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Thursday, December 27, 2007

HOW DO YOU WANT ME TO PRAY?

How do You want me to pray?
For You to listen and to care
How do You want me to pray?
To see me through in everyday

All my life I have always served You
I have sang and even danced for You
All my works was to give You glory
Yet now I feel You have forsaken me

As I remember footprints in the sand
I’d like to think You carried me in You hand
But somehow I cannot feel the mystery
And I feel I am alone in my misery

I have knelt while I am praying
I even prayed while I was walking
Almost all the time I tried to call You
And perhaps because of the unworthy me,
I couldn’t hear You

What should I do today?
What do I need to say?
How do You want me to pray?
For You to listen and to care

Answer me please… I pray


December 27, 2007
10:30 PM
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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

God-serving... yet God-forsaken

i was always trying to hold on to faith... i was always trying to serve God. not because i want to receive some favors, but because it was my nature (damn nature!)... i was brought up that way (damn upbringing!)

as a child, i was an altar boy. i was even the knights commander (president) for more than a year. THAT'S HOW ACTIVE I WAS! and we were always at the church then, cleaning it before the mass - almost daily. then i learned to play the guitar, and i would always pitch in when the official church guitarist wasn't around.

as i grew older, i became a servant who helped in the distribution of holy communion in the mass (spem)... joining communities - actively! because i like doing it, i'm happy being around christian brothers.

and yet....

yes i know, God answers prayers in His own ways and in His own time... He won't give us crosses we won't be able to carry.... when He get you to it, He'll get you through it...blah, blah, blah... yadayada....

do you think i would have reached this far if i weren't holding on to those? am i complaining? YOU BET I AM! because it's not like i'm just sitting around waiting for miracles to happen in my life! i am doing something - IN FACT, I AM DOING EVERYTHING!

no! don't give me that hang-on-keep-the-faith-God-knows-what's-best and everything lecture. i know all of those!

AND THAT'S WHAT FRUSTRATES ME MOST! having too much faith so as to expect too much!

i had faith... i had hope... but i don't have time to wait anymore... patience was my virtue (damn virtue!) but i'm on the edge... how far on the edge am i? you can read 'eating shit!' in my other account  for you to have an idea of how far i am on the edge.

would i keep the faith?... i don't know

would i hold on to hope?... i don't know

DAMN!

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December 26, 2007
7:15 am
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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Yet Another Cross To Carry...

As if what we are experiencing today is not enough, God has granted us yet another cross to carry. A friend has texted me this message one day – “We are like teabags whose true strength comes out when we’re put in hot water. So when problems beset you, just think… you must be God’s favorite cup of tea!” Yeah right! I could only remark to myself, some cup of tea I am.

You see, my wife’s ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) came at a time when I was just out of job. I had no source of income, I could only ask “Why me? Why now?” But as much as I want to, I could not rebel against God. Sure I have doubts… I have questions… after all, I am still only human. But this event taught me one great lesson – that of relying on God… on God ALONE! For after all, I have always been taught that God is just and all-knowing. He knows our needs… He won’t give us a cross that we can’t carry.

True enough, He gave me strength to withstand the trials. He even sent us people who helped us carry the cross. Miraculously, even without a job or any source of income, my wife was able to take her dialysis sessions. She actually has missed some, but God gave her strength to withstand all the pains, which in turn gave me strength to hold on.

Last year, we were able to sell our house. My last proof, that I was once a productive individual. But we had no choice, as we usually say, we can’t eat the house. So with a heavy heart, I had to let go of it. We need the money to sustain my wife’s dialysis and medications… and of course, our children’s schooling and our daily needs. Because of the proceeds of the sale, my wife never again missed any dialysis session and we could buy all the medicines she needs.

I thought that was it… I thought I was strong enough. I thought I had a great enough faith that I could face any turbulence that life may throw upon us. But like I said, that was just what I thought. Life sure has a way of dousing any fire that you have in you… that is if you allow it to.

Recently, during a visit to her pediatrician because of stomach pain, my daughter Angel Liza had her urinalysis. The lab result shows that she has UTI (Urinary Tract Infection), a condition that has been recurring to her for the past two years. Usually, her pedia would only give antibiotic and request for another test after a week. But this time, she insisted that my daughter would see a nephrologist… a pedia nephrologist to be exact. Because she fears that my baby might go her mother’s way… that of having kidney problems. My daughter is just nine (9) years old by the way.

Just the thought that my daughter would see a nephrologist has caused me unimaginable anxieties. “She’s too young!” was what was always running in my mind. But then, like her pedia said, we need to do it now before it’s too late.

So, on the morning of the scheduled appointment of my daughter to the nephrologist, I was very anxious. While looking at my sleeping baby, I got hold my cellphone. I composed a message requesting for prayers for my daughter that she would be cleaned of any infections, and sent it practically to everyone in my phonebook. After doing that, I was a bit ashamed. Have I over-reacted? After all, there is still no final diagnosis, and the only reason that we’re seeing the specialist was to prevent any more problems from occurring to my baby. Afterwards, I woke her up, asked her to take her breakfast so she could rest before we go to the doctor. I will be the one to take her because it was my wife’s dialysis schedule.

Ten o’clock in the morning, we were already waiting in front of the doctor’s clinic. And the waiting was killing me. At past eleven, the doctor came, she has to see another child before us. When it was our turn, I was still very reluctant as I opened the door to the clinic. As we were seated in front of the doctor’s desk, she was reading the letter sent by the pedia. She was quite disappointed when she noted that the infection has been recurring for two years now, and we didn’t take her immediately to her. While she understood our apprehension, she made it clear to us that our goal is prevention.

Then she started interviewing Angel, her routines, trips to the rest room, drinking habits, eating habits and medicine she’s taking at the moment. Afterwards, she asked her to lie on the clinic so she could examine her organ, after which we were seated in front of her desk. She said she cannot give any diagnosis at the moment but asked for series of test… ultrasound, CBC, BUN, and urinalysis, and be back after a week.

After a week, we were again seated in front of her desk. As she reads the results, she said all the tests are negative and Angel’s infection is gone. I breathed a sigh of relief. But she said she would still require a weekly urinalysis and communicate all the result to her via text, and that she would see Angel again after a month.

Yesterday, after the first week, I took my baby again to the lab for her urinalysis. When the result came out, I texted them immediately to the nephrologist and waited for answers. Honestly, I don’t quite understand the data on the lab result. Then my phone rang, it was the doctor. She asked me if Angel was still on medication, I said no because she has completed the ten days prescribed and also because the antibiotic has caused her severe stomach pain. She said we would have to repeat the test again after two days, and relay the result to her immediately. In the meantime, make sure that Angel would drink plenty of water.

I am no rocket scientist, but I know that from those instructions, my baby has infection again. She didn’t say whether it was minimal or numerous, but she has it again – INFECTION. I didn’t know what to do, would I run a text brigade again of prayer request? Questions were popping in my mind… would this ever end? Why give us another cross to carry? Is this really how being a favorite cup of tea is? Of course, I won’t have any answer to any of these questions.

I could only hold on to my faith….

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Trouble With Hope

They say, "when you have hope, you have everything", i would like to believe that. Hope is a very positive word, and I believe that it is almost synonymous with faith, for you can only hold on to hope if you have faith.

But hope, it all its positivity still remains to be a very passive word. It is reactive rather than pro-active. For hope awaits for things to turn out better.

Why then am I saying this when HOPE is the exactly the acronym of my business name? Because, hope was something that I was holding on all these years, and although my faith gets shaken every now and then, I tried to hang on.... hoping things will turn out right... I thought that was all there is to it.

But then, being an entrepreneur, I don't have to be a passive one. While I have hope, I know that I also need to act. I need to stir the waters to create some ripples, and these ripples would turn into wave. To continue to move... inspite of all the odds... to keep on going... actually, because of all these odds.

Now I still have hope... and I'm still hanging on to it. But now I'm not just waiting, I want to create... I will create. I have seen the trouble with hope... its limitations... and learned how to act on it.

Don't lose hope... I urge you. You can still hang on it, don't let anyone take it away from you. But while you have hope... don't stop to act... don't rest... create those ripples. Who knows? Someday, they just might turn into waves.

Monday, March 26, 2007

LET'S VAULT IN !

(My Eat Bulaga Experience)

It was over a year, January of 2006 actually, I have almost forgotten it until somebody reminded me about it. Last week while I was having my hair cut, the barber who hardly knew me asked "Sir, di po ba kayo yung nanalo sa Eat Bulaga dati?" I was surprised because like what I said, more than a year has passed. It was then that it occurred to me that i haven't written about it yet.

Yes, I won in an Eat Bulaga contest and I was on televesion last year. And there were lots of stories- before, during and after I claimed the price. Now before you think otherwise, I didn't dance in Eat Bulaga nor did I join the Mr. Pogi contest. I won in their homepartner portion for their Laban or Bawi then, which was the Let's Vault In.

I have been joining the contest since it started, because I was jobless I was able to watch almost all shows on TV then, Eat Bulaga included. But after some months of texting I quit joining thinking that there's no way I could win there. But on that fateful day of January, I was again in front of the TV watching Laban o Bawi on Eat Bulaga, somehow I noticed my cellphone lying in front of me. I picked it up and started composing the format for the text contest, the number of the first and last contestant who answered. I already have the first number typed in, the contest is still in progress. Until finally, only two contestants were left. I just typed in the number of one them and sent the text to the required number. I just sent two texts then. Then after that, I went out of the house hoping that I could find some opportunities elsewhere. I left my cellphone at home then.

I went home at almost 7PM. My wife asked me "Sumali ka sa Eat Bulaga?" I didn't tell her about the text because I actually have forgotten about. So I said yes and asked her why. She said in rather excited voice, "Tumawag ang Eat Bulaga sa cell mo, tinatanong kung sino yung nagtext at kung ano yung combination. Sabi ko, baka husband ko kasi siya yung sumasali. Tinanong sa akin kung alam ko yung combination sabi ko hindi. Tatawag daw ulit sila. Kaso tumawag ulit sila wala ka pa rin! Ba't kasi di mo sinasabi sa akin e!"

I was dumbfounded! I didn't know what to say! An opportunity passed me by and I let it slipped! For the rest of the night, I was quiet. Constantly looking at my cellphone every now and then.... waiting... hopefully....

Then at around 9:30 PM, my cell rang I hurriedly picked it up and answered it. My hands were quite shaking:"Hello, si Mr. Arnaldo dela Cruz po ba ito?", "Oo, ito nga. Sino po sila?", "Sa Eat Bulaga po ito, sumali po ba kayo sa Let's Vault In?","Yes mam! sumali po ako","Ano po yung combination na pinadala ninyo?", I told her the combination, which I really can't remember right now. "Okay, for verification, ano po yung complete address nila?" So I told her my complete address, just the way I texted it.

"Mr. dela Cruz, sa ngayon po hindi pa po kayo sure na nanalo. Makakapunta po kayo bukas sa Broadway Centrum?","Yes mam! Pwede po akong pumunta", "O sige po, be here po before 9:30am, magdala po kayo ng valid id na may address po na binigay ninyo. Bukas pa lang po natin mako-confirm yung panalo ninyo a. Basta be here early po. Wag po kayo magtsi-tsinelas kasi po may posibility po na lumabas kayo sa TV. Sige po sir, bye."

I was speechless after that, I was looking at my family and I wasn't talking. They were asking me if it were Eat Bulaga who called. When I was finally able to say 'Yes', they all shouted! I was very thankful because after two calls, they still called me back. They didn't give the P25,000 to others who also texted, my chance was not forfeited. Then I felt tears trying to escape my eyes, as I was silently praying and thanking God. I was jobless then, and I remember telling myself "P25,000, that's a good 7 to 8 dialysis sessions for my wife."

It was then that my tears finally managed to escaped....





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