Archive for the ‘Other Stories’ Category

A Tear’s Worth

January 18, 2012

          “How much bitterness does a tear imply

            To let it fall and clouds the sky

            Can a single drop level endless pain

            So for lives lost it need not rain…”

Excerpt from the poem entitled ” MARAYA CHELYN” by the same author.

I can only remember three instances in my life where I cried really hard and let every single bit of frustration, pain, grief and fear flow out of me, myself, my spirit or whatever is there deep inside of me.  First  was when we were left alone very young by both our parents without anything.- Food, water and money. Second was when I unexpectedly attended a prayer meeting where I cannot stop crying for reasons  I cannot explain. And last was when my daughter died in a “slaughter”  hospital because I don’t have enough money to pay a decent one.

I always  feel better and stronger after each time I belt out the pain inside of me , however…as if I am ready to take the next  dosage of those unimaginable anguish that is always inviting insanity to my brain. At that particular time, when I was too young and helpless, I questioned the justice that is being instigated by a popular and trusted GOD. For a young mind, I guess, it is only normal. But for those  whose loved ones were taken away from them violently and unexpectedly, GOD never even exist.

My  neighbor best friend, who happened to be a pastor, once questioned GOD’s judgement after his older brother was shot to his death in a hold up incident about 200 yards from their home. “It was clear” he said, refering to GOD’s words, ” that those who live by the sword shall die by the sword.” And he burst in tears when he explained that his brother doesn’t even know how to hold a gun. At the time that he was so tired of crying, I came to say goodbye and told him that I felt the same way when my daughter died. But after two years I realized that what happened is the best for the family. I concluded by saying “let us talk about this again after two years” then  left the house and never looked back.

Exactly after a year he came to my door knocking one night. As soon  as I opened up he said “I guess you’re right. It is the only way he can go to heaven. ” He turned around and left without saying anymore word. I never  asked him about the reasons why he concluded or realized what he has said to me that night. I am not interested as I never told people why my daughter’s death had become an eye opener to the rest of us.

I had always believed that nothing more in my life can take me down on my knees and burst in anguish as I did when my precious daughter died. I thought life’s hardships had completely turned me into a man of steel, completely unbreakable. I supposed it was GOD’s making that I became as hard as a stone… as firm as a stiff foundation. Until I forgot who I am and what I am here for…that Somebody watches over…Someone who will never let go…

And it was time to break me up into pieces. So by doing, I would see who am I as I pick up every piece of me that was all over the shadow of my daughter’s death…everywhere…for me to see… and perhaps to understand that life cannot go on as I wish..Because what I wish for are selfish desires leading towards my own destruction.

As I always say, death is horrible and it is the most painful experience that we go through. But in times like this there are always lessons to learn,… forgiveness to offer to  hated loved ones equally hurt by the loss,… sympathy from  long lost and forgotten friends… and even memories to keep and remember at the right time and place.

It is not always the happy moments that is worth remembering sometimes. Because it is when we shed  tears that kindness  grow within us  and the heart starts the healing. In the eyes of GOD a tear is worth a mended spirit. Because  that spirit was created to go home to its creator someday. And because death was never meant to hurt us… but to bring us on… to our journey home…

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In the Life of A Blessed Priest

June 14, 2011

( This is a story of a priest that had brought back my faith as a christian, whose catholic beliefs are dwindling due to the works of other priests who seemed to preach for money, and some of the stories he was telling that made me  cry everytime I retell them to my family, friends and others)

The first time I heard Father Danny speaks before an audience inside Holy Angel University, I knew right away that he is a tough competitor in the gruesome world of school comedy. I am the undisputed king of stand up comedy inside HAU for 13 long years  until this was contested by the assignment of Father Danny by the archbishop of San Fernando as the official Chaplain of Holy Angel for at least three years. You see, there is no way I could disagree against somebody with that kind of “gigantic” title in his name. And so Father Danny assumed the post.  And this has troubled me so much and almost made me insane as his fans grew in numbers as mine suddenly drop down to a selected few- a small group of my students who are very afraid of a failing grade that I may issue if my temper will go unlawfully wild.

So I made a plan on how to go about this problem. Plan A is to get to know the priest and know exactly his ways so he can be destroyed. Plan B is a step by step annihilation.  Exposure of his wicked ways will surely erase him in the face of Holy Angel. So everyhting was set…and  plan A went on…

Unfortunately, Father Danny is a good man. He never cared for money as most priest would. He chose to ride a jeepney rather than be in a luxury car. He donated half of the money HAU is giving him to the working students at HAU who skip lunch everyday. And because that money is not enough to feed them at least on lunch times, he spearheaded the launching of a project called “ANGEL WING” to raise some more to feed these unfortunate kids who are struggling to start the changes in their lives. Because he was so good, his three years of stay at HAU was extended to six years. And this has not bothered me anymore.

Among Danny, as he his fondly called, was our last speaker on a 2-day retreat in Olongapo City conducted in summer of 2007. Upon his arrival, he ordered the driver of the luxury car owned by HAU to go home and take the car back to Holy Angel. He said he will be happy to join the group on the way home back to Pampanga riding the school bus. I was never impressed hearing him say that he is living by faith, that he never keeps money and that he loves chocolates. My view upon this priest has changed when the bus stopped by the duty free stores in Subic Bay, where everyone was excited to buy something for the folks at home, while he stayed on the bus stressing that he really and literally never keeps money on his pocket and he had nobody in the priest house waiting for him by the door.

As I walk around the store I thought of buying this man a bag of chocolates so at least he would have something to put in his mouth while we go along the 2 hour ride back to the university. And as I hold the bag of kisses in my hand I smiled and told myself that this is not a bad peace offering to a priest I pre-judge on the very first moment I knew him. When we boarded the bus, almost everyone is giving  Among Danny a bag of chocolates until he had about 4 big bags filled with smaller bags of assorted and expensive chocolates. And I was so sure that he had the most number of chocolates that day. Before he said the traveler’s prayer for safety,  he told us that what just had happened is one of the reasons why he never needed money in the first place.

I was completely transformed by Father Danny when I heard this story which he had told in Baguio Country Club while the administration team of HAU was there to plan for the coming school year. We were having mass each day and the other guests of the hotel join us most of the time. On that particular day, I had the Mayor of San Fernando with me because he asked me if it is ok to join in the celebration of the mass. I nodded in approval of course. Right in the homily, Among Danny went on with this touching story;

” I am a fan of Mc Donald since I was a kid, dear brothers and sisters. The first time I tasted the BigMac, it left something in me that I never understood until now. Eating a BigMac became an addiction. Yet, believe it or not , I cannot remember the last time I tasted one. I had few opportunities but they end up to frustrations…and I may say glorious frustrations. You see, whenever I gaze upon that MCDonald building just on the other side of the road from the church, I cannot help but tell the lord to please let me eat a BigMac soon. And I will able to tell this opportunity if someone will give me the money equivalent to a BIgMac meal which is Php 120.00. And last week I had that opportunity.

My superior gave me Php 240.00 extra money saying that I had to treat myself for working so hard. And he even mentioned in particular that I must go and eat inside McDonald. I was so sure it was an answered prayer so I was not able to sleep that night because I was so excited for the next day because I prayed for one BigMac and the lord is about to give me not just one but two. The next morning I took a bath early and read my bible facing the clock for I know BigMac will not be served until 11:00 o’clock. And when the clock strike 11, I hurriedly kept my bible and went on down stairs and head to McDonald right away.

The attendants were so nice that when I ordered two BigMac meals, everyone is asking who’s with me. Upon getting hold of the tray containing my two BigMacs, two regular drinks and two regular french fries, I sat down in a long table and prepared to say my prayer of thanks. As I tried to close my eyes, a woman and a child in tattered clothes came in and started to walk toward my table. I said ” don’t ever do this to me my lord, please”, for I know if these woman and child will ask me for alms, I had to give them everything that I had infront of me. But they turned to go to the counter and I was relieved.

After saying my prayers I opened my eyes to see that the woman and child are sitting along with me in the table. I noticed that what they have in their tray is a small burger and no drinks whatsoever. The woman pulled out a candle and a match from her pocket and lighted up the candle and put it atop the burger and started singing a happy birthday song. I was shocked and the unfortunate happened. After she finished singing her birthday song, I grabbed their tray and replaced it with mine. I picked up the tiny burger and gave to them my two precious Bigmac meals. As I stood up, I held the kid in the head and said my happy birthday. The kid smiled and I went out of McDonald. As I walked to the priest house near the Holy Rosary Church, I ate the tiny burger and told myself it is sweeter than the two BigMacs because I just made a kid happy. And when I felt that the burger is stocked in my neck, I hurried up to grab some water to drink…”

At this point majority were blowing their noses. Mr. Mayor was busy drying his tears and I stood there with nothing to blow because tears and everything in my nose fell off already. After that day, Father Danny and I were the best of friends. And since then, my view of life and myself changed dramatically. I need not to be a priest to do what Father Danny is doing. I too can be an inspiration to everyone… I too can share what I have no matter how little it may be and start making those little souls happy…from now on…until the day I will come home…

IRON MAN

May 24, 2011

 

What makes a man, a man?

Is it the load he carried in his hand,

Or the pains he managed to bear in his heart…

While the strenght of his soul tear apart..?

What makes a man survive his agony?

And consider himself as just being unlucky…

For the bruises that were marked on his face,

And for his solitary life that’s  in a constant maze…

What makes a man, a man?

To make him differ from creatures in the land?

Is it the cross that he had to carry?

Or the endless chores that make him weary?

Then what makes a man out of myself?

Is it the hard labor that i try to survive,

To put the everyday food on the shelf?

Or the agony that I hide, to keep our dreams alive?

We Dreamt a DREAM

April 5, 2011

Call us the Calibutbuteros. We are the unfortunate children of  Sitio Calibutbut, Bo. Telabastagan. Born with nothing on our hands and raised in a way where we put our lives in constant danger just to have something to eat on the table. Three square meals a day is a fantasy for all of us but we persistently dreamt a dream. The Lord has curved our destiny even before we were born. A destiny that would change the world of the poor children of Bo. Telabastagan that are in the same fate as we are 20 to 30 years ago. This is what the Lord wants us to do… and this is our story… 

We are a group of young people then (ages between 9 to 15 years old) who had managed to sneak some  time in our busy schedule to play despite tormenting our young bodies with work… to earn a little money so as to make sure that we will live another day. We were normal children but when it comes to battling life…we are a bunch of lean and mean fighting machines. Survivors of all types of calamity- The famous 40 days of Flooding in 1972 , the shocking  1991 8.0-magnitude earthquake along with strong aftershocks, gunfighting between rebels and government forces,  the dangerous world-known Mt. Pinatubo eruption and followed by the lahar onslaught in Pampanga. Name it and we survived it. We relied on the mercy of well-to-do others for our hospitalization and for dentist visits to pull out a brain-damaging-aching tooth.

WE WISH NOT TO BE HEROES but examples to the rest of the WORLD. Listen to our stories……