Archive for June 27, 2010

When in the Philippines

I had such a good time in the Philippines. I think I had my to-do list completed:

Eat some of my favorite foods… lechon (roasted pig)– this was for me, a surprise from my father. I did not know he ordered lechon for my welcome dinner. Up to now, the thought of it just touches me. We only have roasted pigs for very special occasions. I saw to it that I thanked him for such thoughtfulness. I had been daydreaming about our Pastor’s biko (rice cake) since I came to Thailand. Our pastor makes one of the best bikos in the world!! He himself did not know about my coming, but still did biko when he was told, anyway. I just love our pastor. Then there’s ube cake from Jocel’s. Wow! And then of course there’s “filipino” spaghetti and barbecue. Ops! before I forget, since we are in the food category, I also got to go to Chowking and eat the best Halo halo in the world…Courtesy of AteWarlit, our missionary friend who was working in South Thailand but is now in the Philippines. It was a real treat! Thanks, te!And would Jolibee be forgotten? Not so… it’s what my kids miss the most!I really missed the Palabok.
Then I got to drive… I love driving to CMU (the university where I graduated from and where we have our ministry)– on this road were my songs written, it’s where my “right brain” (creative side of me) seem to work best .. other than the shower. lol.My coming home surprised a lot of people as it was unannounced…It just felt so good to be loved, missed and… pampered! This is Ate Jean, she is a church member and she does everybody’s nails! She told me everytime she would do someone’s nails, she would always remember me and think of me, and pray for me! Oh, I just love her. Going home meant endless chit-chats, catching up, just being with friends. This photo was taken during the Freshmen enrollment where we handed out pamphlets about our ministry and invited them to join. We do this every school year, and we have seen tremendous results of Freshmen being ushered to the Lord before they could ever join groups that would totally lead them away from God. I just miss this, and I sure was so glad to be a part of this school year’s “fishing” time. Ria and I also got a chance to visit Pillars fellowship where we sang a Thai song. I did not get to meet so many people, though. That week was just the enrollment and some have not yet come since classes have not started yet.I was so touched by the Pillars Alumni who really filed a leave of absence from their jobs just to meet me at SM in Cagayan de Oro before I flew for Manila. Cres had to take that ferry boat from Camiguin, Therese filed a leave of absence, Graham, now a Certified Public Accountant, was well… on a business trip (haha), John Mark (also passed the recent CPA Board) was still job-searching but I heard he already got hired after our lunch date… Ping surprised me with her presence, and of course there was Barbette, the mastermind of keeping my visit a secret that really surprised many… and my spiritual mom, Ate Annie who took the time to see me off. My family was not there for this special lunch date, but Mom, Reyna and my brother Ching also took me to the airport. I can really feel their love and prayers. They are simply the best. And so I boarded that Cebu Pacific flight that rainy, gloomy afternoon… my heart so full. When we landed Manila 40 minutes delayed because of the bad weather, I had to prepare to meet special people: Pillars Alumni who are in Manila! Once again, the hugs, the catching ups… I never get tired of it, especially when you see your spiritual children just making the right choices in life. I know they are not mine, but in a sense, that sense of fulfillment envelopes me when I see their love for me, and when they say that they have never forgotten what they learned from Joey and me. Yon is now a Dietician in one of the health companies in Manila, Jed just quit her job as a call center agent, but both are actively involved in the Children’s Ministry at Victory Christian Fellowship in Quezon City. Sandree is currently reviewing for his Nursing board exam. They bought me Mc Donald’s burgers which we just ate at the airport eating place. Oh, wait, I have to know who paid lunch at SM Cagayan de Oro? Is it payback time? Now I did not have to pay for lunch and dinner, eh? I loved it. Time ran so fast, it was time for me to go board that plane for Bangkok. A sense of awe, overflowing joy and sadness was in my heart. I had a wonderful hubby waiting for me in Bangkok, but I left Ria and Jez in the Philippines. I also left there, wonderful people and memories. As the plane took off, I just have to close my eyes and trust, trust in the God who knows what is best for us. The God who called us, the God who provides… my Father and friend.