Second Chances

September is almost at the end and I just had my 18th birthday of my 2nd life last September 25. My mind is buzzing with so many thoughts. It’s similar to a superhighway and they give me a nostalgic feeling. All I can think about right now is how grateful I am to be alive despite of the pandemic and all the negativity that is happening. It’s a marvel that I’m still breathing right now.

My friends are perplexed as to why I celebrated another birthday. For me, September 25, 2003, the day my life turned 180 degrees, is a day worth celebrating. I felt it was the end of the road for me when I entered the surgery room; but God gave me another chance at life. What happened that day is still vivid in my mind. That day, I observed God’s healing power, and I learned that nothing is impossible when you have faith.

I turned 40 last month, and I am so thankful to be surrounded by my family. What more can I ask for? I understand now why I am still alive. I have to experience life’s challenges and trials. I have to make a lot of mistakes and learn from them and my mission is to spread positivity and be contagious to God’s goodness.

I started serving Him when I was 17 years old. I assumed it would be simple now that I’m an adult. That’s why I chose to return to serving the church as a means of giving all the glory back to Him. I encountered a lot of judgements along the way, I wanted to give up but that didn’t stop me from serving Him. I committed a lot of mistakes but God assured me that those mistakes don’t define who I am. He allowed me to stumble many times to teach me how to get up and continue my journey as His servant. I still have a long way to go till I reach my final destination. I do not know what lies ahead with my life but I am confident that God will always be by my side.

Let us not be afraid to make mistakes. We must always have the courage to get up and start over. Life’s lessons are priceless. It’s painful at first, but it’s totally well worth it in the end. Bittersweet? Yes, absolutely! Life is better when we learn to embrace our flaws because none of us are perfect. When you are anguish, remember that this, too, shall pass.

Edited by: Jennifer Nuya

A Patient’s Story

It all started with a splitting headache.  I can’t explain how painful it is but it’s like my head is being sliced by a knife.  Every time I hit the sack, there is this fear that I will be awakened in the middle of the night with excruciating headache.  I consulted my eye doctor to check if there is anything wrong with my vision, but apparently my doctor prescribed me with eye glasses for astigmatism.  Then again, the headache didn’t disappear. 

Inhaling scented oils like “White Flower” for headache became my natural routine on my way to work.  I used to curl up at the passenger’s seat of dad’s car every time he would drive me to my workplace.  Then my dad would always ask, “Mackie, napapadalas na yang sakit ng ulo mo ah!” (Mackie, it seems that lately you’re having frequent headaches).  Then I would just say, “Tuwing umaga lang ito dad pero mawawala din maya maya” (I only experience this during in the morning but this will be gone later).

At the office, before I start my work, I would go to a dark place and just curl up in unbearable pain while inhaling “White Flower” then after 15 mins. I’ll be ok.  My officemates were starting to get curious of what is happening to me because that routine became frequent and they are starting to get worried.  I would tell them, “This is nothing, I will just take pain tablets and it will be gone.”  I endured the agony for 2 weeks!

Then one day, I was at work, I did my usual routine of inhaling scented oils, and took all kinds of pain killers….. I’m starting to get worried because the pain is getting more intense.  Then I can’t take it anymore and started vomiting.  My supervisor advised me to go home to have myself checked. 

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH

I went to a clinic in our neighborhood to see a neurologist, and they referred me to Dr. Celeste Peña.  Dr. Peña prescribed me with high dosages of pain killers and a CT scan procedure if the pain killers will not work. 

Well…. the pain elevates even more so I went to the hospital for a CT scan the next day.  I presented the results to my doctor.  As she examined my CT scan plates, her eyebrows wrinkled a bit which made me nervous that lead me to ask her, “Is everything ok doc?” then she said, “We have a problem here, there is a big mass that is located in the middle part of your brain and it seems like a size of a golf ball.”  I was shocked.  A tear fell effortlessly down from my cheeks as I heard her say it.  First thing that came to my mind… “Am I going to die God?”  I sat down …. Speechless …. At that time, I was with my boyfriend (now my ex), let us name him Rome.  So, Rome was the one who talked to my doctor.  She said to him, “She must be confined in the hospital as soon as possible, I will talk to my colleague who is a neurosurgeon and he will take care of Mackie’s case.”

We rushed home to get some clothes and self-care needs.  As we arrived home, I told mom about my case, my mom was shocked and called my dad to tell the sad news.  Then she hurriedly went to my room to get all my clothes and toiletries.  Rome was the one who drove us to the hospital.

When I went to the emergency room, my mind was floating, I was given a dextrose and was placed in a private room to wait for the instruction of my doctor.  As we waited, my dad arrived at the room.  It was the very first time I saw him knocked down in tears when he saw me in pain.  I am not used to see him like that because I’ve known him as a very strong person.  Then he asked Rome “What did the doctor say and why did this all happen?!”  With all due respect to Rome, I admire him for being so skilled in remembering details, he is like a recorder, he was able to relay all information about my case to my father. 

MEETING THE DOCTOR

I was introduced to Dr. Isagani Cirilo, a neurosurgeon at PMC (Parañaque Medical Center).  The first time I saw him, his face was so serious.  Honestly, I didn’t like him at first.  He said that my case is very rare and If I can recall it right, I heard that there is a possibility that the procedure / surgery will be done abroad.  My dad was devastated.  He cried and I overheard him say, “GOD, Why Mackie????  She is so full of life!”.  I also saw my mom in tears and was there beside dad.  Dad got worried where he will get the funds for my surgery as the surgery alone will cost half a million pesos.  Medicines and other miscellaneous fees are not yet included.  I overheard him say, “I think I have to sell all my properties for my daughter to survive.”

As a patient, I felt hopeless.  I said to myself, “God I lift up my life to you….. my life is in your hands,” then I cried afterwards. 

THERE WAS HOPE

Morning came, my doctor did some rounds and dropped by to see me and also to inform the procedures of what they will do to my case.  Dr. Cirilo gave a list of tests that they will perform prior to the surgery.  He said that I have to undergo a general examination.  They have to make sure that all my organs are in good condition as they perform the procedure.  First, I will undergo Cranial CT Scan and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).  For the MRI, I need to be transported to a hospital nearby via ambulance because they have a machine for it.  I was brought there and they performed an MRI scan to see a clearer version of the mass.  

When I saw the hospital (Asian Hospital and Medical Center, Muntinlupa City), I was amazed by the ambiance of it.  It’s like I’m in a hotel 😊.  Someone advised us to transfer my custody in this hospital since they have all the modern equipments.

When the MRI results came, Dr. Cirilo still can’t find out what to do with my case.  Then he decided to perform the last procedure, it is the most challenging test for me and that is Angiogram.   

After all procedures and several tests, Dr. Cirilo has the result of my Angiogram and informed my parents the good news.  He told them that he is confident to do the surgery here in the Philippines.  My dad was relieved!

Someone advised us to seek for a second opinion.  My dad, Rome together with his father went to 3 different neurosurgeons and they all advised the same, to perform a surgery.

THE PREPARATION

In performing a surgery, a patient must be prepared Physically, Mentally and Spiritually.  As I clearly recall, I was only 22 years old.  Yes, I was in pain but I never doubted that I can recover.  Whenever friends, co workers or a relative would visit me, they would tell me, “Parang wala naman atang tumor jan sa ulo mo!  Tawa ka kasi ng tawa na parang walang nangyayari sayo!” (It seems that you don’t have a tumor on your head!   You are laughing so hard as if there’s nothing serious with you.) Well, I guess that’s me, I am a free spirited woman 😊.

I am overwhelmed with the love and support of my friends from my youth ministry at Presentation of the Child Jesus Parish (PCJ Parish).  I’ve seen different kinds of expressions from all of them the moment they found out about my condition.  There were a lot of people who donated money for my surgery.  God truly provides!

Some referred me to prayer warrior groups wherein they gather together to pray over for me every day.  The feeling of being loved by your close friends most especially from my family is a big contribution in building up my Mental state.  Also, having a deep relationship with God has strengthen my faith.

My family gathered together the night before the day of my surgery.  I was in awe as I saw my Dad for the very first time to lead the prayer.  I remember he made a deal with God, “O God, take me instead of my daughter…. please, spare her life.” I cried as I saw him knelt down in tears…. he was helpless. I can feel that the Holy Spirit was around us during that moment.

THE DAY FINALLY CAME

It was 6:00am of September 25, 2003.  I prayed while waiting for the nurses to pick me up by 7:00am.  What amazes me is that fear never crossed my mind.  In fact, I am excited because I am confident that Jesus will be there for me as they perform the surgery.

Exactly 7:00am, the nurses arrived and brought me to the preparation room and waited for a couple of minutes.  As I clearly remember, I was so calm and told my family, “Don’t worry after the surgery I will be ok.”

Time came that they need to bring me inside the operating room.  I waved goodbye to my family and said, “See you later!” as the nurses pushed me out of the preparatory room.  Inside the operating room, the machines were all brand new.  I was injected for general anesthesia and was told to count 1 to 10.  As I close my eyes, I saw a different world…..

TRAVEL WITH JESUS

I was in deep sleep as they perform the surgery.  I had this dream of Jesus holding my hand.  We were walking in a wide dessert.  It came to a point I said to him, “I am getting tired, my feet are aching.”  Jesus gave me a big hug and carried me.  Scenes in my dream were like pictures. 

AS I OPEN MY EYES

The surgery lasted for 12 hours. The moment I open my eyes, I remember I was singing Christian songs.  This really proves that the power of prayer moves in mysterious ways.  Mom told me that there were a lot of people praying for me during the procedure. Nurses inside of the ICU became my friends as they love my positive energy as a patient recovering from a Major Surgery. I underwent through so much pain but it didn’t stop me from believing that I will become well.

AFTER SURGERY

Dr. Cirilo declared that my tumor is benign.  We were all relieved!  I just need to undergo a 30-day radiation treatment to completely remove the mass from my head.

I underwent through so much after my surgery.  There is this battle inside of me. I became depressed for a period of time because I don’t have an idea if everything will be back to normal.  There were a lot of precautions and prescription of medicines given to me.  I have to resign from my present work to give way for my recovery.  The rest was history…

MY REALIZATION

This moment was a big turning point in my life.  I look at life now on a different perspective.  At a very young age, I started serving God as a way of giving back all the glory.  I am grateful that I was able to experience pressures and pains of being an adult.  I am thankful that He has extended my time to experience how beautiful life is. 

I was able to conquer mountains that I thought I can never overcome due to my condition.  As I turn 40 y/o and 18 y/o for my second life, it is great to recall all these memories that has strengthen my faith as a Christian. 

This experience is the main reason why I created this blog site.  It took me years before I got the courage to write everything. 

As I continue my journey, I am not afraid to face whatever challenges that life may give me. Jesus will always be on my side no matter how hard life can be. I still have a mission here on earth and I will not waste it on regrets nor hatred.  I want to use my voice to speak and be an inspiration to those who are sick or has lost hope to live.  I always tell them, “If I was able to fight just to live, you can too.  God’s love can heal us.  We just have to surrender our life to Him.”

Breakthrough (Movie Review)

I’m going to share with you my reaction to this movie that I just watched last weekend.  It was just an ordinary afternoon for me, as I was browsing my phone, I found a trailer on YouTube that caught my attention.  The title of the movie is “Breakthrough”.  It is an inspirational movie that was initially released at St. Louis Hospital (USA) dated March 20, 2019 then officially released on US cinemas dated April 17, 2019 (source: en.wikipedia.org).

The movie is based on a true story about a young boy named John Smith that was adopted by Joyce and Brian Smith.  Main scene of this movie was when John and his friends fell on the ice on a frozen lake.  Among the 3 boys that fell on the lake, only John got trapped underwater.  John continues to fight for his life while her parents believed especially her mom that he will recover.  Their faith remained strong together with their pastor (Jason) and friends who prayed for a miracle.

At the first part of the movie, John (Adopted child of Joyce and Brian Smith) is questioning why his biological mom didn’t want him.  His relationship with his parents is awkward as he faces struggles growing up as a teenager.

drown

The scene where the 3 boys went out to the frozen lake has gotten my attention.  The neighbor warned them to stay out of the lake because it is dangerous.    The boys ignored the man and continued to play around.  Suddenly, my heart jumped when the ice cracked and the boys fell on the water.  The 2 boys managed to go to the surface while John was left unconscious under the water for 15 mins.

rescue

There were 2 rescuers who dived unto the water to do a search for John.  I felt anxious when the rescuers couldn’t find John and almost gave up.  Amazingly, Tommy (rescuer) heard a voice that said, “go back!”  After he heard that voice, he was able to find the body of John and managed to lift him up.

mother

My eyes were all in tears as the mother was holding the boy’s hand as if it were her real child.  In this scene from the movie, I came to realize that anyone can be a mother to a child who needs love.

One scene that has touched my heart when people all together prayed for the boy.  I can feel the pain of his parents while the boy is struggling after the doctors removed the machine attached to John’s body.

One scene left me in wonder when John’s teacher asked, “Why God chooses to save some and not others?”.  I questioned my existence in an instant.

I was dumbfounded by John’s answer.  He said, “I don’t know….. but a great teacher once told me, ‘Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose’”.  Wow that left me speechless!

God is just waiting for us to let go of our fears and doubts.  I always tell this to my readers several times because we have the tendency to forget.  That’s alright, God loves us despite our shortcomings.  I also learned that love is the greatest force in this world.  If your heart is full of hatred, life can be so tough.

Friends, we can all be a miracle in our own little way.  We don’t need to experience a near death situation.  By simply being kind to the people we encounter is a miracle.  Letting go of the grudge we have kept for so long is a miracle.  Anything that transforms us to be like Jesus is a miracle.

My friends, let me pray for you….

Dear God, thank you for the gift of Life.  Thank you for giving us hope each time we wake up.  Thank you for the breath of life.  We are nothing without you.  Use us to fulfill your will.  In Jesus name we pray.  Amen.

Cover photo source: foxmovies.com

The ‘Undo’ Button

Among all the commands in any program, the Undo command is my favorite. Why? Because you have the chance to correct your mistake and pretend it didn’t happen.

Manual Typewriter
Image A

When I recall the times when I was using a typewriter, oh my! All my Term Papers were a mess! My paper is always full of corrector fluids (There is no such thing as a corrector tape back then) and I will end up with a grade of C because of all the erasures hahaha.

Electric Typewriter
Image B

Then the electric typewriter came. I was so amazed when I saw it from my classmate. At that time, it was very expensive, so only a few people can afford it. If you have one, you are one of the cool dudes in class because it means you are rich! For the millennials out there, let me share you the wonders of an electric typewriter.

ribbon
Image B-1

black ribbon
Image A-1

The difference between manual (refer to image A) and electric typewriter (refer to image B) is that in Electric Typewriter it has black and white ribbon in one set (refer to image B-1) while the manual only has 1 color which is black (refer to image A-1) or sometimes you have the choice to get the black and red ribbon in 1 set (refer to image A-2).

red and blk
Image A-2

Too bad I won’t be able to show you our vintage typewriter because we have disposed it ever since the mighty computer and printers were invented.  Luckily, I searched on google some images of this antique machine and I found the exact machine that we’ve had way back in the 80s. (Refer to Image A)

Anyway, what makes this electric typewriter so special? You can be able to correct your mistake! All you have to do is just press the backspace then click the white ribbon switch button then after that, you need to press the letter that you want to erase… then voila! The letter is gone! Amazing right?!  We were so grateful with this machine back in the 80s (Oops now you will know how old I am now hahaha).

There came a lot of versions of this type machine. Maybe I will discuss that on my next coming articles.

If you are curious on how complicated our life was in using this machine you may go to https://m.wikihow.com/Type-on-a-Typewriter.

pcmag
Photo Credit: http://www.pcmag.com

So the computer era came. I can fully recall the time when we had our first computer, Oh man! Our monitor and CPU is so heavy, the weight is unbearable! We need a macho man to carry it for us. Funny isn’t it?!

In this machine we have to memorize a lot of codes. There is a code when opening a specific program. That is the beauty of an old machine, they make things complicated for its users (eh?).

Then as years go by, the computer age has developed. Internet has been a life to all of us no exceptions on that. We can’t live without it. I am very happy that I can write my articles for my website through my mobile phone. I used to bring my laptop everywhere I go back then. Whoever invented a smartphone, I thank God that he created you and you have my respect 🙏

What is my point of all these techie stuff?

Did you notice that I just started with the Undo Button then the rest follows?

Most of the people my age or older than me would say, “We wish to bring back the good old days where everything is so simple.” Or “I wish we have an ‘Undo’ button wherein we can erase all the mistakes and wrong choices that we had and just simply correct it”.

If you will ask me, I am happy with the Life that God has given me. With all the decisions that I made for the past 38 years, I never regretted it. I never blamed God that he diagnosed me with a Brain Tumor. I never regretted that I chose to work in a non-profit organization. I never regretted that I chose to work afterwards as a freelance real estate agent and pursue my passion in writing. I never blamed God that I am not as strong as the others whenever I climb mountains.

 

48721-I-Surrender-All
Photo Credit: http://www.lovethispic.com

My friend, if you feel life has turned its back on you, always remember that God never fails to love you. He knows the desires of your heart, all you must do is surrender your life to him. Why?  Because he created you, he knows every detail of you.

Once we do that, we won’t need to press the ‘Undo’ button ever again.

Dear God, I thank you for the Life you have given me.  Send me with the gift of wisdom and knowledge to understand your plan for my life.  Protect my mind from negative thoughts.  Help me to appreciate life as the day goes by.  Give me the courage to rise up whenever I make a mistake.  Never leave nor forsake me O God.  I am nothing without you.  Amen.

 

 

Having a bad day?

How are you, my friend? Are you in pain right now? Did someone just ruin your mood?  Sometimes, things just don’t turn out as expected.

How do you deal with it?

Screen-Shot-2018-06-19-at-12.46.37-PM
Photo Credit: lollydaskal.com

It can be disappointing when you’ve got a day full of activities and thought out your strategy down to the last detail  — only to encounter roadblocks at every turn.  For example, you’re on your way to your first or second errand when a road accident causes a terrific traffic jam that makes you decide to just make a U-turn and call it a day.  Frustrating, isn’t it?

Let me share a similar scenario….

Just the other day, I was driving inside our village when a fast car came out of nowhere and almost hit me. I wanted to shout and swear at that other driver quite by instinct. But something held me back.  Maybe that was my guardian angel telling me, “Stop and think before you say something nasty.”  After a few deep breaths, I calmed down, continued driving and pretended nothing happened.  And then I reflected, “Will I let that person ruin my good mood?  Is it worth it?”

If a random person shouts at you, “Hello?!  You’re blocking my way!” The easiest thing would be to get back at that person is to shout back, “What did you just say?!  Are you telling me I’m stupid?!” Then you just might go ahead and hit that person until a full-on fight ensues.

Is that really the best thing to do in that situation?

Friends, it is very easy to curse or insult someone when they get on your wrong side.  A friend once taught me a very important lesson regarding this.  He told me that, if placed in the same scenario, I should stop, think and ask:

What would Jesus do?

So, I did that. And you know what happened?  I felt peace.

When we see someone going through a difficult time, we usually say “Everything is going to be ok”, or “This, too, shall pass” or even, “What you are going through is nothing compared to what I’ve been through”.  But anyone who is going through depression or pain is not likely to listen to all that or understand what you just said. I can assure you, though, that Jesus is beside us every step of the way.  Our Lord is shaping us to be a better person whenever we make a mistake.  That’s why we should not be afraid to make a mistake.  If we do, let’s have the courage to rise up when we fall.  Focus on how we can improve ourselves.  Never let your happiness depend on another person.  You are wonderful, beautiful, and you are capable.  Always believe that there is a new beginning when the sun rises.

I want to share with you my favorite verse from the Bible …..

psalms-91-1-2
Photo Credit: dailyverses.net

Let me say a prayer for you my friend….

Dear God, bless the person who is reading this right now.  Remove all the pain in their heart.  Bless them with the gift of wisdom and understanding.  Give them hope for a brighter tomorrow.  Embrace them with your love and protect them from the enemy that blinds them from choosing to do good.  In Jesus’s name.  Amen.

Edited by: Dennis dela Cruz

It’s a piece of cake!

Have you had a feeling when all you need to have is just a piece of cake?

As some of you may know, my favorite cake is cheesecake! Every time I will have a slice of cheesecake, once it lands my mouth, ooh my! I can hear the angels singing hallelujah and I am lost in space. Now I know the reason why it is perfect for people who are stressed because when you spell it backwards it is D-E-S-S-E-R-T-S. And oh my……. I simply love it! Most especially when you pair it with coffee, I can fly and get lost in the wind hahaha.

Did you notice that there is an idiom expression of “It’s just a piece of cake”? It means something that is easy to accomplish. What am I trying to point out here? Everyday, we are preoccupied with our list of things to do within the day. Most of us have too much on their hands that some of it are getting out of hand.

My friends, life should be handled on what we can only accomplish. If we feel that our health is already at stake, we need to stop and simply take a breathe of fresh air. Life is short to focus on too much work. Life is about spending time with our love ones and being a blessing to others. Yes we need to work for a living but let us not forget that there is a life outside of the four corners of the office.

My friends, life should be lived simple. Allow me to say a prayer for you…

“Dear God, thank you for the gift of today.  Thank you for all the blessings we received right at this moment.  Send the Holy Spirit to the person reading my entry now.  Give them a sense of peace in their hearts that everything is in your hands and we have nothing to worry about.  Allow them also to be a blessing to one another.  In Jesus name I pray. Amen.”

Let us all smile as we face our triumphs because Life is a piece of cake!

Awakening Moments

Moments in our lives that we tend to question God why we exist. Sometimes we are surprised with the day to day task that we face each day. In this time and age, most of our moments are spent on electronic gadgets. We invest our time scrolling our facebook timeline, twitter, instagram, etc. This really saddens me because people seem to forget that there is a life out there. Moments of “Now” are being taken for granted because these moments can make a big impact to what the future brings.

I feel so blessed that I was able to experience to play on the streets, bike around the neighborhood, share toys with playmates, and etc. I will never forget the times that we close the entire street to celebrate Christmas and other special events with our neighbors. Endless laughs and stories to share that my neighbors, friends and love ones have had are the most unforgettable moments that no money can buy.

There are also moments that are very painful. I cherish these moments because I know that God is shaping our character through different challenges. Some people are choosing the easy way out instead of going through the hard process. Life is so sweet when we are able to cross the path of darkness towards eternity.  It is a good feeling that we are never the same person as we were yesterday.

We also have the tendency to jump into the future which sacrifices the moments of the present situation.  By doing so, we get frustrated, stressed and worn out which results into failure.  It is alright to plan things out, but let us not forget that by enjoying the journey, the puzzles can build its own pieces towards our goal.  As what the book of Mathew 6:34 says:

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble on its own.”

I have learned that past exists only in our memories. I believe that everyone has the right to change for the better. It is going to be difficult to change if we keep on looking back to our old self. Remember, our past does not define who we are today. It is time to bury all the baggages that is slowing us down towards greatness.

My friend, it is time to forgive yourself. Always remember that God never looks on our faults. He is a loving and forgiving God. It is time to embrace the present moment and live each day with a grateful heart.

Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of the mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Intuitive soul

Do you have the ability to sense if the person who was introduced to you can do good to your life?  This applies when you choose your friends, business partner, and most especially…. a lifetime partner.

If you’ll ask me… I could say YES.  I always turn my intuitive switch mode ON whenever I meet a person.  Some might say… “Aren’t you being judgmental?” Well… you might be correct but this is not about judging others.  This is about a feeling of belongingness.

What you feel is your intuition.  Not all intuitions are accurate.  For example, if you feel uncomfortable to the person you have just met… there is a warning sign that goes up to our brains that says, “Be careful.”  That is a good sign because it can save you for a possible heartache or any kind of trouble.  This feeling is correct most of the time.  You can develop your intuition by applying it to your daily routine.

Not all people has this ability.  As for myself, my intuitive sense developed when I reached my 30s.  I never went wrong after I developed that sense.  What can I advice?  You can start by mastering all your senses.  You have to be sensitive to the movements of the person in front of you.  You may ask questions about the person’s likes and dislikes, family background or what the person does for a living.  This kind of sense can be a big help on your career especially when you are into sales or leading your own company.

You may attend workshops or read books about this topic as I am not an expert on this.  I only speak through my own experience.  You may also go to my cousin’s website (Her name is Kat John) at www.katjohn.com.au.  Remember, this sense takes a lot of time to develop.  Always practice and be patient with yourself.  Once you finally develop yourself, it can be a great asset to your spiritual health.

 

An open letter to a dedicated nurse

Dearest Nurse Angel,

Hello, how are you?  I hope you’d still remember me.  It has been more than a decade since you took care of me when I was recovering from my sickness.  I wanted to send forth my gratitude to your valuable service.  Thank you for being so patient with me when I am being so difficult.  Thank you for not giving up on me when I cried in pain whenever I am having discomforts.  I am so blessed that God sent His steward through you.  Maybe your parents named you “Angel” because you are truly like one.

I cannot forget the very first time I opened my eyes and saw your Angelic face.  I felt a sense of calmness and peace inside of me.  Thank you for giving me hope to fight for my life.  I have almost given up because I feel like I cannot fulfill God’s promise for me to prosper.  I always wished that he should have taken my life if I am just going to be prohibited to do the things that I love.

Nurse Angel, I hope that God will make a way for you to read my message.  I don’t know where you are right now but I remember back then you were dreaming to work abroad for greener pastures.  I believe by this time and age, you are already living the dream that you have desired many years ago.

Lastly, I want to tell you that if you have the chance to read my message.  I hope that we will find a way to meet.  I want to tell you that I am living the life that I want.  I want to acknowledge your service and give credit to all the good things you have shared in my own being.

Continue to be an inspiration to others because that is what God has called us to do.  I will pray for you and your family.  I will be looking forward for our meet up.

God bless you Nurse Angel!

 

Sincerely,

Mackie

 

 

“A Second Chance” Movie insights

Halos ako’y mahulog sa aking kinauupuan habang pinapanood ko ang bagong pelikula nina John Lloyd Cruz at Bea Alonzo. Mula sa mga hugot lines na kanilang binato sa isa’t isa, lubos kong binibigyan ng pugay ang manunulat at gumawa netong pelikulang ito.

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Hindi ninyo ma aappreciate ang pelikulang ito kapag hindi ninyo napanood ang “One more chance”. Mula sa linyang, “You had me at my best, she had me at my worst”, ito ang linya na lubusang tumatak sa bawat puso ng mga Pinoy na nakakarelate sa kwento nina Popoy at Basha.

Nung natuklasan ko na magkakaroon ng ikalawang yugto na pinamamagatan na “A second chance”, hinanap ko agad sa youtube ang kanilang trailer. Mula pa lamang sa trailer, alam na alam ko na papatok ito sa takilya.

Bakit ba sobrang affected ang mga manonood dito sa pelikulang ito? Unang una sa lahat, di hamak na napakagaling ang pagganap nina John Lloyd Cruz at Bea Alonzo sa likod ng mga karakter na si Popoy at Basha. Pangalawa, ipinakita dito ang realidad ng isang kwentong pagibig ng mag asawa. Hindi lang puros kilig at saya ang inilahad kundi ipinakita ang lahat ng poot at sakit sa buhay may asawa na nagbukas sa aking isipan na walang “Forever” kung hindi sisikapin ng dalawang tao na ipaglaban ang kanilang pagmamahalan. Sa panahon ngayon, usong uso ang hiwalayan. Magkaroon lamang ng konting hindi pagkakaunawaan ay hahantong na agad sa decision na hiwalayan. Base sa aking analysis, hindi man ako psychologist pero may kanya kanyang pagpapasya ang tao. Ang decision na mahalin ang isang tao ay mahirap gawin ngunit sa gabay ng Panginoon ay hindi ito impossible. Kaya maganda talaga na ilagay sa sentro ng bawat relasyon ng mag asawa ang ating mahal na Hesukristo upang pagtibayin ito kahit anu mang sakuna ang dumaan.

Ang pag aasawa ay hindi madali. Hindi ko pa man nararanasan ay nakita ko ito sa samahan ng aking magulang. Madaming pagsubok ang kanilang hinarap at hanggang sa huli ay lubos na ipinaglaban nila ang isa’t isa hanggang sa tuluyang yumaong ang aking ama. Sabi ng aking ina, “Sulit ang lahat ng hirap at sakit dahil kayong mga anak ko ang aking pinanghuhugutan ng lakas kaya hindi ako bumibitaw sa samahan namin ng ama ninyo.” Ang masasabi ko lang ay … Wow! Isa kang dakilang ina at asawa.

Ito ang aking top 6 na hugot lines na nagustuhan ko sa pelikulang ito:

“Gusto na kitang iwan ngayon Poy. Gustong gusto ko na. Pero hindi ko gagawin kasi nangako ako na kahit ang hirap hirap mong mahalin, mamahalin kita. Kahit na nasasaktan ako, susubukan ko pa. Kasi nangako ako. I promised to love you even if it hurts and to love you more when it hurts.”

Mula sa linyang ito, dito ko nakita ang tibay ng pagmamahalan ng isang mag asawa. Sabi ng aming pari sa parokya namin sa tuwing nagbibigay siya ng sermon sa mga kinakasal, “Love is not a feeling, it is a decision”. Sa totoo lang, kung ang pag ibig ay ibabase lamang natin mula sa ating mga emosyon, masasabi natin na walang katotohanan na may “Forever” na magaganap. Ngayon ko naintindihan at nalaman na makikita mo kung gaano katagal ang samahan ng isang mag asawa base sa mga kilos at galaw nila. Kapag ang mag asawa ay sobrang sweet sa isa’t isa, bagong kasal o wala pang isang buwan ang kanilang samahan. Kapag sila ay magkatabi lamang at diring diri ang babae kapag mahalikan ng kanilang esposo, ibig sabihin ay ilang dekada na sila magkasama. Kaya sa tuwing ako ay nakakadalo sa isang annibersaryo ng isang mag asawa na ilang dekada ang pinagsamahan, ako ay natutuwa dahil nagkakaroon ako ng pag asa na nag eexist pa talaga ang “True love”.

“Bash wala na ang dating Popoy na pinakasalan mo. This is me at my worst. Kaya mo paba akong mahalin ng ganito?”

Dito ko na realize na hindi dapat maging basehan ang pagmamahal base sa kanilang strengths lamang. Kapag nakapamili na tayo ng taong mamahalin natin panghabang buhay dapat bukas sa ating kalooban na tanggapin sila ng buong buo despite sa kanilang mga kahinaan. Di naman natin malalaman ang buong pagkatao ng isang tao kapag hindi natin siya makasama sa iisang bubong. Dito papasok ang pagpapasya ng isang tao kung willing pang tanggapin at bigyan ng pangalawang pagkakataon sa kabila ng mga pagkakamali na nagawa man ng kanilang kabiyak.

“Kung nahihirapan kang pagkatiwalaan siya, pagkatiwalaan mo muna ang pagmamahal mo sa kanya.”

Ito ang mga linya na binitawan ng kaibigan nina Popoy at Basha na si Krissy (Dimples Romana). Kapag may pinagdadaanang pagsubok, maganda ay lumapit sa isang malapit na kaibigan na magbibigay ng “Words of wisdom” na magpapatibay sa inyong relasyon. Huwag lumapit sa mga taong na magbibigay lamang ng payo na hindi maganda. Huwag din natin idaan sa sugal o anu mang bisyo tulad ng alak at droga. Pansamantalang kaligayahan lamang ang maibibigay nito, hindi mabibigyan ng lunas ang problema. Mas maganda pa ay lumapit sa isang spiritual counselor para hindi magkaroon ng padalos dalos na pagpapasya na sa bandang huli ay pagsisisihan lamang.

“You want me to trust you but you can’t trust me. Because if you do you should’ve trusted me. Hindi mo sana tinago. Poy ‘di mo lang ito buhay, buhay natin ito. Poy asawa mo ako baka nakakalimutan mo.”

Gustong gusto ko itong linyang binitawan ni Basha dahil ang tiwala ay ang numero uno na nakakasira sa isang relasyon. Naiintindihan ko ang mga kalalakihan na hindi lahat ng bagay ay kailangan sabihin sa kanilang asawa ang lahat ng problema kung kaya nila itong solusyunan. Pero kapag ito ay makakaapekto na sa pagsasama bilang mag asawa, walang masama na magusap at mag “open up” kung ano man ang problema na inyong kinakaharap. Tandaan, ang komunikasyon ay isa sa importanteng sangkap upang pagtibayin ang isang relasyon.

“What if I made a different choice and a different life? I want to stop wondering what if and what is.”

Ito ang mga linyang binitawan ni Popoy nung mga panahon na sobrang mababa ang kanyang tingin sa sarili niya. Naku po…. Huwag na huwag natin itanong o ikumpara ang ating mga sarili sa mga dapat na naging decision sa buhay. Ang lahat ng ating mga decision ay may tulong at gabay ng ating Panginoon. Kung saan man tayo naroroon, dahil ito sa mga personal nating pasya. Wag na mag sisihan ba. Mas maganda yung mag look forward kung ano ang pwedeng mangyari kaysa mag hook up tayo sa mga dapat na naging decision natin. Wala na tayo magagawa eh, mag move on na lang tayo. Let’s live in the present.

“You are my ‘what was’, ‘what is’ and ‘what will be’.”

Boom! Eto ang wagas na linyang binitawan ni Basha sa huling scene ng pelikulang ito. Gustong gusto ko itong linyang ito dahil ipinapakita dito ang bukas palad na pagtanggap ni Basha sa buong pagkatao ni Popoy.

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