Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Habits are at first cobwebs, then cables.
-Spanish Proverb

Bez usually have front-end loaded weekdays. She’ll be busy working from 7am-4pm; with the mind functioning more than the body, engaging in analysis and a lot-of decision making as a manager in a multinational firm. After getting off from work at 5pm, she becomes a certified couch potato. After all, the television offers such an easy escape; it has been proven time and again to remove stress. However, coupled with TV viewing is eating and drinking junk (food). Time flies and she is still smitten by the TV hypnosis during dinner time. She’d bring the food in front of the TV and eat mindlessly until she eats tons of carbohydrates and empty calories. 2 hours have passed after dinner and she’s still watching TV and she’s still sedentary. This vicious cycle goes on and on, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. The weekends are a bit active but food abounds when she goes out with friends for their girl bonding activities. Her gastronomic consumption is tempered only by twilight zone episodes of fitting room traumas in department stores. If there’s a special occasion coming up that requires new clothes, then Bez has a major problem. The best cuts just don’t fit. Cellulites get in the way! It’s predictably frustrating all of the time. Hours of torment while fitting and ending up with nothing at all. It always crashes every inch of her self-esteem.
During these situations, when reality sinks in and she asks, "what happened to my body? It’s as if I swallowed a lifesaver that got stuck on that familiar place I used to call my hips. What happened?" The answer: your lifestyle sucks big time! One eventful regret after another and yet the scale won't move lower a bit! One can't expect a different output if the input is the same. Having onsistent worng choices and expecting different results is foolishness.
So in one of those dark moments she had a conviction to put an end to all these 50 pounds of excess baggage. She’s got the time, the money, the resources to make this work. SHE WANTS TO STOP ALL THE NONSENSE ALREADY AND GET HER LIFE BACK!
So what happened after that?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Connect Knowing with Doing

Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
2 Corinthians 4:17 (NLT)

I’m a voracious reader. I consumed 1/4 of my life reading about fitness and weight loss. Much of the passion comes from the motive of seeking direction, answers and revelation. However, I often struggle applying all the positive things I’ve learned in one particular area of my life. I had an “Aha moment” when I read that “no one ever got fit by just reading a fitness book.” So I inquired of the Lord how I can connect knowing and doing. He replied that I should cry out to Him for renewal. I have to repent first. A changed heart, leads to a changed mind. Then a change in the body follows.
So I prayed, "Lord, I cry out to you for spiritual renewal; renew also my thoughts and attitude. I repent of my laziness and lack of respect for my body when I overeat. Often in the past have I neglected regular exercise and fed it with rubbish (fatty, oily, and junk food) during my emotional highs and lows. Forgive me Lord, for eating rice like there is no tomorrow; and for eating less vegetables and fruits as I should. Please re-script me Lord. Only you can change the program in my heart...and in my stomach. I failed depending on sheer willpower; it was not sustainable. I just slipped right back. Lord, I know I cannot buy self-control in a book, equipment or pill form. I realize that I cannot entrust caring for my own body to the hands of other people now or when I get old. I love my family too much and I cannot bear to be a cause of their grief over diseases that I can very well avoid. I am accountable for this temple you gave me; you can use my life to the fullest if it’s healthy and whole. So after taking charge of this area of my life for 20 years, I now lay it down before you. Thank you Lord. From now on, I will not fret about this anymore because you are in control."
I thank Him because He heard my prayer. How did He answer?

1. I received fruits from my mother which made watermelon, apples and pineapple more satiating to the palate. . I already know they're nutritious but suddenly, they also taste better! They bring forth calm to my raging sweet tooth which had a mind of its own.

2. My work schedule changed. This meant I no longer got to eat with my food trip buddies in the cafeteria 3 times within our shift. I realized how "efficient" we were in observing break times. Now that I eat alone, I no longer go for second servings or for dessert. I was a social eater after all.

3. I got convicted to keep a food log so I'll mind what I eat. I felt utter embarrassment the first time I did this because I almost filled up half the page! I also realized how much of a carbohydrate addict I was, and that I was not wise enough to eat a balanced diet. For that day I ate rice, bread, rice cake which were all carbs. I was obese yet undernourished. I lasted a day without fiber in my diet. Now I ensure I eat a balanced diet at the right amounts. (Nakakapagod magsulat kasi maraming sinusulat kapag maraming kinakain.)

4. I got convicted to take advantage of my daughter's running race pace for burning calories everyday. I'd chase her as she runs playfully in our neighborhood or in the clubhouse. (I used to delegate this task to the babysitter as I watched TV.) This daily playtime results to about 500 calories burned daily. Aside from the adrenalin rush and the release of happy feelings brought about by the exercise, we also have more bonding time when we do this. This is win-win.

5. I learned to simplify. Previously, I've got to be in a gym or a marathon match to exercise. How limiting that was! Now, if I want to exercise, I just go right about and do it. I get my hoola hoop, jump rope, dumb bells or just go to our terrace for a good stretch. I jog on Saturday mornings while my kids are asleep. Things just kept getting better and better since I yielded.

God is good. God taught me the Law of the Harvest. One reaps what one sows. I'm now healthy.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What Matters Most

“Your interaction with them (your children) will provide the foundation for their relationships with God.”
-Lisa Whelchel, in Creative Correction: Extraordinary Ideas for Everyday Discipline, 2000

There is so much responsibility in becoming a parent. And I am now recognizing that there is more to it than just providing food, shelter, education, recreation, and tons of stuff which our children call needs (Playstation Portable, iPod, laptop, cell phone with unlimited load, among others). I realize that before me now is a great opportunity to bring them closer to God by dealing with them as God directs me. I am not the boss of my children…God is.

I ensure that as I invest more time with them, I role-model what it means to love God and to have a genuine, sweet relationship with Him. This is the greatest legacy I can handover my children: the love of God.
Talk is cheap. If they don’t see me actually prioritizing God in my life, no amount of talk or intimidation can persuade them to know Him. They must be convinced inside-out that their lives must be lived for God. For only then will life have full meaning.
My children’s view of God is influenced by how I view Him. So all the more I have to seek Him, and ask for His direction on how to bring them up in the way that pleases Him.
Proverbs 24:3-4
By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

This Generation’s Cupid!

Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year. I greeted my husband and my son as I woke up ahead of them. The morning started with me making a few sandwiches for breakfast. Then a voice from outside called, “LBC delivery po para kay Edna Guevara…” I didn’t want to go out to meet the delivery man because of my Saturday morning shabby look so I called Alex from the room, and requested him to transact with the delivery guy. However, he hesitated and did not move an inch. So I rushed to the gate and received the package. This long package had no sender’s address. My mind wondered what it contained; I had a wild hint it was a blueprint of the next house we’re planning to build. After a few seconds, I’ve opened the box and saw 3 red roses, a teddy bear and a card. It was from Alex! They’re pricey alright, but it’s OK. There’s an intangible ROI (return on investment). It’s an expression of love that cannot be quantified.
My son received a valentine’s gift from us; it was Francisco J. Colayco and Nina Lim Yuson’s book, Money for Kids: Pera Mo, Palaguin Mo (Anvil Publishing Inc., 2006). He read it right away and liked it. I hope he applies the principles therein.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Action Required: Stand On The Word of God

Romans 4: 20-22
Abraham’s faith did not leave him, and he did not doubt God’s promise; his faith filled him with power, and he gave praise to God. He was absolutely sure that God would be able to do what he promised.
That is why Abraham, through faith, was accepted as righteous by God.

Thank you Lord for teaching us that we need to have unyielding faith and confidence in you. Thank you also for assuring us that your Word is always fresh and relevant, and that the breakthrough Abraham experienced, we can enjoy too. This is my reference to your promise:

Romans 4: 23-24
The words “he was accepted as righteous” were not written for him alone. They were written also for us who are to be accepted as righteous, who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from death.

So I pray,

Psalm 123:1-2
Lord I look up to you, up to heaven, where you rule. As a servant depends on his master, as a maid depends on her mistress, so we will keep looking to you, O Lord our God, until you have mercy on us.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Clowning Around

My daughter Roo is afraid of clowns and mascots. We did not get her into being scared of it - she simply has been that way since she was a baby. Of course, this has an economic upside...clowns and mascots are banned when planning her birthdays, until we end with the decision of having no party at all. That's P20K cost avoidance in 2 years! Well, no kiddie party at least until she gets over the phobia.
When we attend friends' kiddie parties, we'd start bidding the celebrant goodbye shortly before Jollibee, Hetty or Grimace arrives. Otherwise, it will be a traumatic experience for her. And for us as well. So for the meantime, she just gets contented holding the still, life-sized version of Ronald Mc Donald outside the store.
We saw this clown in Toyota Dasmarinas, Cavite during the launch of Toyota Corolla Altis 2.0 last February 7. Still sleepy from the travel from Silang, she shuddered at the mere sight of this goofy clown! Then she panicked because this one had a buddy...a sidekick clown! "As if one was not enough," she must have thought!

So that whole afternoon in Toyota was like a Twilight Zone experience for her. Look at her in this picture, still scared from the sight of seeing one of the clowns take a break and draw water from the drinking station! When the clown saw her, he started doing goofy stuff and Roo really freaked out! As if she wanted to go back to my womb again in terror. The big nose scared her, the colorful costume did not appeal to her at all. It was horrendous! After a while, the clown left a bit confused. This was a different kid he figured out for sure.
I'm sure in time she'll realize that her own mother is a big time clown herself and she won't be afraid anymore!

Super Mom Celebrates A Super Day!

We celebrated my mother’s birthday in Balinsasayaw Chicken Grill and Restaurant. It is clandestinely located in 7180 A Highway, Tubuan II, Silang Cavite. (Thanks to our friends from Engineering Department who discovered this food place!) Owner Ms Rose E. Pe had a different concept of a festive dining experience. Fresh air, flowering plants, ferns and shrubs surround the nipa huts in various elevations. It reminded me of the famous Banaue Rice Terraces. A mosquito net surrounds every hut that protects both people and food from the elements. Customer usually come in groups, and there is guaranteed privacy in this kubo-kubo set-up. One summons the waiter by ringing a bell found in a corner of the hut. it's like ringing a butler. :-)
You have to taste how good the food is here. We ordered the set menu which consisted of grilled sea foods,chicken & eggplant served creatively in a big bilao. We also ordered Alex's favorite, the Palawan Express (a close relative of the Bicol Express). Together with steamed rice, assorted fruits and iced tea, it was a very satisfying experience.
After lunch, we made her rest and prepare for a soothing massage in the spa. What a special treat for our ageless celebrant!
Happy birthday also to dear friend Elsie Hipolito of Canada who shares the same natal day with my mom!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

An Invitation to Trust

In Isaiah 51:12-13, God invites us to trust in Him:

The Lord says,
I am the one who strengthens you.
Why should you fear mortals,
who are no more enduring than grass?
Have you forgotten the Lord who
made you?
Who stretched out the heavens
and laid the earth’s foundations?

So whether you feel weak physically, spiritually or emotionally, ask and expect to receive strength from God today.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Envelope, Please….

Anticipation arises out of what each envelope contains. However, there is far less resistance in the mind now because it’s just a matter of time until it all comes to an end.
Every end marks a new beginning….
My fear of uncertain days ahead has been replaced with courage and excitement. I already accepted that nothing lasts forever…even Intel (in the Philippines).
Another chapter will unfold in Q3. Only this time, the paths will be as varied as there are the many number of employees who will separate. Success will be defined no longer in terms of factory deliverables and Critical Success Indicators (CSIs) but on how each one will make use of the work ethic, skills set and network that one gained in Intel. There is, undoubtedly, a competitive advantage if you’re an Intellite. (May everyone realize and appreciate that there is.) Through our veins run our Intel values; we know how to strategize & focus- how to make a game plan. We know how to do cost-benefit analysis and derive decisions that are data-driven. Most importantly, we know how to execute – we flawlessly deliver. We also know how to evaluate, to make things better in the next cycle. And in all things we apply safety and quality. These are life skills tattooed in every Intellite.
CV will end soon but there will be no goodbyes. The happy memories, milestones and victories will linger for a lifetime. The challenges and learnings that made us strong and mature will equip us for the exciting adventure ahead.
The journey has been magical. My 11 years in Intel has been the best 11 years of my life.