Kick-start your day with morning devotion

What comes into your mind when you hear the word devotion? For some, devotion seems so boring, time-consuming, and so religious. Some people find it tedious to include in their routine. They rather scan their social media accounts rather than to open an actual book and to meditate in silence.

I was one of those people who thought that devotion was a waste of time. But after engaging myself to reading daily gospels and reflections every morning, my life had changed. It brought me positive vibes and relaxing aura before I do tons of jobs.

I actually bought a devotional when I was in college. I was third year back then when I picked Didache 2012 for no reason at all. I just scanned its pages, read some reflections, and finally, got myself a copy. I wasn’t familiar how to read devotionals. I just read the entire reflections the whole day.

It was March 2015 when I was passing through St. Paul’s stores. I saw their 365 Days with the Lord. It’s on SALE! 100PHP! I bought it, placed it on my desk in school, and tried to read it before I do other things.

This routine continued. For two weeks, for a month, and finally for a year.

I can say that my life has changed because I am happier before I have my classes. I feel the positive aura before starting my day. The silence in our office and the words from my devotionals surely make me feel positive every single day.

I have learned how to deal with my issues and problems lightly. I have learned how to be more patient, understanding, and relaxed before I react. Kalma na ako, bes.

Reading the gospel, reflecting with devotional, and praying in silence allow me to feel God’s presence. 

It’s like embracing God’s words before I start my day. Devotion every morning is your breakfast for your soul and spiritual life. Without it, our life isn’t complete.

This coming 2018, Kerygma books offer devotionals to all walks of life. For youth, I suggest you read Didache Youth 2018. This will be available in MIBF 2017. You can pre-order for only 100 here. Also, I contributed some reflections here. Hehe! Maybe, buying this is also supporting your beloved friend, Kim. 🙂

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Have you tried reading the bible every day? If yes, how did it change you life? If not, what stops you from morning devotion?

 

Praying for you,

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How to move on?

This month went crazy. I waited long enough to see whether my entry in CSCBA would be shortlisted or not. Finally, in August 25, I got to know the results. Negative!

Upon seeing the posters of the results, I kinda felt bad about it. How couldn’t I? I really wanted to see the title of my book as one of the finalist. I believed that I never did this thing for myself, but for the youth whom I am serving.

Looking into the finalists under Youth category, I didn’t find the cover of my book. What I saw was three published books by different Catholic publishers. I got sad.

I think sadness is an underestimation of how I feel that time. It’s more of extreme rejection and frustration. I feel rejected. Then, I feel nothing.

While looking at the results, rain starts to fall. Drizzle going to storm. It isn’t a peaceful night for me. I have skipped classes due to this inclement weather. My feelings are left so unsure. Yet, I have to be cool about it. I’ve got to be relaxed!

I think this kind of rejection will never be the same with all the rejections that I experienced before. It’s no big deal at all. My heart never fluttered nor skipped a beat.

Maybe I only wanted to be sad and frustrated because the world says so. But, no matter how I desired to be sad, my happy hormones couldn’t be stopped.

I am still happy despite this rejection. Maybe, this is God’s reminder. He could be telling me that I can still write more books for Him and with Him.

Maybe this isn’t rejection at all. Maybe it is a part of his bigger collection of blessings in-stored for me. Things, I should be waiting patiently, and prayerfully. 

What’s keeping you sad and frustrated lately? Think about it. Maybe, it isn’t a rejection at  all. Maybe it is paving the path to a better you.

Let’s keep on praying!

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Our Pilgrimage in Bicol

I never planned of joining our Pilgrimage in Bicol due to financial limitations. Good thing, God provided what I lack.

Our trip was August 11-12, 2017. Can you imagine that even before our trip, an earthquake and heavy rained occurred first in Pasig and nearby provinces? We thanked God that time because no one was hurt. Luckily, I was able to reach home at 6:00pm and prepare my snacks until 8:00pm.

Our eight hour-travel lulled us to sleep. I never noticed that there was a second stopover. My heads kept on banging on the windows of the bus because I didn’t care how I looked like. I just wanted to sleep and get ready for tomorrow’s trip!

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Alter of Basilica of Our Lady of Penafrancia

Naga City, I must say, is a province that relaxes one’s soul. It’s soothing and natural ambiance welcomes the pilgrims alongside with the windy type of weather that day. It seems like INA is hugging us, welcoming us in her city, Naga.

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Front view of Basilica of Our Lady of Penafrancia

We reached Naga City around 8:00am. We visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Penafrancia. The church was so huge. It caters the original image of INA. I prayed solemnly and whispered my intentions without distractions because only few people were there when we arrived. I touched the image, too. Also, I bought a souvenir near the church.

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I love the architectural design of this church. Shrine of Our Lady of Penafrancia

After Basilica, we went to a shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Penafrancia as well. It is like 30 minute ride away from the basilica. It was big. We appreciated the intricate designs found inside the church. Its ceiling was filled with paintings and replicas of the important events in the Bibles. I just loved everything about it.

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After visiting the Shrine, we went to their Cathedral. I adored their black-theme cathedral. It spoke something about the life and experience of the faithful here–STRONG. They seemed so strong in their faith because their number was fast-growing. They even had a wide open area for outdoor activities. What I liked most was it’s free from capitalization. It’s distant from the market which made it more solemn. We had our lunch here.

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This is the best photo ever.
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Am I still in the Philippines? This Porta Maria is perfect.

Our last church was St. James the Apostle in Camarines Sur. This was two hour away from where we’d been to. Also, its beauty was simple and authentic. You’d definitely feel the loving presence of God. Your eyes would be focused on Him.

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This cathedral look so calm. Also, the sky. 🙂

We only visited four churches. For me, that’s enough. On our way their, I totally learned a lot. This experiences were totally inspiring. It boosted my confidence and faith once more.

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My takeaway? Sometimes, all it takes is a different view.

Now, I sincerely ask for your prayers as well. May you also pray with me in my intentions for this pilgrimage. In everything I do, I strongly offer everything to God.

I am planning to visit other churches near Manila. Do you have any suggestions?

 

Praying with you,

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How God funded my Bicol Trip!

Our parish conducts annual pilgrimage in the most notable church sites in the Philippines. We’ve been to Bataan, Batangas, Tarlac, Cavite, and as far as Vigan and Pangasinan. As our destination seems so distant, the pilgrimage fee becomes more expensive as well. This year’s pilgrimage is in Bicol, Our Lady of Penafrancia.

My grandmother and I made it to the point that we join this yearly event. However, I was not able to save for our fees. August was the month when I have to shell out bucks for my  tuition fee. I had to pay my birth certificate processing and passport too (which I will be getting this month! hurray!) I had been struggling with my finances since I dropped my extra writing sidelines, I recently paid my quarterly insurance, and lots of ~adulting~ responsibilities.

Basically, it’s so challenging, yet I survived. Thank you, Lord. 

Anyway, I don’t have any plans of joining this trip anymore. But, there’s this urge in me which pushes me to join. I suddenly remember that I always, always, have intention of my participation in these trips. I always want to pray. I have come up with a strong idea of joining the trip.

But, I have another problem… I honestly don’t have spare money.

With that, I mean, money that’s not coming from my super savings funded in my SF.

Before I leave my house last Tuesday morning, I ask God, “Lord, pahinging 2,000 please.” I keep on saying this. I just want to whisper it several times. I don’t even have any idea where is this coming from. But, I just want to pray.

In my spare time, (spare time for me, is the time when I finished all my commitments in school. Hehe!) I finished my articles and got it ready for submission.

Even before I submitted my article, my boss already paid me in advance. I had doubts about her contract, but still, it pushed through. It actually paved path for my Bicol trip!

Lord, I only asked for 2,000, but you gave me 2,300 within the day. How can I be not thankful for that? It is really true that we should be specific in our prayers.

When I stopped relying on myself, God makes the impossible, possible.

Lately, I’ve been relying on myself too much. I’ve forgotten what my real intentions are. I have neglected my responsibilities as a good and faithful Christian.

As of this writing, I am so excited for our Bicol trip. May the Lord keep us safe.

Do you have any intentions which I could include in my prayers? You may send me a message!

 

Praying with you,

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A Month with First Graders

Imagine yourself teaching 32 five-year old students. Sounds fun, right?

Two years ago, I resigned in my first school simply because I was asked to teach sixth graders. I got hired to my second school to teach the same grade level. After a year, I got transferred to fourth grade. This year, I was asked to teach in grade one.  I got no ideas what else lies ahead. I couldn’t absorb the reason why I was asked to teach first graders. I even asked God several times, “Lord, why me?” I struggled to accept this fact.

Now, one month has passed. I am still teaching the same faces which I reluctantly accepted. Good thing, as time passes by, my soul starts to adjust to this new environment, faces, and struggles.

My first week was really tiring. I almost cried after our third day in school. Teaching primary grade was no joke. It took all my energy and being (and self-awareness, btw). I got no time to rest. We had to set the routine, show examples, and discuss every single thing every day. We had to open their lunch boxes, water bottles, and some food wrappers.

It’s our job, anyways, but compared to my previous classes, this is more challenging.

After one month, I have these realizations that no other experiences could give.

I love how innocent kids are. We had this class activity before wherein kids need to draw their family. As I observe them, I noticed that one of my students drew her family, their house, clouds, and a face between two clouds. I asked her, “Who is that?” (I was referring to the face on the sky.) She answered, “That’s Jesus.” I replied, “Why did you draw him?” She said, “Because He’s always watching us.”

First graders are simply cute. In our first week, I received a letter from my student. On its envelope, it was written “Teacher Darna.” It should be Teacher Derla or Miss Derla. But, I didn’t find this offensive, though. It laughed after reading it because my last name sounds like Darna. Maybe, in my past life, I was somehow a superhero.

Kids will always say you are cool, beautiful, or sometimes, ugly–and they mean it! This just showed their honesty. If they do not like something, they say it. But, if they find something or someone attractive or cute, they will never hesitate to tell it. They are fond of giving complements, letters, and cute reminders of their  love for you.

I can say that I am adjusting, but sometimes, incidents happen. These events could be a turning point for me whether continue performing well or simply look for something that will work better. Which is which? I dunno yet. I am still in the process of learning and adjusting. Pray for me, folks.

How’s your life, so far?

 

Sending you good vibes,

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Side Hustle for Millennials

As a millennial, I always want to see myself as a successful person. This is why I work on a passion project that includes saving for my future. I spend my free time searching for a part-time job. I badly need an additional work because I wish to complete this passion project  without spending  money  from my monthly pay . The only way to make my project possible is to seek for an extra job. Luckily, I have found an extra job as a home-based online teacher.

After my daily job, I rest briefly, then proceed to my home-based office. Then, I teach English to foreign students. I complete tasks at  my time, pace, and schedule. Hence, I never worry.

I am able to fill my e-fund because what I have earned from my extra job goes straight to my savings. Are you also looking for an extra job? Then, here are some of the companies that you may consider.

  1.    YBM – This company is located in Eastwood. For those who live near the area, you may want to work here. My classmate in college are  working here. I believe they offer part-time slots, too. She told me that working in this company has fulfilled her dreams as an English teacher. She is able to feel her passion burning. Since she’s been there for four years, I think it is a company worth trying. I am so touched reading her personal sharing about her job.

 

  1.    51Talk – If you want to meet Chinese students, then this company will suit  you. I have worked here before and the application process is simple and easy. They have opened slots for teachers who want to work from 6:00 PM to 12:00 AM. 51Talk has been of great help for me because it offers more opportunities for me. If you are too industrious, you can earn more from them.

 

  1.    Learntalk – If you wish to teach while you enjoy doing social work, try LearnTalk. I personally recommend their site because the application process is simple and easy. When I applied here, they only ask for my basic information, a video, and other details. They also focus on their students by letting them do most of the talking.

 

Successful people say that what people do after their work determines their future. I think that the same saying applies to all millennials who wish to go against the mediocre work ethics. If you really wish to act on your personal project, then it is the time that you go beyond your limits.

Does what you do after work help you grow? If your answer is no, then take a leap. Discover more opportunities by seeking an extra job. You can surely handle this because you are a flexible, hardworking, and passionate kind of person.

If I am able to do this, you can do it as well. All it takes is courage, patience, and prayers. You can always go beyond watching K-dramas, playing Candy Crush, and scrolling your Facebook newsfeed after work.

 

Do you have other recommendations? Let me know.

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Budget Day Trip in Antipolo

Antipolo has been one of the nearest weekend destinations which you can enjoy within your budget. Even if you are coming from North, South, or even from the East, then you should experience how Antipolo can satisfy your travel needs.

Here’s the answer to your question: Where to go in Antipolo?

My friend, Ate Beth, and I woke up early for our trip. We’re both from Rizal so it’s easy for us to take the road less traveled. Going on a weekend or a day trip tour in Antipolo required us to wake up early in the morning.

From Tikling, we rode a jeepney going to Hinulugang Taktak. Jeepneys from Crossings, and UV Express from Antipolo surely passed here.

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Here’s an enchanting view in Antipolo that you should not miss. It offers scenic view like the typical falls that you see on pictures. When they say Antipolo, Taktak must be the first thing that comes into people’s mind. There are spaces here where families can eat snacks together. Swimming pool and venue are available for use as well. You can also buy pasalubong before you leave. There is an entrance fee worth 30php for students. PWD and Senior Citizens are free from this payment. (TIP: Always bring your student ID to enjoy unimaginable perks. Hehe.)

After some time, we went out from Hinulugang Taktak, we went to Parish of Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is the exact church where Popoy and Basha got married. You’ll enjoy the feels once you enter this majestic church.

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Parish of Immaculate Heart of Mary’s Mass schedule is 9:00am and 10:30 ( I think. If my memory serves me right). Get ready to pray to look for your own Basha/Popoy. Fast Fact: This is the parish where the Bishop of Antipolo stays.

After visiting this church, we went to our next venue: Pinto Art Museum. It was only one tricycle away. I think we only paid fifty pesos. Riding tricycles in this area was such a big help for people like us. However, I think, this was quite pricey. Just be ready with your coins, though.

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Pinto Art Museum is filled with amazing structures and designs which can make your heart melt.
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It also showcases art works, sculptures, and paintings that captivate one’s soul.
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My favorite part is this ethnic side of the museum.
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T his is my favorite view. I love how the color of the water, sky, and trees complement and blend.

The entrance fee in Pinto Art Musuem is 200 pesos. But, if you are a student (undergrad or graduate), you can enter here for only 100 pesos. Amazing deal, right? For Senior Citizens and PWD, they can avail for 20% discount. There’s a lot to discover in this Museum. There’s even a map where people can use once they feel groovy in roaming around the museum. This location is perfect for instagrammable locations.

It was 12:00 noon when we felt the urge to eat. Thus, our next stop was in Mom’s Pot Restaurant.

18622580_1567612433257253_8263769183885979798_n If you want to eat a lot in this trip, then you should try Moms Pot Restaurant. Enjoy their home-prepared meals for only 125 pesos . This surely fills your tummy with delectable lutong bahay meals. You can choose from plain or java rice. There’s a wide variety of viands. PLUS, there’s also dessert.

After eating here, we rode another tricycle which headed us to Cloud 9. 🙂

The 360 View in Cloud 9 is what people look forward to in going here. Before somebody gets to the top, he has to pass through a narrow bridge. This bridge is so breathtaking. We definitely are nervous in walking through this. Huhu, we’re proud that we are able to cross this challenging bridge.

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360 degree view from Cloud 9’s highest peak.

There’s an entrance fee of fifty pesos before you can experience this. In the same area, there’s also a restaurant where you can satisfy your tummy’s needs.

I would love to see this venue in the evening. I wished to imagine how lights flicker while I stare at them. I wanted to know how the starts look from this spot.

It was two in the afternoon when we managed to finish our trip. We’re supposed to go into another cave found in Antipolo. However, I suddenly felt tired and hungry at the same time. So, we went to the city itself and looked for a cafe where we can charge our phones and our tired bodies.

Here’s our expenses.

Transport going to Tikling – 50 pesos

Hinulugang Taktak entrance fee – 30 pesos.

Trike going to PIHM – 30 pesos

Bottled water – 50 pesos

Trike going to Pinto Art Museum – 50 pesos

Entrance to Pinto Art Museum – 100 pesos *discounted*

Trike going to Mom’s Pot – 50 pesos

Mom’s Pot Buffet – 125 pesos

Trike going to Cloud 9 – 100 pesos

Cloud 9 entrance – 50 pesos

Total: 645 pesos! This changes if you are coming from a distant location. I think 800 pesos is enough. You can also add Antipolo Cathedral in your trip. In our case, we are already familiar with the church because we often go there every Lent.

Do you recommend other places to visit? I am still looking for more places to visit. Places within the area or near Rizal. Any suggestions?

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