NICCO AND RUTHIE’S WEDDING AT MARRIOTT HOTEL

Nicco and Ruthie’s Wedding VLOG

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SEMINARY DIARIES: Learning and Unlearning

After several years of studying the Bible inductively in BSF and being reared by the expository preaching at GCF, I still find myself in awe and overwhelmed with God’s Word. We can never settle with what we already know. In school (like I have shared with a lot of you), there are a lot of things I needed to unlearn and that is very humbling.

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Discernment: Listening to God in Life and Ministry with Dr. Tim McCowan

Upon entering seminary, we were told that we’ll have to put off the pre-conditioning we’ve grown with. Now that doesn’t mean that our previous understanding of the Bible is entirely bad or wrong. There’s just that reality that there are certain positions we’ve come to accept as true but when you get to the nitty gritty of the text, you’ll be surprised that the original intended meaning isn’t so similar with how a lot of people have been interpreting it today. We have to keep in mind that when people read and interpret the Bible, biases come along with it–intentionally or unintentionally. These biases may have been ingrained in us through culture, education and the church.

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A common mistake we make is taking one verse alone and interpreting it without the passages before and after. There’s nothing wrong with using verses from the Bible and making them a personal, motivational reminder. However, we have to make sure that we know the context of the passage and the book. For example, a verse that is often misused is Matthew 18:20:

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.

When you look at this verse, it does look very encouraging in terms of prayer. So many times, I’ve heard this recited in sermons and prayer gatherings. The passage in Matthew however, talks about dealing with sin or conflict in the church. It discusses rebuking a fellow believer in private about the sin.

If the fellow believer takes heed, then “you have won him over”–>this phrase can also take on so many meanings. “Won him over” meaning you won the argument or “won him over” meaning you have won his confidence? In the literal translation from Greek to English, it reads “you gained your fellow believer.” So the “winning the argument” angle is not what the passage meant.

This is just an example of the many verses taken out of context. I would love to share more but each verse might require a separate blog entry each. 😀

LEVELING UP MY HERMENEUTICS SKILLS

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Hermeneutics class group work

I’m amazed that with just a few verses, you can unpack a ton of things. Context. Main clause. Subordinate clauses. Key words. The words in the original language. Did the author use the word the same way we use it today? The intended audience—who were they? Where were they located? What was life like for them at that time? So many questions. We were doing termal, grammatical, literary and contextual analysis yesterday when my classmate David told me “Nasa exegete talaga yung trabaho no? Yung exegete yung mag-tatanong, siya din hahanap ng sagot sa text.”

And it made me think, as one person I can only ask so many questions. I cannot ask all the possible questions that may arise from the text and THAT IS HUMBLING. For me, it means that as a community of believers studying the Bible, team work is essential. One cannot do it alone. Our pastors, before they preach their sermon, present their outline and manuscript to a group of other pastors and church leaders and they discuss the text, the interpretation and what it means for us in the present day. In school, I like that we are also usually in groups when we do our Bible exercises for it broadens the way we observe and interact with the text, allowing us to see things from a different perspective.


There’s still more for me to learn and unpack. The Bible is truly a wonderful book and our God–though He is infinite and incomprehensible is definitely KNOWABLE.

God bless you! Until the next seminary diary…when I finish with my reading assignments! 🙂

 

[WATCH] MICHAEL AND RONICA’S WEDDING AT CLEAR WATER REST HOUSE, TAGAYTAY

I love midday weddings, specially when they’re held at cool, open spaces that are close to nature. There’s something so charming about Clear Water Rest House–the green open lawn, the quaint cottage where preps can be done and the spacious patio that provides an excellent view of the Taal Volcano.

After the morning ceremony at Caleruega Chapel, guests arrived a little before lunch and entertained themselves to the brim by taking photos at the patio, posing for snaps at the photo booth and enjoying the candy bar. The weather cooperated so well. It didn’t rain and the sun gleamed with just the right intensity. Got to work with Jeo and Agnes Odulio again of Empire Weddings. More on the vlog below

Suppliers:
Ceremony: Caleruega Church
Reception: Clear Water Rest House, Tagaytay
Coordinator: Empire Weddings (Jeo and Agnes Odulio + team)
Emcee: Ingrid Nieto
Photographer: Myio Okamoto Photography
Videogapher: Aisle 1401
Caterer: Towns Delight – The Caterer
Wedding Cake: Tourist Cakeshop
Flowers: Green Purple
Hair & Makeup: Diane Coles
Music: Symphony Rhythm Strings and Milet Abrenica
Lights & Sounds: Artuz101
DJ: Rammy Bitong
Bridal Car: JCA Bridal Car Rentals
Tent: Tent King

HAS ANYBODY HATED YOU FOR NO REASON?

pinkingrid 800x800 hates you for no reason

This made me reflect. Often, when we encounter something like this, we think “Yes! Somebody hates me but I don’t know why he/she hates me!” then I realized, we have to ask ourselves too:

“Have I hated on somebody for no apparent reason? Like they haven’t really done anything to me nor harmed me, but I hate them?” Hah. The answer wasn’t surprising for me: Yes, many times.

Why do we have the tendency to hate on some people even if they haven’t done anything to us directly? Sometimes these people don’t even know us or have a relationship with us.

“I hate him because he’s annoying.”

“I hate her because she’s such a loudmouth.”

We can come up with a million reasons but we have to get to the root of things—WHAT FUELS THE HATE? Hate is also such a strong word but sometimes when we don’t guard our hearts, a simple dislike could grow into full-blown hatred.

When I recently came across a crass celebrity, I admit I got miffed and some of you my dear friends, have seen me express my utter distaste for her behavior.

But I thought to myself—this girl doesn’t know me. Even if I told her that she has such crass behavior, would she actually listen? Would she take my advice? Maybe not, because we are not friends. Also, even if she goes on with that behavior—that is her issue. She is accountable for that. Will it affect me? Will it impede my daily living? The answer is no. So yeah. I may have been annoyed by her but I had to catch myself quick so it would not cross over to hatred.

What fuels hatred for others? Let us search our hearts.

Is it envy?

Oh the green-eyed monster. Envy can oftentimes lead us to be highly critical of those who have what we think we deserve. Instead of being happy for them, displeasure breeds and it can progress into a desire to destroy them.

“It’s unfair. I deserve what they have! I deserve the life they’re living.”

“They don’t deserve to be happy.”

Take time to ask yourself today: If I don’t like the thought of someone HATING ME for no reason, have I at any point also HATED ON SOMEONE for no reason? Why do I hate them? What is the underlying issue? What do I need to change about myself?

Now if you find yourself on the receiving end of seemingly unwarranted hatred, search your heart as well.

“Is there a valid reason for the person to hate me? Is it something we can talk about?”

“Have I directly and intentionally hurt the person to illicit a response like that?”

If you don’t know the person and you know in your heart that you didn’t intentionally hurt him/her, if the person still hates you, then let the Lord deal with them. Pray that the Lord would enlighten and convict them, bringing to the surface deep-seated issues such as envy and insecurity.

James 3:14-16

14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

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A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

Have a great day, friends!

BACK AT LA SALLE GREENHILLS FOR ANOTHER TALK

When I was first invited to speak at La Salle Greenhills (I was actually covering for my beautiful pregnant friend, Ginny at that time), I almost balked. The thought of being in an auditorium full of boys scared me. “Would they listen?” “Will they find my insights, lessons and advice helpful?” Although I have handled students of different levels both as a teacher and speaker, I’ve always had a mix of boys and girls. Still, the teachers and parents assured me that it would be alright, the boys would behave, and that they were excited to listen to a female guest.

It’s been a little over a year since then and I’m happy that they still invite me from time to time to give talks! One thing I discovered–the younger generation needs to realize the importance of grooming and the practice of good manners. It communicates a lot of things about the person’s upbringing, habits and even the educational background. Below is a quick vlog of my recent talk. If you’re from LSGH, do give it a thumbs up! Hope to see you boys again!

A GAME-FREE WEDDING CAN BE JUST AS ENTERTAINING!

A game-free wedding reception program doesn’t mean you skip out on the fun! Cris and Roanne made sure their guests were entertained with great music from G7 band and Filipino cultural dances from the Salinlahi Dance Troupe. In addition to the sumptuous dinner, guests were treated to the different food carts/booths like Bono Gelato, Mixed Mobile Bar, Figaro Coffee, Krispy Kreme and Mr. Franks.

LIVING WITH LESS, LITTLE BY LITTLE

Over the past four years, I’ve made it a habit to clean out my room and re-assess my belongings before welcoming the new year. This blog is a little late (as I have been swamped with work and school papers), but trust me, the decluttering process has been consistent. Going through tons of stuff, clothing and shoes has made me wince at the fact that not all the purchases I made were wise ones to begin with. I thought that by investing in affordable pieces, I was winning but one thing I’ve proven—you really get what you pay for.

SHOES
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I don’t want to speak in general because I’ve met a lot of practical girls, but don’t we somehow dream at least once in our lives to have a roomful of beautiful shoes? I don’t  want to put the blame on Imelda Marcos but I’d say her collection has influenced me as a young teenager, to have as many shoes as I want. Heels, flats, mules, sandals in different colors and fabrics. Back then, I thought “I’ll use my own money anyway, so this is totally okay.” When I began working and got my own salary, I let my little obsession run loose—I bought about two pairs every month.

28936_119594764740179_4708811_nAt that time, Janylin had effectively positioned itself as a Filipino shoe brand that produces high quality, beautifully-designed footwear that stands the test of time. Of course, each pair would cost around P2,500-3,500. Quite hefty if you were to compare it to the price mark of other department store brands at that time. Payless Shoe Source then, wasn’t also that big yet in the Philippines.

A year or two later, I noticed that most of the shoes and bags I purchased from department stores easily disintegrated. The material flaked and peeled off and the colors faded. And I thought I was such a smart shopper. I ended up having to reinforce the footwear by taking them to Mr. Quickie. The repairs were quite costly (if compounded) because Mr. Quickie doesn’t scrimp on the quality of their work and the replacement parts. I computed the cost of the shoes + cost of repair/reinforcement and ended up realizing that the overall cost was enough to buy a new pair. One thing I can say though—compared to my other shoes, my Janylin heels have stood the test of time. The leather doesn’t disintegrate. If you wear them regularly though, it would help to put a rubber install lining and have the heel bottoms replaced to make them last longer.

I now only have about half of the number of shoes I used to own. While I still keep my key colors: black, white, nude, pink, blue, green and purple (these are easy to mix and match with my wardrobe), I am no longer inclined to purchase many of the same kind. What I discovered last year is that, I ENJOY SNEAKERS and low wedges! Oh my goodness. If you know me from way back, you’re probably familiar with my love for high heels and stilettos. I still get to wear them for events from time to time BUT only for a few hours. SERIOUSLY GUYS. Ang sakit sa likod. You also don’t get to walk as freely because there’s that fear of slipping or tripping and when that happens—good luck with that sprain.

CLOTHES

P1030536-001Girls have tons of options when it comes to clothing. Clothing is truly one of the biggest industries worldwide and even if you’re not that much into fashion, it is inevitable that you will buy clothes. Of course you have your basic, everyday casual wear, work clothes, something for sports and recreation and then there are those for special occasions. While fashion has always been an interest, I was never obsessed with luxury brands and I have my grandmother and mother to thank for that.

1 Peter 3:3 says that the beauty of a woman should not come from outward adornment. While there isn’t anything wrong with wanting to look good and be presentable, as believers it is important to check on our motives. Do we call attention to ourselves, giving more importance to the outer appearance than our soul and character? Ashamed as I am to admit this, back then, I used fashion to make myself stand out. I wanted to be known for my sense of style. The opinions of people fed my ego but the opinion of my God, I didn’t give much importance to. 😦

I did make a lot of impulsive purchases and sadly, the items may have been affordable but they did not stand the test of time. I let these items appeal to my ego and senses that I didn’t even pause to scrutinize the quality and wearability, and if these would cause others to stumble. As I got deeper in my relationship with God, I learned to include Him whenever I would pick clothes:

“If I wear/buy this Lord, will I call unnecessary attention to myself?”

“Do I really need to spend this huge amount for this?”

“Will it be honoring to You, if I wore this Lord?”

I also found myself getting rid of a lot of things every time I would declutter. I realized that I gathered so much but really, when I die I don’t get to bring any of them because they will only be left behind.

Nowadays, when I shop for clothes, I look at the fit, comfort, color, quality and wearability. I’m not so much a fan of “one time-wear” clothing. I like mixing and matching. The key to practical shopping, I’ve learned, is to choose items which you can wear multiple times in different ways. It’s good to have a balance of basic colors and prints in your wardrobe. Dresses in solid colors can be easily worn with different jackets and shawls, and can even be used as tops for your skirts. I usually buy my basic dresses off the rack, but for prints I’ve discovered the joy of having them custom-made. I pick and buy the tela myself and have them sewn into designs/patterns that I like. Another bonus: since it’s not mass-produced, the mananahi works on it with so much care and attention to detail.

Anyone else here who’s done some decluttering and minimizing? What are some of the things you’ve realized? What changes have you made so far? Let me know through the comments or send me a PM on Facebook. See you guys soon! Have a blessed week!

Voice Over Recording Day

Taking you behind the scenes of my voice over work day. Despite the terrible traffic that can take place within the streets of Makati, one of the things I’m thankful for is that the studios are a few kilometers away from home. Yun nga lang, I have to intentionally allot time for travel because it can take 30 minutes to an hour to cover a 3km stretch. Anyway, here’s a short clip of a recording day.

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