Friday, December 28, 2007

My Christmas Vacation with Family

Forgive my “late-report”. It’s just now that I got the time to tell my Christmas vacation (dated December 24 – 26). The place? Well, Taal Vista Hotel at Tagaytay City. The brochures say that it only takes an hour ride from Manila. It’s right IF there’s no traffic. Still though, it’s worth the stay.

Actually, the hotel in itself is quite a tourist spot. After all, the main attraction of that hotel is the best view of Taal Volcano, the smallest volcano in the world (if my memory serves me right). I think that it’s what we paid for in that place aside from the hotel out accommodations itself.

I have pictures with me of the view of the place. Actually, I’m planning to put these view as my background in my strips. Hmmm, how about GradS Tayo in Tagaytay?


Anyways, what I enjoy in that Christmas vacation most is being with family. Mom, my Big Bro AC, his wife Sarah and their cute daughter (my niece) Ocean, Tito Jojo, his wife Tita Gina, their kids Gia, Gem, Gel, my grandparents Tatay Mamer and Nanay Laling are all there. Yes, the place is nice, but it became nicer with them around. For two straight years, I spent my holidays with them without compromising my time in the church. Not only that, sweet girl Amie came to make my holiday even warmer. She made two special occasions in my life warmer this year 2007: my birthday (she’s also with us when I celebrated my 27th birthday) and my Christmas vacation. To my surprise, she gave me a gift. By the way, I gave her a gift: a bigger Ernie (her favorite Sesame Street character). She gave me a pig pillow with a small bell. It’s cute that it’s inside my car. It looks nice in my car.

Actually, I know Amie is a busy girl, and she has about 20 godchildren (inaanak in tagalong). Thus, it’s the thought, the effort, the time spent in buying the gift that counts. After all, I’m child-like; I appreciate things, be it small or big. Well, maybe Amie and I are not really meant for each other, but I will always cherish this sweet friendship. In fact, Mom and the rest of the family like her. Still though, I have to admit that there’s still that part of me that says that I love her.

Ocean’s in her playful self there. She enjoyed the place, like a typical 2 year old girl. Then, I saw Kuya and Sarah and Ocean walking. Oh well, I can’t help, but think when will I start my own family. Reality kicks in: I’m getting older, but I’m not adequately prepared to be a family guy. I can’t even budget my own money. I can’t even organize myself. If I did, I should have finished my project study in PNU. Oh well, enough of that for now. Indeed, I have many words to say on how I spent my Christmas vacation, but it’s all boiled up in this short words: the vacation is well spent and I thanked God for giving me the time to spent with them.

For the pictures, browse at this site:

http://bugoyforreal.multiply.com/photos/album/20/Christmas_Vacation_at_Tagaytay_City

Thursday, December 20, 2007

my say on the upcoming Christmas and legalism and random advice

As I’m typing this one, it’s 5 days before Christmas. Exactly a week after Christmas, it will be 2008. I admit that I felt that I didn’t maximize my time that much. I wasted a significant amount of my time. If I just used my time, talent, and money properly, I could have done better. I could have passed my comprehensive exam. I could have saved more. I’m quite a disappointment. However, like I always say to the youngsters in the new church, “yes, what we see wrong is really true. However, it’s the attitude that counts after you saw the wrong things.” Indeed, it is true. Yes, I may have wasted a significant amount of time, and it will never be returned. That’s the point. Why will I complain on things that I can’t have anymore, like a lost time? It will just be another learning experience for me. This year, for the first time in the youth ministry, be it in the old or new church, I organized an inter-church activity which is simply called YPF day. I thanked God for using me on this ministry in spite of that terribly stupid mistake. Yes, I wasted my time one way or another, but there’s learning from that. Thus, those experiences were not really a waste.

Back in the old church, Christmas celebration is not the thing. In fact, even greeting, “Merry Christmas!” is discouraged. Well, there are many reasons why. Christmas celebration has its pagan origin. Even pastors who celebrate Christmas acknowledged this. In fact, Puritans, under the leadership Cromwell, outlawed this celebration. If there will come a time that I’m allowed to go back to the old church, I’ll respect that stand of the old church. However, there are many things pagan in the Philippines that even Baptist churches have:
1) our name itself
2) the calendar (Gregorian calendar; January comes from Janus for example)
3) the name of the days of the week (Saturday was derived from Saturn)

Those are some stuff that is pagan in origin. If we don’t like Christmas because of its pagan origin, then, let us scrap our name, our calendar. Besides, Philippines is a Gentile nation, not Jewish, what will you expect? How about not accepting Christmas bonus for the sake of that “stand”, even if your bonuses are 5 figured amount or more?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to bulldoze Christians who don’t celebrate Christmas. Besides, let me tell you my personal stand on Christmas:

1) Jesus Christ was not born on December 25.
2) Christmas, though pagan in nature, is a perfect time to share God’s Word.
3) This is a perfect time to show generosity (by the way, generosity is Biblical).
4) The wise men gave gifts and worship Jesus; there’s no alcohol drinking involved.
5) Christmas time is a holiday; it’s a best time to be with family, friends, loved ones. Is that wrong?

Now, my point is this: if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I will respect that. However, please respect me for greeting you, “Merry Christmas”, the way I respect other people’s stand on not celebrating Christmas.

Random note: for me, believers should be legalistic. Oops. Yes, you saw the writings right: believers should be legalistic. Wait, does that mean I believe that salvation is by works? No way.

Let me explain: the Bible is full of orders, not requests. For example, “Pray without ceasing.” It’s an order, not an option. Bible is legalistic; it’s full of things that a believer in Christ MUST DO. However, when it comes to salvation, it’s by grace through faith. Still, there is a legal color in that. If a person doesn’t follow what 1 John 1:9, John 3:16, Romans 10:13, Ephesians 2:8 and 9, etc. said, and made another way of salvation, the person will surely go to Hell.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that we are living in the church age or grace dispensation. I believed that man can only be saved by grace through faith. I just said those two paragraphs just to say that people accusing Baptists as legalistic to carefully pick the term to be used. Personally, what I discouraged is what Diotrephes in III John 9 did: being too technical and dogmatic.

Well, just a random note.

Christmas is coming. I know this is cliché, but instead of thinking what to receive, think of what you can give. After all, it is more blessed to give than to receive. Don’t think, “Hah, you start it.” Or “I know someone who needs to start it.” Don’t think that way. Instead, think of what you, and you alone (no finger pointing… Finger pointing is the reason why there are Christians inside the church who don’t participate. They think other people can do that), can give. It can be material or something intangibles. Don’t misunderstand my words; it’s purely a reminder, a piece of advice. That’s all. Try it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Today, December 16, 2007, will be the last Sunday for our Youngsters in the new church. I decided that the youngsters should have a Holiday break from the Youth ministry (only). However, it doesn’t mean they’ll have a Holiday break in the church. Since this is Christmas season, the new church will have a Christmas activity next Sunday, December 23. Besides, this is also a perfect time to spend with family, relatives, true friends, loved ones, etc.

The YPF will resume next year, January 6, 2008. Still though, I still plan to have an informal meeting with the college and working singles on what to do at 2008. Honestly, I spend time, money, and energy to these people because not all the time, I’ll be there for them. I believe that these singles can do better than I am. Besides, my assistant, Joef, may not be that dynamic, but he has rapport to the youngsters, especially to a specific youngster (I admit. I’m still praying for this youngster. I don’t know. Is it me or is it just the John Maxwell principle that a strong person will just follow a stronger person [stronger being that person]? Still though, whatever the reason is [only God knows], I can’t force someone to follow my lead. It is really earned).

It will be my 2nd Christmas in this new church. Honestly, I enjoyed my stay here. Even until now, I still thanked God for using this new church for me to bounce back. At times, I miss the old church. Someone indirectly told me that my place is not in this new church; it is in the old church. Yep, the person who said that is very much right, but what can I do? The leadership had spoken: I need to stay longer in this new church. I don’t want to play a rebel (like a typical excommunicated one). Thus, I will stay here, and I’m enjoying my stay here. I don’t want to be distracted with something that I can’t have for the mean time (you know what I mean). Still, I will let God move which church I should be, whether it be the old church or the new church. In case I’ll be back in the old church, it will be a struggle. My Mom and AC don’t want me there if they will have it their way (which the old church SHOULD understand).

Still though, at the end of the day, the fact remains: I’m a kick out. All of this is a by-product of what I have done. I have no choice but to live with it, while moving on.

However, Christmas is in the air. I don’t want to spoil the holiday because of this distraction in my head. God used the new church in order for me to feel the love and grace of God. I will always cherish this church that adopted me. I will always value them. Why? Most of them know what I did, yet they accepted me with open arms.

I don’t care if I’ll not be rewarded in Heaven for this ministry because this ministry is not connected with the old church. If God will just let me stay here until He comes without me serving the sentence in the old church, so be it. After, God is in charge, and I accept it with open arms. I just can’t help but serve God through the youth ministry. Christmas is in the air. I miss the old church, but God gave a new church to love and be loved, until the time that God doesn’t want me there.

For now, I just want to greet you advance Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Finally, i met this poet


Last Tuesday (December 4), I met someone at Adamson University (my alma mater). Her name is Maika, and a 1st year mass communication student. Actually, we have met before in Deviantart. She’s one of my poetic friends there. She’s cute, isn’t she? Some people say she looks like either Yasmien Kurdi or Bea Alonzo (minus the height…hehehehe..Maika, if you’re reading this, peace, sistah…hehehehe). In fact, she’s one of the three persons that inspire me to do poetry (like I said). By the way, they’re younger than I am. Still, it doesn’t stop me from learning some stuff, like poetry. We chat for about 30 minutes. Then, at around 6pm, I left the place. I need to get my car at SM – San Lazaro (I was stuck in the traffic. I’m still Chinese General Hospital at around 2:40PM, and I’m coding. Because of that, I decided to park my car at that Mall).

Change topic: December 7, 2007. That’s the date when I posted this one. 18 days to go, it’s Christmas Day. I admit that I’m still adjusting to the Christmas atmosphere. Why? I grew up in a Baptist church that doesn’t celebrate Christmas (the old church). No, don’t get me wrong. I respect their stand on that. I have received my 13th month pay. I bought some stuff, like the usual comic books, writing stuff, and a 80 gb external hard disk. I also bought a headphone w/ microphone. I wanted in my laptop without disturbing others.

Seriously, enough of those stuff for now. What I really wanted to say is this: after the success of YPF day, distraction is starting to creep in. I wasted countless hours on nothing but pondering, doing nothing. Blogging is much better than just mere pondering. At least in blogging, you put entries, learning from it especially when you reread the post.

In addition, a youth member is telling that she has a problem with things, with a guy. I notice a pattern of behavior: she shares a problem via text messages. However, when you talk to her in person, especially in the church, she’ll just look left and right. At times, she’ll play dumb as if she didn’t say anything at all. In fact, she even denied once that we exchanged text message in a specific day. There are times that she became rude to me, only to apologize at text (sounds very familiar? It’s like after you have shown to the whole world that you did that me, then you’ll PRIVATELY apologize). She did that about three times. There is one instance that this youth member denied that she knows something about a brethren’s case (I know that she knows everything; she shared some of those to me) by pointing my assistant leader (knows many things). When I asked what the real deal is, she just said that she will sleep. I didn’t dig deeper. I don’t dig things, especially to people who don’t want to be dug. I respect one’s privacy.

Still, being a youth leader, I know that it will be wrong to side with her solidly. Why? I haven’t heard the other side (she shared to me before that she is at odds with a fellow single lady. Now, she’s at odds with another single lady. I don’t want to mention what words she said, but it is piercing). I wanted to ask the other side of the issue (being their leader, I should, even if one of them is lying. It’s no longer my fault if they lied), but I wanted to talk to them in such a way that I’m being fair enough. What caught my ire is when the youngster said that the reason why the new church can’t grow is because of this and that. I didn’t reply back when she said that. I just told that I’ll pray for her. I told that she’s more blessed than I am. She justified with rebuttals. Because she’s 19, I’m wise enough not to argue and let her speak. I told her that I’ll pray for her the way I pray for other youngsters.

This is what I’m telling the youngsters a few weeks back: strive not to be distracted after YPF day. Her conflicts, if confirmed true (through two or more witnesses, which is Biblical), are distractions that will make a Christian quit. Still though, even if I’m in the new church, the youngsters are still the same.

Still though, I tried not to think too much about that. It will just ruin my day. Besides, I leave the answering to God when I prayed on this matter.

As the youth leader of the new church for 13 months, I have learned that listening is a must. I learned that it is really wise not to react too fast (except if life and death situations…hehehe) because you didn’t hear “the conclusion of the story” yet. I also learned to focus on the goal, the outcomes, and strengths, not on the weakness of a fellow brethren.

I pray that God will give me more wisdom in dealing with this. Still though, I find youth ministry fulfilling.

Monday, December 3, 2007

another piece of past that i confronted...good.

A former co-leader in the old church made a “Friendster request” to me. At first, I was quite hesitant. She is the one who sarcastically told me, “Before you call me ‘sister’, have a public apology first”. Still, I added her. Then, I prayed what words to say. I have to say what I felt at those times. I need to tell her that, yes, what I have done is wrong, but what she had said to me was wrong. Yes, she may not accept it, but at least I have said. At least I have followed what the Bible said on this matter: if a brother is offended to someone, say it to the person personally.

Then, I gave her a two-part statement. It’s a tell-all. I told her honestly, yet tactfully as possible, what I felt. I told her that what she said is wrong. I told that that’s not how you treat a fallen brother. She replied, with a short one or two sentence, saying, “Oh well, it’s okay. Don’t worry. Past is past. It’s a good thing that you’re back.”

I admit, the reply is quite bitchy. She never admitted her mistake because I committed fornication. It’s like even if she said wrong things, it’s right because the one you’ll address committed something wrong. I believe in the principle of sowing and reaping. Sin begets sin. A snatcher will be robbed also, one way or another, AND the one who robbed him? Something will also happen to him and so on and so forth.

Oh well, at least I have said what I wanted to say. At least I have seen how irresponsible she is with her statements. Still, I know it will be easier said than done, I forgave her for that, the way God forgave me, the way I’m trying to forgive myself for what I did wrong.

Still, even if this is quite long, I will not allow my Monday to be ruined by that reality. It’s a good day…isn’t it?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

hypocrisy talked about...

Time and time again, especially when you’re inside a church, you’ll hear this word or similar to this word from a usually offended brother or sister: hypocrite. Plastic. Tupperware. Plastication (as a former student said in her comical act a year back). That’s how an offended church member describes his fellow church members in general. I’ve been a Baptist for 14 years. I’ve been in the youth ministry about the same years as that. I’ve been a youth leader for about 5 years. Based on my experience, I usually hear this line to the offended brother: “there are many hypocrites in the church”. Honestly, I myself have uttered the same line. Unfortunately, I even mentioned that to the person that I thought I could trust (my ex-girlfriend). Before I dig deeper into this topic, I looked for the definition of hypocrisy via Microsoft Encarta dictionary. Here they are:


hypocrite [híppəkrit]
(plural hypocrites)
noun

somebody feigning high principles: somebody who gives a false appearance of having admirable principles, beliefs, or feelings
[12th century. Via Old French ypocrite from, ultimately, Greek hupokritēs ‘actor, pretender’, from hupokrinesthai

hypocrisy [hi pókrəssi]
(plural hypocrisies)
noun
1.
feigned high principles: the false claim to or pretence of having admirable principles, beliefs, or feelings
 It would be sheer hypocrisy for them to turn round and do what they criticise in others.
2.
hypocritical act: an act or instance of hypocrisy
 the legion hypocrisies of the party opposite
[12th century. Via Old French ypocrisie from, ultimately, Greek hupokrisis ‘acting a part’, from hupokrinesthai ‘to dispute subordinately, act a part’, literally ‘to separate under’, from krinein ‘to separate’.]

Judging to the definitions that were given, hypocrisy can be categorized under lying. By the way, these words, as you can see, are associated with the word “acting”. Going to the “lying” part, we all know that man may deny that he’s a wicked person but he can’t deny that he lied once in a while. Thus, if I’ll be a one-tract person, I can say that even those who say that church members are hypocrites is also a hypocrite. Why? He also lied one way or another. (hehehehehe). I’m trying to say that hypocrisy is only another tendency of man’s sinful nature. In the eyes of God, hypocrisy is as the same as murder. In what way? Sin doesn’t have a ranking. Lying under oath inside the court is as the same as telling false information to another person.

[Reality bites: we tend to rank sin. A good example is that inside a church, the most commonly announced public confession/apology is those people (especially guys) who committed fornication (especially if the woman squeals it). In the case of the old church, the bottom line of ex-communication is fornication. However, if the case is lying, using people, not paying of debts, being seen in public drunk, usually it is either confronted PRIVATELY. We have to accept this fact that men tend to rank sin.]

I do admit, there are people both in the old church (especially now) and in the new church that I don’t like. Still though, when I see them, I shook their hands. I smile, and, in fact, greet them. Why am I doing this? Strictly speaking, you may call that hypocrisy. However, how can you start liking the person that you don’t like if you don’t make a move? The first step in liking a person is to make the first move by doing so.

I have heard some people say that they are being real that’s why they ignore people that they don’t like. They are just being honest that’s why they don’t shake a person’s hand that they hate. They are being true that’s why they are being reckless, and things similar to that. Okay, I gave them that. They ARE honest. However, we are missing something. It may be honesty and being real and you got rid of hypocrisy, but you didn’t get rid of pride and arrogance (you are not humble enough to approach the person that you don’t like). You didn’t get rid of tactlessness and recklessness (when you’re angry you don’t put it in its right place). Bluntly, if your attitude is a so-called “I’m a real person. I don’t care what they say to me”, you may not be guilty of hypocrisy, but you are guilty of pride, arrogance, tactlessness, and recklessness. Hehehehehe, it’s like “4 for the price of 1”. Hehehehehehe.

The topic on hypocrisy and being “real” is a mind aching topic (that’s why the usual defense mechanism when one reads a post similar to this is indifference). I really intended it that way. I really intended that people who loves finger pointing and often mentioning “hypocrites” to have a headache (hehehehehe, mean). Okay, the intention of this post is to make a different mind set when entering a church (offended or not). There is a reality that we can’t change: people have weaknesses, including hypocrisy. Let’s try to minimize (if not avoid) our way of thinking that church people are hypocrites. Instead, let’s pray for our fellow members. After all, God will reward what they are doing wrong in private. Let’s be honest, but not arrogant and reckless. Love the sinner, not the sin. Hard, but by God’s grace…we can.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Learnings

My Komikon experience helped me open my mind more into the world of art. Another thing is that the event motivated me to improve my art and the medium that I’m using. I have to admit that the improvement will be very gradual unlike my more artistic, adept, experienced, and equipped counterparts because I’m not into on a full time basis. I still have my day job (the partial reason why I can gather the resources immediately) and I still have a bunch of youngsters to lead. Even if there will come a time that I’ll improve, I’ll still consider this as a hobby. Simultaneously, I’m on my way on improving my poetry. I plan to put at least one poetry per work.

By the way, I went to two stores that sell all sorts of paper to ask for their thinnest glossy photo paper. I’m planning my next issue to have a glossy paper for a cover. Well, I do admit, because of the cost of that paper, the next issue will be at the maximum P50. Because of that increase, I’ll do my best not to shortchange the buyer. Yes, there will always be someone far better than I am (I just took this seriously December 2005), but it is not an excuse. I should still do my best to improve. I always say to my friends, “there are people who can discern if you’ve given your best into something.” As a youth leader, I can quite discern if a youngster did his/her best into something that I delegated to him/her. For now, I’ll take it one step at a time. I have so many things to do for the last month of the year. It also includes my day job.

Random thought: As part of my effort to improve my craft, I’ve downloaded drawings of girls wearing jeans. I really need to practice drawing women and their hour glass figures. It is part of my effort to make the art better. Art, when put into business, is a service oriented business.

Another random thought: A youngster, who is my former member in the old church, encouraged me to go back to the old church. I told her briefly the reason why I can’t go back yet (which I have also told in this site and in deviantart.com). She understood me. She told me that she knew how it felt to be misunderstood. She also said that it is really sad that my side was not heard by most people. Anyways, I told her that because of what had happened, I leave everything to God. It’s up to God when I’ll be back. I’ll no longer make any effort (unless when contacted by the old church authorities and unless the girl finally forgave me). After all, the old church Pastor told me that I should stay put for the meantime in this new church because it is not yet time.

No, this is not pride. Pride is not admitting your mistakes and not making any effort to correct them. I did both. This is what you call yielding. I yield. Like I said, it’s up to God if I can finally go back to the old church. However, even though it seems impossible, I’m praying that the girl finally forgave me and that the old church folks will know the real reason why I’m not yet back.

I gave text messages to the old church pastor (maybe my final plea). In an honest, yet respectful manner, I told him that my communication line is always open. I also told him that the reason for my silence is because I have left everything to God and I have left the decision to the church under his leadership. I do admit that I’m trying to imply that I made an effort to fix this matter. I also told the old church pastor that the reason I gave him a text message like that is because there are some old church members (when they happen to see me) who frequently ask me questions similar to this: “we are waiting for you, why are you not coming back?” (As if I don’t like to come back). For now, that’s all I can say to the old church pastor. Honestly, I get easily tired when this is being talked about. I know that the old church pastor wanted me to go back, but he knows that it’s not easy as it looks (that’s why he decided that I should stay put). There are many factors to consider. Like I said, I leave this matter to God.

One More Random Thought: Because of the preparations for both YPF day and Komikon 2007, I didn’t visit the gym for about 3 weeks. I’ll try to make a 2 hour visit tonight, after work, after I went to the mall to buy some stuff.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

My Komikon 2007 Experience part 2

Just like what I have promised, I’ll have more Komikon stories. Actually, I wanted to do it yesterday, but something’s wrong with my computer. Now, I’m back to tell my experiences there.

The only meal that I had during that whole affair is this. It’s hard to eat out because I don’t have a companion to take care of my things. Although both Bien and Gio promised to take care of it, I want to be considerate to them.

This is Azrael. If my information is accurate, he’s the one that made Toy Convention (Toycon) possible. He’s taking pictures when I called and introduce myself in my “deviant” name. He was surprised. He took a picture of the tiangge, bought a copy of my work. For me, I find event organization as his forte. I like his energy in sharing the events that he organized or co-organized.

This is Kwame (I don’t know the spelling), 3rd year Fine Arts student in UP-Diliman. She looks boyish, but don’t be fooled, she’s sort of a kikay, and she’s cool to be with. Actually, she is Beng’s friend. I have a great time chatting with her. Oh, by the way, she gave me a Tootsie lollipop. Honestly, for the first time after I think 2-3 years, I have tasted a lollipop. Hehehehehe.

Beng and I are quite bored, that’s why, while sucking that lollipop Kwame gave to me, I acted like a gay guy while Beng acted like a gay gal. Heheheheheheh. I do admit, I tend to be hyperactive.

This one is Vivo (on your left), former schoolmate at University of the East (UE) and also fellow mountaineer. She was surprised to see me. She bought a copy and told me that she’ll show this to the UEM (UE Mountaineers) people.

Meet Maku (the one with black tie and a white shirt), a seatmate in the tiangge. I described her artwork as poetic and dramatic. I bought a copy of her work. We didn’t talk that much because she and her friends are quite busy (I dubbed them the black and white ladies because their outfits are mainly black and white).

This one is Syeri Baet (the gal with a pair of glasses), the creator of Carpool, she did the emcee chore in the event. For the record, she is the first (if my research is right) lady cartoonist who sold a folio type compilation independently. Go girl!

In this picture, I’m with Lyndon Gregorio, creator of Beerkada. I can say he’s one of my major influences in comic strips (although I first had an idea of writing stories in Carlo J. Caparas, L’s one of my major influences because of his sound advice). This guy is one thinking fellow. Aside from graduating in UP-Diliman with an engineering course, he took MBM in Asian Institute of Management. By the looks of it, he can be considered as a “GradS Tayo icon” (next to Brian May, Bill Cosby, Boots Anson-Roa, Tetchie Agbayani, etc)….hehehehe…whenever there is an animated event, he’s always there. Indeed, he REALLY supports the Filipino Comic industry by boosting the talents and by attending the events. Also, his Beerkada series is worth reading. I described it as meaty, or very substantial sprinkled with humor. Honestly, if not for Beerkada, I will not rekindle this old hobby (drawing comic strips).

This is Nick Barrameda (the left picture), the creator of Assorted NUTS. I find his comics simply funny. I described it as younger, comic strip, modern Filipino version of the show Friends. He’s a nice person to be with.

Asteeeeeeeeeg. That is the favorite line in the comic strips compilation Kiko Machine (right side). I just happened to be in this picture with its creator, Manix Abrera. By the way, just for the info, Manix Abrera is also a band member of, yes, Kiko Machine band. Like other artists I have met, he’s quite down-to-earth.

This is Ariel Atienza, creator of Class and West Side. I consider him my mentor. He taught how to improve my humor in comics. He also taught me how to make own drawing better. He’s the one who encouraged me to take a plunge into publishing my work indie style. Thus, I took my hat off for this fellow.

Komikon 2007 is such a happy and learning experience for me. I find it fulfilling when a person bought my work. It’s not the money, but the appreciation of my work. I can now consider myself as an independent artist. I really thank God for giving this experience. I also thank those people who supported the independent Filipino artists (like me). This may sound like a cliché, but the Filipino Comic Industry is very much alive. Our government should have the political will to tap and support the RIGHT people on this.

To the organizers of Komikon, keep it the good work!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Komikon 2007 experience






Last Saturday (November 17), Komikon 2007 was held in UP-Bahay ng Alumni. It is my 1st time to attend in that event. It is my 1st time to participate in that event as one of the exhibitors there. Honestly, it’s such a privilege to become a part of their Indie Tiangge. With my experience at Komikon 2007, I can now consider myself as an indie or independent comic strip artist. Yes, I know that I sounded quite shallow when I said that, but I usually appreciate even the simplest things (if you call the “indie” thing one of the simplest things). The event is tiring, yet enjoying. I met new friends there in persons of Gio, Bien, Beng, and other “unsung” heroes.

The event was attended by people from Comic industry, be it fans and artists. Among the guests that I’m very familiar with are Manix Abrera, Pol Medina, Jr., Lyndon Gregorio, and Gilbert Monsanto. PMJR and Gilbert Monsanto are my favorites. I also like Joseph Caesar Sto. Domingo, Lando Inolino (the facial structure of my characters are partially inspired by him), and Larry Alcala. Although my works are influenced by PMJR, Lyndon Gregorio and Ariel Atienza.

One thing that struck me is the humility of Jerry Alanguilan (creator of Wasted) and Carlo Vergara (creator of Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah). Both of them bought my work at its original price (not the discounted one). My comics strip is being sold for PhP 30.00 (around US$0.60, hehehehehe, promotion? Hehehehehe).

Okay, let’s go back to the news friends that I met there. The first one that I met was Gio Paredes. I saw his works, and it’s awesome. It looks like we have our local superheroes in Kalayaan Comics. He’s a Math graduate just like me (isn’t it funny, Mathematicians into Comic industry? Hehehehehe). By the looks of it, Gio has the experience necessary to publish his work (euphemism for “he’s a seasoned veteran”….hehehehehehe…). Seriously though, if a major printing company will back him up financially, he’ll go a loooooooooong way to this industry. According to him, my work is like a younger version of Pol Medina, Jr. You know what? PMJR’s work, Pugad Baboy series, is the first local comic strips compilation that I bought (next one is Mang Ambo by Larry Alcala). I don’t know that “subliminally”, my works will become like PMJR.

The second one that I met was Bien. Actually, we’ve known each other in the Deviantart. He is known there as Agimax. He’s a good artist. I can’t forget his quotation, “Power to the pencil”. He’s quite laidback, but I find him cool. His work, Rex Agimat, is cool. His comic book is indeed for all ages. I have read it, and by the looks of it, he likes adventures. I suggested that Mang Kepweng and Rex Agimat meet. Though it is tainted with humor, I’m serious about it. It will be very cool if that happens (I hope he reads this blog site), and it might increase sales the next time around. By the way, he made his version of my characters in GradS Tayo. It is quite flattering when a fellow artist draws your characters.

I also met Beng (and her friends), a UP student, her works (it is a collaboration, she said) one of them is Komikera, with a lead character named Manlalakbay (Traveler). I promised her that one of these days, I’ll put Manlalakbay in one of my strips. Actually, right now, in my vacant time, I’m pondering on stories of one of the GradS Tayo characters to be paired with Manlalakbay. Beng is quite cool to be with. During the afternoon part of the Convention, I was quite bored. I sang the Best of Times by Styx. To my surprised, she knows the song. Her choice of music is wide. She’s fun to be with. By the way, I’ll take this opportunity to promote her and her friend’s Komikera series. I find Beng’s work cerebral. However, when you got into it, it packs a punch! It is what I described “reality based” humor. I like her work. By the way, I saw an idea that will add variety to my work: a one page strip.

I have more stories to come the next time. I have work to do. Long live the independent artists!

Monday, November 12, 2007

the danger of success and a random entry

As I’m typing this, 8 days have passed since the successful Young People’s Fellowship (YPF) Day. Based on the record that I’m holding, 78 youngsters attended the activity, including 30 youngsters in our church. Based on what I have heard from other youngsters in the new church, it is the first that the new church held that kind of activity. Although there had been inter-Baptist church fellowship that the church hosted in the past, this one’s unique because of its organization and the revival that happened. The youngsters in general had enjoyed it.

However, I reminded the Young People about the danger after the success of YPF day. I shared to them what happened to Prophet Elijah back in the Old Testament. Elijah challenged Baal’s prophets. I don’t want to give the details, but with God’s power, he emerged as a victor of that showdown. Baal’s prophets were killed (during Old Testament times, it is legal to kill false prophets) after that showdown. People who witnessed the showdown said that Elijah’s God is the True God. The showdown is a victory and a success in favor of Elijah.

When the King Ahab told Queen Jezebel about what had happened, Queen Jezebel threatened to kill Elijah. Elijah knew this because Queen Jezebel’s messenger told him. Because of this, he left his servant and went to a place. In that place, he told God his discouragement.

Although he recovered from that discouragement and Jezebel got killed later, still, it is inevitable: one should prepare himself AFTER a victory and a success. Yes, YPF day is generally a success despite some loopholes. However, one must be on guard.

Honestly, I am tempted not to have YPF activity yesterday (November 11), declaring it a rest day because of the success of the activity. However, I perceived that a Sunday break from YPF activities will lose the momentum. Instead, I continued the weekly YPF activity. I conducted an icebreaker when I’m not planning to do it (spontaneous) in the first place. The YPF activity was finished in about 70 minutes.

Random entry: I heard that 2 youngsters, both inactive in YPF, were reprimanded because of their hairstyle during the recently concluded YPF day. I heard that one of the calmest members in the church reprimanded them nicely. They were reprimanded not only of their hairstyle, but because they wore jeans on a Sunday, instead of the usual church attire.

I don’t know who among the youngsters said this, but a youngster said to that member that if they’ll change their hairstyle, they will not attend the church next Sunday.

Okay, let’s put this nicely. These kids grew up in the church. “They know the rules”, as the saying goes. They should have worn the proper attire and the proper hairstyle, even only for that day. Okay, don’t get me wrong. I’m not teaching hypocrisy. Besides, what those two youngsters demonstrated is not the issue of being real with themselves (and not hypocrites as the church haters, church rules haters, and faultfinders put it). This is the issue of arrogance on that youngster’s part. Look, the member is one of the nicest elders around. He reprimanded them calmly. Just being real? No. It is arrogance!

Again, I’m not teaching hypocrisy. We understand the mind of these youngsters because I myself had been a teenager once in my life. Personally, if they can’t really get rid of their hairstyle (because they don’t want to), they can have the “church look” on Sunday and their own look on weekdays. Okay, this may sound as hypocrisy. It’s not. What I’m trying to say that in that manner, they’re taught that there are rules to follow. In the Bible, rule benders” are not rewarded by God.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not perfect. I have my struggles also. However, what I’m trying to say is that wearing the proper hair and attire in the church is the first step for a positive change on them.

These youngsters, I believe, are better than I am, if they’ll just be teachable enough. After all, the people reprimand them are concerned to them.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Young People's Day...

Last Sunday (November 4), we held our Young People’s Fellowship Day or YPF Day. According to the young people, there are fellowships with other Baptist churches in the past, but this one’s the first to be considered a major activity of the new church’s Youth Ministry.

Actually, there are some hassles prior to the activity. I didn’t make a formal invitation. I just gave them a verbal invitation. Yes, there are churches that will come even if not given a formal invitation. Another thing is that our budget is short. Even in that short budget, a married member managed to owe PhP1000. Actually, she wants to owe the Young People’s fund PhP2000, which I didn’t allow (I felt right from the start that she’ll not pay. Still, I gave her the chance to prove me wrong.) Since October 22 or 29, she is not attending the church. I heard from her aunt that she’s working somewhere. Whatever the reason, she promised to pay, but she didn’t. Besides, she knows that there is an upcoming major Youth activity. Still, I gave her the chance to prove me wrong, but she didn’t. Another hassle is that one of the invited churches already forgot that we have an activity. It’s my fault. I lacked follow-up in that invited church. I almost forgot to create a written program to be submitted to the new church pastor. Even at the last minute, there is another hassle: the guest speaker and his family just came home at around 1PM. The program will start at 2PM.

These hassles, though all of them are partially my fault, are still the enemy’s distractions (Remember: Satan is very good at that. He’ll make you do wrong so that you can not point him). YPF day, I believe, is a work for the glory of God, and Satan doesn’t like that. By God’s grace, I, together with my youth members, didn’t focus on the distractions.

By God’s grace, the activity was a success! We managed to accommodate 78 young people, including some of our youth members who are not attending the YPF (I know, I know, MAYBE their motive is to look for girls from another church. It’s no longer the YPF’s fault, but theirs…and the fault finder [not me] who made you think of that…hehehehehehe). The activity was a success to a point that the new church pastor, despite having a low blood pressure at that time, managed to be happy. The success even spread to other churches. About the food budget, by the way, others managed to eat more and drink more. Indeed, God is faithful. The blessing was felt even during the evening service where 2 of the guest churches are gone.

Indeed, God has been faithful to me. He knows what I’ve really done wrong in the old church to the point of my being kicked out (“discipline” in euphemistic term). Technically, I’m still a member of the old church. I have done what I can to fix the matter so that I can finally have my public apology, but the old church is not allowing me yet.

I don’t know if God really doesn’t reward your labor in heaven that is not linked to your local church. If that is true, it’s okay. Maybe that’s the consequence of what I did before. However, what matters to me is that those youth members and other church members who helped me will someday be rewarded. I’m praying for that. Rewards or no rewards, one thing is sure: God is faithful to me and He proved it again through this YPF day. I hope and pray that those who helped and those who attended the YPF will be blessed by God.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

an activity worth pondering

I didn’t go to my province in Quezon this year. Just like last year, the new church went to Himlayang Pilipino (one of the good looking cemeteries in Metro Manila) to give Gospel tracts and when there is an opportunity, to share the Gospel. I thanked God that I shared to two souls. By the way, they professed their faith in Christ. No, I’m not an advocate of the so-called “easy believism” or the so-called “cheap grace”. Thus, I used the word “professed”. Why? Because it’s up to them if they’ll really accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. At least I did my part.

While going back to the church truck, a security guard told us that we are not authorized to give Gospel tracts inside Himlayang Pilipino. Actually, I wanted to ask the guard if there is a policy on that. However, I don’t want to sound rude. The new church pastor contested that why are Catholic priests allowed to exercise their faith inside Himlayang Pilipino. The guard answered that it’s not also allowed, however, he again put the blame on the new church pastor. The guard said, “why didn’t you reprimand it?” We answered, “because we don’t know that it’s not allowed.” He went away after that, saying that he’ll reprimand the priest LATER. We told them to reprimand them immediately IF that is the policy. Obviously, it’s just a policy created by the owner of the place so that no Baptist can share the Gospel inside that place. I heard that those in charge of the cemetery are devout Catholics. Still though, I understand them. Since they’re exercising their religion, and they are in authority, they’re using their authority to exercise their religion.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate the Catholics. I love them. That’s why together with the new church, I’m sharing the Gospel to them. Baptist is often misunderstood in this matter. We share the Gospel because Matthew 28:18-20 said it. We never force someone to be converted. After all, the purpose will be defeated if we’ll force them. Besides, a person can only experience true salvation if he will admit that he’s a sinner, confess his sins (not minding other people’s sins, but your own), accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. By the way, the Gospel is in itself free. Personally, never did I ask for any donation if I’m sharing the Gospel. Yes, inside the local church a member must give an offering in order to pay for the monthly expenses and for the church members’ physical needs, but the Gospel in itself is free. I can personally attest that I never force someone to be converted, if they don’t want to, I don’t force it.

At first, I felt the urge to confront, but I controlled myself. However, here are questions:

1) Why are there business establishments like Pizza Hut, Jollibee, etc, inside Himlayang Pilipino? In fact, it is being advertised inside that place.

2) If the said establishment secured a permit (which is the usual defense), can we secure a permit to do our activity (which is impossible, because they’re usually saying that there is a chapel)?

3) If “No” is the answer to the above question, what are their guidelines on issuing permits?

4) The said establishments are money making by nature (no question about that), why are they not allowing an activity (such as ours) which is not money making in nature?

5) The usual alibi is that what we are giving are just being thrown away, causing a terrible mess (kalat) inside the place, it is a piece of paper. Those said establishments have cups, plastics, cartons, etc. If thrown, it will also be a mess.

I know a Baptist church that was not allowed to be built inside a subdivision. However, that same subdivision had a Catholic church inside just built recently (last year or two I think). When asked about this, they will not answer that it is a church, but it is a multi-purpose hall. Yes, it was designed as a multi-purpose hall, but look at it now, it looks like a church. Why? I don’t know. The structure is meant to be a multi-purpose place, but now it is a church. What if we do the same? That Baptist church followed the process, but that process says that they’re not allowed. Thus, they obeyed. Now, here they are. You be the judge. They’ll have their justification on this, but I assure you this: if this Baptist church beat them “in their own game”, they’ll cry foul.

Change topic…

Every time I speak in this manner, people will always say that I must let go. I must understand. I must “ride on”. I must be tolerant. They say that true Christians don’t fight, argue, or play dirty (which is not really allowed). As a Baptist, many times, I am accused being too preachy every time I share the Gospel. That is inappropriately said. Besides, what do they mean by being preachy? Do you know how many times a non-Baptist will borrow me money and never paid it? How many non-Christians treated me wrong inside the University and I didn’t fight back? How many non-Baptist classmates confronted me on things that I didn’t do in the first place? How many non-Christians boycott the meeting that I set when I was an organization president? How many non-Christians disrespected me when I became an organization president? They didn’t hear from me. I didn’t fight back. Most, if not all, of the people that did this to me are non-Baptist people. Now, tell me again. Is that being too preachy? Is that being intolerant? Point me to a genuine (not fake, not merely professing) Christian place, and I assure you that the place is peaceful. There are signs of weaknesses, yes, but where did they get it anyway? They got it outside the true Christian faith.

The reason why this world is still a better place is because the genuine Christians are still here, making a positive difference, being kind, loving, generous, etc. to people one at a time.

I understand the incident in Himlayang Pilipino. By the way, take note: we never fought back or “stretch the rules”. They don’t know what they’re really doing. I admit that I’m biased on this one.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

a classmate's wedding, amie, and hard feelings


I attended a classmate’s wedding last night (October 26, 2007). Before I attended, I went to SM – North Edsa to buy a gift to be given to the bride and groom. I arrived in the reception at around 6:30PM. Oh well, in our batch (batch ’97), 3 of them have already settled down (although one is not officially, but he promised to get married as soon as possible). Before these wedding bells, many think that I’ll be the first one to get married because of my so-called “playboy image” and so-called “financial status”. Because of the ban, I didn’t go to the old church. I went straight to the reception area.

I still remember how my former youth director told that in order to erase my “playboy/chick-boy/heart breaker image”, I must marry my then-girlfriend. Even until now, I disagree with that. You marry the person because of love, not because the girl got pregnant, or in order to erase your negative image. It’s like a “closet queen” marrying a woman (even the prettiest girl in town), just to cover their being gay.

Anyways, before I enter the reception area, I pray to God to give me courage to face this people without looking guilty. Don’t get me wrong. I admit what I did was wrong, but that was the past and God knows (I didn’t use His name in vain) that I did my best to settle things up in the old church. Ok, back in the topic. I want to walk with poise. Thus, the good part came. The old church people had been decent enough to talk to me. Praise God! In fact, one of them said, “The case is no longer a hot issue in the church”. Praise God if the issue died a natural death. It should be. In fact, it should have died earlier. If we are telling that we are Christians, we should try our best to kill the unnecessary issues, BUT both sides should be heard FIRST before you let the issue die a natural death.

I didn’t finish the program. I went out at around 7:30PM. Still though, my former classmate, his now-wife (who was stunning), the groom’s father (whom I know since I was a kid) and the bride’s father appreciated. I thought otherwise. They appreciated that I dropped by even with my schedule.

About me and Amie…

The at the upper right hand? That is me and sweet girl Amie...

I went to SM-Manila to see sweet girl Amie. Actually, I waited for 1 hour. That made me angry. Because of that, she walked out. I tried my best to convince her not to walk out from me. She walked out twice actually. There goes my short temper again. We wasted an hour or two just because I ruined the day. Still though, the day went on good. We apologized to each other.

Then, we started to talk about each other. I told her that Mom likes her for me, but Mom knows that we can’t be more than friends. I told her that I’m happy if I see her smile. It completes my day when I see her and I hear her husky voice. It is inevitable; I love Amie. Even a poet/friend notices a sort of a “glow” in my face that I can’t hide. My uncle, my cousins, and even AC, like her for me.

Still though, we can’t be more than friends. Mom understood. By the way, prior to our seeing each other, we didn’t talk to each other for about 3 weeks. She understood my Biblical stand on the matter. I told her that the reason why I decided what I decided is…because I LOVE HER…and the feeling is mutual; that’s why she understood me for who I am and what I stand for. Still though, she told me that despite of that, she told me that I’ll always be her closed friend. I told her that she’ll always be my special friend. I can’t help but cry. She’s one of the nicest girls that I met (if not THE nicest girl).

I hope and I pray that she’ll accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I hope that she experiences the true born-again experience. No, not because I love her (though it’s one of them), but because I want those close to me to be saved also.

I hope and I pray that if ever she’ll have a kind, yet strong boyfriend. She deserves it. She’s a likeable person. She’s nice and sweet. She’s a supportive lady. It will break my heart if she’ll end up with a mean and nasty and unfaithful man.

I thanked God because both of us understood each other without sacrificing friendship.

No hard feelings…

My hard feelings to the old church are gone by the grace of God. Now, I fully understand them. Why I said this? I just found out that the reason why most girls from the old church don’t like to talk to me is because my ex-girlfriend didn’t only hide the truth, she also denied what is true. In addition, she talked her way to the girls. It’s no wonder guys didn’t have any idea. She talked to church single ladies the lies. Yes, the lies. She hid the truth from them. She denied almost everything. She made me and my family seemed bad to the church girls. Not only that, she diverted the issue from her. For example, she said that I pointed a knife to her. This is very wrong. She’s the one who pointed the knife to me. Are you getting the picture?

Because of what I have found out, I began to understand the old church people more. Okay, let’s face the fact: there are rumor mongers (that’s their weakness), but rumor mongers will not be rumor mongers if someone didn’t start it. It has a source. It’s my ex-girlfriend. The reason why even until now, I can’t go back to the old church even if I’m itching to settle things.

Thus, I understood them more now. I just hope and pray that someday, I’ll be given a chance to tell my side to the old church people.

This is another thorn that was pulled from and I’m happy and thankful to God for this.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Poetries created within 30 minutes

"Inside this Room"

Inside this room, there are different ages.
All came from different places.
All come from different jobs.

Inside this room, every one can be a star.
“I’m a mathematician.”
“I’m an accountant.”

Inside this room, indeed every one can be a star.
“I’m a soldier and a lawyer”
“I’m a government worker.”

Inside this room, the harder your words, the better.
It will be impressive to use some Elizabethan.
It will be of good use if you can define what you say.

Inside this room, your pen will dictate who you will be.
Use the pen to solve, voila, you have friends.
Use the pen to draw, voila, gone will be they.

Inside this room, there are adults.
Adults like you and me
Adults that have responsibilities to fulfill.

Inside this room, there are kids.
Kids who will just have their way.
Kids ready to escape the places that they needed to go.

Inside this room, there are men and women.
Men and women that have limitations.
Men and women that have their own problems.

Inside this room, there are emotions.
There are smiling and crying.
There are loving and hating.

Inside this room, there are people
Who, after they went out, have other things to do
Who, after they went out, have their homes to go

Inside this room, there are students
Students that are of different culture, age, orientation, and life.
Students that are inside the room called Graduate School.
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Obviously, "Inside this Room" is about my life in Graduate school. This poetry is "double edged" because I gave both my positive and negative view on life in graduate school. I created this during my lunch break in the office. I know, this one's rough because it was created in 30 minutes. Besides, i'm new doing poetry.
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I had a collaboration with a poet from deviantart. He invited me to give my contribution in his "weekly collaboration"....Theta, one of my close friends in DA, is also part of of the weekly collaboration (hope that kid sister's doing fine)....

“Just like you and me”


It comes in different colors
Same as life…
Just like you and me.

It comes in different shapes,
Same as how we look…
Just like you and me.

It is there whenever there are events
Same as people who attend events right and left…
Just like you and me.

It is displayed for kids to pick the colors
Same as a teenager thinking what latest trend to pick…
Just like you and me.

It makes a crying kid happy when he holds it with his hand
Same as a sweet, caring mother ready to console her child…
Is it just like you and me?

It flies when you let it go
Same as a lover who doesn’t want to be loved…
At times, it’s just like you and me.

It flies and a kid that held it cries
Same as a lover who lost a beloved one…
Indeed, just like you and me.

It can be seen again, displayed for kids to see
Same as people who moved on after a major lost of someone or something…
Just like you and me.

It is called a balloon, the one with air inside.
Same as people, different colors, different sizes, but breathe the same air…
Just like you and me.
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Here's my contribution to my DA friend. Again, this was created in the span of 30 minutes. Why not longer in order to have a better literary quality? Simple: I'm busy. November 4 will be our YPF day (or as the new church pastor said, Young People's Day). November 17 will be Komikon 2007. Busy busy busy....it's ok...after all, i'm still bouncing as a ball (boing boing boing)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

About Kathy Griffin's "punchline"...

Let me show you a Reuters article the caught my attention. In fact, even before I saw this, I saw similar articles at www.yahoo.com. yesterday (October 22).

http://www.reuters.com/article/televisionNews/idUSN1144512920070911

Okay, let me tell you what my stand about this as a Baptist Christian: if you’ll read Exodus 20:7, one should not take God’s name in vain. That means don’t use God’s name in not-so-serious matters, including jokes. This verse is also applicable in saying a promise, using God’s name, then at the end you’ll not fulfill it. If you’ll follow this verse deeper, using God’s name in vain also includes saying God’s name as a curse or a word used when we’re surprised by someone. My stand as a Christian is that Kathy Griffin did just that. She used the name of Jesus as one of her menu to her stand-up antics.

Don’t get me wrong, I like watching stand-up comedians/comediennes. I’m fairly a good sport when it comes to their jokes. However, the Bible is loud and clear not to use God’s name in vain. Okay, I know people reading this will this accuse me of being “right wing” of sort. I’m just stating my Biblical stand of the issue. Besides, some are saying that Griffin is just exercising her freedom of speech. Thus, I’m also exercising it the way she exercised hers.

Why is it that Jesus’ name is used in jokes and so-called Christians are laughing the matter or even defending those who used it? No wonder my Muslim schoolmates back in my undergraduate years call Christianity a “blasphemous religion”. Those so-called Christians don’t react or, the more positive one, respond to this. Instead, there are those who laugh. Make fun of Buddha, Allah, Brahma, and Felix Manalo, let’s see what will the Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, and INC members will do to you.

I don’t care if you’re a “backslidden” brother/sister or “disgruntled/rebel” former Bible man/woman or a “church kid gone wild” or a “Christian school graduate eager to go bad after graduation”. Christians have failed in their Christian lives, one way or the other, public or private. However, that’s not an excuse not to express what a Christian stand about this matter.

The other side of the issue:

However, I understand Kathy Griffin regarding this matter. She’s a stand-up comic. She’s making fun, not necessarily of Jesus, but to those Award winners who use the name of Jesus, or God, as part of their “Thank you” speech. They use Jesus’ name as if it’s part of the format of the thank you speech (like a colon after a salutation of the business letter). In other words, I don’t know, but using God’s name in thank you speeches in awards (Emmy, Oscar, Golden Globe, etc.) is sounding superficial (euphemism applied) lately. Maybe, just maybe, that’s what Kathy Griffin’s punch line is after.

This should be a wake-up for people calling themselves “Christians”. If you were asked to pray publicly, you must pray sincerely. Pray from your heart. If you’re thanking God when you won an award, or made your acceptance speech, make sure to thank God and mean it.

I admit though, I’m guilty sometimes in these matters. Like I said, this is a wake-up.
According to sources, Kathy Griffin is an atheist, but raised a Catholic. If the sources are right, she’s just expressing her belief as an atheist, how about we Christians? Shall we just hide?

If we are saying that we are true Christians, the one who accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, let’s say boldly that the only way to be saved is by admitting one’s sins, repenting from them, accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Christians should take advantage of this freedom of speech.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

distractions distractions distractions

As I have promised, I’ll share to you something. It is about an excommunicated member of the old church. Before I go to the story itself, let me established some things so that you’ll understand.

Actually, he is AC’s (big brothrer) classmate back in our Christian school days (AC and he are both batch ’96; I’m batch ‘97). It can be said that he’s a childhood friend because I’ve known him since our elementary days and he’s AC’s friend back then. Years later, according to the information I gathered and based also on my personal encounters with him, he committed fornication. Sources said that she’s a preacher’s kid (although personally, I find the girl snobbish, though she’s not that pretty [euphemism implied he he he]). The girl told the case to the church authorities (this is true). I don’t know if this one is true, but according to what I have heard, she cried rape. This is not only his case in the church. Once, he stole a mobile phone from an old church member (this is true). This member, a wife of one of Henry Sy’s architect, is quite smart. She posed as a “textmate” so that that guy will text her. That guy even invited her to church. It was a “buy bust”. He was caught in the act. He had no choice but to admit his act in front of the deacons (I assumed the old church pastor is also there). That time, he has a tricycle. Sources said that he used this to accompany church girls to their way home. This is an odd information (I don’t know if this is true): he requests these girls one favor: a kiss on the cheek (how stupid if that is true. He does that to minors. He can be jailed for that. Besides, these are church girls, and he is a church guy. I find “messing your own backyard” scary (if you know what I mean).

These acts took its toll in the church. This act of his made it worst: he tried to influence the former old church pastor and his wife. Not only that, he also talked to some church members. If you’re a church goer, you know that this is called “talebearer”. In addition, if you’re a church goer, you know that what he’s doing is “dividing the brethren” or “causing the members to be divided instead of having one common goal or thought”. If you’re familiar with the Bible, the Bible said that this type of person should be “marked”, meaning “to stay away from”. After long investigation, he was excommunicated by the church, in broad daylight (morning service, where the church attendance is at its highest), with all deacons standing behind the pulpit (my excommunication is different; it was done in the evening (fewer members), and only Pastor is the one standing behind the pulpit. Meaning, he was forced to do that decision because he knows what’s the story why I did what I did). As far as I can remember, this happened around year 2000 or 2001. By the way, he was excommunicated because he’s starting to divide the brethren. Then, something happened: some of the audio equipments in the church were missing; he stole it.

Fast forward today. That same guy is now working in a collecting firm. He’s sort of a messenger. Because of this, he always drops by in our office, as a collector. We are nice to him, but not on a personal level (it’s office hours). Then one day, a Pastor (my ex’s Pastor) told me that he wanted to see me. He wanted to say something. We met in a place. Now, here’s the story: the Pastor told me that that same guy is trying to manipulate my ex-girlfriend and her family. He’s telling my ex-girlfriend that I’m now attending in the old church (without her approval). He also added to her that the old church is unfair, being biased in this case. He also said that the old church pastor is favoring us because of our so-called “status”. If my ex’s family is right, that guy is inviting my ex-girlfriend to “destroy Pastor Jerry”. He’s using her hatred for me so that he can have it his way. It is manipulation. Whoa. I laughed at the news at first because the old church people can prove that he’s lying. However, I was also disgusted with that guy because it is outright rebellion. Yes, I admit that I was sad with the church’s decision to me, but what the guy did is outright rebellion. You know what? He made the matters worse than it should be.

According to my information, the girl that he had sex with backed out on the case (I don’t know why); that means it’s a closed book. However, he stole equipments. He almost divided the brethren. Thus, what he needs is talk to the old church pastor, fix things up, and have a public apology (maybe in broad daylight also). In addition, he needs to pay for what he had stolen.

Indeed, he made it worst. Not only did he do the old church wrong, he also did wrong to another Pastor and his church. Two churches. All because of his lying tongue.



Looking back what I did, I thanked God for people that advised me to fix this with the old church pastor. I did my best to fix things up. In my case, I talked to the old church pastor. They gave a condition: my ex should forgive me. Because she’s not ready yet, I’m not allowed to publicly apologize. I do admit I share what happened to me in the old church with other people, but I acknowledged what I really did wrong. Plus, I share it to people not connected to the old church (one way or the other) whatsoever. Again, I admit what I REALLY DID wrong.

I boldly say that this type of act deserves shunning to the one who did this, unless he admitted his faults. Honestly, he should be the one who “deserves” the “shunning”. Unless he humbled himself, he must be shunned.

In my case, I tried my best. I am very much ready to face the crowd, but the old church said it’s not yet time. Because of that, the burden’s no longer mine, I’m no longer guilty of all this. Thus, I’m trying to tell to the youth leaders there that pride is not the reason why I’m not yet back – the church (through the old church pastor) decided for me not to go back yet.
Again, this is a form of distraction. First, it’s the failure of my comprehensive exam for the 2nd time, then this news. The Young People’s Fellowship Day (YPF Day) is coming near (November 4). YPF is initiated in order to glorify God through revival (churches were invited also). The “enemy” hated this activity. Thus, the “enemy” is creating distractions.

I hope and pray to the Lord God that the YPF day will push through, by hook or by crook.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I failed the compre (weeeeeh)

Note: I wrote this yesterday, i posted it today...

For the 2nd time, I failed the comprehensive exam. Actually, the exam into 4 categories namely: Philosophy, Statistics, Research, and Specialization. I passed all of them. However, I have a “Low Pass” mark in Specialization, which is considered a failure. Thus, I retook the exam, but only the Specialization part. After I waited for about an hour yesterday (June 15), the result was given to me. Again, it is a “Low Pass”. Honestly, I really did my best this time around. I read and re-read all, even to the point of memorizing it. I only didn’t study the Curriculum Development part of the Specialization. Again, it is a “Low Pass”. The policy of the University is that after you failed the Comprehensive exam twice, you’ll re-enroll what you failed. In my case, there are 6 subjects under the Specialization category. According to my Department chairman, he’ll still assess what in those 6 subjects that I really fail.

However, there is another option. I can just finish it under the Master in Education program. What is this? This is also considered a Master’s degree, but this credential will not be considered if I will plan to take up PhD in THAT UNIVERSITY. In other words, if I’ll take this option, I will be graduating with the degree of Master in Education (ME), but I’ll not be allowed to get my PhD there. Reading these lines carefully, I can take my PhD in other universities, which according to my department chairman, is “substandard”. There are good universities, however, that will allow me to take my PhD. Still though, in those Universities, I need to have certain units (sort of a “pre-PhD courses”). Judging with the situations, I’m not failure. I have many options. Honestly, I don’t to re-enroll. I’ve in that University since 2003. The University has a policy in a graduate student’s stay (maximum of 5 years). Next year will be 2008. In other words, this is quite risky. For me, it’s not worth the risk. However, with this ME program, it’s not over yet. If I finish this one, I’ll still graduate with a degree. Then, after this, I can put this credential to take further studies, like Law or a graduate studies in Math, after this. Honestly, taking a PhD is not a passion; it is just an option. Taking up courses like Law or Math is the thing in my mind (if I’ll be allowed to study again).

I told my Department Chairman to think this over first. I added that I needed to tell this Mom because I wanted a better view on this (like a family decision). I told him that I’m no longer teaching. Because of that, he just advised to take these two options, because it will be a waste if I don’t take either of the two.

Does this mean I’ll be discouraged to continue the comics called “GradS Tayo” because I’m no longer part of the “Thesis program”? No. After all, I’ll still graduate with a graduate degree.

This so-called failure is quite sad on my part. I did my best. I studied for that test. I believe this is the will of God. I don’t know yet what is the deeper message of this. However, I know that after I heard my result, my worries are gone. I know that this is a distraction. Distraction because this coming November 4, the new church’s youth ministry will have their first YPF day. This is a form of distraction for me to be discouraged because the “enemy” knows that I’m the head organizer of YPF day. I also know that graduating in a thesis program is no longer that significant to me because I’m no longer teaching, and God knows that I don’t see myself being a Principal, school administrator, etc.

Speaking of YPF day, indeed, I should pray that God will take care of this youth event in our church. This shows that the “enemy” is working double time to scrap this event. There is another “distraction” that happened to me yesterday aside from the test result. I promise to post this the next time. Please remind me if I forgot ok?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bloody post...bring a glass of water with you...

A married lady from the old church saw me, together with AC (my big brother) and two cousins (PB and Erika) and a distant relative, somewhere near my workplace in Malabon. We saw each other in a fast food store. It was a brief chat, due for the fact that we are on a separate queue. She greeted Kuya first, then I greeted her. She was a bit surprised to see me.

The brief conversation went in this similar manner:

Married Lady: Hey what’s up? I thought you’ll go back (in the old church), we are waiting for you.

Me: Ah okay. Oh well, someone is putting me on hold. Hehehehe.

Married Lady: Ows?

Me: Yes ma’am.

Then, after I took my order, a distant relative mentioned his order at the order.

The married lady is one of the old church people that still greet me (she usually greets me first) every time she sees me. Honestly, when the lady asked that question, deep inside I wanted to burst out. She asked me, “I thought you’ll go back (in the old church), we are waiting for you.” I know it is a harmless question on her part.

However, there are few assumptions why the question is like that:

1) Majority of the old church people thought that I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK TO THE OLD CHURCH SO THAT I’LL HAVE MY PUBLIC CONFESSION AND APOLOGY.

2) There are people who think that PRIDE IS THE REASON WHY I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK.

3) Majority of the old church people didn’t know the reason why I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK.

4) Majority of the old church people (particularly the young people) didn’t know that IT IS VERY WRONG THAT I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK. FORGIVE MY ATTENTION ON BETWEEN THE LINES, THE PROPER TERM IS, “I CAN NOT GO BACK” EVEN IF I WANTED TO (to sum it up, the old church Pastor himself told me that I should “lie low”, that it is NOT YET TIME for me to go back because he found out that my ex-girlfriend is not ready to forgive me and she’s not ready for me to go back. According to my ex’s mother, she said if she got married MAYBE she can finally forgive me).

Honestly, I find it quite irritating why the pressure is still on me. Oh well, that is the consequence of what I did in the past. However, I just can’t help that I’m irritated when the pressure is being put on me regarding this matter.

At times, I think in this manner:

How many times will I ask God for forgiveness (or is it the Devil who is making me feel this pressure…yes, the question quite rhetorical)? When will the old church people, particularly the young people, especially the youth leaders during the time it happened, open their eyes that they really don’t know the whole truth yet, even the reason why I am not allowed to go back? Or does the truth prevail only if someone has gathered significant influences? Well, maybe the truth prevails, but it will not be known to many (so that people will be smitten by the truth right in their faces, showing they are dead wrong, just like what Nehemiah’s detractors experienced). Maybe the truth prevails, but it will just whisper. Looking back at my stint in the old church, I should have not have widened my tolerance to a brethren’s wrong doing. I should have been rough on those young people who are not going to the church because of a petty reason. After all, the old church folks (particularly young people) will not greet me anyway if I did something wrong.

Still, I know that way of thinking is wrong. It is very un-Christian.

I admit that I want to confront my ex and say to her face, “Are you happy now? I’m still considered banned and kicked out because you are putting a hold on me. Are you happy now? I did you wrong, but you also did me wrong things long before these things happened? Why is your hatred so deep? You’re still deaf and blind, or just plain playing dumb why I left you. Even at this point, you still want to control, to put me on your grip. I’m trying to have a sense of peace, but why you’re disturbing it by questioning my attendance in a Youth Conference? You put two Friendster comments. Nicely written, but hey, why don’t you say to the old church Pastor those same kind words about me? I heard you’re not ready to forgive me yet. Besides, you questioned your own pastor why I attended a Youth Convention? You said it is unfair. Besides, are you fair? I suffered what I did PUBLICLY. How about you? Did you suffer publicly? Is your reputation ruined? Who is the one who suffered because of shame and ruined name? Not really you, ME. The hard part, is that I did my best for you. I loved you in that 2 year relationship, you gripped me on the neck. I gave almost all, but you still cursed me like I didn’t do any good. Then, you’ll ask why I did that? Are you very stupid when hit with something true but so scheming when concocting something against someone? God knows what really happened. God knows what I did wrong and what YOU did wrong, girl. You know why my hatred is like this? Hatred will only stop if YOU will stop the hate. After all, you hatred is way too far. I tried to stop to conquer this hatred that I have, but time and time again, you are making me remember it by what you’re throwing against me. Stop the lying and manipulating and controlling. Let God alone work on this one.”

I’m not lying. I don’t lie in my own blog. Besides, no one from the old church knows this site. No one even from the new church knows this site. Only two people whom I know personally know this site, and both are not connected with both churches.

I’m sorry for the harsh words in this post. I’m hurt. If only that married lady know that I am not allowed to go back yet even if I wanted to. Oh well, at the end of the day, God will take care of this.