Okay, before I start my blog, I just want to blurt out my so-called disappointment upon preparing the laptop of my sister due to Bluetooth functionality disappearing! Asar lang. Ngayon ko na nga lang magagamit ung laptop for my yearly blog hindi ko pa magamit. Grr. For the mean time, I’m stuck with my smartphone typing every word in this paragraph.
Blah. Not a good idea. One paragraph took me about 15 minutes to type! And now, the Bluetooth functionality is now working in her account. Pft. =))
Anyway, every year, as far as I know, I create a blog at the end of the year. This is for me not just to something bloggers do but to go over with my 2013 Faith Goals, achievements failures, special events, special moments, and so on. Let’s start. J
“To live greatly, we must develop the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and triumph with humility” – Thomas S. Monson
2013 has been a year full, full of blessings! Even though the later part of the year was tragic, the blessings of God still outwit it. J Allow me to go through the highlights of this year from start ‘till end.
The year started with a new friend – Kit Placido. She was introduced to me by Ate Jeng Dela Cruz since Kit has started attending in Victory Pioneer. As the months passed by, I was amazed how God molded her from her past. Kit is a living testimony of how God can transform people’s heart from a half-hearted woman into a fully-pledged woman of God. I have no doubts that God will still do something BIGGER on this lady. Of course, I would not be able to witness Kit’s growth without Ate Jeng’s constant communication with me. I’m thankful to God that He gave me a friend, an inspiration, and a spiritual Ate with Ate Jeng. If she has time, we would talk about God, about our experiences, our struggles. This made me realize that it is really, really good to talk to godly people as it draws you closer and closer to God. Kit and I are already in the last two chapters of 121. I am looking forward with Kit joining the first Victory Weekend this 2014 with her Dad.
Now, my 2013 Faith Goals. In Victory, there is a yearly Prayer and Fasting at the start of the year. This is to realign ourselves to what God’s will is for us this year. I joined. With this, faith goals were made. This is my first year to create my faith goals at the start of the year. This is really a recommended task at the start of the year. You set your goals according to God’s promises. Goals that is impossible for me but so much possible to God. My goals may seem to be odd on you but as for me, they super mean a lot! I’m not used to the New Year’s resolution. It’s just that I don’t feel likely to do that.
83% of my faith goals were answered!!! The other 17%, I believe, is already at work in God’s hands. I just need to be patient. I must not give up! As what Pastor Joshua Galaraga said last service of the year, “What do we do when we still haven’t experienced our breakthrough? DON’T GIVE UP!
As I’ve said, a new friend, Kit. With that, I was referred by Ate Jeng to a Victory Group which Kit has also been referred. Yey, I already have a regular Victory group at the start of the year! If you may not know what Victory group is, it is a group of either group of ladies or group of men who meet up every week, preferably Sundays before or after service, depends on the schedule of each member. The group talks about what God has been doing in their lives, struggles in life, and the main agenda is to study God’s word. It is called “Victory group” just to resemble that this group attends Victory church. No other meaning to that. In Tacloban, I used to go to Tacloban Bible Church (TBC) and the name of each group is cell group (small unit of group of ladies or men). I am not sure now what it is called. Anyway, I am really, really thankful that God put me into that Victory group led by Ate Aileen Dela Cruz. The ladies were really amazing! They testify through their experiences, their lives, etc about God’s goodness, God’s love, and God’s amazing ways. Even though we were of different backgrounds – IT practitioners, bank employees, freelance, etc, we were bonded with God’s love. These ladies are just so fun to be with.
Mid-year has been oh-so-down moment of my life. Why? Deviation. Instead of focusing my attention to God, I focused my attention to a person. The almost two-month relationship was the worst months I ever encountered as far as God is concerned. No offense to him. Just want to let it clear. The person is mabait. I loved him but I love God more that it needs to choose between my relationship with the person or a total separation from Him. I need to choose. The result, I obeyed Him. He whispered to me through His Word, “Obey Me and I will bless you.” I love God more than anything else. Yes, I was hurt but the joy that I chose God is far, far more different.
But before that oh-so-down moment, my Komshy family (college classmates) went to Puerto Galera last April!! The one-year-in-the-making travel was already fulfilled!! Why one-year-in-the-making? Mga kuripot ang Komshy! Haha. But schedule was also the deciding factor if no or no-go on a travel. J We want everyone will be included in the outing. Hindi pwedeng may maiwang isa. Well, knowing Jaydee was in Tacloban and Tiff was in Japan, tinuloy na talaga namin. The experience in Puerto Galera was cool! Given that 3 of Komshy classmates were photographers and they brought their cameras with them and knowing that Mafe and I are the ever cam-whores of the batch, the outing was extremely filled with documentations. Haha.
Getting back with my oh-so-down moment, to comfort me with what happened; God amazingly did a lot of initiatives!! First, He let me attend seminars on discipleship. Next, He let me do formally the Blood Type Diet that was introduced to me way back 2012 by my friend, Miya Dionisio. He also let me workout in Gold’s Gym through Accenture’s Perks and had my personal training session by Lester Luczon of Acropolis branch, and not-to-mention my boxing sessions at Peñalosa Gym at Acropolis. These initiatives that God did for me were definitely applied to me. The diet and the workouts were really evident in my physique that I need not need to announce to everyone that “Hey I am on a diet and workouts see my changes?” Nope, I did not do such thing. The results speak it. I am really glad that I am becoming an inspiration to people who want to trim down their waistline. The goal here is not to have a beach body but to be fitter, leaner, and healthy lifestyle. Having a beach body is just the manifestation of it.
Along with getting fit, fun run is a must. This year, I joined two! Not bad, I guess, for a newbie like me. Takbo! Breast Friends Fun Run and Run for Bohol. I love to run for a cause not just to advertise different brands. Next year, I want to beat my record. Of course, singlet collection follows.
Woot! Another thing that God gave me, my first post-paid plan! Yipeee! Samsung Galaxy Core Duos is my first Smartphone. A not-so-expensive-kind of Smartphone but it definitely suits my needs.J Now, I can document almost all of the happenings of my life.
Now, the later part of the year. Who would now know Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan as the international name)? Super typhoon with an approximately 385 km/hour. The strongest typhoon ever hit in the world for almost a decade now. It struck the Philippines most specifically Tacloban, my hometown. November 08. My parents, along with my youngest sister and niece, were at Tacloban and my eldest sister and I in Manila. Yes, we were told that Yolanda will strike Tacloban and will experience tremendous wind and rain. Everyone did not expect what happened. No communication in Tacloban after the storm, no water, no electricity, none. Downtown and San Jose experienced storm surge. I did not even know that term. I had to Google it first. Ate and I were desperately in need of communication to our family. Our suffering ended. Meg was able to text me using my Mom’s phone at the V&G Parish, the only spot with a Globe signal. I rejoiced when I called my sister. My heart filled with joy upon hearing her voice. My family was able to get out of Tacloban after 3 days. The funny thing is that we already planned that they will fly to Cebu via C-130 plane and I’m going to fetch them there. It turned out that the plane they rode was bound for Manila. I was in Cebu that time! So epic but I am still thankful that my family was safe. My niece did not get any trauma from the storm. She only got a trauma due to the C-130 plane experience. Sad but my family and I were able to clear out my niece’s trauma. J Overall, I am still thankful that Yolanda came. I experienced God’s love for me and for my family. The financial assistance from different people was really amazing. It is clear that God’s provision is true. I know God will bless a hundred-fold to all of them. I also experienced how to budget everything. In this time, I learned how to be generous. So ironic but that’s how God works in my heart. So ironic, but true.
Along with this tragic event was an opportunity to help my fellow Taclobanons and Leyteños. Bulig Isko is an organization that was built out of desperation to help our fellow Taclobanons in our own little way. Well, that little way turned out to be a BIGGER way of helping out my fellow Taclobanons. I am so thankful that Project Windchimes has been fully supportive to WOW-Outreach which I am a member of. Naging maingay ako Facebook, inaamin ko yun. Maingay in a sense na I was updating everyone about the series of approvals for the donation campaign to be rolled-out to the project. Thankful ako sa lahat ng mga taong nag-donate in-kind and in-cash even in the smallest centavo. That meant a lot! Oh, I almost forgot. People not just in Project Windchimes were able to partner with me to extend their help to my fellow Taclobanons. I am really grateful for believing in me and in Bulig Isko. J Extending my help for this catastrophic event was really fulfilling. I may not volunteered in labor such as repacking and being a volunteer for the event for the Taclobanon kids, I was able to help out gather a not-so-little amount (approximately 200 thousand pesos) for the Leytenos. Helping is for the glory of God not for me to become famous, to be trending whatsoever. J May napala din pala ang pagiging maingay ko sa mga social networking site.
Another thing, my youngest sister and my niece had a very long vacation in Manila. Two months. My Mom and Dad had to go back to Tacloban on the 25th of November because the government issued a memorandum that all government employees shall work on the 27th. We were left with no choice but to let Mama and Papa go home. The two makulit na mga bulilit had to extend their vacation because Tacloban was still filled with darkness. In short, brownout pa din. But my niece have to be with my parents by January in Tacloban because my bunso will resume her classes by the 15th of January. She will continue her last semester before graduating and she’ll be back in the Metro by June not for vacation but to work. I already welcomed her in the IT world.
Well, along with their stay, I created the intiative #OperationPatabainSiBunso. This initiative was made due to the fact that bunso is already getting bigger to the point that I am the thinner girl in the family. So-called sexier Tin is back. Haha. Apart from that, #OperationPatabainSiBunso was created because I want to give back what Meg has been doing in taking care of my niece while Ate and I are at work. You know the young professionals. I just want to treat her in a way that almost all of the food treats I never even tasted before. Well, not to mention that we are really different. She loves sweet, I don’t. She loves pork, I don’t. She loves ice cream, I don’t. Hindi talaga kami magtatalo.
Because of Yolanda, I experienced a whole lot different Christmas and New Year celebration. Celebrating in the Metro was not-so-bad experience. I got to visit a lot of yuletide destinations in Manila – Policarpio Street, Mall of Asia, SM North EDSA, TriNoma, Ayala Dancing Lights, Rustan’s, SM Aura. The Metro were filled with lights! Along with that, I am celebrating my New Year with the Fam bam! I purchased plane tickets for them. I don’t want to celebrate New Year na hindi kami kumpleta. Pwede na ang Christmas celebration na separate kami pero huwag naman sana New Year din.
Lastly, the year will end with another breakthrough. God appointed me to be a Victory group leader, which is one of my faith goals. Woot! To all glory be in His Name!! I just felt so appreciated and loved by God because He believed in me in continuing the good works He put in my heart. So loved by God. So loved by my King. So loved by my Father.
As the year ends, I am thankful to all people surrounded me. I stood victorious in God. I remained in God. I will continue what He has started in me. A lot of trials were experienced but a lot of blessings outwit them. 2014 will be a better year! Will be a year full of blessings and breakthroughs in God’s will! I’m claiming it because that is the promise of God! So joyful. So contented. So loved.