Angels are Just Around

ANGELS ARE JUST AROUND

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

 

Yes, angels are just around. I have encountered many of them who in their subtle way extend a hand to others, or to put it simply, unselfishly share the blessings they earned the fair way. While some do not hesitate to share with others what they also need to survive to the point of sacrifice or deprivation, others share their excess but still given with sincerity.

 

The latest angel I encountered surprised me with an amount that she easily pulled out of her purse when we met. She had been reading my blogs about children who do errands to earn, the latest of whom were “Pango” and “Macmac”. The money she handed to me was for them and the rest of children whom I have been regularly visiting.

 

She vehemently asked me not to write about what she did but I insisted that what I would be sharing with viewers is her “good act”, with a firm promise that her name will not be mentioned, though I added that I would refer to her as “Ms. Di”. I explained that she and the late British princess Princess Diana had a profound similarity in character. Just like Princess Di, the angel I just met also has a strong character, an almost flawless face that stands out in a crowd. Like Princess Di, she also has a penetrating and soulful stare.

 

My new angel, as found out, also has scholars, for whom she found part-time jobs. She told me that she has done her best in helping her siblings and that, it is now time for her to focus on the plight of others who are deserving of her help for as long she can afford it. Aside from the working students, she has also been helping unfortunate families. Not only is her heart full of soft spots for others, but she also speaks with softness that can put even a stranger at ease to which I can attest. Before we parted ways, all she asked me are prayers to keep her going…

 

From what “Ms. Di” gave, both Macmac and Pango got 2 new sets of school uniform, several pairs of underwear, and a folding umbrella each. As both are also saving money in their “piggy bank”, they also were given a little cash. The rest of the money was spent for the purchase of folding umbrellas to be given to other kids due to the onset of the rainy season.

 

A Filipina in America also sent two boxes of children’s wear, food items, shoes, medicines, several new clinical instruments, and 6 New American Standard (NAS) Bible.  The medicines, food supplements and clinical instruments are for a patient. The boxes arrived several weeks after “Perla” sent several boxes, too, which contained reading materials, food items and clothes. A Filipina in London and another in Canada sent money for the boat fare of a family back to their province in Cagayan de Oro when their shack got demolished, with the excess amount to be used as a seed money for their business so that they would never think of going back to Manila. Many others are extending help and though I cannot mention them here, in the future, definitely I will, as an update on my RAS (random acts of sharing).

 

I do not encourage the giving of donations by my viewers. Those who have been sending help are old-time friends who I trust and who trust me. I am sharing this information so that others will know what we are doing for which I ask for their prayers….

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Living in the Midst of Various Faiths and Ethics

LIVING IN THE MIDST OF VARIOUS FAITHS AND ETHICS

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Personally, I believe that there can be harmony in diversity for as long as the relationship is founded on tolerance, understanding and compassion. One manifestation of this harmony is the celebration of Christmas even by non-Christians, and I have observed this in the Islamic Center in Quiapo (Manila) where many Muslim homes display Christmas tree during December. When I was in high school, many non-Christians students were proudly sporting the school uniform of our parochial Catholic school.

 

Tolerance begets respect and understanding. Such attitude is devoid of selfishness and egoism. A feeling of superiority is also not harbored in the heart. With tolerance, members of the community do not pay attention to which church their neighbors go on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Respect, though, should be shown to the utmost, especially, on the aspect of diet, so that in a culturally and religiously diversified community, restaurant owners take the pain of gluing on conspicuous space of the wall a notice about their food being “halal”.

 

A former classmate based in our province intoned during our cellphone conversation about his having a “personal God” which he claims does not drive him away from the faith of his birth. It is just that, by maintaining this kind of belief, he can be more tolerant about others’ faith. It is like saying, “leave me alone with my God and I will leave you with yours”. According to him, what spoils religions and sects is their being “institutionalized” which makes each of them competitive, as they vie for expanded membership. Along that line, it cannot be avoided that religions and sects would be compared with each other, so that prospective members can “choose” which is “better” or “best”…..and that is when trouble develops. An unsolicited advice is for these groups not to be too loud about their faith and just show their best “angle” by being tolerant and being nice to others.

 

On the other hand, if the government is not too conscious of the issue on separation between the State and the Church, somehow, there will be harmony. It is true that it is provided in the Law of the Land, the Constitution, but why not give a chance to the “unwritten rules” dictated by the heart and common sense?  For instance, as the various religious communities have more viability as regards morality which goes with spirituality, their strength can prop up the effort of the government in building up the welfare of the Filipino youth.

 

As regards the youth, there are many “homes” administered by the religious groups and most of them are in dire need of financial and material support. Meanwhile, the social workers who work in the government facilities are limited on what they learned from books. If molding of the youth is the issue, there is a need to inject a spiritual element in this effort and the lay social workers cannot do that, but only the religious people. The youth cannot be considered successfully developed if their spiritual foundation which has got to do with morality is weak and crumbling that may eventually result to their becoming disgraceful citizens of the nation.

 

There was a time when the miserable situation of the young detainees in a local government rehabilitation facility was exposed. Such disclosure was underscored by the misuse of budget as it was found out that the detainees were not fed properly. In this regard, lay administrators do not give a damn if they are found to be irresponsible as they have ways to avoid prosecution of the earthly court. On the other hand, the religious people may think twice before misbehaving as part of their guidance is about suffering in hell if they exploit their fellow creatures!

Discipline as Essence of Life

DISCIPLINE AS ESSENCE OF LIFE

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Man can never do away with discipline for as long he lives in this world. Nobody lacks discipline, but just vary in degree accordingly. Those who grew up in strict homes, as expected are more disciplined than those whose parents are lax. The people with whom we are associated with also counts a lot in the development of discipline. An offshoot of discipline is the so-called, “good manners” which goes with the sayings, “tell me who your friends are and I will know what kind of a person you are”, as well as, “your manners indicate the kind of parents you have”.

 

A “happy go lucky guy” does not necessarily mean that he lacks discipline, otherwise, he could have been dead years before his adolescence. Discipline is an important element for one’s survival so that even a pampered guy’s instinct has a bit of it. The big or little bit of discipline determines the lifestyle of people. Those who have no regards for their health, for instance, may suffer from an off-balanced discipline resulting to their lack of control in their diet, as well as, their development of vices. They know that what they are doing is bad, but what can a bit of discipline do to stop them?

 

Success in life depends a lot on discipline. For students with weak discipline, graduation could just be a wish if their life veers away from the right track. Those who fail in their studies have more likely given priority to short-term pleasures that resulted to their long-term regret. Finding a job could also be difficult for those whose discipline in the simple waking up early to be in time for interview, is wanting. Many graduates thought that the name of a high-end university scribbled on top of their diploma is a guarantee for a job. What establishment for instance, would want to hire a guy who has no respect for time, despite his having graduated from a high-end university?

 

Discipline is life…. as it makes us breathe in regular cadence for oxygen to enter our system that makes our heart beat and our brain to function properly. Most importantly, discipline makes us control our life, as well as, make us realize whatever wrong we have done, though how late such realization may have occurred, as we tread the path towards that “light”….