Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

We wanted a funky, laid-back and relaxed wedding. But I didn’t want to compromise my dream dress so we decided to wear matching Converse Sneaks. It was the perfect footwear for our football-fun-homey-and-rustic-themed wedding.

The formal lace dress and sneakers, what a combination. My take on the week’s challenge.
Photo by Marty Ilagan for Kasal Galeria.

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Ebook Loot Vol. 1

Ebook Loot Vol. 1

So, I’ve decided to go digital. No, i’m not totally giving up paperbacks, i’m just trying to check out both sides of the coin.

1) THE JUGGLING ACT: BRINGING BALANCE TO YOUR FAITH, FAMILY AND WORK (Pat Gelsinger)

2) FALLING STAR (Diana Dempsey)

3) DELIVER US FROM ME-VILLE (David Zimmerman)

4) WHAT’S IT LIKE TO BE MARRIED TO ME? AND OTHER DANGEROUS QUESTIONS (Linda Dillow)

5) A HEART DECEIVED: A NOVEL (Michelle Griep)

6) THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HAPPENING (Mark Steele)

7) A PLACE OF HEALING: WRESTLING WITH THE PEACE OF PAIN, SUFFERING AND GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY (Joni Eareckson Tada)

8) IN GRANDMA’S ATTIC (Arleta Richardson)

9) HELL IS REAL (BUT I HATE TO ADMIT IT) (Brian Jones)

10) THE RENOVATION: A PROJECT RESTORATION NOVEL (Terri Kraus)

11) UNENCHANTED: AN UNFORTUNATE FAIRYTALE (Chanda Hahn)

12) THE PERFECT LEADER (Ken Boa)

13) THE ROSE OF FIRE (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)

14) THE ULTIMATE GIFT: A NOVEL (Jim Stovall)

15) THE TWELFTH TABLET (Tom Harper)

For copies of these books, leave a comment on the line below with your email address and ebook format you prefer to receive them.

THIS 2014

I would find more time to read books. And write/blog.

I would find more time to cook at home. Lest my husband should go hungry.

I would write more handwritten letters, snail mail is the way to go. Or emails. Anything as long as i build and cultivate my relationships and friendships no matter how far they may be from me.

I would read my Bible daily. THIS IS A MUST. Feed my soul, transform my life.

I would take more photos and capture LIFE.

I would reconnect with long-lost friends. And family members.

I would save up for a rainy day. And a sunny day, a windy say, a shopping day and so on and so forth.

I would wake up early. Please, Lord, help me. I REALLY NEED TO WAKE UP EARLY.

I would fight the good fight of faith with Jesus’ strength.

I would weed out the unnecessary things that eat up my time. Like clicking the refresh button on my Facebook and Twitter timeline for the nth time in 2 minutes.

I would learn a new skill. Or hobby. Whichever, comes first.

I would lessen my caffeine and drink more water.

I would exercise more. Futsal and football, yes?

I would eat healthier. Cream Dory, hello.

I would visit towns and travel more. Explore the Philippines, explore the world.

I would believe in God for all these things and rely on Him to make it possible if it’s His will.

I would continue dreaming and hoping and praying because essentially, that’s how our lives should be lived.

2013: The Year That Was

I wonder why most of the New Year’s post i encounter recall how “2013 was such a blast!” and that they “can’t wait for 2014 and its surprises” with much “!!!.” Not that i don’t share the same sentiment. I guess, the negative side of me just seems to think that too much recognition of how 2013 was amaaaaazing really is one’s way of sugar-coating how unpleasant it was.

OKAY. That was such a douche-bag thing to say. Fine. I take it back.

I was planning on starting a post that would outline my whole 2013, good and bad. Of course, my tiny mind wouldn’t be able to recollect every single thing that happened. And I guess a list of highlights would just do.

1) CITY GIRL TO SOUTHERN BELLE. Of course, when i say Southern, i’m pertaining to the third largest island of the Philippines – Mindanao. Moving to Mindanao or General Santos City to be exact, was the farthest thing from my mind when 2013 started. Just a background, i got engaged to a doctor in 2012 and he was about to set his medical practice in his hometown, which happens to be in Mindanao. To cut the long story short, after I marry him, we’d have to settle in Gen San. ANYWAY. I honestly thought that things would probably still work out for him and his career in Manila. I was born and raised and lived for my whole 29 years in Manila, there was ABSOLUTELY NO WAY i am moving. But, God has a plan (of course He does! but more of that later) and while i was absolutely resistant to the transfer, i still am adjusting by the way, my April 25 flight to General Santos City opened a lot of doors and opportunities for me that I’m pretty sure I would never have encountered had I stayed.

2) FROM 1 DOG TO 4. Yes, FOUR. Okay, so here’s where the blessings and favor of moving to Gen San started. I initially had a shih tzu dog named Rafa given by my best friend Abby that i totally adore. Our pastor from church and also ninong and ninang in our wedding, presented us with not just one but two dogs as an advance wedding present. Pepper, a standard schnauzer and Shadow, a miniature (NOT SO) schnauzer became Rafa’s playmates at home. Come October, Jay’s aunt asked me what gender i’d prefer for a labrador and i thought she was just asking for my opinion when she buys her own. Turns out, she already has two labs that had puppies and she decided to gift me one (another advance wedding present) to add to my growing “collection.” Oh, sorry, I meant family 😛

3) I GOT MARRIED. Which was a testimony of God’s greatness in my life. From the time I met Jay and we became friends, during our engagement, favor in planning and wedding suppliers, provision that usually comes out of nowhere (jay and I had absolutely NOTHING when we got engaged and God provided everything for us), GRACE during the whole time and FAITH to believe that He will see us through. More than marrying the man of my dreams, the one i prayed for – our wedding was evidence of God’s faithfulness to fulfill His promises. I had never felt so precious in His eyes (and there were gazillion of times that God saw me through but this one is different) than during the time that we were planning everything and until we said our vows in front of God (and our guests) knowing that I am obeying His will for me. Also, my brother and dad walked me to the altar and it was the sweetest and happiest moment of my life, I cried. So everyone thought i was crying because I saw Jay’s face when in reality, i was really crying because I can imagine my mom with us that day and our family has never felt so complete than it was that day with just the three of us in front of God.

4) NEW FAMILY. NEW FRIENDS. NEW CHURCH. Jay’s family welcomed me immediately and regarded me as their own soon as I got here. Tita Let (Mommy) and Tito Jun (Da) made sure that I was more than cared for and was thoughtful and considerate enough to adopt me when i was still looking for an apartment. Even Jay’s brothers and aunts welcomed me with open arms. Friends from the Dog Club (Yes, i’m a certified member of the Canine Club of South Cotabato now) have not just shown hospitality to a newcomer like me but also taught me a lot of things i now know in taking care of my dogs. Without them, i would probably have cried already, not knowing what to do when Pepper gave birth (Thanks Rizza and Wella for adopting her for a while) and wouldn’t be able to travel to Manila for wedding preps because there would be no one to look after the monsters, i mean, doggies. Also Uncle Bot, who has always treated me like another daughter (and who gave me the monster-lab) would always be willing to adopt ze dogs and give free vet advice whenever necessary, thank you. It saved us a lot instead of going to the vet clinics here in Gen San. HAHA. Next is Victory. Ah.. It’s always the same wherever church you go – HONOR GOD and MAKE DISCIPLES. I am now again, being discipled. Thanks to this spiritual family, I have new friends i can share my life with, laugh and discuss struggles whenever sadness comes over me about being in a “foreign” place. Lasting friendships with these people are being developed even as i speak (or write).

5) WRITING. I have always wanted write. I have always dreamed of being able to write. I have always decided to write. But then, I have never gotten over my fear of writing. I used to write/blog as a release. My thoughts were so personal, reading them now makes me wanna get run over by a bus because it was not just too personal and graphic, it also has no point. But thank God for the free time i have as I got to writing and blogging again (not as much as I would have wanted but still a good start). It also provided an avenue for me to improve the way i string the words and thoughts together. And while i still have a long way to go, an online news daily took the risk (I don’t know what they were thinking and i hope they never find out) of getting me on board to write and rehash news for them. WHICH IS SOMETHING I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FORWARD TO SINCE FOREVER. Well, maybe not forever but ever since I realized that maybe, JUST MAYBE, Recruitment and HR is not the job for me.

So, while I cannot say that my 2013 was “soooooooo amazing i could die”, I definitely could say that it was truly a blessed and fulfilling one for me. I have been pushed to my limits, rejected and praised, sure and unsure of so many things during this year. But God has always been the constant one in all of these situations, transitions and milestones. I will always be forever grateful for the year that was because I know that my God is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow.