A Travellerspoint blog

The trio adventures: moving forward


I went to the office early today to finish a report that was due. It just so happened that Bratty and Madam were at work so we all went to eat together (I’m only allowed to eat during non-work hours. But BJ just mentioned the Daniel fasting, which I could do too).

It has been a long time since we were out to ourselves. We were always with L&D peeps, and it’s hard to catch up with so many distractions.

Bratty’s baby girl will be baptized in a few weeks. Madam is getting her new car in a few days (RIPrufus, we love you). I guess the bigger topic today was my new stand on faith.

In fairness to us, the conversation was light. I never felt questioned, like when other people ask me about these changes. I guess it has been our comfort level that made us talk about stuff without pretensions. I heard the usual questions, and oohs and aahs and laughter but not with judgment. It was trying to understand what I was going through.

So I told them about Baguio, and my pact at the Bell Amphitheatre. And we talked more about that than anything else. It was nice because they were thinking of things they shouldn’t call me anymore. Being realistic about it, we all agreed this will be difficult. But not without their support.

I hope that we will still have more adventures. I never invited them to church because I know that they have their own way of serving God.

I just know that things will be different, but I know that the friendship will stay. I may not be coffeesupestah anymore, but changing faith does not mean I’ll leave the trio behind. This is one blessing that I am more than thankful for.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 00:29 Archived in Philippines Tagged trio_adventures Comments (0)

My soul’s travels: Genesis 33:1-4


“1Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants. 2 He put the female servants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear. 3 He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.
4 But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.”

I don’t know what the backstory here is, but the author of my reading plan mentioned that at some point Jacob betrayed his brother, Esau. The beauty of this story is that, there were no words said when the brothers met for the first time again, but their actions spoke of love, humility and forgiveness.

Jacob, bowing down to the ground, and Esau, running towards his brother and embracing him. How often does this happen? Forgiveness without trying to analyze and question why. That’s not who I am, but I guess that’s what I should be.

This morning, I had the chance to talk to someone whom I haven’t spoken with for a long time after some misunderstanding, but I didn’t. Maybe it was because I didn’t want to dampen the happy mood that everyone had that time. I was ready, but I didn’t. Did I have to talk to her? Did I have to explain my side and let her explain hers? Do we owe each other an explanation of what happened? I wish it were that easy.

But I could’ve done it. I could’ve just smiled at her and acknowledged her.

Weeks ago I had another walk out moment with a good friend. Things are going back to normal for us. On the outside, it seems like nothing ever happened. The constant struggle for me is that there’s always this little voice inside my head that pushes me to ask questions. Every time. What I do is mute it. Because I don’t deserve the drama. There are things that should be left unsaid. This could be good practice. So the next time I encounter anyone I severed ties with, it would be easy to just smile, nod and walk away.

I pray Father, that You open my heart to the people that I have wronged, or have wronged me. Grant me with humility and strength to banish my pride. I pray that at the next time I see a friend I have turned my back on, I will be able to swallow my pride and say hi without trying to rationalize what had happened. Let me remember when You forgave us for all our sins, and sacrificed Your own Son so that we may be saved. Open my eyes to what the true definitions are of love, humility and forgiveness; according to Your Word and Your will.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 01:26 Archived in Philippines Tagged soul_travels Comments (0)

My soul’s travels: Philippians 4:13


I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.

I recently failed something I was sure I could pass with flying colors. I never failed anything similar to this. At the moment I received the news about this failure, I felt weak. I wanted to cry and ask why.

It took me a few hours to realize the failure was something imminent. I just ignored the other factors. I was a proud man. I thought I could always be the best. But I failed this one.

So I had to turn to what I thought would help me cope with failure, I searched for a verse. Luckily, I found Philippians 4:13.

At the time I felt weak and disappointed, I was told by the Bible to stick with Him. And I should. Another person may have done something radical. Or I may have questioned God. But I could not question Him.

I am sorry that I could not elaborate much on the matter. But all I can say is, with defeat or disappointment, God and His word will always be there to shed light on our concerns. It may seem impossible to get over these things, but God’s message is consistent. Anything is possible with Him, if we only trusted in Him.

I pray, father, that in light if what recently happened, I will be able to get through this, with Your help, and Your Word. Remind me always that with You, anything is possible. Remind me that despite this failure, I am Your son that You bless with many other things. Thank You, for being a loving God and a compassionate Father.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 02:24 Archived in Philippines Tagged soul_travels Comments (0)

My soul’s travels: Joshua 6:2-5


"Then the Lord said to Joshua, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams' horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”"

I have heard this verse from our “Ako, Ikaw, Tayo” series at church. Imagine this, you are about to wage war with a walled city and all God wanted you to do was march noisily around the area. How will the walls collapse? How will we be able to get into the city? It takes a lot of trust to carry this task out. But the walls did collapse. There are times that I feel a task is impossible without even considering the task itself. The key is to surrender any doubts. I didn’t feel that I will be able to do a good job at work a year ago, but my boss said I was doing a great job. I didn’t think I would be able to train in a virtual set-up, but it is now something I look forward to every month.

There are a lot of things that seem pointless, but God has these plans set up for us not just because. There are things that He doesn’t explain right away, as if testing if we trust His plans for us.

Complete surrender is difficult when the future is hazy. Nobody will do something he is unsure of, unless he has faith. And every day of our lives, our faith is tested.

I pray, Father, that in every day of my life, I will be able to hold on to my faith with every decision I make. Let me remember your promise to Joshua, and how You delivered Your promise to Him. Lord, with You, anything is possible. And that’s a fact that I should completely believe in. Remove any doubts in my heart, and let my faith seep in and take over.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 02:24 Archived in Philippines Tagged soul_travels Comments (0)

My soul’s travels: Romans 12:2


"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will."

(It has been my struggle to have quiet time on a daily basis. During the small group, I asked Rye to pray that I can diligently write about the verses that I read every day. I am still following the Living the Surrendered Life reading plan, which was supposedly only for 21 days. So here goes.)

Every Christian returning to His flock may have encountered this verse at one time. For a long time, I was on the other side, enjoying the frivolities of being a sinner. I hung out with people that I thought were fun and fabulous. It was at my most quiet times that I realized life was more than booze and parties.

It took me a couple of weeks after reading the Purpose Driven Life before I finally resolved that I had to redirect my mindset and my heart to Him, to start walking with Him again, so I can live a worthy life. When I joined the small group at church, I began hearing stories about struggles of other people and I found that I had a good life, I only lived it the wrong way. One by one, I was able to see how God could really work in my life. It was cool to see how I was just praying for something and in a couple of days, He would show me an answer.

I am excited about the future. A few weeks back, I was just a skeptic who read the PDL to see what was in store. Now, I am slowly turning into a new person. Imagine how the next year would be. There’s a lot in store for me, whatever His will is. I always say “I can’t imagine myself doing this or that” but I ended up doing some of those things.

God will give His promise, especially if I believe, if I have strong faith. But aside for those things that I pray for, I know He has some secret surprises in store for me. Like Abraham, there may be plans or requests that God may ask of me, and all I have to do is trust Him.

I pray Father, that I may successfully complete this transformation, so I can see how meaningful life is with You. Continue to remind me how Your way is the way I should live my life. Please open my eyes whenever I’m blinded by the enemy to give in to his lies and temptations. Arm me with Your Word, and fill my heart with Your grace. Let me be a testament to how powerful Your Word and love is.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 02:22 Archived in Philippines Tagged soul_travels Comments (0)

The VG adventures: the camera man


I barely had sleep on Saturday night. Slept around 11ish and woke up at 5am the next day. That was bad because we were going to be at church almost the whole day. Anyway, I met Rye around 9am and we were at church by 9:30am. This was his second time to go to Victory, and I prayed the previous week that he will decide to join us. It worked. When we got there, I introduced him to some churchmates. Derrick was nowhere to be found haha. He overslept because he was awake until 3am, I think. So Ryan and I sat with the others.

It was my first time to sit in front of the stage. It was weird, in a good way. I guess sitting at the back was really different, being up close had a nice effect while listening to the preaching.

The series this week will last for 4 weeks; it’s about the end times, and what the Bile says about it. As an opening, there were some truths that were discussed, and many failed predictions were shown too. For those who are curious about the preachings, there are actually podcasts out there. You can also go to www.victory.org.ph.

After service, Rye, Ian and I ate at Wooden Spoon. (Ian’s a nurse at the government hospital and is probably the most emotionally-driven among us when sharing experiences.) This resto is by Sandy Daza. At 700 pesos, we had kare kare (very nice, lean cuts with few veggies and awesome bagoong), lechon kawali (fried to a right crisp and three dips: Mang Tomas, shredded ginger and one that I didn’t bother trying again) and crispy fried chicken. The servings were all good for two-three people. It was perfect for group lunch/dinner and the interior was mostly white walls with a few paintings and very comfy furniture. There must be three floors in all, I just didn’t like the spiral staircase. Makes me queasy all the time.

By 1pm we were at Red Mango for the small group meeting. Claude was still in Singapore and Jobo was taking the bar exams so it was just me, Derrick, Ian, Christian, James (not sure) and BJ. Kriz had family lunch. Lory slept, I think. Lolay attended a wedding.

The main thing we talked about was faith being separated from emotions. It was more about understanding God’s word and then emotions can come from that. I was glad that Rye stayed for the small group. He was able to see how the group shared their thoughts and also prayed for one another. I also gave him my PDL. I think it was time I let go of it so another person can benefit from it. Hopefully Rye can get something out of it too.

After that, we went to Bonchon where Derrick ate. Rye had to go home to sleep, and the rest of us went to Moonleaf. Again, wintermelon tea. We played Monopoly Deal while waiting for the 4pm prod call time. Note to self: study Monopoly Deal.

By 4pm, we were back at Regis. I was tasked to be at camera 2. It wasn’t really that hard. We all had headsets so we can get instructions from Kriz. It was just tiring to stand for an hour and a half, I guess.
And there was this constant fear of falling of the stool/whatever you called that wooden thing I was standing on.

Being an observer of the service was a new experience. It was nice to see what happened when my eyes were not closed. Also, there were meetings before and after the service so we were able to mingle with other members of the different ministries. Maybe I can do it again in the next few weeks.

There was dinner after the 6pm service, but I had to go home. I was dead tired, but happy.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 02:22 Archived in Philippines Tagged vg_adventures Comments (0)

The mahjongera sessions: the last time


This will be the last time in a long while that the mahjongeras will be complete. One is busy with work, one just formed a new relationship, well, two of us are starting to go back to church. Although I have a new outlook in life, I cannot just turn my back on them. They have been there for me through the worst of times. My ultimate goal is to hopefully minister on them, one down, two more to go.

So we all agreed to have breakfast on Saturday, after our shift. We met in North Park, Makati Ave. Mike and Rye were there when I arrived. And oh, I took the MRT, and I’m not gonna do that soon again. Too crowded and lots of walking involved.

I ordered the white chicken with shredded ginger and light wanton noodles. I am not sure if the chicken was just steamed or fried, but it went well with the sweet sauce and shredded ginger. It’s not something that I get to try every day.

The conversations were fun as usual. Everything that I had to forget, I asked that day. There’s no way I’m bringing them up again.

After breakfast, we went to Moonleaf in The Columns for some dose of milk tea. Mike had to go back to work, so it was just me, Rye and Burn.

The place was cozy and huge, for a milk tea place. A resto would have been better situated there, but with the milk tea craze, the space was not an issue. Burn got a macaron, not that amazing. I ordered my usual, wintermelon, and yes, there’s really no difference in taste. I’ve tried Infinitea, Serenitea, Gong Cha, Cha Dao, Moonleaf, Tea Spot and they’re all the same.

Most of our conversations were about me and the church. I am more comfortable talking to them about church now. I think I even shared a verse with them (James 1:19) and well, I guess it was a bit fun talking about it with them.

After that, we all went home. But in the afternoon I had to meet Rye, because he needed to go to Greenhills and buy a second phone while his iPhone4 is in the Globe service center. We still don’t know why his phone is broken though.

He got a 3GS for the meantime, while I traded in my Galaxy Ace for a Galaxy S1. My iPhone4 will have to stay at home most of the time now. 

Rye and I had to go home after eating at Everything at Steak (where I got rib-eye steak in mushroom gravy sauce with chorizo carbonara on the side). I was dead tired and had to get sleep for the next day was going to be a busy day at church.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 02:21 Archived in Philippines Tagged mahjongera_sessions Comments (0)

a real travel post: the next adventure... where???


so. looks like there will be no adventure for October. i don't want to get budget from my savings that i just started. time is not favorable too. October 26 is a holiday but i might go to work. i might take a vacation from November 22-23 instead. again, i am avoiding the weekend.

i have a prospective place. it's called Cagbalete Island. here's the link to the accommodations page to a certain Villa Cleofas: click me. if anyone out there has gone here, a couple of questions: is it safe to go alone? what are your recommended activities?

i will start planning as soon as i get more information about the place. i saw a picture of this on Twitter, much thanks to @CHRIS_tan.

anyhow, does anyone else have any suggestions? some info about what i want:
1) i want nature. i want to take pictures of God's creations.
2) i want food. there has to be one resto/kainan there that is not available in Manila and can give me gastronomic delight
3) i want people. there should be at least one interesting person in the place.
4) i want to learn. i will start learning more information about a place that i go to.
5) i want quiet time. if i can go there alone, why not? i want to enjoy my time alone so i don't have to wait for anyone.
6) Bora, Galera, Palawan, etc. i can go there with groups. someone else can plan that for me. :)

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 07:50 Archived in Philippines Tagged travel_posts Comments (0)

my soul's travels: Romans 12:3


"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you."

there's always that point of comparison with any achievement or milestone in our lives. it can be with our salary, looks, experience, vacation spots, etc. we all smile deep inside when someone says "good for you... i can't do/have that..." as we tell them our stories. is it our nature to feel better when we know we have what others don't?

also, some of us think that we're supposed to be treated differently because of our stature in life, or what our school was, or because we know a lot more than others. it's a guilty pleasure. most compliments go to our heads.

these things/feelings get in the way of us creating powerful fellowships with other people. the moment we think we're better than most people, we lose humility and feel that people owe us.

i pray Father, that i may not feel that i am superior than any of my fellows. please grant me with humility, so that i may always think of everyone with value and great worth. Lord, please make me see the good in people, instead of comparing myself with them. please make me see that You alone are the Lord, and we should look up to You above anybody else. teach me how to love people around me the same way You have loved us without judgment, without playing favorites.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 06:28 Archived in Philippines Tagged soul_travels Comments (0)

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