Saturday, April 19, 2014

From rape and tragedy to forgiveness and victory: the Joy Tan-Chi story

I hope you all are having a great Holy Week / Lenten season.  As for me, it’s a staycation (staying home vacation) where I just simply rest—which I badly need—and catch up on good books and chilling with family.

One of the highlights of my Holy Week was watching the true story of Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza on TV yesterday.  She was a good, very innocent, teenage girl: never had a boyfriend, never been kissed, etc.  But then a group of thugs broke into the family home, tied up her siblings (their parents were away), stolen their goods…and then the worst nightmare happened: they (7-8 of them) violated her innocence by raping her.  That’s not the end of this tragic yet amazing story, because from rape and tragedy comes forgiveness and victory.  


This indeed is the true to life Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza story, and I’m so glad I found the video on youtube.  It’s divided into four parts, and I will feature all of them here.  WATCH IT!!!  I know the story even before the TV reenactment of it, but it’s here where we see where the impact to the family, even many years later, is still so evident and poignant.  Enjoy—and prepare to be moved to the very core, as this is one of the greatest examples of the adage that God uses even the most horrible of events for great good.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My middle child, Mesoo's graduation

A big congrats to my middle child, Monica Andrea (nicknamed Mesoo) for graduating from Elementary school.  Now, I have two children as my students!  How awesome (and awkward) is that?

(She also garnered one of the top scores in the entrance exam to boot!  Awesome job, buddy!)

I’ll just show a few pics of the festivities, as well as the video of her speech (in the school where she goes to, every graduating child makes a speech).  In case you’re wondering, my child goes to a Montessori school called The Abba’s Orchard.

 I feature this fantastic school quite often in my blog.  If you are searching for a school for your children, and you live either in Manila, Davao, Cebu, or CDO, then check out my blog entries about the school for more information (and their website, too).

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

God's design for marriage

February is always a very tough month to post blog posts, because it’s the 2nd to the last month of the school year here in the Philippines, and that means we’re approaching the finish line…and we’re approaching faaaaaast!  That said, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching as well, and there seems to be this huge force compelling me to submit a love or marriage blog post.

Okay, okay, so I will.  I don’t have time to post original content, but I’ll do one better: I’m gonna post a quick video from one of my favorite speakers on parenting and marriage, Dr. Peter Tanchi.  Here’s a clip of his latest message on the design of marriage:




If I’m not mistaken, this was his most recent Sunday message on the series For Best Results: Follow God’s Design.  Dr. Tanchi is the senior pastor of the church I go to, Christ’s Commission Fellowship (I go to CCF-Cagayan de Oro, the vid was taken in our main church in Manila)

Monday, January 20, 2014

A heartfelt student testimony

I'm currently enjoying one great perk of being a teacher: if there's no school, there's no work (well, reporting for work, anyway) and today, classes are suspended because of the storm.  Another joy of being a teacher is molding the next generation.  This country is a mess, but looking at the next generation always gives me hope, and I will do my part in making the Philippines' future better.  This is especially true for the particular school I work for, The Abba's Orchard.  Here, because we are so much more than teachers (we're mentors), we get to impact their young lives in a much bigger way than in a traditional school.

One of the tasks I had to do at work is to get testimonies from the alumni for the new website the school is making and also for the latest edition for the Orchard Buzz newsletter.  I enjoyed that task greatly.  Below is a heartfelt student testimony, one of the many I received, and here's the link to the Orchard Buzz to see several more.   Enjoy.

Never Less Than…
Evee Raypon, Class of 2013
Freshman, Ateneo de Manila University
AB Interdisciplinary Studies


The best thing about the Abba’s Orchard is that it is not solely a school where you get an education – it’s where you get a reality check.    It may seem ‘sheltered’ as people around me have said, but I would like to test that judgment by saying, “What is so sheltered about having to go to the wet market every Saturday to shop and then cook for the entire community that week because it’s your turn in the  kitchen? What is so sheltered about having to interact with people older than you every single day as opposed to seeing them in the halls for two minutes, where they hardly even recognize you? What is so sheltered about dealing with business where you have to face the possibility  of economic loss ? ”

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sleep deprivation: it’s hazardous to your health.

As I am writing this, I am home on sick leave.  I see great wrong in this, because I take great lengths to keep myself healthy.  I eat right, exercise (which hasn’t happened much lately because of the darn rain), and take supplements.  But why am I sick nonetheless?  There’s an easy answer to that: I have been violating another essential habit for good health.

I have been abusing my body in terms of sleep, or the lack of it being more accurate.  Sleep deprivation: it’s hazardous to your health.  In fact, the lack of sleep is one of the most epidemic health hazards today.  Even if you do everything else right, you will still be a wreck if you do not allow your body to rest.  It’s that simple…and this blog article will talk about that.

For a much better explanation on why we need sleep (or what is the effect of sleeplessness on the body) and how to sleep better, I suggest you visit this article here.  The article just nails it, and it made me realize how foolish I was (or still am, as I’m now paying for my sins) for thinking that skimping on sleep is no big deal.  It is a big deal, and you’d be wise to learn from my mistake.

In a nutshell, here are just a few of the hazards that sleep deprivation can bring to your body:

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A look back at 2013 through Facebook status messages

Happy new year to all my readers out there!!  Thank you once again for staying with me for another 365 days, and it has surely been quite a year.  2013 wasn’t the best of years in my book, as there have been several personal setbacks, deaths of loved ones, and trials of every sort.  There have also been some great personal victories, a new venture, and some happy moments as well.

For the past two New Years, I traditionally have made a very reflective post to recap what happened in the year that was (here's 2013's and, my favorite, 2012's).  I won’t do that this year; and instead, I’ll do something a little different.

If you have Facebook (who doesn’t), then they have a feature where you get to recap your biggest FB moments in 2013 (I guess that means your posts with the most likes and comments).  I screen captured these status messages, and for this New Year, I will replace my traditional posts with these screen captured shots plus some commentary.  So, if you’re ready, let’s go…

Monday, December 16, 2013

One of the best high schools in developing over-all excellence in our teens.

Sorry for not writing much (well, at all) lately.  Been very busy with work (I am a teacher by profession, in case you didn’t know) and had absolutely no time for anything else.

Speaking of my work, I would like to show a quick video of what we do here at The Abba’s Orchard, a true Maria Montessori school (yes, there are fakes).  I work at the Erdkinder, which is the high school division of the school, and it truly is a different way of teaching high school students.  If I’m not mistaken, The Abba’s Orchard is the only school in the Asia Pacific region to have the Montessori farm school program.  Yes, farm school…and if you ask my very biased opinion, it’s one of the best schools in developing over-all excellence in our teens.

I am in charge of making the said video for the ending of every trimester.  Here is the latest one that I made.  Granted, I do not have epic video making skills, but if you’re interested, check it out and see what I do for a living…and what these lucky students are getting.  You can also see my eldest daughter in several instances, too.



Allow me to explain the video one activity at a time.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

How you can help the victims of super typhoon Yolanda / Haiyan

Just in case you guys were worried about me, seeing all the news about how typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) has devastated the Philippines and all, we are all fine.  We braced ourselves for the storm of the year, only to experience just cloudy skies, moderate rainfall, and a little wind.

Yes, Cagayan de Oro was spared this time (and I appreciated the long weekend, I needed that).  Others, however, were not so lucky…and later on in this blog I will tell you how you can help them.

I’ve read that the death toll from super typhoon Yolanda / Haiyan could reach 10,000.  That’s a staggering statistic.  There are shocking photos all over the internet of jaw-dropping devastation.  Here are just a few of them (Note: none of these photos are mine.  I got them from Google)



Thursday, November 7, 2013

6 great items that relatives abroad can send through balikbayan boxes

If you are like most Pinoys who have relatives abroad, you likely receive a Balikbayan box full of goodies around the end of this year or the beginning of next year.  My family is one of these families, as my sisters in law are based in the US and my mom is also staying in the US for about six months.

While we appreciate their generosity, and much of the stuff that they send is indeed good, there is a dark side: this usually means that we get mountains of candies, chocolates, chips, and other junk food and overly processed products that have lost much of their nutritive value.  As a father who is into health and wellness, I usually cringe when the balikbayan boxes arrive.  Even if you don’t have the same views as I do, you’d probably notice that your children will binge on these newly arrived sweets and often will get sick as a result.  Not good at all.

I think there’s a better way: ask your relatives to send you alternatives.  This is also an opportunity to snag great finds for you and your family, finds that are either not available here or are expensive.  Allow me to help you by listing down six great items that relatives abroad can send through their Balikbayan boxes.  Nearly all of these are food-related, as you shall see.  Let’s begin.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hilarious Jaeger names

I noticed I haven't done a humor post in a long, long time.  So, here goes...

Being the semester break, it’s natural that me and the fam would have movie marathons galore.  One of our favorite movies this year was Pacific Rim, and so we already watched that twice this week.  Over dinner afterwards, I jokingly asked, “What if the Philippines had a jaeger?  I bet it would look like a messed up, overgrown jeepney, hohoho!!”

Apparently, my internet savvy daughter said that she did see several Philippine jaegers on the net, made by fans using a certain app.  Intrigued, I took a look and indeed there were several Philippine Jaegers out there.  Cool.

But in doing so I discovered an even better find: hilarious jaeger names.  It was only a matter of time before people with a (sometimes twisted) sense of humor would capitalize on the weird Jaeger names of the movie, like Striker Eurika and Gypsy Danger (Crimson Typhoon, now THAT’s a cool name) to come up some with ridiculous names of their own.  Some of them were so funny that I had to share them here.  Enjoy.

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