Sunday, October 28, 2012

Confession of a Sinner: Humbled through the Emotional Vampire

I no longer want to be a victim of my own crime responding to his empty words, I told myself.

It’s semestral break already, but I still have exams. So, I am left alone in the metro as my brother went home for vacation.

All Soul’s Day is nearing. My neighbor who lived right beside our unit died just last August. The TV is featuring horror stories as I write at this moment.

I am not afraid for some reason. I know my God is always with me; I feel strongly secured. Nothing is to be feared, for God is beside us all the time.

Rather, I am afraid of my emotional vampire.

For the past months, I have been bothered by someone part of my history. I don’t know what exactly his motive was, but he was trying to be nice and good all of a sudden. Same pattern, same story. But I am giving benefit of the doubt that his good side urged him to do some good things, which for some reason I don’t know what and why.

I am a sinner. I am like any mortal who sins every single day.

I get angry.
I hate.
I say hurtful words.

Whatever my motive is—good or bad; white lie or plain truth; protect myself or avoid pain; tough love or indifference—the point is I sin. I do not and will not justify my actions with whatever good reasons and valid logic I may recite.

Outrightly, I sin.

I am humbled.

God is a very loving God. He looks past our mistakes, shortcomings, and failures; rather He looks at our potential.

Just the other day, I was so affected by the surprise that the person in my past have had done. In the middle of my refreshed joy and good disposition, I was practically awakened by his presence.

Boom! My heart exploded again. Debris of love, hurt, joy, sadness, hope, resistance combined and scattered everywhere I turned to.

I have forgiven him for all the hurts he caused me for very long years two years ago. I haven’t seen him for a little over a year. You can imagine my world when he showed up one day by surprise.

I thought to myself, “God, I am a sinner. I am weak. I might get even or carry a grudge or consciously let myself be fooled again. Guide me and may Your will be done for the best of us.”

I opened up myself to various emotions. Always reminding myself to give the person the chance to do whatever good he has in mind so he could be freed from the yoke he was carrying as he claimed.

I thought I already closed the door of the past and threw away the key that I would no longer be affected. But when his empty words came rushing again, I felt uncomfortable. At first I was hurt. I thought I was hurt. But as the events unfolded and same pattern happened again, I recognized, my feeling was not only hurt, but already with dash of annoyance and a tinge of anger.

I no longer want to be a victim of my own crime responding to his empty words, I told myself.

Two years ago, I gave what he asked of me. I let go of the treasure I held for a long time. I moved on on my own. I minded my own business. I never bothered the person, no matter how much the world inside me was quaking. I went away silently. I forgave. I wished him well.

The hurt has been dashed with anger after I clearly and honestly told him again my feelings and condition—I am not yet okay. I am still in the process of healing. Please let me move on as you live your own life.

He was with her, but he looked for my new address and tried to cut-and-paste me in his life.

That is foolishness and that greatly insulted me.

I have just been bitten by an emotional vampire. My energies were sucked out.

No one to blame, but myself for letting it happen. I admit, I allowed myself to be bitten. I could have been careful, but I was not.

The good news is, God only wants the best for us.

Everything happens for a good reason. God’s hands are at work in our lives preparing us to rightfully receive His amazing blessings.

I am a sinner. I am tempted. I get mad. I desire earthly pleasures.

But through God’s gift of grace, we are renewed and cleansed every single day.

It is by God’s great love and mercy that we are saved—not through ourselves, not a single goodness of hand, so no one can boast of his greatness.

Each day comes, each day I sin.
Each day I sin, each day God forgives and cleanses me.

With very thankful heart, I will do my best not to let His love be futile in my life.

I let God hold my hands, rather than I holding his hands. For as human as I am, I am inclined to let go of His hands in times of convenience, of earthly pleasure, or in times of difficulty.

With God’s guidance and leading, I know each thing every single day is wired to improve me and prepare me for His best for me.

Without delay, I am confessing the contents of my sinful heart after He surprised me with a very moving and touching words for me today, through the day’s readings and gospel… all to give thanks to Him and bring honor and glory to His name.

Like the crippled woman healed on the Sabbath, God healed and re-assured me by speaking directly to my sinful, heavy, and struggling heart as He always does, at His perfect timings…

Readings and Gospel for Monday, October 29, 2012:

            Ephesians 4:32-5:8
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example,therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[e]Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 

            Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4, and 6

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.
Not so the wicked!
    They are like chaff
    that the wind blows away.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

            Luke 13:10-17

10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years.She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

As the Halloween approaches, let us not quiver in terror of the scary images in our minds.

Instead, let us be willing to face head on our emotional vampires that suck the energy out of us and recognize the power of God in turning these vampires into blessings in our lives—not only to see ourselves more clearly, but to allow ourselves to be healed to help others and be saved to serve others.

Knowing our sources of burden or sin should not be confused with condemning others and think highly of ourselves; but to know our weak buttons so we can offer them to God for healing. That our wounds become a source of healing for others we meet along our life’s journey.

I am no sinless; but through God’s grace I strive to sin less and less.

I was hurt. I got mad. I sinned. Now, I am humbled by God’s grace.

Instead to get scared on All Soul’s Day, I am choosing to pray for the Soul’s of our faithful departed and to reflect on my soul’s condition to bring back into kilter, as how God wants us to be—faithful and living in light.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hit It!

It doesn't matter how big or small your foe is.
 What matters is how big your determination to win and how small your doubt in your capability to make it.

Arrive with a good disposition.
Kick off with a sharp service.
Play with grace.
End knowing you give your best.
Accept results with dignity.
…and always start and end with a prayer.

Whatever the weather is, wherever the action is—hard, clay, grass, or shell—if you condition your mind to win and you prepare your body to fight, the smash and the dropballs of life are not as hard to hit as you think they are.

Have a fighting heart!

Don't play safe. Don't stagnate. Don't be overconfident.
Humble yourself in training and learn from others and from your experiences.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

It doesn't matter how big or small your foe is. What matters is how big your determination to win and how small your doubt in you capability to make it.

Fight the good fight.
Play every day life's game fairly.
Listen and obey your coach. Pray to for discernment and passion to rise above every game.

Eyes on the ball—see your target clearly.
Position yourself properly before every shot—your response will go to the direction you plan.
Anticipate the ball coming—your senses will be alert serve you well.
Master the art of right timing—hit the life's smashes at the proper time, not early when you may strain yourself, not late when all you could do is hit the air.
Swing your responses with grace—rattling yourself will consume much energy, and your good form will inspire and strengthen others.
Follow through your swing—allowing your trained natural response flow full swing will make every swing, miss or hit, light to handle. Full swing… if it requires crying, grieving, celebration, then allow it and do it naturally; then return to your proper position right after you follow through within reasonable time.

Don't hit the wall. Go face the ball!
Hit—smash or drop,
Drive with grace whatever life throws at you.
As long as you fight, as long as you try, every life's match will always be worthwhile.
Never ever let life win by default. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t shrink back. Don’t mercy kill yourself.

Go, persist with a fighting and prayerful heart!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Two Cents Worth: The New Cybercrime Law is a Virtually Illicit Act

I am sorry, but being passive/apathetic/safe silence is a far more unfortunate fate than dying after you take a stand and fight for a good cause.

The Internet is a doubled-bladed sword, which could be beneficial, on one hand; and harmful, on the other hand. The Internet has become a very powerful tool in making our lives better and easier in many aspects. Yet, it has also caused destruction and damages to many.

Hence, it is but right for the government to regulate, through its police power, our utilization of the Internet and the computer devices.

Recalling the things I learned from my Constitutional Law subjects, police power is the power of promoting the public welfare by restraining and regulating the use of liberty and property.


Cybercrime laws regulating the people’s activities using the Internet across the cyberspace could be beneficial and valuable if they truly mean to protect the rights of the people, promote the people’s interests for the good of most, provide safety, improve morals, and provide and/or improve exchange of or access to information in furtherance of the public weal.

It is important to note that the Cybercrime Prevention Act (RA 10175) is a special penal law, ergo it is a law malum prohibitum (wrong because prohibited, like anti-wire tapping, anti violence against women and children, anti-hazing) as opposed to law malum in se (wrong because evil in itself, like those enumerated in the Revised Penal Code to wit murder, robbery, bribery).

For cases mala prohibita, there need not be criminal mind or bad faith or bad intention in order for one to be arrested. It is enough that one perpetuated the act prohibited.

Since Unsolicited Commercial Communication is prohibited by RA 10175, then sending Facebook Messages advertising/offering products and services to a person who is irritable at the moment and has no money, can use your act to your disadvantage, or you can already sue big companies for sending you unsolicited marketing campaigns. (Yay for the professional victims! They can make more money!)

Morover, since Libel is defined by law as a “public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead” and since RA 10175 also punishes any person willfully abetting or aiding the commission of any offense enumerated by said Act, then retweeting or reposting “unlikely” messages or simply liking them may already constitute a crime.

I am sorry, but being passive/apathetic/safe silence is a far more unfortunate fate than dying after you take a stand and fight for a good cause.

Section 19 of the Act deserves a good attention as this violates the fundamental right of every person against unreasonable searches and seizures (Section 2, Article III, Consti.).

I believe the sections under the Bill of Rights are the limitations to the power of the government and the safeguard of the people’s civil and political rights, which include:
1.       Right to due process and equal protection
2.       Prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures
3.       Freedom of expression
4.       Impairment clause
5.       Guarantees against injustice to the accused

As my professor pointed out, laws enumerated under the Bill of Rights are self-executing, meaning by themselves they are directly or indirectly applicable without the need of statutory implementation.

So what does this Section 19 of the Cybercrime law do now?

Without court order the DOJ can just order to restrict or block access to your computer and compel you to stop publishing your posts? Where then is the separation of powers between the executive body (DOJ) and the judiciary (court)? I thought the present Constitution sought to strengthen the power of the judiciary and to lessen the power of the executive to correct the bad experiences under the Marcos authoritarianism.

It is ironic that the Cybercrime Law which is supposed to protect the people and promote the common good is clearly violating the supreme law, which is the Constitution. But more than ironic, it is funny that some of our legislators who are supposed to represent the people and pass laws which are supposed to promote the welfare of the people don’t do what they are supposed to do and worse, don’t know what they are doing and the implications of their actions and omissions.

Am I ranting? Yes I am ranting now… I thought this would just be a Facebook Note, now this seems to be short story.

Four things:
1.       For the people, dura lex sed lex— literally, “the law is harsh, but it is the law” that even draconian laws must be enforced and followed. BUT, if anyone disagrees, one must seek to change the law.
2.       For the people, mala prohibita— these are special penal laws that the mere perpetration of the act prohibited already constitutes a crime. So the nobility of intention is insufficient to validate the act.
3.       For some legislators, salus populi est suprema lex— literally, “welfare of the people is the supreme law” so please, make Sotto este make sure to review the Constitution.
4.       For some legislators, Republican purpose is the promotion of the common welfare according to the will of the people you represent and not according to your personal vested interests. “The Philippines is a Democratic and Republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.” (Section 1, Article II, Constitution)

My knowledge of the law is still scanty, but when I looked through the new law, which takes effect today, I felt small for some of the legislators. I am only an ordinary citizen, but commit to respect and follow law. So I hope the legislators know what they’re doing and uphold the mandate that the State gives them—PROMOTE THE WELFARE of the people.

PS: If I go to jail because of this, feel free to visit me :-)

Flash Fiction: Time Talks

But there is nothing better for people to do than to be happy and to do good while they live.

"Tik-tok-tik-tok," says the Clock.
"Time is a language. Time is an expression," says Love.
"Live and love. Live and laugh," says Man.

"By the second my life rolls on," says the Clock.
"Every moment I spend with you is a part of me I give you," says Love.
"I live to share love and joy. I live to enjoy," says Man.

A minute ago, I stood up.
Now, I am walking.
Later, I will conquer.

In autumn you came, I fell in love.
In winter you lied, I was hurt.
In spring you were gone, I grieved.
In summer I accepted things, I found real love.

Yesterday I was born.
Today I am living.
Tomorrow I will rest.
In the morning I smiled.
At noon I cried.
In the evening I laughed.

"Time ticks slowly when you’re idle;
Time flies fast when you hurdle," says Clock. 

"Truth is, I constantly walk by the second... Slowly but surely," Time tells.

"Yet, how and with whom we spend time determines who or what our priorities and treasures are," says Love.

“Truth is, where you use me to nurture it, there your heart is,” Time declares.

"Life moves with time in circle, not because it sometimes puts you on top and sometimes at the bottom; but because every new beginning comes from some endings," says Man.

"Truth is, life moves with me in circle because you don't know where and when an old chapter stops and when and where the new beginning starts and the ending ends," Time shares.

The three agreed:

"Go! Just move with time...
Like time, just keep walking forward.
Your darkness and coldness may come; but surely your sun will rise again," says Clock.

"Go! Just invest time...
Spend time for and with the people and things you love.
Don't count time; make your time count," says Love.

"Go! Just roll with time...
Like time, just pass through the same old hours.
You will surely pass by familiar faces, familiar places, and familiar experiences; but just make sure you are no longer who you were. Improve," says Man.

Like time, grow up and roll onward.
Put your life in the care of the Great Restorer of the lost time, for God make all things beautiful in His own time.

There is a perfect time for every activity under heaven.
Don't rush, savor life.
Enjoy, learn, and improve every moment.

There is...
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to be silent and a time to speak.

But there is nothing better for people to do than to be happy and to do good while they live.