Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Learn Parenting that Makes a Difference

This Friday, September 2, 2011 (just a few short days away) at 7pm, my young couples group is going to have our first session with our new topic, PARENTING THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE.  This is a 5 session (therefore five Fridays in our case) video study guide featuring one of the most powerful parenting speakers in the country, Peter Tan Chi (who many of you may remember from Parenting Winners a few years back).

Consider this blog entry as an invitation to join us in studying how to parent in a way that makes a difference at a time when it’s getting harder and harder to do so. 

The first session we will tackle in a few days is called The Big Picture.  I was able to get a little bit of the outline, just to whet your appetite a bit.  Here it is:

•    Introduction:  Where we learn parenting
•    What we should know about our children
•    What we should know about parenting
•    What we should know about the characteristics of effective parents
•    The goal of parenting

The next several Fridays will then cover other topics, like How to Discipline Your Children, and how to Positively Impact Them.  This is really a fantastic series that I hope you can join us in.

Here are some videos that could interest you.  The first is a testimony of his eldest daughter, Joy.  The other ones are Peter Tan Chi’s talks on Sundays (CCF also has had a parenting series for several Sundays earlier this year, many of them taught by Peter, himself). 

And then, there’s his son, Paul Tan Chi in my previous post,which you can see by clicking here.

We meet every Friday night at 7pm at CCF.  CCF is in Papa Juanito’s Square, next to Generations bar or right across the street from the Robinson’s Car Park Entrance.  A light dinner is usually served by one of the couples (we rotate this responsibility). 

Since Peter Tan Chi’s talks are quite long, I’d appreciate if you’d come on time so that we can start on time.  There are also great discussion questions after Mr. Tan Chi’s talk that would help you digest the topic better.

So, Friday, 7pm at CCF…if you’d like to make a difference as a parent, please do attend.  Bring a pen with you, too.  See ya!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

AOS Elem open house 2011…I finally found the pics and vids

Finally, I found my videos and photos of The Abba’s Orchard School’s Elementary Open House last school year.  In blogs past, I covered my son and his classmates’ Casa (preschool) presentations; then, because I couldn’t find the elem stuff, I skipped to the photo/video journal of the Erdkinder (high school), where I teach.

Well, I finally found the Elem stuff.  Better (really) late than never, right?  I’ll keep it short, though…because that ship has sailed and I’m not in the mood to type up an elaborate blog entry on their methods.  The 2012 open house will have the detailed entries again.

Anyway, again let me stress some things:

1.  Materials greatly, GREATLY enhance learning.  You can see that in the Casa video especially, but it’s also evident in my daughter’s presentation and the other video presentation here.  

2.  The kids, all of them, were trained to present to adults, and are very comfortable doing so.  I wish you were there to see their poise, confidence, and people skills in presenting.

Anyway, enjoy the pics and vids.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The great things about living in Cagayan de Oro, Part 1

The big Fiesta day celebration is now right around the corner.  As promised, I will list down the things I love most about living in Cagayan de Oro.  As a backgrounder, I’m not from here.  I was born in Manila, went to the US at age 9, came to Cagayan de Oro at age 19 and have been a happy Cagayanon ever since.  Why?  You will see below.

Oh yeah, a big thanks to all those who participated in the question I posted.  Be it an email response or a comment on my blog entry…thank you.  I wish there was more participation, but well, what’s done is done.

Anyway, I compiled 8 reasons why CDO is so dear to me and the respondents.  I will put 4 here, the rest will be in a later entry.

1.  Relatively little traffic and pollution. 
Lesser traffic is one of the more obvious blessings of CDO when you compare it to other cities in the country.  Ok, this year’s Fiesta is an exception because of the construction of several flyovers, but when all that is done traffic will be even easier to stand than before.

My friend, Penny’s response was that you can get to anywhere in the city in 20-30 minutes max.  She’s right.  I can get to the mall in two minutes; the wet market in ten minutes; work in a little less than fifteen (including picking up carpoolers); the airport in five; the hospital in ten; church in twenty…you get the picture.

The quality of the air is also more tolerable as compared to our other cities.  In our nation’s capital city, my gosh.  White streamers hanging outside turn brown in no time; and asthma is rampant.  But in CDO?  Well, unless you hang around Divisoria all the time, the air is better here.  This is especially true if you live in the Xavier Estates/Pueblo de Oro area, like I do.

2.  The beach and the mountains are very close by.
Another great thing about CDO is its geographical location.  We are so blessed to be a sea-side town, yet the mountains are only a stone’s throw (as fast as 45 minutes) away.  My friends who live elsewhere can enjoy the mountains but not the beach; others enjoy the beach but not the mountains.  We can enjoy the natural blessings of both. 

I don’t recommend going to the beaches right on the edge of town, though (you’ll have to travel out of town for a few minutes).  But still, we are so blessed to have both very close by.

3.  Cheap, healthy, and abundant food.
Family and friends from other cities always stock up on good eats before leaving, because they can enjoy fruits and other food at a much cheaper price than what they get where they live.  Some of them, bewildered, ask “Do these guys want to make a profit?  How come it’s so cheap?”

And indeed, the food here is great.  Our visitors envy us that we can enjoy a plentiful supply of durian, marang, jackfruit, lanzones and others.  In trying to stock up on the things we so abundantly enjoy, they stink up the planes and other transpo on their way back to their own homes.

I also love the roadside stalls on the highway on the way to the beach or to the mountains, selling all kinds of fruits at very low prices.  Not only do I love the prices, but I also love that much of the stuff is grown at the sellers’ backyards, so there’s no herbicides and pesticides and other bad stuff that you wouldn’t want on your food.

4.  Very nice people.
Cagayan de Oro is not called the “City of Golden Friendship” for nothing.  The people here, for the most part, are truly nice, fun loving, and simple folk.  Friends, such as my co-worker Elaine, who have gone on and settled in other parts have commented that the people in their current location are not as warm as the people from their home town. 

Sure, there’s poverty in many parts of CDO, and so you’d have to be careful with your stuff.  Indeed, I’ve had some bad experiences with petty theft since I stayed here.  But take it as a lesson in vanity, and a lesson in the need to take care of your things.  I don’t wear the kind of bling I used to wear, and I feel fine.  Better even.

In spite of that, this city truly does earn its reputation as the City of Golden Friendship.  Filipinos are known for being hospitable, but Cagayanons take it to another level.  I’ve been treated so well since I came here.  Maybe it’s because I was the new kid in town and I had an American accent, but still…people here are so, so, so nice.

There are four more reasons why I love Cagayan de Oro City so much, and I will post them in part two of this article.  You can also do some last minute suggestions in the form of comments, and I will do my best to include them as well.

Happy Fiesta everyone, and enjoy the long weekend.

Update:  Here’s part 2 of this article.  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

When Hearts Dot The Sky…teenagers excel when excellence is expected.

Attached is a video project that my students did for their Romeo and Juliet requirement. What they did is a music video of a modern retelling of the story. It’s excellent work, and teenagers do excel when excellence is expected (which I will explain more later)

This video is a classic example of two things:

1. When kids are conditioned to think that results and mastery, not grades, are what’s important, you often get effort that far exceeds expectations. In Montessori preschool and elementary, the kids are not graded. If you’re grades oriented, you’d want to do the work that gets by, either gets by for a passing grade, or even get by with an “A” grade. But this group paid a huge fee for several sessions in a recording studio, composed and sung their own song, played their own instruments, and spent several days shooting the footage. The grade wasn’t chief on their minds, excellence was.

2. I didn’t rigidly set parameters for the assignment. I basically gave them the canvass and gave them the freedom to make their own masterpiece. Sometimes,you just have to do that (although I gave some examples).  I had a student make a video game on Romeo and Juliet.  Some did a HILARIOUS live action skit (that’s my favorite, actually…no disrespect to this one). 

Show them that you’d expect excellence, and teens will meet and exceed expectations. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Even the Pink Panther is into planking!!

My wife helped my two daughters clean their room today; and as I passed by after their work was done I couldn’t help but chuckle at the Pink Panther’s planking pose here.  I found it funny, I dunno if you do. 

Maybe I found some humor in it because I find planking so ridiculous that I am tempted to plank in the most mundane of places just to make fun of planking.  It’s also because one of my students goofs off by planking all over the classroom. 

Ah, anyway, have a great weekend…or what’s left of it (if you’re in the Philippines).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Google Friend Connect is not updating, so please subscribe/follow Lessons Of A Dad through other means

This is very, very frustrating.  Google Friend Connect is not updating for some weird reason, and so it is useless to keep it up there on my margin. 

To my readers who subscribe to Lessons Of A Dad through Google Friend Connect, please switch and subscribe/follow via the Lessons Of A Dad Facebook page, via RSS feed, via email, or via Networked Blogs instead (if you’re a fellow blogger). 

Goodbye Google Friend Connect…and good riddance. 

I know at least one site that has me on the blogroll ( and it isn’t updating as well.  This is quite frustrating, and I hope someone can help me out.  Maybe it’s because I recently started on FeedBurner?

Another humorous blog post that has gone to the dogs

The “Please don’t TEASE your dog” post is now officially my most popular blog entry…by far, too.  I guess Lessons Of A Dad has gone to the dogs after all.    Well, I hope you appreciate another animal-based humor piece, but this one has a little more to do with what this site is all about: 

A man wrote to Dear Abby some time ago. He said:

“Dear Abby: I am in love and I am having an affair with two different women. I can’t marry them both. Please tell me what to do, but don’t give me any of that morality stuff.”

You’d love Abby’s answer:

“Dear Sir: The only difference between humans and animals is morality. Please write to a veterinarian.”

Reading that made me laugh…but the topic isn’t funny.  The fastest way to end a conversation with me is to brag about how much a “playa” you are. 

My mom is a woman, my wife is a woman, and I have two beautiful daughters…and I get pretty pissed off when someone dares to treat womanhood in a trashy way.

Maybe it’s because I violated womanhood in my own way, which I share here.  In that same post, I share my favorite books and resources in helping you treat women the way they should be treated.   They’re must haves in any single man’s library…or any single person’s library, period.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

News flash for moms and dads living in Cagayan de Oro…PARENTING THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE

Hi everyone.  Just a quickie message here, an announcement that you might be interested in…if you’re a mom or dad living in Cagayan de Oro, that is.

My young couples group will start Parenting That Makes a Difference study series on the first Friday of September.  If you’d like to study how to be a great parent with us for 5 Fridays, and get it from no less than the best speaker on the subject (Peter Tan Chi) then join us.

Here are the topics

First Friday: The Big Picture

Second Friday: How To Positively Influence Your Children

Third Friday: How to Discipline Your Children Effectively

Fourth Friday: Some Basic Principles to Teach our Children

Last Friday: Internalizing Values

If you would like to join us, feel free to do so.  I will continually update this blog as September draws near.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Two great testimonies of changed lives

I’m going to feature two great testimonies from CCF’s website.  I feature them mainly because of two things:

1.  Today is CCF’s 27th anniversary, and I want to feature these as a testament of a church that does what it’s supposed to do: transform lives for the glory of God.

2.  This is a parenting based site, and these two testimonies show the grim ripple effects of parental failure in the home.


A House Right with God

“In our family, our father was considered the ultimate authority. What he says goes and one cannot answer back or reason out. If you want to make an appeal, you go to the 2nd in command, the mother, and hope for the best. It was not a problem when we were young, but when I started to attend high school, I felt choked because of my father’s authority. I noticed that my friends’ families were different; they were more liberal and they were having fun….”  Read on.

Alitha: Realizing Jesus’ Perfect Love

Since I was a young girl, I believed that time is the best way to show love. However in my family, I did not feel that. My parents gave me everything I needed materially, but what I needed from them was their time and attention…”  Read on

Friday, August 12, 2011

The reason I do what I do

Lynn (11), Mesoo (9), and Happy (6)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Teens, be a SURVIVOR this August

Being a high school teacher, and the fact that my own high school days were not that long ago (ahem, ahem), I know full well that the teen years are often full of drama.  Especially in today’s broken and temptation-filled times, it seems harder than ever to survive adolescence without garnering some pretty deep battle scars. 

Well, CCF-CDO’s teen youth ministry, JZone High, presents the SURVIVOR SERIES. These next 5 Saturdays (four, actually, the first session already passed) will showcase one way a teen can survive this difficult time in life.  The five sessions are:


So this Saturday, August 13, 2011, will feature the second session,  How to SURVIVE DISAPPOINTMENTS.  This is a fantastic series, one that I once taught when I was a youth leader several years back. 

See the pics on when and where JZone High meets, and I’d love to see you (or your adolescent child, if you’re a parent) there.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Happy 27th Anniversary CCF…and you’re invited!

Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF) is celebrating its 27th anniversary…the first CCF, that is (located in St. Francis Square near Megamall.  The church that I go to, CCF-Cagayan de Oro, has been around for 13 years). 

To celebrate, it usually holds a big worship service and celebration, held in a venue like Araneta Coliseum.  For the rest of the CCF churches all over the country, we are going to be tuned in to said celebration via satellite.  Cool right?  Man, technology these days.

And you’re all invited to this via-sattilite worship service:  August 14, 10:00 AM at Papa Juanito’s Square near Lim Ket Kai mall (across the street from Robinson’s car park entrance).  It will usually feature a message from Peter Tan Chi, one of the best speakers around. 

As the days draw near, CCF releases some videos that celebrate God’s greatness and God’s goodness to the church(es).  One of them, the one I will show below, features the amazing things God has been doing to the CCF’s growth in Northern Mindanao, CCF-CDO included.  Enjoy the video:

If there’s anything the CCF does very well, it is answering the call to disciple and equip its flock.  CCF is so focused in this area.  Indeed, many of the people who are featured in the video have mentored me, and so many others, tremendously.  As the video hinted, the CCF churches were not started by clergy, but by a mere handful of families who sincerely loved the Lord and had a strong desire to disciple others in their area.  That’s it.

Then God honored their hearts and blessed their efforts, and people came in droves.  CCF-CDO was started by, what, 6 or 7 families 13 years ago?  Now we’re about 700 or 800 or so, if I’m not mistaken…and I’d like to think that we’re all walking in the Lord wonderfully.

So many of my church friends told me that it is in CCF where they really, really, tremendously grew in their love and knowledge of God.  I know many whose lives have been changed because of the influence of what God has been doing through this church. 

I am a testimony of such a change, and such a growth.  It was a CCF missionary pastor who, despite his very busy schedule, took time out to have lunch with me during the darkest days of my life, and gave me the Savior who made, and continues to make my life make sense.

It was in CCF where I was challenged to serve others, starting with the children, then with being an announcer/facilitator, then the young couples, then with the youth

It was in CCF where God brought to me great mentors and friends, priceless people whose friendship and example would guide me to be what God wants me to be.  I’m still a work in progress, of course…but I shudder to think of what kind of man I’d be if the Lord didn’t bring me to CCF.

So, happy 27th anniversary to a wonderful, disciple-making church.  Thanks for being so instrumental in my growth as a Christian; and, due to your men’s conferences, parenting and couples seminars, my growth as a man.   

For those of you who are interested to get a taste of CCF, especially the via satellite service, see you on Sunday.  If you don’t live in CDO, then you can check out the website for a CCF church near you, or you can view the event online.

Here’s pics of past CCF anniversary celebrations:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A great example of a great boyfriend…and being so in a lust filled world

If, by reading the title, you haven’t guessed it yet, this particular blog post is geared to my single friends who are currently dating or plan to date in the near future.  If you belong to the group I just mentioned, please look long and hard at this young man’s heartfelt statements below.  It is a young man’s commitment to treat his girlfriend in the most honorable way.  How is your heart compared to his? 

  • The parents of my girlfriend place their trust in me. I will not violate it.
  • I will respect my girlfriend as I expect other men to respect my sister.
  • I will respect womanhood, because my mother is a woman.
  • I will ask my girlfriend to do nothing I would be ashamed of if my mother found it out.
  • My girlfriend has given me the honor and pleasure of her company. It is wrong for me to expect more in payment for this date.
  • My girlfriend will be a wife and mother someday. She must be an example to her children and the pride of her husband. I will help her to be as pure and decent as I want my wife to be.
  • Manhood means strength of character as well as body. Lack of self-control is a sign of weakness. I want my girlfriend to know that I am manly.
  • God is everywhere, sees everything, knows everything. Darkness may hide me from people, but it cannot hide me from God.

When I think of my bachelor years, oh how far I have fallen from this standard!  But man, I pray, pray hard, that the men who pursue Lynn and Mesoo will be just like him.  I pray even harder that Happy will be this kind of man, himself.  And I pray that the men who currently pursue my sisters in law and my cousins are this kind of men, too. 

In fact, I regret my past actions in this area so strongly that I have made it my mission to nurture younger men and women in my circle of influence to be like the man above.  If there’s a niche in ministry that I specialize in and strongly advocate, it’s boy-girl relationships.  Just ask my current and former students, as many of the books below are required reading in The Abba’s Orchard Erdkinder.

Ok, so do I have any recommended reading for you if you are struggling with temptation in this area, or if you have a child that does?  Yes.  Read on…and click on the links to purchase them easily online.

I Kissed Dating GoodbyeWell, if you’re a teenager and/or a student, I strongly believe that it is not wise to get in a romantic relationship, period.  It does not honor you nor the lady you’re pursuing.  I have good reasons why this is so, but that’s a whole other blog post altogether.  But the best book I can recommend on why I say this is Joshua Harris’ I Kissed Dating Goodbye.  Mr. Harris is such a gifted author, and his reflections and advice are so powerful and practical.  You will not look at your teenage years in the area of romance the same way again.  If you’re a youth pastor or youth leader, I’d advise you to get the small group study guide while you’re at it.  I have both, and I’m not afraid to use them extensively both in ministry and professionally (and my boss is all for it, too)

Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to CourtshipNow, if you know you’re ready to have a relationship and you’d like to be as honorable as the one above, I recommend another one of Joshua Harris’ books, his best in my opinion: Boy Meets Girl.  It’s his most inspiring work because, as one of my former students said, “it so clearly shows the blessings we receive if this relationship thing is pursued the right way.”  Amen.  It is very romantic, and yet very, very practical as well.  I so wish I had this book when I was younger…and if I can give every single, especially every single man, a copy of this book without appearing preachy or offensive, I would.  
Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ's Control

A book that Joshua Harris often quotes is Elizabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity.  I personally haven’t read it, but some of my former students have, and say it’s also a must read.  If Joshua Harris reveres the author and her work, then that’s enough for me.

When God Writes Your Love Story (Expanded Edition): The Ultimate Guide to Guy/Girl RelationshipsAnother book that my students, who pursue this purity even after they leave my care, rave about is When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy.  My students who read it bugged me once to include it in the Literature curriculum.  They say it’s at or nearly as influential to them as Harris’ work.  One day (read: summer vacation) I’ll read it and see if they’re right.  But I trust them enough to include it here on the list of must have books.

Eros Redeemed: Breaking the Stranglehold of Sexual SinOk, what if you’re still single, but, like me, have messed up and would like to redeem yourself in the area of sexual purity.  Hey, we all make mistakes…and there’s a book that’s perfect for you: Eros Redeemed.  Basically, it talks about how you can have forgiveness and hope when you messed up in this area…and trust me, a lot of us mess up in this area.

Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated WorldIn fact, if your particular struggle is in the area of lust, be it in a relationship or no, then by all means get another one of Joshua Harris’ books, Sex is Not the Problem (Lust is).  I agree with him that lust is the biggest problem in young people today, and this book is excellent in tackling this topic.  This is definitely one of the strongest influences to my students’ lives as well (although here in the Philippines, it still goes by it’s old title, Not Even A Hint).

Btw, this book also has a study guide…or guides. Of course, lust is a sensitive topic, so for Sex is Not the Problem, there’s a guy version and a girl version for the study guides.

Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is) – A Study Guide for Men
Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is) – A Study Guide for Women

Anyway, so I hope you take this blog entry to heart.  God bless you in pursuing purity in an impure world.

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