In the eye of the Storm

Finaly. My much awaited
article containing the details about Milenyo’s aftershock. It’s finaly here. Or
is it?

Hahaha. Sorry. No Milenyos in this entry. Just
a peek into the “storm” that I have found myself caught up in for the
past weeks…

Date: October 17 – 21, 2006 (Pre-storm encounter)

From the wearther forecast: Clouds are a bit
gray.  There’s a slight drizzle. Winds blowing at 100kph.
(Mabilis na
ba ang 100kph??? hehehe). Possibly due to Typhoon Melody coming in from the
east coast and Typhoon Cynde from the west.99.99% possibility of a storm.

What a great week. GREAT. Sorry for the slightly
sarcastic tone. But when you’re loaded with exams (try having one exam per day
for one whole week)… well, being sarcastic is better than being irritated.
Much better than being impatient. And it is during this time that you realize
just how good the Lord is, that He is able to put up with a moody,
unpredictable person like you.

Date: October 21, 2006 (THE STORM HITS)

From the wearther forecast: Typhoon Mari hits.The
storm began coming in at around 1215hrs but reached its climax at 1300hours.
Clouds: black. Wind: 1000kph. Rain: Unstoppable.

This was after the MCOM meeting. God was there to
witness what happened to me in the prayer room, ate Cati and Vanet to witness
the events that occured afterwards. After a whole week of physical and
emotional stress, it was only during this point that I finally broke down. Why?
For the previous week, I was left with no time – no time to rest, no time to
breathe… no time to even cry. But dams just break loose when you can’t keep
it in anymore.

Date: October 22, 2006 (Relocation of Refugees)

From the wearther forecast: The storm shows a
slight chance of improvement. Clouds: Still black. Rain: was unstopable during
the morning, but somehow lessened a bit at 1300hrs. Winds: Slowing down to 120
kph. Refugees Melody, Cynde, and Mari relocated to Rhoda’s,

Apt

7

, and the Lumen residence
respectively.

Have you ever experienced deja vu? A
feeling that this moment has happened before? I experienced that last Sunday.
Why? Because once again I found myself at the back of the Olivarez Cinema
during the time of worship, unable to make myself go in front (once again due
to my emotional turmoil). And suddenly the worship team begins with the first
song – “I am a friend of God…” Haha. Deja vu alright.
(pardon me if the spelling is incorrect).

And yet… well the events that occurred during
this Sunday were weirder than the last. The last Sunday that this happened –
well that was PAINFUL – but this one – this one was STRESSFUL. And yet the Lord
managed to give me some encouragement…

Encouragement1: A dream of encouragement(?) brought to life. During my few
hours of sleep that night (morning?) I dreamt of seeing some SOD’s and even
some SFC’s (still in the UPLB campus) joining us in our Sunday Worship Service.
Most of them had not been part of the fellowship for a long time. I know they
have their reasons. But in my dream I saw them.. even grabbed the opportunity
to welcome them back. And then that Sunday… I saw some of them. Hallelujah.
Too bad I was to stressed out to approach them and give them the welcome that
they deserved…

Encouragement2: Cynde prayed for me (thanks cyndz). Ate Mara prayed for me.

Sana

naman okay
na ako, sa dami ba naman ng nagpray na para sa akin.

Encouragement3: Gold dusts!!! After relocating to vanie’s house, it was
time to get to business. Malyn and I began rushing the project that was due the
following day. I began to simultaneously study for my 141 finals, also
scheduled for the following day. Then, there just came a point when I noticed
something in my arms… something red. Huh. Rashes again. The same rashes that
I experienced during those days before ate fe’s wedding. And then I noticed
something else… something was glittering… and then I realized… GOLD
DUSTS! Hallelujah. I checked my arms… my hands… and just to make sure even
my thighs (hehehe)… and though these parts of my body were also filled with
rashes… I could see those gold dusts… hallelujah. Even after my bath, the
gold dusts were there… even before our initial presentation in 127, they were
there. Hallelujah…

Date: October 23-26, 2006 (The Storm Continues)

From the wearther forecast: The storm still
continues to keep refugees locked up inside their homes. Lack of lighting keeps
the refugees disoriented when it comes to time. Refugees go outside rarely.

Ito ang panahong kawawa na talaga ang mga comsci
student. I-picture mo nalang.

Monday – finals ko ng 141, initial
presentation ng 127, at submission ng 124. 5:00 natataranta na si Carlo. Halos
tumatalon na ata siya sa lobby ng ICS sa sobrang kaba. Mukhang kawawa naman si
malyn. Si mari? Nagpapacholeric na, dahil kelangan may taong choleric sa
panahong ang mga tao ay natataranta na.

Tuesday – Pumasok sina Eva at Joa sa
tahanan ni Vani bilang kapwa kong refugee. Sumunod si malyn makalipas ang ilang
oras. Laptop lamang ang kaharap namin. Si eva nababaliw na sapagka’t ayaw
magconnect ng laptop niya sa oracle. Nagloloko lang pala ang error message ng
oracle. Matagal na pala kaming nakakonek. Lumalabas lang kami para bumili ng
pagkain at humingi ng tulong kay maam ria. Ang pasahan ng aming proyekto ay sa
kinabukasan na.

Tuesday (Gabi) – Umuwi si eva para maligo.
Babalik daw. Kasama niya si Joa. Pagbalik nila, dala dala nila ang mga kape na
aming pinabili.

Wednesday (madaling araw) – Wala pa
gaanong nangyayari sa aming proyekto. Okay naman kami ni Joa , ngunit sa
palagay ko, nag-iinfinite loop lamang sina malyn at eva. Gising pa rin kami, maliwanag
na sa labas. Ni isa sa amin ay di pa nakakaidlip. Pagdating ng ala

sais

heto na ang linya ng
mga tao:

Vanie: “ayoko
na… gusto ko na matulog… aww…”

(tono: nagpapaawa)


Malyn: Tahimik. Tapos, “Paano
kaya kung…”

Eva: “Hindi.
kasi….” (tono: um, choleric)

Joa:
Uy, wala ba kayong balak na mag-aral ng 131?”

(10:00 ang finals namin doon)

Mari: “Tama
na. 7 na. Aral na tayo. Mamaya nalang natin

ituloy pagkatapos ng exam.”

Wednesday (gabi) – Nalaman ko nalang na
may EXECOM meeting. Di ko kinaya. Nagpaalam ako kay kuya JikJik. Hindi ko pa
kasi nasisimulan ang proyekto ko sa 150. 11:10 kinabukasan ang presentasyon ko
doon.

Thursday (madaling araw) – Gising pa rin
si mari. Nababaliw na sa simplex, sa linked list, arrays, Gauss-Jordan at mga
nullPointerExeption…

Thursday (umaga) – Natapos ang
presentasyon. Hahaha. Mukha na akong kaawa-awa sa harap ni maam Aguila.
Hanggang first iteration lang ng simplex ang natapos ko. Nakausap ko si maan
pagkatapos. Wala din siyang tulog. Nakakaawa naman kami. Buti nalang na-exempt
kami sa 127. Bawas sa aaralin para sa sabado.

Feels like I’m walking in the rain na pagkatapos.
Di pa kasi ako naliligo.

Date: October 26-27, 2006 (The Eye of the Storm)

From the wearther forecast: The storm begins
to clear. A few clouds still begin  to loom over the horizon but winds
have slowed down and the rain has ended.

I’m in the eye of the storm. Once again there’s
room to sleep, room to breathe… even room to catch up with the ministry (and
post some blogs!) Hahaha. Also room for my atm to be eaten up by a machine and
room to attempt to retrieve it. In other words, I need to get going. hahaha.

Pero diba sabi nila, ang eye of the storm ay gitna pa lamang? So ibig sabihin,
may paparating pang isa… prepare for the outpour….

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Leave a mark

“When you leave this room, ask yourself this question – was I, in any way, able to make any significant contribution to today’s class?” The class expresses their amusement as Kuya Lester – just to make his point – makes his way towards the doorway of the cramped Pages office, pauses, and acts as if he is in deep thought.

I believe that it was during my first day in SOL2 that the scenario above occurred. A lot has happened since that time. I experienced so many things and I know that three pages would not be sufficient if I try to list them all.  From that time that Kuya Lester uttered the words above, through that point when we migrated to the ministry center because the Phil Reality office was not large enough to hold us all, and to that memorable game which included a concept about “feet-poolness”… it would take a book to describe all the lessons, insights and revelations gained from those experiences. That is why, for this paper, I have chosen to focus on one thing that would not only (somehow) sum up my SOL2 experience, but would also be memorable enough for me carry with me until I finish this race.

The scenario that I have given at the beginning pretty much describes that one thing. Being able to make a significant contribution to something. And, on the long run, being able to leave a mark in the hearts of men.

Okay, so maybe I kept silent most of the time in class. Perhaps I wasn’t as active as I could have been when it came to the class discussions. But there were some “shining moments” when I was able to contribute something significant, something that was worth sharing.

One “moment” was when I spoke up (yehay) in the Pages office and shared that breaking of bread was one of those things that knit our cell together. Another “moment” was when I gave a report on our group’s discussion about strategies for success in building a cell at IRRI. Another was when I put in my two cents when we talked about the problems that we face during cell meetings. Of course, I also participated during the small group discussions. However, the moments when I spoke up in class were breakthroughs for me, because I have always been the type of person who prefers listening to speaking up.

There were also some moments when I knew that the even the small part that I played (during role plays, bible games, charades and other similar activities) contributed to the development of the class. At least during those times, I could leave the room knowing that I have made a significant contribution.

Yet, as Kuya Lester often says in the class, it does not end here. Sure, I may have made a contribution to class – but what about outside class?

That is why I value this lesson so much. Because I want to take it beyond the SOL2 classroom walls. I want to not only leave a room knowing that I have made a mark in the class discussion – it is my desire that I would be able to step out of my sphere of influence as well knowing that I have made a mark in the hearts of men – that I was able to contribute something of great importance to their lives. And I also want to end life here on earth with the knowledge in my heart that I have made my mark – for the Glory of God.

I remember that session when Kuya Lester asked all those people who wanted to be pastors to stand up. Then those people who wanted to go to the nations. Then those people who wanted to preach to a large crowd. That was a particularly memorable session because it somehow gave a slight reflection on what marks the SOL2 people (people whom I have learned to love, honor, and respect) wanted to make in history. It gave a glimpse into what was in the hearts of our generation’s leaders. And it showed that we truly did not intend to leave everything just inside the SOL2 classroom walls. That we intended to live out
everything we learned through our respective dreams and callings.

Sure, there were a lot more SOL2 lessons and experiences – learning how to facilitate small group discussions, receiving and giving motivating words to my classmates, and going through the whole SOL2 experience with people who were so much older in spiritual years – but it was this lesson that made the most impact in my heart. Because that is indeed my desire. It is my desire to leave my mark in history. To leave my mark in the hearts of men. All for the glory of God.

Countdown

Twenty Five days to go until October ends.

Fourteen days to go until the last day of classes.

Fourteen… thirteen… twelve… eleven… ten… nine…

Okay. Calm down. (Why do I constantly need to say that to myself???)

This semester is my DO-OR-DIE sem. Most ICS teachers would describe this as our "bloodiest" (err.. pinakamadugong) sem, the sem where you would definitely feel that you ARE a computer science student. With four CMSC courses, who wouldn’t? The thing is, this sem, I don’t have to juggle just those four CMSC subjects. I have to juggle an additional one – CMSC141, which, honestly, I’m not really doing that well in. (Ohws??? Yup. That’s the plain truth).

Arghhh. Enough about the acad talk, about the geek talk and all. Fourteen days more and this will finally be out of my system. (Okay, so maybe I have to face three days of final exams before I can finally rejoice. And maybe I have to go through all those project presentations before I can say that this sem’s a wrap. And maybe I have to see if I passed cmsc 150 and 141 before I can jump up and say "I SURVIVED!!!").

*SIGH*

Step by step we’re moving forward little by little we’re taking ground…

Grrr… I did not want this blog entry to turn out like this. And I do NOT want to sound like I’m really stressing. Grrr…

We stand and lift up our hands, for the JOY OF THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH…

Okay. I’m just going to take each day one day at a time. One day at a time. Hey, I know with my great Dad, I’m going to make it. Even if I’ll be totally exhausted at the end of each day (and even if I don’t realize that the end of the day has already passed and that I’m already on to the start of the next) … I know that He’ll simply carry me through it.

Michelle Tumes sings it out:

Hold on to Jesus

I’ve found love (so true)
I’ve found peace in my heart
(Lord, let Your grace and shalom be upon me each day….)
I’ve found joy that no one could describe
(yup. the joy of the Lord is definitely my strength)

When I lay down to sleep
(somehow I don’t see myself doing much of that in the weeks to come)
There’s a voice inside keeps telling me something that I ought to do

(and what is that?)

You’ve got to hold on to Jesus
(This is my only assurance… That I have Jesus to hold on to)
When your heart is crying
(Yup. It’s definitely crying…)

The world is dying
(I saw that in Milenyo’s aftershock. Speaking of which, I wonder how UPLB finally is, after a whole week of rest…?)
You’ve got to hold on to Jesus
(Yes Lord, I’m holding on… and I WILL continue to hold on)
When your life has had enough.

(I will.Even when my heart is so tired. Even when my emotions are spent out. Even when my mind and my emotions tell me that I won’t be able to make it but my spirit calmy tells my that I will. Even when every burden – burdens concerning my academics, my family, my friends… relationships… everything else… – seem too much to bear. I will. I WILL HOLD ON TO JESUS.)

And as time goes by the tick of the clock is not enough for me (so so true)
And as time goes by I’ll give Jesus my alegiance…(Amen! Lord, I’m going to live every moment for You. Every moment as a song of praise, every moment as worship, every moment as a LOVE SONG to You. You know my heart. I pray, let not this heart depart from my spirit. I don’t want to be burdened by the things that I do. I simply want to live for You. I don’t want to be burdened by the things that are going on around me. I simply want to be a child who can talk about those things to my Daddy. Dad, help me. I need Your grace. I won’t be able to make it without You.)

I feel much better now.