are you unhappy? go Hab-a-kkuk…

it has been more than a month since moving back here in the Philippines from BC, Canada, now trying to continue to live the life we have left 8 years ago..

i thank God for sustaining both me and my husband. it is not easy starting all over again, like when we did the time we first landed in Canada, and now here… i have secretly wished my husband would change his mind and tell me that our move here is just temporary… but it just causes more sadness than being hopeful. besides, all my wishes are not God’s wishes for me and my husband, His are better of course… so i submit to His plans…

but you know, as a soldier of Christ, we always fight our daily battles to keep away from anything not in accord with His standards.. so, my bible, my best friend, has always been my handy sword and shield in my time of need… and i want to share this with you…

habakkuk

thank God for His words they lift me up!!

next time you feel as if nothing is happening in your life… go have-a-coke…. er,,,  i meant to say…. Hab-a-kkuk… listen to what Habakkuk has to say… and stay joyful.. 🙂

God bless you!

M.

double ten…double happiness…

thank God we arrived Taipei, Taiwan safely last Thursday morning, eastern time, and despite having traveled for 13 hours, we started the day already touring the city and checking out what we’ve missed for the last ten or so years that we have not visited..

yesterday, October 10, or double ten, was a special date for three good reasons, for me, i.e.

here in Taipei, Taiwan, it is a big holiday, double ten is the National Day of Republic of China. it was when the Republic was established after the fall of Qing Dynasty in China.. ahem,, it’s from wiki pedia.. read here.. now for a little chinese calligraphy: the number ten is written like a plus sign 十 so, the date October 10, is written as: 十月十日 and two tens would look like this:

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October 10 is my father’s birthday as well though i never met him while growing up as he was gone before i turned a year old via vehicular accident. Happy birthday, Papa!

and lastly,the day also happens to be our 22nd wedding anniversary!! it’s double two on double ten.. :)… and double happiness of course…

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so, it’s partly why we have decided to do a five day R & R here before finally heading home, to celebrate our anniversary.

what do i know of Taiwan? Taiwan, though a tiny leaf shaped island, as i see it is a bustling little nation, not so much making noise in the outside world but if you come visit, you’ll see that she is progressing quite steadily. it is known to be greatly involved in manufacturing industry, i remember when i was younger, most of our household items were “made in Taiwan”.. but now she is into technological innovations as the rest of the world are so doing…

TAIWAN MAP

every night, the department stores are so so busy and they really spend to shop! i am so impressed… subway system is also efficient like Hongkong. i believe transportation efficiency is one major key to being progressive. people need to go places in less time to accomplish more. the little problem here i noticed is the language barrier, which is not unusual in many other Asian countries (except the Philippines due to huge American influence, and of course Singapore). though i can understand and speak very little mandarin, i am lucky to have my Dersky with me,, he speaks it fluently…

all in all, yesterday was a good day, double happiness for me :).. went to visit Tamshui (淡水) where the fisherman’s wharf is, which is accessible by MRT. here are some photos from places we’ve been to: (click photos for larger viewing)

 

we still have two full days here, will be checking night markets for good finds to bring home…

Thank You Dear Lord for my eyes, that i can see the beauty of your creation…
Thank You Dear Lord for my ears, that i can hear the noise that is life…
Thank You Dear Lord for my nose, that i can smell stinky tofu and know how good it is!
Thank You Dear Lord for my feet, that i spent the whole day walking.. bringing me to places new to me…
Thank You Dear Lord,, just Thank You… 🙂

“Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” ~Psalm 106:1

M.

Happy Thanksgiving…

it’s Thanksgiving once again… (Celebrated October 12th in Canada)

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yesterday, the church hosted a thanksgiving luncheon and also farewell for me and Dersky… i love my church… i am so blessed… in the morning, we attended our last church service after 8 years of building up friendships and fellowships, before flying home and as i sang with the praise team up in front, i was a bit in tears, looking at our church members who i came to love especially the seniors, they are in their 80’s and 90’s… the good bye they gave me was… “see you in our Father’s house”, telling me that it won’t be long that they will soon be called home.. 😥 i am going to miss them.. 

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we aren’t totally done with packing and clearing our apartment, i can’t believe we have accumulated so much in just 8 years!! first we dumped everything in the bedroom, it’s where we choose which ones to throw away, which ones to give away, and those we will bring home, we dump in the living room… now it’s the second stage sorting haha,, asking each other, do we really need this? so, until we trimmed down our stuff to those that we want to bring home then we pack them.. 

last week i was in San Francisco, i came across a book which i almost bought, good thing i didn’t but i guess Miss Fate wants me to have it when i saw it here in B.C. at 25% less the price.. i think i have to read this through now that we are starting again once we arrive in the Philippines… friends say cluttering runs in our family, i am in denial, but, guess what,, 60 to 70% of what we packed were all mine.. Dersky’s not complaining though… i still deny it that i am a clutterer.. i am just senti-“mental”… he he..

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the book that might cure my sentimentalism

our flight is tomorrow night, so my target is to finish everything by noontime tomorrow before we call our landlord for a walk through..

a big big sigh… once we land in Manila, this will be over.. it’s back to business,, life goes on again… just move on, move on… 

i am tired, but thank You Dear Lord, for sustaining me.. i am grateful for each day that i am able to accomplish things.. You have given me much, i truly believe You have been looking after me and Dersky with so much grace and mercy and LOVE.. 🙂

meantime,, i have to ready myself for the 13 hour flight, stopping in Taipei, Taiwan for 5 days before heading to Manila for another 2 hour flight….. whew!! 

are you tired?  ask God for strength, He will definitely keep you going as long as you allow Him to… surrendering is the thing to do.. 🙂

“The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” ~Habakkuk 3:19

M.

taking a road trip….

tomorrow, we’re taking a road trip to California via Portland, Oregon from Richmond, B.C. to see family… i am so excited… this is our first time to travel by car to California.

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it’s supposed to be a total of 16 hours non-stop drive for my husband (yes still didnt get my driver’s license, poor Dersky) but we opted to stay one night in Ashland, Oregon  for him to take a break  then resume traveling the next day, splitting our travel time to 10 hr & 6 hr drive on each day, with road stops in between.

the longest i have driven was from Manila to Baguio City (“BAH-giow” with g as in go), which is the summer capital of the Philippines due to her cool weather. this was summer of 2005. it is approximately 206 kms (128 miles) from Manila to Baguio City, a total drive of about 6 to 7 hours including road stops and meal breaks, we get to pass through various towns and enjoy the counrtyside scenery with farmlands and riverbanks, from Bulacan, to Pampanga, to Tarlac, to Pangasinan, to La Union and then Baguio…

as we approached the city, winding roads, zigzagging through the mountainsides begin at the foot of the mountain and we start to feel the cool breeze and smell pine trees, then you’ll know you’re almost there.

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Kennon Road, Baguio City Philippines

it would be nice to share my photos from that trip but i realized my photo CDs have all been shipped out already back to the Philippines…

i love road trips, especially when i am the one driving. it gives me the sense of freedom and the feeling of being in control, even the radio dials, he he.. much like in my running, it won’t work without my music.. but since Dersky will be driving, i will have to bear with his Shirley Basseys and Michael Learns to Rock music. i wish he’d play some of my ’80s favorites..

all this i thank You Lord for the travel opportunities You give me and my Dersky.. and not only do we get to see many beautiful places You have created, it is the getting to see family and friends again that makes the trip more worth taking… we are so blessed!!  will keep you posted 🙂

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M.

labor day labor….

i have climbed the Grouse Grind 3 times in the past, and yesterday, aptly “LABOR” day hehe i “labored” my fourth climb trying to beat my best time of one hour and 36 minutes when i did that the first time in September (Labor day also) 2011.. but i was slower by 6 minutes but still am happy i finished it.

before anything else, here are some facts about the Grouse Grind:

it is a 2.9 km. climb located just in North Vancouver, which is less than an hours drive from where i live.. this is one thing i love about B.C., there are so many trails you can go to that are located within the city or an easy ride in an hour or two… and you get fantastic vistas… really..

the trail is a “stairway” trail of 2,830 steps till you reach the summit. definitely not for the faint hearted, i have always imagined myself having a heart attack up there, no kidding…

the record climb time as of today is 23:48 minutes held by Sebastian Salas in 2010. oh my goodness!! at this time i was still 500 meters from the trail head hahaha.. read more about it here.

well, i had my 2 girlfriends with me Dio and Blynn with her better half Phil… that it made the hike more fun..

enough said, here are some snapshots from the hike yesterday.. enjoy!!

and here is a short video i took:

To God be All Glory!!

M.

change of plans….

our suite is almost empty…
my dresser, my cupboard, our bedroom, the walls,,,
the furniture one by one sold, disposed of, or been donated…
tv sets are boxed, etc..

ALMOST EMPTY...

ALMOST EMPTY…

there is a major change happening here. after 8 years of living life in Canada, we are moving on.. moving back to our home country…

as my dear husband “un-hang” our portrait we got from Sears to pack it away, i cried a little bit…

is this temporary or permanent move? i do not know… 8 years ago, i had the same question as we packed our things to land here in this beautiful part of the world…. i guess this move answers it… now, i cannot say if our moving back will be something permanent or just another “spur of the moment” decision… but no, it is not spur of the moment decision. it has been lingering in both my husband and my mind. first me, then him, then, took a while until our minds synced. so came the unanimous decision as we always try to decide on major things together… maybe this is how it is when we grow older, we tend to be reminiscent of where we came from, of the usual…. and for a really small family of two, we can go where our minds and hearts want to bring us without any care for our child’s school, peers, etc etc..

is this God’s plan for us? or merely our plan? i do not know… we have constantly prayed for God to reveal His plans for us,, and as the day came nearer and plans laid down, the circumstances make our decision justifiable… opportunities back home are opening up…. an office associate, having a high risk pregnancy, needs relief from work, and i am just the right person to help her having worked with her for many many many years… and a new line of business is brewing and so on….

it is difficult to detach myself from things i have gotten used to, we all do oftentimes, right? but what comforts me is the thought that it is just temporary where i am, whether here or there, someday, i will be called to my permanent home… but in the meantime, life goes on, i have to move on, one step at a time, and totally surrendering everything to God in prayer and in faith…

so,, it’s good bye for now here.. but not yet forever…

Proverbs 19:21 ESV “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

M.

almost there….

July 1st was Happy Canada Day!

it was a day well spent, having gone hiking with my dear girlfriends, Blynn and Dio, with Blynn’s lovey dovey, Phil.

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Dio, Phil & Blynn and Lugs 🙂

 

at the trailhead

at the trailhead

we went up to JOFFRE LAKES (French pronunciation Joh-fr) in Mount Currie, B.C. approximately 2-2.5 hours drive from Vancouver.   in total it is an 11 km hike, with approximately 400 m. elevation gain, passing by 3 breathtaking lakes, they call them lower, middle and the upper lakes.   in between you get to see the cascades from Matier Glaciers, they are sooo beautiful and serene feeling, you get to say thanks to God once you see the sight.   for those visiting B.C., i highly recommend this trail… 

having my frozen right shoulder (yes, again), had me second thinking if i will join the hike or not, but what da heck, i didn’t want to spend my holiday cooped up in my home heat padding and golf balling my shoulder when i can go out and appreciate Mother Nature, in capital letters as my respect for her… and i am super glad i did go…

the hike was a moderate climb. normally, it takes less than 4 hours to finish the entire trail.. but add to that, the selfies, the photographs, the lunch breaks, the water breaks, and all the moments you say your ooohs and aaahs, and feasting your eyes on what nature has to offer, all in all we finished the trail in almost 5 hours… 

Please enjoy the photos we took:

before reaching the upper lake, descending hikers we meet along the way would tell us “almost there!”,,, likewise, when we were on our way back to the trail head, ascending hikers would encourage us saying “almost there!!” two words that give encouragement and hope that we will soon be finishing the hike, either ways.   yes, trails are fun, but it is also tiring but compensated by the high that you get upon reaching the top and the finish line.. 🙂

going through difficulties in life is similar to trekking the mountains… we often would want to hear someone tell us “you’re almost there”… meaning we’ll soon pass this and overcome the obstacles.. much like the trails i have gone through, there were easy parts and steep climbs, there were parts where i needed a hand to cross the big boulder…. as in life, there will be days we feel we’re okay and days when we feel almost hopeless we just want to give up and days we need a hand to pull us up.. hearing someone’s comforting words as “you’re almost there, you can make it” could change his/her perspective into something positive.

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so, is there any one you know, a loved one, a friend, who needs to hear from you these words, “you’re almost there, you gonna make it”?   go ahead…. say it, do not withhold it…  simple but precious words to someone losing hope.. may God bless you…

“He comforts us every time we have trouble so that when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us.”  ~2 Corinthians 1:4

M.

what distracts you?

are you capable of multi-tasking?

according to the dictionary, to multi-task is “to perform two or more tasks simultaneously”, as i understand it, it goes without saying, performing different tasks AND completing them.

what about those tasks not completed? i don’t call mine as multi-tasking,  i simply call them distractions…

multitasking

i happen to be the web admin of our church website. as such, i am tasked to update the site regularly, to post news and events happening or just a simple banner for what the occasion may be! but you know my laptop is my “work desk” where i keep everything i want to do for the day. i have some accounting work to finish, check out zumba(R) videos that i want to add to my playlist, to write my blog, and do some more reading… so guess what happens when i boot up my laptop…

first i open my church website, hmmm let me see, what do i have today. ooh, i have to upload yesterday’s sermon.. so while waiting for the upload, i go to my emails and work on some financials,, hmmm, too much work to start for now, why don’t i check  youtube first, see what’s latest in zumba videos, hmmm, i love this music, who sang this? i look for the original artist.. hmmm, is he really? i check wikipedia, he is!!! oh.. so i remembered my church website. is it done uploading? okay now it’s time to edit…but then Dersky comes home i need to set the dinner table… i drop everything… and so on and so forth… until i lost track of what i was really doing.

yesterday was Father’s day, i was in church, i thought, how could i have forgotten to post a heartwarming greet to all fathers at church? my bad tsk tsk.. i felt so ashamed that i promised myself i will focus more on what i do than do this and that sporadically?!?!?!?

how do you cope with life’s distractions? take heart! every new day is a new leaf turned over, another day to look forward to doing it better. God is gracious that He forgets our mistakes… as long as we re-commit our lives to Him each and every day…

have a great Summer!!!

Richmond

M.

thank God for June…

it’s June!!!!

it’s been 3 weeks since coming back from my long vacation in my home country, the Philippines.

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every time i come back from a long stay in Manila, i always get the homesick bug biting me deeply.. it took me that long to recover from vacation hangover and now that it’s the first day of June, i decided i have to totally fight it off and continue with my life as it used to be…

so today, i got up with a brighter outlook that things will be fine from today on wards.

first off, what’s happening this month? well, i will miss running a half marathon event this year here in B.C. since i have already run a half in Manila last April. even though i planned on joining the event on June 28th via the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon Run, i decided otherwise. maybe i will just be running the same distance on the same day, here in my neighbourhood, whatever… however, i signed up for the Color Run Vancouver on the 13th of June with my friend who invited me to join their group. run event is only for 5 kilometers but we’ll be running/walking/dancing to the finish line. i am so excited as it will be my first time to experience this.

then comes my 51st birthday on the 20th.. it’s a Saturday so i am looking forward to celebrating it with my Dersky since it’s his day off from work. hmmm,,, craving for some Mediterranean fare.. or maybe climb the Grouse Grind again with my girlfriends…. that would be great!!

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enough of sulking and missing home for me… i choose J-O-Y!! thank God for June, it’s my favorite month, it’s the month when God gave me the gift of life, He never had second thoughts in bringing me out into this world so how else will i repay Him but to enjoy His precious gift!!

Ciao! 

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! “~ Psalm 126:5

M.

i asked God for one, He gave me ten!!

i am so blessed!!

okay, i am not boasting. i hope anyone who reads my story will understand why i need to share the joy i have in my heart right now :)..

we all ask or request for many things for God to provide us with, or for Him to make things happen for us. never a day passes that we don’t…. from simple requests like praying for a parking slot at the mall, to big prayers such as healing from cancer. big or small, we pray for it and hope that God grants our requests… sometimes He does make things happen, sometimes He doesn’t, but what if we ask for something and instead of simply granting our request, God gives us MORE than what we asked for?!?!?! that will be so amazing, wouldn’t it?

ca3a3afebd24aa734a8b8aa82a77cdd85ad6238ce437c500e2ab686b670526a7when i ran my first half marathon, i told myself and my husband, it will be my first and only long distance run that i will be doing.. but what happened? i ran my 4th half marathon last month!! God gave me 3 more!

when i asked God to send someone that i should marry when i turn 29, He sent Dersky, exactly when i was 29 years old! after a brief courtship, we got engaged and got married and despite being childless, we have been together for 22 years!!! God gave me someone to be with for the rest of my life!

the most recent is, coming home to Philippines means definitely having to see/visit my eldest sister (with 10 years age gap between us). she is a busy body that we rarely get together whenever i come home for vacation. i was hoping maybe we can have just one dinner together so i prayed for it, asking God if there’s a chance that i can bond with her again and maybe bridge our on and off gap that normally happens between sisters…

guess what? oh my goodness! since arriving, i sent her text messages but never got a reply.. then out of the blues on a Sunday, she sent me a message asking if i wanted to go on a road trip with her, of course i said “yes” instantly… off we went just her and me.. next thing you know.. a few weekends later, we again traveled through Asia for 3 days, and bonded well.. it was a short vacation but we rekindled and maybe as we both matured, we have learned to mellow down and just be ourselves…. amazing God we have don’t you think so??? i asked for one but He gave me 10!!!

with my dear sister, DR. MILAGROS ONG-HOW

with my dear sister, DR. MILAGROS ONG-HOW, in Bangkok

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at Antonio’s in Tagaytay City

 so there… today i am flying back to B.C. back to my Dersky’s arms, with heartwarming thoughts of my time with my Atsi Mila.. thank You God for everything.. i am so so so blessed..

what has God given you that you never expected? God is so good He never fails… 

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M.