Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

Post written by Raymund and Denielle Tamayo

It has been a magical month for our family this December that we barely had the time to sit down, write, and update this blog.

We hope all of you, dear readers, are all set and ready for this coming two weeks of what we call "consumeristic frenzy." There's nothing wrong about buying material gifts (this is, anyway, the season of sharing and giving), as long as we don't focus our minds and hearts on the gifts but on the Giver.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How the Digital World Has Affected Our Relationships

Post written by Denielle Tamayo


Ask yourself, when was the last time you had a conversation?

A real one, that is.

One without the use of whatever gadget the 21st century has to offer.

You know, the face-to-face interaction with a fellow human being; deep in depth with a specific topic, no pretensions, vivid facial expressions, crisp sound of laughter...the works. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Holding on Through the Seasons

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

There are some times when life can be hard. Confucius said that “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

Okay, he is one of the smartest persons who ever lived. Hurray.

But in reality, no matter how simply we live, there will always be tough times. There are always seasons that hit us harder than others. I think it’s an inescapable fact of life.

For me and my family, this is such a season.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Love the Person, Not the Coffee

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

I love drinking coffee.

Early in the morning. In the afternoon. In the evening.

All day, coffee.

Friday, November 9, 2012

4 Basic Ways to Stay Spiritually Healthy

Post written by Raymund and Denielle Tamayo

There are a lot of resources, both online and in traditional media, talking about spiritual health. And with so many on the buffet table, sometimes one can’t help but become confused.

Here, we will attempt to discuss spiritual health in the simplest way that can easily be understood by anyone. And may we also remind our readers that what we will talk about here is Christian spirituality. So if you are not a Christian, feel free not to finish this entire post.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Check Out Our Guest Post at 5thingstodotoday

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

Blessings, everyone!

It is our privilege to be featured in one of the best inspirational blogs in the web currently: 5thingstodotoday. The blog is owned and managed by David Ridings.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Daily Quiet Time Won’t Take All Problems Away

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

In previous posts, we’ve talked about having daily quiet time.

About how important it is for inner peace and quiet and spiritual growth.

In case you were wondering, it’s surprising to note that daily quiet time will not take all our problems away.

Friday, October 26, 2012

God’s Presence Brings Unexplainable Peace and Joy

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

God’s presence in a person’s life brings unexplainable peace and joy. Those who know God recognize His presence best.

Without really trying, we can quickly recognize the presence of our loved ones. They are always close to us, literally crossing our paths every day.

I, for one, can recognize my wife’s face from more than a hundred feet away. I’m always aware where she is in a mass of people in a “mega” mall. I know the sound of her voice, and the look on her face – what she feels at that particular moment, what she wanted. I recognize her handwriting. I can pick out her laugh in a crowd or even the scent of her perfume.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why We Decided to Live a Simple Life as Parents

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

Most people couldn’t imagine how to live simply when you have children – because they take so much of someone’s time, money, and effort – at least for those who are growing or are still toddlers.

But this, I have discovered: simplicity is possible with anyone and everyone. In fact, one of the main reasons why my wife and I decided to live a simple life was because of our daughter, Ryah.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Secret of a Satisfying Life

Raymund’s Note: This is a guest post from Jeff Figuerrez, my friend and co-employee at Subic EnerZone, and pastor at Laoag Christian Church in San Marcelino, Zambales, Philippines.

Raymund and Jeff

So many people seem so highly dissatisfied today.

They always seem so unhappy, unfulfilled, and unsatisfied about everything going on in their life.

They walk around mechanically, confused and unconscious, kind of like in auto-pilot. They lack fulfillment.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Importance of Paying Attention to our Children

Post written by Denielle Tamayo

I was watching an Oprah Winfrey Show rerun when I came across what Oprah usually says as an "Aha Moment" on self-worth.

Her guest then was writer Toni Morrison, the first African-American woman who received a Nobel Prize for Literature.

Ms. Morrison was talking about how a parent could instill self-validity in her children by attending to them with their hearts.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

How to Have a Meaningful Quiet Time

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

If you are reading this third installment of my “Quiet Time” series, then you are probably serious about having a deeper relationship with God. I commend you! Not that many people take their time to really examine and grow their spirituality.

Monday, October 8, 2012

How to Have a Regular Daily Quiet Time

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

“Others inspire us, information feeds us, practice improves our performance, but we need quiet time to figure things out, to emerge with new discoveries, to unearth original answers.” – Dr. Ester Buchholz

In my previous post, I’ve explained what Quiet Time is. We now know that it is important not only for inner peace and quiet, but also for spiritual growth.

Friday, October 5, 2012

What is Quiet Time?

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

Doing quiet time, or “time alone,” is one of the best ways to have inner peace and quiet. In this time, we recharge our emotional and spiritual batteries to be ready for the next round of ordeals in this game called life.

We can do this at any time throughout the course of the day: early morning, lunch break, siesta, early evening, or before sleeping.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Priority of Being Physically Healthy

Post written by Raymund and Denielle Tamayo

“When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that not one single bit of talent is left, and I could say, I had used everything You gave me.” - Erma Bombeck

One of the very top priorities of our family is being physically healthy.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Last Time

Re-posted from by Devon Corneal

Raymund and Denielle’s Note: This article touched our hearts so much that we decided to re-post it here in its entirety. It made us realize how fleeting and temporary everything is, and the importance of appreciating the present. Hope you all learn a thing or two especially the young parents out there. God bless!

Tonight, Little Dude asked for a snuggle before bed. It was well past his bedtime and I was tired, cranky and had a stack of laundry to fold, a memo to write and a blog post to finish. I told him I'd snuggle for two minutes.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What in the World is Worldliness?

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

We commonly associate the word worldliness as something to do with having certain bad habits such as womanizing, smoking, drinking, and gambling. Or the insatiable desire to acquire more money and material wealth.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Peace and Quiet: Facts and Figures


  • In 2002 a Building Society survey revealed that 20% of house buyers rated peace and quiet as the most important consideration when buying a home (Alliance & Leicester 2002 movingimproving index).

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Are You Keeping Your Emotional Tank Full?

Post written by Raymund and Denielle Tamayo

We’d like to share with you this video by Dr. Wayne Cordeiro, founder and senior pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii.

see the video here >>> 

Friday, August 24, 2012

25 Quotes to Give You a Much-Needed Peace and Quiet Today

Compiled by Raymund and Denielle Tamayo

Everything in life need not be perfect to be perfect.

The world is full of noise. Might we not set ourselves to learn silence, stillness, solitude? 
Elisabeth Elliot

Never regret. If it's good, it's wonderful. If it's bad, it's experience.
Victoria Holt 

Monday, August 6, 2012

No More Cloudy Days – How to Mend a Broken Heart and Learn to Love Again

Post written by Raymund Tamayo


Have you ever been heart-broken?

You’re not alone. I once did.

Banged up, beat down, battered, and broken.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

8 Influential Filipino Bloggers Disclose How They Find Peace and Quiet Every Day

Post written by Raymund and Denielle Tamayo

As writers, we had many influences.

From our favorite authors, like Nicholas Sparks and Paulo Coelho, to globally-known bloggers such as Leo Babauta, Barrie Davenport, Corbett Barr, and Joshua Fields Millburn. Each can be credited on how Plain Haven has taken its shape, from conceptualization, site building, and now its launching.

Local Inspirations

Aside from these foreign writing gurus, of course, we were also influenced by fellow Filipino writers. These are the people whose writings we read both for information and pleasure.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Our 10 Most Relaxing Movies of All Time

Post written by Raymund and Denielle Tamayo

All of us enjoy watching relaxing movies.

Heck, we all enjoy watching movies. Period.

They bring us to another place and time, another dimension, another unique experience, and another level of thinking.

For this post, we share to you the films we enjoy watching on a lazy Saturday morning. We also included our favorite line/s and favorite song in each film.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Peace and Quiet Manifesto: 100 Ideas for a Life of Peace and Quiet

Post written by Raymund and Denielle Tamayo

Living a life of peace and quiet has different meanings for every one.

For some it means a life of voluntary simplicity; of getting things in order and eliminating as much excess in life as possible.

For others, peace and quiet meant staying in the “backstage”; refusing to have leadership or prominent roles at home, in school, at work, or in church, and just settle for assisting in the background.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Come, Join Us for Coffee

Post written by Denielle Tamayo

Imagine yourself sitting in a patio sipping that cup of freshly brewed coffee…

enjoying that crisp early morning breeze and the calming scenery of green…

feet propped up on a stool, minding every breath that goes in and out of your nostrils…

thanking God for the blessing of allowing you to open your eyes to another great day… (sigh)


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Plain Haven is Now Open!

Post written by Raymund and Denielle Tamayo

Hello, dear friends and readers!

After weeks of writing, planning, contemplating, and some more writing, planning, and contemplating, Plain Haven is now officially open. Welcome!

Put your feet up, sit back and relax as we journey to establish a place of peace and quiet this side of the web.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Best Things in Life Aren’t Things

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

It’s the Monday after Easter, and we’re celebrating National Heroes Day in the Philippines. It’s still a holiday and I’m here in our kitchen having breakfast, with my wife tending to our two-week-old son Rafa, while my five-year-old daughter Ryah is silently watching “The Secrets of the Furious Five.”

Some Thoughts on How to Become a Better Parent

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

My wife and I had our second child, our son Rafa, last March 24.

To be honest, having kids is an overwhelming feeling. It’s a mixture of emotions… on one side you’re so happy seeing them and being with them, then on the other side you tend to worry on how are you going to provide for all of their needs. On one side you’re thanking God for the blessings of becoming a parent, then on the other side you’re asking God for help to raise these kids the right way.

Our Family’s Simplicity Rules

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

We consider our family to be avid simplifiers or minimalists. Does that mean everything we do is minimalist? No, we’re not completely there yet, I believe it’s going to be an ongoing, lifetime process. But there are some little things or “house rules” that we implement in our family that I would like to share with you.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Pace Yourself

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” – Socrates

Our world is becoming more and more competitive.

‘Blank’ got a new PS3, gotta have one, too! ‘Blank’ is now promoted as manager, gotta get promoted, too! I saw the ‘Blanks’ at Sumo Sam in Facebook, gotta eat there, too! The ‘Blanks’ are now in Singapore, gotta get there, too!

And because of that, people are becoming more and more busy.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

On Patience and Earning Trust

Post written by Denielle Tamayo

Mamu and Ryah

February 22 to 24, 2012: we went to one of Laguna’s hot spring resorts to spend some R&R with family.

My parents and siblings came home from Australia for a visit, and armed with everything we needed for a couple of nights, we were ready for a lot of fun, laughter and bonding.

It’s the first time my parents would meet my daughter Ryah. They did everything they can for her to warm up. I was amazed by how they let her get to know them at her own pace… talk about child rearing expertise. J

A Letter to Ryah

Post written by Denielle Tamayo

“Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children.”—Lamentations 2:19

Dearest Ryah Denise,

God never ceases to amaze us thru the blessing of you. Even before you were conceived, we already have your name written in our hearts. Ryah, from Daddy’s name, Raymund, and a Hebrew word meaning love and shouts of joy; and Denise from Mommy’s name, Denielle, meaning God is my judge.

Our Love for Maki

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

Writer’s Note: This was a re-post from my former blog, “Up on the Roof” at Thought I’d share it this weekend for your reading pleasure. Take care, everyone!

The more we get to know ourselves the harder it is to justify our quirks and habits. Fortunately the older we grow the more at ease we become with who and what we are.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

From Denielle

Post written by Denielle Tamayo

Raymund’s Note: Denielle gave me this letter on our third wedding anniversary. I wish to share it to all of you, with hope that you will find a few treasures in it. God bless us all.

From Denielle

Dear Baby,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

12 Reasons Why We Are Stressed (And How to Beat Them)

Post written by Raymund and Denielle Tamayo

“Stress is perceived in the mind, suffered in the human spirit, experienced via the emotions, expressed in behavior, and held in the body.” - Anonymous

There are so many reasons why people get stressed.

Surprisingly, most are self-inflicted.

Here are twelve:

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Learning Contentment

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

Contentment is basic in simplifying. Most of the people I know are always looking for something better. A better house, better car, better clothes, better job, a better cellular phone… the list is endless. It’s as if all these things are requirements to become a better person.

Reasons Why I Drive Slower

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

I used to be some sort of a maniac on the streets. I get frustrated when vehicles in front of me are slow, which keeps me from driving fast. Driving was such a stressful experience.

How I Lost Weight to be Fit and Healthy

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

If you’re overweight right now and unmotivated to change, then you’re definitely not alone.

Importance of Budgeting

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

A budget can be one of the most effective ways to decrease anxiety, tension, and stress, if done right and with the right motive.

Declutter Your Home

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

photo from

A home that is simple, clean, and uncluttered takes away so much stress, believe me. Try to imagine when you walk out into your living room, uncluttered, without toys, books and all the other extra things all over the place. It gives your heart a peace and calm while greeting the day.

Waking Early

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

I love to sleep and wake up late. But time came when I decided to wake up early not only for health reasons, but also to get ahead of my day. And I was wonderfully surprised that rising early also reduces so much stress.

Simplify Your Priorities

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

A hectic schedule is a sure way of causing high stress, I guarantee you. I learned this the hard way. Not too many years ago, my life was full of commitments. I had too many activities that I had no time for the things that I really wanted to do, no time to fulfill my purposes and goals in life, and no time for my family.


Post written by Raymund Tamayo

This is one thing that I highly recommend you.

Imagine talking to the most powerful person in the universe, and He cares about you. That’s what prayer really is. When we communicate with God, we do so on a one-to-one basis with no intermediary. We can be fully honest with ourselves and with God. You can’t fake a prayer, because the only one you would be cheating to is yourself.


Post written by Raymund Tamayo

Raymund's brother, Roy

Most of us tend to take this gift for granted. I recently learned the habit of “conscious breathing”. I found out that it can transform our lives. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I just stop a moment, take a few deep breaths and get going again.

Be Still

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

Be still.

For a moment.

Feel your breath coming in and going out. Listen to your thoughts.

10 Simple Things I Do to Reduce Stress

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

I believe that having a stress-free life is impossible. Stress is a response to challenges in life, and a life without challenges is too boring to go through. That is why I put in the title of this post “reduce” and not “eliminate,” because I believe some stress is actually healthy.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Between Love and Respect

Post written by Denielle Tamayo

My husband and I have been married for more than six years now and it is not something to drop jaws open, but life has certainly thrown us quite a number of lessons to make things a little lighter as we go on. One of which came from a book we were reading a few months ago: a woman’s basic need is to be loved by her husband; a man’s is not love but respect from his wife.


Post written by Raymund Tamayo

Most of us give up too easily in nearly everything we attempt or hope to do. Designing a bridge takes talent, building it, muscle and diligence. Each of us has those qualities in one measure or another. Why is it we can identify these talents so easily in others but find it hard to discern them in ourselves?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Remaining in Love

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

photo by Ethel Valerio-Navarro
There are moments when we long to be able to help someone whom we love very much, when we long to be the bright sunny day that would take them away from the day’s troubles, but we can do nothing. Circumstances do not allow us to be with them, or the person is closed to any kind of assistance or support.

Our Theme Song

Posted by Raymund and Denielle Tamayo

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Ultimate Love Language

Post written by Denielle Tamayo

photo from

We have heard of the five love languages mankind has been utilizing to communicate affection to those they deeply care for. May it be one of the five, a combination of two, three or four, or even the whole lot, these expressions assure us of the love we need and would like to give to the object of our affection, sincere or true.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...