Friday, September 12, 2008

heartbeats: saved from the fire, saved by our Lord

Last Friday, I experienced first hand what salvation history is all about and why we come to celebrate it every Sunday or everytime we gather for the Eucharist.

A week before, the chapel coordinator of Brgy. Benedicto approached me with what I thought then was an unusual request. She asked me if I could preside in a thanksgiving mass to be offered by their barangay because they were spared from what could have been a big fire which could have eaten up many homes, four years ago. I was surprised. I would have understood it if the fire happened a week ago or a month before. But four long years ago? This is indeed a one of a kind request. Curious, I asked her to give me the exact details why they have reached such decision.

heartbeats: remembering the legionaries

Whenever we gather to celebrate anniversaries, jubilees and reunions we gather to remember and retell a story -- a story which happened years ago. However, these stories which we remember and retell in these gatherings are not just unimpressive stories picked out from the daily humdrum of life which does not merit any introspection. Rather we remember and retell stories and experiences which have significance for us, for they touch the quality of our lives and made on them lasting impressions that we carry through life. It could just be any silent, ordinary experience which people who have been unaffected by it could dismiss as trivial. However, for one who has been touched by it, molded by it, it becomes a story worth retelling --and celebrating.

heartbeats: ob portu

Ob portu is a Latin word which describes a ship waiting in the middle of the sea for the flood tide so that it could properly dock in the harbor. This was usually done centuries back when the facilities provided by modern harbors today which permits a ship to dock anytime time was only a dream conceived in the drawing boards of some “engineering freaks” of the middle ages. While a ship is in ob portu the captain and his crew were always watchfully waiting for the proper time when the flood tides arise so that they could proceed to the harbor in safety. They have to be always ready for this eventuality for if they missed it, they have to wait for another moment when another flood tide comes in. A sailor who has been out from sea for so long would never missed this chance and he would be watching and waiting for the right moment.

cl anniversary . . . some afterthought

I want to reveal some of the things I did for Candle Light . . . some of the things that happened which I wanted to write about but for one reason or the other I never did. And so here are some of them.

I think I am the only priest in Iloilo who stood on a mountain of garbage, alone and with arthritis, right there in Brgy. Calahunan as I did an article on the garbage problems of Iloilo. I climbed my way to the top, struggling, with all the “what have you” beneath my feet, with flies darting to and fro like World War II flying Aces and buzzing Zeros, all the while undecided whether to breathe or not to breathe because of too much muscle and joint exertion and the terrible, unimaginable smell. But after awhile I got used to these and managed to take a few photographs for the issue along the way. When I reached the top I wanted to shout, “I made it, I made it” and plant the Vatican flag right where I was standing. And to think that the climbers of Mt. Everest thought they deserve better and grander accolades for planting the Philippine flag on its peak. Try climbing the city’s refuse, for though I never got an award climbing it, every time I pass that site I would always smile and congratulate myself for what I achieved.