my amnesia girl

“Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  1 Peter 5:8

something funny happened while we watched “my amnesia girl”.

first of, the movie was about Apollo and Irene, who were in love with each other that they decided to finally tie the knot.  on the day of the wedding, Apollo got cold feet and chose not to go on.  Irene was deeply hurt and heart-broken.  but on one fateful day, their paths crossed again.  Irene pretended she did not know Apollo and just asked “Sino ka?” as a way to protect herself from being hurt again.

it was a typical romance movie except for corny but kilig similes and metaphors that Apollo and Irene used throughout the movie.   my husband and i were amused at how we could relate to the pick-up lines… considering our age.  in fact, we were so amazed at how romance could be old-fashioned and yet so updated. 

here were some:

“ulan ka ba?  kasi lupa ako. at sa ayaw at sa gusto mo, sa akin ang bagsak mo.”

“alam mo, bagay sa yo yang damit mo.  pero mas bagay ako sa yo.”

“para kang pustiso, i can’t smile without you.”

“Thank you Lord, pandesal lang naman ang hinihingi ko sa inyo.  hamburger binigay Nyo. me fries pa!”

we were like having too much fun with the lines that we totally forgot something!

our son barged into our bedroom, and asked if we were cooking. that was the time we remembered the beef.  my husband and i rushed to the kitchen.  it was already filled with smoke. like we were enveloped with clouds.  i wondered if that was how heaven looked like.  it didn’t smell like it though.

my husband immediately turned off the stove and removed the pot cover.  there it was, our dinner totally scorched and charred.

LOL! somebody had amnesia! 

they say forgetfulness is a sign of old age .  i sometimes wonder about how i would become when my memory would finally fail me. good thing is, when that moment comes, then i would never know.

on hindsight, it could have been a tragic experience if our son did not find out soon enough.  but thank God!  we lost our dinner, but not the lesson.  it is one thing i’d probably remember for the longest time.

there are plenty of things that keep us occupied throughout the day.  and there are times when self-inflicted amnesia brings us to another dimension. to some kind of out of body experience. like a whole new world of triviality.

it is best to stay alert and focus on the essential which only the heart can see.

and which the heart would never forget.

love and bad hair days

“Remember the days of old; consider the years long past.  Ask your father, and he will tell you, your elders, and they will teach you.” Deuteronomy 32:7

megan had a bad hair day. literally and otherwise.  the other day, some newbie in the salon she went to, did quite a job on her crowning glory and caused her tears to fall.  not to mention strands of hair too.  it was such a mess that she can’t help but  write about it.  what disasters can do to ignite that passion to write!

what was remarkable was this particular line which i quote“I was one of fortunate people on earth who might run out of hair, but not of the people who would love me and care for me no matter what.”  OMG! her hair taught her a lesson 🙂

i had my share of falling hair too.  but just the right number of strands that are due to fall like leaves in autumn.  and i’m amazed that these too can motivate us to reflect past the hairstyles and hair color.

megan will always be our sweet baby with that pretty hair and perfect eyebrows (no need to have it shaved little lady).  but she’s eighteen now and in love with a guy.  and we are happy that she’s happy.  though there is concern over the sudden change in her behavior and taste.

like her delicate hair, love can make her shine.   some other time, “exposure to harsh elements” could break her. but as long as she remains rooted to what she learned at home, school and her Catholic teaching, she will always “grow back” to the same sweet human being that we always know.

now my hair is tri-color (black at the tips, white at the roots and gray in between).   my mommy, almost all white. my prayer is that when megan look our way again, she would  find the wisdom in each strand that age had rebonded…and eventually relaxed.

no limits

  “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed”.  Exodus 23:12  

last saturday, my intense resolve to go to work was not able to overcome the weakness that i began to experience the night before.  i felt dizzy and whoozy.  and just too lame to even stand up for long, much more walk around.  you see, last thursday and friday, being weekend, i was up and about doing this and that at home. and friday night, i spent more than two hours ironing a week’s set of clothing for three.  no big deal really.  well maybe, when i was younger.  but since i turned forty almost three years ago, there were changes that most of the time, catch me by surprise.

busy bees
busy bees

like last weekend.  one moment, i was okey.  the next, totally incapacitated.  o darn! i know these are signs of ageing. but combine it with hypertension, obesity and pre-menopausal symptoms (ha-ha!), how worst can it possibly get?  whereas before i read about beauty and fashion, lifestyle and entertainment, now tops on my must-read list are about health and well-being, alternative medicines, exercise and diet.

there are times that i feel bothered not to be able to do things that i need to, simply because of my physical limitations.  especially those that i was used to.  like moving cabinets and furniture around the house, lifting heavy boxes way beyond my own weight, not to mention iron clothes for more than two hours.  sometimes, i get frustrated that these are now past tense.  and the sooner i learn to accept it, the better for me to live in the present tense.  and better yet to move on towards future tense (ha-ha again!)

but come to think of it, even superheroes have their own weaknesses and limitations.  remember superman and kryptonite.  spiderman and his dark side.  achilles and his heel.  how about darna minus her bato (stone)?

darna

so consider this.  i’m no superhero.  nor even a hero at all.  i’m just plain old me going through the motions of time, watching  my fountain of youth dry up by the minute.  the sooner i learn to accept that, the better i can see the wonders of old age.  besides, it is probably God’s way of telling me to stop, look and listen.

stop… to rest, recharge, rejuvenate, refresh.

look…to see the beauty of the world around me and be thankful for all i that i have, and maybe perhaps even those that i don’t.

listen… to that  voice from within;  God’s gentle voice which speaks to us moment to moment.  the same voice which soothes us… heals us… strengthens us…

but we are oftentimes deaf by choice.   we refuse to listen.  not even to our bodies which already beg us to stop, because it can no longer go on one more step further.  too busy with the dictates of our worldly clock that we burn out before we even know it. 

 i am now at my prime and i won’t let the hands of time keep me from doing what i still can.  because whenever i need to stop, i will.  and i will look and listen to what really matters.  and i know it does not always necessitate physical strength and stamina which is bounded by our humanity.  what we really need is love to share and time to do it.  how we do it is up to our imagination.  and that, my friend, knows no limits.

the crosses and roses of Cory

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”  2 Timothy 4:6-8

the funeral mass for Corazon C. Aquino is now over.  the homily of  Rev. Catalino Arevalo S. J., Cory’s spiritual adviser, was simple yet profound.  part of it enumerated three distinct Cory attributes that are rarely inherent in one ordinary human being all together. 

1. her selflessness –  Cory always sought what was beneficial for others, always before her own self, her family even.  in her times of suffering, she would always think about them and what she could still do for them.

let us ask ourselves: how may times did we have the chance and the capability to help lola carry her heavy bags while she crosses the street, but did not?  because we are too focused on our timetable, that lifting a finger to help someone in need would be a waste of time.  how many times do we change our mobile phones in a year to be “in”, yet oblivious to the immediate needs of a relative who desperately needs financial support for immediate medical attention, because he can’t pay us back ?  or simply, how many times did we stop and look through a person’s eyes when we answer his questions?  are we always too self-indulged, that what we want to see are only ourselves? or we are just too selfish, we won’t respond at all.  are we too eager to go first in line, that we viciously sneak our way to the front, regardless whether those who came ahead of us honestly wait for their turn no matter how long it takes?   simple things that we could simply do, but we won’t.  even if we can.  because i, me, mine always comes first.  such selfishness.

2.  faith in God– Cory’s faith in God is so strong and powerful.  through all the episodes of her life, God was ever present.  God was truly a part of her everyday life, she attributed every moment of it as His will for her. she accepted each difficulty with resignation and each blessing with gratitude.  she was a Marian devotee, remembering always to pray the rosary.  she went to mass regularly, and she prayed without ceasing, always seeking the Lord in whatever circumstance.  as such, her faith is so overwhelming, it cannot be contained within her.  it burst into flickers of light to everyone who came close to her, until that flicker glowed into their own.  later will they realize that Cory had planted a mustard seed of faith in them, that grew as days go by that she lived by her example.  needless to say, everyone who came close to her or those who only see her on tv, now pray the rosary, and hear mass as often too. all because of Tita Cory.  imagine how many souls she had saved just by living a life of faith in God.

let’s ask ourselves:  how involved is God in our life? how many hours, minutes or perhaps seconds do we spend each day just thinking about him?  do we remember to thank him for little blessings like a beautiful sunny day or perhaps the smell of  roses? do we talk to God when we’re alone in the car and got caught in the traffic asking him to give us more patience?  do we tell him our innermost secrets? or ask his advise when we had to make an important decision in life? or do we remember Him only during calamities, misfortunes or sickness?  such a shame.

3.  her courage– Cory was only a woman, the weaker sex, or so they say.  but she has proven that gender has nothing to do with courage at all.  when Ninoy was arrested and eventually assassinated, she was left to raise five children.  that alone required much.  but lead a nation to stand up against a regime that has been in power for so long;  to survive seven coup attempts during her term; and to fight that last battle with colon cancer with such faith? indeed Cory was incredible and inspiring.  that was an understatement of course.   how great is Tita Cory, only a woman; but how remarkable and noteworthy that brave and grown men weep at her passing.   her courage was a gift that God gives only to those who deserve it.  and believe me, if heroism is defined by one’s courage and bravery, then indeed Cory Aquino is a hero.

let’s think about this:  we already knew that Tita Cory was deeply respected and admired as our icon of democracy.  but only in her death did we realize how much she is loved and will be missed by the Filipino nation.  all of us wish to be at least loved and missed at our own funerals.  maybe admired and looked up to, for those who seek power and recognition.  but are they as brave enough to fill in her shoes? to fight for the rights of the weak? to speak for those who can’t?  do they have enough courage to put God, country and family above themselves?  are they valiant enough to stand up for what is good, right and moral when all around them dictates otherwise? 

if each Filipino could only pick up bits and pieces of  lessons from her life and make them part of their own, what a beautiful nation this would be.  with little Tita Corys in each of us, how could we ever go wrong? for with that faith in God that she lived by, who can ever be against us?

thus was Corazon C. Aquino: a woman, a wife, a mother, a friend, a public servant, a President, a hero, an icon, an inspiration, a pillar of strength, a gift from God, a Marian devotee, God’s loving daughter.  and her life – a picture of crosses and roses.  all together is a sweet blend that is Cory.  truly one of a kind.

cory-aquino2

her funeral procession is now over. she is gone forever.  but her legacy lives on.  and her selflessness, her courage and her faith in God… i pray would remain engraved in our hearts forever. 

 for the first time, i can now truly say i am proud to be Filipino.  because Cory taught me what it means to be one. 

Maraming Salamat, TITA CORY!

CORAZON AQUINO and the yellow ribbons

“The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.”  Psalms 64:10

tita cory President Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino passed away this morning after her hard-fought battle with colon cancer.  much have already been said about her.  being the icon of  Philippine democracy  & People Power, as Ninoy’s wife, as Kris’ mom.  i could go on forever. 

the nation mourns not only the loss of an ex-president; but also its mother.

Tita Cory left a lasting legacy in Philippine history.  from  my perspective though, i see her as Ninoy’s strength and her Corychildren’s light during their darkest hours.   and when called for, she went beyond the needs of her family to fulfill a duty to a whole nation which, since then have become part of her extended family.  and up to her last breath, her faith in God was so strong that it radiated to the entire nation, regardless of political affiliation or religion.

thus was Tita Cory’s legacy in me.  she taught by her example that nothing is unbearable when we carry it with the cross of Christ in heart and mind.  although she was born rich and priveleged, she suffered more than her fair share.  but she accepted her fate with grace.  she embraced God’s will with loving trust.  she endured her sufferings with silence. 

Cory_Aquino

her faith in God lives on, long after she has gone.  it’s the one great lesson for each of us, that in whatever state we are, happy or sad, healthy or sick, persecuted or praised, rich or poor;  WE MUST PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.  for wherever our destiny takes us, only one thing is certain; the Lord is with us during the entire journey.  the same way He is now with Tita Cory on her way home… 

where angels welcome her with yellow ribbons praising her for a job well done and a life well-lived.

lopez-black-cherubs

  

strength in weakness

“And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.

Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but He said to me “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

For the sake of Christ then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Helping hand

there were many times in my life that i was down, depressed and frustrated.  when i was younger, even the tiniest of  issues were like big deal. and they almost immediately initiate the feelings of being so “kawawa naman ako”. 

time passed and the issues  revealed their ugly faces.  they came to life, grew bigger as i grew older.  i realized whew! so this is what the generations before us were talking about.  how life can be really hard, and how it is a game of survival where only the toughest wins. 

eventually, in my mid-age, i have already experienced the worst, that i never imagined possible.   and what’s even more frightening was, there were times when i get anxious with the thought that,  it may not be the worst yet.

those difficult times, however, became my teachers in the school of  life.  for the most part, i have been betrayed, not once or twice; i stopped counting.  but i learned about trust as well.  i have experienced frustration, but learned about encouragement.  i have made mistakes, yet i learned about forgiveness too.  i’ve reached rocked bottom, but learned how to get on my feet and move on.  i tried hanging on, but then i also learned when to let go.  i faced desperation head on, and faith saved me.

God works in mysterious ways all the time in our lives.  during the darkest of times, i see the light of His Love guide me on my way.  in the coldest of night, i feel His warm embrace and i feel secure.  when there was none, He always provides. 

jesus-carries

now as i travel through what remains of my life’s journey, i will never be lost again.  though i know there may be bumpier roads ahead, i shall never be shaken.   obstacles may try to block our path, still i will not tremble.  for now the Lord is the driver of my life.  in His hands, i will forever be safe.

MOTHER

“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.   And the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” Luke 2:19-20

she carried you inside of her, 

that moment on she always cares.

she brought you out to see the world,

and she made sure she’s always there.

mother and child

 

 

 

she may be stout, she may be thin

she may be out , she may be  in.

she may be tough,  but if she’s  weak, 

eventually she’d stand and leap. 

she is a cool spring of joy

when they treat you like toy.

she is a ray of sunshine though

as raindrops of tears flow.

she clings to you like sticky glue

 when others make you feel blue.

and though it hurts, she’ll  let you go

 when it’s time for you to grow.

she always gives, though there is none.

 she would still share, when all is gone.

mother and child

 

 

 

 

the pain you feel, she’d feel it too.

and that heavy load, she’d take from you.

even though she can’t, she’ll swim for you. 

she’d drown for you, to rescue you.

mother won’t think twice, when worst may come;

to give her life so you may shine. 

rose

 

 

 

 

but there is one special mother, that’s greatest of all

she bore a dear Son so we won’t fall.

she loves Him so from concepcion to Cross

she’ll love Him forever; she loves Him the most. 

her son is dear Jesus our Savior and brother.

her sweet name is Mary, our Lady, our Mother. 

Mother Mary

(Roobee, happy mothers day to you too…)

Save the Embryonic Humans

By Deacon Keith Fournier 3/7/2009                                                                                                                                             Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Deacon Keith Fournier asks that you join with us and help in this vital mission by sending this article to your family, friends, and neighbors and adding our link (www.catholic.org) to your own website, blog or social network.  Let us broadcast,  we are PROUD TO BE CATHOLIC!

With the stroke of a Presidential pen human embryos will become property, capable of being “manufactured” like a commodity and available to be used as spare parts. We must speak for human embryonic Life as we speak for all human life. We must expose and oppose this new form of genetic slavery wherein an entire class of human persons is being labeled as property to be used by those who are more powerful. CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) – Two years before he would give his “Yes” to the invitation of the Holy Spirit to become the successor of Peter, Karol Cardinal Wotyla, spoke to the U.S. Bishops. His ominous observation was republished in the Wall Street Journal on November 9, 1978: “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” And take it up we must. The task is huge and the implications beyond what we can begin to expect. The challenges we face in undertaking this task include the insults, accusations and calumny of even our fellow citizens. We will, for example, be accused of being against progress and even “anti-science”, when nothing could be further from the truth. We are simply Pro-life and believe that science exists to serve the person, the family and the common good. Science, after all, can become a force for evil and our common history has shown how that can occur when the human heart and capacity for making the right choice has been so clearly corrupted. On Monday, March 9, 2009, President Barrack Obama, whose election offered the promise of “hope and change”, will hold a signing ceremony where he will sign one more Executive Order against life. This one is expected to remove all restraints from the use of the always deadly process of extracting stem cells from human embryonic life for experimentation. It will also open up the funding of such lethal efforts with Federal tax dollars. This is so even though research has clearly demonstrated that other types of stem cell research, for example the use of adult stem cells which can be extracted with the consent of the donor and which do not kill, have produced even greater promise and results. In addition, cells derived from fetal chord blood have shown significant promise but have received little or no attention or research support. Recent reports have heralded the discovery of what may be an alternative to the deadly process of extracting embryonic stem cells and killing the embryonic human person in the process. They have led to hopes of using what are being called “induced pluripotent stem cells”, or iPS cells. These can now be produced by activating genes in adult cells which “reprogram” them and do not require the use of dangerous viruses or involve the taking of a human life. However, the signing of this Executive Order is expected to open the door not to the promotion of these life friendly alternatives but rather to the unlimited production of human embryonic life which could then be killed and used. With the stroke of a Presidential pen human embryos will become property, capable of being “manufactured” like a commodity and available to be used as spare parts in experimentation which has produced no discernible scientific results. Make no mistake, every so called “extraction” of embryonic stem cells kills a living human embryo. In 1987, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Holy See issued its important teaching entitled “Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation”. Among the many questions it answered with absolute clarity was: “What Respect is due to the human embryo, taking into account his nature and identity?” The answer given by the Magisterium: “The human being must be respected – as a person – from the very first instant of his (her) existence.” Unfortunately, the prevailing view of human rights entrenched in American judicial precedent and legislation denies the equal protection of the law to the human embryonic person. American law refuses to recognize that human embryos have a right to life and a right to a future. There are a number of differing philosophical arguments offered to promote the lie that these fundamental rights are conferred by positive civil law rather than by the Natural Law. Most of these arguments reserve the use of the concept of “person” to those humans who are deemed to somehow be “independent” and/or “autonomous”. They are also promoted by people who now call themselves “medical ethicists”. These folks have substantial academic degrees and professional pedigree and sit on Advisory Councils. Some of these new “ethicists” try to make a distinction between “potential” and “actual” human persons and relegate the child in the womb to the category of being only a “potential” human person. Others view interdependency as a negative and insist on independence and “autonomy” as a criterion for any human rights to ever attach. Some equate the human embryo’s dependency on the mother as a form of “non-personhood”. Still others propose a progressive notion of consciousness as indicative of a growing presence of “personhood”. A few concede that human embryos are human beings but deny they are persons. We find all of these ideas in the field sadly referred to these days as “Bio-Ethics” even though such positions are anything but ethical. We find them in textbooks being used to teach the subject to future medical practitioners. (See, e.g., Singer and Kuhse, “Bioethics”)

One of these “ethicists”, Michael Tooley denies the child in the womb should have any rights at all. His rationale evolved over time. In each version, as scientific research cast serious doubt on his claims, he conveniently shifted his ground to reach the same conclusion. Yet, human embryology and developmental biology affirm that a human embryo is not distinct in kind from a human being, but a human being at an early stage of development. Even prior to implantation, a human embryo is a unique living human being with the genetic constitution and epigenetic primordial that continues to develop throughout his or her life. However, the right not to be killed in the womb, the right to be born and the right to participate in human relationships are rejected for these little persons. Human embryonic lives are reduced to what one astute Catholic philosopher and lawyer, Robert George, called a “pre-personal way of being human”.

The idea that people can be less than persons is now being applied to other stages of human development outside of the womb. The disabled (physically and mentally), the aged and the infirmed are increasingly denied the protection of the law. There is an emphasis on individual rights over relation and autonomy over solidarity. The late Servant of God John Paul wrote in “The Gospel of Life” concerning what he called this “remarkable contradiction”. He further elaborated: “…the roots of the contradiction between the solemn affirmation of human rights and their tragic denial in practice lies in a notion of freedom which exalts the isolated individual in an absolute way, and gives no place to solidarity, to openness to others and service of them.”(Par. 19) This counterfeit notion of freedom also views comatose human beings as no longer worthy of being called “persons”. Their caregivers are encouraged to stop giving them food and water. Seriously ill children are viewed as interlopers who should not continue to use medical and social resources. Whether the criteria for being recognized as a human person is a satisfactory level of brain function, an agreed upon notion of self awareness, non-dependency, individual autonomy, or some similar “acceptable” level of physical or mental capacity, this reduces the human being to a human doing, valuable not simply because they are members of our human family and gifts to be received but based upon their functionality and subject to deadly treatment once they are no longer of economic value.

There can be do debate that we were all once human embryos. We all lived in the first home of the whole human race, our mothers womb. For the Christian, we further profess that the Son of God, the Incarnate Word, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, was a human being, who, in the embryonic stage, lived in his mother’s womb. At every age and stage of our “human-being- ness”, be it in the womb, as an infant, as a child, an adolescent, an adult, in our times of illness, in our old age, we have always been dependent on others and vulnerable. This is what it means to be a human being. The emphasis of the proponents of the culture of death on independence and autonomy informs a worldview that Pope John Paul II taught threatens the “…entire structure of human rights.” (Gospel of Life, Par. 19)

So, we must rise and suffer the indignities of being verbally pilloried, accused of being anti-science” or “impeding progress”. We must speak for human embryonic Life as we speak for all human life. We must expose and oppose this new form of genetic slavery wherein an entire class of human persons is being labeled as property to be used by those who are more powerful. In conclusion, I speak specifically to my fellow Catholics; we will be at the front line. Why? Because our Church has been absolutely clear in her unbroken teaching on the dignity of every human person, including what the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith recently called “embryonic persons”. Be ready to be called, as happened recently in response to our opposition to the appointment of dissident Catholic Kathleen Sebelius to the HHS, “Catholic Extremists”. The late beloved Servant of God John Paul II called it and he was indeed prophetic: “We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.”

letting God

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things will be given you besides.”  Matthew 6:33

praise God for all His grace and glory!  yesterday, i had an initial job interview with the chief finance officer of a reputable hospital.  today, i would like the whole world to know that i have been able to go through it all because of God’s unending mercy and greatness. 

days before that i really was in a dilemma if i should go or not.  you see, i have another offer from a multinational company which i really preferred.  i would have rather waited for them to call first.  but there’s no way to be certain which really is a better choice. so again, i asked God for his guidance.  you know, let Him lay out all the  pros and cons. all i needed to do was sit still and quietly discern all the clues and do my best. so there during the course of the interview, matters of grave importance which was of no concern for me before were brought up.  and then, i had a better perspective.  no longer do i see choices in a one track point of view. i believe God showed me which way to go.  and i was glad that i let Him. as always.  what happens next?  guess i still have to find out and reserve the answers for my next blog.  but sure is all for the best. 

Thank you Lord.

this is serious

“Thus the Lord answered me: if you repent, so that I restore you, in my presence you shall stand; if you bring forth the precious without the vile, you shall be my mouthpiece. Then it shall be they who turn to you, and you shall not turn to them; and I will make you toward this people a solid wall of brass.  Though they fight against you, they shall not prevail, for I am with you, to deliver and rescue you, says the Lord.  I will free you from the hand of the wicked, and rescue you from the grasp of the violent.”  Jeremiah 15:19-21

early morning on february 21 of this year, i was waiting for my bus just in front of our gate when a light green, shiny new car stopped in front of me, and the driver who was a foreign national started saying something which i cannot quite comprehend right away.  since he was pointing the way ahead, i thought he was asking for directions and so i asked where he was heading.  he opened the door on the passenger side, tapped the seat and waved at me to come and hop in.  still giving him the benefit of the doubt that maybe, he’s just trying to get help in finding his way, i politely said no and told him my bus was coming and he just need to get moving ahead because it was a one way street.  but already, my instincts told me otherwise, and apparently they proved to be true.  he got a sr500 bill from his wallet and continued to signal to me to get in.  the street was empty and i started to get nervous unsure what was about to happen.  but i stayed calm and firmly stated that i am not for sale and that he should just leave.

both my hands were in either pockets of my coat.  the left holding my keys inside and the right holding my rosary.  it was a habit of mine to say the rosary while i stand there every morning to wait for my bus.  i usually finish my prayers before the bus arrives.  but not today because of this creepy, sick guy.   instead i was saying a different kind of prayer in my subconsious.  the guy closed the car door and left. or so i thought.  i felt relieved.  but no! it was not over yet.  the guy parked his car just a few meters ahead and hurriedly walked towards me.  my heart was pounding.  i thought if i try to open the gate and get in, i wouldn’t be able to insert the key in time because my hands were already shaking.  so i stuck to my weapon which was always on my right hand.  my rosary.  i knew deep in my heart that if i just prayed really, really hard, nothing bad would ever happen to me.

but suddenly there he is in front of me already about to grab me the money still in his hand.  i never felt that terrified in my whole life because i didn’t really know how to react to that kind of situation.  deep inside, i wanted to talk the man out of it because i was such a naive and tried to convince myself that maybe, just maybe he was not that evil.  otherwise, he could have grabbed and dragged me already the first time he opened the door.  

but then, i realized how weak and helpless i really was. at the same time, i have never believed as strongly before; that nothing bad would befall me because the Lord would protect me.  i have never clung so tightly to my faith.  not before all that happened.  i just stood there. and believed that the Lord is there watching over me.  i just believed.

before i can utter another word to this man, there was my bus.  i ran hurriedly towards its door and got in immediately.  my hands still shaking.  but thankful it was finally over.  i don’t know whatever happened to the man.  what i’m certain of is the Lord saved me.  and i was happy that i did not let go, and held on to Him. 

my friends in the bus was as shocked as i was when they learned of what happened and worse.  they had a good look at the man, but we were not able to report everything to the police.  apparently i wasn’t able to get the plate number of his car. and i just wanted to get over all of it.

looking back, i knew it could have been worse.  what if circumstances were different?  could i have done something more? and  then i received an email yesterday which narrated something similar to my experience.  and i realized i should have done something more. not for myself.  but for others who might have been potential victims of the same man too.  so i now i write about it no matter how traumatic it may have been.  and i decided to pass on to you a copy of the email i got as well, so that it could serve as a warning to all of us.  being informed may mean saving lives.

email goes:

  

 

Forwarded by Jim Paredes of Ateneo69.
Jim Paredes wrote: Katipunan , QC incident
Dear friends,
Many of you may not have heard of the incident that happened to a friend of my son last week at about
 6:30 pmright in front of  the thickly-populated area of BPI-Katipunan, near shoppersville. she parked her car right in front of BPI to make a withdrawal and to do some groceries.
As she was getting into her car after doing her chores, a man suddenly appeared beside her and tried to bully her into moving to the passenger seat. when she pressed her car horn to call attention, he pushed her in the car and pinned her down with his elbow on her neck. it was a good thing that she had the presence of mind to continue to struggle and press on her car horn to catch attention(even if she had to use her foot to do this) Her assailant even tried to make people believe that it was a domestic matter by telling the crowd not to get involved as it was a “private matter”. But with the  onlookers multiplying by the second, her assailant finally gave up and ran. that was when she stood up and shouted for help. Thank God the guy got caught and is now under police custody.
Last saturday, during the inquest, she told me that what gave her the guts to fight her assailant was the article “THROUGH A RAPIST’S EYES” forwarded to our e-groups! about a week prior to her attack. I am re-forwarding the article (you can find it at the bottom of this (e-mail) for everyone’s benefit. please tell your friends, family, and loved ones about this. It works. may i just add that to a certain extent, we have to get ourselves involved if we see violence being committed on anyone like calling on a security guard or a police officer even if it appears to  be a domestic matter. It seems that a lot of attackers use that tactic to get away with violence. Not many people know how to take care of themselves when faced with such a situation. Everyone, please be very, very careful.
THOUGHT THIS WAS GOOD INFO TO PASS ALONG…
FYI – Through a rapist’s eyes! A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:
1] The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun! , braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.
2] The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women who’s clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing.
3] They also look for women using their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.

4] The number one place women are abducted from / attacked at is grocery store parking lots.

5] Number two is office parking lots/garages.

6] Number three is public restrooms.

7] The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to a second location where they don’t have to worry about getting caught.

8] If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for! them to realize that going after you isn’t worth it because it will be time-consuming.

9] These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas,or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands.

10] Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you’re not worth it.

POINTS THAT WE SHOULD REMEMBER:=20

1] If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk: can’t believe it is so cold out here, we’re in for a bad winter. Now that you’ve seen their faces and could identify them in a line- up, you lose appeal as a target.

2] If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell Stop or Stay back! Most of the rapists this man talked to said they’d leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are  looking for an EASY target.

 3] If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes,) yelling I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.

4] If someone grabs you, you can’t beat them with strength but you can do it by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and armpit or in the upper inner thigh – HARD. One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy  who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands the guy needed stitches. Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it; it really hurts.

5] After the initial hit, always go for the groin. I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy’s parts it is extremely painful. You might think that you’ll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause him a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble, and he’s out of there.

6] When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible. The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.

7] Of course the things we always hear still apply. Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can and if you see any odd behavior, don’t dismiss it, go with your instincts. You may feel little silly at the time, but you’d feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.

FINALLY, PLEASE REMEMBER THESE AS WELL ….

I know you are smart enough to know these pointers but there will be some, where you will go “hmm I must remember that” After reading, forward it to someone you care about, never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do it.

2. Learned this from a tourist guide to New Orleans : if a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you…. chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car: Kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won’t see you but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping,eating, working, etc., and just sit
 (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON’T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side,put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU CLOSE the DOORS , LEAVE.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage: a. Be aware: look around your car as someone may be hiding at the passenger side , peek into your car, inside the passenger side floor, and in the back seat. (  DO THIS TOO BEFORE RIDING A TAXI CAB) .

 b. If you! u are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

c. Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And  better paranoid than dead.)

 6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot).

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN!

8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked “for help” into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

I’d like you to forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle. I was going to send this to the ladies only, but guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc., you may want to pass it onto them, as well.

Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it and it’s better safe than sorry.

Jim Paredes
 The Maverick