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My Two Cents On…

Unsolicited advice from a novice

The Gift of Receiving

When Christmas comes around, hundreds of blog posts talking about giving surface. Christmas has almost become synonymous to gifts, giving, and generosity. I know that some of you already are generous and/or are tired of reading about the same thing again and again. That’s part of the reason why I’m proposing something new this year.

Instead of just focusing on the gift of giving, let’s talk about the gift of receiving.

Continue reading “The Gift of Receiving”

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Dealing with Papercuts

Do you know what a paper cut is? If you don’t it would be great if you can take a few minutes to read my earlier post. Click here to get there. After reading that, you can go back to this post because this is all about what you could and (I think) should do when you get a paper cut.

Continue reading “Dealing with Papercuts”

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Paper Cuts

Have you ever had this experience?

Your friend asks a harmless question, tells an offhand joke, or makes a casual observation and you blow up. What started out as a regular conversation turns into something else-something nuclear. Your shirt feels tight, your pulse quickens. You do everything you can to keep yourself from turning into the Hulk. There are times when you can keep it under control, but there are times when no amount of self-talk can keep you from lashing out. How can something so simple hurt so bad?

It’s a paper cut.

Continue reading “Paper Cuts”

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5 Practical Steps for the Depressed

One of my most read posts in this blog (the most read if you don’t count the ones about romantic love) is Dark Clouds: Depression. And though I’m happy that a lot of people read my own reflections about this condition, I also felt a little sad realizing that this may also mean that a lot of people are going through the same thing. What I wrote on that first article were the myths that some people believe about depression. I wanted to let non-depressed people know what’s going on behind the dark clouds. I was hoping that anyone who read that post will be better equipped if and when they encounter depressed people.

This post is different.

Continue reading “5 Practical Steps for the Depressed”

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The 5 People Young People Need In Their Lives

Recent events led me to reexamine my life and to take a closer look at the people who surround me. I had two realizations.

  1. I wouldn’t have survived all these trials if they happened 10 years ago.
  2. The main reason why I wouldn’t survive was because these people weren’t in my life at that time.

Let me tell you about the people who helped me be who I am today.

Continue reading “The 5 People Young People Need In Their Lives”

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10 Reasons Why I Will Let My Children Read Harry Potter

I grew up in a very religious household. I was taught to fear anything that mentioned (or even implied) magic. I was fine with it until I graduated from gradeschool. It was the first time that my twin sister and I were released out into the open world. That was the time when the first Harry Potter book was published. One of our classmates had a copy and lent it to our classroom’s mini library.

I still remember how it felt when I first opened the book. I was pacing about for a good 5 minutes before I decided to start reading. When I finally did, I didn’t stop. It’s been more than a decade since that day. I’ve heard a lot of people tell me that it was wrong. I’ve been reminded, warned, and even threatened against ever opening another Harry Potter book or watching a movie, but nothing has shaken my belief. I’m still a fan and I will make sure that my kids will have the choice to read this treasure. Why? Here’s why:

Continue reading “10 Reasons Why I Will Let My Children Read Harry Potter”

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Dark Clouds: Depression

Depression is a rather tricky word. People either avoid using it or use it too generously.

You probably know that I grew up in a Christian family. My dad’s the pastor of our church. That means I heard more than my share of messages about how much joy there is in a Christian’s life. There’s even this old charismatic song that starts out with a very memorable line.

“Ang buhay ng Kristiyano ay masayang tunay.”
(A Christian’s life is full of joy.)

Thus, in the very rare times when I said that I was sad loud enough for someone in our household to hear, I was shot down with this concept. It was like it wasn’t right for Christians to feel down.

The only problem was, I kept feeling that way.

Continue reading “Dark Clouds: Depression”

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Smart Problems (Part 1)

Continue reading “Smart Problems (Part 1)”

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On Mothers

Mother.

That word used to have a simple definition. They’re the ladies who stay at home to cook, tend the garden, and take care of their kid/s. But times have changed and that definition seems too narrow and shallow to contain what 21st century mothers are or have to be.

Continue reading “On Mothers”

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On Speaking

I’m not going to pretend that I am an expert on this subject matter because I am in complete control of my tongue. Those who know who I was and who I’m trying hard to avoid turning back into was VERY VERY loose and harsh with words. I wrote an article On Words a few months ago in which I discussed how I used words to break people down instead of building them up.

A lot has been said about saying stuff, but the irony is that this remains as a topic that needs to be discussed and emphasized again and again. The reason is simple, people still haven’t learned how to rein their tongues in.

God seems to think so, too, since the Scripture says a lot about how to use our words wisely.

Continue reading “On Speaking”

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Shining vs. Stardom – Matthew 5:16

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 5:16 (NASB)

If you grew up in church, your brain probably tuned out automatically at the mention of this verse. That’s because you’ve heard countless sermons and Bible studies about this. But please let me present a rather fresh approach on this passage.

Continue reading “Shining vs. Stardom – Matthew 5:16”

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The Eye of the Storm: On Peace (John 16:33)

Two days ago, Mark and I were driving home in the pouring rain and I caught myself saying, “I bet there are people watching the creek’s water level right now.” When he asked why, I shrugged and told him that this has been our neighbors’ automatic response every time it rains.

It’s been almost three years since Ondoy left most of our village (and Metro Manila) underwater and though the flooded houses have been rebuilt and refurnished with new stuff, I can’t say that people have truly moved on. As soon as it starts raining, people get scared and suddenly, Hillsong’s Still means something more. People start praying for peace.

Continue reading “The Eye of the Storm: On Peace (John 16:33)”

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How To Get A Man: Rebekah’s Story

If you’ve read my older posts, you probably noticed that this title sounds like it shoots for something different. It kind of does.

I guess my title’s pretty straightforward. That is exactly what I’m going to talk about. After telling you, my precious readers, about the importance of waiting for the right person, I’m going to give you advice about what to do while waiting. And the fun part is that we are going to take the advice straight from the Bible.

Continue reading “How To Get A Man: Rebekah’s Story”

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M.U. – Mutual Understanding or Mutual Undervaluing

Mutual Understanding, “Just Talking,” Prayer Partners, Waiting, Flirtationship.

No matter how you call them they’re all the same. They are all mediocre, troublesome, hurtful, shallow, and petty versions of realationships.

Nope. I didn’t spell relationship wrong. Relationships are supposed to be REAL.

Continue reading “M.U. – Mutual Understanding or Mutual Undervaluing”

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On Moving On

After break ups, people have one primary goal in mind. They want to move on.

Well, I hate that phrase. I don’t think that moving on is the solution to such situations. I’ve seen many friends get their hearts broken, move on, fall in love, then get their barely mended hearts broken yet again. Come on, people. Don’t just move on. Move forward.

Continue reading “On Moving On”

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On Words

You know how people always say, “You don’t know how much damage words can make.”

Well, that’s not true for me. I know. I knew. When I was at my worst, I very much knew about how hurtful my words can be, but I still said them because of that very same reason. They hurt.

I knew that then, I still know that now. The only difference is that I now care that they do.

The journey wasn’t easy for me, though. I had a couple of wrong principles that I held on to until the time when I HAD to change them because something really bad happened.

Continue reading “On Words”

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On Love

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you:

Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

Song of Songs 8:4

This is a really short and simple verse, but it says a lot about love, or at least the age of love. Here are my reflections on this verse:

Continue reading “On Love”

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On Choices

I was born into the generation of finger-pointers. Yes. That is the tragic flaw of Baby-Boomer babies. Rarely do I find someone my age taking credit for the bad things that happened in their life. After all, it’s easy to duck and blame someone else, than to say three hard and bitter words, “It’s my fault.”

When I was in high school, I would always hear my peers sharing about the woes of their existence. Those conversations usually end with the conclusion that it’s the parents who have to be blamed. If a student cuts class, it’s an act of rebellion because he/she wasn’t given enough attention. If someone sneaks alcohol into a school event, it’s because he/she was getting too much attention from her hawk-eyed parents. When I got into UP, everyone blamed the government. The government ALWAYS had to be toppled over. All fingers point at the current president. I thought that going into a different college would be different, but I was wrong. They still blamed someone else for everything that was wrong in the school.

Guys, it’s time to wake up!

Continue reading “On Choices”

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On Boys: Mr. Right, Mr. Right Now, and Mr. Right-For-You

All girls have three basic templates of romantic guys in their life. Let me introduce them to you…

Continue reading “On Boys: Mr. Right, Mr. Right Now, and Mr. Right-For-You”

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On Girls: The Reserve, The Preserved, or the Conserved

I posted an article about boys which classified them into Mr. Right, Mr. Right Now or Mr. Right-For-You a few months ago. You can read it here.

Now, it’s time for us, girls. You can be either one of these three. Be very careful to pick which one you prefer to be. This is the hard truth. If you’re ready, read on.

Continue reading “On Girls: The Reserve, The Preserved, or the Conserved”

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On Waiting

The best things in life are worth waiting for.

Continue reading “On Waiting”

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Why Do Good Girls End Up With Bad Boys?

One of my schoolmates asked me this question a few years ago. At that time, I didn’t know what to answer. It took a few minutes and a quick recall of my girl friends’ love stories for me to give credit to his observation. It took me 5 years to compose my answer. Now, I’m not saying that these are absolutes. There are a lot of gray ares to sort when it comes to people. However, this is just my personal opinion in my 24 years worth of good and bad boy interaction. Here it goes.

Continue reading “Why Do Good Girls End Up With Bad Boys?”

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Joshua 3 – Crossing Jordan

1 Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2 After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3 giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits between you and the ark; do not go near it.”

5 Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”

6 Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people.” So they took it up and went ahead of them.

7 And the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. 8 Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’”

14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.

Joshua 3

Here’s a little background story to this passage. Israel already conquered the cities on the side of Jordan they were camped at. They were settled there, but the land on the other side of the Jordan river was also included in God’s promised land. God already promised them victory over all their enemies, but before they can fight on the other side and claim the land for themselves, they must first cross the Jordan river.

We all have our own Jordans to cross. God always has a grander plan and a bigger promise for us on the other side of the river, but to get there, we must first cross a barrier. What is your Jordan?

Continue reading “Joshua 3 – Crossing Jordan”

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A Christian’s Guide to the National Day of Mourning

Today, I woke up, finished my devo, and checked my phone. I saw that three people were asking me about my opinion regarding the Fallen 44, the heroes of Mamasapano. Pero tapatan na, hindi naman opinion ko tungkol sa kawalan ng mga bagong bayaning ito at ng kanilang mga pamilya ang tinatanong kung hindi ang pananaw ko sa kawalan ng koordinasyon sa pagpapadala sa kanila roon at sa kawalan ng Pangulo sa pagsalubong sa mga labi nila kahapon. As much as I love those people who asked me and as flattered as I was that they sought my opinion, I didn’t respond because of two reasons:

  1. I am not the right person to say anything about this. I don’t think I know enough to make a fair judgment on the matter.
  2. This is not the right TIME to talk about this.

Malacanang declared this day, January 30, 2015, as a National Day of Mourning and I think that’s what we should focus on. There’s just one thing that I feel the need to talk about today and that’s mourning. Paano ba magluksa? How do we mourn as a nation? What is your personal contribution? Here are my suggestions.

Continue reading “A Christian’s Guide to the National Day of Mourning”

Free Civil Service Exam Review

This is just my way of giving back. I was blessed to rank first on the April 2013 Civil Service Exam and since then, I’ve been trying to help more people pass.

Hearing how some people work for years, even decades, in government offices and agencies, but don’t get promoted dahil hindi sila nakapasa sa exam na ito just broke my heart. I want to help as many people as I could. At dahil hindi lang mahal kung hindi limited din na mag-maintain ng physical review center, I chose to use the Internet to broaden my reach. May mga individuals rin kasi who reached out to me asking for help and some of them come from as far as Mindanao. Buti na lang at mas madali na ang access to information sa panahon na ito.

That’s why I decided to create a Facebook page for people who want to participate in my review program. Click here and like the page.

I also started making and posting videos with my tips, tricks, and techniques on how to answer questions faster. Here’s the playlist:

Kung isa ka sa mga taong gustong mag-aral with us, like the Facebook page, subscribe to the Youtube channel, and feel free to share this free resource to anyone else who’s taking the exam.

I also want to point out that this is completely FREE! Yep! Free! Wala akong chinacharge na review fee or anything like that. Kaya kung may magsasabi sa inyo na may ganoon, let me know.

I’m looking forward to learning with and from you.

A Christian’s Guide to the Papal Visit

Disclaimer: This post is written in Taglish (Tagalog and English) because it is primarily geared towards my countrymen. I apologize to my international readers.

The Pope is on his way to our country. If you’re a Filipino and you don’t know this, wait! What? With all the TV spots, shirts, newspaper articles, and commemorative memorabilia out on the mainstream, you still don’t know about this? Weh, di nga?

I write this not to talk about the Pope, his itinerary, or my opinions on the Roman Catholic church. This is for all the evangelical Christians in the Philippines. Hindi mo ba alam kung ano ang gagawin mo habang ang buong bansa ay aligaga sa pagsalubong sa Papa? Pwes, ito ay para sa iyo. Here’s my list of do’s and don’ts para sa mga susunod na araw.

Continue reading “A Christian’s Guide to the Papal Visit”

4 Reasons Why I Hate Rapture Flicks

Here are 4 reasons why the idea of making and using movies like Left Behind should be left behind.

 

1. Rapture flicks are (usually) not biblically accurate.

2. Rapture flicks scare people (especially kids) who already are in church.

3. Rapture flicks paint a negative image of God.

4. Rapture flicks push people who don’t share the same beliefs away.

 

And that’s my two cents on that.

 

525,600 Minutes

Well it’s really give or take a few hundred minutes or so.

Continue reading “525,600 Minutes”

DepEd: God-Loving No More?

Nagsimula ito ilang araw na ang nakaraan. Pumutok ang balita na papalitan ng Department of Education ang kanilang vision statement from:

By 2030, DepEd is globally recognized for good governance and for developing functionally-literate and God-loving Filipinos.

to:

We dream of Filipinos who passionately love their country and whose values and competencies enable them to realize their full potential and contribute meaningfully to building the nation …

And everyone had an opinion about it. Here’s mine.

Continue reading “DepEd: God-Loving No More?”

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