I met Ate Wendy Samonte after the closing program of SFC International Conference 2018.

She wore a facemask and thanked a group of brothers and sisters in the parking lot.

Bro. Cris Serdenia, a fellow servant leader in SFC Middle East introduced her to me.

Ate Wendy

Dear Lord, I come before You today in need of Your healing hand. In You all things are possible. Hold my heart within Yours, and renew my mind, body and soul. I am lost, but I come to You with grace. You gave us life, and You also give us the gift of infinite joy. Give me the strength to move forward on the path you’ve laid out for me. Guide me towards better health and give me the wisdom to identify those you’ve placed around me to help me get better. Amen. (Together with Ate Wendy & Bro. Cris.)

Ate Wendy was diagnosed with gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs), a rare type of cancer found in the digestive system, most often in the wall of the stomach.

She undergone surgery in 2016. She has no stomach anymore. Digesting food is a big challenge.

She shared her pains during chemo and CT scan sessions.

I felt her agony because I experienced the same.

Her optimism was a source of inspiration.

She went to the event as a victor and full of gratitude.

The SFC community was a source of hope.

Stories about Ate Wendy gave me a deeper understanding of God’s relentless love.

She was a living witness of God’s faithfulness.

Let us pray continuously for her complete healing.

Amidst her condition Ate Wendy remains steadfast in serving the Lord in whatever way possible, her gratitude prayer:

“Thank you God for being with me, inspiring me and using me to speak Your words to my brothers and sisters. Continue to use me Lord, allow me to see Jesus through the people around me and to experience Your great love.”


Third day of February every year will never be the same again.

A memory of thanksgiving and overflowing graces.

“The biopsy result is out. It’s cancer.” Three (3) years ago, these words from my doctor crashed me into pieces. Looking back to where I am now, I am in awe of God. I could have easily given up but He has a better plan. Bigger than my vision.

The message of the gospel today reminded me to yield more in God’s embrace. (Payakap pa more Lord!) More years of loving and serving Him. Thank you for everything!


God’s love in action. Three (3) years of healing grace. Thank you Bro. Rommel & Bro. Cris for sharing your time. More years of serving and loving the Lord!

Celebrating it with Bro. Rommel & Bro. Cris from SFC Middle East.

#nootherwaybutforward #loved #healed #serviceaboveall


Ututin ka ba?
(Are you passing wind more than the usual?)

As a cancer conqueror, passing wind is like a nuclear atomic bomb that rips off the nostrils of your neighbors?

More often than not, they have a life of their own.

Is it good or bad?

On average people pass wind about 15 to 25 times a day. But sometimes illness, what you eat, and stress can increase the amount of wind you pass.


Gone with the wind? How’s your gas today? (Photo credits to the owner.)

What passing wind is?
Passing wind (intestinal gas) is called flatus or flatulence and is normal for everyone. It is not usually a serious problem or a sign that your cancer is getting worse. But it can be embarrassing, worrying and uncomfortable.

Causes of flatulence
Sometimes cancer or its treatment causes too much gas in the digestive system, making you pass wind more often than usual. Several things can make flatulence worse. These include:

  • eating certain high fibre foods
  • swallowing too much air
  • drinking gassy drinks, including beer
  • smoking
  • lactose intolerance
  • not being able to absorb fat from the intestine

Tips to reduce wind
It isn’t possible to stop flatulence altogether but some things can help to control it.

Try some of the following:

  • avoiding foods that make it worse, such as cabbage, corn, brussel sprouts, onions, beans and cauliflower
  • eating slowly and chewing your food for longer – to reduce the amount of air you swallow and help to break food down
  • activated charcoal tablets or powders – these can also absorb smell
  • eating ginger – this is said to help digestion
  • drinking peppermint tea

You might also find it better to eat 6 small meals a day, rather than 3 large ones. Smaller meals are easier to digest and may produce less wind.

Some medicines can help to reduce wind. Speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about which one may be best for you.

Some processed foods contain ingredients that can cause wind: for example, sweeteners or preservatives.

You can help to reduce wind by cutting out:

  • any foods that contain artificial sweeteners
  • sugar free sweets and chewing gum
  • fizzy drinks

Talk to your specialist nurse or doctor if the wind continues. They may be able to prescribe medicines to help. They can also refer you to a dietitian who will be able to recommend other changes you can make to your diet.

Source: cancerresearchuk.org


Out of 8 people, one person suffers from depression without knowing it.

Depression can strike anyone.

I watched Magandang Buhay last Monday, January 8, the episode was about depression among teenagers.

They featured the veteran theatre actress Shamaine Buencamino and how she dealt with the suicide of her daughter Julia Buencamino, who died at age 15.

Learning from their experience, Shamaine asks parents to take their children seriously.

She shared that younger generation now are more prone to suicide because of social media.

The Buencaminos launched a suicide prevention advocacy hoping to reach out to teenagers who are suffering in the dark like their daughter did.

They started the Julia Buencamino Project, highlighted by the Julia Bench, a safe zone for teenagers to find company among peers stationed in different schools.

It was a white wooden bench with decal stickers featuring Julia’s drawings, mostly colorful portraits of girls with bright eyes and big hair.

She also campaigned for psychiatric help to be more affordable and accessible in the Philippines, where therapy is expensive and specialists are few.


Theatre thespians Nonie and Shamaine Buencamino shares the Julia Buencamino Project, highlighted by the Julia Bench. (Photo credits to the owner.)

On the other hand, Dr. Norieta Calma-Balderrama, chairperson of the Philippine Board of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, said cases of teenage depression in the country have increased by up to 75% in the last 25 years.

Among the signs of the teenage depression are as follows:

• Apathy
• Sadness, anxiety, a feeling of hopelessness
• Excessive or inappropriate guilt
• Irresponsible behavior
• Sudden drop in grades
• Difficulty in concentrating
• Difficulty in making decisions
• Memory loss
• Rebellious behavior
• Use of alcohol or drugs
• Promiscuous sexual activity
• Withdrawal from friends

Balderrama shared that while there are obvious signs of depression, some teenagers are able to mask it.

This is why, she said, it is important that parents always spend time to talk with their children.

Balderrama said devoting time to children is most important when they reach adolescence since this is the phase where they experience a lot of changes.

Good parenting, she stressed, decreases the possibility of depression, unless the source of the problem are the parents themselves.

What should parents do?

Understand the stage your teen is going through. The adolescence stage is a turbulent stage for any teenager. Your teen may be struggling through these times and you should understand what he or she is experiencing.

Observe your child’s behavior. Discern signs and symptoms of depression manifested by your teen. If you sense something unusual in your child’s behavior, verify this by asking your teen’s friends or teachers.

Communicate with your child. Talk to your teen and listen to him or her so you will be able to find out more about his or her feelings. Assure your child that you are there to offer support. If your child denies that he or she is depressed, just be gentle. Listen without being judgmental. Listen with your eyes, your ears and your heart. Show that you understand him/ her and you empathize with him/ her. You should be gentle to let your teen realize that he or she is in a state of depression. Though it is quite difficult for a person to be convinced that he or she is depressed, you need to persevere.

Consult a doctor or a specialist. If talking to your child doesn’t work, seek professional help. Go to a doctor, a psychologist or a psychiatrist who can help you and your teen diagnose depression. But first make sure you talk to your child before doing this so he or she is prepared and will cooperate with the doctor or specialist.

Consider treatment options. Discuss with the doctor or specialist the possibilities of treating depression. This could involve ‘talk’ therapy, group or family therapy and medication.

Support your teen through treatment. Be understanding and patient. If the child is depressed, he needs someone to rely on, to talk to, to listen to him and to have emphatic understanding for him or her during this difficult situation. Encourage your child to stay active, and to socialize with others. Be aware of the treatment he or she has to undergo and most of all learn more about depression.

As you help your child through depression, don’t forget to take of yourself and the other family members. Don’t just focus all of your time and energy to your depressed teen. It is also recommended that you open to other family members and ask help from them.


juices & healthy living

From baking soda treatment, daily alkaline water intake, carrot blended juice, ampalaya (bitter gourd) juice – name it, being a cancer patient you will be bombarded with different fool-proof solutions for healing from social media, family, friends, relatives, neighbors, etc.

You really have to sift through it and find what suits you. Food intake varies from one patient to the other depending on the advice of your doctor. So, you really have to consult your physician- before doing anything.

Being a PNet cancer patient – you actually can eat anything under the sun according to my doctor as long as it’s edible, healthy and rich with nutrients.

Moderation is the key- not so little or too much, just enough to sustain you during the day.

The digestion of fat or lipid is a major issue for me since the pancreas is affected by the tumor. As much as possible, I avoid eating fatty foods.

I have also a history of gouty arthritis and abnormal uric acid levels- so I need to avoid food with high purines because this will exacerbate the flare attack – a reddish inflammation of the joints in your feet or hands that is very painful.

Usually, a flare attack occurs when I eat meat – so I try to avoid it. But, who can resist the temptation of having a slab of lechon after working in Saudi Arabia for so many years where pork is prohibited? Right?

Below are my juice arsenal that I did myself, which is very easy to prepare. Even your kids can do it for you.

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Banana & papaya blitz blended juice


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Papaya, banana & mango blended smoothie!


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Fresh carrot juice

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Healthy ampalaya (bitter gourd) juice

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Papaya & honey combo – very refreshing!