Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Unite for Hunger and Hope

Today, peoples of the world Unite for Hunger and Hope.

I was chatting with LJ last April 21st and the topic on poverty and hunger came up. He and I attended the same college and are both part of EARTH-UST, an environmental advocacy group. We had quite the discussion about how many people have the wrong attitude/mentality regarding this issue like:

If we don't finish our food, it's not a guarantee that the hungry will be fed by it.

Why don't you give your extra food to those on the streets instead of giving them money, which they can misuse on addictive gambling, criminal syndicates and illegal drugs?

If we give our leftovers to street children and they get an upset stomach or get sick because of it, we might get blamed for what happened.

Well, have you seen the video below? LJ shared to me this video (which his mom shared with him) that I now wish to share with you.


'This film is about the hunger and poverty brought about by Globalization. There are 10,000 people dying everyday due to hunger and malnutrition. This short film shows a forgotten portion of the society. The people who live on the refuse of men to survive. What is inspiring is the hope and spirituality that never left this people.'

I live in a developing country and watching this video still moves my heart. Almost every day, I encounter a similar reality. If you think being surrounded by hunger and poverty situations is desensitizing, you're wrong. Each time is an opportunity to make a contribution in making lives better.

Each time, I ask myself this: "What would Jesus do?"

Sunday, April 26, 2009

share the Word

Don't get entangled by all things worldly for they will all come to pass.

In an era where an overwhelming amount of facts and figures is just a click away, maintaining a healthy Christian worldview may be difficult to do but it is definitely not impossible. Although we are bombarded with more data than we can deal with in the world wide web, the final decision of regarding which set of information to process still belongs to us. We can avoid the wide path that leads to destruction with the help of our Lord and Savior.

A friend shared this to me last Easter: "Our minds gather the dirt and dust of human opinion everyday but God's words are like waterfalls that wash and purify our hearts and minds." I couldn't agree more.

Today is Internet Evangelism Day. When I learned about it by random searching and net surfing, I felt that God was telling me to do something more so I decided to create an event for Internet Evangelism Day in Bloggers Unite. I want to let Christian bloggers, including myself, realize that we can take a step further in inviting people all over the globe to personally know our awesome God! I strongly believe that we are all called to be instruments of the Lord whenever and wherever. All we have to do is say YES to Him. Hence, I aptly entitled my blog Adsum Domine (Latin), which translates to "Here I Am, Lord." 

Exploring different hosting sites, I began blogging when I was in high school about seven years ago. Unfortunately, I clearly lacked essence and purpose in my writings back then. Now and for the days to come, I want my blog to be a reflection of a renewed commitment to Christ. 

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."
- John 14:6 (NIV)

Don't just spread the word; share the Living Word.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Peace be with you

It never fails to amaze me how my prayers are answered, how life moves along a course I never thought would be possible, and how God simply holds my life in His hands. Early morning birds have been chirping outside my window since yesterday. It was such a lovely surprise! And to think that I assumed it is a wonderful sound I wouldn't hear again until I go home in the province.

Work this week has been really fruitful in many ways. I'm discovering certain things about myself far more than I ever imagined to figure out in only five days. Sadly, these past days may have been calm for me but I feel deep down that I haven't really found time to escape from all the 'noise'.. and I mean all the noise both without and within me. I often have my quiet time but lately, I know I haven't had the opportunity to truly let my being be engulfed in silence or better said - embraced by peace in connecting with God.

The Undying Saga Lives On
© 2009 Julie Ann Caringal

Jousting here and there, a battle is well kept
And the knight still holds on to his sword
The news spreads all over the earth
While the unseen impact grows with time

Over vast lands and over wide seas
A battle begins and a battle ends
In every victory a new flag is raised
In every defeat an old flag is brought down

Mystery upon mystery is unfolded by understanding
Each revelation witnessed by the glorious silver moon
Even the bright sun dries away the morning dew
Uncovering a whole field of marvelous discoveries

Eventually, wave upon wave crashes up on shore
And washes away the set of footprints on the sand
But still the beach remains a beach
And an ocean remains and ocean

Render this amazing cycle of fall and of flight
As the undying saga of life and journey lives on
In the hands of the valiant warrior and knight
With his paper as his shield and his pen as his sword

This weekend as I go to Nasugbu, Batangas for our company outing, I hope to find a few moments to be in true solitude with God - to talk to Him heart to heart and listen in silence.

Be with me in serenity, O Lord.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Comfort Zone

After a quarter of a year's worth of waiting, I am happy to announce that I am now part of the nation's work force. It's a nice feeling. :)

On the other hand, "Hello, Makati work" also means "Goodbye, Lipa home". Having spent a year out of school, I felt my life has been so unstructured during the past twelve months that it will be difficult for me to establish a new routine. I was excited to start working but I have to admit that the nervousness that came along with venturing into something new almost got the best of me. Almost. My stress level was on high last week because I was thinking of all the things I need to be taking care of that I ended up overwhelming myself.

There were a lot of things I had to learn especially the "how to commute from where I live to where I work" part. I am staying at an area in Metro Manila that is basically new to me so the commute is a major issue. Moreover, the condominium unit my dad, my older brother and I are living in isn't fully furnished yet, which makes cooking food or putting away things, washing dishes/clothes more challenging so to speak. My work alone is a whole new thing in itself that I have to get used to and comfortable with.

Thankfully, my first week at work and stay here in the condo went very well. Honestly, there are still a lot of adjustments going on but the transition is quite smooth and I am very glad. A little disruption in my comfort zone isn't so bad. I know everyone gets a 'shaking' in their life every now and then. It's the only way we move forward. 

Right now, I am blessed that one by one, things are slowly falling into place for me. God is really good. I know He's molding me into the person He wants me to be. In college, a close friend of mine once told me: "We go where we are needed most." So far, I can't see myself being anywhere else.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

a MUST read

To all my wonderful readers,

... for taking the time to read my online journal entries.
... for sharing your thoughts in the comment box.
... for showing interest in what I have to say, in what I want to share, and in what I believe in;
... for simply being there -

Maya Angelou once said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

This day, Blog Reader Appreciation Day, is for YOU.

You are remembered.

God bless!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Three, two, one...

X definitely marks the spot.

My classmates and I had a countdown for almost everything when we were in high school: exams, someone's birthday, a school event, holidays, and so on. Our favorite (not to mention the most popular) is the countdown for summer vacation - roughly two months away from tests, homeworks, and projects. Each day crossed off from the countdown poster is a day closer to "farewell, dear alma mater... hello, freedom!".

The countdown in the picture above was made by my classmate, Erwin, one of only eight boys in our section/class of 44 (if I remember correctly.. I had to look at our class picture and count). The handwriting is undeniably his. ^_~ The blue highlight stood for quarterly examinations, yellow meant school events, while light green meant a holiday.

The poster was placed right next to my seat in the classroom. As such, I was assigned to make sure it was updated every day. I was tasked to cross off the date of the day as soon as the last class was finished. Sounds easy, but I tell you, there were times I'd forget to cross out a date if it weren't for my classmates' reminders. There was just too much going on in my head, sometimes, that a simple task like that slips my mind. Nevertheless, all of our eyes were on one goal: to finally put a cross mark on the last day of classes for the school year.

A year after graduating from college, I still haven't completely outgrown countdowns. However, instead of doing the daily cross marks, I now mark down a specific date in the calendar, which I truly look forward to (like my first day at work) and do more of a mental counting-of-days. Thankfully, holidays and special national events are already printed in most calendars. The new downside now is that two-month summer breaks are no longer applicable to me. ^^

There's a great caution amid all the excitement of looking forward to that long-awaited day, though. As much as keeping the eye on the goal is important, it is equally important to keep this in mind:

"Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God."
- Jim Elliot

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is risen!

The feast of all feasts.. a celebration that is (and should be) the highlight of the year.. Easter Sunday - the day of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Truly, Jesus has overcome the world and sin by overcoming death. Let us proclaim the majesty of the Lord!

A blessed Easter to everyone. 

Jesus Christ nailed on the cross presents the picture of unconditional love -

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends."
- John 15:13

It also holds a wonderful reminder for us all whenever we seek the Lord in prayer. Notice how the cross forms the letter T while Jesus with his arms spread out forms the letter Y... beginning letters to two words we should always say to God for what He's done for us: Thank You.

Remember to "Give Thanks!" to the Lord, not just on Easter, but every day!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Palengke is the Tagalog term for 'market'. Palengke in the Philippines pertains specifically to the "wet market" [not the air-conditioned supermarket], where you can find fresh fish, meat and produce - as well as all sorts of things from abaca strings to zippers. My favorite must-buys whenever we go to the wet market are the kakanin and puto (native rice cakes).

Mama and I went to the Lipa City wet market this morning around 8:00 am, which is already quite late. Most palengke goers are there as early as five in the morning. Thankfully, we were able to find a parking space by Tagumpay Minimart. We joined the sea of people making their way through the labyrinth of stalls and stands. It's been a while since I last went to the palengke. I felt a tinge of excitement as I was engulfed by the sights and sounds (not to forget the smells ^_~) of the wet market: neatly lined up fish of all kinds and sizes, filled to the brim baskets of fruits and vegetables, endless rows of red and white eggs, and of course - eager vendors shouting their usual "Bili na kayo ng sariwang [insert product here] dito! Mura lang!" (Buy fresh ____ here! It's cheap!) lines and encouraging passers-by to look at their merchandise.

I didn't have my digital camera at the time; I felt bad because I thought I wouldn't be able to take a few photos of my 'wet market revisited' adventure, which is special because it's during the Holy Week. Fortunately, I quickly remembered that my mom's cellphone has a camera. Excellent! I borrowed it from her and used it to capture some pictures.

Most people prefer to shop at the wet market especially during Semana Santa with the rising demand on fish (in practice of avoiding meat during Holy Week) because it's cheaper there compared to supermarkets. Moreover, freshness is guaranteed. Most of the fish are still alive, breathing, and jumping! You can get it cleaned right there and then, too. (For example: have the vendor remove the scales, fins, gills, and so on; get it cut the way you want it depending on how you're going to cook it; etc.)

By the way, let me share some things regarding the photos I took and their captions:

Manang means 'older sister' in Ilocano, a Filipino dialect of people residing in the Ilocos region. In Tagalog, it is Ate. It is typical for young people to call older women that way, though they are not related, to show respect.

Tambakol is what we call a yellow-fin tuna. :)

Lato in Tagalog, Ar-arosep in Ilocano, is a grape-like seaweed harvested in Philippine waters to which we usually add chopped onions, green mangoes, itlog na pula/maalat (red/salty eggs), and tomatoes to make seaweed salad.

Oh, and a great thing about buying at the local palengke is that you can always, always discuss price discounts with the vendor regarding the price of what you're buying. We call this tawad. :D

A trip to the wet market never fails to be an adventure.

P.S. Before I forget, today is World Health Day 2009.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

In Christ alone

Today is God's day and there is much to be remembered.

Semana Santa or Holy Week begins today, Palm Sunday, which commemorates Jesus Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, where the people greeted Jesus with palm branches or palaspas while exclaiming "Hosanna in the highest!" and "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." (Sadly, these very same people were the ones who cried out, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" when Pontius Pilate asked the crowd what they wanted to do with Jesus of Nazareth.)

Moreover, today is Alay Kapwa Sunday or Caritas Sunday in the Philippines. Caritas, the Latin for charity, is the Christian concept of spiritual and brotherly love - a love for all people. This year's national theme emphasizes 'citizenship building and solidarity towards a culture of peace and integrity of creation'.

Yes, these are big events that should be given important notice. While that is true, I remember something more important for me today. I remember who I am - that I am saved through Jesus Christ and that in Christ alone, I am complete.

Lord Jesus,

I come before you at this moment in awe and wonder of your might and mercy. Truly, there is none like you in heaven or earth! We are, indeed, exceedingly blessed to have your unconditional love. May your name be proclaimed as Lord and Savior all over the world as we remember your suffering, death, and resurrection.

I ask for forgiveness, Lord, for all that I have done against you. Forgive me, a sinner, for my failure to abide by your commandments. With every sin, I have crucified You over and over. I have been weak. Forgive me, for I knew exactly what I was doing. This servant is asking for mercy. Send me your Holy Spirit that I may be strengthened and to grow not weary of wearing the armor of righteousness. Be by my side as I go through this earthly life for I stumble and I fall. Be my light and be my fire. Let my heart be filled with your Spirit that I may never run out of hope as I run the race. In times of difficulty and great temptation, Lord, let me remember who I am and what I am here for.

Thank you for waking me up this morning with the rays of the glorious sun and with the sound of the chirping birds. The sky was so blue and the earth so alive - I woke up with a smile on my face. You have always filled my days with everything good, only I fail to recognize it some of the time. Have patience with me, my Teacher and Lord, for I am still learning. Help me to see through your eyes and to listen for your voice that I may not fall victim to all things worldly.

The stars are shining down on me tonight. As I gaze at them, Lord, I could feel that you're just within my reach. Watch over me and half of the world that lay in slumber. Watch over the rest who marvel at the work of your hands in daylight. May they not only feel the sun's warmth but the warmth of your love in their hearts and souls.

All this I ask in your mighty name, Jesus.


Saturday, April 4, 2009


The weather has been chaotic these past few days. We've been experiencing scattered rainshowers and sunny conditions alternatingly within the day here in Lipa City. I've been waking up to a cloudy morning for a couple of days now. It's a bit sad. I miss the sun in the morning. There are fewer birds greeting me with their lively tweets and chirps, too.

Oh well. To amuse myself, I came up with a few rain chants from the original chant kids say when the rain suddenly pours down as they play outside.

Rain, rain, go away,
come again another day
but please, not tomorrow, this I pray.

Rain, rain, go away,
or else I'll find myself
just sleeping the whole day.

Rain, rain, go away,
though I'd love for you to stay,
now is just not the day.

Rain, rain, go away...
I don't know what else to say.

Don't get me wrong - I love rain. It's just that the whole rain-shine-rain-shine in a single day is driving me crazy.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Autism. Awareness. Action.

I love children. They have so much enthusiasm for life. To look at the world through a child's eyes is a wonderful experience. I cannot begin to explain the peace I feel in my spirit upon gazing into the depths of a child's innocent eyes or the warmth I feel in my heart upon clasping a child's little hand in mine. 

I couldn't agree more with Walt Streightiff when he said, "There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million." Indeed! If there is one thing I've learned from a child, it's this: To consider every moment of my life a miracle of God. I can share to you a hundred other quotes about children, by children and for children and still fall short of words to explain the joy children bring.

I grew up in a large family with three siblings and many cousins. When I was only six or seven years old, I've had amazing opportunities to watch over my younger sister. When I was ten, I became Ate (older sister) to a baby brother.

Looking at family photo albums and seeing how my siblings, my cousins and I grew up together brings back fond memories; it is simply amazing. I can't believe how fast time has gone by at this point in my life. Four of 'the original eight' will be finishing their studies by next year, God-willing. On the other hand, one of my cousins will be starting a training program he applied to on the same day I will be having my first day at work this mid-April. Another cousin, Coco, has been working for a couple of years now. On a brighter note, his sister, Patsy, just graduated from college today. 

For many of us, life seems to go on as naturally as a river finding its way into the sea.

While thousands celebrate the beginning of another chapter in their lives this month with graduation ceremonies and commencement exercises here and there, I wish to put the spotlight on another very important event as well.

World Autism Awareness Day

On December 18, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 62/139, tabled by the State of Qatar, which declares April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) in perpetuity. Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, Consort of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, supported the campaign for a World Autism Awareness Day through the current 62nd UN General Assembly Session, garnering consensus support from all United Nations Member States.

This UN resolution is one of only three official disease-specific United Nations Days and will bring the world's attention to autism, a pervasive disorder that affects tens of millions. The World Autism Awareness Day resolution encourages all Member States to take measures to raise awareness about autism throughout society and to encourage early diagnosis and early intervention. It further expresses deep concern at the prevalence and high rate of autism in children in all regions of the world and the consequent developmental challenges.

World Autism Awareness Day shines a bright light on autism as a growing global health crisis. WAAD activities help to increase and develop world knowledge of the autism epidemic and impart information regarding the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention. Additionally, WAAD celebrates the unique talents and skills of persons with autism and is a day when individuals with autism are warmly welcomed and embraced in community events around the globe.

About World Autism Awareness Day. (2009). Autism Speaks, Inc. Retrieved April 2, 2009 from

As a BS Psychology graduate, I want to do my part in empowering individuals with autism. While the course of the river may be rough for all of us, we have to be aware that many people have to go through a waterfall drop before they start the challenging journey down the riverbanks and into the ocean. Nevertheless, we can do something about it - to make the jump less intimidating and most definitely worthwhile.

I share Forest E. Witcraft's sentiment: "A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove... but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child."


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