“Saan man ako, bumaling, ika’y naroon, tumalikod man sayo, dakilang pag-ibig mo
Sa aki’y tatawag at siyang magpapa-alalang, ako’y iyong iniibig at siyang itatapat sa puso…”
(A Song of Worship)
This is my twenty- fourth year of life. Way back then, whenever you are celebrating your birthday, your parents or the elders, at all times, suggest that you should thank God for all His blessings for the past year and for the year to come.
Then you will start to think, one by one, about the things that you are most grateful to have.
So here is my list.
I have always been thankful for my freedom as a child. My mother never pressed me to go to school at an early age, instead she allowed me to enjoy my childhood as much as I can. She never forced me to study; it is my will to strive harder at school for them. Maybe I am bestowed with the gift of PERSISTENCE as well. Being persistent in everything has been one of my strengths, which eventually led me to places.
I am free to choose and decide for myself. My parents did a great job of integrating FREEDOM and TRUST. Growing up, I realized that they should be associated with each other. Freedom is a gift that can only be opened and accessed when the trust is complete.
I am born with the same social status as the majority of the Filipino people. I have, most of the time, been directed to the not-so-easy way of life. If I want something, there is no Genie who can grant me my three wishes instantly . I always need to perspire first. I need to be challenged. I need to feel hopeless before I can get the prize. On that note, I am grateful. Because if not for those challenges & hardships, I will not have HOPE.
Hope that at the end of the day, all my effort will be WORTH IT.
Since I experienced having nothing, I tend to be more than grateful of every little thing that comes in my way — a nice coffee, a colorful dress, a pair of branded-but-not-so-expensive rubber shoes, a VS perfume, a comfy bed and many more. Sometimes, my friends find me O.A. when I repeatedly thank someone for their generosity. But it is my nature to be appreciative of all the things, cheap or expensive, big or small, noticeable or not.
My parents gave everything we need, but not everything we want. Growing up, I became contented with the basics, so having the not-so-common necessities and luxury is considered a BONUS.
We are not rich, but my parents, especially my mother and her sisters told us that we always have enough to share. Even though she has already five daughters, I can count a number of times when my mother “temporarily adopts” a child. A child whom she feels needed a helping hand. She will share some food with them, sometimes gives a part-time job to them, help them in their studies and sometimes gives them allowance for school. I experience it first-hand, that precious feeling when you share a part of you, that feeling when you reach out. When you decided to act, not sympathize. When you started to change someone’s life.
I think having faith has been deeply taught to me by my mother and her sisters. Having faith that great things will happen. Faith that today is just a test and the gift of tomorrow will be the reward. Faith in God, that He never forgets. He never gives up on us. He never leaves our side and always be our guide.
Faith that life is just a journey; that after all this crazy adventure called life, we will soon be together with Him.
Sacrificing your own life for someone, that is Love on my perspective. Love cannot be learned in school, love only can be felt, can be expressed, can be experienced. Lucky are those who love and those who are being loved back. Luckier are those who love without expecting something in return, for we know in our Hearts, the ultimate reward will come from God.
Through the years, God let me feel that I am loved by sending people that guided me, nourished me, cared for me and loved me. I know this is His yearly gift for me– the gift of people. Without them, without you, I might not be able to survive this life at all.
Life begins neither on your 30th nor on your 40th;
LIFE BEGIN WHEN YOU DECLARE THAT IT WILL BEGIN.
Happy Twenty-Fourth Birthday OLIYA!