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Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category


Be a wheat among the weeds. Seeds grown in good grounds produce a good harvest.

One time, I attended an early morning mass in our Parish. It was a Sunday and the church was full. Besides me was a child  maybe about five years old.  When it came to the part of the mass  that we had to greet each other “Peace be with you”, she shyly turned to me, smiled, bowed her head and  said  “peace be with you”.  I was so touched with her gestures. Not all children who attend Sunday masses are attentive enough to follow the sequence of the mass.  Hallelujah!

When Nissa had her thyroid operation last September, I was  with her for four days at the hospital and before we went to sleep, we shared these stories about life and the daily happenings in our lives. I remember her telling me about Nate. Every after the end of the mass, the priest usually gives blessings to the parishioners especially little children. When Nate approached the priest he asked him to bless and to please say a prayer for his mom for her successful operation the following week. That started their friendship. Nate made it a point to see Fr. Regie since then.  The latter is the present Rector of the Manila Cathedral.  I attend his masses online almost everyday with Fr. Kali. They have inspiring  and lovely homilies. So many lessons learned in the process.

Last February,  the last time Nate came with  Obet and Nissa to spend the day with us, we invited our good friend Fr. Aly to have lunch with us here at home. He has been our friend since we had our house blessing twenty five years ago.  He even officiated Nissa and Obet’s wedding back in 2011. Nate was not shy in front of religious people. Seemed as if he had also known Fr. Aly for a long time but it was only the first time they met each other.

Nate is not shy among strangers because he talks a lot. This is one of his photos taken at the Manila Cathedral last December.

Have a blessed Sunday everyone.  May the coming week be a happy one for us. Amidst this pandemic, let us not lose  our faith and let us always hope for the best.

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I just watched  an early morning mass online at Sambuhay  presided by a friend Fr. Pao. His homily was so inspiring and meaningful. It also made me realize certain things that in “normal circumstance”  we take for granted.

A bottle of alcohol is just what we need at a time but then there are unscrupulous individuals who raided supermarkets and hoarded on several bottles. This is just like what you see in other countries where tissue paper is always out of stock.  I just bought four bottles.  Now  customers are limited to two bottles each per purchase.  Of course, it is human nature to at least have a few more groceries in times of crisis like this. As they say in Tagalog, “bawal magutom”. And while those who can afford to stockpile on groceries have their several carts full of goods, you can see along the roadside a few poor families sharing a meager meal out of sardines and  rice.  They can’t even afford to have a proper home to return to.  Sad, isn’t it?

One of our public hospitals here is asking for donations of PPE – face masks,  bottles of alcohol, disinfectants, disposable gloves that the nurses and doctors can use. The private sector is responding to our Vice-President Leni’s call  to help. You can donate and they will buy medical supplies for our medical personnel that they can use in their daily battle with the virus. They are also in need of food rationing for our medical personnel. I wonder what this government is doing. Their response is a resounding community quarantine but there is no mention if this month-long quarantine  is supported by economic plans, mandatory testing for those who leave the city and international travel bans. It should have been done months ago but they were too proud to say that we can contain this pandemic. To think we don’t even have enough testing kits that the Dept. of Health can use and distribute to hospitals. It’s a good thing though that our local governments are doing their best in their respective areas to help their constituents. This may not be just a one month  catastrophe. It may take more than a year before they could find a cure.

I could not concentrate finishing a book at the moment. I’d rather contact my friends thru  FB messenger to exchange news. A few days ago, a friend from Italy called me up in the middle of the night telling  me  their ordeal  about the total lockdown.  I asked Nissa if Nate still has to go to school after this month-long quarantine. She said that the school year is done.  Lugi ang estudyante.  They were supposed  to still have their finals this week.  Jovy and Josef showed me their Certificate of Employment issued by JP Morgan earlier. Nissa said she also got hers last week.  They need at least three identifications that their being outside is valid – one government ID, their company IDs and the COE. Yes, it has come to this.

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Made some memes when I still had my old camera. I have a whole album at FB. I miss my Canon Ixus.

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They say that the devotion to the Sto Niño in the Philippines is as old as the history of Christianity in the country. Today we celebrate the Feast of Sto Niño, the child Jesus. “Pit Señor” is the short form of “Sangpit sa Señor,” a phrase in Cebuano that means, “to call, ask, and plead to the king.” We celebrate the  Feast of  Sto. Niño every 3rd Sunday of January, the Holy See has granted us special permission to celebrate it, a unique devotion among  us Filipinos.  It is a festive celebration which recalls our conversion to Christianity.

There are so many celebrations in the Philippines during the Feast. We have the Sinulog Festival in Cebu, the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo, the Ati-Atihan in Kalibo, Aklan, the street dances in Tondo, Manila and many other places where the Sto Niño is their patron saint.  These are famous celebration usually seen by tourists from other countries as well. We venerate the image of the child Jesus. Sto Niño is a Roman Catholic title of the child Jesus.

Given the humility of a child, the frank  and straight to the point way  they say what they think, the honesty written in a child’s face, the loving and lovable way they accept things without question, these are the lovely traits we often envy. Sometimes we wish we were little kids again.

Viva Pit Señor!

 

 

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Dear LORD,

I trust and believe You will see me through the many decisions and problems I will encounter.

Amen.

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It’s another blessed Sunday!

I thank God each new day I wake up, whatever time that may be – 3 a.m. or a little later. Then I ask Him to “arm” me with grace for whatever lies ahead… the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. Taking the bitter with the sweet.

It might not be a bed of roses for us but we still dream.

How are you this Sunday morning my friends?

 

 

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Nissa finally got the result of the final biopsy when she visited her surgical oncologist this afternoon.

It’s stage one thyroid cancer. She will have to undergo one session of radiotherapy and has to go back to her endocrinologist for further assessment.

Feeling sad about this but I know she will get well completely.  She will report back to work on  Monday.

God is good and God is great!

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Spent a few minutes deleting spam comments. Come to think of it, most of them are porn sites being promoted by these  spammers.

Just to update you on things. Nissa finally found a surgical oncologist  who was referred by her endocrinologist.  He is Dr. Gerald Alcid, chairman of the Surgery program of the Univ. of Santo Tomas Hospital.  She said the doctor is so kind and she is complacent with how he  explained everything. She could go back to work a week after surgery. The doctor even told her that thyroid cancer is the most treatable cancer of all and assured Nissa that thyroidectomy is a safe procedure. She decided to have that surgical operation after all.  I remember my own surgical oncologist ten years ago, he is also a graduate of UST. The university produces the best medical professionals in our country.  Thank God for those kind  doctors who put the welfare of their patients first.

Hoping for the best with God’s help.

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You might wonder how our family has been since my brother was diagnosed with rectal cancer which has metastasised in his liver.

Allow me first to thank you all for  your prayers and words of comfort. It is helping us a lot that there are friends who also hope for a longer life for my brother.

Since he left the hospital, I call them everyday. He needs that moral support that we can give even in our small way. He has let go and let God do the rest for his healing. He decided not to undergo that much dreaded operation and even chemotherapy later on. Just to give you an idea, we are four siblings in all and my eldest brother underwent surgical operation with chemotherapy when he was diagnosed with the same ailment back in 2003. I had mine in July 2009 with six cycles of chemotherapy. I had doubts that this must be hereditary. There might be something in our genes  causing the three of us to have the same ailment. I remember what my medical oncologist said though years ago that genes/heredity  comprises only 10%  when you are diagnosed with colon cancer.

I was listening to my favorite  radio program the other week when they had this one-hour segment called Kaibigan sa Kalusugan  and their topic was about cancer and initial cure. They are a group of doctors who believe in alternative medicine. I left a message in their program which was also broadcasted on their Facebook page. One of their personnel texted me and gave me the details of their clinic near our place here in Manila. I texted back that my brother is in the province and Manila is too far for travel. They have a clinic in Pampanga  (more than seventy km. from our  place in the province)  so last Monday, my brother,  sis-in-law and a cousin who temporarily drives for them went for consultation. I googled their way of treating patients with different illnesses and I was impressed. Even my brother was all praises for them. They are doctors too. I was even more in awe when I read that they are known worldwide and that the medicines they prescribe to their patients are BFAD (Bureau of Food and Drugs) approved here in the Philippines.  My brother was prescribed three medications and they have to come back on Monday and bring new laboratory tests that they have requested. They even told him to continue with his previous medications prescribed by his doctors at the hospital.

This is a leap of faith. Hoping  for a better health for my brother. I always remember that God does not give us crosses that we can’t bear. He will always be there guiding our paths. Going through such challenges is quite heavy both for my brother and the family but we remain faithful and hopeful  to God’s wisdom and mercy.  There is a place where He wants us to be and we are truly grateful for that.

May God bless us all. 

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Thanks!


Nissa’s way of saying Thank You. I love it. There is nothing impossible with God when you pray fervently.

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