Faith Changes Everything

Annyeonghaseyo! (Hello!)

It’s another serious talking today, guys and so as not to disappoint you, I have another quote from a Korean drama to share with you. 

The photo above (yehey, I was finally able to upload photos!), show a quote from the Korean tv series entitled Falsify starring Nam Goong Min (http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Nam_Goong_Min) as Han Moo-Young, who became a media jackal to unveil the truth behind the death of his brother who was murdered through a seemingly vehicular accident by a man with a tattoo for trying to correct falsified stories he published instigated by the director of the newspaper company he worked for and revealing social corruption involving the biggest newspaper company, the chief prosecutor and a secret organization.

The quote Han Moo-Young said to one of the victims of false accusation in the drama was this:  

“You may feel like you’re in the desert without a compass, but nothing will change if you keep on dwelling on your emotions.”

There are times in our lives that we feel how unfair fate it seems, that we feel like we were left in the middle of the desert without a compass, uncertain of which direction to take.  It is somewhat akin to a fish taken out of water and left to gasp for air and plop itself helplessly, seeking a way to breathe and survive.

No matter how much we wail and “plop” and let ourselves be enslaved by our dire situation, nothing will indeed change if we kept on dwelling on it.  

And although according to Friedrich Nietzsche: “Hope, in reality, is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man,” I’d rather continue to hope while positively thinking that all will come to pass.

My Dear Friends, what we all must bear in mind, when the road ahead becomes so difficult you can’t see a thing beyond a foot, when it seems all that surrounds you is a boundless desert, when life is seemed hopeless, is to never, ever lose faith.

Remember:

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If The Devil Is Man’s Creation

My  Dear Readers, with a long weekend to enjoy here in Philippines, I had spent it on some creative hand-sewing that has taken a bit of my concentration in writing thus the delay of posting this article.  Hmm, must discipline myself more to stick to my schedule, right?

Anyway, today, let me share with you another quote I chanced along while watching Criminal Minds (http://asianwiki.com/Criminal_Minds_(Korean_Drama) starring my favorite actor Lee JoonGi (http://asianwiki.com/Lee_Joon-Gi), a quote from Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher whose literary works explore human psychology during the troubled times of 19th-century Russia and engage in various realistic philosophical and religious themes.

As a born Christian, I was taught by my mother things about God, the Holy Trinity, the Virgin Mary and about evil things Satan has caused to mankind. As I was growing up, I attended catechism, and even read the Bible from cover to cover when I had to stop schooling for one year to undergo surgery. From such, I learned about the existence of Satan or Lucifer or the devil.

What I meant to say is that, from time immemorial, we knew of the existence of the devil as much as we knew of the existence of God. Whatever we see or feel that encompasses what we understood or classify as evil is caused by or wrought of the devil. 

With this quote from Fyodor Dostoyevsky, it can make us realize that if the devil does not exist, and we, humans, only made it up, meaning putting a specific name to which we find or consider as evil, the devil will indeed probably look like a human.

Despite what we might have read in the Bible, specifically from Ezekiel 28:12, that Lucifer is said to be the “seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty,” we can only attribute to it something our human mind can decipher, that is, based on that description he might look like this…

But if we wish to reiterate especially to small kids how evil Satan or Lucifer is, he will probably look just like an ugly man would with horns and tail.

Whatever the real face and looks of the devil, what we should remember is that he can take on forms and images we least expect.  He might look like a lamb but act as a wolf.  He might look innocent as a sheep but cunning as a fox.  Most, of all, he can be just like any human.

Truth as Wide as the Sky

“You can never cover the sky with your palm.” – Prince Jin Seong/Lee Yeok, Queen for Seven Days Korean Drama

Queen for Seven.Days is a story about two brothers fighting for the throne to the Kingdom of Joseon due ro rhe evil manipulations and machinations  of state councilors who wished to have their tight hold over the leader of the nation, as well as a poignant love story of a couple who chose to part for each to live and love each other for a long period of time.

From the many memorable dialogues this drama series had, one of the lines which caught my heart and imagination is the above-quoted line.  Prince Jin Seong uttered these words during one of the altercations between him and his older brother who was the King when the latter was trying to subdue him with the ever-present thought that the younger brother (Prince Jin Seong) is out to take the throne from him, knowing that their father, the former king, wanted him to abdicate the throne to his younger brother once he had already come of age.

This quote, “you can never cover the sky with your palm” is, of course, a metaphor which means that one can never really hide the truth.  

As how it is not possible to cover the sky with your palm, unless you delude yourself that you are able to by covering your eyes instead, just as when we try to deny the glaring truth by trying to close our eyes to it or by trying to look the other way when we see something that should not be but feel we have no power or the right to be involved in, but still deep in our heart and if we let our conscience prevail, we know we can never totally evade or deny reality.

“The truth will always prevail” is another way to say it, but sad to say, no matter how wide the sky, most people nowadays will choose to cover their eyes with their palm rather than meet the glare of the sun and be blinded or burned, for often the truth can be as blinding or as hot as the sun and many peole will rather settle for half-truths or little white lies than to know or accept reality, they will be willing to become a racing horse let loose on a track with its eyes covered with blinkers or blinders.  

If you are honest enough, can you ever say to yourself, you had never ever tried to cover the sky with your palm?

Do Miracles Exist?

“If you desperately long for something, it brings you a miracle.” – Prince of Qing, My Sassy Girl Korean Drama

Do miracles really exist?  In a world where many lived in squalor and poverty, where almost everyone is struggling to get by day by day, will it not be like manna from heaven to hope for a miracle to happen when one needed it most?
Several times this year, I had been in very tight spots, experiencing not only physical but also emotional stress, what with ailments in the family and financial distress brought on by these to add up to the already escalating financial setbacks an ordinary rank and file employee experiences, living on a mere pittance for what suffice as a salary.  It was like walking on a thin plank hanging up on a cliff, while carrying a time bomb set to blow up anytime.

Several times during these ordeals, I almost buckled down underneath the pressure building up in the pit of my stomach.  So many times, I was brought to tears on my knees, praying for God to listen to my heartfelt petition for a way out of these situations.
Looking back, no matter how difficult the road we call life had been, no matter how many times I had fallen and gotten bruised, no matter how many hurdles I had to tackle on the way, I realized no hurdles had been that insurmountable, I could still get up and tend to my wounds, life still goes on the way it wanted to be.  

Then while watching one of the Korean Dramas I love to follow, I came upon this beautiful line and it dawned on me, “wow!  That is quite true!”  I was  desperately longing for solutions to the problems besetting me, then when it comes to a point where all hope seemed lost, a solution suddenly comes along, my prayer gets answered. 

Cynics would say, they are mere coincidence.  Science might even explain it’s just a normal phenomenon. But for people like me, desperate to hold on to that short thread of hope thrown my way, I believe miracles do exist. 

Are We Really Free?

A happy Monday morning, everyone!

And to all my countrymen:  Happy 119th Philippine Independence Day!

My regular blog post should have been published yesterday but since today we will be celebrating the anniversary of Philippine Independence, I decided to postpone publishing and cover our own local celebration of the said event.

Before the program started, of course, people were still milling around in their gorgeous Filipiniana attires, the city officials and department heads of local offices posing for posterity while the various sectors in their uniforms waited for the program to start.

The program started at around 7:30 in the morning with the entrance of colors, which means the entrance of the Philippine flag and the banner of the city.  

This was followed by the offering of flower wreath at the center of the public plaza, in front of the flag pole, by the City Mayor, Vice Mayor together with the Filipino World War II Veteran President of the city.

The twelve Philippine revolutionary flags followed, escorted by the twelve Sanggunian Panlungsod Members, and paraded up the stage, their brilliant red color so vibrant to represent the bravery and boldness of the Filipino soldiers in their fight for freedom against the Spanish oppression of that time.

Wreaths, pots and bouquets of flowers were also offered under the monuments of the two Philippine heroes the city honors, Andres Bonifacio and Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

The city officials then marched up the city hall’s balcony to reenact the first-ever Independence Day Celebration held in Cawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898.

The program ended after a dance presentation by the city representatives to the Panaad Folk Dance competition and by a young maiden singing “Ako ay Filipino”.

Every year, every local government units, anywhere in the Philippines try to recreate the spirit of patriotism evoke by the first celebration of the Philippine Independence and try to enliven the occasion and impart the values of such event in the younger generations.

Yet, with or without the sad events still happening in Marawi, are we really free?

With all our talks about freedom, aren’t we still bounded by some ideas that limit us from experiencing it totally?  Or aren’t we limited by our inhibitions to embrace the changes that comes with the times?  Or aren’t we afraid to accept the consequences brought by grasping it with both hands for fighting for it might mean giving up our everything for it?

Fighting for our freedom does not always mean taking up arms and walking up and down the streets shouting for it.  

Our everyday thoughts and actions, our efforts and struggles, towards liberation from pangs of hunger and escape from the shackles of poverty, are also embodiments of our continuing fight for freedom.  

We might say we are already a Republic, a democratic country freed from dominion of other countries, but still, our existence is a continuous struggle not only from domination of powerful countries who continuously try to plunder our natural resources but also from the debilitating effects of corruption for the past several decades.

Freedom has its many faces.  And our struggle to keep it can also vary in many ways.

Even within our ownselves, an inner struggle continues.  We wish to fight our tendencies to bury ourselves underneath seemingly unimportant desires for lavish spendings and luxurious things but we often fail to discipline and curb them.


We wish to have more courage and determination to crawl out of our hand-to-mouth existence, but opportunities to do so is just so out of our reach that despite working eight hours a day, five days a week, earning supposedly thousands of pesos per month but what we bring home at the end of a pay day is barely enough to tide us over a few days.

We might always know deep in our hearts the value or importance of freedom but for us whose struggles towards liberty from poverty and harsh existence is ever-continuing, we might feel it or see a glimpse of it at times we receive our bonuses but we would always seem just dream of it and pray that manna will hopefully fall from heaven.

Why Do We Do What We Do?

My dear Readers, my apologies for the delayed posting.  I had to finish my term paper for a course I took this summer, the deadline of which is this Wednesday.  I still had to re-read and edit it later this evening but I am glad I was able to finish the draft.  

Anyway, with my mind still so much focused on it, it gave me an idea of what to tackle on my blog today.  I had gone out of idea for a topic is more likely but I always believe in the saying: 

“make do with what you have”.

So, why do we do what we do?

Had anyone ever stopped for a moment and asked one’s self that question before they keep on doing whatever interests them at that moment?  If you had, had you taken the thought seriously or merely shrugged a shoulder? 

Indeed, what’s my point?  Why dig into it like a dog with a bone to pick?  The point is, most things that we do is just as natural and normal as breathing that we never had to spare a thought onto it.  It is because our brain is already programmed to do certain things at a given time, things we usually do by instinct or things we usually do as a routine.  

The workings of our brain is that intricate that most of the time we need not question why we do certain things in the manner we do them.  So, when does the time it occur to us to ask, why am I doing this?


Would you agree that it is at a time when you feel at a loss, facing a seemingly insurmountable task that you need not do but you feel you must do?  When this occurs, don’t you feel like you want to run the other way but you knew it is blocked?  It feels like wading in a flood with rain still pouring down on you.  You wish to get out of it but no matter where you look, there is just water around you.

Wouldn’t you say it is just all in the mind?  Maybe.  But then, wouldn’t it be cowardly to think that if we just let things be, it will resolve on its own?  Would you be able to sleep soundly with that thought bugging you in the back of your mind that you are supposed to do something but is trying to wiggle your way out of it?  

In the end, you will realize that it has taken too much more effort and too many sleepless nights to avoid doing it than to have done it outright.


 So, again, why do we do what we do?  Because it is what our conscience dictates us to do, or because it is something that must be done.  

Remember

Taking The Plunge

Sometime last week, I heard a peer of mine say talks about marriage life and hearing negative things about it makes her fear getting married at all.  

So, I wondered, if my posts of the past two weeks could have attributed to her fear  or if talks she heard from plights of women who are suffering from marital problems or are on the verge of marital breakup.had? Anyway, as usual, I kept the question to myself and reflect over it.

I was born when my parents got separated and was only able to finally meet my father when I was about to start schooling at the age of seven.  Imagine the wariness emanating from a seven-year-old at looking at an unfamiliar face who was supposed to be my father.

I can almost still recall the uncomfortable feeling.  Then while growing up under the same roof with him, often than not, I felt like I was a total stranger to him.  Suffice it to say that my memories of a so-called father and man of the family was not a pleasant one, not to say the least, that growing up in a not-so-normal household would have traumatized many children, especially a young woman, exposed to violence and irresponsible behavior of adults.

As a teenager when having crushes, even boyfriends, is the norm, I lived in worry and wariness around men, for fear that my father would make a cripple out of any young men who might give me attention.  Looking back though, I might have my father to thank for for honing my senses as to what kind of man is ideal with me.  

Men who were not that courageous enough or in love enough went scurrying away without me lifting a finger to shoo them on their way.  Weren’t I sad to have not the chance to even enjoy much of their company?  Well, I was spared of getting my heart broken unnecessarily.

I have read on a book before that children when exposed to violence and traumatic experiences with a parent tend to grow as introverts, even, emotionally crippled.  In some sense, I was indeed an introvert.  

During my teenage years, my father had shown me excessive attention which if he had manifested it when I was still younger, I might had been ecstatic.  This sudden turn of events had caused me a lot of uncomfortable even embarassing experiences that would have incurred phobia and hysterics to other teenagers.  It made me feel odd but thanks to most of  my classmates those years, male and female, they had not made me feel like an alien among their midst.  They still accepted me and helped me make it through those difficult years.

Several more uncomfortable events occurred throughout my college days that would have made many young women cringe at the thought of ever having anything to do with men for fear that they might end with the same kind of man I had to live with for most of my teenage life.

Had I for a single moment thought of not marrying and creating a family of my own because of my bad experiences living with my father?

In all honesty, what I thought and prayed back then was to find a man whom God will grant me, who will accept and love me and my family for whatever he can see and know about our entire story.

When I finally met my husband, while I was looking at him at a distance, a flash of realization just suddenly hit me, and I said to myself, “this is it!  It’s him, the man I am destined to be with.”  More than a year after that, I took the plunge and exchanged vows with him.  

Nineteen years and counting, we are still together.  As I had said in my previous blogs, our marriage life was not an easy road to traverse.  Trials and hardships we both gone through added spice to a marriage meld by time and numerous tests.  But if asked if I regret any of those years with him?  Despite everything, I would say, I am glad I took courage and went beyond my inhibitions and fear, for I could have never chosen a much better man other than my husband.
In making a decision about our own life, we should remember, upon our hands lie the outcome of our actions.  By taking the risk, we might be uncertain of what lies ahead but we are the managers of our own destiny.  It is like driving a car along a cliff, the wheel is tightly grasped in our hands.  It lies upon us to what direction we can go-to safely reach our destination or to careen over the cliff. 

If we aspire something for our life, we need not put shackles around those dreams in fear  of the unknown.  The thrill of the unexpected and the unknowns spikes up the level of interest and makes life more exhilarating.  Life would be redundant and boring if we don’t explore what is out there.  We will never know the thrill of hurtling barriers if we don’t experience obstacles. We will never fully enjoy life if we always shy away from getting out of our protective shells.  

So, the choice is really up to you but why not…