Showing posts from March, 2009

The Christian workman

Recently I've attended two career talks that have profoundly affected the way I view the real world—and by that, I mean the sphere of human existence outside the University. The first was sponsored by Dormitories Christian Fellowship, and the second, by the Diliman Campus Bible Church. What occurred to me—and I'm speaking for the rest of us who attended—is that the life outside is harder. The workplace is not merely a chair and a desk—it is a battlefield where the forces of darkness and light operate. The Christian worker, therefore, must be armed in this daily spiritual battle. This reminder rings true especially now where making a stand for Christ is harder than ever. The lives of the panelists I met during these talks are a testament to God's unfailing goodness. These are people who have kept the Lord always before them and have determined—no matter how imperfectly—to do all for His glory.


The day of the dreaded poster presentation wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. Senior professors, other MBB undergrads, some visitors and friends trooped to our posters to see what we've been working on for the past two sems. If they were curious enough, they asked us to explain what we did. The feeling is more of relief than fulfillment. In my case, there's so much to be done. It's back to the real world lab tomorrow, but aren't we all glad that it's over—at least, for now? (HT: Johanna Poblete for the photo)

Making the cut

"Congratulations," read the text message. I didn't know what that was for. When I came to Albert Hall later that day, people were congratulatory. Apparently some news broke out that I didn't know about. I made it to the UP College of Medicine . Like any life-changing moment, it didn't sink in on me immediately. It was only the morning after—that very moment when I lifted myself from the bed—that I realized, "I'm going to be a doctor." For the first time, I can now give a definite answer to friends who ask me what I'd do after graduation. And I'm thankful because many of my classmates made it, too. Again, this is because of grace. If I say I made it on my own, that would be hypocrisy, for it was the Lord who helped me write the answers in the NMAT , gave me good grades, and convicted my heart to say what needed to be said during the interview process. Sadly some friends didn't quite make it to the cut. But like I told them, I was blessed

A reason to smile

The previous week is going to go down in history as one of the most stressful times in my undergrad life. My experiments weren't working, my mice weren't getting any pregnant, and I had absolutely nothing to write for my thesis. I'd be in the lab until the wee hours of the morning, monitoring my experiments or figuring out what went wrong. They say troubleshooting is the fun part of the scientific process, but one does get an overdose of it—and the feeling isn't so good. So it's a miracle that I could still smile during those times. But more than the external grin, I had peace. I remember a letter I wrote to a friend, "I'm resigned to the fact that whatever happens, God will be in control. That's really something that I realized these past few days. The wonderful doctrine of the sovereignty of God. Siguro that's one great thing that separates us, Christians, from others. We don't wallow in helplessness because we know that, ultimately, all thin


I had the privilege of speaking to the graduating residents of Yakal Residence Hall on March 9, 2009 during the Parangal. I gave this speech. The feeling is almost surreal. To finally graduate from a University I've practically called my home for the past five years and the events that have led to such a culmination are something I could not—and probably never will—understand completely. Like all of you, I started as a wide-eyed freshman, fresh from the province, about to enter a school starkly different from what I had been used to. UP then was a distant, impersonal idea. I had various impressions about it, mostly those formed from my older brother's personal accounts of his jeepney rides around campus, his famous classmates, his brilliant professors, and his newfound friends hailing from different parts of the country. Now, five years later, those impressions have become real to me—so real, in fact, that they have been integrated, figuratively speaking, into my genome. If, fo

About Me

Updated 30 November 2009. 1. I'm a born again, evangelical Christian. I believe that man is a sinner, and that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. I believe in the inerrancy, sufficiency, and supremacy of Scripture in all matters pertaining to faith, life, and holiness. 2. Before I took up Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, I was an English major. Call it a leap into the void, but I'm glad it turned out for the better. Now I'm now a first-year medical student at the UP College of Medicine where I study a moldy, obese cadaver I lovingly call Big Bertha. 3. I was born and raised in Koronadal City , South Cotabato, where the stars shine more brightly. 4. Once in high school, I traveled from South Cotabato to Baguio. Alone. 5. I grab every opportunity of talking to wise, old, godly people. I often wish I were older. Then, I'd make wiser decisions, formulate sounder judgments, and give better advice. 6. I have two other brothers; I'm the second-bo

The long road ahead

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

Sun Tzu's The Art of War: how to win wars and sound profound at the same time

I spent my idle hours reading The Art of War by Sun Tzu , a Chinese military treatise written during the 6th century BC. My copy is the 1910 English translation of Lionel Giles and edited by the novelist James Clavell. The book, divided into 13 chapters, gives overview of the fundamentals of war (free access here ). Sun Tzu makes sure that the reader understands that wars must be fought and fought well—not with caprice, but with definite plans. Clearly, each page is packed with wisdom and insight from the ancient Chinese warrior—many, if not all of which, still apply today. Sun Tzu says: All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength,