Of Misencounters, Reencounters and a Prayer for Peace

“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14

The images of the honorable PNP SAF Troopers who died on that fateful morning on January 25 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao will forever be etched in our minds and hearts. The details of what many in our government call a misencounter had already been told and retold. The weeping of the families and loved ones of the fallen are being heard over and over within the echoes of our recent memories. And now as the continuing story of investigations and inquiry will follow through the pain that would never go away, there is one thing that we should never forget. The one thing that these gallant 44 had fought hard for, and that we should cherish so their sacrifice would not be in vain. That is PEACE.

At this moment, when the wounds in our hearts are still fresh and the strength of each loved one is still delicately fragile, there is only anger, outrage and betrayal. I must admit, as far as I may be from Mamasapano, my initial reaction is shock at the number of lives lost. They were just too many to comprehend. Then sadness…The sight of the lifeless bodies who once stood with dignity and courage were just too much for a gentle heart to handle. And finally anger… I was angry that people are capable of doing something horrific so close to home. I was furious that the President Aquino made a choice that caused the hurt already too much to bear, to swell all the more. I was like “OMG you are President and you can’t cancel a scheduled appointment? Not even for the sake of your so-called “bosses” would you spare some mercy and compassion to what they were going through at the time they needed them most?” I would have wanted to think that the Mitsubishi rendezvous was a “misencounter”. That the President went to the wrong place at the wrong time.

But who are we to judge? What good deed have I done for my country that make me consider myself better than the President or other government officials for that matter so much that I loathe every unpopular decision that they make or any grave mistake they commit? So we are all angry. Now what? Does my loathing help ease the pain of a hurting nation? Or am I just adding to the problem instead of solving it?

As prayers continue to pour for the souls of the valiant PNP SAF Troopers and for the family and loved ones they left behind, I continue to pray for peace. I realized, that as it is human to feel the way we did, there is a time to get past the rage. What good would it do if we keep on scratching the wound? It would just cause the wound to grow bigger and eventually impossible to heal.

I am still angry at what had happened in Mamasapano. I am still grieving together with those who mourn. But I choose to continue to pray. For HEALING,for JUSTICE, for PEACE…

We need not wait for deals, agreements or pacts to be signed to attain peace. We can begin now, with ourselves. We have the choice to be channels of peace. It is the only way. So that after the haze of gunfire and tears had died down, our reencounters will instead be borne of brotherhood and love.

To our heroes, rest in peace in God’s sweet embrace and I pray that your great sacrifice would be worth it… I salute you.

1. Sr. Insp. Ryan Ballesteros Pabalinas
2. Sr. Insp. John Garry Alcantara Erana
3. Sr. Insp. Max Jim Ramirez Tria
4. Sr. Insp. Cyrus Paleyan Anniban
5. Sr. Insp. Gednat G. Tabdi
6. Insp. Joey Sacristan Gamutan
7. Insp. Rennie Tayrus
8. SPO1 Lover L. Inocencio
9. PO3 Rodrigo F. Acob Jr.
10. PO3 Virgel S. Villanueva

11. PO3 Andres Viernes Duque Jr.
12. PO3 Vitoriano Nacion Acain
13. PO3 Noel Onangey Golocan
14. PO3 Junrel Narvas Kibete
15. PO3 Jed-In Abubakar Asjali
16. PO3 Robert Dommolog Aliaga
17. PO3 John Lloyd Rebammonte Sumbilla
18. PO2 Amman Misuari Esmulla
19. PO2 Peterson I. Carap
20. PO2 Roger C. Cordero

21. PO2 Nicky DC Nacino Jr.
22. PO2 Glenn Berecio Badua
23. PO2 Chum Goc-Ong Agabon
24. PO2 Richelle Salangan Baluga
25. PO2 Noel Nebrida Balaca
26. PO2 Joel Bimidang Dulnuan
27. PO2 Godofredo Basak Cabanlet
28. PO2 Franklin Cadap Danao
29. PO2 Walner Faustino Danao
30. PO2 Jerry Dailay Kayob

31. PO2 Noble Sungay Kiangan
32. PO2 Ephraim G. Mejia
33. PO2 Omar Agacer Nacionales
34. PO2 Rodel Eva Ramacula
35. PO2 Romeo Valles Senin II
36. PO1 Russel Bawaan Bilog
37. PO1 Angel C. Kodiamat
38. PO1 Windell Llano Candano
39. PO1 Loreto Guyab Capinding
40. PO1 Gringo Charag Cayang-o

41. PO1 Romeo Cumanoy Cempron
42. PO1 Mark Lory Orloque Clemencio
43. PO1 Joseph Gumatay Sagonoy
44. PO1 Oliebeth Ligutan Viernes

After Haiyan, so what now?

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”  Psalm 23:1-4

Long before Haiyan, clothes, shoes and bags that were unused for at least 6 months were collected and stored in boxes supposed to be sent to the GMA Foundation in Manila. But numerous typhoons and earthquakes had occurred, still the boxes remain open and unsent.

Excuses? Each box isn’t full. There’s no time to make any effort to fill them up, much less time to have them sent. Besides, there was no sense of urgency nor any need to send them sooner for we could see that there were enough donors to provide whatever the needs were for a certain calamity at any given time.

Toink!

I have seen it during the tsunami in Indonesia, typhoon Katrina in the US, earthquake and tsunami in Japan, with Ondoy, Pepeng and Pablo back home in the Philippines, but to see how an overwhelming number of lives can be taken in an instant at such scale, which no military intelligence or government spying could have prevented, makes devastation and tragedy real.  Not just words, photos and videos from the media. It is REAL. And it is shocking.

I realized that my heartache and grief stood for nothing because all I did was just sit and watch and sigh. I feel sorry for myself as much as I did for the victims because I did nothing. And I passed on those chances to help, be kind and generous. I’m alive yet what on earth am I living for if I would remain passive and useless.

Haiyan is the most powerful typhoon on recorded history.  Indeed, it didn’t just wipe out communities in Tacloban and other  towns in Leyte, Samar, Cebu, Aklan and other nearby island provinces. For a while, it also reduced the dignity of a people in favor of survival, which is a basic human instinct.

But Haiyan also moved the world.  Suddenly, we are all united as human beings towards a common goal- to help those in desperate need. Indeed this  super typhoon, not only brought about the worst damage, but also the best in terms of human spirit of brotherhood.

The open boxes will soon be closed and head to where they were intended. They won’t remain where they are any longer.  With fervent prayers for comfort, strength and hope, they will reach their destination, and their purpose will be served.

Those boxes represent the beginning  of an entirely new perspective on who I should have been all along.  Who we should strive to become- purposeful, useful, meaningful.

We’re 8 hours of flight away from where the world is focused on today.  From afar, I just pray that each one would think about what Haiyan brought forth.  Near or far, this typhoon changed us. If we still don’t get it, then everyday, it would keep trying to.  And I hope that it would not take a typhoon or any calamity  more devastating than Haiyan for us to finally get it.  Filipino or not, Haiyan sends its  message to one and all.

From now on, let us pray without ceasing.

Let us pray for healing, as a nation; as an individual, body and soul.

Let us pray for wisdom, to comprehend the profound message of recent events.

Let us pray for souls of  those who perished, and those they left behind who die over and over with anguish  knowing they lost everything, and not knowing how to start from nothing.

Let us pray that our lives would  be  “relief goods” to others and not “body bags” that are dead within.

Let us pray that instead of looking out on what other’s are doing (or not), let us look at ourselves.  WHAT ARE WE DOING?  We don’t know what others are going through, let us not judge. or we’ll be judged with the same measure. If you think or feel, that others are not doing enough, let our God be the judge to that.

Let us pray that instead of adding more negativity  to what has already happened, let us find  a way to  be a beacon to  one another to lead each other towards the light.  Not back to the eye of the typhoon, lest we revert to our doom  over and over again.

Let us fulfil God’s will in  our lives.  There is a reason why we are still alive and spared from the tragedy that is Haiyan.  Let us unite in faith, humility, perseverance, kindness, understanding,  empathy, generosity… and put an end to finger-pointing, blame game, doubts, sarcasm, insults, apathy,  selfishness, grandstanding, greed.

At the end of the day,  it is between me and my God…between you and your God.

Keep the Filipino spirit burning…PHILIPPINES, we can do  this!

Azkalius Patronum!

“For God commands the angels to guard you in all your ways.  With their hands they shall support you, lest  you strike your foot against a stone.  You shall tread upon the asp and the viper, trample the lion and the dragon. 

Whoever clings to me I will deliver, whoever knows my name I will set on high.  All who call on me I will answer; I will be with them in distress; I will deliver them and give them honor.

With length of days I will satisfy them and show them my saving power.”  Psalm 91:11-16

The Harry Potter fever and Azkal frenzy still linger in the air.  Though Harry had already found his patronus which is a stag, the Azkals are still in search of theirs, a dog from which they got their name.  I hope they find it just in time to ensure that 4 goals they so badly need tonight in their match against Al-Azraq.

A patronus is an animal protector created by a spell to defend against dark creatures or dementors.  we often forget that we too have our own “patronus“.  These are spiritual beings depicted as messengers of God called angels.  a guardian angel is assigned to protect and guide a specific group or person. But do we really need angels when God is always here and now? Of course, we could talk to God directly about our concerns. But do you hear Him answer back?

If we just look deeper with our hearts, instead of our eyes, we can feel our angels at work. At times of triumph, when we are too high with our self-indulgence and pride, it would never cross our mind that somehow, we made it because our guardian angels lent their wings in order for us to soar up high.  And when we fall from grace, who would have thought the angels were ready to catch us and break the fall.
Were your appointments cancelled because something suddenly came up? I bet they often do.  Not part of the plan. So you opt for plan B or C, if you have.  Happened to me, not once, not twice but zillions of times.  When I was younger, I do get furious.  And instantly.  But not anymore.
Those glitches in my planner made me realize that God is trying to reach me, but couldn’t.  Because I’m either out of the coverage area or I’m not yet in service.  So He sends his angels to get His message across.  Even if it means messing up with my time.  And my self-centered plans.  Now I no longer get frustrated.
Because delays, postponements and cancellations now have a different meaning.  It spells the difference between a better option and complete disaster; between a brighter idea and a so-so presentation;  between winning and losing.
football.philippinenewsdaily.com
Azkalius Patronum! I hope the Azkals win against Kuwait.  But if they don’t, listen.  God sends His message.
As for me, God pm’s me through St. Uriel – the guardian angel assigned to me because I was born on a Wednesday.

Harry Potter is my son!

“The firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem. And none shall appear before me empty-handed.”  Exodus 34:20

SPECIALIS REVELIO! This is a spell which causes an object to show its hidden secrets or magical properties. One of many in the Harry Potter series. Maybe, the very spell which causes HP followers to yearn for more.

When the first film was shown in movie theaters years ago, my children were then 9 and 6 – old enough to understand the story despite the accent, but young enough to be bedazzled with its awesome special effects.  From then on, our household increased by three – Megan, Miguel plus Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.  My kids loved their new-found siblings, and in Hogwarts, they would meet new friends with whom they would grow up with in time.

My kids indeed have grown now.  So did Harry, Hermione and Ron.  It is amazing to note the physical transformation.  But it is more noteworthy how their bond grew stronger through the years.

10 years, 7 books and 8 movies after, JK Rowling did a great job to steer our kids’ imagination towards a love affair with books.  Such that national bookstore was like a candy store to them.  The significant influence is written all over our children’s chosen career path.  Megan is a prolific writer with a passion for creative production layouts.  Miguel, on the other hand, dreams of becoming a filmmaker.  Thus, Harry Potter casts his spell .

We knew someday our kids would go and follow their own calling.  But Harry Potter had to go too, and we are sad that it all ends now.

On the contrary we are blessed, that in our time, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, their masters, friends and villains, came to life. Our household had been stupefied by their presence, and like a son, Harry Potter would live on in our hearts.

Thanks to GOD who is ever greater than magic and the creator of JK Rowling, Harry Potter would triumph over all evils for ages to come.  EXPECTO PATRONUM!

He stirs my venti!

“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”  Rend your heart and not your garments.  Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity.”  Joel 2:12-13

after my surgery,  from the recovery room onto my hospital bed where my kind kabayan nurses gently laid me, my anaesthesia started to wear out.  the images were still a blur.  i could hear them vaguely, but the tone of their voices were clear.  they were amazed at how i could still smile despite the pain.

it was not an inherent trait of mine.  i was a cry-baby.  as a girl, i was impossibly stubborn that my pout has been my trademark long before angelina jolie became mrs. smith.  then as a teener, my temper kinda mellowed when i began to read about personality development books.  that was when i learned that a smile matters.  that it could actually set the mood for the day.  and that the smile that you give away is contagious.  and it is free.

practice makes perfect.  now, even when i cry i still have that tendency to smile when someone else sees me.  smiles lighten burdens, hide the pain, ease suffering.  now even when trouble is way over my head, or when longing for my children almost kills me, no one would ever know.  because if there is anything else that i don’t ever run out of – guess what else? smile, smile and some more…

among many things that could bring a smile to my face, a cup of coffee is definitely on the list.  or should i say, cups of coffee.  i love coffee so much, that it is what i gave up this season of lent.  since ash wednesday, i tried my darn best to refrain from having my usual early morning cup, as well as the other cups throughout the day, and that final cup just right before i sleep at nights.

the best part of the coffee ritual for me is after i stir it. that is when the aroma and the flavor is at its peak, it almost takes over my senses. 

so do i miss my coffee cups?  yes i do! yet i still manage to smile.  because the Lord never runs out of ‘sugar’ and ‘cream’ to pour on my cup of life.  He also continuously stirs my heart, to prevent complacency from setting in. 

my coffee sacrifice is nothing compared to the Lord’s sacrifice when He gave us his life for the forgiveness of our sins.  as i feel the pain from the consequences of my own sins, i surrender my cup of life to Him with complete trust and utter submission. 

for as long as i live, i know He will go on stirring my cup.  but i won’t mind.  the Lord blessed me with a venti 🙂

 

   

when the time is now

“Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” 2 Peter 3:8

we’re now ten days into 2011, and i still don’t have a list of new year’s resolutions.  not that i even plan on having one, but it has been tradition that before the old year ends, the list should have been done and must be followed from Day 1 onwards.  but since it’s a bit late already, maybe my new year’s resolution is to not have any new year’s resolution at all.

before Christmas, Megan was giving slight hints here and there about what gift she really wanted-a canon 550d camera.  since it is quite expensive and we don’t have the money to buy one just yet, i told her that patience is a virtue. wittingly she responded that time is goldhaha!  that camera might as well be gold!

aah youth! –  carefree, always in a hurry as if there’s no tomorrow.  but only with age will they realize that time is just a passing fancy.  and i sure finally did. in fact, as i grow older, i perceive time as a curse.  especially when life is defined by the years, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds, nanoseconds… 

when i was younger, i used to believe that time is really gold because our culture dictates our life in terms of the years that we live.  like when at 12, one has to finish grade school.  one can vote or date at age 18.  by 20, one has to finish college.  by 30, one has to have established a career already, earned his 1st million and settled down.  between 30 to 40, one should already have a family, built a house for them, sent kids to school…

between 40 to 50, one would be preoccupied with advancing with that career, take care of seeping health issues and playing on retirement plans.  at age 60 onwards, one should then enjoy the fruits of retirement, then eventually die of natural causes or old age.

imagine the frustration when one doesn’t catch up with the hands of time.  i won’t be surprised if that expensive rolex, that cheap wall clock or that annoying alarm clock can be as deadly as a butcher’s knife.  these timepieces may actually be the number one cause of stress.  and stress as we all know is the number one cause of any illness, or the reason some diseases get even worse  for that matter.

 it’s been two months since my surgery, and i’m still stuck here in my room. since i felt stronger, i think that i should be elsewhere doing something else, which “culture” expects of me.  but God put me exactly at this spot at this very moment. just as He planned.  building up my patience, strengthening my faith and bolstering my confidence in what He has in store for me.

we should be defined by the moments we live. not the hours we spend catching up with the future.  not the minutes fighting off the ghosts of the past.  we are in the here and now. and whatever we think or do now, will shape up our tomorrow .  or change how we look at our yesterday.

if you want a taste of hell, go ahead.  stare at that clock as it excruciatingly tick-tocks your life away.  waiting for that something that may just happen only after a century, or worse, may not happen at all.  do whatever you can wherever you are-NOW.

remember that in heaven, there are no clocks.  no calendars.  no new year’s resolutions. only moments of everlasting joy and infinite bliss with our Lord.  so savor each moment like you’re already in heaven.

tears of the candle

“Make known to me Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths.  Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me, for Thou art the God of my salvation; for Thee I wait all the day long.” Psalm 25:4-5

it’s Christmas time once again.  and even far away from the Philippines, the spirit of the season will always remain in our hearts; even in a country where Christmas is just another ordinary working day, and those lights blink whole year round not to remind everyone of the birth of Jesus, but to make their establishments easier to find.

as early as september, we already have our simple Christmas tree in place.  we thought that would counter last year’s sad memories because of my daddy’s passing, and because i knew i had to undergo surgery before the holidays.  we also have advent candles on the mini-altar on my bedside.

there was always a candle lit up for the daily bible readings and prayers.  but today, there were three because it was already the third week of advent.  as i prayed the rosary, i got to stare as the wicks swayed in a synchronized fashion.  as expected, the melted wax trickled down, like tears flowing down one’s cheeks.  this time however, instead of them running to the base of the candle, they jumped off from the tip of the glass to the tabletop where violet drops lay, waiting to be scraped off when i’m done with my prayers.

however, even before i was through, i decided to let them stay. for one, these teenie-weenie candle droplets taught me a lesson as my eyes remained glued to them long after the prayers were over.

we bought these new candles: three violets, one pink and one white, and placed them on used glass containers within which, melted candle laid.  using a small kitchen knife, i carefully scraped a cylinder in the middle of each glass, just enough for the new candles to fit and stand firm, and saved a space around them where the melted wax would eventually flow and gather.  the bottom end of each new candle was heated over a lighter flame so it would stick to the base where the candle would then stand.  after the preparations, the advent candles majestically stood there, all five of them, and i am certain they would serve their purpose all throughout the season.

but why these droplets on the side table? i was careful to make enough space and depth to catch each of them.  so where did i go wrong? i kept wondering why, until i realized i see life much like the tears of the candle.  no matter how meticulously you plan so that your future would be solid as a rock, there really is no guarantee it would be.  we can stand securely in our glass containers and firmly stick to our base, but we will never know when the table would be shaken or if the wind would suddenly blow our flames away.  you may think life sucks when that happens.  but then that’s one truth that we have to accept.  we may have power as the candle when it lights up,  but we can never have control over what lies beyond.  only God does.

 when we were born into this world, God lit our lives to shine, so that others may see the glory of his power in us.  life is not about us, it is all about God.  when things get out of hand and we messed up with the life that he gave, so that the light that we have seem to fade away, all we have to do is to surrender. let Him take over.  only He decides if He would scrape the violet droplets… or let them stay to teach a lesson to others, so that we may glorify Him in our own tears.

happy feet

“And how can men preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, ‘how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'”  Romans 10:15

my birth month is almost over.  as i contemplate on all the blessings the Lord showers me with day by day, the Bible passage above, prompted me to stare at my own two feet.  they are relatively small and dainty, which definitely don’t match my short and fat limbs, nor my chubby yet huggable torso.  but they apparently do the work.  and as i ponder on the value of these feet which i always look down to, i’m amazed how far they already have taken me; from baby steps to short walks to school and church, to long walks to the park, malls, work, airports even.

these same feet which i took for granted, enables me to attend birthday parties, weddings, funeral processions; join campings, hikings, engage in sports or simply climb flights of stairs.  who knows what else my feet can do for me? run for my life maybe.

i remember during high school, there were these branded clogs which were in fashion called happy feet.  they were so cool, probably because they were the classy version of the local bakya.  back then, it was some sort of status symbol.  but since my parents could only afford bantex and spartan, i didn’t get the privilege to wear one. twenty-five years later, as we stroll around the mall and bhoy saw the child-like delight on my face when i saw racks and racks of happy feet, he couldn’t help but finally buy me the bakya of my youthful dreams. but then again, other than slip my feet on them, or to some other pair of sleek, thin-strapped sandals to showcase how pretty they are, i haven’t given much thought how hard my poor, little feet have served me thus far.

until now.

days before my birthday, i had to stop working and undergo total abdominal hysterectomy.  the procedure rendered me totally incapable to do just about anything.  and when finally, i’m able to walk again, that’s more or less what my ob gyn, nurses and internet researches advised me to do. just walk. from baby steps – again, i struggled to move forward without the bend and crouch and the twitch on my face .  you can just imagine how happy i was when last week, i was finally able to walk 1km along the corniche; breath in the fresh scent of the sea and bask in the early morning winter sunshine.

as my birth month ends, life goes on.  and as i walk on through the rest of my journey, i want to share the lessons of joy and hope from my humble, little feet.  at times when we may be looked down or stepped upon; at times when we slip or stumble; at times when the burden of the world weighs us down – stare at the same feet.  they never give up no matter how heavy we are literally.  they won’t really care how sad and frustrated we can become, they are always on standyby, ready to take us wherever we want to be, regardless of the danger and how rough the road ahead maybe.

they serve… and they endure.  because that’s what the happy feet are here for.  and so are we.

the naked truth

“And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return; the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”  Job 1:21

funny how the word “naked” always evokes that extra interest.  basic instinct maybe?  but come to think of it.  our nakedness is basic in our humanity.  we were born naked.  and would pass on the same way too.  no matter how we would eventually be clothed in the end.

i remember when my cousin khan passed away.  she was in her early 20s.  initially, she wore our aunt’s conservative barong terno especially made for a wedding ceremony.  everyone noticed how khan’s face looked so unhappy.  you see, khan was a fashionista.  it was really awkward to see her that young and dead.  but wear that terno and that short hair? eeewww!  like she was forced by death to look 30 years older.  and we could almost hear her scream, “get me out of here!!!”  in reference to her outfit. not her coffin.

so my sister and younger cousins decided to buy her a more suitable lavender spaghetti strapped dress with a matching see-through  shawl to cover her shoulder.  the ensemble showed how pretty and young she was, yet still retained that statuesque dignity only khan could get away with.  we can always argue about this.  but believe it or not, from then on, her face glowed in serene approval and it was like she smiled all the way to her grave.

the truth is, we didn’t really care how we were dressed up when we were born.  likewise, it wouldn’t matter too when we pass on.  our life is a personal relationship with our Creator.  it will always be between ourselves and Him.  nothing more. nothing less.  whatever we had after we were born – family, clothing, shelter, riches – these are just add ons to our journey that we are trusted to enrich our lives with.  we don’t take them beyond our destination.  because in the end, our accountability is what have we done with our life.  with or without the add-ons. 

remember the story of Job.  he was an upright man who feared God and shunned evil.  he was prosperous and God blessed him with seven sons and three daughters.  but Satan was allowed to test his faith. everything he had was taken away.  even his family.  his whole body was smitten by Satan with dreadful boils.  still he persevered in his faith.  when his wife prompted him to curse God and die, Job replied “You speak as the one of the foolish speaks.  Moreover, shall we receive good from God and not receive evil?”

in the end, Job got well again, regain his possessions and had ten more children living to see the fourth generation and died in peace at the old age of 140. 

when we lose someone or something we hold dear – loved ones, job, home, money, health etc. –  let us remember that all are God’s blessings to us.  He has the power to give, yet take away in His time.  we must be resigned to all sufferings, as much as we delight in all the blessings.  not because He is God and we are just His creations.  but because we trust that God knows what is best for us.  though His mysterious ways leave us often confused and puzzled; so that we tend to ask why, and expect the answer right away.

“there is nothing permanent in this world.  not even our troubles.”  Charlie Chaplin once said.  today may be your bad day.  but from my experience,  from these bad days, the best of mine always follow. 

we may be stripped of anything and everything, but in all our humble nakedness, our Creator clothes us with the assurance that he would take care of everything.  and if we sincerely believe, we could actually feel that warmth of his love.

that’s the naked truth.

love at first kick

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”  Proverbs 11:30

yesterday morning, the world cup for me was just one sport spectacle that shouldn’t be missed.  just like the olympics or the NBA. in the philippines where basketball and boxing were like religion, it is understandable if football was not in my sports vocabulary.  but since i’m now at the mercy of the king of the house who holds the remote as if it is his sceptre, it’s amazing to discover that there’s a more exciting world of sports out there.

just recently, i was introduced to formula 1 and the likes of  hamilton, webber and alonzo.  but no matter how curvy and tricky the tracks are, i get bored by the 10th lap, unless of course a crash occurs in the following laps.  only during the last lap would my heartbeat join the race again.

as for football, bhoy and i were like followers of the world cup.  who wouldn’t be? what with shakira’s “waka waka” which has since become bea’s personal anthem.  another reason also is the Saudis’ intense passion for the sport.  it’s hard to describe, so you should see for yourselves how they celebrate whenever their national team wins in any international event.  the thing is, the farthest that we ever got was to see updates on team standings on the internet or  accidentally watch games (which we obviously didn’t get to concentrate on) when we dine out, and then again of course, sing “tsamina mina zangalewa anawa aa…”  other than that, football for me was just a vision. 

last night was unexpected.  since it was the finals, we did not want to miss out on all the fun. we also wanted to find out finally if the  octopus would turn out credible afterall.  but it was already late and since we had to get up really early for work, we just decided to let the live streaming on, regardless. a week before, since bhoy’s bosses were mostly dutch, my bet was for netherlands of course.  but earlier during the day, while i watched video clips of cooking demos on youtube, i changed my mind.  who could ignore paella, lengua estofado, menudo, afritada, embutido, callos, arroz caldo, calamares and adobo anyway.  besides, centuries of  Spanish colonization obviously have a significant influence on me.  in fact, Spanish is my 3rd language. (haha! un poco senor!)

so we watched the finals – SPAIN vs NETHERLANDS, although we don’t know anything about the game, except that the ball must go inside the net to score.   i was sleepy already when the game started.  but there was this kick that kept me awake till the end of the game, and even later from then on – a kick that made me fall in love…  and i couldn’t believe that the romance would last long after Andres Iniesta scored that one precious goal.  haha silly me!  now i even think that my hero, Iker Casillas looks a bit like justin timberlake and orlando bloom combined. 

but there’s this secret that i want to share.  last night, i was getting impatient because the ball seemed to eternally avoid the net like a plague, but i really wanted to see the final scene where the players would raise their arms with clenched fists and do that group hug thing.  i really thought that if somebody scores, the game would finally end.  and because i have only 3 hours left to sleep, i finally uttered a short prayer “please Lord, just one goal please. just one.”  and not five seconds passed, there goes the ball swak directly to the net!  i froze not knowing if it was because of the goal or the quick response to my prayer. 

“thank you Lord!”  i thought i could finally go to sleep.  but no, of course not. love has its way to make us stay awake.  (i even managed to post my overwhelming joy in my facebook account). now the waiting begins to renew my love affair with football.  afterall, world cup happens only once every four years.  but for the meantime, i’m good with no less than the one who comes only once in a lifetime…”wink”