Monumento: Out of the Way ang Idealism

Monumento

image credit:Aye dela Cruz

Since naipatayo ang Roosevelt Station ng LRT-1, doon na ko lagi sumasakay everytime pupunta ako sa UN Avenue, sa Mall of Asia or parts of Caloocan, Pasay, and Manila. Mas convenient kasi. Nakakaupo ako, komportable at hindi kailangang makipagpalitan ng mukha sa dami ng mga pasahero. Iyan ang benefit ng pinakadulong train station. Every time din na sumasakay ako sa LRT1, nadadaanan ko lagi si Andres Bonifacio, kasama ang kanyang Band of Nameless Katipuneros.

Alongside Bonifacio, kinikilala rin nating bayani ang lumpo ngunit matalinong si Apolinario Mabini, ang femme fatale na si Gabriela Silang, ang mga manunulat na sina Lopez-Jaena at Marcelo del Pilar. Siempre, hindi mawawala sa list si Gen. Gregorio del Pilar dahil sa kanyang last stand sa Tirad Pass para lang mabigyan ng pagkakataong makatakas mula sa mga Amerikano si Gen. Aguinaldo.

Hindi lang naman si Bonifacio ang may monumento. Karamihan sa mga bayani ng ating bansa ay immortalized sa kanilang mga bantayog at sa mga history books na pinag-aaralan natin mula elementary hanggang College.

Pero isa si Bonifacio sa may pinakamaraming fans hanggang ngayon. Kung masusunod nga ang mga fans na ito eh, siya ang magiging National Hero at hindi si Jose Rizal. Sadly, na-cut short ang kanyang Revolutionary career dahil sa paghatol sa kanya ni Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. Sabihin na nating wala siyang naipanalong battle against the Spaniards. Pero isa siyang master organizer: kasama siya sa founding members ng La Liga Filipina, ang organization na binuo ni Rizal.

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Support Young People’s Ministries Century Ride for Global Scholarship

A few years back, my boss Mike Ratliff started going on bike rides on his birthday to raise funds for different purposes. Instead of giving him gifts, he asked his friends to help him raise money for several projects. The other year, it was to help raise funds for international participants who will attend the Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly, a once-in-every-4-years event for United Methodist young people all over the world.

This year, Mike’s “Century Ride” will help raise funds for the global scholarship fund of our office. Young People’s Ministries, in case you’re not aware, is the global youth and young adult ministries agency of the United Methodist Church. We have a grants program and a scholarship program that benefits young people who are living and studying in their own countries. Anybody from outside the United States could apply to receive the scholarship.

It’s a fairly recent Scholarship Program. Prior to this, most of the United Methodist Church’s scholarship programs were for students in the United States. Young People’s Ministries’ Global Scholarship program has helped young people from the Philippines and Africa among other places go through College.

Mike has committed to riding a bike for 100 miles on November 6, 2015. He has also pledged $100 so he My colleague Kelsey will ride for 100 minutes.

I am committing to ride my bike for 100 minutes.

You, too, can help support this effort. You can donate $100 or more. But if that amount is a little too high for you, can gather 10 of your friends to give $10 each and support this fundraising effort. If $10 still sounds too much, how about gathering 20 friends who will give $5 each? Or even 100 friends giving $1 each. We can be creative in helping support students around the world!

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Biyaheng EDSA: The Trips We Take sa Matrapik, Mabilis(?), Magulo, pero Exciting na Buhay Yuppie

how to start a travelblogNaging familiar lang ako sa EDSA noong nag-umpisa na akong magtrabaho sa Makati bilang isang call center agent. Araw-araw, bumibiyahe ako mula sa Don Antonio Heights sa Quezon City papunta sa MRT Quezon Avenue station. Para lang makasakay, makikipila nang mahaba, pagpapawisan, kulang na lang makipagpalitan ng mukha sa mga kasabay kong pumapasok. Mas okay na yun kesa naman abutin nang siyam-siyam sa bus.

Back then, mas manageable ang crowds ng MRT-3. Ngayon, parang laging Zombie Apocalypse ang level ng pila sa MRT stations tuwing rush hour. 23.8 kilometers lang ang EDSA pero parang napakahaba nito dahil na rin siguro sa katakot-takot na trapik. Kung isa kang young professional o office worker sa alinmang business district sa Metro Manila, mahirap iwasan ang EDSA.

Bilang mga young professionals, hindi lang naman highway ang EDSA, isa rin itong symbol o metaphor ng ating mga paglalakbay sa buhay. Isipin mo—sa Northern end nito, nandoon ang Monumento ni Andres Bonifacio. Kung mag-LRT ka mula sa Roosevelt Station papunta sa Caloocan o Manila, makikita mo si Bonifacio, matikas na nakatayo kasama ang mga barkada niyang nagsipunit ng kanilang sedula para magrebolusyon sa mga Kastila. Sa kabilang dulo naman, nandoon ang malaking globo at ang Mall of Asia. Kung gusto mong mag-shopping, kumain, at mamasyal sa tabing-dagat, puwedeng puwede! Sabi nga ng tagline ng SM: “We got it all for you.”

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Strangers, Foreigners, Offering Bread and Fish

Last August, my wife, son, and I moved to Nashville, Tennessee in the United States. We came from the Philippines, halfway around the world–from the land of delicious and sweet dried mangoes, of beautiful beaches, and hospitable people.

movingboxesIt’s hot, and the traffic is really bad, and although more than 20 typhoons pass by every year, it is still home. It is where I grew up and learn how to interact with my world.

Both of my parents are pastors in the United Methodist Church. That probably explains why they gave me the name Mighty. Since they are both pastors, I have lots and lots of memories of moving from one place to another: from the seminary in Cavite, which is about 40 kilometers away from Manila, we traveled for 9-10 hours at night to move to the Northern part of the Luzon island; packing boxes, helping my parents put books, clothes, and other things into containers. After several moves, I have several boxes that I just did not open: we just moved them from one place to another.

In all of those moving, church members helped us pack our things, they even went with us to the new church and parsonage. Some members gave us parting gifts and foods. And when we arrived at the new church and parsonage, the members were eager to welcome us, helping us unload and arrange our new home, and they all made us feel part of their community.

We probably moved to around 15-20 houses in the past 4 decades. So I know what it is like to not have our own house. I was 29 when my father brought and built our own family house. I no longer lived with them, but at least, I have place to store all those unopened boxes. I suppose that in the Philippines and in a lot of places around the world, having your own house is a big sign of stability.

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