Butterfly Carnival

The signs are clear. Politicians are switching from one political party to another, forming new alliances. Others would merge their parties to form a powerhouse coalition. Losers from the previous elections are starting to resurface, flaunting their faces to the public on tarpaulins with their ‘seasonal greetings’. And reelectionists are starting to make noise, vying a media exposure and ‘presence’ to the memories of the voting public.

To put it in a Ned Stark way: “Brace yourselves. Elections are coming.”

Strictly speaking, there is no definite ‘election period’ here in in the Philippines. Though the Commission on Elections, by law, provide a particular period for the filing of certificate of candidacy and the campaign period, there are (aspiring) politicians who manage to apprise the people of their intention to run for public office (eg. subliminal greetings on tarpaulins, increased visibility to the public, and a sudden wave of medical missions and other forms of service) even before the alloted election period.

But ‘presence’ on the public’s eyes is not enough. In order to secure one’s victory, strong alliances and coalitions must be formed. If you have to turn down your allies and seek for a more potentially strong, winning group, then so be it. In the political parlance, this is called ‘butterfly politics’, and the politicians who do it are called  ’political butterflies’.  The term came from the butterfly’s act of flying from flower to flower, sipping nectar from each flower. These kinds of politicians are compared to the butterfly, who sip nectar from one flower to another. If a butterfly has had enough of nectar – or if a politician has no more interest on a particular group – it will transfer to another flower with nectar – or to the party who will assure his victory and secure his interest.

Philippine election history has shown countless politicians who switched from one political party to another, months and even weeks before the elections. And we have heard some of their excuse, the most popular was their belief of the party’s principles and tenets. And no, they do not admit that that move was to secure their victory on the upcoming elections.

And the latest addition to the roster of these butterflies is no other than the Pambansong Kamao, world-class boxing champion-turned-Saranggani Congressman, Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao. He formally joined Vice President Jejomar Binay’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) when he took an oath to Senator Koko Pimentel last night at the Makati Shangri-La. Although Manny was a member of the Nacionalista party with Sen. Manny Villar, he was an ally of President Aquino and the ruling Liberal Party.

 

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But this was not the first time Manny transferred into another political party. When he first ran for the House of Representatives in 2007, he joined the Lito Atienza faction of the Liberal Party. In 2008, he joined the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi) formed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. A year later, he formed his own political party People’s Champ Movement after declaring he would run for the lone Congressional district of Saranggani. Shortly before the 2010 presidential elections, Senator Manny Villar tapped him to join the Nacionalista Party. Barely a week after the elections, he was seen ‘flirting’ with the new Liberal Party under President Aquino.

Manny Pacquiao is said to be the PDP-Laban’s Gubernatorial candidate for Saranggani in the May 2013 local elections. PDP-Laban’s President Senator Koko Pimentel said that they took Manny not because he will ensure the party’s victory but because the latter believes in the tenets of the party.

Unlike other countries, our country has a multi-party system. We elect politicians running independently or under a political party and 20% of the total seats at the Camara de Representantes are reserved for party-list (multi-sectoral) representation. But in our multi-party system, there is no clearly depicted difference of ideology to distinguish one party to another. It only just turns out that one party is pro-administration and the other one is the opposition. And as what we’ve seen and observed over the past years, one’s membership in a party is not based on ideologies but on political power considerations.

Political butterflies. Turncoats. You name it. These are the elements that continue to have fun on this carnival called Philippine politics.

What can we do to stop this political culture? Writer Edwin Espejo suggests that “no one should be allowed to switch parties immediately preceding an election. Those who switch political party should be prohibited from running for any post in a scheduled election immediately prior to switching parties. In short, anyone who switches party should take a ‘leave of absence’ from at least one election.”. He added that this would not only discourage political turncoats but this would also strengthen the country’s multi-party system.

But I doubt this would be put into legislation. How can you expect our Legislators to file this ruling that would greatly affect their political career? The future of this culture is still at the mercy of these butterflies -not unless the people clamor for it. I think there’s still hope and the power is with the voting public – choose our leaders wisely.

A few weeks ago, my Twitter timeline was plagued by the hashtag #PacquiaoPositive. At first, I thought it has something to do with a medical test and substance overuse. But it turned out to be a marketing gimmick to introduce his latest endorsement, Sting Energy Drink with Malunggay.

I didn’t know that there is one kind of butterfly who loves ‘malunggay’.

Note: I got the title ‘Butterfly Carnival’ from one of my favorite Sandwich song of the same title. Though the song’s meaning is different from the point of this article, I used it to describe two elements – political butterflies and the carnival-like circus that is Pinoy politics.

Read more here:

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It seems like the Pearl of the Orient has a tough time dealing with her neighbors.

Just a few weeks ago, the authorities gave us a warning about the possibility of danger from a falling debris from a North Korean rocket. As a precaution, the authorities have issued a no-fly and no-fishing zones at the concerned areas. They also warned the people to stay indoors on the possible time of the rocket launch and nnot to touch any suspected debris from the rocket.

Some analysts and critics said that North Korea chose us to be the rocket’s debris’ falling area because we don’t have the capacity to shoot down that rocket if anything goes wrong. And the rocket cannot fly over the air space of Japan and South Korea – the two countries which are not in good terms with North Korea.

And it looks like the bullying (if you may permit) against the Pearl of the Orient is not yet over.

Last April 8, a Philippine Navy surveillance plane caught eight Chinese fishing boats anchored at the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, which, according to the DFA, is part of the 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, a territory of the Philippines. To protect the country’s marine environment and resources and to assert our sovereignty, the Philippine Navy deployed the BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF-15), the Philippine Navy’s largest ship, from Palawan to Northern Luzon to conduct maritime patrol over the Shoal.

GOTCHA! Filipino soldiers board a Chinese fishing vessel loaded with giant clam shells, corals and live sharks. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO FROM NOLCOM (via inquirer.net)


The PF-15 confirmed thee presence of eight Chinese vessels and in accordance to the established rules of engagement, dispatched a team to inspect the vessels and collect photos of the evidence of their catch. The team reported large amount of illegally collected corals, giant clams, and live sharks. And to add insult to the injury, the PF-15 reported that two Chinese maritime surveillance ships identified as Zhonggou Haijian 75 and Zhonggou Haijian 84 managed to sail to the mouth of the shoal, placing themselves between PF-15 and the eight Chinese fishing vessels, thus preventing the arrest of the Chinese fishermen.

The Chinese embassy in Manila asserted that the disputed area, including the area nearer to the Philippines, as their territory. In a statement, it also “urged the Philippine side to stop immediately their illegal activities and leave this area”.

Our largest battleship, Gregorio del Pilar, was stopped by two Chinese maritime surveillance ships. As of writing, the Philippine Navy has dispatched a second ship to the Shoal and authorities are trying to resolve this in a peaceful and diplomatic manner.

A view of Chinese surveillance ships in a standoff with a Philippine warship on the Scarborough Shoal after eight Chinese fishing boats were caught poaching in the disputed territory. The photo was presented by Vice Admiral Alexander Pama, flag officer-in-command, during a press briefing Wednesday April 11, 2012, at the Department of Foreign Affairs. PHILIPPINE NAVY HANDOUT (via inquirer.net)

I have already written about BRP Gregorio del Pilar and the dispute at the West Philippine Sea in the past. I have always wished that things would end in a peaceful and diplomatic manner – without compromising our territory and sovereignty. I have always viewed this as a David and Goliath battle. Is our largest battleship enough to patrol and secure our waters? Is he enough to defend our country and her people? It may appear virtually impossible.

I have always wondered why they chose Gregorio del Pilar as the name of this warship. According to my research (AKA google-ing), there were three (3) choices for this former USCGC Hamilton – BRP Lapu-Lapu, BRP Jose Torres Bugalon, and BRP Gregorio del Pilar. The panel ultimately confirmed the name Gregorio del Pilar in honor of the young general.

But who is General Gregorio del Pilar or Goyo? I only remember two things about Goyo based on the Philippine history that was taught to me in school – 1. he’s a young general and 2. he’s the hero of the Battle of Tirad Pass. His name and his heroism was also immortalized by some of these memorials: The Philippine Military Academy, Ford del Pilar, was named after him; the Municipality of Concepcion, IlocosSur was named after him; his life was featured on a 1995 movie tirad Pass: The Last Stand of Gregorio del Pilar with Romnick Sarmienta; and our country’s biggest warship (to date) was named after him. He will be forever remembered as the defender of Tirad Pass, as someone who let General Miong escape from the Americans. A hero. Or was he?

Clipping from Pilipino Reporter Magazine dated June 21, 1996 (via pelikulaatbp.blogspot.com)


As what I have written above, I have a very limited knowledge about the life of General Goyo so I decided to dig deeper. I read a chapter from my book, A Question of Heroes by Nick Joaquin. The chapter is entitled Is the Hero of Tirad a Hatchetman? and it showcases the story of Goyo that most of us don’t know. It shows the young general’s ascend to rank and power, his relationship with General Emilio Aguinaldo, and what really transpired before and during the Battle of Tirad Pass – and how it turned out to be a disastrous failure.

As most of us know from school, the Battle of Tirad Pass was waged to help General Aguinaldo flee. But that was not the whole story. The “delaying action” of Tirad Pass was nonsense for it helped a man, General Aguinaldo, who didn’t know where he was going to. It was a failure. It was a waste. As Nick Joaquin put it, Gregorio del Pilar’s finest hour was, to use a current cliche, an “exercise in futility”.

I find the other details of Goyo’s life amusing, shocking, and annoying (you may have noticed it if you are following me on Twitter). I will not deal more (lest I spoil) with the other details from the chapter – it’s for you to read and discover. And if there is one thing I learned, it changed my view about the General and it helped me appreciate history more. History should be treated as a learning lesson for us. As George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

The BRP Gregorio del Pilar, our country’s largest and most powerful warship and the great men behind him may have a characteristic similar to General Goyo – brave, respected, and being look up to as a defender. But he can also be like Goyo, a bait, a warrior who may die in vain against the colossal foes at West Philippine Sea. As Manong Johnny Enrile once said, a single torpedo can sink our warship (although he was referring that time to BRP Rajah Humabon, our Navy’s former flagship).

The warship maybe considered as President Aquino’s greatest contribution to the Philippine Navy. But is the warship be just another ‘concealer’ of the alleged inaction of the President? Will it just be the last beacon of hope for our helplessness? Or will it be just a useless armada against the strong enemy? Will it be a Gregorio del Pilar to Emilio Aguinaldo? President Aquino has been criticized as just being a man of pure words with less or no action. As Rina Jimenez David pointed out, “Our President is all bluster and bluff when discussing reported incursions of Chinese vessels, especially those belonging to the Chinese navy. But after making the necessary noises, he usually steps back, calling for a diplomatic solution and more talks between our foreign affairs department and theirs.” But of course, we don’t want war and we want this to be resolved in the most peaceful and diplomatic way.

The tension at Scarborough Shoal has not yet ceased (as of writing. BRP Gregorio del Pilar has been puled out from the area to replenish its supplies and China deployed another ship on the area.) the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Navy are trying their very best to ease the tension and to resolve the problem.

If we firmly believe that that part of the sea is ours, I think it’s time for the Filipino people should stand their ground and express it in their own little way. It is our natural resources that they abuse. It is something that can be beneficial to the Filipino people. We don’t want to lose another territory (just like what happened in the 1960’s when we lose Sabah to Malaysia).

But how can it happen if, at the height of the tension at our territory, most of our countrymen (especially those with access to Twitter and other forms of social media) are glued to the boob tube, giving nitwitted commentaries about a particular show? How can we learn from the mistakes of the past if we ignore the lessons from our history or not care about history at all? How can we stand united to defend our sovereignty if we are too busy with other stuff?

I have always believed that the trending topics on Twitter of a country reflect its citizens’ priority. Based on what I have always seen, in my opinion, we are creating another Gregorio Del Pilars – people who will die in vain from a divided people.

Elsewhere:

Ang Pagpaparaos ni Eros

” ‘Miss, mayroon na ba kayong kopya ng Wag Lang Di Makaraos?’, tanong ko sa isang assistant ng book store. ‘Saglit lang po Sir’, magalang niyang tugon. Sa tabi ko ay may isang matandang babae na malamang ay nasa sisenta anyos, salubong ang kilay at nakatingin sa akin. ‘Ang bastos naman ng librong hinahanap ng batang ‘to’, ang na-imagine kong malamang ay naglalaro sa kanyang isipan noon.”

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Ika-18 ng Nobyembre ng nakaraang taon, sa tulong ng Facebook, nang una kong malaman na may bagong librong ilalabas ang isa sa pinakamahusay na manunulat ng ating panahon – si Ginoong Eros Atalia.

Halos isang buwan akong nagpabalik-balik sa bookstore sa isang mall sa bayang sinilangan ni Gat Jose Rizal (Clue: Paboritong puno ng may-ari ng mall ang pine tree.) upang maka-iskor ng pinakabagong obra ni Ginoong Atalia. Dumating pa nga sa punto na iniwanan ko na ang aking mobile number sa logbook nila at ite-text na lang daw ako kung may dumating ng libro.

Pero mailap ang libro. Kung hindi sold-out, palagi namang out-of-stock. Pero kailangan kong magkaroon ng libro. Kailangang mairaos ang pagnanasang gahasain muli ang mga letra, pangungusap, at pamatay na mga kuwento ni Ginoong Atalia.

At nakaraos nga. Ika-29 ng Disyembre ng nakaraang taon nang sa wakas ay makabili ako ng libro. Kaisa-isa na lamang kopya sa book store. Suwerte.

 

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Ang Wag Lang Di Makaraos ay naglalaman ng isandaang (100) dagli at nahahati sa sampung (10) kabanata o tema. May tungkol sa kamatayan, mga kababalaghan at mga nakakatakot na nilalang, trahedya, mga kuwentong bata na hindi talaga pambata, at iba pang mga kuwentong ng pang-araw-araw na buhay.

Hindi ito ang unang libro kung saan nagsulat ng mga dagli si Ginoong Atalia. Matatandaang may ilang mga dagli sa kaniyang ikalawang librong Peksman [mamatay ka man] Nagsisinungaling Ako [at iba pang kuwentong kasinungalingang di pa dapat paniwalaan].

Ngunit ano nga ba ang dagli? Ito ay isang anyong pampanitikan na maihahalintulad sa maikling kuwento. Walang nakatitiyak sa angkop na haba ng isang dagli ngunit sinasabing hindi ito aabot sa haba ng maikling kuwento. Tinatawag ito sa wikang Ingles na flash fiction o sudden fiction. Naihahambing din ito sa proto-fiction o micro-fiction.

Sa katunayan, ang mga dagli na nakapaloob sa Wag Lang Di Makaraos ay umaabot lamang ng isang pahina – mahaba na ang dalawa’t kalahati – ngunit nandoon ang kabuuan ng istorya at ang dating at emosyon na iiwanan nito sa mga mambabasa. Dahil magaang basahin ang libro, natapos ko ito sa isang upuan lamang. Ngunit patuloy akong binabagabag ng ilang kuwento matapos ko itong basahin at kahit makailang ulit ko pa ulit itong basahin.

Ika nga ng Pambansang Alagad ng Sining para sa Panitikan na si Ginoong Bienvenido Lumbera sa kanyang blurb, “Magaang basahin, kung matinik ay malalim”. May kaniya-kaniyang sundot, kurot, at kiliti ang bawat dagli.

Simple ang pagkakalahad ng mga kuwento ngunit nandoon ang lakas ng dating na iiwanan nito sa mga mababasa. Ilan sa mga istoryang nakapagbaon sa akin ng ‘tinik’ ay ang mga kuwentong Si Ma’am Kasi, Sabi Ko na nga Ba (at ang wasak na ‘Pokpok Material’ na t-shirt), Superhero, Petition, at Manghuhula.

Isa pa sa mga aspektong hinangaan ko sa libro maliban sa husay ng pagkakalikha ng mga istorya ay ang lawak ng pag-iisip ng may-akda upang makalikha ng isandaang dagli na may iba’t-ibang tema at istorya. Hindi madali ang gumawa ng isandaang istorya na may kaniyang sariling ‘buhay’.

May isa lamang akong puna sa naturang libro. May isang istorya doon – angA, Ganon Pala ‘Yon – ang matagal ko nang naririnig bilang isa sa mga ’kuwentong barbero’ bago pa man ito mailathala sa libro. (Hindi ko lang alam kung si Eros din ang may akda nito. Isa din kasing manunulat sa tabloid si Ginoong Atalia.)

Sa kabuuan, bagamat bitin ang isandaang dagli, nakiliti, nasundot, at nakalikot ni Eros ang aking imahinasyon bilang isang mambabasa. Sa kaniyang mahusay na paglalahad ng mga istoryang may gulat sa huling mga bahagi, masasabi kong ayos na. Nakaraos na. Napagbigyan na ako bilang isang masugid na mambabasa ng mga kuwentong nakatago sa kasuluk-sulukan ng kanyang malikot na utak. Isang pagpaparaos bilang paghahanda sa mga bitin niyang kuwento sa mga una niyang librong nabasa ko.

At napag-uusapan na din lamang, narito ang susunod niyang librong harinawa’y makapagbigay-linaw sa mga bitin na istorya ng mga karakter na nauna nating nakilala sa mga naunang aklat ni Ginoong Atalia – It’s Not that Complicated: Bakit Hindi Pa Sasakupin ng mga Alien ang Daigdig sa 2012.

 

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Pamagat pa lang, pamatay na. Pamatay na sa haba. Ano kayang nilalaman nito? Ayon sa ilang excerpts na nababasa ko (mula sa Facebook account ni Ginoong Atalia at ilang mga posts mula sa mga kapuwa ko tagahanga), malamang ay sequel ito ng drama ni Intoy at ang pangungulila niya kay Jenn. At kritisismo sa mga babaeng nagpapadala ng bag nila sa mga lalake.

Walang katiyakan kung kailan ito lalabas (balita ko ay ngayong Abril daw) pero habang wala pa, halika, samahan mo muna akong magparaos…kasama ang mga naunang obra ni Ginoong Eros Atalia.

Maraming salamat sa mga kuwento. Maraming salamat sa pagpaparaos ni Eros.

Iba pang mga Bagay:

Diyos Ko! Bakit Mo Ako Pinabayaan?

“Nang mag-aalas tres na ng hapon, sumigaw si Hesus, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachtani?’ na ang ibig sabihin ay, ‘Diyos ko, bakit mo ako pinabayaan?’ “ – Mateo 27: 46

 

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Marahil, karamihan sa atin ay nakapagtanong na minsan sa ating buhay ng mga katagang “Diyos ko? Diyos ko? Bakit mo ako pinabayaan?”

Sa mga puntong iyon ng ating buhay ay para bang nararamdaman nating wala ng Diyos o kung meron man, siya ay natutulog at nagpapabaya sa atin. O isang sadistang hinahayaan na lang ang kanyang mga nilikha na maghirap, magkagulo, at lamunin ng problema.

Totoo nga bang may Diyos? Totoo nga bang hindi natutulog ang diyos? Pero kung totoong nandiyan siya, bakit niya tayo pinababayaan?

Hindi kaila sa atin na sadyang mapagbiro ang tadhana. Dumadating ang mga pagkakataong para bang tayo na ang pinaka-abang tao sa mukha ng lupa. Na kahit ano mang bagay ang ating gawin para ito ay masolusyonan ay tila baga wala pa ring kahihinatnang malinaw na solusyon sa ating mga problema.

Dito pumapasok ang buhay at kaisipan ng kawalang pag-asa. Naiisip nating“Diyos nga ay walang pakialam sa akin at hindi ako tinutulungan, ako pa kayang hamak na tao ang makagawa?” Dito pumapasok ang buhay sa kadiliman. Ang buhay pagpapabaya. Ang buhay na malayo sa Diyos. Ilang beses na nating inakusahan ang diyos ng pagpapabaya sa atin? Kawawa naman si Lord, kahit walang sawang nagmamahal, lagi na lamang sinisisi sa mga hindi magagandang nangyayari sa buhay ng tao.

Ito ang isang klasikong halimbawa. May mga taong nasa banig ng karamdaman na halos isumpa na ang langit at lupa at ang Manlilikha. “Diyos ko! Bakit niyo naman ako binigyan ng ganitong sakit?”, marahil ang ilan sa mga linyang kanyang bibitawan. Ngunit naitanong na ba niya sa kanyang sarili, ano ang aking ginawa kaya ako nagkasakit? Ano ang aking naging lifestyle kaya ako nagkakaganito ngayon? May mga taong sinisisi ang Diyos sa lung cancer, chain smoker naman ng halos 40 taon; may mga sinisisi ang Diyos sa sakit sa puso, walang preno naman kung kumain at hindi nag-eehersisyo; sinisisi ang Diyos dahil sa karamdamang kung minsan – o madalas – bunga din naman ng sariling pagpapabaya.

Dahil sa mentalidad na “wala namang diyos” (kahit meron naman talaga) ay nabubuhay tayo sa isang buhay na walang direksyon at walang kaliwanagan. Sa pagtahak natin sa ganoong klase ng “trip” sa buhay, hindi maiiwasang may mga tao tayong isasama at hahatakin doon sa “kakaibang trip” na iyon. Imbes na maging tagapagdala ng liwanag at pag-asa, dahil nga tayo ay nabubuhay ng malayo sa Diyos, tayo ay nagiging instrumento pa upang mapariwara ng landas ng iba. Imbes na tayo lang ang nakakaramdam ng “pagpapabaya ng diyos” (kahit hindi naman talaga), ipinaparamdam pa natin ito sa iba. Ilang beses na ba tayong naging instrumento para ang ating kapwa ay “mabuhay sa kadiliman?”

Bakit nga ba kapag tayo ay malayo sa Diyos, tayo ay nabubuhay sa kadiliman? Ito ay sa kadahilanang Diyos ang siyang nagbibigay ng liwanag. Diyos ang talagang nagbibigay ng ilaw dahil ang Diyos ang ilaw, ang Diyos ang liwanag (1 Juan 1:5). Mas maliwanag pa ang diyos kumpara sa ilaw na ibinibigay ng Meralco. Mas Masaya, mas maganda, kapag may liwanag ang buhay. At ang liwanag ng buhay ay atin lamang makakamit sa diyos. Walang ibang nilalang ang makakapagbigay ng ganap na kaliwanagan bukod sa diyos (katunayan nga, ang Diyos ay hindi isang nilalang dahil wala naming lumalang sa kanya). Kung kaliwanagan ng buhay ang kailangan mo para sa madilim mong buhay, Diyos ang kailangan mo.

Sa katunayan, kapag dumadating ang mga “kadiliman” sa ating buhay, hindi naman ito talagang ganap na kadiliman. Sabihin na nating, isa lamang itong “kulimlim” ng buhay. Kung atin itong ikukumpara sa ating buhay at Diyos ang “araw”, hindi naman talaga nawawala o nagpapabaya ang Diyos, “nakakubli” lamang siya sa likod ng mga ulap ngunit hindi siya nawawala. Kung inaakala nating nawawala ang araw, o nawawala ang Diyos sa ating buhay, iyon ay isang pagkakamali. Tayo ang nawawala, hindi ang araw. Tayo ang lumalayo sa Diyos, hindi Diyos ang lumalayo sa atin.

 

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Hindi naman kaila sa atin na may mga taong hindi naniniwala sa Diyos. At may mga taong walang pakialam kung may Diyos ba o wala, basta’t mabubuhay sila ayon sa kanilang kagustuha at kaginhawahan.

Minsan ay naitanong ko sa isang kakilala kung bakit hindi siya naniniwala sa Diyos. Sinagot niya akong, kung may Diyos, bakit may paghihirap? Bakit may nagugutom? Bakit may sakit? Bakit may namamatay nang hindi ma lang nakatikim ng hustisya at kaginhawahan sa buhay.

Kasama sa pag-aaral ko sa Pilosopiya noong Kolehiyo ang pag-aaral tungkol sa katotohanang may Diyos at ang problema ng imperpeksyon at kasamaan sa mundo. Madali sa aking intindihin kung bakit nangyayari ang mga ganoong bagay. Hindi naman kasi kayang ‘kontrolin’ ng Diyos ang kalayaan ng tao. Binigyan niya tayo ng kalayaan – o free will – bilang mga nilalang. Malaya ang tao na gawin ang gusto niya. Ika nga, maituturing na free will ang ‘kahinaan’ ng Diyos.

Ang mga paghihirap, pagkakasakit, at mga trahedya ay hindi dahil ito ay ginusto ng Diyos. O dahil walang pakialam ang Diyos. O dahil wala naman talagang Diyos. Ito ay dahil tayo ay may kalayaan ang tao. Maaaaring ang paghihirap ng isang tao ay bunga na din ng kapabayaan at pagsasamantala ng kapwa niya tao.

 

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E bakit pa kinakailangang magkaroon ng mga “kulimlim” na parte ng ating buhay?

Ang buhay ng tao ay hindi palaging puno ng kasiyahan. Natural sa buhay ng tao na dumadating ang mga problema at pagsubok ng buhay. Ang mga pagsubok na ito ang nagdadagdag ng “kulay” at ganda ng buhay. Masyadong “patay” ang isang buhay kung pare-pareho na lamang ang kulay at lasa nito.

Paano nating masasabing masaya ang ating buhay kung wala tayong punto ng pagkukumparahan nito (point of comparison)? Nakakasawa ang isang buhay na punong-puno ng kasiyahan at walang halong kalungkutan. Perfection is boring. Masasabi kasi nating mas nagiging ganap ang kasiyahan ng buhay kung ang kasiyahang iyon ay ang pakiramdam ng tagumpay ng paglampas sa pagsubok ng buhay. Nakakaumay ang palaging matamis na buhay. Paminsan-minsan, kailangan din nating makatikim ng maalat, mapakla, at mapait na lasa ng buhay.

Ang buhay ay parang tiklada ng piano. Hindi lamang puro puting tiklada ang ating pinipindot, kinakailangan din nating daanan ang mga itim na tiklada. At alam ng mga musikero na ang kombinasyon ng mga itim at putting tiklada – na parang kombinasyon ng kaligayahan at kalungkutan ng buhay – ang siyang mas nakagagawa ng kaaya-aya at de kalidad na tunog.

Bukod sa pagbibigay ng lasa at kulay ng buhay, bakit kinakailangan pa nating maghirap? Bakit pa kinakailangang magbigay ni Lord ng mga pagsubok ng buhay?

Ang diyos ay diyos na kahit wala ang mga nilalang. Hindi dagdag o kabawasan sa pagiging Diyos niya ang mga nilalang. Kung tutuusin nga, hindi na niya kinakailangan pang lumikha dahil diyos na siya. Ngunit dahil sa kanyang pagmamahal ay nilikha niya tayo. Nilikha tayo ng Diyos dahil sa pagmamahal niya sa sanilibutan. Bilang mga nlalang, natural lamang na ibalik natin ang pagmamahal na iyon sa diyos na siyang unang nagmahal at lumikha sa atin.

May mga pagkakataon kasi na sa kadahilanang masyado na tayong nagiging makasarili bunga ng ating tagumpay, nakakalimutan na nating magpasalamat sa diyos. Paminsan-minsan, kinakailangan tayong “kalugin” ng diyos upang magising tayo sa katotohanang mayroong diyos na pinagmumulan ng lahat ng tagumpay at ganap na kaligayahan.

Gayundin naman, ang Diyos ay umaakto bilang mga “traffic signs” sa “highway ng paglalakbay natin sa buhay.” Huwag natin itong ituring bilang mga balakid sa paglalakbay sa buhay, bagkus, ituring natin ang diyos bilang isang gabay upang makarating tayo sa ating paroroonan ng ligtas. Dahil sa bandang huli, Diyos din naman ang patutunguhan nating lahat. Ang diyos ang simula at katapusan ng lahat ng mga bagay. Siya ang Alpha at Omega ng sanlibutan at ng ating mga buhay.

Ang plano ng diyos para sa kanyang mga nilalang ay palaging “happy ending.” Kung sa istorya ng buhay natin ay para bang gusto na nating sumuko dahil sa mga pagsubok at problema nating hinaharap, alalahanin na nating hindi pa iyon ang “happy ending” na itinakda ng Diyos para sa atin. Iyong mga iyon ay ituring nating “pampagana at pampaganda” ng istorya ng ating buhay.

Sa bandang huli, nais kong sabihing hindi naman talaga nagpapabaya ang Diyos. Kung sa tingin nating parang “nilalayasan” tayo ng diyos sa ating buhay, sana ay sumagi sa ating isipan na “nagtatago” lamang ang Diyos ngunit palagi pa rin siyang nagmamasid at gumagabay sa atin.

Nawa, ang ating isigaw sa buhay ay hindi ang “pagpapabaya ng diyos” kundi“DIYOS KO! DIYOS KO! SALAMAT AT HINDI MO AKO PINABAYAAN!”

Ano pa mang mga pagsubok ang dumating sa atin, kakayanin natin ito dahil alam nating may plano ang Diyos sa atin.

Pag-ibig, pagkakaisa, at pagmamahalan ang nawa’y sumaating lahat. Padayon!

This was originally written in 2009 but I tweaked it this year to tackle the issues of today. I decided to repost this one to reach wider audience. Have a blessed Good Friday everyone!