Strong Faith in God and the Resilience of the Filipino

Strong Faith in God

And the Resilience of the Filipino

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

In the face of adversities, the Filipino has always been strong, steely- willed and resilient. It is this supple character that makes him adjust to any condition after a catastrophe. His unquestionable faith in God is the vigor that makes him move on and hurdle the rest of hindrances along the way.

 

No man-made or natural catastrophe can ever make the Filipino turn his back from God. For him, all these are just trials that make his faith stronger. He knows that God will never give him a challenge that he cannot muster. He knows that all these are the proverbial litters of stones and thorns along the way of his journey to the waiting arms of the Lord.

 

Life is beautiful. But everything in the universe has its end. To prepare himself for this, the Filipino has even shown greater faith in God by becoming more aware of His presence. Religious movements are on the rise. Humble prayers for mercy have grown louder. The Filipino can be likened to Tobit and  Job, Biblical characters whose lives were full of challenges that put their faith to an acid test.

 

God manifests His consolations in mysterious and unexpected ways. It could be His way of showing His love to the Filipinos as a people. The Philippines is profusely endowed with natural resources. The Filipino has an easy smile and has the habit of taking a scandal lightly and make it worthy of a good laugh, without losing its serious color.

 

God has chosen a people in the past – the Israelites, as the Bible says….they, who had to roam around the desert for forty years. Today, He must have chosen a new one – the Filipinos who are engulfed in controversies and series of misfortunes…but for how long will the Filipinos be tested by the Him?

 

 

Manalig nang Walang Pag-alinlangan at Huwag Pairalin ang Kayabangan

Manalig nang Walang Pag-alinlangan

At Huwag Pairalin ang Kayabangan

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Hindi madali ang basta na lang maniwala sa mga bagay na hindi nakikita. Lalong hindi madaling gawin ito  ng isang tao na ang palagay sa sarili ay “napakatalino” na dahil sa maraming kaalamang nakuha sa mga sa mga libro at mga ibinahagi sa kanya ng mga guro. Subali’t paano na kung may mga katanungang hindi kayang sagutin maski ng agham o siyensiya? Basta na lamang ba itong ipagkibit-balikat at isasantabi?

 

Hangga’t may bahid ng pag-alinlangan, halimbawa,  ang pananalig ng isang tao sa Pinakamakapangyarihan sa lahat, hindi mamamayani ang takot sa kanyang puso sa paggawa ng masama dahil sa kanyang kaisipan, walang nagbabantay sa kanya, walang manunumbat, at siya lamang ang tanging nakakaalam kung ano ang tama o mali. Mas gugustuhin pa niyang mamayani ang kanyang pananalig sa mga batas ng pamahalaan.

 

Hindi maikakaila ang tibay ng mga bagay na tinatakan ng mga simbolo at kasulatan na may kinalaman sa Manlilikha. Sa kabila ng kung ilang libong taon na ang lumipas, may mga bahagi pa ring natira upang patunayan na ang mga nakasaad sa Bibliya ay totoo. Dahil sa tuluy-tuloy na pananaliksik, tuloy din ang pagtambad sa mata ng tao ang mga katunayan na noong unang panahon pa man ay nandiyan na Siya at pilit nagpapahiwatig ng di-masukat Niyang kapangyarihan. Maraming mga nadiskubre ang hindi maipaliwanag hanggang ngayon na sa halip na pagtuunan ng pansin, ay mas pinili ng taong laktawan at pagtuunan ng pansin ang paghalughog sa napakalawak na kalangitan gamit ang sarili niyang kaalaman. Nag-aalinlangan ang taong umamin na may Isang napakamakapangyarihan sa lahat na siyang dahilan ng mga hindi maipaliwanag na mga bagay sa sanlibutan at sa kalawakan.

 

Gusto ng taong mas kilalanin ang kanyang kakayahan at kaalaman kaya kung anu-ano na lang ang kanyang ginagawa tulad ng pagbuhay ng isang patay sa pamamagitan ng pagpapatibok ng puso nito gamit ang isang makina, pagpupunla ng isang buhay gamit ang isang bahagi ng tao na matagal nang namayapa, pagbabago ng mga likas na katangian ng mga tanim at hayop, paggawa ng mga sasakyang nakakarating sa ibang planeta, at iba upang maihalintulad siya sa Diyos.

 

Subali’t sa kabila ng mga kaalaman ng tao para ipakita na siya man ay maaaring umaktong Diyos, bakit hindi pa rin niya mapigilan ang mga dilubyo na dulot ng  mga mapaminsalang baha, bagyo at lindol? Bakit hindi  niya mapigilan ang pag-alburuto ng mga bulkan sa pagpakawala ng kanilang kinukuyom na lakas na pinaghalong abo, mga bato at apoy? Bakit hindi niya  maawat ang pagtigang ng lupa sa ibang kontinente upang magresulta sa malawakang gutom dahil sa pagkalanta ng mga pananim? Bakit hindi niya mapigilan ang pagsibol ng mga bagong sakit na nagdudulot ng pinsala sa iba’t ibang dako ng mundo?

 

Saan hahantong ang kayabangan ng tao? Bakit hindi na lang niya pairalin ang pananalig na walang pag-alinlangan nang sa gayon, kahi’t papaano ay matanggap niya na ang mga nangyayari sa kanyang kapaligiran ay hindi saklaw ng kaalaman niyang may hangganan?

 

Dahil nananaig ang kayabangan kaysa pananalig, ang tao ay hindi magkakaroon ng takot sa puso , kaya siya ay makakagawa ng masama sa kapwa. At lalong hangga’t  nasa kaisipan niya ang magdiyus-diyosan, ang mundo ay hindi magkakaroon ng katahimikan …dahil hindi lang iisang tao ang may ganitong paniniwala…marami – silang  gustong umangat sa pamamagitan ng pagtapak sa karapatan ng iba…silang mga lango sa kapangyarihang dulot ng pera, kaalaman, at katungkulan!

 

 

Use the God-given Talent Properly and for the Benefit of Others

USE THE GOD-GIVEN TALENT PROPERLY

AND FOR THE BENEFIT OF OTHERS

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

If God gave you the talent to invent gadgets, come up with what are useful to make life comfortable. If He gave you the talent to sing…make others happy, instead of singing to yourself inside the bathroom. If He gave you the talent to write and which you have discovered, perhaps, inadvertently, help others to discover theirs, and write what are relevant and helpful….do not foment misunderstanding among readers by coming up with lopsided information or exposes.

 

Today, the counterpart of the print media journalists are the so-called “bloggers”, those who write on the cyberspace sites, most particularly, on facebook which is the most popular. Unfortunately, many of the so-called “bloggers” use their talent for purely bashing intent. They post photos and short write-ups which most often contain or imply negative messages about a person, entity, or the government. Blogging, especially, visuals of untoward crime-related incidents could help in solving cases, but not the photos with short captions that present only one side. There is nothing wrong with posting negative comments, but such should be “balanced” with the blogger’s suggestions on how what he observed to be bad can be transformed into something good… an opinion for which he is entitled.

 

Many so-called bloggers have obviously are abusing the free opportunity offered by the IT sites purportedly for the benefit of humanity. Many of them feel great just because they have posted just anything to solicit attention to their site. Blogging should be viewed as an advocacy to share the good that others have done to inspire others, as well as, the bad to caution others but with accompanying precautions on how to avoid them or at the very least, suggestions based on the writer’s opinion.

 

If the blogger is from a small community, in all probability, there is a chance that he could get in touch personally with people who are the subject of his blogs. There is nothing wrong with introducing himself as a blogger followed by expressing his intention to help to correct what he views as wrong. If the blogger believes that he has a “mission” that is why God gave him such kind of talent, by all means, he should be serious about it. But if his intention is just to become known by bashing others, then he should be reminded by the “Golden Rule” – do not do to others what you do not want others would do to you.

The “Personal God” in the Bible and the “Personal Saints” of Today

The “Personal God” in the Bible

And the “Personal Saints” of Today

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Passages in the Bible mention about personalities who “walked with their personal God”. The Israelites of the Bible are said to be “Chosen People”… by whom?…of course, their “personal God” who hated the rest of the peoples at the time so that “He” commanded the Israelites to eradicate them from the face of the earth, so that they could occupy their land. (That for me was the first case of LAND GRABBING to the highest level!). Of course, I will be contradicted by some viewers by saying that those people that the Israelites must exterminate were pagans, heathens, who did sodomy, etc…..fine. But if the “God” of Israel was really the “God” of all, being the “creator” of everything in the universe, why must “He” command the early Israelites to do the killing when all that “He” could have done was sweep them off with a strong and blinding desert sandstorm or torrential rain of fire? (SOME Filipino Catholic Church leaders and Christian human life advocates kuno must have missed the message of this legendary story – eradication of the heathen, the bad people…because they keep on attacking instead, the guy who wants to eradicate them….the guy is Duterte who wants to eradicate the bad drug personalities!)

 

The above-mentioned story is a clear indication of the ET (extra-terrestial) characteristics of what the Israelites of the Bible referred to as their “Lord”.  For me, the Israelites’ “Lord” could be the “messenger” of the true God. There are passages in the Bible about what some prophets allude to what we call today as space ships. I believe nothing is wrong with that if those “Lords” of the Bible were really the early missionaries of the true God, and who came to Earth… did several experiments using what they found when they landed, such as the uprightly walking apes and their (ET) own genes, until they succeeded in producing intelligent humans in their own image. The passage of the legend says “THEIR”, and not “HIS”, a reference in plural form….indication that the creation legend involves a group, not an individual. It is said that legends are basis of traditions that are oftentimes proved later on, to be credible. That is the reason why continued archaeological diggings have been proving the truthfulness in the passages of the Bible…and more are being done to show more truths.

 

Still on the “personal” thing…. if all saints are Godly and of course, good, why classify them according to “what they can do or heal?”. Why not just view all of them as “models” of what man should be, aside from helping him connect with God in times of his need? Why must a certain saint be good for a certain ailment, for instance? Why must some be treated as the “most effective” “go between” with God for some wishes? Why must there be personal saints? Are these saints expected to choose who to help among the living? If this practice among the Catholics is wrong, why is the Church tolerating it?

 

My personal view is that there is a massive misinformation about how man should “truly” live his life accordingly. The responsible guys just want to increase the number of their “flock” for the money that is involved. Everybody knows that for a dead to be blessed there are standard fees depending on where it is done – at home or house of worship, as do are baptizing and marrying couples. A fee is a fee as it involves money regardless of the amount and denomination. I do not view this as wrong if only the concerned guys are not hypocrite in denying the glaring facts. They need the money for subsistence, too, but for their God’s sake, they should be frank about it!

 

I appreciate the mushrooming of the new Christian Ministries to which the enlightened run to seek spiritual solace – to the Ministers who are honest about the tithes that they receive which are sincerely given for their support, tithes that are not necessarily  “love offering to the Lord”…but tokens of appreciations for their sacrifice.  I also appreciate the honesty of these Ministers regarding their status in life, such as being happily married and having children.

 

On the other hand, what I question is the breaking of promises made by the so-called “shepherds of the Lord” who prostrated themselves in front of the altar where they mumbled “vows” not to get married, but later molested innocent teenagers and unsuspecting widows…vowed not to amass wealth, but are driving cars. There is one guy at the Vatican who keeps on calling for the repentance of SOME of his “colleagues” who are very obvious in their wrongdoing. His voice must be hoarse by now and still, nobody among the CONCERNED listens to him!…poor Francis!

 

My calling the pope by his first name is not a sign of disrespect, but fondness as he himself expressed that does not want to be treated “royally” , but just like anybody else….unlike SOME of his colleagues who do not deserve even a teeny-weeny pinch of respect, yet, wanted to be addressed as REVEREND!

On Life, Love, Faith, and Death

On Life, Love, Faith, and Death

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Nobody chose to be born. The new life developed in the womb of the woman is the result of her copulation with a man, done either with love or just plain lust. That is why there are so-called “bundle of love or joy” of married couple some of whom sign divorce papers after five years or a little more of companionship, or “unwanted child” of a rape victim. When the fetus is delivered into the world as an infant, its innocence and fragility make it helpless in the hands of the people who take care of it. Lucky are those who are born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouth, but, woe to those born of impoverished mother whose dry and wrinkled breast cannot provide even a single drop of milk.

 

There is a very popular counsel from the religious conscience groups which says, “…thank the Lord for the life He gave, and that He alone can also take back…” which implies that He is responsible for all the life on earth. They add that man should do the rest to survive as God also gave him intelligence. If this is so, can man be blamed if he decides to do the easiest-to-do crimes?  If a criminal committed rape and murder resulting to the distress of the victim’s loved ones, why can’t he be penalized justly, instead of being “rehabilitated”  which the God-fearing human rights groups are insisting, when there is no guarantee that he will not repeat such vicious acts and eventually claim more victims? As the choice to commit crimes is man’s decision, God has nothing to do with it, hence, His will is not being violated, so that whatever corporal penalty imposed on the criminal is just appropriate. On the other hand, if man is pre-destined, why work hard, if everybody is destined for his or her place in this world as willed by God?

 

I have heard stories of people struggling for a better life and even witnessed some of them doing all the best they can to provide decent meals to their families three times a day. The desperate are pushed by circumstances to commit crime. The weak who cannot bear the suffering commit suicide. Along this line, many valedictorians and summa cum laudes are beaten to better and best opportunities by those who have barely earned passing grades in college…proof that “being at the right place, at the right time” really works and not the “God-given intelligence”. In other words, shall we go back again to the presumption that God willed man to live according to His plan?

 

On the other hand, many disease-ridden patients who are suffering for long are not given the choice to “rest” for good. It is against the law of the land, governments would say. It is against God’s will, the religious groups would say. In the first place, if it is not the choice of man to be born, why not give him the option to end his life if he finds that the world is not for him or if he feels that he is already exhausted or burned out…having done everything even for the sake of others? Most especially, why burden for instance, the family of a dying man with mounting hospital and drug bills just because choosing to die translates to committing a sin? Why wait until the hopelessly sick man has become comatose before a doctor may give consent to the family to unplug the machine that makes his heart beat, as he is already brain-dead?

 

I would like to make it clear that I am thankful for my life, though I did not choose to be born, and this dissertation is not meant to influence others to leave their religious communities. I know that so many humans have the same confusing questions that I have stated earlier. I am just being loud about them, while they may have chosen to be quiet. What I ask is of them at this juncture, is to do what is universally accepted as good, based especially, on the simple Golden Rule…be they, are atheist or religiously zealot human beings who believe every word uttered by their preacher. Just do good and nothing shall definitely go awry…

 

Talagang Mabait ang Diyos…

Talagang Mabait ang Diyos…

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Noon ay may nai-blog akong tin-edyer na nagpo-prosti sa Avenida upang makapag-aral, at nang malaman ng kaibigan kong mag-asawang retirado ay inampon nila upang pag-aralin. Katatanggap ko lang ng email mula sa lalaking asawa na foster father ng bata upang ibalita na tuluyang nawala ang lumalaking bukol niya sa colon. Ang prostrate naman niya ay nabawasan ang pamamaga at nakawala na siya sa warning para magkaroon ng cancer kaya hindi na itinuloy ang operasyon na dapat sana ay noong nakaraang buwan. Nawala naman ang panginginig ng kanang kamay ng kanyang misis na inakala nilang dala ng katandaan. Nakakahawak na daw ito ng mga bagay at hindi nahuhulog. Itinuturing nilang ang mga ito ang kapalit sa kabutihang ginawa nilang pag-ampon sa batang prosti.

 

Ang isa pang mag-asawang nai-blog ko rin at inabandona na ng mga sariling anak kaya hirap sa pagbili ng mga gamot na pang-maintenance ay nagbalita naman na unti-unting bumabalik ang loob ng mga anak nila sa kanila. Tuwing Linggo ay pinapasyalan na sila ng mga anak at apo nila upang mag-bonding sa tanghalian. Masama ang loob ng mga anak nila noon nang mag-ampon ang mag-asawa ng isang batang namumulot ng junk sa kanilang subdivision. Kung bakit daw nag-ampon pa kahit wala nang pera, kaya tinikis sila ng mga anak nila. Masipag ang bata at nakatulong pa sa mag-asawa dahil nagtanim ito ng mga gulay sa mga bakanteng lote upang makapagtinda ng talbos sa Zapote market. Dahil nakitaan ng magandang ugali ang bata ay pinangakuan siya ng tulong ng mga anak ng mag-asawa para sa kanyang pag-aaral. Noon, kahit hirap ang mag-asawa sa pera ay hindi nila pinabayaan ang bata na bandang huli ay nakatulong pa sa kanila dahil nagpatuloy pa rin ito sa pamumulot ng junks at nagtinda rin ng mga gulay mula sa kanyang mga garden.

 

Ang nabiyayaan naman ng maliit na halaga upang madagdagan ang niluluto niya sa maliit niyang karinderya sa Luneta, si Myrna, ay nag-ampon rin ng batang gala (street child) na pakalat-kalat sa Luneta. Sa pasukan ay magi-enroll ang bata sa isang elementary school sa Paco, sa tulong ng nakilala niyang titser dahil walang birth certificate ang bata. Samantala, pilit pa ring hinahanap ang mga magulang ng bata na hanggang ngayon ay nagsasabing ayaw nang umuwi sa kanila dahil sinasaktan siya palagi ng tatay niyang lasenggo at ng kabit nito. Ang nanay naaman daw niya ay may iba na ring asawa.

 

Si Imelda naman, ang babaeng “barker” sa Lawton na natagpuan ng mga kamag-anak dahil sa ginawa kong blog, ay nakatulong sa isang istambay sa lugar na yon, na gustong umuwi sa Masbate. Nilapitan ni Imelda ang isang kaibigan na taga-Masbate at pinakiusapang baka pwedeng isabay ang istambay sa pag-uwi at pumayag naman.

 

Ang mga nabanggit ay ilan lang sa mga patunay na hindi bulag ang Diyos…na Siya ay mabait.

 

 

Mga Panahon ng Buhay

Mga Panahon ng Buhay

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Hindi lamang kalikasan ang may mga panahon na kung sa Pilipinas ay ang panahon ng tagtuyot o tag-init at panahon ng tag-ulan o tag-baha. Ang buhay man ay mga panahon na dumadating sa iba’t ibang yugto nito.

 

Ang mga yugtong dinadatnan ng iba’t ibang panahon ay nagbibigay ng magagandang kulay at nagsisilbing pagsubok sa kakayahan ng tao sa pagpupumilit niyang maabot ang kanyang layunin. Dahil dito, hindi lahat ng panahon ay kaiga-igaya…mayroon ding makabagbag-damdamin o nakakapanlumo.

 

Ang panahon ng kabataan ang pinakamaselang yugto ng buhay ng tao dahil sa panahong ito hinuhubog ang kanyang pagkatao. Malaki ang papel na ginagampanan ng magulang at kapaligiran sa paghubog ng kabataan. Kasama na rin dito ang mga guro at paaralan. Dito dapat natututuhan ng kabataan ang mga magagandang kaugalian lalo na ang paggalang. Para sa kanyang ispiritwal na aspeto, malaking bagay ang nagagawa ng pagiging maka-Diyos ng magulang o paaralan.

 

Mula sa pagiging bata, ang tao ay tutuntong sa yugto ng adolensiya o pagiging tin-edyer kung saan ay may mga pagkakataon na siya ay malilito kung kanino papanig – sa barkada ba na palagi niyang natatakbuhan at nakakaugnayan o magulang na maski nagbigay ng buhay sa kanya ay sa wari niya, hindi niya “mapagkatiwalaan” tungkol sa ilang bagay. Kung matibay ang pundasyon niya bilang bata, hindi siya basta na lang matitinag mula sa mga nakalakhan nang gawi na naaayon sa kabutihan. Subali’t kung naging pabaya ang magulang at mga guro o paaralan na nakalimot nang magturo ng mga magagandang asal, hindi malayong siya ay mahila ng kanyang mga barkada tungo sa daang baluktot.

 

Ang panahon ng pagiging nasa tamang gulang ay yugto kung saan ay gagawa ng maselang desisyon ang tao kung siya ba ay papasan na ng responsibilidad na maghahanda sa kanya bilang magulang na may sariling tahanan para sa darating na mga supling. Mabigat sa kalooban para sa iba ang basta na lang iwanan ang tahanan kung saan siya ay iniluwal at lumaki sa kalinga ng mga magulang at mga nakakatandang kapatid. Subali’t dahil sa sinusundang ikot ng buhay, hindi maaaring siya ay mag-atubili kung siya ay handa na rin lang.  Sa panahong ito maaalala ng tao ang hirap na dinanas ng magulang upang siya ay mapalaki ng maayos at hindi salat sa mga pangangailangan – dahil gagawin na rin niya para sa kanyang mga supling.

 

Ang panahon ng katandaan ay siyang naghahanda sa tao upang magpaalam sa mundo. Sa mga naniniwala sa Diyos na nagpapaalala na dapat putulin ang mga kaugnayan sa mga bagay na materyal habang nabubuhay sa mundo, abut-abot ang kanilang pamamahagi ng mga yamang naipon. Subali’t ang ibang hindi maatim na iwanan ang kanilang mga yaman ay nahihirapang magpaalam sa mundo dahil nadadaig sila ng panghihinayang sa kanilang pinaghirapan.

 

Ang mga panahong nabanggit ay nakukulayan ng saya o lungkot, depende sa pananaw ng tao. Kung ang tao ay hindi naghahangad ng luho, o masaya na sa kaunting kaginhawahan, lahat ng yugto sa buhay niya ay nakukulayan ng kasiyahan. Subali’t kung kabaligtaran naman ng nabanggit ang pananaw ng tao, dahil ang gusto niya ay umangat ang kanyang kabuhayan ng todo-todo para magkaroon siya ng pakiramdam na animo siya ay nakatayo sa isang mataas na tore, ano mang dami ng yaman ay hindi makakapagbigay sa kanya ng kasiyahan sa lahat ng panahon ng kanyang buhay.

 

Ang mga nabanggit na sumasaklaw sa lahat ng mga panahong dumarating sa buhay ng tao ang nagpapainog sa mundo. Kaya dahil may mga tao na gustong saklawan ang karapatan ng iba, masiyahan lamang, nagkakaroon ng hindi pagkakaunawaan. Ang resulta ay digmaan at mga maliitang girian. Kung alin sa dalawa ang iiral pagdating ng panahon ay walang makakapagsabi.