5 Social Media Habits to Develop this 2016

I hope you are having a Happy New Year so far! We have left behind the successes and defeats of the past year. It’s time to face the present and the future.

Since we’re already more than halfway through the second decade of the twenty-first century, we just can’t live without Social Media anymore. Let’s make it worthwhile by working on 5 Social Media habits to develop this 2016.

Learn something new.

We don’t really have an excuse for not learning anything new. There’s YouTube for recipes, learning to play the guitar or piano, ukulele, or even this awesome Chapman stick (which, by the way, is being played by Abby Clutario, the lead vocals of Fuseboxx, a Filipino band I like). Continue reading

My 2015 in Review

Every December since 2013, I have resolved to look back at my year, look at my victories and successes as well as my mistakes and failures. The goal is to celebrate the former, and learn from the latter.

I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions–I’ve tried them in the past and it didn’t work for me. I usually forget and neglect those resolutions by the end of February after the initial excitement of the New Year. That’s why, instead of Resolutions, I am focusing on goals broken down into manageable tasks for every quarter and every month. The year-end evaluation is part of this planning and goal-setting process.

On the whole, 2015 had been a year of transition for me and my family. I’ve had some big wins. A couple of cracks that I would have wanted to do differently. But since this is a year of transitions, I don’t feel too bad about those cracks. Here, then, is my 2015 in review.

1st Quarter 2015

By mid-January, I learned that I was the top candidate for a US-based position in our organization, Young People’s Ministries. Cha, Coco, and I started the process of applying for our US R1 Visa. We were in equal parts nervous and excited. Cha and I never really planned to move out of the Philippines to work elsewhere, but we felt that this is where God was calling us, so with much prayers, we proceeded. Continue reading

First Thanksgiving, Family Movie (The Good Dinosaur) & Black Friday in Nashville

We’re learning a lot in this new place that we now call home. Nashville.

Although we didn’t cook Turkey at home, we had our first thanksgiving meal, thanks to Sophia, who invited us for a meal over at their new home, which was 30 minutes away from ours. And when I say 30 minutes, that is by Nashville, not Manila, standards. If this were Manila, 30 minutes would just be enough time for me to travel about 3 kilometers. But here, a 30-minute drive is about 20 miles (roughly 48 km).

We had Turkey, as expected. And in case you’re wondering, it tastes like chicken! But we also had grilled pork ribs, which were awesome! Plus some greens, and other goodies that are typical American fare. Sola (another friend of ours) cooked Biko, which reminded me of home, especially at this time of year, when those puto-bumbong sellers start to show up near the churches in the Philippines.

thanksgiving

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Settling Down, Discovering Lots of New Things

We’ve been in Nashville as a family for just a little over one week now. Coco’s jetlag is fading away. Mine still shows in bits and pieces as I wake up at 3 in the morning. Charina’s still shows a bit, but she and Coco are getting along just fine in our apartment. We’re settling down for sure. The house is all tidy now. We still need quite a few things like an oven toaster, but our Sola promised to give us one. Yay! And we also got a nice Welcome Rug that screams a loud Southern “Hey y’all” for any visitor that will come a-knocking soon, thanks to my colleague Lee Ann. Last Saturday, we went to the playground at Charlie Daniel’s Park in Mt. Juliet. And boy, Coco loved every single bit of it! Too bad it rained later in the afternoon.

climbing

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Why Young People Leave the UMC: A Reaction from Ms. M

Hi everyone, thanks so much for your interest in my previous blogpost: Why Filipino Young People Leave Traditional Christian Denominations.

I may have hit on a palpable pain point in the church. But not surprisingly, hindi lang United Methodist Church ang may ganitong problema. I heard from several friends and other online connections na nasa ibang churches about their own problem of young people leaving traditional churches in favor of the CF’s.

I just feel compelled to provide a disclaimer: I love the United Methodist Church and this is an attempt to understand why young people are leaving the church. We need to have honest conversations about faith and spirituality. In the end, this is a question of ministry and loving people.

With that said, I am posting several reactions to the post last week. This one is from a former UMYF leader who is still within the UMC, but who actively attends one of the CF’s in Metro Manila. I changed some of the details of the story below, but I believe it reflects a lot of the realities that young Methodists face.

Please comment in a civilized manner. I will not tolerate rude, condescending, or any comment that will not help in understanding this matter. You can express surprise, hurt, or any emotion you may feel in reaction to this post, but do so in love and respect. – Mighty

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image credit: TheGospelCoalition.org

Right now, I still help out in the UMYFP in our district somewhere in the Manila Episcopal Area. I still serve our local church. But here in Manila, I am active in _CF Makati & Sundays at _CF Ubelt.

Why?

1. Growth

When I went to college in the España U-Belt area, I was active in the Upperbox Ministry of Central UMC and with the Vesper Choir. This was my inactive years in UMYF back home due to distance & my study schedule.

Honestly, all I desired was to serve God & people. I didn’t have personal devotion time and even a discipleship group which really focuses on my spiritual walk like the set-up of the 12 apostles, Paul & Timothy.

I was seriously drained, and there came a major blow in my life that I hit rock bottom, I was physically alone battling that struggle. So I asked for help from one of my UMYF friends who iwas already active in _CF. From that time on, i was refueled & revived.

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Why Filipino Young People Leave Traditional Christian Denominations

After the Christmas Institute season in 2014, I decided to look more deeply into the reason why a lot of United Methodist youth and young adults are leaving the United Methodist Church and moving to newer, more exciting church movements such as Victory Christian Fellowship (VCF), Christ Commission Fellowship (CCF), and Doulos for Christ Ministry among others.

I’ve heard a lot of stories from friends, former co-leaders in the National level of the United Methodist Youth Fellowship in the Philippines. The more I talked with friends in the ministry and young leaders in the grassroots, the more I am convinced that we are losing our most passionate young adults to these groups.

 

The big question is WHY?

But before attempting to answer this big question, I want to lay down some facts or perhaps assumptions (MY assumptions, that is…) would be a better term to use here.

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I find it difficult to be vulnerable and here’s why…

These past couple of days, I’ve been trying to build a morning routine, which consists of a simple set of activities. I put the morning routine on Trello, one of the new productivity apps I’m crazy about. I can write a lot about Trello or about this morning routine, but let’s reserve that for future posts, shall we?

morningroutinetrello

What I’d like to highlight, though, is the bits on Meditation and writing on my journal. Keeping silent and meditating for 5-10 minutes daily had been helpful so far. It’s helping me be more focused and mindful of the things I need to do. Couple that with the practice of writing on a journal and I become better at thinking through my goals, my frustrations, and even the source of my frustrations and personal issues.

It’s also helping me be more vulnerable. Continue reading

4 Reasons Why Yuppies Should Care about Philippine Politics and 3 Ways to Do So!

Compared with the occasional office gossip or showbiz issue, politics can be a conversation-stopper. It can be contentious and before you knew it, you’d be spewing one complaint after another. In this article, I’ll give you 4 reasons why we, yuppies need to care about Philippine politics, and 3 ways to do it.

Corruption is rampant in the country. You would probably think that after Marcos, we would have learned to be better at managing public funds & demanding greater transparency from the government. But still, we’re confronted by the many faces of corruption, whether they be called kickbacks, pork barrel, SOPs, PDAF, or DAP.

The sad part is, you often feel powerless over many problems and issues in the country.

As yuppies, we are busy and preoccupied, and we don’t want to hear negative things. We have enough negativity at work already. We don’t want to hear the negativity in government.

But if we keep quiet and accept things as they are, we become part of the problem.

It’s very easy to be cynical toward the government. But as yuppies, we cannot afford to do that. After all, we are part of this bigger community called the Philippines. That’s why we need to care and make our voices heard in Philippine politics.

yuppiesPHpolitics

Here’s are 4 reasons why we yuppies need to care about Philippine politics:

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6 Things I Wish the MRT Management & the DOTC would Do for Commuters

For most yuppies, the daily travel to work feels like going to war. As soon as you get off the FX, bus, or jeep, and prepare to ride the MRT, you square off your shoulders, pop your knuckles, and put your game face on.

You won’t get to push people until you start going up the stairs. Riding the train means lining up under the heat of the sun, or under the crazy, angry torrents of rain for about 30-45 minutes. When you start getting up the stairs, that’s when things get interesting.

Be careful not to drop anything–your phone, your ticket, your bag, because just about every square inch of the stairs and the platform is full of people.

If you’re a probinsiyano or a new yuppie experiencing this for the first few times, this could be so traumatic, you could just cry in frustration as you watch the never-ending queue of people, and the big clock that screams “you should have been in the office 30 minutes ago!”

While this is the daily reality being faced by yuppies in Metro Manila, here are 6 things I wish the MRT-3 management would do for commuters.

6 Things I Wish the MRT Management & the DOTC would do for commuters

1. Make Stored Value tickets available at convenience stores, malls, and in your suking tindahan.

This makes sense. If by some dumb luck, you forgot to buy a Stored Value ticket when you got off the MRT yesterday, you will need to line up twice! Once to buy your tickets, and then to actually get onto the train platform. If the LRTA and the DOTC could implement this, they would eliminate one queue and everybody would just be going up the train platform.

Macau, Hong Kong, and Singapore already have a centralized payment system for their public transportation. Just buy credits for your prepaid transportation card and you can ride just about any mode of transportation to get you to your destination. In a nation full of topnotch IT talent, this difficult to do?

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GYPCLA 2014 Behind the Scenes: Typhoon Glenda

My sleeping habits have gone back to normal, although my eye bags are still pretty dark and big. I finally went back to our home church last Sunday (3 Aug 2014), and most importantly, I finally get to spend a lot of time with my wife and our son Malcolm.

Yup, the Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly is finally over. I still wonder how we were able to pull through the logistical nightmare that it became, thanks to category 3 typhoon Glenda (international name: Rammasum).

We kept telling people that Tagaytay was safe, it’s hardly visited by typhoons, it’s pretty hilly and high and there was nothing to worry about.

In fact, in the afternoon of July 15, I was back in Manila to deal with several matters–finances and transportation. By 2 pm, it rained hard. But after less than an hour, the clouds parted and some sunlight escaped the clouds.

Manila was supposed to be under signal no. 2.

I thought: “This is signal no. 2? Nothing to worry.”

Boy was I wrong!

That evening, while we were at CCT Tagaytay and Retreat Center, we happily welcomed the delegate who started arriving. Our Hospitality team, headed by Nissan Escusa did a great job ensuring that they had transportation directly from the airport to Tagaytay.

Everything went well up to midnight. Beyond that, we were still expecting one bus, and 5 vans to bring close to a hundred delegates–most of them from the United States.

And then, by about 2:00 in the morning, typhoon Glenda unleashed its fury over Tagaytay. I thought, it will go away in just a matter of an hour or two. I was wrong.

The howling, destructive winds, stayed with us for close to eight hours, with about an hour and a half calm in between when the eye passed us by.

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