Wow. What a weekend.

    This was one of those weekends at home that make me wish I didn’t have to go back here in my metropolitan jungle, but yeah… I’m here. I’m back in Metro Manila. Where I’m supposed to be. Yei.


    Sarah’s Bat Barakah was a definite highlight this weekend. It was like a reunion with elementary classmates/schoolmates. It was shocking to realize that the Energizer bunnies disguised as lively little kids running around “center” were now all grown up. It was a friendly reminder that yes… indeed, I am now an adult, and apparently, so are they! Kids who are five years younger than me are now adults. O.O Somehow, part of me was fully expecting them to remain as kids.

    On a long side note, I have to mention this… I have to love my hometown, La Trinidad. I’ve been looking for a proper outfit to wear to Sarah’s birthday, but couldn’t bring myself to buy the 1K+ skimpy dresses that I see here in Manila, so I figured I’d just rent a gown when I get home. Apparently, wearing a gown would be over-dressing, so I hit Tiong San. I was expecting to get a dress for around 500 pesos.

    My goodness. The dress cost 235 pesos. And my shoes, which I so incredibly love (but will probably never be able to wear again because my dad convinced me in not-so-kind words that I looked freakishly tall in those heels) was at a whopping 210 pesos. Ha! Beat that.

    Of course, I didn’t get to wear just the dress, because my dad was convinced that anything above the knee is way too short and I have to admit that, considering my height, the dress was way above the knee. I ended up wearing skinny jeans under the dress and I swiped my mom’s coat from her closet. (To everyone who liked the coat, I’m sure my mom likes it too. 😉 Voila! Outfit complete. All under 500 pesos. *Wild applause.*

    Back to the Bat Barakah… The whole event kicks you to nostalgia mode. Everything about it brings back memories. Sarah, now a blooming young lady, was gorgeous. The dance that she and her younger brother, J.D., choreographed and performed was nothing short of inspiring (and brought back memories of friends who before used their gifting in that area). The song that she composed and sang was absolutely beautiful. (JMPM album anyone?)

    The entire event had a warm atmosphere about it. It really gave me a sense of family… of home. While I love the family that I have here in Manila, nothing quite beats home.

    To top the whole thing with a cherry, I had a particularly interesting blast from the past. It was an unexpected surprise seeing an old crush of mine. I was actually surprised at how anxious his presence there made me feel. It was like he showed up just to remind me, “Hey, there’s someone in this world who’s as good-looking as I am. Don’t forget that you have a crush on me. Buh-bye now.” Then he weaves out of my life and I’ll be lucky to see him again in the next 5-10 years. I gush – just like any high school crush would make me do – then I just kind of pick up and move on. (That’s over-simplifying the whole thing, but going into detail would deserve its own blog, so let’s leave it at that.)

    Anyway, great night. Everyone looked great. Everything was great. Great. Great. Great.

    Sarah, you’re a woman! A beautiful one at that. Cherish your parents’ blessing. Even more than that, seek it.

    Ate Georgette, amazing job decorating the place. Three words: Interior. Design. Career.

    Ate Jellaine and Ate Steph, I really appreciated the conversations – short as they were, I found them quite meaningful. 😉

    Shannah, Hannah, Nicky and Coureen, looking great as usual ha.

    Nadine, I love that I saw you in a dress! You look really really pretty!

    Cysar and Alvin, bagay niyo ang naka-formal – mukha kayong kagalang-galang.

    To all the GLA alumni there, wow. Yun lang. Wow.

    Kuya Danny, grumaduate ka na! Para makapag-Starbucks na tayo! (I won’t stop saying it until I actually get it. Haha…)


    Hearing Ate Melyn speak again really moved me. It was as if she was echoing the very words that God has been trying to get through my thick skull – “Seek Him. Seek Him first. And all will follow.”

    The message that Ate Melyn shared to us and seeing their beautiful family again proved to be an inspiration – not only to me, but to so many of us. Their lives truly show what life is like when lived within God’s will. Their presence has been a blessing and an assurance of God’s call in my life.


    Monday night – Kuya Albert led the worship, and that worship service will probably be one of my most memorable. I once again had an encounter with my good, loving and merciful Savior. I am overwhelmed with gratefulness.

    If anything, this weekend revived my dwindling desire to pursue my First Love – my God. It was a reminder of what was important, a reminder of the things that I truly valued. I get distracted by everything that is going on in my life, by everything that I need to do, that I want to do.

    This weekend gave me room to re-evaluate my life, to seek guidance from both my Father in heaven and my father here on earth. I feel like I’m once again back on track and that feels awesome.

    It’s great to be serving a constant, never-changing, loving and merciful God.


    To end on a light note, here’s an exchange of words I had with my dad while we were waiting for a taxi to take me to the bus station:

    Me: “Dad, bakit ‘di mo matanggap na 5’6″ lang ako?”

    Dad: “Anak, bakit ‘di mo matanggap na 5’7″ ka?”

    Ayos. Gandang usapan. Ang katapusan niyan is my dad still thinks I’m 5’7″. I still think I’m 5’6″. My last medical checkup said so. Maybe my next medical checkup will say that I’m only 5’5″. I don’t think I’ll like that, ‘coz it will totally mess my BMI and I’d have to diet even more than I already have to.

    Hayz. Whatever. Out.

    Miss home already.

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    Joanna Alonzo

    Author/Founder at Almond Tree Publications
    Joanna Alonzo is a walking paradox. She is a beautiful, albeit messy, mixture of thought and emotion, expressed in the form of hopefully readable – and relatable – stories. She is a kingdom kid, who looks forward to being a writer and storyteller even when she reaches heaven. She is passionate about the unreached, about those who have yet to know the Love she found in the arms of the Almighty. She is intrigued by the world and its people, who day by day, continue to convince her that God is the greatest Storyteller of all.
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2 Comments on "A Bat Barakah, a Sunday Sermon & an Encounter with God – My Weekend @ Home"

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I had that same conversation with my father, but not quite exactly, it's like I'm 5'2 No you're 5'1.


Nyahaha… opposite heh?


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