April 29. Not only does this date mark the remembrance of the bond I have with the man I love most, but a few years before we finally united in love, I remember how it also marked the beginning of a new life for me, after the miserable times in my life.
For more than a year, I had been imprisoned by miseries and that future for me was bleak. It was a very sad life and I thought that only death would be my freedom. But the wisdom of God is really unfathomable, my vision, limited. I did not know that this is how the despair would end. This was my story…
The results of a broken heart begot childish decisions that resulted to a series of disasters until I found myself trapped. For more than a year, I was no longer the holder of my life. Still, I remained faithful and did what I knew was right, trying not to be bitter about life although during those times death looked sweeter. Finally, in the month of April, something happened and I was free. It wasn’t easy though, trust me, and at a very young age, I was able to say what only older people can, “I have been there.”
Freedom came with a great reward, and although the price had been enormous too, I did not allow myself to destruction. Instead, with help from my parents, I mustered up all the strength that’s still left and began picking up pieces of my life again.
April 29. I took a refuge to Ozamis, where my brother and his family worked and lived. This was the time when I felt most humbled because I had nothing to hold on to except hope. Financially, I was unemployed and broke. Socially, I was a recluse, and had damaged relationships even with the persons closest to me. Physically, I was able yes, but a depressed spirit left me incapable of many things. Only hope. That was my only possession.
Slowly, life began to grow inside me. And with God’s intervention, I was able to face the world with anticipation again. After a month, I began to reach out to people. The best account was encompassed in this letter dated May 28:
It’s a beautiful Monday morning today here in the Philippines… Yesterday, I finally met the brethrens from locale of Ozamis and we all went to Lokal of Sinacaban, it’s the next nearest lokal here, where we were supposed to have the WS and viewing. Supposed because it didn’t happen, unfortunately there was a power blackout so we spent the rest of the morning from 8am to 12noon chatting and eating. There is this one sister they called “Nanay” who generously supplied us with breakfast of boiled bananas and camotes and hot Milo, and then with lunch of ABC noodles (with sort of spaghetti sauce), sardines, rice, and cold orange juice, and dessert of ripe mangoes. As for the WS and viewing, it was rescheduled on Thursday. We shall start at 9 for the WS, the viewing, then the PM.
The nearest lokal here requires that you ride a tricycle, a bus, and hitch at the back of single motor cycles. Four of us met at lokal of Ozamis then we went to Sinacaban together, two were workers, bro. Jori and bro. Ronald, and the other was bro. Ronell. The hitch at the back of single motors is quite scary because the way was uphill, and rough roads. I rode on one of the motors with a large package tied at the back and it somewhat served as a back support to me. The other three, rode on another motor so they were 4 all in all including the driver. It was exciting and funny. Imagine, gasoline stations were actually nipa huts with bottles of 1 litter coke displayed hehe… The driver of my motor stopped at one of these “gasoline stations” and said 1 litter mix and the lady mixed a small scoop of some liquid into the one litter of gas… I can’t keep a straight face I had to smile it’s so funny to me…
After a while, we finally stopped in front of a house with the banner of lokal ng Sinacaban. It was a beautiful provincial house, elevated from the floor and the floor of the porch was made of kawayan. The walls and floor of the house were made of wood. It was really cool there. So provincial with green bermuda grasses, pots with flowers, trees and all. After a while, the power black out happened then we had to wait until bro. Jori called the RS (here the DS is equivalent to Region Servant already because lokals here are comparatively fewer) and they decided to re-sched the services.
On June 10 and 11, we shall be going to Lokal of Oroquieta (it’s a different town from Ozamis already) for the PBK, a quite beautiful b-day gift to me. Bro. Ronald was telling us that the brethrens there were warned of an appearing ghost. They said that the tenants before them didn’t last a week because their only son who was only 5 years old was apparently playing with someone or something they do not see. Bro. Jori said he had seen a lady with flowing dress there on one occasion. Another told us that a white “thing” passed behind him while he was chatting on YM. It was actually his chat mate who saw the thing on cam. They don’t know for sure what the ghost really is. Another story says that a group of young teens had burried an aborted baby underneath one of the wooden floors. But believe it or not, during PBKs, the brethrens want to sleep over those wooden floors because it’s cooler there, and they don’t care less about that aborted baby burried there. I think they are sensible.
On our way back, we walked from the lokal downhill until we reached the main road where the buses are. It was a 45-minute walk, quite pleasant except for the overhead sun which I think burnt the back of my neck hehe… I didn’t notice the walk but this morning when I got up, my calf muscles were complaining… heheh
While we waited for another 30 minutes for the “right” bus (because it was either full or aircon – bro. Ronald says bro. Jori is allergic to aircon hehe but the real reason is we were saving.) Bro. Jori was talking to me and I don’t know how, but he got the whole truth out from me. […] Besides, I already felt that he had been wondering about me because a one year vacation in my brother’s house when there seems to be no problem with my residence in manila is quite mind boggling… He’s smart! He knew something was wrong with me… In the end he just said, “basta patuloy ka lang… anjan na yan eh… malay natin, kung kayo, kyo talaga…” I couldn’t care less about the romance part. I just want to get my life straight again…
Anyway, that’s all… I was just excited. Thanks for the audience!
Anyway, I didn’t spend my birthday as I expected because plans came abruptly. My sister-in-law had a week conference in Cebu and my brother and their 2-month-old son had to come too, to visit her family. Fare was expensive so I decided to stay with my Tita Belen in Dumingag, a town several hours away from Ozamis. It was a wonderful vacation and thanks to God for Tita Belen and her kindness. Their place was really great, too bad I didn’t have camera.
After another month, the one year vacation had to be cut to two and a half months because I was very eager to go home already and began crossing out dates at the calendar. I knew I had recovered enough to face normal life but my mother was afraid. Out of pity perhaps, my father finally let me go home. By chance, my sister and brother had another conference in July, this time in Manila. So by July 4, we all went home… The pilgrimage didn’t end there though… It had just began. 🙂