Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas 2007 & Season's Greetings - Jenny

Love and Hatred; Altruism and Selfishness; Honesty and Deception; Compassion and Cruelty; Peace and War; Humility and Arrogance; Respect and Impudence; Sincerity and Hypocrisy; Harmony and Discord, all opposites, good vs. bad, all clashing, and all affect our lives. Encompassing. Universal. Obvious. The good is proclaimed everlasting when time ends. Yet, both sets have followers, a tribute to the human world, to human creativity besieged by redefined moral dimensions that have risen from the social permeability of modern times and the riveting, inescapable legacies of old. To some, treading the good ground seems uncomplicated; to others, it is a constant struggle. In varying degrees and circumstances, the details of good and bad are enormous and difficult to assess. Thus, knowingly or not, we fall into a labyrinth of faults in a backdrop of imperfect resources fraught with conflicting emotions and challenges. Any amorphous environment is of no help either because it can just cater to a misguided yearning for moral and spiritual emancipation. To a certain extent, such is human nature and always, there is a need to be rescued and to be reminded of avoiding the same mistakes; there is a need for a process of renewal; and perhaps, of being born anew with the good that was at the beginning.

And so, it has happened; the Son of God was bestowed upon us, a Gift of Life, the Life needed for our souls to be re-born, our Way to renewal. And Jesus Christ it is. We know the value of respect and consideration for the welfare of others, regardless of dissimilar backgrounds; of forgiveness, honest interaction with others; of decency and responsible living; of heartfelt understanding of long-lasting, endearing, happy moments, for from Him flow love, harmony, compassion, humility and peace; for good only comes from God.

The manifestations of sincerely experiencing Jesus Christ and God’s love vary in each individual. They may be implicit or explicit. Sometimes they are vague or visually simple, while others come with such solemnity or intense spirituality. Perhaps, in some instances they are conflicting, therefore, calling for deeper understanding, requiring the right reaction as well, while mindful of the good being emanated and of God’s mysterious ways and how feeble we are in comparison.

Good deeds or intentions underscore the bad. So, it is known that there are/were detainees or political prisoners who sacrifice(d) their lives and/or freedom for the sake of normalcy and peace. How hapless is a place that a sanitation project has to be promoted by a foreign delegation at Kawempe Slum in Kampala, Uganda. There exists an artist who drew and enhanced the feeling of justice, order and compassion for others by expressing in his paintings, what is detestable and horrific in a war accentuated by torture of prisoners, in an era where correct human behaviour is more defined. We can overlook the seemingly minimal optimism or political maneuvering if any, in the effort to envisage a Middle East accord with a gathering of controversial personalities in Annapolis, Maryland; and why not, even if it might only temporarily avert a more or incessant disastrous Palestinian-Israeli crisis. It is better than nothing, no matter how short-lived it may function and certainly better than unmitigated anguish and hatred. Little is known perhaps, of 92-year old Ivan Brovko who made noise despite the threat of imprisonment, after witnessing a student, one of several millions, fell victim to Holodomor, the famine-genocide that Ukraine endured because of Stalin’s tyranny. Knowing the difference of good and bad, Ivan Brovko fulfills his promise that as long as he can live, he will continue to talk about it so that it will forever be a reminder, so that any duplicate effort will never be thought of. His effort, though plain, has exponentially given significance to the value of life and the worth of proper governance. And there are many more, young and old, who by their work, acts, intentions and speech, grand or simple, whether they are conscious of them or not, continue to endorse and exemplify the willingness to strengthen, to renew, and to disseminate the good. These are our human reminders. If by any chance, by any unfortunate circumstances, someone falls under the morally and spiritually lukewarm, it is with great hope that these activities may help rekindle the good that life was intended to be. Without it we can not celebrate life.

The absolute reminder is Jesus Christ himself. We can not say that little is known of Him. Simply contemplate on what He represents, what He has done and offered. Absorb them and rejoice. With Him, in Him, we celebrate life.

Thank goodness, it’s Christmas again! It’s the time where we, in greatest number, think of nice, good and spirit-lifting gestures; even better if we all truly grasp the spiritual message of this period of happiness. Bad should never have a place (not that it is any good at all at any given day) at this time of the year and indeed, it is such dishonour if it creeps into this holy season. Let us celebrate God’s Love, the Gift of Life, our Saviour, our Rescuer, Jesus Christ; let us forever be reminded of what is behind this divine legacy of spiritual rejuvenation. So, let’s responsibly put up festive d├ęcor to express our joy for the blessings we have received while at the same time pray and be thankful; don’t forget to take a moment to feel and picture how He was given to us, with Mother Mary, Saint Joseph, the angel, shepherds and Three Kings; sing and even attempt the high note in “Oh Holy Night” and should it be a disaster, laugh with contentment, so what if you appear musically obtuse, we all have our moments (make sure you are not much of it to perform in public); make room for everybody, delete discrimination and forever clear it from the recycle or trash bin of your heart and be a nexus to goodwill, therefore an instrument of peace and harmony; express your best wishes and God’s blessings in ways you can afford, just choose the right clauses in cards you want to send out, whether they be from American Greetings, Hallmark, Carlton, or from charities who pre-printed your addresses as an enticement to donate; enjoy the sight of joyful children awaiting Santa Claus’ made-to-order gifts; allow colourful light bulbs and candles to glow with hope and enlightenment; put up the wreath of continuous excellent health, sufficiency or abundance; sincerely serve food and give away presents so kindness, appreciation and consideration for others are exemplified in one way or another; be innocently and properly romantic, collaborate with a mistletoe if need be; don’t limit yourself in material gifts, but, touch the hearts and souls of others by compassion, decency, respect; be graciously funny and foolish if only to simplify things and relieve the stress of mixed activities; have the Holy Manger in its rightful place so that humility and unpretentious generosity is fostered! Thank God for Christmas!

And as always, let us not forget to provide places in our hearts and prayers for those from whom the message and joy of this celebration have been taken away.



Saturday, December 01, 2007

Mrs. Cristina Dooc-Jose - By Lorna N. Figueroa

Achievement Award For Public Service

The 2004 Achievement Award for Public Service was awarded posthumously to a person who spent her whole life serving the people of her community through her job as an educator, her personal commitment to her hometown as its historian and the services she gave to her church.

Born in July 24, 1914, she is an alumna of Bacon Central School and the Sorsogon Provincial High School. She finished her collegiate course in teaching at the Philippine Normal School & spent 33 years of her life as a public school teacher. Most of the alumni’s memories of our youth spent as school children of Bacon Central School will not be complete without delightful accounts of our experiences with this beloved teacher. Who can forget the small pinches on our upper arms, the chalk-filled hand wiped all over our faces when we misbehave or not pay attention to her lessons? However, how many alumni will attest to the fact that we are who we are today due in large part to the encouragement and the lessons we got from our dear Mrs. Jose?

It was during the time when she was assigned as the Teacher in Charge in Sawanga when she saw the need for the Barangay High Schools. She approached several persons of authority to convince them of the need for secondary schools in the barangays.

In 1963 she wrote the History of Bacon taken from the facts, which she painstakingly researched and recorded for many years. This task, which she took upon herself without a promise of financial gain or personal glory, is now one masterpiece and the only evidence of the old colorful and glorious history of Bacon.

Mrs. Cristina Jose was assigned as a principal first in Bacon East Central School and later in Bacon West Central School where she retired in year 1976.

Once retired she helped the late Rev. Fr. Dino with the Annunciation College of Bacon Secondary School and spent the rest of her life in giving services to her community, her church and the Lord. A widow who had only one child Joan, who passed away before her, she was survived by her grandchildren, son-in-law, nephews and nieces and countless adoring former pupils who will never forget her. She died in August 21, 1977.