FEATURED

My Highlights from the Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman was great! At first I was iffy because Zac Efron is in it. I mean I know he’s a good actor, but I don’t always trust his role choices. But I love Hugh Jackman and I like Zendaya. Plus so many people, including the girls’ friends, kept saying it was sooo good. And of course I’d already seen the videos of a couple of the songs. I love “This is me.” I loved it even more seeing the movie and seeing the choreography. Such an anthem.

Some highlights for me….

  1. Charity’s love and support for Phin. She didn’t pressure her husband or put him in a box. She wished for happiness, not fortune or fame, not even a comfortable lifestyle. Despite her affluent upbringing, she was happy anywhere, as long as she was with her family. I love that scene up on the roof, when Phin apologetically said that it was not the life he promised Charity, that he promised her a life of magic and wonder, to which she replied “Look at those two girls….” I feel the same way. There is magic and wonder in our children. I thank God for them everyday. Anywhere with my family, by the grace of God.
  2. Phin’s celebration of the oddities. It may have begun as a money making scheme, but he gave those guys something to do, something to look forward to, something to be proud of. He wasn’t afraid to be judged, or criticized, or be different. He wasn’t afraid to stand by his team despite the daily threat of a riot outside his theater. I believe we need to celebrate people as well. We all have our quirks and flaws. None of us is perfect. We need to give each other a chance, see each other’s potential, see the good. We need to lift one another up, instead of judge and tear each other down. 
  3. Phillip’s desire for change. Phillip was among the upper class, but he was no longer content being one of them. He didn’t want to be trapped in his parents’ world, where they thought too highly of themselves and looked down on others. We should not be comfortable maintaining and perpetuating the status quo. We must choose to treat people, all kinds of people, fairly and with great respect. We must fight against discrimination, even in our own little way, and stand up for others. 
  4. The distraction, aka Jenny Lind. Phin used Jenny Lind to get the approval of the upper class. He enjoyed the attention and the respect. He got blinded by it, and started neglecting his circus and his family. He left them to go on tour with Jenny, who also almost distracted him from his marriage. Distractions, whether they are people, feelings, things, or things to do, can be dangerous. They can lead us astray. They can make us forget our original purpose, our goals. They can make us neglect, even abandon our priorities. We must be vigilant. Is this what God wants me to do? Does this honor God? Will this honor my spouse? Am I being a good leader (to my people and to my family)? Am I being a good example to my children?
  5. Charity’s wisdom. “When will it ever be enough?” She knew that her husband was chasing something that would never satisfy him. She knew that he had gone beyond what he first dreamed, that he had forgotten what truly mattered. She knew that he needed to let go of the past, stop proving himself to others because he already had everything he should want and need. We all can be stubborn at times. We all need wise people around us to remind us, to keep us grounded, to pray for us, to help us realign ourselves to the will of God. They often see more clearly from their perspective. We need to be humble enough to listen. 
  6. The loyalty of his team. When he thought he’d lost all, even after his neglect as their ring master, his team of “freaks” stood by him. The lyric “A man learns who is there for him When the glitter fades and the walls won’t hold,” from his song From Now On conveys this clearly. They believed in him because he, imperfect as he was, believed in them. They stood by him because he brought them together and because he was the only one who gave them — they who were ridiculed and rejected by their own parents — a sense of family. Loyalty is such a rare commodity these days, but kindness, acceptance, love, hope — these are what breeds loyalty in people.  
  7. Passing the baton. Phin literally passed the baton to Phillip, to continue his legacy of bringing joy to people. Whatever we are passionate about, whatever we are great at, we should pass it on, teach it to somebody. Whatever is good, whatever is noble, whatever is worthwhile and praiseworthy, we should pass it on. The love and transformative work of Jesus, the Gospel — teach others, pass it on. “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Tim 2:2

 

He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

Family, Spiritual Family

My Singles Getaway 2013 Highlights

Victory Alabang had its 4th singles retreat out of Luzon (the 7th over all) last October 10 to 13. The first 2 retreats I was able to join, one as a single in 2003 and the other as an engaged single in 2004, were held within Luzon, in Tagaytay City. The 3rd was held in Quezon, also in Luzon, but I was married and pregnant in 2005.

The first 2 retreats outside of Luzon were held in Boracay in 2007 and 2009, the third in Bohol in 2011. Both islands/cities are located in the Visayas. This year, the retreat was held in Mindanao. It was a first for the retreat to be held so far from Manila, and it was a first to have it away from the ocean. We stayed in Forest Park in Dahilayan, Bukidnon.

I’m sharing my personal highlights of the retreat, including the events before and after, through some of my photos.

We had two travel buddies from church (Joyce and Gel) who made our trip all the more fun for us the parents and the girls! The 6 of us went to Cagayan de Oro 3 days before the singles getaway and went straight to Camiguin Island.
Highlight 1: Travel buddies! We had Gel and Joyce with us who made our trip all the more fun for us, the parents, and for our girls! The six of us went to Cagayan de Oro three days before the singles getaway and went straight to Camiguin Island.
It was a long land trip from Laguindingan airport to the pier, and a rough ferry ride from Balingoan port to Benoni port in Camiguin. We got to the island by night fall, but this is what we enjoyed the next morning. :)
It was a long land trip from Laguindingan airport to the pier, and a rough ferry ride from Balingoan port to Benoni port in Camiguin. We got to the island by night fall, but this is what we enjoyed the next morning. 🙂
Beautiful Camiguin :)
Highlight 2: Camiguin Island! View of Camiguin and possibly Mt Hibok-hibok (I could never tell which peak belonged to the famous volcano) from White Island. Camiguin is dear to our hearts because it is where King and I had our honeymoon, and it is where Danae had her first beach experience at 2 months old. 🙂
Beautiful blue water on White Island, a sandbar ten minutes away from Paras Beach Resort via small boat.
Highlight 3: Beautiful White Island! A sandbar ten minutes away from Paras Beach Resort via small boat, that never fails to take my breath away.
I would travel to beaches like this, no matter how tiring, just to see these precious smiles and listen to giggles and laughter from these two. :)
Highlight 4: Happy water babies! I would travel to beaches like this, no matter how tiring, just to see these precious smiles and listen to giggles and laughter from these two. 🙂
Highlight 3: Dahilayan, Bukidnon.
Highlight 5: Dahilayan, Bukidnon! We travelled back to Cagayan de Oro that day, stayed overnight, and proceeded up the mountain to Dahilayan. Beautiful!
We stayed in Forest Park, where the accommodations are great and the surroundings are beautiful.
We stayed in Forest Park, where the accommodations are great, the surroundings are beautiful, and the amenities (activities — the luge, the playground, tree top adventure, etc) are super fun. It was also right next to Dahilayan Adventure Park where the zip lines are.
Tall, lovely pine trees everywhere.
Tall, lovely pine trees everywhere. Nice, cool weather. No need for air-conditioning.
Highlight: Dexter! He took care of our needs in the resort, going the extra mile each day and having a consistent smile on his face. The food was yummy too.
Highlight 6: Dexter! He took care of our needs in the resort, going the extra mile each day and having a consistent smile on his face. The food was yummy too.
Some of the committee and the early comers :)
Highlight 7: Bonding! It was great spending time with these singles a day before the actual getaway.
Being with King is never a drag. :)
Fun!
On our "free day," a bunch of us went on the Luge. It wasn't my girls' first time, but they still enjoyed it. The fast and the furious in me did too. :)
On our “free day,” a bunch of us went on the Luge. It wasn’t my girls’ first time, but they still enjoyed it. The “fast and the furious” in me did too. 🙂
Photo credit: Ptr Chico or King
Bonding with my friends!
Bonding with my friends! With the Pena family and del Rosario family!
Photo credit: Noelle Lucero
Highlight 7: Our kids' bonding! Danae, Noelle and Julio really bonded over the 5 days they were together. They had no choice haha, but they had loads of fun together.
Highlight 8: Our kids bonding! Danae, Noelle and Julio (Ptr Chico and Maryanne’s youngest) really bonded over the 5 days they were together. They had no choice haha, but they had loads of fun together. 🙂
Highlight 9: My girls' firsts! This is Danae's first time to ride a carabao. :)
Highlight 9: My girls’ firsts! This is Danae’s first time to ride a carabao. 🙂
Danae's first time to ride solo on a horse!
Danae’s first time to ride solo on a horse!
Noelle's first time to ride solo on a horse too!
Noelle’s first time to ride solo on a horse too!
Noelle's first time to do the zipline EVER! This is a huge deal because she almost cried the previous day when she was about to do it with me. This time, for some reasons she agreed to ride with her "sister" Nina. She conquered her fear! We were so proud of and happy for her!
Noelle’s first time to do the zipline EVER! This is a huge deal because she almost cried the previous day when she was about to do it with me. This time, for some reason she agreed to ride with her “sister” Nina. She conquered her fear! We were so proud of and happy for her!
King and I talking about putting Phil 4:8 in our friendships :)
Highlight 10: The privilege! It’s a privilege for me to be teaching with my husband, a privilege for me to be working with Ptr Chico and Maryanne, a privilege for me to speak to the singles.
Photo credit: Ptr Chico Pena
Highlight 11: The singles! I met many new singles, bonded with some of them, and got amazed by all of them. I saw new friendships established. I saw people stepping out of their comfort zones. I saw humility. I saw camaraderie. I saw unity. I am so blessed to be even part of the ministry, and to be available for these men and women when they need me.  Photo credit: Ptr Chico Pena
Highlight 11: The singles! I met many new singles, bonded with some of them, and got amazed by all of them. I saw men and women who were eager to learn about God, about themselves, and about one another. I saw new friendships established. I saw people stepping out of their comfort zones. I saw humility. I saw camaraderie. I saw unity. I am so blessed to be even part of the ministry, and to be available for these men and women when they need me.
Photo credit: Ptr Chico Pena
Highlight 12: Fears conquered! Noelle was not the only one to conquer her fear of the zipline. Our very own Ptr Chico did too! Despite his apprehensions, he went for it anyway. We were all so proud of him!
Highlight 12: Fears conquered! Noelle was not the only one to conquer her fear of the zipline. Our very own Ptr Chico conquered his! Despite his apprehensions, and maybe partly because of our encouragement/bullying (haha), he went for it anyway. We were all so proud of him!
Highlight 13: Courage of a 7-yr-old! Danae was scared,  screaming from time to time, but she never gave up. She never said she wanted to stop. She finished the tree top adventure within a considerable amount of time, by herself. There were more than 20 stations. I was there taking pictures, videos and encouraging her. I am one proud mom. :)
Highlight 13: Courage of a 7-yr-old! Danae was scared, screaming from time to time, but she never gave up. She never said she wanted to stop. She finished the tree top adventure within a considerable amount of time, by herself. There were more than 20 stations. I was there taking pictures & videos, and encouraging her.
the height was considerable as well
The height and the uncertainty were considerable for a child. I am one proud mom. 🙂
Highlight 14: Family! A trip to Cagayan de Oro is never complete without visiting our family. Danae and Noelle got to spend quality time with their cousin Beanie. :)
Highlight 14: Family! A trip to Cagayan de Oro is never complete without visiting our family. Danae and Noelle got to spend quality time with their cousin Beanie. 🙂