It’s Always Been About God’s Plans

This post is dedicated to the honeymooners who drowned in Maldives, Leomer and Erika Joyce Lagradilla. This photo was theirs, albeit I took it from the ABS-CBN news article. Like many, I have also browsed their FB profiles and saw a glimpse of their lives. They were so lively, truly a happy couple. As the husband said, he was still on a wedding high! Who can blame them? They had an amazing one especially the part where they had a surprise number. I bet it made the guests so “kilig” — I would be!

According to several articles that have been circulating the web, the couple drowned in Dhiffushi Island in Kaafu Atoll. They were pronounced dead-on-arrival at the Dhiffushi Hospital. According to the sources, the husband drowned first while his wife had a chance to cry for help however, it’s unfortunate that both of them were found by the rescuers to be motionless, probably, already lifeless. It was more of a recovery than rescue.

Family and friends are seeking help to repatriate their remains; a process that apparently costs so much. I hope that the government of Maldives would at least try to help expedite the process and facilitate without having the bereaved cover the cost.

(Paypal donations are accepted via email address: mond118@yahoo.com, other means to donate is posted on Erika Joyce’s wall c/o her Legacy Contact)  – please contact them with your intent to donate

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Having seen their plans in life, the things they have set for their lives, I felt like for a moment there, I knew them. Seeing their desire to live their lives, then realizing that they’re gone is quite devastating for someone who is a total stranger, imagine how it must have felt for their families.

Today, I was having one of the most frustrating days of my life because I was waiting for some information from an agent but the level of answers that I receive was close to none. It was totally the opposite of how I felt last week like everything fell into its proper place and there she goes, shattering it all down today. I felt so helpless because she has exhausted my energy, she made it so hard for me to keep my cool and act all Christianly. It was so hard. And then this news came up, “Honeymooners drown in Maldives,” that was the “supposed” happiest day of their lives. I got reminded that God is in charge. No matter how much we plan for the future, it will still depend on God’s plans.

I will rest today and put all my cares unto GOD for there’s nothing impossible with HIM.

I hope we’d all get to say a little prayer for the bereaved family, for the expenses and for God’s grace and comfort.

To God be the Glory!

Update: The family and friends stopped the campaign seeking donations as the Philippine Government vowed to cover the repatriation cost.

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The Madness that Was

B2019.jpgI have been disliked a lot of times. It gets into my nerves of course, because why the hell wouldn’t you like me? I am everyone’s go-to friend! But then I realized that people love what’s convenient. I never turn down friendship, I am loyal to friends, I am an easy access if you want someone to listen or to genuinely care, or if you want to have someone fight your battles for you – I am there! Despite all these, they still get to dislike you. I know why, because I am not perfect!

One cannot badmouth a friend in front of me, which made me wonder, “Why are these people so comfortable bashing me in the presence of my friends?” I know because they tell me! I also ask my friends as to why they allow it. I feel resigned hearing their explanation because deep in me, I know why.

Upon realizing this, I have started streamlining my real friends list. I have sorted those whom I can count on without ifs and buts – those who care enough, those whom I’ve got certainty to not have hidden me on their timelines – you’d be surprised as to how few I’ve got left.

I’ve lost a friend who just decided to hide me from her timeline and not contact me whenever she had occasions. I knew she’s hidden me because there are so many wowable moments in my son’s life that she hasn’t reacted at all. I am certain that had she seen it, she will not be able to keep herself from reacting but since she hasn’t, I am sure that she’s hidden me. There wasn’t a time that we’ve actually interacted over Facebook. I was close to her to the extent of being one of those who threw her a bachelorette party, I was there when she’s given birth, but she suddenly erased me from her life. I know that I am not perfect, but who’s perfect? I heard that she’s become spiritual and has devoted her life to God. The only reason I’ve come to believe as to why she’s made herself scarce is that she probably felt that I couldn’t measure up. She probably felt that I am too evil for her and I bet that it’s based on my behavior from way back that she and I were hanging 24/7 without considering that birds of the same feather tend to flock together and she’s done far shameful things than me. Why was I being judged differently?  I have been actively serving the Lord and have since lived up to the social standard that is expected of me being that both my parents are pastors. I mean, let’s say that I do not have ministry, or that for real, I couldn’t measure up… my only question is that, how did you get the heart to judge? But with her, I guess I shouldn’t be shocked because the way she’s treated me required a lot of evil for you to achieve. I just hope that we won’t bump into each other on Christian seminars or something… I feel free from hatred, I am not a hater, but I don’t feel free from the hurt she’s inflicted on me, perhaps someday, in God’s time.

Then there’s this acquaintance who told my friend that she didn’t like me because my life is full of drama and selfies. I know that selfies are irritating but people should consider the timeline from which I am being judged. I was young and single 15 years ago. I was narcissistic and it was self-proclaimed. I grew up being so ugly that people laughed at me whenever I pass by.  They make fun of my scars, of my complexion that when I finally bloomed into a slightly prettier version of my old self, I felt overly obsessed with how I looked, hence the selfies. I feel that with the childhood that I’ve had, it is kind of expected and it’s more of the natural reaction. Had you known me from my childhood, you’d definitely feel that I deserve to have selfie moments! I can’t believe that I am being judged to a behavior that is just similar to being poor then splurging because they became rich all of a sudden. I have gotten over that stage and this blog has been up since 2005 and I hope people notice that there wasn’t any picture posted. I mean, imagine the restraint? Right? As for drama, I can’t help it! I am born dramatic!

I am a new person now but people base their dislike of me on how I was. In fact, I wasn’t even evil back then, I was just candid and very straightforward. I feel that even the way I’ve behaved shouldn’t be a problem because we were all in this together! I mean, I just don’t get it. You guys were with me every step of the way that you disliked me for.

I don’t really have a hold whether I am liked or not but I feel that it’s just so unfair.

So this New Year, I have decided to limit my opening up to others. Perhaps I’d use this blog to set myself free. But I will select carefully as to whom to entrust my heart with. I don’t want to be burned by people that I loved. Life has been unfair to me and I kind of want to reclaim it.

Review: Our Kidzzdom Experience

Where to go for a fun weekend with the kids? Try Kidzzdom if you haven’t yet!

We celebrated my son’s 6th bday in Kidzzdom in Hayatt Mall, Riyadh. The overall feels is okay. There weren’t a lot of people so it’s kind of a plus factor because we didn’t get claustrophobic due to overcrowding.  Please note that the photos below are not mine, they are from Kidzzdom’s site.

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The lady in the cashier was friendly. I felt excited to get in because the initial experience from the ticket counter had been nice. So we entered.

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My son had to go to the bank first to get his money, the bank is a mini Saudi Investment Bank. The Filipina cashier was friendly and accommodating. I have observed her and noticed that her warmth wasn’t because we are of the same nationality; she is genuinely kind because she was as warm and accommodating to the locals and other expats as well. She had given my son 100 Riyalinos (the currency inside Kidzzdom). That should give him a good start.

Unfortunately, the lady in the small Panda store doesn’t speak English. With that, we had to borrow the banker and she attended to the needs of my son. He was asked to be the customer. He picked three small items and he placed it his mini grocery cart. He also got to experience being a cashier and earned some Riyalinos! I am sure he enjoyed the initial stops.

My son wanted to go to the store and apparently, the stores are “redemption stores” only. Their currency is Riyalinos and they have to have at least 500 in order to enter. I find it a little difficult to achieve since we’ve only earned 300 plus for the entire period that we’re there (from 2:30 pm to 6:10 pm) & we’ve already exhausted our energy.

This is the area map:

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Among the stops are the following:

The places that I’d strike out are the ones that are either unattended or places we did not find inside.

  • Train Station
  • The Riyalino Store
  • Supermarket
  • Fire Truck
  • Bank
  • Vault
  • Jewelry Store
  • Beauty Salon
  • Photo Studio
  • Toddlers Area
  • Police Station
  • Window Cleaning
  • Recycling Plant
  • Construction Site
  • House Painting
  • Pizza Restaurant – This is just the best. The Filipina who was assigned here on the 8th of December, noon time is one of the kindest people in the service industry and I have to commend, the pizza that my son made with her. Awesome!
  • Theater
  • TV Studio
  • Acting Academy
  • The Kidzz Dance – I don’t know if this is also the gym where the Filipina attendee was teaching the kids Zumba and hula hoops. She’s one of the most patient people on earth. Paid attention to teaching the kids and she really seemed happy while doing so.
  • Gym – I think I was referring to the gym. I am not sure
  • Fashion Boutique
  • Building in Flame
  • Newspaper Edition
  • Radio Station
  • Ice Cream Shop
  • Burger Restaurant
  • Rock Climbing
  • Post Office
  • Hotel – The one in here is also a Filipina. Having seen her, she seems to be doing the task according to the steps assigned MINUS the friendliness and smile. I have smiled 3 times at her and she didn’t smile back, looked at me without warmth. My son obviously did not enjoy the experience.
  • Fire Station – The lady attendant who is also a Filipina had been very patient with my son’s incessant desire to slide. She was so accommodating and I felt that hers is the busiest among all areas because a lot of the kids want to ride the firetruck while shouting “Fire Fighters!”
  • Milk Farm
  • Milk Factory
  • The Arts Academy
  • Flower Shop
  • Pharmacy
  • Dental Clinic – The Filipina attendant was so serious into teaching the kids. She showed respect to the nature of the place. I loved how she is thoughtful and really paid attention to the kids.
  • Hospital Nursery – A local was assigned in the nursery. She was very careful in teaching my son how to change clothes and bathe the baby. She was so meticulous and patient.
  • Optometrist
  • Reception
  • Surgery
  • Emergency
  • Ambulance
  • City Tour Bus
  • Customs Office
  • Coffee Shop
  • Driving School
  • Autoshop – The autoshop is being manned by a local. He is also the one assigned at the driving school. He is very friendly although looks a little gloomy nevertheless, if you’d talk to him, you will see that he is really enjoying and is really interested in showing the kids how the cars work. He is very patient.

I wished that the salon and the photo studios are open. I also wished for the construction site and recycling is there.  Well, of course, I wish for the ambulance to be working as well since my son didn’t get to have that ambulance emergency ride.

Everything worked out well and if they’d only get full manpower to attend to the stations, it would have been more fun and realistic, I mean instead of seeing same faces at one station after another.

The fee is ok. A little pricey but worth it. Entry Tickets:

  • Infants enter for FREE
  • Toddlers (Age 2-3) SR55
  • Children (Age 4-14) SR105
  • Adults (Age 15 and above) SR55
  • Family Package (5 members) gets 10% Discount

Tip: Cobone.Com has an ongoing promo. Better check it out first before purchasing on site.

The fun part is, you can book them to host your party. Please click the link for information: CLICK ME!

I will definitely go back with a hope that it is going to be full-functioning with enough manpower & yes, hopefully, with a playmate tagging along this time for a “funner experience” for my son.

7 out of 10 stars!