Archive for September, 2009

Only Love

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment
An interesting thought crossed my mind today which I saw merited further reflection. 
What we really, truly, deeply want is love.  Oh, what we would give, what earthly pleasures and comforts we would willingly sacrifice in order to love and be loved in return! 
The most euphoric of physical and sensual pleasures mean nothing compared to a warm smile and a hand holding one’s hand with deep and sincere affection.  The former only speaks to the flesh; the latter speaks to the heart and soul.
Besides, pleasure is only fleeting.  One can have pleasure non-stop until the day one dies, but will have to sustain such pleasure because it is only temporary.  The euphoria will die and fade quickly unless it is pursued once more, and it will have to be pursued without end, for such is its transient nature.  But all good things come to an end, even pleasure. 
How painful it is to be stagnant, to not be willing to go out of one’s comfort zone to be a part of something bigger than one’s self.  How regrettable it would eventually be to miss an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others, or of at least one person in this world, even in the smallest way possible.  It doesn’t have to be something great.  Sometimes, the greatest of actions come in the humblest of forms, such as by just being there for someone, even if you have nothing more to give than your mere presence.  And for all one knows, he or she is already the world for another.  A lot of people break out of their shells when it’s already too late. 
All of pleasure and comfort does not and cannot compare to a love that one may have for others, shared and nurtured throughout each others’ lifetime, and which endures and survives even after death, because love lasts forever.  One does not stop loving another after the other has gone, for love knows no end. 
Dear God, may we never forget what we truly, deeply want – and deserve – for our lives, and that is love.  And that is also… You!  First and foremost, it is You! 
Oh… Just like everyone else, what I really, truly, deeply want is love…
Jesus, King of Mercy, I trust in You! 
Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

A Quick Note About Love

September 26, 2009 Leave a comment
The following is a message I got yesterday from the “What God wants you to know today,” an application I subscribed to in Facebook. 
JP got a message that on this day, God wants him to know: That the way you know you have found the right one is the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with the person.
Having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. – a quote from Dinah Craik
Well said.  I will watch out for her. Smile
Jesus, King of Mercy, I trust in You! 
Categories: Personal

Sulat ni Tatay at Nanay

September 26, 2009 Leave a comment
by Rev. Fr. Ariel F. Robles
CWL Spiritual Director
St. Augustine Parish, Baliuag, Bulacan
Sa aking pagtanda, unawain mo sana ako at pagpasensiyahan. Kapag dala ng kalabuan ng mata ay nakabasag ako ng pinggan o nakatapon ng sabaw sa hapag-kainan, huwag mo sana akong kagagalitan. Maramdamin ang isang matanda. Nagse-self-pity ako tuwing sisigawan mo ako.
Kapag mahina na ang tenga ko at hindi ko maintindihan ang sinasabi mo, huwag mo naman sana akong sabihan ng bingi, pakiulit na lang ang sinabi mo o pakisulat na lang. Pasensya ka na, anak. Matanda na talaga ako.
Kapag mahina na ang tuhod ko, pagtiyagaan mo sana akong tulungang tumayo, katulad ng pag-aalalay ko sa iyo noong nag-aaral ka pa lamang lumakad.
Pagpasensyahan mo sana ako kung ako man ay nagiging makulit at paulit-ulit na parang sirang-plaka. Basta pakinggan mo na lang ako. Huwag mo sana akong pagtatawanan o pagsasawaang pakinggan. Natatandaan mo anak noong bata ka pa? Kapag gusto mo ng lobo, paulit-ulit mo ‘yung sasabihin, maghapon kang mangungulit hanggang hindi mo nakukuha ang gusto mo. Pinagtiyagaan ko ang kakulitan mo.
Pagpasensiyahan mo na rin sana ang aking amoy. Amoy-matanda, amoy-lupa. Huwag mo sana akong piliting maligo. Mahina na ang katawan ko. Madaling magkasakit kapag nalamigan, huwag mo sana akong pandirihan. Natatandaan mo noong bata ka pa? Pinagtiyagaan kitang habulin sa ilalim ng kama kapag ayaw mong maligo.
Pagpasensiyahan mo sana kung madalas, ako’y masungit, dala na marahil ito ng katandaan. Pagtanda mo, maiintindihan mo rin ako.
Kapag may konti kang panahon, magkuwentuhan naman tayo, kahit sandali lang, inip na ako sa bahay, maghapong nag-iisa. Walang kausap. Alam kong busy ka sa trabaho,
Subalit nais kong malaman mo na sabik na sabik na akong makakuwentuhan ka, kahit alam kong hindi ka interesado sa mga kuwento ko. Natatandaan mo anak, noong bata ka pa? Pinagtiyagaan kong pakinggan at intindihin ang pautal-utal mong kuwento tungkol sa iyong teddy bear.
At kapag dumating ang sandali na ako’y magkasakit at maratay sa banig ng karamdaman, huwag mo sana akong pagsawaang alagaan. Pagpasensiyahan mo na sana kung ako man ay maihi o madumi sa higaan, pagtiyagaan mo sana akong alagaan sa mga huling sandali ng aking buhay. Tutal hindi na naman ako magtatagal.
Kapag dumating ang sandali ng aking pagpanaw, hawakan mo sana ang aking kamay at bigyan mo ako ng lakas ng loob na harapin ang kamatayan.
At huwag kang mag-alala, kapag kaharap ko na ang Diyos na lumikha, ibubulong ko sa kanya na pagpalain ka sana . .. dahil naging mapagmahal ka sa iyong ama’t ina. ..
Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Slow Down Culture

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment
An interesting reflection from a forwarded e-mail:
It’s been 18 years since I joined Volvo, a Swedish company. Working for them has proven to be an interesting experience. Any project here takes 2 years to be finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It’s a rule.
Globalized processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense of searching for immediate results. Therefore, we have come to possess a need to see immediate results. This contrasts greatly with the  slow movements of the Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate, hold x quantity of meetings and work with a slowdown scheme. At the end, this always yields better results.
Said in other words:
  1. Sweden is about the size of Sao Paulo, a state in Brazil.
  2. Sweden has 2 million inhabitants..
  3. Stockholm has 500,000 people.
  4. Volvo, Escania, Ericsson, Electrolux, Nokia are some of its renowned companies. Volvo supplies the NASA.
The first time I was in Sweden, one of my colleagues picked me up at the hotel every morning. It was September, bit cold and snowy. We would arrive early at the company and he would park far away from the entrance (2000 employees drive their car to work). The first day, I didn’t say anything, either the second or third. One morning I asked, "Do you have a fixed parking space? I’ve noticed we park far from the entrance even when there are no other cars in the lot." To which he replied, "Since we’re here early we’ll have time to walk, and whoever gets in late will be late and need a place closer to the door. Don’t you think? Imagine my face.
Nowadays, there’s a movement in Europe named Slow Food. This movement establishes that people should eat and drink slowly, with enough time to taste their food, spend time with the family, friends, without rushing. Slow Food is against its counterpart: the spirit of Fast Food and what it stands for as a lifestyle. Slow Food is the basis for a bigger movement called Slow Europe, as mentioned by Business Week.
Basically, the movement questions the sense of "hurry" and "craziness" generated by globalization, fueled by the desire of "having in quantity" (life status) versus "having with quality", "life quality" or the "quality of being". French people, even though they work 35 hours per week, are more productive than Americans or British. Germans have established 28.8 hour workweeks and have seen their productivity been driven up by 20%. This slow attitude has brought forth the US’s attention, pupils of the fast and the "do it now!".
This no-rush attitude doesn’t represent doing less or having a lower productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality, productivity, perfection, with attention to detail and less stress. It means reestablishing family values, friends, free and leisure time. Taking the "now", present and concrete, versus the "global", undefined and anonymous. It means taking humans’ essential values, the simplicity of living.
It stands for a less coercive work environment, more happy, lighter and more productive where humans enjoy doing what they know best how to do. It’s time to stop and think on how companies need to develop serious quality with no-rush that will increase productivity and the quality of products and services, without losing the essence of spirit.
In the movie, Scent of a Woman, there’s a scene where Al Pacino asks a girl to dance and she replies, "I can’t, my boyfriend will be here any minute now". To which Al responds, "A life is lived in an instant". Then they dance to a tango.
Many of us live our lives running behind time, but we only reach it when we die of a heart attack or in a car accident rushing to be on time. Others are so anxious of living the future that they forget to live the present, which is the only time that truly exists. We all have equal time throughout the world. No one has more or less. The difference lies in how each one of us does with our time. We need to live each moment. As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans".
Congratulations for reading till the end of this message. There are many who will have stopped in the middle so as not to waste time in this globalized world.

POST-SCRIPT, 09/26/2009: Nokia is not Swedish, as some of my friends have pointed out, which is actually obvious.  I didn’t bother to correct it; this is just a re-posting of an e-mail that I got. Open-mouthed
Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Trials Allowed By God

September 25, 2009 1 comment
A lot has been said about the trials that God allows us to experience.  Ultimately it can be said that whatever He allows to happen to us, it is for our own good.  It will allow us to grow and help us achieve more than we ever dared to imagine. 
Here’s how one of my friends put it:
… God wants and wills good, but he only allows evil. The latter is a consequence of giving us free will. Nevertheless, “It’s God’s will” means that God wants us to face the realities of life and the consequences of the choices we make. He makes us see the good in everything that happens to us, whether it be happy or sad. It means that He allows it as opposed to wanting and willing it. Like He allows it because He knows it’s a consequence of giving us free will. But He brings good out of evil by allowing us to learn from it.  It is for our own good.  In other words, something good will eventually spring forth from such trials. 
If I really and strongly believed in God and had faith in Him, then I would trust Him completely that everything He allows is for our ultimate good.
An Example Close to the Heart
Bo Sanchez, in his September 14 blog entry entitled “How To Enjoy God’s Protection,” gives an example that is close to my heart. 
To make a long story short, it’s the story of a man who loved a woman deeply, however someone else came along and took her away from him.  On their wedding day he felt a very deep pain in his heart.  His world was devastated because of that. 
However it was also because of this great pain that he pushed himself to move on and attain someone better for him. 
This happened 34 years ago.  He has been happily married ever since, with a beautiful family with wonderful kids.  As he put it: “… [she] doesn’t know it, but I am who I am because of her.
I hope that someday, I experience the same light at the end of this dark tunnel that I am going through now. 
And Bo Sanchez concludes, thus: 
God won’t protect you from all pain.  But He will allow the pain that can turn into a great blessing.  The Bible says, “All things work for good to those who love God.” 
Friend, believe that He will turn your sorrow into joy.  He will turn your mourning into dancing.  Live within the circle of His love.  How? Love God, love others, and love yourself.  Because the safest place in this universe is the circle of God’s love.
This is my hope and my prayer. 
If God brings you to it, He will see you through it.
Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God.
Painful moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God.
Jesus, King of Mercy, I trust in You! 
Categories: Religion

Needing God

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment
Do Not Worry
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:22 – 34)
Dependence on God for Everything
The Direction For Our Times message for September echoes the message in the Gospel, and is basically a call for all of us to trust in Him in all our needs. 
Dear apostles, I remind you to ask heaven for the graces you require. In order to work in My plan, united to My will, you must be in the habit of asking for all that you need. This constant petitioning for help in your service creates in you an awareness of the unity within which you serve. In this way, you will begin to understand that nothing can be attributed to you except your willingness to serve. You will receive the graces you require, of course, and with these graces will come humility because you will acquire an understanding of the relationship between your requests and heaven’s answers. If heaven is supplying you with all that you need to complete the tasks heaven has assigned to you, then you cannot take credit for what is being accomplished. You may say that you are already doing this. I respond that I want you to increase both your dependence on heaven and your awareness of your dependence on heaven. Each day, every day, ask heaven for help throughout the day. My beloved apostles, I am preparing you for a new time which will bring you joy because you will serve peacefully in complete trust. Why would a child fret when his Father sees to his every need? Truly, you are united to heaven. I seek only to instill [sic] in you a greater awareness of your unity. I, your Jesus, call on you for dedication and sacrifice, it is true, but not without cause and not without benefit. See to My interests in your day, please. In turn, I will protect your intentions. Spread joy and goodness. Spread unity and peace. Spread trust in God who will never abandon His children.
God as a Provider
Even Bo Sanchez’s blog entry for September 1 entitled “How God Provides For You” echoes the insight that God will provide for all our needs. 
In summary, he talked about enlarging our expectations that God will bless us with what we ask from Him.  He also talked about building “pipelines” so that God can bless us some more.  For example, if we want to have healthy relationships, then we need to invest more time with the people we love. 
I’d just like to add that even in laying down such pipelines, we still need His grace in ensuring that we are able to accomplish this in the first place.  Yes, even the opportunities we setup so that He can give us more graces, are also because of His help for even this we cannot do on our own.
Asking for Help
As in the prayers for petition, we ask for God’s help not because we need to convince Him that we need His help, or that He won’t give us what we need if we don’t ask it from Him.  Rather, it is important for us to ask His help because this shows our humility that without Him we are nothing.  And since His will is always good, we ask Him not so much so that He gives us what we need, bur rather so that His will be done: We thus pray, not to change the will of God, but to obtain through our prayers what God has decreed to give to us when we pray for them.
God works in His own time, not ours, if only to emphasize to us that it is His hand that is making all things happen and according to His own design.  
I take comfort in the thought that we can rely on God for everything since literally everything is dependent on Him anyway, for we can do nothing without Him.  WE NEED HIM!
One Last Thought
Although our temporal needs are important to address, especially for those who find themselves in very dire situations, let’s not forget that meeting these needs is not an end in itself.  Eternity awaits us after death, and our spiritual needs are incalculably more important than whatever need may be present in this world. 
We should not let our temporal needs distract us from our eternal needs. 
Dear God, please take care of me, all Your people, and all Your children. 
Jesus, King of Mercy, I trust in You! 
Categories: Religion


September 7, 2009 Leave a comment


Kayo po na naka upo,
Subukan nyo namang tumayo
Baka matanaw, at baka matanaw ninyo
Ang tunay na kalagayan ko
Ganito kasi yan eh…
Verse 1:
Tao po, nandyan po ba kayo sa loob ng
Malaking bahay at malawak na bakuran
Mataas na pader pinapaligiran
At naka pilang mga mamahaling sasakyan
Mga bantay na laging bulong ng bulong
Wala namang kasal pero marami ang naka barong
Lumakas man ang ulan ay walang butas ang bubong
Mga plato’t kutsara na hindi kilala ang tutong
At ang kanin ay simputi ng gatas na nasa kahon
At kahit na hindi pasko sa lamesa ay may hamon
Ang sarap sigurong manirahan sa bahay na ganyan
Sabi pa nila ay dito mo rin matatagpuan
Ang tao na nagmamay-ari ng isang upuan
Na pag may pagkakatao’y pinag-aagawan
Kaya naman hindi niya pinakakawalan
Kung makikita ko lamang siya ay aking sisigawan
Kayo po na naka upo,
Subukan nyo namang tumayo,
Baka matanaw, at baka matanaw ninyo
Ang tunay na kalagayan ko
Verse 2:
Mawalang galang na po
Sa taong naka upo,
Alam niyo bang pantakal ng bigas namin ay di puno
Ang ding-ding ng bahay namin ay pinagtagpi-tagping yero
Sa gabi ay sobrang init na tumutunaw ng yelo
Na di kayang bilhin upang ilagay sa inumin
Pinakulong tubig sa lumang takuring uling-uling
Gamit lang panggatong na inanod lamang sa istero
Na nagsisilbing kusina sa umaga’y aming banyo
Ang aking inay na may kayamanan isang kaldero
Na nagagamit kapag ang aking ama ay sumueldo
Pero kulang na kulang parin,
Ulam na tuyo’t asin
Ang singkwenta pesos sa maghapo’y pagkakasyahin
Di ko alam kung talagang maraming harang
O mataas lang ang bakod
O nagbubulag-bulagan lamang po kayo
Kahit sa dami ng pero niyo
Walang doktor na makapag papalinaw ng mata niyo
Wag kang masyadong halata
Bato-bato sa langit
Ang matamaay wag magalit
O bato-bato bato sa langit
Ang matamaan ay
Wag masyadong halata
Wag kang masyadong halata
Hehey, (Wag kang masyadong halata)
(Wag kang masyadong halata)
Categories: Music