Saturday, October 21, 2017

End of the World

There are countless doom's day prophesies in modern times. As far as I can remember, my first encounter was when I was 9 years old. I was a grade 3 pupil then and my sister Helen alerted me about it. During those days, specially in Manila, there were wanton sales of blessed candles and matches. There was even a movie made entitled "Posporo, Kandila" to depict the said madness. My parents and family in Cotabato were not superstitious though, we did not talk about it nor prepared for it. When the supposedly day arrived, I was at school. I was inside a classroom together with my classmates and my grade three teacher Miss Dahlia Padua. In the afternoon, the sky began to darken and rain began to fall. The atmosphere was ominous. Everybody was looking out of the window. I did not know who knew about the supposedly apocalyptic day aside from me, but definitely Miss Padua was in distraught. As the sky grew darker, she stopped her reading lesson and began teaching us the Guardian Angel Prayer. This beautiful prayer sank into my heart. It was the first rote prayer I ever learned. I continue to pray it to these days.

All along the years until now, there are many more other prophetic end-day pronouncements, but people now take it in stride.

In 1976, during the big earthquake in Cotabato City, while my husband and I covered ourselves with blankets when the earth shook forcibly, I thought. "So this must be the end......". Yes, that night it did seem like the end of the world to me.

But Jesus said. "Regarding that Day and that Hour, no one knows when it will come, not even the angels or the Son, but only the Father." But he also said. "Be alert and watch, for you don't know when the time will come."........"And what I say to you, I say to all: watch."

And so people have been watchful. We ask ourselves. What would cause the end? Great earthquake, nuclear war, cosmic upheaval, meteor devastation, extreme climate, etc???

Several years ago, when the evil insurgence of the Isis in Raqqa began, one Christian friend told me, that this event has been depicted in the Bible, specifically from the Book of Revelation. Everything about Isis is a symbol of evil, no doubt about it. According to her, it was prophesied for evil to rise in Raqqa and Armageddon to begin. She said that this was the sign that the fight of good and evil had begun and that the end of time is close. Her pronouncements of course intrigued me greatly. I tried to read the Revelation but alas, I didn't understand it at all.

Here in the Philippines, we are besieged with Muslim extremism. The Isis affiliated Maute insurgency in Marawi came about this year. They burned schools and hospital, desecrated the church, took hostages, killed people and put up their black evil flag. The Philippine government of course would not let these atrocities go easily, hence forth martial law was declared in Mindanao and war ensued in Marawi. This week though, after several months of fierce fighting, two top terrorist leaders were killed in gun battle. Victory is at hand but the crisis is not yet fully over. For having the upper hand in the struggle, we thank God for our soldiers and thank you also for giving us a strong president.

On the farther side of the world, in Middle East, the liberation of Raqqa from the Isis also transpired. It happened about the same time with the fall of the terrorists leaders in Marawi. People are glad that maybe this extremism now will soon be checked. But what will happen next? We do not know what is to come. Is evil defeated? Are the tentacles crushed? Is the Armageddon over in Middle East?What about the Revelation? Is the end of the world coming soon? I revealed to my husband my wildest thoughts. His simple answer was. "Just keep faith.". Yes, sometimes I just wished for Jesus to come already, but I pray for him not to make it anymore harder for humankind. We have enough sufferings, O Lord, just come back and return to save us all.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Despite Everything.......

Despite the war in Marawi, the martial law in Mindanao and the drug war of Duterte in the Philippines, I feel the country is safer these days specially in Mindanao because of a strong military presence in the area, and the fear of the consequences of punishments when caught. This is not to say there are no crimes in the city. In fact a middle aged lady, a rental collector, a kin of the Gutierez family was killed only yesterday. The sad thing is, most of the tenants in the vicinity think that it was due her because she had been a strict, hard-hearted landlady. She padlocked houses that were remissed with their payments.The gunman was not caught, nobody knew who it was. This woman had plenty of Christians and Muslims tenants, but even few Christians sympathize with the victim. Such is the mentality of many people here in the Philippines. Law and order does not matter at all.

Let me share a penny of my thoughts: I do not approve of extra judicial killings. I think many cops tend to be abusive and corrupt. Sad but true but most are indifferent to this matter as long as it works faster and better. It is because since time immemorial, all previous governments and its higher offices sucked and feasted on the country's coffer. There was no pride to be honest and patriotic. Everybody from the high ups to the lowly wanted to have a part of the loot. This corrupt system has been here ever since. It goes from bad to worst. Everybody just wants to become rich quickly. So, when Duterte surfaced, many seemed happy for a change, not knowing that one day many of them will have to meet their adversaries which are really their own shadows face to face. Duterte is not a cure all, but at least we have one president that cares for this country. He has been elected by the people. I voted for him too and I will pray for him. He needs a lot of our prayers though because he is rowdy and not too bright. But what had all the brilliant presidents done to this country?! I pray the Lord enlightens him in his governance and fight against drug and corruption. I pray for more honest and good people to help him. I pray that the Lord guides him to steer better this country for the common good of the people.