(I’m giving space to my friends and blog readers to rant here about life as it happens in real time. These may seem irrelevant to you, but just read on. You might just find something that will hit you in the nerve.)
“Ang tindi ng erpats ko! Biruin mo, nagbabalak pa lang akong manligaw sa isang young lady, eh alam na niya na may nagugustuhan na ko. Nung sinabi ko sa kanila kung sino siya, biglang kumunot ang noo ng nanay at tatay ko. Ayaw nila sa kanya. Bakit? Ewan. Malamang may malalim silang dahilan na kahit sabihin nila hindi ko maiintindihan.
Talagang ‘di ko maiintindihan. Sayang naman, nakaporma na ko. Pero pwede na to. At least habang maaga, alam ko na kung dapat ko pa bang ituloy yung balak ko. At ang sagot ay…
“Matutulog muna ako. Ganito na ang buhay ko… buhay law school!”
“Show me some love!”
–RC to Cess
“Magtigil ka, kulas!”
–Cess to RC
“Ang hirap nito, tayo na nga lang to’ng may ginagawa, tayo pa to’ng nalalait. Eh kung siya kaya pumunta dito at gawin tong ginagawa ko? Let’s see kung makakapagreklamo pa siya!”
“Brod, pahiram muna ng Crosswind mo.”
–Alyas Boy Sta. Cruz
“This world has becomeso easy, hardwork is now being disregarded. Best example? Photocopying machine.”
We at our church at the Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church are also doing our share in easing the burden that our fellow Pinoys who were affected by last Saturday’s heavy rainfall are now experiencing.
With the leadership of our senior pastor and congressman of the 6th district of Manila, Dr. Benny Abante, Jr., our church is helping in giving out relief goods to our immediate community here in the 6th district of Manila. Last Saturday and Sunday, with flood waters still high, Cong. Abante, together with some members of the MBBC went to heavily flooded areas in Pandacan and Sta. Mesa and gave out some sacks of rice and canned goods for our fellow Filipinos whose houses have been damaged by the flood. These two areas were among the many towns in Manila that were hit hardest by the flash floods.
And while our 34th anniversary were postponed due to the calamity, we celebrated it with our kababayans, helping out in the true Filipino spirit of unity, solidarity and cooperation.
Here in Manila, and in other cities of the Metropolis, in this time of tragedy and loss, the Pinoys are one and united in rising to the occasion.
The resilient spirit of the Filipino lives on.
We were all in the middle of what was supposed to be the second busiest day of the week of our Anniversary. Saturday was a day filled with all sorts of activities. I myself was immersed with a lot of things. I was driving from one part of the town to the other, fetching and bringing stuff from one place to the other. While my hands were full with one thing, my mind was thinking already of what was next in the list. I really had no time to stop for a minute, take a breather, and reflect on how blessed the day was.
A blessed day.
How many times have my cursor moved up and down to the three words preceding this paragraph, as if I was tentative about the full meaning of that statement. And while I am moving farther away from the line on which those words were typed, I still find myself thinking twice whether or not that phrase be kept in this post, or be totally deleted. And just as I am writing this last sentence in this paragraph, I’m still trying to figure out if that phrase really makes sense.
Yes, it does.
I was able to escape the horrifying situation at C-5 around 2 in the afternoon, only to find myself stranded in the middle of Buendia corner Pasong Tamo from 3 PM to 6. There was really not much to do in the spot where I was trapped. To my left were the floodwaters just a few feet from covering half my car’s rim. To my front, back and right, were the vehicles of motorists like me who can’t do anything but be just like me–hoping for the best.
As I turned the car’s engine off, reclined my seat and closed my eyes, I started praying to God–something that I believe a lot of people all over the metropolis had also been doing since noon that day. I tried to piece together the events that have happened thus far. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how will it be in the next few hours of waiting for something to happen. Outside, the rain started to fall again, and the people, restless as they already were, congregated under the canopy of the gas station’s convenience store, killing time with their laughter, tell tales and murmuring and complaining.
I was there inside the car, looking for a song.
No, I did not turn the radio on. I was looking for a song inside my heart. A song that would just calm my already weary heart, soul and body. A symphony that does not need an orchestration. A story that speaks of peace, solitude and refuge.
It didn’t take me long to find this song:
In the dark of the midnight,
Have I oft hid my face,
While the storms howl above me,
And there’s no hiding place.
Mid the crash of the thunder,
Precious Lord, hear my cry,
Keep me safe,
‘Til the storm passes by.
‘Til the storm passes over,
’til the thunder sounds no more.
’til the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand,
In the hollow of Thy hand.
Keep me safe, ’til the storm passes by.
The world outside my window was furious. But inside my car, I found peace like no other.
And now the two best UAAP ball clubs are left.
The Ateneo Blue Eagles are back for the second straight year in the finals, after vanquishing the UST Growling Tigers in dominating fashion. Quashing the Espana five was something everybody expected like sunrise from the east.
Speaking of the east, UE, on the other hand proved that they were more than “just another wannabee” after dismantling the second seeded FEU Tamaraws. Having to win twice over the Morayta-based basketball team, the Recto squad showed their true mettle by overcoming a team that was again under fire for game fixing controversies.
But enough of the side stories. Let’s go straight to the facts.
The Eagles are the favored team coming into the finals. Being the number one squad, Ateneo enjoys the experience of having defeated UE twice in the regular season. They have a longer winning streak compared to the Warriors, and they have a deep bench. Rotating players won’t be much of a problem for Norman Black, who is out on a mission to stamp his own indelible mark into the league’s history. Some of Ateneo’s players, like Nico Salva, Ryan Buenafe and Kirk Long have stepped up big, and eased the scoring burdens that 2008 MVP Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Eric Salamat and Jai Reyes used to carry. Nonoy Baclao is among the league’s best defense specialists. And with a prospect of repeat ahead of them, expect the Eagles to play their A-game yet.
But on the other side of this year’s grand stage for UAAP glory is the team that cannot be denied, the UE Red Warriors. They, too, are coming in strong with their own winning streak. Having just defeated a strong contender such as FEU, the Warriors confidence are in an all-time high, especially now that they have a chance to prove that the bitter finals defeat they experienced from the Green Archers, after an illustrious 14-0 regular season run, will soon be a footnote to what they are about to do today. Though they have a thinner bench, the guys in the mainstream of rotation have enough stamina to keep the tempo of the game to their side. Of their 16 ball handlers, 7 have been both to their perfect regular season and to the finals. Experience-wise, they’ve got something to say as well. They also have Val Acuna, Rudy Lingganay and Paul Lee who leveled up from their previous season’s performance, providing a strong quarterback for Elmer Espiritu and Pari Llagas. And as for coach Lawrence Tiongson, he proved that he was not just a replacement of Dindo Pumaren–he was THE replacement of Dindo Pumaren. In just his rookie year as coach, he landed his team a slot in the finals.
It’s been a very long time since these two teams met on UAAP’s grandest stage for basketball glory. If the records would bear me out, the last time they met was when Olsen Racela was still wearing blue and Jerry Codinera was still wearing red. The Eagles won that series.
The interesting thing about the UAAP Finals is that none of the season’s results will matter much coming into this closing series. Ateneo knew what that meant a couple of years ago, and it wasn’t even the finals yet. As for UE, they have a first-hand experience of such tragedy just two seasons ago.
UE is the hungrier team, wanting to end the championship drought. Ateneo, on the other hand, is the raring team, desiring to do a back-to-back win of the championship crown.
Come jump ball, it will be all out war between Ateneo and UE. It’s like the battle of our flag’s colors. The question is: who will win?
Blue is always on top of Red, but during war times, it’s Red over Blue. Still unpredictable.
A couple of years ago, one of our fellow pastoral staff from our church survived a ruptured aneurysm in the frontal lobe of his cranium. But the previous year, my youth adviser suffered the same incident, and went into coma. Two years after, my grandmother’s aneurysm ruptured and never survived. She was 74. And just two days ago, I was writing about a co-laborer who died of the same manner.
Aneurysm is a serious problem. If unchecked, it could kill you in an instant. While it is usually congenital, several circumstances such as lifestyle, diet, work habit, and head trauma, could further aggravate the situation, and in effect trigger its rupture. And it doesn’t just happen to people who are way past the prime of their health. Of the four people I cited as an example, only one was a senior citizen, my grandmother. The other three were in their late 30’s to early 40’s when the rupture happened.
So don’t kid around with your health, guys. Don’t wait for you to become the object lesson yourself before you start learning to take care of yourself. If you’re not thinking about yourself, at least think about the friends and relatives you hold dear, who will get hurt with whatever bad that could happen to you.
If you’ve got a health insurance policy, get a check-up to see if you’re at risk of having ruptured aneurysm.
Allow me to take this time and blog space to honor a fellow servant in the ministry, Ptr. Samuel Sandoval, who passed away this afternoon at 4. He was 48.
Ptr. Sam, as he was fondly called by his friends and co-laborers, got saved from a life that was going down the drain through drug addiction. After overcoming a suicide attempt during the years of his wandering and waywardness, Ptr. Sam met the Lord and experienced the genuine conversion of his life from a life of bondage to a life of freedom.
From then on, Ptr. Sam dedicated his life to becoming God’s servant. He was the pastor of the Living Bread Baptist Church of Punta, Sta. Ana.
His involvement in social change came when he had an encounter with the senior pastor of the Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church, Dr. Benny Abante, Jr. Their partnership in bringing social and spiritual change in their immediate community gave birth to the Christian Leaders for Good Government, now a national organization of evangelical pastors and preachers aiming at effecting moral reformation in the country.
When Dr. Abante became a public servant, both as councilor and congressman, Ptr. Sam gave his and his church’s full support to the advocacies of Dr. Abante. He would be the regular speaker in major evangelistic events sponsored by the Bible Believers’ League for Morality and Democracy, or the BIBLEMODE, both in and out of his immediate community. He was also one of the sought-after speakers in youth rallies, as well as spiritual leader for most of the barangay officials of the district, in his capacity as CLGG President.
His partnership with Dr. Abante and the MBBC goes beyond their advocacy for their community. Just recently, Ptr. Sam became the chaplain of the Ben Abante Baptist Bible College. It was in this capacity that the Lord called him home to graduation.
His last pulpit stand was during chapel hour of the BABBC. Just before he could finish his third point, he emphasized and challenged his audience that “we should preach, as if it would be our last: just like me right now. I am preaching as if this will be my last message. Remember this outline. This might be my last.”
And with full dynamism and energy, it was his last.
The entire Metropolitan Ministries, from our Senior Pastor, Dr. Benny Abante, Jr., all the way to the members, are one and united in sending our deepest sympathies to Mrs. Sandoval, their two daughters, and to the members of the Living Bread Baptist Church of Punta, Sta. Ana. We are praying for you and your family.
To Ptr. Sam, you graduated with your boots on. Indeed, your life is an example of faithfulness, dedication, loyalty, and excellent service for the Lord.
We were raising funds for one of our church projects a couple of years ago. As a promotion strategy, the pastor announced that whoever gave the largest offering that night gets to choose three hymns.
After the offering plates have been collected, the pastor found out that one of the envelops contained P7,000, the largest that night!
Sa tuwa nung pastor, in-announce niya na may nagbigay ng 7K at ni-request na yung nagbigay ay ma-recognize sa harapan.
From way back in the auditorium one of our church’s single ladies raised her hand, signifying that she was the generous giver. Pinalapit siya ni pastor sa harap para kilalanin.
“And for your generosity, you get to pick three hymns of your choice.”
Biglang nagliwanag ang mata ng dalaga, tinuro ang tatlong pinaka–gwapo’t matipunong single men ng church, sabay sabing, “I want him, and him, and him!”
Finally, the Lakas-CMD Party has bestowed its blessings upon Defense Secretary Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro to be its standard bearer for the presidential race next year. And the truth is, his anointing creates more questions rather than give more answers.
Firstly, how will Teodoro surmount the growing lead, as far as surveys are concerned, that Nationalista Party candidate Manny Villar and Liberal Party bet Noynoy Aquino has so far over him? The party, the dominant political player today, must have something up its sleeve to place its future in the hands of someone whose exposure and experience in Philippine politics is relatively thinner than his foes. Villar, a former house speaker and former senate president, and Aquino III, heir to the legacy of his parent-cum-national heroes, have been playing this game long enough to know its tricks and strategies. And while Gibo is related to Aquino by blood, he will need more than just the consanguinity factor to catch up with his cousin’s fast growing popularity.
Second, why did the party set aside the other choice, Bayani Fernando, who has been with the party longer than Teodoro? If loyalty were the chief factor, Teodoro wouldn’t probably figure in the list of choices by Lakas, while Bayani would definitely on the top of the list. But that seems to be not the case. Fernando even gave a stern warning as to the possibility of bolting out of the party, considering the “worth of loyalty” he has given it, and yet has been somewhat ignored, when an on-leave member of the NPC was anointed instead of him.
Third, who will be his running mate? Batangas governor Vilma Santos has been the favored choice, but in a recent interview over tv, she announced that she has no intention of taking on a national position, and that if ever she decides to run next year, it would be for another term as governor. The vice presidential candidate that Gibo will choose will be just as important as him being chosen by the party. When Mar Roxas stepped down from the presidential race to give way to Noynoy Aquino, it actually did Roxas more good. It had the trappings of “heroism and sacrifice for the greater good of the country” which will be Roxas’ trump card for the game. Lakas will have to choose someone who can give Roxas, and to some extent Aquino, a run for their money. Otherwise, both Gibo and his apparent running mate will be eating dust.
And finally, how will Gibo play this one? That he is vocally supportive of the controversial president GMA confuses voters and officials alike as to how he will maneuver himself to the top office of the country. And that Danding Cojuangco, though surprisingly silent, is perceived to be the mind behind his nephew’s entry into the race, makes Gibo’s candidacy both interesting and irritating. Furthermore, Gibo is just one among a handful of hopefuls who do not hail from any elective position, which means, he has relatively little political base as far as his personal clout is concerned, compared to Aquino and Villar.
One thing’s for sure. Gilbert Teodoro and the Lakas-KAMPI Coalition knows what they are doing.