Personal · Work

Training leaders

Last Saturday, the Guidance office spearheaded a Leadership Training for our Student Council.

It was a half-day activity comprising of three parts. First talk is Executive Training Workshop facilitated by Red de Leon, a Grade 11 student leader from Claret School of QC. He discussed the roles, functions, and responsibilities of being a Student Council officer.

Next talk was Servant Leadership given by me. I taught them the 10 Principles of Servant Leadership by Robert Greenleaf (1970).

The last part of the program was the Washing of the Feet. SCB Moderator Ms. Diamond headed the activity and humbly set an example to her student leaders.

This is actually the first time for BSCS to conduct a leadership training for the students. That’s why I feel happy, despite the students’ slight apprehension towards the activities, to be able to give them the knowledge they need in order to become an effective leader. It has always been my goal and dream to empower my students so that they can be more, do more, and give more, not just to BSCS but to their own families and communities. I observed some hesitation and unpleasant reaction from them (hayy, ewan ko ba sa Gen Z), but I know that in God’s time, all my efforts will be worth it. Until then, I’ll go and set a good example myself, just like how a good leader should always be.

Motherhood · Musings

Love equals Time

As a working Mom, holidays are luxury for me. And long weekends are the best. Especially now that I have classes even during the weekdays, I can only spend time with Ella during the days with suspended work.

Saturday. And the long weekend officially started. Mommy’s finally home after a whole day work at school last Saturday.

Sunday. We served in the 7am mass at OLFC. Then attended another mass at Salvacion in preparation of the CLP. At 2pm, we served in the Christian Life Program of Couples for Christ. Yang ngiti na yan, yan ang ngiting nangungulit sa CLP. :p

Monday, Quezon City Day. I urged Daddy to eat out. We also brought Ella to an arcade for the first time. Super paranoid ako sa mga hinahawakan nya! Hahah.
Tuesday, Ninoy Aquino Day and Eid’l Adha. It’s Jona’s birthday the next day so we went out and had dinner at Gilligan’s.

One of my fears nowadays is not spending enough time with Ella. I am so afraid that there will come a day when she no longer prefers me. But I am also aware of my responsibilities not just in my work, but as well as in my service to God, that require time and attention. Truly, Time is such a priceless treasure, one should not waste it. We may think that 24 hours in a day is too short or too long, but that just depends on your perspective- how you see it and how you use it. Time is a treasure that you have to manage it. And the best way to manage such valuable? Share it with the people and things you are most passionate about. And it will surely reward you back. Siksik, liglig, at umaapaw.

Christian life · Married life · Places

Learning only from the Experts: joining MER 1

Just would like to share how God abundantly blessed us last weekend when we attended the Marriage Enrichment Retreat (MER) 1 of our Couples for Christ community.

The retreat was conducted at Bale Maragul in San Antonio, Arayat, Pampanga. We left Manila by 5:45am and arrived at 7:30am. We are actually the first chapter to arrive in the location.

North B2D represent!

Bale Maragul is a perfect place for a retreat. They have bale maragul (meaning “bahay na malaki” in kapampangan) comprising of 3 floors full of airconditioned accommodation rooms (for couples and for families/groups). We stayed in a room at the ground floor, complete with a big comfort room for bath (with tub and shower) and toilet. The session hall is very nice, I think big enough for 100 people. The landscape of the resort is also nice, and they have 2 swimming pools.

The retreat started with an orientation followed by the Opening Worship. While praying, I think about all the things I left in Manila- Ella, my review classes, my work- and decided to surrender to God all my concerns. When Aljhon and I joined CFC in 2016, this MER is actually one of the things that we ardently look forward to. Excited lang kasi kami talaga palagi sa mga ganitong klaseng retreats. However, we failed to attend last year because I was due then to give birth. For this year, I was at first hesitant, because there are weekend classes I need to attend. Praise God for giving me a submissive heart, and I let Aljhon decide for us to choose MER over my review, for the last weekend proved to be one of my highlights this year.

The retreat comprises of 7 talks, each one focusing in making God the center of our marriage. Here are my important takeaways:

1. God commissioned husbands and wives to serve Him through marriage. Marriage is not just a relationship, but a Worship.

2. The family is no longer just the basic unit of society, but a domestic Church as well. And as commissioned by Christ, the father will always be the Head.

3. Expressed in the term “Padre-de-Pamilya”, the father is expected to fulfill priestly duties to his own domestic Church.

4. The wife is always a help mate to her husband. But she is the Heart of the home. The mind may be higher than the heart, but without a heart, it is dead.

5. The pastoral care of the wife and the children may come from the husband/father, that’s why it is the husband’s urgent responsibility to grow spiritually. But the pastoral care of the husband never comes from the wife; rather, it is given to him by his leaders from the community.

6. Parenthood is by far the biggest, noblest, and grandest vocation. It even literally requires laying down your life for the sake of the family. And so in this seminar, I salute my parents, especially my Mama, for doing the best in providing for and loving us in a way no one else could.

7. Submissiveness of the wife is never a sign of weakness. It is by her unconditional love that a husband can securely fulfill his role and duties. Nothing is truer than the saying, “Behind every successful man is a woman”.

8. There is no broken relationship that cannot be repaired by God. For our God is a healer and restorer.

I thank God for leading my parents to the Couples for Christ, for I, myself, is a testimony of how God is truly gracious with this community. I have seen many miracles through this family, and I must say that the most important one is when I found my life partner who shares the same values and faith in this community. Aljhon is God’s gift to my faithfulness, and I know that He has even greater plans for our family. I am grateful to CFC because they are guiding and teaching us to become partners and parents the best that we can be, even at a very early stage. God is truly good and great!


13 on the 13th

It’s Ella’s 13th month today! πŸ’–

And since Mommy has no work (yey!) and she has the time to have another post, here are 13 facts about our little Princess:

1. Her name was originally planned to be Rafaella Naomi (I love the name Rafaella and we want our kids to be named after Bible characters) way back since Aljhon and I were still bf/gf. However, her due date fell on June 14, the birthday of Aljhon’s favorite Auntie Susan (real name is Jesusa) so we decided to replace Naomi. I think it is also proper because my 2 brothers’ first given names are Jesus and Rafael.

2. Ella has been very kind to Mommy even when she was still inside her tummy. I didn’t have any paglilihi problem, though I would always remember that I started to L.O.V.E. eating when I was still pregnant with her. Biruan nga naming sa buffet pinaglihi si Ella eh dahil andami kong napuntahang buffet nung panahong buntis ako.

3. She stayed 10 months (40weeks) and 4 days inside my womb.

4. My labor with Ella started at 4:30am when I woke up and noticed my water already broke. We arrived at UST Hospital by 5:30am, and that was when the contractions started to come. I labored until I was taken into delivery room by 8:30am. I gave birth to the most beautiful angel at exactly 10:20am.

5. She weighed 2.9 kgs and was 50 cm long when I gave birth to her.

6. The first time I see her, my first thought was, “kamukha ko siya“. 😒

7. Ella did not cry at first when I delivered her. She also got a low APGAR score so the doctors needed to “warm” her up for a while before giving her to me. We both had fever as well right after the delivery, so we stayed for another 2 hours inside the delivery room. We met Daddy Aljhon by 12:30pm.

8. She also didn’t cry when she got her first ever vaccine. The pedia was amazed that she had to pinch our little baby to make her cry.

9. We went out of the hospital by the 3rd day. At night time, Ella got dehydration fever. I will never forget how fearful I was of that night.

10. Ella never tasted formula milk until after 8 months & 20 days, when I was hospitalized due to gastroenteritis. But we have started to feed her solid foods when she turned 5 months old (we had to because she did not gain weight from 4 to 5 months).

11. Our little baby has always been a big eater. She doesn’t like pureed or mashed food, but enjoys table food (rice + dish variand). She likes vegetables, even until now.

12. Ella has always been strong physically (THANK YOU LORD) because Daddy Aljhon made it a point to have a daily tummy time ever since she came home to us. We also did not use a walker but Ella is now walking on her own (pero hindi pa din naman ganun kastable and balanced).

13. Ella doesn’t enjoy watching videos too much, instead, prefers active games. She always wants a playmate to join her in her every activity.

Happy 13th Month mahal naming Prinsesa πŸ’–

Awardless valedictorian

πŸ’˜πŸ’˜πŸ’˜ This article shot right through my heart, for I know what that student feels, and I was compelled to share. Hahah πŸ˜…

One step into UST campus as a high school freshman way back in 2003, I already realized I’m no match with my classmates. Though I know deep inside that I can do better than what I usually show, my insecurities would always eat me and what I’ll settle with is a passing score. Past forward to 2007, even I was shocked for I graduated maintaining my standing in the first section (sophomore to senior years).

When I went into college, my insecurities gradually healed, but I was still in love with mediocrity. No one pressured me, anyway, and I was still believing that I don’t deserve an award from a prestigious university like UST (I don’t believe in myself, period). Realization just came knocking a month shy from my college graduation. I found out my GWA was just few points short to obtain a Cum laude citation. But I was not devastated, I was not even sad. I just remembered a particular day in the summer of 2009; it puzzled me upon seeing my grades for I received a 2.75 grade in Church & Sacraments course, but I was expecting 1.00 or 1.25 (my professor even exempted me from taking the finals because my Church Involvement project was ‘exceptional’). Instead of talking to my professor, I went home and shrugged it off, feeling blessed that another sem had ended.

I’m not really sure that if I had made that correction in the grade, I would be included in the list of Cum laude. But I really did (and still do) not care. What I realized in my graduation day is that if I robbed myself of the confidence it deserves, I now couldn’t do that to my profession. I geared up and promised that I would serve my job in the best of my ability, and thank God, he helped me through it. Seven years later, I am now in the profession of helping the young to discover their potential, to empower them so they can work hard for their future, and to achieve the success they undoubtedly deserve. And that is the biggest award I can ever get in my lifetime. That is the kind of character that UST has instilled me for the 8 years it sheltered and molded me. And I will always be proud of that.


Happy 1stπŸ’•

Happy 1st Birthday Rafaella Jesusa!

Rafaella enjoying her party with the Kids for Christ

You will always be our Princess. Thank you for coming to our life, and giving us more reasons to strive harder. Having you made me a better person- just because you made me a Mom. I may not be beside you 24/7 (because Mommy has to go to work 😒), but every second of my day, I am breathing to work for your future, to protect you, and to love you.

Everything about Ella’s party is DIY. Heheh. We decided to celebrate Ella’s birthday in an assembly of Kids for Christ. Sobrang busy lang sa preparation, but lahat ay kakayanin para kay Ella
DIY Invitation. We sent invites thru facebook and messenger only.

We just bought the largest greeting cake from Goldilocks. Then, individual cupcakes for all the kids
Ella’s first birthday is a celebration of thanksgiving for Aljhon and I, as well. We have survived a year of parenthood kaya! The past one year was both the sweetest and most challenging phase so far, and we are excited for God’s more blessings and provisions for the coming years.
The party was also a hardwork of all the other people who love Ella. At the day of the party, my siblings helped me in handling Ella while I led the kids into games. My friends also helped me in distributing the food. And Aljhon’s family was in charge of cooking and preparing the food. Ella is truly blessed!
Sweet! Ella and her baby guests πŸ’•
Aljhon and I are both stingy, but we decided not to be thrifty with Ella’s party. However, we didn’t focus on the trivial things that others may spend extravagantly on (like clothes, cake, venue). We instead pour all money to the food and loot bags to be given to the kids. We want Ella to do the same- to be generous with what really matters most.
The birthday girl enjoying her gifts. Maraming salamat po! πŸ’–

I love You baby Ella πŸ’– To the world, you may just be one (beautiful) daughter, but for us, you are the universe. Happy birthday! πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‰πŸ˜˜

Mahal na mahal ka namin πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

11 years worth of celebration

Villa Alfredo’s Resort in San Fernando, Pampanga is easily one of the best public resorts that I’ve been to. My Gen Choir family went there to celebrate our 11th year and we went home far from feeling disappointed.

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This place is huge! According to the owner, they have 5-hectare land but only 3 hectares are now used for the resort. When I first came here in 2014, there were only some few pools and limited amenities. Just for 4 years, they have already constructed differently themed pools with adult and children slides (one as high as 4storey), a team building/outdoor playground facility, and more rooms and townhouses for overnight staying. They have also improved their aviary and aquariums. This resort is also very instagrammable. Ate Joan and Ephraim even took the chance and had their prenup photoshoot (part 1). The entrance fee of P250 (overnight) plus P2500 room for 12pax is SO, SO, affordable for 22 hours of fun and relaxation. I totally recommend this resort for family and barkada outings.

Resort rates as of June 2018
Just one of their themed pools. Sobrang enjoy magswim and magtake ng pictures.
Mercado Family πŸ’– Thank you Daddy for coming with us ^_^

I didn’t have enough time to stroll around the area and photograph all amenities (in charge ako kay Ella eh; I think it would be best if you can stay here for the whole weekend/2 days, 2 nights, to fully enjoy all it has to offer) so I’ll just share with you the vlog made by the hubby on our staycation at Villa Alfredo’s Resort.

For 11 straight long years, we have been singing for the Lord. We started with even more than 30 members, but now only 5 of us remain (naka-hiatus pa ako dahil kay baby Ella hahahah). God knows how much patience, love, and faith we have put so that we can continue to serve Him. Praise Him for choosing and empowering us to share our lives in service to Him. Thank you Jona, Dudz, Rodette, Jamaila, and ate Gem (most especially) for being with me in this journey. Quota na nga siguro tayo, but I know deep down we are not yet ready to let go of our service. Bahala na si Lord na magdala sa atin sa susunod nating ministry. But for now, I’ll still enjoy singing with you early every Sunday morning. Love you guys! πŸ’–


Goals for 1819

Today is the first day of our Academic Year 2018-2019! We welcomed our dear students with a special Morning Assembly, na op kors, complete attendance ang mga nagkakagulong magulang. All went well, as there were no crying pupils and less number of irate parents. Pagod nga lang ang aming mga teachers, because apparently, all of them are loaded every Wednesdays.

As for me, tinamad ako ngayong araw. What I did was to do a backlog task, which I also didn’t finish because some alumni visited and then there were 3 new students who took the Entrance Exam. I really have high hopes for this year, not just because we have a new set of school administrators, but because I feel obligated to earn the Best Office Staff award given to me last May. Pakiramdam ko talaga di ko deserve yun eh, that’s why I have to work hard this year to convince myself that I really am the best.

And that brings me to this post. Just would like to share with you my SMART goals for S.Y. 2018-2019. Of course I am aiming for more accomplishments and more prompt response to my students’ concerns, but these are the specific things that I plan to achieve for this year.

1. 100% accomplishment of Routine Interview

I truly wish to finish interviewing all our new students, though this is a challenge because we have a lot of transferees this year. I may employ a more drastic move (setting up counseling chairs outside the classroom) to achieve, but I promise to do this even if it takes until December. (Hahah)

2. Better attendance record

This is the primary reason why I don’t accept the award. I know I did my best in giving out Guidance services to my students, but really, I am ashamed of my attendance last year. I have plenty of absences due to family and health (including Ella’s) reasons, I was on maternity leave during the start of the SY, and I wasn’t able to finish it (1 day short from the last day of class and 1 week short from Graduation) because I was also in the hospital. I was also late everyday, because the travel to and from BSCS was terrible. Walang masakyan!! Kaya this year I really hope to have 0 tardiness and less absences. And good thing because I now have earlier work schedule, thus I got to somehow avoid the rush hours.

3. Regular homeroom visit

This is a yearly goal for three years now, at awa ng Diyos di ko pa din nagagawa hahah! Ang hirap kasi i-achieve! 😯 #1 ang hirap pagtugma-tugmain ng sched, #2 bigla-biglang may paper work na kailangang gawin o isubmit, #3 di ako prepared sa activities, at #4 tamad lang talaga ako. But this year I want to be serious with my homeroom visit. I want to become closer with my students so that I can know what issues they have and interventions they need. I am hopeful because this year the Homeroom module is already done so all I have to do is to compile, print, and execute.

4. Interior design of guidance office

Another yearly goal that I TRULY find difficult to achieve, because #1 hindi naman ako interior designer, #2 may mindset ako na nasasayangan sa oras na nagddecor ako ng office, at #3 tamad kasi talaga ako 😒 But I plan to ask my brother to make me an ID plan for my office. At uunti-untiing ko talagang syang gagawin πŸ‘Š

5. Save thru employees cooperative

Surprise! Due to a number of unforeseen and UNWANTED circumstances, I was appointed Auditor/Collector of our Cooperative this year. Di ko talaga ito gusto dahil wala akong alam sa mga ganyan. Huhuh. But then, dagdag learnings din naman. And I want to be earnest with my savings goal this year. Most especially that we have a lot to catch up in our savings because of my hospitalization last April. Also, I really plan to join the school’s coop though Aljhon is against the idea. Handling the coop myself just gives me the best excuse and reason for him to allow me. Yay!

Some other mini-goals:

-Be more participative with out-of-school’s events and activities (basta swak sa sched)

-Avoid na yung chismisan sa school. AMEN!!

We have new school officials and we are very hopeful that change is coming especially in the way we handle things at work. Less paperwork and more efficiency are their promise to us, employees. But I don’t think that this is not applicable to me. Madami kayang report sa Guidance!!! But knowing that the admin will now look (really) into your work and would weigh if they put into action your recommendations, just makes it fine for me even if my work load would not be lessened. Though really, I appreciate if they’ll hire another Guidance Counselor. But then, I think that’s just for another school year.