MattAndJojang's Blog

God. Life. Spirituality.

Posts Tagged ‘New Year

2017 Christmas Letter

with 2 comments

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.

–Henri  Nouwen


It was a delightful year of rekindling friendships  for both Matthew and myself.

I was able to attend our 40th high school reunion to celebrate our 40th Ruby Year Anniversary. With lots of laughter and sometimes sentimental moments, I had a great time reminiscing about our wonderful high school years and meeting my high school chums.

When I got home from my short stint in Manila, it was Matthew’s turn to have his own wonderful reunion experience. Sr. Sonia came to the house for a visit. He was overjoyed to meet her, having not seen her for almost 20 years!  Sr. Sonia is Matthew’s  Zen meditation teacher, who played a major and transformative role in his life. Her guidance and encouragement has opened up new vistas, making him realize that there are possibilities in the spiritual life he never dreamed of.

Sometime middle of the year, we met up with Mel and Gie whom we’ve not seen in almost 10 years! We enjoyed catching up with what was happening in our own lives.

Another happy reunion for me was meeting up with Lolit, whom I have not seen in more than 15 years. After spending hours together having dinner and dessert, we both felt that time was not enough. How we both wish we had more time together!

Matthew had a celebration of sorts when he was again able to sit in meditation  with a group of old friends after more than 15 years — something he loved to do. For many years, he was only able to meditate by himself.  Thanks to the encouragement   of endeared friends – Sr. Marijo, Flor, Nena and John, who made all this possible! Looking forward to more “sits in meditation” with you in 2018!

We capped off the year with an 80th-year birthday celebration of our godfather and dearest Tito Peter in a beautiful resort in Asin.  It’s the first time I ever saw Matthew get sun burned 🙂  Needless, to say we enjoyed ourselves and the food was delish!

Of course, we cannot end this letter without mentioning our blog. Now on its ninth year, we have grown to have 333 followers and have reached an exciting  450,800+ hits! We are happy because people are   visiting our blog, liking our posts and our cyber community continues to grow.

May this holiday season sparkle and shine. May all of your wishes and dreams come true. And may you feel God’s presence in your life all year round.

Merry  Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

–Matthew & Jojang



Written by MattAndJojang

December 10, 2017 at 5:07 pm

2016 Christmas Letter

with 6 comments


I have only one desire, and that is the desire for solitude—to disappear into God, to be submerged in His peace, to be lost in the secret of His Face.

— Thomas Merton

“Matthew, can I visit you?” Sr. Marijo was on the other end of the line.

“Sure, Sister! I would love that.”

A flood of wonderful memories crossed through Matthew’s mind as he told me that we were going to have a visitor. He remembered this quote from Thomas Merton, who has largely influenced his life:

I have only one desire, and that is the desire for solitude—to disappear into God, to be submerged in His peace, to be lost in the secret of His Face.

Sr. Marijo introduced Zen to Matthew almost 40 years ago. With a small group of friends, they would regularly visit her and sit in meditation together. Needless to say, it was a life changing experience for them. Since then, Matthew shares to me how Zen has helped him deepen his Christian faith and how it has helped him cope with the challenges of life. (see this blog post: A Touch of Enlightenment: A Christian’s Encounter with Zen).

I really enjoyed listening to their animated conversation and as Matthew describes it, “It’s as if the conversation just stopped for a while and we took off from where we left off.”  I guess these are just the stuff that real friendships are made of.

This year, Matthew and I were quite busy.  We became godparents to the highly energetic and lovable  son of Alex and Robe Ann.  We were also able to attend the 50th Golden Anniversary of our godparents, Tito Peter and Tita Dory. It was so much fun to meet and catch up with many people we’ve not seen in a long time.

Also, this year, our endeared godparent Tito Tony passed away. We are saddened by the loss of one of the most generous persons that we have ever known. Thank you, Tito Tony for everything.

Of course, we cannot end this letter without mentioning our blog. Now on its eighth year, we have grown to have 319 followers and have reached a whooping 404,265+ hits! We are happy because people are  visiting our blog, liking our posts and our cyber community continues to grow.

May the blessings of Christmas be with you. May the Christ Child light your way. May God’s holy angels guide you, and keep you safe each day.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Matthew and Jojang

Written by MattAndJojang

December 1, 2016 at 9:40 pm

Christmas Letter 2015

with 8 comments


Dear Family and Friends,

It has been a tumultuous year for Matthew and myself. We had a roller coaster ride of highs and lows which felt like it would never end. You see, for the past two years we were carrying a burden which seemed unsolvable. Suffice it to say that we tried everything we can to find solutions, but we always end up sad, stressed and frustrated. Quite recently, in the most unexpected way, our prayer was answered miraculously.

God is good indeed.

Like how our life has been for the past 13 years since we’ve been married, the Lord has never failed to reassure us that our life is indeed in His hands. Each time He reassures us that our seemingly insurmountable challenges are actually faith building experiences that brings us from glory to glory.

God is good indeed.

Of course, we cannot end this letter without mentioning our blog. Now on its seventh year, we have grown to have 283 followers and have reached 300,258+ hits. It’s edifying to know that many people appreciate our posts, and our cyber community has grown.

2016 is a new beginning for us. As God leads us, we trust that He will continue to be with us every step of the way.

May the forgiving spirit of Him to whom we dedicate this season prevail again on earth.
May hunger disappear and terrorists cease their senseless acts.
May people live in freedom, worshiping as they see fit, loving others.
May the sanctity of the home be ever preserved.
May peace, everlasting peace, reign supreme.

We pray that Christ will be alive for you this Christmas and all throughout the New Year ahead.

–Matthew and Jojang


Written by MattAndJojang

December 13, 2015 at 8:33 pm

2009 Christmas Letter

with 6 comments

Matt and Jojang

Dear Family and Friends,

I would like to think that this year is an encouraging one for us.

True, we started the year with our continuous struggle with Matthew’s asthma since he had to be brought numerous times to the emergency again. And one time, he had to be confined. However during the latter part of the year, Matthew’s health was gaining ground. In fact, just a few weeks ago, it was exhilarating for us when Matthew was able to walk around SM, a mall here at Baguio City. Something he has never done in years. Slowly but surely his health is taking great strides. I know that sooner than we think, Matthew’s full recovery is on its way.

What seems to be a source of great excitement for both of us this year, is our blog. We never realized that in a span of a little over a year, we were going to get more than 18,000 hits! We both thought of coming out with one, as a sort of “therapy” for Matthew’s illness. We also wanted to have a venue where we could share inspirational quotes, excerpts, stories, and our writings. The blog was quite helpful for Matthew ‘coz even if he spends most of his time at home, he is able to be positively busy. However, little did we know that we were going to touch so many lives as well.

We look forward to the year ahead with so much promise. And we can hardly wait for life’s events to unfold.

Here’s wishing you all reading this blog, A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.

May the good Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face shine on you and give you peace!


Written by MattAndJojang

December 23, 2009 at 9:08 am

2008 Christmas Letter

with 9 comments

Jojang and Matt

Jojang and Matt

Dear Family and Friends,

It has been an arduous year for Matthew and I. We were home together most of the time. We had a “forced” retreat, recovering from various health problems we both suffered individually and/or together.

But trials are blessings in disguise, isn’t it?  There is so much to be grateful for.

First of all, I thank God for the strength He gives us. Where would we be without the unfathomable love of God?  Although, we did go through the pain of trial and suffering, the grace of God was more than enough to sustain us.

Matthew and I have deepened our relationship further.

This year, we also experienced the generosity of friends and family. Most of them know that we are cash strapped. And with all our medical expenses, we are humbled by the nameless people who reached out and gave us financial help. Until now, we still couldn’t imagine how we were able to settle our bills. Considering how hefty they were. God is good, indeed.

While recuperating, Matthew and I discovered that there can also be good stuff on television. We watched movies that are inspirational, historical. We learned a lot from the documentaries of National Geographic and Discovery Channel. We try to keep abreast with what is happening with the world. What with the current financial, economic crisis there are a lot to watch out (and pray) for. Oh, but we didn’t only watch the serious mind boggling stuff. We also had fun laughing at silly and funny movies. We enjoyed answering questions from game shows.

However, what tops the list for us this year is our website and blog. It woke up my slumbering skill in writing. I like writing, and I used to do so in the past. But then, I got busy. And it got set aside. Now, because I had time to sit down in front of the computer, it’s slowing coming back. And I enjoy it immensely. I’m convincing Matthew to write too. He has so much wisdom, and reading his writings will be a great experience.

That’s why this 2009, we are looking forward to a great year ahead. We have many things in mind to post at our website and blog. We also have many plans in store for our lives.

God has been good to us. In spite of our trials we know that He is with us every step of the way. We know that He will continue to do so. And we believe it will be so with you, reading this blog. We wish you all the best. We pray for God’s blessings in your life. May this coming year be a wonderful year for you. May the good Lord grant you the desires of your heart.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Written by MattAndJojang

December 23, 2008 at 2:49 pm