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

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