lucena commencement rites:a babaylan’s moment

my loved ones and friends, let us have a babaylan’s moment for these are the times that test our spirit’s robustness. these are the seasons of hope and peril. am blogging and scanning what the season will bring to our families here and overseas. the trigger for this insight is my babaylan’s moment of discernment.

let me commence on how i arrived at a babaylan’s moment. last march 28,2008, i participated in 61st commencement rites of Manuel S.Enverga University Foundation. 248 students from high school and elementary would commence their journey to lifelong learning. i was invited to give the graduation speech. it was my first commencement rite invitation from Enverga U.. naturally, i asked bigger questions : what will these students’s future be in Lucena ? how will they dream and how will these dreams be realized?

a day earlier, i lost my voice due to working nonstop from energizing an OFW forum in la union on monday to helping ed in an accident in wednesday in guisguis, sariaya and monitoring a family’s crisis the whole month of march. everyone in the family came to my aid – my mother Nene offered to read my speech. my daughter Ayen suggested she could take my place. my aunt Fedy cooked a whole pot of salabat so i could recover my voice. my sister Jojie said she could help with audio-visuals. Ed told me to rest the whole day but i told everyone, i would honor the students and give them a good speech. i told them that it is the first time my alma mater has invited me to be the commencement speaker. the lst time i gave a speech in MSEUF HS was as valedictorian 42 years ago. having lost my voice, i prepared a powerpoint presentation. i made notes on lifelong learning and what lifetime growth laws the students should embrace. i observed a whole day of silence and used gestures to communicate. i went to bed early.

around 1 am on the day of commencement, i woke up. i looked at my alarm clock and it wasn’t ringing. someone was talking to me and i decided to listen. then words came like sms in my head.it was a babaylan’s moment. after an hour of listening, i tested my voice. a nasal sound came and i could form words without my voice splintering. i realized the babaylan’s voice was forming even if my own vocal chords were still quiet… so i went back to sleep.

on graduation morning, i put on my filipiniana dress and did my meditation. i was excited and everyone came to accompany me – my parents Cesar & Nene, Ayen, Jojie and her daughters plus our brightest grandchild, two year old Andrea in a red dress. my daughter Ayen told me not to give a long speech. i smiled because she tells her father the same when she tags along when ed give his talks.

i opened my talk by greeting the people as datu, panday,kawal and babaylan. instead of addressing eminent people as deans or principals, i used babaylan and datus, including my father who sat in the line of honor. i spoke in tagalog and introduced my greetings as that of the babaylan. i brought the whole community to the time of the babaylans and datus. gave them images with which they could imagine what it was like to be governed by babaylan and datus, to be served by panday and to protected by kawal. i lightened up the narrative with a rephrased aphorism ” those who dont looked back to their roots had stiff necks” and cannot see the future.

i asked everyone – students, parents and teachers who they knew as babaylans and pandays. some raised their hands that they know Hermano Pule as a hero but not as a babaylan. most said yes when i mentioned fernando poe’s iconic role as panday. having established that our people came from a long line of datu, panday, kawal and babaylan, i segueway into declaring the times and age as one of complexity. that women and men, parents and children have to develop the courage to be deeply human – to have a mahusay na pagkatao and learn well the art of pakikipagkapwa-tao. i asked how many of the graduates dream of becoming doctors ? very few hands. teachers? very few hands. make money and become rich ? all raised their hands.

make your purpose bigger than your money…i described the world as very challenging and demanding. – the babaylan’s agimat or mutya of kalooban, malawak na pakikipagkapwa-tao, and matibay na pananampalataya sa Diyos. these three would insure that the students and their parents will realize a meaningful life in a complex world. being pinoy and marunong makiramdam at makipagkapwa-tao would take care of lifelong learning. having a deep faith in God would help them develop the babaylan’s gift of vision.

as closing, i taught everyone to feel their energy and charge their bio- batteries by using the hand and finger energy spheres .i taught them the rain clap and as the sounds of two finger clapping began to rise, i did my yin yang nafas so that the energy would embrace everyone. everyone had the energy to go through the five hour rites in the midst of a very hot summer’s day.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Babaylan, Lucena Learning City, Psychology

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