Saturday, December 15, 2012

Questions About the Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut

First, I saw the status updates on FB about a shooting in Connecticut. So I started to run a search in Google and found this news about the shooting in CT. A 20-year old, a young man, opened fire in one of the sections of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and shot children and some adults leaving 20 children and 6 adults dead. This shooting is said to be the worst among the reported incidents in the US and I truly agree especially because small, innocent children were most of the victims.


Being a father of an elementary student I feel horrified and indignant about what happened. Parents in their area were surprised with what happened especially because they were confident that their town was a very safe place. 

This incident makes us ask questions like, “How could someone do that to innocent children?” or “What would drive someone to do something like that?”

"A King Is Born" by Tom Ingles | List of Instrumentalists/Musicians

I first heard the song "A King is Born" when I was in college and we played it in our church music team - or at least we tried. If you listen to the music you will be challenged and inspired by the skill of the musicians.

"A King is Born" was originally sung by Tom Ingles in the album "We Are One" by Integrity's Hosanna released in 1993. The chords are very simple actually (C--F-G- pattern), but the way the musicians played the music was amazing.

Abraham Laboriel was so fun to watch as he played and Justo Almario as well. I'm not sure if the guitarist was playing a gretsch electromatic or a epiphone but he did just right and played appropriately.

List of popular musicians for the song "A King is Born" from "We Are One" album.

Percussions: Alex Acuña
Drums: Carl Albrecht
Bass: Abraham Laboriel
Saxophone: Justo Almario
Keyboards: Tom Brooks
Guitars: Danny Bridgens (?)

A King Is Born (lyrics)
(Tom Ingles)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Manila Bake Christmas Goodies and Gift Sets

Christmas is just around the corner and if you're in search of a perfect and fresh Christmas giveaway or gift then try Manila Bake's Chrsitmas gift sets and goodies.

Tsokoloate Christmas Gift Set, Muscovado Cookies, Home Barista Gift Set and Cookies and Pastries Christmas Gift Set (clockwise from top left)

Macapuno Pandan Cake, Mango Cream Pie, Cupcakes and Muffins, and Holiday cookies (clockwise from top left)

Coffee Sampler gift set, Cinnamon Raisin Loaf, Bottled goodies gift set and Calamansi Pull apart Loaf (clockwise from top left)

Manila Bake is by Serye Cafe Filipino and is a bakery cafe located along Katipunan Avenue and just opened in July 2012.  Their bakery offerings truly have the "homemade" quality and it means well-made and created with motherly care, with their motto being "Good bread comes from good baking."

Below are some of my personal favorites.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 Live Via Satellite in SM Cinemas on December 9, 2012

It's the fourth time that Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez will be facing each other and it would probably be the match that could settle disputes between the two camps. Below is the official press release of the featured match between Pacquiao and Marquez on December 9, 2012, live via satellite, in SM Cinemas.

Official Press Release:

SM Cinema features Pacquiao- Marquez 4 live via Satellite on December 9 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Futureworld Dedication and Opening at SM City Masinag

Two Saturdays ago, I had the great opportunity of officiating the dedication and official opening of Futureworld located at the 2F, Cyberzone of SM City Masinag, Marcos Highway in Antipolo City graced by Ms. Kelly Misa and Anton Del Rosario. This is the second branch opened by this newest player in technology gadgets and accessories which is also an Authorized Apple Reseller, their first being in Bicutan, and with plans to expand by opening branches in San Lazaro and Sta. Mesa in Manila.

FUTUREWORLD at SM City Masinag

Leading the prayer of dedication of FUTUREWORLD SM City Masinag

With SM City Masinag representative and Ms. Kelly Misa

Futureworld, under the trade name Futureworld One Philippines, understand the transformation of Filipino consumers to becoming tech driven, thus, they are carrying the complete line-up of Apple hardware and software, exclusively distributing Onanoff earphone organizers iOs compatible weighing scale and blood monitor Withings, Incipio cases, iBike, and organization accessories from Cocoon. They are definitely very unique especially in terms of their product offerings because they provide more than the usual products like memory cards, sanyo eneloop batteries and usual gadget connectors.

Pick your desired headphones. I like the one branded Marshall.

With Anton Del Rosario. You can view the other photos of the event here (Futureworld SM Masinag Launch)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bloggers Wanted: $200 Amazon New Year's Giveaway

$200 Amazon Giveaway

Hosted by Diva Fabulosa and Happy Home and Family

  • Event Date: January 4 - January 18
  • For companies/ non bloggers/business owners who are interested in sponsoring an event, please send me an email at: admin at divafabulosa dot com

Friday, November 16, 2012

Heaven is for Real for Kids by Todd and Sonja Burpo

Jeff's wife here signing in to leave a quick word about Thomas Nelson's Heaven is for Real (for Kids) book. I first heard about Heaven is for Kids by Todd and Sonja Burpo from an Aunt who lives in the States. She highly recommended for us to read it. It was said to be a true story of a kid who had a glimpse of heaven when he was severely sick 4 year old child. When I saw that this was one of the books available for us to review from Thomas Nelson, I gladly grabbed a hold of it. 

"Heaven is for Real for Kids" by Todd and Sonja Burpo is especially made for kids. Illustration was by Wilson Ong

Book Description: 
Heaven is for real, and you are going to like it! Colton Burpo came back from his trip to heaven with a very important message: Jesus really, really loves children. In effort to reach even more families with this eternally significant story, this runaway bestseller is now told from Colton—kid to kids! Children will receive the same comfort and assurance that so many adults have received from the trade book. Beautifully illustrated, under Colton's direction, this book is uniquely written from a child for a child. Colton tells of his experiences in first person and comments on things that will be important to kids. A letter to parents is included to guide them in talking to their children about heaven. Scripture along with Q&A section with answers from the Bible are also included in the book.

Since I have not read what the adult counterpart of this book, I really did not have a lot of expectations. Except that it's for kids. So to add to our 7 year old, very eager reader's collection, I requested the eBook and he read it today after his afternoon nap from our iPad.

Our son loved it! But there were very serious and valid questions that came up. He asked his father and me, if it is at all true that people can see heaven and go back to earth.  It's lovely that there is a portion in the book where Questions Kids Ask about Heaven is Real is dealt with and it includes an answer to that question. 

The answer to that question from the book is: "Yes! God has allowed some people to see into heaven briefly. The Bible says isaiah, Daniel and the apostle John were all shown parts of heaven. The apostle Paul also talks about a man who visited the "third heaven," by he gives no name."

What really tugged my heart and got me to uncontrollable tears, that I almost ended up creating a floor fountain, was when Colton met his older sister in heaven. The sister she never knew he had. Apparently, his parents lost her to a miscarriage when her mother was still pregnant with her.  Imagine the surprise in Colton's parents when he relayed this to his folks. The tears just welled up my eyes as the pain of the miscarriages we personally experienced six years ago came back. The hope of seeing our children (yes, we miscarried twice) in heaven gave my heart as the revelation came upon me that it needs to heal some more. I never thought that it would still be as painful now that I remember. But the tears of remembering them came with hope this time. It was not only my son who benefited from the book. It touched the very core of my heart too, an emotion I never thought that's still there.

Now, I'm not saying I'm totally believing Colton's experience being true. But given that each illustrated page came with a verse supporting Colton's account and remembrance of what heaven was like, I'm good with that. The kid's claims seem to support what the Bible says. In the event if their claims are false, then they're accountable to God for that. 

Thank you, Thomas Nelson for the privilege to own and review this New York Times bestselling book,  Heaven is for Real for Kids by Todd and Sonja Burpo

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through the bloggers program.I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Place Called Blessing by Dr. John Trent

A Place Called Blessing by Dr. John Trent was the perfect book to read after my wife and I were blessed by its predecessor, The Blessing

To give you a backgrounder, here's the Book Description of A Place Called Blessing:

Five-year-old Josh and his two older brothers lose their parents in a drunk-driving accident. A series of foster homes and a shocking tragedy eventually separate them, leaving Josh alone, angry, and distrustful of most everyone. At age eighteen, Josh strikes out on his own to find work. With only a high school education and few life skills, he is one step away from homelessness when Providence brings him to a place where he finds much more than physical shelter. For the first time in his life, Josh receives unconditional love and something every human being craves, the gift of "the blessing." 

Our family's principles on raising our child is widely influenced by the ministry of Focus on the Family, which the author is a partner of.  Like "The Blessing," A Place Called Blessing is another book that is hard to put down, except when my son and husband play music together and use the vox vt20. I cannot help but feel for the Josh  and life being unfair to him and his family. I do not have to be in Josh's shoes to feel for him. 

A Place Called Blessing is a highly recommended book for parents. It zeroes in on the value of us, parents, being intentional as we bless our children. It is The Blessing in a story form. Everyone who wants to have a hand at parenting will benefit from this book.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through the bloggers program.I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The 2nd Singapore Math Learning Festival Organized by Galileo

Two weeks ago I was able to attend the Galileo Enrichment Learning Program's event Unlocking the Secrets to Singapore Math, the purpose of which is to not only introduce the topic but to give us a preview of the 2nd Singapore Math Learning Festival. I have been hearing about Singapore Math before but that was the first time I actually learned about what is it about.

Singapore Math focuses on developing critical thinking through mastery of foundational skills. It teaches students a systematic way of learning seemingly difficult math concepts through child-friendly terms and relatable experiences. It uses the C-P-A approach.

Singapore Math's C-P-A Approach

Concrete: manipulatives -->; Pictorial: visual models or drawings -->; Abstract: written numbers or symbols 

This complements the K-12 curriculum, as it strengthens key concepts and provides opportunities to apply it in daily activities as well as in other subjects. The K-12 program, launched by DepEd this school year which started with the Grade 7 students and Kinder, is an initiative to give students opportunities to master essential skills and competencies by stretching and extending their learning years to the 12th grade. It focuses on depth rather than on breadth, giving them more time to realize the importance of each concept and connect it to more complex and higher learning.

During the event, I was surprised how Singapore Math makes mathematical concepts easy for young minds to understand.  That is why as a father, I intend to enroll my son in Galileo's enrichment learning program for math to help him have a good foundation in mathematics so that he will enjoy the subject than endure it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Philippine Azkals' List of 35-Man Squad for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012

It's 20 more days and the time in my raymond weil watch is ticking. Pretty soon the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 will be starting and the Philippine Azkals, among the other contenders in the tournament, has had the busiest and hopefully the best preparation.

Their goal is to clinch the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 championship. The Philippine Men's National Football Team has given out its list, the 35-man squad for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 to be held in Thailand on November 24-30, 2012. Below is the list (player's surnames are in alphabetical order):

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The All-In-One PLDT TelPad | Upgrade Your Landline Now!

We have been a PLDT landline user for years now and after reading and exploring online about the convenience, benefits and advantages of upgrading to the PLDT Telpad, I am now determined to not only upgrade but to share my 1 of 1,001 reasons to upgrade from a landline to a PLDT Telpad

Primarily, I see the PLDT Telpad as an all-in-one deal. Managing multiple bills especially for internet connection and landline connection, I believe it is a major convenience to have bills consolidated into one. Usually, a household that has a landline subscrpition pays PHP 600++ or a little bit more in one month. If they are subscribed to myDSL they would either pay PHP 990 or P1299 a month for internet connection speeds of up to 384 kbps and up to 1 mbps. Or a household may be subscribed to an account with just purely internet connection at home and that would cost about PHP 999. 

Landline - PHP 600-800
Broadband connection - PHP 999
myDSL - PHP 990 or PHP 1299 (for slow internet connection)

Whatever combo a household has, it would cost them around PHP 1,600-1,800 or almost PHP 2,000 per month. But with the PLDT Telpad, for fast internet connection speed (up to 1.5mbps) a household will only have to pay PHP 1,849 per month. And that comes with an Android tablet or the PLDT Telpad for a one time cost of PHP 2,000 which can also be paid in 6-month installments. This is still cheaper than subscribing to a landline, broadband connection and buying an Android tablet. With PLDT Telpad, you get all-in-one!

Not only is it convenient economically but it is also helpful in managing the bills as well. Usually for telecommunication bills, we check the calls that add on to the standard monthly billed amount. And we have to wait for the bill to arrive before we are able to check the details. But with a Telpad's unique feature which a regular landline does not have, particularly the call history, we can check and see past calls made that are out of the regular or ordinary

And since you would have the internet connection and landline use together, the best way to pay is online which can save you the hassle of traveling and waiting in line in the bank or the payment center.

In addition to that, other members of the family can also enjoy web browsing and multimedia access using the PLDT Telpad which runs on the popular Android OS which gives the whole family access to thousands of free and paid game and educational Android apps. It will not only entertain but educate the whole family - that's truly all-in-one and it's PLDT Telpad. 

The PLDT Telpad's benefits and features are so exciting that they've inspired me to rewrite some lyrics of the song "Kaka" by a 90's band, Yano. I used the Garage Band app to recreated the music. I recorded everything - the guitar, bass guitar, drums, lead vocals, and back up vocals and did it in one night that I slept around 4am to finish it. Click play below and listen to the song or maybe sing along with me! LSS effect guaranteed!

(To the tune of Kaka by Yano) 

Verse 1: 
Sa bahay nila Samuel, landlady'y nahihirapan 
Nagpupumilit magkapera para sa babayaran 
Sa kasamaang palad, mga bills nagkasabay 
Kuryente, at landline dues nanjan na naku patay, eh... 

Verse 2: 
Sumibad siya pakusina kukunin ang landline bill 
Titingnan ang mga tawag ng border na si Samuel 
Pero sorry na lang at ang bill nawawala 
Sana'y may call history para masingil sila 

Kung ikaw ay landline user, upgrade to a TELPAD, 'kaw ay winner 
Wala, wala, sayo'y walang mawawala 

Verse 3: 
Palabas s'ya ng bahay punta sa bayad center 
Kahaba haba nga ng pila parang isang disaster 
Ngunit ang di niya alam pdeng mag bayad online 
Iwas trapik, pila, hassle payment ay laging on time. 

Kung ikaw ay landline user, upgrade to a TELPAD, 'kaw ay winner 
Wala, wala, sayo'y walang mawawala 

Verse 4: 
Paguwi niya ng bahay ‘la pang handang pagkain 
Bunso niya'y nag online research gabi na'y wala pa din 
Kung PLDT TELPAD sana ang gamit panalo na 
May internet, calls at Android tablet na, saan ka pa?! 

Kung ikaw ay landline user, upgrade to a TELPAD, 'kaw ay winner 
Wala, wala, sayo'y walang mawawala

This is my official entry to the PLDT Telpad Blogger's Challenge

Support me by doing the following steps:
1) If you want to upgrade to PLDT Telpad, sign up by voting for my entry and you can get a 16gb Mirco SD Card by voting and signing up online. 
2) View my entry, then click the button that says "I WANNA GET A TELPAD" beside my photo to register and vote. Please don't forget to indicate that you were referred by
3) You can also vote by sharing my entry by clicking the Facebook/Twitter icons found at the right side of the "I WANNA GET A TELPAD" button! You can do this every after 4 hours.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Figaro's Affordable Lunch Meals

Figaro recently introduced their newest affordable lunch meals: Chicken Currey with Pineapple Chutney and Sweet Pork Katsu. Both are available in all Figaro Coffee outlets daily from 11AM to 2PM. 

Chicken Curry with Pineapple Chutney is a combination of spicy curry, sweet pineapple and snow peas. It comes with 12 oz. lemonade with an option to upgrade for P65 to add the Figaro mushroom soup. Now, I'm especially drawn to curry dishes and this is not an exception. :-)

Figaro's Sweet Pork Katsu is my favorite of the newest lunch meals that they recently introduced. It is made of crusted pork bread crumbs bathed in their special mayo bbq sauce. I will surely go back to have one again very soon!

Figaro's Group deal meals are also worth checking out 

My weekly date nights with my wife is slowly switching to Figaro nights ever since that first bite of their chocolate cake (a must try) that we had for dessert after going around in the mall for hours on end looking for slide hammer puller. And that's more than because of Figaro's good coffee. :-)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Great Wall's Voleex C10: Fierce and Agile

I have been a Great Wall car owner since 2010 and am so far satisfied with the Peri we bought a few years ago and now, I am able to get my hands on Great Wall Car's new compact hatchback known as the Voleex C10.  This came as a service unit while our Peri is undergoing repairs and parts replacement.

Great Wall's Voleex C10 is a small city car which competes well with the new Toyota Yaris. The first thing you'll notice is how good the Voleex C10 looks. Its front grill gives it a fierce look, and it reminds me of Hannibal Lecter's mask. The C10's face makes it very noticeable on the road.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sermon - Surviving the Storm: Four Strong Anchors in Life’s Storms - Part 1

Two Sundays ago, as a conveyor of God’s word, I shared this message to our congregation in ICITE Building, Eastwood City where we meet every Sunday morning at 10:30AM. It was a message from Acts 27, the account where the apostle Paul encountered a storm at sea and was shipwrecked.

This is a summary and outline of my sermon entitled "Surviving the Storm: Four Strong Anchors in Life’s Storms".  

Paul and his companions – sailors, prisoners and soldiers were caught in a storm on their way to Rome and at some point in their travel, to steady their ship, they dropped four anchors which did not prove to be effective. 

The apostle stayed calm and positive throughout the journey and even gave encouragement to those he was with. How did he do that? He had four strong anchors in the midst of the storm and below is the first one. 

1. The anchor of God’s presence

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Appreciating My Supply of D' Addario Strings

I replaced the strings of my guitar with D’ Addario acoustic strings this morning and how I love the sound of it. The sound is so brilliant and I just hope it will sound like that until this Sunday when we use it for our worship service. I’m not sure here my brother-in-law bought the strings but he says he had his supply of electric and acoustic guitar strings shipped from the USA. He could have gotten them from any site with different guitar supply brands like Gibson, gorilla snot or even D’ Addario but it doesn’t really matter because he got them cheap and he sells them to me at a low price. I really appreciate the partnership and the unity we have when it comes to musical instruments and music itself.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cheer for the Azkals at the Philippine Football Peace Cup

I just visited the Ticket World website and saw the schedules and prices for the Philippine Football Peace Cup. Our country is hosting this tournament and it will run from the 25th to the 29th of September. The venue is none other than the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium and the other teams participating are Guam, Chinese Taipei and Macau.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Plantation Bay Resort and Spa: Swimming With Underwater Friends in Galapagos Beach

It was a blessing to have experienced Plantation Bay Resort and Spa during my 37th birthday last week. The 4-day vacation trip to Mactan Island, Cebu was a gift from my wife and she arranged everything, from the flight to the hotel booking. 

One of the things I was able to do in Plantation Bay was swim in their natural beach and I was surprised to find so many underwater creatures swimming with me. I was so pleased that I walked back to our room to get the Sony DSC TX10 waterproof camera. Even though walking barefoot on the sandy beach was not that comfortable for me because of some pain in my left foot which I don't think needs a plantar faciitis treatment, I still persisted and I was able to take shots of the underwater friends I found during my swim. Below are the photos I took underwater at the Galapagos beach in Plantation Bay Resort and Spa.

The Galapagos Beach at Plantation Bay, Cebu

The first sea creature I saw

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What to Do When You Have a Sty

I've had this sty for four days now and did not know what to do. At first I started feeling some pain at the corner of my left eye. This was after days of scratching it whenever - after taking a bath after putting on some oil free lotion, while outside the house having held on to different stuff, while driving and many other instances.

Then, the sty just started to come out. On the first day, it still looked tolerable but the following day, it started becoming more painful. So, on the third day, I decided to have it checked with an eye doctor and it was a good thing that the night before, the sty broke out and started draining but by then, my left eye and the surrounding area was already swollen.

I shared this story to share with you what to do when you get a sty as advised by the eye doctor I saw.

1) Apply warm compress on the affected area at least three times a day for around 5 to 10 minutes. This will aid in easing the draining.

2) Wash the affected area and the insides of the eye with Cetaphil or Physiogel

3) Ask your doctor for a recommended antibiotic ointment.

These were the three things my eye doctor told me when I had a sty.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Best String Quartet for Weddings and Events | The Manila String Quartet

My brother-in-law who started The Manila String Machine, a string quartet that plays for weddings and other events, has had plenty of experience playing with well known artists like Urbandub, and charges reasonably compared to other string quartets based in Manila, organized their group’s play and meet at their home early this week.

The play and meet event by The Manila String Machine was a success as at least four couples attended and other neighbors also heard the versatility of the group as they listened to string quartet arrangements of standards, pop and rock music. Their group is not only limited to classical music but to a great variety of styles and genres as well.
Many of their members have played for Manila Philharmonic Orchestra where they have gained experience and encountered different musicians – those who carry around flute cases, or their instruments for the horn section, others, from percussion. The Manila String Machine is the best choice for string quartets for hire in the Philippines especially during weddings both locally and internationally. Visit their new site at

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Spared From Flooding

The last few nights have been stressful ones because of the heavy monsoon rains and the flooding all around Metro Manila and our village most especially. We were victims of Ondoy in 2009 that is why the trauma of the floods in our area is still very fresh. The nights of monsoon rains have been full of worry and were almost sleepless. During the first night we prepared our stuff in case the flood entered the house again like during Ondoy. We placed our electronice appliances on elevated stuff to make sure the flood won’t reach them. Some were on our bed, which floated during Ondoy, some were on ada pool lift and others on the second level of our bunk bed. But we are thankful that we were spared from the floods this time but are sad for church members and friends who were affected by this tragedy.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Calm Before the Storm?

Gener is gone and internet connection is still slow now another storm, a dragon, they say, is building up. That could mean more rains and flooding, a worse evil than enduring a connection speed that needs internet boosters. Skies are still dim and even though there are no rains this may just be the calm before the storm. I pray for everyone’s safety if ever this incoming storm reaches our area of responsibility.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Effects of Typhoon Gener

Typhoon Gener has paralyzed the Philippines this week when classes in at least a couple of days during the week were suspended. Floods hit many parts of Metro Manila and provinces like Obando, Bulacan. Thank God that in our area the flooding during Ondoy did not happen again. The worst thing that we experienced was not being able to sleep because of worrying about getting flooded again. Electric power did not get disrupted but among the obvious effects were the cable connection disruption and the slowing down of the internet connection (Sky Cable and Smart Bro). It was a great help to find a site that could help with the internet speed as I was able to speed up computer at The rains have not yet stopped even though Gener is on its way out of the Philippine area of responsibility so I hope everyone would keep safe.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Rhapsody Residences by DMCI Homes: Condo Near Makati Central Business District

After our Ondoy experience in 2009 one of the goals my wife and I have set is to have a place where we can be secure from floods and landslides brought about by storms. Getting a second and third floor for our 48-square-meter house became one of the options but prior to that, we also considered getting a condo unit somewhere near our area or near our church in Makati.

One of the areas within our choice was Muntinlupa and it was great to hear that had developed a mid-rise condominium in that area known as Rhapsody Residences. With its strategic location which is along the East Service Road, it’s only half a kilometer away from the Skyway entry point, and some minutes away from Makati where the church I pastor is located.

Rhapsody Residences map

We do not see any signs saying “Condo unit for Sale in Alabang, Muntilupa area” when we drive by SLEX but since we are very familiar with DMCI Homes, Rhapsody Residences easily caught our attention because of their developer. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Quan 7 in Ho Chi Minh: Bonifacio Global City of Vietnam?

It was the first time I went to District seven (Quan 7) in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam and I appreciated its big difference from the other districts. Roads are wider, apartment buildings are much more spacious and Taps are available cold or hot, and traffic is not as congested as in other districts even during rush hour. District seven, they say is like the Bonifacio Global City of Ho Chi Minh and it does seem like it. It has spacious and relaxing grounds, with tall buildings and some malls, many high class stores and restaurants. This would be a great place to stay when you're in Vietnam if you have friends who live in the area.

Adjusting to Banjo/Oriental Sounding Music in Vietnam

I got back from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam last Tuesday and the trip was a blast! It was, so far the best missions trip I've ever been to. I left the Philippines and adjusted to Vietnamese music which sounds like a banjo and other oriental instruments playing together but other than that everything was fine especially the food.

Ministry wise, everything turned out well even though at first our team did not have our support fully raised for the trip. Best of all, we really felt God's protection, providence and presence in everything we did in Vietnam. I am excited to blog about specifics in my next posts.

Increasing My Rate in Jogging

Last night, I was able to run 3 Km around the Marikina Sports Park oval in around 20 minutes. That meant I ran 2.5 meters per second. I haven't joined any marathon or a 3k or 5k run before so I have nothing to compare my time with. I'm not sure if it's fast but my brother-in-law said that it was quite a strong rate.

My borther-in-law is now into biking and he has conquered the Masinag-Antipolo climb via Sumulong Highway. If I tried biking that same route i don't think I could make it like he did. I would probably need to mount my car with equipment from for car bike racks and have someone follow me up the route in case I stop or am forced to go back down.

In any case, we both need to continue developing our stamina so we can increase our rate in running and biking. I'm now going to try to at least run twice a week.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

How Much is a Local SIM in Vietnam (MobiFone)

During our trip to Vietnam I purchased a local sim card, MobiFone and was satisfied with its capabilities. Cellular phone signal in Vietnam is not difficult to find and it makes communication among our missions team easier and a lot cheaper. Instead of using our lines for texting and calling with the roaming charges, we were able to do them more liberally using the Vietnamese local sim. The MobiFone sim cost 150,000 VND (around PHP 300) and is preloaded with 50,000 VND (PHP 100) worth of load. It is very much available in convenience stores. With it, I was able to enjoy my music phone and at the same time use its call and text capabilities using other music as ring tone.

Missing My New Friends from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

It has been three days since I got back from Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam and I already miss the city and all the missionaries and new friends I have met there. Some of them, I have already added as friends in Facebook but some of them I can only remember through pictures which I haven’t uploaded yet. As early as now, I will be preparing for another trip next year for our second summer youth camp there. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

DMCI Homes' Zinnia Towers

Before my family settled in our current home, we checked out a few condos in the metropolis. Even back then, condo living has started to become a trend, especially for young family such as ours. Aside from those in Makati, there were a couple of units we checked out within the Quezon City area. 

With Quezon City being recently awarded for Sustained Good Performance in the Implementation of Republic Act 9003 a.k.a. the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 by DENR, we are even made more confident that Quezon City is probably one of the better cities in the country to nurture a family

Because DMCI Homes desires to be compliant to rules, they are actually using the Lumiventt Design Technology in building their new project, the Zinnia Towers. The idea is to incorporate DMCI Homes’ nature-themed design that ushers in natural light and fresh air coming through and through the building. Which is something that is uncommon still of condominiums to this day. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Portugal and Germany are in the EURO 2012 Semi-finals

So far, two teams are through to the UEFA European Championship 2012 semi finals and they are Portugal and Germany. These two are waiting on the results of the Spain-France and England-Italy showdown. I predict a Spain-Portugal and Italy-Germany semi-finals based on how they did in the group stages. 

These are games I am looking forward to watch whether live or replay. Whoever makes it to the finals, I’m sure this will shake not just Europe but other footballing nations as well. Some even watch in their country’s colors – in jerseys, in Alpinestars T-GP-R Air Jackets and in body paint. I guess that's how crazy other people get over football.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Search for the New Teen Azkals (U17-19) is On

Last Saturday evening, a bloggers' event was held at OneA Events Place along Sumulong Highway, Antipolo City to promote the (PFF) Philippine Football Federation's search for the New Teen Azkals U17-19. Teen Azkals (PFF U17-19) Team Manager Alvin Carranza and PFF Technical Coach Director Jose Ariston Caslib were present to share the vision and plans for sustaining the current success of the Men's National Football Team.

Mr. Aris Caslib talked about the PFF's grassroots level training plans, continuous development of coaches and the thrust to organize competitions from the club level to the younger age groups which are all part of the plan to develop competitive national youth teams for the Philippines.

 Teen Azkals Manager Alvin Carranza opening the evening's program

PFF Technical Director Aris Caslib giving a talk and answering the questions of bloggers

 With PFF Technical Director Aris Caslib

Monday, June 11, 2012

France vs England Opens Group D Matches for EURO 2012

It's France vs England tonight and it will be a combination of a well decorated coach and inexperienced players for France vs a strong but cautious England side. Their match is set at Donbass Arena in, Donetsk in Ukraine and both teams are anticipating temperature to be above 30 degrees Centigrade inside the arena, like having corner fireplaces around. Their game will open the matches for Group D of the EURO 2012 tournament but both teams have the potential to make it to the quarter-finals. Their game is set at 18:00 CET or 01:00 local time.

Monitoring EURO 2012 Matches

It's the season for UEFA European Championship 2012 again and I am excited to be monitoring the group stage of the tournament. Teams I am watching out for are Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, England, Russia, Greece and France. Any of these teams playing together is a great game to watch and so far, Russia and Greece, Spain and Italy, Germany and Portugal matches have finished and I am looking forward to the France vs England match set to open the Group D games.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Going Back to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam this July

The flight has been booked and I will be back in Ho Chi Minh in the first half of July. This will not be a personal vacation but a mission trip. I was invited to be a camp speaker at an over night summer youth camp organized by co-laborers in that country and I’ll be traveling with other team members to help with teaching youth, English training and providing drama and theater arts workshops to young people there. I’m preparing myself and the whole team of short term missionaries for things like sleeping on a day bed mattress in the camp and not on the comfort of an air-conditioned hotel room. There is also the possibility of getting the camp program disrupted since gospel sharing is not allowed in Vietnam but we are praying for God’s protection and provision for this trip. I need to raise at least $600 for this missions trip which is set to begin this week.

Our Church in Makati Will Move to a New Location Starting July

Yesterday, we celebrated the 9th anniversary of our church in Makati. We held our first ever church service there on May 25, 2003 after signing a 5-year contract and having the whole third floor tiled. Our celebration yesterday was very special because it was our last anniversary celebration at the Kalayaan Talipapa building (there is a wet market on the basement flooring). We will not be renewing our contract anymore but will be transferring to two small rooms on the second floor so we can continue our feeding ministry in the area. 

With this transition, we won’t have a place to meet as a church during the week but for Sunday afternoons, we will be renting a function room at a hotel along Kalayaan Avenue near the Bel-Air area. We’re praying that as we move to this new location for our church services that we do not lose so much attendees and that we would be able to reach new people and families in the new area.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Power to Change

Part of growing in Christ is seeing changes in one’s life. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that when a person turns to Christ in repentance and faith he becomes a new creation. The Holy Spirit indwells that person and provides him or her the power to change. 

Before turning to Christ, a person is enslaved by sin. But at the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit regenerates that person’s spirit and is made alive in Christ. The Holy Spirit makes the changes for the better possible. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Brigada Eskwela 2012 and K to 12 Basic Education Program Rolls Out

Today, Brigada Eskwela 2012 kicked off at Gen. Pio Del Pilar National High School and I had the honor to represent our organization, Breaking Point Foundation Philippines, as the school’s partner NGO. This week, we will be conducting seminars for incoming students who’ve had issues with their grades and behavior the previous year. We will be tackling the subject of obedience to authority to help them be reminded of how rules set by authorities protect them and provide benefits for them.

Another topic to be discussed is responsible relationships which we hope will guide them in making the right choices regarding romantic relationships. This topic hopes to prevent living a promiscuous lifestyle which often leads to prevent pre-marital sex, early pregnancies, early marriages, paternity testing and even suicide.

Aside from the Brigada Eskwela 2012, the roll out of the K to 12 Basic Education Program was also started for incoming and repeating freshmen in public high schools nationwide. They will now be entering a new curriculum and will go through Grade 7 to 10 (junior high school) and by 2016, start their two additional years in senior high school. It really is an honor and privilege to serve Gen. Pio Del Pilar National High School in the way that we are doing now. We thank all the supporters of Breaking Point Foundation Philippines and our partner organization, Manna Worldwide through Sumulong Baptist Church.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hamstring Exercise/Stretching for Lower Back Pain Prevention

After playing basketball last Wednesday I started feeling pain in my lower back. That was the second time in my active lifestyle that I felt that pain, the first was during the time I returned to playing football, around four years ago.

The lower back pain which I was feeling did not stop right away and even bugged me in my sleep and made me consider getting a memory foam mattress so my that I could sleep better. I went to the doctor the next day and found out that it was just lumbar strain caused by my tight ham string. I began to search for stretching exercises and found one and I immediately felt relief after doing the exercises. The pain in the lower back is not completely gone but it is improving everyday.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Catching Up on the Avengers

Hearing so much about The Avengers, even though I haven't had the chance to see it, has made me curious about the other movies made about some of the characters. The first movie I watched before the Avengers came out was Iron Man. After that and after the Avengers movie came out, I determined to see Captain America.

With the Incredible Hulk and Thor movie files just waiting in my laptop to be seen, my son and I decided to watch them. Too bad we were not able to finish Thor last night due to technical difficulties with my gadget and the tv mount stand and also because it was too late. We’re both hoping that we’d get to finally watch the different Avenger movies soon.

Birthday Gifts for My Son

This Friday is my son’s 7th birthday and the day after is the celebration. I’ve been asking him what gift he wants for his birthday and am not at all surprised to hear that the toys he wants are those that are fit for a boy his age and not a Barbie or a hello kitty themed toy. He wants a red bike and a light saber. That would mean that I will need to start teaching him to balance on a bicycle pretty soon. I am excited to start the cycling lessons with him.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

There Is A Right Way to Handle the Bible: My Two Cents on the FB 'Open Letter to Miriam Quiambao" Let's Defend Every Word in the Bible'

I recently saw a link that was shared in Facebook, an "Open Letter to Miriam Quiambao: Let's defend every word in the Bible!" Being a pastor and a man who studies and teaches the Bible, I became curious about it and started reading. When I first saw the title I thought it was something that is for the Bible but as I read it, I found out it wasn't. It was a sarcastic reply to whatever Miriam Quiambao said or posted online about something.

As I further investigated, this note or article entitled "Open Letter to Miriam Quiambao: Let's defend every word in the Bible!" is a personal response to Miriam Quiambao's statements in Boy Abunda's Saturday night show, Bottomline where she, based on the reaction of many netizens, made statements about religion and homosexuality which offended people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. I did not see the show but I learned about it through an online article in Manila Bulletin. After that show, there were many who reacted in Twitter and this FB open letter is one of the reactions to that Saturday night episode.

As I read the article on FB, I started to see that it was a sarcastic response to Miriam Quiambao's stance on the Bible about homosexuality. And as a student of the Bible, which I believe to be the Word of God, written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit, and is therefore true and the source of absolute truth, I can't help but share my thoughts on the open letter. First, I understand that the person who wrote the open letter to Miriam Q. was a man who reads the Bible as well. His knowledge of bible references was obvious. But his conclusions and interpretations were wrong.

2 Timothy 2:15-17 says "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene." There is a right, correct and accurate way to handle the word of God. A person cannot just go on reading the Bible and give a quick interpretation of its content. The friend of the person who wrote the open letter said it right, those "words should not be taken out of context."

The right way to interpret the Bible starts from observation - looking at the context, who the author is, who the original intended recipients of the book are and understanding the culture that they live in. Even the type or genre of the book has to be considered because different books of the Bible were written in different literary genres such as poetry, prophecy, letters/epistles and historical narrative (many books of the Old Testament were written in this genre) where identifying the author, original recipient, the purpose of writing and the culture of their recipients are very important to observe before making any interpretation. You do not approach the different literary genres in the same way - you do it differently. Without considering these things any person can make erroneous interpretations and derive wrong principles from the Bible which can easily be discerned by a sincere student of God's Word and eventually filter and throw it out in a tumbler compost.

The next important thing is to have the right attitude and heart toward the Word of God. Meaning, if a person believes that the Bible does not just contain the Word of God but IS the Word of God then that person must believe that the Bible is truth and is without error, that it does not contradict itself. So any contradictions one thinks is found has a right explanation that is consistent with the character of God and His attributes. 

Either you believe the Bible to be this way, because that's what it claims to be, or totally scrap the Bible and say that it is wrong because its claims do not hold any middle ground where you just select what is convenient for you to follow, like most people do. It is either absolutely true or absolutely false.

So, for those who say that they believe in the Bible yet they cheer for this open letter to Ms. Miriam Quiambao, take a step back and think - because whether we believe it or not, the Bible is absolute truth and there is a right way to extract the universal principles from it and perhaps, if you are sincere about discovering God through His complete and final revelation, the Bible, read it for yourself and learn how to handle it correctly. As you do this, you will discover not just knowledge but true wisdom which comes through the Person whom the Bible is revealing - Jesus Christ.