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Summer at Tambobo Bay

Summer at Tambobo Bay
oil on canvas
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Friday, July 12, 2013

Does It Hurt?

One sunny afternoon, I was watching two kites flying while I was floating leisurely on the water at the beach. The summer breeze gently carried off the kites while the two boys at the distance tugged at the strings once in a while. The little pressure made the kites soared higher and higher above the coconut tree tops. As the boy of the black kite failed to pull the string, the kite slowly came down to the ground, while the blue one soared higher as its master took meticulous attention by applying the right amount of pressure on the string. Sometimes God has to pull us back a little to make us soar higher to fulfill His plans. The tugging hurts, but the pressure is needed to drive us closer to Him. His ways are strange but perfect. He is always on time. His rapt attention is on every detail of our existence. When at times we go slack and careless, He draws nearer. God sees to it that we walk on the right path, calling our attention His way. Oftentimes we resent the process and wrestle with Him and ran away. There were times that we didn’t want anything to do with Him. During storms and trials that we go through, we doubt His existence. But what we think does not change the fact that He is God, and we are puny little humans. Some talented, gifted individuals mock His existence. They think that they are smarter because of their little abilities and meager knowledge compared to their Creator. Others boast of their power and their wealth forgetting the truth that they were mere stewards of those privileges. Do you hurt today? Do you think that your Master pulled you a little harder this time? Wait and know that He knows what is best for you.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Patience

There was once man who asked his friend to pray to God that he would possess the virtue of patience. The friend prayed to God as the young man was listening. He said, “God, please give my friend problems today and tomorrow and more to come.” The young man was shocked and said, “why are you praying that way? “ and his friend said, “ That’s the only way for you to learn patience.” What makes us patient? A day can hardly be perfect. Big problems and small ones seem to be part of our daily web. We don’t have to find them, they come like rain or even as strong as a storm. It is hard to welcome them, but whether we like it or not they seem to be intertwined in our lives like light and shadows. Some catch you in the middle of the day, like you were just so happy you received your bonus, and here you have a cart full of groceries. You are standing in a long queue of people in a grocery store, and suddenly the cashier ran out of change and goes to another cashier. She stays there a moment longer, unmindful of the others waiting, and while they are exchanging money, they also exchange their life stories. You couldn’t tell whether it is your stomach growling or your temper. Everyday, you have to wait for a public transportation to go to work. Finally an easy ride comes (sometimes not so easy to ride)and no one moves to give you a space but you have to literally crawl to the farthest seat between the knees of other passengers. Those who were ahead of you wanted to have an easy access to the door when they go out so no one cared if you were having a hard time. It is rare to find those who are well-bred individuals who move and shorten your ordeal. Then you wish that at least there should be notices plastered in all public utility vehicles reminding people of good manners and a little bit of kindness. Motorists have the same problems with others like them, our egos and selfishness surface when we are exposed to challenging real-life experiences. Other grueling circumstance is when you are tested during a long and tedious process of procuring documents in public or private offices and you had to read minds why it takes so long. When typhoons come you had to get used to floods and brownouts. These are irritants that stretch our patience to its limits. You had to pat your back if you survive the day without cursing someone. But Thomas Jefferson says that “Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” Patience is a virtue because it is sometimes impossible to attain.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Those Angry Birds

Have you heard of Angry Birds? If you have not, then you lost touch of the kid’s world. A little boy was crying last week because his mama had enough of angry birds stuff. When the concept of angry bird was created in 2009 by a Finnish computer game developer, they decided that these wingless birds without visible legs should have an enemy. The time of swine flu epidemic made the hungry green pigs as the reasonable opponent to steal the eggs of these birds. The game was a hit. It generated millions of downloads in short times. Angry birds can be a clock, stickers, school bags, stuff toys, you name it, its success is all over the world. The game is so exciting and available anywhere or in anything even with your handheld phones. It became an obsession to kids and adults alike. These hungry green pigs has ice, wood and stones as their hideouts where the angry birds chase them with special powers according to their colors. The blue ones can split into three birds, the black is the suicide bomber and the white bird can drop explosive eggs. And the war goes on as addicted players go higher in each level. Like these video games, some of us want to create excitement in this mundane life by creating opponents. Those who are blessed with health, wealth, faithful spouses and good children like to venture into higher level of excitement like looking at the other side of the fence for greener pastures. To some people, good life can be boring. A little taste here and there isn’t bad enough until one morning, these little wingless creatures become so angry and all hell breaks loose. Many kids and even adults like this game not only because it is fun, but because of what these creatures represent philosophically. Annihilating those pigs is a form of emotional release that one can’t do physically. Whether we like it or not there are many hungry green pigs in our lives. Some people create them for us or we have created them ourselves. Avoiding these pigs is not an option for these angry birds, they hunt them, even if it will cost them their own lives to retrieve those eggs. As a gamer, the game should not be over. The hunt is insatiable. The excitement is mounting until dawn. But unlike those angry birds we can’t remain angry forever. For married people, marriage is a union of two forgivers. To be angry is like hoarding poison inside us, that finally corrodes our system. Annihilating our enemies will only create more enemies. There will always be hungry green pigs in our lives, but we can’t drop bombs like those angry birds all the time.

Keep it Up!

Every morning as I tend my garden, I always find a spider web. The rain pours and wash down my tiny friend. But moments later the spider comes up and weaves another. These tiny creatures defy all kinds of obstacles like natural calamities or human interventions. The male machos go through elaborate ritual dances with exact web vibrations to win their ladies even if it meant that they will become their succulent meal. Spiders can be patient and cruel. Spiders were here before you and I were born. They are relentless builders. Nothing seems to stop them in starting all over again. Their web building must have been done millions of times. Most garden spiders are harmless to people. Other types are poisonous. Most of them have eight eyes and eight legs. Unlike many other living things, spiders have no ears, but the apparent lack of hearing is being compensated by the hairs in their legs that feels the lightest vibration in their webs. They wait patiently for their unsuspecting prey to touch their sticky silken prison cell. They have no formal jaws, so the poor trapped fly is being liquified by an enzyme to suit their taste. These true blue-blooded areneae, of the arachnid order have elaborate courtship to prevent the male from being eaten by the ladies before fertilization. The male dances to create a precise pattern of vibrations in the web as part of the ritual. Finally as the male wins the female and the mating starts, few males survived after the mating process. Oddly enough, some male spiders co-operate in being eaten by impaling themselves in the females' fangs. Sad as it seems to us humans, the spiders continue to proliferate this way. Today even their venom which are poisonous to humans are under study if they can be used as non-pollutant pesticide. Spider silk genes have been inserted into mammals and plants for purposes of creating a silk factory. Spider silk has the lightness and strength of elasticity that is highly regarded as superior silk. Spiderman may come to reality one day. But I'm not sure if he will come as a superhero or a producer of spider silk. If spiders can start all over again and again, we humans have many more chances than the spiders. We are gifted with five senses. Unlike most spiders that has a short life span of one to two years, except for the tarantulas that can live up to 25 years, we humans have more years to live. Our only problem is how to live those years.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Unwanted

Unwanted His mother didn't want him to be born. His father deserted him. He could have stomped his feet, wailed, and be mad at the whole world. But this man carries around a smiling face, a singing heart, and a guitar that chases your blues away. He strums his guitar with incomplete fingers, and praise God with his music. He said he has all the reasons to be joyful. Despite being an unwanted baby, he knows that Jesus loves him so much that He died for his sake. This truth makes him see the world through a kaleidoscope of colors. He preaches God's goodness in his life and give others love that he had missed. Meeting this man made cancer so puny. Are you lonely? Do you feel that you have been set aside from all the rest to suffer a terrible fate? You are not alone. There are more lonely people today than ever before. Despite modern technology and gadgets as play toys, there is still a deep void within humans that only God can fill. Life is a series of stages that mold us. How we respond to certain situation depends on how strong our foundation within. Psychologists say that an infant who was abandoned by the very people who should have given him care and love will have difficulty in trusting the world. But this man turned his misfortune into a blessing,knowing that he was unwanted as a baby, all he wished was to love others.

Friday, April 6, 2012

ART AT THE PLAZA

Art at the Plaza, a summer art workshop will start on April 17 to May 17 at Hotel Florentina Rovira, Road, Dumaguete city. The diversity of this workshop is unique in itself as students are allowed to explore art in different mediums. Three visual artists, Wing del Prado, Sharon Dadang and Muffet Villegas will teach sketching, drawing, painting, pottery, sculpting and Fun art in different forms to interested students with ages from 8 to adult. Beginners and advance lessons will be offered in respective categories. The art workshop is a combined talents of Wing del Prado, who is a painting major from the College of Holy Spirit and had further studies in Parsons School of Design in New York . She had a one man show on miniature paintings at Peninsula Hotel. Wing has worked in Advertising Agency at Ace Compton Manila and had apprentice at Ace Compton New York. She will teach fun art in different forms. Sharon Dadang, is a painter, sculptor, teacher, facilitator and organizer of various events which include art exhibits, church based community teambuilding and a staunch peace advocate among others. Sharon has participated in various art exhibitions in 1993 up to the present. She was also a part time faculty of Silliman University College of Performing Arts. The team includes Muffet Villegas, a painter ,illustrator, writer and teacher who has been exhibiting her paintings for more than three decades now, locally and abroad. She recently held her 8th solo art exhibit with the theme “ Light and Shadows” at the Spanish Heritage in Dumaguete City. Art at the Plaza accepts registration on a first come first serve basis. Please call tel. no. 422-0827 for inquiries.