Tag Archives: God

Life thoughts: Sorry!!

First of all, I’m really sorry for not posting anything for a month. I’ve been really really busy coping up with a lot of blessings God has given me just for this month. Which are:

1. If you remember the competition I talked about in one of my previous blogs, well, I won the Grand Prize! It was the Young Composers Competition of Southeast Asia which was held in Bandung, Indonesia. I had a blast there with the people, the places, the music and the food! We also went to Yogyakarta, East Java and to Jakarta as well to have some concerts.

2. My sister-in-law’s pregnant by just a few weeks! Hope it’s a girl! 2nd bundle of joy for the family.

3. My only sister is getting married this Saturday! I’m awfully gonna miss her (which I don’t tell her). I’m a bit sad yet happy all at the same time. I’m also excited because we’re gonna have wonderful music care of me and some musician friends. We practiced this afternoon and I was blown away by my own arrangements! Really excited!

4. And last. After 3 years of praying for each other, Ara said yes 🙂 and I love her so much.

I’m gonna try to get into blogging once again!


Food blog: Burgoo

It’s my parents’ 31st anniversary today but unfortunately a big typhoon is battering the country today. But I guess even a typhoon couldn’t stop a small celebration of God’s goodness and faithfulness in the lives of my parents and the whole family. Although just the 3 of us celebrated,  it was still fun. The food was great!

My dad has been dying for us to try Burgoo for the past year. In SM Marikina, they’ve been constantly giving freebies bundled with a purchase in Burgoo. My dad has some of them so we opted to try it out.

After watching Johnny English, which was really funny, we had dinner in Burgoo. Since my dad is trying to lose a little weight off, he ordered just enough bites for the three of us.

My dad ordered Shrimp Caesar’s Salad. It had also crab shreds, calamaris, croutons. It was good for a start. The shrimps were really good. I think they were grilled. The dressing was not overpowering the leaves and all the components.

My dad told me that we’re gonna have a lot of shrimps tonight. So we ordered this Shrimp a la pobre. It’s really good and flavorful. It’s so simple. It’s sauteed in flavor infused olive oil. It has a lot of mild peppers going on that gave it a lot of kick. It was good…and expensive. haha! It was actually free, and that was great.

For the main, my dad ordered Trio Pahitas. It’s a trio of chicken shreds, beef shreds and shrimps with mushrooms and peppers. They were all sauteed in olive oil, with some spices that I think was a bit lacking, and they served it in a sizzling plate.

They are wrapped with this along with dressings of cream, salsa and cheese. I added a lot of Tabasco just to get things going. It was really good and heavy to the belly.

I didn’t get to see the bill, but overall it was a happy experience. I was looking around the resto and kept on seeing the shrimp, ribs and shrimp platter. Well, if that is there specialty, we should try that next time.

  • Burgoo (i4daily.wordpress.com)
  • Burgoo (elteee.wordpress.com)

Life thoughts: ‘stage-fright’

I was raised by my parents achieving a lot. I was raised to achieve excellence and everything that I can and sometimes even surpassing what I can do. When I was in pre-school, and grade school, I was always one of the best students, and always the student with the most non-academic awards. This continued on ’til I was in high school, joining national and international competitions that pretty much shaped my future and what and where I am today. I am not bragging about anything, besides, this is all His, and all will be gone when we get to meet Him, but I just want to share to you what I’m feeling right now.

So here I am again, doing what I’ve been doing for a lot of years already. But maybe this time, it’s the most serious, the most dreadful, the most intimidating, the most excruciating competition yet.

I have to admit. I don’t think I’m even ready for this. I don’t even think I have enough ability to pull this thing off. Every time I even thin about it, my heart starts pounding as if I’m facing the ‘enemy’. Not THE enemy, but the judges (hihi). I’ve been telling my mom about this, and all she tells me is, “just leave it all to the Lord. He already knows who the winner is.”

But of course! He knows. I don’t. Now what? I have no choice but to do it how God would do it if He were in my place–He would do His very best. And that’s what I’m gonna do. At least I hope so.

So I’m leaving for Indonesia on Thursday for the Young Composers Competition of Southeast Asia. Truly, it’s an honor to be competing with 9 other composers. But of course, as my parents would say, I should strive for the best. Such pressure. But I actually put it all off my shoulders and onto God’s now. I know He can pull things off.

If you just read this, do me a favor, please pray for me! Thank you!

Alexander John ‘AJ’ Villanueva
posted from my Blackberry

Life thoughts: gotta have faith

I am reading the whole book of Hebrews, a chapter a day. Today’s Bible reading led me to reading Hebrews 11 which is about how people in the Old Testament obeyed God, even though they do not see what is up ahead.

What struck me, and is very significant to me is verses 7 to 9:

7£ Because Noah had faith, he was warned about something that had not yet happened. He obeyed and built a boat that saved him and his family. In this way the people of the world were judged, and Noah was given the blessings that come to everyone who pleases God.

8£ Abraham had faith and obeyed God. He was told to go to the land that God had said would be his, and he left for a country he had never seen.

9£ Because Abraham had faith, he lived as a stranger in the promised land. He lived there in a tent, and so did Isaac and Jacob, who were later given the same promise.

They have things in common: they did not know, they were not sure, Noah was sure of something that had not yet happened, Abraham left his home for a place that he never saw. But they were blessed. Verse 7 says that Noah was given the blessing that come to everyone who pleases God. Verse 9 says that Abraham lived in a tent, but his children were all blessed by God.

Wait, Abraham lived in a tent in the land God promised him? How can that be even God’s promise?

Well, as one of my favorite movies, Soulsurfer, has imparted, we have to get some perspective, God’s. Still, so many things are part of waiting–character for instance, maybe the most important.

Maybe you moved to a place where God promised you. But it seems as if God is not with you, well God IS with you. You will see the blessing. Prepare for it!

I’m saying all of this because I think I am about to go to that place…in a tent…waiting for the blessing.





Life thoughts: my seed buried in the earth

Today marks the first year death anniversary of a dear friend, Cholo Gino. He is a colleague, a choral conductor, a musician, a great teacher and a friend. When he died last year, I could not help but think of him seeing God face to face. I wish he could come back here and tell me how it is to see the face of God. Truly mind-boggling!

Max Lucado in his book, Experiencing the heart of Jesus, says that when we die, we are but SEEDS ‘planted’ in this earth and that what we manifest will be ‘still the seed’ but in a renewed form as said by Paul to the Corinthians:

35But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? What kind of body will they have?” 36Foolish person! When you sow a seed, it must die in the ground before it can live and grow. 37And when you sow it, it does not have the same “body” it will have later. What you sow is only a bare seed, maybe wheat or something else. 38But God gives it a body that he has planned for it, and God gives each kind of seed its own body.

1 Cor. 15:35-38 NLT

Just from that verse, I could think of some things about the death of Kuya Cholo:

  • he is in heaven
  • he is in a better state
  • he has a better body (Kuya Cholo is really big, I tell you)
  • what he is now can not come without his death on the ‘ground’
  • his death on the ‘ground’ will not happen if he did not cultivate and plant his seed in Christ
  • he forever lives because of that

Yes, I miss him. There’s actually an upcoming event, a friend’s recital that hopefully (yes! hopefully) this person chooses me to conduct the composition. I would love to dedicate that to Kuya Cholo who, through me just observing and watching him through the years, taught me a lot in music. Well, he is in a better place and I reiterate, FACE to FACE with God–that’s really mind-boggling!

10but it is now shown to us by the coming of our Savior Christ Jesus. He destroyed death, and through the Good News he showed us the way to have life that cannot be destroyed.

2 Tim. 1:10

in memory of a friend….

Life thoughts: a day with my parents

Back at June, I was being restless with the fact that I just had 12 units required this term, that I had nothing else to do at home, and that I am getting old not to help my parents with house expenses. So I applied for a job…got accepted. But I’m still not satisfied. I only teach on a Saturday which would also mean less pay. I never really realized that it was God’s way of telling me, spend more time with your parents. You’ll never know when you’ll be leaving.

True enough. These past few months were a witness to how much closer my relationship with my parents was more developed. Since I’m the only child still living with them (my eldest bro is married and has a son; my sis is living in Paranaque and is getting married on October), I might as well do them all the love that my other siblings couldn’t give at the moment of their absence.

So here’s today:

We went to SM because I was insiting to. It can get really boring at home sometimes. We used a discount voucher that I bought 2 weeks back that would allow us to consume 200php worth of taho and ‘soy-moothies’. We actually had some bit of difficulty consuming the 200phps. Then we watched Cars 2 in these posh recliners that were so comfortable my folks slept on them when we watched Captain America 2 weeks ago! We really enjoyed the movie.

After dinner back home, walked out to the grocery store (Puregold) nearby and bought yogurt and an ice cream cone for dessert.

Twas just fun to be with them. I really would never know if I could still do this with them next year (if God would allow me to study abroad).

Alexander John ‘AJ’ Villanueva
posted from my Blackberry

Life thoughts: hope in Jesus

I’ve been very very anxious–disheartened–lately. I’ve been looking for answers left and right, asking counsel from people I look up to, trying to squeeze God for any sign of where He wants me to go after I graduate college. I have plans already of going out of the country and earning my masters degree, but so far, I have found no scholarships. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know this.

I almost thought that everything was in place til this week when I received a couple of emails from people I inquired to about the scholarships. My mom was already asking me about any plan if ever I don’t get one. Well, there’s no other plan! I’ve been imagining this since before I went to college. And now…nothing!

Tonight, I was studying our material for church tomorrow, Experiencing the Heart of Jesus by Max Lucado. The title of the lesson was Experiencing Hope in Jesus.

2 things really spoke to me:

1. He has ample space for me

If in this world, we experience a lot of rejection, a lot of “WE HAVE NO ROOM FOR YOU”, well, God has! If He has some space for me, this means that I am part of the journey–I am part of the family–I am a child–He has a plan! It’s really difficult to say that I trust God COMPLETELY, but…I guess I have to. He already has things planned out for me. All I have to do is either wait, or ask what He has in store for me.

He doesn’t just have some space, but
2. He already prepared a place, a MANSION for me

If I have a mansion, that means that what He plans is good…GRAND! Although I see things in the perspective of the here and now, God understands not just that but the perspective of YET TO COME.

Jer. 29:11
I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you…

Although I still don’t understand everything, like Abraham, I should take a leap of faith and trust that someday I can be a Joseph who didn’t understand everything, yet he obeyed, and became mighty.

If it is God’s will, He will give me a scholarship, if not, He has better plans. My hope is in God, He holds my future.

If you’re reading this, pray for me. God bless you!

by Max Lucado

by Max Lucado

Alexander John ‘AJ’ Villanueva
posted from my Blackberry