The knot is tied

My cousin took a leap of faith two days ago. No, he didn't jump from the airplane nor did he swallow a bottle of poison. That would be underestimating the entire thing.

Kuya Don got married.

I can still remember the day when I first learned of it. It was the annual Kalayaan dormitory Open House and I was so busy entertaining my guests. Reminded by my brother to invite him, I immediately sent an SMS: kdon, 8s d kalay opn house;lkat ka diri f u hv tym [Kuya Don, it's the Kalayaan open house. You can go here if you have time.] To which he replied "Yes, I shall go there tonight."

* * *

"Lance, I'm going to tell you something," he told me as we were on our way to my borther's dormitory.

"Hmm.. sounds interesting. What is it?" I said, thinking of a million possibilities.

"I'll give you a clue," Kuya Don jokingly said.

"Alright, kuya. What about it?"

"I feel so tired and at the same time, happy." I noted the peculiar smile he had, something I had not seen before. Mysterious as it may seem, his face exhibited a cloud of overwhelming joy and happiness which no word or words can adequately describe. "I told Lola--she's happy for me, too."

I was baffled. I had suspicions.

We went to Rodic's to eat a late dinner. You see, Kuya Don is used to eating late, sleeping late, working late because he's a fresh graduate from the medical school. Perhaps such a habit is acquired from years after years of rigorous study.

"What is it, Kuya Don?" My brother and I asked him again.

He gave clues, and each one of them confirmed what I, at first, had suspected. Everyone--and I mean everyone--was expecting for it (the marriage, I mean), but I was still shocked that I couldn't say anything when he himself disclosed his plans to us that night.

* * *

Kuya Don and Ate Ann Mae's wedding was one of the best I have seen. This is not to say, however, that I always attend--and get invited--to matrimonial ceremonies. I don't. But theirs was a simple one which, in my amateur, unqualified opinion, accomplished its ultimate end: to make public their desire to become one in Christ.

My wish is that they always love one another, always looking up to God as their ultimate source of everything for He is everything.

Open House

I haven't written for quite a while, and there are many underlying reasons. For instance, I've been rather busy these past days--the annual dormitory open house, the finals night of a corridor-sponsored activity, birthdays, exams, Valentine's Day, and many others. I am, until now, still overwhelmed with the things that have happened that I do not know where to begin. But since I have begun--and it's a pretty lousy beginning anyway--let me finish it for you.It was on the 12th of February when the Kalayaan Residence Hall was open. The dorm is always open, come to think of it, but only to a select few, namely the residents.

I had many visitors who came and visited to my room--schoolmates, clasmates, and friends. Jason and I decorated the room with three lanterns: I introduced to him the idea, but sadly, due to my lack of manual dexterity, he ended up making all of the lanterns. Incidentally, the open house day was also Jason's birthday, so almost all the visitors--even people we didn't know--greeted him. "Saan ang birthday boy? Happy birthday!"

When the day ended, I was so tired I couldn't even close my eyes. I don't know. I just felt like I had to waste calories closing my eyelids.

Praise God for His provisions.

On my way to class

There she goes--what's her name? She's hurrying. Must be late.

--Hi there.

I smile. I wonder if she's seen me. Doubt it. She's myopic. No eyeglasses. No contacts. No eyewear. She's blind. At least, not quite.

Why is he standing there? Hmmm. He's late. It's 10:30 already. Classes have started. He yawns. Why? At this early hour? It's not even lunch yet.

-- Hi there. He hasn't seen me. Must be shortsighted. Why are there so many near-sighted people now? In this age of technological innovation and advancement.

I'm tired. I want to sleep. But I can't. I won't. Oh, there's the professor.

-- Good day guys. What have we here...?
-- Good day, Sir.

He hasn't seen me again. He must be--what do you call that? Aaargh, I forgot the word. A person who--who--who can't see clearly?

Myopic. Ah, that's it.

Stardust

I look at myself in the mirror; and, for a while, wonder why I’m here, in this exact place, at this same moment. Not that I have the answer to such question—I don’t. If there’s any human being who knows why he’s living, then he’s certainly not I. People always ask questions, don’t they? They look for answers to really puzzling questions—why there are just so many stars, whether there’s a planet like ours out there, what blackholes are (or if there’s any truth to their existence), whether the universe is infinitely expanding—and somehow, they never just get tired. They may get confused or discouraged at times, yes, but they never stop asking questions. To ask about something, after all, is uniquely human. But I guess the most intriguing question that people have asked, and have so far, sought to answer, is that which I have asked myself a million times: Why are we here? Where do we come from?

Forgive me, but I hate—in fact, disagree—with what science has to say: that life has existed because of the favorable conditions that the planet Earth has. If that’s all, then it’s a lame reason. For one, it doesn’t give us a sense of purpose, a goal or a pilgrimage to fulfill. And I don’t believe in luck either: There are a gazillion planets that have been created, but why has the Earth been chosen over a billion years ago to be the cradle of those so-called primitive prokaryotes? If we believe that all of these happened because of luck, the probability is so small that I’m baffled and forced to think that such luck doesn’t just exist. This line of reasoning (involving probability and all that) comes from the most widely-accepted Big Bang Theory. At first, the theory seems rather scandalous and yet somewhat believable. It tells us that the universe was created when this dense mass of clouds exploded; the explosion was so intense that it had triggered the formation of galaxies, stars, planets, and later, of life. Our bodies are remnants of stars; so perhaps, there must be a sort of connection between men and the stars—thus, the term, star quality. Even if scientists claim that they have enough proof to prove their conjecture, this theory still gives me a splitting headache. Surely that mass of cloud (that which exploded) must have come from something or must have been created by Someone else—otherwise, common sense would tell us that it wouldn’t have existed.

Unless we believe that there is a Creator, then everything would seem pointless. On the contrary, if we assume that there is a God who was before us and who created us, then all the bright ideas would emerge: we are created to give Him glory, to worship Him. Our purpose is to live this sacramental life on earth, and when we die (we all will, anyway), we’ll live in an eternal abode.

It never fails to bring me awe and wonder whenever I look at the stars embedded in the black, night sky. When I was a child (I still am—at heart), I’d wish to travel in all of them: perhaps, I might see an alien, or get a grain of sand from Mars… Silly as these thoughts may seem, they’re not. They reflect the same wonder that has driven astronomers to explore the wide expanse of the universe, to answer questions regarding our very existence, and to believe that we are all stardust.