Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Archive for March, 2014

The Magic Of Dinner Over Movies (Fifth Bite): Faith and Courage For Food

It was a almost a month since I had my second meal with this wonderful woman who is an epitome of courage and strength. For me, this is one of the most unforgettable dinners I had. Her story is better than the burgers, fries, and sundae she blessed me. I guess I was more fed with encouragement with the testimony of this admirable woman of God.

I usually meet Dianne in Christian conferences like JRev (Jesus Revolution)

My good friend Dianne with tons of fries and burgers. Couldn't be any better than the dinners I've had.

My good friend Dianne with tons of fries and burgers. My past dinners couldn’t be any better than this! 🙂

Night. But I did not expect that on this last JRev night I’ve attended last February 17, she was there. I was comforted to see an old friend after thinking I would be going home alone. Like a feather in the breeze, her bright smile filled up my tired spirit. I find her like a lamplight energizing me in the night, even though the event was over.

If you think her positivity is overreacting, no. It’s something natural in her. Glad to see each other, we decided to have dinner together before going home.

I missed having large fries and burgers in the night. I know this would be a wreck in my diet, but I’d rather take this opportunity to bond with a friend. I took all the ketchup for my fries because she wanted her fries to be in her burger!

We called it a post-Valentine date which we really enjoyed. As a single lady, I’ve always enjoyed being with friends at dinner. But how much I’ve enjoyed this date as her testimony marked meaningfully in my life.

I am aware of the hardships she is facing in her life. She has been taking care of her mother, who has cancer. It’s not easy for her and her family. Not only financially, but physically and emotionally. I must admit I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing a loved-one in pain. But Dianne has to endure her mother’s screams of pain everyday. Add to that, she was juggling a lot of tasks like taking care of her little nephew.

As she shared to me her pain, she also shared to me the encouragements she has been receiving. Not only had she received kind words, but she and her family had been receiving financial and emotional support from different people. I was blessed when her church family had come together as a big group just to pray for her mother (and because of that, her pain lessened!).

But the battle she faces goes on. And she faces it everyday. She would be tired, I know, but she has this amazing strength that keeps her smiling. I was somehow ashamed, because I would be so tired at the pressure of my daily tasks. But Dianne has bigger and painful problems than mine. I could see how these refine her well: in spirit and in character.

In another rare moment, I was chewing my burger slowly. I almost gaped while listening to her story of faith and determination. I wondered how she kept on holding on to this thin wire hanging over the dark cliff. Deep in her heart, she knew that it’s not her mother’s time to go. Her faith kindled mine. I agreed with her — her mother will recover, indeed she will.

What amazed me more was how she keeps her eyes on the Lord. No blame-throwing at Him, she just clings to Him. Last hope you may say, but He’s more than that. He’s everything, a faithful Father and Friend from the first to the last. Dianne wouldn’t exchange Him for anything else. He’s the One strengthening her and sustaining her all along.

This post-Valentine date must be more remarkable than any romantic dates I never had. :)

This post-Valentine date must be more remarkable than any romantic dates I never had. 🙂

It’s an honor to have a friend a woman who stands strong in the midst of great testing. I believe that this season in her life is preparing her for something greater. At this point, I could say that she has blessed me more than I could have blessed her. Such people like her has received more than most of us have had, I guess. Despite of great pain, she receives great strength, courage, and faith. But the best of all is the great love of Jesus that had caused all the positive fruits in her life to bear. These fruits she shared to me as seeds waiting to sprout in the upcoming seasons in my life.

Truly, I was enlightened that night, sweeter than the sundae I’ve had as my finale in that dinner. Her testimony had nourished my tired body. Truly, it’s an amazing dinner with her, better than any romantic dates I’ve never had. 🙂

The Magic of Dinner Over Movies (Fourth Bite): Spaghetti and Sundaes as Stress Debriefer

I was suppose to publish this the week after my birthday. It happened exactly February 6. It’s almost a month after but I guess it’s still worth sharing 🙂
Spaghetti and sundae as stress debriefer...even if the sundae has already melted!

Spaghetti and sundae as stress debriefer…even if the sundae has already melted!

Again, I’ve arrived at the point where I couldn’t think much. This is the week when the work load and pressure go way beyond your head. Such is also the time that I don’t want to talk to anyone and wished to be sleeping soundly on my bed. If only the hands of time has rocket turbo to end this assignment for once and for all.

Then one of your friends texted she would be coming for a visit.
Truth is, I was irritated because I thought she had come at the wrong time. Still, she arrived while I kept on hustling around against a deadline. With my hands full, I felt so miserable to leave her there waiting for me. Until, she offered me snacks.
Aw…I just realized she wanted to share her time to celebrate my birthday.

An attempted "selfie" with Lans

An attempted “selfie” with Lans

I just remembered how I lamented for receiving no gift on my very birthday. Then, here comes my dear friend Lans to spend her time with me.
Spaghetti and sundae wouldn’t be so bad at all. The sad news is how the sundae couldn’t wait while I go to and fro the editing and news room.
As the night darkens, my friend waited, along with our meal.
Stopping for a while, I sat down with her at the waiting area and shared with her a few laughs. Setting aside my frustrations at my job, we would look back at good memories when we were at our former job.
"Mirror selfie" anyone? :)

“Mirror selfie” anyone? 🙂

It’s not as grand as the dinners I had with my other friends before, but I guess her time and her visit meant more than the simple dinner we shared. Never mind the dull waiting area or the small space where we were eating. This time was like a refreshing break in my almost breaking point.

It’s one of the gifts that I’d really be grateful and I’ll forever cherish.
My work may go like a useless rat race but I couldn’t turn away a simple visit.
And her spaghetti and sundae is also a plus. 🙂

The Magic Of Dinner Over Movies (Third Bite): Lunchbreak Mode

This post was supposed to be published October last year. But due to forgotten circumstances, well, I guess it’s not yet too late to share a short lunchbreak mode with my crew in the middle of a busy day 🙂
photo (3)This is no dinner. But I’ve enjoyed this lunch as much as I enjoy dinner with friends. But this time, I had it with my crew right after an interview.
I’ve long been dreaming of this, eating in one of those unusual — if not common — restaurants in Timog at Quezon City. I wanted to have my own food trip but never had one. Instead, I had it with my team, who was fun to be with at work and at food trips. 🙂
For the first time, we tried Buddy’s at Timog in Quezon City. With a tinge of Pinoy relevance mixed with fast-food-resto culture, I loved its light and cheery atmosphere emphasized by the handcrafted sunflowers on the walls, chairs, and tables. The place looked quite airy and less crowded, much like welcoming us to take our time, even if we only got one hour.
Then here comes the Pansit Lucban in its sophisticated form. Origianlly, it

My cameraman, Kuya Albert and then assistant cameraman Gerry, enjoying the very Pinoy pancit lucban and bibingka (a Filipino rice cake)

My cameraman, Kuya Albert and then assistant cameraman Gerry, enjoying the very Pinoy pancit lucban and casava cake

was eaten without a spoon or fork. Traditionally, this kind of pansit is eaten straight from the banana leaf (which served as its plate). This is also called “pansit habhab” in Lucban, Quezon. Its strong, tasty, marinated flavor was even more emphasized with mixed with this sour and tangy vinegar. I just have to set aside its meat as I only wanted the vegetables and noodles.

Lunch was even made wonderful as it was ended with a sweet, soft, bite of the casava cake. A traditional kakanin (or “rice cake”), this one is made of  Even though three of us shared this seemingly small desert, it made us almost hard to breathe because we were too full.
But what’s meaningful from that lunch is not only trying a restaurant for the first time, but being ourselves while we eat, relax, and enjoy.
I could get to enjoy something new with people that I trust and enjoy to be with. These guys are just some of the best on the field, but are even better when they crack jokes out of the blue. But most of all, when we shared who we are, way beyond from what we are during work mode.
It’s not only the food that one can enjoy, but it’s the fellowship that we share. That one short hour is better than any quick lunch taken alone. Life is not what we can do by ourselves, but how we take worth of others and who we really are.

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