About allenjambalaya

I am a Marist Brother.

A beer story

Hello WordPress,

Here’s my story on beer.

I remember making a fermented beer mango for my Science Project in Grade 8. I just smelled the bottled green mangoes in our refrigerator and got an idea to make it as my project. I liked the smell of it but after tasting it, I decided it is not good for consumption and even for mass production. I even tried to make a rice wine but was not really successful. I never really liked beer until I turned eighteen. I think it’s for the silly reason that it is not sweet and it would make my tummy bulge.

In our high school physical education, alcoholic beverages was one of the topics and I learned about the proofs, alcoholic content, and how to drink in moderation (as the television ads would remind us). Never drive under the influence of alcohol as it affects our gross motor movement.

The first time I finished drinking a full bottle of beer was during my 18th birthday. Before turning eighteen, I was just tasting beer and never really finished drinking a bottle. My friends and I were in Katipunan, I bought some beer from 7-11, then we went to a nearby restaurant to eat dinner and drink the San Miguel Light beers we bought. Actually, we were not allowed to bring in those beers but we managed to break the rules. When the guard noticed us, we had already finished drinking our beers so there’s nothing he could do but to feel annoyed. Anyway, we were not unruly or obnoxious but just having a small chitchat.

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My status

Hello WordPress,

It has been a while since I wrote an entry here.

There’s a lot of happenings (I hate to use this expression) this past months and I have gone through a lot of transition and change of addresses since March. To paraphrase a tweet I saw on Twitter, is there a life outside my comfort zone?

Within the year, I applied for a Japanese visa. I tried both long term resident visa and missionary visa but it seems I need to use a missionary visa temporarily since I do not know how to speak, read, or write in Japanese language.

We have three Brothers there in Japan and they don’t get any financial subsidy from the Korea-Japan Sector or the Province. I only learned anout this when I visited Kobe community last June and I learned that it is only the pension that supports them in terms of daily finances such as food, transportation, medical expenses, clothing, grooming, toiletries, and other necessities. Because we had a house property and even a school, which we used to manage but no more due to lack of vocation, we look rich from without. Anyway, I do not really know how can I contribute financially if I am not allowed to work using a missionary visa. I might use Patreon, Soundcloud, or even Youtube if there is a need to earn some money.

I only applied for a certificate of eligibility last June and I will need to wait for at least a month or three month at most.

I want to study TESOL in Claret. I do not want to spend money in studying Japanese here in the Philippines so I will just rely on the internet and some friends who knows how to speak, read, and write Japanese.

I want to learn how to drive.

I might visit Japan Foundation in Makati tomorrow but there’s a super typhoon Gardo/Maria right now.

Waiting for a visa without doing any work might have been affecting my self-esteem. Last two years, I have been very important because I taught in school. Now, I just stay in the convent reading, playing sports, surfing the internet, washing the dishes, cleaning the kitchen, using a stationary bicycle, watching NBA Finals (last month) and the World Cup 2018.

I feel very powerless, irrelevant, and not-so important.

I feel so irritatable this past few days. I cry sometimes inside my room. I drink beer almost every day. Maybe I am regressing a little bit. I am so down right now and I don’t want to confide it to anyone besides no one can understand me anyway. I feel now the pain of those suffering from Mental health problems; I feel now the sorrow of the psalmist. I did not chose to feel how I feel though. I am like in a state of sorrow. But as our Lord Jesus reminded me in the Gospel, I won’t let my heart be troubled. I won’t let this fox steal my joy. I might not be happy but I still have joy in my heart.

Now on my late 20s, I was like asking myself how did I end up choosing this life I am living right now. It is like I am going to a stage of purgation.

The readings for this Sunday inspired me that it’s not all about me. I feel these maybe because I am proud and egotistical. But just like Saint Paul said, the Lord’s grace is enough. It is when I am weak that I am strong because the Lord Himself is my Consolation. Christ said He has nowhere to rest His head; He who was rejected just because they know His parents and where they live. Christ had undergone through a lot of hardships and trials which compared to mine are nothing.

It is easier to see the things I am lacking and it takes silence and reflection to realize how God is so good to me in providing what I just need and not what I want.

For all the things I have and enjoy, thanks for it.

For the company of my fellow brothers in Marikina community, the brothers in different communities I visited who have been so accommodating and good to me, to my family, friends, fellow teachers, GIA scholars, and former students who have touched my life, thank you very much!

Whatever I say, feel, and do, let God’s name be glorified!

Amen.

An open letter to a friend

Dear friend,

How are you?

I wrote to you to remind you again that my vocation is responding to the call as a religious or consecrated brother. I know you do not know what kind of vocation I entered.

I chose this life thinking it is the best way for me to be closer to God. I was “away” for a long time and I wanted to come back home. I think you saw me struggle with faith before. I thought this was the best way for me to be back home again. To be consecrated means to be set apart. And with the help of discernment, I was convinced that it is best for me to follow Christ set apart from the world, my family, friends, dreams and ambitions. It is a hard choice.

The life I have chosen is counter-cultural. I am not a priest yet I am not going to marry. How foolish is that? If I appear to be foolish by choosing this path, I would not argue. Indeed, I am a fool for Christ.

I watched the Infinity Wars yesterday. If Dr. Strange would ask me which master do I serve, I would love to say that I serve Jesus. But I know deep inside of me, my heart is divided. I admit that I have strange idols. I won’t mention them one by one. This is one of my hardest struggles I face. I sometimes lose sight of Christ. I am just like Peter who tried to walk in the water but looked elsewhere. I stumble many times in trying to walk this life. But I know that He will catch me whenever I fall. I am having a hard time right now. My consecration is the “cross” I am carrying to follow Christ.

I must admit that along the way it feels so hard to keep my fidelity and zeal as a consecrated person, I am struggling and trying to be the best that I can offer though I know deep inside I am a great sinner.

If you are frustrated for the fact that I, despite of my absence of good looks, would forego dating or marriage, then I respect your right to feel that way. I just do not know if you are just truly concerned of my personal happiness. If you are, then I thank you my friend.

And I must remind myself everyday that it is not about me, it’s about Him. I pray to our good Lord that let not my will be done, but may His will be done.

If it is God’s will for me to be a brother in consecrated life, then so be it. Amen.

If it is God’s will for me to be a brother in common life, then so be it. Amen.

I hope that we will see each other face to face in the future and we will listen to each other’s stories over a cup of coffee.

Please pray for me.

Your little brother,
Allen

Counting down the days

Hello WordPress pals,

It’s almost the end of the school year and I never thought how I am already at the end of my teaching days here in Notre Dame of Cotabato. I don’t know how I was able to juggle all my responsibities as a teacher with eight teaching loads ( with two combined class), a coach of the Table Tennis team, a homeroom adviser to the Grade 12 class of Blessed Br. Luis Alfonso, and a coordinator of the Grant-In-Aid students here in the school. My teaching load is crazy that I teach 7 sections almost every day and I even have a Saturday class plus the coaching and coordinator responsibilities. I know I already mentioned it on my previous posts but I just find it stressful yet satisfying to be able to multi-task and handle them all at the same time.

I am happy that I am leaving because I know I would not be able to handle these responsibilities next year. No, I’m just kidding. Hehe!

Seriously, It’s sad to be able to think I’m leaving this school after two years of staying here. I actually want to stay again for another year as a Grant-In-Aid coordinator because I know I was not really able to be fully hands-on to the scholars that much. They were the victims of my hectic schedule that I cannot do a full-time hands-on approach to them. I want to  establish a better relationship to them a give them support to their studies and whatever help I can give them be it financial, moral, or spirtual. But wherever I am, I’ll assure them that I will still support them. That is my way of being a big brother to them.

Now it’s safe to say that I am almost through with teaching here and the next challenge for me is to figure out my new mission in… I already told my students where I will be but I haven’t posted it yet in my blog. I’m keeping it a secret for now.

Will I teach again? Stay tuned for more updates next time I find a free time to write whatever comes to my mind.

A peaceful Sunday to all of you.

The love I lost

When I was fourteen, I remember falling in love.
I felt so alive that time, I was so in love with the God of the Bible.
I don’t know what happened to me after that… I just lost that love.
Wandering with no direction, just drifting.
Took me years to revert back to the faith;
I even joined the Marist Brothers.
It was like Saul’s encounter Jesus on his way to Damascus;
Have to see again with eyes anew what the Bible is all about.
Again, reading it once more, loving it book by book;
Now I fell in love again.
Once more, I get lost within the world of the Book;
There I find who I really am in losing myself.
Now I know I just got lost;
I never really lost that love.
It was there all along carved in my heart.

One question that changed my life

This is the draft of my Opening Remarks for tomorrow’s Career Celebration 2K18: Millennials Shaping the Future here in Notre Dame of Cotabato.

January 22, 2018

Good morning everyone,

One reason why I was asked to give the Opening Remarks is because I am a millennial. I can still remember that I once was a high school eleven years ago. We don’t have these model ramps that often before in Marist School, Marikina where I spent my high school. As an exclusive for boys’ school, we only have the Mr. Marist contest every two years during the Marist Fair. (For the record, I did not join.)

Given my surname Timola, which is a cause of being bullied sometimes, I was always asked to seat at the back of the classroom and mostly at the corner beside the window. There, I spaced out; stared outside the windows and daydreamed. Sometimes I draw doodles on my notebook or write a list of my favorite songs. In the early 2000, there was a famous song by Switchfoot with the title Only Hope. The lyrics would haunt me until now.

The lyrics go like these : “There’s a song that’s inside of my soul. It’s the one that I tried to write over and over again.” 

(Sing this if I have the guts to sing in front of these 2,000 students)

That song is a constant companion of my restlessness during college. It took me years to decipher the meaning of that song. We all have that song inside us. That song inside our soul is our personal mission. It is a God-given personal mission. How do we discover that mission?

The short answer is that we discover our mission in life by discovering about ourselves. High school life is a perfect time for us to discover about ourselves. It starts with discovering your talents.

Who are those good in Math? How about English? How about Science? How about basketball? How about computers? How about painting? How about singing?

But still, even discovering our talents will still leave more questions about our own selves. That is the question we have to live the rest of our lives; that too, is the tension we have to live the rest of our lives. And this tension will only end when we stop living. Thank God we have that tension; it means we are still alive. It’s okay if we try to write that song inside our soul over and over again.

It will be an unending search for an answer. To paraphrase Maria Rainier Rilke, let us live the question.

I hope that the Grade 12 students will learn the most from this Career Celebration. Grade 12, I dare you to ask questions about college, about work, about your future. Start asking us—your advisers, your teachers, our guidance counselors: Mrs. Casiano, Mr. Ade, and Mrs. Sobrepena.

Dear students (yes, all of you), I dare you to ask questions. Curiosity is an evidence of one’s willingness to learn. Learn by asking questions.

Before I end, I’ll leave you with a question that changed my life: “Sa paghahanap-buhay, mahahanap mo ba ang buhay mo?”

Good morning everyone.

Br. Allen Timola, FMS

A joyful Christmas to everyone!

  1. A joyful Christmas to everyone!
  2. I arrived here in Marikina since December 24. I did not ride a taxi to save money. Instead, I took the bus/train/van/tricycle route which costed me only 99 pesos in total compared to the 500-800 price of a taxi ride. So imagine how have I been thriftty these past two days including Christmas time.
  3. Every time I go home on Decembers since I entered the Marist Brothers last 2011, I play NBA 2K. This year, I stopped because I don’t feel like playing it. Besides, I have to graduate from NBA 2K13 that I played since December 2013. I already won two championships there with the Oklahoma Thunders (sixth man) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (starting Small Forward).
  4. Instead of playing video games, I played Spotify. Currently listening to the Tides by The Ransom Collective. I am hooked with Spotify that I even curated some playlists. Maybe you can search one of my playlist, New Pinoy Alt Rock and Indie.
  5. I am now sleeping here at the extension house adjacent to our original house. I drank two Heineken beers and a Crabbie’s (a ginger beer). Beer is alright for me. I passed on the Jack Daniels though since it’s really strong. I always follow what the television ads tell us to do: drink moderately.
  6. Actually, I am going through a lot of pondering these days even before coming here at home. During this vacation, I am reflecting on my vocation (rhyme intended). I’ll re-evaluate myself in terms of prayer life, apostolate, and community living. I’ll write that and try to put some of my reflections in my application letter.
  7. It’s been almost seven years already with the Marist Brothers and I plan to stay a little longer maybe until perpetual profession.
  8. My goodness, I think I have been so self-centered. Am I still answering to the call of leaving everything behind and following our Brother?
  9. I plan to visit chapels and churches here in Manila later alone. During this feast day of St. Stephen, I have yet to attend a Mass since I was not able to get up early.
  10. I remember the vision of Saint Jerome with the infant Jesus during Christmas.
  11. The venerable scholar was asked by the Child, “What present do you have for me?”

“I have left everything and given them up for you. What more can I offer?”, replied Jerome.

“You still have something more to give me”

“What is it?”

“Give me your sins.”