Philippine games

My Philippine Games class ended today. When I had gotten hold of my classcard (I got a 1.25) and said goodbyes to friends and/or classmates, I wondered when I'd find myself playing like a real kid again.

I spent quite a lot of time for my PE class, and found out that my time wasn't wasted, after all. I took the course because I was told that it was supposed to be fun, it was supposed to be relaxing, and only UP offers it in the rest of the world.

But let me digress.

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My classmates have been, like me, exposed to the typical Filipino childhood: afternoons (even evenings) spent playing patintero, luksong tinik, tumbang preso, and many more games that would create a physiological phenomenon called excessive sweating. The games would generally commence with bato-bato-pik, or ang maalis taya. There are no defined rules (though there are popular pre-defined ones)--the players have the discretion to modify, change or remove a rule. Perhaps that's why Filipinos, in general, find it difficult to obey rules: they feel like these rules may or may not be obeyed.

Our exposure has led us into believing that we could outwit our two Japanese classmates, Yuka and Mune. But we were wrong: they played like pros (that is, if we'd consider ourselves pros); they ran, they laughed with us (Ithough they didn't really quite understand the jokes), and they did silly things that we did ourselves.

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That PE class reminded me of my childhood. I was once a short, little brat who would always be the taya (or the it) because I was lame, small, and incapable of quick movements. But I was a child. Rather, I looked more child-like during those times, and no one really cared because we were all children.

Rejoice in the Lord

I find joy and rest in this hymn of faith in the Book of Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3: 17, 18) especially for reasons which I, at the present moment, will not disclose

Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls--
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.

Friends abroad

Beside me is Jef Sala, a friend who's vacationing in the United States of America. When he informed me of his plans to go there, I was not at all surprised--his immediate family members are already there, working and studying. He's going home on the first week of June.

I don't know. I just felt like posting something here. Times like these happen once in a while. Unfortunately, I don't have the pictures ofJaylord and Jacq, both abroad to. Jaylord is enrolled in a Chineseschool in Fujian, China. Jacq is with her family in New Jersey.

I look forward to seeing you guys here at UP.

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Corrupt choices

The natural inclination of man is to seek for something. But the problem lies with his choices: often, he prefers the temporary to the eternal, the worldly to the Godly, the bad to the good. But that is who man is--a being whose choices are corrupt because his very mind, the means through which he creates these preferences, is also rotten with corruption.

And so the natural man does not seek for God. It is God who seeks him. And this is one glorious truth about grace: that when we were still dead to spiritual things, God has decided, out of His sovereign will (and not because we earned His favor), to seek for us. When He has sought us, our eyes were opened and our choices directed to what is the good, holy and perfect will of God.

Amazing grace!

Remembering Kalayaan

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It has been too long a time since I had last packed my bags--and all of my possessions--because I had to.

That was more than a month ago, and yet, the scenes appear as clear as VTR replays in my mind: I could, in fact, still hear myself bidding goodbye to friends,still feel the enormous mass of my possessions (I had to carry them, you know), still taste that day's bittersweet flavor. Not that I was shocked to leave--I had been preparing myself, and yet, I felt all the more disturbed. And sad.

There is always a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.The Book of Ecclesiastes puts it all the more clearly. Nothing lasts forever.

My stay at the Kalayaan Residence Hall of the University of the Philippines was certainly not exempted from this general rule. While it is comforting to think of the entire situation as part of the cycle of things, of God's pre-ordained plan, a difficulty, perhaps a question, always springs into my mind: Why?

I cannot answer that question alone. Even with some help, I still won't be able to. My mind is too finite for such things. Only God knows. Only God can.

I feel a magnetic sense of attachment whenever I pass by the Kalayaan to get to the University Shopping Center to eat my meals or buy something. I remember the wide-eyed, enthusiastic, energetic, noisy freshmen who once lived there, and the things they did. I was one of them. I was one with them.

But things change.

I can only take comfort in the fact, a universally acknowledged fact, that wherever I am, the Lord will be faithful to do everything for my good. That is the only assurance I will always hold on to, in this life or in the next.

As far as the east is from the west

You decide, out of the blue, to do something right in your life.

After all, you have lived this life as if tomorrow would never come. You have lived in sin, unaware that the God who created you in the depths of your mother's womb was dishonored because of your life. You deserve to be punished. To be thrown into the pits of burning sufur...it is the Lake of Fire, not an imaginary spot written by a genius author. But it is real, as real as death--even more real than death because it is death in its truest sense...death that will kill you forever. You would want to die, but you could not. It is death of the highest degree: it will haunt you throughout eternity.

You realize your bankruptcy--you can't do anything to go to earn heaven. But the Lord has been good and righteous and true.

You look for the old, dog-eared Bible in one of your drawers, and you leaf through the pages of the Book. And then you read the most wonderful things you have ever known.

Thanks be to God. Your sins are forgiven.


As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.--Psalm 103:12

You have put all my sins behind your back.--Isaiah 38:17

You will tread our sins underfoot and hurl our iniquities into the depths of the sea.--Micah 7:19

"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more."--Isaiah 43:25




Mainstream

My brother Ralph has informed me of his intention to blog. This, of course, brought me to a feeling called surprise. You see, he has always maintained this position: that anything mainstream is repulsive. I, too, agree with this on certain grounds, but on how I come to agree with something is really not my concern in this post. Let us not digress.

Though he has not officially started posting (for he lacks the knowledge to do so), he has started asking me favors as to the how-to's of blogging. I told him it's easy...just follow instructions. Do as you are told. Understand what you read. I think I'll help him anyway. Essentially, that's about it.

But his interest in blogging is perhaps a reflection of the evolving feelings of people all over the world. More and more are writing, posting, and publishing their blogs. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing.

On the contrary, I think blogging is a means to record your thoughts such that others can have the chance to read it. A friend put it this way, "It's better to be read than to write." I don't share this idea, though it gives me a feeling of fulfillment whenever friends would tell me that they had read my posts.

I'll tell you what my brother's blog is as soon as he starts it. I want to view yours, too.