Monday, December 31, 2012

My two theme songs for 2013

I'm still working on my "Reflections on 2012" article as of this morning.  It's a doozy and most likely will be split into 2 parts.

To whet your appetite (and in my efforts to fight off sleeplessness-induced writer's block) I will, in the meantime, give you my two theme songs for 2013.  Both of these songs, similar in message, put in music what I want my life to be like in the coming year.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Making health and fitness a top priority in 2013

It is quite predictable that among the top of every New Year’s Resolution list that we all come up with is the desire to be healthy and/or lose weight.  Evidence of this is that the highest sales on exercise equipment come around this time of year.

2012 was a good year for me in this area.  Not perfect, but good…and allow me to share with you my tips on how to be live a healthy life on a budget.

It’s a funny thing that many of the resolutions regarding health or weight loss are among the first resolutions that are broken.  Ok, it’s not a funny thing, it’s more of a sad thing, really.   As I reflect why this is so, I’ve come to the conclusion that:

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from yours truly

Here’s a mime presentation that the Kids Church did several years ago (when my teenage daughter, Lynn, one of the participants, was just around 9 years old).  Merry Christmas everyone.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Top 10 Non-Traditional Christmas Songs

As Christmas draws near, I’m sure your ears are gonna be saturated with timeless Christmas classics like Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and Joy To The World, among many others.

Well, if you’re in the mood for something different, but you’re still willing to feel the Christmas spirit, then there are lots of non-traditional Christmas songs that you can enjoy (and, no, it’s not just All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey).  In fact, if you live in Cagayan de Oro, then the local Christian station here, The New J 103.3 FM plays Christmas songs all throughout December (non-traditional songs as well as modernized versions of the classics).

I’m friends with the guy who runs the show over there at The New J, John de Cleene, and he was kind enough to share with me his Top Ten Non-Traditional Christmas songs.  I’m going to give those top ten songs below, with a brief intro by John, himself, and with an accompanying video if possible.  The names are also Amazon links in case you’d like to buy them.  Enjoy John’s Top Ten Non-Traditional Christmas Songs!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bring your teen to B.E.A.T.S. a Christmas party by a great crowd

One of my favorite verses on parenting, and you’ve seen it here before, is Luke 2:52.  It’s the last verse of Jesus’s childhood, and it says this:

“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, in favor with God and man.”  

From a parenting standpoint, we are to do our part in growing our kids “in wisdom” (intellectually), “and stature” (physically), “in favor with God” (spiritually) “and man” (socially).  Like four legs of a chair, if one "leg" is broken, the chair cannot stand, no matter how robust the others are.

Most parents spend their hard-earned money on the best schools so that their kids will grow intellectually.  All my kids are also bookworms, because my wife and I have read to them when they were young.  They can devour books hundreds of pages thick in a mere day.

I’m disappointed that not every home does this, but we in the house eat lots of veggies and make it a point to train our kids to do so as well, so that they will be grow physically.  They also come from a long line of good athletes, and so they participate in sports to build strength and discipline (particularly my eldest and my youngest, both are excellent soccer players).

I also hope that parents are successful in teaching their kids about manners, being kind to others (especially the needy), and to be responsible, so that they can grow socially.  I’m glad that the school I bring my kids to has something called “practical life” to teach these to the students.

But how about growing our kids spiritually?  How do we do that?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Guys, Manny’s faith was not responsible for his loss…or was it?

I’m not supposed to be blogging.  I’m supposed to be checking my students’ essay-based literature exams, which will take me all night.  But something about our reaction to Manny Pacquiao’s loss keeps me from working properly, and I need to express it here on Lessons Of A Dad before I go back to my work.

I’ll let a former student’s Facebook status update tell you what irks me:

“I love how Filipinos always find something to blame…The reason why Pacquiao lost is because he stopped being a Catholic and stuff about God. Really, man. Really.”

I’m sure there’ll be comments like what she’s calling out, and my knee jerk reaction was, “Manny’s new-found love for God is in no way responsible for his loss.”  

But then, as I reflect further, maybe God, indeed, was responsible.  Let me explain.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Books that all teens (and their parents) should read

Teaching young teens is what I do for a living.  I’m a high school teacher by profession, teaching in a small private Montessori school in Cagayan de Oro City.  Being in such a small school, teaching in The Abba’s Orchard allows me to not only teach the ABC’s (you wouldn’t want me to teach the 123’s), but it also allows teachers like us to make a big impact in their young lives, an impact a teacher in a traditional school can only dream of having.

On this note, I have come up with a selection of books that all teens (and their parents) should read.  Some of these books I’ve recommended on this blog before, and it can’t hurt that I recommend them again.  However, I now strongly suggest that parents of teens should also read these books, so that they can mentor (key word: mentor…not force or coerce) their teen in walking the right path.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A very cool student-made shadow play

Below is a very cool student-made shadow play, shown in the latest Foundation Day of The Abba's Orchard School, an awesome Montessori school I work for and where my kids go to.  The Foundation Day's theme was One For Africa, and this shadow play was done by the Erdkinder (high school) group, which is where I work (and where my eldest daughter is a grade 7 student).

Note again that this beautiful project is 100% student-made.  It was conceptualized by students, choreographed by students, and executed by students.  All we teachers did was to encourage.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thank you, Zig Ziglar! RIP

I heard the sad news yesterday morning, but I wasn't able to make a blog entry about it because it was a very busy day at work.  I'll make my tribute now, better late than never.

We lost another beloved author in 2012.  First, we lost 7 Habits' Stephen Covey; yesterday, we lost one of the greatest motivational speakers and authors in Zig Ziglar, who died yesterday at age 86.

I have two of his books at home, and I remember that my dad considered his greatest work, See you at the top, as life-changing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The White Hat and Bettina open in CdeO’s Centrio mall

If you know me personally, you’d know that I’m quite the health nut, and one of my greatest frustrations when going out is finding a snack that would pass my standards when it comes to being both healthy and delicious.  Furthermore, I have 3 kids and a wife, all who won’t mind the bad stuff unless I give them a better alternative (and, truth be told, I have my own lapses as well).

Well, last Sunday saw the opening of a rare find, indeed: a place that I actually can recommend to those who have similar viewpoints as I do; a place where I can take my family and feel good that they’re snacking on wholesome food.

That place is Cagayan de Oro’s first branch of The White Hat, a frozen yogurt place, located on the first floor of the new Ayala Centrio mall.  

If you’re thinking, “Another frozen yogurt place, big deal!” then allow me to correct you.

That's why it's so good!
Most places of this type use the cheap powdered stuff, which lowers cost but makes poor quality yogurt.  The White Hat uses only real dairy.  Yup, real milk turned into real yogurt….and that makes all the difference.

All you need to do is taste it.  It is creamier, yummier, and healthier.  Real dairy, from real Philippine cows, makes for a really good yogurt experience!   Why is real yogurt so good for you?  Well, all the nutritious food and supplements you ingest mean nothing if you don’t have a healthy stomach to digest it with.  Your stomach needs beneficial bacteria, and real yogurt has lots of it.  You can also check out this article on the many health benefits of yogurt.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My kids in their Montessori school’s Foundation Day dress rehersal

One of the things that keeps me busy as of late is the Abba's Orchard School's Foundation Day, which is already coming this Saturday. 

 It's both nerve-wracking as a teacher of the Erdkinder (high school) program, and I hope and pray that my students perform well; and as a parent of 3 kids, as I hope they do awesome in their respective performances.

Please pray for me and my kids. Pray for the weather (this would be done outdoors) and pray for everything to go smoothly. We just had our dress rehearsal last night, and so allow me to post a few pics of my kids in their costumes. Again, prayers appreciated.

My eldest, Lynn, with my youngest, Happy

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Conflicts in marriage are a given, use them to strengthen your relationship

I remember a conversation I had with a teen several years ago; this young person’s bitter voice still rings in my ears to this day.  This is what he said:

“If only my parents have gone to this church, they would not have separated.”

He said so because the church where my family worships in (and where the teen attended youth) is known for its great advocacy for the family, particularly our parenting seminars and marriage retreats.

My wife and I have attended several of these retreats (our most recent undertaking was so successful it had to be done 3 times, selling out each time), and one of the lessons that always sticks out is that conflicts in marriage are a given, but if managed properly, they can actually strengthen marriage and family life.

You got that right.  Conflicts can be a marriage strengthener.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Have you seen The Hobbit inspired airline safety video yet?

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the very awesome Air New Zealand flight safety video, inspired by the upcoming The Hobbit film:


Such a great idea this is! Whoever thought of this should get a promotion five times over! This leaves me with two questions:

 1) What other sci-fi, fantasy, or fiction would make a great airline safety video like this? 

 2) For Filipino readers, the same question applies but for our local shows (Can you imagine a Darna version of this? Haha)

I’d love to see your comments.

I’m sure this Hobbit inspired airline safety video would not be the last of its kind.  Others would jump in the bandwagon.  I can’t wait to see them.

 Oh, and if you think my hiatus is over, sorry, but not yet. Soon, but not yet.

(This blog site, Lessons Of A Dad is mostly about parentingmarriage, and other topics aimed to develop the reader’s mind, body, and soul.  I’d consider it an honor if you’d follow or subscribe to this site.  You can also go to my Facebook page here, and I’m also on Twitter at @lessonsofadad)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My family should be a top priority, and so Lessons Of A Dad will take a hiatus

You may be wondering why I haven’t been busy up in here much lately, so I’ll use this article to make it official: I’m going to have to take a hiatus from blogging and even from online life in general for a while.  I don’t know exactly how long, but I hope you understand why.

Part of the reason why I decided to do so is because of a message by one of my favorite speakers, Andy Stanley.  He was visited by Focus On The Family and they had a fantastic talk called Setting Your Family as the Highest Priority.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Lifeshapers assemble! Let’s give the kids another great time in church!!

To my awesome and supremely talented Lifeshaper team, it is our turn to once again host Kids’ Church this coming Sunday!  Let’s put our best foot forward and make sure our kids have so much fun they don’t wanna leave church! 

For those of you who live in the Philippines, I would like to invite you to visit any CCF church (I go to CCF-Cagayan de Oro) and have your children experience what a church should be: learning about God’s love and having a wonderful time doing so! 

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, let me explain.

A Lifeshaper is a volunteer in CCF’s Children’s Ministry (AKA Kids’ Church).  We train and work mighty hard to give the absolute best church experience to your child.  We do so through an entertaining variety show format that includes skits (my team tends to put extra hilarity in these), games, action songs, Bible memory drills, and other ways to make learning about God unforgettable.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Surprise! Coffee can actually be very good for you.

I used to demonize coffee, and now I am thinking that my judgment of the popular drink was unfair.  Indeed, drinking coffee can be good for you.  Who knew?

You see, I am quite the health freak (an unfair tag, there’s nothing freaky about being healthy), especially during my younger days.  Back then, I’d be pretty vocal about coffee being a no-no as it was addictive and that there’s nothing beneficial about it.

While I still think that you should be wary of imbibing substances that could cause addiction, I have learned, through this awesome article, that coffee is a chock full of benefits that are now too numerous and too solid to ignore.  I’m now not only convinced that drinking coffee (in moderation) is not bad for you, but not drinking it could actually cause you to miss out on some great benefits.  Wow, that’s a big step in the opposite direction.

There are some guidelines you need to follow to get the benefits of coffee, but before I say those, I’d like to give you a quick list on what coffee does for our benefit, according to the article.

Drinking coffee:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This weekend, start on the road to Financial Freedom and gain a Heart of A Champion

This Saturday will be a huge day in enhancing people’s lives in Cagayan de Oro.  I will talk about two events, the first one is for us grown-ups, and the second is for teenagers.

Okay, first of all: How is your relationship with your wallet?  When you think about your finances, do you smile, or do you cry? 

If you’re often having an out-of-money experience, and you feel the need to manage your cash better, then you’re in luck: a FREE seminar (yup, that’s not a typo, it’s free) on managing money.  It would be given by a fantastic speaker in Rito “Bong” Saguing, Jr. who was very into fishing for lots and lots of cash in the business world before God called him to fish for something else.

If you believe that the Bible says money is the root of all evil, you’re mistaken.  If it was, then why did God bless so many great men of His with great wealth?  Here are just a few examples:
  • He blessed Isaac with great wealth even in famine:  "Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him."  (Gen. 26:12)
  • He blessed Joseph to be, in the greatest power of the ancient world, 2nd only to Pharaoh: "Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou." (Gen. 41:40)
  • Solomon was easily in Bill Gates' territory when it comes to wealth:  "God said to Solomon, Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee, and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there be any after thee have the like." (2 Chron. 1:12)  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I do not want to go to Japan anymore. These people are crazy!

Prepare to laugh…REALLY HARD.  But first let me give you the background behind why I said what I said in the title.

This week was really hell week for me, as it’s the ending of the first trimester in the school I work for and so we in the faculty made a mad scramble to get all the requirements in.  This is where teaching can be hazardous to your health, as there were lots of sleepless nights and aneurism-inducing frustrations (and I had a huge serving of both).

One night, while the whole high school faculty was still in the school 9pm in the evening, we really, desperately, needed to de-stress.  Luckily (and awesomely), a co-worker introduced all of us to the hilariously mean world of Japanese prank shows.

Allow me to share with you some of these videos.  I laughed so hard that tears streamed down my face.  My gosh, I hope Japanese tourism has not been too adversely affected by these things, because I, myself, do not want to go to Japan anymore.  These people are crazy!!

The first video is my personal favorite.  While Mission I is sure to get you laughing; it’s Mission II, the second half of the video, that will make you howl with laughter.  My gosh, this is so mean!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lessons Of A Dad is a finalist in the GOODBlog awards. Very cool!

Hi everyone!  This is supposed to be a no-blog night (actually, a no-blog WEEK due to the sheer busyness of things) and I'm painfully behind my pending work.  However, I received some very good news and I'd like to share that with you.  Drum roll please…

Lessons Of A Dad is a finalist in the GOODBlog awards.  Very cool!  Very cool, indeed!!

I have my fingers crossed on this one.  The winners will be announced on Pinoy Blogfest 3.0, the awesome annual event hosted by Gadgets Magazine. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why does God allow pain and suffering?

One of the students in the school I work for, a member of the championship-winning varsity soccer team, smashed into his teammate so hard that his two teeth have been permanently damaged (they’re basically dead, and he’ll have to be out of action as the rest of the team goes to an all-expenses paid trip to Manila to represent Mindanao. 

On the ride to the hospital, in great pain he, being active in youth ministry, would often ask why God allowed this to happen to him despite him being so faithful and so excellent for Him.

Although I haven’t been told personally, I suspect that a friend of mine has left her callous and abusive husband after several years of (a rocky) marriage.  My friend is also a person of faith (I really wanted them to come to my church, especially during this rocky time and before it was too late) but even then, the marriage did not work out.

Lastly, yesterday was September 11, and that day will forever go down in infamy as hundreds of people, innocent people, lost their lives in horrible acts of terror that shook the world.  Why did all of these innocent people have to die?

In devastating times like these, we are forced to ask God why He allows these terrible things to happen. 

To answer that question, here’s Randy Alcorn, theologian and author extraordinaire (author of If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil) as he sits down with Focus on the Family and excellently answers this very tough question in the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy.  Enjoy

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How the husbands in strong married couples show love to their wives

Marriages seem to be struggling today more than ever.  The divorce and separation rates are skyrocketing all over the world; and the cynic in me feels like it’s gotten to the point where a good marriage (like, married couples who stay longer than 10 years) is as rare as gold, and “suffering” and “game over” jokes have been connected to the married life.

Some of my friends don’t believe in marriage anymore, but I think that’s wrong thinking.  Just because you’ve experienced a bad haircut doesn’t mean you no longer believe in haircuts.  Instead, you look for a good barber.

Since my blog is directed more towards the men (I hope the majority of the my readership is composed of fathers and husbands like me), allow me to show you how the husbands in strong married couples show love to their wives by showing below yet another Focus on the Family broadcast.  It’s called Practical Ideas for Loving Your Wife, enjoy.

Indeed we can be huge knuckleheads sometimes and be so consumed with work deadlines, sports, hobbies, even ministry to the point that our marriage and family lives slip under the radar.  So not cool.

Monday, August 20, 2012

AKA Jam vs. Daddy’s Home for the bottom two of X Factor Philippines??? SERIOUSLY???????

Tell me this is a bad dream.  There must’ve been some mistake.

Seriously, I can’t believe what I have just seen.  The two best performers in The X Factor Philippines had to fight to survive elimination tonight.  AKA Jam and Daddy’s Home in the bottom two?  And AKA Jam was eliminated?  Seriously?  SERIOUSLY?? 

They are two of the very best in the show!  Not in a million years would I imagine either AKA Jam or Daddy’s Home anywhere near the bottom two this early in the game.  Heck, if you ask me they should be going at it in the Finals (or at least one of them against KZ). 

In fact, when they sang their survival songs, it really felt like it was the finals of the show.  They were so much better than the guys who got in.  I mean, really, what’s Kedebon still doing in the show?  Allen didn’t have her best night either, and neither did that young guy in Martin’s team (sorry, forgot the name; he never struck me as super impressive so I never bothered to learn it)

After watching such a controversial decision, I can only think of two scenarios:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I just LOVE the new CCF 28th anniversary teasers…I can’t wait for the conclusions

Christ's Commission Fellowship (CCF for short), the network of churches that I go to (CCF-Cagayan de Oro being the one I attend) is going to celebrate it's 28th anniversary later this month.

They often come up with a special Sunday for this event, and also put up very cool video teasers to whet our appetites.  Here are the first two of those teasers, and I especially like the 1st one.

Man, can't you just wait till the conclusion of both videos will be revealed on August 26th?  Arrrgghhh!!  I can't wait to see what would happen next.

I'd like to invite all of you to find out with us.  CCF-Cagayan de Oro (and all CCF churches across the Philippines) will connect with the main CCF in Manila via livestream.  Our senior pastor, Peter Tan-Chi, is one of the best Christian speakers in the country (and probably THE best parenting speaker) and he will give the anniversary message, not to mention telling us the conclusion of these two stories.

We are located right across the street from the Mallberry entrance, and our worship services are on 8am, 10 am, and 12nn.  Peter Tan-Chi will speak in all 3 services.  (If you ask me, it's best to come at either the 8am or the 12nn, because the 10am service is FULL)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Check me out on Plain Haven

Hey guys, check me out on the Plain Haven blog!

The nice couple who run the above blog site featured me among the handful of bloggers in: 8 Influencial Filipino Bloggers Disclose How They Find Peace and Quiet Every Day.

Thank you Raymund and Denielle.  It was an honor and a pleasure to have been asked to your article.  

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective

One of the most passionate and dynamic speakers (and therefore one of my favorites) in the Christian world is Francis Chan.  I’ve written a post about him last year, and it’s high time I include another video of him now. 

I recently spoke in my church’s youth group last weekend, and at around the beginning of my talk, I showed them this powerful Francis Chan video clip on how God answers prayer so powerfully.  Check it out and be wowed.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Manila is flooded, and here’s how you (and we, Mindanaoans) can help

It’s like Typhoon Ondoy all over again, with much of Manila totally flooded leaving thousands homeless. 

Our own struggle with Typhoon Sendong is still vivid in our minds, and a huge part of that vivid memory is how Manila has swiftly rushed to our aid in our darkest days. 

It is only right that we give back.

Pic by @likke

Monday, August 6, 2012

If you’re a parent of grade school children and you live in the Philippines, you might wanna read this post.

My body is exhausted, my voice is hoarse, I’m dehydrated, and I’m extremely sleep deprived…but it’s all for something wonderful, and if you’re a parent of grade school children and you live in the Philippines, you might wanna read this post.

I showed the following video to you earlier this year, but I’d like to invite you to take a look at it again because it’s related to the rest of my post.  It’s a video of a wonderful kids event called Main Street that I took part in earlier this year.  Pls see it in its entirety before you read the rest of my post.

Since then, NxtGen, the Children’s Ministry of the church I go to, CCF-Cagayan de Oro, has really taken off (as well as all the CCF churches in the Philippines, which I will explain later).  The reason why I showed you the above video is because I believe that the kids who go to said church now are lucky recipients of that kind of quality—and ridiculously fun—experience  every Sunday.

Can you imagine if your child gets this kind of format every Sunday when he or she goes to church?  I don’t know in your church, but in most of the churches this country, the kids are dragged to the house of worship where they are bored silly and don’t learn much anything.  Even worse, the child would then equate going to church with tedium and boredom.  I’ve seen it way too many times.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Women of Worth – a safe haven for single mothers in CDO

It’s an interesting coincidence (or is there divine power at work?).  In the short amount of time since I made my “Traits of real men” article, I had very long Facebook chat conversations with three single mom friends of mine.

In each of these convos, I truly felt their pain through their keyboards.  My heart ached for them as they retold accounts of physical and emotional abuse; of the lies and the infidelity; of their struggles in doing twice the work with only half the resources; and, among lots of other things, their great loneliness and their fears of becoming a less desirable catch because of the baggage that they carry (emotional and, with kids in tow, physical).

If you’re expecting from this article a list or some tips on how to cope as a single mother, I’m sorry, but nope, because I will not serve you well if I try.  However, if you’re a single mother from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, I’m going to do one better.

While you have the daunting task of raising your child(ren) on your own, you don’t have to face the trials of single motherhood on your own.  My church, CCF-Cagayan de Oro, has a great support group for single mothers.  It’s called Women of Worth (or WOW for short).

WOW offers a safe and compassionate environment for single moms to have fun, unwind, relate, and most importantly, grow to become the Woman of Worth that God has made you to be.  They meet every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month…and that means they’ll meet tomorrow.

My apologies for posting this blog just today, less than 24 hours from the time they’ll meet for this month.  I got the idea to make this post from last night’s conversation with the third friend from the above-mentioned single mother trio, a long conversation where I eventually suggested she join WOW (the other two are not based in CDO, so the thought never crossed my mind).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My reflections on the Colorado movie premiere shooting incident: a slippery slope, yet there is hope

I was, and still am, excited to finally watch Batman: The Dark Knight Rises this weekend.  To celebrate the occasion, I was gonna post my all-time favorite Batman movie spoof in the hopes of getting a good laugh out of the two or three Batman fans out there who have not seen it yet.

But then I heard the shocking news when a gunman armed to the teeth opened fire in a Colorado movie theater during the midnight premiere of said movie, killing 14 people and injuring dozens others.  There goes the Batman spoof post…no way can I post that after what had just happened.

As I read the news, I was overwhelmed with such anger and grief.  It blows my mind how someone could be capable of doing such a barbarically evil deed.

As a shell-shocked dad blogger trying to process what just happened, my reflections on the Colorado movie premier shooting incident drifted to two main ideas, which are basically: “a slippery slope, yet there is hope.”

For the slippery slope part, allow me to show you snapshots from a video teaching module that I have, made quite a long time ago, which cited a USA Today article comparing the biggest problems in US public schools in the 1940’s with the same in the 1980’s.

So, here’s the problems schools had to deal with in the 1940’s:

Now, here’s what schools had to deal with in the 1980’s, just 40 years later:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Young ladies of high school or college age, learn to be His Girl

JZone, being a great youth group in the business of changing young lives, has a great event for high school and college age girls, called Becoming His Girl
Our mentors: Doc Allan and ate Blessie Melicor

Indeed, young girls today are under such ridiculous pressure to conform, to look a certain way, and to prematurely give their hearts away to some guy (partly in infatuation, partly because their friends are also doing so), and surely they need wisdom to put all this in perspective.

Here’s the perspective: bottom line, there’s only One Person you should aim to please, One Person who you ultimately give your heart to.  Young ladies, strive, ultimately, to be His Girl.

The special guest who will guide our young ladies to be His Girl is Blessie Melicor.  She’s a very lovely woman who serves as a mentor to my wife and to so many other ladies in our church, CCF-CDO.  My wife (and I) look up to her greatly, and definitely JZone couldn’t have picked a better resource speaker for Becoming His Girl. 

So, if you have college or high school aged young ladies in your house or in your acquaintance, please do make sure they come to CCF-CDO this Friday for JZone's event.  It’s a fantastic community for young people, including young girls, to grow in friendships and to grow in the Lord.

My daughter, Lynn, LOVES the JZone community, and I’m so blessed how she’s being discipled by so many wonderful “kuyas” and “ates”.  When so many young people are so passionate for God, I can’t help but smile and have my eyes tear up. 

Thank you for the ‘7 Habits’ Stephen Covey. RIP

Thank you, Mr. Covey.  Thank you for your wisdom
This was supposed to be a no-blog day, since my workload is crazy heavy (not to mention I’m in the kitchen crew this week) and I have to prepare lessons, talks, and whatnot.  But what I saw in the news shocked and saddened me to the core; so much so that I had to drop everything and write a post.

Steven Covey, author of the granddaddy of self-help books, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has died at the age of 79.  He didn’t die of a lifestyle disease or anything like that.  He died from complications of a bicycle accident.  He was active, and highly effective, to the very end.

This amazing man’s work has touched millions of lives, including mine and so many of my friends’.  Simply put, he made our lives better.  He made us better people.

Not only have our personal lives have been touched by his work, but his influence even extends to my professional and ministry life.

Some of the best messages at church (and our church’s retreats) were based on the 7 Habits that Mr. Covey espoused, as well as a later book, The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Traits of real men, and they’re getting rare nowadays

 One of the funniest and most popular status messages on my Facebook timeline is actually Biblical advice geared towards single young ladies.  It goes something like this:

"To all the girls who are in a hurry to have a boyfriend or get married, a piece of Biblical advice: ‘Ruth patiently waited for her mate Boaz.’ While you are waiting on YOUR Boaz, don’t settle for any of his relatives; Broke-az, Po-az, Lyin-az, Cheating-az, Dumb-az, Drunk-az, Cheap-az, Lockedup-az, Goodfornothing-az, Lazy-az, and especially his third cousin Beatinyo-az. Wait on your Boaz and make sure he respects Yoaz."

I don’t care who you are, that’s funny!  But at the same time, it’s also a bit serious, and not just to the ladies, but to the men. 

This was further emphasized when a former student of mine, who just entered his first weeks of college, came back to the school to visit.  I’m honored that he sees me as more than a mere teacher, but as a personal mentor, and he tells me everything from ambitions to fears to observations to secrets.  This is what he said after he experienced his first week of college life:

“You know, Mr. Carlo, the guys in my class talk about what being a man is, and for them it’s about the ability to drink lots of alcohol and stuff like that.  I wanna show them what real manhood is…based on what the Bible says.”

I can’t get the words exactly right, but that’s the basics of what he said.  While I was proud of him that he said so (influencing the character of young people: one reason I love my job, hehe), I felt sad that there are so few guys like that and they’re getting fewer all the time.  While I’m confident he can successfully go against the flow, it’s a pretty big flow….like, Amazon river flow.   

Monday, July 9, 2012

RIP Ernest Borgnine. Now I GOTTA play some Airwolf favorite scenes

It's a sad day for those of us boys who grew up in the 80's.  Ernest Borgnine, one of the stars of my favorite 80's TV show, Airwolf, died of renal failure at the ripe old age of 95.  Truly, a part of my childhood died with his death.  Long live Dominic Santini!

Since I'm home, sick, and have time to kill, I went on a nostalgic Airwolf Youtube rampage.  Allow me to bring you to a trip back memory lane and show you the unforgettable Airwolf intro as well as some of the favorite scenes I found there in Youtube.

The awesome Airwolf intro

What is your opinion on angry and offensive Facebook status messages?

Really?  It's that simple?
Have you or any of your friends been guilty of venting or saying something very negative on your Facebook status updates in the heat of anger?  A lot of us are guilty of doing so, and the results to these very powerful posts vary from sympathy, to shock, to criticisms, to even being unfriended by people.

How do you feel about this topic?  Can you rationalize it by arguing that people have the right to say whatever they want (hey, it’s a free country; and Facebook is free, too)?  Or do you belong to the camp that asks the angry FB users to think twice before posting their gripes for all to see?

Before I tell you which side I’m on, I would like to implore you to watch another video clip from Dr. Wayne Cordeiro’s excellent talk, Dead Leader Running.  It talks about an excellent principle called “Find A Lightning Rod.”  This principle will help our lives (real or cyberspace) immensely, and it very excellently introduces my opinion on the subject.

Enjoy the video, which is based on a church leaders' summit a few years ago.  Please don’t read any further until you see the video in its entirety.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Suffering from burnout? Time management problems? Fill your tank!!

I don’t think I have any vices as you’d describe vices to be.  I don’t smoke or drink alcohol, my diet is quite good, and I have a daily exercise routine.  However, if I do have a vice, it’s this: I have this tendency to over commit.  Well, I dunno if it’s my fault, but, man, I just realize I truly have a lot on my plate.

And so this blog entry is for those of us who juggle through so many responsibilities and wear too many hats to the point that we fry ourselves.  How do we avoid burnout?  What time management skills can we use so that we can still excel even if the demands on our time are so high?

Maybe you can relate to one of my favorite speakers and authors, Dr. Wayne Cordeiro, author of the bestseller Leading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion.  He suffered from incredible burnout.  It was so bad that he was warned that if he doesn’t change his Mach 4 schedule, he’d never be productive again.  See his video here, an excerpt from his excellent Dead Leader Running talk:

Yeah, I can relate.  A co-worker and close friend calls me “the juggler” because of all the hats that I have to wear, from senior teacher, to husband, to parent, to active church member, to blogger.  Mach 4 schedule?  Yep. 

If you can relate as well, then I suggest you take a hard look at the tips Dr. Cordeiro presents in Leading On Empty.  The book is gold..  It would give you tips on how to bring joy back in your work, improve time management, and avoid burnout. 

There’s a smorgasbord of helpful lessons in Leading on Empty.  Here’s one that Dr. Wayne Cordeiro give in the same talk: Do What Fills Your Tank.  Check the excellent vid below:

Monday, July 2, 2012

HILARIOUS imitations of Martin Nievera and Gary V!!

After being blown away by Osang’s awesome audition in The X Factor, Philippines (click here to see my article on that), I still stayed up and watched the Icons at the MOA Arena Concert.  I thought it was a fantastic night of song, but one of my favorite parts was the hilarious imitations of Filipino singing superstars Martin Nievera and Gary V., done in a funny segment by renowned comedians Jose, Wally, and Pokwang.

I’m a huge fan of both singers, and the imiations were the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time.  I don’t know if both Gary V. and Martin Nivera should be proud or pissed.  I’m sure they were good sports.

Anyway, the video…and if you’re familiar with both Martin and Gary, prepare to laugh…HARD.

Awesome Osang rocks X Factor Philippines

I don’t watch too much TV, but the show that I try very hard not to miss is X Factor Philippines…and last night’s episode was a doozy.  There were so many great performances, but the best one of the night was definitely Jeffrey “Osang” Soliven.  Whoa, that ridiculously talented gay man had all of us fooled…and he tore down the house!  Check out the video of Osang’s X Factor Philippines (update: a better video quality, yay!!).  Martin Nievera’s shocked look is gold!!

Honestly, when he came out (unintended pun, I assure you!) I was expecting some Diana Ross or Donna Summer number.  You know, the stereotypical drag fare.  Then BAM, Osang belted out a rockin’ heavy metal screamer…and all our jaws hit the floor.  After the judges heaped praised, the crowed clamored for another song, the Shaggy classic you saw in the video (and I love Bombastic).

Seriously, the two songs from the dude who looks like a lady (that’s an intended Aerosmith pun) had more testosterone and more swag than all the other male performances put together.  It’s nuts!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’d probably know my views and you’d deduce my stand when it comes to the gay issues and all that.  But, that still won’t make me stop praising talent when I see it, and I definitely saw it in Jeffrey “Osang” Soliven.  He’s definitely one of my favorites, if not THE favorite, among the many great performers I’ve seen in X Factor Philippines so far. 

Were you as fooled, and as blown away as I was?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy Blogiversary to me!

Two weeks ago, Lessons of a Dad turned one year old!  Happy blogiversary to meeeeee!  It’s been a fun, and occasionally frustrating, ride to be sure.

I remember, back last June 2011, I was totally unsure if I should actually pursue this blogging pet project of mine.  12 months and over 40,000 page visits later, I’m glad I did.
In the course of 12 months, I’ve not only written articles (some passionately, others out of “oh my gosh I need to update with something!”); I’ve also survived the not-so-exciting parts of being a blogger, like putting my name (and my mug) on all sorts of blog directories, burned the candle on both ends researching how to let everyone know about this blog, signed up for social media galore (facebook fan page, twitter, klout, stumbleupon, alexa) and the list goes on. 

I’ve met some wonderful people along the way, from the local blogging community, to kindred spirits who are passionate about the same things,and  to those from across the globe who take the time to comment.

Rather unexpectedly, Lessons Of A Dad has also won an award in its first year, the Philippine Blog Awards 2011 Best Lifestyle Blog for Mindanao (I was also a finalist in the Parenting Category in the National Level).  I was, and still am, blown away that people thought this blog is actually good.  Thank you.  Oh, and will lightning strike twice?  Wasn’t expecting it the first time, so why not?

However, the highest of highs was when this blog made a difference somehow.  For example, a family friend based in America showed my Sendong article to his social club and was able to get hundreds of dollars of donations as a result.  Another instance saw a young, newly married couple coming to my church’s The Story Of Us couples’ retreat because of my blog entry about it.  That couple was tremendously blessed.

Well, so far so good; and I am looking forward to an even more fruitful 2nd year as a blogger.  Granted, this year I actually have a lot less time to blog, so I hope I make good in my promise to deliver a better Lessons Of A Dad for you.  I’m also seriously considering starting another blog, and I’ll update you how that goes.

God bless you all.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Remembering Michael Jackson…long live the King

It’s been three years to this day since the shocking death of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. 

Where were you when he died? 

Me?   I was just walking up the stairs of the school that I work in.  As soon as I entered the classroom, students were doing the moonwalk and all of MJ’s mannerisms.  I was like, “What’s going on?”

Then they told me the news…and my jaw hit the floor.

Well, in honor of the greatest entertainer of all time, I’m going to list down my favorite 10 favorite songs of his.  Long live the King.

10.  I just can't stop loving you

Friday, June 22, 2012

Except from a Tebow article I’d like to share

This was a photo going around on Facebook, and I liked it so much I want to share here.  Of course, it’s no longer current news, but I’d like to share it as an example for those of us who believe in Jesus to follow.

 As for me, earlier in the history of this blog, I told myself I won’t be so open about my faith in Christ so that I can get a wider audience of parents.  I don’t think that became the case, and it surely will be even less so as my blog enters its 2nd year of existence.  I’ve decided to be a lot more open about my faith here in Lessons of a Dad, for the same reasons that Tebow is so open with his.

My relationship with Christ is also the most important thing in my life, even above my wife and kids.  Shame on me if I don’t declare that here…or anywhere.

So, if you have a similar faith but are scared to share it, I feel ya.  I was, and in a large part still am, scared to get that “Jesus freak” label from others.  Maybe you felt like this guy:

Here’s two books that could help you in your plight (one of them co-authored by Fireproof star Kirk Cameron):

God bless you all! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Inspiring dad stories for Father’s Day

Ok, my message in yesterday’s pre-Father’s Day article (click here to see it) was a bit strong, but surely it had  to be said.  There’s a huge epidemic of fatherlessness and deadbeat dads nowadays, and it is my hope that somehow, the tide can be turned.

My favorite scene from the movie Courageous is the last scene, where the main character gives a testimony of his journey of fatherhood and challenges the other men in the building to not just settle for being a “good enough” dad, but only settle for the best father they could be.  May we all father like this guy did (btw, there’s a spoiler in there):

If you haven’t seen the movie or bought the DVD yet, I strongly suggest you do so.  EVERY dad should see Courageous.  It’s one of the most convicting movies I’ve seen since, well, Fireproof.

Now then, since my pre Father’s Day blog was a bit on the strong side, for Father’s Day itself I’ll post something inspirational.  Below is a radio broadcast of Focus On The Family, where the hosts recall their favorite listener-submitted stories of their appreciation for dads.  Enjoy…and be inspired to be the best dads you can be!
You may want to check out the books below, as they were listed as the resources for that broadcast.


You can also check out other books I recommend for dads. Happy Father’s Day, everyone!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Few things are as devestating as faulty fathering

Every boy needs a dad
Father’s Day is coming up soon, and I’d like to quote a small part of a fantastic, albeit a bit strong, blog entry from Act Like A Man:

“Fathers especially have dropped the ball; America leads the industrialized world in fatherlessness. Forty percent of all children in America are born to single mothers; that rate is 50% for mothers under 30, and 70% for African-Americans. While moms are great at giving unconditional love regardless of their child’s performance, dads motivate sons to try harder, not to give up, to work for success. But even for those with dads, the average school-age boy in America spends half an hour a week in one-to-one conversation with his father. Compare that with an average of 44 hours a week spent in front of a television or computer screen.

“Without better male role models in real life, guys become confused about what constitutes acceptable male behavior. They don’t recognize the images presented in video games, movies, television, and porn as caricatures.”

You can read the rest of the blog entry here.  You can also check out the excellent book Fatherless Generation: Redeeming the Story by John Bowers to find out how we can heal from this epidemic.

I agree with another Filipino Christian Blogger who quoted the above blog entry, The Living Rice, that this is also a wake-up call for Filipino fathers.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Independence day, Philippines!! Here’s the PINOY PRIDE assignment I gave my students

Earlier, I junked my lesson plan of the day to give my students this seatwork assignment as it was the day before the Independence Day holiday.

I got a lot of interesting results from them, and I’d like to paraphrase some of their answers here as well as put some I thought up myself, in my own list of 10.

1.     Natural scenery and resources.  Our beaches here are so beautiful and renowned worldwide as some of the world’s best.  Our mountains are also a wonder to behold.  Many of these become very popular tourist attractions.  I wish more people would travel here to experience the Philippine’s natural beauty.

2.    Strong family orientation.  I absolutely love how family oriented Filipinos are.  Foreigners who visit here often say how they wish their own children would treat them with the same respect and reverence as Filipino children do their parents.  The strong social ties also make sure that families cope well, and even thrive, amidst strife.

My wish list for Father’s Day gifts

I’m not usually a materialistic guy.  I can be content on very little.  However, Father’s Day is coming up, and so humor me for a second while I throw my non-avaricious hat out the window and come up with some of my favorite “I wants” for this special day when gifts for fathers are expected.

It’s also a huge temptation that has some drool worthy Father’s Day goodies on discount.  I feel like a kid in a candy store.  I wouldn’t consider these gifts if it were not for the discounts Amazon gives us dads (or to the people buying gifts for dads) this very special day.

So, do you want to know my wish list for Father’s Day gifts?  Here are some things that get me excited:

Movies and Music

I sooo can't wait
1.     The Avengers.  Okay, okay, The Avengers is not out for home viewing just yet, but the movie absolutely blew me away when I saw it, and so even if someone hooked me to be on the wait-list, I'd be happy.

2.    Lecrae albums like Rehab and Rebel. My favorite Christian rapper of all time.  I'd like to collect his work.  Too bad Cagayan de Oro, Philippines is a bit wanting on the Christian Hip Hop scene, so I’ll have to depend on outside (the country) sources.

3.    Rhema Soul's new album Red This awesome group is what got me into Christian hiphop in the first place.  I’ve heard parts of their newest work and I must say, I’m once again impressed. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

People with great marriages are both healthier and wealthier…and that’s not all.

I came across this awesome infographic from one of the blogs I subscribe to.   It very excellently explains how relationships and marriage affect health, happiness, and finance. 

I’ve always figured that when couples think there’s no more love in the marriage and therefore divorce, it’s more than just the relationships and the children who suffer, but health and money suffers too.

On the flip side, when there’s love in the home, the people living there live strong, healthy, thriving lives.  Indeed, healthy marriages bring about healthier (and wealthier) people…and that's not all!

Here’s the infographic, below:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Nearly 90 kids had the best time of their young lives…and learned about God in the process

DVBS.  Many of you may not know these four letters.  But to nearly 90 kids, nearly 30 volunteers, and not to mention an exhausted yours truly, they’re four letters that would be treasured for years to come.  Below is a video that’ll show you why:

DVBS means Daily Vacation Bible School; and through 5 days of interactive stories, fun games, and action songs, nearly 90 kids had terrific fun…and learned about God in the process.  Traditionally, our church holds these every summer, with a different title and theme each go-round.  This year, it was called MAIN STREET.

The (sometimes harrowing) experience of recruiting volunteers, advertising MAIN STREET to parents in our church, and nitpicking over everything so that the execution is perfect doesn’t compare to the fulfillment that comes with hearing the kids’ shouts of glee and their taking to heart Christ’s love for them.  There’s no greater high than serving God in ministry, and in my case, serving the young people.

Here are my reflections over the last few days:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Should you side with the Philippine Lady Gaga concert protests?

If I wasn’t so loaded with preparations for my church’s DVBS (which is happening TODAY, please pray!!), I’d want to make an article about all the hoopla going around about Lady Gaga’s upcoming Philippine concert being protested by certain groups.

However, I just read this awesome blog article on the subject, made by excellent Victory Christian Fellowship pastor Joseph Bonifacio (who has earned the love and “I do’s” of the stunningly beautiful actress Rica Peralejo, lucky guy), and he said it way better than I ever could.

So, should you side with the Philippine Lady Gaga concert protests?  I suggest you read this article before making your stand.

Click here to read Joseph Bonifacio’s article. 

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