She requested me to arrange their meeting after 40 years. She was a balikbayan from the US; he never left Philippine shores.
“When I saw him again, the 40 years disappeared,” she confided to me later. She looked like a lovestruck teenager.
“When I saw her again, the 40 years disappeared,” he admitted as much separately. He was visibly smitten.
They were only in their 20s forty years ago—so young and so in love. So they got married before she flew to the US. She discovered that as a nurse, she had a bright future there. Deciding to stay and not to come back home, she tried to convince him in her letters to follow her.
He loved his job as a Navy officer in the Philippines. He asked her to come back, but she wouldn’t.
No one budged. Years passed and they both “married” other people, and each had children of his/her own. More years passed and through Facebook they met each other again: she is now a widow and he, a widower.
Perfect ending to Love is lovelier the second time around?
Before the Facebook encounter, he had entered into a relationship with another woman. And in the meeting I had arranged for them, he told her about it.
She was heartbroken—again. “We need to have our marriage annulled then,” she suggested. With the annulment, the last encumbrance in their relationship would be severed forever.
He refused. So she flew back to the US desolate. He was left pining for her; he didn’t want to lose her the second time around, but he also couldn’t afford to hurt the girl with whom he has a relationship now.
Are marriages made of these? Is this what love is about?
As we celebrate what the world has dubbed the “month of love,” February, may we ponder the love shown to us by Jesus, our Lord of grace:
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; . . .” 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (ESV)
(Adapted from my book, ‘Circle of Compassion,’ published by OMF Lit in 2013)
Access Road: A dream come true
It was a dream come true to the residents of Brgy. Anopog to see the 400 meters concrete access road inaugurated.
“Dako kaayo among kalipay nga nahuman gyud ang karsada diri, kay sa una lisod gyud kaming mga ginikanan mag baba sad mi, ilabi na mga kinder pa, dili makasugakod og labang sa lapukon ug guba ngadalan (We are happy that this concrete road is finished. Before it was so difficult for parents to bring their children to school because they would have to carry the children especially those in kindergarten,” shared Cirila Benigay a resident of Barangay Anopog and a Pantawid beneficiary.
The town of Pinamungajan is one of the several towns affected by Typhoon Auring that hit the country on January 8, 2017. The town of Pinamungajan was severely flooded and its barangay roads were destroyed including barangay Anopog, where access road to school was destroyed and buried in knee-deep mud and flood waters.
“This concrete road makes a difference in the life of 680 students in our school. It brings positive effect on them. They are now motivated to attend classes despite heavy downpour because they no longer wade on muddy road. I am hopeful that there would be an increase on attendance rate of students especially the 156 Pantawid beneficiaries, which would eventually increase their education compliance rate,” said Mr. Vianney Abellanosa, school principal.
He said that since the road is now elevated and concreted, the parents and the 25 teaching staff of the school are already assured of the safety of the students.
Meanwhile, Abellanosa also expressed with gratitude for this life-changing experience he and his teachers and students have in working with Kalahi-CIDSS.
The students and teachers of Anopog Elementary School helped the community volunteers to gain votes during the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum (MIBF). They presented photos of teachers and students carefully and patiently walking their way through muddy paths. Their vivid presentation convinced the MIBF participants to vote for them and indeed, Barangay Anopog got the 1st place in the prioritization list.
The completion of the 400-meter access road brings joy and hope not only to the students and teachers but also to the residents living in nearby sitios.
The Php 2.6 million access road has benefited 830 households and made their dream come true.
Always Be Humble and Kind
My twin brother and I were raised by our grandparents. They have taught us so many things about life, but the one thing that has always stuck with me is to always be humble and kind no matter what you do in life. My grandpa always told us no matter where life leads you, always remember your values and where you came from. He was a colonel in the Air Force for 20 years, and then became a lawyer and owned his own law firm for another 20 years. Today, at age 83, he is a cashier at Walmart and you would never know what all he has done because he is that humble. People go to his register to see him because he always puts a smile on their face. He has taught us that it doesn’t matter what you do or have done, it’s about who you are and your character. He really does teach by example.
My Support System
Ever since I was young, my parents and older brother have always cheered me on – whether it was at a dance competition, piano recital, or an academic accomplishment. They were there even when I attempted 1 of 10 sports, only to later realize I just wasn’t that athletic. Point is – they never stopped to tell me I couldn’t do something or to quit. They encouraged me every step of the way, and went the extra mile to be the parent that was the volunteer soccer coach or would rearrange their hectic schedules for my passions and growth.
My family became a main value through these childhood moments, and are also integral to every other value I hold important – whether it’s learning persistence or respect for others. They have instilled in me these values from a young age, and continue to help me abide by them. At every major turning point in my life whether its choosing a college or a full time job, I rely on them for their advice, and consider how to maintain this value while being away. In 5 years, I know family will be of equal importance to me and will always strive to make it known to them that they are my greatest value.
Submitted by Ayeesha
Poem of Peace
Our nation’s innocence is lost,
Stolen by acts of hate.
Helpless people paid the cost,
For them it is too late.
Daughters, sons, husbands, wives,
Sisters, friends and brothers.
All of them have lost their lives,
To senseless acts of others.
New York’s city has been defaced.
Bodies lay in rubble.
They can never be replaced.
But war won’t end our trouble.
Angers only escalate,
As we point out the guilt.
Violence will perpetuate.
While we dig through the silt.
Cries of anger, cries for war,
Echo in the air.
As if our bombs and missiles soar,
It will make it fair.
People claim “eye for an eye”
Our nation wants to fight.
If their innocent people die,
Then will that make US right?
Punishment surely must take place.
These murderers must pay.
But they are groups and not a race.
Keep liberty in mind, each day.
We are people of goodwill,
Of truth and love and light.
Please give thought before you kill,
Take heed before you fight.
We ask, what do we tell our children?
How do we give them ease?
Reactions set examples for them,
Should we not teach them peace?
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