Sunday, June 24, 2012


Blessed. That's the exact word to describe my life right now. 

For the past years, despite struggles in living away from my family and friends in the Philippines, I've always had joy from the simplest to the grandest surprises God has been showering me. Through the people I meet, I find strength. With day-by-day challenges, I am empowered. And with all the experiences, whether it's good or bad, I learn in abundance.

I've been in a crossroad in my life. Well actually, I'm still in that phase of my life right now. As much as I wanted to start a life in research and in a university, I can't yet. I'm undecided yet on where to start my academic sojourn. But what's promising, God has already blessed me with options to choose from.

A wide array of options is a blessing. And that's what I'm very grateful. Not just that, God has been surprising and literally showering me with  gifts over the past months.

Read on to know more.

I've received a lot of blessings from God for the past years. Sa totoo lang, nagugulat na lang ako at biglang may mga regalong dumarating sa buhay ko. 

Last May, after two years of hard work and puyatan,  I finally graduated from my Masters Degree at the University of the Philippines, Open University. I finished a Masters Degree in Development Communication. Apart from that blessing from God, I received two awards: An Academic Excellence Award from the Faculty of Information and Communication Awards (UP Open University) and the Chancellor's Lister Award from UP Open University.

After I came back from my vacation in the Philippines, God surprised me again with another gift. I won in the National Essay Competition of Brunei Darussalam. With a theme "I Love Brunei," I was adjudged winner in the Open Category. Ang totoo niyan, di ko na dapat isusubmit yung entry ko last March 15, ang deadline. Pero feeling ko ay sayang naman si sinubmit ko. With my pagkapanalo, I'm now waiting for the awarding of the bonggang bonggang cash prize and a trip ticket to KL, Malaysia.

On 24 May 2012, when I reached home, I saw a mail in our staff house mailbox. The moment I opened it, God surprised me again with another bonggang-bonggang gift. In the letter, I'm offered a place to study in a University for a Doctorate Programme in Professional Communication and Media. I was elated.

When birthday month stepped in, a bonggang bonggang surprise popped out in my e-mail. I was offered a scholarship from the same University for my PhD. What's more bongga, it's a full scholarship. Ibig sabihin, sagot ng University ang accommodation, waived ang tuition, may field research allowance, and bonggang may monthly allowance ako na mas mataas pa sa sahod ko.

Things got even better when another blessing came. I can't disclose here kasi baka magkagulo ang mga bagay bagay. Basta uber bonggang blessing din talaga. 

Meanwhile, God has blessed me with a loving family and supportive friends. My family has always been with me, especially my father, si Papc. Lagi siyang nag-a-advice sa akin at energy supplier yan pag down ako. Kasi nga ito akong masyadong nagmamadali sa buhay na minsan ay nakakalimutan magrelax. 

On the side, my friends, based man sa Pinas or dito, are the people I can depend on nang bonggang bongga. Especially my friends here in Brunei, di lang kaibigan ang turingan, parang pamilya na. And I would like to say thank you nang bonggang bongga kina Elna, Jovert, Lisa and Ma'am Betsy for that. Also, super thank you sa lahat ng mga kaibigan ko rito sa Brunei na all out ang support sa akin.

Obviously, with all the kabonggahan in my life, I thought of throwing a party not only to treat myself but to show how much I really appreciate all those bonggang people in my life. And so, with the help of Elna, my ka-lunch buddy and ka-chika eklavu,  I came up with the Glam Geek Party.

Actually, parang dengue ako sa pagdedesisyon kung go ang party. Not to go ang drama because may babayarin sa investment. Yes to go ang peg naman kasi thanksgiving at minsan lang naman ito. Eventually, I decided to say yes dahil naisip ko na minsan lang ito. Mas bongga pa, God really provides. Sunod-sunod ang rakets!

Soon, I started to make the poster. With a Glam Geek theme, I played around with the word "GEEK" and "HAGIKGIKAN" (Tawanan). So with the merging of two words, I came up with "HA-GEEK-GEEK-AN!" I added a subdhealine as "Glam Geeks Unite! Don't make Takot, Let's Make Saya!" In addition to the theme, I used the University of Bonggang Bongga as my overarching idea. 

The guests came with bonggang bonggang outfits. They really dressed in geeky outfits. Some dressed with a glamorous kasuotan. What's cute, everyone's wearing specs!


Expression Peeps!

My Serunai Choir!

With HUNK geek Jovert!

With Jillz!

With the GLAM geeks!

The food was also great. I booked the venue at TT blues. The package included the food and rental of the place. The venue had one big TV and a bonggang sounds system.  I just (borrowed) brought Elna's Magic sing for the banda-bandahan.

Since I'm into events, I created the program. I had three games: Suksok Calamansi, Newspaper Dance (bagong bago noh?), and the Quiz Show which is called "Bongga or Bokya!" I also had prizes for the winners.
Franz and Carem won in the Newspaper Dance!

Eksena sa Suksok Calamansi!

Bongga or Bokya!

Palengke sa gulo!

Interaction sa mga pumipila!
With Co-host Lisa!

Prizes galore!
Apart from the games, I had cupcakes and cake blowing. Regalo lahat ng cupcakes at cakes! Talagang before ko blinow yung candles eh bonggang bonggang bonggang humiling ako not just for myself but for everyone. 
Shot by Ms. Virginia

Ma'am Betsy also read a very touching and beautiful poem. Naiiyak na ako pero nagpigil lang ako. Umiwas sa drama. hehehe. After Ma'am reading, I made an impromptu pasasalamat to all my guests na may close friends ko rin.

Before the program ended, I awarded three Best Dressed Males and Females. For the girls category, Ms. Joanne, Sheila, and Ms. Len won. For the men's category, Sir Egay, Sir Joey and Sir Lito were crowned. The grand winners are Ms. Len (Best Dressed Female Category) and Kuya Lito (Best Dressed Male Category).
Shiela and Ms. Len!

Ms. Len was awarded as Best Dressed. Shiela was the 1st Runner up.

Uber Happy Ms. Len!

Sir Joey (in plaid top) won 2nd Place!

With Sir Joey!

Kuya Lito (wearing red tie) won the Best Dressed Title. Sir Egay won 1st Runner-up.

After the program, I hit the microphone and sang the song "Celebration." I roamed as I sang. Soon, the dance floor was hit with my guests. 

We finished at around 12 midnight. As we were packing our stuff, I was just sooooo elated with my birthday party. I was so happy na napasaya ko ang mga taong nagpapasiya sa akin. Punong puno ng tawanan ang gabi. Indeed, comedy bar ang peg!

Cheers for more blessings! Yes, I'm 30 nang bonggang bongga!

My mom used to say to us, "The more you give, the more you will receive." At first I didn't believe it. Totoo pala. Even in times of kawalan, when you give, God really provides.

So with all the blessings I've received, I have so much to be thankful for. For the people who have been with me all the way, they deserve to be appreciated. Kaya naman talagang pinasiya (sana nasiyahan sila) ko sila for my birthday party. Sila sila ang kasama ko sa saya at sa mga challenges sa buhay overseas.

Maraming maraming maraming salamat! Hanggang sa muling selebrasyon!

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