I Wanna Sing In A Pub Choir!

I think I am a rare Filipino breed.  Reason behind this is because I cannot sing!

When I was in Jerusalem, I was able to meet a bunch of cool Jews in a coffee shop who were celebrating Purim. My sister Ester who toured with me decided to stay in the hotel to read about the Holy Bible’s Queen Ester, her namesake.

These young Jewish people were surprised to know that I was a Filipino travelling as a tourist in their country.  One guy then uttered to the group that Filipinos seem to have the genes for good singing voice. The whole bunch of these cool happy people then started teasing and entreating that I should sing a song for them.

a stock photo of my trip to jerusalem… it’s not rare meeting cool strangers in that city

I tried doing it but they obviously did not liked what they’re were hearing.  I stopped and did not finish.   I was like Cameron Diaz singing “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” in the movie My Best Friend’s Wedding.  After my singing, they were gracious enough to clap their hands while doubting if I am really is a Filipino and simply moved on and continued on with the Purim revelry with me.

I remembered all these when I happen to bumped into a fascinating YouTube video regarding a joint where hundreds of strangers inside the pub would learn and sing together a popular pop song.  Watch this…

Internet indicates that Pub Choir phenomenon started two years ago in Brisbane, Australia and the fun and fascinating concept/activity has been booming and expanding all throughout the Land Under. 

And if this phenomenon would finally arrive here in Manila, I would be one of the few Filipinos who could not sing would enlist and would definitely sing my heart out in this event. I and my rare kind of Filipino breed would definitely unleash the Cameron Diaz in all of us!

Handa AWIT!

 

 

 

Pater Noster: Prayer For Life

Just like missing prayers before a meal or going to sleep I missed writing about the Church of Pater Noster. Also known as the Sanctuary of the Eleona, Pater Noster church is located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

pater noster church
pater noster church
lords prayer in its first two language...
lords prayer in its first two languages…

Being a Catholic, my not writing about this place felt like heresy of some sort.  It is because this special spot, where I and my sister visited when we were in Israel, is where Lord Jesus believed to have taught the Lord’s Prayer.

Not all Catholics were blessed enough of being able to see and experience what it was to be like in such a special place.  Honestly, I consider Pater Noster to be one of the highlights of me and my sister’s tour of the Mount of Olives.

This 4th century Byzantine church is serene and beautiful.  And underneath this massive structure is a cave which I think is considered the holiest spot of the area for it is believed to be where Lord Jesus taught his disciples  the ‘Ama Namin’ (translation: Our Father) prayer.

highlight!
highlight!
selfie inside where it's taught
selfie inside where it’s taught
searching for the tagalog version...
searching for the tagalog version…
got the ilonggo version
got the ilonggo version
feeling so blessed...
feeling so blessed…

The walls of the structure are placed with multilingual plaques bearing the Lord’s Prayer in different languages.  Feeling proud Pinoys, I and my sister failed to locate the plaque in Filipino-Tagalog language.  We nevertheless was successful in locating the English and the Filipino-Ilonggo prayer versions.

Saying the Our Father has always been part of my prayer, in whatever form or state of mind I am.  And I may miss saying prayers before meals and before sleep but I will forever be so thankful that the stars has aligned for me to see and experience this holy place where the prayer for life started.

Oh ‘di ba, ang banal banal ko na??  

Too Thankful to Wail at the Wailing Wall

The Western Wall (which others call The Wailing Wall) has been regarded by the Jews as the sole remnant of the Holy Temple.  It is considered to be the closest accessible site to the holiest spot in Judaism known as the Foundation Stone which lies on the Temple Mount.  Because of these, the Western Wall has become a place of pilgrimage among the Jews around the world.

a holy site to behold
a holy site to behold
selfie muna
selfie muna
amen!
amen!
i could not believe i would be this blessed!
i could not believe i would be this blessed!

Since it is the holiest accessible site, the Western Wall would be the site where Jewish believers would lament about the obliteration of the temple as well as the site where they would pray for intentions.  As a tradition, people would write a note on a piece of paper about their intentions, their petitions, their requests, wishes, longings and yearnings.  And insert the paper into the crevices of the walls for the heavenly beings to grant such wishes, requests and appeals.

Though a non-Jewish, I have been gifted by the heavens to set foot, see, smell and feel the massive and majestic walls of the Western Wall.  Some perhaps must be envious that a pathetic underachiever like me was granted the rare chance to pray and ask for anything that I need and want to the Holy God of the Jewish world.

me and my sister on our 2nd visit
me and my sister on our 2nd visit
too overjoyed to ask for anything...
too overjoyed to ask for anything…

But honestly, I failed to write any petition neither did I fail to even murmur on the stones about any wish.  It is because I was too overjoyed and too thankful to ask for anything at that moment.  The mere fact that I was blessed to be in the Holy Land is already a massive and colossal gift from the heavens.  I was so thrilled and delighted I could no longer ask for anything else at that moment.

Mapapasigaw ka talaga ng “Tenk Yu Lord!”

Joseph of Arimathea is One Fab Dude

this obviously is not my photo... got it from pinterest (thanks)
i obviously don’t own this photo… thanks pinterest!

I am writing this article now from Jerusalem… Today is a pretty special Sabbath day here in Jerusalem because today is Black Saturday for the Christian Catholics.  And since I belong to this denomination, let me give tribute to an awesome Saint who showed sincere generosity on the time of Lord Jesus’ death (which was commemorated yesterday – Good Friday).

His name is Joseph of Arimathea, considered one of the secret disciples of Jesus Christ, he was the one who donated his very own tomb so that Lord Jesus can be buried and laid to rest.

Hands down to this wealthy fella!  His selflessness and generosity was obviously swift and instinctive because Lord Jesus during that time (who died on a Friday at around 3:00PM) needs to be buried immediately because the Jewish Sabbath is soon to come.  That indeed is one fab of a deed!

And during my Holy City Tour in Jerusalem, I had the opportunity to actually see and set foot on the grave/tomb on where this generous dude was buried or laid to rest.  Of course he was not placed in his own tomb because Lord Jesus has occupied it, but instead, his tomb was nearby and can actually be found in one timeworn corner of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

after seeing this... hands down to this generous dude1
after seeing this… hands down to this generous dude!  he indeed is worthy of his sainthood…

Generus ni Manong!