Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ category

Ang Aking Buhay, para kay Rosalie

April 11, 2013


 ALAY kay ROSALIE sa kanyang pagiging matibay at mapagmahal na kasama sa kilusang mapagpalaya – ilang sipi ng  tula na isinalin ni Pete Lacaba mula sa isang kuwento ng mga North American Indian na lumaban para sa kalayaan.

” Darating ang panahon na magwawakas ang aking buhay.Pagdating ng panahong iyun, ang hiling ko’y gunitain ninyo ang mga bagay na ito:

Ilibing ninyo ang aking katawan subalit huwag ninyong ilibing ang aking diwa.

Ilibing ninyo ang aking mga mata subalit hindi ang aking pananaw.

Ilibing ninyo ang aking mga paa subalit hindi ang landas na aking tinahak.

Ilibing ninyo ang aking mga kamay subalit hindi ang aking matiyagang pagsusumikap.

Ilibing ninyo ang aking mga balikat subalit hindi ang pagmamalasakit ko sa inyong lahat.

Ilibing ninyo ang aking tinig subalit hindi ang aking panawagan.

Ilibing ninyo ang aking utak subalit hindi ang mga pangarap ko para sa inyong lahat.

Ilibing ninyo ako subalit huwag ilibing ang aking buhay.

Ilibing ninyo ang aking puso subalit huwag ninyong ilibing ang aking pag-ibig.

Kung may ibig kayong ilibing, ang ilibing ninyo’y ang aking mga pagkukulang at kahinaan. Subalit ang aking buhay, ang aking pananalig, at ang aking pag-ibig ay panatilihin ninyong buhay sa inyong kalooban. “

Sa paghahanap ng sumulat sa orihinal na tula, may nagsabi mula ito kay Randall Rohr.Sa liham ni Pete Lacaba, galing ito sa “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee ” ni Dee Brown. May naglagay din na galing kay Stephen Vincent Benet. Kung lahat ay nakapag-ambag sa tula at dapat pasalamatan, salamat.


Mater Dolorosa, Museums and Mothers

March 29, 2013

Mater Dolorosa, Museums and Mothers

Angela and I pause to admire the icon of Mother of Sorrows inside the San Augustine Museum. Holy Thursday was spent visiting churches and walking inside the Augustinian monastery to learn about its 450 years of mission work. I wonder how our development advocacy for our citizens can sustain even 100 years. As we enter the rooms, we notice three things that the Augustinians did :
one, they wrote,translated, published and circulated many spiritual books in the dialects, from Ilokano to Hiligaynun; second, they built and rebuilt churches in various islands until all these churches became sites for the faithful for 4 centuries; third, their missionaries were willing to be tortured, burned, crucified, disembowelled by the natives they wished to convert and save. The first, our ML activists have done but not sufficiently. The second, building permanent structures , on the dream table . The third, thousands have been detained,disappeared, tortured, died and are still on the path but never achieving enough recognition, not even acknowledgement as heroes.

As a mother now, I pray that the Catholic Church led by Pope Francis and its cardinals will really work harder and serve better. I pray that as women of perpetual sorrows, we will be given the freedom and resources to provide succour to all. Salve Regina, Mater Misericordia,Oh Pia, O Dulcis Virgio Maria.

Dying to return home

December 17, 2012

Today, my aunt Araceli Villariba Remigio, sister to my father Cesar, aka Mamang Cely went home. Our Villariba clan  with the Remigios offer prayers for her peaceful journey home. As i wrote to grieving families, my remembering self give thanks to all the moments she made us feel her love and thoughtfulness.

As i grieve and cry, i sense her thoughts that is is a homecoming. Yes, this is her final journey and we hope it will be joyful, reuniting with Nanay Nene,Tio Mario, Tia Anita,Tio Carding, Tia Bella,Tia Lina, Tio Patty and her parents Simporiano  Villariba and Maria Araneta whom we never met since the family was orphaned .

To comfort myself, i searched the web and found the words of Rabbi Abraham Heschel on death as seeking understanding of the meaning of life and death. He wrote that finding the meaning of life and  death leads to  the harvest of eternal moments achieved on earth. I find this significant because Mamang Cely sowed many good seeds while alive and now she is harvesting all these good deeds. So what is the meaning of life?

Rabbi Heschel shares these words and i quote : ”  The meaning of Life is to reconcile liberty with service, the passing with the lasting, to weave the threads of temporality into the fabric of eternity.”

Mamang Cely, now you are Home,we thank you and ask that you keep us in your heart .   It is your time to enjoy the harvest of eternal happiness and  eternal love.CIMG6033

What we need to remember in the face of death

August 22, 2012

Today, i have to write what Isabel Allende said “Write what should not be forgotten. Writing is a process, a journey into memory and the soul.”

First, I love my husband, lover, lifelong friend and co-learner – Ed dela Torre. He lives in my heart wherever he is – today he is on his way to Cagayan de Oro. Before leaving our garden, he kissed me and I said” Am not ready to be a widow so please return alive.” Smiling, Ed tenderly closed the gate after and went to his meetings. Around noon, I get his text “About to take off luv for CDO. See you tomorrow.”

Second, I love my daughter -Ayen, who is busy with her work in Nestle as an HR trainee. All of her 22 years I have nurtured her to find her own passion, create her future and be happy. Ed and I take time to share a daily meal and listen to her insights, her experiences in work and her goals.

Third, I am grateful to my family, from my parents , the 12 siblings and 10  siblings-in marriage and the 49 nieces and nephews plus my extended family members. All the challenges we shared and overcame with joy will always be part of our remembering selves.

Fourth, I am proud and thankful of all the communities I served, locally and globally  and was a part of  my growing years and to which I still belong  in my  senior years.

Life and death is one, inseparable from the moment of birth. When I die, I will live as  a remembering soul. What i breath into my life, will continue in the breath of those whom i cared for and they will breathe their love into mine. Nothing will be wasted because love is an energy that grows as one transforms into another energy.

For my soul list ( i prefer soul rather than bucket because love cannot be poured into a pail), i have the following goals:

Expand people’s compassion and make Filipinos excel in caremanship. We are caregivers par excellence.

Go to places where people nurture everything, from the ferns and moss  in the forests  to the rivers that meander in our towns and cities.

Plant  edible plants and trees  in  inner spaces, alleyways, rooftops , vacant lots, all the places where people go hungry. Stop the hunger, especially of children and mothers.

Make beautiful art with any element – soil, mud,roots, trunks, leaves, branches,stones, seeds, anything that is renewable.

Write poems, stories that gladden the hearts of those in pain and surviving injustice. Give these poems and stories  as healing gifts.

Five is enough. I invite friends who can do these five tasks with me today.

INA, nanay,mama

March 30, 2012

In this season of celebrating our Nanay’s  final  season I wish our families and Nanay’s community to remember what we learn as girls  growing into mothers. This is a lesson in being a woman, a teacher, a sister, a parent, a friend .

Let me first  quote Marra Pl. Lanot’s poem “Ina” . Then I will add what I learned from Nanay


Ako ang ina ng mga diyosa,ng mga nimpa ng dagat,ng mga diwata ng gubat,

ng mga espiritu ng burol,bundok,puno,amihan,paruparo.

Ako ang apoy at liwanag sa silahis ng araw,sa kamay ng buwan,sa libo-libong alitaptap sa gabing maginaw.

Ako ang naghasik ng palay at naglatag ng bulaklak,nagbigay ng kulay sa parang.

Ako ang katahimikan bago nayanig ang bulkan at sumiklab ang himagsikan,

Ako ang pag-asa pagkatapos magwala ang kalangitan at lumuhod ang kapayapaan.

Ako ang ilaw ng tahanan na korteng kuweba,kubo,katedral, na mistulang parke at paaralan.

Ako ang gatas sa labi sa halip na maasim na tuba o mapait na serbesa.

Ako ang unang ngiting nasisilayan sa duyan, ang mangkok na pinagbubuhusan ng iyak ng mga  anak pagkagaling sa eskuwela, ang batyang pinagbababaran ng galit ng asawang napapagod sa pabrika.

Ako ang yerong sa pagbilad ng luha, ang langgas sa sugat, ang puntod ng dalamhati.

Ako ang unang halakhak sa mga korning joke   ng asawa, ng mga anak  at apo.

Ako ang  pugon laging  nagluluto at  hapag  ng mga paboritong pagkain sa lahat ng kaarawan.

Ako ang susi sa mga suliranin  ng mga pasaway na  anak.

Ako ang bangkong  nagpapatawad sa mga utang na hindi mabayaran.

Ako ang ATM laging online  kapag  nahingi  ang  mga kapus-palad na anak at apo.

Ako ang emoticon   sa  mga balitang nakakahilo o nakababagabag.

Ako ang lunas sa  mga paang puno ng labtok.

Ako ang tuldok  sa mga suliraning  naghahanap ng kalutasan.

Ako ang siling labuyo  sa mga matabang na pagmamahalan ng mga magsing-irog.

Ako ang  bubuyog  sa mga hardin ng mga rosas ng mga kabataan.

Ako ang sinapupunang walang sawa sa pagsilang.

Ako ang kaloobang puno ng pag-asa.

Ako ang simula at katapusan ng buhay na may kabuluhan.






Soulsmithing on Halloween

October 31, 2011

Halloween is observed in our country for as long as I can remember. As a child,on the evening of Nov.1st, we would go from one house to another singing the song “Nangangaluwa” and ask for a “limos” so that the doors of heaven will not close on us. Most of the neigbors who knew us would give us money and we didnt have to wear any masks nor expensive costumes. All we would do is thank the people who opened their doors and gave us money.

Now that am soulsmithing, I list down all the people I know will welcome the prayers I offer in their behalf. As I  learned and experienced people sending their messages during their final crossing phase across lifezones, I added papercuts as prayer rolls. Last friday, I  hang the prayer rolls in our garden. In the medieval ages, the Scottish and Irish traditions made this Halloween rites part of their autumn rituals and the Scots and Irish believed that the souls need to be ushered from purgatory to heaven.

I pray for the hundred and twenty one persons on my prayer roll. Sophie Bodegon posted a lovely prayer in her Facebook wall . My favorite is Rumi’s discovery of the Divine  and am reposting it in this blog with Steve Job’s  final words.

“I am bewildered by the magnificence of your beauty,
and wish to see you with a hundred eyes.
I am in the house of mercy,
and my heart is a place of prayer.”

“Oh Wow, Oh wow,Oh wow.” Steve Jobs

Every day think good of 7 people

October 3, 2011

Everyday when I wake up, I devote a moment of prayer, for at least 7 people. This includes those who ask for help , those whom I wish to be well and those who crossed over.

Today, I was joyful to hear from a friend, Eva Betita who told me her husband Bebot found my blogs here in wordpress. I havent seen these two friends for years and am happy they are well and happy. Eva is our RP ambassador to Brazil and also Surinam and Guyana. Our friendship goes a long way to the UP years in the mid 60’s.

I also had to pray for another friend, Boteng Santiago when Eva and Bebot wrote about. Boteng was a good friend way back in the UP days though he was an Atenean.

Friends are gifts you give to oneself. It is important to remember friends. Having many friends you think of  multiplies your  soul gifts . Even thinking good of friends who have not been in touch will give you a wonderful energy. But the precious lesson for me is thinking of strangers as friends in waiting. So smile at everyone and be kind. You will never be wanting in friends when you do it.

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