Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘words’

Redeeming Broken Promises

broken promiseI wonder what makes people break their promises. For a number of reasons, I have been offended by so many friends who were not true to their word. I have a list of those significant ones who had gravely offended me. But the deeper offense was they callously walk away from it. I must admit these have greatly disappointed me, reason enough for me to get even.

Who wouldn’t be disappointed when a friend did not pay for your fare after he said he would when you to accompany him to enroll in a university? Or when somebody disregarded the farewell gift he promised you before he goes abroad or before you resign from the company you both worked in? How about when a really special friend did not take you to the special place he has been telling you from the beginning? Perhaps, these things are small and unimportant to the ones who released these vows. Yet, it means a lot to those who had received these promises.

Words are very significant. They should not be taken lightly. They are not made of thin air, but of power that can bring life and death. If sticks and stones can hurt us, words can hurt us more. How much more words that have been withdrawn from our trust, not having any closure on the matter? Most in this generation have lost the sense of commitment, watering down perspective on the power words can bring.

Broken promises can destroy relationships and unity, signifying that the promise-bearer is not a person of honor. Every promise released is a binding thread between lovers, friends, family, and master and student.

I am not being proud here. I have my share of delayed promises, but I’d always make sure that I keep my word, no matter how long it had taken.

So, how about the list of broken promises? I leave them into the hands of my promise-keeping God. He is the One true Promise Keeper. His promises to look after you, to provide for you, and love you has never failed, generations after generations. What did He do to that list? He burned them up. He wanted me to show that His grace towards the promise breakers is wider than these broken promises. That I have to follow His example of giving them a second chance. He has given us endless chances to turn away from breaking promises while He waited for us.

I’m so glad that there are always second chances given to us who are never perfect in every way. But we have to learn how to forgive, let go, and begin anew. The Lord has been that graceful. There are times that I feel so ashamed that He can be more faithful to me than I could ever be.

Perhaps, one day, these broken promises will be redeemed. It might not be the same as before, but given another chance, they can be mended along with the trust that has been ripped with it.

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Leveling Down the Contention of Words

This is what Typhoon Yolanda left in this once thriving city of Tacloban, Leyte. Photo by Carlo Damalerio

This is what Typhoon Yolanda left in this once thriving city of Tacloban, Leyte. Photo by Carlo Damalerio

“There has never been anything at the magnitude of what we are trying to do now,” Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras told palace reporters at a press briefing last Nov. 13, “Not in size, not in volume, not in even the breadth of it.”

As the national government admits being appalled at the disaster left by Typhoon Haiyan (or Typhoon Yolanda as its FIlipino name) ten days ago, the rest of the world feels mutual. It’s like watching a horror movie, except it is in the primetime newscasts. However, being in the very scene of it still feels surreal to me.

I would have loved to tag along with one of our teams assigned to Tacloban City last week. Tacloban, Leyte was one of the greatly devastated places left by Yolanda. But considering the place’s limited necesities for a woman like me, only an all-male team was sent.

As first hand witnesses to a storm’s aftermath, I tried to understand the hardships they experienced. They had no place to stay, no food and water to sustain them (as they have given their provisions to the Tacloban people), and they have to endure the stench of the dead and of human waste. But how much more I tried to feel the heart break for the people who endure the loss of what they have owned and the loss of their very loved ones. What was left was their very existence, coping with the last strain of humanity nearly being snatched from them. They try to survive in a desolated town unfit for living.

It might be easy to say that the rest of us who stayed wish to come to

The people of Tacloban almost at a loss as they have lost their homes --- and even their loved ones. Photo by Carlo Damalerio

The people of Tacloban almost at a loss as they have lost their homes — and even their loved ones. Photo by Carlo Damalerio

Tacloban just to give out a hug…or maybe a small act of kindness through food and water. But how far are we willing to go? How far would we be willing to sacrifice time and your comfort zone to feel their pain. Living there sounds too inhumane for most of us. Helpless, all we can do is sigh and speak out our thoughts and symphathy.

As I watch from afar, it’s a pain to hear criticisms and politicizing at all sides. There’s this underlying contention between the main government bodies, the private entities, and the vox populi. We can talk too much. It’s easy to give blame. But can’t we just shut up and try to feel the pain of the victims themselves? Perhaps, it’s easy to make conclusions in what goes on in their everyday life. But can’t we think of focusing at their basic needs first? These people, are just like us — human, limited, and in need of one another.

Perhaps, most of us can never understand how it is to be in their shoes. For us living far from them, we try to comprehend what flashes through our screens or what blares through our airwaves. But we can never see the whole picture. Who are we to judge conclusions, then?

Perhaps, some of us can never get the chance to reach them personally. Perhaps, most of us might never understand the whole picture of what’s happening and why it happened. But setting aside our own conclusions and criticisms might help rebuild a new future. A little grace, a little love, through our what-we-have can uplift their spirits. Behind the camera, must be a more drastic story beyond words.

White Board Challenge

It’s my first time to loose my voice. Never will I think that a day of occassional coughing would lead to this.

To communicate without words was hard for me. I can’t get my thoughts that quickly. That most heartbreaking thing is that I couldn’t convey my jokes easily (so I only have myself laughing at my own weird thoughts).

In order to say something, I have to use a white board and a pen. It’s very convenient, except my hands are loaded and it takes more time (as if this is the grandfather of the modern tablet :P).

Despite of this, I had fun expressing. My facial expression and gestures say it all. Instead of laughing, I would clap loudly or dance or roll myself in the office room (well, not really that wildly). Stress? I don’t have to make myself stressed. Only when I had to read two of my news. *ehem ehem* (I sounded like a pipsqueak! O.o)

But what matters most is the people around you. How they understand you. I guess it really takes patience and love to get the message through.

Need I say more? I guess not. I guess I just need rest to regain my voice. Or better yet, rest my fingers from talking on cyberspace too much. Let the normal be back to normal. 🙂

Word Distraught

Let me be silent, let me be still
For the sake of sanity I will not spill
Leave me alone in my deepest of thoughts,
Our world will retain its peaceful wrought

I have no time to listen to your senselessness
The very words that unconsciously destroy your soul
You deride my being as if you’re a sage
Which actually is a proof of your nothingness at all

How dare you discuss without checking facts
Blabbering like a dying fish on a haystack
Contention is not the solution to your analysis
Neither can your words reach the end of a paralysis

The likes of you is condemnable
I will not site from you anything commendable
Yet, I find myself as damnable
Been given the mercy though I’m worth of it at all

Blood stained hands on a dirty old wood
Reached the heart of a stubborn, dead mold
Whose heart the once thought it can live by its own
Not knowing that the Blood can give it a soul

I wonder if this Blood can silence your tongue
But for the sake of love, must I dare ask?
If only by this Blood this heart of mine had life
Would then this Blood make you speak love?

Deafening the Political Word War

Noisy, crowded, brightly colored, and tense. That’s how I can describe a kick-off campaign rally. Yesterday, marked the beginning of the campaign season for this year’s elections. As mono-

People flood Plaza Miranda for the Team Pnoy Kick-Off Campaign

People flood Plaza Miranda for the Team Pnoy Kick-Off Campaign

colored groups poured into the rally site, so did the huge tarps and placards bearing the names of the senatoriables. It was a tense moment…maybe because of the atmosphere of the crowd hype then.

I was assigned to Team PNoy, the admin block. I felt like being drowned in a sea of yellow while the giant tarps tried to block our view.

All twelve candidates were given eight minutes to speak to the crowd. Some laid a glimpse of their platforms, some their dramatic life story, and some, as expected, gave their enemies some good bashing. One called the past administration as thieves, the other ranted on him being cheated in the past elections, and another emphasized on not to believe the “others” who were “pretending to ride with their platform”.

But during the days before the start of the kick-off campaigns, the word war between parties was already at bay. From “new opposition” claims to “racist” remarks, the media noted them all. Not one from both sides missed to answer the rant of the other.

It was sickening. The battle of politics has turned into a sour word war. And for me it’s a dirty game.

When I talked to a spokesperson of an election-regulating body in the Philippines, he mentioned that they cannot stop these parties or candidates from making personality-bashing at their campaign. Nothing in our law prohibits such campaigning. Besides, our constitution itself upholds the freedom of expression as we belong in a democratic country. He warned candidates to be mindful of such a campaign strategy. Not everyone buys it.

True enough, in all the five or more people we interviewed from the public, nobody likes the idea of personality bashing. All talk but no work, one of them says.

The dangers of negative communication. I wonder how far will such a war of words go.

It’s easy to criticize. It’s easy to show the ugly side of your enemy. It’s an effective way to make the crowd see you’re in the right standing while the other is not. But such a strategy is the downfall of both sides. Not only will his rival get a bruise from his words; the one who threw will get a bad score from the public.

Such a strategy is as immature as kids who fight back when being teased for having a bad hairdoo.

How desperate can one become just to get into power? This is how far we have gone in our brand of politicking. Aside from empty promises and dramatic stints, we’ve resolved to picking a fight through words and ego-lambasting. But by doing so, it does not uplift who a candidate really is. Besides, one should be campaigning for himself, not embarrassing another.

I just hope that the public would realize that words alone are not the basis for choosing the best candidate (or the “lesser evil” as someone called it). Words do not make up who are worth to lead this society. Besides, while it’s still election season, all voters must choose who are fit to execute the roles a government position demands. Does the personality of that candidate fit the role to be a senator, a congressman or a local government leader? Do they have the skill, wits and political will of a lawmaker and leader? Do they have the heart to lead the public through their unique roles in the government?

Those word wars can’t reveal the answers for those questions. I hope every candidate will just be honest in their works. No more personality-bashing, please. It’s time to prove integrity by works and character alone.

Let the Bosses Evaluate

President Aquino giving his SONA while Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (left side of the picture) and House Speaker Sonny Belmonte (on the right) listens. Photo courtesy of pcoo.gov.ph

After one and a half hour, 8,890 words, and a three-year review of the present administration, the nation listened to President Aquino’s third State of the Nation Address (SONA). For once again, we were able to look back at his accomplishments, expect new expectations, and evaluate what transpired in our nation under his government.

It was no extraordinary SONA. Most of what Pres. Aquino mentioned were a rehash of some of his past speeches from different occasions, especially the review of figures and promises hopes just like our ability to export rice and end of classroom and textbook backlogs in schools by next year. And one of them was the comparison of his administration to that of his predecessor.

I would agree that his SONA was a very comprehensive report. Thirty-three pages for that one and a half speech. I can say that most were facts, yet the promises are the ones to watch out.

Every president’s SONA is more than words. It just takes one to more than listening to it. Just like a spoken (and a written) contract, the public should be more careful to check and see if the government are still in the right track. If you would take time to ask the common people what they think about the government and his SONA, most of them would say, “We don’t want to mingle in politics.”

I must admit, it’s a hard thing to give your attention to serious things especially government stuff. In fact, knowing issues would make one even more aware on what’s happening – even causing us to think on the how’s and why’s of everything around. When I first covered Pres. Aquino’s SONA last year, I was very confused – one reason was because I was not following the daily issues and news. It was information overload and it almost blew my mind.

A year after, I was more able to watch out and know the should be’s and should not have been’s from his SONA. It’s not a hodge-podge of words. And we have to watch out his promises – especially the ones he said would happen next year.

A year after, I can’t tell was it good or bad? All I have to know if his speeches are more than words. He must remember that his bosses are on the watch.

As his bosses, the public must always watch out on his administration’s actions.  We are not called bosses for no apparent reason. If the president was flattering for calling us his bosses, then we should realize that we are originally having that privilege and position guaranteed by the Constitution:

Art. 2, Sec. 1: The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.

This is not only our right but our privilege. Not knowing and remaining neutral and complacent will not only leave us ignorant, but our rights and freedom slowly abused by those in power. With this right, we can voice our thoughts, take action, and cause those in authority to think, rethink, and perhaps change for our cause.

I have but a very small evaluation of his SONA. One year is too small for my observation of his three-year tenure. Another year to go…I’ll make sure I’ll make a better review of this year’s SONA. And I hope the public will view it was more than words.

For the rest who has been following his SONA since he was elected, your evaluation?

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