Excellent Customer Service

There are countless retail businesses and industries these days who cater to the various needs of their customers. A few have withstood the economic uncertainties throughout the decades and have remained unfazed by all these. 

Jollibee for instance, acquired many of its competitions and has continued to expand locally and internationally.  I remembered treading  the closest branch at Araneta Center (back when I can still walk and when delivery wasn't as popular) for my all-time favorite Jolly Hotdog. The consistency of the taste remains to this day. Throughout the years, they have added many more food choices to their menu. Even the foreigners adore some of their bestsellers as I watch the vlogs they have posted online.

I love the the SM malls too. They pioneered in making their establishments accessible and wheelchair friendly to persons with disabilities (PWDs). They provide ample parking spaces designated for the physically challenged as well as the seniors. One will feel valued when entering their store although their prices are much higher compared to the other establishments I've been to.

As a consumer, I am compelled to those business organizations who prioritize my needs. They give high regard to an outstanding customer service and skill that will make you want to visit again. However, with the constant price increase of a haircut for example from my favorite salon, Bangs, I hesitate. Php800 is pricey, right?! Yet, I go out happy and content. On the contrary, I regret going to a place with a lower service fee due to incompetence or the lack of know-how and wished I went to the former. Have you had a similar experience?

As an adult, I continue to be in awe at how festive the holidays can be at the SM malls. The stellar decorations are truly breathtaking. May we all remember the true meaning of Christmas and not be overpowered by materialism and commercialism. This season, may you find true joy in Christ - our rock, strength and fortress. Enjoy the merry season! 


Random Acts Of Kindness

Early this week, my mother and I went to the grocery. While I was looking through a wide selection of merchandise in an aisle, I noticed an elderly woman smiling warmly at me. I smiled back.

"Ang bait nyo, ma'am" (You are very kind ma'am) was the response I received from the technician of my internet service provider (ISP) when I offered him a glass of cold water on his way out of our house after remedying an issue.

Yoshirin-san, my Japanese student, excused herself for a moment while we were having a video lesson. She collected the various omamori (good luck charm) displayed in their guest room so I could see the actual object which was our topic of discussion. 

In the like manner, my mother who is not so expressive with her feelings shows that she loves and cares by cooking. She is passionate about this. She continues to watch cooking shows, reads new recipes online, plans and prepares for it and surprises us with a new dish!

Ephesians 4:32 states, "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." How did you experience kindness recently?


Gourmet and Crafts Fair in Antipolo City

I continue to be astonished with the world-class talents of the Filipino people. Many have even been recognized internationally and have accumulated accolades because of their selflessness, fortitude and bravery. Many more for their skills in singing, painting and boxing, to name a few.

When my nephews and niece were growing, they were not only provided with the nourishment needed for their physical development. Nurturance, guidance and our Godly examples were the utmost requisite to prod them to be the best version of themselves. To this very minute, I continue to pray that they will heed to our advises and do well in all their undertakings.

Last Friday, my parents and I were amazed to witness the Rizalenos' excellence in cooking and handiwork that were featured in the week-long event at Robinson's Antipolo. The "Gourmet and Crafts Fair" was a great avenue to boost the recognition of the small scale businesses and their unique products. Below were some of the booths we visited:

My mommy was mum about her right frozen shoulder until she willingly volunteered for the hot compress to be tried on her, coupled with acupressure and the application of the Herbosido Oil the lady was selling. She was relieved instantly and bought the item!

I was  also happy to get the '"Quiet Book," an educational material made of fabric for the Sunday schoolers. The activities are varied - from counting, matching colors, identifying the parts of a face, learning to zip, biggest to smallest, the parts of the Philippine flag and stacking of hamburger ingredients. These can be detached with a velcro. I was amused to try each!

We have been experiencing concurrent typhoons this week, yet this did not stop us from going to this event. How was your weekend like?


Lifetime Commitment and Decision

I woke up this morning to the aroma of my favorite breakfast dishes - tuyo and tocino. They are best paired with sliced tomatoes and salted eggs. I am equally content with vinegar (very spicy please) as my sawsawan if the former is not available. Delightfully, both were served.

Then I gleefully greeted my parents with a hearty "good morning," did my usual tasks of setting the table, plugging the hot water dispenser and preparing the coffee mixture with a smile on my lips because today, August 15th, marks the 48th wedding anniversary of these two indispensable persons in my life.  While enjoying the food, they remembered the bittersweet moments in their married life. I was keenly listening; I knew these were necessary to make them stronger beings.

I am in awe at God's wonderful grace for enabling them to still be together when break ups (and very soon divorce) are prevalent in our society. I often hear people say, "it takes two to tango," never realizing that it actually takes three. Putting Christ at the apex is paramount! They are not perfect but they were fearfully and wonderfully made for each other (Psalms 139:14). Moreover, I cannot thank my Jehovah enough for them.

It is my fervent prayer that they continue to put our Father God first as they journey together in their lifetime commitment and decision in serving Him.


Overflowing Blessings

Photo from Walls Need Love

"Count your blessings name them one by one, count your blessings see what God has done." is a famous line from a hymn I learned early on in my Christian life. I like the idea of focusing on the positives no matter how trivial as I thank the heavens for every thing despite the odds and  uncertainties. It has also been my habit to enumerate three blessings on a daily basis and consciously look at the goodness of life.


Early this year, my prayer for our house to be completely accessible became a reality. An extra ramp was added outdoor. The existing three were adjusted to have an even slope. Similarly the posts that held the door of the toilet were removed which prevented me to use it in the past. A church member who was skilled and available did all these tasks. Before we proceeded with the renovation, we were quite hesitant because of the noise, dirt and money involved. It was also unhygienic to use the commode long term but it still serves the purpose on rare occasions.

As a PWD (person with disability) transferring to and fro has been a challenge. Despite my parents' willingness to help me, they are not always available. Our good Lord has directed me to  purchase a raised toilet seat which was attached to the toilet bowl so that my chair is at the same level.  Similarly, I was able to buy a shower bench with adjustable legs that makes my transfers a breeze. And these liberate me to be as independent as I can be at (least at) home.


My grandmother celebrated her 93rd birthday on May 10th. I was joyfully glad to see her walking minus an assistive device after her horrific fall last September. My Lord has sustained her through her most difficult moment. She is back to her jolly old self but has lost weight despite her massive appetite.


During our church's anniversary last month, I was able to listen to the invited pastors' brief testimonies. The struggles in their ministries as well as the sacrifices they have done as they stood on their faith were unthinkable but with the grace and compassion of God; they are managing. Thus, I feel privileged to be a member of our church who is led by a pastor who studies the Bible meticulously and painstakingly. He imparts the scripture to us and teaches nothing but the truth.


My mother forgot her wallet when we were in a mall after buying some pastries. She remembered it was missing when she had to buy another product. Luckily, the store's attendant handed it to her when she went back, complete with all the cash and IDs. And as I remind myself of all these blessings, I once again proved that our amazing and wonderful Savior is alive.