Typhoon Yolanda: Of Prophecies and Karmas
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!!