tile cleaning oceanside

It's been ages since I watched "Armageddon" that I can't even remember when it first came out. All I remember is that I saw the film at SM Megamall with my family. SM Megamall! Can you believe that?! I never watch movies at Megamall anymore...  Remember, SM Megamall...?!  ...

Buy Maine Coon Kittens

How long has it been?  Wow... months (I think) since I last left an entry on this trusty 'ol blog 'o mine!  My internet connection has been intermittent and I've been struggling to really get back in the groove of blogging. But things have not been all that slow... other aspects of my life have picked up quite ...

Sarah and Startec

Hey people!  Just a short post actually... I just wanted to share a video that was made aware to me by 'sarahgfan" a few hours ago.  It's a 30sec television commercial for "Startec" which stars Sarah Geronimo... from what I gather, it looks like an international service that offers cheap affordable calls from abroad to the Philippines. ...

Hey people!  Just a short post actually…

I just wanted to share a video that was made aware to me by ’sarahgfan” a few hours ago.  It’s a 30sec television commercial for “Startec” which stars Sarah Geronimo… from what I gather, it looks like an international service that offers cheap affordable calls from abroad to the Philippines.

Anyhow, the reason why I’m posting this is cause the music used in the ad (sung by Sarah) is one of the compositions I wrote for her album entitled, “Miss”.

Enjoy!

How long has it been?  Wow… months (I think) since I last left an entry on this trusty ‘ol blog ‘o mine!  My internet connection has been intermittent and I’ve been struggling to really get back in the groove of blogging.

But things have not been all that slow… other aspects of my life have picked up quite well, particularly my service to the Lord.  Likewise, He has blessed me with work… the kind of work that I am really not quite used to but slowly getting the hang of.

A couple of “firsts” have been given to me by the Lord… my first time to handle a job “behind the desk” which has been totally alien to me given the nature of my previous (but still running) business and the kind of work I grew up in.  I am slowly fitting in and getting comfy in this new environment.

I just completely trust that the Lord, in all his infinite wisdom, knows what direction my life should take… and so, as I always have, I continuously surrender my entire will to follow His.

What God asks of His children is for each and every one of us to make a conscious effort to dismiss our shortsightedness and to totally forego our human tendency to seek instant gratification.

To love God is to follow God.  To live a lifestyle of faith… real, honest to goodness, true faith… the kind of faith that surpasses reason and rationality… and to trust that God will work everything unto good.

It is written in Romans 8:28:

“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”

Another “first” that the Lord has blessed me with happened last July 23, 2008.  I was called to lead worship at Elim Rosario.  A very daunting task, I thought at first.  But I remembered that my weakness serves His purpose… it is not one’s eloquence or physical appearance that makes leading worship a success but God’s empowerment through personal preparation.  Preparation by soaking myself in prayer and constantly seeking the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

And so, I did just that.  And my life has never been the same again.  I realize now that the purpose of that particular preparation was not only for the day at hand… It opened my spirituality to a whole new level of prayer that immensely surpasses the quality of my previous prayer time!

Praise God for the opportunities and revelations.  He truly amazes me each and every day… but then again, come to think of it… amazing is His nature!  What a wonderful Father we all have!

All glory and honor to God!

PosterWhoa!  What better place to celebrate Pentecost Revival than in Baguio City, an area known for its wonderful ambience and refreshing atmosphere… !  So, we hopped on the coaster (I didn’t take my car since my car insurance has not been renewed yet and the price of gas is just insanely high!).  The overwhelming success of bringing revival to the Summer Capital of the Philippines last May 10, 2008, and how it was embraced by the crowd there is something that we can only credit to the Holy Spirit and the power He has poured forth to the droves and droves who came to the venue to open-heartedly receive.

Pentecost Revival VenuePraise God…!  Revival has arrived to Baguio City!

We could already feel the Spirit during rehearsals in the venue… it was unmistakable!  Praise and worship run-throughs were already powerful and the entire production crew could already feel the intense atmosphere during setup and preparations.

Though we only had the chance to stay for about 3 days… the climb up was well worth it.  May revival spread all over northern Luzon because of this empowerment by the Lord.

But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  -Acts 1:8

There are times when the Lord leads you to do things which you just have to obediently follow and obey…

He pulls you away from one direction and leads you to another… and you just have to trust that He has your best interest at heart.

Earlier this afternoon, things have unraveled so fast that I kind of got lost in the flurry of how my life was turned upside down and inside out by the Lord… and only this evening have things started to sink in…

It kind of popped up in my mind already much earlier today but I kind of brushed it off during that moment… but it was once again triggered as I was talking with my wife over dinner.

I hurriedly sought advice and guidance which I badly needed to help me get over the depression that was building up inside of me… and the answer was clear:  To rejoice and delight in God’s will… no matter what.

So now, though extremely saddened to part with people whom I have grown to love and care for, I faithfully submit to my Lord’s divine will as he opens a new chapter in my life.

I just praise and thank Him for the wonderful opportunity He has given me to serve in an area which has opened my eyes, my heart and soul… a place which will always be close to my heart… and for giving me the chance to meet people and kids whose strength and resilience through faith have greatly ministered back to me.

I look forward to the day when I shall once again be reunited with them.

To my Rosario family… I already miss all of you.  You guys will always be in my heart and in my prayers.

I haven’t had the chance to blog lately… I really can’t say it was only by circumstance but somehow, a whole lot of things… physically and emotionally, have somehow contributed to my lack of enthusiasm in blogging the past weeks.

Not to mention that I totally lost my voice 2 Sundays ago right after Community Mass.  I was part of the music ministry that performed the church songs during that event.  And my throat bled right before we started.  Soon after, as the final bar of the closing song was winding up, I realized that my vocal chords had started giving up on me…!

Praise God it didn’t happen DURING service.  Whew! :)

By evening, I was voiceless… it was frustratingly funny.  Frustrating for me… funny for those who could hear me struggle to barely let out a sound.  It’s been about 2 weeks already since I lost my voice and I’m still on the path to recovery.

That would’ve been the perfect time to play with a playstation 3… so I can rest up my voice (yeah right!).

PharyngitisMy doctor told me it was a severe case of Pharyngitis. The nasal drip caused by congenital nose problem (yes, the bridge of my nose is bent to the left obstructing air passage on my left nostril), has finally irritated my vocal chords to the point of acute swelling and bleeding.  Sounds bad, huh?

I am currently taking medication combined with steroids and a nasal spray that’s supposed to alleviate the pain and irritation.  I was advised to stay away from dust and possible sources of allergy.

But just what is PHARYNGITIS exactly?  According to the Medicalook website it’s as follows:

Pharyngitis is commonly referred to as a sore throat. It is a very common ailment that may signal a multitude of other possible illnesses. Strep throat, the common cold, ear infections, and many respiratory illnesses all tend to begin with discomfort in the throat, which we call a sore throat.

Pharyngitis is not a disease, but a symptom of another problem within the body. It can be tremendously uncomfortable, and can be difficult to deal with during an average day. Many over the counter treatments may help to alleviate the symptom, but ultimately the patient should seek to find the cause of the symptom and then proceed from there.

If the cause is a bacterial infection, which happens only a small percent, then an antibiotic will help alleviate the discomfort and the cause. However, in most cases, a virus is to blame which renders the antibiotic useless.

Rarely does pharyngitis occur as the only symptom. Other symptoms either accompany a sore throat or are soon to follow. Symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue often indicate the common cold or the flu.

Because of this, I missed one Wednesday of Elim, Rosario (A place we go to on a weekly basis to serve and hold praise and worship gatherings for our dwellers there).  But I’ve been serving again… I’ve bounced back to my old routine… I’ve even managed to get back to singing during team revival and was even able to sing during our recent Couples Time Out Gathering last Friday.

My voice (and throat) isn’t back a 100% yet but I’m getting better.  Praise God.

My wife recently had old friends over to the house to celebrate the birthday of an old classmate of theirs.  Back in the day, they were a close knit band of rowdy friends hanging out not just in campus but around town as well… They’d go to bars, restaurants, regular hang-outs just to chit-chat the night away while drinking alcohol coupled with a handful (to put it mildly) of cigarettes on the side.

This was their old life.  Mine didn’t differ too much from theirs… sans the smoking and drinking of course.  I never was the drinking type… nor was I hooked on nicotine and tobacco.  But that doesn’t mean my old life was more righteous in any sense… it was just as regretful.

Though I didn’t participate in booze sessions within the confines of smoke filled bars and restaurants with friends, I did engage in conversations with them which promoted distasteful humor and gossip and reveled in others misfortunes just to name a few.  Who hasn’t at one time or another?

But now that my wife and I have entered community and renewed our personal relationship with the Lord, it has totally transformed us and completely overhauled our way of life.  It has changed the way we act, the way we speak, even the way we think.

But just as we get more and more comfortable being around folks who share the same zeal and faith in God, more and more also do we get uncomfortable with individuals who engage in immoral and ungodly activities which we once considered to be “okay”.

GossipI remember when, a few months back, I was invited to go to an event out of community wherein it would expose me to the old crowd that I used to hang out with… I was, at first, eager to touch base with them and catch up on old times… but as soon as I was in the same room with them, everything seemed so different… it felt really weird… in front of me were people whom I used to be very very close with and yet it was as if the way we were conversing was that of one stranger talking to another… shooting the breeze, so to speak, took so much effort on my part… in fact, the usual gossiping  and worldly humor that could be seen (and heard) in every corner of the room made me want to bolt out and go home.

It was apparent that I have significantly detached myself from these worldly and unnecessary practices.

But I realized soon after that it wasn’t enough for me to just be satisfied with being in  and around community and to simply keep off the “outside” world and its false promises which I have so quickly grown out of.  In as much as I’d like to avoid being away from the company of people in community, so too must I be immersed in situations wherein I am put in the midst of individuals who are caught up in worldly matters.

It is our mission to bring the word of God to people who have not fully realized the impact it has in their lives.  The Word is not something to be kept only within yourself… The Word was meant to be shared in order to save everyone from eternal damnation.  We have the Word within us… and by being in the presence of those who have yet to encounter Christ in a more personal manner, it is through us and our witnessing that they may be able to gain knowledge and ultimately salvation.

The salt has to be in the soup, in a manner of speaking.

Salt of the Earth“You are the salt of the Earth…”, says Matthew 5:13… “salt”, the ingredient which effects preservation and prevents corruption…

Salt are we who have heard the Good News and incorporate it in our daily life.  Salt are those who have learned of Christ and accepted Him as Lord and Savior.

Not the apostles, not ministers only; but all of us who are thus holy, are the salt of the earth - are to season others.

Now, whenever I find myself in situations wherein I am in the company of those who aren’t part of community, I rejoice and give thanks.  I do so knowing for a fact that the Lord has given me another opportunity to spread the Good News… a new opportunity to testify and to witness to others…

…to truly live the life of one who is called a disciple of Christ…

…one who is a “fisher of men”.

ICUEarlier this evening, I came from the hospital where my grandfather was admitted. He was in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and was pretty much in bad shape when I came to see him. Most of his immediate family were there to get word on his condition… some offered prayers and made sure the doctors were tending to him competently… and my kids were outside in the waiting area, reading a children’s book to keep them busy.

You see, my grandfather has been suffering from Cancer for quite some time now… Cancer… the Big “C” (as some would call it). What’s interesting to note, however, was that my grandfather was still talkative and in high spirits just last week when he was also admitted to the hospital but for a different reason… (hernia surgery).

Now he’s back in the same hospital… but this time, doctors say he might not be able to leave that place anymore. His entire body just isn’t responding to any of the medications that are being given to him anymore. He was given a plasma treatment which he so desperately needs to recover but was ordered by doctors to immediately suspend treatment since his body couldn’t take it any longer and was just damaging his heart all the more. His kidneys have already shut down just yesterday and has completely deteriorated. His dialysis costs roughly P50,000.00 (equivalent to about $1,250.00) per session.

As I entered his ICU room, I could see my grandmother and my mother crying… I touched my grandfather and spoke to him. He heard my voice… nodded… murmured something I couldn’t understand (because of the tubes inserted into his mouth)… and tried to open his eyes to see me.

It crushed me.

I didn’t know what to do. All of a sudden, I heard a voice whisper to me… “Pray now. Pray for your grandfather.” I knew it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me… compelling me to engage in prayer and to lift up to the Lord my grandfather’s well-being.

And so I did. I prayed over him… I asked the Lord to send forth the Spirit… to give my grandfather the inspiration to pray and seek forgiveness from God for everything that he believes should still be confessed. I prayed for healing… not just for physical healing… but for the healing of hearts and of relationships between him and family members… healing of emotions.

Though I trust that the Lord can heal my grandfather if He so wills it, I trust God all the more with the plan that He has for his life. I have so much faith in my Lord… regardless of the outcome. I praise and glorify His name for His will is divine.

The Big “C” has no power over my Big “G” (God). Though it seems that Cancer has taken its toll on my grandpa’s body… it has no effect over his spirit. His body may be broken, but his soul is made whole by the Lord…

…and that’s all that really matters. Hah! Take THAT, Cancer!

My God wins.

Summer is here! If you’re a parent to adolescent kids, you’re probably wondering where you could take your little rascals to for a vacation. Search no more… GenRev, the student (youth) arm of the Elim community is holding it’s annual retreat and this time it’s being held in Cebu City!  So gather your travel supplies and get going!

It’s called, “Regeneration: GenRev Camp ‘08″! Check out the poster, the promotional video and details below.

GenRevCamp Tarp


GenRev Camp 08
REGENERATION

May 16-18, 2008
GSP Camp Marina Capitol Hills
Cebu City

Who can attend - youth [high school or college students] and youth ministers
early registration - P750 (feb 5 - march 30)
regular registration - P900 (apr 1 - apr 30)
note: registration fee is exclusive of food and traveling fees

for inquiries:
MANILA — (632) 722-6749
CEBU — elimyouthcebu@gmail.com (63+032) 234-4189 / 09229951014
DAVAO — elimyouthdavao@gmail.com / 09186786684 / 09225838514 / 09295657936

Just what is GenRev, you ask? GenRev’s official website describes it as follows…

Ask any GenRev-er that question and you’ll probably get an array of answers describing what GenRev is to them. Bottom line: GenRev Rocks!!! But for the sake of those who seek a little more cerebral definition, here goes…

The GenRev Student Network (GSN, GenRev), or Generation Revival, is a student network; it is best defined through its Mission Statement:

“The GenRev Student Network is a growing force of Catholic students who are extreme in their worship, music, joy, devotion and service. GenRev’s vision is CAMPUS REVIVAL, where students are awakened to the explosive power of the Catholic faith, resulting in a God-first, missions-oriented youth culture.”

We are the generation of those who seek the face of God (Psalm 24:6). We are motivated by Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:19 to “go and make disciples of all nations”. This motivation is in line with the commission of Vatican II that “the young should become the first apostles to the young… by themselves, among themselves”

I recently came from my regular Elim missions work over at Rosario, Cavite…

For those who don’t know… I am part of a team that goes to that particular province every week to serve and participate in praise and worship service for Elim dwellers in that area.  I have met a lot of good friends over there… young and old… people who are simply just happy to serve the Lord and serve others as well.

Dreamland (photo taken by Gabbie Tatad)

I have posted a good number of pictures here in my blog of my recent visits to Rosario and for those who have probably seen those images, you’d notice that there is a significant amount of kids which come over during our services… mostly from “Dreamland” (a neighborhood built entirely on top of mountains and piles of garbage).  These folks exist in the worst and dire of circumstances.  Flimsy shanties erected on stench-filled waste and plastic and no electricity.

Last Wednesday’s service was particularly different from all the other Wednesday services we’ve held.  There were no kids to be found anywhere near the hall (and church) where our events are staged.  At first, we thought it was just coincidence… little did we know that as soon as we inquired as to why there were no children present, we would learn of tragic and very disturbing news that have been circulating in the entire city.

There is a syndicate riding in moving trucks and vans that has been making the rounds within the Southern Tagalog region since the past week abducting kids between the ages of 5 to 20.  It wasn’t so much the abduction part that surprised us but what these people have been doing to those helpless kids once they’ve been nabbed…

Kids at Rosario, CaviteThese kids are then found a few days later in the same location where they were last seen… their bodies inserted in a sack… lifeless… their eyes and internal organs missing.  Sometimes, these bodies are discovered with money ranging between Php 7,000.00 - Php 10,000.00 plugged into their slashed tummies… the syndicate’s wicked and twisted way of justifying their heinous acts and compensating the grieving parents of these children.

These stolen organs are sold to the black market.  Sometimes, the child is found with a note on him that says things like, “Pagpasensyahan niyo na po… napagutusan lang”.

What kind of person can do such a thing…?!  To a child no less!  How can they look into the innocent eyes of these helpless kids and commit the crimes that they do?!

Have we reached an all-time low?  Has poverty pushed society over the edge?

Just because these young ones aren’t cared for and are regarded to have no bright future ahead of them, doesn’t give these individuals the right to take their lives… nor does it rationalize their evil deeds.

As we started our worship service yesterday… a regular dweller of ours was in tears learning that her classmate met the same fate.  Her classmate was about 14 years old.

Some of the kids who were abducted were not alone walking the streets… some were nabbed right under their mother’s noses… and should the parent/guardian fight back or hold on to their children, they were either killed on the spot or their hands were immediately cut-off to release the kids.  Some of the abductors were even reported to wear nun outfits (yes, some of the perpetrators are female).

It’s equally painful to read something like this and realize that some people who actually CAN help simply brush away the issue and regard it as urban legend, nonsense and hearsay.

As we did our opening song entitled, “Purihin Ang Ngalan Ni Yahweh”, a song we’ve performed countless times in Rosario, the lyrics of the refrain had more meaning, strength and resolve as people who attended the gathering sang in unity with the words as follows:

“Sa kabila ng paghihirap,
Sa kabila ng kadiliman,
Di magsisisi kahit minsan,
Papuri pa rin sa Iyong ngalan…”

May the Lord comfort the grieving families and friends of those whose lives have been so mercilessly taken… may He bring swift justice to those who have been behind these wicked acts… and may we all find the shelter and protection we so desperately need that only God can provide.

I urge everyone to please say a prayer for these children.  May God bless us all.

Incredibly awesome!  That is how I’d describe the upcoming “Incredible Hulk” movie starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt and Tim Roth.

This is not a direct remake of the previous incarnation of the film (which was helmed by Tim Ang and starred Eric Bana) which in my opinion was just as boring and unexciting as watching equestrians in equestrian clothing going round steeples and ditches riding horses.  This is a totally new take on the Mean Green Monster.  And from the looks of the teaser, it has tons to offer…!

Directed by Louis Leterrier, this eagerly anticipated motion picture has been reported to have a BIG final scene which lasts 26 minutes featuring a full-on bashing pitting the Hulk against Abomination wreaking havoc and causing total devastation all over New York City (cool!).

Check out the teaser below!  Enjoy!

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