Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lito's Story

Dear Bro. Bo,

First of all, I want to thank God for blessing me through you. I have been reading your blogs for more than a year now and everytime I do, I learned something new. In some instances, I realized that I do not know that I already know. There are five most important blessings that happended to me in the past year.

First blessing I received is when the previous company I worked with was not able to pay my salary for almost a year. I considered this a blessing because if not for this crisis I will not look for reasons why God would allow me to suffer. Yes..that is my belief before that God intended me to suffer for my sins! I thought "I failed God". Then one day, I remembered about your talk that I stumbled upon in TV Maria a few months ago. I searched for you on the internet. That's when I found your blogsite. One of your blog convinced me to quit my job. It's "Failure is not God's rejection but God's redirection". I was strongly convinced to quit when I am reading the part about "Flight Training is Cruel". I realized that God is preparing me for something more meaningful. He is pushing me to have a bigger Faith in Him. When I quit my job I do not have any company to transfer to. That's how big my Faith in God compared before. Two weeks after I quit, I got some referrals but did not pushed through. If I cannot find a job soon my children won't be able to enrol in the coming schoolyear. Would you believe that I do not even have any money to buy food for my family? I do not know how we were able to survive the cirsis (I know that our family's Faith in God played a major role). Suddenly, an agency in Singapore called me up regarding a job opening for an Israeli company. I will be based in Philippines in a home-office setup. After another 2 weeks, I signed the contract and set to start the following month. All I can say is "Thank you Lord!"

Second blessing I received is related to the first, as I told you earlier, if I cannot find a job soon I won;t be able to send my children to school. While I was reading one of your blog, I came upon an article "We don't send our kids to school". Even without completely reading your article, I am already convinced that I will homeschool my kids. Now I need to convince my wife to the idea of homeschooling. I didn't do it. What I did is to convince her to attend the homeschooling seminar in your Cubao office. When she finally agreed to go I said again" Thank you Lord!" I knew in my heart that we will homeschool our kids. Homeschooling is a blessing not only to me but to my whole family. We saved a lot of money and we are bringing our family together closer to God.

Third blessing I received is when I joind the TrulyRich Club and opened an account in Citiseconline. I have been dreaming about this since I start reading about your articles but it finally came true this month. I have now started investing for my family's future. Thank you Lord!

Fourth blessing I received when I started attending the Feast in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Last Sunday is our second time to attend, Jon Escoto said something that struck my heart. I can't remember the exact words but here is how I got the message "Kaya paulit-ulit ang dinadanas mong paghihirap sa buhay ay dahil di mo pa natututunan ang gustong ipahiwatig ng Diyos sa iyo". I realized that I have been blessed financially a couple of times in my life but I always ended up with nothing. I realized that the blessings I received was not shared with God and my neighbors. Now I lam more wise. I am giving tithes to God and share our blessings with the needy. God continuously bless us financially and spiritually. Thank you Lord!

Fifth and most important blessing happened in CFA when I was able to meet you in person, have chat with you, and take photo. I really thank God for blessing me through you. Thank you Lord!

I know that God will continuously bless us. We will continue praising God in everything we do.

I dream of serving in Light of Jesus and donating a million dollars to the Ministry.


Lito Lozano

Hi Lito,

You're letter is so encouraging.
I'm encouraged to keep serving God.
Thank you so much for inspiring me.
Thank you for being so open to God's Word.
I know this is just the beginning.
May He use you and your family more!
May others come to know God's Love because of you...


Friday, November 5, 2010

Mitzi's Story

Dear Bro. Bo,

Greetings of Peace!

I am at the moment JOBLESS since I resigned just last October 15, 2010, after six years of working hard for the company of the considered richest man in the country but I can say that I am NOW... at PEACE, my heart filled with JOY and my soul COMFORTED to SERVE the company of the Most Powerful and Loving Boss... GOD.

Before I resigned, I was at first lost, sad, demotivated and in pain not until I read your book (which was given by my good friend who is your follower...) HOW TO LIVE A LIFE OF MIRACLES (just in case i won, just give me the chance to see you in person =)hehe! that will be more than enough!)i got so inspired, healed, motivated and happy! It really helped me a lot.

Since i was spiritually disturbed and wounded, for healing, i was scheduled to have a recollection, i was supposed to go to Tagaytay so the tranquility of the place will help me be somehow cured but ironically GOD brought me just to another shopping mall (different name but same setup of where my pain originated) and the more amazing part was i found myself having an unusual recollection there in the mall...reflecting while reading your book (so it was like you were my facilitator) and GOD surprisingly met me there! How ironic! How funny! I really found this a big Divine joke and i was the punchline! =) Imagine, I was just asked by my friend, (since he would buy a gadget) to accompany him, in exchange of watching a movie that i want (which didn't happen) but it took him hours to find for his purpose of going thereto the mall but not being able to buy or get one that he wanted, so, it seems GOD just wanted to meet me there and have my recollection instead in the mall so I can face and feel the pain from almost the same environment where the hurt came from, reflect and go deeper to the message of the moment and be aware of GOD's better plan for my life so I can free myself from any loneliness and unnecessary emotional burdens because I am GOD's special and precious beloved!

Indeed, i didn't have to stay in that "corner"of my life forever... I needed to step out of my "comfort zone" because GOD does not want me to settle for crumbs since he prepared His banquet for me as well with a Buffet of Blessings but i just had to leave my former company.

NOW, i am back to the service of the church through the Youth Ministry. NOW, i find more meaning for and in LIFE. NOW, i can say, I AM HAPPY, my heart astonished with JOY and my SPIRIT at PEACE and this is what exactly GOD wants me to FEEL. It's really a LIFE of MIRACLES!

Presently, I am busy preparing for my birthday goodwill project entitled MITZI's LOVE @ 31. I am going to celebrate my 31st birthday with the kids with cancer on November 18, here in Batangas. All i wished from my friends is a gift of P31. All P31 gifts will be given to the Cancer Warriors Foundation as a birthday donation to be used for the medical needs of the kids with cancer. With this charitable project, I was telling my friend, I know how hard life is right now but P31, i guess nobody will not be hurt wrapping it for me especially when you know that your P31 can help save lives of kids with cancer. I told them, we need not to wanted to be really rich before we reach out and help or say, "saka na ako tutulong pag mayaman na ako..." but all we need is a HEART willing to LOVE regardless of your status in life. Now, my friends are telling me they are inspired and they wanted to do the same. =)

NOW, i understand why i needed to be out of that job that i valued for years, because i have to find the meaning of my life in doing "nothing" ...nothing but the will of the LORD.

I am excited of what else GOD has in stored for me. By the way, I will have an interview tomorrow, (NOVEMBER 3, 8am in Ortigas) please PRAY for me to have the grace to still be able to do GOD's will, serve Him all the more with the next mission HE wants me to accomplish for His greater glory!

MITZI Ilagan


Hi Mitzi,

Beautiful letter.
And you have beautiful, open, faith-filled heart.
I honor you for spending time with the poor on your birthday.
I pray for God's abundance upon your life...


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lella's Story

Have you ever felt that getting your prayer answered is like pulling out teeth using a pair of tweezers?

Imagine how that goes. You are sweating and doing all sorts of contortions to get the right grip. You even stand on a chair to get leverage. The owner of the tooth has a mouth that’s already as wide and deformed as that of Batman’s nemesis, the Joker, from all the fruitless maneuvers.

For years, I felt that way about my prayer for my livelihood. I even used to say in jest that if my dream were a person, she’d be about to graduate from college soon. It has been that long.

After over a year of attending and serving at the Feast Alabang (originally South Feast), I learned that I had been going about it the wrong way. I was using the wrong tools. Yes, exactly like using a pair of tweezers to pull teeth.

Let me illustrate. I got my Novena to God’s love in 2007. In it I was supposed to write my 7 dreams and pray for them every day. The novena said they have to be specific. For two years, all that was written in my novena was my name. I could not get my dream for my career/ business down pat so I could not complete my novena.

Before 2007 I had gotten into the habit of writing down my prayer petitions at the beginning of each year. I have pages upon pages of dreams written over the years. My prayers have been constant except for this area. My dream would morph into something else as the year progressed. My prayer for my business would get snopaked, crossed out, written over in red ink, pink ink, orange ink as situations changed. Once in a while I’d modify something. That’s not exactly what I want. Or there’s something else more promising. In short, my vision was fuzzy.

Can you imagine the confusion the universe had in trying to deliver this dream? I can picture God indulgently waiting on the side till I can get it right. After all, He knows the dream He has written in my heart.

It was only this year that I finally wrote down my 7 dreams. The mere act of writing them down in that tiny book gave me laser light focus. Suddenly, things became clearer and I was able to move with a purpose. It was easier to eliminate steps that will keep me from my goal. Like will taking a job as a transcriptionist propel me to my goal of becoming a writer? Not if it will keep me from writing – the difficult accents make my ears bleed and turn my brain to soup. It robs me of creativity and the time to write. Any job I take from now on must enhance my ability to reach my aspirations.

Although I had been frenetically, obsessively working for years to make my wishes come true, the fluidity of that dream prevented it from becoming a concrete reality. When I finally decided on what I wanted, I was able to take the right steps.

In just a few months my novena has become colorful. There are now pink tick marks on it. My prayers are being answered one by one:
My elder son graduated from college. Several months after graduation, he got a job even if it was out of season for teachers to be hired. He had an earth angel in Lui, my Caring Group sister. She referred him to her client who owned a pre-school. He also auditioned for the Feast Alabang Music Ministry. Those are checks for my dream numbers one and two.
My younger son finally finished his thesis after being delayed for two terms. Not only that, his thesis won the bronze for animation in the Digicon. In Jesus’ name, he will be graduating this year. Another check for dream #2 coming.
And, as for my dream about my career, it's finally taking off.

The recently concluded talk series on Wish! How to Fulfill Your Heart’s Desire has been such an eye opener for me.
I realized that my stories and prayers flowed from my woundedness – the different trials life throws at me every once in a while.
The image of what I want my life to be is now in high definition – no longer fuzzy and conflicted.
I finally learned God’s will for me. It is not about the minute details but a vision to love like Jesus. He has given me the freedom to decide the “how”.
And finally, when I bloom where I am planted, God will shower me with all the things that are necessary to make my dreams come true.

The talks gave me the tools I needed. I have discovered the art of extracting blessings.


Hi Lella,
Beautiful story and beautiful writing.
Thank you so much for the encouragement.
Praying for more blessings for you!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Veronica's Life Story

It all began in September 1987 when I was 22 years young. Out of nowhere, I started to manifest a variety of symptoms - fever, falling hair, loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, and rashes on my face. After consulting a doctor who ordered a series of laboratory tests, I was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or lupus for short.
When the doctor told me and my parents the sad news, I felt a sudden tightness in my chest, and I had tears welling up in my eyes. I asked 'Why me??? What grave sin have I committed for God to punish me like this??'. My mother saw me crying so she comforted me and told me that as long as we have faith in God, we can weather any storm.
With this 'condition', I had to make several adjustments in my life. First, I had to change my line of work (it involved doing fieldwork) because I had to avoid sunlight, stress, and people with contagious diseases. My umbrella was my constant companion, rain or shine, and people would wonder why. With these limitations, I could no longer enjoy outdoor activities like swimming and outdoor sports. Getting used to my physical appearance was another major adjustment. Because of the medication (steroids), I had a moon-face, a buffalo hump (hunched back), and a mustache. I gained a lot of weight which caused me to have stretch marks. I didn't feel 'presentable' and my friends hardly recognized me, so my social life was also affected.
Along with these adjustments, I had to get used to a regular routine of check-ups and lab tests, and frequent confinements in the hospital because of the flare-ups. Since western medicine did not offer any kind of cure for my condition, I tried other possible means of cure -- healing priests and alternative medicine -- homeopathy, naturopathy, hypnotism.....but all to no avail.
So I said to myself, if there is no cure for this, I would just have to learn to live with it. It was a rough ride, but I was still able to be optimistic about life in general. This made people regard me as someone with a strong personality. However, I knew that whatever strength they saw in me was really by God's grace. He gave me the strength to endure all those trials and He gave me my family and friends who were very supportive, especially my parents. They gave me their all-out support during this difficult stage of my life. My mother, who used to work as a head nurse, took extra care of me. My father on the other hand, would patiently drive us around for checkups and lab tests. Both my parents also had their own unique strength, and I would like to believe that I inherited both of their strengths. My mother's was defined by her optimism. On the other hand, my father had this certain quiet strength. He always had a calm disposition whenever he was faced with life's challenges.
Due to my condition, I was not allowed to get pregnant because it would be too risky, and also stressful on my kidneys. But being the optimistic person that I was, I told my husband that despite what the doctor said, we were going to have a child. Fortunately, I did give birth to our first baby boy in 1994. We even used the lamaze method!
Then, in 1997, I gave birth to a baby girl. Unfortunately, I had pre-eclampsia and after only 1-1/2 months in the NICU, my daughter died. Of all the trials I went through, this was the worst and most painful. Not only because my daughter had to endure all the pain brought about by IV needles and tubes, but more so because I could not even comfort her through that grueling experience, even if I wanted to so badly. This was because I also had a 50/50 chance of survival. So it was my husband who provided all the emotional support and love that he could possibly give. The only time that I was finally able to hold her was right before she died, as if she was just waiting for me to hold her, even just once, before she finally went home to our Creator.
With my daughter's death and my worsening kidney condition, I felt so helpless and hopeless. At times, I would just cry, and I would sometimes have thoughts of God not loving me because He allowed all these to happen to me. Once, my father saw me crying, so he sat down beside me, comforted me and, at the same time, cried with me. All he could say was the same thing that my mother said years ago (she went Home to our Creator in 1992), that we would just have to keep our faith in God.
Eventually, I was finally able to recover emotionally. I also started feeling better physically. I was able to go back to work and I was even able to give birth to a 'bonus' baby boy, despite the risks of having a third pregnancy. Also, I no longer had flare-ups and my doctor finally stopped giving me steroids.
With these improvements, I claimed that the lupus was gone and that God finally healed me. Finally, I said, my trials were over..... or at least, that's what I thought.
I stopped my regular checkups in the year 2002 because I felt that there was no longer any need for them. Besides, it would be easier for me to maintain a positive outlook with regard to my health if I stopped this 'medical routine' was sort of an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality.
Then in 2007, after five years of a relatively "normal life", I went to see a cardiologist because of palpitations. Because of my lupus, she ordered an ultrasound of the kidney along with an echocardiogram. The ultrasound had shown that my kidneys had shrunken because of the extensive damage done by the lupus. She then ordered me to see a nephrologist immediately.
After only a few checkups with the nephro, I was told that my kidney function was down to 15% and I had to prepare for hemodialysis. This came as another shock to me. Even if I expected this somehow, I thought that this would happen at the age of 60 or even later, not at age 42! Again, I just had to “face the music” because it was practically a choice between life or death, and it was obvious what my choice had to be!
After 8 months of undergoing hemodialysis, I started to experience some difficulties. Instead of using only one arm for the session, both my arms had to be inserted with one needle each because I had a hematoma in my 'dialysis arm'. That meant not being able to move both my arms for 4 hours!! As if dialysis wasn't already difficult enough!!
This made us consider having a kidney transplant, but there were 2 major considerations. First, this was a very costly operation, and second, we didn't have a kidney donor since my siblings were not in the pink of health. So the question now was how to raise the money and where to find a compatible kidney donor........
My husband and I decided to pursue the option of having a kidney transplant. We even coined an acronym for our project and claimed it's success……SKTY09 (Successful Kidney Transplant Year ’09). As mentioned earlier, I didn’t have a living-related donor and waiting for a deceased donor would take too long, so the only option left was an emotionally-related living donor, (unrelated individual who had a strong emotional bond with the recipient) which, in this case could be my husband. It dawned on us that this could indeed be a possibility because we had the same blood type. (By the way, I didn’t ask for his blood type when he courted me :=).
With this new information, we had new-found hope. However, I had mixed feelings about “taking” one of my husband’s kidneys. I didn't want to let my husband sacrifice his kidney for me. Besides, we still had to raise two boys and I didn’t think it would be advisable for both parents to have one kidney each. But being the loving husband and the natural giver that he was, my husband told me that he really wanted to be my kidney donor and he said that it would make him really happy, that it would be a great honor for him to donate his kidney to me, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. He said that if we were to tinker with our body, it should always be for the greater good, and, he said, saving my life was definitely for the greater good.
However, I knew that deep inside, he also had fears of his own, so we discussed these with the doctor. We were told that first and foremost, my husband would have to be healthy enough, precisely to ensure us that he would be able to live a normal life even after donating his kidney. Of course, he would have to be more careful with his diet and all, but the doctor would monitor my husband's condition closely. After having been assured about the safety of the procedure, we decided to push through with the transplant and start with the series of tests.
The first two tests determined the compatibility of the recipient and the donor. Waiting for the results of these tests felt like eternity, and when we finally got them, we were so relieved to find out that we were actually a good match!!! “Relieved” doesn’t even capture how we felt at that time, because we knew that the chances of husbands and wives being compatible was very slim (according to studies, only about 1 out of 30,000!!!). So it was very clear, this was definitely a miracle!!!
With everything in place, the doctor immediately set a date for the transplant, which was only 3 weeks away. So soon and we still didn't have any idea where to get the funds!!! We immediately put up our own angel network. Our family, friends, and relatives gave their share and we were able to raise enough for the hospital to admit us for the operation.
Thus, I had my kidney transplant on April 16, 2009, and the transplant was a big success!! My creatinine before the operation was already 13, but only 24 hours after the operation, it came down to 3 and 2 days after, went down again to 0.9 (normal range is 0.5 to 1.3). Also, right after the operation, I had several liters of urine output! Since that time, the doctors have been very pleased with my recovery and my life has never been better. It’s funny, but I had almost forgotten how good it felt to urinate a lot!! And urinating was an unlikely reminder for me of how grateful I am for this wonderful miracle!!
I am currently living a healthy lifestyle. I walk and jog 3-4 km regularly, after which I do a cardio workout. I also go biking with my husband and kids. Also, my energy level has greatly increased and I don't tire easily anymore. In fact, I was able to join two fun runs already. My blood pressure and creatinine are now under good control. I no longer have anemia or gout attacks and my complexion has a nice healthy glow. Best of all, I don’t need to undergo that grueling procedure of hemodialysis anymore!! Sometimes, people would say that I even looked healthier than them.
I feel really blessed to have had this transplant! Most especially, I feel blessed to have my angel….my husband. He is truly a giver, truly selfless…….a beautiful soul. His selfless sacrifice is the ultimate proof of how he is really living up to a promise he made to God several years ago.... He asked God to give me to him and he promised that he would take good care of me.
God is also definitely taking good care of me, as evidenced by all the blessings and miracles that I have received. Despite my doubts, despite all the questioning, the anger and frustration, the wavering faith, and despite my weakness, God’s love remains unwavering, unceasing, and unconditional. Indeed, we must always keep the faith because God is always faithful!
Now, I am living and enjoying life to its fullest because this is the best way to thank God, my parents and family, friends and relatives, and my dear loving husband, for making this wonderful miracle happen.


Hi Veronica,
Your story is inspiring.
Your strong faith in God shows throughout all your trials!
I honor your husband. Both of you are blessed.
I praise God for your victory!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Erika's Story

Dear Bro. Bo,

My name is Erika, I'm 21 years old. I'm a fresh graduate and I am immensely enjoying the blessing of getting two jobs which I enjoy. While I believe that everybody deserves to be doing what they love because it simply means it is what God has so willingly bestowed upon them (God's plan is in your deepest desire), I have had my own share of downs, not in the process of getting to do what I love but more of this: while I get to do what I love, another person who I believe also deserves to be in this position is no longer here. Let me share to you my story.

I was in sixth grade when I first met my best friend. At that time, I just know her as the smartest girl in our level. It was not until first year that we got together. Our first day of high school found us spending time together at the first recess session. It all started with a smile, as she was seated in front of me. I kept wondering why this girl kept turning around smiling at me. When our math teacher called her and told her to list a set of five representing her friends, I was surprised when she wrote my name as the fifth friend, as we barely talked in sixth grade. It all started from there.

She and I became best friends all the way through high school. We were the dynamic duo, always in school competitions together, workshops; we would always study together, be supportive in our individual endeavors, etc. She was the person with the big brain, the even bigger heart, with a smile that can light up the room. She was a well known pessimist because she doesn't want to end up disappointed. I would always be the optimist, the ambitious one, the one who would get out of her comfort zone just to prove a point. We were both grade conscious, (she more than I), and we both ended up with honors at our graduation. She had more than 10 medals, apart from being valedictorian. She was the school's biggest achiever and everybody was so sure she would graduate college with high-flying colors and eventually become a successful doctor.

We parted ways in college since I got admitted to UP Diliman. She stayed in the province to study MedTech as a pre-med course. Even with that distance, we remained as close as ever. At those days when I would come back to the province, I would always make sure I'd meet with her, and we would go to our Alma Mater just to visit and give an update on each other's college life. Those days, she would rant about studies, about how frustrated she is, how she would read a book from cover to cover but still get some test items wrong. I would tease her often because of her overly grade conscious attitude, and she'll eventually realize how silly she sounds and laugh it off.

I would always be very comfortable being with her. I would share and rant about studies and love life and my college adventures. She was also very religious, an avid fan of Mama Mary and she would always pray before exams and competitions. She would always encourage me to join her in prayer, and I am always very much willing to do so.

This girl changed my life. I loved her dearly. She was the perfect best friend because I loved her despite her flaws. I had them, too, but in her eyes, I was also perfect. I remember in one of her letters to me, she told me "Never mind what other people say for what they have seen is only your surface. There is something very beautiful inside of you that only the ones who truly love you, sees." Those powerful changed the way I do things, the way I see people, the way I see myself. My best friend loved and accepted my for who I am, and she sees right through me, and beyond my flaws. She focuses on every person's beauty.

I went back to the province in December of 2009 and I got to see her (of course.) After our visit to our alma mater, she went to confession. I had already planned to have confession with my family so I just accompanied her to a small chapel at a university center. After that, we met with a couple of friends and then went home. Before we parted ways, we hugged, as always. She hugged me really tight that day, and I told her I will see her in March.

Last March, we were already near our graduation day. I went back to the province to be with my family and to spend time with some of my friends before going back to Manila for my graduation ceremony. Being a film major, I had already successfully defended my thesis production. Upon going back to the province, I only had my written thesis to go.

I was in the middle of writing my thesis when a friend suddenly popped up of facebook chat at 10am, telling me my best friend was rushed to the hospital due to formalin intoxication. She had decided to take her own life.

I rushed to the hospital to find my best friend on life support. The once dynamic, always full of spirit girl, now laying down on a hospital bed, with a toxic chemical rushing through her veins, binding with her blood, destroying her organs little by little. Her mother saw me in my shocked state and told me to come closer to her and talk to her. I did not know what to say. So instead of asking why, I just told her, "It's going to be okay, I'm here."

At about quarter to 11pm, although I did not want to be, I was already convinced that she might not make it. So I called our parish priest to give her absolution. Her parents agreed and so she was given blessings and prayers. I went home after the blessing, at 11pm. At 11:11pm, they had pulled the plug. I lost my best friend of eight that years that day.

The circulating news was that she got very frustrated with one of her grades and that one of her professors told her that she was not going to be able to be cum laude anymore. I know what being at the top meant for her; it was only then that I realized that she had equated being at the top with everybody's acceptance. Upon hearing this news, as she reviewed for her finals with some friends, she threw up her hands in the air and told everybody that she was tired.

She didn't talk to me about this; when before, she would. I had no idea that it was already getting to her that much; so much that it would be enough to make her believe that dying would be her only way out. Of all people, I did not ever think she would take her own life away. I believe there is something even deeper that went on there, she just didn't want to share it to anyone... although I wished she did. Even not to me, to anyone she'd be comfortable sharing it to.

I did not know what to do. At her burial, I stared at the coffin for a very long time wanting to believe it was just a nightmare, but it wasn't. Time passed, I am still trying to heal. Sometimes I would forget about it, but it all goes back when I am alone or when I am reminded of her. The pain of losing her grows, but the confusion grows with it. The day before her burial, I had a dream that she was all burnt, surrounded by fire, carrying a big cross upon her back. I took this as a sign that she needs so much prayers. Everyday after that, I prayed for her. Praying for her helped me believe that God will be merciful to her. I know that suicide is a mortal sin and people say that people who commit suicide might have gone straight to the fire. Although people say that at least she's in a better place now or that she is at peace, I am very much bothered by how she ended it all by herself. Because as far as I know, you are not at peace with yourself if you went to the extent of wanting to end your own life.

Praying helped me a lot through these past seven months, but very recently I am again very much bothered by losing her. There are so many times when I question her, I ask why she decided to leave. Because it's not that she just passed away... It wasn't God's time for her to go... she decided on it herself.

It's just that, even beyond death I still want to be there for her. The image that I had in one of my dreams when she died again got back several times these days.

What even hurts more now is I want to understand, but I can't. I wanted to let it go but I'm finding it hard to. I pray for her everyday. But it seems these days, she has been appearing to me through that very disturbing image. I'm bothered because, when she thought that death can solve all of her problems, taking her own life away might just lead her to a far worse place.

What's giving me hope is the fact that she was given absolution before nanay and tatay pulled the plug off. I pray that somehow, God forgave her after the injustice that she did to herself. I pray that even upon her last breath, she regret what she has done and asked for forgiveness.

I've been praying so hard these days because I want her to be at peace already. Until that image in my head stops and clears out, I'm just not sure if she's already happy. Even beyond this life, I still want to be there for her.

I all these are again coming back to me after seven months guess because in 33 days, she will have turned 21. So many happy memories from 8 years flood back in my mind... that made me miss her. Somehow maybe she sensed that and she came to me in that bothersome image, needing help. I just keep saying this in my dreams "Don't worry, don't worry. We'll make this right."

God's mercy is beyond our understanding... so I'll leave her in His hands. I just hope that in His time and with all of our prayers, she will finally appear to be at peace... telling me that she's okay. I am praying that all the talk about the beyond-death consequences of suicide will be put aside and that my best friend will finally have that eternal rest.

I am enjoying life, my family, my friends and my career... I get sad when I see her colleagues in pictures during their oath taking to be medical technologists, some preparing for medical school. I am always thinking, had she been here, she should have been one of them. I should have been celebrating with her. Then again, sometimes I would blame myself, I could have been there for her more often. Maybe, just maybe, I could have done something. She went through some sort of manic depression. She, of all people, doesn't deserve that.

I am asking for your prayers for her, brother Bo. And may I also ask for you to pray for those she left behind. She was an only child, and it is most painful for her parents. I include them in my prayers all the time.

And may I also ask for you to pray for me, too. That I may be able to be at peace with this, that I may be able to accept it slowly but surely. Beyond that, I hope that God will answer my prayers, for His mercy, for His forgiveness for my best friend. I miss her immensely.

Thank you, brother Bo. I hope you can also enlighten me.

Erika Alvarez


Hi Erika,
Your words are beautiful.
Your love for your friend.
Your struggle to search for answers for questions that are really very difficult to answer.
Yes, God is forgiving.
And I believe your friend has been forgiven and is now in God’s Love.
Still, missing her will be part of the consequences of her imperfect choice.
I pray for her family.
I pray for their healing.
In Jesus name.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lou's Story

"Hi Bro Bo,

I’ve known u since I got a mail from a friend about your blogs and site. Til’ then I've read ur inspiring blogs.. I really love it. Part na nang daily life ko ang pagbasa nang mga blogs mu.

Just this year I added u on my facebook acct. And I just want to share and to know ur advices about this ""How To Be Really, Really, Really Happy"". I’m not expecting to have ur book, for me’ reading ur blog on site’ sapat na sa akin... kasi hindi ko din alam kung saan mabibili yung libro mo.. Madami guro kaming nagpadala sayu ngayun.. at sana mababasa mulang ang letter ko.

I’m here in UAE. (hope u won’t published my Identity) Just want to share about my life to u thou I really don’t know u personally but I know’ you’re like friend, sa lahat ba na mababasa sa site mu para na ring kilala kita.. It helps a lot to the people that could enlighten their minds.

Asking your thoughts on how just to be happy... Simple lang naman ang gusto ko sa buhay.. Have a Happy Family. Both my husband and I decided to live here after I gave birth to our son. . . Pero nong una’ nagtatrabaho ako dito at umiwi sa Cebu nong 6mos pa yung dinadala ko until I gave birth. This was the part of my life that I’d longing for his time and care since naiwan ako sa pinas. November of last year kaming buo dito. At first, I know life abroad isn’t that easy.. ikaw lahat. I have a reason nga hindi na pupunta didto, but since he asked me and It’s time to build a family on our own, I said Yes. I’m expecting a lot from him to have more time in building a family with our son. But I’m disappointed, almost a year na kami dito,, but sad to say’ still searching for happiness. I thought pagbuo na kayo okay na lahat, pwed na lahat.

Having a fight about this issue with my husband, akala ko maintindihan nya ang lahat na ninais ko. Inintindi ko nalng na adjustment sa amin. But till now, I’m always longing for his time and care. Ang problema lang kasi is lahat sa kanya importante ang trabaho nya.. He dedicated more of his time at work. Daily for Overtime, and Restdays (fri and Sat) will be a Working Days for him. May mga time kaming makapagbounding pag-ini-insist ko ang gusto ko. Sapat na sa kanya maibigay nya ang material na bagay sa amin. Sapat na sa kanya na makita nya kami sa paglabas nya sa bahay and after his work. But I really need him, sya ang gusto ko. Hindi ang material na bagay. Hindi naman kasi lahat nang happiness you’ve longing for is makukuha sa material na bagay. Hindi niya ako maintindihan dito. Pero pinipilit kong intindihin sya and his work. Para bang between his career and family, mas mabigat ang career nya.

Always trying to let him know how important to have a time for family. Yung blogs mo about family, relationship and children ini-email ko sa kanya para mabasa nya while working. Pati quote ni Bryan Dyson (former CEO of coca-cola) “You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four Balls – Family Heatlth Friends and Spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.’ Work efficiently during office hours and leave on time. Value has a value only if its value is valued”. Everything I did to help the situation was of no avail. Nothing worked. Malaking bagay daw sa buhay namin ang trabaho nya’ kaya he worked hard for it pero halus walang oras na talaga sa amin. Ni hindi na kami makapagsimba dito since Sunday is start of work so nagrorosary na lang akong mag-isa.

I get jealous if I’ve seen some picture of my friends having more time with their kids. Maski sa kapatid kung mga lalake sa pinas thou their earnings ay hindi sapat nga mabibili nila lahat pero makikita kong masaya sila. And I feel pity for myself na kung saan buo kaming tatlo dito’ kunti lang yung bounding moments namin. This must the time sana that my child will experience the care and love of his parents. Ito ang pakakataon nga buohin ang pagkatao nya with his both parents on his side. For many attempts, nga mababago ang flow ng buhay namin, gusto ko nalang maging manhid sa lahat and to accept that this is my life with him. Even ramadan time thou working hours cut-off is until 3pm, he extended his time until 6pm as usual working time. Sa utak ko binabalak kong magtrabaho uli’ at hindi na sya intindihin for he could feel’ kung anong kawalan ang walang time sa isat-isa but my son will be the one who will suffer for this plan. I decided na uuwi na this september after ramadan. I’m always praying that he would realize kung gaano talaga ka importante ang family sa kanya. If nasa cebu na kami’ kung wala na kami dito sa kanya, mami miss nya kami. Sayang ang ibinigay na panahon sa aming tatlo.

But I’m still hoping for the best for us with our son even we’re apart. I will try nga magampanan ko ang pagiging Ama sa aking anak. Ganito talaga siguro ang buhay OFW ang partner mu. Children will grow old na konti lang yung time maexperience if isa sa parents nya ang wala. Simple lang naman ang gusto ko ang buo at masayang pamilya… that’s why I share this to u Bro Bo, I need your advise on how could I be happy if my partner wont give his time. Hindi nalang yung be really really really happy. Just to be happy for my life that I want. I am always thankful for GOD that he showered more blessings to us but I always pray to God for this “ Happy Family for a Happy Life”.

Thanks for reading and spending time with this letter of mine.

More power. God Bless.


Hi Friend,
I feel your pain.And I can only offer you my prayers.I will pray for a transformation for your husband’s heart.May he learn the supreme importance of relationships in life.While waiting for this transformation, just love him.Instead of nagging him, appreciate him for whatever little time he gives you.What gets appreciated gets repeated.Even if it’s just a few minutes with him, be happy and show it.Thank him that he’s there with you.

Praying for you,

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Grace's Story

Make sure you have your hanky ready for this week's Dear Bo story... Our winning story for this week is from Grace and this is her story....

Dear Bo,

This is my story...

"Walang sinuman ang nabubuhay para sa sarili lamang. Walang sinuman ang namamatay para sa sarili lamang. Tayong lahat may pananagutan sa isa't isa. Tayong lahat ay tinipon ng Diyos na kapiling niya."

It was year 2003 when life’s complication struck me. I was so excited when I graduated from college, a new phase to look forward to. Until one day, fortune ended for me when I noticed odd changes in my body. The rashes, night leg cramps, swollen eyes, pale skin, it all switched on at once. I took medicines hoping to ease the pain and bring relief. But it didn’t. I then sought for medical advice with my aunt. Laboratory exams came after the other. And then the results. The results which I wished never came and never happened. My creatinine went up, red blood cells decreased to six already that there is an urgent need for blood transfusion. My two kidneys reduced its size and creased like a raisin.

We sat down with my doctor only to be advised that there is a need for me already to undergo dialysis. I know what it means, I know its a medical process, but I don’t have a clue how it is done. The doctor’s words did not sink in that time though it brought tears to my aunt. Maybe she was reminded of our family history. After all, she witnessed how painful it was to endure such treatment. Even more knows how painful it is to see a family member have such kind of illness and die from it.

And so I followed every doctor’s order and advice because I know this is not where it should end. I still have lots of plans in my mind, dreams and goals to achieve. Being in such state, I came to question God why it had to happen to me. But on second thought it made me realized that it’s better it happened to me rather I see it happen and be experienced by my relatives or family because that will be much more anguish for me.

It was February 27, 2004 when I was first confined for blood transfusion and be operated for emergency dialysis. Family members, relatives and friends came to visit me in the hospital to check how I was doing. When a cousin of mine approached and touched my head, I suddenly shed tears for no reason. I don’t know why, maybe I felt pity for myself or I hated the feeling of being pitied upon.

I had my dialysis for a year & so. It is physically and emotionally tiring to undergo dialysis. Every time that I undergo this treatment, my parents are always with me. I felt sorry that instead of helping them being a newly graduate, I am the one causing them financial problems. We used to live a fortunate lifestyle. My parents were able to provide us with our necessities and wants. But we came to a point that we are financially drained because of my treatment and medications. That we even asked help from the government for additional medical assistance. I then thought to myself that I do not want to do the treatment anymore. But I cannot do that to all those people who loves me and are helping me. It is not fair that I just quit when all of them are pushing their limits and doing sacrifices to make me survive this so-called trial in my life. They did not show any sign of weakness or a reason for me to say it is over.

They are all optimistic on everything that will happen and everything that will come. I was poured with so much love and support from both sides of my family. I drew strength and inspiration from them. I survive one day at a time because of them and for them.

While undergoing dialysis, my doctor advised me to have a kidney transplant while I am still young and have lesser complications at that stage. He explained to us that I‘ll have a much better life if I go through it. We were advice to look for kidney donor within the immediate family member. The doctor omitted my parents as capable donors since they are both old already. My second sibling volunteered as my donor. We undertook work-ups; unfortunately, she cannot be a perfect donor as well. We asked my doctor if my cousins or anyone from my relatives can be a donor, and we were again reminded that it is much better to have a donor from the immediate family. So, my only hope was from my youngest sibling, Len-Len. My parents talked to her, told her how the transplant would save me and extend my life. But she was hesitant to donate because she thinks it will limit her social life. Until she came to realized it will be a big help for me and for the whole family if she will do that. I was so thankful that she is willing to do such for me. I felt guilty at first because I remembered when I was first confined, I found out that she cried without letting me see it, and thought to myself then "Paiyak-iyak ka pa noon, di mo naman pala ako kayang tulungan." I felt awful that I thought badly of my sister maybe because I was starting to lose hope. Even with her tight school schedules, she was able to attend and do our work-ups not to mention she is so focus on her study that she excels in her class. Finally, she was my perfect donor match. She was 19 years old at that time.

Our much-awaited day has come, April 27, 2005. The hospital called and informed us to prepare our things for I am scheduled to have the transplant. Our prayers were answered. I was operated on May 4, 2005 and it was a success. My sister was first discharged from the hospital while I still stayed for observation. Len came to visit me. Seeing her, I was so delighted for the fact that she is doing well. I wanted to hug her but unable to, so I just verbally thanked her. Instead of giving her present on her birth month, Len gave me one of the most special gifts that I could ever have. I was discharged from the hospital, May 11, 2005.

At home, I took all the medications needed to prevent any complications. I followed every doctor’s order. Everything went well. There is no need for dialysis anymore. I was always at home for my complete recovery. I only go out to attend check-ups at the hospital. My family and I are happy that things turned out the way we wanted it would be. We once went to attend a mass as a family. I wished to myself that it will always be like this, complete and happy.

Until one day, Len noticed rashes on her face. She went to see a doctor for consultation. She was told that it was a manifestation of SLE. We doubted it and we were in denial. How could a simple rashes turn out to be a Lupus? Why it did not show up when we were having our work-ups? Why do we have to experience another kind of trial again? I thought all our problems ended the time I had my operation.

We seek for second opinion, and just the same, we heard the same result. She started to get some medications. Gradually, other manifestations are starting to reveal. Her facial rashes are getting worst.

She came to a point that she did not want to go to school because of embarrassment and everybody was talking about her. This made her cry but she continued to come to school. At night, she was always feverish.

One time, she was in my room studying I noticed she was teary eyed. I asked her “Ok ka lang ba?” she replied “Ok lang ‘te.” I then said to her “Len pasensya ka na sa akin. Kung di naman dahil sa akin hindi ka magkakaganyan. Hindi naman dapat ikaw ang nandyan sa sitwasyon na ganyan. Dapat ako. Hindi dapat ikaw ang nahihirapan”. She only answered “Ok lang yun”. But I know deep inside she is not okay. After her saying that, I hugged her and asked if she wants water. I felt disturbed and still in disbelief with the findings. The only thing I have done for her is to pray that she will get well. Len was forced not to go to school anymore, because she felt weak, her rashes were darkening. She did not want to be confined because she is concerned of the expenses for her hospitalization. I cannot contain to see her in such situation. I do not even have the courage to look her straight in the eyes or talk to her because of guilt.

On one occasion, we were invited by our cousin to come over their place to celebrate his birthday that was August 24, 2006. I was surprised to know that Len wanted to go with us even if she is already in pain and much more, she desired to stay with my cousin’s place. A few days after, I got a phone call from my aunt where my sister stayed for a while. She said Len badly needs to be confined because she cannot take the pain anymore. We rushed her to the hospital. I feel so bad on what is happening to my sister. I wanted to visit her at the hospital but I rather not to because of one thing—GUILT. I cried every time I am reminded of her in that condition. If only I could turn back the hands of time, I will do it.

August 30, 2006, I decided to visit my sister at the hospital along with my cousin but to my surprised, she passed away a few hours before my arrival. All the while, my cousin knew that she is gone already. I wasn’t informed about it maybe because she doesn’t know how to break the sad news to me. I do not know exactly what to feel that time. I did not want to see her when her corpse was brought to our residence. I was crying so hard. My family and relatives are worried for me. They think it could affect my health if I always think about it. I felt I am the one to blame. It was really the hardest point of my life. To pacify me one of my cousin told me “Ate isipin mo kung hindi nailipat sa iyo ang kidney ni Len tapos nagkasakit siya at ikaw may sakit din, dalawa na kayo na may sakit, dalawa na kayong aalagaan”.

Now, I had to face the reality of life. We all have our own purpose of living. My sister served hers already. I would not put Len's sacrifices into waste. I must move on and live my second life to the fullest. Heartbreaking as it may seem, I know her purpose was to extend my life and I am forever thankful to Len for that.

I read at soldier’s cemetery, “I DON’T KNOW THE DIGNITY OF HIS BIRTH, BUT I KNOW THE GLORY OF HIS DEATH”. Like a soldier, my sister died saving another’s life. She saved mine.

Thank You & God Bless!

Hi Grace,
Your story is very touching and inspiring--the love of laying down one's life for another.
I pray for you and your family: May God strengthen you to live for Him.
One day, you'll have a family reunion.And you'll see that every sacrifice was worth it.
It may not make sense right now.But it will make perfect sense one day
.Love will always be rewarded.
Always, always, always.