Entries Tagged 'Uncategorized' ↓
May 2nd, 2013 — Uncategorized
Several anniversaries caught me unawares this week, so I’m taking advantage of the holiday to dust off my blog and give thanks for a decade, two years and 30 months/days.
1. Mountaintop experience. These words still ring true a decade after being part of Kawayan Camp 2003. A couple of months after I became a Christian, our campus ministry staff worker encouraged me to join this one-month intensive leadership training in Cebu. Thus started my love for studying the Word, meeting and keeping friends from all over the Philippines, volunteering in life-transforming gatherings, washing dishes, individual silent retreats and gazing at the heavens for hours on end. I’ve lost count of the number of camps I’ve attended since then, but I will always remember this challenge: “Keeping the faith, heeding the call.”
2. Career Milestone. This is my longest stay in a regular/stable/corporate job EVER. Two years. I still can’t absorb that my ENFP, hopping, hyperactive, attention-deficit self managed to stay at a sitting-still-in-front-of-a-computer-for-hours-every-weekday desk job for 24 months without bouncing off the walls. Probably because of a great work environment: flexi-time, great compensation package, videoke parties, a cool boss, cooler office mates who jog with me, lend me sci-fi books and give me the latest Walking Dead/GOT downloads, etc. On a more serious note, I stayed because what I do is in sync with my passion for dynamic learning and facilitation. Basically, I get paid to create fun and effective ways for people to learn English online here.
3. 30 Lunaries. This is a term we use for celebrating our relationship monthly. I won’t apologize for the cheesiness; it is an expected effect of waiting 27 years (plus ten for him) for that special someone. And my Ian is very special indeed. I have an uncontested second place in his heart, and his love for God and the Word inspires me in my own faith walk. He is instrumental for my career milestone since he convinced me to consider a stable job when I was wallowing in a quarter life crisis. My Ian lets me speak my mind and appreciates even those things about me that I do not like or value. To paraphrase Madeleine L’Engle, I feel most like myself when I’m with him. His patience is extraordinary, especially in the face of my chronic tardiness and occasional hormonal, hunger-induced, overwhelmed-by-overscheduling crankiness. He tactfully avoids the “Am I fat?” trap by saying that I’m delightful (and other sincere compliments) instead. My Ian is one blessing that I thank God for every day.
Still, the past several months have also included our share of disagreements, the inevitable clashes of an irresistible force (me) and an immovable object (him). After all, we are opposites in a lot of ways: I’m a night owl, he claims to be solar-powered. I’m a minimalist who throws or gives away possessions easily, while he is a sentimental collector who treasures the memories in physical things. My extroverted self accepts that he needs solitary periods to recharge and he has expressed a willingness to travel with me. His stability has tempered my impulsive nature, and I think I’m now his living definition of a “roller coaster ride.” It has been 30 exciting months of learning to adjust to each other and contemplating what Ephesians 5:21-30 in action really means.
Sweetheart, I know that this blog entry barely holds a candle to the dozens of love letters you’ve given. Consider it a welcome back missive. =)
4. Diet update. Tomorrow is the 30th day of my “no rice, no soda” challenge, save for a weekly cheat day for sanity’s sake. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m not just trying to become thinner, I want to be healthier. I’ve also proven that my appetite/stomach is not my god, and I am not dependent on rice and sugary drinks at all. So I’ll keep working at this challenge and add a new habit: be early/shift my body clock to a morning schedule.
April 3rd, 2013 — Uncategorized
PCCI Defining Moment Camp by the numbers:
2 years of planning and
18 volunteer staff and counselors facilitating
10 days of intensive leadership training with
6 languages spoken by
21 college students representing
8 campuses from Tuguegarao, Sanchez Mira, Isabela, Ifugao and Kalinga Apayao.
A new generation of passionate servant-leaders glorifying God and transforming communities = blessings beyond number.
February 25th, 2013 — Uncategorized
1. I’m in the middle of reading a very helpful book on holiness by Gary Thomas, one chapter at a time. I was hooked by the title, “Holy Available: What If Holiness Is about More Than What We Don’t Do?“, and it has proved to be a treasure trove of insights on what it means to be a follower of Christ.
My favorite part so far is how the author describes listening to God: a balance between the objective (reading Scripture) and the subjective (inspiration from the Holy Spirit). Some books tend to look at feelings with suspicion, since they can so easily lead one astray. But I believe that truly knowing God involves the emotions as well as the mind.
In the middle of the chapter, readers are asked to listen about what God is saying about their specific situation. And my distinct impression was: “Child, you are exactly where I want you to be.”
I’ve known it in my head all along, but my heart needed the reassurance.
2. As February ends, I look back at the new one-word habitsthat I’ve chosen for the beginning of 2013.
The results are in:
a. WAKE – getting up before noon. – EPIC FAIL. I think I’ll adopt a misdirection strategy next time. Instead of focusing on he act of waking up early, I’ll try to add activities after work so that I’ll be motivated to shift to a morning schedule.
b. WORD – reading the Bible, reading for pleasure and updating this blog regularly – CHECK
c. WALK – the weekly jogging with my Ian is a success, we’ve also started Muay Thai sessions and I’m now taking the stairs more often – CHECK
You win some, you lose some. =) I’m now up to two words for my next batch of habits:
a. LISTEN CLOSELY
b. LOSE WEIGHT
c. LEVEL UP
3. Talking about losing weight, I issued a 123 Challenge to my Ian for the next four months. Still thinking of the prize, but the mechanics were copied liberally from ate Shing’s weight-loss contract last year. Thanks ate Shing!
I, Rita Mariano, 29 years of age, hereby promise to achieve my ideal weight in a challenge that begins 01 March 2013, and ends 31 July 2013.
I’m making this commitment to myself and my Ian to make 2013 the year I return to my ideal weight.
Current Weight: 138 lbs
Current Waist Measurement in inches: 31
Ideal Weight: 123 lbs.
Every pound I lose will:
Increase my energy
Sharpen my mind
Lower my cholesterol
Improve my sleep
Improve my breathing
Improve my mood
Make my clothes look better than they already do.
I recognize the benefits to my health and commit to:
Brisk walking for at least 30 minutes every day
Jogging 2-3 times a week
Practicing a sport or fitness routine that targets the entire body at least once a week
Using the stairs more often
Making water my first option for drinking
Controlling my portions and consuming small meals every 2-3 hours.
Making better food choices by increasing my intake of fruits, vegetables and whole foods (brown rice, whole wheat bread, muesli)
Reducing my intake of processed food, sugar and empty calories (such as white rice and white bread)
Signing this contract and making the commitment to achieve my ideal weight means that I will live a more productive and more active life.
Achieving my ideal weight within the timeframe specified also entitles me to (REWARD TO FOLLOW).
So help me God.
February 22nd, 2013 — Uncategorized
1. There was a sudden text from the mother hen: “We are bringing 15 kilos of ripe mangoes from Tarlac. Would you like to sell them to your office mates?” After briefly contemplating claiming all of the mangoes for myself, I started taking fruit orders. 15 kilos were snapped up in 15 minutes. The mother hen assured me that I’d still get my share: 4 kilos seemed reasonable. I hauled the fruit up by myself, and the office is filled with the sweet, summery aroma of tree-ripened fruit.
2. It was my first time to go to Resorts World and enter a casino. I won twice in the slot machine, and my Ian and I reacted the same way: “Cash out na!” I think risk aversion is directly proportional with age. And while I understand the allure of gambling, it’s too chancy for me. I’d rather use my “play money” on more certain investments.
3. My Ian said “Sorry for what?” when I apologized to him, so I reminded him of my crankiness the last time we met. All was forgiven. And yes, love means having to say you’re sorry. As often as necessary.
February 20th, 2013 — Uncategorized
1. It’s a blessing that my Ian has never given me flowers; I’m allergic to pollen. But he did give me a heart-shaped box of chocolates and a handwritten love note. Swoon. My treasure chest of love letters is overflowing.
To avoid the hordes, we scheduled a our Valentine’s Day date a week early at Ye Dang in Meralco Avenue. My Ian was overwhelmed by the flavors but thoroughly enjoyed the pork barbecue, bibimbap, kimchi soup and side dishes. I only pretended to use my chopsticks for a few bites, then grabbed my spoon and fork to seriously dig in. Love…makes me plump and happy.
2. Valentine’s Day is triple special because my Ian turned 40 and his sister from the States came home to visit with her family. We feasted, of course! Then the next day, my brother Roy turned 23. Celebratory dinner to follow with my folks. =)
3. I’ve been praying for an exercise buddy for the longest time now. God then gave me not one, but three opportunities to exercise every week. ULTRA, you’ll be seeing a lot of me this season.
February 7th, 2013 — Uncategorized
1. It’s day 7 of my no TV challenge, and I have proven once and for all that watching TV is not the cause of my insomnia. I go to bed at midnight and still end up tossing and turning until around 3-4am sans the idiot tube. It’s a habit I’m keeping though; the great thing about not watching TV is that I can read more books! A kind, generous and gorgeous neighbor lent me a paper bag full of paperbacks. This week, I’m reading The Good and Beautiful Life by James Smith in tiny increments and have finished reading Time Traveller’s Wife (yeah, super late) and Gods in Alabama. Oh joy!
2. Stepping on the weighing scale at the office was a slap to my complacency about having a normal BMI. My weekly jog/brisk walking has now leveled up from 6 rounds of the ULTRA track to 8 in an hour.
3. We have been enjoying affordable and yummy home-cooked meals the past few weeks, thanks to my officemate’s mom. More to come!
January 23rd, 2013 — Uncategorized
1. It was amusing to see the effect of sugary donuts on a normally quiet friend. His antics made the Ortigas to Marikina drive a breeze. Reminded me of the time one of my preschool students drank coffee and started bouncing off the walls. Define “hyper.”
2. A massage to soothe my newly discovered muscles, a steaming bowl of seafood noodles, an hours-long chat and a midnight snack of ham with fresh salad is always a welcome break from the daily grind. Thanks again to Darl and Jas for adopting me and accomplishing a miracle. =)
3. I’m the first in at the office today, and it’s surprisingly nice to start the day bright and early. Thank God for caffeine, human alarm clocks and my Ian’s ability to evade traffic chokepoints. I wonder if I can keep this up. Hopefully, this article helps.
January 21st, 2013 — Uncategorized
1. After much anticipation, I watched my favorite musical with my Ian on the big screen. Victor Hugo’s story is such a vivid illustration of the difference between law and grace. Hugh Jackman gave justice to the role of a pardoned convict faced with a series of moral dilemmas, and Anne Hathaway’s performance reduced me to a sniffling mess. It was a thrill to hear Colm Wilkinson, the original Valjean, singing the part of the Bishop. I count it a huge success that I was able to restrain myself from singing out loud; it was a joy to listen to the entire cast giving life to songs I’ve memorized since elementary. Especially this line:
“To love another person is to see the face of God.”
2. It was our first muay thai session courtesy of one of my Ian’s college friends. It felt fulfilling to vent my stress with my fists and had a lot of laughs due to my flailing around in confusion about which is left or right. Let’s do it again!
- There are actually muscles in that flabby mass I call an abdomen. I can feel each one with a twinge.
- It’s perfectly fine to eat 6 times a day, hurrah!
- I need to listen to directions more attentively.
3. Ate Charms faced the 3 shoes in 3 hours challenge magnificently: she helped me find flattering footwear that were also comfortable to walk around in for very reasonable prices. And the fashion intervention was mixed with career and faith updates. Till the next shopping spree!
4. It was my first time to sing in a choir gown during regular services. Aptly, we sang “Narito Ako” which translates to: Here I am (Lord).
January 18th, 2013 — Uncategorized
Hannah and KC 2k3
January 8, 2013, Robinsons Galeria
(photos by Jo Sanchez)
Jeni and Liz Fields
January 9, 2013, Robinsons Forum
(photos by Jeni Fields)
Ar-J and AJ
January 15, 2013, Shakey’s Times Las Pinas
(photo by Janette Cansancio)
January 17th, 2013 — Uncategorized
1. We stop as a red traffic star glares at cars at the pedestrian crossing in High Street.
2. “Look, the Cheshire cat!”
“Two stars for eyes and you’ll have a smiley in the sky.”
3. Our wandering feet lead us to a new park in the Fort, and the amphitheater layout reminds me of a beautiful evening stroll in Burnham Park with my Ian.