A Travellerspoint blog

the case of the goodbye

bye, coffeesupestah

sunny

here it goes.

i have been going through some changes, changes that are very important to my life.

i can't successfully go throught these changes if i still cling to an old identity.

coffeesupestah was born at the time that i was blossoming into what most of you would have known for the past decade. i lived for parties, fun, friendship and boys. a lot of that has to go away.

Carrie, my heroine most of my life was right, "Maybe the past is like an anchor holding us back. Maybe, you have to let go of who you were to become who you will be."

so coffeesupestah has to rest. this blog has to rest. coffeesupestah had a very colorful life, but all that has to end.

don't worry, i will still be writing, but under a new username and a new blog title. it's the start of a new me. there will be new stories, new/recurring characters, new challenges, new triumphs. i can't keep looking back at the past if i want to start fresh.

so i bid farewell to coffeesupestah.

and say hello to The Chronicles of the Christian Traveller.

it's a continuation of the journey that i started, both in body, to appreciate God's works in all the beautiful places i will go to; and in spirit, to proceed with my walk with God. hope you enjoy the new blog!

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 00:02 Archived in Philippines Tagged soul_travels Comments (0)

The VG adventures/mahjongera sessions: the crying Sunday

rain

Okay, we have a new adventure. Since Derrick and I have been spending a lot of time with the Victory Group, most Sunday posts may include new characters.

Sunday was the second and last day of Glocal, which was about missions. And I won’t write about them. It was fun because Bry and Jason were there. The last time I saw them was during their wedding. After service we ate at BonChon and I tried chapchae, which was like bihon noodles with sesame seeds and super tinipid na egg strips and some meat. It was good. I might try it once in a while.

After lunch, I dropped by Fully Booked to buy Perks of being a Wallflower. I might finish reading by 2013. My reading list is getting longer.

There were just a few people in the small group this time, fewer than the last. I liked the last question that Claude (I know right, sometimes I look when people call him) posed towards the end. What was the one thing that we really had to surrender to God?

Of course I talked about my struggles with my preference. I think it was the first time that they heard me talk about it openly, as I only talk to Derrick and BJ. It was nice because almost everyone had something to say about it, and they were all encouraging. And yes, I cried in public. Again.
Anyway, after that, I had to go home, but I went straight to SM San Lazaro to buy roasted chicken and cake for the kids at home. Well, I slept, so I didn’t eat with them.

Around 10pm, the mahjongeras had to meet, without Burn, who had work. I met Rye in Nagtahan, where my ATM card was captured (grrr). We went to Central in Manda. Yes, I drank a bit and smoked. It will take me a long time before I see the group again. It was like the perfect goodbye to my previous life that I wanted. One noteworthy moment aside from me singing in the videoke room of the next place we went to, was when Rye told me he wanted to join the Church. I was soooo glad to hear that! Just that afternoon, one of the things I shared with the small group was my fear that when I totally surrendered everything to God, I might lose some of my friends. But God clearly is working on me and my friends. I hope that this continues more, hopefully with my family too.

So now, while I’m writing, I’m actually in some form of sacrifice and praying for 5 days for a lot of people, some of them my friends. This worked for others; I hope it will work for me.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 06:51 Archived in Philippines Tagged vg_adventures Comments (0)

the case of the spiritual gifts training

rain

I signed up for the spiritual gifts training at church. This was my first time in a long time to attend training as a participant, so I was excited; and it was also the first church activity that I’m attending aside from the regular Sunday service.

I had to stay at the office for a few hours because if I went home, I wouldn’t wake up on time. I spent that time researching about spiritual gifts but all the stuff I read didn’t make sense to me. Maybe because I was sleepy. So I went to Regis.

When I got there, there were already a handful of people. I signed up at the reception area and found that there were also attendees from different sites. After a few minutes, I started to see some familiar faces.

We didn’t start until a few minutes after 9am, so in some parts I felt the pastors were already rushing. But I still was able to follow what they were discussing and what were in the handouts.

Every one of us actually has our own set of spiritual gifts, and it is coming from the Holy Spirit. These gifts help us know what ministry of the church we can best serve. There may also be other uses for these gifts but this was what I understood the most.

Another important thing to remember about these gifts is that God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, is actively working on these gifts with us. There are 28 spiritual gifts and our competency level on each will vary. There was a test that we had to take, and my results as the top three were: 1.Faith, 2. Writing and Teaching (a tie). I think that’s kinda accurate.

That was the more objective side of the training that I could remember at this time. The other things that I will discuss next are very Paulo Coelho-esque in nature.

There was a part in the training that I did not expect. Okay, I was half-expecting for some application but not this kind.

There was a part of the discussion about discerning God’s voice when we try to see/hear/feel what He wants to tell us during quiet time, prayer, etc. There was a difference between the voice inside my head coming from me, and the voice by the Holy Spirit.

The first activity was about listening to what God wanted to tell me. It was hard. Time was not enough for me to know what I should write on the paper given to us. After finally clearing my head and asking, “What do you want to tell me?” I finally heard it. It was a voice different from mine, and I had an eerie feeling in my head like I was floating. Then I wrote down what I heard.

The next activity was about knowing if we were able to see, hear or feel for another person. It was weird, well, not in a bad way. I remember the chapter in “By the River Piedra I Sat down and Wept” where the heroine was surrounded by believers in an indistinct language. That happened. Only those present could attest to it. I didn’t understand it; I wasn’t able to speak it. (The gift of tongues was in my bottom 5) We had to look for a partner and ask God what He wanted us to see for that person. The results were unbelievable. I ended up crying, because I couldn’t believe it was really happening. All the while I thought he wouldn’t say anything to me, you know. I wasn’t the purest in that group; I just had to believe that He would show me I could.

Prophetic praying was next. Wow, right? My friends would’ve raised their eyebrows if they heard this. This has got to be the most amazing thing that day. All we needed to do was to get a partner, pray for a bit and ask Him what we should be praying for that person. This time I kinda realized I was visual, what with being a visual learner, I guess that had some connection. I had a different partner for this and he prayed for my travels, which has kept me on my toes recently. I haven’t finalized any of my next trips yet, so I’m really thankful for that prayer. It’s awesome what pictures being shown in my head would mean to another person.

After the training, some church peeps ate at Yellow Cab. Yeah, Charlie Chan for me and one member bought food from Serenitea. Yummy tofu!

When I got home, I just slept. I didn’t have enough energy to do anything else.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 06:47 Archived in Philippines Tagged the_case_of soul_travels Comments (0)

one-liners

rain

"Hey. What's up?"

"Nothing. Just thought about you. How have you been?"

"I'm okay. We're okay."

"Good."

"Yeah."

"What are you doing?"

"Eating. Ikaw, how are you?"

"Feeling good... I'm okay."

"Cool."

"We should, i don't know, hang out?"

"Yeah, we should all go. Been a long time."

"I know! Long time... We should..."

"Yeah..."

"Okay."

":)"

"Lol."

"Why?"

"Nothing."

"Okay."

"Hey."

"Yup?"

"Wala lang."

"Okay."

"Good night na."

"Yeah, good night."

"Miss you."

"Aww. Miss you too."

"I'll see you soon."

"Yup!"

"But we never will." - unsent

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 05:37 Archived in Philippines Tagged personal_projects Comments (0)

a real travel post: the next places to conquer

rain

ever since i arrived in Manila, i have been already planning on where to go. and yes, i will be going on shorter trips for the meantime because A) i don't have the budget for another cross-province trip and B) i don't have enough leave credits.

Derrick and i planned on going to Vigan this month but he has work stuff that came in the way. the small group peeps are planning a Nagsasa Cove trip and i might tag along.

planning is the funnest thing to do. but as you can see, this time i have to be with other people. A) because i need people to take pictures of me too, not just Elmo hogging the spotlight. B) the boatrides are expensive for 1 person. C) there are treks that are scary to do alone. what i may need to do is to see if i could get involved in the planning stages, or if they have been to the place, then i can just relax for the meantime!

even with these in mind, i still want to go out on my own. i took the test that i saw in one of the pinoy travel blogs where i had to mark the places in Pinas that i have been to and i got a D! ouch. too bad i don't know how to post it here. here are the places i might visit on my next solo trips:
Cebu
Bohol
Zambo
Iloilo

And then i need to join groups in the following:
Bicol region
CDO
Camiguin
CWC
Bora
Quezon Province

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 23:25 Archived in Philippines Tagged travel_posts Comments (0)

my soul's travels: Ephesians 4:29

rain

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

i have always believed that people deserved to hear what was on my mind. with the culture of freedom of speech that i learned in UP and working for companies that taught me how to be more aggressive, i have often been outspoken to the point of no restraint in the manner that i delivered the message.

true, people deserved to know what their shortcomings were, or what were the things that they did wrong. but it is also true that how we say things can also matter. and to think that i teach that for a living, right?

i found that the more hurtful the words were, the easier it was for people to learn. i thought it was okay to say "truth hurts, deal with it." but isn't it better to say that the truth should educate us? what we say should make other people learn instead of just feeling bad about it. we should bear in mind that people have different personalities and ways of digesting certain information. different strokes for different folks.

another hurtful form of messages would be gossip. again, we argue, most of these are true anyway. but what happens when we gossip? do we get anything out of it? are we helping the people by talking about it? the sad things is, messages may evolve from what was originally said.

once, i shared my thoughts about certain situations to a trusted friend at work. i tried to be very objective with the situation, picking her brain on whether what i thought was right or wrong. i went to her because i wanted to look at the situation in an intellectual manner. it turned out she got me wrong. she thought i was planting thoughts in her mind that would make her turn on our bosses. in the end, she may have mentioned what we talked about to our bosses, and one of them ignored me, without asking me what was that about. i never talked to anyone else about it, so only one person can be the source.

i felt bad, i felt betrayed. because had she clarified with me what my real intention was before talking to other people about it, no friendships could've been broken. the way that she delivered the news may be different from what my real intention was.

i am guilty of gossiping. and it is a daily struggle not to participate in "small talk" about other people. i should start choosing what to listen to and when to talk about stuff. sometimes i feel good when i know information about people, but not all these things are good for the heart.

it is wise to think that everytime we say something about other people, we are talking about our brothers and sisters, our family. lately, if i feel that i may have said something wrong, i quickly say sorry while looking up. kinda comedic, but it's a start for me.

with this, i pray Father that i will be able to be more constructive in what i say about other people. please let me be alert if what i'm saying is helpful or hurtful. i hope that in all conversations, i can mentally erase what is not useful, and only spread good news. although i know that i will encounter people who will talk about other folks, help me be aware of how i should react. instead of being trivial, i hope to be able to spread Your Word in any little way, so the people around me can see the miracle of change that You blessed me with. everyday is a struggle, but with Your grace, i can start censoring myself and be a better communicator.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 20:58 Archived in Philippines Tagged soul_travels Comments (0)

my soul's travels: James 2:12-13

rain

"Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment."

These are the action steps that were proposed by the publisher of the reading plan i'm following:

"Do you find it difficult to “let things go” when someone has hurt or offended you? We often judge others by their actions but ourselves by our intentions. Ask God to show you where you need to show mercy to others." Taken from here.

again, this has been very much on the spot. i have always said that i have no judgment over things that the people around me say or do. but i do. aside from judgment, i also have my way of excluding myself from the company of folks who i feel are not good for me. what's bad with that? i never tell them why, i never explain my thoughts or my feelings. too many times have i just run away from people without ever stopping to tell them what their faults were, or telling them what they need to do to change.

as what BJ said, i feel that people owe me the truth. and i thought that was my right, because as much as possible, i try to be true to anybody. it's only recently that i realized how selfish that was, to let people feel that they owe me everything. and when i've been wronged, i never forget. i always marked the people who have hurt me and limited my relations with them.

i think that forgiveness rings true when we completely forgive what people have done to us, the same way that we would want God to forgive us for everything that we have done that are not according to His will. the hard part is, we never forget. and mercy is lost when we forgive half-heartedly. the smart ones might say, "What if it's done over and over?" would that mean you will have to close your heart? will you not do things that might help the other person to stop doing the same thing to you?

we only get what we give. if we let people hurt us over and over without proactively doing anything to change stuff, then we're worse.

this is really hard for me. i'm at that point where i'm thinking about the people i should have said sorry to, instead of the people who should have apologized to me. and my ego is hurt. sorry is one of the hardest things to say. but i have to do it.

i pray Father, that i can muster the strength to apologize to the people i may have hurt in the past, or in the future. i pray that i start thinking less of what people owe me but what i can do for the people around me. grant me with the humility that i need, and the patience to wait for the right time that You set for me to fix my broken friendships. open my heart to the idea of forgiveness, in the same way that You forgive us with all our sins and bad decisions. let Your grace take over my heart and hopefully, everyone else will follow Your will.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 22:44 Archived in Philippines Tagged soul_travels Comments (0)

a real travel post: my week in pictures

rain

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me and Elmo

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At Kusina ni Gerry's, Day 1 in Gapo

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Kare kare!

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Day 2 with Elmo

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Almost raining at Harbor Point

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Harbor Point, back view

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At Max's, with a special guest, Day 2 in Gapo

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At Wimpy's inside Subic

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Welcome! Day 3 in La Union

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San Juan Surf Resort

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Surf shop

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The sea

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Look who's enjoying

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With Luke Landrigan

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At Veniz Hotel, Day 4 Baguio

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The Bible :)

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My bed

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Baguio City Hall

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Cafe by the Ruins, closed

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At Pizza Volante

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At Wright Park

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The Mansion

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Wright Park

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Wright Park

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Happy Tummy at Ketchup, a food community near Wright Park

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Peanut butter cake and Thai tea

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A view from SM Baguio

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Start of Day 5, Baguio at Tam-awan Village

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Hut for reproductively challenged couples

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Oh, those stairs

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Among the clouds!

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Guys on the hood at 50's Diner

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Cemetery of Negativism and some of my favorite tombs

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CW moment

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Oh. Em. Gee.

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Where i made my pact with God, teh Bell Ampitheatre atCamp John Hay

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At Starbucks, Camp John Hay

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 21:34 Archived in Philippines Tagged baguio olongapo travel_posts harbor_point san_juan_surf_resort luke_landrigan camp_john_hay cemetery_of_negativism veniz_hotel wright_park Comments (0)

the case of the Bible reading plan

Living the Surrendered Life

rain

you might be wondering where i'm getting the passages that i have been posting for the past couple of days.

i have been following a Bible reading plan from YouVersion called Living the Surrendered Life, and here is a link to the next verse i'll be reading: Click Here.

it's amazing because so far, everything that i've read has something to do with my current struggles and sitches.

hope this will help you too.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 21:41 Archived in Philippines Tagged the_case_of soul_travels Comments (0)

my soul's travels: 2 Corinthians 5:17

rain

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

everyone i know knows my story, or at least what i thought was important.

if anyone was asked about me, here are the top answers/words they can relate me to: gay, vodka, food, party, laughter. sounds like a good list, huh? it may have, before. some of those words have to go.

it was only recently that i started to question the differences between personality and preference. i may have always interchanged them.

i can still have the same personality: funny, awesome (lol), cautious, supportive, etc. but my preference needs to change.

i have always said i am taking baby steps. in my trip to Baguio just last week, i finally made a pact with Him. i just need to wait when He lets it happen. i now believe in the power of choice.

i chose to quit partying, smoking and drinking. i can choose to change my preference too. not easy alone. but with God's grace, it might be a miracle i shall soon see.

i pray Father, that You continue to lead me to the path that You chose for me, the life that You designed for me. now that i have realized the lies of my past, let me live in Your truth and i need Your guidance and the support of my community, be it my family or the Church. i pray that You enlighten my other friends, the way You have enlightened me through others, that they may not see this as a trivial change but as a transformation of Your child who was lost for quite some time.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 18:57 Archived in Philippines Tagged soul_travels Comments (0)

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