Archive | January 2013

Reminiscin Highschool: Learning to Paint Again

Two Sundays ago, during the meeting of the Awesome Kids Ministry, it was discussed that we will be launching an exhibit of the kids’ artwork. I was so excited because I volunteered to teach watercolor painting to the kids. Right after the meeting I went to National Bookstore to buy the supplies that I need. After more than 3 years, I will be painting again! 🙂 Okay, I only painted 2 very small paintings 3 years ago. So the last time that I was really into painting was during college, when I gave little handpainted cards to my friends as a souvenir/gift.

I first learned painting during high school at Pisay, from Tiobope – from Tiode Boyle Perez (I’m not sure if I got that right), as we fondly call our violet teacher (he likes violet A LOT – his car was even violet). He was a real artist and he was really good! I fell in love with Art during that time. From our charcoal paintings to water color and then pastel. But my most favorite medium of them all was watercolor. I would stay at the school (which was just beside our dormitory) during weekends, painting some landscapes.

My favorite subject is the sunset. I was always amazed of its colors – the beautiful mix of yellows and reds always make a lovely scene, which is also very romantic. 😉

Anyway, I wanted to prepare and learn a lot for my Sunday session with the Feast kids so I prepared by doing some research. It was the first time I tried to search the Web for techniques and tips of watercolor painting. And boy, was I not disappointed by the wealth of information I found! I particularly got glued on Bob’s site because he unselfishly shared the things he learned for years to wannabe painters like me – mostly for free! God bless this man. 🙂

For those who want to try watercolor painting, I strongly recommend the BEST BUY brushes. They have not failed me! And they really proved that they were the best buy – affordable and of good quality. The #12 flat brush is 49.50, #16 round brush is 31.75, and the #6 round brush is only 16.50. Meanwhile, I was really sooo disappointed with the Berkeley round brush #8 (my most expensive brush ever – bought at 127.50),  because when I first used it, the bristles kept on falling – there were a lot of falling hair! And they messed with the painting! 😦 It really stressed me out. But I do recommend the Berkeley sketch pad. The paper is great for watercolor painting.
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I also really recommend downloading Bob’s free watercolor tips e-book. I really learned a lot from him. The tree below was created based on his Chapter 6 tutorial on how to make believable trees. I then added the girl and the dog because I got inspired by his Chapter 8 tutorial on how to enhance  landscapes with simple figures. I used the picture that I took last Saturday, when my housemates and I jogged at Ayala triangle.

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Keeping Fit: Jogging with my housemates

One of the things in my bucket list this year is to exercise and keep a healthy body. I’ve tried Taebo, Hiphop and Yoga (once). These are some of the perks in my company – having a gym with these sessions.

I enjoy these fun exercises but lately I missed the sessions in the gym. Luckily my housemates asked me to come with them to jog in Ayala Triangle yesterday and it was also a good chance to take pictures of my future painting subjects. 🙂

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Why Should I Tithe: My Journey Towards Abundance

Before I share to you the things I’ve learned about tithing, let me first give you a definition of tithe:

Tithe – One tenth of annual produce or earnings, formerly taken as a tax for the support of the church and clergy.

I was born and raised as a Roman Catholic. And through all those years of going to mass, I have seen people put into the offertory baskets only their loose change (in Bisaya, “sinsilyo”, in Tagalog, “barya”). I even recall my mother asking us if we have some coins so we could offer it. Back then, I thought that it was normal, I thought that was expected from us parishioners to give coins. Sometimes during special occasions like Christmas, I’d see more people dropping in 10-peso or 20-peso bills. The clink clank of the coins in those church baskets were less noisy during those special times.

When I started “exploring God” by attending different churches, I noticed that other sects gave more during their offerings. They placed their money inside envelopes and gave with a smile. I was amazed and at the same time, jealous for my church. Because without batting an eyelash, I placed a 500-peso bill in the envelope that they handed to me. And then I became a member of CFC-Singles for Christ community. There we were taught to give more back to the Lord. And I learned more about what tithing really is. And I took baby steps.

They said tithing was about giving 10% of your income back to the Lord. And I remembered, back then, I was wondering if I should base it on my gross or my net income. But that was just a passing thought because I later on bargained to God if it’s alright if I just made sure that I won’t be giving coins during mass because I am sending my brothers to college. I considered it as a way of giving back to the Lord already and I was afraid that I won’t have enough left. So I said I would give only bills during Offertory time.

During that time, there were no more 10-peso bills! Our bills start with 20 already. To give you a little background, I was still working as a university instructor and I was earning about P18,000 per month. So if I followed the 10% rule in the Old Testament, I was supposed to give about 1,800 per month. But I just gave a maximum of 100 pesos each time I go to mass. AND, I was already very proud of myself then. Because my seatmates in church would only give their “barya” or coins – others won’t even give if they can’t find coins in their wallets or pockets.

When I started going to The Feast, I learned sooo much more about tithing. Just this morning, I attended the Call Center Feast in New Horizon Hotel here at Mandaluyong – just about 300 steps away from where I live. Can I invite you? 🙂 CCFM conducts feasts at this venue at 8 30 in the morning every other Saturday. So for those who are interested to join us, you are most welcome… see you on Feb 9! 🙂

Here are some of the things that I learned today:

– You have to give until it hurts. Have you experienced that sometimes when we give..it hurts? I’d share to you my story in a little while
– One sister shared how she was able to “unlock” God’s overflowing abundance when she started giving back to God. She shared how she and her husband have agreed and committed to giving 10% (or even more) of their income to God’s temple. She has an auto-debit system wherein the bank automatically deducts a certain portion of her income and puts it in God’s trust fund. She confessed that at first she and her husband were a little “afraid” because they had mortgages to pay, kids to send to school, and all other expenses. But you have to do it afraid. Because our GOD CANNOT BE OUTDONE in his generosity. Blessings poured in, and even overflowed…because God loves us so much.
– God doesn’t really need your money, He needs your faith! Many skeptics may ask, why should God have to obligate me to give back to Him if He is the owner of the universe? Brothers and sisters, God wants your faith…and He wants you to be His partner in building His kingdom here on Earth. He also wants you to create more space so that He can replace that space with more blessings that overflows! 🙂

5Hs of Tithing:
1. Habit – You have to do it regularly. What is the difference between giving and tithing? Giving is occasional while tithing is regular.
2. Happy – Giving back to God actually feels good and it will make you happy!
3. Holy – It makes your money holy. Tithing teaches us generosity, and generosity is the opposite of greed. The only way to liberate ourselves from the greed of money is to give it back to the storehouse of God.
4. Hunger – Hunger is good! Don’t you agree? We are talking about a different hunger here. You are hungry to help in God’s ministry, to expand, and to help more people. So you will do better in your jobs or businesses because you have a “good hunger” – to serve and to give more.
5. Harvest – Tithing teaches us the abundance mindset. We believe that there is an abundance of God’s blessings just waiting for us to harvest them.

So about the 2 common questions:
1. Can I just give my money to my poor relatives and will it be considered tithing? Giving to our relatives is good, but the Bible tells us to bring the full amount of our tithes to the temple
2. Should I base it on my gross or net income? How much do you want to be blessed – based on your gross or your net income? You decide. 🙂

How the concept of tithing has changed my life:

As I said, I took more bold steps toward tithing when I started attending The Feast. I started putting in 200.. 300.. 400.. and more inside the envelope. It started last year. And I told God that I would increase and hopefully reach 10% when my brothers would have their own stable jobs. You see, I am paying a big amount of money for my condo rent and my insurances. Plus, I sent most of my money to my brothers – one was still studying nursing at that time, and the other had a family to support (including my pretty niece Nycah). So when I put those bills in the envelope, there was some kind of pain. But when I put that envelope into the basket, I feel relieved. Because I knew that I no longer have to worry about my family. I know that God will take care of them. And guess what?!

God truly, could not be outdone in His generosity. I got promoted. My brother passed the Nursing board exam and just this month, he got into a Nursing job in the province. My other brother, Jong, was accepted as a fireman in the government – he now has a stable and good paying job! I am now starting to pay for my own condo. And I got another life insurance from Sunlife. My stocks in Citiseconline are doing good, too! God is really a wonderful, loving God! He is a God of abundance. Praise God!

Creating My System

This year I want to establish my personal system of doing things. Lately there are things that I really want to do such as:

  • paint
  • exercise
  • read/increase proficiency in Java
  • read other interesting books
  • cook
  • go to work early
  • blog

It’s a good thing that I’m assigned at Makati right now and we need to be in the office by 9am because I’ve trained my body clock to wake up at 6:15 and doze off at 10:30 to 11pm. And I’ve also de-toxified by cleaning up my room and getting rid of some excess baggage in my life. I am also freed off from my extra sisterly duties like sending money to my siblings because my brothers are now earning for a living. Yey!!! Good for me. 🙂

My week starts on Sunday. Since I am now committed to serving at the Ortigas feast both as an usher and as a teacher at the Awesome Kids Ministry, I usually wake up at 7:30 to get ready, clean my room, and have some time to eat my breakfast. I have to be at Robinsons Galleria by 9am and greet the Feasters. I serve at the Awesome Kids ministry every other week so during those times, I have to attend the Monday feast. The Feast usually ends at around 12:30 and if there are no meetings, I get to have my lunch at Greenwich, Chowking, Bonchon or any other fastfood that I want. After which I do my grocery or shopping. 🙂 When I get home, I store my groceries in their proper places and rest for some time before I do my weekly planning. I prepare the clothes that I have planned the previous day (Saturday) by ironing and hanging them. I would also have to prepare my footwear for the week. Next, I plan my activities at the office for the upcoming week and prepare whatever documents or materials that I would need. In the evening, I would cook my baon for the following day.

I used to wake up at around 7:30 when I was still reporting at Eastwood. Commuting was not a problem then. But now, I have trained myself to wake up at around 6. I say my morning prayers, read the Bible (please do this!!!), drink my pure kalamansi extract for my Vit. C and check if rice is cooked by my housemate Jo; otherwise I’d do the cooking. I’d take a bath, put on sunscreen and other vanity stuff, get dressed, prepare my baon, and I’m good to go. In the office, I’d check my emails first for the first 15mins of uninterrupted time – no chats. Respond and act on urgent/important mails. Then I’m ready to do the tasks for the day. This year, I’m going to make it a practice to write a 15-minute blog before I leave the office. I’d have to sum up all the things I’ve accomplished for the day, list action items to improve my system, and create a to-do list for the next day. This is something new and I’d like to do this through my private blog in the company.

I resolve to go to the company gym twice every week. I’d spend 1 to 1.5 hours in the gym to keep me fit. I would love to do Zumba at home, if there are no people at the sala. During the times when I won’t be going to the gym or having Zumba at home, I’d be painting! 🙂 I hope I can blog everyday at my public blog, but maybe I’d have to allot a budget – time and money – for that. Cooking will always be part of my evening routine, except when I don’t have to bring baon the next day or if there’s extra food in the freezer.

Fridays would be my time to watch movies – both in the cinema or in DVD. It’s also the time to meet up with friends or family. I can also do some shopping or some salon time during these days. Usually the malls give big discounts during this time, especially it’s payday weekend. This time I can stay as late as 11:30. 🙂

Saturdays would be my chance to stay in bed longer…yesss! I can have trips or long road trips during this time. But mostly, this would be time to clean up my room, do some laundry, and plan my food/clothes for the week. Based on the planned food, I have to do my groceries or go shopping. I can also have time to surf, blog, and go to other social networking sites. This is my time to splurge on reading! I’d have to read at least one book per month on Java, and another on anything else.

Well, this is my system for now. And I’d try to see if my processes work well and tweak if necessary.

My love, Nycah

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During the rare times that she actually smiles for the camera

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Seriously doing her artwork.

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She’s my source of joy…my love!
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Making faces… doing her best to scare us when there was a blackout at home.

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I miss you my dear Nycah!

A visit to Gensan

One of the things on my bucket list this year is to visit my friends in Gensan. Luckily, I was able to do this last January 5, before I went back to Manila.

On my way to Gensan, I saw the all-familiar places that I usually pass by during the Davao-Gensan trip. Memories of my 6-year stay in Gensan came flooding back. I reminisced the time when Charisse, Jose and I would travel every Friday to attend our classes in our Master in IT. Those winding roads had always disrupted our sleep and would make Charisse so dizzy.

When I arrived in Gensan, I noticed that there were a lot of new things in the place. How long has it been since I left? Hmm.. barely 3 years. This place will always have a special place in my heart since this is where I spent my early 20s and crafted my career in IT education.

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The first friend that I met was Charisse. Although we had very little time to talk, I was glad that we were able to catch up on what happened in our lives in the 3 years that we haven’t seen each other. She shared her experiences as a mom and as a wife. I wanted to see my godson but she said she didn’t bring him because we won’t be able to talk if the baby is around. Well.. See you another time, baby Ced!

The other friends that I missed in Gensan are my hausmates in BQ. Since my time was so limited, I wasn’t able to go to MSU campus and met them. 😦 I was also supposed to meet Hannah and Yoel but my dear godson Yoel had a dentist appointment. I didn’t feel so bad because Hannah and I met in Manila last December. Besides, I won’t keep her from fulfilling her mommy duties. 🙂

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Finally, I met Laiza and Ate Doli at KCC and together we headed to Mae’s house. I was really happy to see my dear friend Mae!

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She’s pregnant with her second child and I am really glad to see her so pregnantly pretty! Hehe.

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It was also the third time that I got to see my goddaughter, Julia. She’s so big now! She was just a tiny little baby when I last saw her. Ems – who was from the same subdivision – later joined us for an afternoon chika. Jover, Mae’s husband later prepared a sumptuous dinner for all of us – kinilaw and shrimps!!! Yummy!

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We were having our usual crazy girl talk when Jose and his wife, Leah arrived and joined our little reunion party. Since we could not discuss some confidential stuff, we decided to play everyone’s favorite game – Pinoy Henyo!

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Investing in the Stock Market through Citiseconline

Hi Guys! I am so happy to share to you that my stocks in Citiseconline are UP! And all these positive movement in my stocks, I credit to being a member of TrulyRichClub. A club founded by Bo Sanchez for people who are into the Stock Market.

Bo and his friends give timely advise on what stocks to buy and sell. Since most of us don’t really know the technicalities of the Stock Market, I would advise you to be a member of the club too. To find out more, read about it! I am sure you will really reap the benefits of being a member of the Truly Rich Club – just like me! 🙂

Delayed!

Morning flights are always better – lesser risks of delayed flights. The aircraft should have left Davao by this time but it hasn’t landed on Davao yet. The turnaround aircraft is expected to arrive at about 10:15 tonight. Oh… I’m so disappointed. I’m really, really tired!!!

I am sooooo sleepy and tired from my loooong holiday vacation. 😦 I miss my bed already!