Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Some trinkets to remember

>> Sunday, 10 May 2015

I have not been updating my blog and I missed opportunities to share the good things and blessings that I received.  I tend to forget about them so now, even if for a short post, I will mention the trinkets to remember so that when I get older and if I decide to make this blog of mine into a book, I will be able to read or pass on the good memories.

My Starbucks mug - my sister gave it to me last 2011 and I've been using it ever since. It was always with me in my meetings and conference calls.  It kept me warm in winters while walking on the streets of Toronto and while waiting for the bus. It was  not just was a vessel to my favorite drink. It was my constant companion and I feel sad that it finally gave  in and broke.  I remember  my director boss told me that she gave that day I was meeting her the deadline that if no one will claim the mug from her, she will take it, because there was no design like that in  Toronto. I told her that I got it from the Philippines and it has a sentimental value to me because  my sister gave it to me. It felt like I got reunited with an old friend. LOL, crazy me.

Slow Down - this was the favorite comment of my driving instructor, especially when I am turning. I need to slow down. Now I come to realize that the same word is to be applied when we are making decisions, when we are angry or  making plans. We need to slow down and think and analyze more before turning or making the next move. Even if the world is at fast pace, we should be slowing down.

The word RESTFUL - my son Alexus gave me a present today and  the word restful was R of the word MOTHER, the other words were Marvelous,  Optimist, he said his teacher said the meaning was positive, Terrific, Heroic, Exciting, but he explained the word Restful. He said it's because I'm always resting or sleeping. LOL! I just explained that I need sleep because I come to office early. I will definitely consider that as my favorite trinket from Lex. Pensive thinking, I believe that the word truly depicts me because I'm putting everything in Gods hands and with that I can really rest.

Salt - I always remember this every time I clean fish, salt removes the smell, cleans, preserves and adds flavor. We are reminded that our life is to be like salt as what God commanded in Mark 9:50, "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other."

That's it for now and I hope I can add more soon. Thank you trinkets.


Read more...

Gardening and the Parable of the Sower

>> Saturday, 18 April 2015

It is Spring and the time to tend the garden. Just like the other gardeners, we use this time to plant seeds and clean the garden. When the rain pours, it gets easier to till the soil. I started doing it and to keep my mind about the chance of encountering earthworms, I think about the parable of the sower while tilling the soil.  It is true that before a seed grows, we need to soften the soil, till it, remove the rocks and weeds and water it. I encountered soils that are so hard, they are like dried clay, no chance of seed to grow in that kind of soil. But just like life's trials and tragedies to a man with a hardened heart, the blows of the spading fork or a tiller makes the soil break lose and soft, with watering, it becomes ready to be planted with seeds. With careful and steady tender loving care, the seeds will grow, harden and then bear fruit or flowers.

The application to the parable is just simple yet profound. All of us are the garden, some of us will have hard, clay-like soil, others will have rocks, others with weeds. If we don't prepare our hearts to accept the seed, it will not stay, grow and bear. God will use something to remind us that purpose, He  will use problems, tragedies or some people to clean us and prepare our hearts fro Gods planting,

When I think about the reasons why our hearts could harden, I though about pride, self-reliance, hurt from past, anger and  rage.  So the weeds and rocks could be our careers, problems, issues, hobbies, Worldly music, shows and movies, love for money and material things that if will not remove them in our garden, will also mean the delay in the planting of the seeds.

The good soil however is the one who is always cultivated, loose and watered. There is a tender loving care to the seed so that it keeps on growing.  The following are the equivalents of the tiller, water and seeds : daily devotions time with God, praise and worship, bible study and activities that promote or encourage God's presence. You know what happens next right? The seed will grow and bear fruit. The daily watering is Gods words being poured out to make seed grow into something bigger.

The seed becomes a young plant then later on blooms and bear fruit. That's the result that every gardener wants to achieve. The same way God wants our lives to become. To bloom and bear fruit for God's glory. He is our gardener and sower.


Read more...

Better be safe than sorry

>> Saturday, 7 March 2015

Today, we added to our weekly learning activities a new topic -safety.  Because I work in a continuous improvement department, I wanted to share with my family the valuable information I'm exposed to which is also applicable to our daily lives.  Just like in our workplace, we are also doing "talks" at home.  For each month, there will be 4 talks every week - safety, health, continuous improvement and about being a Christian. We will have information sessions on the stuff that my kids need to know and I wanted them to develop that habit about embracing these four important lessons in their lives.

Our company recently launched a safety initiative which was also launched globally. Our guest speaker was Spencer Beach, a fire survivor and a motivational speaker for safety.  The message moved me and I thought that it would also impact my children if I bring his story home.

I showed them the video of Spencer's interview and we discussed his tips on how to be safety conscious.  I hope that this will be the start of something worthwhile.



Based on Spencer's talk, here are the top 6 reasons and attitudes why accidents happen:

1. Not aware of safety hazards
2. Not taking time
3. Not wearing Proper Protective Equipment (PPE)
4. Love to gamble (taking risks)
5. "It will not happen to me"
6. Failure to demonstrate safety to others

Lito and I took this opportunity to ask the kids the activities where they can be at risk.  After they were identified, we discussed with the kids the ways on how to prevent the accidents or being hurt.  One perfect example mentioned was riding a bike, so now they know why there's the need to wear helmets before going, why they should not be speeding and should look left and right before crossing.  Other activities like climbing a tree, playing a sport, running in the stairs and handling a sharp object were brought up and also what to do or not do in order to be safe.

The talk was a success. Before we ended the session, we left them with 4 things to remember to be SAFE:

1. Be aware. Learn and ask questions.
2. Take your time. DO NOT RUSH.
3. Wear the Proper Gear.
4. Be mindful of others. Take care of ourselves.

I also reminded them that we should take care of ourselves for the sake of our loved ones who are waiting and depending on us.

That's it for now, we'll have more in the coming weeks.

Be Safe.

Read more...

Back to school again

>> Monday, 23 February 2015

I'm in my second term for the certificate course I am taking at U of T - that is University of Toronto to those who are not familiar. It was exciting when I first set foot at the university and met my classmates, most of them are working professionals like me. I was apprehensive at first but then just like the first few days in my job, it went fine.  My first course was too theoretical and the project we did was too technical, it was too draining because it coincided with my year-end frantic activities.  But just like in my past career and personal issues, God was there and helped me cope.


Many things have changed from the way I studied before which is 25 years ago, or maybe the methods are totally different here in Canada and with a continuing education course. Here are some of them: Textbooks and reading them are mandatory.  Good thing, I love to read although it's also a different feeling reading a novel.  Writing an exam is also another story. The questions are more situational and tricky and is done by multiple choice. The class participation is really helpful as you get a chance to learn about other companies and industries. The orientation of the classroom is conducive to discussion. Just like in the movies, the students are sitting in an elevated theatre -style seating. The instructor pulls up a white screen and the lesson was presented using a PowerPoint.  We were also given an access to the university portal and all communication is done there. The lessons are also available in the portal's Blackboard where the student can access the course materials. Everything was okay and high-tech. If it were not for my team who didn't coordinate very well, I could have liked it. But since I'm not paying for my studies, the extra knowledge and exposure is really a plus for me.

This term, my team is amazing, everybody is engaged and we liked each other too. I don't have problems connecting and communicating.  I look forward working with my team and ace the project.

Hopefully, after completing this, I will be able to start the next course  - Lean Six Sigma.

Read more...

What is real happiness?

>> Saturday, 31 January 2015

For some, it is easy, they are happy when they have food on the table, when they are able to pay the bills and the mortgage. For those in business, they are happy when they close the deal or meeting the targets or exceeding them. It varies, sometimes it depends on how the children are, one new mom said I'm fulfilled and happy when I see my child happy. Some will be happy if they get the latest phone, new purse or new designer clothes. I admit I am happy when I know I will be going somewhere because I love to travel.

Sadly, many people get their happiness only from outward circumstances. As long as their lives are untroubled and they are comfortable, they feel happy.  But when illness strikes, or a relationship breaks down, or any of a thousand other unexpected troubles engulf them, then happiness flees.

Billy Graham said, there is a spring that never varies it's flow. Floods may rage, but it's output doesn't increase. A long summer drought may come, but it won't decrease. It's flow is steady, reliable and unending.

Such is the peace and joy that we all yearn for - and such is the peace Jesus promises to all who trust Him: "The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up in everlasting life....My peace I give you" John 4:14 and 14:27.

What about you? Are you ready when the unexpected or a big storm comes? Will you still be happy? Are you at peace with God? Have you come to His spring? I hope you know where to find the water that will not make you thirsty again. Jesus is waiting.  Happiness is all about Him.

January 2015 has passed and the next month is approaching. What have we done to be near Or bring others to Him? Is it part of our goals this year? Or do we even have a goal in the first place or are we just waiting and being complacent? Are we deep inside truly happy that it shows and radiates to another?

Read more...

It's a matter of choice

>> Monday, 26 January 2015

My sister and I were talking about the fate of some of our friends and relatives.  I know it's not fair to judge but everyone can see what happened. It is evident. What was the RESULT or OUTCOME of the decisions made. We have the tendency to say, "Kawawa naman (I pity her)" because of the results we've seen. The reality is, "It's Their Choice!" It's either you suffer or enjoy the consequence of your choice.

The only thing that bothers me is if they knew the other option. Were they given a choice or they were not aware of what's on the other side? In my job, I always create decision trees. What- if scenarios so that the user will know what to do if they select an option. All the activities coming next and results will be presented. I wonder if the people who made their decision knew these results.

One of my best friends married very young, to his first boyfriend. Of course, at that time they were so in love, she was blind. Didn't see the consequences of marrying young. And so the inevitable happened, they grew apart, one was complacent and another driven by ambition. Her career was detested by her husband, he became not only insecure of her success but also threatened by it. To control the skyrocketing career upswing, he prevented her from going to business trips, speaking engagements or launches as this could be her reason to have extra marital affairs. If she insisted, he would hit her. It was a normal scenario in their household, with the kids witnessing it that she later gave up her career for him. She chose to just have a desk job even if she is really smart just to please him. It was her choice. It was not long before she was promoted again and the cycle continued,  at that time we were regularly meeting for our reunion and we found out about her fate when she arrived in black and blue. We asked her if she was happy and if she knew that she had an option. To cut the long story, she took the other option after the husband left with another girl and got her pregnant. Now she is back on track, very successful in her career and is very happy. Not suffering the fate of her choice. This time she made the right choice, I'm so happy for her.

Most of the OFWs have the same fate, they end up giving up happiness for the sake of the love ones. They keep on extending the contract because the family need more, the lifestyle changed because they had someone to support their "wants" - branded shoes, clothing, latest cellphone, new car etc. The OFW can't go back because the airfare is expensive. Sometimes, if the OFW is a woman, she will not marry because the family will stop receiving  monthly allowance, the husband might not agree with that and the family depends on her. What will happen to them?- Was her question and not what will happen to me?

I hope all the OFWs I was referring to knew what they are committing to, that they are devoting their whole life to supporting the family. I admire that but just like a project that should have been how the activities are linked to before they left, it should have a scope and limitation. Only until Boy graduates, or until we buy a house or until our business grew, or until year 2015. The OFW should be able to give the time and resources to herself, after all she was the one earning the money.  It is sad but most of the time, the OFW will stay as long as she can because the whole family now depends on her, sometimes the whole barangay.  So was she happy? did she want it to go on? It's her choice.

I am just citing that as an example because most of the Filipinos are grateful for an OFW, I was one of them. Without Dadilo's job in Saudi Arabia, I won't finish a degree and will not be able to work and have an experience that is relevant to my job now.   This is not only for OFWs, making a choice is for everyone, whether or not you decide to do good or follow God is your choice. I just hope you realize what your options are and the consequences of not responding to Gods call.

So what do you do? Know your OPTIONS,  what will happen if I choose this course, what will be my career path? What will be my timeline? When will I get married? Will this girl be the right one for me, will we still have a good relationship even if we don't have sex? Have I done my homework in checking her personality and does it matches mine? What is my personality, what goes well, where am I good at or not good at? What do I pursue career or love? Studies or sports? Do I even have  questions to help me decide or do I just go and do it and BAHALA na? Que SeraSera, whatever will be will be!

KNOW GOD and PRAY for guidance.  How can you know someone without finding out things about Him, how can you tell someone your deepest thoughts if you are NOT FRIENDS with Him? Whenever I make decisions, do I pray for it and seek Gods will? Is this Right with God?

CHOICES, CHOICES. We are responsible for the choices we make, we can't blame anyone, it's our choice. Now if the choice was not right, do we continue? That is another choice to make.

PROVERBS 3:6 In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.



Read more...

Thank you 2014, welcome 2015!

>> Thursday, 1 January 2015

The holidays just flew fast. I can't believe the year ended. We celebrated Christmas with family and friends and even if we were sick that week, we had fun. The kids had a blast opening lots of gifts. The Castillo family was complete this Christmas and that's something we really want to thank God for.



 
The year 2014 was very good to us.  There were highs and lows but our ride was smooth and sure.  We reached our destination.  We praise God for making all things possible.  Here are some of the highlights of the year 2014 to our families:

1. Our family's 5 years in Canada and our Canadian Citizenship Oathtaking.
2. Dadilo's successful brain tumor operation.
3. Rhea Sharyn's arrival in Canada.
4. Aloysius accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
5. Alexus graduated as SK.
6. Wendy and family arrival in US.
7. Irmee's career and going to back to school (University of Toronto)
8. Nanay and Tatay's arrival in Canada.
9. Celebrating 15 years wedding anniversary.
10. Castillo's family reunion in Canada.

Thank you to all our families, friends and church family who supported and prayed for us.  May the coming year be another year full of blessings.


Read more...

About This Blog

My blog is about ME as a wife and a mom to Aloysius, Achilles & Alexus. MYSELF as a career woman, and IRMEE as my other roles - a daughter, a sister, a co-worker, a friend and all my discoveries in this wonderful life that God gave. I'll also share my latest finds in food, fashion, gadgets and places.

The rest is anything under the sun, so read on.

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Map

Connections / Useful links

blogarama - the blog directory

  © Blogger template Sunset by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP