God? I know you’re there.

November 8, 2017

We were discussing about earthquakes in class so naturally, I showed a documentary to my students. As the geologist narrated about the most destructive earthquakes the world has ever faced, one of my students mumbled to himself, “So where is God in all of these?”

“Where is God in all of these?”

It was not meant to be answered, based on the way it was said, yet this has been the most difficult question I had to answer as a teacher.

Many have claimed that in the beauty of nature, we see the face of God. But face to face with nature’s wrath, where is God?

Always, I have staunchly upheld my faith. Despite strongly disagreeing with the Church’s comments on reproductive health and same sex marriage, I have remained a Roman Catholic. Despite my science education opening a world of truth for me, I still believe in God. But never have I found an evidence of God’s existence. You may think, how can I, a made scientist, believe in an entity whose existence I can never physically prove?

I can only sigh. I do not really know where God is in all of these. But there is comfort in trusting that somewhere, he must be there.


Original Sin

I. The Serpent
I watch her eye it hungrily
and I know I have succeeded.
Soon shall come man’s downfall —
but the battle’s not yet won.
This is only the beginning.

II. Eve
“No,” I pleaded, “We must not.”
But he fixed me with this stare —
knowing, laughing, and mocking.
“You shall know,” he said.
“You shall not die.”

III. Adam
I know we must not.
But she handed me the fruit
and I just cannot refuse.
For she is mine.
Everything that’s hers is mine.

IV. The Tree of Knowledge
The fruit I bear is both gift and curse
for I am good and I am evil.
With that first bite, he gained both.
Hence, man sealed his fate —

Sweet Sixteen

Dear Batch 2016,

It has taken me this long to actually write this letter because for the past two days, all I could utter was FINALLY.

Finally, we got it. We did it! (insert Dora’s song here)

The word sounds so sweet, doesn’t it? No, not finally — WE. We, as a batch, finally made it happen after three years of consistently placing third. We proved that we are not entirely disparate, that we can work together as a team. We can be one.

To be honest, I was one of those people who lost the enthusiasm after last year’s disappointing results (yeah, still bitter about it). Somehow, most of us had managed to contribute something and shell out whatever ounce of time that could be pumped out of those hectic third year days so I really thought we could actually place that year. But we did not and it hurt badly even for me who was not even an active participant. That pretty much ruined the event for me. In those sorrowful moments immediately after being denied of that one thing we were all yearning for (and what I thought was already at our fingertips), I remember telling myself, Don’t give too much next year — it’s not worth the heartbreak.

But then, what makes it worthy of the heartbreak?

Love, of course. Anything worth loving is worthy of the heartbreak. And you, guys, are worthy of the heartbreak.

I know it is awkward to have this coming from me because I am one of those people who are quite detached from the batch — always the first one to leave after dismissal, the one who never attends parties, the one who always keeps conversations as school-related as possible — but I am not that insensitive to be oblivious or indifferent to all your efforts. I watched in wonder as our leaders attempted to save whatever scraps of hope are left from last year. Seeing them work so hard for it despite all the schoolwork (exams, thesis, NMAT, etc.) while I do practically nothing productive made me feel guilty. I felt guilty for losing faith on us and I felt unworthy to be among you.

To placate the guilt, I started praying the novena to St. Jude Thaddeus, the Saint of Desperate Cases, for us (all right, laugh all you want). But halfway  through it, I started asking myself, Are prayers all that I can offer? It’s not that prayers are useless. In fact, prayers are powerful. But was I incapable of doing anything else? I realized, that compared to you, I was being so selfish. I was not as stressed as you were — we were done with our proposal defense and I am not taking the NMAT — yet I was doing as little as I can just because I thought it was hopeless anyway. Then, I remembered something that I always used to tell myself every time I lose hope.

If there is really no hope left, at least do it out of love.

Then suddenly I saw that that was exactly what you guys were doing. For the past years we fought to win but this time I no longer saw the competitive streak we had before. Instead, I saw each one of us working hard for the sake of everybody else. This time it was done out of love. So I did the same, too. And it felt so good. It was basically giving without expecting anything in return — the purest kind of love.

So to all of you, especially the heads and the props team (woohoo!), thank you so much. Let us have a thanksgiving party after this sem, okay? I love you all so much.

Heart heart, Wencey ❤

P.S. And thank you, Sir L. for that 99. Not sure if we truly deserve it but it was a very welcome gift.