“May Awa ang Diyos.”

I heard my Lola Estrella Rustia say this a lot when I was a young girl. Pagkatapos magmano, I would greet her, “Kumusta po Mamang?” (How are you Mamang?) And she would always answer, “May awa ang Diyos… (God has mercy…)” Her look and tone was thankful and hopeful at the same time. This morning I woke up missing her, and the way her small feet shuffled as she walked around her home in Santiago City.

As a first grade teacher, this “statement of belief” is one of the many lessons that Mamang would pass on to us: Everything that happens to us, comes from God’s mercy. Having this mindset teaches us to be grateful for every moment, be it a time of joy or a time of sorrow. We live each day by God’s grace alone. And because we are recipients of His mercy and grace, we ought to have compassion, to be merciful and gracious to others. There is no room for conceit in a heart that is always grateful for God’s mercy that is new every morning.

It is also a source of comfort during times of despair and hardship. May awa ang Diyos, therefore have confidence in God’s merciful nature – and you will soon see deliverance. There is no room for defeatism, in a heart that has hope and faith in God’s mercy that never fails.




BBL and the 44 Heroes

The Bangsamoro Basic Law, as it is now (I’ve read the files), has so many loopholes that could create more chaos a few years from now, if (or when) an aggressive, ruthless extremist like ISIS takes over the MILF leadership (as it has done over Abu Sayyaf, and other Muslim extremist factions). Some might scoff at the idea now, but look at what’s happening in Syria, Lebanon and other ME countries, and even France, where even their own governments were caught unawares and were helpless to stop the actions of terrorists/ruthless men. I am sure that there are more Filipino Muslims who can adhere to our current Constitution, which is fair enough for all faiths, so why push for a different Law that has the potential to encourage honor killings and pedophilia?

My prayer is that leaders on all sides will stop their pissing contests, and do what is right — lay down arms and return lands that need to be returned. Righteousness and justice go hand in hand before peace can really be attained. Who are those in power who tried to grab lands that were not theirs in the first place? Bring them to justice, no matter how rich or influential they may be now. Bring to justice those who killed 57 people, including unarmed journalists and women in Maguindanao, and see if people in the area will put their trust and support for a national government once again. Continue reading “BBL and the 44 Heroes”