Surprise Birthday Party for my Wife

My family lived for some seven years in Pampanga but after my daughter graduated in college, we moved back to Laguna some 2 years ago so that my wife could take care of her ailing elderly mother.

Move to Laguna

Jojie’s 61st birthday party

For some two years, my wife Jojie took care of her 88-year old mother who was diagnosed to be sick with stage 4 chronic renal disease. She was already on wheelchair when we moved to Laguna but as time passed her health deteriorated until she could no longer rise up out of bed. She was bedridden for the last remaining months until she died this last November 18. It was tough for my wife especially during the last few months when my wife had no assistant to help take care of her mom everyday. It was a real sacrifice and hard work to be a caregiver for her mom each and everyday.

Caregiving – A Tough Job

I was witness to how tough it can be to take care of a bedridden sick mother. I really appreciate my wife’s love and care for her mother even though she had no rest at all since she’s always on call 24/7.

From left: Me, my wife, my mom and my sister.

My very own mother who is now 85 years old worked for many decades as a caregiver in the US and I only had a vague idea what that job was but now I think I understand it much better. I am glad she has now retired from such kind of work for a good number years now and has decided to come back home for good in the Philippines. I also appreciate my mom for such love and sacrifice for all of us her kids.

Surprise 61st Birthday

As a token of our love, gratitude and appreciation for all my wife’s sacrifices and labor of love, we planned a surprise party for her on her 61st birthday. We meant this to be a special day for her because we love her. I was also glad because my sister and my own mother was present during this very occasion along with my 2 sisters-in-law and 3 brothers-in-law with their wives.

It was a great celebration! Thanks be to the Lord for his gifts: my wife and my family. Truly, the Lord knows how to give good gifts to his children!

Missed Blogging this Busy October

Blogging is what this site is all about but October must have been a busy month for me ’cause I missed posting not even one blog. I was aiming to write a blog at least once a month but I didn’t realize it’s already November! Time flies so fast! So, I missed that one for October.

Flight to Cagayan de Oro

I was still in Baguio City on the first day of October and then on the 7th day I flew to Cagayan de Oro City where I stayed for about four days. I went there to organize our church’s media team as well as to go visiting the church members in the area. I was given the privilege of preaching to them  during their Sunday worship service in their local church.

Media meeting in Cagayan de Oro City

Two Debuts in a Row

This October was also interesting for me because I was invited to two debut parties — one in Laguna and the other in Pampanga — in two consecutive days! The first debut party was in Laguna on the 20th and the following night on the 21st, I was in Pampanga attending another special birthday party when a girl turns 18. I thought that was quite a unique and rare experience for me.

On the 22nd of October, I got invited to preach during the Sunday worship service of our local church in San Fernando, Pampanga. Right after that, I went home to celebrate with my wife our 37th wedding anniversary. My wife was surprised and was really glad to receive flowers from me when I arrived home hahaha!

Second Flight to Cagayan de Oro This Month

I was back again in Cagayan de Oro on the 27th where I preached for two consecutive days to our northern Mindanao local congregations gathered for the festival. I preached to them in the Cebuano dialect about the good news of Jesus Christ and what it means for a Christian and the Church. In the afternoon of the 28th, I was already in Maramag, Bukidnon to again join our Bukidnon church members gathered there for the festival.

I preached again the same Cebuano message about Jesus Christ to the Bukidnon brethren the following day, the 29th during their worship celebration.  In the afternoon I gave a short talk to all the pastors, leaders and emerging young leaders about “expository preaching.”

I then proceeded to the Laguindingan airport and took a flight to Mactan in the evening. I stayed at the Mactan airport for the night as per advise from a friend instead of checking in at a nearby hotel.

Media meeting in Dumaguete City

In the early morning of the 30th, I took a flight bound for Dumaguete where I met our Visayas brethren gathered for their morning’s festival celebration at the Bethel Guest House.

In the afternoon, I met the Visayas media team to give them some orientation and overview of what the media team was all about. The meeting place was a nice cafe for students named “Poppy Coffee.” I’m not sure thought if it was inside or outside the campus of Silliman University.

It was my first time to be in Dumaguete and I would say that it’s a nice city and I like it there. I hope to visit there again and hopefully next time, I could plan to meet my relatives in the area. I did not have a chance during that quick and “just passing through” visit on my way back home to Manila.

On the 31st of October, I was finally home with my family just in time to celebrate my father-in-law‘s 9th death anniversary the following day, November 1. The family usually gathers for a reunion during this time of the year. One of my sisters-in-law from Japan did arrive to join us in this Fen Santos family reunion.

Reason For Being

Why do I do all these activities in my life? Why do I do what I do? What keeps me going? Am I doing good works to earn salvation? Well, I’m not doing all these to earn points with God so I can enter heaven. Nope.

I’m doing all these in participation with the Lord Jesus Christ who is living his life in me. I believe he is in me doing the work he only can do and I am given the privilege to join the fun in what he’s doing through me and enjoy it too! And it’s quite fun! it’s fun to be with the Lord Jesus! Thank you Lord for your life and love that you share not only for me but for all of humanity!

So, that was my month of October. I guess I have a reason why I missed posting not even one blog for that month. I hope to do better next time haha!

Photo Credit: Featured photo: I preached during third day of the GCI Northern Mindanao Worship Festival 2017. Photo by Noel Z. Almera. Photo of media meeting in Cagayan de Oro by Kevin Mugot. Photo of media meeting in Dumaguete by Ayin Visitacion. Thanks guys!

Nuvali Morning Dew and a Rainbow

My wife and I went to the Nuvali Lakeside Picnic Grounds for our usual morning brisk walking exercise despite the weather forecast which said, “Expect showers Saturday morning.” Well, it did rain a little bit during our third lap around the lake but it was Ok. We were prepared because we had jackets.

And as usual, I took some shots using my Sony Xperia smartphone (model no. F-3216). It can take shots up to 21 megapixels. Here are four shots today.