Garin

After our visit in Miag-ao, we visited the popular pilgrimage site and tourist destination in San Joaquin, Iloilo – Garin Farm.

We left early morning from Manduriao and arrived around 9am in Garin Farm, which is a slice of heaven on earth. My wife shared to me that the place was featured in Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho (KMJS) and there were lots of positive reviews about this place.

Garin Farm

Visit Garin Farm in San Joaquin, Iloilo and enjo

Garin Farm is a perfect place for family, friends or people who love nature, outdoor activities and educational travel in matters like farming and agriculture. This is a great place to relax, retreat and meditate as well while bringing yourself closer to nature and to God.

Garin Farm is a 14-hectare inland resort in the town of San Joaquin Iloilo with a distance of 53.5km away from Iloilo City Proper.

The resort is beautifully design for everyone built in with good customer service and amazing amenities waiting for you with your family and friends.

The resort will also give you a delightful experience of farm, leisure and pilgrimage-together this three will tie up to become your most beautiful stay and unforgettable travel experience only in Garin Farm Inland Resort.

I pray that I could bring my wife in this beautiful place.

This was the powerful message that struck me during our pilgrimage:

“You are entering a Dark Meditation Tunnel representing our dark, troubled, earthly lives. Do not be afraid. As long as you have faith in God and you have love, kindness and generosity to the least of thy brethren. There is light at the end of the Dark Tunnel. That Being of Light is Jesus Christ, in His Infinite Divine Mercy.”

Indeed, God sheds light in the darkness area of our lives.

Aliwan Fiesta 2018

Have you ever witnessed the mother of all Philippine Festivals?

Don’t miss it this weekend!

Grassroots entertainment will find its most awesome manifestation as Aliwan Fiesta kicks off today and once again gathers champion festivals from north to south of the archipelago in a massive convergence of creativity and culture, alongside the Pinoy’s joie de vivre in its many incarnations come April 26 to 28.

Loudness, boisterousness, color, movement, and uncanny juxtapositions are all essential elements that Filipinos incorporate into their celebrations, but as Aliwan Fiesta participants will show, Philippine festivals reinvent and transform themselves in a continuous process of creation more attuned to the demands of popular entertainment today.

Aliwan Fiesta 2018

Aliwan Fiesta harnesses the power of Philippine festivals to showcase how religion, culture, and tradition are woven into the fiber of our existence. Traditional fiestas, which are held annually to commemorate the foundation of a town or province, or honoring its patron saint, are brought together en masse to highlight the Pinoy’s indomitable and ebullient spirit, together with his mien for creativity and innovation. With most major fiestas rooted in the pre-colonial period, there is understandably a festival sector that celebrates Nature’s bounty. Our Filipino forebears worshipped pagan gods who, to them, were responsible for bountiful harvests on land and sea. Aliwan Fiesta is both celebratory and commemorative.  It is grassroots theatre at its best.  But in the myriad faces of its participants, we see our very selves. Regale in these festivals. . .join in the merriment. . .and be prepared to be awed. …Makiisa, makisaya, pista’y narito na!

This year, seventeen contingents have signed up to take part in the festival dance competition. The Cordillera Administrative Region will field the Panagbenga festival of Baguio City, Benguet as well as the Abrenian Kawayan festival of Bangued, Abra. Region 1 will be represented by the Pandan festival of Mapandan, Pangasinan., while from Region 2 will come the Bato Art festival of Luna, Isabela.

Region 3 also has two entries — both from Bulacan — in the Fiesta Republica of Malolos, and the Halamanan festival of Guiguinto. Not to be outdone, Region 4 will showcase the Bakood festival of Bacoor, Cavite, the Tagultol festival of Atimonan, the Dumagat festival of Rodriguez, Rizal, and the Niyogyugan festival of Quezon Province. And from Region 5, the town of Balud, Masbate will present the Pangumagat festival.

Region 6 carries Ilonggo pride with the Manggahan festival of Guimaras, the Binirayan festival of Antique, and the Iloilo Dinagyang festival. Region 8, through a contingent from Burauen, Leyte, will showcase the Kasadyaan festival. Finally, from Maguindanao, we will see representatives of the Meguyaya festival of Upi, and the Inaul festival of Datu Piang.

But apart from these, other festivals will also be represented in the float design competition as well as the search for Reyna ng Aliwan. So expect to be dazzled by craftsmen of Hagonoy’s Singkaban festival, Catanauan’s Boling-Boling, Tacloban’s Sangyaw and Fiesta Tarakloban, Cotabato’s Sinilatan, Mother Kabuntalan’s Bangsa Maguiranun, and the Kapasiti of Shariff Aguak, as well as additional festival queen entries from Antipolo’s Maytime festival, the Iloilo Paraw Regatta festival, the Sinulog festival of Cebu, Zamboanga Hermosa, the Salug festival of Zamboanga del Norte, the Kalimudan festifval of Sultan Kudarat, the Munato festival of Sarangani, the Tuna and Kalilangan festivals of General Santos City, and the Kalivungan festival of North Cotabato.

Aliwan Fiesta 2018 kicks with the opening of the Shoppers Bazaar along Sotto Street featuring products from regional trade initiatives of the different participating towns. At 6 p.m., the Pasakalye concert and variety show featuring X-Battalion, Darren Espanto, Mocha Babes, the Go Girls, and Rocksteddy takes place at the outdoor stage in front of the Aliw Theater.

On April 27, the lovely ladies vying for the title of festival queen will have their pageant night at the Aliw Outdoor stage at 7 p.m, to be hosted by 101.1 Yes The Best’s Raki Terra and DJ Nick of 96.3 Easy Rock, with special guests TJ Monterde and Ronnie Alonte.

On April 28, the grand parade and streetdance showdown will commence at Quirino Grandstand at 3:30 p.m., making its way to the Aliw Theater at the CCP Complex, where the awarding ceremonies immediately follow. This will be hosted by Nicole Hyala and Chris Tsuper of 90.7 Love Radio, with special guest performances by Gloc 9 and Ebe Dancel.

Amateur and professional photographers are most welcome to take their best shots from the parade and join the Photo Competition; deadline for submission of entries is on May 4, at 5 p.m. For indeed, Aliwan Fiesta is a feast for the senses. Its myriad sights and sounds should definitely be experienced. And by doing so, we can pay tribute to all those who continue to make it a truly unique and enjoyable experience.

Aliwan Fiesta 2018 is a project of Manila Broadcasting Company and Star City, in cooperation with the Cultural Center of the Philippines, along with the cities of Manila and Pasay.

Pen

Who writes your life story?

Today, Good Shepherd Sunday the message of Bro. Audee Villaraza, The Feast Bay Area AM Session Builder was on Joseph in the bible.

He said, “Don’t be so focused on what God has taken from you that you can’t see or believe that God will do something through you and He will turn it into good.”

Those words hit me hard.

When confronted with suffering that won’t go away or with even a minor problem; when every day feels like an insurmountable struggle, and the details of the present are all-consuming, it’s impossible to imagine anything else is happening.

Pen

God sees how it’s all going to work out in the end. He has a plan and we are all a part of it. And when God writes The End, the story will be a masterpiece that will leave us in awe and bring Him glory.

Few years ago, I was in an excruciating part of my story. It felt like an unending nightmare. In fact, it was probably the hardest year of my life.

How could anything good ever come out of unimaginable pain?

I prayed, trusted and waited for the Lord to change my situation, yet nothing had changed.

It wasn’t the plan I wanted for my life. Or for my wife and for my family. I felt helpless and hopeless. I couldn’t see God working in any of it.

Somewhere, in the middle of all the pain, God became real to me again.

Those desperate years when the Lord was silent, he was not absent. He had been there all along.

He gave me strength and courage to face life one day at a time.

I am still a work in progress. I don’t know how things are going to turn out.

But we can trust that God is in the story. And he is orchestrating the tiniest detail. We may not understand why, but we can be certain that God has a glorious purpose to the pain we are enduring.

I’m still in the middle of my story. While none of us know the joys and trials we have yet to encounter, we do know that Jesus will be with us through them.

Who is writing your life story today?

In my life right now, I am embarking on a new chapter of my life. I am venturing this year to a new challenge soon. It’s scary. It frightens me and I often worry what the future holds.

What joys will I experience and what sorrows will I endure?

But when I do this, when I worry and fret what the next chapter holds, I get in the way of the One who is supposed to be writing my story for me.

So often we try to control the pen. We try to direct our own lives.

We need to give God control of our lives – to let Him write out our life stories.

He knows what lies ahead of us.

Through the whole story, the Author (our God) is with us. He isn’t just watching our story unfold; he is guiding it, moving it along. He is intimately a part of it.

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!

NSPC

Dubbed as the Olympics of Campus Journalism, National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) is set to gather the best student-journalists in the country.

The venue this year is Pagadian City, which is the capital of Zamboanga del Sur in Western Mindanano from February 19 to 23, 2018.

The National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) is the highest intellectual competition for journalism in both private and public, elementary and high schools in the Philippines.

It was not an easy feat to hurdle the contest from the division to the regional and ultimately to the national level.

Nspc

I made it to the headline! Ang Batis is the official school paper of Mariano Marcos Memorial High School and they are so proud of our achievement in NSPC 1995 that they still highlighted the historical win the following school year. Nahalukay sa baul!

Humbly speaking, I was the first champion in radio broadcasting in the history of NSPC.

It was held in the historical city of Malolos, Bulacan in December 14-18, 1995.

Then Department of Education, Culture & Sports (DECS) launched for the first time a new category about broadcasting.

It was a pioneer contest that paved the way for more trailblazing categories.

We prepared for TV newscasting in the regionals but ended in radio news reporting during the nationals.

I was the flag bearer of the National Capital Region (NCR) representing the Division of City Schools – Manila & Mariano Marcos Memorial High School (District 6).

All the winners were announced from other categories first.

Ours was the last.

There were tons of butterflies in my stomach.

I knew, I did well pero mahirap mahopia at siopao asado.

I was going back and forth in the toilet.

I was so nervous.

During our time, the top 10 was announced.

10th, 9th, 8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd placers, my name was nowhere to be found then 2nd from other region.

Every one was going home already.

Then, 1st place went to NCR (ako kaya?), sampu kaya kaming representative then from Manila (may isang qualifier from Villamor High School – District 5) after a long silence (paexcite pa more ang host!)

Boom!

My name was called.

I was surprised!

No, very surprised!

I sprinted all the way to the stage and proudly received the trophy on behalf of all the young journalist in the world, the universe rather – este Philippines pa lang pala!

I went back to Manila victoriously and presented the trophy to then Mayor Alfredo Lim.

I also took part in the DECS’ student exchange program to Seoul, South Korea.

The NSPC experience inspired me to take a journalism course in college.

More than winning, NSPC taught me the value of excellence.

Be it big or small, give it your all!

Opportunity knocks once, so grab the bull by its horn.

I did not become a news presenter whether in TV or radio but I have a voice that I can share to the world through this blog.

The passion never stops.

Like Henry Anatole Grunwald said:
“Journalism can never be silent: That is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.”

To all young journalist, keep on writing manalo o matalo, magqualify man o hindi sa NSPC, laban lang!

Volunteer

Twenty years ago, I volunteered for DZRH Operation Tulong and I found my ID while searching for some old files.

Volunteer

Circa 1998 volunteerism with DZRH Operation Tulong.

I was a college student when I was invited by Sister Wilma Du.

She was like a second mother to me in the parish. She was a cathecist and a servant leader in the community.

Because of her, I met a lot of fellow volunteers and had a chance to do live radio report during the wee hours of the morning.

During my stint, I met Tita Dely Magpayo who was recognized as the “First Lady of Philippine Radio” due to her long and outstanding service in the broadcasting industry.

She was well-loved by generations of listeners and advice-seekers who tuned into her radio counselling programs.

DZRH Operation Tulong is still active, the goal of the program was to help fellow Filipinos who are in need of medical or financial assistance.

They uphold the tagline: “Pagbubuklod sa sama-samang paglilingkod, noon, ngayon at sa darating na panahon!”

Why did I volunteer as a young college student in 1998?

People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them.

1. Gaining New Experiences and Insights

Volunteering allows students to get involved with new things and develop technical, social, and academic skills that couldn’t be learned in a classroom environment. It allows you to experience different environments and situations.

Volunteering brings out new interests, hobbies, and opinions; moreover, volunteering expands students’ horizons.

2. Creating Connections with People

No matter the age, building relationships with people is crucial. Not only does the volunteer work you do as a student show who you are as a person, but it reflects many positive character traits. Volunteering allows you to meet a wide variety of people from all sorts of walks of life.

3. A Sense of Accomplishment

Volunteering isn’t one of the most plush, easy, or glamorous of jobs, but it is one of the most beneficial and uplifting. While no monetary compensation is received, many will tell you that their work and experiences gained as a volunteer were worth way more than any money they could have gotten from another line of work.

Think of it like this: volunteering is done on a person’s own accord. It’s taking some time out of your day and helping others. Volunteer work makes us feel good. It builds self-confidence and lifts up the spirits.

Choose a community that you want to support and volunteer now!

Dynamite

Last Saturday, our LG group were ‘adulting’ in Blue Wave near SM Moa.

Adulting

Childhood snacks that we love. ‘Kwek-kwek’ & dynamite LG prayer meeting.

Adulting is one of millennials favorite new words, which means the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult.

Special thanks to Bro. Fred Pagala for sharing ‘kwek-kwek’ (deep-fried quail eggs covered with orange-colored batter) and dynamite (green chili stuffed with cheese on lumpia wrapper).

These are some classic street foods or snacks from your childhood that you surely love.

My list also includes:

Ice Candy
Like most kids, you probably crawled your neighborhood during summers looking for a neighbor who sold these frozen treats. Sure, you could make the things yourself—it’s just powdered juice mixture poured into slender plastic bags—but the hunt was part of the fun of eating ice candy. Nowadays, ice candy has “leveled up,” with buko pandan and fruit salad variants now being sold.

Hotdog on a Stick
Hotdogs with marshmallows were the highlight of every birthday party. Because that’s just how Filipinos throw a kids party. Whether at your shindig or at a friend’s, hotdogs on a stick were always the first handa to run out. There’s just something about the juiciness of the hotdog and the sweetness of the marshmallow that makes this childhood fave so unforgettable.

Pinoy Style Spaghetti
Foreigners will probably gasp when they see Pinoys dump an entire bottle of banana ketchup and heaping cups of sugar into their spaghetti sauce, but that’s just how we like this dish. It’s always a treat when your mom makes this on your birthday or on weekends. And when adulting gets you down, a heaping bowl of Pinoy-style spaghetti never fails to lift your spirits.

Binatog
What’s not to love about binatog? The combination of sweet corn kernels, shredded coconut, sugar, and melted margarine offers an explosion of goodness in your mouth—which is why you were always running out the door when you hear the vendor’s signature bell ringing.

Times may change, but our taste buds will never forget the iconic tastes of our childhood. Luckily, many of your favorite snacks are still available, allowing you to rediscover what made you fall in love with them in the first place.