Monday, August 31, 2009

Prejudice and love

John 4:44 " For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his native place. " ( New American Bible ).

Matthew 11:28 " Come to me, all of you who are weary and loaded down with burdens, and I will give you rest. Place my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest for your souls, because my yoke is pleasant, and my burden is light. ” ( International Standard Version ).

One of the most painful hurts one can experience in life is rejection from his own people. Oftentimes, this rejection is borne out of automatic, wrong assumptions ( negative thoughts )ascribing negative motives to completely innocent behaviors and intentions. A simple clarifying question, " What happened?, " could have cleared the air. It is true on the macro sphere of politics and spiritual life; so it is, even in daily activities of micro living. One's beloved people - nation, community, family, son, daughter, significant other suddenly rejects or minimizes your feelings, motives, illness, struggles, losses; misunderstands them completely way out of bounds... way out of the ball park, and the pain becomes so searing, albeit invisible for others to see it is impossible to describe. Expectations can be hugely bigger and higher that what one can deliver and the stress suddenly becomes overwhelming at the moment. And all of your life's works seem to have gone with the wind.

Then, one is confronted with the existential angst of being so terrifyingly alone... until a Solitary Man, who understood pain as no other, stretches out His hand in comfort to say, " Come to me, you who are tired... my love is more than enough and eternal. "

I'm writing this between dizzy spells as shafts of energy and wisdom break through clouds of darkness. I need to go back to my doctor for another check-up after this. Call it lucid interval, perhaps. One may be tempted to ask, " How can you write this piece and claim to be sick? " My answer is: " I don't really know. " All my blog posts have been written with spurts of energy and light from On-High. He... She is the Source of all this. If you ask deeper... you have to ask the Maker....He /She knows best... Life is full of ironies and paradoxes, and this is one of them, an ill man able to write this piece... " Wounded healer " perhaps can weakly explain why... because there are others equally hurting who needed to read this message and feel peace, inner peace.... because it ain't over till it's over, and only God knows the time and day. Namaste!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Uncle Ted

...bottoms up for you!

I must confess most of my life I admired his brothers John and Bobby, the former with his cool, dapper countenance under pressure, especially during the Cuban missile crisis, and his contrite admission of failure in the Bay of Pigs debacle; the latter with his fiery defense of the weak and defenseless, together with is boyish smile. Senator Edward M. Kennnedy, in his earlier years, could not seem to fill in the big shoes of his older siblings and never got off to a roaring start when he tried his hand in presidential politics. But, like in other things in life, it is a huge mistake to define a person based on one or a few criteria.

Uncle Ted, as I will start addressing him from hereon ( although I had never met him ), came to my focus when Barack Obama announced his Quixotic dream of becoming President ( It wasn't delusion after all...It was vision - the difference was success ). Now back to Uncle Ted, this Lion of Boston...

He transformed his personal ( the death of a staffer through drowning while he was driving with her one night; divorce with his first wife ) and political ( presidential ambition )failures into hard-nosed legislative work few of us really tracked down, except for hard-core reporters on the Hill. His awesome works and humility are just slowly emerging in public, posthumous - civil rights, health care, meals-on-wheels, reaching out across the political divide, his Irish wit... and the fire of brother Bob, and the elegance of sibling John coalescing in his mature years with his inimitable poetic prose... the daily drudgery of pushing laws for the ordinary John, Juan, Ioannes, and Jun. Uncle / Tio / Tiyo Ted will be remembered, not just as a great American statesman, but as everyman. He rose beyond and crossed all kinds of barriers and saw humanity as one. He belongs to the world, a quintessential citizen of the earth.

Sail on, Uncle Ted... We are forever grateful for your humanity.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Kris..... coming home

This writer refers to Kris Aquino, youngest child of beloved Philippine heroes Ninoy and Cory Aquino. When she spoke at the Manila Cathedral during the funeral Mass for her mother, Cory, on Wednesday, August 5, 2009, she got mixed reactions. This peripatetic, outspoken young woman, however, through my lenses, had metamorphosed into a serious, more mature human being. She had her share of scandals, but her sincerity, contriteness, acceptance of her weakness and imperfections has made her strong in my eyes. Kris has inspired me no doubt. I am sure, she has millions of others, too.... a prodigal daughter. I pray others will have the guts to accept their shortcomings as well in public.. those public officials who have flagrantly violated the trust given them by people and God. Wishful think? Nooooo... with God's Grace, nothing is impossible... but... " unless a grain of rice falls on the ground and dies, it shall not bear fruit. "

After all is said and done, there is goodness in everyone, including Gloria and Mike Arroyo... All they need to do is keep in touch with this goodness... and come home to it. How about it sir and madame?

Welcome home, Kris!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lessons I learned from Cory Aquino in living, dying, and death

....which i never learned in graduate school ...

"I thought I had done my quota of suffering. Apparently, there are no quotas." -Cory Aquino

i write this intentionally in lower case letters as a tribute to cory's deep, abiding humility, wielding her power, when she was president of the philippines, with great respect for its potential negative impact on the people. she handled it with a certain stoic-like detachment, pretty much like what a zen master would do: not get drunk with it, which is the ultimate transcendent wisdom any leader could offer her people and the rest of the world who are watching.

one need not have, after all, a political science degree, nor be lawyer, nor have a doctorate in economics - all pretty much the high requisites to be an excellent chief executive... because she is much more than that. in life and death, she has transformed an entire nation, nay, an entire world... this unassuming quintessential politician's wife. he, ninoy aquino, is a hero on his own, too. but cory captivated the hearts of her people, dislodged a hard-fisted dictator from power, restored the people's inherent right to freedom, and stepped down when she could have held on to more years as head of state. but it helped that she had a degree in french and math, so nothing was " french " to her, and she correctly calculated the human heart in its core essence... but her deep, great faith in the God of Love was her biggest gift to all. she lived it to the full and showed us how. that figures... why her name is corazon. there is no greater wisdom than that.

post scripts...

Anagram of the Moment: Super Icon of Freedom, Cory Aquino, Ends Era Fri. = Aqui no more; nice are pour'd cry of friends, foes...

By letting go of power, she became more powerful.... in dying she gave more life to nation hungering for rejuvenation...

....both ninoy and cory in death have energized the people... so paradoxical that in their ultimate helplessness \\\ death \\\, they have gained optimum power to move the people to greater good.... very Christ-lke...

Rose Romero " sees an ocean of tears shed today for our beloved President Cory. And i'm sure that tears are still rolling down many cheeks, as they do now on mine, watching the touching military honors. I am so amazed at the depth of love shown by the Filipinos for the Heart of the Nation. Something that I never thought they'll show again after Sen. Ninoy. We continue to hope that there will still be others like them... "