Showing posts with label My Thoughts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label My Thoughts. Show all posts

Friday, June 14, 2013

Independence Day

 It has been one hundred fifteen (115) years ago since we have savored the sweet trumpets of victory we fought for more than three hundred years of Spanish colonization. As I turned the dog-eared pages of my history book, I realized that it is not only the triumph, sweat and blood of our heroes that we celebrate but also the relevance of their sacrifices in this modern day age of technological revolution. 

In this fast real time age of information superhighway, we cannot deny that we are living in a drastically changing interconnected environment where everyone is free to speak their minds and share responsibly in their own little ways on what one can do for his or her country. Truly, who would have thought that we have now Tablets that are not taken orally and Apple that is as enticing and juicy as one of our favorite fruits, which we held in our hands as our platform of communication and connection to the world at the tip of our finger prints? As youth living in this Gen-Y, we no longer need to tear our cedulas and time warp in the 1896 Cry of Pugadlawin lead by Andres Bonifacio, intermittent revolts across the nation of Diego Silang and other cohorts, or imitate the commemorative death of our national hero Jose Rizal at Bagumbayan… Our long lists of national heroes have already done their part. They have successfully pushed for our sovereignty and freedom as a nation to the whole world and we are grateful for this wondrous gift. Indeed, our annual celebration of Independence Day  consistently poses a challenge to all of us on what can we do as an individual citizen to continuously ignite the glowing and burning flame of heroism to our fellow citizen, our country and the world. 

In essence, for me, independence is no longer freedom from our colonizers –whether it be Spaniards, Americans, or Japanese but it pertains to freedom from hunger, poverty, economic colonialism, threat and security to our sovereignty and integrity as a nation. It is our bounden duty to pursue our collective effort to unleash the country from the shackles of vicious cycle of poverty and other social issues affecting the people. It is not only the sole effort of the government but it also requires the working hands of various non-government organizations (NGOs), people’s organizations, civil societies and the people from the grassroots level.  The modern day technology through various social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and other social media networking sites will be our vehicle in transforming the lethargic spirit of the community into a more vigilant, conscious-driven,  responsive and vibrant society. The historic revolution staged by our forefathers and heroes in the struggle for freedom and democracy would not have been protracted  if they have experienced early on the fruits of development we are enjoying right now… However, there is nothing to be regret about it because it is only through their own way that we have known the priceless sacrifice and burning hearts and desire of Filipinos to be free. 

In this modern age of technological revolution, we are lucky we have been witnessed to the most coveted prize our heroes have fought for centuries--- peace. Our quest for freedom from hunger, poverty, economic colonialism, threat and security to our sovereignty and integrity as a nation do not end with our celebration of the annual celebration of Independence Day but still continues as we undertake the journey  towards the path of economic growth and development.

“A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Message 2013

nce there was a boy no more than ten years of age. Looking at his eyes, you can merely say that he is full of wisdom and aspiration. One day, he finds himself daydreaming and said, “When I grow up, I would like to be a President of the Republic of the Philippines so that I can be of help to the society. No men, women and children would cry in tears because of lack of food.  No more wars and lasting peace would reign.” These are some of the words of the young and innocent boy. Years and days have gone by, this young boy grown up to a tall and young man. And like most reckless teenagers, he usually wastes his time going to movies, disco pubs, and doing useless things. He is always absent in class and these inexcusable absences made his parents, teacher, and classmates very much worried. Thus, his parents were advised to see the principal of the school regarding this problem. At home, he got a long lecture from his parents. However, the stubborn boy turned a deaf ear that made his parents especially his mother hurt so much. He thought of running away to some place where his mother and father would not reach him, some place where no one knew him. While this thought runs on his mind, a tall dark man wearing dark shades saw him and said, “Hey, Vincent, what are you doing here?” Vincent said, “Albert, it’s you, long time, no see. I have a big problem, you know.” Upon saying his problem, Albert invited Vincent to a narrow street down to a certain impoverished part of Tondo, Manila. Vincent noticed little children playing outside with their worn-out and untidy shirt. The neighboring houses seem like relocation sites of insects and the people are poor as a rat. Vincent felt pity for them. Tears rolled down on his cheeks, “No, this is not the kind of life I wanted. Mama and Papa are right. I have to study hard and do my best so that I will not be like these people. I want to have a brighter future and ambition to fulfill.” The next morning, Vincent headed home and there was only one thought in his mind --- to ask for forgiveness for what he has done. 

This short story taught us the value of asking for forgiveness, admitting one’s mistake and discovering one’s mission in life. We trust that this Holy Week we have utilized our precious moments to make introspection about ourselves with the guidance of Lord Jesus Christ. It is heartwarming to greet this wonderful day of Easter! Let us welcome the day with renewed hopes, aspirations, dreams and ambitions in life. The resurrection and new birth of Jesus Christ symbolize the hope that He gives to mankind. Our reflection during the Holy Week gives us a broader perspective to bring us into the world and realize our lifelong mission, the fulfillment of which helps give meaning and essence to our life. We need, therefore, to live our life and carry out our bounden duty in a manner that would please God the Father. The challenge for us is to re-examine and allow ourselves to be guided accordingly as we combat the social ills that plagued our society – people wallowing in the quagmire of poverty, unemployment and underemployment, violence, injustice, and corruption. As we venture into the new era of technological revolution, the modern day Easter celebration conveys not only the spiritual but also the secular message that each of us can do his or her share in making this world a better place to live in. We, as a citizen of the world, have inevitably did mistakes and met challenges in the past but we can learn from it and use them as stepping stone towards building our future. Indeed, the true resurrection of our being as an individual and as a nation from the social, political environmental, economic and cultural milieu can be realized through God’s saving grace and holy guidance. Happy Easter everyone!! 

“A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

To be Rich

 If there was one person who has no faith in lottery comes into your mind, that’s me! I would not, as a rule, gamble my few cents for the lure of millions of pesos at stake. But when I see people flocking the lotto stands, the possibility of winning cocooned me. Yesterday, March 4, my mother and I strolled to SM Manila Mall enjoying my special leave in the office as we had to process the renewal of our passports before the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that is stationed in the mall. After the prompt service rendered by the DFA officials, my mother and I decided to go on a window shopping (he..he..he..) My eyes glued then over the Bingo station in the mall. The possibility of winning the Bingo jackpot that day crossed my mind. What if I get lucky? What will I do with my money? Oh, what is the feeling of being rich? Of being a multi-millionaire or billionaire perhaps? Oopppsss….., let me wake up from my wildest dreams. I pretty knew that becoming an instant billionaire is ninety percent (90%) fiction and only one percent (1%) factual.  Possibility of winning is just as thousand miles away from the farthest planet in the universe. 

So what’s the use of dreaming? Getting rich in this era of scarcity seems like climbing on Mount Everest - the rocky and highest mountain in the world. It is a difficult thing to be accomplished, a difficult goal to be reached and I think an impossible wish to be granted. But I do not mean just a negative thing, betting on a lottery, as long as it does not become a habit, will not hurt. 

So if I get lucky, what will I do with my money? I believe that money is like manure. If you spread it with less fortunate, it does a lot of good. And if you just pile it up in the corner, it will stinks like a heap of garbage. It is not always the root of all evil. Rather, it is the root of everything good. Take this, if you have the money, it is easier to be kind. You can have many mouths to be fed, roof houses for the homeless, medicine and health services for the needy, books for the unlettered, schools to be build, churches to be rehabilitated or renovated, and livelihood programs for the less fortunate, jobless, and downtrodden. Indeed, many can benefit if one has a golden and magnanimous heart to share one’s blessings in life. 

I firmly believe that everything on earth has cause and effects and we do everything for a reason. Underlying with this principle are reasons which make the world go round in its path. We move because of money. And we always think that money should be everywhere. That it will keep the dying hopes to become alive and shattered dreams to be weaved again. It is worth to ponder this question: Why do I have to get a degree in college? Sure, for a job. And why am I craving for a job? To earn money.  Ultimately,   this story is as old as civilization. 

Money is also an assurance what we will be in the future. How can I become a lawyer if I can’t pay my way to college, buy pile of books needed for the bar exam? How can I press my mind to concentrate studying if my stomach is growling and still thinking to sell candies or any stuff for the transportation expenses? This is poverty; however, I believe that poverty should not be a hindrance to attain your goal in life. We know great personages whose life stories draw from rags to riches. We should emulate them and be ready to journey the seven seas. 

Still with having billions of bucks, I can acquire all the things I do not have. I can travel around the world and see the great sights I could never imagine. I can also ask the greatest mogul of fashion for fancy and dazzling clothes, the best perfume in town, paint the town red, and the latest hairstyle of the New York fashion models. 

I can do many more things with having lots of money. It indeed gives us the assurance and security in life. With money, I can do all stuff like that – giving hope to the underprivileged, make difference to the society, and opportunity for the dreamers. 

However, there’s one more thing I’ll never do with money – to misuse it for evil purpose. I won’t distort justice and liberty just because I have the means to do it. I won’t buy the love and respect of the people, instead, they have to love me for what I am, they have to love my strengths as well as my weaknesses, and they have to love what’s inside and outside of me. Lastly, they have to love me genuinely without hesitation and no doubt. I do not want to rule and be ruled with money. I’ll be contented to stay on average if becoming an instant billionaire would ruin my relation with God and the people around me. It is also noteworthy that money is not everything when one is in despair, it’s wholly important to call on God, our Savior and the Greatest Miracle.

“A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”

Monday, December 24, 2012

Dazzling Glitters of Christmas and New Year in the Philippines

Yes, the holiday season is here!!! I can really feel the cool December breeze of Christmas in the air, smell it in the luscious holiday goodies, and ultimately see it in the countless Christmas lights in the malls, in the streets, in the parks, and most especially in our home, too. Indeed, this is the season to be treasured and celebrated because it is the joyous birth of our Lord Jesus Christ – our great Savior and Healer. The birth of Jesus Christ signifies that God’s Word as shown in ~ Isaiah 9:2 became flesh and lived among us:

 You might be surprised to know it, but it is true; our Christmas season in the Philippines is the longest one in the whole wide world for it starts from December 25 till January 6, 2013, which is the day of the Epiphany. You can truly experience a unique celebration of Christmas only here in the Philippines.  First, since Philippines is one of the two predominantly countries in Asia (East Timor is the other one), Filipinos begin the celebration of the season with the so called “midnight mass” or “simbang gabi” or Misa de Gallo to give thanks to God Almighty for bestowing Jesus as our Saviour, to show our devotion to His beloved Son Jesus Christ, and to pray for more blessings and graces. It is really wonderful to wake up as early as 4:00 o’clock in the midnight while the gust of windy December air creeps through my jacket as we walk through our way to the church. It is really exhilarating to spend midnight masses with your family and friends especially during this special joyous occasion; and quite fulfilling when one is able to complete the consecutive nine (9) nights of novena midnight masses since it signifies the realization of one’s wishes and dreams. As we headed our way to the church, I can already see the long queue of the crowd gathered inside the church to listen to the homily of the priest. After the midnight mass, I was delighted to see several vendors beside the church selling my favorite puto bumbong (a purple sticky rice delicacy steamed in bamboo tubes), bibingka (rice flour and egg-based cake), puto (another rice delicacy with a twist) and other sweet native delicacies. Of course, we bought some of them to complement with our early breakfast of brewed hot chocolate prepared by my mother (he..he..he..). Here, come and taste my favorites!!

My most awaited part of the season is the Christmas Eve where the families dine together the sumptuous and luscious food on the table or the Noche Buena feast. 

Christmas is indeed heartwarming because Filipinos ensure that they come home to be with their loved ones on Christmas Day. Although our Filipino overseas workers live and work in distant faraway places, the million miles distance don’t prevent them from being together because they always make an effort to communicate with the members of the family via social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype, etc. even though some of them can’t make it home for Christmas. Thanks for the wonderful gift of modern age of technology and the world wide web because the world is getting smaller, smaller, and smaller (he..he.he..) for families here and everywhere. Our celebration of Christmas in the Philippines is mostly traditional because ours is a family-oriented society. The spirits of giving, forgiving, sharing, and loving continue to be the burning flame that forges every Filipino’s hearts and minds wherever whenever. Indeed, home is where the heart is… 
˛˚˛*˛°.˛*.˛°˛.* MERRY CHRISTMAS *˛.
   ˛°_██_*.*./ \ .˛* .˛.˛.*.* *
   ˛. (´• ̮•)*.*/.\*˛.* ˛_Π_____   HAPPY NEW YEAR ˛* ˛*
   .°( . • ) ˛°./• ‘ ‘ •\.˛*./______/~*. ˛*.˛* ˛.*
    *(…’ ) *˛╬╬╬╬╬˛°.|田田 |門|╬╬╬╬╬*˚ .˛.♥♥*


Some of the local government units in the different provinces also hold “Panunuluyan” depicting the journey of Mama Mary and Saint Joseph in search of lodging for the birth of Jesus Christ. We Filipinos are also very happy to decorate our homes and offices with one of our traditional symbols of Christmas – Belen, a Spanish term derived for the word Bethlehem which is the birthplace of Jesus Christ. This nativity scene or crèche showing the infant Jesus Christ, surrounded by the Virgin Mama Mary, Saint Joseph, the shepherds and their flock, the three magi or kings, and stable animals with an Angel, and the Star that lights and guides the three magi (kings) on their way to the nativity is one of the most well-loved scenes of the festive atmosphere of Christmas.

Our Christmas décors would not be complete without mentioning the Parol or the star-shaped lanterns which represent the Star of Bethlehem. It is very iconic to all Filipinos because it conveys meaningful message of love, faith, and hope brought about by the birth of Jesus Christ. I remember the time when I was in elementary where my teacher required us to submit lanterns as our project. It is really awesome to make parol because it stimulates one’s creativity and artistry to make it stand out from the rest. Anyone who can present a unique and artistic parol would win the coveted prizes of cash and gifts from the sponsors and organizers of the contest. Indeed, Christmas always bring joy and laughter to all people especially to kids. The happiness of the season in the hearts of the people can truly never be bought by any heaps of millions and glitters of diamond in the world. 

The celebration of Christmas lighted up by the spirit of sharing also signals the start of the brand new year with dazzling bountiful harvest of blessings. I believe that the spirit of Christmas season, which we most specially feel every 25th of December, can be re-lived all throughout the year. The spirit of giving, forgiving, sharing, and loving should always be our guiding principles in our everyday lives as we welcome this New Year. 

The joy and hope that this New Year brings to our lives seems to give us more energy and optimism in life. Personally, I have so many dreams, wishes, and goals to be attained this 2013 and I always pray that God Almighty will bless me that it will come true. I always believe that with God’s guidance and wisdom, He will help me achieve this goal.

We all have dreams and goals in life. Some of them are larger than life, sentimental, engaging, or whatever; however, at the end of the day, we must realize that our dreams and goals in life will become reality if they are coupled with hard work, enthusiasm, dedication, and happy heart.

        I am wishing you all, too that each of our dreams and desire will come true this 2013 and the succeeding years. I am praying for the good health, graces, and more blessings for me and my family.  I am also praying for the unity, solidarity, and brotherhood in the Supreme Court of the Philippines where I belong in performing its noble cause to be the true beacons of democracy and social justice; economic prosperity of our beloved country Philippines; and world peace in the entire universe.

          Have a bountiful harvest of blessings and divine graces, happy and prosperous 2013 and coming years to all of us!
*”˜˜”*°•.¸ ¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸ ☆★☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°• .¸ This is a big hug for the New Year  .•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸ to spread lots of love and happiness •°*”˜˜”*°•.¸ ¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•. May you have a New Year filled with love, laughter and peace ¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸ ¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•. ¸ ♥ Share the hug*”˜˜”*°•.¸