Tuesday, August 28, 2012


image from designer.com
"How's the weather up there?" My height-challenged co-worker kidded Marina, one of our producers in the TV station I used to work for. Marina towered close to six feet if my memory serves me right.

I guess we each carry our own individual weather, depending on where or how we stand.

Don't we sometimes 
manufacture our own wind?

"Mahangin (windy)" or "malakas ang dating (heavy presence)." That had been most people's impression of Genio (not his real name), one of my college schoolmates.  Seeming center of the universe, he constantly tooted his own horn.

Initially in awe of his awesomeness and believing all his brag lines, we soon discovered he lived in fantasyland or egoland---that he was this rich guy who inherited a huge fortune. He never really regained credibility even if he later graduated with honors.

Some just couldn't hold their own nasty wind down under.

Many senior citizens struggle with internally-generated uncontrollable weather, sometimes with rumblings which make them dash for "that bloody loo," per my British friend. 

Perhaps a sign to submit yourself to a colonoscopy or your long overdue annual physical exam---so your doctor can forecast fine weather as your body weathers escalating drought by the day. Wriggly, sagging skin---that's one of our barometers.

But a new-born's weather? Just pure sunny and bright.

Well, he or she may have his/her own uncontrollable weather too down under; but crying or cooing or slumbering, an infant just has a capacity to bring in the sunshine and the birds and the rainbow---and yes, singing---even during a storm. How I wish adults could do the same!

My new granddaughter Natalie does that to me all the time---as well as the thought of my now more grown up grandkids Joaqui and Charlize.

But wait till Natalie screams for whatever reason; and everyone around her gets scrambled as a tornado scrambles everything in its path. Yet we still remark, "How cute!" though her wailing makes us stop everything we're busy with, so we can pacify her weather.

(This is a heads up on my soon-to-be-released book, "Grandparenting: Happiness and Hard Work!" which will be launched at the Manila International Book Fair this September. Soon available at OMF and PCBS bookstores; and can be ordered online through OMF. Wouldn't it be a great Christmas gift to any grandparent?)

Experiencing US East Coast weather in recent weeks, I've often shivered in airconditioned houses cooled 22 degree-C or lower, only to step out in sweltering 38 degree-C, nemesis of migraine-prone heads. Thank God, weathermen forecast cooler days as fall descends.

Manila weather, on the other hand, seems to be a give and take between stormy and sunny, with flooding and even greater traffic as a consequence of abnormal amounts of rainfall.

Scientists have warned us again and again. At the rate industries have spread their carbon footprint, and ordinary mortals like us wantonly consume more than the energy we need in our own households or gas-guzzler vehicles, we are continuously fanning our own destructive weather---whether we like it or not.

image from topnews.in

This earth which God gave us to steward, is really ours to manage. That requires some wisdom!

God commanded man in Genesis 1:28 "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Being fruitful, subduing the earth and ruling over everything---awesome responsibilities. But we seem not to have taken these to heart. We've actually abused our authority. And we're reaping the consequence as we experience what scientists term "unusual weather" or global warming. 

Of course, some people are more guilty than others. But we each have to admit our share of the blame.

Will it be sunny or balmy or stormy tomorrow? Will it be seething hot or shivering cold? Will there be torrential rain or unusual flooding? Will the snow fall or will it be a skiing-free winter?

Whether it's the weather I carry, or the weather I fan around me, or the weather I contribute to creating for all of mankind, I must always keep in mind, "I impact others either for good or bad."

Some weather to ponder!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012


(image from fpmanchester.com)
"Please tell Tita Yay we were really inspired and blessed by the seminar. I pray pagamit pa sya sa Lord (that she will allow the Lord to use her some more) for His glory."

Text message sent by my new-found friend Nessie to my son Carlo soon after we concluded the second module of the "Winning His Way" seminar held recently at the Filipino Christian Center (FCC), Fort Washington, Maryland.

Did this message make my day? Absolutely. Not because I needed an ego-trip but because messages like these encourage me not to be discouraged even though I wallow in self-doubt and ineptness from time to time whenever I write or teach.

Sometimes I come to these talks doubting that I could do it; but His Word affirms, again and again, that "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength;" and "it is not by might or by power nor by my abilities," that I could!

It's all because of His amazing grace! He enables the unable.

I flew to the US with Wowa (that's how my five year-old grandaughter Charlize used to call this grandmother, "Lola" in Filipino) mission in mind---to be present for the birth of my third grandchild (Natalie) and help Carlo and his wife Opal initially cope with this new chapter in their life; but believing likewise that God would let me into others' lives through my books and their accompanying seminars.  
True to His promise, God has opened the door wider so that in the church which Carlo and Opal have come to regard as their spiritual home, He gave me a chance to hold not one, but two  seminars; and likewise be involved in the lives of the church's women.

Even in the US of A where people seem to be prospering materially, one meets former kababayans (countrymen) battling with even bigger dysfunctions and issues than they've faced before. 

Proof that we live in an imperfect world. But greater proof that His grace abounds even more where godlessness and indifference prevail.

Whether one lives in Manila, Washington DC or Timbuktu, his only hope for the best life ever is in the person of Jesus Christ!   

So I praise God for Filipino Christian Center's (FCC) Pastor Mariano Gabor's trust, along with the church leadership's welcoming heart.  Special thanks to Lynne and Lito Fister who helped promote the event and organize the meals, and Obet Bermudez who helped with the sound and video systems. Thanks too for the opportunity to sell my books, "Sorry to Burst Your Bubble" and "Going Up?" 

Either here in the US or in the Philippines, or in whatever part of the world, mass media report increased violence and criminality, and rampant teen pregnancies, with many babies born out of wedlock. Pornography, cussing and expletives pepper movie scenes.

Those who make a stand for biblical truths get to be treated as the bad guys, making believers extra wary about speaking the truth.

Oh that we would not be afraid to utter the truth; and not tire of standing up for one another, any which way we can, given every opportunity---as the day of His coming nears, and as greater darkness descends upon our uncaring world.

"But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit" (Jude 1:20). "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing" (1 Thes. 5:11).

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I've been riveted on the boob tube these past two weeks because of the 2012 Olympics in London.

Since I've been watching the games with my American-situated side (Carlo's) of the family, I've been gaga rooting for US athletes.

I would have screamed for our Pinoy brothers but US television [NBC] covered  events mostly involving their own. Besides, it would really be corny and a waste of static energy if you just watched without taking sides and didn't scream for any one.

But when Australian athletes competed alongside their US counterparts, I was honestly conflicted.

Should I cheer for one or the other? Mainly because the other half of our offspring peapod (Lucci's family) has chosen to make Down Under home.

Now I'm faced with a dilemma. In case my grandkids become Olympians themselves---and it's very likely if you ask any grandkid-enamored lolos and lolas---and face each other in future events, I'd be more torn about my cheering options.

Oh well, I'd cross the bridge when I get there.

Meanwhile, I'd probably sound redundant if I raved some more about how great a lot of these athletes have been.

 They've been a picture of perseverance, endurance, stick-to-itiveness, discipline, professionalism, focus and concentration. How I pray ordinary mortals like ourselves would have just a sprinkling of that---then we probably wouldn't bungle life so much.

Awesome. Amazing. Greatest (ascribed to Michael Phelps). Astonishing. Strongest. Wonderful. Fastest (sprinter Usain Bolt). Most enduring (35 mile-runner Stephen Kiprotich, Uganda's first gold medalist). These superlatives continued to spill over and over again from commentators and anchors over the airlanes.

But that's what the Olympics is all about. The best vying for the gold and the gold alone; and the honor of being inscribed forever in history as the greatest in their field.

If I had my way, I'd give the highest tribute to moms and dads who never let up praying, believing, cheering and always positioning themselves strategically in the audience to cheer for and goad their sons and daughters to "just do it."

That's what Father God does too:

Constantly present---strengthening, guiding, leading, cheering, supporting, providing, healing, and doing everything else necessary to encourage us to run the course and prop us up during discouraging and painful situations.

So we can Michael-Phelps-or-Usain-Bolt it in whatever arena of life we choose to run.

"For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)

This metaphor graphically illustrates His steadfast nurturing:

Mother eagle knows when her eaglet is ready to fly. She makes the nest such an unpleasant place to cuddle in by filling it with rocks or twigs; then pushes him steadily to the edge to test if he could spread his wings when he falls.

More: Bringing him up on the air, she drops the tiny eaglet, again and again, at higher levels---to train him some more; till he could fly, then soar!

Michael Phelps and company didn't develop those powerful muscles and winning strokes in comfort and ease.  They strained and trained and learned. And strained and trained and learned some more.

That's why they deserved those medals. Take a bow, parents.

Thank you, Father God. You are the ultimate Parent.