Saturday, December 30, 2006

VCF Legaspi

This is a picture of Pastors Ed Ty of Victory Christian Fellowship (VCF Lucena) and Raymond De Guzman (VCF Lipa) in what is left of the home of VCF Legaspi's worship Leader Sarah. As previously mentioned many of the members of the church lost homes (see December 25 blog below: Amazing People) and some may not be able to come back because of volcanic mud flow and other reasons. Below is a link to Michael Paderes' site where many pictures and 2 videos on the calamity are contained if you are interested in watching. You will also see pictures of the first tranche of our relief goods.

In the meantime I wanted to update all of you about the distribution of relief goods and money. Some of the money has been trnasmitted to Pastor Al Bantayan our pastor there. I spoke to him earlier this evening and he is very grateful for all the support. He wishes me to convey his gratitude to everyone who gave and prayed. The rest of the funds are with Pastor Raymond who will facilitate buying construction materials in Batangas.

As for prayer: Please pray that power will be restored. Only downtown Lagaspi has power. Pastor Al's house still does not have any. Fortunately he has a small generator (courtesy of Lucena and Lipa) that gives him a little light and is able to run an electric fan. Pray also for the local economy as black marketers are selling construction supplies at double price.

We have also decided to extend deadline for submission of relief goods to January 4, 2007 (previously December 31) as we will have a last delivery on January 5.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Why You Had a Bad Year?

Major Dennis Isleta sent me an SMS this morning commenting on Cito Beltran's article in today's Philippine Star. Just finished reading it and attached excerpts from the article:

"Most people associate screwing around as nothing more than marital indiscretion or infidelity.

In terms of having a bad year, have you ever thought of screwing around as a breach of contract? A contract you made not only with your wife but also with your GM (God all Mighty). The contract was for you to partner with your bride while God gave you the kids, the house and all the support.

My friend’s mouth ran dry when I asked, as a result of your violation of contract did it occur to you that all commitments are cancelled and as a result your wife, your kids, your workers suffer because YOU Mr. Man in-charge broke the contract?

These are things we don’t usually think of, things like do we work just for our benefit or are we not suppose to have a social impact or be a blessing to others?"

I love Cito's no non-sense, say it like it is, real life talk that is absent of any man pleasing or trying to be popular overtones. Not quite my style but that's why I like friends like him. Most of all I like the fact that he loves God and does not mince words about it.

( ) [Cito, sory about the pix its the only one I could find on the web]

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Lunch With Old Friends

The picture is of Julius and Eilleen Fabregas and their family. Yesterday (December 26) our family was invited to lunch at their home.

Our relationship with Julius and Eilleen dates back to 1987 (19 years ago). Back then Julius was working for his family’s linen manufacturing and export business. Eventually he and Eilleen felt a call to go into ministry. In 1990 they planted what is now our church in Cebu City (Victory Christian Fellowship – Cebu) later to come back to Manila to start a non life insurance business (HisCor), a business that his wife Eilleen continues to run to this day.

Eilleen hails from Pontevedra, Capiz, Western Visayas where her family has been (and still is) in the seafood business since I’ve known her. As such we feasted on serious tiger prawns and crabs yesterday.

Since 1993 Julius and Eilleen have been reaching out to artists in small groups. In 1997, Julius pioneered a ministry dedicated to reaching, training and making disciples of artists. Today that ministry is known as talentsinC (for talents in Christ). Quietly making in roads in the lives of actors, producers, directors, writers, painters, photographers even production crew.

Among those who have actively participated in the ministry are: Barbie Almalbis, now Honasan (who is also from Capiz), Cito Beltran, Steve Cad, Dennis and Marjorie Padilla, Piolo Pascual, Connie Reyes, Donita Rose, Jordan Sebastian and many others.

talentsinC has since grown into a movement of artists who reach out into campuses to raise a new generation of performers. There is no quantifying what the impact of this growing movement has on the youth and society. My suspicion is it is huge given the influence that media personalities have.

The simple truth is disciples make disciples who make disciples. Church goers are religious people who don’t really do anything. Disciples do not just go to church but build it. Jesus Christ put it simply: “Go and make disciples” not go to church. Can't make one unless you are one. This is how transformation will come. There are no quick fixes – just simple ones.

To view pictures during the lunch at the Fabregas’ visit:

Monday, December 25, 2006

Amazing People

In response to Super Typhoon Reming's effects in the Bicol region, the churches of Victory Christian Fellowship (VCF) has mobilized its members (3 weeks ago) to donate cash and goods (food, clothing and building supplies). I am writing this blog to honor the amazing people: men, women and families who responded to the call. In the short period of time our provincial churches headed by Juray Mora (National Director) raised and sent goods plus three hundred thousand pesos. A joint team headed by Raymond de Guzman (VCF Lipa) and Ed Ty (VCF Lucena) made the trip and assessed the real situation.

Our Metro Manila congregations were able to provide substantial donations in the form of canned food and clothing. A first tranche of money and goods was sent. By the time the news trickled down to the rest of our church members the Metro Manila congregations raised 1.1 million pesos in cash. Five hundred thousand was given to Operation Blessing's relief efforts (see blog below: Amazing Lady) while the other 600,000 will be utilized for the rehabilitation of homes of over 90% of the members (including the pastor) of the VCF- Legaspi who were badly affected. Thank you all for your support. Disicpleship is a lot more than a religous term but is about taking action.

Should you wish to participate in this relief effort please send your donations to the Every Nation building at the University Park in Fort Bonifacio. Final day for accepting donations will be on Sunday December 31.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Amazing Lady

She came to our church (Victory Christian Fellowship, in the Philippines) in 1993. She found her way in one of our discipleship groups. Eleven years ago (in 1995), I baptized her in water at the home of the Espirtu's in San Juan. Over the years Kim has become a good friend. It has been a joy and privilege to be associated with her.

Kim is a medical doctor and has been involved with relief missions. Among the countries that she has been to and has touched in one form or another are Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand. She has also been in the forefront of relief operations in numerous provinces cities and poverty stricken urban centers in the Philippines (too many to list in this blog). Her team at Operation Blessing was one of the first to arrive in Banda Aceh during the tsunami disaster which affected various parts of Asia. To know more about her check out:

Today Kim is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Operation Blessing a worldwide ministry involved in relief operations. Once again Kim has been in the forefront of relief efforts for the victims of the super typhoon Reming (Durian) in the Bicol Region. Kim and her team were among the first to arrive at the disaster stricken provinces of Catanduanes, Daraga, Legaspi and the town of Sto. Domingo.

Since the disaster Kim has updated me by phone on what is going on while on the ground in the worst hit towns and cities. Today, Sunday December 24 I met her at our Christmas Eve service and was told of her plans. Kim is relentless and is on her way back to Bicol to finish the job of bringing concrete (not token) rlief to the victims. It is disciples like Kim who make things like these happen. Thank you Kim for serving our nation in the way that you do.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Initimdated by the Blogsphere

At 49 years old I am not exactly the "techie" who is comfortable with the "blogsphere". For the last 2 years I have been watching my 3 sons (ages 23, 22, 20) communicate, interface, exchange and type away at their sites. Ocassionally I visited their sites but dismissed it as a young thing - an electronic slum book.

Then it happened I picked up an authoritative book on blogging. That's when I realized it was a whole lot more than I had originally thought. And since I am a "johnny come lately" I will not bore you with the reasons that made me decide to blog. A quick search at Google and you can find plenty of sites that can explain the reasons why you should do it- better than I could.

Rather I want to share with you why it took me this long to actually do it. After finally being honest with myself the real reason is fear. You may ask - why fear? For one: fear of the unkown - remember I grew up in the days of the phonograph and the stereo. To the uninformed this was before the cassette and the CD, which by now are obsolete as well.

This thing was just unchartered waters. Then there was the fear of being chastised by my grade school English teacher for wrong grammar, sentence construction, use of words etc. Who knows she may still be alive and is surfing even as I write. Nothing however, compared to the greatest fear of all - rejection.

They say that the overwhelming majority of bloggers (readers and writers) are young people. Will they receive my views? Am I too stodgy, too old, passe'? In short I was intimidated by the "blogsphere".

Then a few days ago I decided it was time to go out on a limb. I started my first blogsite at on December 17 (06) a mere 6 days ago. As of today the site has been viewed 183 times. 90% of whom were young people. ( visit - ) Thanks guys for encouraging (an old goat like) me. I'd appreciate if you leave comments as you visit.