Thursday, September 29, 2011

(Not) Boracay

You see this picture and you thought I was off to some island like the dreamy Boracay. No. I was at Wawa, Pulanglupa in Las Pinas City. It’s a place smelled like rotten fish. Really.

Wawa actually means “unfortunate”. I first saw it when our Pastor displayed few photos at the church wall. Seeing them, I think they are one of the poor people living in the city. They are separated by a floodway on one side and a dike on the other. And they need to pay one peso to cross the blackish water to go to other side. They said that dike dries up when the tide is low and becomes full again when it’s high. As a result, the soil is always wet and stench with sea water. You thought you live in a fish port. People- and dried fish- live together in this area. They have no running water and not all houses have comfort room. I couldn’t stand the smell, but they lived in it.

So, what can I—a single person—do in the face of such detestable condition? That was when our Pastor announced that we will have a feeding program there- and asked if we wanted to help. Yes, I said.

My paralysis was gone. Finally, I could do something. We went there, together with others friends. Since we cannot put kids and adults in one place, we divided them. I busied myself with 10- year olds. Hah. You thought that was easy? They are one rowdy, disruptive but happy and high-spirited kids. They are either breaking other’s ribs, pulling one’s hair, or poking another kid’s eyes. I guess our “The Boat is Sinking” game helped a lot in distracting them from killing each other.

Atty. Yu, a missionary, shared the God’s words. One can sense their need for hope and chance to live better lives. This is not the first time that such an activity was held there, and their unfailing humor and cheeriness suggest they were happy to see us.

So what have I really done? Nothing much. Except perhaps be happy that I can actually contribute, no matter how little, to a cause that that can actually change one person’s life.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Raising Yana

Did I ever mention how much I love you? How your simple smile and pouty lips held me wondering do you really came from me? That’s because you’re so beautiful. Sometimes, time stops just watching you play. You always caught me with your candidness. How did you get so damn smart? How did you learn your ABC? your Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, even when I was not with you most times? You see, you look more like your father, but your stubbornness and quiet confidence tell that you belong to me. On days that you were terribly difficult; I wanted to cry. If its anything to you, do you know that it almost cost the hell life of me when you arrived? You came a day ahead because Mama was having Pre-Eclampsia(Pregnancy induced hypertension). And now that you're 2-year wiser, you don’t listen anymore.
my bundle of joy

Some days I feel I am not raising you well. You don’t eat your rice and you thought fried chicken as one complete meal. You like Jollibee even if we are already inside KFC. You keep the toy in the value meal and hate it if your brother gets one for himself. You don’t like riding jeep and so you demand a tricycle ride when you and Yaya pick up Kuya from school, or else it’s pandemonium. But you see, there is nothing that you can do that will change my devotion- not my fondness, not my affection, not my loyalty. In other words, my love for you runs on autopilot without my control.

my very own Tinkerbell

So take your time little Yana. Don’t grow old yet.

When you grow up, I wish you life better than mine. I hope you won’t feel less than any one. I want you to never stumble or fall for a lure. There will always be people who’ll break your heart. But while you’re still young and innocent, let me create a world devoid of pain, lack and sorrow. But don’t worry, I will not make life for you. I’ll let you figure things out when you get bigger. For now, I will cherish you and rest in God’s care knowing that he cares for you million times more than I do.
my mini-Me

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Take Me Away

Confession: I’ve never been anywhere.

I was never outside the country. Up to now, I am still jealous of people who have already gone to different fantastic, dreamy places like Paris, London , New York, and yes even Asian neighbors like Hongkong and Singapore. In silence, I would ask myself why I didn’t push my luck to visit these wonderful cities before? For others, that sounds so mundane, I know. But the truth is, I sometimes felt too awkward, too out-of-place to never really cross the Philippine borders.

I am now past the stage admiring these scenic places in pictures, on TV screen or inside my dreams. I am now hoping to see them come alive in front of me. That one day, Empire State Building, Eiffel Tower or Santorini island will become real and solid. To have actually see, feel, and smell them. Sometimes, it felt like it was destined for others and not for me.

And so I ask, can I choose blessings for my life?

Why is it that we sometimes have trouble getting what we really want? Why do we opt to lower our standard so as not to be really disappointed over things that we find difficult, if not impossible to achieve? Is it that we're scared? Feeling too vulnerable? Or just chicken?

But in my heart, I know I have been blessed in so many ways, with more important things in life. Surely, Eiffel tower can be enchanting. And so are my children’s laughter. Oh, they are so unpredictable. One moment they’re sight to behold, and the next time, they’d start kicking and bashing one another to death. And there I imagined I was at the Eiffel Tower. Alone.

But really, we just have to be good in picking up our blessings. I think I am just as blessed as I will be anywhere else.

For anywhere is a paradise. Its only up to you.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Quo Vadis?

Sometimes it is so much better to see thoughts on paper - or computer screen, isn't it? Suddenly it becomes clearer. You are able to see all angles, all arguments.

This week was a bit burdensome for me. Mentally. The church I am attending go from mainstream preaching to grace preaching. For old-schooled person like me, it is not something that's easy to take, much more believe. I may not be able to fully describe the differences for I may leave you more confused than enlightened.

You can say that it's not really a problem. You know, shrug it off and just go with the flow like every one else. In fact, they'll be happy to see you oh so easily "converted". Please don't take it like it is something evil or a cult thing. In reality, Grace Preaching is more God-centered. The focus is more on the Creator than creation, and that I have no problem with. However, it also affirms certain radical teachings like effortless success and salvation without repentance.

Joseph Prince, a pastor from Singapore, authored a book called Destined to Reign. If you read it, it sums up all what grace preaching is all about. While it is supposed to be all positive, it's approach is kind of too unnatural for me.

But I know that I'm still a work in progress. I still have a lot to learn. I can only keep an open mind- and open heart to wherever God will lead me.