Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Define Patriotism

Neither elegant attires nor spoken languages could ever define one’s love of a country. No, it doesn’t stop here because it takes a selfless sacrifice to prove that–not necessarily embracing noble deeds. One could speak a million tongues but it doesn’t make that person a hero. One could be devoted to wearing traditional costumes but it doesn’t make that person lionhearted. There is more to these outside manifestations that meets the eye–it is the goodness that counts. For even a lowly civil servant or an altruistic educator can do change the world. It is a tried and true reality believed for countless times, for a thousand years.


This is how I would define the word shopping–someone’s joy but somebody’s agony. While other find pleasure buying this and that, walking from here to there just to gratify themselves from collecting stuff not free, I agonize and detest this kind of activity. I don’t know, but I am not just a fan of this necessary errand. P-E-T-P-E-E-V-E to cut to the chase or the way I would spell it. It took me the whole SM to find the pants I needed for my interview on Monday. Not to mention the hard times looking for an exact size and a cut that would fit me. Laugh out loud, but only stores in Cambodia sell my size. Oh, let me invent another crazy thought to describe the word in particular–it is shopgony (from two combined lexicon: shop and agony).

Worth the Live and Learn

Although it’s not every experience worth the live and learn, but there us such kind that deserves an encore or an endless applause–perhaps to learn a thing or two. Capture that moment and treasure it like there is no tomorrow. Learn from every rare opportunity because they come for a reason–they come once in a million–to teach us, inspire us, and break us necessarily for the better. Jot them down in our hearts, not just by memory but by action until we get familiar with it. Some people call it a day-to-day experience or a journey if you prefer. Life in reality has a lot of these to give, but you just have to listen attentively to what men and women of the world have to demonstrate both in spoken words and in deeds–they are those who have been there, done that. Some of us had to learn it at an early age while the rest are the opposite, but it doesn’t matter for we learn in season and out. We learn in every ticking of the clock. After all, it is never too late to learn. I was told.

A Rare Afternoon

As far as we know, even before creativity was at its zenith, sitting at the feet of scholars or experts in any fields do not evolve in a seemingly suffocating four-walled classrooms alone. Both educators and learners themselves have gone against the tide in the name of education–in aggression–whether or not it was a life-long learning. A casual discussion over lunch and a simple coffee talk are only a few of these examples or, better yet, defiance. I had to go to UP Diliman to meet a professor, a God-fearing man and a genius. For one reason, I thought, to wrap up the upcoming excursion and cultural exposure of the selected youth from Cambodia in October this year here in the Philippines. But it turned out a rare afternoon instead–in a positive and an unexpected way. Before I realized it, I found myself sitting at the feet of a filmmaker, a movie director, a novelist, a musical scorer and a theater enthusiast. Al I had to do was listened attentively and tried to be receptive enough. There were ahs and ohs–when eureka and jaw dropping moments were like unending. Many times they spoke in the language of an alien while I prayed my hardest not to lose my sanity, and prayed for God’s grace to get even a bit of a grasp about what they were trying to deliver. Things they had learned for years and years, they laid down before me in just four hours. That unusual encounter was a gift without a doubt from heaven above.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Weddings in July

Grateful honored, and blessed to see it with my own eyes as couples exchanged their solemn vows in holy moments–in celebration of love. It was another milestone conceived through courtship and commitment to love for life–for better or for worse. Three happy days in July, when a month was both graced with elegance and simplicity, with colors and beauty, with rejoicing and tears of joy, with dancing and feasting–all these for the unconditional love of the brides and grooms I have known for years and years. I had to fly miles and miles just to be a part of these important days of their lives. And I am so glad to have made it. Each wedding told me a different story–the beauty of waiting; of grace and miracle; perfection in imperfection–what the Maker had planned long to knit every couple together no one could tear them apart. Blessings on your new journey as husbands and wives.  

Monday, July 30, 2018

Beautiful Weirdness

Do they really think they can predict what is on my mind? I am so grateful that the Father above is not transcendent. But your state of grace creeps me out–it grieves my heart rather. Undeniably, we do have different orientations or statuses in life because we clashed the way we understood things. OK, I’ll buy it this time. So call me weird for trying to be praxis or doing things out of the ordinary–not in the way you thought they would be, but we call it goodness or kindness or mercy where I come from. Please remind me because I can no longer recall how many individuals whom I didn’t know personally and yet had messaged me, called me, and even met me in person for favors big and small. They were never strangers–not even weird individuals–because they were God’s sent that I might grasp the meaning of serving, giving, blessing and honoring my Master through this encounter. It was all God’s grace.


Unspoken Words

For the past few weeks, my own words have been confined deep within me, unspoken–wondering what went wrong–driven by things unknown. Now I understand the reasons why. They were meant to be suppressed temporarily. I had to keep them even if it was against my will. I had to do it in a peaceful way or else things could have been the irony. As if the effort to utter spoken words right then could help. Silence for many instances–like this time–it truly matters. Never mind how many times it would occur, just learn the art of it once in a while.