The Sanctuary of Hope and Love


I thought that my willingness and enthusiasm brought me to The Feast. But then, I realized that god brought me to The Feast because He knew that I need direction. Yeah, that's how busy I was. Busy with my career and with my boyfriend. I didn't notice that I was lost! FINALLY, I AM HOME I was a nominal Catholic. I attended mass, participated in religious activities like processions, read the Bible when comfortable, and proclaimed myself that I did good, that I love God. But I was also prone to judging  the actions of other people. My actions and thoughts didn't align. The day came when I decided to stop my two-faced faith and be busy with my own life. It was Sunday, I attended an event at the Philippine International Convention Center and discovered The Feast. It may look like an accident for some. But for me, it was destiny! I decided to join The Feast. "Finally, I found a home," I said to myself. But not for long. Because of a busy schedule and more trials, my attendance was not consistent. ROCK BOTTOM This year, my longtime boyfriend and I broke up. We have been together for eleven years but our relationship didn't survive. My world collapsed. It looks like overreacting, but this can happen. Especially if your world revolves around one person. Unfortunately, mine did! I felt the pain every single day. That was my rock bottom. STANDING UP But when you are down, there's no way but up, and start over again. So, I stood up. Yes, I I went back to The Feast - the home I had neglected for sometime. But even if I had been away, The Feastwelcomed me - with open arms. It became my sanctuary of hope and love. And The Feast helped me to stand up, and start over again. The Feast brought me to the woman I am dreaming of becoming - as a strong, passionate, and happy woman. To tell you honestly, The Feast brought me to what I actually really need - self-love. Right now, I am still moving on. I still cry and feel sad about my failed relationship. But I see blessings this time around. Because I know God will turn my weaknesses and failures into beautiful blessings. BLESSINGS AFTER HEARTBREAKS Before, pride took over me when dealing with problems. Now, I am learning how to trust other people and share my burdens with a group of friends called Light Group. I became closer to my family because I started open up myself to them, too. I learned that God is the best planner of all. God knows what is best for me. Most of all, my spiritual life continues to grow — from shallow feelings to genuine worship and prayer. And from a deceptive life to a meaningful one! I know I am not perfect, and will never be perfect. But I have My Redeemer, always. Now that I am redirected,

The Sanctuary of Hope and Love2020-05-18T17:19:54+08:00



#YouAreLoved at #TheFeast Ever since I was a child, I have always been a victim of bullying. All kinds of bullying — physical, cyber, or social. Throughout my elementary years, someone would always tease me, throw stones at me, not welcome me into a group, and even make fun of me or make stories about me. Lahat ng judgments. Why? It seems like almost all the illnesses are in me — eczema, dislocation, overweight, asthma. My doctor gave me many restrictions and medications na masakit talaga sa bulsa. I felt like a burden. Many said, “Hayaan mo sila. Study hard. You will be successful later on.” Or, “Lumaban ka. Huwag kang takot.” It hurts so badly. High school came, yet still a wreck. Failing grades, broken friendships, bullying, failed family relationships. May rejection pa nga ni Crush. Parang lahat na lang ng kapalpakan nasa akin. I remember, during my fourth year in high school, I got a lot of failing grades. There was one quarter na nakalimang failing grades ako. Because of it, I was considered one of the “doubtful students” in our school. It means that it was unsure whether I would graduate or not. I felt so depressed that I even questioned my existence in life. Tinanong ko rin si God, "Worthy pa rin ba ako? Am I destined to suffer?” I became an introvert and lost my self-confidence. That was the time na I began to pray harder and ‘yung manalig nang totoo sa Kanya. Unlike dati na lip service only. I even listened to Gospel songs on my phone as my way of praying to Him. And you know what? HE ANWERED MY PRAYER! I graduated from high school! Despite my unworthiness, sinfulness, and lahat ng pagkukulang ko, He reminded me of His great, limitless, and unconditional love and mercy. Na He does not look at our sins; rather, He looks at our hearts. As my way of thanking and giving back to Him for all He has done for me, I joined our campus ministry and also started attending The Feast when I got to college. It was also my way of making bawi sa lahat ng kasalanang nagawa ko sa Kanya. My grades got better and I also made new and good friends. After attending The Feast for almost three years, I became a servant. I met an awesome support group that strengthen bonds together with the Lord. Unlike before where I wouldn't be welcome into a group, I now have found a place where I feel I belong, where I am loved without judgment. Despite all the beautiful changes, God gave me another big test. Six months ago, I was operated on due to the patellar dislocation in my right leg. It was so hard since I couldn't move that much. I had to cancel taking the Licensure Exam for Teachers just for the operation. I was pessimistic at times because of the hardships, but that didn’t stop me from praying and


Healed and Made Whole


#YouAreLoved at #TheFeast During elementary and high school years, my classmates would talk things behind my back, tease me, and hit me physically. My mom would constantly remind me to just ignore the teasing or just say sorry, but I did otherwise. WHY? Why would I ignore them? Why would I say sorry when I was the one aggrieved? For me, it did not make sense. I did not know the meaning of the term “forgiving and letting go.” All I did was scream at them or hit back at them. I found a shallow way to let go of my hurts and pains from my classmates. I stayed away from my high school batchmates and went to a college where no high school classmates went. In fact, I erased everything in my mind about my grade school and high school years. I thought it was the solution, but the bullying continued. It was a different environment already, no familiar face, and still I could not stand my college classmates. I thought of them as bad influence because they make fun at class and befriend people the wrong way. I had to defend myself by hitting them back like a mixed martial arts fighter. Because of these, I felt I was an outcast. I just did well in my studies and my internship to survive college. Even at home, I felt people were talking bad about me, especially one of our household helpers. I felt it was too much, so I hit her using a window screen. When they informed my mom about this, I realized that there was really something wrong with me. I needed help. She had to look for a doctor for me. At the age of 21, I found out I have Asperger’s syndrome. Asperger’s syndrome is a “high-functioning” autism. People with Asperger’s have difficulty interacting with other people and have restricted range of interests and have repetitive behaviors. In short, I just talk a lot. It cannot be cured, but it can be worked on for one’s advantage. Despite of my disorder, I graduated college in May 2010 with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Information Technology with specialization in Computer Network Engineering In February 2017, because of all the gossip in my second job, I submitted my resignation letter with a heavy heart. I looked for another job because I did not want to depend on other people. It was not easy. I was rejected several times. I felt depressed, and I felt that I was worthless. I pitied myself and this lasted for two months. My mom would always ask me, “When will you get a job? What is your plan now?” At first, I could not give an answer because I was not ready. I often told myself that I was not fit for the corporate world. As I went through this lonely journey alone, I heard daily Masses because God was my recourse. I realized that I was feeling depressed

Healed and Made Whole2019-04-02T15:58:10+08:00

A warning from a recovering Gambling Addict


#YouAreLoved at #TheFeast I am a recovering gambling addict. I started frequenting the casinos seven years ago. At first, I was only playing small time. When I would make a small profit, I would leave; or when I would lose the set budget, I would go home. But this soon started to increase and it reached a point where I had pawned my gadgets and even my car just to have funds to run after my losses. These too were all lost eventually. I have lost two high-paying jobs because I would stay in the casino for several days and sometimes even for a week without notifying my bosses as I was running after my losses. Recently, I spent a whole week in the casino because I lost everything once again. I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day of 2018 in that place together with other people who have pinned their hopes on being able to recover their losses by scrounging for a few hundreds of pesos that people would give them; or through bonus bets that these establishments provide so that you could continue betting. All of these promos and incentives are of course planned to keep their patrons. They will give you different items and sometimes, even an overnight stay at their hotel especially if you are one of those who put in big amounts of bets or those who have won a lot recently. What pains me to see are the people that are ruined because of this activity. I have seen young people as young as 18 years of age — boys and girls slowly getting addicted to gambling through the casinos. I have seen elder people blowing in just a week their retirement pay which they had worked for for 40 to 50 years. Men and women selling their bodies to foreigners for a few thousand pesos just to fund their gambling addiction, with the hope of being able to recover their losses. Business owners neglecting and eventually losing their businesses. The worst that I have heard was someone taking his own life because he was unable to pay his debts to the casino financiers anymore. There are still a lot that I have seen and experienced, but I do not know how to share them further. I am not out to get these establishments responsible for the countless lives ruined because of the addiction to casino gambling. What I would like to do is to enlighten people. To those who are currently hooked, it is never too late to turn things around. All you really need to do is stop and focus on things outside of that world. This addiction will bleed you dry and you will not even notice it until everything is gone. To those who have relatives or family members currently hooked, I would suggest that you show them the understanding and compassion, and reason with them (because arguing with them will only have them continue on with the habit). Help them

A warning from a recovering Gambling Addict2019-01-21T13:21:06+08:00

In His Love


#YouAreLoved at #TheFeast Bata pa lang ako, achiever na ako sa school — always in the star section, consistent honor student, dean's lister, awards dito, awards doon. Hindi naman sa pagbubuhat ng sariling bangko, pero ako ‘yung tipo ng estudyante na pangarap ng maraming teacher — masipag, maaasahan, madaling turuan. Paborito ako ng mga kaklase na gawing ka-group at leader sa mga project. With me in the group, someone who had to maintain a certain grade to maintain her scholarship, confident sila na ‘di ko pababayaan ang grades ng grupo. With this kind of environment, I grew up having a mindset na kailangan magaling ka, mahusay ka. Kailangan may maio-offer ka, may maiko-contribute ka. Na kailangan patunayan mo ang sarili mo na may silbi ka para matanggap, mapabilang, at mahalin. School had become a comfort zone. Kasi doon, basta galingan ko, basta husayan ko, may tatanggap sa akin, may kaibigan ako, may kasama ako. It was predictable. After graduation, when I stepped out into the real world, despite the knowledge of what most people say "You cannot please everybody," hindi ko ‘yun pinaniwalaan. With my immature, foolish boldness, I chose to believe that I could please anyone for as long as I would be at my best and be the nicest, kindest person I could be. And that was the beginning of my self-destruction, my downfall, my disappointments, frustrations, heartaches, and heartbreaks. I would always try to live up to others’ expectations, to adjust to their preferences, to compromise, to give way, to hide and deny who I really am, and to set aside all that I want to do. I even tried to change myself so I could fit in, so I could feel I belong, so I could feel accepted and loved. Each and every relationship worked out quite well in the beginning. It was happy. It was fun. Only to find myself being backstabbed, betrayed in the end. May mga taong nagparamdam na wala akong silbi, na wala akong kuwenta, dahil wala na akong maitulong, maibigay, mai-contribute (time, talents, effort). Mga taong nagpaparamdam na I am not good enough and that I would never be enough. Masakit, mahirap, nakakapagod. Napagod na akong mabuhay sa kung ano ang tingin at iisipin sa akin ng tao. It came to a point na gusto ko na lang magpakatotoo, na gusto ko nang maging ako. One night, I felt so emotionally tired and drained. I just burst into tears while praying alone inside my room. I poured my heart out to God. Then I remembered Matthew 11:28: "Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." I cried buckets of tears and just kept telling God how tired I was then. Suddenly, a thought came into my head, as if it was God telling me, "There is nothing you can do or cannot do that can make Me love you more or love you less. I just love you for just being

In His Love2019-01-09T15:34:06+08:00

To The Girl Who Never Knew:


#YouAreLoved at #TheFeast TO THE GIRL WHO NEVER KNEW: Hi, Besh!!! Never akong nagkaroon ng chance na sabihin sa ‘yo ang mga bagay-bagay eh, kaya dito na lang. ‘Di ko akalaing magiging close tayo. Medyo nai-intimidate nga ako sa ‘yo, pero first time na makita kita, crush na kita. Nung una, parang normal na crush lang. Pero habang tumatagal, nag-iiba eh. Lalo nung mas nakilala pa kita. Sobrang amazing mong tao. Sobrang strong mo sa life. Unti-unti kong na-realize na I was starting to like you even more. Every time na nag-uusap tayo, parang ‘di ko namamalayan ang oras. Masaya ako lagi ‘pag kausap kita. Falling na nga ako sa ‘yo. Pero I rubbed it off dahil alam kong ‘di kita deserve. Sobrang amazing mo, and you have everything a guy could ask for. Sobrang alangan ako sa ‘yo. I keep on telling myself na ‘di kita deserve. Why settle for someone like me, ‘di ba? Plus natatakot ako. Close na tayo, ayokong mawala lahat ‘yun ‘pag umamin ako. That’s when I decided na hinding-hindi mo malalaman at hinding-hindi ka magkaka-idea about my feelings for you. I hid it and locked it away. Umabot sa point na pinu-push kita sa iba and full support ako all the way. I even told you na iba ang gusto ko, while all along, it was you. Bilib din ako sa sarili ko na na-hold back ko lahat ng ‘yun. Sobrang takot ako eh. I’d rather have you as a friend than risk the chance of losing you in my life. Madaming pagkakataon na gusto ko nang sabihin ‘yung nararamdaman ko, pero ‘di ko alam kung paano eh. Magulo rin kasi damdamin ko nung time na ‘yun, so ayokong gumawa ng move. I prayed for it. Pinag-pray kita. I wanted to be sure of what I feel. Nung na-realize kong sigurado na ako sa nararamdaman ko, it was too late. The day came na may someone ka na. I’ll be lying ‘pag sinabi kong ‘di ako nasaktan. Pero siyempre, as your beshiewap, I support you all the way. Ang hirap, pero wala rin namang dapat sisihin kasi wala naman akong ginawa. Pero siguro things happen for a reason. May ibang plano siguro si God for me and for you. Pero alam mo, masaya ako kasi pinatunayan na naman ni God na naririnig Niya ang prayers natin. Nasagot ‘yung pinaka or main thing na pinagdasal ko. Yes, I did pray for you, but not for us to be together. I prayed that I want you to be happy and for all the love you’re giving to the people around you to finally come back to you. I’m happy that you are happy even though that happiness doesn’t include me. No bitterness from me. Just love. God taught us one very important thing and that is to love unconditionally. I’m still here for you, Beshiewap. I got you always. No matter what happens, you are a blessing in my life that I will always be grateful for.

To The Girl Who Never Knew:2018-12-27T16:43:37+08:00

God’s Plan


#YouAreLoved at #TheFeast My ex-boyfriend cheated on me. Of course, my first questions nung time na ‘yun were: “Bakit?! Anong nangyari?! Bakit mo ginawa?! Bakit mo hinayaang mangyari?! Anong ginawa ko para lokohin mo ako?!” Usual questions na yata ‘yan ng mga taong naloloko. I wasn't ready to be cheated on. Pero mas lalong hindi ako ready sa sagot n’ya. And this was his exact words: “She made me turn to God.” Okay. So hearing those words, grabe. Hindi ko alam kung ano ba talaga dapat kong maramdaman. ‘Yung may ganitong thoughts ako: ‘Really?! Ano bang tingin mo sa akin, demonyo?! Para masabi mo ‘yang she made you turn to God. Ikaw ‘yung ayaw. Ikaw ‘yung hesitant sa church activities. And you didn't even like staying that long sa church. ‘Didn't I try to include God in our relationship? Didn't I try hard enough?’ I prayed. I prayed for him. We prayed before eating. Before sleeping. Things like that. Shini-share ko minsan ‘ yung mga naa-absorb ko sa Feast sessions. He listened (I think), pero ‘yun na ‘yun. It was one way. So hearing him say that, it felt sooooo bad talaga. It felt like ako pa pala ang may mali. Am I really that bad? Self-doubt ang nangibabaw. But then, I tried to understand him. I tried to make it work. He said he would stop. He said he just needed some time to think about things — about what he did. But then… In less than a month, ‘di n’ya kinaya. He still continued. They still continued with whatever they are doing. And sa point na ‘yun, mas nadurog ako. Kasi another line na hindi ko makakalimutan na sinabi n’ya sa akin — na sinabi daw nung girl sa kanya: “Maybe it's God’s plan.” Sorry for the word, pero b*llsh*t! Anong gusto nilang palabasin dun? Gusto ni God, plano ni God na mag-cheat ‘yung boyfriend ko? Na manloko sila ng tao? HE MADE ME TURN TO GOD Nagkulong ako sa bahay, not telling my family nor friends the whole reason why. Tinago ko ‘yun. That my ex-boyfriend chose to be with this girl whom he met at work — whom he has known for almost two months only — instead of me who had a 7-year relationship with him. A situation that would also break their heart. And since there was no one I could talk to... I found God. Aaminin ko, yes, there were times that I asked God why kailangan ‘yung mangyari. Why ganun sila. Why nila ginawa ‘yun. Feeling ko I lost everything. There were days na maiiyak na lang ako sa dami ng tanong na naiisip ko, pero pakiramdam ko walang kasagutan. But every day, I get up. And to my surprise, sa Kanya ako unang nakikipag-usap. Siya ang una kong naiisip. Not my ex, but Jesus. GOD'S PLAN INDEED Tagal ko nang may The Purpose Driven Life, pero never kong binasa kasi hindi interested ‘yung ex ko. Nung araw na we officially broke up,

God’s Plan2018-12-17T15:21:29+08:00

Stretched Wide


#YouAreLoved at #TheFeast I remember tears rolling down my cheeks as I learned from my “mother” that I was adopted — yes, you read that right. Actually, I had hints from my “uncle” back in 2015, but I was left confused by his muddy explanation and incoherent thoughts. Racked my brain so hard to decipher what he wanted to say that time. But upon learning the truth a year after, I could finally understand why my “uncle” — who turned out to be my real father — was so nervous. A NEW REVIVAL As far as I've understood from my adoptive mother and my biological mother, I had a liver problem when I was born. That time, I wasn't black; I was YELLOW. My real family was poor back then, and was unable to provide for my medical needs. Added to that was my biological father leaving us for another woman. (I learned that he was a womanizer in his prime.) Left with no choice, my biological mother decided to take me and my sisters back to Bohol. The thing is, I was weak back then. Should they opted to leave with me and take the ship, I would not have survived the trip. There was even the chance that I would only stay on this earth for two weeks if they did. But apparently, this frail boy has a strong God. And that's where my adoptive mommy comes in. I don't know what happened, but she kept pleading to my adoptive daddy to take me in. She kept at it, and she was SO persistent, that my biological mother agreed as well. And so, off to Bohol did my biological mother went along with my sisters to Bohol. As for me, I was left with the most amazing people I've ever met: my aunt and my uncle. My new parents. I guess what makes this amazing is the fact that my story may be about to meet its end, but its Writer chose not to. I might be on the edge back then, but He used the people around me to save me. I might be an ember back then, slowly fading and dying, but God granted a new revival in my life. I remember hearing my adoptive mommy telling me that I might have some kind of purpose here on earth, being saved by His grace and all. I, too, believe that God has a reason why He saved me. TRUST IN YOU I remember back when I was still in college, some time around 2014 (if my memory serves me right), I had this wild dream of making worship songs. Admiring how God uses Israel Houghton in leading the people to worship through his songs, I attempted to make my own. Clearly, being an upstart songwriter, I was inexperienced. I had no idea what I was doing, haha! I just wrote a poem and toyed it with a tune. I was so unsure back then — and

Stretched Wide2018-12-17T15:03:41+08:00

Deeply Loved


#YouAreLoved at #TheFeast 'Di ko akalain na sa pagsisikap kong makapag-serve kay Lord ay doon pa ako muntik nang mapahamak. I am a lay missionary. While I was assigned sa province para sa misyon na ihayag ang Salita ng Diyos, I was sexually harassed by my office head. Hindi natuloy sa rape, kasi sobrang bait ni Lord at gumawa Siya ng way para malusutan ko ang pangyayaring iyon. Pero hindi ako nakatakas sa isang bagay: trauma. Simula nung nangyari sa akin ‘yun, lagi na akong nanginginig sa takot. Since I was assigned by a reputable organization for this mission, hindi ko na p-in-ush na magsumbong sa pulis dahil number one instruction sa amin ay ingatan ang pangalan ng ministry na kinabibilangan namin. Humingi ako ng tulong sa kaibigan ko na agad namang nagbukas ng matutuluyan ko para makalayo ako sa office head ko. Pero ramdam ko ‘yung judgment, ‘yung pag-aalinlangan sa part niya. Na ikinagulat ko. Sa mga pagtatanong niya sa akin, halatang duda siya na hindi ako nagbigay ng motibo. So I tried to seek comfort sa boyfriend ko na nasa Manila that time. Again, judgment ulit ang natanggap ko. Hindi niya ako naintindihan. Akala niya nag-give in ako, at naisip niya pa na baka ako ang nag-provoke. Sobrang nasaktan ako. Hindi ko naging option na sabihin sa parents ko dahil for sure, pahihintuin nila ako sa chosen field kong ito ‘pag nalaman nila. So I kept it to myself. I tried to seek help din sa pinaka-head namin sa main office na nangakong aaksyunan ang nangyari sa aking pang-aabuso. Pero hanggang ngayon malaya at masaya na parang walang ginawang mali ‘yung office head ko; dahil sa kanya na rin mismo nanggaling na malapit siyang kaibigan ng main office head namin. That time, sobrang down ako. Hindi ako makakain. Hindi ako makapag-isip nang maayos. Tulala ako palagi. I couldn't function normally to the point na nag-leave ako dahil naramdaman kong hindi ko na kayang mag-serve kay Lord dahil sa nangyari sa ‘kin. I was so devastated. I kept asking myself kung ako ba ang mali kung kaya nangyari ‘yun. Nanlaban naman ako, hindi naman ako nang-akit. Pinili ko ang tama. Pero every time na maiisip kong baka ako nga ang mali, sobrang nasasaktan ako. Na-depress ako lalo nung marinig ko sa isa sa mga kaibigan ng main office head ko na nakaalam sa nangyari sa ‘kin na, "Hindi ka naman pala na-rape, okay lang ‘yun." Parang pakiramdam ko nawalan ako ng karapatang maramdaman ‘yung nararamdaman ko. I felt so alone. Wala akong malapitan, wala akong mapagkatiwalaan. Naghahanap ako ng taong makakaintindi sa ‘kin, pero ang ending, wala. Araw-araw umiiyak ako at diring-diri ako sa sarili ko ‘pag naaalala ko ‘yun. Pero OA nga kasi ‘di naman natuloy sa rape. Ang sakit pa rin. ‘Di ko kasi matanggap na nangyari ‘yun. I was at that point in my life na gusto ko nang magpakamatay sa sobrang loneliness and emptiness na nararamdaman ko, pati ‘yung feeling na walang nakakaintindi

Deeply Loved2018-12-05T15:46:27+08:00

In His Perfect Time


#YouAreLoved at #TheFeast I believe everything happens for a reason. Reason that only God knows until it is revealed in His perfect time. I met my ex-boyfriend through a high school kabarkada in 2008. He was smart, responsible, independent, and funny. He courted me, and after six months, we became an official couple. In the third year of our relationship, as he was about to drop me off at home one night, he said something that made our relationship change its course: “I really don’t have plans of marriage.” I didn't immediately react when I heard it. I let it pass. I was thinking maybe it was a big joke. But after a while, I asked him if he was really serious with what he was saying. He said yes, he had no plans of marriage and of having kids. It felt like a big slap in my face. He shouldn’t have courted me! Why be in a relationship when you have no plans of marriage?! After that conversation, we didn't see nor speak with each other. Two weeks later, I decided to break up with him. He accepted my decision, but didn't give me any further reason for his silence. I just then turned to my friends and prayed to God that the situation would make sense in time. A year after we broke up, I decided to text him and say that I had forgiven him for whatever pain he had caused me. I needed to move on, and part of it was forgiving. We became friends again. And yes, I gave our relationship a second chance. I thought I could push the non-marriage issue aside, and just be happy to be in a relationship with someone. But there was always a sinking feeling in my gut that kept telling me the relationship was not for keeps; and that I was just fooling myself thinking that he would change his mind. I wasn't able to fool myself for long. After a month of being together again, I finally broke up with him for good. Both of us understood what the reason was, and we remained friends. I would text him on special occasions, and he would reply; up until three years ago, when I no longer heard from him. I would message him on Facebook, and I would only be in the seen zone. No replies. I had so many questions when we broke up. Questions that were all answered last April 28, 2016 in a phone call that I received from our common friend: “Mark passed away yesterday. He died of heart failure.” I was definitely shocked! He had juvenile diabetes, and his health deteriorated during the time that we were not a couple anymore. He died of heart failure after a dialysis session. Maybe, he knew all along what was going to happen, so he spared me from further getting hurt. He was the type who didn't want to burden other people. I can say that

In His Perfect Time2018-12-05T15:49:45+08:00