Archive of ‘Teach Pray Run’ category

Happy New Year!

Wherever you may find yourself this new year, may love, compassion, and kindness motivate and move you. Be a goal digger, opportunity seeker, and dream keeper this 2018. Grab every difficult task that comes your way, even the ones that you would rather not do, takes the most effort, causes the most pain, and is the greatest struggle, for they hold the miraculous secret to strength and unleash the beauty of God’s amazing grace.

If you ever find yourself in deep darkness because God is working in strange and mysterious ways, do not be afraid. Instead, rise up in faith and in love, never doubting Him, for His plan for you, even if they are presented differently at the start, is as always, great. As you move forward to this year, embracing the days, the months, and the seasons, may this thought always remain with you: No matter what happens, life is good, God is good, He loves you. ❤️😍

25 Day Advent Reflection

Sharing with you the 25-Day Advent reflection I did to prepare myself for Baby Jesus this Christmas.

Day #1: And then, it is December. May we hear and receive the same good news given to Mary: Hope is born within us through Christ.

Day #2: See Christ more clearly, love Him more dearly, and follow Him more nearly.

Day #3: Lets live with intention in this season of waiting. Lets honor the story–the silent night, the angels, the miracle child, the simple birth–with each choice that we make. Lets us be drawn closer and closer to the heart, the beating heart of the story, and not to the glitters, gifts, and parties at every turn, so that what matters most will become clear to us this season.

Day #4: There’s beauty in waiting because that’s when faith, hope, love, and trust blossom. That’s what the Lord wants us to learn to appreciate when He takes His time in answering our prayers.

Day #5: Life is a constant advent season: we are continually waiting to become, to complete, to heal, and to fulfill. May this season of hope be a time transformation, healing, and fullfilment for us.

Day #6: Hope is what gets us through desperate days. If we can just inspire hope in others with our simple words and actions, imagine the many joyful and grateful hearts celebrating the gift of Jesus this Christmas.

Day #7: Are you waiting with expectant faith for the Lord to bless you with that one thing you have been longing to have? Wait in hope, for in absolute quietness, in the most unexpected place, and unexpected ways it shall be given to you. Much like how the Lord gifted the world with the greatest blessing ever known.

Day #8: Today, we celebrate the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mama Mary in the womb of her mother. She was born without original sin so she could fullfill her divine purpose of being Jesus’ mother. Until recently, I used to think that my purpose in life was to be a wife then a mother. But then, the events these past five years have made it clear to me what I am exactly here for. Not quite the wife but definitely a mother to my child. Since the Lord has entrusted Bianca in my care, it is my job to see to it see to it that she grows into the kind of person the Lord wants her to become. That’s my God-given mission and that’s what gives my life purpose.

To be chosen as mothers of our children is not an easy task. In fact, it is quite a tall order because in the process of raising our children heartbreak/ heartache is a given. My prayer for us mothers then is for us to be blessed with the same quiet confidence, courage, and grace like Mama Mary so we can fully embrace and carry out our mission of raising God-fearing, God-loving, and God-pleasing children.

Day #9: Advent is the season to give our faith a workout, to exercise our hope and love muscles. Some years make that difficult than the others so I am glad that advent comes every year to give us another chance to practice a hopeful and loving way of being into this world.

Everytime we sing songs from christmas past, put up decorations excitedly, tell inspiring christmas stories, surprise a needy, give lots and lots to charity, and use our special gift to inspire smiles in this season of advent, we honor the sacred story of hope and love that is the Nativity. Everytime we remember that God loves us and how we should extend this love to others in this season of advent, the joy and peace that the Baby Jesus in the manger brought into this world are born within us. So let’s try advent and live advent once again.

Day #10: Wherever you are and whatever you will be doing this week, dare to look for Jesus right there in the midst of it. Dare to find him in all things and you’ll be surprised at how often he’ll shows up.

Day #11: This season I’m letting go of the perfect holiday in my head. I won’t rush to every party, shop every gift, or plan the best christmas trips. Instead, I am choosing love, rest, and grace, affixing my steady gaze not on the glittering lights and extravagant sights but on that bright shining star that would lead me to the true reason for this season.

Day #12: More than our homes, lets fill our hearts with joy and expectation this advent season, for the best CHRISTmas trimming that we can ever display is a smile of great anticipation and gratitude for the gift of Christ, our Savior.

Day #13: In the middle of meditation in the advent recollection today, Fr. Penacoba jokingly exclaimed, “I am glad to see all of you resting there like a sleeping St. Joseph!” Rest is almost impossible these days. We are either chasing work deadlines, running errands, or beating the traffic and the christmas rush. But then, what if even just for this advent, we deliberately slow down or pause, and fiercely fight for our prayer time and quiet time with the Lord? What if even just for this advent, we find our way to a recollection, retreat, or mass, and try to be all there. What if even just for this advent, we choose love, rest, and grace? What a beautiful and meaningful christmas it will be for us.

Day #14: Embrace slow, savor stillness, and seek quiet. Prepare your heart for Him.

Day #15: Today, I got my christmas surprise early and it has reduced me to tears.

After being out of school for a good number of days for medical reasons, functioning literally with just 1 healthy lung for weeks, and dealing with a mountain of missed assessments when she finally returned back to school, she still managed to snag this.

Ginapang. Pinaghirapan. With single-minded focus, she painstakingly completed her missed assessments alongside the current ones, on one occassion even taking both midterms and finals on the same day; determinedly approached her teachers to request for coaching and one on one; laboriously poured over youtube tutorials and other internet resources to understand lessons she did not get to learn first hand; and even carefully planned her work schedule at home so she can finish her homework and meet my non-negotiable 10:30 pm bedtime. All this while recovering and healing from what to her was her most traumatic medical experience ever.

She is not the smartest girl but she has always been mentally tough, emotionally resilient, driven, and persistent. She has always been extremely motivated by this immense desire to rise above every challenging situation that comes her way. Life has never been easy for this girl but by God’s amazing grace, she always pull through, beautifully.

I am proud of you Bianca Angela for having the guts and the grit to go after your goal this year despite the odds. If there’s one person who truly deserve to be in this list, it is you. If in the future you begin to doubt your ability to achieve your goal or get past a difficult situation, you have this to remind you that you can and you will.

Day #16: It was still dark when I left the house this morning, rushing to make it to BCBP’s simbang gabi and breakfast in Alabang Country Club. In my haste, I didn’t get a chance to give the car a quick once over.

When my morning activities were done, I was itching to go home because I knew that Bianca was waiting for me and her friends I am bringing along for a sleep over in our house. Trisha, Bianca’s friend was already with me when Phoebe arrived. When her car pulled over at the driveway, I quickly ran to her mom to request for us to be dropped off in the parking lot. Normally I do not mind walking the short distance but for some reason this morning, I wasn’t up for it.

When we reached my car and were about to exchange goodbyes, the driver of the car beside me quickly lowered down his window to say, “Maam, iniintay ko po kayo kasi flat yung gulong nyo sa likod.” Unfortunately, I do not know how to change tires and doesn’t even have the tools for it. Good thing, Phoebe’s driver readily changed it for me. Good thing that at the last minute, they decided to bring him along. Good that the car beside me decided to park next to me or else I wouldn’t have noticed the flat rear tire. Good thing it happened when I was already parked safely and not when I was speeding along Daang Hari.

Clearly, this is God’s pattern. He always plans everything so well. He always rescues. He always saves. He always shows up at exactly the right time.

Day #17: Jesus wasn’t born into a perfect family. Before he came into this world, his parents had to deal with a lot of issues. Mary’s surprise pregnancy, Joseph’s initial fear and reluctance to assume the responsibility, and maybe their financial readiness too. But I guess in the end, what made them decide to work things out are two things: faith and love. They believe that building a family together is what the Lord wants from them and they love each other enough to rise above their personal issues. Although it wasn’t the most ideal situation, they made the best out of it by working hard to build a good life. May these two things guide us too as we face the many challenges of raising and keeping our families together.

Day #18: Amidst the whirlwind of christmas parties, get-togethers, reunions, special events, and shopping, my fervent prayer is this: Lord, unrush me.

Day #19: May prayer tonight: Lord, may I find the time, space, and energy in this busy season to prepare my heart for the coming of Jesus.

Day #20: Where did Baby Jesus go? I feared that the world had forgotten him.

I have always had this dream of making Christmas special for my students and so this year with the help of my colleagues in the level, I dared myself to achieve it, through service learning. Today, our Grade 2 students surprised the dedicated Outsourced Staff of our school from the auxilliary, security, and canteen department with gifts that they wish to receive this Christmas. Gifts as simple as pang noche buena, bagong helmet para mapalitan na yung sira, disenteng T-shirt, wall fan, laruang pambata, gift certificate sa isang restaurant para makakain sa masarap ang pamilya, nebulizer para sa 3 month old baby na kailangan pang ibyahe at dalin sa ospital kapag hinihika, at madaming pang “kahit ano po basta bukal sa pusong” hiling ngayong pasko.

To make Christmas special for my students. That was the dream, that was the plan and today, we achieved it. It became special because for a change, there was a reversal of roles. The ates and kuyas who provide them help, care, and protection in school everyday were the ones at the receiving end. They were the ones smiling from ear to ear, squealing in delight, tearing up in joy, not quite believing that the simple yet deepest desires of their hearts this Christmas were granted by the Grade 2 students. Special because for a change, it puts Christmas in a different light. My student, Neena, sums up the exprience beautifully when she said, “We did not get any gift from them. (Instead) We gave them gifts, (yet) it also feels soooo good. My partner keeps on thanking me and I (just) keep on smiling and smiling (at him) because I am thinking, I might have given him the best Christmas.”

Where did Baby Jesus go? My students have not forgotten him. In fact today, these kids just gave him the best tribute.

Day #21: Bianca woke up excited this morning because she’s going to spend time with her bestfriend, Cathy, today. They rarely see each other since Cathy goes to another school now and lives far from our place. They miss each other so much that each time they part ways, they would start counting the days till their next sleep over. They would both wait in joy and in quiet anticipation for that day to come, and when it finally does, I imagine, it must probably feels like Christmas for both of them. Are you waiting for Christmas the same way too? Four days to go before this much anticipated occassion, are your hearts ready for Baby Jesus?

Day #22: My fervent advent prayer: May the lost and missing find their way home. May their angels bring them safely home.

Day #23: Advent is a season of waiting and waiting is one thing we are never really good at. We often wonder, why do we have to wait long before we get the answer to our prayers? I guess sometimes God forces us to wait to remind us that it is His story, His plans, and His promises. He forces us to wait so it is clear to us that He is in control. He forces us to wait so we may learn to fully trust that He will deliver and save, as He promised.

Day #24: Tonight, I raise a glass of warm chocolate milk in holiday cheer and wish you and yours a very merry christmas. If you are lucky enough to be blissfully celebrating this special occassion with your whole family right now, I pray that the Lord will continue to bless and keep you together. If, on the otherhand, you are miles away from them, longing, or still grieving over their loss, or even lacking in want or in need, I pray that you find completeness, joy, and peace in Jesus. May He be enough for you this CHRISTmas and may you allow His loving presence to fill your heart with so much joy such that there will be no room in it for anything other than endless gratitude and love. Have a bliss/blessFULL CHRISTmas everyone.

Day #25: The birth of Jesus Christ, next to His crucifixion, was the most momentous event in the history of the world. It became the focal point of all history. Everything before Christ looked forward to His birth, and everything since then looks back at Him. It was such a crucial event that now all the world numbers years according to it. B.C. means “before Christ”, and A.D. means “anno domini,” “in the year of our Lord.” (John MacArthur Jr.)—His birth, which we know now as CHRISTmas, changed the world. Happy birthday, Jesus.

Lenten Diary 2017 (A Summary)

Dear God, we’re still able to smile despite difficulties because your Son Jesus, our Lord and Savior (and not some easter bunny), has shown us clearly that at end of each season of suffering comes resurrection. Victory is indeed ours, thanks to your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.????????

Dear God, I pray that when the time comes, I will also be given the chance to spend my last day, last night with my loved ones. I pray that I will be given the chance to share a loving meal with them, serve them, and for care for them much like what Jesus did with his apostles during the last supper. May my last day, last night be something that my loved ones will also remember, Lord, not with great pain and sadness, but with deep love and fondness. I pray.????????????

Dear God, sometimes I catch myself wondering why others seemed to be more blessed than I and why they can easily have what I’ve been wanting, longing, and praying to have. I cannot help it, I get shamefully jealous sometimes of the way why you seem to favor others. What actually stops me from feeling sorry for myself is the thought that all good things in my life right now also came from you. There is no reason for me to feel this way for you have also showered me with blessings, attention, and love many times like no one else existed. For this, I am extremely grateful.????????

Dear God, bless me with a strong mind that will always choose you over anything else. Bless me with a strong heart that will forever please and love you. Bless me with a hopeful spirit that will soar with so much strength, nothing in this world can weigh it down. Bless me.????????

Dear God, I have never thanked you for my thorns. I have thanked you a thousand times for my roses but not once for my thorns. I realized what really changes me for the better, moves me to persevere in life, and drives me close to you are not really the comforts in this life but the discomfort that comes with every trial, failure, sorrow, or defeat I face each day. Teach me then to love and value my thorns as much as my roses, Lord. Make me realize that it is through tears that I will see my rainbow. Remind me each day that for every thorn that pierce my heart and soul there is a (Your) corresponding grace.????????

Dear God, today I witnessed another batch of students graduate. It is funny how the most common thing I hear parents say during graduation is, “how time flies” when in reality, time has been moving at the exact same speed our whole lives. Today, it dawned on me that time has always been faithful to every heartbeat. It isn’t moving at a rapid rate as what we want to believe. It moves in a set pattern, rather leisurely, like how it has always been. As a parent, I pray Lord that I may learn to cultivate a mindful heart that purposely seek and desire only the things that matter, so I won’t completely miss out on my child’s growing years. Please send your holy spirit to guide me, so I won’t become too busy building a career I would forget about building a good life for my family. When the time comes that I see my child all grown up, Lord, may I marvel not on the years that may seem to have gone in a blur but rather, on the years that I have personally witnessed my child grow into the person you want her to be come. ????????????

Dear God, bless me with your grace so I may learn to cultivate a grateful heart that always seek to magnify you. When I find myself in difficult circumstance, Lord, send me your holy spirit so that I may focus on your goodness and speak only of gratitude and praise. ???????????? #

Dear God, today I was with my doctor and we were discussing the impact of my activities and non activities these past 3 months to my health. As a woman, I have this automatic and instinctive way of nurturing and caring for others but sad to say, I tend to neglect caring for myself. Bless me with the strength and willpower Lord so I will be disciplined enough to feed my body with the right food and commit to a good form of exercise. Bless me with wisdom and prudence so I will be mindful of the attitude I adapt and take everyday, and the nourishment I give my soul. May I never forget that my body is your temple. You dwell within me therefore I should learn to care for it properly, make it strong, and keep it healthy. ????????????

Dear God, I read somewhere that life is a series of happy accidents and chance encounters. Personally, I think it is more like a series of Hand-written stories and events lovingly authored by you. Things, good or bad, unfold not because the universe conspires to make them happen but because Your mighty and divine intervention cause them to happen so that we can receive the fullness of your grace. ????????????

Dear God, today an old friend asked me, has it ever occured to you to remarry and start a new family? Don’t you long for another partner who will take care of you? Kawawa ka naman. For a while there, I was taken aback not by her questions but by the way she seemed to perceive my choice of staying single pitiful. Thanks to you Lord, I do not feel neglected at all nor missing out on anything. I am not saying it does not get lonely because it does sometimes but at this point, there is nothing I desire more than this relationship I have with you. In you, I feel blessed and complete. In you, I find contentment, joy, and peace that no other man can ever give. Continue to strengthen me in your word and spirit Lord, so I may remain faithful and devoted to you always. ????????

Dear God, when you delay, I often forget that You know what is best. Today I am reminded of this…you are never late, I just have to learn to trust and wait. Your timing is perfect, I shouldn’t run impulsively ahead of you. You know the precise moment I’ll be needing your blessing and grace. ????????????

Dear God, today I lift up to you my dreams. I believe no desire will ever be placed in my heart unless You intend for me to fullfill it. All I long to be and long to do for you are within the possibilities of faith. Since you have it all for me, I can make each of these dreams to come true. ????????

Dear God, today I realize something that I wish every teacher would know as well. I realized that my mission as a teacher isn’t really to teach, it has always been to love. For when it is love that moves me inside the classroom, it becomes easy to do more and be more for my students. It becomes easy to stretch my patience and to seek better ways to enagage my students in learning. It becomes easy to assure them, to affirm them, to understand them, to listen to them, and to help them in the classroom. Stretch our hearts teachers as wide as possible Lord, and fill them to the fullest with love.????????

Dear God, today I was with a friend and she was having one of those desperate days. I saw despair in her eyes but also, this glimmer of hope. She said something that truly struck me. She said, sa awa ng Diyos makakaraos din kami. At that moment I realized, hope finds its strength in helplessness and faith is what really sustains us through desperate days. I pray Lord, that every person who finds himself having one of those desperate days be able to draw strength and hope in your mercy. ???????? #Lent2017

Dear Lord, last week, I decided to write in my prayer journal the exact amount I need to cover the cost of my car repair. I remember asking you intently for it. Today just before the week ends, I received a dividend from one of my investments and true enough, the envelope contains the exact amount I need to cover the impending expense. I realize, it is really the aimlessness of my prayers sometimes that accounts for so many of my seemingly unanswered prayers. For really, if I make my request earnest and my petitions specific, you’ll give me definite answers and if I take your word and your promise that you will always provide and care for me, not one of heaven’s blessings will be denied to me.????????????

Dear Lord, when I fall into the trap of negative thoughts, make me realize that whining and complaining about my situation will not do me any good. Help me instead to draw strength from everything that comes my way. Whether good or bad, right or wrong, may each circumstance I find myself in turn me into a better person.????????????

Dear St. Joseph, may you continue to watch over us, widows and orphans, the same way you watched over Mary and Jesus. We entrust our needs to you, during times of uncertainty and trouble, we rest in the knowledge that you are present always to keep us from harm. May all fathers develop the same quiet strength and loving devotion that you have for your family. Continue to intercede for us and bring us closer to Jesus more. ???????????? #Lent2017 #LettertoStJ

Dear God, when I want to do little else but pull my hair out or throw my hands up in the air in frustration, I am glad there’s always heaven to look up to and you to call on. Thank you for being just a prayer away. ????????????

Dear God, help me fix my eyes on you. Help me focus on your graces and not on my problems and difficulties. Help me focus my attention on your blessings and not on the missed chances or opportunities. When I am starting to get discouraged, send me hope and when my patience is wearing thin, stretch me with your love more. Help me fix my eyes on you Lord.????????????

Dear God, you clearly own my tomorrow. I have complete trust in your great design for me. I know you always have my best interest at heart. You’ve brought me this far and I am sure that you’ll take me even farther than my hopes and dreams.????????

Dear God, train my eyes so I will learn to see the beauty in others. Train my tongue so I will learn to speak only the language of respect and love. Train my mind so I will have nothing but good thoughts about others. Train my heart so I will learn to easily forgive and understand shortcomings and mistakes. When I thread the path of self-righteousness, Lord, let your Holy Spirit guide and lead me back to you. ????????

Dear God, teach me how to demonstrate love in big and small ways. Teach me how to be humble enough to admit and owe up to my miatake. Teach me how to speak only with kindness. Teach me how to value people the same way you value me. Teach me how to show genuine mercy and compassion towards others so they may always see and feel your love through me.????????

Dear God, teach me to find miracles in the mundane and ordinary so I won’t have to demand big things from you before I believe in your capacity to meet my needs. Train my eyes to see the blessings that you so generously give everyday so I won’t need convincing of how a great a Father you are. Open my heart and mind so that I may understand that the wonders and signs of your love aren’t always spectacular. In fact, they are oftentimes quite plain and simple, yet amazingly wonderful and beautiful as the great ones. ????????????

Dear God, with your grace make me into this kind of woman everyday: Firm yet loving. Strong yet compassionate. Fearless yet wise. Gentle yet tough. Turn me into the kind of woman who is not afraid to fully embrace triumph and defeat, and joy and sadness in her life. Inspire me to be the kind of woman who deliberately works at creating for her family a home of quiet refuge, where faith, hope, love, and charity thrive. ????????

Dear God, sometimes I feel anxious when you do not respond to my prayers quickly. I have to remind myself a dozen times that you simply don’t do things in haste because you want everything to be perfect when you finally grant my request. When I start to become impatient Lord, please bless me with forebearance so I may learn to joyfully wait for your answers. When I start to lose hope, bless me with wisdom so that I may understand that I will get my answer in YOUR own perfect time. ????????

Dear God, you’ve been attentive and faithful to my every need, how can I not feel loved by you?! When I feel small and insignificant, your grace moves me to do great things. When I feel discouraged, your spirit fills me with joy. When I feel worthless, I only have to look at you on the cross and I’m reminded of my value. Your sufferings and death alone show just how important I am to you. Clearly, I belong to you and for that, you have my heart forever. ????????❤️

Dear God, I trust and thank you for everything you permit me to go through. I know that in the end, they will work out for my good for nothing comes my way that has not first passed through the filter of your love. ????????❤️

Dear God, in the face of difficulty and uncertainty, I choose to give thee thanks and praise, and a promise to trust where I cannot understand. ????????❤️

Of paper airplanes and little boys

I have an ongoing love-hate relationship with this boy because he won’t write properly and would purposely make his answers wrong so he can annoy me. He came home one day with papers screaming red marks and smugly told me he would tell his wowa his tutor sucks. I knew better than to argue with him. The next day, I found him crying because he just learned that instead of 3 days in a week, her wowa wants us to tutor 4 days instead.???? Talk about major backfire.????

Most of the time we want to strangle each other, but there are also those rare moments when we would find ourselves doubled up in laughter because of some funny joke or pausing in the middle of studying to do a quick game of tic-tac-toe. When he’s not crying and whining, I think I love him and when, I am not nagging and bossing him, I think he loves me too.

Yesterday, before I left him for summer, he gave me 2 paper airplanes and when I was getting inside my car, he told uncharacteristically he does not want to see me again. But then, as I was slowly driving away, I caught him in my rearview mirror with a sad wistful look on his face. And, just when he thought I wasn’t looking, just before I made a turn to speed away, I caught him making quick gestures. He was blowing kisses towards my car. Sometimes I really do think he loves me and you know what, just between you and me, I think I love him too. ????????

Dear God, thank you for this little boy who stretches my patience and tests my limits. Thank you for the opportunity to teach him, however hard and trying it may seem sometimes. Thank you for giving me the chance to mold him into the kind of boy you want him to be. I believe that out of difficulties grow miracles. Let him be one of my miracles.????????????

This 2017…

I pray that you will have a blessed, wonderful year ahead. May you continue to dream big with the Lord and allow His mighty presence to fill your hearts and home with joy this new year. May you grow and bloom in faith and be filled with a burning passion to do good and be better than you once were.

Sometime this year, I hope you commit to a scary goal and with the boldest of courage, dare to achieve it. When things do not go as planned, may you discover and realize how beautifully mysterious and amazing God’s plan is, and with blind faith and trust learn to fully embrace it. Wherever you may find yourself this year, may it be at the peak of happiness and success or at the depth of grief, despair, or sorrow, may this thought always remain with you: no matter what happens, life is good. God is good. He loves you.????????????

Proudly Woodrose

A former student once asked me, what makes you stay in Woodrose? I’ve but one answer, family. Woodrose is where I found my family and family, it isn’t always blood.

Families take care of their own, I have witnessed this many times in this institution. I remember when my husband was rushed to the ER following a massive heart attack, it was Mrs. Tina Elloso, then Level Coordinator for Administration and present Grade School Principal of Woodrose, who readily accompanied me to the hospital. As traumatic and heartbreaking it must’ve been for her to see a fellow wife lose herself in grief, she remained by my side in that moment of deep sorrow to provide the strength I needed at that time. On the eve of Bianca’s surgery, it was Mrs. Au Sergio Katindoy, former Grade School Principal and now Head of Administration of Woodrose, who sent me comforting words thru text. The thoughful way she checked on us that midnight before Bianca went under the knife meant a lot because it made Bianca and I feel less alone. When things took a turn for the worse, it was Mrs. Luz Illagan, Director for Finance and Administration of Woodrose, who reassured me right away that she will always extend whatever assistance I need in the best of her capacity, and to this day, she remains true to her word. Bianca’s first visitor at home after she was discharged from the hospital was surprisingly Dra. Severina Villegas, Paref Woodrose’s Executive Director. Like the others, she took time to travel all the way to Cavite to show Bianca how much she cares. “To lead is to serve” is not something that we just simply recite in Woodrose, it is what everyone does in Woodrose wholeheartedly.

I will always be grateful to Woodrose because this where I have grown professionally and spiritually, and true to its familial nature, it still continues to nurture me. Under the expert hands of Mrs. Santos Ca, I’m slowly turning into the kind of teacher I’ve always wanted to be, and given the spiritual guidance of Mrs. Anne Adizon, I’m also growing into the kind of person the Lord wants me to become.

I have been blessed with life long friends from the day I started working in Woodrose. Friends who I know will continue to be with me through the best and worst of times. Friends who treat each of my life’s journey, struggles, and triumphs as their own. These past couple of years I have been called inspiring many times, what others do not know really is behind this woman you call inspiring is a strong community of prayerful women in Woodrose who never gets tired of celebrating the goodness of the Lord. I am just simply following their lead.

A prophet once said seek the treasure that the Lord has prepared for you, and there you shall find your heart. My treasure has always been my family. Woodrose is my family. This is where my heart will always be. Others who have left said the grass is greener on the other side, well I say from where I’m standing in Woodrose, the grass has never looked this greener and more beautiful.

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Thank you Woodrose for the 10 wonderful years. I look forward to more. To everyone who have been part of my 10 years in Woodrose, thank you. To the parents I’ve worked with and who have done more for me, thank you for the genuine care, respect, and trust. To my present and former students and mentees, thank you for bringing so much love and joy in my life. You make me proud to be Woodrose’s “Mrs. Dela Cruz.”

Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2016

  
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)—Standard Chartered Marathon, you clearly lived up to your reputation as one of the toughest international marathons around. You will go down in (my) history as the one that almost made me quit on myself, as a runner and a dreamer. Running your arduous course was truly a humbling experience. For the first in my life, failure and defeat stared me in the face, and I had to muster every bit of courage left in my body to hold my ground. You affirmed the truth that it is faith, it will always be faith, that would be my saving grace. 

I was one of the last remaining runners who crossed the finish line and I will never be ashamed to admit that. I will never forget this scene in my head, runners collapsing along the street due to heat, abandoning their dreams on the pavement due to fatigue, and me fighting really hard, really hard the desire and the urge to join them. Many times during the race, fear insisted I give up, self-doubt demanded I pull out, while faith strongly dictated I press forward. I pressed forward and just when I thought I had no energy left, I felt every fiber of my body sing with renewed strength as I chant Hail Marys and Glory Bes in my head. A celebrated runner once said, deep admiration should be afforded to runners who finished first in the race while deep respect, deep respect should be given to those who finished last because they struggled the most to fight the demons in their heads. I understand what that meant now. 

I will always remember how I fought back tears when I reached the last stretch that would bring me to the finish line not because it was finally over but because I made it to the pen only seconds before they closed the barricade that would separate me from the hundred others who weren’t allowed to continue. I made it to the qualifying time. The dream became mine. 

Truly, I am highly favored, deeply loved, and greatly blessed by the One above. Angels indeed carried me in their wings. More than the strategy and technique, pure grace brought me to finish. For this, I will always be grateful.

Never forget. Marcos is not a hero.

A while ago in class today, our topic was historical events and places in NCR, and very timely the discussion focused on the EDSA Revolution and the different circumstances that led to that life changing event. My students had a lot of questions about the dark years in Philippine history. As an educator, I adressed them as developmentally appropriate and as objectively as possible.

Before closing the lesson, I showed a video of the EDSA People Power Revolution. As the song, “Magkaisa,” played in the background, and as scenes from the martial law years flooded the screen, I felt yet again that strong, familiar stirring of emotions. In fact, I had to clear my throat a couple of times before addressing the class. When I turned on the lights as the video comes to an end, I was even more surprised to see some of my students with tears in their eyes. As the last notes of the song faded into the background, the class fell silent, clearly absorbing everything before slowly breaking into a heartfelt clap. It was deeply moving. Deeply moving.

Nine year olds…what do they know about martial law, about Ferdinand Marcos, or about history. Nothing except what we tell them. But then, how we tell them matters as much as what we tell them. So, lets explain history and what is happening right now in the light of faith and reason because this is the only way we can raise critical thinkers, sound decision makers, and upright leaders of the furture. Our roles as storytellers and witnesses of the past and present times matter. They matter a lot to our children so lets take these roles seriously.

It is a sad day for the Filipinos, I agree but this does not dictate how our future will be like. Before I even knew of the Supreme Court’s decision on Marcos burial today, a student raised this question just before we ended the class, “Should we allow Ferdinand Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani?” After an exchange of opinions and ideas, I let them decide. My 26 nine year old students made a stand. They based their decision on what they know about what makes a hero, in plain and simple truth. 24 out of my 26 students voted against it. Judging from the way my students made their choice, I see a “bright” future for the Philippines. ????????????

Happy Teacher’s Day

The other day, I saw my Grade 2 student whose been notorious for screaming and throwing tantrums in class when things don’t go her way, head to the bathroom. She’s been adamantly excusing herself often in class lately to sort of like take “little breaks.” When I saw her locked herself in, I sneakily followed her and slipped inside the other cubicle and in my best imitation of a deep booming voice, I said her name twice. I heard a shuffle and a quickly reply, “Who’s that? Who are you! I am not afraid of you.” I continued, “I am your guardian angel, gooooo back to the classssrooooom…go back to the classssrooom.” In all sassiness, she shot back , “No you’re not. Who are you? I’m not afraid of you…What are you doing in there…angel, what angel…” But then, I heard her hurriedly go out of the cubicle, mumble a few words, and do a hasty exit. When I was certain that the coast was clear, I went out to wash my hands in the sink. When I looked up, I almost fell to my knees laughing because I saw her hiding behind the door, whispering to herself, “Who are you? I am not afraid of you.” and when she carefully peeked and saw me, she triumphantly shouted, “I kneeeew it! I knew it!!! Ha!” with matching slap on the wall. She returned back to the classroom skipping, obviously in high spirits, while I stood there laughing till my sides hurt. 
In my 14 years of teaching and handling preschool and primary kids, this is what I learned: to truly survive in teaching, you have to learn not to take yourself or your students TOO seriously. You have to allow more room for humor because humor/laughter is always the best way to (especially) a (difficult) student’s heart. Always. Happy teacher’s day to my fellow teachers.

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