I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness-- Jeremiah 3:3

Monday, August 29, 2011


I die each time I see a child suffers in the damp streets, homeless, cold, and hungry. I even question God at times when I see news on TV of babies die just because adults do not have time to care. It makes me cry. Literally.

It might just be hormones. But really, when I became a mother, I started seeing every child as an extension of my little daughter. When these little kiddos writhe in pain on TV or in the streets, I feel it's my daughter needing some mommies to rescue them from the cruelty they're in. Perhaps, this is what it's like when a woman becomes a mother. Wherever she goes, her tendency, if not her instinct, is to reach out for her offspring.

A few days ago, I cringe in pain watching the news of a baby who was not even a day old, whose head was fortuitously detached after being given birth by the unconscious mother. I was fuming mad at the doctor that time. Even now as I think of it, I couldn't imagine how someone like the physician who is divinely tasked to take care of lives could have been so unmindful of what just transpired to a young life. And, he said he had no choice but to cut the baby's head, or else, the mother would die? There are procedures before going through it--he could have at least informed the husband what was about to transpire.

I also hear news of babies getting trapped in a burning building, forgotten by panic-stricken adults; children of 2 to 5 years old getting drowned in the flood while helpless parents watched as they go away with the unrelenting current; three-year-olds or so could be seen wasting away of dengue, and more. I would never want to question God's ways. Even in my unspoken queries like "Why does God allow young children suffer and die like this," Why are stone-hearted people and downright real guilty mafias remained unpunished at the expense of innocent kids," I look to Him who sees the bigger picture.

Because in all these questions that I'm tempted to lobby at God, I am reminded of the Scripture verse,"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).

In the grander scheme of things, I know God sees and arranges things in the universe in ways man has no hand of. And in this harsh existence, man always, always, has a prerogative in life--to be mean or to do otherwise. Man, in all these quandaries, has an option. In times when it's difficult to find order in all these cruelty, I think of God's wisdom and His good heart. I may not find it in varied dark colors and facades that I see on TV, but I know it's there somewhere.

I can only be angry for lives that were snuffed out so soon. I can be indignant for the many little Kinys that I see around me. But I know that God feels and reaches out to these little angels. And who knows, unknown to me and unknown to any mortal, He was there all along carrying their lifeless bodies holding their little hands as their frail little souls slowly leave from their cursed disintegrating flesh. And He was just right there guiding them, leading them to His home somewhere beyond the blue.

Even with this thought, I still cry. I still pain in the inside for these little lives the world has missed out. So soon.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


The other day, my toddler noticed her yellow hair clip on the floor. It must have fallen from my purse. She picked it up, raised it up along with a barrage of questions only her simple vocabulary can afford.

"This is offering. Mommy, this is offering! My offering! Mine! Why, Mommy, why here? Why, my offering here now?"

I would like to assume that what this little creature would have wanted to enunciate was what was her yellow hair clip doing in our house floor when she already gave that away as her offering last Sunday in Sunday School.

Twice last week, she cornered me on different occasions with the same jarring question why she still finds the hair clip at home when it was her offering to Jesus. I didn't know what to make of this instance, neither do I know how to put my explanations into words that would put things in proper perspective a toddler could understand. Well, of course, I can not in any way, underestimate what these little wonders are capable of. But I am lost for words. I find myself inadequate for the first time in front of a toddler, no less. How could I tell her, that what is expected was money? And that her clip was redeemed by her unbelieving mommy. How slow of me to comprehend simple things like these!

I should have understood one thing sooner--that in this old stupid world, children actually exceed the concept and measures this culture tries to put up for how long, goodness knows, of what a two-year-old is really made of.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Rainy afternoons give me opportunities to listen to my lazy bones. The city on the other hand, with all the recent calamities flogging the metro, is not in any way welcoming the routinary afternoon downpour.Regardless of the drainage irregularities in the city which cause the usual flood, I look forward to the cold nostalgic afternoons.

Now that I work in the city where there is not much cold breeze around, I snuggle to my jacket or to my small office table pillow and come home to oblivion every time the afternoon barges in with the usual rain. And to my pure pleasure,I either sleep or better yet empty my system in a momentary rest.

While the others in the office, in their free afternoon hours,prefer to chat, I enjoy keeping quiet and distant. To me, it's my refueling time. It's me-and-my-God time. And the rain with its relentless pouring is perfect to set the mood that would transport me from this toxin-infested world to a domain of silence somewhere I alone travel in delight.

Monday, August 22, 2011


The day is Tuesday, 2:40 PM.

Today, I have confirmed that Shekinah has this little gift.

I was a bit hesitant to pronounce she has it. But now I am quite convinced of its certainty right at this minute.

About 3 hours back, at around 11:00 in the morning, I decided to go home for lunch from work without telling my husband about it, sort of, well, more of a surprise.

I usually eat lunch in the office. I normally bring a packed lunch to work. But today, at that very hour, I suddenly thought of Kiny, my two-year-old, and without even meaning to or planning it ahead, I grabbed my packed lunch and headed home, which is about 3-5 minute jeepney or tricycle ride. I waited for the tricycle for quite like more than 10 minutes, so I got home at about 11:45.

When I got there, my husband got the surprise of his life. He finally asked while we're eating meatballs together with our baby as to what time I decided to come home. Curious about the phrasing of his question, I asked when did he become so specific about details of time. But without planning to spill the beans so soon, he prodded me on. I finally relented and told him I left at 11:26 (since that's what I saw in the office clock) when I sped away.

"Really? You see, Kiny, out of the blue, about twenty or thirty minutes ago (about the exact time I left the office) blurted out in the middle of her play, 'Mommy is coming' word for word! And we were not even talking about you."

Now that really jarred me. As always, when Kiny says things like this, I pretend to ignore, but it never failed to stun me. More so this time. I am stupefied at the confirmation of what seemed to be a mother's hunch.

Of course, one can always suggest this to be a case of pure random guess on the part of my daughter. But it's kind of eerie to have instances like this. And this time, it's getting even more usual and evident. And each time she gets to be like this, it never fails to poke me in strange ways and places. I do have this weird gut-feel. This must be what I referred to in my previous write-up about a year ago that there was something about Shekinah.

I used to feel some kind of a "scare" dwelling somewhere in my gut when I first noticed this in Kiny. But right now, as I said days back, I choose to let go. I am now more overwhelmed rather than skeptical. If this is indeed meant to continue for a higher purpose then I am honored as how Mary felt when she sang "The Magnificat."

However, I still see it quite premature to say anything final. Who knows, this might just be a forgotten phenomenon in days to come. What matters now is that she is in good mighty hands.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Sa makausa,
Muduko ako
Aron litokon
Ang mga pulung
Sa usa ka

Sa imong mga pako
Gitipigan mo ako
Sa usa mo ka mando
Ang mga bungtod
Kauban ang ilang
Mga bahad.

Midahili ang yuta
Aron ako lamyon
Apan gisikop mo
Ang akong kahadlok
Dihang yano mo akong

Busa ania ako
Buot muawit
Alang kanimo.
Apan ang nag-inusara
Kong awit mao ra
Ang hinaguros
Sa akong gininhawa.

Hangtod karon
Ang pagkurog
Sa gaungot
Kong dila

Kay bisan gani
Sa akong pagbuka
Ning akong baba
Dili ako takos
Aron sambogan
Ang katin-aw
Sa imong

Friday, August 19, 2011


I admit I am a cry baby. I cry at the littlest mushy thing like hugs, unexpected "thank-you's", freebies, tearful "I'm sorries" from my 2-year-old, even the teary-eyed students who looked seemingly betrayed at the prospect of goodbyes.

Yesterday was unexpected. I guess I was too overjoyed by how things turn out that I gave the habalhabal driver some good extra pesos when he hauled me to the gate of the school after the uphill and downhill ride--one last time. And who would not be, my next assignment would be five-minute walk away from where I live.

I was all smile when I got to the gate and to the classrooms when I saw my students teary-eyed and looking lost. They knew. Long before I knew. They saw my replacement English teacher first and knew right at that instant I'm leaving. I was cornered with darting hurt look from each of them. Despite being thrown in a pandemonic state of things, I still caught some murmured questions aimed at me like machine guns that have no plans to relent. Questions were hurled from what sounded like thick strangled tongues trying desperately, wanting to ask in English (as such was my rule if they had to speak within earshot of their English teacher).

"Are you really going ma'am? Away from us?"

The replacement teacher wasn't at any count bad. Not at all. So I am sure after this little hoopla, things will fall into place. They will be all right. These orphans, as how my students would like to call themselves with me their class adviser, gone in a few moments from then. From that, one can understand why I call them my "Oliver Twists." I have never seen a hunger as theirs--you could stick a spoon to their mouth, they'd bite, spoon including. I can see them wide-eyed everytime I taught them not only what my lesson plan stipulates but also the unwritten laws of this universe we call culture despite the modern times.

I thought I had never began my trek with these kids yet. We have miles to travel or so I thought. I had unconscious plans to train them and mold them in what powers I could muster. Two months, only two months and I am done with my Oliver Twists.

Again, I am a cry baby. When I saw them broke down in broad daylight (even at the presence of the new teacher), I knew right there I was through. And what little I had with with them was more than enough. Right there, while they're like that(wanting more of what I could give) than later when there is no certainty if they would still want more of what they could purge from me the same way they want me now.

Such self-absorbed thinking you might say. But all this fuss is enough to tell me I have taught enough. My Oliver Twists are no orphans. Not at all.

Monday, August 15, 2011


We were running late for church yesterday morning. We woke up at 8 o'clock, the exact hour I should be in church for Sunday School class. Soon, in the flurry of it all, we finally touched down church grounds at about 90 minutes past 8 with 15 minutes or so remaining for Sunday School hour. It was good though that the others were trapped in the rain that they got there just a few minutes after I settled myself almost reclining by the corner couch of the young professional Sunday school room. In all this, I forgot my toddler and her church offering. You see, I made a decision that her first orientation with money has got to be something to do with church and offering. Hence, every Sunday she feels obliged to put in a few pesos to the Sunday School offering pouch.

This Sunday though, this was missed out. Right after the morning service, one of the church stewards called my attention. She raised a familiar bright yellow hair clip from the heap of coins in the offering pouch and jokingly blurted out,

"Mrs. Panes,You better redeem this from us! Just look at what your daughter put in the offering pouch today!"

Somewhat embarrassed, I took a coin from my wallet and dropped it into the pouch obligingly. "It actually turned out though," the lady continued, "that when the offering from the children's room was collected, your daughter was the only one who couldn't fish out any coins from her pocket. But we told her it was all right. We were not aware though that she managed to put in something instead while our attention was somewhere else."

There I was, as in many other times, despite myself, pleasantly surprised at what looks like a resourcefulness but really, more of a resoluteness to give at any cost by any means.

In all my years, I have always been amazed by the wonders of the little object lessons God throws at me at times I least expect but I have never been muted with such profound teaching as I was right there at that minute with my little toddler as my little teacher.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I came to your door once,

Slipped a note folded twice.

You went in and out more than thrice.

Yet, there by the hinge,

I still lay

Trapped in the folds;


For this door's



There are things that are way, way beyond the human mind. But I look at these things from afar. These are things I'd rather keep in periphery. There are bigger things. Higher things.

As of late, I discover not only in one instance, but in several cases what I already noticed way back in college. Through an incidental mental exercise, my psychology professor confirmed that I had (had, because that's what I prefer)positive signs of this little thing they call precognition. Precognition is from the Latin word "praecognito" which means prior or previous knowledge. It is the obtaining of knowledge or a vision about an event before it occurs. Now, I supposed this is too inconsequential to talk about as I tried the hardest not to mind or entertain thoughts about what I could be capable of. But lately, my two-year-old daughter has shown me some apparent signs of the same gift or thing (whatever you call it). Not that it bothers me much, but it makes me wonder and therefore, curious for her sake.

I'd rather not enumerate all the weird scenarios that brought this into mind.I have tried to do research about instances like this. But researching on things that may just be way off our finite mind is a darkened territory only the Higher being sees.

Again, I tried to ignore the signs. But if I have to mention one instance that really grabbed me by the throat, I'd say,it's the movie "The Rite" where Anthony Hopkins played as the priest who exorcises but gets possessed later in the movie. I and my husband got curious about the video that because of boredom we plunged into it hoping to while our early evening away.

My daughter was busy with her coloring book and other toys and it was obvious that she wasn't listening nor watching the movie when all of a sudden she said "I'm scared." And in that instance, one character in the movie who was narrating his horrifying story in a phone scene, said the same line after a second my Kiny said such line. That stunned me. I didn't know how to react. But while she said that line her face looked scared. I was sure she had no idea what the movie was all about. Of course she speaks English but the movie was far too serious for her age.

Okay, I'd rather take it as pure coincidence, you might say. That's what I'm set to do. But then again, my baby, suddenly, blurted out my student's name out of the blue one night when I got home from work. I dismissed it as one of her nothing-much-to-say moments but random names. That morning of that day, I transferred to one of the city schools in Cebu leaving my previous students of the other school. The next day, the student with the same difficult name to utter for a 2-year-old texted me she was crying the whole night for one problem that she thought of no one but me. Right there, after reading it, I remembered Kiny half-shouting my female student's name out of the blue. Of course, another coincidence. I'm dead set on that decision. But there are more "coincidences" I choose not to spill here that do not fail to arrest me.

But for whatever purpose God intends for these little moments my daughter is going through, we are always at his disposal. He knows and shapes her life not her mother nor this world. Thus, I set to rest in his peace, come what may.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Kilom-kilom na sad.
Mahimo na sigurong
Bisan kadiyot.

Apan asa kaha
Ipatong ni Dodong
Ang natun-ogang tingkoy
Nga ang isla
Gikampatan na man
Sa mga kinakhaan
Ug mga itlog
Sa mga lumad-langgam?

Asa man ni Dodong
Patuy-oron ang
Iyang mga tiil?
Nga matod pa sa mga
Silingang langyaw
Ang isla
Tumbanan na
Sa ilang mga tiil.
Gani ang ila kunong
Mao ang dahunog
Nianang dagat.

Pahuway lang usa, Dong.
Mahimong sa suok na lang

Basin ugma
Sa kaadlawon
Maunhan na nimo
Ang mga langgam
Ang imong mga tunob
Sa mga balas;

Mulapos sa mamala
Dili gyud mapapas--

Bisag mugahob pa
Ang dagat.