Feline

A family of cat that went to church together, stays together.

This was the unforgettable feline family bonding I witnessed inside the Baclaran church during the 9:30am mass last Thursday.

A more loyal pet? Cat or dog?

I am not a pet type person.

But here in the house they thrive together.

My mother have several cats.

Unfortunately, they became missing for the past few months.

Di ko alam kung natokhang.

Feline at Church

Feline family worship together

In history, there was a heroic cat that etched a mark for her bravery.

Faith the cat was one of the most remarkable mother cats we’ve ever read about. She lived in London during the late 1930s, and her story really puts into perspective how incredible cats really are.

This story takes place at St Augustine’s Church in London, England. During the late 1930s, the priest at the church, Father Henry Ross, noticed a cat kept sneaking into the church day after day. After much consideration, Father Ross decided it was a good idea to adopt the homeless cat, whom he later named Faith.

Faith routinely attended the church services, often sitting right on Father Ross’s feet as he preached.

After living in the church for four years, Faith gave birth to a single kitten. Shortly after giving birth to the kitten, Father Ross noticed Faith’s sudden fascination with the church basement.

One day Faith even decided to carry her kitten into a small corner in the basement. Father Ross became concerned for the kitten’s health because the basement was quite dirty, so he decided to move the kitten back to its basket in the church.

Faith followed Father Ross all the way upstairs, protesting loudly to his moving of the kitten, and as soon as he placed the kitten back in its basket, Faith had taken the kitten out of the basket and headed back downstairs. These events recurred several times before Father Ross decided to give in, and move the kitten’s basket to the basement.

September 7, 1940, the Germans began their Blitz on London – the day after Faith had taken her kitten down to the church basement.

400 people died during these bombings, and the church was in flames when Father Ross returned the next day.

Despite warnings that the church’s roof was about to collapse, Father Ross struggled his way to the basement where he had last seen Faith and her kitten.

To his amazement, Faith was huddled over her kitten protecting it from the disaster above.

Father Ross retrieved the cats and brought them out of the church.

Shortly after this rescue, the church’s roof collapsed.

Five years after the bombing, when World War II had ended, Faith was given the Silver Dicken Medal.

This medal was created specifically for Faith for her courage to protect her kitten from the disaster in September 1940.

Tribute
Fr. Ross had Faith’s photograph taken, framed and hung on the chapel wall. He put underneath it this text:

“Faith”

Our dear little church cat of St. Augustine and St. Faith.
The bravest cat in the world.
On Monday, September 9th, 1940, she endured horrors and perils
beyond the power of words to tell.
Shielding her kitten in a sort of recess in the house (a spot
she selected three days before the tragedy occurred), she
sat the whole frightful night of bombing and fire, guarding her
little kitten.
The roofs and masonry exploded. The whole house blazed. Four
floors fell through in front of her. Fire and water and ruin
all round her.
Yet she stayed calm and steadfast and waited for help.
We rescued her in the early morning while the place was still
burning, and
By the mercy of Almighty God, she and
her kitten were not only saved, but unhurt.
God be praised and thanked for His goodness
and mercy to our dear little pet.

Prepare

Are you raising your kids to become an entrepreneur or a corporate slave?

The ‘Big Message’ in last week’s The Feast was ‘Preparation is Everything’.

Inspired by the story of Joseph in the bible – preparation is the price we pay to become great leaders.

Joseph was only 16 years old when his brothers sold him to the Ishmaelite traders.

The Pharaoh appointed him as the Governor of Egypt when he was thirty.

God spent 14 years just preparing his chosen leader.

Preparation takes time and let us be patient and not lose heart during the most difficult stages of our preparation.

For the Awesome Kids Ministry we shared to the children the value of preparing for the future by knowing the basic concept of money and honoring their parent’s effort of providing for the family and how to save money.

They made a simulated mini saving’s piggy bank adorned with colorful stickers.

Preparation Awesome Kids

Children learn everything from their parents. Raising children the right way is an invaluable way of helping them raise their parents’ grandchildren the right way. A culture full of spoiled children extinguishes the fire of earning what we have. A culture full of spoiled children encourages laziness. A culture full of spoiled children breeds spoiled and irresponsible adults. The ability of parents to discuss with their children financial responsibility is paramount. 

On a bigger picture, here are some
things you can do to raise your kids to become entrepreneurs according to PowerPinoys.com:

1. Encourage them to ask questions. Sadly, many Filipino people now are having this kind of mentality that “if you ask questions, you are dumb.” This is why many people now who instead of asking questions, they keep the questions to themselves which make them more ignorant. You better filter this kind of mentality from your kids.

Don’t Let this happen to your child. There’s are Filipino sayings that “Matalino ang batang mapagtanong” (Intelligent is a child who asks questions) and “Ang taong mapagtanong, daig ang marunong” (The inquisitive person surpassed the wise).

These words are just true. Asking is a form of active learning and this kind of learning results to a better retention. If your child ask you a question, answer his question then again ask you child something like “aren’t you going to ask why? or how?” or some other sort of followup questions. This way, you are programming your child to not just simply ask questions but you are programming your child to verify the answers as well.

Give your child scenarios that are new to them. This will make them think of the whats, whys and hows of A,B,C, and etc. You might want to give them valuable rewards if they got it right to encourage them to think more. Remember, keep your child always hungry for knowledge and encourage them to try new things.

2. Teach your child how to ask for help. Again, this is closely related to #1 but this is a bit different. Teach your child that if he cannot do a particular thing, the initial response should be to ask somebody who knows how to do that thing. Kids are in their learning stage where they need guidance. As a parent, you should help your child as much as possible BUT here are some points to remember:

  • Don’t spoon-feed them. Show them how to do it. Once they’ve seen it, let them try it on their own with your guidance.
  • Praise them if necessary to boost their confidence.
  • Ask them questions like “Can you think of better way to do this or that?”
  • Remember this proverb “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. It is always worthwhile to teach your kids to do something than do it for them.

3. Teach them the importance and value of Teamwork. Let your kids know that not all the time, they can do every thing alone. Teach them that if they want to achieve big dreams, teamwork is necessary. Tell them they may be able to build their own house but they cannot create a high building alone or it may take them a lifetime.

4. Teach them how to be creative and analyze things. Always encourage your kids to try new things. Let them experiment on ideas and show them that learning can really be fun. You can send your kids to go music class and play instruments. Learning how to play piano, for example, can really boost your kids’ analytical and creativity skills while having fun.

Another thing you can help your kids improve skills while having fun is by providing them physical and digital games that touches creativity and analysis. One of the most famous toys that promotes creativity is Lego and other similar toys.

Have your walls bunch of interesting arts and other crafts. Tell your kids your favorite musician, artist, and scientists. Always ask them challenging “what if” questions that will push them to analyze situations.

5. Teach them how to save money. Being rich is not about how much money you are earning but it is about how much money you keep. You should teach your kids to not spend more than what they are earning, or else they will be in debt their whole lives.

You should teach them not to invest on things that loses value as time goes by. You should teach them to invest on things such as education, new skills and other self development stuffs they can use to earn money. You can start teaching them how to save money through their allowances.

6. Teach them how to learn from their mistakes & learn to accept rejections. You should tell your kids that not everyone and everything will work their way. Teach them to anticipate the worst case scenario and set solutions for those cases.

Practice your kids to commit mistakes and fail. Yes, fail. Kids who are not afraid of making mistakes and not afraid of what other people say are the ones who can handle risks and are emotionally stable. Teach them to learn on their mistake and laugh about it later.

7. Teach them how to be good at public speaking. Your kids don’t need to do what adults entrepreneur do. Simply exposing them in an environment where they can express their thoughts is a good place to start to learn public speaking. Let your child join other kids while playing on the playground and do some story telling activities. Simply having your child exposed in story telling or reporting type of activities will get away shyness and build confidence instead.

8. Teach them how to lead others. Your kids should learn how to motivate others to achieve a common goal. This skill can be acquired from you, the parent. Set a good example! If you are a father, you should be the leader in your family. You set goals for the the family, create budget (for moms), plans for leisure activities, etc. It will be automatic for your kids to be a good leader to.

Here are some skills and attitude you might want to impart your children to be good leaders.
Initiative, Consistency, Teamwork, Strategy, Planning, Perseverance, Decision making, and Good Communication.

11. Teach them how to sell. One of the biggest part of every business is selling. Any good company with good products or services, if not able to sell is good as nothing. The main point of making business is to create profit and if you cannot make any profit then what do you call your business? Charity?

This skill is where most people laugh at but are not good at. It has been injected to people’s mind that if you’re selling something, you are in a lowly situation which is a big no. Not all people have this skill but once you have this, it can be applied not just in business but in other aspects of life as well.

12. Teach them problem solving. Entrepreneurship is about solving other people’s problems. You may want to give your kids quizzes and puzzles to solve. Think of Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, rubicks cube, and etc. Playing computer games can also help them increase their problem solving skills. But be picky on what computer games they will play as there are computer games that only wastes your kids precious time.

Learning math is really a fun way of learning how to solve a problem. Let your child learn the value of math by showing them what they can do if they know math. You can also let your child learn problem solving through physics problems and a lot more.

Problem solving added with creativity is the ore of innovations. If you hone your kids’ skills on these, they will have a big advantage over others.

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.

60

We celebrated today the 60th birthday of Papa Franco Bayot, a loving father, a caring husband and a passionate servant of God.

Papa Franco at 60

Turning 60 may add wrinkles to your face, dark circles under your eyes and pounds to your tummy, but it will never take away your beautiful outlook on life (and that’s what counts, anyway). Happy 60th birthday, Papa Franco!

Together with my wife Judith, here are the 60 Things We Love About Papa Angkoy:

  1. You love us, me, Judith, Kle, Aya and Mama Dorie unconditionally and it shows.
  2. You exposed your children to the importance of serving God first before anything else.
  3. You chose your children’s interests over your own on countless occasions. We appreciate your sacrifices.
  4. Your example of how to parent is exceptional and we hope to apply it soon.
  5. You inspired us to see the beauty in every thing.
  6. You have supported your daughters every day of their life.
  7. You take care of yourself emotionally and mentally.
  8. You are a brilliant electrical engineer.
  9. You are a gifted teacher, mentoring Kle & Aya.
  10. You are a fantastic cook.
  11. Your pantry and fridge are always well-stocked.
  12. Your homemade hamonado is delicious.
  13. Your homemade everything is delicious.
  14. You teach Math like an expert.
  15. You have a knack for finding solution to complicated Math problems.
  16. You have a good taste in the best things in life.
  17. You admire good craftsmanship.
  18. You surround yourself with inspiring people.
  19. You enjoy learning new things.
  20. You listen carefully.
  21. You always know the diplomatic thing to say to people or about situations.
  22. You always remind us of what’s truly important and allows us to see the bigger picture.
  23. You believe and trust in God.
  24. You do not judge quickly.
  25. You give openly to those who are in need.
  26. You celebrate the talents of others.
  27. You are patient with others, but…I have never known you to be a doormat.
  28. You are a skilled mediator, even in difficult situations.
  29. You are unflappable in every situation.
  30. You pursue your interests with your whole heart.
  31. You maintain your masculinity while asserting your power and strength.
  32. You have experienced setbacks medically, but continue to try to improve your health everyday.
  33. You are a talented leader, especially in the trenches of a job or project.
  34. You have honed that difficult-to-master skill of saying “No.”
  35. You are not afraid to dream of something better, more creative, more interesting and satisfying.
  36. You like adventure.
  37. You have a large vocabulary.
  38. You are a good storyteller.
  39. You remember fondly events of your childhood and enjoy sharing stories these treasured moments.
  40. You are fun to play games with and are a good sport.
  41. You are fun to tease.
  42. You are a good joker.
  43. We love your laugh.
  44. You are the McGyver of the house.
  45. You are a morning person.
  46. You give glory to God on how you live your life.
  47. We are proud to claim you as our Dad.
  48. You are always willing to try new things.
  49. Looking to the future, you see possibility, despite your current struggles.
  50. You are not afraid to start over.
  51. You are so brave.
  52. You are an optimist.
  53. You always believe that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
  54. You are a Marian devotee.
  55. You believe that every problem has a solution.
  56. You love your siblings and Nana.
  57. You find ways to appreciate life amidst challenges.
  58. Your enthusiasm is contagious.
  59. You have a winsome smile.
  60. You are a loving son of God.

Happy Birthday, Papa Franco!

May this next chapter of your life bring everything you deserve, every good thing.

With love,
Me & Judith

Unleashed

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.

Unleashed

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!

Obey

The Awesome Kids team was inspired today to always obey and respect their parents. They enjoyed a day of prayer, worship, watching inspiring videos and more colors.

IMG_20180211_153632

On the other hand, the activity reminded me of my teenage years and if I will share a life lesson to a younger version of myself, this I have to say.

Obeying your parents is one of the most difficult things to do as a teenager. This is a time that you want to spread your wings and do things on your own. You want your independence, and you want to prove you can be a responsible adult. Yet there is still a level of needing your parents to guide you through this time, and there is still so much you can learn from them while you’re still a teen.

Obeying Your Parents Leads to Wisdom
There are times when obeying your parents can be really tough.

We all think we know enough to make our own decisions. But do we really? God reminds us that it is a foolish man that does not seek to become more disciplined and wise (Proverbs 1:7-9). The most important people in our lives are our parents.

They can be the greatest guides we have in this life, and they can lead us in the path God has for us…if we let them. For most of us, our parents offer advice and discipline out of love, and we would do well to listen and learn from what they have to say.

Obedience Brings You Closer to God
God is the father of us all. There is a reason why we use a term like father to describe our relationship with Him because just as we are to obey our parents, we are to obey God. If we cannot obey our earthly parents, how are we to obey our Heavenly one? Faithfulness comes out of obedience to God. As we learn to obey, we learn to be wise in making our decisions in life.

As we learn to obey, we learn to open up our eyes and ears to God’s plan for us. Obedience is the first step in living a Christian life. It helps give us strength in our faith and the ability to overcome temptations that can lead us astray.

Obeying is Hard
Yet no one says obeying our parents is easy.
Sometimes it feels like our parents are from a whole other world. Sure, they come from a different generation, and we may not always understand their reasoning. However, we don’t alway understand God, either, but we know that what God does is for our own good. In the case of our parents, it’s that way, too. We need to realize, though, that there will be pitfalls in obeying our parents, and there will be times that obedience becomes so difficult. Yet obedience takes work.

Here are some of my tips for you my younger self that is also applicable to you now;

Listen. One of the easiest ways to learn from your parents is to listen to what they have to say. It’s hard to obey your parents when you don’t actually hear what they’re telling you. You’d be amazed at what you’ll hear when you take the time to absorb what your parents are telling you.

Show respect. There is nothing as frustrating when a parent is talking to their teen as an eye roll. You may not agree with your parents’ decisions, but obeying your parents begins with showing them respect. It’s okay to ask questions or ask for clarification on a rule or something you disagree with, but it’s important to do so in a respectful manner. If you just push and yell and scream, it is unlikely that your parents will actually hear your objections. Disrespect will put a wall between you and your parents immediately.

Have patience. It’s easy to immediately jump on your parents when you disagree with them. It’s also easy to hold a grudge when they’re wrong. However, your parents are human just like you. Obeying your parents means accepting that all they do isn’t perfect. They make mistakes, too, just like you. So, have some patience for the times that they don’t quite do things right, and know that you can learn just as much from their mistakes as your own.

Communicate. Going to be late for curfew? Try calling ahead. Not sure you can get your chores done when they ask? Explain why. Communication is key to having a good relationship with our parents. When you communicate with them about what’s going on in your life, you will find that they will accept that you are becoming a responsible adult. Ask them for advice, talk to them about school … it’s every teen’s desire to be private, and some privacy is understandable, but know that when you don’t communicate it breeds suspicion. A great way to obey your parents is to talk to them about things. It’s amazing how much communication will be a key to you getting along with them, too.

Bajo

I was a naughty boy in kindergarten.

So, in my primary school, I studied hard and I made it to top 5 of the 1992 graduating class of Sta. Ana Elementary School (SAES) in Manila.

SAES days were the best part of my life.

I discovered my passion in public speaking and love for music.

Bajo

Young musicians at work! Ang Tinig ng Sta. Ana is the official school paper of our school. I was the only boy at the top of the regular class and a bajo de arco player in our Rondalla group. This photo was taken during one of our performances at Sta. Ana Elementary School (SAES).

I was part of the Rondalla group in elementary. I was a bass player (bajo de arco) because of my big built.

We played during fiesta, special programs (recognition, etc.) at school and joined division-wide music workshop.

Mrs. Josefina Nolasco was our Rondalla adviser. She was a committed teacher who paved the way for younger children to appreciate music.

How do you engage children to love music?

1. Remember that every child has musical aptitude from birth. I don’t know what my mother did when I was young. Children are inherently musical. Very young children can internalize and respond to musical stimuli before they can speak or read. They can also produce sounds and music through a very important natural instrument—their voice. The voice is the ideal basis for early musical expression, so go ahead and invite children to sing out strong!

2. Introduce children to music as soon as possible, preferably before birth. The period between the ages of zero and three is critical for brain development and growth. Research tells us that musical experiences occurring in this window of time can cultivate general brain development, increase musical aptitude, and facilitate bonding. Everyone has the capacity to learn music from birth if their potential is properly nurtured, so engaging with music at a young age is essential to establishing the proper foundation for later development.

3. Engage in musical play activities. Early musical experiences should be informal in nature and occur within a supportive context. Musical play and conversation are critical to increasing musical aptitude, and young children can learn many skills and build relationships through play.
Present ideas and concepts in activities that come naturally to children. Singing, dancing, and vocalizing are enjoyable, natural interactive activities, and they strengthen relationships and encourage children to musically converse with each other and their parents.

4. Don’t set stringent expectations for performance. Establish an environment where children feel free to be themselves and take risks. You’ll be amazed at the development that occurs when children learn through play and are not pushed to be perfect. Don’t set stringent expectations for your own performance, either, which brings us to the next tip.

5. Sing with your child. You may have been told that your natural singing voice is not good enough, but don’t let that stop you from singing, as children treasure their parents’ voices above all others. When you sing with your child, you create positive, engaging musical experiences that build confidence and self-expression, in addition to encouraging your child to experiment with his or her voice. When children reach the age of 2, many parents switch from singing to reading, but it is best to do both and continue fostering a shared love of music, as well as a willingness to be creative and take risks.

6. Create musically enriched environments. Offering children early exposure to high-quality musical stimuli will encourage and enhance their development. One way to use environmental music is to set up musical cues to provide reminders and structure. For instance, slow, soft, and simple classical music could signal a transition from an energetic activity to a quiet activity requiring focus, while upbeat music could facilitate the opposite transition. In general, we recommend that you engage your children with live music, but you can also use recorded music to effectively guide transitions.

7. Use community resources to provide the best possible musical models like the Rondalla. This lays the foundation required to make children more open to different musical experiences as they grow up.