Gem in the mainstream

September 22, 2018

From a prayer “Please change him, God” to “God, let me be a blessing to him.”

This school year challenges me in ways that squeeze all the wits out of me. While most of my students are regular children, I am given an opportunity to handle a student diagnosed with verbal apraxia (with suspicion of mild autism).

Not only that this opportunity requires tubs of patience, but it also calls for sensitivity and resilience. Since I am teaching first time schoolers,  these three year old children don’t have the concept of being in school — yet. What I find challenging is how to train my regular students while I consider the needs of my one special student. As I am not an expert in handling students with special needs, I find it difficult to deal with him without compromising the needs of the majority.

I am very close to complaining. There are days that I am overwhelmed with frustrations, but there are also days that my heart overflows with gratitude. Gratitude that this is turning into a blessing.

Why?

My regular three year olds are learning how to care for their classmate who has special needs. Since Jack doesn’t easily follow instructions such as lining up, his classmates will automatically help him cope with the classroom routines. They are learning to understand that some class rules don’t apply to Jack, and this requires a lot of processing.

One of the things I find amusing is how spontaneous it has become for them to take care of Jack. Even for instances when Jack tends to hurt his classmates out of frustration, they still see that Jack needs to be understood and accepted.

And they are my three year olds who choose kindness, who choose love. Most days they slap me shamefully with their unconditional love — that if they are not giving up on Jack, why will I?

 

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Of books and bagels

March 28, 2018

It freaked me out
when i started to notice myself
having conversations with you
in my mind.
You delight me with
your brain
Full of random interests
That you became
A bookshelf to me.
There’d be a day
When I’d pull out a book
With leaves falling apart
And I’d pour my heart out
Trying to glue the pages
Together.
Some days,
Every turn of the page
Would take my breath away
Every word
Every comma
Every period
Until i find myself
Spending all night
Wishing i would never reach
The back cover.
The next books
would always be exciting
New. Crisp.
Smell like bagel
And black coffee.
I may say
That you are
The most colorful
Bookshelf i ever saw.
And i wonder
When will i get tired
Pulling out books
That i knew i had to return
That i knew i couldn’t call mine.IMG20171222094849

We broke up. Yes, we did.

I decided to write this down not knowing where to start. It seemed that everything was just falling into ugly pieces, and they start to scatter miserably refusing to be gathered altogether.

After we broke up, what I truly felt was relief. Relieved that it was finally over. Relieved that, oh, breaking up wasn’t bad after all. Lighter, easier, better.

Weeks passed. Then I started to wonder. I started wondering if you were still thinking about me. Something happened. Something big. And I realized, how am I supposed to unload this without you? You were the first person I wanted to be with and it dawned on me – you really were gone.

So you see, I was terribly weak when we first met. You have seen my soul, and you know every little part of my heart. I shared everything to you. From the littlest things to the farthest corners of my mind, there’s nothing you haven’t seen. You WERE my person. And that was all it was – a “were”.

What if? What if we didn’t let go? I started begging God to bring us back together. Four years should not be put to waste. But I knew, I knew deep in my heart, even if we didn’t break up now, it would happen eventually. We were already pressed, damaged, and tooo broken.

How. How did it happen. We were planning our future together. You were the one I was supposed to marry. I saw myself spending the rest of my life with you. We were inseparable. I thought we wouldn’t give up. I thought you wouldn’t give me up.

And there was nothing I could do. It was over. And though we might not have the chance to do it better anymore, though we couldn’t make our promises true after everything, though we might not see each other ever again – I would be forever grateful. To you. To the memories, they were all wonderful. I wouldn’t say that I regret the day I met you. Because you gave me the chance to love.

I would still call you a blessing.

parang paghihiwa ng sibuyas.

nasasaktan sa paghiwa at madalas ay may pagluha.
at kahit na ilang ulit pa maghugas ng kamay ay mananatili pa rin ang amoy. ang amoy na parang ayaw magpalimot.

“kung hindi na nila matiis ang paghihirap at sakit, ang pag-ibig ay tatalon din sa bintana. dahil sa umpisa lang ang sarap.”

– sabi ng lola ko noong isang araw.

ngunit, ang pag-ibig ay:

mapagpahinuhod,
at magandang-loob;
ang pagibig ay hindi nananaghili;
ang pagibig ay hindi nagmamapuri,
hindi mapagpalalo.
Hindi naguugaling mahalay,
hindi hinahanap ang kaniyang sarili,
hindi nayayamot,
hindi inaalumana ang masama;
Hindi nagagalak sa kalikuan,
kundi nakikigalak sa katotohanan;
Lahat ay binabata,
lahat ay pinaniniwalaan,
lahat ay inaasahan,
lahat ay tinitiis.

– ayon sa Bibliya.

ayokong tumalon ang pag-ibig na ito sa bintana.
kaya hawakan nating mabuti.

February 28, 2013

What if this is my Isaac. Or my dying child with Bathsheba that I should learn to let go.

But what if this is my birthright and I am exchanging it for just a bowl of soup. What if this is my land of Canaan. Or Nineveh, perhaps.

What if this is my true love.

 

What is love. Too often I found myself asking this question since I started seeing relationships live and die – what is love. I groped for answers from different people and places, but found none.

Until I met my first love.

 

The simplicity of their vocabulary.

Their tears and saliva.

Their sweaty palms and runny nose.

Their random stories.

Their bear hugs and wet kisses.

Their hearty laughs and toothless smiles.

Their wisdom.

Their naivety.

Their hopes and dreams.

Their understanding.

Their depth.

Their empathy and sensitivity.

Their insensitivity and self-centeredness.

Their unconditional love.

 

There are too much to add on the list. But this is how I learned how to love. Being with little beings who only know one thing – to love unconditionally.

 I couldn’t understand how difficult and almost impossible it is to make the things that a person loves to do and the things that a person needs to do end in the same circle.

Maybe, I just could not have the best of both worlds. Unfortunately.

Two years ago, I should have decided to build a career far from teaching. But instead, I wanted to run away and pleaded God to give me this opportunity. Two years I should have spent, building myself up, climbing the corporate ladder. Two years. A lot of things could have happened. There are things I might have missed. I must have wasted two years of my career life just to pursue this tiny dream. This tiny dream that most people find it foolish. And selfish.

But then, two years would be more than enough for I never thought I would have gone this far. This is not yet far I know, but for me it is. Once a dream, and now a reality. Once a plan, and it happened. Once a prayer, and it was fulfilled. Two amazing years of my life – I wouldn’t trade anything for this.

I wonder why I always end up on having passion for things that would not make my loved ones proud. Things that are so irrelevant for people that no one could even notice its presence. My passion for writing, for instance.

Years ago I decided to just let this passion go. To give it up. Now, my writing sucks – BIG TIME. I couldn’t even express myself completely in a sentence. I couldn’t even put my ideas into a single paragraph.  Now, I don’t know what words to use to put all my feelings in paper. I even forgot how to use past and present tenses. I have forgotten how.

I’m starting to become afraid. Maybe, I would forget. Maybe, I would forget that once, I have this passion to teach. And when I give this up now, I might forget someday.

I might forget them. Just how nursery pupils forget their teacher, I’m afraid that soon, I might forget them as well.

This love, I should let go. Need and Want oftentimes don’t go together. And there are things that we need to do to have enough cash during payday. I didn’t have any idea that it would hurt like this, such heartbreak that it makes me want to scream on top of my lungs. I never wanted anything like this that it surprises me how bad it hurts that I almost blame the people around me.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t thank Him enough how I was given a chance to have these awesome 20 months. I was able to have a lick on a candy I was not supposed to have. Having a glimpse of this world meant so much to me that I would do my best not to crack the built memories. I just have to find the courage to surrender. Finding courage to surrender, surrender to Him the thing that I truly love. Because I know, it would be His. This thing that was once a dream that He has given me, I need to give it back, and I know it would be safe in the palm of His hands. And I would wait. And be still.

I love it this much that’s why I’m letting it go. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving it up. It’s not an end. It’s a pause. Someday, I’m going back. When everything is ready.

When everything is ready.

In His perfect time.

January 15, 2013

Parang nasunog na sinaing

Hinugasan ko ng maigi,

at ng may buong pag-iingat

hanggang sa nawala

ang mga butil ng bato

at pinili ang mga bigas

na hindi angkop.

Isinalang ko sa apoy hanggang sa

kumulo. At hinayaan kong

mainin hanggang maluto.

Ngunit nasunog ito at kumalat

ang amoy sa buong kusina.

Nalumbay ako sa nangyari, at

Pinagpasyahang itapon ang nasunog

Na sinaing. Ngunit kinabukasan,

paggising ko ay naroon pa rin

ang amoy ng tutong, ang amoy

ng maitim na kanin.

Selfish.

 

This is how i felt when someone questioned my decision to pursue teaching while my family struggles with a financial crisis. I felt selfish, asking myself if i’ve been efficient enough to provide (or at least help) for my family.

 

Most people dont even consider teaching as a CAREER. Most people dont even know how difficult it is to teach a child to hold a pencil. to teach a child the sound of Letter U. to teach a child to trust. to teach a child to care. Sadly, most people think that teachers are martyrs who teach children who will just later forget.

 

I know. indeed, they will forget. Seldom do people remember their preschool teacher’s name. But I dont teach to be remembered by parents and collect debts of gratitude in the future.

 

I am fully aware of the poor income. that’s why i strive to survive with two part time jobs. And it’s just not pleasant, when while i am struggling with depression and  being obsessed with noodles and sleep, this is what i would hear. because it’s the last thing that i’d need.

 

I’m wondering if this decision deprives my family a much better life. I love them and i wish to give them the best i have.

And if this selfishness wont do anything good, maybe i need to give this up.


hoping against all hope.

 

I wonder why the Lord keeps on surprising me with things I really am incapable of doing.

or incapable of comprehending, perhaps.

making me feel inefficient, inadequate.

 

but the cross.

 

I have a prayer – for countless years i’ve been praying

the same prayer, the same plea.

it’s like filling a cup with a hole.

it’s like trying to touch the moon from the earth.

 

it seems impossible.

and my unbelief makes the pain unbearable.

making me want to stop praying.

stop hoping.

 

hoping against all hope. the cross has just reminded me.

that nothing is too hard for the Lord.

 

for the Lord who made the red sea split into two.

for the Lord who made Sarah a mother.

for the Lord who was able to love Israel.

for the Lord who was able to forgive.

 

surrendering and forgiving.

the cross has just reminded me.

to hope against all hope. 

Paano nalaman ng mga naunang tao kung paano magtalik?

Hindi ko alam kung bakit, pero nayayamot ako sa tuwing nagtatanong ako at sinasagot ako ng isa ring tanong.

Lumaki ako ng puno ng katanungan, marahil ay pinaglihi ako sa question mark. Parang naririnig ko ang aking ina nung nakita niya ako pagkapanganak niya, “BAKIT ganyan ang hitsura ng anak ko?” (napakagandang nilalang niya!)

Madalas akong magtanong, at madalas ay alam ko na rin naman ang sagot sa lahat ng katanungan ko, minsan kasi gusto ko lang magpapansin. May nagsabing mangmang daw ang hindi marunong magtanong, pero naisip ko, ang batang maraming tanong ay nalalagay sa peligro ang buhay – minsan ng muntik mapahamak ang pinagkaingat ingatan kong INOSENTENG imahe nung haiskul nung tinanong ko ang tanong na nasa unang pangungusap sa aking guro sa social studies.

At ang masaklap, maraming beses naapektuhan ang aking mumunting pananampalataya (FAITH) dahil sa mga walang saysay na tanong.

Madalas kong angkinin na ako ay isang (magandang) dalagitang anak ng Diyos. At nagagalak ako sa katotohanang iyon. Inaalagaan ng Ama ang Kanyang anak, at ang anak ay minamahal ang kanyang Ama. Simple lang naman intindihin. Masarap pakinggan, masarap ulit ulitin.

Hanggang isang araw ay nagkaron ng munting laban sa aking isip – Spartans vs Morons –

Morons: kung anak Niya ako, e ano naman? Baka iwan rin Niya ako.

Spartans: Moron ka. Hindi ka Niya iiwan. Eto nga sabi Niya oh, “I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.” Matthew 7:11

Morons: Moron your face. Sinabi Niya rin to. “I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus.” John 17:23

Spartans: Anong problema mo dyan?

Morons: Kung nagawa Niyang itakwil ang kaisa isa Niyang anak, e di lalo ka na. “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46

Tameme ang mga Spartans.

Ilang araw. Pinilit kong tabunan pero makulit sila. Ayaw tumahimik ng mga Morons.

Pero kahapon, sa concert ng planetshakers, sa kabila ng maingay na tugtog ng drums at hiyawan ng mga kabataan, ay nagumapaw ang katahimikan – katahimikang may kasamang – tenententen – Liwanag.

..Hindi naman Niya iniwan ang Anak Niya. Kung iniwan Niya, bakit Sila magkasama ngayon? Oo, Siya ay nahirapan at namatay, pero hindi yun dun natapos. Hindi Siya habangbuhay nakaratay sa libingan. Hindi Siya iniwan, Siya ay binuhay ulit at binalikan ng Kanyang Ama at ginawang tagapagmana ng lahat ng bagay. “But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he APPOINTED HEIR OF ALL THINGS…” – Hebrews 1:2

Hindi ko alam kung bakit ko pinoproblema ang naging relasyon Nilang mag-ama. Maraming tanong na hindi masasagot. Maraming bagay na hindi talaga maunawaan, pero katulad nga ng nakasabit dito sa dingding namin, “A child teaches me that though some of my questions will never be answered, I will keep on trusting my Heavenly Father.”

Sabi ng isang myembro ng planetshakers na may napakakapal na accent, “God wants INTIMACY. He wants RELATIONSHIP. That is why He sent His Son..”

iclick ito.