I Said I Won’t Go Abroad to Work, but I was Wrong…


Going abroad for work didn’t appeal to me at all. It might have been some vague nationalist-idealistic bug that bit me in College. After graduation, I even thought that I’ll go back to our province and stay there for the greater good.

Neither did I entertain the prospect of working for a “mere call center” as I derisively called it on my graduation day in April 2003. As I told in a blog post, I ended up eating my words and worked for a call center between 2005 and 2006. It seems that wasn’t the last time I was wrong.

This May 2015, I will join the throng of almost 12 Million Filipinos working abroad. I’m going to Nashville, Tennessee, in the United States.


You could say that an opportunity presented itself and I just couldn’t resist but apply for the position. You see, I’ve been working as the Philippine Staff of Young People’s Ministries, a United Methodist Church agency, which is based in Nashville. But I loved my job! It allowed me to serve a lot of young people within our church and even in the society. I got to interact with awesome youth and young adult leaders, plus youth workers all over the Philippines. I also made several friends as a result of the ministries I pursued.

I wrote and presented two youth-related topics at the 2012 and 2013 Theological Forum, organized by the Asian Theological Seminary. One thing led to another and after my paper presentation in 2012, Ms. Haydee Sampang-Bernardo invited me to became one of the co-hosts of Family Matters, an award-winning radio show, which airs over at 702 DZAS.

I have published two books: “Start Up: Find your place. Engage the world. Sustain your life.” and “May Powers Ka to Be #SuperEpic“. I’ve been busy. :)

But another highlight of my career in recent years involves the humongous responsibility of being the Philippine coordinator of the Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly, a once-in-every-four-years event of the United Methodist Church. It was probably the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced in my career.

Not long after that event, the Board of the Division on Ministries with Young People decided to open a new position: Director for International Ministries of the Young People’s Ministries. Okay, the official title is a church bureaucracy sounding thing: “Director, Young People’s Ministries Program Development – Central Conferences”. Told yah, it’s a nosebleed-inducing kind of title.

The call for applications opened in November 2014. I got interviewed January 2015, and was informed I was the top candidate in February 2015. The visa process started right away, but I finally got my Religious Worker visa in the middle of March. My wife and my son have gotten their visas, too. I will leave for Nashville in June and by the end of July, my wife and son will join me.

Cha and Malcolm have always been part of the plan. Even before we got married, my wife and I agreed that if either of us wanted to go abroad, the family stays together. Yes, it’s more difficult and more expensive. Actually, some friends and family even advised us against going together as a family because of financial considerations.

But the truth is, I might just go crazy if my family won’t be there with me.

Packing Up

I am no stranger to packing up and boxing things up. As the son of a preacher, I have probably stayed in eleven houses, probably more, by the time I graduated from College. In fact, I have had stuff that just stayed in the box for a long time. But packing up to go to another house two or three towns away is a world away from packing up and leaving for another country.

I’ve been meaning to write about this process, including the anxiety, the worry, and the feeling of being overwhelmed by this transition. After all, we’ll be immersing ourselves in a culture vastly different from the one we’ve been brought up in. Thankfully, our son is just over two years old, so it won’t be that big of a challenge for him to adjust in terms of language and the culture.


I believe that God calls us to places and areas where we could help spread the kingdom of God. As I look back to where I’ve been, I can’t help but notice that this is where God is sending me next. As usual, there are lots of uncertainties ahead. But as is usually the case in the Bible, the Lord walks before us in places where God has called us to go.

Video Blog: “Boring Ba ang Bible Mo?” by Rei Lemuel Crizaldo

Sa episode ng Pinoy Youth Video Blog na ito, I talk about one of the most interesting books for Filipino young people na lumabas noong 2014. This is “Boring Ba ang Bible Mo?” by my good friend Rei Lemuel Crizaldo. This is a book about the Bible presented in an interesting way. It is character-driven at pinapakita nito yung mga adventures at misadventures ng mga iba’t ibang characters from the Bible.

Watch the video below to learn more about this book. Highly recommended para sa mga youth, young adults, youth Pastors, at iba pang mga adults who are working with young people.

Job Opening: Philippine Staff, Young People’s Ministries

This position works with the Director, YPM Program Development Central Conferences, Regional Staff, Regional leadership, and with DMYP Division members to develop and execute programs of leader and resource development with leaders of young people’s ministries in the Philippines Central Conference to create and empower a network of leaders to fulfill the ministry needs with youth and young adults in the United Methodist Context.


  • Bachelor’s degree, theological background preferred, but not required;
  • 2-4 years of local United Methodist Church experience in youth and young adult ministry; and
  • at least 2 years of annual conference and central conference experience within the United Methodist Church in the Philippines.

Specialized knowledge

  • Knowledge of young people and their development;
  • Knowledge of systems and people within the United Methodist Church, Christian community and society at large to assist in the accomplishment of responsibilities.

How to apply

If you are interested in this position, please send cover letter and resume to mrasing@umcdiscipleship.org

Application deadline: April 20, 2015

#050 – Passion for History & a Little Bit of Quarterlife Crisis with Lui B of Filipiknow.net


Lui Batongbakal is the blogger behind Filipiknow.net. I chat with him on how he discovered his passion for Philippine history even if he is a Registered Nurse. Along the way, he shares how he wrestled with quarterlife crisis after his father died. He also talks about how he sustains his passion for history.


During his college days, he started writing for Listverse. That’s where he got the inspiration to start Filipiknow in 2013. He partnered with his former boss, who is the owner of DefinitelyFilipino.

Types of Articles at Filipiknow:

List types of articles related to Philippine history
There are also in-depth articles dedicated to single topics.

History is not boring, there’s just a problem in teaching it, probably because the treatment of many history teachers is boring.

Most popular topics at Filipiknow.net

22 Things We No Longer See in Manila
10 Haunting Last Pictures Taken in Philippine History

The readers of the site get to discover the roots and heritage of the Philippines.

A Little Bit of Quarterlife Crisis

After graduating from Nursing in 2011, he wanted to take Medicine but his father died so he needed to find a job to support his family. He became a call center agent, a freelance writer, and eventually became a blogger.

He just goes with the flow and do what he wants, grabs every opportunity that comes his way.

History as a Passion

Lui has a team that runs the website, which helps him implement the content and social media strategy of the website. He buys books and does in-depth research to provide maximum value to his readers.

Teodoro Agoncillo and Ambeth Ocampo are two History writers that should be read by every Fililpino. “Puwede palang hindi boring ang history, as long as it is presented in an interesting manner.”

Filipiknow.net is not a sustainable passion. Lui’s portion of income comes from his nursing website, and that helps him sustain his passion for history.

How much can a website earn?

“The sky is the limit sa blogging as long as you find the right niche, right audience, and the right angle na para maging successful yung blog mo…. Make your blog unique. Don’t copy other blogs…. Find something that will make you stand out.”

“Don’t be afraid to stand out; don’t be afraid to make something that has never been done before.”

On history: “Don’t see history as something boring. It will take you to places you’ve never been before. It will introduce you to a lot of stories, a lot of interesting stories and figures na hindi mo naencounter sa school at sa college. Ang history kasi, hindi lang siya useless facts. Marami ka ring matututunan and marerealize mo na history indeed repeats itself.”

On Blogging: “I recommend na find a mentor. Invest in books that will teach you sa knowledge.”

Website: http://Filipiknow.net
Facebook: /filipiknow.net

Welcome to the Pinoy Youth Video Blog

Hey guys and girls, I’m starting a new video blog. Maniwala kayo at hindi, I’ve been trying this (and failing at it) since 2006. So, nagkalakas loob uli ako to do something in a video format.

So welcome to the first episode of the Pinoy Youth Video Blog. It’s just a kind of orientation and what you can expect from it, plus an announcement about a book review I’m planning to release soon.