Go, celebrate the gift of life!

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Longing for a Walk

I’ve been longing to take a walk, the kind of walk I usually do in the summers I spent in my hometown.

Each time I take a step, one foot resting while the other moving forward, I feel the earth under my feet. It is firm and steady like a father, yet sweet and nurturing like a mother.

Walking gives birth to a renewed awareness of nature’s abundance and grace.

Walking often means meeting fellow pilgrims of life whose familiar faces and timid but warm smiles deepen my sense of belonging.

Walking makes me yield to simplicity and to the beauty of the past—the very foundation of all that we now have.

There is something about walking that makes me feel I am one with the universe, something that makes me long to embrace it in all its variety and wholeness.

I’ll continue finding time to walk. Who knows, I might also meet you along the way, my dear blogging friends. Together, we shall celebrate the beauty of observing the world at a human pace.

Posted 7 years, 6 months ago at 3:52 pm.

37 comments

The “Ambush” Distribution

With so much going on at work, Miss N had been holed up for a couple of weeks. And when she was able to settle some things she finally came up for air, longing for another adventure.

So, she decided to call an airline company and was lucky enough to have availed of a promo ticket. The next thing she knew, she was already coming out of the plane and flagging down a tricycle. She asked the driver to take her to the schools on the outskirts of the town of Catarman, the capital of the province of Northern Samar. With her were pencils for distribution.

It was going to be something different from the distribution done here and here. Because this time, there were no previous arrangements made with the schools. She was in for an adventure: find schools, ask permission from the school heads, then distribute.

Here, my dear blogging friends, are the children you made smile this weekend with the pencils you have sent. May they also make you smile and soothe your heart in these trying times.

For some more pictures, please click here.

It was another heartwarming experience. But, as in the previous distribution, I was also saddened by the pitiful condition of these children in the classroom.

Take a look at this picture, for example.

That is not a portion only of the classroom. That is the whole of it. It’s not actually a room, but a space between adjacent rooms which the school utilized for an extra room.

And on this other picture, please take a look at the stools which the children use as writing desks.

There are still a lot of things to be done in many public elementary schools in the country. I can only hope and pray that these will be done soon.

On behalf of the children who benefited from your generosity, my heart sings most sweetly with gratitude. Maraming, maraming salamat po for  continuously supporting Pens of Hope. Mabuhay!

Posted 7 years, 6 months ago at 1:08 am.

64 comments

One Stormy Night

The year was 1981. The date was December 23, two days before Christmas. My family were all gathered inside our small hut, trying to keep ourselves warm and listening to an old battery-operated radio.

Outside, the wind was howling and there was heavy downpour. Looking up our nipa thatched roof, it was obvious that the strong wind was trying to blow it off our house.

My parents decided to prepare an early dinner. Then suddenly we heard a loud crash in the kitchen where my father was. A coconut tree fell, broke the wooden trusses, and landed right on the spot where he had just gotten a bowl of rice. My father managed to escape, unscathed. With our kitchen crushed by the fallen coconut tree, we prepared to evacuate immediately and seek shelter in a neighbor’s house.

The typhoon, which my mother recalled was Dinang, vented overnight all its anger on our small island-town. The next morning, we learned that it took the lives of some townmates and left many families homeless.

When afternoon came, a military helicopter landed in our town. I trooped together with other children in the neighborhood to where it was. We were excited to see a helicopter for the first time.

When we got to the site, many people were lining up. It turned out the helicopter brought donated relief goods for our town. I remember lining up with my friends and happily walking home with some cans of corned beef, packs of milk and noodles, and a liter of oil.

As the church bell rang that night, on Christmas eve, we thanked God for our noche buena: corned beef and hot noodles. It was a very simple Christmas eve celebration which my family held squatting on the floor with only a candle lighting us. But it was something that my family will always be grateful for. We prayed for blessings for those generous faceless souls who donated relief goods so we can have something in our stomach on that dark, cold Christmas eve. It was a meaningful experience, one which was to become a constant reminder for me to never lose hope in other people’s compassion and generosity.

On this note, I urge you, my dear blogging friends, to continue supporting the victims of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. A little help goes a long, long way. Volunteer if you can. Give out if you can share anything. A lot of bloggers have come up with their own initiative, including the people behind Barrio Siete. And please, please pray for all the victims.

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The photo here shows the flooded street sign just beside the place where I spend most of my time when I am in Manila. Photo courtesy of a friend who was trapped inside that place when Ondoy battered the metropolis.

Posted 7 years, 6 months ago at 11:40 am.

35 comments