“May Awa ang Diyos.”

I heard my Lola Estrella Rustia say this a lot when I was a young girl. Pagkatapos magmano, I would greet her, “Kumusta po Mamang?” (How are you Mamang?) And she would always answer, “May awa ang Diyos… (God has mercy…)” Her look and tone was thankful and hopeful at the same time. This morning I woke up missing her, and the way her small feet shuffled as she walked around her home in Santiago City.

As a first grade teacher, this “statement of belief” is one of the many lessons that Mamang would pass on to us: Everything that happens to us, comes from God’s mercy. Having this mindset teaches us to be grateful for every moment, be it a time of joy or a time of sorrow. We live each day by God’s grace alone. And because we are recipients of His mercy and grace, we ought to have compassion, to be merciful and gracious to others. There is no room for conceit in a heart that is always grateful for God’s mercy that is new every morning.

It is also a source of comfort during times of despair and hardship. May awa ang Diyos, therefore have confidence in God’s merciful nature – and you will soon see deliverance. There is no room for defeatism, in a heart that has hope and faith in God’s mercy that never fails.




Cebu: the Best Place for the Best Day of 2014

First StopFrom the printed and online invitations to the email reminders a month and a few weeks before 7-7-14, Carissa Villacorta and Ryan Songalia knew how to build up excitement and expectation for their “Best Day Ever.” And boy, did they deliver!

July 6: As soon as we arrived in Cebu, we were greeted by members of the bride’s family, who gave us awesome “welcome bags” (very thoughtful of them to include a few first-aid items for those “you-never-know” moments, along with the goodies). Then we were whisked off to our hotels in several white vans marked with the CVRS logo.

We were able to join Day 2 of the Wedding Weekend. Our first stop: The Chocolate Chamber by Ralfe Gourmet. On the way, we joined the tour bus and was treated to songs handpicked by the bride, for our listening pleasure. The ride allowed us to meet and bond with the couple’s family and other friends.

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