3 Things I Learned from Ice Skating at SM Megamall

It has been more than two years since the last time I skated on ice. I’m not a professional skater, but by God’s grace, I can glide through ice. When my friends invited me to skate yesterday, I got excited because I knew that it would be a fun activity. When I arrived at the skating rink, it looked like it was closed because the lights were turned off. But, I noticed that a lot of people were still skating inside. So, I asked one of their staff members what was happening and she responded by saying: “Ma’am, we just experienced a power shutdown. It started 10 minutes ago and we’re not sure when we’ll have electricity again. You can still try to skate but it might be more slippery.”

IMG_9866

I just stared at her and said “Ohhh. Okay. Thank you!” I walked around the area with a puzzled look on my face. It just didn’t make sense: Brownout + Ice Skating in Manila. Of all the days. Haha. While waiting for my friends to arrive, I went to the comfort room to take a break. Inside, I told God that I knew that He could turn the power back on in a heartbeat if He wanted to. So, even if I was starting to feel a bit disappointed with the situation, somehow, God encouraged me not to fret about it. I also told Him that in case He really didn’t want us to skate that day, I prayed that He would help us choose our next activities wisely.

IMG_9880

After a few minutes, my friends arrived at the place and we decided to line up and buy tickets even if it the rink still didn’t have power. We looked at the rink and saw that the daylight shining through the huge windows provided enough light for the skaters. So, we gave it a try. You wouldn’t believe what happened next. As soon as we stepped on the rubber mat at the entrance of the rink, they turned on he lights! My friends and I looked at each other and shouted: “Whooooaaaa! Ang galing ni God. He really wanted us to skate today! Hahaha.”

IMG_9824

It was just so cool (literally too). When I found out about the brownout, God used that moment to challenge and encourage me to be grateful and content in Him even if our plan to skate would be cancelled or if we would skate without lights. Yesterday’s skating activity was a fun, fun way to cool down on a hot and humid summer day and I thank God for the experience. Here are some of the things I learned from our ice skating activity:

 

1. Be Confident

“Confidence is key.” We said this line over and over throughout our skating experience. It was tough to skate especially since our feet and legs were aching and we sometimes were fearful of losing our balance or falling. But, when we condition our minds to believe that we can do it by God’s grace, wonderful things can happen! It’s not about being confident because of our capabilities. It’s about stepping out in faith and finding confidence in God who is more than able to help us accomplish things. Also, there were times when my friends and I watched other professional skaters casually and beautifully display their skills and tricks on ice. Every single time, our jaws dropped. I couldn’t help but notice and be inspired by their confidence. They knew what they were doing and they weren’t afraid to fall.

IMG_9829

 

2. Put Your Hands Up

We skated for four hours yesterday and brought home a lot of bruises and body pains. But, it was all worth it. Hahaha. One of the tips that I learned a few years ago when skating with a lot of people is putting my hands up immediately after I fall down. The main reason for this is to avoid getting cut by the blades of the other skaters nearby. Interestingly, yesterday, I fell down at least three times and they were major falls: Twice on my butt and once facing forward. The first few seconds after the fall was quite challenging because I felt dizzy and my hands were sore and red because of the impact on the ice. But, as soon as I became aware of my fall, I laughed and raised my hands up quickly. Thankfully, I had friends beside me who also laughed with me and helped me get back up again. I realized that this tip is applicable not only to ice skating, but to life as well. It reminded me of the importance of learning to immediately surrender to God and ask help when we fall down, make mistakes, or feel like we’ve hit rock bottom. Or ice bottom, in this case. :)

 

IMG_9870

 

3. Grow Together

Before yesterday’s activity, we already had a few experiences with ice skating. The common skill that my friends and I had was being able to skate forward without the help of railings. After an hour of skating, we wanted to try out new skills and so, we challenged ourselves to unlock a new achievement together: To skate backwards. By God’s grace, after numerous attempts and falls, we were able to do it by the end of four hours on ice. It was encouraging to learn this new skill because we got to share do’s and don’t’s to each other while we were practicing. It was also fun to laugh with each other whenever we did funny facial expressions and body movements while we were skating backwards. Although we can’t do what the advanced skaters do, we were very much satisfied with seeing our progress on ice. Thankfully, with the electricity back on, we were able to document these things with good lighting. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take videos of the times we fell. That would have been funny and nice. Haha.

 

IMG_9817

When it was time for us to go, we felt relieved and refreshed to finally remove the shoes off of our feet. We couldn’t stand and walk easily at first. But, just like what one of my friends said yesterday: “I love this paaaain.” I guess he was right. It really was a good experience to feel this kind of pain, to see weaknesses exposed, and to improve even more through the ice skating activity. As I write this post, I still feel certain parts of my body ache. One of my hands is sore, my neck is really stiff, and my lower back is just… sad. Hahahaha. Nonetheless, I thank the Lord for the cool experience. It definitely wouldn’t be my last ice skating adventure.

IMG_9822

IMG_9773

IMG_9761

 

Made In Candy: Candy Chefs and Sugar Art

As mentioned in my previous post, here are some photos of the customized candies sold at Made In Candy, SM Megamall. It’s really amazing how the candy chefs were able to come up with these unique and sweet treats!

DSC09011

For more details, you may check out the ff. websites:

Facebook
Twitter
Made In Candy

Enjoy!!
DSC08940

1

2

DSC09037

 

DSC09038

 

DSC09043

3

DSC09027

DSC09050

DSC09053

DSC09062

DSC09023

DSC09032

DSC09042

DSC09026

DSC09031

DSC09034

DSC09046

DSC09071

DSC09067

DSC09061

DSC09048

DSC09069

DSC09059

 

 

MADE IN CANDY: Making the world a sweeter place, one candy at a time. :)

 

Spontaneous Treat: Made In Candy

While waiting for my mom and sisters at the mall, I decided to have my alone time at my favorite coffee shop. However, as I was walking towards the shop, I passed by a store named “Made In Candy” and I ended up staying there for more than an hour. Even though I’ve seen it a lot of times before, it was my first time to really appreciate their special candy and the awesome talent of the candy chefs.

DSC08966

When I got there, there were about twenty people around me who were also watching the chefs push and pull the chunks of candy. It was an interesting moment because none of us knew what the chefs were doing. They just kept on piling one flattened “candy dough” on top of another and eventually rolled them into a huge log. I heard the two ladies beside me tell each other “I don’t know what design he’s doing and it’s taking a lot of our time. Let’s just leave.”

DSC08987

DSC08925

I didn’t mind their comment at first because I was very fascinated with the candy chefs’ skills. After about 15 minutes of working on the dough, a candy chef finally took one side of the stretched log, squeezed it, and pulled it until it reached their desired thinness. I, along with other curious viewers, continued to watch them stretch out thin strips of candies. One candy chef, then, took a few strips and quickly chopped them.

DSC08937

 

DSC08950

The result? A gorgeous batch of sweet and sour cherry-designed candy. It was amazing!!! The candy chef took a piece and showed it to us, the people who were watching from the outside of the store’s glass walls. One of their staff members, then, got a bowl and filled it with the candies they’ve just made, walked outside of the store, and gave us all a piece or two to enjoy.

DSC08955

 

DSC08954

I really enjoyed that moment because God gave me the privilege of seeing the candy chefs work through the candy dough and produce amazing candies. Also, I didn’t know they let the people taste their products every now and then.

Because I loved the experience so much, I went inside the store and checked out the other designs they made. The candies were beautifully made, indeed! I was even surprised to see words and detailed drawings in the center of the candies. How were they able to come up with such creative and cool masterpieces?? Hahaha.

DSC08961

 

DSC08956

Before leaving the store, I knew I had to purchase a bag or a small jar with candies. So, I went around and searched for the perfect batch for me. As I was scanning through the candies on display, I noticed a statement printed on some of the products’ plastic bag.

It said “When no two pieces of candy are ever the same, you know we make rock candy lovingly by hand.”

DSC09006

The first thought that came to my mind was “Hey! It’s just like having unique fingerprints!”

In that simple moment, I was reminded of how God lovingly created us too. Because He made us, He knows everything about us. Our strengths and struggles, our heart’s desires and fears, our past and future! He knows the motives of our hearts, our thoughts and next action steps, how to break and heal us, and He even knows when and how we’ll hurt Him in this lifetime.

But our gracious God had a special plan and purpose for us all when He made us. In spite of how many times we’ve failed Him, He continues to help us get back on our feet and walk with Him again. Because of this, I am encouraged to constantly find my security in God — the One who lovingly crafted me.

DSC08948

After enjoying my stay at the store for an hour, I remembered the two ladies who were beside me at the start. At one point, they focused on how long it was taking the chefs to finish the candy that they decided to leave instead. If they only stayed for a few more minutes, they would have had the privilege of enjoying the free candies from the store.

DSC08996

I pray that as I grow through the circumstances in my life, I will keep my eyes focused on God and on how He can continue to work in and through me and the people around me. I pray that my heart wouldn’t be impatient and/or distracted with the things of this world that I lose focus on what matters most — my relationship with Jesus and sharing Him to others. The candy chefs at Made In Candy showed us their remarkable skills in transforming the candy dough to masterpieces. In God’s perfect time, I know that He, too, will continue to transform and use our hearts and lives for His glory.

DSC08992

DSC09077

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

–Philippians 1:6

 

I’ll post more photos of the products soon. :)

 

Special thanks to: Made In Candy at SM Megamall

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)