Life as it happens. Time as it passes.

Archive for March, 2011

Twenty Eight

Some people would like to spend their birthdays the extravagant way. Others, they’d want it to be the flashy, fashionable celebration. Still, for some, they prefer to have their birthdays spent adventurous and high-octane.

For someone like me, I’d like to spend this day thanking God.

The Lord has been very gracious to me and my family. I have seen His mighty hand guide me in ways I cannot explain. His protection, provision, promotion and preservation has always been there for the last 28 years. He has given all my needs, and some of my wants. He has surrounded me with friends and loved ones who has made my life a lot more colorful and meaningful.

He has given me a loving, understanding and supportive wife, and a daughter who has provided a new source of joy in our home.

I have parents who did the right thing to bring me up in church, and siblings who also share my dedication and commitment to serving God.

I belong to a church led by a senior pastor who has been my mentor and greatest intercessor in my ministry.

I have fellow laborers who encourage me in my service for my Master.

I have been entrusted with dear ministry and congregation partners whose faithfulness to the Lord is a joy to behold.

I have the best of friends, here and abroad, who accept me for who I am, warts and all.

 

 

What else can I ask for at 28?

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Gulong Ng Buhay, Gulong Ang Buhay

Alas 10:45 ng gabi. Hinatid ko ang aking mag-ina sa aming bahay. May pupuntahan pa ako ng mga oras na iyon–ang gabihang walking exercise namin kasama ang aming pastor sa kanilang village. Minabuti kong ihatid muna si Cess at Chelsey. Pagod na si Cess sa buong araw na paghahanda sa kanilang graduation sa school, habang si Chelsey nama’y naghahanap na ng tulog sa tamang oras. Minarapat kong ihatid na muna sila.

Pagbaba ng sasakyan, napuna ni Cess na flat na pala ang gulong sa kanang unahan ng sasakyan. Parang kahapon lang noong pinahanginan ko yung gulong na iyon. Naisip kong malamang may butas na ang gulong. Pagkahatid ko sa aking mag-ina, agad akong naghanap ng vulcanizing shop.

Pinalad akong makahanap ng isang shop sa may ‘di kalayuan sa amin–mga dalawang kanto ang layo mula sa aming lugar.

Bukas ang ilaw ng vulcanizing shop, pero walang tao. Inisip kong baka wala na ang bantay. Nagbaka-sakali akong nagtanong sa ale na masarap na kumakain ng burger sa tindahan sa tabi ng shop. Tumama naman ako sa aking hinala–nang tanunging ko ang ale kung bukas pa ang talyer, tinawag niya ang bantay.

Mula sa bus na nakaparada sa kalye, lumabas ang isang payat na binata. Wala siyang pantaas na damit at medyo magulo ang buhok, animo’y hinugot mula sa pagkakahimbing. Mga ilang kamot pa sa mata at mukhang gising na gising na siya.

Ipinakita ko ang gulong ng aking sasakyan, at walang isip-isip na sinabi niyang dapat baklasin ang gulong upang i-vulcanize. Hula niya, may butas na ang gulong.

Matapos ang aking pagsang-ayon, agad siyang tumungo sa likod ng talyer. Paglitaw niya’y bitbit na niya ang sangbatyang gamit para sa gagawin niyang pagremedyo sa butas kong gulong. Mabilis niyang inalis ang gulong mula sa sasakyan. Agad niyang ihinatag ang gulong sa ilalim ng isang aparato upang paghiwalayin ang goma ng gulong at ang mags. Hindi ako mekaniko, pero alam kong kung gaano kakapal at kabigat ang goma ng sasakyan. Sapat na yon para malaman kong hindi madali ang ginagawa ng binata sa gulong na iyon. Pero parang naglalaro lang ng poso ang lalaki sa kanyang paghihiwalay ng goma at mags. Walang limang minuto ay napaghiwalay niya ang mga ito.

Agad niyang tinawag ang aking pansin upang ipakita ang salarin sa butas–isang maliit na turnilyong nakabaon ng higit sa kalahati sa loob ng goma. Sa labas ay hindi mahalatang turnilyo ang nakapasak sa goma. Mistulang hikaw na nakabaon lamang, pero sa loob ay nakatambad ang matalas na bahagi ng turnilyo.

Matapos alisin ang turnilyo, kumuha ang binata ng gomang ipantatakip sa butas mula sa batya. Mga ilang minuto pa ang lumipas bago tuluyan nang naidikit ang gomang ipinantapal sa butas. Matapos pasuin ang pantapal, pinagsama niyang muli ang goma at mags. Mas madali na ang naging proseso ng pagkakabit. Inabot lamang ng kinse minutos ang buong pagvu-vulcanize.

Hindi ko naitanong ang pangalan ng binata, pero base sa tato na nasa kanyang likuran, siya marahil si Jolan. Tinanong ko siya kung magkano ang aking babayaran.

Sitenta pesos.

Inabot ko kay Jolan ang bayad sa kanyang natapos na trabaho.

Magkahalong saya at pagtataka ang aking nadama matapos ang engkuwentrong iyon. Masaya, dahil maayos nang muli ang gulong, at hindi naging magastos ang pagpapaayos. Ngunit mas nangibabaw ang aking pagtataka. Inisip ko kung paano nagpapatuloy ang buhay para sa isang binata na kumikita lamang sa vulcanizing. Kung ikukumpara ko ang regular na kita ng isang empleyado sa kinikita ni Jolan, mababa ang dalawang daang gulong sa isang buwan upang makapares niya sa kita ang isang pangkaraniwang manggagawa. Inisip ko kung ilang noong araw na iyon ang gulong na inayos ni Jolan. Naisip ko rin kung paano kaya sa isang araw na walang kliyente ang kanilang talyer: paano ang kanyang araw-araw na pangangailangan?

Muling tumambad sa akin ang isang katotohanan ng buhay na madalas nawawaglit sa ating diwa tuwing nakikita lamang natin ang ating sarili. Hindi maikakaila na bawat isa ay may hinaharap na uri ng pagsubok. Walang parehong pagsubok sa pagitan ng dalawang tao. Bawat isa’y may krus na dapat pasanin at landas na dapat tahakin. Ang pasan ng isang kagaya ko ay ibang iba sa pasan ng mga tulad ni Jolan. Ngunit sa isang banda, maaaring mas mapalad ang mga kagaya ko na kayang magluwal ng sitenta kada pagawa ng gulong, kumpara sa mga kagaya ni Jolan na umaasa lamang sa kamalasang maaaring maranasan ng isang motorista sa daan. Hindi naman niya pwedeng hilingin na lahat ng gulong sa kalsada ay sawing palad mabutasan, pero hindi rin nanaisin na magutom at mawalan ng kita. Ito ang magkabilang katotohanan ng buhay ng mga kagaya ni Jolan, na bagaman simple ang antas ng kanilang kalagayan sa buhay, ay hindi maikukumpara sa isang kagaya ko na, sa huli, ay may pantay at parehong bahagi sa mga pagsubok ng buhay.

Para sa mga kagaya ni Jolan, simple lang ang mundo. Binubuo ito ng mga yugto na kadalasa’y pare-pareho kada araw na lilipas–mag-abang, magtrabaho, kumita, mabuhay. Ang iba;y naghihintay sa likod ng lamesa–ang iba’y nag-aabang sa tabi ng kalsada. Ang iba’y nakikipagsapalaran sa mga tao–ang iba nama’y sa mga gulong na nauubusan ng hangin. Karamihan sa ati’y panay ang parito’t paroon para mabuhay–sa mga kagaya ni Jolan, sila’y humihimpil sa isang bahagi ng lansangan, naghihintay sa mga taong parito’t paroon.

Para sa iba, ang buhay ay parang gulong.

Para kay Jolan, gulong ang kanyang buhay.

 


Quickest Change of Clothes In Just Seconds!

This video clip of a contestant in America’s Got Talent is unlike your average magic trick or illusion. What dazzled me wasn’t how the artists changed clothes, but more of how quickly they did it! Obviously, as with any other trick, there’s always something behind it. But this isn’t like any magic of the David Copperfield or David Blaine type. This one just piques your mind with how quick and clean they did the trick!

See it for yourself.


Injuries Can Cost Spurs Playoff Bid

First Tim Duncan. Then, Manu Ginobili.

Just now, Tony Parker.

The San Antonio Spurs, after cruising to the best record in the league for 68 games, are now in danger of losing grip to the top spot, now with their big three players all in the injuries list. Duncan came down first with a sprained ankle two weeks ago, before Manu also came down with a left quad contusion. And today, in their home game against Portland, Parker is a DND also due to a left quad contusion.

Health has been a key factor why the Spurs are the top team this season, especially for their three all-star players. Now with the three players nursing injuries, guys like Tiago Splitter, Matt Bonner, James Anderson and George Hill have been pushed into the starting line-up with Richard Jefferson, the only remaining starter for the team. DeJuan Blair has been slid down as the first off the bench to provide the needed spark from the substituting units of the Spurs. Gary Neal and Steve Novak are the other crucial cogs that will help sustain the team as they wage the next 9 games, four of which will be played on the road.

The Spurs have already dropped three straight games since Duncan got injured. All three games were incurred on the road. But while coming back home is nothing like any for San Antonio, the fact remains that the three big players of the Spurs won’t be suiting up to defend their house. Now, the championship readiness of the number one team will be put to the test against a playoff contender that is perceived by many to be the most probable to pull an upset.

The Spurs definitely have their backs against the wall right now.


Chelsey Grace: The (Dreaded) Bed Fall

Cess and I were jolted out of our slumber last Saturday morning when we heard the horrifying and helpless wail of Chelsey from the floor of our house. Every sleeping father’s fear had happened–she managed to crawl out of our bed, get past our guards on her, and fell flat on her back on the vinyl-covered concrete.

We immediately picked her up, got some cold compress on her head, checked if she had any serious injuries, and tried to pacify her. Obviously, the last part was the hardest–it took us around ten minutes to calm her down. We did everything to take away whatever was hurting on her, but nothing prevailed. It had to be her to finally become peaceful and quiet.

We didn’t take our chances on what she didn’t obviously incur from her fall, so we went to the hospital to get her checked up. The doctor checked on her motor-neuron responses, and she was fine. In fact, Chelsey had started laughing when the physician began examining her. We were there for half an hour just to make sure everything was fine. The doctor, however, did not take anything for granted and had recommended that if something unusual starts to happen to Chelsey in the next three days, we should go back and have a CT Scan, just to be sure that nothing serious inside the head happened.

Later that night, after choir, Cess and I did a “simulation.” We left Chelsey on her own to move around the bed, and we started placing pillows on the floor where she fell that morning. After 15 minutes, the same thing happened, but this time, I was there to catch my daughter. Based on that “falling experiment” Chelsey had crawled backwards from the bed to the edge, causing her to fall with her bottom first, before losing her balance, causing her entire body to fall flat on the floor.

For me, I guess, the scenes of that Saturday morning will never leave me for the rest of my life. After all, that was Chelsey’ first ever fall from the bed. I just hope nothing bad really happened in her. I would assume, with her now smiling, kicking and moving around, she’s fine.


Oo Nga Naman 47

Come to think of it:

The one statement you can never fulfill is the statement “Never Say Never.”

In order for you to say “never say never,” you first have to say…

…never.

So you can never say “never say never” without never saying never.


Crazy Saturday

It was so crazy, I failed to blog.

Fin.


Azkals Beat Bangladesh In Must-Win Game: Advances To Next Round

True to their team name, the Azkals fought like unleashed bloodhounds and prevailed.

The Philippine Azkals made up for their two dismal outings with a convincing 3-0 win over the favored team Bangladesh to advance to the next round of the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup. Angel Guirado delivered two crushing goals after Ian Araneta made the first one, to pull away from the heavily-favored team of Bangladesh and make the cut for the next phase.

Cornered with their backs against the wall, after coming up with two draws against Myanmar (1-1) and Palestine (0-0), the Azkals unleashed their arsenal of high-octane goals en route to an upset of the more experienced and veteran team.

The win places the Philippine team at second place in their bracket, qualifying them to move to the final round, where all the top two qualifying teams will face off.