an open journal about the awesome things that God has done in my life

Monday, December 23, 2013

It has been a great pause

After being quiet for almost 4 months, HELLO EVERYONE!!! I apologize for being away for a long time. It's just I have been busy in school. Exams and deadlines are everywhere. Last October was our semester break, and I was planning to (finally) write, but then laziness came over. Well, not really. I just thought I need a break from everything, and instead dove on the books listed on my to-read list. Guess what, I was able to read 5 books: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, Eleanor and Park, Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant; all of which I will be making a review.

During the break, my mom, sister, and I went out of town. Got some sort of girl bonding. It was fun, really. We visited my parent's college, strolled in unfamiliar parks, and thrift-shopped. Being away from the city and seeing more of nature made me really thought of how cool and awesome God is as a Creator. I mean, how could anyone think of such creative and intelligent design and make anything great out of rubble? Our get-away was also a good time to be reflective. Aside from the all-girls trip, we got to visit our relatives in our province. It was such a nice season to be reunited with my cousins since we all have been busy in our academic life.

All-girls get-away :-p

(L-R) Diane, Ate Angelica, Me, Kate, Nikka: when we jogged early in the morning to visit our grandparents' deathbeds


Having a break in between stressful tasks helps in a way we'll never know. We shouldn't push ourselves too much in accomplishing things all at once, or right after the end of the other. Skipping breaks might cost some lessons in life that are only learned in me-times.

xxx

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Serendipity

5:33 AM Posted by ask me No comments
After a week full of exams, finally I was able to unwind! Well, sort of. I still have piles of things to do, but I thought I must see a movie first. There has been a lot of good talk about Serendipity in our classroom so I thought I need to give this movie a try.




If you wanna know Serendipity's plot, click here. I'm not gonna put the plot of this movie in this entry Now, let's start with good thoughts. As it is said in its poster, "Destiny with a sense of humor," Serendipity is indeed funny. Though it's a bit cliche and I kinda predicted the ending, it's not boring at all. In fact, I think it's cute and funny. Oops, did I already mention that it's funny? Oh, right. With those being said, I gave this movie 4.5 stars :)

Also, I made a mix in 8tracks named Serendipity. It's made up of 9 songs from the movie itself, so check it out. :)





The Distance // Evan and Jaron
Never A Day // Wood
When You Know // Shawn Colvin
Sara Smile // Hall & Oates
Moonlight Kiss // Bap Kennedy
Northern Sky // Nick Drake
83 // John Mayer
Wait in Vain // Bob Marley
January Rain // David Gray

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

La Ville Lumière

3:37 AM Posted by ask me No comments


As what I've said in my previous entry, I had been addicted to French stuffever since I finished reading Anna and the French Kiss. I had been studying French language for quite a while and learned to spell and pronounce a few words. *cheers* I had been productive during the suspended class days... only with things not related to school. Lol. At least, I didn't let a day pass without knowing something new. Haha.

In line with this addiction, I made a mix composed of 16 french songs. Gosh, it took me 3 hours just to find those songs. Anyway, here's the mix.




Ça ira  - Joyce Jonathan
Sacred Heart - The Civil Wars
Je ne sais pas - Joyce Jonathan
J'ai Laissé - Christophe Maé
Au-dela Des Mots - Axel Tony ft. Dry
Vous - Merwan Rim
Aude - Reves d'Enfants
Le Festin  - Camille
Je t'aime - Axel Tony
Elle Me Dit - Mika
On S'attache - Christophe Maé
C'était salement romantique  - Coeur de Pirate
L'amour Dans le Mauvais Temps  - Mika
Comme Des Enfants - Coeur de Pirate
Fondu Au Noir - Coer de Pirate
On Trace La Route - Christophe Maé

Enjoy :)

Friday, August 9, 2013

First encounter with dextrose

12:09 PM Posted by ask me No comments
The pain was indescribable.

It was on Monday when I felt it -- the abdominal pain. At first, it was tolerable. Around 4-5pm, the pain began to be unbearable. I was thinking if I should cut my last subject which was until 6pm and go home because I badly want to discharge something in the comfort room. I didn't cut my last subject, though. By God's grace, I made it til the end of my class. When I got home, I ran to the comfort room as fast as I can and released the thing I had been holding for so long. After doing so, my stomach felt relief, but the pain was still there. I had my dinner, thinking maybe lack of food is the cause of it. My mom gave me medicine hoping it would ease the pain. Minutes passed, it's still there. It's so painful, so I told my mom to bring to my school's hospital because it's the nearest.

When we were in the emergency room, the pain didn't stop. An hour or so passed, I finally vomited. Twice. If I could be honest, as much as I hate vomiting, I loved that I vomited that very moment because as long as I hold it inside, the longer and stronger I'll feel the pain. Relief came, thank God. The doctor was about to discharge us when I suddenly vomited again and again. For we all know, vomiting is worse than pooping. It's like three times of pooping; that's why when we vomit a lot, there'd be higher tendency you'll be dehydrated. And if things get from worse to worst, you might die. It was midnight (1am, I think) when the doctor told my parents that I should be admitted to the hospital so my needs would be supplied.

I wasn't able to sleep that night/midnight at all. One minute, I think I was able sleep, then there goes another minute when my stomach tells me Sleep? Ain't nobody got time for that *insert Sweet Brown meme* I vomited several times when we were already in my hospital room. I was diagnosed with Acute Gastroenteritis. You don't know that? Don't ask me. I have no idea, too. Lol. Of course I have an idea. I think I messed up with my stomach lining or something alike?

The next day, I felt A LOT  better, THANK GOD!!! I could finally smile and laugh. Lol. Lunch time came, my mom asked me what I want to eat. I don't know why in the world I suddenly craved for cereals, so I said I want Cerealicious. We were having fun eating the stuff and all, then I went back to sleep. It was pass 5 in the afternoon when I woke up again feeling a different kind of pain I had never experienced before. It was different from the pain the other night. This time, it had me nuts. The pain does not only happen in my stomach, but it went up my chest. It's like crumpling and burning my internal organs. I worried that time because my classmates and friends were suppose to be there anytime soon; of course, I won't be able to treat them with hospitality or laugh around with  them feeling sick at the same time. My two special friends came first. Sadly, I wasn't able to attend to them already because I started vomiting again. Minutes passed, my classmates came. When I saw them, there was like a second when I forgot about the pain. I don't know. Their smiling faces just gave me comfort even just for a second. They bought me a slice of cake, and baked macaroni.
 My two special friends + my sister



 See their faces? How could you now forget pain with those? :P

It's really sweet of them to buy me food.

When they left, the pain became worse again. I kept on vomiting and all. I didn't sleep that night at all. Nap, maybe. 

The next day, the pain lessened. Thank God! Really! It was a big relief not feeling it much anymore. For the other day, the pain was 8/10. The next day, it became 4/10. I finally was able to say I'm feeling pretty much better and quite ready to go home already. A few friends visited me til my last day in the hospital. I'm a bit overwhelmed by my friends' and relatives' concern, though. I didn't quite expect to receive such affection. Lol. 

Anyway, I'm just really thankful to God for not leaving me when I'm in pain. The thing is, whether or not we are in pain, He is always with is. God will never leave us nor forsake us. The day before I got sick, I was doing my quiet time in Exodus. When I was laying the hospital bed, suffering and agonizing every second, God reminded me of what I've read:
He said, "If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do when is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you." (Exodus 15:26)

God is faithful. Not one of his good promises did He not fulfill. So when hard situations and challenges come, do not waver. Just keep up the faith and hold on to God's Word.

xxx

Friday, August 2, 2013

8tracks

11:27 AM Posted by ask me 4 comments

I had been using 8tracks for 4 months now. I love 8tracks because anytime I'm in the mood for a specific genre of music, with just one mix, it's all there. Recently, I just had the time of my whole existence in 8tracks. I made a mix entitled piano +violin out of boredom; and I didn't expect for it to boom like it did. I'm so happy. It's like I had achieved something kind of cool in my life. Lol. 





I really appreciate all the heartwarming and encouraging comments the listeners posted there. I just can't reply to you guys one by one, so I'm saying it once and for all. :) As promised, I will post here the list of songs included in my piano + violin mix.


The Piano Guys:
A Thousand Years - Christina Perri
Home - Philip Phillips
What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction
Bring Him Home - from Les Miserables
Paradise - Coldplay
Begin Again - Taylor Swift
Just the Way You Are - Bruno Mars

Daniel Jang:
Fix You - Coldplay
Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
The Scientist - Coldplay

Vitamin String Quartet
Dare You To Move - Switchfoot
Hey There, Delilah - Plain White T's

Nick Kwas
Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People
Someone Like You - Adele

Tanner Townsend & Brighan Dastrup
I Won't Give Up - Jason Mraz


More mixes to come! If you want to suggest any group/type/mood/genre, just post it here and I will do my best to make one for it :)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

ENGAGE 2020

12:10 PM Posted by ask me No comments






ENGAGE 2020 is conference that focuses more on evangelism; with its developer and speaker, who is an author, a doctor and the senior pastor of a church in Nashville, Dr. Rice Broocks. He developed Engage 2020 as a strategy for equipping and empowering local churches for growth through evangelism.





Just yesterday, I attended this seminar in Victory Pioneer. And with the fee we paid, it was worth it. We got free snacks and freebies, not to mention his new book God's Not Dead -- yes, for free!!! Well, that's beyond my point. LOL. With all seriousness, this seminar taught and reminded me of many things. There are three things that I want to highlight in this entry.


The Gospel
There was a part in Dr. Rice's talk wherein he asked us What will you tell someone if he asked you what the gospel is all about? and he let us write our answers at the back of our manual. After a few people shared what they wrote, he told us the simplest way to tell someone about the gospel. I quote from our manual, 
"The gospel is the good news that God became man in Jesus Christ. He lived the life we should have lived, and died the death we should have died...in our place. Three days later, He rose from the dead, proving He is the Son of God and offering the gift of salvation and forgiveness of sins to anyone who repents and believes the gospel."

I can say that, with comparison with the answer I wrote, this was way simpler and more understandable for someone, especially those who doesn't have a background about our faith. I realized that sometimes, we are the ones who make the concept of salvation complex; thus, making non believers abandon the thought of it. With this much simpler way of explaining what the gospel is all about, I think more people will be able to grasp the simplicity of the gospel.

Explaining further, Dr. Rice made an illustration of the salvation that struck me the most. I made an effort to put it all in a GIF. I apology, though, for the cut texts.


You don't expect God just sitting on His throne and waiting for you to come back to Him. No. God initiated to come to us and give us the chance to be reconciled back to Him. He went down from His throne and went down to earth through Jesus Christ and be human like us. Jesus, who is perfect, is the only one qualified to save us from the death we deserve. He has to be perfect for the rest of his life here on earth, or else, with one mistake, the salvation thing would be over. Now, imagine the pressure-of-being-perfect Jesus had gone through in his 33 years of stay here on earth, with all the persecutions, mocks, and physical pain he received from the ones he is saving just to save us! Even while he's hanging on the cross, he still thought about us (Luke 23:34). Turn to God. He is just one prayer away.



Authenticity of the Bible
Someone from the audience brought up the issue of non believers saying that the Bible is man-made. However, Dr. Rice gave us 5 points that proves the authenticity of the Bible (which he mentioned in his book as well).

  • The Bible may have been translated to other languages and versions, it's still the same.
  • It is archaeologically verified. The events in the Bible didn't happen anywhere else out of this universe.
  • Historically accurate
  • Contains fulfilled prophesies
  • Made extraordinary impact


Sharing the gospel
Dr. Rice shared his testimony about the conversation he had with his brother before his brother got saved.
Soon after Rice Broocks became a Christian as a third year university student, he discussed his faith with his borther Ben, an atheist, who was athird year law student. Though Rice was young in faith, his simple answers to his brother's questions led to Ben's acceptance of Christ, and he baptized Ben later that day. [x]
His affirmation made me thought of Esther. In her situation full of uncertainties, she chose to obey because she knows she has a purpose. In evangelism, we may not know by ourselves who to reach, but with the Holy Spirit, we would feel it. Just like Esther, we'll never know the magnitude of impact our obedience will make. We are where we are today in such a time as this [x]. God can use our situation, where we are right now, to advance His kingdom and for His glory. You just have to make yourself available.

Yes, we don't have the power to save people; but through Jesus, we had the power to lead people to Him



Thursday, June 6, 2013

New chapter of my life, now unravelled

7:11 PM Posted by ask me No comments
So... I am now a college student! Yay or nay? Haha. This whole thing is making me nervous, but surely excited. I've met a lot of people from my block. All of them came from different schools, have different environments and attitude. Actually, I love my block. It has been really fun. But we had our orientation in our Chemistry lab, and it was soooo boring! Our prof sensed our boredom (thank God!), so he dismissed us early.

 I'm writing this on the fourth day of classes. I'm at home waiting for my friend, then we'll be off to school. Ciao!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

God is indeed faithful!

3:09 AM Posted by ask me 4 comments
Today was an ordinary day, nothing special... until my mom got a call. It was from the dean of Faculty of Pharmacy, where my chosen program belongs. And yes, IT WAS A GOOD NEWS!

My gratefulness to God is impossible to be put to words. AS IN ASLKDJEAODVFMADAKSDKFJ!!! (lol :D)

God is indeed faithful. He fulfills what He promised. My mom and I may have lose hope during the process, but what's really fun in this experience is that I got to see God more clearly. I was able to experience His love and greatness. That was one of the most treasured times of my life. In those times when we almost give up, God always assures me of the future I have in Him. Every time toxic thoughts come in my mind, God  pushes the thoughts away (literally) and replaces them with this Word instead.

During that season of my life, I was reading the Book of Jeremiah. And I read two of my favorite verses in the Bible:

"'For I know I have plans 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)

"I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" (Jeremiah 32:27)

What makes me even more grateful and in awe is the miracle that God performed. The slot that was given to me by the dean is the one last slot. The probability of me getting that slot is 10-90 since there are two more applicants who got higher score than I have.

Nothing is too hard for God. Always remember that. In desperation times, turn to God and fix your eyes on Him. Feel what He feels. And seek for His will. It's perfect.

"...Anything is possible if a person believes." - Jesus (Mark 9:23)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Blooming flower in the middle of a dry desert

7:08 PM Posted by ask me No comments



My mom and I went to my school today to fix something that we had been fixing for three months now. Well, I have been having a dilemma regarding my college application. ‘Til now, I haven’t enrolled yet in any program our school has to offer.  What’s even more frightening is that some colleges and faculties had closed their doors for interested applicants. 

November last year, we took an entrance test in our university. I applied for BS Medical Technology and BS Psychology; either of the two programs will be my premed course. Unfortunately, I didn't pass my test, and my only hope is my third quarter grade. Being student of my university’s high school gave us the benefit of being accepted right away in their chosen program no matter how bad we did in the entrance exam given the challenge that we have to achieve the exemption grade on the third or fourth quarter each college and faculty had set. For the both programs I chose, their exemption grade was 85. I had been praying to God to let me get that grade at least.

When the report card day came, I was so devastated and depressed when I knew the grade I got. Sure I got higher grades than the previous quarter, but what made me feel really , really – when I say words twice I really mean it -- sad and mad to myself is that my efforts didn't achieve the exemption grade (which is 85 for my program). And what even made me even sadder and madder was the fact that I only lack 0.5 points to achieve my goal! FREAKIN ZERO POINT FIVE POINTS. That isn't even really hard to earn! Thoughts came to me, if only I did better just for even one subject I would get this, if only I had pleaded to even one of my teachers to give me some additional points, I’ll get an 85, if only... if only... IF ONLY!!!

To cut my long, and devastating story short, I didn't make it in my 4th quarter average either, so I stepped out of my shell and started to take action. I got up and completed the requirements needed and wrote a letter of reconsideration to the dean of the faculty of pharmacy, where BS Medical technology belongs.  I waited for more than a month, but I didn't make it still. So where did that leave me now? Most of my batch mates, if not all, have already been enrolled and universities start to close now. I start to ask where is God in the middle of my crisis? What does He really want for me?




As I continue to pray to God for miracle in my case, I moved in faith as well. I thought I needed a back up if ever I won't make it for the last time in my chosen program, so I applied in College of Commerce and Business Management major in Finance Management and in Faculty of Arts and Letters major in Behavioral Science. I passed my requirements, and voilà I passed both programs. Even though I passed them both, my heart still belongs to medical technology. Some of my friends and acquaintances ask me if maybe I should consider finding a new school and just pursue medical technology there, but I thought there's no way I'm gonna give up in this fight since I have already come up this far, and no way I'm gonna leave this school. I started my student years in this university and I'm gonna finish in this university too. It is where God put my heart into. That's just the background of this post. Now here's in what happened today.


As I said at the beginning of this post, my mom and I went to school to ask for help from my high school regent, and secretary. To make our conversation with them short, both of them turned us down, so we went straight at the office of the dean. We go there once a week to ask for updates; but more than that, we go there to make themselves familiar to us then they'll get the message that we really are interested in the program. My mom's friend says that if they see the interest, patience, and persistence in us, then we might get a chance. It's kind of our strategy if you may call it. Haha. We are quite known in the office actually so that's a good sign. Anyway, the dean said I have a slim chance of being accepted since my grades are high. I will be accommodated if there is one or two from the first batch passers who'll bail their slot. We said thanks and bid our farewell. 

As you read, and hopefully you can feel the feelings I'm laying down here − which is worry and hopelessness, I hope you got the message of how bad it is for me to not have a sure school to go to this June. It makes me even feel worse feeling like you're lost in a vast desert and don't know which way to go. I'm pretty much directionless right now considering the fact that there are a lot of open doors in front of me. In short, I am definitely clueless on what plans God has for me. I pray and pray to God and asks Him from time to time for His will and plan to be made visible in my eyes. Lord, what is it that you want me to learn from this? Let me pass this one. Please perform a miracle in my case. I promise I'll do my best. and so on and so forth. Then our faithful God reminded me of these verses:


  • Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV
"11 For I know I have plans for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and com and pray to me, and  I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

  •  Romans 12:1-2 NIV
"1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God -- this is you true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing, and perfect will."






In the middle of my crisis -- a vast, dark, and dry desert, there bloomed a flower -- flower of hope and assurance. God did not leave me alone walking in this desert, He provided me what I needed as well -- lessons that are worth applying and treasuring for the rest of my life. His will may not as clear as spring water right now, but I'm sure someday this will all make sense and be concluded. When I tried to do things on my own before, He reminds me "Kae, you can't do this alone. You know that you can always confide to me anything you want. I'm your Father. I love you and I want what's best for you." 

In this season of my life, God checked my motives as well. To be honest, I wanted BS Medical Technology so bad because it will serve as my premed. Yes, I want to be a doctor. Doctors always amaze and impress me. They look smart like they  know everything; and I want to be like them. I want to know what they know. I want people to look at me the way I look at doctors. Not only that, they make good money for living as well. We all have dreams for our lives. My dream is to travel around the world with my parents and siblings -- all expenses made by me, buy the things my parents want, buy my own house and car and all the other things I want, I want to give to other people without thinking of what will be left for me... and many more. I have those sort of dreams that I guess most people have as well. But in the middle of dreaming of becoming a doctor and getting the things I want, I suddenly thought What if God wants me to be a missionary or full-time church worker? I know that won't make as much money as doctors do, and if I answer God's calling, what will my parents say? My brothers, my relatives, blah blah blah? Those are just some of the major concerns I have. Of course I would choose to answer, but it's really hard to consider my family's opinion. Anyway, that was just a sudden thought. No callings or whatsoever as of the moment, though. Haha. Then, I remembered one time in a youth service in our church that really struck me. God placed the desires and dreams we have for our lives in our hearts. Live it. Fight for it.

I hope and pray that as we go on in our life's journey, let us not forget to include God in every plan and decisions we make. Consult Him. You don't want to regret in the end, do you? Surrendering to His good, pleasing, and perfect will may be hard at times, but the the trust we will give him is worth it. When it comes to God, it has always been worth it. Even if best goes to worst, as long as you have God and you know that He hasn't left you, there's no way in giving up. No way. So next time when you're faced with big decisions to make, confide to God. Seek his plans. Ask for help from the people whom you respect and trust in your church. Remember: in life we will never make it alone. Even if you have so much pride on yourself, accept the fact that you need someone else in your life. It is our default. We will going to ask each other for help one way or another. We need each other; moreover, we need God in our lives. No matter how hopeless and directionless your life can be, you can always run to God. He never stopped desiring to hear the important (even the not-so-important ones) whereabouts in His children's lives. He loves to help and be part of our lives. Will you let Him in, or will let him stay outside of your house and peek through your window just when you need Him? I hope you'll let him in because I assure you, you won't regret it. :)


Saturday, April 13, 2013

My Very Exciting Summer


Bangui Wind Farm (Windmill Farm), Bangui, Ilocos Norte


Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Puerto Princesa, Palawan







Boracay Beach Resort, Boracay Island

El Nido, Palawan

These are just some of the beautiful sights within the borders of my country. These places are also considered as tourist spots, summer or not. Unfortunately, I haven't gone to one of them, though someday I know I will see those places myself.

Summer could not be more boring within the corners of my house. Wake up, eat, read, internet, household chores, eat again, read, sleep. That's basically the plot of my summer. Very exciting. How I wish I am out in a road trip with my family, or friends even. I would appreciate swimming in the pool. I just want some relaxing place to relax (lol) and breathe out. 

Since it is really kinda boring here, I came up with a list of songs for road trips. I just wish I could spend my summer outside my house. Beaches, and more time in province with my cousins. Good thing is, there is a mall near our location so my sister and I get to spend some days there, chilling out and shopping. I also get to meet my church mates at least once a week. It was really fun and refreshing.




Song list:

  1. We'll Be Alright / Travie McCoy
  2. Heart Skips A Beat / Olly Murs
  3. Good Time / Owl City ft. Carly Rae Jepsen
  4. It's Time / Imagine Dragons
  5. When Can I See You Again / Owl City
  6. Live While We're Young/ One Direction
  7. Brokenhearted / Karmin
  8. Up All Night / One Direction
  9. Stuck In The Middle / Mika
  10. How Do You Sleep / Jesse McCartney
  11. Thinking of Me / Olly Murs
  12. With Your Love / Cher Lloyd ft. Mike Posner
  13. On Top of the World / Imagine The Dragons
  14. Send Me On My Way / Rusted Root
  15. Gone, Gone, Gone / Phillip Phillips
  16. Nothing Is Impossible / Planetshakers
  17. Leavin' / Jesse McCartney
  18. Our Lives / The Calling
  19. I'll Be Yours / Those Dancing Days


Enjoy!

xxx

Thursday, April 11, 2013

[Insert title here]

5:29 AM Posted by ask me , No comments
I suck in giving titles. Seriously. So, anyone who wants to give me tips on how to make a really good and creative title on any thing like blog, journal, article, etc. will be appreciated so much!

xxx

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Vacation day back in school

6:15 AM Posted by ask me No comments
I’m feeling lazy earlier this morning to go to my school to fix my college application. Today was really hot, just like the other summer days. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring an umbrella so I have to suffer from the burning heat from the sun.

I was with my classmate and friend today. We have the same case. 'Til now, we still don't have a college program for the coming school year. I failed my test for Medical Technology; that's why here I am, doing my best to reconsider my application. Same thing with my classmate; she applied for accountancy, but failed. I'm praying to God for His perfect will. Sadly, everything's kinda vague still. I'm just kinda worried because nothing has accepted my application yet, given the fact that I only inquired for one program. As my uncertainty about my application for reconsideration for Med Tech rises, I submitted another letter for reconsideration in Behavioral Science and in Financial Management. It is really inevitable for me to worry, but God didn't leave me behind. He didn't let me carry those worries without even giving me the chance to lighten up my load by His Word / promise.

"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

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." ~ John 14:1-3

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Trilogy Addiction

I really am sorry for this Summer trilogy spam. I know I have more than two blog entries about this trilogy, but I'm sorry I just can't get enough. :(  I just don't have someone to talk to about how good this book is, so I have to express, express, and express :) 

I spent two days rereading It's Not Summer Without You and We'll Always Have Summer. I seriously can't get enough of the Summer trilogy. Believe it or not, I still found myself crying (but not as bad as the first time I read it though) at the end of the book. I even managed to e-mail Jenny Han last night to show my appreciation and gratitude. Anyway, in my post entitled The Summer Trilogy, I put up a list of songs that fit the characters and two tandems respectively. But I think I should put all the songs all together in a mixtape, so here it is. Hope you'll like it :)






One last thing. Movie casting. I really wish this trilogy would have a movie. I came up with my own dream cast. It was really a hard to choose, knowing that a lot of actors/actresses can be qualified. Unfortunately, as of now, I came up with my list for a few characters only. For the really main characters, I have two choices each.

BELLY CONKLIN:



Lily Collins













CONRAD FISHER:


Thomas McDonell










Steven McQueen











**I really like Thomas McDonell to take the role of Conrad. And I think Steven McQueen can take Jeremiah's role, too.


JEREMIAH FISHER:



Jeremy Sumpter








TAYLOR JEWEL:


Meaghan Martin












STEVEN CONKLIN:


Drew Roy












CAM CAMERON:


Logan Lerman












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That's it. I hope I can finally get over this trilogy. It affected me so much :)

Thanks to Jenny Han for this amazing trilogy.


Disclaimer: I don't own those pictures. I forgot what specific sites I have gotten those. I basically searched in Google Images, but I believe each picture belongs to a certain website, so yeah :D


PS. You may read my Summer trilogy book reviews, too! :)

PPS. Tell me what you think by commenting below! :)

xxx

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Last Bits of My High School Life: Graduation

8:35 AM Posted by ask me 5 comments
The night before our graduation, my sister and I slept in our friend's house because we have the same hair and make-up stylist. We have to be ready by six in the morning so we decided to spend the night there. I wasn't able to sleep well, actually because of three reasons: (1) I'm not used to the house (or what we call in our language namamahay). (2) It was really a very humid night. (3) I am a person who don't sleep well when there's an event or trip the next day. I'm not sure if it was  just the effect of being too excited or something, but I guess most people tend to be like that too.

We woke up at 3 in the morning as planned, then took a bath. My sister and I ate our breakfast while it's our friend's turn. Next to our friend, is my sister, lastly me. We finished at around 6 in the morning. Honestly, I didn't like what I look like. I hate thick make-up. In fact, I don't like wearing make-up. My face changes, and I don't look like myself when I wear one. I hate myself for not learning my lesson before that I shouldn't let a gay beautician do the honors. They end up screwing my face with all those thick concealer, foundation or face powder, fail eyeshadow, and not to mention the semi-shaved eyebrows! Unfortunately today, my graduation day – the biggest day of my high school life wherein I get to take a bow for all my hardwork in front of a big crowd, I seriously hate how I look like. I look like a gay and clown combined. I even thought I am overdress (if you may call it). I wanna cry even if the program hasn't started yet. I don't want to face people that time. But then I realized that I don't have to let my dilemma ruin concluding moment of my high school life. I decided to smile it off. Though I was upset, I just valued the remaining time of being with my classmates and friends.

Our graduation didn't turn out the way our teachers wanted it to be. We failed to fill the whole gymnasium with our voices, and there are a few errors made by some of my batchmates when took their final bow. Nonetheless, it was a once-in-a-life-time event that each one of us will treasure forever. When it was my section's turn to do the honor, my classmates and I were really nervous. Negative what if's came in right and left. What if I tripped off the stairs? What if I failed to do the proper bow? What if I look stupid in front? What if my heels break? and many others. A batchmate of ours unfortunately fell in the platform with the live camera focused on her, so everyone who paid attention saw what happened. We heard the audience gasp which was really embarrassing in her part. I was marching alone unlike my classmates who had their own partners. My partner took off to have an early vacation in Hong Kong, so while walking down the aisle, I was escorted by a CAT officer, then finally my solo moment when I finally took a bow. It was quite pressuring since I was the only one in the stage with all the attention on me.Thank God, none of those what if's happened to me. It's by God's grace. Lol. I don't even know how i looked like. I tried to give my sweetest smile, I just hope I did in spite of feeling nervous. [I'll insert a picture of myself in toga next time]

After my section, there are 3 sections left. We did some pledges, sang songs, heard our valedictorian's speech, watch a video dedicated to us, then finally we sang our batch song Someday It's Gonna Make Sense by MLTR. From then on, we hugged each other. Many of us cried, even the guys. I almost cried, but I did my best to control it to not make my make-up run down and make myself look worse. When almost everyone were done bidding there farewell and started to move out of the gym, my family were still taking pictures. I think we got more than 20 shots. Have I mentioned that my family loves taking pictures? Yeah. We make sure there's at least one shot for formal and at least one for wacky. Here's a sample.


Though the beautician did a bad work on me, I don't look as bad as I actually look in personal that time. Thank God for the consolation.
We didn't receive our graduation gift wish, but I'm still praying for it.
After the graduation, we went to a buffet restaurant, then went back home immediately after we ate since we have another event waiting for us – the graduation ball.

Oh, the joy of graduating :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Serving God

5:01 AM Posted by ask me , , No comments
It was this last Thursday youth service of our church when God made me realize something.

I volunteered as an usher. Ushers greet the comers in the entrance, keep track of how many attendees per service, and collect the offerings. This time of service, I collected the offerings. It just happened that that day was also the communion, so the ushers get to pass and collect the communion elements, too. It was my first time to serve in the ministry during the communion week so basically don't what to do or more specially the cues. One thing you must know about me is that I tend to please people (aren't that some people's tendency, too?). I was so nervous that time of service. For a while, I didn't know what was bothering me. Then a little while, I figured that I was I afraid of the fact that I might not please the people around me because of what I'm doing in case I fail to follow the flow or I'm nervous if I look presentable or something. That's when the time God let me check my own motives.

Why do we serve? 
To whom do we serve?

Exactly. It was like God was telling me that time, "Why are feeling nervous? You think you might fail to please or earn the approval of these people? Are you even dedicating this service of yours to me? Don't worry, You don't need to earn my approval or even my love. I already love you. You did nothing to earn that, nor you can't do anything to lose that..."

I would have cried that very time if only I was in a smaller crowd or in a secret place (I don't want people to see my crying; another thing to know about me). God's reality-check on me was really touching, but at the same time I felt guilty. But still, the lesson/revelation was worth it.

"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."             ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NLT)

"And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to the God the Father."  Colossians 3:17 (NLT)


Saturday, March 16, 2013

We'll Always Have Summer book review

** Okay, I have to admit that this is more of a fangirl post than an actual book review. Don't expect much, given the fact that I'm fangirling so much about this book, or this trilogy for that matter. ASDFKRJTOAFDKKLSJ ;)*

Note: Bare with this entry as there are quite a lot strikethroughed words/sentences.

Dang. Sure there are a couple of books that made me teary eyed, but this book, We’ll Always Have Summer, was the first fiction book ever that made me cry really hard. Even after finishing the book, I kept on crying even though *spoiler alert* it was a good ending after all. Bookworms know the feeling of struggling to move on with your life or even to decide what book they’re gonna read next after having a hangover with the last book they've read. That’s exactly what I felt.

Moving on to the third book of Summer trilogy was quite hard for me because I was shocked with how the ending of the second book went. I was excited at the same time to read We’ll Always Have Summer to find out how things will finally turn out.


While reading the first two books, I bet on Jeremiah. I ship Jerelly, really hard. I told my friend, Belly’s gonna end up with Jeremiah in the end. I like Jeremiah’s personality and attitude in the first two books. The way he is always there for Belly, like he has this ESP connection with Belly that Conrad doesn't have. That’s what I love with Jeremiah. He can be the best friend Belly wants. I don’t want Conrad for some reasons. He is ignorant, rebellious, and heartless... or at least in the first two books. If he has this feeling for Belly, then why didn't he just be brave enough to face Belly and tell her that he love her? After all, it’s always been Belly who approaches him, making efforts to be near him just as she always desired.

But on the third book, everything turned out the way I didn't expect them to. Nice twist. In We'll Always Have Summer, we get to know Conrad's thoughts this time, which makes it really, really interesting. It was his turn to express his point of view. The readers get to know the reasons behind his shitty attitude and actions in the first two books. Meanwhile, this cute, golden boy Jeremiah turned out to be a frat-boy type who got wasted and corrupted. I hate it. I like Jeremiah a lot. Just as I started to dislike Jeremiah, I begin to like Conrad in the third book. He's mature, strong (emotionally, because he got to control his feelings for Belly and let Jeremiah have her considering the promise Conrad made in Susannah's gravestone), and smart (like he has always been).

I liked the way Jenny Han planned to write this whole thing. Conrad speaking his point in the third book made the story more emotional and strong. I had this picture of Conrad as a strong person, who is ignorant, rebellious and heartless, but since he shows how hurt and weak he can be inside, that made my whole picture of him turn around. In fact, I started to admire him. This book turned my picture of Conrad in the first two books the other way around. He has this initiation as the elder brother. He is mature and smart, too. That’s what I want in boys, by the way. I always had this thing for smart and responsible guys. I had been praying to God about my dream guy – Christian (of course), and engineer (or architect) or a doctor. Lol. Anyway, as of my picture of Jeremiah in the third book, it turned the other way around, too. He went like corrupted and wasted in the third book with all those parties and his fraternity. He looked like not too mature to marry Belly. Both of them were not even old to marry each other yet, by the way.

*SPOILER ALERT: CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK*

I was shocked in the first part of the story wherein Belly knew Jeremiah cheated on her. That was very unlike Jeremiah, I thought. But he had grown so much since the second book I guess. I have that titillating moments every time Conrad expresses his love for Belly in simple ways when Jeremiah is not in around. I love the way Conrad controlled himself in showing Belly his love or even kissing her, knowing that his brother will marry the one and only girl he loves.

I also love the idea that Laurel (Belly’s mother) didn't permit the sudden marriage of Belly and Jeremiah, considering the fact that they’re still very young. She didn't want this thing for Belly because she knows it isn't the best for her. But, she ended up with still supporting her daughter and showcasing a soft heart just like all mothers always have.

One song that came into my mind when Conrad finally came up to face Belly with his feelings after the bachelor’s night (which was the best among the best parts!) was Taken by One Direction. It perfectly fits the scene.

*END OF SPOILER*

What I like about the trilogy is that the emotions are well narrated and expressed, and it has always a thrill. The three books has their own way in making the reader feel nervous, titillated, thrilled, in love, or even feel their stomach tied up in knots.

I started to cry from page 233 ‘til the very last page of the book. Even after closing the book, I’m still crying, I know I sound crazy or whatever, but just give the book (better yet, the whole trilogy!) a try. Read it.

After all, I am contented and love the way the story ended. Everything came into place.


Rating: 
Recommendation: Girls (since this is mostly a girl's POV book)14 years old and up


PS. You can take up We'll Always Have Summer quiz to know if you're for Conrad or Jeremiah!

PPS. Read my Summer trilogy related blogs, too! :)

xxx

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Summer Trilogy

This week is a week full of practices for our graduation. Believe it or not, the thought of me graduating hasn't sunk in my mind yet. It feels like everything's not real, every thing has been happening so fast. Anyway, since it is REALLY boring in our graduation practices, wherein we just sing all day, I have found out a way to delight my mood, and it has always been and will forever be through reading.



I bought the book one of Summer trilogy in a bookstore last Saturday as I mentioned in my previous post. It is my first time to finish a book in one day! I myself can't believe it. I had read the book one, The Summer I Turned Pretty (TSITP), in just 10 hours. Thankfully, my friend, Marcelyne, has read the trilogy and owns a copy of each book so she lend me  It's Not Summer Without You (INSWY) and We'll Always Have Summer. The day after I read TSITP, I immediately read the second book, INSWY. Guess what? I read the second book in one day too. I read the third book in one day too. 

The story really kept me going. Jenny Han is a good writer, or at least in this trilogy. What I love in this trilogy are:

  1. It has not so many x-rated scenes. I mean, there are no sex scenes, though there are quite many kissing scenes. But not too detailed which I really like.
  2. I noticed that Jenny Han avoids too many curse words, which I really appreciate.
  3. Lastly, the story teaches values or somehow makes the reader realize things about love, family, and friendship. 

As I was so obsessed with the trilogy, particularly with the three main characters, I had thought of suitable songs for each of them and each of the tandem (Belly + Jeremiah, and Belly + Conrad). Basically, I'll have to do a book review for each book, next to this post.

Belly: 


Conrad: 

Jeremiah:

Belly + Conrad:

Belly + Jeremiah:

Belly + Cam:

Reading the book made me pray to God, asking Him how's my love story going. I know He is the best planer, writer, Father, or whatever -er, but you know, teenagers still long for this affection and love from "someone special." God reminded of Song of Songs 2:7 (NLT). 

7  Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.
Even though how far my imagination leads me when it comes in dreaming of my love story - my prince charming, God still knows things beyond what I can imagine or think of. He knows what's best and the things I like. I just know I have to wait for the right time - the perfect time of God.



PS. You may read my Summer trilogy book reviews, too! :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

God as the Ultimate Provider

5:47 AM Posted by ask me No comments

After a stressful week, it is just for us to go shoppingggg. Haha. It feels good to shop when you know you have lots of money. We were planning to go to Quiapo first to buy eyeglasses we had eyeing since last year, then go to the mall, but unfortunately the route going to Quiapo goes in a heavy traffic, and we don’t want ourselves wasting our time being stuck in heavy traffic that’s why we decided to go to the mall instead. My sister and I went to a mall near our house to buy some stuff. Both of us have been longing to go to the mall, but since we were very busy these past few weeks, we just have the time now.

Just a brief background of what happened this full-of-exam week...

On Monday and Tuesday, we had our exam in English, Economics, Physics, and Filipino. I took the exam in Physics with only 30-minute rest. It was really stressful. I have to study really hard in this subject because i keep on getting not so good grade. By God's grace, i was able to answer the exam. :)

On Wednesday, we had our goverment exam, National Achievement Test. When I finished my Math test earlier before the time allotted is finished, I got to draw in my scratch paper. It really is boring and I don’t want myself wasting my time staring at the ceiling or looking around the four corners of the classroom, so I came up with this. (photo to be uploaded)

On Thursday, our English and Physics exam papers were brought back to us. Forget about the Physics exam. Haha. But guess what? I got the highest score in our English exam in our class. I really did not expect it. When our teacher randomly announced the result in our class, I was like "are you serious?" Well, it turned out she was really serious. Haha. Everything is by God and for God. I could have not done it without His grace. :) This day was also the last regular class we have as a high school student, but it's not that really memorable since we are really busy with our own requirements, except in our english class. In fact, i would not know that it'll be our last regular class until our teacher mentioned it. She made us say what in her class will we not forget or is memorable. I told he, the exam-like quizzes and her clothes (fyi, she's a fashionista. she never repeats terno) Anyway, this was also the last day in my high school life when i have to stay up late til midnight to accomplish all of my requirements because the next day, friday, would be the deadliest of all deadlines. Lol. By God's grace, I was able to make it with only a 2-hour sleep.

On Friday, it was kinda boring in school since we were only oriented about our graduation practices schedule. I was really tired because i only had a 2-hour sleep since i was cramming for the last submission of all requirements.

Today, Saturday, as I said earlier, was a time-out day for my sister and I. First, we went to Booksale as we are dreading to have new books, though there are piles of books in our home that we still haven’t read yet. That’s one bad habit I have. Anyway, I came across with a January 2012 Total Girl magazine issue, The Summer I Turned Pretty, and The Forbidden Room. When my sister saw me holding the The Summer I Turned Pretty, she gasped and told me that the book is really nice according to her classmates. They got addicted to it, she said. I was already convinced to buy that book when I read the plot at the back of the book, even before she told me the testimony of her classmates. One more, The Summer I Turned Pretty costs almost half of its price in National Bookstore, that’s why.



While I was looking for books, I saw a copy of Fireproof, which I already have, the one I bought online, with damage and more expensive. My heart was really broken, at the same time mad at myself for seeing a copy of Fireproof as good as new and cheaper, and buying a book online knowing that it has damages. I realized something...

If we don’t wait for God’s perfect plan and time for us, we will end up with the far much cheaper and damaged plans we have for ourselves. Patience and reservation. That’s what this experience taught me.

After Booksale, we went to Jewels, a cheap but very nice clothes shop. My sister and I ended up buying a one-fifty-peso short. It is really nice. I had the royal blue and she had the tangerine one.

After Jewels, we went to the department store to buy a shirt that will pair up with our new shorts. Gladly, we found a cheap one the costs one-hundred fifty pesos (150php) only. We roam around more to check out some shoes we long to buy months before, but sadly we have no size anymore. My sister and I suddenly passed by the Converse shop. My sister said, “Tara, tingin tayo.”
“Wag na, mahal jan,” I said, stopping her.
“Bakit, bawal ba mag lay hands?” my sister said, and I burst into laughter.
I was just reminded that God is my (our) Father. We can ask anything of Him, since He owns everything in this world and He is a great and ultimate Provider.

"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13 NIV)

Lastly, we went to Payless shop, a much-cheaper-than-the-original-price shoe shop. We had been planning to buy a pair of shoes as for our graduation gift for my dad. We saw a couple of good pairs, but we embarrassingly don’t know the shoe size of our own father so we ended up not buying. Haha. We just took note of the shoes.

We went home after that, and I let her watch one of my favourite movies, Prom. When I watched the movie alone, I know that it already has a very predictable plot (of course it’s a Disney movie. Haha), bad-boy-ends-up-with-good-girl type of movie. What I want in this movie is just a flashback of my own prom. Though I know that Jesse (Thomas McDonell) will still be with Nova (I don’t know her real name) in the end, I didn’t know the twist in the latter part of the movie. One more thing, that guy Jesse is really handsome and cute in some ways. Haha. My sister and I got addicted to the OST of the movie, We Could Be Anything by Nolan Sotillo. It is really nice. J

After a very long day, we rest. J

xxx