So far, so good

What for should I ask more

Sunday, August 26, 2012

You. Just. Stand.

The last two weeks were pretty tough. The effects of the southwest monsoon floods has gotten everybody in the office doing multiple roles, each with multiple tasks. But somehow, we're getting through it...

I saw this episode of SMASH a few months back. I caught a re-run half an hour ago. It made a lot of sense then; more so now.


What do you do
when you've done all you can
and it seems like you can't make it through?
And what do you say
when your friends turn away,
and you're all alone?
Tell me, what do you give
when you've given your all,
and it seems like you can't make it through?

Well you just stand
when there's nothing left to do
You just stand
Watch the lord see you through
Yes after you've done all you can,
You just stand

Tell me what do you do
when you've given your all
And it seems, it seems like
You can't make it through?

Well, you just stand,
when there's nothing left to do
You just stand
Watch the Lord see you through
Yes, after you've done all you can
You just stand.

Stand and be sure
Be not entangled in that bondage again
You just stand and endure.
God has a purpose.
God has a plan.

Tell me what do you do
when you've done all you can
and it seems like you can't make it through?
Child you just stand
Through the storm (stand),
Stand through the rain (stand)
Through the hurt (stand), oh,
Stand through the pain (you just)

I’ll hold on (stand)
I’ll be strong (stand)
God will step in (stand),
And it won't be long (you just)

After you done all you can you just stand


Labels: , ,

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Never lost, always found (24): Of dads and driving, God and GPS

Never have I had so many encounters with the GPS- global positioning system- than we took long drives the last time I was in the United States with my parents.

Given the dizzying, criss-crossing multitude of highways, signs, and lanes the US road interstate network has, the GPS is indeed God-sent. It allows the driver to drive in peace, having a guide that tells him or her where to go, where to turn, where to exit onwards his or her final destination.

In this sense, I thought to myself while experiencing the myriad conveniences of the GPS, this tool is a lot like God and our relationship with Him.

Before my dad starts any trip, he keys in to the GPS the address of the, say, hotel or tourist attraction which we want to visit, trusting fully that the GPS will get us there with the best possible route in the shortest amount of time.

Similarly, we lift up to God our plans, our intentions, basically our lives, buoyed by the fact that He will take us there, in places and circumstances where we will blossom and thrive. This trust in the Lord has been one of the earliest and most enduring life lessons given to me by my parents, that “In everything we do, put God first and He will direct and crown our efforts with success.”

And so we launch out of the garage and into the main highways. The GPS screen gives a visual representation of the road ahead, with appropriately labelled roadways, exits, and landmarks. Alongside the visual representation, there is also an audio component that gives intermittent guidance on where to go next, which side of a fork in the road do we take, etc.

In like manner, God has provided for us visual and auditory reminders of His love through constant guidance. He has given us the Scriptures, our clergy, our lay leaders, even everyday folk to serve as representations of His presence in our lives. Through these, through them, He is helping us see the horizon of the possible, guiding us towards the path promised of unending joy.

But as is wont to happen, the GPS is at times ignored. Seeming familiarity to a better parallel road will at times tempt the driver to veer away from what the GPS is indicating to be the road. At times we reject the GPS directions and heed the reminders of family and friends to take this exit or that freeway instead because the last time they did so, it cut their trip by half an hour or half a day even- only to find out that doing so now would actually double the hours on the road because of repairs. The GPS was right all along.

And so, too, do we fail, when we rely on our own devices, when we give in to the jeers and taunts of the crowd around, despite these being contrary to God’s will. We take on the easy expressways, we swerve onto reckless routes, and we tread on tempting turnpikes in search of shortcuts which turn out to be more costly. We reject God because we think we know better.

However, with each wrong exit taken, the GPS seems to move ahead of the driver, re-visualizing the road ahead, and gives off this repetitious, at times irritating, but almost always welcome reminder: Turnaround when possible. It will proceed to give alternative routes to enable the driver to go back to the original route, even if the latter will keep on ignoring the GPS reminder. Sooner or later, especially when the driver accedes to the GPS direction, s/he will find him/herself again on the right track.

Respecting our free will, God seemingly allows us to stumble, wander, and eventually be lost in the maze of our own making. But in His infinite wisdom and mercy, He will give us second chances to get back on the road towards what is best for us. He will use any person, situation, or tool to rally us to what is good, what is right, and what is just. If only we will allow Him to do so.

It goes without saying though that the GPS cannot solely bring us to our destination. It takes a good vehicle, a competent driver, and a host of helpful travel gadgets and worthy road trip companions to make each destination merit the journey. No matter how hi-tech the GPS is, without the driver and his/her companions’ cooperation, they will never reach where they are supposed to go.

While with a snap of His finger God can all bring us to Him, He does not do so. He allows us to go to Him not out of fear of being punished but out of full knowledge and understanding of the immenseness of His mercy and love. He is showing us the way; it is but right that our response be to take the journey and persevere in the adventure.

Finish line
When we get to our destination, the GPS is turned off to conserve power. We may need to hook it up to our PCs to update its software. We need to be careful with it, lest the screen be scratched or worse shattered. Depending on our subscription, the GPS may not work in other countries. So in a way, the GPS can only take us so far.

Not our God, though. His power has created the moon and the stars. This same power perfectly crafted each grain of sand on the earth. His power has parted the Red Sea. This same power can relieve our anxiety before a job interview. Our God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His is a love that is all-encompassing, never fading nor failing. He is around us, anywhere, everywhere, crossing through political borders and language restrictions. His love and mercy are eternal, always fresh, available, accessible.

Our life’s True North Star, Inspiration, Guide…

For my Pop, who's taught us to drive, thereby giving us wings. Happy Father's Day

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Surviving med school

Last Sunday, the UP College of Medicine graduated the UP Medicine Class of 2012. Seven years ago today, my class graduated from the UPCM. Up to now, knowing how terrible my study habits are, I am still in awe that I survived med school. Without a doubt it is through sheer grace from God, nothing else.

I remember saying this prayer at the start of all- well, most- um, alright, many duty days, whenever I have time to drop by the hospital chapel:

Lord, it’s showtime, and You are the Star.

Please keep my mind alert
My eyes keen
My ears piqued
My tongue patient
My heart compassionate
My hands steady
My knees sturdy
My feet quick
(I add- My stomach cooperative- if I have some diarrhea issues)

Lord, may I see You in all of the people I will encounter today
And may they see You through me.


I don’t remember when was the last time I uttered this prayer. Probably when I left the university. I really should be praying this more. While I may not be a practicing clinic-based MD, I still am actually on duty, everyday, looking out for Christ’s wounded ones, in whatever form or place...

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, May 12, 2012

International Museum Day at The Mind Museum

More information about The Mind Museum can be found in its official website Follow @TheMindMuseum on Twitter and "Like" their Facebook page

Labels: , ,

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Never lost, always found (23): Five loaves and two fishes

After being in the same project for more than 18 months, facilitated trainings with local government health professionals from 14 of the 17 regions of the country, and spoken to not a few local and international guests and experts as regards our work, I still catch myself doubting the relevance of what I do. It gets especially worse when I succumb to the worst trap of all- comparing my self with others.

Good thing in these trainings, the Lord has a way of somehow reassuring me that I’m on the right track- or at least shaking me back to the right path when I seem to stray. One such way is through the opening prayers that are said before our trainings begin.

(Forgive me for saying this, but coming from a state university where prayer is not common practice in public gatherings, it is refreshing but at the same time a wee bit disconcerting that prayer is not only tolerated but expected to be a part of events/proceedings…)

In the last training I joined in Bukidnon province, this video below was shown in lieu of a formal prayer. Both the message and the timing could not be any better, especially for doubters like me.

A little boy of thirteen was on his way to school
He heard a crowd of people laughing and he went to take a look
Thousands were listening to the stories of one man
He spoke with such wisdom, even the kids could understand

The hours passed so quickly, the day turned to night
Everyone was hungry but there was no food in sight
The boy looked in his lunchbox at the little that he had
He wasn't sure what good it'd do, there were thousands to be fed

But he saw the twinkling eyes of Jesus
The kindness in His smile
And the boy cried out
With the trust of a child
He said:

"Take my five loaves and two fishes
Do with it as you will
I surrender
Take my fears and my inhibitions
All my burdens, my ambitions
You can use it all to feed them all"

I often think about that boy when I'm feeling small
And I worry that the work I do means nothing at all

But every single tear I cry is a diamond in His hands
And every door that slams in my face, I will offer up in prayer

So I'll give you every breath that I have
Oh Lord, you can work miracles
All that you need is my "Amen"

So take my five loaves and two fishes
Do with it as you will
I surrender
Take my fears and my inhibitions
All my burdens, my ambitions
You can use it all
I hope it's not too small

I trust in you
I trust in you

So take my five loaves and two fishes
Do with it as you will
I surrender
Take my fears and my inhibitions
All my burdens, my ambitions
You can use it all
No gift is too small


Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Everyday Easter


Labels: , , ,

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I am a man in a suitcase

My Lakbayan grade is B-!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

Created by Eugene Villar.

On the road for the most part of this year, so far. Traveling is such a blessing, especially when you practically get paid to do it =]

Safe journeys always everyone =]

Labels: , , ,

More flashcards, word search, and hangman provided by