Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Last Saturday, I took time to travel back home despite the heavy downpour of rain ‘coz I wanted to spend my weekend with my family and be with my mom on Mother’s Day. My travel was not in vain ‘coz I was able paint a smile on my mom’s face on that special day. My sis bought bunch of flowers to which we prepared and made into a nice bouquet. I also bought a special present paired with a personalized greeting card, adorned with fragrances so that mom would smell the sweet scent by the time she receives the present. Whoaw! I could just see my mom smiling from ear to ear as me and my sis handed to her our special presents.

Looking back the good old days, I could recount many things about my mom. As we were growing up, our mom was the light that illuminates our home. Here are my 20 fondest memories of mom that I loved to reminisce over and over again:

  • cooked that special food with which she mixed a tiny black soot during my first day of school in Grade 1 (my mom was some kind of supersticious, whew!)
  • prepared a glassful of hot milk for me and my sis before going to school (I don’t drink milk, but I can’t resist my mom’s insistence, hehe!)
  • sang her spanish lullabye for me and my sis during bedtime (I could even still remember the lyrics until now.. hmnn!)
  • was the one who gave me a nickname "Kikki", and she's the only one calling me by that name until now (nobody in the family, nor from my group of friends, ever called me that name, only my mom!)
  • cooked my favorite foods - spagghetti, fried talong w/ egg, meat balls, and piniritong bangus (I remember I was so choosy in foods when I was a little girl, aaargggh!)
  • tagged me and my sis along with her and dad on their household prayer meetings when we were still kids, and so we were acquainted with christians songs & worship at a very young age
  • would bring home my favorite goodies when she returns from school – siopao, pancake and cotton candy
  • bought a guitar for me and my sis as playing the guitar was her frustration during her younger years
  • played scrabble with me, my sis and my dad, & she would always hit the triple word score, hahaha!
  • was present in all my major school activities (PTA meetings, Recognition Day, Closing Exercises, etc.)
  • would lovingly give me sponge baths whenever I ran a high fever and would never leave my side until I get well
  • gave me and my sis bunch of peso coins (those big ones, the most antique peso coins since early 80’s), as her way of rewarding us for our first family trip together in Bohol
  • resist buying that toy balloon after church despite my insistence (I could really cry that time), as she was saving money to buy me that dream dress of mine I was eyeing on the nearby store
  • tied my hair with my favorite hello kitty hairclip (until such time I no longer depend on her for fixing my hair, ows!)
  • bought me and my sister identical dresses, bags & shoes (which would only differ in colors and sizes, and as such, me and my sis were oftentimes identified as twins, hehe!)
  • do the laundry at home, put our clothes in place, and prepares our well-ironed uniform a day before we go to school
  • gives greeting card to us on all special occasions, along with whatever gift she handed
  • slept till midnight with me to help me with that crocheting project in high school, as I was catching up my advanced exam for top graduating students
  • was my constant buddy at home, my confidante (even upto now, she's still that ever caring mother who never get tired of listening to my stories, be it business matters or matters of the heart, hehe!)
  • never failed to pray the holy rosary every night, naming all of us one by one at the end of her prayer petitions as she lifted us to the Lord for His protection and blessing (she still doing this upto now and her list now includes my sis’ bf and my fiance)
Words are not enough to express how thankful I am for having a loving mother like my mom. For me, the best mother there could ever be, is the kind of mom she is to us.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mamang! We love you very much!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Summer Fun - Hawaiian Delight!

This year’s Philcom summer outing was themed “Hawaiian Delight”. Held last April 19, 2008 at Duka Bay Resort, everybody was just having fun, with team Ula-ula (Red), Pulo (Blue) and Mele-mele (Yellow) on the row. Lots of team games were prepared, plus more surprises and instant prizes were given away. And there comes the highlight of it all – the Cheering Competition and the search for Mr. & Miss Aloha 2008! Some other add-ons? Well, aside from the festive summer banquet and the non-stop videoke, the summer “escapaders” also enjoyed swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, and boarding on the glass-bottom boat. Whew! It was indeed a tropical blast for everyone!

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Soulful Retreat

This was indeed a blessed and victorious week for me. I’ve had a 3-day soulful retreat at Xavier University (Holy Week Triduum Retreat) held on March 20, 21 and 22 – that’s Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Black Saturday, respectively, with Fr. Johnny Go as the speaker. Unlike any other retreats I’ve been to, this was the first time that I came in as an individual registrant, and this was also the first time that I haven’t spent my holy week with my family back home.

Talk about that part of your life’s journey where you’re at your lowest times – people have been hurting you over and over, you tried to stretch more of your patience, but your heart grew weary and tired, you just wanna give up and move on. I was on the verge of letting go, but God came in to my rescue JUST IN TIME! That’s when I decided to join the retreat all alone, and never did I realize, it was God’s instrument for me to ponder things over, contemplate more deeply, and reflect on the situation in God’s light.

My 3-day holy week retreat has brought me inner healing – both emotionally and spiritually. It was such a relieving feeling seeing Jesus embraced our humanity – an assurance that I was not alone on my inner battle. True enough, my faith and strength was being put to the test. Sometimes though, the best way to be strong is to admit that you are weak. I admit I was weak during those times. And my ultimate source of strength was Jesus! And with this, I’ll live up to this passage: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. –Phil. 4:13

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Two Big Days

The month of February is a double celebration for me. First, there's the Valentine’s Day... and second, there goes my birthday! And speaking of big day, what’s a celebration without a food? Our Valentine’s Day was not to be outdone. With the initiative of our section head in consumer IT (thanks Che!), we ordered our favorite delicacies (we had upto 5 main courses plus desserts) and enjoyed our advanced dinner at the office. I say advanced dinner ‘coz it was like eating twice as much the regular meal, haha!

Then came our joint birthday celebration (Chona, Hazel, Judith & me). With the four of us joining forces, we were able to come up with a not-so-grand yet festive celebration in the office. Daghan naka-kaon, wala man pud nakulangan ang food so far, na accommodate ang first ug second floor nga mga pipol. Yeppey!! Happy birthday to us! Hehehe!!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year Opening Salvo!

It was such a blissful New Year’s Eve for the four of us in the family (my mom, my dad, me & my sis). At the strike of twelve, we started our own “opening salvo” for 2008. While our neighborhood were so busy firing their explosives and enjoying the fireworks display on air, we just turned on our loudspeakers to its maximum volume, with those lively Christian music on the playlist. Our living room seemed like a concert stage, with the four of us singing and dancing ‘till we were sweating all over, whew! I was ecstatic! Not only did we celebrate that special eve with a bang, but above all, we were able to express our thanksgiving and gave glory to the One up above through music and dancing which inspired our souls. To me, that was a more meaningful way of welcoming the New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

All I Want For Christmas

If I try to recount all that I’ve been through since the start of this year, I can really attest how blessed I am to have encountered such a circumstance in my life that says “when it rains, it pours!”. Absolutely overwhelming! As in grabe jud mag bless si Lord, lubus-lubusan! Sobra-sobra! Graces truly abound to the point that I could no longer contain them with my both hands open. Trials were just tiny miniscules compared to the overflowing blessings I have received.

This Christmas, I wanna make a difference. I won’t wish for a new dress, a new bag, a new pair of sandals, or a new tech gadget. I want something different. I’ve had enough of receiving graces in abundance, more than those earthly things on the list. I have so much in me that I just simply wanna share – my time, my happiness, my dreams, my laughter, my friendship. Simply saying, all I want for Christmas… is to GIVE!

Have a meaningful Christmas, everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mapawa River Trek - The Ultimate Adventure!

After exploring White Water Rafting last April (with my colleagues) and last September (with my college friends), came my adventure finale for this year, the Mapawa River Trek. Whoaw! That was probably the most challenging nature encounter I had since the time I climbed the 10,000-ft. Mt. Kitanglad, traversed the Noslek Canopy Walk at Claveria, slid through a zipline and rappelled down the Macahambus gorge 150-ft below, and cascading the wild rapids of Cagayan de Oro River. I say “most challenging” ‘coz it was actually a combination of the thrill and excitement I had on those previous adventures I’ve been through.

Getting into the river was an adventure itself. From the nature park, we have to traverse that long, narrow and winding terrain of Sitio Mapawa with the tractor as our means of transpo. (It was like getting hitched on an off-road challenge, kay mag sige man ug untol-untol ang tractor unya sakit na kaayo among sampot sa sige ug kabunggo sa tabla nga among gilingkuran, hehehe!). After half an hour ride, we were to hike another half an hour of that muddy trail along the woods leading the way to the river trek site. But before we finally get to the river, we came across a gigantic 200-year-old Dao tree. Such an amazing figure, the group could not help but stop over and posed with the tree for a souvenir photo! Click!!

The 25 Feet Water Falls Slide

This was the first challenge we went through which also served as warm up for that adrenaline rush we were anticipating. While I was on the top of the falls, I could feel the intensity of the current as if pulling me over. When I was about to do my ultimate slide.. whew, everything seemed to happen in a flash! I could feel the water falls flushing me over to the river, and within just a few seconds, I found myself being submerged, thereafter cheering “whoooohh!” for too much excitement! It indeed turned out to be the most exhilarating slide of my life!

The Body Rappel

Have you tried exploring the rapids of the river wild with your body submerged? Got the guts to encounter the strong current with only the rope as your support? That’s how risky the body rappel is! And it’s the only way for you to reach the next water falls with which the 30-ft jump must be executed. Just tighten your grip and never let go of the rope!

The 30 Feet Jump

While I’ve already conditioned my mind not to psyche myself about the jump not until I’m actually about to do it, this time was quite different for me. Seeing the deep and terrifying water below with the strong current of water falls beside me, plus the height which was three times as high as the water rafting graduation jump… uh-oh! It was really scary! I had some apprehensions though. But I had to do it! (Besides, there’s no other way out and you’ve got no choice, hehe!). So I positioned my step forward, took a deep breath, closed my eyes, whispered to myself “Lord, this is it!”…. and jumped! Pastilan, pamati nako dugay kaayo ko ni landing sa tubig, hehe! The feeling is so elating! Roller coasters and free-fall rides cannot recreate the odd lurching of the stomach. For one thing, I’ve learned more about the essence of strength and courage – that it’s not about the absence of fear, but pursuing the challenge despite those fears. As what my buddy Anne told me “It was just like letting go of everything. Let go of your apprehensions. Let go of your doubts. Just jump!” Then I concluded her with a statement “Yes, and that’s what we call faith, Anne!”

The 65 Feet Water Falls Rappel

Aha! This was the most exciting part of the adventure! I have tried the 150-ft rappel at Macahambus before, which was actually twice as high as the water falls rappel, but the latter was the more challenging one. For me it was more than just rappelling. It was marvelling nature at its best – the lush vegetation surrounding the site, the strong current pulling you over, the enormous rock surfacing your view, the chilly sound of the water falls splashing on your body, and the cool, green river underneath. They say that a picture could paint a thousand words, so I have to share my rappelling moment photos instead.

Being the nature aficionado that I am, I really had savored every moment at Mapawa enjoying mother nature and quenching my passion for adventure. Cheers to my fellow river trekkers Arbie (who invited me over. Thanks Arbs!), Natalie, Anne, Hazel, Sheila, Ronald, Bing and Dom. We really lived our motto for the entire adventure -- “Conquer your fear!”
See complete photos at

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's Travel Time!

The “ber” month seemed to have been set for my frequent travels. Last September, I was bound for Cebu for Jeff's homecoming, which was followed by our travel together in Iligan and in my hometown Malaybalay. Then came the succeeding month which was indeed filled with travel sked. I spent the entire first week of October in Manila for the 7th Excellence Conference. I was then off for Davao for two main events which was held a day after the other: the 6th PIIE Mindanao Congress and the 1st Mindanao Bloggers Summit. Add to that my travel back to Bukidnon, then straight to Cagayan de Oro. Hooh-hah!! “Don’t you get tired of traveling, Von?” my friend wondered. Well, not as for now, hehe. It’s good that I’ve made the most of my travel time this year ‘coz I may not be able to focus more on that thing next year. It would be somewhat another journey then, a time to set another milestone in my life. Praying to God for His guidance and protection. May the force be with us!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Water Rafting Adventure Part II

The first week of September was such a blast! I had conquered those wild rapids the second time around! Wahoo!! Such an exhilarating feeling! With me was Pinky who invited me over, and her friends (Kate, Bernadette, Randy, Bryan and Roland) who traveled far from Manila just to try out our very own CDO White Water Rafting Adventure. Thrilled with last April's rafting adventure with my colleagues, I anticipated a more exciting rapid encounter this time, knowing that cold and rainy season falls on the “ber” month and so more captivating rapids are expected on the river wild. And I wasn’t mistaken then. We were sailing in the middle of that brown flowing water, our buddy Randy joked “Pwede bang Choco Water Rafting nalang ang tawag dito? Kasi wala akong makitang white eh, puro brown lang yata! Hahahha!" Well, true enough, we had that entire 4-hour journey along the river with those “chocolatey” stream, an indication that the depth of the water is at maximum level.

One thing that had rushed up our adrenaline was when one of our buddies fell off from the raft. We were crossing the “Makabundol” rapid when we suddenly hear a loud “Ooops!” from the back, and the next thing we saw was a guy waving with his paddle in the middle of the wild rapid! Uh-oh! It was Roland out there! So our guide led us in maneuvering the raft closer to where he had fallen so that he can clutch the safety rope. Good thing none of us panicked. With a series of back and forward paddling, we were finally able to pull him back to the raft. And here’s one funny thing though. When Roland was finally back in his position, he told the group “Na-picturan ‘nyo ba ako habang ako ay nahulog?” Then we all burst out laughing! As what Randy said, it was his first time to see a fellow wearing a smile while falling off, hahaha!

It was such a great adventure then and we all had so much fun. I still am looking forward for another water rafting adventure, maybe next year or so. And hopefully I can already try the “Advanced Level” by then. But before I’ll pursue with that plan, I wanna try the Water Falls Rappel at Mapawa first. Unsa man, mag organize napud ta ani mga peps? Hehehe! See you all in the next challenge!

See more photos at

Monday, August 13, 2007

I'm Joining The Mindanao Bloggers Summit!

Got an email invitation from my fellow amuler Walter just this morning. Whew! Mindanao Bloggers Summit! That sounds so interesting! I've been blogging for quite some time now, and it's my first time to have heard this so-called summit for bloggers like me (thanks Waltz for informing me, hehe!). Can’t wait to pack my bags and fly to Davao in two months time. And what’s more exciting is that registration is absolutely FREE! To all my fellow bloggers out there, I’m inviting you to join the 1st Mindanao Bloggers Summit on October 27, 2007 at Davao City. See you there!

1st Mindanao Bloggers Summit Sponsors: