Beauty from Ashes

February 14, 2017
Valentine’s day. One whole day to celebrate love, confess affection, commit a relationship, pledge engagement, vow in marriage. And mostly, this day was stereotyped for couples while single men and women were left alone. 

A couple of my friends from work decided to celebrate this day in a different way, to trek Mt. Pinatubo. A dormant volcano since 1991 located in the borders of Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales. It was coined as the second largest eruption of the 20th century. (All informations were gathered from our local guides.)

A day off from scrub suits

We arrived in Tarlac quarter to seven in the morning, and the usual routine of hikers were to register names and sign waivers. Each 4×4 vehicle was able to cater four to five hikers and we started to track the fields of ashes which took us one hour and a half until the drop off point while being escorted by some military vehicles (carrying unused explosives, a bit scary😱). 

Panoramic sand view


Capturing the experience
My first 4×4 ride 🚗

Stairs were made to reach the lakeside, our local guides’ kindness brought us blankets were we can use to sit upon and have our lunch. Brief narration of this historical event was provided by Sir Eric, leaving me more astounded. To our surprise, they even handed out a single stemmed fake red rose, a cut out heart and a small bar of chocolate for us, specifically our group (single women).

Hardest part of the hike

🎶what treasure waits within Your scars. This gift of freedom gold can’t buy. I bought the world and sold my heart. You traded heaven to have me again.

This part of the song reminded me of one particular scripture, in Romans 5:8, but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Someone has to die to pay for our sins, a blood must be spilled to cleanse us from our transgressions and a Father gave his one and only Son to save mankind. All these pointed us back to the love of a Father.

Maybe, you are struggling right now with your relationship to your family, a friend or partner. Or you are having difficulties of self acceptance, believing that you are unworthy of love, experiencing insecurities, that God forgot you because you are still single or maybe each day you are still stuck with the problems you have. To tell you the truth, negativities, disaster, problems and illness will always be here in this broken world. But Jesus said while crucified on the cross, “It is finished.” You are now hidden in His righteousness, at that moment you are now called a child of God. This is called grace, a gift freely given to everyone. This is me saying He is calling out to you, extending His arms to receive you.

I am standing on the ashes from the eruption, tears leaking, arms wide open and pouring out my heart to thank our Father for His goodness, graciousness and greatness.

Let me encourage you with another verse, in Psalm 145:8, the Lord is rich in love. In him there is no shortage of love, because it is abundant, infinite and precious. 


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