Book Review: Teka! Ang Labo ng Aking Mata (Wait! I Can’t See Clearly) by Dr. Luis P. Gatmaitan MD and Al Estrella

Lirio has a problem. She cant see clearly. From school to her home, her myopia is giving her a hard time. What will she do? Read this latest installment of “Mga Kuwento ni Tito Dok” as Lirio and her family family find solution to her eye problem.
The Tito Dok and Teacher Al tandem in this book is absolutely brilliant. I’m a fan of Al Estrella’s clay artworks and you’ll be one too after reading this book. His artwork here are amazing. The wit and humor of Teacher Al through his clay illustrations has a life of its own in this book. Well it didnt overshadow the wit and humor of Tito Dok’s story, rather both are complimentary. Thats why this is a fun read! All in all this is one informative and entertaining book kids would love to read over and over.

Teachers Can Make an Impact
I once read a T-Shirt that somewhat reads “Teacher’s Makes Impact to a Student for Eternity”. Indeed, teachers does have that ability. They are the ones that build up a person that will also make an impact to others. Do you remember your teachers in elementary and high school? What kind of teachers do you remember that really did influenced you? Is he the kind one or the terror you dont want to attend the class? Who every he or she is, you should be thankful because of that teacher, you were able to read this article.
Speaking of teachers, Galatians 3:24 states that the law (specially the 10 Commandments) is a teacher (schoolmaster or tutor in other Bible translations) that leads us to Christ. Without this law we will not know that we sin against God (Romans 7: 7-13). Have we examined ourselves in the light of the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20). Are you good enough for heaven? Have you lied? Took something that doesnt belong to you? You’re a thief if you have done that. Have you been angry with someone? According to Matthew 5, Jesus says thats murder. Thats only 3 of the 10 Commandments which is enough for God to punish us. And the punishment of our sins is eternity in hell.
The 10 Commandments of God serves as a mirror to see our filthiness (sins) and it also says that we should come to Jesus to wash us clean. God is holy and we cannot come to Him because of our sins. But being merciful, God made a way so that we can come to Him by sending Jesus Christ to save us (Juan 3:16). Doing good works, being charitable, having baptized and being a member of a church wont make us righteous to God. If we insist in doing that to be accepted by God, we are like a criminal trying to bribe a good judge. Only through the blood of Jesus Christ he shed in Calvary can wash our sins. Why not repent and trust in Jesus today (Efeso 2:8-9, Romans 10:13) and receive His free gift of salvation? Call on Him today and He will save you.

The Blogging Basics By Mozilla Philippines

“Hey Dems…” I said to my blogger friend, Dems Angeles as we walk the streets of Makati, which is a familar place for her. We took the underpass and pass over business offices that are already closed.

“Yes?” Dems answered back. Dems and I are tired with the walk but our chat seems to make it disappear. Its already night and we just came from the event at Globe Valero. I want to get on the bus back to Batangas City and Dems wants to catch up with the van bound to her place.

“Thank you for giving me the “Dems Angeles app” in finding this event and the place…hehehe…” It was almost 7:00 pm of February 8 and tomorrow is Lord’s Day.

“Hahahaha….” She replied. We still manage to squeeze in some laughs.

Dems and I dropped by one of the first servings of Mozilla Philippines to us who are in social media. Titled “Mozilla Philippines Social Media Series: Blogging 101”. The event showcases 4 influential bloggers to talk about the basics of blogging. They shared the How To’s and their personal experience engaging in blogging. Then after each talk their will be a Q and A portion. At face value you might say the basics of blogging is for the unexperienced but the talks proved that it is not. The event was emceed by Erika Gatmaitan (the niece of Christian author Dr. Luis Gatmaitan or Tito Dok) the student ambassador for Mozilla PH and she introduced first in the program Bob Reyes, one of the Mozilla PH representative here in the Philippines. Sir Robert warmly welcomed us to the event and enthusiastically discussed what Mozilla is all about. He emphasize not just being an open source of Mozilla as its edge, but also other advantages particularly security. Sir Robert states that Mozilla has its “privacy as its roots.”

First on the fray is blogger Gian Carlo Viterbo of Gadget Pilipinas. His topic was “10 Things To Do After Installing WordPress” which got a lot of positive reaction because majority of the crowd are WordPress user (me included). But first, he buttered us up with what is WordPress all about. He mentioned the benefits of having a self-hosted WordPress which kept us salivating. He then post a very striking question to us: Are you willing to take great risk to get great rewards having a bad*** website? Hmmm…who doesn’t want one? Well according Gian Carlo, the risks he encountered with his blogs is security i. e. getting hacked. He had been “friendly hacked” many times to show how weak his blog security is. He was grateful for that experience. Having that thought about security, all over his talk he keeps on bring that. Most notably #8 “Delete the default Admin WordPress Account” in which we check pop star Katy Perry’s website (which is WordPress powered) as an example. As we expected, it was not deleted. To Gian this will be a hackers gold. Anyway, the first talk was a blast. For those who want to see Gian Carlo’s presentation you can view it here.

Since WordPress was discussed, Blogger, its counterpart, as the next topic by another speaker. Azrael Coladilla of Azrael’s Merryland blog not only tackle Blogger, but also showed us how to make one in less than 5 minutes. Azarel went through his talk “Using Blogger As Website and Blog”. He first differentiate a website and blog set up then show how having a blog,specifically Blogger, as an advantage. Then he went to tell us the different blog ventures he had most notably the S. M. blogs. As the finale, he showed the crowd how to set up a Blogger blog in just 5 minutes. Well it was so fast for Azrael to make a “Flappy Bird Philippines” blog considering he is already log in Blogger. It was more or less 3 minutes. As a former user of Blogger, all I can say its easy to use but I’ll stick with WordPress for now.

Blogger Jonel Uy took on a topic titled “Social Media Consulting as a Career”. With his mild mannered speaking he took us to the topic that is near to his heart. He showed the broad perspective of the social media landscape to us and point out the different divisions and branches of it. The talk was so short (I think its 20 minutes) but the point he is driving is that social media opened careers and opportunities like marketing and public relations for us to consider. Career shift anyone?

After the snack of sodas and sandwiches, we had our last speaker, Aileen “Yen” Dreyfus of Tummy Traveler blog. The “Dreyfus” struck a familiar tune to me. She is the wife of actor (and also a blogger) Chuckie Dreyfus (remember him?). Using her charm and demure, its easily for her to grab our attention when we feel like going home. She then delivered her talk “Better Blogging and Being Social” in which she gave us 15 tips how to improve our blogging. As she was sharing the tips she keeps on mentioning her “husband” and how she was influenced by him in blogging. The talk was brief but still we learned alot. She left us with this reminder: “Be the blogger you want to read.” In the Q and A part, I got a chance to ask her a question in which she satisfactorily answered it.

After the talks we got to chat with the speakers and have our photo taken. I met a couple of guys from Mozilla then asked how to volunteer in the community. It was a great event and I hope to be seen at future Mozilla Philippines activities like this. I’m also praying to be part of the community and help spread the passion of Mozilla!

5 Essential Things to Do After Finishing Reading a Book

Before putting your recently finished book down and telling it on Facebook, here are some tips to do after devouring a book. Bona petit!

  1. Catch the lesson it is driving- not just knowing the theme of the book but what additional wisdom can it give us and put us in action.
  2. Think of someone who will benefit in reading it- if it really made a great impression to you why not share it to someone and make an impact to that person’s life.
  3. Put it in your giveaway list- keep it on the list so when a friend’s birthday, Christmas or any occasion will come, it will be a great gift.
  4. Promote it- write a book review; post in on Facebook or Twitter make some noise about this newly read book.
  5. Re-read it- if you won’t get the lessons of the book or some parts still doesn’t sink in, re-reading it will make a difference.

Does anyone have #6? Please post it on the comment.

5 Cool Reasons Why You Need a Planner

[I tried Grammarly’s online plagiarism checker because Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is too weird to plagerize…]

I started this year by getting a planner from Starbucks which is very useful throughout the year in my personal and ministry activities. I recommend that you too get a planner for the coming year and see these five benefits of having one:

  1. To plan – of course that’s why it’s called a planner. Jot down important things to do in advance, events you will attend and dates that are relevant to you.
  2. To take down notes – when listening to a message, lectures or sermon, it’s a good thing to have a permanent place to tuck all of it. Away with index cards or tissues, use your planner to accommodate them.
  3. To write down your messages – if you’re a preacher it will be best to not clutter the pulpit with papers but one professional planner with the outline of your sermon will do.
  4. To pin or stick some important things – Make your planner into an instant scrapbook! Post its, tickets, receipts, mementos or in my case an origami heart from a friend to cherish those moments and make it stick in your minds.
  5. To get inspirations – isn’t great to have some planners with great photography, excellent artworks, Bible verses and inspirational quotes. Something to inspire you to engage in writing and give a positive vibe to make it throughout the day.

What’s your favorite reason in this list? Please tell me….

5 Important Things to Do Before Starting to Read a Book

Before you say CHARGE! in reading the newest book, keep in mind the following:

  1. Will this book help me? – Ask that important question. Will this book help my Christian life and glorify God? If not forget the book your about to read.
  2. Check reviews and comments to the book – great appetizer to know what you’ll expect and get with it.
  3. Know at hand the pace you’re giving this book-you have many important gigs to do so why not chart the time and day you’ll read the book.
  4. Get a pen and notebook- these two weapons, when nearby will help you dig up the book and unearth unexpected treasures.
  5. Does it have other formats- probably you might have other things to do than carrying a physical book. Carry your latest reads on your tablet or smartphone by checking it on digital formats you can read or listen.

 

Unsatisfied with the list? Add yours on the comment

Book Review: Personality Plus at Work by Florence Littauer and Rose Sweet

As one of the book installments, we can see now the things discussed in the primer “Personality Plus” goes to an application to real life. Now the authors Florence Littauer and Rose Sweet aims to put it on the workplace which has a vast of people and their personality to adapt with. This book is much thicker that that the primer but Littauer and Sweet should get the credit of crafting it in a very unique way that reader of the “Personality Plus” will appreciate. It is written in a sort of conversation style with real people as guinea pigs er (or what they call) cast of character. It gave the book a readable depth as we can dive in to not just real people in different workplace but with personalities that you will enjoy knowing, relating and learning from. While along the way some questions about concern are tackled.

“Personality Plus at Work” is a series of lectures they did in with eight different individual from the business world. Truly this book won’t take shape if not for the dynamic duo of Littauer and Sweet. And we should not forget the subtitle of this book “How to work Successfully with Anyone” which will really kill the cat because of curiosity.

The whole book is directed in unfolding the personalities of stated by Littauer’s “Personality Plus”. You’ll find it like reading a novel with much learning on how to handle people. Also the book tackles on the second half of the book, about the working relationships in different work settings (food service, real state, marketing etc.) You’ll find what you want to know here if you’re willing to read the whole book.

Again, this is a nifty tool for leaders and managers alike. It can give you an overview on what is like in their shoes. Although published by a Christian publishing you can’t find any biblical verses to support the book. Never the less, “Personality Plus at Work” is a nice read for a people who wants to have a healthy working relationship with others.

5 Vital Things to Do to Avoid Digital Attachments

The internet and digital gadgets are integral part of our lives. We virtually can’t live without them. They make life easier for us living in the digital age. But sometimes it goes a little bit too far and without knowing they rule our lives. We should not be totally dependent to it that we spent lesser and lesser time doing things of more primary importance to us. Here is the list of things to avoid digital attachments:

 

1. Don’t give your gadget a name– Well it’s not human or pet then why should you give it a name? Remember it’s a tool.

 

2.  Don’t sleep with your gadgets near you– If your gadgets are within reach in your bed, you will tempt to always check for e-mail and status updates. It will be the ones that you’ll check first thing in the morning instead of the Bible or a devotional book.

 

3. Take digital Sabbaths– take time off using the internet or your android phone. Impossible? Well you can try it. I tried it for two weeks.

 

4.  Do old school ways of doing things – instead using the I-Pad use a note book or try FedEx instead of e-mails. Hey we use to live without internet connections, right?

 

5. Ask friends to come over your house – a meaningful conversation is most savored face to face. It’s more than being like or favorite. So unplug your laptops and mobile phones, invite people in your house, have coffee and chat. That will be nice. Hope you loved the list. Do you have number 6? Post it on the comment.

5 Essential Things to Do to Finish Reading a Book

Some of us are struggling in finishing a book. At first we got fired up in reading a new book. But as we go through a few chapters, our flame diminishes. The book could be boring, very long or we already know what the book is leading us. In any rate, before the fire of reading goes out, here are five things to do to finish devouring a book:

1.       Randomly pick chapters or sections to read- chapter or section jumping is very helpful especially if the book’s chapters and sections are stand alone. Select parts of the book that appeals to you first. Read shorter sections or chapters. As you read this way you’ll finish the book in the breeze.

2.   Have a reading buddy or participate on blog “read together” method– asks someone to read along with you. It will be encouraging to have a friend sharing a book. He may tell the content of the book to you and create an appetite for you to read the book for yourself. Also there are blogs who are having a “read together” campaign that encourage followers of a blog to read a chapter of a book and have a weekly discussion on it online. Tim Challies has one on his blog and fans of his blog read classic Christian works with him which is cool. He also provides beforehand where to get the book and what format it is available. Try to find blogs with similar scheme.

3.   Read positive things on the book- check the blurbs, reviews, interviews, book trailer or additional resources of the book. It will ignite you passion over and over again to go on reading it.

4.   Listen or read sermons and articles the book came from- Christian books sometimes evolved from a smaller work of an author. Try to find sermons and articles which are tidbits of the book. It will give you a push to read to till the end. It also may help you read the book easy because you already know some parts of it.

 5.  Read it in an unusual pace and place- you don’t have to set a specific time and place for reading a book. Don’t read it every day do it every other day. Try to squeeze it in your idle time. Get out of the school library or your reading den (if you have one) try reading it while riding a bus, waiting for someone or eating a snack at a convenient store.

 

Any more you could add? Please include it on the comment.

5 Cool Ways to Encourage Someone to Write

Things are better shared. How about the passion for writing? You are the only blogger in your group and you want to influence your buddies to write. So how do you do it? Here are 5 ways to show some love:

 

  1. Show some books – the purpose of this is two-fold. First, for them to read. If the one you want to encourage to write is already a reader then you won half the battle. Second, to show them books that are simple they can also write. Some published books are not written in Shakespeare languages or technical jargons but some are done in simplicity that it immediately connects to the readers. They will have an “AHA” moment that they will say “I could have written this stuff” or “If they can do it, I can do it also”.
  2. Connect some social media – show social media like Tumblr or Reddit that fuels itself not on pictures, videos, games but also on articles.
  3. Recommend books or blogs about writing – there are lots of books or blogs that helps budding writers to write. You can find it either on the shelves of a bookstore or a WordPress blog out in cyberspace. From the basics to snagging to be published you will be surprise with the enormous resources available for your friend.
  4. Give some arsenal: a notebook and a pen – showing that you value them and the potential of them to write great stuff is giving some weapons. A notebook or pen which is expensive or maybe with quirky look will do the thing. And of course, tell them to use it on writing.
  5. Hang out with local bloggers, writers or authors – nothing is more encouraging than to meet someone who writes or makes a living on writing. Find those people, invite them for meet ups and have coffee. They are willing to chat about their craft and share how you too can scribble away some stuff.

How about you how do you encourage someone to write? Or put it in another way, how did you got encourage in writing? Please share it on the comment section.

 

Btw, more related articles on being creative:

8 Steps to Unleash the Graphic Designer in You

5 Essential Things to Remember In Starting a New Hobby

5 Important Things to do to Avoid Being a Stereotype

5 Awesome Goals to Reach Before the School Ends

As school starts we begin again our journey as a student for Christ. And with that it is quite fitting to have goals we want to achieve for God before summer vacation. So what are those godly goals? There are 5 of them:

  1. Maintain and improve my devotional time– just because you are busy that means you won’t have a quite time for the Lord. Remember Matthew 6:33? Before eating your physical food, dig in with spiritual food that comes from your devotional time with God.
  2. Do some baby steps in being responsible– now it’s the time to be mature and responsible. This is where what you learn from school and in church will be challenge. Manage your time. Prioritize important things in school, church and home. Minimize going online. Ask parents what you can do to help. Its foundational to know this things that in the future you can stand for yourself.
  3. Use some spare time to finish reading the Bible or a book – spiritual growth and maturity is to be on top of our list for God. Don’t let a textbook or papers stop you from reading God’s Book and Christian books. Rather than go online, go offline and get connected to a printed page in school.
  4. Save some money to lend a hand to ministries or for summer activities – now that you have your allowance you can help ministries. You can do it by using a piggybank so all the spare change can be collected and use it for God’s glory. Another is preparing for summer activities like Bible camps or Christian workshops. You don’t have to ask for mom and dad to pay for the fee but by starting to save now you can pay it yourself.
  5. Lead someone to Christ – God place you in that school for a specific purpose. That is to bring the lost to Christ. You have friends who may not know Christ. You can give them a gospel tract or a book. Invite them to church to hear the gospel. Remember that we are the light to the world therefore make your school radiate.

What goals have you achieved last year for Christ while in school? Please share it on the comment section.

 

Btw, check some more back to school articles:

5 Awesome things to Do while Commuting

7 Useful Tools to Power Up Your Laptop, I-Pad or PC

8 Essential Things Your Bag Should Have

5 Vital Things to Lighten Your Hand Chores