Friday, April 6, 2007


Procrastination is a deadly disease. Deadly because people who have it fail to recognize it or they just ignore it altogether. It's vocabulary is as deadly too- later, tomorrow, next time and someday. Procrastinators have eight days in a week- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and the eighth day is called...SOMEDAY.

Someday may mean tomorrow, next week, next month, next year or maybe... never. It can be as long as eternity itself. How often have we been turned off by people who just did not have time for us? How often have we been hurt when people turn us down by such words as: "I'm too busy right now, I'll attend to you later"; or "just come back some other time when I'm no longer busy." Do we remember the hurt look at the face of our child when we hollered at him with such words as "Can't you see that I'm busy? Go to your mommy!" That will be the start of the day our child will look for attentions from others. That may happen to our spouses too. If we don't have much time for them, others may give them the time and attention they craved from us and we might lose them altogether. Then we will rue the day that we did not give them the quality time that they were crying for. Regrets will set in and we will say to ourselves, "If only I had time for them."

The antidote for procrastination is purposeful living, if we know the purpose of God for our lives and accomplish each task for His glory alone. Next time that there is a task at hand, say to God and to yourself: "I'll do it Lord for your glory, right here and now."


Everything I Do - Bryan Adams

Mel Avila Alarilla

Thursday, April 5, 2007


DIASPORA- The dispersal of the Jews to various parts of the world after the states of Israel and Judah ceased to exist. The advent of this disappearance of the old Israel from the world map was after the death of Jesus Christ and started with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and culminated with the Fall of Masada, the last bastion of Jewish resistance against the great Roman siege. Thus, the world saw the phenomena of wandering Jews almost everywhere in the civilized world where eventually, millions of them were incarcerated, tortured and gassed to death by Hitler and his Nazi henchmen. After the Second World War, and by a decree of the United Nations, the modern day Israel was created in 1947 in the territories now being contested by the Palestinians. And millions of dispersed Jews all over the world trekked back to modern day Israel to begin a new life of nationhood.


The second diaspora which occured in the modern times involved overseas Chinese. Many Chinese nationals fled mainland China during and after the great civil war between the Communist Reds of Chairman Mao Tse Tung (Mao Ze Dung) and the Kuomintang Party led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek (pardon me if my spelling is wrong). The remnant of the Kuomintang Party, which was supported by the United States of America, fled to Formosa which is now called Taiwan. Thus, we have now witnessed the phenomena of Little China Towns sprouting all over the world and which have blessed us with their distinctive ethnic culture and traditions. Thanks to them, almost all countries in the world have their own celebrations of Chinese New Years with firecrackers, dragon, lion and tiger dances, the Lunar Calendar with their twelve animal signs, fortune cookies, imposing Pagodas and Buddhist Temples, great Chinese delicacies including the mouth watering and ever present Chinese noodles, and so much more. Now the Sleeping Dragon has emerged and is now a world power.


And now we see yet another phenomena of a race migrating and working overseas by the millions into almost every part of the world- the Filipinos. After the 2nd World War, the Philippines stood as the most advanced and prosperous country in Asia. Yes, she was ravaged too by the great war in Asia and the world like everybody else, but since the Philippines was still under the colonial rule of the United States of America, she stood head and shoulders above the other impoverished nations of Asia. Japan suffered the ignominy of a crushing defeat and was reduced to a mentored nation by the Americans. They started from scratch on the road to democracy and a severely reduced monarchy. China, as we mentioned above, was on the verge of civil war. The Koreas were struggling to become a nation and were also on the threshold on its own civil war- a would be product of an emerging Cold War. Hongkong was a British Protectorate, so was Malaysia and Singapore. India was a British colony and was also at the threshold of its own fatricidal split as two nations- India and Pakistan. Thailand was a secluded monarchy trying to emerge from its cocoon. Indonesia was under Dutch rule and Vietnam was under French rule. Of all the nations in Asia (except for Thailand which was never colonized), the Philippines was the first nation to gain its independence on July 4, 1946. Massive financial, logistical and foreign aids were poured by the United States to the infant republic. Japan paid reparations to the Philippines. Despite sporadic cases of graft and corruption and the passions of Filipinos for political gimmickries and the quest for individual glories instead of national glory,
the Philippines stood second to Japan in the 1960s.

All these changed on September of 1972 when the then president of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, declared martial law and seized assets of big corporations and muzzled individual freedoms, including freedom of the press and peaceable assembly. He jailed his political opponents, his critics, even demonstrating religious nuns and priests, communist dissidents and everybody else who dared to oppose him. At the outset, he seemed to have hit the right formula by disciplining the citizenry and streamlining government bureaucracy. But absolute power took its toll and the Philippines was reduced into a state of a virtual banana republic where power and wealth were shared by few trusted henchmen.

Thus the world witnessed the birth of the Filipino migrant workers. After the assassination of opposition leader Benigno Aquino, anarchy reigned in the streets. There was massive capital
flight, industries fell by the wayside and the Filipinos lost its collective soul. Millions worked overseas as domestic helpers, entertainers, hired laborers, and what have you. Thousands fell victims to unscrupulous illegal recruiters, who swindled them of hard earned, even borrowed money from usurers and loan sharks, only to be left holding an empty bag and no gainful employment. Thousands also fell victims to degradable working conditions and forced slavery from soulless employers and gang members (such as the Yakuza in Japan) where female migrant workers were either bodily tortured and maltreated or raped and forced to work as prostitutes. The tales of deprivations are endless. There were those, however, who found gainful employment and the proverbial greener pastures in other countries, usually the developed ones. They became the doctors, nurses, engineers, caregivers, teachers, office workers, etc. that became a very dependable work force of their adopted countries. Most of them became total immigrants and attained citizenships of their host countries and sad to say, some even renounced their social and ethnic identities as Filipinos.

A modern day Christian prophetess by the name of Cindy Jacobs once prophesied that the Philippines will become the modern day center of Gospel evangelism to the world and that it was divine providence that millions of Filipinos are now all over the world. These modern day wandering Jews are scattered throughout almost all the nations of the world to bring the Good News of salvation to unredeemed humanity. But before this prophecy can unfold, they must first be evangelized themselves and brought to personal salvation, by first accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and by confessing their sins to Him, and letting His most precious blood wash away all their sins and iniquities. Then and only then can they be born again and be assured of salvation and eternal lives for themselves. Then, they can now become the modern day evangelists, spreading the Good News of Salvation and eternal life and destroying once and for all the BIG LIE of the devil that man is beyond redemption and he is his own master and lord of his soul. THE LORD JESUS SAID, "COME TO ME, ALL YOU WHO ARE WEARY AND BURDENED, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST." (Matthew 11: 28)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


"And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward." (Matthew 10: 42)


This morning, an ambulant peddler went to my house and offered me the products of their
livelihood project in their jail at the capitol of our province. They were nice products made from local indegenous materials. I was attracted to a beautifully crafted wind chime. The big one cost
160.00 pesos and the smaller one cost 110.00 pesos. I was caught between the feelings of wanting to help this fellow who wanted to rise out of the quagmire of his incarceration and the social stigma that goes with it, and the practicality of spending the remaining money from my dwindling budget that could hardly last till the next payday. Wanting to help him, not only to earn money, but more so, to show that I stand behind him in his desire to rehabilitate himself and return to mainstream society, and at the same time wanting to preserve my scant dwindling resources, I asked him how much profit he earns if he sells the big chime. He told me he earns 40.00 pesos for the big one and 10.00 pesos for the smaller one. I handed him a 50.00 peso bill and told him I was giving him the profit for the big one and at the same time, I was preserving the scant money in my dwindling budget. I told him the money was not a doleout. It was a support from someone who wanted to see a fellow brother get back to his feet. Then I told him that if ever he pass our way again, I would gladly buy from him the beautiful wind chime. I surmised that by that time and by the grace of God, I would be able to afford buying one without jeopardizing my budget.

There was a twinkle in his eyes as he extended to me his hand in friendship and told me his name and his former job at one of the biggest company in the Philippines. Oh how the mighty have stumbled and fell to the depths of his existence- a shade of the Biblical prodigal son. But in my heart I knew I touched his soul and who knows, I might have bought back for the Lord his miserable and pitiful soul for the measly amount of 50.00 pesos.


Jail condition in the Philippines will be the earthly equivalent of hell. Small antiquated cells originally built to accommodate 10 to 20 prisoners would normally be jammed with 100 to 200 inmates. Conditions are so intolerable and the resulting body heat so suffocating that many inmates develop various skin diseases. Jails in the Philippines are virtual human jungles where survival of the fittest is the norm rather than the exception. A high percentage of inmates are innocent ones who have been framed, tortured and forced to sign contrived confessions of guilt to produce instant solutions to crimes, especially high profile ones. The police and judiciary are so plagued by graft and corruption and the lust for money that innocent but poor suspects in crimes have no hope of extricating themselves from police frameups and judicial incompetence.

Judges decisions are sold to the highest bidders. Lawyers and judges are so corrupt and bereft of any conciences that they fattened their bank accounts with the largesse of guilty suspects who they pronounced as not guilty and set free to a "tolerant" society who unquestioningly open its arms of welcome to these fugitives from divine justice. On the other hand, the poor, innocent and framed up victims of injustice languish in the hellholes of Philippine jails where they sadly emerge later as hardened criminals.

Even the business community itself is guilty of this double standard of justice. All applicants for any job, however lowly and insignificant it may be, are required to produce police and NBI (local equivalent of the US FBI) clearances. And woe to him who has a police record, especially one of conviction, no one will entrust him with a job, however menial and lowly it may be. Society itself is pushing a returning convicted inmate to a life of crime by closing the door of opportunity and reconciliation to him. Who says hell is beyond death. You will see it at the Philippine jails.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Just two days ago, I had an unusual request from a Christian friend whom I regularly send inspirational Gospel messages. You see, in the Philippines, there is a craze for text messaging (sms) where everybody but everybody sends text messages to everybody else. It had been my personal ministry to encourage people by regularly sending them inspirational text messages and I always end each message with the phrase- Smile. GOD LOVES YOU NO MATTER WHAT! My Christian friend requested me to omit the words- NO MATTER WHAT. I do not know why they were offended by that phrase. I told her that I cannot adjust my messages to individuals since I do and send standard messages regularly to more than 100 people. For me to adjust my messages to suit each individual preferences would be not only time consuming but very taxing. I told her that only self righteous people would object to such a phrase like that. I maintain that God's love is unconditional and does not depend on the worthiness of its recipient. Some smart aleck may counter with the question: Can God love a terrorist, a murderer who kills hundreds and thousands? An abortionist? A plunderer? Or a suicide bomber? Or a despot? I say yes and much more. Remember, God sent His only begotten Son to save wretched mankind from the worst sins and degradations and He never prequalified those who were worthy to be saved. Of course, we have to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and personal savior and confess our sins to Him and allow Him to wash our sins with His most precious blood so that we can be saved.

Romans 8: 39 says that nothing else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. Of course we can separate ourselves from Him and His love if we want to because He created us with a free will and we can either accept Him or reject Him. God is love, that is His very nature. To say that He cannot and will not love any man for whatever reason is theologically incorrect.

"For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

"Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts" (Hebrews 4:7b)


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