Christian, Essay, Journal, life, story, Uncategorized

Sunday Miracle

“Cchriist the Kiing!”

Those were the words that sprung out from the man seated next to me as the sermon was about to start.

———–

It has been a long time since the last time I had ever laid hands on my laptop to write; I could barely remember my last entry (too lazy to check my entries). It had been a tough six months for me and for my colleagues, spending the whole duration in preparation for the Civil Engineering Board Examination which took place recently on the second week of November. Fortunately enough, most of us were able to pass the exam (yay!). Sadly, some did not. But that’s life, and I hope they’ll be able to ace it the next time.

I definitely have a lot to say, but let me start by telling my Sunday Mass experience.

Like every other day of the week, it was indeed a bleak Sunday morning. Ever since the results of the board exam came up, nothing much had happened except for the fact that I had a few interesting gigs at some restaurants in the city.

As I approached the entrance, I could already hear the choral singing ‘Lord, have mercy’. ‘We are late again as usual’. Together with my grandparents, and my siblings, I found a seat at the upper box of the theatre. When the music had died and the homily was about to start, suddenly the person next to me let out a loud, ludicrous cry.

“Cchriist the Kiing!”

It was then that I realize two things: One, that ‘Of course! How could I forget that today  is Christ the King Sunday?’ ; and two, I was sitting beside a speech-impaired, mentally handicapped male about my age or younger attending mass on his own. I was not particularly interested in his condition, so I went on listening and participating to the rituals of the mass despite his regular frantic moans and growls, which honestly irked me little by little. To make matters worse, I felt uncomfortable after realizing the lukewarm looks in our direction. It felt awful feeling that I had to share with him the suffering of being discreetly ridiculed. But the truth is he wasn’t really aware, and perhaps, he didn’t care. It was I who created the illusion of suffering for the both of us.

I looked at him by my peripherals, and could only feel pity. I couldn’t concentrate on the mass any longer. There was nothing I could do but silently pray. I began to recall the miracles of Christ: healing of the withered hand, healing of the deaf mute, healing of the paralytic, healing of the blind man, and many others. I prayed that this man next to me may soon enough be healed of his suffering: his mental disability and his loneliness.

Of course, there wasn’t any bold and exultant healing miracle that happened to the man next to me.

But there was healing indeed. And I felt it inside me.

It was a feeling I couldn’t quite comprehend that suddenly opened the faucet of realizations. Being apathetic as I had always been, I marveled at the overwhelming occurrence being revealed to me at the moment.

I saw the attendees beginning to fall in line towards the narrow exit and followed shortly, the choral’s joyful final hymn slowly fading.

———–

I was never a happy soul, and until now, I continue to wonder if I will ever be. I have always been skeptical of the existence of happiness. But today, that man has reminded me, not of happiness, but of something related in nature.

Gratefulness and appreciation.

I was able to appreciate more the gift of privilege. We all know the truth: not everyone is able to enjoy the gift of privilege. Like the man next to me, some are handicapped. A lot of kids grow up without parents. Others are so drowned in poverty that opportunities such as quality education and health care are pure fantasies.

I have been reminded of how wrongly I have approached life everyday – waking up every morning feeling irritated and bitter of the injustice of life and the world; and doing my tasks half-alive only to let the hours pass for the stars to settle during bedtime, feeling empty, useless, and anxious of tomorrow…

…Of how my soul’s bitterness have become a constant contribution of injustice in the world.

Therefore, it is not the world that is unjust, but rather, my own self for allowing my soul to be blind of my own privilege, selfishly looking instead for things which I do not have, and for failing to realize that it was I who had set my heart up to be devoured by bitterness.

More so, I have realized that by being blind of my own privilege, I had become unfair to the least ones – those who are dying to be in my shoes that they may enjoy what I have.

With all these mistakes which I am now willing to correct, I am able to see in my own eyes, clearer than ever, the betrayal which I had inflicted upon myself. After all, I was my own enemy. I had kept myself prisoner for some time, preventing myself to be the best version of who I could be.

With high hopes, I shall wake up tomorrow and the next day feeling better than yesterday. The man will always be a reminder to be grateful, and a reminder of self-fulfillment that will help me erase the traces of bitterness, and hopefully ignite a sense of responsibility to strive to become an instrument of healing for all, especially to the least ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Essay, Journal, life, Uncategorized

“Same Road, Rough Boy.” (SRRB)

“The story of one person is the story of all humanity.”

That is what Paulo Coelho says in his book The Devil and Miss Prym, and I couldn’t help but nod in agreement.

We can’t deny the fact that we all reach a point in our lives where, despite all of the positivity and willpower we hold, we attenuate ourselves into just three words: lost and confused.

And I’m afraid to say that for me, now is that point in my life.

What makes the thought even worse is when we begin to self-inflict ourselves with questions such as ‘Should I go here or there?’, or ‘What should I do now?’, or better yet, ‘Is this the right path for me?’ .

You wake up the next day with a lot of questions, and boil down to the same questions right before sleeping.

Post-Graduation Syndrome. Luckily, such word exists on the net.

Well, graduation day is certainly to blame for this.

Just a month ago, I finally got my college degree in Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. What makes my life even more interesting and complicated at the same time (and I’ll tell you why in a bit) is how in the world I graduated with latin honors. I somehow feel uncomfortable talking about it though.

Perhaps, because looking back at those 5 longs academic years, I ought to do more than what I had done to deserve such thing.

Perhaps, it is, in my opinion, because of the tendency of people to project the awardee as someone who is ‘a natural genius’ or ‘born smart’, which I think isn’t supposed to be. I truly believe anyone could be an honor student because it is more of ‘work hard & work smart’ than being ‘a natural genius’.

Or perhaps, it is simply because I don’t believe I was born for engineering.

…Which leads me to my next point.

Poetry. Music. The Arts! That’s what I believe I was born for.

Engineering…hmmm? I am not quite sure.

And that’s what makes all of these into one big confusing thing. How in the world did I ever achieve something great when I didn’t put so much heart and passion as I should’ve?

Speaking of art, I’ve always wanted to make an impact especially in music. I had said this years ago and I’ll say it again: Music is my ultimate passion. I want to write music. I want to play music. I want to meet people through music. I have always dreamed of being in a cruise, playing music around the world.

And ever since, I always felt like the fulcrum of a seesaw, trying to raise and lower both aspects of my life. I tried so hard balancing the heck out of these two, that it had become such a burden. It was a like a clash between David and Goliath, only that it wasn’t a lopsided match. It was anyone’s game. It was science versus art, and I was the battlefield.

As I had done so much hard work just to graduate and finish my college degree, a stream of opportunities for music went along the way, unexpectedly. And I didn’t even try so hard looking out for these! These opportunities were only small cafe and bar gigs, yet I am feeling the big positive change it has brought upon me, especially in terms of confidence and social growth.

Unfortunately, in the end (which is apparently now), I could only agree to what the Bible has to say: No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.

One summer day, I locked myself in my room in deep introspection and soliloquy (I do this quite often) and recalled two of the recent milestones I achieved: graduated Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering as Cum Laude ; and being able to play gigs in the city, getting paid for loving to do it, and being a part of a musical community.

*To add a dramatic storyline that is Paulo Coelho inspired* — Somehow, it felt like the universe was talking to me in a certain way, but I couldn’t explain it. I couldn’t quite grasp what it was, and I felt the words coming out of my mouth.

If you hadn’t, even for a single moment, loved engineering, then why did you even try?

Duh, because I was sure I’d be able to graduate somehow since I am quite good with math and analysis; Duh, so I could make my family proud of me; Duh, so I could have a stable job;  Duh, so I could get rich and travel the world. Duh, so I could do something noble for the world.

I could only portray in my own limited imagination how the universe looks exactly at that very moment. Praise the Lord for funny memes and meme generators, it looks almost like Spongebob below:

spongebob

I guess I deserve this mockery.

Translating these words of mockery in my own understanding, it seems like the universe was trying to tell me that it was my natural drive to do something noble that had led me to pursue engineering.

As for the latin honors, I would want to believe that it was the universe’s way of saying “go on and do not stop”.

 Why though? Can I not do something as noble with music?

Can’t I?

Well, the universe can’t keep on answering questions from the same guy, apparently.

And though the universe had given me an answer(?) of some sort, still, it is a hard thought to swallow. I mean, I know what noble means, but in a wider and deeper sense, what does noble really mean? More so, what does noble mean with respect to my earthly existence?

The story of one person is the story of all humanity. Right now, there’s nothing I could do to make myself feel better but feed upon the superficial consolation I get from knowing that millions of people are experiencing the same dark hole as I am.

But I guess this life is a game of choices. A game of chance. A game wherein everyone is too late to realize whether it was the right choice or not.

But for the universe, Maktub. (Paulo Coelho reference again *wink*)

I’m planning to pass the Civil Engineering board examination this coming November, probably gain a few years of work experience, then pursue a master’s degree abroad. Afterwhich, I’m not yet sure what to do next.

As to where and when the whole ‘noble’ thing comes in, I certainly do not know. It might come naturally or unexpectedly along the way. Better yet, it might reveal itself as another Mocking Spongebob meme, or even better.

So, what happens to my music life now?

I never want to tell myself that I’m giving up music, although in reality, I have to at some degree in order to focus on engineering. On the bright side, I’d like to revel on the fact that it was never I that searched for music. It was music that searched for me. There’s nothing that I could do more but be hopeful that it stays that way.

And whether I can do something noble with music, perhaps yes, and most probably even without knowing it. I want to believe that noble acts come naturally by doing things with passion and love.

Then, I guess I have to give the same passion and love for engineering.

And because it gives me little joy, I decided to name this WordPress entry as such.

“Same Road, Rough Boy.” (SRRB)

Who knows, it might just be the perfect title for my very first Extended Play (EP) or Album.

P.S. If you are a civil engineer or a civil engineering student, you might have immediately realized what I did there from the start, lel. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christian, life, poetry, prayer, Uncategorized

Arms Raised In Supplication

Dear Father,

 

In front lays a pen

And underneath, a sheet

Empty yesterday

Emptier today

 

And so shall it be thru eternity

For the pen, though firm and able,

Remains lame without the bearer

 

Therefore, my Master

I ask thee for divine aid

Grant me the ways to create

Let my words be Your words

And Your words be mine

That I may exclaim to it,

“Rise!”

And its purpose be realized

 

Lest in time, the ink dries

And my spirits falter

And my right hand

Could not any longer

 

Henceforth, I fully resign

I am myself no longer

And You shall be my Bearer

Him by which all things

Be redeemed

 

“…in order that henceforth at every moment of my life, and in each of my action, thou mayest deign to be my director, my guide, my strength, and all the love of my heart…”

 

So shall it be done.

 

 

 

 

 

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life, love, nature, prose, random, sadness, Uncategorized

Eternal Sorrow

As I drew nearer the massive rock formation, I hear something. A strange whisper, none so quite haunting I’ve ever heard before.

I set the wooden oar at the side of the raft. Then I closed my eyes, and in a brief moment deciphered the words.

“My child…”

Although her voice was pure and soft, it resonated sadness within the walls of the temple. And all that was loud – the roars of the rapids and the rustles of the leaves — they faltered.

And I trembled.

“My child…”, she spoke once again, but now in a melancholic motherly tone.

“Why are men slaughtering my children?”

I opened my eyes, and saw dripping water from the cracks down the tips of the stalactites. They fell like tears upon my face.

Then I realized who she was.

Mother Earth.


 

Suddenly, she let out a strong wind that forced the rafter towards the violent rapids. They caught me before I could escape.

And all I could do was pray I won’t be dead by the end of day.

My lungs burned. I was desperate for air, and the rapids were too strong to overcome

I was about to give up.

With the little life I had left, I slowly opened my eyes, and an image appeared from the blur.

I saw the face of Mother Earth.

She was beautiful, stunning, and smiling. But she was welling up in tears.

“My child, your tears are now mine. Live with sadness no longer. I’ve stripped, from your skin to the bones, everything that hurt – those that make you insecure, unloved. Those which you think make you happy, but in its truest form, are manifestations of evil crafted by men.”

With a moment’s hesitation, I asked. “But aren’t those who kill, the same men for once you’ve called your children?”

She responded with a mournful smile.

In a blink, she disappeared into thin air, and I found myself once again, staring at the stalactites where Her tears dripped.


 

Now, I understand why they say there’s beauty in sadness. Because whenever I see the sunset, I see our Mother – sorrowful for all eternity.

Sorrowful but always beautiful.

And in Her eyes is where I see the sadness of men reflected.

Oh, how could we betray our Mother who loves us so dearly?

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life, random, Uncategorized

The Question We All Share

We’ve all heard this question before, and I’ve realized I never really had an answer up until recently.

The question is, “Are you happy?”

Three simple words, and yet, more than enough to send us into a perpetual cycle: walking down memory lane, with a cold bottle in one hand… Afterwards, insomnia, which is why the staring up the ceiling for hours and making friends with shadows on the wall (that’s what Rob Thomas said) happens.

“Am I happy?”

A simple sentence yet, for me, evokes a mix of emotions, just like that of a volcanic eruption.

And the more I think about answering the question only leads to more questions needing to be answered.

“What is happiness anyway? Why am I bothering myself with this question?”

What actually bothers me more, is why, long before, I never really have had any answer, until now.

Is it that I was avoiding such question after all? Or perhaps, is it because I feel a tinge of sadness everytime it hits me every 12 am of any random night?

Then finally I ask myself, is it really necessary to answer this question?

Obviously yes, because unfortunately, I have to answer the question for this post’s sake.

And to answer the question, “Am I happy?”, I have only one word.

Content.

Not happy, definitely not not-happy.

Just content.

And so far in life, I can say that for a long time I’ve straddled the fine middle line of contentment.

Maybe not the answer you expected, but I hope someday, on this journey,  I may find the true meaning of genuine happiness.

Because honestly, is it not happiness which we are all looking for after all?

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life, opinion, soul, story

My Kind of Traveling

To have set foot in another city, town, or country is never enough. Why?

Because it only increases our drive to travel more.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to travel.

I mean, who doesn’t love traveling?

Paris. London. Spain. Rio de Janeiro. Bora-Bora.Greece…the list is limitless.

Though some may deny it, we are all travelers. We are born to be travelers.

We love traveling so much to the point that we want to learn, perhaps, French so badly. Or if not, maybe Mandarin, German, or Japanese. We are so fascinated by the beauty of what these places have to offer. Their sceneries, the ambience, the experience.

Even some of us read books to dig treasures from their past. We read books to know their food, their people, their culture. And just by doing that, although we don’t have the resources to actually be able to fly towards the place, we experience a flush of fulfillment. A mental picture appears right before us, and immediately, we fill ourselves with undeniable appreciation.

In other words, we love to travel because it is a way for us to connect to the world and to others.

But can we ever be settled?

We are so engrossed about traveling, flying across oceans, and daydreaming about round-tripping the world, when there are places we ought to travel first…

And these places are found within ourselves.

There are places within us, parts which we haven’t, or perhaps, we cannot dare to explore. These places are deep within us, at cold corners, at dark pits.

Perhaps, there’s more than the mere act of traveling that increases our appetite to roam the world.

Perhaps it’s our thoughts, agitated inside our head. Contradictions in collision with one another. Confusions that lead us to divide against ourselves. And they are rooted underneath those deep, cold, dark corners of our soul.

And maybe that’s why we want to travel so badly. Maybe that’s why to set foot in a new country is never enough…because once in a while, we want to escape from all these silent tortures. Not knowing that all of these live inside us, giving us the illusion that we have successfully escaped them.

No matter how much we try to connect to the world by traveling, days pass and somehow we still end up feeling that hole in the stomach. A feeling tinged with a bit of blue, a shade of grey, and a drop of darkness.

Going back to the question, ‘can we ever be settled’, in my opinion, the answer will always be no…

Unless we close our eyes and explore every area of our soul, set foot on those cold corners, solve the puzzles, and sweep off the broken shards stacked on those pits…

Unless we learn the language of our hearts first, its desires and dreams, what it has to say, before learning the languages of the people….

Unless we travel back in time and understand our own personal histories, our own personal culture, principles, beliefs, and tendencies…

Unless we learn to appreciate our own beauty, to acknowledge our strengths, and overcome our weaknesses…

Unless we truly connect with ourselves first before others.

We are all born travelers.

And in my opinion, the only genuine kind of traveling is journeying towards to core of one’s soul…

A life-long journey in which we will ever be settled.

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dismay, life, quick post, regrets

Late Night Thoughts

It feels like having this huge mirror in front of you all the time. No matter how great the distances you’ve traveled to reach where you are, when you crane your neck to absorb the view, a sense of upsetting familiarity overwhelms. All that you are able to see is a reflection — you and the place you’ve left behind. 

What’s worse is when you realize that the only thing changing is time. It keeps on running while everything else — your flawed self, your demons, your failures and regrets, the bottled-up emotions inside, the words left unsaid, and the reasons for people leaving — remains the same. 

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