After the Hiatus

After the Hiatus – or before, this is what it was . . .

It’s been 40 days (and a day) since I left Facebook for a soul-searching or an offering for the Holy week, I call it a sacrifice. I also gave up soda during those days and this is a public confession.

The Cola Challenge

I took a few sip in 3 or 4 occasions over the 40 days – I think I did it at least 5 times?!?. The oily/yummy viand signals your mind that it is so good to take even just a sip is indeed a challenge. I struggled and felt guilty – but the good thing is that I felt guilty not because I’m afraid of what people might say, but because I am aware that this is a commitment between me and God. I learned a lesson.

Facebook & its world.

For a couple of times, 3 guess – I fall into logging in on Facebook and deactivating it after a minute. S of Some of my social-professional network that I’m a member of. Let’s say something like Bayt.com, which I need to use in my job-hunting journey, is logged via FB. In the first week, it was indeed challenging. Every time Kokobear tried to swipe up and down and told me stories about everyone! It felt like I’m lost. I’m not in the world. Then days go by and I started to feel okay. I have to admit I am present in FB messenger though because connections need not to be cut. It is a must to chat with the family and the people I value the most, of course it includes you guys – my FB friends too!

I realize something though, keeping myself away from the noise of Facebook (feeds). All the negative and positive posts and status updates have helped me pacify my thoughts. Days of reading, job hunting, “tambay”, TVD marathon and moments with God is definitely precious. I was collecting moments away from my Facebook life. At the same time right before deactivating – I’m aware that I am one of those people who actually lives this social media generation. Which means it is indeed already a part of my life, a “millenial” culture that I belong together with the other people who were there when the Internet started.

It’s a good thing to actually take a moment and reset a little part of our life. I guess I can make it again even not during the season of lent, but then I’m glad I did. It will only take a few clicks and deleting the app!

After the hiatus, I am so back! 

Posted this on Instagram, 6 weeks ago: Currently on FB “hiatus”, because of this and one more main reason! Sharing it soon on www.iamjmkayne.com 😉

God bless!

Faith : Misconceptions of Christianity

misconceptions of christianity

I’ve intentionally prepared this blog for Easter Sunday!

When everyone else thinks of Easter egg hunts and parties or just simply going to church and complete an obligation, I on the other hand – have been contemplating another “faith-based” post that I haven’t done for a while.

A week ago I had a chance to deliver a talk (for the 2nd time with this topic) – CLS Talk #2 – What it means to be a Christian.

I want to focus more on the facts of misconceptions for all Christians/Catholics that many of us fall into the trap of understanding barely the actions, without contemplating what it really meant. So, the talk enumerates four (4) of them as follows:

[MISCONCEPTIONS] – Christianity is a:

  1.  A mere Religious system
  2. A mere Moral system
  3. A Social/Humanitarian system
  4. An Escape

Above misconceptions have been misunderstood, misjudged or shall we say a wrong thought that needs to be corrected.

Let me start by explaining why these are incomplete notions of our faith:

First, Religious System.

Majority of Christians nowadays think that our faith is a set of doctrines to believe in, some thing that requires memorization such as the Apostles Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, etc. Sets of religious practices like going to mass, doing novenas, rosaries. Others do readings about God. Gaining knowledge about the religion or some do a lot for God. But the real question is, while all of these are correct and there is no wrong about them, do we actually understand why we are doing them? When we memorize a prayer yet not applying them in real life, knowledge becomes only up to our intellectual level. When we go to mass, yet an hour later we find ourselves angy, disappointed and wants to start a fight because of taxi or bus problems.

How do we align ourselves into this trap? These are incomplete labels for us – followers of Christ, that what we believe/do should be translated into our lives. These religious practices are ought to be “expressions of our faith” and not just a mere religious system. We do them, because in every relationship we have ways express that love. In our relationship with God, we pray, go to mass, do something for God because that is our expression of faith.

Second, Moral System.

People think of what is right or wrong. Don’t do this or that; do this, do that! Thou shall not kill, thou shall not steal, thou shall not lie – – – and the list goes on and on. When we look at our religion into this image – we see it as a legalistic faith. But it should not be! We do what is right and wrong because we are “expressing our love for God and His people”. Our religion should be life giving. That we do what pleases God and/or what makes our family, friends and brethren happy.

Third, Social/Humanitarian System.

Christianity most of the time is equated to being Humanitarian [Humanitarian – people/system that works to make other people’s lives better]. Also equals to people are good, kind, never get angry, all smiles and pleases everyone. While it is true, that Christians posess those qualities, we are also just human. Yes, we envisions our people to be better in all aspects of our lives and be able to claim that we are happy, good, kind people – we also have our own limitations that sometimes we fall into sin and not being able to cope up with this misconception and thus needs the Holy Spirit to guide us. We are not only the faithful in this earth, other religions or shall we say non-Christians are also good. Infact for us OFWs who have faced many different nationalities/religious people – they too are good.

Finally, an Escape.

Christianity is an escape in the realities in life, that this kind of faith is only for the poor, the weak and those who couldn’t cope up with life. But the truth is, we Christians are the strongest among many faithful, because our identity comes from someone who is indeed tough and faithful. That is none other than our Saviour Jesus Christ who has won our salvation right before we asked for it!

“This Easter, let us recall why we become Christians. Let us go deeper on meanings of these rituals/religious practices and understand that there is mission at hand. This reminder applies not only in this season but at all times, especially when we claim to be a follower of Christ. We are His warriors – His missionaries in helping our fellow Christians.”


 

Get a copy of my talk’s slide on this link: CLS Talk # 2.

 

God bless!

10-things-that-makes-me-happy

10 Things that make me happy

10-things-that-makes-me-happy
PHOTO CREDITS to the owner. Got it from one of the members of DIY Travel Philippines Facebook Group. Please PM me if your the one so I could give you a backlink 🙂 Thank you!


This post is another series of my TGIT – Thank God, It’s Thursday, #CountedBlessings series where I am enumerating ten (10) things (people/event) that make me happy! I know, I know – that it’s not Thursday but somehow, I feel the need to actually write this post because I feel I am blessed amidst the challenge that I am going through right now.

So, let’s jump right into it and let me write those things real quick.

  1. Family & Loved ones – ones that never fades
  2. The smell of rain – I know, but it rarely rains in Abu Dhabi –though rain sometimes makes me melancholic but it brings memories of home (PH)
  3. Coffee & green tea (mint) aroma – need not to elaborate right?
  4. Catching up with old friends. Or even with new friends – that truely love, care and understand.
  5. Books, inspirational books or any thing paper, pens, pouch, colors etc, pretty much define #nationalbookstore!
  6. When my recipes at #KusinaNiKayne is approved by the hubby! (heheh wala cyay choice! ) ^^
  7. When someone I know tells me they read my blog! ^^ (Thankie so much!)
  8. Flowers! Simply knowing that these came from the people who cares!
  9. Waking up late because of weekend! Who wont be happy with that?
  10. Holding on to the truth that God provides. Yes he does!

 

How about you, comment your 10 things below! 🙂

 

God bless!

 

Abu Dhabi 10 | v2.0 – Free Site-seeing Places

After that most visited Abu Dhabi 10 post, here comes version 2.0 where I will be sharing 10 of the Tourist spots / activity that you can visit or do in Abu Dhabi. I am aware that there are a lot of sites to visit in this place I call my second home, but I’m sharing you ten; 10 of the spots that are free! Who doesn’t like freebies? For items 1 – 7, I have pre-written it and shared it on a site called Biggie Tips – the link of the full article is on the bottom of this post.
Here is a glimpse of numbers 1 to 7.

So let’s jump right away to place number 8!

#8. Family Parks

To name a few free family parks are Baynunah park (opposite of Corniche beach area), Khalidiya Park, Capital Garden and Lake Park (Corniche east side), although some of the parks around now have a minimal entrance fee of 1 AED just like the park near my house here at Elektra park. It’s a good place to spend time with family to unwind and enjoy some barbeques! Most of corporate or group (Christmas) parties are also done in these places.

 

#9. Fishing Under the Bridge/Breakwaters

Thinking of clearning out stressful thoughts and do some mind cluttering moment? Why not go fishing!?! Along cornince area is a breakwater where you could actually do fishing. Other places includes under the bridge in Maqta bridge, Salam Street Fishing spot and even in some coastal areas in Mussafah & in Mussafah bridge too! Some fishing areas require license though, but for as long as you make it for leisure you can enjoy that free fishing sessions!

This one is a 15 seconds video in one of our fishing sessions.

#10. Series of Events @ Abu Dhabi Corniche Activity Area

Corniche Beach has a part where they arrange events such as the National Day activities, Yas Salam concerts, cultural shows like the Mother of the Nation Festival and other nation’s activities showing off music, food, and variety of activities of which sometimes takes  3 days to a week. And if the events are off, this place is a good place to chill out as some cafes & restaurants are around too!

Here’s a snapshot of Biggie Tip’s front page when my article was published. Read the full story on 7 Sightseeing Places in Abu Dhabi for Free.
Did I miss anything? Hope you enjoyed that, and share in the comment below your experiences!

 

God Bless!

Maldives 2015

I’m creating this #throwback blog post as a simple guide of the 4-day #Maldives Trip. A special travel for me and Kokobear way back 2015.

In fact, this is our first international trip – not counting the 18-hour stop-over in Singapore. Where I fell in love w/ SG! Before we tied the knot, it has been on our plan that we are making a yearly trip as a couple. Travel as a family someday with kids at least once a year in God’s will. So, in 2015, we ticked it off! This happened during the Eid holiday September 2015. We purchased a holiday package that covers our two-way flight tickets, 3* hotel room w/ breakfast and transporation pick-up. The tour guide is available, but individual island hopping trip got a cost. So, let me show you our route.


Day 1- Bandos Island – this was the first island we visited right after we arrived. We left our hotel at around 10 am after our breakfast. I’d say that this island is more of a honeymooners nook! Exclusive villas and mini-hut rooms are around the corner of the island. It has also different amenities that covers all you need such as swimming pool, gym, souvenier shops and more.


Day 2 – Chaya Island, I would say is more of a family/friends avenue trip, although I also enjoyed it. We had a chance to skin dive, got a chance to see Nemo and Dory down there, paddled a bit to a center island within the beach and took sometime appreciating the beauty of the place. Water sports and all other beach activities are available, love diving? they have it too! This is one of the many islands that has water villas (villas set-up in the water) where in during our visit we saw a bride & groom doing their wedding shots onsite!


Day 3 – Adventure Trip + Himmafushi Island – This is technically like the last day of our island trip, so we stoppped over to this small island called Himmafushi and go shopping spree. The prices in this island are way cheaper than any other places and almost all variety of gift stuffs are available. We’ve stayed in the boat and did some games/swimming activities. We also had a glimpse of dolphins and a beautiful sunset to close the day. The day wasn’t sunny though, we’ve experienced rain in between.


Day 4 – MaleWe had almost 7 hours free time before leaving Maldives, so we took that opportunity to visit the capital of Maldives called Male. What caught my attention is the sea of motorcycle around the city. If Cebu/Manila has all the jeepneys, Male, Maldives has the motorcyles as one of their main means of transportation, thus, you would see it everywhere at any time. Our lunch was on a Thai restaturant in the capital, it was sumptous and I enjoyed the ambiance near the beach. Learning more about their history was fun too!


Read more of our Maldives adventure with these other posts!

Souvenirs  | DIY Travel Diary

God Bless!

 

CEBU : Sinulog 2017

For many years, Cebu has been known for being the Queen City of the South. The white sand beaches, the food, the people and more has contributed to the popularity of Cebu. Not only that, every new year marks another year of festivity!
In this blog post, allow me to share some basic information about this popular event back in my hometown to which where and when the Sinulog Festival comes in! The above video is one of this year’s presenter – from the Municipality of Dumanjog!

 

What & How Sinulog started?

Sinulog started as a celebratory ritual for the locals of Zubu (Cebu’s old name). Upon the arrival of Spaniards in 1519 who brought Christianity in the country, the image of Sto. Niño was a gift to King Humabon and Reyna Juana and became the image of worship for the people of Cebu. The word SINULOG came from the word “sulog” which means like a water current movement – that’s why one of the major steps of the dance is the two-steps forward and a one step backward.

Baladhay was the King’s right hand who became sick. So the king ordered his servants to bring Baladhay to the chapel where the image of Sto. Nino was  and in a few moment they saw Baladhay alive and well again. They asked him how it happened and Baladhay shared that he saw the image of the child Sto. Niño and thus he started dancing. Up to date, this dance has become an offering as a sacrifies to the child Jesus Christ. Year after year, Sinulog Festival has become known worldwide and has draw thousands of visitors foreign tourists and Filipinos alike.

Sinulog is a month-long festivity for everyone especially for all devotees, among the events that get people involved into are:

  • Sinulog Street Fair,
  • Sinulog Fun Run
  • Walk with Jesus
  • Sinulog sa Kabataan
  • Novena Mass
  • Ms. Cebu or Sinlog Festival Queen
  • Sinulog Idol
  • Walk with Mary
  • Fluvial Procession of the Miraculous Image of the Sto. Niño
  • Re-enactment of the Baptism of Queen Juana and Rajah Humabon
  • Solemn Procession of the Miraculous Image of Sto. Niño
  • Sinulog Fireworks Competition
  • Sinulog Grand Parade (The Big Event)
  • Awarding Ceremonies @ Cebu City Sports Center
  • “HUBO”

Attending this year’s main event was special because a co-Piper has offered us a “Sponsor’s seat” for free and be able to watch the Sinulog festival inside Cebu City complex. Shout out to Joanne!!! Thank you! Got to mention thought that we got it from her cousin who has connections in one of the sponsors – Generica Pharmacy! For your info; Sinulog Festival can be both enjoyed for free (on the streets, for the Street Dance Competition) or by buying a ticket for the Main Presentation at Cebu City Complex (aka Abellana SC) for around 500 Pesos and above.

Jollibee and friends joined the crowd at Cebu City Sports Complex for Sinulog 2017!

Tips while attending the festival!

  1. Keep a bottle of water at all times. Walking around the city is a must when you want to see the festivities, major roads are closed because of the street dance. Of course there are food & souvenier stalls around the corner, so as soon as you consume it you can just buy.
  1. Stay Close with your circle. This year the City Mayor ordered a “network shutdown” while the festivities are ongoing. This is for security purposes. So staying beside your buddies will save you time in searching your friend in a crowd of thousands of people, which if your in no luck may end up you going home alone.
  1. Be careful with Pick pockets. Like many other cities, although Cebu City government spreads out the policemen around the city, it is still wise to be mindful of your bag and belongings. Due to the massive number of people both locals and visitors, it will be difficult to identify who is who. So better be ready and
  1. Enjoy!  The view, the street dance and the mardigra itself is a fun experience, people walking around the street and the all smiling people around the street gets you into the mood.
  1. Take Photos all the way! Mobile cameras will do. But if you would like to take a better quality photos then something high-end is recommended, especially if you have an intention to join the Photo walk contest. Did I miss anything?

See more photos on my photo journal blog here.

Go ahead, feel free to drop me a comment.

God Bless!

What I Learned in our 2016 Sri Lanka Trip

A question, not many would probably ask… most of the time, people ask about “How’s the _____ (country/place) – asking how’s the view, the experience, the food, sightseeing spots, the people and more. On this blog, I would like to answer this in a different perspective. I would like to answer this with what I truly learned and realized when we were in Sri Lanka – September of 2016.

Culture, Food, Places, People and more!
These are the common “what I learned” many would probably share. Indeed I learned about those different aspects of this place that used to be called CEYLON. So I’m skipping this part as I believe, if you have been reading my past blog posts you’ll learn what, where, when how etc… 

This Sri Lanka itinerary would help! So! What I learn about this 2016 Sri Lanka trip with Kokobear and Ate Amie is an eye-opening encounter with God!

Yes, you read it right, it was an encounter with Him!

We stopped by in a church near our hotel, took a few minutes riding a tuktuk to reach St. Mary’s Church. After getting inside, our tuktuk driver guided us to a chapel beside the church. We went down on the underground to their adoration chapel and on that room I have felt God.

I started saying my prayers. Distracted a bit actually because I could still feel the dust around the place as it’s totally new. In a blink of a situation I have started feeling my tears slowly drenched into my face. I found myself crying. My mind is empty, I say prayers no more. Nothing is playing on my head, but the thought of BEING BLESSED. Being blessed for being able to travel. That I have reached another part of the world and able to enjoy His magnificient creations. Able and having fun with my husband and friend. That not many can actually do this. Some may be capable but just don’t get the chance because of the different circumstances they are in. A few has enough money to splurge but don’t have the guts or probably don’t have someone to share it with. I say, I’m truly blessed.

Thoughts about comparing myself to others, thoughts of why we were denied in our last visa application and the questions on why here and why not in other chic places… were erased.

How do I thank God for this opportunity?

I know right? I could actually realize that while I’m in Abu Dhabi or in the other places I’ve visited – but I felt it in Sri Lanka. When I thought this is just a 3rd option to us, but actually this is the chosen place God has bestowed for me to realize how blessed I am.

Signing off all Sri Lankan stories with this blog post. Thank you Lord for such a lesson!

Read all my Sri Lanka series blog (and other places) on my Travel Log page!

God Bless!

JM Kayne | www.iamjmkayne.com

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