A Travellerspoint blog

my soul's travels: the Christian i see

as my eyes open


we all have stereotypes. because it is our nature to judge, we may even have different versions of common stereotypes that we see out there. like in Mean Girls, stereotyping can also be based on which clique you join. jocks, black hotties, girls who eat their feelings, the plastics, etc.

recently, i joined a new clique. this is a group of people that many of us may have, at one point or another, made fun of. or have made snarky comments about. i joined the Christian group.

i didn't really know what Christians were like, because of the different personalities i see everyday. it also didn't help that i grew up in a family and community that were predominantly Catholic. i may have known a few friends who were part of the Jehova's Witness, but never a Christian. or maybe i just didn't know they were Christians. hmm.. i have one uncle, i think, who became a Christian. i saw them bless our food one day when they came over with their friends. see, stereotypes.

when i joined the Church, i received a lot of reactions, more on the joking side. bless my mom, her only question was, "Why change now?" but the others, oh my. people would raise their hands at me like they are blessing me. or tell me bad words that i used to enjoy saying. some would ask me questions to challenge my change in faith. that, i really don't understand.

when a person is considered ugly, and then gets a makeover, people applaud. when a sinner decides to change, do we question?

it took me a long time to get here. i have lived 28 years of my life trying to please myself. and surrounding myself with beautiful things. i wouldn't have experienced that if a certain Someone did not die on the cross for me. how easy did i forget about that? as soon as i hit my teenage years, i have forgotten who He was. and now that i'm wanting to know Him again, i'm made fun of. well, what goes around, comes around.

i actually don't see anything funny about the new people i hang out with. if anything, they're fun! they know the Bible, or which parts of Scripture would be appropriate for a certain sitch. true, some of us raise our hands while singing, but it's because we feel the message of the songs. in Church, it's considered funny. but in a Maroon 5 concert, if you cried, it's because you're cool.

apparently, Christians also live among all of us. we have jobs. and it's a constant struggle to work in offices where wrong is seen as right. while most of us think about what is "normally" right, Christians want to do what's right. it's saying no to a police officer asking for "lagay" so you wouldn't have "to go through the hassle of paying your ticket." it's saying no to under the table transactions. we have lived with ways to make our lives easy. but not all easy things are right.

being with these people make me realize how much crooked my world is. or how easy it had been for me. the comfort that i had growing up lead me to do things that i am not proud of today.

on Sundays, i usually spend the whole day sleeping, because of a wild extravaganza the night before. the folks i'm with spend extra hours after service to join small groups, share their experiences and pull you into the life of a Christian, to be saved. make no mistake, there are peeps who have families too, but what's good is that their families are involved in church too. how about that?

i admire the efforts of some of them. if we have to talk about going the extra mile, this is the extra mile. they don't get paid for this. they don't ask for any favors for this. this is selflessness. if all of us spent time thinking about one another instead of just our own selves, we would prosper.

which made me think, if a Christian were to join politics, his/her life would be a constant battle. there are standards in society to be met, but there are grander standards set by God. someday, i would love to see a politician who maintained the Christian life while in the government.

every week, i discover things about the people i "hang out" with. while others are talking about the newest trends, or the latest shocker in pop culture, we talk about our struggles. we pray for each other. we give each other hope, that in every day, we will live a life with God in its center.

this is a new world for me. and it's a world that i didn't appreciate before. temptations are everywhere, left and right. but the choice is mine. and yours, soon, i hope.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 03:20 Archived in Philippines Tagged soul_travels Comments (5)

the start of something good

no cray cray


like how i planned it, i didn't go out on Saturday and just stayed at home. i must have slept so much that i woke up really early on Sunday. good thing Rye was also awake so we went to KFC and had breakfast. well. i realized i am so disconnected to Path now that i didn't have any stories to tell. Path was like Gossip Girl to us. we knew what was happening to everyone. now, i don't.

after more than an hour of talking, we decided to go home. i wasn't able to take a nap anymore, so i just soundclouded. Click at your own risk. :)

Derrick's on an Asian tour so i was going to be alone at church. it was easier now since i know a few familiar faces. even when i was alone, i was less shy about greeting other people. it was Pastor Manny who ministered and it was okay. until the part electricity was cut off and i almost shrieked as i usually do anywhere lights are turned off abruptly. LOL.

after service, we ate at Peanut Butter Co, which we should not do next week. i'm starting to not like it. i met new folks from church again. that was nice.

after lunch, we proceeded to the small group and talked about adversity. it's humbling to realize i have so much to be thankful for that i took for granted. i have also started my one to one session which i think is really important.

i will not be sharing a lot of stuff, i guess. some stories are not for me to share. while some are things we can only experience as we go through a transformation. i wouldn't want to spoil the fun for others.

anyway, when i got home, i removed some apps from my phones that i will not be using anytime soon. this can be the start of something good.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 14:11 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

playlist update: sweet surrender

leaving the cold room


"Sweet Surrender"
by Sarah McLachlan

it doesn't mean much
it doesn't mean anything at all
the life I've left behind me
is a cold room

I've crossed the last line
from where I can't return
where every step I took in faith
betrayed me
and led me from my home

and sweet
sweet surrender
is all that I have to give

you take me in
no questions asked
you strip away the ugliness
that surrounds me
are you an angel
am I already that gone
I only hope
that I won't disappoint you
when I'm down here
on my knees

and sweet
sweet surrender
is all that I have to give

sweet surrender
is all that I have to give

and I don't understand
by the touch of your hand
I would be the one to fall

I miss the little things
oh I miss everything

it doesn't mean much
it doesn't mean anything at all
the life I left behind me
is a cold room

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 03:46 Archived in Philippines Tagged playlist_update Comments (0)

random babbles: doodling on my laptop

of floods, crying and glee


i wanted to blog about my experience this morning. when i was limping along Florentino with my shoes and a paper bag in hand. attempting to walk on a flooded street. squealing like a little girl when a huge truck suddenly passed by. i wanted to write something funny today. you know, getting sick the day before, and then going to work not fully well only to come back home the next day to a flooded street. i had a lot of ideas. until i went blank.

i just couldn't write any other word. i knew it wasn't worth saving a draft since i wouldn't finish it anyway. until my travel next week crossed my mind. and i cried.

i've never had a vacation that had meaning. it was all about drinking. fun stuff. and lately, my VLs have been used up because of getting surgery twice in a year. that ain't fun. i cried because i was thinking of who and what i would be after this vacation. i had a lot of things in mind when i was planning this vacation. i wanted this trip to be really cheap, but i'm a new traveler so maybe my budget for my next adventures would be really small. i don't want to spend so much money nowadays too. sounds weird, coming from me.

anyway, tomorrow, i'll start my one 2 one with someone from the small group. i don't know how it will go. but my soul is excited. i think this is a new route in my life that everyone's gonna be shocked about.

after that one week of travelling alone, i will come back and leave everything that made me feel bad behind. forget the meaningless vices. i'm really praying that i can do this. i've found new friends that could probably help me get there. and hopefully my friends will remain.

while crying it wasn't helping that i was watching the season premiere of glee. i kinda lost interest in season 3, but this season opener got me. i cried like a baby over that "Chasing Pavements" scene. should i give up? for that chance to change? and risk losing a lot of things that i enjoy? but it's time to change. i should be happy about those memories. i need new memories now. one that i will spend with Him. anyway, i need to sleep.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 07:20 Archived in Philippines Tagged random_babbles Comments (0)

Playlist update: Open my Eyes

My current favorite Hillsong track


[Verse 1]
In the stars I see Your majesty displayed
In the heavens all Your wonders are proclaimed
I see Your fame in all of the earth
And I seek to know the ways of Your heart

Through the seas and open skies I hear Your praise
As the shout of all creation lifts Your Name
I hear Your praise in all of the earth
And I seek to know the ways of Your heart

So open my eyes oh God
Open my heart to see
All the wonders and the power of Your name

By Your grace I'll live
By Your grace I'll see
For my life and my salvation is in You

[Verse 2]
For You take the sinner's heart and bring new life
Through the cross we are restored within Your Light
I know Your love is all that I need
And I seek to know the ways of Your heart


I know Your love is all that I need
And I seek to know the ways of Your heart

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 06:12 Archived in Philippines Tagged playlist_update Comments (0)

poem vomit: the reform


i found myself at a crossroads
where i had to make a decision;
do i choose the path to pleasure
or the path to my salvation?

the years that lead to this
were hazy and without purpose
i turned my back on You,
and lived a life that was godless

and now i turn to You
to show me that i can transform
into the person You thought of
before, in a womb, i was formed

let me take a walk with You
to be free of worldly desires
fill my heart with Your grace
that's one thing i need, in dire

Jaycee Pagdanganan

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 01:56 Archived in Philippines Tagged poem_vomit Comments (0)

mahjongera sessions/cray cray adventures: quickie post


okay, while i'm stuck here at home because Espana is flooded again, let me tell you what happened to me this weekend.

Saturday started out really boring. i was just at home in the afternoon, and my spirit was wandering outside the house. the weekend before was super crazy, and i was wanting to top that weekend. i posted a message on Path for Mike, rye and Burn. Mike was going to one of our Absolut friend's bday bash. Burn had work. Rye was sleeping. however, before midnight struck, Rye and i was able to meet up.

we met at KFC and i took that time to try the cheese top burger. that was a mistake. the cheese was dry and did not taste like cheese. the patty was like a downgraded version of the chicken mcnuggets. same texture, no taste. anyway, after that disappointment and trying to look for a place to eat, Rye and i decided to go to ChicBoy.

the place was full. we had to make sure we got a table since there were more people folks coming in. sidenote: there are hot waiters. but i won't dwell on that. i ordered the two-piece bbq and 1/2 of cebu lechon manok. Rye got the cebu whatever liempo. the pork bbq was not tasty. i just made sure that i enjoyed the lechon manok and the liempo. there was a band playing, but i didn't get to enjoy the songs this time. there were a lot of jammers who didn't really sing well. had i been drunk, i could've cheered for the. now i realize the false happiness alcohol brings. no way.

we had a bit of honest minutes while eating. talked about you-know-who. it's really difficult to be honest when not intoxicated. i felt that i had to, well, force myself to tell the truth. but isn't that what honesty is all about? telling the truth because you want to? anyway, i just told Rye about the "what if's" with #him. anyway.

after eating, we went to Green Coffee for a night cap. (wow. haha.) he got the shaken strawberry iced tea. i got the expensive milk tea. i asked Rye to taste my drink. the shop did not offer straws when serving this drink. i made the mistake of asking for one last Friday with Derrick, and i was told no. i guess it was to make sure that we tasted the cream cheese (?) topping but it was difficult to sip through that thick layer. Rye complained that he was just getting the cream part. i complained he shouldn't get all of it. LOL. after finishing our drinks, we went home.

once in the cab, the driver told us about the drunken Korean and his girl who were mugged by kids right in front of Green Coffee. i kinda remembered seeing that but i didn't know that wallets and phones were taken. kids huh. i wonder why the people around did not do anything knowing what was happening. it was sad. and the kids? where were the security guards and barangay tanods who should've been roaming the streets that night? were they all drunk too? anyway, paging Bgy. South Triangle folks. work it.

i got home around 3am i guess, just a few hours before church service.

i was groggy when i woke up. Derrick asked if i wanted to go to the PM service, but i remember talking about badminton with Rye that afternoon, so i told him we can go straight (LOL) to the 10am Regis service. the sermon was apt for me. it was about Nehemiah again, as part of the "Ako, Ikaw, Tayo' series about re-building a nation. one thing that i related to the most was being made fun of, or taunted for this change in faith. must be karma. i used to think being Born Again was just a tad bit too religious. i prolly can't come up with all the words i associated with being a Christian, and i am now given a dose of my own medicine. anyway, after the service, we attended the orientation for volunteers for the different ministries. Derrick and i joined comms and creative support. oh good Lord, i really don't know what i can do for the group. on the sign up sheet, i just wrote "Concept" with a smiley because i am not good at the video techie stuff.

after that, we had lunch at Peanut Butter Co with a few other folks. i tried the King Elvis sandwich paired with my usual spag but i didn't like it. it only had slices of bananas, peanut butter (of course) and a few strips of bacon. not satisfying. after we ate, we went straight to Red mango for the small group meeting. i did not receive a text from the guy who took my number last week, so BJ asked if i wanted to join their group. well, i agreed. i've heard nice things about the group and i had a friend there, so why not?

the small group was a like a discussion group. think book clubs that i used to host at work. the topic that day was related to the points raised at the service, just adding a few questions that everyone can answer. there were two questions: did we ever think about migration and what were our reasons for staying; and what can we do in our own fields to "rebuild" that part of our world. knowing me, i had a lot to say. i still struggled in talking in Filipino the whole time. argh. i should practice, you know. i'm just glad to be in a group that will surely help me get to the point that i want.

after that, i had to meet Rye for a badminton game. it was hard looking for a vacant court, and some courts were really expensive. but we decided to wait for a court where we saw Piolo Pascual play. putting my happiness for all the sweat i produced that day, we saw Piolo play. oh man. he was cute.

we then ate at Napoli. i was super hungry. we ordered the Chicken Cutlet (what else) and some pizza. after eating, it rained so we decided to go home. oh my. it was a tiring but happy day. :)

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 19:54 Archived in Philippines Tagged mahjongera_sessions cray_cray_adventures Comments (0)



it has been a while since i talked about me. lately, all that i have blabbed about are my experiences, but never about me.

i think that i am changing.

a part of me is still the same, i am still that fat gay guy who laughs as hard as he can when there's something funny. or talks about whatever comes to my mind. but with a bit of censorship.

this new stance on faith that i'm working on has been the reason why. i think that for the longest time, i've told people that i have a personal relationship with God and that i believed in Him. but i was wrong. there are new things that i am learning since i started reading the Purpose Driven Life. am i a devout Christian? not yet. but i'm on my way. i wanted to start now without being fully ready because i had to start somewhere. if i kept on asking myself if i was ready, i will never be. i haven't blogged about what i've been reading for a long time because i believed that i needed this to be something that i did for myself. all of us will find our own time to take this same journey that i am in. but if there are passages that i see is fit for blogging, i will post it. hmmm... now that i'm thinking about it, i'll re-read some chapters and check what i can share here. i am on day 29 now. can you believe that? 11 more days... i started out as a skeptic but i feel that the book is growing on me. at times, i find myself talking to people about what i have learned from the book. the most interesting question i got was, if i had to abstain from sexual activities, will that not make me achieve my needs. i had to reply, "is temporary satisfaction more important than eternal salvation?" to which my friend replied, "what if there's no life after death?" i did not answer that question. it seemed that answering that question would put me back in the place where i was being objective about things instead of clinging on to my faith.

i have had a good life. i can not complain about any major mishaps in my life. i am at that point where i'm looking for inner strength, and i am turning to God for this. several people have their own beliefs and this is the route that i chose. while i see areas that i know will be roadblocks and know that there will be people who challenge this new belief, i choose to be here. i do not want to be one of those people who sin all week long and go to church on Sunday to purge themselves of sin. i think that is plain hypocrisy. while it is true that God will want us to be sorry for our sins, repetition is not the way to go. i still have dirty thoughts. i am not perfect. i will never be, i guess. but i have to fight this.

one chapter that i think i can share right now is day 27, which talks about fighting temptations. i have to stay away from things that would bring me to sin. immediately, i thought of places i shouldn't go to. O Bar. maybe Puerto Galera. the saddest part was thinking of the people i need to limit my relations with, but only for the meantime. when my faith is stronger, i will, but right now, i need to make sure i am not easily tempted to do anything i wouldn't want to.

hmmm... another thing that has changed is my will to travel. with my renewed love for my job and faith, i resolved to enjoy all the resources God has given me by traveling. this month will be the start of my explorer mode. not yet sure how this will go, but i would rather travel alone. no itinerary, all on my own time, but considering my work schedule and budget, of course. hopefully my Baguio trip will teach me some things about traveling.

my job? i have grown to not like it, but appreciate it. it may be one of the things that i'm really thankful for. i imagine leaving this job months ago, and thinking what would have happened next. i think i'm in a good place.

i have a lot of things going on in my mind right now. i wouldn't be sure what decision i will be making next, but i'm taking it all in stride.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 05:41 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

quickie post: Monday and Tuesday blahs

depositing money and registering to vote


last Monday i was off from work because of the Labor Day holiday in the states. i've been wanting to be off on a Monday so i can do things normal people would on their regular hours. fresh from my Sunday night sleep, i lingered around the living room to play with our new baby. around 10am, i decided to take a bath so i can go to the bank and deposit money to the accounts of the hotels i would be staying in on my vacation.

i have not deposited money for a long time and BPI kinda had a nice PC/system being used instead of the usual deposit slip. that would work better if there were instructions posted somewhere to let you know what to do. i had to ask one of the depositors what i had to do. so the tool would ask you what type of transaction you need, then when you choose deposit, it will ask for the account number, amount and then give you a number. this way, you won't make any mistakes with the account name, and that's good. i only had to wait for a few minutes (30, i think) and i was off home.

i planned on going to Comelec to register for next year's elections but i decided not to go since it's a Monday. instead, i went to Sm San Lazaro to buy a Cosmo mag and sandals i'd use for my trip this month. after that, i didn't go home right away. i spent time at Starbucks like any other pretentious person and read a book. i brought along my book Naked by David Sedaris and read the chapter c.og. which stood for child of God. i thought that it was perfect because the author kind of wrote about what his questions were about God and i found some similar to mine. it was a long chapter and i arrived home around dinner time.

the next day, i went to Comelec, which was just behind my tita's office. well, number one, it was a good thing i registered now, not closer to the deadline. there were only 5 of us at the time and even with just that number, i didn't feel any type of system at all. (oh, and i rode an fx going to city hall, the trip only costs 15 bucks so i paid for two. i can imagine how much i can save by riding fx cabs, but no.)

the uber-sensitive person that i was, i did not expect hotness that day. wheni went to the third floor, only the room was air-conditioned and ventilated. when i came in, no one asked me what i needed. everyone looked busy. there were no instructions posted anywhere. i had to ask. when someone finally talked to me, they first checked if my name had been previously registered. nope. so next i had to fill out a yellow form (new applicants) and photocopy my valid ID outside the building. number 1, the area where i had to sit down and fill out my form was not ventilated at all. it was humid. they could have bought fans for that area since they can afford to have two TVs on and a refrigerator inside the office. number 2, they didn't have their own photocopying machine. i only learned that i had to have my ID photocopied when i got there. the website did not mention that. so after going outside the building to photocopy my ID and filling out the form, someone looked for the precinct i should be in and gave me a strip of paper from the form. i then had my picture taken plus fingerprints. and i was done.

after that i went home and slept. i had a shift that day. hihi.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 01:37 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

Poem vomit: the epiphany


Obsessed with the trappings of sin
I walked the earth with a fake grin
I swam in oceans of hard liquor
I took pride in being a smoker

Whenever You called i turned away
And thought being alone was okay
But now i know it's You that i need
Lord God, from Your Word i will feed

Jaycee Pagdanganan

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 20:08 Archived in Philippines Tagged poem_vomit Comments (0)

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