A Story of Two John M's and a Lady

I have two friends whose names are both "John." Both are in their late 80s. And both had something to do, but in distinctly different ways, with a woman I love. John #1 is a retired piano teacher and viola player who lived alone. I brought him Holy Communion most weekends. One day John #1 told me: "You see our Blessed Mother who stands outside my front door? I don't know when I am going, but when that time comes, I don't want her to be just thrown in the dumpster by the next owner of this house. She has guarded my house for as long as I have lived here. If you can take care of her, I will give her to you." I noted that John uses "she, "her "and not "it "when referring to Mary's statue. This

Plain Big Mac and Strawberry Sundae

Reminiscing Father Hayes, SJ, My Friend Whenever my family and I eat at a McDonald's, I always remember Father William Hayes, one of the original American Jesuit priests of the Ateneo, who was a family friend for many years until his death. We often visited Father Hayes at the Manila Observatory on campus where he then lived, and often we invited him out to eat and talk. He always accepted our invitation but he always preferred McDonald's Katipunan in front of the university campus. His order was always predictably the same: a plain Big Mac, no mayo, no pickles, no cheese, and a cup of strawberry sundae, which he enjoyed. He did not want anything else. Our frequent trips to McDonald's m

A Simple Essay on Teeth

(Written after a dental surgery) When you are in a dentist's chair for a tooth filling or extraction, and you think of the looks of people, especially TV and movie personalities, or even your friends who have perfect teeth, you cannot help but have a feeling of envy and regret. Envy because you wish you had the same kind of teeth that can make you smile with confidence, or enable you to enjoy more the food you eat. Regret if you did not properly take care of your teeth before. The way we take care of our teeth has its punishments and rewards. The dental pliers and drills in the former, and beautiful smiles in the latter. Since teeth health also naturally succumbs to the aging process, we can

Tiyong (Uncle) Ambo

My Tiyong Ambo (may he rest in peace) was the one who taught me how to ride a bicycle when I was still young. His very first lesson was to not focus on your hands that hold the bike handles but to look at the road ahead and just pedal. It took me some time to follow this instruction. I tended to look at the bike and tried to make the wheels go straight but often they just turned either way and the bike could not move and it fell to one side. I either fell or was forced to get off it. My Tiyong Ambo was very patient with me. He kept repeating: "Look at the road and hit the pedals!" When I did, I found out that my hands instinctively steered the handles and the bike moved forward. At first th

Aling Candi

A Reflection Sometimes some persons come into your life and become like an actual grace through whom God manifests Himself and talks to your heart. Aling Candi is one such person. I opened the door for her after we had attended the Santacruzan fellowship at the church hall. She was the last of her group of three friends to get out, the other two had walked ahead to their car. I talked with Aling Candi behind me on my way to my own car parked in front of the chapel. Then she said, "May I hold on to your arm? My companions have gone ahead of me, and they usually take my arm as I find difficulty walking." Looking back, I saw she moved slowly and with a slight limp. Offering my arm, I sai

Jesus’ Farewell Discourse – Living for Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life

A Reflection on the 5th Sunday of Easter - Today we celebrate Mother’s Day – and it is only proper and fitting to do so, because we need to appreciate our mothers – for carrying us in their wombs and bringing us into this world despite the pains and sacrifices involved, and raising us to become who God want us to be, not a mean task. We include all mothers, spiritual mothers, grandmothers, and those who take the place of our mothers in caring for their children. We are grateful to you and we love you. And let us not forget Mary, the mother of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, who played an essential role in God’s plan of salvation for us. She gave her Son Jesus to us. Jesus in turn gave her