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...

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Our April Best Bits

Hello April!! Hello Summer! Let's play in the sun!!!! 

Week 1: April 1 to 7, 2018

I feel like April was Michael's month!!!! Easter Sunday welcomed this month. Sister Castro with Vincent her grandson came to our house to bid farewell. They are moving back to Bicol. Sister Castro was one of my diligent Visiting Teachers. One of the best lessons she taught me is to avoid getting mad at your spouse especially in the most non-sense matters. She's awesome and I love just the way she is.  Also, we welcomed (5) new employees at work and many more during this month on the 2nd of April. Zephrine also visited my new office and I guess she likes it. She's too cute! I cannot stop playing when I am with her. April 3 when my husband and I had our date and watched "Never Not Love You" at SM Clark, Cinema. Yes, we are Jadine fans. The story was very realistic and timely. Marital problems can be handled well if both parties are willing to understand each other's point of view with selflessness. I love reconnecting with nature on the 4th. It's Nephi's birthday too. He is my only and youngest brother. We greeted him. We went to Essel Park after work. We played on the grounds, ate "miryenda" and taught Zephrine the things we can see in the Park. I love the trees and the sky. I had a lunch date with Ms. Jenn. She's one of my co-workers who read the book of the month, "FOUR" on Friday, April 5th. It was a great conversation. It brought me back to college group discussions. The week ended up a little bit challenging because the little baby was sick. She had a fever, cough, and flu. I was really worried because next week we are flying to Vietnam.

Week 2: April 8 to 14, 2018 

Happy Sunday! It was General Conference Weekends! We took Nanay to Bulacan. King also came to visit us. He cooked for us and brought us an eggpie cake. It was a good short vacation.

This week was our super vacation! We went to Naia on the 9th for our flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Here's our travel itinerary:
Tuesday (10) - Arrival at Ho Chi Minh City
Wednesday (11) - Michael's training
Thursday (12)  - City Tour & Cu Chi Tunnels
Friday (13) - Welcome to Bangkok
Saturday (14) - Bangkok to Cambodia
Sunday  (15) - A day in Cambodia
Monday (16) - Mabuhay Pilipinas!

I'll write a more detailed blog as per this trip.

Week 3: April 14 to 21, 2018 

Back to work on the 17th. I had to catch up with all the work leftovers.
Then on the 18th, we went for St. Catherine's for DP.
Thursday (19th) was a reunion with Juna. She's one of my batchmates at BYU-Hawaii. We met her husband too and she met Michael too. They were here for their P-DOS since both got accepted at BYU-H. Juna will finish her last semesters there while Ezra is a freshman.
Friday (20), we toured the couple around Angeles Downtown to Balibago. We also ate our favorite shawarma from the Shawarma place in Walking Streets.
Saturday the 21st, we all attended our Ward Summer Outing in Morong Bataan at Sun Sea Moon. It was a very nice place. It was very relaxing but we had to go home right after lunch for Juna and Ezra departure to Manila.

Week 4: April 22 to 30, 2018

This month was Michael's month because he had his first training abroad plus he also received a new calling today, Sunday. He was called as the new Priesthood Group President (EQ) after the changes released by the General Authorities last General Conference. I am excited for him but also sad since I was left in the Stake Youth Organization. I will miss working with him there. I just realized now that he just made a history for being one of the Priesthood Group Presidents, batch 1 in the church history together with Father Angelo. They have the same calling now.

From the 23rd to the 28th was the For the Strength of Youth Conference at Crystal Wave Resort in Talavera, Cabanatuan. We didn't do that much since there were called leaders for this event. Day 1 - We were part of the Registration Committee. Day 2- I was a teacher. Day 3, we went back home for work. Day 4- Work then went back after lunch for the Musical Devotional. That was one of the most spiritual moments during this camp. Day 5 - I just stayed in the room and Michael was a medic. Saturday we went back to Pampanga. We dropped by UP Clark to inquire about their Master's Program then I attended a Yoga Evening Lifestyle. It was so cool! I learned a lot and eat so much. I wrote about this in my other post. The next day Sunday, 29th we were speakers about "Ministering". It was a great Sunday. I felt the spirit more in my life. This month last day was a holiday. We moved May 1, Labor to today. We just stayed at home.

We are excited for May! <3

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Our March Best Bits (2018)

Hello March! 

"Peace is the beauty of life. It is sunshine. It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of the father, the togetherness of a family. It is the advancement of the man, the victory of a just cause, the triumph of truth."  -Menachem Begin 

It was a month filled with colors. Zephrine learned the different colors. She knows colors red, yellow, blue, purple, orange, green, white and black. She can sings 6 songs now, Havana Oh-nana, Tomorrow, Twinkle Little Star, ABCD, The Finger Family and Head Shoulders Knees & Toes. We discovered her love for singing. She's learning more. She loves to call herself "baby" and she knows  her name, Zephrine. She still doesn't like any hair ties but likes to wear necklaces and hats. We are teaching her the different parts and things inside our house. She loves to go to Jollibee with her dad. Zephrine loves Nanay Sofi. She is her favorite playmate. She learned to eat all kinds because of Nanay. She dances when we play music. She knows the opposites like "Up & Down", Cold and Hot, Happy and Sad, Long and Short, Full and Empty, Big and Small, Back and Front, & Sleep/Awake.
Our baby is so sweet. She loves to sleep beside with my hands wrap around her body. We pray together at night and in the morning when we wake up and she knows when to say "AMEN".  She eats by herself. She loves to drive our car and her mini car. She likes bikes but she doesn't know how to ride it yet. She's a happy little lady who says wow to almost everything beautiful and interesting around her. 
She is our joy. 

It's been two (2) months now since I started attending my Yoga Classes. I feel more head space. Our office expansion is done. We are hiring more assets for both the GA and the Web Departments. Our bosses were here most of the time. It was a month full of learning. We finished all contracts, government contributions organization, compliance errands, and the vat removal meetings. There are lots to do as the company grows. We are also learning our new roles. 

Our weekends. March  3 & 4. 
Saturday was Zephrine's Day. We went to Kidzoona. 
We attended church in Cabanatuan because we had our FSY meeting afterwards. I had another service opportunity when I played the piano during our sacrament meeting.
March 10 & 11.
We attended the 176th Relief Society Anniversary. 
We visited Arayat Ward the next day. It was a great timing because that Sunday the branch's new president was called, President Oliver Merdegia. It was a very inspiring Sunday for all of us young workers in the vineyard of the Lord.
March 17 & 18
This weekends was our Stake Conference. Our presiding authority was my mission president, Elder Schmutz who is now serving as a counselor in the Philippines Area Presidency.
I was one of the speakers for the Saturday Session. I was really grateful for my husband because he woke me up to attend my yoga class. During my class, I was able to receive a lot of inspiration for the message that the Lord wanted me to share.
Sunday session was magnificent. It was one of the most spiritual stake conferences I have ever attended. I loved the messages from our Stake President, the Angeles Mission Presidents (& wife), President Briones of the Manila Temple, a recent convert, and Elder & Sister Schmutz. What a great day!
March 24 & 25 
Michael came back from their EQ Camp. It was very therapeutic to be away from him for a short time. Then Nanay, Zephrine and I attended Sister Camille's baby shower at dinner time. Then we met Daddy Mike at church and watched a little bit of the Stake Basketball Tournament.
Sunday, I taught a lesson about Keeping the Sabbath Day holy in the Relief Society Class.
Elder Babida attended our Sacarament meeting. Michael visited SF1 to train his new Secretary. Then, we all attended church at 1:00 PM. We were all so tired so we missed the FSY Devo and had our looooooong nap. We woke up at passed 7:30PM. Wow! I love long naps!
Another busy week gone so fast.
The holy week was just a blink of an eye.
On Thursday, we went to the office to clean and swam at Sister Ticong's house.
We chilled at home for the following days till March 31. We did our laundry, cleaning, organizing and movie marathon. We enoyed our long naps and worked online from time to time.

March, thank you for being so kind to us. The best part is we bought a piece of land for our dream house this month. Ah! It was very exciting! We are very grateful! <3

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Recharging My Spirit

Today, I was given the chance to teach our Relief Society Class at church. These are women from ages 18 and above. My topic was about the Sabbath Day. Personally, I love going to church because it is a day when I can recharge my spirit. I started my lesson by going back to the story of the Creation. 
Day 1 - Heaven and the Earth. He called the Light, Day and the darkness, Night.
Day 2 - The sky (firmament)
Day 3 - Gather all the water and the dry land to appear,. He made flowers, grass, and trees.
Day 4 - He made the sun, the moon, and the stars.
Day 5 - He made the birds, the fish, and the whales.
Day 6 - He made land animals and man.
 ..And on the seventh (7th) day God ended his work which he had made, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. (Genesis 2:2-3)

Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this (keep the Sabbath-day holy), the FULLNESS OF THE EARTH IS YOURS, the beast of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;
Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food, or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;
Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are of made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;
Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.
And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not excess, neither by extortion. (D&C 59:16-20)

Isn't it amazing that after the Lord created all that was mentioned from the first day to the 6th day, He left a promise that all of these will be ours if we will keep the-Sabbath-a-delight? My favorite blessing amongst all that was mentioned is what God created on the 6th day, "man" or I can say our family. I testify that Keeping the Sabbath day holy as a family is a glimpse of how it will be like when together we return back to our Heavenly Father's kingdom. It is our preparation and a practice. Heaven will not be a heaven if our family members aren't there. If we will spend this day with our family, we will not lose them even if our schedules from day 1 to 6 each week might be very busy.
President Russel M. Nelson taught, In my much more younger years, I studied the work of others who had compiled lists of things to do and things not to do on the Sabbath. It wasn't until later that I learned from the scriptures that MY CONDUCT AND MY ATTITUDE ON THE SABBATH CONSTITUTED A SIGN BETWEEN ME AND MY HEAVENLY FATHER. With that understanding, I no longer needed lists of do's and dont's. When I had to make a decision whether or not an activity was appropriate for the Sabbath, I simply asked myself, " WHAT SIGN DO I WANT TO GIVE TO GOD?" That question made my choices about the Sabbath day crystal clear. 

This lesson reminded me that Sabbath day is a day when we reflect deeply the strength of our personal relationship with our Maker. This relationship guides my actions. It is a day of healing, recharge, and service. To me, I would like the Sabbath day to be a symbol of my love for the Lord by obedience to His commandments, spending quality time with my family and learning more about the Savior's life with my brothers and sisters at church.

In addition, President Nelson said,
Sabbath day is a chance for us to take things slowly. It is for me a personal time-out. It is a day when I can meditate and ponder about the things life has taught from each passing day. It is a day to feel God's love and to make Him feel my love for Him. Let us never forget the farewell plea of Moroni when he wrote,
"Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all of your might, mind, strength, then.. ye are sanctified in Christ." (Moroni 10:32)

The End** 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Our February Best Bits (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 Best Bits (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.