Day 1 – So this is “Earth Heaven”

2-May-2012, Eartheaven Antipolo

You’d know you’re near the moment your cell phone signal disappears. Then the road would narrow and all of a sudden, thick greens would be surrounding you left and right.

There was an excitement that came with the thought of this mandatory cutting off from the “outside world.” Although a slight disappointment was felt once the red letters “SOS” had appeared on my phone signal indicator, it was also thrilling to be transferred to a place of least proximity to my idols of bbm, twitter, sms messaging and the Internet. I had said goodbye to my writing bosses last night – a heart-xilarating, “goodbye for now.”

The van entered the “earth-heavenly” abode. After trying to scare me about giant mosquitoes (with fatal suckers), and notorious bed bugs, my companions in the van suddenly shifted to say that angels were seen walking in this campsite. “You’ll see an angel here,” they told our 14-year-old companion mater-of-factly. For some reason, I felt it was true.

I feel inept to describe what Earth Heaven is like. I’d let the photos will have to do that for me. It is a huge place but you won’t see it’s bigness – 20 Hectares – because the trees will hide that from you.

The building where we were to stay in was further inside. As the van moved deeper into the site, along the curving roads betwixt the greens and past the clearings for different action sites – rapeling, rope bridges, obstacle relays, wall climbing, swimming pool, the lodging place, and the parts that I have yet to find out – I was ushered into a place of new things. I have never been here before, physically and spiritually. It felt like entering “the zone,” of angels, if you wish, where God’s presence would be near, or at least I imagined it to be that way.

I wanted it to be that way. I wanted to be cut off, to be taken away, to be made new. This is still earth, for sure. But please do make it truly an eartheaven, the conjunction between earth and heaven’s realities.

But then of course, I am not here for a retreat or vacation. I am here to be one of 7 facilitators in a youth camp. But right now, this is my only chance for a breath of fresh air. For my cobwebs to be blown away. If these were to happen, I don’t really know. I’m here to “work.” But then God is here. Yes, I’m hoping for the best…


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