Sunday, August 06, 2006


it has been a week since the buklod kalilintad - peacetech youth skill building workshops and videoconferencing series in usm kabacan. it was a grand activity. so many young faces, hopes for our future.

after all the reports have been submitted (well almost all...) and before i run in preparing for the next one, i pause a while and remember one of the moments in that conference.

it was a sunday afternoon. my boss was just complaining of how redundant the culture of peace seminar. it was cloudy i remember, looks like its going to rain. the synthesis on first path to peace was being given. the central question, ano ang kahulugan ng kapayapaan?

quite a daunting question.

reflected a bit, and remembered fr. soc's story on kahulugan. he said:

there is a method of planting rice in which the ground is poked with a stick and the rice seed is put into the hole - hinuhulog sa butas. kahulugan is very much like this idea. when we find those instances when we find ourselves in situations wherein we are put into our right places.


finished the session with the kids. but the reflection on kahulugan continued.

i smile as i write, because somehow, if i am a rice seed, i have found a hole to bury myself into. i have felt what is it like to be held by a hand, carefully selected and lovingly placed in the embrace of the earth.

many things came into near clarity when i've found myself in my kahulugan. somehow, it made sense why i am doing what i do. somehow, i became convinced more, if i am not that convinced yet, of why am i here in this great adventure of mindanao.

i used to think that my work can sustain my stay in mindanao. somehow, i still do. and i think, it still could. however, the events of the past couple of weeks added a new ingredient in my mindanao brew.

we met near the center of the island. the opposite side of davao. i remember scratching my over-growing beard as i entered this office, in which there was supposed to be a meeting. i decided that i would be shaving as soon as i come home the next day. i went in, and there she was.

the meeting started. people i love to work with are there. but this interesting young woman is getting all my attention. she is saying things right, a gleam of brillance is peeking out of the sense that she is making. plus she smiles the sweetest smile, that makes her eyes vanish when she does.

we met again a few weeks after. there, i saw what stuff she is made of, i heard her talk about what she does. i read an article about her. as i listened to the inner stirrings of my soul, i felt that i am being drawn to this woman.

after many conversations over coffee, over text, over the phone about life, family, school, work, passions and everything in between, i became more aware of the desire to follow this call of being with someone. of being with her.

this is not new to me. i've been to many relationships and an equal number of break-ups. but what is new is the way i have somehow come prepared for this person. it was as if i was waiting for her to come into the story and introduce a new chapter altogether. and that waiting was not in vain, for there she is. an individual shares her stories of davao, her stories of strength as an ate and her stories of her dreams and passions as a woman and as mindanaon. i listened and i find myself sharing my stories as well.

i feel the stories blending everytime i stir in half a teaspoon of brown sugar into my capuccino. it tastes just right. it feels right.

the story is being written, it goes on. like the story of the seed growing in the fertile soil. it has reached up and broke the ground. and the kahulugan, the meaning became real. life.

i can't wait to go home!

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