Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Commissioning Pastor ng Isang Non-Profit Educational Foundation

Hindi ka ba namamangha... kung gaano sila ka-walanghiya?

Sometimes, you reach a certain age, when you realize that everything you stood for - meant nothing.

Hindi makalabas ang mga salita lalo na't kapag parang dinuduguan mo ang sarili sa bawat sambit ng katotohanan. Parang isang patalim sa iyong pulso. Dahan dahang dumadampi ang pagkitil.

Pastor ng isang Non-Profit Educational Foundation: "Magkakano ba ang sa akin pag binenta mo ang lupa ninyo? Kasi MARAMI kaming kakilala. Mga taga abroad. Mga poriner. Sila ang popondo sa amin. Gusto kasi naming magtayo ng isang Christian school."

Ako: "Ah, eh... (nagisip ako sandali) licensed real estate professional po ba kayo? May lisensya po ba kayo? Kasi po, sa batas natin, sa RA9646, hindi po maaaring magbili ang mga hindi lisensyado."

Pastor ng isang Non-Profit Educational Foundation: "Hindi. Wala. Pero sa'tin sa'tin lang. Kasi ang kalakaran sa ganito e 5% kapag nabenta. Kailangan ko kasi ng pambayad ng kotse ko. May hinuhulugan kasi ako e."

Ako: ... (Putangina mo.)

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Gardener's Son

The wind was strong. The skies were foreboding. Many things were on my mind.

I went out to buy cigarettes and egg from the neighborhood sari-sari store.

Outside our gates waiting, was our gardener.

She also waited with something on her mind.

I was caught unaware, unprepared. Her son had to make a plea in the courts soon.  Her son is accused of attempted murder.

Then I remembered Tito Joey Lopido's Bible studies several years ago at our home. He once quoted Deuteronomy 21:18-21.

"A Rebellious Son
18 If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid."

I took this with a grain of salt as with many others who attended that bible study. At the time, it was hard to put into context. These stories came from an ancient text of an ancient people. It was hard to reconcile this with the Philippines' judicial system. It was hard to take it literally. 

Now more than 5 years later, one of the bible study's attendees, the mother, asked me, "What should I do?".

"Sabi ng abogado namin 'paaminin niyo na lang, para mababaan ang sentensya. Tutal menor de edad siya.'"

(Our lawyer said to enter into a plea bargain, after all he is a minor.) she said.

I looked at our gardener's eyes - the eyes of a mother begging for answers.

I gathered as much of my wits as I could on that cloudy morning. Thoughts of different things swirled in my head like an unplanned soup.

I managed to blurt out. "First of all, I'm not a lawyer, whatever I tell you could be wrong. Second, do you trust your lawyer? If you do not trust your lawyer's advice, you will have to find another lawyer. Third, tell your child to tell the truth. Fourth, you have to accept whatever the judge's verdict will be. We have to learn how to accept judgment."

The answer didn't satisfy her, so we kept on repeating ourselves for a while.

I told her to come back later as the winds were too strong for garden work.
Maybe later, the sun would come out of the clouds and give its warmth and light.