Unexpected Blessings

You know the saying when it rains, it pours? Well in the last few months it seems as if the heavens showered me a heavy downpour of blessings.

People close to me very well know how I never even dreamed of being on television. Yes, my childhood dream was to become a Journalist- but the dream was vivid to me that I merely wanted to be behind the scenes writing. This is why when I applied in RPN9, fresh from College Graduation, I asked for a writer position. But as they say now, the rest is history.

While I never imagined I’d ever be in front of TV delivering news reports, I always did my best when I was finally given the chance. Primary motivation in mind was not really to impress anyone- but to impress myself. I’m the type of person who would feel more ashamed knowing I didn’t do my best, than hear bad comments from other people. I feel I am myself’s worst critic. Like when I sing, unless I feel goosebumps hearing my own singing voice- I never stop practicing.

So what exactly was it on my mind when I tried out for the news updates anchor auditions? Simple- I just wanted to try it for myself, for the experience and so I won’t have any “what-ifs” on my mind.

So I went there donned w/ the basic makeup I knew, my red Eleksyon ’07 blazer for goodluck and the little confidence in myself. Of course, Eder was there to support.

Little did I know nor expect that I’d make it. The beauty of knowing you got something, lies in the fact that you didn’t expect it to happen. God truly works wonders.

20110605-105318.jpgApril 18,2011 GMANewsTV

20110605-105516.jpgJune 2,2011 Flash Report GMA7

To this day, while I’ve done anchor duties for NewsTV Live and Flash Report recently, I still can’t believe I’m doing something I never imagined I could. This was my father and grandma’s dream for me- and I actually made it happen.

I am humbled by the opportunity I was given and I pray the Lord guides me as I tread this path. The Lord has been so good,that I am lost for words to thank Him enough. ♥

Blessed :)

April 1, 2010– Holy Thursday officially marked the last 30 days since I returned to the Kapuso network. And while I feel like a newbie in every way, it somehow felt like I never left at all.

Thanks to my friends and colleagues who made the comeback easier for me. Really, I have never felt more welcome in GMA-7 than this second time around.

Thanks to my bosses- M’ Grace,  M’ Tex, M’ Jess and M’ Marissa — for the second chance. It’s not like everyone’s being given another shot, I guess I’m just one of the lucky few.

But most of all I thank my family, my Mom for encouraging me to pursue my passion. They were there to understand reasons I kept to myself. They were there to give me support. And up until now, my Mom remains to be my number one fan- texting everyone she knows and boasting to everyone she knows about her reporter daughter back on TV.

I am grateful and blessed too, to have a supportive boyfriend. Eder believed since the first day I stepped back inside the halls of GMA 7 that I will be able to return. He prayed with me, he waited with me, and on that day I got the good news- he was the first to be there rejoicing with me. Everyday, he fetches me from work, although at times I get off at past midnight. He always watches my reports, constructively criticizes the way I delivered my news or how I looked. He understands and tries his best to understand, amidst and despite little shortcomings. And I guess the best thing he has told me the last 30 days is that he wants to see me doing what I love doing forever.

To quote a line I came across Twitter last week, “sometimes we are given a second chance because we weren’t quite ready for the first.” I believe that line to be true especially for me. I know in my heart that this second chance is a blessing I was given in God’s perfect time. He saw it fit finally and He made all things possible to initiate the comeback.

Although the road to this were long and windy and were all but painful and difficult, God never left my side. Indeed, everything happens for a reason, and if you can see right through me, you won’t see any trace of bitterness at all. My heart is just overflowing with happiness and gratitude.

Forgive me for being too sentimental about this but I guess you will only understand how it really feels to be back, if you’ve been lost once. Probably, you will only understand the joy of coming to work, doing what you really love to do- if you’ve been forced once to leave it all behind. Or maybe you will understand if you’ve moved heaven and hell just to prove again that you are worth another try.

I won’t expect any of you to congratulate me, or empathize with my happiness. I guess I just wanted to share with you the joy of coming back, as much as I have shared with you my pains in the past.

God has been so good. And finally I have come back home.

“The Calling of Voices,” The Hungering Dark

[My good friend, Nadia sent this to me in July 2008, right after I took the giant leap out of my comfort zone. She knew deep inside her that one day, I would heed this calling again. And boy, she was so right.]

When you are young, I think, your hearing is in some ways better than it is ever going to be again.  You hear better than most people the voices that call to you out of your own life to give yourself to this work or that work.  When you are young, before you accumulate responsibilities, you are freer than most people to choose among all the voices and to answer the one that speaks most powerfully to who you are and to what you really want to do with your life.

But the danger is that there are so many voices, and they all in their ways sound so promising.  The danger is that you will not listen to the voice that speaks to you through the seagull mounting the gray wind, say, or the vision in the temple, that you do not listen to the voice inside you or to the voice that speaks from outside but specifically to you out of the specific events of your life, but that instead you listen to the great blaring, boring, banal voice of our mass culture, which threatens to deafen us all by blasting forth that the only thing that really matters about your workis how much it will get you in the way of salary and status, and that if it is gladness you are after, you can save that for weekends.  In fact one of the grimmer notions that we seem to inherit from our Puritan forbears is that work is not even supposed to be glad but, rather, a kind of penance, a way of working off the guilt that you accumulate during the hours when you are not working.
The world is full of people who seem to have listened to the wrong voice and who are now engaged in life-work in which they find no pleasure or purpose and who run the risk of suddenly realizing someday that they have spent the only life they are ever going to get in this world doing something which could not matter less to themselves or anyone else.  This does not mean, of course, people who are doing work that from the outside looks unglamorous and humdrum, because obviously such work as that may be a crucial form of service and deeply creative.  But it means people who are doing work that seems simply irrelevant not only to the great human needs and issues of our time, but also to their own need to grow and develop as humans.

…To Isaiah, the voice said, “Go,” and for each of us there are many voices that say it, but the question is which one will we obey with our lives, which of the voices that call is to be the one that we answer.  No one can say, of course, except each for himself, but I believe that it is possible to say at least this in general to all of us:  we should go with our lives where we most need to go and where we are most needed.

Where we most need to go.  Maybe that means that the voice we should listen to most as we choose a vocation is the voice that we might think we should listen to least, and that is the voice of our own gladness.  What can we do that makes us gladdest, what can we do that leaves us with the strongest sense of sailing true north and of peace, which is much of what gladness is?  Is it making things with our hands our of wood or stone or paint on canvas?  Or is it making something we hope like truth out of words?  Or is it making people laugh or weep in a way that cleanses their spirits?  I believe that if it is a thing that makes us truly glad, then it is a good thing and it is our thing and it is the calling voice that we were made to answer with our lives.

And also, where we are most needed.  In a world where there is so much drudgery, so much grief, so much emptiness and fear and pain, our gladness in our work is as much needed as we ourselves need to be glad.  If we keep our eyes and ears open, our hearts open, we will find the place surely.  The phone will ring and we will jump not so much out of our skin as into our skin.  If we keep our lives open, the right place will find us.

–Frederick Buechner

Faith

Photo by the Associated Press

The devotion of millions of Filipinos to the Black Nazarene never ceased to amaze me to this day. I would sit in awe and in wonder at how they could endure walking barefoot for very long hours- at how they could wrestle and struggle for a grip on the rope that holds the statue, or how they could fight for their lives just for a kiss or to dampen their towels.

The Black Nazarene’s devotees’ testify year after year, how these simple but difficult acts they endure at the procession have translated to realized dreams, fulfilled promises and even unexpected miracles. Their lives have changed, they say, because of their devotion to the Black Nazarene.

Photo by Reuters

Being a Catholic, I know that statues such as the Black Nazarene are but symbols of God’s love. We must not put our faith in the statue alone- but in what it represents. Like many of the devotees, I have also dampened a handkerchief or a towel on images of Jesus, Mother Mary and the saints when I visit a church for the first time, or during Holy Week. I do so because I believe that it is one tangible way of expressing my faith, that my prayer is heard.

But yes, while I am amazed at the devotion of millions of Filipinos to the Black Nazarene, I understand that faith is more than that. I believe that we endure what we can in this life, simply because we put our faith in the Lord that he knows what is best for us.

In recent months, I have prayed a constant devotion to the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Claire. Miracles have happened in my life and prayers have been answered. My faith at this time in my life has not withered, but instead has gone stronger. Like many other things in my life that I do not understand, I put all my trust in the Lord for everything he has done and will do for me.

I am not as strong as people think of me to be. But I am made strong, because of my faith.