Saturday, August 11, 2007

Just enough!

"Mapangasi so Dios tan maabagey!" It was a statement of faith shared by those who were in the prayer meeting. God is so merciful. God is so good.

"When we prayed for the rains that we truly need, God answered our prayers!"

"Mapangasi so Dios tan maabagey!" The group again nodded in faith.

"But it seems, God overdid it!" One of them said in jest. "Adelap-delap met iray arum a pasen. Tan wala ni ra so inatey!"

The others laughed with him in agreement as they listened to him enumerate the places which were flooded, the dikes breached, and human lives and crops destroyed.

"Why?" The old man in the circle asked the group, to no one in particular. "Why would people die and suffer because of the rains we asked from God? The rains are blessings from God. They are sent by God for our good. Our lands are blessed too by the rains. Now we can plant."

"God gives us what we need. Always."

"I've been asking for money, why have I not received one yet? "

Everybody laughed at that statement.


"It's because that is not what you need. You only like it. But not what you truly need", the old man said again.

"Then why are their floods because of the rains we asked from God?"


The old man: "God gives us what we need. God always gives us just enough rain for us to plant and for our plants to grow and nourish us."


The old man, again: "The floods came because of man's misuse of nature."

Somebody quipped, "Our canals are already clogged by plastic and garbage."

Another: "The money that is to be used for the dikes is diverted to the pockets of our politicians! That is why, every time typhoons and storms come, the dikes collapse".

Still another: "Greed. This is the cause of the floods. And the death of innocent people."

"Lack of concern for the others."
God gives us everything we need. But we have lost almost everything because we believe we are not accountable. We are not responsible.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Answered Prayers!

Residents of Makukuli, Inmalog Norte held a procession, praying for rains. Inmalog Norte is one of the upland barangays of the parish. It relies on the rains for the farmers to be able to till their lands, and plant their crops.

They cried to God for rains!

It has been a while since their rice lands had been softened and nourished by the rains.

We prayed for rains in the purok mass in Brgy. Anonang, just at the boundary between Brgy. Anonang and Brgy. Binday, two of the well-irrigated barrios. Waters from the karayan of upland Brgys. Colisao and Ambalangan-Dalin flow freely down to these villages. This time, however, the river flows are being rationed out.

"Awanen, Father, ti danum idiay karayan", an old woman told me before we began our mass. She looked worried about the lack of rains and the waters in the river drying up.

"Manpikasi tayo na uran!" I told the small congregation. Everybody nodded in agreement.


Bro. Rod with some of his friends were having small talk before our mass in their village. Brgy. Aramal is blessed with wide, open rice fields. Bro. Rod and his friends were worried. The lack of rain has hampered their planting schedule.

Bro. Rod told the group, "Mabli so bomba na danum". All agreed. It is expensive to pump water for the rice fields. They would not be able to recover their expenses; they might even be more in debt!

"Let us pray for rain", I told the congregation of Brgy. Aramal, as I intoned the sign of the cross for the mass.

After the mass, I looked up and saw dark clouds forming. We hurriedly boarded the parish jeep. I waved at Bro. Rod and friends as we sped away. They were looking up, longing for the rains to come.

We barely made to the parish church before the rains started to pour!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Signs of the End!

I was having a conversation with three ladies over some merienda after my mass.

"Father, it has not rained for a long time. This has not happened for a while."

" And, Father, the other day, there was an earthquake. There had not been an earthquake since 1990!"

"Did you read the disaster in the US? A bridge collapsed, killing 9 people!"

"Father, these are signs." The first lady said as a matter of fact. Knowingly. And nodding, for special effect.

"Signs?" I asked, wondering what signs she was talking about and if ever, what reality do they point to.

"Signs, Father... signs of the end of times", she prophesied.

And the other two, nodded in agreement.

Oratio Imperata ad fluviam petendam

In the light of the pressing need of our people for the gift of rain, the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan upon the instruction of Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz, DD, JCD, will be invoking the mercy of God in all Eucharistic celebrations starting the evening mass of the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 5 August 2007. The following will be the Intercessory Prayers during the masses, in English and Pangasinan:

Oratio Imperata ad Fluviam Petendam (Obligatory Prayer Begging for Rain)

Presider: Heavenly Father, you are the Lord of Creation and the source of all blessings. With a Father's care you provide for all our needs. With confidence we come seeking your blessings in our troubled times as we say:


Leader: You have made us stewards of creation , but we have at times been irresponsible and have not take good care of your gifts. And so we pray.

Leader: You have the given the goods of the earth for the benefit of all. But at times we have been greedy and selfish and have taken advantage of the weak, and so we pray.

Leader: You provide for all the needs of your creation, even the birds of the air and fishes of the seas and rivers seek your providence. We, your children, in our great need beg for rain to enable us to plant and till our lands. And so we pray.

Leader: Your prophet Elijah of old brought Israel back to true worship of you after which you sent them the rain they so wanted. We now also turn our back on our evil ways and seek to worship you in truth. We beseech You bless us with the rain we need. And so we pray.

Presider: Loving Father, all times and seasons follow your will. Grant us the rain that we need. We make this prayer through the one who even makes the wind and waves obey Him, Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Oration Imperata para say Isabi na Uran

Pangulo: Dios a walad tawen, Sika so Katawan na amin a pinalsa tan sobol na amin ya bendision. Diad say maaman panangasikasom, iiter mod sikami so amin ya nakaukolan mi. Sitatalek kami ya onkekerew na bendision mo ed sarayan masigen ya panaon, tan sikami so manpipikasi:


Lider: Pinagmaliw mo kamin manangasikaso na amin pinalsam. Balet, mabetbet ya napapaulyan mi so nepeg min gawaen tan agmi insasikaso iray langkap mod sikami. Kanian, sikami so manpipikasi.

Lider: Inter mo so bunga na mundo para say pankamaungan na amin. Mabetbet balet a sikami so maagom, masiblet tan maanbuso na saray mairap tan anggapoy pakayari. Kanian, sikami so manpipikasi.

Lider: Iiter mod sikamin amin so nakaukolan na amin a pinalsam. Anggad saray manok na tawen tan sira na dayat tan saray ilog so onkekerew na panangasikasom. Sikami ran anak mo unong ed say kabaleg na pangkaukolan mi so manpipikasi na isabi na saray uran pian makapantanem kami. Kanian, sikami so manpipikasi.

Lider: Pinasimbalo nen Elias a propitam so Israel ed say tuan panangidayew ed Dios, insan mo inbaki so uran ya pirpirawat da. natan, benegan mi ray mauges ya kagagawa mi tan idayew mi kad katwaan. Kerewen mi, bendisionan mo kami na say uran ya peteg min nakaukolan. Kanian, sikami so manpipikasi.

Presider: Mapangaron Ama, amin ya panaon so ontutulok ed Sika. Iter mod sikami so uran ya ipipikasi mi. Kekerewen mi ya diad panamegley na Anak mon Jesuskristo ya anggad saray dagem tan daluyon so ontutulok ed sikato, a Katawan mi ed ando lan ando. Amen.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Dry Spell!

The rice fields are parched! They have become hard as stones. The pagey are wilting. Some have dried up. Without water, they die.

It has been several weeks now since the last heavy rainfall.

"Ampetang, Father!" Some parishioners would tell me. How hot the weather has become.

"Anggapo ni uran! Amagaan laray dalin. Agka mi ni akatanem!" Farmers come to tell that they have not yet tilled the field nor planted yet.

No rains!

When will the rains come?

Miss me - but let me go!

Separation from a beloved is painful. I remember when I entered the Minor Seminary in Binmaley, Pangasinan as a 12 year old boy how painful it was to be separated from my family for the first time. It was a painful ache that longed to be soothed; but it would not go away. There was a melancholic longing for the familiar against the backdrop of the unfamiliar, new surroundings of the seminary.

Separation from a loved one because of death is much more difficult and much more painful to bear. The longing for the beloved is more intense, more painful, and the ache, more heartrending. How much we miss the beloved and long for the familiar warmth and soothing voice, the loving presence and the idle talk.

How can we bear all this?

We only have to let go.

Miss me -- but let me go
Author Unknown

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.
Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little--but not too long
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me--but let me go.

For this is a journey that we all must take
And each must go alone.
It's all a part of the Master's plan,
A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.
Miss Me--But Let me Go