Culture of Communicating

When I talk about my girls to my friends, they often comment that our children are so open to us. When they’re around our family, they get amused seeing and hearing the girls share random stuff with us, from movies to outfits, to school stuff, to boys, to church stuff, to dreams and the future. I love hearing my girls say about other friends who also are pretty open to their parents, that “they’re like us.” I’m so grateful that somehow we have built this kind of culture with our girls. It has its drawbacks too of course, but I would rather have different kinds of conversations with them than none at all. By the grace of God, we will get better and better at communicating with one another.

Let me attempt to give you some tips on how to build this kind of culture in your home.

First, TAKE INTEREST. Ask your kids how they are. Show them you’re interested in who they are, what they like, what they don’t. Make it a habit to be present and talk, so that they get used to this dynamic early on. Pleasant conversations with mom and dad are a great start. USE TECHNOLOGY to communicate with them too, so that even when you are not physically together, you still talk.

KEEP IT CASUAL. Yes, ask them about their day and all that, but also tell them how your day went. Like you’re talking to a friend. Kwento lang. “Hey, guess what!” Or “Alam mo ba….” Model communication to them. Watch how the conversation turns too. Sometimes an opportunity will open for you to teach, and you can do so while keeping it casual. Use your own experiences that they might be able to relate to. Informal. Normal. Open-ended even.

When they want to talk, LET THEM TALK. You LISTEN. Listen before you respond. Don’t assume anything, but acknowledge them. Then respond, but DON’T OVERREACT, so the conversation keeps going. Overreacting with annoyance, anger or disgust will just cause them to clam up. Ask the right questions so you can get to the heart of a matter, if there is a matter to get to the bottom of. Otherwise, just enjoy the convo. Laugh and be silly with them! Keep it light. Not everything needs to turn into a lecture. (I hear my kids in my head saying, “yeeaaahh moooom.” 😂)

DON’T BE AFRAID WHEN THEY ASK QUESTIONS. They will pose all kinds, even from toddler age. And I admit, some questions will really be awkward for you. But you have to appear as if you are not fazed by any of it. This may not be easy at times, and you’re gonna have to fake it till you make it. They need to see that you can handle it. Welcome their inquisitiveness, even if you don’t know the right answer. You can call a friend to help you out! (My husband calls me when it’s about sex 😂, because we have girls.) Or better yet, prepare for the FAQs, especially those of the pre-teen and teen. Go ask someone who knows better and whose word you trust.

Remember that you set the tone of your conversation with your kids. If you are awkward, they will be awkward. If they see you being receptive to their candor, they will be more inclined to be brave. Be ready for the tough questions so that you can encourage them to not be afraid. And be okay with not knowing all the answers. They will appreciate your honesty. But do the work. Seek wisdom and counsel, and go back to your kids and give them your best answer.

DO NOT BE AFRAID OF STRONG EMOTIONS. There will be times for serious conversations. You must stay strong and don’t take their words personally. Look beyond the expressions and the hurtful words. You can do this even while you are also having strong emotions. Remember that what they present usually is not the real issue. DO NOT WALK AWAY. Stay and ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS to draw out the truth. ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT to help you. Your compassion for your child should switch on (hopefully sooner rather than later). Be understanding, not judgy.

KEEP THE LOVE INTACT. No matter how strained or stressful the conversation gets because of the strong emotions, remember that you are talking to someone you love. Be careful with your words. SEEK THE TRUTH, BUT ALSO PURSUE PEACE. Your children need to be assured that no matter what they think, say, or do, you love them. Because many times the issue will not get resolved in one conversation, it’s crucial that the communication lines stay open. It will stay open if you keep the love intact.

BE DELIBERATE IN WHAT YOU PLANT IN YOUR CHILDREN. Sow good ideas, sow godly thoughts, sow faith-filled words. Sow God’s Word. Sow joy and laughter. Sow time. Sow memories. Do things together so you have plenty to talk about. Make sure the good memories always outweigh the bad. The hope is that when they look at their relationship with you, they remember the good more than the imperfections. That even though there is tension because of an issue, they will still choose forgiveness and peace between the two of you.

NORMALIZE SEEKING HELP. When you are overwhelmed, talk to someone. Unload. Process your emotions. When you don’t know what to do, ask for advice. Listen to other people’s stories. Get wisdom. Get encouragement. Get people to stand with you in prayer as well. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Indeed. Community is invaluable. Your children will thank you (maybe not right away 😂, but one day) because with the right help, you become a better parent.

Hope this helps. God bless you, mommies and daddies!

Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:38-39

Last Minute Surprise!

Our flight back from Taiwan to Manila was nearly 2 in the morning. So we had to take the train to get to the train that would take us to the airport, around 9 of the evening before. As we walked inside one of the train stations, we saw something that made my husband’s heart (and mine) jump.

Ever since 2018, after our trip to Japan, King has been talking and dreaming about the best ice cream he’d ever tasted. Even while we were in Taiwan, he talked about it. I could not share his sentiment because I did not get to taste it then. But who would have thought that in the very last hours of our trip, God would surprise my husband this way???

We saw a Cremia kiosk in the train station!!! And while some stores were closed, it was open at 9:45 in the evening!

Even though we were in a hurry, and it was quite expensive, and we knew we could not walk while he ate his ice cream due to the mandatory rule to wear a mask in all train stations, I urged him to get some! How long before we could go back to either Taiwan or Japan? This was his chance!! I did take a bite or two as well 😂, and he’s so right. So milky and delicious! Like no other ice cream I’ve tasted.

But more than that, I was just really happy for my husband. And so thankful that God would answer such an insignificant prayer. A very very small wish. He didn’t allow King to leave Taiwan without that memory, as if He was saying to him, “I hear you, son.”

I cannot explain to you how satisfying it was to see my husband enjoy his ice cream. I mean, it was just ice cream! But I really loved that he got to enjoy that. I guess this is what 18 years of marriage has taught us — what it is to be one. It’s never about competition, whose prayers get answered more or whose needs get met first. It’s always about sharing. Sharing the burdens, responsibilities, the pains, sure. But also sharing all the good. His joy is my joy! His win, my win. His success, my success. And vise versa. No jealousy. Only genuine happiness for each other’s blessings. And much gratitude. I feel truly blessed when the Lord blesses my husband!

We left Taiwan like happy children, assured by the sweet love of our Father. Not only did He give us such a cool surprise at the end of our trip, He gave us that trip! Taiwan was never in any of our wish lists to visit, but to have gone was an answered prayer. Something that God knew I needed way before I did. Something God provided the way for, so we could rest and be refreshed together. Oh, how God indeed is so mindful of His children!

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them? Psalm 8:3-4

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

Tandem Biking in Taiwan

So we recently visited Taiwan!!! It was a first for King and I to travel without our kids, or our parents, out of the country. It was a first after 18 years of marriage (we celebrate our 19th anniversary this year)! We met up with some of our closest friends — a couple based in Manila, who went ahead for the Bike Expo, and one who traveled from Japan. It was a wonderful rendezvous!

It was our couple friends who invited us and we completely relied on them for the itinerary haha. King and I have never been to Taiwan before. I, for one, was open for anything. I had no agenda but to enjoy. This mommy needed a break very very badly 😂.

We went to Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf on day 2. We rode tandem bikes! It was my first time and of course I wanted to be at the back. I did not want the responsibility of leading and pedaling haha. I wanted to sit back and relax. But looking back, there is so much to learn about marriage through tandem biking.

It was right for King to be in front because he steered us in the direction we were supposed to go. In our marriage, he is the head. He leads. He is the one responsible for the two of us.

It was right for me to be at the back because I am not the stronger biker. But as much as I wanted to relax and not do a thing, it was my job to support the two of us by steadying myself and pedaling. Otherwise, King would be the only one carrying the both of us, which is unfair and quite difficult at times, especially in the inclined portions of the road. In our marriage, I help. I support. I do my part.

But you know, there were times King stopped pedaling while I kept pedaling. Times I stopped pedaling, and only he pedaled. There were also times that we were on cruise control — our speed was good enough to just be steady and not pedal. There were times we both pedaled hard to get up the incline and move through rough roads more easily.

In marriage, the husband can relax from his husbandly role, while the wife picks up the slack. But just as I could not sustain being the only one pedaling for long, this scenario is not sustainable. It should only be temporary. The wife is typically not strong enough to carry the marriage alone. But more importantly, she is not supposed to.

The opposite can also happen, but soon frustration and resentment will build up because the husband is not capable of carrying the marriage by himself either. He is also not supposed to.

There will be seasons wherein married life is good and steady. Husband and wife can just cruise along and enjoy the ride. But they must have their feet always on the pedals, ready to do the work necessary to keep the marriage healthy and whole. Being comfortable, but never complacent.

And then there will be seasons of hardship, where both need to put in their best effort to hurdle through. Both must have the desire and willingness to work as a team. Husband and wife are teammates, co-laborers, just as King and I were co-drivers of our tandem bike.

In truth, either of us could’ve messed up our experience at any point. King was in front leading, but there were times that I was unhappy with how he steered us. In his confidence to ride fast, I did not feel safe. I felt like I was going to be the first one to fall and get hurt. I made sure I relayed this to him, and thankfully he stopped being rowdy. On my end, I learned that I could actually make the bike steer the way I wanted it to using my steering bar at the back. At times when King wasn’t paying attention, I tried maneuvering my bar to the left so the whole bike would follow. It worked! If I continued doing that, fighting against the way King was steering, we probably would have lost our balance and hit the railings, or worse, other people.

Important things to remember?

Listen. Even if you don’t agree. King didn’t think he was being unsafe, but enough complaints from me finally made him stop 😂. Listening is loving.

Unite. Work together, not against each other. Even when it seems fun (or satisfying) to annoy your spouse 😂. Unity produces peace and joy.

Lead lovingly. I would be more willing to help pedaling if King asked me nicely, instead of yelling at me (though jokingly) to “padyak!” 😂 A husband’s loving leadership is strong leadership.

Influence wisely. Use your influence as the wife to bring good to the marriage, not harm. Never a selfish agenda, like me just messing around 😂, but always one that helps steer your marriage in the right direction. A wife’s influence is powerful.

I’m no longer the biker I used to be, because it hurts me in places I don’t care to share haha. But because we were with friends, it was really so much fun! Married life is extra fun because of friends too. It’s good to be journeying with a few who love you, who laugh with you, and whom you can learn with and from. It’s even better when you can travel out of your own country with them! ❤️

In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:17

Empaths and Emotions

I recently watched the latest season of the series Manifest. One of the characters, Zeke, is an empath, and he learned that he could absorb the pain of other people. He worked with addicts and he helped them much.

I wondered at first if part of his power was to consume the pain, the emotion, the sickness, and destroy it within himself. But as his story progressed, it was obvious that everything he absorbed was taking a toll on him. I kept thinking that those emotions, the pain would need to go somewhere. He can’t just keep them in and remain okay.

True enough, when there was an opportunity for his emotions to come out, they did. The rage just burst out of him. He intended to protect his wife from a woman who was about to kill her, but he could not help but angrily shoot the perpetrator multiple times. He could not stop the rage. He was just consumed by it.

I have been struggling with some of my emotions lately as well. This was an apt reminder for me to make sure to process how I am feeling. To talk, unload, debrief. To make sure I don’t keep them locked in my heart and mind. To seek counsel and ask for prayers. To find tools to exercise self-control and ways to release the frustration or anger. To dispense forgiveness, and receive it, even from my own self. To cry, but to cry out to God first and foremost.

My feelings might stay bottled up in me, but not for long. They will always want to come out. The key is to manage my emotions, otherwise they will spill over to people, and worse, to little, innocent (though not always innocent 😉) people… AKA my kids. And I really don’t want that. I desire peace.

So here’s to finding the right tools to manage our feelings before they erupt like soda charged with mentos! It might be breathing, pausing, washing our face, exercising, praying, slowly reciting a verse, among other things. I thank God that His mercies are new every morning — we always have a chance to reset and restart. ❤️

May the Lord give us grace, patience, wisdom, and strength to endure and learn through this. May we keep in step with the Holy Spirit. 🙏🏼

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Gal 5:22-25

Better a patient person than a warrior,
one with self-control than one who takes a city. Prov 16:32

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23


On the first day of 2023, we were in Forest Park in Dahilayan, Bukidnon. Whenever our family is there, we never skip doing The Luge. I think the first time we ever got to try it in Dahilayan, none of our kids could drive on their own yet, but did so on our next visits as they grew older. This time, it was Gianna’s turn to conquer!

Walk across the hanging bridge to get to the Luge.

We weren’t sure at first if she would be allowed to drive solo, but when she learned that 8-yr olds are allowed, I think she shifted from being excited to being scared quite a few times in a span of 2 days. But we already agreed that she would drive on her own, so we stuck to that even though at the last minute, on the day of, she said she wanted to ride with me. 😂

There were some changes with the cars so I had to understand it first and then teach it to my girl. But everybody knows that you never really know until, quite literally, the rubber meets the road. And it was scary hahaha. Gianna pretty much learned on the fly. Thank God she was cautious enough to drive slowly, but there were times she would speed up and hit the brakes hard. King and I drove close to her of course, while our two other girls left us, didn’t even look back haha.

Ride down this track.

I needed to constantly remind Gianna to look forward, not to worry because I was right behind her, and that she should brake slowly. There was actually one point when she hit the brake so hard, I had to hit my brake hard too, and I still bumped into her! It was a gentle bump though. No one got injured haha. Did I mention there were other people on the track? Yeah, we had to manage that too. 😅

But you know, after the first round, she was excited to do the second. A tad nervous maybe, but more excited than scared. And though she still had to be reminded a lot, she did fairly well! Not bad for a first timer. We made sure we encouraged her as well of course. She was so proud of herself!

I was just thinking, maybe that’s what 2023 is going to be like for us. Some exciting firsts. Some setbacks. Some managing of situations. Some adjustments especially with 3 girls who are growing up fast. But with a lot of LISTENING and OBEYING, there will be a lot of LEARNING, and a lot of VICTORIES!

Listening to the voice of God and obeying His Word. Listening to the right people and applying the knowledge and wisdom to our lives. And also listening to encouragement and life-giving words! So much to learn and so much to conquer! Here’s to an awesome 2023!

The Gall!

So here I am again with another story of God’s faithfulness and abundant abundant grace.

So the past few months, I was getting these painful stomach aches that radiated to my back. I have some knowledge of basic medical conditions and with some research, I already figured that it must be my gall bladder. I confirmed that I had gall stones after an abdominal ultrasound early last month. I was referred to a laparoscopic surgeon, but I did not move forward with this right away. I just adjusted my diet and started doing short, doable exercise routines. Our schedule was full as well. I was doing quite alright.

Two weeks ago, however, my tummy started feeling bloated again and a bit painful. It was down time, right after mother’s day, so I told my husband we should see the doctor already. We had to move quickly because our helper was scheduled to take a leave in about two weeks. But before we could even schedule an appointment, I had a bad stomach ache on Tuesday. It did not go away after half an hour. Cold sweat, no comfortable position whatsoever, no relief after drinking warm water. I even threw up after taking apple cider vinegar with warm water. I called the hubby to take me to the ER.

Asian Hospital’s ER is usually full but that day, I was processed pretty quickly and moved to the primary care room within the first 30minutes. Thank you Lord! My pain as well, surprisingly, was at bay by that time.

The attending doctor talked to me and then told me that they were admitting me, prepping for another ultrasound, etc etc. The nurse came to put an IV line on my hand. I asked her to be gentle, but ouch! I immediately started to cry. And as if that wasn’t enough, she had to remove it! She kept saying sorry and told me she had to try again on the other hand. She used a smaller needle this time. I was crying like a baby, even after it was all done. Haaaaay. I don’t like IVs. Even King kept saying sorry just to comfort me. But then it turned out that the IV on my left hand was the right placement. My dominant hand was free!

Then another nurse came in to swab me for covid. Aaaagh. I forgot about this protocol. I managed to avoid swabs for 2 years because I DO NOT WANT TO GET SWABBED. But I had no choice. I had just stopped crying, so when she asked if I was ready, I said no. This confused her for a bit haha. Turns out she goes to Victory Alabang. She recognized King. Thank God my first swab was not traumatic at all. It made my nose itch, but she did a good job. After my ultrasound, they told me that my schedule for surgery (lap chole) to remove my gall bladder was Thursday noon.

I wasn’t allowed to eat, which was okay with me at first. Late at night, I had to get an MRI of some sort (they call it MRPC I think) to have better imaging of my gall bladder, bile ducts, liver, etc. It was my first time and it was wild haha. The guy in charge wasn’t kidding about how loud it was. But I was somehow able to focus on the pleasant, old school music being played on the headphones. I also just kept thanking God for the ability to stay calm in an enclosed space, and the ability to hold my breath for 20seconds haha. I was told many times to take a deep breath, release, and hold (for about 20seconds), and then relax. I was in there for probably more than 30minutes. Back in the ER, poor King slept in a chair while we waited til 2am of Wednesday for a regular room.

Later that morning, they told me I could take anything liquid. The hospital gave me blenderized arroz caldo which was surprisingly good. I couldn’t eat beyond 10am though, because I was told I was going to have an endoscopic procedure (ERCP) to remove the stones that were stuck in my bile duct, that evening, aside from the laparoscopy on Thursday. So two separate procedures that required me to be under general anesthesia. I expressed my concern to the nurses and doctors, because I’d never had GA before. And two GAs to me was too much. But I agreed since they assured me it was safe.

My blenderized arroz caldo

By early afternoon, I finally met my surgeon, Dr. Ray Sarmiento. He explained everything to me. He was super nice and accommodating. Before he left, King remembered to ask him about the two GAs and why it had to be separate. I was so happy to hear him say that it would be done together on Thursday. It was supposed to be separate because two different doctors were going to do it, but I guess he decided to do both procedures, saving me from another GA! God heard me! And I was so happy I could eat haha. My last meal or water intake had to be around 5am Thursday.

Also, the doctor mentioned something about having to put a stent on the bile duct, which would be removed months later. I literally said that I wouldn’t need it, in Jesus’ name! Because I DO NOT WANT ANOTHER PROCEDURE. He smiled but continued to explain the greater probability of it happening. Somehow I did not fear this as much.

I can’t remember which day it was that I told the nurse I had some pain in my stomach (they always reminded me to tell them), but she came back to me with Tramadol. I refused it haha. I mean it wasn’t that painful. I thought they were just going to give me some antacid. I guess they were ready for me in case my pain would be that bad. Thank God it never came to that.

Everything was good on Thursday except that I started getting nervous, so much so that when the nurse put a certain medicine (they gave me loads — vit K to protect my pancreas, antibiotics, steroids, etc) through my IV, I suddenly felt bad, my face warm and numb. I panicked and cried! King also saw my face turn red. I thought something was wrong! I asked for my blood pressure to be checked — it was high. But when they adjusted the IV flow, everything went back to normal. My BP remained elevated but not as high, so whew!

King wasn’t allowed to stay with me in the pre-op room but I’m so happy my friend Doc Liza, who works there, came by to accompany me and pray for me.

When I was wheeled into the OR and prepped, the anesthesiologist gave me a sedative through IV first. I felt that quickly make me sleep. Maybe 2 to 3 blinks and I was out. Then as explained to me while being prepped, I was turned over, prone position on the operating table for endoscopic procedure. My face turned to the side for the GA, the camera and wire. Then turned over again to lying position for the laparoscopy. Surgery went without a hitch.

I don’t remember what time I was wheeled back into my room but I remember hearing King and seeing him in the recovery room. I was in and out, but my mind was awake by the time they lifted me onto my bed. It was still day. I was allowed to get up past midnight, which I did when I had to go to the bathroom. The more you walk and move, the better, they said. So I made sure I did that. I got to drink water and stay on liquid diet by morning. I was so so parched and I wanted to clear my throat so badly. I was warned of sore throat from the tube they put in my windpipe for the anesthesia, but thankfully it wasn’t that bad.

Oh and they took my blood sugar every 3 or 4 hours because it was pretty high. The thought of my fingers being constantly poked scared me, but thank God for technology because their instrument was so quick, it didn’t even hurt. My finger tips were full of very tiny slits though. Hopefully when I get my labs done again, my sugar is not a problem.

By Saturday morning, I was given solid food. And by afternoon, I was finally discharged! I asked Dr. Sarmiento if he put a stent in my bile duct, and he said he didn’t need to woohoooo!!! Thank you Lord!!! His intern changed my bandages and placed these cool ones that you can bathe with (just like the plaster used over my c-section but smaller, since they were 4 small incisions). And I did not even think of the cost, but I am sure if we did two separate procedures it would have cost more. Thank God for insurance coverage!!! We only had to cash out such a minimal, and I mean minimal, amount!

Waiting for our escorts to wheel me out and bring our stuff down.

I’m so grateful for God’s provision, timing, and grace!!! Even though it was quite stressful for King because he had to drop everything for me, it was stressful for my older children to be handling exams and helping their youngest sister with everything, we got through it! King’s presence gave me a great deal of assurance and safety. Him playing worship music gave me comfort and courage at the times I needed it. Through our HMO, I was given awesome doctors! Even the cardiologist who talked to me like we were buddies and his kind, young intern gave me so much comfort and encouragement. The nurses also were always kind and helpful. And even though our helper is out on leave, I had 5 days to recover without thinking of housework because she was still around. Haaaaay thank you Lord! ❤️

I have no more BLADDER, but I have the GALL to say that God is just so, so good!!! Thank you dear friends for praying for me and wishing me well. The story doesn’t end here though. There’s more! I’ll write Part 2 tomorrow. ❤️

22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!” Lamentations 3

8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
9 Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!

10 For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you! Psalm 84

A mother’s day poem

Handog namin ngayong araw na ito,

Para sa aming nag-gagandahang mga ina,

Ang pasasalamat at pagmamahal,

Na sana’y inyong madama.


Salamat po’t hindi nyo insip ang sarili,

Hinayaan nyong mapagod at mahirapan,

Dahil sa loob ng siyam na buwan,

Kami’y nakitira sa inyong sinapupunan.


Hindi kayo noon makatulog ng mabuti.

Hindi masyado makakain ng maayos.

Ngunit kahit hindi kayo komportable,

Ang kagalakan nyo ay patuloy na umagos.


Ang sakripisyo nyo para sa amin,

Ay tunay na walang kapantay.

Upang isilang kami sa mundo,

Handa kayong ibuwis ang inyong buhay.


Parang doon pa lang ay sapat na,

Para magpasalamat sa inyo habang-buhay,

Ngunit hindi do’n natapos ang pagmamahal at pagsisilbi,

Dahil araw-araw nyo pa rin itong ibinibigay.


Alam namin na masakit sa inyo,

Kapag kami ay hindi nakikinig,

Ngunit kapag nasaktan o inapi,

Para sa amin ay kayo’y unang titindig,


Sasamahan kami sa pag-iyak,

Ipaglalaban sa pagdadasal,

Dadamayan at mamahalin pa rin,

Di magsasawang magpaalala’t mangaral.


Salamat po sa inyong itinuturo,

Kasanayan man sa buhay o kaugalian.

Pati sa pananampalataya sa Diyos,

Ehemplo nyo’y aming sinusundan.


Kailanman di namin masusuklian,

Ang lahat ng inyong pinagkakaloob sa amin.

Bagaman nais namin maging pagpapala sa inyo,

At mamuhay na mabuti ang aming gawain.


Nakikita po ng Panginoon,

Ang inyong pusong wagas,

Pinakikinggan ang lahat ng mga panalangin,

Na inyong lihim na binibigkas.


Dalangin nami’y ramdam nyo,

ang masaganang biyaya ng Diyos,

Dahil sa inyong pagiging mapagmahal na ina,

Ang kagalakan at kasiyahan Nya’y lubos.


Mahal na mahal namin kayo ‘Nay!

Maraming salamat at nawa’y,

magmahal din kami ng tulad nyo,

Na tunay at walang humpay.


Happy mother’s day to all the selfless, generous, beautiful moms!!! May God richly bless you today and always! ❤️

21 Takeaways

2021 is about to end. Many lessons learned. Many lessons reinforced. Let’s see if we can actually come up with 21! 😂

1. Sometimes we just have to ride it out. Heal, rest, wait. Be patient with yourself.

2. Control is an illusion. Instead of trying to gain it, relinquish to the One who has true control. It’s counterproductive to fight for control. Let go. We’ll grow more and get where we should be, faster.

3. Safe places are precious. It’s all about trust and having people we can be honest and authentic with. Take care of them. Be worthy of their trust too.

4. Give, even if they don’t need it. Give, even if at times they don’t really deserve our kindness. But be discerning. We must allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in this.

5. We have influence. Our simple posts might be an inspiration to others, to be better and to do better.

6. Entitlement is a disease. Recognize it in others and recognize it in yourself. What we tolerate, we can’t change.

7. Pride will keep us from serving others or from listening to wisdom. It can’t always be about our rights or our feelings or our opinions.

8. Listen first! Don’t assume to know what the other person is saying without getting the whole story. Walls go up, minds close when we don’t listen first.

9. Listening is loving. I feel loved when King or the kids are patiently and attentively listening to me, and trying to understand what I’m saying. Make your loved ones feel loved by really listening to them.

10. Doing is the evidence of listening and learning. When we listen and learn, it is seen in our living.

11. Gaslighting is the opposite of really listening. Dismissing someone’s feelings and minimizing what they are going through is hurtful and it might cause them to lose their voice. Be careful. Sometimes we are not aware that we are doing this, especially to our loved ones. Sometimes we even do it with good intentions.

12. Honesty is number one. I call out dishonest comments in my family, or the excuse that something said was just a joke. Lies, big or small, are unacceptable.

13. Celebrate your age! Maturity is caring less about what don’t really matter, and caring more about those that actually do. And not at all feeling sorry about it!

14. Simplicity breeds contentment. I don’t want a lot of things, and I see how that makes my life and my husband’s life easier. Not much to yearn for and buy. Not much to complain about either.

15. Allowing our kids to talk to us about anything, to come to us for every question or crazy idea they have in their minds, to share with us things that we won’t even grasp haha, to come clean with their failures or issues with others, and us responding appropriately, always with love, is the best thing we can do to nurture a close bond between us and our children. It builds trust and honesty.

16. As parents, we get affected by our kids’ friendships, especially when we hear wrong accusations, questioning the heart of their friendship. Sometimes as much as we want to fix it, we can only teach and then let our child learn on their own. It teaches them to stand up for what’s right, while being forgiving. It teaches them to be loving, while also exercising wisdom with regards to giving trust.

17. Rest is productive! Take time to do this regularly. Don’t wait for exhaustion or burn out. It takes longer to bounce back if we do.

18. Not being believed is the worst. Like you have to have proof before they receive what you’re saying. Like your word is not enough even when you have always been honest and you have absolutely no reason to lie! Give benefit of the doubt, especially to those who are generally trustworthy.

19. Skills are good, but character and heart are more important. Skills can be innate, like you might be predisposed to be good at something. They can be learned too. But heart and character are built over time, through difficulty and suffering, by dying to oneself and obeying God.

20. It’s always worth it to make the effort to build relationships. The responses may differ and our effort may not always be reciprocated, but it will matter to those who make it matter.

21. To truly love is to sacrifice. Notice and appreciate the sacrifices people make for you. They do it because they love you. Notice how willing you are to sacrifice for the people you love too. Or perhaps how you are not, and work on being less self-centered. And always remember what Jesus did for you. Appreciate the lengths He went through to save you. Thank Him for His sacrifice — the evidence of His deep, immense love for you.

Happy New Year everyone!!! Here’s to greater things in 2022!!!

May we be people who never stop seeking the Lord and are grateful recipients of His mercy and grace! May we be people who continually call upon His name and are saved from our troubles! May we be people who witness (see) the faithfulness and goodness of God and people who witness (tell) every miracle to others! ❤️

Christmas Traditions!

Our family started building our Christmas traditions since our oldest girls were small. It was a great opportunity to share them in my friend’s website,!

Here’s the link!

Hope it helps those who want to start their traditions, or inspire you with ideas. And I hope it reminds us of why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. ❤️

17 years!

It’s been 17 years since the day we said I do to each other. Let me see if I can share with you 17 things we’ve learned in our 17 years together.

1. Marriage is not the goal. It is just a tool. >Christ is still the goal.<

2. Listen first. We can respond correctly when we listen first.

3. Respond. Acknowledge. This reassures me that he cares, and vice versa.

4. Words must be backed by action. A promise must be kept. A yes must be a yes, a no must be a no. An apology is not enough if there is no attempt at change.

5. >Action should be accompanied by words.< I love yous are highly valued. Apologies are sweet when they are given without prompting. Explanations and clarifications are very much appreciated. Trust is built this way.

6. >High appreciation, low expectation.< Be generous with thank yous! Be grateful for the littlest things! Express appreciation often.

7. We have different love languages. Be mindful of our spouse’s love language so that we can love them the way they are wired to receive love.

8. Sacrificial love. We must be willing to be inconvenienced for the sake of those we love. Out of our comfort zone, beyond what we are used to.

9. Serve with joy. Joy is key! We can serve mindlessly and joylessly. We must remember that we serve the Lord as we serve our spouse and our family. Let the Lord’s delight be our motivation to serve.

10. Never be >complacent.< Being comfortable in our relationship as husband and wife is a blessing, but we remain vigilant. Pray for each other. Protect each other, and protect the marriage. We are not immune to sin and temptation. Forgive right away. We are not immune to bitterness and resentment.

11. God’s design for husband and wife is best. Husband leads, wife helps. Both humbly serve one another. I am called to submit to the leadership of my husband, and we are both called to submit to the Lordship of Christ.

12. He leads, I help. But there are situations where I have to lead, and he helps. That is well and good, as long as it is situational and temporary. I would still not want to be the leader. I help my husband be the best leader he can be. >He must be first into battle.<

12. Submission is not silence. As a watchman for my husband and my family, I need to speak up when I see something that is not right. Wisdom calls for me to do so. Out of love, and with gentleness.

13. Parenting is hard when we are not on the same page. Unity and teamwork are key. Also, a Christ-centered marriage, not a child-centered one, is best for our children.

14. Overlook the things that don’t really matter. Many things will irk us, but nitpicking will only add to the stress. Let go. Breathe and release.

15. Go on dates, on adventures, and laugh often! What a joy to have a constant friend, a best friend in our spouse! In seriousness and in silliness, till death do we part.

16. Talking is healing. Build a relationship where communication lines are always open. Make it conducive, comfortable for unloading. Listen. Understand. Empathize. Speak life. Pray.

17. Walk with other couples. For learning and growth, for accountability and balance, for friendship. Also because marriage is missional. The Lord uses marriage (not just ours) to draw others to Himself.

So much learned, and so much more to learn! May our marriage honor the Lord and bring glory to Him always. ❤️

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:9-10