Tag Archives: antipodes

PADAYON: Our Life Journey

PADAYON was the word that capped the successful conduct of the 68th National Assembly of the Convention Baptist Ministers Association (CBMA) on January 25, 2009. Inspired by the overwhelming responses of pastors on the CBMA leadership and governance, as well as the advocacies on changes in the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches (CPBC) politics, systems and governance, I was looking for a punch line/ clincher to sustain the momentum in delivering the concluding remarks.

Then came the message from my *Ihado when the worship leader innovatively asked the participants to write on the provided piece of paper, message to a particular person of choice. All of the notes I received have common message of encouragement to “keep up the good work.” My ihado gave me a note with one word which captured all other messages. Subsequently, I used it to officially close the National Convention of CBMA: PADAYON

The second time I received the word was during my 55th birthday celebration when this same ihado sent me text greetings. It was just the time I was looking for a title or a framework of our life journey and the title of my dream book.

PADAYON encompasses life’s story

Padayon is an Ilonggo term which means continue. In deeper sense, it connotes moving/going on (or never give up) despite adversaries or adversities. In this blog, PADAYON serves as framework or acrostic of my life’s experiences and the lessons learned from life. Each area or sub topic will be discussed in details in the succeeding blogs.

Antipodes of life’s journey

After undergoing the process of ordination which culminated, as a personal gift, on my Golden birthday on May 27, 2004,I committed myself to do God’s will on earth as it is in heaven, no matter what. Indeed, it was a golden year. On the 7th month that followed, I was awarded as one of the Ten Outstanding Social Workers of the Philippines. For me, it was a vindication of the awful experiences in coping up with life’s struggle when I first committed myself fulltime to the cause of Filipino people which dramatically changed the course of my life. It was my last semester in the seminary in 1984 when I decided to stop schooling and dedicated myself to the service of the struggling Filipino people for freedom from the shackles of the dictatorial rule. To what extent will remain a precious and lasting memory for me and my former comrades on the beauty of service and God’s abiding presence in protecting His people.

Doing God’s will is dangerous to your health

Engrossed with my study of the Lord’s Prayer vis-à-vis its relevance to our lives as far as development issues are concerned, I found myself in stressful condition and got sick. Realizing that the prayer is not essentially Lord’s Prayer but a model prayer (for the real Lord’s Prayer is found in John 17), I started to put it into practice in my relationship with God and fellow human beings. Just as I prayed “…Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” I made myself available for their realization. I tried to seek & do things in proper way; be on the side of the truth and stand for it without fear or favor; advocate and work for that which brings or gives life, not destruction. That is where my trouble started.

Adversities: Stepping Stones towards wholeness

It was when I was confronted with adversities beyond my control that I have learned painful (yet wholesome) lessons in life which ushered me to a new holistic well being. There appears to be a pattern in my health condition every 17 years. In 1975, I was seriously ill causing me to be completely bedridden for 3 months before gradual recovery which lasted for a year. It recurred in 1992 when at the peak of delivering lecture in an evening class, I experienced short breath and almost collapsed. But the worst came in the last quarter of 2009 when the attack took place in a remote area while doing volunteer work.

Yardstick for all of life is still the Bible

Yardstick has been used metaphorically to refer to anything which serves as a test or standard of measurement, comparison or judgment. It serves as a reference point against which other things can be evaluated. For more than one year of struggle and suffering due to my health condition, the only companion that never leave me is the bible. And in my daily reading and reflections (sometimes almost the whole day), I learned lessons I have never seen before. In succeeding blogs, I will give the details on how the bible is the yardstick for all of our life.

Opportunities come in the fullness of time

No matter how I console myself, as family, friends and colleagues do, that God is just preparing me for something big through the illness (and subsequent rest), I seem not to enjoy the thought. Not until recently I realized that opportunities, indeed come in the fullness of time.

Networking: Essence of the Church as Body of Christ

Having experienced the interplay of our body’s subsystems in causing sickness and wellness, I become interested in studying the mechanics of our body. I have learned how every cell contributes to the body’s functions and dynamism and its capacity to heal itself naturally, as designed by God. Relating this to my study on networking of NGOs (my masteral thesis), I see the beauty and relevance of the biblical comparison of the church as body of Christ. Ironically, it is the business world, information technology, development advocates that maximize the benefit of networking which should have been the forte of Christians in their ministry.

*Ihado is an Ilonggo term referring to wedding  godson

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Article first published  as The Journey Framework on PADAYON. The author is in the process of transferring posts from other blogs to  converge on this official website.

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Antipodes

On the occasion of the global celebration of Earth Day tomorrow, April 23, 2013, I decided to repost  the following article that was first published on July 7, 2011 because of its relevance to the theme of the celebration. This year’s theme is The Face of Climate Change.

Image

God, the Supreme Being (known in various names to diverse tongues and context), gave man and woman the power to have dominion over the fish of the sea, birds on the air, and every living things that moves upon the earth.

But humanity used such power to dominate their fellow human beings.

The Creator put man and woman in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it.

But men and women plunder, pollute and waste the natural resources. To ensure their domain, they cut a tree, hanged God and built a sanctuary. Confining Him on the four walls of the church, they nailed his hands and feet so that they continue destroying the earth.

Jesus the Christ came to give assurance of eternal life to the dead.

But humans ensure the living of their death by the coverage of insurance companies bearing the religious terms like Eternal Life, Ascension, Resurrection and the like

Jesus invites the weary and heavy laden to come to him and find rest and peace.

But humanity invents destructive weapons to make their fellow humans quickly rest in peace.

Jesus exhorts his followers to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, visit the prisoners, clothe the naked, invite strangers to their homes.

But humans find it pleasurable to visit the naked, sprinkle water and gas to the hungry, invite the thirsty to prison, sell to the strangers their homes.

As it was in the beginning men and women are fond of making reversals. No wonder Bernard Backman was inspired to write the Reverse Creation – a gloomy picture of what will happen in the end should these antipodes continue.

REVERSE CREATION
by Bernard Backman

In the end, we destroyed the heaven that was called Earth. The Earth had been beautiful until our spirit moved over it and destroyed all things.

And we said…

Let there be darkness… and there was darkness. And we liked the darkness; so we called the darkness, Security.And we divided ourselves into races and religions and classes of society. And there was no morning and no evening on the seventh day before the end.

And we said…

Let there be a strong government to control us in our darkness. Let there be armies to control our bodies so that we may learn to kill one another neatly and efficiently in our darkness. And there was no evening and no morning on the sixth day before the end.

And we said…

Let there be rockets and bombs to kill faster and easier; let there be gas chambers and furnaces to be more thorough. And there was no evening and no morning on the fifth day before the end.

blix2_0And we said…

Let there be drugs and other forms of escape, for there is this constant annoyance – Reality – which is disturbing our comfort. And there was no evening and no morning on the fourth day before the end.

And we said…

Let there be divisions among the nations, so that we may know who is our common enemy. And there was no evening and no morning on the third day before the end.

And finally we said…

Let us create God in our image. Let some other God compete with us. Let us say that God thinks as we think,hates as we hate, and kills as we kill. And there was no morning and no evening on the second day before the end.

On the last day, there was a great noise on the face of the Earth. Fire consumed the beautiful globe, and there was silence. The blackened Earth now rested to worship the one true God; and God saw all that we had done,and in the silence over the smoldering ruins… God wept.

Join the Earth Day celebration. Share this Earth  video.

Antipodes

On the occasion of the global celebration of Earth Day on April 22, 2012, I reblog my post first published on July 7, 2011. This year’s theme is Mobilize the Earth.

God, the Supreme Being (known in various names to diverse tongues and context), gave man and woman the power to have dominion over the fish of the sea, birds on the air, and every living things that moves upon the earth.

But humanity used such power to dominate their fellow human beings.

The Creator put man and woman in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it.

But men and women plunder, pollute and waste the natural resources. To ensure their domain, they cut a tree, hanged God and built a sanctuary. Confining Him on the four walls of the church, they nailed his hands and feet so that they continue destroying the earth.

Jesus the Christ came to give assurance of eternal life to the dead.

But humans ensure the living of their death by the coverage of insurance companies bearing the religious terms like Eternal Life, Ascension, Resurrection and the like

Jesus invites the weary and heavy laden to come to him and find rest and peace.

But humanity invents destructive weapons to make their fellow humans quickly rest in peace.

Jesus exhorts his followers to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, visit the prisoners, clothe the naked, invite strangers to their homes.

But humans find it pleasurable to visit the naked, sprinkle water and gas to the hungry, invite the thirsty to prison, sell to the strangers their homes.

As it was in the beginning men and women are fond of making reversals. No wonder Bernard Backman was inspired to write the Reverse Creation – a gloomy picture of what will happen in the end should these antipodes continue.

REVERSE CREATION
by Bernard Backman

In the end, we destroyed the heaven that was called Earth. The Earth had been beautiful until our spirit movedover it and destroyed all things.

And we said

Let there be darkness… and there was darkness. And we liked the darkness; so we called the darkness, Security.And we divided ourselves into races and religions and classes of society. And there was no morning and no evening on the seventh day before the end.

And we said…

Let there be a strong government to control us in our darkness. Let there be armies to control our bodies so thatwe may learn to kill one another neatly and efficiently in our darkness. And there was no evening and nomorning on the sixth day before the end.

And we said…

Let there be rockets and bombs to kill faster and easier; let there be gas chambers and furnaces to be morethorough. And there was no evening and no morning on the fifth day before the end.

And we said…

Let there be drugs and other forms of escape, for there is this constant annoyance – Reality – which is disturbingour comfort. And there was no evening and no morning on the fourth day before the end.

And we said…

Let there be divisions among the nations, so that we may know who is our common enemy. And there was no evening and no morning on the third day before the end.

And finally we said…

Let us create God in our image. Let some other God compete with us. Let us say that God thinks as we think,hates as we hate, and kills as we kill. And there was no morning and no evening on the second day before the end.

On the last day, there was a great noise on the face of the Earth. Fire consumed the beautiful globe, and therewas silence. The blackened Earth now rested to worship the one true God; and God saw all that we had done,and in the silence over the smoldering ruins… God wept.

You may mobilize and share the Earth Video to join in the celebration of Earth Day

Dream Book

The title reminds me of tutorial sessions with my father when I decided to join him in his trade after graduation from High School. Unable to pursue college immediately in the university of my dream (Central Philippine University), I did not entertain any other alternative. Hence, I decided to be trained by my father on the mechanics of numbers games, Daily Double, popularly known as jueteng in the our country.

He was considered mayor koredor during that period, supervising all the game collectors under him in our town. It was sort of lucrative job except when, periodically, the government stepped up its drive against illegal gambling. Ironically, my father was not a gambler. It was his means of livelihood that raised us 5 children who are all professionals, now, sans our youngest brother who went ahead in the beyond.

I could still recall how he meticulously taught me the mechanics of the trade every night. From equating the bettor’s win with the amount of bet and the number combination to the interpretation of dreams. He gave me a dream book which I read and memorize like a bible or dictionary in order to interpret the dreams of a bettor into a winning number combination.

My father, indeed, was a good mentor because I easily mastered the craft and together with my elder brother became his disciples for some years. In fact, I learned to love the job and would have considered it a profession, had it not been for two major accidents that forced me to enter a bible school. Details of these will be included in my Dream Book.

Such recollection took place early this morning when I reviewed previous posts on my first blog which celebrated its first anniversary yesterday. Dubbed PADAYON: Our Life Journey, it serves as journal of my experiences to inspire readers to continue the commitment in service, no matter what.

PADAYON is an Ilonggo term which means continue. In deeper sense, it connotes moving/going on (or never give up) despite adversaries or adversities. PADAYON encompasses my life’s story. The word served as Journey Framework as posted exactly a year ago today on my pioneer blog. While reading it, my motivation to write the book has been revived.

PADAYON was the slogan that capped my successful 6 year- stint as president of our national association of Baptist pastors, the Convention Baptist Ministers Association (CBMA). It was conceived a year before the culmination of my term. Inspired by the overwhelming responses of pastors on the CBMA leadership and governance, as well as the advocacies on changes in the CPBC politics, systems and governance, I was looking for a punch line/ clincher to sustain the momentum in delivering the concluding remarks for that particular assembly.

Then came the message from my *Ihado when the worship leader innovatively asked the participants to write on the provided piece of paper, message to a particular person of choice. All of the notes I received have common message of encouragement to “keep up the good work.” My ihado gave me a note with one word which captured all other messages. Subsequently, I used it to officially close our national assembly. Thereafter, it has become our by word or slogan.

PADAYON serves as framework or acrostic of my life’s experiences and the lessons learned from life. This will be the content of my dream book. Each letter represents the title of the seven chapters of the book. Incidentally, 7 is my lucky number, a manifestation of how I have internalized my past experiences in the world of gambling.

In life’s journey, I realized even those unlikely experiences in past life were similarly useful. Like risk taking, from gambling, and the skills in arranging/organizing cards, mahjong tiles to win despite their weak/losing state. Likewise, calculating combination and predicting occurrence in the numbers games like jueteng. These were further honed and given social component in my involvement with the people’s struggle and in practice of social work profession.

The seven chapters of my dream book will include the following:

Personal circumstances: Life’s experiences and transformation.
Antipodes of life’s journey: Pains and Gains in the ministry and service
Doing God’s will is dangerous:Perils of standing for the way, truth & life
Adversities: Stepping stone towards wholeness (blessings in disguise)
Yardstick of living: The relevance of bible in life’s journey
Opportunities come in the fullness of time: How to grab them
Networking: Essence of the Church as Body of Christ

*Wedding godson

(to be continued)

Antipodes

On the occasion of the global celebration of Earth Day on April 22, 2012, I reblog my post published on July 7, 2011. This year’s theme is Mobilize the Earth.

God, the Supreme Being (known in various names to diverse tongues and context), gave man and woman the power to have dominion over the fish of the sea, birds on the air, and every living things that moves upon the earth.

But humanity used such power to dominate their fellow human beings.

The Creator put man and woman in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it.

But men and women plunder, pollute and waste the natural resources. To ensure their domain, they cut a tree, hanged God and built a sanctuary. Confining Him on the four walls of the church, they nailed his hands and feet so that they continue destroying the earth.

Jesus the Christ came to give assurance of eternal life to the dead.

But humans ensure the living of their death by the coverage of insurance companies bearing the religious terms like Eternal Life, Ascension, Resurrection and the like

Jesus invites the weary and heavy laden to come to him and find rest and peace.

But humanity invents destructive weapons to make their fellow humans quickly rest in peace.

Jesus exhorts his followers to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, visit the prisoners, clothe the naked, invite strangers to their homes.

But humans find it pleasurable to visit the naked, sprinkle water and gas to the hungry, invite the thirsty to prison, sell to the strangers their homes.

As it was in the beginning men and women are fond of making reversals. No wonder Bernard Backman wasinspired to write the Reverse Creation – a gloomy picture of what will happen in the end should these antipodes continue.

REVERSE CREATION
by Bernard Backman

In the end, we destroyed the heaven that was called Earth. The Earth had been beautiful until our spirit movedover it and destroyed all things.

And we said

Let there be darkness… and there was darkness. And we liked the darkness; so we called the darkness, Security.And we divided ourselves into races and religions and classes of society. And there was no morning and no evening on the seventh day before the end.

And we said…

Let there be a strong government to control us in our darkness. Let there be armies to control our bodies so thatwe may learn to kill one another neatly and efficiently in our darkness. And there was no evening and nomorning on the sixth day before the end.

And we said…

Let there be rockets and bombs to kill faster and easier; let there be gas chambers and furnaces to be morethorough. And there was no evening and no morning on the fifth day before the end.

And we said…

Let there be drugs and other forms of escape, for there is this constant annoyance – Reality – which is disturbingour comfort. And there was no evening and no morning on the fourth day before the end.

And we said…

Let there be divisions among the nations, so that we may know who is our common enemy. And there was no evening and no morning on the third day before the end.

And finally we said…

Let us create God in our image. Let some other God compete with us. Let us say that God thinks as we think,hates as we hate, and kills as we kill. And there was no morning and no evening on the second day before the end.

On the last day, there was a great noise on the face of the Earth. Fire consumed the beautiful globe, and therewas silence. The blackened Earth now rested to worship the one true God; and God saw all that we had done,and in the silence over the smoldering ruins… God wept.

You may mobilize and share the Earth Video to join in the celebration of Earth Day