Archive | February 2013

I Love Life!

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I love life retreat participants.
Photo Credits: JPaul Hernandez

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I’ve just had one of the most awesome weekends of my life. I attended the Love Life retreat conducted by the Feast Ortigas for the Singles community at CCT Tagaytay. I didn’t only have an intimate personal encounter with the Lord, I also gained a number of new friends both from the participants and the servants.

We left Manila at 7am yesterday and arrived at Tagaytay at around9am. We were all delighted to see the venue and excited to check out our rooms. And yes, the retreat fee of 1,800 was really worth it!

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Bro Jan Silas of Makati Feast gave the first talk on “Loving yourself”.  His talk really struck  me because I know that I have not been loving myself enough. I am incapable of loving others because I could not love myself the way God loved me. There are so many times when I could not accept myself for my flaws, shortcomings and failures. I have been very hard on myself. Bro Jan reminded us that God did not make junk. As the song goes, God says, “Child you are.. .more precious than silver. Child you are… more costly than gold. Child you are…more beautiful than diamonds.”

There is also a beautiful article snippet from Kerygma that I want to share with you:

 Those chains that have bound you for so long – you don’t have to settle for those anymore. Jesus has resurrection power to set you free! If you’ll commit yourself to resurrection living, you can confront those monsters from your past that have haunted you and defined you for way too long. You can face those fears, move beyond that bitterness, and throw yourself into doing some things that will last forever!

Tell Jesus that you’re tired of business as usual – that you’ve been settling for a life that’s too small, that’s only as big as you can make it. Sell out to His plans, His power. We stand by Jesus at the empty tomb that He blew away and hear Him say, “Break free from the bondage called ordinary living! Put no limits to the miracles of God in your life and ministry! Attempt big things for God. Dream big dreams. And give nothing less than your all. You’ve got the power – the extraordinary life! This is your calling!

I was really blessed by the talk by Bro Jan and by the sharing of Sister Arci. I wouldn’t spill the rest of the talks in the retreat for the benefit of those who will be joining the May session but I just want to share that the poignant message that I received from God in the retreat is to see myself that way He sees me, to love myself, and forgive myself…because He doesn’t want to allow sin to keep me away from Him. He wants me to be faithful to our covenant because He will never break His promises. 🙂

Friend, you can do nothing about your past, but you can do something about your future – Bro Vic

Here are some of our pics during the retreat. I’m really happy to have made new friends. I have isolated myself ever since I transferred to Manila and often I felt “friendless” because I left my friends in Mindanao. But I know I should also make new ones to fill up my love tank as I continue to cherish and nourish my sweet old friendships. 🙂

Our room at CCT Tagaytay :)

Our room at CCT Tagaytay 🙂

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Aia.. can you be my prayer partner? 🙂

My roommates and new found friends Bambi, Aia, Kaye, and May

My pretty roommates and new found friends Bambi, Aia, Kaye, and May

Mahangin at super ginaw! :)

Mahangin at super ginaw! 🙂

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Celebrate Love!

How was your February 14?

Yesterday, it was Valentines Day for some, but just a plain Thursday for many. During our meeting at The Gathering, we were asked how we spent our Feb 14 day/night. 75% of the group shared that they spent it with their girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband/partner – eating out, praying together, watching movies, or just hanging out together. 25% of the group (including me) shared that it was just an ordinary Thursday (hehe..obviously this answer came from the singles and unattached).

So what exactly is Valentines Day?

I heard someone say that it was a Singles’ Awareness Day. Haha. Others say it’s a day for the lovers. Well, it really just depends on how you see it on your perspective. Although I am not really one of the fans of Valentines Day, I still like the idea of having one day in the calendar for love. However people seem to have forgotten that there are 3 types of love – eros, philial, and agape. Most people think that Valentines Day is only for the lovers (those that fall under eros). That’s why the day is often dreaded by the singles and the brokenhearted.

I could have chosen to feel lonely and depressed because I don’t have a special person in my life right now or because the day just reminds me of broken relationships but I chose to celebrate love on this day! Love for my friends and family, and love for God. I sent texts to my loved ones to let them know that I love them. Although this should be done not only in Valentines Day but because of our busy lives, sometimes we tend to forget this very simple thing. It’s nice that Valentines Day reminds us to be more loving! 🙂

I also celebrated love with God through prayer. It’s so timely because the day before Valentines Day was Ash Wednesday. I am reminded of God’s great love for me and that I should repent for my sins. Even if I’m already active in serving Him through The Feast, I admit that I am still sinful. And there are times when I feel very ashamed of myself, which is exactly what sin does in our life – damage our relationship with God. But I know we should not feel condemned because God still loves us.

So you see, there are endless reasons to celebrate love. So be joyful and be generous of your love. Love is something that is meant to be given away…and it will also come back to you.. 🙂

Just a short message to the single ladies like me (especially to my newfound friend, Kat):
I hope that you feel better and blessed byreading this (and attending The Feast). I know it’s really hard and painful to undergo a heartbreak. It may take time to heal and let go. But I know that this is also the best time for you to get to know yourself more…and more importantly, to know God more. Surround yourself with friends and family…people who really love you for who you are. We may not be able to comprehend it yet, but this heartbreak will make you stronger, and more compassionate. Being single doesn’t equate to being unhappy. Enjoy yourself. Have fun! The Lord says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” 🙂

God bless you sis! Let’s have fun at the Love Life Retreat! See you tomorrow! You inspired me to write this post. Don’t be depressed na… 🙂

New Header Image

I’ve been wanting to change my header image since…forever. haha. And because I wanted to change it sooo bad, I came up with this quick fix. :p

I’ll try to change it when I have better ideas. I just don’t feel artistic now. But since I really want my blog to have a new look, I guess this will have to do for now.

Price of Vanity: Hair Treatments

Last January, I went to Encarnacion salon somewhere in Recto. At first I just intended to have a hair cut but I was convinced by the gay hairdresser to have my hair rebonded. It was easy to convince me because I really had plans of rebonding my hair – but not at their salon. To make the long story short, I agreed to buy their service.

But I was horrified when I saw what happened to my hair – they were sooo dead! It really alarmed me. But the bakla reassured me that my hair would look alive later, after they are done with the  procedure. So I tried to calm myself and silently prayed that I didn’t make a huge mistake to my precious crown of glory. True to his word, my hair did seemed alive – straight and shiny after they ironed it (and my ears, face, forehead too! Grrrr…). My hair looked okay but I knew, deep inside, that I made a terrible and (hopefully not) irreversible damage to it.

After observing it for a month and feeling my hair strands grow rougher each day, I decided to have it treated at David’s Salon. They recommended L’Oreal’s Kerastase Resistance – designed for brittle, very damaged hair, split ends. According to the box, it is made for damaged hair at erosion levels 3 to 4. Whoa! So my hair is that damaged?! It certainly feels and looks so..  😦

I hope this really treats my hair because it’s really expensive for me – the box costs P2,227. That’s a really expensive treatment for a rebond that cost me P800. Argh! As the lady at David’s Salon said, it’s pretty easy to do damage to your hair but a lot harder (and more expensive) to repair.
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Well, that’s a really costly lesson – the price of vanity. My hair wasn’t really that bad in the first place. It just needed some TLC – not rebond! Now I used up 2 months worth of budget for clothes as a tradeoff for these hair expenses.

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January 2013 Assessment

What Worked Well

– body clock is set to wake me up at 6am and doze off at around 10:30 to 11pm
– batch food processing during weekends or at night
– preparing  of weekly wardrobe during Saturdays
– read books (Big John, Women Men Love/Women Men Leave, Head First Design Patterns)
– subscription to Mega250 (Smart’s promo, unlimited texts to all networks and 3hours worth of calls to Smart/TNT/Sun
– called and kept in touch with family and friends
– visited relatives at Rizal
– improvement of service at The Feast by being at the venue at least 45minutes before the start of the mass, allowing ample time to perform duties as an usher
– painted again, triggered by the service at the Awesome Kids Ministry
– started attending CCFM Feast
– tidier and more organized room

Needs Improvement

– morning prayer time is not yet consistent
– more control over impulsive purchases using credit card
– consistency of blogging/Internet usage at home
– gym/jogging/Zumba needs to be done on a regular basis
– planning of healthy meals and snacks
– sticking to the budget
– caring for my hair