San Agustin Church, Manila

I did not intend to visit but the trippy directions provided by a pedicab driver took me to its doors. What ensued are series of snapshots brought about by sight overload. The Baroque design is so deft and overwhelming one could not help but picture-away.

San Agustin is located inside the walled city of Intramuros in Manila. Considered as the oldest church; no other standing building in the country has claimed to pre-date it. Finished by 1607, it is classified under “Baroque Churches of the Philippines” by UNESCO. It is also voted as a National Historical Landmark in 1976.


Weather The Rain

I got to read a friend’s blog last week and learned the most heart breaking news.

Someone she knew killed himself. Such grief.

… Last Sunday, he died by hanging himself. A photo-album filled with his moments with his girlfriend was at his feet. He left a five-page farewell letter to his family. My mom went with his mom to the hospital. They tried to revive him for an hour but he was already brain dead… or maybe he just lost the will a long time ago. He was only 24, just a few months older than me…

After reading, I immediately felt sad. Sad for the guy, sad for his family, sad for his ex-girlfriend and his friends.  How exactly do you resolve in your head that someone close to you just killed himself? That he stepped onto a chair tied a noose around his neck and kicked the chair. Do you get angry at him? Do you blame yourself for not being around as much? What?

I stopped and thought of how things had been in my life. Sure, I may be a bit emotional at times (I think every girl is) and I have the ability to trap myself inside my head with thoughts of sadness, but I’ve never seriously considered suicide. Psychology explains that suicide gets thrown in the mix for every human being fenced in emotional pain – most carry on without so much as an incident but to some  the thought of hurting ones self lingers.

I’ve had my heart trampled more than I care to admit and I’ve made choices that aren’t exactly right a handful of times and I understand the devastation it can bring you. I know the void, I know the sleepless nights, I know the poor appetite, I know the intermittent inability to breathe, I know the tears at night and the complete bleakness it renders every blessing you get. Heartbreaks can crush even the spirit. But amidst knowing the sorrow, I know that things can be well again.

I know I have real friends, I know my family loves me and I know that with every broken road I take, the Almighty never leaves me. I might have been unbearably neglected and eventually deliberately broken without so much as a care, but I have my faith and that always rings strong inside of me while I weather the rain.

Our purpose and wishes will come sooner or later. I just tell myself and the people who open up to me about their problems that life will be beautiful again … we only have to hold on.

I’m sorry about your friend D, I’ll include him in my prayers tonight.

A Welcomed Sermon

I went to church last Sunday and hoped that I would have enough acumen to focus. Like most city dwellers, my head has been spinning with so many things, so I was a little doubtful.

Then homily came, and I suddenly had this sinking feeling that the priest was talking to me… just me an no one else. Somehow the cosmos aligned and made me attend the right mass, at the right church (venue), at the right time, with the right priest and dished the most astute lesson timely for my predicament.

I had to stop myself from honoring his sermon with a standing ovation and a loud hollering of, “Bravo!” But instead I just included him in my thanksgiving prayer. I had no plans of being stared at.

Somehow the things he said eased my heart and reinforced my hope. I like that he used fables for his story, segued to what’s relevant and treated it with understanding instead of scrutiny. His sermon was personalized and sunny; like a teacher you can approach anytime and perhaps talk to when you can’t solve a problem. I was all ears and was indubitably attentive – I felt like if he asked the audience a question, I’d be raising my hand and go, “Me, me, me. I know the answer. Pick me”.

Ah, I miss Sunday school.

Sometimes you wish all sermons are like this … unpretentious, caring, straightforward and non-threatening. Out-dated sermons really don’t add value to our currently snowballing complication of a world. Priests who talk only to the microphone and not to the people, priests who tells me I’m going to burn in hell if I continue to fail to pray enough, priests who relates the scriptures to events from million years ago – trust me, I like going to church but I don’t want to have to indulge blah  blahs. A priest with a fresh spin on things can bring people back to celebrating the Lord’s day.

And you have to agree, it breaks the boredom.

Currently listening to Monster Radio RX 93.1