I Am Number 31

IMG_0967(On arriving well)

“Do they see Jesus in me? Do they recognize Your face? Do I communicate Your love and Your grace? Do I reflect Who You are, in the way I choose to be? Do they see Jesus in me?” (Joy Williams, Do They See Jesus In Me)

On Thursday (Sept. 26) I called the Philippines’ Consulate Office here in Bogota, Colombia as courtesy and to be connected with them. I expected a Filipino secretary to answer or to talk with (because I really miss speaking Filipino in a foreign place), but surprisingly the staff is Colombian and could only speak Spanish and no English. Well, blessedly my friend at CEPALC helped me to communicate with the secretary and tried to explain my point.

After my friend put down the telephone, he said that he asked the woman of Filipinos in Bogota. The secretary said that there are only 30 Filipinos in the city, and I am the 31st. Continue reading

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Right foot in, left foot out

(On leaving well)

Before I even announced my official send off, I am surprised to know that my families and friends are more than ready to let me go. The fact that I frequently travel and live in different places, mission service outside the country is not new to them. But reality strikes. I will be gone for 20 straight months, inclusive of special holidays: two Christmas and New year away from my family and friends. I am not a drama queen but it was an emotional process to undergo. Anyhow, for the last days in my home country, I learned to gradually have my right foot in, left foot out. Here is my personal list of “leaving well.”

IMG_0598 IMG_0606 IMG_0617 IMG_0619 IMG_0621 IMG_0623 Continue reading

The PORKs of a politician

Disclaimer: I salute politicians who live by faith and moral conduct, especially those who strive to make the government system a better and people-focused one, rather than political-centered. The title of this post is not to generalize the negativity of the politicians but to emphasize the allocated funds for project development, and how this “Pork Barrel funds” is used for the good of the state or for personal interest.

cartoon_Jul19ON MY way to the Philippines from a training in the USA, at the airport lounge, waiting for boarding, I had an opportunity to converse with another Filipino, who is also in the same flight as I. Clarita is a US citizen and lives in the US for 43 years. She’s married and have kids. To my surprise, Clarita boldly shared that she despises the Philippines. At the back of my head I thought, “then why fly back to the Philippines? It is very contradicting.”

She said that with our rotten political and justice system, lazy people, and a very slow economy, the Philippines is in a very worst state she’d “never want to go back–even as a retiree.” Continue reading

‘…and it was good’

In August my family went for a vacation to Vientiane, Laos. Since it’s near Bangkok, Thailand my father insisted to do “sidetripping”. The rest of us were against it because of additional cost and a long bus travel crossing the border. Yet we ended up going anyway.

Bangkok is such a beauty. The weather is just right, the people are full of smiles, the food is super affordable and fresh, and a shopping paradise for lower to middle class buyers! In fact, a lot of Filipino RTW businessmen go to Bangkok to purchase items. In terms of structure, the city preserves several temples that includes the famous Grand Palace at the heart of Bangkok, which is near the Thai-only floating market! Continue reading