Saturday, June 27, 2015


Below are some questions that need to be asked:

  • According to Huffingtonpost “Even more alarming, an estimated 70 percent -- yes, 70 percent -- of Black young men leave high school before earning their diploma.”  While a 9-year-old in the Philippines studies on the sidewalk because his home has no electricity.  Why?  (“Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice, so that I can make a reply to him who taunts me.”  Proverbs 27:11
  • After the invention of rubber bullet and the taser gun why are lawmen still firing live bullets on unarmed civilians?  Why is it even called “live” when it kills?  Shouldn’t it be called death bullet instead?  (“schemers of what is harmful…they not only keep on doing them but also approve of those practicing them” Romans 1:30-32)
  • A pawnshop sells second hand 9mm glock for $200 and an AK47 rifle for $700.  What makes those weapons so easy to acquire? 
  • The Philippines does not have a divorce law.  Couples marry, separate and move on to common law marriage.  America has a divorce law so why do some Americans choose to kill the spouse than file for divorce.  If it’s about money and property, then to save lives, shouldn’t pre-nuptial agreement be made an integral part of the marriage vows?  Marriage licensing could come with a pre-nuptial agreement form to be filled out by the couple which should contain what they own, what they owe and what they expect from each other.  Another common reason for killing a spouse is the child custody.  A pre-agreed child custody arrangement could be attached to the pre-nuptial agreement.  If everything is in black and white, would the couple be compelled to make each other happy to preempt separation?  Since the marriage vow is no longer as tight as it was some decades ago, shouldn’t the exit strategy be given more thought and preparation?  (“‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.  However   everyone divorcing his wife, except on account of sexual immorality…Matthew 5:31-32)
  • Members of the LGBT community are aching to get married while most heterosexuals are trying to avoid it, postpone it or worse, escape it.  Why?  Now that same sex marriage is legal, would the LGBT in the future have the same custody and property disputes as mentioned above?  

Friday, June 19, 2015

What It Means

   You prayed to God for financial help to pay for dialysis, you got Philhealth membership which is now free for senior citizens.  It means God used the much maligned President Aquino to make it happen. (“Let every person be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.Romans 13:1)

   You now go through airports in the comfort of a wheel chair and someone to push you around even if you didn’t pray for it.  It means God saw you are not as strong as you used to be and too proud to do anything about it.  God used someone in the government no one can now remember to provide for the disabled and someone you are traveling with to make you take the wheel chair. (“your Father knows what you need even before you ask him.Matthew 6:8)

   You prayed to God for money so you can visit your aging father God puts you in the right place at the right time for a fender bender with an unlicensed driver.  God used the insurance company to hand you the money and a brother in your congregation to fix your car like new.  (“Honor your father and your mother” is the first command with a promise: “That it may go well with you and you may remain a long time on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2-3)

   You ask God to help you with a job you are only half qualified for, God helps you figure out new computer applications not being taught when you were in school and keeps you from making mistakes.  You manage to surpass your boss’ expectations.  (“So if any one of you is lacking in wisdom, let him keep asking God, for he gives generously to all and without reproaching, and it will be given him.James 1:5)

   You asked God for help to curb your own personality flaws.  A social worker comes with friendship and understanding to walk you through overcoming quirks you were born and raised with.  (“Who can discern mistakes? Pronounce me innocent from sins I am unaware of.Psalms 19:12)

See also 

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Gunman Saga Continues

   Becky had dinner with her son.  He said he had a strange dream one night.  In the dream he attended a wake.  He didn’t see the face of the dead in the coffin but in the dream he knew the deceased was his father, the Gunman, and that the man died of natural causes, not in a shootout.  He believed it was the Gunman’s way of saying goodbye.  Becky didn’t buy it.  It’s just a dream.

   Some days after, a woman who works for the Civil Registry surprisingly showed up at the home where Becky was staying.  Becky told the woman about her wanting to confirm from records if the Gunman indeed has died.  She gave the woman three of the Gunman’s aliases, no known current address, no death date or place.  The woman came back with a copy of a death certificate on one of the aliases. 

   The document says the man died in 2010 at Las Pinas Doctor’s Hospital of cardiac arrest due to uremia, an effect of end stage renal disease.  He was on hemodialysis.  Uremia happens when treatment is skipped for too long for whatever reason.  The cause of death in the certificate is consistent with her son's dream but the name is an alias not his birth name and quite common so it may or may not be the Gunman.  

   Becky went to Las Pinas Doctor’s Hospital.  She asked the Dialysis nurses if they remembered the patient in the death certificate.  They described their former patient as akin to the Gunman to a tee.  Becky showed them a photo of her grandson who looks like his grandfather.  The head nurse confirmed that the deceased patient looked like the boy.  Then she asked to see a picture of Becky's son.  Becky showed her a recent photo.  The nurse commented "He's got your eyes" meaning the rest of her son's face took after his father.  How could the head nurse have known that if she hadn't met the Gunman?
   A male nurse said that the patient had missed treatments intermittently and used to come in all bloated with fluid.  That patient also asked him for help on buying medicines because the patient didn’t have an ID card to show the pharmacist.  How many people in this world would not be able to show an ID if his life depended on it?  Sounds like a Gunman.
   Another nurse said the man was brave about the pain that’s involved in the dialysis treatment.  That sounds like her Gunman indeed!

   Becky asked the nurses if there’s anything else they can remember about this patient.  One of them remembered a heavy set woman who used to accompany the patient.  The Gunman did have an ex-wife, among many, who fit that description.  The last time he and Becky talked he complemented her for keeping her figure and said his other woman "got fat".  She remembered because it felt so good to hear his complement, something she missed since they lost each other.

   Despite the clues mentioned above Becky could not believe the Gunman is gone.  It will take a lot more, short of his personal goodbye, for her to find closure.  She decided to continue searching.  Her next stop would be his provincial home town.  The saga of the Gunman continues.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sites of Manila

   In May 2015 I visited the Philippines and stayed with my loving cousin who took me in all my life from my runaway days.  She had no car and no problem teaching me how to get around.  After 9 years in the US the streets and public transport rides have changed.  For the first time in almost a decade I took taxi, bus, jeep and tricycle rides by myself.  Here are the sites I revisited.

   I always picked the seat behind the jeep driver.  One was skeleton thin.  He was drinking Mountain Dew for energy as he drove.  He looked like he hasn’t seen a doctor from the day he was born.  Collectors for traffic enforcers tried to extort money from him, a daily thing. Still he works the rough roads without protesting about his poverty.  

   I met a business woman who sold cellphone minutes.  She took my 100 pesos and said she will send me the ‘load’ later because of a glitch in the provider’s system.  I should just keep checking my phone for it.  I took my money back and walked away.

   Every unmarked price goes up a notch or two as soon as the seller realized I came from abroad.  A taxi ride has a 50/50 chance of a rip off.  The driver would either ask for an amount in addition to the meter fare, or declare an outrageous specific amount for the ride.  But let that not blind you to the good ones.  To them you won’t mind giving a tip simply because they weren’t asking for any.

   I met Dialysis nurses swamped with work and ill equipped but happy to help their patients live another day till the next treatment.

   I saw a man resting with his baby on a cardboard box spread on the side walk under a tree.  His wife sat leaning on him.  They were home.  The strangest thing was they looked happy.  It brought me back to that precious time in my life when I laid on old newspapers spread on hard floor.  I, too, at that time slept in bliss in the arms of a man who loved me.  

   Wealth and comfort one can waste and work to regain.  Unfortunately that does not apply to poverty.  Once you give it up recapture would be from difficult to impossible.  I have spent 44 years looking back and for the life of me can’t find my way home.  

See also: