What A Boring Preacher Reminded Me About God’s Word & What Not To Do Before Attending A Church Service

I was ready to walk out of church, not because I wanted to make a scene or hated the message, but because I really needed to pee. Fifteen minutes into the preacher’s message and my urinary bladder was ready to explode. I was unfortunately seated right smack at the middle of the congregation making it look too obvious to the hundreds around me if I make the exit.

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TEDxOrtigasA cunning development researcher very subtly got me involved to organizing an event. I didn’t know that when I met him, I was basically enlisting myself to be a key organizer to a very exciting project. Less than a month after getting to know the guy, I saw myself in a room with his friend being interviewed for a TEDx franchise! Truth be told, it was more than a privilege to get involved with this guy and a peer of his in bringing this independently organized TED event in the Ortigas Central Business District.

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How To Love A Place You Don’t Want To Be In: Be Still, Shut Up & Plow Ahead

My sentiment towards not wanting to be in Manila is not exactly a secret. The few friends I have here know that my heart is somewhere else (read here to know where). But despite me not wanting to be where I am, I’m more than conscious that it’s where I need to be. By the grace of God, I’ve learned to understand my life’s seasons and at this point, I know I’m exactly where I need to be.

In many ways, I know I am where I am right now out of need; it’s for a purpose. And I’ve decided to fully embrace what’s ahead of me since day one. Below are three things that have helped me adjust when I moved back.

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The Virtue Of Shutting Up

We all want to express ourselves. We consider it a right and a necessary form of behavior to speak up and verbalize what’s on our mind. And yes, for all of us, to talk for the purpose of venting, informing or simply throwing a joke is a need. The desire to share our thoughts is natural. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But when we speak up, it’s important to consider that the timing of when to speak up and when not to saying anything is essential in making our point effectively and also not looking stupid. We need to learn to incubate our thoughts, allow our minds to process further what we’re about to say and not just irresponsibly exercise the right to express ourselves. Every word we say can have a tangible consequence, good or bad, thus we ought to be more careful. Continue reading

Elusiveness Of Peace In A Connected World

The word peace has become more important, more valuable, and unfortunately in some parts of the globe, more rare. According to a recent study released by The Institute for Economic and Peace (IEP), a leading think-tank which develops one of the world’s primary gauge of “global peacefulness,” only 11 out of 162 countries in the world today are not involved in conflict of one kind or another.

The study also noted that as a whole, the globe is becoming less peaceful every year since 2007.

A Wars in Progress list updated on July 2014 by Professor Joshua Goldstein shows that there are currently 10 wars and 8 serious armed conflicts at present. The ongoing war in Syria being the most deadly, claiming an estimated 170,000 lives in the past three years. Continue reading

On Goals and Gratefulness

Source: Flickr/Linus Bohman

Source: Flickr/Linus Bohman

“Humans are insatiable,” I remember hearing this from an economics professor, who then explained to our class of newly minted eco majors what the term means. He explained that it’s basic human behavior to never be satisfied, especially with money.

He then went into a diatribe explaining the concept of utility, which is a measure of satisfaction, and how our fixation or desire for something can wane over time. In reality, it’s only because we choose to want more or something else. Continue reading

Hope Moves Forward

Source: iHopeNYC.orgIt’s 4 a.m. and I can’t sleep. A million thoughts were running through my head that kept me awake; though my body is tired, my mind is in full-throttle. Minutes later, tears flowed through my cheeks and I uttered a prayer, “Lord, bring me back to New York,” a few moments later I finally fell asleep.

This isn’t the first time it happened. Caused by the painful feelings of missing home, I’ve cried buckets of tears. But the hope that things will work out because I am where I need to be has kept me going.

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My First Day (And Night) In Manila

It was a warm welcome! As soon as I got out of the airplane, treading the tarmac of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the heat seems to be coming from everywhere. Though initially uncomfortable, it’s a very good sign that my plane landed in the right city. I’m back to the it-is-summer-here-year-round Metropolis of Manila.

It was November 2006 when I left for the States. The day I arrived was April 3, 2014, around noon. It has been more than seven years since I’ve been home.

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The Point of Speaking Life

From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, – Proverbs: 12:14

The Point of Speaking Life A few weeks ago I was listening to Toby Mac’s “Speak Life” single and the words in it are so powerful (you can see the video below) that I told my roommate this has to be the theme song in our Jersey pad.

You see, I grew up with a Mom who was determined to inculcate in her children the power of words. She would cancel and rebuke me anytime I speak words of death (or nonsense), warn us of any idle talk or conversation and cite verses like “So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: (Numbers 14:28)” from the Old Testament, referencing how God can move in situations by what you speak.

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