Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Php100,000 faith check to real check!

To tell you frankly, it is not that easy to have a prophet friend in one's life. It involves a sacrifice.

At first, a prophet would prophesy something good to happen to you; but he would ask you to give something sacrificially after prophesying.


This, I could hardly understand in the beginning; but when I have been acquainted with the Word of God, it is easy to follow the law of giving.

But when you are faced with a dilemma to choose between obeying and filling your stomach, your soul struggles within.

It is, indeed, a real struggle on your part -- to give or not to give.

But I have experienced my first concrete financial miracle with Don the prophet after a year and four months of our mail friendship.

Don wrote me a letter after receiving so many others from him and instructed me to offer Php1,000 for the ministry!

If I be able to give the amount he asked for in that letter, God would turn the money back to me a hundred times over!

That was a word from a prophet.

I never had the money but I desired to obey him as the prophet of God.

What I did, I pawned my wristwatch and offered Php1,000 to the local ministry office.

In reply, Don mailed me a sealed faith check in the amount of Php100,000 in my name.

Of course, that was only a "faith" check and could not be made into cash!

But after about three months, I received an unexpected real check of Php109,600 (USD2,000) coming from my father in the States!

Naturally, Don and my father never knew each other.

That miracle happened in December 2003.

Don even wrote me in early December that a financial miracle was coming.

And that it was going to be truly a "merry Christmas" for me.

Sure, it was.

I was so overwhelmed by the miracle I had everything photocopied.

Yes, even the two bills!

Because, when I cashed the check, I noticed the two bills from a bundle of Php100,000 had my initials on in its serial numbers!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First time: I touch a live python snake!

Yes, I touched a live python snake last Sunday!

It was a four-month-old pet python, the size of a diameter of a finger, owned by a neighbor of my nephew.

I ran my fingers through the back and the belly of the snake. It was unbelievably soft and smooth.

I was a snake-phobic before as everyone else is. And it was a long-time personal challenge to be able to touch it.

Many opportunities passed in the past but fear always overtook me. Last Sunday was another chance but I was very afraid. "Now or never," I told myself.

And I did it.

And speaking of snake, I have a story to tell.

One day in my fourth year high school, I was stationed to guard the back of the school together with a classmate. It was part of our civilian army training course.

We were guarding the wire fence whole day when we spotted a crawling, big-headed, slender-bodied, green baby snake in front of us.

I don't know if I participated in it but the snake was stoned to death!

Fear crawled through our spines when we came to think: when there's a baby snake, there's a big mother snake around!

It was creepy and more when we thought of eyes of a big snake looking at us at that very moment - somewhere on that grassy field beyond the fence!

We were not guarding the fence from illegal entrants anymore. But for a big green snake to appear suddenly.

If it did appear, we already knew what to do - RUNNN!!!

Fear only stopped when school that day was over.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sighs of a desert soul

O Jesus,
You are all-knowing.
You know that I am already
so tired of waiting.
You know that I am already
so exhausted of giving.
Until when are You going
to keep me in wait?
Until when are You going
to stop the test?
Yet, You have promised, Lord;
You have promised;
fulfill Your promises now - please?
But who can question Your Wisdom?
Who can say You're wrong?
But I am human.
I am already extracted.
No more tears left.
I am already as dry as a desert.
No one else is here.
I am all alone.
It seems hard to get up.
I thirst.
And the air I breathe is heat.
Yet my lungs cannot help
but accept it.
Sighs! - sighs! - sighs! - are all I hear.
I want to leave -
I need to.
But I have nowhere else to go,
and You alone are God.
I have nothing else to do -
but wait
in trust in You.

Volume One: Direction for Our Times As given to Anne a Lay Apostle Heaven Speaks about Addictions - Directions for Our Times - As given to "Anne", a Lay Apostle     Heaven Speaks To Those Who Experience Tragedy - Directions for Our Times - As given to "Anne", a lay apostle     Heaven Speaks about Divorce - Directions for Our Times - As given to "Anne", a lay apostle

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A sack-dragging, old woman

I was walking home last night from the market, and it was drizzling. I saw an old woman by the street, dragging a sack full of something while holding on to her bag and other things.
"Where you going, 'Nay'?" I asked her. ("Nay" [pronounced "nigh"] is short for "Nanay," ["nun-nigh"] vernacular for "mother." We address old women this way here.)
"To the market," she replied.
I am not that strong but I offered help. I went back to the market, dragging the sack full of fresh red peppers.
We were passing by a busy sidewalk when I noticed a folded 50-peso bill falling from a young guy. He was unaware of it. It was a temptation. I wanted to keep the money. But I saw from whom the money fell. So, I picked it up and handed it to the young man - to his surprise! He thanked me with reverence.
I continued dragging the sack. And thanks God, the place was not as far as I thought it was. "Nanay" asked me how much she had to pay.
"No, no," I said, "I just want to help you."
Then, off, I went.
I never heard a "thank you!" from her. No problem. It is all for Lord Jesus.
I am, frankly, in great financial need.
I was from the market earlier to look for food.
A store-owner, a friend, gave me one of her food wares about to get spoiled when I asked for it.
But, as I was walking home, a motorcycle passed by me in such a way that I lost grip of the food I was holding on. It fell to the muddy pavement. I picked it up but the wrap was already torn. I threw it in the garbage bin.

O my soul, continue doing good despite poverty. Soon, God will manifest Himself in your life if you but never get tired of "well-doing."
I have had similar experiences but let this be only an example of so many.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A dream, a diary and a cook

I had a dream a month before year 2009 began. I never realized it but the dream started to happen right after.
This was my dream.
I saw a hill and I was standing on the hill's foot. On top of the hill was a big tourist platform. It looked like the eyes and face of a man drooping its head to look down on me and those below. I felt it was unsafe for any tourist to go there and take a look. It was architecturally incorrect to build a structure like it, and I sensed it was going to collapse any minute. And sure, it did - bit by bit. As it started to fall, I vacated the place immediately - but I realized I had a companion, an old woman, my grandmother! I returned. I was trying to rescue her in such a way that my body was first out of the danger area. But I was wondering, "Why am I trying to rescue grandma when she's already dead long ago?" END OF DREAM.
I remember my diary entry of January 17, 2009: it reads and I quote, "There is someone in the market who is getting on my nerves. He is a cook at an eatery next to where I take snack food for credit. When he looks at me taking food there, his eyes are insulting, looking down on me. One time, he even banged the door in my presence! They know I have my food for credit. I thought, he owns the eatery because of his arrogance. He is not! Just a cook. He has a companion who treats me the same way. When I was able to pay recently, they were like kittens, looking at me so meekly. But they know I am on credit again. They are back to 'normal.' Last night, I was tempted to display some arrogance. I tried to show off in a subtle way the envelope I had that reads CHECK ENCLOSED. Actually, the envelope was from prophet Don; and it was a faith check for P100,000. I prayed and included him and the woman in the Mass this morning. But when I saw him in the market, I was enraged again and intended to side-sweep him. I touched him only lightly in so doing. I must shoot him with many prayers and masses. Jesus, forgive and help me. I must stop going there to prevent myself from sinning." END OF ENTRY.
But I admit I did go back there after some time - exclusively, for food. He was there, the cook. He was on my path. He never gave way. I side-pushed him and I did it intentionally. There was also a force coming from him. It was like a head-on collision. I know both of us were hurt in the process. But none complained. He went his way. I went my way. I decided never to go there again. I confessed the sin a month ago to a priest.
Last night, I had a monthly confession during a Holy Mass. I feel so heavenly after each confession. I went back to my seat so recollected and happy. And during peace, I did a reverent peace to a familiar face, to someone standing in front of me left side. The cook!!! Yes, the cook! It was unexpected. I never knew he was there. He never knew as well I was there. And that sealed it all. We had peace together. And my name is J-O-Y! :-)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A small world or a miracle?

I am a Catholic. I belong to the Church in Rome. I was a few months old when I was baptized. It was done in the church of the mother of a Saint - in the sacristy, to be exact. I was baptized in a hurry, my godfather had to catch up a flight. I have never seen him in person. I know his complete name. I grew up to see my old, original baptismal certificate. It was signed by the priest who baptized me. I still have it with me. You know? God did a miracle! It was a big miracle for me. I am seeing the Hand of God in my life in this part of my story. The last time my father knew of my godfather was after my baptism. He was leaving for a big city in the South, his hometown. Papa never heard of him since.
I was two years in college. I decided to take up Mass Communications as my major subjects. No other course was closer to my interest in writing. My professor was a writer. I always saw her by-line. Her maiden name was familiar. I had never asked. When I came to know she was also from a big city in the South, I asked her right away if she knew somebody by the name of [...]! "Daddy!" - was her reply. "He's my godfather!" I was surprised. "What a small world!" - was all she could say of the coincidence of our meeting. "What a miracle!" - for me. She remembered her father telling them of the baptism he attended before he left the king city. I brought the pictures. "Father was yet young!" - was her immediate reaction. Ma'am and I became even closer. She wondered - she said - the first time we met. Her feelings were light and easy towards me! I could feel, even at the start, there was a soul connection between us. But I am wondering where they are right now. Is my godfather still alive? And my teacher friend? My prayers go to them whether they are yet in body or already out of body.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A dog and the berries - a dream

I woke up this dawn from a dream.
It was night. There was a house, a wooden house. Beside the house was a tree. I was standing outside the house near the tree. And the lot was barely clean and squarely fenced with bamboo sticks. That was the first fence. Outside the fence was yet another fence. And in-between both fences was yet another lot.
Thus, the first fence was in the middle of the second fence. Within the first fence were a house, a tree, a goat, a dog, and myself. I was standing and looking at the dog sorting out the berries under the tree. Those were tree-ripened fruits that fell by itself on the ground.
Suddenly, the goat ran and went out of the open gate of the first fence - then, out of the second fence. It alarmed me. "How can I get it back?" - was my thought. But I was looking again to the dog busy sorting out the berries.
What does this dream mean? But something is playing within my heart. Does the goat signify the month of June that is about to leave? And the dog, the month that is about to come? And the berries, the blessings? To sum it up, breakthroughs are coming to me in July?
Lord Jesus, I have waited for too long. Let this be it! I am thanking You now.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Calming scent of a mother

I grieved most when my mother died. It was inevitable - God knew! So, He let the path of prophet Don and mine to cross a year before He took my mother away from me. That is, to lessen the impact of her death. Shortly before the year she would pass away, Don forewarned me already of a death of "someone very close" to me. Don never said it blankly. He smelled flowers! It could mean a wedding (!), he said, or a hospital (!!) - or a funeral (!!!). I began to dread.

How close was I to my mother?

Let me tell you a bit of my childhood. This story was related by my mother and my aunt who happened to be our nanny then. I can even remember it. I mean, the crying I did and the smell of my mother. I would cry profusely and uninterruptedly every time my mother was away (say, in company with my father for business trips in the provinces.) Father managed a family-owned shoe company for provinces in the South. Aunt would give me my mother's used house clothes and pillow to sniff. That, she did to pacify my little soul and put me to sleep. How fragrant and calming her smell was! I was at peace.

Why was I so close to Mama?

I was breastfed until I was weaned. Breastfeeding, truly, gives a mother and a child a strong soul connection. I read it somewhere that babies grow healthy once breastfed by mothers. But I am sickly. Family curse, again, determines one's future - unless curse is broken. So, when my mother died, I cried to the point I thought I would die. It was a delayed reaction. My body was trembling - every bit of my cell! I sat helplessly on the floor. I was calling out "Mama" in the wake in front of the coffin. "Only she could understand me!" - was my lamentation. "She will no longer come back!" - was the thought of my heart.

Was it about six years ago?
Time has passed. And my grieving came to pass. I burned the CD and the VHS videos of the funeral. My sister complained. "Why keep those things?" I said. "Mama is no longer coming back! It is us who will be going to her someday."

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A deaf-mute on the seawall

It's raining. I can't go out. O, the sun is coming out! But it's still raining. I lost my umbrella at the internet some nights back. While waiting for the let-up, let me write about a deaf-mute I also met in the seawall. The other night, while walking home, just before I met the kid on the street, I met Amang [vernacular for "deaf-mute"]. His nickname, actually, is Dodong. I also wrote an entry about him in my diary of January 19 this year. It goes this way...

The sun is very angry, and I am here at the seawall. Who likes to walk under the heat of the sun for home? I am also waiting for the hour to fetch something for my sister. I have nowhere to else to go except here. I love it here. An hour has passed. The makeshift eatery serves as my waiting shed. An hour yet to go. Very happy to see "Amang" coming to me. He is a deaf-mute teen. I have compassion for him, and I love it to know that he likes me, too. We had "conversations." I tried to "listen" though I hardly understood him. I did this to let him feel he is loved despite his situation. I gave him a five-peso coin. He left to get some worms for fishing. I gave him P20 before, and it was the first time I gave him money. How happy he was! More happy than I expected! He bragged about it to his neighbors with all the hand signals. He's coming back! With the worms! He left again for home. He called my attention after a step or two and signaled he had to go. It is a good feeling!

A girl on the seawall

The other night, while walking home from the market, I met a kid on the street and I remember she was that girl I met in the seawall last January. I am irritatedly amused by her persistence and insistence in asking for coins. I told her the other night to give her next time, for what was left with me was enough for the internet. And I went on walking. I had walked almost a block and I found out she was still following me for coins! I just walked on. I had a diary entry about her of January 17 this year. It says and I quote:
"Here at the seawall. I am sitting on a long table with my feet resting on a bench connected to it. A tent is still in place to shield me from drizzles. This is a makeshift eatery for cockfighters. A stone's throw away is a cockpit temporarily built for a weeklong feast celebration. It was the feast of the Holy Infant, patron of the Seawall, and it ended yesterday. I am facing the sea and the islands. My feeling is that I am sitting on a bleacher of an amphitheatre, facing a great stage: the sea and the islands. It is also like I am on a great football arena. What if the government would construct rows of benches here? Say, of five levels for sea-watchers? Just made of bamboo! I am unsure if it would be done. Most people are needy here. Their needs are first and foremost. While writing this entry, a girl of five kept pestering me for five pesos. 'I only have a peso,' I told her. But she insisted on Php5. 'What for?' I asked. 'For biscuits,' she replied. I ignored her because she would not accept my peso. She kept asking, this time reducing the amount by a peso. 'P4!' 'P3!' 'P2!' Until... 'Okay, just a peso, 'Kol!' (''Kol' is short for 'uncle,' the name the children here are fond of calling those older than them.) But I was already annoyed by her way of asking - prodding and somehow pushing my side with her hands. To think that I am writing this entry through my cellphone in which keypads are very hard to press. I looked at her, and I saw her eyes already misty. I immediately took the coin from my pocket and gave it to her. For I remember a proverb. 'My son, do not deny the poor his food and do not make the man who looks at you with pleading eyes wait.'" Sirach 4:1.
End of entry.
I should have given the girl a coin or two out from my money reserved for the internet the other night. I spent my money without having served the purpose. I had difficulty getting into I had been into this problem for nights. I stopped going to the internet cafes in that area. I had my internet last night in the market. It was smooth.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cooking the old way

I am cooking rice by charcoal right now. I don't know but cooking this way gives me a sense of meditation. I feel it's a prayer by itself. I use rice cooker only when I am in a hurry. My landlady complained of increased electric bill lately. I decided to cook by charcoal, lest she increase my room rental - again. A Php100 has been added to my rental fee of Php800 since three months ago. I am about a year and a half living in the room. I like it here because I am alone. She works in the province and comes home only on weekends. It's unlike in the boardinghouse where I had to deal with a lot of renters living with me in the same house. There's a grassy lot with some trees beside and back of my rented room. And the tweets of my feathered friends flying in the area are welcome to my ears. (I wrote something about a bird last year. It's a poem I titled Songbird.) And the dog back of the kitchen next door is slowly becoming a friend. O, my rice, I think, it's done!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

In the eyes of a lily

Once there was a lily that opened its bud for the first time under the heat of a noon-day sun. It happened in an inland pond, a lake in the heart of a city in the Philippines. And I was born on that day. As soon as it opened its petals, the lily-blossom saw a grove of old trees standing mid of the lake. "There's something on the trees!" - said the lily. It was feeling something, Someone, the Presence of the One that created the lily: His Feet resting on top of the trees. It saw the peak of Mount Apo rising in the west. It saw the hills looking down on it. It peeped through the hills and saw the plains where stood buildings, houses, and structures - and where lived most people: the east. Farther off, it saw the Gulf and the Island City. "What is this place, an Eden?" asked the lily of the place of its beginning. It looked up again to the great mountain, partly hidden by its jealous wife Mount Talomo. "Apo is meant for her alone. Who can separate the two? They stand together forever!" said the lily sympathetically. [Unless one has the faith to move and plant Talomo into the Gulf!] It, then, panned its eyes to the right and saw the sons and daughters of Apo and Talomo: the mountain ranges of the city standing left of them - and hugging. It had the chance to go up the mountains and saw the city as a great amphitheatre looking down the arena in the east. It had the chance to go down the plains and saw the city as a great cathedral: the peak, the altar. Or a wide concert arena: the peak, the stage. It had the chance to climb up the hills and saw the city as a huge cinema: the hills, the balcony - the mountains or the plains, the big screen. But the city of my beginning has gradually lost its innocence over the years. It has lost its paradise, its Eden. 
"There's still hope!" said the lily.

"Humility is our last hope."
"Humility is accepting the truth that we are proud."

"Humility is simply being true to God and to ourselves."

Monday, June 22, 2009

A host on the stone

I had an afternoon walk yesterday for Sunday Mass - and, while walking, I noticed a stone on a pavement. It's different. It's round but flat. I picked it up, slid in my pocket, and cleansed it at home. You know what? I use it as a body scrubber when I take a bath. This is a provincial bathing method, especially, by those of the mountains. A natural experience.
I remember - by the way - a dream I had last year (?). I dreamed of a stone larger than the usual we see on the road. It was lying on a dry ground. It was a block stone, almost a square - and the top was flat. And on top laid a round, white wafer, a Sacred Host! I was standing. And, as soon as I saw the Host, I knelt down, hands folded, and head bowed to the ground - in worship. And as I bowed, my folded hands bent sideways left to the point of impossibility, for my finger bones never broke itself in the process!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A man on wheelchair

I feel like I have won something big tonight! Happiest man, I think, I am. I was able to help push somebody home - I mean, he was on wheelchair and too weak to steer the wheels himself. I was on my way to the seawall to while away the time when I chanced upon him. He was asking, but no passers-by would help him out. My turn came, and I gladly pushed him home. I never cared when faces of the neighborhood turned sour seeing me pushing the wheelchair. It led me to think - Is this man a problem, a scum in that place? Whatever! I must help somebody needing help regardless of who he is. This is serving God, I told myself. When we reached his home, he never thanked me. I never cared. What matters most to me is: I am able to help and I am happy. I was able to push Lord Jesus home.

I met him before on the street. He was alone and wounded. His forehead was blood-tainted, swollen. Wheelchair was parked. He was resting. I thought, those near him were his companions. I merely passed by - but my heart was restless. I went back, I asked what happened. I fell from my wheelchair while crossing the street, he told me. He is a diabetic - with his right lower leg amputated. I wanted to help him - but I had no money. He said, I am OK. I am just resting from a fall. I rubbed his shoulder with my hand, and said I have to go. He thanked me. I could only pray.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A prophet friend

I have a friend, a prophet friend (I haven't met him in person and yet we have communication by postal mails.) Yes, he is a prophet, a man of God. I have never confided my problems, my secrets with him, but he is gifted; he knows - I mean, God lets him to know - something about my life (physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, et cetera). Or something about my past, present and future. He started writing me letters in 2002. He has the gift of prophecy. I already experienced a number of them - the fulfillment of his prophecies about me. And most are yet to come. One of these is - let me call this - a rainbow prophecy. Back in 2004, Don wrote me, prophesying and I quote, You are prepared to do great things. I believe it's something that no one else has done or can do or will do. It is so unique to your personality... so common to your life's experience... so dependent upon your color and culture that no one can do it exactly the way God wants you to do it. Is God (through prophet Don) referring to this work, this blog As The Wind Blows? We are yet to see. For now, let me forget about the prophecy and let me enjoy blogging. I don't know but I feel so passionate about As The Wind Blows...

Monday, June 8, 2009

A prophetic dream?

I wrote the poem Island City last year. It was a vision from a night sleep - a dream; and I had it sometime in early or mid-nineties when blogging was not yet born.

I thought the meaning of the vision was for me to write my own book. Or for me to run my own TV program.

But it never happened.

A book hardly fits in the description of the vision. A TV program is more likely because of the showing of credits at the end of each show - but those texts are never a literary piece.

So it can't be a TV.

Then came blogging.

Blogging perfectly suits the vision - the scrolling up of white texts, especially!

History says blogging (online diary) started in 1999. That was barely five years or so after my dream.

Was my dream vision prophetic to the now blogging medium?

I came to know about blogging only last year - nine years after its inception.

I was watching GMA-7's Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho ["With A Heart Like Yours, Jessica Soho"] one Saturday evening and one of the weekend program features was about blogging. Or about online writers earning bucks by blogging.

I felt a sudden surge in my spirit while watching the program, and I had a Eureka! feeling that blogging is it! That blogging is what my dream vision was all about.

I began last year exploring to learn about the technicalities of blogging, and I haven't yet done learning.

I am starting one now (after many attempts to have my own that I can share to the world!) - this blog I titled As The Wind Blows.

Is As The Wind Blows the fulfillment of that dream vision Island City?

We are yet to see.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Island city

I found myself on the edge of a big city, sitting where the waves and the sands met.

Beyond the great waters of blue was an island of green. My eyes were fixed on the island, but it seems I was not looking at the island. Around me were eyes of other races fixed on me.

Then, behind me, a block of white texts came scrolling up from below.

I read as it went up.

And as I read, I panted and I sighed as I grasped the essence of every line of the piece. I felt the warmth of the Hand of Love, holding the very core of my being.

And all of a sudden, I was caught up in the heavens.

And as the wind carried me to the heights, I saw the island below and an island beside it becoming as pebbles.

The sea rippled as the islands submerged like stones thrown into the sea.

And a word and another flashed on the scene one after the other. "Island," it read - and then, "city."