To All Single Parents, Be Happy Because God Loves You And Has Plans For You! (Part 1 – Hagar the Single Mother)

Long ago here in the Philippines, I noticed there were negative vibes against single parents. Specifically I’m talking about the individuals who became parents without getting married and also those who became parents (having at least one child while being married to a spouse) who became widowed (losing the spouse).

Decades ago, I noticed that there is this expectation within many families that getting married and raising a new family is a traditional goal which is expected to be fulfilled by the children as they grow into adulthood. This expectation, in my observation, is for the most part the result of religion-based traditions and rituals that influenced Philippine society for many generations.

As a result, there is a side effect caused by those religious traditions and rituals that emphasize marriage – discrimination towards individuals who became parents without getting married.

For the people who became single parents as a result of losing their respective spouses, they (as widowed individuals) often encounter expectations or suggestions from others to get married again.

In my experience, I noticed single parents get questioned harshly, get viewed with skepticism, and even get discriminated by others because most people got indoctrinated by the religious influence and expectations related to marriage. Of course, I am not saying that marriage itself is bad.

I personally know people who strongly believe in religious views of marriage and carry in their minds the false belief that single parents and their descendants are cursed and will always be treated as lower-class people. This belief, of course, adds to the discrimination against single parents. As such being a single parent is often challenging not only here in the Philippines but also in other parts of the world.

If you are a single parent reading this, fear not about your status. Do not let others put you down because what many of them do not know is the truth that God loves, cares and has plans for all single parents! That’s right! God values single parents and for as long as they keep faith in Him and maintain personal relationships with Him, they will be blessed by Him!

The good news here is that it is all recorded in the Holy Bible and in this article, we will focus on the true story of Hagar!

Let’s look back at the Book of Genesis.

Hagar the single mother

Some time after God established the first blood-sacrifice covenant with Abram (Chapter 15), his wife Sarai had no children with him (Chapter 16). She told her husband, “See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.” (Genesis 16: 2 NKJV)

Sarai took her Egyptian maid Hagar and gave her to Abram to be his wife. After getting involved with him, Hagar conceived. Sarai dealt harshly with Hagar who fled from her presence. An Angel from the Lord found her by a sprint of water in the wilderness.

The Angel, who called her by name and her occupation as Sarai’s maid, asked her where she came from and where she was going to. Hagar replied that she was fleeing from Sarai.

“Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.” (Genesis 16: 9 NKJV)

The Angel’s message did not just end there. He further said (Genesis 16: 10-12 NKJV):

“I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.”

“Behold, you are with child,

And you shall bear a son,

You shall call his name Ishmael,

Because the LORD has heard your affliction.

“He shall be a wild man;

His hand shall be against every man,

And every man’s hand against him.

And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”

It was made clear to Hagar that God really has plans for her and her son with Abram. As she was not married to Abram and her involvement with him was the result of Sarai’s intervention (which symbolizes the dangers of taking God’s promises into our own hands), Hagar was illegitimate but God did NOT abandon her nor cursed her.

God really cared for Hagar and even before the birth of Ishmael, He made a plan for him as well. Eventually Hagar bore Abram his son. Abram, who was already eighty-six years old, named the baby Ishmael. At this stage, Hagar became a single mother.

Some time after Sarah (formerly Sarai) gave birth to Isaac, her son with Abraham (formerly Abram), Hagar and Ishmael’s time with them came to an end.

According to Genesis 21: 8-21, Isaac grew and was weaned and Abraham made a great feast on that very day. Then Sarah saw Ishmael. She told Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.”

This displeased Abraham. Eventually God said to him, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. Yet I will make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.”

In case you got lost, Hagar is referred to as the bondwoman. The single mother’s challenges continued but God still cared for her and Ishmael.

The fateful morning came when Abraham gave bread and a skin of water to Hagar, then he sent her and Ishmael away.

So did the single mother and her boy just get lost and died shortly after? Absolutely not! There definitely is more to the truth about them in the Holy Bible. As recorded in the Bible, the land promised to Abraham became Israel which was passed on to Isaac and Jacob. While Abraham’s line went on to become highly significant as God fulfilled His promise to him, this does not mean that Hagar and Ishmael ended up empty and abandoned by God. Now we go back to them.

Together Hagar and her son wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba. Eventually the water ran out and she placed Ishmael under one of the shrubs.

Hagar went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot. She said to herself, “Let me not see the death of the boy.”

Then she sat opposite him and lifted her voice and wept.

The God responded to the voice of the lad and He sent an Angel to Hagar!

“What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.”

Then Hagar’s eyes were opened by God and she saw a well of water. She went to the well, filled the skin with water and gave Ishmael a badly needed drink.

As God had plans for him, Ishmael grew up and dwelt in the wilderness where he became an archer. He dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran and Hagar took a wife for him from her native Egypt.

Lessons learned

Hagar’s story in the Holy Bible clearly showed that God loves, cares for and made plans for single parents like her. This also means that blessings from God were extended to their children as seen through Ishmael.

While Ishmael did not inherit anything from his father Abraham, he still went on to live a life as an archer and as a husband as God fulfilled the promise he made to Abraham regarding his son with Hagar.

Along the way, God made clear to Abraham that He would establish his covenant with Isaac.

As recorded in Genesis Chapter 17: 18-20, Abraham mentioned Ishmael to God stating that he (son with Hagar) might live before Him.

God responded, “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.”

Going back to Hagar, the single mother in the Holy Bible symbolizes the person who has been unfairly treated, deserted, and cut off with little provision. But even so, the Lord intervened with provision (both spiritual and physical) for her. She and her son went on to live longer as God fulfilled His promise of making a great nation out of Ishmael.

When Hagar was desperate and struggling to survive in the wilderness, she called out to God crying. Even in the worst of times (being put down by Sarah, getting banished by Abraham and the like), she still believed in the Lord and trusted Him. From Heaven, God sent an angel to her and the well of water that suddenly materialized right there in the wilderness was only the beginning that led to the realization of His blessing for Ishmael. This proves that God will never abandon nor forsake His children. All it takes is having faith in Him and putting our trust in Him no matter how bad or how challenging life becomes.

To put things in perspective about God’s love and care for ALL of us (including single parents), here is a scripture from Deuteronomy 31: 6 (NKJV)

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

In John 14: 18 (NKJV), Lord Jesus (the Son of God) said, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

In Isaiah 41: 10 (NKJV), God said, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

To put into perspective God’s love, mercy, care and plans for all of His children, heed this scripture from Jeremiah 29: 11 (NKJV).

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Going back to the topic at hand, it is obvious by now that for as long as we keep faith in Him and maintain personal relationships with Him, God will always love us, provide for us and accept us into His Kingdom. All of these apply to single parents and the story of Hagar and Ishmael is the biblical truth that can be lived with.

God’s love and provision for the single mother Hagar and her son easily kills the false belief that single parents and their children are cursed. If you know someone who still lives by that false belief and looks down at single parents and their children, tell that misguided person to read Genesis 21: 8-21 in the Holy Bible. The truth should set that person free!

If you are a single parent who has suffered a lot and you lived a life of religion or unbelief, and you truly want to establish faith and a relationship with God, then you must realize that you need to be born again because Lord Jesus said so (refer to John 3: 3 and the subsequent verses).

It is indeed true that by nature, religion is mean, it will frustrate you and prevent you from establishing a relationship with God. You may not realize it until now but you really do not need religion at all. What you need is faith and relationship with the Lord. I know! Religion and its believers frustrated me and kept me in prison (literally) and it even pushed me away from God and made me a lost soul for a number of years. After that, thanks to the Lord and His Instrument (my dearest friend in life) I repented, submitted myself to God and I willingly accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I have been saved and been blessed a lot, and my life has moved forward a lot in a short span of time.

You have the power to decide to be born again. This includes repenting to God for all the sins you committed, submitting yourself to Him and then accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. It is never too late to be born again and never too late for you to break the chains of religion (along with all the idolatry, rituals and traditions it comes with) or unbelief that has hindered you and your child (or children) for so long.

Think of the truth in the Holy Bible. Apart from the truth of Hagar and Ishmael who got banished by Abraham, there is also the truth of Adam’s rebellion against God which caused chaos and brought humanity downwards. Even with all the chaos that happened, God sent His Begotten Son Jesus into the world to spread the good news, died to redeem humanity (caused by the Fall of Man and Adam’s rebellion in the Garden of Eden), came back to life, made His resurrected presence felt and ascended to Heaven with the promise of His return.

If you seek salvation right now by becoming born again, be prepare to repent to the Lord, submit to His authority, let go of all the elements that hindered you from connecting with Him (the idolatry, traditions and rituals of religion and other unholy elements) and be ready to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. No more worshiping people and idols in any form. It is only the Lord you should always worship from this point on.

Ready? Then pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations, reader! You are now a child of God! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! The Holy Spirit is in you. As such, I encourage you – the born again single parent reading this – to read the holy scripture in Acts 16: 31. Grab the Holy Bible to read it as your first lesson and whatever new lessons you learned afterwards, do the Word of God by applying it in your life.

In the near future, another article about single parents and their situations in the Holy Bible will be discussed. Remember that God is not a tyrant and therefore nobody living in the flesh has the right to put you – the single parent – down. God is a loving, caring and providing father to all of us who believe in Him and have a personal relationship with Him. It is true that single parents like you who have faith in Him are welcome in His kingdom.

In closing this, here is a Christian music video for your reflection and faith in the Lord.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

With regards to Christianity, if you are within the BF Homes or Alabang areas of South Metro Manila and you are spiritually lost looking for someone to talk to or to join a Christian church that will welcome you, please feel free to contact me by mobile phone at 09053350831 or by email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com to schedule a meeting.

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A Look Back At Youngblood #2 (1992)

During my high school days, I heard some buzz about the launch of Image Comics. The year was 1992 and public Internet access in the Philippines was still years away. The buzz of Image in the Philippines was produced through comic book industry magazines read by local geeks who mostly expressed their excitement.

Image Comics was the result of seven high-profile comic book illustrators who left Marvel Comics over issues such as low compensation, low royalties and the company’s immediate ownership of characters they created. Image officially launched with Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood #1.

I should say that I never had the opportunity to buy a copy of Youngblood #1 nor was I able to read a copy of it from a fellow comic reader. However I was fortunate enough to buy an existing old copy of Youngblood #2 which is the subject of this retro comic book review.

The story begins with a prologue introducing readers to a group called the Berzerkers fighting a group of metallic beings. The Berzerkers meet Kirby, a short muscular guy who seems to be inspired somewhat by the late comic book legend Jack Kirby (died in 1994). In fact, written on the lower part of page 1 was a message: Respectfully dedicated to Jack “The King” Kirby.

Then the spotlight finally moves to Youngblood who are discussing the newly discovered body of Prophet, a muscular man sleeping in suspended animation. Prophet was described as “the product of a groundbreaking bio-genetic experiment conducted under the supervision of Dr. Garnet Wells sometime around the Second World War.”

Soon enough, Prophet wakes up and then things really get moving. You just have to read the comic book to find out what happened.

When it comes to quality, I should say this comic book does not have much of a story. What I described above was pretty much it. The comic book had a descent build-up however mainly for Prophet and all the expository dialogue and visuals made clear that the character was designed to be important.

When it comes to art, Youngblood #2 clearly shows Rob Liefeld with a lot of heart and passion. The elements that defined not only his style but also 1990s superhero comic book culture are here – big futuristic guns, muscular bodies, pupil-less eyes, weird looking feet, disproportionate body parts, armor, shoulder pads and the like.

Superhero action? This comic book is heavily loaded and the action scenes drawn by Liefeld packed a lot of punch. Seeing Prophet getting punched by the giant guy looked exaggerated but it still had a lot of visual impact.

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Hard hitting action, visceral looks, muscles, shoulder pads, pupil-less eyes and Prophet.
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Really passionate work by Liefeld.

Adding more value to the comic book was a 5-page preview of Shadowhawk done by Image Comics co-founder Jim Valentino. Without spoiling the details, I should say that the preview does a good job selling ShadowHawk. Lastly, Youngblood #2 has two covers and one end has to be flipped to read the opening content properly.

Overall, Youngblood #2 is worth reading even though its story is very light. To say this comic book is terrible is just wrong. To say the least, it is a nice showcase of the talent and creativity of Rob Liefeld who not only illustrated and inked it, he also wrote the story! Youngblood 2 sure has a light story and heavy action content but ultimately it succeeded on introducing Prophet as well as setting up the excitement for the next issue.

I want to point out that it was recently revealed that Liefeld stayed clear off Youngblood in relation to a custody battle with a co-owner related to past deals made. This explains why he has not done Youngblood stuff for a long time. It’s too bad that we won’t see any more new Youngblood involving Liefeld’s passionate work.

Read Liefeld’s words from a long post he made in Facebook on August 2.

Youngblood represented some of my finest work, I’m proud of all the work that was produced. Sadly, film companies will be reluctant to invest the time and money in a venture without the support and blessing of its creator.

Youngblood #2 is recommended.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Vermosa Sports Hub Aquathlon 2 Set for August 25

 

VERMOSA SPORTS HUB AQUATHLON 2 SET FOR AUGUST 25

Close to 300 youths and seasoned multisport athletes from around the nation are ready to test their mettle in the Vermosa Sports Hub Aquathlon 2 event set for August 25 at Vermosa Sports Hub along Daang Hari, Imus City, Cavite.

In this latest event of the ongoing Vermosa Sports Hub Multisport Series 2019 and the Sun Life Aquathlon Series organized by Bike King Philippines, participants will perform in their respective categories (with age-appropriate distances) using the Vermosa Sports Hub’s world-class Olympic-size swimming pool and the highly modern track oval. The shortest course is composed of a 100-meter swim and 600-meter run for the kids (age 7-10) while the longest course is 1 Km swim and 7 Km run (for participants aged 15 and older).

At stake in the event supported by Vermosa Sports Hub, Smart, Standard Insurance, official timer Garmin, SPEEDO, Apollo Petroleum Jelly and hydration partners Pocari Sweat and Sip Purified Water are specially designed medals and gift packs for the top 3 finishers of each age-group category. More notably, this event will serve as the final race of the Vermosa Sports Hub Multisport Series 2019 which includes an aquathlon (March) and a triathlon (June) previously held. The Top Athletes of 2019 of the Vermosa Sports Hub Multisport Series 2019 will be awarded after the race.

Also up for grabs are points for the Top 20 finishers in the standard distance category which will be counted for the for the search of 2019’s Top Aquathlete in the ongoing Sun Life Aquathlon Series. Vermosa Sports Hub will host the concluding aquathlon series event – the Sun Life Aquathlon Series Championship – on October 13.

The awarding ceremony will take place at around 10AM near the swimming pool area. Spectators and companions of participants are welcome to spend time at the race expo located at the same area

For more information on this event, visit http://bikekingphilippines.com and http://vermosa.ph. Follow @VermosaPH on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

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A Look Back At Uncanny X-Men #289

Released in 1992 by Marvel Comics, Uncanny X-Men #289 was written by Scott Lobdell and drawn by Whilce Portacio (with ink work by Scott Williams). Its concept focused on the Gold Team of the X-Men (composed of Jean Grey, Storm, Colossus, Ice Man and Archangel) dealing with Bishop who at the time was still a newcomer.

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Cover of the comic book.

It begins when Bishop looks at a framed picture of the original X-Men followed by Storm telling him every student who graduated to the role of an X-Man remains dedicated to the ideal of peaceful coexistence between mutants and humans.

As the Gold Team X-Men enjoy their peaceful time at the mansion of Xavier, elsewhere someone spies on William and Maddy Drake who talk about Bobby (Iceman). Back at the mansion, Archangel encounters a spitting image of his younger self (as Angel and with normal skin color) which raises tension attracting the attention of Storm, Bishop and Forge.

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A touching scene between Jean Grey and Charles Xavier.

To describe Uncanny X-Men #289 clearly, the comic book is more focused on character development as it lacks a strong conflict between good and evil. Anyone craving for superhero action will most likely feel unsatisfied here. However, if you want to know the X-Men more passionately and watch the romance between Storm and Forge develop, then this comic book will be engaging.

Scott Lobdell did a good job developing the characters through drama and Whilce Portacio’s art really brought the script to life. I enjoyed reading the interaction between Jean Grey and Charles Xavier who realizes that as he led the X-Men, he took a bit of something from their respective lives.

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Nice layout and style by Whilce Portacio on the team.

Take note of the following exchange of dialogue.

Charles Xavier: Jean, did you ever hate me for having taken away your childhood?

Jean Grey: Professor, please. What child is given the opportunity to fly to the stars? How many children battle alongside Asgardian thunder gods or super soldiers? You gave me…all of us…more than you took away.

That was really nice writing there by Lobdell. There was drama and harmony between the two characters.

Overall, Uncanny X-Men #289 is recommended. Think of it as a comic book that will help you – the reader – get to know the characters more closely.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Tremendously Successful 2019 Linggo ng Kabataan in Barangay BF Homes by the BFSK

A Tremendously Successful 2019 Linggo ng Kabataan in Barangay BF Homes by the BFSK

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From Left to Right were Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) kagawads Irene Juanico, Anne Corre, chairperson Mariel Tumang, SK kagawads Jerry Dalmero and Stephanie Sebullen.

For the Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) is concerned, August 17, 2019 will be remembered for a long time as their 2019 Linggo ng Kabataan event held at the Phase 1 gym along Pilar Banzon street, BF Homes subdivision, Parañaque City turned out to be tremendously successful in terms of youth turnout and participation.

According to BFSK chairperson Mariel Angela Tumang (read my exclusive feature interview of her here), the turnout was bigger than the two hundred and fifty youths they anticipated. For a whole day, youths from around Barangay BF Homes (Masville, Sampaloc Site 1 and 2, Clinic Site, and others) engaged in lots of activities such as parlor games, group performances, Tagalog literary contest, the Trashionista competition (models wearing gowns made out of recycled materials) and more.

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Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson Mariel Tumang (left) herself handled the registration of the many youths who lined up early.
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Many youths in line on the morning of August 17.

“The turnout and participation of youths to our Linggo ng Kabataan event went beyond our expectations. We targeted around two hundred fifty youths but by the time our initial count ended, it reached at two hundred and ninety-four. Then even more youths joined in pushing the count beyond the three hundred mark,” Tumang confirmed. “We are surprised and very delighted with the better than expected turnout.”

Filled with happiness, Tumang declared their Linggo ng Kabataan event a very successful one and no less than Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Rocel Espino expressed her admiration for the event (see below).

It should be noted that Tumang and the SK Kagawads Alma Galindo, Roselyn Regis, Jerry Dalmero, Kelly Haboc, Irene Juanico, Anne Gabrielle Corre and Stephanie Sebullen as well as their SK secretary Darrenz Fabros and SK treasurer Jefferson Ching worked long and hard on organizing the event from the decorations to the registration of youths and implementing the program of the day.

Engagement and Achievements

 

Along the way, the youths also engaged with each other through socializing when they had their meals and breaks. Early in the day, I found time to approach some youths to get their perspective about the activities.

“I’m excited mainly for the parlor games,” said 16-year-old Hazel.

“The Trashionista looks exciting. I’m really curious as to how our fellow youths will prove their creativity on making gowns using recycled materials,” said Maria, also aged 16.

Another youth (age 18) I interviewed named Mark revealed that the socializing aspect interests him the most as he has always been excited to meet youths from other areas of the barangay through the BFSK’s organizing of events for them.

The activities include Palarong Pinoy which was composed of a variety of parlor games participated by teams and these games really dominated the day which gave the participants a lot of fun and socializing along the way.

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A group performs during the cheering contest.
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One of the candidates wearing a gown and a crown made of recycled materials answered a question during the Trashionista.

Trashionista was a fashion show and pageant-like activity highlighting dresses and accessories made out of recycled materials emphasizing creativity, recycling and usability. The Tagalog literary contest of poetry emphasized the use of spoken Tagalog along with the participant’s creativity and ability to express himself/herself.

By the evening, as the final activities took place, it was pretty clear that the youths were enjoying the action and themselves. The Tagalog poetry contest drew a lot of cheers from the youth-dominated audience and I noticed that many youths were still energetic and excited even at around 9PM.

“When we planned the poetry contest, we never anticipated that it would generate a lot of interest from the youths. After making the formal announcement and starting the search for candidates, the response from the youths wanting to join in was overwhelming,” SK kagawad Jerry Dalmero said during my interview with him.

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This young lady’s poetry performance drew some cheers.
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Little Miss Las Islas Filipinas 2019 winner Miarah Ysabelle Licardo poses with Barangay BF Homes’ Zeny Pascual. Licardo is a resident of Masville.
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Another poetry performance.

Ultimately, the achievements of youths – both individual and by groups – were acknowledged and awarded accordingly. The achievers per category are as follows:

Tula (Spoken Poetry)

1st place – John Paul Albiola

2nd place – Gia Fortes

3rd place – Francis Francisco

Trashionista

1st place – Francis Francisco

2nd place – Charlon Salazar

3rd place – Julie Betania

4th place – Leonel Rosales

Palarong Pinoy

1st place – Team Gray

2nd place – Team Blue

3rd place – Team Orange

BFSK praised by Barangay Kagawad Espino

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Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Rocel Espino. She leads the barangay committee on education.

Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Rocel Espino, who leads the barangay committee on education, graced the Linggo ng Kabataan event and stated she was really happy to see a large turnout of youths participating.

“I congratulate our Sangguniang Kabataan council for organizing this special event for our community’s youths and I am impressed to see the high turnout we have,” Kagawad Espino said on the stage. “I am so delighted to see so many youths who are not only attending but also are eager to make themselves heard.”

During my chat with her, Espino revealed it was very hard to reach out to the community youths and even harder to convince them to participate to events or activities meant for them. There were times that activities meant for youth empowerment got organized but attracted very few youth participants.

Furthermore, Espino announced that a youth seminar will be held for youths of Masville on August 31 at barangay hall. It will start from 8AM and last until 3PM. She also announced the “Proud to be Drug-Free” project with a school in Masville which will be a one-day event.

What is Linggo ng Kabataan?

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For the newcomers and the readers from overseas reading this, Linggo ng Kabataan in English stands for Week of the Youth (or Youth Week for short). The celebration is not limited to the local community but in varied communities around the Philippines which have the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK).

According to item letter A on Section 30 (Chapter VI) of Republic Act Number 10742 (Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015), every barangay, municipality, city and province shall conduct the annual Linggo ng Kabataan on the week where the 12th of August falls to coincide with the International Youth Day. The Sangguniang Kabataan, in the case of barangay, and the respective LYDC in cooperation with the Pederasyon ng mga Sangguniang Kabataan, in the case of municipality, city and province, shall take the lead in this observance.

Item letter B states: The observance of the Linggo ng Kabataan shall include the election of the counterparts of all local elective and appointive officials, as well as heads of national offices or agencies stationed or assigned in the territorial jurisdiction of the local government unit, among in-school and community youth residing in the local government concerned from ages thirteen (13) to seventeen (17). During said week, they shall hold office as boy and girl officials and shall perform such duties *and conduct such activities as may be provided in the ordinance enacted pursuant to this Chapter.

The Linggo ng Kabataan event in Barangay BF Homes was a special project of the Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan supported by Barangay chairman Paolo Marquez. Unsurprisingly, the tremendous success of the event drew praise from the youth participants and already there are many who are hoping for another edition of it to happen.

We’ll find out in twenty-twenty.

Finally, here are scriptures from the Holy Bible that youths and all of you, my readers, will find uplifting.

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in the word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

1 Timothy 4: 12 (NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, and will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus

Philippians 4: 6-7 (NKJV)


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Senior Citizen Files Complaint Versus BF Homes Food Joint Over Refusal To Give Him Mandated 12% VAT Exemption (UPDATED: August 24, 2019)

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Prominently displayed along Aguirre Avenue inside BF Homes subdivision, Parañaque City is this sign emphasizing Philippine senior citizens’ entitlement to 20% discount and exemption from 12% value-added tax.

Are you a senior citizen whose benefit under the national law was denied by a local business? Are you aware of the benefits for senior citizens under Republic Act Number 9994 (Full title: An Act Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Senior Citizens, further amending Republic Act No. 7432, As Amended, Otherwise Known As “an Act To Maximize The Contribution Of Senior Citizens To Nation Building, Grant Benefits And Special Privileges And For Other Purposes. Short title: Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010) whenever you purchase food and/or beverage in a restaurant?

Why did I ask you these questions and mentioned RA 9994? It’s quite simple – a senior citizen in BF Homes, Parañaque City filed a formal complaint against a certain food joint which refused to grant him his exemption from the 12% Value-Added Tax (VAT) when he dined at the said joint.

Here is the story with details from documents I acquired.

On June 10, 2019, Jose Luis Matti and his daughter dined at a restaurant (clue: a burger joint whose business name will be revealed in due time) along Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes subdivision, Parañaque City. He ordered food and drinks and, under law, the discounts are limited only to food and drinks he ordered for his consumption as he is a senior citizen

The problem was that, according to Matti, the restaurant applied the 20% discount for senior citizens and yet denied him his mandated benefit of exemption from the VAT. In his June 17, 2019 letter addressed to restaurant’s owner, Matti said that the restaurant personnel he encountered on June 10 claimed they were instructed (by the owner) not to give him the 12% VAT exemption. Photocopies of the receipts were included on the said letter.

As a result, Matti filed a formal complaint against the restaurant at the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs of Parañaque City (OSCA-Parañaque) urging officer-in-charge Dante Pacheco to take action against the food joint (as per his July 12, 2019 letter to Pacheco received by the said office).

A hearing between Matti and the food joint’s owner will happen very soon at OSCA’s office at Parañaque City Hall.

I visited the restaurant along Aguirre Avenue inside BF Homes to try to meet the owner and get feedback directly from him but the personnel told me over the counter that their boss was out of town.

Understanding the legal aspect

It is stated under RA 9994 (Rule IV, Article 7) that senior citizens shall be entitled to the grant of twenty percent (20%) discount and to an exemption from the value-added tax (VAT), IF APPLICABLE, on the sale of the goods and services covered by Section 1 to 6 of this Article, from all establishments for the exclusive use and enjoyment or availment of senior citizens.

Section 3 (Rule IV, Article 7) includes restaurants, hotels, recreational centers, places of leisures and funeral services with regards to the above mentioned 20% discount and VAT exemption.

Item b (under Section 3, Rule IV, Article 7) focuses on restaurants. It states that the discount shall be for the purchase of food, drinks, dessert, and other consumable items served by the establishments offered for the consumption of the general public.

Item c states for Dine-in services under paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 3, and Section 4, paragraph 2 of Article 7, the privilege must be personally availed of by the senior citizen as defined under these Rules, and no proxies or authorization in favor of another person who is not a senior citizen will be honored.

Item e states Food, drinks and other consumable items provided in Section 3 (a) and (b), and Section 4, paragraph 2 of Article 7 purchased by the senior citizen shall be processed separately as an independent transaction from his/her non-eligible companions to ensure that it is his/her exclusive consumption and to enable computation of the 20% discount and the exemption from the Value Added Tax (VAT), which only the senior citizen is entitled to.

However, if the group of diners is composed entirely of senior citizens, all of whom present valid senior citizens IDs, each shall be entitled to a 20% discount and exemption from Value Added Tax.

Conclusion

This is an ongoing community development and if any breakthroughs happen, an update will be posted.

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UPDATE!

The hearing between Mr. Matti and the restaurant at the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs of Parañaque City (OSCA-Parañaque) at City Hall scheduled for August 20, 2019 did not push through due to the absence of the restaurant owner.

As such, the hearing will have to be rescheduled.

The restaurant accused in this conflict is Big Brat Burger.

 

 

Nikko Huelgas at 2019 USANA Live Global Convention

Nikko Huelgas, who is a 2-time gold medalist in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in the multisport of triathlon, achieved something just several hours ago. It’s not another victory in a race but rather it was his speech delivered to a live audience during the 2019 USANA Live Global Convention held at the Salt Palace Center in Utah, the United States.

Here are the details…

 

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Nikko Huelgas’ name and image highlighted at the Salt Lake Center as he delivered his speech there. (photo contributed by Nikko Huelgas)

Nikko told me that his speech lasted around three minutes. The presentation was lively as his image was magnified by the organizers complete with his name prominently displayed for everyone to see.

“I simply shared a 3-minute speech about my journey as a SEA Games champion to becoming the Chairman of the POC Athletes Commission,” he said. “So I shared that for a bit and shared the inevitable struggles of a pro athlete that is comparable to that of a USANA Associate.”

This is not the first time that the BF International, Las Piñas City resident delivered a speech. A few years ago, he spoke in front of many students at his old high school Elizabeth Seton School in BF Resort Village, Las Piñas City which inspired them.

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Nikko Huelgas outside the venue of the big convention. (source – Nikko Huelgas Facebook page)

Furthermore, Nikko attended the convention representing the Philippines and he carries a convention badge which identifies him as an USANA Athlete.

What is the convention about? According to the organizers, their event is described as the only place attendees can interact in real-time with world-class trainers, get a front-row seat to industry-changing announcements, interact with USANA management team members, shop for products in a massive store, immerse themselves at the interactive expo and be celebrated on the awards stage.

Watch for more about Nikko Huelgas and triathlon-related stuff here.


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