Tag Archives: Friends

Should you go on a faith journey?

What does a “faith journey” look like? One can say that our entire lives can be called faith journeys, but for this blog post, I’m talking about real journeys, real trips–the ones that involve some geographical distance and usually a mode of transportation. But faith journeys are not your ordinary trips. Here’s how I define it:

A faith journey:

  • starts when you step out of your comfort zone
  • involves going down a path you’ve never gone before
  • has no promised results
  • has no definite road map
  • requires you to trust, rely, and get direction from God

My faith journey took place between April and July. I will tell you this:

  • I went to the US without knowing where exactly I would be going and when I needed to go
  • My plans changed as the days went by
  • It did not turn out the way I expected
  • There were a lot of surprising (not necessarily pleasant) adventures along the way
  • My faith was stretched
  • My character was tested and shaped
  • I learned a lot
  • I experienced God’s grace and love like never before

Maybe God’s telling you to go somewhere and you’ve been too scared. Maybe He’s not calling you right now, but He will one day. If that time has come or when that time finally comes, I just want to encourage you to take that step of faith. If you need provision, if you need confirmation, if you need a miracle, here’s what you need to do: ASK. He knows what’s up ahead even if you don’t. And if He called you, He’s already paved the way for you.

God is so wise, faithful, and so full of love. Throw away your preconceived notions and open your mind and heart to what God wants to do (and it’s not always about you…I learned that on the way, too!). The great news is that–in the greater scheme of things–His plan is not just better…it’s the BEST.

It took me forever to write this post, because I knew that my words would not do justice to the whole experience. What I experienced was beyond words. Thank you Lord for this wonderful journey–You are the best travel partner ever. Thank you to my family for sending me off with a blessing. And more than the places and the experiences, the best part of the trip was being able to spend time with all of these people (press play to see the rest!):

You made the journey so worth it.

Now to go back to the topic of this post: do I think you should go on a faith journey?

Absolutely.

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With a little help from my friends (2nd and last part)

Gosh…time flies! Just when I thought I had more than enough time to prepare, the last few weeks flew by so fast!

I’m grateful that I got to spend quality time with people who mean a lot to me. There were so many others I wanted to spend time with, but I just ran out of time. :( And speaking of running out of time, I ran out of time to blog, too, so photos will just have to do! (Hover over a photo to see its caption)

I wasn’t able to take more photos with my family, though, but I love them immensely and I will miss them terribly nonetheless!

So I’m off on a 2-and-a-half month adventure, and it hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. There so much I want to say and share about this trip, but for now I will say that God is so good. He takes my breath away everyday. :)

To be continued…

With a little help from my friends! (Part 1)

In just a few days, I’m leaving for a two-and-a-half month trip around the US. It’ll be the longest amount of time away from the Philippines for me since 2002. While I believe it’s going to fly by fast, the extended time away gives me a good excuse to meet up and catch up with friends before I go. And by God’s grace, these last few weeks, everyone’s schedules and plans just fell into place. It’s a blessing to be able to spend time with the people I love.

So from now until the day I leave, I’d like to tell you more about some of my friends who bring so much joy, wisdom, laughter, love, and spice in my life!

1) My childhood friends – When I was a still a child, there were no Playstations or Xboxes, cellphones or iPads, so if you wanted to entertain yourself after school or during the summer, you had to go out and spend time in the village park. In our village, there were around 20 to 40 young people (ranging from 6 years old to 26 years old) who would hang out in the park day in and day out, under the watch of the coolest village administrator around, Mang Nelson. He would treat us like his very own children, introducing every neighborhood newbie to the other kids, and coming up with activities that would get us to come out and play. He was like a father and coach to all of us. So everyday during the summer, the boys would play basketball, the girls would play volleyball, and we would have bike rides, water fights, and games of truth or dare in between. Those were GREAT times. We all grew up and most of us have moved out, but the great part is that we’re all friends for life. At least, those who haven’t fallen off the face of the earth and are still connected on Facebook are, haha. A couple of weeks ago, one of the girls (Ethel) was in town (visiting from the US), so some of us girls met up and had a reunion. It was as if we just picked up where we left off.

L-R: Anna, Steph, Ethel, me, Shirley, Mel

2) The a-Dazers Back in college, I was active in a group called Days with the Lord. “Days”, as it is nicknamed, can be found in most campuses here in the Philippines, so to identify which community was ours, we were called the “A-Days” community. Don’t ask me why, because the explanation will take forever. :) Though I am no longer active in the Days community, I am glad to still see my closest friends from A-Days regularly–at least we’ve got most of the holidays and special occasions covered, haha! We spent Maundy Thursday as a post-birthday celebration for our friend, Jem. We spent the rest of the day just enjoying each other’s company in Starbucks. Good times. :)

L-R: Ivan, Bones, Jem, me, Archie, Alnair, Parx, Leslie

Coming up on the next blog posts…my high school friends, my former colleagues at MTV, the wonderful women that surround me, and more!

Who are YOU grateful for today? :)

God-encounters and the other things I loved about my Singapore trip

My trip to Singapore last week was filled with blessings. :)

Here are the top 5 things I loved about Singapore, in no particular order:

1) THE FOOD!

Hainanese Chicken Rice, some scallop-and-noodle dish, and cereal prawns at Boon Tong Kee on River Valley Road, kaya toast and coffee and a Milo Dinosaur at Toast Box, laksa (anywhere), Food Republic at Wisma Atria, prime rib at Lawry’s, everything at Marché and PS.Cafe…I can go on and on! You can’t possibly run out of food choices in Singapore.

2) THE TREES and PARKS

I love that Singapore has trees all over the city! And when it came to parks, I actually had a difficult time choosing which ones to go to because they had so many to choose from. My friend, Eric, recommended Fort Canning Park, which is right across Clarke Quay. I liked that it’s accessible because it’s right in the middle of the city, but it’s also really peaceful. It was a great place to run! I also checked out the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. When you get there, there are already monkeys roaming around and waiting to welcome you. I liked seeing the Hindhede Quarry, but I was kind of underwhelmed with the Bukit Timah Summit Peak. But more on that story next time (rest assured, it ended well!).

3) THE TAXI DRIVERS

If there was an award for the country with the friendliest cab drivers in the world, Singapore wins it! One night, a cab driver gave us a discount on the fare because he was in a good mood. He said, “You’re my first customers for the night, and I also just won a karaoke championship!” —and he instantly pulled out his sparkling new trophy! We broke out into applause and took his picture. Love it! :)

4) SPENDING TIME WITH OLD FRIENDS AND MEETING NEW ONES

I’ve heard some people say that Singapore can be a lonely place, but I think that applies to any place in the world where you don’t have friends. I’m fortunate that I got to travel with a group of friends that I love very much: my high school friends! We all vowed to take our first out-of-the-country trip together before one of us gets married…and that’s how we ended up in Singapore. :) It’s cool how one of our friends who’s based in Australia was able to fly in to meet us, and one of our friends who was on vacation in the Philippines from Boston came with us as well. When my high school friends left on Sunday morning, I got to meet up with Pauline (my second cousin), Bianca (former small group member), Pau (one of my best friends from way back) and other friends at the Sunday service at Every Nation. It’s also awesome to be part of a spiritual family…I just instantly felt at home!

5) GOD-ENCOUNTERS

Every time I go on a trip, I always pray to encounter God in new and fresh ways. I felt Him when I was walking and killing time at the Esplanade, and I happened to walk in on a sound check for a jazz performance. The singer (Juliet Pang) and pianist (James Yeo) were performing jazz standards…and I love standards! The music felt like a big warm hug. I felt Him when I was walking in Fort Canning Park, and someone was practicing some beautiful melodies on the piano in one of the studios inside Fort Canning Centre. I felt Him when I saw the leaves floating and falling around me. Most of all, there was this moment…

I remember I went out for a run on one of the mornings, and I made a wrong turn. I found myself heading down a street of construction sites. Instead of turning back, I decided to just turn on the next corner. One of the construction sites was fenced in, as expected, and the name of the property developer was displayed on the outside. I can’t remember what the name of the company was, but what struck me and spoke to me that morning was what was printed underneath:

THE CREATOR THAT HAS NO LIMITS.

I wish I had a camera with me; I would’ve taken a photo. I forget sometimes, but I know this is true: my Creator has no limits.

However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived—
these things God has prepared for those who love him.”

-1 Corinthians 2:9

I don’t know about you, but I feel that 2010 is going to be an epic year. What do you think? :)

My 2009 :)

Where do I begin??? There’s so much to say about this Christmas season and this year as a whole–it’s hard to put into words! So in the meantime (once again), I’m going to have to leave you with photos. Lots of them! Hover over the photos for the captions.