Our God of Order

Our God of Order
by Danny Tariman

“And so your faith and hope are in God.” (1 Peter 1:21)

“We’re sorry, your 5:30 a.m. flight for Iloilo this Saturday is canceled,” said the airline representative. I received the disturbing call just three days before our family trip.

With all the details of our family vacation already prepared, we couldn’t easily accept a delayed flight. Our hotel booking was confirmed, our itinerary organized, and our schedules finalized.

I asked that we get the next available flight. I was assured we would. But after an hour, I checked our flight details and learned that we weren’t rebooked yet. Worse, the next flight we could get was past noon, which would affect our tour itinerary and schedule. I was distressed and asked my family to pray.

Finally, I asked the airline that our destination be changed from Iloilo to Bacolod for the 5:30 a.m. flight that Saturday. We were approved with no charge.

God is so good! In putting our faith and hope in Him, we were able to fly to Bacolod direct, which was actually the first destination in our itinerary. It saved us from making a boat transfer had we landed in Iloilo first.

Indeed, “we know that all things work for good for those who love God” (Romans 8:28).

Reflection: Are your plans being disturbed? Trust God. Keep the faith.

Prayer: Strengthen my faith, O Lord, that even when everything seems to go wrong, I may continue to have hope and trust in You. Amen.

[This reflection was first published in Didache 2018 — May 30th]

A Relaxing Family Weekend at Abe’s Farm

A Relaxing Family Weekend at Abe’s Farm
by Danny Tariman

It was a trip we all look forward to: a weekend at a farm-resort. It has been a while that my family haven’t visited a farm or garden resort. I think our last trip was years ago in Cintai Corrito, a Balinese-themed garden resort in Batangas.

The refreshing landscape of the farm.

It has rained in the city for a couple of days before our scheduled out of town trip. And so, we stormed the heavens with prayers for a good weather that weekend. Indeed, the LORD is good, He answered our prayers. It was a rainless weekend.

Leaving the city at 6:45 in the morning, we arrived at Abe’s Farm in Magalang, Pampanga just before 10. We had a breakfast at a pit stop along the North Luzon Expressway.

I was awed by the refreshing greens that welcomed us at the resort. The guard ushered us to the reception, which serves as the lobby to a very nice, nature-inspired restaurant. The place is so good, we had taken many photos from various angles inside the restaurant.

The lush greens of the farm

Native furniture made of bamboo, raw wooden planks, and all sorts of natural materials literally fills the interiors of the place. I was telling myself: this is the kind of furnishings I want for my farm house!

Myself enjoying the native interiors of the restaurant

Right behind the restaurant is a good-sized swimming pool which is just right for relaxing moments for my family. An Ifugao hut stands on one end of the pool, and at the other is an open cottage, a nice nook for family interaction.

The resort’s swimming pool with an Ifugao hut in the background

Further down the farm is a well-manicured garden surrounded by shrubs of all kinds. My daughter and my wife had a time of playing at a swing hanging from a tree.

And oh! The lunch! It was so good! Big shrimps in guava soup, sautéed chicken in soy sauce with lemon grass, “morcon” cooked the Pampanga-way… we were burping to the very satisfying lunch at the resort.

My family enjoying the satisfying, delectable lunch at Abe’s Farm

After a good after-lunch rest in an air-conditioned Ifugao hut, my family had a good swim at the resort’s swimming pool. It was like exclusive to us family! Haha!

After the swim, our children had a relaxing massage at the spa! I am not a fan of massage and so I didn’t join them.

We had attended an anticipated Mass at San Bartolome Parish. While I can’t understand the local dialect, I can sense that the priest was able to deliver a good homily, and that he was able to “connect” with the church-goers.

The San Bartolome Church in Magalang, Pampanga

Immediately after the Mass, we had a good, satisfying dinner at Bembi’s Kitchen. An awesome place to eat in Magalang, Pampanga. Not only the food was awesomely delicious, the service was excellent – with Dennis (the business owner) himself serving my family!

A delightful dinner at Bembi’s: a new kind of experience

The following morning we woke up to a fresh new day in a lush garden environment. After we had a nice breakfast at the farm-resort’s restaurant, we took another dip at the farm’s pool.

What a very relaxing weekend treat for our family! Thank You LORD for this blessing of a wonderful weekend!

My wife and daughter in their bonding moments
Our son and daughter near the entrance of the farm
My wife and me for a photo shoot in the resort
Really beautiful moments with my family
An air-conditioned Ifugao hut where stayed for the night.