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Showing posts from April, 2007

Killings

I've been closely following the news on the Virginia Tech shooting. While thinking about it, I've struggled with with the question, "How should I respond?" In fact, I've told some of my friends, jokingly, of my growing concern: what if my roommate...? But I came across this entry entitled What to say about Virginia Tech which helped me set my perspectives straight. May this article minister to you as well. This post is also tagged as virginia tech

Dry and hot

I'm going to have a heat stroke, I tell myself. The heat, it's too much to bear. I turn on the fan. For the first two minutes I feel cool, but the air gets warmer every minute. The fan becomes a blower. So I head to the bathroom and turn on the shower. The comfort is momentary because five minutes after I get out, sweat starts tickling all over me. The summer dry spell. We need snow.

Cleanliness, DNA, and MBB block pics

Of course not a single city in the Philippines made it to the top 25 cleanest cities in the world. The list has just been released by Forbes magazine. If, say, Manila were included, we have reason to doubt the legitimacy of the research. It's a dirty place here--there's garbage all over. Discipline, that's the key. Cut the limbs of people who throw garbage anywhere; give a singko to those who can't classify nonbiodegradables. This part's hyperbole, of course, but you get my point. Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., the director of the Human Genome Project, says that he sees the "DNA, the information molecule of all living things, as God's language, and the elegance and complexity of our own bodies and the rest of nature as a reflection of God's plan." I read this in an article ( Collins: Why this scientist believes in God) published in the CNN website. I say amen to this. Thanks for the link, Jef . If you'd like to kill time, head over to

Julia in the Philippines

A sane person will only leave his comfort zone for two reasons: either he wants to or he needs to. Julia Campbell, I guess, left hers for both reasons--she wanted to help and she felt the need to help. At 38 she left the "rat race in New York" to join the US Peace Corps and "boarded a plane for Manila." That alone is commendable. She could've enriched herself even more by chasing stories as a journalist and getting paid for them. But she chose the hard way, a way that's less traveled because it requires sacrifice, courage, and the threat of the absence of decent toilets. In her own way she initiated good changes in Philippine communities whose cries for help are drowned in the monotone of political bickerings. And we know t he next part of the story : she got killed, her body found half-buried and rotting in the mud a couple of days ago. Whoever did this to her deserves some form of punishment. After reading the news about Julia I felt a sense of shame. It

The inevitable end of my teenage years

I turned 20 yesterday--the official end of my teenage years, the crucial prelude to adulthood. Until now the thought still overwhelms that I have to constantly remind myself that everyone--and not just me--goes through this phase of life. After Sunday service, my brother and I ate a hearty lunch at a restaurant along Timog. I wanted my birthday "celebration" to be as simple and quiet as possible. I also didn't have cash to treat my friends out, and I needed time to think. Stuffed and sleepy after the meal, we spent the afternoon at home, until such time when manong and Kuya John left to see Ate Joan and Kuya Arbie in the University graduation ceremonies. Left to myself, I continued watching tv but decided to stop when it finally dawned on me that April 22 only comes once a year, and I didn't want to waste it with news about Baby James. So I looked back at my life. Flashbacks of past events came rushing through me like an old movie. The moment I tried to piece them

The bench

While most lowland tourists pick the best places to have their pictures taken, I heave a sigh as I sit on a bench overlooking the mountains. I take a deep breath, sucking in like vacuum all the pine-scented air I could gather. Ah, Baguio. The last time I've been here was four years ago, but the city still evokes the same age-old feelings--of contemplation, of peace, of serenity. Alone and with no one else to talk to, I flip through the pages of a book I had brought with me. Better catch up on my reading before classes start again, I tell myself. Then I find that it's hard to concentrate because the words in my head are drowned in the innocent laughter of children playing nearby and the uncontrollable chatter of friends reunited after all these years. So I set the book aside for later. For a while I pause, look around, and stand amazed at the beauty of God's creation. The cold is already making me drowsy when an old lady, probably in her late sixties, asks me, "Is th

Missions

“The harvest is plentiful."--Matthew 9:37a Higher Rock Christian Church will have a medical mission-relief giving program on April 19-23 at Brgy. Balading, Malinao, Albay. This town has been hit by two consecutive typhoons that left most of the people homeless and hopeless. The main objective is to preach Christ's message of salvation to the lost there. It also aims to alleviate the pain and suffering of the people by the giving of relief goods, free medical check-ups, among others. Let's commit in prayer the people in Brgy. Balading--that the Lord would prepare their hearts for the Gospel. We must also pray for the missions team—that the Lord would use them for His glory!

Spartan men have 300-packed abs

Finally I did get to watch the movie 300. The experience before I entered the moviehouse was rather harrowing: I was asked, for the nth time now, what my age was--in a PG13 an R13 movie! Imagine my dismay at the incapability of the guard in-charge to see my growing moustache, my deep masculine voice, and my muscular physique that only real men possess. Lance: Nagstart na po ba ang 300? Guard: Oo, kanina pa. Pero pwede ka nang pumasok. Lance: Ah okay. 'Eto ang ticket ko. Guard: Teka, ilang taon ka na? Lance: Nineteen. Guard: Sigurado ka? Lance: Oo naman. Now the movie was fun to watch. I liked how the blood literally gushed out when heads were decapitated--it resembled the geysers we see in Yellowstone National Park. The dialogue was rather amusing, too, especially the line, "Only Spartan women give birth to real men." Who'd forget the abs that I could only dream of having? And man, the graphics and special effects were awesome! At the beginning of the movie, ther

Emotional

I'm checking my mailbox when my brother asks, "Uy, what's that?" "Nothing," I say casually--it's short for, "Nothing that really concerns you, so please go about your business." He doesn't budge but stays behind me instead. I don't shoo him away, of course. Instead, I motion him to come nearer. "Here, read this," I say. It's an email I wrote to a friend. "See?" He reads some parts of it. "Strange. You're actually capable of emotions," he tells me. I laugh my heart out. I'm emotional like that.

Spontaneous decisions can take us to places, like Laguna

"I want to get out of the city," Manong Ralph said. "Yeah, I'd like that... breathe some fresh air before summer class begins," Kuya John said, bursting with excitement. And then my brother's bright amazingly brilliant idea: "Let's go to Laguna, John." The decision was spontaneous; all it took was for two people to decide that they liked and missed the taste of "provincial air" and of course, a couple of text messages sent to some people—their close high school friends mostly. It was a shame Kuya Arbie, Michael and Ate Jenny weren't able to come. Kuya Arbie had to finish his thesis (let's pray for him); Michael had to take an exam at the Japanese embassy; Ate Jenny was simply unavailable. As for Kuya Imnay, he took a gazillion years (this is becoming a favorite expression) to decide whether he was coming or not; in the end, though, he said yes. So that morning, Manong and Kuya John, both gifted with the uncanny ability

Hospitals

This afternoon I've been to a hospital. Finally, a real one. I could describe to you the familiar scent of Lysol, the eery silence of the well-lit corridors, the sound of moving wheelchairs, and the stench of sickness hovering around. For the past days the only exposure I've had to medicine has been Grey's Anatomy and House, MD--entertaining shows, yes, but they both reek of artificiality and Hollywood. Surely there can't be that many good-looking doctors working in one hospital. Thanks to my active academic workload during the past semester, I was deprived of watching these shows. Besides, there's no cable TV in Yakal to begin with. I feel that now is the best time to catch up. Ah, don't we all just love the summer break? Together with Ate Rae, Manong Ralph, Joel, Deb, and Kito, I went to visit and minister to Ate Arene. She has been diagnosed with cancer. I was told she's been undergoing treatment for the past three years. So far, there have already be

Made for Joy

Yes, I still write this from Manila. I haven't gone home yet, the reason being that I attended the church's summer youth camp in Dasmariñas, Cavite. I had fun. The camp theme was Made for Joy ; the theme verse, Revelation 4:11 . The main message echoed throughout all the discussions and plenary sessions was that God made man for his own pleasure; man should live to glorify him. It is only in God where true joy is found. God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him. From top to bottom --Kuya Lito Sto. Domingo, the youth pastor, orients the campers upon arrival in Camp Jabez. --The getting-to-know game. Campers roam around the plenary hall, looking for new faces, and asking others to answer on sheets of paper. The team who finishes first wins. --Team Red-Nosed Rangers works overtime on the last leg of the message relay game. The challenge: facial expressions instead of verbal messages are exchanged. Group Dynamics. We had to look for 89 balls and stuff them in

Lost things

I lost my wallet this morning. Why are some things just bound to get lost? Listen to my podcast here . If that doesn't work, try going here and click Download. Thanks to Kuya Arbie for the headset with the sleek mic. Again, this is my attempt to be productive in the midst of summer-break idleness. Oh, and one last thing. It's supposed to be a 19-year-old male voice you should be hearing.

Phoned in

I called home this morning. I talked to my mother, who was just on her way to the hospital. She checked on how I was doing, and I said, "Great, 'Nay, I'm trying to recover the sleep I lost during the sem." I also chatted with my father who, as always, reminded me to buy vitamin supplements. He asked me when I planned to go home. I said I had no definite plans yet. I've also been told that my Sean is in Davao to attend a church youth camp. I don't know if this is his first time, but I'm praying that the Lord would use this opportunity to deepen my brother's faith in Him. I told my father my sem's finally over. He said, good for me--now I should get all the rest I can. He went to remind me that I couldn't have done it on my own--getting to the finish line of the sem. God helped me get through. When he reminds me of spiritual truths like this, he always sounds so amazed. And for a very valid reason, because what an amazing grace it is indeed.

The nearness of God

Nothing does a Christian more good than being near God. After all, "the nearness of God is our good" (Psalm 73:28). When we are close to Him, we become more like Him. The happiness of the creature finds its consummation in the presence of his creator.

Advent of Summer Break

Absolutely no school work in mind. It feels weird different. No reports to think about. Nothing school-related at all. I take that as the first sign of summer vacation. Ah, finally, a breather. The official break hasn't arrived yet, but it sure is looming over the horizon. While most of my friends have decided how to spend the next two months or so, I still have no definite plans. I don't even know when I'm going home. For sure, I'm not taking any summer classes. But I'll be attending the Youth Summer Camp in Cavite on the first week of April. I'm so excited. I also need to stay a little longer to edit the Torch, the youth's quarterly publication. Two months of idleness at home would be torture. I'd want to make myself productive. A summer job, perhaps? On another note, Nanay has informed us of her plans to come over. She has a conference to attend around the last week of April, I think. Auntie Net is also coming. Wow. If the Lord allows, we might j