Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Fear Factor vs. Faith Factor


It has been a year since the last time I peeked on my blog. Some of you might have been wondering where have I gone.

Well the answer seems pretty obvious, I've been around looking for picture perfect moments for this post. Hmmmm...have I just given you an acceptable alibi? Okay, it will probably take another year to explain where and what I have gone through, but to make it short...I've been "busy". Believe me, it's harder for me to explain than understanding it.

So for the sake of this blog, I'll refresh you with memories that had happened during our Y.A.M.A.N. camp. As I have been stressing on the pre-blogs, it was remarkably different.

Fear Factor vs. Faith Factor

I could not remember the exact date but it was one of May's Friday night. I remember bringing my stuffs (backpack) at work, had a busy day and feel relieved to know that I'll then again be traveling to another place where I haven't been to.

The group met up at Folk Arts Theater. The "Bulwagan ng Panginoon", the same place where Day By Day Community praise and worship.

When I arrived, the group was already there. All things were packed and ready. The anticipation even grew when I've seen new faces joining the camp. The thought of new people, going to a new place to praise and worship GOD had boosted up my energy to participate in this camp even more. Y.A.M.A.N. will be accommodating a bigger family after this event. And after a year of reminiscing, yes I was right, it did.

Many people had physically left Y.A.M.A.N., (ok so I myself included), but not the hearts. And this camp had brought people together - again. And the best thing about this camp?! - it has brought us to another level of relationship - a much more deeper friendship, closer to GOD.

From Folk Arts Theater, riding in a van, we travelled for almost more than two hours to reach Tagaytay (camping area). As I remember it, 2 vans (including ours), even got lost finding the place. We've gone far enough to know that we were in another province (Batangas). Funny as it was but the thrill of adventure has just started.

The pictures will tell it all.

Because we have lost our way, we arrived late in the camping site. The area was really not a scout-campsite, as I always thought it was.

That thinking of scout-camping was introduced to me when I attended one of the YFC (Bacolod Area) Camping Event held at the lower part of Mt. Kanlaon. Scout-camping was a total adventure, exciting and fun, though I wasn't really prepared for such an event - indeed, I wasn't scoutboy that time. Since then I think that camping was always like that, thus I make myself ready all the time - I have been a boyscout since.

In this camp, we didn't have to build tents or make fire to cook food. We stayed in a building (our camping site).

The building is sort of a 2 story coliseum, just a smaller one. A large door meets you at the entrance. Blocked by a huge bulletin board,
a large meeting hall occupies the center for all events. Corridors and rooms occupy both the left and right upper and lower wing of the building. It was a very good venue for another spiritual camp. A totally different one, indeed.

The entire picture of the building, from the outside, looks like a church. Aside from it's architectural design, it's on pure white.

Shortly after we arrived, house rules were given. then we were gathered in groups (depending on our assigned room), and have been provided instructions on what to do next. I just can't remember really what the instructions were, except that I have fallen into a deep sleep - that I'm sure.

Then breakfast came.

We didn't have to cook - the best part of the camp. The cafeteria is located on the left side of the main building.

There were eight long tables to be shared by the campers. We ate on the same time together, but on our table we ate by groups. Male on the right and ladies on the left row of tables.

Foods were great, pinoy-style cooked meals were served - making you feel at home. Servings were simple, yet it was a sumptous feast. To make it even more at home, Bro Val preferred a hot cup of taho instead, though I remembered I grabbed a cup of tahoo too. Perfect breakfast.

Several pastors have joined us in our camp. They've shared their wisdom on topics concerning fear and faith, young and old, life and death. Indeed, through them, GOD had manifested in our camp. It was a remarkably different one - and I was grateful to be part of it.

Pastor Ed shared more on Life - Fear and having Faith. The choices that each one of us will make and the faith that holds us to GOD to make the appropriate choices in life.

Pastor Gammy testified GOD's works in his life's journey as a pastor and a father. How he struggled through difficult times and situations. How GOD manifested His compassion in his life. How GOD comforted him amidst the pain and prejudices. How wonderful GOD at all times - and I believe GOD is good all the time!

Just like most of us, I too have felt the same pain, and as a person who have heard the same cry - I definitely undertand. I have to mention that I was one who's tears flowed upon hearing Pastor Gammy's testimony. There was a warm feeling after that, comforting in a way that I could never understand. For me it was GOD manifesting His presence among us - even closer.

This was only the first day, yet we have two more fun days that I'll share...until then...


Faith Factor

It was totally a different one. The feeling has just not faded yet, and I hope it will stay for good.

The anticipated moment drew nearer. And though the entire scenario as to where to go, who are going with, and what are to be expected weren't clear, there's something in this activity that excites me most. I'm sure it another journey to a place that I've never been to.

The excitement of discovering new areas, for me, in this planet. Places where some people might have been before, few have seen at times or none has ever experienced at all. All of these I want to see and feel, in which I'm sure GOD would like me to experience.

And when all seemed so perfect, a thought bumped my mind as to what am I going to do in this camp? I haven't been involved with Y.A.M.A.N. for quite sometime - therefore I wouldn't enjoy it that much. I might waste my time, effort and my friend's money (Thanks Bro Bren for being a channel of GOD's plan for me). The thought had gotten worst when Bren had plans of not coming due to his aching tooth. Woah! It could mean one thing, the trip might no longer possible for me too.

The anticipation had suddenly changed to anti-participation. Series of questions ran through my head. What are my options? Where will I be if I won't go? When will I feel peace? Why do I have doubts? Am I having lots of Fears?

And just when I was about to quit. I remembered my notebook's cover with a phrase : "Walk with Faith!" , and so faith came.

Those questions which I have asked earlier had remarkably turned upside down. Still I got lots and lots of questions, but all of them now flows with optimism, with full conviction. What do I have to lose? My GOD stays at my side anyway. Where is the highest peak that I could go to? I got GOD's wings to help me soar high. When will be the soonest time to burst out, sing praises and shout for joy? Why would I let doubt interfere when in fact I hold GOD's trust in me?

Never Fear when you have Faith in your heart.

Several definitions of Faith runs across www.dictionary.com. As for me, Faith is something I believe in, seen or unseen, the trust in GOD and in His promises as made through Jesus Christ.

Only then that I knew, all along, it was faith that brought me believing that something good is about to happen in this camp. Indeed - My faith has not failed me.

I'll fill you up with picture perfect moments. And as I always say, let the pictures tell the entire story of my Journey to Mission Camp.

Hope you will enjoy, co'z despite my sneezing and running nose, I did 100%.


Fear Factor

It was totally a different one. The feeling has just not faded yet, and I hope it will stay for good.

That's what pops out of my mind whenever I think of the camp that I've recently joined in. Out of the stressful work and busy life in Manila, I was so grateful that I was able to make an escape and be revitalized again.

It wasn't so sudden, but the days had made it quick. About a month or two ago, my close friend and brother in church, Bren, informed me that there's an upcoming Y.A.M.A.N Camp sometime in May. I wasn't so sure about it yet, as I have already made my plans to visit my cousin in Cebu around May 14 - 25, to celebrate her 28th birthday. In short, Bren's message had slowly faded.

My excitement grows as days passed by. Seeing my cousin and again be able to step in the Queen Island of the South had been my inspiration in waking up each day, full of energy, knowing that there's something ahead waiting for me.

However, things have changed. On the last week of April, my cousin advised me that she has enrolled in an IT Course in which she has to give her full time and attention. Ouch! I thought, my plans are ruined. But then, it was my cousin's choice and I always respect her decisions in life, therefore I thought I could still go to Cebu and just be there myself. Lonesome as I think of it so I have to think of other plans. I have plans visiting my online-game friends in Bacolod, but it wasn't what my heart dictated. A thought of visiting my grandmother and relatives on the northern part of Negros even came across my mind, but my heart did not find peace on that thought.

I was then full of dismay, thinking that the first week of May had passed by, and nothing have I done and accomplished but all stress from work. I cried a lot. Life seemed full of fear, so meaningless now. Without me knowing it...my God heard all my cries.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30

Suddenly, HIS message, in a form of text, made it clearer. I was then again introduced to join the camp.

Could this be possible? I asked. In times when you think you have "good things" under control, GOD simply takes it away and replaced it with "best things" you can never imagine. Indeed, in GOD, nothing is impossible - I agree 100%!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Just Remembered

February 14, 2009

Heart's day as they call it, but it's more than heart's day for me. It was a day full of love and unity, bond and trust unite.

I woke up early and was excited to celebrate the day with my family and closest friends. Since I am single and is still "looking", I tried to spend the day fruitful, in thoughts and in my heart.

I decided to spend it with my close friend and buddy in Church, as I believed it would be a nice day to talk about things in life, lessons that my workplace had never provided.

It was a long talk with movie watch in between. The movie didn't seem to have so much impact on me, but what made that day meaningful and fun was when I took the ferry ride back home.

Just as my friend dropped me off the port, so has the ferry arrived. I departed alone with other people. I realized I was the only person who rode the ferry without any companion. Most are teenage couples, holding hands, smiling at each other. Some are old couples, still holding hands, and talking with so much endearment. The rest are middle age couples with kids clinging on their arms happily boarding the ferry. Am I alone?

Lonesome as it may seemed, but I kept my eyes wide open and be busied on sceneries alongside the river. As the ferry drifted along, I was caught by the video that has been viewed for a couple of minutes just right after all passengers have boarded.

And to my surprise, it was my favorite band playing "Air Supply".

My priorities shifted, from the outside scenes to the big screen in front of me.

Air Supply's live band performance on a recorded video disc, playing right in front of me. I never got to see to one, but I always hear them sing every Sunday morning when my uncle turns his "component" on.

It was somewhere in the middle of their performance when I realized that I started to sing along with the band. And to my surprise, it wasn't only me who was singing, but the lady beside me as well, while her boyfriend, I assumed, leaning on her shoulders. Gosh! Sweet isn't it?.

The song was "All Out of Love". I guess you heard it, and most probably have sung the song many times as I did.

The song echoed inside the boat, and as I looked around, I saw almost everybody's now singing the same song that I'm singing.

I got this feeling that I could hardly imagine. It was almost like heaven. So it is indeed possible that even during crisis times, trouble hours and hardships, for just a couple of seconds to a single minute, people in all genres could be united in a song, people could become one in spirit.

Do you ever think what will happen if all these people could be one in Christ? I think the feeling would be more than a song...it could be a rhythm that never ends.

I could still feel that thrill of excitement every time I remembered all the details on that trip that I made. It was one of best days of this year. Loveless as you may described me that time, but I was never Out of Love of Christ.

Till then...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


So Here It Goes...

Another fun-filled trip had I experienced. This time it's somewhere down the South, got no idea of it's exact location but the beauty of the place was hidden behind hills and mountains of Tagaytay. Do you now picture out what I am talking about. It's the Banio Kreek.

Another year had passed that I almost forgot all about this. Fortunately, I always tend to think of things and places where I've been through to revitalize my mind from a stressful day, only to find out these old memories yet to be shared.

It was around cool September when the same group, with few people added, decided to re-pack our things for another adventure. To be exact I have to check my emails for the preparation threads we've made. And this I've noted, happened last 26 and 27 of September.

Sooth by the coolness of 'ber' season, the group didn't mind brainstorming all ideas as to how to make this event possible.

Hah! Just like the old times, the pictures will tell exactly what I'm talking about.

Okay, so I have to include the office preparation.

Is it proper for me to say that thinking or planning how to spend a tight budget was probably the worst responsibility to be given to you? Ha ha ha. Proudly we got one of our colleague, Khaye, to manage all that.

I bet you already know what she looks like when all the planning and budgeting have to be sorted out in a short time.

Luckily I wasn't around that time to partake such load. You should have seen me and my disgruntled face if I'll be the one doing it. Boy! I hate budgeting, all I know is how to spend. Trust me, I'm good at that. Ha ha ha.

Well, to be fair, I was present during the spending time. I got no photos of me doing the picking of goods though, but honestly I've proud to be 'at least' and 'somehow' part of the preparation.

Alright, so what comes next was the excitement on seeing another beauty of wonder that my eyes is yet to discover.

For all who knew me, or perhaps understood me, I love travel. And every time an opportunity to travel comes along I rarely refuse. It's not about the destination that I'm after, but the feeling of peace when you're inside a comfortable vehicle traveling miles and miles, never really knowing where to go.

Maybe it's because of people you travel with that makes you comfortable with things. Converting travel stress into a time of happiness and laughters.

Most had just gotten out of work, yet the work's anxiety had faded the moment we were inside the van.

Just like with the previous story I've shared, never there was a dull moment if you are with your friends - every single second seems like forever and every single distance traveled seems like eternity.

After two hour ride we've reached Tagaytay...ops! It wasn't the exact destination yet. We made several turns and swerves and stops just to get to our spot.

Night time when we arrived and since we could hardly see the entire place, we dwelt on indulging ourselves with the microphone.

It's videoke time!

Oh my gosh! almost everybody got talents to share. I honestly believed that Filipinos are born music lovers. Some turned singers, composers and musicians.

Only few that I know hate music, that's when music turned it's back on them too.

If I had exposed the beauty of Montemar on my previous story, here I have to share the gifts given to us. And we got lots of those.

The photos will definitely tell you the talents most of us got. Alright, so I have to be specific they say. Off course we got singers, chiefs, clappers, laughing agents and do I have to forget, drinkers.

Ha ha ha. My point is that everybody was comfortable with the level of joy that they felt on that trip.

Morning came at last. Though the music never really ended. It has made me discover things I could hardly imagine.

Trust me, the beauty was indeed hidden behind the hills and mountains of Tagaytay. A small creek was supposed to be the main attraction of the place, but the man-made garden encompassed it. The renovation had just perfectly blended with the natural wonder.

...Being there was living in a fantasy world...where fairies, elves and dwarfs live.

I could imagine me an elf sitting on that bronze chair wondering what magic to perform next. But off course, the wand of magic had been swished already, and the result was brilliant.

Another picture perfect for you to see.

Well, it wasn't just about the natural beauty in Tagaytay that this post is about. But it's about exposing the beauty that came with the trip. I bet you know what I'm talking about.

And that's the reason why it has to be on the center of this post. Really I could hardly see freshly posed ladies in the office everyday, to be general in most offices. Often that's seen before the day started, and what I've captured was just absolutely perfect.

Oh well, just like any other trip, there's always a 'bye bye' part.

Then again, we left nothing but footprints and brought nothing but memories. Yeah yeah, I got some pebbles, I forgot where I put those stuff. Ha ha ha. Just kidding!

This trip had then brought another lesson for me to ponder. It wasn't about drinking, but the bond that tightened the beauty of friendship. It wasn't about the clapping, but the beauty of appreciating the talent. It wasn't about cooking, but the beauty of each helping hand that satisfied hungry stomachs. And it was everything that GOD had made that made everything beautiful for us to see.

Let us not stop discovering the gifts that GOD had bestowed upon us. It could be you singing or you looking over a peaceful valley from the top of a hill.

Friday, April 3, 2009


T'was Quite a While

Hi Friends,

I had been away for quite sometime and never really had a chance to scribble down my thoughts. It's hard to explain where I've been and how I got there, to friends who knew me all along, but it's even harder for me to explain to myself the same questions.

The path that I have been walking through this journey had gone blurry. Smoke and fog, I had came across, these made me fall.

I descended deep into burrows which I hardly survived. My mind is eager to escape, but my body was weakened. I stayed there for a long time.

The burrow had tried giving me relaxation at some point. The mud stuck in my flesh is eager to revitalize me, but I was not. They say mud is a good source of anti-oxidant, releasing all stresses and pains I have, but it has not. The coolness it brings gave me chill, but not for long.

The more I got stuck, the more I realized I wasn't home. The burrow never was a home.

I am always afraid being alone. But alone in the dark for a long time has given me strength. It made me endure frightfulness.

I prayed long for heavens to give me light. To give me more strength and courage to strife.

And it came. Heavens that reached out for me, I knew it.

My prayers were not directly given, heavens made me realized that the burrow was my opportunity to gain courage, to strife and to live.

When I finally came into my senses, I found the path I was once walking...though it wasn't near as I thought.

It's visibility gave me hope that life must go on no matter what. It has always been GOD's will to follow, and only by walking down the same path that GOD had made, will you feel home.

I haven't seen Evan's Almighty yet, but I heard this quote and just loved it :

Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?

I have kept a number of photos for you to see on another vacation spot that I've been. This, off course was another memorable place for me. It was the Banio Kreek.

I'll walk you through my journey on that place on our next meeting. See you next time.

But for now, I'm glad that I'm back. Hope you are too.

Always a friend,
Pinoy Diwa