Saturday, November 20, 2010

Precious Moments Spent Over Delightful Treats at Mom and Tina's Bakery Cafe

Moments spent with my favorite people in the world are priceless. It feels great to bond with friends over yummy foods but nothing feels more celebrated and wonderful than to dine out and bond with your family. Since my Papa passed away last March, my sister and I made it a point to treat my mom out as often as we could. Actually, since the day I got my first paycheck, I've always wanted to do this for both my Mom and Pops, but Papa was too sluggish to join us then. Perhaps because he's already having a hard time with his illness that's why he preferred our special family dinner to just be spent at home.

Anyway, so me and my sister befuddled the normal office day of my mom yesterday with a call, begging her to leave early in the office and join us in our feat to celebrate Friday madness with a yummy dinner. I was also a bit panicky since it's already mid-November and I'm not even hitting one-fourth of my Christmas shopping list. So I decided to lure them to go with me to Tiendesitas and at least drop by at The Grove to check out the SuperSale Bazaar there. I was really hoping I could get another pair of Suelas or buy my mom a pair at a very low price since they're up to 70% off in that bazaar.

Almost two hours after, we arrived at Tiendesitas. Few strolls after and my mom and my sis got for themselves a pair of flats. Pity me 'cause as much as i want to indulge myself that night, the worries about my Christmas list is quaffing me whole so I just decided to spend the money I brought that night to buy Christmas gifts for my 'inaanaks.' Happily, I was able to buy some stuff at a very reasonable price:-) 

And now, the actually-my favorite-but-I-don't-like-the-calories moment finally arrived. After rummaging through the sale and going from one boutique to the other, we decided to head on to Mom and Tina's Bakery Cafe. I've been hearing and reading a lot of yummy things about it that's why I was so perked up to give this resto a try.

Immediately after I saw the fresh from the Christmas story book look of the resto's facade, I fell in love with it. It was like I could feel that very moment that I'm going to enjoy my stay there. Off we went in. If from the outside, Mom and Tina's looked like it was photographed from a Christmas story book, wait till you get inside. The place is very cozy and laid-back, like you are suddenly toted to the animated cosmos of Cafe World or perhaps, being carried inside the dainty Gingerbread House. Picture this: sunny Sunday mornings spent with your family; Dad is reading newspaper by the veranda, Mom is baking a delicious goodie in the kitchen, your brother and sister playing together in the sala, and you're reading a feel-good book by the corner window.

(Photo courtesy of DessertsComeFirst)

I would love to sit in one of the printed stripes couches but they're all occupied so we just settled on one of the corner tables. The cheerful waiter handed us the menu which I find cute since it's printed on a Papemelroti stationery or some Earth-friendly paper which I find so novel. Mama ordered for meaty spaghetti (P125) which is kind of usual, but it's her taste buds anyway. My sister got Chicken Alexander (P160) while I went for Chicken Spinach Lasagna (P150). Since all three of aren't afraid of diabetes attack, we immediately ordered the bakeshop's signature desserts and asked the waiter to serve it and the pasta all at once. We ordered Sanzrival (P50), Oreo Cheesecake (P125), and Toblerone Walnut Torte (90).

The Menu

The Chicken Spinach Lasagna

The Meaty Spaghetti

The Chicken Alexander. This photo doesn't actually look appetizing but it's superbly good:-)

When we got our orders, I was a bit dismayed when I saw the small serving. When I started indulging myself in the yummy goodness of my Chicken Spinach Lasagna, I realized you should not really judge a book by its cover--or in this case, a porridge cup. Really, I felt so full and bloated after I finished eating the Lasagna. I think at least 2-3 people could share in one serving of Mom and Tina's pasta. It's just too full and tasty that you will need a helping hand eating it:-) By the way, all pastas are served with garlic bread rolls which taste good, too:-)

It's actually a different story with their desserts. I think I could eat the entire piece myself and there's no way I would be needing a helping hand on that, especially with the Sanzrival. All three cakes we ordered were delightfully good but my taste bud voted for Sanzrival as the best. Some cakes come in regular  or large orders but I suggest you go for the regular size if you want to try on their other cakes.

Toblerone Walnut Torte

Oreo Cheesecake

The Sanzrival

I am definitely coming back to Mom and Tina's! I would love to try out their French Vinaigrette and the famous Shepherd's Pie plus the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich. And of course, I would definitely hold a DON'T MIND ABOUT DIABETES day when I go back there and order Caramel Profiterole, Mango Walnut Torte, White Toblerone Walnut Torte, Baked Oreo Cheesecake, and whatever sweets I'd love to gorge on at this bakeshop.  

Sweet moments with two of my favorite people spent in the cozy corner of Mom and Tina's Bakery Cafe:-)

Mama and Shyn

Yours truly with my beloved Mama:-)
And oh, by the way, we weren't able to go to The Grove anymore since the bazaar is only until 10pm. We finished eating quarter before 10 so we decided not to go anymore since we only have 15 mins left to shop or at least check out some items and that's so bitin. Maybe next time:-)


Mom and Tina's Bakery Cafe is located at:

Perea corner De La Rosa, Makati City
Telephone: +632 894 3598, 840-4299
* 106 E. Rodriguez Jr, Avenue Ugong, Pasig City
Telephone: +632 571-1540 to 41, 914-0833

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Palamuti Storytelling Jewels: Bringing Dreamland Characters to Life

A good chunk of people nowadays are going crazy about this jewelry designing thing since it could really make up a good business. Imagine doing the thing you love while earning a good amount of money at the same time. This craft, however, is not something that you can learn and pull off easily. Jewelry designing requires careful understanding of details and proper combination and sequencing of elements. You can't simply string materials together without examining the basic elements of design including the size, function and color. 

More than anything else, jewelry designing is an art that you must give justice to it in every piece of your design. 

That art coupled with passion and whimsical imaginations are the essential factors that set Palamuti Storytelling Jewels  miles apart from the rest. My good friend PJ Valenciano is the designer of Palamuti. I've known her to be so passionate about her craft and she always make sure that passion will manifest in her output. With her latest fascination, PJ does not only string the materials together. Inspiration, imagination, and a special yearning to bring into life the different stories of her fantasy world are the very things that PJ strung together to create her fab collection.

                                                     Thumbelina's Sanctuary

                                  Princess JUliana Collection


Each of Palamuti's collections reflect Pj's personality, her solicitude, her heart's desire, her hopes and aspirations. So you're not wearing an accessory when you wear a Palamuti jewelry--you are also stating something about life, its joys and complexities. 

                                       Lady Apache- Warrior Princess Necklace


                                              Lady Heather Collection



Pj only makes one piece per design so you can be rest assured that no one else in the universe own the same design as yours. If in case you have that design in mind, you can just tell that to PJ and she'll be happy to create a customized piece for you. Plus, you can have a Palamuti accessory for as low as Php100. 

Palamuti Storytelling Jewelry is available at Supladita Fashion Style Gallery Boutique located at 79 West Ave., Quezon City, and at Papemelroti located at 2/F, Korben Place, 91 Roces Ave., Scout Tobias Street, Quezon City. You can also order online at 

You can check out more of Palamuti's designs and collections at

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Perfect Career - My piece of Young Blood

Saw this piece again online. This was my article published in the YoungBlood section of Philippine Daily Inquirer years ago.

Youngblood : Perfect career

By Amabelle Rica R. Lopez

Posted date: June 27, 2006

EXACTLY a week ago, I did something that will surely disappoint my parents, raise the eyebrows of my aunts, and open me again to mockery by my friends: I again submitted a resignation letter to my employer. I’ve done the same thing five times since I graduated from college about a year ago, and my friends are saying making resignation letters has become a hobby for me.

I’m only 23 and I already have a long list of short-time work experiences, making my CV three pages long. My mom said that finding and leaving work are just like bar hopping to me. I’ve been jumping from one company to another, hoping to find the perfect job -- something that would exercise my knowledge and creativity and at the same time give me freedom to do whatever I want to do. I know I’m being idealistic but I believe there’s really that kind of work waiting for me.

Back in college, most of my classmates thought I was dumb and wrote me off as a failure. Whenever we had a group project or report, nobody wanted to have me in his or her group, fearing I would just pull down their grades.

I couldn’t blame them. Who would ever trust a person who would just show up in class when there was quiz or sneak out of the classroom after the attendance had been checked?

But I never thought of myself as a failure. I believed that I was as smart as those boring students on the dean’s list. I knew that even if I didn’t graduate in college with honors, I would still feel fulfilled because my college days were wonderful. I was able to enjoy my life amid the pressures of university life and got only one failing mark -- in Trigonometry -- but even that was a learning experience for me. I knew how it felt not only to flunk a subject but also to attend summer classes. And it made me different from my classmates who would cry a tub of tears whenever they got grades of 2.5 in some of their subjects. I didn’t worry too much about grades and rankings since I knew they were not essential to living in the real world. I believed that as long as you had your own talent and you knew it, you were already successful in your own way. And I still believe it until now.

The reason I didn’t stick to one job is simple: I was not happy in any one of them. In know it sounds like a very shallow reason for jumping from one job to another, but that’s the fact. For how can you stay in one company doing the task assigned to you if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing? How can you concentrate on finishing a business plan if your mind and heart are telling you to do what you enjoy most?

I hate writing resignation letters and handing them to human resource managers. I don’t enjoy job-hopping. I don’t like being asked what I am doing with my life. I hate it when friends teased about my not being able to stay in one company. But can’t these people understand that these companies only offered me money and not the satisfaction I was looking for? Sticking with a well-established company might be an easier way to a comfortable life, but I know I would just be fooling myself. It can never satisfy the hunger inside.

There’s only one thing that I really find pleasure in doing, one thing I’ll never grow tired of doing over and over again -- and that is writing. Whenever I finish an article or a story, I always feel fulfilled and even triumphant. I feel like I had done something great, no matter how lousy the story may be. Great, in the sense that it’s my own masterpiece, something that’s wholly a product of my creativity and not extracted from me by my supervisors.

I used to work for a publication, and it was one great work experience despite the very low pay. I spent more than a year working there and I honestly enjoyed it there: the pressure of beating the deadlines, the never-ending overtime work, looking over the layouts, etc. But I had to leave that company because at that time, my family was so financially challenged that I had to get out of my comfort zone and find a job that would pay me enough so that I could help my family financially.

I didn’t really want to leave. I even tried working part-time as an English instructor for four months, waking up at 3 a.m. and reporting for work as early as 4 a.m. just so I won’t lose my writing job. But my body didn’t cooperate. I got sick and was bed-ridden for almost a month because of over-fatigue. My mom insisted that I give up my part-time job and eventually I gave up my position in the publication due to financial reasons.

Now I have decided to follow my heart’s desire. I will no longer think of the downside of the writing profession. Instead, I will ponder on how happy and fulfilled I will be doing the one thing I love. I will not look for a job that is just an exchange of labor for money. Instead, I will look for a job that will help me grow and develop as a writer.

A job is different from a vocation. A job is something you do for money. Looking for a job is something that society dictates so you’ll have food on the table and you can buy the things you need. A vocation, on the other hand, has a much deeper meaning in your life. A vocation is something that you are not obliged to do because your heart and mind are in it. It is something that give you so much satisfaction in doing.

I know writing is my vocation. I knew it from the time our teacher in fourth grade asked us to write a short essay about ourselves. Writing makes my life complete. It fills my life with meaning. Writing allows me to give voice to who I am and what I want to say.

I don’t care if most people think there’s no money in writing. I don’t care if I’d grow old poor, typing my latest piece while most of my friend and colleagues enjoy the luxuries of life. I will die with no regrets because I’ve spent most of my life doing something that I really love.

All I want is to write as many articles and stories as I can, hoping that I will be able to inspire people around me. With a bit of luck, I hope that through the words I write I will be able to make a difference in some people’s lives.

I’ve made my choice. I will keep writing until I can’t think of anything to write, until my mind becomes exhausted by thinking. I will no longer dwell on what other people say or succumb to pressures around me. I will not let these things kill my dream. I am determined to prove to the world that in doing what I love I will be successful. I don’t want to wonder some time how good I could have been at writing stories.

I’m glad to have finally found the perfect career. And this time, I will no longer have to prepare a resignation letter.

Amabelle Rica R. Lopez, 23, is a PR associate and writer for a PR firm.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

You and I Vote (Please vote for Shai and Seph)

Photography: Edric Chen.
Stylist: Jear De Mc Cuttac
Hey friends :) We'll need your votes! Clothing brand Solo is looking for a male and female model and we figured we got nothing to lose, so we tried our luck. There are 134 entries in all, and some have resorted to rating competing entries with 1 or 2 stars to pull down the Average Rating. Online voting ends November 15. It’s 35% of the criteria, so we’re praying and hoping for your support :)

1. Click here to sign-up. It only takes 3 minutes, promise! Sometimes you just gotta wait for the confirmation email from Solo. Please check your Spam/Junk Mail, it might've gotten trapped in there :)
2. Click on both Seph'sand Shai'sentries
3. Vote, rate 5 stars, and comment on both entries
4. Reblog on Tumblr, share on Facebook and Twitter, or link on your blogs

SHARE THIS NOTE!Or share as a link by copy-pasting this on your wall:

As a thank you gift, we’re giving away the top (size M) and shirt (size M) that we modeled here to one male and one female reader with the sweetest comment on either of our entries on the Solo site.

Thanks guys. You’re awesome.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

No Goodbyes. Let's Rakenroll!

I seldom wear chucks and I don't often wear black--except when I'm feeling fat and I want to hide my bulging bellies--BUT I love rock music. Alright, I must admit, I grew up loving and listening to R&B and slow jam music. I can't, however, deny the fact that even before I understood what rock music really is, I already enjoyed listening to the sounds of The Smiths (especially their song "The More You Ignore Me The Closer I Get), Crash Test Dummies, Cranberries, Nirvana, Aerosmith, Counting Crows, Gin Blossoms, Hootie and Blowfish, Moonpools and Caterpillars and 10,000 Maniacs. Locally, I've always loved the music of Eraserheads, Rivermaya, Yano, The Youth, Color It Red, Advent Call, Razorback, The Wuds, Agaw Agimat, Suggar Hiccup and even Rizal Underground.  I think I was in grade school when I would wait for their songs to be played on radio or look for their lyrics in songhits. I didn't care about music genres back then. Just as long as I like the tune and the lyrics, it's all good for me. Generally though, it's really those songs in Literock, Magic 89.9, Campus Radio, and later on Wave 89.1, RT, and Jam 88.3 that I find pleasure in listening on. Okay fine! I also used to go gagah over boy bands, Spice Girls and the likes. It just so happened that I'm a die-hard music lover and those types were the in thing back then.

I'm a late bloomer rock music fan. In fact I only admitted it to myself that I actually love rock music when I became friends with Emma Ruth Espiritu and after becoming addicted to Hillarie Burton's Peyton Sawyer character in One Tree Hill. I even made a cd compilation almost all of Em's playlist in the office PC before I left MOD for a new job. And immediately after that, I started loathing the music of Beyonce, Rihanna, and all those who came after them. I realized I really like listening to rock music more. But of course, I will always love Bone Thugs and Harmony, Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Mary J.Blige, 2Pac, Ja Rule, Ashanti, P.Diddy, Faith Evans, and Mya for their music were the soundtrack of my fun-filled high school years.

The return to the mainstream of Pinoy rock bands also made me appreciate this genre more. Imagine my happiness when Bamboo Manalac came back to the music scene and formed Bamboo. It was like a relief! Their music alongside those from Pupil, Sandwich, Sugarfree, Stonefree, Hale, Rivermaya, Parokya ni Edgar, ItchyWorms, Pedicab, Cambio, SpongeCola, Markus Highway, Paraluman, RadioActiveSagoProject, UrbanDub, Up Dharma Down, Imago,  Fatal Posporos, Session Road, Kjwan, Orange and Lemons, Wickermoss, Join the Club, Juana, and still many more became a staple items in my playlist. They're like food to my gloomy days when I would just like to shut myself out from the world and just enjoy that me-time with a loud rocking music.

Rock concerts are the best! You can see all kinds of people there--trashers, emo, conio, average joes, etc, and all of them are banging their heads and jumping lively to the zippy tunes of rock music. No poseurs, no feelingeras. Just plain rock music fans enjoying the kinetic moment.

I came up with a list of possible reasons why I fell deeply in love with rock music. You can read on if you like or just shrug it off, though I'm sure that one or two points from this list, you'll definitely agree with me:

1. Rock makes you feel so cool, carefree and careless at the same time. Like when you are walking in the mall and you have a rock music playing in your ipod, you feel taller and cooler than all the people in that mall.

2. The lyrics are generally deep and meaningful and speak a lot about the oxymoron of life.

3. The music maybe a bit emo most of the time but it makes you enjoy that loneliness without feeling miserable.

4. Rock music allows you to build your own sanctuary in this world full of hullabaloos.

5. Rock music is a great companion when you are going to a place where you don't know anyone. Say for example it's your first day in the university and you're sure there a lot of pacute there, you can just forget about them and just let your ears bleed with your rocking playlist.

6. You feel 10x braver to ask a cute guy you saw in the hallway what time it is without minding about your looks.

7. When you're riding a bus and you're listening to a rock music, you can close your eyes and enjoy the music in the background and that cute guy sitting beside you will find you cool because he could hear the loud rumbling tunes coming from your earphones.

8. Rock music makes you feel like you are in one with Ely Buendia and Bamboo is your closest friend that you can jam with him anytime.

9. You could go out and wear lousy garbs and still look cool because you're listening to rock music and you can stop minding about what other people say or think.

10. Rock music makes a wonderful companion during times when you're so upset over some stuff in your life and you just want to scream out loud to let your angst out.

11. It's not something you can hear on the street during fiesta or in your neighbor's birthday celebration.

12. It's not something you can hear being played in Raon or in Divisoria or in Baclaran. In short, hindi siya pambangketa. 

13. It's the coolest thing ever!

Tomorrow, at exactly 11:59pm, NU107--the only rock radio station in the Philippines--will finally be signing off. It was one of the heartbreaking news that rock fans in the last 2 decades ever received (perhaps next to Eraserheads' disbandment?). The station's executives have their own reason for its closure or reformatting, but whatever that is, it surely rocked our world. I am not really a constant NU listener, in fact, it was only of  late when I started listening to that station since I've always been a Wave 89.1 and Jam 88.3 fanatic.

But I spent my growing up years knowing only one rock music station in the country- NU107.

It really breaks my heart knowing that after 23 years of playing real rock music and opening doors to OPM rock bands, the station will now be saying goodbye to its avid listeners. Somehow, I'm a bit regretful that I only came to like this station a couple of years ago.

Sana noon pa. Sana noong araw na umuwi ako ng bahay at nakikinig si Kuya Noel sa istasyon na ito eh naki-rakenrol na din ako sa kanya. Sana nung 90's pa lang nanood na ako ng Rock Awards para nakita kong awardan ang Eraserheads ng sama-sama sila. Sana......

And daming "sana" pero wala na rin namang magagawa. Mas maganda makirakenrol na lang ako hanggang sa huling gabi ng NU107!

As what Em replied to by tweet earlier, "At least you have seen the light." True enough. At least I still have the rest of my life to enjoy rock music! At least even before NU107 closes its doors to real rock music, I became a fan and was able to enjoy it till its last few rocking sessions in the airwaves. So yes, it's still not too late.

An excerpt from Lourd De Veyra's blog says it all:

This is—was-- NU107, the Home of New Rock. Referring to it in the past tense still saddens me. I, too, used to have issues with its playlist, though very few and middling; thanks to the fog of years (and the onset of the mist of wisdom, whatever that means). But the fact it was the only one of its kind on the airwaves. It’s the only one with the balls to hang on to an all-rock playlist for the past 23 years. It is narrow-minded to regard it as the “mainstream” or “establishment”—in an industry where it is too tempting to play Britney Spears and Lady Gaga. Every time it decides to stick to playing something with a power chord it is not making money. It’s been a corporate social responsibility for far too long. Sooner or later it would inevitably kowtow to fundamental realities—the economics of advertising revenues, changing demographic, competition from new technology, etc . Neil Young said it’s better to burn out than fade away. Twenty three years is definitely a noble run.

Indeed, NU107 bid goodbye to its listeners the best way they know how--surreal, melancholic, dramatic but the rockin' attitude is still there. Nandun yung lupet, yung astig na NU lang makakagawa. 

I wonder what radio would be like after 11:59pm tomorrow night. This sad goodbye really made me return to radio listening again. It was like all I ever wanna do for the entire last week of NU's to listen to this station and savor the last few days of its glory. I really feel blessed, though, that I'm part of the generation who grew up with NU107. It's a privilege I'll be telling my grandchildren in the future. 

No goodbyes. Let's rock and roll! 

Friday, November 5, 2010


Alright, so Twitter fascinated me again with another trending tag which is the #tweetyour16yearoldself thing. It's more like 99.5RT's What Will You Say To Your 1998-self thing, just a bit of age/time difference though. I'm an eternal fan of topics like these, maybe because there are a lot of things I would like to tell my old self--cautions, advices, chill thoughts, etc.

I'm 11 years away from my 16-year-old self so definitely, I've lots of experiences now, more learnings, understandings, and more mature in the manner I deal with life and all its complexities.

So what can I tweet to my sweet(?) 16 self? Here goes:

1. Stop looking and acting like a tomboy. You're not cute!

2. Stop wearing baggy pants and loose shirts. You look awful.

3. Stop stalking your girl crushes. Simply put--magpakababae ka!

4. Stop believing that Fritz Silvala will be yours because he never will. He'll get a girl pregnant even before finishing college so better stop daydreaming.

5. Don't be so idealistic. It's okay to dream but you have to open your eyes to the realities of life. But never let these realities stop you from becoming the best you can be.

6. Don't sweat the small stuff.

7. Pains and sorrows are inevitable in life so just be prepared to face them. You'll experience a lot of them in life.

8. Just the same, life is about balance. It's not always sad and gloomy. There's definitely plenty of sunny and happy days in store for you, so smile:-)

9. Stop worrying. It won't do you good.

10. Do as much as you can to fix your issues about insecurities, enviousness and jealousies. These would just make you feel miserable.

11. Your first love will die in 2004 so prepare to be crushed.

12. By the time you're 27, you'll still be single and available but don't fret. A lot of your friends are, too:-)

13. It's okay to be single. It's a perfect time for you to enjoy yourself, enjoy life on your own and with the company of your friends, and try out various things.

14. Don't get pissed during family reunions when your relatives keep asking you why you are still not married. Or at least don't show them you're pissed. It will just make you look like a loser.

15. Don't rush into love. if there's one thing that's eternally true about love, it is that God would be the one to bless you with that. You don't need to look for it or run after it. Just pray to the Almighty Matchmaker.

16. Allot a good part of your income to investing in a house or car. It's one great move.

17. Save up for domestic and international travels. It's all worth it. Just make sure you are following Cebu Pacific and PAL in twitter and you like them in Facebook so you're updated with the latest promos.

18. It's cool to go back to school and learn new things. There's a different kind of fulfillment doing that. You can even have three degrees if you like:-)

19. It's of no use being mataray to people or being warfreak. That's never a plus point in your character and you don't look dandy in that. As much as possible, always keep your cool.

20. The fights you had with the higher batch or the lower batch won't matter anymore when you're 20-something. In fact, you might even be friends with them in the future. It's better to have many friends than have a pool of enemies or you'll just get drowned in bitterness and hatred.

21. DOn't think that just because you can't find satisfaction with your future jobs/companies and you keep on job-hopping, you're already lost. Certainly NO. You just can't seem to find your own niche yet. But once you find it, it's worth the journey:-)

22. It's okay to keep a bucket list so you'll be perked up to try different things, even those that scare you.

23. Religion is only a label. It is actually complicated. It is much better to have a relationship with God than to have a religion.

24. Serving in church is a wonderful and noble act. It's very much enjoying, too:-)

25. It is superbly cool to have a Bible in your bag and read it as often as you can. Bible is not something you have to be afraid or be ashamed of.

26. Don't think that being a missionary are just for people who are saintly. You can do that, too as long as you desire in your heart to share the good news about Jesus to the world.

27. It's definitely cool to follow God and be very much proud of it.

There you go, 27 things the 27-year-old me would like to tell, or tweet, to my 16-year-old-self.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy 8th!

Last 10/21, i celebrated our anniversary with of course, Oliver's family:-) It's been like a tradition already and sort of a reunion since it's almost always the only time of the year when I could get to really see the other members of his family who are really close to me. Haplessly with this year's mini celebration, we weren't able to have papa Turing join us since he has work that day.

***my honey six years after***

***Oliver's family***

This year is the 6th year that I'm celebrating our anniversary alone. Oh well, I know for sure he is also merry-making this day with his angel pals in heaven, but i couldn't deny the fact that I still miss those few precious moments we spent celebrating this special day together--or at least every 21st of the month.

I would be honest to say that the manner I celebrated our anniversary this year was very different from the previous years. Well, I still went to his grave and brought him flowers, met his family lunchtime and had lunch with them, and talked about him a bit--but perhaps God has really changed a good portion of my heart on how to deal with my past, with that particular episode of my life. God enlightened me completely that what happened was His will, His perfect plan for both our lives. Back then, I was so confused and blinded of the real purpose, the reason why God let that thing happened, but I chose to be faithful and wait for that time when I could finally understand the reason why. When I found my way back to God in 2007 and started my walk with Him, I started to see the reasons behind. It's as if God really opened my eyes.

I keep saying this: God loves me so much that He let that thing happened to me. I believe that and will believe that till the day I could get to meet my Savior face to face. God has lots of great plans for me but He wants to be part of that plan as the sole Anchor that He decided to break first my hardened heart with that tragedy so He could get in. It might be hard to understand at first and some would even think of God as selfish or brutal, but once you get to know Him and understand His words perfectly, you'll feel even overwhelmed of God's love for you.

I lost one of the great loves of my life, the only man who first believed in me and saw the real beauty and treasure in me--physically. For I know that in my heart and in my mind, Oliver will always stay with me. I might have lost him but I found the greatest MAN one could ever have-JESUS!

During the first few years since Oliver died, I always tell myself that I will only open my heart and love again when I'll finally meet that guy who is deserving enough to make me take off the necklace that Oliver gave me from my neck. Well guess what? I still hasn't found that mortal guy. But someone even more special and more deserving made me take off that necklace. JESUS. Now, I'm no longer wearing that necklace. I'm now more than ready to move and let go, NOT really forgetting Oliver but more of, truly accepting the fact that he's more than happy living his life with God now and His angels and that I still have a life to live.

When I accepted God in my heart, my life became more at peace and joyful for I know that I am walking with the Greatest MAn this world could ever have.

God's been the source of my strength throughout those mourning years. He's been my shield and sole protector. If not for God, I might have long bid this world goodbye. I love Oliver but I love God more!

God made the wonderful difference in the manner I celebrated our anniversary this year:-)

The Tithe is a Cursebreaker (Sharing a read.....)

This is a repost from the blog of Stefan Suarez regarding how should we view tithing. This read is such a blessing especially for those people who perceive tithing as a burden they want to be lifted up from them. 

“Do Christians have to tithe? Isn’t it strictly a Jewish thing? Paul said we no longer have to be circumcised. Why in the world do we still have to tithe?” – these were my questions around 2 years ago. These questions have blessed me. Why? Because this is when I started to ask questions about the New Covenant. I wanted to know the role of the law for believers. My beliefs in this area have radically changed in the last year or so. And now I’m confident enough to share with you what I’ve discovered.

Here’s the part that raised the most questions in my heart. Pastors in many churches would read these verses:

Malachi 3: 8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me.

And they would say something like this:

“Guys, if you don’t tithe, you’re robbers. If my daughter were to bring someone into my house one day, I’ll ask him if he tithes or not. If he doesn’t, I won’t let him see my daughter because he is a robber.”

“Choose today if you want blessings or curses. If you tithe, God will bless you. If you don’t God will curse you. Do you want to rob God”

It raised two questions.

First- am I really robbing God when I tithe?
And second, am I really cursed when I don’t tithe?
How can God curse Christians?

The second question piqued my interest more. Why? Because it came in direct conflict with how I understood grace. If Jesus took our curse, how am I still cursed? For a time, I stopped tithing altogether because of this. I thought to myself – “Tithing is just like circumcision. It’s an old Jewish thing that has been abolished and non-Jewish believers (like myself) shouldn’t be bothered with it. Everytime and every place we are required to tithe we are being put under the law again – and people are wrongly brought under the curse.” So for the greater part of a whole year (2009ish) I did not tithe.

In the meantime, I still kept checking on my belief. I’d read on tithing every chance I got. Every time I came across a teaching that said people are cursed because they don’t tithe, I would dismiss it altogether because it’s usually from Malachi which I concluded was “obsolete”. I said to myself: “Show me one teaching that has text from the New Testament about tithing, and talks about the relationship of tithing and Christianity”. Like I said earlier, that question really blessed me. I kept digging and asking questions about our righteousness, the law, the cross, etc. All the while, the Holy Spirit was speaking in my heart about the New Covenant and grace, but it was all a little seed I couldn’t put in words back then.

Tithing in the New Covenant

Today I believe in the New Covenant. I believe that Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the law for me. God blesses me today according to how well Jesus obeyed the law – perfectly. So as far as “tithing the commandment” is concerned – like in the law of Moses, I cannot be cursed for “breaking” that. I will be blessed as if I am perfect in my obedience of that.

But tithing is more than just a law. It existed before the law. And if it were put in a law to begin with, doesn’t it mean that it is good? The Law of the Lord is good. It was the covenant of the Law which judges us according to our obedience of the law that was problematic. God found fault with that covenant and sent his Son to rescue us from that and begin a new covenant by his blood. But make no mistake: the Law is good! Ordinances about diet and hygiene spared the Jews from plagues and kept them healthy. God loves his people!

I also believe that the spirit behind the law is Jesus.

2 Corinthians 3: 15Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

When people turn to Jesus, they begin to see him in the whole bible. They see him unveiled even in the Torah / Pentateuch. We cannot discard the entire Old Testament just because we associate it with “the Law” or with “the Old Covenant”. It was always about Jesus. He is the Spirit or the essence behind it, and when Christians see Jesus behind the law, there is freedom!

I no longer look at the 10 commandments with dread, I see it with excitement. Perfect love casts out all punishment-related fear.

I can jump off an airplane if I knew I had the Parachute. I would dare to tightrope if I knew there was the Net. Jesus sets us free from the old way we saw the law- THOU SHALT OR ELSE. Why? Because we know that even if we fall, he is there. God treats us like we did it perfectly, but invites us anyway to give it a shot. Right living is not a requirement for his blessing- it IS a blessing in and of itself, and we receive it by grace. It is true freedom to live right, doing so not because you were required to but because you want to. And that happens when we see Jesus as the Spirit behind these things.

God had always planned to give us Jesus and the New Covenant. What I’m here to tell you today is that the Tithe – just like so many things in the Old Testament – is a signpost to Jesus. It is a type and shadow of our Jesus. What do the Tithe and Jesus have in common?

The Tithe is a Cursebreaker

You see that verse in Malachi that always bothered me? It didn’t say God will curse the Jews for not tithing. It says they remain cursed because they didn’t tithe. We got the whole thing backwards.

When Adam fell, the ground was cursed because of his sin. He had to sweat and bleed to feed himself. All of creation was broken. Just like God gave the Jews ordinances about what to eat, how to treat skin infections, etc to SPARE them, he told them about tithing to spare them too! The tithe was a way out of the curse of Adam. Why? Because as far as God is concerned, when you give your firstfruits (your 10%), you’ve given him everything! And what God owns cannot remain cursed. That’s how the earth was cursed to begin with- by leaving God out of the picture. Tithing puts him back in. Everything you tithe, God co-owns with you. His protection and blessing come with it.

That’s why Tithing was around before the law of Moses. Abraham tithed when he saw Melchizidek (another “type” of Jesus – pointing to his priesthood), and we have no idea how he learned it. He just did it- probably out of a revelation from God- and because he saw Melchizidek, whom I really believe was a Jesus-apparition. He saw Jesus and his response was to tithe.

Romans 11: 16If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

Give God the root – the firstfruit – and everything is considered holy. The whole batch.

Jesus is the Tithe

In Jewish times, the “firstfruits” was the first of everything- animals in the herd, crops, even first born sons. Who is Jesus? The Father’s only begotten Son. And God gave him to us.

Just like the tithe fought against the curse of Adam, the true and better Tithe- Jesus Christ became unto us a second Adam. His mission – in the simplest of words – is to undo all the mess that Adam made. But we all know that he did more than that. We’re actually better off now!

The Spirit behind the tithe is Jesus. I believe God had his Son in mind when he told the Jews to tithe. And because the root is holy (Jesus), all of us are holy too. The whole batch!

Jesus, our Cursebreaker, who hung on the tree to take all our curses- was God’s tithe. His firstfruit. And we are in him. So we are holy. We are curse-free.

So do I Tithe?

Yes. My tithe proclaims Jesus.

I really believe that the firstfruits belong to God. He wants us to bring it to him to honor and acknowledge him. More than that, when I tithe, I proclaim that God sent his First Born Son for me!
I believe Jesus became poor so that we may become rich. I believe he took the curse, so I can receive the blessing. I am blessed because of Jesus. So I don’t tithe “so that I can be rich”. I tithe because I am already rich! Just like Abraham, I tithe to acknowledge that I am blessed and that it was God that blessed me, no one else. I tithe to acknowledge that I have a covenant with my God and I am not out there on my own – godless.
I am curse-free, but the world is not. And our money is part of the “cursed ground” of the world. Bringing it to God breaks that curse! So whenever new money comes in, I give God his share right away and I know the enemy can’t touch it. Even if I don’t tithe, God will provide and money will keep coming in. I believe that. But tithing signifies my desire to give God “access” to what is “mine”. It’s saying we co-own everything together. The tithe is really his, but he doesn’t grab it from us! He waits for us to give it, then he does his magic after that.
Looking back, I really have been blessed since this truth has been restored in my life!

Remember that it is about grace. It takes a revelation. Relax. Don’t force yourself. If you find yourself “forcing” your wallet open, maybe you need to ask God to show you more about this. It is a Living Spirit you need to catch, not some bible trivia, facts or dead rules. For me it is better not to tithe, than to tithe without grace. When God opens your eyes, it all becomes easy.

May God lift the veil for you today! The Tithe is a Cursebreaker. His name is Jesus.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

October! October! Things I'm Looking Forward To In October:-)

October has been one of my most favorite months of the year. That's pre Oliver and Apple love story. I don't know why but there's something about this month that makes me feel giddy and all excited. Perhaps it's 'cause it's only a couple of months away from my most favorite season of all, Christmas:-)

This year, I once again came up with happy reasons why October is a month to look forward to. Here they are:

1. It's Oliver's birthday month! It's his 29th birthday tomorrow, October 1.

2. Escuela Legarda Field Trip at Davao Crocodile Park in Manila on Saturday, October 2.
It's going to be a fun day out with the kulitly cute kids of Escuela Legarda:-)

3. Potluck party/get-together with my since time immemorial friends on Saturday eve:-)

Okay, we're not complete in this picture but I hope we could have our complete barkada pic taken soon:-) It's chicken marshala night again to celebrate more than a decade of friendship:-)

4. Michelle's birthday treat on Friday next week:-) I hope it'll be at Conti's:-)

5. Kuya Bryan and Ness' wedding on the 8th. It is going to be a lovely day as two people will finally tie the knot with God and their loved ones as special witnesses. Church ceremony will be at Manila Cathedral and the reception will be at Villa Imaculada.

6. Our 8th Anniversary on October 21. Insane as it seems but I'm still celebrating it despite our being heaven and earth apart from each other. Like the past years, I'll be celebrating it with his family again:-) I love you Nhie!

7. My parents' wedding anniversary on the 30th. Despite Papa not being around physically anymore to celebrate it with us, this day is still something to look forward to and celebrate. After all, without this special day, my sister and I might not be here on earth and enjoying the beauty of life. I love my mama and papa so much:-)

8. Enchanted Kimbum (as what Frey said) on the 31st with the Retiro family!
I am sooo looking forward to this surefire fun day with my family!

Now that's one great fun month to look forward to!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Catholic BigMag Issue 2

My article in Catholic BigMag on finding life's purpose in being with children. And yes, I am a born-again Christian but there isn't any issue even if I share my thoughts in a Catholic magazine. After all, we only worship one true God and that's all that matters.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Can Only Imagine (with lyrics) - MercyMe

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in honour of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
When I find myself
Standing in the Son

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine

I can only imagine


I can only imagine [x2]

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship you

I can only imagine

This is such a heartwarming, tearjerky song. I was having my quiet time with God last night when I decided to play this song. Few seconds later, i found myself crying intensely. I feel so overwhelmed with the thought of seeing Jesus face to face and walking beside him on the cloudy streets of heaven. Last night was one breakthrough night. I love Jesus but it was last night that I've fallen very deeply in love with Him and the thought of Him. I am crazy about Him. I am very much longing to see Him. I am just terribly in awe of Him. I hope and pray that this love will never fade--that no amount of trials or problems would take this love from Him. I am just so filled with His loving presence now. I hope that the rest of the world could feel what I am feeling right now. Intense love for the one and only Savior.

Mountain-Climbing or Mountain-moving Faith?

Which kind of faith do you want to have? I say both. Each of them has its own 'perks' in the way you want to connect intimately with Jesus.

Mountain-moving faith is when you ask God for miracles to happen so you will be saved from whatever circumstance you may having at the moment. It is great kind of faith since you are giving your full trust to the one and only God. You are not relying on your own strength but on God's.

Mountain-climbing faith is when you ask God for maturity. It is when you ask God to do something for you and THROUGH you. You can say a mountain-climbing faith supersedes the mountain-moving faith. When you keep telling that mountain to move but it does not move, then perhaps God wants us to CLIMB that mountain. He has a different plan for us that is why He wants us to climb the mountain. It is not an easy thing to climb a mountain--literally and figuratively. It entails hard work, pain, and patience. It is however, during the climbing process that we could understand the lesson that God wants us to learn in order to develop our character so that we could be worthy of His provisions for us. It is on the top of the mountain that we could get to know and understand the real God we are worshipping. You can rest assure that when you get to the top of the mountain, you can meet God's provisions in your life.

We face a lot of challenges everyday of our lives. Some are easy to handle while some may seem too much for us to take. But no matter what, know that our faith in God will always lead us through. Do not demand from God but instead, know your place before Him. He is the ever powerful God and more than anyone else, He is the One who knows what's best for you. Just trust. just keep the faith no matter what.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Magnolia Frozen Delight

Can I just turn back time now? I'm yearning for the times when these TVCs were staple commercials on our TV screen.

Coke Ad - 80s

Super old school. I'm terribly missing the old times:-(

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Culprits of My New-found Happiness

I keep telling this since the day I started threading this road to teaching little kids: I So LOVE MY JOB! Really. There was no dull moment. Everyday is a new day filled with laughter and amusement over kids' carefree and innocent acts. I just feel so blessed to have been called to this kind of mission. It's never work at all because I'm really having fun:-)

Just to clue you in on what's keeping me extra jovial, carefree, and still busy these days, following are the culprits:

Aaron - He is the youngest in the class. Just 2 years old but he already knows the entire Alphabet and the numbers altough bulol nga lang some letters and words. He's the most makalat of all din but he's willing to pack away naman when you ask him to.

AE - The other half of the Sistoso brothers. Just 3-years-old. You seldom see him smile and he's always tulala in the corner. Always looking around lang but he likes to work. Pagpasok pa lang niya, lalapit na agad siya sken to say: "Teacher ako work."

Angel - One of my favorites:-) He's the older brother of AE but he's much bulol and a little smaller. I think he underwent an operation when he was just a baby which resulted to a later development of his mind and body. But he's really so much fun to be with. Actually makita ko pa lang siya na naglalakad papasok sa gate ng school, natatawa na ako. para siyang cartoon character:-) Super OC din nang batang to. Pagpasok sa room, he'll go straight to his cubbyhole, take off his shoes and arrange his bag there. Kapag nagalaw nang konti ang ayos ng shoes ninyo habang pinapasok niya ang bag niya, lalabas niya ulit lahat tsaka niya aayusin. As in 5-8 minutes siyang nandun, trying to perfect the arrangement of his things inside the cubbyhole. He owns the famous Dadangle and Dedangle, and WAWAWU words.

Allen - One of the makulit boys in the class pero one of the sweetest din. He's 4-years old na. He's still bulol. He calls his tita Lemy yun pala Remy pala talaga ang name niya. Always farts. What I like about this boy is that he always asks for me pag wala pa ako sa school.

Cole - The Kuya in the class. he's 5 years old na. He's the most improved din. During the summer class, super naughty and unruly siya. But since the start of the regular school year, he's really changed a lot. He's still makulit but he's manageable na. He likes working na din. He's one of the sweetest din kasi everytime he sees me walk inside the classroom, he would always say: Teacher Apple!. And everytime may toy siyang hawak, any toy, or he got a star, or his baon, he would show it to me.

Dylan - Cute cute little angel:-) he's just 2 years old but he could already say some English words straight. He likes Apple Juice sooo much. When you ask him what did he eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, he would only answer: APPLE JUICE. Whenever I ask him, do you love teacher, he would say YES and hug me tight. One thing lang that I sort of don't like about him: He always makes poo-poo in school:-)

Eldrich - The cute guy in school. He's 5 years old but he is suffering from ASD or Autistic Soectrum Disorder that is why he needs extra attention and guidance. He would grab toys from his classmates and he can't control his urge whenever he sees chocolates of any sort from his classmate's baon. Good thing his classmates seem to understand him and no one fights with him. I like it when he looks at me when I sing 6 little ducks whenever I am trying to ask him to work on his writing notebook. And i love it more when he hugs me tighthly.

Joaqui - The classic. The naughtiest. The most papansin. The kid you wouldn't want to last a day without. He's just 3 years old but he's already very maloko. He used to cry like a river whenever his mamang (yaya) leaves him inside the classroom. But now, he would even close the door so his mamang could leave na. He's like the notorious kid when you speak of highschool. He's just 3 years old but his classmates are following his kalokohan. As in leader sa kalokohan. Wala na kaming magawa when he would bring his lunch bag and his bag into the big mat and show his tummy to tell he's already hungry. He likes making patay-patayan to make papansin. One time, during the circle time, he sat beside Isabel and held her hands. When Isabel removed his hands, he hugged Isabel from the back. You could always hear him say "Gu'moning teacher!" kahit wala pa siyang nakikitang teacher dahil papasok pa lang siya sa gate. Scripted talaga:-) and after class, he would always say," habadudey." Go figure out what that means.

Isabel - The prim and proper. The Valedictorian. This little girl just turned 3 years old but she already knows how to read and spell words. Such an Einstein baby! She's close to being one of the boys na din kasi boys like to be with her. As in they follow whatever she says. She's very timid but when she talks, they really listen. During work time, whenever she sees Kacy not focusing in her work, she would call her and say: Kacy, you work na!

Kacy - This little girl is the look-alike of the wife of my crush before. She's nice naman but it's just so hard for her to focus. She's always distracted and she always copies her classmates. I think I heard her dad mentioned before that she's suffering from PSD deficiency or some sort of delay in the development of her brains. She always stutter whenever she talks.

Rocco - The new kid in class. super makulit--makulit in a way na maiinis ka na. I am still in the process of liking this kid because he's just sooo unruly. He bites his classmates, grabs toys, or hits whenever he's not given what he asks. i think this kid lacks attention from his family, especially his mom. His mom kasi is working in Cotabato, I think, and he's left under the care of his Lola. He loves attention that's why he's being naughty, and I pity him. I'm really trying to extend pa my string of patience for this kid 'cause I know he really has his own issues. I actually feel good whenever this kid would look at me in the eye and listen to my sermon. He may not understand the importance of what I am saying as a whole but I know in time he'll change.

11 souls. 11 different personalities. A million reason for the smiles and the laughters in the Escuela Legarda classroom. To be honest, I am a little weary of the thought of March because it means that we'll have to say goodbye to these little angels na. The same thing that I felt when the kids of school year 2009-2010 left Escuela Legarda to move to the big school na. Oh well, i will just enjoy it now while they're still with us:-)