Touch me not: a resurrection of the Filipino spirit

Elias, Basilio and SisaIn the Latin Bible, Jesus Christ said to Mary after His resurrection, “Noli Me tangere…” (John 20:17). Inspired by these words, Dr. Jose Rizal penned a novel about the resurrection of the Filipino people, whose time had come to arise and forge a new destiny without the oppressive grip of Spain and her abusive padres.

This novel by our National Hero was crafted into a beautiful opera by National Artists Felipe P. De Leon and Guillermo Tolentino, circa 1957. A generation passed until this opera was staged in a foreign land, where philanthropists Loida Nicolas Lewis, Jerry Sibal and Edwin Josue heard the stirring music and lyrics in the mother tongue. The foreigners who listened to and watched the opera with them could not fully understand what the story meant—but for the Filipinos in the audience, the story was not lost, and the Motherland’s anguish was clear: Come to me, my sons, do not let me die.

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Batang Batis (Children of the Spring)

Let me just say, as an aspiring photo hobbyist, I am a fan of Humans of New York (HONY). I love the portraits and their stories, reminding us that we are more alike than we are different, no matter where we live. Inspired by this, I thought of taking portraits of the children who attend our church outreaches. I never knew how powerful a camera could be until today. During regular church events, these children are normally shy and reserved. But in this workshop, while I took their photos on their street, as I focused the lens on them, they were very open and willing to share with me their hopes and dreams, and even some of their struggles. Giving the right kind of attention really does make a difference to a child’s self-confidence.

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He’s finally here!

Look who’s so happy, she fought her naptime off so she could play with Rex. Thanks, dearest sister Lora (and to your Tita) for sending Rex to Manila!

View from our window

For almost a week, mornings have been grey and wet here in Manila. I woke up one morning to the sound of birds chirping, and a streak of sunlight shining so bright that our little man got excited to go out. “I want to catch some sun for my plants,” said he. He couldn’t stop singing “Blessed be the Name of the Lord” by Matt Redman.

The photo above was taken from our window. We live in the heart of Metro Manila. The ominous towers of SM and other high-rise buildings are just yonder this tranquil scene.  That’s our neighbor’s balcony. Thank You, God, for quiet moments like these.

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