to life. I get to live in their romantic world and feel the excitement, the joy and, needless to say, the overwhelming love that the couples have for each other. Isn't it amazing how, in this world of 7 billion population, two people found their way to each other to share a lifetime together?

There were a handful of weddings that inspired me but I have to say that the wedding of Toni Gonzaga & Paul Soriano was exceedingly beautiful that it had me say "that's the kind of love story that I am praying for myself". (You can imagine me crying buckets of tears while watching!) I am sure many other singles share the same admiration over their love story. It may not be as grand and publicized as the other celebrity weddings we have seen but it sets a quintessential example of how two people journey through marriage while upholding true Christian core values. 

Here are 5 things that we, Christian singles and unmarried couples should learn from Toni and Paul:

1. God's Best is yet to Come. He makes all things Beautiful in His Perfect time. Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Like everyone else, Toni and Paul had their tough times too. They each had his/her stories of failures and challenges, but through their determination and faith, they both worked their way to success in their chosen crafts. And of course, with God's divine intervention, they eventually found their way in each other's life. Similarly, one may come to a point that waiting could seem endless, but hey, here's one affirmation that indeed, there is #forever. 

2. Obeying and Honoring your Parents always works for your best. Ephesians 6:2 "Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—  “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” - Toni never left her home and sought independence. In fact, she had always respected her parents' guidance over her and obeyed all their strict rules. Paul was not allowed to stay late at the Gonzaga's home and they were never permitted to go on trips all by themselves. Toni's parents have always been protective of their daughter all throughout, which, in the long run worked best for Toni as it made Paul value her like a Princess. Paul, on the other hand, acceded to all the restrictions imposed and respected Toni's parents. This was certainly a big gesture for Paul to prove to them how much he loves their daughter.

3. True Love Waits. Hebrew 13:4 "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous."Toni and Paul are both Christians. They adhered to the rule of honoring the vow of chastity by preserving Toni's purity until Marriage. This  made them honor and love each other in a deeper and more intimate way beyond the physical aspect of their relationship. I remember Toni said in an interview that "Love should be greater than your lust for each other". True enough, Love should be the very reason why two people should enter into marriage, no less. And that women should learn to value and preserve their worth. Men on the other hand, will realize that as the prize is worth all the cost  of waiting, there is no giving up. The abstinence made them look forward to being able to enjoy it as a gift that is exclusive in marriage.

4. True Love Endures all things. It always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:7 "It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." - As Love is the strongest foundation in any relationship, Toni and Paul held tight to their commitment to love each other amidst all the difficulties and challenges in their relationship. Paul, who was used to being behind the camera, had to sacrifice his privacy to some extent as he slowly exposed himself to Toni's world in showbiz. Also, he lovingly accepted his position in Toni's life. As she put it, Paul knew all along that he ranked last amongst her priorities as she worked deligently on her career to help her family. But Paul understood this and stood by her for the longest time. He patiently waited for her until she was ready to put everything else aside and finally make him top of her priorities next to God. All throughout their 8 years together, they never let go of each other because to them, Love conquers all.

5. True Christian Love honors God. Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." - Their wedding was truly a gift from God to behold. More than the ceremony to celebrate their union, it was a grand manifestation of God's reward to both of them who honored Him all throughout their relationship. Indeed, to pursue Love is to Pursue God. As two imperfect people are joined together in the sacrament of matrimony, their union are made perfect by a Perfect God. It is truly an awe-inspiring perfect love story scripted by God Himself. 

Again, indeed, there is #FOREVER! And this can only be made possible through God's intervention and blessing. This I believe. :) 

Acknowledgement: Credits to the owners of the photos and the videos.

TyneDee Photo Prompts: What happens at night in the Attic

Monday, June 8, 2015

“Honey, your dad and I will be home by 11 tonight, O.K.? If there is anything, just call me.” My mom kissed my forehead and closed the door to my room.

It was about 8 o’clock that night on a Friday the 13th of June. Mom and dad would have their usual service at a church about 2 towns away from our village. I stay up in the attic of our two-storey house that our family just bought 2 weeks ago. We decided to move in after my grammy died, exactly a month had passed. It was such a sad episode for us that we wanted to leave our old residence where she stayed with us for the longest time and have a fresh start in a new home. 

I was a bit under the weather so I thought of sleeping early. It has been raining hard all day long. I could hear the wind whistling through the opening in my window as if producing a howling sound. Weird but I looked outside and saw a black cat on our walkway looking at my direction. At that moment, I felt like there was a cold air that sent me shivers so I went to close the window while I left the curtains open.

I opted to leave my lamp on. Not too long after I closed my eyes, I heard the main door opened. I am usually sensitive to sound so I know if someone comes in. Then, I could hear someone went inside the master’s bedroom at the second floor. It was followed by steps at the stairs coming towards my room. Now, I could feel my heart beating faster. I was sweating cold. I panicked at the thought that I was alone at home and I had no one to call for help. I remembered my phone. I had to call my mom! Every step just sounded nearer and nearer. I was trembling while I struggled to dial. Then there was a loud clap of thunder and darkness befell me. Silence took over that frightening moment. All I wished at that time was for my mom to pick up my call.

Ring! Ring! Ring…….. A phone was ringing just outside my door.

“Joni! Joni!” My mom opened the door and ran towards me. “Honey, are you O.K.?”

“Mom!” I cried out loud. I was so frightened.

Minutes after, dad came in and brought in a big flashlight that illuminated my small room.

“Honey, I came back because I forgot to give you this.” She handed me a small round shape object made of feathers and beads.

I looked at her to ask, “What is this, Mom?”

That’s a dreamcatcher that your grammy gave me when I was a small kid. I wanted you to have it.

I heaved a deep sigh of relief and embraced her so tight and pleaded that she sleep with me that night. 

This is a Joint Photo Prompt Project of Dee and myself. 
Feel free to join us by posting the same photo that we will feature 
every second Monday of the month. 
You can write about anything 
using your Creative Ideas.
Come join the Fun! :)

Little Random Things that Made My Friday

Saturday, June 6, 2015


Today is Friday! Thank God it's Friday, indeed!

I am just happy for the little (shallow) things that made my day today.

Waking up to a rainy cold morning isn't fun at all! But, hey, it's the last working day of the week so I got up and off I surrendered myself to the daily toil.

Just as I was about to walk the stairs down to the subway, a guy in a rugged attire walked past me and greeted me with a smile saying "nice legs!" Well, for a moment there I felt that his comment was something malicious but then I realized I wasn't even showing my legs. I was wearing jeans so it must be a good compliment. (Always believe in the good of another person, unless otherwise proven.) I just told myself that maybe my everyday workout is actually showing results. Woot!

I reached the office with everyone greeting me "Good Morning" being the latest to arrive. Haha! Eeeppss.. I just smiled and claimed to myself, "Today is going to be a good day!"

At lunch time these 2 lunch buddies of mine, Chris and Bry came by my desk to fetch me. I nearly laughed out loud seeing the 2 of them in white polo. 

"San punta natin? Communion nyo? Ninang ako?" Haha! ("Where are we heading today? Are we going to your first communion and I will be your godparent?!"

Once in a while, when our hectic work schedules permit us, we go to have lunch and try out different cuisines around the Yonge and Bloor area. The lunch part is just one thing, the crazy banters altogether is another part that I somehow appreciate whenever I am with these 2. On a Friday, there are only 2 groups I am having lunch with, either my teammates or them. The rest of the weekdays is just me and myself. Now, that's something I have learned to live by since I arrived here in Toronto. And I love my "Me" time all the time!

The crazy duo

On my way home, I dropped by the lotto outlet to buy my Ate her lotto max ticket. Haha. I was surprised when suddenly a guy about my age offered to do a fist bump with me after saying, "I like your tan!" Confused at his remark, I still smiled at him. 

He then added, "You're a Filipina, right?" 

"Yes!" I replied proudly.

"Nice". I could see the fascination in his blue eyes. Honestly, that was really flattering. Never had that comment in a long time or ever before, I guess. Can't remember, really. 

At home, I was greeted by the hugs and smooches of my nieces. They are my babies. After a long tiring day, I always look forward to going home because of them. My adorable nieces and nephews are actually my constant affirmation of my desire to become a nurturing mother someday. 

And because the weekend is about to start and it's Friday, I made them milk shake with milk (of course!) plus crashed Oreo Cookies and Cream biscuits. I could see the not-so-little one was delighted.

Sigh. That look in her face makes me just want to sit and watch her enjoy her glass of milk.

After a 2-hour run outside, I can honestly declare, I just had a wonderful Friday today! Thank God for Today!

Have a wonderful and lovely Weekend everyone!!! :D

Why I am Thankful for Everyone in my Life

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Thank you to the owner of this inspiring video!

I find it amazing how our lives are intertwined, such that somewhere and sometime in our journey, either we share the same path or we meet at a crossroad people, who we never thought would have a profound impact in our lives. 

If there is one thing I have consistently been grateful for, that's the gift of having the people I love and care about and everyone I meet at any point in my walk. I just could not and would not imagine going through life without them. It would be like a dull sky without the much-needed sunshine. There is always a time when I end up being helped by someone, in one way or another. 

Come to think of it, I wonder how one can live for himself alone. Humans are inherently relational beings. Shutting your door to everyone else is like precluding yourself from experiencing the beautiful things in life. No matter what reason you may have for feeling alienated or distant from the world, no matter how hurt you may have felt, I believe that life will never run out of reasons to give you to open yourself again. I have known and learned from people who have been through immense pain and suffering yet still find something to be thankful for. I am just awe-inspired by these resilient souls.

I always believe that every person who passes by or stays in our life was sent with a purpose. Every single one of them. Either we need to learn something from them, or we need to serve a purpose in their lives. And this is the very reason why I always, always love to meet and know people and their stories. There are just so many things that we can share and learn from each other! I often fall in love with souls who are open and unafraid to bare their stories. Rawness is what we need in the world today! 

For whatever purpose the people I now have or even those who came by and left have in my life, I am truly grateful that I have shared this journey with them, with you all.

So, I say "THANK YOU" to each one of YOU! I hope I am making a difference in your life too, somehow. :)

Flowers for y'all :D