Dhaka, Bangladesh 🇧🇩

Whoever says Dhaka isn’t a good idea, baka naman kailangan mo lang bigyan ng chance? I think most (if not all) of the crew who’ve been here na nakausap ko regarding their feedback on the place told me that there’s nothing special about it. Pero in my head, it couldn’t be that way, there’s always something special about the diversity of the Lord’s creation. Sa eroplano pa lang on the way to the Dhaka, God made me realize by just looking at the passengers that we all are made differently yet beautifully, diba nga when He created Adam and Eve, He said it was very good.

I was told too that the place is a little scary and not that attractive for touring. Well again, in my head, shouldn’t every place we’ve never been to be enough reason for us to tour? Or fine, maybe lakwatchera lang talaga ako. To be honest, medyo sketchy yung area outside the hotel I stayed in (La Meridian Hotel), but I decided to give it a shot, (traveling mercies!), checked out some places nearby, buti nalang game din ang flying partner ko to go out.

So medyo nag-OOTD kami. Wore those colourful floral abaya-ish dress we got from Jeddah for 5SAR (Saudi Riyals) na 65 pesos lang each when you convert to Philippine peso. The dresses were perfect cause Bangladesh is a muslim country, but unlike Saudi Arabia, we weren’t required naman to wear abaya and tarha. We also braided our hair, but hey, remember what it says on 1 Peter 3:3? “Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes.” So dapat as Christians, we should care more about our inner selves, okay? We should desire to be gentle and quiet in Spirit more than anything else cause that’s what’s precious in God’s eyes. That’s why I’m trying to be careful also with shopping, I pray talaga this year that I don’t purchase things I do not need, cause it could be really tempting to just buy whatever, I think alam ng mga flight attendant yan everywhere in the world. That’s why Frey and I were so happy na super mura lang yung dresses namen hahaha. And in all honesty, we try to develop our relationship with God more through Bible reading and prayers. Yes, I’m proud to say that we continually pray together and study the Bible. Sabi ko nga, lahat ng relationships that I will invest my time & energy on, I want to be intentional in making Christ the center, cause pointless talaga kung hindi naman Sya yung reason and purpose ng lahat ng bagay.

Going back to our tour in Dhaka, it was awesome. I would say that people here are helpful, not only cause I stayed in a hotel and they were obliged to accommodate me, but ang blessed ko sa encounters ko, some guy in the airport helped me with my luggage, nice din yung guy na nagtitinda sa clothing store here called “Zara” — I noticed too na magaling makipag small talk mga tao dito. Hehe.

My highlight would be the rickshaw (bike) driver who toured us around the area, sobrang baet nya, he said he’d tour us anywhere and he doesn’t care how much we pay him, we told him we could only give 50 taka for the entire tour and he okayed to it. In fairness, now ko lang naconvert 30pesos lang yun. Shux! Ang kapal ng mukha namin. But hey, cause he was such a good and unassuming tour guide, and went extra mile talaga with his job, we gave him more than the amount we promised, I won’t tell anymore how much but God knows. Hehe. His name by the way is Mr. Abdul Islam, super nice sya and in fairness ang galing nya mag-english.

After the tour, I was able to tell him that Jesus loves him so much, and we had a short prayer with him. Mehhhn, if only I could tell that to every person I encountered here, grabeeee. Naiiyak ako. I’m praying for his salvation.

Anyway. I gotta go, will fly back to my home base in a few hours. Sorry medyo rush ‘tong blog na ‘to. I will definitely go back here and explore some more. Thank You Jesus for such a gracious Dhaka experience!

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Dear False Lover (Part 2)

Dear False Lover (2),

Hi. Nope, you didn’t expect me to write you for the 2nd time. But I did. Surprise. Hindi ko sinasabayan ang mga stats and year end posts ng mga tao just cause it’s New Year, hindi din hyped yung emotions ko. In fact, pakiramdam ko mas matino na ako mag-isip ngayon. More reasonable than emotional. Emotional: on that note, I’m still a work in progress. Kaya thank God pa din, dahil may progress.

Medyo matagal na din since I last wrote you Dear False Lover (1), May of 2016. It’s been a year and a half. Madami ng nangyari sakin, and I’m sure sayo din. I’m sure? Well yes, cause I’d still check your Instagram once in a while. Not to weigh kung may nararamdaman pa ako para sayo, matagal na natin tinapos kung ano man yung meron tayo. Normal lang naman siguro maging curious paminsan-minsan.

So what’s the point? Why would I write you another letter? Well, eto na. I noticed that my first letter to you was too heavy. Parang galit na galit dahil sa sobrang sakit and sobrang bigat as if I was the only victim sa pag cameo natin sa buhay ng isa’t isa. Eh parehas lang naman tayong biktima ng sin, ni Satan. I noticed too that I blamed it all to you. I don’t even remember kung humingi na ba ako ng tawad sayo. So that’s the purpose of me writing you again, para mag-sorry.

I’m deeply sorry that my heart was full of pain and pride at the same time. I’m sorry I had to go through the process of healing, along with that involved me hating you. I didn’t acknowledge my sin. I was insecure. I was motivated by selfishness. I was desperate. I was a false lover myself. I was lost. Kaya sobrang sorry cause I blamed you for the sin I chose to make. Gusto ko din sabihin that I’ve already forgiven you. Kapal naman ng mukha ko if I wouldn’t forgive, kung si God nga napatawad ako sa dami ng kasalanan ko.

Hindi ako naniwala na time heals, I believe only Jesus can absolutely do that. Or maybe He heals in His’ time? Pero yun nga, Jesus heals. It took me a while to digest all these. But I’m grateful I reached this point. I’m grateful I’m able to finally say sorry, forgive you, and myself. Sana napatawad mo na din ako.

Ang saya ko to start the year with this blog. Kasi diba makakapagsimula lang naman tayo ng maayos at tama kung mapayapa yung heart natin. The Father’s forgiveness through the Son set me free. Forgiveness is always freeing, it’s always the key to true healing. Easier said than done. Pero legit. I can attest now, totoo. I’m free. Plus, I can’t really consider myself a Christian kung wala sa sistema ko ang pagpapatawad at paghingi ng tawad.

Alam mo yung song na Grace Changes Everything ng Victory Worship?

“There’s no sin too great

There’s no pain too deep

The cross declares it is done

There’s no shame too real

That His love won’t heal

Forever the victory is won”

It is finished. Christ took it all, the pain, the shame, the anger, the pride in my heart, the bitterness, my sin. The old is gone, the new has come. Kaya again, I’m sorry, my brother in Christ.

O sya. Yun lang. Praying for grace upon grace upon grace sa buhay mo. God bless you!

Sincerely,

(Insert Name)

Mali, mali. Isa pa.

Sincerely,

Ria