The past few days my emotions have been on a roller coaster ride. I have been quiet on this blog. The death of President Cory stirred up so many emotions I have tried to manage for the past two years. August 4 marks the second death anniversary of my father and I couldn’t help but go back to those moments while I was watching the necrological service of Tita Cory at the Manila Cathedral late this afternoon. The circumstances have been so similar it just brought me to tears. I am reminded of these two verses that somehow give me a glimpse of what still needs to be worked on in my own heart.
Genesis 32:28 (NIV 1984)
When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”
2Corinthians 12:7 (NASB 1995)
Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me– to keep me from exalting myself!
A broken spirit and a contrite heart, I know God will not despise and that is what He so desires. It is the best heart jewelry one can wear and worth more than all the jewels in the whole wide world. It is what pleases God. The question is, is pain necessary to achieve closeness to God? Is the path of sorrow and suffering the only way to be near God? In my opinion, my answer would be yes. It is necessary.
We do not need Faith if we have the ability to do things on our own. It is the impossible that requires the divine to be employed. Faith is what moves the mountains of pain and suffering aside and parts the sea of sorrow so that we can take one more step closer to the promised land. Faith enables us to struggle and wrestle inspite of the thorns of imperfection and the flaws of our character. It is the adrenalin that pushes us forward to overcome all odds and step into victory. Without faith it is impossible to please God.
Unfortunately, this does not happen overnight. This is where patience comes in. Through plodding and perseverance. Mountain after mountain, valley after valley, struggle after struggle… day after day. Through faith and patience we will overcome. It has already been two years since I have started on this road of coping with the grief and pain because of my father’s death. I am reminded more so today because of President Cory’s death.
My father was working for the Marcos government during that time when the People Power Revolution happened. He was the Chief Engineer in charge of setting up the government transmitters all over the Philippines. How he got into government is a whole other story but I knew he was a man of integrity and uncorrupted by what was around him. He knew what was going on when the transmitters in Malolos were taken over by the military sympathetic to Cory. He told me how crucial communications and media were that’s why these were one of the first things that were taken over aside from power and transportation. He often told me inside stories about media and propaganda and the psy-war tactics that were being employed by both sides. Aside from being an employee of the government, he was also a son of Tacloban and a kababayan of Imelda Marcos. A lot of what I know about government and country I have learned through him. His love for country and integrity in fulfilling his duties have been imparted to me and have made me come to love this country as well. This is his legacy to me. Every province where I see a government transmitter, I am reminded of him. It is a struggle to hold back my tears…to wish for him to still be here. It is a journey that anyone who has lost a loved one deals with everyday. And I guess a “thorn in the flesh” to ground us and remind us of our need for God each day.
Yet inspite the pain, the thought of knowing that the memories and the legacies of our loved ones will live on through us they have left behind, is an assurance that their lives are not in vain. Thank you Tita Cory for reminding me about my father once again. My father is not a well-known figure. He lived a simple quiet life. A life of faith. A life of patience. A life of forgiveness and generosity. A life that overcame self and became selfless for others. A life that mattered to me. A life I will remember always and will be grateful for forever.