Monday, March 03, 2014

Where is the Lord in sin

Where is the Lord in sin?
If He is everywhere, are you to expect Him in sin?

Where is the Lord in sin?
Does He close His eyes and let you be?

Where is the Lord in sin?
Is He as helpless as you,
Or are you as powerful as He

If you have power,
Where is it then?
Where is the Lord in sin?

If you have Him,
And He you,
How then is sin put in the picture?
Where is the Lord in sin?

Where is the Lord in sin?
Does He turn a blind eye and leave you be?
Does He let your hand go for a bit and hold it after?

Where is the Lord in sin?
If He is there, why then do you feel dirty?
Or are you dirty because He is there––
Otherwise without Him it would have felt clean,
A matter of perspective

Where is the Lord in sin?
Does He weep, shed some tears?
Or does He shed blood all over again?

Where is the Lord in sin?
Are you redeemed, so you could be
Or are you redeemed, so you shouldn't be

Where is the Lord in sin?
Where is the Lord in sin?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Signal transduction

Generations of love in signaling cascade
Save several downstream effectors from ineffectivity
In an amplified fashion,
So that one may lead to several, not necessarily in subpar
Energies divided among filial progeny, but
Possibly synergistic, in tandem with adaptor signals

Downstream amplification multiplied among others
All that come from a single entity, birthing
Several processes––
A ligand so specific, a cascade so precise
All in control of responses and reactions

And what more can several ligands do,
But crosstalk that harmonizes toward a single
Combinatorial phenotypic response
In an all-or-none mechanism,
Fated as it is into a commitment,
A differentiation unlike others, but not unlike some

In this organismal unity, in quorum
All because of signals
That come from upstream
Maybe cyclic, maybe uni- or bi-directional
But towards an ultimate response
That only entirety could depict.

Monday, October 01, 2012


There are two kinds of adaptable: the one that succumbs to peer pressure and the one that does not.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

God's message

When I was a student, I was used to things sprawled over my bed: pens, books, papers. I would even wake up with my backpack still slung over my shoulders, without having to brush my teeth. At other times, instead of my saliva watering my pillow, it would be the blot of a highlighter on my sheets greeting me as I wake up.

But that has changed. I'm no longer a student––no pressures, no requirements. Now that I'm sick and depressed, I'd be left to my thoughts and to prayer before sleeping. Last night, I even felt too tired, even though my life hasn't been that stressful.

I've tried adapting with lots of books. I'd stack them on my bed, but I would read them at an inequitable pace: thick books are given a day, thin books stretched over a week. I would even read two or three books at the same time. These stacks would not usually fall off my bed because: my body has been used to the immobilization, with the spine disease and what not; I'm used to sleeping with the stacks on my bed.

But today, I wake up with books on the floor. Four books are scattered unhurt, except for the bookmark being spit out of Changing Minds. My Bible is left with me on my bed. For a while, I haven't read my Bible because I see snippets of Scripture on my phone, on my iPod and in the books that I read. With the Bible not falling off, I sense there must be something. It's as if the Spirit told me: You're reading all those books. Read me instead. 

I bring the Bible to the bathroom and opened to Psalm 22 (NIV):

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.
It would seem just like my usual morning devotion, with the psalmist David's rants sharing my sentiments––until I reach verse 17, "I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me," and the number 288 lingered in my head, almost ineradicably. Is that the number of bones that I have? I didn't have Google at hand so I just flipped over to Psalm 28:8:
The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Must this be the message the Lord wants to tell me? I look at other books. How many books are there that have 28:8's, or is there a book with 2:88, or should it be the 2nd book, 8th chapter, 8th verse for Kings or Samuel or Chronicles?

Later today, I ask my friend how many bones does a human body have, and she tells me 206. I go to my phone's Psalm 20:6 (NKJV) and read this:
Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.
I guess that must be it: two verses almost meaning the same, differing only by the tenses. I know I'm frail. I hope this encourages me enough to be strengthened all the time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Compassionate Taxi Driver

The taxi driver didn't ask for extra while I was boarding.

I was running a bit late for a Cinemalaya movie screening at CCP. I was a bit irritable from my medicine so I just kept quiet and listened to the radio jokes.

I saw the driver smirking from the mirror. He was a young driver, the type with the shades and the bling-bling, and the metallic punk smell. He had the belly of a drunkard.

Contrary to his gangster look, he was not arrogant. In fact, he was shy, too timid that when we had gotten too comfortable with the viscous traffic and we'd been talking, I had to draw closer and ask him to repeat what he'd said several times.

Those thirty minutes of brief biographies had been an exchange of compassion unlike any other. You could imagine help for the countless flood victims, where needs are easily met with relief help. Or you could imagine rescue for a bloodied victim. But who would have imagined compassion flowing freely between two seemingly normal men, let alone strangers––a father who would seem to have no problems, what with the bling-blings, the laughs, the motorcycle-gangster aura, and a young guy with his metal brace hidden under a jacket the taxi driver hadn't even noticed?

There we were, listening intently at each other: he, imparting the many lessons he had had learned during the many fights with his wife and the many missed opportunities; and I, graciously sharing the hope that I had been struggling to have during my darkest times.

We professed our weaknesses to each other, trying to encapsulate all problems in that brief car ride.

My short stint as a counselor would end with a surprise. We reached CCP, but we were both reluctant to separate and stop talking. I pay him a little more than what was on the meter, but he gives me back the fifty-peso bill! He'd wanted me to pay less than what was on the meter (What? Is he paying me for the talk?)

Not only did he not ask for more than what was due, but he had also demanded less than what was required. Wow! How many taxi drivers are like him?

That stalled my being late even more, and it got me thinking.

Both parties insisted that the other get it. Finally, I had to break the foolishness and the pause. I won the argument of course, and he got it.

I will miss the driver. Bless his soul.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Two Books on Exorcism

"Exorcism: Encounters with the Paranormal and the Occult" by Fr Jose Francisco Syquia is a true narration of the author's adventures as an exorcist in the Philippines. Published in 2006, the account is set recent and interspersed with teachings Fr Syquia has studied.

In parallel, "The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist" by Matt Baglio (2009) tells the account of Fr Gary Thomas, who was a skeptic of modern-day demonic possession, until he has had to undergo a course on it in Rome. The skeptic-turned-exorcist Fr Thomas tells his journey under the tutelage of a renowned exorcist (who accepts cases in a church as would a doctor in a clinic), until such time he has to lead an exorcism himself.

Aside from exorcism and the supernatural being real and practiced until now––the Modern Age of Science––the following are noteworthy in the two books:

1) Having been involved with the occult and the New Age Movement (beyond-curious or habitual interest in Astrology, Numerology, Tarot cards, fortune telling, etc.) or being an occult practitioner increases the chances of you being obsessed, oppressed or possessed. Having a sinful lifestyle will do so too.

2) Temptation from the devil is an ordinary demonic activity, while unusual types of demonic harassments are possession, oppression, obsession and infestation.

3) Possession is a state of full control over a body (but not the soul) by demon(s). The mental, affective and volitive faculties of a patient are suspended. Obsession is characterized by thoughts that spring up momentarily or more frequently. These thoughts may be absurd, blasphemous, shameful, horrifying. They come especially at night. When suicidal in nature, the obsession would be at a dangerous level. Oppression is defined more variedly: burdens or afflictions that torment, affecting one's health, emotional and psychological well-being, spiritual life, relationships and work. Such misfortunes may come from nowhere. Deliverance prayers would be adequate for the latter two, while an exorcism is required for possession. Infestation is locational or material control of the demons. This may involve objects accepted from occult practitioners, or houses that are haunted.

4) Fortune tellers border the Quiapo church––an irony of strong forces localized.

5) Albularyos sometimes work because they call on to spirits that may be stronger than the spirits that have caused the illness. A visit to the albularyo may incur wasted money: getting healed on the first visit might assure the albularyo a second visit; thus the albularyo may implant on you another sickness.

6) Deliverance prayers can be thought of as a private exorcism. Crucial is the praying individual's faith for the success of the deliverance.

7) Trained exorcists discern the psychological from the non-human. An exorcist might say a prayer in Latin, dual-purpose: To check if the human reacts from it as a demon would, and to not traumatize a potential possessed individual.

8) Different exorcists have different styles. Different possessed humans have different reactions to different exorcists.

9) Demons do not want to get noticed. They'd manifest scientifically or naturally to deceive, especially the exorcists.

10) Being sinful makes you vulnerable to spiritual attacks (curses that may be spoken unintentionally or otherwise, spells).

11) Demons are fallen angels that are experts at deception. They may know secrets and use these to assault an exorcist or his team (which may include a psychiatrist, a doctor, a charismatic group).

There is an archdiocese in Manila, an office in Exorcism.
Read this recent interview with Fr Syquia:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Eiga Sai: Villain

"Villain", one of the films of Eiga Sai, the Japanese film festival held at Shangri-la, is a story of the two alternative theme interactions of love and irrationality: 1) How people are able to do stupid things (or weird) out of love for a person; 2) But more uncommonly, what love can do to irrationality.

The former talks of love as the cause to irrationality, such as how a death of a daughter urges a father to try to hunt down her daughter's murderer to seek justice extremely. The slightest defamation of his daughter's death would mean attacking with a wrench, an act only to be punctuated by his realization that some people laugh at other people's irrationalities because these people do not know how it's like to love. They laugh at other people's miseries, thinking it's comedic how fathers could go so far as to confront strangers and fall down pathetically for their daughters. But, in this laughing, they do not see the value of crying because of love. Another undertone is that of the female protagonist Mitsuyo–how in desperate need of love, she succumbs to a stranger from a dating site.

The latter revolves around irrationality as the cause to love. This delves with irrationality as a premise, and with what can love do to save it? as a question. Little did Mitsuyo know that the stranger was a murderer, named Yuichi, until he confesses to have killed the daughter of the irrational father. The confession would be ignored by Mitsuyo because: 1) the murder was an accident triggered by a malicious threat of the daughter; but more importantly 2) she's seen the side of Yuichi that knows how to love. She still is determined to love him, perhaps even more.  The news announces he is wanted for murder. Falling in love for the first time, Mitsuyo continues to fight for her love with Yuichi and flees with him, until she discovers that Yuichi is really a sociopath. This discovery is unfortunate however: in the middle of lovemaking, he snaps and tries to strangle her. 

The authorities find them in a lighthouse, just in time to rescue a breathless Mitsuyo. However, we see Yuichi trying to reach for the hand of Mitsuyo as he is taken away by the police. This indicates that he really loved Mitsuyo, albeit his love was temporarily restrained by his condition. 

Had Yuichi not been taken in by the police, Mitsuyo would still have loved him despite his fits.

The emotional battles of the different characters converge at a denouement: how acknowledging love becomes key to acceptance of the irrational.