Facing your own battle

Have you encountered to be trapped in your own battle? When I say “battle”, I am referring to the struggles we encounter on our day to day living. Each person has its own struggles or challenges, no one is exempted to this rule. In light of our divine grace, there are (3) types of struggles that a person encounters in life: (1) Human works, (2) Inner struggle, and (3) Outer Struggle. (Source: christianblog.com).

In life, we deal with different kinds of people. Sometimes, whenever we encounter a challenge from work, family or in a community, we tend to focus on ourselves first. Why? Because our mind is very vulnerable to be tempted by the works of the enemy. As humans, we make mistakes, we have our own shortcomings and I admit that I myself am not perfect. Who else does? Only God alone is perfect.

Our thoughts are very powerful…. Are you aware of that? Whenever we torture ourselves of what we unintentionally did to a person, that is the work of the enemy. If we try to remain selfless, they cannot touch us. We must only focus on the love of God. If you have experienced to be criticized, they are just focused on what you did wrong. When that happens, we just need to contemplate and ask for strength.

Photo credit: King James Bible Online
Photo credit: King James Bible Online

We must always put God first above everything else. When we place him above everything, love comes out naturally. Why is that? Because God is love. Love is giving, Love does not keep a record of wrong doings and Love does not focus on personal gain. Whenever we are in pain, just hold on to Him and He will protect you. He will never leave our side. When we get distracted we have to firmly hold our faith unto Him.

Whenever we get criticized, all we have to do is pray for them. When we feel that we have done something unintentional that have hurt others, we must have the courage to make peace with that person. That is the work of love. Our God doesn’t play favorites. He has given us gifts to do exactly the work he called us to do.

It is hard to give love to others if we are in pain. We have to seek the love of God in order to give love back to others. Making ourselves right and others wrong is not the works of our creator. Whenever we have an unclean heart we just have to surrender it to Him because he loves us despite of our wrong doings.

My dear friends, allow me to take part of the struggles that we encounter each day. As we travel along, let us hold one another whenever we face a challenge. We can work hand in hand to bring forth light to others who are in darkness and let us walk with them towards the end of the tunnel.

Dear God, thank you for loving us unconditionally despite of our wrong doings.  Forgive us if we have hurt our brothers and sisters.  I pray for the people who are persecuting us, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.  Allow your divine light to shine upon those who are in their darkest moments.  Forgive their sins and help them to rise up and fulfill the desire to proclaim the good news.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you forever and ever.  Amen.  

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Let’s talk about Gwyneth Dorado

Who is Gwyneth Dorado? If you have read my previous blog entitled “Asia’s Got Talent Auditions” she is the girl that I was talking about who advanced to the next level.

As I recall few months back, I suddenly remembered my journey when I auditioned for AGT (Asia’s Got Talent). I kept on wondering what happened with the results of her audition because I never got the chance to get their contact numbers. Until Suddenly, I came across youtube and saw a trending video:

I was so happy to find out that she was able to make it to Singapore! All I can remember is the Adorable kid with cute dimples and finally I found out her real name and that is Gwyneth Dorado. I like the comment that David Foster said after her performance:

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Gwyn, being a star is not just about having a good voice and you got that covered and I can’t imagine how good you’re gonna sound when you’re 13, 14 or 15. You came out here… You were confident you have direction and you play the guitar well. You knew what exactly you’re going to do and you know your place in this business and I think this business has a place for you for sure.” 

I immediately searched her name on facebook and was able to land to her official fan page. I sent her a private message last April 5 of this year. I gave my regards to her parents and wished her luck that I hope she can make it to the semi finals.

Watch her performance from semi finals to the grand finale of the competition:

Semi finals:

Grand finals:

I was so delighted that I was able to get in touch with her mom, Jheng Dorado. She is a very warm and humble person. It felt great to hear from them despite of not being able to get any contact. God made a way for us to meet once more.

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Myself together with Gwyn and her parents

After the competition, I took the time to tone down the excitement because for sure Gwyn will be busy with enormous commitments. September came and I got the chance to bring back my communication with Gywn’s mom. I asked her if I can meet them soon to patch things up with their family. Luckily, our meet up finally pushed through even if it’s unexpected.  We met at Sunrise Buckets at The Grove by Rockwell, Pasig City. I arrived at our meeting place 2 hours early before the agreed time of my appointment with them. I wanted to avoid the horrible traffic around the area and I wanted to make the most out of my time with Gwyn’s family.

When I received a text message from Gwyn’s mom that they are already around the premises, my heart skipped a bit because of excitement. Then finally, I saw them together with Gwyn. I was so happy to see them after almost a year from the audition. Gwyn has grown so much and she is still the same cute little girl with adorable dimples. I told myself… “Wow, may star quality na itong batang ito!” (Wow! This kid has a star quality now!). Ok, ok… I admit… I am a big fan of hers now.

We had our dinner and was able to reminisce of what had happened a year ago. I asked them what happened after the audition.  They told me that Gwyn passed the first screening and were told to wait for a call from one of the AGT staff for details of what to do next.  January of 2015 came and they have received a call from the staff of AGT that Gwyn needs to undergo an audition to Malaysia. The show provided everything, from the plane ticket down to the board and lodging plus pocket money. Luckily, Gwyn was able to pass the screening and was qualified to fly to Singapore and the rest was history.

It was such an honor that I was able to have my photo taken again with this aspiring young artist:

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Me and Gwyneth
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Wacky pose with Gwyneth

Thank you Gwyn for this lovely message for me.  It was a pleasure talking to you too sweetheart 🙂

I promised Gwyn’s family that I will write a blog entry about our meet up.  Unfortunately, it took me a long time to compose my entry for her.  Maybe I was looking for more stories about this young lady.  One day, I came across Gwyn’s facebook fan page and saw this poster on her timeline:

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After seeing this poster, I immediately messaged Ms. Jheng (Gywn’s mom) how I can be able to watch the concert.  Then from that moment, I was able to get 2 tickets for me and mom.  It is my opportunity to take mom out for a little quality time with her.

We were able to arrive early in time for the concert.  Mom and I had coffee together while waiting.  It felt great when I saw again Gwyn’s Dad (Mr. Rey Dorado) and he was so accommodating.  He introduced me to the manager of Gwyneth, her name is Ms. Mavic Lao.  Ms. Mavs was the Talent Manager / Handler of Mavs Talents.  She was the person who organized the first concert for Gwyn.

When the show was about to start, I had this feeling of a fan who is so excited to see her idol.  Yes it is true, I could really feel that I am now a very big fan of this young lady.

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Gwyneth singing Jessie J’s “Nobody’s Perfect”

Ready Set Show is a mini play of Ms. Mavic Lao’s talents and also a concert show for Gwyneth Dorado.  The mini play entitled “Away bata” (Children’s fight) is all about honesty.  It was excellently performed by the talents of Ms. Mavic.  I give my salute to all the casts and crews behind this event as you have done a very good job in delivering good values to the youth of today.

The moment that Gwyn went out of the stage with her guitar, I was a little bit teary eyed of how she blossomed from the auditions to where she is now.  I remember the exact words I told her parents while we were lining up during the auditions, “Sasamantalahin ko na magpapicture sa anak ninyo bago pa siya sumikat.”  (I will take advantage to have my picture taken with your daughter before she becomes famous).  To my surprise, I didn’t expect that she will make it this big.  I guess God heard my prayers for this talented young lady.

After the show, I hurriedly approached the father of Gwyn if it is alright to have my picture taken with her daughter together with my mom.  Watching her concert is such a delightful experience and at the same time it pave way for me to have a mother and daughter quality time.

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Mom, myself and Gwyneth

Gwyn, I am so honored to personally meet you and your family.  Continue to be an inspiration to the young people of your generation.  Your talent can reach beyond horizon and with the grace of God, you will be able to make your dreams come true.  Always remember that you have plenty of supporters behind you and that includes me 🙂

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Sometimes, God has plenty of surprises.  We meet people along the way, it is either they will stay or will just leave a footprint in our hearts.  I am so happy that I have met people like Gwyn and her parents.  God indeed is so unpredictable to what lies ahead in our lives.  As we continue to travel in this exciting trip called “Life”, I am looking forward to meeting more people like Gwyneth.  Til we meet again my dear friend.

If you want to know more about Gwyneth you may click this link Asia’s Got Talent Grand Finalist – Gwyneth Dorado

 

An Open Letter to a Brave Soldier

Dearest Daddy,

How are you? I guess you are rocking the angels up there huh?! I am sure you are having a blast together with your friends. I am writing to kindly send my regards to our Lord Jesus Christ. Whisper to him to send his angels to guide and protect us while we are here in this earth. We do not have the power to be in control of what is happening around us. Only Him alone can give us his shield of protection.

By the way, Dad….I miss you , I miss you terribly…. It has been almost 5 years since you bid goodbye to all of us.

Thank you for believing in me….. Even if I myself didn’t believe in my own strengths and capabilities.

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Thank you for being a good father and provider. Thank you for your endless sharing how you struggled as a bread winner of your family during your younger years. That story will forever remain in my heart as you always share it to us every time we have a meal every Sunday. I will never forget your exact words and reactions everytime you narrate your story….. I even memorized and imitate your voice and would portray it in front of mom whenever she misses you.

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Dad, thank you for entrusting your precious car to me. This automobile is my memorabilia of you. Every time I drive this vehicle, I can feel your presence and how I wish I can play your old cassette tapes here but sadly your stereo system broke down a few years ago.

I became a fan of your favorite artists like Perry Como and Frank Sinatra…. That is how I idolize you dad…. Your favorites are now my favorites. My friends find me weird whenever I play your CDs while driving on a winding road. They were like…. “Mackie are you ok? You need a help? We are just here for you….” I will just smile and tell them, “Don’t worry I am just missing my dad.”

I remember the times when we used to go to movies together. You loved watching suspense, action movies and military fiction. I would love to go with you even if I don’t understand what we are watching and that I would end up sleeping my head off your shoulder the entire movie hahahahaha.

I also remember the times that I would love to sleep on top of you when I was a kid. I love to sleep on your tummy because the growling of your stomach sounds like a lullaby to me.

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As your youngest daughter, you made me feel that I am your favorite but at the same time my sisters never became envy about it because your love is equally divided.

I know that there are times that you are being to hard on us by always checking where exactly we are located. You feel like you need to purchase all instruments what the NBI is using to easily locate where we are in just a snap. Having a dead battery on our cellphone is not an excuse because you almost bought all the alternative gadgets at the store in case we forget to charge our devices.

Whenever we go out of town trips, mom feels secured because she knows that you are in charge with everything. She feels that even if we might encounter an unexpected incident she feels that she is in good hands with your care.

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I will never forget when you took me out to a restaurant when I was in college. One waiter asked if I was your girlfriend… You know what was my reaction at the back of my mind? I said to myself, “ewwwwwwww that was gross!!” But then I find it sweet afterwards because you never fail to show your affection to us by hugging and kissing us on our cheeks in public places.

12064130_10206469120345196_96361333_nWhen I graduated from college. I felt bad and good at the same time. You were such a kill joy when me and my friends are rejoicing because all the sleepless nights of studying before graduation finally paid off. And there you are telling us…. “Huwag muna kayo magpakasaya dahil dito pa lang nagsisimula ang hirap ng buhay.” (It is not yet time to rejoice because this is only the beginning of the hardship of life). As I look back, I realized that you were absolutely right. That is why graduation programs are called “Commencement exercise” because commencement came from the word commence meaning “begin”.

Thank you for allowing me to be courted by a few men. I can’t forget the time when I encountered my first heartache. Thank you for being there for me. You even bought me a ticket to US to visit mom and relatives to help ease the bruises of my fragile heart. Thank you for letting me experience to travel alone…. The experience was great and I will be forever grateful for that.

The moment that I’ve been afraid off is to see you get sick. Back then it was a privilege of me to accompany you at the hospital while mom was away. Mom’s care for you is different from my style. When your Doctor told me that you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer stage 4, I directly asked what can be the solution. He said that the best way is to have a Pain management declared that you only have 6 months to live. At that moment, I thanked God that he equipped me with enough strength to face the fact that my Dad is going to die soon… I immediately told mom your condition as I cannot contain this all by myself. I found a perfect song that suits your condition at that time:

Time came that you need to bid goodbye. When you held your last breath, there was no tear came out from my eye. I don’t know dad, maybe I felt happy and sad at the same time…. It was a mixed emotions…. I have to be in control of the situation and proceed to what I will do next. Crying is not an option to me as of the moment.

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I felt proud as your daughter as these soldiers gave you a 21 gun salute in honor of your service to our country. Mom felt honored as the military officers handed the -Philippine flag representing all your hardships for 45 years in the military service.

Dad, to end my letter, I want to tell you that you are the best Dad in the world! You have your own shortcomings and I have embraced and accepted it. You are human, you say what you want to say and never cared to what other people would think. You never said anything negative behind other people’s back and that is what your friends loved about you.

I also dedicate this song for you and mom. You guys will forever be my source of inspiration until my journey ends. Your love story with her is incomparable…. Your love for her is undeniably true despite of your shortcomings.

Until we meet again. I love you so much Dad.

From your youngest daughter,

Mackie