Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Prayers

My sister-in-law Conchita Tan was not the most lovable person in the world. We had personal clashes in the past and I tried to avoid being intimidated by her. But she is family and I have been with this family for more than 35 years now. When she was kidnapped on Oct. 8, 2010, I was severely affected. I prayed and prayed and prayed. I prayed for her and for her agonizing family specially Lucio and Eugene.
My family in Manila was praying hard in one spirit with me. We were all reaching out to God for help. The ensuing days put us to the test. "Lord have mercy on us." We were so powerless and weak. This was a fight between good and evil, and we were becoming exhausted. "O Lord do not let the evil win over us. Help Lucio and Eugene make the right decisions. O Holy Spirit please guide them."
During these times of desperation, I requested my siblings and cousins to help through their rosary beads. I mustered prayers from helpers at home, employees at the store and friends here and everywhere. I gave Aimee, her daughter-in-law a novena prayer of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. I asked her to pray for nine days. I assured her that it was miraculous. "There will be some form of an answer within nine days. Make and take special time to pray."
I myself offered prayers during specific time of the day: my morning prayer, the Angelus at noon, followed by St. Therese of the Child Jesus 9 days novena for the intention of Conchita and her family. I participated in the 3 o'clock prayer of Our Lord of Mercy initiated by our employees and I led the rosary inside the store at 4 pm. There were personal rosary after supper and more prayers and rosaries before I went to sleep. I also followed it up with Our Mother of Perpetual Help on Wednesday and petitions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Friday.
God in his goodness heard all our prayers for He is a merciful God. Conchita was safely released in the evening of October 15, although I learned about it only on October 16. I haven't talked or seen her after the incident but I was extremely glad she had a safe passage out.
Yet it seems that evil people are still overpowering and the people of the city are gripped with fear. We therefore continue to pray for our own safety here. But God, I know, in his goodness listens to the plea of his good people. My husband and I felt His divine intervention during our darkest hours. As we continue to pray, we continue to get help from Him. The latest I heard, the marines are being deployed already. "Thank you Lord. Please help us in our miseries. I love you Lord!"
As of present writing, I continue to pray. Let us continue to pray. The danger is not over yet. May I ask..... Is this the apocalypse already? 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Ordeal

My sister-in-law Conchita was kidnapped last Oct. 8, 2010. It was a terrible ordeal for us here in Cotabato City :
From the telephone calls that could not wait for us to answer...and missed calls that we were trying to call back. When we finally talked to somebody at hand, we learned that Conchita was kidnapped by several gunmen in big arms. It was Friday, before 6 in the evening.
Conchita and her husband Lucio were on their way home from work, infact they were a few meters away from home when two cars (van and pick-up whatsoever) blocked their way. Men came down and pounded the car windows with hammers. Others sprayed bullets at the guard and driver  following behind in another car. My brother-in-law Lucio narrowly escaped by securing and holding tightly to the door on this side. The guard an ex-marine was killed and the driver critically wounded. Richard Emberga, the driver later succumbed from spine and kidney injuries while at the hospital.
When we reached Lucio's place, surprisingly vice mayor Muslimin Sema was already there to take hold of some accounts. The vice mayor and Lucio knew each other well. Lucio stood as wedding sponsor to the wedding of the vice mayor's son only last September. That evening Lucio's hands were bruised from hematoma. he was in great upheaval, talking wildly about the incident. To us, he blamed himself for not having some presence of mind. When Mr. Sema left, the head of the task force tugis Col. Roy Galido and his men came. Lucio repeated the incidents to him. According to the colonel, the latest report was that Conchita was already transported into a boat and that government forces were running after them. Lucio was worried because the kidnappers had big arms. When Col. Galido left, another group came: a guy from the CIDG, and some officials from the PNP and the Pacer. For me, it was really tiresome that Lucio with all his trauma and worries had to keep on explaining the incidents again and again, but I guess we had to follow investigation procedures.
During those times, I attended to small matters like telling the maids to bring water for Lucio to drink, asked his daughter-in-law to bring some medication for his hematoma arms, instructing the helpers to prepare food and warm soup. When Eugene came home from the hospital, I told them to eat. I said. "You have to eat something for you have to make decisions later. To have a clear mind, your stomach should not be empty." My husband Lucas stayed quietly beside Lucio all the time. He couched Lucio to drink some warm soup and I was glad to see Lucio did so. Then I sat quietly in a corner and prayed and prayed and prayed.
After my prayers, I was still quite upset. I went to complain to the CIDG guy as to why nothing was being done despite the call of the concerned citizens regarding safety in Cotabato City. The PNP guy beside him answered. "Actually ma'am, may response na po."
"Ano ang response nila?"
"Hinihintay na lang magchange ng brigade."
" Kailan yon?"
"This October siguro."
"Eh October na ngayon ah." I was kind of all heated up. I said quite a mouthful regarding the manifesto put up by the concerned citizens of cotabato city, the resolution to solve its problem and asking why some quarters were angry and opposing it. "Bakit sila magalit, eh may right naman kami as citizens to voice our concern regarding our safety."
When I got home that night, my heart was all pounding fast and my head was throbbing hard. I was all awake until 4:30 in the morning. O God please help us..................

Friday, October 1, 2010

Full-filling Day

Today October 1, 2010 is a mixed special day. For one, it is the first day of a-month-long devotion of the Holy Rosary. Today is also the Feast Day of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. At the same time, it falls on the first Friday of the month which is devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Religious observances aside, October 1st also marks the founding day of the Peoples Republic of China.
I had a relatively busier schedule today too. First, I attended the morning mass at Queen of Peace Church. After the mass, the devotees were happily blessed by the parish priest. Then I partook in a breakfast prepared by some church goers. I ate pansit with pandesal. It was really good and so I had three of them and a cup of coffee too. After breakfast, Mildred Lim, Deanna Malunes and I went to visit our retired priest Father Gerry Tiaga, DCC. I gave him a little money gift. I wished for him to get stronger from his illness.
At 9AM I had a dental appointment and spent the whole morning having my teeth fixed. In the afternoon, I went back again for I seemed to have hurt my gum. Thankfully my dentist worked like a fairy godmother. Now, I am happily pleased for having had some kind of a full filling day.