The Animal That is Manila

It’s easy to be in tune with the high places when you are literally stepping on them.

It wasn’t hard to feel blessed walking down the bustle of Session Road and finding a charming cafe to duck in for fragrant fresh coffee and newly baked bread. When mornings woke you up to a dewy mist in Benguet and your balcony gave way to the view of the city and the lakes below, you can’t help but smile and give praise. In Kalinga, the clinic rang daily with the sound of children laughing, babies crying out for the first time and always the sound of bustling in the kitchen, it was only natural to gather round the dining table to share stories of miracles and of faith.

Manila was different. The life that I had left, that which led me up to the mountains in the first place, was broken at best. My last romantic relationship was a disaster, all my closest friends were either married or had kids, my attitude towards my parents was still awkward and to top it all off, I was back to square one in the job department. The fact that I had just come from what felt like a spiritual awakening did nothing to help out the situation.Clearly, I was out of sync with the regular drone and murmur of Manila life. As if I had suddenly sprouted a set of wings and was only in the preliminary stages of shaking them out and flapping them around for size.

The first few days, I dealt with it the best way I knew how. With some friends over and a lot of beer. I was hanging on to the last few traces of the old and familiar. When I tried sharing to them the dreams and experiences I was having, I only felt like a crazy person. I knew things had changed.

A few days later, I got a call from Kitchie Nadal. She had been wanting to do something and could I help out?  She explained how she had been thinking of doing a gig for inmates locked up in prison. Did I know anybody? As it turns out….I did. My ex was detained in a facility at that time.

Kitchie was a very good friend from high school. Although she was closer to my twin, we definitely had our share of crazy escapades together. We grew apart when she became a Christian in early 2000. We would still be bump into each other at gigs; I would be drunk or stoned and giggling manically and she would always be giving me a hug or saying something encouraging. I thought she was the most boring person in the world back then.

When she called me up that fateful morning, I was only too happy to help. I had never put together a gig on my own but a voice in my heart told me to go ahead and do it.  I didn’t know it then but this prison gig would prove to be one of the most crucial moments in my walk with God. On that day in March, 2011, I would learn Whom that sweet voice belonged to. Little by little and always very gently, He started to reveal Himself to me.

“For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

– Matthew 7:8


About reformedrockstar

I'll tell you what I'm not. I'm not a radio DJ, a TV host, an events host, a tattoo artist nor a bad ass rock chick bass player. I am quite simply, a child of God. This blog is His story. :) View all posts by reformedrockstar

21 responses to “The Animal That is Manila

  • Sara

    Every entry you post is such a beautiful story! I love seeing how Jesus has been drawing you to Himself. 🙂

  • hilaryisaac

    Reading this makes me want to hug you so tightly!:) so proud of you for following His still, small voice. Praying for for His favour and grace to guide you and chase you everywhere you go 🙂

  • Andyela

    Dylan (Karen), I am always following this blog of yours. I couldn’t help to be inspired as I imagined you walking with the Lord Jesus. To be honest, these gave me goosebumps. Don’t get me wrong but I do look up to you from the time you started as a VJ in NU, til you became famous and made a TV show. I followed you all through out. Now, I am fully amazed of all those revelations. This is truly an inspiring story. How God changed your life is just so wonderful. Thank you for sharing. 🙂 May the Lord Jesus always bless and give you guidance as you walk closer to Him. 🙂

    • reformedrockstar

      Hi Andyela,
      Wow, thank you. I am humbled that you find time to read my stories about God…He continues to amaze me in ways I never thought possible. Thank you for your kind words and I thank the Lord for kind people like you who inspire blogs like this one. May God bless you more. 🙂

    • reformedrockstar

      Thank you Andyela! I want nothing more than to share about how God has been doing amazing things for me and the people around me. He will do the same for you, He loves you so much. I pray that you are also blessed every day and in every way by Him…Thank you for your generosity and for your time. 🙂

  • Bryna Martinez (@delmarva10)

    When God’s at the center of your life, you worship. When he’s not, you worry.

  • no one...

    i used to think crazy things about you…i used to fantasize about you….because i thought hell, she’s crazy after all…i used to think that’s fine…hindi ko alam na deep inside you, your just as empty like me..wanted to be like…to belong..pretending to be like someone else i never want to be on the first place..naprepresure sa mga nkapaligid sakin at sa society na ang tanggap ay yung mga katulad lang nila…that’s the problem with us, were living in a world were being unnormal is the normal thing…so when you do something that’s normal, that’s right, kamumuhian ka nila…i dont think its about the case of people not knowing what is right or wrong…kalokohan yun.. its all about choosing which side do you want to be…right now, & until the yung kulang sating mga tao..alam na natin sa isip natin na mali to..pero bkit gusto ko paring gawin? alam nating mali eh…y? because we dont have the guts to tell the world or even to ourselves. that i want to be normal, i want to choose what is right…ayaw nating aminin ang isang bagay na after all the crazy things we have done and still doing…ung isang bagay na hindi naman nawawala sa at the back of our heads, and deep inside us we know…we know…andyan lang cya…pero ayaw nating pansinin at pinipilit na i deny sa mga sarili natin..because ayaw nating kamuhian tayo ng mga tao.. ng mundo…we are all focused with this earthly the end, all of this wouldn’t matter ..were investing on the wrong side…and hopefully, it’s not too late when we realize it…good for you dylan…that you did..your too precious than what they think ..and i admire you a lot more now..well, in a good way that is…so THANK YOU…

    • reformedrockstar

      Thank you for this note…it reminds me to no longer conform to the patterns of this world…mahirap, this is a fallen world we live in but like you said, deep inside, alam natin that there is something eternal, something promised that is waiting for us. And it is by that promise we stand in faith…I wonder how your journey is coming along?

    • reformedrockstar

      Amen! thank you for this honest and very inspiring letter. I pray that God bless you in all areas of your life. May you be fruitful in all your endeavors…May you have a wonderful and productive season always. Thank you for your words. You are blessed. Amen!

  • Shayne

    At that point in my life where at least I want to believe in anything rather than myself and my old ways, to at least have meaning but don’t know where and how, for some strange reason I came across this blog.

    I spent my Sunday afternoon reading your thoughts from the first post to last — it deeply resonates. Your earlier posts that I certainly know: how to mess up, turn to vices, to be a lost soul. The latest posts seem to be distant to me, I don’t know the feeling of breaking to tears because of such connection with Him. I just don’t know but I want to.

    I’m this person who is just in search of I still don’t know but I just want to tell you, thank you for your brave stories. I will find a bible now and I will start reading a page, I’ll take it from there. I never imagined Dylan Vizcarra would inspire me in this way. Thank you again.

    • reformedrockstar

      It is letters like this one that keeps me writing, Shayne. I am excited about your journey…One thing I can tell you about Jesus, He will never push you nor force you or make you feel uncomfortable…He is the most gentlemen of gentlemen and He will reveal Himself to you in the most amazing way. Do keep in touch and I hope we can meet each other one day, exchange stories and perhaps you can tell me how the good Lord has worked in your life too….:)

  • savedbygrace

    I’ve met kitchie in a bible study, well I actually never realize it was her until I ask her name, what a shame on me!

    anyway, I am glad you met the Man of your life – Jesus.
    Jesus will never leave you, nor forsake you.

    Deuteronomy 31:6

    Be strong and courageous.
    Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you;
    he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

    – grace and peace

    • reformedrockstar

      Thank you. Kitchie is a truly blessed person. I thank God that He works so well in this woman…God works so well in all of us, if we let Him. Thank you again. 🙂

      • savedbygrace

        by any chance, do you guys have grace driven bible study groups? or like out reach ministry of some sort?

        i’d like to participate

      • reformedrockstar

        Yes we do, it’s called Roar Ministry. A bunch of us meet with street kids where we share bible-based teachings. We also encourage them to make music, learn to dance, sing and paint. Unfortunately, I have not been able to attend recently because of a new job. Also very awesome and I plan to write about it soon. 🙂 How about you?

      • savedbygrace

        none at the moment. i’ve been looking for something to get myself useful. day job has been and will always be my no# 1 reason why i cant participate. lol. so i am deciding to make give ministry a priority card.

        i’d like to know more about that Roar? perhaps you can send me a link to a site?

  • reformedrockstar

    we don’t have a website set up apart from a little FB page. would you like to attend one of our meetings? do you have a FB page? 🙂

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