The Inconvenience of the Waiting Period…and the Unexplainable Joy After.

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The waiting period, in all sense, is inconvenient for most of us. I don’t know anyone who’s fond of waiting in line and would even wish for the waiting period to be longer than usual. Well, not unless you have a really good book to read while waiting in line, then the waiting becomes a bit bearable. But even so, after a few minutes of reading, your eyes will eventually feel tired and you would turn to the clock and see how long you have waited.

See, the waiting part is not easy. It is often patience-stretching. On a deeper note, it is often in this waiting period that our characters are being put to test.

Take for example Lazarus’ sisters Mary and Martha. At the time of their brother’s death, they were waiting on Jesus, believing in their hearts that Jesus can raise Lazarus from the dead and back to life. But Jesus didn’t come at the very moment they were waiting for Him. In fact, He arrived 4 days later. Thus, when Mary saw Him, she said to Him, “if you had been here, my brother would have not died…”

Jesus didn’t let this somehow reproaching question of Mary ruin the moment. He then asked her where the body of Lazarus was laid. Upon getting there, He asked the people with them to remove the stone covering the entrance. And then entered Martha with her pessimistic remarks: “But Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there for four days.” 

If I were in the position of Jesus during that time, I might transform into Mr. Asimo and I would tell them: Oh eh di kayo na! Sige na wag na lang! Puro kayo kontra!

But Jesus, in all His might and overflowing patience,  told them: “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40)

Oftentimes, we are like Mary and Martha during our waiting season. We tend to be too stuck in our troubles, oftentimes forgetting that God can turn things around for us. We tend to ask God a lot of “whys” and demands that He answer all our questions and maybe, just maybe, we can be comforted.

I must admit, just like Martha, I also tend to entertain doubts and questions during my waiting season. I keep on saying that I believe in Jesus Christ but because sometimes I don’t see Him move in my situation, I tend to think that He is not working in my midst at all. Doubts start to cloud my mind and my heart. And with all honesty, I am trying to shoo away all those doubts and fears with all my might. But my might is not as sturdy and powerful as Jesus’ might is, that’s why I always turn to Him for strength especially during the waiting and trying season.

In Jesus’ word in John 11:40, I was reminded again of God’s promises and assured me once more that all of those will come to pass–not only in the lives of the people in the Bible, but in my life as well.

Faith. That is just what He needs from us. Believe in everything He can do for us and we will experience His wonderful glory.

Yes, the waiting season may be long. We might get confused along the way. We might sometimes go crazy waiting for things to turn our way.  We may feel blinded by the darkness surrounding that long alley towards Jesus’ promise. But remember that Jesus is always the lamp upon our feet to light our way. Yes, it might still be way too dark, but try to open your eyes and look for that light that Jesus is to us.

When we say we are waiting upon the Lord, we must have a heart that is confident in expecting for Him. With confidence, doubts and fears must not be present. Let’s not just believe Jesus in words but more than that, believe Him with our hearts and minds.

Jesus is never late. We all know that. His time is not our time. If He had come during the time that Mary and Martha were waiting for Him to resurrect Lazarus immediately, then they and the other Jews with them might not have witnessed and felt His glory as He raised Lazarus from the dead.

Try to integrate that in your current situation. I tell you, it will make a big difference when you wait upon God’s appointed time. It’s more “magical,” if I may say. Imagine fireworks blasting beautifully in the sky when God’s appointed time for your prayer has finally arrived. It’s not only for you to see but for everyone else to bear witness to.

In my season of waiting, I only have one prayer I keep on saying to God: YOUR WILL OVER MY DESIRE. 

Even if the desire is good and it won’t hurt anybody, still if it’s not the will of God, it’s absolutely pointless. And when I’m praying that to God, I am declaring to Him that I trust His will, I am surrendering to it, and that no matter what, I am believing that He will let His promises to my life come to pass in His own time.

I like what my friend told me about praying for God’s will: If you are praying for His will, consider it done. 

No doubts. If He is for you, there’s nothing that can stop His will to uncover in your life.

 

That Saturday When The Sky Rained Yummy Burgers!

I’m a burger fanatic but there’s just the guilt feeling every time I finish a whole burger. Counting calories, yeah that’s it. I love burgers the way I love tocino and hotdogs but my body fats already want to scream NO! Thus, I only give in to my burger cravings every once in a while–not as often as when I was in college when I used to eat burgers almost everyday and thought that eating it meant less calorie-intake as compared to eating rice.

Two Saturdays ago, my friend invited me to try Wham Burgers’ Slider Trio and their Spaghetti Fries, and I had to say YES to my burger appetite. I tagged along my two other friends, Rhona and Cone and I’d say we had the burger-calorie-packed Saturday ever!

 

 

Wham Burgers' Slider Trio, P250 (for all three)

Wham Burgers’ Slider Trio, P250 (for all three)

How can you say NO to these awesome goodies??? Burger haven, babe!IMG_6049

 

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It must have really rained yummy burgers that fine Saturday afternoon!

I love that Wham Burgers’ burger patty is really beefy and juicy! I’m no food-blogger so I will just describe it the way it appealed to my palate. I like that the cheesy burger is really cheesy and that even to the last bite of the tomato filling, you will really eat. It was the first time I tried Wham Burgers and I must say that I was kind of surprised that it even tasted way better than the famous American burger franchise I used to frequent when I want my burger fix.

They also served us their latest offering which is the Spaghetti Fries. It has this sweet Filipino-styled spaghetti sauce and some chopped juicy hotdogs. It’s like eating fries and spaghetti in one:) And yes, it’s a tasty twist to your usual spaghetti!

 

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Aside from the yummy burgers and tasty fries, what I like about Wham Burgers is that it’s 100% Filipino brand! Yes, it is!

I only learned it from my friend who happens to be the PR person of Wham Burgers and she told me a brief history of the burger joint. It was started by two good friends, Tony Yap and Dondi Lazaro. It was actually a surprise for me since the packaging of Wham Burgers and even their store’s interior and designs are more Western in style.

This discovery actually added more appeal to me. I am a self-proclaimed patriotic of the Philippines. I love watching Filipino movies and I don’t mind being tagged ‘baduy’ because I love supporting my country’s very own talents. When it comes to restaurants, I would often ask the waiter if the owner is a Filipino or foreigner, and when he/she will say the owner is a Filipino, I would definitely be more delighted to eat in that restaurant. There’s that different kind of pride whenever I see a thriving business and it’s Filipino-owned.

I am just glad that Wham Burgers is a Filipino brand ;) Now, here’s something worthy to promote :)

So the next time you crave for tasty burger, you know where to go, people ;)

Wham Burgers has branches in Katipunan, SM North Edsa (The Block), and SM Mall of Asia.

 

 

 

One Day…

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One day, I know everything will change.

Things will not be the same as they used to be.

We will be living our own separate lives.

One day, we might be deprived of the chance to see each other again.

Communication might just become another luxury thing to do.

One day, you might pass by that place we once shared happy moments at and you might remember me.

The exact place where we sat, sang, ate, laughed, or even cried together.

I hope that when you will  recall those times, you will smile.

A simple smile that could make visible the happiness in your heart at the thought that once upon a time, we became very special friends.

One day, you will just be part of my memory.

The songs we once sang together will just be part of my life’s old playlist,

Songs, which when played, will definitely bring back good, old, sweet memories.

One day, I might  be looking at old photos of us together and smile at how we were once inseparable.

One day, I know I won’t be able to let my tears stop to flow when I remember all of the times we’ve shared.

Just thinking that this special bond might one day end, I could already feel a deep pinch in my heart.

I hope when that day will come that we will just be part of each other’s memory, you will not forget me.

You will not forget all our happy and sad moments with each other.

I hope that I will not be just ‘another used to be’ in your life.

I hope that even when technology can no longer bring us closer, you will still remember me.

I hope that you will remember me with a smile and still keep for me a special spot in your heart.

As for me, your place in my heart is already guaranteed.

No one can ever take that place even if I will meet thousands of people.

I will never forget that once in my life, I met you and you became a very special part of my existence.

One day, I will look back at our times together and I know, I would still be wishing for them to happen all over again.

You are one of my favorite episodes in my life’s story.

Your impact in my life will go on until I breathe my last.

I hope you know how thankful I am for your life and your friendship.

But until that day, I am hoping we can be friends for as long as we can stand each other’s silly jokes and dramas.

I am seriously hoping that ‘one day’ will not happen very soon.

Because I am already used to having you around….

Don’t Lose Jesus In The Feast

We prayed for something. We sought God for His will. When He answered our prayers, we jumped high in glee. We became too busy and preoccupied on what to do next and how to get things done that we somehow forgot why we earnestly sought God for that thing. Somehow, the things turned from God + Me + His calling for my life to Me + World + What I could get from this answered prayer. Thus, we may not notice it that we’re slowly losing sight of Jesus along the way.

In Luke 2:40 – 52, it tells of the time when Jesus, Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the Passover there. Mary and Joseph were so busy and preoccupied with the religious rituals that they didn’t even notice that Jesus was no longer with them. It took them 3 days to find out that Jesus was no longer with them.

I’ve read this story many times before and heard of it from priests and preachers time and time again, but I would honestly say that I always miss the mark of the essence of this story. I just see it as some carelessness in the side of Mary and Joseph. At one point in my youth while reading this part of the Bible, I even thought of Jesus as arrogant because of the way He answered His parents then when they found Him. It was during our coaching last Saturday when I finally got to understand the essence of this story – all thanks to the explanation of my coach :)

Just like Mary and Joseph, we may not also notice it but somehow, in the midst of the routines, rituals, highs and lows of this life, we fail to notice that we’re already losing the presence of Jesus as we’re too preoccupied with what to do with our lives or with the situations. An example given by my coach was with the Victory group. As a leader, we sometimes become too used to the routine of preparing for the VG (small group), reading the materials, etc., that there are times when we no longer seek Jesus on His word for the VG members for that particular session. We just read the materials and think as if it’s already enough as long as you can share what’s in that piece of paper. There are even times when we only prepare few minutes before the VG starts. Thus, in some way, we are losing the essence of Jesus in the VG session. Yes, we share about Him but that’s just mainly because He’s the default topic in every VG sharing.

Right now, I am in the season of preparing for the next episode in my life. I prayed to God, sought His will for this new season and He answered me. I was overwhelmed with happiness when I got a ‘yes’ for this particular thing I’ve been praying for and I just knew then that this is the direction that God wants me to go. But somewhere along the way, the worries of the unknown future is trying to cripple my faith and my excitement for this new season. The unnecessary burdens are also working its way to my heart and mind to sap my joy. I’ve been thinking too much about trivial things and worrying a lot about the responses of people that I fail to notice that I am already losing Jesus along the way.

And as always, God’s word for me today is just what I needed to refresh my mind and calibrate my thoughts.

Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I might have been worrying too much about the not-so-important stuff that I am somehow losing the very essence of why I prayed for this particular thing to happen in my life. Some months ago, when I started to pray for this, I knew exactly why I wanted this thing so bad. It is for a greater purpose and a greater calling. It was clearly selfless that time. But now, it seemed that because of the clutters in my mind, the prayer is slowly turning into selfishness–always about me and not about HIM.

And all these I have to admit.

Thankfully, Jesus didn’t let go of my hand even if I seemed to be losing grasp of Him. He is still very patient in carrying me back to His path for me at times when I’ve been too engrossed with the sights I see on the left and the right that I didn’t notice I’m already turning to those directions. He gave me that verse in Matthew about worrying because He wanted me to just focus on Him as I step out in faith and embrace His calling for my life. This verse reminded me again that Jesus is the reason for this pursuit and not the people or the situation surrounding it. I know at times the enemy will still feed my mind with lies just to stop me from embracing this new season but I will just go back to this particular morning when Jesus reminded me again on why I prayed about it in the first place. I never want to lose sight of Him again.

If Jesus tells me to go, no matter how odd the circumstances may be, I WILL GO.

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Class Observation and Demo Teaching at ICLIP

My EDR 110 class under Teacher Maita Salvador, I could say, was one of the most extensive subjects I’ve had in UP-Diliman for my education certificate course. In all 6 subjects I’ve had, it was only in this class that I got to go out and experience community teaching, which was somehow a new experience for me.

Roughly three weeks ago, our class had the chance to visit ICLIP (Interactive Children’s Literacy Program) in Loyola Heights in Katipunan. Teacher Julie of ICLIP patiently and enthusiastically walked us through the history of the center, its mission and vision, and the various programs they’re doing for the less fortunate children of Baranggay Loyola Heights. While Teacher Julie was explaining ICLIP to us, something inside of me wanted to propose their kind of program to our baranggay chairman and perhaps to the mayor of Manila. I would say ICLIP’s program is really a good method to lessen and hopefully eradicate the problem with street children.

Three days after the orientation in ICLIP, we had a community visit to the places where the students of ICLIP  reside. It was somehow a surprise for me because I didn’t know that amidst the high profile city life in that stretch of Katipunan, there’s actually a rural-kind-of community hiding behind the towering buildings and posh universities there. Walking along the dark, narrow path going to the areas where we could see the students’ homes, we didn’t have the chance to be “maarte” and sensitive. We just walked and walked without minding whether we’d already stepped on poop or whatever trash was on the floor.

After the community visit, we had the chance to immediately observe the B-Level class wherein students from UP were also teaching the students as part of their NSTP subject requirements. I took down notes and really paid attention on the flow of the discussion so I will be prepared for the lesson plan and the actual teaching.

I was scheduled to leave for Indonesia on the exact week of the demo teaching so I had to talk to Teacher Maita and asked her permission if our group could do the demo teaching a week ahead. My group mates already agreed on the plan. I was so thankful when Teacher Maita said yes and even Teacher Julie, too. It may mean that we had to work double or maybe triple time in preparing the lesson plan and the materials but I’m blessed with the understanding and cooperation of my group mates. They didn’t mind going the extra mile just to let me pursue with the plan of going to Indonesia. I am really blessed beyond words and I realized why God put me in that group ;)

After that first observation, we went back to ICLIP again for the apprenticeship. We didn’t just observe that time, but we were the ones who taught the student that day. That made the ICLIP actual demo teaching a lot easier since we already know what approach to use to the students.

Surprisingly, we were able to finish the lesson plan way faster than the first time we did with UPIS demo teaching. Perhaps because we’d already somehow grown accustomed to the lesson plan making after UPIS, plus it was written in Filipino.

We had our demo teaching last March 10-11. I’d say the demo teaching went well and a breeze, except for the second day in the Skills Development part since I was late for 7 minutes and I had to rush to the lesson proper. I supposed the children enjoyed the story we read to them, which was entitled Inay! Inay Ko Po! which is about having mothers who are always there for us to catch us when we fall. The students were able to answer the questions well and they seemed to enjoy the activities we’d prepared. As for the Skills Development Part, we introduced to them Sanhi at Bunga (Cause and Effect). It was somehow kind of difficult to explain the subject but after some examples and demonstrations, I believe the students got it.

I appreciate the remarks, comments and suggestions of Teacher Maita after that demo teaching because it actually made us see the things we weren’t able to see or notice while we were teaching in front. It made us yearn to improve on our teaching skills more and even the way we should relate to students of various types.

It was only a 2-3 days stint at ICLIP but I really enjoyed the experience. The students might be a bit difficult to handle as opposed to our first demo teaching class but it was heartwarming when you see their eyes glow when they answered the questions right. There’s innocence and sincerity in how they respond to you. I hope that in my free time, I could visit ICLIP again and maybe volunteer my free time there:)

 

 

 

 

 

EDR 110 – Demo Teaching in Grade 3- Talon (UPIS)

The last three weeks were one of the most hectic days in my EDR 110 class with Teacher Maita. We were tasked to prepare our lesson plan for our class demo teaching in our respective year level and section. We had to meet Teacher Cham Cordero of Grade 3 – Talon in UPIS to ask her permission for us to conduct a demo teaching in her class. After the schedule was set and we got from her the theme for the particular period we’ll do the demo teaching, we then get down to business. We searched for a story according to the theme which is about heroes. We presented the three books we chose to Teacher Maita and she was the one who advised us the best story to use for our demo teaching. The story’s entitled “Looking Out for Heroes.” We then presented advised Teacher Cham about the story we chose and then proceeded to the preparation of the lesson plan. I’d say it was the most difficult part of all.

I’ve never done a lesson plan before since in the school where I taught, teachers were never asked to prepare a lesson plan. It’s a progressive school so we just had a curriculum planning before the school year starts and that’s what we’ll follow for the rest of they year. It’s individualized teaching so teachers were expected to just gauge the lesson according to the pace and phases of the students. So basically, doing a lesson plan was really a new thing for me.

The formulation of the objectives alone was already difficult enough. But as we try to fill out the rest of the items in the template, I realized that the objectives part was in fact, the easiest of all. We had our first draft submitted to Teacher Maita,which of course got a lot of revisions. It was difficult for me to formulate a lesson plan during the first trial because I didn’t really know how the flow must be like. But when Teacher Maita advised us about it and explained to us how the discussion flows, it got clearer to me already–although I could say doing the plan is still not that easy.

We had revisions in our lesson plan up to the last minute of our demo teaching. We had to change some activities in the post-reading part as well as do necessary changes in our Skills Development Lesson Plan.

Days before our micro teaching, I was really feeling agitated. I’m nervous and tensed at the same time. I think I experienced more tension during the micro teaching than the actual demo teaching. Maybe because I’m feeling a bit off with the micro teaching since I will be conducting the presentation to my classmates who are almost the same age as mine as opposed to the little ones whom I will be conducting the demo teaching with. I have to admit that I felt even more relaxed doing the actual demo teaching with the Grade 3- Talon students than when I did it in front of my classmates. I’d like to think that maybe because I am already used to teaching young students that’s why I was more relaxed with them. Plus, the Grade – 3 Talon students were behaved and manageable enough and they were very participative to our discussion.

One of the things I will not forget about this micro-teaching and demo teaching experience was when Teacher Maita called the attention of our group regarding turning on excellent outputs and even visual materials for our demo teaching. I must admit that our group was really having a hard time doing the project as a team. There was conflict in schedules and other reasons that manifested during our micro teaching for the Skills Development part. It was kind of embarrassing but I’d say that was our group’s wake up call. If not for Teacher Maita’s clear observation of our group’s works, we wouldn’t be vigilant in aiming for excellence. I believe that was God’s way for us to realize our faults and make us understand that we have to aim for excellence in everything that we do–that we have to give our best shot always and not just a percentage of it.

After that second micro-teaching, our group started working together as a team. We met days before the demo teaching and prepared for our materials as one group. And I believe that was worth it because I believe we have improved on our materials and the way we presented our topic and did the discussion. We still have many lapses, yes, but I’d say that as compared to the previous outputs that we had, our group had already improved. There was no blaming on who lacked on this or that or who didn’t bring in much effort. We talked about our mistake and decided as a team on what we’ll do to do better next time.

The whole demo teaching experience was a mixture of happy and nerve-wracking adventure. I could say we’re blessed that we were assigned to do the demo teaching to Grade 3- Talon students because the class were behaved enough and they were easier to manage. There were some down times especially during the Skills Development discussion part when some of the students looked bored listening to us already but still, I believe everything went well. We just have some issue with time since we weren’t able to conduct the enrichment activities with the students because of the lack of time and we had to rush the Skills Development discussion a bit just to keep up with our schedule.

Despite of the occasional lack of sleep experience and the almost everyday going to UP, I’d say the whole demo teaching and lesson plan making experience were worth it. I’d learned a lot from this experience and I’m sure that whatever learning I got from it, I am surely going to use it in the future as I embark fully on the teaching journey. I am thankful that I got to experience demo teaching on my last semester in UP as a CPE student. And yes, despite of some adversities along the way, I could say I’d enjoyed the experience ;)

The Cup of Goodness at Roots and Herbs

Just how adventurous can you get to have a unique coffee experience?

I am a certified coffee lover. I could gulp down 5-6 coffee cups for a day, especially if I have to stretch my working hours to beat a deadline. But I must admit, though, I’m not too adventurous when it comes to trying uncommon coffee flavors. A visit, however, to this latest coffee craze along Leon Guinto Street in Taft, Manila — Roots and Herbs — gave me an exciting and healthy coffee-tasting experience.

Roots and Herbs in Taft has been on my radar for some time now since I’ve been hearing about it from my sister and even from some friends from the church. I’ve been wanting to try the coffee here but I was told it’s always full. Good thing that after a dinner with church friends, Ate Helen randomly invited us to try Roots and Herbs.

Located at the second floor of Bellagio Residence in Leon Guinto Street, Roots and Herbs gives off that warm and friendly aura wherein you can feel like you’re buddy-buddy with everyone there. The place is not that big — actually it only has 3 tables inside for maybe 8-10 pax and an al fresco area for bigger groups.  You can see books on display at the book shelf near the counter which I believe customers can read, too, while enjoying their coffee. This Roots and Herbs branch may not have a big space as compared to your usual coffee shops but I’d say that adds up to the charm of the place — that intimate feeling, like you can exchange small talks with the people sitting at the nearby table and be friends with them eventually.

And now the coffee…

Because I was feeling extra-adventurous that night, I tried the Iced Malunggay Coffee. Why adventurous? Because I never liked Malunggay and I don’t really have a passionate relationship with vegetables for that matter. But I did try eating Malunggay pandesal before and I found it good so I assumed the malunggay coffee wouldn’t be that much of an odd-lot in taste.

First sip. In all honesty, I was surprised that there was not even a hint of herb taste in my Iced Malunggay Coffee. It’s just like drinking coffee with a swish of chocolate. And it tasted surprisingly good! It has that creamy, rich taste with just the right amount of sweetness.

Iced Malunggay Coffee (P78.00)

Iced Malunggay Coffee (P78.00)

My friends had Malunggay Coffee Frappe, which again, didn’t taste “herb-ic” (if there’s such a word) at all. I had a sip of this and I say it tasted like ice-blended Magnolia Chocolate Drink with a hint of coffee.

Malunggay Coffee Frappe  (P88.00)

Malunggay Coffee Frappe (P88.00)

I’m actually thrilled to try the Butterscotch Frappe next time I visit since my sister’s been raving about it.

And the Malunggay Biscocho Creamy Butter Flavor (reduced sugar version) is enticingly good, too! We also had the Butter Garlic Flavor (No-Sugar-Added version) but I like the Creamy Butter flavor more ;)

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Indeed, it was a malunggay-filled night! What’s nice about Roots and Herbs is that the prices of their coffee are pocket-friendly. Well actually, not only the coffee but the rest in their menu since their Pandesandwich is just P48.00 and the Gourmet Sandwich is just around P90-150.00 per order. I’d say this is a nice go-to-place if you want to have a gourmet coffee fix with friends while munching on some pande-goodies in between sips and chatters. And a superb bonus to this craze is that there’s health benefits in every malunggay coffee cup you drink since malunggay is known for its anti-oxidant features.

And yes, it was a happy night well spent with good friends which made this whole malunggay coffee experience even more remarkable ;)

Fun time with good friends! :D

Fun time with good friends! :D

Roots and Herbs (Leon Guinto branch)

2450 2/F Bellagio Residence 

Leon Guinto Street, Malate

Contact detail: 0923 503 9382

Opening hours:    1:00 pm – 12:00 am Monday to Saturday (closed on Sunday)