Sunday, September 6, 2009


We thought we are the middle of the cosmos, in fact long before we even gasp our first breath everyone is looking ahead of us. We captured your awareness. When we whimper everyone seems to come dashing. We coo and we chuckle then all of you start smiling. Everyone appreciates us. We are formidable during the time of total vulnerability. We are fussed over, calmed down, provided and every wish is granted. It was a stage of juvenile despotism. But this blissful state is not perpetual and we realized it with amazement. We are expected to learn everything. To walk, talk, tricks, including toilet discipline. As time goes by new demands arise. As we learn one skill we are ask to learn another and more. Then the world begins to be entangled by no-nos. Do'nts resound in the air. What happened to the glorious times when we could do anything we want? When we were constantly adored? Our hands are hit when we stretch them out to touch something forbidden. People frowned or shout at us because we are stubborn. Why? We had this love and adulation then suddenly it was gone and what are left are countless expectations and prohibitions. We need to stop playing because we need to obey. As we grow older, the world becomes scary with no guarantees. We are push onto the juncture of life without having the option to run through the line. The once adoring parents are now fearsome and redoubtable silhouettes after our back. Mom aborted our siblings. Dad becomes irresponsible. We are not even sure how life would supposed to turn out for us. Where have all the fun and bliss gone? The vows of the once indulgent parents? Listen to us. We want to feel significant. We are rejected and suppressed of the universal longing to be heard, to be loved and to be free. To be unbound against poverty,child labor,abuse and ignorance. We thought we are the center of your universe . . . but we are just CHILDREN.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Psalm 127:3

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Last night I watched Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”. Actually, I have seen the movie many times. Aside from love, hope, faith, and forgiveness this movie shows vividly how Christ carries his cross while being ridiculed, cursed, spat upon and was inflicted physical torments anyone would dare not to imagine. Jesus remained firm until to his ultimate stop for crucifixion. It was only at a later part of my life that I enabled to really understand Jesus Christ cross. It was not just chunks of lumber crossed-nailed together to serve as adornment for
His sufferings on His way up to the hill. The cross stands for trials. We have our own cross to carry in our life, and it is up to us how we will face the reality to take the burden. Carrying our own cross is not a fantasy we can just skip and vanquish; it is sufferings, discomfort, aloneness, miseries that God allowed to happen for a reason. I have encountered so many difficulties and there was a point in my life, I asked God why I have to bear the weight of my cross. I am not as strong as Him. I am not good. I am human. I complained too much. However, when I think how Jesus went through his own ordeal carrying his cross to be executed like a criminal, I felt a prick in my heart, and I realized how fortunate I am. Jesus performs great miracles but He left his being God in one corner to carry his cross as a human, as flesh and bone like me. It could have been easier, less agonizing for Him; instead He writhed and cried out in pain to bear the anguish of his cross to the very end. How could I have been a whiner when it was me who put Him on the cross? It was my sins that put Him there. From here on, I am taught to carry my cross. It is real as Jesus Christ experienced it. God at times put me to the test to make me stronger and find hope amidst the darkness. The cross is a symbol that reminds me that tribulations can be overcome. I know the cross I carry in my life is not heavier than I can bear and along the way as I sustain it on my shoulder my faith is challenged. I may lose my balance and stumble, at times slightly and at times real hard. Even so, each time I fall and do not know if ever I could get up again and God’s face is nowhere to be seen,I will trust under the shadow of His wings.

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trials; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
(James 1:12)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Necklace’ and other story about honesty

I happen to read this article from one of the leading broadsheets in the country today and can’t help but share this article to all of you.

There is a short story by Guy De Maupassant titled “The Necklace” which tells the story of a housewife of humble circumstances who’s invited to a grand ball and finds that she has no “suitable” jewelry to wear. A wealthy friend loans her a necklace to wear to the ball, but when the housewife gets home, she finds to her great dismay that she has lost the necklace.

Desperate, the woman and her husband borrow from friends and family and sell or pawn off all their belongings just to raise the money to buy a necklace that could be passed off as the one she borrowed. Then they spend the rest of their lives in penury, working to the bone to re-pay their loans.

Years later, the woman encounters her wealthy friend. Disheartened by the woman’s appearance, the friend inquires what happened. After hearing the story of the necklace, the friend exclaims: “That necklace? My dear, it was paste!”

In his short story, De Maupassant was of course writing not just of the perils of borrowing (and lending) jewelry, but the perils of trying to cover up a thing in the past with the hope of everything will be just fine. Sometimes, it is our line of thinking that goes like “well it’s just a simple thing or perhaps a white lie, anyways, I’ll just compensate it through other things,” could also be similar to what the woman did that instead of telling the truth and be ready to face the consequence, she hid the truth thinking that it would do more good than harm.

In our present society, when dishonesty is beleaguering our moral fiber, it spells the difference of lying for the sake of avoiding somebody to get hurt. Yes, the truth will cause us to hurt others that may sometimes be judged as ‘self-liberation’ confession. But lest we forget that it is the truth that will set you free, and those who was hurt even more when he was denied the right to know the truth.

BE HONEST: Even if others are not…Even if others will not….Even if others cannot. “ He who walks honestly walks securely” Proverbs 10:9

Mahirap talaga ang long distance relationship, pero...

Mahirap talaga ang long distance relationship pero hindi dapat ito ang maging dahilan para panghinaan tayo ng loob sa pagtulak natin sa ibang bansa para maghanap-buhay. Marahil, marami sa ating mga kababayan ang di sang-ayon sa pagalis ng isang kabiyak para mangibang-bayan, pero sa panahon ngayon, survival of our family has overtaken the underlying risks of going abroad. Isa sa mga tamang paraan to survive a long distance relationship is for both partners to be surrounded by good friends and group of trusted people. Yung mga taong alam mo na may takot sa Diyos at mga tunay na kaibigan.

Kalimitan kasi sa mga failure of marriages (oftentimes caused by infidelity) is when one partner is surrounded or always in the company of opportunistic person. Sa case ng mga babae, kunwari, the male friend is there for her to comfort the woman-friend who was left by her husband for abroad, yung pala, he will just take advantage of the woman’s frailty. Yung iba naman, sa halip na bigyan ng spiritual guidance at moral support ang babae, e niyaya pa sa mga aktibidades na kadalasan napupunta sa di magandang ending. Aba! marami na akong narinig na kwento ng mga amiga na yayain ang kaibigang babae na mag ballroom dancing or mag aerobics kunwari (para di malungkot sa pagalis ni mister sa abroad), e ang siste, naibugaw pa ang pobreng misis ng OFW na ma-inlove sa macho at gwapong D.I. or Gym instructor. Walang masama sa paglilibang pero dapat piliin ang appropriate na paglilibang base sa estado mo sa lipunan. Kung ikaw ay babae na may asawang nasa abroad, di maganda sa mata ninuman (lalo na sa asawa mo) na makita ka sa company bg ibang lalake (kahit na ang relationship ninyo is entirely professional), pero sa dami ng kwentong malungkot, kalimitan, d’yan nagsisimula ang lahat.

Sa mga lalaki naman na naiwan sa Pinas at ang babae ang nasa abroad, choose your barkada wisely. Kasi kadalasan, ang mga masamang barkada ang kadalasan na nagbubuyo sa lalaking naiwan sa Pinas sa mga bisyo gaya ng beerhouse, sugal then later on pamba-babae na, ang resulta broken family. Lalo na si Mister, siyempre, proud sa mga barkada niya, “pARE, pensiyonado ako dito ni Misis, buwan-buwan, may remittance, o ano ano ang gusto ninyong pulutan?” Sana lagi nating tandaan na ang pangingibang bayan ng ating kabiyak ay desisyon ng magasawa kaya kinakailangan na maging responsable tayo sa tungkuling na naiwan sa atin. Hindi komo lalaki tayo ay di natin aalagaan ang ating mga anak. Wag i-asa sa YAYA ang pagpapalaki sa mga anak. Bilang ama, punuaan natin ang responsibilidad na naiwan sa inyo ng inyong mga asawang babae. Wag mahiya na magpalit ng diaper, magpadede ng mga sanggol, di naman nakakabawas ng pagka-lalake ang mga gawaing ito kung ating gagawin diba?

Ang pag-aabroad ay di dapat maging hadlang sa pangarap ninyo na guminhawa ang buhay at wag matakot sa mga risks na kakaharapin ninyo dahil sa long distance family relatiomship. Bagamat may mga unrecoverable losses na kaakibat ng Pinoy migration (gaya ng quality time at di nakagisnan paglaki ng mga bata, or lost of physical intimacy) pero mas maigi na siguro ito kaysa sa makita mong magutom at di makapag aral ang mga anak mo dahil sa kawalan ng oportunidad dahil sa sistema sa atin sa Pinas. Maging matatag lang tayo at palaging buksan ang komunikasyon sa isat-isa at ang pinaka-importante, wag makalimot na tumawag sa Panginoon, di lamang sa panahon ng kagipitan ngunit matuto ring magpasalamat sa oras ng kasaganahan.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dad, please give me the freedom to make decisions concerning myself

Few days after I scolded my 16-year old son via-SKYPE (I’m working overseas away from my family, that’s why) for coming home one night drunk, I had come across a family-related article while browsing the threads of a social networking group. The article enumerated Ten Commandments of a child to his parents and the line that catches my attention was the 7th commandment that says, “Please give me the freedom to make decisions concerning myself. Permit me to fail so that I can learn from my mistakes. Then, someday, I’ll be prepared to make the kind of decisions life requires me.”

The message permeates into my line of thinking. I tried to weigh things if what I did to my son a few days back will do him harm than good or vice-versa. I looked at the complete picture in the future and weighed possible consequences if this incident (coming home drunk) remains unchecked. But despite of it all, there’s still one question that remains which I believed is the main pivotal issue here--whether denying your children the freedom to make their own decisions concerning things about them is justifiable or not.

One may easily quipped that as a parent, I failed on that premise of the commandment. However, before jumping to the conclusion, let’s paraphrase this commandment with questions so as to qualify whether the action point is justifiable or not. Let’s try to answer these questions:

•When is the appropriate time to give this freedom to the children for them to make decisions?
•Are these mistakes can really make them better equipped to make the kind of decisions that life will require of them in the future?
•What if there are ways to learn life’s lesson without repeating same mistakes, would you still let the children learn it themselves by going through it?
•What if the consequences of such mistake is irreversible, would you still allow this privilege to be practiced?

To answer these questions, let’s see what God has commanded us. It’s true that it is written in the Bible for the elders not to under estimate the young;
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)

But the Lord also had said;

My son, keep your father's and do not forsake your mother's teaching. (Proverbs 6:20)
Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. (Proverbs 1:8)

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise. (Ephesians 6:1-2)
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. (Colossians 3:20)

And the verses that said it all are these;

Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:5-9)

So my advice to all the youths, heed the advice of your parents and take their counsel learned through years. You parents want nothing but the best and what is good for you. It is not that your parents are undermining your capability to decide but they simply wanted to offer you a free and proven solutions to life’s problem because they have been there once in their lives. Don’t think that your elders are curtailing your freedom to make decisions for yourselves. Yes, your parents wanted you to learn from your mistakes to make you fully prepared to make the decisions someday in your life but what your parents are after is for you to learn the lesson without going through the same pains and sufferings they had experienced because they loved you. And because of that love that they don’t want you to feel the pains that goes with each mistake for whatever pain you will feel, this could be more than double for them. It would be foolish to repeat the same mistake after having been told of it and as King Solomon said, “A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother.” (Proverbs 10:1)

Monday, July 13, 2009

To be a President of the Philippines or a Janitor, which one will you choose?

If ever I will see a Filipino who is in dire need of a job but didn't finish any formal schooling, and would consider any job like janitorial, I will advise him/her to apply or run as a President instead of applying to become a Janitor in Canada, for I know he/she would surely pass the qualifications of being a President of the Republic than that of a Janitor. You don't believed me, right? OK, see it for yourself.

Janitor Qualifications

Experience in commercial cleaning methods and procedures, general repair, and grounds keeping;
Ability to lift heavy equipment (up to 50 lbs);
WHMIS certification;
Effective interpersonal and organizational skills;
Ability to communicate effectively in both the written and oral form;
Willingness to work as part of the school support team.


And now, the qualifications to become a Philippine President;

Under Article 7, Section 2 of the Philippine Constitution, in order to serve as President, one must be:
1) at least 40 years of age,
2) a registered voter,
3) able to read and write,
4) a Filipino citizen by birth, and
5) a resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years prior to election.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Para sa ito 'TAY

Para sa aking mahay na TATAY Digo,

‘TAY, 10 days na lang from now, Fathers’ day na. Ilang taon na rin na di kita nababati tuwing sasapit ang araw na ito. Hindi ko rin maintindihan kung bakit ngayon lang ako nagkalakas loob na batiin ka kung kailan pa na malayo ako sa inyo. Siguro dahil sentimental lang ako ngayon dahil malayo ako; di lang sa inyo kundi maging sa aking sariling pamilya. Dito sa abroad, kasama ko rin nakikipagsapalaran ang ibang mga Pinoy para lang sa pamilya nila. Ngayon ko lang siguro naintindihan ng husto ang sakripisyo ng ama, para lang itaguyod ang pamilya, to the extent of sacrificing his own happiness of going out of his ‘comfort zone,’- well becasue of family. Kaya siguro nagkaroon ako ng lakas loob na i-express sa inyo ang dapat na noon ko pa ginawa - ang batiin kayo at pasalamatan sa mga ginawa ninyo sa aming magkakapatid. Naiintindihan ko na kayo ngayon; kasi tatay na rin ako. Talagang totoo ang kasabihang, “It takes one to know one.”

Alam kong malabo na makarating sa iyo o kaya’y mabasa mo ang blog na ito, kasi di ka naman marunong mag-computer at wala naman kayong computer d’yan sa bahay. At kung meron man, e baka bago mo matutunan kung paano buksan ang computer, e di na ito uso. Kung ipapadala ko naman itong sulat ko sa inyo thru ‘registered mail or ordinary mail’, e siguro tapos na ang ‘Fathers’ day, e di pa nakakarating ito sa iyo. Kung makarating man, e siguro bago mo mabasa, tampered na dahil pag nakita ng mga ’garapal’ na postal employees diyan sa atin ang sulat na medyo makapal at lalo na galing pa sa abroad, e sigudong bubuksan para tingnan kung may laman na dolyares at saka tatatakan na lang ng “DAMAGED UPON RECEIPT.” HAY, naku, wala na tayong magagawa dun dahil sigurado, isa rin silang ama na gagawin ang lahat para sa ikabuhay ng sarili nilang pamilya - yun nga lang kahit sa maling paraan. Kaya heto, sa BLOG ko na lang idinaan ang pagbati ko sa inyo dahil gusto kong malaman ng buong mundo na mahal na mahal kita. Bagama’t wala akong pagkakataon na masabi ito sa iyo ng personal dahil malayo ako sa inyo, pero alam ko na malaki ang utang na loob ko sa inyo sa ginawa ninyong paghubog sa pagkatao ko. Kung hindi dahil sa inyong gabay, marahil palaboy ako ngayon at walang direksiyon sa buhay.

‘TAY, gusto kong malaman ninyo na naiintindihan ko na ang ibig sabihin ng bawat palo na dumadapo sa puwit ko noong bata pa ako pag nagkakamali ako. Bagama’t di ko maintindihan ang paliwanag ninyo sa akin noon kung bakit mo ako pinapalo, e siguro dahil na rin sa lakas ng iyak ko, kaya di ko marinig ang paliwanag mo. Naiintihan ko na rin ‘TAY kung bakit lagi kang mahigpit sa akin noon. Akala ko nga eh, talagang gusto mo lang na gawin yun pero naramdaman ko rin na mahal mo ako noon kasi nung malapit na ang graduation ko sa elementary, wala akong sapatos na ‘balat’ na isusuot at nasabi ko sa iyo noon na gusto ko sana ng “HARUTA” na sapatos sa graduation, (eh kasi yung ang uso noong 1980’s). Tuwang-tuwa talaga ako noon ng isang araw pag uwi mo galing sa karera, swerte ka noon at tumama ka sa “winner-take-all” sa Santa Ana, kaya hayun, binigyan mo ako ng 600 pesos at nakabili akong ng ‘HARUTA’, eh di sikat ako sa mga ka-klase ko non!. Pagsampa ko sa stage, bagama’t wala ako sa ‘honor roll’ eh daig ko pa yung ‘Valedictorian namin, kasi siya, simple lang yung sapatos niya eh yung sa akin, yung uso.

SALAMAT ITAY, at salamat sa Diyos at ikaw ang aking naging tatay. Sana humaba pa ang buhay mo at sana magkaroon ako ng pagkakataon na maibalik sa inyo ang pagmamahal ng isang anak sa kanyan ama. Pagbalik ko ng Pilipinas ,’TAY, kahit di Fathers’s day eh, gimik tayo sa labas, kahit anong gimik ang gusto mo ‘Tay, kahit sa beerhouse pa at kung gusto mong mag-table, sagot ko. Ako ng bahala kay nanay, papayag yun, malakas ako dun.

Advance HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY sa inyo ‘Itay’ at nawa’y mabasa mo itong BLOG ko na ito, kung di man dito sa lupa, siguro sa langit. I love you ‘Tay!

Gener “Gino” Marcelo

Monday, June 8, 2009

Message of a Father to his Son

(Note: I found this letter while browsing my CD archive looking for a reference material for the company profile that I was tasked to do. I made this letter sometime February of 2004 as requested by my son’s teacher during the Bosconians out of town retreat somewhere in Batangas. I would like to dedicate this also to all the fathers, who just like me have an unfathomable love for their kids. HAPPY FATHERS’ day to all dads out there. By the way, I had my son’s name ommitted, ayaw kasi nun ng publicity, suplado. lol)

Dear Son,

Hello son! “siguro by now you are wondering what seems life without your father and mother at your side, especially pag yung mga time na kailangan mo kami, kaya lang as in wala kami to help you out…kasi diba madalas mong sabihin na sana wag muna kaming umuwi ng mommy mo sa bahay para you can do whatever you want to do in the house…well, di kita masisisi, kasi nga naman, pag andyan kami, especially your mom, wala ka ng narining sa amin kung hindi, “don’t do this, don’t do that, etc, etc”, at kung anu-ano pang litanya. Well your mom and I just keep on hoping that someday, you will realize that we are doing this because we loved you more than our lives.. Yes son, we do loved you that much kaya we just wanted to teach you the way we think is right and good for you.

Madami kang pangarap noh?… ang dami mong plano . nakakatuwa naman na malaman yan. Kasama ba kami sa mga plano mo? ano? naku di ka agad makasagot… sige okay lang alam ko naman kung ano talaga sagot mo…

You know son, if you still remember one time noong tinanong kita nang pabiro, “anak, pag matanda na ba kami ng mommy mo, ipapasyal mo ba kami sa mga malls gaya ng ginagawa natin ngayun? Would you bother to change my diaper or my pants kapag napaihi ako sa pants because of my old age? Then sabi mo, “Ikukuha ko na lang kayo ng mag-aalaga sa iyo”,

You know son, I was so strucked by your answer, though pabiro lang ang tanong ko but I never expected your answer to be like that. Of course, pag malaki ka na and I’m sure maganda ang work mo because I know you got the ability to succeed in life dahil maabilidad ka, mana ka yata sa akin? (at mag-kamukha pa), kaya lang ang pinagkaiba lang natin siguro, eh yung pagtanaw sa pinang galingan, — saan? Siyempre sa aming mga magulang mo.

Alam mo anak, you can hire as many care givers para mag-alaga sa amin (dahil siguro malaki na ang sweldo mo by that time), pero son, hindi iyun ang kailangan namin ng mommy mo pag dating nang panahon na iyon kung hindi ang kalinga at pagmamahal ng sarili naming anak na bahagi ng aming dugo at buhay. Minsan tuloy natatakot akong tumanda at maging helpless na kami ng mommy mo, kasi baka you won’t bother to take care of us when we grow old.

O wag kang iiyak, di naman kita kinokonsiyensiya, basta ang gusto ko lang sabihin sa’yo na nandito lang kami ng mommy mo; kapag kailangan mo kami…pag hindi ka na busy. totoo yon! walang biro! ayaw mong maniwala?

Ganon ka namin kamahal kasi! Ayaw mo pa ring maniwala? Haaay! Remember this; kahit singit lang kami lagi sa buhay mo, kahit biglaan mo lang na natatawag ang pangalan ko dahil nagulat ka, nasaktan ka, nauntog ka o dahil part ang pangalan ko habang binabasa mo na ang sulat na ito, you will be in my heart always… and forever. Trial after trial isipin mo kasama mo ako na lumalakad, hindi man sa buhangin pero kasama mo pa rin ako dahil nasa puso kita. At sa lahat ng plano mo , kahit hindi mo ako kasama sana madinig namin ng mommy mo na mahal mo rin kami , kahit minsan lang ha? Minsan ako naman ang lambingin mo mo…miss na talaga kita eh…Sa amin ng mommy mo, hindi ka singit lang, ikaw ang bida.”

So paano, hangang dito na lang, me and your mom shall wait your arrival the following day after the retreat at the school, though Feb.25 yun, I’m not sure kung declare na holiday yun, pero, I wont mind kahit regular working day pa yun , I filed already a vacation leave on that day just to be with you once you arrived from retreat.

Sige good night and never forget to pray before you sleep,