Davao: DCCFI and a Buffet of Generosity

(October 2015)

I’ve only been to Davao twice, first time I went there was 1st quarter of this year to judge an audition for a national environmental advocacy pageant for teens and kids. And my 2ndtime was last month, this time it was still for kids, but for cancer patient kids. Working for GAVA Technologies, as a Marketing Associate, my task is to hunt for Charity Foundations that may partner with our generosity mobile app Gift It to make donations easier for them.

One of the foundations my team and I are honored to close partnership with is Davao Children’s Cancer Fund, Inc.. DCCFI is where children with cancer aren’t just mere patients but they are nurtured and treated as family in the House of Hope where they are sheltered and fed during and after their treatment. I have witnessed myself how cancer patients there are being treated with so much significance, how much they are encouraged to live long, strong and healthy through different activities. They have a play room, rooms where they may study, they read Bible stories, they eat together like a big family, and they hang out at the nipa huts and live normally. I’ve also seen how DCCFI keep the parents/guardians of the patients happy and active through a Zumba class which they conduct twice a week. Another thing I won’t forget about DCCFI is their value for sanitation, you’ll see hand sanitizers all over the place which they have implemented for years as part of their health care. They also have a no-shoe policy inside the House of Hope, and I noticed how much they have kept the place clean and orderly which I believe is very beneficial for the kids. Indeed, prevention is better than cure.

Before I went to that trip, I already conditioned myself that I will be serving for I thought it was all purely a business trip. But miraculously, in my 2 days of stay there together with my bosses we were unexpectedly the ones served. Mind you, it wasn’t just a one meal kind of blessing that we received, it was a buffet of surprises and generosity of the Davaoenos that we encountered. DCCFI gave us a warm welcome, they have really nice volunteers and staff, they served us good lunch and afternoon snacks. Dra Mae Dolendo, despite her busy schedule still managed to tour us around the hospital. DCCFI president, Mr.Eric Rubinos and his’ wife also generously spent their time with us and exchanged good conversations. What was shocking to me was the opportunity given to our team to meet Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, thanks to Dra. Mae Dolendo for introducing him to us. The week before I went to Davao I seriously wrote in my prayer request that I wanted a selfie with him. Funny because I didn’t just get a selfie, I got to take a lot of photos with him, my team and I were able to spend 5 compressed hours with him, and his’ friends. He treated us for dinner, and generously shared his’ thoughts, ideas, and stories on how he strategized in changing Davao and how he would like to change the nation. He is my sentimental future president. I see so much integrity, humility and dignity in him.

But wait, there’s more! The night didn’t end with Mayor Duterte’s insightful talk. He invited and toured us at Davao City Hall wherein it was my first time to find out that there is an actual Emergency 911 in the Philippines. He showed us how Davao Security works through the CCTV cameras & and the huge and astonishing tv monitors, we were also able to see their rescue facilities, it felt like watching CSI being in that tour. No wonder why Davao is rated as one of the safest cities in Asia.

After the City Hall tour, we went to Marco Polo for a midnight coffee and chocolate drink for more chitchats and sharing of Davao stories. Before we parted ways, Mayor Duterte asked that we extend our stay and even offered that he’ll take care of our plane tickets and hotel accommodation, but since we couldn’t say yes he just gave us a consolation to his’ offer, which I personally do not consider as a consolation. It was grand. In the afternoon of our 2nd and last day in Davao, he made us ride the chopper to the beautiful island of Samal and treated us buffet lunch.

At night another surprise generosity came to us given by Ms. Fe of Care for the Elderly Foundation, just when we were about to shop for fruits to bring home to Manila, she sent our team each a box of assorted rambutan, lanzones and pomelo fruits. And before we flew back to manila we got a free dinner at an Italian restaurant treated by my boss’ friend, he also courteously brought us to the airport.

Yes, you may call it an overly favored weekend! Who would have thought it all happened in two days, in days you never expected to be given so much generosity by people you do not even know. The Lord really has His’ creative and sneaky ways of blessing us, and that experience encouraged me to give more and to make it normal in my system. Receiving favors made me feel really delighted but I’m sure those who blessed me and my team were even more joyful and fulfilled for nothing beats a generous heart.

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Appreciating Women ;)

  1. Spontaneous bike ride with my coustrend (cousin-sister-friend) Jazmin, and best friends since high school Quennie and Patricia A.
  2. With Ate Monica, Kris and Kris’ discipleship group during Leaders’ Appreciation day in our church
  3. Sunday catch up over dessert and prayer time before worship service with Patricia E.
  4. Photo-sesh with Quennie at the wall of a pizza place hehe
  5. My NFF (new found friends) Issa and Micah, while working at a coffee shop
  6. With sweet and pretty Aya for a video shoot
  7. With Janelle, Miss Ann and Issa for a video shoot
  8. and 9. More photos with Quennie 🙂

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And a photo with my Monday Fellowship Group 🙂

It’s been weeks of spending lots  of quality time with WOMEN. You’d probably ask, “So? What’s the big deal?”. Well, to me, it is a huge matter. I’m used to being around women naman, I have a lot of girl friends, pero before was a bit different. There’d be times when I would find it soooo hard communicating myself with other women, and understanding them too, it was caused mostly by my insecurities. I would feel awkward opening up to them, I’d only pick a few I could share my life to not because they’re the only ones I trust but because it wasn’t easy for me to open myself up to others. I had the fear of getting judged. I was imprisoned by the ‘image mentality’ I invented in my head which is a total nonsense. I’d build walls, choose my friends, distant myself. There would be times though that I want to befriend and get close with just any woman but intimidation and hesitation would eat me up.

In high school, most of my friends/classmates I’d consider as my closest friends were men. I had a guy best friend, na tipong kausap ko palagi over the phone -aka- telebabad na umaabot ng midnight, and I became close with a few more na guys din. My thinking kasi before was with men walang competition, walang arte, I wouldn’t feel judged with whatever stories I’d share. Pero grabe what the Lord made me comprehend recently. I am now able to recognize that the idea of me being more close with guy friends (because I thought that’s just the way I am) was a lie. See, ang kasinungalingan and walang sense na mga bagay begin in the cranium talaga most of the time. So pray that we’ll be sharp and careful with what we impose to ourselves. In my case, I covered up the truth of me being fearful and insecure with the stupid idea na guys ang closest friends ko.

Now na naliberate na ako sa TRUTH that I can enjoy my friendship with women pala, I’m super dooper delighting in it! As in. Honestly, parang this year ko lang talaga naappreciate my friendship with women, ang saya pala. Walang hassle kasi you can hang anywhere public/private and hindi ka maiissue that you have a ‘thing’ or you’re ‘dating’ the other person, no need to guard my heart, I can share whatever I wanna share to them! And they would understand me way better than a man would. Sorry if ang cheesy ko ah, pero I really am just happy now that I’m getting even more close with my girl friends, with the right perspective this time. Parang ang dami ko din kasing possible friendship na nasayang dahil sa crooked beliefs ko before so I’m making it up to the friendships that could be formed and elevated.

It’s not that I’m not going to keep any guy friends anymore, I just simply don’t want to have any guy best friend unless he will be my FUTURE HUSBAND. Medyo madami na din kasi akong naging atraso sa future husband ko (because of the weird friendships I built with men) kaya now is the perfect time for me to make bawi para naman worth it for him to wait for me, diba? The Preserved & Reserved for the One who Deserves Movement! Nux. Hahaha. I’m serious though. 😉

Going back, so this is one of the many new things Jesus has taught and granted my life. Ibang klase talaga mga realizations with the Lord. Common sense kung tutuusin pero dahil nga sinful nature tayo, grace lang talaga Nya ang makakapag-correct ng mga palpak/fail na bagay in this crazy planet. Haiii Lord, buti nalang mahal mo ako! I love you too! ❤

And thank you for the gift of friendship and womanhood! 😀

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. -Proverbs 15:22

Not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:25

 

A job I don’t complain about

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Yay! An answered prayer this week! I’ve been praying for gigs because I’ve missed modeling, and I’m thankful that He gave me one immediately. The day before I went to the taping of My Fair Lady, a show in TV5, I was very excited and I prayed for so much grace and energy because I knew I was only going to get a few hours of sleep, I slept at 1AM, woke up at 4AM for a 6AM calltime in Novaliches, the taping was packed up at about 2AM the next day. I practically worked for almost 24 hours but I couldn’t complain. I asked for it. Plus, I highly enjoyed doing it.

I played as a model for a fashion show competition of Jasmine Curtis.

FullSizeRender 4It was my first time to wear a wedding gown for a show, and it was really heavy! I hope my future marriage will give me the opposite feeling. Hehe.  FullSizeRender 5

The awkward bride’s smile. 😀

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At the dressing room with my co-models and Phoemela Beranda, playing as the show’s host.

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I’ll be very honest here, since my entire blog is themed as a “no pressure” blog, what I meant with no pressure is to “be still”, and with being still comes being comfortable, being yourself, knowing what you want, doing it, and trusting Him above all on areas in my life that may still be a blur. I kind of appreciate my writing now, despite the inconsistencies of my feelings, I still feel accurate and positive about this page because I know He’s the One mentoring and molding me as I write and release all these ideas and thoughts.

So here’s the highlight of my honesty. (That was a long introduction hahaha). It has always been my dream to be in the show business industry. And this time, I’m sure that I really want it. And I won’t be shy about it anymore. I don’t know if a big break will ever come but at this moment, I am okay doing tiny gigs like this one. I want to perform well at whatever will be on my plate. I want to observe and learn more things, of course not just on the aspect of entertainment but also on the spiritual side of it. I always-always-and-FOREVER believe that God is the orchestrator of everything, my shows and gigs are always on His’ call. It’s up to Him to give and take away.

Point is, I guess if He will give me my beauty queen dreams, I’d definitely be glad. If He wants me to be an actress, that’s fine too. Or maybe to be a movie director, a scriptwriter, a marketing manager, I won’t complain. I like any of it – – – for as long a s I have His’ peace and His’ joy, for His’ Name’s sake, I’ll do it!

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful. – John 14:27

Wow. Such a treasure statement! It’s like a password to success, a cracked code! He does not give what the world gives. He’s the only one capable of handing us peace, serenity, tranquility! So there’s no more rushing in running after our dreams, no more short cuts, or even complacency. We just keep our eyes on Him, trust His’ timing, follow His’ ways, and we will never complain about our lives. We won’t be troubled or fearful. We just do our part, and do it the best way we can to GIVE HIM GLORY.

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So yeah. This is a job I ultimately cannot and do not complain about: to enjoy His’ gloriousness in my life and see it in the lives of the ones I love and the people He makes me encounter each and every single day. To have this peace in my heart, be always grateful and thankful for the blessings He has for me. Even in the long periods of waiting, I will hear Him, I will see things beautifully, I will actively and passionately be pursuing Him and searching for Him in every task I get, because I can do all things through CHRIST who STRENGTHENS ME. You can too! We are all given the same privilege, go ahead take & enjoy yours! Take Christ! ❤

Yes, she’s getting married! — & No, she’s not pregnant ;)

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Last Saturday, I attended (my cousin-in-law in 4days) Ate Jheck’s surprise bridal shower in Malayan Hotel, Ortigas. It was my 2nd time to attend a bridal shower and I find it really enthusing. What charmed me even more aside from her friends and family exerting so much effort on the room’s DIY decors are the beautiful & honoring words I heard them say about the bride-to-be.

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Top 3 things they mentioned about her that struck me the most:

  1. She has strong faith in the Lord – Proverbs 31:30 says that charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lordis to be praised. I think what makes a woman ready for marriage is the truth that she acknowledges God being the Lord, Master & Savior of her life, cause even if we would sometimes feel like we are inadequate for a life endeavor, if we sincerely believe that we can do all things through Jesus Christ, then we’ll be just fine! Ate Jheck lost her dad a few years ago and found out that her mom had cancer months after her dad died. It was a very painful season for her but she didn’t give up in her faith. She fought for her mom’s life, accompanied her during check ups & chemotherapy. The doctors would tell her that her mom only had 6months to live, but she declared “Ma, hindi sila Diyos” – – this very line, as Ate Jheck’s mom narrated it, brought us to tears. I see Proverbs 31:36 right there! She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She believed that the Lord could heal her mom, and right now, her mom is alive and very healthy. Once again, thanks to our Jehovah Rapha, our God who heals.
  2. She loves her family so much – Almost everyone mentioned this! Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and mother so that you may live long in the Land the Lord your God is giving you.”
  3. YES, she’s getting married–& NO, she’s not pregnant. To get married out of love is becoming a bit of a rare case in this day and age. The world would encourage the couples’ society to make babies first, try out living in and see if it works, and get married after all the trial and error were made. Bible says marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure. I’m very delighted that my cousin, Kuya Teban and Ate Jheck managed to have the audacity to enter the covenant of marriage—not cause they are already expecting a baby, but simply cause they love each other. Proverbs 18:22 says: He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD. And so they are favored! 🙂

I’m very excited on how the Lord will prosper the marriage of my cousins, on how He will abundantly bless them. They say married life can get tough, but again, we can do all things through Christ! Let’s never underestimate what He can do in making us ready and excellent in our roles as we choose the path of obedience and faith.

For single parents, unmarried couples staying together, and even the ones being convicted to get out of a “living in” situation… don’t ever lose hope. Nothing is ever too late with Jesus. Silence and humble yourselves, hear out what He has to tell you. And ask for the grace and the courage to do what’s good, pleasing and perfect in His’ eyes. And you will surely be blessed. 😉

How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to Your WordI seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:9-11

How Does One Become Beautiful

FullSizeRender 4FullSizeRender 3FullSizeRenderAbout a month ago in a judging stint I had for a pageant, I suddenly had a thought in my head I nonchalantly opened up to my pageant mentor. I told him: “It’s so easy to look physically beautiful, it can be done in two hours, but what takes so much effort is to be beautiful inside”. He agreed with me and said, “Yes, because attitude is something no one can conceal, it’ll show no matter how much you try to hide it.”

I find physical and visual beauty as something easily manipulated. I learned and studied it when I entered pageantry. I was educated how to put make up on, dress up, walk gracefully, smile all the time and be the center of attention. I can still recall how God has favored me back in 2013, when a lot of people were rooting for me in a national pageant. Almost every pageant enthusiast I would meet would tell me how powerful my look was during the pageant screening. But I too can recall how calculated, rehearsed and planned my every move was. I knew I was doing a superficial “job” while having deep thoughts on the purpose of all that I’m doing. There was one event in the pageant when I showed up with no make up on, and it was posted on social media, many reacted nicely, and there were also a lot of negative comments.

Perspective, that’s what I saw right there! People will always have their own viewpoint on how beauty should be. There are broad avenues and angles on how it is defined. And most of the time, each person would consider their opinion as the ultimate standard. Which leads me to a realization, if people have their own perspective on beauty, then I can have mine too!

Biblically, it says that beauty shall not be based on outward adornment, it’s not seen in jewelries and clothing. I agree with this. The people I find most attractive aren’t really the ones who put as much make up as I do when I do pageant stuff. Perfect example are my friends and spiritual mentors: Tita Iris Nanez and April Tolentino. I see them becoming more and more beautiful the longer I know them. They’re very simple, they do not wear false eye lashes on but I see such glow in their eyes that brings joy in me. It is surely their unconcealed gentleness and quietness of spirit I find very captivating.

But hey, I also learned that security in inner beauty is not an excuse for us not to physically take care of ourselves. Women may also exert an effort to be attractive and presentable. There’s nothing wrong with looking visually pretty and dressing up because we are tasked to take care of our bodies, for it’s where the Lord’s Spirit resides.

What I am improving most about myself now is the inside beauty. I want to be friendlier, nicer, gentle and pleasant. I want to be sincere at doing all these and I know that the formula begins within. I believe I’m able to do them: (1) Whenever I get to spend enough time praying and seeking the Lord first before I open my mails and social media sites; (2) Whenever I read my Bible, my week has been so peaceful, part of it is cause I was comforted as I meditate on His’ promises in Psalm; (3) Whenever I am able to reach out and pray for someone and (4) When all these are consistently occurring.

The formula to being pretty inside out isn’t as complicated as we think it is. It only becomes complicated when we do not ENDURE -aka- PERSEVERE in being it. Galatians 6:9 says: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Let us not give up on thriving to be beautiful on the inside, I say thriving because we are being perfected from glory to glory, we are already victorious having Jesus in our lives so we no longer strive, we thrive!!!

Stay pretty!!! ❤ 🙂

GIFT IT: Change the way you Gift

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What’s crucial and complicated in this day and age is sometimes we are obliged to promote something because it’s our job to do so, even if we are not really convinced of a certain “claim”, “brand” or “product”, we do promote them because it is part of our job. But I’m not really like that, I’m stubborn and meticulous when it comes to sharing and promoting something. Many times, I would be asked to share/post stuff on Instagram/Facebook but I won’t do it because I do not see an eternal value to what I am being asked to post. I highly believe that you cannot promote anything you do not believe in. You shouldn’t. You will most likely end up lost and confused if you believe in a lot of things, you miss your vision and mission in life, your feeds get flooded with just whatever the world presents to you. That’s why I rub in “eternal value” right here, for it is my standard of promotion and marketing. Sadly, there are a lot of viral things in our world today that are highly marketed without eternal value.

I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to work for a company that (I personally believe) has an eternal cause, GAVA Technologies Inc. is a mobile app factory that has birthed a brilliant app called GIFT IT.

TO CREATE A CULTURE OF GIFTING,
Gift it APP TAKES ADVANTAGE OF TECHNOLOGY
TO MAKE GIFTING MORE MEANINGFUL AND FRIENDLY.

Gift it enables someone to give to Charity, Friend, or Self using personalized campaigns. Gift campaigns can be items from online shops or charitable programs from subscribed foundations. More than a social gifting app, Gift it encourages families and friends to make a difference, to be just better people… together.

The vision of the app is to help more people help more people.

Gift It may be downloaded very soon in the App Store. Be privileged to choose the foundation program/s closest to your hearts! There are causes for Calamities, Animals, Cancer Patients, Child Care, Community, Education, Elderly Care, Environment, Health & Sanitation, Humanitarian, Livelihood, Medical Assistance, Rehab Assistance and Women.

I believe in generosity, in thoughtfulness, in giving. I believe in it because I have witnessed and experienced it, myself from the Ultimate Giver of all good things. For God so loved the world that He gave His’ One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have an eternal life. Such an underrated truth! And just like the truth of Jesus Christ dying to free us from our sins, is also a truth that a lot of people need our generosity, Gift It app is created as a perfect medium for us to exercise our generous muscles.

Let’s Gift together!

For foundation referrals, you may email: mktg@giftitapp.net

Stay tuned for more updates, like GIFT IT on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/giftitapp1/

Follow GIFT IT on Instagram and Twitter: @giftit_app

http://www.giftitapp.net

Season: Sick, Healed and Restored

So I thought It was just a regular fever, I was wrong. I had DENGUE FEVER. And for lack of a better word, well, dengue is a b*tch, excuse my impoliteness. It was a 1 week sick ride. My on and off fever started on Saturday, had my check up and confirmed it was dengue Wednesday morning, went to 3 different hospitals near my area only to find out they couldn’t admit me because the rooms are full and most of the cases of the patients’ sickness are the same as mine. I went to Medical City but after an hour of waiting for laboratory tests, they advised me to go home because my platelet count increased (cause of the Tawa-Tawa tea I drank according to my Yaya’s theory). But the morning later it gone worse, I got red spots allover my body, really bad head & stomach ache, and heavy eyes. These are some of the symptoms of dengue. Thursday afternoon, I finally got admitted to Lourdes Hospital in Manila, referred by my boss who also had her child admitted there because of the disease.

Let me tour you to how a single mosquito bite crazily inflicted and affected my life for a week:

So these were the spots I had. I also had some on my legs.
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In the emergency room, feeling sad.

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Thank God I’m not that afraid of multiple injections, they had to get my blood samples a lot of times to monitor my platelet count. They call it complete blood count aka CBC test.

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In the Xray room, had my chest examined.

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I thought ultrasound was just for pregnant women, they had to do this to me because my stomach ache wouldn’t go away. They found out that my gallbladder expanded which they assumed was effect of dengue, but they said normally it should’ve been the liver that’s affected.

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And so they injected this antibiotic into my dextrose.

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My thoughts were going wild on my 1st night in the hospital. I was getting paranoid and I couldn’t help but ask God why He was allowing that sickness to happen to me. My emotion was eating me up, thinking about the hospital bills, the things I’m missing out at work, my family, my diet plans that I would mess up and a whole lot of crazy worries which apparently weren’t from the Lord. One night as I do my devotion, I believe the Holy Ghost pointed me to this verse: “May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13. I don’t know, but for some reason I felt empowered when I read and meditated on this passage. Plus, He gave me practical reasons to hope. I have my prayer warriors, Kris, Ate Mitch, Alyanna, Tita Iris, Ate Monica, Issa, Miss Ann and more! My family in the USA and in Singapore are providing for my hospital bills, while my Tita Naning lend me an advance fee.

My beloved yaya, Ate Tas took care of me from day1 until I got discharged. She was my entertainer, my runner, my personal nurse, my prayer partner! I love her!

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Who said I wouldn’t be able to have a Halloween Costume Party this year? Surprise! Steffi and Tasha visited me in cutie Batman and Snake costume. They brought some donuts and prayed for me.

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Ate Mitch and Kuya Em also came to visit and passionately prayed for me. We even had a small Bible Study session, they shared to me today’s church preaching on having JOY by choosing to be led by the Spirit and pursuing righteousness. I also miraculously felt the Spirit’s healing when Ate Mitch touched my stomach, the heavy pain I had disappeared when she laid her hands on me, as in gone, no more, and I could breathe well now. I have never experienced Jesus Christ this way before. In this season, He is my Jehovah-Rapha, indeed! And what moved me with the prayer of Kuya Em, that’s been impressed to him by the Lord: that I do not have to do anything, neither to prove anything, that I can simply delight in His’ presence, that I just need to continue to seek Him first and all shall be added unto me. It was an amazing reminder, and it really liberated my heart and my mind from thinking too much. I am full of joy. I love this couple!

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Next, came my beautiful-clever-cheesy-cousin! And she also came with a surprise! It’s overwhelming. =’)

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Some of the blessings I received in my season of being healed from dengue and being healed in Spiritual and Emotional aspects weren’t captured by the camera. Like my Kuya JP and Kuya Loi’s efforts, my family who didn’t stop interceding for me, my Crazy/Beautiful and Fellowship Viber groups. And more and more things I wanna share, like my birthed desire in praying for the sick because I have experienced suffering from sickness myself. And I have graciously learned to rejoice and be glad in it.

Maybe this is what they call the unexplainable joy. I want to own and inflict this for the whole month of November, for the rest of the year and for the rest of my life.

“And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” Mark 5:34 It shall be done according to my faith. I am healed and restored in the name of Jesus. 🙂