My First Times

by Maricel

Unfortunately, I don’t get to have much time and resources to do the things I dream of doing, thus, every little accomplishment I’ve done, every small stuff  I’ve made, to some may seem hilarious, but for me are worth to be treasured and remembered. Even the simplicities and the minute details of my life for me constitutes the greatest masterpiece I’ve ever done, something that I might look forward of reminiscing, maybe laugh at or cry over, when I get old. Silly as I am, here are my list of the silly first- times in my life:

  • First Trip Outside Cebu: Leyte

It happened June of last year (2010). Had my Kuya declined to attend the PICE Mid Year Convention which was held at that time in Tacloban, Leyte probably I would never had the chance to cross the ocean in my own will. Primarily because I’m scared of the idea of crossing the sea (although I love watching it at a distance). Secondly because, I just hate spending my meager finances on travelling (although I superlike to travel when it’s free. Haha!).

What I loved so much while staying in Leyte aside from stuffing my stomach with binagol and moron was being able to walk at the longest bridge in the Philippines, the one bridging Samar to Leyte: the San Juanico Bridge. (Designed by renowned architects Juanito Isko Balunbalunan and Rodolfo Tokneneng Jr.) Hmm, that sounds yummy…♥ Truly Pinoy and only a pinoy could understand (please no offense intended).

Soaring above(?) San Juanico Bridge 

And probably the second thing I most loved and enjoyed in my trip was the chance  to walk at the exact place where Gen. Douglas Mc Arthur landed, in Palo, Leyte. At the place where he uttered the famous line, “ I shall return“. It was like seeing my long- lost Lolo (grandpa) in the first time. 🙂

Leyte may not be that far to Cebu geographically, but I seemed to notice a number of differences with our customs and that of Leyteños. While in Cebu, and in most part of the country I suppose, it is customary to see lovers HHWW or holding (each other’s) hands while walking. In Leyte you (boys or girls) better keep your  hands on yourselves or you might catch the attention of everyone. As a local tourist, you wouldn’t want a raised eyebrow to greet you as you stroll along the city would you? So if you think of PDA’s, beware! Though it was just my personal observation.

Well, there was also this one thing I hated about that trip. It’s the long hours of travel of which I was not accustomed to plus the SsSSSssSss roadway(somehow like the whirlpools I’ve seen in San Juanico Strait) which almost seemed to knock me off from my seat. It turned my world literally upside down. Too bad.

Making it worse was our arrival at the Bogo Pier when going home where we waited for more than half an hour before the captain finally and successfully docked the ferry at the pier. I was pretending not to panic but honestly my whole body was shaking thinking of the possible worst scenario. I was staring at the blueish green ocean below trying to figure out what to do will the barge sink to the bottom. Most of the passengers at that time tried to conceal their nervousness at the situation we were facing. One mid forties gentleman at my back said not to worry for if the barge would sink, we simply had to swim and think as if we were just on an outing swimming in an open sea. And how was that for a consolation? Well at the back of my head I was thinking what he said might work, but not to all of us. Especially to us who didn’t know how to swim. I was thinking about my Kuya and her girlfriend (who is now my sis- in- law) and what I might do to save them. Not letting anyone notice my anxiety, I let my eyes roamed the whole area of things which might help us to stay afloat. And what I found were dusty life jackets. No more, no less! Thank God, after more than thirty minutes, the incompetent captain succeeded. I remember running, tagging beside me was my sis- in- law and Kuya just to get to the land as soon as possible while the people at the pier struggled to keep  the rope tied to a certain post at the dock.

Generally, that trip was more than what I had expected. A mixed of fun, wild and nerve- wracking moments. Well, if I’d be given another chance to go back to Leyte (again for free), I’d be the first one to jump on the barge, ready to depart!

  • First Time Ever To Be Mentioned On Air: Men of Light

I’ve been a member of this page since September of last year, after months of watching it on TV. I know there is a reason why I came to find this wonderful show, the people behind it and the lovely people I came to befriend through MOL. These people made my journey worthwhile however hard times might get. It is a blessing that of the number of TV shows airing everyday, I accidentally came across and just stopped at a particular channel and consequently just wholly moved by every episodes I saw.

I don’t usually hear my name being mentioned on TV that is why it simply melted my heart to know that Fr. Deo had read my sharing in the MOL Facebook Page and more, mentioned my name on air.

Here’s the link: at 3:50, Fr. Deo uttered my name. Hmm, breath of fresh air… 🙂

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=467465048137#!/video/video.php?v=463541628137

Fr. Deo Galang, Fr. Ching Fuentes, Fr. Kenneth Alde (who was then Rev. Kenneth), Fr. Aljim, Bro. Willie Suarez, Direk Marilou Diaz- Abaya and Most Reverend Bp. Ambo David and the rest of this flock, continue to keep the Word of the Lord alive!

By the way, Men of Light is aired in Cebu on CCTN channel 47 every Tue- Fri, 3:30 PM and on Sundays at 12:00 noon.

  • First Religious Affiliation: Montfort’s Lay Associates

This was probably one of the things that I’ve been dreaming to do. To offer a part of my life serving the Lord. It took quite a long time for such opportunity to come. In fact, I’ve waited for 25 long years before I finally got the chance to open myself to the actuality of being able to serve God the way I had dreamed of doing, truly in His own time. And thanks to the Montfort Missionaries who opened the door not just for me but to all of us who has been aspiring to do this.

When the Montfort Missionaries left our place after their mission ended in April of 2010, we thought that’s the end of it. Friendships and ties separated and everything will just become a part of that lovely memory, just a memory. However, many people proved that wrong as more Colonanons continue to pour its support to the religious people who once graced the mountains and plains of Colon with its selfless devotion and service to the Lord making visible to all the kind of service that only people with clear intention and a pure heart has the power to radiate.

And by the way, not only was this the only first in this category. I almost forgot that Fr. Norwyn Baydo, SMM, was my first personal priest friend (I mean someone who knew me and my family personally) and my Montfortian brothers namely Bros. Rene Bustillo, Rey Silverio and Arnel Pagaduan, were my first– ever seminarian friends. Silly? I hope not.

Left: with Fr. Norwyn; Right: with the Montfort brothers

Opportunities came after another as I welcome and savor each new chance being presented to me by a number of amazing people, from the Montfort Congregation and it’s affiliates. And I just love what I did for the past year or so.

Now, I have laid low in associating myself with a particular congregation of religious people, not because I don’t like it but more because I don’t want to hurt my family probably with the decisions I would be making in the future. If God wills it, who am I to disobey?

* So, that’s it. I’ll probably be updating this once I have new firsts to add to my hilarious list.

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