Sunday, May 31, 2009

100% Katolikong Pinoy Catacumba Remembered

Its one of the things that got me really worked out the past weeks. I was jumbling the meetings and my work. I was hesitant at first in the first meeting of the group. It was organized by Paulo. The first meeting was fine made more colorful by Chaos (Jar-Ar).

The initial meeting was followed by more meetings in which I was so happy I ended buying food for them more than twice. I really enjoyed the presence of Abi, Chelly, Paulo, Dean, Ryan, Randolf, Ryan, Dar, and the rest of the FRC members. It somehow gave a reason to relive my Catholic faith.

The last few days before May 16 were sure a lot of stress for me, I bet the same thing happened to the other guys of the core group. A few days earlier I had already printed the ID’s and the registration forms. But I still haven’t found the place where to print the tarpaulin. I still haven’t decided on the give-ways. I only managed to have the tarpaulin and the give-a-ways—I just decided on rosaries—on the last few hours of the assembly. When I got to the place most of the guys were really ready to go home.

I hardly slept that night too exited of what will happen. Will it be a success? How many will be going? We just presumed about a hundred. How will the group bond with the others and such? I was very concerned about how will they react when they see me. But I said I had to respect their reactions on me.

So the day finally came. And I woke up late at 6:00 am. And to learn that I there are tons of messages from Chelly and Paulo. I hurried all my stuff and prepared myself as fast as I could.

I arrived at Our Lady of La Paz a little way past 7:00 am so I started to look for the other guys. I just learned that no one has shown yet. So I decided to text and call Dean because he is nearest the venue with Ryan. They said they are just on their way. When I went back to the Church I just found out that Paulo, Abi with their friends already unpacking stuff. So they asked where the others are. I said they are just coming in maybe traffic. So I prepared the table for the registration. We waited for about sometime and was very anxious if people are really coming. So I told Paulo and the other guys to start praying the Rosary (part of the program) while waiting for people to come in. Then Paulo asked me to text Fr. Zenki about directions. It was a bad decision because I was bad with directions too. But I tried my best to direct him. Oh yeah I forgot that Randolf also came in just a while before this. He thought he was late I, I was thinking no problem since no one has shown up yet.

Paulo and the guys finished the rosary but no other guys have shown up yet. So we decided to wait still. Fr. Zenki came in at last or Chelli? After some time Mark and Francesco came in next. Paulo and the choir started to practice some songs for the mass.

By the time we were about to start the mass Fr. Zenki asked me if we are going to use still the Nicene Creed. He was too friendly (Fr. Zenki) I was shocked when he put his arms over me and Ryan. I hope he didn’t notice my shock, I don’t like being touched. But I told Fr. Zenki just to go on with the Apostles creed since I can’t find a tagalong version of the Nicene Creed. I liked the way he approached and talked to me. He was like a nice brother.

The mass started well. It was solemn and beautiful. Even we were very few it was much celebrated by everyone. Paulo, Chelli, Abi and the other guys sang. Randolf and Chelli also did commentation. I was asked to read the Prayer of the Faithful and agreed with Randolf without thinking. But was able to ask Paulo to read in instead. And yeah at least I was able to offer the flower with Randolf and Ryan (Bread and Wine). That was my first time after some many years of being an agnostic to be at the altar again.

After that we decided to go have a little rest. A lot was going through my mind. I mean why were they not yet here—the ones who pre-registered. I even made them their ID’s. And even forgot to make the ID for Ryan (Who Am I, God). But I made a decision to stick to the plan no matter what and besides if I get carried away by the situation the same might go with the others. So I pushed my spirit up and decided not to be let down by our small number.

By the time we moved to the Parish center we were behind the schedule with some parts not yet done. It seems for us a lesson in program management. We made changes here and there. I already forgot these small details. Fr. Zenki’s talk had to be cancelled because his doctor called in. So Paulo had to move his talk about being 100% Katolikong Pinoy. We had to tweak the program here and there. But amazingly everyone enjoyed themselves.

While some program was being done we were quite busy about the food at the back. We forgot the cups, had to buy ice and water. We were mixing here and there at the back.

Then we had the lunch because we already skipped the morning snack. I enjoyed the viand adobo with anise seeds. I love anise for some weird reasons. Like the way I love cinnamon with almost anything that I eat. Of course I overstuffed myself. I complimented Paulo’s mom for the nice adobo. Everyone was stuffed of course because we had a lot.

During the lunch Dean was asking me what to do with the second talk. I said we’ll just do some form of forum. But wasn’t sure of the topic but it seems Paulo knows what to do. I was one of the guys who were still eating before we started. We now started to set up the computer and the projector.

By this time its clear that I am already tired because my recollection of the events in the afternoon are very mixed up. At least my internet went with us this time because I was able to connect continuously with Kuya Francis. I keep insisting Francis to be my brother even though I am older than him. I was talking to Kuya Francis while people were setting down. This is while everyone was talking and I was chatting with him. But I was still not that technical so I wasn’t able to fix it so that we an talk to him. Sorry Kuya Francis.

Oh, yeah Paulo had his group present some songs and did some community songs. You know the songs that have some dance steps.

The thing I remembered the most was the sharing moment. How we got into 100% KP and what can they say to everyone. It was nice to hear each one of the stories. I just said that meeting these guys in person and seeing that there is an actual person writing those post makes me pause and think of what to write. I was particularly awestruck that I made an impact on some people’s lives, like Francesco. He called me a “devil’s advocate.” He’s right. And I cannot go against what he said. I enjoyed all the stories and the sharing.

Also Paulo was able to make something for the 2nd talk. He is one great man. I made him work much. I owe him a lot. But I bet its alright since he got a lot of energy and ideas to share. Then I tried to play Kuya Francis’ message and again I was only able to play it because the audio was very soft. I just told them to just watch and maybe just send the message thought email to all.

The last part was the comments, suggestions and future plans. I said it will be a dilemma for me of what will happen after the Catacumba. I mean what’s next. We have already organized ourselves. I suggested Parish visits of each member; maybe a monthly meeting. Francesco made the greatest contribution to this part. He said we need to have a direction (mission-vision) and someone to actually see to it that we will not go astray (Spiritual Director).

We ended happy with a song also after reading the message from Kuya Francis. We sang “I will sing forever” and then prayed a prayer to San Lorenzo Ruiz.

We cleaned up of course. And went to Glorietta to bond some more.

I was dog tired that day but what the heck. I was with my beloved friends. I can see Jesus though them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The problem of evil (Christians).

It is funny to see that people who claim moral supremacy are the ones really deprived of it. Before (when I was a devour Catholic) my faith has always been rocked by this great problem-the problem of evil. Actually I have read a lot of theological and philosophical materials on the problem.

I say life is hard most of the time, I don’t know, maybe because I have been going to hell and back a lot of times. Or that I see it all around and it still pains my heart that a lot of innocent and good people suffer. There is so much pain in world today. Yes, we have advanced with our science and morality but it seems our life is getting shorter and more immoral.

If God is love then why allow his own children to suffer? I thought this was a problem, but there was a more shocking problem-Christians.

“If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today.”

And his most famous line:

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Many so called Christians and even some Catholics are acting as if they have not read the Scriptures or listened to the Priest on Sunday Service.

What they preach about the love of God is unseen in their actions. Most Christians I know are often arrogant, self-righteous, ignorant and plain cold. Most of the worst curses and lies I have heard in my life were from the mouth of many Christians. And they say they have the love of God?

There seems to be a splitting of personality in many cases. A Christian often acts only Christian during Sunday (often times only during the Service) and is a completely different person during the rest of the week. One can be theistic on the Sabbath and be agnostic from Sunday to Friday.

It’s also surprising that many so called Church goers just go to Church just to talk about themselves and how they are better than other Church people. They often make ridiculous claims and skills but when their real help is needed you can't even see them lifting a finger. They are also the ones who complain a lot.

Some of these people only give to the Church because they want their names to be read in the Mass because they have donated a huge amount. Hypocrites! I thought Jesus liked more humble people but it seems otherwise.

I believe that if we want people to believe in God we should be more Christ-like. No wonder many people-like me- are disgusted with many Christians. Believe me I still believe that there are true Christians out there, as there are good atheists and agnostics as well.

Monday, May 11, 2009

How to celebrate Mother's Day without a Mother

My mother left me to the care of my father when she decided that she doesn't love her anymore. My father didn't care much of what happened to me. I don't know if getting cursed at or being yelled by doing this and that is what he meant by care. He usually burst, "Tang-ina di ka pa namatay!" every time I hit my head, or scratched my knees.

I grew up quite insecure of whether my mother really loved me. I could only imagine her reaction when she first saw me. Was she happy? Or disgusted? It's hard to say she preferred the latter (I think).

I grew up with a step Mother. She was kind to me. But she had another daugther, but she's there for me. But she also left when I was about four. And until that time I have no idea about Mother's day.

I only learned about Mother's day when I went to school. I was too ashamed that I was not aware of such or even celebrated one. Usually I envied kids with their mothers. Mothers seem to be warm in their embrace. So every night I prayed for God to be my "Mother."

So no nobody nagged me to do this or do that. No one went to the Parent-teachers meeting except any of my relatives who are available at that time. No one praised me when I did something great at school. Or that I was very behaved. Nothing, I think that made me very cold. Some say, I really am

But my relatives made sure I had healthy doses of curses, pingot and spanking.

I never had someone buy me clothes or shoes. Or someone saying, "Hey, let's go to the mall and buy you a new shoes, I can already see your toes from here." I just tagged along my cousins and drooled at what their mothers would buy from them.

So every night I asked God to bring back my Mom but it seems God is too busy with something.

But I think sometimes he answers my prayers because from time to time (I think 5 times) she visits me. But I never had that son instinct. I don't remember her face. Actually I don't recognize her. I never really cried myself to sleep saying why my mother doesn't love me. I just asked why.

When she was abroad she writes from time to time. I usually was enthusiastic and frantic. I mean if she would walk the streets and meet me, I wouldn't know if she was there.

Guess I'll never to celebrate one. I can't even remember a single incident that there was one. I only hear about mothers day on Church and on TV.

Sorry but it seems the answer was not here. I apologize

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rainy Summer

Last summer was quite hot.
Now there is just rain and mud.

Of course it will be much better for me because I will sleep much better at night. Problem is that I feel sleepy most of the time.

In a country like the Philippines where garbage is still a main concern. Rain water adds to the dilemma. The streets are always clogged by trash and bits of stuff, causing the occasional flood whose color ranges from brown shit to hellish black. When I was young I loved to play in the flood waters, now you better not.

I hate bring umbrellas because they feel a burden when you get on the jeep or the train. And I especially hate people who bring umbrellas because they always make sure to rub off some of the rain either on your pants or shirt.

You can also save money when it rains because you have to turn off your fans (or AC). But since I also have this habit of leaving my umbrella at the office I never get the chance to stuff when I get home. I can't even go frequently to the neighbors.

I hate it when it rains because it has the tendency to leave everything look mushy in my room. And thanks to the wonders of a leaking roof some of my stuff has already said their goodbyes.

I love staring at the office window at work when it rains. I don't know why. It feels something to just stare at the rain dripping on the window, making everything wet outside. I mean I can do this for a long time and let time fly.

The rains make me sad because I think somewhere out there someone is crying. But is also makes me feel good because maybe someone is playing in the rain.

Now I just hate it because my shoes are soaked again.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Good Shepherd

John 10:11-18

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

I really like the idea of the Good Shepherd. Its to find refuge in times of grief and a shoulder to lean on in times of need. Maybe we everyone needs a shoulder to lean on. Someone to call their name just because they need to be called.

Many atheists I've met always say that sheep are blind followers and are often dumb. Most animals are dumb.

It's an amazing sight on how some shepherds manage to make their flock follow when called. But on the side of the sheep there seems to be no kind of thinking like what cats do. At least some pets at home have the dignity of declining their masters orders at times. Sometimes its easy to just let go and leave everything to your Master. I wouldn't be happy in a relationship like that.

When the lolcat Bible was released I was more comfortable with its translation of Psalm 23. I think it's because I am more familiar with cats than with sheep.

Psalm 23

1 Ceiling Cat iz mai sheprd (which is funni if u knowz teh joek about herdin catz LOL.)
He givz me evrithin I need.

2 He letz me sleeps in teh sunni spot
an haz liek nice waterz r ovar thar.

3 He makez mai soul happi
an maeks sure I go teh riet wai for him. Liek thru teh cat flap insted of out teh opin windo LOL.

4 I iz in teh valli of dogz, fearin no pooch,
bcz Ceiling Cat iz besied me rubbin' mah ears, an it maek me so kumfy.

5 He letz me sit at teh taebl evn when peepl who duzint liek me iz watchn.
He givz me a flea baff an so much gooshy fud it runz out of mai bowl LOL.

6 Niec things an luck wil chase me evrydai
an I wil liv in teh Ceiling Cats houz forevr.