Midnight Sun

What if you have a rare genetic condition, a life-threatening sensitivity to sunlight since childhood?

Does life ends?

Are you going to surrender?

My wife adores the movie, “A Walk to Remember” and she will surely loves this as well.

Pabebe teen mode on.

“Midnight Sun” is a romantic tearjerker about 17-year-old Katie Price (Bella Thorne). One night, her dreams come true when she’s noticed and asked out by her longtime crush Charlie (Patrick Schwarzenegger), whom she’s secretly watched from her bedroom window for years.

Midnight Sun

A 17-year-old girl suffers from a condition that prevents her from being out in the sunlight.

Ready your Kleenex and your feels, as we give you all the reasons why ‘Midnight Sun’ will be your next favorite romantic film:

1. The 2018 film is based on a timeless love story of a 2006 Japanese film ‘Song to the Sun’ (Taiyo no Uta).
In the Japanese film, the lead character is also a teenage girl who loves to sing but has a rare skin condition that makes exposure to sunlight life-threatening. The teen romantic film was such a moving experience that it has also been adapted into a Japanese television drama in 2006, and also became a manga (Japanese comics).

2. It depicts a real and difficult journey of a rare disease and its heartbreaking consequences, but it’s also a story of love and compassion.
In Midnight Sun, Katie suffers from a rare genetic condition called xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), an illness with no known cure. Exposure to sunlight is potentially fatal, so she lives her life indoors during the day, only getting to live the world outside when it is safe after sundown. Life in isolation especially as a teen is nothing you would wish on anyone, and the film depicts its harsh realities. Actress Bella Thorne has expressed that one of the reasons she wanted to take the role of Katie is to make more people aware of this rare disease and hopefully it leads to more research for a cure.

3. It’s a story about one’s first love and heartbreak.
Do you remember the first time you fell in love? There’s nothing quite like it, and the story of young love will always be relatable no matter how old you are. Katie has had a crush on Charlie since she was a little girl, pining away from her tinted windows since she is not allowed to go outside. But one night, she decides to play her guitar and sing at a train station, and as fate would have it, Charlie is there and they finally meet. This isn’t all rainbows and butterflies — the film strips away cute when needed and gives you the pains of high school heartbreak, when a sudden summer romance is now also about coping with illness.

4. You’ll root for this new love team — they are just adorable.
In Midnight Sun, the teen pair is portrayed by 20 year old Bella Thorne and 24 year old Patrick Schwarzenegger. As Katie and Charlie, the two meet one evening and begin their adventures and romance during the moonlight, and then facing the inevitable question — can Katie can life a normal life? While Thorne is no stranger to the limelight, having many film and television series under her belt, this film is Schwarzenegger’s (yup, Arnold’s son) very first leading role in the big screen. And basing on countless tweets about how these two have melted hearts and left audiences all cried out — the pair definitely make the perfect on-screen couple, and it won’t be a surprise if they’ll have more film together in the future.

5. You’ll fall in love with the original music.
What’s a great teen romance without an equally kilig soundtrack to set all the feels right? ‘Midnight Sun’ also revolves around Katie’s love for music — her guitar and singing — and for the film, Bella Thorne lends her voice for five songs. The soundtrack is now available to stream online. ‘Burn So Bright’ is a bright upbeat song that shows off the actress’ pop-like pipes, while ‘Reaching’ is a slow, melancholy track with nothing but a guitar and Thorne’s sweet voice. Hold on to your hearts and listen to the soundtrack below.

Source: ClickTheCity.com

Silang

Are you in a long-distance relationship (LDR)?

I am.

It was never easy.

So every opportunity that my wife and I are together, we spent the most out of it.

One thing that we enjoy doing together are palengke tours.

Palengke Silang

“Falling in love in a Christian way is to say, ‘I am excited about your future and I want to be part of getting you there. I’m signing up for the journey with you. Would you sign up for the journey to my true self with me? It’s going to be hard but I want to get there.” – Tim Keller

During her last vacation, the public market of Silang was our go-to palengke for the best deals in upland Cavite.

Abundance of seafoods, farm-fresh produced, childhood knick knacks and mouth-watering Pinoy delicacies right at your finger tips.

This is just one of the many activities that we enjoy together.

What are your couple goals?

If your marriage is good, these six things can help you grow closer according to iMom.com. If your marriage is so-so or even worse, they could help you give it a push in the right direction towards bonding time with your spouse. This is for the ilaw ng tahanan special note series.

1. Are courteous and kind to each other.
A little kindness goes a long way. Try to treat your husband like he’s a good friend. If you’re rude and snippy to your husband, why will he want to be nice to you?

2. Talk about issues before they get out of hand.
In marriage, you have to choose your battles but, if you sense that an irritation is becoming a major annoyance, you need to talk about it with your husband.

3. Believe in each other.
If you think your husband is a loser, you’re going to treat him that way. Even if he has a track record of business failures or poor decisions, keep your opinion of those outcomes separate from who he is as a person.

4. Assume the best about each other.
Look for the good things about your husband and assume the best in his actions and words. Instead of assuming that he has bad intentions, give him the benefit of the doubt before you jump to conclusions.

5. Live in a “we” world.
Couples who are close use words that show they are set apart. Try to say, “Our bedroom, our house, our children, etc.” Think of you and your husband as a team.

6. Touch.
It sounds corny, but hugs are healthy. So hug your husband when he comes home, instead of just giving him a quick peck on the cheek or lips. Touch his shoulder while he’s driving; hold hands while you pray at church or offer to rub his back.

These are just few tips for the wife but coming from a husband, don’t forget to pray for each other always.

Have a blessed relationship!

Alleluia

Are you living as an Easter people of God or still in Golgotha?

As married couples, there are a lot of practical lessons that we can learn about relationship from the death and resurrection of Christ as shared by Fr. Mark Demanuele, MSSP during the Easter Recollection organized by the The Feast Bay Area Couple’s Ministry.

As a missionary, Fr. Mark shared his journey of challenges as an Easter person.

Easter people of God

The beauty of the cross is in the promise of Easter, where God shows His natures as a redeemer and restorer. If your marriage is in a time of stress and pain, put your hope in the one who sees past the immediate circumstances of your life and into a hopeful and wonderful future. It is very possible that God could use the current difficulty in your marriage to create something even more beautiful and enduring than you could ever imagine. As you celebrate Easter with your family this year, take some time to reflect on the meaning for your marriage. Allow the wonderful and powerful spiritual truths of Easter breathe new life into your relationship, and your bond will be stronger for it.

He pointed everyone to the powerful exhortation of St. John Paul II back in 1986:

“We do not pretend that life is all beauty. We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain. But we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through his own pain to the glory of the Resurrection. And we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery – the mystery of his Death and Resurrection. “We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!”. We are not looking for a shallow joy but rather a joy that comes from faith, that grows through unselfish love, that respects the “fundamental duty of love of neighbour, without which it would be unbecoming to speak of Joy”. We realize that joy is demanding; it demands unselfishness; it demands a readiness to say with Mary: “Be it done unto me according to thy word”.

In particular if Lent is a time to give things up, Easter ought to be a time to take things up.

If Calvary means putting to death things in your life that need killing off if you are to flourish as a Christian and as a truly human being, then Easter should mean planting, watering, and training up things in your life (personal and corporate) that ought to be blossoming, filling the garden with color and perfume and in due course bearing fruit.

Jesus resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven.

Characteristics of Easter people as shared by Fr. Mark:

  • Easter people rejoice in Jesus’ death AND resurrection. (Romans 5:10)
  • Easter people preach the resurrection more than one day a year. (Acts 4:2)
  • Easter people long for their resurrection brought by Jesus as much as or if not more so than a temporary bodiless existence in heaven. (1 Corinthians 15; Philippians 3:7-11; Revelation 21)
  • Easter people long to see Jesus restore creation from the curse of decay. (Romans 8 )
  • Easter people speak up at great cost against the ‘principalities and powers’ of this world because Jesus is our risen King and he is king over them all. (Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 2:7-9)
  • Easter people are willing to deny themselves and lose all things for the sake of Christ now because Christ, by the power of his resurrection, has promised to restore all things and reward his disciples in the ‘life after the next life’. (Matthew 19:27-28; Mark 10:28-31; Revelation 21:5)

As an “Easter People,” our response to the gift of forgiveness and eternal life compels us to try to live lives that reflect our new status. We are a people forgiven, healed and renewed by Jesus’ Body and Blood, and we are called to share that Good News with the whole world.

Our response can and should be rooted in love. As Jesus himself has told us, love for God and love for our neighbor is the foundation of Christian living. Because God first loved us, loved us so much that we were given God’s only son for our salvation, our response to this love is not only to love God as deeply and fully as we are able, but also to love everyone else as deeply and fully as we love ourselves.

As couples, our relationship with God matters most.

We need to nurture the loving relationship of husbands and wives like how Christ offered His life in the cross.

In this time of violence, strife, argument and disagreement, God continues to call us to love not to hate. God continues to call us to look beyond the immediate to the eternal.

What in a moment of anger or outrage might satisfy our pride is most probably not consistent with the loving future God wants for us.

It is not God who has created the turmoil that surrounds us; it is turmoil of our own making born from our love of self above our love of others.

This Easter, amidst the joy and celebration of our new lives in Christ, let us also celebrate the joy of new life with others.

Let us begin to set aside our pride and petty difference that not only separate us from each other, but also separate us from God.

Let us strive to become an “Easter People” who know and reflect God’s love through our love for one another as equals—equally beloved children of God.

Spy

NaHudas ka na ba?

Holy Wednesday of Holy Week: Traditionally this day was called “Spy Wednesday” because today before the crucifixion Judas conspired to hand Jesus over. For this he was paid 30 pieces of silver.

The betrayal of Jesus by His very own disciple is a powerful reminder of the horrific possibilities within every human heart. There is much to learn from Judas, a man who studied under Jesus Christ Himself and yet betrayed Him with the unmitigated gall of a kiss.

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Why was Judas able to do this to Jesus and betray Him for thirty pieces of silver? Did Judas really belong to Jesus? From all indications, Judas never belonged to Jesus. He may have verbally aligned himself to Jesus but never really believed and followed Him. His relationship with Jesus was very superficial. This is why it was quite easy for him to exchange Jesus for silver. Man may claim allegiance to God yet never submit his life and soul to Him.

What Judas witnessed to us reveals that one can be in Christ’s service and still not know Him and acknowledge Him as Savior and Lord. When we seek Him for own purposes and attempt to make Him something we want Him to be, when we do not allow Him to prevail in our lives and when we make Him only as an afterthought, when the totality of the world’s possessions and treasures are more valuable to us than our relationship with Him, when we compromise our values and refuse to turn away from sin, we become a replica of Judas Iscariot and are destined towards total destruction

The story of the betrayal of Jesus still resonates in the hearts of men today, not only because of the audacity of Judas’ evil deed but it highlighted the weakness and wickedness of our flesh. We may attend church regularly and give Jesus intellectual assent but not our hearts, our lives and our total being. We could call Him King but only to assume our own thrones over His. We may approach Jesus with a symbolic kiss but never dare embrace Him. We may proclaim all our praises and worship and choose to be His disciple, yet not embrace a life of humble witnessing, self-denial and sacrifice. We may project to be loyal and faithful disciples but opt to be lukewarm and indifferent to Him when life becomes difficult and being loyal to Him becomes more of a burden than a way of showing love for God and His people.

Most of us say that betrayal is the cause for friendships to fail. Friends do not always have to agree but they have to be loyal to each other. The other disciples of Jesus failed Him in a lot of ways but they remained loyal to Him. But only one of them failed Him and had the imprudence to turn his back and sell Him. That was Judas Iscariot.

Jesus gave Judas every chance to reconsider his plans and redeem himself yet he could not do it. He could not get out from the stronghold of Satan which had its beginnings when he pilfered the money box of the apostles and later on reached its peak when he sold Jesus to those who wanted to persecute Him.

As friend and brother of Jesus, have we given some thought on how we have failed Him? Was there ever an occasion that we truly betrayed Him and turned our back on Him?

This Lenten season, Jesus wants us to examine our hearts and repent for all our sins. If we pray to Him with a contrite heart, He will never forsake us. He is our help forever and we will never be disgraced.

As we approach the passion and death of our Lord Jesus, let us all give time to our God by closely scrutinizing our hearts and examining how we have betrayed Him.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, give me the grace to be truly loyal and faithful to You in Word and Deed. In Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Source: PagadianDiocese.org

Mock

Have you heard of smart-shaming? This Holy Tuesday, let us reflect on how we treat others.

“Ikaw na magaling!” and “Edi wow!” was a popular catch phrase among young people.

These are just some of the common Filipino responses when someone gives too much information specially in casual conversations.

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Do you have a friend who respond with “Ang lalim oh!” to people who give deep insights on on-going conversation?

Or respond with a “Dami nitong alam!” to people who give interesting information while getting engaged in a conversation?

What supposed to be just a casual exchange of ideas suddenly turns into one party getting shamed because of providing insights, opinions, beliefs and interesting facts.

A fellow blogger Cynthia Ap shared why should someone be stigmatized for thinking differently? Or for being more perceptive or well-informed? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t stupidity, ignorance and stubborn rejection of new ideas be frowned upon instead?

She added that Filipinos live in a world encompassed by love for ignorance. We celebrate mediocrity and lack of insight like they are grand things to be proud of. I have often told my non-Filipino friends, “Filipinos are genuinely warm and friendly but most are not very bright.”

Some of you might take offense but take a look around you. What does the common Filipino watch on TV?

What does the common Filipino post on social media?

What does he talk about in social gatherings?

What does the common Filipino read?

How many of us even read?

Take time to reflect on those questions.

Now, when someone navigates from these ordinariness, we look at his deviation in a negative light. That instead of encouraging him to continue his pursuit of knowledge and his sharing of new ideas on social media or in real conversations, we shame him with responses like, “Eh di wow. Ikaw na ang matalino.”, “Wow! Talino! Sorry ha, bobo lang kasi ako.”

Faced with such comebacks, one can no longer continue with the conversation. What else was one supposed to say? It is the same when a religious person tells you, “Because God said so” which can be translated to, “I don’t want to think anymore.” What else can be said?

Why? Why must we have this mentality?

Is it because we equate being smart with arrogance? Do we find their intelligence offensive in some way, especially when they show it?

She emphasised that what most Filipinos do is, since they are too lazy to widen their knowledge either in theory or in practice, they’ll discredit those who do.

Instead of being curious, they will attack those who are. This is sad and embarrassing at the same time.

Smart-shaming is an effect of anti-intellectualism where people mistrust intellects and intellectual pursuits.

Isaac Asimov once said: “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

People who present a different way of thinking, and are perceived as a danger to normality are considered as outsiders with a little empathy to the rest of the population.

Hence, the birth of the idea that people who have a contradicting point of view are considered as elitists, arrogant, matapobre (anti-poor), and aloof.

One of the countries who values high-quality education among its people is the Philippines but ironically has an alarming increase rate of “smart-shaming.”

Why is this so? Filipino are not aware that smart-shaming is actually happening around us.

Smart-shaming continuously increase and happens every day due to lack of awareness among the public.

Sadly, the act of mocking smarter people than us is becoming a norm.

Whatever rationale or personal reasons people have behind it, smart-shaming has to be stopped.

Smart-shaming stops a person from pursuing intellectual growth fearing they might be mocked because of it. Knowledge and intelligence is power and people should not be teased because of the knowledge they have gained and learned.

Acknowledging their achievements will encourage not only the person to quench his/her thirst for knowledge but also would encourage others to be smarter.

Nowadays, information is readily available by just clicking on buttons in your computer screen. I personally cannot see why people stop learning when we have all the means to gather information. Life is, after all, a continuous process of learning.

As much as it stops intellectual growth, it also hinders people to express themselves freely.

Because of the fear that people will mock someone when their views and opinions opposes the other party, people tend to “just not talk”.

This causes a lot of great ideas and interesting opinions to be kept and slowly be forgotten.

The fear of being dubbed as a know-it-all hunt everyone.

But bear in mind it is better to be a know-it-all than to know nothing at all.

Voice

Back in the 80s and 90s, observing the Holy Week was a totally different experience.

Lola Trining, my grandmother (father side) thought me the importance of the Lenten Season. She paved the way for me to participate in the Holy Week traditions. She modelled the importance of fasting, prayer and moments of reflection.

Voice

Have you ever wished you’d hear the voice of God? I know I have. I’ve had those moments in my life, where I just wish that, that a voice would boom out from the sky—would come down from the clouds—and tell me everything was going to be okay, or tell me what I’m supposed to do next, or tell me what I’m doing wrong.

Today, things are different. Families often prepare for the Holy Week early, trying to look for the cheapest airfare options and resort rates.

A lot of people use the Holy Week to get together with family and friends; to relax and enjoy some time away from work and the office.

We can’t really blame them, though. Maybe it’s really the only opportunity they have to relax and recharge.

Despite this, however, many still use the Holy Week as a time for reflection and renewal of faith. People still flock to churches during Visita Iglesia; many still hear Mass on Good Friday and witness the Seven Last Words and Passion of Christ.

Majority of the younger generation have a different understanding of how the Holy Week is celebrated, maybe because of the practices they were exposed to while growing up.

But, this is not to say that all is lost. Here in Cavite, for example, the streets are usually quiet beginning Maundy Thursday until the wee hours of Easter Sunday.

If you go to places in upland area or Indang, Amadeo, Alfonso and Tagaytay – you’ll see lines upon lines of people waiting for their turn at the Stations of the Cross. And this includes young people; teenagers and children. Some of them may be too young to fully understand why they’re doing what they’re doing; but at least they’re on the right track. Let’s just hope they don’t stray from that path later on.

There are also some people who do their best to make the best of both worlds work.

They go on an out-of-town retreat or on a staycation, while they also spend some time for reflection. They don’t actually go to different Churches for the Visita Iglesia, and neither do they join retreats. But, they try their best to spend time alone with their thoughts and pray.

They find time to do some reflection. Often, the sincerest prayers and reflections are those that are said in times of solitude.

This year, many will troop to the resorts and vacation destinations during the Holy Week.

But, many others will do their best to be faithful to their hearts and find some alone time with God.

And I think this is what’s most important; that we all find time to stop and reflect – on our relationships with family and friends, on how we have treated others, on our dreams and goals, on our doubts and fears; on our life.

It doesn’t matter whether you do this while joining a retreat, a recollection or hopping from one church to another; or while vacationing with loved ones in a secluded island. What matters most is the sincerity in your heart; that you know why we are here; that you know how and why we were saved.

Listen for the voice of Jesus this week. He calls out for us. He thirsts for us while he suffers for us on the cross. Yes, he will exhale a final breath on Good Friday but he will also draw the first breath of new life on Easter Sunday.

Do not be afraid to join Him on this journey. Embrace the passion of this Holy and heart-heavy week, grounded in faith that the story does not end in sadness.

FuGen

Exactly four (4) years ago, Future Generation Philippine International School (FGPIS) in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia invited me to be their commencement speaker.

I was glad Facebook has an “on this day” feature to always look back at your special memories in life.

My wife was beside me when I received the plaque of appreciation.

FuGen

“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”

I shared the value of finding true joy, accepting one’s limitation and loving your parents to the graduating students.

True joy doesn’t result from things or circumstances. Joy is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of Christ.

Jesus never promised trouble-free living. In fact, He predicted the opposite, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

To quote C.S. Lewis, “Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.” New things may bring a temporary sense of happiness, but alas the newness wears off.

Lasting joy is not tied to material things but to a vibrant relationship with the one who is our source of joy! So take time to rediscover your joy, and learn to enjoy the journey.

Surrender to the existence of your limits. This is the only place from which you can truly start the journey of adapting, and when you accept and adapt, you can find a new way of living filled with a lot more peace – when you accept your limits, and when you accept reality, it’s then that you can discover what is still possible.

Love your parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old. Appreciate your parents. You never know what sacrifices they went through for you.

FGPIS is one of the leading Philippine schools overseas committed to the holistic development of its graduates with special emphasis on science and technology.

They have a high culture of excellence imbued with personal discipline and multi-cultural consciousness.

The school was founded through the collaboration of the its owner Sheikha Bareah Bint Sabah Salem Al Hamoud Al Sabah, Kuwaiti princess and the group of seven dedicated, intellectuals, and efficient Filipino teachers headed by Mrs. Marie Con C. Caro, school principal and Mrs. Zenaida C. Meren, school assistant principal.