Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I will be 20,010 in two days.

Yes, by this time I would have experienced the dawning and setting of the sun 20,010 times as I celebrate my 58 years on planet earth. Taken in that context, I do feel like an ancient voyager, with the earth as my ship and the universe my vast ocean.

And yet at 58, I don’t feel that shipwrecked, spent or tired at all. The more years added, the more of God’s faithfulness I experience, and the more of it I relish.

I feel as young as ever. I could still follow my line dancing instructor though lately I haven't raised a leg to conquer my stubborn mid-portion.

God supplies my every need so I can’t complain. Life has not been such a smooth glide either, but hey, whose ride hasn't been rough or bumpy if you're travelling on space shuttle earth with its dizzying peaks and low low valleys, not considering its hurricanes and volcanic eruptions?

But I’m thankful for each day I can laugh, or cry, especially when I’m overwhelmed by God’s all encompassing grace, even during those times I stagger or stumble— sometimes literally falling, and my hipbone still intact.

I praise Him for my family: my husband’s faithfulness and continued good health in spite of his high blood sugar; the way our children turned out to be—God-fearing, loving and caring.

And our wonderful grandchildren Joaqui and Charlize! Just the thought of them causes my heart to rejoice, thank God and pray some more.

Then I remember the love of my parents (both deceased), brothers and sisters and my in-laws, our nephews and nieces, our dearest friends, our bible study group, our church brethren and most especially our pastors whose teachings inspire me no end.

And yes my students. What a joy it is to realize that one can impact young minds. Add to that my co-educators with their nurturing commitment to see their mentees through.

The list of people, things and situations to thank God for is endless.

But most of all, I thank Him for His GRACE. I am able because He enables. When I am weak, that’s when I’m strong. When I get lost, Jesus shows the way, because He is the Way.

During times when I feel I just blew it, He floods my heart with assurance that all will be all right. For every holler for help, He answers. Because He is both my Father and my Deliverer.

58 years and counting. I’m sooooo ready to get hold of my senior citizen’s card in two years’ time. Wow! Discounts galore in restaurants.

By the way, the only treat I asked my family for my birthday is a Conti’s mango bravo dessert, delivered a day in advance! Ang babaw! Yes, being shallow and inane, especially at 20,010, is forgivable.

Waiting for mango bravo with Opal, Jack and Carlo

Monday, November 16, 2009


A forwarded email listed the following clever business names:

Cut & Face, a parlor in San Juan. Cafe Pindot, a small internet café. Summa Cum Laundry, a laundry shop in Manila. Bread Pit, a bakery. Lito Lapida, a tombstone maker in Antipolo.

Very Noy-Pi, they’re not just funny, but apt and memorable. Branding coups if you ask me—a key factor for successful marketing.

What’s in a name really? And why all the fuss about having the right name?

Names were carefully chosen even in biblical times because parents believed that whatever they called their children influenced their future.

Noah, for example, meant “comfort,” because his father wanted comfort for his family as they toiled the earth’s cursed ground.

Remember Jacob? God changed his name to Israel because one night, he actually wrestled with God and he overcame. And that’s the promise every Jew banks on even today—that as a people, they will prevail.

But this name calling business becomes more interesting. He says in Isaiah 43:1, “Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

There’s more. He promised David in 2 Samuel 7:9: I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth.

Wow, not only does He redeem us, but He calls us by name, with promises of victory and success to boot!

However, only one name matters. By that name, every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth. And there’s no other name given by which everyone may be saved—but by the name of Jesus.

And His is the only name that will never fail our expectations. Bread Pit's pandesal may once in a while disappoint but this Bread from Heaven will forever satisfy.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


( photo from blog.sonyworks.com)

My friend Yna Reyes recently forwarded an article about famous violinist Joshua Bell playing incognito at a Washington DC metro station—a social experiment conducted by the Washington Post two years ago on “perception, taste and priorities of people.”

Bell’s Boston concert two days earlier cost avid music fans a whopping $100 dollars per seat. Yet this 45-minute performance at the metro station—where the grandiose sound of his $3.5 million Stradivarius violin melded with Bell's passion for Bach—bagged only a handful of appreciative onlookers and $32 in coins.

How could have thousands missed this awesome brush with greatness? It was free yet only a few cared to stop and savor. If they only knew!

Some caught the moment though. A three year old boy stopped and listened. Egged on by his mother to keep moving, he nonetheless tarried. “This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on,” noted the author of the forwarded article.

Busy? Don't allow your day-to-day activities dictate your priorities or you'll miss life’s rarest gifts.

Getting things accomplished makes good sense; it's a prescription for success. But we must not lose life's breathtaking "wow!" moments. And they come when you least expect them, yes even when you're rushing, catching a ride to somewhere.

We spend a lot of money on entertainment or some form of therapy, believing that these will soften the blow as life takes us on sharp detours. But really, the best things in life are free!

Children know that. Like God’s gift of salvation in Christ. We didn’t earn it. He gave it freely because He loved us. And He doesn’t ask anything in return. For it is by faith, not works, so no one would boast.

That’s why Christ taught us to be child-like: (Matthew 18:3) “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of God.”

Joshua Bell paid a handsome price for his Stradivarius, making sure that with his talent and his instrument, music lovers would experience the extraordinary. But commuters just passed him by, oblivious to a prince in their midst; some dropping a cent or two, probably to assuage their guilt.

Jesus paid with His life. It is a free gift. None of us could ever pay for what He did on the cross. All because He wanted our journey to lead us heavenward. The Prince of Peace, more than that the Savior, awaits your audience. This we could not miss!

"There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

That’s more than extraordinary. That's priceless!

Nikki could have been one of those who stopped for Bell's music.