I attended the Palm Sunday anticipated mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Tagaytay. The presider was a new ordained priest and he shared the story of Filipinos using the ‘palaspas’ as an amulet and a lucky charm to have more blessings in life.

He encouraged everyone to go beyond the physical presence of this symbol but develop a deeper loving relationship with God.

Let us take the palm branches to our homes and put them some place where we can always see them. Let the palms remind us that Christ is the King of our families, that Christ is the King of our hearts and that Christ is the only true answer to our quest for happiness and meaning in our lives.

And if we do proclaim Christ as our King, let us try to make time for Him in our daily life; let us be reminded that He is the One with Whom we will be spending eternity.

Let us be reminded further that our careers, our education, our finances, our homes, all of the basic material needs in our lives are only temporary.

Let us prioritize and place Christ the King as the primary concern in our lives.

It is only when we have done this that we will find true peace and happiness in our confused and complex world.

Palm Sunday

Can we face these questions on Palm Sunday? Are we willing to follow Jesus, not just to Church but in our daily life? Are we willing to entrust ourselves to Him even when the future is frightening or confusing, believing God has a plan? Are we willing to serve Him until that day when His plan for us on earth is fulfilled? These are the questions of Palm Sunday. Let us take a fresh look at this familiar event. We might be surprised at what we see. It could change us forever.

Palm Sunday is a day to fix our eyes on Jesus and His death on the cross.

It is one of the most important days of the year.

It’s a day to honor the One whose entire life was one of giving, not grasping, one of healing and restoration, not division and rivalry.

It’s a day to praise Jesus for overcoming sin and death through his act of pure, sacrificial love.

By his humility and obedience, Jesus has undone Adam’s prideful attempt to become God—and every attempt that all of Adam’s children have made ever since.

He has shown that the way to heaven is not by grasping for ourselves and striving against one another. It’s not something we earn, and it’s not a kingdom we conquer.

No, Jesus’ death on the cross proves that the way to heaven is one of receiving graciously instead of possessing selfishly.

This can sound so grandiose and heroic that we might think it’s out of our reach. But nothing can be further from the truth.

God sees every act of self-sacrifice, every decision to put someone else’s needs ahead of ours, every decision to empty ourselves.

When we give up time to help our child with yet another math problem, God sees it.

When we listen carefully to a spouse who tells us about her difficult day at work, even if ours was no better, God sees it.

When we put down our car window and offer some food or money to a homeless person, God sees it. He sees them all, and he rewards them.

Every single act of self-giving is a reflection of the cross. And because of that, every act of self-giving warms our Father’s heart and moves him to raise us up a little bit more—just as he did for Jesus.

So fix your eyes on Jesus today, and let his self-giving love move you to be more like him.

“Thank you, Jesus, for your cross! Lord, teach me to follow your path of love.”


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!



I would like to share this picture taken 24 years ago during our Citizen Army Training (CAT) days in high school.


“Be an Encourager: When you encourage others, you boost their self-esteem, enhance their self-confidence, make them work harder, lift their spirits and make them successful in their endeavors. Encouragement goes straight to the heart and is always available. Be an encourager. Always.” Photo credits to Batch Lima (1996) Adjutant Joseph Delgado. 

I was the First Battalion Commander back then.

CAT (Citizen Army Training) was part of the fourth year high school curriculum in the 90s.

To be at the top, my fellow CAT officers endured all the physical, mental and emotional trainings.

Just like the military, we have to go through the drill and formation.

Our CAT uniform was the fatigues or battledress, a military suit.

I was part of Batch Lima (1996), our corp commander was a lady who stood tall amidst strings of challenges.

We were the triumphant group who took home the Championship trophy for the Best CAT Platoon of the Division of City Schools Manil held at Araullo High School.

Our training was spearheaded by the Naval Reserve Command (NAVRESCOM) officers.

We have continually exemplified that honor is not a medal pinned to our chests but a way of life embedded in our hearts.

We were always encouraged to have an overflowing love for service and integrity.

We thrived in the spirit of volunteerism and bayanihan.

“Champions are those who never quit,” this quote inspired us to never give up easily.

We were required to memorize this poem by heart.

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won if he’d stuck it out.
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are –
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

Indeed, quiting was never an option before and until today.

Whatever life throws at you, remain grounded, head held high and never give up.


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!


I have always loved cartoons. I might not watch as many cartoons now as I did when I was a kid but I enjoy them way more than any other adult I know. A significant part of my childhood has been spent watching cartoons, especially Tom & Jerry.

I saw this Tom & Jerry – true to life photo shared by Mr. Jerry Fernandez, a dear friend from India and a former colleague in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


The bitter-sweet relationship of Tom and Jerry taught us why life is meaningless without a partner to share moments of fun and laughter with.

This particular piece of animation uncovers the reality of our everyday life.

The twisted friendship between Tom and Jerry draws a brilliant analogy with the relationships we share with people in today’s world.

According to, there are valuable life lessons from Tom & Jerry:

There will always be someone you will meet in your life who will make you feel ‘small’ or ‘big’.

We often feel that others are more superior than us and believe that there is someone better than us and we are, after all, not that great.

Your strength and your might is not measured in physical attributes. You are bigger than you think you are!

It is not always the external appearance that matters. The ways we think also matters a lot. A person should not be judged as a powerful human being only in the basis of his/her physical strength.

Is there ever a shortcut to success? Haven’t we all learned it the hard way?

We often tend to take shortcuts to reach the acme of success. But the shows presents a lesson that there is absolutely no shorter way to achieve what we really want in life.

Life will constantly push you. Change is the only constant.

We hardly take a moment to breathe and don’t take enough breaks. We have reached a stage where when we do take moment to chill, we feel restless. Even though, this show was made way before the internet generation was born, it spectacularly sketches an image of something way ahead of its time.

Every scar is a story to tell.

Crossing difficult destinations with patience and determination makes us a strong person. The same is implied in the cartoon. Every experience is a lesson to be learnt.

Changing the way, you look at a problem can prove to be a game-changer.

When one solution we think does not solve the problem, then think from a different perspective to solve it. Jerry tries to escape in every different way and Tom chases the same way. So it is all about looking at a problem from a different perspective just like Tom & Jerry who never seem to give up.


Last Sunday, the Awesome Kids Ministry team taught the children about forgiving oneself.

They enjoyed a short skit and a balloon analogy about forgiveness.

For the craft activity, they made a hot air balloon artwork that reminded them that God sets us free and we must forgive ourselves.


Forgiving yourself is far more challenging than forgiving someone else because you must live with yourself and your thoughts 24/7. Despite the challenge, emotionally healthy people must have the capacity to forgive themselves when they have made a mistake.

I was reminded of a sixty-five year-old taxi driver I met few years back. He asked me what I did for a living. I told him I was a former OFW and shared my healing journey.

Like many others who learn of my concerns, he decided to open up about his life to see if I had any advice.

He’d been married for twenty-seven years, and had tried to commit suicide two years prior by overdosing on pills. His wife found his body and helped revive him. He was grateful he didn’t succeed in committing suicide, but said that, though he thinks his wife is a great person, he is not attracted to her. He said that ever since his suicide attempt he had been attracted to many of his passengers and one of these days would like to “take it to the next level.”

I didn’t really want to dwell on his attraction to his passengers, so much as try to get back to his childhood.

Many of the problems we have as adults have their roots in our upbringing. Come to find out, he had a very rough childhood. His parents were alcoholics, which drove him to seek aid and comfort from a male church leader he trusted.

This church leader tried to have an inappropriate relationship with him. So he was cut off emotionally from his parents, and spiritually from the religion that was supposed to sustain him during difficult times.

This sense of being isolated from his social world led him to make many bad choices, starting from a young age. These added up, until he felt like he couldn’t escape from the consequences.

He felt trapped in a prison of his own making, and that’s why he wanted to end his life. I told him that it must be really hard to carry all of these difficulties with him his whole life, but that it was time to forgive others and, more importantly, forgive himself.

I told him to write a letter to himself listing all the things he forgave himself for. Writing is very therapeutic, but it also helps to hear a message. So I wanted him to read the letter out loud to himself and process it aurally as well. Who knows if he ever followed my advice. Many hurting people know what to do, but don’t do what they know.

Sometimes our poor choices stack up, and churn the ground beneath our feet into quicksand.

We must remember to relax, breathe in, and not let our current situation rob us of the will to make changes. Don’t’ wallow in a temporary negativity—take action!

Don’t spend so much time going over the past that you allow it to define you.

Life is full of choices and every choice we make will either take us in a positive, life-giving direction or rob us of the opportunity to be a life-giving individual.

Forgiving ourselves does not let us off the hook, it does not justify what we have done, and it is not a sign of weakness.

Forgiveness is a choice that takes courage and strength.

Let us pray:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I understand that there is nothing to gain by holding myself in unforgiveness and there is everything to gain by releasing myself from unforgiveness and beginning the process of healing.

I want to move forward and make a positive difference in the future. I confess the ungodly accountability, self-abasement, and the vows I have made to never forgive myself. Because Jesus died for my sins, I choose to forgive myself–to no longer punish myself and be angry with myself.

I forgive myself for letting this hurt control me and for hurting others out of my hurt. I repent of this behavior and my attitude. I ask for Your forgiveness and healing.

God, help me to NEVER again retain unforgiveness of myself or others.

Thank you for loving me and for Your grace to move forward with You.

In Jesus’ Name,



Quaipo visit today and the world commemorates International Women’s Day 2018, a day to reflect on the changing female role in society.

I thanked the Lord for all the great women who work diligently each day to bring more love into their homes, communities, and the world at large: mothers, sisters, friends, teachers, activists, volunteers, authors, and more.


March 8th is International Women’s Day (IWD), observed throughout the world as a day of action for women, a time to seek specific improvements in women’s lives and to commit to ending the suffering that women experience merely because they are women.

Outside the church, a group of women have a rally. They voiced out their concerns on justice and governance.

I watched how passionate women on the streets fighting for their rights.

International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since the early 1900’s – a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity.

International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action.

To set aside just one day to remind ourselves to treat more than half the human population of the world, or any segment of it, as fully human, is a challenge that calls us to grow as God’s people.

Our celebrations of each other must be constant individual celebrations of respect and gratitude celebrating each day by each of us for each person in our lives.

Please join me in prayer:

Gracious God of all that is, we give you thanks for the endless possibilities of life as you have set it before and around us.

The many ways of being human make possible endless ways to serve you and each other.

We are tempted to judge some kinds of living or thinking as better, worse, good, bad, acceptable, offensive – without understanding what our differences make possible for all of us.

Turn our heads and our hearts, O Holy One, so we see the wonders of difference and the limits of prejudice.

Enter the heart and mind of each person to see each other person, every difference, all ways of being fully human, as gifts from you to all of us, in a world that needs all the gifts and help you give to and through us.