I admit it. I have become corrupt and apathetic.
In this day and age, in this country and in this world – who hasn’t? Who among us have really gone out and done something concrete to fight corruption, to pursue our passions, and to care about others beyond our own needs?
Who among us can say that we have not succumbed to all sorts of excuses, delays, carelessness and a lack of attention to the little things that matter, the invisible things that affect life in the grander scheme of things?
I definitely have become less of who I used to be, in terms of passion, commitment, caring and living a life of service and purpose – to myself and to others. I have somehow become someone who “couldn’t care less,” and honestly, a few years back, I would have hated myself for this but now, I don’t.
It is sad. Very sad and frustrating indeed.
How does one dig oneself out of apathy? How does one start to become as pure and uncorrupted as one was? How do you search for the light, or switch the light “on” in the darkened spaces of your inner being? Where will inspiration come from?
It’s easy to spit answers and judgments. Equally easy to write posts on Facebook or whatever social networking site to attack someone “out there”, voicing our critiques of the shoulds and the shouldn’ts and blaming the status quo, politics, institutions and everything else, including of course ourselves.
To what end? Have we really made a dent? Have we really changed anything? Have we moved ever so closer to the life we desire and the world we want to create?
Or, have we satisfied ourselves with a virtual community, with a virtual image of the life we want – only to find ourselves and our lives devoid of real connections, depth and meaning?
Maybe it’s just me, it’s just where I am at this point. I know I’m not the only one, other people feel the same way. That’s one good step I guess, I still “feel” something. Hopefully, the next step would be to act.
When, where, how? I don’t know. Let’s leave that open for now.
Since I was a young child, my love for country has never waned – not even once. Really.
My love for my family, fluctuated. Love for boys (teenage years) and men were almost always roller coaster rides. Even the love for my pets or love for food was not as consistent as my love for country. Truth is, I just learned to love myself in the past year – but I have loved my country, the Philippines, the moment I was born. Or maybe even before birth. At least that’s how it feels like.
I could not bear the thought of leaving my country, in fact I did not join my family when they all left for Africa in 1995. I chose to be on my own, as a first year college student (16 years old), than go to Africa with them. I spent vacations visiting my family in Mozambique but only for short periods of time, the longest probably a little more than a month. It took almost two decades when I finally agreed to leave the Philippines (without any assurance of returning), to finally confront and heal my karma in Africa, a time that was very painful for me – not the karmic healing, but being away from my beloved land of origin. Alas, I found myself back after a year, last December 2012 and what was supposed to be a short and sweet vacation became what seems to be the continuation of my destiny/calling/karma – whatever you may want to call it – with the Pearl of the Orient.
January of this year, I was at the airport on my way back to Mozambique when I was stopped by Immigration and was not allowed to embark on the plane. I’ve always had problems with visas into other countries, specifically the USA and Germany, but to encounter this was just perplexing. Although I calmly took it because deep inside I felt that there was a reason that was beyond my understanding at that time.
So, what is it about the Philippines? What is it about me, as a Filipino/Pilipino? [ Although Filipino has been more commonly used, and even mandated, I am choosing to use Pilipino for the rest of this post, which I will explain later.]
You would probably understand if you are a Pilipino. This love for country is deeper than any national pride, racial supremacy or some form of attachment to identity. The “I AM” is intertwined with the “PILIPINO”, yet it does not boast nor discriminate. It just is. Stripped of everything, I can say that yes I am a human being like everyone else on the planet but I am a Pilipino human being.
This is why after centuries of colonization from the Spanish, Americans, Japanese, and some sprinkling of some other colonizers here and there, the Pilipino remains – not as Spanish, nor American or Japanese but still distinctly Pilipino. This is also why after all sorts of disasters, the Spirit of the Pilipino remains stronger than ever – precisely because it is the Spirit of the Pilipino.
PILIPINO = PILI, PINILI + PINO, PININO
Kataastaasang Babaylan Reyna Yolanda Liban Manalo, or Apo – a truly remarkable high priestess (if not powerful being) with the group Celyo Rizal – shared so much wisdom during the times I’ve been with them (pumipiling kasama nila) and would tell me time and again about the meaning of the word PILIPINO. She is a real bastion of Pilipino ancient wisdom and spirituality and maintains that the Pilipino are the chosen (pinili) people, who have gone through purification (pinino). [You may read some posts about her and Celyo Rizal in this blog.]
In all my 35 years, I’ve encountered many stories about the Philippines and the Pilipino people but what struck me the most are two things: the Karma of the Pilipino people and the Prophecy about the Philippines.
KARMA Different religions/faiths, visionaries and folktales have talked about the Karma of the Pilipino people that goes something like this: it is the Karma of the people to go through great suffering to be able to realize and eventually embrace its role in healing the world. The people of the Pearl of the Orient, like the oyster that endures the pain of that trapped sand inside its shell, simultaneously irritating and transforming the mollusk until such time that a beautiful pearl is born.
PROPHECY It has also been prophesied that the Philippines shall hit rock bottom and like the Phoenix shall rise from the ashes and be a great light unto the world. This will only happen through true transformation, when its people recognizes and embraces the greatness that is within the land and within each Pilipino – because the Philippines is the Promised Land and the Pilipinos are the Chosen People. When this happens, the Philippines will usher in a new world/life/humanity, and it will be at the center as the wealthiest country and model for others to follow. [check out one such prophecy that has just recently resurfaced: Video from Facebook]
What is equally interesting and important – the very nature of the Karma of the Pilipino as a Collective Healer and Healer of the Collective seems to trigger the karmic healing of other nations and countries. We see this slowly happening, as the international community responds more consciously in aid of the Philippines, taking responsibility and addressing the negative karma that they have incurred as a collective many lifetimes ago – like the USA, Japan, Germany – not just against the Pilipino people but with humanity as a whole.
So, amidst the tragedy that has been brought about by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, while I weep with my fellow Pilipinos and do what I can to help, I feel this deep sense of hope, a knowingness and complete surrender to where all this will take us. From the Million People March to the relief efforts that are creating ripples of unimaginable change and transformation — we have reached the tipping point and there is no turning back. Yes, the phoenix is rising.
Lumitaw na ang Pilipinas at tayong lahat ay papaaangat na! Sa bawat pagtawag at paghikayat sa kapwa nating bumangon at tumulong, iniaangat natin ang ating mga sarili, ang ating kapwa, ang ating bayan, at ang buong mundo.
Mabuhay ang Pilipino! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!
Alay ko ang awit na ito:
TUNAY NA PERLAS TAYO
Original Title: SA WAKAS, PANIBAGONG PILIPINAS
Lyrics by Nex Agustin / Music by Geejay Langlois
[MUSIC] (click to listen to the song)
Mula sa mahabang pagdurusa
Kasaysayang puno ng pighati
Tila wala nang pagasa
ang bayang lugmok at lugami
Mga ninunong nagbuwis ng buhay
Mga bayaning di matapos ang laban
Paulit-ulit walang humpay
Mga problema ng bayan
Ilang EDSA pa ba ang lilipas
Ilang gobyernong sakim at gahaman
Ilang taon pa tayong magtitiis
Bago magising at matauhan
Walang likas na api’t mahina
Lahat may tunay na kagalingan
Kailangan lamang itong makita
Kung anuman ang nasa labas
Salamin ng nasa loob
Kung babaguhin ang Pilipinas
Simulan sa bawat Pilipino
Tanawin sa di kalayuan
Nakasilip na pagbabago
Hinihintay lang tayong kumilos
Hinihintay lang tayong magbago
Panahon na sa wakas!
Likhain mula sa sariling lakas
Ang perlas na bayan natin
Panahon na sa wakas!
Marangal, malaya’t matalino
Tunay na perlas tayo, tunay na perlas tayo
Tunay na perlas tayo!!
Obviously, I’ve got a lot of stuff to say after almost a year of silence. I do! So much has happened and life continues to amaze me. Well, first it scares and confuses me. Then, drives me crazy with all sorts of thoughts, worries, ideas, emotions and expectations that come my way. Ultimately, when I let go and just completely trust that I am going in the right direction – boom! – I find myself in paradise. Bliss! Or at least for a moment, then off I go again, in this never-ending journey. Life is full of surprises, I tell ya!
I was in Mozambique, southern part of Africa last year, thinking I’ll be there for a long time. After all, I went there to heal myself by healing the relationships with the two most important people in my life — my parents. I have read somewhere and fervently believed ever since that our “soul circle,” people who we’ve been learning lessons with during different lifetimes are those we find close to us in this life. That circle definitely includes our family members, I bet even our pets. This is why, we experience difficulties and struggles with our families. In fact, the hardest lessons seem to be connected with them. So, there I was bracing myself for a long and arduous healing process having just emerged from my deep, dark depression.
As it turned out, my parents decided to move back to the Philippines for good. Interestingly, that was right after I felt a real sense of healing between us happened. You see, I have always held on to the idea that my parents didn’t really love me, or they didn’t love me the way I wanted to be loved. Mostly unconscious, I have struggled with their control (my mom) and emotional distance (my dad) by becoming rebellious, dependent and well, an ingrate.
In the span of 6 months, a lot of those ideas dissipated. I realized how much they loved me and my siblings. More than that, I realized how much parents love their children, unconditionally. Yes, they try to control us in so many ways. They have a hard time expressing themselves to us, and they don’t seem to know that it’s important for us to hear the words “I love you” often.
Before they left for Manila, I finally found and experienced the love from my parents that I’ve been shunning yet longing for all my life.
Of course, I have to clarify that the necessary doorway for me to recognize, accept and reciprocate their love was through Self Love. In the previous months leading up to that inevitable moment, I poured love – unconditional love – to myself. I gave my inner self everything I ever wanted and denied. I let go of control, and allowed myself to just be. I accepted all my flaws and forgave all my mistakes. I let go of my unworthiness and decided that I am going to be my biggest fan and my bestest friend and ally.
When my parents left me in Quelimane where I was working as a Grade 2 teacher (plus teaching Arts and Music, Swimming, Football and Computer), I still cried buckets of tears, wondering why I was still there and not going home with them. Does this mean I was healed? That I have achieved my purpose, healing our relationship? If that was the case, then, there was no need to stay, right? Apparently not. In the next months, I would learn yet again that the Universe works in mysterious ways.
To be honest, I wanted to stay because I gave my word that I would finish the school year. It was also an opportunity to learn real independence. Living on my own in another country without the family that I’ve leaned on for so long is a vital step towards true strength and selfhood. I also enjoyed the opportunity to teach values inside the classroom, Arts and Music, and Sports to children of various ages and backgrounds.
Yet, as I started worrying about legalities pertaining to my stay in Mozambique, I found myself wanting to go back to the Philippines. I also began seeing things in the school system that I did not like. The real deal-breaker however were my dreams of traveling; researching healing and empowering art forms; working with children and communities around the world and creating specific programs for them, especially those in vulnerable situations or those who have no access to creative education.
After my birthday in September, I decided that I am going back home in three months, when the school year ends. As life and the Universe would have it, I got a special surprise the following month when almost all of my travel documents were in order and I had made up my mind. LOVE. Romantic, giggly, life-changing love.
When we love ourselves enough, when we realize we are enough, the Universe sends you the “other”.
The one who doesn’t love you because he needs you. Or not the one who runs away from you when you are ready to spend this lifetime with him. Instead, you find your mirror, someone who loves himself enough to love you. Just as you love yourself enough to love him. This time, you don’t need drama and causing pain to the other is causing pain to yourself. There is only room for love in your heart. Although fears and worries still come, they remain in your head because your love finally is strong enough. He may leave, or you may change your mind and decide you’re just friends. No one is trying to control the other, or steer the course. You walk together in life, friendly, relating, supporting and loving one another.
Who would have thought I was ready for that? I certainly didn’t expect it then. When it came though, I knew it was the right one and it was the perfect time.
Naturally, I found myself in a dilemma. What about going back to the Philippines for good? Alright, I will just go home for a vacation and then return to Mozambique. Heart-wise, it was the best solution. Work-wise, an entirely different story. In the same way that I left the other school back in April, where I loved the students but abhorred the school’s system of education and treatment of children and teachers, going back to teach in the same setup would still be a compromise. Although, the second school was much better than the first one, I really felt that I wasn’t being true to myself and my passions.
After a blissful month of experiencing what it means to love and be loved, I was off to my much anticipated vacation to the Philippines. I eventually opted to return to Mozambique after the holidays, as I convinced myself that love would help me stick to an otherwise uncomfortable situation.
Arriving in the country during the Christmas break, and even until now, I realized that the drama I’ve had with my country — that sense of martyrdom mixed with idealism or perhaps karma that bonded me to the land and the people was gone. I did grow up and reached a new level of maturity, or maybe, I have truly healed my karmic wounds.
In January, as life would have it (with all the twists, bumps and turns in this journey), I should have been on my way to Mozambique but I got offloaded at the airport by the immigration officers. This was rather peculiar and frustrating, especially at that time. The immigration people were quite rude and they had this perceived authority over fellow Filipinos traveling abroad. Perhaps they were insecure and they saw their chance to show off, to have some sort of power over others. Whatever their reason, although I didn’t particularly get offended by them because I understood where they were coming from, it still threw me off. Wasting money, time and energy is very frustrating. Plus, the “douse of cold water” on plans to reunite with the beloved. However, there was an odd sense of relief, which eventually pointed to my glaring truth, or reminder: no more compromises, each and every step of the way. Creating one’s dreams into reality, in all aspects of life, requires uncompromising belief in our creative power; to fully trust ourselves, our intentions and capacities to do so.
Now, I take another step forward, toward my dreams. Dreams which include being with people I love, particularly my beloved; working with passion and purpose; and helping to create an amazing world of love, peace, hope and light.
I have learnt in my journey since 2010, when I plunged into that abyss, that whatever we see in our mind’s eye, we have the power to create. We have to be careful, though, and be very aware because that power is directly linked to our free will. We can create whatever we choose, sometimes we can create it with the speed of light, or well, as fast as digital technology nowadays. In fact most of our creations in the past have been unconscious and stemmed from varying degrees of fear and separation. It’s high time we reverse that. Luckily, we have another power at our disposal, the power to choose, to create out of love and not out of fear.
The task we have, as human beings in this day and age, is to choose how we want to live our lives. When we can clearly see that and put into practice all our highest intentions and aspirations, we will change the world as we know it, towards the world we dreamed of.
That is where I am headed, with like-minded, like-hearted people who I have met and now walk with, one empowered step at a time, every chance we get. I, rather WE, hope to see YOU there! It’s time to let our light shine and let it guide us to see the truth, that we are amazing and we can do amazing things!
I know that the best is yet to come, again and again. I trust in the Universe as I continue to listen and allow love to move me, everywhere I go. I might write more wonderful news in a few days time, a week, a month or even after another year. Experience tells me, it can only get better from here, but wisdom gained from that experience says it is better already! Where I am now (inner and outer space) is so much better than where I was before. Where we are now is so much better than where we were before. We have evolved, and we continue to evolve. For this, I am grateful, I am peaceful, I am healed, I am whole.
Thank you to all those who walk with me. Thank you dear Universe, angels, ascended masters, and all ye spiritual beings assisting us in our paths.
According to the life purpose calculator, which I deeply resonate with and accept as truth, one of my hidden callings or purposes in this life is Stability. Truly, this has been a recurring issue and challenge in my life – especially financial and emotional stability. I’ve always struggled with the balance between the ideal and the practical, the will and the higher mind. Well, of course, it didn’t really help that my heart was too scared and too closed to help out, to mediate or to actually provide synthesis and accept its role as my true center.
Before, my will or my “activeness” would be pushing me to create something, do something and make things happen, now. Passivity was something I detested. There was no saying “no” to me when I want something. Of course my higher mind, my vision of possibilities, ideas and ideals would take me to the opposite extreme. This idealism would make my will come to a full stop, question everything and make it abruptly change direction. I usually end up tired, frustrated, confused, angrier and in so much pain. I keep moving from one extreme to the opposite extreme, planting myself deep in the ground only to get pulled by my own stormy need for change and impatience with myself and with the world.
Now that my heart has opened slowly and I have somehow allowed it to be my true guide, I have found Stability in Flow. Both my higher mind (connected to idealistic and spiritual pursuits) and will (practicality and creative action) have slowly learned to Trust my heart’s guidance, the seat of my true connection with the Universe. I don’t struggle anymore, allowing my heart instead to lead me wherever I will grow, evolve and be of genuine service to others. I am equally redefining flow and stability, a more mature version of movement and structure that are anchored on spirit, love, peace and trust. Allowing the material realm to support me and my life on earth while continuously striving towards my higher Self and purpose.
I look around and I see that Nature has mastered Flow and Stability. The oceans, lakes and rivers continue to flow yet their flow is stable. The waves kiss the shore, recede and go back into the vast ocean, just as the rivers run as if they are on never-ending marathons. The wind blows, the seasons may change but we know that there will be Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. Or, sunny, cloudy, windy and rainy days. Even with the stormy days in our country, the Philippines, we find stability in the fact that the season for storms come right at the tail end of our summer days.
As I flow naturally and build stability, I nurture the peace that has found its home within my heart.
What will be, will be.