Saturday, January 31, 2009

Making Time for Friends

Friends are life’s rare gems… so not even a brain-wrecking migraine nor hypertension can stop me from meeting my buddies from CPU assembly. It was a 40-kilometer drive from home but the SM Mall of Asia is the perfect place for a Saturday morning rendezvous. It’s been 44 days since we last saw each other and that was a very long wait!
My anticipation heightened as my family approached the skating rink. I searched for familiar faces amidst a throng of strangers in the mall. Then there they were, in Bo’s Coffee shop, sipping latte and eating pies. After a quick chat, we decided to transfer to Wendy’s Hamburger Restaurant to continue the bonding over lunch. We reminisced the good old times and had a light chat about future prospects. Bottom line: we connected and had fun!
I appreciate Analiza Palacio, Reishel Dollosa, Alma Oblepias, PoncianoJhunDotollo, Jr., Lilian Sablad, Robelyn Castillo, Girlie Balbuena, Crisyl Trinidad, Rowena “Wendy” Calipay, Adelin Leachon & Judeleo Ferrer for taking time to come, for sharing their experiences. Thanks for bringing your kids and demonstrating to them how we value friendship. For the others who were not able to make it…we missed you (and talked about you) a lot! Hope we can get together again soon.
<-This photo was taken in May 2007 when we wnet to ATC to eat in Saisaki & watch Pirates of the Carribean 3.

Thanks to Lani Arreglo, Jude Ferrer & Lilian Sablad for capturing the precious moments. Until June...kitakitz.

Love in Action

O Lord, you have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress,
a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.
Isaiah 25:4a
One thing I love about being an Intelite is being able to volunteer in outreach activities. On January 30, 2009, we had a heart warming experience in Mama’s Hope Haven of Norway, Inc. It is located at 25 F. Manalo Rd., Pag-asa St., Brgy. Navarro, General Trias, Cavite. It was a pleasant surprise for some of our volunteers to discover this non-profit Christian organization which has a holistic approach in ministering to the communities. What really strikes me was that it caters to both the young and the elderly: for the young, its key objective is teaching self-sufficiency and poverty alleviation which can be achieved through education; for the elderly, a dignified retirement.
The day started off with storytelling to kids (Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, Twinkle Star & Where Do Balloons Go), parlor games (stop dance, bring me), singing program for elderly, feeding of snacks to kids, feeding lunch to elderly, fun and fellowship with all the beneficiaries & among fellow volunteers.
We had the privilege of meeting Ms. Rachel Trovi, founder and president of Mama’s Hope. I thanked her for having a burden and responding to the call to care for Filipino orphans and elderly. I was inspired with her act of sacrifice of being in the outskirts of Cavite instead of enjoying life in Norway. She is much loved and respected by everyone. I immediately connected with the vision of her ministry which is “to demonstrate a wholesome atmosphere where the love and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ can be experienced and shared in the best way possible.” Her courage and dedication is moving…she does not receive any salary for helping her fellowmen of another nationality. This is love in action. Indeed a tough act to follow.
We also salute the social workers, house parents and caregivers who minister in Mama’s Hope. You are living heroes and examples sa bayan ng mga volunteers.
For more details, visit Mama's Hope website at...

Thursday, January 29, 2009


There's a lot of positive and meaningful things I took away when I attended "Abundance, A Mini-Lifeshop" last January 28, Wednesday. Pido Aguilar, Jr. was energetic and really knows what he was talking about, the principles of Abundance.
What struck me most was his point that whether good or bad, nothing lasts forever. It's stressful & frustrating to hold on to something that you know won't last. Letting go is emotionally and spiritually liberating.
Special thanks to colleague Dennis Paderes for capturing my special moment with Pido.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

15 Years and Counting

January 27, '09 is our fifteenth year wedding anniversary. We celebrated it by attending the 8:00 AM worship service in Alabang New Life Christian Center. I thanked God for blessing our family with love, joy & peace through the years. He is the Lord of our house, and the Great Provider.
After church, we strolled a bit in the Alabang Town Center. The shops just opened, and almost all of them offer hefty discounts because there is not much to splurge on the part of buyers after the holiday season. This period until before Valentines day is sluggish.
At 11:30am we headed to our "anniversary restaurant", Giligan's Alabang. We also celebrated here last year and we enjoyed the experience enough to eat there again this year. We like the cozy ambiance and the pirate ship's unique. We ordered the sumptuous Set B: sinigang na bangus sa miso (milkfish in miso & tamarind soup), fried chicken with special gravy, grilled liempo, steamed rice and iced tea. The blueberry pie was to die for but we begged off desserts this year with this mantra: "a moment on the lips, forever on my hips!"
(It seems that it took a longer time for me to write this blog than for my family to finish Set B :-))
Happy birthday to my cousin-in-law Evelyn "Chingky" Agsulid who celebrates her birthday today.

God is in Charge

But the Lord is faithful; He will make you strong and guard you from the evil one.
2 Thesalonians 3:3
Praise God for this verse! His Word is always fresh and he gives it at the right time. This passage removed my anxiety over the troubles I hear going around. The Lord gives perfect peace.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Faith Brings Change

I believe God will reveal His plan to us, we only need to seek Him first.
I believe God remains the source of all the good in my life, no matter what the world says.
I believe God teaches me to be sensitive to His will now, and I acknowledge His Lordship.

I believe that God is teaching me to mature spiritually...Lord help me endure.

With Christ In My Vessel

I was so blessed to hear Pastor Paul Chase’s preaching in the 8am worship service. He shared that one of the vital things necessary in every believer’s life is to allow the Word of God to be the source of truth in my life.
God knew I was hurting so bad from the January 20 announcement that our company will be closing this year. There was so much bad news going around. So God comforted me and revealed these truths that I believe:

Isaiah 41:13
I am the Lord your God;
I strengthen you and tell you,
Do not be afraid; I will help you.

Isaiah 43:5
Do not be afraid, I am with you!

Isaiah 46:4
I am your God and will take care of you
Until you are old and your hair is gray.
I made you and will care for you;
I will give you help and rescue you.

Thank you Lord, for the reassurance. With Christ in my vessel I can smile at the storm.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Fresh Start

GOD can do amazing things with the rest of your life. God specializes in giving people a fresh start.
-Rick Warren, in "Purpose Driven Life"
An atomic bomb was dropped before us yesterday. It was a five-minute announcement that forever changed my life... and the life of at least 1,600 employees. On second thought, multiply that by 4 and that's your total number (covering average number of dependents). There was a deafening silence in the Recreation Hall as everyone was stunned with THE announcement. I'd like to scream but only tears are allowed to come out from my eyes. I remembered everyone I cared for in Intel - my colleagues in manufacturing, my peers from other departments, the security guards, even the canteen and maintenance folks. This can't be happening, I said to myself with disbelief. I planned to retire in Intel, and at 35, I am definitely NOT YET in my retirement age. Our manager said thank you for the years we spent in the company. Then he said sorry that this decision had to happen. I felt he was sincere.
People came out of the forum with heads bowed down. Intel will be a great loss to the Philippines, being one of the top exporters, and one of the best employers this country has. I'm grateful that I've been a part of it. it has become a conduit of blessings for the community and to the employees whose lives it enriched to a full measure.
After much thought, I come to the following conclusions: I've been with this company for more than 11 years and my commitment remains unwavering. I will honor my commitment until my last day in office. I will comfort my co-employees who are still hurting. I will muster enough courage to reach out to those who find this situation unbearable. i will make myself available to remind everyone that there is hope, and that accepting the truth will set us free. Free to come to God again and inquire of His new gameplan for us & our families.
All the best to us, as we welcome a fresh start in life.
-Edna (0916-420-4052 personal CP :-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 21 Letter to God

Heavenly Father, I rejoice and praise You because in a world of constant change, You remain immovable.
You taught us to trust in You. And that trust is not in vain.

You are a Steady Rock we can lean on.

Please help me accept things that are beyond my control.

Lord, grant me the wisdom to know your will.

Increase my faith. May I get the lesson you want to impart to me through this trial.

Let this situation lead me to spiritual maturity. Let this event draw me closer to you.

Let this event help me lead others closer to you.

Allow me to comfort others as you comfort me.

I humbly lay my life before you. Thank you for your unconditional love and compassion. In excitement I await my life's next chapter. With unyielding confidence I submit to you.

This I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

San Fernando, Pampanga Revisited

There’s been a big development within the last 2 years in San Fernando, Pampanga’s infrastructure. The North Luzon Express Way (NLEX) has been widened and the road signs are much more helpful to motorists. I found the machine-dispensed automated ticketing system in San Fernando exit on our way back to Manila efficient.
There are much more gasoline station stopovers now as compared to my last trip. One even had life-sized dinosaurs and a playground as attractions for weary motorists.
San Fernando, Pampanga is also a home to the country’s top 2 malls: SM Pampanga and Robinson’s Star Mall. It has been a trend that they are erected adjacent to each other, as in this case, they are. They are situated right where the express way exit is, so no one will miss it. This is a great help for Pampanguenos because these malls generate jobs for the people and the taxes they pay benefit the municipal government.
One can still see the lahar in the outskirts of town, reminding townsfolk of the Mount Pinatubo explosion of the ‘90s.
Reuniting with Relatives in Pampanga has always been exciting. The Garcia clan is big and getting together means a whole day of eating. Among the delicacies include dinuguan (pork blood stew), calderetang itik (duck in thick tomato sauce), grilled sea foods (tilapia, squid, milkfish) and buro (preserved fish). For the sweet tooth, there's suman (rice cake), ube halaya (sweet potato rootcrop) and ice cream (ube macapuno & choco marble flavors). Pancit guisado and siomai were served for merienda or afternoon snack. Freshly picked star apples (caimito), pineapples and bananas were the official fruit snack. RC cola and Arsy sodas were the thirst quenchers. All these one will force to stack in your stomach in the midst of getting criticized that he/she got fat as compared to the recent reunion. This however, does not apply to me. I got leaner and everyone noticed. So I coached this year's relative who inherited the crown to not take the critics seriously.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Family Bonding

Our first stop was in Market! Market! Located in Carlos P. Garcia Avenue (C-5) corner 32nd Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Metro Manila. The mission: to satisfy my son’s craving for
World-famous Krisy Kreme! It was an adventure to search for the doughnut place in Market! Market! To my surprise, the store was actually in Bonifacio High Street. So we crossed the street & headed to Boni-Hi.
Then there it was…one of Krispy Kreme Doughnut’s home in the Philippines! The look and feel of the store is immaculate clean and cozy. Sunday morning’s service crew team provided excellent customer service. My daughter Roo was given a balloon & a hat for souvenirs.Everyone looked at the display counter and immediately knew that we were in for a special treat!
We started off by ordering 6 pieces of honey-glazed donuts. The first bite is surreal…the softest dough…a paradise for the sweet tooth indeed! As I was savoring the first bite, the other 5 doughnuts were gone! They were consumed in a flash! So, to make the trip worthwhile, we ordered a 2nd box (another half dozen) together with a talk glass of frappe for Josh and steaming hot coffee to match.
As we were enjoying the food and the ambiance, my son suddenly exclaimed, “I want to live here!” perhaps experiencing the sugar rush.

Next stop was the Fully Booked Bookstore, also in Bonifacio high Street. People flocked to the store to buy the bestsellers. They carry a wide array of reading materials that delight bibliophiles of all ages. They also carry CDs and exquisite gift items.
This turned out to be a priceless bonding moment :-)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


It takes fortitude of character and maturity to return something valuable that is not yours. After the honest deed is done, it feels so liberating…to a certain extent one feels empowered. This is because one overcame greed.
Honesty nourishes the soul. And having a soul is what differentiates humans from the other animals. If man ignores the conviction of his conscience, succumbs to self-preserving instincts, then he is just like the lower animals.
Between stimulus and response is a choice. When man chooses to keep his integrity intact by remaining honest, he benefits from inner peace. This is much valuable that satisfying baser instincts.
So the saying, “to thine own self be true,” is a nugget of wisdom really worth applying in life!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Stop and Smell the Flowers

The New Year brings a promise of new hope, fresh beginnings and recovery from things we messed up with in the last year. It feels good to start with a clean slate and break away from old habits that pull you down.
Three days into the year…so far so good. I got to read the Bible; then jog or lift weights in the morning. I’m reading a management book to feed my mind. I’m having my sofa re-upholstered to give my living room a new look. I’ve been cleaning the house for 2 weeks & have come to the conclusion that I might as well transfer to a new house than to have the current one renovated. No big deal, right?

Overall, I am very much content with my life now. I have no backlog nor any missed opportunity. I can take time to stop and smell the flowers.

Friday, January 2, 2009

More than New Year resolutions...Lifetime Resolutions

Here is my response to Grace Ilagan’s invitation in her blog to document my New Year resolutions. However, I call mine lifetime resolutions because these will be it for this lifetime:

1. I will glorify GOD in all I do;
2. I will consult GOD before I make any decision;
3. I will trust GOD in all my circumstances.

Only by the grace of God will I be able to do these. My life is meaningful if I live it only for Him. My success depends on how aligned I am to God's plan in my life.
I am accountable to reach out to 5 souls for Jesus this year. This is my faith goal. I will immerse myself in His Word daily.