Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quiet Time Message: You Are Not Invisible In MY Eyes

I rarely hear the small voice of God. I always long for it but I fail to hear it as often as I would want to. In my quiet times, one thing that I always look forward to is that wonderful moment that I could get to hear His still small voice.

Before I became a Christian, I didn’t think that it was really possible to hear God’s voice. I had this notion then that God would only listen to my prayers but He would not let His voice be heard by a ‘commoner’ like me. I thought then that His voice was also exclusive for the really spiritual ones.

But God proved me wrong about that notion the second time last May 15, a Sunday, during my quiet time with Him. I was reading the book of Judges in the Bible and I was already in the story of Gideon. Just a brief backgrounder, Gideon was a young  man from the tribe of Manasseh. During that time, Gideon’s family was the least in the said tribe and he was the weakest in their clan. That was why when the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon one day, he was apprehensive when the angel told him he was going to save the Israelites from the Midianites. He just couldn’t believe that God would pick him from the other much stronger and worthy men from their tribes.

But God chose Gideon. Despite him belonging to the least clan in the Tribe of Manasseh and him being the weakest in that clan, still God chose him.

I don’t know why but as I uttered my prayer to God that time, I felt like the words didn’t just come from me but from God. The moment I said the words “I am not invisible in Your eyes,” the tears went down from my eyes. I knew that very moment that God was really talking to me, that He was really making me hear His voice. God told me that I should not feel small or that I don’t matter at all because He could see me. He could see me worshipping Him and even if I’m just one among those many people singing praises to Him on a Sunday service at church, I matter so much to Him and that He appreciates everything about me. That even if sometimes I feel like I’m a loser, God still finds favor in me and that He puts great trust in my ability.

I cried that time because I was in great awe of God. He is indeed a personal God. I just couldn’t contain the overflowing love and reverence to God that I felt that time that my tears just couldn’t stop from flowing.
My prayer to God after that was for that feeling to always reside in my heart; that that overwhelming feeling would be my shield everytime the enemy will put words of anger and insecurity in my heart and mind; and that I would just dwell in His loving presence all the days of my life.

I am not at all a good person. I failed God a million of times in my life. But that precious moment when He let me hear His voice, I just felt God was telling me that His loving will forever be unconditional.
God will never turn His back from us.

I just hope and pray that I could give back to Him even at least a portion of that kind of love He’s been showering me since the day I was born. I hope and pray I could love Him enough not to hurt Him by doing wicked things and to consider Him first and foremost in everything that I do.

I pray that as I continue this wonderful walk with Him, one of these days, I will be that kind of daughter God desires me to be.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sweet Tooth Monday at Parvati

If there’s one thing I wouldn’t give up for a firmer body, that would be desserts:-) I could live without rice but definitely not without chocolates and cakes and ice creams. (and tocino and hotdogs pa pala:-)) When it comes to eating, I live by the adage of Ernestine Ulmer:
Life is uncertain. Eat desserts first.
That is why when I look for restaurants, I alway look for those with really appetizing desserts in their menu.
A couple of months ago, my good friend Khryz introduced me to the yummy world of Parvati. I was out with my zooper friends for our usual dinner meet-up at Trinoma Mall and we were looking for a nice coffee and cake shop–which is not Starbucks or Coffee Bean for a change. And all thanks to her, I’ve finally found a real dessert haven which is both yummy and cheapo:-) All the cakes we ordered on that first try at Parvati deserved a thumbs up. And yes, including Lalaine’s Fudgelicious cake although its taste is somehow similar to that of Brownies Unlimited’s. But still we loved it! Plus, plus! They have free brewed coffee:-)
Our very first taste of Parvati:-)
My personal favorite is the Milk Chocolate Cake. Actually, this was what I ordered the first time I tried Parvati and all the succeeding visits after that, I never fail to order for that. It’s only priced at P110 for the mini size (which is actually good enough for sharing for 2 people).
My second favorite is the Frozen Brazo de Mercedes, which I only got to try yesterday when I went there with my family. Imagine indulging on your favorite brazo de mercedes, but this time, with graham cracker crust and a layer of vanilla ice cream….really heavenly. You can enjoy this delish experience for only P200 for the small size —which could actually be shared by 2-3 pax.
Frozen Brazo de Mercedes - yummy
Since my mom and my sister loved their first Parvati experience, too, we always make it a point to drop by this cafe whenever we pass by Trinoma Mall or when we’re around QC area. And most of those Parvati visits happened on a Monday, thus the title of this post.
This is how loco we are about Parvati:-)
Another plus of this desserts cafe, aside from the really yummy cakes and free coffee,  is that they really prove true to the meaning of ‘service’ in Customer Service. I would really commend them for the kind of satisfactory service they provide all their customers–regardless of how many you will buy. And just yesterday, I was humbled when I saw the lady manager/owner of the cafe washing the cups and saucers used by the customers herself. And I grew even more fonder of Parvati because of that humble act.
If you want to visit Parvati, it’s located at Trinoma Mall, Mindanao Lobby (below National Bookstore and between Breadtalk and Gourdo’s). You can also give them a call at 9011428 for bulk orders.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Trust His Heart

This song was shared by Pastor Jun Besana in the 2pm service at Victory Malate today. It’s a good reminder especially at times when we seem to find it hard to comprehend God’s ways. We should not walk away from our faith. Do not be stirred. Instead, stand for and with God. He knows what He is doing. He has the perfect plan for each and everyone of us.

All things work for our good
Though sometimes we can’t
See how they could
Struggles that break our hearts in two
Sometimes blind us to the truth
Our Father knows what’s best for us
His ways are not our own
So when your pathway grows dim
And you just can’t see him,
Remember He’s still on the throne
God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don’t understand
When don’t see his plan
When you can’t trace his hand
Trust His Heart
He sees the master plan
He holds the future in his hand,
Don’t live as those who have no hope,
While our hope is found in him.
We see the present clearly
But he sees the first and last
And like a tapestry He’s weaving you and me,
To someday be just like him
He alone is faithful and true
He alone knows what is best for you
When you can’t trace his hand
When you don’t see his plan
When you don’t understand
Trust His Heart
-Babbie Mason-

TVCs I Don't Wanna See Ever Again.

Alright, so TV commercials are not at all boring to watch especially if it's not only artistically created to sell/promote a certain product, but also done to convey a real good message about the society or even the person's individuality. There are, however, TVCs which are plainly nakakairita for some obvious reasons. I have my own share of those irita moments over some commercials which when I see being shown on the TV screen, I would immediately look for the remote control and change channels.

Here's my list (at least the recent ones):

1. Star Wax - You know the girl who's wearing a red blouse and cream skirt and wiped the floor with star wax while dancing when somebody spilled something on the floor. Why do you need to dance (in an overacting way) while wiping the floor?

2. Coffee Mate - Actually, there are three versions of this specific Coffee Mate commercial. One of the versions included a pastor from our church and his wife--which I liked:-) It's about three married couples sharing their love story and their love for coffee mate. The concept is good and touching, but there's this one version which I don't like at all. The one with only the husband talking. I called that the 'eleven years' version since the husband's line during the first part of the commercial was "We've been married for 11 years now...." I don't like that version because I find the husband so self-absorbed. First of all, he's the one doing the talking for the entire duration of the commercial. Second of all, he always say 'I'--I know I made the right choice....blah-blah-blah.. Like hello! Do you even care to ask your wife if she thinks she made the right choice for marrying you? Why does it always have to be about you, man?

Again, I only dislike this single version.

3. The Nestea Iced Tea- That commercial with the overacting guy 'Nico' who was dumped by 'Martina' and who has an equally overacting mom. Good thing I don't get to see it na on TV of late.

4. All commercials with Erich Gonzales on it.

5. All commercials with Anne Curtis on it - Apologies to her fans, but I'm just so fed up seeing her in almost all TVCs nowadays.

6. Smart Dishwashing Liquid "Dish Is It" TVC - The one with the mom singing and dancing 'Kasi gamit you, you, you.....' I just find the mom so pa-cute and pa-cool in this commercial.

I have high regards for the creative people and the production team behind TV commercials and I know the effort they exerted just to produce them. However, there are just some TVCs which I find exaggerating and some of those were listed above.  Again, this list is from my own perspective. Nothing personal. Just a mere human reaction over some things I see on TV which I find absurd at times.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother’s Day Treat To The Ultimate Coco-Loco at Coconut House

What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than to treat the ‘superwoman’ in my life to a restaurant which serves one of her ultimate faves? Since coconut is on top of my mom’s favorite food, we decided to go to the restaurant famous for serving all-coconut meals–The Coconut House.
The Coconut House is located inside Quezon Memorial Circle near the Commonwealth Entrance (across the Philippine Coconut Authority. It was quite a far ride from our house in Manila, but I insisted on going to this restaurant since Mama’s been talking about wanting to go to this place when she saw it being featured in Jessica Soho Reports a couple of weeks back. Two night before, I’ve been thinking of where to bring Mama for Mother’s Day and good thing I remembered her fascination to that Jessica Soho feature on the coconut restaurant. I ‘munchpunched’ Coconut House, found its exact location and operating hours and its menu.
And can I just say I love Munchpunch a lot? This site is so useful and could even have you prepare how much money you’ll be needing if you decide to go a certain resto in their directory. It has a complete list of the restos’ updated menu and prices so you already know what to expect.
End of the promotion. Back to regular programming:-)
Alright so we finally found The Coconut House inside the confusing Quezon Memorial Circle. It’s a small one-level little house of wood and cement, neatly done and brightly lit by the sunlight that comes through the glass walls and windows. They have a huge menu which shows their Pampagana (starters),the Almusal (breakfast meals), the Tanghap (lunch and dinner meals), the Binalot (wrapped in banana leaf meals), the Panghimagas (desserts) section, and the Inumin (drinks).  Like any fast food chain, you have to go to the counter to order and pay.
Mama ordered Gising-gising (P125) — fresh Baguio beans, coco milk and ground pork paired with deep-fried galunggong fillet wrapped in a banana leaf. My sister went for Coco Calamari (P125) which is your usual Calamari favorite only cooked in using coconut and with mayo dip. I would love to try their Coco Veggie Pizza (75) but it wasn’t available so I decided to just share with my sister and just ordered two organic rice for us. For desserts, we got Macapuno Con Leche (P55)  and their signature Special Halo-Halo with Coconut Ice Cream (P90) on top. Mama also had fresh Buko Juice (P20) since she doesn’t want to drink water in restaurants.
Coco Calamari
I would give a 4 thumbs up for the Gising-gising and the Coco Calamari but a delightful 5 thumbs up goes to the desserts we ordered including the Buko Juice. Their Macapuno con Leche was a luscious choice and should not be missed if you’re planning to visit this resto. The Halo-Halo was also hard to resist because of its coco cream and non-dairy Ice Cream on top. According to Mama, the Buko juice tasted really good because it’s so fresh and with no additives.
Fresh Buko Juice, Special Halo-Halo and Macapuno con Leche
Before we left The Coconut House, we decided to buy Pancit Buco (P90)  for Nanay Sitang (our loving grandmother), another round of Macapuno con Leche, and the mini Buko Pie (P65). And yes, they were all a delectable choice! The Buko Pie was a surprise since I didn’t expect I could find a real tasty buko pie with big chunks of buko in Manila. Now, we don’t have to go to Laguna to experience buko pie goodness.
My mom was so happy with the treat. It was really worth the ride. Plus, we only spent approximately P600 for everything we ordered (including the take-out). I am definitely going back to The Coconut House. I’ve yet to taste their Veggie pizza and the Coco Sherbet.
Indeed, it was a Happy Mother’s (and daughters) Day!
Me and my superwoman:-)
mom and sis