Friday, November 05, 2004

Riding Smart

My sem is over, finally. Got two and a half weeks to do some catching up with family and friends, read all my piled up books, and do all the things i dreamed of doing during my toxic semester, like watch movies, have a retreat, shop. i know they're nowhere lofty but such has been the sad reality of my life of late. i've been sorely deprived of basic human activities.(dabbing the solitary tear with some kleenex)

so my first serious entry in months (yep the previous was just a teaser.hehe), fresh from 4 months of only 50 hours of sleep, i shall be writing about something to which i have developed a fondness lately.

warning: this is the work of a blogger who was on the edge of her sanity a month ago when this idea came to mind.

"How to ride the LRT from Katipunan to Legarda the Smart Way"

yep, you got that right...this is about the LRT.hehe.been itching to write about it for weeks. made a pledge to pour my heart out on the issue the minute i was through with 1st sem. you must be thinking, has pam gone nuts? yeah, maybe...

months of desperately trying to sleep more than three hours a day led me to skip my shuttle to work and join the thousands who commute using the LRT everyday. P20 additioinal fare aint bad when you think of the extra full hour i get for sleep. (really, not bad for someone who has eyebags the size of Russia.)

initially, shorter travel time and the cool aircon were the only advantages to riding the LRT for me. my first few rides were a bit uncomfortable that i really scowled at myself every morning for missing PMS shuttle 613.but later on, neccesity led me to use my puny and tired brain. i figured there has got be a way of optimizing my LRT rides from Katipuanan to Legarda.

then little by little, through my everyday experience, i took mental notes of all my LRT observations and carefully developed some strategies that made my LRT rides efficient and really comfy. now i ride the LRT feeling less stressed, more relaxed even enjoying the scenery and beating the 9:15 log in, most of the time that is...

ok, before the tips...some disclaimers

tips developed based on the katipunan to legarda ride. people who get off pureza can also relate. i don’t claim that this works for all the stations since i know that every station is unique. little nuances in other stations can make my tips less effective. (did i hear you just call my article mundane?grrr...hehe) but i think that there are some tips here that will be applicable to all stations, even the MRT...(impressed?haha) Second, i ususally ride the LRT in the morning, when its jam packed and full of student commuters... so scenarios in my tips may not apply to other people who ride the LRT in the late evening or something.hehe. to make this clear and organized i divided the tips into different parts. its a step-by-step instruction, so pay attention. haha. oh yeah, before i forget, the tips here are specifically developed for katipunan to legarda riders from 7 to 9 am. the strategies here maybe different from the legarda to katipunan trip (ok, i'm seeing you closing the window now, well can't blame you. this post is definitely for a selected few only.hehe)

ok, now that i've taken care of all that let's move on to the strategies...

Where to go down...

Most people who come from katipunan or marikina normally get off the right side of the station, meaning the entrance on the right. This is a no-no. the beauty of the LRT purple line is that whichever station you go to, both the right and left entrance can be used for both santolan-legarda route and legarda-santolan route. so when riding the purple line in the morning, avoid the right side where everyone normally gets off.why??? to avoid joining the hundreds who fall in line to get their tickets form the vendo. be a deviant and go to the leftside entrance and you will get to buy your ticket without falling in line. aint that smart? ideally, marikina commuters should ride the PUVs going to P. Tuazon, that way, you can just wait for it to take the U-turn in aurora and get off in front of the station. never mind the quizzical look on the fx driver's and the other passengers faces. they just really don't understand.hehe.

Where to ride...

Where we ride can make or break the trip. if you're not smart enough you will be standing the entire 25 minutes of the travel. if you dont mind growing varicose veins, i do. find the least selected parts of the train. there are two in katipunan., the two edges, front and back. people from santolan, having the first pick normally take the middle cabins because it’s the easiest to get to. I used to ride at the front a lot, until i had the brilliant idea of trying the back. It was painful at first, having to leave my “pals.” Don’t get me wrong, never attempted to make conversation with anyone in the LRT, but I kinda grown accustomed to familiar faces at the front cabins. I’ve gotten sort of attached to them.haha!

I was to grieve only for a short while. Trying the back cabins has got to be the smartest decision I’ve ever made.i’ve found 2 crucial advantages to the “rear.” One is, they’re the least taken cabins, the second to the last cabin is the freest. Two, all LRT purple stations (except for the underground station of Katipunan) have escalators for each route. They’re always placed near the rear for the santolan to legarda route and near the front for the legarda to santolan route. This means that whenever I get off the legarda station, i can use the escalator going down. That’s less energy consumed. For stressed out pips like myself, that’s a great deal.

To sit or not to sit…

The Katipunan station, although only the second station isn’t an assurance of a comfortable seat. In fact, even in the “rear,” the seats are always occupied already when I step in. but here’s the thing, for the many weeks now that I’ve ridden the LRT, not one day, did I have to ride standing up till J Ruiz station. Incredible? not exactly, its all strategy. Riding the LRT, you got to be alert as a cat. It happens all too fast for many people because they’re always caught unaware by the train. When the speeding cables arrive they are lost in the frenzy of people hoping to catch the valuable “empty seat.” In moments like these, what does one do? Well first and foremost, in the presence of chaos, the overly given but rarely applied tip, “Don’t panic!” is the key. When the train halts to a stop, breathe and scan the LRT. People normally look at the seat across the door, because it’s the easiest to view, so do the opposite (yep, this is one of the main principles of my strategy). Quickly check the seats adjacent to the door. When you spot your seat, quickly but discreetly work your way towards it. To frantically race your way to it while elbowing everyone else is not only embarrassing but also unwise. To catch other people’s attention is to call for competition. Always remember, never underestimate fellow passengers. They are always ready to outwit others for the coveted prize of a comfortable ride. The enemy is lurking I tell you so beware. (horrific laugh with matching paranoid side glance for stronger effect.hehe) When you reach your seat calmly sit down with a poker face. Be considerate enough to think of the others you have beaten to it. Its bad enough that you outwitted them, its worse when they see that satisfied grin on your face, so pocket your smile. You think that’s easy? Well how about if you miss the seat in katipunan, what do you do? Here’s the tricky part. Now this requires a tad more strategy.

Ok, after a miss, first thing to do, shake off the frustration and move on. Go immediately to the center of the cabin, yep, center and hold on to the center hand rail. You might be thinking, but that’s such an uncomfortable spot, well maybe, but not for long, if you’re smart enough. The center of the cabin is the best place to stand because it gives you the best vantage point. From the center you can position yourself to take practically any potential seat. Again, consistent to the “do what everyone else aint doing principle,” not many passengers stay at the center. That’s a good thing coz it means less competition for you. People would rather crowd near the doors. After positioning yourself for attack (positioning is another key principle), study your prospects.

You got to be a keen observer. In identifying potential seats, one of the sure shot is the school uniform. Since I’ve started riding LRT, I’ve paid attention to the students who take the LRT because they’re the most predictable passengers. You recognize them instantly. So when missing the seat at the katips station, your saving grace is always the cream top and brown pants uniform of TIP aurora and the checkered black and white skirt of St. Paul QC. They’re the ones to watch out for. A St. Paul QC student is a sure seat once you reach Gilmore. Nursing uniform is a bit deceiving. Although, you have world citi college in aurora, its not such a safe bet since almost all nursing students wear the same thing. Stay away from the green and yellow checkered skirt and the white uniform with the pink piping. Those are FEU and CEU uniforms respectively. Those guys are in for a long ride. They get off legarda too.i’m pretty sure there are more uniforms to look out for. Visit schools near LRT stations to kill time on a boring day. Then draw sketches of uniforms for better recall.(I hope no one is taking this seriously.)

Apart from the school uniform, observe movement. People who are about to get off the next station almost always bring out their tickets one station early or on the way. So once you see the purple or yellow card out of the bag or pocket, work your way towards that person. Don’t be looking too much though. You might be mistaken for a terrorist or a snatcher. One quick glance should do.

Now if you still can’t spot a potential, search for the 6-seater that’s all girls. Usually it can fit 7.squeeze yourself in nicely. Be careful not to tick seatmates off.

Now of course the tips’ effectviness are contingent on how well you do it. They’re surefire for smart people, that I can assure you.

Getting Off

I used to get off Pureza because of my absolute frustration with the throngs of people who get off Legarda. I feared for my life every time I join the stampede going down the stairs. I also got ticked at the snail pace trip to the ground floor.

But later on, getting frustrated with the traffic in Pureza, I braved the Legarda station more often and devised a way to minimize the inconvenience (emphasis on minimize, yep, I cannot eliminate it, unfortunately).

Two simple practices that make Legarda station much more tolerable.

One, what makes riding the train at the rear more convenient as I’ve mentioned earlier is the fact that you have a ready escalator going down. It lessens the legwork and conserves the much needed energy.

Two, whenever in a throng of people lining up to go down the stairs, go to the periphery. I don’t know what it is about people that they always try to work their way right in the middle of the throng. The concentration of the people is always at the center which makes it cramp, slow, and a bit dangerous. At the periphery, the crown tend to thin out so its much faster to go down and much more spacious too. i’ve experimented and observed this so many times. Try observing it yourself.

So there, the trip from Katipunan to Legarda need not be slow, inconvenient, and life threatening as long as you follow these easy tips. RIDE SMART.

Aint this a substantive work? Wait for the book. I’m planning to author one soon.hehe. I’ll probably expand the topic to cover the katipunan to pureza and katipunan to recto station. Whew. Heavy, isn’t it…

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Coming back soon...

Hi everyone!yep, referring to all five of you!hehe. dami ko talagang fans.joke.

anyhow, its been a while since i last wrote anything here. i regret complaining of having a toxic life before. i didn't know what toxic meant then...

after eons of working, studying, and doing other things...

i now weigh less than a hundred pounds...

i have eyebags that can fit in P 2000 worth of groceries...

i dont know what a mall looks like anymore...

have they shown spiderman II already...

my health has degenerated drastically...

i miss my family...

i miss my friends...

my bro pitied me last night...

he told a friend i looked like a druggie already..

haven't had a haircut...

i also learned more about grace...

oh i almost forgot to mention...

i desperately miss my God!

two weeks from now, expect a revival. will blog again soon...

Tuesday, April 20, 2004


we had it all set, and so we our destination chosen, things packed, schedule set, cash withdrawn, and beach outfits bought. but we didnt have a plan except for a long drive to iba, zambales, after stopping over our grandmother's house in olongapo. we thought it was a perfect plan. our minds were already relaxing in the best beach in iba, zambales. i was already in my cool shorts and top, sitting on a beach chair, reading a book as the sun is about to set, drinking my iced tea. ahhhh...simply perfect. our vacation was going to be perfect. until reality started to prick.

wednesday night, we arrived at our lola's place and were met by so many stories of misery from my lola who just about had it with my aunt. i thought, that's ok.i can take this. i'll have a day or two in the beach to relax afterwards anyway. thursday morning, went to the market with my tita who was absolutely undecided on what to buy and where to buy it. had to go from one market to another just to buy stuff i think were all available in at least one of the markets we went to. hopping from one stinking place to another just didnt make sense to me. but i thought, that's ok.i can take this. i'll have a day or two in the beach to relax afterwards anyway.

then after lunch my family was amazingly slow, taking sweet time to relax. my dad, even took a long nap. i had to move bags from my mom's car to our dad's.the clock was was already two in the afternoon and we were still in our lola's place. but i thought, that's ok.i can take this. i'll have a day or two in the beach to relax afterwards anyway.

then finally by 2:30 we were on the road. my excitement was just hard to contain. i was just ecstatic to be so close to my dream vacation.

3:30 p.m.- we finally reached iba. confidently we drove to the best resort, planning to get the best accomodation. we entered the beach. it was beautiful. i was ready to carry our bags when my mom, came out of the resort office witha look that did not bode well. she went inside the car and dropped a bomb. we were REJECTED. the place was fully booked!

disappointed we left the place. we all took a deep breath and got our composure back. we all thought that's ok. we had ten more beaches to choose from. they all can't possibly be booked, right? WRONG. every freakin' resort was full except for one sleezy resort i will not dare be caught alive in. so in utter frustration we drove home. quietly the family started to try digesting our disappointing fate.

we were almost out of botolan, a town before iba, when we suddenly saw a resort we passed by that afternoon. the signboard was along the highway but the resort itself was a couple of blocks away. my dad decided to try it. the resort did not front the was a walking distance from the beach itself. with a glance i could already tell that it was an ordinary resort and i didnt want to stay there. i was already prepared to leave when our mom told us to check out the beach.

whoa! and were we was probably the oddest-looking beach i've ever seen. it was didnt have cottages, nor trees, nor those huts day-time guests usually rent in beaches in olongapo.

i sat down the shore with pola.stared at the beach. then pola started to cry. i felt like crying too. it just wasn't how i imagined our vacation. i wanted to ask God why things had to turn out the way they did. so we underestimated iba. we were honestly foolish to think that people haven't heard about the beautiful beaches in iba yet. that even at 4 in the afternoon, we would still get the best accomodation in the best beach around. but as big as our mistake was, i honestly thought God will just make things work for us. But He didn't.

then as i stared longer at the undeveloped beach, i started to see things i didnt notice before. the beach had a bare shore, big waves, cool breeze and an awesome sunset. i suddenly realized that i was in the most beautiful beach i have ever seen in my entire life. i began to understand why i found the place odd. it was beautiful because it was all natural. it was free of the usual aesthetic improvements i've been used to. God showed me how amazing the work of His hand is. Man! i shamefully realized how blessed we were to have been rejected earlier. here we were in a place that boasted nothing else but God's creation. the simplicity yet amazing beauty of that beach overwhelmed me.

i wanted to sit there by the shore for the entire duration of our stay but of course, there were other things to do, like eat.:)

the people from the resort were kind enough to prepare us sinigang and fried tanigue. the fish was a fresh catch. it was so delicious. we all ate a truckload except for our mom of course who still couldn't eat anyting because of the radiation treatment.

oh yeah, before we headed back to the resort, pola and tristan decided to take a dip. envied them so i followed. the water was so refreshing and the waves were so big we literally got swallowed everytime it reached us. we even played a game of who could stand the firmest while getting hit by the waves. of course, i lost because i was as light as a feather. each and every single wave pushed me back to shore. there was one though that hit me right at the stomach. it was painful the whole night.

that evening, after dinner, my parents thought we should all sleep early and so they did. my bro and i though just had too much excess energy that no amount of scolding from our mom got us to sleep. we goofed around for an hour or so till we both thought of shutting our eyes to wake up early the next day and catch the sunrise.

that evening, i fully understood How God worked in our vacation. if we were in some cool resort in iba, where they have superb facilities, i probably would not have stayed with my family that evening. all of us would have had some activity of our own. we would not have enjoyed the vacation as a family. God was definitely teaching me how to appreciate the bare essentials and ironically the finest things in life. God and family.

At 4 in the morning I was woken up by my discomfort. was sleeping on a single bed with my sis.did it pain my back!!! but it was a blessing because i really intended to wake up that early to go to the beach again. incidentally my bro was also having a hard time sleeping on his bed. so it just took a little nudge and he was on his feet.

Our trip to the shore was the best i ever had. The beach was dark and cold. Under the moonlight the place was breathtaking. the water glistened. the waves turned silver. my bro and i fell silent beholding the stunning view. we were even fortunate to catch the fishermen on their way to the sea!

That scene gave a feel of tom hank's "Castaway" as he braved the sea on his raft. the sea had a frightful but enchanting beauty that captivated me. i was amazed by how the waves, strong and big as they were gave me a feeling of peace. the seabreeze felt so cool on my cheeks. and as i breathed it in, it refreshed me like nothing has ever done before. it was such an experience, that i didn't want it to end.

by 5:30, pola woke up. we got to catch the sunrise.i sat there on the beach and walked along the shore singing praise songs and talking to God for more than an hour. if i had it my way, would've stayed there longer except that, my bro called us for breakfast. as i was about to go back to the resort, saw a woman in her mid-fifties,sitting on the shore reading a Bible. My biggest mistake! should've done the same thing. i thought of reading there too but i got too lazy to go back to our unit and get my Bible and other books when i had the same idea earlier. that really frustrated me. i know that was no biggie. but the thing is, lately going to the beach has become such a rare treat that i just want to be able to optimize the opportunity when i do have it. and book reading in the beach has been on top of my "things-to-do list"

flabbergasted, i went back to the unit and ate breakfast. in an hour or so, my family washed up, packed our bags, and bid good bye to the friendly owner of the resort. we had to rush back to Olongapo because our aunt prepared lunch. we did take time though to stop by San Felipe to look for the famous Vigan longganisa (could you imagine Vigan Longganisa not made in Vigan.hehe). Many say its more delicious than those made in Vigan. The longganisa proved too delicious to still be available at 10 in the morning. the woman who makes them told our mom that it was sold out for the day at 8:30. that longganisa must be really something.hehe.

oh yeah, i'm so proud of my bro who drove all the way to San Felipe. My dad got tired so he made tris drive. not proud though that he drove without a license.:(

one of my favorite activities is driving around with my family. they're such a wacky bunch! so the drive to and from zambales was really cool. pola and tristan just cracked jokes until my tummy hurt from excessive laughing. our parents provided entertainment by their petty arguments that oozed with sarcasm and wisecracks.hehe! as for me, i didnt do much except for the regular laughs and consistent munching. i lived up to my philosophy, you haven't travelled a place yet until you've tried their food. i ate anything and everything edible my mom bought along the way. from cashews to singkamas to pastillas, to tarts, to chips, to... i lost track of the rest.

spent the another night in olongapo. had coffee with my aunt, pola and may in the newly-opened seattle's best in subic. yep, commercialization has its perks.:)

to fast-track, Saturday afternoon we traveled back to manila. We stopped over florida blanca to visit our parents’ friends. After which pola and I transferred to our dad’s car so he would have company. Brought our family to Mr. Kebab’s in Quezon Ave to have dinner. By 10:30 p.m. the Manuel family was home.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

New Look

Much as i love my "Lord of the Rings" template (by my blog guru, raden), i've decided to get a new look because i want to learn how to make a blog template (of course i didn't really make this one.i'm just borrowing this one from steps.hehe).

yep, i changed my blog template on my own but with a really BIG help from cat (my blog angel) of course. she taught me a little about html and how to adopt blog designs. She's like my Tyler Florence (the guy from food 911.hehe).whenever i encounter some html glitch, she'd always fix it for me.i'm so glad she's my seatmate.hehe.i can disturb her all the time.haha. Peace Cat! Really owe this template to you.Thank you so much girl! (this is starting to sound like an oscars speech.i'm not gonna not gonna cry.hehe)

Wipee!now i wouldn't have to bother people to get new blog templates (i hope.hehe). Eventually i plan to make my own.


Wednesday, February 18, 2004


Busyness. We first hate it. We try our hardest to stop the deluge of things to do. A losing battle leads us to compromise. With great effort we try to "balance" life. We manage the impossible load then spare some precious little time for the more personal and more important activities. Not realizing however that little by little, busyness is achieving its goal.Busyness is slowly but surely becoming normal. Its transforming into a lifestyle. with barely any resistance, busyness takes over our lives. There's now a constant feeling of restlessness. We itch when we are suddenly given time to breathe. Like some druggie our bodies and minds look for the daily dose of paperwork, research, or whatever it is that we do for a living. And unknowingly we begin to hate doing the things that used to be our escape, our way to temporarily forget the hill on top of our desks, our way to live normal lives. They are now getting in the way of busyness. They have become a waste of precious time.They suddenly become tiring, hard work.

Yep, blogging has become hard work. at a time when assignments (from work and outside work)just come in one after the other, instead of longing for my usual escape, i dread it. i've locked up blogging somewhere in the back of my mind. i was determined to keep it there until maybe next year or some other time when again life is peaceful. but alas, some thing got the better of me...

Valentines day. romance is in the air. NOT! i'm sorry to disagree with most people but valentines is one of the lamest excuses i've ever heard to celebrate. hallmark really knows how to cash aversion to the pagan celebration reached greater heights when our trip to UP Los Baños got stretched to 4 hours due to major traffic in the metropolis caused by the unreasonable reason to date.

But God in His mercy preserved me from a heated temper. He led us to praise and worship in tita nanette's L300 to spare me from thoughts that will not edify. from katipunan to Laguna we sang and prayed. it was such an uplifitng time. it made me forget the high temprature and the traffic jam. it made me realize how much God was in control. I think that He allowed the long trip because He knew that 2 hours would not have been enough to fill us with His aweome presence. we wanted and needed more. the next day was going to be a big day. the core group of our dance ministry will be ministering to a church in UPLB. we were invited to dance for their anniversary. its a baptist church in the brink of revival. the service the next day will be important for this church and for us. To equip and prepare us God poured out His grace on each one of us during the trip. He led us to the heart of worship. Praise God.

By 9:00 pm we finally reached the church. it was a big to admit it was far from what i pictured. i honestly imagined it to be a small room with kugon for a roof.Man, was i wrong! It was a two-storey building a little smaller than ours. i liked it. the sanctuary was so homey it made me feel welcome instantly.

But as much as we wanted to hang out, we were all anxious to get our tummies loaded. it was late and we were all very hungry. good thing we didnt stay there long because i was beginning to see hamburgers and porkchops on top of human bodies. that aint good. our hosts brought us to their home inside the UP campus.for a little while we forgot about our growling tummies and got all excited to see UPLB. it was such a big campus.with all the trees, it felt like we were walking inside a conservation park. it was soooo neat!

it took tita nimfa awhile to prepare our food. it was chinese/japanese cuisine.tita nimfa and pastor pito lived in japan for 4 years. tita nimfa is an excellent cook of authentic east asian food. she prepared scallops with tofu, batchoy (chinese veggie that i cant spell) with ham, and the only familiar dish, meatloaf. the interesting meal got us eating more than we really should. having practice after dinner meant we should've had a light meal. but no, we threw all caution to the wind and ate to our heart's content.

after the hearty meal, we went back to church and practiced.that would probably be the best practice i've ever had. i know it was only practice but something in the solenmnity of it all got us worshipping. tired as my body was, i honestly didnt want to stop. good thing tita nanette, knowing the day ahead, reined in on the zealous dancers.

the next day, we all woke up to a "yakisoba, queso de bola, pan de sal, papaya and egg" breakfast. oh! left out the small dilis.and when i say small i mean really really know the stuff they serve you in a plane with your lunch?the ones they put in urine sample containers.hehe.

this time though, i paid attention to my diet.cant over-eat or else i wouldnt fit in my pants.hehe.

we went to the church an hour earlier to pray. all of us by this time were experiencing mixed emotions. jittery, excited,scared, happy,anxious...God knew the condition of our hearts. He led tita nanette to speak to us and encourage us. then all of a sudden, we experienced an outpouring that humbled us all. it dawned on us how great God's plans were for that church. It overwhelmed us to realize we would be part of it. we were all undeserving of the privilege to be used by God. but God reassured us. it didn't matter to Him. He will use you no matter how small or unprepared you may be. you need to only obey. even with our make-up on we could not fight back the tears. we all was amazing to recall how God spoke to us as a group and as individuals. He gave us courage and a burning desire to worship. That very moment He assured us of His victory in EBC.

A couple of minutes before the start of the service, some of us began to feel some undescribable pain in different parts of the body. then the tape won't play. we knew those were attacks. what was he thinking? the enemy was desperate.quietly the group prayed again. the enemy gave up.

we danced two songs. one was "I worship you"- a call to worship. it was the first part of the service. then during the offering, we danced "Could You Be Messiah".

I may not be a member of that church but i sure felt the outflowing on them. all the parts of the service brought only one message, revival. the church humbly cried out for the Holy Spirit. it was an experience which reminded me of a not so far back past, when our church experienced the beginning of a revival. God is really moving mightily. He has great plans for the Church and the Philippines.

after the service we had a great lunch in the church and went back to our hosts' house to get our things.we had to leave early that afternoon. weary and still very sleepy, we gathered what little energy we had left to go around UPLB and do a little sight-seeing. the university is really nice. with a peaceful atmosphere and a beautiful landscape, sure wish we had more time to stay and do some exploring.

while enjoying the ride around the campus, the enemy, sourgraping, pulled one of his tricks again. we hit a stony curb and got a flat tire. it must have gotten him really frustrated though when he realized God's grace was upon us. it happened right in front of the UPLB church members who were holding a sports fest in sure he felt miserable.might have been a detour for us but it was a nice didnt take much to get the tire replaced with all the help we got.besides we enjoyed the spontaneous picnic. that surely crushed him.

by 5, we were on the road. It was a safe rowdy trip.when you have pola and ate hazel around, you got to expect it.its really going to be crazy.

The entire trip was a remarkable experience. All glory be to God.

So why did i end my long silence? How could i not. great experiences are meant to be documented. the goodness of God is meant to be declared. and yes, busyness is meant to be overcome.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Lola Lina

My lola lina had a mild stroke last was brought by the shock of hearing my mom had paraganglioma. in her nervousness, my mom didnt even hear it right.she told me it was gang---- tumor.obviously much as she tried she couldn't listen well, much less think straight when the doctor was giving her the results over the phone. had to call him up and hear it mom has a tumor in the middle ear that's already reached her brain.its benign but nonetheless dangerous if not removed soon. according to the doctor and some little research i did last friday, my mom has two options.she could either have another operation this time to remove the tumor close to the brain or undergo radiation treatment. the doctor's final verdict will be given tomorrow. i desperately want to accompany her tomorrow. i want to be there for her.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

When my mom got sick

My mom just had an operation last saturday. they had to remove some flesh from her ears. the doctors have yet to release the's strange how i never saw it before, how i never realized the impact of all the check-ups, the confinement, and now the operation on our family.only this weekeend did i notice the anxiety of my dad, grandparents, and even lois. they really see things differently. or is it the other way around?

however it maybe, i'm just glad that God opened pola and my eyes to the needs of our family.more than anything they need reassurance. they yearn for a sign that everything is going to be ok. Times of crisis are definitely opportunities to reach out and share God to others.Praise God because the shaking in our family has caused my loved ones to seek for the Living God!

Last saturday my dad noticed how jolly pola and i were.i guess it was so apparent how oblivious we were to the worries that has been stressing my dad out for days. it shocked me when my dad spoke up about it. he said that he was comforted by seeing us worry-free.he then went on to say that maybe its because we had Jesus!Praise God. it was such a joy to hear my dad say that. I was so grateful that dad pointed out something i didn't realize before, that God has shielded us from all the fear and anxiety.But more than that i was blessed that he recognized that Jesus was the one at work in our lives.soon my dad will be ripe for the picking!

then last night, after such a stressful day, another unexpected confrontation happened. i talked to my grandparents to tell them how mom was, when all of sudden the conversation shifted to God and how we need Him.I knew that i was being given an opportunity to share the Word to them. Was i amazed!my grandparents and i talked lengthily about faith, how God longs to establish a relationship with us, how when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior we are assured of our destiny and we are set free. My grandparents receptively took in all that i've said. although my lolo already received Christ 3 years ago, i know that he needed to be refreshed. As for my lola, i've waited for so long to share the Word with her. Last week during our 3-day prayer and fasting for our office cell group, i prayed for this moment. I was so amazed at how soon God has been answering my prayer.Praise God for His faithfulness. My lola didn't receive Christ last night but i am sure that the seed has been planted. She acknowledged that she needed God and that something was different about our faith. We even prayed for all of my lola's children because for the longest time she has been worried for them. And what's more, although it was only my lola i invited to pray (cause i thought my lolo was sleeping already), i discovered that my lolo joined us in prayer. It was such a blessing to see both of them in tears, surrendering to God their fears and concerns. In God's perfect time they shall both know Him.

It is only a matter of time. we shall soon witness the fulfillment of God' Word in our home.

"They replied, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household." Acts 16:31

All glory be to God.