Sunday, November 27, 2005

me and da kids

yup, that's me with two adorable kids and nope, they're not mine.

i'm so happy i decided to go home after our recollection. these pamangkin's only visit our compound every now and then. most of these every now and then's, i'm not there... so it is pure jooooy (!) to see them all again. as you can see i am beaming.

kenken, the boy on my lap, has just reminded me of his christmas gift. he says i keep on postponing the gift i promised him last year. kaela, the hazy girl on my right, was having a hard time pronouncing my name. the most she could mumble was "tito ato" -- good enuf for me.

being with them is one of life's simplest joys.

hay. i'm so happy being a tito.

Monday, November 21, 2005

lost and found

most of the time, we feel that we have to search for God. this search may be in the form of relentless questions about the meaningfulness (or meaninglessness) of our lives or of constantly working to earn God's favor. God is sometimes seen as a Somebody-out-there who we have to please and follow.

yet in the silence of prayer and in the solitude of our hearts, we realize and feel that God is never away from us, that we are never with out-God. our God is a God has chosen to dwell in our hearts not because they are perfect but because He loves us. He is God-with-us, a God who constantly and lovingly abides in us.

ours is a God who is not gnawingly-distant, but tenderly near.


i thought i had to go
and run that extra mile
i thought i had to strive and work
to earn your longed for smile
i thought i had to leave
to reach that special place
i thought i had to prove my worth
to fin’lly see Your face

i need to find my Lord
i need to hear my name
i need to rest my weary heart
i need to end this pain
i need to see my Lord
i need to hold His hand
i need Someone who’ll be with me
Someone who’ll understand

i walked the unknown roads
i swore i’d never cease
i climbed the highest mountain peaks
i crossed the stormy seas
i soared the burning skies
in search for my lost home
i passed beneath a million stars
yet found myself alone

until that fateful day
when love showed me the signs
when loving grace revealed to me
You were with me all this time
until that fateful day
when my life changed its course
when i let go of all my will
and knew that i was Yours



10pm; rm.12-b

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

mirador mornings

this photo was taken at mirador jesuit villa during our discernment retreat last month. while waiting for the sun to rise (since i woke up quite early), i contented myself with viewing baguio and her residents as they slowly roused themselves from deep and refreshing slumber. eniwei, after 30 mins or so, the sun finally began his majestic ascent. it was then when i knew, i had to take this picture.

and oh, to write this poem.

have you ever seen a more glorious sight
than the breaking of the day
when streaks of gold fill the sky with light
where night once held its way?

have you ever seen a more glorious spread
than this palette of contrast cues
where arching peaks of crimson red
rest beneath the midnight blues?

have you ever heard a more glorious cry
than the early mornbird's song
who through her hymns of joyful praise
bids us to rise along?

have you ever had a more glorious scent
than the smell of dew-graced grass
where blades of green have been blessed with drops
from mountain mists that passed?

yet i confess
in all my life
there's one much more than these
there's one much more than shifting hues
from sunlight's golden fleece

for when the soul reminds itself
of its once and only home
then one will see how all this time
one never was alone

yes, when the soul reminds itself
of He whose love holds sway
then we shall see
a more glorious scene
than the breaking of the day

*photo taken @ mirador.jesuitvilla.baguio, copyright dougs joson oct2005

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

of canto boys and girls


most people associate this term with a road. any knowledgeable motorist would tell you that c5 is the circumferential road crossing the pasig-taguig area. but for the people on the left, the word takes on a different meaning. c5, is not only a road.

c5 is a choir. c5 is a family.

i joined this group when it was still a month old last year. now, it is already a year old. more than its age, i have seen it grow in other areas as well. since my entrance to arvisu, i have been unable to attend the practices so when i joined the practice two friday's ago, i found myself pleasantly surprised.

first off, somebody who wanted to join the choir had to undergo a choir tradition -- audition! this 30-something (i'm being kind to his age) former seminarian had to sing in front of everybody. afterwards, he was interviewed. second, we practiced a song arranged by darren, one of our members. the arrangement was very creative and very challenging for most of the voice groups. in the end, everyone enjoyed the arrangement especially the sopranos who had to do a C#! lastly, the group engaged in a preview of the readings for the upcoming sunday mass. as it turned out, members are assigned as liturgists for the week. the liturgist comes up with the repertoire based on the theme and readings for the that sunday.

i have not even begun telling you how this choir has improved vocal-wise. far from the shy and timid group last year, it has conducted parish seminars on liturgical music and has joined the more seasoned jesuit music ministry choirs such as bukas palad and hangad on several occasions.

but what has really struck me is how much the group has grown, how much it wants to grow, and how much it continues to grow. in between practices are the endless yahoogroup emails, messages (and counter-messages!) and food trips! this choir treats any food establishment as their own living room (this includes starbucks, much to the dismay of the reviewing public who treat coffee shops as their own personal library). people have begun sharing their own stories and their own encounters with people. most importantly, they share their own encounters with God. i see that the members have bonded far deeper than the vocal arrangements. their musical prowess is a testament to one thing...

the harmony of their souls.

sure, the group has its own share of concerns and issues. it has had (and will continue to have) its fair share of growing pains and misunderstandings. but what is important is that people are still willing to sit down and listen, to pause and hear the other side, to dwell in silence to let the other speak.

in the end, the allusion to a circumferential road may not be too farfetched after all. as a road and like the church it serves, c5, is a choir always on a journey.

c5 is a choir always on a pilgrimage.

with God and for God.