Chronicles of Benia

STORIES.REFLECTIONS.PRAYERS

Dear May 2020,

I skipped writing in March and April, the height of quarantine in the Philippines.

But tonight, I will document a bit.

I flew to Manila on 3rd day of March. With a two-kilo luggage excess I was fined for the first time! It was a first time in 12 years of working overseas. But when I got boarded, my jaw dropped seeing the aircraft almost empty for a popular midnight flight.

When Wuhan a city of 14 million people went on lockdown by January of this year, something in me said that China is facing something serious. At the back of my mind was a thought that an outbreak was about to happen soon. Since then, I started to read news and blogs about the virus and Wuhan as much as I can.

At that point, more than curious I was fearful.

I am.

Really.

Fearful.

One time in my working life, I with a colleague isolated a compound from mouse brain. After, physical and chemical treatments the cell went through, I was so surprised to see that the cell was still alive! “How can it be able to withstand that?”, I told myself while I peeped into it through a microscope. Science definitely has answer but my soul was awed by its strength. It remained alive until we decided to pour hydrogen peroxide. Deprived of oxygen, it died.

Witnessing that few years earlier shaped my mind that the next kind of a deadly bomb is by the use of a cell. Tiny. Powerful. Unwavering.

With fear of an outbreak to happen soon, I flew to Manila. “If ever my hometown would go on lockdown, I will be home.” was something I bear in mind.

Why I want to be home? I have read stories that when the virus spread in Wuhan that while many left the city, a lot of Wuhan locals too went home to be with their family and faced the health crisis with their loved ones. China is known to be family – oriented. And I want to be home, just be home and together with them will face a crisis.

So, pandemia was declared by WHO and the world experienced quarantine this generation will never ever forget.

The Sacred Gift That I Have Been Given

While the entire world is under the threat of the virus and I have been under the law to stay home and buy things for my family, this gave me the opportunity to realise the depth and beauty of one gift that I have been given – the gift of freedom.

At this point of life, it includes the freedom to hug, freedom to go out and experience life, freedom from illness, freedom to choose time to leave home and be back, freedom to get physically close to another person, freedom to worship, freedom to express complaints and disgust, freedom to mourn, freedom to visit a patient, freedom from name-calling, freedom to inquire, freedom to work, freedom from lust, freedom from sins, freedom from violence, freedom from impunity and freedom from lies.

Quarantine made me see that freedom is the greatest gift of God to mankind.

All along I thought it was life. But then the existence of an illness caused by a new virus brought to a question “what is life without freedom?”

Then, I remembered the cell we experimented on few years back and realised freedom was the power I saw in that cell had. It was fighting for its life, for its freedom to exist and multiply, freedom to be the cell it was created to be.

Freedom was the power I witnessed and it never left me.

On this night of Pentecost Sunday, I recognise immeasurable honor to be given freedom. We celebrate Pentecost because Jesus died for us, set us to freedom and to be never under again under the yoke of slavery.

Thank you Jesus. Thank you for Your gift, freedom.
——

This is all hair quarantine May photo with my furry housemate, Clarise, who is getting more comfy sleeping beside me.

01/06/2020

With all the hills and valleys of things that happened this first month of this year, I would like to remember that early morning when I woke up to learn that Kobe died from a helicopter crash with his daughter.

I am born and raised in Manila and every corner of the city has a basketball ring installed whether this is in a regular basketball court or just hanging on an electric post (tree). This makes everyone a basketball fan, myself included as my parents house is just few steps away from the basketball court.

I may not have seen Kobe in person but the fact that he belongs to my generation and that he is the god of basketball game back home, he becomes like a mandatory idol. So, his death moved something within.

The death of Kobe brought again awareness to me that this time I have here on earth is numbered. It brought me back once again to that period of my life where I kept coming back to confession as my biggest regret in life would be losing heaven.

Before going to a big surgery 7 years ago I went to a priest to have the Sacrament of Healing. The sacrament of healing is the last sacrament given to a Catholic. I told the priest that I don’t want to lose heaven after I completed my journey here on earth and the priest said, “You don’t go to heaven by accident. You get to heaven because you live your life for it.”

As I bid farewell to January 2020, I bid farewell to a person who lives with excellence and passion that up to the last moments of his book of life remained inspiring individual to a history.

Farewell legend.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. “

Psalm 23:4
——

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the bushfire, it only means we have wildlife and forrest. Thank you for the spewing smokes of Taal, it united the nation. Thank you for Mheg-xit, it only means not all princesses and princes are found in the palace. There are two who want to be financially independent. Thank you for wuhan virus, it reminded us to respect wildlife and lower creatures.

Thank you Lord for Kobe, he made a lot of people believed in their own capabilities. Please embrace his soul and the eight others. Please shine Your light to all souls of death caused by Wuhan virus.

With all these happenings, I am reminded that I am just an earthling out from ashes. You are God and You are mighty. Thus, in You I surrender my future.

Thank you for the gift of hope.

01/02/2020

__________________

Dear Sis B,
Before we wed, we kept a happy and stable long distance relationship for years. We did not meet online but, after, I decided to work overseas our communication happened mostly through online.

During the first month of our marriage, I found tons of messages from one girl in his phone. All those messages were sent before our wedding. I remembered the latest was sent several months before our wedding. It was clear to me that something was going – on. I brought this discovery to his knowledge which later on resulted to a big fight. It was our first big fight and first time for me to be shoved.

I did my own “investigation” and resulted to series of fights almost every night with screaming and at times, him getting physical on me.

I feel so numb writing this email to you. I just want to unload for it is too heavy to carry alone.

Sis Happy-less
__________________

Dear Sis Happy-less,

May the peace of Christ be with you.

I just want to tell you that I prayed for you and your husband the moment I saw your email.

I am so thankful that you reached to me. I know that this will be an avenue towards to gaining of more courage on seeking help. I know that this is just a start of series of unloading.

Something in me is telling me that more than words, you just want someone to listen to you. And I know and sure that there are a lot of concerned and willing FEMALE true friends who know you and your husband personally who can listen to you in a more personal way.

The works of evil continue to lurk and can only damage in the dark, so, please CONTINUE to seek the light. Please continue to speak to reach out for help and guidance.

Help will come your way.

You are anonymous to me but you are not anonymous to any of your wedding God-parents. Please seek counsel from any of your closest God-parent.

If you are not safe, please seek a safe place. Now.

I will pray for you, more than anything else for your peace of mind and safety. For I know, any princess can bear hurtful words for long but not bruises neither slight “shove”.

Carry – on, Sis.
I am sure you prayed for a happy marriage, so, fight for it, please continue to reach out. Please continue to pray.

Love and Beauty,
B

11/01/2019

must admit that in my long years with young praying adult singles, I can not anymore count using both hands how many times I have consoled a sister (lady) because she was not “chosen” by someone she liked and someone else was chosen and that someone else who was chosen happens to be someone she knows also. In a clearer picture,her girlfriend was chosen by someone she likes for herself.

I can console. I can comfort because I know how that feels.


I am no exception. Not once, but twice. Twice that I died to myself. I will give you a picture how it looked with the more heartbreaking moment.


I flew to International Conference for Singles and I’ve been hearing news about them but I had still had high hopes that it was just the regular sister and brother relationship. I’ve just arrived at the venue when I saw them together and they were both laughing. The moment I saw them… I grabbed the brother and exclaimed, “She looks like a forlorn puppy.”

Of course, that was not what happened. Lol.

The moment I saw them, I turned around, stopped and looked down. Heavens knew what I spoke within me, “Lord, naman. Wala pa akong tulog o. I flew here tapos yan ang bubungad nyo sa akin.” (Lord, I haven’t even slept yet. I flew here, then, You’d welcome me with this.) And I swear this happened afterwards, there was a sudden downpour of rain from skies.

They looked cute together. Not me and him. But her and him.

There are times that no matter how hard a sister avoided to fall-in love with her brother – friend, romantic feelings happen. Due to seemingly harmless circumstances, it happens, although to not all friends, but to some sisters and brothers. I don’t assign blame to any party, for in a loving community we take loving seriously. However, all the more we are in a loving community, lest, should we not be more careful on how we relate to one another?

Heeding the boundaries of every relationship that we establish is the supreme loving act for our loved-ones, for our friends.


LOVE WINS: BE THE BEST SISTER

When friendship hurts because romantic feelings occurred for one party only, be the best sister for him, let go of the romantic feelings and hopes as him and you as couple.

When friendship hurts because romantic feelings had took place for one party only, be the best sister for him.

Set your hopes higher to the Lord. He who is love Himself is the author and finisher of every true love story. Hope in the Lord. He will finish a love story for you.



When friendship hurts because romantic feelings had developed for one party only, be the best sister for him. Love him through your decent distance from him. Love is so powerful that we can love EVEN with a certain distance.

When friendship hurts because romantic feelings came into being for one party only, be the best sister for him. Empty yourself of envy. Envy has its own circle of relatives, they are resentment bitterness and jealousy. Be empty of all of those.


As loving friends just like Jesus to us, our loving friend, He died for us. We, too, must learn to die to ourselves, continue to be the best sister, continue to serve, continue to have faith, continue to choose Christ! This is sacrifice and that is love. And love always wins!

When we become the best sister for our “romantic” brother – friend, we are able to love, too…May be not romantically, but this time more deeply.



Dear Father God in Heaven, Lord,

During this time of loneliness of not being “chosen”, please help me NOT forget the people that You bless me with. Please help me not forget the You choose me. Always.

I look forward to that day when this hurting ends. I will make it sooner. Would you please embrace me? Help me. Thank you.

Mother Mary, please intercede for me.

Saint Josemaria Escriva, pray for us.

Amen.



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11/11/2018

(Finding something meaningful in this post? Please show support. Please find the like and share button at the bottom and that will mean a lot of appreciation. )

In my bible reading of the gospel according to Mark, I encountered this verse again. This time it spoke to me in a different way. It spoke to me about signs and our judgement, even in our romantic lives. I went back to a video of Nicole Kidman, one of my favourite actresses, when, she guested in The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon for the first time, sometime 3 years ago today.

I can’t help but picture it in my mind while Jimmy Fallon tells his version of the incident and Nicole does hers, too.

Here’s the link. You will certainly enjoy.

Jimmy Fallon Blew A Chance To Date Nicole Kidman

This is a story that creates different reactions from different type of singles.
For waiting singles, they will say “That’s a big near miss! Sayang”. For heartbroken singles, they will say “Men, they just do not see who are the one! Ugh”. For steady and ready-to-mingle singles, they will say “OK, let’s move on from here, next!”, without even asking themselves “Did I just had a T.O.T.G.A?

(T.O.T.G.A. = Teh, one that got away.) L.O.L.

This true story between Nicole and Jimmy never leaves my mind without me smiling… with relief.

When things are not falling into proper places and falling into places means falling at the right time, it only goes to show that the universe is helping to translate the situation that it is not meant for my good.

This thought was validated in this event with Jimmy and Nicole.

Here are my points:

First, I put the crucial point to Rick, the common friend. I must say that Rick did not deliver completely the task of a wing man. He did not tell Jimmy to order some nice foods and be at his best when him and Nicole arrive. He must have reasons for not doing so. That night might be not so romantic for him, that he did not see the the big picture of love happening between his well-known friends and doing great favours for them. He must have reasons.

Second, I agree of how Nicole assessed Jimmy’s wardrobe and look when they arrived at his apartment. If men are visual, all the more women are. The only difference is women can be  quiet about it and have the power to still consider giving a man a chance of being together who does not meet her physical standards but appeals to her higher needs like security or life’s purpose. But, at this time, Nicole felt that Jimmy’s wearing of cap is an absence of interest. To share a bit of my own story. The Lord knows how I assessed (a few) men in the past and even in  the present times, that men who meet me without even trying to look at his best, physically are not into me, simply, because they are not trying to impress me, not at all. Although, this is not the singular criteria of assessing whether a man is into a lady and vice-versa, a decent OOTD greatly matters for a first – time meeting between singles from opposite sex. That happened to Nicole for felling that way. She must have reasons.

Thirdly and most importantly, had Jimmy really liked Nicole and not just like having i-am-not-worthy-fan-admiration, he could have called Nicole and asked her number from Rick and call her with lines like “Oh, hi there. Thank you for your visit last night and I felt I missed to prepare you something great to eat, you know that kind of stuff. Err.. Would you like to have a dinner with me, sometime?” That’s not even 50 words including the shy-expressions! Why didn’t he call? He must have reasons.

OK, that first meeting might be tragic for Jimmy to prepare and be at his best. But, c’mon, man, ladies like Nicole can very well understand the situation that they’ve just walk-by without a prior notice so they can give this man a chance. Afterall, she liked him! But, Jimmy did not call and ask the universe to give him a chance to impress Nicole. Jimmy must have reasons for not doing so.

Or… the universe knew and whispered to Nicole as earlier at that time that few years down the road someone else is meant for her, who the universe will help to translate that he is the one for her and in the same way to Jimmy, too.

God is merciful. God sends signs so we will be aligned with him.

So, me and fellow waiting people whether single or married, waiting for a dream to transpire, be still and have faith.

When things are not falling into proper places, it is not yet time. When it is not yet time, be still and wait with anticipation for that time of favours to come.

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Thank you for reading.
May God be praised.

Love and beauty,
B.

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09/11/2018

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