At the crossroads

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By Dr. Bob Ocio

Isyo ug Servicio

Saturday, February 8, 2014


TODAY, February 8, in the Philippines, (Feb. 7 in the Vancouver) is the 17th birthday of our youngest, Andrea. She is a high school graduate in the Philippines and now at Grade 11th here.

I remember how she cried wildly calling for her mother who stepped on the airplane for the US when she was only 5 years old and how she could be bribed to pacify for food and play at Jollibee later. Now, she would even cook the food on her own if she does not like what is on the table.

Today too, I visited the St. Anthony Catholic church for the regular morning mass and later to the Vancouver Public library for coffee, books and internet; and I could recall how in those seemingly lousy and lonely days off for three years in New York, I would visit the St. Patrick’s Cathedral prior to going to the bookstore for coffee and endless reading and internet. God gave me the grace to be isolated from gruesome busy farming, clinic hours and politics way back in the Philippines for solace and comfort in the home of our Lord for meditation, reflection and worship.

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Today too, the Gospel speaks about how St. John the Baptist would retire from his mission for an offer of his head cut off and placed on a platter by a King who promised to grant the wish of a wicked unbeliever. What a way to celebrate life in the good hands of the Lord!

Today, I posted via social media a reaction to a statement attributed to vice mayor Ian Acenas when he asked: “Why is Moreno afraid of the city council? My retort was, “Why is the council afraid of Dongkoy?” That speaks of 15 years of the Emano administration which was ended momentarily by a loss to the current Mayor Oscar Moreno. Then, I saw the picture posted by Brod Oscar Caiña which showed how the former beautiful and historic Cagayan de Oro Amphitheater was converted into a virtual “bridge without a river.”

That is the crossroad of a legacy which has to end no matter how one would cling to it. That’s me at the cross roads at the other side of the fence.

Not too long ago, a close colleague in the profession, Dr. Jong Palacio would surprisingly talk about God on his birthday and then was found dead a few days later. I could also recall, how a year ago, another close colleague, Dr. Bong Cruz would suddenly die of heart attack. Bong was one of a few friends whom I successfully invited to join the brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals. A few days ago, a former high school classmate and childhood friend, Edwin Du died of cancer even his family and the community of the Couples for Christ would have joined him during his last years in life. Another town mate, the jolly and lovable neighbor, Dr. Ed Pimentel whom everyone calls “Eddie Boy” passed away on the same day with Edwin. This is a major crossroad which reminds me always that life here on earth is very short, may their souls rest in peace in the Lord.

Today, I could see on the papers reports of a coming major storm surge in Britain which already caused earlier major damage to a railway. There are reports of strange things, strange events going on worldwide.

Even then, man continues to move on as the Olympics in Suchi Russia have started despite concerns for safety. Already, a pet leopard owned by President Putin was reported to have attacked 2 reporters even as Putin would invest billions to showcase Russia in these events. The question is? Are we on the cross roads to one of the last Olympic games in our times?

We all have memories great, small, uneventful, joyful or sad; right or wrong; but as we look back and reflect, we can appreciate in awe, wonder and praise of our Creator who has been patient all along. In all these, life could have been more meaningful had we done better. Yet, we can only find our way to the next level. At the end of the day, it will all be between us and God and how we dealt with our brothers, sisters and neighbors.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 09, 2014.

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