Seven Highlights

Welcome to my first "attempt-at-debriefing" post. I'm writing this to bring closure to my almost-seven-year-stay in Malaysia.

Life is full of ups and downs. Of moments both sweet and sour. I shall write about both (and all the things in between). But for this entry, I shall be focusing on the sweet.

With that, here are the seven highlights of my Malaysian adventure:

1. Leading worship. I "led" worship during intercession and dawn prayer meetings back in elbi. Also once during a Women's Encounter. But I mainly sang backup in the worship team (altos and contaltos unite!). My stay in Malaysia brought me to a journey of guitars, ukuleles, and blistered fingertips. During the HC launching in 2010, I couldn't believe one of my dreams was coming to life - I was leading worship in front of nations, in the nations.

2. Writing songs. I wrote songs every now and then during and after college. But none that I was especially proud of. Yet these past years in Malaysia have been so emotionally charged that I couldn't help but pour out my heart through music. I wrote love songs, worship songs, and feel good songs. I even sang a couple of them on open mics up on stage. I became somewhat braver here in Malaysia. I hope I can bring that bravery back to the Philippines.

3. Writing prose and poetry. Hence this blog. And this. And this, too.  So many moments of solitude made me rediscover my love for words.

4. Learning to love (part 1). It was during my stay here that I graduated from my NBSB status. But then I jumped right into the LDR club. It has been a sweet, yet difficult, journey. It's time to close the gap.

5. Learning to love (part 2). It has been a journey of loving God more. Of loving my family more. And loving people who are not my family more and more. In the end, this whole thing is all about love, love, love.

6. Driving through a rainbow. I have a Malaysian driver's license, not an International nor a Filipino one. I took lessons here. I drove for 3.5 years here. I accomplished my first long drive (six hours) here. And I bought a car here. Which I must sell. Immediately. Huhu. Bye, Caleb.

7. Seeing lives changed. God loves His children so much. I witnessed that in ways and measures different from how I saw it in the Philippines. I saw people from different nations coming to know the Lord. I saw my own people being sweetly broken before Him. I saw Him moving in such unexpected ways. I know God has touched so many lives through the family I have here. I know He will continue to touch so much more.

God is a good, good Father. And He is perfect in all of His ways. Hence my use of the number seven for this list and the lists to follow. I think seven is also significant because, on the seventh day, God rested. And so it shall be with me, on my seventh year.


A dream fulfilled.

Closing a Chapter

So I am now going home this December. For good, for the better. We all knew this day would come eventually. I had said I would stay in Malaysia for a minimum of three years. I've now been here for six and a half.

It's time to close this chapter. But how? I chatted with a friend one time and she said we should meet up when I got home to "debrief".

That word. Debrief. It sounds so formal and intimidating. And the other day, I received a lovely gift - a book about "reentry". There's another terrifying word.

Truth be told, I've been allergic to jargons like those. I'd rather not have them thrown in with thoughts of going home. But after reading the reentry book, I found myself relating greatly all through Chapters One to Four (I'm still bookmarked in Chapter 5). "Ahh, all the fears and qualms I've been having these past few months are valid! There were other people who experienced it, too! I'm not overreacting!"

Knowing I have the tendency to feel too much, I believe now that it is best to be prepared. I'm not saying I will be a wreck when I go home. But I can take steps so that the leaving and the homecoming won't take so much of a toll on the emotions.

It's sweet how God himself has also been bringing me full circle. Adrian wrote in one of our exchanges (I will quote you, love):

"I think the Lord wants to show you how things have changed already. All the answers to your prayers. Or the prayers that are yet to be answered pa. The breakthroughs. Or even the breakdowns. He knows how to end a season talaga. And how to start a new one."

And so, as I end this one, I'll be doing a lot of it through this blog. The next two months will mostly be writing therapy for me. But I hope you will still be able to pick up a thing or two from this blog.

Cheers. :)

I will miss this place.


This has been a year of taking action. Of saying "yes" and jumping into the unknown.

So many things happened this year that might not have happened the way they did if I (we) had spent so much time analyzing each situation. Take for example The Midnight LG. The CrossOvers and the water baptisms. The big move(s), the sudden trips, the ticking of things off the bucket list. Things would have been so different this year if I (we) stayed safely hidden in our little corner.

Well, of course there are seasons. God knows very much how I have spent the previous years in hiding, I wondered if there was any hope for light. But those years led up to this one. Now, I am breaking out of every box, just living and jumping.

Not to say I have never calculated risks, pros and cons, and the like. I am a planner. I live by those kinds of lists. But now I won't let those things hold me back.

You see, passion and well-meaning intentions are all amazing. But what will set you apart is this: if you actually jump and take action.

What are those things you've been meaning, wanting to do, but can't seem to get to because of all the risks involved?

I will tell you one thing:

This year's first big jump.

Full Circle

I've gone full circle. I'm back to the place where I started this journey out. Who knew I would be back here? Who knew I would pass by my old school again, those old roundabouts, those old (and some new) traffic lights, too?

Perhaps I am in that place of remembrance. So I can give thanks to God for what he has done through these 76 months that have passed.

I'm in my new room now as I type this out. It has the same setup as the room I had when I started working. Different colors though. The walls of this one are painted purple. The other's was... I can't really say for sure.

Things now are different but are in a way, the same. I think the sameness gives a bit of security.

Well, I think this is soul practice for the even bigger changes coming up ahead.