A Woman’s Prayer

All Embracing Mother God, with grateful hearts we continue to say THANK YOU for all the blessing  you bestowed upon us especially the breath of life,  the sisterhood, the friendship, the fellowship and our womanhood.  The delight we feel and enjoy with each other amidst sacrifices in life, as we endure to share each other’s load amidst life struggles for decent living; to end all kinds of violence inflicted unto us, our children and  environment.

Continue  to touch others collectively to enable us to break our silence; without ceasing we will gyrate our hips and bodies to express our very strong resistance for the injustices and violence of this world.

Dearest Loving and Caring God, we thank you for keeping us united-spirited-women of faith stronger,  being resilient despite of typhoons and storm surges we experience in our lives; jubilant  even with tears in our eyes  as we continue to listen, to hear, to feel  each other’s  life stories, and life experiences encountered in our daily lives.

You continue to inspire us with your Great Example through your persistent call to serve the least of our brothers and sisters; to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with you, O God; reminding us daily the divinity you shared to each one of us to use it, to express it, to complete the fullness of our humanity in order we can experience bounty, just and peaceful living.

We bow our heads; we fold our knees in supplication, we entreat you, our Parent God to keep us going; to keep us moving.

Continue to give us the willpower to say NO to all the injustices occurring in our individual lives, in the churches, in the communities, in the whole world.

Enable us to bring our heads up, to acknowledge our womanhood and the courage to salute and even to raise our hands into fists.

Give us the strength to bring our murmurs, our laments,  our cries into an explosive shout of RESISTANCE! Through prayers, poems, songs and dances and our struggles.

With you in our midst, we can surely face life’s challenges because you never keep your distance from us, you are our life’s companion; you let us feel your guidance and presence, and make us aware of our strength; ever affirming us that we are also your God’s image and likeness.

Thus, we are always grateful to you, our Creator God because you created us, WOMEN into this world; not only to make love,  to produce babies and to fill the word with humans; not only to care the children, but to nurture them into responsible men and women;  not just as entertainers, domestic helpers nor low-paid labourers; not just being women to please men;  men to please women.

You invited us to your sacred places, altars and holy of holies ; You share us the calling of servanthood in all aspects of life.

You want us to be genuine instruments of your Love, Mercy and Service.  You call us to be bearers of the Good News to the whole wide world.

Make us. Move us. Gather us in your arms. Let us rise together in one accord celebrating the wholeness and fullness of our WOMANHOOD with the rest, those in need of truth in a just, loving, peaceful and abundant  world: the promise of SHALOM, SALA’M!

Continue to lead us,  O God of all heavens, vast universe, and the whole world.  Continue to bless each one of us for another blissful year and many years to come with your inexorable love for all.  AMEN.

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We are ALL Beautiful

beautiful and love this so I’m sharing it

Awakened

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We all have rolls when we bend down.

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YES WE CAN!

We can sweetly SMILE even our hearts are in pains

We can heartily LAUGH while keeping tears inside

We can daringly SING even out voices are out of tune

We can gracefully DANCE either on the right steps or not

We can happily JUMP like our kids when overjoyed

We can warmly HUG and let them feel belong

We can honestly COMFORT especially those in needs

We can intently LISTEN when stories are told

 

We can ardently LOVE with no conditions

We can fairly CARE our families and for others

We can gladly VOLUNTEER cleaning, washing, all the housekeeping

We can DO household chores the whole day till morning

We can fortunately BE A MOTHER for many

We can always be BEST FRIEND of our children and love ones

We can gently FEEL other’s pains

We can readily SHARE and lighten other’s burdens

 

We can willingly WRITE our life’s stories and experiences

We can strongly WITHSTAND betrayal, neglect, disloyalty

We can strongly FACE rejection, denial, put-downs

We can calmly EXPRESS our anger like the Ilonggos

We can also BURST our disgust like thunders and lightning

We can cheerfully WALK with our buddies and friends

We can eagerly RUN for miles to keep fit and trim

We can bravely TALK and DISCUSS issues without needing alcohol

 

We can confidently ASK  questions when not clarified

We can easily ARGUE to find solutions

We can fearlessly RAISE our fist when needed

We can firmly SAY NO when our rights are violated

We can willingly BLOW candles and fire when our loved ones got hurt

We can courageously STRUGGLE with all the struggling people

We can willingly TAKE UP arms if need be

We can joyfully SERVE  the people especially the least

 

God listened to us, God comforted us

God gave us strength, God sent us genuine friends

God keep us tenderly in her loving embrace

God allow us to CRY our hearts OUT to Him!

That is why we can CONTINUE TO BREATH

With COURAGE, with the ENERGY of our inner wings

We can solemnly SOAR high, touching ground

CELEBRATING LIFE a hundred years to live

 

Yes we can, with all the positive vibes and with certainty

With our womanhood, sisterhood, motherhood and life’s bonding

Yes, we can do more even far beyond our dreams

Yes, we can do something even from out of nothing

Yes, we can without doubt because we are also called

Like Hagar in the Old, was told  a promise to keep

Like Mary and Martha, Jesus taught them the value of listening and doing

Yes, we can!  We are WOMEN of faith created in God’s image.

 

NOTE: This is a late post, a draft two years ago.  🙂  As we step to another month, April, leaving Women’s Month awaiting for next year, I would like to share a poem I wrote last March 4, 2014.  First it was  for my self. Originally, I was used instead of WE. But as I continue to thank God for keeping me strong for all the challenges I have in my lifetime, all the trying times these past years, months and days… without God, my children and God-sent-friends I can not remain as beautiful-stronger-person as I am today. Grateful to Our Loving Creator, soon I will  be celebrating my fifty-borrowed-years, a life bestowed to be enjoyed and to be shared with others.  I would like to dedicate this poem to all the women who dare to continue breath and offer lives in solidarity for  those who struggle life abundance for everyone, for all.  Yes, we can!

Remembering a Great Filipino Leader

Let us contiue to be inspired by Don Belong’s desire and dream for a rich, just and peaceful country for the Finlipino people. Mabuhay po kayo!

Shepherding is fun, but…

NOTE: This is a late post. My experience before in Palestine. But I post it here in REMEMBRANCE OF MY 3 MONTHS STAY and REMEMBERING the Aggression of Israeli in Gaza beginning in July 10, 2014.

I never had any experience in shepherding of my fifty years of existence in this world, not till I come into South Hebron Hills. First experience, second experience, and the next one were all somewhat exiting, interesting and fun until yesterday…

Shepherding is a way of life for the Palestinians in the villages.  Most farmers also raise sheep and goats, chicken and ducks beside planting olives, grapes, figs, vegetables, barley, wheat and others that grow in the valleys and hills. They have bee-heaves as well.  In short, there is abundance for every Palestinian family not counting the big houses sprawling in the hills and valleys in villages, municipalities and cities. In fact, I am one month now here but I have never seen a beggar.

This week, we receive calls coming from shepherds in different villages asking our presence during the afternoon shepherding. Our four-team members responded the requests through prioritizing which one needs our immediate presence. Shepherds sought international presence during shepherding for the following reasons:

Settlers’ harassment: One or two or more settlers come  with their dogs to the shepherds with their sheep and goats peacefully grazing in the fields/valleys.  The settlers let loose their dogs to run after the sheep and the goats, terrorizing the animals and owners as well. Some of them come with their guns and forcibly push the shepherds away from the grazing lands denying the sheep and goats to be fed.  Settlers may come riding a horse or donkey and intrude the sheep and goats grazing peacefully or driving away the shepherds from the grazing areas by firing them. But with internationals’ presence, they keep at bay or they cannot be seen in the vicinity.

Soldiers’ presence: They come by two’s or four’s or a jeep-load/car-load and/or with settlement police and drive away the shepherds from the grazing lands. Most of the times, they come for the settlers and not to protect the people from the settlers. In others words, they are part of the “settlers’ guards.”  However if there will be non-Palestinians or internationals’ presence, these soldiers behave and appeared to be protecting the Palestinians from the settlers.

The problem of the shepherds started when settlements (Israeli-created villages for Jewish community coming from abroad with full protection from the army, military post, full supply of water and electricity, good roads, fences, security, etc…) were illegally built in Palestinian lands/areas near to their farms/fields or villages. Settlers do not respect boundaries. They have much power and sometimes if not most of the times, soldiers always follow to their senseless attack to the people.

In Israeli Law the settlers are not allowed to come  near to Palestinian lands/areas but these settlers who are illegally occupying the Palestinian lands  never stop.  They do what they like. Similar to the Israeli State, settlers intentionally or subtly continue to occupy the Palestinian lands through planting trees in the fields owned by the Palestinians; harassing and terrorizing the people, driving the peace-loving Palestinians away from their lands or sometimes used their guns, claiming Palestinian lives.

Internationals’ presence for years are able to help minimize violence and ease the daily problems temporarily because not all the times they are able to accompany the shepherds in the villages. In other words, no one can tell when the next harassment will be.  Prioritizing for accompaniment is always based on the immediate need like how long the people were being harassed.

As I said, shepherding maybe fun being with the shepherds in the fields, watching the sheep and goats happily grazing around and walking them across fields and valleys and hills … but yesterday was never fun at all. Quarter to seven in the afternoon/evening (sun still up), we said goodbye to Nael with his sheep and goats going back to his tent-house as we went uphill to locate a road nearby. We could not go back with him for it is far already, that was why my teammate decided to go and looked for a road.  We were glad to find a good road (asphalted) after a ten-minute walk uphill and we started to go downhill for the road. We walked comfortably, especially I felt my feet relaxed walking in a flat road.  Looking forward, far down the road we saw a military car with other white cars owned by Palestinians. Then the team’s driver called us: “Do you want to encounter the soldiers? Get out from the road. I cannot fetch you because the road you are walking is going to a settlement and there is a military checkpoint ahead.”

Whoaaa, we stepped out from the road and started walking to a field then downhill. When I looked back the military were going down nearer to where we walked and then I saw police car coming behind.  I walked fast following my teammate and asked him: “Did they follow us?” Truly that time, I felt some fears and told myself, never I would like to meet the police or IDF (Israeli Defense Force) officers and be interrogated. Though, after that experience, we continue to do shepherding and acompanying the shepherds in the fields.

just feeling happy

Hurray!!! After almost 2 years of hiatus, this blog is now available, meaning I can open and post .

blog

Why peace is elusive?

NOTE: This is a late post,  drafted almost  2 years ago.

PEACE: Shalom, Sala’m, Kalinaw, Kapayapaan, Kappia, Salaam, Pax, Paz, Pake, Vrede, Selam, Patz, Pasch, Fred, Samaya, Shanti, Pakigdait, He Ping, Emem, etc… is always elusive to the people of the world! Empires have their own language for peace and it means always: war, land occupation, land aggression, oppression,  to name a few.

Biblical peace is always anchored in justice. And it is always in the perspective of the victims, the oppressed, the downtrodden, the dehumanized, the despised, the weak, and all those people denied to live peacefully as human beings in their lands, those people whose source of living are taken forcibly away from them. Why it is so difficult to understand the meaning and the essence of peace when all religions and faith communities speak about peace? I remember one of my professors in the seminary said, “It all depends what lens you are using” in understanding peace. People of the world can never be united because we have always taken a side… and mostly it is more or less subjective and favorable not to the victims but to the perpetrators who describe and set the standard of understanding peace in a world of un-peace.

For the past two days, we received ALERT’s information on various demolition throughout the West Bank: residences, business structures, cow farm, dairy factory, a Bedouin  community, among others.  We were told that during the Israeli “Protective Edge” war against Gaza, less or no demolition happened in the West Bank.  However, with the current situation of “truce” in Gaza and the Israeli soldiers are back, demolition is almost happening everyday.

We visited a village the other day and saw what left from the demolition last Monday afternoon. Nothing is seen standing of the remains. Tent-houses, kitchens, toilets, tent for the sheep, tent for the supplies and all the rest were all destroyed. Three families were victims of sudden demolition.  Both families were with their elderly/parents aged 64 and 60 and children as young as 4 year old. In a makeshift tent, the Ecumenical Accompaniers were served and offered tea, part of the Palestinian tradition.

What is peace then for those victims of state violence and all forms of violence afflicting not only adults, elderly but children, as well. not?  Peace, peace… how elusive!

In gratitude

flower prayer

Because of Her Testimony

This year’s theme for the week of Prayer for Christian Unity, “Give me water to drink”

Reading the Gospel: Jesus discourses with a Samaritan woman on the well.

MEN VALUE the WOMEN

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