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…


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!


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.

group photo

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.

IMG_7706 (800x599)

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


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.


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!!


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!!


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


what running has taught me…

finally i ran my fourth half marathon Sunday morning via the National Geographic’s Earth Day Run 2015. the event was successful, at least for me, i finished without injuries and though didn’t beat my PR, i am happy i made it and for the first time in my birth country, the Philippines, for that matter.


it was so humid that even in the first 20 minutes from start line i was profusely perspiring already… total opposite of my runs in cool cool Vancouver.. and to think that gunstart was at 3 a.m. my goodness! but it was good though, lots of victims of heatstroke in this country at this time of year and with thousands of participants, organizers perhaps made sure runners will be comfortable, except for maybe lack of sleep for some..


my niece, with my sister midst the crowd

this was the struggle that went on in my mind while running:
-at 10kms, i thought i should have signed up for 10 instead of 21kms, so I conceded that I was
tired, began to slow down, walked a little, jogged a little,,,

+but,,, no, i’m in it so i have to finish with my best effort…

-but,,, i started imagining my shin pain, my ankle pain, my whatever pain,,

+but,,, i remembered all the hours i put in for training,, i mustn’t slowdown..

-but,,, i lack sleep, i have a good reason for a mediocre performance..

+-+-+- but.. but… i was battling my demons,, in the end, sheer determination and mind over matter prevailed… God has sustained me, i finished not beating my PR but beating my demons..

did you know that the devil attacks you at your most vulnerable state? had i been the same person i was before i met the Lord, i would be buried by now, probably killed myself or buried under my cloud of negativity and hopelessness.. but thank God He revealed Himself to me, yes, i was given choices before, but now, i can choose better because i have Him as my guide…

my dear friend and run mentor, Allyn also joined the run, though I wished we ran together, we weren’t able to find each other amidst the 20,000 participants, to look for her is like needle in haystack…. but I am truly grateful that she participated and we had our souvenir “finish” line photo again after 5 or so years…


Me and Allyn – seems like old times.. 🙂


so what has running taught me? I realized that I am (we all are) the easy targets of the devil, the bible says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” ~1 Peter 5:8 especially during our darkest and trying times, in our tiredness, he is just waiting to victimize us.

But take heart!! God is our victor! He lifts us up and helps us finish our race, through heat and blisters, from hopelessness to encouragement, all we need to be is faithful and trust in His Sovereignty… then we’ll cross the finish line defeating our demons.. God triumphs!


Miss Countdown…

my dear brother, Tony, calls me “Miss Countdown”… because each time something’s coming up, like scheduled travels, a race that i have signed up with, someone special’s birthday, etc, i would announce to the family “10 days to go.. ” “3 days to go”…

i guess nothing is wrong with that… i am always super hyper with anything, or i could also be the opposite, dreading the arrival of something, like now, i have 38 days to go til i fly back to BC, i don’t want to think of leaving yet, but the day is coming nearer and nearer..

yesterday, i told my brother, i have so many things still need to be done, yet there is not much time for me. i remember that huge bulletin board in High School where it was written boldly: Live your life as if it were your first day, your last day, YOUR ONLY DAY! now whoever authored this motto sure did know how precious each minute , each second of his/her life was.. everyday, i think of my departure date as my “last day” and that i have to accomplish as much as i can before that day ever comes..

last day

truth is we never know when our last day on earth will be. i think i ought to say everyday “ONE DAY TO GO”… or better, “THIS IS THE DAY”… well, i think when my time has come that i will be called home, i am sure i am so ready, “finished or unfinished, pass your papers” as my teacher would announce during quizzes.. my life is secured in knowing God and He has led me to preparing myself to meet HIM soon… 🙂


how about you? have you thought of how to spend your days? did you ever think of preparing yourself to that BIG day when God calls you home? try connecting with Him, i am sure you’ll be counting down your days everyday to be with Him!!  To God be all Glory!!

8 months to go til Christmas…
38 days to go til i fly back to B.C…
28 days to go til my NatGeo Earth Day run…
3 days to go til my Lenten Retreat…
1 day to go, it’s APRIL!!

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” ~Psalm 90-12


21 @ 51

update on my running…. so far, my running life is in full bloom, i have been in Manila since February, and no cold and wet winters to keep me from running outdoors, no rains of “raincouver” to think about that i can run almost daily with my run team mates.. i was able to enjoy the cool crisp late afternoons/early evenings Manila experiences every February, and now as the summer heat sets in, running becomes more challenging for me, albeit humid nights, i am having the time of my life.

for this, i opted to sign up for the half marathon event for NatGeo Earth Day run on April 26th, and forego my plans of joining a run event in Vancouver this coming June.. i thought, since i’m here why not take a stab at it..


yes i am turning 51 as well in June,, hence 21 @ 51, or 21 kms at age 51. i do not aim for any PRs, i will be so very happy if i can finish the race without injuries or you know, as we “seniors” start experiencing ha ha.. it’s really funny cuz now, next generation runners call me “Tita” (as in Aunt) or “Ate” (pronounced as AH-teh) as in Elder sister, a respectful way to call someone older.. when i was used to being called only by my first name.. i am really a senior citizen.. of course i embrace it and not resenting it.. with age comes wisdom, right??

long road

so,, afternoons/early evenings i run following a train plan for my fourth half marathon event. still feeling excited and a bit nervous each time i think about the race, especially now that i am running in the tropics, with high percentage of humidity, unlike in Vancouver, where summer climate is still cool in the mornings, and sometimes it even rains in summer. but one thing different here is that the gun goes off at 12 midnight or 2 a.m. because it gets really hot during late mornings!!! oh my goodness.. back in BC, we start at 7 a.m. for half marathon and 8 a.m. for full marathon, based on my past experiences, and still enjoy cool summer weather.. i wonder how it will be here.. will let you know.


that’s all for now… the old lady shall now sleep..  🙂


in God’s appointed time…


God's time

lately, i have been involved in “near misses” that could be reasons to feel rueful, but thanks to my new “motto” that i am able to overcome the feeling of regret, which is the cousin of worry actually…

but first let me explain, worry is something you think about BEFORE something even happens,,, while her cousin, regret, is that which happens AFTER something has been done/occurred or something you failed to do…  regret is not a good feeling because it stops us from moving on, always thinking of ‘i shoulda, i coulda’, but it’s too late to change anything.. so you just mope and regret and regret… and nothing good is happening..

you know what, my new motto is.. “everything is in God’s appointed time”… i believe nothing is ever too late. everything that happened happened because God planned it to happen… good or bad there is always a reason…

you end up taking up the wrong college degree and you regret it? don’t,,, God intentionally has a purpose for that..

you didn’t marry the one you thought was right for you? don’t regret it… God already knew who to send for you, if there is someone He things is right…..

you missed taking the earlier flight to join a family get together? don’t be sad about it.. there is a good reason for it..

in short.. do not feel bad about something you so want to happen but didn’t… or the other way around, something you did but think you should not have… i have made too many bad decisions in life that more often i have had regrets…  fortunately, they were easy for me to overcome because God has taught me that “His plans are better than my plans, His ways are higher than my ways” ~Isaian 55:9 therefore, i truly believe that every day, every second of my life is happening as it is planned by God. why worry then? or why regret if we know He knows what’s going on?

do you feel regretful for something? no, don’t be, it is all part of God’s perfect plan.. you’ll see, just be prayerful and patient and of course, there should be complete reliance on Him… i am definite there will be more joy in your life! keep smiling 🙂 no regrets… move on.. move on… 


Happy New Year 2015!!

as i type this, there are 4 days left till the new year arrives.


i admit i didn’t do well with my running this past year (2014) in terms of diligence… but at least i was able to finish my third half marathon last May. i am experiencing hamstring pain for the past few months that i kinda slowed down a bit from running. i resorted to Zumba just to keep myself physically active…  for the coming year though, i am thinking of signing up for a Half marathon event happening on June 28th. plenty of time to heal, plenty of time to regain my endurance after the holidays. it’s good to have a running goal this early so i will get motivated.

i am just agreeing with an article i’ve read a few months back which touched on the topic about how being 50 should not stop you from being active. i want to encourage you, especially those my age, to at least try and look for some activity that will keep your circulation going. it will be really healthy.. you might just even walk…. and to perk up your enthusiasm, why not invest on some gadgets that are now in the market to monitor your progress. this is one motivation for you. ok, i am not encouraging you to spend, i am just suggesting anything that maybe will ‘FORCE’ you to just go and do it. sometimes if we think we spent already for something (like signing up for the gym, which my sister did so now she has no choice but to go hahaha)… might as well have really good use for it than nothing at all, right? in my case,, Dersky gifted me with a Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS watch for Christmas, and i love it!  thank you Dersky. so, this encourages me the more..


well, here’s to a new year of more active life, and hopefully no injuries, pain is inevitable,, but there will always be healing..

Happy Running and Zumba-ing…  God bless you!



on deciding to follow Jesus..

recently, i heard a loved one say, “i need to work on my relationship with the Lord”…

my heart leapt, for joy i guess, because that would mean the Lord’s flock will increase!
but what can i tell her to encourage her more? well, first of all, i cannot and can never instruct her to do this and that. i can only share how i did it and made it.

i am a sinner. we all are, but i was an “unconfessing” sinner. there is a difference. before, i thought to myself, i was not doing the wrong thing, i did what makes me happy. i was proud. so God used my mistakes to correct me, many times painfully, much like, using the error to correct the error… hmmm makes sense? okay to put it differently, we learn from our mistakes!

having a relationship with God is a decision one makes, and no one can tell him/her how to do it, nothing from the outside will make the decision for him/her. it will come from the inside, from the heart… so when i finally decided i want to build my relationship with Jesus, i did what it takes to be near him.

first, i stayed away from secular interests, i love music, but  i began listening to praise music and Christian songs only. i stayed away from tv for a while, in fact i had no tv in my room, all i had was the A.M. radio, tuned in to the Christian station the whole night until sleepiness crept in. in my “previous” life, i would listen to pop music, silly love songs, and imagine things, then these things trigger me to drink, to smoke, to have fun.. to be carried away by my emotions, have pity on myself, etc etc. i watched movies that affect the mind badly, and gave me ideas how to sneak around. uhm uhm not good! okay this is me, people have different weaknesses…


then, i spent more time in church than anywhere else. in my “previous” life, i was out with friends, came home at 2 a.m. drunk. even during my married life.. i thought that was happiness. it led me to dishonesty to my husband (subtler infidelity) and everything that came with it.. i tried to learn more about Jesus by reading the bible stories more, and became more positive person, though not perfect, but am more at peace.

now that is one decision i made that i never regret. my heart is already a stronghold of God’s presence. yes i do listen to pop music now, rarely watch tv though except cooking shows, since i already know God filters everything i see and listen to. i am secured. and it was all because He helped me go through with it.

so, there. i pray for my dear friend, i know it’s a tough decision because you have to change a lot of “normal usual” things you do,, but take heart, surrender it to Him and He will lead your way, easily :)..

how about you, have you decided to follow Him?

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” ~Psalm 51:12


how do you give?

good saturday afternoon!

yesterday after work, i dropped by at the church to volunteer sorting donated clothes, courtesy of Center Street Church in Calgary, headed by Pastor Wayne Smele. there were like 70 bagsful of used clothing to be given away for free today.

(click on photos for larger view)

we had so much fun folding, sorting, which table do men’s jeans go, ladies tops, children’s jammies, and some even gave away their,, er… underwear? but i think (and i hope) they’re new and never been worn hehe.. we finished after almost two hours, that included some chit chat, stories here and there, making fun of some odd shaped clothing like you’ll wonder what in the world is it? a shawl? a shirt? or a table runner?

last year, our Filipino group from where i work conducted a clothing drive when the devastating Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, particularly, Tacloban… then a leading Philippine courier company offered to send boxes for free so we grabbed the opportunity to solicit used clothing from workmates and footwear as well, or anything of use, as long as it helps our beloved countrymen.  we gathered i think 7 boxes in all..!! 🙂


in the pile of clothes we received, there was a comforter. hmm it’s perfect as they can use it to sleep on, what with their houses blown away along with there cots or cardboard beds (majority of the affected were the poorer population).. however,, (this is kinda disgusting).. it reeked of… i cannot describe it, it stunk so bad that i brought it to the laundromat before packing it.. i don’t think it will be proper to send a stinking bed sheet and to someone so down and out and in dire need of ‘comfort’, so to speak..

not that i am an ingrate, you see, i am happy that we received all those donations,, but,,, my question is, how do you give? rather than what do you give?

to quote Mother Teresa, “it is not how much we give but how much love we put into giving”… maybe if we give something away to charity, we ought to think of the recipient. do we really give from the heart or just getting rid of things? i too am guilty of this of course, but God gives us second chances as there are so many opportunities to do what we gotta do….. what do you think?

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” ~ 2 Corinthians 9:7