TULONG NA. TABANG NA. TAYO NA!

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When we hear of people dying especially in calamities, we are all moved to care. Then help starts pouring in. Unfortunately, we hear less about those who are alive yet suffering. Thus, we care less – or maybe because we don’t know.

Just in front of St. Francis of Assisi Parish Church in Ortigas Center, people going to church gets to pass a poor fellow daily yet I haven’t seen anyone both rich and poor offering help. I’ve seen the same person in the same attire for months now.

Every single time I get the chance to offer food and she grabs them as if she hasn’t eaten for ages, I feel so bad because I see people get to pass there daily and I see a church that is supposed to embrace everyone as a family and yet she’s still in the middle of a busy street rain or shine – dirty, hungry and neglected.

I feel so bad about how we tend to forget that they are also part of the society and perhaps were once productive like us. Now that Christmas is nearing, I hope they get to feel that they are also part of the celebration.

Besides, these less fortunate people we see homeless and wandering on the streets have feelings too and they surely know how to say “thank you”.

Tulong na! Tabang na! Tayo na!

I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!

I woke up so early today. I could not sleep well. I got up at 3AM to watch TV and surf. I was restless. I still cannot help but think about my bad dream yesterday afternoon. I saw my maternal grandmother being rushed to a hospital due to heart attack while hearing that my paternal grandmother was taken by relatives to UST hospital and was in a coma. Later, I learned that she did not make it.

I cried and cried until I woke up. I was like a child. It’s good that it was all just a dream – a bad dream indeed. I have been missing Christmas in my home town for the last 2 years now and both my grandfathers died in 2000 and 2009 without me having spent Christmas with them for the last time. They even died on the days I was supposed to be visiting them. 

In my dream, I knew that I was just dreaming. Within that dream, I thought of waking up to validate that it was just a dream and I even decided to travel to the province to spend time with my grandmothers after waking up. Well, that too was a dream. It was like dreaming while you are dreaming of something bad. It sounds redundant but indeed, I get to dream while I am dreaming. Weird!

I’m spending the holidays in Davao. Why? My in-laws were both older than my parents. I EVEN dreamt sometime August 2009 that my father-in-law died due to heart attack so I suggested that we spend Christmas with them again this year. Last October 2009, he died of heart attack. He had his best ever Christmas for the past 2 years and it was on 2008 that we all had real fun. Perhaps, he knew he was going.

Just after his wake and as we were about to go back to Manila, my wife’s grandfather sung me a song. He was singing something about goodbye and not seeing each other again. He is quite old so I got worried. Without even thinking, I replied back by singing… I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. It was a tear-jerking moment for me but indeed that song was a promise I have to fulfill.

Like promises I made to my beloved grandfathers, I wanted to spend time with people who are old enough that at times, we have to think that each holidays are to be celebrated as if it were their lasts. I married someone who lives at the southern tip of the Philippines while I come from the north. Thus, I have to miss some moments with my own relatives in the province including my parents and siblings.

I do hope that come 2010, I will get to have more time spending the holidays in my native province or at least impose an alternate scheme just to balance the equation. I will be turning 30 come 4 days from now and I want to maximize time as well with every member of the family. I know I am just an hour away from my home town but I cannot even regularly visit our place because of work and my own family.

To end, I know that it is quite hard to sing I WILL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS when you have to homes – your home town and your wife’s. Nonetheless, I know that location is irrelevant. With the advance technology we have nowadays, I can just send a video message to all or a simple SMS just to put a smile to their faces. But then again, I hope that I can spend more Christmas as well with my 2 grandmothers.