Our Hideaway

What I Learned from Being Vulnerable 

Caught in the 7.9 earthquake in Nepal

By Red Dawn Laurente

‘Is it meant to be?’ I asked myself hoping I could get an answer as to why I ended up in a situation where I felt so helpless, weak, isolated and incapable.

What I found was a very profound answer.

April 25 this year started as an ordinary morning. I was sitting in front of my computer in a laid-back way, passing the time, when suddenly the earth shook in a manner I had never experienced before. I heard a deafening sound followed by screams of people nearby. I knew that something big was happening but because of my shock and utter confusion I didn’t know what to do. Then I saw debris falling from the ceiling and thought that maybe my end was near. Being scared, I escaped from my room. In the hallway of my apartment building I met my neighbor and saw his very scared eyes. I knew it wasn’t just an ordinary tremor but an earthquake of great intensity. I tried to run out of the building as fast as I could.

The nature of my work as a volunteer allows me to travel to different places. This picture was taken near the borders of India.

How This Year is Going to be Depends On You

By Jessan M. Cabunsol

Jessan is a third year BS Civil Engineering student at the University of Negros Occidental -Recoletos. Presently, he is also the editor-in-chief of the Tolentine Star, the official student publication of the university. Jessan is an active Kwaderno volunteer too. 

It is one of the most awaited holidays around the globe. This is the time for change – new hope, new life, new styles, new look, and everything that needs to be renewed. This holiday is New Year’s Day.

Aside from Christmas, New Year is one of the most celebrated holidays all over the world. For thousands of years people have been celebrating the good life, hope, and everything about goodness at the beginning of every year.

by Marla Halili

Marla Grace Halili, 23 years old, works as a Customer Service Representative in Bacolod City. Here, she shares the essential lessons she learned last year and how she is facing 2015.

365 days over. Can you believe that? Days pass by like a blink of an eye and here we go again. Another year full of possibilities. Each year we have these goals to accomplish, but by the end of the year, out of all those things what have we accomplished? That’s why I’m not fond of making such promises because we don’t know what’s in store for us in the upcoming days. I’m not saying that we should stop making plans but that we should have an ‘ACTION’ plan.

By Gracebelle Montecillo Parreño

Seven years ago, someone broke my heart. It was shattered into pieces to the extent that it even made me think that it couldn’t be repaired again. It made me weak and I lost my self-esteem. I started questioning myself if there was something wrong with me. Then my mother came into the picture and said to me, ‘Come to Him and pray for him; surrender all your heartaches to Him and you’ll be alright.’

From then on, I became a frequent visitor to the Adoration chapel. I always cried there and I spent months talking to Him, sharing my problems with Him. Every time I left that chapel, I felt great as, if I was whole again. I became strong; I got back my confidence and became a smiling person.

I was like that until I graduated from college. Then it was time for on-the-job training (OJT), I tried my best with all the companies that came to our school but I ended up a failure. At first I asked myself if I had done wrongbut then came to realize that I just needed to trust Him in whatever plans He had for me.

The new couple sharing a chat with Misyon editor Fr Seán Coyle.

Three months later a company came along and I was hired as their new OJT employee. I met many people, learned practical things and befriended all of them except one. He was my mentor that time and we hated each other. He seemed to be so cruel to me; he didn’t want me to tag along with him. But on 1 May 2010, we were chosen to attend the production that day, only the two of us. It was the time that he knew I existed. We spent the whole day talking to each other and enjoying each other’s company.

That didn’t last only one day. Our friendship continued as time went by. After a few months, he started to ask if he could be my guy. I was so hesitant at first but then I offered God a prayer and asked Him if he was the one he had created for me. I gave him a chance and accepted him. After four years we decided to get married, and he is now my husband.

By Regina Fabularum

Regina Fabularum is a student at St Scholastica's College, Manila

Searching for a Best Friend

Since I started studying at SSC, I’ve been searching for a ‘best friend,’ meaning … a person who would always be there for me especially when I’d have problems, who would accept me for who I am, who would listen to my stories truthfully, who would make me happy if I was in a bad mood, who would guide and protect me from danger, who would understand my feelings and who would love me. I might have had friends, but not the kind of friend I was looking for.

My Acquaintances

When I was in first year, we were four in our barkada, if I could call it such. Maybe they were just acquaintances during break times. I wasn’t able to picture real friendship with them. When I was in second year, I found another set of friends. We were three in the barkada, which I called at the time. But now I don’t know. We were happy with each other because we were only three. Perhaps, the fewer, the closer and so the better. We were called the ‘Powerpuff Girls’ because we were inseparable. My closest friend was ‘Blossom,’ for she wanted pink. My coolest friend was ‘Bubbles,’ for she wanted blue, and I was ‘Buttercup,’ for I wanted green. This was the greatest barkada I found so far in my present school. I thought they would be my best friends, but that didn’t last. The ‘Powerpuff Girls,’ who were known as inseparable before, parted ways last year. ‘Bubbles’ joined the barkada of her best friend, and ‘Blossom’ found a new best friend. I was left with no one. Sometimes I felt discriminated against, unloved and left out. That’s why I kept on praying to God our Father to send me a best friend.


Our Hideaway is a venue for the youth to express themselves and to share with our readers their mind, their heart and their soul.


Passion is the Key

by Stephen Virtudazo Tabal



The author teaches physics in Lanao del Norte National Comprehensive High School (LNNCHS), Baroy, Lanao del Norte.


‘Teaching is not a profession but a passion’, it has been said. I didn’t realize this until I was employed in a public high school. It is totally different from the schools where I used to teach. It seems like I’m in a parallel universe and I feel that I need a lot of adjustment to before I can teach well.

One day I assigned my students to bring candles for our optics activity in physics. Fortunately it went well and the students enjoyed it much. After the activity, a student named John (not his real name) approached me and said, ‘Sir, may I have the candles used in our activity?’ I paused for a while and asked, ‘Why?’ With head bowed down he answered, ‘I will use them to light our house so that I can work on my assignments’. I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. Up till then almost every person I met on the street had a smartphone and tablet. But there are still areas in our country left in the dark not because of blackouts but because of extreme poverty.

My Father

By N.A.V

Our Hideaway is a venue for the youth to express themselves and to share with our readers their mind, their heart and their soul.

The author, who is known to the editorial staff, recently graduated from college.

I remember one night when my father came into my room and cried. It was a rare sight, seeing the man of my family break down in tears. Papa had always been a strong man, no challenge he met undefeated. He knew the game of life and how to play it well. But when he lost to fate he didn’t show it to his children.

But as the youngest son I know the things that my father has gone through, and to the game has been no easy feat. He almost lost his marriage when he discovered my mother had another man, but soon forgave her for our sake. He lost his job once. And in 2003, he lost my mother to cancer.

I’ve seen him face his battles, and I’ve seen him stand tall again. He still wakes up to laugh, as if to say he can still carry on, that he can tolerate more pain, because he’s been tested and proven, because his children need him to be strong. He has always been like that.

By ‘D.J.C.’

Our Hideaway is a venue for the youth to express themselves and to share with our readers their mind, their heart and their soul.

The author is a single young man, a guidance counselor.

I now recognize that love is the most wonderful thing of all. I know it sounds corny, but you may search the far corners of the universe and you won’t find anything more wonderful than love. And the only ones capable of loving are humans. That is what makes man so special and higher than all other earthly beings. Animals are capable only of producing and their ability to feel is restricted to physical pain only. They act from instinct. But we humans are gifted not only with the power of intellect but with susceptible emotions as well. This is why people have the tendency to become overwhelmingly attached and in turn it becomes awfully painful to become detached.

The Return of the Prodigal Son (detail), The Face of the Father
Rembrandt, c.1669 [Web Gallery of Art

As I go more deeply in my thoughts, I ask myself how much I know about love. What is it really? How does it affect people? Yet my sole purpose is to know why such a wonderful thing can turn into such unbearable pain. I grew up in a family where my parents often had misunderstandings that led to serious fights. Thus, my siblings and I lack the affection of a true and complete family. We became closer to our mother and ended up hating our father.

Christmas with a Purpose

By Richelle Verdeprado

The author, a social worker by profession and a campus journalist from elementary school through college, joined the editorial staff of Misyon in October. We have published a number of her articles in previous issues. She is from Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.

Each year of my life I’ve celebrated Christmas in a different way. When I was still living with my family in our simple town, we used to celebrate Christmas with neighbors. We would share whatever we had with each other and would all end up having more than enough to eat for the celebration. In the eyes of the child like me that time, such a spirit of sharing made me wish for everyday to be like Christmas Day. That was a decade ago.

Richelle and her classmates in graduate school spending Christmas at Sagada, Mountain Province in the northern part of the Philippines

In 2011 I spent the Christmas Eve with the girls and Sisters in Holy Family Home, Pembo, Makati City. It was a night of prayers and laughter, a night of singing and hugging, merriment and reconciliation. For each girl in the home it was another night of being with a family, a family where they were being cared for and loved. By this time, I wasn’t a child anymore. But Christmas has its magical effect of bringing out in everyone the simplicity, innocence and joy of being a child once again. No matter where you are or who you are it just comes out naturally for you to be excited in giving and opening gifts, in putting up decorations in your house and in dancing to the beat of songs that we only hear when Christmas approaches.

Fatima’s Story

It is our delight to introduce to you this new section in Misyon Our Hideaway.  A venue for the youth to express themselves and to share with our readers their mind, their heart and their soul.

By Fatima de Castro

 Fatima comes to the Mission Office in Manila to do volunteer work. She is the eldest of five siblings. Her father is a seafarer and her mother a housewife.