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Tuesday, August 11, 2009


July 31st 2009, I was driving our family van along Queen Elizabeth Way (Q.E.W.), one of the fastest highways in Ontario, on our way to Niagara Falls for an overnight stay. This is the first time our family planned to stay overnight looking forward to a great summer vacation with our visiting friends from Cebu who was to visit Canada for the first time and planned this trip to rendezvous with my sister who was to spend her vacation to visit us. We picked up my sister from the airport and were going straight to Niagara so you can just imagine how packed the van was, 7 passengers and luggage in tow.

About an hour amidst the drive along Q.E.W. at about 120 kph, something popped at the rear of the van and soon enough, the vehicle started swerving violently, the steering wheel vibrated ruggedly and it became apparent that we just had a tire blow-out. For some inexplicable reason, the situation did not cause me to panic at that time. I released my foot from the accelerator until the vehicle slowed down, my wife pressed the hazard signal for me and as soon as I felt that it was safe to do so, I steered slowly to the safety shoulder at the center of the freeway since I was driving along the fast lane. As soon we were temporarily safe off the speeding vehicles, I took out my CAA (Canadian counterpart of AAA) card and called the Hamilton city help line since this is the nearest city where we were and the representative tried her best to pinpoint our location by asking for landmarks and exits we just came from… finally, after cautioning us not to leave the vehicle, she said a dispatch will be on its way and estimated time is about 30 minutes. Within 15 minutes… the C.A.A. tow truck was already flashing its light from a safe distance behind us and in a few more minutes, my blown-out tire was replaced with a DONUT tire to enable me to drive the van to the nearest Canadian Tire store about 4 kilometers from where we were.

On our way to Canadian tire using local road, I was silently quipping a prayer that the store will have the tire size of my van (215x70x16) which in my previous experience I needed to order ahead of time since this is not standard size readily found even in Specialty Tire Store much less a Big Box Hardware store. When I advised the automotive clerk of my tire size... first sentence that he said was... “Looks like you will have not much to select from, frankly despite my prayers… the doubting Thomas in me have made me plot out my own fall back solution… I have prepared myself to buy all four new tires and rims to go on with our trip sooner if I needed to … after a quick check, the good sales clerk said “I have 2 in stock”. Without asking the price and brand I immediately confirmed the purchase and requested for possible quicker installation since we were running late for our check in time. Within an hour, we were all set to proceed with our trip and had the most wonderful time communing with God through the majesty of His creation. That is the simple story… let me explain in detail the life and death situation we were in and how God’s finger prints are all over this incident…

Tire Blow-Out

Has anyone read in advance to prepare oneself for a tire blow-out? Not me! After the incident and when we were back home… I found a video tip for this situation… what I did instinctively was nearly step by step what the video was instructing… I will be honest, I can lay claim that “it is just common sense” or “I have been driving for more than 20 years” but I would be lying… I do not know how… but most definitely, the things I did were not pulled out from what I have learned or know… it has to Divine Guidance no less.

(I am sharing 2 URL related to tire blow-out, checkout the website)
(what could have happened)
(driving tip video, hope you won't need the info)

Shoulder Parking

Everyone who has driven along QEW can tell you that parking along the “safety shoulder” does not guarantee safety at all. Our van was shaking as cars after cars sped through us 120 to 130 kph with no regard to how close they are to our parked vehicle. In many situations, accidents involving speeding cars hitting vehicles parked along the shoulder has been reported in the news and not a few resulted in fatalities. I tried to sound calm but deep inside me was the anxiousness for help to come ASAP… one could say that it was one of the longest 15-minute wait of my life. I can almost shout Hallelujah when I saw the CAA service truck pull over behind us.

CAA (Canadian Automotive Association)

I have been driving in Canada since May of 2005 and after four years I finally signed up for CAA plus for roadside assistance up to 200 kilometers radius on July 15 2009. Sixteen days after… my membership paid for itself! If CAA was not aware of how dangerous our situation was, they might even suspect that the incident was a premeditated stunt. Thank God for CAA!

Canadian Tire and the last 2 tires

Canadians can verify this by checking the tire size posted by Walmart and Canadian Tire on their SALE flyers. The nearest to my tire size is 215x70x15 and when I changed my 2 tires early this year, I has to wait 2 hours for the tire to be delivered from factory specially ordered by the manager of the auto repair shop… COSTCO does not carry my tire size and another tire specialty shop OKI advised me to order a day ahead before going to their shop for installation. When we went to this Canadian Tire store in the city near Niagara (St. Catherine’s) lo and behold… they have last 2 in stock with a price about 40 dollars a piece lower than the last brand I bought.

An atheist would say “it’s all coincidence!”

A fatalist would say “ah! It’s not your time yet!”

The superstitious will say “Lucky! You are seven passengers in the van, that’s a lucky number!”

I looked backed on the situation after we were back from a wonderful trip that may not have ever happened at all had we not been PROTECTED from harm… and I can only attribute all these things to no other than a GOOD GOD who is IN CONTROL!

This GOD happens to be my loving Father in Heaven. Praise GOD!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


My gas snowblower more often than not goes on a tantrum whenever you need to use it most... snowstorm. After several snow falls that we needed to clear using hand shovel, I finally decided to get some help. If the recent political campaigns in USA introduced us to JOE the PLUMBER... We got some muscles from

I posted the actual test in youtube for public viewing... if it is good, SHARE IT!


Monday, January 26, 2009

DEER in the CITY

Every winter, visitors come out of the forested area just two residential streets away from our house. It started with one or two a couple of years back but this year, we have seen as many as eight deer.
Last Saturday, we got this rare chance to drive close enough to take a few minute video.
To those who ever doubted my deer stories, this is the proof.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

gr8 2008!

Year end Report: A GREAT 2008

2008 will be over in a few days… I can only praise God as we look back to the year that will very soon be part of our life history.

There were two distinct changes this year, Elaine’s employment move and our new church building both of which occurred in the month of May. Elaine joined another company and things are working out very well not only in her work but also the great convenience in going to and coming home from work.
Our church on the other hand was blessed with a church building after 22 year long wait. God’s time indeed is the perfect time. In both instances, the preceding position (Elaine’s past job) and location (rented Public school) were both part of God’s grand plan. Nothing in the present “is” was it not for the past. As we look forward to the New Year 2009, whatever will transpire in the coming year cannot claim autonomy from current and previous chapters of our lives.

Lorenzo is now Grade 12 and in the process of applying for and will soon make a crucial decision on which University to attend to when the acceptance offers start coming in. I’m sure all of us who has been through this point of our life can only look back either with a smile or perhaps those who believes they have made a wrong choice could only hope that they can turn back the hands of time (also known as wishful thinking). Lorenzo continues to love music specifically piano where he has as in last year played keyboard for their High school musical theatre presentation where they presented “The Christmas Carol” this year.

Chester is in grade 7 and he has undergone a change himself. The gifted school program was moved from his former school to another school due to lack of space. He loves the new school and since all the teachers equipped to teach gifted education program moved along with them, only the building was changed and certainly for the better.

I continue to enjoy my current position in the same financial institution since last year and enjoy good working relations with my peers and superiors. I continue to co-lead an adult Bible study/fellowship in our church and have been blessed so much each time I spend time to prepare for materials to share.

As we give thanks to our Lord for being a Faithful Provider in the year 2008;
We look forward to the year 2009 with faith that our unchanging God will be with us in the much anticipated tough year.

Our Prayers and Greetings to All…


-Edgardo, Elaine, Louie and Chester


Thursday, December 18, 2008


A week before Christmas…

The world including the so called FIRST WORLD COUNTRIES is in frenzy with economic RECESSION. Just a few months back, no one even want to use the term but as of the news update in the last few weeks… the term RECESSION already seems like an understatement… we are actually moving towards DEPRESSION (deep recession?). Announcements of lay-offs and suspended operation till mid January by BIG Automotive and various industry will result in loss of the usual “Christmastime Income” for hundreds of thousands employees, in turn it will most definitely impact the retailers and peripheral holiday businesses.

It is not just the economy that is gloomy these days… Environment Canada (weather ministry) is warning of an upcoming series of snow storm that will hit Greater Toronto Area this weekend. To add drama to the coming bad weather and snow dump, the ministry has tagged a scary term for it … “SNOWMAGEDDON”.

Should bad economic and weather forecast damp our Christmas celebration? If Christmas is all about spending for gifts, eating good food and enjoying the pleasant breeze of December… maybe… but before we allow ourselves to be pulled down by the situation… let’s remind ourselves of the words of a classic Christmas Carol,


REMEMBER CHRIST our SAVIOUR was born on CHRISTMAS DAY to SAVE us all from Satan’s power…”

That would be a nice Christmas carol to sing, hum or whistle while we shovel the snow!

Wishing You All the blessings of the TRUE meaning of Christmas…

EMMANUEL, God with us as we go forward to a brand NEW YEAR 2009!

-Edgardo, Elaine, Louie and Chester


Friday, November 7, 2008


In our side of the world... there are only 2 major telecom players... BELL and ROGERS.
DSL is virtually a monopoly of BELL since they OWN all telephone lines and dry loops. I may choose a third party provider like YAK, ACANAC etc. which offers about $10 a month lower monthly rate but guess what... unless you are connected to a BELL telephone service, they would need to lease the telephone line from BELL that delivers the signal to your home, you end up paying another $10 to lease the line which leaves you paying the same fee for switching to a lower priced service.

We have a Rogers home phone which gets its signal from some kind of modem they install in your house. You use the same phone jack, enjoy low long distance rate and even get free call if you call another Rogers telephone user anywhere in Canada. The disadvantage is... since they do not run on Bell line, you do not have a dry loop unless your DSL is from BELL. This combination has been the setup I had in the past 3 years until BELL advised me last month that if I was to renew my DSL, I will need to pay $20 more than my usual rate. You see, BELL had been running new advertisement on their new corporate image... fastER, bettER, clearER... what they did not put in their billboard ads is that the rate is now highER and expensivER!

I called the Philippines to CANCEL my service with BELL internet... yes, the Philippines... I was lucky because I could have reached India, Pakistan or any other part of the World and speak with the representative who would be staring at the details of my personal information including CREDIT CARD numbers etc... Although I RELEASED myself from the tyranny of BELL internet service, switching to YAK will not make sense due the reason I gave earlier so I decided that if I switch my ROGERS home phone to BELL, that will give me more flexibility to use third party provider free from the monthly lease for dry loop. Perfect Solution!

I once again called and spoke with a Filipino who was very helpful and immediately signed me up for the SWITCH and sales order which will authorize BELL to cancel my ROGERS and transport my current telephone number. Talk about PARADOX... I am signing up with BELL telephone because I need to be able to GET OUT of BELL internet... it's like going inside a room to push myself out of the room... EVERYTHING SETTLED I thought.

Less than an hour later, a representative from BELL business office called back to say that they were unable to transport my number from ROGERS for reasons she cannot explain. I discussed it with my wife if the inconvenience of changing the phone numbers will be worth it... to name a few, I would have needed to update the information with all Banks, all government ministries, insurance companies, utilities, schools, office records and right there and then... I had to CALL OFF the switch.

My only choice is sign up for a new account with BELL internet when my cancellation takes effect next week or go with ROGERS. I tried the latter, as a new ROGERS internet customer, I received $10 off from the monthly rate for a year and another 10% savings for my home phone and mobile phone as a BUNDLE discount. I am now BELL free, hooray!!!

but... I am now officially a hostage of ROGERS for the next 365 days... I knew that the word BUNDLE sounded really suspicious...
talk about FREEDOM of CHOICE!