Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Bubble Keeper

Life deals the biggest blows sometimes. Some blows are harder than most and breaks that little protective bubble that you keep around yourself.

Wouldn't it be nice to have someone outside of your bubble, a friend but more than just a friend, actually a protector of bubbles of some kind, perhaps – a BUBBLE KEEPER.

Yeah, I got me one of those! A little in-house therapist of sorts. We are actually each other's bubble keeper. I tell my bubble keeper my daily happenings and what life's bitch has dealt me and i listen in turn to my keeper's frustrations. And since we're both outside of each other's regular bubble, we can see when there's going to be a danger to the bubble. And we can be objective enough and physically distanced enough to be effective bubble keepers.

We don't move in the same circles, thus we cannot be readily identifiable as friends. We are not linked in society's eyes yet we are bonded by our little secret mission of bubble keeping.

Sometimes, one's bubble can get a bit claustrophobic too. It's nice to have someone from the outside explain or look at things from a higher plane. I am thankful for our meeting and being able to keep in each other's lives as protectors.

For my bubble keeper, here is your ODE!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

“Islam: What Catholics Need to Know” by Father Elias D. Mallon

This was the topic yesterday night at the New Directions Speaker Series held at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church. It was the first time I attended a New Directions talk since it started last year. The organizers invite people to speak about different topics which are relevant to the times and to our religion, Roman Catholicism. New Directions is based in the John XXIII Parish Centre in Geneva.

I was surprised to see so many people cramped into the social hall of Holy Trinity. So many people were interested in the topic especially in the light of 9/11 and how we perceive Muslims and condemn Islam for breeding terrorist and fundamentalists. I am not one of them but this is an increasing world view.

We were fortunate to have Father Elias himself give the talk. He first cited the important dates in Roman Catholic history and Islamic dates of importance. He spoke about the Crusades and the Ottoman Empire. He spoke about how both religions conveniently forget their past of being aggressors and play the victim role and justify their perceptions now. He said that playing the victim creates a self-righteous perception of one’s self.

He said that what is important in inter-faith dialogue is DATA, PERCEPTION and EXPERIENCE. Before we accuse someone of being something, we should have data on the ground to support our claim. We should make sure that our perceptions match each other so that we are not confused by misconceptions. And that in the event we can get past our perceptions, we should strive to experience one another in dialogue or as Fr. Elias said, to engage our neighbour, Muslim, Jew, etc.

It was a very important talk not just in perceiving Muslims in particular but salient in perceiving people who are different from us in general. We tend to say “I don’t like him/her … just because … there is something about him/her.” This might be the beginning of a long misplaced hatred.

In dialogue, we should also not try to point out each other’s fault. Fr. Elias said we should talk from our best positions. What is best in both of us and move from there. The goal is not to convert anyone to his or her way of thinking but to understand where each is coming from and to discover what makes one a Christian and the other Muslim.

It is in this recognition that we begin to experience each other not based on just perceptions but based on what is intrinsically true.

The various inter-faith conflicts were discussed in the talk and how conveniently the aggressor forgets his previous faults and how the victims have long memories. He pointed out Pope John Paul II’s visit to Greece and if he would apologize for what the Crusaders did 800 years ago. Who can even remember? But the Pope did apologize.

In Islamic countries now, the word “crusader” is still very much alive. They have not forgotten the faith-driven war waged on the world. And having the principle of “God wills it”, when they win a war it means God is with them. The loser becomes humiliated.

But this is not the case now. We know this is not true. We have to correct our perceptions based on data so that when we experience someone, we are not talking from a misplaced and often erroneous perspective.

“Islam: What Catholics Need to Know” by Father Elias D. Mallon is one of several new publications that will be officially premiered at the NCEA convention in Atlanta on April 18-21.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

alzheimers, traveling ...


i hate forgetting. this was one of the reasons i cannot live without an organizer or a planner or just a simple tickler of a notebook. i find it hard to accept the fact that i can forget things. but i know it happens.

but it’s happening more recently these days. it is so disturbing that i’m just thinking of one thing a few seconds earlier and take an action to support it and then all of a sudden, i forget what i was about to do. i just stare for a moment and try to press that rewind button in my head. why am i in this room again? what was i about to get? and the perennial - where are my glasses???

is it a sign? maybe my brain cells are slowly dying with no hope of regenerating. i think i’m nearing that age when my brain cells have become non-renewable resources. maybe it’s all that smoke and alcohol! no, i haven’t started smoking. almost every gimik place here is smoke-filled, so we are not spared. alcohol – i had a few. i hope that hasn’t contributed to my ailing memory.

i remember one of 50 first dates’ patients, ten-second tom or bob is it? i can’t even remember.


i haven’t done a lot of travelling lately. traveling is one of the reason’s why i named this blog wanderer’s tale. i move too much. but for almost two years now, i have been in one country. the first year i was able to go visit my country. the first part of the second year, i was able to go to rome. i loved it. and i wrote about it here.

in a week, we are supposedly going to paris. i’ve never been to paris. the closest thing to france that i’ve gone is crossing the border to do the groceries (that was when i still had a visa) and to visit people in nearby france.

actually, i have been a little bit remiss about traveling lately. i like staying in one place and i can’t be bothered to make long distance trips. i get agitated easily when i know i’m traveling for long periods of time.

but i do love it. it’s just that i’m not in the mood right now.

i think i’m starting to grow temporary roots. but then again, if i was a plant, i would be a water plant. the ones that grow roots and can stay up to catch the light but can easily uproot (is this even possible when you just pull it from water?) and be put in another vase.

my life can be a bit boring sometimes but my friends always find it exciting. it’s either i’m traveling or meeting new people or doing both. it's part of the wanderer's tale.

Monday, March 20, 2006

First day of spring

siguro kapag nasa four-season place na-aapreciate at nagagalak ka sa kada change ng weather at season. wala na nga ibang pinag-uusapan halos kundi ang weather. kamusta sa labas, ano dapat isuot ... at kung anu-ano pa.

today is the first day of spring. medyo hindi gaano kalamig at hindi na kailangan mag-gloves sa labas. nakakahinga ka na rin without freezing your breath in mid-air. brain freeze ang labas mo nyan!

anyways, happy ako kasi magaling na rin ako sa sakit ko. isang linggo din akong plastado at depressed sa bahay dahil sa sinus infection-slash-throat infection with various complications.

masarap ang simoy ng hangin. kainis lang yung naninigarilyo habang humihinga ako. binigyan ko ng tingin yung naninigarilyo. hmmmph!

ang saya ... ilang araw na lang, spring jacket na rin ang suot namin. pwede ng mag-skirt at magshorts at wala na ring leggings na suot. it's a liberating feeling.

sana summer na. :D

Friday, March 17, 2006

is love a commitment? or what?

Buboyliit: let the commitment find their own love
Buboyliit: or let the love find its own commitment

I was talking to my friend, Parengchris aka Buboy Liit, last night. It might be a bit late for Valentine’s Day but love is never a seasonal subject, it’s the all-around topic.

So, is love a commitment?

It’s a difficult question. A friend said that being stupid is one of the prerequisite of being “in love” coz love makes you stupid. So, let us discuss the question again posed by buboy. So is being stupid a premise of love?

Before we tackle that, we have to define love. It is one of the vaguest words in the dictionary. It can be described as a “strong feeling”, “God” as in “God is love”, etc. What does being “in love” mean? Do we actually know what it means? Is it just a feeling we feel when we see someone we like for a long time? There goes my crush, “I love him” or “her”! Is that love?

Some of our ancestors married without love yet they eventually “learned” to love each other. So is love learned? Or do you just “feel” it? Or is it a commitment?

Last year, I was talking to Michelle, another friend, and she said, “feelings change all the time, we will always find someone better but we choose to love who we love because love is a commitment”. So love entails choosing someone. And we when we love, we choose to care for another human being and staying true them and “committed” to them no matter what.

Commitments are not always full of love but they can be. Think of mathematical subsets. Love is a commitment but commitment is not necessarily love. While the first subset still belongs to commitment, the second subset is not necessarily part of the same set. Confusing? Love is.

So, if love is not just a feeling but entails commitment. Commitment is not necessarily love-filled but could be, depending on the situation and the cause of the commitment. Things evolve all the time. Commitment can be love but love is always a commitment. Can love find itself committeed? Definitely! Parengchris, I hope I found the answer for you.

feeling OFW

nagegets ko na ang mga nararamdaman ng mga OFW sa ibang bansa. kung bakit ang tamis ng bawat tungtong sa lupang sinilangan at kay pait ng bawat alis.

wala talagang kapantay ang buhay sa atin. nafIfeel ko na rin kung gaano kahirap ang mabuhay sa ibang bansa. kung gaano kahirap ang mawalay sa pamilya na hindi mo alam kung kelan mo ulit makikita. nakakaloka, nakakapagpakapit sa patalim.

mayroon ng higit isang taon ako dito sa switzerland na hindi na kakauwi sa pinas. pero meron pang mas malala sa akin, mayroon dyang limang taon, sampung taon, maging dalawampu't limang taon ng hindi nakakauwi sa atin para lang makatulong sa pamilya.

ang iba, mga ina na hindi na naaruga ang mga anak. iba naman, nalipasan na ng pag-ibig at iniwanan na ng mga kabiyak. maraming lalaking nangulila at nagkaroon ng pangalawang asawa dito.

ang hirap ng hindi mo alam kung kelan ka ulit makakauwi. kung hanggang kelan mo matitiis ang pag-iisa, ang pangungulila sa pamilya, ang pag-lilinis ng bahay na hindi naman sa iyo.

bakit nga ba? para kanino? hanggang kelan?

Walang kasiguraduhan.

Kaya naman parang piyesta ang bawat uwi ng isang ofw. Kasi hindi na alam kung kelan pa ulit makakabalik sa lupang tinubuan.