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Nine Days in November



Image Source: The Diesel Stop

Everything unusual and unexpected seemed to happen in those nine days last month, November 2017.

Earlier, classes were suspended almost every week due to typhoons. Then classes were suspended again for three days because of All Saint’s Day. Then classes were suspended again because of the ASEAN summit.

Some things had to give.

Since very few working days were left in the month, every one of my activities were crammed in those nine days: make-up classes, a series of seminars (scheduled since March), on top of regular classes and activities. All these needed slides, readings, presence, participation, and various preparations. I had to turn down an opportunity to have a book talk in the Middle East because there was just too much on my plate.

“Lord, please help me get through these nine days,” I begged daily for mighty grace.

The nine days didn’t go like a breeze (I spent more time worrying and painting scenarios of dismal consequences rather than concentrating on my activities), but—to borrow an old idiom—I was none the worse for wear.

After the ninth day, I soaked in the bath and treated myself to a nine-hour sleep. But not before I rebuked myself and asked forgiveness for forgetting about this verse:

“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”-Matthew 6:27 (NLT)


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Grief : A Vital Part of Life



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Of all the uncomfortable experiences in the spectrum of emotions, grief seems to be one that people most seek to avoid. While some cultures are more accepting and demonstrative about their grief, this culture often teaches us to drug it, deny it, and bury it away.

Although there are many losses that trigger grief reactions, this article will focus on handling the loss of a loved one. For unless we refuse to risk love (as many do!), this is an experience we will all face, over and over in our lifetime.

I remember, when I reached forty, thinking how lucky I’d been, not to have lost anyone close to me. Ironically, shortly after that my oldest son died at age 19. While this experience was certainly difficult to live through, it also created many positive teachings, for which I will be eternally grateful .

I became acutely aware of the huge amount of grief felt on the planet on any given moment. I began to truly understand that indeed, grief is a vital part of life. And that we are wise to prepare ourselves for grief through education and personal work. Grief is not a single state of mind but a generic label for a specific process that occurs all through our lives. We tend to let it accumulate unresolved. Then when a huge loss occurs, all unresolved grief will also surface. It is then that people can find themselves overwhelmed. I know I did!

So. how does one educate themselves about the grief process ? Well, in my own experience, it was useful to know that grief has predictable stages. As I went through these stages I knew they were normal and that indeed, I was not going crazy. (although at times I still wondered…) And most importantly, there would be an end (of sorts).

So what are these stages? Initially, there is usually shock and disbelief, often followed by denial and anger. Eventually, if we allow the process to allow deeper feelings like sadness, we will eventually move on to acceptance. But, like any other emotional process, grief can get stuck, causing an inability to get on with a fulfilling life. Often, guilt or fear of letting go, get in the way. Sometimes we need to ask for help. (Not a popular idea, I know!)

Everyone will have their own way of grieving. These stages are not experienced in any particular order and will repeat themselves over various periods of time. We will think we’ve reached acceptance and are moving on, when earlier stages of grief will momentarily take over. I call those times, “grief attacks”.

While this process may not sound too inviting, there is truly much to gain through loss. Now I see that each loss can teach us many of life’s valuable lessons about living, if we let it!

For example, some of the more valuable things I learned through loss (though don’t always remember were:

1) That life is so precious that not a moment deserves to be lost through unconscious living.

2) That self-pity can destroy us and is not at all the same as grief.

3) That the more I deny my feelings, the less alive I feel.

4) That we all have huge impact on the lives of others, however insignificant we may feel.

5) And finally, that we live in a very giving and loving community for which I am truly grateful.

For each of us the lessons will be different. It‘s like the old saying, “Every dark cloud has a silver lining”. And so it is, even in grief.

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Globe Telecom Lauded for Supporting Search for Model PNP Families



Globe Telecom was recently given citation by the National Police Commission for its support for the Search for Model PNP Families, in line with its commitment to nation-building.

Photo shows Globe Vice President for Security and Anti-Fraud and Investigation Division Ronald Uychutin receiving a plaque of appreciation from Napolcom Commissioner Felizardo Serapio, Jr. The project aims to highlight the PNP’s capability as leader and partner of the community in the maintenance of peace, order and security for an improved socioeconomic system.

It endeavors to build up public confidence and support to the police force, help community members in making positive changes in its social environment through model police families, highlight the image of the police as a family man or woman, and emphasize the importance of strong family ties in the overall success of preventing crimes and other forms of lawlessness.

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Access Road: A dream come true



Image source: DSWD 7

It was a dream come true to the residents of Brgy. Anopog to see the 400 meters concrete access road inaugurated.

Dako kaayo among kalipay nga nahuman gyud ang karsada diri, kay sa una lisod gyud kaming mga ginikanan mag baba sad mi, ilabi na mga kinder pa, dili makasugakod og labang sa lapukon ug guba ngadalan (We are happy that this concrete road is finished. Before it was so difficult for parents to bring their children to school because they would have to carry the children especially those in kindergarten,” shared Cirila Benigay a resident of Barangay Anopog and a Pantawid beneficiary.

The town of Pinamungajan is one of the several towns affected by Typhoon Auring that hit the country on January 8, 2017. The town of Pinamungajan was severely flooded and its barangay roads were destroyed including barangay Anopog, where access road to school was destroyed and buried in knee-deep mud and flood waters.

“This concrete road makes a difference in the life of 680 students in our school. It brings positive effect on them. They are now motivated to attend classes despite heavy downpour because they no longer wade on muddy road. I am hopeful that there would be an increase on attendance rate of students especially the 156 Pantawid beneficiaries, which would eventually increase their education compliance rate,” said Mr. Vianney Abellanosa, school principal.

He said that since the road is now elevated and concreted, the parents and the 25 teaching staff of the school are already assured of the safety of the students.

Meanwhile, Abellanosa also expressed with gratitude for this life-changing experience he and his teachers and students have in working with Kalahi-CIDSS.

The students and teachers of Anopog Elementary School helped the community volunteers to gain votes during the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum (MIBF). They presented photos of teachers and students carefully and patiently walking their way through muddy paths. Their vivid presentation convinced the MIBF participants to vote for them and indeed, Barangay Anopog got the 1st place in the prioritization list.

The completion of the 400-meter access road brings joy and hope not only to the students and teachers but also to the residents living in nearby sitios.

The Php 2.6 million access road has benefited 830 households and made their dream come true.

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Always Be Humble and Kind



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My twin brother and I were raised by our grandparents. They have taught us so many things about life, but the one thing that has always stuck with me is to always be humble and kind no matter what you do in life. My grandpa always told us no matter where life leads you, always remember your values and where you came from. He was a colonel in the Air Force for 20 years, and then became a lawyer and owned his own law firm for another 20 years. Today, at age 83, he is a cashier at Walmart and you would never know what all he has done because he is that humble. People go to his register to see him because he always puts a smile on their face. He has taught us that it doesn’t matter what you do or have done, it’s about who you are and your character. He really does teach by example.

Nicole Mansfield/

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