Friday, October 30, 2015

Dancing in the Rain

When you have longed for the sun to shine, you would appreciate it so much to see even a glimmer of light. The rainbow is at the corner, but even if that doesn't show just yet - may my heart be at peace of what is. Like a plant, I need sunshine and rain to grow. And as the plant's leaves flutter when the rain drops, may I also learn to dance in the rain. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

How Do I Thank Thee

How Do I Thank Thee

For taking me out of the pit
Of self righteousness and pride
And replace it with your humility
That I may be worthy of You

For opening my eyes
To the many sins I have been blind of
And offer me Your unfailing grace
That I may be set free

For teaching me Your Word
And open my heart of your truths
And keep me hunger for more
That I may always abide in You

For pouring out Your love and forgiveness
To my wretched self
And help me receive them
That I may extend them to others

For opening my hand and heart
And help me let go
For the things that are beyond my control
That I may completely trust Your ways

For calling me your child
And that you are my Abba Father
Who always had been there for me
Even I forget You
And hold on the things of this world
You pursued me
And here I am

I hope and pray 
To see You face to face one day...

*photo from FN

Saturday, September 12, 2015

You are Where You Need to Be

''Release yourself from the thoughts of what ifs, you are where you need to be. It is where your purpose is. At this very moment.''

I still remember the wise words of a dear priest I confessed with during one Easter confession.

I found myself nodding every single word he said and replied 'I needed to hear that, thank you.' That was not a coincidence nor just an out of the blue reminder to me, I took them as God's way of telling ''I put you where you are for a purpose''. 

There are times when we are not on guard with our thoughts that we daydream on the what ifs; what if I pursued a certain career, what if I followed my heart to travel first before getting married, what if etc etc. These sums up one word: regret. We regret the present situation over thinking of what could have been. These are lies of the enemy. Of getting us into thinking that we should be disappointed with ourselves for the past that can never be brought back. But God says '' 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'' (Jeremiah 29:11). Please believe that.

When we truly reflect the past in light of faith, we can clearly see that everything happened for a purpose. God allowed things to happen for His purposes. And He is in control.

When faced with suffering and pain, take heart dear one - God is in control. Seek him and his righteousness. When we are victorious, rejoice! Rejoice even in the difficult ones. And be thankful, because we are where we need to be.

 ''And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. (Romans 8:28)

''Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.'' (1Thessalonians 5:18)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Waiting In Silence

When words have been said.
When spirit had been crushed.
When tears flow.
I wait in silence.

When prayers are wordless.
When the heart is troubled.
When feelings are unheard.
I wait in silence.

When the mind is afraid.
When strength is nowhere to be found.
When grace is hard to come.
I wait in silence.

Waiting for the spirit to stand up
For tears to become smile
For prayers to be heard
For the mind to be fearless
For the heart to be graceful
To fully forgive
To completely extend mercy
To willingly give grace.

I wait in silence, my God
Answer my yearnings
You know my heart
How dark it can become
Cleanse it with your blood
That I may become like you...

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Travel 101: Puerto Princesa, Palawan Philippines

View from the Sabang zipline

Welcome to Puerto Princesa, Palawan! Home of the breathtaking landscapes, picturesque beaches, friendly locals and  the world-known Underground River. Puerto Princesa has a lot to offer - so save up (just a little) and bring yourself to a paradise!

1) How to get to Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Several domestic flights are available from Manila to Puerto Princesa via Cebu Pacific & AirAsia Zest. They offer very low fares when flights are booked in advance and during promo fares. We only paid B$ 98 or Php 3,234 return for 2 pax via AirAsia. Some can get even cheaper than that so keep an eye on promo fares.

2) Where to Stay

There are a lot of inns, hotels and pension houses in Puerto Princesa. We chose and recommend Labelle Pension House  - they were very accommodating, always looked after our needs and in my opinion have the most affordable tour packages. We availed their 3 days and 2 nights tour package which included 2 nights accomodation in a deluxe room, underground river tour, honda bay island tour and a half day city tour. That's not all, we had free breakfasts and lunches for 2 days and a free airport transfer all for Php 4,100 per person. Pretty great deal eh. Dave and I only paid Php 8,200 for 3 days and 2 nights of  paradise fun.

3) Where to Eat

This island boasts fresh seafood in their local cuisine. We dined at Kalui Restaurant as we were intrigued by the high ratings at Tripadvisor (teehee). We were not disappointed with our choice. Ask the hotel receptionist to reserve seats for you as this restaurant is always full. 
We also ate at the carenderia nearby Labelle as we missed the carenderia food. 
Kalui Restaurant menu

4) Things to Do

You will not run out of things to do at Puerto Princesa. Below are the following activities we had during our trip:

Half Day City Tour (1st day)
Running tour within the City proper
  • Plaza Cuartel
  • Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral
  • City Baywalk
  • Souvenir Shops
  • Crocodile Farm
  • Mitra’s Ranch
  • Baker’s Hill 
Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour (2nd day)
Visit the following islands and go snorkeling, swimming or just relax and get yourself tanned. Tips: Prepare extra cash as you will need to rent some booties and/or snorkeling gears (if you want). Booties/Snorkels rental: Php 150.00/each

  • Cowrie Island
  • Luli island  
  • Starfish Island                        
Underground River Adventure Tour (3rd day)
 While waiting at the wharf for your boat, you can try the above-the-ocean Sabang zipline with the other tourists. Zipline fee is Php 550.00
Or just stare at this gem
Upon reaching the underground river, there will be a waiting time for your turn to go inside. You can stroll around and soak in the beauty of nature. Boat cruise inside the world known underground river. Laugh along with your funny guide. They are all funny I guess. Take photos. And be amazed.
And fall in love again
In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. - Psalm 95: 4-5

Friday, May 22, 2015

3 Things learned in 3 years of Marriage

It has been three years. Three lesson-filled, challenging beautiful years. In a span of that time, we got married, honeymooned, got pregnant, gave birth, moved 4 times, and  traveled as a couple and as a family.

It is worth pondering as the years passed and see how it made me appreciate married life as it is.

·        The joy in marriage is found in the little things. Everyday little things. You may have heard it before and it holds true to us. It is in the little acts that a marriage blossoms, nourished and thrives. It is the kiss early in the morning, spontaneous hugs, late night cuddles, and unexpected messages. It is when your spouse looks after the baby so you could take rest, when he volunteers to do the laundry, when you cook his favorite meal, when he makes you laugh over silly things, when he holds your hand in public and even while sleeping, and the list goes on and on... 

This comes easy for me because Dave is naturally a sweet husband. He is not a flowers and chocolate kind of guy but he does more than that. Thankfully, I am not into chocolates or flowers for that matter! And because he knows that I love being kissed and hugged, he showers me with them. He always helps me out in the kitchen while I prepare our ‘baon’ early in the morning. For me, it’s not the grand gestures – it is the day to day moments that matters the most. 

·         Marriage makes you a better person. If you let yourself be. If not, then that’s another story. Marriage makes you love the person past through his or her mistakes, as God calls us to. It makes you see how imperfect you are too and fall short in truly loving your spouse. It teaches you to be forgiving and extend grace when one is being unlovable.

You will be hurt and feel unloved by your spouse, that’s inevitable because we are not in a Walt-Disney movie, because in reality we will not like  each other sometimes.
Ruth Graham Bell quotes, ‘’Marriage is a union of two good forgivers’’. If couples do not forgive each other, no marriage will last.    

 ·       That I am work in progress and I will keep on learning. On becoming a better wife. On carrying out my role in God's design for marriage. I will fall short as I am not perfect but I will stand again and be faithful on this calling. There will be days that are difficult than the others but I believe that they also come to pass. I thank those days as they teach me new things. New perspective. And a better understanding.

There is no perfect marriage they say and that is true. We are imperfect individuals who rub each other's edges and refine each other. Marriage really make one either better or bitter. The choice is ours.

In a word, live together in the forgiveness of your sins, for without it no human fellowship, least of all a marriage, can survive.   - Dietrich Bonhoeffer    

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. - Colossians 3:13

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Travel 101: Dapitan City (Dakak Resort)

We were so excited for this trip as it is the first for the whole family to be vacationing together.
A wish come true for me. A simple wish that meant a lot. And a memorable one.

Ahh, when you say Dapitan what comes first to our minds is the famous Dakak Resort. It is safe to say that this place is the center of Dapitan's tourism. While that is true, I think that Dapitan has more to offer. And it is not as expensive as people perceived it to be.

So for all of you who are thinking of family reunion, honeymooning, or just a simple getaway - consider Dapitan City!

1) Accomodation

I personally recommend Travel Bee Inn. The service is good. The place is clean. Rates are cheap. Centrally located. With breakfast too! What a bonus!

Rates per night: Php 600 (standard room)
2) Transportation

From Manila you can fly via Cebu Pacific to Dipolog and your hotel will transfer you from Dipolog to Dapitan by mini van. It is free with Travel Bee! If your hotel doesn't offer that service, you can always hire a van going to Dapitan. It will take around 20-30 mins from Dipolog to reach to Dapitan.

My family is from Aurora so they took on a bus going to Dipolog (it was 5 hours travel for them) and by a van going to Dapitan. Fares are around Php 20 per person for Dipolog to Dapitan ride.

Dakak Resort is reachable by tricycle, van or multicab. We hired the multicab from Travel Bee. This time we had to pay for Php 1,500 back and forth for 10 people. It was 30mins drive from the inn to Dakak resort.

3) Activities to try

a) Biking around town

Travel Bee offers complimentary use of bike so you can freely stroll around town.
b) Dakak Park and Beach Resort activities

Dakak offers variety of activities with only Php 1,000/pax consumable entrance fee. Meaning your Php1,000 can be used in zipline, horseback riding, jetski, atv ride and a lot more. It can also be used to pay for your dining at any restaurants in Dakak! 

We were 9 nine adults and 1 kid so we paid Php 9,500 only. Small children are not charged while kids below 12 years are charged half. The amount we paid were so worth as we used it for zipline, jetski and for lunch and dinner meals. Swimming is unlimited! They have really nice pools with salt water and white sand beach to enjoy.
The siblings at Dakak resort

Jetski-ing at Dakak
c) Visit Jose Rizal Shrine

We had the chance to visit Rizal Shrine before leaving Dapitan. It was a good historical tour with our guide Ramil. We got to see our national hero's place of exile and a glimpse of his life as a doctor. 

It was a trip to remember for the family as it was one of the many firsts we had together. A wish come true indeed!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Delicious Homemade Banana Muffins

And incredibly easy too!

This banana muffin recipe is tested and tasted several times in our family. I have been making them whenever we have over ripe bananas sitting in one corner.

They are delicious, soft, moist and very easy to make. You don’t need to buy banana muffins again!

Ingredients: (makes 12 muffins)

1 and ½ cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

1 large egg

1/3 cup of melted butter
½ cup sugar ( I like brown sugar)
5-6 very ripe bananas, mashed (lakatan)


1)      Preheat oven in 155°C. Depending on your oven, mine is quite new so it’s very hot even in that temperature. The original recipe called for 170°C and when I first baked it, the bottoms were burnt. So the key is actually knowing your oven.  

2)      Mix the dry ingredients (flour,baking soda, baking powder and salt). Set aside.
3)      Mix the remaining wet ingredients in separate bowl. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together just until blended, please don’t over mix the batter or you will have dense muffins. The batter should still be lumpy.  
4)      Pour into you greased muffin pan or muffin cups if you have. I normally don’t use muffin cups since we just consume them at home.  
5)      Bake for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy them warm or cool. I prefer them cooled down.


·         Freeze over ripe bananas and thaw them before mashing to take all the sweet juices
·         You can also throw in some choco chips, walnuts or both!
·         I have tried putting grated carrots and they were very good, extra nutritious muffins!
·         If butter is unavailable, you can use cooking oil. I tried it once and muffins were still delicious
·         Over ripe bananas can be very cheap at wet markets and sometimes vendors just give it away so go grab them ;)