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Bluedfiles Version 17
� April 2005
June 15, 2006
I moved long time ago. So click HERE.
See ya there. :)

Riz Blabbered @ 10:51:00 PM.

May 24, 2005
When Times Call for all the Little Changes.
I turned 22 last Saturday. Sunday morning, I woke up realizing that I was a different person from the one I was the night before. It was a day of changes, not only for me, but for those people who are part of my world.

Today, I face yet again another big change in my life. It came as a shock to me, I bet it will to most of you too. What's to be done, however, is inevitable.

Daydreemz.com is shutting down by the end of this month. (Surprise, surprise, that's this weekend!) Ergo, Riz.Daydreemz.Com will no longer exist by the end of this week. I shall keep my writings up somewhere in blogspot though, just for sentimental/archiving purposes. I had an option to transfer my site to another server to keep Bluedfiles alive but after some thought, I decided that Bluedfiles has already reached its end.

The last time I decided to close my blogsite, I literally cried over it. This time, however,I shall close this site with no regrets and with peace, and joy, and excitement, in my heart. A chapter in my life has come to past.

Three years. Hay. Thank you, Rawles, for lending me this space.. for seeing my potential when nobody thought my designs were good enough, hehe. And to all of you, thank you so much, guys, for sharing this alternate universe with me.

But of course I wont be far away. I shall be keeping my tabulas account.

For now, this is Bluedfiles, signing off.

Riz Blabbered @ 6:37:00 PM.

May 20, 2005
Of Birthdays and Wishlists.
I started making a birthday wish list for this post. However, somewhere between items 19 and 20, I stopped, and realized that even without these things, with a life such as mine, and with a God such as my God, I have nothing more to ask for for my birthday. And so I started backspacing each item one by one. ;)

I am so blessed. Thank you Lord.

Snippets on my current state.
I completed my Practicum at OMF Literature Thursday of last week. I wanted to post the melodrama of my last day there but I got too caught up with being a bum, I had no time to blog na. Hehe.

Yesterday, I emailed my final report on my OJT experience. With that one final paper, I am technically a graduate.

Which now makes me a bum. (Doesn’t this sound familiar?) ;)

And because I’ve got no work yet, my venture into webdesign (albeit my limited skills) has taken the next level.. just for now. Check the ad on the nav bar for details. (And by the way, I already got my first ehem, client. Kuya Teddy, one of my friends from IVCF. Wanna see?)

And because I don’t intend to be a bum for a long time, job hunting is my next big plan. As to when and where to apply for a job, I haven’t figured that out just yet.

Because I’m still enjoying bumhood for now. ;)

Wah. Can you believe it? Graduate na ko??!! Surreal. Thank you Lord.

Here’s what’s happening (Part Two).
Last Saturday, my passport was delivered to me. How it happened and the events that lead me into finally doing it were too overwhelming, you have too see me tell the story live. “Be ready just in case God decides to open doors,” someone tells me. I took that one leap of faith, and true enough, God sent to me people who journeyed with me every step of the way.

Last weekend, I attended Ian and Lucy Fisher’s Praise and Worship workshop at Jesus Reigns Ministries. On June 11, Reuben Morgan is coming over for a workshop and a concert (Hillsong United, YEAH!). Hillsong people are all over Manila. And although I know God’s plan is massive, I’d like to believe that His plans include bringing Hillsong right to my reach.

I’m no longer doubtful of why God is allowing Hillsong to happen in my life now. I told Him I want to be the best praise and worship leader I could be for Him, and already, He’s granted every prayer, every concern I laid down at His feet. I’m no longer afraid of being disappointed if I wont make it there this year either, because as it is now, God has revealed Himself in ways I never imagined before. What’s happening now—getting a passport, Hillsong happening in Manila, and the countless of lessons in having faith and trusting Him—is already an answered prayer in itself.

Often, I find myself holding my passport in my hands, smiling as I stare at my ID picture which is beaming right back at me, and thanking God for those days my prayers happened right before my eyes. I browse through the empty pages, believing that some time in the next five years, I’m going to have an Australian visa stamped right on its pages. And after a few minutes of enjoying the feel of its (synthetic) leather cover and its smooth pages on my hands, I close the book and put it in an empty box that I know will soon be filled with memories of more dreams and answered prayers. ;)

God took me this far. And I believe He’s taking me farther as He wills. Thank you Lord.

♥ ♥ ♥

The clock is ticking away. I’m gona be twenty-two in two hours. My birthday hasn’t even begun but I already got the bestest gifts. :)

Hay. Twenty-two blessed years. Thank you Lord.

Riz Blabbered @ 10:16:00 PM.

May 09, 2005
Project Room Overhaul.

After more than three months of living in a room where I have to literally tiptoe my way to bed after a full minute of trying to locate it, I have finally freed myself from the mire of dusty books and readings and all the junk that were remnants of college life. Don’t you just love the sound of that? Remnants of college life? Yeah.ü

The idea came last week when I got home stressed out from all the happenings in my life. I had wanted to find refuge in my room, but instead of finding rest, I felt heavily saturated with too much chaos, and mess, and too much details of the past. It was a depressing sight. The next day, I purchased a couple of boxes and garbage bags, and started picking up the pieces of the messy life I wanted to leave behind. Bagong buhay na to. Hehe.

So one by one I boxed them away – photocopied readings, diskettes, survey forms, and Philippine Collegian issues (which I intended to keep but decided to throw away after some thought) that piled up my room throughout college. I let go of my big ancient-old study table which was handed down to me, taking with it numerous memories carved on its wooden top (I had this habit of doodling, much like vandalizing, on desk tops especially in times when I felt tensed over reviewing for an exam, or cramming for a deadline. Hehe, now there goes one trivia for you). I took away the curtains and had them washed, scrubbed the walls and waxed the floors.

It was easy letting go of my old books, readings, and the space-consuming study table. What ate up much of my time was deciding which memories are worth keeping, and which are to be thrown away. I realized I was keeping about five shoeboxes of high school memories under my bed and about two medium-sized boxes of college stuff – class cards, journals, camp manuals, letters from friends, chocolate wrappers, Kawayan Camp memories, tons of pictures, roles of Kodak films, photo albums, blue books, notebooks, etcetera. Some I had to let go of, others I decided to keep.

Stuffed toys had to go. Bottles of perfume that I kept for sentimental reasons had to go as well. And a couple of love letters too (ahh those mushy, puppy love struck letters written on scented stationeries that are so filled with grammatical errors anyway, hehe). And so are the leftovers of my debut invitations and giveaways, keeping only a set so I have something to show my daughter someday (if ever I get to have one). I decided I have outgrown piglet as well (believe it, guys), and that I shall keep my piglet pillows only until I’m earning enough to buy new plain-colored ones for my bed.

Gone is the jungle of a room, at least for now. Letting go of things that were precious at one particular point in my life gives me a mixed feeling of nostalgia and release. But of course there’s no remorse in doing so. Right now, I’m loving the new spacious look (pede nang mag-cartwheel sa gitna, hehe), and the colorful boxes filled with filtered memories. A big load of tension was lifted away, and yes, a big load of memories too. But its all good, coz it leaves me more space I could fill new memories with after all.

Practicum @ OMFLit.
I’m entering my fourth week of training and already, I feel like I have become a better individual (Yeah!). For one, I’ve gotten used to climbing up longs sets of stairs to the LRT and MRT stations, and finding a strategic spot to squeeze in on trains – without the unnecessary whining and complaints. I have developed a greater sense of thriftiness, having discovered that I could save 16 pesos and heaps of time if I buy the stored-value train pass, and that ordering food from the turo-turo nearby is a better and cheaper alternative to Jollibee or McDonalds. What I haven’t learned just yet, is the art getting to work on time. I have less than a week to prove to myself I could do that too.

Practicum ends this week. It should have ended right when I reached the 100-hour mark but then again, I chose to stay a couple of days more to finish the project that I was there for to begin with. Besides, I have yet to devise a way to make sure that I would get a decent grade from my boss (ehem), hehe. Joke lang kuya.

OMF Literature Inc has started to feel like family, the marketing department’s office has started to feel like home, and the people have already become more than just workmates but ates and kuyas I have grown to love. (Sniff, sniff, haha.) With such a bargain, I wouldn’t mind staying a bit more. Yikee.

Here’s What’s Happening.
Last Wednesday, I took one step of faith towards something that is hugely impossible as far as my limited comprehension can conceive. I am itching to disclose the whole story of how God made me take these leaps of faith, but the details are too overwhelming as of the moment, words may not be enough to justify them.

I don’t know a lot of things, but God’s messages the past weeks are too strong, and the things that are happening right before my eyes are too great, I feel as if He’s given me every reason to trust and believe that He is doing something that’s beyond anything I could ever think of. There’s no more turning back, no more running away, no more excuses, no more fears. I believe He shall accomplish whatever He wills to do, whatever that may be.

So in full recognition that I can only go as far as He would allow me to go, I’m spreading my wings and letting Him carry me wherever He wills. c",)

More Plugs: REUBEN MORGAN in Manila!
I want, I want! Go check it out too! :)

Finally, to these wonderful people,
Marian Tina Jam Vanya Wenster Wynette Deb Denise
Your comments never fail to make me smile. Thanks, thanks. :)

Riz Blabbered @ 9:14:00 PM.

April 27, 2005
Version 17: Sunflower Days.
These days, you spend an hour taking a bath, sponging your body down with soap twice, and consuming about five pails of water. You feel clean, and you enjoy the momentary freshness. But the minute you step out of the bathroom, you start sweating again. Metro Manila has turned into one gigantic oven toaster. Pfft. Ang init, sobra! Last night I dreamt of polar bears, penguins, and eskimos. The other day I dreamt that the whole Metro Manila was air-conditioned. It’s so hot these days it follows you on your sleep.

Nonetheless, I love Manila on summer days. I love summer days! The summer heat may be torturous, and you may feel sticky and sweaty all day round, but then you get to appreciate little things too, like a glass of freezing cold Coke, vanilla ice cream, halo-halo, air-conditioned working places, air-conditioned train rides, sunglasses, and Makati overpasses. Then there’s the pool, and the beach, the coconut trees, the almost empty campuses, the jam-packed malls, and Ice Monster and Big Chill.

And then, there are the sunflowers.

When I was a kid I always thought that sunflowers could only grow on Baguio soils. I was college-old already when I found out I was wrong. Have you ever passed through the University Avenue, that long entry road to UP Diliman on a summer day? Take time to drop by this month and you’ll see. Sunflowers spring up to life and line both sides of the entire road, and for two minutes you find yourself taking your sunglasses off, holding your breath, and enjoying the lovely view of arrays of miniature yellow gold suns.

What’s really sweet about sunflowers is the way they collectively grow towards the direction of the sun. Last Monday, when I passed by, all the flowers were facing east. I smiled. Sunflower effect, I thought. Then I realized that perhaps, these plants (without the flowers of course) have been there all year round, unnoticed. I marveled once more at God’s creations. How He can turn those unnoticed, unattractive, green stuff sprouting from the ground into something really beautiful is one of life’s great mysteries. I can imagine Him paving the way for this event, just waiting for the proper time for the sunflowers to bloom.

That fleeting moment of passing through the U-Ave is one of the things I like about having summer classes in UP. Too bad I don’t get to pass through that sunflowery road as much. But the next time I do, I’d make sure I bring something to capture the moment with – perhaps my brother’s digicam, or better yet, someone who’s got a camera phone who will surely enjoy the sight as much as I (yes, you. ;)).

For the meantime, let me preserve the moment (albeit the injustice to it) on a layout such as this while the sunflower days last, and hope that everytime you browse through this site, you also get to think about the beauty of the works of His hands. c",)

Grace and Faith.
Two things God’s been highlighting to me the past days: Grace that’s undeserved yet overflowing, and Faith that does not only trust but that which also take the extra mile. Sometimes, such concepts become overwhelmingly broad and complicated that God gives you something to remind you of their simplicity.

Like having to sing with your dad again in a Sunday Worship Service after almost having lost him. Like receiving Globe credits from your mom at a time you most need it, or getting the last bottle of apple-flavored C2 from the racks of Seven Eleven after a long and tiring walk. Like a difficult song beautifully sang amidst pressure, or receiving a paper bag filled with brownies and apples. Like browsing through a colorful and intricately designed scrapbook, and remembering what God has done in the past months. Like consuming a big serving of yummy WHAM burgers with the wonderful and funny people of OMFLit after a long and tiring day at work, or finding an empty seat in a jam-packed train. Truly, the beauty of grace is the simple fact that it is undeserved. And while it is such, it is meant to be accepted with a grateful heart.

And then there’s faith. For someone who’s always unconfident, and finds security in time tables, blue prints, game plans, and logic, my ultimate challenge right now is to take a step into the unknown, lean not on my own understanding, not be passive, follow the road signs and find out for myself where God is leading me.

In a week’s time I’ll be done with my practicum, and I shall begin exploring the vast world out there with only His grace and my faith in Him as my weapons.

And perhaps, He wants me to be just like a sunflower – to bloom in His perfect time (from out of an unnoticed sprout that I am), grow towards the direction of His light, and blossom into a miniature golden sun that will reflect the works of His hands. c",)

♥ ♥ ♥

P.S. I may not know who you all are, but THANK YOU GUYS for dropping by. :)

Riz Blabbered @ 6:30:00 PM.

April 16, 2005

One whole month jammed in a story that happened in just one day.
The post is long. Don’t say you weren't warned. c",)

The Long Journey Home.
April 14, 2005, 5:30pm. I said goodbye to my boss through Ivy, excusing myself because I was having fever and was not feeling well. I went pass the bookstore to the front entrance, smiling weakly at people whose names I haven’t memorized just yet, and said “Thanks, Manong,” as the guard opened the door for me. Off I went. The long journey home.

I stepped out into the sun from the air-conditioned bookstore, and braved the agonizing summer heat through my skin, trying to decide if I should take a cab (which will cost me about two hundred bucks), or endure the two train rides (both MRT and LRT) I’ve gotten used to taking in my first week of training at OMF Lit. With just a few hundreds in my wallet, I decided to take the train.

Practicum at OMFLit.
I am currently taking practicum at OMF Literature. I could still remember how thrilled I was when the company’s Marketing Director took interest in my request. You see, Ivy and I, when we were kids, once dreamed of going to the same office so we can play all week long. We never thought that a tiny childlike wish such as ours shall be granted, even for just a few weeks. (Playtime, yeah!) Even so, I wanted to hold my practicum in a Christian organization and OMFLit just happened to be at the top of my list. Being there right now is, in every way, an answered prayer.

I was put under the Creative Section of the Marketing Department (under Kuya Aleks), and so far, I have started writing blurbs (that I failed, by the way, hehe), made phone calls to update the company’s database (my three month stint in the call center paid off, hehe), was made to attend an out-of-the-office booklaunch to observe, and well, answered phone calls (“OMFLit, good morning” yeh!) in between. The real research work comes next week, they gave me my assignments already. The people are great, and the food too. I’m sure to enjoy the next few weeks with them.

As I walked the long route to the MRT-Boni Avenue Station, I whispered to God a silent prayer. All I need, Lord, is one touch, just one touch from You and I will be ok. Please breathe your strength on me and carry me home. I never felt so physically weak in my life. Must be because of stress, I thought. For the past three weeks, I’ve been spending all day in the hospital with my Dad and Mom, and by the time I got home everyday, it would be already way past midnight. This went on top of the Ethics exam I was so ranting about (which I passed, by the way, yey!), final submission of my thesis, other final requirements, and a final class presentation.

Last Day in School.
Towards the end of March, we had our Media Research class’ final presentation. Our team was assigned to come up with a marketing strategy for Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, resulting to our own creation of advertising prototypes across all media. We were successful with our presentation, and the panelists chose our marketing strategy as the best in the class.

Maam Kate Mirandilla inspired me so much this whole semester. It was through her class that I felt my inclination towards the qualitative aspects of marketing, advertising and media research. Maybe God will send me off to a job that has to do with this field in the future. And if that happens, I shall look back to Maam Kate, and our one-semester experience of hands-on media and marketing research.

My muscle pains were getting worse by then, and I was getting more and more dizzy I felt my body scream for rest. When I finally reach the top of the stairs, I slowly walked my way through the entrance, sliding my electronic train pass as I went through. I felt the humid wind on my face, and started to chill. The stress, my dizziness, and the pain in my thighs and knees made me feel so weak, I wished to have someone I could at least hold or lean on to. Then I tried to divert my attention away by thinking about the things that God allowed me to go over with in the past month because of His grace.

Almost a Graduate.
The completion of my undergrad thesis was indeed, a product of His amazing ways. Writing the acknowledgement portion of my thesis paper was a surreal experience, I had a grand time typing out my appreciation to those people who had been a part of my college life, and of course, to those who contributed to the completion of my thesis. And most of all, seeing the pile of crisp papers I’ve worked on for nearly a year bounded by a thick maroon cover was an unparalleled delight. I am almost a graduate.

Dad and Mom, I’m sure, will be so glad by the end of this summer when I finally graduate. Their dream to have all three of us (my brothers and I) finish college is at long last, realized. I share their joy and relief, and I take pride in congratulating them both for a job well done in supporting and providing for us.

As I waited for the train along with several others, I felt my mobile phone vibrate through my shoulder bag. It was a text message from mom. “It’s time. Dad’s going to have his angiogram taken. Please continue to pray.” A wave of fear washed through me, being aware of the risks that the procedure entails – it was, after all, something we heard so much about from the doctors in the 4 weeks Dad was in the hospital.

Daddy’s Hospitalization.
Our family’s month-long experience at the hospital is loaded with so much miracles, grace and provision from God. Dad collapsed four weeks ago because of some complications in his heart. He was held captive in the Intensive Care Unit of UST Hospital for more than a week, and was made to stay in the Cardio Vascular Unit for two more weeks. Some doctors claimed that his heart was too weak already and could stop beating anytime. At worst, heart transplant could be the only cure. Surfing through his condition (Dilated Cardiomyopathy) over the net was not encouraging either. Words like "arrythmias", "ventricular tachychardia" or "VTAC", "PVCs", "multiple-bypass", "angiogram", among many others, became an instant part of our vocabulary. It was terrifying. Dad’s case was seemingly impossible. And for our family, financially impossible, and emotionally draining.

It was on the fourth week when God sent us his very own instrument – a very competent Christian cardiologist by the name of Dr. Wilfredo Dee, no less than God’s own child, who’s practicing Cardiology at the Heart Center. God indeed, is the God of perfect timing. Seeing his ECG, 2D Echo, and the other tests Dad underwent at UST, Dr. Dee perceived the urgency of Dad’s case and made him transfer to Heart Center right away. Not less than four days after his admission, he’s already on his way to go through the angiogram (a diagnostic test taken to determine if there are any blocked arteries in the heart that prevent it from functioning normally) to know what surgery or procedure had to be done next. (Ergo, Mommy’s text.)

Thinking about these makes me see God’s hand over all things. The support of our extended families (SBCers, ATAS Family, Sanchez Clan, etc) was overwhelming. Everyday we get texts, and phone calls from people from both here and abroad (literally!) expressing their prayers and support to Dad. Somehow, the experience made me see in a larger picture all these people whose lives my Dad touched in one way or another. Some even gave Daddy free medications, others financial support.

Our family may never be able to express the extent of our gratitude to these people in this lifetime. Our appreciation is beyond words. Most especially, God’s miracles, and God’s ways are not just beyond words.. but more importantly, beyond our comprehension.

Squeezing myself through the jampacked train was even more stressing. I hobbled myself in, chilling even more. A part of me felt so tired and sick I just wanted to go home, but another part longed to take the opposite route that would lead me to Dad and Mom in the hospital. A tear rolled down my cheek. I got a mental picture of Dad, on a moveable hospital bed, clad in a hospital gown, monitors all over the room and surgeons in blue pajamas crowding the view. I thought of Mom waiting in the lobby, with my brother and some church members, heads bowed down, and hands clasped in prayer.

I prayed. Lord, my pain is nothing compared to the agony Dad must be feeling right now. All he needs, Lord, is one touch, just one touch from You and he will be ok. Please breathe your strength on him and carry him home. I know that You are right there with him as You are here with me. Bring us safely home. We’re in Your hands.

My Hillsong Story Still Not Over Yet.
The unexpected turn of events call for some changes in our family. The day I got the final results of my Ethics exam was the day we heard from the doctor the severity of Dad's sickness, hence the day I started dismantling my plans of pursuing the Hillsong Conference this July. I had been looking forward to it all semester long, but that was before Daddy was hospitalized. It was a dream that inspired me and kept me going all throughout the semester. I’ve always believed that God shall complete what He started, and I cling to that promise that someday, perhaps not this July, attending the Hillsong Conference and flying to Australia shall stop being just a dream and start becoming a reality.

Reflecting on this, I realized something. What God gave me October of last year when Ate Dots talked to me was the dream of going there. And well, come to think of it, if God purposed this dream to be something to keep me going until the completion of my college education, then His purpose has already been completed. As for now, perhaps, the completion of this dream is a story for another time.

I started feeling better. I have seen too much miracles already that it’s impossible not to believe that God’s capable of doing more. And so I continued my journey home. An interrupted train ride, a taxi ride, and more agonizing limps later, I was home. I heaved a sigh of relief as I plopped down on Dad and Mom’s bed (that night I chose to sleep in their room), whispered Thank you Lord to the heavens, and in an instant, fell asleep in His embrace.

But the story didn’t end there.

When I woke up that night, still with a fever, I automatically grabbed my mobile phone from the side table and found two missed calls from Kuya Nikos, and a text message. “Ok na si Daddy. Tapos na operation. PTL!”

Another Miracle.
I have lost tract of the number of miracles God allowed us to witness in the span of one month. Like I said, the angiogram was just a diagnostic procedure. We were expecting that the results of the angiogram would be deliberated upon first, then a cardiac surgery would come later, if need be. Apparently, Dad’s heart was too weak for any heart surgery, he might not make it. They found four blockages in his heart, two of which about to break. What the cardiosurgeon did was implant two angioplasties to try to break the blockages, using the same tubes that were used in the angiogram. To make the long dramatic story short, the procedure was a success. Dad’s heart, what we thought and what most doctors thought was an irreversible case, is now functioning normally and on the way to complete recovery.

To most of you, perhaps, this is too long (hehe) to make sense. But to me, to us, this month is another testimony we shall forever live by.

Right now, I’m home with a flu. But I know I will be ok. I have proven in the past weeks that indeed, nothing is impossible with God. That in whatever situation we’re in, His will shall always prevail. And we only need to trust that He knows what He’s doing, that He knows what’s best.

I got home safe that night. Next Monday, upon the doctor’s release, Dad’s coming home too. c”,)

Riz Blabbered @ 3:20:00 PM.

April 14, 2005

I sing to You Lord a hymn of love for Your faithfulness to me. I’m carried in everlasting arms, You’ll never let me go. Through it all. – Hillsong

Mikks claimed to have lost count of the number of times he posted “I’m Back!” in his site. I shall not compete with him for he must have exceeded my score by a couple of points. But then, if this was a race, second place is fine by me. Hehe.

So hey, I’m back (too)! :)

And I’m back with new stories to tell – of love, grace, victories, detours, lessons learned, of peace that surpasses all understanding, and of faith that’s being tested and renewed every single day. c”,)

Excuses, excuses.
Riz.Daydreemz.Com is my (melodramatic) life and thoughts made visual. My friends often accuse me of being too emotional and too “obsessive-compulsive” in this blogsite as I am in real life, and albeit the silent objections and defenses in my mind, I can only smile and shrug them off because I have the word ‘guilty’ written all over the site anyway. Go figure. Hehe.

I’ve been gone for so long. What, three weeks? A month?

I did attempt to update several times though, but everytime I start to do so, I find myself into some kind of a writer’s block (my classic excuse) and I end up making more excuses to delay. That’s weird, I mean, for someone who’s about to graduate (yeaahh!!) from a course that requires a lot of writing. And, although I never had too much blogworthy drama in my life as I had in the past three weeks, I seemed to have left my mind some place far away (probably in the pages of my thesis and my other final requirements), taking away with it the little writing-slash-blogging-capability that I have.

By the way, this afternoon at OMFLit (I shall blabber more about this next time), I realized that I have a big writing problem. I was given my first exercise on writing blurbs, and well, blurbs are supposed to be detailed, concise, and catchy. Problem is, (and how obvious it is, I should add) I have a tendency to blabber too much in my writing (must be an effect of my three-year ranting/blogging stint) that if I had it my way, I would most likely end up giving them two-page blurbs. Pfft. Sorry boss (yes naman, boss, apir Manong Aleks!), I do blahblahs, not blurbs. Hehe. I need some serious training. Pfft.

Anyway, This layout (an alteration of Version 16) had been waiting to be launched since two weeks ago, but it was only now that I finally got the motivation to gather my thoughts, grope for words, and blog something that’s suppose to make sense. So here.

Version 16.2. Through It All
I have just found myself (for the nth time in my life) freefalling back into God’s kung-fu tight embrace, realizing that the only reason why I’ve been so tired, restless, and lost the past few days is because in my struggle to survive the agony of each day, I had unconsciously wandered away from Him. I realized that I have allowed my own strength and will to take over, and that I have allowed fear and self-centeredness to take away the beauty of God’s purposes in my life. I realized that I’ve been waiting and searching for directions when there really ain’t no other way but to look up.

So here I am again, speaking of things you've heard before. And then I realized that we can never really treasure and fully understand the things we claim to have already known and heard before until we find ourselves in situations where our faith is put to test, and these truths and promises we have in God are the only things we can cling on to.

Then I realized over again, that it’s usually an unending cycle, these Christian lives we have. We face difficult situations, we get too involved with ourselves, we fail, we wander away from God, we gloat for awhile, then we get tired having to rely on our own strengths and we end up longing to fill that “God-shaped void” in our hearts. Then we find ourselves yearning to come back home into His embrace, and to have that joy and comfort that can only be found in Him.

You are forever in my life, You see me through the seasons
Cover me with Your hand, and lead me in Your righteousness
And I look to You, and I wait on You..

I sing to You Lord a hymn of love for Your faithfulness to me
I’m carried in everlasting arms, You’ll never let me go, through it all

Amazing how in spite these, God loves us still. How through it all, He never lets us go. How every single day, we come face to face with the truth that there’s nothing we could ever offer Him that would make Him love us more, and just the same, there’s no failure that we could ever commit that would make Him love us less. With God, without a doubt, is the greatest romance.

♥ ♥ ♥

Didn’t I just say that this site is my melodramatic life made visual? Yeah, yeah. c”,)

Eek. This has gone so long already. I shall post another one na lang ulit soon – like, tomorrow, hopefully. I’m sure some lurkers here (Ate Dots? Ate Alpha? You guys around? Hehe) are hoping to read something about my Dad (who’s in the hospital), and the big changes in the plans I’ve made prior to Dad’s hospitalization (Australia included). I’m still at a lost and still disoriented as to where I go from here, but I believe in my heart that God is in control.

So there. This has to do for now. I shall be back again. c”,)

Riz Blabbered @ 12:39:00 AM.

March 19, 2005

The sun come out tomorrow so you better hang on til tomorrow,
come what may. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow,
you’re always a day away. – Little Orphan Annie

I am a lost sailboat, floating amidst a vast ocean of stillness, and in my helplessness, I wait patiently for the next ship to pass by and rescue me, or for the wind to blow my sail again.

Our Ethics professor, The Great, ehem, Sir Varona, introduced a rather new word to us in class: Doldrum – that phenomena where sailors get stuck in the middle of the ocean because they happened to sail through the eye of an air current. This ‘eye’ is like a vacuum several miles wide where there is no wind to blow the boats towards a certain direction. They say, this is among the risks of sailing because it could last for days, and upon its occurrence, there really isn’t anything to do but wait.

While dictionaries define the word doldrums as something less appealing – sadness, depression, dejection, despair, pessimism, and the list goes on – I prefer to use the word the way The Great, ehem, Sir Varona used it.

Ironically, while I found myself learning so many somethings from this professor, and while I’ve learned to love him (totoo) and his class (yeah, yeah, shoot me), it doesn’t seem like he likes me back. Ha, ha. (Kawawa naman ako. Hehe.) And well, maybe the subject, Com191 (that’s the UP CMC term for Ethics), doesn’t like me back either.

And so I have to take the final exams.

And so the whole semester of bloodshed over chapters and chapters of that brain-draining Ethics book, plus all those class discussions and right-minus-wrong exams, boils down to this one big day when I have to take the exam along with several other less fortunate souls. (I say they are 'less fortunate' because it’s not as if they/we don’t study – everyone studies for Ethics, I can attest to that – but because well, Sir Varona’s style is not really everybody else’s style.)

And so the hopes of graduating this summer suddenly depend on the results of that one exam (at least as far as the university is concerned).

Make it or break it. Do or die.

Doldrum eh? Yep, that’s where I am now. Right in the middle of it. No wind. Shoreline is too far to see. Nothing but vast skies and endless water in sight. And well, if I am a sailor, there’s nothing else to do but wait.

Suddenly, everything is blurry. Suddenly, I have no choice but to browse through the dusty photocopied readings I’ve already kept in a box along with other old and dustier books I have planned to throw away this summer. Suddenly, all the plans and dreams I have been looking forward to have to be put on hold.

I’m scared. I’m worried. I’m tapping my foot and biting my fingernails in trembling successions.

But I know that at the end of all these, I can proudly tell the whole world that God was the wind that blew me safely home.

Just a Day Away.
Lately, I often find myself closing my eyes and hoping that when I open them, the semester is over, and I’m already inside the busy walls of OMF Lit, taking my practicum. Or, inside a plane bound to Australia to attend the Hillsongs Conference. Or, somewhere in the distant future, old, gray-haired and wrinkly, sitting on a big soft couch with a thick knitted blanket to keep me warm, watching the raindrops through a big glass window, and holding someone’s reassuring and also-wrinkly hand. (Er, too far, Riz, too far. Hehe).

If only it's possible, today was the perfect time to pull the gold thread. Skip the agony of suspense. Fastforward to the next month. Find out if I'm meant to graduate or not without going through the torture anymore. Get a glimpse of where I'm heading. Allow impatience and panic to take over.

But just when I was about to close my eyes again, I remembered that tomorrow is still God's. I was reminded that everything that happens in our lives is designed for us to draw nearer to Him. That He will cause all things to work together for good.

And I realize that whatever plan God had for me yesterday is the same plan He has for me today, and tomorrow, and the next day.. until its completion.

Ergo, I need not fret. Best thing to do is to take a leap of faith today, endure the torture, and await the safe landing. After all, it's not gona be long.

After all, tomorrow is just a day away.

Plugs: Joni Tina (happy birthday girl!!) Jampot Normi Deb Trisha Nonie
Your comments never fail to light up my day. Thanks, thanks. :)

Riz Blabbered @ 2:26:00 AM.

March 10, 2005

Not because of who I am, but because of what You’ve done. Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who You are. – Casting Crowns

I was traversing the chaos of EDSA, my mind adrift from all the noise. I was deprived of sleep the previous night because of one big presentation we just got over with, and the only activity my brain was capable of doing (other than sending signals to my leg muscles to move – which is involuntary anyway), was to watch my left and right feet racing against each other as I walked.

Then almost unconsciously, I started humming these lines from a song I remember a friend once made me listen to. Suddenly, I stopped watching my feet altogether (for my brain, as I said, was only capable of doing one activity at a time) and started to recall how the song went.

Not because of who I am, but because of what You’ve done.
Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who You are.

Apparently, those were the only lines I remembered. But perhaps, those were the only lines I needed at that time.

Then I found out that it’s easier to think about God’s goodness and blessings than watching your feet and waiting which foot is going to win the race (pinaglaban daw ang mga paa, hehe). That even though you feel like your eyelids are shutting off and your body is slowly deteriorating and longing for the comforts of a bed, it only takes minimal amount of energy (and it's relaxing even) to utter a word of prayer and thanks for the unanticipated academic fulfillments, simple joys, and dreams that are happening right before your eyes:

Getting the highest score in a midterm exam, Dad surviving a week in the hospital, getting approved to hold practicum at OMF Literature this coming April, Australia getting nearer and more real each day (Hi Ate Dots & Kuya Mitch, if you’re reading, I’m gonna email you soon.ü), and taking pleasure in the truth that God is doing something in this life of mine, unimportant and unnoticed in this world as it may seem.

Now, I happen to be in yet again another crucial moment of my college life. They call it hell week, I call it faith week. And inasmuch as I want to update this site more often (and share with you what God’s been doing in my life), with the finals coming up, my thesis and several other papers waiting in line, and a big time Media Research presentation na kailangang karirin – I’m surprised I even got the drive to blog here, in a net café (my modem is in ruins, pfft) in the middle of it all. What can I say, for blog aficionados such as I am, some things are just meant to be done no matter how busy life may be. Just one blog, I said to myself, then I’d disappear again. Hehe.

As for the competition between my two feet which existed only in my mind (Ahhh sanity! Where art thou in times like these?), I forgot to monitor which foot won. But of course it didn't matter. In the end, what mattered was they got me to where I was going, and in reality, I wouldn’t have to worry about them being a competition to each other. In fact, they are even designed to work together to serve their purpose (thank God!).

Lessons of the Week.
Surviving the past weeks is grace. Braving the strong waves against my tattered and worn-out shell with God as my sail is faith. Achievements and fulfillments throughout the month is joy. Learning about myself the hard way, admitting who I’ve become, and accepting change is courage. Knowing that He cares, that He sees each tear that falls, that He listens to every prayer, even those groanings too deep for words, is love.

Grace. Faith. Joy. Courage. Love. These are just a few things God taught me this week. And I know I could go on and on trying to define what I know of these concepts base from how God allowed me to experience them, but even so, He will always have more to uncover, new things to reveal each day, in every opportunity that comes by.

Such things you don’t learn in any textbooks, or in school. Such things He can only teach.

I am His.
Have I mentioned I am one repressed student in Ethics class? Well, I’m mentioning it now, hehe. Because I wasn’t used to being bibo in class discussions, I often just sit in one silent corner with all my thoughts, retaliations included, stuck in my head.

Last week, our professor, The Great, ehem, Sir Varona, asked the class this question we often hear: “If you were going to rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best; 1, the worst), where shall you place yourself?” One by one my classmates raised their hands, excited to share their thoughts. Almost all of them placed themselves above average, but were careful enough not to say that s/he's a 10.

As for me, if I were given a chance to speak up then, I would probably say that in human standards, I’m a 5. Or maybe even less. I am often unconfident about myself, about what I can do, about who I am. I have always been vocal about not really knowing which field I excel in, often thinking that I’m mediocrity personified. In my lifetime I have hurt people (even those I care about) because I am selfish, arrogant, insensitive, and because of this I only feel more dismayed of myself. Too much frustrations, eh?

But then again, in this seemingly disappointing life that I have, I learned (and continually being reminded so) that it is only when I see myself in God’s eyes that I shall know my real worth. Yes, I am still a non-graduate. Laziness incarnate. Mediocre. A spoiled brat. A frustrated musician. A wannabe in a lot of things. A sinner. A nobody.

But I am His.

And in this life, that’s the one thing that matters to me above everything else. And perhaps, to answer Sir Varona’s question, I am, yes, in God’s eyes, a 10.

Not because of who I am, but because of what You’ve done.
Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who You are.

If only I had the chance to say that in Ethics class.

Haay. Haaaaaay. :)

Plugs: (It's been a long time since I last did this)
Mikks Jampot Aichee Normi Vanya Daxi
Thanks for the comments guys. :)

Riz Blabbered @ 10:09:00 AM.

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