* Showers and Flowers

Rainy season has begun here.  Started in May, actually.  We've had rain every day for the last week, in the form of a couple tropical storms.  Rainfall over the weekend came to just under 5 inches.  And so far today, 4.5 inches ..... and it's still raining.  Along with rainy season come cooler temperatures, something we enjoy.  But also flooded roads, and thus longer travel times.  For example, late this afternoon it took us nearly 4 hours to cover just 36 kilometers (22.5 miles).

Often we can see the storms building over Manila, and can witness some beautiful thunder heads.  Recently we were able to get a few pictures from a hilltop in our neighborhood (referred to as "The 2nd Floor").

As a result of the rains, many new flowers spring to life and display their beauty.  God gives us much variety to enjoy in His creation.  Here's a sample of some of it.  Enjoy!  We'll leave it to you to figure out the names.

In the distant past, I (along with my brothers) was once accused of being an "aesthetic clod" (source remains anonymous).  Hopefully these pictures prove otherwise.  ;-)

* Cemeteries

We were recently driving in Antipolo and happened to see the cemetery there, so we drove in to have a look.  This one is a public cemetery where, we are told, people rent a spot for some years.  They then pay another fee to keep their loved one's body there, otherwise it is removed to make room for others.  I think many then will have the remains cremated. 

There was a private cemetery across the street which we also had a look at.


A lot of the cemeteries have "houses" built over the graves.  The RCC Filipinos worship their dead.  On All Saints Day in November, some families gather at the graves of their loved ones and spend time together there.

There is also a Chinese cemetery in Manila which we drove through once.  The Chinese also worship their ancestors, and this is reflected in the gravesites.

There were altars at each grave as well as seating inside the buildings for families who gather there.


As believers in Jesus Christ, we confess:

"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
Philippians 1:21

"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord...."
Revelation 14:13

"For I know that my redeemer liveth.... And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God."
Job 19:25

* Recent Trips to Gabaldon

We visit the All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship in Gabaldon at least once a month.  Sometimes we go there twice - whenever there are five Sundays in a month.  This PR Fellowship is located about five hours from our home in Antipolo City, Manila.

Farms and hills surround the small rural town of Gabaldon.

Rice farming is the main crop.  Here a farmer prepares his fields.

Rebekah and Irene Smit accompanied us on the first weekend in May.

During the long road trip, Sharon and the girls kept themselves occupied
with some crafts in the back seat.

Along the way we met a merchant traveling with his wares.

John and Jay Smit came along when we visited
on the fifth Sunday in May.

The children were very interested in their catechism materials ....
and (as always) in having their picture taken.

The children also had fun comparing their noses to the size of Rev. Kleyn's.

They were also fascinated by Rev. Kleyn's arm hairs.

Becoming acquainted with a carabao
tethered across the road from the church building.

Sibling sisters (Rochelle and Diana) sharing lunch.

After lunch, we visited briefly with two of the elderly ladies in one of their homes,
as one of them was unable to attend because of sickness.  An enjoyable visit!

Sis. Macaria and Sis. Adeling outside the latter's home.
It continues to be a blessing to get to know the saints in Gabaldon better, and to experience and strengthen the bond of faith that unites us with them.