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

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Money. Just how much power does it really have to actually wield control over the human race? Even the helpless "more like average" earners like me, especially me. It never fails to occupy our psyche for a good number of minutes, admittedly. It's a shame that even Christians get to succumb into this vicious cycle of loans and spending even before real money comes.

But in all these things the material world remains a periphery to what should come first in our heads. Yesterday, our service speaker reminded me of the truth that stings. Oftentimes, when salary hits the bank, we go marching waging war against the long unbearable queue of those who are after the much-needed salary, mostly teachers actually. I get this icky feeling that I am no better than those in the lines. There was even a time when salary day comes, I got so down, knowing that the money I'm getting would all go to bills and payables. Now how can anyone blame the puny average-earners allowing themselves to get sucked into that sugar-coated darn hole manufactured by loan sharks?

Thank God though for thorough reminders of putting all these worldly worries that up the stress levels in our system in proper Christian perspective.

I'd say, I'm still into repairing and mending holes--holes I don't intend to widen--holes I call loans, small or monumental. Above all, I know, I owe it to God (not to write within 72 hours, like the usual formal notice we receive from our bosses at work when we have done things amiss)to ask his forgiveness in all these imperfections we expose ourselves to. I am often guilty in not returning to God what he rightfully deserves--tithes and time to be alone with him. Ahh, I am only comforted by the fact that I remain under construction--which of course is not an excuse to delay the shaping up.

Today will not be easy. Shaping up will not be easy. I am not the best money and time steward. Despite my track record as a tither in my church, I still fall short in trusting God in my tithes. Because, I figured, giving to God requires faith. Faith, because whatever happens to our pockets when we give is already God's business not ours. This, I should remember.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I never fully understood why Papa could not afford staying home when he's too sick to work. After all, he has children who now gets decent earnings for the entire household to live above water. Hence, there's no need to go out there and sweat it out. But he's relentless. Then I met Willy Loman. The guy I will never forget.

For thirty-five years or so, Willy has worked endlessly in his company. Call him the docile, faithful salesman. But years and talent of the younger crop overtook him. He turns 63 and gets dropped like a hot potato. He gets fired and offered no assurance of getting any other possible opportunities to put food on the table for his family of 4. His cold, impersonal boss turns away discarding him and his so-so years.

Now Willy has his garden and seeds to work on, hoping that would salvage whatever left of his "American Dream." And this is to be well-liked in the business world and to be materially capable and comfortable in the stark difficulty of the Great Depression years. But his guilt of a father and husband who could not seem to grab hold of that very elusive dream has proven too much to handle. He quit it. He'd rather lose the handle than be found with a curse--being unable to earn and provide--the typical curse of a senescent man who had gone far in his years.

It's a good thing Willy Loman is but a fictional character in the awarded play "Death of a Salesman" by no less than the renown playwright husband of Marilyn Monroe. Fictional character or not, for me, he lives in my father's psyche. I see papa walking in deep thought how he could put things right financially in the family. He has baggages in the past that haunt him, things no one chastise him for but himself.

At 62, he gets sick at times. But he continues to want to take that small tricycle for hire that sees his youngest daughter through college. He has to see meaning of his manhood. What could be more honorable but to die working than die lying helpless.

Ah, my Willy Loman! I'm hoping that in my years, he would see how unnecessary it is to keep proving to his offspring and to the world. For I would never be 40 if he hasn't taken me into his shoulders one afternoon and took me for his real daughter when a biological father could not be found.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


There are storms that bring opportunities. And a twelve-hour opportunity while the storm rages on is blissful indeed! Come high water or earthquakes, I welcome this bliss.

A few days back, Ramon hit Cebu to a storm signal number 1. Classes were miraculously suspended perhaps in apprehension that it might graduate to a difficult-to-handle situation owing to the fact that in other parts of the country towns and cities have been practically submerged in flood water due to consistent rain and series of storms and tropical depression lately.

That day I felt like going lazy. But what better way to spend the stormy day in a lazy way but a day-out with my 2-year-old and hubby to a salon. The three of us sat down on black swivel chairs with many things going on with our hair. We just there for more hours half-sleeping, half-drowning to nothingness. What bliss! Kiny perked on a high chair looked amazing being prepped with her new hair cut as this is this toddler's first hair salon experience.

Meanwhile, my hubby took this rainy day in another corner as the time to get his well-deserved hair trimming which was long in coming.

As for me, after four years, I finally found time to have a queen's hair treatment so to speak which should buy back the fab that the classrooms have cruelly devoured all these years.

Hah, what bliss! This is what I call a little chunk of paradiso.

I wonder when is the next storm of this sort coming!


Matod sa akong bana
Ang lalaki dili bagon
Nga kabyon-kabyonan
Sa babaye kung
Buot mulatas sa pikas tampi
Ngadto sa lain pang tampi.

Kay ang lalaki
Landong nga kapahulayan;
Apan malaya ra
Kauban sa mga sanga niini,
Inanayng mangalagas
Kung wa’y musandig.
Kung wa’y magpabilin;

Dili mahingpit nga haligi
Kung kapyot-kapyotan
Dungan sa mabalhinong
Sa mabugnawng

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


There are hard lessons in life that we don't get lectures for from our parents. More often than not, these come in the form of on-the-spot workshops. So that if we fail to measure up, we're screwed for life. But God's goodness is incomparable. When our finite comprehension has become too limited to see through things, His heart wills that we could handle the seemingly insurmountable hurdles.

Raising a human being with a completely different will (although of the same gene pool) and emotional make-up for instance is an everyday scary but pleasurable workshop. It's not like changing diapers and bathing a fluffy little creature where you miss a few hemline details but you somehow get it perfect the next try. Raising kids, needless to say, is a little bit more challenging than that. Moreover, there are actual times where being a parent takes a backseat with work demands hounding me. And in these times, it's easier to get rid of the little bugger by hitting her butt or worse, by shouting at her for shuffling your office papers and cramping your work table. It's so quick to forget that kids need us to be their parents on an every-minute basis.

I only have one kid but I'm juggling my schedule with family and work poorly. My mother did not get to have the chance to discuss or show me techniques how to deal with these little creatures even before I get to have them for nine months. We are 7 so that didn't help my having them inside for nine months, which to me was an achievement of sort. What with the change of hormones, temperament and of body sizes and everything. And when you thought you got rid of them already when the first cry came out, you find out another episode of parenting is just starting.

Ahh, parenthood. It brings a different facet in my otherwise boring days. I don't know why I still want more of them, I mean mothering more children than my uterus could handle. But seeing a human grow into someone you have helped him to become is euphoria for me. Well, of course, blame it on the big family I come from. I remembered when I fled from home due to a mother-daughter exchange of not-so-pleasant breaths. I cried most of the three months I was away from the usual noise of my nephews and nieces. It was plainly not home for me when the house is void of children's rustles. But then again,raising kids is actually complicated. And it takes grit and tremendous wise understanding of a human raw tendencies that become evident in a kid's early formative years. Patience, as well, is hard to come by. In a world where a woman is charged with so many roles and expectations, everyday at home is an uphill climb.

But in all these, I still want more. I love taking risk when it comes to children and young lives. That's part of the reason why I always find myself going back to teaching. At this point in my life, though a little bit late, I have come home to this: Kids and seeing them grow up is life to me. I'll move heaven and earth to live above water if I had to wade through with children tugging at my hands.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


A woman is another woman’s sister. But the story that follows is not just another woman’s ordeal. It’s my half-sister and best friend’s predicament. Hence, her heart struggles are much like mine as well.

I guess bit by bit I’m beginning to find some sense of problems in relationships like that of mine and my sister’s. I detest the idea that difficulties and unspeakable down times surface as a curse or punishment of sinful acts in the past. Whether this is a biblical truth or not, my gut tells me there’s no reason why people, whether believers or not quite, have to suffer because they need to be punished. I say it’s for the better. It is either there to wake us up to a certain realization or to strengthen our immune system for what challenges are up ahead in terms of relationship. I’d like to focus on the latter. I and my sister have been friends. We do not talk everyday but we have each other when it is tough out there.

We used to share a room in one bed when we were single. It wasn’t much of a bed. It was meant for one but since our parents could not afford another one, we (or more appropriately, I should say, my sister had to endure my presence every night in that rocking small space) content ourselves in that borrowed bed. Yes, it was borrowed from my old church friend. I would say I am the more vocal or should I say noisier about my emotions than she was. That explains why I couldn’t confront her about her personal life up front. I choose not to barge in to her shielded world to insist what’s best for her. I respect her private emotions. I love her that much that I hallow her silence. Although oftentimes, in the middle of her drowsiness when her waking moments were gradually slipping away, I get to blabber the many trivial events in my life. And she, being the most frank of all women that I know of, would smack to my face her irritation, hence, my self-imposed silence.

Lately, though, just when I’m exiling away from the family, so to speak, she came to me for the first time and spilled all her guts out about what is truly going on with her and her husband. For eight years, it is only her close friend who knew about what’s slowly eating her alive. For eight years, I tried to believe everything was all right with her—that she can handle being the only one to carry the cudgel when it comes to providing financially. However, her predicament is worse than who provides who. In fact, worse than what she already knows as a root of it all—her husband’s lack of sense of responsibility and maturity—it’s how she is emotionally and psychologically abused, making her feel useless and worthless as a partner, even as a mother.

Of course, I could not help being biased. Had I the prerogatives, I would have her shoo her man away from the house, which is technically her house anyway. I have my reasons—very private ones, that even thinking about them would seem to be a curse to a woman’s existence. Other than that, the woman that is hurt and mangled badly is my sister, one who has produced 4 very charming and intelligent children. And what’s heart-breaking is when my sister told me he even doubted that her 7-month-old baby was his. Now that simmered my usual cool self. Enough of too much respect of someone else’s married life, I finally mustered the courage to finally demand, “Let him go.”

Now, I didn’t know how she took that from her elder sister which she used to bully with her uncensored comments before. But that night, I could sense that it only took that comment to give her that signal from her family to move on without the man she used to call her husband.

My sister has been living like a headless woman swallowing all the embarrassments this man has been causing her. I wouldn’t say I hate him. I’d say he’s not worth a woman’s emotion.

The only thing that concerns me now is for my sister to find her peace and perhaps come back, no matter how slow, to the church one of these days.