Tagaytay: A Lot of Wow
I've been putting off writing a post on my trip to Tagaytay last week.
It's just that I don't know what to say. The trip was wonderful in different ways; it seemed like such a huge task to actually describe it.
But since my two months of vacation from all things scholastic started last Friday, I think it's time to take the bull by the horns.
It's a great place.
I'm not going to start spouting tourist information anytime soon, so you can just click here to find out more about the area. The views are awesome though, and the weather is neither too hot nor too cold.
I actually attended a Bible conference over there with some relatives and church friends. And it was just WOW.
For one thing, I got a lot closer with some of my cousins.
I also started a conversation with a cousin I hadn't spoken to at all. Since I was born. It was pretty awkward, at first, but it turned out great.
Cousins aside, I got to know a lot of other people better. A few people who often got on my nerves --- due to personality differences, actually --- just didn't anymore. They ended up being pretty cool.
Most of all, I got closer with God. He became more real to me.
I've always thought there was a God somewhere, and that He loved me. There just seemed to be too many coincidences in life that could only point toward Someone who made it all happen.
I'm not trying to argue with anyone here, and I respect you, dear Reader, even if our beliefs differ. I guess I just can't help bringing God into my posts; He's an integral part of me.
Well, that conference taught me so many things --- more things than I can post about with an acceptable number of words. I learned I wasn't as serious about following God as I could be. I mean, I said I loved Him and talked about glorifying Him in the things I did. But, like a speaker said, love is spelled as T-I-M-E. I couldn't say I loved God when I was always racing through my time with Him so that I could do other "more important" things.
I'm definitely putting more of my time into my relationship with God. Because nothing else matters as much.
I was also reminded to do everything with joy for God. How did the speaker say it?
Many Christians live like Jesus is dead. They get moody about little things, are very superstitious, and act like everyone else. We should be different. We're supposed to be joyful because we know Jesus is alive!Now, this does not mean Christians are supposed to walk around like they're giddily high on drugs. There's a time to be happy, and a time to be sad. But I'm reminded to always be hopeful, and not to make it difficult for others when things don't go my way.
So what if things go wrong, and people leave me? I don't need to whine incessantly because I have hope that the story of my life has a great ending. A great Author has made it perfect for me; I just don't know it because I'm still in the middle of the book.
And lastly, God reminded me that He loved every part of me. Even the dark parts that no one knows about. I remember sitting with my head in my hands, and asking God what He wanted to say last week. I suddenly felt like I'd been dropped into a warm ocean; I was drowning in God's love. I felt so strongly that God was hugging me and telling me He'd forgiven me for every stupid thing I've ever thought or done.
That's a pretty tall order, and it made me cry.
I came back from that trip a bit wiser, a lot happier, and much more assured that Someone up there was in my corner.
What can I say? The trip was awesome.
Daisy on 3/31/2008 01:42:00 AM
My Sister Can Punch
Daphy and I were getting into the car last Thursday after attending a church meeting. We often talk --- sometimes seriously, mostly silly --- as I maneuver us home through untamed roads full of people whose driver's licenses should be revoked.
"People worry more about this spot than I do," my sister announced while pointing towards a pink discolored area on her cheek.
"That's pretty understandable considering it's a half-inch in diameter," I answered.
"Seriously, I didn't really care. Is it that big?" My sister looked at it in the mirror while I got the car on the highway.
"Well, it was big enough for the pastor to wonder if someone had punched you."
"Maybe it's a pimple." I turned up the volume of the radio. My favorite song was playing, and I didn't want to miss it.
"Right. You could also have just hit your face somewhere."
"I don't think so." I looked at her in alarm.
"You don't mean someone hit you, did you?"
"No way!" My sister looked horrified. I turned my eyes back on the road as we got caught in traffic.
"Well, if someone does, especially some suitor, drop him," I advised offhandedly. "Especially if it wasn't accidental."
"If it wasn't accidental, I'd break his nose!" my sister added.
"Uh huh, but even if it was accidental. You know, like he was upset and couldn't control his temper."
"I get it. But if it was really accidental, like if he was running past and bumped me against a wall in the hurry, I think I'd just cry." Daphy started rummaging in her bag while I mused about how my little sister could think of crying and breaking some guy's nose at almost the same time.
Daisy on 3/22/2008 10:00:00 AM
Through all the studying I'm buried in, there's been good news: some cousins from far away are visiting!
They're the ones in red and green.
To celebrate this unusual turn of events, we decided to have dinner together last Monday. Everyone was excited.
Until my grandmother told the two that they had to go to a party with her instead. We all shrugged our shoulders and listened to our elders.
So it was just the Six, after all.
We still had other reasons to celebrate though. Like cousin Ken's extremely surprising perfect grade in his Chemistry finals. Then there was the fact that everyone --- yes, including me, dear Reader --- except Chrissy (another cousin) were leaving on trips this Wednesday.
So we had a farewell party for the one who would be left behind. Chrissy --- being Chrissy --- was still pretty happy.
She spent most of the night laughing with Ken.
While we're at it, I might as well include shots of everyone else.
Jonny, Daphy, and their pretty happy grins
KD & I kidding around
It was a slightly loud gathering where everyone consumed large portions of food with gusto. The food was a lot better than what we had at our last dinner out. As always, the company was pretty great.
It was totally worth the studying I'd been doing for days so I could come along without guilt.
I'm going to miss those kids on my trip tomorrow.
This is a good time to mention that I won't be around until Monday. Just wanted everyone to know so that nobody would keep checking for new posts.
Not that you check for new posts incessantly, dear Reader. I know you have better things to do.
So, bye, everybody! See you next week!
Daisy on 3/19/2008 01:16:00 AM
Last Hurdle Before Summer
I once dreamt my class was taking a long exam. It was so long that the testpapers piled up five feet tall. It was so long that two days passed in my dream, and we were still taking it. I can recall hearing my professor scream at us in the background about how long we were taking.
Suffice to say, I was glad to wake up from that dream.
Well, it's finals time where I'm from, and that dream is partially coming true. Everyone's schedules are disjointed, exams are popping up as far as the eye can see, and people face the gloom and doom of failing grades. Yet somehow, you can almost smell summer in the air; it's like waiting for the sun to come up when the sky's getting lighter in the mornings.
Anyway, my friends and I are all drowning in Chemical Engineering data. I think it's caused slight damage; I can't seem to even think about subjects unrelated to my college education. Subjects like food --- which I've often forgotten to eat lately --- and even sleep.
In a queer way though, I'm still having a lot of fun reading and learning everything.
Times like these, I am so glad I love the course I've taken for college. That last sentence is the thought that keeps me going when I'm reading six or seven textbooks at the same time. It keeps me going when I read about equations and concepts I still can't define after three years. It gets me memorizing details, and makes reading about batteries and whatnot much more enjoyable.
Not to say that it isn't difficult though. Sometimes, my brain just wants to fall apart so badly that I end up doing mindless things during my breaks. I've been reading light fiction books, and watching cheesy teenage movies lately. I've also been praying a lot. I guess God's helping me grow through this.
Friends help too. Like today.
I was starting to panic after a three-hour exam this afternoon. I'd studied hard (harder than I've ever done, in fact) and prayed I'd get enough questions right. But when said questions were given out, I couldn't answer anything. Nothing I'd studied seemed to be the right answers.
I did eventually come up with some solutions --- we're talking three hours, after all --- but I was in trouble. Especially after I finished the test and found out my answers didn't sound like anyone else's.
I really didn't want to fail. I mean, I could do so much better.
Hubby (that's Joni to you, dear Reader) made me feel a lot better though. She reminded me how well I'd done on two other tests, and how that would count. She ribbed me about how good my grades were on a class project, and how there wasn't anything to worry about. We compared results, and I realized I didn't do so bad after all.
Hubby and me
That was a relief.
The thing that touched me though was when she said she'd be praying for me. It's quite a simple thing, but not many people have told me something like that. I guess it was God's way of reminding me to quit worrying. I'd done my best; now I'd trust God to take care of what I couldn't control.
And a very appreciative thanks goes out to all my friends (you know who you are) for making the finals less stressful this year.
Thanks a lot.
Daisy on 3/13/2008 06:50:00 PM
4 X 4 Meme
Catherine tagged me to do this meme, and it seemed kind-of fun. Though I wonder what I could come up with considering how young I am (read: no experience).
Here goes nothing.
Four Jobs I Have Had1. I designed large advertising banners for a shop once. It took a lot of work; I remember feeling pressure --- from no one but myself, really --- to do well. It turned out all right, and the owners loved the stuff I came up with. The real reward came from the thrill of seeing those larger-than-life banners at the mall though.
2. I manned the redemption booth at an event once. The experience taught me to be nicer to salespeople, even if they were extremely rude. Being in their shoes made me realize how hard it was not to be rude after hundreds of people ask the same questions, and get upset when they don't like the answers. I remember how bad I felt after a particularly insulting customer left the premises.
I mean, I do know business isn't personal but yelling and cursing at sales personnel about how stupid they are seems to cross the line.
The job was great though; I learned a lot from it.
3. Linda talked about how every teen must have done a stint at McDonald's. I worked at Jollibee, a leading fast-food chain in my country, instead. I remember cleaning tables and welcoming people to the restaurant. I also remember my breaks vividly, and the egg sandwiches I often had at those times.
4. Then there was "the accounting nightmare". I was paid to organize six large cartons of papers into one neat spreadsheet. The papers spanned about four years and included receipts, bills, tax statements, and even the occasional violation. Nothing was in order, and almost everything was crumpled or printed in faded ink. I felt like I was practically swimming in old paper. Finishing this job was its own reward though; I remember staring at the mountains of paper and not believing I had actually gone through it all. I felt like I had climbed Mt. Everest.
Four Shows I Have Been To:1. I ditched the backdrops I was painting for a high school play to watch Jars of Clay on an open field. The music was great; I sung along to a lot of my favorites. My friend, Ralph, and I were also right by the stage, and that made it more fun. I still remember how upset Ralph was about not being able to get the guitar pick the lead singer threw into the audience. I personally thought it was just a piece of plastic, and that being touched by the singer didn't turn said pick into the Holy Grail. I also knew that such a view wasn't shared by a lot of people.
I came home from that concert, and painted backdrops the whole night to make up for playing hooky. The music was good enough to make the drudgery worthwhile.
2. The first Broadway production I'd ever seen was The Phantom of The Opera. The show --- that whole trip to New York, actually --- was pretty memorable. I remember how fun it was to sit in that theater and just drown in the beautiful music. I also remember how annoying a certain Japanese tourist was with his unappreciative noises (read: exhausted snores) echoing from a seat nearby.
3. I watched an acrobatic show with fifty-or-so relatives in China two years back. The performers did amazing feats of strength and balance. They also managed to curl into frighteningly weird postures that made us cringe. I mean, really, if you saw three girls leaning over backwards with their heads poking out between their legs, what else would you do?
This might help you imagine what I'm talking about.
4. The O by Cirque du Soleil at Las Vegas was also something else. The music was haunting, and the performance was both mysterious and fun. I still remember how someone from the audience volunteered to be part of the program. He was hooked to a cable, and pulled up to the ceiling in about two seconds. He then proceeded to do his own thing which led everyone to realize he was a part of the show after all!
Four Cars I Have Had:1. The first car I drove was a dark blue Honda Civic. Being a new driver (and a very bad one at that) resulted in me denting that car on every possible surface. The car was so banged-up that my sister was embarrassed to be seen in it. I remember scratching a guy's car with it, and then becoming good friends with that guy after having to meet and discuss how to go about the damage repeatedly.
And when I learned how to drive well, my parents had that car refurbished as a present. My sister's driving that vehicle now.
2. The next car I drove was (and still is) a silver Honda CR-V. It's brought me, my friends, and even my family members everywhere. It's been a makeshift locker for my college stuff (complete with possibly needed school supplies), and has weathered more mishaps better left to the insurance company. None of the succeeding accidents with cars were my fault, by the way.
Tooti and I are still trying to find a good nickname for my loyal means of transport. It's a girl, by the way. Any suggestions?
3. Does the car my parents used to bring me in count? The oldest one I remember was a small brown Nissan. I recall fine afternoons sleeping on the back seat. These were the same afternoons that involved going with my Mom to my favorite fast-food restaurant for some bonding-with-Mommy time.
4. I figured I might as well mention the newest car in my parents' possession: my Dad's black four-seater convertible. He always ribs me about how hard it is for me to get in said car. I guess I'm just clumsy, but I can never get through a ride on it without banging one of my legs on the door. But it's fun driving through a windy night with the top down, a breeze blowing through my hair, and the stars twinkling when I happen to look up.
Four Favorite Foods:1. Monggo Soup (better known as Mung Bean Soup) is one of the few vegetarian dishes I really love. It's basically small monggos boiled with water until they crack open. It's very filling, and delightful on a rainy day. It's a bit like lentil soup, actually.
2. I love fresh salmon sashimi. The raw fish tastes so good, and slides down my throat in a nice way. I could pop about fifteen pieces into my mouth without getting tired of it. I don't even dip these babies in sauce; I like the fishy taste.
3. Tortellini is something I really enjoy. I had the chance to have it in Rome a few months back, and it was awesome. No one really makes tortellini where I come from, so it was a rare treat.
This photo brings back wonderfully tasty memories.
4. I couldn't go through a list like this without mentioning my maternal grandmother's pork soup with potatoes. It was a pretty simple dish; she often let it cook in a crockpot while she did other things. Still, that first taste I got of home cooking --- no one ever cooked in our house --- was amazing. I used to have three or four bowls of it heaping with rice for lunch back in first grade. I do believe eating so much of this indirectly resulted in how chubby I was back then.
I'd like to tag the following people, but only if they want to do it. I'm not forcing any of you.
- Sister In Conflict (and yes, I do know who you are now LOL)
That was fun!
Daisy on 3/08/2008 12:57:00 AM
It's A Bee Thing
Meet my parent.
My Father is the kind of guy who's always in a hurry. He's got people to meet, appointments to keep, and a pack of assistants to keep track of his schedule.
Due to all the hustle, he is also the kind of guy who gets into the weirdest scrapes. He has gotten locked out of our house more times than the rest of the family put together, has gone to work with his clothes inverted, and has left various items --- most memorable were the eyeglasses in the refrigerator --- in all kinds of places.
So it is practically no surprise how he got injured while playing golf this morning. I don't think his friends and business associates will ever forget it; one has even said he's never heard of such a freak accident before.
And it all began with a bee.
Everyone knows what a bee is; everyone also has a unique response when one is present. Some people I know run screaming from the little fellow (A bee! A bee! It'll sting me!). Personally, I don't react since I figure it'll go away by itself.
In my Father's case, the bee was buzzing too close to ignore. So he batted it manfully with his hand; the movement often scares the bee to find other territory. Except the bee must not have been normal since it settled between my Father's fingers instead.
My Father then waved his hand vigorously in a get-off-you-silly-creature gesture. And then he broke his finger.
In conclusion, my Father is now walking the streets of our fair city with an unsightly splint on his middle finger. If you happen to see him, you may be slightly offended by the rude gesture he seems to be making. But never fear, dear Reader; he means well.
Daisy on 3/05/2008 11:06:00 PM