23 August 2016

Honor

I know your face.

I know your voice.

Stop running...

Embrace me.

13 July 2015

An Extraordinary Life

This is the hardest piece of writing, more difficult compared to the numerous technical papers I've churned out for the last decade.  I came to a point that I wanted to reduce it to 5 sentences for failure to capture my state of mind and heart.  Words just became words, now useless to give justice to even an inch of the pain and devastation that infested me.  Indeed, it will never be enough to describe our family's sorrow with the passing of a beloved brother, uncle, granduncle, champion, leader, friend and faithful priest.   

Given his magnanimous person,  I am posting my humble eulogy as sincere attempt to honor Rev. Father Floyd Codog even though words will never be enough and this is all I have to offer.  
   
An Extraordinary Life


I am borrowing a line from my cousin Karla, the one she posted as her Facebook status five days ago, it said, “Tito-Father, how do I live a life without you?”   Yes, I stand here asking the same question.  I am pretty sure almost all of us here echo the same question.  Tito-Father Floyd left without any warning, he left in haste.  His sudden passing broke my heart terribly.

I pause and now realized that he still taught me a valuable lesson even in his moment of early departure. Tito-Father Floyd may have not live long but the quality of the life he lived cannot be diminished. It is now proven that he has touched the lives of countless people with his own brand of honesty, care and leadership.   They came in droves; kin, friends, acquaintances, even strangers, to pay their last respect to a man who positively affected them in many ways.  This is how Tito-Father Floyd’s charisma and sincerity work wonders. 
As his “panganay na pamangkin”, I enjoyed his foremost attention.  Growing up miles away from him, did not put a stop to the birthday cards, letters, books and presents.  Until I went away for college, Tito-Father remained my guiding light, he was my steadfast supporter.  He never got in the way and with his earnest approach in life, he taught me to have a strong and a kind heart.  All he wanted was for me to succeed, for all of us (my dear cousins) to find success in our lives.  As a matter of fact, he was the one who told me to recognize and take good care of my talent because it was God given.  He inspired me and believed that I have a special way with words.  And I believe him, years later, today, I use this gift to much of my advantage, I use writing to connect with people, to commune with the world, and most importantly, I use it to make a living. 
Tito-Father Floyd is the tough thread that tightly binds the family.  He made sure our families stays closer every year, to stick for each other, come what may.  He taught us to take family pride seriously and lovingly at the same time.He was the champion of his brothers and sisters, friends, community, parish; for he was always available when you needed him.  Most of the time, “inuuna pa niya ang iba, bago ang saril inya.”  Even when he was sick, he made sure my mother and father were taken care of. 
With all that has been said, we did not only lose a good priest.  We lost an inspirational uncle to nieces and nephews, an awesome grandfather (granduncle) to 15 grandkids, a compassionate brother to his brothers and sisters and community, a kind-hearted father to Jeric, Buboy, Kevin and Dong, an emphatic leader to his parish, and a great friend to many. 
Going back to my question a while ago, “Tito-Father, how do I live a life without you?”  My answer is, I will live it like the way you did Tito-Father Floyd; you lived an extraordinary life and so will I.  This is how I choose to honor you.  Life is short so I will untiringly pursue the thing that makes me feel alive and fight for what I believe in.  Like you, I will be dauntless. I will be courageous.  And I will be compassionate.  We must all strive to do extraordinary work, wherever we are right now, and seek for extraordinary love in everything we do.  This is how life should matter.  This is the legacy that Tito-Father wants to leave behind. 
My dear Tito-Father Floyd, you have done enough to inspire me and you gave us memories enough to last us a lifetime. You will always be my hero. Thank you for everything you did for me and my family.  I know you are happy with Nanay and Tatay up there in heaven, now that you've earned your heavenly wings, becoming our guardian angel suits you well. 

I love you and I will never forget you. 

I will only say, until we meet again.

*Necrological Service hosted by the Knights of Columbus, St. Michael Cathedral, Ilagan, Isabela, 21 June 2015





10 April 2015

Where are you

Belisa?

Source:  Dos Palabras, Hyspania

Are you in the darkest and deepest pit beyond my imagination?  How dark?  How deep? 

I need to find you.  You are my only hope, you see, I could not even protect myself from myself anymore.  I allowed uncertainty to creep into my heart during trying moments. 

At least now, this is lucid as I get, I am looking for you.  Digging deep into myself, comprehending … failing…but comprehending still.  I know you are just waiting to be found.

I need you to write words for me again.  The same way you wrote words like flowing water from the cornucopian pipe.   For words are my only salvation as I am lost in a sea of doubts and disappointments.  

Who said life is easy?  It may be easy for others but for me, life is meant to be lived to the fullest.  It is then not easy at all, for it should be lived to its optimum potential. 

I cannot compromise my standards of what a full life is and how I understand the means to achieve it.  I just can’t. 

I need you.


03 October 2014

For Molave


If there is a way I could do to stop your pain and suffering….

… a way to fight your battle, I’d take the cudgels
… a way to find what you’ve lost, I’d climb the mountains and  cross the seas
… a way to believe in happiness after the storm, I’d make the choice for you

But, I am not you. 

It is not my battle to win,
It is not my quest to claim,
It is not my silent storm to calm.

Only you can fight it.
If you’ve given up for yourself,
At least please do not give up for me,
If I cannot fight this war on your behalf, 
Then, let me fight it with you.
For I am your daughter after all,
The one you call “the strong one”,
Now, let me believe that this is still true. 

Image source:  hbcubuzz.com





21 February 2014

Limitations



I feel like an orphan.   

Source:  Faruk Koksal
Recently, I underwent a major operation and felt scared in my life.  This is a rare case as I am reputed for my strong sense of independence since younger years and it confuses me why I feel this way.  I wanted my family close by but this did not happen. I just want to vent my sadness and disappointment on dear people I cannot rely on.  Dear people who fail you most of the time and won’t even take a chance or make an effort to be with you to tell you, in your face, that all will be well.  I guess, I over-rated myself in terms of importance for the nth time.







23 January 2014

Life matters if...


A portrait of Woolf by Roger Fry

For quite some time, I’ve been dreaming living the life of Virginia Woolf, this is my secret.  I always wanted to spend my days in daze then in a second writing feverishly, if not, furiously.  I would just float away in my own world where I can just make it into my own, how it works, how it looks like, and how events would transpire and explain it in my own terms.  I fear of dying of boredom doing something that does not make me happy.  I understand, this is not how conventional wisdom flows.

Is this the life that I want for myself?  A life lived on other people’s expectations and daily rot.  My poor idealistic self is again staring at me, asking me “What do you live for?”  I have an automated response to this question, of course, for my kids, for my husband, my family, but never for myself.  I may sound selfish as I say this but I am very certain that I am not.   

First, we need to live for ourselves before we could go on conquering the world.  To attain that level of self-recognition, you must define yourself, aspirations, fears, and all.  Simply put, you need to know what makes you feel great, the type of feel-great that makes the hair at the back of your neck stand.  You need to pursue your passion, if you don’t know it yet, then you must take time to search it.  This is the essence of a life well lived.  One can only live for others unless she lives for herself first.  This is now my answer.


 

04 December 2013

Finding Courage



When one is lost, you find meaning through words of other people.  I found one that immensely affected me, so great that it would be a sin not to share his words.  To Steve Kroschel, thank you, I found solace and courage in the wisdom of your words.



Excerpts from Dying to have Known by Steve Kroschel


For each of us eventually, whether we're ready or not, someday, it will come to an end.


There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.

All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame, and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what you owned or owed.  Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.  

So too your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do list will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won't matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived at the end.

It won't matter if you're beautiful or brilliant, even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter?  How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built, not what you got, but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success, but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence, but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.

What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered by whom, and for what.

A life lived that matters is not of circumstance, but of choice.