The feeding of the lies…

August 21, 2008

I must have been suffering from a blogger’s block.  After writing the 100th post last week, it just sat there waiting to be followed by another blog this week.  Somehow I could not bring myself to write anything until a couple of minutes ago.

I noticed that the blog on YOU ARE MY HEALER has been getting a lot of hits recently, especially since yesterday.  A lot of people must be getting encouraged by the testimony of Mike Guglielmucci.

Until news articles confirmed that his cancer claims for the past two years have been false.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,24216087-1246,00.html

That even his family members were really shocked at the unfolding events.

Needless to say, I am very baffled. Why a pastor needs to lie about his medical condition – and deceive the whole world?

While the message of the song IS STILL TRUE, I am afraid that the credibility of his witness would suffer for quite a long time.

Here are some of the lies that have really baffled me in recent months:

1. The photographer who took shots of what was supposed to be a “lost” tribe in Latin America, where there was a man covered in red ink in a warlike stance as the picture was taken.  Later on, this turned out to be a fraud.

2. Bigfoot fur remains – when thawed revealed that the whole BIGFOOT mystery was a FAKE. The fur was made of rubber materials.  Mystery is solved for all of us though.

3. Senator Edwards was also involved in an extramarital affair and it forever changed the image of him being an almost perfect husband and father.

4. Athletes caught in doping incidents even at the Olympics and other worldwide sporting events.

5. Gasoline companies declaring before the media that they are not earning enough and kept on jacking up the prices.  Well the price of crude oil is down to $114, yet the price of gasoline in this country has remained unbelievably high when it should have been lowered by more than P20 per liter at this time.

6. I don’t know who is lying when the Philippine government would report that the economy has gotten a lot better since the current President took office.  But millions of Filipinos are going hungry – and those who can still afford to buy food are now mostly eating noodles for viand along with their very cheap rice.  How can the economy be better when the inflation rate has been measured at 12.07% last June?

7. System generation loss of the electric companies. These people need to start being honest and not charge all these to the people who are the poor hapless consumers.  It is not the people who are causing the generation loss – but their faulty equipment, cables and other infrastracture.

8. Who is telling the truth in Mindanao?  When days after the ARMM elections, war broke out and these cruel and savage things are not even reported by the Philippine media? People are being killed and institutions are being burned yet it is not reaching the news channels in the cities.

9.  In the Georgian conflict, lies are being told in the worldwide body right there in the UN Security Council.  Russia has punished the “aggressor” but why is it taking too long for Russia to move out of Georgia? They are acting like the real aggressor with powerful words like “crush” the Georgian military.

We are surrounded by so many lies.  And unfortunately, if we are not careful, we may begin believing some of these as well:

Here are some of them:

1. Religious lies about the exclusivity of certain faith systems/church/denominations – where family members not following their strict religious codes are considered “polluted.”

2. Lies that make us feel and think that we are not worthy to be loved by God.

3. Lies that tell us that we can never be forgiven.

4. That we are not and will never be good enough.

5. Lies that measure our lives according to how much we have accumulated in our lives.

6. That happiness depends on our socio-economic status.

7. When sexual abusers deceive themselves into thinking that they are not responsible for the crimes they have committed.

8. The powerful lie that for the sake of the family’s financial well-being, sexual abuse victims should just remain silent.

9. Lies that tell us, that the Father is never pleased with us, and that He is some distant God who just watches us, uninvolved in our pains and miseries.

How about you? What are some of the lies that may have shaped or may have influenced you?  Sometimes, we do not want to accept the truth because the lie has become so deeply embedded in our thought process that it has become our “reality.”

John 8:32 states that we shall know the truth. And the TRUTH shall set us free.

May the loving Father of the truth gently reveals to us the lies in our lives that we may be set free into the absolute and objective reality of HIS TRUTH.

There was nothing spectacular about this but my classmate wanted to show it to me since I was already in Beverly Hills, Lahug, Cebu.

It was a short drive from VICTO where we had our pastoral conference. I must admit, I just wanted to talk with Carrie ( my highschool classmate) because the last time I saw her was 25 years ago at our highschool graduation.

Well we briefly toured the place and then climbed some more stairs. I am not into Chinese art and temples but the view was good. My eagerness to see the place was shattered when I heard a rude, cutting shout aimed at one of my friends who was with us. He was about to take a picture of some of the “saints” at the top chapel. My friend did not see the “NO PICTURE TAKING of the SAINTS ALLOWED” and embarrassed, wondered why he was being shouted at.

We noticed the sign and just gave the man a look. A few moments later, another friend, this time a lady, made the same mistake. We heard again the same rude shout, this time a little louder. Our friend just raised her hand to say she was sorry and walked away. But I was fuming mad and told my classmate…”Is it really necessary to rudely shout at guests? And to think, the person shouting is also a Filipino, shouting at a young lady when he could just say it in CEBUANO?” I was getting upset about the whole thing.

A Chinese temple in a Filipino land and a FILIPINO is rudely shouting at another FILIPINO for not seeing the NO PICTURE TAKING OF THE SAINTS ALLOWED…. there’s got to be a better way than this. I don’t understand this at all.

It created a distaste in my mouth and my classmate said something that affirmed my observation. It was time to go. We chatted on our way back to the gate where we met a Korean couple trying to get a nice picture of the temple. I volunteered to take their picture and then told them that a Korean teen just won gold at the Swimming event in Olympics. They got excited and thought I was from South Korea too. They liked the framing and the guy handed the camera to me again…. for another shot. Done.

Feeling grateful,, they nodded their heads in appreciation. And the lady mustered enough of her English and said “Thanks, You are cute!”

Hmmm…..

Note to my countrymen: Let us not forget to extend courtesy to one another even as we start bending over backward in showing courtesy to other people. ( or temples!)

I was up at 4am. And by 5:30 am, I was already driving through SLEX.

Arrived in San Mateo before 6:30 am. It was going to be a long day (August 4th) because my sister Joy was flying to Abu Dhabi.

By 8:15 we were driving through Marikina and along C5 we made a right to pick up my older sister Ethel. Joseph was his typical 15-year old self. Sleepy and would not participate in any meaningful conversation, the last few ones before his mom would take off.

We arrived at the general airport area by 9:30 am and we had a lot of time to kill. Jollibee was a good option so we had our real breakfast. By 10:25, we drove the short distance to the NAIA1 Departure terminal. I dropped them off while I made a long turn toward the parking.

Over at the OFW pre-departure area, I was really thankful that we could at least be comfortably seated while waiting for the 4PM flight. The liaison officer of the agency arrived shortly and instructions were given.

The OFW pre-departure area was a microcosm of the whole OFW phenomenon. Banking booths, seamen counters and other OFW booklets, paraphernalia, POEA and OWWA counters, free coffee, cafeteria counter for the last goto, sandwich, canned drinks and other food items. A big TV tried to entertain the families as they struggle with the reality of a loved one leaving for an overseas work in minutes.

I would look at my sister and my nephew many times. I still could not believe that she was finally leaving. Mixed with anxiety and the fear of the unknown, I find myself praying again and again for her safety and protection. Looking at Joseph, I would ask God how He would allow a single Mom to be separated from her only child, and for a 15 year old boy to suddenly become physically orphaned.

We were like most OFW families there. Trying to engage in some funny and yet memorable talks. Figuring out the OFW Sim card, getting the last minute instructions and curiously looking at the other OFW families.

There were so many younger people in their 20s who were leaving. There were those who had been to an overseas work for quite awhile, and then there are those who wore on their faces, the quiet anticipation of someone going out for the first time.

It broke my heart to see fathers carrying their small children, trying to have that final family picture as they fumble with the settings of their digital cameras. Of women trying to get some privacy as they talk for awhile on their cellphones, saying their goodbyes to their families who were maybe still at the parking lot. Husbands doing the last minute hand carried luggage check before their wives leave. Of little children crying when a parent finally gets up and head for the DEPARTURE entrance.

I was taking all these in. These scenarios are played out on a daily basis in our international airports.

We were just like them. We took pictures using our phones and bluetoothed them. I took pictures of Joseph napping comfortably on the steel chairs, unperturbed by the goings on. I would hesitantly look at the wall clock because it would factually show us that time is ticking fast and our long goodbyes would have to end soon.

At 2:30 PM, I got the courage to tell my sister that maybe it was best for them to head to the Departure entrance. I was getting emotionally drained already and besides, we wanted her (her first flight ever) to have more time adjusting to the environment and get settled before her flight. Her OFW companion also followed and said goodbye to his wife and 2 small daughters. I hugged and kissed my sister Joy. Hours earlier, God comforted me in my grief. The Lord GOd can and will take care of her while she works in the Middle East. And as I looked at all the people going through the Departure entrance (MGA BAGONG BAYANI – our new heroes / rightly so, because their remittances of P12.7B and counting this year, has given our country an annual hope, and sadly, a false sense of security that our economy remains strong. One newspaper editorial even went so far as to declare that because of the OFW remittances, our government fooled itself into thinking that it was doing a good job securing the economy of the country.)

I did not see her go through the departure entrance because I started to head down the stairs to the parking lot. My brisk steps betrayed what I was really feeling at that time. I was sad with a mixture of guilt and anger all strewn in between…

The three of us were quiet as we drove to Market! Market! My sister offered to treat us for a meal. Then we headed for the groceries for Joseph to get his provisions for the week. I could not imagine being by myself at 15. He lives with the grandparents – but he would still be basically very alone.

I wrote his excuse letter from missing school that day, gave some more instructions and tested the Skype on his computer – then I left for Laguna.

It seemed as if I had been driving the whole day. I was tired. I was emotionally depleted. Wifey was already asleep when I entered the house. She was still asleep when I left 18 hours earlier.

Sent an sms to my sister’s OFW SIM and said a prayer for her. Thankfully, I drifted off to sleep.

It was going to be a long day tomorrow ( August 5th) because 14 Americans will be visiting us and I will be picking them up at the airport.

At 1:22am – I got an sms response “Here now in Abu Dhabi. My Nokia 8250 (for the OFW sim) is working.”

I was about to unlock the car doors for my wife and friend when my phone received an sms. “My flight schedule is on August 4th..” We were about to have a relaxing dinner (my wife and I with our good friend Tess) in Antonio’s Grill in Tagaytay, and somehow, the SMS surreptitiously invaded my private thoughts for the evening.

I remember weeks ago blogging about how I felt when my sister first informed me about her signing the contract to work overseas.

https://compassionateconsiderations.wordpress.com/2008/05/27/i-signed-the-contract/

It used to be an idea. It used to be an anticipated distant fact. But now, we are just counting the nights and for me, I am counting the sleepless nights as I ponder and pray for my sister and nephew.

On August 4th, my sister will be joining the more than 3,000 people who will leave for their overseas work. On August 4th, her son, my nephew Joseph, will be joining the millions of young people who have been physically “orphaned” because the parents need to work overseas to provide for the family.

My sister is going to Abu Dhabi, UAE. I googled the country for the first time – and because the website could not really tell how life is like over there for a non-national worker like her, there was nothing left to do but to agonize in prayer.

Becoming an OFW ( Overseas Filipino worker) would be for the most part, and for millions of my Filipino brothers and sisters would for the most part, be considered a great blessing. Money is expected to come in and with a much higher rate, it would be more than enough to provide for the college education and many needs for the family left behind ( GREED isn’t factored in the previous sentence.)

Under ideal circumstances, I would have also been delighted to see my sister go. But frankly, I wish there was another way for a single mom like her, to provide for her only child, Joseph.

I worry for them both. I worry for my 16-year old nephew who will suddenly be thrown into the world of harsher realities. Of being alone, coping alone in an environment where there is not much love that surrounds him at this critical stage in his life. I worry about other influences giving him time and affirmation. I think about those nights when he would be alone in his room trying his best to muffle his sobs. I think about the un-prepared breakfasts and the un-eaten dinners. Joseph would really need to grow up fast. At the age of 16, Joseph would be contending against something which I did not have to even face when I was his age – being physically “orphaned.”

What any young people need would be the Matthew 3:16 experience. To know that they belong somewhere, that they are loved, and that they are a source of significant pride. But I guess for millions of people in this country, those needs would need to give way to the fulfillment of the more basic survival needs: money for food, clothing and shelter.

I feel really sad about this exchange. Someone said “Money cannot buy happiness, but it certainly can buy some degree of freedom…”

But come to think of it, ” some degree of freedom is considered happiness” for millions of people around the world. Some degree of freedom, of not having to go to the Middle East, of not having to leave a son by himself, for me right now, for the most part, is happiness.

And then I started thinking of my sister Joy and how brave she has been. I have not known a braver soul after my mother’s heart. They are both alike in many ways – and it is quite sad to see their fragmented relationship, is still unable to move beyond the catalyst that shattered it in many ways. I cannot imagine what she is thinking and feeling right now as she takes care of the last minute details of her departure.

What thoughts come to her mind when she goes to bed. Does she count the nights and days with excitement or does she try to hide her tears and fears?

2:51AM Prayer for my sister Joy and only nephew, Joseph

Lord God, have mercy. I present my sister Joy to You. I know that you love her more than we ever could. Lord God, she is leaving for the Middle East to work so that she would be able to send Joseph to school and even afford him a college education starting next year. Being an OFW is already a common phenomenon here in the country Lord. But that may be so, but not in our family.

I cannot imagine that time would come when she would need to go Lord and brave it out there in a very foreign land. Lord forgive me when I get really anxious – but thousands of stories about abuse and threats to personal safety, would really make one count the cost. But many times Lord, we do not even have the luxury to count the cost because we are already bleeding from many sides.

Lord, protect my sister from harm. Protect her from evil-doers. Protect her from evil. Surround her with your peace and comfort on that particular day when she leaves the country. This is her first overseas trip – and I could only imagine a host of concern as I recall my first overseas trip. But the difference was, I was going not because of a financial need, whereas my sister is going to the Middle East for that.

Lord God, please honor her desire to provide for her son. This was not how you have designed families to be – and someday, all of these things will be reconciled back to you. Lord, there have been so many like my sister, who is braving the world out there for the sake of their children.

Remember them Lord.

Hear their cry.

See their afflictions.

And I pray for Joseph. I pray that you will comfort him as well. I pray that he will totally find you in the alone-ness he feels at the situation. Lord, my sister requested that I spend more time with Joseph so that he will not need to find an outlet for his frustrations and sadness. Lord, use me now to minister to my nephew, and where necessary, to become a loving source of paternal love. He has never known the love of a physical father and my heart is grieving that he will also be paying a personal, high non-financial cost for a brighter future. Protect him from the world. Protect him from the evil influence of this world. Give him the passion to seek YOU most of all. He is an “orphan” in the coming weeks and months and perhaps, years. Use us all Lord to surround him with your love.

When I look at him, I still remember vividly, the first time I saw him when I arrived from the US in 1994. I was too excited that I immediately kissed him and carried him. But it was too much for a 2-year old handsome nephew, and he cried and looked for his mom. I remember how he would drink his milk in regular intervals and I would ask him “are you drinking your beer?” and he would smile and nod at me. I remember the time inside the bus from Mindoro when he would look at me to check if I was sleeping or not, because he felt like throwing up, yet did not want his uncle to see. Or that night as we were being rocked by the huge waves crossing the Mindoro Straits and he was really afraid, and he turned to his mom sitting next to me and asked “Mommy, I am afraid, is it okay for me to cry?” I heard him asked that question and I immediately hugged him and said “sure, it is okay to cry…”

Lord, maybe he will do a lot of crying when his mom leaves. They may not be physical tears because many times, young people do their cries tear-lessly. Lord I pray that You will be His source of strength and comfort. Thank you for being the Father him and to us all.

Lord God, I surrender them to you. I love them both very much and I wish I could afford both of them a sense or degree of freedom. It breaks my heart that they will need to be separated because many times they feel, they only have each other. Let them know Lord, that they are included and loved and that You are fond of them as well.

Thank you Lord. I know you care for them. This may not be your design but you allowed it to happen. You are the sovereign God and Your hands are not limited by our circumstances. Thank you for taking care of them. I also ask for your provision of time, money and energy to become an influential mentor, friend and uncle to my nephew.

In your hands I surrender this prayer through the precious name of your Son, Jesus.

Amen.

(Centennial Airport : Manila, Philippines 5:30 AM)

I used to love airports. The sight of the planes taking off and landing is a very exciting thing for me. The sight of people pulling their luggages. The uniformed pilots and crew which poignantly remind me of my desire to become one of them.

Airports convey much anticipation & hope brought about by the flight about to take one to his destination. Evidenced by the cameras brought by the young people as they busily take portraits of themselves for their Friendster account, maybe. Of people dressed in their shorts, flip-flops and most comfortable shirts, indicating their tropical beach destinations [Boracay Paradise, I miss you!]

All of these things are present as I write this. But something is noticeably absent right now. All the excitements that I used to feel… (they just announced that it is our boarding time)

View from my seat

Flight 291 AirPhilippines to Dumaguete

Seat 09F – window exit

28,000 ft ( this pic I took as we were flying over Taal Volcano. I simply used what was in my hands – my HP IPAQ Rx3417 with its 1.3 meg camera. It captured the mouth of the mother Taal volcano)

are missing. I reasoned that perhaps it is because I have been traveling and speaking for the past 2 weekends. Palawan, Bacolod and now, Dumaguete. And these travels usually mean arriving early, speaking till late in the evening and flying home Monday dead-tired and usually with a hoarse voice at the end of the weekend.

Physical fatigue is one thing, weariness is another, a much more difficult thing to handle.

Maybe I am just getting weary and my tank is getting empty. seeing the airport where last week, my wife was with me hauling our luggage, made me feel empty. I suddenly missed her. The kind of missing someone that it actually hurts inside. With her GAD and depression still being managed, trips like these are difficult for both of us.

Lord, I am tired and weary. I am going to a place where the people are expecting to be trained. Fill me with your joy & your strength & allow me to minister to them refreshed & renewed by Your grace. In my weariness right now, I open myself to You as I wait for your comfort. Lord, I cannot give what I don’t have – please fill me up & renew my mind & soul with your Spirit. Let me come to You to receive Your promised rest.

The meeting ended at 11PM. I guess I was trying my best to “make up” for the many months that I was not able to visit. My last church visit was Dec 2006, and now it is April 2008. 2006 and 2008. It is easy to just say 2 years…. and so in our meetings, I would always refer to “it has been two years since my last visit…”

I got back in my lonely hotel room and turned on the TV. I was grateful that there was CNN and other regular cable channels like NatGeo and Discovery. Even though I was too tired, my mind was too alert to just sleep. After taking a hot shower, I looked at my cell phone to set the alarm. I was looking forward to sleeping more than 8 hours and just maximize my stay until my flight home at 5:45PM.

But my phone registered several sms from this young couple I married off several years ago. They wanted to make sure that I was up and about by 8AM so they could take me on a city tour. I almost said “I am really tired… but thanks…” but there was something about what they said…”we want to take you around because you have been coming here yet you still have not seen the familiar tourist attractions…”

That was really true. I go on travels – and conducts meetings from Fridays – Sundays. Usually I am back taking my flight home on Monday mornings. But this trip was somewhat different, the booking was so tight that the flight I got was at 5:45PM.

I was out of the hotel by 8:30AM and off we went. They knew that I needed coffee first so we went to the place where I could get good coffee in an instant. Dunkin Donuts. With that done, off we went to pick up 4 teachers who were also serving as Sport Officials for softball at the Palarong Pambansa (National Games)…

The first step was the crocodile farm. I even managed to get some pictures taken with a baby crocodile with its snout securely tied. 3 shots and it was getting to be uncomfortable for the me and the animal.

They took me to Mitra’s house overlooking Honda Bay. it was beautiful. I missed my wife as I looked at the overpowering horizons. The sea on one side and the mountains slightly covered by rain clouds on the other.

Then we were taken to a bee farm…. it was a very interesting place. I actually got more information. A drone (male bee) once it did its purpose (mate with the queen) dies because its genitals are cut off… hmmmm….

There were more places and this young couple just explained, pointed, told anecdotes all the way. Lunch was at a place called “Gulay Bar” a vegetarian resto where I ordered something that smelled Teriyaki tofu with mushrooms. I should post the pics tomorrow – but I just wanted to get these thoughts done.

It started to rain… the couple noticed how sleepy I was and asked “would you like coffee? we could hang out as we wait or kill time before we take you off to the airport…”

And that’s what we did. I ordered Kape Negro (black coffee) and just talked about life. Talked about our challenges in the church. Health concerns. They just listened. Oh, btw, the other night? we ate in this street stall and then bought fish which we fried and we ate again, this time at the house of the in-laws while I sipped his home-made honey wine. It actually tasted good. I rode the motorbike with him to my hotel at past 11 PM.

Anyways, this young couple then took me to the airport. And as I hugged them, it dawned on me that they as a couple, never miss taking me to the airport everytime I leave. It has always been them. They have always been the couple that I always hug because they were the ones who would take a leave from their work just to see me off. The husband picked me up at the airport.

The small church in the area used to be their home church. But they stopped attending there. In Dec 2006, I tried to patch the relationship -but I guess relationships cannot really be forced on anyone.

Sitting at the airport while waiting for my flight made me think more about what had transpired over the weekend. This couple really took care of me. They would send sms and asked me “how are you doing?” even if they knew I was conducting a meeting. They would ask “do you have any dinner plans?” because they wanted to make sure that my needs are taken care of.

Their brother, even wanted to invite me to attend a youth service where he choreographed a dance for the youth worship. I was so sorry I could not come because I also scheduled a meeting that night.

This young couple would introduce me as their older brother… and then would be quick to add “Our pastor… immediately followed with “He was the one who officiated at our wedding…”

They were really sensitive to my needs. The wife even noticed that I have not been drinking water and promptly asked “do you want us to buy bottled water? You have not been drinking the whole day..”

What was going on here? I asked myself. And two things came to mind.

ROLE BASED vs. RELATIONSHIP Based.

For this young couple, they did not look at me as someone with just a ROLE or a position in the denomination. Rather they looked at me, as someone whom they have gotten to know through the years. We would recall stories together. Inquire about the people they have not met for awhile… I was not an Area Superintendent to them…. rather, I was an older brother, a mentor, a friend… and it felt beautiful.

Many times, if we are not careful, the people in our lives are categorized according to their roles and their positions. Or like this blog, if people are not duly noted, they would be uncategorized, just one among the many. But when we are able to slowly invest our lives in the lives of others, we begin to share “tags, and categories”, memories, thoughts and even dreams….

How about you? Are you having a role-based relationships with the people around you? Or are your relationships based on “friendships?”

How about our relationship with God? Is is based on what He can do for us? Or is it based on who He is? Simply a loving Father? These were my thoughts as I boarded my AirPhil flight to Manila at 6PM…

Upon arriving the Manila airport, I got another sms “drive safely and tell us when you are already in the loving embrace of your wife!”

Role based relationships may make our lives more organized. But relationship-based living would definitely make our lives more meaningful.

View of Honda Bay at the back

Thank you Gully and Rachel. You guys make visiting Palawan worth it everytime. God bless you both.

My Philippine Airlines flight was more than an hour delayed…. it seems like they are back to their infamous PAL tag (Philippine Airlines … er… Plane Always Late…)

 Before boarding the plane, we heard the announcement requesting for 7 volunteers because they overbooked the flight. This brought back memories when I volunteered back in Dec of 1997 when my Northwest Airlines flight from Kansai, Japan was also overbooked bound to Manila.  It was nice to stay in a hotel for free – and be given $400 for your “sacrifice”.

 PAL tried to do the same thing – but the offer wasn’t as tempting, so to speak, and besides my schedule for this short visit was packed.

 The plane was supposed to leave at 8AM… but we arrive in Puerto Princesa at 10:30AM… because the plane left at about 9:30AM.  It was just amazing how we tolerate these inconveniences.  PAL did not offer even cold water to the passengers as we waited and waited…

 I sat next to an old Japanese man.  He slept most of the time. I tried to sleep as well but there were some Koreans talking and I could not sleep because of the volume of their voices.  When we saw the Honda Bay and I peered into the window, the Japanese man next to me tried to start a conversation…”You going home?”  “No… i am here for visit…how about you? “Diving… I go diving…” now that explains the tan and his outdoorsy look… “I dive in Tubbattaha….”… and I thought to myself… “wow….. nice for you to enjoy what we have here… many of us could not even afford to see our own beautiful destinations..”

 Landing at the airport and trying to get your luggage from a much -delayed plane was a nightmare.  There were 2 sporting events back to back in Palawan… a regional sportsfest (just finished) and a national sportsfest (to start next week). But the athletes from different schools have started to arrive…

 All these people converging in a Palawan – yet the airport was being renovated… and so a makeshift arrival area was hurriedly done with a small conveyor belt…(the last time in Dec2006, we had to get our luggage from where they were dropped off, just outside the building…)  and my mind was racing to the following questions:

 Why did they host the national sporting events when these basic requirements are not being met?  How come no one is guiding the flow of the people?  How come it is so chaotic when this place is one of our top destinations? There was clear tohu and bohu  the likes of which I had never experienced in smaller airports around the country…

Anyways… today, the drive to Bahile – was really great.  The highway was really awesome.  Hanjin -made… Koreans ( i thought about the loud passengers ) but what was really nice was the surroundings. the green landscape and the beautiful Honda Bay…. and I remembered how I loved Palawan.

 Back in 2003, I remember walking through the fields for about 2 hours to get to our youth camp… and several hundreds of meters away i could hear the familiar camp yells… I remember the beautiful vistas… what a beautiful place….

 And how can I forget visiting the Sub-terranean river?  One should see the place at least once in his lifetime.  The handiwork of the Lord is seen even under the mountains…. it was a very spiritual experience coming out of the 4Km boatride through the river…

 I love Palawan, despite some of the traveling inconveniences…. it is the destination that matters… I know some would say otherwise.. it is the journey that matters…

 Well, the journey matters as well… but the inconveniences along the journey would be dwarfed into insignificance once we reached our destination.

 Similar to our journey to heaven… our life now matters here and we need to pay critical importance to making our lives count for eternity… but once we reach our heavenly destination, all the inconveniences, all the difficulties, all the problems, all the hardships will soon be forgotten… so now while we are in this journey, do not forget where this journey will eventually take you.

How we make this journey matters, but the destination matters more….