Little, Sweet Reminders

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Forgive the blur. But this is a recent portrait of me: a LOVED HUMAN who is a FIGHTER!

 

BACKGROUND: It’s been a while since I last wrote in my blog! Well, as some of you dear readers know, med school happened and that means more time spent in academic stuff than blogging. But earlier this morning, during my daily devotional time, the message struck me and I had the urgent need to share my heart out. Despite the fact that it’s hell week as some would consider it (it’s the last week of classes BTW= yehey!!), I’m glad to have this moment of keeping my fingers busy. After all, I need a simple break from all the studying and I can’t deny it; I miss doing this!

THE ESSENTIALS: So the message was to “remind the people” and in the process that I was reminded of such a task, it would bring much bearing if I don’t keep to myself these reminders that are worthy to be shared to the world especially for times like these:

  1. You are loved. By God. By family. By friends. By someone.

After experiencing some challenges recently (in all aspects from sickness to stress to failure), I was able to see a clearer picture of God’s love for me. Sometimes, when life is smooth and everything seems to go well, we lose sight of what we have. We tend to forget the Lord and we fail to appreciate His love for us as we set our eyes on other things that seek our affection. That’s why maybe He allows trials to come our way so that this would not happen. And yet during such times, His love endures and sustains us. It is His love that causes Him to heal our infirmities, that keeps us going in the journey He’s called us (in my case, to continue studying though I feel like giving up), that brings us back to Him after we’ve hurt or failed Him constantly. And you know what I like about His love is that it is expressed in so many ways. Like through the people around you, whom He can use to bless you or mold you. Or just the simple necessities we take for granted: food, water, air, clothing.

And let us not forget Calvary. Oh, just to think how the Son of God was more than willing to give His life as a ransom for sinful man! Every time I meditate on this, it is just so overwhelming! Such a reminder is enough fuel for me to make the best out of my life, to live for Him out of earnest love and deepest gratitude. How about you?

2. You can do this! Through Christ Who gives you strength. (Phil. 4:13)

Being a medical student is such a great privilege but most of the time, it may be a burden with all the responsibilities and expectations laid on you. It is inevitable to be overwhelmed with the stock of knowledge to be dealt with in the absence of luxury of time. And I believe that some would even sacrifice their health or family time just to compensate. Well, this does not hold true for future doctors. In this fast paced world where competition thrives and selfish ambition rules, it is easy to give in to hopelessness, fear and loss of confidence. We are all prone to wear out and give up. But as cliche as this sounds, may this adage remind why you can achieve your goals and pursue your dreams no matter what: “If God puts you to it, He will put you through it.”

3. You are human. With limitations. With weaknesses. But with passions and necessities.

Somehow linked to the second reminder, there’s indeed more to life than just studying. Or whatever it is that we’re bound to do, wherever God called us. In order to keep a striking balance, let us not forget that we also have other needs. Giving ourselves a break by participating in sports, music, art, etc. or just indulging in a sweet treat- these can make all the difference. (Look at me now; I could have studied Pathology but I still feel equally fulfilled with this writing!)

So I guess that’s about it! Just three simple reminders. For myself. For you. For the whole jaded world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colombiazoned

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The track is available at: https://soundcloud.com/kylehabaradas/colombiazoned

BACKGROUND: Last 2015, when my country’s candidate Pia Wurtzbach won as Miss Universe, I was one of the happiest people on earth. Knowing her story, how she persevered to reach her goals and dreams made her victory so sweet. But with such a controversial turn of the crown, as you may recall, her reign hasn’t been the smoothest with all the hate comments and negative vibes from certain people. But she handled them all with grace and poise, as any Miss Universe winner would.

My fellow Filipinos, always seeing the humor in any situation, coined the term ‘Colombiazoned’ referring to what happened that unforgettable night. It refers to how you end up expecting something so badly but in vain. And there was a craze of using that word in statuses or ‘hugot’ posts. After some time, I had the inspiration to compose something for a national songwriting competition the next year. And before I knew it, with hard work and creativity sustained by God’s help, Colombiazoned was born! (I never made it to the contest proper though but hey, at least I tried!)

I know some of you dear readers may not understand the context of this song. (Even the lyrics to my non-Filipino audience poses a challenge!) Or it may be just the quality  of my record. (Forgive me for I don’t have a recording studio. Can you give me one? *Laughs) But whether you can relate or not, I hope you get the meat of my composition and never end up being Colombiazoned or worse, ending up like Steve Harvey!

Hindi ko akalain

Na ikaw ang naging salarin

Ng paghulog ng aking puso

Pag-ibig nga ba to?

Iyong napatunayan

Ika’y higit pa sa kaibigan

Para ako lang yung nanalo

Ng Miss Universe na titulo

Ngunit ako’y pinagpalit

Yung feeling na ika’y pinaasa

Ang sakit

Ako’y pinagkait

Sa pag-ibig na maling akala

(Bakit ako naniwala?)

Chorus:

Steve Harvey ng buhay ko

Bakit mo na kayang gawin ito?

Randam ko na ako na talaga

Pero hindi pala, hindi pala

Kawawa naman ako

Ganito pala kapag Colombiazoned

Nasa akin na yung korona

Bakit hindi na lang ako ang Pia

Ng buhay mo

 

Mahirap makamove-on

Kapag hapdi’t kirot ang baon

Naging marupok ang puso

Sana hindi imaging bato

Pero babangon ako

Hinding hindi na ulit aasa

Totoo kahit papano

Walang makakatigil sa pagkanta

(Mga Colombiazoned, sama sama!)

Repeat Chorus

Bridge:

Mabuti pa ang weather may PAG-ASA

O ang pag-utang may Pag-ibig

Ang damit nga may Forever

Eh tayo? Paano ako?!

Repeat Chorus

 

P.S. If you feel like singing the song and know it by heart, then sing along!

A Baggage-less 2017

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While I was cleaning my room last Friday (this was my much needed general cleaning), I found this piece of an old calendar. It might be a coincidence that through the mess, this was the only exact paper that was detached from the rest. But with the quote written on it, I can’t help but think that this was divine intervention in ways I may never know or explain.

But nevertheless, what really matters is the timely message I received as I was on the crossroads of a new year- which meant a page of a new 365  page book and writing a good one as Brad Paisley puts it. (Sighs). Yes, I feel determined in achieving that end by God’s grace but sometimes, in the long run, I may get too exhausted or wearied down. (You may have read my entry, the one prior to this which was my last for 2016; it somehow reflects how I failed to apply the quote in the photo above) That’s why it is so important for me to fully let go of all the negatives I have carried in 2016 in order to really start another year the right way!

So looking back to yesterday, the first day of 2017, I am peacefully contented and blissfully grateful that I started the process of living life minus the unnecessary baggage. Having surrendered my burdens and committed my will to God, I was able to bring joy (I cleaned my mother’s garden and it brought a smile to her face), perseverance (I got to play my violin again with high hopes that my skills would improve ), faith (I learned to shake off the doubts and just trust the Lord; I’m still learning) and love (This was manifested by all of the following because I wouldn’t want to live right this 2017 if it were not for it. Thank You Jesus for the love!)

(Breathes deeply)

I don’t know how this year would turn out or if all these efforts would end up in vain. Certainly, life is full of uncertainties. But one thing remains certain to me: I’m learning to live life to the fullest now, certain kilos lesser!

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Nanay was not the only one happy on January 1. Look at the plants! How huge their smiles!

2016: A Year of Lessons/Realizations

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PHOTO taken by my good friend and brother in Christ, Jared Kaiser

Fresh from a wonderful Sabbath of serving God and fellowship with my family plus friends, I am so stoked to have this post as my last for the year 2016. I was so blessed with the messages I heard from the Divine Service (it was so timely!) up to the AY Program. And it is my utmost desire to faithfully apply these in my life as the new year begins. (So help me God!)

2016 has been a very challenging year for me. In a lot of ways: physically, mentally (more of like academically), socially/emotionally and of course, as evidenced in recent write-ups, spiritually. I have to say I’ve grown for the good but it would be a lie not to admit that I’ve also grown for the worse. But despite all the happenings I went through this year, God has ever remained faithful and gracious to me. May that be reflected in the things I’m about to share.

Instead of writing about my highlights, let me share the lessons (hence, the title) or the realizations I’ve had from out of the different experiences I was in or circumstances I dealt with:

  1. No matter how hard you try to be good or kind to others, there will always be people who will use you, take advantage of your or hurt you for hurting’s sake. But then again, we live in an imperfect world; we can’t please everyone. So I guess I end up reminding myself that it is God Who I need to please or to focus on. And worse, maybe they thought that by dong such, you will go dark. But you will prove them wrong because you choose to let the good in you remain and improve for the better. Ouch! It seems like the first one is salt on a wound but definitely it’s the one that has the most impact on me. As you may have read in a post in the past, I’ve been through one ‘valley’ which tested my faith in God and my will to survive. But the Lord saw me through. So with love and forgiveness in my heart, I will move on to 2017 with this lesson inculcated in my heart.
  2. I’m a garbage collector, a good one. During the general cleaning of my room, I got to see how many stuff I have kept through the years that needed to be disposed. It made me ponder that I probably collected a lot of garbage, not only  literally but also in my life’s room; maybe people, habits, emotions or other things which I definitely need to let go. So with enthusiasm and for a good purpose, here’s to cleaning up my life! (Plastic also serve as part of my collection but hopefully they’re not the people I know!)
  3. You can never survive anything life throws at you without God. Well, I believe I’m not the only one who understands this fully. From the book of Job (which was our topic for the Sabbath School lesson this quarter) to experiencing many tough times, I came to value how a relationship with God really helps during such and what faith in Him entails. Yes, being comforted by your family and friends is a blessing. But to know that the God of the Universe knows your pain and cares enough for You; to add, that He is always in control no matter what happens, is certainly far better. So here’s to enriching my spiritual walk even more as I enter 2017!!!

There are surely a lot of lessons/realizations for this year but these three are the ones worth sharing and heart tugging as well! I just could not overemphasize how deeply thankful I am for God’s love manifested in His guidance, sustenance, protection, and of course His forgiveness! Your grace is truly amazing, dear Lord!

With a grateful heart, a focused mind and a confident spirit, I move forward to 2017! Happy New Year!

The Inquisition

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I don’t know if it’s the hormones or just the holiday blues but I sort of felt burdened/weary recently… Well, human as I am, I am always prone to fluctuations in my mood or emotions. Who on earth is not? There is no immunity no matter how much I consider myself to be a proton. To express myself subtly, here are random questions (some petty, some serious) I’m faced with at the moment and maybe you, dear reader have an answer or two…

Why is it that when you want to achieve something out of good purpose (you’re actually doing someone a favor with your willingness to help) , you end up with ‘antagonism’? But the person who asks something that is not needed at all from that same someone, is met with, ironically, a positive response?

How is it that some people cannot afford to say even just a simple “thank you” especially when it is somehow desirably expected?

 Why do good people still lose friends? 

Why is it that some people are so perplexed and hard to grasp? You are willing to help but why do they still choose to make things more complicated?

How do you get your doctor parents to listen to you? Because seriously, you’re very concerned with their health but they’re like worse than kids so how do you stay patient with such patients?

What should I really feel when people think I’m a high school student? Should I be happy because I still look young or should I feel bad because there might be something wrong with my endocrine system? 

How long will it take for me to get this right? When will the cycle ever stop? 

Why did I allow myself to become like this? I know some things will never be, should never be but why do I feel so inclined to feel such emotions for or to these people?

Why is it that people always seem to see the good in me and put me on a pedestal? Not that it’s a bad thing but how I wish they knew so they could see that I’m also struggling or maybe worse than they could be/are?

Do I have what it takes to become the doctor I intend to be and what God plans me to be?

Will I ever find the girl of my dreams? Or is she already there and I just have to open my eyes?

Will I be ready for the second Advent? (I hope and pray so. I had to answer something for this one. After all, the eternal prize is my most important goal in life.)

(Breathes deeply.)

I think I feel much better now, to the point that I can light up a cigarette. (Joke intended!)

 

Decembreak (December + Sembreak) Feels

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Forgive the tiny photo but at least it shows how happy I am this Christmas break..

And finally after quite some time, I am back to blogging! It is quite clear to me now that I cannot successfully accommodate the demands of being a med student and a blogger! But I have high hopes that come 2017, I can squeeze in WordPress every now and then as a sort of study break. Well, I sort of just had a ‘lag’ on what to write next due to hunger and yes, I’m forcing myself to finish this post so that I could reward myself with a nice dinner. Anyway, let me share with you briefly what I plan to do this Christmas vacation which also serves as our sem break. (Sorry if I had to break down what the ‘play-with-words’ title was and not leave you to get it! Oh well, that’s me making sure you do! )

It was only last Wednesday, December 14, when our Christmas break began and since then I have been pretty busy juggling work and rest. Coming from the most tiring and challenging semester in med school so far, I was thirsty for a break. Imagine my endurance and patience during the last days of exams when studying seemed to be an obligation and no longer a delight. So yes, you could tell I really couldn’t wait for first sem to be over! And I guess it was the same case for my batch mates. Now that I’m here living out my vacation, I just feel so relieved. Looking back, I can’t help but say “Thank God I survived that one hell of a ride!”

With only three weeks and 4 days already done, I have so much to do in such a small amount of time. And from my history of making lots of goals but ending up not achieving them all, there is just this spark of determination I feel right now for this year’s Christmas vacation to be different. So here’s me hoping and praying I get to achieve the following:

  1.  PROJECT WEIGHT GAIN: Now’s the essential time to gain back the pounds I lost while studying and stressing myself out! It is timely for such ’cause not only it’s Christmas but I’m back home! Nothing beats delicious, home-cooked meals by Nanay (mom)!
  2. Play my violin more and once again . It’s such a shame that I left my Bachendorff to rust and dust. But it’s high time for my fingers to hit some strings and hold a bow. How I wish though that this pursuit of learning the instrument more would involve a violin teacher BUT for free. (Chuckles)
  3. Christmas shopping. Well, it’s the usual routine each year but hakuna matata, I don’t forget the true essence of the season. Actually, I’m the most conscientious among my siblings when it comes to buying stuff for presents and I don’t get myself too absorbed with all the gifts and all. (Jesus Christ is the greatest gift, what more could I or we ask for?!)
  4. Finish my albums. I’ve always ended up failing to finish my two music albums. Hopefully I get to finish them before classes start.(Fingers crossed)
  5. Get more sleep. Although I’m not the type that stays up late, like until 2 am, during school days, I still consider sleep a precious physiological need (more important than sex; there you go, I said it!). I know I get less of it when I’m already a clerk so I’d better enjoy it while I have the chance!
  6. Spend more time with family. Here’s to family worships, movie marathons, scrabble time, jogging, etc. and of course, our annual Christmas games!
  7. Take inventory, plan and renew myself. Spending alone time with God is always a  daily priority for me but it comes with a deeper importance when another new year is near to start. I find joy in recalling memories and events, both good and bad, that happened throughout the outgoing year. But there is deeper joy in laying out goals and ambitions for the future especially when borne out of a loving gratitude to and humble faith in God, the One Who sustains my life until this very moment. In line with that is an overwhelming desire to always become a better version of myself, in all aspects.

So far these are the most worth-sharing TTDs I have for Decembreak! How about you? What do you intend to do?  What can you do to make your experience during the holidays more meaningful and more special? Whatever it may be, it is my wish that you enjoy this year’s Christmas and never lose sight of Jesus, the One we celebrate!

Merry Christmas!

Finding Joy in Medicine

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Isn’t it great that the one who shot this is the actress who played a significant character in the movie? Credits to Jade Marie

 

While watching the short film entry of our batch ADeoS entitled Joy in Medicine this afternoon, I was having ‘goosies’ all over me. The emotional masterpiece has appealed to my soul and no matter how I may try to prevent the surge, it has brought back certain emotions attached to hurtful or unwanted memories in my not-so-distant past. Trying to find composure within myself through prayer as I was on my way home, I was so moved by the film that I had the prompting to write what I felt because of it. And it was so funny and weird at the same time when I reached the shed going to the main gate of the campus ’cause the song playing was Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood. When I was near the gate, that’s when the song ended and for the duration of seconds I listened to it, my walk was all the more emotional. (Yes, this speaks volumes.)

(Sighs…) I’ve come to realize that medicine is not only an academic challenge because it affects other aspects of your life- physical, mental, social, emotional and sometimes sad to say, spiritual. But I guess what’s important is that you learn to adjust and accept things for what they really are, believe in yourself and in the people who are worthy of trust and learn to commit everything to God in faith. (That first small group session we had before the screening really helps to set things into the right prospective now.) Unlike one character in the film who clearly lost all hope to live, I choose to see and focus on the bright side of a medical student’s life. (So help me God!)

Through the inevitable that is to come, here’s to finding joy in medicine!