Chronicles of Benia


Due to my desperation leading to confusion state in putting an end to my  writinglessness, I browsed all the pages of my journal from 2009 to 2016 in good faith that I would be able to break the spell. I did not get any out-of-this-world nor never-been-told inspirations from my revisitation of old journals, but, …

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“But bless the Lord Christ in your hearts, Always have an answer ready when you are called upon to account for your hope, but give it simply and with respect.” 1 Peter 3:15

Hello, November.

My 2018 plans is posted in my study area, an area located at the foot-side of my bed. So, every single morning, or more appropriately, since I work in a shift pattern, every single waking-up and sleeping – time morning, I get to see my 2018 Goals hanging there.

Seeing without looking is seeing without the other senses. You physically see that thing is there without giving full attention. And that’s how I treat my 2018 Goals these past few months.

Until today.

Today is November 2. As I remember the souls of my dearly departed, I gave – in to the temptation to see with full attention to my 2018 Goals. I look to it.

The Origin of My Planning
(Ang Alamat ng Pagtatakda)
I need to translate in Tagalog because its more fun. Because the rest of what I will write are seriously true.

Having gone under-the-knife for five surgeries already, 3 minor and 2 major and faced cancer scare in my life, I, (with long pause and deep breath) Benia, do solemnly swear that life is short and that only the Lord can give and take from us His greatest loan to us – the gift of life. In the same way, He determines our death, He alone can determine life (pregnancy/birth)… the covenant of marriage. (Makes beautiful eyes with the thought of marriage).

OK. Here’s the more serious part.

Life is short.

So, the greatest and most valuable thing that can go to waste is T-I-M-E.

I pray and I try with all my best and ask the Lord’s guidance so I can spend this life that He has given me and extended with intentionality.

I consider it a blessing that the Lord allowed me to feel to be facing a possibly imminent death (2-hour inside an MRI machine) and not having completed a mission in this life. It was tragic! It was not the possibility of imminent death (it was heartbreaking, yes!) that is tragic but the thought that I will be dying and has NOT completed my mission (my desires) is! It felt like that dying with out a completed mission is just going through life like a passing wind.

So, I begged for His mercy that He grants me healing and extend my life. This year I am pronounced Cancer – survivor. (Thank you, God, my Lord!)

It’s November. Two months to 2019.
We still have two months, Lord, to erase – off another item or two from this year’s plan. It is still a long period of time.

Let me not be another dose of a passing wind.

How are doing in your yearly plan? Thank you for reading.


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When You Have No Other Choice But to Fight the Battle (The Princess Is Also A Lioness)



When You Have No Other Choice But To Fight The  Battle (Facing Life’s Challenges, First of the Series)

A cliche says “Choose your battle.” But, since, I believe, we are living in a place where the Lord allows free will, sometimes, it’s the battle that chooses us to be the opponent and there is no other way but to participate in the battle and fight like a pro.

This story is one of those situations where one didn’t have an option but to fight and it meant fighting for life.

It was six to seven years ago. I came to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) to hear the medical results after I was confined for about a week in two different hospitals. I came alone and received the news alone. I am somehow prepared to be told for a surgery but not for a biopsy. Biopsy is serious, I know. By rapid injection with pain more than a bite of an insect, a sample of the tumor was collected. My doctor advised me to come back a week later to know whether the tumor recurrence is cancerous or not.

I hurriedly went out of the hospital as I have a service meeting with my co-servants in Pastoral Formation Office (PFO) in less than an hour.

” I will be late.”, was the line what I worried.

As I boarded the train, I ran through how much time I would be late in the appointment. Unbelievably calm, was I? Or I was just in denial?

As I entered into the property, I walked passed a swimming pool with a light and mini- man-made falls. I saw my shadow and stopped . I knew in my heart that I needed to stop even at least for awhile and let the medical result reached my ears. Because with the rate it was going, I felt like ” Did you hear what the doctor said?”

I walked again after thinking that question and reached the intended house in no time.

My co-servants in PFO are a married couple. They knew that I will be coming from my doctor and after hearing the initial findings, they did not proceed with the meeting and asked me more about it. They were even more concerned than I was, it seemed. Truth suddenly begun to sink-in to. me as I related the story of my medical history. Then, the wall of denial started to disintegrate and so was my calmness. Until, Sister Claira said that she had Cancer Stage 1 in her neck and had the lump removed and pronounced cancer – free. Then, after sometime, she had a baby. No wonder there was a baby cry monitor she was holding. Brother Allen, her husband just shared that he was lost when he heard the medical results about his wife. But in the moment of uncertainty, he had the courage to be still and heard the Lord told him ” I am the God of order.” That’s where the point he got his act together and decided to speak to his young children and I would not forget his line to his children which he shared to me, “I do not know what would happen to my life if we would lose your mom.” After hearing the Lord spoke to his heart, he knew what to do next.

I was listening intently at their stories of their journey on cancer but at the back of my head I realized that it is God’s way of making his presence felt at the early stage of my own battle that I need to face through this couple who had already won over the Cancer Battle as a family.

Who could ever orchestra that by the time I will be receiving the bad medical news, I would be talking to them right very after!! Only the Lord, the God author of life and order! That their presence in my life was in perfect timing when I needed a reassurance and they were around to remind me of the good news of the Lord and affirming me that I, too, can win over this battle because God who was with them is the same God with me now.

Suddenly, their baby cried as what we heard from the baby cry monitor, Sis Claira ran to their baby Ana and I was left alone. I stared at the baby cry monitor and said to myself, “I would be blessed to see Baby Ana grows and get old.” It was signifying long life for me.

“The Lord is with me in this battle. I am not alone.”

I went home braver. I was on for the fight of my one and only life.

And you guess it right, everytime baby Ana celebrates her birthday, I celebrate with her for my second life.

PS. I used an alternative name to protect the family.


Dear Lord, thank you for this life. It is a precious gift You have given to us. Since this life only happens once, please always remind us that You are with us. Your presence felt will put order to our lives at all times even when a storm or storms strike us.
Please make your presence felt amidst our lowliness, for without it, we are lost. Amen.

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