When Ate Ellyn phoned me, I was at work that time. So I answered the phone quietly as I was hiding from my boss. She told me that I will be one of the sharers for this CLP. I answered "YES" immediately with enthusiasm and with high energy. And then she said that I will be sharing for talk no. 4 which is Repentance and Faith. I was really shocked and even said, “Weh? Bakit po ako?". I was really hesitant to do this sharing since as everyone said and we all have the notion that this topic is something more sensitive. I actually asked myself that time."Why me?". I even wondered if they see me as one of the biggest sinner in this community. They said that all of the sharers on this talk are "pasaways". I was really thinking about that and then good thing I received an email from Ate Cha and it has the lists of speakers and sharers. I saw Ate Euniz as one of the sharers. So I therefore conclude... "Korek nga... pasaway nga mga sharer. I should really be sharing on this talk.
Before anything else, I just want to let you know guys that this would be my first and hopefully my last time to talk about these experiences of my life. These are things that I really don’t tell to anyone and discuss in normal days of my life. Since God worked in me, I have the courage to tell my story and also I have faith and confidence that you will all understand the deeper part of me. I just hope that nothing will change and I hope that you will all still love me after this.
Everyone who will see me might think that I’m histrionic. A person who always look for attention. They thought that I really want attention or I lack attention. But to tell you honestly, I really don’t want it. I was trying to run away from all the attention and limelight. But as what my Mom usually tells me, I have this charm that magnetize everyone and this is something that not everyone can have. Only those who are meant to be a star....
Growing as the favorite child in the family isn’t really easy. I am the first child and apo on my mother's side. I grew up with my aunts and sisters. I’m the ‘everyone's boy’ in the family. While on my father's side, they were all men. And when I say men they are siga and from the "lahi of katipuneros”. I was really pampered with love, care and attention from my whole family. I was well-protected by all of them. And I think, this might be the reason why I was different from any other child especially boys of my age.
At a young age, I really know that there's really something different about me. While my guy classmates enjoyed playing guns, running under the sun and wrestling, I was inclined with dancing, singing, acting and any kind of performing arts. At a young age, I already noticed that I’m different. and there's really something wrong about me.
One time, I heard my uncle talking to my dad. He said: "Uy Nato, tingnan mo yang anak mo merong pilantik. ideretso mo lakad nyan." I was looking at my dad but his face was so plain and he uttered, "Wala kang paki! Ayusin mo anak mo."
When I was growing up, I already see the cruelty of the world with all the people like me. Good thing I didn’t and never had any experience of that. Everywhere I go and look, even in church, they have different treatment for all of them. I can see the discrimination and humiliation to these kind of people. It was as if they were not human beings and they have contagious disease that should take them away from this world.
During those years, I was really trying to fight with it. I've tried to straighten myself but it wasn’t really an easy thing to do. I never hide what kind of person I am. I still act naturally. But seeing the real world, it gave me fear. And because of this fear, I really tried to be the best on anything that I do. I did everything to excel on anything. Since elementary, I am always active not only in class but also in whole campus and even in the community. I am always the top of the class. I joined in all school activities and fortunately I never went home without bringing home the bacon. I joined in all the contests like declamation, journalism, sports, student councils, performing arts and I even joined in Mr. Intramurals and Mr. Sweet Smile. This was the only way I know to cover up my one and only flaw of my personality. It was my defense mechanism so that people won’t notice my greatest weakness. And this was the only way that saved me from the cruelty of the world. And this was the reason why I never experienced discrimination and humiliation from the judgmental people.Yes, I must admit I gained all the respects and recognition but I never thought that this will make me suffocated. I was suffocated by all the attention. I can’t breathe with all the pressures that were put on my shoulder and I can’t see the beauty of the world because the spotlight was on me. I was really pushing myself too hard with all the expectations of all the people who believed in me especially my family. I was battling with this entire dilemma. And it was aggravated by the FRUSTRATION.
When I was in high school, everyone was expecting that I will be the valedictorian of the class. I got an average of 94 that time but all the parents of my classmates protested that I shouldn’t be part of the honor roll since I was a transferee. So basically, I didn’t get the prize for all my hard work. I was really disappointed and in despair. I really felt that I was a failure and hated the whole world. So because of that, Even if I passed the UPCAT or the entrance exam for UP, I didn’t go there for college. I chose to go to a not so famous university so I can run away from all the pressures. I really thought that I will be just a normal student that time. But unfortunately, I was still popular in the campus and active. I graduated scholar and part of the Deans' Listers.
Everyone expected that I will be cum laude. But again. I didn’t get it coz I had 2.75 grade from home management class with my teacher slash enemy.
I was again depressed and it felt like the heaven fell down on me. I was really heavy hearted during those times. I had 1. 43 general weighted average but it wasn’t enough. It came to a point that I was questioning God. I was asking him why I can’t have all the things I really wished for. I was really mad at him. I was really a failure. I am a failure because I am not a normal man. I am a failure because I didn’t meet all the expectations of those people who looked up to me. I am a failure because I didn’t get the things that will save me from all the ferocity of the world. And that was the beginning for me to turn back from doing all the good things and what is right and accepted for the world. Somehow, I lost my faith in God.
I was like a rebellious child with him because I didn’t get what I wanted. I was like a chrysalis going out of his cocoon. I started to fly freely as a bird but I lost my track. I was flying on the wrong path and alighted on a wrong destination. I was thinking if God doesn’t want me to be where I wanted to be maybe this is what he wants for me. I took out all the skeletons from my closet. I became wild and liberated. Every Friday night, I was in bars (malate, timog, eastwood, metrowalk, baywalk and anywhere I can find alcohols. And before, I just don’t drink...I supah drink! I drink until everything is numb. I drink until I’m out of my control. I drink until I drop. I drink until some parts of my body are hurt. I actually had a crack on my tooth before. I also had poknat on my head and scars on my legs and that was all because I was drunk. I don’t really care about the feelings of others. I became war freak.
During those times, I felt that I was so free from everything. No hesitations...no frustrations...no pressures and most specially, no expectations. I was really at the peak of happiness.
And when I came here in Calgary, I was really so excited to experience the night life here. I still continued what I was doing in the Philippines. It wasn’t really hard for me to look for friends. But I didn’t know that what I found were the wrong ones, that I was on the wrong path. At some point, I almost forget my purpose to be here.
My co-worker who is a member of Couples for Christ forced me to join SFC. She was really bugging me everyday just for me to agree to be part of it. And just because, I was fed up with all her words and tactics to convince me, I just said yes but I didn’t really mean it. Because of that, I just gave it a try. She succeeded in forcing me, but I must say, that it was the best decision I’ve ever made in my entire life.
I joined SFC and saw the brighter side of life again. By being part of this community, I was inspired by our senior brothers and sisters. And as day passed by, I am learning to realize what I’ve done before and tried to make it right.
But it wasn’t really easy for me to join here. I heard a lot of comments from different people I know and even those that I don’t know. They said that there's no place for people like me in this community and they even said that I will just ruin SFC.
With all of these words, I also started to question myself. Can I really be part of this? Do I have something to contribute? Will they accept me? Do they have space for me even if I’m like this?
With all of my sins I’ve done and for the image I’ve made, people really can’t accept that I really want to be part of this. It came to a point that I really wanted to give up. I also had thoughts of leaving this community. But good thing, God sent an angel to convince me to stay. Thanks to my mamarazzi...Ate Mina for that!
But even if I have this passion of serving God, I still had secrets and sins that I still continue doing. But God moves in best ways. When I was in the conference in front of the blessed sacrament, I had a chance to talk to God deeply from the bottom of my heart. I asked for his forgiveness and asked for second chance. And after that, I have decided to correct all the mistakes I’ve done and still doing. I don’t want to fool myself and also the other people. I don’t want to be praising God and talking in front of all of you about his works but I still have a secret sin that I am doing. So with that, I wholeheartedly decided to end up a relationship. Yes, I was in a relationship even before I entered SFC. A relationship that the world cannot accept. It was really painful and I was really on emotional turmoil. It was like choosing between something that will make you happy versus something that is right not only in the eyes of people but most especially in the eyes of the Lord.
I was really in pain and still I am right now. I am really afraid that I will die alone. That I can’t really find love and happiness. I was also asking why did God make me like this? How can I be happy when the world can’t be happy for me. I kept this coz I know that everyone can listen but only few can understand. I think even my friends here can’t understand what I am going through.
But God didn’t force me to end it up and be on the right track. It was actually my own decision, a decision that is really fulfilling. I know that it is painful now but I know someday it's all going to makes sense. God always gives us the free will to choose, to choose between right or wrong. It really depends whether to go on the right path. But if in case we went on the wrong path and make sins and mistakes, God always has open arms for all of us. We can always go back to him because the door to heaven is always open for everyone of us. I am doing this not because of the judgmental people that surrounds me but I am doing this because I love God and I want to follow his footsteps. All my life, I was concerned about saving myself from this cruel world. But now, I really don’t care about what will people say about me. All I want right now is to serve God and to live a happy life with him. All my life, I wanted to meet all the expectations from me but now what I want is to make our creator proud of me. I was like a sturdy tree that seen a thousand seasons but I have to shed my leaves in autumn to grow it back in spring, to welcome life again.
I know I’m not perfect and I know that I can still make mistakes. But what is important is you still try your best to do what is right and you give your best to correct your wrong doings. Being with God is not about your past....it's not about who you are...It's not about what you have...but it is about how you love him and what you do for him and his kingdom. It is all about what's in your heart.
Ever since I really wanted to be a star in showbizness but now I want to be the brightest star for the Lord. I want also to be an inspiration for others and most specially those who are like me.
My brothers and sisters, I am still asking for your prayers and I hope that you will always hold my hand to walk with the Lord. I maybe lost sometime but please hold me tightly guys so I will still be walking the right path.
I know not all of you can understand and accept me but what I just want is for you guys to give me a chance, a fair chance to be with our Lord, a fair chance to be serving Him.