#TheHeartTruth: Ano ang Pag-ibig?

Love Series 1Pag-ibig – ito na yata ang pinakasikat at pinakapaboriting paksa ng mga kanta, libro, at iba’t-ibang obra. Ito rin ‘yung madalas na dahilan ng mga tao kung bakit sila sumasaya, nalulungkot, nagsusumikap at umaasa. Kapag may hugot o nakababaliw na emosyon, mataas ang posibilidad na dahil ito sa pag-ibig. Kapag sobrang ligaya at ang daming inspirasyon, tiyak dahil rin yan sa pag-ibig. Pero kahit ganito ang pag-ibig, nakakalito at mahirap ipaliwanag, ito ‘yung biyaheng hindi natin pinapalampas nakakahilo man at minsan di mo alam ang patutunguhan. Masaya kasi. Gusto mo. Masarap kasing magmahal.

Photo entry 1Ayon sa Facebook post ni Pastor Erwin Balanay, “Ang magmahal at mahalin ay isang napakagandang karanasan na pwedeng mangyari sa isang tao. Eh bakit maraming umiiyak sa pagmamahal?” Tinalakay niya sa #TheHeartTruth series ng Victory ngayong Pebrero ang ilan sa mga problema kung bakit maraming umiiyak sa pagmamahal. Ito ang ilan sa mga nabanggit niya:

  1. Mahal mo pero may iba na siyang mahal

Bakit ba kasi ginugusto pa natin ‘yung pag-aari na ng iba? Di ba nung bata tayo, tinuruan naman na tayo wag kukuha ng hindi atin? Kung mahal ka niya, ikaw dapat ang pinili at patuloy na pipiliin niya.

  1. Iniwan ka

May mga pagkakataon na iiwan tayo ng mahal natin para ikabubuti natin. Pero iba kapag iniwan nila tayo dahil sa sarili nilang kapakanan. Hindi mo deserve ang tao na ipinagpapalit ka. Sapat ka at karapat-dapat ingatan.

  1. Di ka pinapansin (o pwede ring friendzoned ka)

May mga bagay at tao na magiging atin sa tamang panahon. Mangyayari ang dapat mangyari. Wag mong ikulong ang sarili mo sa iisang posibilidad dahil baka di mo makuha yung nakatakda para sayo.

  1. Mas mahal niya ang sarili niya

Ang dahilan kung bakit maraming problema ang mundo ay nauuna ang sarili sa iba. Bakit di mo baguhin ‘yung ganung sistema?

Sa kabuuan, ang dahilan kung bakit umiiyak ang mga tao dahil sa pag-ibig ay dahil mas nangingibabaw ang kagustuhan natin tumanggap kaysa magbigay. Hindi ba kapag may binigay tayo, kahit papaano ay umaasa tayo na maibabalik ito sa ibang paraan? Hindi ba kapag gumawa tayo ng mabuti at nagpakahirap, umaasa tayo na kahit papaano ay masusuklian ito sa isang paraan na matutuwa tayo? Sabi nga ni Pastor Erwin, kapag ganito ang tingin natin sa pag-ibig, ang tawag dito ay “sense of entitlement”. Nasasaktan tayo kasi hindi natin nakukuha ang gusto natin. Ang totoong pag-ibig ay pagbibigay.

Photo 2Sabi nila, ang hirap daw ipaliwanag kung ano ang pag-ibig. Kapag ganito ang pagtingin natin sa pag-ibig, para narin nating sinabi na ayos lang kung anong matanggap nating pagmamahal kasi depende naman yan sa kung ano ang alam ng nagbibigay. Kapag ganun, mahirap lalong umasa sa totoong pag-ibig kasi hindi mo tiyak kung nandun ka na dahil walang tiyak na batayan. Pwede mong sabihin ngayon na depende sa tao. Kung ako tatanungin mo, gusto ko ‘yung tiyak at totoo.

Magkaiba ang pakahulugan ng mundo at ng langit pagdating sa pagmamahal. May tiyak na depinisyon ang pag-ibig kapag binalikan natin ang teksto sa 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Ito ang pag-ibig na wagas, totoo at walang hinihinging kapalit.

“Ang pag-ibig ay matiyaga at magandang-loob, hindi maiinggitin, hindi mayabang ni mapagmataas man, hindi magaspang ang pag-uugali, hindi makasarili, hindi magagalitin, o mapagtanim sa kapwa. Hindi niya ikinatutuwa ang gawaing masama, ngunit ikinagagalak ang katotohanan. Ang pag-ibig ay mapagpatawad, mapagtiwala, puno ng pag-asa, at mapagtiis hanggang wakas.” (1 Cor 13:4-7)

Love Series Photo 4Kung susuriing mabuti ang teksto, sinasabi rito na ang pag-ibig ay ‘yung nagbibigay na walang hinihinging kapalit; ‘yung nagsasakripisyo; ‘yung masaktan man ay nagmamahal parin; ‘yung nag-aalay ng sarili para sa iba. Kung ang pagtingin natin sa pag-ibig ay ginhawa at saya para sa ating sarili, patuloy tayong masasaktan dahil hinahanap natin sa iba ang pagmamahal na dapat nagsisimula sa atin…sa kung anong nasa puso natin.

Ayon sa turo ni Pastor Erwin, ang tunay na pag-ibig ay galing kay God. Ang pagmamahal ay dapat nakasentro sa kanya, ang dahilan ay siya, at ang naisin ay siya. Si God ang pag-ibig. Kaya kung may totoong pag-ibig ka sa puso mo, masakit man, mahirap man, nakakalito man, gugustuhin mo parin kasi si God inaasam mo. Hindi na ito tungkol sayo. Hindi na ito tungkol sa mararamdaman mo.

“Makapagsalita man ako sa mga wika ng mga tao at ng mga anghel, kung wala naman akong pag-ibig (God), para lamang akong kampanang umaalingawngaw o pompiyang na kumakalampag.” (1 Cor 13:1)

 

Twenty o’thirteen: Learned from the slap

1483354_10202833457857765_2052922365_nIt was not an easy year, I must say. There were a lot of ups and downs. There were a lot of moments when I tried to stop for a moment to reflect but I couldn’t because I had so much to do. It is as if I really did a lot of work for this year, but not. I just felt tired – emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I kept things within me than share it to people or ask God for help.

Year 2013 gave a hard slap on my face. It’s not to punish or embarrass me but to make me think of my priorities. I learned a lot of lessons this year. I realized that relationships are more important than anything else. To get the most results, you need to work as a team and value the people you are working with. Success has no room for selfish people. I realized that trust can be given to every one but belief can only be given to some. You need to carefully choose the leader you will follow because a leader can either make or break you. I also realized to also slow down in giving all your efforts on what’s not yours. It is important to own it first before really giving in so you won’t get hurt once it is taken from you. It should be noted though that we cannot really cling to things found here on earth. The most important lesson I learned of all, for a person who hates goodbyes, is to learn to let go.

To fully realize the things I have to improve on, I did an assessment and planning last 28 to 30 December. Initially I thought that I missed to do the things I planned because of all the difficulties I witnessed and faced this year, I thought I failed. But I was wrong. Looking back and assessing this year, I realized that I actually accomplished a lot.

I…

  • Got promoted twice at work;
  • Got the chance to study in Ireland;
  • Met new amazing people and became friends with them;
  • Became a real life foundation coach;
  • Had an exciting adventure in China, Banaue Rice Terraces and other places;
  • Got the chance to help other people in times of disaster;
  • Fell in love;
  • Achieved the targets I set for work;
  • Achieve my fitness goal and got into yoga practice; and
  • Built more memories with my family and friends.

Planned accomplishments, unplanned accomplishments, and gapsSWOT Analysis

I was just probably tired that’s why I didn’t realized the beauty of this year. I tired the people around me too. I got a lot of pressures and my response was to take it all. I learned my lessons. All the things that happened in 2013 was necessary for me to realize that I have to reorganize my priorities, set a system, follow it, but still make room for some surprises and changes from God. I need to breathe and enjoy the moments.

To let God take over is primarily the main point of the plans I set for the next three years of my life. I decided to plan for three years because I know that changes and my prayers will take some time to be realized. I want to avoid the rush of getting things done based on my time. I want it to be according to God’s time. Among the strategic objectives I set for the next years are (not the exact phrasing I did):

  • To be a woman after God’s own heart (as inspired by E. George);
  • To help and influence people by adding value to them (as inspired by J. Maxwell);
  • To secure my family’s future;
  • To become the best person I could be for others; and
  • To maximize my season of youth.
The thinking hat - facts. what to do, challenges, solutions, and feelings

The thinking hat – facts. what to do, challenges, solutions, and feelings

The 3-year goal, purpose, objectives, success indicators, and targets

The 3-year goal, purpose, objectives, success indicators, and targets

I am excited how these plans with turn out. Much more is the fact that I am excited for the bigger things ahead. What I’m doing now is prepare – prepare -prepare. This year taught me a lot a lessons that I could bring in 2014. I still thank this year for both its pains and joy. I wouldn’t ask for another 2013. I wouldn’t ask for other memories to be in it, much more are other people to be in it. I love it the way it shook me as a person. I want get out of this better.

Before another digit adds to this year, allow me to thank all the people who became part of it…

  • To my family, thank you for all the support and love. I couldn’t be who I am now without your understanding and nurturing. I love you all.
  • To all my new found friends. It was a pleasure meeting you. The universe must be so small to bring people like you and me together. I am looking forward to making more memories with you. I love you.
  • To all my friends since I was born, thank you for staying. Some people left and some people go, but I believe you are all worth keeping. I will fight with all my might just to make sure you’ll still be there kicking with me until 3014 (that is if you still want to be with me). I love you.
  • To all my colleagues in ANSA East Asia Pacific, thank you for the lessons you taught me. Thank you for constantly checking on me. True to the goals of being socially accountable, thank you the four years of pruning. I love you.
  • To all my orgmates in Rotaract, Comm4Change, Global Changemakers, Clinton Global Initiative, Victory Church, National Youth Parliament, Global Youth for Anti-Corruption, and ADB Youth Partners – thank you so much for constantly inspiring me. You all served as a fuel to keep me going. What we are doing is not easy but as long as I know there are still people like you who wants to make this world a better place, I won’t quit. Thank you and I love you all.
  • To all who volunteered and contributed in RevivePh, Checkmyschool, and Paraiso, thank you so much. I hope you won’t get tired in helping. Your heart to help others is what makes this journey of change-making more meaningful. Let’s continue to hope that days will be better soon. I love you all.
  • To my mentors, teachers, supporters, and detractors, thank you for making time for me. I really appreciate your words of encouragement and advises. Though I am not following all of those, rest assured that it is all considered and carefully thought of. I promise to continue in seeking your words and carefully follow it next time. Again, thank you so much and I love you all too.
  • To all the people I met along the way, thank you for that time our eyes met and said hello. I am looking forward to building more memories with you soon. I hope your wishes for 2014 will come true. I love you.

To conclude my final blog post for 2013, allow me to share some of my answered prayers this 2013 to inspire you of the surprises ahead. These are the faith goals  we set in church every January of the year and the answers I got along the year:

  • Promotion from work -> new responsibilties in ANSA;
  • New discipleship group -> Lai, Maan, Mona, and company;
  • Sustainability of Checkmyschool for the next 5 years  -> got a grant from GPSA on this;
  • New business/social enterprise -> Paraiso Junks;
  • Wear swimsuit in the beach with good figure -> haha! I did this is Caramoan

This coming 6 to 10 January, we will be doing another prayer and fasting in Victory. If you wish to join, you may do so by clicking this link. I promise that this is something you will be thankful for.

Thank you so much for reading this post. Have a blessed 2014 to you and your love ones! #lovelovelove #feelings

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” – Anonymous

Clinton Summer School 2013

God knows how long and winding it took to get me to the Clinton Summer School 2013. I thought so many times if I should go or not given the bunch of work and difficulties in the logistics that I have to pass through. But I made it, and I’m glad I did a great decision.

600764_10151500384521452_879267854_nAction upon learning is my motto in attending any kind of event or learning activities. If learning can’t be applied and functional, forget about it. I’d rather give the opportunity to others than be half-mindful of it. This has been my standard after attending so many conferences and learning events. I don’t want to attend an event for the sake of knowing people and finding myself having a tour in another place. I want something to be done during or after and this is what I looked for when Stella O’leary, a person I met at the Clinton Global Initiative, invited me to be part of the Clinton Global Initiative.

“Encouraging Business Development in Divided Societies” was this year’s theme for the Summer School. Just the word business was enough to make me excited to come. For me, a business is no business unless it’s practiced. Otherwise, it’s theory. So there goes the so enthusiastic me volunteering to help out in any way I can – be it logistics, in training or anything. Maybe because I’ve been used to doing some speaking engagements, training people or arranging a whole program as part of my work. But maybe that was not the time so I rather took the opportunity to be more relaxed and be a participant.

Straight from the challenge of getting my visa in London, I arrived in Enniskillen on the 7th of June. I’m one of the first few people to arrive so I managed to get a good sleep in room 216. When I woke up the next morning, the next hours and days were all part of a beautiful history.

Photo of the dayThis year’s summer school had been attended by young leaders from Philippines, Kosovo, Kenya, Israel, Palestine, Basque country (Spain), South Africa, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada, and USA. To meet people in these countries and ask them personally about the situation in their area is better than reading books or watching the television. You get to know different truths and emotions as the story unfolds right on your face. You become emphatic and try to objective as much as possible so that you can grasp the facts more than being deluded in the feelings.

The “feelings” and the “why’s”, are the two main things that encapsulates the whole learning experience of being at the summer school. The field trips, lectures, and personal testimonials of how it has been in Northern Ireland before and how it is now has been very effective and relaying the message of “why” Northern Ireland is the way it is now. For me, the program has been effective in relaying its history and how it is working to make the present work for the future. I admire that. For me, a personal story of struggle and the courage to forgive by taking a stake on peace is more than powerful than moving forward with a sword. Yes, the wounds of the past will not easily heal. It will still hurt eventually. But the decision of choosing to hold your enemies’ hand and work for a better future is enough to build on that “why” we should work for the benefit our children.

reportingsLearning, doing, and networking summarize the things that we did in our Summer School. We learned a lot about conflict resolution through the experience of Northern Ireland. We also learned about different examples on social enterprises and business from Dublin City University and from Women in Business. I took a lot of notes from all the speakers which I enumerated here. The workshops were all very helpful in keeping our minds active on what to do next.

Doing is a word that speaks of the different exercises we made to juice up our minds on what we can do for our society. I find TED talks as something which always gives me to that “Aha!” moment bringing in a lot of crazy ideas. I also love the letter writing because I know that it is something which can possibly influence a decision-maker like David Cameroon. I just hope that there will be a chance to bring young people to G8 for example, and let them talk to the leaders. Good thing we were able to get an interview from BBC and RTE so I hope our message reaches the G8.

Networking extends beyond the class attendees. We were able to meet great people like Baroness May Blood, Nancy Soderberg, Father Devine, Chad Williamson, and many more. Learning from them and even talking to them personally is very inspiring. It just proves that they are where they are because they should really be there. I’m sure that my friends in summer school will be there too. Hearing from them as they ask questions and relay their own stand is just enough to prove that they’ll be that someone too. Only time can tell when.

BAsketballLife-changing for some while frustrating for some. For me, if there’s one word to describe the experience, it was “intense”. Intense, because the program is 12 hours long. It was also intense because of the passion that you can definitely feel on the people who shared their knowledge, their time, and their energy to make this all possible. I thank all the people who’ve done the simplest to the hardest things for this year’s summer school. You know who you are. Heaven knows how to reward people like you.

I also thank all the new found friends I have for this year’s summer school. You inspired me. Your stories and passion serves as the fuel to keep me sailing in the seas of world problem. The path I took for development is heart-breaking and draining. But just knowing that there are young people like me who are crazy about making a change is enough to convince me that I’m not alone in the “making change” battle. With people like you and me working together, this world can be a better place. Let love happen and let it begin from here.

Thank you again and God bless the Clinton Summer School [and everything related to it]. Peace yo!:D