Archive for the ‘My STORIES’ Category

ONE CHANCE

October 6, 2012

I know I shall pass this way but once. And in passing, I am sure I shall be hurt. I shall be ridiculed by people who doesn’t even know me. And even by friends whom I shield from their own arrogance and mischiefs.

Indeed, I would have no chance but one. One chance to live this life as good as I can in the eyes of a perfect GOD that guides me. And as righteous as I can make it to be…under the magnified views of my peers and my enimies.

I will embrace my one fate. Be it painful or fortunate.Unjust or rightful. I will understand those who judge my actions without even looking at the other side of circumstances. I shall not question what my GOD has instored in the future for me, for my children and my children’s children.

I may be hurt…but wounds would heal. I may be rejected…yet, there will always be someone who will embrace me and understand.

I know I shall pass this way but once. And I will have only one chance to dwell on circumstances, people and valuable moments of  equally valuable lives.

I choose to have true  friends than fortunes. Sow respect in every environment I reach out so that those who received it will learn the values of a fulfilled household and a true productive workplace.

I shall forgive. Because in the end, what is seemingly a life’s misfortune is actually a blessing in disguise and a blunder to those who think of themselves as gods.

I have one chance to live. And in this one life I wish to be an instrument of hope. A model of God’s endless grace.

Be it foolishness in the eyes of intelligent fools. Or stupidity to those who think of themselves as judge of other people’s lives, not even knowing that they are STUPIDITY itself !

I have 431 reasons to be happy in this one chance as of the moment.

3 at home…and 429 at work.

Forgive Us Our Tresspasses

January 6, 2012

…As We Forgive Those Who Tresspass Against Us….

I was born poor, raised poor and lived my life trying to get out of a poor man’s miseries engulfed by the obvious shortage of everything. I grew up in a neighborhood where living is a daily struggle to have something on the table to eat…not three times a day but at least once a day. We brushed our teeth using salt instead of a regular toothpaste and most of the time took a bath using “Ajax” -the cheapest and the most popular laundry soap during our time. 

In a child’s mind, being  poor is  humiliation. I remember covering my face with a handkerchief when someone from school sees me mixing concrete on a pavement or walking four(4) kilometers from school to our home. I may say today that there is nothing wrong about being poor but maybe it is because I am not poor anymore. Yet, maybe, poverty is indeed humiliating.

I was so happy when I got my first decent shoes. I was always wearing worn out shoes from my cousins, sometimes too big and sometimes too small,  and I was so happy when my auntie susan gave me fifty pesos one christmas. I was crying in excitement when I bought those shoes despite spending my lifetime savings of fifteen pesos because the cheapest shoes available then are for sixty five pesos. On that day we were not able to cook rice for dinner. Because my father was expecting me to buy rice with auntie susan’s gift. But I needed those shoes in school. We were running in our P.E. classes and the blisters in my feet were killing me.

It is this experience and a lot more similar that gave me the instict  to fight back all sorts of opposition in my life, whether verbal, mental, emotional or physical. It is and it was a survival instict. But after a while, after I have done damages, i realized that my actions are not appropriate. I hurt a lot of people in trying to justify my actions…to prove I am not the one at fault…or and maybe to boast that I am perfect and cannot be wrong.

There are also those people who had pushed me to the edges. I never showed them my anger but I had my fury executed silently and unnoticed. 

I felt the need for confession, recentment and humility about two years ago. It was difficult for me because of the grief that i suffered so intensely and  the humiliation that I have endured. Nonetheless, I humbly ask for  forgiveness from those whom I had caused pains and troubles the same way I am extending forgiveness today to those who caused me aches, anguish and maybe ruined my life in certain ways. The time for healing has come, I guess. Letting go of all of these will set as free from distress and everything else. 

To this date I have sent about a hundred pairs of shoes to the Philippines for those who need them in the neighborhood where I lived. This year, maybe, I will bring or send more for both my former enemies and friends.  These shoes are specifically for those who cannot go to school or work  without them. Because I was once humiliated for not having shoes in school. Because from now on I want to be an instrument of hope…that everything was not made to last forever…that life is not about being rich or being poor…because life is simply a journey to a better life in heaven….because life is all about caring for everybody..forgiving and loving…

Loving you and loving me….

MY LIFE’S WORTH

June 30, 2011

Prov. 29:25

Dear Almighty Lord God Jesus Christ, I thank you for t his day, for this is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. I thank you for my being able to see, and to hear, and to speak, and to feel, and to taste of Your good creation this day and every day. I’m blessed because you are such a loving and such a forgiving God, and such an understanding and caring God.

You have done so much for me and yet you keep on blessing me. Forgive me this day for everything I have ever done, or ever said or ever thought that was not pleasing to you. I say I am so sorry. I now repent and ask for your forgiveness. Please keep me safe O God from all danger, hurt and harm. Help me to start this day and every day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude. Let me make the best of each every day, to clear my mind so that I can hear from you. Please broaden my mind so that I can accept all things. Let me not whine and whimper over things I have no control over, for all things are working together for my good and God’s Glory.

And when I’m pushed beyond my limits, give me the best response, a response which says alleluia, and praise the Lord, and thanks be unto the most high God Almighty, I know that when I can’t pray, You listen to the prayer of my heart. Continue to use me to do your will. Continue to bless me so that I may be a blessing to others. Keep me strong so that I may help the weak…

Keep me uplifted so that I may have words of encouragement for the discouraged. I pray for those that are lost and can’t find their way, that they come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, even through this prayer I am now praying.

I pray for those that are misjudged misguided, misused, and misunderstood.
I pray for those who don’t know you intimately.
I pray for those who will delete this prayer without sharing the Love of God with others
I pray for those that don’t believe. But I thank You, that I do believe that God changes people and God changes things.
I pray for all my sisters and brothers. For each and every one of the family members in their households.

I pray for peace, love, and joy in their homes; I pray that they are out of debt and that all their financial needs are met, and they have more than enough to be a blessing to others.
I pray for every eye that reads and says this Prayer that they come to know that there is no problem, no circumstance, no situation that is greater than God, for God is greater than all, God is greater in all, God is greater through all, and God is greater upon all.
For God, the Most High God Almighty of all the Universes is truly the Greatest of All.

I pray for all my enemies, and those who have used me and abused me, and have lifted up their hands and their tongue against me. I now forgive them for all they have done. In Jesus Name, all my enemies are now forgiven, and I pray God forgiveness upon all my enemies, for they do know what they are doing, for I am a Child of God. So every battle that I have ever encountered in my life is now in God’s Loving hands, for You, O God fights all my battles for me.

I pray that these words be believed, received and accepted into the hearts of every eye that sees them and every tongue that confesses them in name of Jesus Christ, I pray believing, receiving and accepting God’s miracles in my life this day and every day, for God’s Divine favor is now my heritage, in Jesus Name. Amen and Amen! It is done! O’ Praise The Lord! Alleluia!

LETTERS of a Changing LIFE

April 19, 2011

Tita,
 
It does not matter to me anymore what my brothers and sister think of me. I told you the stories just to tell you what kind of life we had when we were kids. And i have told you the stories about how we were before i left the Philippines just to stress how we love each other and certainly not to boast on what i have done for them. I am not blaming them for expressing what they felt about what has just happen. Maybe i am just too proud for what i have accomplished in my life so far. And maybe it is true that God is shaking me up that is why my life is messed up right now. I deserve it.
 
But I do not regret being here in the US. I moved  closer to God and so far His punishment were so sweet. I came to know what my brothers and sister think about me and in return I managed to know them better. I will surely be a better brother to them when I return.

Dear Mom,

It is only now that I had realized that a family cannot go on without a mother’s guidance even how old the children had grown. For a while, I thought that being educated would make me free from your advises and make me a wise decision maker than you are. But now I guess I am not better than when I was 20 when I decided to live our lives without you but failed so many times on the way until you went to rescue us. This really shows that my educational degrees would not even go closer to your experience when it comes to dealing with my neigbors and living a good life.

I envy you for being respected and loved by almost everyone you know. You made serious mistakes too that should have ruined your stature but our neighbors and friends did not mind about them and continue to adore you. 

I am writing to express my desire of living with you again. To learn the things that may have slipped when I was growing under your care. Maybe our time of being together was just too short or I am too dumb to catch up on the right things that I should have learned from you. Teach me again how to make decisions that will not hurt my fellowmen…to live my life not being rediculed by those that I thought are my family or my friends. I miss you so much. I can’t wait for the day to be with you again.

THERE IS NO GOD

April 12, 2011

The fool hath said in his heart, there is no GOD…”  Psalm 14:1

With all that had happened to me in the past like Losing a daughter after spending 3 months straight in the hospital to help her as she fought for her life, witnessing before my eyes a father taken away by death little by little, skipping a meal or two in a day , walking a distance of 4 kilometers to go to school, and many many more,  I think I have gone thru enough to say that I am now fully aware of the life that was allegedely given as a gift by a “CREATOR” that we  either do not know or we doubt about “ITS” existence.

When I was in high school, My father and I usually walk 2 kilometers, or so, on our way home every saturday, right after completing a day’s work at bapang fred’s house or any of his jobs back then. I helped during those times so I could have some money to bring me to school for a week. On those particular bonding moments, he never get tired on telling me that our lives must be driven by a purpose. A purpose why we are doing all things that we have been doing. It is important, he said, that you give your life a purpose, a reason to live your life. He firmly believed that this will keep us going whatever odds are there confronting us, making life’s journey walkable even on a much more cruel circumstance.

I never understood what he was saying. If a purpose is really important, well I never seen one in his life. And if a purpose is that important, what is the purpose of creation if there is a GOD as everybody believed. As a child I always asked before accepting what is true and what is not. I always questioned the beliefs that I was raised on and the reasoning of my parents whenever there was something that I cannot understand. Or maybe, refused to understand. 

Is there really a GOD?

Well, that is an interesting question. When I think of life’s unfair treatment to me and the people I know, I can’t help but conclude that GOD is a myth. There is no after-life. Praying is a waste of time. Heaven is an imagination created by powerful people to tame the poor and psychologically stop them from staging battles to seek for fairness of life. Because it is not right that others eat so much while the rest of us die in hunger. That is why they made us believe that poor people go to heaven while rich people suffer in hell. To make us accept and prefer being poor rather than question the reasons of us living this way. We were denied of education to stop us from thinking otherwise. The poor must be kept as morons all the time.

Maybe this had happened because there is really no GOD.  Or, possibly, this is actually the proof that there is really a GOD.

I used to pray a lot. But I cannot remember a single prayer answered. All I am sure of is that there are countless miracles that had happened in my life that is why even how hard  life had been, I am still here fighting it. I thought I have live my life without a purpose. I learned my purpose by seeing GOD’s prupose in my father’s life. His life was taken away little by little to help him go to heaven whatever it takes. The suffering was long. But the gift of eternal life is forever. 

My life’s purpose is to guide my children where life must proceed, like my father’s. To tell them stories such as their grandfather’s and stories of other people who have chosen to believe that there is GOD rather than question the fairness of creation that had put them inside the cruelties of life. To learn from my mistakes and not with their own. To love their neighbors from my examples. I stopped praying because it never did good to me or to my life. Because THY will is better than my prayers.So I always say..THY will be done.

THERE IS NO GOD? I don’t think so.

Heaven’s GATE

March 30, 2011

At exactly 12:04 am on December 01, 2008, my father died at 65. After 5 years of  being in bed and with a mind like my 1-year old son, he passed away peacefully and, I must say, miraculously.

My father did not live a life of a saint. Neither he  lived a modest nor a honest life. He was a normal human being…a monster when I was a child…and a constant pain in the neck when I grew up.

He became bed-ridden when he suffered a mild stroke in 2003 while working on building the house of my auntie Elvie in Taguig City. He was partly blind then when they brought him home. He can barely walk. The doctors said that the stroke had led to a very poor eyesight and it will further lead to total blindness in a few days or a month. And it did.

We always said that it was his fault. He was a chain smoker and an alcaholic before I even realized that I have a life to live and a future to build. He always come home drunk most of the time. And when he is drunk, he beats the hell out of me. There are times that I wanted to fight back. But I cannot turn against my own father. I was so sure that GOD let things happen for a reason and it is for the common good of all those who are concern. Even how bitter it has been…and even how painful it can become.

The night my father died I cried as if there is no more tomorrow to cry for. Not because I was happy being relieved of the cost of medecine to make him stable in bed. And not because of the gain for having the “pain in the neck” or the “monster”  finally gone.

 I cried because I finally realized that my father did what he had to do to make me what I am today. He had physically and emotionally hurt me so that I could refrain from hurting myself further that may be more painful and irreversible. He had hurt me to stop me from causing greater damage to myself in the future. He had hurt me the way I am hurting my children today. To make them reliable persons… strong and dependable individuals which can be good instruments in sharing God’s given grace and blessings.  I am sure he cried each night too, each time, as I do when I hurt my children. For the hurt I am causing them is hurting me much much more.

Heaven’s gate was literaly opened that night for my father’s entrance. I know I am not the only witness because pastor Nery was the first one to break the silence about it. A minute before exhaling the last air in his lungs he was able to see. I was so sure because he looked at us one by one. Then came the circle of light around my father from heaven. Not to mention hearing voices of angels singing…rejoicing. He died in my arms that night. I cried as if there is no more tomorrow to cry for. Because my father has gone to heaven. And it was too late to tell him… I love him so…

Leaving Home

March 22, 2011

It was already midnight. Koyang, Ma and myself were crossing the slim footbridge that Kapitan failed to improve that year, adding to his long list of broken promises. It was so dark and I was so afraid. I never really understood why we have to leave home. I just heard Ma and Tang argued and then suddenly me and koyang were ordered to pack our clothes and stuffs. Only then that I realized that we were leaving. Only the three of us and I didn’t know why. So then I have to leave you behind, brother. Our young brothers were asleep while you and atse were crying while I was still astounded by the turn of events. Yes, we had to leave…in the middle of the night.

As we reached the paved road ma took a peek of her wallet and tried to count the money she had. I gasped and put my hand in my pocket and found a 25 centavo coin in it and wondered what can it buy. It can’t buy me a single meal for sure. But I was happy because it is very seldom that I find something inside my pocket. Upon realizing how much ma had in her wallet,  she gave us a hug and I felt her tears from her cheek as they fell right inside my ear. I figured out that we don’t have much money as we always do. And so I was not afraid in the dark anymore. But in the days that have to come…without food…without a home…

As soon as a jeepney pulled off, koyang and ma boarded it right away with our box pull of our stuffs.  But I took my time. There was a lot of things spinning on my mind. I thought if ,maybe, it is that easy for adults to leave a life behind  just like that, for us young people, is not as easy. Our lives belong to the field where we were used to spending times to forget the misseries that life constantly brought us. Our lives belong to the place and way of life where we can share laughters with familiar friends who toil with us against the odds made cruel by poverty and hunger. Our lives belong to us and we must gain control of what must be done to make survival easier… to rely on what we need and not on painful circumstances that we cannot understand.. or to events that push us deeper down the abyss of nothingness and hopelessness.

As I took my seat inside the jeepney I asked ma where we were going. She told me that I will be dropped  in Angeles City, at dara’s house. While koyang will be left in bapa’s care somewhere in Cutud. She never mentioned where she’s going. She just looked outside the jeepney and never looked back at me until we parted ways that evening. As soon as I set foot inside my new home I knew right away that I would be facing a tougher fight, brother.  Because on that night I slept in a chair after some cleaning that must be done. And because on that night… I was thirteen years old…and I was alone.

THAT GUAVA TREE

March 15, 2011

We are up in that guava tree picking some fruits and looking below at folks busy cooking for tomorrow’s feast. While the abundance of food below is extra-ordinary, at least for us, we tried to get as much fruit as we can so we can fill our stomach and hope not to be bothered by it while we are asleep during the night. We never had gotten enough that day. So we went to the field to look for sugarcanes no matter how long will it take. For we have brothers waiting for us at home. Expecting a lot from us. And so we carried loads too much for our young legs to bear. Because we are afraid that we cannot find enough tomorrow. So it took us all night to bring all of it at home.

 That’s how it was. And you constantly asked me how many more days or weeks. I was so sorry. Sorry because I was just a child just like you are. And I don’t even have answers to my own questions. Because maybe I was just too little to understand life. Or maybe God kept it that way so we can still put a smile in our faces…even when we teased each other for falling…because we are tired…and because we are too young…

But together we managed to condole ourselves with our make-believes. We were so good. We ruled the world inside our sky castle up in the bamboo tree where we can see as far as the sky extends. We built garrisons in the midst of the sugarcane plantation even out of Mang Kiko’s disapproval so we ,and our friends, can practice on fighting the illusive  Japanese forces to end world war two. We are the brother robot Cuodine  against our Voltes V and Masinger Z friends. But the Guava tree is our favorite. It was our Batcave , Starship Enterprise, Camp Big Falcon and many many more.

That GUAVA TREE served as our neverland. A metaphor of life’s abundance while we scape the realities of our world. A place to whisper to the gods our dreams and forget for a while that our tomorrow cannot even promise that there is food to eat… or enough money to pay for a jeepney to bring us to school. But after realizing that our guava tree is just a simple tree in Apung Urik’s backyard, you will start throwing me questions again. It was a fight we cannot win, you always say. And whenever you do this I’ll just looked away and try to find the face of God in the clouds. Trying to find the answers to my own qestions. Maybe trying to ask God of things i don’t fully understand. Because my body aches too much for the chores that you and I have to do each day to stay alive. Or maybe because I cry each time you fall with the sugarcanes in your shoulders and i cannot do anything about it…because I too feel my body trembling.

It was a fight we cannot win, indeed. But we have to fight it anyway.

We have to fight like how the guava tree managed to push it roots against the ground in search for water. We have to stand tall like how the guava tree pushed its way up against the roof and huge columns of Apung Urik’s house. Perhaps to look for God in the clouds just like I always do. Or perhaps to tell us that the tree is there because God put it there for us. To tell us that God provides for us. And He is really there in those clouds.

But look at where we are today brother. Time may had taken away that GUAVA TREE from us because apung Urik had died and the new owner of the lot does not care of what that tree meant to both of us and have it cut down to its last branch. But no worries. We can always buy the lot back and plant a new guava tree to give us hope to our new fight.  That lot is reserved by God for us to make our mark on the face of the earth so our story can be told by the same place where we had search for Him time and time again.   THE GUAVA TREE may have fallen. But we won the fight, brother.

Today, I am ready to answer your questions. And I think you are old enough to understand. This is the day that God has made for both of us to look back at yesterday and share the answers that we both thrown to ourselves 30 years ago. All things happen for a purpose brother. We have to undergo life’s process to make us a better person.

It is not what we want that the LORD giveth. It is what we need. It is the will of GOD that should be done. Not your will or mine. It is important that we share this story to our children and maybe to other people’s children. Because what we had gone thru is worhtless unless we keep the lessons we have learned and share it to other people. Because God had really never left our side. And all we did was learn to listen.

I love you so much, bro. Take care.