Friday, August 27, 2010

Ur Sunday Dose: More than Manners...

August 22, 2010
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lk 14,1.7-14


I remember a certain event when I was a kid. After our periodical exams at school, I proceeded to this certain reception of a relative's wedding. It is held somewhere near our school. Since I gone the first among them all (noting that the wedding isn't over yet), I held the place in the presidential table, next to the chair reserved for the newly-weds. I felt comfy all over, since I know that I would never be moved to another chair with the crowd.

That was until a waiter came to me and said, "Bata, baba ka dyan. May mga uupo dyan." To my dismay, I proceeded to a vacant chair in a table not so far from the presidential one. In replacement, my mom sat on my chair when the visitors came. When mommy came to know of the event, she can't help but laugh. She told me that the seat which I took was really reserved for the godparents of the newly-wed couple.

Of course, I can't understand at that, my age being 11 or 12. It was until I am writing of this reflection when this event came back to my memory; it was only now that I came to understand fully what it means to sit somewhere you are not supposed to sit on.

The Gospel for the Lord's Day focuses on literal table manners. At one certain point, Jesus is telling us that even then, table manners are followed. "Table Etiquette" is already a part of the system. He shows us in particular, two certain rules to do whenever you are invited: "Never sit in the place of honor; rather, sit in the most humble place," and "Do not invite those important to you; rather, invite the poor, the lame, and those who cannot repay you in any way."

Of course, these two things are important whenever you are in any wedding banquet or in any buffet get-together. It is important that we show prim and proper ways. Considering that this is a chance to mingle with people we do not know, nevertheless we take this opportunity to show our hospitality and manners.

Ok, enough of the literal side. Let's get deeper.

When we do something, we usually boast it to others. We tell others that we did this, we contributed that, and more. In that, people recognize us, and we become happy. We receive the reward of our good deed.

Jesus - the Humble servant - challenges us not to be like that. A real Christian does not boast at all; rather, he does things in the spirit of service, humility and love. He does not expect some praise from the people. Remember that the more we work good in silence, the more blessings we could expect to receive. For, as Jesus said in the Gospel: "every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."

Also, when we do good to those we know, we usually hear the words, Paano kaya kita magagantihan sa ginawa mong kabutihan sa akin? By that, we are given our reward for the good deed we do.

Knowing this, Jesus also challenges us to be good, not only to those who are close to us, but as well, to those we do not know, and the most forgotten in the mob. He is specific with this: the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Since we know that they would never be able to repay us materially, and that they could only utter these words, Salamat po. They could likewise offer only but prayers. Jesus tells as well in the Gospel, "Blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

You see, the manners we usually do at the table does not end at the table. It continues right up to every second and moment of our lives. Remember that good manners apply to everyone and every time and place.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

WedPost: MAJOR MAJOR Victory, MAJOR MAJOR Tragedy, MAJOR MAJOR Pageant...


These set of words became the word of the day after Ms. Venus Raj became hesitant in answering the question in the Ms. Universe Pageant last Aug. 23. The question goes like this, "What was the biggest mistake that you have ever done to your life and what did you do to make it right?"

She replied, "You know what, sir, in my 22 years of existence, I can say that there's nothing major major problem that I've done in my life because I'm very confident with my family, with the love that they are giving to me. So thank you so much that I'm here. Thank you, thank you so much!"

Because of that very safe answer, she landed the 4th place in the prestigious competition. Nice job, after all that she had undergone. From being almost deprived of the privilege, she stood victorious after all. However, she deserves more than that because of her high popularity before the pageant night. She led the internet votes. She became one of the judges' top picks. She was there...

... almost, if not because of that answer. Well, on the lighter side, the phrase Major Major became a top hit not only in gossip but also in the netizen world. It became the replacement of the Bekimon expression Bonggang-bongga. Proof that Ms. Venus coined something more than making a name that would make us proud once again.

So, if you have something that is taking you to your bones, it has a common adjective... Major major.


Like the Major major hostage crisis that happened last Monday at the Quirino Grandstand. It left some blood. 7 Hong Kong Nationals died and some were injured after the hostage taker, dismissed Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza, took hostage of the Tourist Bus at around 11 AM, and after 11 hours of failed negotiations. Many circumstances occurred that led to the the brutal end of the siege, i.e. the arrest of Insp. Mendoza's brother, and the failure of the negotiators to do as the Taker demanded of it. At the end of the crisis, Insp. Mendoza was also killed by multiple gunshots.

We saw many major major discrepancies in the crisis, like the naivete of the police, the overpowering of the media, and the mad sea of usiseros that was there despite the tension.

We saw the failure (or the major major naivete) of the police force to respond rightly to the situation. Like soldiers for battle without the proper attire, they attacked the bus without the right gear. They acted like children in a field which was supposedly allotted for real men for the battle. Is this the police that we are proud of?

The media did something major major again. Though wrong for some, they stood there, giving us the info we need for us to be more knowledgeable of the events in the grandstand. Well, bad thing it came to the knowledge of the hostage taker as well. That triggered him to do something which was major major bloody. It is here where we must consider the importance of responsible journalism. For me, it is not to send the info first to the people, but to make it sure that it would be fair for the both sides so that nothing would harm all.

And what are those sawsaweros doing there at the crime scene? The term some were injured includes those who were innocent of the wrongdoing, that were just there to take a closer glimpse of the situation. They are such a major major naive, really! When they are supposed to be at their home, safe and sound, they are their, with their lives at risk. When will we learn, people? When will we learn to know when to go somewhere and when not to go if it is not safe?

As for those who keep on blaming us on what somebody did wrong, let me share with you something which I posted on my FB wall last Monday:
Look, guys. We do not need to blame everyone for the wrongdoing of someone. However, there are some who believe that "the fault of one is the fault of all". We can't blame them at all. Nevertheless, let us remember that situations like this happen as a wake-up call to each one of us. We are very much laxed. Nobody is to... be blamed at the end of the day... Nobody but US.

...Good thing the driver was able to escape after all. He is such a major major survivor!


On a more personal manner, I am a member of the Production team for the Mr. and Ms. Education 2010 at the City of Malabon University. We have 20 major major contestants from the four different year levels, and courses under the College of Education. I also lead in the giving out of the ballots for the contestants. It is such a tough job, considering that I am one of those supposed to be at the school everyday for the giving of ballots, Practice every now and then, coordinating with every contestant with regards with their moves on the stage,

Of course, the contestants give our their best in selling ballots, and persuading the people to support them in any manner. Well, all that I can say is that a major major good luck to them, and may the best man and woman win!
The Mr. and Ms. Educ competition form the culminating part of the Education Week, from Sept. 08-10, 2010. The Pageant is going to be held on Sept. 10, from 2 PM onwards.


To top the cake, I am informing you that from this post on, I would make blogposts on a sequential manner:
  • WEDNESDAY: WedPost, my blogpost concerning every normal and special occurrences on this side of the netizen's planet.
  • FRIDAY-SATURDAY:Ur Sunday Dose, my weekly Sunday Gospel Reflection, liked by the readers, especially by those from the 100% Katolikong Pinoy group on FB.
Of course, special posts will be posted, depending on the need.

Well, this ends the post. A MAJOR MAJOR DAY, Netizens!
KuyaZeke,ccs_082510 :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bp. Deo's experience... my own as well.

Bishop Deo: DEO GRATIAS!

Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, with a Bishop-concelebrant.

The Kalookan Clergy with Bishop Deo and the Papal Nuncio

I was really proud to be among the flood of people who flocked to San Bartolome Parish in Malabon yesterday to give thanks to God for Bishop Deo's Episcopal Silver Jubilee Mass. It was attended well and good by Bishops and Archbishops, notably Most Rev. Edward Joseph Adams (our Papal Nuncio), and also by prominent people in the political world (notably Mayor Tito and Vice Mayor Lenlen Oreta, Hon. Teofisto Guingona Jr., and Bro. Eddie Villanueva). But most of all, it was attended by the people close to the bishop's heart, the people of the Diocese of Kalookan, and his immediate family led by his beloved Nanay Emilia Iñiguez (still alive and kicking at age 95!).

Though her being hesitant, God gave me the blessing of borrowing my sister's DSLR cam for the occasion (Thanks, dete!). Through that camera, I caught shots of the event first hand, together with the cameramen positioned in the front of the church. I never got away from the pulpit of the church for fear of mis-reverence to the sacred occasion. Thank God, I still had good shots of the celebration (though I was reprimanded by my fellow cameraman that I should never take slant shots of solemn occasions. Lesson learned.).

As for me, I could cite many important and cherishing moments within the Mass. I would share it through pictures...
After the Papal Nuncio's homily, he proceeded to Bishop Deo to give him a brotherly embrace. In his homily, he shared what it is to have a bishop. we cannot imagine the Church without a Bishop.... Having a Bishop is a blessing... These are the noting phrases that stocked to my memory after the long homily of the Nuncio. But though it is long, it is full of juice and meat for those who graced the Mass. The embrace is full of meaning. Like brothers embracing each other, it was like in fron t of a thousand people, Jesus himself said to Bishop Deo, "Job well done."

Another was when it was Bishop Deo's turn to speak. Aside from the usual thanks he gave to all the people attended, he also asked forgiveness for anything and everything wrong he may have done. When I personally heard those words, I don't know what would my emotion should be, if I would be glad or if tears would run down my cheeks. Hearing a bishop speak of these words - in all actuality - is uncommon. As my friend said of the moment, Tunay na ang inyong Obispo ay isang Obispo na may kababaang-loob. Tunay na karapat-dapat siyang maging isang Obispo... Ang swerte ninyo, siya ang inyong Bishop.

But the most noting was a personal experience. It happened after I took this stolen shot of the Papal Nuncio. I approached him to kiss his ring (Note that this was the second time that I attended a Mass with the Papal Nuncio; the first was in 2007 at San Roque Cathedral. It was presided by Arch. Filoni, then Papal Nuncio. Yet, it was my first time to approach and kiss the Nuncio's ring.)
As I approach him, there are nuns and lay talking to him, and asking him a picture. I did not asked a pic or like that. In all humility, I just said, "Hello po," and approached for his hand to kiss his ring. I did kiss the ring, yet when I was through, and ready to let go of his hand, he actually did not stop holding my hand. I was a little bit shocked. I thought, Am I doing something wrong? I looked at the Nuncio's face, and he was smiling at me. I smiled back, and it was then that he took the grip off my hand. At that instant, I was comforted for whatever reason.

At the end of the day, I thanked God for the grace of Bishop Deo, and everything that I experienced on the whole day, especially the Jubilee Mass. 25 Years only comes once. And for the Diocese of Kalookan, and for me personally, I am proud that I became part of this historic event in the life of my Dear Bishop Deo.

Another thing? It happened two days after my 20th Birthday. I was really happy that the event coincided days after my Lifeday. I know that this year would be a year of abundant blessings from God for me and for everyone who is dear to me.

I continually shout with everyone: Salamat sa Diyos! DEO GRATIAS!!!

KuyaZeke,ccs_082210 :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010


"Having a Bishop is a blessing... a blessing for the Church, a blessing for you!... We cannot imagine a Church without a Bishop..."
- Arch. Edward Joseph Adams, DD
Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines

(on his Homily during the Jubilee Mass of Bishop Deo, Aug. 21, 2010)

Having you in our midst is truly a blessing, not only to our Diocese of Kalookan, but also to the Universal Church!
And so, from the bottom of my heart, I greet you...


We continually pray to God for your greater strength and more blessings in guiding us your flock towards Jesus, the High Priest and Good Shepherd.

KuyaZeke,ccs_082110 :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ur Sunday Dose: Tuwid na Daan, Makipot na Pintuan

August 22, 2010
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Feast of the Queenship of Mary

Lk 13,22-30


Nowadays, we usually hear these words, TUWID NA DAAN, MATUWID NA LANDAS. These words are full of hope for us filipinos, because after a decade of graft and corruption, a decade of darkness for our country, heaven shed its light upon our desolate land through the new administration.

We often see in the news the government in action. Tax evasion cases were being filed, social communications were being utilized, and so on. In just a little span of time, we see our officials doing the best they can to fulfill their sworn duty to our country. And for us, we are ore inspired now to work more and dream more for a more prosperous Philippines ahead of us. As we can see it, we are truly walking the right – and straight – path now.

That’s good for our country, for our earthly home. How we wish that we could do the same for our voyage towards our real home up above?

Jesus tells us, Strive to enter through the narrow gate. Narrow here means something that is really small, only a few could pass through. Maswerte na tayo kung tayo ay makakapasok sa makipot na pintuan, dahil hindi naman tayong lahat ay makakapasok sa pintuang ito. Many will strive, yet they are not fit to enter. Many are dreaming to be with God, now and after death, and yet not all will have the grace to be with him.

Let us now connect the tuwid na daan with the makipot na pintuan. All of us are doing good here on Earth. We work for the greater evangelization of all, and yet we do not do it wholeheartedly. If we are like these people, surely, we are like men walking through the tuwid na daan, but would never fit to enter the makipot na pintuan. Got the picture?

Not yet? Let’s put it this way.

There is this churchgoer, a lector, who often boast that he does this and that good deed. He speaks with the tongue of the angels everytime he proclaims God’s Word in Mass, and would want to present to the people that we help a poor beggar in the street. There is also this simple janitor in a school nearby who passes by the church and prays to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament before and after he goes to work. He is really devoted to his work, even goes overtime. His pay is just right for his family’s needs. He really had good intentions while working, offering it for the glory of God and for his sanctification.

They died and reached the Heaven’s portal. St. Peter was waiting for them. He said the verdict: “Lector, purify yourself first in purgatory. As for you, Janitor, you may now freely enter Heaven.” The lector grew mad and asked, “Teka. Bakit siya pa ang mauuna? Di ba dapat ako muna? Lagi naman akong nasa simbahan! Nagpapahayag ako! Bakit siya ang mauunang pumasok?” St. Peter replied, “Anak, alam kong naglilingkod ka sa Misa. Pero tanungin mo ang sarili mo kung tunay nga bang bukal sa loob mo ang paglilingkod. Mas mainam pa kesa sa iyo ang janitor na ito. Kahit na mahirap lang siya at di nakikita ng karamihan, bukal sa puso niya ang ginagawa niya. Nagdarasal at gumagawa para sa lalo niyang ikakabanal at ng mga kasama niya. Siya ang dapat na mauna, hindi ikaw.”

We see, we walk through the straight path, yet because of the intention we have behind our good deed, that’s why only a few can enter through the narrow gate. We should always remember that our work should be coupled with a good intention in doing so. Work and pray a lot for our whole well-being. With this, we can also inspire others to be like us in holiness. Do not forget that not all who say Lord! Lord! will enter Heaven, but those who listen to His Word and do good with a clean intention will do.

Finally, remember Jesus’ words: Some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last. Let us pray for God’s strength and grace that we could walk through the Matuwid na Daan and pass through the Makipot na Pintuan.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

ZEKE XX: Thank you all!!!

August 19, 2010 has been a colorful day for me. This day - my 20th Birthday - is truly blessed with lots and lots of love from the people around me, more opportunities to show my skills, and most of all, rest I truly needed amidst the chaos.

This day would never be realized without the prayers of all the people who continue to love and support me through it all. I need not mention your names, you know who are you all, and how in one way or another, did you helped me to become who I am right now. With this I say...


And so, after Twenty Years,

KuyaZeke,ccs_081910 :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ZEKE XX: The Three Wishes 2010...


It has been a rough year indeed, with all its trials and hardships put together to test whether or not I am still loyal to my words, and deeds. Though it was hard, still, Divine Providence has made it extra colorful and special for the great Me.

And so, after a year of continuing the fight, here I am, after the look-back on my life, asking and praying for three certain things that could help me in being somebody for everybody for the coming year and time.


More than four or five times did I use this wish for others who did well or bad to me. It was sort-of either-or system. I shall still use it this year for the purpose, yet it would be a mix. I wish good life and blessings to everyone who became a part of my life for the past year, good or bad. This is for all, be they my family and friends, enemies and acquaintances. There is nothing more good than to pray for the well-being of others. Besides, they are the reason why there is somebody for everybody.


I saw in this year the fullness of my frail being. I fall prey easily to my own weakness, though I always pray for deliverance from temptation. The priest’s words are true, dasal nga ng dasal, hindi ka naman gumagawa ng aksyon, wala ring kuwenta iyun. Matuto kang manakbo. It was late of my nineteenth year that I thought of these words and realized, something must be done, I must not fall prey all the time.

That would make my second wish for this year. I wish for more strength from up above, for me to get over with the temptations of my age. I thank the Lord for the strength he gave me lately to overcome the temptations I have undergone. Yet, I still need more. Temptations grow fiercer every time, and sometimes they take the guise of a good deed. I really need some more strength.


Last year, I made wishes for those who do not believe for me throughout the years. Later did I realize that I did a very wrong manner of wishing. Why? Because this year was a backstroll of these three wishes. In other words, it came back to me, and I was unprepared.

Though that happened, still, God made it a good thing to show me all my weakness and failures. This year was a year of rebellion, of earthly pleasures, of failure of grades, of no-happiness. Through all these things, God showed something. It is this: I AM NEVER FIT TO BE ALONE. THERE IS BALANCE FOR EVERYTHING AND I MUST RESPECT IT. If there would be one thing that I wished never happened, that was all these negative things that I had undergone. Yet, it all happened, all of them.

And through it all, here I am, still smiling, and writing on my first and prime wish for this year. I wish, not only for discernment, but also the grace and mercy necessary for me to overcome every test and trial on the coming year, and to overcome all with smile on my lips. There would be no greater fulfillment than to wake up in the morning with a smile on my lips, and with thoughts like, YES! I CAN DO IT! In God’s help, and with those of the caring people around me, I know, I can really do it.


I have wished for many material things for this year, a camera, a cellphone, and more similar things. I never had hand of all these. Yet I took hold of more definite things I never wished for, yet came as a blessing. From my failing grades and the grace of continued study at CMU, to the grace of resting from my ministry and returning to the Way. Most of all, was the grace of my family who was never tired of being there to guide me as a son and a brother. Kudos to my family for this blessing. Truly, families are never created to be wrecked, but to guide and love each other through the wreck.

I would never be who I am right now, without the help of the people who never tired to believe in me, and continues to be with me throughout the years. Kudos to all of you. I may not mention your names here, yet God knows you did something for my better life, decision and conversion. Thanks a lot, and may God continue to bless you all.

This was a year of realizations, a year of oh so many blessings from God above. Though there was discontentment and dismay at times, still, God made it a point to be a learning experience for me. For that, Kudos to you, my God! A million thanks for having me living in this side of the world. (I have said my prayer of thanks already at the Birthday Essay, so it would seem like it lacked certain thoughts.)


Well, this post wraps-up the blogpost series of ZEKE XX: 20 YEARS of being SOMEBODY for EVERYBODY. As of posting time, we had sixteen blogposts related to this series, the highest number, followed by T_Bitz… 19 sa 19!!! series (2009), which was composed by thirteen posts. It would never be without the wisdom from God and inspiration I had from all of you, my dear blog-readers.

I don’t know what would lie ahead in the coming year and time, but one thing is for sure: change would be here to stay, and we are here to adapt to it, and love it with all our hearts.

So, this is it. This is change. I am ready.

KuyaZeke,ccs_081710 :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

ZEKE XX: Isang Pasasalamat sa Larawan

Another year is ending. Well, more than a year, I am leaving my teenage years. I’m moving on to being an adult. The age of 20 means a lot of things for me. From the realization that I am not a child anymore, to being old enough to face more hard challenges. 20 means many things.
(From the Birthday Essay 2010)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

ZEKE XX: 20 YEARS of being SOMEBODY for EVERYBODY!!! (The Birthday Essay 2010)


After another year, nineteen years of tears and joys, here I am at the portal of my Twentieth year. It’s Somewhat surprising! With the change of the course of time and destiny, comes this part in our lives when we go up the Ladder of Life, and go one year older.

Me? I’m going one level again, and this time, the tens digit of my age also goes up one number. It’s Level Two for me now. I feel like a stranger at this. Well, it is something which is not really new when you go another year old. At one point in my life, I consider myself as a child, very happy and carefree. When everything is just a piece of game. You can cry anytime because you are so young, you simply do not know what to do.

Now, I am a very big Mama na! I have hair growing at just any part of my bod. My mentality had broaden to some point. Emotions had been a little bit mature. Faith deepened. Friendship Circle grew. Enemies became fiercer. Points of View have been defined. In just a matter of time, everything changed. And all this, while continuing to give service to one and all. In other words, being Somebody for Everybody.

And now, as I take the lead of days towards A-19, let me share with you my chunk of life from the past year, as well as a look-back on the past years which has been a part of my colorful and adventurous life. Truly, there is something in everything to look at, to be thankful for.

Let’s begin the journey...


I was born on the rainy Sunday evening, 19th of August, 1990 AD. Amidst the rain and flood carried over by a typhoon, came the first moment of my existence in this world. I remember my mommy telling her side of the story. She was really tired of carrying me on her tummy, to the point where she shouted, “AYOKO NA!!! Hindi ko na kaya! Iluwal ninyo na ang batang yan!!!” Everytime I remember that, I can’t help but laugh at her reaction. At the first instance, I was sort of a burden to her. Now, I know why. Hehehe…

I was given the name very peculiar from the most of the family. Actually, my mommy was following a flow of endings in her children’s names. For the girls, their names would end with –en. For us boys, it ends in –an. But as for me, being the youngest of the four, I was given two names: WELDANN LESTER. Ideas came and gone, until this combination of names became my official first name. I grew up using only the very first name, though I mix the second on more formal matters, though I don’t use it at usual talk. I came to love my name, not because it is unique, but because, among all, it means that something lies ahead.

I grew up in eating. I ate a lot of Gerber Food (I learned later in life that I had piled up 2 sacks of Gerber Food Bottles. Ganun na pala akong kasiba!!!) and Cerelac, not to forget that tradition of feeding kids with the **** of pork for him to speak well.

I learned to speak at age 5. It’s a sign of speaking deficiency or sort. I grew up with it, and loved it as well. It became my certain asset or something, for though I don’t pronounce words as it is, I learned to speak confidently in front of a lot of people.

Aside from that, I was also given the talent of singing. I loved to sing a lot. There was this time in pre-school that I was noted for my rendition of Donna Cruz’s Habang May Buhay. I love Donna Cruz for that. I came up to be a sensation of those days. Well, not now. Hahaha….

I also grew up to be a child of experiments. Like any adventurous kid who would mix massage oil (Brand not mentioned) with the toilet water to see what would be the result. I also have a share of it, and I was damn punished for that. But despite the punishment, I just continued experimenting.

In short, my exciting young life also became the starting area for some points in my life now. I simply bore up with these points, and now, I am happy with it. I grew up without asking myself why I went such fancy. It’s enough for me that I had these assets and defects with me. After all, I can still make use of each and everything that I have in life. That would explain everything.


I would never deny that my Alma Mater, the Immaculate Conception Parochial School in Malabon City defined my lifestyle more than anything and everything else. Being my second home for 10 years, within its walls was formed the Weldann that you came to know of.

I grew up crying, because of my classmates who never grew tired of bullying me. From Grade Two to First Year, my day would never be complete without me crying to their jeers and teases. Those experiences turned to be my stepping stone to becoming a tougher person. On the last three years of my stay in ICPS, I could say that I began growing up and becoming matured enough. Though the jeers did not changed, I am proud to say that I am not crying anymore by that time.

Well, I was more of an inferior guy then in front of my classmates, but in the eyes of my teachers, I became their grand servant or something like that. I just go up to their every command, just to make sure that their wish would be granted. I did not wish to have a fairer grade; it’s just that I love following their command. I followed just everyone in the school, from the Principal to the Guard. During my time, I was considered the Teacher’s Pet. I am proud, and I loved being one, considering the fact that I am jeered by my classmates.

I also had a handful of friends in the school, though I did not manage to win the hearts of my every batchmate. Later in life, I came to consider them as socialites. Their styles were very different from mine. My heart became far from them. As they grew up studying and living in style, I grew simple yet looking. I can really say that napakalayo ko sa kanila. When I attended the wake of my demised batchmate months ago, almost everyone didn’t notice me, or given me a nod. I realized that I was really far from them, and I could never change it. Some did notice me, though, and thanked me for being there. Because of them, I did not feel “OP” on the occasion.

ICPS also formed my religious aspect. It is in the institution where God began calling me to serve Him. I began my ministry then as a choir member. Later, I became close to God that it was during my High School Days when I became an Altar Server in my Home Parish. I was also chosen to lead the paraliturgical activities in my classroom way back in High School. I owe all these to Mother Mary, patroness of the School, for without her guidance, I would possibly be somebody lurking in the streets today.

I graduated in all smiles. At that moment, I never thought that I would be graduating after years of crying, teasing, my mommy’s debts to the school, study problems, and more than I could imagine. The school also gave honor to my job well done by way of the Student Service Award. I really grew to be a servant-leader of all, socially and religiously.

I continually thank God for the gift of ICPS. Within it was formed the Weldann who is ready to face the world amidst its struggles.

(I would also note that it was in ICPS where the Birthday Essay was born.)


The City of Malabon University was never a first choice for my College Studies. I opt for UST or PUP, but God led me to CMU. I asked God why, and he gave me the answer through the course of time. I had earned a lot of reasons. And I understood all of it.

For one, it’s a diversion. I’m a newbie to the public system of Education (since I was educated earlier in a private school). At first, I felt like a new person in the system where there is no surety of everything you have in hand: from the reg fee and the penalty, to the lost and ruined computers, and even to the old and neglected facilities. It was then that I realized, ganito palang kagarapal ang nasa pamahalaan, pinababayaan na lang ang mga estudyante. It was like an eye-opener for me who lived and studied in an air-conditioned room, where we are only numbered students. It was saying, Face the Reality, Bitoy!

Secondly, it’s the beginning of real friendship. It was in College where I had found my real circle of friends, my barkada. We are named as the Ghoy Ghang. We are the excel-lerated students of the class. Nangunguna sa trip, mahilig sa pag-aaral. But beyond that, I looked deeper and saw how the college people accepted me, more than I was accepted in ICPS.

Though the jeers were never lost, still you could see your jeerers coming to you and asking you some scholastic questions, to the point that you walk with them on the way home. I was loved very much in college, and that became my inspiration to study hard and give it all for my future.

However, there came the point (that was this year) where I grew tired of studying. I cut classes, sometimes absent. I took certain alibis for my parents to think the classes were cut or something. I considered Parish work more than my studies. As a result, I was dooped enough with a handful of failing grades.

I was not supposed to continue studying at CMU after that, but God became so good to me. My family was very supportive throughout the way. The Admin people were nice people to talk with, and I was allowed again to continue studying under certain conditions. And so, amidst the deepened scorning of my classmates, I was back to studying. It continues up until now.

With that, I saw the real importance of education. It takes the third precedence on my table of priorities, next to God and Family, and it would be there to stay.

I am now a Fourth Year BSE Student. Because of the upturning I mentioned earlier, I would go another year to continue studying. Actually, I turned to love teaching, that’s why I chose this course. From being a Volunteer Catechist in the parish, I saw my vocation, and I am determined to pursue my dream no matter what.

And so, in some points in my college life, everything that ICPS never gave me, CMU had endowed. Though I did not entered to those Universities which I wanted to go to, I found more than a reason to study at CMU. It was in CMU that I agnized the difference that college life could give you. With that I ask… bakit ngayon ko lang nararanasan ito?


I was called to join the Neo Catechumenate in 2004, though because of certain things, I was moved to the second community of our Parish in 2005. It was there that I learned how to play a guitar, how to give a catechesis to the brothers, how to scrutinize God’s Word, and more.

Ever since I entered the way, my problems became clear. There was not a day that I do not pass through even a single problem. At some points, I felt like giving up and giving in to my crosses and trials. Yet in a Christian perspective, we were thought that problems are not there to grudge us, but it is a clear sign that God still loves us. Thanks to God for the Way, I understand my every undertaking, though it was not understandable for a typical guy of my age bracket.

My faith deepened as well. Through its celebrations, especially the Eucharist, my belief became way deeper, though there are times that it was so shallow I am dooped to the ground. Blame my frailty for that. It was in the Way that God –literally– became near to us brothers and sisters in the community, especially in the Eucharist.

The Way also led me to Iloilo in 2007, for the Pilgrimage of the youth (though I regret that I didn’t come to the 2010 Pilgrimage in Pangasinan). It was a lovely experience. I never thought that I would go all the way south to preach the Word and mingle with other brothers from other places. It was there in Iloilo that I showed my artistic self to the world, and they loved me for that (weeeehhhhhh…..).

However, there is the instance that I became lukewarm and offensive to the community. It was when Priests changed assignments. With the coming of the present Parish Priest, I was brainwashed enough to the point that I forgot that I had a community. I was told that the Way would never be good for me, and sort of. Yes, on that time, I forgot walking and focused on things that have something to do with his ideals. But when I had problems, he did not assissted me enough, even left me all along the way.

God slapped me on the face, and I was awake again. I returned to my community, and despite everything I said against them, I was accepted again with open arms. I said then, God is really good! Thanks a lot for continuing to be there for me. Up until now, we continue walking, and I consider them as my counselors.

The Neo Catechumenal Way is one of God’s best gifts to me. Within it, my faith deepened, my understanding of problems were enlightened, I had the best counselors and friends, and more than that… it was in the way that I saw how God loved me, in the dimension of the Cross and in everyday life.


My ministry as an Altar Server began sometime in 2004, under Fr. Jun Erlano. I was a simple churchgoer then, when somebody tapped me to join the MAS. From then, I spent the next five years serving at Mass and understanding more the essence of the Christian Liturgy.

I began as a simple server then. It helped that I go to church frequently, for when I am on my first service, I know almost every part of the Mass, it’s just that I need to conform myself with the norms of the parish servers. It differs at every parish. I got used to it (the norms), and loved it so much.

It didn’t take much time before I got the Ministry to my veins. The privilege I had, the friends I made with my fellow brothers. I am thankful to God for the grace of serving him at his Altar, though unworthy.

At a certain point, I also served as the Representative of the Beginner Servers, and eventually, as the Secretary of the Ministry. Eversince, there was a radical change in the flow of the Ministry. Under my leadership, certain points were given out, and the Ministry had its golden age, because though we are not supported enough by the parish people, we still know that they are there to give us something everytime we are I need.

However, God knows that the world of MAS is not anymore fit for me, it is too small already. In 2009, with the help of my Parish Priest, Fr. Junjun de Guzman, I proceeded to being a Lector of the Parish. Going Level 2… it’s hard since I grew up in my soutane, then in just a blink, I gave it up for the Lectionary. Mahirap rin, pero napagdaanan ko ito at nalagpasan. I came to mingle with the senior members of the Parish Liturgical Ministry, and their company is worth it. Besides, I also love reading and proclaiming, and that decision was never put down sadly.

For study reasons, I quitted being a lector for some time now; yet now and ever, I know that the spirit of Ministry and Service would be there to stay for the coming years. I am a living testimony that ONCE A SERVER, A SERVER FOREVER.


The Confraternity of Catholic Saints completes my Tripod of Personality, together with Family, and Neo Catechumenal Community. Being a part of a religious fraternity means that you know your faith deeply, and you are ready to face every challenge for the sake of your faith. As for CCS, the challenge is to Live in Holiness, in example of the Saints. Yes, it is hard for these times (as I always say), that’s why we need to ask God’s grace.

I became a part of the Confraternity in 2006. It all began in Friendster, through Fra. Dave dela Cruz. Since my saying of YES, began my part proclaiming that Holiness is Very Possible. I took care of relics, I have gone to many places, and have met and get-to know so many friends and acquaintances.

But most of it all, the greatest gift of God through me, through the Confraternity, is the gift of my present vocation, as a professed lay. In 2008, with the other pioneers, we consecrated ourselves to God, through Mary, and professed our obedience to God, the Church and to the Confraternity. It was a no-joke YES to God. We promised then to be Holy in everything we should do. It continues throughout our life.

God had become so good to us, that even though the CCS had undergone challenges and problems over the past seven years, we are still intact, and together in spirit, though we are physically far away from each other. The challenge to live holy is more realized as time passes by, and as a frater, we are challenged all the more to be like the Saints. We are nearing our 7th Anniversary in October, and thank God, CCS would still be there for us to stay.


I am the youngest among four, yet I am fourth among five (thanks to our Adopted Youngest Sister). I consider it enough as a blessing, and a curse. Being the apple of the eye of the family is no small deal. You have to get through with everything that they would want you to do. Sometimes, when you did not do as they expected, you are being reprimanded, and there begins the enormous fight. However, when you do as they wanted it to be, you are to be given proper credit. That’s the flow of being the bunso, I have been tracking through it for two decades now, and I got used to it.

Through the course of time and tide, the problems and challenges we have undergone as one family have grown in intensity. Certain times came when the family members were on a fight regarding the house, other times, money, and on a certain point, my personal life and sexual preferences. I also got used to it.

At first, I became the silent listener to their exchange of words, and most of the time, I opt to go out and surf the net rather than to listen to their word war. Later, I noticed that I became one of them, I personally became involved in the family talk... when they are in the positive side. Nevertheless, I still choose to reflect inside my room than to participate in their babble.

I also felt the privilege of being the youngest, thanks to my mommy. Everytime that I am the topic of the family talk, my mommy always defend my side. Thanks to her, I could also go to college, and have every single support I need that I could not get from my father, or from my siblings. Though I have hurt her so much, and do not understand her at other times, she was still there for me. If I have the chance to fix anything in the past, that would certainly be those times when I and mommy have a conflict. I love her so much, and I really wanted to be a great son for God, and for her. Well, that doesn’t mean that I do not wish to be a great son to my father, and great brother to my siblings. I also wanted to be one.

Considering the gap of years, I know it woud be really hard to adjust with them, but I also know that God has a plan for each one of us. Family is family. At the end of my tiring day, they are the ones I go home to. I love them, and I would really want to show hoe much I care for them.


I have undergone many wrongdoings in the past year, and the last decade or two. From my desires, to my vices, to my wrong thought, deed and decision. I continue to be a good son and example, and yet, I still do so many failures. I always tell everyone, hindi ako isang napakabait na tao. Nagkakamali rin po ako. Still, some doesn’t understand my every move. They continue to attack me at my back.

I am still, and would always be, a frail guy, thanks to my own sins, and to everyone who doesn’t believe in me. That is natural for us humans. However we want to cope up with the people we mingle with, still we could never please everybody. Sometimes, it is because of our own wrongdoings, other times, because of the impression of others.

As for me, the shadow of unbelief continues to follow me wherever I go. It has given me a reason to blame myself for every bad luck I had experienced in the past. Yet, this shadow also has something to say. I AM THE REASON WHY THE SHADOW OF UNBELIEF IS STILL UP AND AROUND. It hurts so much to know, yet it gives me the reason to be brave and face it with more eagerness than before. I know that the shadow would be there to stay, so I still ask God to guide me in everything I should do.


Another year is ending. Well, more than a year, I am leaving my teenage years. I’m moving on to being an adult. The age of 20 means a lot of things for me. From the realization that I am not a child anymore, to being old enough to face more hard challenges. 20 means many things.

Sometimes, I cannot accept the reality that I’m turning 20 on A19. I still wish that I would have another year with the number 1 on the tens digit. I haven’t eaten enough, gone and travel enough. Hindi ko pa natitikman ng sobra ang buhay-teenager, gusto ko pa siyang maranasan.

And yet, it is enough. Every good and bad thing I’ve experienced for the past ten years (or nineteen, if I would add my childhood years), it has taught me enough. It had prepared me enough. I have been transformed from a cryboy to a professed lay, from a singer to a cantor, from a simple Weldann, to Weldann, the Somebody for Everybody. Besides, the past have come and long gone, and the future is never sure. I must leave for today, for now. That’s why today is called the present.

Now, I ask. What would I be on the coming time? Would I be a teacher? A priest? Would I continue to be followed by a dark shadow? Would people continue to believe me or not? Would I still have friends? Until when will I live? And most of all, would I continue to live a holy and happy life?

The answers, I leave to Divine Providence. At the end of the day, only God knows whatever would happen on my simple, yet colorful life. For me, I continue to live, and do as He wills. He challenges me to love beyond what I have. Besides, I have a family to share my thoughts with. I have friends and brothers that would understand me. What would possibly be greater than that?

Well, there is but one greater thing. That is, the gift of my life. Without God’s gift of life, I would never cherish these things that I have now. Without his help, I would have the strength to continue living for this time.

Kudos to You, my God, for the gift of life and everything that goes with it. Everything I have right now: my family and friends, the vocation and spiriuallity, the way of wisdom and conversion, the material things and everything in between. Everything comes from you. To You I give it back again, as I praise and thank You for all these things. I entrust everything to Your Divine Will. May Your will be done today and forever in my life.