Don’t Drink and Drive

car crash

I was not planning to blog today but I felt so inspired after our hospital ministry to one of our friends. It happened last night, they were coming home from church when they met an accident because of a drunk driver.
Our traffic rules here in Palau is kind of weird because we drive on the right side of the road and most of us have right-hand drive vehicles. Our friend (whom I will not name due to their request) was seated at the passenger side. She was the one who got injured the most. Her chin hit the dashboard (we don’t wear seatbelts too). I’m not sure if she became unconscious after but her husband arrived right when she was being carried to the ambulance.
Her husband lost it when he saw her situation. He just kept screaming and asking for the other driver who caused the accident. He said he even hit someone, maybe it was an officer.
This afternoon, we visited them in the hospital. We sang a few songs and I offered a short message. I thanked God that his wife is now safe and I also gave thanks for the fact that the other driver was not in the area anymore when the husband arrived. I jokingly said, if that happened, we could have two ministries to attend to today, hospital ministry and prison ministry.
Then he said his testimony. He said that he totally lost control upon seeing his wife. All he wanted was to hurt the one who hurt her. But his boss’ wife was with them and he heard her tell him to think about what he’s doing, that he has a job and that he might lose it all if he let his emotions take control. Even as they were about to leave (he went with the ambulance) the rescuers were still trying to cool him down but he yelled at the police officers asking them to tell the other driver that he will be waiting for him at the hospital and fight him there.
This morning, he tried to open his bible. He opened it in Ezekiel 2:1 “He said to me, Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.” He felt God talk to him. He realized what he did last night. He realized that he lost his Christianity at that moment. He felt that God was teaching him a lesson that no matter what the situation is, we should still be able to reflect the character of Jesus.
I was really touched. Here is this man who could have lost his wife from the accident and yet he was able to hear God’s message to him. He said that maybe God knows that his wife is strong so he allowed it to happen to her to let him grow also spiritually. God’s ways are definitely not our ways but when we are willing to listen, we will hear His message.
I am also amazed at the fact that a co-worker was moved in our friend’s room last night. He is Indonesian and he drove himself to the hospital after having suffered a mild stroke. He was alone. Our other friend is also Indonesian who was supposed to go somewhere else this afternoon but had to stay after all of their plans just seem to go wrong. He joined us in the hospital ministry instead. There, he was able to give comfort to his countryman. Just like what I always say, I don’t believe in coincidence, they are all God-incidence. My voice cracked while I was singing these lines,

“God is too wise to be mistaken. God is too good to be unkind. So when you don’t understand, when you don’t see His plan, when you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.” 

Still, I will not let this opportunity slip to remind everyone to stop drinking alcoholic beverages. It’s doing a great damage to your brain cells and you are putting yourself and everyone else who gets close to you in harm’s way. A little angel could have lost her mom last night because a guy had one drink too many and still decided to drive.

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Chocolates and Flowers

Last week, there were chocolates.

Today, there were flowers.

Friends, ladies, and gentlemen, don’t get too excited. I hope I don’t sound ungrateful with this post. I totally appreciate the gesture and the effort, I do. This doesn’t sound too promising now, does it? 
Truth is, I’m excited about love and relationship and companionship and all that jazz. In all honesty, I am praying for it. But flowers and chocolates are not really the way to my heart. It’s still all about a person’s values, ambitions, goals, and communication. 
Now, more than ever, I have realized that whatever a person shows to impress me would not matter once we are in a stage when he could not hide anything, when he could not pretend to be another person, when he doesn’t have to impress anymore. What would show would be the real person, that is the person who I would have to deal with everyday.
Can he make me laugh? Is he honest? Would he let God guide us? Will he be willing to listen to me when I want to rant and not judge me for saying what I really feel? Will I be willing to listen to him? Is he willing to sacrifice some things for us? Will he be worth the sacrifice I will make for us? Would we both be willing to forgive each other and bounce back to being happy together? Can I trust him? Will I be trustworthy with him? Does he have goals? What is he doing to achieve those goals? Will he support me in achieving my goals? Can we plan adventures together? How does he handle his money? Does he know how to have fun? Does he spend too much on having fun?
It’s not just what he is willing to do for me. It’s also what I would be willing to do for him. I want to be in a relationship where we become better persons, where everyday is a blessing and not another stressful day to be survived. 
Those are just some of the things. I still enjoy the thrill of being giddy because of someone but I’ve learned my lesson. While it is easier and more convenient being a half of a pair, it’s better to be single than to be in a toxic relationship. 

Hopefully, it’s pizza next week. I’m kidding!!!

Rainbow and Perspective

Last Sunday, I was able to attend an “Omengat” for the first time. It is a Palauan custom for women who just had their firstborn. It is a really beautiful occasion. I’ll blog about it, if I’m not too lazy *eye roll*.

On our way home, there was a beautiful rainbow. They say Palau is where the rainbows end. We took photos, and of course the obligatory perspective shots.

The beautiful rainbow. God is definitely an artist.

Here are the shots I took of my co-worker:

Then I said, “Now it’s my turn. Take my picture.” So I posed as if I was holding the rainbow, or so I thought. Until he gives me back my phone and I saw the photo.

Hmmm…close enough, Francois, close enough. Or maybe not.

Happiness #1

I have a PDF copy of this book. I forgot where and when and how I got it. I was browsing my e-book files 

and this caught my attention again. I’ve been looking for anything that boosts happiness all over the internet in the past few days because of the depressing news from home and from my Facebook news feed. So now, I decided to share 1 rule of happiness at a time.

“Some pursue happiness, others create it.”

– Unknown

Here goes the first rule:

STOP FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF.


It’s so tempting to feel sorry for ourselves specially when we know that we have reasons to be. We wallow in self-pity and just act like victims of circumstances.
We do it for several reasons. It could be that we feel like the main character in our favorite Filipino soap opera where 95% of the scenes would be her crying (the other 5% is flirting with the leading man) and in the end, everything turns out good for her.
Or we love the sympathy we’re getting from our family and friends because someone did something bad to us and we need all the attention we could possibly get.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. The only problem is you hinder your own progress because as long as we’re thinking that we’re miserable, we will be miserable.
So whatever might have caused you to feel sorry for yourself is already in past. You have to decide that you would not be a victim of that anymore and life has a lot more happiness to offer.
Always remember that everyone gets dealt with a bad hand every once in a while. It’s how you play your cards that matters.

Reminder: You’re awesome, you’re doing fine. Let’s party!

A Very Great Morning


I got the picture above in my email today. It is very timely because I have just been consumed by a lot of negativity lately. This is a good reminder to us all, especially to the Filipinos who have been bombarded with all kinds of wrong in the political arena. 

Somehow, my devotional verse this morning is
 John 14:14 “If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.”  

After getting those messages, I just kept smiling for no reason. I believe that this day will be a great day, full of positivity. I will not be posting any rants today, I promise. I will only express all things positive (God help me).

So, to anyone out there who needs some dose of positivity, this is your shot for today. Life is great, we are alive, let’s celebrate!

Dream Destination

My mom told me this morning that we have to Skype tonight and I told her I have a game, I would go online after. Now, I told my sister to tell her to go online and she told me that my mom is already asleep. Wow, mommy, really?

I just want to share that last Saturday, Cassey, one of the members of the Pathfinder Club asked me if I want to join her to Japan in December for a week. Oh wow, Japan is one of my dream destinations! I’ve been to five countries in Southeast Asia (Philippines not included) already so I said to myself that my next destination should either be Japan, South Korea or China. It’s been a couple of days since she asked me and I can’t stop thinking about it. Gaaahhhh!!!! You have no idea how a travel suggestion affects me. I’m still thinking of a way to make it happen. I’ll totally pray about it. Any willing sponsors? Any odd jobs available? Hashtag serious question.

who wouldn’t want to be here???? (photo used without permission from island.com)

Help.

Bucket List Check (Kind Of)

Sure, I have bungee jumping and seeing the pyramids in my list but since the time I came to Palau, I’ve always imagined myself driving alone, going to the sea shore and watching the sunset. I usually work until 6 pm so there’s no time to go and watch the sunset because by the time I leave the office, it’s already dark. I also wanted to do it on a Friday afternoon so that I would be alone with God to meet the Sabbath. Today, finally, I was able to do it.

T-Dock at Koror, Palau

Mr. Sun peeking

Sabbath!!!

Yep, it doesn’t take much to make me happy.

A Guy Named Ana?

Me: Hi, aren’t you the guy from the other night?

Guy: Yeah. Can I join your table?
Me: Sure.
Lebuh King (King St.), Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. 
used without permission from scoutfai.blogspot.com
It was the last of my 3-day stay in that place. I packed my stuff earlier as I was required to checkout before lunch. I decided I would have a brunch in the Indian restaurant right across my dorm. As my order was being taken, I heard a guy behind me, talking to another waiter. I took a quick glance and I thought he looked familiar. I realized he was the guy my roommate and myself had shared a table with a couple of nights before when we ate at a very crowded street. 
Georgetown is a place full of backpackers. I love the vibe in that place. You can talk to almost everyone, share your backpacking stories and share notes about your next destinations. Hangout and dinner places are usually full at night. If you are traveling solo, just as I was, you have to exercise your social skills. 
Guy: Sorry, but what was your name again?
Me: OJ. Like…juice. What’s yours?
Guy: Ana.
Me: Ana? That’s a girls name in my country.
Guy: Good. It would be easy for you to remember it then.
OJ: Right.
We talked for about 2 hours while having our brunch. It was also his last day in the place and he’s going back to Germany once he gets to KL. 
Ana: I’m actually excited to go home. I’ve been backpacking for three months. There’s a lot of stuff waiting for me at home. I moved to a new pad, I got cool roommates, and I have a lot of research to do.
OJ: You don’t have that “researcher aura” in you.
A: Why? What do you mean?
O: Well, you seem to take research seriously and the people I know who are serious in research look nothing like you (like he has a lip-piercing, hair is a bit long, cute rugged look).
A: Well, I’m a geologist so my research is Indiana Jones kind of stuff. I did my thesis in Oman.
O: Wow, that’s impressive. I wish the work I’m going back to is as adventurous. 
A: Where do you work?
O: Palau.
A: How long have you stayed there?
O: 3 years now. I’m thinking of where to go next after a year. I might move again. 
A: Where are you going next?
O: I don’t know yet. Honestly, I’m a bit scared.
A: You’ll be fine.
O: You think?
A: I’m positive about it. (eye twinkles)
That’s what I love about the trip. Whenever you meet backpackers, they each have their story to tell why they went out and left everything to explore the world. Just like my roommate Renee, she quit her job, and just decided to go backpacking for a year. She said she does not know what’s going to happen to her when she gets back to US. She just decided to leave. My other roommates are a Russian couple. They left Russia, decided to explore the world and try their luck in youtube (search and subscribe to their channel if you want, their handle is “goodbyenormals”). The guy said they have a TV offer already but they declined because he does not want to be limited to what the producers want. He also suggested that I try Russia when I’m done with Palau. 
That is why I love Georgetown. It is full of people who have decided to explore and I felt like I was absorbing their positivity and sense of adventure. I look at their decisions and I feel a little bit braver to let go of the things that are stable, that are comfortable. 
A: I’m good in cooking too. (smile)
O: Oh, really now? (laugh)

What I Realized From Miley Cyrus

She’s all over the world wide web now after that twerking almost naked with her mile-long tongue sticking out, and that video of her licking a sledgehammer and riding a wrecking ball naked. The netizens have called her a sl*t and she defended herself saying that people were missing the point of that video. It’s supposed to have a deeper meaning to her because of her breakup with her fiance and so on.

Uhm…yeah…because when your heart gets broken, you should totally get naked to let everyone know your pain.

It’s not that I don’t believe her. It’s just that when I see a video of a naked woman licking a sledgehammer, I see a naked woman licking a sledgehammer. I haven’t seen a male singer who went through breakup who had to go naked and lick some, I don’t know, a forklift or something? Sorry, I can’t think of any appropriate object right now.

It is very common for girls who went through a breakup to make an effort to make him “realize what he’s lost.” It’s ok if your course of action after is to go to the gym to make yourself healthier or focus on yourself a little more and develop a new skill. I strongly advice against jumping into another relationship immediately to make your ex jealous or go flirting with someone whom you know likes you (but you don’t really like him back). Or painting your face with so much makeup to make you look “pretty” (unless you know how to apply makeup properly), you might just end up looking like a clown. What I realized is this, it’s not always about revenge or making him realize your value.  I think it’s more of YOU knowing YOUR value and just walking away. Why? Because if your actions are still based on how he is going to feel, you would still be under his control.

Just focus on yourself and how to make yourself better and happier for YOUR OWN SAKE. You might even want to wish him real happiness in life. It’s very liberating.

One last thing…KEEP YOUR CLOTHES ON.

Accidents Do Happen

This thing happened right after meeting “that” guy (see previous post). I said it was a long night because it really was. On my way home, I met an accident. I did not even post this in Facebook because I know how exaggerated my mom’s reaction to everything is, she would definitely freak out and ask me about details non-stop for at least two weeks even if I already showed her that I barely even had a scratch (Mommy, this is a joke so don’t overreact…see what I did there? *wink*).

So I was driving (obviously), in the MAIN road. I had to emphasize that just so you all know that it wasn’t my fault. It’s my first accident so I have to be all defensive here, you know. I was going probably 40kph (which according to the policeman who gave me license was the speed limit). Then all of a sudden, a car came out. I hit the brakes but then it was too late. Good thing I was not really going that fast because God knows how bad I could have had it. My upper lip just hit the steering wheel because of the abrupt stop and I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt. Yes. I don’t know if anyone ever uses a seatbelt in this island. 
Oh well, thank God I was spared and as one of my officemates said, “Wow, it’s so cool that you had your first accident and it wasn’t your fault!” Yes. I also appreciate that we did not have to call the police and just settled among us. My car has been fixed, no worries! I’m glad I was able to keep my composure throughout the whole ordeal. No panicking for me. I even decided not to end my night yet after that. Yup.

before and after the makeover.