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HONORING MY MOTHER | A continuing past




I WROTE this a year ago, in an article which I titled “Bayan ni Juan”:

In the present setting, the communal spirit we Filipinos fondly call Bayanihan, has been overused so much that, it might as well have a tiny encircled “R” placed after it (not restricted but registered).

In the past, “Bayanihan” had prominently been etched into every tourism ad campaign, often depicting a simple hut being carried by good and well-spirited neighbors. That image had become cliched (along with the Tagalog greeting, ‘Mabuhay’), so much that it has come to sadly infer that we are nothing but just a welcoming bunch of smiling natives, eager to please.

On the contrary, what we are, when scrutinized closely, makes us no different from other peoples of the world, because in times of misfortunes even at the littlest level, empathy often shines through. It just so happens that, as with nature, the least noticeable things are usually the ones that pack the most punch, so to speak. To even quote the little prince’s fox: “It is with the heart that one sees clearly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

I have seen and witnessed people who have, without much fanfare, paid it forward, meaning helping others as a way of being thankful for the blessings which they in turn have received. Not to be religious but, as a get-real poke for some, this has got to be the most christian thing anyone can do, besides the usual amen postings that they do to litter the online pages on a day to day.

For those familiar with the cat and dog theology, this merits top shelf. The empathic stance of canine love for others is always in deep and sharp contrast with that of feline self-love, and the latter is almost always enamored more.

Simply, this dictates that thanking God for all our blessings is and never will be as profound as thanking Him that we can use these blessings to help others. A world of difference there.

On a more personal note, the noise and clutter in the midst of this continuing human tragedy is always deafeniing to a point that nearly screams out. For others, this seems like the onset of a form of depression slowly rising within, but in truth, it is not. It is just a sign of being fed up. Through all these, we at more time than any, need to be inspired. We have to seek inspiration, and if the examples of these who share the blessings are sources for us to make one step further, so be it.

In biblical language, that in itself is one big amen.

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