Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016... LIFE'S A SURPRISE!!!

Hindi lang ako ang nag-iisang nagsasabing kakaiba ang taong 2015 sa mga pagsubok at bagyo na dinala nito. Kung tutuusin, sobrang bigat ng naging impact ng mga pagsubok na iyon para sa akin. Yung tipo bang akala ko wala nang nagtitiwala, yung wala nang nagmamahal? Yung feeling mo nasa kawalan ka, at palagi ka na lang magbabanggit ng hugot lines para mabawasan ang kirot na nararamdaman? Higit sa lahat, yung feeling na mag-isa ka, kahit na hindi. Mabigat na taon, sabi ng iba.

Pero hindi rin ako nag-iisang magsabi na may mga kakaibang surpresang dala ang taong ito. Nakita natin ngayong taon si Pope Francis, kinilig tayo sa Aldub, Merong nagkaroon ng bagong trabaho, tulad ko, mga bagong karanasan at taong nakilala, mga biyahe at bundok na naakyat, mga bagong larawang nakunan, at para sa akin at sa mga kasamahan ko, ngayong taon kami tinanggap sa Order of Preachers bilang mga Lay Novice.

Surpresa sa gitna ng mga problema sa buhay. Ganito naman ang biyaya ng Diyos, di ba? Hindi niya tayo pinababayaan sa oras na tayo ay nangangailangan. Yung nabibigla na lang tayo at may ganitong kabibigat na blessing na dumarating. Basta manatili lang tayong nagtitiwala sa kanya. Hindi tayo nag-iisa. Kahit kailan, hindi tayo nag-iisa.

At alam kong mananatili ang mga surpresa sa pagpasok ng panibagong taon. Hangga't may taong naniniwala sa kung ano'ng mga bubulaga sa kanyang buhay, darating ang biyaya. Hangga't may nagsusumikap na tuparin ang pangarap, may surpreesa. xD

Pinangako kong mag-iiba ang 2016, at magiging higit na masaya. Sana ganito rin tayo. Dahil ang buhay ay punung-puno ng surpresa, ito ay magsisimula sa ating pagsusumikap, at sa pagpapala ng Panginooon.

ISANG MASURPRESANG 2016 PO SA ATING LAHAT, AT PAGPALAIN TAYO NG PANGINOONG DIYOS!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

NEW HOUSE. NEW SPHERE.


NEW HOUSE. NEW SPHERE. This is my 2015. Wounded, yet still in battle. Dead, yet alive. Lost many friends, yet blessed with real ones. All under one new roof. 

In 2015, I went beyond who I was. Leaving the comfort of a private school, to enter the challenging world of the public school system, the cheers of many friends for real people who stood by me in some of the most trying moments in my life. What I thought was right was skinned off me, painful as it seemed. The care of two mothers who never let go of me. I admit I was a lot clumsy and pasaway this year, yet God knows how tough it came for me, and eventually, for most of us.

I promised myself that the coming year will be a lot different. And it will be. I have lots of pains this year, that I will always remember in my memory, yet God will always be the master of my ship. And this year, I will let him surprise me. Through me, he will surprise everyone. 

This year will be a year of surprises. Like the new house where I live now, everything will be new. This, I promise. This, I will do.  #LifesASurprise2016

Monday, November 23, 2015

BORAWAN ISLAND: More Than Expected

There was much excitement as the third week of November ushered in. With the height of the APEC Summit held in Manila, came the indulgence of having four days of vacation. This is to reduce traffic especially along the places where meetings are to be held (or did it really reduce?). Syempre, because it's vacation time, people working in the Metro went to different places to enjoy the once-in-a-while vacation. For us teachers, it was more of another Sem Break, so we really spent it going somewhere and taking four days-off.
After thinking where to go, my friends persuaded me to join them in going on a trip down south. I even thought of not joining them to save money, pero ang ending, I called them a few hours before departure. I joined them for four days of sun and sand along the beaches of Quezon.

And so, we have the island beaches of Borawan, Puting Buhangin and Dampalitan in Padre Burgos, Quezon. This was actually my first time to join them in their adventures. And for an unplanned trip as this, it was more than expected.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

MUST VISIT: #ako


#ako is an unusual walk-in recollection featuring the different faces of poverty within us. As we enter the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, we are invited to take a closer look inside ourselves, and enter those spaces of poverty, which we neglect most of the time.

The recollection-cum-exhibit runs until December 20, 2015 at Garden of Saints, San Jose de Navotas Parish, M. Naval St., San Jose, Navotas City. (click the address for the Map)

Shots Ni Benefactius is the Official Photographer of this activity.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Thoughts...


God has created me to do him some definitive service; 
he has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. 
I have my mission - I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. 
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. 
He has not created me for nothing. I shall do good. I shall do his work. 
Therefore, I will trust him, whatever I am. 
I cannot be thrown away. 
If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve him; 
in perplexity, my perplexity may serve him; 
if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve him. 
He does nothing in vain. He knows what he is about. 
He may take away my friends. 
He may throw me among strangers. 
He may make me feel desolate, 
make my spirits sink, 
hide my future from me - 
still he knows what he is about. 

- John Henry Cardinal Newman

Monday, November 02, 2015

PRAYER OF ENTRUSTMENT


(Fruit of Contemplation from my Silent Retreat, Oct 30-Nov. 01, 2015)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

LA NAVAL 2015: #SalamatPoNANAY!


DEAR NANAY,

I could still remember clearly that day: October 10, 2010. I was in a middle of a total chaos inside and out. I was struggling then to stand up after my many falls. At that moment I saw you in the high altar of Santo Domingo, I felt more than attraction. It was love at first sight. Since then, I made a promise to visit you, to get to know you more, to begin loving you.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

THE FIFTEEN PROMISES TO THOSE WHO PRAY THE ROSARY WITH DEVOTION

Our Life, Our Sweetness, Our Hope! (La Naval 2015)
THE FIFTEEN PROMISES TO THOSE WHO PRAY THE ROSARY WITH DEVOTION
(from St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche)

1. Whosoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.

2. I promise my special protection and the greatest Graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.

3. The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against Hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.

4. It will cause good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant Mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men [and women] from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire for Eternal Things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.

5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.

6. Whosoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself [herself] to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the Grace of God, and become worthy of Eternal Life.

7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.

8. Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the Light of God and the plenitude of His Graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the Merits of the Saints in Paradise.

9. I shall deliver from Purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.

10. The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of Glory in Heaven.

11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by recitation of the Rosary.

12. All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire Celestial Court during their life and at the hour of death.

14. All who recite the Rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only Son, Jesus Christ.

15. Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Pakikiramay kay Maria sa Gabi ng Biyernes Santo

MATER DOLOROSA, Santo Domingo Church, Quezon City

Mapanglaw ang gabing ito, Maria. 

Masakit ang nakalipas na mga oras, samantalang nakikita mo si Jesus na pinapatay ng kapwa mo Hudyo. 
Bawat sampal at hampas, bawat libak at paghamak, bawat sigaw ng paghihirap ay mistulang balaraw na tumusok sa iyong Puso. Ang kamatayan niya ay nasaksihan mo, at buong tapang mong pinagmasdan ang kanyang huling sandali. 

Ngayong gabi, wala na ang iyong Anak, 
at ikaw ay nangungulila. Nag-iisa. 

Sa gabing ito, hayaan mo, Mahal na Ina, 
na samahan ka namin sa iyong pangungulila. 
Hayaan mong iparamdam namin sa iyo, O aming Ina, 
na kami ay iyong mga anak rin, 
na mahal ka namin, 
na nais ka naming sintahin. 

Sasamahan ka namin, tulad ng pagsama mo sa amin 
sa bawat tuwa at lungkot ng aming buhay. 
Sasamahan ka namin, samantalang naghihintay 
sa katuparan ng pangako ni Hesus: 
ang kanyang maluwalhating Muling Pagkabuhay. 




Friday, August 28, 2015

NESTLE WELLNESS CAMPUS AT TANGOS NHS

This is technically my first post about my new workplace: Tangos National High School. I teach MAPEH for Grade 8 and 10 students since July.

An English major teaching MAPEH???

Yes. Because we must be open to all possibilities which come to our lives everyday.

One of the first undertakings I had here is the Wellness Dance Moves, a part of the advocacy for healthy living through having a healthy lifestyle and eating good food. And one of the best ways to promote this advocacy is through dance.

Of course, Tangosians prepared for this. Here is a glimpse of what happened yesterday.


Life here in Tangos NHS is a lot more adventurous, but I know God placed me here for a better purpose. I will post more on my new home in the coming days.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

THE STORY CONTINUES. THE JOURNEY CONTINUES.
(#Dann25 Birthday Essay 2015)



It's been ten years since I wrote my first Birthday Essay inside our classroom at ICPS. I was a Fourth Year student then. No. I was a bullied student then, for so many reasons. I was still searching for myself back then. A few months before graduation, I examined myself whether I am ready to face reality or not. How can a weak student like me face the coming challenges when at High School people consider me as nothing?

Ten years after that first write-up, I write this Birthday Essay, not anymore as a student, but as a licensed teacher, and as a Dominican Lay. The road I took was really rough and tough. I met lots of people and faced lots of challenges. I fell down and stood up. And yet, I am still here, at the threshold of time, battling against a serious sickness, yet smiling and giving a thumbs up to a brand new day ahead.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Running to Mary, Our Mother of Perpetual Help

Simply put, Mary knows our needs and problems.
She herself suffered the way we did and more than that.
To whom can we turn to for guidance
than to her and to Jesus her Son?
Baclaran in Parañaque City has been one of the well-known spots in the Metro. People visit the National Shrine there, dedicated in honor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, imploring the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Since the day it was inaugurated, its doors have remained open, day and night, to the people who wish to implore her help in all their needs. 

Devotion to her in the Philippines is well-known, as people gather at her Shrine, or at every parish in the country every Wednesday to recite a weekly Novena in her honor. In fact, the National Shrine receives hundreds of thousands of letters of petition and thanksgiving in the past years.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Rain is Pouring...

I write this post on a rainy afternoon, thus, the title. xD

But kidding aside, I haven't written that much on what I have been lately. I seldom write; gone were the days when I am addicted to writing just everything on my blog. Maybe, it's because of my age, or my other commitments which took much of my creative juices. Time took its toll on me, not only in my looks, but also in my physical capacity.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

OWY@10: The Kickstart


Today marks the Ninth Anniversary since I started blogging. Back then, I was writing on my simple dreams, young aspirations and deep reflections. I was still an Out-of-school youth back then, with no computer of my own. I went on such a wonderful journey from being nobody to being somebody for everybody, from being a student and devotee, to being a Teacher and Lay Dominican.

After such a long time, lots of challenges and achievements, the blog is still here. I may have not written frequently as before, but there were times that I read on my young posts with poor grammar. I end up saying to myself, Nasulat ko pala ito?!

Next year, we shall strike our Tenth Year! True enough, there's a lot to celebrate after such a long journey. We shall look back on some of them as we proceed with the rest of the year. Also, we shall have the yearly Birthday Essay in August and Yearend Post in December, among other special entries.

Please, be with me as I celebrate the Tenth Year of One With You! Ten years of life and experiences, Ten years of graces!

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Start of Forever

Do you believe in Forever? For us, the statement Walang Forever (There is no Forever) is true, especially in one's love life. We often use the term when we court someone we love: "I want you to be with me forever." "You are my forever." But then, this "forever" ends up to having a time limit: one week, one month, some years. People nowadays set a time limit to something which is supposed to surpass time and space.

When we use the term forever, it means we commit or show our love to someone or something for the rest of our lives, even until death, sometimes after death. You offer the greatest proof of love and admiration: your life.

Where everything started: La Naval 2010
Since my devotion to Our Lady started five years ago, I entrusted my life to Nanay, with all my activities and plans, achievements and pains, placed at the foot of her Altar. She saw me fall down quite a number of times, and stand up after each fall to move on and forward. All the significant events in my life since then, from my graduation in college to my first job, from my first teaching stint to my passing as a Professional Teacher, I had obtained through her powerful intercession. 

Along the way, I also came to know Saint Dominic and his band of brothers, known as the Dominicans. I became friends with some of them, and through them I became acquainted with the Order's way of life, focused on prayer and study. 

Five years of miracles, and numerous encounters of friendship and brotherhood, inspired me to stand up and take the journey myself as a Dominican. I don't know what lies ahead, but after some time of reflection, I decided to go on and see for myself what God has in store.

I entered the Our Lady of La Naval Lay Dominican Fraternity in 2013, but instead of having my Vestition after a year, it took me two years to finish my Postulancy. I can't find time to immerse in study because of my preparation for the Licensure Examinations that year. I was almost at the brink of giving up, because of my lack of attendance and other factors. But then, I thought that I should go on. Our Lady did not give up on me, so why should I turn away from her?

I continued my Postulancy in 2014, undergoing the formation I received a year before. Challenges came and went, but Our Lady did not leave me especially in some of the trying moments in my life that year. She proved to me that everything is alright, as long as I follow her ways. It was hard, but God's grace is far better than anything people throw at me.

Finally, after a brief examination, I and my fellow postulants received the nod of the Chapter to receive the Scapular of Saint Dominic and enter the Novitiate - the next step of formation. At that time, I planned to give up if ever I do not pass the exam and to continue my devotion as before, but Nanay has other things in mind. 

We received our Scapulars from Rev. Fr. Giuseppe Pietro Arsciwals, OP,
Prior of the Convent and Spiritual Director of Our Lady of La Naval Lay
Dominican Fraternity. and Sir Eugene delos Santos, OP, President of the Fraternity.
We formally received our Scapular yesterday at Santo Domingo, inside the church where I first encountered her love and protection five years ago. It was like a point of destiny, entrusting our lives to her under the example of Saint Dominic. Wearing the Scapular, we felt a special bond of care and protection, the same thing I felt when I started my devotion to Nanay. Our spirits were overflowing with joy, knowing that we already belong to a family of preachers, and that we are already placed under the guidance of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, the same Lady whom I have entrusted my life five years ago.

It is the start of a journey. After a brief time discovering her and experiencing her love in many ways and miracles, it is my turn. What I did is not a show-off; but it is, for me, the best way to give back to Mary for the many blessings I received through her intercession. The journey would never be smooth; I know it is a rough road, but I always believe that after a typhoon is a sunny day. Nothing is impossible for someone who trusts in the Lord's providence.

Do you believe in Forever? I do. As long as you believe that God has a best plan for you, and as long as you trust in his grace, there would certainly be a forever. Love lasts forever, if you place it in the right hands. It is, simply, the start of forever, as we shall always dedicate ourselves to Mary and to her Son, Jesus, without any reservation, for the rest of our lives. 


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

BAGONG BAHAY... BAGONG BUHAY!!!

I have moved to a new home! After spending my childhood and teenage years inside this room, it's time to go out and move to a space I can really call my own.


Actually, my new house is just beside my old room, and some of my things are still there. I moved because, aside from the need to feel some independence, the space is not enough anymore for my stuff. Since my sister left their house a few days ago, my mom decided to give it to me. I moved there yesterday.


This is my new home, still messy since I just moved in yesterday. This would be my new home to the same experiences and I am optimistic that positive things are in store at this simple space. 


Monday, April 27, 2015

BINONDO CHURCH: Santo Cristo de Longos and Nuestra Señora del Pronto Socorro

When one comes to speak about Binondo, you would remember it as Chinatown, or as the hometown of San Lorenzo Ruiz, or simply a place where you can eat tikoy or hopia everyday. But there's more we should know than all these. Each part of Binondo speaks of a certain legacy, a history that we should know more. 

The images of Santo Cristo de Longos and Ina ng Biglang Awa (Nuestra Señora del Pronto Socorro) are among the many treasures of Binondo, and testimonies of the faith of the Chinese, through the efforts of the Dominican Friars. There are lots of literature written about these venerated images of Jesus and Mary inside the Binondo Church posted everywhere in the internet, but then a photo speaks more than just words, right?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Summer Vacation and... boredom. xD

How's life for me? Oh well...

Three weeks of facing my laptop, chatting with FB friends, doing some Photoshop lay-outing, and so much blah. Three weeks of no pay, making me really deprived of going around.

Three weeks.

Well, that's so much for me taking a rest. When can I get out of here? :(

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Valentines' Date: APO BAKET!

February 14, Valentines Day. For most, it is a time of love, relationship and affection. People set up dates, go with their bf's or gf's, and... nah! For others, it is Independence Day, thanks to their single status. Others? Well, they like eating Ampalaya on this day, brought about by their bitterness.

Over the past month, I experienced a very terrible heartbreak. I felt like it was the end for me. Thankfully, it wasn't. Instead of throwing myself away in depression, I decided to go somewhere more comfortable, and visit one of the most beautiful women I ever encountered.

One place: MANAOAG, PANGASINAN. One Lady: OUR LADY OF THE HOLY ROSARY

It's been two years since I last visited her Shrine, now to be declared a Minor Basilica. A lot of changes happened, making the place a lot more beautiful. Regardless, the feeling of beholding her once again is worth all the waiting and longing. More of the story below...

Unlike before, when vendors were the welcome sight in front of the
Shrine, the pathway going to the Basilica is paved and surrounded
with images of different Saints - Dominican as well as others.
It is now a better way of saying welcome to the Basilica!

Saturday, February 07, 2015

The Bora Life

Over the past week, we celebrated Catholic Teachers' Day at Boracay Island. It's three days' worth of sand, sun and surf, on top of other things one could possibly do there. Everything was exciting and wonderful, though it took some pains on my body. For a first timer, you can simply do anything you want.

Of course, I have my camera with me, so I took some shots while we were there. Story continues with each caption.

This is the second time I would ride a plane. I need to endure much headache and
tipsy-turvy for a week after our trip, but there was really
some excitement in the air which overpowered my physical weakness.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Blurred Shots and Papal Memories

It was the early morning of January 16, 2015, roughly a week after I was declared healed from my sickness. Despite a very stern warning not to sleep less than 6 hours, I woke up early for a very important encounter with someone dear to me and millions of Catholics. He's no-less than the Holy Father, Pope Francis. He will say Mass at the Manila Cathedral, for bishops, priests and religious in our country.

The Holy Father arrived at Manila last night, for a state and pastoral visit to our country. For most of us who can't go to Rome to see him, this is a very wonderful opportunity to be close to our leader and father. As Vicar (representative) of Christ in this world, we are always assured that we will see Jesus himself when he visits us, and true enough, this is what we felt.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pagbabagong-puso
(Munting Pagninilay sa Pista ng Nazareno 2015)

(I'll write this in my own language...)

Maraming nangyari sa Traslacion ng Poong Nazareno kahapon. May namatay, may nagprotesta, may nawala at nakita, at may dumungaw. Lahat ito at iba pa, na naganap sa loob ng halos 19 na oras sa gitna ng animo'y dagat ng tao.

Friday, January 02, 2015

OWY's New Face

One more year and OWY is Ten years old! So, to prepare for next year's event, there will be some significant changes in the blog. 

We will start with the Header. Formerly, the Header is a montage of who I was during that time as an English Instructor-cum-Radio Announcer. It also featured a special artwork made by Ardie Aquino.


But on Dec. 31, 2014, minutes before the New Year, I changed it into a simple yet expressive header. The photo was taken during a simple photoshoot at Intramuros with Eldrick Nolasco.

The result? This. :)


Surely, there will be more in store for the coming year, until 2016 when One With You will be celebrating its Tenth Year. So better watch out for it!

For now, just stay tuned for more posts and more of me in 2015! :D

Thursday, January 01, 2015

2015: SALAMAT SA DIYOS! SALAMAT MARIA!

SALAMAT SA DIYOS! SALAMAT MARIA!
Sa biyaya ng buhay at lakas.
Binigyan kami ng panibagong sigasig
upang harapin ang pagsubok ng panahon.

SALAMAT SA DIYOS! SALAMAT MARIA!
Sa taóng tunay na lilipas
Sa mga taong darating at dumaan
naging bahagi ng buhay naming aba.

SALAMAT SA DIYOS! SALAMAT MARIA!
Sa mga pagsubok na aming hinarap.
Pinatatag kami at inyong pinatunayan
na hindi ninyo kami pinababayaan.

SALAMAT SA DIYOS! SALAMAT MARIA!
Sa mga biyaya na aming natanggap.
Kami man ay tao, nagkakasala't hamak
minamahal pa rin kami, inaampon at pinagpapapala.

Sa taóng darating, aming hiling
Patuloy na biyaya'y aming makamit.
Sa panahong nakalipas, sa panahong darating pa,
SALAMAT SA DIYOS! SALAMAT MARIA!

#Happy2015