USLS Animo Cheerdance, Catch-up Date With A Good Friend, The Papal Youth Encounter At UST
I am 27 years old.
WHAT AM I DOING NOW?
I am currently taking up Master of Education in Marriage and Family in the John Paul II National Institute in consortium with University of St. La Salle, Bacolod. Yes, I am in Bacolod right now even if my hometown is Manila. Well, that is if you consider Manila as a town. I am a “city girl.” I grew up in Quezon City. My mom’s province is Bulacan while my dad is from Malabon. I don’t have a faraway province of my own, and so I’m adopting Bacolod as my second home for it has always been special to my heart.
I am inclined to watching movies – both Filipino and English ones. Some say it’s an expensive interest, but I do invest in this probably because I find beauty and wonder in the latest trends presented in movies for I have always been interested about pop culture. I am also into eating food with good friends. It’s quite normal for me to randomly contact friends to eat out or just have coffee with them.
Just recently, I discovered that I enjoy listening to stories about Asian culture (well the first hand information I am blessed to hear from locals from my colleagues who come from different Asian countries). I love commuting, may it be via pedicab, via jeepney, via bus, via SuperCat, via pumpboat, and of course, via airplane. I just like how I get to look at different places while moving and observe how people move in each place I pass by.
Well it may sound weird, but I do “waste” time, making sure that I spend silent time through morning prayer with reflection on daily Scripture readings and hearing daily masses. If I have the chance, I also visit Jesus at the Blessed Sacrament.
I made it my 2015 goal to immerse in the Bacolod culture by learning their language which is Hiligaynon, and so I’m kind of busy learning this beautiful dialect which has rich Spanish roots, by the way. What else keeps me busy? Studying, of course. I discovered my passion to study about family and life back in 2011 and I am very much happy to be pursuing my dream course even if it meant going out of my comfort zone at this point of my life. I used to present the Live Pure Movement (LPM) to different schools and parishes back in Manila, and I am blessed to get to be invited to present the cause of chastity that this movement is advocating to schools here in Bacolod.
I am single and I am joyfully waiting for God’s plan to be revealed with regard to my vocation. Of course, God knows I would want to get married to the man He deems fit for me and have a Christ-centered family of my own, but I think it doesn’t hurt to be open to single-blessedness too.
My Thankful Thursday!
#1 USLS’ Animolympics Cheerdance Competition
First of all, it’s only now that I’ve become a La Sallian because the John Paul II National Institute is under the educational system of University of St. La Salle. Little that I know that I’d actually enjoy being enrolled in a university after and decade or so! Funny how most people actually mistake me for being an undergraduate student. It must be my height!
Anyway, I am thankful for this particular event of the university because I was able to experience the college feels all over again. I experienced falling in line as early as 2:30pm even if the gates of the coliseum would open at 5pm. It’s such a blessing to witness the vibrancy of young people as they were cheering for their respective colleges. I admit it. The school spirit of this university is contagious. Who would have thought I’d enjoy watching such an inter-college competition in my late 20’s? This, I say, is one perfect learning experience too.
#2 A Catch-up Date with a Very Good Friend of Mine
Just so you know, I was once an aspirant of the Carmelite Missionaries in Bacolod back in 2011 (Now this explains why I’m adopting this province as my second home). It was a stage of my life that I won’t ever regret having. It was a “come and see” stage for me when I was being led to religious life at the time.
Anyway, in my batch in the Aspirancy stage, three are blessed to be novices up to this day. One of them is my very dear friend Gen. She is from Iloilo, which is one-hour away from Bacolod via SuperCat. When I found out that she was on family vacation and that her vacation would soon end, I volunteered to pay her a visit in Iloilo. Anyway, I’m into commuting and I don’t mind visiting Iloilo (the City of Love) from time to time.
She then shared with me that she was planning to visit the Trappist Abbey in Guimaras. FYI: I also hoped to get to that island during my stay here in Western Visayas. And so I said that I would love to go with her there. It was an adventure to remember for the both of us! We enjoyed catching up while commuting via pumpboat, jeep and tricycle. Also in the photo is Brother Orly, a monk of the Trappist Abbey. It was so nice of him to give us a tour in the factory of their famous products like the mango bars, mango jam and dried mangoes (Yes, mangoes, for Guimaras is famous for their very sweet mangoes).
#3 The Papal Youth Encounter at UST
My motivation at first was just to be part of Philippine history. It’s a story I would want to share to the next generations – that I was there when Pope Francis visited our beloved country. I am blessed to have seen him in 2013 in the World Youth Day in Brazil, but I knew that it would be a whole lot different when he visits your own country.
It began to rain and our raincoats were put to good use. Even if Pope Francis’ speech was in Spanish and I couldn’t fully understand what he was saying at that moment, there was something about his presence. That’s it. Presence matters. It’s not just about his words, but the very fact that he’s there, among us, Filipino youth.
In his presence, God was truly present. Maybe what made the encounter even more special was that the messages he shared to the Filipino youth were the very messages I needed to here. For one, before the encounter officially started, I was just honest to tell God silently that I am afraid. Lo and behold, a little later, the Holy Father talked about not being afraid to cry/weep. And so tears just fell from my eyes together with the raindrops falling on my face! What a dramatic scene!
In addition, I was also surprised when he began talking about allowing ourselves to be loved and surprised by God. Guess what? That’s the exact message I received from the Carmelite friar I got to talk with on my year-end retreat last December 2014. He said “Allow yourself to be surprised by God, Raine.” I silently joked God “Is it really necessary that Pope Francis of all people would repeat the same message to me? I now get it.” Need I say more?
This Papal Youth Encounter during the #PapalVisitPH was a once-in-a-lifetime experience I will always be grateful for! If there’s something I carried with me after the encounter, it would be the relearned fact that I am very much loved by God and that His surprises are on the way!
These may just be three things that I am grateful for for the past week, but I believe there’s so much more in life that deserves a “Thank You.” Yes, the “Y” has to be capital letter “Y,” for I have always believed that every good blessing is from Above. So what are you waiting for? Count your blessings and be amazed for He who gives can never be outdone in generosity.
THANKFUL THURSDAYS IS ALL ABOUT GRATITUDE. WOMEN FROM DIFFERENT AGE GROUPS, BACKGROUNDS, EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT, OCCUPATION, LOCATION IN THE WORLD, STRUGGLES AND VICTORIES IN LIFE SHARE ON HOW THEY APPRECIATE THE SIMPLE THINGS AROUND THEM AND ALWAYS FIND SOMETHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR.