April Fool’s Day! Besides people (mainly in Europe) celebrating April Fools’ Day today, this day marks something special to me.
Today reminds me how my Mama gave birth to me noontime on a Good Friday back in Baguio City in 1983. She told me that there was no chance for me to be switched with another baby since she was the only person who gave birth in the hospital at that time. (This was the time when I asked her if I was adopted. Haha.)
Besides my birthday, our Detox/Dance Workshop and my Birthday Exhibit (which part of the proceeds will benefit the kids from L.I.F.E.) last Saturday made me reminisce another birth in my life…
WHEN OLD THINGS BECAME NEW…
Growing up as the youngest and only girl in the family, I was never spoiled. I didn’t get everything that I wanted nor was never spanked or disciplined. At an early age, my Mama taught me about prayer and how it was to be independent.
I learned to take care of myself, to prepare every thing that was required of me before school and to self-study when I needed to stay at my grandma’s place. From time to time, I would see my family but I always prayed that there would come a time that we would be really together.
When I was in high school, my prayers were answered. Since that time, I always have my Papa and Mama, and my big brothers around me.
Since I was little, I always knew I was made for something but I just couldn’t figure it out. I wanted to see the world and travel. I started dreaming about big things.
College came and before graduating, I was hired by a hotel where I was having my on-the-job training. I got excited since it was like hitting two birds with one stone. I was completing the hours for my OJT while getting paid. I was able to save during my work at the hotel. But soon, my parents asked me to leave the industry.
As my parents wanted me to help at the family business, I started getting lost. Helping with paper works and being at the 4 walls of an office never fulfilled me. I wanted to do more. I know I was made for more.
That’s when I started getting into a number of workshops and seminars. I just love to learn and explore! I even got myself into some modeling workshop and had my first modeling experience wearing beautiful couture wedding gowns. I also used to sneak out, ride a cab just to go to VTRs for beauty products, toyo, suka, patis, mommy roles, you name it.
But while learning and exploring, I also got myself into more partying. I started going out on weekends until it elevated into Happy Mondays. From weekdays to weekends I would go out with friends, party and end our night out with some breakfast. Yes, breakfast. As we would usually go home after sunrise. It was all fun but I was never fulfilled. I wasn’t productive. My heart was still yearning for something else. Something more.
THAT PINCH ON MY 24th
During my Photography Workshop, I met Mags whom I started talking to about church. Growing up, I never really had a church. I grew up in a half-Catholic and half-born-again Christian home. So when Mags invited me to her church I immediately said yes.
I went to her church with my brother once. After a year of meeting people at the gym from the same church, I marveled, “What’s up with all these people I’ve been meeting from the same church?” That’s the time when I started going to church with my family. I also met Joanne and studied more about Jesus and God’s Word with her.
That time, I was also planning how to celebrate my 24th birthday differently. My family was not really into throwing parties. So I figured why not celebrate my birthday with one. So I started thinking of a party venue with V.I.P. tables, etc. Then suddenly, I felt a pinch on my heart.
I thought, “For one night, I’m going to spend that kind of money and for what? Will it have any lasting value?” That day, I decided. I want to have a different kind of birthday. I want it to have meaning, something of value, and something that can make a difference.
I remember something that I read or watched about Patricia Hizon’s “Everyday Is Your Birthday Foundation”. Without personally knowing her, I immediately made the call. She then helped me get connected with Leukemic Indigents Fund Endowment (L.I.F.E.).
I celebrated my first birthday with kids from Leukemic Indigents Fund Endowment when I was 24 years old with family and friends. With that decision, God also started to work in my heart more.
Spending a few hours with the kids with leukemia and thalassemia and volunteers from L.I.F.E. made me realize how fleeting our life is. And how important it is to live with meaning and to leave a legacy.
After that party and some time spent in church and with my first Victory group, I realized that my life and heart were now different.
I no longer live with just selfish ambition. I now live with a purpose. God made me realize my value through Jesus, healed my heart from disappointments, directed me to a new path, and transformed my life from something old and filthy to something new and remarkable.
I’m still in the process of growing and discovering. My genuine transformation started only after I decided to open my heart to that pinch and to allow God to change me. That grip in my heart that said, “My child, you are made to do more things. Receive My love.”
All of us yearn for that significant change in our lives but it takes more than a “makeup transformation” (physical and momentary change), it takes a lasting heart renewal.
This year, I told God that whether with little or with much, I want to celebrate Him and what He’s done in my life.
The night after we had our Health/Detox Workshop with Ms. Aileen plus a Dance/ Zumba Party with Manisha and my Birthday Photography Exhibit (which were graced by the kids and volunteers from L.I.F.E.), I was reminded how God turned the old things in my life to something new.
Part of these new things, my prayer is for this website to be a home for INSPIRATION for you to TRAVEL and dream big and to LIVE fully.
When OLD things become NEW, great things happen not just to you but to everyone and everything around you. You begin to see things with new eyes.
A meaningful Holy Wednesday and week to all!
(Love to share what happened last March 28, 2015. It’s here!)
Thanks for all the birthday greetings via text and on my social media. Thank you family and friends. ♡♡♡)