Showing posts with label Writing Project. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writing Project. Show all posts

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Behind the Mask: Unspoken Acts of Our Tatay Lito

10:00:00 PM

In movies and films, a mask is naturally pictured as two faces: the sad face and the happy face. It is depicted that way because of the conception that actors portray different personalities, whether they are bad or good. This instance happens when the director shouts lights, camera, and action, and actors instantly change into the personality needed.

Knowingly or unknowingly, we all have masks. We showcase a different side of ourselves when things aren't good or if we're not that close to the person we're talking to. It's our defense mechanism, negating them from reaching our inner selves, our soft spot, our vulnerability.

At first, I didn't have any ideas of what to write for the 'Unmasked' theme of Comco. It is the company's seasonal event to encourage bloggers to write compelling and inspiring stories, igniting the passion to write creatively.

So, this made me think again—a deep thought, like the one you see in movies where things start to move in slow motion. I just don't know why they do that when someone is always in deep thought. But anyway, I was in that notion when one past event hit me.

I remember the two stories of our young Pastor.

The first story starts with a little boy who just begins schooling at 7 years old. On his way home, he seems to lose his way and couldn't find the path back home. He started crying. As he was crying, an old man approached the little boy and asked why he is crying. The little boy said that he was lost and couldn't find his way back home. To calm the little boy, the old man asked where he lives and who his parents are. Fortunately, the old man knows the little boy's parents and their address, and the little boy safely returns back home.

After 6 years, the little boy turns into a teenager. He was invited to visit a church, but he was shy and hesitant. Then, as he enters the church, an old man approached him and said, "I think I know you. You're that boy who lost his way home, right?" The teenager suddenly smiled, seeing a familiar face, and said, "Hello po." From then on, the teenager was mentored by that old man.

The second story was about the Janitor and the helper of the church. Every Saturday, both of them happily clean the sanctuary of the church in preparation for the Sunday Worship. After the Sunday Worship, they clean the aftermath of the morning and afternoon service.

At the end of the afternoon Worship Service, there is always a small fellowship. Everyone enjoys that small 'salu-salo' (feast) with coffee and pudding. When everyone has left, the Janitor and the helper finish cleaning. Then what's left of that small 'salu-salo' (feast)  becomes the snack of the two, but often the Janitor would tell the helper to eat already and leave some for the Janitor.

The helper follows the instruction of the Janitor, but what piqued his interest is that the Janitor will not partake in the pudding; instead, he will wrap it and place it inside a plastic bag. Eager to know the reason behind it, the helper decided to wait for the Janitor and left together from the church.

As they reached near the highway, a few street children started walking towards the Janitor. They were already waiting for him. As the Janitor reached them, he started giving them pieces of pudding. That is their meal for the night.

This gesture touched the heart of the helper, and he decided to follow that footstep.

Both stories are not fragments of imagination but actual life instances that happened. Not just to someone but to people closely related to us. Stories that I didn't know until they were shared. For me, that mask is not to hide but to simply humble the deeds. There are things that do not need publicity.

Though they were two different stories, both are connected to one person. The little boy and the helper are the same person who happens to be our young Pastor. The intriguing part is that the unmasking of both the Old Man in the first story and the Janitor in the second story are the two Tatay (father) Lito of our church. And one of them is my father.

I never thought that things like this happen in real life; I thought it was only in movies and teleserye. And I never thought there are things that I don't know about my father. He is not a perfect father but knowing things like that is something that made me proud of him. He has his pride, and he also has a soft spot. 

Now I realize that all fathers are liars. They lie not intentionally but because they have to. They tend to hide the reality of life to us, how they struggle and what they have to go through everyday to provide us what we need. They hide it to give us hope of the future that we don't know of. They hide it not to discourage us about to have faith in the beauty of life even if it is full of challenges.  But in front of all that lie and secrets their positive outlook and their smile is their façade. 

Maybe I should have worn my eyeglasses more often. Or maybe I should have worn the Ocular Device Ben Franklin invented in the movie National Treasure to see beyond what a regular eyes can see. 

The story happened to be shared during the two Necrological Service for my father and for Tatay (father) Lito.

Before, I had this belief that people who shared their stories during the wake were all meant to appraise the person. But when it happened to our family, I came to realize that all the good characteristics and memories shared during the necrological service were not to appraise the dead but to let his deeds be an inspiration for the living.

Though his days have ended, I would always remember his positive thoughts about life and his words
with a smile during his bedridden days, "Good morning chief!" which to us it means looking forward to seeing you again!

This story is an entry to COMCO Mundo’s “UNMASKED: The COMCO Mundo Write to Ignite Season 3”. The initiative aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities. “UNMASKED” aims to explore how each mask is a person brimming with hope and wonders to share with others, as well as why it is important to tell their inspiring journeys in life. The “Write to Ignite” Season 3 is made possible by COMCO Mundo League of Enterprises, with airasia, Babyflo, PHILUSA Corporation, Century Tuna, Licealiz, Lamoiyan Corporation, Rémy Martin, and Uratex Monoblock as brand partners.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Surviving The Pandemic with BAHALA NA!

11:08:00 PM


It has been over a year now, and we're still in this pandemic. All are still uncertain until the vaccination is complete though there are still uncertainties we can only hope for the best.

The year in this pandemic has become a survivor series for me. I don't have a full-time job, and my only source of income for my family is blogging and content creation. Since the start of the pandemic, opportunities have become scarce. I'm always looking forward to those little projects that could at least bring food to the table. It has been like a daily task in the survivor series where participants need to win in the challenges to gain rewards. The difference is perhaps the extinguishing of light. If I lose, I can go home but in this pandemic, losing is not an option. But this doesn't stop me because I believe that my faith can pull me through. Work without faith is nothing, and faith without work is the same. As the saying goes, "Kapag may tiyaga, may nilaga! ([literal translation] when there is perseverance, there is stew.)"

Surviving with a grain of mustard seed

Our faith is one of the many driving factors that kept us all in tune and alive. Having faith, as small as a grain of mustard seed, is powerful enough to move mountains. This phrase is one of the many lines in the Bible that kept me moving forward. It may sound too good and impossible for some, but it has been our binding factor to the one, the creator.

If you have seen the movie God's Not Dead, there were two pastors in the film, where their faith, even though they are already Christian Pastors, is tested. Pastor Roland believes in the goodness and grace of the Lord, while Pastor Dave is full of worries. That's why throughout the story, they were negative and positive poles. In our lives, we always face tests and trials.

A test of faith and things happen for a reason

I see the pandemic as a test of faith! It is a question of how big or how small my faith is. A question that applies to everyone, to every individual who's having second thoughts about life. That's why a question of "How many of the prayers become answered prayers?" Well, in my lifetime, I believe all fulfilled prayers, except for those petty ones.

I remember the story shared by our pastor about a Christian who believes that God will actually save him (as in literally God will save him, as what he thought of). It is a test of faith, and it is about knowing God's way of providing things that we need.
A big storm came, and it is flooding already. Mang Jose, the faithful one, is now on his house's first floor when the Tanods passed by, telling everyone to go to the shelter and leave everything. Being devoted, he said, "don't worry, my God will save me." The flood is now on the second floor of the house. A rubber boat passes and encourages him to come with them, but Mang Jose replied, "don't worry, my God will save me." When the flood reached the edge of the roof, Mang Jose is already sitting on top of the house. A helicopter came, throws down a rope, and asked him to get on board the chopper. Still faithfully stubborn, he replied, "don't worry, my God will save me." Then the flood goes higher and higher until Mang Jose drowned.

In heaven, Mang Jose complains to God why He didn't save him. God replied, "I did help you, but you kept ignoring them." Mang Jose thinking and asked, "When was it, Lord?" God explains, "I did send the Tanods, the rubber boat, and the helicopter to pick you up, but you ignored them all."

This pandemic God gave a lot of help to our family, and it came from different avenues. May it be from an individual or a group of people who want to help.

The shield and the sword, making the impossible possible

An unceasing Prayer, a mustard seed faith, and plenty of work are what kept us moving in these trying times. No job, no income, and not enough finances, imagine what we've strived through the lockdowns and quarantines. I really couldn't imagine how we go through the year, but thankfully God is the shield and sword that covered our family from the pandemic and led us to opportunities to help us get through the rough days. We are not yet through with the pandemic, but the blessings are overflowing. We are grateful for all these blessings.

My wife and I would always say, "bahala na. (whatever will be, will be)" To other people, this term connotes negative, but it is a faithful trait of us all Filipinos. We're letting go and giving it all to God. We're not lazy, because after all, we have tried every possible way before we lay all down to Lord. From selling things online to being a redistributor of goods, delivering it to other people despite the scare of COVID-19. For us, we can do all things, but God leads us to every possible thing.

So, Dear Toto, 

As we continue our lives in this pandemic, let us continue to have that Pinoy work attitude (being 'masipag'[hardworking]) and a mustard seed size of faith, then let God do all the rest. 

So, BAHALA NA (Whatever will be, will be)!

Truly yours, 


This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia's "Write to Ignite Blogging Project Season 2: Dear Survivor". The initiative continues to respond to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis. The initiative aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. The "Write to Ignite Blogging Project" Season 2 is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, with Eastern Communications and Jobstreet as co-presenters, and with Air Asia and Xiaomi as major sponsors.

#ComCoWriteToIgniteSeason2 #DearSurvivor #MeaningfulStorytelling

Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Pick This 2014 for the Top 10 Influential Blogs

12:27:00 AM

I think this is my 4th year to join this writing project. The first one was when Kwento Ni Toto was nominated, unfortunately we weren't that influential yet. Now, it's on its 8th year  this writing project that was initiated by Ms. Janette Toral in the sole purpose of recognizing new and uprising blogs that are gradually gaining a considerable amount of readership, following and influence. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

My Picks for Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs 2013

1:20:00 AM

Okay!  I know this was late already but thank goodness that it was extended for a few more days.  Well, for a start I think this is my third year to join this writing project and it was nice to see different blogs being nominated. New ideas and new breeds of bloggers roaming the waves of the net.  Most of them are really getting influential every year.  I remember the first time that I joined, I nominated my own blog, this blog, Kwento Ni Toto.  I was excited seeing my blog get included on other participants lists.  It's a feeling of accomplishment.  Too bad I wasn't good enough to influence more bloggers but at least I learned a lot from that experience.

So for this year, I'm joining the writing project as an influenced reader.  Yup, this blogs that I'll be listing down somehow influenced me to pick their blogs and write something about it.  To some I think they've influenced me personally for I know some of this bloggers and have seen them influence others as well.  To those that I still don't know I'm sure I'll get to know them somehow and perhaps soon.

This writing project is now on its 7th year and it has constantly seeks in identifying new and emerging blogs that are making an impact to its reader this 2013.  Thanks to this writing project that these blogs are given a chance to be known and be read.

So without any further ruckus I'm bringing here my picks for the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs 2013.  This is not in any order of influence but a plain list of my picks.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Picks: Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs 2012

12:58:00 AM
It's another year and it's high time to know bloggers and blogs who have been lurking around the web and gaining recognition even though they have only been for quite some time.  I remember joining in this writing project last year and also shared this blog, the Kwento Ni Toto, as part of my picks for last year Influential Blog but unfortunately I'm not influential enough to garner votes and mentions from other bloggers.   So, for now and perhaps I'll just have to pump up that influencing power to get ready for next year with my upcoming new blog.

About Me

About me
Hi!, This is Marco a.k.a. Toto Blogger and Publisher. I created this blog to provide stories, personal experiences, entertainment, and insights on products I like. I'm here to share and inform you (readers) on things about music, movie, food, travel, and events.

You can also meet my wife on her blog

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