Dream as if you’ll live forever, Live as if you’ll die today

This post’s title is synonymous to my aim. 😀

This is a musing worth reading! Gave me an upbeat! 😀

“Live with hope and live with love, if only for your surroundings. Find somewhere you love. See as much as you can before it’s too late.”

Ramblings of a College Introvert

We’re responsive creatures, always yearning for some kind of carnal or spiritual fulfillment. So many of our conversations are dedicated to that one question: What makes us feel alive? For me it’s neither people nor adventures. It’s the shapes and colors that make up a city I love.

When I took a semester off in Cali, all I could think about was how much I missed NYC and how exciting it would be to blog about college life there. But four months after I returned to NYU I’ve only written four posts on my adventures here in the Big Apple. Ostensibly it’s because I just haven’t had the time. In reality it’s because I’ve kind of lost confidence in my writing. I don’t think I’ll ever be as good a writer as I would like to be, and I certainly don’t think I’m good enough to capture the sense of wonder I feel every time…

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How Emotionally Intelligent Are You?

My emotional intelligence has been thriving, I just realized after I read this. HAHA! 🙂

Thanks a lot for this. I find it helpful to evaluate my state of mind and emotions. I’m healthy still, but yeah, thriving! 🙂

How about you?

Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

HSDcoverLast week Bud Harris, a Jungian analyst and author, posted a review of Healing the Sacred Divide on Amazon. In it he noted, “I have recommended this book to many people particularly for its sections on Emotional Integrity and Cultivating Emotional Intelligence.” Others have told me how much that part of the book means to them too, so I’d like to share a bit of it here.

Most of us believe we’re in touch with our emotions if we feel the basic ones like love, anger, fear, happiness, and sadness.  But it is possible to feel and recognize some emotions and not others.  Moreover, knowing you’re feeling an emotion doesn’t necessarily translate into the ability to contain it or use it wisely.  Consider the following symptoms of emotional ignorance.  Which of these have you experienced?

 25 Common Symptoms of Emotional Ignorance

1.  Feeling angry, happy, sad, anxious, afraid…

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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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If You Aren’t Feeling Friction, You Aren’t Moving Forward

“If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill.” We overcome the mountains in our lives by fighting our way onward and upward, not by floating downstream.

I couldn’t agree more! A timely message that inspired and moved me. 🙂

Seth Adam Smith

Some time ago, I had a conversation with an artist whom I deeply admire. She had received some criticism for a painting that “lacked historical accuracy.” Her critics then used this as an opportunity to attack her personally, calling her just about every name in the book.

When I asked her about it and how that made her feel, I was surprised by her response. She acknowledged her need to improve her art, but quickly added: “You know, I learned a long time ago that if you aren’t feeling friction, you aren’t moving forward.”

Moving toward the mountains. Moving toward the mountains.

In the time since then, I’ve thought a lot about that simple sentence. And the more I think about it, the more I’ve come to understand just how true it is. If we are moving forward, we will feel friction. In fact, we should be concerned if we’re not feeling friction. Henry B. Eyring wrote that “If…

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Suzuki Violin Summer Camp Concert 2015

I’m a sucker of classical and instrumental music. Quite emotional in nature, I’m easily driven by the melody, harmony, and rhythm. So when I’m invited to watch recitals and concerts, I would always say YES! Especially if it’s a treat or if it’s free!

I said yes to an invitation of a friend, after we watched an oboe and flute recital early this May. I forgot if Rufina the saxophonist, mentioned it’s a Suzuki Violin Concert in particular. I just remembered it’s a concert on Mother’s Day, May 10, 2015, at Xavier’s School in Nuvali.

And I vividly remembered I said yes, I would come and see, and support them. But due to crazy schedule, something came up. I changed my mind. I wouldn’t go, unless I make a way out of my schedule’s maze. Then Michael the violinist, followed up an invitation (I remembered he mentioned it during his birthday on April), persuaded me to come. Wylee the cellist fetched me. How could I say NO to the strong force of musical friends? I could hardly imagine. Haha

Suzuki Surprise

It was my first time to visit the school. I was tempted to go to its direction to run one time I was a lone runner at Nuvali. I was fascinated by its architecture. The infrastructures were cool! I was surprised to see it in the midst of the verdant and serene lands. I was even more surprised to have found out that it’s a Suzuki Violin Summer Camp Concert. Haha! Much more to my surprise, to see my relatives. I didn’t know that Tita Melinda, Tita Nena and Tita Dan would be there too! Instant mini reunion! My cousin Mark, a violinist was part of it. First time to see him perform!

“Music can be made a great power for good…” ~ Ellen G. White, Messages to the Young People

Mark, savoring the moment with Maestro Homer :)

Mark, savoring the moment with Maestro Homer 🙂

Instant mini reunion at the concert. :)

Instant mini reunion at the concert. 🙂

But surprises of all surprises, I was greatly entertained by the wee lass and lad who played gracefully with their tiny, gifted hands. Ranging from four to eight ears old, the kids reminded me of my childhood dream of taking piano and violin lessons. We just couldn’t afford it. I would love to have my future kids undergo such musical training, a good way to spend summer and childhood days productively. The discipline the music lessons give are apt contribution to their growth as well. Aside from the benefits of molding their minds and empowering their memories, it also give remarkable memoirs – friendships and lots of fun!

Tiny, cutie, gifted kids making mirthful music.

Tiny, cutie, gifted kids making mirthful music.

I know it’s not all fun when you have hours and hours of practice, memorization and moments of focus. That’s why I applauded at their superb performances! I have high regard and respect with musicians, whether beginners or masters of their instruments. I’m simply astonished with the talent and dedication of Maestro Homer Ilao, the master violinist and instructor of the Suzuki Violin Summer Camp. Through his exceptional tutelage, many gifted children were molded into exquisite instructors: Fredrick Murillo (orchestra conductor and violinist), Amber Loraine Murillo (performing pianist and violinist), Armand Leo Apalat (orchestra conductor and violinist), Aera Jean Apalat (concert master, violinist), Michael John Frias (performing violinist and pianist), Salome Velasco (performing violinist), Myjeily Sarno (performing violinist), to name a few.

Melodious Mother’s Love

Behind the success of this concert were parents who are great supporters and motivators. They deserve the best rendition ever! Especially the mothers who dedicated their time to look after their children, to encourage to be more determined in practices and of course, to spend wisely to provide the reasonable amount for music lessons. I could say it’s expensive, but it’s a very reasonable investment for the children’s growth! 🙂

This intuitive baby could be the next orchestra conductor :)

This intuitive baby could be the next orchestra conductor 🙂

This Suzuki Violin Summer Concert is special because of the heart-warming performance of the parents, singing “You Raise Me Up” with the accompaniment of the orchestra and a solo ballet performance of a girl (I wish I could have asked her name and personally appreciated her). It’s a yearly event. Since it’s my first, I just wish I could attend the next summer camp. I encourage the parents out there to support your kids to join the next Suzuki Violin Summer Camp. If your kids aren’t having music lessons yet, don’t dilly-dally to give them. You’ll surely reap a bountiful and mirthful harvest in the future! For queries and more info, kindly contact Mr. Homer Ilao (click his name to contact thru FB) or comment below. There would be another thrilling musical event this May! Don’t miss the National Suzuki Music Camp.

Mirthful and Melodious event to make your May more memorable

Mirthful and Melodious event to make your May more memorable

Unofficial Photographer

The “Chairman of the Bored of Cellist” (self-made title) entrusted his DSLR, and I knew what it meant when he said “kindly bring my camera”. I knew it! Haha! I didn’t even wonder why he fetched me – so there would be a media in their concert. After all, “Politician x Media” he commented. Haha! That political prowess! Persuasive at its best.

Bored of wackyness, the Chairman tries to be serious sometimes, especially when wearing barong. haha

Bored of wackyness, Wylee tries to be serious sometimes, especially when he’s wearing a barong. haha

So with my fondness for photography, I patiently captured the memories worth to be immortalized through the lenses. I’m not an expert. I just hoped I could give justice to their great performances.

As a simple token of our friendship, I’m dedicating this blog post to my gifted musician friends. Congratulations once again guys! You astonished me again and again! 🙂

Here are some of the videos taken. (more photos to be uploaded soon)

Michael John Frias aka “Master Mike” performed Hating Gabi by Antonio Molina with the orchestra. Then All of Me by John Legend was performed by the orchestra.

Here are related videos, the PIC Orchestra with Armand Leo Apalat, conducting; with violinists, cellist and saxophonist friends mentioned above. 🙂

They say musicians are best Mathematicians! Armand Leo Apalat is a CPA. I couldn't agree more! :)

They say musicians are best Mathematicians! Armand Leo Apalat is a CPA. I couldn’t agree more! 🙂

“Praise to the Lord” and “You are My All in All” by PIC Orchestra were rendered during its 3rd year anniversary concert for a cause, for Yolanda Victims at Philippine International Church in the campus of the Adventist University of the Philippines.

© 2015 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Curly Bookworm and Armand Apalat (own photo). Videos credit to Wylee and PIC Orchestra. 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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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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’.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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! 😀


You’re missed to the moon and back.

Your funny fan, friend, and sisterfromanothermother,

Te Lai.


“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


It takes an idea with motivation to keep blogging overflow.

If you’ve noticed, I skipped more than a week of blogging. I consider myself a prodigal blogger, although I told myself, I will be consistent especially this month. With the theme, GROWTH, I still considered myself a bit ‘bonsai’.

“Let bygones be bygones.”

With today’s prompt: “What has been the easiest part of blogging?” I realized that procrastination has been hindering me to meet my goal – to blog daily, or as often as I can. The easiest part of blogging is when you let your idea overflow and be spontaneous. It’s good to have a theme, when you are supplied with prompts to have a directive. Joining a community of blogger like BlogHer is also an inspiration. You don’t only grow as a professional blogger, but you’ll be acquainted with awesome ones. Your blog also grow with your influence.

Earth Day Enthusiasm

While the world celebrates environmental awareness and Earth Day, I’ve got a thrill to till my blog’s soil. There’s a lot of potentials and resources to use in order to grow. Although it’s been true that it’s easier to be said than done, blogging isn’t a burden. It only seem to be a burden when you suppress your capacity to spill your thoughts. Yeah, technical challenges arise like poor internet connection, low signal, etc. But those should block you.

I have missed posting numerous entries, some which have been withering in the garden of my mind. I have regretted that I have allowed dilly-dallying, and it shackled me. It’ never late though. It’s like how we preserve Mother Earth. Awareness isn’t enough. There should be a progressive plan and action to do how to conserve resources and to maintain cleanliness and goodness of nature. It’s for everyone’s benefit.

Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. ~ John Muir

Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. ~ John Muir

It takes an idea with motivation to keep blogging overflow.

Stagnation of mind is detrimental to mental health. Blogging is a nice way of filling your thoughts with courage and concern, and letting your ideas overflow. It’s not only for personal benefit, but for the benefit of readers in the blogosphere.

Behind any kind of confidence is conditioning and behind any inspiration is hard work. ~ Skeets Touhy



© 2015 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Google Images (1st & 3rd photos). 

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Filed under Attitude of Gratitude, NaBloPoMo GROW 2015, Nature, Vicissitudes

Mr. Pitch Perfect’s Musical Memento


That’s the best adjective to describe how I met Richard “Ian” Jacinto. I didn’t have any hint of his exceptional talent or fame when I first met him in the first week of February, 2015. I just thought he’s a model (which made him think I’m flattering him, haha!) Since he’s of good looks and height, and he has the American accent, it made me think he’s a balikbayan (expat) who’s venturing a modeling career.

Gracing a remarkable event at PGA Porsche Center.

Gracing a remarkable event at PGA Porsche Center.

I wouldn’t give the details of our first encounter, but thanks to his warmth and humility, the travel went fine having a good conversation along. I’ll feature him one day in my column, and I’m glad he’s accommodating. It’s a good thing to know a talented person, Mr. Pitch Perfect, as how is known for. But it’s better to be friends with a very promising artist who’s so humble and nice. Growing up in Las Vegas, Nevada, he have kept the Filipino values, and I appreciate his parents for that. Being musically gifted, he preferred to establish his career here in our country and even took his music degree in University of the Philippines.

Saxophonist | Composer |Arranger

Saxophonist | Composer |Arranger

The first cover I watched among his numerous covers was Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud, which has almost 155K views.

I just saw today his recent cover of “Love Me Like You Do” [Fifty Shades of Grey].

Get to know him more and watch more of his covers and T.V. appearances:
Facebook: Ian Jacinto
Twitter: RichardIanJ
Instagram: RichardIanJ
YouTube: rikirjjacinto

Aside from having corporate shows, he also accepts invitation to play at weddings, debut parties and other events, at a very reasonable rate. 😀

© 2015 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Ian Jacinto. Videos credit to Ian and Charms Jacinto, WeddingsTV & YouTube. 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 Friendship, Vicissitudes