John Awatin Walks 1 Kilometer to Serve as Lay Minister

John Awatin Walks 1 kilometer

to Serve as Lay Minister

by Apolinario Villalobos

 

John Awatin lives one kilometer away from the parish church of the Saint Martin de Porres located at Panapaan, Bacoor, and he walks to and from the said church as a Lay Minister. He has been doing the said sacrifice when he was taken in as such in June 6, 2014. But before that, he has been jobless for one year. He did not pursue his seafaring career that gave him ample monthly wage for eight years, due to seizures. Until today, he suffers from ticking of left eye. Fortunately, his seizures are already under control.

 

He was a hardworking guy since he was young, helping their mother do household chores and even going to the market on weekends. He learned how to cook and took charge of the laundry, too…all these he did, being the eldest among the brood of four. Unfortunately, both their parents left them while they were still young.

 

His parents were from Camiguin Island in Mindanao. Both of them were hardworking, a trait which he and his siblings inherited. At a young age, he settled down with Sheena who is now working with the YMCA-Manila. They are happy today with their four “angels” – Sheen, Sean, Nash, and Hans.

 

When John was rejected by manning agencies for seafarers due to his ailment, he was, as expected, so downhearted that he became reclusive. His seizures worsened so that there were times that he would just fall during attacks, despite which he persisted in attending Sunday Mass with his wife. The drugs he took did not help much as he was also emotionally affected. It was at this instance that Jun Kamatoy, a Lay Minister serving at the Saint Martin de Porres parish, thought of convincing him to become a Lay Minister to keep his mind busy.

 

Neighbors were sort of curious how such a guy who suffers from seizures and with a very minimal “exposure” to religious activities could possibly assist the priest during Mass. Practically, Jun Kamatoy risked his credibility when he assured the parish priest that John would be a good Lay Minister. True enough, after passing his orientations with flying colors, he proved his worth for such a religious obligation.

 

As he had no “decent” clothes to wear, Jun Kamatoy also gave him several pairs of pants and undershirts, as well as, a pair of shoes, while Emma Duragos, a crusader of the Holy Face, gave him white long-sleeved shirts, courtesy of her son. A neighbor also gave him another pair of shoes and two more pairs of pants.

 

Since the first day of his service as a Lay Minister, nobody among his neighbors knew that he was walking his way to the church, as well as, in going back home, except when the weather is so bad that he had to take a jeepney. The distance he covers both ways are two kilometers. I found this out myself when I saw him trekking one early morning to the church, while I was on a jeepney on my way to Baclaran. One time, too, I saw him walking under the sun still in his white long sleeved shirt on his way home.

 

When I had the chance to talk to him, I asked about his seizures and he told me that his condition has been fast improving and he feels that he would finally overcome it, although, I have observed that the ticking of his left eye is still very evident. He also keeps himself busy by attending to the needs of their children, humbly accepting his role as a “houseband”. He cooks for them and does the rest of the chores at home. We never mention God or Jesus in our conversations, although, deep in my mind and heart, I know that John is a manifestation of another miracle. At 43, John is a picture of contentment and happiness….

 Awatin Family John Sheena

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Ang Pagmumura at si Duterte

Ang Pagmumura at si Duterte

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Dapat mag-ingat kahit kaunti si Duterte dahil tumitindi ang smear campaign laban sa kanya. Noon ay ang patagong banat sa kanya laban sa kanyang “pambabae” daw at “salvaging”. Mabuti at siya mismo ay nagsalita na tungkol sa mga bagay na ito at umamin pa, kaya wala nang mauukilkil tungkol sa mga ito upang hantarang ibabanat sa kanya. Isa sa mga tinitingnan ngayon ng mga naninira laban sa kanya ay ang ugali niyang pagmumura. Masama mang banggitin, may ginagamit na mga taga-media ang mga kalaban niya kaya sa isang iglap, kalat agad sa buong bansa kung may masambit man siyang pagmumura. Wala tayong magagawa dahil yan ang kalakaran ng pulitika sa Pilipinas.

 

Ang malas, “tinuka” niya ang pain na tanong tungkol sa pagdating ng santo papa, sa pagsagot subalit may kasamang pagmumura. Pinagpipiyestahan ng mga maninira ang ugali niyang pagmumura at pagiging prangka. Dahil sa ginagawa niyang pagmumura ay nagiging tactless siya.

 

May mga taong naging ugali na ang pagmumura kaya automatiko ang pagsambit ng maaanghang na salita na naging bahagi ng kanyang bokabularyo. Dapat baguhin ang ganitong pag-uugali na hindi man dinidekta ng puso ay masama ang epekto lalo sa mga taong banal kuno pero mahilig namang magbanggit ng “for Christ’s sake” o “for God’s sake” na mas matinding blasphemy at laban sa isa sa mga kautusan sa Ten Commandments. Ang mga banal na ito ay nagsa-sign of the cross pa kapag nakarinig ng masama o nakakita ng masama. Bakit hindi na lang sila maglagay ng busal sa mga tenga o di kaya ay maglagay ng pantakip sa mga mata na ginagamit ng mga kutsero sa kanilang kabayo para diretso ang kanilang tingin kapag naglalakad sa kalye? Pero kung marinig lang sila kung murahin nila ang kapitbahay at kasambahay kahit pa kararating lang nila mula sa simbahan dahil dumalo sa misa……..nakuuuu!

 

Upang maipakita ko ang katapatan sa binabahagi ko tungkol sa pagmumura at upang maging makatotohanan ang mga sinasabi ko, aaminin kong nakikita ko ang sarili ko kay Duterte dahil naging bahagi na rin ng pananalita ko ang pagmumura tulad ng “tangna” na pinaiksing “putang ina”, ang “belatibay” na pinaiksing “latibay” upang hindi masyadong maanghang pakinggan, at ang pabulong na “..hit” na sana ay “shit”, pero hindi pa rin nawawala ang “yodiputa”. Tulad ni Duterte, marami rin ang nagalit at nakadanas din ako ng panlilibak dahil sa pagmumura ko. Ang masakit lang, ang iba pala sa kanila ay matindi naman palang manira ng kapwa!

 

Sa mga naging president ng Pilipinas ang kilala sa pagmumura ay si Manuel L. Quezon na ang ginagamit na kataga ay mula sa wikang Kastila…maraming nagalit sa kanya noon lalo na ang mga kasama niya sa gobyerno na karamihan ay nakatikim ng pagmumura mula sa kanya. May dati akong boss na ang ginagamit na salita ay “Jesus Christ” or “Jessezzzz” sabay hawak sa kanyang noo…at ngayon ay malamang kasama na niya dahil namayapa na siya. Yong isang kaibigan ko naman ay paborito ang “damn you” at “go to hell”, patay na rin siya at malamang ay nandoon na rin siya. Yong isa pa ay “demonyo ka” o di kaya ay “demonyo” lang kung walang kausap pero nadapa o nauntog o may nakalimutan sa bahay.

 

Ang pagmumura ay isang paraan upang lumuwag ang naninikip na dibdib ng isang taong galit. Sa halip na lakas ang gamitin niya sa pamamagitan ng pagsuntok sa kausap o manira ng anumang gamit na mahawakan ay dinadaan na lang niya sa pagmumura.  May nasimulan naman sa Japan na pantanggal ng tension na sanhi ng paninikip ng dibdib, at ito ay ang pagsigaw kahit halos namamaos na. Subalit may paraan na ngayon upang mapalitan ang ganitong uri ng paglabas ng galit, sa pamamagitan ng paghinga ng malalim o “deep breathing”. Sa kamalasan, may isa akong kaibigan na sa sobran galit ay pinilit ang sunud-sunod na deep breathing kaya hinimatay dahil na-choke…kinapos ng hangin! Ayaw kong mahimatay tulad niya.

 

Ang problema sa kultura natin na may pagka-colonial pa rin, kapag ang pagmumura ay ginawa sa English o Kastila, parang wala lang ang epekto, pero kung ang pagmumura ay ginawa na sa Pilipino, ang nakakarinig, lalo na mga banal daw ay para nang natapunan ng ipot ng pusa sa mukha. Hindi ko sinasabing hindi masama ang pagmumura. Subalit dapat ay maghinay-hinay sa paghusga sa mga taong nagmumura. Mabuti nga lumabas ang masamang salita lang mula sa kanya, hindi tulad ng ibang nagbabanal-banalan na ang masamang ugali ay nagkakaugat sa puso nila at diwa kaya habang tumagatal ay yumayabong pa. Ang pagmumura namang inilalabas ay walang pagkakataong yumabong dahil….yon nga, ibinuga na ng bibig!

 

Narinig ang tape tungkol sa pagmumura ni Duterte sa santo papa, kaya malinaw na ginawa nga niya. Isa itong maituturing na “tactlessness” o kawalan ng pasubali o ugaling bara-bara sa salitang kanto….na talagang mali. Subalit si Duterte ay kilala sa paghalo ng mga biro sa kanyang pananalita, kaya malamang, para sa kanya ay joke ang sinabi niya….pero joke na masama o hindi nararapat dahil si Francs bilang pinakamataas na lider ng simbahang Katoliko ay tinuturing na banal kay tinawag na “santo papa”.

 

Kilalal sa pagbiro ang mga Bisaya, na kahit maanghang sa pandinig ay hindi naman bukal sa kalooban ng nagsabi, tulad ng pabirong “gi-atay ka”  o “lilinti-an ka” na ang mga kahulugan ay ayaw ko na lang sabihin. Mabuti na rin ang ginawang pagpuna kay Duterte, para hindi isipin ng santo papa na tino-tolerate ng mga Pilipino ang ganitong ugali…at baka hindi na siya magsalita ng blessing sa Pilipino tuwing mamintana upang magbasbas sa mga taong nag-aabang sa kanya.

 

Pero, sa isang banda, kung papipiliin ako sa pagitan ng isang taong nagmumura subalit ang layunin ay magkaroon ng pagbabago sa isang sistema ng gobyerno na may makapal na kulapol ng korapsyon at may napatanuyan na, at sa isang taong namang dahilan ng kagutuman at kahirapan ng buong bayan dahil sa kawalan ng malasakit, kahit hindi pa nagmumura at animo ay larawan ng pagkabanal at pagka-santo na pagkukunwari lang pala….ang pipiliin ko ay ang nagmumura!

 

Ang ginawa ni Duterte kahit pa maituturing na joke ay patunay sa binitiwan niyang babala noon na kung maging presidente siya ay wala siyang sasantuhin….kaya humanda na sila!

 

Are the Ten Commandments for the Israelites also Intended for the Future Converts Today

Are the Ten Commandments for the Israelites also Intended

for the Converts Today?

By Apolinario Villalobos

With what are happening all over the world today, I cannot help but take a look again at the “Ten Commandments” that the God of the Israelites issued to them through Moses. When Jesus Christ came, the frontier of the Mosaic faith has been moved extensively outward to include gentiles who are willing to be converted. That makes the “Ten Commandments” applicable to the modern-day Christians and others who trace the origin of their religion to Moses.  In other words, the commandments have become universal as to include even those not yet born, but whose parents are within the fold of the mentioned faith.

The Ten Commandments are supposed to be the gauge of God in judging His faithful, be they the original “chosen people” or the converted gentiles, at the end of their day. Each simply-stated commandment is encompassing and has even become clearer with the passing days. Let us take a look at them:

  1. “You shall have no other gods beside me.” Due to fanaticism and despair, how many bow to the power of nature after a natural calamity has struck? How many trust amulets to protect them…with such trust akin to worshipping an unseen power?
  1. “You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the form of anything….you shall not bow before them or worship them…” How many kneel and bow before an image…wipe and caress its face…kiss the seam of its outfit or false hair…imploring it to perform miracles?
  1. “You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God in vain”. How many swear to high heavens and invoke Him, so that even lightning may strike them on the spot, if indeed, they are telling a lie?
  1. “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.” The “rest day” is supposed to be Saturday, but today most sects, observe it on Sunday, still some, on Friday. Is not moving the Sabbath day, already a violation of the commandment? Nevertheless, what is required here is that such “rest day”, should be dedicated to Him. But how many attend religious gatherings of worship on a Sabbath day or gleefully motor off to resorts to unwind, instead?
  1. “Honor your father and your mother that you may have a long life…” How many homes are broken today because of the evil attitude of children? A home with discordant atmosphere affects the mind of those living in it. It has been proved that one of the reasons why children run away from home is their refusal to take orders with disciplinary intent from their parents. Running away from home results to the children’s indulgence in drugs and prostitution, as well as, other crimes. Will not those vices shorten the children’s lives? The medical science has proved that stress and vices can cause cancer and other diseases.
  1. “You shall not kill.” A simple statement which many people oftentimes forget when they are blinded with pride and dire material need. Some kill to protect their honor, others do it just for fun when under the influence of drugs and liquor, others do it to carry out their evil desire such as robbing or raping, or worst, others do it as a gainful occupation.
  1. “You shall not commit adultery.” During the Bible times, even the Israelite kings committed such crime, but today it is worst, as self-serving rules are promulgated to make such crime acceptable within a society. Such crime is even committed with the consent of parties involved. The pea-brained violators blame the “marriage” contract as the culprit for such crime. For them, without the binding contract, there would be no adultery. But, can they blame the God whose intention was to prevent the blatant practice of uncontrolled sex? Is not the uncontrolled sex or promiscuousness one of the causes of the dreaded HIV disease?
  1. “You shall not steal”. This is the most commonly-committed crime. Stealing is prevalent in all kinds of society. Even at a young age, children learn to commit petty stealing which develop into a bigger crime as they grow. Today, in some societies that do not prosecute minors, parents even prod their children to steal as they cannot be charged anyway. Growing children learn to steal from their parents for extra money that they spend for their vices, one of which is addiction to internet games. As students, some learn to steal intelligence of others via the internet by copy/pasting dissertations to satisfy thesis requirement in school. And the ultimate act is when “intelligent” government officials steal the people’s money resulting to the latter’s social distress and poverty.
  1. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”. How many innocent people are now suffering behind bars because their poverty prevented them from hiring reliable lawyers to defend them in court, leaving them helpless as false testimonies were heaped upon them? How many of these innocents have been dragged to prisons after the real culprits of crimes were successfully “defended” by false, though, convincing oratorical deliberations of handsomely paid lawyers?
  1. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house…wife…” The greed of man before and today could have made God issue such reminder. Coveting for weak nations by the powerful ones has been rampant even before the covenant was etched on the blocks of stone. Today such evil desire is sophisticatedly called “expansionism”. Strong nations come up with flimsy allegations as basis in overrunning territories of weak nations. Along this line, such greed is also manifested in the seduction of other people’s better half or spouse, as well as, properties such as in the case of squatting on other people’s land and forging documents that cover them, even using poverty as alibi.

As an answer to the question in the title, yes…the Ten Commandments, originally issued to the Israelites, are very much applicable to the converted Gentiles of today. Those who were born into the Faith of their parents and were forced by virtue of baptism at their infancy, may choose if they have reached the appropriate age, any other affiliation not “covered” by the so-called “covenant”, rather than criticize the firm believers.

This blog has no intention of sparking an exchange of criticism on religions. Rather, I am presenting a personal view of what are happening in the world today. I would rather accept criticisms for oversight, exaggeration, etc., than read comments of viewers criticizing each other based on their religious affiliation, to express their having been incited unknowingly, which again, is not the intent of this simple presentation.