Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Current Events

   In the mid 50’s, the public elementary schools in Pasay City had a Current Events portion in a subject called Social Studies.  Students were required to find an article in the newspaper and bring to class.  They were asked to comment on the news they brought in.  Most clipped out news about gruesome crimes and tragic calamities like flood, fire or earthquake.  Those articles were easy to discuss and have the shock effect to grab the teacher’s attention.  Grades depended on this.

   One of the students, Susan, bored her teachers and classmates with articles about bills filed in the Senate or Congress and talked about how the bill would help or hurt the Filipinos should it pass into a law.  She reported about corruption and incompetence in government.  She didn't get good grades but she still did this from eight years old till she graduated at the age of twelve.  

Sta. Ana Tenement From:
 In 1965, 
Susan was in high school.  President Diosdado Macapagal was running for a second term.  His opponent was President Ferdinand Marcos.  She had nothing against the then Senate Pres. Marcos but from her Current Events reports she knew about the Tenement Housing Macapagal had built for the very poor.  She thought the country needed more of those.  She was too young to vote so she campaigned for Macapagal within the voting members of her family.  President Marcos won that election.  “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

   Four years later, by 1969, Susan found herself in the College of Arts and Science of the University of the Philippines, in Diliman, Quezon City.  The youth of the world was in uproar back then.  At the height of what people called “student unrest” she joined the Kabataang Makabayan.  She marched in street demonstrations to protest about the issues she reported about in grade school Current Events.  She sat in ‘teach-ins’.  She supported labor unions in the picket lines.  She gave talks in urban poor barangays to encourage the poor’s participation in political rallies.  Eventually she dropped out of college and joined the rebels in the countryside.  There she became the ‘current event’.  She was pregnant with her first baby when she was killed in an encounter with the military.  

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

No Logic

   An old friend in my younger days called me “non-conformist” as a pet name because I always had an opinion contrary to all.  When I vigorously defended my non-conformist opinion he said I “have the courage of my conviction”.  Now I see he was being kind.

   My daughter in grade school said to me “Mom, how come you have no logic?”  She’s a bit of ‘know it all’ so I just laughed.  Two of my ex-husbands, although they never met, both said in two different languages that I could be brilliant one moment then crazy senseless the next.  

   An incident recently sort of described what some people fondly dismissed as a ‘senior moment’ and laughed.  I leave it to the reader to define my train of thought on that morning.  Here’s how it went down.

   It’s often cold in San Francisco even in the summer so I had been waiting for a warm day to wash my car in the street parking.  I finally got a warm day.  I came out of the apartment carrying a small step stool and two buckets.  One has a sponge, soap and water while the other contained rinsing water and a dipper.  

   I found my dark gray Toyota Matrix parked right in front of our gate.  I started washing, the roof first using the step stool.  Then I did the passenger side.  I ran out of water so I thought of leaving the stool inside the car.  I was afraid someone passing might swipe it if I left it on the sidewalk.  I tried my key on the passenger side door but it didn’t work.  I thought maybe because the key hole is wet with soap.  I dried the keyhole.  I realized it’s so black with dirt.  That could also be the reason why the key didn’t work.  I detailed the keyhole and tried the key again.  No luck, I might have to get it fixed.  I gave up and continued cleaning.  

   I reached the back and found a couple of dents I haven’t seen before.  I knew dents could affect door locks.  I realized this might be the reason why my keys didn’t work.  I continued cleaning then after rinsing took shots of the dents to send to my car insurance.  I got more upset thinking about $500 deductible it would cost.  So upset that I washed the back car plate without much attention.  

   I moved on to the driver side of the car and found scrapes so light it might wash off.  This time I took photos before washing.  When I got to the front of the car I noticed more scratches.  I was so angry by then.  Who could have done this to my car?  Was this done on purpose?  Then I saw the plate has been changed!  Someone stole my personalized plate and replaced it with a regular plate.  Here I got angry and in a panic.  Someone drove my car.  It might have been used in a crime.  Or they might have used my missing plates in a crime.  

   I finished washing and carried my cleaning items back home.  I told my daughter "Someone has vandalized my car and stole my plate.  I am getting ready to call the police."  My daughter ran out to check and when I got to her she was laughing her head off.  I thought that was insensitive of her to laugh at my misfortune.

   “Mom, this is not your car!  That one is!” She said as she pointed to another gray Toyota Matrix with my plate on it, parked just two cars away.  

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Proof of Genesis

   “A 113-million-year-old fossil from Brazil is the first four-legged snake that scientists have ever seen.” (BBC News) The significance of this find is that it proves the Book of Genesis’ description of paradise.  

   “Then Jehovah God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are the cursed one out of all the domestic animals and out of all the wild animals of the field. On your belly you will go(Genesis 3:14)  Apparently the serpent had legs before the fall of Adam and Eve.  

   We, on the other hand, are the living proofs of Adam and Eve.  “To the woman he said: “I will greatly increase the pain of your pregnancy; in pain you will give birth to children, and your longing will be for your husband, and he will dominate you.” (Genesis 3:16)  To this date no woman has given birth without pain and men has dominated women. 

   “And to Adam he said: “…cursed is the ground on your account. In pain you will eat its produce all the days of your life.  It will grow thorns and thistles for you, and you must eat the vegetation of the field.   In the sweat of your face you will eat bread”  (Genesis 3:17-19)   Except for the desert and sandy shores any piece of land left untouched will grow thorns and thistles.  Eating vegetables became a ‘must’ which isn’t so bad.  True enough man has been tasked with providing food for himself and his family.  Women have learned to earn a living and most are good at it.  However, even in this time of ‘liberated women’ the house husband or supported men have been a lucky few.  

   “Until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken.  For dust you are and to dust you will return.”  Aren’t we all bound for the grave?  

   Genesis is just the first book of the Bible.  God’s love did not end there.  In the Book of Isaiah, He promised a return to paradise where women can have children without pain.  “They will build houses and live in them, and they will plant vineyards and eat their fruitage.  They will not build for someone else to inhabit, nor will they plant for others to eat.  For the days of my people will be like the days of a tree, and the work of their hands my chosen ones will enjoy to the full.  They will not toil for nothing nor will they bear children for distress” (Isaiah 65:21-22)

   The Revelation, the last book says there will be no more death “And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” 

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Keep Knocking

   It used to be that there was safety in number.  That was when sectors unionized, communities organized and people socialized.  Now a neighbor could be a registered sex offender.   Internet hackers and identity thieves are hovering in the clouds.  A doctor could be doing health-care fraud, prescription drug abuse or worse intentionally misdiagnosing patients for profit.  There is no way of knowing who we should open our doors to or trust with our life and possession. "But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures..." (2 Timothy 3:1-4)

   Thus people are all hiding.  If you do find them it’s hard to connect.  In America doors of homes are always locked.  Most have a sign of a security system in front.  You can knock but the homeowner has no obligation to come to the door.  You can call the phone number but get the voicemail.  You can write or send a text message and not get a reply back.  The world has become so conflicted that there’s more safety in isolation.  

   However, there is one door we can knock and be sure to find an answer and it doesn’t take a long ride or calling customer service for an appointment.  It doesn’t take money or credentials to be heard.  

“Keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you…For everyone asking receives… and to everyone knocking, it will be opened.” Jesus guaranteed.  

   He didn’t say sometimes or by chance.  He didn’t say if you’re good.  He said everyone.  Everyone means regardless of gender, nationality, religious affiliation or political leaning.  The requisite is only that the person keep knocking at his father’s door and he guarantees Jehovah will answer.  

   I have knocked and asked so many times in my life.  I have received undeserved favors just for the asking.  The next time you feel in dire need, when all the doors have closed on you, try that one and see what happens.