Thursday, December 30, 2010

No More Metrostar Ferry

We had a failed outing yesterday.  I searched on the internet for a ferry trip around the Manila Bay and I found some posts on Metrostar ferry which we had seen several times on passing by the area near SM Mall of Asia.  I saw that their schedules were every hour on the half hour and estimated that the 5:30pm tour would give us a good view of the Manil Bay sunset.  We left the house around 4:30pm and came across several traffic jams before Quiapo and Roxas blvd.  But as we approached the Metrostar Ferry terminal, (Jojo and Benjo went to find parking), there was a post on the outside of the building with the title Traffic Advisory, there were no scheduled departures for the day.  There were a couple of people inside the building and upon entering we were told that the Metrostar Ferry was no longer in operation.  By the time Jojo and Benjo were back from the parking area, it was already 5:30pm.  We were told by a person who saw us coming out of the building that there were boat tours on the other side MOA.  But as we walked towards the mall, I saw the sun setting and realized that even if we wanted to go on the boat ride, we would miss the best part of the trip - the sunset.  So, we scheduled our ferry boat ride for another day and just took a walk in SM Mall of Asia and had dinner at the foodcourt.  There will be other days and many other sunsets to watch.

Going Back To My Bible

It's almost the end of the year.  I'll be bringing out my bible for the first time in ages.  Not that I haven't read from the Holy Scriptures this year, but I have been using Kerygma's Companion for the past 3 years, which has the daily scriptures, commentaries and a place to journal your thoughts all in one.  Before Companion I used Didache, which has just the commentaries, I had used this alongside my bible to read the scriptures which were listed on the side of each Didache page.  This practice helped familiarize me with the books of the bible and I really miss flipping, holding and reading directly from the bible.  So this year, I decided to buy the smaller and cheaper Didache and go back to reading the scriptures from my bible.  It will be a bulkier load to carry when we do go on our travels, but I shouldn't mind because it is like gold, no, a much pricier treasure than gold.  It is the Word of God ... that heals, cleanses, guides, and lights my path and my days.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent Reflection

With the rush and stress of all the pre-Christmas activities, we tend to forget the real meaning of this season.  I was reminded of this by an email that I subscribe to: Henri Nowen, the late priest who wrote inspirational works and worked wondrous inspirations in the lives of many especially the less fortunate, (or so we think that they are less fortunate).

Anyway, the phrase that hit me is this: "A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him . . ." (Isa.11:1-2). 

A shoot, a small shoot from an indiscreet stump, will sprout the One who will be our Savior.  And here we are looking to find "Christmas" in all the big, fancy, bright things around us - the gifts, the events, the parties, the shopping, the givings and receivings, the decorations, the lights!  And yet, it is in the quiet, the smallness, the nothingness (or so we think) that we will find the true meaning of Christmas.

He was born in a manger, among the animals, among the hay.  Nothing fantastical about that.  A manger, in a barn, smelly and dirty.  Not a place for Him who is our King.  And yet it is this place that He chose to come into this world, to be one with us, with humanity.  This is how great His love is for us.  He chose to step down from the comforts and perfectness of heaven, to be with us in our imperfect, sinful world.