Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

Tonight at 8:30pm (Philippines), people of different races, religion, nation, participated in the Earth Hour. I was eating my dinner in a nearby mall at around 7:45pm. Anticipating the world wide event, I texted my family to spread the word and encouraged everyone to join too. I noticed that a few of the business establishments seemed to be unaware of the annual event. I felt bad that in this tough times when global crisis and global warming are serious issues, some people never even seemed to care. Ironically, a few minutes to go, I overheared a litte girl say "It's Earth Hour...". I was glad that even the young generation (including me of course Ü) are even more mature than the seemingly matured. Ironic isn't it? Earth Hour came. It's 8:30pm. The place began to dim, not totally dark because others didn't care. I told myself that in my own little ways, even if my neighbor has all the lights on, I will sacrifice an hour without plugging anything in the outlet, without turning on the lights. This may not mean a lot, but when millions do this at the same time, its phenomenal.

I captured this photo using my Canon PowerShot A610, grabbing my earth-designed stress ball, place it on top of a plastic bottle beside a lit candle.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Miracles happen everyday... you'll just have to notice them..

On November 28, 2008, my mother was scheduled for a hand surgery. That morning, I was about to fetch her. That was also the day when the "Birhen sa Simala" visited San Isidro Parish Church, Talamban, Cebu. As I went outside, the streets were filled with white and light blue 'banderitas' and balloons, devotees putting up their altar along the streets as people waited for the "Birhen sa Simala" parade. I decided to wait a bit and see Mama Mary of Simala. It has been our plan to visit Mama Mary at Sibonga but we, my girlfriend and I, didn't have the time. As I waited along Nasipit, Talamban, people were preparing as they hear the parade. Escorts on motorcycles lead the way, and then... I saw "Birhen sa Simala". It is known to be miraculous. Devotees followed the pickup where "Birhen sa Simala" was on board. I decided to tag along. The number of people arose to hundreds. It was nice that ushers were kind enough to welcome devotees to come near Mama Mary especially those carrying their child. I walked with the crowd under the scorching heat of the sun. As people approached the "Birhen sa Simala", they would wipe a piece of cloth or a bottle of water to the Virgin Mary's end piece of the banner for blessings. I wasn't able to bring a handkerchief at that time. The only extra cloth I had was a spare shirt for use while staying at the hospital with my mother. I took it, together with the bottle of water I just bought, and wiped through the glass pane and the banner. It was one of a kind experience. The sweat was all worth it. On that day, I felt closer to Mama Mary. (Check out the pics at: Birhen sa Simala)

I kept the shirt in the cabinet for months and didn't bring it to laundry. I haven't used it by the way... until today. I wore it today, telling myself -- "A miracle may happen today...".

I was on my way to the office, alighted across the office building, bought some food for breakfast. I didn't have loose coins or smaller bills at that time. I bought "pansit bihon" which costed just ten pesos. The coins I have was worth eight pesos only, and I have a 500 bill. As I presented the bill, the lady at the store then apologized she doesn't have any change. I waited a bit, but she just placed the food aside and said she was sorry. That's when my miracle took place...

A woman in her 50's asked if I didn't have enough loose change nor any smaller bills. I nodded. I didn't realize she was listening to our conversation. Then... she offered to give a five peso coin. At first, I was kind of hesitant but then I realized, this woman did something very good and I didn't want to disappoint her. I accepted her offer and brought my ten-peso worth breakfast with me. I walked across the street, smiling...