Tuesday, February 23, 2016


When I find time to write on things, I make sure I grab the chance. Mahirap ulit mawalan sa kawalan. xDDD


In the past few months of journeying with life, I used as a guide a little book. Little as it seemed, it focused on the big things of life, especially one's relationship with the Lord. It has been used by many generations, especially by those in the religious life, clerics and nuns.

The title: Imitation of Christ by Thomas a' Kempis.

The book was given to me by a very close friend last October, as a birthday/vestition gift for that year. Being not so fond of reading books, it took me some time to read it. Until that night, I never thought what was inside the book. It was until one November night when I tried to see what's inside the book.

And indeed, it was more than what I expected.

From simple basics of faith, to things that helped me decide on which road to take, the Imitation guided me step by step, page by page, towards attaining holiness in a not-so-quick manner, in the here and now.

In the book, I reflected on how important obedience is, how great it feels to carry the cross and to pursue with the road of the cross, to keep my mouth shut except in praising God, among many others. As I read, I resolved to do these things the next day, to become better, to accept everything in patience, to be moderate, to control, and to become a model.

Imitating Christ in today's reality is very hard to do. Indeed, especially in a judging and criticizing society, you'll find it very hard to be another Christ. But then, reading books and contemplating on them can certainly help you achieve a better way of life, one patterned after Jesus. as long as you open yourself and your ideals to God's divine will and mercy, nothing's impossible.

Monday, February 15, 2016

(In memory of Ivan Rolfe A. Banaag, 2000-2013)

It took me three years to post the story of  Ivan's death here on my blog. Perhaps, it's more of me either not yet moving on with how Ivan died, or with my general busyness with teacher things. But I have to admit that until now, his story - and memory - remains in the hearts of those who believed in him, his family, friends and colleagues.

I personally believe that his story does not end with his death. It continues on, as long as people are continued to be inspired by his story. Thus, I re-post here my personal account on how Ivan died three years ago, on February 18, 2013. It served as a pivoting point in my life, and in the lives of many others. The story of my encounter would give a glimpse on it. Likewise, I added some information in italics, so that the story could be as whole and updated as possible.

This picture is the last I took of Ivan while he was still alive: this is the story of his hand holding mine on the final battle he faced.

The tight grip he gave would always remind me of the boy who never gave up.
That hold would be cherished all the days of my life.
His hands serve as a reminder for me to trust in God's loving will for me.
THE HANDS (The Last Days of Ivan)
An anecdote on Ivan's final hours, from the AM Moderator, Bro. Weldann Lester Panganiban
(Reposted from the AM Online Necrological Service - February 22, 2013.)

Since we began the advocacy of prayers for Ivan's recovery, a lot of people are asking us regarding his sickness. The same question came in when we made the official announcement of his death last Monday.

We tried our best to keep it hidden, with respect to Ivan and the Banaag Family, but eventually some individuals shared in the comments the reason of his demise. With this, I prayerfully decided to make a little account of Ivan's parting hours, particularly when I visited him the night before his death.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

VIA CRUCIS SA AVE Year 5: Lolo Uweng

It's been over a year since I last visited Lolo Uweng at Landayan. This year, due to my proximity to the place (thank you, NCR Palaro!), I was able to venerate the Santo Entierro once again. I attended the Ash Wednesday Mass there, and took photos of the stations there. I was also able to meet Christian, a FB friend who is serving there. He helped me with shooting some videos for the intro vid of VCSA. 

Of course, there were some bloopers during the shoot.

But in the end, with Lolo Uweng's help, we were able to come up with a simple yet informative video on Lolo Uweng and the Diocesan Shrine. This served as a kickstart for this year's edition of Via Crucis sa Ave. 

More videos will be done during this Lenten Season, as we continue this custom of journeying with Jesus on the Way of the Cross.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016


The GOLDEN ARROW PRAYER given to Sr. Mary of St. Peter. After receiving this prayer, Sister Mary of St. Peter was given a vision in which she saw the Sacred Heart of Jesus delightfully wounded by this "Golden Arrow" as torrents of graces streamed from It for the conversion of sinners.

Friday, February 05, 2016