Thursday, 31 December 2015

15 for 2015

Over the years, the events in our lives will come and go but  the joys and good memories from the experience stay in our hearts or so I thought.  When Dadilo was diagnosed with a brain tumor and he told us that a big chunk of his memory got lost,  I think that there is a possibility that anyone may have memory loss.  It is more painful than any physical pain to have forgotten some important details in our lives.  So while we can, we need to cherish and feel the joy of being with our families, explore the places we never thought we will set our feet on or simply breathe and live the blessings and favors that God bestowed upon us.

Here is a snapshot of our family's travels for 2015:

The year 2015 was special because of the many events that happened in my life.  I usually would list top ten events but this year I have 15 for 2015:

1.  I successfully completed my Project Management Certificate at University of Toronto.
2. Lito and I renewed our marriage vows a day before my 47th birthday.
3. Mama and Dadilo returned to Canada.
4. My sister Wendy and her family (Carter, Candy and Carlisle) visited us in Toronto.
5. We travelled to Niagara Falls, Ottawa, Montreal and Old Quebec City.
6. High School "Besties" and our families had a reunion - Joy and Carlyn in New York.
7. Our original bible study cell group had a reunion and our families are growing bigger.
8. I took driving lessons and still learning how to drive.
9. My career is doing well and hopefully moves to the next level.
10. I got hooked on "Aldub" and admires the moral lesson in courtship and friendship it promotes.
11. My kids have grown taller and are excelling in school. Aloysius moved up to High School.
12. We had a "no snow" trip to Blue Mountain Ski Resort this winter.
13. Aloysius had a one day work experience at Molson through the Take your kids to work day program and he enjoyed talking to my Managers, Directors and peers.
14. Kyle won in the Art Calendar contest.
15. Alexus celebrated his 7th birthday with a Minion Party attended by his classmates and friends.

Thank you Lord for these wonderful memories. May you continually bless us this new year.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Lessons learned from the Miss Universe incident

Being a Filipino and a fan of beauty pageants, I was so excited to watch the Miss Universe 2015. I even participated in the voting system. Of course, I used my critical judgement in selecting the rightful candidates to be in the finals. Miss Philippines without a doubt stood out both in the swimsuit and evening gown competition. The Q&A in the semi finals was not a casual talk but put Miss Philippines bet Pia Wurtzbach in the hot spot who came out with a safe answer and nailed it for the judges.

It was exciting and suspenseful as the pageant progressed especially when they announced the top 3 and Miss Philippines emerged as one of them. We were shrieking and clapping when Pia gave the best answer. Now you can just imagine how we and the rest of the Filipinos all over the world were patiently waiting for this moment because it has been 42 years since Philippines had her Miss Universe title.  When Miss USA was called to become the 2nd runner up, I told myself that this is it, Philippines is going to win because Miss Colombia's answer to that Q&A cannot beat that of Pia's.  But then the incident happened, Steve Harvey mistakenly announced that Miss Universe is Miss Colombia instead of Miss Philippines. That incident hurt not only Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines but also the Filipinos and Colombians who were expecting their candidates to win.  It stole Miss Philippines' crowning and victory walk moment. It stole the limelight from Pia who remained humble and poised under pressure.

Confidently Beautiful with a Heart

When Pia was finally crowned and was ready to do her walk, she tried to approach and comfort Miss Colombia who was unbecoming of a true sport and a Lady by crying like a child. But the ladies surrounding Ariadna shoved Miss Philippines and told her to step back.  Pia did her walk while the other ladies were shouting Colombia Colombia! The atmosphere which was supposedly jovial turned out to be like a boxing arena or a gladiatorial fight. But our newly crowned queen has remained calm and poised. She kept smiling even though deep inside she's hurting. She had her proper crowning moment backstage and there she poured her tears out, away from the cameras and audience view. She was humble and didn't complain but rather commented that the traditional crowning ceremony is so 2015 with a smile. What an attitude!

So, What's in it for me anyway?

It's been 24 hours and I still cannot get over it, well I think most of the Filipinos are.  Before hitting the sack last night and after waking up this morning I kept on reading updates about the Miss Universe 2015.  Like most of the Filipinos and Colombians and other fans, I'm following everything from that event, down to the last replies, what could have beens and even nasty comments and bashings. I would not call it patriotic but I would side with Pia not only because she is a Filipina but more so because Miss Philippines deserved to win that crown. It is the pride and honor that this victory meant and we Filipinos have been longing for this in the past 42 years.

Lessons learned from this incident

I've read so many comments about this incident but there is one that I am reposting here because it is timely and relevant to all of us regardless of our circumstances. Thanks to Dhee Jhey for these lessons:

Everything happens for a reason. God is in control of everything. Now ask why would He allow such thing like this to happen?

1. The whole world is watching, God wants to show us that earning everything in this world means nothing to Him but what matters is what's inside our hearts and how we treat other people.

2. Unexpected incidents reveal what is really within us. We can't rehearse for it, we don't know when it is coming and this event shows a lot of revelation from all the candidates, especially their true colors.

3. Beauty will fade but the goodness of a person's heart lasts eternity. Most of the time we put value into things that are seen while things that are unseen are the most important.

4. Those who humble themselves will be lifted up, those who boast will be put in shame.

5. It is not what people around you says that matters but how God looks at your heart. And He will entrust you with what He thinks you can manage.

I hope we realize these points so we can understand why the Miss Universe 2015 incident happened and what we can learn from it.  I want to quote Miss Colombia saying "Everything happens for a reason."