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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Soul Feeding


Sundays, we usually spend time together as a family...We often go to the mall after the celebration of the mass... My dad says, it's also a time off from the laptop and my virtual world... and relate with real people...







For two consecutive Sundays now, my siblings have been coming with us to spend their time with their kids (my brother lives in las pinas... while my sister usually comes late on weekdays)... I saw how happy the kids were to have their own parents around instead of their grandparents...

But last Sunday was quite different... there was in me, for the past few weeks, a certain change that I never fail to notice... even with the absence of Sam for a week... I saw myself serene...

I was talking more with my sister (we usually end up in fights)... I was more benevolent towards my dad... I was more concerned with my brother... I played more with the kids... I remember that at that time, I wrote my specific goals in life... dreams recasted... I was able to state my purpose in life... and that was what I needed...

I had my soul fed with the Words of God... and had felt a push to be more charitable towards other people... It led us to Soul Mood, a band which was playing inside the mall... we brought our dad there... and it brought me back to a time when my dad taught us to listen to classical music... it brought me back to a time when I felt secured with my dad... 



 I remember a friend telling me he was being sentimental... Just be... Music evokes certain emotions... especially in childhood...



And I had my soul fed...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Choose LIFE

After several weeks of infanticide and fetal abandonment issues in September, once again the country is shaken by news of gang rape in separate instances (including the abuse of two female high school students by a fraternity) and the infamous RH bill.


http://jlp-law.com/blog/full-text-of-house-bill-no-5043-reproductive-health-and-population-development-act-of-2008/

As a nurse, women would come to me seeking advice for birth regulation. So far, I have taught them the natural means (Rhtyhm Method, Ovulation Method and the Basal Temperature) with special awareness in their menstrual cycle and the changes occurring in their body.

Today (the present moment), both young male and female friends would confide to me and blatantly tell me that TEMPERANCE is for the saints and FORNICATION is normal.

They'd ask me about birth regulation too but with a special thought on a woman's safe and unsafe days... Sad to say, most of those who sought counsel were already infected...

This provoked me to reflect... I'd often think of the RH bill as an option for married couples alone... but what of this modern thinking that "sex is a norm"? Where would the RH bill lead us?

So one advocates for a divorce bill, then the RH bill...then what? the legalization of abortion?

How about my young friends? 
I was caught in a friend's dilemma... I asked if abstaining from sex would do him good... but then another option would be to protect himself... especially knowing that an infection is treatable but is also recurring...

I'd often use the computer-USB paradigm... and one could easily get it... did you?



The Light of the World: The Pope and His Comments on Condom Use 

The Pope has recently launched a book entitled, "Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times"... It was his comment, particularly justifying the use of condoms by male prostitutes to reduce the risk  of infection, that has caused an uproar especially among the Church leaders...

One has to read the whole the book not only look at its surface... the message is profound and needs reflection more than a 'violent' reaction.

It says to reduce the risk of infection... his comment might have caused confusion as earlier (2009) he said that condom distribution isn't the solution for HIV spread in Africa... In part, African church officials also pressured Vatican with the Vatican's stand condoning condom use in monogamous married couples to protect the uninfected spouse from getting infected (Associated Press Nicole Winfield And Frances D'Emilio).


The Pope as Light of the World: On Condom Use


At the moment, our country's been shaken with queries regarding the increasing rate of HIV infected people... Listening from the stories and news, most have pointed their fingers on call centers... hmmm... easy access of women, gays, guys, etc. for commercial sex... 


Recently, there was news of over 100 bags of HIV infected blood...

The good news is my brother's involved in this... being the newly appointed Head of Virology Section in the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine, he gets to investigate on such cases...

Now, HIV control through condoms is really questionable and unguaranteed.... as a nurse, I agree with the Pope and the Vatican that the best way to avoid this is through abstinence and faithfulness to one's partner... 
  
I hope to get a copy of the Pope's book to be more enlightened... 

* Various efforts to uphold human life will be conducted on March 25, 2011, Solemnity of the Annunciation and Day of the Unborn Children.



If you choose LIFE, LIFE will choose YOU 
(Mondo X)






Sunday, March 20, 2011

Virtual vs. Reality

Do you have plans to marry?” The question was abrupt. It took me a while to absorb its weight. I mused in search of a quick reply. One doesn’t ask this type of questions to a person who just awakened from deep slumber... 



I gazed at my dad stuporously  wondering what he’s driving at... he continued, “Do you have plans to marry ........ the laptop? You’re spending too much time with an inanimate object again...”  addressing the objects of my affection to my books, keyboards, paint brushes and pens... My dad has his way of driving a point and for the first time I couldn’t bring myself to argue with him (he might take away the laptop forever... nyahahahaha!)...He has always been tolerant of my “misuse” and “overuse” of things --- I knew he wanted me to discover the “lessons” behind them for myself.


In fact, I’m living a very comfortable life right now. Even my mom was lauding my single celibate state. Problems on married life keep on presenting themselves at our doorstep and although I’m not directly involved in them I just couldn’t resist formulating my own comments. I’m an advocate of strong family life. I’m a product of one. But my siblings and I --- well, each of us has his/her own eccentricities --- my mom just couldn’t understand that. I was telling my mom while having our casual talks over lunch that when I came back to the Philippines two years ago, I was preparing myself for marriage and having twins...I even wrote that on my Tagged dreams... but over the months that passed I caught myself deleting one by one the dreams I used to have...am I disillusioned by my siblings’ experiences? Not really. I just have questions. 


Last year, my brother’s partner had therapeutic abortion because of hemorrhage. Since this might lead to shock  the doctor had to remove the baby --- he was four months old already...the prospects of having a nephew drew back. I grieved over this and never got to share this even with my intimate friend. But what really surprised me was the fact that my mom said it was better that way... better?  Economically speaking yes... and people do have choices... but... I guess I was being idealistic again...





People prefer to have only one child. In China, they even have that policy...but they are looking over it now seeing the consequences of not having children in their country... And for limiting the female’s existence  there, they’re now encountering problems in choosing their partners. In Japan, they hire nurses and caregivers for the elderly because of the increasing “aging” population. In Europe, couples prefer “trial marriage,” living-in or having dogs as “children”... How about Orissa, India and cases of female infanticide? In a news by Brett Wilkins in Douche du Jour (21/2/2011), stray dogs eat baby girls who were left on the roadside by mothers who do not want them.


http://morallowground.com/tag/india-abortion-girls/


I do not judge but I’m asking for things that are more important in life...

So this leads me back to my father’s question and spending time with my virtual friends... as I enter my heart to seek  the essence of my choices... I really ask God’s guidance to discern which path I should take.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Winter of the Heart


I can't seem to get him out of my mind... the memories of what we used to do together hit me like a whiplash...only that the existing trauma is in my heart..
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google image


Music: Everytime We Touch by Cascada via Opendrive


What magic potion had he used to make me fall for him like this?



I told myself over and over again that our relationship was void from the beginning and yet I unhesitatingly jumped into Cupid's abyss, wrapped in love's passion, totally lost in its pretense of infinity.



Heat was a primary substance I cannot endure. The mere sight of him, his smell, his voice, his caresses made me desire him more. His insatiable kisses aroused my innermost being...



I've never been so intimately involved with anyone before...

I craved to penetrate the minutest details of his thoughts...his heart and lay there forever untouched by life's daily strife...and yet I'd wake up every morning thinking how long this will last? I was caught in the intricacies of this clandestine love affair...



I never wished for one minute to be out of this whirlpool even if my conscience urges me otherwise...DESIST!



I LOVE HIM UNREMITTINGLY even if his reticence is killing me...



Saturday, March 12, 2011

Crossing Over: Reflections on Sorella Morte in Three Parts





"Attirami a Te, O Celeste Sposo! Dietro a Te correremo attrati della dolcezza del Tuo profumo..."
("Draw me to Thee, O Celestial Bridegroom! behind You we will run attracted by the sweetness of Your perfume ...")
-Scritti di Chiara d' Assis, Lettera Quarta, Fonti Francescane, vol.II, Assisi, 1977,2294

A friend was sharing her experiences of her dying loved one and as we comforted each other, I told her the art of crossing over.

"...I pressed her hand to allow her to feel my presence... "

My closest encounter with the dying came soon after my friend and I attended a seminar on hospice care. It was just being introduced in our community. And the timing was great because one neighbor was suffering from breast cancer and was in need of support. Thoughts of visiting her filled my mind until one day we were given the go-signal. Her husband recounted that she slipped into unconscious states most of the time... morphine didn't do her any good. Luckily, I found her awake wearing an oxygen mask (so we were not able to converse)... we held hands for several minutes and that moment froze... I pressed her hand to allow her to feel my presence... She was feeble, but surprisingly, the energy she passed to me was filled with hope... I felt her strength... I saw she smiled afterwards... That was the first and last time we saw each other...

she passed away the next day...


Crossing Over: Reflections on Sorella Morte part 2

 The next few years, a nurse was requested by the Bishop in one of the hospitals in North Africa. I responded eagerly although my hospital experience in the Philippines was short-lived and involved Medical-Surgical Nursing. I was able to thrive well in the Dialysis Center (thanks God)... The mortality rate was high... Two patients die in a week within our shift.



During our daily visits, I realized that even a simple smile could turn a whole stressful day relaxing... I encouraged the nurses to stay with their patients--- talk to them, assist them (because they are continuously hooked on the machine for four hours)...

I saw different faces in the ward... some were serene... a few agonized... others morbid... It was the kitchen staff who'd turn their lives upside down with the food they deliver, hahaha...

Kubler-Ross spoke of the different stages in a dying person's life:
D-enial
A-nger
B-argaining
D-epression
A-cceptance

***Sometimes it's difficult to write something especially when my mind works on metaphors... People could be sick in different ways (psychosomatically too)... or they could already be dead while living (zombies)... Dying could be brought about by distressful situations...

In any case, DABDA is relevant in understanding our own feelings when faced by certain difficulties aside from illnesses.

Crossing Over:Living Forever, A Myth? part 3

 With the intelligence endowed on us by God--- allowing scientists to replicate genes and create test tube babies--- NOBODY has ever concocted a potion nor developed a pill for staying young forever (living forever)...

In the medical field, we were trained to use all possible means to resuscitate life...Medicines, researches and treatments only serve to prolong life...but GOD is its source...

On a reflection shared by Fr. Brendan on the Kenosis Hymn (Phil 2,6-11), he said:
"We resent being human; we do not forgive God for making us vulnerable--- we reject death."

Hence, the propagation of a hedonistic culture and total eradication of God in our lives...

Illnesses, mishaps, misfortunes pull me away from myself... they remind me that I'm not in control...I'm not totally self-sufficient... I am in need of others...

I repeat this statement everyday until it becomes a positive thought... and I become grateful to LIFE and the people who surround me...

Death is inevitable---inescapable... It becomes exciting even because we do not know our specific hours... This invites people to become ingeniouses ... to make life worth living...

Death could only come to our physical bodies...but NEW LIFE awaits us hereafter... this is the root of my hope...

Let me conclude with Saint Teresa d'Avila: "Signore, ci siamo tanto sospirati, finalmente e' ora che ci vediamo..." (Lord, we long, finally it is time to see each other)






Friday, March 11, 2011

YOU

We've started out as friends but even then, I already considered you as my most intimate. Have you ever noticed that I had a crush on you? I was your biggest fan... You were my confidant, spiritual director, confessor... so you had an edge among our co-travellers...  I guess because you knew how to read other people's hearts... and we'd often find ourselves thinking and saying the same things over our chatboards... having that "rainbow connection"---we're both lovers and dreamers... you paved the way to my inner freedom... sincerity towards my innermost thoughts and feelings... you often asked me when I will ever get to bow out of the scene... as if to tell me to live my life away from the screen for a while ---- some people call the house an asylum but here I find my peace among my books and my virtual friends ---- hey, but I did... do you remember when I went to Malaysia after I cried my heart out for... you know who...I was devastated... broken-hearted...

You used to chat with me once in a while... but after I came back to Malaysia, we communicated more often... and I found myself counting the days... looking forward to Saturdays and Sundays when you're at home... so we could share more of life's everyday events... over fish burgers and love songs... charlotte's web and ratatouille... politics and religion... God...

What I'm most grateful about is you've taken me away from my fears... in a way you've healed me of my relationship with my dad...

I felt loved by you... completely... totally... and... know what?

I'VE LOVED YOU from the moment we met...  

this relationship is made in Heaven...


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Woman's Heart:Third Face of Sedaqah

June 19, 2013
Two years have passed (with the original reflection coming from 2009, a total of four years) and yet the story keeps on evolving into different forms. Reflecting again on this with the news we have received from yesterday (Embassy execs linked to sex ring ordered back to Manila for probe)

2011
I believe women are not slaves. But recently I've reflected that some choose to become one, whether it be a slave of the flesh or desire to get what they want/need... while most women fall victims to predators (those who view women as the "weaker" gender).

Talking with a foreigner friend one day, he admitted to using "free" pornographic sites and told me that he was surprised to see some Filipinas willing to bare before the webcam.

Judging from the tone of his voice, he was expecting "us" to be quite different from the others. he added too, that the recent trend today is to marry a foreigner (especially from Europe/US) to ensure one's future.

His comments made me indignant. I defended our race even if there were traces of truth in between his lines... no washing of hands...

Entering a Woman's Heart

Years back, working as a volunteer assisting street children in a day care center, I had some followed-up through family visits and I rankled that it was their very own parents who put their children in sex dens... and pushed them to sell drugs...

Yes, more often than not, we choose to become slaves because we find no other way out --- have we turned into masochists in that sense? or have we lost our sense of creativity preferring easy money to hard work (which, sad to say, is happening... since work is not available).

In the sixth grade, we were taught to criticize advertisements we see on TV, magazines and posters (and now we have the Internet). Our society has trained men's eyes to view women as sex objects, seducers, temptresses, sirens, forms of entertainment/amusement (young women donning "super" micro miniskirts/bikinis on noontime shows? ads/photos of everything we could ever think of --- to sell ourselves? or the products?).

Discussing this with artist friends, I asked where the line is drawn between pornography and nude art (drawings, paintings, photos, movies, theaters, videos) and sculptures... our beautiful human figures form part of God's creation was the answer...

Art evokes beauty, profundity and creativity... Pornography is a product of idleness and superficiality... Art enables people to think and react... Pornography turns people into spectators and passive receivers...

What lie in the hearts of idle minds? Crimes.

Children are caught in between becoming victims of our own making (look at the long list of rape, kidnap, child prostitution and pedophilia victims). And men would argue, but it's what they deserve for seducing us... for wearing 'sexy clothes'... (for not wearing anything at all)... and women, why?... And so the chain of slavery goes on.

I have a stronger belief and that is WOMEN HAVE VOICES and are capable of rising above the "existing perceptions" of the society we live in. I believe that if we CHOOSE to break the chains and say STOP to violence, we could make a difference.

Going abroad to seek greener pastures is understandable although not laudable. Women leave their children and the family suffers a great deal. Falling as victims in a foreign land is painful. "We are NOT animals... we are HUMANS" and thus we deserve to be treated equally and share fair terms.

The battle has started with the support groups that we have. Let us not grow into extremes and form hate groups. We are here to seek justice and I agree that we need a higher influence (from the government) who could pass a law against human trafficking and all sorts of violation against women and children.

WOMEN should be the first to say NO to all acts/forms of slavery.

-my commentary on Susan Ople's article I Believe Women Are Not Slaves,Our Times of Tempo,Sunday, November 1,2009, Vol.27,no.305,7-8






Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tra I Valori e Desideri

It is okay to ask questions...

When God asked me to offer Him my friends, my hands were closed... I wanted them to myself... I did after a while but retained a few... He visited me again and asked me to give Him ALL... 

As I slept my way Monday night, a sudden rush of peace overcame me as I realized that the one I was holding onto wasn't born of real love...
for a while, this person divided my heart and crushed me into pieces...

And after that, I realized how much I was loved by Sam... and how much he protected me from this person...I should've listened earlier to keep me away from pain... but I realized that there are THREE who are always with me in the end... God...Sam...and my mom...

I asked Sam to give me a hug yesterday... I felt him supporting me through everything... 

What is it that I did? I set the other one free... my heart is made for Sam...

As I begin my life today...at this hour at this very moment...I am still grateful for everything that happened... yes, prevention is better than cure...


but HEALING is possible for those who fall.



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