Today, June 12 my country is celebrating its Independence Day. It’s the day when Philippines was freed and got liberated from centuries of Spanish colonial rule. All forms of media here in my country today seem to rejoice and acclaim the freedom my country had 121 years ago. It’s not bad. But such commemoration seem so 121 years ago that it failed to level-up and be upgraded in a more current and present-day perspective about freedom.
My country’s celebration is still so stuck about the freedom from political and social control by the Spaniards. Every Filipino shouts that it really feels good to be free and independent! But are we really free and independent in the true sense of the word today?
Spanish folks definitely has moved on and would not really care anymore about the goings-on in the Philippines today. Yet still here we are, still so stuck with the thought of being freed and be independent from these folks from Europe.
Can we simply upgrade our thoughts on today’s celebration? I would rather rally about true freedom and true independence today in the context of the present-day Filipino situations and circumstances. I guess it would be better if Filipinos would rather contemplate on whether we are really free and independent socially, politically, morally and (wallet-wise) economically.
Yeah we have our own government but are we really free from shameless politicians and government officials? Yeah we have freedom of expression, but are we really free and be accepted by fellow Filipinos on who we are regardless of skin color, dialect, physical attributes and sexual orientation? Yeah we are free from economic control by other countries but are we really independent money-wise that we no longer have to worry on where to source the dough needed for tomorrow’s food, clothes, medicine and shelter? Are we really free from traffic congestion, bad education and racial discrimination? Parang hinde! (Translation: It seems not)!
I don’t want to spoil today’s revelry. Besides, bakasyon ngayon or it’s a non-working day today! The last time I checked, Spain has no plans of recolonizing us. And I guess we Pinoys still have a lot to work on regarding the true meaning of freedom and independence.
The most challenging hurdle in the world, I guess, is to raise me as a child and that unthinkable task has been assigned by the heavens to this lady. She’s a lot of things to a lot of people. And she need not be in cape nor costume to be my hero. She is simply the incomparable! Nengkoy who else?
nengkoy unknowingly provided flowers in this tranquil garden. photo from her most recent trip to japan
I am back in Manila. And I am back in my usual normal routine. I am, however, is not yet done with chronicling my 2019 NYC and Washington D.C adventure. There are still an enormous amount of experiences that I have yet to write about.
But since I am back, let me just squeeze in this post. A thank you and an expression of gratitude post to the heavens above for gifting and blessing me with such an amazing NYC and Washington D.C. journey.
This afternoon, I went to Santa Clara Monastery to express my hearty gratitude. And in keeping with the odd and eccentric Filipino custom of saying thanks to Saint Claire of Assisi, I offered a dozen of eggs wrapped in colored cellophane. I also wrote a short thank you note and have it lodged for the nuns to read and send it instantaneously to the heavens via Santa Clara.
I did this because I have always believed that prayer is done not because you are asking for something but because you have a ton to thank about.
By the way the colored cellophane I chose was pink and red which according to tradition has some mystifying meaning. Red would be luck on travel and career while Pink would be for love life and family. I was laughing about the “luck on love life”! Hahaha!
Thanks Saint Claire! My NYC and Washington D.C. adventure was a blast!
I am a Catholic. Finding and visiting a Catholic church during the duration of my travel has always been like something automatic. It’s like an involuntary response of saying Thank You every time I am heftily rewarded.
And now that I am in New York, I made sure that the Catholic church that I would visit to say my sincerest gratitude to the Holy Heavens would not just be any other ordinary church. I made sure to enter and visit the largest neo-gothic cathedral in the United States, St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
saint patrick’s cathedral
had to light up a couple of candles to complete my saying thanks…
calmness and serenity seem easy to achieve
St. Patrick’c Cathedral is as magnificent as it is massive. What is so unique with St. Patrick’s Cathedral is that it is a European-style of a church that is centrally located at America’s ode to consumerism and one of the most expensive shopping district, the 5th Avenue, no less.
It comes not as a big surprise then that St. Patrick is the patron saint of a local Catholic New Yorker. And despite its being located in the busy street of 5th Avenue, as you walk in and gaze heavenward, achieving the sense of peace and solemnity seem easy to achieve. Thus, saying a deep prayer and thanks was something uncomplicated and effortless to do inside.
And just like any other Catholic church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral definitely completed my NY adventure.
Last weekend, I and my whole family celebrated Nengkoy’s 82nd birthday. And every year, we make sure that Nengkoy’s birthday is celebrated in a grand way. The whole family would spend overnight in an opulent resort out of town.
But this year was a little different. Though it was still an overnight out of town, it is now held not in a luxury resort but at a more private place. The venue this year was a little different and a lot farther from Manila. It was a 5-hour travel by land. We held it at the super huge and lavish house of Thatcher and Alexis, my niece and nephew-in-law or the two of the plenty grandchildren of Nengkoy.
the crazy and insane team langit
a swim with my grand nephew arziolo
And like every other year that was, this year’s celebration was a blast. And an addition to the already huge family has joined us, our little boy Arziolo joined the fun filled celebration.
Nengkoy gave us a scare last year when she suffered from some numerous serious ailments. We hope that this year would be a very good year for Nengkoy health wise. The whole family only has two wishes for her. That would be good health and continuous luck in her mahjong exploits.
this out of town celebration will not be complete if there would be no mahjoong session. playing mahjong with my elder sister, my niece erika and the owner of the house thatcher
It is early morning and it is Valentines. It is early morning and it is Valentines and I am trying my very best not to be the grumpiest, old and solo living creature on the planet. I have been for the past years!
surprisingly received the most sought after dessert this valentines from super friend gie and a cute valentines napkin from super friend mj
This day this year, I am changing gear and is trying to rewire my nutty brain. I chose not to be bitter. I am not the rebel heart this year for I chose not to maltreat those who loves celebrating this day. I was a success of not wearing all black today. And I actually was able to control my emotions of not kicking and smashing the Valentines heart designs in my gym last night!
Though living solo and celebrating Valentine’s today solo, I would like to put my bearing and my outlook on a very positive note. I will treat this year’s celebration on a more amiable light. Because of this, let me greet everyone who happens to read this post a very Happy Valentines! I hope you stay in love and celebrate this day all throughout the year!
Ayoko magpaka-ampalaya ngayong taon, para maiba naman!
One opposite of living a normal life in a Catholic country like the Philippines is not having a Catholic priest as a friend. In this particular aspect, I have long considered myself as abnormal, a nonstandard and an aberration.
Yeah, I guess I am one of those self-promoting folks in Manila who lacks a saintly priest as a friend. Dealing with a Catholic priest on a regular basis is an unchartered territory for me.
Maybe one of the reasons why I don’t have a Catholic priest friend is because I am seldom impressed by their delivered Homilies during a Holy Mass. Commonly, priests in their Homilies would often talk too vague and too imprecise and they would move from one topic to another in a nonsensical fashion. Their line of thinking often times is so ambiguous and so formless I would often suspect that priest’s common mental illness is schizophrenia.
But the priest I heard last Monday during a Holy Mass in Greenbelt Chapel to commemorate the death of my boss (Sir Larry Cruz) eleven years ago was somebody who was impressively different. He was specific and was exact. He was coherent and was so cohesive in his Homily. His talk was well research. It was actually enjoyable, charming and was very inspiring.
that’s me (left) with super friend dominic… nagdadasal? thanks to mj for this blurry photo. hahaha!
i was so impressed, i took a glimpse of the greenbelt chapel’s priest
He talked about the man whom the Holy Mass was for and successfully correlate my amiable boss’s vocation and persona to his homily. He was inspiring when he said that it is not about the years in your life that counts, but it is the life in your years that matter. And what struck me most about this priest’s Homily was his wisdom about: “people will forget what you said”and “people will forget what you did”but “people will never forget what you made them feel”.
If I am to make friends with a priest that Greenbelt Chapel priest would be the first dude in line!
Hay salamat at sa wakas, naka-intindi rin ng sermon!