Wishes vs. Dreams

During my 13th birthday years ago, I made a wish to have the first ever released “Air Jordan” shoes.

In those days in the Philippines, when you wished to own an “Air Jordans”, you might as well wish for the moon. (This is where the Filipino phrase “Suntok sa buwan” comes from.) In the first place, the “Air Jordans” were only sold in the US market. Second, it will cost you a fortune just to own a pair.

So when I made my birthday wish, I knew that as a high school student who does not even have a job, I should not even bother to work towards owning one (at least not in the immediate future). I was just wishing that some generous soul (like my Ninong who lives in the states) would give me one.

That’s a wish — a desire you have without any expectation on your part that you should even strive to work for it.

A dream, on the other hand, is a totally different matter.

Dreams are more powerful.

They are meant to be aimed for. They drive you to get up in the mornings and work late at night. They push you beyond your physical limits. They inspire you to excel and be better everyday. They squeeze your energy but they energize you in the process. They trigger you to fly. They propel you to soar.

Don’t mistake your dreams for your wishes.

When you identify a desire as a dream and not just a wish, be ready to work for it.

You see, wishes make you smile. But dreams make you fly!



Ten years ago on this day was our wedding day. During the wedding mass, the officiating priest said, “Today, we are to wed three persons…”.

“Three?!”, I wondered. (Secretly, I looked around the church to see if any of my or Jeng’s past flings might be in attendance.)

“Bob and Jeng,” our priest-friend continued. “God is part of this union.”

(“Whew! That’s a relief!”, I said to myself.)

Today, I look back at the ten years of marriage that we’ve had and I gasped with awe. What our priest-friend said was true in more ways than one.

I remember…

When Jeng spent 14 hours in labor because our eldest Robelle had a cord coil, God held my head up…

When we lost our second child through a miscarriage, God wrapped His arms around me as I wept on the floor of the hospital chapel…

When we had close to 6 hospitalizations in one year for various illnesses, God found a way not only to replenish but even double our bank account…

When I chose to be a missionary, God gave us conviction…

When funds were running low, God met our needs…

When we needed help through three house transfers in 10 years, God moved people to volunteer to assist us…

When Jeng had to spend 5 months on complete bed rest due to profuse pregnancy bleeding, God steadied my faith…

When faith was waning, God painted not just one but two rainbows in the sky to remind us of His promises…

When beset with worries, God was our peace.

Through it all, I am more than sure of this: Our storms were likewise His.

He carried us. Moved us. Planted us. Watered us. And blessed us in ways beyond imagination.

Today, November 8, 2013, one of the strongest typhoons to hit this planet is presently barreling its way through our country. Dear friends, let’s be brave.

God will shield us and carry us through.

Remember, our storms are likewise His.

You Can Never Go Wrong (A Reflection on Psalm 23)

He is your Shepherd.

He knows when you need to struggle or to rest. He knows when you need to stay put or move on. He knows when you need to carry a burden or be relieved of it. He knows when you need to be blessed or be a blessing. He knows when you need to reach out or be reached out to. 

He knows what’s best for you. So if you follow His lead, you can never go wrong.

Yes, you can never go wrong with YOUR SHEPHERD.

ALL SOULS DAY REFLECTION: The Morning After the Mourning

When they tell you “it’s ok”, tell them “it’s not”.

When they tell you he’s in a better place, tell them “but I’m not”.

When they tell you they will be there for you, tell them “but not as often as he was”.

When they tell you “life should go on”, tell them “yes, but not yet”.

Mourn. Life owes you that.

Cry. God gave us tears for that.

Be angry. God Himself gave us that emotion.

Don’t be guilty when you grieve. You don’t need to snap out of it right away. Linger in the pain for awhile. Reminisce. Recall. Remember.

You don’t abbreviate the night. Let it run its course. You don’t hasten the dawn. It will eventually come.

But when it does. Be sure to rise with the sun. Push back those shoulders and move on. Don’t let your anger ripen to hatred. Don’t let your pain ripen to despair. Don’t let your memories trap you but instead inspire you.

To live. To love. To dream again.

Embrace the morning after the mourning, my friend.

For when the tears are dry, you know the uncompromising truth deep down in your Christian heart — that the one you love is truly in a much, much better place. And perhaps, just perhaps, he would not have it any other way.

The Book of Wisdom has this to say:

“In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be an affliction, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace.” (Wisdom 3:2-3)

So come. Awake. Live on.

The dawn is almost here.