Friday, July 24, 2015

Why I like my mom

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MY mother raised me on her lonesome, and she never failed to show her love to me despite the fact that I have my own struggles financially and personally.

Every time I ask my mom to lend me some cash since our two-year-old start-up project, Dugout Philippines, is just beginning to make some mainstream waves, she scolds me because of it.

However, in the end, she still provides for me because after all, she still cares for me.

I vow to her that once DPH becomes more stable, I will return the favor because I love her.

This reminded me more of how King Lemuel described my mom and every woman who fears God.

A challenge given to us by Pastor Jayson Lo during a church event right after the mid-morning service was to read every chapter of Proverbs everyday, starting from Chapter 1 on Day 1.

Although I posted this one on the 24th, I read the final chapter of Proverbs, which talked about the model female Christian.

Verse 10 said, "She is far more precious than jewels." She may not notice it since were nautical miles apart, but despite me sometimes not pleasing Mommy (Sorry, Lord and mom), I treat her as a gem as how God wants me to treat her.

Yes, we may not be as blessed financially, but having my mom is a blessing for me, and I also call her "blessed" just like what Lemuel said in verse 28.

To my mom, I love you so much despite the financial and personal matters. I'm going to return the favor soon.

Probably, one way to give back to her is to give her a "fountain of youth", that is, a collagen drink.

I first tried a collagen drink when someone gave it to me last year. It was tastier when mixed with other drinks, but many prefer diluting the powder only in water.

One of the available collagen powders right now is HyC 150.
Premium HyC 150, developed by FINE Japan Co. Ltd., is now available in the Philippines. Premium HyC 150 is unique because it is the only supplement drink that has the optimal combination of active anti-aging ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, collagen and ubiquinol.

Premium HyC 150 has other benefits that go beyond skin care and a rejuvenated, more youthful look. To maximize the benefits of collagen, one important element, hyaluronic acid, has to be present. At least 50 percent of hyaluronic acid in our body can be found in our skin. Premium HyC 150 contains 150 mg of hyaluronic acid, the optimal dosage to replenish the body of this essential nutrient. Hyaluronic acid acts as space filler by binding to water and keeps the skin wrinkle-free. It lubricates joints, ligaments and connective tissues. It also hydrates surrounding tissue and keeps the collagen nourished and healthy.

Premium HyC 150, exclusively distributed in the Philippines by BrightRAY Enterprises, is now available at Watsons stores. For information, visit

(Editor's Note: This is a sponsored post.)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

When we experienced a "storm"

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I never thought my first trip to the Cavinti Falls aka Pagsanjan Falls would turn out
to be a nerve-wracking one. Azrael Coladilla/Azrael's Merryland
In my 27 years here on Earth, I have experienced some of the worst storms that hit Southern Luzon. I endured a week without electricity when "Rosing" hit Metro Manila in 1995. I got stranded and eventually braved the storm when "Milenyo" came in 2006. I and my churchmates got stuck when "Ondoy" was in town in 2009. I witnessed how my former boarding house got ravaged by "Nesat" in 2011 (I was yet to build TLIMC then). And recently, I experienced walking for 13 kilometers just to get remittance because it was a total blackout during another storm last year. But this one, although not really a storm, made me feel I was in one again.

It was my first time at this place called Magdapio Falls, which is better known by locals in the town of Cavinti as the Cavinti Falls and by everyone else as the Pagsanjan Falls. At first, I was jokingly hesitant to go on a balsa trip to the falls because I left my other shorts in my bag (I was sporting the full Master Game Face Media Challenge kit I got during my birthday). Eventually, I decided to go to brave the falls. So me and a group of bloggers went aboard the balsa.

One thing I noticed was that the balsa was overloaded. It turned out, there are supposed to be two balsas, but the other one is damaged, prompting the sailors to maximize the remaining balsa to de-congest the long queue. If not for the fact that we were wearing life jackets, I don't know if we would get up from the deep waters if the balsa got broken.

Well, we made the cave safely. We decided to stay inside for a while while another blogger, Ross Del Rosario, opted to go back because of some minor health issues. We took selfies (I left my tablet in my bag for security purposes) and we went "wild" inside the cave. Then came a group of Koreans coming from Pagsanjan and, as what some 9Gag memes and comments would say, "S*** just got real."

My fear about the overloading just happened. The water flow from the falls became stronger (probably because it was raining almost the entire afternoon in Cavinti), and it was enough to overpower the sailors and the Korean-loaded balsa. We had to save everyone and remind him to stay calm. Moments later, a fellow blogger hurt her right arm. And here I was, all alone way inside the cave and sat a la Kevin Durant (the photo below may help you).
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images (file photo)
I really wanted to go back to the mainland immediately after everything that took place. We eventually got back only to find out that our injured friend passed out. And everyone worried. Rules state that if you made the falls via the Cavinti trek, you have to go back there, the same if you decided to take the boat from Pagsanjan (the easier and the more well-known route, thus, naming the area Pagsanjan Falls although its part of Cavinti) to get there. I don't know how our the tour organizers convinced the boat sailors to get her aboard since they were hesitant at first, but of course it's already an emergency. Eventually, they made it to Cavinti safely.

I prayed for thanksgiving that we were kept safe from the "storm". I was reminded of the past real storms and how God saved me. But of course, what I am more thankful is that the Lord saved me from a more devastating storm called sin. And all it took was a sacrifice by no less than Him on the cross.

"No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you." Joshua 1:5 (NIV)

PS: More of my Cavinti adventures on Stu Traveled and Sporty Guy.

Friday, January 16, 2015

On why even the non-Catholics like Pope Francis

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Azrael Coladilla/Azrael's Merryland
Even prior to his visit here in the Philippines, one thing I noticed about my friends, who are mostly from the Protestant movements like me, as per their social media posts is that they like Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio also known as Pope Francis. I wonder why. It turned out, they are not the only ones who like the pope.

Even non-Catholics all over the world can attest that Pope Francis is a likable church leader. According to Wikipedia, many Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, and even Islamic communities and even some atheists welcomed his papacy.

For a sportswriter like me, I focused too much on the results, the latest news, and the latest trade rumors that I, despite reading the Scriptures and at times posting and reposting verses on social media, rarely read news from the Catholic church. Probably, the fact that I'm from the Born-Again Christian community adds to the reasons. But after reading a transcript of Pope Francis' message, I begin to appreciate him more.

He started his sermon earlier at the Manila Cathedral with a very important word from Jesus Christ: “Do you love me?… Tend my sheep. (John 21:15-17)”. He continued, "I ask you to share the joy and enthusiasm of your love for Christ and the Church with everyone, but especially with your peers. Be present to young people who may be confused and despondent, yet continue to see the Church as their friend on the journey and a source of hope." He also quoted 2 Corinthians 5:15 saying, "Christ died for all so that, having died in Him, we might live no longer for ourselves but for Him." Simply put, Pope Francis is telling every Christian, regardless of his denomination, to go back to the basics.

In this time where some debate religious groups have turned into something personal and with all the issues concerning the Christian world, Pope Francis is reminding us that we should remember our first love, which is remembering and honoring God and spreading the Gospel as what He commanded. As what the Apostle John told the Ephesian church, "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. (Revelation 2:5a)"

I now understand why Pope Francis is loved by even the other religious communities. It may just be some of what he said, but he knows what every Christian needs now. He really is a champion of faith. To further prove that, a meme I saw bore another important words from him as the caption: "Do not hide your faith. Do not hide Jesus."

The full transcript of his message at the Manila Cathedral can be seen here.