One of my insecurities before was when someone is better than me. For example, if someone is doing better than me in terms of academics, I would always be envious and I will try to outdo that person. If someone is more knowledgeable in terms of playing instruments, I will try to learn how to play better than that person. Or if someone is more bibo than me, I will try to outshine them. And honestly, I didn’t always accomplish the things I tried to do for the sake of competing with people who are better than me. I actually failed most of them! I know there’s nothing wrong with pushing yourself to be excellent and striving to be on top, but I have a different motive in doing what I do back then. But I just thank God that little by little, He broke this “competitive” mindset of mine. Eventually, as I matured more, I realized that these people are not competition but people in whom I could look up to.
But more than an inspiration, I am grateful that God gave me not only people in whom I could look up to but also mentors and leaders who helped me in my walk with God. Some of these people were there from the start of my journey, and some might not even remember me because they’ve reached out so many people. Still, I am thankful that God used these people in my life and are continually making an impact on the people around them.
To Pastor King Lucero and the whole Victory Alabang team (Ate Tina De Vera-Babista, Ate Joanne Bernardo, Ate Danielle Aragon, Ate Denise Aragon, Ate Jo Chris Tayco, Kuya Edrei Canda, Kuya Francis Villanueva, Kuya David Bernardo, Kuya Mike Datu, and Kuya Jemsel Moldez) who reached out to MunSci (2007) through the LIFE Seminar. I really can’t thank you enough for your heart to reach out the youth. I thank God for using you all in my life! You are making and will make ripples and ripples of influence to the people you have reached out and are continuing to reach out today! Thank you (x100)!
To Ate Danielle Aragon and Ate Denise Aragon who were my first mentors from Victory Alabang. Thank you for helping me in establishing my foundations. Your actions speak louder than words and I thank God because He did not only use the words you’ve said to me but also used the way you live your life. I miss you and I hope we get to meet again (with our old Victory group) soon!
To Ate Ariana Pages (-Asuncion!! Naks lapit naa!) whose life is a blessing and a testimony of God’s faithfulness. Thank you for always listening to whatever problems we have and teaching us how to face these problems with a heart full of trust in the Lord. Thank you because you weren’t there to judge the mistakes that we did but instead, you were there to correct us and mold us lovingly. Thank you for never giving up on me inspite of all my long months which I spent “resting and being busy”! Haha! You inspire us every single day!
To Krizia Arce, Patty Rodriguez, and Mariel Rodriguez (hindi yung artista) who has been my accountability partners. Who put up with my moodiness and my inability to laugh at jokes. Thank you also for not giving up on me! Thank you for correcting me every time I make mistakes. Thank you for helping me stand up when I take even the tiniest fall. Thank you for encouraging me all the time and giving me Godly counsel. We might be discouraged with our situations today but I know that in the future, God already provided us the solutions and the answers to the “why’s” and “how’s” of our lives.
(P.S. for Krizia: Ga-graduate din tayo. Mai-interview ka din ng Rappler. God promised a hope and a future for us so no worries!)
(P.S. for Patty: I’m so proud of your journey! Look back and see what you’ve become. And sa mga worries and burdens natin, kain na lang tayo ng patience and understanding everyday. God got this!)
(P.S. For Mariel: Glad I found someone who loves to talk about relevant issues! Thank you for putting up with my love for debate hahaha. Wag na tayo mag-away yay!)
To Ate Elisha Clemente who taught me how to be firm on what I stand on and what I believe in. Thank you for looking out for us even though you are really busy with your career. Thank you for being patient and understanding! Thank you for listening to our problems, worries, and fears. And thank you for always correcting us when we do something that is not pleasing in God’s eyes. I want to be able to have that honesty and firmness that you have everytime you teach us about living our lives the way God wanted us to live. Thank you for not sugarcoating things. Thank you for always telling us lovingly what we need to hear! I learned a lot because of you!
To Ate Thyne Dela Cruz who has a lot of inspiring stories and beautiful illustrations about God every time we talk! The lessons that you shared to us are also the lessons we share to the people around us. Thank you for checking up on us, on me, everytime. Thank you for always being there to clarify things for us whenever we are in doubt of things. Thank you even for being a great mentor in the ministry. Your confidence and excellence inspires me to develop my skills more and to be more passionate in worshipping God!
To Ate Ria Rogel whom I’ve only met for less than half a year but has imparted so much to me in that span of time! You taught me the importance of being attentive even in the smallest details of whatever I do. Thank you for your overflowing wisdom! I know that in the coming years to come, you would share more stories (even the random ones!) which will help us discover more of God’s goodness. I am grateful that God has placed you in my life!
To Kuya David Bernardo and the whole Victory Muntinlupa Youth team (Ate Dhang Carino, Ate Jhoms Navarro, and Kuya Hero Magno) who are really soldout in their calling to reach out for the next generation! Your passion and determination to honor God and make disciples also compells us to do what we can do to connect with them as well. Thank you for teaching us the value of being excellent in all the things we do, especially in the ministry. Thank you for being mindful of us. Your boldness in reaching the youth encourages us to do so as well!
I am inspired by how each one of these people responded to God’s call of reaching out to the next generation. Grateful that God used you in my life! I look forward to growing more under your leadership and running alongside with you in this race of faith. May God bless you more and more each day!
(Written March 24, 2014)