Monthly Archives: October 2012

Catholic Life in the Spirit Seminar

I feel spiritually renewed! My sister and I attended a Catholic Life in the Spirit Seminar (CLSS), organized by  Our Lady of Guadalupe Family Ministry Inc., last weekend.

With Mariah and Mr. Alex Peñas of Our Lady of Guadalupe Family Ministry, Inc.

With Mariah and Mr. Alex Peñas of Our Lady of Guadalupe Family Ministry, Inc.

The CLSS involves renewing and igniting the power of the Holy Spirit that we received at baptism and confirmation. It also promotes an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord to experience a personal Pentecost in our lives.

“The Spirit will guide you to all truth.” John 16:13

The CLSS consists of a series of talks designed to help people realize the power of the Holy Spirit that is available for every aspect of their lives. It is an invitation to make or renew a deep personal commitment to Jesus Christ in openness to the Holy Spirit and His gifts. It serves as an introduction to a life in the power of the Holy Spirit. It provides teaching, guidance, and prayer leading to a new and deeper relationship with the Lord. We come to experience the presence of the Lord through praise and worship with community.

Life in the Spirit Seminars try:

  1. To help those who come to the seminars establish or re-establish or deepen a personal relationship with Christ;
  2. To help those who come to the seminars to yield to the action of the Holy Spirit in their lives so that they can begin to experience his presence and can begin to experience him working in them and through them;
  3. To help those who come to the seminars be joined to Christ more fully be becoming part of a community or a group of Christians with whom they can share their Christian life and from whom they can receive support in that life;
  4. To help them begin to make use of effective means of growth in their relationship with Christ.

Most of us have heard about the Holy Spirit and most of us have learned about the Holy Spirit, but many times that is as far as our experience has gone. The Holy Spirit is a real persona, a part of the Blessed Trinity just like Jesus and the Father. We receive the Holy Spirit through the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. Through what is called the baptism in the Holy Spirit, a personal conversion experience, the power that is the Holy Spirit is released within us.

One illustration that helps some people understand this concept is through the image of a candle. It is designed with a wick that, when lit, creates or releases its light, so to speak; only at that time does the candle completely fulfill the purpose for which it was created. Until then it may be pleasant to look at, but it does not fulfill its purpose of emanating light. The candle’s ability to be a source of light is always within it due to its design and the way it is made, but until something happens to “empower” that candle, until the wick is lit, it lies “dormant'” it does not fully become what it was designed to be. So it is with all of us. We have been designed by God and empowered with the power of the Holy Spirit. But until that power is released, it lays dormant as does the light of the candle. A CLSS is designed to help us yield to the action, empowerment and the power of the Holy Spirit in our own lives just as He empowered the early church on the day of Pentecost.

The Seminar includes:

  • Lively Praise & Worship
  • Talks and Testimonies from Brothers & Sisters in Christ
  • Discussion Group Sharings
  • Healing of Memories Prayer
  • Prayer of Surrender to Jesus
  • Prayer for the Release of the Holy Spirit in Power

Talks include:

  • God’s Love
  • Salvation
  • The New Life
  • Receiving God’s Gift
  • Prayer for the Baptism/Release of the Holy Spirit
  • Growth in the Spirit
  • Transformation

“God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”  Romans 5:5

The seven talks given during a CLSS are designed to lead people through the basic message of salvation, to understand the need within themselves for the release of the Holy Spirit’s power that already lies within them, and yield their lives to the Holy Spirit and a life of joy and peace using His many Gifts. The format is simple, informal and presented with balanced, Catholic teaching based upon Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Church documents, personal testimony and prayer. Opportunities are given in each session for discussion of how the topic may relate to each person’s life, but no one is required to share more than he or she feels comfortable doing.

“I will pray to the Father and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of Trust, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”  John 14:16-17

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:4

Through this seminar, I feel like I have experienced God and the Holy Spirit in a totally unique way. After receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I feel so free and light and renewed. I am now more deeply in love with the Eucharist, with Jesus Christ and the Trinity, with the Mass, and and with the Bible.

Most of us have a relationship with God; some of those relationships are closer than others are. It doesn’t matter how close you are to Him or how far away He may seem, He is calling every one of us to deepen that relationship and He has nothing but LOVE waiting for us as we accept His call. THERE’S ALWAYS MORE of His love for everyone; all we have to do is yield ourselves more deeply to it and receive it.

If you are at least open to the possibility that you can deepen your personal relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, why not attend a Catholic Life-in-the-Spirit Seminar? It may change your life. 🙂


♥ Monique ♥

Further Reading:


Health Talk Series: Health Financing and Universal Health Care

Ganch, Sacki, and I at the Health Talk Series

Ganch, Sacki, and I at the Health Talk Series

Ganch, Sacki, and I attended a forum on “Health Talk Series: Health Financing and Universal Health Care,” an event which is part of The Secretary’s Cup by the Department of Health. The event was held on October 18 at the Asian Institute of Management. Actually, we were the only pharmacists there when in fact medicines go hand in hand when it comes to health. Medical products are also an essential component of the 6 building blocks of health systems. Pharmacists are so underrepresented in essential programs and policy development talks such as this! 😦

Dr. Ernesto Domingo

Dr. Ernesto Domingo

Moving on, one of the speakers was National Scientist Dr. Ernesto Domingo and one of the important things that he said was, “equity in our country can only be addressed with the universal health care system.”

Dr. Francisco Duque III

Dr. Francisco Duque III

But the main speaker of the event was former DOH Secretary and now Chairman of the Civil Service Commission Dr. Francisco Duque III. He delivered the talk very well. Afterwards, there was even time for question and answer.

Here’s a copy of the Universal Health Care from the DOH website:

UHC to Address Inequity in the Health System

Universal Health Care and Its Aim

Universal Health Care (UHC), also referred to as Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (KP), is the “provision to every Filipino of the highest possible quality of health care that is accessible, efficient, equitably distributed, adequately funded, fairly financed, and appropriately used by an informed and empowered public”.1 The Aquino administration puts it as the availability and accessibility of health services and necessities for all Filipinos.

It is a government mandate aiming to ensure that every Filipino shall receive affordable and quality health benefits.This involves providing adequate resources – health human resources, health facilities, and health financing.

UHC’s Three Thrusts

To attain UHC, three strategic thrusts are to be pursued, namely: 1) Financial risk protection through expansion in enrollment and benefit delivery of the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP); 2) Improved access to quality hospitals and health care facilities; and 3) Attainment of health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Financial Risk Protection

Protection from the financial impacts of health care is attained by making any Filipino eligible to enroll, to know their entitlements and responsibilities, to avail of health services, and to be reimbursed by PhilHealth with regard to health care expenditures.

PhilHealth operations are to be redirected towards enhancing national and regional health insurance system. The NHIP enrollment shall be rapidly expanded to improve population coverage. The availment of outpatient and inpatient services shall be intensively promoted. Moreover, the use of information technology shall be maximized to speed up PhilHealth claims processing.

Improved Access to Quality Hospitals and Health Care Facilities

Improved access to quality hospitals and health facilities shall be achieved in a number of creative approaches. First, the quality of government-owned and operated hospitals and health facilities is to be upgraded to accommodate larger capacity, to attend to all types of emergencies, and to handle non-communicable diseases. The Health Facility Enhancement Program (HFEP) shall provide funds to improve facility preparedness for trauma and other emergencies. The aim of HFEP was to upgrade 20% of DOH-retained hospitals, 46% of provincial hospitals, 46% of district hospitals, and 51% of rural health units (RHUs) by end of 2011.

Financial efforts shall be provided to allow immediate rehabilitation and construction of critical health facilities. In addition to that, treatment packs for hypertension and diabetes shall be obtained and distributed to RHUs.

The DOH licensure and PhilHealth accreditation for hospitals and health facilities shall be streamlined and unified.

Attainment of Health-related MDGs

Further efforts and additional resources are to be applied on public health programs to reduce maternal and child mortality, morbidity and mortality from Tuberculosis and Malaria, and incidence of HIV/AIDS. Localities shall be prepared for the emerging disease trends, as well as the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.

The organization of Community Health Teams (CHTs) in each priority population area is one way to achieve health-related MDGs. CHTs are groups of volunteers, who will assist families with their health needs, provide health information, and facilitate communication with other health providers. RNheals nurses will be trained to become trainers and supervisors to coordinate with community-level workers and CHTs. By the end of 2011, it is targeted that there will be 20,000 CHTs and 10,000 RNheals.

Another effort will be the provision of necessary services using the life cycle approach. These services include family planning, ante-natal care, delivery in health facilities, newborn care, and the Garantisadong Pambata package.

Better coordination among government agencies, such as DOH, DepEd, DSWD, and DILG, would also be essential for the achievement of these MDGs.


1Executive Summary. (2010, October-December). Acta Medica Philippina, 44 (4), 9.


Actually, the Universal Health Care program has been part of the agenda under several presidential terms already although under various names. Now, under Aquino’s term, the program is called Kalusugan Pangkalahatan. There are so many aspects of the Universal Health Care program that still needs to be studied and addressed. One of the areas that we could focus on is the improvement of our primary care system. Nowadays, people go to a tertiary hospital for the simplest of emergency cases. This is the ideal scenario: initially, patients should be addressed, assessed, and diagnosed first by a primary care physician. And then if a specialist is needed, the patient will be referred to a secondary care provider called polyclinics where specialists can be found and where diagnostic tests are also performed. And then, the  more important and severe emergency cases will be directed to the hospital. This will then limit the number of people directly going to hospital.

But then, health financing is, first and foremost, a big issue. It is good to know that President Noynoy Aquino has set aside a bigger budget for health during his term. Thus, there are means for a lot of national health programs to be pursued, developed, and implemented.

Another thing, a successful taxation system should be set up that places the burden of cost on the people who can afford to pay allows every citizen to receive free, quality health care without having to turn the entire nation upside down searching for a way to finance such a system.

Do you know that Cuba has universal health care? If Cuba can do it, why can’t we? Here’s a map of the countries that provide universal health care.

Someday, the Philippines will have a modern medical system in which every citizen is able to have quality care at no cost to themselves. Just believe and let us all help and continue our efforts to support such causes. 🙂

More pictures at Photobucket.

Other Links:

Administrative Order 2010-0036 (Aquino Health Agenda – Universal Health Care)

Department Order 2011-0188 (Kalusugan Pangkalahatan)

Reaching out to our IP Brothers (Draft Indigenous Peoples Plan for UHC)

Road to Fitness: Insanity Workout

I have been perpetually trying to lose weight. Going on diets on and off forever, running, jogging, swimming, and more. I have been very thin way back in elementary. And then I gained weight in high school. Then I lost a lot of weight when I entered college because I got sick. And then I gained weight again. It’s like an endless cycle of thin-fat-thin-fat. And now, I’m just fat.

Food is just too yummy to say ‘No’ to. 🙂 And then I realized that I’m already having a hard time fitting into my clothes. Plus, I get comments everyday from people around me telling me that I’m already gaining weight.

I think it’s time to take control of the situation and be more conscious of what I eat. I am a carb lover. I love rice, pasta, cakes, pastries, etc. That is why I am lessening my carb intake slowly.

Anyway, I came across this fitness video called “INSANITY“.



Insanity is a workout regimen similar to P90X in that it claims to improve fitness in 60 days through strenuous stamina training. Developed by Shaun T., Insanity’s advertising emphasizes “max interval training”, a method of exercising during which one works out strenuously for 3–4 minutes and then rests or “cools down” for approximately 30 seconds before starting the whole process over again. This is more intense than traditional interval training, during which participants alternate mild and strenuous exercise for roughly equal lengths of time. This program promotes noticeably results through core strength, as well as intense cardio training.

Insanity is brought to us by Beachbody, the same fitness corporation that brought us P90x and Hip Hop Abs.

I tried Insanity last night and it was sooo intense. I stopped halfway because I couldn’t finish it anymore. I was literally panting and my heart rate was going so fast. Insanity is not for the faint-hearted. I believe I would be able to finish it if I wasn’t so tired from work. This work schedule that we have is just not conducive to any fitness regimen. That’s why you’d see most employees gaining weight while in the company.

Maybe we should start a fitness program or something… Like an hour after work devoted to exercise. 🙂

Sophya Libris E-Book Giveaway

Sophya Libris E-Book Giveaway

Sophya Libris E-Book Giveaway

As part of our advocacy to promote reading, Sophya Libris is holding a giveaway… FREE E-BOOK PER EMAIL!

All you have to do is:

  1. Like our Facebook page:
  2. Follow us on Twitter: @JMoniqueSanchez (optional)
  3. Send me a message with your Facebook URL, Twitter Username (if applicable), title of book that you want, preferred format (e.g. MOBI, EPUB, PDF, etc.), and your email address. Or you can use this contact form:
  4. Wait for the email and enjoy reading!
  5. Share this giveaway to your friends. 🙂

Only one e-book will be sent per email address. You can place up to 3 titles as choices if ever the first choice is not available.

My e-book collection consists of classics, children’s, young adult, non-fiction, fiction, references, comics, magazines, and more including the latest bestsellers. Again, you can choose any e-book that you want. In the event that the e-book is to large to be sent online, you will be sent a download link where you can download it directly from my online database. 🙂

Let’s all share the gift of love for reading!

*E-books at Sophya Libris normally costs 10 – 20 pesos depending on the type. UNLI E-books Promo is also available for only P500 which includes a lifetime unlimited access to the online database (updated weekly with new e-books).

*Promo lasts until October 31, 2012.

New York Times Best Sellers – Combined Print and E-book Fiction (October 14, 2012)

#1 THE CASUAL VACANCY, by J. K. Rowling. (Little, Brown & Company.) The sudden death of a parish councilman reveals bitter social divisions in an idyllic English town; a novel for adults by the creator of Harry Potter.

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

#2 FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, by E. L. James. (Knopf Doubleday Publishing.) A college student falls in love with a tortured man with particular sexual tastes; the first of a trilogy.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

#3 FIFTY SHADES DARKER, by E. L. James. (Knopf Doubleday Publishing.) Ana Steele learns more about Christian Grey’s troubled past; the second book in a trilogy.

Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James

Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James

#4 FIFTY SHADES FREED, by E. L. James. (Knopf Doubleday Publishing.) The final book in an erotic trilogy.

Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

#5 GONE GIRL, by Gillian Flynn. (Crown Publishing.) A woman disappears on the day of her fifth anniversary; is her husband a killer?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

#6 WINTER OF THE WORLD, by Ken Follett. (Penguin Group.) n Book 2 of the Century trilogy, members of five interrelated families from five countries grapple with the tumultuous historical events of the years 1939-49.

Winter of the World by Ken Follett

Winter of the World by Ken Follett

#7 A WANTED MAN, by Lee Child. (Random House Publishing.) A carload of people involved in a conspiracy pick up a disheveled hitchhiker, Child’s vigilante hero Jack Reacher.

A Wanted Man by Lee Child

A Wanted Man by Lee Child

#8 BARED TO YOU, by Sylvia Day. (Penguin Group.) Two troubled people develop an intense, obsessive relationship.

Bared to You by Sylvia Day

Bared to You by Sylvia Day

#9 THE TIME KEEPER, by Mitch Albom. (Hyperion Press.) A fable about the inventor of the world’s first clock; from the author of “Tuesdays With Morrie.”

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

#10 RAPTURE, by J. R. Ward. (New American Library.) After a man stumbles in front of the reporter Mels Carmichael’s car, both find they’re in over their heads.

Rapture by J.R. Ward

Rapture by J.R. Ward

#11 ZOO, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. (Little, Brown & Company.) A young biologist warns world leaders about the reasons for escalating animal attacks on cities.

Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

#12 LOW PRESSURE, by Sandra Brown. (Grand Central Publishing.) A woman makes disturbing discoveries when she writes a book about her sister’s murder.

Low Pressure by Sandra Brown

Low Pressure by Sandra Brown

#13 A FOOL’S GOLD CHRISTMAS, by Susan Mallery. (Harlequin.) Both in Fool’s Gold, Calif., only reluctantly, a dancing teacher and a bad-boy lawyer are drawn together.

A Fool's Gold Christmas by Susan Mallery

A Fool’s Gold Christmas by Susan Mallery

#14 FALL OF GIANTS, by Ken Follett. (Penguin Group.) Five interrelated families from five countries are caught in the upheavals of World War I and the Russian Revolution.

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

#15 SOMETHING WITCHY THIS WAY COMES, by H. P. Mallory. (Random House Publishing.) Back from a round of time travel, the Queen of the Underworld must now protect her realm from the sinister Lurkers; a Jolie Wilkins novel.

Something Witchy This Way Comes by H.P. Mallory

Something Witchy This Way Comes by H.P. Mallory

All available as e-books at Sophya Libris for only P10 each. 🙂