My Abenture Tidbits: Bamboos as desktop background

Thousands of Filipinos and several tourists from around the globe have visited the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon. People go there for a weekend retreat, a trip away from the City for some relaxing moments with nature and God.

(More details about the Monastery on the succeeding blogs)

However, only few people are able to reach this off the beaten path: A few hundred meters away from the Monastery is a place where locals, care-takers, priests and Monks are familiar with – but not the tourists. And I was privileged to witness this breath-taking view ala – desktop background!

Bamboos covering a pathway narrow pathway to the other side. Thanks to a priest who toured me on my first visit here last September 2010 during my birthday vacation trip. It was indeed a surprise gift for a person who loves nature so much and seeks the presence of God in commune with His creation.

It’s for you to judge how beautiful this place is – a place where only few people ever goes.

Bamboos - off the beaten track

Bamboos – off the beaten track

Trivia:(from Wikipedia)

Bamboo is a tribe of flowering perennial evergreen plants in the grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family. In bamboos, the internodal regions of the stem are hollow and the vascular bundles in the cross section are scattered throughout the stem instead of in a cylindrical arrangement. The dicotyledonous woody xylem is also absent. The absence of secondary growth wood causes the stems of monocots, even of palms and large bamboos, to be columnar rather than tapering.

Bamboos are some of the fastest-growing plants in the world, due to a unique rhizome-dependent system. In fact, within a 24 hour period, bamboo can grow four feet. Bamboos are of notable economic and cultural significance in South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia, being used for building materials, as a food source, and as a versatile raw product. Bamboo has a higher compressive strength than wood, brick or concrete and a tensile strength that rivals steel.

To give you a glimpse, below is a photo of the Monastery of the Transfiguration, a pyramid-like structure designed by the late National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin (same person who designed the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City).

Location: San Jose, Malaybalay Bukidnon Mindanao, Philippines

Monastery of the Transfiguration, Malaybalay Bukidnon

Monastery of the Transfiguration, Malaybalay Bukidnon

Phot Credit: Aben Garlan
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Sign of God’s Love: The Healing Grace

My healing from Meningitis, suffered from 60/40 life and death situation from March to April 2013. One year after, I feel that I'm fully alive! Apr2013 and May 2014

Healed from Meningitis. Last year from March to April 2013, I suffered  60/40 life and death situation. One year after, I feel that I’m fully alive!
Apr2013 and May 2014

13 months ago, I suffered severely and almost died from Meningitis. A very painful brain infection that almost robbed my life. I battled against 60/40 life-and-death situation. This was how I look  while I’m on my 4th week in the hospital here in Cagayan De Oro City, Philippines.

One year after, this is how I look like. A man fully alive!  This is a clear sign of how God shows His love for me, with His mercy and love, saving me from the verge of death. This is actually the Nth time that God rescued me. I’ve been saved a couple of times from near death situations.

Praise be to God, He never gave up on me.

Thank you Lord for the grace. Thank You for the miracles. Thank You for the gift of life.

And thanks to those who have prayed and helped me in times of difficulties.  May God bless you abundantly!

For those of you who are suffering and in pain, you who feel are in the dark clouds of doubt, believe that God is with you all the way. God is faithful, He will never abandon you. He will never forget you.

If you can’t trace God’s hand, trust His heart!

“Yes you will suffer for a short time. But after that, God will make everything right!” – 1 Peter 5:10

Looking Back One Year Ago

Exactly one year ago, I made a very significant decision in life…to write my resignation letter for my ever dearest 4th and last employer, Spruce Designer Network Inc here in Cagayan De Oro City.

Because my health was at stake then, I had to leave my company, I know I will live in a state of financial uncertainty. But it was the best thing to do. It was the only thing that I must do. It was an act of courage. I did it afraid. I talked to my team leaders, staff, then to my co-group heads one by one.

Saying good bye was a painful decision to make. But as I’ve said to all of them, “I will just be here, around this small city”.

One year after, after facing all the life-threatening diseases, facing the financial difficulties, I’m still around in this small loveable City. Traveling every month for my mission. Seeing them around.

It was the best decision to make. I have now the liberty to spend time with my biological family in Luzon and to serve with my spiritual family in Mindanao.

After all, it’s included in my Novena list of 7 dreams…to spend 3 years in my 4th and last employment, and to enter the life of entrepreneurship!

God has His own way of making our dreams come true. Not according to our own plans, but according to what is best for us.
Father God, may Your will be done. Always!

February 8, 2014

FOCUS ON WHAT’S ABOVE, NOT ON WHAT’S AROUND

We live in an imperfect world. With imperfect relationships, imperfect resources, imperfect health and imperfect situations.

That’s why I don’t watch television too often, because of the imperfections being highlighted most of the time. And when I choose to turn on the TV set, I make sure 99% of the time I watch programs that will make me laugh instead. Although few years back here in Cagayan De Oro, I had to set my alarm every week so that I won’t miss my favorite program. It’s useless though, because I missed 51 out of 52 weeks watching because it is not in my system. I’d rather divert my attention to more productive stuffs.

Living in a negative world, I too experienced great imperfections for this year alone. A lot of negative things happened and it seems that there’s no end. Just to summarize, I have been confined three times with a total of 45 days. All of these were serious illnesses and life threatening indeed! I had to fight against all my health challenges for more than 125 days. That covered more than 1/3 of the year! On top of my health problems are, of course, financial problems. Spending more than Ph750,000 up to present to recover health is really no joke. Emotional and relational problems arose too. I battled against anxieties and uncertainties. In other words, worries.

With the grace of God and help of the people in my life, I know I have fought a good fight. I can’t worry and worship at the same time. So instead of focusing on what has been happening, I focused on what’s above. My God who is always with me. My God who sees my future and not my present. My God who lifts me high. And it excites me more to focus on what God has in store for me in the years to come!

And for you, I pray that you can delete the negatives in your mind. May all your worries and fears be washed away. May God bless you in this year and beyond!

1 Peter 5:10 God will make everything right

Yes, you will suffer for a short time, but after that, God will make everything right.


– An article written for The Feast Cagayan De Oro Bulletin December 2013
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I Will Remember My God

I Will Remember My God

In front of mountain-like problems,
In the middle of ocean-deep pain,
In the midst of dark-clouds of doubt,

I will remember my God
Who was faithful to me in the past.
He is with me at the present.
He will be the same God
Who will be faithful to me in the future.

I shall reach my mountain-sized dreams,
I shall swim to the ocean of blessings,
I shall be lifted high in the sky.

– Bro. Aben Garlan, child of God –

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
(Philippians 4:13)
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PICC Philippians 4:13