Top 10

f1462912“…He will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair…”

-Isaiah 61:3

Two hours, a thousand steps, catching my breath at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters above sea level, finally I reached the top and learned how to control my breathing.

Going to Monserrate by foot was the craziest thing I ever did here in Bogota (so far). I knew that my body has not adjusted well (yet) with the altitude but I still decided to go up with a bunch of friends from work on a national holiday. Honestly, halfway to Monserrate, I thought of giving up. I mean, I can still go down (which was easier) and take the cable car up. I praise God for having good companions who were very patient with me during my long stops. There are 10 stations (and stops) going up the pilgrimage site. Continue reading

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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

It comes naturally

How bad can I be? I am just doing what comes naturally. How bad can I be? I am just following my destiny… (How Bad Can I Be¬†soundtrack, Lorax movie 2012)

I am guilty. And so are millions of Filipinos, throwing garbage–from a peanut shell, candy wrapper to huge bags–everywhere. The sad thing is, it comes natural to us and most of us live with it. “It’s biodegradable,” we say as an excuse to justify that throwing a banana peel on the street won’t hurt at all. But those “tiny” trashes, if piled up will make a dump site!

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25 JOYs and counting…

ALL is set for my “detachment” day. I slowly pulled myself out of any interaction with my housemates. I intentionally left my mobile phone un-loaded. I already planned my day; and how it would look like the moment I open my eyes on the morning of July 29th. A lot of things were running on my head. I was facing my notebook (seriously) when a loud knock broke the silence.

It was 12:00 midnight and both me and my roommate were still up. I stood up, being nearest to the door, unlocked the knob and found my two other housemates with a chocolate mousse cake and an over-sized card on their hands, singing Happy Birthday. “Much for my ‘detachment’ plan, eh?” I said to myself. I blew the three candles, which were nicely placed on top of the cake. Invited them inside the room and the entire two hours were full of chats, photo shoots, and eating!

“So what’s your plan now that you’re 25?” My housemates asked. Plan? My plan? Now that I am 25? For crying out loud, does it have to be different because I am undeniably 25?

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