Monthly Archives: September 2013

Why I love Baguio: They give exact change.

Standard

This morning, upon arriving at my destination (finally got home, yay!), I handed the taxi driver a hundred peso bill and a twenty peso bill.

The meter read: Php.107.00.

Without hesitating, he reached for his glove compartment, took the appropriate number of coins, and handed me my change: Php.13.00.

THEN I knew I was really back in Baguio.

For sure, there are lots of reasons I love Baguio (oh, and when I say Baguio I also mean La Trinidad, lol), aside from the fact that staying here for more than 5 years has let it grow on me.

One of those reasons is THIS: They give the exact change. The exact change, man!

I used to take it for granted, but it was one of those little things I suddenly loved about Baguio when I moved to Quezon City and the taxi drivers, for WHATEVER REASON (“Oh I don’t have change, ma’am”) would actually demand (“Dagdagan mo na lang ma’am.” Oh, the nerve!) that I freakin’. Pay. MORE than the what the meter dictates. 

What irks me more is how the driver actually thinks he’s entitled to keep my change. Wow, I sound stingy.

The truth is, I don’t mind doing this. I don’t mind paying extra. I understand this is how it’s done down there. Upon moving to QC, I learned to accept that when the meter reads Php.89 and I only have a hundred peso bill, I should not expect to get back the eleven pesos I own. I don’t hate it either. I dislike it, but don’t hate it. I’m not expecting things to change anytime soon either.

TAKE NOTE: I most certainly am NOT romanticizing Baguio, and I’m most certainly not naive. Honest and dishonest men abound wherever in the Philippines.

It’s just things like these that let me appreciate my home city.

First time doing CE, and not the last time!

Standard

[Guest Post! I praise God for how our disciples are taking steps of faith to trust God in details of their lives. This is my disciple Angela’s account of her first time to share her testimony in a Classroom Evangelism (CE) setting. Angela Capitly is a 2nd year Communication Research student at the University of the Philippines Diliman.]

 

It was a Tuesday morning when I accidentally met Ate Sarah in the comfort room… and she asked me to share my testimony in a Classroom Evangelism (CE).

I was surprised. I was really inclined to say no, because I doubt my own effectiveness in witnessing, or speaking in general. I have difficulty expressing my thoughts into words most of the time.

Moreover, compared to other’s testimonies I had already heard, I felt that mine was relatively insignificant. There were Christians who were former drug abusers, alcoholics, prostitutes that have been changed by God… but all I had was how I transformed from being an anxious and shy person to someone opposite. The difference is so huge that their testimonies are comparable to Luzon and mine was to Mindanao.

So I was hesitant, but I still said yes to Ate, remembering how God used Moses and provided the words for him. I figured He’ll do the same for me.

Thankfully, I didn’t have trouble preparing – yesterday I’d just given a speech in my Communication 3 class, and the content was practically my testimony. All I had to do was revise it a bit and voila, I hit two birds with one stone!

2013-09-20 13.22.53When the day of the CE arrived, I was surprisingly peaceful.

But when my awesome discipler Ate Sarah arrived, I I felt the butterflies suddenly fluttering in my stomach. At that time, God’s word suddenly surfaced in my mind that He will help me speak and teach me what to say. I was also thankful for the confidence and encouragement I got from Ate Sarah. We prayed before starting the CE and I had the chance to cast all my anxieties on Him. Somehow, I felt that God was and is really with us.

Then the time had really come for me to stand in front of the class and share my testimony. I really thanked God that the students were all open and friendly. I could see that they were listening to me so it encouraged me more to just keep on talking though I was really really nervous then. My hands were really shaking – and I told the audience so!

The feeling after the CE was unexplainable! I cannot find a word that would describe the happiness and fulfilling experience this CE had given me. I was also very thankful for the constructive criticisms the other members of this CE group had given me. I really appreciated it.

At the end, I realized that my transformation may be relatively small compare to that of other the other Christians I had listened to, but I should not belittle mine for it is still a change that God had done in me. I also hope that I reached the students through my testimony and that I’ll grow more in faith towards God so that I’ll be able to share more on my next CE.

Indeed, I’m expecting a next CE experience, though thinking of it makes me jittery!

 

The March is just the Beginning

Standard

[Guest post! This is an account of the Changed March, which happened last August 27, written by my disciple Danielle Isaac. Danielle is a freshmen Journalism student at the University of the Philippines Diliman.]

Seeing people gather to campaign a message – with placards, shirts, and everything – always make me feel tense. Most of the time, these people gather to advocate their cause, to let their voice be heard, to struggle for change.

IMG_5049Who would have thought that Christians, who people think are passive in the community, would do the same? To see Christians united for God’s cause changed me.

People in white, black, blue, green, yellow, and red shirts were all over the steps of the famous Palma Hall, more known as AS. I sat and observed. They seemed to catch the eyes of other bystanders. I wondered if people thought we were going to rally – a common sight, especially in this venue. Some kept their eyes on us, some looked away.

I saw our number grow with people from other orgs. There were a lot of faces I didn’t know, but they all wore smiles, hope, and laughter. Still, I couldn’t help but feel tense. What would people think of this campaign? It was hard not to get nervous.

The songs, prayer requests, and schedules were given away. The placards danced in the people’s hands, and people waved to their friends. In a few moments, we descended the AS steps and formed lines on the road’s bike lane.

Then in a few minutes, God’s warriors headed off.

The March

It was totally strange for me to do a “march”, however peaceful it would be. I could feel plenty of eyes on us, and it felt uneasy. But then I looked to the other people I was marching with. They sang their hearts out and kept their heads held high.  I felt like a worm inside my cocoon, watching the rest fly free. I desperately wanted to be like the rest of them, so I prayed.

We made our first stop in front of Quezon Hall. People gathered in a semicircle around the speakers. They called on the participants from the Students of Destiny org to lead the first song and prayer. They were amazing people; I felt their love for what they were doing. They led us into a song — The Anthem. Everyone repeatedly sang the chorus with conviction:

“I am royalty

I have destiny

I have been set free

IMG_5137

Praying for Eng’g

I’m gonna shape history”

Then we prayed for the university, its staff, professors, and students. Most of the people went in pairs, but I was alone. I’ve never seen students pray with so much passion. Some cried out their requests; others simply talked.

I remained silent.

We continued to Melchor Hall, singing The Anthem’s chorus once again. It took me a while to notice, but I felt myself changing, smiling and laughing in the presence of people I don’t know, but I know share the same heart for God with me.

We stopped in front of our destination. Melchor Hall, otherwise known as Eng’g, was alive with students. It was a good time for us to be seen. A few passersby smiled at us. People from my org, CCC, sang another song, and led the second set of prayer requests. We faced the Eng’g building and prayed for their students as well. People also reached out to God their cries for Him to strengthen His own ministries.

The Grand Stand at the Grandstand

IMG_5067Despite our small number (we were only about a hundred), I realized how God unites people from different backgrounds to forward His Kingdom. We may not know each other, but we were bound by the Holy Spirit in those moments of prayer – and the event itself.

I prayed that we not only increase in number next time, but also strengthen in bond. Nobody seemed to notice the passing of time.

People either sang, or blessed the colleges we passed through while walking. But we all had something in common, we were all happy. I was happy. It was a cloudy afternoon, hinting rain.

The Grandstand witnessed our final hymn, Mighty to Save, and the gladness I felt when everybody sang it.

I really don’t know how I’ll describe that gladness, but it was all over me. I usually worshiped quietly, but the company of God’s people encouraged me to sing out loud.

When the rain finally poured, it seemed like the rain was joining our song of praise.

We got to the last batch of prayer requests, and I was surprised at what they were about. Fueled by my passion for justice, I became excited to pray these prayers.  I had two other people with me, and for the first time ever, I prayed out loud. I clenched my fists, cried to the air, and put out my whole self for God.

It’s amazing how God can change the way you do things even in just a matter of minutes. In a single place. With people you barely know. Although I cannot hear what everyone was saying individually, I knew that there was a connection between every one of us. Christians are not only Christians, they are also citizens, and in our case, also students. We, changed by God, also yearn for the change that we can make in our society.

Bright testimonies from people in the crowd closed the program. I felt inspired, realizing that God continuously changes us for the greater good. I dreamt to speak in front of people on how God has changed and will change me.

The I am Changed campaign is just the beginning.