Monday, April 05, 2021

Ep. 4

 The situation now is alarming and can totally cultivate the ugly triplet chain of fear, worry, and anxiety.

In times when I feel like drowning from these thoughts and emotions, I would look up to You and call on You. It is always comforting to know that I can fully unload all of these to You. 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Sunday, April 04, 2021

In the World Today... Remembering You

 Is anger enough reason to take the life of someone? Could the continuity of your own life be more important than that of the other? 

In just a short span of time, a few people have lost their lives. A food delivery personnel. A lad who just wanted to help. A pregnant woman and her stillborn baby boy. They didn't lose their lives because of COVID-19, but because of human's uncontrollable tendencies. Again, could it be enough reason? 

I brave myself to go through the videos about them, trending online. All of them brought me to tears. I just couldn't bear watching or even finishing them. The third case brought me to so much anguish and heartbreak. Yes, I may not know the complete details of them all, but does it really need to go that far? If it is painful to me, how much more to the immediate family? It brought me a memory. That one that I thought would not hurt me anymore upon remembering it. I know I let everything to God. However, my human heart just can't conceal it. I know in the deepest of my heart, a part of me wants justice to be served. Yet, instantly, I would be reminded that justice belongs to God alone.

"Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord." Romans 12:19



Monday, March 29, 2021

Ep. 3

 New tasks ahead. A new wave of COVID-19 scare. An impending dilemma in view.

Before facing all of these, head-on, a much-needed breather would be great. A new routine. A new place. A new perspective.

The sermon was a great reminder. It gave a new bud of encouragement. 

It really takes a great escape for one to bring around a new bout of strength and motivation to face the life ahead. It would also need a lot of courage to take a risk and act according to what you are capable of. A great faith to lift and leave everything to God.

Monday, March 08, 2021

Ep. 2

 My mind is full. What ifs permeate their way through. The enemy is working so much harder. It is even using weapons that could petrify my will and my senses. Yet, I know and certainly believe that my God is there for me. For I know nothing or no one can separate me from the love of God.  Though He may allow pains and challenges, I can still find His rescue and deliverance. Like what is mentioned in a song, in making a new wine, there's crushing, there's pressing, there's breaking. For where there is new wine, there's power, there's freedom. And for we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Monday, March 01, 2021

Ep. 1

 Today is a holiday. After finding out the missing piece of the puzzle, I felt like I exhausted all my energy. I woke up tired and a little irascible today. I was so invested in the situation that it felt so light after everything got into the light. Good thing, I was able to experience my tiny piece of heaven here on earth, the flower farm. 

 I am greatly thankful to God for all the fulfilled tasks for today. 

It is always a good thing to put everything into the light. Nothing is hidden. Nothing is left out. Nothing is missed. 

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Worth-Waiting

 Does love really come to those who wait? Is love worth-waiting? When will be the right time? How would you know it is the right time?

In order to find the answer, a lot of people would rely on zodiac signs and compatibility charts. Some would even desperately consult a fortune-teller. Is the perfect time written in the stars? Or is it read on the cards? Will I find it after going through a lot of relationships? Will it come when I am eighteen? 

This is where Ecclesiastes 3 would come in. There is a time for everything. A time to love. 

The right time does not surely correspond to a certain age. There is no generic timeline for everyone. Every person has a certain season in life and that the same goes for love. For others, waiting could be longer compared to some. Every waiting season is a course to take. One must know that the path could be tricky and it's never easy. It could be painful at times. It is definitely a test of character and faith.  It could even measure your confidence in God. It would crowd your mind with questions. Questions that don't have answers. It even clearly shows you a gazillion of reasons to give up. With all these, it absolutely needs God's grace. A lot of it. It needs a heart that is full of courage and obedience, and a mind that is armed with discernment. It could also mean total surrender to God. When we let God, hope comes in and grace abounds. No matter how long. No matter how painful. No matter how difficult. The fact that you are absolutely confident that His faithfulness is unfailing and His grace is sufficient, is enough.  Through that unperturbed confidence, worship and service will be easy. Peace will keep you afloat above all else. So, when? Well, only God knows the timeline and finish line. He has all the answers for the reason that He is the one that writes and orchestrates everything according to His perfect plan.

Today, one timeline has been filled in. Theirs has been rough but was been blessed by God.


To my dearest Belot, 

The wonders of WAITING was such a great bond that made us really close to each other. Well, it still does. Looking back, we could spend the whole day talking about it. John Waller’s “While I’m Waiting” and Corrinne May’s “Everything in Its Time” were such great anthems. We could drown ourselves in the possibilities, yet through and through hope would envelop us and keep us going.

I have seen how some strings of your patience snapped and broke, which left you in tears and with just a little devastation. I won’t get into the details of them all. Right now, I just want to virtually celebrate how God has been so good in your life. Yes, there were knotted parts in the middle, which were hurtful, yet God has never left you there and be stuck. It has always been part of His great plan.

You and Tawi together was not a surprise to me from the very start. I might have been a part of it, in little ways. Way back when you were still friends, and just a text and call away, I see how happy you were each time you talk to him. Well, you’re friends. Yet, the way he makes your day so lightened up, which you might haven’t noticed at the very beginning was something that made me wonder: How about these two ends up together? There were those times that I already noticed that your virtual closeness was seemed odd already. There I started praying for you and mindlessly, I was actually lifting you two up to God.  GOD BE PRAISED for He answers our prayer in His most mysterious and wonderful ways. I pray that you will continually seek and honor him as you enter and embrace the rightful duties of being a wife to your husband. I pray that you continue to strive to become a Proverbs 31 woman. Remember that you are worthy of God’s grace. Remember always that you were His, first and He is your first, before and above anyone and anything else.

As you become a married couple, take everything step by step. Never hesitate to take counsel from your spiritual mentors, most especially from God. Be more gracious and patient with each other as you always are.

My heart will be there with you on your wedding day. It pains me not to see you, two, in union with God, yet know that I am always here backing you up with my prayers.

I am greatly blessed to have known both of you, and I am very happy about these wonderful milestones in your life.

GOD BLESS YOU AND CONGRATULATIONS!

Always & Forever

Your Ate AIZA


God is never too late. He is too wise to be mistaken. Trust God's heart in the season of waiting.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Sunflower



 From the very start, I was completely drawn to sunflowers. More attracted compared to other flowers. It is definitely for the fact that it conveys very special meaning to me. Every sunflower represents every person who is unconditionally present in our lives. Sharing to us their light. Giving us a chance to bloom at our own pace.

Also like sunflowers, despite knowing we won't be here for long,  choose to live the brightest, boldest, strongest, and most resilient because we know that we can confidently bloom in the hands of God. 

Most especially,  you see, a sunflower always turns its face to the sun, even by the time the sun sets. Just like how we need to turn our face to the Son, Jesus Christ, and follow His example.

Be a sunflower. You are my sunflower. 


Note: I am not a cake person. It simply meant to be kept in my picture gallery. However, I took a small size and it was amazingly delicious. Though I didn't enjoy the cake so much , I made sure that it went to the special people who could actually enjoy it. 



Thursday, November 12, 2020

Unfolding the Great I S T O R Y A

 2020 is about to end. In contrast, it doesn't seem to feel like it has been almost a year. By listening to the deafening and disheartening blubber and clamor on social media about the STORIES of this year while dealing with your own inhibitions, it would only collectively end up to EXHAUSTION - of the mind, spirit, and body. The desire to unchain yourself from this quagmire is incessant.

Discovering and going to new places always awaken my interest. It is one of the most gratifying things to do. This deep enthusiasm has led me to come upon a story of magnificent beauty - ISTORYA.

After all the travel restrictions were lifted, my feet have started to develop an itch to #Lagalag and my dauntless heart has begun to long for a great feeling of tranquil ambiance. It was the day I was browsing my social media feeds when I came across a sponsored post. I was caught by how the photos were taken. However, my skeptical mind was telling me to be cautious. It might be another case of "expectation versus reality." Also, the place is a little bit far. As a result, I ended up digging more proofs to validate their claim and to satisfy my curiosity. As I see more recommended photos and reviews, I was ultimately convinced that the place is worth a try. I sent the link of their page to another dauntless drifter - Sharmaine. We decided and agreed to set the date, book a reservation for a DAY TOUR and explore the place. 

It was in the middle of the typhoon days. At first, I was apprehensive to go because of the erratic weather condition.

The day came, we agreed to meet at 5am to hail a bus to ROXAS CITY. The start of a great ISTORYA begins.

I always love bus rides. It always feels like a great expedition to the unknown. The curiosity is like a tingling sensation in my heart that makes me more curious about the unknown. A beautiful unknown. The ride was more or less than three hours to the appointed destination. I spent the whole duration appreciating the wonderful glimpses of nature and praying for God's favor and protection to be with us in the journey. As the bus was approaching the destination, I showed the place to the bus ticket collector, surprisingly, he revealed to us that the bus would not directly pass by our destined location. I felt a little disheartened. Just for a moment. No buses from Iloilo City could directly pass that town. The end destination of the bus is the city terminal. The bus ticket collector and the driver directed us to hire a tricycle so we can precisely be taken to ISTORYA. 

Looking for a tricycle for hire was chaotic and nerve-wracking because a lot of them crowded around us that seemed like we were in a market full of noisy vendors. It was exhausting. It was more exhausting than taking an almost 3-hour bus ride. To get away from that scene, we finally decided to choose one from the many. Luckily, the trike driver was very knowledgeable of the place and very accommodating. Since ISTORYA is located in a very private place in the middle of a town, he offered to pick us up by the time we decide to go back. The trike driver hasn't heard so much about the place. On the other hand, after the long winding and turning to different streets, we were able to reach the main road to ISTORYA. How did we know? It was simply because they provided street signs and directions going to the place-to-be. We easily trailed on the signs and eventually arrived in ISTORYA.

Upon entering the gate and going down the trike, my eyes were glued on the unbelievable view in front of me. We arrived a little earlier than their opening time. The friendly and welcoming security guard guided us in and entertained us as we wait by answering our inquiries about the place. According to him, ISTORYA is a 2-year-old forest resort. That answered why it was not very known to everybody yet. 

The location was previously a forest which was further developed into a scenic place. The flock of different species of plants is the façade that you would definitely see as you enter. The towering trees and species of palm trees perched into an arch all the way through the cemented road. We were signaled to check-in. As we go up on the way to the reception area, our eyes were greeted by several numbers of the controversial giant alocasia plants. The reception area has a vintage feel. The health check protocols were carried out. The receptionist was helpful and we were asked to advance our order for our food. The price of the food is affordable and reasonable. He then gave us a contact number that we can call whenever we need something; as one of the adherence to social distancing policy. Since it's a day trip, we were led to a function hall and we're given our own table and chairs. The table was already set with drinking water and utensils. We were the first guests on that day. 

After a while, we decided to roam around the place. The place was really admirable and even beyond expectation. We were as if charmed by the place. Anywhere we go is all surrounded by flourishing greenery.  The pool is wide, blue, and inviting. Each of the rattan furniture pieces thoughtfully placed around it exudes an imposing statement. The music playing in the background sets the mood for an enjoyable dip into the pool. I was still feeling unsure about the swimming though. As I look ahead from the pool, a maze pathway and a commanding façade of the Magdalena Salon de Baile, are peeking out to the view. The excitement was intensified so we changed into our photo op getup. Going into the Magdalena ballroom was even more magical. It feels like we have been transported into the renaissance era. The whole grand ballroom was an explicit beauty. Grand has become an understatement. From its wooden furnishings to the chandeliers, the whole building is spawning a regal semblance. The iconic checkerboard patterned floor added great ounces to its regality. Then, there are those unique spiral staircases that give access to the show-stopping foyers. The whole interior and exterior of the ballroom is a statement. 

Furthermore, we also indulged in the delectable dishes on their menu, "pechay salad" was a first for me but it was the most outstanding among the dishes served to us. Don't get me wrong, all the food was really delicious and surprisingly affordable. The food was freshly prepared and cooked in their in-house restaurant, Cafe Blanco, which we missed visiting, unfortunately. Also, the experience would not be complete without enjoying the enticing water as well as the fun of kayaking in the pool. Again, kayaking was a first for me. As we expected, we enjoyed the pool and kayaking so much. The fact that we were the only guests who were swimming at that time was a plus. We were so captivated by the moment that we didn't even mind even if it was pouring. The rain made it more thrilling and fun.

It was about 30 minutes before our pick-up time when we decided to culminate our indulgence.

The whole experience was so rewarding that it seemed like we stayed longer although it was just a day tour. The place was indeed worth all the twists and turns. It is like a gift from God. A gift of rest. Rest for our body, mind, soul, and spirit. As Psalm 25:14 (TPT) says: "There's a private place reserved for the lovers of God where they sit near Him and receive the revelation secrets of His promises."

ISTORYA is indeed a place where you will be able to experience the beauty of relaxation and the pleasure of nature. A place where you gain an ISTORYA to tell when you leave.

  Click these links for more details:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=4008512042510780&id=100000560702889

https://www.facebook.com/istoryaforestgarden/



Saturday, September 26, 2020

When You Chose To Leave

 It was summer when you left,

and it was hard to accept,

Hoping you would change your mind

and never leave us behind.


You are very persevered

That you won't reconsider,

My pleadings have been useless

To you, I've felt so worthless.


I don't know the reason why

You chose to bid goodbye

Precious moments you forget

Our friendship you've never kept.


Losing you is hard to handle

Though keeping you hurts me more

The fact that you've given up

Our closeness will not grow back.


Note: This was written by my 19-year-old self.




Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Let Go. Surrender to God!



 "I think I need to pray for it more."
"Maybe it's not the perfect time, yet."
"I think God is teaching me to wait."
"I firmly believe, God will change the situation."

Yes, these are the affirmations that we repeatedly make ourselves believe. There are several things in life that we hold so dear that it is almost painfully difficult to hold on to them. Things that we frequently pray to God for. We even wait because it might have been meant to happen if we wait. We have desires in our hearts. Both worldly and heavenly.
However, there are instances when we build our expectations on things that we have and situations we go through. We develop the kind of attachment and conviction to possibilities that are fueled by our desires and understanding of the situation. We even consciously and unconsciously build our own comfort zones. These comfort zones where we anchor our decisions and actions. When a desire clouds our conviction or even the will of the Lord, that is the time that we start to doubt. God will never allow anything that will obscure His purpose in our lives. His ways are not meant for our sake alone. 
If the weight is starting to burden us we should consider letting go. Letting go doesn't beget giving up. It doesn't even mean losing. It certainly shows that we are starting to build something new. We are letting go to build a life that is more meaningful and more God-glorifying. Yes, it takes time. It is hard. It is even traumatic to some especially to those who have built a strong grip on it. The fact is when we force ourselves to let go, it would be hard. It's like taking an animal carcass from a hungry tiger. The more you pull it from its grip, the tighter and harder it holds on to it. That is the same when you tell an achiever to give up, he would certainly try his best to continue to strive harder. What I am trying to say is letting go doesn't happen overnight. It could only happen when our heart has become steady and conclusive about it.
We have to build ourselves into something we firmly believe in. In my view, coming to God and addressing our willingness to pursue the step of surrendering to Him is the best. No one can understand us more than our Heavenly Father. It is about trusting and believing that His ways and His Word are always enough. It is about being faithful to the way He carves, writes, and fulfills his will for us.

"Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil." Proverbs 4:25-27 ESV 

Leave it to God and watch your life soar in His favor.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Momentary Moments

Filipinos have been known to have long-winded Christmas celebrations. The rush would usually start when the so-called "ber months" begin. Officially, it would kick-off in the month of September. Vendors commence displaying products related to Christmas. Radios would air phenomenal Christmas songs. Moreover, people would also decorate their houses with Christmas ornaments.
However,  waking up in September is not the same anymore. Back in the day, I used to get excited and hyped up by just the thought of Christmas. 
When I was young, my family would celebrate Christmas in simple yet memorable ways -preparing together, eating a typical Noche Buena, or receiving surprise gifts from "Santa Claus". Those were the days. 
In recent years, I have noticed that celebrating Christmas has become superficial. The warmth and excitement have gradually diminished. Sharing or giving has lost its worth. Christmas has become a generation of price tags, grandiose parties, and living up to expectations. Witnessing this chaos, a thought abruptly dawned on me. 
Do these people still remember the true meaning of Christmas? Do they even honor this day rightly? 
It's sad to say, most of them don't. At some parties, saying even just a short prayer before eating was skipped. The usual reminiscing of the goodness of God part has been removed. Some would even spend more time describing their wonderful gifts. The mindset has merely focused on having fun or receiving expensive gifts. This sight aches my heart. The fact that the real meaning of this season has been forgotten or even left out instantaneously breaks my heart. My heart breaks because the moments which used to matter have become momentary and ordinary. 
Looking through it, I have drawn a realization that this is why I would get Christmas blues. I simply long for that "Christmas spirit". The one which emphasizes love more than price tags. Giving or sharing more than expensive parties. Jesus more than fun. Everlasting memories more than momentary moments.