Friday, March 13, 2009

Let's Support the Earth Hour on March 28th

Earth Hour is a global World Wildlife Fund (WWF) climate change initiative. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on March 28, 2009 at 8:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. to show their support for action on climate change.

Other cities that committed include Moscow, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Rome, Oslo, Cape Town, Warsaw, Lisbon, Singapore, Istanbul, Mexico City, Toronto, Dubai and Copenhagen.

The extensive WWF conservation network also has more than 30 teams working in countries such as India, Spain, Switzerland, France and the Philippines ready to support a local Earth Hour roll out.

"It aims to demonstrate unprecedented solidarity and provide a visual global mandate that will put the heat on world leaders meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009 to strike a new global deal on climate change," WWF said.

"When leaders gather in Copenhagen in December 2009 to negotiate a new deal on climate they must feel that the eyes of the world are upon them. Earth Hour provides an opportunity for the public to send a powerful signal that they are watching and expect action," WWF International Director General Jim Leape said.

"We believe that Filipinos can unite when driven by the common good:
Manny Pacquiao's fights attest to this. The growing realization for the need to act on climate change, coupled with the success of Earth Hour Philippines last March provides us with a springboard to launch a bigger and better campaign next year. On 28 March 2009 we aim to enjoin 10 million Filipinos to join the fight against climate change by simply turning off their lights," added WWF-Philippines Climate Change and Energy Programme Head Yeb Saño.

"The climate movement is in full-swing. Earth Hour is our best chance to meet the challenge with unity and purpose," Saño said.

David Miller, Mayor of Toronto and chair of the C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group said the C40 Climate Leadership Group is about cities working together to drive down greenhouse gas emissions.

"That is why as Chair of the C40 I support Earth Hour. It's crucial that cities and the public come together to take action against climate change and Earth Hour provides a great platform to do just that," he said.

Earth Hour Global Executive Director Andy Ridley adds that 2009 is the planet's "destiny year" with critical decisions needed to be made at the Copenhagen meeting on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"2009 is the year we decide the future of the earth. It is the year the world finally agrees on a plan to massively reduce carbon emissions across the globe. This is the time to invest in new ways of doing business in a new low-carbon economy. The sum of our actions today can change history and secure the future of our planet," he said.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tell the World of My Mercy

The excerpt below was taken from the booklet entitled "Come to My Mercy: The Desires and Promises of the Merciful Savior as recorded in the Diary of St. Maria Faustina" which was arranged and introduced by Rev. George W. Kosicki, CSB. Our Lord desires to proclaim His infinite mercy to the whole world through His revelation to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, thus, I'm writing this in my blog. The commentary is in normal type and Our Lord's words are in bold.

The message of Divine Mercy is at the heart of the gospel. It presents the truth and the call of the gospel. It presents the truth and the call of the gospel and is proclaimed by Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical Rich in Mercy as the message for our age:

"The Church must consider it one of her principal duties -- at every stage of history and especially in our modern age -- to proclaim and to introduce into life the mystery of mercy, supremely revealed in Jesus Christ" (14).

Over and over again Our Lord expressed His desire to Saint Faustina that the whole world be told of His mercy, and He promised to defend throughout their lives those who proclaim His mercy.

Proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God. All the works of My hands are crowned with mercy (301).

I desire that the whole world know My infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy (687).

Do all you possibly can for this work of My mercy. I desire that My mercy be worshiped, and I am giving mankind the last hope of salvation; that is, recourse to My mercy (998).

Proclaim to the whole world My unfathomable mercy. Do not be discouraged by the difficulties you encounter in proclaiming My mercy. These difficulties that affect you so painfully are needed for your sanctification and as evidence that this work is Mine (1142).

Tell the world about My mercy and My love... The flames of mercy are burning me. I desire to pour them out upon human souls. Oh, what pain they cause Me when they do not want to accept them!... Do whatever is within your power to spread devotion to My mercy. I will make up for what you lack. Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it with peace (1074).

Souls who spread the honor of My mercy I shield through their entire life as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Savior. At that last hour, a soul has nothing which to defend itself except My mercy. Happy is the soul that during its lifetime immersed itself in the Fountain of Mercy, because justice will have no hold on it (1075).

From all My wounds, a s from streams, mercy flows for souls, but the wound in My Heart is the fountain of unfathomable mercy. From this fountain spring all graces for souls. The flames of compassion burn Me. I desire greatly to pour them out upon souls. Speak to the whole world about My mercy (1190).

Do not tire of proclaiming My mercy. In this way you will refresh this Heart of Mine, which burns with a flame of pity for sinners (1521).

All those souls who will glorify My mercy and spread its worship, encouraging others to trust in My mercy, will not experience terror at the hour of death. My mercy will shield them in that final battle... (1540).

In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I don not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart. I use punishment when they themselves force Me to do so; My hand is reluctant to take hold of the sword of justice. Before the Day of Justice I am sending the day of Mercy (1588).

With souls that have recourse to My mercy and with those that glorify and proclaim My great mercy to others, I will deal according to My infinite mercy at the hour of their death (379).

A Revelation to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska

"Whatever Jesus did, He did well. He went along, doing good. His manner was full of goodness and mercy. His steps were guided by compassion. Toward His enemies He showed goodness, kindness, and understanding, and to those in need help and consolation.

I have resolved to mirror faithfully these traits of Jesus in myself during this month, even if this costs me much."

-Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, 1175
Taken from

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"I am coming very, very soon." - Jesus Christ

As I was looking for pictures of Jesus in the internet to be posted in my previous blog, I came into this site about Bill Weise, who, as he claimed, had been in hell for 23 minutes.

"Even if you don’t believe my story, I hope you will believe the Scriptures and avoid hell just the same." - Bill Weise

I used to read Choo Thomas' "Heaven is so Real". And it made me increase my belief that there is really Heaven, and as well as Hell.

To read or hear Bill Weise's experience, please click HERE.
For Choo Thomas' experience, please click HERE.

In My Heart

Yesterday, I applied for a job. I was very confident that they will hire me because I have all the qualifications needed. But, unfortunately, they didn't. Due to the fact that I was confident, which I know now is wrong, I became very disappointed. I went to church afterwards and prayed. I always knew that God's plans are always far better than my own plans and that I am still very blessed amidst the obstacles that come in my way. So, I surrendered my disappointments in Him and prayed for strength, to deepen my faith, and to have a complete trust in Him.

I have realized that life is indeed full of many blessings and this trial that hit me is just an icing in the tip of the iceberg. During the Passion of Jesus, he was being tormented by thousand of insults, spits, blows, lacerations, and other cruelties. And, as what as He revealed to St. Bridget the number of blows Our Lord received during His Passion, He one day appeared to her and said: “I received 5480 blows on My Body. If you wish to honor them in some way, say 15 Our Fathers and 15 Hail Mary’s with the following Prayers (which He taught her) for a whole year. When the year is up, you will have honored each one of My Wounds.” God permitted it to happen because, as the priest on the last Sunday mass said, of the two reasons:
  1. His undying love for us, that He gave up His only Son for the salvation of many; and
  2. The victorious glory over death. Our salvation doesn't end with Christ's death, however; as St. Paul said, if Christ did not rise from the dead, our faith is in vain.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Letting Go of Anger/Bitterness

This is Dr. Alan Zimmerman's comment about anger/bitterness. It has been on my e-mail since 2002. This was forwarded to me by my bestfriend, Miko. May you find this helpful in releasing the negative feeling of anger/bitterness in your heart.

Dr. Alan Zimmerman's Comment:

Sooner or later, everyone you know will disappoint you in some way. They'll say something or fail to say something that will hurt you. And they'll do something or fail to do something that will anger you. It's inevitable. Unfortunately, you make things worse when you stew over someone's words and deeds. When you dwell on a rude remark or an insensitive action made by another person, you're headed for deeper problems. In fact, the more you dwell on these things, the more bitter you'll get. You'll find your joy, peace and
happiness slipping away. And you'll find your productivity slowing down as you spend more and more time thinking about the slight or telling others about it. Eventually, if you don't stop doing it, you'll even get sick. So what should you do the next time someone betrays you? TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR FEELINGS. Even though the other person may be at fault, even though the other person wronged you, you are still responsible for your own feelings. In other words, other people do not "cause" your feelings. You choose them. For example, two different people could be told that their suggestions made at the staff meeting were "stupid and idiotic." One person may "choose" to feel so hurt that he never speaks up at any other meeting again. The other person may "choose" to feel sorry for the critic, sorry that the critic couldn't see the wisdom and necessity of her suggestions. As long as you blame other people for your feelings, as long as you believe other people caused your feelings, you're stuck. You're a helpless victim. But if you recognize the fact that you choose your feelings and you are responsible for your feelings,
there's hope. You can take some time to think about your feelings. And you can decide what is the best thing to say or do. Then, you've got to learn to WALK AWAY FROM DISAPPOINTMENT. It's difficult to do, but it's possible. The famous 19th century Scottish historian, Thomas Carlyle, proved that. After working on his multi-volume set of books on "The French Revolution" for six years, Carlyle completed the manuscript and took volume one to his friend John Stuart Mill. He asked Mill to read it. Five days later, Mill's maid accidentally threw the manuscript into the fire. In agony, Mill went to Carlyle's house to tell him that his work had been destroyed. Carlyle did not flinch. With a smile, he said, "That's all right, Mill. These things happen. It is a part of life. I will start over. I can remember most of it, I am sure. Don't worry. It's all here in my mind. Go, my friend! Do not feel bad." As Mill left, Carlyle watched him from the window. Carlyle turned to his wife and said, "I did not want
him to see how crushed I am by this misfortune." And with a heavy sigh, he added, "Well the manuscript is gone, so I had better start writing again." Carlyle finally completed the work, which ranks as one of the great classics of all time. He had learned to walk away from his disappointment. Afterall, what could Carlyle have done about his burnt manuscript? Nothing. Nothing would have resurrected the manuscript. All Carlyle could do was to get bitter or get started. And what can you do about anything once it is over? Not much. You can try to correct it if it is possible, or you can walk away from it if it isn't. Those are your only two choices. Sometimes you've just got to shake it off and step up. It's like the farmer who had an old mule who fell into a deep dry well. As he assessed the situation, he knew it would be difficult, if not impossible, to lift the heavy mule out of the deep well. So the farmer decided to bury the mule in the well. Afterall, the mule was old and the well was dry, so he could solve two problems at once. He could put the old mule out of his misery and have his well filled. The farmer asked his neighbors to help him with the shoveling. To work they went. As they threw shovel-full of dirt after shovel-full of dirt on the mule's back, the mule became frightened. Then all of a sudden an idea came to the mule. Each time they would throw a shovel-full of dirt on his back, he would shake it off and step up. Shovel-full after shovel-full, the mule would shake it off and step up. In not too long a time, the exhausted and dirty mule stepped over the top of the well and through the crowd. That's the same approach we all need to take. We need to shake it off and step up. Finally, you need to FORGIVE. It's difficult, especially when the other person doesn't deserve your forgiveness or doesn't even seek it. It's difficult when the other person is clearly in the wrong. Part of the difficulty comes from a common misunderstanding of forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn't mean that the other person's behavior is okay. And forgiveness doesn't mean that the other person is off the hook. He's still responsible for his misbehavior. Forgiveness is about letting yourself off the emotional hook. It's about releasing your negative emotions, attitudes, and behaviors. It's about letting go of the past so you can go forward to the future. Everyone in your life, everyone on and off the job is going to disappoint you. If you know how to respond to those situations, you'll be way ahead of most people. You'll be able to live above and beyond your circumstances.

Identify two people that have disappointed, hurt, or angered you. If possible, select two people towards whom you still have some bitterness. Then ask yourself, "How does my bitterness serve me? Am I happier holding on to it? Do I sleep better? Is my life richer, fuller, and better because of my bitterness?" If you find that your bitterness is hurting you, make a decision. Actually decide to let it go. Walk away from the disappointment -- which means you no longer dwell on it or talk about it. Period! Have a fantastic week!

Dr. Alan Zimmerman

"We cannot change anything until we accept it.
Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses."
--C. G. Jung, Psychological Reflections

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Exorcism: The Book I Never Thought I Would Have

Last Saturday, my parents ordered me to pay our internet bill. They were assuming that it was open on Saturdays. I told them to call the payment center if they were really open on that day, but, there was no telephone number on their billing form. So, I just went instead, whether it's open or not.

When I arrived in the payment center, it was closed. Oh, okay, I thought to myself. It was a sunny afternoon. I thought why wouldn't I just go to the nearest mall and see what I can get there for my puppy (since I was thinking for days to buy him a toy) and my sister had asked me to buy her a pasalubong (a present or a treat).

When I was in the mall, I passed by in the national bookstore. They were on sale! So, I grabbed the chance and went inside to look for a good book. I picked up a book worth P99.00 (from around P300.00) and was ready to pay for it. But, instead of going to the cashier, my feet guided me to the religious section of the bookstore. My eyes were searching for something I did not know. I saw books by Max Lucado, Rick Warren, and other Christian authors, until I spotted something that has made me interested and terrified at the same time.

Exorcism. A word that had made me terrified since I was a kid. Even the movies that tackle about exorcism, or horror movies in general, had made me afraid that I didn't have the courage to watch it. But, still, I picked up the book and read some of the first part. It seemed interesting. This book was written by Fr. Jose Francisco C. Syquia, a director of the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Exorcism. I turned the book and read the summary. Even the non-priests read it and made a good impression of it.

One of the book critics, Brother Bo Sanchez, a well-known Catholic Lay Preacher and Bestselling Author, and one of my personal favorite authors, has made this review:
"Warning: You won't be able to put down this book. Because Fr. Jocis Syquia -- an official exorcist of the Catholic Church -- will take you into the hidden, dark world of demons and how they intersect our daily world. Speaking from personal experience of haunted houses, demon possession, ghosts, and true-to-life, scientifically unexplainable paranormal activity, Fr. Jocis will also show you the incomparable power of God over spirits. In the end, his mind-blowing stories will not make you fear the devil as much as they will make you love God more."
Amb. Henrietta "Tita" de Villa, former Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican, added,
"...a book for our times which must be shared; even the Holy Father has a copy of Fr. Jocis' book. I gave him one when I saw him last November."
While holding the book, I was thinking if I need to buy it. It costs P300.00. It was expensive, and I only had P300 as my personal money in my wallet (aside from the payment for the internet bill and my fare back and forth). But I read somewhere that books are good investment. So, I prayed to God if I really need to buy and read this book.

When I arrived home, I immediately opened the book and started to read it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I Seek You for I Thirst

I'd like to add another song we sang in our school as well as in our Church. This new age inspired version of Psalm 63 was the only religious song in the 1992 Ateneo Himigsikan Song Contest and won First Place. This was composed during a retreat. Jesus' love for us is overflowing and that He's always there waiting for us to return to Him. May this version of Psalm 63 inspire each of us to call and glorify His name. (Please feel free to click on the title to listen to the song.)

I Seek You for I Thirst

Though many times I run from You in shame
I lift my hands and call upon Your name
For underneath the shadow of Your wings
My melody is You

O Lord, I seek You for I thirst
Your mercy is the rain on the desert of my soul

O Lord, I raise my lifeless eyes and see Your glory shine
How Your kindess overflows (REFRAIN)

O Lord, Your sanctuary calls
I yearn to be with You in the rivers of Your love (REFRAIN)

Mass Songs During My High School Days

When I was in high school, we had this Mass which was celebrated every first Friday of the month, or the "First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus". Every class had their designated seats, and, luckily for us, our post was located in the front side of the quadrangle. In our class, each of us were close and we had a good relationship with one another. And every time we sing, we, the girls especially, being emotional in nature, would sing wholeheartedly, that sometimes we could feel our tears flowing on our cheeks. I'd like to share the following songs, with each description. And with the motto, "Fortes-In-Fide" which means, "Strong In Faith" and the school's guiding principle of becoming "Men and Women for Others", that hopefully you will like this song. (Please feel free to click on each title to hear the song.)

Prayer for Generosity, written by St. Ignatius of Loyola, the patron saint of our school.


Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous
Teach me to serve You as I should
To give and not to count the cost
To fight and not to heed the wounds
To toil and not to seek for rest
To labor and ask not for reward
Save that of knowing that I do Your most holy will

Anima Christi, which means Soul of Christ, is based on one of St. Ignatius' favorite prayers.


Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Water from the side of Christ, wash me
Passion of Christ, give me strength

Hear me Jesus, hide me in Thy wounds
That I may never leave Thy side

From all the evil that surrounds me, defend me
And when the call of death arrives, bid me come to Thee
That I may praise Thee with Thy saints forever

A high school student, Manoling, then became Fr. Manoling Francisco, S.J., wrote this song.


I will sing forever of Your love, O Lord
I will celebrate the wonder of Your name
For the word that You speak is a song of forgiveness
And a song of gentle mercy and of peace

Let us wake at the morning and be filled with Your love
And sing songs of praise all our days
For Your love is as high as the heavens above us
And Your faithfulness as certain as the dawn

I will sing forever of Your love, O Lord
I will celebrate the wonder of Your name
For the word that You speak is a song of forgiveness
And a song of gentle mercy and of peace

I will sing forever of Your love, O Lord
For You are my refuge and my strength
You fill the world with Your life-giving spirit
That speaks Your word
Your word of mercy and of peace

And I will sing forever of Your love, O Lord
Yes I will sing forever of Your love, O Lord

Written for congregational singing during a retreat in Baguio, this song is dedicated to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. who, as a person utterly captivated by the love for Christ serves as an example of simple, loving service. (source taken from Bukas Palad)


In Him alone is our hope
In Him alone is our strength
In Him alone are we justified
In Him alone are we saved

What have we to offer
That does not fade or wither
Can the world ever satisfy
The emptiness in our hearts
In vain we deny (REFRAIN)

When will you cease running
In search of hollow meaning
Let His love feed the hunger
In your soul till it overflows
With joy you yearn to know (REFRAIN)

In Him alone is our hope
Unto Him I pour out my heart
He alone will save me
With His love and mercy.

Fr. Manoling, a Jesuit priest, wrote this song in his 2nd year in high school about the turmoil around him and the disquiet within him.


If there's one more gift
I'd ask of You, Lord
It would be peace here on earth;
As gentle as Your children's laughter
All around, all around

Your people have grown weary
Of living in confusion
When will we realize
That neither heaven is at peace
When we live not in peace (REFRAIN)

Grant me serenity within
For the confusions around
Are mere reflections
Of what's within
What's within me (REFRAIN)

This is a prayer for Oblation (Offering) composed by St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order.


Take and receive, O Lord, my liberty
Take all my will, my mind, my memory
All things I hold and all I own are Thine
Thine was the gift, to Thee I all resign

Do Thou direct and govern all and sway
Do what Thou wilt, command, and I obey
Only Thy grace, Thy love on me bestow
These make me rich, all else will I forego.

A translation to Tagalog of the previous song, "Take and Receive".


Kunin Mo, O Diyos, at tanggapin Mo
Ang aking kalayaan, ang aking kalooban
Isip at gunita ko, lahat ng hawak ko,
Ng loob ko ay aking alay sa 'Yo

Nagmula sa 'Yo ang lahat ng ito
Muli kong handog sa 'Yo
Patnubayan Mo't paghariang lahat
Ayon sa kalooban Mo
Mag utos Ka, Panginoon ko

Dagling tatalima ako
Ipagkaloob Mo lang ang pag-ibig Mo
At lahat ay tatalikdan ko
Tatalikdan ko

I vividly remember dancing with this song during our graduation day. This was written by Manoling, along with Johnny Go and Louis Catalan, and finished this song until midnight.


Humayo't ihayag (Purihin Siya!)
At ating ibunyag (Awitan Siya!)
Pagliligtas ng Diyos na sa krus ni Hesus
Ang Siyang sa mundo'y tumubos

Langit at lupa, Siya'y papurihan
Araw at tala, Siya'y parangalan
Ating 'pagdiwang pag-ibig ng Diyos sa tanan

Halina't sumayaw (Buong bayan!)
Lukso sabay sigaw (Sanlibutan!)
Ang ngalan Niyang angkin singningning ng bituin
Liwanag ng Diyos sumaatin (KORO)

At isigaw sa lahat
Kalinga Niya'y wagas
Kayong dukha't salat
Pag-ibig Niya sa inyo at tapat

Monday, March 2, 2009


I've been wanting to write this blog since Sunday because I'd like to contemplate in what I have written on my blog and to remember what I've heard from the gospel reading. This is about the Homily given by Fr. Mario in the Sunday's Mass, which was also happened to be the first Sunday of Lent. The Gospel reading was taken from the Book of Mark 1:12-15:
"12At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, 13and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. 14After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe in the gospel!"
According to Fr. Mario, and he quoted this statement from Rick Warren (the author of the Purpose-Driven Life), "Temptation is a tool, either to make you fall or a stepping stone, to make you a better person." He also added that there are four ways of "four D's" to be tempted. I'm going to make a summary of what Fr. Mario said in his homily.
  1. (inordinate) desire - this includes engaging in sexual act outside the Sacrament of Matrimony, being a womanizer, etc.
  2. doubt - to doubt the love of God for us. As the Lord said, "There is nothing you can do that will make me love you." God is full of love, and He loves us than we could ever imagine.
  3. deceit - the evil, being present in this world roaming and patrolling to deceive people, will always deceive us with material or earthly things/desires. Thus, we should always vigilant and always pray unceasingly to God for guidance, strength, and to deepen our faith to Him; deceit is synonymous with "friends of lies"
  4. disobedience to the will of God - "If God seems so far away, guess who move away." Who move away? I think you know the answer.
The Holy Spirit sent Jesus to the desert for forty days and was tempted by Satan. What is in the desert?

A desert is a hostile and potentially a deadly environment for unprepared humans. During daytime, the temperature would go as high which causes rapid loss of water due to sweating. The absence of water sources can also result to dehydration and death within a few days. A human being should also adapt to sandstorms. This makes surviving in the desert quite difficult for humans. During nighttime, the temperature would go down as loss as 0 degree centigrade. Imagine how life would that be for 40-days for Jesus, but He surpassed it all.

Additionally, the Spirit knew that Jesus was going to be tempted by Satan, but still, the Spirit sent Jesus to the desert, and Jesus didn't succumb to the devil's temptation.

We may not face "wild beasts", but we do live in a dangerous world and face forces beyond our control that can cause us physical harm. We are also confronted by temptation from Satan who uses fair sounding arguments to lead us down paths that end in our own spiritual destruction. He uses every good thing to evil purpose and we must constantly guard ourselves and those weaker from the worst of these opportunities to become victim to him. (taken from Deacon's Bench)

Fr. Mario concluded that we, as human beings, are not perfect. But during this time of Lent, we are asked to repent, go to confession, to fast, to do penance, and to practice almsgiving. May God keep us and guide us in our journey. :)

Cring-cring: A Happy Birthday To You

Today is my cousin's birthday, Cring-cring. She's almost a year younger than me. We've got a special bond that binds us together through thick and thin.

Cring and I in a coffee shop.

She has this classical Filipino characteristics that makes her different from teens her age. The Filipino culture is very big on respect, and here are some of the gestures that she is still lively use in this modern age:
  1. "Mano po" - (pronounced mah-noh poh) is a Filipino tradition of a physical gesture of taking the hand of an elder and bringing it towards your forehead. This is a sign of respect for the elder and is usually done at the point of greeting or farewell. She makes it a point to do this gesture to her elders.
  2. "Kuya" or "Ate" - the older an individual is, the more they call for respect. The term 'kuya' (pronounced koo-yah) refers to an older male person; it means 'big brother.' Its verbal usage indicates that you respect the older male and recognize the difference in age. The feminine form is 'ate' (pronounced ah-teh) which is directed towards an older female person; it means 'big sister.' Children are encouraged to use these terms with their older siblings. It simply demonstrates a form of respect for the older individual.
Aside from these Filipino customs, she also has the value of being generous to others. The kids outside the Redemptorist Church, which she is also very active as a voluntary reader and Sunday-school teacher, would somehow ask her for food and she would not hesitate to give what she has got in her bag. Additionally, her personality has won her so many friends from different walks of life, age, gender, and race.

Being religious and close to God, she's the one who has greatly influenced me most to serve God. She did not force or push me in some way to be nearer to God. I have studied in different Catholic schools all my life, but since my focus was to study, I didn't have the opportunity to meditate most of my life. But because of Cring, she has shown me and reminded me of Jesus through her actions and words. She loves kids, gives generously, prays unceasingly, respects her elders, loves her parents, and most of all, loves God, Jesus Christ, and Mama Mary above all. Surely, she also has some negative attributes as a human being. But her goodness and her love to God, our Father, makes her stand out from others. Moreover, I was amazed with her answer when we were talking about our dreams.
"Ate, you know what, my dream is to build shelters or a townhouse for people or families who do not have shelters. I am not sure if I can make this happen, but, hopefully time will come that this will be done."
After she said that, I was wondering how can I help her with her dreams. Still, I'm very much blessed to have you, Cring, and I am thankful to have a cousin like you.

Happy Birthday, Cring! I love you always! :)

The author, Cring, and Baying (our cousin) in Cring's dress shop.
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