Spotlight of the Month

"Lessons learned from Lola Fania"

FEBRUARY 26, 2015 Baggao, Cagayan Valley WOMANHOOD: "The Highest Place of Honor" “For her price is far above rubies!"(Pro...

Friday, March 9, 2018

Our February Highlights (2018)

Lesson # 1: Self- Love
The month of love came by so quickly. However, I started a new lifestyle that teaches me to slow down amidst the fast-changing phases of life. I did yoga on the first day of the month. The newly-opened yoga place near our house was an unexpected blessing for me. Yoga is helping me in so many beautiful ways, (1) relieves my stresses because it teaches deep breathing. I learned that most of us today are short breathers. We inhale and exhale fast and shallow. Every time I do yoga, I can imagine the air coming into my lungs while the abdomen expands. And when I exhale deeply, my lungs get empty as the air comes out through my nostrils. Meditation combined with proper breathing is so powerful. The muscles on my shoulders are softened after a yoga session.  (2) Yoga transforms me into a refined woman. It lengthens my patience and empowers self-control. I am becoming more quiet and loving silent alone time. (3)Strengthens my body by developing stronger muscles and finding balance.

Lesson #2: Love in Marriage
Michael also joined the LDs Riders Club last February 3, 2018. I am happy to see him explore all activities available in the community. It's amazing how early in marriage I adjusted to being with my husband most of the time but then now after three (3) years, I am used to having a companion 24/7. It's so hard to be away from him. It's true that in marriage, we should never lose ourselves. We have to keep our own wings and confidently fly.

We had our first formal dinner as a couple for Valentine's Day. Sister Dian a churchmate who recently graduated as a Chef organized a romantic Valentine's Dinner. I absolutely loved this experience when I was able to talk to my husband intimately while enjoying a night filled of great food and sweet music. Overall the experience was very good. (2/10/2018)

On Valentine's day, my husband surprised me at home. He cut out hearts and pasted them on the wall like a wallpaper (in the states it's called the heart attack). He also decorated our doors with crepe papers in colors red and pink. I got three heart-shaped balloons and a bouquet of red roses.

Intermission: We got new tire mags for our baby Lucky last Feb 17th. ***

Lesson #3: Love for Others 
We had our Ward Valentines' Party ("Couples' Night") on the 23rd of the month. We had a great dinner. We danced. We laughed. We cleaned the chapel afterward. It was very touching because the members helped us prepared the Cultural Hall for our stake youth activity the following day. It always amazes me how service brings us closest to the Spirit of joy and peace instantly even if we are feeling down. Service is a gift!

The Stake Youth Lds Prom and Workshops on empowering Self-Esteem were very successful. It was held on the 24th of February. We divided the youth into two groups, 12 - 15 years old and 16 to 18 years old. The first group attended series of workshops about how to study the scriptures in fun ways, physical attraction, grooming and career planning. While the older group learned how to dance the waltz and we had a lesson about proper dating. I love the youth of Zion! I feel so blessed each time I had the chance to share with them some of the fondest I learned from my youth as well.

I also spoke at two (2) Young Women New Beginnings! I talked about my testimony of the Personal Progress with the Angeles 1st Ward young women on the 9th while I discussed about Goal Setting for the young women of the Angeles 2nd Ward on the 17th. Nakakaganda ang maging youth leader. :)

Lesson #4: Love for Family
Ate Val's Birthday Week! We attended church in Bulacan because the Dulam Family was here. We had our birthday dinner for Sister Val. Then on the 26th, ate Val, Bernie and Chum slept over at our house here in Pampanga. We went to SM for a quick shopping and ate at a Korean Restaurant. We enjoyed this place a lot because they have a play area for the kids while we were enjoying our meals!
I love my family. I love my husband's family. When we are with our families, we feel complete. They are the strongest influence on our self-worth and confidence. I am grateful for their unconditional love and acceptance.

This photo was taken at Tabang Chapel. I and my daughter are loving the twinning game! <3

Zephrine learned how to wear her slippers! She loves to go outside. She loves to eat more rice and soups. She also learned the colors. She loves to write and she immitates everything that I do. She reads when I read. She plays the piano when I play. And all of the above. We love to run in the park. 
Zephrine also calls us daddy, mommy and nanay distinctly. She started to smile at everyone but still very clingy. She loves to play with other kids especially with her cousins. She loves to wear my shoes. She loves to disorganize my bags. We love her a lot!

BIG NEWS!!!!! 
We got promoted at work! I am now the Seniore Vice President for Quickstrike MNFG. (Phils) Inc. while Michael is now the Compliance Officer for all our partner factories! Well, I think we are ready for baby #2. Let's see!!!! 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Our January Highlights (2018)

Welcome, 2018!

We welcomed the new year in Tuguegarao with the Burgos Clan! We had a great time. We ate good meals, played and danced together. I feel extremely grateful to be a part of this wonderful family. They are very smart, simple and hardworking.  I am very pleased to use the family's last name, Burgos. It's very historical and patriotic. I am also grateful for the opportunity to strengthen my relationship with each of them.

Lesson #1: The happiest people in the world are the ones who have a loving relationship with their family and extended families. Our families empower our self-worth, especially during these perilous times. There are many reasons to feel lonely and to isolate ourselves. But the family embraces who we are. They accept us for what we can't do and will always be there to cheer us up in our daily battles.

Then we came back home to Pampanga and found out that Nanay Sofi had to stay in Bulacan to assist my sister. Mother Lydia came to the rescue because we were so busy with the factory audit and changes in the office during those weeks.  It was a blessing in disguise. On January 14th, we decided to visit Michael's relatives in Pangasinan with Mother Lyds. We didn't expect that it would pass by the famous "Hundred Islands". It was so fun!! We met Tita Minda's family. She is Papa Angelo's sister. I met her daughters and grandchildren. We swam at the beach nearby their house. It was so cool! It was one of the best beaches I've been. We ate lots of good meals. We also dropped by the shore of Hundred Islands. We saw how salt is being made. We hope to go back there very soon.

Lesson #2: A yearly visit to relatives is a must. We keep in touch to write memories on their hearts.

January 20, 2018 when we dropped by at San Fernando Chapel to give my simple tokens for the Young Women. SF1 and SF2's YW New Beginnings were both on the same day. I gave them 6 objects which each symbolizes the "B's" by President Gordon B. Hinckley. I love New Beginnings! It was a crazy day for us and I was so thankful for his extra energy to take me to San Fernando.
My husband worked this week for the factory's audit while I was finishing all the HR stuff as per their policies and contracts. I also give my "6 B's token" to the birthday celebrants in the office.

Lesson #3: I realized that you can choose to do things extra special. People do not care how much you know until they learn how much you care. There will be challenges along the way, but choose to do it now.

Zephrine is 18 months now. She's becoming more and more energetic. Our baby lessons for this month focus on reading through "Talking English", Animal Sounds and the Opposites. She's a fast learner. We also started our "No Gadget Policy" for her this month at home. She will be entitled to use them only during travel time. Her "sweets day" will be on Sundays. I am also teaching her to say mommy but she always says "daddy". It's so funny but I feel like she intentionally does that. She will say Nanay or Lola, Lolo everytime I asked her to say these words but when it comes to "Mama or Mommy", she never did. She loves to jump, dance and smile at the people around her. She's still very clingy. She loves to eat a lot of rice. People think she's two years old most of the time. We take her to work from time to time.

For myself this year, I started another journey after "Fly Nyles", and I entitled it Refined Womanhood. I created an Instagram account and a blog for this journey plus a facebook page too.  I realized that before I turn 30 years old this year, I would like to be a better version of myself. My journey will be a compilation of my research and its application on how to take care of my mind, heart, body, and spirit. These four areas are the true sources of our inner strengths according to Stephen Covey. I want to be a stronger woman. And to me, a strong woman has an indestructible self-control like a noble gas.

I'm still looking for ways along the way. Happy New Year!!! <3

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Our December Highlights

It was a busy, fun month! The year truly ended with a big bang!! Wohoo!!!

December 1 - I re-arranged our furnitures at home to give a little bit of feeling anew! It was fantastic!
December 2 - Stake Seminary combined with Mabalacat Stake
December 3 - Fast and Testimony Meeting
December 5 - Temple Day
December 8-10 - Leadership Training in Baguio City
December 14 - Last day of Pathway Fall Semester (Christmas Party)


December 15 - Ward Christmas Party
December 16 - Ate Apple Visit
December 17 - Nephi and Madel's Visit
December 22 - Quickstrike Christmas Party
December 23 - Palengke Day with Nanay
December 24 - To Bulacan
December 25 - Christmas Day in Bulacan. Swimming at Klir Water Park


December 26 - Arrival in Tuguegarao
December 27 (Wed) Home Sweetie Home + City Tour
December 28 (Thu) A Day with Cousins Enoia and Gazelem
December 29 (Fri) Trip to Mauanan, Rizal
December 30 (Sat) SM Tuguegarao with Nanay and Mama Lydia
December 31 Church

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Our November Highlights

Daddy Michael's Month 

November 1 & 2- All Souls and Saints Day 
We stayed at home.  I just did some scrapbooking thing. 

November 4 - Stake Young Women Anniversary. This was my first activity as the new Stake YW President for Angeles. Our theme was "Making our Dreams come true through Personal Progress." Each ward was assigned to showcase a YW Value. They each decorated a booth and performed either a dance, a song number or any presentation that will teach us about the 'VALUE'. Then we sang together the song "I walk by Faith".  Here's the value assigned per ward: 
Faith - Stake Leaders, Divine Nature - Angeles Ward 2 ( Talk Show), Individual Worth - Angeles Ward 1 ( Song #), Knowledge - Santo Tomas ( Skit/Play), Choice & Accountability - San Fernando 1 ( SOng & Dance), Good Works - Arayat, Integrity - San Fernando 2 (Skit) and Virture - Bulaon (BOM Ready and SOng #). Then we gathered outside and flew balloons. 

November 5 - Fast and Testimony Meeting and Meeting with the Mabalacat Stake Youth Leaders for the combined Stake Seminary on December 2, 2017. I'm so grateful that I survived this busy day while I was fasting. It was my first time again after my pregnancy. Great opportunity to meet and make new friends with Mabalacat Saints. 

November 10 - Happy Birthday Daddy Mike @It's your day!

Keep your eyes on the stars. Keep your feet on the ground. - Teddy Roosevelt

November 14 - Happy Birthday Dusty! 
We went to Pangasinan for the beach. We loved the views on the way but the ocean scared me this time. The waves were too strong.haha! Zephrine was amazed then as we moved closer to the seashore, she started crying. But I dipped for 20 minutes. Then we ate, bought bags for me and Nanay and then more sight seeings on the way. 

November 16 - 19 - Dusty's Visit. Yes he came for John's wedding. We had a busy week because of his presence. But it was very productive. Then Zephrine had her check up and also her last vaccine for the year. 

November 23 - Happy Birthday Tito Alson!

November 27 - Speakers. We gave our talk today. I talked about fasting in preparation of the upcoming fast and testimony meeting. (Read at The blessings of Fasting. Then Michael had an amazing talk about "Being a Mormon is a way of life!"I'll document it soon!

November 29 - Tito King's visit 

November 30 - Bonifacio Day was moved to tomorrow! 

Our October Highlights

Mommy Nyles' Month 

Bacolod Trip

After the fast and testimony meeting weekend, we got a text from Ate Ruzel. She is Nanay's niece. She informed us that Nanay Suting's sister, Lola Magdalena died. We knew we had to go to Bacolod. Our original plan was I would go with Nanay but we decided to fly to Bacolod as a family. It was the right decision. Nanay Suting is very special to me. She took good care of me while my mother worked when I was a baby, and now she is watching over Zephrine, my daughter when I am at work. I wrote her life story at  The Story of Soterania Salgado. This trip was very humbling. I realized that when we travel, we go to places with a purpose. I learned from Dra. Jocelyn that La Carlota is known for their great skill in playing the drums. We were so grateful for her hospitality. She toured us around. We were there from October 6 - 11, 2017. Here's our itinerary:

Day 1 (Friday) - Manila to Bacolod. We had to work in the morning and I got very worried because of the traffic. Our flight was at 4:00 pm. But we were guided by the Lord. We arrived 20 minutes before our flight!! Sister Marty picked us up from Silay Airport and drove us to La Carlota. We met Lolo Ramon and Ate Ruzel there then we rode a tryke to La Granha. It was a long travel but it was full of fun. We ran out of gasoline in the midst of Sugar cane plantation at past 8:00 in the evening.
We arrived at Lola Magda's wake at around 9:00 pm. I felt the Lord's patience for me and love for Nanay. Zephrine enjoyed the wind!!! She raised her hands up in the air! We slept at Tita Irma's house. She's Lola Ramon's (Nanay's only living sibling now) daughter. We slept at a wooden bed (papag). It was a great experience for us especially to little Zephrine. My dream for her is to be able to relate to people from all walks of life.

Day 2 (Saturday) - This was the funeral of Lola Magda. She worked in Iloilo for many years like Nanay as a househelp. Her bosses became her family and they were all there. They fixed all the needs  for her burial. They are so amazing and loving. I sitted next to Nanay in the hearse. She started crying while the music plays. I started crying too but I didn't show her. I learned that God is truly merciful. Nanay was away from her famil for so long but He gave this time so she can still spend time with them. Maybe there's a purpose why now. But I know He loves Nanay.

We went to the town after and bought groceries for the family. Then we stayed one more night at Nagasi. I thought I saw a "Kapre" that night when we bought mobile loads. We passed by a guy with a long hair, half naked and he just appeared in front of us.

Day 3 (Sunday) - We fellowshipped Nanay's family. We were there till lunch then we traveled to Bacolod City after lunch by Ceres Bus. I was amazed how Zephrine enjoyed commuting. She was very curious of the world around her. We were picked-up by Sister Gay from the terminal and took us to Dra. Marty's house where we stayed till our flight back to Manila. Zephrine enjoyed playing with her dog. It was fun watching them play together.

Day 4 (Monday) - We went to the famous "The Ruins", Negros Museum and SM Bacolod. Then we had a family home evening. Michael gave the lesson.

Day 5 (Tuesday) - Dra toured us at San Salvador!!! Oh that place was so amazing. They have their own chocolate hills, Ma. Christina Falls and Rice Terraces. Then we came back to Dra's house and prepared our things. We left at 12 midnight.

Day 6  (Wednesday) - Arrival at Naia. Ate Iroal picked us up from the airport to the temple. Our car was parked there through Kuya Dennis, my brother in law.

This trip opened my mind to a whole new world. Life in Bacolod is beautiful. They have a simple, rich life there. I want to go back.

October 14, 2017 - Stake Young Men First Aid Training

October 18, 2017 - It was our factory audit and Summer's first day at work. She is my new accountant and it feels like she's a birthday gift from the company. She's hardworking, loyal and honest. I enjoy working with her.

October 21, 2017 - Young Women Stake Leaders "Brooch Making" in Bulaon. This was part of our preparations for the upcoming Stake Young Women Anniversary. Daddy Mike brought us Jollibee meals for Lunch. I love my counselors and secretary. It's my first time to be stake leader as a president for the Young Women Organization. My creativity and ka-kikayan is coming back. 

October 22, 2017 - Michael's stake visit at San Fernando Wards while Nanay, Zephrine and I attended Angeles 2nd Ward because I taught our Relief Society Class today. 

October 23, 2017 - Happy Birthday to me! How I celebrated was recorded at Realizations at 29th

October 25, 2017 - Birthday Lunch at the Office. We had lechon (pig), chopseuy and desserts!

October 27, 2017 - Quickstrike's Halloween Party & Youth Standards' Night. 
We were bats for this year's Halloween! We had a little party at the office. I made treats baskets for the employees. We still had the costume competition and modelling. But this year, instead of individual table decor competition, we did it as a group. Then each group had to dance a zombie dance! It was fun. Then they watched horror movies after wards.  

Okay this next photo above was the youth standards' night. We were speakers and I shared my thoughts on how I gained my self confidence. Read it at this-is-how-i-gained-my-self-confidence

October 28, 2017 - Relief Society Christmas Decor Making & Angeles Ward 2 Trunk or Treat
We made Christmas decors out of tissue paper rolls. They also gave a birthday cake for all the birthday celebrants. Aw! they are so sweet!!! After that, we attended Zephrine's 2nd Trunk or Treat. She was a baby bat. I made this costume for her. I needed to dye her white shirt with black. It was fun seeing her lining up with the kids. We didn't get a lot candies since Zephrine doesn't like sweets. 

October 29, 2017 - Angeles Ward 2 Primary Presentation 

Zephrine didn't participate yet. But she got this cutee bow clip. Isn't she very cute? 

October 30, 2017 - General House Cleaning! 

Ending this blog with this beautiful quote.  29 years on this earth taught me a lot about endurance. I'm pretty impressed how I was able to endure more this year through God's enabling power. 
Thank you October! 

Friday, November 24, 2017


2 NEPHI 2:27 And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.

"The happiest men and women that you know in the world are those who are conforming their lives to the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." - George Albert Smith

1. PRAY.Behold, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cry much unto the Lord my God, because of the anger of my brethren. (v.1)

2. FOLLOW THE PROPHETS. And it came to pass that the Lord did warn me, that I, Nephi, should depart from them and flee into the wilderness, and all those who would go with me. (v.5)

3. KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS. And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses.(v.10)

4.  WORK &amp; PAY YOUR TITHINGS. And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind. (v.11)

5. READ THE SCRIPTURES &amp; OTHER CHURCH MAGAZINES. And I, Nephi, had also brought the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass; and also the ball, or compass, which was prepared for my father by the hand of the Lord, according to that which is written. (v.12)

6. PHYSICAL EXERCISE. And I, Nephi, did take the sword of Laban, and after the manner of it did make many swords, lest by any means the people who were now called Lamanites should come upon us and destroy us; for I knew their hatred towards me and my children and those who were called my people. (v.14)

7. ATTEND CHURCH MEETINGS &amp; PERFORM ORDINANCES IN THE TEMPLE. And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.
And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon’s temple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine. (v.15-16)

8. CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS (CROWD) WISELY. And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done. (v.23)

9. ACCEPT AND FACE YOUR TRIALS. And the Lord God said unto me: They shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in remembrance of me; and inasmuch as they will not remember me, and hearken unto my words, they shall scourge them even unto destruction. (v.25)
Gem cannot be polished without friction, like men cannot be perfected without trials. - Danish Proverb

10. JOURNAL KEEPING. And I, Nephi, had kept the records upon my plates, which I had made, of my people thus far.
And it came to pass that the Lord God said unto me: Make other plates; and thou shalt engraven many things upon them which are good in my sight, for the profit of thy people. (v. 29-30)

And behold, the words of the Lord had been fulfilled unto my brethren, which he spake concerning them, that I should be their ruler and their teacher. Wherefore, I had been their ruler and their teacher, according to the commandments of the Lord, until the time they sought to take away my life.
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did consecrate Jacob and Joseph, that they should be priests and teachers over the land of my people. (v.26)

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Realizations at 29th

TWO + 9 Life lessons

I started my day with a prayer. I thanked my dear Heavenly Father for giving me the best life! Then I read my scriptures. I looked for a section of the Doctrine and Covenants which was recorded during October, and it was section 66. It was a revelation for Brother McLellin. It was recorded there that "faithful ministerial service ensures an inheritance of eternal life". I realized how this message perfectly suited for my 29th year on earth because we are currently serving as couple missionaries for BYU Pathway. I was also recently called the new stake YW President. Our 2017-2018 is going to be a year of service.

Then I cleaned the house. I ate breakfast.  Zephrine woke up. We took a bath and got ready for our movie date and Birthday dinner. I made 2 boxes of chocolates (1 for the web team and the other for the GA team) for my Quickstrike Family with a note that says "Thank you for being a sweet part of my life! We dropped them off at the office on our way to SM San Fernando.

We arrived at SM San Fernando around 3:15 p.m. I started a new tradition for my birthday celebrations.  It is to watch a movie that will inspire me to be a better person, empowers family relationships and will redirect my priorities to the things that matter most. Nanay Sofie accompanied me to watch "Seven Sundays". It was a great movie! It's about remembering our parents no matter how busy we may become as we grow older and as we take on more responsibilities in life. It taught me the importance of "helping between siblings".  It also taught me the importance of open communication in the family and being sensitive to the needs of your family members. I loved it.
Finally, we had my birthday dinner at Vikings as planned by Michael. He was really excited about this because it was my first time to try this restaurant. It was good. I personally enjoyed the foods and the service.

Here are my important 2 + 9  realizations at 29th: 

*** TWO ***

1. It's okay to fail in all of them than to fail in my motherhood calling. Being a working mom plus all the other responsibilities drags me down at times. The thought of "I can do better than this", my many if's and then's and the stresses around me can turn me into a grumpy, negative woman. This lesson brings back the peace of my heart, redirects my priorities and invigorates my mind. 

2. Your relationship with your spouse gives the greatest degree of confidence. A wise man once said, Marriage is a gift from God, and the quality of our Marriage is our gift to God". I find myself most ineffective when I have a misunderstanding with my husband while I am most inspired (beautiful) when we are united in love. A happy marriage is not an overnight magical thing. It really requires a lot of hard work and diligent nurturing efforts.

*** NINE ***

1. The fastest way to recover is to accept it. When bad things happen, when we fall short or when challenges come, we have two options, we can solve them or simply we cannot do anything about it. Acceptance switches our attention to the right solutions and righteous resolutions.

2. Hold on to the iron rod also means hold on to your righteous desires. Being a good person is never easy. There were times in my own life when I wanted to quit. But quitting also means letting go of my chance to live with God again. So instead of giving up, take a break. Recharge yourself and continue the journey with your lamps full of oil. 

3. Love: I once jumped off a cliff expecting the man beside me to do the same. He didn't. He wanted to save me instead. But I didn't want to be just a friend. I wanted him to join me down there or I should say, I wanted him to love me back. For love to go to the second level which is Marriage, two people should have a united choice to jump off together at the same time. If he didn't jump with you, look around. Maybe the right man is already there just standing behind you. 

4. Love is something you give. You never withhold it. There will be times when people who are dear to you will make wrong choices, hurt us or sometimes the hardest view is to see them living beneath their worth (potentials). No matter what the circumstance may be, to love them is the best we can do. For love is the most powerful influence in this world. 

5. Integrity saves. People will love us. Some will dislike us. Others will admire us. Few or more will put us down. I learned that no matter what people will say about us either good or bad if our life is founded on honesty, strong moral principles and the gospel of Jesus Christ, our true color will radiate may be right away or sometimes in due time.  So never let anything or anyone redefine you. Be good but do not waste your time proving it. We must seek proper appreciation from the right sources. 

6. Setting "Financial Goals" makes each day a little closer to "Financial Freedom". Oh yes! It's not how small or big your salary each month but it's more about how you manage your resources. If you have financial goals, all the saving tactics will follow. You can read some of my tips at my-10-tips-on-financial-management

7. Responsibility + Commitment = Spiritual Maturity. Spiritual Matter doensn't only pertain to religion. We were created with a body and a spirit. Life is governed by timeless principles such as what you sow, you will reap. To experience growth in taking on a responsibility requires commitment. Anyone can be a father or a mother instantly but you will not fully understand this responsibility unless you commit yourself to fulfill the associated tasks or roles with it. The responsibilities we embark ourselves on broaden our understanding in the magnificent scope of life and truest meaning of success and eternal happiness. 

8. Take time to exercise, meditate and just breath. I fell in love with Exercise since I was in my primary years. A doctor advised that I should lift weights for my bones. I do a lot of meditation when I read my scriptures (bible, the book of Mormon) and other books or when I stare at random things (which my husband finds really weird! haha). But I only started to enjoy the beauty of breathing recently. I should have done this long time ago. Mindful breathing is so refreshing. This teaches me what it really means to live. To breath increases my appreciation & gratitude to the giver of life even our Father in Heaven. 

9.  I started my journey to refinement on my 29th birthday,  and I share my experience @refinedwomanhood (IG and Fb Page at My Journey to Refined Womanhood). To be refined is my goal before I turn 30 years old next year. Refinement is about purification and sanctification. It is being able to possess a higher level of self-control, being cultured in appearance, becoming more Christ-like and to gain wisdom. I actually got a bit nervous about this goal because I remember a quote from a friend that goes like this, "I asked God to make me strong, then God gave me trials." I pray that whatever challenge or tests that will come along the way I'll trust on the enabling power of the atonement of Jesus Christ wholeheartedly.

Cheers for 29 years! Birthdays are a new beginning...

My 10 Tips on Financial Management

This blog is one of my Two + 9 Realizations at 29th!

1. Set Financial Goals. We learned from BPI's financial training the importance of writing down and setting a specific timeline for each of our goals that involve finances.
Example: A dream house should be at least 5 years to complete. It is not advisable to exceed more than that. So I completed a worksheet that has our age, target year of completion, goal and the action plan in line to achieve it.

2. Combine salary and all other sources of income. We used to have one account and it messed up our budget from time to time, so we decided to have 3 bank accounts: a joint account, my personal account and my husband's. The joint account is our monthly revolving fund, my account is for our Savings and my husband's is for emergency and travel funds.

3. Save up & Live within your means. It is important to use the money you earned today for the expenses of today. Never borrow from your future salary for what is due today.

4. Create a Budget and Monitor it. The monthly revolving fund (or a monthly budget) gives us a warning signal: stop, wait or go when we buy and pay bills. It is wise to set an amount for your monthly budget. (Ex. 10,000/month). Then train yourself and the family to never go over that.
I have a notebook to monitor our expenditures. I will take a photo of my working budget sheet later.

5. Envelope System.  We try to pay everything online but there are still things that we need to pay in cash. The envelope system is my personal petty cash system. You can visit my instagram @refinedwomanhood for photos and for more details about it.

6. Create Funds for specific goals. Here are some of the funds we are still building up:

  • Emergency Fund - My boss' number 1 financial advise given was to have this fund good for 1+years. The many years the better. But you can start with at least a revolving fund good for 3-6 months. 
  • Travel Fund - This will determine if we are capable of traveling. 
  • Sinking Fund - A fund for a specific short-term goal. We keep this in a jar (Alakansya). We save 5 peso and 10 peso coins. We use this as our instant emergency fund or for buying Christmas gifts. 

7. Buy Insurance Plan. This will save us from poverty in case something really bad happens. This is also our retirement savings for now. Maybe after we pay for our insurance plans we can focus on saving and planning for our retirement. I chose Kaiser through IMG because it's not expensive compared to other insurance providers. It also comes with a Health Insurance good for a lifetime.

8. Open Saving accounts for Children through long-term investments. We planned not to spend a lot of money for birthday celebrations, gadgets, "luho" or items of clothing for our kids. I had a roommate at BYU-Hawaii who developed very well a habit of saving. She shared with me that her mother doubled the amount of money they were able to save in a month and deposited it to their individual bank account. This ignited their excitement for saving. Each of them started to set a monthly target amount to reach their yearly savings goal. I chose COL financial for Zephrine because it's easy to monitor online, reliable and most of all it's cheap.

9. Increase cash inflows (money coming in) and decrease cash outflows (payments). I learned this principle from my Finacial Management classes and from IMG. I am still looking for ways to increase our cash inflows. I guess online selling is one of the most famous ways to do it while at home or working. For now, we are investing slowly through my father-in-law's farm.
We cut our expenses by keeping our bills at certain levels/amount (ex. electric, gas, house rent and etc.) I can write a whole blog about this. But the main point is to get as much discount as you can. It's more fun to pay less than the original price.

10. Share your blessings by giving back. We give back through paying our tithings and generous fast offerings. We started paying them through BPI online and it's so much more convenient for us. I think another way we do it is when we celebrate our birthdays by choosing a group of people we would like to share our blessings with for each year. We are still not capable of putting up a big party. We can also give back by helping those in need and even the strangers around us.

BONUS TIPS. The tips take time to be perfectly part of our daily routines. I am still in the process as well.  Sometimes I disobey number 4  because of laziness and busyness but as they said, the way to perfection is constant and diligent practice.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

This is how I gained my Self Confidence

Paano ko napalakas ang aking "Kumpiyasa sa Sarili"? 

My husband and I were invited to be guest speakers last YM & YW A Night to Remember of the Angeles 2nd Ward. Our messages focused on strengthening our Individual Worth and Self-Confidence. I asked the youth kung "Sino sa kanila ang natatakot kay Bishop? or kay President Bondoc?" And there were few who raised their hands. Napakahalaga na habang youth pa lang ay maka-gain na tayo ng healthy self-confidence dahil the choices we make while in this age are crucial to what lies ahead in our future. When we are confident, most of our choices will lead us to eternal bliss. 

Doctrine & Covenants 121:45 teaches us, and I quote,
"...and Let Virtue garnish our thoughts unceasingly, then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God..."

Confidence for me is a state of mind. What you think defines and becomes you. I love this scripture verse a lot. If we can face the Lord confidently, then we can talk or interact with everyone. When I was in my youth, lagi akong kinakabahan pag Dance Socials. Lagi akong out of place because I was mostly "bangko". My skin color was not attractive to the YM. Excited ako sa mga other youth activities pero pag dating sa mga sayawan, I just wanted to stay outside. 

Years passed. The blessings of having a healthy self-confidence are exciting! I was able to dine with great men and women, established friendships with people from all walks of life and found a great job because I keep myself ready to face the Lord. As I mentioned earlier, "if I am confident to meet God, I know I can face whoever comes along my way". There are three tips I shared with the youth that night kung paano ko nadeveloped ang aking "Self-Confidence". 

1. Believe in Yourself. If you don't believe in yourself, nobody will believe in you. When I was in my 1st grade, my mother kept telling me that I am a smart kid although I was a slow learner. My teacher grouped our chairs into 4 rows. Row1 was the smartest kids in class, then row 2 were the good ones, row 3 was 50-50 and row 4 students were the ones who needed additional learning assistance. I was in row 3. I was bad at Reading. And because I believed my mom, I eventually believed in myself. I ended up the Class 1st Honor that school year. There is so much power in believing in ourselves. Parang lahat ng impossible biglang nagiging possible. Believing in yourself also means trusting in yourself. When you trust yourself, we also trust our Heavenly Father who is our Creator. His creation is never mediocre. Never doubt, only believe. It's like how miracles work through our faith. 

2. Invest in Yourself. Because I wasn't pretty in the eyes of the world during my teen years, I focused on developing my talents and I studied very hard. I told myself that if I weren't pretty, I should be a smart and a talented lady. I learned how to play the piano and the guitars.  I also joined theater clubs, dance groups, and choirs. I involved myself in various leadership opportunities both in school and at church. I finished my Personal Progress and graduated from Seminary. Investing in yourself means making yourself valuable. Gusto kong paramihan ang mga talento at kaalamang binigay sa akin ni Heavenly Father. Michael and I were the opposite when we were teenagers. He was Mr. Popular. He won Mr. Engineering, 1st Runner UP while I was an ugly duckling. 

3. Love Yourself. To gain a strong self-esteem, we also need to learn how to be a good friend and to make friends. Friendship is a foundation of love na ating magagamit sooner when we are finally ready to meet our Eternal Companion. We need to establish friendships hindi lang sa kapwa babae or kapwa lalaki natin but also our opposite sex. Bilang babae we need to learn how to mingle with men and not to look awkward or suplada when we are with them. I learned na hindi maganda ang maging too loud sa isang babae. Kailangan din tayo maging mabuting kaibigan sa kapwa nang walang kompetensiya. There will always be someone who is better than us, prettier than us, smarter than us or sexier than us but we should never feel threatened or jealous. A good friend helps us become the best version of ourselves. It is always best to appreciate than to diminish others. For example, if someone is prettier than you, instead of hating that person why not seek beauty tips from her? The world will be a happier place if we uplift each other. Love and accept yourself. Love the things you have, you possess and the things you can do. Accept those you cannot change. Aspire for continuous growth in all aspects of your life; emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual.
The way you love yourself is how you will love others. 

I pray that each of you dear young friends will remember who you are all the days of your life. You are special and you can do a lot of good things on this earth because you are a child of a powerful God. We have the power to create and our potentials are limitless especially when we believe, invest and love ourselves. 

Have a good night!

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Blessings of "Fasting"


There were no records of the origin of Fasting in the ancient times. President Howard W. Hunter explained, ".. we find reference to it as having been practiced in the earliest of times as an expression of grief or emotion. It was associated with serious heartfelt sorrow for sin, with times of morning, and with occasions of strong emotion." 

Why do the fast in the ancient times? 
  • as an expression of attempts to receive communications from God (Moses & Elijah) 
  • needs of special occasions such as the deaths of Saul and Jonathan. 
  • to seek divine assistance before wars and battles 
  • the Annual Day of Atonement
  • In memory of the Holy Temple destroyed
  • To repent

When ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance. (Matt. 6:16)


Isaiah 58 recorded the most beautiful promised blessings when we fast.
8. Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.
[The light is the enlightenment of our minds in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We will have a strong mind, a healthy body,  righteousness of hearts and the Lord will be our rearguard. ]
9. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
The Lord will hear our cries. He will be there to give us knowledge. He will comfort us when we are sad. He will empower us when we are persecuted. Our capability to resist temptations will get stronger.  The yoke is a symbol of any sins, habits or wickedness we will be able to overcome when we fast. When we pray we ask the Father of something we really need. When we add fasting, we show him more eagerness and seriousness of our petitions.

Elder Bowen taught, "Our Father will free us from the bands of wickedness. He will lift our heavy burdens, and He will let the oppressed go free. In fact, He promises to empower us to break every yoke. What an enabling promise, to have the power to break every yoke!"
10. And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
[When we fast, we also give our generous fast offerings. Our fast offerings will be used to help the needy and the afflicted. Our good examples will shine forth.]
11. And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. 
[Wow! The Lord will be our constant companion. He will help us gain self-control in all things. We will never run of energy, we will always stay fresh and beautiful as the flowers in the Lord's garden.]
 12. And they shall be of thee shall build of the waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shall be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
We will be strong builders of Zion. We will help in the raising of the next generations. We will the Lord's instrument so He can do all His jobs on earth.

Elder Bowen asked these amazing questions from his talk Fasting with Power by Elder Bowen ,
"What if there were a way to overcome our habits, addictions, and burdens? What if there were a way to gain sufficient confidence in the Lord that you could call down the powers of heaven? What if there were principles you could teach your loved ones that, if applied, would allow them to overcome personal weaknesses and draw closer to God? As we properly understand and live the law of the fast, these desired blessings can be ours."

 He also added his explanations of Isaiah 58's promised blessings when we fast. He taught, A true fast, however, requires more than just going without food, as the following principles illustrate.
Principle 1: A generous fast offerings blesses others. 
Principle 2: Fasting invites enlightenment and the companionship of the Holy Ghost. 
Principle 3: Fasting helps us subdue the natural man. 
"Fasting requires discipline. Fasting helps us accomplish one of the vital purposes of life: developing self-mastery.King Benjamin referred to this self-mastery as overcoming the natural man. He taught that the natural man is an enemy to God, always has been, and ever will be. If we don’t overcome the natural man in this life and become “a saint through the atonement of Christ” (Mosiah 3:19), we will never live with our Father in Heaven again. Our physical bodies are created in such a way that we can have a spiritual victory over the natural man each time we properly fast.“When a person starts a fast, biochemical adjustments begin in the bloodstream to compensate for the lack of food. A carbohydrate substance known as glycogen is released from storage areas in the liver and the muscles. The body uses glycogen as food to keep cells supplied with energy. After 24 hours this food source is used up, and another source of energy is needed.“Dr. Siegfried Heyden of Duke University’s Department of Community and Family Medicine says when this happens, the body starts looking for other energy sources. ‘The first thing happening after a 24-hour fast is the breakdown of fat cells. And these fat cells, when they break down, produce ketone bodies, as they are called. And these ketone bodies seem to have an effect on our psyche in that they make us no longer hungry.’”1After 24 hours without food or drink, the body (the natural man) submits to the spirit (the spiritual man). When the spiritual man is victorious, we experience greater sensitivity to the influence of the Holy Ghost. " - Elder Bowen
Principle 4: Fasting intesifies prayer. 
[I learned from the mission that a complete scripture study begins with a prayer. But when we pray, fast and study, there is more wisdom learned during the reading and pondering.]
Principle 5: Fasting prepares us to bear our testimony. Elder Bowen explained, " Those who have prepared carefully for the fast and testimony meeting won't need to be reminded how to bear testimony should they feel impressed to do it in the meeting. They won't give sermons nor exhortations nor travel reports nor try to entertain as they bear witness. Because they will have already expressed appreciation to people privately, they will have less need to do it publicly. Neither will they feel a need to use eloquent language or to go on at length."
[When we share our testimony while fasting, the Holy Ghost will guide us what to say.]
 What a beautiful cure. What a beautiful reminder!

Monday, October 16, 2017

When we failed.

Today, I was very annoyed. Things didn't go the way it supposed to be. There are days when I wake and I feel so lazy to move my body. Times when all I want to do is to lock myself in a room. Days when I feel I am only a human. There are mornings when I feel like I am a superwoman. I wake up, pray and read my scriptures, then I do some stretchings. Ideally, after my personal time, I clean the house, do laundry and buy groceries. I shower. Then, Zephrine wakes up. I played with her. I feed her and bathe her. I get ready to work. Michael comes at 10:00a.m. to pick me up. This is what a good day for us is. After work, we go somewhere for snacks. 

But today I failed. I woke up feeling overwhelmed. This is a time when I feel like I am running out of time. I feel miserable. I used to hate this fact but as I learn to accept when I fall short, the healing comes faster. I know I should move on. Try again and hold on a little tighter to the iron rod. 

"No temptation, no pressure, no enticing can overcome us unless we allow such. If we make the wrong choice, we have no one to blame but ourselves…We have all made incorrect choices. If we have not already corrected such choices, I assure you that there is a way to do so. The process is called repentance. I plead with you to correct your mistakes. Our Savior died to provide you and me that blessed gift."
- President Thomas S Monson

I opened my facebook and I found this comforting words from our living prophet today. I should have guarded myself better. I should have prepared myself against the adversary. He wanted me to fail. He rejoices when I feel pain and discouraged. 
When I was younger, I remember telling God that I am giving up. I used to complain a lot. I even tell myself many times that I am tired of trying to be good. I couldn't hold on one more day. I thought I reached the end of my endurance. 

However, it came to a point that I realized that if I give up, I am also giving up my greatest hopes in life. So I promised the Lord that no matter how what and why I failed, I will stand up. I will do it over and over again. I don't want to waste Christ's atonement for us. I admit that there are days when I feel I am a hypocrite. But if I believe all the negative thoughts the Devil is telling me, I will never reach the peak of my potentials and return home safely to my Heavenly Father.  

There is no perfect situation in this world. But with a perfect knowledge that there is a God should sustain us to keep pressing forward. His love has no end. He knows our hearts. And He will never forsake us.