Knowing, feeling and acting on it – an unlikely message of hope and inspiration

i like to drive alone, and I most especially like long trips. It’s like I am in my own personal washing machine, the tumble, spin, stops, jolts and jumps. and the chance to make a stop alongside scenic routes. Rarely a selfie there, I am bad at photographs. but these are very personal moments that I take, they are not simple road trips.

Atop the mountain pass along the surigao red mountain. the coastal routes along the Ilocos region. the mountains of Viscaya and Isabela, the farms of Central Luzon. the gray plains of Pampanga. the narrow roads alongside cliffs in Samar and Leyte, the sugarcane plantations of Negros. the beaches along Misamis Occidental and Zamboanga del Norte, the majesty of Cotabato’s misty mornings. Mt. Apo and that Chocolate drink in the morning. the quaint air and feel of Camiguin. the western culture of Bukidnon, the cows, the pineapples. the whiff of the sea in Gensan. the farms of Koronadal, the wilderness of Agusan.

if you have driven all over the Philippines like I have, you will find all these places very enriching and uplifting. any travel will change you in some ways you have never imagined.

These are very spiritual moments. times when you commune with everything around you, not just the local culture but with the environment as well. thinking about your life, how you have become and the roads ahead.

Life tells you to look ahead, time tells you it waits for no one. you have your feet, take that step and make that move.

Mind, heart and hands. thinking, feeling, acting.

And Pope Francis shows us the way to spirituality we have never before felt. Knowing that he breathed the same air, slept under the same moon, it moves you. That he liveS like you do even for a while, got drenched and wet under the weather, enduring that typhoon – and taking what comes to you with humility.

He shows you how he has felt for us. cry if we must. I think that is manly enough. Weep if you must, and I admire that man in Tacloban who wept openly. I can only sense how deep that wound must be.

Like the pope, I condole and feel the sufferings in silence. My heart tells me he has wept with us and shared our sufferings.

I take my challenges like a man. and the good pope shows us how. Surrender yourself and do not doubt the power of Jesus. Look up to Mama Mary, she will take care of us. To consult St Joseph when times and trials pile up, to surrender and let God take the reign.

Many times I have ignored and taken the lesser path. maybe like the others we all seek what could make us whole. Somewhere where the emptiness makes us yearn for something else.

That Pope Francis could be the light is not a question. It is how we sustain this feeling of euphoria and blessedness when he is no longer around that is essential.

Politicians will once more return to their old ways. some will return to corrupt lives, others lead honorably and put service as a guidance. May the good ones flourish and the stray ones find their way back.

Singing is not also just about making that note; it is also meant that the silent finally talk, the hidden be put to light. that we should have a special place for the poor and the displaced, the downtrodden, those who have less in life. that we should not forget to be children. and family.

Thank you, dear Pope, for the light, the inspiration. I know I have more to offer, I have not even scratched the surface yet. I am not perfect nor am I abundantly or financially blessed, but it is in this imperfection that I see my humanity. that I have more to share than I once realized.

Spot on. how can it not be? Whatever the language, mercy and compassion transcends borders and fences.

I hope you have had a great stay. We will pray for you so you can continue to guide us. and perhaps be an inspiration to others as well regardless of religion and culture.

Pray for us and help us heal this nation, divided by economic (dis)location, driven by personal motives and selfish objectives. Nobody honked their horns for the other car who moved or stalled, everybody was just patiently waiting. For once, we were all captives of your holiness and charm. If we gave you strength with our warmth, you disarmed us with your simplicity.

May you continue with your journey, we will help spread the message of mercy and compassion. and maybe you can find your way back here. And i hope I will still be there to see you one more time. Maybe before that final curtain will fall before my eyes.

Adios, santo padre. You will be here forever, etched and always a source of inspiration.

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