Sunday strolls around campus

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Tired after commuting from Church, I rush to my bed with a heart full of thanksgiving for the opportunity to hear God's Word. John 15. I decide to take a power nap of at most an hour and 30 minutes. Without even washing my face or changing my clothes, I am taken to the colorful world of dreams.

I then wake up with refreshed eyes. Groggy after the power nap, I go to the bathroom to wash my face with cold water. Ah, this feeling of freshness! I return to my room, put on my eyeglasses, and look at my window: the sun hasn't set yet. It's a damp, cloudy day, I reckon--the perfect time to go strolling around campus. Without hesitation, I open my locker and grab my newly charged batteries which immediately get inserted into my camera.

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Along the way, I meet familiar faces. First, there's Paul, my number one reader--haha. "Hi," I greet him cheerfully.

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"Where are you going?" he asks with eyebrows raised, but before I answer the question, he answers it himself. "Ah, you're going around UP and take pictures." He suspiciously looks at my camera, and I melt his heart with my warm smile--haha.

"How'd you know? Yes, that's what I'm going to do." He tells me he wants to come, and I obligingly give an affirmative answer.

Just as we're passing by the Engineering Complex, approaching the intersection where the traffic lights are, we see Kuya John strolling alone.

"Kuya John!" We shout in unison. Kuya John hears us and immediately comes near.

"Y'want to stroll with us?" I ask. He beams and nods and says yes.

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I then take pictures with my camera. I go on like this for the next hours or so. It then gradually gets dark because the sun has hid itself from view. The muffled sound of crickets in the background shifts my memories to a wonderful place. I remember it's like this in my grandmother's house in the province. How I miss South Cotabato.

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"It's been a long day," I tell my friends minutes, and they smile in agreement. "I'm so hungry. Let's eat dinner." They accept my invitation, and we find ourselves on our way to Lola Lita's--the famous restaurant in the UP Shopping Center--and we eat to our heart's delight. Yes, I'm not starving myself, contrary to popular belief.

As I write this, I realize how wonderful the experience has been, "If strolling with friends around campus is this much fun, how much more will my happiness be when I eventually stroll with my God in the golden highways of Heaven?"

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TAGGED AS: updiliman

The overflowing grace of God

This great period in history called the Summer Class is coming to its end. I had my maths test yesterday, and am waiting for the finals next week. I will miss my classes, that I'm pretty sure of.

The Lord has dealt mercifully and graciously with me for the past few weeks of being here. His grace has abounded in immeasurable quantities that to speak about all of them here would take me days. But allow me to share with you a few things which could not escape notice.

1. Praise God for giving me really good and kind teachers. Ms. Imee Tagaca, my physics lab instructor, was patient, dedicated, and fun. The same could be said about Ma'am Ann Marie Pasion, my Math 55 instructor, who was determined to let us understand every bit of lesson she taught us. And this is one of her quotable quotes after she explained a long solution to a triple intergration problem, "I smell turon."

2. Praise God for the opportunity to serve as one of the core leaders of the Yakal Christian Fellowship (YCF). May He prepare my heart to seek His glory and never mine. May I be humble enough to say, "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Your name give glory." (Psalms 115:1).

3. Praise God for His Word.

Finally, I've come across this wonderful hymn. Please meditate on it.

When I survey the wondrous cross/on which the Prince of Glory died/my richest gain I count but loss/and pour contempt on all my pride./Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast/save in the death of Christ, my God/all the vain things that charm me most/I sacrifice them to his blood./See, from his head, his hands, his feet/sorrow and love flow mingled down./Did e'er such love and sorrow meet/or thorns compose so rich a crown./Were the whole realm of nature mine/that were an offering far too small;/love so amazing, so divine/demands my soul, my life, my all.

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Bottled headers

These are the headers that have appeared on Bottled. I haven't been responsible in cataloguing these according to date, so they're not arranged in any particular order but they're sort of are now.


This appeared from May to June 2006. I was tinkering with Photoshop because there was nothing else to do--summer class had just ended--when Rey looked closely at the monitor. I motioned him to come even closer, and politely asked him if he would do the honor of making mea blog header. I wanted an orange template for my site to go with the summer heat. He also suggested the tagline, 'Life is like a rock. It's hard," and I laughed my head off when I heard it.

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This was inspired by the Sunday service pulpit series on John 15. This appeared from March to May 2006. I wanted my site to look refreshing, so I decided to make green the color theme. And I have to add: the fuzzy border on the photo was inspired by one of the best designed blogs on earth owned by Karen Cheng.

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This appeared for the whole month of February 2006. It was my desire--and still is--that my readers would come to know the Lord more through the reading of Scriptures. Isaiah 40:26 remains to be a favorite.

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This appeared from November 2005 to January 2006. I wanted a header that would look clean, sound funny, and appear youthful.

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This appeared on October 2005. When I had gone home for the sem break of AY 2005-2006, I was in front of the TV most of the time, bored to death, and, in some ways, missing the pressure in school. "Why do you miss the pressure, you wretchedly handsome boy?" you ask. That's not masochism; that's boredom eating me. I then found myself sketching on a piece of scratch paper. I wanted to exhort people who stumble upon this site to be like bottles that are filled with the Spirit. Isn't that what we Christians ought to endeavor to be?

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Ah, my first attempt at making a decent header that I really wanted to be published here. When this appeared exactly, I don't exactly know, but it was sometime during the first sem, probably from July to October 2005 (I'm bad at remembering dates--hence, the I Forgot That Person's Birthday syndrome and my cluelessness as to when Jose Rizal was exiled in Dapitan). I was in the midst of school pressure.

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brain damage header


October 2007 to January 2008. Orange will always remain one of my favorite colors. It's cool to the eyes, radiant but not too obtrusive. I decided to put real sketches of brains, the first time I've done that here. This was inspired by the Illustration Friday website.

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multicoloured header


August 2007. I wanted to add color to my blog, inspired by Benetton. Many actually liked this. I did too, myself.

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thinking outside the bottles


May 2007. This was a real picture taken from a pool in Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines. I edited it with the stamp filter. You can do anything with Photoshop.

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May 2007. With this header which I sketched myself, my blog looked like an online notebook. This reeks of school spirit--maroon and all.

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April 2007. My eyesight was getting worse. This picture looks familiar. Inspired by Jessica Zafra's Twisted series.

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b and w


April 2007. Grayscale. My blog looked so black and white. An attempt at minimalism, if there's such a thing. But I did try hard to make my blog look like so.

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April 2007. I was getting older, and I haven't shaved yet. This header reeks of adolescent ranting--or pining. When I was younger, I wished I'd grow some noticeable facial year. I guess it's not in my genes.

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October 2006. I'm thin. I really am. For a while, I did embark on the eat-while-awake diet. But I'm not a voracious eater. I've never been one.

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bottled in UP



It was lab time. I literally spent a great deal of my time in the lab, twinkering with bacteria and DNA and other geeky things. This is one of my favorite headers. The photos were scanned from my roommate Art's stationery paper lying on his desk.

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Forgot the date.

celebrate the Lord feb 2008


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Forgot the date.

multicoloured header

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January 2009.

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February 2009: first half.

I decided to go minimalist, and focus more on the typography.
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March 2009. New header is up: a sepia version of two exhaust fans I saw behind the University Theater. "Because of Your tender mercies"... everything that happens in my life, the good and the bad, is all because of the mercies of God.

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My headers for August 2009. My first year in med school was taking its toll on me—hence, the sleeplessness. Still, I made two headers. How ironic, right?


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September 2009. I was loving ancient looking fonts and typographic ornaments.


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October 2009. This began my "green" phase.
 
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November 2009. This was shot in front of UP Press.

 

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December 2009. This began my fascination for the green and red color combo.


I then changed it when I discovered the beauty of GIMP brushes.


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January 2010. I manually sketched this using a mouse and put in the leaves using GIMP brushes. Still fascinated with red and green, apparently. This is, by far, the largest header I've ever posted here.

Before you rush to the cinema...

I hate to join the bandwagon, but when UP professor and critically-acclaimed writer Dr. Jose Dalisay had his say about the Da Vinci Code, I figured it wouldn’t do me harm to do the same.

I first heard of it a year ago when I was a college freshman. At that time, only very few people had actually read it, with Katrina—a friend since grade school days—being one of them. She highly recommended the book to me while we were eating dinner together in the dining area, partaking of the delicious viand coated with the famous brown sauce. “Sure,” I said.

Having borrowed Katrina’s paperback copy of the book, I immediately started reading it. Unlike, say, Sherlock Holmes, Dan Brown’s novel is easy reading. One can go through chapters without mental stress. The narrative is plain; the plot almost ordinary—until Brown goes on telling about the controversial stuff, attacking the Roman Catholic Church, Biblical truths, the Doctrine of Jesus Christ, and in a way, the whole of Christianity.

This is where it gets problematic. Sure, the novel may not be a literary masterpiece because its writing is not at all impressive, but it is a novel that has had a great impact to the world nonetheless, especially now that American producers have decided to make a movie out of it.

What bothers me is that people may forget—as most movies and books often lead them to do—that it is nothing but a work of fiction. And fiction is not entirely factual, even if it contains real historical information.

Before you rush to the cinemas or you open the dog-eared copy that a friend has lent you, remember this: the heart of Christianity is not determined by the abuses of its so-called followers. Christianity is about Christ, who, because of His love for us, suffered, died on the cross, and was resurrected from the grave.


Goin' around

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. The rumor is true. I went jogging.

I’ve just finished studying a couple of chapters for the lab exam tomorrow when Rey, one of my roommates for the summer, asked me, “Lance, can I borrow your jogging pants?”

I said I had used it the night before, but I said I had another one in my closet, and that he could borrow it. We never really know what’s inside our lockers until we actually determine to catalogue everything, which I would probably never do. I didn’t find the pants, so Rey settled into wearing shorts.

He was tying his shoe laces when, out of the blue, my mouth exploded like Mt. Krakatoa, “Can I go jogging with you, Rey?”

He was taken aback, of course, as any normal human being who knows me well would. So far, my old roommate Art has been unsuccessful in inviting me to go jogging with him, and he has, to exaggerate it, invited me a million times already, and I’ve given him a million excuses, too. Alibis like “I have a lab rep to finish” or “I have an exam tomorrow.”

I really hadn’t thought too deeply about it—about jogging, I mean. And then, when Rey said, “Sure, Lance!” two major considerations emerged.

One, if I’d go jogging with an extremely muscular and physically active man like him, I’d be left behind, struggling with my breath. Out of courtesy, he’d stop, run back to me, and offer me medical help if necessary. I didn’t want to distort his jogging game-plans—I’m not that type of perssssun.

Two, if I’d go jogging, my muscles would get sore—due to lactic acid formation because of anaerobic respiration in the muscles—after such a strenuous activity, and that was a huge risk I had to take. I’d be too tired to study for my exam tomorrow because, then, I’d already be sleeping like a log, tired with droopy eyes.

But I did jog with him. It was a shame though that I didn’t bring the camera with me. While I was gasping for breath while Rey jogged like a pro, I couldn’t help but notice the wonderful scenery that is UP Diliman. It was wonderful—with the children playing, with sweaty people with sweaty underarms with their sweaty dogs going around, smelling the remaining oxygen in Metro Manila!

Rey has proven to be a wonderful companion, and I told him, “Know what? You’d make a good PE instructor.” He told me of the importance of warm-ups and –downs. When I was about to drop out of tiredness, he’d knock my senses out by saying, “For a first timer, Lance, you’re doing well.”

I’m extremely thankful to the Lord for this opportunity to unwind. Rarely does this happen.

Ah, yes, sleep

One good thing about taking summer classes is that it allows you to sleep in longer time intervals, compared to the short, irregular naps of two to three hours during the regular semesters. This is, to a degree, highly advantageous for walking skeletons like me—thanks to our fast metabolism—because enough decent sleep conserves calories. And calories, dear readers, must be conserved, shouldn’t they? Excuse me. I have to sleep now.

Worship

I’ve been meditating on worship for the past three days using John Piper’s wonderful book, Desiring God. The book is a must-read for every Christian because it is an aquifer of spiritual reminders and, unlike other popular “Christian” books displayed in National, it directly points to profound truths of Scripture rather than simply glossing over them.

It has been an overwhelming experience thus far, not so much because Piper writes very well (although he really does), but because the truths about God presented in that book are overwhelming.

John 4: 23 – 24 says, “The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

Worship is not merely an outward, liturgical act. It is not: you bow your head like this when you pray; failure to do so will result to your being sent to hell when you die. It is not: you sing with your eyes closed, and with your arm raised at 45 degrees with respect to the ground, so that God will hear you.

On the contrary, worship is an affair of the heart. More than the outward acts that flow from it, worship is really honoring God. It is reflecting back His awesome glory. It is enjoying His presence while fearing Him with such awe and trembling that it makes your heart melt like butter under the sun. To worship Him is to pant like a deer that hasn’t tasted the refreshment of water for a day.

Where feelings for God are dead, worship is dead.

The end of physics 72.1



—I was saddened. Today, we had the last experiment in my physics lab class. While Ma’am Tagaca was lecturing, I focused my camera toward her, and, stupid boy that I was, took a shot, all along forgetting to shut the flash off. It looked like a lightning burst inside the lab.

—After the class, Schubert, Ate Florence and Daryl (I’m still not sure if it’s spelled with a double “r”) posed for the camera. People inside the National Institute of Physics were looking at the inconceivably shameful things we did.

—More photos here.

—I received my Math 55 exam results today. My score wasn’t impressive, but it was higher than what I originally expected. Praise God for His manifold blessings. Posted by Picasa

Quotables from blogger friends

Jacquelyn Libatique:

A man is wise only if he does not act like a foolish man, not only if he thinks like a wise man. It is indeed hard to hold on to truth, and to always live it is so much harder.


Ralph Catedral:

If there is one thing that I learned to imbibe from the University, particularly from the College of Arts and Letters, it is the lifestyle of thinking. Indeed, we were taught not merely to read, but to read keenly and carefully—paying attention to the minutest detail of a work of art or a piece of literature. We were taught not merely to produce them, but to consider acutely how we do them and why we do them. We were taught quite a handful of theories, and poetics, and techniques that will serve valuable in the honing of our craft and the understanding of our subject; but along with these, we were also taught to struggle with them, hoping to evaluate them not merely on the merits of their logic, but also on their political and historical contexts.


Kent Kawashima:

'nuff said.

The First of May

May 1 has been surprisingly peaceful. Everybody must’ve expected a coup attempt to resurface somewhere, but there was none—except for the peaceful rallies. No Canal-water Ejecting Hose Treatment was required to disperse the angry mob from the streets.

While some of my schoolmates—yes, I study in UP, the home of the country’s Fiercest Activists (who happen to speak excellent, eloquent Filipino)—called for the President’s resignation or demanded for greater state subsidy for the University, I was tucked neatly in my bed, watching movies in my PC and finishing my post-lab reports.

In other words, I was idle.

It is during the times when I don’t do anything that I am most susceptible to the traps of the Devil. With nothing to preoccupy me, I’d find myself sinning against the Lord through my laziness, my thoughts, and, to a deeper extent, my corrupt choice not to meditate on His Word.

I suppose it is the same with all of us. Sometimes, it is better when we’re busy with school or work—that way, our minds do not become idle lands on which the enemy may encamp—than when we do nothing else but bum around.

May 1, I realized, isn’t just the commemoration of this country’s work force. It should also serve as a reminder for Christians to labor for the cause of Christ, and not to dilly-dally.