28 January 2008

'Where in the world is Willy now?'

TWO COMMENTERS have asked the question, the first one evoking the computer game involving Carmen Sandiego. Porfirio, the other one, asked whether I got sick or went out of the country.

Well, I'm still in Naga, in that lovely little spot in the world we call Pacol.

I didn't get sick in the physical sense of the word, thankfully -- although I am close to overcoming a persistently durable cough (commonplace here, I am told, at this time of year in a climate gone crazy), and some episodes of arthritic attacks that make plain walking a terrible ordeal.

But I did get sick in a different way.

With the way things are in our country, I get this feeling as if evil has triumphed. And everything we do is for naught. So why bother? Why write, and why blog for that matter?

Until I read Juan Mercado's column last week. Especially the following quote from the fallen El Salvadorean bishop Oscar Romero:

“We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of God’s work. Nothing we do is complete. We simply plant the seeds that one day will grow. We cannot do everything. But this enables us to do something, and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete. But it is an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest. We are workers, not master builders, servant-leaders, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.”
The article took some time to sink in, but gently reminded me of the good so commonplace that I refused to see.

My seven wonderful blessings -- a source of boundless joy in our cramped little home filled with a cacophony of voices whose laughters, cries, shouting and even hushed conversations become a living symphony -- without whom life would be nothing.

Sixteen years of solid, happy, eventful and productive marriage to a most loving wife.

A community that may not be the richest, the cleanest nor the mostly orderly in our part of the city -- but is vibrant, dedicated, colorful and alive.

The sweet, pleasant early mornings that greet me everytime I would don my ancient sneakers and negotiate the bends and turns around Grandview and Green Valley.

Work that is fulfilling, with people ready and committed to give their all, in a city government where public service remains what it should be.

All I had to do is look a little bit closer and count these blessings.

And blog about them.