Monday, December 31, 2007

Defy Darkness with Friendship

Take nothing but pictures,
Leave nothing but footprints,
Kill nothing but time.

This has been a famous quote in mountain-hiking. As for me, as I enjoy Christmas vacation, I had this privilege to escape from the noise of the metropolis to my escapade at Batangas. The stay highlighted a youthful motive: to hike Mt. Maculot – our resident mountain.

Shooting two birds with one stone, the three-day stay started with the event of a friend’s house blessing and then an unplanned/unorganized/unforeseen trek towards the mountain. I thought about hiking early in the morning of the 30th but since there was this unanimous decision while I was snoring on the bed, we hiked late afternoon of the 29th right after the blessing took place.

We knew that leaving late afternoon would mean that we would reach the peak early evening of that same day. We brought extra shirts and consumable supplies that were necessary for the hike. One necessity foreseen was bringing flashlights since we knew that it would be a late-evening hike down the mountain, but we didn’t take it seriously and so we hiked without any. Actually we thought about ‘divine providence.’ Seems foolish since we defied our foresights right? Anyway, we continued the adventure!

Going up was already tiring and exhausting. Halfway towards the peak, the sunset as if told me that no light would be provided for on top – doubling the effort to hike up is necessary – it was already getting dark. A companion, Kuya Gary led the way to the top. He stopped for a while and called me. Responding to him, he instructed me to turn back and try noticing the trail. I was surprised to see nothing but dark silhouettes. I smiled and said, ‘That was nice, you should have said it earlier.’ Then we went on. Upon arriving on top, we rested for a while. We met co-hikers fully equipped with everything for an overnight stay.

An idea came to us about the possibility of staying since we were tired, but it was too cold up there, no one would survive the night without any fitting equipment. We were tired but we knew that we needed to go down and follow the plan for the day – go down without any flashlights. Good enough that we brought our mobile phones with us, the light might not be strong to guide, but it was the only option to survive. Down the mountain we went, the should-have-been thirty-minute hike down became two hours. We crawled like babies, walked like toddlers and despaired like prisoners. We kept the faith by singing all the melodies we could think of though not the world could imagine, all songs that could kill time, all genres that anyone could think of. We made it to the foot exhausted and almost desperate, but we knew that it was a thrilling, exciting, and memorable experience to be banked on our hearts.

At the end of the day, the famous quote was not realized except for the last line.

Take nothing but pictures, [but we’ve no cameras]
Leave nothing but footprints, [but we couldn’t since it was dark]
Kill nothing but time. [yeah! It was a double dead!]
Thank you Alan, Jesser, Kuya Gary, Igy, and Iman for being my companions during this very unique experience. It was my privilege to be with you.

Pag-asang Buhay

Taon ng pagbabago
Pagbabagong luma
Lumang nais baguhin
Baguhing panibago

Panibagong buhay
Buhay na ako
Akong nagbabago
Nagbabagong hirap

Hirap magbago
Magbagong patuloy
Patuloy na kailanman
Kailanma’y lalakad

Lalakad ang panahon
Panahon na luma’t bago
Bagong nagiging luma
Lumang minsa’y bago

Bago may lumilipas
Lumilipas parang tao
Taong luma’t bago
Bagong ako

Ako na minsang bago
Bagong magiging luma
Luma ma’y pag-asa
Pag-asang buhay

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Ang Drama sa Pasko

Masaya ang unang pasko. Maluwalhati ang unang pasko. Higit sa lahat matensyon ang unang pasko. Si Maria, nang sabihin ng anghel na buntis s’ya hindi dahil sa isang lalaki ngunit gawa ng Espiritu Santo – Ganun? Espiritu Santo? Sinong maniniwala sa’yo? Ang labas kay Maria, disgrasyada. Kay Jose, masakit na tanggapin si Maria sa ganoon kalagayan, ikakasal na sila sa sandaling panahon – mahirap maniwala kay Maria, masakit kausapin si Maria. Magulo ang damdamin ni Jose at Maria sa unang pasko. Hindi man ipinakita sa mga kwento, marahil kung ikaw si Jose, o di kaya naman ay si Maria, anong mararamdaman mo? May ibibigat pa ba kaysa sa naramdaman nila? Ang drama sa unang pasko.

Madaming bagay na mahirap, bagamat tama. Madaming bagay na masakit, bagamat dapat. Madaming bagay na mapait, bagamat mabuti. Ito marahil ang hatid ng pasko. Isang Diyos na pinili ang hirap, sakit, at pait, dahil alam n’yang ang mga ito ang tama, dapat, at mabuti.

Nativity Picture from:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Problema? Madami!

Sa Caroling Concert sa DBTI Makati nung Lunes, nagbiro ako sa isang pamilyar na pari:

Father, bakit may mga Salesians na sa unang tingin lang, parang walang problema? Ang sarap nilang tingnan. Parang ang gaan sa pakiramdam - parang ikaw!

Problema? Madami! Pero itinatapon kong lahat sa Kanya (sa Diyos.) Pero sabi n’ya, Oy, magkasama tayo dito ah.
Pinipigilang maging seryoso ang usapan, napatahimik ako, lumayong dahan-dahan at di nagpahalatang naantig ang puso; tinamaan ako.

May katotohanang nananatili sa puso ng paring ‘yon. Alam n'yang kasama n’ya ang Diyos. Ibinibigay na n’ya ang lahat araw-araw. Magaling s’ya ngunit hindi mayabang. Sa buhay-pari n'ya, alam n’yang hindi n’ya kayang wala S’ya (ang Diyos), magkasama lagi sa lahat ng problema.
Masmasarap pala ang pakiramdam na alam mong may kasama ka sa daan kaysa sa pagmasdan ang iba na tila walang problema.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Ng: Sugarfree

Maglilinis ako ng aking kwarto
Na punong-puno ng galit at damit
Mga bagay na hindi ko na kailangan
Nakaraang hindi na pwedeng pagpaliban

Oohh… Oohh…

Mga liham ng nilihim kong pag-ibig
At litrato ng kahapong maligalig
Dahan-dahan kong inipon
Ngunit ngayo’y kailangan nang itapon

Di ko na kayang mabuhay sa kahapon
Kaya mula ngayon, mula ngayon

May jacket mong nabubulok sa sulok
Na inaalikabok na sa lungkot
May panyong ilang ulit nang niluhaan
Isang patak sa bawat beses na tayo’y nasaktan

Mula ngayon

Ala-ala ng lumuluhang kahapon
Dahan-dahan ko na ring kinakahon
Natagpuan ko na ang tunay kong ligaya
Lumabas ako ng kwarto’t naroon siya

Magpapaalam na sa ‘yo ang aking kwarto
Magpapaalam na sa ‘yo
Magpapaalam na sa ‘yo ang aking kwarto

Sa aking pakikinig sa “Kwarto” ng Sugarfree, isa lang ang naiisip ko – Kumpisal. Ako ang kwarto. Sa aking paglabas-pasok ay pinagamasadan pala ng Pag-ibig. Nandyan Siya, naghihintay pa rin.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Love of my L.I.F.E

For the past week, we’ve been discussing differences in relationships. They could be categorized in four general fields. We call it L.I.F.E: Love, Infatuation, Friendship, and Exploitation.

Let me focus on love. Love is commonly believed as a give-and-take relationship, but actually it’s never like that. It’s unconditionally a give-give-give relationship. “Nemo dat quod non habet.” Nobody gives what one doesn't have.

An example could be like this: I cry because I broke-up with my girlfriend, but to whom am I really weeping for? If those tears are for me because I feel emptiness in me, therefore I have not loved but more of infatuated since am only attracted to her presence. I feel the need of her presence masked by so many other created reasons. Life is not worth living since she left me here all alone. This is never love but infatuation.

Love your neighbor + as you love yourself. The Lord commands that we should love ourselves, with a condition, “as you love yourself.” This is a very particular commandment from God. He could have just commanded to love our neighbor, yet he gives distinction to this.

The love I project to others is the love I have for myself. This is the same quality of love that one could give to the other. And so, love could only be realized if one is overflowing of love for himself. All the rest of love pouring out from him could be given to the other with the assurance from him of being stable and capable to love always.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Christ Revealed in the Disabled

It was a grace-filled experience to be part of the People with Disability (PWD) Day in Don Bosco Makati last Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007.

I was a volunteer caregiver of three recipients: Kuya Abe and Kuya Ed who were both lame, and Rochelle who has down-syndrome. I was with them the whole day. Honestly, it was really difficult for me to be a caregiver since am not patient; nevertheless we acknowledged the presence of one another. At the end of the day, we have to separate ways, and say our goodbyes. That ends my task for the day.

It was a tiring day. I did my duty, but at the end of everything, am faced with many questions before the Lord. I did my duty but was I able to “be” with them: to touch their lives for a moment, a moment that could be treasured for a lifetime? Was I able to share my life or just my time and my physical presence? I felt that I missed the point of that day since I looked at it as a mere duty. Perhaps, this also gives me the reason why I respect guardians taking care of disabled people.

I am guilty and at the same time grateful. I felt that I wasn’t able to bring Christ to them; otherwise they brought Christ to me. It shakes me to realize these matters. After that Saturday, my affection for the disabled people sinks to the reserved section of my heart. It was my pleasure being with you Kuya Abe, Kuya Ed, and Rochelle, for God is with you. Thank you for the presence. Thank you for bringing God with you.