Transience of Life

Life is transient and temporary.  We do not know when’s our time to leave this temporary life.  But while we have everything at it’s best, make sure not to waste the only life we have for nothing.  Do something worthwhile while time allows us to do the many wonderful things in this world.  We do not want to look back where only emptiness reside in our hearts.  Life is not black and white.

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sunglasses on the beach

We would not want to walk alone with no memories to cherish.   As we cross life’s road, collect as many memories as the sand and hold them in the deepest chambers of our hearts.  In the end, we will still be happy because we are not empty inside.

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flip flops on a rocky sea sand

And while we’re still journeying, try not to forget that the most beautiful things in this life is with the word L-O-V-E.  Love the people who makes us happy.  Take some time to walk in the seashore.  The steps we take may be transient but the memories will always stay.

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bay walk couple

Be passionate.  Kiss more often.  Say ‘I love you’ and mean it.  Life is but temporary but love lasts together with the memories we made with the people we love.  So, let us spread L-O-V-E!

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a love to last

BON VOYAGE 2016

2016 is almost at its end of trail and before I reach the final trail, I want to look back at how this year has been for me.  Some people may have prospered a lot in 2016 – all praises to God for His providence. Others may have stayed the same and wasn’t able to find what they wanted in their lives – keep searching, doors may open soon.  But, for me, 2016 has been a diverse year.

At the first quarter of the year, God blessed me with unexpected blessings.  I was given an unexpected favor at work.  I advanced to a higher position in my workplace.  I must admit, it felt good having been recognized as a good example among other foreign teachers.  I did my job well.  On top of that, I was given a salary raise.  It was not that much but it made me happy.

Then, I was able to travel with my family.  One dream accomplished, although, I am looking forward to more travels with them.  We went to the place where my best friend, ate Dexie, and I planned to go.  So I let her come along with us.  Must I say, two dreams accomplished in a row.  I am thankful to God for allowing us to experience beautiful things while we still can.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go well on the third month.  Ate Dexie got sick and became very ill.  I had to bring her to the hospital.  Thailand hospitals were never a good experience for me. I felt repulsive at some staff and doctors where communication was always the problem.  At an emergency room of one of the famous public hospitals in Pathumthani would never accept patients without fever, cut or bruise.  It was disappointing when you cannot explain what you really need to explain.  And with my little knowledge in speaking Thai, did not help explaining to them that Ate Dexie needs immediate aid because according to them her vital signs were all normal.  Goodness!  That time, she haven’t had eaten for a day and you call it normal!  To hell with vital signs – the person was not at all in her USUAL state!  Excuse the language.  So, I decided to bring her to an expensive hospital.  One night stay was worth a lot and we had to borrow money so she could be checked and be taken cared of.  They did endoscopy and biopsy altogether.  After seven days of waiting for the final results, the doctor only confirmed that she had cancer and it was malignant but he didn’t know what stage and what to do next.  She was recommended to see another doctor.  And then again, I was disappointed.  Doctors are supposed to be life savers but it was not like that at that time.   So, I had to encourage her to go home and do further check-ups in the Philippines where communication was never a problem.  We were thankful to our church pastors; Pastor Gutlay, Pastor Pran and members of Grace Baptist Church, Suanprigthai, Pathumthani for being an encouragement at that time and also for giving out financial support to her.

It did not end there, though.  I had encountered a lot following that.  After knowing her real condition, which was gastric cancer (stage 4), I had to do something to help her.  I had to sell our important things and I had to raise some funds to help her in her medication.  Doing it alone was not easy.  I asked help from my, her and her sister’s friends’ list in Facebook but few have responded.  I cannot complain because it was a matter between life and death.  All I knew was to do what I can do to help her.  Few months before the third quarter ended, I decided to go home and visited her.  I wanted to tell her that I would always be there for her.  I wanted to show her what it’s like to have a real friend – wondering what it would be like when it’s my turn to be on my deathbed.

Entering the fourth quarter was the hardest.   I had lost one of the best people in my life to cancer.  I lost one precious stone that cannot be replaced.  I will always treasure her as one best part of my existence.  This experience has changed many perspectives in my life.  How am I right now?  I would always say, “I’ll be fine,” but, seriously, I have to overcome the greatest fear I have – losing people in my life.  I am not fine but I will be – in time!

Unexpected things happen and it is not easy to accept these unexpected changes whether it is good or bad.  I may leave the footprints of 2016 behind but I am hoping I could immediately let go of the crucial things that happened to me this year. I am sad of losing my best friend but I know that we will meet someday in Heaven.  I just have to learn to accept this lonely stage of life.  I am blessed I still have my family and praying that God will grant our wishes as a family.  I expect more challenges in 2017 as I place in my heart the happy and hurtful things in 2016.  I hope God will give me more courage and strength to face my life’s battles fearlessly and fiercely as I say BON VOYAGE 2016.

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looking forward to a Prosperous 2017 (Kanchanaburi-Dec2016)

A LETTER TO NANAY ATING Part 2

Dear Nay Ating,

Exactly nine years now when you traveled up with the Heaven’s Majesty – the Lord.  For sure, you are now enjoying the greatness of your mansion and the pleasure of walking on the streets of gold.  I presume, you don’t do anything there but praise and worship our Creator with your beautiful golden voice.  I cannot imagine the meeting we will have on that blessed glorious day when the trumpets will sound and we’ll meet up in the air!  I cannot wait for that sweet blissful day to come.

Anyways, nine years seem a very long time but it was only like yesterday.  Such memories!  I still cannot forget how you departed from your earthly body.  I was there.  I saw it all.  I wanted to cry but there were no tears.  Seeing you as you part your body and hearing that last tick when your soul departed from your body was like a message telling me to be the strength of my family.  I tried but when I went thru your things; I was looking for your life plan which was needed few hours before you left us, tears never stopped.  I was alone.  I cried like a baby because no one was looking at me.  And while I am writing this letter, it still won’t stop.  I have to quit recalling things or I might not be able to tell you the many things (sad and happy) that happened around here four years later after I wrote my first letter in March 2010.

Which one first?  Good news or bad news?  Okay, I guess I have to start with the good things first.  I don’t want you to have another heart attack hearing all the bad ones.

Years passed so quickly and your great grandchildren have all grown so fast.   They are all lovely kids and full of talents.  Thank God for the breeding!  Rap-rap was added last year.  He is Patrick’s son.  He can’t wait for his turn so he by-passed Karen, Ivan and I without our permission.  Don’t worry we are stronger as a family now.  It may seem hard to accept at first but we could get through it.  God is with us, remember?

Ivan and I were blessed in 2011 when we were able to get out of the country.  It was Ivan’s first time to go and it was my second time already.  God has been really good to each of us.

What about our old folks?  They’re all kicking, getting more gray hairs and getting a little bit more like you.  They just go on with their daily routines. Well, I have to add the bad news now.  Tito Pat lost his voice early last year.  He was diagnosed with a thyroid cancer.   He went to several check-ups and was advised to remove the lump in his throat that’s causing the pain and covering his voice box.  The possibility that he cannot regain his voice again made him stay away from the doctors.  We all prayed for him and after two months he recovered.  He took several herbal medicines that may have helped him recover his voice.  But now, he lost his voice again.  We just have to entrust everything to God.

Feeling dizzy now?  Don’t be Nay Ating, just read more.  You are yet to know the worst scenario ever happened in the family and in Philippine history.  It happened last November 8, when the strongest monster typhoon (Haiyan/Yolanda) made landfall in our city.  It wreaked havoc to our beloved Tacloban, including your hometown.  If there’s internet connection there, you can read my Yolanda story.  It was pretty awful.  The experience was a sad one but somehow we were taught with many things.  Yolanda left sad memories to our family, to our kin, to our old church friends, to our neighbors and to our friends.  The good things, we have been made closer to each member of our family and our kin.  We helped our old church members even if some were still in denial of accepting the fact that we were once rooted and grounded in love.  We will always recount together with our neighbors and friends the day when the monster typhoon ruined our simple lives leaving us those precious moments of survival.  None was left but that alone.

I know how much you have loved Tacloban and Tabon-tabon and I can sense your tears while you read along.  Yes, you can see the stressed placed from up there but I know tears will never do anything now.  We have wiped our tears away and we have moved on already.  Then again, we give everything in God’s care.

Nay Ating, I may not write letters to you every now and then but we have not forgotten you.  I just realized that maybe God took you earlier so you won’t be able to experience those things.  I know you were a strong person but all of those would be too much for you to bear.  God always has His reason for things and it took me many years to understand why He allowed you to be with Him sooner than I thought. But, now I did.  Thank you so much for all the love, prayers and care you have given us.  Thank you for being an inspiration to all of us.  We have not forgotten every single moment of your presence (whether you have been naughty or nice).   As you celebrate your birthday in your mansion in heaven with beautiful fresh flowers, everything perfect and in pure gold, filled with majesty and all inspired with everlasting peace, we celebrate with you from down here on earth.  We love you and miss you.

With much love,

Tine/March 2014

A LETTER TO NANAY ATING Part 1

Dear Nay Ating,

A lot of things had happened since God took you for an eternal trip to heaven.  As far as I can remember, God took you 5 years ago and that I can only imagine if you were still here with us, you probably would be thrilled with what we have become. And since God did not permit that, I couldn’t do anything more than write you a letter telling you how wonderful things have become because I know how you have deposited much prayer for us when you were still here.  According to Joel Osteen, it’s just like depositing graces to our Heavenly Father.   And that is why we are fully blessed now.  I couldn’t thank you enough for all the kneeling time you had for each one of us. I could hear you while you were praying from our room after you have just nagged us for tidying our things and keeping them in order. Well, now I can understand that because most of us are becoming like you already.  Getting old and wiser, I guess! Huh, sometimes I missed those nagging times but now we make fun of those because we know that you were very right in the things that you have said to us before but we just don’t want to listen. And oh, I always remember the sound of your laughter even when you were just being asked to sing. Nobody laughs the funniest like you do.  I also missed the times when you offer your last money for a lunch at Jolibee.  Yum, we always grabbed that chance because we know you could always find some of them inserted in your things. There are so many things that I fondly remember about you.  But right now, I want to tell you some of the many blessing we have received here.

By the way, life here has never been easy Nay Ating but because you have taught us to be strong that’s why we are still here fighting the good fight of faith. Okay, let me tell you first about your favorite son, Tito Rey and his family.  Sorry, I always thought, that Tito Pat was your favorite.  Anyway, Tito Rey is doing well with his work now.  He drives a new car from the company. I guess, he deserved that for many years of hard work. So far, he is already a dynamic-crying preacher.  Lately, he was given an opportunity to be a Sunday School teacher in the church.  At first, he was hesitant about the ministry but he accepted it anyway.  And just last Sunday, you were one of his examples.  Not bad, right?  Just recently Nay Ating, I have to tell you this.  Mariel got pregnant, oh don’t nag now!  Mama Net already did the nagging.  Spare yourself, the effort.  We had a hard time when we learned about this but right now, things are quite going well.  I know that Mayeh will be mature enough to handle things because of her present situation.  We cannot judge, we just have to accept and support her.  Besides, we have learned many lessons from her situation and the most important thing is that as a family, we have been strengthened and have been made closer because of this.  We are, should I say, they are still coping from it, though.  Still, amidst the storm a blessing is coming their way.  Instead of one baby, two will be added to their family this year.  Kuya Angel and Ate Renette went to see their dogs’ vet but accidentally got Ate Renette pregnant on the way.  She’s already two months pregnant now.  See, what a joy it is for their family to be multiplying this year?  We are still waiting for Karen’s time to have her share but as of the moment she’s busy with her work and Mama Net’s busy with her farming in FarmTown and Farmville aside from taking care of Raven who is very much excited of the two babies coming their way.

There are so many blessings to thank God for.  And just last year Nay Ating (had to back track a little bit), Tito Pat made it to the United States of America.  Guess what?  He’s already big time for the fact that he can now speak the English slang, ‘you know.’  While in America, he learned the English word for ‘to-ron,’ it’s ‘chu-rown and ‘pyu-tow’ for ‘pu-to.’  God had worked inside each family member while Tito was away.  Many things had changed for Paul, who can now preach for like 10 minutes.  Not bad at all for a first timer.  We are anticipating more changes and we have been praying for good results.  Les, on the other hand, has just graduated and is working now.  She was Tito Pat’s secretary and treasurer when he left for the States.  Well, we have been so hard for telling her that she is the only HOPE of the family.  But for now, that’s how it is.  And Patrick, what can I say? All I can see is a new girlfriend every now and then.  We still hope and pray for a change of heart someday.  Tita Shine still kept her standard all these time, working and always on the go for their laundry.  But you know, the couple became sweeter when Tito came back from the States.  So now, I know why God allowed Tito to go because he doesn’t need many houses anymore.  They are staying in the church now.  You see, God worked in each of them.  They are more like a family now than they were before.  By the way, I might forget to tell you that Tito doesn’t have any chicken pets this time.  They drowned in the typhoon and flood last September.  He also missed that but Tita is as happy because Tito is not into caring pets anymore (except for the stray cats, for now).  Church, by the way, is very much fine.  God placed new and very active people in the ministry.  At this time, Tito is planning to finish the building because he’s already big time green money holder.  Haha, not really but God is.  More than anything else, God never failed to bless what Tito Pat and Tita Shine have planted—hard work and labor of love.

And what’s more?  Good things keep flowing like God’s mercies to your fruits.  I can truly say, God has been working in us and will still continue doing so.  Faver, has never returned to his old lifestyle anymore.  He has been working so hard in assisting the Mission Work in Tacloban.  He’s been a lot more ‘kukuti’ than before.  Must I say, getting grumpy because of his gray hair?  Maybe, but he’s very much enjoying precious moments with his two cutie grandchildren.  Yes, Nay Ating, you missed the chance of knowing Skye.  She looks exactly like me, okay, prettier than me.  Lanky and so thin but is very sweet in anything.  I am pretty sure, though, that you miss Deirdre, not much with Paul anymore (he’s already big).  Have to tell you something, she hugged you for the last time when you were inside your coffin enjoying precious moments with Jesus already.  She made us cry for what she did.  Over the years, I have never forgotten that very instant.  Well, Maver can’t either.  Every November 25 (if you remember, that’s the day God carried you up), until this time, she’s always having fast heartbeats and her BP shoots up to 200 something.  I should say this, she missed you very much.  Oh, don’t be carried away now, she’s just fine.  Been busy with her Doctorate stuff and the good news—she will be graduating next week.  Finally, after all these years of hard work, too!  Okay, better keep that smile because Ivan finished his studies three years or four years now.  Currently, working as a Med Rep but sometimes can be so touchy with many things.  Oh, he’s not yet married, don’t worry might not be aiming at it this year.  Ate Sha has been up to many things, too.  Aside from work, she’s making good money in FarmTown and Farmville just like Mama Net.  She’s been to several countries already, of course, some were courtesy of Kuya Jordan.  The couple had been blessed with many good things in life.  So far, we are still expecting one child from them because it is not good to break the chain number in the family, is it?  Better tell them that, Nay Ating.  As for me, well, not much to tell but I have been to the Holy Land, two years ago, just right after you go.  I am one of the blessed people in the whole wide world for being able to see Israel.  But sad to say, I haven’t stayed for quite long.  It was regretful but life is like that, you will grow from your own experiences and from your own mistakes.  Please be patient with me Nay Ating, God is not finished with me yet.  And more so, we are still hoping and praying for the best to come.

Summing up, this has been the only chance I had in all my life to tell you many things around here.  More than anything else, we missed you so much for the many things you have sacrificed for each of us, for the many prayers you have knelt before God, for the many simple yet worthless gifts you have given us, for the laughter you have shared even in the dark shadows of our lives, for letting us grow in the church, for all the lessons you have taught us, for just being wonderful.  You were not that perfect as a grandmother but you were YOU.  You did all your very best and with that you deserve the best THANK YOU we could ever give.  We were not perfect also but for sure you have missed us all here.  We love you and I hope you knew that before you went for that trip to heaven.  We know, you’re in a much better place now – and everything there is perfect.  You might never have the chance anymore to taste a cup of ice cream and a cake for your birthday today (March20), we still would want to celebrate this day in remembrance of you.  We have never forgotten you Nanay Ating.  We look forward to seeing you in the rapture some sweet day!

With much love,

Tine/March 2010

A TESTIMONY OF FAITH AND HOPE

NOVEMBER 7.  It was not a regular day for me.  I was fairly tired from my daily routine.  After work, I wanted to cancel my tutorial class but decided not to.  I was really exhausted after that class and just wanted to rest.  But before I did, I opened my Facebook account first to check for updates as there was a typhoon entering the Philippine’s area of responsibility two days before Yolanda, with international name Haiyan, smashed my beloved city – Tacloban and other parts of Eastern Visayas.  I saw some posts praying for Leyte and Samar when PAGASA lifted the storm signal on that same day; from a normal yet strong number 3 to number 4 which was rather unfamiliar to me.  I slightly panicked and tried to check if my mother was on my chat list.  I was glad when I saw her online and talked to her over Skype.  I asked them how they were and she told me that the weather was still fine and that they were at my sister’s place in Cogon, San Jose.  My father and a church member, was at our house in V and G to safeguard our things from flood.  On that Skype conversation, I asked them if they were prepared and my mother only replied, “Mag-pray gud la kita (let’s just pray).”  I told her that I always pray for them.  I felt relieved by her calmness and told my mother that I wanted to rest and will talk to her the next day.

After praying for my family and the country’s safety, I slept peacefully that night but I was awakened by an unknown force.  It was already dawn of NOVEMBER 8.  Something strong struck my attention and forced me to wake up.  On impulse, I took my phone and quickly rummaged for any updates of super typhoon Yolanda.  Horror mirrored, worry and fear shadowed me while I was browsing for updates.  Yolanda, the strongest typhoon ever recorded in history, already made her first landfall in Guiuan and was on her second landfall in Tacloban City – the hardest hit by the super typhoon.  I sent SMS to my mother and was hoping to get any reply from her.  I tried to be calm for the next few minutes and prepared for work.  It was 7:00, Thailand time (8:00 Philippine time, being an hour difference), I was already shaking from the news and posts I read on Facebook.  I tried calling my family but their phones were only ringing and nobody was answering my calls.  At 8:00, my stomach started grumbling.  I was tensed, frightened and anxious to know what was happening to my family, to Tacloban City and its nearby towns.  I went back to my room, just few steps away from the school where I work and once again prayed for them and the rest of the people that will be affected at the onslaught of Yolanda.  I fervently prayed and somehow gathered the strength I needed to work for the rest of the day.

NOVEMBER 8 was never anticipated.  I wish it was only a dream but it was not!  It was real.  More so, if it was a dream, it was really frightening.  I was glued on Facebook the whole afternoon asking for updates from friends I have never even chatted before.  All I could get was zero communication from ground zero Tacloban.  The city tried to hide its pain from the world for several hours.  She first kept to herself the moments of the aftermath of Yolanda – the cry, the fear, the terror her people faced on this fateful day.  She faced it alone when the whole world was looking for answers.

Zero visibility.  No news updates.  Just silence.  It almost ended that way.  But after 12 long hours of nothing, a light of hope emitted when one of the country’s TV station got its first and immediate information from ground zero Palo, the closest town to Tacloban City.  I must say, it was first-hand information but I felt sabotaged when the news anchor or the station itself decided to stop the reporter to give way to some unimportant shows.  I was angered by that uncalled-for action and was already ranting because I only watch the news online and it is uploaded 2 hours late than the usual airing time.   I cannot pretend anymore because I wanted to know the real score – how Tacloban City managed to survive a 300 kph wind and came along with it, the storm surge, which made survival inevitable.  I cannot calm myself anymore because I wanted to know the situation of my family.  I wanted to know if they survived or not, if they were in pain, if I will ever see them again on my next vacation.   I regret the day when I felt so tired to even talk to my mother, when I lazily chatted over Skype few hours before the storm started.  I had a twinge of guilt when the day ended with full of questions and worries.

NOVEMBER 9.  As expected, it was no better than the other days when everything else were out of ordinary.  I communicated with my brother in Abu Dhabi.  We do not communicate much but those were the days when we shared the same fear – the fear of loss.  It was in the news that San Jose and downtown areas were seriously damaged when Yolanda struck the city.  We both joined a group in Facebook which aimed at getting information about Yolanda’s victims.  We could not imagine how the search would start and how we would go about it when we found out that they were in serious condition.  We watched the news from time to time and talked with every friend from Tacloban we saw online, maybe we could get reliable information.   I even listed my mother’s name in one of the pages that sought help in looking for family members.  I did not miss any posts concerning Yolanda and its victims.

Later this day, my brother was asking for my sister’s home address.  He requested his friend, who will be going to Tacloban, to include checking my sister’s place.  Unfortunately, both of us do not know their address.  I looked for my sister’s letters but she used her office address.  It was really depressing that we could do nothing immediate for them, that all we could do at that moment was only sit and wait until something popped in.  I felt helpless and so I cried, I grieved, but most importantly, I prayed.  I prayed until my prayers became redundant.  There were moments when I stared at nothing but my heart was purely seeking for God’s loving hands to reach out to my family.  I told God, I was not yet ready to lose any of them.  I pleaded Him for His mercy, protection, love and grace to abound with them wherever they were in whatever situation they were facing.

The hours continued ticking and still no word from them.  Before I knew it, I and my roommate were at our Pastor’s place in Rangsit.  I was happy to be with people who showed concern for my family.  Their encouragements gave me extra strength to continue and never lose hope.  Their prayers gave me the courage to hold on and have faith.  I needed rest so I slept for a little while.  Then, midnight came and I found myself crying again thinking about my family.  I am just blessed enough to have a roommate who was there to comfort me during those dark times.  After I cried, I would try to go back to sleep which was really hard.  Since day one, after the super typhoon marred Eastern Visayas, I always hummed in my mind one favorite song we usually sang during “Family Night” special number in the church were we all grew up.  “When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, It is well, with my soul.  (Cho.) It is well, with my soul, It is well, It is well, with my soul.”  When I felt exhausted from all the chaos and confusion, I would rest in His arms by repeating this song over and over in my mind until I would be comforted and I could be able to finally sleep again.

NOVEMBER 10.  At about 3:00 early morn, I was awakened by a dream.  It was a dream I held on from all the queries I had in my mind.  My mother was calling my name.  Her voice was so soft, so calm and so real.  She was whispering, “Tine, Tine, okay la kami (Tine, we are all okay).” And then, my phone suddenly rang.  As short as it was, I felt the connection.  Instinct told me that my mother was also saying her little prayers.  I heard her still small voice to let me know they were really okay.  I was already framing in my mind that my brother-in-law was just taking pictures, my sister was busy cleaning their rumbled house, my two nieces were playing, and my parents were just draining the water that went inside our house and were doing some chores.  I kept all these in my mind.

Time hopped so fast and I had to get up to prepare for church.  I languidly jumped out of bed and did my usual routine.  I kept praying between conversations over breakfast.  At church, just when the pianist started playing the piano, I started crying.  I was already shaking so I went in to a room, knelt down and prayed for my family’s survival.  God was really good for giving me the strength I needed without passing out.  I asked the church to pray for the safety of my family.  I was thankful for the sermon that day.  It encouraged me more to be strong and be at peace with God.  It taught me how to be calm amidst trouble and testing.  It cheered my already disheartened heart.  I left the church with the courage to fight and to win over monster Yolanda because I have a great God, bigger than any monstrous disasters.  He assured me that He will never leave nor forsake His children until Yolanda and its effects elapsed.

NOVEMBER 11.  Four days after the typhoon and still not a single word from my family.  I had every right to mourn.  Posts in Facebook came in late November 10, thanking and praising God for keeping their families safe.  Some posted that their families left Tacloban.  They had to leave because survival was all they had.

I had to live normally like it was before the typhoon.  I still went to work even when my mind and body were tired from what had happened.  I did my responsibilities at work even when half of my concentration was not there.  I tried my best to be very strong while I was loaded with things back home.  Some parents at school asked me how my family was and I told them no news yet.  The owner of the school also showed sympathy and asked me if I wanted help.  I said, “I would NOT refuse it.”  I will never forget those people who empathized at the situation me and my family were in.

At exactly 12:38 (Philippine time), just right after my class, I received a text message in my roaming phone.  I was nervous from who the message was and what was in that message.  I opened it quickly and read the best message I had in my entire life. “All are safe.  Pray for survival.  Relay to all. – Jordan Madjus” It was from my brother-in-law.  Tears were flowing as I kept reading the message.  I read it many times to make sure that I carefully understood the message relayed to me.  Those were the only words I needed to know from them.  I thanked God for keeping them safe.  That was all that matters.

NOVEMBER 18.  I flew back home to meet my family in Manila.  I did not face them with tears anymore.  I faced them with strength and courage that we, as a family, will be in this battle together.  I told them, we will celebrate the second life God has given them.  We will place in our hearts the importance of family bonding even when we are physically separated because of work.  We have to treasure each other while we still have the time because everything in this world is uncertain.  Most importantly, I had with me the financial assistance from my work and from my church in Thailand.  I will be forever grateful to those people who willingly extended their help not just to my family but to the other victims of Yolanda.

In my life, I had encountered many hurtful tragedies brought by nature but super typhoon Yolanda was the most heartbreaking one.  It destroyed my once peaceful hometown.  It harmed my family.  It ruined the many memories I had as a child.  It left the city with nothing but only ruins from the calamity.  It deprived its people from the simple yet happy life they used to have.  It shattered the progress it worked so hard to achieve.  It caused thousands of lives, some are still missing and most who have survived are still trying to move on.  In some way, we, the Waray people may never forget what this tragedy brought into our lives but we will rise from this catastrophe.  We will get up and gather all the broken pieces, put it up together and will be healed from all these pain the nature has given us.  We will make new memories.  We will regain the simple life that was taken from us.  We will work together until we accomplish the progress we once had.  To those whose lives were not spared, we will not forget all of you.  We will face these giants by entrusting everything into the hands of our Almighty God.  He will help us prosper.  The NEW TACLOBAN, the rise of OTHER WARAY TOWNS and REGIONS will transpire.  We just have to keep the faith and believe that we will surpass the greatest challenge that was given to us.  We will make these happen!!!

Weekly Photo Challenge:Family

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Mother and Child

It is in our mother’s eyes that we are honed into becoming better persons. We may look into the world and leave behind our parents, brothers and sisters but it is still in them that we are bonded as one. Love the family we have because when we have nothing, we still have them close to our hearts.