It was around 3PM. After almost 8 hours scurrying around from Marikina to QC to Pasig to Makati, once again I was somewhere near Ortigas on my air conditioned bus ride from ayala avenue to cubao. i was trying to get some sleep but i couldn’t find a comfortable position. i kept on emerging from sleep to consciousness, sleep, consciousness, sleep. Frustrating.
So there I was halfway to Cubao when I began to ask myself the same questions again, the same questions I was asking myself about an hour previous, while walking under the heat of the sun with my heavy laptop burdensome behind me, on the streets of makati, struggling to make my way to the bus stop without getting lost and without adding more mileage to my already overextended walk (the bag gets heavier and the perspiration on by skin has had multiple cycles of drying and wetting my top and laptop straps.)
Thus on the bus, I had to ask those same questions because despite the airconditioning in the bus, my skin felt dirty already with layers of dust and vehicle fumes stuck on my dried sweat like invisible stickiness. i have fantacized about taking off my shirt. (nah!) i was so tired and sleepy i wanted the trip to take me straight to my doorstep. i dreaded getting off and walking again. i dreaded any need of exerting some effort. i had wished to go home but something firm kept on stopping me. oh yes, before we forget, the questions…
it was the answer to the questions that kept me from sending a text message that i have given up and simply cannot send my deliverable that was due that day. something i cannot do at home due to the absence of an internet connection, something i cannot do in any coffee shop due to lack of budget, something i cannot do the following day due to lack of time. the laptop had to cling to me because it carried the work to be done and the paper bag carried the files to be read. my body and mind were shouting in unison one thing, “go to sleep.” (and a nice bath would be nice before hitting the pillows.)
The questions were simple questions all of us have asked ourselves before. Why am I doing this? And the answer has to be convincing enough you know. Because the answer would always pull me back to my senses whenever I get tempted again to complain. Or tempted to give up. Or tempted to faint at will. (pwede ba yon?)
Why am I doing this? How did I get myself into this? Will this work really matter? Is it important? Can I even imagine myself saying no?
I am doing this because I chose to do it and I want to do it. I said yes because I wanted to make a difference. The work has the potential of changing the lives of generations after me; it even has the potential of contributing to a major shift in the history of my nation. It matters so much that even if the possibility of it bringing for change is only 1%, I will still do it for the sake of that 1% chance. I want to do this so bad that I’m willing to spend the last trickles left in my pocket. I could not imagine myself turning my back against such a glorious moment in the history of my beloved Filipinas.
I am doing this because I love the Philippines. And I love the Philippines because I love God. It is God’s will for me to love my motherland. Being a Christian could not mean that I could leave any other way. It is so simple that even if my tiredness made me want to cry, I held back my tears. I had no right to shed tears for mere exposure to the heat of the sun and some back pain and tiredness that will soon fade away. I should be ashamed if I should even complain. This little sacrifice is nothing compared to what others have done.
So I finally made my way to Cubao in one piece. Out of a desire to cut my route, I ended up walking under more sun and more fumes again. (May tawag dun eh…) But I delivered what was asked about an hour ago, 30 minutes past deadline. I am not even sure if I did it right. Heck I even have this sense that it’s only 30% of what it should be. But it was my best and I know that whatever is lacking in it, God can add. What I dare not do is turn my back on the glorious task of saying yes to loving my nation.
It is my fervent hope, that in big or small ways, all of us will do the same.
The work that was given has to do with researching on important events or decisions we made during our past 490 years as a nation, that we need to repent of as a the Church in this land. To those of you who know me, I am not a historian or theologian. The best way to drain me and lull me to sleep is to make me do research.