Category Archives: Life story

Bouncing Back!


It’s been 5 months since the last time I’ve posted about my new website/blog Wanderful Wordsmith. It’s not my intention to abandon my beloved Curly Bookworm. I was too occupied to maintain two blogs! I really missed Curly Bookworm and my fellow bloggers in my community here.

So what happened in my absence here? Well, I’ve been contributing to two e-magazines in Thailand which is based in Bangkok. I actually juggled teaching ESL to Mongolian doctors, writing for e-magazines, and travel blogging! Check out my posts (click the titles):

August Awesomeness Overload It’s about awesome blessings from above.

  • Pinoy Thaiyo is the first and only Filipino e-magazine in Thailand. As one of the pioneering team, I was assigned as a columnist for Amazing Pinoy. I feature Filipinos (even half Filipinos) who excel with expertise in their respective fields and give glory to our motherland. They’re exceptional and gifted people from all walks of life who inspire and imbue patriotism, perseverance, patience and persistence.
BC no number

Don’t hesitate to connect with me, but I covered my number.Just send me a mail for any query.

Articles

Thailand-Professionals

Exceptional experience indeed!

  • Thailand Professionals is an e-magazine counterpart of a magazine for professionals established three years ago and was re-launched on August 12, 2015, during the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand. I feature professionals and VIPs like the Queen herself.

Articles

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A monument of answered fervent prayers.

AUP College of Medicine: A Fulfilled Vision Aside from the affiliations from Thailand-based e-magazines, my blog about the inauguration of the most-awaited College of Medicine of the Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) was featured in The LinkSummer-Fall 2015 Edition (The Official Publication of PUC/AUP – Alumni of Western North America) and  PUC/AUP Cyberlink (The Official E-Newsletter of PUC/AUP Alumni) August 16-22, 2015 Special Edition.

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Mongolian doctors, though Buddhists easily adapted to our culture and our Christian community.

August’s Astonishing Surprise This is about the extra blessings beyond measure. I was requested and hired to teach Mongolian doctors for a short ESL program at AUP

There are a lot to share, but I will be back to tell more about my adventures as a travel writer/blogger for Flybook Travel and Tours, and the official travel blogger of the prominent ATTA Calabarzon (Association of Travel and Tours Agencies). It’s accredited by the Department of Tourism and is a leading association within Region IV-A or Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal & Quezon).

LAF

Taal Volcano adventure: Gazing at the grandeur of Vulcan Point, the largest island within a crater lake in a volcano island within a lake on an island in the world.

For sure, I miss a lot about you guys out there. To keep receiving fresh updates, I highly recommend for my subscribers here to also subscribe to my new website. I would gladly appreciate that.

Feel free to explore my new website. Read and share my post to share the sunshiny experience! Wanderful Wordsmith

© 2015 LAF

 

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Filed under Attitude of Gratitude, Exciting Event, Life story, Teaching Adventures, Travel & Adventure, Vicissitudes

Wanderful Wordsmith


For the past few weeks, I’ve scribbled my musings, and yet failed to blog about them. Then came an impression to jump start a new blog, Wanderful Wordsmith. This made me excited earlier last week. While I can’t consistently blog here in my main blog, I have a new one to catch up with. That could be really challenging, but I am hoping to really keep it updated with inspiring posts.

A wandering wordsmith who chases her musings.

A wandering wordsmith who chases her musings.

So, what’s in Wanderful Wordsmith for you? If you’re a travel and nature enthusiast, you’ll surely look forward to reading some of my adventures. And you might as well love the virtual tour you’ll experience through my hotel and resort reviews, and wonderful places I’ve been.

Wanderful Wordsmith was conceptualized on the third week of June 2015. “Wanderful” simply means full of wanderings, and “wordsmith”, a writer. Its niche is focused, and yet, not limited on traveling and writing. Here are the entries and topics:
Surreal Sojourn – travel and adventures, hotel and resort reviews
Runner’s Reverie – running musings and race reviews
Curly Bookworm – book reviews and author features (throwback posts from main blog)
Ethereal Epiphany – spiritual insight and introspection
Potpourri of Poetry – poems and poet features
Wishful Writer– blogging and writing, advocacy and product reviews

This blog is dedicated to my late father who already rested from his life’s journey. His passion of traveling and wandering had left a lasting impact on me and my family. I missed my father so much, she could just rely on the Heavenly Father.

On Father’s Day, I jump started the new website to honor my calling as an apprentice of the Heavenly Author:
Chasing chances to change the world through the Word – one reader at a time.

This time, I’m very intentional. I will limit blogging here. So, I encourage you to follow and subscribe to my new blog:

http://wanderfulwordsmith.com/

 

© 2015 LAF

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Filed under Attitude of Gratitude, Life story, Travel & Adventure, Vicissitudes

How to Deal with PDA


I was in Boracay Island, in Station 1, to be specific. I’ve grown up spending some vacations there in that white paradise, coz my mother hails from Aklan. But although I’ve got used to see some liberated foreigners displaying their affections in public, I was caught unaware one time.

I was in haste on my way to the beachfront to catch the surreal sunset: when the seemingly shy sun’s glorious escape would leave a trace of heavenly hues of lilac, shimmering in gold and crimson. Almost everyone was mesmerized to pause and ponder on its picturesque wonders.

Captivating scenery when the shy sun hides at the western horizon on the dusk.

Captivating scenery when the shy sun hides at the western horizon on the dusk.

Then, boom! There were lovers caught in fiery passion of French kiss.

Who cares? But, I was petrified! Yet in the split of seconds, I continued with my strides. It wasn’t a movie to watch, after all.

“GET A ROOM” I heard a whisper from a spectator, grinning with envy.

It astonishes me how people could freely display their affection in public!

But what astounds me the most is a PDA not only within the parameter of a mall, public infrastructure, a park, but in the social media.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind other people’s business.

But, there’s something I despise – PDA: Public Display of Anger!

Delayed Flight, Frustrations, Fight

It was my first time to be caught in cataclysmic flight. Twice our flight got delayed. We’re supposed to depart at past 8:00 AM for a domestic flight. Then, it was moved to 11:00 AM. And unfortunately, moved again to past 2:00 PM, almost 3:00 PM! We’ve waited for almost seven hours. It wasn’t a wearisome waiting, if it weren’t for a scene.

Most of the flights were delayed, some got canceled. People were panicking. Others were in great rage. There was a group of passengers who rallied inside the waiting area from the gate. Some were crying, some were shouting their lungs out. Ranting to the fullest, until they reached the other side of the whole building. No wonder, the incident was televised.

That batch of passengers were like hostages, left locked in the shuttle. They weren’t oriented that their flight was again delayed. They waited for 45 minutes without proper orientation. Kids were screaming, and quite suffocated. Grown-up were cussing and ranting their nerves out.

I wasn’t able to fit my feet in their shoes, albeit we too suffered. I got nervous and I just prayed. There’s nothing I could do to deal that horrible situation but to be still. Send an emergency call to heaven for peace and comfort. “Oh wait, meekly wait, and murmur not!”

Rent a Room to Rant

Ok, I’m not an expert with this. I’ve learned my lesson in a hard way, long ago. Having an activist instinct, loquaciousness could let loose a manifold of rants for certain issues (especially political issues in the government and church). But I see to it, I am doing it the right way, I still choose the words to say or type at my social account. I don’t cuss. Albeit I want to awaken minds and spread awareness. But later on, I realized that no matter how well I thought I would do it, it’s still a rant. The Biblical principles emphasized in Philippians 4:8 and Proverbs 10:19 are still compromised. Btw, who can tame the tongue? (James 3:1-12)

“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise” ~ Proverbs 10:19

A principle that is often taken for granted.

A principle that is often taken for granted.

It’s tempting to RANT when you know personally, and you’re friends with the people involved in an issue. To rant and let the people know you are human, you are affected too could ease your sorrow; but the eruption of seemingly dormant volcano of emotion would surely leave a messy aftermath. You rather hold your peace through God’s grace.

The social media is a multifaceted tool both to build and to tear down people. While it’s very effective to hasten the advancement of God’s cause, it could also be used by the devil to ruin lives, spread venomous issues which could engulfed a thick foliage through a fiery, wild fire. We all know that. But how do we deal with it?

Moreover, the social media has been abused by many, using it as an open courtroom to throw quick judgement and condemnation at people they don’t even know personally or know not, even as an acquaintance. Before a due process, the ill verdict could be done ahead of it. You weren’t born yesterday not to get what I mean.

Pray It Out Loud

Ok, I’m not going to preach, promise! 🙂

There’s no argument with the power of prayer. And it’s very comforting to know that when you pray, you aren’t misunderstood and being taken for granted by the ONE who is JUST to listen intently. He is RIGHTEOUS enough to discern the inner most thoughts and feelings you have. But you still need to let it be known to God. (Matt. 11:28-30)

So if you’re ANGRY, shout it out loud — to God. Rant, if you want to break free from bottling up. Better go to your closet, or room to do it. At least you would have a privacy, and people won’t be able to make an issue out of it. Issue begets issue, if not handled well. If you don’t want to add complications to it, just be silent.

There are times when SILENCE is GOLDEN.

It’s healthy to loosen up your emotions, granted that it’s between you and God. Break down if need be. But stand up with Him who answers prayers. Pray for the issue, the people involved and pray for yourself how to let go and let God.

“If you want to STAND like Jesus, You should KNEEL like Jesus.” ~ Kneeology, Aias C.

Again, I would reiterate, I’m not expert on this. I also fall short of God’s glory. And yet, no matter how many times I stumble, I would rise again and again. But over the time, I learned to sulk in a healthy way and to savor serenity amidst chaos.

Perfect peace comes from God. The Peacespeaker still speaks this time like the days of the disciples of old. All you have to do is to be STILL and KNOW that HE is GOD.

In the stillness, His voice is heard the loudest. ~ Curly Bookworm

 

Why rent a room when you can create your own room to rant?

© 2015 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Google. This blog has a copyright. The photos and articles should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

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Filed under Attitude of Gratitude, Life story, Travel & Adventure, Vicissitudes

Bookworm Craze: Curly Bookworm’s BOOKS on SALE!


Few months ago, I read an article entitled: “THE BOY WHO CRIED BOOKS”. It was so fascinating because it’s about an impoverished young man who paves his way to secure education through selling books. Isn’t it amazing that he creatively make money to sustain himself to acquire the key to success?

I actually thought of going to where he sells books, bring some of my books to donate, so he could make good use of it, and let him know I highly appreciate his determination to obtain an education in a noble way. I also want to see some books to buy from his mini shop. I even encouraged friends to do the same. But since I’ve traveled a lot in the past months, flying here and there, seeing new and picturesque places for ministry and business trips, the thought was gone with the wind.

Later on, I thought of selling my books for a cause. I have another personal ministry so close to my heart: Pathfinder ministry. I want to save money for the Pathfinder Bible, and some resource materials for instruction since I get invitations to speak or give lectures on Master Guide training. aww

Crazy for a Cause

Then came the impression to pursue selling my books for a good cause: to save funds to donate to BRING LOVE IN, a non-profit organization which help sustain communities of orphans and widows, and impoverished families in Ethiopia. I wouldn’t have much, but I believe: “Great things start from small beginnings.” God provides and blesses the willingness to extend a hand.

It took me reading NO GREATER LOVE to realize more that others’ needs sometimes matter than my own. It teaches selflessness rather than selfishness, it promotes generosity and cheerful giving. I learned much from the selfless dedication of Benkert family who sold everything they have, left the comforts and greener pastures of USA to live in the poverty-stricken Ethiopia.

If you haven’t read my previous article, please STOP; kindly read it first so you’ll fully understand this cause:

Bookworm Challenge: Book Channeling

But Philippines is also poverty-stricken!

I have some ideas to help local related institutions I’ve visited and their advocacy. I’ll share about them later.

Letting Go, Letting God

Sounds so dramatic. haha

I’ve been with my books for many years, some, for many months. I thought many times if I really want to sell them away. I wouldn’t have the chance to see them again unless I sell them to my friends. In case I miss my books, I could visit them and see their bookshelves. LOL. Attachment. I really don’t know if you’re thinking I’m simply crazy. But it’s good to learn how to detach from personal stuff. Let go. haha

Why not just give them away? I thought about that before. It’s a relief to see my shelf with new space for new books. And to think that many others would be blessed with the books, I almost did. But I realized, I lent a lot of books to friends before, only few were returned. Maybe some forgot, or others presumed it’s given already. I’m guilty of the latter statement. I need to return the books lent to me as well. haha

For me, books are investments. They feed the mind, make your brain work more, and when applied to life the principles learned, huge blessing! So, ROI (return on investment) is expected. But it all depends on me how to handle my investments. I hope you’ve got my point. I understood that people oftentimes give greater value to things they acquired with money associated with it. When they bought them, they care more and make use of them more. Sometimes, people keep them to maintain its newness. So does with books (gifts as well). haha

I’m selling my books for low and reasonable prices. I’m selling them preferably to my friends because if other people buy them and they live abroad, the cost of shipping would surpass the amount of books. But who knows, they won’t also care for the extra charge? I have a new-found friend in Australia who bought four copies of new Health & Home (hard bound) and didn’t mind the cost of shipping (extra charge), to help my student ‘literature evangelist’ brother. Another friend from Saudi who had vacation last year bought two copies, there’s greater cause to deliver it personally. Grateful to have experienced generosity.

Bidding My Books Goodbye

Here are some of my books. Others are slightly used. Some, bought and never used – ‘tsundoku’ effect.

Take Time for Your Life (self-help) P150 – I personally learned a lot of practical lessons from the New York Times’ #1 best-selling author and lifestyle expert who supports busy people in achieving personal success without compromising their quality of life. Cheryl Richardson’s works were covered widely by the media, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and the New York Times.

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Crucial Confrontations (self-help) P150 – This help me most to deal with my weakness – confronting controversial and complex issues at work and at home. Much more of conflict management book, this national bestseller encourages never to walk away again from another conflict, but to deal with it maturely and intelligently. The award-winning team of authors produced two New York Times bestsellers, including this. They’ve been sought-after speakers and consultants.

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Wellness at Warp Speed (healing) P180 – The cure you seek is within! The body has its power to heal, you just need to discover the best way to heal yourself with nature’s help, and of course, the Great Physician. This is about the unique perspective of a physician and patient, what he discovered to have brought miracles. Dr. Noah McKay had his own dramatic recovery from life-threatening heart disease at age 33.

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Remember (inspirational novel) P120 – This is a moving and inspiring story about tragedy, healing and the importance of remembering. I understand that sometimes, people wanted to forget or to have selective amnesia to forget a dark past, a deep hurt or great loss. But this is something to learn from: heartfelt acceptance and forgiveness. Karen Kingsbury is America’s #1 inspirational novelist, written more than 40 novels over 15 million of copies.

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What Once We Loved (inspirational novel) P120 – This is an inspiring story about a circle of courageous women who discovered the meaning of independence, forgiveness and love in poignant and heartwarming ways. Jane Kirkpatrick is an acclaimed author of two-non-fiction books and seven novels, including the award-winning A Sweetness to the Soul.

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Singin’ and Swingin’… (autobiography) P120 – This is a memoir of remarkable accomplishments and travels. It also serves as an entertaining companion for travel, as you learn more of the world’s renowned best-selling author, poet, singer, thespian and actress. Maya Angelou received the Ladies’ Home Journal “Woman of the Year Award” in 1975.

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The World According to Clarkson (funniest memoir) P120 – Never been so entertained with a very hilarious, and roller-coaster ride of reading experience. Jeremy Clarkson has a strong dose of common sense, and his sarcasm is quite brilliant, LOL. He made his name presenting a poky motoring programme on BBC2 called Top Gear.

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Memoirs of Emma Courtney (classic literature) P120 – This is an Oxford World’s Classic. A gem, if you’re quite a feminist, LOL. Aside from hilarious entertainment, this is partly autobiographical and is based on Mary Hays’ own struggle with romance and Enlightening philosophy. The author is a feminist, and she reveals the lamentable gap between ‘what women are’ and ‘what women ought to be’.

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Things Fall Apart (classic literature) P120 – First published in 1959, it was widely sold in the United States, more than two million copies. Worldwide, there are eight million copies in print in fifty different languages. This is Chinua Achebe’s master piece, often compared to the great Greek tragedies. This is uniquely and richly African, yet many diverse culture could relate to the plight of the man he wrote about.

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The Lovely Bones (fiction) P100 – This #1 National Bestseller novel was made into a major motion picture. This is mesmerizing, but horribly scary at the beginning, but the ending was beautiful. I’ve wondered if I could be a sleuth and mystery stories were my favorite then. Alice Sebold is a gifted and phenomenal author. She received numerous praise for her works.

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The Magician’s Nephew (inspirational fiction) P80 – NARNIA…where Talking Beasts walk… this is part of the series of the Chronicles of Narnia which has been made into a major motion picture. Who doesn’t know the story? Clive Staples Lewis or best known as C.S. Lewis is a world renowned professor at Cambridge University. He wrote numerous books on Literary Criticism and on Christianity.

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The Uncommon Reader (fiction) P75 – A funny and superbly observed novella about the Queen of England and the subversive power of reading. Authored by one of England’s leading dramatists since the success of his other craft, Beyond the Fringe in 1960s. Alan Bennett won six Tony Awards in 2006, with his recent play-turned-major motion picture, The History Boys.

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A Self-Portrait (classic literature) P50 – This memoir, containing most of personal letters is a mirror of his soul. Kahlil Gibran is a Lebanese-US Arabic novelist, essayist, poet and painter. This booklet is a jewel from a romantic mystic and visionary.

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The Practical Writer (writing) P120 – Another remarkable book for aspiring wordsmiths! It helped me practically, from inspiration to publication (most of my published works are online and some printed (magazine articles). I’m fascinated with several pages for Grants and Awards section, as well as conferences and residencies, and much more resources. Therese Eiben and Mary Gannon have worked for Poets and Writers Magazine, known for their superb accomplishments and leadership.

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Perfect Phrases for Cover Letters (writing) P50 – New booklet but bought on sale, this would be very helpful for writing cover letters. You’ll find right phrase for every situation, any time! It’s important to make lasting impression on your first encounter with prospective employer, so this tool is a must. Michael Betrus conducts seminars and workshops in career guidance and has written numerous career guides.

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Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords (online entrepreneurship) P250 – How to access 100 million people in 10 minutes? It’s impossible. This is a very helpful tool for entrepreneurs and online marketers. Even for common blogger like me, it gave much information which I could make use of to empower my presence in the blogosphere and the web. Perry Marshall is the #1 author and world’s most-quoted consultant on Google advertising. Bryan Tood is an international marketing consultant and Google Adwords specialist.

Google There would be another set of books for the next book sale. 😀 Keep posted!

© 2015 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Franz Fronda for taking the shots and Google photo (pile of books). This blog has a copyright. The photos and articles should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

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Filed under Bespectacled Books, Life story, NaBloPoMo GROW 2015, Superb Authors, Vicissitudes

Bookworm Challenge: Book Channeling


Contemplating on the main objective of my main blog, I realized that I rarely publish book reviews. Curly Bookworm was conceptualized and conceived on August 2011. While having a quest with insurmountable queries of life during our family’s great crucibles, I found most of my comfort reading the Holy Writ and inspirational books. But naturally, I love books, and as much as I’m obsessed with reading, I’m fascinated and fond of writing and blogging.

When at times, friends aren’t enough to share burdens with, instead of sulking, I would spill my thoughts on the blogosphere. But of course, when answers to life’s trying trials and questions aren’t enough, there is Jesus. He is more than just an answer to my prayer. I have kept a journal as well to savor sanity.

Confessions of a Bookaholic

hahaI have bad habits to confess. I don’t know if many of bookworms out there can relate. As much as I want to hoard books for good reasons, often I compromise with ‘tsundoku’. Even tight of budget, if I would wander in a book store, especially with a book sale, I would end up buying books and later on wonder if it’s really a need. “Buy the NEEDS, not WANTS” I would always remind myself, but most of the times rationalize when the charm of books would take their spell.

While I wanted to uproot my old and bad habits, I am grateful that God inspired me some ways to replace them. Negative thoughts can only be overcome with positive ones, and so bad habits are replaced with good ones.

Thus actions repeated form habits, habits form character, and by the character our destiny for time and for eternity is decided. Christ’s Object Lesson, p.356

For several months, my new acquired books from a book sale (I occasionally buy 4-10 books on sale, 1-2 books on regular) have stood unmoved on the bookshelf, teasing me as they gather dusts. I would sometimes skim and scan them. But there are times, I would read books and don’t stop until I devoured the last page. No matter how blessed or entertained I am, I would think of blogging a review; then procrastination kills the initiative. No wonder you wouldn’t find much here. But I’ve written memoirs and musings. My life has been an open book after all.

No Greater Love

I skimmed and scanned them at the book sale. Having the aspiration to help establish and run an orphanage some day, I was thrilled to have found “No Greater Love” and “In a Heartbeat.” They are wonderful books about unconditional love and the memoirs about adopting African and Afro-American kids, and yeah, about orphanage! So, without an ‘if’, I secured them.

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

But they’ve waited long enough on my bookshelf. I started reading “In a Heartbeat” last week, but when I am at the middle, I started reading “No Greater Love” and I didn’t stop until I finish the latter. Actually, my sister Zola read “No Greater Love” first. I’ve focus more on this life-changing book. I’ll tell about the other book next review.

Throughout the roller-coaster ride of emotions, vividly imagining the thrill, triumph, tears and trials of Benkert’s sojourn at Ethiopia, which are unfathomable, I reflected on my own life’s purpose. I tried to fit my feet in the missionary couples’ shoes, but I know I would never fully understand until I go to Ethiopia and experience their plight. To leave all things behind and be out of comfort zone to face the challenges of the unknown, has been the great leap of faith which Levi and Jessie Benkert. They’re unsung heroes, they are selfless champions for children. I believe, they were called to be world changers, and with God by their side, they turned the world of ‘mingi’ kids upside down, and so the orphans and widows of Addis, Ababa.

As much as I want to spill the beans, and to spoil the reader, I want this book review to be enticing. I wouldn’t. I personally challenge you guys to grab a copy of “No Greater Love” (check it out in their website) or be part of my challenge: book channeling. This one is too precious to be missed. Imagine a mysterious and ancestral practice of parents killing their own babies with the fear for superstitious beliefs of spirits getting angry at them if they keep their baby born out of wedlock, or if they conceive a child without telling the tribal elders beforehand. Or worse, if the baby’s top teeth grow first instead of the bottom teeth. They call the babies with such circumstances, ‘mingi’ (cursed). If they keep the baby alive, living in their village, the Kara tribe believed for generations that it can drive the spirits to fury. As a consequence, the spirits might kill all their family, causing disasters like drought and plagues, to name a few. That kind of practice was drastically discovered and stopped, through God’s miraculous working and providence. They had a great role in the lives of the ‘mingi’ kids and tribes of Jinka.

God has a greater purpose of sending Benkert family to Ethiopia, to be beacons of light at its darkest nights.

God has a greater purpose of sending Benkert family to Ethiopia, to be beacons of light at its darkest nights.

Who would have thought that God can use a MESS and turn it into a MESSAGE! Levi’s life was totally in a mess, especially financially and spiritually, before God called him to serve full-time with his family in Ethiopia, rescuing mingi kids. But the Living Messenger had done a great deal in his life. I can relate in some lil’ ways. When our family was in the fiery furnace of tribulation, the pain of losing three family members in quick succession was too much to bear. But then, we’ve received the best spiritual gains despite our great loss. Our trials turned out to be triumph. I was inspired to write a tribute to my late father, “Pain: A Blessing Not Everyone Appreciates” and testimony about my late older sister and younger brother, “When SOON Lingers”.

“No Greater Love” is truly a wonderful testimony of God’s redemptive discipline, God’s rescue and His wondrous grace. The book was not just well-written by Candy Churd. Behind its process was a Divine Wordsmith who carefully and creatively guided the gifted hands. This life-transforming story should be channeled to many people.

Words can change. The WORD changes, yet His love knows no change. (John 1:1-4, John 3:16). I praise the LOVE that makes me whole again – No Greater Love indeed!

Kindly read the news re mingi children and their rescue: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/05/world/africa/mingi-ethiopia/

Whatsoever is done out of pure love, be it ever so little or contemptible in the sight of men, is wholly fruitful; for God measures more with how much love one worketh, than the amount he doeth. ~ Ellen G. White

Bring Love In

The Benkert’s high hope to establish not just an orphanage, but a community of loving people (orphans, widows, less fortunate, collaborating with missionaries and sponsors) was finally made into a reality. I was thrilled browsing the website! I had a regret of not having it read or discovered earlier. But God has a perfect timing! So true with “Bring Love In” as well.

The family who serves and prays together stays happily together. Levi and Jessie, with their lovely children, Nickoli, Luella, Ruth and Edalawit (Everly).

The family who serves and prays together stays happily together.
Levi and Jessie, with their lovely children, Nickoli, Edalawit (Everly), Luella and Ruth.

“Bring Love In is a community (not just an organization) that exists to show the love of God by giving families to children who have none.  We are based out of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where we couple orphans who are given to us by local authorities, and widows from within local Christian church communities, to create new forever families here in Ethiopia.” ~ Levi & Jessie

Check their website: http://bringlove.in/about/

Yesterday, after feasting on the last page of the book, I was moved to utter a sincere prayer of empowering my eye of faith so I could be more sensitive in helping others, especially those beyond my reach. I let go of some emotions that I’ve been harboring on the past months, struggling with the reality, my identity and ministry. I thought my tear ducts were drained already then, but a good cry is healthy.

I was a missionary for many years then, and I always wanted to be one. “You don’t need to go across the sea to be a missionary” was the lyrics from the song, my youngest brother used to sing then. That’s so true! I dreamed of going to Africa, Cambodia or India, to be a medical missionary or missionary teacher there. I still don’t let go of that aspiration. But how can I be a missionary in a faraway place if I don’t live by it at home and within the sphere of my influence? Yesteryears have a history. My future would be more of HIStory.

Inspired by the efforts of Levi and Jessie Benkert, I wanted to adopt the inspiration to ‘bring love in’ wherever I go. Be a missionary anywhere, everywhere. Nothing is impossible as long as self is submitted to Christ.

I’ve enjoyed publishing ministry during high school years, and I have always believed in the power of printed pages. With this in mind, I’m moved to have a book challenge (especially for myself): to share to as much as many people I can about a book that made a lasting impact in my life. My vision is to inspire people to read memoirs of unsung heroes, exceptional people like the Benkert family. To transpire the blessing of being changed for the better. Those who are willing to join the challenge could be a channel of change.

  • Share a wonderful book by lending it for a specific period of time (at least a week).
  • The next person would lend it to the person who is willing to read it. It would be tracked (then goes the same cycle).

For example: I finished reading NO GREATER LOVE. The first 10 people who would e-mail me: lafronda7@gmail.com (subject: Bookworm Challenge: Book Channeling) with the intention to join the challenge will be accommodated. Let’s consider extending the list later.

  • This chain of book channeling would create a bond among readers, passing the book to one another, until it return to me.
  • A personal book review is encouraged to be done. I will feature it here in my blog as a part of the series about this book challenge.
  • It isn’t compulsory, but I encourage you to donate to BRING LOVE IN, or encourage others to do so by sharing this blog post. Learn about donation and how to donate: http://bringlove.in/needs/

Book Channeling: A Book Travel

Literally, the book travels too as the bookworm pass the book for challenge to another bookworm. So let’s see how far “No Greater Love” could go and how far its influence could reach. You can also do the same challenge, choosing a wonderful memoir or inspirational book. Just follow my steps: make a book review, encourage readers to join the challenge, lend the book and let it travel. Certainly, we could create a book club with a cause.

I found out a greater purpose for my blog. I would be glad if you’re willing to join force; so together, we could change the world, one bookworm and blogger at a time.

Find out my first step to financially help “Bring Love In”. Bookworm Craze: Curly Bookworm’s books on sale. (Click the title to read about the book sale). The proceeds will go to this wonderful organization. I’m saving a particular amount to donate. This could be small to jump start. But great things start from small beginnings right? Any creative idea to share how to raise funds for the orphans and widows? You can leave a comment, or write an e-mail to me: lafronda7@gmail.com (subject: Creative Ideas for Bring Love In).

If you aren’t a subscriber yet to this blog, I encourage you to enlist at the bottom left corner of this blog for you to keep updated.

Let’s keep the book rolling. Join the Bookworm Challenge!

© 2015 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Levi Benkert, CNN and Google. Videos credit to (Bring Love In) YouTube and Vimeo . This blog has a copyright . The photos and articles should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

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Filed under Attitude of Gratitude, Bespectacled Books, Life story, Ministry, NaBloPoMo GROW 2015, Superb Authors

Fun Facts Fans Should Know About Weanne


Disclaimer: The facts were thoughtfully chosen, based on a documented research. The intention of the author is neither to put the person in an unfavorable, funny circumstance nor to inflict shame. This is a fun way to honor a friend on her birthday, and encourage the fans to know her on a personal basis. All emphasis intended.

I’ve been Weanne Myrrh ‘Wea’ Razon Estrada’s fan-turned-friend. I even considered myself a “fans club”, telling her that I’m equivalent to a dozen of fans, especially when it comes to her love life. A cheering squad, its exaggerated counterpart. Haha

Ok, so to tell a short background to justify the first statement, let’s walk down memory lane. During late 90’s, I first heard Wea’s voice through a cassette tape. Yeah, she’s a recording artist at a tender age, together with her older sister, Dianne Claire and some other gifted kids. I’m a fan. I love singing, and I told myself, I’ll meet her/them one day, and perhaps sing with her/them.

So after several years, I finally set foot at AUP, and tsaraaaaaan! I finally met her.

But I lately found out, she focused more on playing the piano and had been the accompanying pianist. She doesn’t render SOLO. No false hope. She just doesn’t sing solo. Unless someone powerful enough to persuade would inspire her to sing, perhaps “I See the Light” (theme song). Haha

But I’m grateful that I’ve got that once-in-a-lifetime rendition with her being my accompanying pianist during the Health Professionals Convention last year. I ain’t a health practitioner though.

*The ‘haha’ is something I got from Wea. There’s a blog post about why she often put that at the last part of her sentence. But this isn’t just about mimicking her. That’s the power of influence! Haha

Soya is way beyond cutie. She's a walking, smart stuffed toy.

Wea’s baby Soya is way beyond cutie. She’s a walking, smart stuffed toy. Soya has her lil’ puppies now. Time flies indeed!

Wonder Woman, Wander Weanne

It would take a blog series to enumerate the fun facts. So I chose the most significant ones, enough for a fan to know to be legit. Haha

She’s all that – gifted, achiever, leader, topnotch, trustworthy, thoughtful, practical, persistent although self-proclaimed “professional procrastinator”. A loving daughter, loving sister, caring friend, extra-caring girlfriend (understatement, unless the description comes from her boyfie).

But aside from being a wonder woman, she likes to wander as a traveler. She’s actually a globetrotter, having conquered countries in Europe, United States of America (where she sojourn for her graduate studies), and some Asian countries. There are more in her bucket list. But when it comes to traveling, she’s not ‘maarte’. She’s a genius girl-next-door with a gorgeous smile. She’s an exceptional lovely person inside-out.

There was one trip from Paseo (Sta. Rosa) to AUP (Adventist University of the Philippines) with her, and I wondered how her mind wandered. The jeepney stopped already in front of AUP gate, we already toned down from being engrossed with our random topics with a whimsical whiplash (we jump from one topic to another, as always, haha) during the travel. She was quiet and was looking afar. I didn’t bother reminding her we’re already in AUP. She was in reverie, I guessed she will continue traveling to Sta. Rosa Heights or visit a friend somewhere near my place. So when the jeepney started moving, about a minute, she realized, she missed it.

“Wea, saan ka pala pupunta?” I asked her.

“Ay ate Lai, AUP na pala! …ayy! Para po manong!” she surprisingly screamed and hurriedly went out with poise. Haha

She flushed, but not-so-red, I know she felt embarrassed.

I forgot if I mentioned to her, after she went out, some of the people in the jeepney said: “Di ba, yon yung Top 1 sa Nursing Board Exam (Nursing Licensure Exam in 2010)? Ayon oh, sya yung nasa tarpaulin!”

That’s how she wondered when we wandered.

Frisson for French

When she opens her mouth, either to host an event or to deliver a speech, she’s a magnet. I don’t wanna be biased as a friend, but many people have attested to that. That’s why she got many fans. Whether covered by television network, or local videographer, her eloquence is evident. God endowed her a gift in speech.

She made her graduation speech soon before her graduation, and left thousands of audience inspired and quite petrified. Spontaneous. Very moving. Okay, okay, she’s capable, after all, she’s an achiever from elementary until college – always on the top. But she’s so down-to-earth. No hint of arrogance, whatsoever.

Since she loves to travel, she also loves foreign language. But you should excuse her French. Last year, she finally sojourned in Paris. Dreams do come true! She finally saw the epic Eiffel Tower and gallivant at the heart thump-thumping, Love Lock Bridge. Only to realize and confess afterwards that she got confused of La Dolce Vita as French, when in fact, it’s Italian. And that’s her blog’s name. Haha

imageedit_5_3789440810Read about it: http://weannewashere.tumblr.com/post/83312050617/paris-day-1-excuse-my-french

Attempted Arson

She’s harmless as it may appear. Yeah, she is. But you shouldn’t mess up with her. The lawn near the College of Nursing was on fire before her graduation; she’s one of the responsible ones (she’s the graduating president and college president of her batch). It happened during a very significant activity. The fire from the bonfire set ablaze and they had a hard time to tame it. It was unintentional and an accident, no one ever imagined it would happen.

Burn AUP? Nah! The sub-headline was just an exaggeration. I can’t imagine her being tarantacious, lacking grace and poise to act on that crime, when farewell party turned into firewell frenzy (*firewell is borrowed term from her friend)

But really, you shouldn’t mess up with Wea! Haha

Farewell with Fire Frenzy

Farewell with Fire Frenzy

*photo courtesy of Dana Conopio

Of Beauty and Bullying

Wea confuses people whether she’s Chinese or Korean. She hides her eyes when she smiles, but she’s plain Filipino, from mixed ancestors.

Who would imagine Sandara Park would rise in stardom here in our country? She had a humbling beginning prior to her discovery in local showbiz. Who would have thought, she’ll be more famous as how she is now, as a singer (2NE1) and actress in Korea?

Being misconstrued as her friend when she posted a fangirling shot with Sandara during a movie shoot in AUP, and post it in social media, she had a foretaste of bullying. There was a girl who commented nasty things about her looks compared to Sandara’s. It’s been a laughing stock, even sometimes when close friends would make fun of her. She’s not taking it personally though.

Read about it and look at their pic and the cyberbullying (Wea, don’t sue me for this, haha): http://weannewashere.tumblr.com/search/Sandara+Park

Bullying. Stereotyping. Exploitation. These are some of the negative and ill doings she hope to evade or help eradicate, with her campaign on upholding the human rights and advocacy to help the plight of Filipino nurses here and abroad. The ripple effect was beyond measure.

Can you also see her bright future? Insert Ser! ahem. haha

Can you also see her bright future? Insert Ser! ahem. haha

She’s known for goodwill.

She has a humungous heart.

She has some funny moments which manifested her vulnerability.

She’s not perfect. But imperfectly perfect in her ways.

 Do you have some funny facts about her which I might have missed knowing? Feel free to leave a comment. Haha

*I hope and pray that God will continue to make her channel of his goodness and blessings; may more lives be forever touched.

Dear Wea,

I’m just behind your back. I’m keeping track of your blog, LOL. Keep sharing how wonderful the God we serve is! Stay loving and blooming. I’m cheering for you and your academic and love life milestones. Alam mo yan! Thanks for the bongga friendship!

For the efforts, especially praying for my future special someone, much gratitude and gaiety! Haha.

Melodious Birthday! 😀

P.S.

You’re missed to the moon and back.

Your funny fan, friend, and sisterfromanothermother,

Te Lai.

PARIS

“Someday, God willing, madadagdagan ang locks dito with you and someone’s name hihi. Thanks for all your love and sweetness to me te, someday a lucky guy will experience that same love and sweetness from you for himself too. mwah ” ~ Weanne 1.15.14 (surprise souvenir)

“However rare true love is, true friendship is rarer”. ~M.M. *The solo pic is one of my favorite shots coz unknowingly, I’d be beheaded in for the photo booth during the camporee (thought I’d be a model Master Guide, Haha).

© 2015 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Weanne and Arj Almocera, otherwise stated. Our duet pics in the collage are mine (at least may duet sa picture).

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Filed under Attitude of Gratitude, Friendship, Life story, Travel & Adventure

Graceful GROWTH


Daily Growth with NaBloPoMo

Daily Growth with NaBloPoMo

Since I bounce back from blog sulking for the nth time, I hope that this will be a fresh start, especially blogging in my BlogHer account. I had selective amnesia for about three years. Good thing I sought solution on my blogging problem.

I also joined WordPress’ “A Post A Day Challenge”, bracing myself with courage to conquer my procrastination. I checked out the daily prompts, and I prefer to focus on theme GROW for the month of April.

I noticed it late, so my official entry for the NaBloPoMo Challenge starts today, Day 10:

What support are you grateful you had as a child to help you grow?

Spiritual Support

Growing with a poverty-stricken family, I was quite deprived of both material and financial luxury. Glancing back my childhood days, I learned how to be contented and I’m grateful of how my parents thought us practical lessons.

Nothing compares to spiritual nourishment, my parents channeled to us from the Divine Vine. The Great Provider endowed us loving and caring parents who focused more on securing our eternal salvation, than showering us material possession.

There was a cute song which we often sing during  morning and evening worship. I taught this to some of my students in Vacation Bible Schools and Branch Sabbath Schools.

Read your Bible, pray everyday, pray everyday, pray everyday.

Read your Bible, pray everyday, and you grow, grow, grow.

And you grow, grow, grow. And you grow, grow, grow.

Read your Bible, pray everyday, and you grow, grow grow.

The message of the song has grown in my heart, even until now that I’m a young adult. The Holy Spirit showered me with inspiration to take God’s Word as a living food, which I need most for spiritual survival. Prayer, as the breath of the soul has been like oxygen.

On December 2013, the pillar of our family, my father, passed away. He left the best legacy for me and my siblings. The spiritual support would stay, although he took his deep slumber already.

Savoring Success

There are no parents who wouldn’t be happy to see their children succeed in life. Almost all parents care most for their family’s welfare, especially the kids’ future. But many miss the point of helping them savor their success, and for many of them don’t see the value, and don’t value the importance of spiritual security.

God’s grace is free. Why not accept and make use of this gift to grow into the person God wants us to be? I often ask this question myself, since I tend to abuse His gift when I choose to stagnate myself.

Here are some wonderful quotes I’ve read from my devotional this morning:

Growth in grace will not lead you to be proud, self-confident, and boastful, but will make you more conscious of your own nothingness, of your entire dependence upon the Lord. He who is growing in grace will be ever reaching heavenward, obtaining clear views of the fullness of the provisions of the gospel.  My Life Today, p.109

The Christian’s life is not a modification or improvement of the old, but a transformation of nature. There is a death to self and sin, and a new life altogether. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit. DA 172.

I would be forever grateful, not only to my parents, but for the many spiritual people who contributed to my growth. In many aspects of my life, I am constantly growing everyday. Thanks to my family, friends and even acquaintances who made this life’s journey worth progressing.

Singing my heart out loud, "I WIll Stand as a Witness of Christ" as an appeal song. A ministry collaboration with Sandra Seifert, on her advocacy for health and modesty.

Singing my heart out loud, “I Will Stand as a Witness of Christ” as an appeal song. A ministry collaboration with Sandra Seifert, Miss Earth-Air 2009, on her advocacy for health and modesty.

How about you? What support are you grateful you had as a child to help you grow?

© 2015 LAF

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Filed under Attitude of Gratitude, Life story, NaBloPoMo GROW 2015, Vicissitudes

Dual Citizenship


While many Filipinos would take all the chances to chase dual citizenship, many of them would shun by all means the looks of being senior citizen. For some Filipinos who are forever stuck in our country, they aren’t aware that they could also have dual citizenship when they turn 60 years old.

For men, there had been a famous maxim, “Life begins at forty”. If that’s literal, my late father had lived only 18 years. He’s still young if he’s still alive today. But he already rested in the Lord the other year, and he missed his dual citizenship today.

With nostalgia, I ran down memory lane and reminisce the wonderful moments with Papa Benny. His life has been full of lots of twists and turns as a growing teenager and more of those on his 20’s until he found and married Mama Linda. Life wasn’t a bed of roses, and yet, they had a fulfilling one that surpassed thorns and thistles.

I remember him cuddling us and laughing with us during family time. He’s a good storyteller. If you also find me as a good one, I got it from him (haha). Me and my siblings would memorize verses during family worship, and sing our hearts out. More children added to the family, and that meant more demands and needs, especially financially. He’s been a man of adventures, so from being a literature evangelist, he ventured out other trades and businesses, which demanded a lot of travel and sojourn to far and different places. Without his physical presence for many months, we’ve learned to be more independent and responsible children. My mom stood firm and fervent in faith, and strengthen the family, when the pillar isn’t there. My brother, at his young age helped out as well, and we’ve learned how to be more unified and dedicated to help each other til we grew, and until our parents grew old as well.

Throughout the most crucial years, with the most unfathomable crucibles we’ve encountered, God has been gracious and faithful to His promises. We’re indebted to God’s sustaining grace. We’re almost broken, but He put the shattered pieces together. We’re emotionally draining, but God’s love sustained and kept us holding on. We’re physically deteriorating, but God restored us, tho’ two among precious branches fell off, with half of the family tree trunk went six feet under already. The spiritual root, grounded in faith kept us standing still. The fiercest storm of life has passed by, we found shelter and peace in the bosom of the Loving Creator and Giver of Life.

On January 4th, our family reached another memorable milestone. My younger sister got married, and it could have been more meaningful and wonderful if three among our loved ones were still alive and have shared the joy of celebrating their marriage. I’m simply grateful for the new family that my sister Zola Fiorella got — Becbec family. I’m also proud of my wonder mom who’ve been strong and so loving. I remember our late father teasing Zola and I that we should be married soon and give them grandchildren. But he wasn’t able to witness her wedding. And even mine in the future, if that’s God’s will for me is.

Look alike but aren't twins. We've victimized a lot with confusion who's who, but that's never intentional. :) Stage sister ever for each other.

Look alike but aren’t twins. We’ve victimized a lot with confusion who’s who, but that’s never intentional. 🙂 Stage sister ever for each other.

To honor our late Papa Benny on his supposed-to-be 60th birthday today, I'm posting the highlight, our WonderWoman and SpiderMan.

To honor our late Papa Benny on his supposed-to-be 60th birthday today, I’m posting the highlight, our WonderWoman and SpiderMan.

"The sweetest type of heaven is a home where the Lord abides." ~ Ellen G. White

“The sweetest type of heaven is a home where the Lord abides.” ~ Ellen G. White

Starting 2015 with family togetherness and thanksgiving for blessings. :)

Starting 2015 with family togetherness and thanksgiving for blessings. 🙂

Celebrating life on 12-12-14, birthday of Franz. That's the same day of our late sister's death: 12-12-12. Life moves on.

Celebrating life on 12-12-14, birthday of Franz. That’s the same day of our late sister’s death: 12-12-12. Life moves on.

Family Day Out the day after ate Leah's cremation. Sort of celebrating despite the great loss.

Family Day Out the day after ate Leah’s cremation. Post b-day for JR three years ago (his b-day is on Dec.15th). Sort of celebrating despite the great loss.

As what I’ve heard and read again and again, you can never choose a family, or parents, but you can choose to accept them and love them unconditionally. God has a purpose for allowing things to happen. My birthday tribute for Papa last year was entitled,

PAIN: A Blessing Not Everyone Appreciates (click the title or the link below to read)

https://curlybookworm.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/pain-a-blessing-not-everyone-appreciates/

Our father has been gone for almost two years now, but his loving memory and special place in our hearts would remain. He might not enjoy the privileges of being a senior citizen starting today, but the citizenship in heaven in God’s appointed time is the best security he could have, and our family could have. I long for the great resurrection morning when I shall see and hug him again.

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Philippians 3:20-21, NIV

© 2015 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Rockin’ Photographers www.rockinphotographers.com and Franz Fronda. This blog has a copyright . The photos and articles should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

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Filed under Attitude of Gratitude, Health & Healing, Life story, Love, Vicissitudes

Irony of Life


"Life has to end," she said. "Love doesn't."

“Life has to end,” she said. “Love doesn’t.”

During my late father’s wake and after the burial, I felt again heaven’s comfort. I just cried big time after learning that my papa suddenly rested in peace in my mama’s loving arms, and when we informed that to my younger siblings.

A close friend was kinda worried coz I seemed chill even I’ve got a sudden loss. I never cried all throughout even during his internment and after. I guess, my tear ducts were just drained after profound losses. I had chosen to surrender the turbulence within and were granted peace.

“Take time to grieve”, he said. “Breakdown if you need to…cry and let go of the pain…then stand and go on with life…”. It’s one of the most comforting advices, knowing how true that it’s essential part of life. After all, tears are a language which Jesus understands.
For no one understands like Jesus! He’s a friend beyond compare.

Here’s my sister Zola’s gift to my mom, I appreciate it so much. I also spend time contemplatively reading the therapeutic messages and testimonials of others who’ve gone the same predicament.
Then, it dawned on me, I will be more vulnerable today, remembering Papa Benny’s 1st death anniversary, and 11 days later, my late sister Leah’s 2nd.

Learning the healthy way to grieve. :)

Learning the healthy way to grieve. 🙂

There’s Joy in the Morning

I love brisk walking as much as I love running. It’s very interesting how this tree arrested my attention from afar.
Ironically, the tree seemed dying, having been bald of its leaves of verdure. Yet, some of its flowers bloom gracefully. What a prolific illustration of the season of life!
As long as we’re rooted and grounded in Jesus, our Loving Gardener, we’ll still bloom amid the storm of life. We can defy the withering due to crazy weather as well!

Almost bald of its leaves of verdure, yet its flowers bloom gracefully. What an irony!

Almost bald of its leaves of verdure, yet its flowers bloom gracefully. What an irony!

© 2014 LAF

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Filed under Attitude of Gratitude, Bespectacled Books, Family, Life story, Love, Object Lessons

Surprisingly Surprised


creative box full of surprises!

a creative box full of surprises!

I love surprising her. She loves surprising me too! If we’re not having five years gap, I could have believed that we’re twins, like most people used to think.

Last Saturday morning, she handed me a box, and I was surprisingly surprised! Not because it’s a formal invitation to be her bridesmaid, instead of a Maid of Honor, but with a very touching creative artwork. I think she surpassed my creativity already! Here’s the description of me written in the list of the entourage.

“Maid of Honor”
Best stage sis.

Keeper of my most embarrassing stories.

Most likely to stop the ceremony to save a butterfly. 

 

Identical but aren’t twins

For people whom we confused as twins, those who called me Zola, and who called her Lanie interchangeably, here’s what I’ve written for Zola’s birthday last year.

Baby Dalaga Bloomed to Beauteous Dilag

Since she was a wee lass, her wit, charm and beauty has been noticed by many. She’s kinda set-apart, she’s matured beyond her age.

She’s competitive yet compassionate. She’s tough and yet tender-hearted. She’s discreet and yet delightful (she loves to bully me sometimes — lambing).

My loquaciousness is challenged in describing her. If I won’t try brevity, my reservoir of adjectives might run out, oh what a calamity!

So, here’s an acronym:

Z-ealous
O-ptimistic
L-oving
A-miable

F-aithful
I-ntelligent
O-rganized
R-ealistic
E-xubirant
L-oyal
L-eader
A-dorable

I call her Babe (the gallant piglet, haha!), she calls me Baba (the black sheep with curly wool, horaay!). Like typical sisters, sometimes we argue, we have petty fights. But at the end of the day, we’re still best friends. Oooppsss, best frenemies haha!

We often confuse people of “which is which” — coz both friends and strangers misconceive us as “twins”. But we tend not to beguile, it’s just — legendary! ^^

Btw, attempt for brevity failed…Well, today’s a Special Sabbath, start of her quarter life. My special prayer is for her to overcome the quarter life crisis, if ever she’ll be bothered (haha). I hope the best for her & her future. May her lovelife & spirituality flourish more!

I l ove her big time!

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Filed under Exciting Event, Family, Life story, Love