Wednesday, December 24, 2014

One of my favorite requirements for my Literature class. You'll enjoy watching this.

Hello everyone.  Long time no see.  Work and schooling have been brutal in these “ber” months, but now that it’s Christmas break, I can sneak in a few articles before things become hectic again.  But since work was all encompassing, this blog entry will be about, well, work.  Don’t worry, that’s a good thing, because if you’re a parent who wants your child to learn confidence, responsibility, and excellence look no further than The Abba’s Orchard School, the awesome Montessori school where I teach.  

I am a Literature teacher of the Adolescent Program of the La Granja Bukidnon farm campus, located near the old Cagayan de Oro airport (there are other campuses around the country, which I will identify later).  The current Literature program entails that the students read 8-9 novels per school year.  Usually, at the end of these books, the students do what is called a Dramatis Personae, where the students choose a character that they like, make up a script, put together a costume, and do a one-man show in front of their peers (including schoolmates from other year levels).  This is one of my favorite requirements for my Literature class.  Read on and check out the videos, and I'm sure you'll see why.

Here’s one such dramatis personae, performed by a grade 9 student, Franklin Chaves.  He played the character Mr. Jones from the book, Animal Farm by George Orwell.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Kiddos bored every Sunday? Give them ORANGE!

Hello friends.  If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you’d know that we are a church going family.  If your family is, too, the read on because I will give a fantastic solution on a pretty rampant problem among church going families, especially in this country (the Philippines).

Are your kiddos bored silly when your family goes to church?  Especially here in the Philippines, where the majority of the people go to the type of churches where kids have no choice but to sit with their parents, this is an all too common scenario.  Needless to say, Sunday mornings for most kids are usually not very pleasant, not only because of the boredom, but because they get chastised by expressing their boredom (squirming, fidgeting, complaining, etc.).

The church I go to invests heavily in children, and for many years I have been a very big part of serving these young people Sunday in Sunday out.  Well, earlier today, said church launched quite possibly the best curriculum we’ve ever had, called ORANGE…and as luck would have it, the Kids Church team that would launch it for the 7-12 year olds will be the team that I used to lead, a team that includes my daughters and my mom (unfortunately, I can no longer be involved because I now do Graduate School in addition to full time teaching).

The kids had an absolute BLAST…while learning about God and Biblical principles.  My blog will be all about today’s events, and if you live in any of the major cities of the Philippines, your kids can enjoy ORANGE as well (you'll find out how, later).  Game?  Let’s go.

Before I share ORANGE with you, let me share with you a quick video of why this is sooooo important.  Did you know that there is a great battle for the hearts and minds of our children?  Please watch this video, made back in 2011 but relevant today more than ever.  It’s a part of a bigger video here, but I just have a snippet of it to prove a point.  It’s not that long, so please view it before you go on further.




Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hayden Kho's very heartfelt testimony. There's redemption even for the worst of us.

I’ve you’re an adult living in the Philippines who’s even remotely connected to national or even showbiz news, I’m sure you’ve heard of Dr. Hayden Kho and his exploits.  For those of you who don’t, let me give you a short description of why he became so famous.  He dabbled into showbiz and became a minor celebrity, but he’s most famous for a series of sex video scandals that took the nation, and the internet, by storm.   This incident earned him nationwide scorn and infamy, as you would imagine...he was even voted the most hated man in the Philippines.

Well, he gave a very, very, VERY heartfelt testimony last Sunday, and I would like to share that with you here.  I was mind-blown.



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Joys and Challenges of Marrying Your Opposite

Hello friends.  In case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I’m in a season of my life where blogging would unfortunately have to take a back seat to more pressing concerns.  Rest assured, I have not forgotten you and I do want to post every now and then.

Well, today’s my 15th wedding anniversary, so I guess this is as a good occasion as any to wipe the dust off this blog and write something.  Yup, 15 years of highs and lows, joys and sorrows.  I became a husband and a dad at a very young age (see my testimony here) but I wouldn’t trade the past 15 years for anything in the world.

One thing that you may not know about my wife, Jhean, and I is that we’re complete opposites.  In just about every way, from upbringing, to types of movies, to personality, to recreation choices, we’re just very different.

Opposites attract, so they say; and indeed, Most couples I see do not have the same personality.  However, there are also some unique challenges and joys when it comes to marrying your opposite.  Here’s another Focus On The Family broadcast featuring author Melanie Shankle as she humorously looks at how we can use these differences to strengthen our marriage.  Enjoy, and feel free to look up her books below.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

My family, children included, are CRAZY over this super-nutritious food

For about a year now, I have been doing a small sideline business of bringing top quality milk (including raw milk, which some people, such as myself, consider the healthiest form of milk) to my customers who live in uptown Cagayan de Oro (see my article here).  Well, as great as it is, I will now introduce a product that turns milk into an ultra-nutritious superfood that is among the healthiest foods you can give to your family:  kefir.

I introduced kefir to my family years ago but they found it quite unappetizing.  Recently, I gave it another go and the taste improved so much that my family now LOVES it, to the point that it has now replaced milk in our household!  

So what is kefir?  What’s all the fuss about it being so good for you?  Allow me to officially start this blog entry by answering the first question.  Kefir is milk that has been fermented by kefir grains.  This gives it a yogurt-like taste and a truck-load of additional nutritional benefits (which I will explain later).

For those of you who are screaming out, “Yogurt?  Ew!” rest assured that you can enjoy this drink in the many flavors it comes in:   strawberry, buko pandan, vanilla, mango (our favorite), and, of course, plain.

What’s all the fuss about kefir being so good for you?  Okay, I’m about to drop some knowledge, and it’s gonna be a bit lengthy, so hold on tight.

Kefir is one of the greatest sources of enzymes, nutrients, and beneficial microorganisms on the planet, and it does our body great good in three ways:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Raised to Run - Dr. Ravi Zacharias in Manila

Dr. Ravi Zacharias at CCF
Last weekend, the Philippines in general and my main church in particular was blessed to host one of today’s greatest men of God, world renowned speaker and author Dr. Ravi Zacharias.  He and his team were in Manila to give an amazing conference called Unshakable: Standing Firm in Changing Times last Saturday; and the next day, he gave the Sunday message for everyone in the congregation, titled Raised To Run.

Because technology is awesome (and so are the wonderful people at CCF), the Sunday message was shown simultaneously via Livestream to the CCF churches all over the Philippines, and that includes where my family and I worship, CCF Cagayan de Oro (though my lucky eldest daughter was able to see him live as she’s there for a youth leadership conference).

This blog entry has the pleasure of featuring Raised To Run – by Dr. Ravi Zacharias in CCF Manila.  All you need to do is click on the video below.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Are you feeding your family sickly chickens? Feed them the best!

I live in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines, and the neighboring towns are mostly farming communities that raise all sorts of crops and animals.  In regards to chicken, I heard people say that the ones who raise chicken actually don’t eat them.  I don’t know if it was said jokingly, but I have a feeling it was serious.

How come?  Well, I suspect it’s because the ones who raise chickens know first-hand of all the junk that is being fed to these poor birds.  I’ve done some research on the internet, and if what I saw there is the practice over here, then indeed, we should stop eating chickens too.

That is, stop eating chickens raised the conventional way.  What if you can enjoy delicious, very healthy chickens raised naturally…and we reap the great health benefits of such?  The brand that I offer to you, La Granja pastured chickens is just that.  Better yet, if you live in uptown Cagayan de Oro City, you can get these superior meats straight to your doorstep.  

Are you feeding your family sickly chickens?  Feed them the best!  But first let’s talk about the chickens you’ve been eating all along.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A great finance lesson from Plants vs. Zombies...thanks to this gem of a book

Learning how to manage your money is among the most important skills one should know.  However, I strongly feel, and I think you’d agree with me, that Filipinos in general do not manage money very well.  The subject of money is not talked about much either.  Why is that?  Maybe…

  • It’s too sore or sensitive an issue (often in homes where it’s all-too-painfully in short supply)?  
  • It’s taboo to talk about it as you’ve been taught that doing so shows you’re greedy and “money is the root of all evil.”  
  • Because the task, especially the financial jargon, is too daunting and you resign yourself to leave money management to those who work in banks?

I’ve read several money management books (I’m especially a fan of Robert Kiyosaki’s books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Retire Young, Retire Rich), and I feel you all should read them too.  I’ve recently read a local (Philippine made) gem of a book called I Wish They Taught Money In High School, that contains one of the simplest and coolest financial lessons I’ve ever read.  

First, though, let me answer one of the questions posted above.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Throwback Mother’s Day tribute and wonderful gifts for Moms

Thanks to my article on the amazing story of Joy tan-Chi Mendoza, I had a LOT of new people on my Facebook page and who followed me on Networked Blogs.  Most of these are women, and they’re mothers, I presume.  Firstly, to my new friends, thank you for liking the content here, and I hope that one day you can bring your husbands to this site as well (as Lessons of A Dad is geared mostly to them). 

Secondly, since Mother’s Day is around the corner, and it's Throwback Thursday (at least here in the Philippines), allow me to honor you with a throwback Mother’s Day tribute and give you a list of wonderful gifts for moms. 

This is a throwback Mother’s Day tribute because I’m about to show you an older video of my eldest daughter, Lynn, and three of her talented friends as they sang Yeng Constantino’s hit, Salamat in honor of the mothers in the congregation of our church (sorry my non-Filipino friends, you won’t be able to understand the lyrics of the beautiful song). 



Indeed, advanced Happy Mother’s Day to the most wonderful women in our lives.  Gentlemen, use this time to pamper both your mother and the mother of your children.  One way to do that is to buy beautiful gifts for them from Amazon.com.  

 In fact, they have some really awesome promos for such an occasion, and there’s still time to buy some great items to show moms how much you care.  I’m gonna show some links below.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Find hope after infidelity

The Legal Wife. If you live in the Philippines, you'd know that the three words I just mentioned comprise the title of probably the country's most popular (or most hated) TV show and one of the most trending online topics among Filipinos come weeknights. It’s crazy how the show has been getting the attention it’s been getting; and often times, when I take a scroll through my Facebook timeline during the nights when the show is on, I have to scroll a long way down before I find something that is NOT related to that show.  Do you feel me?

(I do chuckle at some of the funny memes some people make out of it, though.)

I don't know why there are so many shows on this hurtful topic recently, and, sadly, I know many friends who have been burned by adultery.  One of them, who has a wry sense of humor, placed this status update:

I wonder if she’s watching #TheLegalWife

I instantly laughed and "liked" the status; but this is no laughing matter.  A few years back, she joined my young couples group (sans soon-to-be-ex-husband, of course) and she just verbally vomited all the pain she’s been feeling inside.  The hurt, the betrayal, the feeling of worthlessness, it was so…raw.  I could never imagine putting my wife through that sort of pain.  No way.

Again, sadly, she’s far from the only one I know who has struggled with adultery.  Several friends, mostly women, have been hurt to the very core by a spouse or significant other whose eyes, and later, hearts and bodies, started to wander.  As I thought back to my friend’s Facebook status update and the plight of other friends like her, I wonder how they can find hope after infidelity.  How can these women cope and heal after such a terrible trial?

Well, what I have here is another one of Focus On The Family’s radio broadcasts, split into two parts.  Its title is Hope for Every Marriage, where Jeff and Cheryl Scruggs offer valuable advice, and hope, for couples as they candidly describe their own journey of infidelity and restoration.

I love these Focus on the Family broadcasts and I use them often on my blog.  I also like that they're in audio form, so I can listen while I do something else.

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…

Share this to friends!