It started with a cry in our hearts .. conceived in prayers and was birthed in God’s grace, with people committed to love and serve the needy.
Naniniwala ako na tayo ay pwedeng lumiwanag, kung ibabahagi natin kung ano ang nasa ating mga kamay, at ito ay ibigay sa mga nangangailangan. Tayong lahat ay may kapasidad na magbigay ng pag-asa sa isang nilalang, lalong lalo na kung tayo ay may Panginoon na buhay sa ating mga puso. Ito ang nangyari kung bakit nabuo naming magkakaibigan ang organisasyong “Right Start”. Nais naming magbigay ng oportunidad sa mga batang walang gumgabay at di alam kung pano magsimula at maging masaya bilang isang bata.
Right Start is a non profit organization that helps underprivileged Filipino children (4-14 years old) have a right start in life. We provide a learning environment – a safe place where they can be nurtured, fed, taught different skills, molded to have good moral values, and enjoy being a kid. We provide them opportunities that would develop their God-given talents, to be creative and productive.
Arlene Sy, me, Sale Mallari, Anabel Yu ( Founders of Right Start)
With Right Start Board of Directors and volunteers .( Atty. Gladys Palarca, Kat Lo, Our Finance Officer-Rachel Go, Our chairman- Larry Uy , Dr. Karren Carnero, Natalie Yip, Rizza Ko)
Our dedicated staff: Pauline, Jhenn, Clara, ate Ruby, Geraldine
We believe that it is important to reach out to children during their formative years, so they can grow up trained to be a responsible, productive, respectful individual. Specially in an environment of lack, children are the most helpless and are of greater risk of different kinds of abuse. Right Start acts to protect the rights of a child.
our dedicated volunteer Gina Sobrevega playing with kids using educational toys that would ignite the child’s creativity
Our japanese volunteer, Yuto teaching the kids how to play drums
Rachel is one of our volunteers. Despite of her busy schedule, she would still allot a time to volunteer at Right Start.
We are grateful with God’s faithfulness for the 3 fruitful years He has given us.
Last Saturday (February 22, 2014) we celebrated our anniversary with a benefit dinner. Our partners, future partners, friends, family, and volunteers came to celebrate with us.
Ate Elsie, John and Cong (our staff from Right Start CDO) doing an acapella number
Our friend Maricar Reyes who is also a volunteer of Right Start hosted the event together with a very dear friend and partner of our organization – Pastor Dennis Sy.
During dinner, our junior kids from Right Start did an amazing dance number with the song “We Are” by Kari Jobe. Then I sang my song “Liliwanag” while our older kids (9-13 yr old) interpreted it with a powerful dance performance.
One of our partners, Coney Reyes inspired us with her talk about being rich in giving. We are all called to be channels of blessings.
We are called to lead people to Christ, and as we help them and love them unconditionally, they’ll meet Christ in us even if we haven’t preached the gospel to them.
“Kung gutom ang isang tao, hindi niya maiintindihan kung ano ang sinasabi mo” -Coney Reyes sharing about RICH GENEROSITY.
We would like to thank all our friends, our partners, our staff, and the volunteers who passionately give their time to love the children of Right Start. It really takes a village to raise up a child.
All of us need each other so we can help more people in need. Children needs to be nurtured and trained in the way they should go. Kailangan natin ang bawa’t isa. Magtulungan tayo!
Build with us! Pray for us. Give.Volunteer. Tell people about us.
Transformed life will impact a family.. a community… a nation.
Jesus said, “ Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.” – Mark 9:37
I have two friends who used to be a chef of a restaurant, and I am amazed how they can cook a simple dish into something grand. Unlike me who just cook to eat, a chef loves everything about food and cooking. They are willing to wait for the right time until the meat and the ingredients are mixed and cooked into perfection. They know the right way to cook a particular dish, with the right amount of ingredients.
Unlike a hungry person who just wants to eat, a chef is willing to wait for the food to be cooked right, and presented right. He is willing to wait, not only because it will cost him his job hehe but because he LOVES everything about it. From the process to the right ingredients, the right time, to the exact moment to actually taste and enjoy it.
1. Waiting is an act of LOVE
It may sound weird that I’m using this as an illustration about love and waiting, but I think the principle behind this illustration can picture how we are with regards to love and waiting.
I believe all of us are hungry. We are all hungry for love, affection, affirmation, and significance. This hunger urges us to look for something and someone to fill it.
I used to be so hungry for this, and so I looked for relationship to fill me and satisfy me.
I was like the hungry person who just cooked the food so I can eat it. Without even knowing what love really is, I jumped from one relationship to another to fill that void in me. I end up more empty, broken and hungry.
Unlike the chef, I didn’t wait for the right time to enter into an exclusive relationship.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. - 1Corinthians 13:4-7
If waiting is LOVE, then how does LOVE look like?
In 1 John 4:8 (NIV) , it says there that God is love.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
And how did God showed what love is?
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. – 1 John 3:16 (NIV)
Love is therefore, dying to self, thinking and doing what is best for the other person.
If we say that we love the person, then we should think of what’s best for him and her. Love is not a game. It involves everything about you and the other person – your emotions, your mind, your body, your spirit, your time, your dreams, and even your future offspring and the generation after you. We shouldn’t take it lightly. Everything we do today will affect our future. I’m sure all of us wouldn’t like to carry a baggage of mistrust, guilt, shame, images of the past relationships, and unfaithfulness in our marriage.
We check our hearts and honestly ask ourselves: Am I ready to enter into a relationship? Can I truly commit myself to love this person for the rest of my life? Is this the right time for him/her to be in a relationship? Will this relationship be a blessing to us and to the people around us? Will this honor God?
WAITING is not just about abstaining the act of sex. You can still be impure even if you are not doing it.
You may not be doing the actual act of pre marital sex but God looks at our hearts. Our motives and intentions are the things that make something impure even if it looks good from the external.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
God has showed us what true love is. And as we love others as He loved us, we will always be thinking of what is best for the other person.
* WE CAN WAIT BECAUSE WE KNOW WHAT TRUE LOVE IS
I was one of those who were hungry for love and acceptance and tried to get that from a relationship. Because of that I ended up feeling used. I became more insecure and felt unloved.
But I was not a victim in that situation, because I could say NO and I could GET OUT of the situation.
2 Timothy 1:7 says
“For God has not given you a spirit of fear and timidity, but of POWER, LOVE and SELF-DISCIPLINE” (self control)
God’s grace enables us to wait on HIM and say NO to ungodliness.
11For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…- Titus 2:11-12
WE CAN WAIT BECAUSE THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS ALIVE IN US
When you know the VALUE of something, you take care of it, and you don’t misuse it.
Do you know how valuable you are?
You were bought with a price. It cost the precious blood of Christ. He redeemed you and purified you and called you HIS very own.
You are PRICELESS. Christ died for you
You are REDEEMED
You are SET APART (Holy). You belong to God
13while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.–Titus 2:13-14
That’s how valuable you are and the other person you like or you are praying for.
Let us look at each other how God sees us. Let us not rob each other from what God has for us.
HINDI KA LANG LAMAN NG TIYAN.. AT HINDI LANG SIYA LAMAN NG TIYAN. You are both valuable and precious. You are both made in the image and likeness of God. You can think and you have self control. Hindi ka hayop na puro instinct lang. Treat each other with love and respect.
WE CAN WAIT BECAUSE WE KNOW EACH ONE’S VALUE. WE BELONG TO GOD.
All of us are hungry but relationships and even marriage can’t fill and satisfy us. The void in our hearts will only be satisfied with a relationship with Christ alone. And as we tap on His overflowing love and grace, we can truly give love to our future spouse/ our spouse.
If you are single, you can start to be faithful to your future spouse, by preparing and by preserving yourself only to him/her. Waiting for that special day that God has appointed for 2 people becoming 1. Sex is the most beautiful thing that God has made for a man and a woman when done in the bounds of marriage. But it is the most destructive thing when done outside what God has ordained.
WE CAN WAIT BECAUSE WE ARE ALREADY COMPLETE IN CHRIST
Instead of being hungry for relationships which doesn’t satisfy, hunger for God and you will be filled. And when you are filled by Him, you can truly give a genuine and agape kind of love.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”- Matt 5:6
in Christ you have been brought to fullness — Colossians 2:10
Here is the link of a video that captured the songs I shared in my talk during the LOVESTRUCK CONVERGENCE at Cuneta Astrodome last February 15, 2014.
When I was 8 or 10 years old, my friends and I would go caroling in our village to receive some money so we could buy candies and snacks. I thought caroling was just for children, and so I never thought I would do caroling again.
Few days before Christmas this year, I was invited to go caroling with some of my artist friends. This was not an ordinary time of caroling. We went to the houses with the purpose of giving the opportunity for others to be a blessing. It was fabulous that the funds we raised up was given to Operation Blessing to help out those who were affected by typhoon Yolanda.
It was so nice that I get to be a part of this meaningful night of Christmas caroling together with Gary V., Paolo V., Jericho, Julianne, Yeng, Gab Ramos, Carla G., Ryan G., Fitree, and other artist friends.
Paolo Valenciano and Jericho Rosales were the ones who thought of this great idea. To make it more meaningful, they directed us to serenade specifically to the house helpers of their friends. You see, many of the house helpers have relatives in the Visayas that were affected by the typhoon.
We used the huge “It’s more fun in the Philippines” jeepney. It was fun going around the Dasmarinas village in that jeepney. We did a bit of videoke inside it while it zoomed from one house to the next house. We felt like kids all over again.
One of the highlights of that night was when Gary V sang “Pasko na Sinta ko”. It was so gripping you could see our audience do their best to wipe off their tears as we sang along. It was an emotional moment knowing that all of them would celebrate Christmas far from their loved ones in the Visayas. It left all of us pretty teary-eyed too.
In every house we went to we opened with the song “Joy to the world”. This song helps us remember that we can still celebrate Christmas and be joyful about it, because our savior Jesus Christ was born. Because of the His birth, we have hope.
We also sang “O Holy Night” and we ended each round of caroling with “Amazing Grace” to acknowledge that everything we have and that everything that we do and can do is only by God’s grace towards us.
We are all undeserving of His love and mercy, and yet Jesus came to earth, born to die so that we can receive forgiveness for all our sins. His death and His resurrection gives us hope so that we can live in the fullness of God’s purposes.
Calamities, death and tragedies choose no one, but those who put their hope in Jesus will renew their strength. Because of Jesus who defeated death on the cross and rose from the dead, we can have hope and a life that is eternal.
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. “- Isaiah 40:31
Aside from documenting what you have accomplish the past year, blogging your highlights for the year documents wonderful memories that you would want to remember when you get older and when your memory starts to malfunction. Making this also leaves me in a posture of worship while looking back and seeing God’s grace and faithfulness in my life and my family throughout the year. To make it more vivid, I made the video of what my 2013 looks like.
The future might be bleak, but if we have LOVE and FAITH, we can face change and uncertainties with a bright hope for tomorrow. As long as we stay connected to the one who is bigger than us, we can stay strong. Our times are in His hands. Though we are unfaithful, He still is faithful. Thank you God for your grace.
Kahit iba na ang kulay ng buhok mo, for me you are still the quirky, funny, radical, passionate, humble and sweet friend that I know.
Bihira ako makahanap ng talagang malapit na kaibigan..lalong lalo na kung kaibigang babae, most of my friends are guys..Dati, akala ko there’s something wrong with me, kasi most of the time di ako ma ka relate sa iba..until I met you..hahah..di pala ako nag-iisa. Nakahanap din ako ng same specie hehe
“Hello To Heaven” victory party.
Ikaw lang yata ang kaibigan ko na nakapag pa tawa sa akin ng matindi at nakapag pa iyak din sa akin ng matindi..heheh halo halong emotion..hahah .. Madami na tayong pinag daanan..parang roller coaster lang…may action, drama, comedy at mayroon ding horror (dun sa house sa qc). hehe:)
Nung bago palang tayong magkakilala, I was amazed how you would really make time and go all the way to my place to hear God’s word and learn. I admire your humility and your teachable heart.. I admire your passion for God and your openness to share your life with me.
From then, masasabi ko na naging bahagi ka na talaga ng buhay ko. Salamat!
I can truly say that those times when you stayed with us at our place was one of the most fun times that Danny and I had…kahit minsan di mo ko pinapatulog … Dinagdagan mo ng saya yung bahay namin. I remember yung mga kwentuhan till morning haggang sa bumili na tayo ng pandesal sa umaga.
Danny, Tashi, Me and Yeng at our Flying House in QC first quarter 2010
Andun ka simula nung baby si Tashi and even sa delivery room when I gave birth to Yeshi hahah..pati sa labor room pinuntahan mo ko para mapatawa mo ko at makalimutan ko sakit ng tyan ko..and you put make up on me pa so that I can look nice on the video hehe
Yeng taking the video when I gave birth to Yeshi
I really appreciate those times na nandun ka for me to encourage me and to just push me to continue writing songs and making music kahit minsan ayaw ko na… Naalala ko nung ginawa natin yung music video ng LILIWANAG..how you produced it, and even carried the electric fan during the shoot para hanginin yung buhok ko..hahah.. Salamat for pushing me to do the “Hello to Heaven” worship night last year. ..and even to the point of sponsoring it.
You made Tashi so happy nung pumunta tayo ng Hongkong last year :) First time ko sa Hongkong nun..salamat
Thank you din sa times na makikinig ka lang sa akin pag may kwento ako or kung may pinagdadaanan ako..I am truly blessed with your friendship. I’m overwhelmed how you would support me.. and would even honor me to so many people.
You always say that I’m your mentor, but more than that, I consider you like a sister and a friend. Your friendship is truly one of the best gifts that God gave me
Walang tuldukan at x mark..hahah kahit pareho tayong ganun..ngayon, binago na tayo ng Panginoon sabi nga ni Danny.. “Unity is something we fight for” hahah and whatever season that may come our way, andito lang ako for you..
I love you Yeng! Words are not enough to express how I’m blessed with your friendship. Thank you! Happy Birthday!!!
This is my friend Liza!!! Her friends now call her Rhia…but I call her “mommydoodles“!
Today, she is celebrating her birthday all the way in London.
Back in my highschool days, she would call me “babydoodles” and I would call her “mommydoodles” (corny no??) hahah.. Well we did this because she acted like a mommy to me.
She may not know this, but I am still so tremendously grateful for how she would fight for me and be “my voice” whenever somebody would make fun of me in any way. She stood up for me all the time.
You see, during my highschool years, I was this skinny, shy, low profile kinda gal with such an extremely low self-esteem. Because of my scoliosis, I was so insecure with how I saw myself especially with having to wear that body brace inside my uniform every single day of my highschool life. I was “bionic woman” remember?
Liza, on the other hand, is my total opposite. She dresses really well, is tall, beautiful, and very headstrong. Liza is very smart, charming, and a great people person. I think she looks like Rachel Ann Go with a British flare sometimes
She was one of the most popular girls in highschool and yet she would act like a big sister and a mommy to someone like me, someone not that popular at all. She would encourage me, share stuff and do so many fun things together.
I especially appreciate the sleep-overs we had.
I don’t know the status of the highschool girls in this generation, but I do hope that there will be more girls like Liza who would be sensitive, kind and bold enough to be the voice of the kids in school with their low self-esteems. Someone who would stand-up against the bullies and defend the weak.
A couple of years ago she went to London and has been living there with her husband Vince and her two beautiful daughters Rachel and Reese ever since.
Liza with her 2 daughters and me with my 2 boys at Disneyland Paris
In 2011, when Liza learned that Danny and I and the boys would go to Europe, she immediately messaged me and invited us to join them in their holiday in Paris! I wanted to scream after that!!! Wow!! An entire week in Paris!!! All we had to do was hop on a train from Holland to meet her. We didn’t even have to think about our itinerary. She already booked a villa at Marriott right next to Disneyland!
Liza with her husband Vince and their girls Rachel & Reese with my Tashi and Yeshi
In front of the Marriott villa where we stayed in Paris
It was like the good old days again. She prepared everything just like a “Mommy” .. She did groceries… and so we had pinoy food in Paris!!! hahahha Tortang Talong, Adobo, Menudo, etc … Lovely French cuisine!
Pinoy food in Paris
Knowing how hard it is to travel with babies, she packed all sorts of baby things for us and even brought water proof swimming diapers because she was thinking about Yeshi (eight months at the time).
Yeshi with his water-proof diapers ready to go swimming!
After all those years, she hadn’t changed a bit Beautiful as ever! She was still looking after me like a mommy
The week after Paris we joined them in London as we went off to meet Danny’s family.
I could see that her success and fruitful life as a wife and a working mom in London did not change how she valued our friendship. I wasn’t able to offer her anything much but she remained as generous as ever and loving towards me and my family.
I’m so blessed to have a friend like her.
Liza is God’s gift to me — my hero when I was in highschool. Liza, until now, you are still my mommydoodles!!!
Happy Birthday Liza mommydoodles!! Love you always
Liza directing/ shooting our guerilla music video for PAMBIHIRANG PAGKAKATAON..haha I haven’t edited it yet ..2 years na pambihira!
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”
- Proverbs 17:17
I just came home from a pre-birthday celebration of my friend Lei Bautista, front woman of the band PRETTIER THAN PINK who gave us that cool 90′s hit song “cool ka lang“. She was part of the small group I led in 2008, and so this became an opportunity for the ladies in that small group to meet again.
Top Photo: Me, Owie, Lei and Cerise Bottom Photo: Cerise, Lei, Phoebe, Jana, Owie and Iris
When I started that group, I felt so inadequate and would continually ask God why He would send me 3 single moms to walk together with in their journey with God. I certainly didn’t have a clue how to minister to them. My son Tashi wasn’t around so I wasn’t a mommy yet. This led me to fully rely on God’s Spirit and to really dig into His word and not depend on the things I know.
I can vividly remember the time when Owie Burns – Dela Cruzfirst attended the church with me at Victory Ortigas, and when I first shared the gospel to Lei using the “one to one” booklet at Starbucks galleria, and the first time I met Cerise. I was already meeting Jana before I met these lovely single moms… then after few weeks, Maviel Gonzales joined the group.
Throwback: Rox, Owie, Lei, Jana, Cerise and Mav way back in 2008
During that time, each one of the ladies had a different level of need in terms of being healed from their past hurts; deliverance from their destructive patterns and habits; being free from bitterness; and assurance of the promise of God for their dreams to be fulfilled.
Today, after five incredible years, it is indeed a great joy to witness how God moved in their lives. I saw how they cried during their lowest times, and saw how God won their battles for them. Owie and Cerise who used to be single moms are now happily married and have new beautiful babies while Lei’s wedding is fast approaching!!!
Don’t get me wrong Jana was never a single mom, but five years ago she was patiently waiting and praying for the guy of her dreams. Today, she is the proud wife of Ronald Tupaz and mommy of their cute baby boy Tugz.
Maviel was a college student during those days. Today you will see her on TV as one of the brightest, prettiest and most energetic newscasters of GMA 7.
I don’t see them as often as before, but I’m glad to see how God made that seed that was sown to take root, and with the help of the other people who watered it, it continued to grow and bear fruit.
I know that there will still be storms that each one of us needs to face, battles that needs to be won, fears that needs to be conquered as we live in this world, but the good news is, God is fighting for us, and we are an “overcomer” in Christ Jesus.
Truly, when you remainin the true vine – Jesus, you will definitely bear fruit and His grace will beevidentin your life.
John 15: 5-8
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
It started with an idea in 2010. Yeng Constantino would hang out in my place often during that time, and we easily were able to write songs together. The first song we wrote together was “Kalasag” (shield).
Yeng was a little anxious that her song Panginoon would never be released in any of her commercial albums and I was all-too familiar with her predicament with my own set of songs buried away in my notebooks. That’s the fear-based way of the world that we get used to sometimes. No one’s going to record something they fear will not sell. But Yeng brought the idea of forming an all-girl band and I was very hesitant to say yes. But I love her persistence.
I’m a mom of 2 boys, I have a solo thing going on with my music, and my friends and I just started a non-profit organization that serves children from urban poor communities. Very busy. Starting yet another band was not at all in my mind, and not a priority.
But I wanted to move in obedience to God. I prayed hard about it and I saw the opportunity of inspiring a lot of young people through this project, I just couldn’t say no. SESA is about working in obedience to God with the full knowledge of the challenges to come.
The following year (2011) I was asked to write a song for a youth conference called IGNITE, and so “Umalab Ka” was written and SESA recorded it and performed it at the conference held at Cuneta Astrodome in front of well over 7,000 young people.
In 2012, KKB (Kristiyanong Kabataan para sa Bayan) asked us to interpret and record the theme song for their youth conference called “Extreme”. We arranged and recorded the song, then performed it at their conference held at Araneta Coliseum in front of a crowd of 15,000. After that, Musikatha expressed their intention of producing us an album; and so after 3 years from the idea conception, we have finally finished recording an all-original 10-track album.
Here are some lessons I have learned while doing this project.
1. MULTI-GENERATIONAL — PURPOSE
One of the reasons why I’m also hesitant to say “yes” to this project, is my age. I often feel that I’m old to do this stuff, and that I should just let the younger ones do it. But then again, I’ve already settled in my heart not to let any of my insecurities and feeling of inadequacies hinder me to what God has wired me to do—and that is to sing and write songs. And so, I really am glad that I pushed through with this project. Working with people 13-15 years younger than me, inspires me to learn more. I admire their passion in learning new things. I just hope I can still have their energy.
It is also a privilege to work with MUSIKATHA. They’ve been composing and producing multi awarded songs even before I knew how to sing and play the guitar. Working with them and hearing their stories inspire me. It’s just an amazing thought to be working with people that I can somewhat consider came from 2 different generations with one purpose. Like what our pastor shared to us, instead of just passing the baton, it would be nice to run together with the young and the old to finish the race, eyes fixed on the goal. It would be great in any industry or organization, people can learn to respect each other and learn from each other. It saddens me to hear stories when the younger one would disrespect someone who has gone ahead of them or when the older one belittles the one who is younger.
2. INTEGRITY — PURPOSE
My dad has trained us to finish what we’ve started. When I say yes to something, that means I’m on it. And so, despite of the other things I’m doing, I’ve committed to put my best in this project. Though it’s “kinda” like a side-project due to the fact that all of us have our own solo projects and other bands, I don’t want to just treat it like an excess baggage…because it’s not. It started with a purpose, and so it has to run passionately driven to fulfill that purpose. The other people involved also gave their best in this, and it will be unfair not to give my heart in this.
Let me tell you about Julie Samonte- She is our guitarist, but she also have a day job and she lives in Bulacan far from the recording studio. But she poured out her heart in this recording. She did all the guitar parts. She carefully thought of the parts and effects needed in every track. She even came up with an excel file listing what kind of guitar to use, what sort of effects, and riffs in every part of the song. She would carry her heavy effects and guitars (mind you, guitars not guitar) just to do her parts without complaining or grumbling. Wow! That is dedication. That is truly a sesa that is dependable and trustworthy.
Let me also speak about Karmi Santiago. She is one of the best female drummers in the world today. Being the finalist of the global “Hit like a Girl” competition she is one of the sought-after drummers in the industry (playing for pretty much everyone – Ebe Dancel, Baihana, Barbie, Kitchie, General Luna, Richard Poon, etc..). I am so honored that despite her busy schedule she would be fully committed to taking time off to work on this project.
Then there’s MUSIKATHA, specifically backed up by Edith Mendoza who invested and trusted us with this project, believing in the cause.
There are a countless number of people that I failed to mention, who I am so thankful for. You guys know who you are, thank you so much.
And so after 3 years, finally, we finished this album. We maybe making music and writing songs, but SESA is NOT a band, and SESA is not only the four of us.
The next SESA album may not be performed by us and maybe performed with different vocalists and musicians, but as long as there’s a purpose/vision and there are people willing to run with it, then it will never end.
SESA is a movement with one purpose, and that is to inspire and empower young people to be who they are intended to be – a child of the King — living a life beyond ordinary.
I still remember that day 5 years minus around 9 months when I sat there having my usual lonely late lunch in the Market Market mall with my usual lonely slice of pizza to keep me company.
You see, that morning Acel had some cramps so she ran off to visit her OB. On that day, after four years of marriage, pregnancy was totally the last thing in our minds and so my question to her over the phone at lunch was more like a little sly remark rather than any sort of wishful thinking. I texted her “How are you? Are you pregnant? hahaha” (emphasis on the hahaha)
And after a couple of minutes of not a single reply she texted back: “SECRET : )”
I immediately knew what she meant and this fuzzy feeling crept up inside me literally forcing my stoic lips to first twitch then turn my entire mouth into more than just a gleam and I can still remember all of those crystal-like bubbles of sweat swelling inside my eyes (ofcourse I didn’t let them flow out) and I think I was probably the happiest person in that mall that day.
Hello guy smiley.
I finished up my pizza and I think I walked around that mall a trillion times just literally walking round and round and round because when I got back to the office I was still as dizzy as ever. I don’t think I got any work done that day either.
And so, the other day, on the 24th of July, our first-born TASHI celebrated his fifth birthday.
What a joy and an adventure it is being his dad over the last five years.
It has literally been the scariest thing ever. Still is.
Tashi, I still don’t know how we managed to pay for all of your milk, diapers and everything else. I am so glad you know how to speak ever so eloquently now and go to the toilet all by yourself too.
I am so happy that you love kinder and love your home-school mommy more.
I love the fact that your favorite foods are tuna croissants, Japanese sushi (with cream cheese!), and those Korean kimbap seaweed wrappers that you like to gobble up time and again.
I love how your eyes widen up at the site of airplanes or DHL trucks or even the weather man on TV.
To Tashi, if you can read this, and I’ve already been saying this to you time and time again:You are the bravest boy ever.
Dream big. You have already flown on more airplanes than any other little boy your age could possibly imagine. You’ve been to Cebu (three times!), to El Nido (on the scariest tiny aircraft ever), to General Santos City, to Singapore, to Hong Kong, to Amsterdam and there are so many more places you will travel to.
And even if you’re still in kindergarten keep on studying that world map and identifying those places you want to go to. There are thousands of places to fly off to and thousands more children to pray for.
I am one proud dad to look on in the world map with my little boy and pray together with Tashi for the well-being of all the kids in North Korea, in Syria, in Palestine, in Somalia and where ever else his little fingers take him on that world map. We travel together through prayer.
I am utterly thankful to God and to all our friends and family from church and from all over the world for all the love and support that you have showered to our Tashi.
Acel & I couldn’t have done any of this parenting thing without you (you all know who are).
Now there’s one more little boy we need to finish potty training before we teach him any geography lessons — Yeshi!!!
Help us out with this little one too please. He turns 3 in November : )
My family and I watched the movie “Turbo” with friends last Friday. Turbo is a garden snail who dreams to become the greatest racer in the world. Who would’ve thought a snail will actually beat a 5-time Indianapolis champ, Guy Gagne. A funny animated film that challenges everyone of us to dream big. The movie stresses that there is no dream that is too big, and no dreamer that is too small.
Here are some of my thoughts on how to accelerate our dreams.
Believing in your self is not enough. We need a source that will give us power to reach that dream.
Turbo believes that he is destined to be a racer, but when he tries to show the other garden snails that he is fast, he almost get squashed by the lawn mower. One night, Turbo wanders off, and accidently get sucked into the supercharger of a drag racer. The nitrous oxide fuses into his DNA giving him great speed and accuracy.
Nitrous oxide might not work for us, but tapping to the unlimited power of our creator will give us the grace, the creativity, idea, character, relationships, opportunity, and favor that helps us reach our aligned dreams with him—allowing us to be limitless.
2. We can’t do it alone. We need people/ team to help us and inspire us reach our dreams.
The group of people who believes in Turbo contributed for the money needed to enter him in the Indianapolis 500. During the race, Turbo’s snail team helped and inspired him to finish the race.
3. Family is important and their support matters most.
In the final stretch of the race, Turbo, with a damaged shell, is discouraged that his speed power is gone. But when his brother Chet saw Turbo curled into his shell and gave up, he encourages him to finish the race. Turbo then starts crawling to get to the finish line. At the last second, he tucks into his shell and rolls to the finish line beating his all time favorite car racer Guy Gagne.