500+ Followers: My Heart is Full!

I recently hit the 500 mark !! ( I am beaming right now, I hope you all can see).

Thank you to my fellow bloggers who took time to stop by my site and hit that follow button. I am a small-time blogger tryna’ follow what my heart’s desire. I still have a long way to go in as far as blogging in concerned and I will work even harder now to deliver great contents.

I don’t really know how return the favor to you all! If you have any suggestions on how we can do it, I am open to suggestions. Collab? co-author? 10 – 15 questions that you want me to annswer? Please comment below.

 

’til then, Thank you! Maraming Salamat! Gracias! Merci! Danke! Arigato!

 

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Only by Prayer

As I was reading my daily devotion today, I came across this very reassuring, heartwarming and comforting read:.

 

Her wails squeezed my heart. I couldn’t stop her pain, fix her situation, or find one intelligible word of encouragement. But I knew who could help. As I wept with my friend, stumbling through a prayer, I whispered repeatedly, “Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.” Her cries quieted to sniffs and whimpers, until her breathing slowed. Her husband’s voice startled me. “She’s asleep,” he said. “We’ll call tomorrow.”

I hung up, weeping prayers into my pillow.

The apostle Mark shares a story of another person who wanted to help his loved one. A desperate father brought his suffering son to Jesus (Mark 9:17). Doubt clung to his plea, as he reiterated the impossibility of their circumstances (vv. 20–22) and acknowledged his need for Jesus to empower his belief (v. 24). The father and son experienced freedom, hope, and peace when Jesus stepped in and took control (vv. 25–27).

When loved ones are hurting, it’s natural to want to do the right things and say the perfect words. But Christ is the only One who can truly help us. When we call on the name of Jesus, He can enable us to believe and rely on the power of His presence.

My friend called me late one night during her cancer treatment. Grieved by her uncontrollable sobs, I soon added my own tears and a silent prayer. What am I supposed to do, Lord?

Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Oh, how we need You, Jesus.

Her wails squeezed my heart. I couldn’t stop her pain, fix her situation, or find one intelligible word of encouragement. But I knew who could help. As I wept with my friend, stumbling through a prayer, I whispered repeatedly, “Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.”

Source: https://odb.org/2018/04/10/only-by-prayer/

 

If you follow my blog posts, I do not openly discuss about religion or my faith, I try to keep these things private as much as possible, but allow me to share a little about how powerful prayer is because this was something that really hit me home, and very timely for me.

Last week was one of the most challenging days for me and my family. Dad was confined in hospital for a serious health condition. This didn’t come as a surprise to us because he has been undergoing treatment for a year now but everything dawned on me when the doctor announced that my dad should undergo series of procedures. I knew my father dreaded this, I knew this was something he has been avoiding for a long time but we all knew that this was the only solution. I didn’t want to go into details about the hospital ordeal before his first session because of medical terms that I couldn’t even explain clearly.

I just felt that the responsibility was upon my shoulders because I was the one who was at the hospital when waiver needed to be signed. I was the one who went with him to the Operating Room when that tube needs to be planted somewhere on his body. At that time, I truly and honestly understood the feeling of people waiting outside the OR. Yes, that was just a minor operation but that was not the only thing that he must go through. That was just actually the start of his lifetime medication journey.  Outside the room was a prayer corner. I sat in one of the chairs waiting, waiting and waiting.. and while waiting, I told God: “ I have no fear Lord because  I have already lifted everything up to YOU!”. After silently saying these words, by God’s comforting silence, I felt so much relief.

Dad is still sick but he is fighting. He is a very positive patient. He is a very easy patient and he remains a prayerful person. I know we can go through all these.

Truly, prayer is our only weapon! And if we trust God for everything, we need not fear!

 

Art Appreciation Sunday at Pinto Art Museum!

Fact: I know very little about Art, but I appreciate a good art piece when I see one.

I decipher art piece on my own and appreciate those relatable ones. I , furthermore, respect those that I cannot identify with. I guess that’s the beauty of Art. It is subject to one’s interpretation. I have been to a couple of Art Exhibits in the past due to some friend’s invitation and I had my way of enjoying every piece that I saw.

Last weekend was another Art Appreciation day for me. Me and my friends visited the famous Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo, Rizal.

This Art Museum is not only famous for its art displays but also of its relaxing nature vibe. This 1.2 hectare property houses a vast collection of Art works that one could enjoy.

Worried of getting hungry or thirsty? No problem, the museum has a few restaurants inside where you can have your refreshments and even your full meals.

 

Details: Pinto Art Museum
Opens -9AM–6PM
Tuesdays – Sundays
Grand Heights Rd, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal
Entrance Fee: 200.00 PHP

 

Taken from the website of Pinto: http://www.pintoart.com/museum

Pintô Art Museum is a private museum dedicated to the exhibition and study of Philippine contemporary art. Its name, Pintô, comes from the Filipino vernacular word for door or doorway and signifies the role of the institution as a threshold of the mind to aesthetic consciousness and cultural awareness. The museum’s philosophy is defined by its founder and patron, renowned Filipino neurologist and medical educator Joven Cuanang, who began collecting the pieces from the early 1990s to the present. Later his extensive collection was formally presented to the public with the opening of the museum in 2010.

Please take a moment to enjoy some snaps:

 

Hope you had fun!

Love and Time – ( Writer : Unknown)

February it is!! It’s love month and to kick-start the Love month, I am sharing one of my favorite love stories. This was written by an unknown writer and I got it from http://www.christianstories.co/2011/11/love-and-time.html

Here you go….

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others, including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all constructed boats and left. Except for Love.

 Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment.

 When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help.

 Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, “Richness, can you take me with you?” Richness answered, “No, I can’t. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you.”

 Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. “Vanity, please help me!” “I can’t help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat,” Vanity answered.

 Sadness was close by so Love asked, “Sadness, let me go with you.”

“Oh . . . Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!”

 Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her. 

 Suddenly, there was a voice, “Come, Love, I will take you.” It was an elder. So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the elder where they were going. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Realizing how much was owed the elder, 

 Love asked Knowledge, another elder, “Who Helped me?” “It was Time,” Knowledge answered. “Time?” asked Love. “But why did Time help me?” Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, “Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is.”

 

Christmas and New Year The Filipino Way

Hello There!

I hope you all had a great Holidays!

How was your Holidays? I hope you had time to reconnect with your friends and your family to celebrate the season.

I’d like to take a moment and share how  Filipinos Celebrate Christmas Season and New Year too.

  • In the Philippines, we start putting up Christmas Decorations and playing Christmas songs as early as September ( Yes! as soon as “- ber” months start, it’s a start of Christmas here)
  • For Catholics, dawn mass or Simbang Gabi is a big thing. It starts on Dec 16 to Dec 24. People go to mass at 4 in the morning.
  • Puto Bumbong and Bibingka ( Filipino Delicacies) are selling like hotcakes specially every after church.
  • By start of December, carolers start their house-to-house visit, singing Christmas carols in exchange of any amount as “Pamasko” ( present).
  •  Sale at malls and Bazaars are in, specially when people are receiving 13th month pay ( mandatory per PH Labor Law)
  • Christmas parties are everywhere
  • Family Reunions are well-celebrated
  •  Gift wrapping/ gift giving season
  • Inaanak ( God Children) go to their Ninong and Ninang ( God-Parents) for “Pamasko”.
  • Festivities from Christmas Eve never stop until New Year.
  • Christmas decorations are restored after Epiphany. ( Three Kings)
  • On New Years eve, we collect 12-13 round fruits for goodluck.
  • We also wear clothes with polka-dot designs for same reason ( they say round is luck)
  • And some jump when midnight strike in belief that they would grow taller ( I know dont roll your eyes, lol)
  • Torotot ( Hornpipe) is an alternate to fire crackers ( to make noise on NYE )
  • Food . Food. Food are everywhere!
  • I know there are still a lot.. but these are on top of my mind.

As for me, I had a great time with my Siblings. Parents are out of town this Christmas season, so it was just me and my siblings. It was even made special because of our little bundle of Joy. My 2 year-old niece who was obviously the center of attention and expectedly the one to receive the most presents. ( Oh I miss being a kid!)

How did you celebrate? Let me know how others celebrate? comment your country and your ways to celebrate.

 

I’m sharing with you our Christmas and New Year’s feast! (sorry to my non-meat eating readers, this post is not intended to offend,just sharing what we prepared. Much respect to y’all)

viber image2

Christmas Feast

Christmas Feast

viber image1

New Year’s setting

 

And Oh! Happy New year and here’s wishing you a great 2018.

 

Love,

SimplymeSMC

 

 

 

Dear Children of Marawi

(An Open Letter to Children of War)

I wish I could say I know how you feel but really, no one of us, outside the war zone could say that.

I understand you have been through a lot and I salute you for not giving up.

5 months of fear; 5 months of uncertainty, 5 months of being in evacuation area; 5 months under the mercy of people sending you your basic needs; 5 months out of school;  5 months of terror; 5 months of questioning what happened to your beloved place. Long months of asking: ‘Will we ever get out of here alive?’

I know that’s too much for kids like you to experience.  I know that’s the most unfair thing children like you would ever deal with. But please know that after the war, you are the strongest and the bravest kids in my eyes.

It’s not easy to be children of war, I know for sure. I was born and raised in a place known for its Peace and Order situation and that was already too much for me growing up, let alone war, terrorist, airstrikes and gun fires.  I am sorry you have to experience that. I am sorry your family had to go through that. I wish this would be the last not just in Marawi but for the country and for the world.

Being able to experience war all together and being the ones to witness the damages that it has brought you, please help each other the best way you can. Go back to school no matter how hard. Start reading the Bible or the Quran and understand the word of Allah. Try your hardest to read and write and seek for understanding of things so people won’t take advantage of you and abuse you. Do good things each day. Think positive all the time. Respect all Military Men who fought for your freedom. Love all men in uniform more. Love your country, love your town, love your neighbors, and love Marawi.

Always look after yours and your family’s well-being. Ask Allah for wisdom so you know what to believe in. And never lose your core. Always remember what damage this war has brought to you and your family and use that as a weapon to stand your ground and never get persuaded by other people. Though moving on is the way to go, but never forget the lesson this battle has instilled in you. Use these to be a positive individual. To be a productive citizen and to be a peace-loving child of Allah.

Big sisters and brothers, look after the kids, YOU are the future of Marawi. Together, your town will rise again and YOU will make it a better place to live at. Do all things with love.

Do it for your parents, for your neighbors and for everyone who has risked their lives to fight for freedom and peace.

I will keep praying for you.  I will keep helping in my own little ways. I know you can do it. I know you will rise above all these because you are at your strongest now.  The whole place maybe crushed now, but that should not crash your dreams. It’s  not an easy way, but keep going, kid. We all pray for you.

Spreading Peace and Love and virtual hug to all of you.

Love,

SimplymeSMC

My First Lang Leav

I finally got to finish my first Lang Leav novel, Sad Girls. I had no idea about Lang Leav’s type of a writer, nor have I read her other works. My discovery of Lang Leav  just came about when I decided to scout  for new writer to read, saw her book in a bestseller list and I thought of trying her out.

So I finished the “Sad Girls”.

I would have to be honest, I am not impressed with how she has written this book. I felt like there were too many squandered characters and twists in the story. Side characters’ roles were not esthetically built up. I also feel that the plot was unsuitable for highschool-er characters. (Disclaimer: these are just my opinion, you go read the book and tell me if you feel otherwise).

So much of my mini- book review!

I didn’t give up on Lang Leav.  After reading and not being satisfied with Sad Girls, I looked up for her other works.

Why? I just want to see where she was coming from. And I got the answer: She transitioned from poetry to novels, I cannot say this is a better move, but , I found out that she has written several poems. And boi, she was sooo good.

Some of her poems from Love & Misadventure:

Just Friends

I know that I don’t own you,

and perhaps I never will,

so my anger when you’re with her,

I have no right to feel.

I know that you don’t owe me,

and I shouldn’t ask for more;

I shouldn’t feel so let down,

all the times when you don’t call.

 

 

Xs and Os

Love is a game

of tic-tac-toe,

constantly waiting,

for the next x or o.

My first Leav experience didn’t satisfy but I don’t always believe in first impression that lasts. I may not be a fan of her first novel venture but I will keep reading her poetry, that’s for sure.