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Reflections of a Beauty Queen

By Kristine Alonso

Kristine is affiliated with Carousel Productions Inc and is currently working at a call center in Bacolod City.


‘And so it begins’, I said, as I ‘flipped through the pages of my life’.

Nine years ago a new chapter began in an unexpected turn of pitfalls and ruin. I had to permanently move residence and stop school for financial reasons and had not yet recovered from the recent deaths of my grandparents. But in the midst of all this God spoke a little madness, and that was where my journey began.

Forgiving enemies is not so easy

An interview with Christina Shabo

This article was first published in the 21 August 2016 issue of Sunday Examiner, the English-language weekly of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong edited by Australian Columban Fr James Mulroney.

Pope Francis at World Youth Day 2016 [Wikipedia]

KRAKÓW (SE): ‘I asked Jesus for the grace to forgive every time I prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet. But instead of praying “For the sake of his sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world,” I prayed “have mercy on the Islamic State and on the whole world”,’ Christina Shabo, who was born under a tree in a refugee camp after her family fled the bombing in Iraq in 1991, said in a testimony on 29 July at World Youth Day in Kraków, Poland.

When Church Means Home

By Fr Kurt Zion Pala

Father Kurt is from Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, and was ordained priest in November 2015. He spent two years in Fiji on First Mission Assignment while still a seminarian and a year in Malate Parish, Manila, first as deacon and then as priest. He is currently based in Cagayan de Oro involved in vocations work and mission promotion. He will be taking up an assignment in Myanmar early in 2017. You will find links to previous articles by Father Kurt here.

Father Kurt with altar servers in Malate Church, Manila

Just after I had celebrated Mass in Our Lady of Remedies Church, Malate, Manila, an altar server came up to me and told me that a youth who had decided to leave home wanted to speak to me. I saw a bag in the guard house and I got nervous thinking the story must really be true. I knew the boy in question and when I found him his eyes were red from crying. So I invited him to one of the counseling/confession rooms in the convento. He sat down and started to sob.

After an argument with his mother she told him to leave the house unless he stopped being an altar server. He explained that he had done everything his mother had told him to do but could not leave the church or stop being an altar server. He said, ‘Ang simbahan po para sa akin ay tahanan hindi tulad sa bahay’ (‘The church is like a home to me, unlike the house I live in’). He felt at home and free to be himself in the church.  I tried my best to calm him down and asked him to go back home. After a little more convincing he told me he would.

By Ramil Caporas

The author has been a member of the Philippine Army for 18 years now. He is married with four children. The article is based on an interview made in Hiligaynon through Facebook with Assistant Editor Anne Gubuan.

I was recently tasked to help in the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) held last 20-31 January in Cebu, Philippines.  IEC is basically a gathering of Catholics from around the world but doesn’t limit participation to Catholics only. Though I am a Baptist I didn’t feel hampered in any way in the name of religion. I was privileged to be there and to experience the event.  It made me understand more that faith doesn’t depend on labels and classifications; it is all about what our hearts contain.

On to the next bend

By Ruby Padasay


The author writes about her time as a VSO volunteer in Mpwapwa, Tanzania, from 29 June 29 2013 to 15 June 2015. Mpwapwa is a market town in the Dodoma Region of Tanzania.

I am not the kind who will last at anything for more than two years. I am not the kind who finishes anything I‘ve started. My parents had to make a deal to get me to complete my Bachelor’s Degree. I know the symptoms when I want to quit: I would sleep the whole day at home, pretending that I have a severe headache.

A Sprouting Hope for Boracay

By ‘Shane’

The author, who is known to the editorial staff here in Bacolod City, prefers to use a pen-name.

Boracay Island, Philippines [Wikimedia]

Boracay is just a tourist destination for many. But for people like me, our world revolves around it. I came here in January 2007 at the encouragement of my uncle to find work here, to be independent and to try to see what I wanted for myself. With my cousin’s assurance of the possibility of a job, I left my small business in Negros and came here instead. I found it simple to live here. No need to wear something extravagant just to fit in. Rich or poor, you could enjoy yourself and be friends with visitors from around the globe.

Mother and Daughter

By Therese Diane N. Germinanda

Therese as a child with her mother, Lyn

For nine months, she bore the pain but still smiled
Her happiness was visible the day I came into her life
She is sweet, very thoughtful and caring too
Whenever I’m sad she knows what to do.

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.