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Sunday, June 26, 2011

New Testament Lesson 25: “Not My Will, But Thine, Be Done

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

(Kawa-kawa in Ligao,Camarines Sur Philippines)

Scripture Block: Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46

While preparing for this lesson,I immediately recalled a sculptured figure of Jesus Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane located at the Kawakawa Hill in Ligao City,Albay. As part of my father's Birthday Roadtrip in April last year,we dropped by at “Kawakawa Natural Park”, a famous hill so named for its kawa or wok shape, with fourteen stations of the cross.

Looking at these pictures and reading from the scriptural accounts of Christ’s agony in Gethsemane, I was reminded of Jesus Christ's infinite Atonement for all humankind,for me. And in a way I could not fully understand, He suffered for me in the garden and took upon himself all my sins. It was in the garden and at Calvary that "He worked out the infinite and eternal atonement. It was the greatest single act of love in recorded history. Thus He became our Redeemer—redeeming all of us from physical death, and redeeming those of us from spiritual death who will obey the laws and ordinances of the gospel". (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 14).

Now as my new creditor,Jesus Christ has invited me to come with him and to follow him, first into the water (almost 25 years now), then into the temple (endowment in 1990 and family sealing last November 9, 2010), and then into eternal glory by living my life to the fullest,repenting of my sins daily and obeying His commandments.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Reasons For These Levitating Snapshots...

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

My official entry to LEVY's Living Life To The Fullest blog contest "What are the things/situations that would make you feel like levitating?"

Levitation is from a Latin word which means being suspended in the air by a physical force against gravity. One common example is taking a jump shot.

So "What are the things/situations that would make me feel like levitating? I would say, traveling! Yea, I was reminded instantaneously of the many pictures of me levitating during my trips. It seems like my travel would not be complete without a jumpshot of me and my travel companions haha. Here are some of the situations from latest to oldest where I levitated and the particular reason for the jumpshot.

(solo jumpshot in Calaguas last April 2011)

Reason: How excited I was and delighted in being able to see one of the islands in the Calaguas Group of Islands in my hometown, Vinzons,Camarines Norte. Seeing the beautiful island of Tinaga for the first time with magnificent view of nature, cool crisp water, ultra-fine, long stretch of white sand and beautiful sunset prompted this jumpshot!

( group jumpshot in Calaguas last April 2011)

Reason: Meeting my cool new friends Sally Velasco, Brian Colona, Issa Collantes, Ruby Ann Ocampo, Aya Palillo, and Jeremy Aganan made us do the jumpshot in the cool water and fine sand of Calaguas!

(levitating in the water of Caramoan Island last August 2010)

Reason: My first jumpshot in the water of Caramoan Island with my friend Tess Calingacion. It is an amazing feeling to actually see myself jumping out of the water, suspended in the air a little, while a friend captures the moment with my camera set in "sports mode" and knowing I have an adventure partner who would do everything to make me happy.

( levitating solo at Mount Mayon,Albay in August 2010)

Reason: Showing my family how to do a jumpshot and how to capture it well on a digital camera! How poised!

( group jumpshot at Mount Mayon,Albay in August 2010)

Reason: A Family That Jumps Together, Stays Together! could be the perfect couplet! My family (driver Cezar, papa, mama, ate Margo and Kuya Mike) were the coolest travel buddies. I just dared them to do the jumpshot and they gladly conceded. But as in every firsts,took us forever to perfect the jump.Thanks to the Cagsawa Ruins young photographer for the patience!

( solo jumpshot at Cagsawa Ruins in Mayon,Albay in February 2010)

Reason: This was my first take on trick photography courtesy of the Cagsawa Ruins boys in Albay! I don't really have to jump high, but look! I touched the tip of the Cagsawa church ruins!

( group jumpshot with my Canadian CS guest at Cagsawa Ruins, Albay in February 2010)

Reason: My earlier take on trick photography inspired my Couch Surfer guest Sean Pegg from Canada to do the jump nicely!

(group jumpshot at Sentosa,Singapore last October 2009 )

Reason: To test how cool my close friends Judith Mayocyoc,Jean Marcaida and Joseph Marcaida were! This was during my birthday trip to Sentosa,Singapore.Seeing the changing colors of the castle at night made way for my birthday request of a jumpshot. It took us forever to have a synchronized jump haha!

(group jumpshot at the Petronas Sky Bridge in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last September 2009)

Reason: Gave me a sense of being able to do the impossible. The jump shot also became the best and the shortest way of telling others how fun it is to be at the Petronas Sky Bridge between the two towers on 41st and 42nd floors, which is the highest 2-story bridge in the world!

(jumpshot with friends at Ocean Park, Hongkong)

Reason: Alright, Alright. I did not actually levitate here.But give me points for the effort hahaha. Thanks to Jean Marcaida for not jumping as well! Kudos to both Nilo Cabuyao and Ping Olivare for the nice jumps!

How about you? What are the things/situations that would make you feel like levitating? - Answer this question and you too can win in this contest - whether you are a blogger or non -blogger.Check this link for the mechanics Have A Chance To Win A Total of $150 For Non -Bloggers and Have A Chance To Win A Total of $500 For Bloggers .

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Ojeda Family Can Be Together Forever!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

The family is the most important unit in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter - Day Saints where my family has been a member for 25 years now. The Church exists to help families gain eternal blessings and be together forever. I believe with all my heart that as my favorite hymn describes "Families Can Be Together Forever". (To listen to the hymn you may click on the song title)

I have a fam’ly here on earth.

They are so good to me.

I want to share my life with them

through all eternity.

[Chorus]Fam’lies can be together forever
Through Heav’nly Father’s plan.

I always want to be with my own family,

And the Lord has shown me how I can.

The Lord has shown me how I can.

While I am in my early years,

I’ll prepare most carefully,

So I can marry in God’s temple
for eternity.

[Chorus]Fam’lies can be together forever
Through Heav’nly Father’s plan.

I always want to be with my own family,

And the Lord has shown me how I can.

The Lord has shown me how I can.

3rd Blogoversary Contest A BLOG & A BABY
This is my entry for Daddy Yashiro's Journal's 3rd Blogoversary Contest: A BLOG A BABY.Come and join there are lots of prizes to be won.

A BIG THANK YOU to all the sponsors! For the participants take time to visit them.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New Testament Lesson 24: This Is Life Eternal

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Scripture Block:John 16, 17
Deparo Ward

As suggested in the New Testament Teacher's Manual, I displayed the two gift boxes to class and invited class members to talk briefly about gifts they would like to receive. Then I explained that one of the gift boxes represents one of the greatest gifts we can receive in this life while the other box represents what the Lord called “the greatest of all the gifts of God” (D&C 14:7).

1. The Gift of the Holy Ghost

In the final hours of his mortal ministry, Jesus told the Apostles that He would send the Comforter (the Holy Ghost) to them (John 16:7). The Holy Ghost will:

a. Comfort (John 14:26).
b. Teach(John 14:26).
c. Bring truths to our remembrance (John 14:26).
d. Testify of the Savior (John 15:26).
e. Guide us into all truth (John 16:13).
f. Show us things to come (John 16:13).
g. Glorify the Savior (John 16:14).

President Boyd K. Packer taught: “The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear. It is described as a ‘still small voice.’ And while we speak of ‘listening’ to the whisperings of the Spirit, most often one describes a spiritual prompting by saying, ‘I had a feeling …’ … Revelation comes as words we feel more than hear” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 77; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 60).

2. Eternal Life

In Jesus' great intercessory prayer (John 17), He said, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). Then as we read in Doctrine and Covenants 14:7,we can gain eternal life only if we keep the commandments and endure to the end".

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Blazing Jose Rizal At 150 Heritage Trail : My Step in Antipolo Church

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Yehey! A day before the sesquicentennial birth anniversary of our national hero, Dr.Jose Rizal ,I got another stamp on my Rizal Passport . This is courtesy of these bubbly staff at the Pastoral Office of Antipolo Cathedral.

Enshrined in the Antipolo Cathedral or more popularly known as the Simbahan ng Antipolo is the image of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage which is one of the twenty seven (27) sites related to our national hero.

Based on the Rizal Passport, when young Pepe was only seven years old, he and his father took a boat to Manila and Antipolo from Calamba for a pilgrimage to the Virgin of Antipolo.

So while I was in Taytay, Rizal (accompanying my sister -in- law's family to a wedding participated by my niece as one of the flower girls), I made a decision that I will visit this component city of the Rizal Province on our way home.

Antipolo City prides itself as the "Pilgrimage Capital of the Philippines" because of a popular custom of pilgrims to the Virgin of Antipolo commencing in the month of May and ending in July.

There was a schedule of activities for this procession in celebration of the "Ang Tipulo Festival 2011" which was held only last month.

The Antipolo Church was built by the Jesuits between 1630-1633. I learned that the image of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage has performed miracles since the image was found among the Tipulo trees.Since then the image was often visited by those seeking safe travel and its popularity was reportedly the reason for the road that was built to directly connect Antipolo (formerly Morong) to Intramuros, Manila which used to be the seat of government during the Spanish Period.

In front of the church is the marker placed in 1937 by the Historical Research and Markers Committee. The marker gives us a brief history of the Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buen Viaje.

"The statue of Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buen Viaje was brought from Mexico to Manila by Governor Juan Nino de Tavora in 1626 and at his death in 1632 was turned over to the Jesuits for the Church of Antipolo. Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buen Viaje was proclaimed Patroness of the Galleons. The statue crossed the Pacific, and returned, eight times on board the galleons of Acapulco: in 1641, 1643, 1645-46 on the San Luis; 1648-1649 on the Encarnacion; in 1650 on the San Diego; in 1851-1853 on the San Javier; in 1859-1662 on the San Jose and in 1746-1748 on the Nuestra Senora del Pilar. The statue of Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buen Viaje was canonically crowned on November 26, 1926, by the Most Rev. Michael J. O’Doherty, Archbishop of Manila, on the Luneta, Manila, in the presence of at least one hundred thousand people."

Unlike many visitors who couldn't find a parking space for their car, we were allowed entry to the Church yard by an instant stratagem. The "parking boy" ( whom I later learned is a commissioned merchant by one of the souvenir stalls )signaled for us to enter. When the police manning the area came to us, I have to introduce myself as "attorney" and was granted entry just like that to the reserved car park in front of the Pasalubong Marker.

Before leaving Antipolo, we made time to buy some pasalubong. Since we couldn't find yet the parking boy whom I promised tobuy cashews from, I made an instant suki with ate Emily. She is very friendly and good at sales talk. She has lots of free taste too! After trying the suman (a local delicacy made out of sticky rice wrapped in coconut leaves) with coco jam, I bought P300 worth of suman (Php 50 for nine pieces), Php 480 worth of coco jam (Php 80 per small bottle), P100 worth of calamay (5 pieces) and two big glasses of cashew which she gave me for only P50 per glass. Besides the discount, she even offered to give us three bracelets but I refused because it has a "cross". Instead she gave me a pack of "shing-a-ling" (crunchy snack). She is very nice so check out Emily's Leyble stall when you visit the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage in Antipolo!

But here's the catch. We found the parking boy and brought us to his stall. Woahh! The stall was selling the big glass of cashew for a staggering Php 180 per glass! I would have bought it easily if I had not bought the same big glass of cashew for only Php 50 from Emily's! Honoring my word, I still bought half a kilo of cashew for Php 250. It is only Php 200 from Emilys! so I was ripped off by Php 50. Oh, well. Parking in Antipolo really comes with a price haha.

This is the second entry on [email protected] 150 Heritage Trail Series. Here's the first entry.
My First Few Steps - Rizal Park,Rizal Monument, Rizal Execution Site, Rizal's Fountain, Calamba Shrine and Calamba Church

Monday, June 13, 2011

Being Proud of Our Philippine Flag: An Independence Day Recollection!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Yesterday, the Philippines as a nation celebrated our country's birthday,the regaining of freedom deprived by the long colonial rule of the Spaniards in the country. This proclamation of Philippine Independence occurred on June 12, 1898 with the public reading of the Act of the Declaration of Independence by the assemblage of military chiefs and various towns representatives,led by General Emilio Aguinaldo at his ancestral home in Kawit (former Cavite-Viejo), Cavite.

Like how our country's independence was proclaimed 113 years ago, the Independence Day activities yesterday were intended to commemorate in close fashion the said proclamation of sovereignty. Commencing at the same Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite, President Noynoy Aquino led the unfurling of the Philippine National Flag with a simultaneous flag - raising throughout the historical sites in the country.

At around 4 o'clock in the afternoon, there was a well-attended Parada ng Kalayaan (Parade of Freedom)which kicked off at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park led also by President Noynoy with some dignitaries and the general public.

Because this year's Independence Day fell on a Sunday and our family went to Church as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or LDS Church, we weren't able to attend any of the Independence Day activities. I hope that did not make us less nationalistic because in our hearts and minds, we truly value this important event, one that gave us freedoms we are enjoying today.

So, as and by way of my own celebration of Independence Day, I remembered this picture taken at the balcony of the Foreign Correspondent Club (FCC) restaurant in Phnom Penh,Cambodia in 2009.

The FCC is in a three storey colonial style building and opened in the early nineties. From its balcony on the second floor, I have spotted the Philippine National Flag unfurled among several flags along Tonle Sap. I instinctively have that urge of wanting to take a picture.

Silently, seeing the Pambansang Watawat ng Pilipinas in a foreign country made me feel proud of being a Filipino and helped me to remember the virtues of equality, fraternity, peace, truth, justice,patriotism and valor, respectively symbolizes by the white triangle,the blue field and the red field. The sun symbolizes unity, freedom and People's Democracy. While the eight rays of the sun stand for eight provinces (Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Laguna, and Batangas) to revolt against the Spanish colonizers. The three stars symbolize Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Testament Lesson 23: As I Have Loved You, Love One Another

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Scripture Block: Luke 22: 1-38; John 13-15

I have the class sung Hymn No. 308 of the LDS Hymnbook or Hymn 136 of the LDS Children songbook entitled As I Have Loved You Love One Another. (You may click Song Title to see music sheet and play audio with words and music).

I explained to the class that the text of this hymn comes from John 13:34-35 which Jesus spoke during the Last Supper.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (John 13:34)

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another. (John 13:35)

(taken at Kawa-Kawa in Ligao, Albay)

The Last Supper is a Passover meal, shared by Jesus and His Apostles the day before Jesus was crucified. At the Last Supper, Jesus Christ taught His Apostles this commandment to love one another and He said and did many other things with them as well. We too can follow Jesus' example by loving and serving others.

1. Institution of the Sacrament

"And as they were eating,Jesus took bread,and blessed it ,and brake it,and gave it to the disciples,and said,Take, eat; this is my body.
"And he took the cup,and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying,Drink ye all of it;
"For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
(Matthew 26:26-28)

And in Luke 22:19-20,Jesus tells the Apostles that the purpose of the sacrament is to help them remember Him and his atoning sacrifice.

Present Day Application:

Now, partaking of the sacrament is the center of our Sabbath day observance said Pres. Thomas S. Monson during the April 2011 General Conference.He also quoted Elder Melvin J.Ballard's quote as he suggested, "We want every Latter-day Saint to come to the sacrament table because it is the place for self-investigation,for self-inspection, where we may learn to rectify our course and to make right our own lives, bringing ourselves into harmony with the teachings of the Church and with our brethren and sisters."

2. Washing the Apostle's Feet

When Jesus and His Apostles had eaten the Last Supper, Jesus washed each of the Apostles feet.(John 13:4-5). This task was usually performed by a servant when guest arrived. One reason Jesus did this was to teach his Apostles about humility and service. He told the Apostles that they should follow his example of service.

Present Day Application:

The love the Savior described is an active love.It is not manifested in large and heroic deeds but rather through simple acts of kindness and service said Elder Russel M.Ballard during the April 2011 General Conference. Elder Ballard in his talk also suggested ways and circumstances in which we can serve and love others.

(Youth of Deparo Ward doing community service wearing Helping Hands T-shirts)

"First, charity begins at By our example,let us teach our family members to have love one for another.

Another place where we have ample opportunity to serve is in the By treating each other kindly, speaking words of support and encouragement, and being sensitive to each other's needs, we can create loving unity among ward members. Ward members, both adults and youth, can unite in meaningful service to bless the lives of others.

A third area where we can serve is in our communities.As a pure expression of our love and concern, we can reach out to those who have need of our help.

Another way we can serve Heavenly Father's children is through missionary service- not only as full-time missionaries but also as friends and neighbors."

3. Teaching "I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life" and "I am the True Vine"

Jesus compared himself to a true vine and Heavenly Father is the husbandman (John 15:1). In verse 5 of the same chapter, Jesus said "I am the vine,ye are the branches; He that abideth in me, and I in him,the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing".

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Opera House - Sydney