Choose Love,Choose Christ 

This past few weeks,I am barely keeping myself afloat in a sea of hate. Every principle and doctrine that I learned is being put to the test,I can only manage to my shake my head or utter a simple reply to questions like “Are you pro or against?”

My mind wanted to choose a side,preferrably the winning one,but my heart knew that there is nothing victorious in a battle of contempt.

I slowly slide into apathy. A non-committal stand to whatever belief I have. I am an Ilocana and I respect my elders,but my views are not bound by my heritage or kinship. I have a strong stand for justice,but an “eye for an eye” has done more damage than good.

To what extent then do I involve myself into a generation clamoring for the right to be heard?

In the outburst of people’s emotions,I failed to see love. If it’s to bury the dead or to bring justice,love must have a bearing in all of this. Is it not the main goal of both parties?

To embody kindness and respect,to teach love. Are we not united by that main goal?

The Lord made all things,knows all things,and is above all things. He holds dominion over us,the King above all kings. Yet He gave us the gift of free will. He has freely given us reign of our emotions,must we waste it in breeding destructive feelings? Why are we participating in a culture that tolerates hate,greed and dissatisfaction?

Slowy,I resurface from my apathy. I chose one path,and that is to follow the Lord’s example of mercy and compassion. I will help pave the way for future generations. It will never be smooth,but I will tell my future kids to always choose the winning side,and that is Jesus and His love.

(Raw and unedited version,pasensiya sa aking grammar inconsistencies 😆✌️)

Advertisements

Anong Nangyari?

It’s too early for small talks,I moved away from people who might ask me what I’m doing here,a lone Pinay. Baka kako i-Chinese pa ako,wala din naman ako masasagot.

As I sat in a hospital bench,waiting for my mother to complete her admission,I looked back on how my 2015 and first month of 2016 turned out. 

Well,how was 2015? I had 365 days of love and hate at work,some close friends leaving,gained new ones,attended conferences and concerts(my first to watch a foreign band),2 mountains(the second one being the third highest peak in the Phillipines,so I’ll forgive myself that I only climbed two,tsaka you know,schedule and stuff),sunsets at the beach(Manila bay included,oo kahit mabaho! Ang siste,makikita mo daw and pinakamagandang sunrise sa Pulag,pero ang pinakamagandang sunset sa Manila bay),attended a wedding,my second year being a Cornerstone volunteer,and of course,going home to my beloved Ilocos.

If someone asked me what was my most notable memory of 2015,my Mount Pulag climb would be the best one,pero hindi ang pinaka-highlight. 

I’d like to call it “My Heart” weekend.

While my heart beats fast for some uncontrollable reason,my mind tried to race with it,bakit ako nandito? Biglang may cardiac monitor at ECG tracings,IV insertions,blood extractions. Doctors and nurses trying to solve the mystery why my heart was beating fast? 

The doctor asked me my whole name,who I was with and what happened. I tried to piece it all together. I told them what I know. After a while,after medicine has found it’s way into my heart,I cried. 

Kase nakakahiya,nakakatakot,nakakabigla. 25 years old,isang nurse pero nandoon bilang isang pasyente.

8 hours sa Emergency room,isang araw at kalahati sa ICU,at isang araw pa sa floors. Hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin masabi ng mga doctor ko ang exact na cause,sabi sa Thyroid,o baka daw may problema talaga sa puso. For me,hayaan na lang ang cause muna,I was glad that I was okay,that I was alive. 

Overwhelmed pa rin ako hanggang ngayon sa mga nangyari. Turning point yun ng buhay ko. Narealize ko that health is wealth ika nga,na hindi mo magagawa ang mga bagay na gusto mo,hindi ka magagamit ng Diyos sa mga bagay na gusto Niyang pagawa,kung may sakit ka at mahina ang katawan. 

I learned that you could rely on people,na hindi mo kayang gawin lahat. Madami din palang nagmamahal sa akin kahit papano,nasa malayo man o malapit. I got to see people who cared and prayed

I got to see God and His never ending miracles.

Maraming tao,kahit sa mga nananampalataya,pati din ako,ang cynical sa milagro. Ngayon,I am believer. 2015 was full of miracles,and God isn’t done yet.

So paano naman yung unang buwan ko ng 2016? 

New years day was for fireworks and friends. My work does not allow me the luxury of long weekends and holidays,I stayed in the city and was resolve to let the year pass in the hospital (which happens every year since I started working).

But God has His ways of surprising you. Hindi nga naman natatapos talaga ang biyaya ng Panginoon. Na-Holiday rest ako and a welcoming home of a close friend served as an added gift. We spent the whole evening eating ang playing billiards,and laughing. Yes,since the three of us were spending holidays away from home,the company of each other and laughter made everything bearable,and happy.

Our stomach was full and our spirits high. Kaya lang,may mga trabaho na kailangang balikan,responsibilidad na kasama ng pagtanda. Two years na din pala ako sa aking trabaho,I never thought I could get pass it,pero andito pa rin ako,akalain mo yun?

Dahil may gustong patunayan sa sarili,umakyat ulit ako ng bundok. Against the advice of everyone,I planned to hike again. I got my clearance from my doctor,1 week of prepping,I was set to go.

God’s majesty,yun lang talaga. Walang ganun kagandang lugar kung hindi dahil sa kanya. It was a weekend to remember,with a good company,hot sopas and chicken na walang sauce. Mount Pulag welcomed us,the sea of clouds was visible,the day was perfect.

More than the beauty of the mountain,I treasured more the friends I was with. Last year,ng una akong umakyat,I was with my HighSchool buddies,my sister and my colleague. Ngayon naman I was with my SFC family. Sobrang blessed lang talaga ako sa mga kaibigan,na gustong umakyat din ng bundok at pagurin ang sarili,at game sa kasiyahan,pero andiyan din sa mga oras na kailangan mo ng karamay. 

Ngayon,nasa waiting area ako ng isang hospital sa ibang bansa,inaantay na matapos ang operasyon ng nanay ko. There will be moments like this,family members and friends who are sick,some get well,some may not. There will be hearts broken and spirits crushed. 

Every year is different,but there are constant and infinite truths. The love and grace of God,the care of family and friends,the lesson of responsibility and resilience,the joy that this world gives,the sorrow and pain for us to learn and stay strong. 

Andito tayo para mabuhay,gawin lang natin ng tama. 

       
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
   

 

Miracle

I live near a fire station and everyday I hear the sirens loudly wailing. “May nasusunog na naman na bahay/mga bahay.” I utter a simple fervent prayer.
Miracle. Hindi kami yun.

For everyday that I wake up,my first thought would be,”Uy ginising ka ni God.” But before the gratefulness sets in,bigla akong magwoworry. 

I think of the worries I have to face for today,and weakend at the thought of spending energy and draining the happiness I have been saving for the last couple of days I was happy.

Then I hear again the familiar wailing of fire trucks,I remembered the miracle,the blessing I was given.

Ginising ako ni Lord,sinasabihan Niya ako na,”Maniwala ka,andito Ako.” 

I bow my head to pray,I say my thanks,and go and exhaust the energy that God gave me,for I know,He will recharge me again for tomorrow. 

And as I go about my day,I stumble upon miracles that the Lord is set to give me today. 

A plea

Father,

Help me to mountains. Strengthen me. Keep me on my toes. Assure me father of the love that you have for me.

I am lost and I feel lonely. I am surrounded by the love You have given me Lord,but I fail to recognize it most of the time.

Lord,help me make everyday of my life a reflection of that love.

You said,”Happy are those spiritually poor,the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.” I am spiritually poor Lord,help me.

I know Mama Mary is praying for me,along with the Angels and Saints. Let Your Holy Spirit descend on me Lord. 

In Your mighty name.

Amen

He Loves Me 

What if love wasn’t that complicated?

The complexity of it came from layers of history romanticized by rocks thrown at windows so Romeo could profess his undying love to Juliet. Classic and romantic as it is,the fascinating thing to me about that scene is the reason that drove Romeo to do it. Their family hated each other,the world deemed they weren’t meant to be. So come hell and high water,Romeo needed to throw those rocks and make his feelings known.

Generation of love stories after that felt the need to measure up to what this tale have portrayed. We did not fail on this. Just ask Papa Jack,every night,people call him and share their heart problems. I laugh at most of them,related to some,and prayed that I’d never experienced what they have. Some of the guys aren’t Romeo’s,and the gals don’t even feel like they are Juliet. 

Years passed and that story’s tragedy still echoes today.

So,why is love so complicated? Why can’t it be grasp and embrace easily? Why does it need to be affirmed by things perishable and changing? 

Maybe we are loving for the wrong reasons. Maybe we are loved by the wrong people. And maybe we,ourselves,are wrong for them. And just maybe,we are not loving the right way.

Just this February 14,a question was asked, “Do you love me?”. So cliche that on a Valentines day,this was asked. Initially the “kilig” set in,then the pondering came,then confusion,because I should be answering now,and then there came my Yes. 

So on the span of 5 seconds that I did not answer immediately,was the time I was thinking,why me? What have I ever done to be love like this? To be asked of this? To be even considered? 

But you come to a point where you stop,say to yourself,”Sumagot ka!” and let yourself bask in that love. Here it is,a love so  overwhelming that no amount of I Love You’s can reciprocate it. 

And why does He even need to ask? 

I came to understand that He asked not because He wanted to be affirmed,but He was the one affirming us,that loving Him,saying Yes to him is gaining His favor,His mercy,His salvation.

Saying yes to Jesus is loving like Him. This entails a lot. This is a love so simple yet for us people of today,makes us choose to follow other paths. God made it look so easy,but every Lenten season,we are reminded that He sacrificed so much in order to fulfill His love for us. 


Have you seen love like this lately?


“You want real love? You won’t find it on Valentine’s day. You’ll find it on Good Friday. Crucified on the cross.” -Gelo Saludo,SFC



Laundry Day Everyday

Doing laundry is the most tedious household chore. Sort,wash,dry,fold. 


But I find it the most relaxing. The hours I spend on washing clothes,putting my energy into it,draws out the stress. 

And the process itself is fulfilling. Cleaning the stain,making sure it smells good. That way you can confidently wear it again.

Laundry is like self reflection in it’s simplest,and yes,weirdest form. 

You go about your day,you take all kind of dirt(literally and figuratively). Then you come home,shed of your clothing,stacking it on your laundry basket,it gets higher,dirtier. And then you do laundry. 

That is how life works right? The stress takes its toll on you,and then you need to wash it all away. 

Vacations,unlimited sleeping time,a good coffee,a book that has been waiting to be opened for like forever,or just good laugh and time with friends and family. 

Above all,you let God wash it off. He always have the best detergents and fabric conditioners for all that dirt. When He is all done,you come out clean. You can confidently walk and go about your day,cause you smell and feel good. 

Wow. Ain’t doing laundry fun? 🙂

The 10 New Years Resolution by Pope Francis

– “Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.”

– “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of all your time, attention and love.”

– “Take care of your relationships with others, transforming your faith into life and your words into good works, especially on behalf of the needy.”

– “Be careful how you speak, purify your tongue of offensive words, vulgarity and worldly decadence.”

– “Heal wounds of the heart with the oil of forgiveness, forgiving those who have hurt us and medicating the wounds we have caused others.”

– “Look after your work, doing it with enthusiasm, humility, competence, passion and with a spirit that knows how to thank the Lord.”

– “Be careful of envy, lust, hatred and negative feelings that devour our interior peace and transform us into destroyed and destructive people.”

– “Watch out for anger that can lead to vengeance; for laziness that leads to existential euthanasia; for pointing the finger at others, which leads to pride; and for complaining continually, which leads to desperation.”

– “Take care of brothers and sisters who are weaker … the elderly, the sick, the hungry, the homeless and strangers, because we will be judged on this.”

(c) CNS Blog