Showing posts with label It's not about ME (But it is). Show all posts
Showing posts with label It's not about ME (But it is). Show all posts

Back in Manila

So I'm back in the University of the Philippines. I arrived at around 5:30 this morning-- six hours of travel from my hometown in San Fernando City, La Union. (For those who are wondering, the official name of the Pampanga version of my hometown is City of San Fernando)

What did I do upon my arrival? I slept soundly. In fact, I woke up late, evidence of my tired body from the long journey. Going back to Manila after the holiday season is one of my most unpleasant experiences every year. Just when you're enjoying the comforts of your family and home, you are hurled back to the reality of work and responsibilities.

That's part of life, however. And on the bright side, going back to UP allows me to see my friends, fellowship-mates and church-mates once more.

Typhoon Juan (Megi)

As typhoon "Juan" (Megi) makes landfall in the Philippines, I remember how Jesus calmed the storm in the Sea of Galilee. I've posted the passage below:

Mark 4:35-40
5That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side."36Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"
39He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
Jesus has authority even over nature. At His word, the turbulent winds and waves came to a halt. He was able to calm the storm then, He can do it today. The only question is, "Do you still have no faith?"

An Open Letter to my Blog

Dear Blog,

I'm sorry I haven't utilized you well these past four years. You've been a great companion but I remember you only when I have time. Most often than not, you sit in the worldwide web unloved and deserted.

Things are getting better now. Believe me when I say you'll be my trusted chronicler. You will document my ministries and God's faithfulness in my life. I want the world to learn from my experience. I also want to hear from people all over the world, to get advice from those who were before me.

Will you give me one more chance? By God's grace I promise to detail the stories and experiences I have in your pages. By God's grace, you will be my open journal. People will read stories and testimonies from you. You will help me spread the word and share the WORD. I know you have unlimited potentials. I hope we can work well together.

In the days to come, I will be hammering words and sentences on my keyboard. You will keep them all. You will have pictures and videos. You will be vibrant and pulsing with energy. By God's grace, I will be consistent and passionate in this new life and ministry.

Thank you for this second chance. Let's bring God the glory He deserves!

In His service,

F.Paulo Tomacder

A Very Tiring Week

My first week here at UP is beyond description. It drained me already. I can't believe how fast time flies. But God's faithfulness still shone ever brightly in the midst of everything. I even feel ashamed for having so little faith in Him and for being a constant worrier.

God is impressing this verse in my heart right now:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

-Philippinas 4:6-7

I really need to trust God more. I know that He works out all things for the good of all those who love Him. But for some reason, I find it difficult to stay still and follow His leading.

I think I'm doing things on my own too much again. I need to find that sweet and quiet spot where only I and God will meet. I need to feel His presence envelope me like the sweet, fresh air in the morning.

I want to be right where He wants me to be. For now I am thankful for He gave me the strength to survive this week. I've had worse weeks, but I praise Him for He continues to tell me, "Pau, remember that I'm still in control."

Thank you, Lord! Amen.

The year that WAS

John 14:1-2
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.

This is the message of God for me in 2009. In the face of uncertainty, my Lord spoke to me in different circumstances. He showed me my faults, the hidden sins in my life and gave me the strength to let go and to trust in Him completely.

I learned to pray harder in 2009. I saw several miracles from God, answered prayers and changed lives-- evidences of the Divine looking after His sons and daughters here on earth.

God also showed me where to place several pieces of my life. He held my hand and pulled me back to see the bigger picture. Now I understand why I had to go through everything I experienced last year.

I learned to care for people more. I understood what it meant to love unconditionally. Though I am imperfect and my love will remain a pale comparison to Christ's, I had a glimpse of agape.

2009 taught me the urgency to share Christ. It showed me that more than anything, people needed Jesus in their lives. I learned to trust in God's leading. I learned to share Jesus more. I understood what Paul meant when he wrote, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God for the salvation of all those who believe."

I praise God for the people He brought into my life. I am thankful for the teachers, disciplers, disciples, and family He gave me. They filled my heart with joy and reminded me of God's design for fellowship.

I grew last year. In some respect I had to force myself to grow. I longed for my past mentors, but God tore me from them that I might learn dependence in Him. There were tears that rolled down my cheek. There were nights of extreme despair. But in all these I understood what God meant when He said, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you."

There are wounds that remain. There are people I miss dearly. This will be carried on through 2010. But I remind myself that in 2009 God answered a two-year-old prayer for deliverance. I saw a miracle when God opened the door for me and invited me to step into freedom.

I continue to pray for the dearest people in my heart. I know there will be nights and days of uncertainty but the faithfulness of my God is my reminder. It wasn't my strength that enabled me to withstand the turbulence of the past year. All along, God was shielding me, encouraging me, helping me. I made it this far with Christ. I pray that He'll use me even more this year for His glory.

With Friends Once More

I just came from the birthday celebration of the first girl I courted. It was a wonderful time of reconnecting with old friends. A lot has changed and I can't help but wonder why I chose to leave them behind.

Still, I praise God for the time I spent with them. I surely missed these guys. I'm looking forward for the next reunion, maybe next year or so. I'm also glad to have shared the Gospel to one of my friends. It was purely God's work for the questions she threw were questions I knew how to answer. God made me remember and He gave me the right words at just the right time.

My heart is burning with passion right now. I want what I'm doing. I want to share Christ. I want to go out and care for people. I want to help the lost, to love them like how Jesus did. I thank God for giving me this passion. I'm eager to finish college and to start full-time ministry.

I know I haven't prayed much about this, but the desire is so great, even greater than my desire to pursue journalism. The zeal is growing stronger and stronger everytime I think about it, or everytime I live it out.

Oh, how I long to be fully in the service of my Savior. I really hope and pray that the Holy Spirit will lead me to the right decisions. There is another ministry I'm considering. For now I can't disclose it, but I know God can use me mightily in it. I really have to pray about these things, seriously.

It's amazing how a single party will affirm and confirm my passion to serve God. I pray that He will honor this desire and enable me to obey. I long to see my friends all kneeling before the throne of the Father, worshiping Him in spirit and in truth. And I long for my family to also belong in the family of God. These are the great prayers of my heart, and I know God will answer them according to His glory and will.

All praises to Him.

Hours before Christmas

We're five hours and 29 minutes away from Christmas and I'm here in my room blogging. My head aches and I feel tired and heavy. I don't know if it's because of the weather or the fact that I woke up late today.

I want to make this Christmas celebration a lot more special, but I don't know what to do. I want to stand up for CHRIST and share what His birth means. But a few hours before the 25th of December, I feel overcome with fear. I am not ashamed of the Gospel, but I don't know if I'm ready for it.

I'm perfectly comfortable sharing spiritual stuff with my parents now. But I'm not that comfortable with my tito and tita who are joining us for the Noche Buena. I pray that I can be bold tonight. I'm actually prepared to share the Gospel, having memorized it in my two years of knowing Christ. I even have a powepoint presentation for it.

But sharing Christ is more than that. I'm praying for a local Church that can follow up my family while I'm in Manila. I'm attending a Christian Church here, but I merely go there every break so I'm not really a part of the congregation. My home church is in UP Diliman, but even there I;m a bit detached, not as close as I'm supposed to be.

I know how this Christmas can be special-- it's me having to share Christ. I ask for your prayers. As the clock strikes twelve, may I muster the courage from the Spirit to stand up for Jesus who gave His life for me. Thank you.


I have to admit, almost four years of training at UP dulled my senses. I no longer write the way I do when I was younger. I have lost the flower and the inspiration. I have forgotten the passion and the courage. All I have now are the facts and the structure.

I'm afraid I lost track of the novelist and creative writer in me, and instead, unleashed the journalist. Journalism has its strengths, but as to writing, people love the creative writer more. Having this realization, I'm really left with not much.

I tried to fuse my old style of writing with what CMC has been teaching me, but they're two completely different worlds. They don't fit; they just end up a hodgepodge of poorly constructed sentences-- a string of thought that goes nowhere.

How must I write now? I don't know. But something inspired me last night. A video from Ted Talks reminded me that, more than anything, I'm only the vessel of the creative energy. The energy just channels through me. I do the writing, but the creativity does not come from me.

I attribute this creative living energy to the One who made me. He is more than my genie or genius, He is my God. So, what is my point now? Perhaps, I just have to keep on writing in the hope that someone, out there's reading. :)


We went to Bacnotan last night and ate at a floating restaurant. I can't remember the name of the place already, but they served seafood which was caught right before your eyes.

There are better places with more delicious food but what makes the experience stand out is the fact that we're together after a long time. I wish my sister was with us.

Sunset Music Team

I can't remember the last time we went out as a team. It may have been in my third year or so. But last Saturday, our Church's music team met over lunch which extended to the afternoon merienda. We had fellowship over food.

I know it's not my duty to call for a gathering of the team. After all, I'm not the head. I'm simply a member who loves music, but can't play or sing. It was a hard decision to make. I'm afraid to offend Kem because of my enthusiasm, but because he didn't call for a year-ender and I miss the fellowship, I did. It's just sad that he didn't make it.

Ate Jac was first to arrive at KFC in Technohub. I came next. Then, an hour later, Ate Jana arrived all the way from her apartment in Manila. She was earlier than Mich and Jet who were staying in Sampaguita Residence Hall (grin).

By the time Jet and Mich arrived, Ate Jac and I had already gobbled our Chicken Burger, and were ready for the next meal. In short, I pigged out, but I enjoyed it.

We talked about everything. The Music Team, the Church, DCF, the Lantern Parade, Babaylan and a lot more. We had one heart when we said we wanted the Music Team to be once more a fellowship. Not that it's no longer a fellowship now, but certain changes and circumstances drew it farther from God. That's just what I feel, though. Everyone's busy now and the commitment's low. We seldom have devotions or practices. Song Leaders no longer have the time to prepare.

I'm making myself clear when I say I'm blaming no one. But it makes me sad to see the Music Team in its state now. So many people left the ministry. I find it difficult to cope with the challenges because of the rigid transition. I wanted to be trained more, but nobody's there to train.

Still I praise God for He made me realize something. Leaders need to be visionaries. When God calls you to lead, you must look at your office as a stepping stone of the future. You must never build the ministry for your self but for the people after you. Investment is the key.

But sometimes, even the best investors fail when they walk out of God. So, it's really Him who directs all ministry. I know this is cliche to Christians. But it's never too easy to do it. If it were, then all ministry should have been successful.

Our bonding time ended around five in the afternoon. Ate Jac and I went with Ate Steffi to buy her ticket to Baguio. I enjoyed the experience, but I wish we were complete.

A Few Things


My Laptop's back! Welcom eisenstein RR :) I missed you soooooo much. Huggg..... :) My files are okay. :P


I'm sick. I have runny nose and fever. I'm not feeling so good. My eyes hurt as well. Ohhhhh this is going to be a tough break/


I miss my exec. :) del.jet.mike.dads.tina.dar.maelen.donna.kath.ze.arn.diana.mike.mich :)


I'm spiritually troubled. I'm bothered and frustrated. I feel this way whenever I try to remember things. You see, I can't understand why people act the way they do. It's weird how they can say one thing and act otherwise. It just makes me feel so frustrated.

I feel ugly.

I'm excited to study but because I'm not feeling well I can't. At least I managed to bring all the materials I need. :)


heaven :)

On Carl's Bike

What are these pictures? :)

My raw Creative Shots. :)

Day 3

My third day of internship is marked by a quiet beat, not as explosive as the previous day’s events.

In the morning, I did my routine calls. I phoned the different police precincts covered by my Southern Police District beat. In every station I inquired about the latest crime and police reports that could be used for police stories in the Inquirer.

Most of the stations said nothing of significance happened in their area. Some sounded apprehensive while others utterly confused as an unknown intern from the Inquirer sought crime information from them.

I covered Pasay, Makati, Paranaque, Las Pinas, Muntinlupa, Taguig and Pateros. Of the seven police stations, only Las Pinas managed to give a report albeit a low-profile one. They faxed two reported incidents. The first one involved a man who allegedly died of cardiac arrest while walking towards his gym. This is not newsworthy, I thought.

The second incident, though still not of national significance is a lot more newsworthy than the cardiac arrest story. It was about a part-time driver who allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself inside his home. It was a tragic story. His neighbor and friend left the man still alive to buy food in a nearby stand. But when he returned, he found him already hanging by his neck from a black cable wire tied around a wooden beam.

I wrote the story and gave it to my reporter as usual. I waited for him to call me so that he can criticize my work, but it seems that he is not up to full-time mentoring. Oh well, I thought.

After writing the story, I had nothing else to do for the remainder of the day. I read the newspapers and compared the news in the major dailies. I also studied the writing style of the crime and police stories. I can say I’m learning a lot in news writing. I admit that I have not mastered the craft in my J 102 and it is only now that I’m learning how to write news.

If ever I’ll teach news writing, I recommend giving my students daily writing assignments to keep them sharp.

News has a certain language and melody which until now I can’t fully grasp. I think this is a result of not mastering the writing style early in my writing career. I have no trouble with long-form writing like feature, but when it comes to the succinct news, I get upset.

Aside from writing, I also set out to update my news verbs and nouns list. I have long planned to make a list of the action verbs and concrete nouns often used in certain stories to help me write faster. I am able to add several verbs and nouns during my free time.

Day 2

Action-packed. I’ll describe day two as such. Instead of going to Camp Bagong Diwa, my reporter and I proceeded immediately to the Old Makati City Hall to take over the Makati beat from another Inquirer reporter.

Makati City Hall’s press room is as wide as the Press Information Office in Camp Bagong Diwa. It was a lot messier, however. Piles of papers and magazines jutted here and there. Old press releases covered desk tops and tables. Metal cabinets belonging to old and present reporters accumulated dust and earth under the office desks attached to the grayish wall of the office. Evidences of press work are everywhere.

Two old desktops were used by the reporters to bash their stories and beat deadlines. Most of them, however, including our fellow interns from the University of Sto. Tomas, brought their own laptops at work. I can’t bring mine because I don’t want to risk it in the packed MRT rides I endure going to and from Makati.

Sir Marlon Ramos arrived early in the office to take over the coverage of the pre-trial of a case filed by the brother of running priest Fr. Robert Reyes. The deceased Reyes files a 500,000 peso case against Philip Morris for allegedly luring him to smoke their tobacco products at an early age through their advertisements.

We went to the Makati Regional Trial Court to cover the hearing, but upon arriving, found that it was already finished. The other reporters were already interviewing Fr. Reyes outside the court room, asking him opinions on the motion filed by Philipp Morris’ lawyers further delaying the hearing.

It was my first time to see Fr. Reyes up-close and personal. He looked much like the images broadcasted on television. I was also privileged to meet his parents and get to ask them a question or two. Fr. Reyes’ mother was a very nice lady. She’s soft-spoken and inquisitive and asked me and Rachel Miranda, my co-intern, about our studies and our future plans. She also commented on the defense’s lawyers attempts to stall the proceedings.

Early on we got good leads and writing the story’s all that’s left for us to do. Sir Marlon assigned Rachel to write her version of the tobacco case story. I on the other hand was assigned to write about a tanker which spilled its cargo in Pasay city, tangling traffic in the morning rush hour.

The biggest police news in South Manila that day involved a 10-wheeler truck spilling 19 tons of molasses after it tipped over on its side along Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City. Sir Marlon got the lead from the local radio stations which reported on the accident in one of their news bulletins. Sir Marlon followed up the story and wrote a quick news for After a while, he asked me to write my version of the story and to add quotes to liven my story.

Unfortunately, as I tried to call the traffic management arm of the police, they denied me the information, saying an Inquirer reporter—Sir Marlon—already called earlier. They told me to just get the information from him.

I told this to my reporter partner and he just laughed, commenting under his breath about the lazy police force we have in the country. Left with nothing to do, he asked me to write the same story using his notes. I finished my story in a couple of minutes and tried to compare my work with what he had written. There’s not much difference, I noted.

After writing the story, we were back to reading newspapers and comparing news and headlines. We laughed at some sensationalized tabloid reports, particularly about a young man attacked by a shark in Batangas. The different tabloid-sized newspapers ran the story, each using the most absurd verb to catch readers’ attention. One newspaper used “sinagpang,” another “nilapa,” and yet another “niratrat.” This is sensationalism in action, I thought.

At around five in the afternoon, I though the day would soon be over. Sir Marlon, however, announced to our group in the office that a news is about to break. It involved the Subic Rape case where the complainant, “Nicole” recently recanted. Sir Marlon said the Court of Appeals was about to overturn the decision of the Makati RTC, clearing Lance Corporal Daniel Smith of the guilty verdict.

Sir Marlon and the other reporters, us included, raided the Makati RTC to get the opinion of Judge I-don’t-remember-the-name, who gave Smith the guilty verdict. The judeg, however refused to comment, saying he still didn’t know that Smith was cleared. The reporters argued a bit with the judge’s secretary, pleading her to tell Judge that they’re just asking for three minutes of interview.

When judge finally went out from his room, the only information the reporters were able to extract from him was that he had never been overturned before. The reporters tried to push the limit by asking him to comment on the case, but he judge was firm. He didn’t want to say anything about the decision.
This was the last-minute action in my day. I’ll add more tomorrow. :)

100 and Internship

I just found out that this is my 100th post on my blog. I don't know if that's news. :)

I'm starting my OJT on the 20th, with my reporter-partner's confirmation. If that's the case, I'll be spending much of my summer in South Manila somewhere in Bicutan. I tried commuting there yesterday with my father and it's really far. Just for the record:

1. From UP, ride a jeep going to MRT. (Pantranco Jeep)
2. Ride the MRT to Magallanes.
3. From Magallanes, ride a bus going to Bicutan. Stop at SM Bicutan.
4. Walk on Bayani's pink footbridge.
5. Ride a tricycle going to Camp Bagong Diwa.

This takes about two hours. If MRT's full, you can take an Ayala Ibabaw bus instead in Philcoa. But this will make the journey longer.

There. I forgot the fare. All I know is, it costs a fortune. This will be a very long summer. God bless to me.


Today, my 2nd semester finally ended. After three months of sleepless nights, rantings, heartaches and worries, the semester is finally closing. Praise God for His grace. Praise God for His love.

In a few minutes, I will be riding home to San Fernando for five days of rest and spiritual retreat. I really need to straighten my path, of course, with His help. The end of the semester drained me of my wits and energy. With group works demanding so much time and effort, I struggled to balance my academic life and ministries. I admit, I lost track these past weeks, and it's only now that I'm regaining sight of that cross where His blood was spilled. I miss Him so much. I miss the intimate moments we had together, the quiet times when I cried out my worries and anxieties in prayer and He answered with encouraging words from the Bible. I miss those times. I pray that I'll be able to have those times once more this summer.

Speaking of summer. Today, I also received my beat assignment for the internship and it's in the farthest corner of NCR-- SOuthern police district (Paranaque, Pasay, Makati, LAs Pinas, Muntinlupa, Taguig and Pateros) My first reation was, "What!? I don't even know how to get there. Oh no."

This summer is going to be a big adventure. Please pray with me as I struggle to balance my acad life and my leadership role in DCF, not to mention my love story with JEsus. :) These will be all for His Glory!!!! Amen.!!!


I started a new blog today, but I cannot show it to anyone. At the right time, however, I will allow everyone I love to see it and read it. But for now, I keep a secret.