Posted in Help Philippines, Love

Tim Cook, Apple Inc. and Typhoon Victims in the Philippines

Apple Inc donates to typhoon victims

I read the article, “Tim Cook tells employees Apple has ‘big plans’ for 2014 that ‘customers are going to love’” by Mark Gurman.

Reading through Tim Cook’s narrative of what to expect from Apple in 2014, the phrase below caught my attention:

[quote cite=”Tim Cook” url=””%5DThis year, Apple raised and donated tens of millions of dollars for important charities and relief efforts like Red Cross aid to typhoon victims in the Philippines,… [/quote]

This is part of Tim Cook’s email to employees sharing the company’s big plans for 2014.

Isn’t it a blessing that prosperous companies such as Apple Inc. have this generous heart to those in need and for the betterment of humanity.

It is our prayer that charitable institutions that received Apple’s donations are able to accomplish the expected works of charity.

Below is a screenshot of Tim Cook’s letter to Apple employees that Mark Gurman published at 9to5Mac

Tim Cook tells employees Apple has ‘big plans’ for 2014 that ‘customers are going to love’   9to5Mac

Source: 9to5Mac

Posted in Hope

Calm After the Storm

Sunset scene at Marbuena Island, our hometown of Ajuy, Iloilo Philippines (2011).
Sunset scene at Marbuena Island, our hometown of Ajuy, Iloilo Philippines (2011).

For whatever destruction the Typhoon Yolanda brought on our hometown of Ajuy, Iloilo province, Capiz, Panay Island, Cebu, Samar, Leyte and the many places of Visayas, Philippines, our prayers are with you all as we rise up and build again.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippines 4:7)

[note radius=”5″]This was my last year’s meditation, the day after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) hit our hometown and for 24 hours we had no communication nor any news about the aftermath.[/note]

Posted in Faith, Hope

From Earthquake to Typhoon Yolanda – Philippines Find A Shelter in the Time of Storms

Super Typhoon Haiyan as of 8:00 AM (Philippine Time)

Haiyan 2013  Tracking Map  Weather Wunderground


Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) has started whipping its fury on the Philippines as of writing, particularly towards the Visayas, the central area of the country.

Still recovering from the 15 October earthquake, here comes Super Typhoon HAIYAN (Philippine name: YOLANDA)… when would my beloved country have a respite from all these calamities?

Complicating the situation is the on-going Senate investigation on the issue of squandering billions of public funds by politicians.

Let us pray for the Philippines.

I believe that the Sovereign and Almighty God has the best options for the Filipinos.

Please calm the storm Lord, spare your people, hoist them to safe and higher ground.

Having been through all trials and storms in life, I testify that Jesus is still and only the rock in the weary land and our strong shelter in the time of storm.

Now is the time to be strong in our faith in Jesus Christ.

May this hymn encourage us all:


Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of strongest storms ever, heads for central Philippines

Friday classes suspended in metro, affected provinces

Storm Signal No. 4 raised as mighty Yolanda barrels toward the Visayas

As of November 8 – 1:00 AM (Philippine time):

PAGASA update on Typhoon Yolanda (November 8, 1AM)

Monster storm roars into Philippines

Posted in Living in New Zealand Now, Living in Timaru, Love, Mission

How I Wish Everyone Would Just “Love Your Neighbours as Yourself”

Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. Romans 15:2
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

Seeing a video on Facebook about how thieves (called ‘sliders’) operate in the US sparked my wishful thinking.

Indeed, when we love our neighbour as we love ourselves, there’s always peace and order in the community.

Committing to this law is much much cheaper than building a fence or installing a state-of-the-art security surveillance system.

Real estate developers in the Philippines try to recreate a neighbourhood and make “peace and order”, “security” and “safety” as their primary selling point. Some would even attach the term “exclusive community”.

A friend in Auckland forgot to close a rear window remained untouched.
A friend in Auckland forgot to close a rear window but his car remained untouched through the night.

We thank the Lord for making it possible for us to live in a community where neighbourhood values are very strong.

A schoolmate who lived in downtown Auckland, parking on the street for the night forgot to close his car window. He was so happy nothing was lost nor his car was ever touched.

Well, we could say he was just lucky.

How about these.

We were living in Forrest Hill, Auckland and we were about to sleep at past 10:00 PM when someone knocked on our door.

It was our Korean neighbour. She apoligised for disturbing us. Then she told us that we left our car door open.

Yes it was wide open because our 7-year-old forgot to close it after getting off the car and we’re just parking on the street.

Living in Timaru now, one of our Kiwi friends noticed how I would unlock and lock the door when he comes to visit.

I told him that it’s been a habit in the Philippines to always keep the door locked even if we’re in the house.

There was a time we get off my car as I parked on the side street. Then I locked the doors. He said out loud, “Oh Jonan, you don’t trust your neighbours?”

I blushed a bit and laughed telling him, “It’s just a hard habit to break, mate.”

Well, these are just bits and pieces of why New Zealand is the safest country in the world.

I do believe when people bind the law “Love your neighbour as yourself” in their hearts there would be much peace and order in the community.

In Timaru, the Presbyterian Home Support provides food delivery and home cleaning for the elderly.
In Timaru, the Presbyterian Home Support provides food delivery and home cleaning for the elderly.
Posted in Faith, Living in New Zealand Now

Remembering God’s Goodness – Our Trip and Arrival in New Zealand

‘Daw kahapon lang’ (It seems like yesterday) we said goodbye to our family, relatives and friends in Iloilo, Philippines.

On 10 November 2012, we reached one year of living in New Zealand. Moving and traveling to a new country and starting a new life is one faith journey that we will always remember.

On the one hand were the hardships that went with the transition. It is always given and expected.

On the other hand is God, His loving kindness, His Mighty hand, continuously guiding and showering us with goodness and grace.

Traveling to a foreign country for the first time as a family is really exciting and enjoying.

Exciting because you get to experience many “firsts” and you just enjoy laughing at all the “miscues”.

Of course, it’s always good to ask when you’re in doubt.

So, we were inside the old Manila International Airport. I was pushing our trolley full of baggage towards the Malaysian Airlines counter. I approached a Chinese-looking guy wearing Malaysian Airline uniform and spoke to him in my best English only to be responded to in Tagalog. He’s Filipino.

What really gave us priceless and immeasurable joy was seeing our daughter enjoying the trip, cheering and smiling all along, unmindful of what lies ahead in our New Zealand sojourn.

We left Manila on 9 November 2011.

The three-hour flight from Manila to Kuala Lumpur was quite smooth and on time.

Because our connecting flight was still three hours away, we hanged out at the KL International Airport. We also got to know other Filipinos bound for Auckland.

Wi-Fi Internet at the airport enabled us to contact home and update our family.

Finally we left Kuala Lumpur at almost 10:00 PM and with 11 hours flight, we slept and took much-needed rest.

At Auckland Airport, Boyet and Sharon Quimba met us. They’ve lived in Auckland for six years.

We are so grateful for Boyet and Sharon and their family for providing shelter and valuable guidance as we started our new life in New Zealand.

We thank all our brothers and sisters in Christ who consistently pray for us.

We thank our families and kin for your love and thoughtfulness.

We thank the Lord God Almighty for the safe trip and most of all for making our New Zealand living possible and successful.