Archive for November, 2012

In an event, I overheard a conversation of these 2 young ladies, giggling with a loud voices.

Girl 1: Oh, what a nice dress!

Girl 2: Thank you, girl! (With a proud smile and feeling so” fashionista to the nth level”)

Girl 1: So, who are you wearing? (Hmm…this girl is like asking question from people walking the red carpet in the Academy Awards, huh ;))

Girl 2: Flashing her big proud smile and said, it’s GEE-VEN-CHEE (she’s actually referring to Givenchy) and it’s very expensive!

TOINKS! I caught another guest who also heard the conversation almost burst into laughter.

Ok, not because you can afford that expensive designer’s dress, & wants to look fashionable, it’s not right to brag out loud in public, especially if you are not sure or familiar with the correct pronunciation of the brand. Remember, French is not our first language so please, next time try to get the correct pronunciation to avoid further embarrassment.

That incident drives me to come up with a short list below that can serve as guide to everyone. And these are some of the most Mispronounced Designer Labels by most Filipinos.

1. LOUIS VUITTON- LU-WEE/VITTON (not Luwis Vuweeton)
2. VERSACE- VER-SA-CHE (not Ver-says)
3. GIVENCHY- ZHI-VAN-SHI (not Gee-ven-chee)
4. YVES SAINT LAURENT- EEVS-SAN/LO-RAN (not Eeves/Saynt Lo-rent)
5. LACROIX- LA-KWAH (not La-croyks)
6. CHANEL- SHA-NEL (not Cha-nel)
7. BALMAIN- BAL-MAN (not Baymayn)
8. LOEWE- LO-WE-VE (not Low)
9. BRUNO MAGLI- BRU-NO/MA-LI (not Bruno/Mag-li)
10. LANVIN- LAN-VAN (not Lanvin)
11. CHOMEL- SHO-MEL (not Cho-mel)
12. COMME DES GARCONS- COM/DE/GAR-SON (not Ko-me/des/Garkons)
13. RALPH LAUREN- RALF/LO-REN (not Ralf/Lo-ran. He is American, not French)
15. PIERRE CARDIN- PIYER/CAR-DAN (not Piyer/Car-din)
16. DKNY- D-K-N-Y (not Di-ki-ni)

Hope this will help 🙂

[Note: Images used are random finds from the internet]

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you…”  (2 Cor. 20:12)

King Jehoshaphat gave them a formula for deliverance: “Get your eyes off the problem!”  Your focus must be on God!

As an adult, living in Oklahoma during tough times has also strengthened my faith in God.  In the mid-1980’s, I watched so many banks fail; in fact, the FDIC closed so many banks in my hometown of Oklahoma City that I wore a T-shirt that said, “I bank with FDIC!” Agriculture diminished, and oil rigs stopped pumping.  But even in the most difficult situations, a simple faith in God and a calm reassurance in the face of insurmountable obstacles resulted in victory.

I will always remember sitting at a table in the Oklahoma City Marriott Hotel Restaurant on Northwest Expressway and listening to my friend, Melvin Hatley, founder of USA Waste Management Company, talk about the collapse of the oil industry and the failure of old First National Bank downtown.  Tears flowed freely, and yet his faith took hold as he discussed God’s history of faithfulness. His calm assurance, founded and grounded in a dynamic faith and a willingness to start over, made all the difference in his financial recovery.  Today, Melvin is a testimony of the phrase, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do!”

On December 17, 19003, Wilbur and Orville Wright made history.   They defied the law of gravity and flew through the air.  Many forget that the concept of flying was not new with the Wright bothers.  In fact, several years before the brothers flew their motorized plane at Kitty Hawk, scientists had discovered that flying was possible.  While others remained skeptical, the Wright brothers believed the formulas and designed their own plane.  When they achieved “first flight, “they demonstrated the importance of trusting the facts and taking action in order to experience results.

The same is true for the Christian.  We can know a lot about God and the Bible, but until we relax in faith and believe in the promises of God, we will be disappointed.

I love the story that my professor, Dr. Amos Henry, used to tell about D.L. Moody.  Apparently, Moody was on a ship that was crossing the Atlantic Ocean one night when it caught on fire and they formed a bucket brigade to pass ocean water to the scene of the fire.  One man in the line turned and said, “Mr. Moody, don’t you think we should retire from the line and go down and pray?”

“You can go pray if you want to, “Moody replied, “but I’m going to pray while I pass the buckets.” What great insight! God wants to see if you mean business, so pray while you work!

[Source: God Has Never Failed Me, But He’s Sure Scared Me To Death A Few Times, Stan Toler]

Life is all about love.

Because God is love, the most important lesson he wants you to learn on earth is how to love. It is in loving that we are most like him, so love is the foundation of every command he has given us: “The whole Law can be summed up in this one command”:  Love others as you love yourself.”

Learning to love unselfishly is not an easy task.  It runs counter to our self-centered nature.  That’s why we’re given a lifetime to learn it.  Of course, God wants us to love everyone, but he is particularly concerned that we learn to love others in his family.  As we’ve already seen this is the second purpose for your life. Peter tells us, “Show special love for God’s people”, Paul echoes this sentiment: When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it.  But we should give special attention to those who are in the family of believers.”

Why does God insist that we give special love and attention to other believers? Why do they get priority in loving? Because God wants his family to be known for its love more than anything else.  Jesus said our love for each other– not doctrinal beliefs- is our greatest witness to the world.  He said,”Your strong love for each other will prove the world that you are my disciples.”

In heaven we will enjoy God’s family forever, but first we have some tough work to do here on earth to prepare ourselves for an eternity of loving.  God trains us by giving us “family responsibilities,” and the  foremost of these is to practice loving each other.

God wants you to be in regular, close fellowship with other believers so you can develop the skill of loving.  Love cannot be learned in isolation.  You have to be around people-irritating, imperfect, frustrating people.  Through fellowship we learn three important truths.

The Best Use of Life is Love

Love should be your top priority primary objective, and greatest ambition.  Love is not a good part of live; it’s the most important part.  The Bible says, “Let love be your greatest aim”.

It’s not enough to say, One of the things I want in life is to be loving,” as if its’ in your top ten list.  Relationships must have priority in your life above anything else.  Why?

Life without love is really worthless. Paul makes this point: “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”

Often we act as if relationships are something to be squeezed into your schedule.  We talk about finding time for our children or making time for people in our lives.  That gives the impression that relationships are just a part of our lives along with many other tasks.   But God says relationships are what life is all about.  Four of the Ten Commandments deal with our relationship to God while the other six deal with our relationships with people.  But the ten are about relationships!  Later, Jesus summarized what matters most to God in two statements: love God and love people.  He said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart…” This is the first and greatest commandments.  A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” After learning to love God (worship), learning to love others is the second purpose of your life.

Relationships, not achievements or the acquisition of things, are what matter most in life.  So why do we allow our relationships to get the short end of the stick? When our schedules become overloaded, we start skimming relationally, cutting back on giving the time, energy, and attention that loving relationships require.  What’s most important to God is displaced by what’s urgent.

Busyness is a great enemy of relationships.  We become preoccupied with making a living doing our work, paying bills, and accomplishing goals as if these tasks are the point of life. They are not.  The point of life is learning to love – – God and people.  Life minus love equals zero.

Love will last forever.  Another reason God tells us to make love our top priority is that it is eternal  “ These three things continue forever:  faith, hope, and love.  And the greatest of these is love.”

Love leaves legacy.  How you treated other people, not your wealth or accomplishments, is the most enduring impact you can leave on earth.  As Mother Teresa said, “It’s not what you do, but how much love you put into it that matters.” Love is the secret of a lasting heritage.

I have been at the bedside of many people in their final moments, when they stand on the edge of eternity and I have never heard anyone one say, “Bring me my diploma! I want to look at them one more time.  Show me my awards, my medals, that gold watch I was given.” When life on earth is ending, people don’t surround themselves with objects.  What we want around us is people- people we love and have relationships with.

In our final moments we all realize that relationships are what life is all about.  Wisdom is learning the truth sooner rather than later.  Don’t’ wait until you’re on your deathbed to figure out that nothing matters more.

We will be evaluated on our love.  The third reason to make learning to love the goal of your life is that it is what we will be evaluated on in eternity.  One of the ways God measures spiritual maturity is by the quality of your relationships.  I heaven God won’t say, “Tell me about your career, your bank account, and your hobbies.” Instead he will review how you treated other people, particularly those in need. Jesus said the way to love him is to love his family and care for their practical needs.  “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me,”

When you transfer into eternity, you will leave everything else behind.  All you’re taking with you is your character.  That’s why the bible says, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

Knowing this, I suggest that when you wake up every morning, you kneel by your bed, or sit on the edge of it, and pray this: “God, whether I get anything else done today, I want to make sure that I spend time loving other people- because that’s what life is all about.  I don’t want to waste this day.” Why should God give you another day if you’re going to waste it?

The Best Expression of Love is Time

The importance of things can be measured by how much time we are willing to invest in them.  The more time you give to something, the more you reveal its importance and value to you. If you want to know a person’s priorities, just look at how they use their time.

Time is your most precious gift because you only have set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time.  When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back.  Your time is your life.  That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.

It is not enough just to say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them.  Words alone are worthless.  “My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is T-I-M-E.” The essence of love is not what we think or do or provide for others, but how much we give of ourselves.  Men , in particular, often don’t understand this.  Many have said to me, “I don’t understand my wife and kids.  I provide everything they need. What more they could want? They want you! Your eyes, your ears, your time, your attention, your presence, your focus-your time. Nothing can take the place of that.

The most desired gift of love is not diamonds or roses or chocolate.  It is focused attention.  Love concentrates so intently on another that you forget yourself at that moment.  Attention says. “I value you enough to give you my most precious asset- my time”.  Whenever you give your time, you are making a sacrifice, and sacrifice is the essence of love.  Jesus modeled this: “Be full of love for others, following the examples of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins.”  You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. “God so loved the world that he gave…” Love means giving up-yielding my preferences, comfort, goals, security, money, energy, or time for the benefit of someone else.

The Best Time to Love is Now

Sometimes procrastination is a legitimate response to a trivial task.  But because love is what matters most, it takes top priority.  The Bible stresses this repeatedly. It says “Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone.”   Use every chance you have for doing good.”   “Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it.  Never tell your neighbor to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now.”

Why is now the best time to express love? Because you don’t know how long you will have the opportunity.  Circumstances change.  People die. Children grow up.  You have no guarantee of tomorrow.  If you want to express love, you had better do it now.  Knowing that one day you will stand before God, here are some questions you need to consider:  How will you explain those times when projects or things were more important to you than people? Who do you need to start spending more time with? What do you need to cut out of your schedule to make that possible? What sacrifices do you need to make?

The best use of life is love.  The best expression of love is time.  The best time to love is now.

[Source: The Purpose Drive Life, Rick Warren]

It was one Saturday when my friends and I decided to have a gastronomic adventure in Chinatown.  Located in Binondo Manila,  is the world’s oldest Chinatown in the world established in 1594.

Since we will be coming from different locations, we agreed to meet up to a familiar landmark known to everyone which is the Santa Cruz Church.

The Church is just across Chinatown and you wouldn’t miss to pass by the Carriedo Fountain at the Plaza Santa Cruz.

souvenir shot at the fountain

Just to give a little historical background, this fountain was dedicated to a Spanish Engineer, Don Francisco Carriedo of the Department of Waterworks in 1884. It was through his will that a piped water system was installed in Manila. The project for public supply of fresh water in Manila started in early 18th century.  This fountain was relocated in several areas in Manila prior to its current location.  We hope that the Local government will refurbish this landmark.

Arko ng Mabuting Pakikisama (Arch of Goodwill)

Enter the Dragon…

Now, let the gastronomic adventure begin!

To make this adventure more fun and pocket friendly, try to order food that can be shared by everyone. Split everything so that everyone can have a taste of each dish and at the same time your tummy has still more room for the food on the next restaurants.

Wai Ying Fastfood is one of the most recommended food places to visit. If you want to try authentic, delicious and affordable Chinese food without leaving the country, this is the place to go.

Located at Benavidez Street

Shrimp Chong Fan is a steamed flat rice noodles with shrimp. The soy sauce mixed with a little sugar complemented the bland noodles filled with crunchy shrimp (left). Yangchow rice (right)

Soy Chicken- Sour in flavor and the sauce are made of ginger, oil, onion leaves. (left). Pork Asado- A braised dish made out of marinated pork. (right)

Hakaw- Steamed soft dumpling with whole shrimp inside. (left). Me, having my hakaw and milk tea with black jelly (right). These are 2 of my favorites in Wai Ying.

On our way to our next stop

Sightings along the streets…

herbal medicines

grilled corn on a cob

Shin Tai Shang is like a mini grocery along Salazar St. where people can buy small cakes, packaged drinks and assorted fruits.

time to buy some fruits

delicious fruits in Shin Tai Shang

Cafe Mezzanine is a fireman themed restaurant above Eng Been Tin (popular hopia chain) in Ongpin St. All proceeds of this restaurant goes to the volunteer firefighters of Binondo. They are known for their Soup#5 (soup made out of bull’s testicle) which most people would say that it’s a “must” order and the taste is really good. Unfortunately, we are not brave enough to try it.  So we just  decided to try another popular dish which is called Kiampong .

Located at the corner of Ongpin and E.T. Yuchengco Street

Kiampong- It’s a Filipino-Chinese version of fried rice with meat, mushrooms, seasoned well, and will not be complete without peanuts on top.

inside the Fireman themed cafe

The food adventure will never be complete without having “take-home foodies” from the following:

1. Eng Bee Tin for their famous hopia (It’s a Chinese delicacy with various flavors; purple yam, mung beans, pork, pandan, pineapple, etc)

2. Wai Ying’s siomai with chili sauce

3. Shanghai Fried Siopao stall. Their fried siopao is slightly crisp, golden-edged bread, has a tasty ground pork stuffing with the right balance of ginger and spring onion to keep you biting. This is a good alternative if you like a different kind of siopao. Also, It is very affordable too (Php16.00/pc).

4. Salazar Bakery. They are been around since 1947 which specializes in Chinese delicacies. You can find Salazar bakery almost all over now in Metro Manila.

And for our food trail finale, we had our dinner at The President Grand Palace. They have a spacious dining area and has very Chinese ambiance with their decors and uniforms of the staff. It is located along Ongpin Street so you wouldn’t miss it.

The cold cuts platter is composed of jellyfish, century eggs, asado & white chicken

stir fried seafood noodles with quail eggs is a sure winner!

Another winner is their Hot Prawn Salad. It was pure prawns and no fruits (some restaurants adds fruit cocktails and too sweet on the taste). This salad comes also with cold version. It’s a bit pricey but worthy! Really taste great. A must try.

Another photo op before we end the food trip

It was our first time to do a food trip in Chinatown and it was such a fun experience! 🙂

Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning”.  Exodus 16:19

ImageHave you ever seen God do something really good in your life only to find that you have abused the blessing He gave you? Such was the case of the Israelites as they were traveling through the desert on their way to the Promised Land.  God was providing for them in miraculous ways.  Manna was provided each day as their bread.  God gave Moses specific instructions as to how this manna was to be eaten.  God said each one was to gather only what he needed for that day.  No one was to keep it until the next morning.

“However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell.  So Moses was so angry with them” (Ex. 16:20).  God was teaching the Israelites daily trust in His provision for them.  He wanted them to trust Him one day at a time. If they tried to hoard, God put a self-destruct feature in the manna.  Yet God also told them to gather two days’ worth on the sixth day so that they would have manna to eat on the seventh day.  Interestingly, this manna did not stink or have maggots.

For many years I gathered manna in business out of fear of not having enough.  One day, the Lord decided that manna should be destroyed in order for me to learn total trust in His provision.  When we operate out of fear, we can expect the Lord to lovingly discipline us in order to help us learn to trust Him.  There is a danger when we seek to “insure ourselves” against calamity. If your actions are born from fear, you can expect God to demonstrate His loving reproof so that you might not live in fear.

[Source: Os Hillman, Today God is First (4minute meditations on the more important things in life)]

Bitterness be gone!

Posted: November 5, 2012 in Faith, Live & Learn
Tags: ,

Interesting Sunday message to share…

The Lord Jesus Christ wants you to live an abundant and fulfilling life. But you encounter so many things and situations everyday that make you feel down and depressed. And most of the time, unsettled & unresolved issues in your life makes you bitter, keeps you talking about the past & you always seem to focus on what’s wrong in everything around you.

Friends, that’s a very sad way to spend your life. Life is too short for you to invest your energy with tactless talk, calling everyone to earn sympathy & chasing every person to believe in what you say.

If you really want to fulfill your God-given destiny in life. You must be quick to forgive. Learn to let go of the hurts & pains of the past. Stop talking what went wrong in the past. Stop discussing the “ifs” of life. Learn to let go & move on.

Don’t allow bitterness take root in your life. Maybe something happened to you when you were younger. Someone mistreated you, someone took advantage of you. Or perhaps someone have spread lies about you, sending text messages, emails & telephone brigading people, and you have all the reasons in the world to be angry & get bitter. For your emotional & spiritual health, you must let your anger and/or bitterness go. It doesn’t make sense to hold on to it. You might as well forgive the people who offended you, and start trusting God to make it up to you. The Scripture says in Hebrews: “See that no root of bitterness or hatred shoots forth and causes bitter torment, and the many become contaminated by it”

Notice, bitterness is described as a root. Think about that. You can’t see a root; it’s deep down under the ground. But you can be sure of this: A bitter root will produce a bitter fruits. Ask yourselves today. Am I producing good, positive and healthy fruits or am I producing sour, negative & ugly fruits? If you have unresolved issues, bitterness will affect every area of your life. Proverbs 4:23 says “Keep your heart pure, for out of its spring the issues of life”

If you have bitterness, it will contaminate everything that comes out of you. It will destroy your inner peace and sense of joy. It will affect your attitude as well as how you treat other people. So friends, give yourself a favor. Settle your issues today by asking God to give you humility, wisdom, a forgiving and pure heart.