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!

He Cares




More than 200 kids from the poorest of the poor in the neighborhood of Quezon City taught me today the deeper meaning of true love.

Every Saturday, they looked forward to the feeding party led by Bro. Joe Dean Solas, a lay missionary who devoted his life in fulfilling God’s call of faith and hope.

He Cares Mission, a street children caring center started in 1996 with a humble promise made by Bro. Joe Dean to two little street children that they will never be hungry again.


He Cares

Together with our Light Group, Bro. Joe Dean Sola (seated in cap) was a source of inspiration to many. He founded He Cares, they takes care of street children, offering five programs that cater to the children’s spirituality, health, family, life, education, and livelihood.

The day started with prayer and thanksgiving through worship songs.

Then a short program followed. I took charge of the games.

It was not easy at first.

It was difficult.

Very challenging.

But, I learned to let go.

I just smiled a lot and I let God took full control.

I knew they enjoyed it.

Their smiles and loudest cheers took my breath away.

They have been to a lot of challenges.

A few minutes of fun and laughter was all that matters.

They are still kids after all.

It was the first outreach activity for 2018 of our Light Group (LG).

I was grateful to Bro. Mark and Sis. Lorrie Calangian together with their children Lance and Chase for sharing their service love.

They tagged me along for a road trip from Cavite to the City of Stars and it was a memorable journey.

After the short program, the volunteers prepared for a sumptuous feast of spaghetti, fried chicken, rice, water turned into iced tea, fruit salad and a mini pancake with choco fillings donated by a generous Japanese businessman who visits the center monthly.

The feeding party was organized by Bro. Joe Dean with love.

Lots of it.

He encouraged the volunteers to always smile.

Every table were assigned to a feeding facilitator that helped the children on their needs.

I met Kathleen, a kindergarten student who had difficulties finishing her food. Her seatmates encouraged her to wipe out the fried chix and rice. She brought home the fruit salad.

After the feeding party, the volunteers were led to a short thanksgiving prayer and had lunch. I met other volunteers who have the same passion of serving others.

A short presentation about a new vision for He Cares in the coming years was shared.

Help build the He Cares Mission Promised Land – a sustainable farm community that aims to go beyond feeding and giving shelter for a day, towards giving a meaningful and abundant life day after day after day.

To know more about the program visit and find ways on how you can make a difference.

Bro. Joe Dean toured us around the He Cares Mission Center and mingled with the fulltime workers.

Their story of selfless love was inspiring.

I encouraged you to volunteer now.

Visit them at No. 9 Mines St., Project 6, Quezon City or contact them at (+63) 02 928-8910 or (+63) 02 453-0100. You can also email:

They also accept donation thru bank account name:

He Cares Foundation, Inc.
Bank of the Philippines
Savings Account #1953093053


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.


During the Awesome Kids Ministry service last Sunday, we shared the value of self-control to kids.

I was reminded of the famous marshmallow test back in 1960s. Researchers submitted hundreds of four-year-olds to an ingenious little test of willpower: the kids were placed in a small room with a marshmallow or other tempting food and told they could either eat the treat now, or, if they could hold out for another 15 minutes until the researcher returned, they could have two.

Most children said they would wait. But some failed to resist the pull of temptation for even a minute. Many others struggled a little longer before eventually giving in.

The most successful participants figured out how to distract themselves from the treat’s seduction — by turning around, covering their eyes or kicking the desk, for instance — and delayed gratification for the full 15 minutes.

Follow-up studies on these preschoolers found that those who were able to wait the 15 minutes were significantly less likely to have problems with behavior, drug addiction or obesity by the time they were in high school, compared with kids who gobbled the snack in less than a minute. The gratification-delayers also scored an average of 210 points higher on the SAT.

The test is a measure of a child’s ability to delay gratification, which subsequent research has shown to be linked to all sorts of positive outcomes, like better grades, good behavior and even healthy body mass index.

Self-control was never easy but it has a reward.


Self-control will lead you into a more intimate relationship with God.

A door knob hanger coloring activity capped the day. They brought it home and served as a reminder not only for them but also for their family.

Self-control is allowing God to be in control of your will and heart. This will allow us to have discipline and restraint with obedience to God and others. It is not letting distractions derail or remove us from His will and plan so we will not be held back with what Christ called us to do.

Let me share this prayer of self-control:

Dear Lord, help us to know ourselves. Teach us to recognize our weaknesses and work to walk in holiness.

Let us repent, and follow You in all things.

Thank You for Your unendeding grace and mercy toward us when we need it most.

Help us to trust You with our lives.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Be blessed always!


According to the Bible, to become a servant of God and to enjoy serving others is not only a decision that a person needs to take, it is first a gracious gift from God. A voluntary servant, who submits themselves to a higher purpose, which is beyond their personal interests or the interests of others and a servant who, out of love, serves others’ needs before their own.

During the weekend, some of our Light Group (LG) members attended the facilitator workshop organized by the Light of Jesus community. It was a whole-day of fun, learning and empowerment. Special shout out to our service team for all their love!

Aside from spiritual maturity, the training was geared towards technical skills’ enhancement on how to serve others effectively and efficiently as a facilitator.

The biggest lesson I learned during the training was centered on personal mastery which means that you are committed for your continuous improvement in everything you do -in all areas of your life. In short, ‘you cannot give what you don’t have’.

Our servant trainer was Sis. Gertrudes ‘Ruth’ Collantes, who passionately shared her story of self awareness and the critical role it plays as a facilitator. She is the team head for the Servants’ Resources Development Ministry (SRDM) of the Feast Bay Area. She has more than 20 years of organizational development and training experience.

Sis. Rezza Custodio-Soriano, the Pastoral Council Co-Head thanked everyone for their presence and love for serving others.

Bro. Audee Villaraza, Feast Builder – AM Plenary Sessions shared her faith witnessing experience on the importance of light groups in developing a deeper relationship with God.


Nothing will help you get closer to Jesus more than helping others get closer to Jesus! An empowering weekend for our Light Group (LG) members

Looking at the big picture, I realized that being a facilitator was being Jesus to others.

  • Christ-centered in all aspects of life (a voluntary servant of Christ)
  • Committed to serve the needs of others before their own,
  • Courageous to lead with power and love as an expression of serving,
  • Consistently developing others into servant leaders, and
  • Continually inviting feedback from those that they want to serve in order to grow towards the ultimate servant leader, Jesus Christ.

We are called to be God’s servants in every aspect of our lives. It means serving others in accordance with the higher purpose of serving God.

I am excited for this new opportunity as part of my healing journey.

To God be all the glory!


One of the big messages from the SFC 25th anniversary “Relentless” international conference was shared by Fr. Xavier Olin, SJ during his homily. “God is not only present in our joys but also in our pains and sorrows.”

I was reminded that the experience of being in the desert is necessary for our spiritual life for it is the place and the time to encounter Christ. Difficult and desolate it may seem, but it is the matter of restoration and discovering ourselves.

Through these desert moments, we will come to realize that we have a God who is relentlessly pursuing us and who is always finding ways to guide us and lead us.

My healing journey was one of my desert moments in life.

It was painful but God’s relentless love pulled me through every day.


“Be grateful for the past. Be joyful in the present. Be hopeful for the future.” Together with Bro Cris Serdenia, a fellow servant leader and Bro. Noli Manuel, SFC International Coordinator

Moreover, Bro. Noli Manuel, SFC International Coordinator bared the directions of the community for the next 25 years.

He said, “We’ve always been asking ourselves how much more can we give. I think we should now ask, how much we’re willing to lose.”

A more inclusive and a loving but not compromising community will be the main thrust in the future.

Aside from accompanying young and unmarried singles, SFC will also embrace and evangelize: young widow and widower, young single parents, young people with same sex attraction (SSA); and young divorce, annulled and separated singles.

The announcement came as a surprise to many but God is not asking us to be ready. He is expecting us to be obedient.

The journey will never be easy in the coming years but we are hopeful for the future that lies ahead of us because God’s love is relentless!