Seklusyon: A Test of Faith

Since the list of Metro Manila Film Festival 2016 entries was released, I’ve already anticipated watching them all. MMFF 2016 was indeed a turning point of Philippine movies, and although there are several opinions and points of discussion for this, I still believe that it’s a good move to encourage people, especially the Filipinos, to watch films in a different wave.

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One of the most applauded entries was Seklusyon, a film directed by Erik Matti, which, after the MMFF 2016 Gabi ng Parangal, was even more talked about because of the number of awards they got, namely, Best Director – Erik Matti, Special Jury Prize – Rhed Bustamante, Best Screenplay, Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Phoebe Walker (oh my god, she’s one hot nun), Best Cinematography, Best Sound Design,Best Theme Song – Dominus Miserere and Best Production Design.

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BCBP Imus Chapter Youth Group

17 of #100HappyThings

 

I know this is not the first time that I’ve mentioned BCBP. Growing up with my parents being a member of this community, I know it has shaped me to become the God-fearing woman that I am now. It has made me faithful in God‘s promises and made me feel the power of praying for your brothers and sisters.

Last Saturday, August 6, a few of us had a planning session of the activities that we’re going to have for the rest of the year. I’m so excited about it and I hope I can spill the details soon (in time!).

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Planning session with BCBP Imus Chapter Youth Group

As the BCBP tagline goes…

Be honest… Even if the others are not, even if the other will now, even if the others cannot.

BCBP Be Honest Run 2016: Kalinga para sa Kapwa at Kalikasan

15 of #100HappyThings

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JULY 31, 2016, SUNDAY. We woke up at 2:30 AM and left Cavite at around 3:30 AM to be able to make it at around 4AM at Greenfield City Sports Field, Paseo de Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

We reached the venue at around 4:15 AM. After the warm-up, the 10K, 5K and 3K runners were asked to join their groups in the starting line. The 10K run started at 4:45 AM. After 10 minutes, we, the 5K runners, began ours, followed by the 3K runners after another 10 minutes.

I had dysmenorrhea that day, but I still pushed through with the run. I really run a long distance when I jog, but doing it in marathons is different. I wanted to somehow be among the Top 3, but when I suddenly felt that my condition isn’t being friendly with my goal, I just dropped the idea and enjoyed the view of the place while running with my earphones on as I played my Don’t Suck, Just Rock Spotify playlist. There were trees everywhere, and the cold breeze felt nice on the skin. It was still dark that’s why I wasn’t able to take photos of the surroundings.

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I reached the finish line at around 5:30 – meaning I conquered the 5K distance within 35 minutes. Not bad for a newbie marathoner, I guess? It’s my first 5K run in a marathon, and I’m pretty much happy with my time record despite having dysmenorrhea.

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With some BCBP Youth/Kids
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With my family. Yep, matchy-matchy shoes with Mom & Colleen. Our youngest, Celine, wasn’t able to join the fun run because she had too many projects and assignments to finish.

After the run, we ate rice gruel (lugaw) with egg which was already free in the venue. And picture taking, of course!

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Just to give you an idea, the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals is a Catholic renewal community that my parents belong to, making us, their children, members as well in the sense of BCBP being a one big happy family worldwide. Yep, there are different BCBP chapters all over the world! We’re that big! I’m so glad to be a part of this, because here, I’ve met new wonderful people that I would always treasure.

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The BCBP Be Honest Run is a fund-raising activity for the various causes of BCBP, especially helping those who became victims of natural calamities.

It was my first 5K run in a marathon, and yep, I think this marathon thing is becoming addictive for me. Let me conquer 5K again and again until I can proceed to the next distance. *fingers crossed*

What’s so good about joining fun runs with causes is that you don’t just enjoy the company of your fellow runners, but you get to help the unfortunate people as well. For me, that’s what matters most. The fun in running is just secondary. Being able to help those who are in need is one of the best feelings in the world, and I really feel so blessed that I took part of this. It was worth every penny spent and distance ran. And yes, I am looking forward to joining more fun runs with causes. To God be the glory!

The Juggle

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I just thought I needed to squeeze in a blog post to keep the sanity in me. I have wanted to blog for days but never found the time to… Finally. I thought I needed to at least gather my thoughts to pacify the clamors in my head. It’s been a crazy January, and now that February has come (WHEW BIRTH MONTH), I know I really need to get myself together (get my sh*t together, rather).

Apparently, I’m in this battle again, and I’m determined and motivated now more than ever, though I admit there are still [a lot of] times that complacency visits me and I entertain its company (like now, I should be doing more relevant things but hey, I really need a break – present tense). There are times when I feel disturbed but because of my various sources of strength, I’m still rocking on (with a head bang, LOL).

As part of my 2015 Resolutions (if I could call this a resolution), I write a one-sentenced “Thank you, Lord…” and random scribbles (Bible verses, quotes, brief stories of what happened during the day, etc.) on my planner every day. Doing this made [and makes] me feel good about myself and helps me think more positively. It makes me realize that no matter what happens, we should always be thankful to the Higher Power who blesses us so much. As what a line from a poem said, “When you’ve counted all your blessings and name them one by one, you’ll stand in owe before the Lord for all that He has done.”

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I also bought my own Bible, and I highlight at least one verse a day to remind me of GOD’s unfailing love, and how to love Him back.

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I also bought Bianca Gonzalez-Intal‘s book, Paano Ba ‘To?! (How to Survive Growing Up), and the insights and pieces of advice in this book are really helpful. [I’ll try to make a post solely about it if time permits.]

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These two are part of my birthday gifts to self since I would be turning 2* in a few days. YAY.

Aside from these self-imposed what-abouts, I am very much thankful for having someone who really [tries to] understand the complexity of my [-slash our] situation. No matter how tough the things seem to be going, I still feel appreciated, valued, cared for, and most of all, loved. This wouldn’t be an easy struggle if I’m going through this alone – thankfully I’m not. Aside from my family and friends, I have a go-to person whom I can be vulnerable with when I can’t seem to get up and show off my portrayed fierceness.

It’s not every day that you meet someone who accepts you wholeheartedly, thinks of you as someone to keep, and most especially, brings out the best in you. I am inspired every day, I smile genuinely every day, and I feel incredibly happy every day, despite the rough situation. It’s always in my prayers that in God’s perfect time, everything will be alright. I know it will be given to me, to us. Patience, understanding, trust and faithlove conquers all, they say. Even if timing‘s being a b*tch right now, I know it will be at its best someday… Someday.

Whatever. I should go back to reality now. As in right now.

Bienvenido, Papa Francisco!

When Pope John Paul II came here in 1995, my Mom told me that we also had a close view of him; but I still had no idea what was happening back then. Twenty years later, here I am, savoring my very own experience of being able to see Pope Francis. I feel sooooo blessed. Indeed one of the best things ever! ❤

Photo from Google
Photo from Google

The sight of the Pope’s plane landing on the Philippines last January 15, Thursday, even if I was just watching the television, gave me chills. I even felt more excited because I knew that I’m gonna be seeing him in person soon.

My parents were blessed (I’m beginning to avoid the word lucky, the word blessed is better), to be able to get into the quad of Mall of Asia Arena last January 16, Friday. They got their tickets from the community they belong to, the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP). As for me and my companions, we were along EDSA, waiting for Pope Francis to pass by. There we thousands of people who also wanted to see him, and if you have watched the television that time, perhaps you saw the crowd that was waiting to take even just a short sight of him.

Photo credit goes to a family friend who was inside the MOA Arena Quad for the Meeting with the Families
Photo credit goes to a family friend who was inside the MOA Arena Quad for the Meeting with the Families

The Pope Mobile was too fast so I wasn’t able to take a whole view of him the first time he passed by us. I am not tall enough to get a good view and I wasn’t in the front row. I felt sad because I just saw a portion of his white suit. We were on the left-hand of the road that time too, and Pope Francis was waving at the people at the right side. A lot of people had already left when Pope was already inside the MOA Arena for the Meeting with the Families. Since I wasn’t able to see him well that afternoon, I stayed where I was, now right behind the barricades, so that when Pope Francis gets to pass by in the evening after the program, I would then get a closer view of him.

I would like to extend my gratitude to the policemen because they allowed some of us to go over the barricades, for as long as we wouldn’t stand. It was fine with us – just a glimpse of Pope Francis would make us all so happy.

Pope Francis still rode the Pope Mobile from MOA Arena on his way back to the Apostolic Nunciature. We were all so excited to see him when we saw on the big screens outside the he was going to ride the Pope Mobile. We were all cheering his name and when the moment came, even though it was kind of fast, it seemed so miraculously amazing! I felt so blessed that I really cried! We may have waited for hours, but that close encounter with Pope Francis was definitely worth it. My tears of joy were unstoppable. The memory of Pope Francis’ smile as he waved on our direction will forever be in my memory. If I could just put it into picture, I would. ❤

Thank you sa malasakit, Papa Francisco! We love you! Thank you for being a symbol of our faith renewal. Thank you for making us feel God’s love through your words and actions. THANK YOU FOR YOUR MERCY AND COMPASSION!

I hope, someday, when I get to see you again, perhaps in Rome, I would then be able to kiss your ring, and hug you tight. GOD BLESS YOU, POPE FRANCIS! We will definitely pray for you!


I wasn’t able to take photos of Pope Francis but the memory of it all is enough.

Tired but happy feet... These feet walked a long road, stood and waited for Pope Francis!
Tired but happy feet… These feet walked a long road, stood and waited for Pope Francis!
The sun had set, but our faith haven't. And will not ever. :)
The sun had set, but our faith haven’t. And will not ever. 🙂
Selfie with these people while waiting for Lolo Kiko :)
Selfie with these people while waiting for Pope Francis 🙂
Sorry not sorry for this. Almost everyone was taking selfies!
Sorry not sorry for this. Almost everyone was taking selfies!
We waited until evening... And it was all worth it.
We waited until evening… And it was all worth it.

Pope Francis’ visit in the Philippines really means a lot. It was touching to see the leaders of different religions gather. It was wonderful to see the Filipinos unite. It was amazing to see the faithful cry, smile and pray in harmony. It was magical to see the gift of GOD’s love.

His mercy and compassion weren’t just words, because we all saw him act with mercy and compassion. Indeed, the People’s Pope.

Hasta que nos encontremos de nuevo, Papa Francisco! We are truly blessed! ❤


P.S. FAITH SHOULD NEVER BE A MOTION FOR DEBATE. Let us respect each other’s beliefs. Thank you.