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Sunday, January 28, 2007

aclc and kim nominated for coa awards

{just got word, i am so happy for aclc and kim for having been nominated for the coa awards this year. win or loose, nomination is a wonderful grace from GOD.}

To: coaawards07@yahoogroups.com, coa0607@yahoogroups.com
CC: mdelossantos@ateneo.edu
From: Jo Pua
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2007 02:38:29 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [coa0607] COA AWARDS 2007 FINALISTS

Hi everyone,

On behalf of the Council of Organizations of the Ateneo and the COA Awards team 2007, I am pleased to announce the finalists for COA Awards 2007.

We would like to thank all the organizations who had participated in this activity. We know that there were a number of requirements which were asked from you. hehe :) Thanks again for submitting your entries. The COA EB had a difficult (and long) time judging all the entries. The organizations that participated really exerted all their efforts in completing their application forms and in getting recommendation letters. However, as in any awards program, we had to trim down and screen the applicants.

Here are the Top 5 finalists for the COA Organization of the Year (in Alphabetical order):
Ateneo Celadon (Celadon)
Ateneo Christian Life Community (ACLC)
Ateneo Management Association (AMA)
Ateneo Mathematics Society (AMS)
Company of Ateneo Dancers (CADS)

Here are the Top 7 finalists for the COA Leader of the Year (in Alphabetical Order):
Nill Arroyo (AJMA)
Christian Canlas (AMS)
Michael Chong (MEA)
Kim Ko (ACLC)
Frederic Lipio (Kaingin)
Diane Tan (AMA)
Daphne Uy (Celadon)

Congratulations to all the finalists! We would also like to congratulate and thank all organizations who submitted entries for the COA Org of the Year including: Ateneo LEX, Ateneo Management Engineering Association, Gabay, Kythe, Ateneo Junior Marketing Association, Management Economics Organization, Ateneo Special Education (Speed), Ateneo College Glee Club, Kaingin.

We would also like to ask all the nominees to sign up for an interview schedule. A sign up sheet will be posted in the COA Room by 1 PM tomorrow (January 29, 2006). For presidents of the nominated orgs for the Org of the Year Category, you are required to bring with you two officers (could be current or incoming) for the interview. A total of Three officers and three members per org will be interviewed for the Org of the Year Category. In addition, we will be sending an SMS to you (the president) about the names of the members that we have randomly selected for the interview based on the list that you have provided us. Please inform them (the three members and the two other officers) about the interview slot that you have chosen. First come first serve for the interview slots.

Nominees of the Leader of the Year are also required to schedule an interview with the COA EB (solo lang). Same sign up sheet also at the COA Room:)

For the sake of consistency and fairness, all interviews will be conducted on Saturday FEBRUARY 3 from 1230 PM to 5 PM at SOM 211. We cannot conduct interviews outside that period. The reason for this is because we want to have the same set of interviewers for all organizations in order to be as fair as possible. In addition, the LS Awards Committee is also asking us to send the winners as early as we can.

Again congratulations to all the nominees!

Ad Majorem dei Gloriam!

Jonathan Pua
External Vice President
Council of Organizations of the Ateneo

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

ika'y aking kaibigan

{here is a song that i love from the play "kaharian ng araw." i hope you'll like this one.}

Ika'y aking kaibigan
Ka'y raming pinagsamahan
Ngayon ako'y kailangan
Paano kita, iiwan

Anumang tarik ng bundok
Kasama mo ako sa taluktok
Kung rurok dagat ang siyang alok
Kasama mo akong aarok

Anumang lagim ng bangin
Anumang bangis ng hangin
Malalaglag man ang mga bituin
Makakaasa ka sa akin

Friday, January 12, 2007

urban trials

{this is a little tribute to our foster family and friends during our urban trials last november 2003}

Monday, January 08, 2007

loyola house community picture (jps)

coming out of the water

ACLC Retreat

23 October 2006

Good evening. Let me start my simple sharing with an image -- a fish coming out of the water. Just imagine, a photo, a painting, a captured movie frame, an image of a fish suspended some inches on air above the water. I invite you to take that image with you as we move along.

Studies show that no fish would just jump out of the water for no reasons at all. A fish would jump out of the water for the following reasons: 1. when a fish is in threat like it is being hunted down by its predator or fishermen; 2. when it is being startled or surprised; 3. during events of environmental hazards; and 4. a fish is simply a flying fish that is capable of getting out of the water from time to time. But there were very rare cases recorded that a fish would simply jump out of the water for no logical, rational, and perhaps, if a fish would have one, even psychological reasons. However, for the purpose of my sharing, the fish simply jump for a spiritual reason – just to be with God even just for a while.

My friends, I started out with this information because it speaks so much of what we are doing here right now. We are all coming out of the water. Coming to this retreat is coming out of the water. And I would like to believe our water is our home, our family and friends, our time doing the things we like to do leisurely, like watching movies, going to the beach, attending parties and gigs, playing bridge or basketball, and even perhaps just savoring that tasteful new cake of red ribbon. This is our water. And surely for most of us, leaving our water is not an easy thing to do. It takes much courage and love to do this.

The Gospel for today speaks the opposite of this love and courage. Our Gospel for today is about greed. Jesus said, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Then Jesus narrates a parable about a rich man who invested and invested, rested, ate, drunk, and cheered, without realizing that he can’t bring all of these to heaven. The rich man didn’t value true wealth. The rich man then didn’t come out of his water.

My friends let us realize that when a fish comes out of the water, it can’t breath. It is a new world for the fish. It is like a desert where our water ends. Just like the fish, when we are in retreat, we can’t breathe the way we breathe when we are in our water. It is like a desert for us. As if we are not breathing for five full days. Yet when we stop breathing, when we are in our deserts, we are giving ourselves spaces, spaces to find that inner peace, hope, healing and perhaps truthful discernment and perspective of life.

As many of you are aware of, part of our Jesuit formation is to make the 30 day retreat. Thirty days of silence and prayer, which is the Spiritual Exercises. And part of that retreat was a prayer called, “Mediation of Hell.” We are to meditate the feeling of being in hell. And so our retreat director would ask us to choose a scary and difficult place for us to pray, to really experience hell. Perhaps, for most of us, hell is already being in a classroom. Yet some of my batchmates did this exercise in our cemetery in Sacred Heart at 12 o’clock midnight. Others did it at our piggery with all the dirt and stench. I did this exercise in our showers where it was once a morgue during World War II. The exercise made us feel spiritually poor and hopeless. The exercise choked us. But it was through this experience, this sense of being choked, that we were caressed by God’s loving embrace.

So friends, don’t worry too much. Be open to God’s love and grace during this retreat. And in His own time, he will reveal himself to you -- from the most profound and mysterious events in prayer, to the simplest and effortless routine that we do in this retreat. Just like when a fish jumps out of the water, it will eventually fall back again in the water. And always remember that you are not alone in this retreat. We too, as your Retreat Directors and Quarter Masters, we too jumped out of our water to stop breathing to be with you on your spiritual journey. So don’t worry too much. Just give yourself and it has its own rewards.

Let me end my sharing with a reflection about the fish the jumps out of the water. It is said that a fish that jumps out of the water with no reasons at all is a very rare case, one out of a billion, a phenomenon, a miracle. Again, studies show that 99% percent of these fishes or all of these fishes would never, ever jump again on its own without any valid reasons. Scientists consider this as one of natures’ mysteries. Nevertheless, I believe I know the answer. Perhaps, when such fish jumps and returns back to the water, when someone like you who will undergo spiritual solitude and silence for five long days, going back to the water, going back to your own world, with such longing and grace, things will never ever be the same again.

As we continue to give ourselves to the retreat, let us continually ask the Lord to keep that spirit always alive in our hearts – the spirit of being invited to come out of the water and to be with God even just for a while. Amen.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

my homily for my sister's wedding

Do Whatever He Tells You
(A Wedding Homily for Chris and Cheng)

Before I begin I would like to thank Fr. Edwin for allowing me to give the homily for this matrimonial celebration. It is a rare opportunity to have the permission to give a homily in a wedding, so thank you very much, father.

It is only appropriate that for our gospel reading today, we have the story of a wedding party. Jesus and his friends are guests in the celebration, along with his mother Mary. But suddenly we’re told of a nightmare-come-true for every party host: They run out of drinks. So Mary, ever helpful, decides to come to the rescue. She goes to Jesus and presents the problem to her son. But what does Jesus say to her? Jesus said, “Woman, my hour has not yet come.” Not by any stretch of the imagination does that sound like a “Yes.” But what does Mary do? Instead of walking out of the party in a huff and going home to pout, she stays and instructs the waiters to “do whatever he tells [them].” Her wisdom and patience pay off: Like a good mother, she knows that her son won’t be able to resist helping those in need. We are told that Jesus eventually turns six stone jars of water into wine. Mary, and we imagine the parents of the groom and bride; all have a collective sigh of relief.

Today, as we gather here to witness the sacrament union of Chris and Cheng, we too cannot help but have a collective sigh. Finally, Chris and Cheng will tie the knot this afternoon!

Chris and Cheng first met in a YFC camp at the Spinola Retreat House in 1996. But it was hardly love at first sight. Right Chris? Right Cheng? Both were serving YFC as leaders and they work together to conduct YFC activities in the region. Chris sees Cheng as snobbish, and on the other hand Cheng sees Chris as goody-goody – or so they claim with each other. But as these things go, they met more often when both were studying in the Ateneo, working much closer in YFC, and they remained good friends because of all of these. After two years of discerning, Chris finally decided to make the first move. So the phone calls began. Letters were exchanged. Even oppositions from here and there. And the rest is history.

After ten months of waiting, they decided to go steady in 2000, and they’ve been together for the last six years – except for some complications at times, according to their best estimate, about five months and three days. In those six years, what started out as mere youthful friendship has evolved into something more mature, something stronger – thanks to the years and at times even the tears that both Chris and Cheng have shed in nourishing their relationship.

By this time I’m sure Chris and Cheng have had their share of disillusionments about each other. They certainly already know – all too well! – one another’s fault and frailties. Like for example, Chris often notice how Cheng would walk out on him when they have a fight. And it irritates Cheng how Chris takes much time to decide on things, even in just choosing on what food to order in the menu.

But here they are today before us. They come to this wedding, eyes wide open, in full knowledge and freedom. As they exchange their free consent in our ceremony, they know who each one is saying “I do” to, what each one is saying “Yes” to. When Chris tells Cheng that he takes her as his wife, Cheng responds likewise, well does each one know who and what it is that they are taking: the lovable part, but also the not-so-lovable part; the good and happy times but also the tough and sad times.

For as we all know, even in the best marriages, there comes the time when the honeymoon ends, when Chris and Cheng, like the couple at the weeding banquet in the Gospel, will also run out of wine and will only have water, at times even stale water. And even in the best of life, there come those times experienced by every married couple when even the water in the cup from which they drink becomes mingled with tears. When that time comes, Chris, Cheng, do not lose heart. Do not panic, do not pack up and leave. Let us learn from Mary, the mother of Jesus who in our gospel story suggests two very important things, which you may want to use as guidelines as you begin your new life together.

First, Chris and Cheng, wait. Wait as Mary waited even if at first Jesus did not seem inclined towards granting her requests. She waited and kept faith even when her prayer was apparently not going to be answered. You are called to do the same, to learn to be patient especially with one another, and especially when life grows bland or bitter. Be assured that in time – and only in time – God turns our stalest water into the sweetest wine.

Second, as Mary suggested, do whatever Christ tells you to. Love one another as Jesus asks you to love one another. In this day and age when love seems printed everywhere in all sorts of font types and sizes, when love is found on the lips of every other pop singer, it is good to be reminded of what love really means: an unconditional acceptance of, and commitment to, a person, including all his or her strengths and weaknesses. This is the love that you, Chris and Cheng, have been trained for the past six years, and are now called to live out for each other starting today. It is a love that, with Christ, can grow stronger through the years.

This is our prayer for you, Chris and Cheng, we, your family and friends, who love you both dearly: That after many many years, as you sit surrounded by the laughter of your children and grandchildren, you will finally understand that if we do what Christ tells us, He will truly save the best wine for last. Amen.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

my baby pic

{here is my baby pic, i am around 1 or 2 years old here. this is me even now. my hair stands and this is the way i sleep. hehehe, just a realization. this is alo the new logo for my site.}

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