Life is not measured by the number of years on earth but on the number of hearts one has touched.
If we’re going to measure yours with the former, 19 years is really really short. But if we’re going to count the number of people who went to your wake, who shed tears for your passing, who wore personalized shirts to honor your 19 years, there is no doubt your life is well lived.
I was not only astonished by the number of your friends, but I am also amazed by how you’ve been a blessing to each of them. Their overflowing love for you only goes to show what kind of person you are. You may be naughty at times but you loved genuinely.
In your passing I cried so much, my heart ached like it was torn into pieces. I cried because you’re gone and I won’t see you anymore, hindi na ako makakaangkas sa motor mo. But I cried for myself too because I could have loved you more, I could have done more things for you, I could have returned your sweetness. Now, I won’t have chance anymore.
I am afraid I might forget you, the things you do, the person you are. But maybe I won’t since you left us with the greatest reminder… that life is short, that no one really knows when our time is up, that life is just about loving. I even think you left us, your cousins, a little more loving. We touch each other na. haha!
I honestly feel like the gift of Type 4s are too often overlooked. Often I hear complaints about their melancholy, their dramatics, their separation from others but honestly, when things go wrong and you experience great loss or tragedy, the person you want to talk to is a Type 4.
Today, I failed again for the nth time. Actually, I can really put a number to that given the not so many times I failed because I was always afraid to try. Going back, I failed today and I just can’t stop laughing at myself. I don’t exactly know why. Maybe because I am aware that others have more problems or rejections in life than I have. Or maybe, I’m insane (as proven by the psychological exam I failed).
After this fateful failure, I resolved to find the Shrine of St. Therese of Lisieux instead. I was trying hard to recall Ate Grace’s instructions on how to get there but to no avail. The road to the shrine was long and convoluted (and polluted, hehe). After four rides (some were wrong jeeps but did not get me farther) I found the church! And there was so much joy in my heart.
(image and relic of the extraordinary saint at the right wing)
(Stained glasses depicting moments in Therese’ life.)
Recently, there was this book that was launched by the author of course, veteran journalist Aries Rufo. To be honest I haven’t really heard the name except now that the title of his book caught my attention and curiosity – Altar of Secrets. The book tackles the scandals of the leaders of the Catholic Church in the Philippines – from politics to sex to money. Damn. Now there’s someone talking about it. (Just kidding!)
In an article published in Rappler (a social news network), Rufo was asked if he was trying to ruin or destroy the church that he himself belongs to. He replied with an answer of which I agree. A book can never break a church that was founded 2000 years ago. He even quoted a bishop who said that there must be something divine in our Church that made it 2000 years old and still counting. Then why write the book?! The author said that his book is trying to present the divine and human side of the Church and that by presenting its human side we can address some problems properly and ‘institute reforms.’ Tough love daw.
Our local versions of the church and its organizations are not exempted from having secrets too. We also have little skeletons dangling in our closets and naïve as I am some secrets pour out to me like overripe fruits fall from its tree.
Trusting the Lord is like floating on the waters. No matter how afraid you are to let go your body off the ocean floor, no matter how afraid you are to lay down your body on the water, you would still float because nothing can change the buoyancy effect, the fact that the density of the water is higher than the one of your body. You would still float/get protected/be safe/be guarded from harm because nothing can change the fact that you are God’s child and you can do all things through Him who gives you strength. (Philippians 4:13).
For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
“With endless time, nothing is special. With no loss or sacrifice, we can’t appreciate what we have.”—
The Time Keeper, Mitch Albom
Finished the book today. It was an easy and fast read. I expected something more dramatic or (more) inspiring like that of Tuesdays with Morrie or Have a Little Faith, both by the same author but the story is flat simple and short. I gave it two stars out of five in Goodreads. I am thankful I’ve waited for the paperback edition of the book. The 725-peso hardbound copy is too expensive for a short story. hihi. :)
On the other hand, I think most of the people can relate with the characters of the story. Those who want to end their lives so bad or find life without purpose will surely feel for Sarah Lemon while those who want to outlive the present can empathize with Victor Delamonte. There are also those people who want to stop the moment to save a person or make a particular moment last like Father Time. Surely, there is or was a time in our lives when we feel one of these three.
I would talk er— I mean write about my realizations on Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project but first I want to say that today, my Tumblr turns one! Yipee!
“I think this happiness project is all about trying to get more control over your life.”
Control over my life. After reading The Happiness Project, I realized how many instances I acted or reacted impulsively or hastily or unwarily. Say for example when I feel irritated right away when someone took a turn that was supposed to be mine. Didn’t I think that person may be in so much hurry than I am? Or maybe there was an emergency?
I have been unhappy since God-knows-when but I realized all I did was to wrangle against the feeling or maybe against that fact. I wasn’t able to embrace the reality that I am unhappy and the immortal truth that I can actually do something about it. I can be happy again.
I may be stuck in an environment that doesn’t thrive to grow but I can always go out and find another land to plow. Or for the meantime, I can find a hundred things to do to make full use of my time like scanning and saving my childhood photos, reading the books that I think I am supposed to have read at this age or learning a new skill. I can apply this thinking to other things like to the people that surround me or to an unexpected that may happen. Then I can be happy again.
(Then I can be happy again? It sounds simple but complicated. Basta.)
It’s time to get started with my own Happiness Project!
WHAT and IF are two words as non threatening as words can be, but put them together side by side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life. What if?
I don’t know how your story ended, but if what you felt then was true love then it’s never too late. If it’s true then why wouldn’t it be true now? You need only the courage to follow your heart. I don’t know what a love feels like - love to leave loved ones for, love to cross oceans for, but I like to believe that if ever I feel it, that I’ll have the courage to seize it. And if you didn’t..
Five or six years ago, the first time we said goodbye to a brother who’s going to enter the seminary, we literally cried buckets of tears. We didn’t know where the Immaculate Concepcion Seminary was. We had no idea of what happens there. We were just sad to let go.
The second time was I think Laurence’s time. We did not cry but we were sad.
Years passed and the seminary seemed like a hole that swallows our male friends one by one, year by year. (hehe) It almost became a tradition that a friend enters the seminary each year. To this, we got used already and it is in our delight to learn that someone’s ‘entering.’ Whenever we learn a friend’s ‘going in,’ instead of being sad, we ask what he needs, what we can do to help, how much help he needs. (Joke lang ung how much XD )
Yes, we got used to it. Part of the reason may be is that we no longer see what they have left behind – that they can make good celebrities out of their pretty faces or good fortunes out of their degrees. Instead, we are already getting a glimpse of where they are going to – that they will be shepherding the unchurched, bring Christ closer to people or vice versa and in a few more years, will be authentic, full pledged representatives of Jesus Christ.
It’s just WOW. And hopefully and prayerfully, this glimpse will someday be reality.
Congratulations Sem. Laurence Bautista! And to everyone who graduated yesterday! Haha!
'We' refers to the youth of St. Augustine Parish
Adjectives used do not necessarily apply to one particular person. Lol. XD
My greatest fear used to be waking up in a town/ in a world of zombies. But since The Walking Dead already gave me the idea that I can survive such phenomenon, I thought of another fear. That is, when I learn that a trusted and long time friend is faking friendship with me. My greatest fear would be discovering she’s only keeping me so that she’ll look kind, sweet and accommodating on the surface when in fact she’s selfish enough that she wanted the world to hers alone.
This is my greatest fear as of now. Something that needs to be faced very soon, I guess.
(This is a poor review or just my thoughts about John Green’s novel, The Fault in our Stars. If you intend to read it, you might not like reading this first though I won’t be talking much about the details, but I’ll be talking about the ending. hehe.)
This is an excerpt:
Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. We all want to be remembered. I do, too. That’s what bothers me most, is being another unremembered casualty in the ancient and inglorious war against disease.
I want to leave a mark.
But the marks humans leave are too often scars.
People say that it’sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she loved deeply but not widely. But it’s not sad, Van Houten. It’s triumphant. It’s heroic. Isn’t that the real heroism? Like the doctors say: First, do no harm.
Sometimes, I catch myself thinking about death, my death specifically. I ask if there would be a lot of people to visit even though I know there would be few. I try to feel how my family and friends would feel or react and when I am already at the verge of crying over my own death, I shrug off the idea. (hihi. baliw lang)
I think that a life is not measured by the number of achievements, properties or friends we have or even by the number of years we get to stay on earth but by the quality of our relationships.. especially those relationships that we chose to nourish until the end.
Augustus Waters may be too young to die but he has loved Hazel Grace immensely. And he did everything he can to prove that love.
To honor that love, maybe we can also say and do the same confession Gus did:
"I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things."
It’s been a while since I shared an entry to my 365 Days of Gratitude! I’ve been busy going around the province for the Provincial Nutrition Commission’s Evaluation to municipalities. Yeah, young as I am, I became part of the commission. nyaha!
But just to show you, I haven’t missed writing each day’s blessings in my journal (I have a hard copy of this 365 Days of Gratitude project):
There. hehe. I’m not being overly defensive, just generously sharing :)
Anyway, today is an ordinary day for me. I woke up just in time to avoid being late today (I had 8 out of 9 lates already for the month). I took two jeepney rides, swiped my finger to the biometrics (Yes, 7:40!), attended the Monday Flag Ceremony (and made my friends giggle because of a speaker) and had breakfast. Pero ganon man, I believe to what Fr. Stephen Cuyos, MSC shared about ordinary days.
Sometimes, we neglect to thank God for ordinary days when other people around the world just wanted to make their days at least the usual or ordinary like those people who suffer with Cancer or other sicknesses, victims of war in the East Asia, people who lost someone or are waiting impatiently in jail, people who are in dire situations, people who are lonely and desperate.
Sorry means you feel the pulse of other people’s pain as well as your own, and saying it means you take a share of it. And so it binds us together, makes us trodden and sodden as one another. Sorry is a lot of things. It’s a hole refilled. A debt repaid. Sorry is the wake of misdeed. It’s the crippling ripple of consequence. Sorry is sadness, just as knowing is sadness.Sorry is sometimes self-pity. But Sorry, really, is not about you. It’s theirs to take or leave.
Sorry means you leave yourself open, to embrace or to ridicule or to revenge. Sorry is a question that begs forgiveness, because the metronome of a good heart won’t settle until things are set right and true. Sorry doesn’t take things back, but it pushes things forward. It bridges the gap. Sorry is a sacrament. It’s an offering. A gift.
Was there a time when you asked for something you really wanted and needed to your parents (or to your father in particular) and you got no for an answer?
Remember when you wanted to learn playing the guitar when you were in second year high school, when you asked them for a guitar, a week or two later, you got it? Your parents were happy to give it to you even after so many attempts you end up still not knowing how to play.
How about the time when you went to a bookstore with your mother and sister to buy school stuff and you asked your mother to buy you a memory card game? The box was so striking, it has many colors and cartoon characters in it, and you wanted it so much. But your mother told you that it is just the box that is attractive. You insisted and so your mother gave in. She bought you and your sister toys. When you arrived at home and opened the box, you disappointingly played with the simple cards with cartoons on it, nothing more. Mother was right after all but she didn’t remind you of what she said earlier.
This is cute. When you were in grade 2, your father bought pizza for your class. This is for you and your classmates to have a clearer understanding about a very complicated stuff called Fraction. The pizza arrived and your teacher can’t remember she asked you to bring one. Your classmate Joanna who was supposed to bring the pizza the next day kissed you and said thanks.
When you were in first year, you had this inter-section contest – song interpretation. You are just one of the dancers and your classmate Karen played Mary. You thought all the dancers plus ‘Mary’ shall wear halos of fresh flowers, you didn’t know that a simple fake halo would do since it would just be for the practice. Your father did you a halo of fresh flowers, remember the yellow flower?
During your fifth grade in elementary, you joined the cheering squad. Remember when your pompom was the most beautiful of all? Yours was made of properly sheared straws; others were made of only paper or metallic sheets. Your father did it, I know you remember.
One more thing I know you won’t forget is the many sleepless nights you spend with your father either doing your project or catching a movie or a not so popular TV program. Sometimes, it’s just your father who does your project and you just have to wake up, find it finished on the table and all you have to do is bring it in school.
There are a lot more things your parents did for you. I won’t elaborate; I won’t try to recall more.
Now tell me, if they were able to do it for you, what more your Father in heaven will do?
If you feel helpless, impatient, scared or sad, He feels it with you and He surely sends every comfort He could muster to make you feel alright. Maybe He is telling you sometimes that you need not to worry because He’s huge, He is so big that your worries is just a speck on His hands. Just listen more and you’ll hear.
If you feel overjoyed, excited and surprised, aha! Picture Him laughing with you, smiling, jumping out of joy because that is exactly what He does.
He is your Father, not the villain in your story. It’s okay to let Him know what you want, whom you want to be with, where you want to go. Your dreams are also His dreams.
So the next time you feel you’re facing a dead end, remember one thing that your father or mother did for you and think what more your Father in heaven can do.
If you then, with all your human frailty, know how to give your children gifts that are good for them, how much more certainly will your Father who is in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? —Luke 11:13
Five years ago, as we were having an exam in one of our majors, my two friends got late in class. I asked them why and they said they visited the pilgrim relic of St. Therese of the Child Jesus at the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral. Right away, I thought of going there to after the exam but according to my friends, the relics will already be transferred to Notre Dame de Vie in Encanto, Angat.
A friend made it possible for me to see the relic when he volunteered to drive us there. We almost did not get in because the viewing hour is already finished when we arrived. But the Lord was with us, so we got in. hehe.
In the middle of the majestically-built chapel is where the relics rest. My heart was filled with joy that moment. I can no longer remember my heart’s wishes to St. Therese then. Maybe I asked for something general – good health, happiness, love.
(I just borrowed this from Googol)
Before leaving the premises of Notre Dame de Vie, a single-blessed man said to me that I look like St. Therese especially to the saint’s photo when she was 15.
(What do you think? hmmm..)
I came to know more about this ordinary saint with an extraordinary soul when an older brother gave me a booklet of her life as an Easter present, that same year. From then on, just reading, re-reading the booklet gave me comfort. For many times already, the writings in the booklet eased me when I feel inferior, insignificant and least loved. I found assurance that I am also a rose in the Lord’s garden and that being insignificant is also a way to be holy. (Know her! http://www.littleflower.org/abouttherese/index.asp)
Also, from then on, the Lord has given me special friends through St. Therese - friends whom I can share anything with, friends who accept me no matter what I am made of, friends who encourage me to take the road towards Christ.
Last night, the relics came once again in the Cathedral. I took a seat near the relics and just poured my heart out. No, I did not scurry to the line to touch it nor take a photo of it with my phone. I wanted to spend time with this saint in the silence of my heart. That calmed my soul, erased the regrets I feel and assured me that chances would still come. Thank you because we meet again, Therese!
Meet her too!
She’ll be at the Monastery in the Immaculate Concepcion Seminary later at 5pm, she’ll be staying there until 12nn tomorrow and will be transferred next to Notre Dame de Vie again. Hehe. If you can’t make it to these dates, maybe you can visit soon at the Archdiocese of Manila.
Today, I finally sent Ate Grace a message on Facebook ( which I told her that I will do since last week). She said she’ll have another interview today. I said I am afraid to conquer my fears. And so I sighed, ‘May the Lord’s will be done to us.’ She shared to me a Bible verse which I interpreted through a photo:
'As you seek Him, you will find Him.'
Thank You Jesus for our friendship and relationship with You!
Another great blessing is my tropa (group of friends) in the office who helps me endure some things. haha! Today we ate lunch outside to celebrate Kuya Muriel’s new work.
(From your left to right, that’s Kuya Muriel, Kuya Joseph, me, Ate Didai, Ate Penny and Kuya Ralphy who took the photo:)
Who’s going to follow him next? haha :D
Who? May God bless us!
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. — Proverbs 11:14
Happy New Year Friends! 2012 was indeed a great year for me. Looking back, I could not thank God enough for all the blessings He has given me last year.
(these are just few of the many snapshots of my 2013 - from spending my birthday with a chat with Joey de Leon to PYC’s 11th Anniversary to going to shoots with pleasure to KCON and so on;)
For this New Year, I would like to literally count my blessings. I believe that when you count them, multitudes of them grow further! So I will start sharing some of the days of my 365 Days of Gratitude with you friends! J
I am already at my 365 Days of Gratitude Day 2 [January 02, 2013]:
Today, I dropped my first prayer in my SFJTD box. That stands for Something For Jesus To Do box. I learned this from my high school days and this is my way of lightening my load/chilling up. Hihi. With this box, everything that worries me will be taken care of by the Lord.
My first prayer is for the Lord to bless the people in the office so that we’ll all feel loved and accepted. And it worked! I find it strange for some of my office mates to be overly nice to me today. Thank You Jesus! Haha XD
Today also, as I took my second jeepney ride, Tita Liway (from the Social Welfare Office) took care of my fare. Hihi. And even though I was sluggish on my way to work, I was not late.
I dropped by Eda’s office this morning too. (She’s a college friend who also works at the Provincial Government). We had a long chat and laughs after several months of being busy as bee. Both of us received chocolates and candies from Ms. Ana. [Weeee! Chocolates! ]
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
This is the theme of this year’s largest and happiest Catholic gathering in the country, the Kerygma Conference 2012. I was soooo blessed and so thankful to the Lord that I became part of this gathering of 18,000 Champions.
I first experienced KCon in 2010 (Restoration) where I got free tickets from my friends’ corporation (since I am not yet a stock holder, I cannot say that I co-own the corp too. Hehe) In 2011 (Glory to Glory), I got complimentary ticket from my Feast Baliwag family (though I am not worthy of a free ticket). This year, I bought ticket at my own expense and felt more blessed than ever. Haha! Sabi nila masarap daw ang libre, but I think it feels better when you sacrificed/gave up something for one thing so you’ll give high importance to that one thing. Hihi =)
The opening concert happened at the gigantic, ginormous The Arena at Mall of Asia. My friends and I first settled for seats at the upper box/fourth floor but we felt kinda nauseated so we transferred at the second floor/level. This is the view from our seats:
These are the things I learned or re-learned in the opening talk by Bro. Bo Sanchez:
I chose the Prayer and Singles stream for the first day and second day respectively. Much as I wanted to put everything I learned in this blog, I will just have to share the things that struck me the most =)
The last stretch of the conference was the Grand Feast. A Eucharistic mass was celebrated with Bishop Honesto Ongtioco DD and Bro. Pio Español shared an inspiring story. Bro. Bo gave a very powerful talk about how each of us was born a champion. The crowd was ecstatic while singing songs of worship to the Lord. (I think you could watch the video in Justintv.com )
(Sorry for the not so clear photos, we were also busy listening and praying.hehe)
After the conference, while on our way home, I again said to myself ‘Sana lagi na lang ganito, always praying,worshiping, smiling at strangers, always mindful that I am a child of God and therefore should be kind and all..’ I hope that things will just remain this way. Like the apostles of Jesus Christ who went to the mountain and witnessed Christ’s transfiguration, can I/we just stay here?
But I know I can’t, I have to go down from the mountain and share what I have witnessed to the people. I have to go down for my patience to be tested, for my love to be more pure, for my talents to be honed and shared and for my soul to be purified.
I have always kept a copy of the movie in a hard drive but never dared to watch it because it’s lengthy (2 hrs 44 minutes). After my third molar got extracted by the dentist, the moment that I am prohibited to laugh or even talk, I watched it.
I watched it and it was just in time.
In this moment when I am praying for the courage to toss myself outside my comfort zone to follow my heart’s desires, the movie was just in time to remind me to make my passion my profession.
In a time when fear seems to impair or stop me, the movie was just in time to tell me that I cannot live today when I am always fearful of tomorrow.
In knowing the fact that no one knows what the future holds, the movie was just in time to remind me All is (going to be) Well.
First, let me give the credit of my title to the song of Hale playing over Ate Ruzzel’s PC at this moment.
Second, do you know the feeling when you are feeling something and the songs being played around you exactly describe your feeling? Yuck.
Third, I hit the Add Text button of my dashboard without really knowing exactly what to write. aw.
Recently, I finished reading Yann Martel’s Life of Pi. It’s a story about a sixteen year old boy who has to share a lifeboat with Richard Parker, a 450 pound Bengal tiger in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. You know, PI and his family were supposed to go to Canada for a new life. Unfortunately, the ship they were in sank.
Pi (short for Piscine Molitor Patel) did everything in his knowledge and might (i guess whatever might or strength he has, it can never defeat Richard Parker) to be alive. That is, to keep the tiger away from eating him alive. Pi catches fishes and even turtle for them to eat. He also manages to survive with a few items in the lifeboat’s cardboard.
While the two of them are in their journey (if we can call it that), Pi’s having thoughts. Yes, it is really unfortunate to have a tiger as your company in the middle of the ocean. He thought that it would only take Richard the slightest effort to kill him and have him for dinner or something.
On the other hand, he said that he is thankful for Richard’s presence. Richard Parker, he said became his reason to survive, his inspiration to keep breathing and living. That tiger is his source of fear, but it was also his source of motivation.
That’s when I reminded of what I read from Daniel Gotlieb’s book, Letters to Sam (ooops, a book again, soreee) – The story of Pi is a story for all of us. We all have tigers under our tarpaulins – tigers that, we feel could destroy us. We think we want to be rid of our tigers. But the truth is, we would feel a great loss if they ran away, because ultimately, each tiger is part of us.
We all have tigers. I liked that.
To cut the story short (so that you can buy your own copy and read it), Pi and Richard were able to reach the coast of Mexico after seven months or 227 days.
Why am I writing this? What connection does this have with the photo above? It is because of this.
Richard Parker escaped to a jungle when they reached the shoreline. And Pi has this to say which reflects my feelings today as well:
‘I’ve never forgotten him. Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart. I STILL CANNOT UNDERSTAND HOW HE COULD ABANDON ME SO UNCEREMONIOUSLY, WITHOUT ANY SORT OF GOODBYE, WITHOUT LOOKING BACK EVEN ONCE. THE PAIN IS LIKE AN AXE THAT CHOPS MY HEART.’
And just like PI, it’s good to have survived! Zendagi Migzara! (Life goes on)
It’s like a passing rite. From Propaedeutic/Formation Year to the Philosophy Department.
I don’t know it’s exact significance, how the priests and seminarians put it. All I know is that the Pagsusutana rites/Investiture is a special day. A day worth celebrating for.
I think it means that when a seminarian wears it, he bears a responsibility in proclaiming the Gospel.. I think that when a seminarian wears it, he’s expressing his desire to become a priest - a full pledge representative of Christ on earth. I think the sotana signifies the love of God for them and that they are expected to embrace God too by wearing and respecting it.
nyaha! I just think that it’s like that.
Anyway, I’m glad I was there to witness the investiture rites of a friend and brother =)
(From Aidref’s right: Tita Raquel, his mommy; Ate Icel; Lea and Pauline =) From his left: Kuya Emaners, Jomark Puto, myself and Chinggoy=)
Their batch’s investiture was themed Sa ‘Yong Piling and that was also the theme song which they sang at the end of the mass.
(can you find our BIG BIDA? hehe=)
More photos! =)))
(From your left to right: Gerick Marlo, Sem. Laurence, Alvin John, Chinggoy, Ate Griselle, Sem. JP, Sem. Aidref, Jomark’s head, myself and Lyka. haha;D)
(the two seminarians standing beside aidref are also friends — Sem. Christian and Sem. Phil *hihi=)
(Para kay Kuya Eman! :) If ever you see this again, as you can see, I removed the post here saying that you’re masungit :) So that people will no longer find out that you’re masungit pala. nyaha! :))
Sweets @ Cafe Ilang Ilang. I would have eaten more if I can stay the entire afternoon (HAHA:D masiba). I wasn’t able to try the other cuisines, hopefully there’s still another chance. *hihi. Kung wala, keri lang=)
I once heard and read a story that went like this:
”Once upon a time, a powerful wizard wanted to destroy an entire kingdom, he placed a magic potion in the well from which the inhabitants drank. Whoever drank that water would go mad.
The following morning, the whole population drank from the well and they all went mad, apart from the king and his family, who had a well set aside for them alone, which the magician had not managed to poison. The king was worried and tried to control the population by issuing a series of edicts governing security and public health. The policemen and the inspectors, however, had also drunk the poisoned water, and they thought the king’s decisions were absurd and resolved to take notice of them.
When the inhabitants of the kingdom heard these decrees, they became convinced that the king had gone mad and was now giving nonsensical orders. The marched on the castle and called for his abdication.
In despair the king prepared to step down from the throne, but the queen stopped him, saying: ‘Let us go and drink from the communal well. Then we will be the same as them.
And that was what they did: The king and queen drank the water of madness and immediately began talking nonsense. Their subjects repented at once; now that the king was displaying such ‘wisdom’, why not allow him to rule the country?
The country continued to live in peace, although its inhabitants behaved very differently from those of its neighbours. And the king was able to govern until the end of his days.”
This is such a terrible story for me because I have always been the one who would never drink a cup from that well. Since almost everyone has drunk from the well, I am thought of and regarded as the one insane. Baliw ako. Let us count the ways (I hope my memory will function well).
During my second year in high school, my classmates are calling one of our fellows ‘kawayan' because of her lanky structure. Everyone's laughing and calling her names whenever she passes by. I made friends with her and we both endured the teasing and being unpopular in class.
Fourth year came. In our classes we have this small cards with corresponding points that are given to us by the teachers each time we recite in class. I forgot how the cards are called but they are placed in an illustration board with plastic covers holding them. That is hanged in our board and students automatically get their points after reciting or answering a mathematical problem in the board. Some of the boys in our class would get more than enough points they deserve. Though they are good in math, I believe they shouldn’t steal cards. I secretly talked to our teacher and told her about it. The next day, she reprimanded the class about stealing more than enough cards. Good, I thought but after some time, our teacher (kind of) avoided me like I have a contagious disease (I don’t know why, maybe she’s playing favourites?).
In college, we had a theatre play. The whole class was lead by our director but there’s this gay, I mean guy who acted as if the success of the play depended on his instructions and efforts. I understand he wanted us to win but he tends to become too bossy and hurt other’s feelings. Others made friends with him, others kept up with him. I did not. (though I made tiis)
After college, I was asked to be one of the secretaries of a politician. I felt in my heart that I don’t want it though I’ve been dying to land a job. The job was a bit stressful but high paying and prestigious. I said no and referred a friend instead. Up to now, I think that was the most insane thing I’ve done but I don’t regret.
Some time have passed and I found myself again being offered a special task for the same politician. I said yes at first because I thought I could not say no. After sleepless nights thinking and after locking myself in the comfort room to avoid the person who’s going to talk to me, I finally had the courage to say no. ‘Sorry but I don’t want to get involved. It would be hard for me to do it because I’m half-hearted to it,’ I told them. Thank God they allowed me because I was ready to resign if ever. Some of the people around me respected my decision, some asked why did I do that, the position can give me a lot of perks especially if the elections next year would turn out well they say. Again, I felt the decision was insane.
Today, I feel I am flowing once again against the current. I feel the urgency to fight for my values while people regard wrong as good and truthful; to make the most of my time and talent while people toil around and wait for the apple to fall down on their mouths and to strive blessing others while people speak ill and influence others to do the same.
It is sad that people have drunk the cup of water from that well. It is sad that I am the one regarded as mad, insane, ridiculous and that I am persecuted, judged and despised for not being the same. But I know somewhere, there are souls like me refusing to drink, fighting for the same values and dreaming of having a cure for that water in the well. God bless us!
I was in Tagaytay City for the Liga ng mga Barangay (League of Barangay Captains) Congress. My idea of enjoying the experience is to meet people and tour around the place. The former I accomplished, the latter I failed to do. (Uwing-uwi na kasi sila. Sayang!)
The neat and tall Valenzuela City Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian talked about his styles of good governance. He also said that Valenzuela will always be part of Bulacan because each time he goes somewhere and tell he’s from Valenzuela, people are like ‘Kamusta naman ang Bulacan?’ [Kamusta na nga ba talaga ang Bulacan? nyahaha:D secret!]
The former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri talked about a bill that he plans to pursue when given another chance to be in the Senate. The bill according to him will mandate the government to have a fund for Barangay officials and volunteer workers’ benefits (retirement, salaries, etc. ). [All the best Sir!]
The first woman governor of Cebu, Ms. Gwendolyn Garcia talked about how their city’s barangay captains made her win the elections in 2004. ‘If there is a project in your City that you want other provinces to adopt, what is it?’ I asked her. She said she want to share the project Suroy Suroy Sugbo - a tourism project that makes whole Cebu ‘visitable’ places. [I guess they were also the ones who coined ‘visitable’. ahehe. If the said project will happen in Bulacan, I wonder how it will be called.]
The famous whistleblower Jose de Venecia III talked about Microbusiness opportunities for Barangays to help them be self sustaining. He told me that he’s also the Executive Vice President of VP Jejomar Binay’s PDP -Laban (Partido Demokratiko Pilipino - Lakas ng Bayan). [To that I asked where their office is located and he told me while handing out his card. nyahaha:D]
There’s another one that I failed to interview - Congressman Erin Tañada of Quezon. And I forgot what his topic was. haha! But he’s also running.
Other speakers to the event whom I also met were Atty. Enrique dela Cruz (who talked about legal issues on the Barangay level); DILG -3 Regional Director Florida Dijan (she talked about DILG’s implementing projects and the qualities it take to be an effective official); Ms. Carmencita Delantar from the Department of Budget Management (obviously, she spoke about money matters, she’s soooo nice to me!). The governor and the vice governor of Bulacan were also present on separate nights.
Thank you to the girl staffs of Bokal Cholo Violago - Ate Analyn, Ate Haidee and Ate Lina=)
[i just want to document my experience here, it doesn’t follow that I am looking up to these politicians. haha!]
Since I enjoyed Pulilan’s Kneeling Carabao Fiesta last year, I volunteered to shoot it this year. I invited some friends and if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have enjoyed the festival. haha! I wasn’t able to watch the whole thing because of the thick crowd. That’s why Aidref, Laurence, Ate Griselle, Chinggoy and I just made fun of things around us. What are those things? hmmmm.
1. Mauna na syempre si ‘bebeng lubid’Wala kaming picture nya pero buti wala kasi baka sugurin ako non pag nakita nya ang picture nya dito. She’s a girl who kept on insisting to a member of the Philippine Army to make the spectators stay beyond the rope to give way to the carabaos parading. I think she was fuming with anger because she can’t watch the parade too and because of this, she accused the army of just watching the show and not doing his job. The army answered (of which we all laughed): 'hindi naman ako nanunuod, pini-picturan ko lang.’ (I’m not watching, I’m just taking photos) Somehow, I can see a point to Sir Army’s answer but it was still funny for me.
2. Aidref lost his phone to a thief. tsk tsk. He placed the phone in his pocket after calling Laurence, a few minutes have passed and it was gone. I know this is a terrible thing but we just laughed it out since we can no longer do anything about it. Anyway, God is good really that he provided Aidref with a new phone. haha!
3. Some floats who joined the parade are giving away stuffs - candies, caps, cupcakes. Kahit kaya naman naming bumili non, iba pa rin ung maka-agaw ka. Sa kagustuhan naming maka-agaw eh sinigawan namin ang mga naghahagis ng ‘Pogi Pogi, dito!’ haha! To the float that says Bakery ni Malou, we shouted ‘Malou! Malou!’ To Sofia’s grocery store float, we shouted ‘Shampoo!, Grocery! Sabon!' Yun lang, masaya na kami. Siguro mababaw pero when you’re with your friends, anything can be funny. Heehee=)
4. We ate at the house of Aidref’s aunt whom he just met that day I think. hehe. Tita Belen’s house is situated just a stone’s throw away from the San Isidro Labrador Church. We gorged on lechon, lengua, kakanin, ice cream and more. Busog! =) Thank you tita!
Kneeling Carabao Fiesta is a yearly celebration in Pulilan to give thanks to the Lord and to their patron farmer St. Isidore for a bountiful harvest and to ask for another bountiful year. Viva San Isidro! Masaya ang Piesta! =)