Hindi pa huli ang lahat.

Nasasaktan ako. Nasasaktan ako para sayo.

Nasasaktan ako na sa mga dumaang taon, parang wala lang.

Sa dinami-daming nangyari, parang lahat nabaliwala.

Inagos ng panahon at dinurog ng kahapon.

 

Pasensya ka na, na pagkatapos kang gahasain ng mga banyaga

Patuloy ka pa ding pinapatay ng sariling pamilya.

Patawarin mo sana kami. Hindi namin mapanindigan ang panata

Na simula palang nung bata sinaulo na namin sa eskwela.

Patawad dahil nasayang at pilit itong ginagawang katawa-tawa

 

Hayaan mo, may mga taong pilit kang ipaglalaban.

Ipipilit namin ito maging kapalit ay buhay man.

Wag ka munang bumitaw. Habang ang iba ay pilit nabubuhay sa nakaraan.

Hayaan mong igapang natin ang kinabukasan.

 

Patawad ulit sakanila. Pasensya na sakanila. Hindi ka nila nakikitang talaga.

Babangon tayo, wag ka magalala. Hindi masasayang ang pinaglaban nila Rizal, Bonifacio, Luna, at iba pa.

Hindi pa huli ang lahat. Ipapakilala ka namin sa mundo na mayroong dangal

At sa kabila ng lahat, sasabihin naming, Pilipinas kong mahal. 

philippine-flag

 

Sayaw sa langit.

​Sa tuwing pag sapit ng gabi

Hindi mo na maitago ang iyong mga ngiti.

Sa malamig na simoy ng hangin at sa yakap ng suot mong damit na tamang tama lang ang sukat para maging kumportable ka sa paglalakad. 
Masaya mong hinihintay.

Nagaabang ka na baka may sumilay. Nang biglang hinampas ka ng kasama mo, “Aray!”.

Ayan na pala. Magsisimula na ang palabas. 
Palabas na kahit maingay ito’y iyong kinasasabikan.

Sa bawat paglabas ng mga kulay asul at luntian.

Nakakamangha. Ang mga paputok na kulay dilaw at pula, na parang nagsasayaw na bituin sa langit. At sa ilang saglit lang ay
Tapos na. Naiwan kang nakangiti sa kawalan. Kahit tapos na ang sampung minuto ng kaingayan, hindi ka man lang sumimangot kahit panandalian. Lumingon ka at nasambit mong “Tapos na, ang mahalaga naging masaya ka, kahit tapos na, alalahanin mo yung saya, kahit tapos na.”

Crazy Dreams

It was May of 2008 when I first said “YES” to the Lord, it was not the typical “I went to the youth camp because my parents forced me to” story, rather, I was the one who wanted to go and little did I know, I just wanted to spend some time off that summer, that that moment will change my life. It was a typical 3-day youth camp scenario that started with asking about out crazy dreams and ended by crying because of letters from your loved ones. I cannot forget my answer to that crazy dream question: “To not die”. Yes, I know. That is one crazy dream but not until last Sunday, August 28, 2016, that “What is your crazy dream?” question makes sense. Yes, it does make sense during the talk  but last Sunday, it does makes sense in a whole different way.

I ask myself, why do we ask what our crazy dreams were. Some have answers that goes like: “To become an action star”, “To fly”, “To be an NBA player”, and the list goes on but just recently a crazy dream came true.

I’ve become the older brother from the younger one in the core group of YFL Laguna and the dream of having a District Youth Conference in an enclosed and air conditioned venue goes way back. We always try to get venues that are dark or may seem dark or we make it dark. We always wanted to have that feel of wearing a jacket in the venue. We always wanted to experience that kind of feeling when we first step in to the mall, where the cold air just touches our skin.

Last Sunday, that dream just became a reality, from the very first DYC back in 2010 in an enclosed hall with not more than 200 delegates, to an upper hall at a school, to different school gymnasiums, to an air-conditioned auditorium with cool seats, large stage, in-house lighting, and rehearsal rooms backstage.

It is a privilege to be part of every District Youth Conferences, I may not be the one always seating as a participant, I will always cherish every moment I’ve done as a part of the team that made all 7 DYCs possible. Last Sunday, is the manifestation of our crazy dream from the very first core to the present core. It is an affirmation that it is the reason why every youth camp, the very first question to us is what is our crazy dream; to not stop dreaming. No matter how big, no matter how crazy, no matter how extravagant that dream is because at some point in our lives those dreams will manifest in front of our very eyes and you will be left speechless, all you can do is smile and look back at the people who were with you through the journey to achieve that dream.

Ready to defend. 3 Stars and A Sun

(This is a late post but it makes sense that it will be posted at this time)

Mahilig akong manuod ng stage play, ng musical. Hindi lang para ma-entertain pero para may mapalakpakan dahil sa entablado kaya nilang ipakita kung ano ang tunay na lagay ng lipunan. Sa pamamagitan ng mga linya, pag arte, at musika.

Noong isang araw, nanuod ako ng 3 Stars and a Sun. Isang pagtatanghal na binibigyang buhay muli ang musika ni Francis M.

Habang nanunuod ako, may ilang bagay akong natutunan at nasabi sa aking sarili.

1. Nakakulong padin tayo. We are prisoned in our own lives. Prisoned in our society. Prisoned in a box where we are afraid to go out. We are conformed by the world we live in. We are afraid that other people might judge us if we just jump not knowing where we will land. We are that afraid, that we just let the society dictate how we think and do.

2. Kailangan ba laging may mamamatay? Do we really have to unite just when someone dies? Take for example, Ninoy Aquino and Cory Aquino. Do we really have to wait for someone to die? My guess is if we all knew what Sec. Robredo did, probably we will all unite back then we he died. Why? We do we wait for people to die just to voice out our opinions. It is the stimulus that makes us all patriotic and nationalistic? That when everybody else is alive, we make a big fuss about the next love team. All of a sudden all of those magkaisa, makabayan, laban, lines were all gone?

3. Nakalimutan na natin ang kasaysayan dahil nabubuhay padin tayo sa kasaysayan. We still live in the past. We all say that history repeats itself, well for me it does not repeat because history never left us however we forgot about it or are we just ignoring all these facts. Is it necesarry that we still kill each other just to attain something? Didn’t we learn from the past? Kulay sa kulay? Can we not just learn from the history and not repeat it all over again?

4. Wala dapat tatsulok. Gawin itong bilog. A line from the play said “Kung sila naman ang nasa taas at tayo ang nasa ilalim, tayo naman ang magiging alipin. Uulit at uulit lang kahit baliktarin mo, may mas mataas at mas mababa lagi.” The answer goes: “Yun na nga eh, hindi ba pwedeng wala nalang tatsulok? Yung pantay pantay lahat.” This statement struck me. Just like today. If one party wins, there will be an opposition and by the next election the opposition will win the losing party will now be the opposition. It’s just a freaking cycle and we all live in that cycle. We all live in the society that everyone will oppose and ironically also everyone will agree. Can we not just agree with something like cheering for Gilas as one nation? Should there be always a sports game to unite us?

As I was reflecting on these thoughts, I came to realize that I have much more to do. I have much more to prove. I have much more to become. This play imposes a challenge to all their viewers, to change the status-quo. The “Pasaway” mentality of our generation should take part in this. Mahilig tayong sumuway, bakit hindi natin suwayin yung norm? Why can’t we break the norm? Break the status-quo. Our ideas should turn into actions and our actions should mean something. May it be changing your own life, changing the way your community look, or changing other people’s lives.

This play challenges us all but more than a challenge, this play gives us hope, that someday, may it not be in our lifetime, but I hope it will be, that Filipinos are ready to defend the 3 STARS AND A SUN.

Change is coming. You are coming.

As the election approaches, I have the urge to write again. First, I am already voting for someone in the Presidential and Vice-Presidential position and I will try not to be bias and by doing that I will not say or drop names in this for the sake of persuading everyone to agree with me on who am I voting.

Setting aside our bias is most likely the most difficult thing we can do whenever there are competitions. In sports, pageants, bets, and even in the elections. I just don’t get it why we should play with others weaknesses rather than playing with our strengths. It saddens me that every time I watch the news, read articles, and even at presidential debates; candidates always tend to play with the weakness of their opponents. Why is it hard for us when we are competing that we give our all rather than telling everybody how awful one is. I am a basketball fan and I love it when players lose, they praise how great the defense of the other team is and their strategy next game, guess what, I’ll do better. How can it not be the same for our candidates?

I am not saying that they are not plaing with their strengths but all we hear are negative stuff about the other candidates and how we should not vote for them (Paid advertisements says othewise tho). Now we think, why should we vote for someone if all we hear are bashes to others. Let’s give time for ourselves to think why we should vote for someone. Do not think of why we should not vote for someone rather think of why we should vote for someone.

Let us all vote depending on our conscience and virtues not because our family loves him/her. Vote for someone who will let your dreams materialize. Take chances on candidates you put your trust on. Do not rely on surveys, surveys set our minds, our votes will set our country. Vote for someone who you see worth leading this nation. Vote for someone who will be the representative of the Philippines in international relations. Give your vote to someone who, for 6 years, you think can lead you. We rant on our groupings in school about our leader, now we are given the chance to choose our own leader. Choose the right one for you.

Lastly, Do not expect change if you yourself will not change. Do not expect a job if you will not apply for one. Do not expect t graduate if you will not study. Do not expect something grand if you are not dreaming big. Change will come and it should start from us; from crossing the streets using the pedestrian lane, throwing trashes in to the trash bin, paying jeepney fares, settling for a zero rather than cheating on exams. All of those things cannot be change by our government. All of those are changes from within. If you want this country to prosper, be that change. Let’s start to be the change. Our role this coming elections is to elect our leaders and as leaders ourselves, let’s help one another. Whoever wins, change will not come from them. Let us all be the change we want this nation to be.

After all, #LoveWins

This is my take on Manny Pacquiao’s statement on LGBT and the response of notable personalities in our country regarding the issue. I will write this in English and Tagalog, to express myself fully, but I will try to write this just in English. (I will try. HAHA!)

Pacquiao’s statement is clearly a shot to the LGBT community in general and the response for me is normal. It is normal to make a statement out of their belief and it is for me normal to defend if you are offended. What went wrong? It opened a can of worms. It opened a lot of discussions and arguments that leads to all negative and positive responses based on their own personal opinion and everyone else is now either on Manny’s side or the LGBT side. Shouldn’t we just pick between #TeamIronMan or #TeamCap? It makes us, Filipinos, divided with one issue and I even saw on twitter friends unfriending friends in facebook because they are pro-Manny. Isn’t it ironic that we are trying to defend a community here and human rights but we are not uniting? As said in a movie, “The time we finish fighting for each other, that is the time we lose our humanity…”

But let all get things straight. Why the statement is strong: He called (not directly) the LGBT community: “Masahol pa sa hayop”. The statement goes like, wala kang makikitang hayop na nag aano na lalaki sa lalaki tapos babae sa babae, eh kung tao pa kaya, eh di mas masahol pa sa hayop. Why is it so strong? People got offended. LGBT Community got offended and supporters. The reaction was from Vice Ganda, and clearly a statement not just from him, it is reflecting the reaction in their community.

The issue did not end by Manny apologizing and Vice accepting the apology, rather the issue grew bigger and now this is my take as a Catholic, a servant leader, and as an individual. If you are a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and you are seeking for God, as Pope Francis said, “Who am I to judge?” Who are we really to judge? The thing about same-sex marriage is that it will lead to different sins. For me, being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender is NOT A SIN. Everyone will be attracted to the same sex at some point in their lives. However, getting in to unity with them, becoming one with the same gender is a different thing. The statement that it is a human right violation would be stupid. Education is a human right so is healthcare, so why are there still people lacking education and is dying because they are not properly taken care of. Back to the topic, If it is a human right, then give it to them. Isn’t it that easy? IT IS A RIGHT. However, marriage rites should not be given. I am not condemning homosexuals, to be honest, they are one of the best people I met, they are the most true. What I don’t like is homosexual acts.

And I will boldly say this, I am against same-sex marriage and I am against Manny Pacquiao as a senator, we do not need a senator that only gives a fuck to the government 4 times a year and in those times, what does he do? Sit. I am not saying that I am anti-LGBT, I am fully with them through the battle of equality and ironic as it is but not for same-sex marriage. Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial.

Is this the issue that will divide us Filipinos?

Now the challenge for me, and for all of us, is to love. Love even if we do not agree with the opinion of others. Love without reservations. Love even if it means defending your own faith. Love the fullest. Love the hardest. Love should never fail. After all #LoveWins.

Is it only on Ash Wednesdays?

I tried to be early for the last mass for Ash Wednesday, and yes, I was early but not early to have my own seat. It was like there is some sort of concert and everybody wanted to be in the front or is trying to get a glimpse of what is happening. I was standing. Trying to have a great place to stand, it struck me. Why all of a sudden, there is a massive crowd here at our parish? Why? I too, has a simple answer to my own question: It’s Ash Wednesday. Then another question came to my mind. Why now? It is a question that gave me several realization as I listen to the readings and participate in the Mass.

It came to me that very moment that: One, there are so many Catholic students in the campus and second, they still know or at least participate in this kind of event as a Catholic.

As my eyes wander and see different faces for the first time while I am standing and listening to the sermon, I was just in awe of the number of young people hearing the mass. I have this crazy idea of imagining them raising their hands in worship, then that idea struck me again.

There are many youths that need God and they need God now. Why is that it is so difficult for us, servant leaders, and members of a charismatic community to share God’s word to them? Why is is that it is so difficult that when we conduct youth camps, we expect twenty young people but only five will come but when I was there, standing, there are many youths that know their faith, they just probably need to strengthen it so that there will come a time that churches will be filled not just in Ash Wednesdays or Dawn Masses.

It is a challenge for us, for me, as servant leaders that at some point in time, in the near future, all youths will be raising their hands in worship, kneeling and bowing down before Christ. The fact that there are times that out parish can be filled by such crowd even just this Ash Wednesday, there is hope. There is hope that someday churches will be filled by young people everyday.

Reasons why I have a job.

Why do people work? Or let me rephrase the question, why do you work?

We have so much reason why we are doing things. Hence, we should have a reason why we are working. One famous answer is: “To get paid”. Of course, we all want to get paid and a bonus would be getting paid by doing what you love the most but bottomline, why are you, why are we doing this?

Let me give you my reasons and give me yours afterwards.

1. To prove myself. I am an undergraduate of Bachelor of Science in Psychology, I am not that kind of person who wasted my parents money, no. We don’t have money to waste. I messed up and working would be my way out to get back. I want to prove myself to myself, not to anyone else, that I am somebody. I can be somebody.

2. For me not to depend to my parents and grandparents. I don’t want to be a burden to them. Let them enjoy life as they should.

3. For my future needs. I read a quote before which goes like, I don’t work for the weekend to come and enjoy myself but I work for my future and enjoy the rest of my life. I don’t want to be like the people who just make ends meet. No offense to the partygoers and such but I don’t get paid just for me to enjoy a weekend and be broke the whole week. I want to enjoy everyday of my life as I am made that way, to enjoy life to its full.

4. Lastly, to progress. I don’t want to be stagnant in life. Not attending school would bore me to death. Judge me or not believe me but I enjoy going to school and taking notes, working and getting a job is much harder, yes, but atleast I am doing something. I want to do something and in the process, learn.

I enjoy working. I admire people who work hard to earn a living and to provide for their family. At the same time, I pity those who work but are not contended with the salary they get but when they get it they just go to a bar and drink with friends but they still rant that it is not enough.

As I serve the Lord for several years now, I learned to go back to the root cause, to the reason why you are doing things because probably if your reason now is far more different than before, you are doing it wrong. Go back to your first reason. It will keep you going even though you get exhausted. It will again, give you the initiative to wake up every morning and greet each day as a new opportunity to mature and progress in life.

Oras.

Oras. Kung may babaguhin ako sa mundo yun ay ang oras.
Hindi pagmamahal. Hindi pera. Oras.
Mga Oras na sana nakasama pa kita para mas minahal mo ako. Na sana may panahon pa para magdampi ang mga labi natin at maramdaman ang init ng mga yakap mo.
Mga oras na hindi ko ipagkakait kahit na araw araw pa tayong magkita. Hindi ako magsasawa sa mga oras na kasama kita. Lulubus-lubusin ko ang mga oras na ito.
Dahil sa mga oras na to, dun ako masaya. Malaya akong gawin lahat kahit magtatalon at magpagulong gulong sa lupa. Dahil sa mga oras na ito. Ako ay ako. Ikaw ay ikaw. Mayroong tayo. Sa mga oras na to nararamdaman kong buhay ako.
Oras. Oras para mapatunayan kong mahal pa kita. Maibalik lahat ng pagkakamali at mga oras na nasayang noong anjan ka pa. Oras para makabawi man lang. Makabawi sa mga pagkukulang natin sa isa’t isa. Oras para sa ating dalawa.
Oras para masabi ko sayo na mahal padin kita. Para maiparamdam ko ulit ang lahat ng iyon. Oras na alam kong wala na, pero sana meron pa. Sana meron pang oras. Kahit kaunting oras para makapagpaalam. Makapagpasalamat. Makapagpatawad.
Mapagbigyan mo kaya? Ang hinihiling na oras. Huling oras para sa ating dalawa.

For you.

May 13, 2013. 11:52am

I remember this day so vividly. I was lying down at our sofa, and texted you Hi. That was our first conversation. I remembered you saying I was a snob that time, texting you with no emoticons at all. Our conversations went to silly ones to serious stuffs. Shared some secrets and our own inside jokes, and eventually got the hang of it.

Came to a point that we decided to see each other. Go on a date. You said you wanted to make things right, ask permission from your mom and she said yes. I smiled and got excited. Months passed we were excited to see each other everytime. You even got the chance to visit me here because I will be helping you with you research and you’ll be doing that here. How fortunate and great fate was that time. We had our own quality time. Shared laughters, just laughters. I got close to your family, quite close. I was attached to them that I was beginning to decide to get to know them more. By the time I decided to know them more you got cold. The influence of the flawed world came and the rest was history that I, maybe you too, would not want to go back to.

At the same point in time 2 years ago, was a hype time for me. It was because it is your birth month. A legitimate reason for me to go to your house which your parents want to. At that short span of time. I trusted you with all of my flaws and silliness. You got to see who am I as a person. Shared my victory. Got to be my prayer partner. Shared promises. We were the shoulder to cry on for each other. We rant about stuffs and got along with those rants. we both wanted to be socially involved. We have our own opinions about stuff. We anchored each other so that no one will get left behind. Our highs and lows were highs and lows of each other.

You said, I should wait. I waited for you. I waited for you to only get “You are too good for me” as an answer. To get “Ayoko na” as an answer. I waited for months just to get an answer. I waited because you said I should. I waited. I am still.

2 years gone, If you would be standing in front of me or sitting in front of me. All I wanted to say is that I still do love you. I will and will always do. Yes, I never moved on because I wanted to have an answer for all my questions. It felt like I needed an answer even thoug people told me not to find one. That the answer lies with what you said last year. “You are too good for me…Ayoko na”.

I love you. You will be 18 few days from now. We were waiting for this moment bavk then. I guess, I should stopped waiting long ago for this moment but hey, I still did! Why? I was too damn excited to see you wearing a dress. Becoming the woman you want to be. The time when my princess would wear princess like gowns and have a princess like party.

I am sorry. I’m sorry I never met your expectation when you wanted me to go there and talk because I was told to wait. I am sorry that I am still hoping for that day to come where you will bring back all our line of communications. I am sorry that I am still waiting. Waiting that someday, somehow, our promises of forever would come.

I still remember the sound of your voice and how you laugh. I am still waiting for that moment when we both waited for the sun to rise up while talking over the phone, we both promised to that right? I am missing you each day I travel. Each time I think of Paris and Santourini. Each time I dream, you are always part of it. My future is way ahead of me but I bypassed it and put you in there. I guess I am just stupid enough to think that there is a glimpse of hope. But I still do.

Thank you. For loving me and accepting my flaws. For letting be myself. For being my prayer partner whenever I give a talk to youth camps and study for exams. Thank you for giving me motivation for everything. You were that person that never left me, at that time.

I love you. I never left you. If ever you need me, I am always there. I love you and will always do. I wanted to wait for you at the altar and seeing you walk on the aisle. I always imagine that moment. I guess seeing you genuinely smile now is the most I can see. That is enough for me. Seeing you smile. Seeing you get excited in life. Pursue your dreams of being a doctor huh? I will too. Promise. I love you. Always.

-Ranze