Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Spectre of Our Reality

A dreary thought for this Sunday:

Our renewed residence in the old homeland has led us to unexpected turns,

Lading us with threatening challenges against our steadfast resolve to stay the course.

Irksome obstructions that partake of impactful results against such resolve made worse by the multi-pronged damages they inflict

Wholesale turn of events that make us rethink and recalibrate how we regard humanity hereabouts in general, from the lowest rung to the highest, from relatives to simply acquaintances.

That humanity has far degraded and with rue, we are egged to say that there is hardly anybody to be trusted or believed in this place.  At least among those that we interact with.

That it has now been darkly transformed to a world of self-aggrandizing actions and motives, each one greedily jockeying up for one’s own narrow self-interests to the detriment of society at large.  A world to be shunned.  Of a humanity weakened further by privation and moral neglect

A sad commentary indeed to be published, but the repetitive incidences are so plentiful and commonplace that only one default conclusion could ensue as a consequence.

But worse than the resultant changed attitudes one harbors on others which are still easier to resolve by simply staying away, are the malevolent transformation they engender in our own selves.  The utter dismay, the debilitating frustration, the nagging sorrow, the negative judgment, the acquired disregard for all others, the consuming ill will, etc.  that now find space to reside in one’s mind and spirit.

That is the greater loss and challenge. For who can run away from oneself?


Saturday, September 16, 2017

A Church In Kawayanon, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon

The name Mrs. Tugot, even without the first name, will I am sure conjure some unforgettable memories for many of the people and families I interacted with in the mid-60’s.

Mrs. Tugot was almost an iconic figure during those times, speaking about religious fervor and devotion.  A very kindly lady of considerable girth, who always exhibited such amiable disposition and boundless generosity, leaving many of us with no tinge of hesitation about visiting her place without prior notice in Kawayanon, Manolo Fortich, and pleading and praying for spiritual guidance and assistance, while at the same time partaking of the very filling food offerings served us during those visits. 

Why my most easily recalled memory is that a late afternoon drive from Cagayan with some lady schoolmates and finding Mrs. Tugot at her house, where we were immediately ushered in and served the nicest beef sandwiches I had ever tasted wrapped up in those very delectable slices of bread that to this day continue to bring visitors to the Del Monte Clubhouse.

I digress a bit, so meanwhile back to the ranch.  Yes, she was noted as having such personal piety and blessedness that she could intercede for assistance from her two most favorite devotional personalities, Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Sr. Sto. Nino.  And many devotees trooped and flocked to her place for their own special and personal needs.  Others driven simply by the heavy alluring pull exerted by such devotional fervor and needing to be in that enviable presence of spiritual awe.

 As I recall she had always dreamt of having a church built especially for her favorite spiritual patrons.

The ensuing years and their own special cares put all these into the back of my mind.  Until I came back almost 50 years later. 

My regular trips to Dahilayan allow me to pass by Kawayanon in San Miguel and no trip is made without having visual contact of a very impressive church building in an almost unlikely place.  It is almost across the road from the access road leading to the famed Del Monte Clubhouse and its equally noted golf course.   Of course, I had asked about it and was told it was built largely by the efforts of Mrs. Tugot.

BTW, Mrs. Tugot, in another vein, was also famous as the spouse of Celestino “Tinong” Tugot unrivaled golf pro of yesteryears from the Del Monte stable.

Anyway, I had never stopped at the church after countless trips to Dahilayan till this Saturday.   I and the wife felt we had to.  So we did and brought home some pictures.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

On Going Astray and Finding Redemption


Started learning about the life of this rather attractive individual soon after his explosive videos were made available on the Internet.  With the subsequent accompanying claim from Mr. Kho that his private videos were leaked unauthorized by certain parties who wanted to do him wrong. 

We learned later that the videos were made without the express knowledge and consent of the ladies involved.  The public leaking of the videos was truly reprehensible, but not much worse than the fact that the videos were taken privately without the knowledge and consent of the other parties.  So Mr. Kho many would declare could be judged as no worse than the leakers themselves.  Was he just making a video gallery of his “conquests”?

But in due time all things would be explained.  This after a very public scourging and condemnation of the atrocious deeds of Mr. Kho, complete with a Senate hearing to boot, and even the stripping of his license to practice medicine one that he obviously spent many laborious years to acquire.   In a manner of speaking, when all this was done, he was left for dead.

But a lofty redemption was not to be denied, complete with a very stirring testimonial about his childhood and growing-up years.  Being molested at a very early age, leaving him with a very deep and ugly trauma.  A tender kid’s psyche becoming so seared and scarred inexorably leading his promising life (he had become a doctor in the process) to wanton and reckless years.  Years of being amoral, aimless, and being cynical about his own life as well as of others he developed relationships with.   

But in the abysmal depths of depressive sorrow and remorse, and after a couple of unrequited suicide attempts, he found the abiding light that would lead to his personal redemption according to his own account.  In short, he found Jesus after a most vigorous and disaster-laden search and Hayden has proffered his spent life on His knees as the most abject of individual and with all the declared humility and compunction man could generate.  For Jesus to instruct and guide. He now considers himself a most avid and relentless follower of Jesus and all that He represents in His life, His precepts and His examples.

All this I gathered from his very public testimonial, which I believe he most publicly recounts on occasion with the blessings of the religious group that he has joined with.

In all, it is a very inspiring account and makes for a riveting human interest story, fit maybe for a movie or two.

Then we read this account of a May-December union.  And the grandiosity and exorbitance of its details would bring goosebumps to the many dreamy-eyed debutantes inhabiting our very polite and affluent circles of society.

And it brings me to only one question.  What would Jesus have done if He were this once unfortunate man?