friends whose minds bring you closer to God

this november  month has been full of remarkable conversations. friends with spiritual bouquets came to see  ed and me. so much soulwork  after a brief family vacation in boracay.

let me enumerate these spiritual garlands from friends. first on the list is migrant education in the form of chato basa, our only asian cavalieri in italy.nov. ist is chato basa’s birthday and she flew from rome to attend the global migrant forum on development, stayed with us and we went to the inafi fora together in aim. we reflected on how we started on the migrant trail and how far we got, defending the rights of women to  become citizens of  destination countries in the North. we remembered the struggles in the early 1980s  when govt agencies were not active on the migrant issues. we realized we have gone far in some levels and have accomplished some gains. now, global summits on migration are bIG on remittances and migrant labor policies. but many undocumented migrants still are suffering in developed countries and they keep working at subhuman conditions.

the next set of  good news are the friends who have persevered in international advocacies.  brida brennan, noi hacbang,malu padilla and rene nachura are our companions in the early years of international solidarity work.we had a long dinner at trimona pgx to celebrate our friendship  that grew since 1980. we  got  to sing, all the 60’s – 70’s songs, talk about our children who are now adults, remember all the friends who pioneered in building  the migrant platform.

the other night,ii had a long discussion with meth jimenez about the sagip pasig movement and her mission of greening the communities along the pasig river. she has already organized 15,000 people and have been able to document informal settlers all over metro manila. her photos of colonies under bridges make one feel very concerned that people live in such inhuman conditions. not even insects build “hanging nests” under bridges and toxic creeks.

then there are our artists friends – ning encarnacion tan, gilda cordero fernando and jun de leon. we had a fabulous lunch in Uno and talked about what makes the pinoy very inclusive and authentic. we ran through all the  individuals and celebrities whom we think and feel are worth our attention and energy, from pinoy nobility to pinoy icons such as  sharon cuneta to nora aunor. we kept digesting why people become change agents. jun de leon said that celebrities matter because the masses get inspired by imagining impossible deeds becoming possible. grassroots people want leaders to perform remarkable deeds, like barack obama becoming the first afro-american president in our lifetime.

other friends who gathered at our home were the la liga  and prrm colleagues who negotiated with the department of agriculture support for organic  farmers. right now, ed and i are preparing for the training of 600 farmers in six sites. it will be a support platform for the main program of rice sufficiency.

there were many other friends but this blog is getting long and i wish to take each blog as a Zen experience.

so let me close with the thought that, yes God is always manifesting in our friends. we  share life’s challenges with them and in doing so, do God’s daily work.

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