Why we need to teach Filipino children to dream again

Why we need to teach Filipino children to dream again

Have you ever felt like you missed something important while growing up?

I did.

When I was in kindergarten I was always told that I was too active. That I needed to sit down and to behave. In my young mind I didn’t know how, I had a mind full of ideas and adventures. I simply couldn’t sit down and the reason was, while everyone else saw the blackboard and chalk, I saw a universe full of wonder.

The fact was, I wanted to have my own laboratory where I can be a scientist and explore new things! I wanted to become an inventor.

Then comes grade 1, I was into robots back then and somehow I found myself pushed out from the normal crowd since everyone else was talking about their crushes or basketball or something else that was “cool”. Even back then I questioned myself, was it really a weird thing being obsessed with something like robots? Everyone seemed to think that it was just child’s play and that it wouldn’t be possible. I didn’t have a lot of friends to play with back then. But that was not the sad part, the sad part was…

Everyone was in a hurry to grow up.

Fast-forward to highschool, I experienced the different pull of hormones and being attracted to the female species. It was as if that was the main point of life, to find someone and fall in love and be completed by one another. I forgot about the robots, but I delved into the arts. I wrote poems and I drew! I painted and I danced. I loved highschool life in the province mainly because it was simple and people were more accepting of one another.

Then I had to go back to the big city. I went to study at the University of Santo Tomas for my college degree. Learning from highschool, the more cool you are the more accepted you become. So I conformed with the way people handle each other, I acted though and cool, I told green jokes and acted like I didn’t care. I was so good at pretending that I almost believed it.

By then I wanted the safe life or rather, I was taught to have it. I had become part of the system.

Almost.

By then I had also figured out what that important thing was, that thing that was being taken from me piece by piece without me knowing it. It was my dreams.

Then I realized that whatever I did, I was going to die anyway. Was I really placed here in this world to just build myself up? Live a happy life and die a peaceful death?

I started building a company right out of college, we created websites, mobile apps and now we’re researching on how to make 3d printers accessible for the average Juan.

I believe that if we don’t do something now, we’ll never be able to leave the safety of our comfort zone as a nation and that might be one of the scariest things that can happen to us. We were taught to settle and if I had this experience, I thought a lot of Filipino children might be having the same experience, or worse.

Why can’t we enable our children to dream again? Why should we take their happiness and joy away from learning for the pretense that we care for their future, when it is our convenience that we really want. Instead of pushing boundaries for them, we would rather that we stay silent and seek the easy life.

Don’t you see, we’re being defined by numbers! Our grades and our salaries. We have forgotten how to look at one another as human beings and all we see now are the numbers and how a higher number can give us an easier life. We’ve forgotten the values of character and humility, about kindness and love, and appreciation.

Why should we label a child as just a nurse, or just a doctor, or just an engineer? Why should we limit the potential of our children like this?

We should innovate and show our children that the universe is not a 3-dimensional model waiting to be learnd at school, that it is actually a living-breathing universe to be felt, to be explored and to be discovered. That experience is still the greatest teacher and instead of sheltering them, we must do our part in making sure that they explore the world.

I was almost drowned out, my dreams almost forgotten. I believed that God still has his plans for me and that He will not allow me to be shut down by the noise of the world. Today, we are creating communities like the UST Startup Community that pushes for innovation and learning, to not settle with what we know and to light the way so others can follow.

We should start asking ourselves more often. Are we still the master of our fate? Are we still the captain of our soul? Or is it being handed to us, instantly, ready-made and gift-wrapped with a high price tag?

If it’s true that our children are the future, then if we let them forget what it means to truly dream aren’t we throwing away the future? For what is the future without possibilities? What is a genius without a dream? I just pray and hope that more of us realize the value of our children’s potential and that we should not let them forget how it is to dream.

What do you guys think? Share it to us at the comments section below. Like and share to spread the discussion 🙂

University of Santo Tomas – Building a Thomasian Silicon Valley in U-belt

University of Santo Tomas – Building a Thomasian Silicon Valley in U-belt

Imagine walking to school in the University Belt and suddenly you see drones humming through the air with different errands to run. One drone accompanying a student playing audio lesson notes before the exam. Another drone seems to be delivering food products somewhere. There’s also a drone facing traffic in Espanya seemingly collecting data about traffic, this data will be fed to a data-center inside UST which will be used by students and faculty who will study how we can improve traffic conditions. You get to the classroom and you put on your VR headset for your virtual class which will give you a microscopic view of the plant cell your class has been studying.

It is now possible, the technology to do this exists, we just need more people looking towards what can be done with these technologies. We need our students here in Ubelt to unleash their creativity with what can be done. Gone are the days when we complain about the traffic, the government or pollution. All the worst problems being faced by our society can now be taken care of with innovation and outside-the-box thinking.

It has been more than two-months since we decided to start our own startup community in our beloved Alma Mater, the University of Santo Tomas. Two weeks after our last event held in UST entitled You Start Up where we exposed the students to the startup community.

We build this community in the hopes of opening minds and sparking ideas, we need people coming together with their own version of tech and business applications. I know a lot of Thomasian Alumni will support this cause. As one of them I know a student with enough vision, a great idea and a heart for execution, perseverance and down-right determination will be able to change our society.

Through this community (The UST Startup Community) I know someday students will be more free to talk about their ideas and inventions, and everyday we’ll come up with new innovative applications for technology. We’ll be able to discuss these ideas with our friends and find like-minded individuals we can work with. We can even change the passive Filipino passive complaining mentality and start our own pro-active, solution-oriented culture where everyone can work towards a common goal. For us Thomasians, we will start here in UST.
Dreams don’t care about politics. Some may say that it’s not politically correct to say that we can build another Silicon Valley in U-belt but we’ll still keep it as a goal anyway. I’m not saying that we’ll recreate another identical Silicon Valley, we’ll create our own a better, Filipino version of it. It’s really cruel how our society has been telling us for so long to stop dreaming, to just play safe and to go with the flow. I say it’s about the right time we start dreaming again, building organizations, inventions, putting up our own companies and changing the status quo.

“Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are usually the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

This also serves as a retreat letter to Nicole Alsace Cablar who will be having her retreat next Saturday. (Al by the way is one of the student volunteers from UST TAG who gave her time and dedication to the first major event of USTartup, she is also now a member of the collaboration team). Al you are one tenacious individual, I salute your passion and your drive. You have inspired me to do more too. Keep growing and you’ll find out soon enough that with people who believe in you, nothing will be impossible. So to Al and all your classmates and Tag Mates, including Diane, Souichi, the other Dianne, Ed, James, the student volunteers that I had the honor of working with, I know you guys are crazy enough and I know that together we can create our own Silicon Valley here in Ubelt and someday soon change our world for the better.

Peace and Love!

Before voting for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the president, you might want to consider 3 more things

Before voting for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the president, you might want to consider 3 more things

Just to make things clear, this is not in any way an article to dissuade the supporters of Mayor Duterte from voting him in the next election. Our vote is ours to make, but we have to be unified to some degree if we want to make a meaningful impact.

Recently there has been a lot of talk about mayor Rodrigo Duterte and how he’s now becoming the people’s champion against crime. I was almost at the point of going all out myself and campaigning for Mayor Duterte as my president but then along the way I found some things that made me think twice.

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I just want to share legitimate concerns with all of you, and this is also for myself to find peace with my own vote and to spark intellectual discussions about the issues at hand.

  1. About the possibility of killings

    We’re about to elect someone who might be willing to go out of his way to punish (even kill) the law-breakers. News flash people: That’s almost all of us! YES! Let me ask you the question: Kelan ka huling tumawid sa tamang tawiran? Kelan ka huling bumaba sa tamang babaan?

    It’s easy to say that killing someone is fine if it’s some distant person from you, the typical drug addict, the common criminal. But what if there’s more to the story? What if it was the father of your friend? The mother of your classmate? How about a member of your family? Your wife or husband?

    A lot of people have also been saying that this is exactly what we need to remove criminals from our society. I don’t agree, Haven’t we had enough death on our hands already with the typhoon Yolanda and the SAF encounter? Naniniwala ako na hindi natin kailangan pumatay para baguhin ang bansa.hate begets hate
    A person’s life is not ours to take. If you fight hate with hatred, you get more hate. There’s only one way we can all win, and that’s with peace and love. Are we really able to throw out compassion, peace and love out the window just to arrive at…

  2. Instant Solutions

    Mahilig ako sa instant na solusyon! I admit it, I would love to be able to change this country with one vote, one election. Done deal! But that’s when I started thinking, sometimes when it’s to good to be true you have to look again and I did. What will happen if we all relied on one person to change this country?

    This kind of pressure that will be placed on one man who will go to his limits in implementing his own justice system might just spark more violence and fighting amongst ourselves.

    I believe that right now the change that we Filipinos need, is something that will come from each and everyone of us and not just one man. This Messiah complex might run us down as a country even more. We all the need to realize that the solution for our country is not external, but internal. Being able to follow simple traffic rules individually and helping each other out day by day.

    Which would you prefer? Taking steroids and getting big immediately or going to the gym and working hard for the kind of body you want? If we want to build a strong nation for our children. Then we need to work hard for it, we need to do it brick by brick, each and every one of us.

  3. Are we really ready for his type of leadership?Again, it’s not Mayor Rodrigo Duterte I’m worried about. He seems like a very capable man, a great leader, as this infographic shows but the thing that scares me is us. Are we ready to bend, because with someone like Mayor Duterte as president, it’s either we bend or we break.

    Let’s ask ourselves, are we really willing to throw out our good ideals for a quick solution?Some videos circling online involving an interview with Mayor Duterte cursing the pope (I’m not Catholic, but that man is a good man) and about a couple of affairs are making me question his ability to set a good example too.

    Mareklamo ako, ganun din ang pamilya ko at mga kaibigan ko. Every issue na maririnig sa balita, sa presidente ang sisi or sa gobyerno in general. Let’s say Mayor Duterte wins the 2016 elections, I don’t think he will be gracious enough with those who will try to oppose him. Check and balance might just go out the window when it is needed the most.Symbol_Justice

Decide for yourself who to vote for. I’m not saying that I’m not voting for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, I’m still considering all the facts available to me. Writing this article is also one avenue for me to ask your opinions and discuss with you these things. You can also check the sources and please do. This is our right, so let’s use it. This is the time of our generation to speak out. More than just voting, we can join meaningful discussions, learn more from each other and reach a certain degree of unity with our voices. Let’s all take our time to research and find out more about the candidates. We get the next choice after six years.

When all is said and done, whoever wins the next election, it will not just depend on them to change our nation, it will be in my hands, yours, each and everyone of us. This is our country, our home. If we can’t believe that we can change it, then who will?

Here’s a song I composed with my friend, just a simple message to all my countrymen who desire change as much as I do.

I just had to speak out and find the answers I’m looking for from my fellow Filipinos who are going through the same problems everyday. What do you think about these issues? Who do you think will be the best qualified leader to lead our nation? Hit the comments section below!

Image sources:

– Image of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte: Taken from sunstar, photo by Froilan Gallardo
 Azquotes, www.azquotes.com/picture-quotes/quote-hate-begets-hate-violence-engenders-violence-hypocrisy-is-answered-by-hypocrisy-war-pitirim-sorokin-71-90-69.jpg
 FashionnetAsia, www.fashionnetasia.com/files/news/Symbol_Justice.jpg

Pinoy Speaks: What do you think of our country?

Pinoy Speaks: What do you think of our country?

Last month, I did a survey regarding how a regular Pinoy view our current state in the Philippines. I gave questionnaires. The questions are the following:

1) 3 things that you love in our country?
2) Overall satisfaction in our country (5-highest, 1-lowest)
3) What are the things that needs improvement to make our society better? And do you see our country rising to the top? If yes, how long would it take?


I asked 40 people, mostly college students and some adults. I did manual survey not online survey because I believe it will be better to do it personally.
Here are the results of the survey:

1) Most of us thinks that the thing that needs to be improve in our country…

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Of course, none other than our Traffic/ Transportation problems. Almost all of the people who answered the survey told me that traffic is the thing that needs most improvement. According to Enrique Peñalosa, Mayor of Bogotá, “A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. Its where the rich use public transportation” which is proven to be true. Look at those rich countries in Asia. In Hongkong, you will see that most of them uses MTR(which is equivalent to our MRT/LRT) as their main way of transportation. Their train station is very clean, unlike here in our country where an elevator isn’t even working. I hope that the next administration will focus on improving our public transportation, for it will make Filipinos more productive and efficient. We have to admit that there is no perfect country, but there is a country better than the other, and we can be that kind of country.

2) Beautiful sceneries. Beaches!

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This is the most answered thing on what the Filipinos love in our country. I’m quite surprised here because I’m not a fan of beaches. Our country is really beautiful, a tropical country where a lot of trees and plants grows, an archipelago that is surrounded by water. Our very own Puerto Princesa Underground River is included in the 7 wonders of natures in the world. If we will all unite to make our country clean, imagine how spectacular this place can be.

President Benigno Aquino III said “The Philippines has vast minerals that are still untapped. It has one of the world’s largest deposits of gold, nickel, copper and chromite. Through responsible mining, we intend to generate more revenues from the extraction of these resources.“ which I believe is true, we have the resources to be one of the most powerful country on Earth. If utilized properly, there is no question, our country could be one of the greatest.

3) With a satisfaction rating of…

3.2!. It’s really good to know that a lot of our fellow countrymen are still contented with the way they live in our country. According to a study done before, Filipinos are one of the happiest people in the world. Despite all the struggles a regular Pinoy faces in his life, you will always see his brightest smile shining through. To be honest, our country really needs a major improvement. Flashfloods, traffic and crime are the few of the many things we need to address in the Philippines. With this being said, if all Filipinos will unite towards a common goal, there’s no reason to doubt that someday we will have the highest satisfaction rating of our lives. Having this kind of mentality will boost the energy of people to do good things for our country that can result into improvement

“Kung panaginip lamang ang umasa sa pag-unlad, managinip tayo hanggang sa kamatayan”- Heneral Antonio Luna

This is a powerful statement said by Gen. Antonio Luna in the film Heneral Luna, we have to keep on being positive at the same time, do things that will benefit our nation. We have to make sacrifice if we want change. Change is sacrifice, we will lose our dream of a better country if we don’t sacrifice for our motherland. Our heroes didn’t die for us to have a bad life, they want the best in us. They want us to be the happiness species in Earth. They want us to be free from the sufferings of our invaders. You can be a hero my friend, we can improve the quality of life of our fellow Filipinos. I hope that the next time that I conduct a survey, our country will get the highest rating of 5.

4) Filipinos still believe…

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They still believe that in the near future, our country will be one of the best in the world. They believe that if there is unity and a better government this country will be one of the best nation in Earth. It is the belief of the majority that will push everybody to do their best for the country. It’s a collective effort, one person cannot simply do it by himself, it will take millions of Pinoys whose dreaming of a better Philippines. One day, our kababayans will not go to other countries to search for greener Pasteurs because our country will provide better job opportunities. One day, people will not just work for monetary values. Instead, we will work to contribute for the improvement of our nation and for the greater good. Never stop believing mga kababayan! If there is a will, there is a way.

Still not convinced? How about the answer of this little girl.

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At age 11, she believes that someday our nation will be great. Picture a group of youth, doing things for the country. A future generation where people would find joy based on their contribution for the goodness of human being, not on monetary values.

To end this, I just want to quote what President Manuel L. Quezon once said:

“My fellow citizens: there is one thought I want you always to bear in mind. And that is: that you are Filipinos. That the Philippines are your country, and the only country God has given you. That you must keep it for yourselves, for your children, and for your children’s children, until the world is no more. You must live for it, and die for it, if necessary.

Your country is a great country. It has a great past, and a great future. The Philippines of yesterday are consecrated by the sacrifices of lives and treasure of your patriots, martyrs, and soldiers. The Philippines of today are honored by the wholehearted devotion to its cause of unselfish and courageous statesmen. The Philippines of tomorrow will be the country of plenty, of happiness, and of freedom. A Philippines with her head raised in the midst of the West Pacific, mistress of her own destiny, holding in her hand the torch of freedom and democracy. A republic of virtuous and righteous men and women all working together for a better world than the one we have at present.”

Together, we can make this country a better place. Together, we can live better.

Image Credits:

  • http://www.directgreen.net/blog/e-trikes-vs-traffic-pollution-in-the-philippines/
  • http://mikeniconchuk.com/2012/02/02/islands-of-daisies/dsc_0141/
  • https://angbagongfilipino.wordpress.com/category/smile-of-the-week/page/3/
  • “Bayanihan 2” by Bonvallite – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bayanihan_2.JPG#/media/File:Bayanihan_2.JPG
Things a 21 year old can learn from joining a medical mission

Things a 21 year old can learn from joining a medical mission

I was invited to join the medical mission of APO (Alpha Phi Omega) UST chapter in partnership with Theta Lambda Phi of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and the local government of Brgy. Acacia Malabon last June of this year, I’m glad I did. Here are some of the important things I learned from this experience:

Things I took for granted

As the day started the line quickly grew, the residents were quick to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the organization and their partners. The group offered free dental, medical checkups and circumcision procedures.

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At the end of the day we were able to help the citizens of Malabon. Healthcare can often be forgotten and taken for granted when we fail to see those who can’t afford decent health services. Being part of medical missions like this one showed me how fortunate we are.

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I was not alone

I realized that I was an Idealistic guy, in the past I have spouted a lot of talk in regards to changing the world. But you see joining these events made me see that I was not alone. One of my closest friends was also part of this mission, He was one of those guys who would roll his eyes whenever I spoke about my ideals about giving yourself up for others, yet he’s here doing all he can in service to his fellow human being.

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I learned that no matter how many times we roll our eyes to the cheesy idealism of others, there will always be a part of us who believe in the greater good. In this sense, we will never be alone.

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” – Audrey Hepburn

Being part of the mission gave me a sense of purpose from the wild buzz and fast-paced life I was living. Being able to help a fellow human being in a way that says “I just want to help you, I’m not expecting anything in return” can really lighten a heart.

As I was in the middle of it all, I can really feel the sincerity of everyone who volunteered.

I saw this one dentist performing a tooth extraction, he was able to punch out jokes to his patients who were scared. He was doing his job with a smile and a kind heart. These really touched me, since I have witnessed people frown at work and grumble about it while being payed to do it.

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The scene got my curiousity so I spoke with the wonderful gentleman and when I asked him as to why He volunteered for the mission, He said that it was to advance the Kingdom of God and to give back to the people what was given to him. I was inspired by this message and truly I believe that there is no greater gift waiting in heaven than for those who offers their work to God.

When you start helping others, you forget yourself

Come lunch time, the Doctors and most of the staff picked up the pace almost forgetting to eat lunch entirely

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It’s a strange world we live in today, everything is about ourselves. We look to selfies as a form of expression, social media has created a great divide between us and communication has ironically degraded because of technology.

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Being part of the mission helped create a sense of freedom from all of these. The communication between individuals is something you can never describe in a blog but can only be felt by being there in that moment. As the volunteers helped the citizens of Malabon, you can feel the messages being sent without any words being spoken. When you’re in that situation, you forget about yourself, you only focus on helping someone.

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”― Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank: the play

It’s never too late to change this world for the better

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I saw volunteers giving their time and energy to help those around them and that was enough proof that if we put our minds and hearts together, we can achieve wonderful things. This is a testimony that it’s never too late to turn things around and change our world for the better.

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Thanks to the modern day heroes who volunteered that day including the local government, Brgy. Acacia Malabon can sleep with a smile on their faces knowing that someone actually cared for them enough to lend a helping hand even for one day.

Have you ever joined a medical mission? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Why We Need to Love Our Politicians

Why We Need to Love Our Politicians

I’m sure you raised your eyebrows when you saw the title of this post- am I right my friend?

Seriously, this is something we need to do. It’s the complete opposite of what’s happening in our country right now. From the alleged cheating of 2004 Presidential election, the PDAF scam, the events of the SAF44, and now the upcoming 2016 elections. You might be thinking “Sino ba tong batang to? Alam niya ba mga pinagsasabi niya?” Opo,marahil bata pa po ako pero tulad nga ng sinabi ni tropang Nelson Rockefeller “Never forget that the most powerful force on earth is love”. Without love we are nothing. Our world would not exist without love. From the very beginning, it was God’s love that made this world come to existence. A few years ago, it was your parents’ love that created you.

At One Point in Their Lives…

Superhero kid against summer sky background. Girl power and feminism concept

Think about the politician. They had their childhood and their beginnings too. They might have once said, “I’ll be the one that will change the world. Someday my country will be the most powerful in the world. But as time goes by, as they are placed in the position of limitless power, they might forget what they said to themselves all those years ago. Because of that they chose to use their power to achieve their desire, to get more money, and increase their influence.

And then Here it Goes,

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Now, people hate them so much. They curse them- they think that those politicians are the ones to blame for why our country never succeeds. Politicians and leaders have an integral factor in the development of our country. But we must not forget that each of us, all the people of this country also have the power to do things that will benefit our motherland. Let us also assess ourselves if we have done something great for our country.

Antagonizing them, makes it even worse. Hating someone will surely degrade and discourage them from doing the right things. Instead, it’s possible that by showing trust and belief in someone, it could inspire and motivate a person to do things beyond their capability. Think of yourself. Do you like being hated or not? Isn’t it better when someone believes in you? John Maxwell once said,

“A word of encouragement from a teacher to a child can change a life. A word of encouragement from a spouse can save a marriage. A word of encouragement from a leader can inspire a person to reach her potential.”

Maybe we can,

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Maybe instead of hate, a word of encouragement to a politician can change the way they lead. We don’t know what effect it could have, and there is no harm in trying to show them that we still care for them. Majority of us make mistakes and those mistakes formed us to be the person that we are today.

“A man is but the product of his thoughts, What he thinks, he becomes”

-Mahatmi Gandhi

If people believe that they are persons with integrity, that could change their whole perspective on how to use their power and authority. Maybe they could change for the better. Using love to solve problems could be the most cliché thing to do. But in reality, this world will be better if we love one another. Inspiring and motivating one another is a noble thing to do and when it’s done, it could benefit society. The same goes for our leaders. Encouraging them to do what is right will move their hearts to the good side. It will not happen instantly, but it is a long process we must do to achieve our desired outcome.

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From the song Speak Life by TobyMac, “Lift your head a little higher, spread the love like fire, hope will fall like rain when you speak life with the words you say.” We always have the choice in our lives. Speaking about hope and love is never a bad choice. Love is the thing that rules and governs the world, if you will ask me “Bakit maraming masasamang tao sa mundo?” This reminds of Einstein’s response on his professor:

“Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.”

God is love…

He loves us unconditionally. He loves us even though we always fail Him. He loves us so much that he gave us only Son to save us from our sin. Imagine that kind of love? In Mark 12:31, He said “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” God want us to love each other, he does not want chaos reigning in the world, instead He wants love to be the focal point of our lives.

Image Credits:

  • http://thenarcissisticanthropologist.com/2015/01/05/creating-the-culture-that-will-change-the-world/
  • https://thejhnkelvin.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/tanat-magpainit/
  • http://wallpaper222.com/explore/encourage-one-another/
  • http://hdwallpapers.cat/ray_of_hope_blue_sky_hill_golden_sands_hd-wallpaper-800441/