Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Prayer for the year that was and the year 2009

Dearest Father God,

As this year comes to an end, i would like to give YOU back all the glory and honor and thanksgiving for the things that you have done in my life. Lord, You are so faithful and never faltered in fulfilling your promises in my life despite my unfaithfulness and faithlessness. i can never thank you enough for your steadfast LOVE that never ceases which are new every morning. Thank you for a victorious

Everyday, I could not deny your love when i look at the sky and see the brightness of the sun. it rings new hope, new assurance, new beginning of a new day. Lord, your love is so refreshing like a morning dew which strengthens me always. as the day closes and evening comes, i could see the magnificence of your might, your greatness, your awesomeness, your power..You shade light when it's dark, and it's giving me hope at the glimpse of it..You are my LIGHT..Shine in me Oh Loving God. I breathe the life you have blessed me with and i am offering this life back to you.

When i look back and gaze the path that i took, i can always see your hand guiding me to the right path, your hand comforting me, your hand holding me tight. Lord, forgive me for my shortcomings. i know i have hurt you in so many ways. But you cared for me so much that despite all my sins, you are always ready to forgive me and hold me close to you. let me be dwell in your presence always because in YOUR PRESENCE there is fullness of joy. I have experienced the feeling of loneliness, of bitterness, pain, insecurity and inferiority, shame and doubt but YOUR love surrounded me and kept me secure adn strong. You held me up so i can stand.

the trails i had me have been crooked and unpleasant, but you have brought me this far to come to you and make this life worthy of your love...Thank you Lord for all the countless blessings...You are indeed a living God. I claim for a more fruitful years in year 2009 and the years ahead, i claim victory, freedom and peace of mind. Thank you for good health, for loving family, wonderful kids and husband, smooth-sailing relationship with people at home, neighbors as well as my colleagues.forgive me for being mean to others and make me a blessing even to those who don't like me. make me love my enemies and return evil with goodness. let me live a life pleasing to your sight. let the words of my mouth be beautiful music to your ears..let me speak only of what's good and pleasant.

Lord, you have seen everything, my heart, my soul, my innermost thoughts and i offer them all to you...dear lord, make me a better person, loving, understanding, and faithful...God, my Lord, my Savior, my best friend, CHANGE ME and make me the person that YOU want me TO BE! I love you with all my heart...

I offer to you my life and my all. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

A BLESSED 2009 TO ONE AND ALL..

For the year that was and the year 2009


Dearest Father God,

As this year comes to an end, i would like to give YOU back all glory, honor and thanksgiving for the things that you have done in my life. Lord, You are so faithful and have never faltered in fulfilling your promises in my life despite my unfaithfulness and faithlessness. I can never thank you enough for your steadfast LOVE that never ceases and Your endless mercy. They are renewed every morning. Thank you for a victorious 2008 and for the wonderful years I had with my loved ones, relatives and friends. Thank you for the opportunity of meeting new friends and the chance of sharing myself to them. Thank you also for blessing me in my chosen career..Thank you for allowing me to impart myself to my students. I thank you too for the great challenge you have placed in my heart and indeed, learning is a two-way process, a give-and-take process ...I have learned so much from my students and have gleaned lessons from my teaching experience such as the value of patience and understanding. I have known and understood myself better through my students because they are a reflection of me.Thank you God for great students and the one-in-a-million chance of meeting and nurturing the future leaders of the land.

I thank you for every single moment you have made me savored life's sweet pain. Thanks for being there for me every single moment of my life. You never missed a thing in me. All my success and achievements are yours! All that I am, all that I have come from you!

Forgive me for not trusting you enough sometimes. Help me to keep on trusting you always no matter what. Everything that surrounds me speaks of you great love for me. I could not deny your love every time I look at the sky and see the brightness of the sun. It rings new hope, new assurance, new beginning of a new day. Lord, your love is so refreshing like a morning dew which strengthens me always. And as the day closes and evening comes, I could see the magnificence of your might, your greatness, your awesomeness, your power...You shade light when it's dark which gives me hope at the glimpse of it..You are my LIGHT..Shine in me Oh Loving God. I breathe the life you have blessed me with and I am offering this life back to you.

When I look back and gaze the path that i took, I can always see your hand guiding me to the right path, your hand comforting me, your hand holding me tight. Lord, forgive me for my shortcomings. I know I have hurt you in so many ways. But you cared for me so much that despite all my sins, You were always ready to forgive me and hold me close to you. Let me dwell in your presence always because in YOUR PRESENCE there is fullness of joy. I have experienced the feeling of loneliness, bitterness, pain, insecurity, inferiority,uncertainty, shame and doubt but YOUR love surrounded me and kept me secure and strong. You held me up and kept me standing still. and the truth is, when I thought I have fallen, You were there to catch me and gave a new start.

the trails i had me have been crooked and unpleasant, but you have brought me this far to come to you and make this life worthy of your love...Thank you Lord for all the countless blessings...You are indeed a living God. I claim for a more fruitful life in year 2009 and the years ahead, I claim another victory and peace of mind. Thank you for good health, for loving family, wonderful kids and husband, smooth-sailing relationship with people at home, neighbors as well as my colleagues. Forgive me for being mean with others and make me a blessing even to those who don't like me. Make me love my enemies and return evil with goodness. Let me live a life pleasing to your sight. Let the words of my mouth be beautiful music to your ears. Let me trust always in your WORD. Yes God, I keep you WORD in my heart. Let me speak and expect only of what's good and pleasant.

Lord, you have seen everything, my heart, my soul, my innermost thoughts and I offer them all to you...dear Lord, make me a better person, loving, understanding, and most of all faithful to you...God, my Lord, my Savior, my best friend, CHANGE ME and make me the person that YOU want me TO BE! I love you with all my heart...

I offer to you my life and my all. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

A BLESSED 2009 TO ONE AND ALL..

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

CU Faculty Christmas party 2008


this year's faculty Christmas party is the simplest and shall we say less grand...ever since i joined CU, celebration had always been grand and expensive with big cash prizes and tedious presentations and contests from various colleges...there were always costumes and everyone seemed so engrossed with his own lines and roles. this is the first time i have witnessed the simplicity of the program and although there were door prizes and on-the-spot contests and trivia, this year's party is quite different because CU unlike last year's very grand Broadway theme and the years before with themes and motifs, this time, it is simply a celebration of Christmas the CU way...very simple and i love it. at least we all had the chance to get together and talk with colleagues and friends without the hassles of thinking about the presentation on stage, the costumes, make up and etc. i guess everyone enjoyed the food and the camaraderie...last years were good but this year? i find the celebration better... i just love it...for me, the decoration was perfect for our touch of red motif...it was still grand minus the choral group competition and the modern / jazz dance contest...the cash prizes were big...it doesn't matter at all if we did not have the same kind of party, after all, we are not bound to any tradition or any form of celebration...we are only bound to Christ, the real meaning of Christmas, as He is the reason of the season...it doesn't matter at all what nature of celebration we will be having so long as it is not against the will of the ONE whom this celebration is intended for...with or without food, with or without presents, near or far from our loved ones, it's not true that Christmas will never be the same...Christmas will always be the same no matter what because HE is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8)...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Hope-filled Christmas


merry Christmas to all! to my colleagues, students, friends, relatives, and family! i am 4 days delayed in my Christmas post but here i am still catching up!i have been super busy with loads of extra work in the house plus the take home school assignments...i haven't been online for a couple of days due to hectic skeds but i am glad i am coping...my eyes seem to be bulging out now because i have deadlines to beat..my migraine attacks again and i am just super nauseous..excuse me but i threw up twice already..whew!doing something and being busy is far better than doing nothing just like my last year's "vacation" in the hospital...God forbids, but i am done with it and that was it! i am moving on physically fit and healthy with God's blessings.

i had a very wonderful Christmas with my family...we had series of parties after our school party and i found myself enjoying with my loved ones.. Christmas this year is really unique and entirely different from what we had the past few years...

i did not expect to receive presents from my loved ones...but i did! bag, shoes, planner, perfume etc...etc...thanks everyone for caring and sharing!

one more, we had yellow as our Christmas day motif which stands for brightness of HOPE. Jesus is the source of that hope. He came to be born and 33 years after died on the cross of Calvary for everyone. He came to live and die...this is the essence of Christmas...living to die for others...Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

which to do first?


just don't know how to describe the situation that i am going through right now...got lots of things to do and deadlines to beat...which to do first? my kids' affair in school? or my own school affair? Sunday fellowship or masteral exam? terrible, i just have no choice but to choose one...if i don't attend church services and fellowships, some people would judge me as not giving importance to God's time..not seeking God's will and not seeking HIS KINGDOM first... but what about my classes?whew! sometimes, i feel so guilty if i couldn't attend to my little angels' school activities..i am very thankful for my sister for being there to take care of them...she helps and teaches them in their projects, assignments and reviews...what am i then? shame, i don't even have the time to cook for my kids' breakfast...katee, who lives with us for almost 11 years (as old as apple my eldest child), does almost all the chores... jam and jen are there to assist her though during their free days.. i owe katee a lot...

i am worried about christmas break..last year, i wished for a real break but a day after christmas, i was confined at the hospital due to extreme stress and other illness kept me in the hospital for a week...that was the most unforgettable new year we had in the family as we celebrated it in the hospital...papa was there and everyone else in the house, except apoy (our 88 year-old lola who hates hospitals a lot) opted to stay in the house with our closest cousins rolly and wife...it was a painful experience not just because i couldn't even stand but because i coldn't even eat any of the food served! they were so tempting but i couldn't even gulp even a drop of water...i thought i would have died then...(funny, i was so overacting)

anyway, now, i have the apprehensions on the coming break...we have so many take home tasks to do both for my masteral class and school / office works...plus test papers and assignments to check,quizzes to record and the prelim grades to compute..it's just terrible...i planned to do some renovations in the house, repainting and maybe rearrange furniture but i guess it is just impossible to do now... don't know if i will ever have a merry Christmas...well, i know being merry is not dependent on the task we do but on the condition of our hearts but somehow when your mind tells you to rest and you can't just do it, it will really make you sick...what am i supposed to do?

anyway, one thing i am very certain about, whether busy or not, i will always be her to keep on this blogs going...this is one thing that unleashes stress out of me...thanks to you blogger.com...

i have to wind up now...i need to go to the nearest and cheapest hair salon for a hair spa...we will have our school party tonight...and exam tomorrow...(sighs)

happy vacation to all..

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

for CT2 class

please read the poem and read the instruction below after reading

I painted a rainbow but I doubt if I saved a promise
I sang but I doubt if I gave the right melody
I danced but I doubt if I made the right steps
I searched but I doubt if I found the answer
I taught a soul but i doubt if I made a difference

I write but I doubt if I am read
I express myself but I doubt if I am understood
I smile but I doubt if I am captured
I speak but I doubt if I am heard
I sow but i doubt if there will be harvest

I will keep my dream but I doubt if it will come true
I will wait but I doubt if there is something to hope for
I will fight but I doubt if it is worth the battle
I will move on but I doubt if it will be a great journey
I will survive but I doubt if it's possible without YOU!


instruction:

1. create a five-line poem(one stanza) as continuation of this poem.
2. don't copy, must be your own composition
3. post your five-line poem after reading by clicking comments button
4. write your poem at the "leave your comment box"
5. don't forget to write your complete name after your one-stanza poem so entries will be acknowledged (to your name) accordingly
6. click anonymous button in your post
7. then finally click publish my comment button

Study for Tuesday (December 16, 2008)long quiz and review...God Bless!

have fun doing and sharing your creativity!

Prof. D.

Friday, December 5, 2008

a hassle free christmas


i am one of Francis J. Kong's blog followers and an avid reader of his books. his books are usually about business and work management and the likes but even if i am not inclined to business, i am so inclined to his writings because most of his books that i have read speak about how to manage life at work. we can actually glean so much from these very informative and inspirational books. i have at least 6 of his books in my library and still hoping to be able to buy more. My favorite among his books (which i have already read) are "Three Little Words" and "The Early Bird catches the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese." I also have copies of his "One day at a time" 1 - 4 volume. well, you can't afford not to get your own copy as these are actually indeed a daily inspirational dose for people "at work".

Now, i keep following his blog posts which are also very practical, useful, and helpful for daily living. i am so glad i subscribed to his blog site. the latest i have read of his post is this timely Christmas saving tips especially that the world is threatened with the issue on global crisis. well, just read it, you will love it too!


Francis J. Kong's Christmas Savings Tips

Posted: 25 Nov 2008 09:48 PM CST


Whenever you open the News Channel and you listen to what’s going on with the world’s economy you have every reason to feel depressed. Now that is not a very healthy way to handle the situation. What we should do as we view the world’s economic situation is to be thankful and to be appreciative of our current situation.

I was talking to a huge company president a couple of days ago and he says the reason why we are not hit that hard is because our scale has always been small. It’s like somebody living on the second floor and now he fell down to the ground floor. May be painful but not hard enough to kill him. Developed countries where you find huge and famous businesses have been up there on the penthouse and now their fall is hard enough to kill them. (hmmm… that’s a perspective…)

One view here is that as a country and as a people, we have all been accustomed to hardships and trials. Our country is a supermarket of calamities both natural and man-made… as a matter of fact more man-made than natural and we have always been resilient in facing trials. But this does not mean that we can be negligent and reckless in the coming days especially now that the whole country is into “Christmas Fever…”

So allow me to offer a couple of ideas on how to save money this Christmas.

1. WRITE THINGS DOWN


Do not go through this Christmas without a plan. Write a list of the people you’d like to buy for and put a price limit next to each name. If it adds up to too much, review the limits you set. Next… because a lot of money is spent in work place or office activities like gift givings so this next piece of advice may help you a lot…

xena: but of course if you have no budget to buy presents for the people in your gift list, pray for them instead, God has His own ways of blessing people. He knows your desire so don't worry if you can't give. Don't burden yourself with the thoughts of not being able to give. It does not make you less human. But if you can give, give from your heart but do not give beyond your limitations. too impractical.

2. RAFFLE DRAW

Buying gifts for everyone in the office? That’s not very wise but you may consider a “Kris Kringle” arrangement where each member in your group agrees to draw a name like what you see happens in a raffle draw and then simply buy a present for that person. This would be a lot more fun and the gift could be itemized to the person but again, put a price limit so that you will not lose control.

xena: i agree. little gifts count a lot so long as they are given from the heart. i am glad we don't have to go through the same activities we did in school for the past few years. our faculty Christmas party was always grand but yesterday, we discussed in our meeting the changes in the activities and wow, we had very minimal contribution. First time ever. activities and food prep won't change the season. what matters a lot is the spirit of Christmas in us that binds us together...Thanks Atty and Dr and the admin!

3. NO GIFT SOLICITATIONS


I have seen signs posted in offices that says: “No Gift Solicitations Allowed.” Pretty good idea for this Christmas. Why not just agree that there will no longer be any gift givings this time but collectively, will do something special as a gift? Maybe an official Christmas dinner or better still… visit an orphanage and bless the needy?

xena: hmmm.exactly. again, in the meeting, we have agreed to give something for the less fortunate children in the city. clothing and toys, school supplies and food that kids love..perfect!


4. FOR KIDS ONLY


What about this idea… that gifts be given only to kids and not to adults and you may be 33 and still acting like a kid but you get no gifts this Christmas.

xena: hahaha. i just mentioned it.but that's true. why is it that some people don't get rid of this gift - soliciting habit? we had celebrated so many Christmases and probably have received so much gifts. we have even received more than enough even during not Christmas season. well, this time, let's give gifts to "little children" not to the "feeling children"...

5. BE CREATIVE


This could be the time when you let your creative abilities make use of idle things you find in your house and convert them into gifts for the special people in your life. Believe me this act of love and kindness would be special and most appreciated.

xena: true. I couldn't wait for Christmas vacation so i could start sorting things out. old clothes, shoes, bags, kids stuffs and toys and others, i am giving them away...i have people in mind to whom i will be giving these hand-me-down stuffs...i am thinking how else i can make them look better..hmmm..not only that, i made my own Christmas decors and believe me i spent 75% less of the selling price at the department store. see? you can even say i bought them at the mall..I just couldn't afford the price! the most fulfilling thing is the idea of being able to create something beautiful...one more thing, we will be celebrating Christmas in the family with a color motif so it's kind of real exciting!

6. PLAN, PLAN AND PLAN


Without a plan you will rush through your shopping until the last minute and blow your budget. Buy things on sale.

xena: yeah, the more we rush and join in the dept store and grocery congestion, the more we panic and stress ourselves...

7. WAIT FOR THE NEW YEAR


I am pretty sure you may have friends and family you won’t see until the new year so you may as well hold off on buying presents until the January where sales events are on and the crowds are gone.

xena: yeah, why not? with stuffs that are less expensive and few people around, i think this is most practical. waiting won't hurt a bit.


The important thing to remember is that Christmas is the world’s celebration of a historical event. That the Savior has come to give us eternal life for those who choose to appropriate this Gift. Spend this year’s Christmas in a meaningful way and enjoy the moment. So save money but most importantly be saved by the Savior.

xena: Amen to that after all it is the very essence of Christmas. it is not about being "born to live" but being "born to die". Jesus was born to die for us and save us from the curse of sin!

so, save and be saved!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Life Cycle of a Butterfly "Metamorphosis"

What we tend to overlook, when we are first attracted to butterfly observation, is that the butterfly is the result of a much longer journey......a journey that is quite different from that of many creatures on this planet. The flight stage is the final statement......the last hurrah so to speak.

No doubt that during your early adventures you will become increasingly aware of these other facets of a butterfly's life span but for many these stages remain a mystery. Actually what occurs prior to the flight stage of development is by far more intriguing and captivating. As you gather information on the stages of butterfly development, scientifically known as metamorphosis, please keep in mind that the way in which it ultimately plays out can be species specific.

The 4 Stages of Development

Egg Larva Pupa Butterfly

Obviously newly hatched caterpillars are minute little creatures, some virtually invisible to the naked eye but they are eating machines that grow very quickly. Growth does not occur during the flight stage. It is done strictly while in the larva stage and they can multiply in size by more than a thousand fold in no time. In a matter of a few weeks they can go from an egg, to a caterpillar, to a chrysalis, to another egg laying butterfly. For some species this process occurs only once during our season but for others two or three cycles can be completed before diapause, hibernation or migration must occur.

It all starts with the eggs which are very tiny to microscopic and generally, but not always, laid on the underside of host plant leaves either singly or in clusters. Host plants are located by the adult butterfly's ability to distinguish the plant's chemical signature. For many species the growing season for their host plants can extend for many months allowing for multiple broods.

Eggs may also be deposited near the area in which the host plant may be found. This condition arises when specific host plants have died off at their season end and the eggs are required to overwinter in order to take advantage of the following season's crop. So, depending on the time of year the eggs are laid will dictate when the eggs are predetermined to hatch. If they are laid early enough in the season they will come full term usually within a week or so, again depending on the species. If they are deposited late in the season the eggs may be required to wait until the following season to complete the remainder of the journey. An example of this scenario is best demonstrated by many of the Fritillaries that feed exclusively on violets. These violets die off part way through the Fritillary's flight season thus the eggs of the last brood are required to over winter in order to take advantage of the following seasons crop of their sole host plant.

As a caterpillar their appearance can be even more diverse than in their final stage as a butterfly. They can be naked, hairy or have varying amounts of bristles or spike like appendages adorning their tubular form. Colours range from dull bland singular colours, that serve to camouflage, to mixtures of bright stripes or blotches that serve to warn. Essentially they are harmless even though they can appear to be quite menacing.....like the Swallowtail caterpillars. Some are distasteful and others poisonous to predators as is the Monarch, Cabbage White and Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars. Caterpillars of this type are usually brightly marked to serve as an unmistakable reminder that they should be avoided. Never-the-less, it is this stage that tends to go largely unnoticed as they go quietly about their business.

Throughout the larval stage a caterpillar has to shed it's skin several times in order to accommodate further growth. The time between these sheddings is called an "instar" of which there are usually an average of five and spans two to four weeks. When we use the term a "third instar" caterpillar we are saying that it has shed twice. Immediately upon shedding it's old skin the larva fills with air. This allows the new skin to take on that size giving the caterpillar as much room as possible to grow into this new size. After each of these transformations it is possible that the caterpillar can be a different colour or appearance from the time before. Therefore, depending on which instar a caterpillar is in, understanding the instars can play a roll in the identification process.

When the final instar occurs what emerges is the pupa, which when completed, usually resembles part of the plant they are on........this serves as camouflage. This stage may last a week or so at which time the final stage an adult butterfly is produced, that either carries on the next generation locally or migrates, like the Monarch, to warmer climates before winter. Or they might over winter in this stage and emerge the following season to complete their predetermined task. In any case the transformation, while in the pupa stage, is truly a miracle. What emerges from this case in no way resembles the caterpillar that produced it. Basically what happens is the complete disassembly of the cells that made up the caterpillar and the reassembling of those cells into it's new form....a butterfly. Upon emergence the swollen body immediately begins to pump fluids into the tiny shrived up wings. Within a couple of hours the wings are full size, dried, become more rigid and are capable of flight.

A few varieties, such as the Mourning Cloak or Compton Tortoiseshell, choose to hibernate here as adult butterflies and complete their cycle the following season. Others, like the Crossline Skipper, overwinter in their larval stage and some Elfins do so during the pupa stage. Still another way to beat winter is to do so as an egg as with the Bog Copper. Some Hairstreaks do this but they have an obstacle to overcome by choosing this method. As you are now aware eggs are laid on or near host plants so when the eggs hatch the food supply is right there. Since Hairstreak hosts are trees, rather than plants and if the eggs were laid traditionally on the leaves, they would fall to the ground in the fall presenting a food source proximity problem the following spring. This is overcome by depositing the eggs on the buds at the base of the leaf stem so the egg will remain in the tree close to the food source when the time is right.

These timelines can be complex and require a little more determination to follow in their entirety but it is very rewarding to observe the slightly different approaches to all four stages of the journey. As you can see from this page all butterflies follow the same scenario but not necessarily the same timeline when confronted with a seasonal environment. Even within the same species and the same season the timeline can vary between broods. Adaptation is the key to survival for any butterfly.

source:
http://home.cogeco.ca/~lunker/stagesbf.htm

For my CT2 Students
Questions: Answer clearly and briefly. 1/2 crosswise yellow paper.


A. 1. what are the different stages in metamorphosis? enumerate and briefly explain their characteristics.
2. relate to your own experience the metamorphosis of a butterfly.

B. 1. Among the stages on the metamorphosis of a butterfly, what are the two stages you think are the best of all?Why?
2. If you are a butterfly, what color will you be and why?

C. 1. What are the different stages in metamorphosis? enumerate and briefly explain their characteristics.
2. If you are a butterfly, which of the stages would you like to stay longer?why?

D. 1. Among the stages on the metamorphosis of a butterfly, what are the two stages you think are the best of all?Why?
2. Why does a pupa have to be camouflage? If you are a "pupa" would you rather stay in the cocoon or out in the open?why?

E. 1. Enumerate and explain the different stages of a butterfly's metamorphosis.
2. If given the chance to become a butterfly, which stage would you not want to go through or experience? why?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Breaking the Cocoon of bitterness

There was once a girl, 14 years old to be exact, a teenager who had her menarche 8 months before her 14th birthday. She was smart and resolute , buoyant and witty, a dreamer and a fighter. She had positive outlook in life notwithstanding poverty. She believed that dreams can actually be reached no matter how far.

She did well in school. Her parents and siblings were proud of her for her accomplishments and achievements. She was an achiever. she excelled in most of her grade school years as top student in the class. However, there was something about this girl. Coated in a jaunty persona was a probing young mind whose questions where filled with perplexities. She faked her smiles, coached her manner in a way others could barely handle.She was just simply impossible! In her early teenage years she was already sulking in her cocoon, trying to set herself free.

Despite the girl's probing queries about realities of life and the life they were actually living, she continued to find life's answers. She journeyed through life with boldness and determination.

She was the black sheep in the family. She used to hear people said this roughly. But what can she do? This was how people looked at her. Would she continue to be herself as she is? Or would she prove them wrong? But how? Young as she was, she gave in to peer influence. After all, this was where she felt accepted, at least,she thought,at that very moment she had someone to talk to and divert her puzzled mind to. She felt a temporal sense of belonging. But in her solitude, swirling thoughts of epiphany always paved her way to hold on to what was right. She struggled and won over her best enemy, her self. One day, the girl went home with a different outlook and perspective in life. this time, her focus was not on her selfish desires anymore, but on helping her family out of poverty. She had so many beautiful plans for her parents and siblings...beautiful dreams for her family but she was just 14! How can she make them come to reality?

An opportunity came when an old family friend came to visit them and told her parents that she was looking for a housemaid for an American family in Cebu City. The girl did not have any second thought. She accepted the opportunity (as she called it), the opportunity for her to realize her dreams. She wanted to prove to those people around her, those who have misjudged her that she, no matter how young she is, is responsible and thoughtful enough for her family.

She went to Cebu the next day. The boat's fare was P78 peso per person (that was a lot, the girl thought). The ship crews who assisted them in going up the steel ladder were already closing the door when she realized that they were already leaving. She started to feel indescribable nostalgia. She felt butterfly in her stomach. She just couldn't believe that for the first time, she was going to be away from her family. The girl was standing by the ferry's lobby and was watching the ferry bidding the dock goodbye as it slowly backed off and released the dock's hands, until it seemed to turn about. The girl's tears trickle down her cheeks. In a matter of few minutes, the girl could hardly see the port. She imagined the boat she was aboard in like a tiny dot in the middle of the vast ocean. The creepy thoughts scared her so much and caused her goosebumps but she rejected the feeling. Her tiredness and the movement of the ferry lulled her to deep slumber. They were aboard the ship overnight, from 7pm to 7am the following day. When she woke up, she realized she was already in a strange land.

They arrived in Cebu City the following morning and the woman fetched her to the family directly. The family looked great and kind. They had 3 children, a girl and two boys. The eldest, the girl, was 3 years younger than she was and the boys were 5 and 3 years old, respectively.

At first everything went well, the work was manageable. The chores were lighter with vacuum cleaner,as it was far better than coconut husk and rag to clean the tiled flooring. The wall at the other side of the house was made of glass. She could see through the glass wall while cleaning it the obviously wealthy men playing golf outside the very wide green plain. The sight looked so serene and peaceful. It brings back to her the nostalgic feelings. The house was too huge for her to clean alone. It was a totally fenced two-storey building where she stayed in the servants quarter at the ground floor, alone. At 14 years old, she was alone in a big room near the garage! She missed her sisters with whom she used to share one small room, all five of them!

She actually learned a lot...from making mashed potato (their morning specialty)to cooking rice (which she was not used to do in her own home); did the laundry, dry cleaned the big carpets and draperies, washed the car and cleaned the garage. She learned to eat raw vege and she loved the jam and jelly which wasn't present way back home. But every time she ate, her tears would trickle as she remembered how her mother and sisters would take care of her and prepare her food (now she sounded like a real prodigal daughter). Every thing she did in that American house reminded her of her beloved family back home. Desperate as she was, the more she felt the nostalgia and the desire to go home.

On the 6th day (what seemed like eternity to her), she was prohibited to use the phone, watched tv, or even listened to the radio. The man (husband), started to become mean and strict with her. The girl's rebellious heart was awakened. "how can this man be so mean to a 14 year old girl like me?", the girl thought. The following day, over one argument, the girl decided to leave the family. Ddespite the older sister's advice, the girl made up her mind, she had to leave. She asked permission but they wouldn't let her leave. She was in a crossroad of her life. "indeed, where will I go if I do?" she argued to herself. She did not have money. She only had P1.50 jingling coin in her purse. But she was resolute and strong-minded that she made a choice to step out of that house where she felt she was treated like a real housemaid and not a young teener.

She was caught in a dilemma when the man said, "you may leave but we will not give you even a single penny". she was bursting in tears when she heard those words. She was raging with anger inside. But later calmed down and said, "I have P1.50" here, I will go. God will take care of me."

"Do you think God will listen to a stubborn girl like you? You are hardheaded!" shouted the man.

"I asked God about this, and I told Him that I will go, so I will go, I miss my family and I can not take it here anymore." the poor girl cried helplessly.

"Go ahead, leave! But remember, the moment you step out of this gate, you can never come back to this house anymore" the man yelled at her.

"Okay. then I have to go now.goodbye maam, sir. " she decisively muttered."Sir, please check my belongings before i go", the girl said as she opened the red-striped plastic cellophane where she placed her few loose blouses and skirts and other personal stuffs and a birthday card she bought for her only brother.

The girl's slippers made a flip flap sound as she made her way down the stairs slowly. At first was hesitant to step out of the gate for she might regret her decision if she did so. but after a few seconds of contemplation, she found herself walking down the peaceful and long subdivision road. Free at last! Her tears were rolling down her cheeks with her sweat. She swayed her cellophane bag while she walked as if trying to make a balance in herself. Where will she go? What will she do? She finally reached the guardhouse at the subdivision gate and asked help from the stationed guards to assist her in searching for any menial job. The guards looked at her with utmost curiosity. They asked her questions. She told them the truth. The guards and few people who were intrigued by the throng at the guardhouse crowded on her. Their faces showed different reactions. Some were angry, others wanted to go and punch the American man, others were doubtful, others were just laughing and some were emotionless but there were those who really pitied the girl and were willing to help her.

Because she was very young, she couldn't even be accommodated as laundry woman in that village (the village for the wealthy so to speak). One of the men in the crowd was on his way to work as family driver of a Spanish family in that same subdivision. He assisted the girl and called somebody over the phone then after a while he brought her to a woman (family caretaker)who was in her early 40's.

God answered prayers. The woman was her neighbor's aunt and was kind enough to send her home with stuff and presents for her family, also for the woman's relatives. the woman and friends sent her to the port until she was already aboard the ship. The next thing she realized, she was already home, safe and sound. She couldn't hide the tears of joy but inside she was bleeding in pain for that experience.

The parents and siblings were surprised for her arrival because they weren't informed. She told them the story. Only then she learned that day and night, her mother with her entire family kept on praying for her safety. The girl was so amazed on God's marvelous work in her life.

God is indeed omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. Without God in her life, the girl may have been gone somewhere else. or her life may have been a total disaster. But there was her Faithful God who sheltered her, kept her safe and led her all he way up to this time. If it's not because of God, I may not be able to share His goodness in my life...Yes, that girl was ME, 21 years ago.

The reason why i shared it here is that i want to release the pain, the bitterness, the grudges and the hatred i felt for that family. Specifically for the couple who allowed me to go home without giving me "even a single penny". This and other lines kept haunting me for the longest time like in a nightmare and would always bring me to my tears. I realize i am such in deep pain and hatred and i want to let it go...I want to "set free" the once larva that crept inside my heart which i didn't notice have become a hardened cocoon of bitterness and hatred. Now i release forgiveness, blessing and love to these people. i want to thank them for that experience as it only proved God's unfaltering faithfulness and provision in my life. now, my questions are answered. My search is over.

Honestly, it took me this long to regain myself from that feeling. I harbored so much hatred for them. Recently, I searched for these people in the net because i wanted to tell them or email them about how i feel but i don't know if it will make them feel better...And luckily I saw them. I even got hold of their email address. At first my tears rolled down but I tried to feel my heart and I realize that my wounds are healed. The most important thing is i am released from that bondage and now like a butterfly, I am free to fly higher and see and taste the beauty and bounty of God's blessings!

Note: Help, I am also looking for Manong Luis Carreon and Manang Darna Paclar (Paradise Village, Cebu)the two great and kindhearted people who helped and sent me home. I haven't heard of them after that day i returned home as communication was quite difficult before. But wherever they are right now,my prayers are with them. I hope i can trace them though. I just want to thank them personally. I will never forget them.