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.


“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.


Last year’s Lenten Season were spent at Pampanga for my radiation therapy. Back then, there were so many uncertainties, worries and fear but I held on to God’s promise of healing.

Lent this year was a testimony of God’s relentless love. I’ve done things, I thought I never could.

My heart overflows with thanksgiving. God is indeed awesome!


So when you approach your God today, come with humility, a profound sense of wonder, and a sober fear of displeasing him. For He is awesome in power and a fierce and relentless warrior on behalf of his people. Whatever your needs are, you have not exhausted his strength and power. Whatever your concerns, you have not run his emotional well dry. Whatever your situation, his hand is not too short to save, provide, lead, and fight for you. Whatever the depth of your offenses against him, he is not prevented from forgiving, releasing, and drawing near the truly repentant person. Nothing is too hard for him!

I would like to share this reflection on Matthew 14:22-36 by Santa Rita Abbey:

During the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once he spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.

Awe is a word that has been batted around so much these past years that it has lost a lot of its meaning. How many times have you heard or even used “awesome” in the simplest of circumstances?

And yet, maybe it isn’t so far from the truth, once you get down to the source of awe.

This Gospel passage speaks of awe at the presence and action of God in people’s lives. The disciples are scared out of their wits by what they think is a ghost. It appears to be Jesus, so Peter, at once terrified and irresistibly drawn, challenges the “ghost” to prove that it is really his Master, that he is really who he says he is. And Jesus responds simply, “Come” to Peter’s question of authenticity. You just have to love Peter in his humanness and his relationship with Jesus!

So Peter jumps out of the boat and starts walking. Then it hits him: “I’m walking on WATER.” Jesus is no longer the focus and motive of his action and everything unravels. The wind pushes him around as the waves try to knock him off balance.

He has the very human reaction of fear and yells, “Lord, save me!” Jesus takes his hand and they get into the boat. Then the wind dies down. Can you imagine the awe that filled those men? He IS all he says he is. Our master and deepest friend is the son of GOD!

Try to wrap your mind around that. You can’t.

It is only accessible by faith and the Spirit.

I think Jesus’ words to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” were not a slam for being human, but an acknowledgement that Peter was on the right track, and a life-lesson about what it means to have faith in Jesus and live from it.

The awe that they all felt opened them to see the very wellspring of awe: the presence of God in all that exists and his tremendous power exercised as love and goodness.

And this Presence can and will ask us to stretch our faith, love and trust in a God who fills everything and everyone by walking into circumstances where we must let ourselves grow and be stretched into discipleship as his friends and lovers.

We don’t have to wait for dramatic moments to arise to experience awe.

Every day holds many moments that can lead us to the same place. So, are they really “small” if they are filled with the enormity of God? Sunrise, sunset. A smile. A fawn with its mother.

An invitation to leave behind our selfishness to serve another in honest love.

I could go on and on, and I’m sure you can come up with a long list yourself.

The point is that we live in a world of nothing but awe and we can, like Peter, take the challenge to step out in faith in the Son of God who loves us and has given his life for us, and walk on the water of awe.

As Scripture says, “Truly you are an awesome God.” In the best and deepest sense of the word!

When have you been impressed, perhaps even overwhelmed, by the awesomeness of God?

Let us pray:

Help me to keep your awesomeness in mind even as I draw near to you. When I receive your fatherly embrace, may I realize just how amazing it is to have such a relationship with the King of kings and Lord of lords. When I come before you in worship, may I come with reverence even as I come with childlike openness.

All praise be to you, mighty, holy, awesome God!



We are commanded to forgive others, God is really after our own good. So forgive from the heart and set yourself free.

This is what we shared to the kids last Sunday at the Awesome Kids Ministry service.


Remember, forgiveness is for our benefit. The other person’s behavior may never change. It is up to God, not us, to change others. Our responsibility is to be set free from the pressure and weight of an unforgiving attitude.

We took a bottle of water and some effervescent vitamin tablets.

We encouraged the children to think of someone they need to forgive.
• Someone hit you and pushed you down.
• Someone won’t let you play a game.
• Someone broke something of yours.
• Someone called you an unkind name.
• Someone took what you were playing with and won’t share it.

We talked about how they were hurt. They felt mad.

We encouraged them to ask God to let go of these feelings.

We asked the kids to put a piece of the tablet in the water and the children imagined asking God to help them forgive.

As the bubbles start to come off the tablets, they imagined giving the hurt feelings to God.

The tablets took a while to dissolve, which also illustrated that sometimes it might take a long time to forgive.

The water might also have changed color, which illustrates that it’s not as if the thing that hurt you had never happened, it’s just been changed by God.

For the craft activity, they colored an artwork that reminds them to always be kind and good to others.

I felt God’s embrace every Sunday because of these children.

Their presence affirm God’s abounding graces and mercy.

They taught me more to love and to live life.

A simple activity but has a profound meaning.

It was difficult for me to forgive few years back but I learned to let go.

To more years of serving and loving the children of God!


Finally, I entered the seminary.

Not as a priest because I am happily married but as a lay servant.

Special thanks to the Erni Couple of our Light Group (LG), Bro. Anton and Sis. Flor.

There were so many challenges along the way but it was God’s plan that prevailed.

We attended the Jesus Encounter (JE) pastoral formation of the Light of Jesus (LOJ) community.


“You are the light of the world. Your light must shine before others so that they may see the good you do and praise God in heaven.” That’s our call, and we must find now the ways to live out that call as as a community of disciples of Jesus.





My big take away from the program’s experience of faith and love:

Jesus said that we are “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world”. Being salt and light is not optional. Jesus did not say you can be…or you have the potential to be…He said you are.

When Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth”, He meant that all of His disciples were to serve as preservatives, stopping the moral decay in our sin infected world.

Christians, as salt, are to inhibit sin’s power to destroy lives. This in turn creates opportunity for the gospel to be proclaimed and received.

As “salt”, the Christian is to counteract the power of sin. As “light” we are to illuminate or make visible. Our lives are to be an on-going witness to the reality of Christ’s presence in our lives. When we worship God with pure hearts, when we love others as ourselves, and when we do good without growing weary, we are lights shining.

The more we look on the face of Jesus, like an impressionist painting, the more light we see and the more we are transfigured by it.

Jesus isn’t telling his disciples to let their light shine, only when they are with each other. No, He is telling them to let their light shine in the dark places.

Jesus is telling His disciples to let their light shine, wherever they are.

Let you light shine as a father.

Let your light shine at your work place.

Let your light shine in your neighborhood.

Don’t withdraw at the workplace.

When the opportunity knocks, don’t be a coward.

Light is worthless if it doesn’t shine.

God has chosen you and me to make a positive difference in the lives of mankind.

Jesus desires that we walk with Him, listen to Him and obey Him that we can be used by Him to bring about eternal change in the lives of others.

It is Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, living inside true Holy Spirit-filled believers Who causes us to shine brightly in a world of darkness!

We are to be salt for the world and light for the world — to the glory of God!

Let us pray.

Father, you are indeed worthy and deserving of a people who are fully committed to you and unafraid to say so. Forgive us for sometimes hiding our commitment to you in order to avoid unpleasantness from unbelievers. Help us to be unashamedly salt and light in your world, until you return with the full uncompromising brilliance of your Coming.

In Jesus’ name, we pray.



A fellow volunteer from Awesome Kids Ministry gave me a piece of Hello chocolate while waiting for our after service meeting last Sunday.

Lo and behold there was a cheesy line that caught my attention printed in the label and I shared to my wife.

“A stormy day with you is better than a sunny day spent all by myself.”



Photo caption of the little boy and the little girl. Minamalat na naman ang puso ko.. *** paano kasi, laging sinisigaw ang pangalan mo.

Cliches are often cheesy because they are an obvious and artless way of making a point. A movie might be cheesy if it contains ‘on the nose’ dialogue, like “I can’t live without you” or “You had me at hello.”

It also means using phrases when hitting on a girl at a “club” or any social setting.

Here are some compilations of cheesy lines from Rania Naim of ThoughtCatalog.com:

1. Are you a magician? Because whenever I look at you, everyone else disappears!

2. I’m not a photographer, but I can picture me and you together.

3. Do I know you? ‘Cause you look a lot like my next girlfriend/boyfriend.

4. Do you know what my shirt is made of? Boyfriend/girlfriend material?

5. They say Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. Well apparently, no one has ever been standing next to you.

6. For some reason, I was feeling a little off today. But when you came along, you definitely turned me on.

7. Are you religious? Because you’re the answer to all my prayers.

8. I seem to have lost my phone number. Can I have yours?

9. I’m lost. Can you give me directions to your heart?

10. Are you a parking ticket? ‘Cause you’ve got fine written all over you.

11. Are you sure you’re not tired? You’ve been running through my mind all day.

12. Is there an airport nearby or is it my heart taking off?

13. Was your dad a boxer? Because damn, you’re a knockout!

14. I was wondering if you had an extra heart. Mine was just stolen.

15. Would you grab my arm, so I can tell my friends I’ve been touched by an angel?

16. There’s only one thing I want to change about you, and that’s your last name.

17. Aside from being sexy, what do you do for a living?

18. Hi, how was heaven when you left it?

19. Do you believe in love at first sight or should I pass by again?

20. Is your dad a terrorist? Cause you’re the bomb.

21. Did the sun come out or did you just smile at me?

22. Kiss me if I’m wrong, but dinosaurs still exist, right?

23. Hey, you’re pretty and I’m cute. Together we’d be Pretty Cute.

24. Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven?

25. Can I follow you home? Cause my parents always told me to follow my dreams.

26. Is your name Google? Because you have everything I’ve been searching for.

27. Are you from Tennessee? Because you’re the only ten I see!

28. Hello, I’m a thief, and I’m here to steal your heart.

29. I may not be a genie, but I can make your dreams come true.

30. If nothing lasts forever, will you be my nothing?

31. There must be something wrong with my eyes, I can’t take them off you.

32. I’m sorry, were you talking to me? [No] Well then, please start.

33. Was you father an alien? Because there’s nothing else like you on Earth!

34. Was your father a thief? ‘Cause someone stole the stars from the sky and put them in your eyes.

35. Do you have a pencil? Cause I want to erase your past and write our future.

36. I’d say God Bless you, but it looks like he already did.

37. I must be in a museum, because you truly are a work of art.

38. Are you my phone charger? Because without you, I’d die.

39. Can you take me to the doctor? Because I just broke my leg falling for you.

40. You don’t need keys to drive me crazy.

41. Are you a dictionary? Cause you’re adding meaning to my life.

42. You remind me of a magnet, because you sure are attracting me over here!

43. I’m no mathematician, but I’m pretty good with numbers. Tell you what, give me yours and watch what I can do with it.

44. Didn’t I see you on the cover of Vogue?

45. Somebody call the cops, because it’s got to be illegal to look that good!

46. Sorry, but you owe me a drink. [Why?] Because when I looked at you, I dropped mine.

47. You must be a broom, ‘cause you just swept me off my feet.

48. My buddies bet me that I wouldn’t be able to start a conversation with the hottest person in the bar. Wanna buy some drinks with their money?

49. Is it hot in here or is it just you?

50. Hello. Cupid called. He wants to tell you that he needs my heart back.


March 6, 2015 was my first major surgery. Nine (9) hours of God’s embrace in the operating table. I surrendered everything and the rest was history.

Last Sunday, during The Feast at Manila Hotel, God’s big message was “I am bigger than you are. Trust me!”

Who am I to question God’s way in my life?

I may never know the reason why but I entrusted everything to Him.

I may have a lot of questions but God is bigger than all my worries.


I used to have a habit of trusting myself. I formed this habit through years of trusting people, getting hurt and finding out I couldn’t trust them. This caused me to believe, If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. If you don’t ask anybody for anything or open your heart to them, they can’t hurt you. But this mindset just kept me from trusting God. It was a bad habit I had to break. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (NKJV). When you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, the Spirit of God comes to live inside you. This is one of the greatest blessings of salvation: You don’t have to go through someone else to get to God. He dwells in your heart and you can learn to hear His voice.

Have you ever had to wait for something? I’m not very good at waiting, I’m not a very patient person. I don’t like waiting at the doctor’s office, I don’t like waiting for a table at the restaurant, I don’t like waiting in line at the grocery store or waiting in line to get on ride at the theme park. If I’m going to the doctor I want to schedule my appointment first thing in the morning. I will leave a restaurant if I have to wait very long. I love theme parks but refuse to go on weekends because I hate waiting in line. For me, waiting is a total waste of valuable time.

Yet, I have come to learn that there are times and periods in our lives when God says wait and through personal experience I have learned that when God is saying wait we need to wait, be still, be silent, listen, and let God do what it is that He must do. I have learned that if I will just serve Him while I’m waiting, worship Him while I’m waiting, and simply trust Him while I’m waiting; then when He has finished whatever it is He is doing in me, to me, through me, and for me is better than I ever thought or dreamed it could be.

If God has you waiting it is for Good reason and it is for your good. Be patient and let God do what only God can do in you, to you, through you, and for you. As you wait be obedient, surround yourself with the fellowship of other believers, be prayerful, search the Scriptures, and trust God to do exceedingly abundantly more in you and for you than you have ever dreamed he could do.

If God has you waiting this morning then you should simply say, “Lord, I’ll serve while I’m waiting, Lord, I’ll worship you while I’m waiting, Lord, I’ll trust you while I’m waiting. Lord, I don’t know exactly what I’m waiting on but I know it is for my good and your glory therefore I will wait upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised.”

I would like to share with you this praise and worship song from the movie ‘Fireproof’ entitled While I’m Waiting, an anthem for those actively waiting on the Lord.

While I’m Waiting

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will waitI will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait

I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord


Do you like to take risks?

When we stop taking risks, we stop living life.

We are never 100% prepared to start something new, but taking risks is so important!

I started this blog just to share my story but along the way, I learned a lot.


If you’re not taking risks, you’re not enjoying life.

From meeting new people and writing my encounter with them.

I also relearned the rudiments of English grammar.

Writista, a fellow blogger shared her Top 10 grammatical mistakes made by Filipinos:

#10. “Alright” and “All Right”
We see the word “alright” everywhere, and it’s begun entering the major dictionaries, but for formal writing, such as academic papers and business correspondence, you should still use the two-word version.

#9. “Pinaka-Latest”
“Latest” is already in the superlative, meaning there nothing “later” than it. “Most latest” is just redundant. Therefore, “pinaka-latest” is also redundant. But I have to admit, it’s pretty catchy. That’s probably why local showbiz specials love to use it.

#8. “More + Adjective-er”
Phrases like “more harder” and “more brighter” just give me more headaches. Just say “harder” or “brighter,” okay?

#7. “Your” and “You’re”
Two words that should never, ever, ever be interchanged, at least if you want to be taken seriously as a writer.

“Your” is a possessive adjective. In other words, it is used to express possession: “Your job.” “You’re” is a contraction of two words: the pronoun “you” and the verb “are.” Therefore, it’s always “you’re welcome“ and not “your welcome.”

#6. “Its” and “It’s”
This is almost identical to “you” and “you’re.” Use “its” to express possession: “I scratched its fur.” “It’s” is a contraction of “it” and “is.” Therefore, always write “it’s nice” and never “its nice.”

#5. “Their” and “They’re” and “There”
Same banana. “Their” is a possessive adjective, “They’re” is a contraction, and “There” refers to a place: “I’m going there.”

#4. “He” and “She”
“Clara’s there na. He’s, ah, I mean, she’s waiting for you.”

This happens because most Filipinos think in Tagalog, in which the word “siya” means both “he” and she.” This tiny difference between English and Tagalog trips up millions of Filipinos on a daily basis.

#3. “Already”
“She went there already.”

This sounds correct to a Filipino, but the correct use is “She already went there.” Personally, this still sounds a bit off. I would say “She has already gone there.” But that’s just me.

#2. The Ellipsis
This is one of the most abused punctuation marks in the history of humankind. Simply put, an ellipsis is the formal term for the three dots (“…”) that follow some types of sentences. Filipinos love to abuse it in the following ways:

By using only 2 dots: ..
By using more than 3: …….. (of course, there are some instances in which 4 dots are acceptable)
By using it several times in a single sentence: “Oh… Well… I’ll see you later, then…”

#1. Pluralizing all the wrong words
I visibly wince whenever I hear Filipinos add “-s” to the wrong words. “Fats.” “Furnitures.” “Evidences.” “Stuffs.” Stuffs. For the love of God, all of these words are already in the plural form. And saying “anyways” instead of “anyway” has always struck me as being singularly pretentious.