Thursday, May 30, 2013

Good morning, post-it.


What greeted me in my desk this morning. Sweet nothings give you every good vibe you need to rev up for another working day. 

Thank God for sending me angels wherever I go. You never fall short of blessing me with good friends.

Thank you, my honey Kai :) You are amongst my sunshine in our daily work ❤

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

LRT: Life's Rail Transit

Life's rail transit is never a perfectly convenient ride. At times, you have to wait for the coach to arrive amid a sea of impatient people wanting to get inside the train first. At other times, you have to queue with everyone else who eagerly and saddistically make their way out of the crowd to make it to the frontline. There are also some instances when you have to go down the coach and walk beside the railway because the train's engine bugged down - or somebody else jumped off the mezanine for the nth time to take his own life.

Be that as it may, we still choose to ride, because you will lose the joy and satisfaction of having tried riding a transit system that fuels both your humanity and vulnerable soul.

Life's rail transit is a good vehicle to be in, but there are risks that you have to consider once you immerse yourself into the busy transportation.

One of which  - albeit this happens very seldom - is when a train loses its way and gets derailed. The driver might have been too preoccupied that he overlooked the railway he's driving on. Or maybe the train's computer and engine just went on a haywire and paralyzed the entire system. Or it's just fate for train to go out of the way because the passengers aboard need to learn a lesson which only such a tragic incident can teach them.

Riding life's rail transit is exciting, time-saving, fun, and hilarious - yet at the same time, hazardous and deadly.

But as dawn breaks, you wake up, and leave for somewhere else, you still opt for life's transit system, because it's the only way to get by and get there - wherever you wanne be.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Anong plano mo?

When the lights have shut down and all the people have left, there are many things that remain - but only one: MEMORIES.

Memories of people you've talked to, hold hands with, embraced, set your eyes into, laughed with, wept with, shared stories with. At the end of each working day, when all the laughter have subsided and all the jokes have dissipated into thin air, what's left of me - aside from memories - is a query I always ask myself.

Anong plano mo?

I've been in talks with colleague-friends for days now, and all we've been talking about are our present (what's happening, how do we get by, how will we deal with this) and the future (what will we do, what's our next step, what's your plan). The last item have been sending chill to my spine since yesterday.

Anong plano mo?

Yesterday, Jodey muttered, "Bakit ganon, tuwing aalis ka, ang tanong agad sa'yo ng mga tao, anong plano mo? Hindi ba pwedeng wala? Wala lang, gusto mo lang umalis." I told her that questions as such - more often than not - pertain to one's capacity to sustain finances. We work to earn money, we earn money to sustain our needs, we need to sustain our needs to grow. It's a simple logic, yet at the same time, a complex system of thought.

Yet it dawned on me that those questions aren't only asked to those who are leaving. THAT question is also directed to those who are staying.

Anong plano ko?

Clearly, I have plans. I have A PLAN. But I still have to muster courage to explicitly express my intention to take my life to a higher level.

Or maybe, I will be able to do so when I'm prompted by chance.

No more thinking. Just saying.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Monday Backtrack

There are some people 
you wish have just stayed
and have never left. 
That you often find yourself
Seeing how things could have been
With them around
- laughing, playing, weeping.
Or simply,
Just there.

The law of the world on change
is oftentimes cruel
- as it can even break
the bones of thy soul.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Food. And Family.

The weekend that passed could be summed up in two words: Food and Family.

Saturday was well spent with my Makati Feast Media Ministry friends for our planning and team-building. It was a no grand out-of-town, detaching-from-the-world team-building; but it was an awesome, hilarious, productive, and fun session. I am blessed to have been serving with them all. It made me realize - even more - that I have made the right decision to stay in the ministry and not give up.

God doesn't call the qualified; rather, He qualifies the called. Where He sends you, He equips you.

Whenever the going gets tough, God will be there. And when the group succeeds, God will be there. All the glory goes back to Him. As Paul's letter to the Colossians (Col. 1:17) says,  ""He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." 

Food was overflowing. And the way each one treat another, it was a family.


After the Ministry planning, I went straight to Ruthie's home. Rain was pouring hard; I got stranded for quite some time in one of the stores nearby, as well as in her brother's computer shop. Nonetheless, what welcomed me when I stepped in their house warded off any storm in my heart and dried up my damp spirit: the Juanson family and Sy family flashing their best smiles for a photo before dinner.

I haven't seen the couple for about two weeks. I missed them dearly. 

And again, there were lots of food. For me, they are a family.


On Sunday, the Cataps went out to hear mass and dine out for lunch. For a change, we went to Solaire.

No casino, just for lunch. Though I am really curious, so I asked Papa a few questions about how you play there hehe :)

Again, oveflowing food. And family. <3

My Dear Baby Juanson,

How are you there?

Your mommy told me that you're still small albeit growing, and by the way she said it, I could feel her excitement and joy for your coming. So many people are looking forward to see you, hold you, carry you, kiss you, and embrace you. Many kids are also squealing in excitement to play with you, learn the alphabet with you, do math with you, and learn languages with you. You are indeed a gift - a present - that we look forward to having in the very near future. 

In the meantime, while you are forming and growing in Mommy's womb, we hope and pray that you will always be well, and your growth will be in rhythm with Mommy's health and condition. Just take one day at a time, no need to hurry, because we are all willing to wait to see you. Okay? Just enjoy your formative months, and while you do, we're gonna prepare for your coming in the Juanson home.

It was your mom's birthday yesterday. You are an advance birthday gift to her :) Thank you for coming just in time, because you are her greatest reason to be happy on her special day. You are indeed a blessing to your mom and dad.

As I write this to you, please extend my message to your mom. Your mom has been dear and special to me. We've been girlfriends for over year now, and we were both amazed how this friendship has grown in just a short span of time. I pray you, too, when you grow up, you'll find many girlfriends and best friends to keep - to laugh with, weep with, share stories with, and share sleepless nights with - both in happy times, and most especially, when the going gets tough. Give her my hugs and kisses to make her feel how much I love her.

When at times I don't appear, or just dissipate into thin air, tell her not to worry, because I have an alarm in my girlfriend-room that rings loudly and violently whenever I have to be around. And if a day comes I really won't able to make it, or I will be missing in action, extend my big warm hugs to her. 

Tell her as well I intentionally didn't put up any surprise for her birthday, because as much as I want to, I cannot yet outdo myself from previous surprises. I guess she'll understand, because I'm competitive - your mom is MORE competitive (I think you need to imbibe that attitude, darling). Be that as it may, tell your mom with or without surprises, my love for her remains - in leaps and bounds.

Baby, I'm looking forward to have you as my future-daughter's girlfriend (If you're a boy, then my future-son's dude). 

Here's to healthy pregnancy, good health, more love, and a life being lived well for your Mom and Dad whose joy is overflowing to have you around.

I love you. I love your Mom who I call Mommy-GF and your Dad who I call Papa Mark.

To infinity and beyond,

Tita Jam

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Nick Vujicic: From a life without limbs to a life without limits

30 years ago, in the land down under, a child without limbs was born. No one could explain what happened to him. Even the best doctors in town could not tell why he did not have arms and legs. Nonetheless, he lived.

At 10 years old, he tried to take his own life by drowning himself in a bathtub. Yet just as he was about to take his last breath, an image popped into his mind: his parents and siblings were crying on his grave. He thought of his mom and dad who insulated him from the pain of being 'different' yet did not isolate him from the joy of normal living. He thought of his brother and sister who never left his side through all the ups and downs. He woke up, got up, and lived.

Nick Vujicic speaks before thousands in the Big Dome on Monday
Today, Nick Vujicic has been inspiring thousands of people around the world. He has been touring from continents to continents to share how living a life without limbs transformed into a life without limits. Over the weekend, he shared his story to the Philippines.

"As a Christian, you are not immune to ups and downs," he said. He stressed on the need to have an unstoppable faith in God, and believe in what he has in store for us, in order to endure the pains of the world and surpass obstacles. He also said that while it is fine to look up to preachers, motivators, and celebrities as idols, we must not forget that there is only one Christ we must look up to. He said, "When it comes to example of how we should live, how we should serve, Jesus Christ is the only one we should look up to." Everything and everyone else come secondary. He urged everyone to bear in mind what the song of Psalms say, in times of doubt and unbelief: The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.

Vujicic highlighted the importance of focusing our gaze on Christ through the story of Peter when he walked on water. The Gospel of Matthew said Peter was able to walk on water for some time. The apostle got out of the boat, stepped on the sea, and walked on the waves towards Jesus. But when he noticed the waves and the wind, doubt and fear crept in; therefore, he sank. Vujicic said if we are not going to keep our eye on Christ, we will also submerge into the sea of fear and uncertainty.

Vujicic also called on everyone to offer their all to Christ and give Him the key to their house to prevent the evil’s attacks. Homes where Christ dwells in are spared from the devil’s assault. "Give the key to your house to Jesus. He will never outchange you," he exclaimed. Vujicic likewise advised servants to prioritize their families over their ministries. And for those who are in pain, he said, "When brokenness is upon you, hold on to the truth. And the truth will set you free."

Vujicic may have physical lacks, but he did not allow them to prevent him from living the life of a fully able human. In fact, he used those "lacks" in his advantage: he allowed Jesus' light to shine through him. As he said, "Whatever broken pieces you have, if you turn them up to God, He will transform it into an unimaginable beauty."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tough times, tougher people

It was on that fateful day of June 15, 2011 that I began to live the life I chose to have right now. New job. New people. And hopefully, a new set of friends. And God didn’t fail me.

I was the earliest and the first to arrive among the first four writers. There came a charming and chubby girl who bore the name of a chocolate – Hershey – as she was called. A few minutes later, a tall, skinny, and fair-skinned lady with legs double of mine arrived. She was Tin.

We were all awaiting our boss for an orientation. It was about an hour past our call time. Another girl barreled past the door and hastily sat down before us. She was in an off-white shirt with a sketch of a girl, a skirt, and cute sandals. She looked tired, yet undeniably young, youthful, and vibrant. A few Q and A’s, and we knew her name. She was Ela. I wasn’t mistaken in telling that she was indeed tired, because she came from Cavite – about a two hour ride from our office.

They became my first set of friends in this job. Weeks followed, then there came the noisy but lovely Queen, yummy Jade, willful Pom, and nice Monica. After a few months, there was not-so-quiet Kris. She was shortly followed by smarty Gin. After a year was animated Lee. Then, helpful Jode.

Some left earlier than expected. Most stayed. From the first airing where bloody graphics job was always something to shy away from, up to the very first coverage, to the updates, Network News, Newsday, Nightly News, and now, to the elections. Those were tough times. Yet they all didn’t last, because only tough people last. We lasted and outlived them, because we were all tough people. 

And I know, as we part ways and move forward to where we wanted to be, we would always outlast tough times. Because we would always be tougher than them.