2011 Year In Review from a Cagayan de Oro dad-blogger

(Hi folks.  I’m a dad-blogger of 3 living in Cagayan de Oro City.  This article was published a few days ago (Jan. 7, 2012) in my own site.  It’s a pretty popular article, and I hope you like it as well.  May 2012 be a blessed year for all of you, dear Definitely Filipino readers!)

As 2011’s end is still not too far back into distant memory, I would like to think back on some of the good and bad that happened over the course of last year.  It was quite an eventful year for me, as you will see.  Despite everything, I cannot help but think back with thanksgiving in my heart and enter 2012 with praise for what He has done in my life.

Remember what i said in my first blog post of the year: “Christmas is still merry, and the New Year is still happy, not because of circumstances, but because of our joy in the Lord.”

2011 in review…including reflections

Cagayan de Oro devestated by Sendong1.     The storm that was Sendong.  I can’t help but start this reflection off with typhoon Sendong.  For the first time in the memory of just about everyone living in this great city, a typhoon hit Cagayan de Oro and Illigan with such deadly force that over a thousand Cagayanons perished while scores more are missing.  Homes have been destroyed, its residents losing everything they valued and worked hard for.  Never before has CDO experienced so much death and damage.  (If you have not donated yet, click here so that you can do so…people still are in dire need)

Next Monday, the school I work for will open its doors to receive students again.  Some, like my family, got through the storm relatively unscathed.  Others were not so lucky, yet, thankfully, there was no loss of life.  We are encouraged by my boss that during morning devotions, we try to help them deal with this tragedy through spiritual eyes.  

I’m still thinking about how I’m going to do that.  But I’m going to go along these lines (and therefore, my reflection about Sendong):

•    The climate has been rapidly changing, much of it is due to our excesses and irresponsibility:  you can’t blame God for that.

•    A huge factor in the floods was rampant illegal logging and unchecked open mining: you can’t blame God for that either.

•    This goes to show why sin is such a big deal in God’s eyes: not only because it violates His commands; but, equally as important, it hurts and even destroys others, even those who had no part in the sin in the first place.  And using up our natural resources irresponsibly, especially in the name of greed IS sin…and boy did people get hurt.

•    Sendong very dramatically showed us what really mattered.  All the toys, gadgets, trinkets, and the shallow security of the present were lost in one dark night. All thoughts and actions were towards family and friends.  Let’s not wait till the next time we have to desperately fight for our lives (or to save theirs) to realize this very important truth.

•    God is still faithful and sovereign, even if things look exactly the opposite.  Many times in the history of His people things were totally messed up, only to come back to blessing later on.  If we trust in His faithfulness and sovereignty (repentance being a part of that), the same thing will happen to CDO and Illigan.

2.     Opportunity lost, opportunity gained.  My wife started the year as the owner of a small salon near our place; and I was hoping to start my business of tutoring ESL, for which I started working only half day in my job as a high school teacher.  The ESL tutorial was very short lived (it definitely wasn’t my thing) and my wife lost the salon mid-year.  Things didn’t look so well for a short while.

For me it was easy enough, I just got my full time job back.  Working part time allowed me to rest a bit (was big-time suffering from burnout), and I was good and ready to go back to what I know now is what God wants me to do…with vigor that I have not felt in a long time.Mountain Pines Place in Bukidnon

For Jhean, well, blessings of blessings, she was hired to train under my mom in NKAC, which includes the beautiful Mountain Pines Place.  It’s a job she has grown to love, and we’re happy that she’s happy.  I’m also happy for her because it plays to her strengths: her social skills, her great attention to detail, and her love for the decorative side of things.

She seems to be doing a helluva job, because she just got promoted recently.  Yippie!

Reflection for opportunity lost, opportunity gained:

•    You know what we believers say: “when God closes a door, it means He’s about to open a better one” (or something like that).  It was very true in our case. Have faith that in could be true in yours.

•    I remember Jhean felt greatly at peace in closing the salon.  Sure, there were circumstances that made her angry and sad, but I am proud of her spiritual maturity and her trust in the Lord that things would be fine.  And they were beyond fine.  It was Going Through Trials With Supernatural Grace 101.  Jhean 10 years ago would’ve reacted differently.

•    I was very touched by the students’ elation when I came back (and my supervising co-worker, too).  It dawned on me that there’s a great need for male role models/father figures/big-brother figures in high school teachers.  Many of the ones who were happiest with my return were boys.


If you would like to see the rest of my reflections (there are 3 more, 5 total) then you can click here.  The last three were not included because they were more on the personal side geared towards those who know me personally.  But, hey, feel free to look at them as well.

About Healthy Frugal Filipino

A happily married Filipino father of three. Loves God, his family, and his job as a teacher. Has a blog geared to help fellow Filipinos become the best of ourselves.