I have three words for Haiyan, or Yolanda, which deeply struck the Philippines, actually Visayas: strong, short, but most of all saddening.

For the first time I felt a heavy sadness and awe when I saw the pictures of destruction, the piles of debris, and the agony of people in Leyte and Samar on television. Really depressing. 

After the typhoon, lots of help came, from both the local and international. Telethons are held. Concerts happen for the cause. Celebrities auction their things. Foreign aid, which amounts to billions, is given (we hope that they wouldn't go nowhere). 

But how about me?, I thought last Sunday. Shouldn't I give something? Shouldn't I give to Red Cross or somewhere else? Shouldn't I donate?

I lament the situation, but shouldn't I donate? Yet, unlike others, I don't get much money, though I admit I have savings. 

Thankfully, last Wednesday our school called for donations. 

But at that Sunday evening, the thought crowded my mind. What could I give at the moment? 

And so I give you this 2-stanza poem.


What can I do
but only prayers for you?
Head down, face frown
For the tragedy that put you down

Thankful here, for we're safe
Thankful there, for our spirit's great
Hoping you will all get well
God be with us: to trust may we never forget.


(I Want To) Flee From Bitterness

Aren't there things, pictures, or whatsoever that may bring some flashbacks, then you realize they aren't that good flashbacks? As if you have already thrown something, then it just throws back to you?

Aren't we supposed to leave our past, except its lessons, and live at the present and hope for the future? Most of us just do that. Then, why at some point what we had already deleted seemed to have a back up?

That made me this.

(I Want To) Flee From Bitterness

I came from a complex past
and I got through it—life's so fast
Pain and other else I just felt
I'm thankful I didn't melt

Hours and days stepped history
Growing—thriving—up I see
Times have gone by
but feeling a sting when it's gone—why?

When I threw the bad in the bin
why should it go back in?
If the hurtful and unfavorable was swept
then why those same things I get?

I want to flee from this bitterness
Never arrive in circumstances of sadness
Even bits of memory that corrupts the positive
I plea—delete!—also the figures of not good things

Where's the door through the way out?
I grip on You and still I'm sometimes struck
But still I find in You that better way
So that from thrown bitterness I am away

Please guide me where You want me to
I know I had pain and tasted the harsh because I have to
I know you want me to learn
and to You you want me to turn

You are good and loving
Keeping your creation from falling
Even to the extent of being crushed
Just for the spirit not to mash

And yet you don't leave us alone
Your grace and love you have shown
—and still revealing to make whole the broken
Setting free and starting again


Put To Death, Bury To The Grave

"If I could change I would take back the pain I would
Retrace every wrong move that I made I would
If I could stand up and take the blame I would
If I could take all the shame to the grave I would"
—Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, from "Easier To Run"

"When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide"

—from "Demons", Imagine Dragons

At the end of October and the beginning of November, people celebrate Halloween and remember their loved ones who have passed away. Many of us also celebrate around horror characters and anything else that will scare us, maybe wearing "scary" costumes and engaging in Halloween parties.

When these days come, horror doesn't only come to mind. There are also the mythical creatures, ghosts, monsters and zombies (aren't those horror too?). And since there's All Saints' Day and All Souls Day, there come the subjects of death and the dead. Graves, tombs, cemeteries, burial. Those things.

And I just thought of something: things we should put to death.

There are those things we should remove from us. There are those things which shouldn't remain in our lives. There are such things that should no longer stay in us. Those are the monsters in us.

Author Stephen King, whose Cell I'm currently reading and whose Carrie was recently re-remade in a movie, had a very notable quote:“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” I agree to that. 

I'm not a guy who frenzies himself over ghosts or the paranormal. I don't watch horror films very much, though sci-fi film Videodrome scared me (Note: I didn't concentrate myself on the SPG(not SPG at all) parts of the story, ok?). I hardly believe in ghosts(but believe in the Holy Ghost). But I believe we are the ones who make the monsters and the ghosts. The evil many of us watch and get scared of actually lies in the human. I'm not saying that we are totally bad people, but I refer the monsters to our bad behaviors and bad habits: anger, rage, jealousy, envy, contempt, hatred, and even lust(and there are more). I can equate the ghosts to the past that we dip ourselves in, the past that cloud us when we should really face the present and, say, move on.

Will you let yourself, dear reader, to be defeated by the monsters inside you? Will you always remember what happened before, when you can start again and never be a slave of 'before'? Far from what you see every time you are in a movie marathon watching horror films to get your lungs screaming, far from what you read in fantasy stories and what you see in The Walking Dead, these monsters and ghosts are really the enemies that can and will kill us. 

In movies or TV series, aren't these monsters, ghosts, or zombies confronted and aimed to be killed? This now sounds like Frankenstein, killing what can kill us. But my point is why should we tolerate these bad things that can knock us off? Why nurture the evils that can choke us? Why not put them to death, and bury them to the grave? 

Bitterness, anger, envy, jealousy, hatred...even your/our total hatred on Miley Cyrus as if she's Hitler. Also our judgmental self, our quick-judging selves who look at people around us and look at current issues and instantly making conclusions even though we don't know the whole story or understand the reasons why. Plus the habits that worsen our lives, either physically, emotionally, or in other way—let's terminate all these destructive monsters.

I can relate to a Linkin Park song, where Mike Shinoda raps about a wish: "If I could take all the shame to the grave I would". If I could change the wrongs I did before, I would.  But, the past cannot be changed. But that doesn't mean we have to live there. So, kill the ghost that traps you with the past, and focus on the present.

I hope I'm clear there—the monsters and ghosts. But how? And can we?

You see on your screens in good-vs.-bad stories that there's someone or a group of people defeating all the evil and winning in the end. Nice scene, huh? Unfortunately, that cannot happen in reality. We can't erase evil in ourselves. We cannot kill the monsters and flee the ghosts all on our own. If we want to kill them, then we need help. And that help comes right from who else but God. 

Good defeats evil. God did, through Jesus Christ, on the cross. And we can through His strength. To defeat the demons hiding inside, we need Him. Much more, we need to accept His gift of salvation, that salvation that frees us from sin, from the monsters and ghosts, from evil's hold. So why don't you reach your hands to His, open your heart to Him, pray, and let Him listen to you?

At these times of remembering the dead, may you not just remember the dead. May you also put the monsters inside to death. “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” This time, may we win—with God's help.

"Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature..."
—Colossians 3:5, NIV