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Augustly August

In Memory of the Yellow Bell

People huddle on the streets and the heaven weeps at your last breath. At least, you have rested back to the soil in this gloomy weather of August where our Creator welcomes you to His door. You know the time never ends when you leave an earthly branch to die, only to proceed to a more promising life. Thus you died peacefully amidst the prayers of your people. Your separation from the mortal life may signify a great pain especially for those who are left to behold your integrity to restore what is due to them, but your legacy will unite them in joy to continue what you have started. Yes, you have restored democracy back to where it should reside and made honesty your ladder to governance. And you know in your heart that these things are what people deserve. So in your last day, people remember you in your piety and honesty amidst the mundane world stained by immorality. And just like a yellow bell that falls naturally to the ground to die in beauty, you too shall be welcomed back by the soil which will unite us in a single element; just like a yellow bell that grows back when it marries the earth, so shall you live in our memories forever.


Let the Augusts stand August

Although I am forlorn because of the death of our great leader, my emotions were balanced on this day with my mom’s birthday. She is now 48 and made remarkable accomplishments in rearing us all. Up at 5:30 am, I knocked at her room and kissed her. But instead of usual greeting, I thanked her for all she has done for me and for my siblings. I know my gratefulness will never equal what she had done for us, but I know that she deserves a big “Thank You” rather than a greeting of “Happy Birthday.” Of course, I also greeted her a happy birthday. For what is happier than the day you know you are born – either to suffer or to rejoice depending on how one should take life. In her case, she loves her life and loves every life that emanates from her womb. And how I love her so much not because of normative functions but by how she taught us to love. How I wish that one day I could repay the life she nourished within me especially now that she is getting older and wizened. For i know, it is when you know you are reared in love that you will look back to serve in love.


St_Alphonsus_LiguoriToday is also the feast day of Saint Alphonsus Ligouri, Doctor of the Church. Had I not read the page of Dfish which reminded me of St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits, I would have also forgotten St. Alphonsus, founder of Redemptorists Congregation.

Back in the seminary days, I and my batchmates (we were 24 in number but nobody made it to priesthood) merrily organized reach-out programs to badjaos, lepers, scavengers, pier laborers, and the people of Carbon, Pasil and Ermita, Cebu City. As our apostolate, we would talk, listen and even live with them every weekend to experience their lives and their way of surviving the world amidst marginalization and social injustices inflicted on them not just by the private sectors and the government but by their fellow individuals as well. By delving into their lives, I know that there are so many things that need to be changed in this world. These people need to be heard but don’t have the voice to use; these people need to be noticed but nobody pays heed to them. And when one chooses to take the yoke to fight for them, one has to be cleansed inside out. It doesn’t have to be a remarkable effort though. Instead, a simple change that starts within us will suffice – a change that would create a difference. Life, as Saint Alphonsus put it, is a life never lived unless it is changed for the glory of Jesus Christ. By that, he meant changing the lives of others as well. Only in that way, we bring salvation known to others. That is what it means to be a “Redemptorist.”

Although I did not proceed to become a priest, I still cling on to his teaching and serve the church in my own simple ways.


P.S. This is supposed to be posted on August 1. Unfortunately, Iloilo had 2-day blackout.

  1. August 3, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Salamat cory sa lahat ng iyong pinama, lalong lalo na sa kalayaang sinimulan ng iyong asawa at iyo namang tinapos.

    baunin mo ang aming tauspusong pasasalamat at pagmamahal.

    Halika ipapasyal kita sa burol niya.

    • TóTómel
      August 4, 2009 at 4:35 am

      talaga kapatid?

  2. Diana
    August 3, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    oist email mo liwat..di ko naman makita..hehehe!pra link ta ka

  3. August 4, 2009 at 2:42 am

    Base! The tribute was beautiful and moving! Happy Birthday sa Mama mo Igsoon. I laughed at number 24 hehe…I thought of St. Alphonsus also and would always be reminded of my old wacky friends from that side of Cebu…

    • TóTómel
      August 4, 2009 at 4:34 am

      hahaha….tell, me again the name of your redem buddy from btac nvo and i’ll ask the people his whereabouts. 🙂

      • August 4, 2009 at 6:17 am

        Richie Apaitan – I googled him and found that he works/worked with TSKI, a Christian org based in Iloilo.

        • TóTómel
          August 4, 2009 at 8:00 am

          really? then that’s no problem Igsoon. i’ll look for him then. 🙂

  4. August 4, 2009 at 8:05 am

    I knew then how good he was as a soccer player (expectedly ba for most of the boys who hail from BN?) and a karate enthusiast…

    • TóTómel
      August 6, 2009 at 2:13 am

      hahaha…tumpak ka gid! we are football fanatics 🙂

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