Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Keeping the Pledge: Message for the BC 2nd Anniversary

Brothers in Christ 2nd Anniversary

Keeping the Pledge
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
[Jn 3:30]

Keeping the pledge we made of living the way of love is largely contingent upon the grace of God and how we, as Christians hold on to it.   We are able to carry out the good acts that we do only through his grace and never through our own capabilities.

This generation where we live is preoccupied with achievement and self promotion, a generation obsessed with doing something out of one’s own power, in order to be noticed and recognized. The many popularity contests on TV, the hundreds of social network sites where being ‘liked’ or ‘followed’ by the most numbers of fans becomes a status symbol, or the attention grabbing posts, wall photos or profile pictures  are a testament to this “instant celebrity” culture that pervades our generation .  Young people are anxious to receive all the possible attention and approval.  We have made all efforts to draw attention to ourselves and to what we can and have achieved. Regrettably and ironically while we try in vain to focus our life to ourselves, we end up with our lives derailed, obscuring the one who gives the real meaning to our lives – Jesus Christ himself.

We find an opportune time in this another milestone in the brotherhood to stop and reflect on this reality.  Are our efforts to live the Gospel, however wanting, aimed at proclaiming Jesus or at just promoting ourselves?

We have chosen St. John the Baptist as our patron in celebrating our second year.  John the Baptist reminds us of our baptism where we receive our share in the missions of Christ, the very foundation of our Code of Honor.  As we commemorate the day on which we etched this brotherhood in our hearts, allow me to lead you into reflecting about St John the Baptist and on one of our Christian missions, our being a prophet.

John the Baptist knew that his mission was to prepare the way for Jesus. He lived his life, not to promote himself, but to promote the Lord. This does not mean that John the Baptist was unimportant, he sure is. But there’s a big difference between being important and self-important. John the Baptist bears witness to that. 

Reflecting on Johns’ Gospel [John 3. 22-30] focuses our attention to one of John’s role: John prepares the way for Jesus, here the analogy of a wedding feast is used to describe this role: John as the best man and Jesus as the bridegroom.  During the time of John and Jesus, a best man plays a very important role at a wedding. He was instrumental in arranging and inviting people to the wedding. And once his jobs were done, he willingly and graciously fades from the picture. He had a prominent place, but he was not center stage.  John the Baptist knew that this was his role.   John understood that his ministry, his moment in the limelight, and his waning fame, were all a part of God’s sovereign plan. John showed no tinge of jealousy, no hint of insecurity, no suggestion of bitterness, for he knew clearly what his role was.  Jesus must be pre-eminent. John must fade.

 John is an important witness for us and he challenges our society’s preoccupation with self-promotion. He reminds us that Christians shouldn’t aspire to be a celebrity, but should strive to be a servant. We should live lives that shout not “Look at me!” but “Look to Jesus.” (Msgr. Charles Pope, June 23, 2012. blog.adw.org)

As brothers, we could learn a great deal of humility from John for he was a sort of person who knew how to think outside his self.  But thinking less about one’s self does not mean one is not important, rather, it means being aware of the other people around us – of their status, of their need, of their longings.  If we think less of ourselves, we are able to love others more. Thinking less of ourselves allows us to empty ourselves of selfish ideals so that we may have more room in our heart & mind for others. Thinking less about ourselves helps us gain the courage to say, “He must increase and I must decrease”.

These help us realize that power, achievement and fame are nothing if they are used only for self-promotion just as how Pope Benedict summarized:  “Human logic, however, often seeks self-realization in power, dominion, in powerful means. Man still wants to build the tower of Babel on his own to reach the heights of God, to be like God. The Incarnation and the Cross remind us that full realisation is found in conforming our human will to the Father, in the emptying of one's selfishness, to be filled with love, God’s charity and thus truly be able to love others”. (Audience, June 27, 2012)

We do not claim to be perfect people fulfilling the will of the Father. We are not saints, at least yet.  Rather, we are sinners who hope, through the grace of God and with this brotherhood to become saints in God’s time by discerning the His holy will and fulfilling it in our time. We mirror the characteristic of the church just as the Holy Father aptly described in his homily as being “not a community of the perfect, but a community of sinners, obliged to recognize their need for God’s love” (June 29, 2012 Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul, Imposition of Pallium)

Brothers, we do not keep the pledge to draw attention to ourselves but to proclaim Christ.  Our aim for keeping this pledge is clear from the very beginning: Our brotherhood is not about achievements, it is never about popularity; it is plainly about following the will of the Lord and being truly able to love others.  I urge you then to remain faithful to the pledge we have made at the foot of the cross by seeking to follow Jesus in the ordinary tasks of our daily lives.  May Mary, our mother of Perpetual Help who followed every footsteps of Jesus guide us, through this brotherhood to become better Christians.

Cathedral Shrine & Parish of the Good Shepherd, August 24, 2012.

Brothers in Christ

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Yes, it's brilliant, but where is God?

Recently, My office mate and I engaged into an "intellectual" conversation. It was one of those "intellectual meetings" that we set as part of our daily de-stressing routine at work. We were discussing about love, particularly on the extent a person should love. It was because of the lyric of an OPM music we just heard which says, "Bakit labis kitang mahal..." roughly translated as 'Why do I love you too much...'

Just a disclaimer: It is possible that I may have misinterpreted the meaning of the song but m
y position on a love that is "too much" is more concerned on the distorted and often disordered view on love, a word, rather an emotion either simplified or exaggerated too much.

I thought the word 'too much' to describe a love for a person is disordered. What I have in mind are the people who became too obsessed about a person and may even become destructive just because he/she loves a person too much. Too much love will kill you, remember what the Queen told us?

office mate believes that you can't put a limit to love, and there is not an easy way for you to say that you you are already loving too much; and love is an all encompassing term that can never be defined in a single word, and I agree.

We were arguing about this topic when she brought out a book she's been into entitled "Love Triangle" written by a psychologist, Robert Sternberg. Sternberg theorizes a model of love which is represented in a triangle of elements, namely Intimacy, Passion and Commitment. He said that a consummate love must have all three elements, otherwise it may just be infatuation, a mere liking or an empty commitment. It was a good model, I thought. Scholarly indeed!

But at the course of our argument, I thought something is missing. I told my officemate, "Yes, it's brilliant, but where is God there?"

What followed was a realization on how the world is frivolously trying to live life yet wasting it and pondering on its deepest questions but eluding to find the answer while it is just, obviously there.  People would offer the best philosophies and most erudite scientific explanations on how to better appreciate life or experience, in this case, love but fails to acknowledge the source of love.

Okay, okay... Sternberg is speaking to all people regardless of religion and he never have to mention God in his theory.

And that is the problem with so many people. They thought they can talk about God only in a particular times and venues and not talk about work, or talk about work without having to talk about God.  A disordered view on God. Splitting the spiritual and the corporal.

Can you sever your soul from your body?

Ah, love! A many splendored thing indeed!

On Cardinal Sanchez: “We remember Pepito… and how he reminded us how good our God is!” - Cardinal Rosales

Originally posted at the website of the Cathedral-Shrine and Parish of the Good Shepherd.

Presiding over the Eucharistic celebration for the Blessing of the Crypt beneath the altar of the Cathedral-Shrine of the Good Shepherd reserved for the bishops and clergy of the Diocese, Cardinal Rosales commemorated the “giftedness” of his brother bishop, another prince of the Church whose life was spent in humble service to the church, his Eminence, the late Jose Cardinal Sanchez.


Rosales, the Cardinal emeritus of Manila affectionately referred to Cardinal Sanchez as “Pepito” as he was fondly called by fellow Filipino bishops and cardinals.  He said that through his life, Pepitotaught us to give more and offer more to the Lord.

Pasalamatan natin ang Diyos na hindi lang kanyang abo ang ating dinadalaw at inaalala kundi ang Kabanalan ng Diyos na ipinahiram sa kanya,” (Let us give thanks to the Lord, that we are visiting and commemorating not just the ashes of [Cardinal Rosales] but also the holiness which God lent him) Cardinal Rosales said.

The event was supposed to be a blessing and inauguration of the Cathedral Crypt, but the Crypt was obviously ‘blessed and inaugurated’ months before with the presence of Cardinal Sanchez as his body was interred there in March 12, 2012 before the Crypt was even completed.  Cardinal Rosales described the crypt as a place dedicated for the ‘repose not just of mortal remains but also of memories of the goodness’ of the people who has given up their lives in serving God through the church.


The blessing was attended by priests, religious communities particularly the Dominican Daughters of Mary Immaculate who took care of the cardinal while he was still alive, friends and relatives of the Cardinal including former senator Kit Tatad, and other lay people from the Diocese of Novaliches.


“Ours is a God of contradictions”

Reflecting on the Beatitudes, the Gospel read for the mass, Cardinal Rosales said: ‘Ours is a God of contradictions”, and he meant it positively.

Citing the contrast of the values of the modern world with what Christ teaches, Cardinal Rosales said that God reverses worldly values which considers riches, fame, approval and honor as the measure of a quality life into its opposite.  He said that God ‘takes the little things even dirty things that we have because in Christ we are forgiven and are made worthy to stand before him’.  “We just have to offer our being small to God and it will all become better than gold”, explained the Cardinal in Filipino.

He also emphasized the importance of the role of prayer in making us understand the things that may be of no sense for others and thus ‘make sense out of the nonsense’. He described prayer as a means of sharpening our consciences in order to help us develop better awareness of what is good and grasp the meaning of the beatitudes.  He also said that the key in achieving this in prayers is listening to Jesus.

Cardinal Rosales invited those present to always ‘count the gifts that God provides daily’ and to learn to appreciate and value them every day. "Huwag na natin hintaying maipasok pa sa kripta bago natin pahalagahan ang mga biyaya ng Diyos" [We should not wait for the our time to be interred in a crypt before we appreciate the graces from God], he quipped.

Repository of memory

Bishop Tobias, on his part highlighted the most important purpose of the crypt as a repository of the memories of bishops and priests of the Diocese of Novaliches, saying that we bury their bodies but not their memories.  The bishop quipped: “Nai-offer ko na kay Bishop Bacani ang katabing libingan, pero sinabi nyang mauna na lang daw ako,” [I have offered the other tomb to Bishop Bacani but he told me to, use it first] which made those present laugh.  Bacani, bishop Emeritus of Novaliches was the first bishop of the Diocese.


An important announcement

Just before sending the people off, Cardinal Rosales broke very important news: at the recently concluded International Eucharistic Congress held in Dublin (June 10-17) and attended by a number of Filipino bishops including Cebu Archbishop Palma, the Pope, through a video message, announced that the next Congress will be held in 2016 in the city of Cebu.


The release from the Vatican website quotes: (emphases added)

My dear brothers and sisters, I pray that the Congress will be for each of you a spiritually fruitful experience of communion with Christ and his Church. At the same time, I would like to invite you to join me in praying for God's blessing upon the next International Eucharistic Congress, which will take place in 2016 in the city of Cebu! To the people of the Philippines I send warm greetings and an assurance of my closeness in prayer during the period of preparation for this great ecclesial gathering. I am confident that it will bring lasting spiritual renewal not only to them but to all the participants from across the globe. In the meantime, I commend everyone taking part in the present Congress to the loving protection of Mary, Mother and to Saint Patrick, the great patron of Ireland; and, as a token of joy and peace in the Lord, I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing.

by Dexter Tiro 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Kapistahan ni Kristo, ang Mabuting Pastol

“At iniaalay ko ang aking buhay para sa mga tupa.”
                                                 Juan 10.15b

Mga kuya kay Kristo,

Pagbati ng kapayapaan ng Panginoong muling nabuhay! Aleluya!

Sa simula pa ng kapatiran, batid nating ang ating layuning magsabuhay ng Mabuting Balita ay layunin ng lahat ng binyagang Kristiyano, subalit inaasam natin na sa pamamagitan ng  kapatirang ito, at sa tulong ng biyaya ng Diyos, magawa nating “seryosohin” ang ating mga pangako sa binyag. 

Subalit tayo mismo ay naghahangad ng isang mabuting modelo na paggagayahan ng buhay na nakalulugod sa Diyos. Madalas, bigo naman tayo sa mga taong inaakala nating mabuting halimbawa.  May mga taong inaakala nating makapagpapalapit sa atin sa Diyos, pero sila pang dahilan ng ating pagtalikod. Minsan din, tayo pa ang nagiging dahilan ng pagkaligaw ng iba.  Bilang BC, inako natin ang isang pagsasabuhay para sa iba. Inako din natin ang maging “pastol” para sa isa’t isa. Pero tayo ngayon ay tinitimbang, at napatunayang nagkukulang, at naghahangad ng isang matibay na pastol.

Mga kuya, ang kasagutan sa ating paghahangad ay si Hesus! Si Hesus ang ating Mabuting Pastol!

Sa ebanghelyo, iminulat tayo ni Hesus sa tanda ng isang di mabuting pastol – yaong tumatakas sa pagdating ng asong gubat, walang malasakit sapagkat upahan lamang! Sa mga nagdaang araw, marami sa atin ang tila nagpakita ng ganyang katangian: iniwan ang kapatid, di nagpakita ng malasakit, nakalimot sa pangako!

Taliwas ito sa ipinamalas ni Kristo: “At iniaalay ko ang aking buhay para sa mga tupa.” Kung paanong ninais natin ang sarap para sa sarili, tinanggap ni Hesus ang hirap para sa iba. Kung paanong inasam natin ang talikdan ang kapwa, niyakap ni Hesus ang kanyang kamatayan para sa kanyang mga tupa.  Sa ganitong, kabalintunaan, nasaan ang Kapatid ni Kristo sa atin?

Mga kuya, ipinakikiusap ko, manatili tayo sa pag-ibig ni Kristo, manatili tayo sa ating pagsasabuhay. Ipinakikiusap ko ito hindi para sa akin, kundi alang-alang sa Panginoon. Ang pagtalikod sa pangako sa kapatiran ay pagtalikod kay Kristo.  Kung kaya ipagpatuloy natin ang ating nasimulan, palaguin pa natin ang ating pananampalataya at humikayat ng marami pang kapatid.

Sa halip na magsipagpulasan tayong lahat sa harap ng mga pagsubok, tularan natin ang katapatan at malasakit ng Panginoon, at kung maari’y mag-alay ng buhay para sa kapwa.

Maaaring ang “buhay” ay katumbas ng oras, pagdamay, panalangin, pagkalinga, pakikinig, mabuting pananalita at marami pang iba.

Alalahanin rin nating ang huling lugar na maari tayong magtagpo ay ang ating mga puso. Ang huling usapin na maari nating maging agenda ay ang pananalangin para sa isa’t isa. Kung pati ang mga ito ay mawawala pa, pinatunayan lamang nating tayo ay mga “upahan” – di tapat, walang malasakit at tumatakas!

Hiling ko na itago natin ang bawat isa sa ating mga puso, di man madalas magkita’y hindi nagkakalimutan, at sa tuwing maaalala ang kapatid ay maipapanalangin siya.

Pansamantala, sa ating pagkakawalay, ipinakiusap ko ang kapatiran kay kuya Darwin. May mga gawain siyang ipakikilala sa inyo. Tanggapin nyo nawa ang kanyang pakikisuyo tulad ng pagtanggap nyo sa akin.

Inaalala ko ang dalawang kapatid sa kanilang kaarawan: kuya Archie, April 19 at kuya Santi, May 18. Binabati ko rin naman ang mga kuyang nagtapos sa pag-aaral. Ipinapanalangin ko ang inyong susunod na hakbang sa buhay, sa kolehiyo man o sa trabaho.  Gayundin ang mga kuyang nanggaling sa Mariapolis nitong nakaraang linggo. Nawa’y maibahagi rin nila ang kanilang karanasan sa ibang kapatid.

Inihahabilin ko ang ating kapatiran kay Kristo, at kay Maria, Ina ng Laging Saklolo.

Kuya Dexter C. Tiro

Cathedral-Shrine & Parish of the Good Shepherd
Kapistahan ni Kristo, ang Mabuting Pastol

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sa Kahon

Ni Arturo dela Corta

Noong bata pa ako, pangarap kong maging engineer. At kung paanong ang lahat marahil ay nagagawang magbalik-tanaw ng mga araw sa pagkabata sa pamamagitan ng pagtingin sa mga lumang pictures o kaya ay paghalungkat ng mga inaalikabok nang diary, mas madalas kong magunita ang mga alaala at pangarap sa aking pakabata sa tulong ng mga karton.

Oo, karton. Yung tipong mga kahon na ginamit na lagayan ng kung anu-anong mga bagay na nabibili sa malalaking tindahan na may tatak pa ng noodles, sigarilyo, biskwit, at kahit katol o panty. Yung mga kahon kasi na iyon ay nagsisilbing multipurpose material sa aming barung-barong.

“O anak, may pasalubong ako sa iyo!” Si nanay iyon minsang umuwi siya galing sa palengke.

Nagsusulat ako noon sa mga kahoy na dingding ng aming bahay gamit ang chalk na galing sa sirang figurine na nakapatong sa cake ng aming kapitbahay minsang nag-birthday siya. Excited akong tumingala at tiningnan ang pasalubong na sinasabi ni nanay. Nakita kong hawak niya ang isang kahon na noo’y may tatak pa ng Lucky Me! Nakangiti sa akin si nanay.

“Wow! May bago na akong karton,” bulalas ko.

Tuwang-tuwa akong inabot ang kahon. Dali-dali kong tinungo ang isang gilid ng aming bahay na binabahagi ng mga kurtina para sa kwarto, sala at kusina. Tinungo ko ang kwarto ko na kwarto din naming lahat. Abot-tainga ang aking ngiti na kinuha ko ang lumang kahong pinaglalagyan ko ng aking mga damit. Sa wakas, mapapalitan ko na rin ang sira-sirang kartong nagsisilbing aking damitan. Naalala ko, birthday ko pala noon.

Minsan din isang gabi, habang namamaluktot ako sa ginaw sanhi ng malakas na ulan, nagising ako sa tunog ng mga pukpok sa aming kahoy na dingding. Si nanay pala iyon, gaya ng madalas, nagkukumpuni ng aming dingding. Stay-in kasi ang tatay ko sa trabaho kaya si nanay ang nasanay na tagakumpuni ng bahay.

“Anong ginagawa mo nay?” Kinukuskos ko pa ang mimumuta kong mga mata habang nagtatanong.

“Tinatakpan ko yung mga butas para hindi pumasok yung hangin, anak. Maginaw kasi, e,” sabay turo ng kartong nakalapat sa sahig na waring sinasabi niyang, “Pakiabot anak.” Iniabot ko kay nanay yung karton. Sinuklian niya ako ng kanyang matamis na ngiti. Ngumiti lang din ako at pinagmasdan ang kanyang ginagawa.

“Paglaki mo anak, sana maging engineer ka para ikaw na ang mag-aayos ng bahay natin”, sabi ni nanay habang inilalapat ang maga karton sa dingding gamit ang mga pako at martilyo.

“Ano po yung engineer nay?” Nahirapan pa akong bigkasin ang salitang noon ko lang narinig sa nanay.

“Ang engineer ay iyong gumagawa ng mga malalaking bahay, anak”, sagot ni nanay habang patuloy na ipinapako ang karton sa dingding.

“Malaking bahay po ba? E karton din ba ang ginagamit niya paggawa ng bahay?” tanong ko.

Isang malakas na tawa ang tugon na narinig ko kay nanay. Ang tawang iyon na rin ang tumakip sa nakakatakot na tunog ng malakas na hangin at nagpainit ng maginaw na gabi sanhi ng bagyo. Lumipas ang gabing iyon na nananatili sa aking isip ang pangangarap na maging engineer gaya ng sinabi ni nanay, kasama ang pag-iisip na balang araw, maraming kahon ang aking gagamitin sa paggawa ng aking magiging malaking bahay.

Sinabi ng nanay sa akin na para daw maabot ang aking mga pangarap, kailangan kong mag-aral. Noon hindi ko pa naiintindihan ang kaugnayan ng pag-aaral sa pangarap mong maging paglaki. Basta ang alam ko ay papasok ka sa paaralan, magsusulat, at hihingi ng baon sa nanay.

Noong unang araw ko sa elementary, gaya ng maraming batang unang beses na tumungtong sa paaralan, hindi ako mapalagay. Marahil masyado akong nabigla sa laki ng eskwelahan at sa dami ng mga bata. Habang pinagmamasdan ko ang mga makukulit na estudyante na silang magiging kaklase ko at sinasamyo ang kakaibang “amoy pambura” na natural sa mga batang elementary, may isang matandang babae na nakasalamin na may dalang mahabang kawayang pamalo at parang hindi marunong ngumiti and pumasok sa aming room. Isa-isa niya kaming tiningnan at binati ng “Good Morning children!” sa pinakamasagwang paraang marinig ko. Sabay-sabay naman kaming sumagot ng “Gooood Moooorning Teacher!” na parang nagpapahabaan ng letrang “o”.

Nagpakilala ang teacher sa amin. Sa tuwing may sasabihin naman siya ay itinutuktok niya ang pamalong hawak sa blackboard na tila nagbabanta na ang sinumang hindi makinig ay papaluin. May kung anu-ano siyang pinakopyang mga kailangan sa school tulad ng manila paper, basahan at floor wax, brown envelopes at cartolina. Noong mag-uuwian na ay isa-isang nag-tsek ng papel si mam. Saktong hindi ako nagsulat dahil nakasanayan ko nang sa unang araw ng pasok na hindi magdala ng gamit dahil nga madalas, ilang linggo muna ang lilipas bago makumpleto ni nanay ang gamit namin magkakapatid sa school.

“Bakit wala kang isinulat? Nasan ang papel mo?” tanong ni mam.

“Wala pa po akong gamit mam,” hiyang-hiya kong isinagot.

“A ganun ba. Sige, sabihin mo sa nanay mo, bilhan ka na ng mga gamit para may mapagsulatan ka na iho.” Malumanay at may halong pagkamaalalahanin niyang sinabi. Bagamat sa unang impresyon ay inakala kong mangangain ng estudyante si mam, bigla akong nabunutan ng tinik nang malaman kong mabait naman pala siya.

Nang lumaon, nakakilala ako ng iba pang uri ng mga guro. Mayroon tila bahagi na talaga ng propesyon ang pananakot ng estudyante kaya tinatawag na terror. Merong masisipag at meron din namang tila may ibang gustong pagkaabalahan gaya ng pagtitinda ng longganisang hulugan.

Sa maraming ulit na pumasok ako sa paaralan, nasaksihan ko ang hirap ng buhay ng isang guro – siya sa gitna ng napakaraming makukulit na estudyante, sa pagitan ng tambak-tambak na lesson plan, grading sheets at exam, sa ilalim ng nagpapataasang mga head teachers at higit sa lahat sa likod ng sarili niyang problema sa pamilya.

Tiniyak ko sa aking sarili na kailanman hindi ko pipiliing maging guro pagtanda.

Bunsod na rin ng karunungang nakamit mula sa pag-aaral, nalaman ko na ang paggawa ng bahay ay hindi ginagamitan ng karton. Lalong higit, alam ko na na ang pagiging engineer na pangarap ko noong bata ay hindi ko mararating. Factory worker lang ang tatay, at ang kanyang kinikita ay sapat lang para sa aming pangaraw-araw na gastusin, at kung minsan nga’y kinukulang pa. Kahit na alam kong hindi ako magiging engineer pa, pinangarap ko pa ring mag-aral nang kolehiyo.

Umpisa pa lang, ipinaunawa na sa akin ng nanay at tatay na hindi nila kakayanin ang pag-aralin kami ng kolehiyo. Sa umpisa parang napakahirap tanggapin na nilalayuan ka ng mga pangarap mo. Hanggang sa isipin mo na lang na huwag na itong abutin. Kunsabagay, hindi lang naman ako ang mawawalan ng pangarap. Madami nga akong kaibigang tambay na wala namang trabaho pero nakabibilib na laging may bagong damit o kaya’y bagong cellphone. Minsan naiisip kong gayahin na lang sila, pero hindi ko alam kung paano nila nagagawang makabili ng bagong gamit gayong wala naman silang pinagkakakitaan.

Sinikap kong makahanap ng trabaho pagkatapos ng high-school. Hindi rin naman ako nabigo. Matapos ang matiyagang paghahanap, nakakita ako ng trabaho. Natanggap akong janitor sa isang maliit na kompanya. Nang matanggap ko ang aking unang suweldo, nanumbalik sa akin ang pagnanasang makapagtapos ng kolehiyo.

Pero dahil nga sa maliit lang aking sahod, hindi ko kakayanin ang mag-aral ng kursong engineering sa college. Bukod sa mataas ang matrikula, walang malapit na unibersidad na merong kursong ganito.

Mabuti na lamang at mayroong isang maliit na kolehiyo na malapit sa aming lugar na bagamat walang kursong engineering ay mura lang ang matrikula at marami rin namang mapagpipilian.

“Naku iho, gusto mo palang maging engineer! Paano yan, wala naman tayong engineering dito?” tanong sa akin ng isang propesor na nag-interview sa akin.

“Napag-desisyunan ko na po na kumuha na lang sa halip ng kursong computer technology,” sagot ko.

“Naku! Sarado na ang tanggapan para sa kursong iyon dahil limitado lang ang bilang ng ating mga computer at propesor, kaya limitado lang din ang estudyante.”

“E, anong kurso pa ho ba ang maari kong mapasukan?” tanong ko na may halong panghihinayang..

“Education iho. Elementary o kaya ay secondary education. Mamili ka.”

Kung alin pa ang pinaka-iiwasan kong kurso iyon pa ‘ata ang lumalapit sa akin. Alinman sa dalawa ay hindi ko gusto. Pero ayaw ko rin namang hindi mag-aral. Ipinangako ko sa sarili na puputulin ko ang kahirapan sa aming pamilya. Ito ang mismong dahilan kung bakit ako nagsisikap magtrabaho at mag-aral.

Nakatingin sa akin ang may-edad nang propesor, ang mga mata niya’y nakadilat na tila naghihintay ng aking sagot. Hindi ko alam kung saan nanggaling ang mga salita pero bigla kong naisagot na, “Elementary education na lang ho mam!”

Hindi rin madali ang naging pag-aaral ko, bukod sa hindi ko naman talaga gusto ang pagiging teacher, nagtatrabaho ako habang nag-aaral. Mahirap pagsabayin ang dalawa.

Minsan sa OJT, naging bahagi ng aking lesson bilang motivation ang tungkol sa mga pangarap ng mga estudyante. Pinagdala ko sila ng kahit anong bagay na maaring sumimbolo sa kanilang mga pangarap.

May nagdala ng laruang stethoscope dahil gusto daw niyang maging duktor. Meron namang nagdala ng baril-barilan dahil gusto niyang maging pulis na sa una inakala kong holdper ang pangarap niya. Bibliya naman ang ipinakita ng isang gusto raw maging pari. May isang estudyante ang marahil hindi naintindihan ang aking instruction na nagdala ng krayola sabay sabing akala daw niya ay magdodrowing-drowing kami.

Sa bandang dulo ng upuan ay may isang batang lalaki ang napansin kong hindi masyadong sumasali sa usapan. Nang siya naman ang magsasalita, nagtawanan ang mga kaklase niya nang ipakita nito ang isang may kalakihang kahon.

Naririnig ko ang halakhakan ng mga bata na wari nagtataka kung anong pangarap ang sinisimbulo ng mga kahon.

Tahimik naman ang batang lalaki na nakatingin sa akin at tila naghihintay ng pagkakataong magsalita.

Pinatahimik ko ang klase at nang humupa ang ingay, ako na mismo ang nagtanong sa batang lalaking nakatayo, “Iho, bakit karton ang dinala mo? Ano ba ang pangarap mo paglaki?

Nakita ko ang ningning sa mga mata ng bata na tila natuwang marinig na interesado ang kanyang guro na marining siya, at kanyang isinagot, “Engineer po, yung gumagawa ng mga bahay.”

Lalong nagtawanan ang mga bata, marahil sa pagtataka sa kung ano ang maaring kinalaman ng karton sa pagiging engineer bilang pangarap. Habang nalulunod ang aking gunita sa maingay na tawanan ng mga bata, walang dudang naiintindihan ko ang kaugnayan ng kahon sa pangarap ng batang iyon.

Noong mga oras ding iyon, tila nagbago ang direksyon ng mga pananaw ko sa buhay. Nagkaroon ng kahulugan sa akin ang pagiging isang teacher. Nagkaroon ng halaga sa akin ang aking tungkulin na maglaan para sa batang iyon, gaya ng lahat ng mga naroroon, ng inspirasyon para ang pangarap niya ay kanyang matupad.

Hindi man ako magiging engineer na bumubuo ng malalaking bahay gaya ng pinangarap ko noong bata, nababatid kong sa propesyong ito, maraming pangarap ang matutulungan kong buuhin.