Thursday The 13th – What Do Filipinos, Las Vegas, and Steak-Eggs Have In Common?

For some odd reason, I thought today was Thursday. What island have I been on? Probably the “Lost” (TV Show) island.

But really I wish I could be vacationing in PH, enjoying a halo-halo special and siopao with sweet sauce.

It’s Friday the 13th.  Does this hold any importance to you? Is it scary? Bad luck?

Allow me to share my 2 cents and childhood memories with you on this lovely T.G.I.F (Thank God I’m Filipino).

I love those jokes – “You know your Filipino if/when you” – because in most part they’re true and it’s healthy to laugh at yourself. It’s personally funny because growing up this was “normal” but you become aware when someone inquires,”Why do you guys do (or say) that?”

You know you’re Filipino if you have a saying sort of like this:

Ang bahay ko ay ‘casino’ mo.  (or Bahay ko, bahay mo or in espanol, mi casa es tu casa)

And if your mom is like my mom, they have many odd superstitions like turning their pepper-plate of food 360-degrees if someone leaves the house while they’re eating, a big NO-NO for putting shoes on the top of the bed, and placing religious things to protect us from “bad spirits.”

Filipinos are super-superstitious, love gambling and karaoke. Like Elvis Presley who wore different religious “symbols” so he didn’t get kicked out of heaven on a technicality, we might have lucky shorts, socks, crosses, and chinelas.

My “pavoret memoorees as a kids” was our family trips to Las Vegas almost every weekend and Holidays. I still remember eating steak and eggs every morning because it was only $0.99. We like deep discounts especially if we can use a coupon or military ID. But when we gamble, it’s like throwing away money. Win big then lose it all!

Any-who yellow pooh, about the unlucky number 13. I don’t remember ever seeing a 13th floor or room number 13, yet if I counted the floors or rooms it didn’t change the fact that there were 13 of them. But it’s the significance or myth that we attach to that number that gives it power over our lives. 13 means 13 and nothing more, unless you were twelve-teen and just turned thirteen. Yikes, teenagers! I remember being one and no comment for now. =)

Another memory I have is tricking the kid games for tickets like those gaming machines at Chuck-E-Cheese. I found this one game where you insert and aim a token into a rail that dropped the token onto a track of numbered tickets moving forward on a conveyor belt system.  If it rolled and landed on the track that had a specific number you’d win that many tickets. Landing on 30 gets you 30 tickets.

I was a very tricky kid and had a knack for cheating. I discovered a flaw with the glass plate and was able to use my pointer and middle fingers to hold the token and surgically slide it in place on the “big winner” track which gave the most tickets. “BIG WINNER,” the machine announced following the sound effect of coins dropping from a slot machine. Our car was always filled with stuff animals and other bunts of junks that we could start a swap-meet. =)

Another memory I had was when I met my first celebrity at Buffalo Bills on the Stateline. If you’re close to my age (30-ish) you’ll remember the Hip Hop group, Immature (IMX). I got to hang out with Marques Houston and videotaped the experience. That night I kept re-playing the video of Marques’ saying, “This is my Bro”. But if you asked him today he won’t remember me, but he may vaguely remember the weird Asian guy with spiky blonde hair and I may have worn my blue contacts. (You know you’re Filipino when….)

It’s hard to imagine if you know me especially since I like to maintain my hair style a special way — shaved.

And don’t forget the big baggy pants. I was a size 28-29 but wore size 36-38. Wot! And yes my pants hanged pass my butt and I walked funny to keep them from falling down. That’s not the sad part. Today, size 36 fits me snug with some breathing room for a Chinese buffet dinner. =) Stay tuned, you might see some on this blog.

Now that you’ve read my post and feel sorry for me, here’s how I link this to my spiritual journey.

“The life of the godly is full of light and joy, but the light of the wicked will be snuffed out.” -Proverbs 13:9

(Watch out it also adds up to 13. 1+3+9. DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHH!)

I’m now taking off the tinfoil hat….

Reading and dissecting the whole chapter is like finding gold coins or treasure.

Here are some of them in the New Living Translation:

Pro 13:11 Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time.

Pro 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.

Pro 13:13 People who despise advice are asking for trouble; those who respect a command will succeed.

Pro 13:14 The instruction of the wise is like a life-giving fountain; those who accept it avoid the snares of death.

Pro 13:15 A person with good sense is respected; a treacherous person is headed for destruction.

Does God know your name? Of course He does, but do you want to know Him?

What if Jesus and His entourage knocked on your door and asked to hang out with you at school, work, home, or social event?

Will you be embarrassed or ashamed? (If you’re Filipino you might ask if they’re hungry. Sorry I had to throw that in there. My mom always thought I was hungry until I got a little pat and gave me advice that I could get gout like my dad or diabetes like her.)

Or will you treat them like celebrities bragging how you’re BPP (Best Priends Porever).

What celeb would you hang out with?

Back in the days, Marques Houston would have been the dude (or maybe Rufio aka Dante Basco from the film, Hook, and The Debut – who I had the pleasure of meeting via my sister. I think he liked her (more than a friend) but who wouldn’t! My sister is napaka-ganda and napaka-talino. A few people have commented that we look alike but I was the dark one.  (Sorry sis, I hope that doesn’t cancel out the compliment.)  =)

Today there is no celeb or person that I’d care for (in that way) but Jesus Christ. However there’s one exception, I’d love to spend a day with his servant who has been used mightily in my life – Chuck Smith Senior. I don’t know him personally but I’ve listened to his verse-by-verse teachings through the entire Bible and heard many of his personal stories like his father and brother dying in a plane crash.

Chuck is legit. So when it came time to make a decision to be baptized and make my public declaration to the world that I follow Jesus (though I was baptized as a baby), I was all over it. I found out the next beach baptism by Pastor Chuck at the Pirate’s Cove in the Corona Del Mar State Beach. You have to experience this for yourself. What a freedom to know that the “old man” was washed away in the ocean and the “new man” in Christ is alive.

My family couldn’t make it but after the baptism I was pleasantly surprised that a few friends from the Filipino Fellowship arrived according to Filipino time. =)

I found my soul-mate a few years later and we asked to be baptized together on the beach of Oceanside. This represented our old lives buried and our new life together in Christ. The next week we had our Jen’s dream outdoor wedding with dove release at Carlsbad’s Grand Pacific Palisades Resort overlooking Carlsbad Flower Fields and the Pacific Ocean. Glory to God!

Here are a few promises out of the thousands of promises from God.

He gives us a hundred-fold, new and everlasting life, and restores the lost years the locust had eaten (Matthew 19:29, Joel 2:25)

I may never win the lotto but I’m the riches man because my Father is the King and I married His princess.

May you have a blessed Friday the 13th because your identity and life is found in the One who so loved you and wants to associate Himself with you. He calls you His child.

Our two little ninjas, Noah (4) and Abby (1), will always be our son and daughter. However, if they decide one-day to deny our existence, it will break our heart but they will still be our children and we will love them no matter what.

May I suggest spending a few more minutes reading this parable found in Luke 15.

Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

“Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’

“But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

“And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

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  • God Is Enough (feat. Flame & Jai)

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  • Official God’s Not Dead (Like A Lion) Lyric Video

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  • Jeremy Camp – Walk By Faith

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  • Group 1 Crew – He Said

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  • Moriah Peters – “I Choose Jesus” Official Lyric Video

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  • Moriah Peters – About the Song: “I Choose Jesus”

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  • Switchfoot – Afterlife (Lyric Video)

Important Disclaimer– I think I edited this post a million times. Often when I have an idea or recollection, it’s a challenge to put it into words and maintain a level of accuracy, proper grammar and punctuation. I want to say what I want to say but sometimes it’s stuck somewhere in that matter called a brain or brick. =) Wait a minute…if you’re Filipino, you not care very much because we redefine languages. Ever heard of Tagalish? =)

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