Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Are you ready?

"Kung wala ang puso mo sa pagluluto, bumili ka na lang sa karinderya. Nalalasahan sa pagkain ang puso ng gumawa nito." - from Litsonero, 2010

That was a line taken from the movie Litsonero where a young aspiring chef learns how to cook lechon and has to ensure that he cooks it well and that it tastes good. His future depended on it.

There is a line in the movie that asks "handa ka na ba?" on the eve of his cook-off. And the same question echoed in my mind when I was in Lyon, France this weekend.

I partook of a pilgrimage to install the replica of Nuestra Senora de La Naval Manila in the Notre Dame de Fouvrière in Lyon. Desiring to catch a glimpse of the Virgin Mary as she made her journey to the crypt where she would be kept and where devotees can come visit her, I ran to see her face. Not successful, I followed the mob taking her to her final resting place. I had not planned on going so far. I had nothing with me, no bag, no camera. I had left it upstairs in the main body of the church with a friend of mine.

Before I knew it, I was at the front of the mob, standing next to the president of the foundation that maintains the statues of the Virgin Mary from all over the world - India, Poland, Portugal, among others - the Philippine ambassador, the archbishop of Lyon, the entourage of diplomatic personnel and many more. I had no camera!!!

All I could do was take mental pictures. And I know how those mental negatives tend to fade over time. The colour wears out and sometimes, the picture is totally erased. It depends on the age of the human camera and if has a high resolution and high memory capacity.

This had happened to me before. Pope John Paul II was so close and I didn't have a camera on me - at least that one could decipher the Pope. I had my low technology phones which could only give you VGA-quality images.

There's a saying "where two or more Filipinos are gathered, there is picture-taking". Our culture is one of no show no tell. Show me the picture and I will believe you.

And I had nothing to show for myself after standing there amidst everything.

Handa ka na ba? echoes in my ear.

Readiness is a state of being and a state of resources. It's difficult to be ready for everything. Sometimes, we're caught off guard and don't know how to react to certain situations. What if it was Jesus who had come that day instead of the image? Would I go back to my bag and take a picture of Him or would I try to be at the front of the queue so I could finally see this man they called Jesus.

In Litsonero, what if he didn't learn under the tutelage of a master lechonero? Would he have triumphed and achieved his dream?

Going back to the quote, consequently, how much heart do we put in into the things we want to do? Can anyone who comes across it feel your heart in it?

How often have we been unprepared, just winging it? Does the expression "Bahala na" ring a bell?

What am I trying to say? What if God came today, would I be ready? Would you be ready? Could God see how much heart we put into Him??

happy birthday papa.

i put a stop at the end because papa is no longer with us in this life. today, he would have been 54.

i don't know much about my father except through the stories that his siblings have told me. i knew a different side of him. i wish i had known him when he was younger so that i could see what he went through.

i feel that my father went through a lot of hardships. mamu said he started working at the age of 7 and subsequently became a scholar of the priests. he was able to finish school and even enter law school. it was there that he and mamu met.

and they both had to stop because our eldest sibling was conceived.

my knowledge of papa was limited to his anger, his paranoia and the abuses he had done to us. but i also reflect on the sweet moments when i would go fishing with him. i love fishing and he did too. it was what we shared in common. he was also a great disciplinarian and we have him to thank for our good manners. papa was also our biggest fan during his moments of sobriety. he would scream at the top of his lungs at mcdonalds at the end of every term that his children were the best and he was proud of us and we were top of the class. i loved it when he treated us to mcdo and made us feel like we were the best children in the world.

i think we have him to thank for great faith too. i always thank God that papa had that effect on us. and i hope because of that, papa would make it to heaven. his life on earth was very difficult. although we tried to share in the journey, he preferred to go on his way alone. i hope that he is now resting at the lap of our Papa in heaven.

happy birthday papa.