Wednesday, November 25, 2015


In a city's bakeshop
a little filthy child came
stood at my side
touched me, raised an open hand.

I spoke to her in silence
an imploring gaze was her response
so I gave to her the bread I bought
yet she raised another hand.

Saying and Said

A master once asked:
What is said has its saying,
Which is beyond the limit of what is said.
Listen not merely to what is said
But also to the saying
A said if not uttered is nothing,
But a saying remains essential
Even without having said it,
Isn’t it?

No one answered.


fondling with your warmth
your hands slowly
immerse with
in our solitary making
with our eyes uttering
no one
only our hearts can understand

To others
even to some
mostly to me
the raison de'etre
I remain a cold blooded
engraving our mode of being one.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I Bleed Fifth


I find myself hanged
for days and nights
Pierced by arrows
I once my own
The culprit?
They are my words
loose meanings
And will untrimmed.



There's a star
that i wish to come by 
All my days 
it's waking me 
around, within me. 

I hone my gizzards
more flap, deeper flap
trying to feel every muscle
feeling the air in each stroke 
and push

Ahead, adventure is threatened though 
A scupper 
A swillage 
Baggy wrinkles 
The way to learn 
sometimes in a monsoon

But I'm chasing that dream
Remembering with bravery
that my wings
After all
will take me up so high
And take me to the sky.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

something about 'love'

                                                    What if 'love'
                                                       finds you?
                                                       but you let it go.

                                                    will there be another
                                                    the right one?
                                                    or will there be a 'second chance'
                                           the right time 

                                                    it was you
                                                    i cried
                                                    i cursed

                                                    how can it be true
                                                    why am i still
                                                    believing in you. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

On the Integration and the Soma

Karol Wojtyla
Pope John Paul II


The fact that “I am wholly engaged in my acting” cannot be
explained by transcendence alone but
requires for its interpretation
also the integration
of the person
in the action.

Karol Wojtyla

In his analysis in the dynamic structure of the human person, Karol Wojtyla perceived that the “man acts” is not only a self-determining subject but transcendent and integrated. By transcendence, we refer to its previously discussed two-fold aspects, namely the horizontal and the vertical. As a review, horizontal transcendence refers to volition while vertical transcendence refers to self-determination.[1] It is to this latter that Karol Wojtyla gave prominence as it is related to man’s immanence, and it is attributed to the person’s self-determination. Vertical transcendence happens when man, by determining himself, steps out and stands above himself by maintaining a dominant role through the exercise of his will and freedom. As an essential characteristic of the dynamism of the person, vertical transcendence reveals the possibility of self-determination, for it is by going beyond his structural boundaries can he only determine himself.

However, the notion of transcendence cannot fully disclose all the contents of the dynamic reality of the person.[2] Hence, Wojtyla added another significant structure of the human person, i.e. integration, a complementary to the notion of the transcendence of the person in the action. “Integration” is derived from the Latin adjective integer which means whole, complete, and unimpaired. The term integration, in this philosophical and psychological discussion, is then used to denote “the realization and the manifestation of a whole and a unity emerging on the basis of some complexity rather than assembling into a whole of what was previously disconnected.”[3] The dynamic and complex unity of structures of the person is revealed when his different aspects such as physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, among others, all come into unitive play. This explains that when a person acts, he does not only transcend from himself and maintain a dominant position, but he is wholly engaged in the act, his entire being is engaged in the act. Hence, Wojtyla remarked that “the fact that ‘I am wholly engaged in my acting’ cannot be explained by transcendence alone but requires for its interpretation also the integration of the person in the action.”[4]

It is probably noteworthy for our discussion to include the notion of disintegration to understand better the operation of the transcendence and integration, and their relation to self-determination. In its fundamental sense, disintegration “signifies what in the structure of self-governance and self-possession of the person appears as a defect or a failing.”[5] “A disintegrated person is incapable of governing, or of possessing, himself to the extent that this inability prevents him from subordinating himself and thus from remaining in possession of himself.”[6] Thus, there is in this sense the limit to self-determination for when a person, for instance, suffers from emotional disturbance and psychological problems, he cannot exercise self-control and in consequence cannot entirely manifest self-determination.[7] Hence, in relation to transcendence, “the defects and defaults of integration become, however, the defects and defaults of transcendence; a fact clearly apparent when we keep in mind that transcendence and integration are two complementary aspects of the same dynamic person-action reality.”[8]

What is now the correlation between the integration and the soma? Karol Wojtyla categorized the integration of the human person into two dynamisms—the psyche and the soma. In a brief description, the psyche refers to the affective or emotional dynamism of the person, while the soma pertains to the bodily dynamism. When man performs action, he shows his unity or integrity. This unity or integrity for Wojtyla is rooted in the unity of the soma and the psyche. Our concern here, however, is on the notion of soma, thus, the notion of psyche will be substantially expounded in the next chapter of discussion. The term “soma” does not solely mean the “body”, rather it refers more properly to the bodily functions as they enter into lived experience.[9] When Wojtyla used the term somatic, he referred to it to the body in the outer that which is visible in man, and to the inner aspects of the human bodily system; “thus, when we speak of the somatic dynamism we refer both to the outer reality of the body with its appropriate members and to its inner reality, that is, the organism: to the system and the joint functioning of all the bodily organs.”[10] Owing to this somatic dynamism, man’s corporeality and concreteness is manifested; hence, he is able to relate with others and come into contact with the world.

Somatic dynamism is identified with “what happens in man.” However, although not govern by the will, it is in fact integrated into self-determination for reason that it can take an active role in man’s acting. For instance, the sense of sight, although may merely be at the level of the somatic and physical dynamism, for man just sees with his eyes even without the control of the will, yet still seeing is somehow integrated into his acting. With this structure of integration, this dynamism is understood as aspects of the person and therefore has a personal meaning and value. Somatic dynamism contributes to the unity of the person in action. An act will definitely be impossible without the movement of the body and an act is performed with the corresponding physical character, which contributes to the concrete and final form of the act.[11] This dynamism contributes to the person as he expresses himself in action. The person is not to be identified solely with the bodily functions, yet through these, the other structures of the dynamism of the person find their expressions and consequently cooperate for the fulfillment of the person.

[1] Aguas, Jove Jim, Person, Action and Love: The Philosophical Thoughts of Karol Wojtyla, (Manila: UST Publishing House, 2014), 93.  
[2] Wojtyla K, The Acting Person, translated from the Polish by Andrzej Potocki. (London: D. Reidel Publishing Company, 1979), 189.  
[3] Ibid, 191.
[4] Ibid, 192.
[5] Ibid, 193.
[6] Ibid, 194.
[7] Aguas, 126.
[8] Wojtyla K, The Acting Person, 194.
[9] Aguas, Jove Jim, Person, Action and Love: The Philosophical Thoughts of Karol Wojtyla, 128. See also Simpson, 34.  
[10] Wojtyla, 201.
[11] Aguas, 131.  

“To Ransom a slave, You gave away Your Son.”

“To Ransom a slave, You gave away Your Son.”
Brief Exegesis on Romans 14:7-9

Paul here deals with the fundamental truth of our faith as Christian believers i.e. the sovereignty and lordship of Christ. In life and in death, we exists to Kyrio, i.e. to praise, honor, and serve God, the creator and maker of all.[1] We have come into life in order to live for God; and even in death, the supreme ending of that life, we die as a way of honoring and thanking God.[2] Hence, to God we are responsible whether we live or die.[3] In other words, we are servants of God. The reason for this relation as servants to their master is that by His death and resurrection Christ has established His Divine Lordship over all alike, both dead and living. Responsibility to Him therefore no one can ever escape.[4]
Thus we are in the service of God in all things. We belong to and must acknowledge our relation to God as Kyrios.[5] But how then do we describe our status as servants of God? And what kind of a master or a “boss” is He?  
For Judaism in the time of Jesus, as for the Greek world, a slave or servant was on a lower level of humanity. By law a (Canaanite) slave was classed with immobile goods,[6] had no right at law and could not own property.[7] Even his family did not belong to him; it was a property of his master, who might give him a favorite in marriage.[8]  Moreover, slaves were ethically inferior,[9] being subject to the law only to a limited degree. They naturally had no genealogies, and therefore there was no possibility of controlling their origin.[10]
Treatment of slaves corresponds to this estimation. Since a slave was a chattel, his master could do with him as desired; there was none to hinder him. Thus we sometimes read or heard of an angry master throwing a full of cup at a slave waiting on him at table,[11] or of a slave having his ears boxed because even with the best intentions he did not fulfill a command in the precise sense intended by his master.[12]
However, the lordship of Christ is entirely different. It is not entirely on a functional level but on the rule of love, which is rooted in the fact that all members of the community stand in the same relationship to Christ and are thus united on the same level in Him. God elevated our status and put us in an intimate relationship with Him. We are servants, but servants so loved and cared. This is proven in the liberating act of Christ in His passion, death and resurrection.[13]
This drama is best illustrated in the Easter Proclamation (Exsultet): Father, how wonderful your care for us! How boundless your merciful love! To ransom a slave, you gave away your Son.

[1] Joseph Fitmayer S.J., The Anchor Bible: A New Translation and Commentary, vol. 33. (New York: Doubly Dell Publishing Group, Inc.) 691.
[2] Ibid., 691
[3] The International Critical Commentary: Romans’ Sanday and Headlam, ed. S.R. Driver D.D., A. Plummer D.D., and G.A. Briggs D.D. (Edinburgh: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1964) 388.
[4] Ibid. 388.  
[5] see 1 Cor. 6: 20b; 7:23-24; 8:6a
[6] Str.~B., IV, 719. Cf. on this pt. and on what follows S Krauss, Talmudische Archaologie, II (1911), 91 ff.
[7] Str.~B., IV, 720 f., 722.
[8] Str.~B., IV., I 803; IV, 721.
[9] Cf. Krauss, 92 ff.
[10] Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Kittel. Vol. III., (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1965.) 271.
[11] Sukka, 2,9; bSukka, 29a.
[12] Str.~B., IV, 734.
[13] Here we see St. Paul’s theology of the Lordship of Christ as always connected with His passion, death and resurrection. (The Anchor Bible; the International Critical Commentary: Romans’ Sanday and Headlam, ed. S.R. Driver D.D., A. Plummer D.D., and G.A. Briggs D.D. (Edinburgh: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1964) 388.) 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

For Power is Made Perfect in Weakness

“For Power is Made Perfect in Weakness”
Brief Exegesis on 2 Corinthians 12, 7-10

St. Paul preached the Gospel in Corinth for eighteen months (50-52 A.D.), and founded a flourishing church there.[1] He left for Jerusalem and returned via Antioch to visit the churches founded in Asia Minor and Greece. While he was away from Corinth some "intruders”, some other self-appointed preachers, had come there and were upsetting the Christians. They evidently were belittling Paul and boasting of their own superior qualifications. In this letter, which Paul sent to the Corinthians from Ephesus or Macedonia (about 57 A.D.), he felt forced to prove that he was a true Apostle: who suffered much for Christ and his Gospel and who also had been given the privilege of special visions and revelations. He devoted chapters 10-12: 6 to this subject.[2]
In Cor. 12:7-10, as if to make atonement for speaking so boastfully about himself, he went on now to describe some weakness he had which troubled him very much. He prayed fervently to have it removed, but was told by the Lord that he would get the grace necessary to bear with it. He concluded that he is content with weakness and sufferings because the power and strength of Christ, working through a weak instrument, will be all the more visible and convincing.
Displaying admirable humility, St Paul now referred to the weakness God allowed him to experience to ensure his supernatural gifts did not make him proud and independent of God. He was given a “thorn in the flesh” to humble him. The Fathers of the Church and commentators of the past have put forward many suggestions to clarify the meaning of “thorns in the flesh”, and so far no clear-cut meaning has emerged.[3] The earliest reference is found in Tertullian who mentions that it was said that Paul’s malady was earache or headache (physical ailment)[4] with reference to Gal. 4:13. Others, like St John Chrysostom and St Augustine, are of the view that he is referring to the pain which continual persecution caused him. Others suggests that it was psychological illness or the torment of sexual temptation. Paul regarded his thorn in the flesh as a messenger that came from Satan to frustrate him (cf. Job 2:1-10). Nevertheless God had permitted it and would use it to bring good out of evil (Rom. 8:28).[5]
St. Paul pleaded God three times to take this "thorn" away, but the heavenly answer he received is very revealing: God's grace is enough to enable him to cope with this difficulty—which serves to reveal God's power. And so it is that he boasts of and is content with his weaknesses and the persecution he suffers: in these circumstances he is stronger than ever, thanks to God's supernatural aid, the grace of God.
The three occasions on which Paul besought the Lord for deliverance were most probably suggest urgency or three separate and severe assaults of this messenger of Satan. Paul’s specific request was granted but something much better is bestowed, namely, grace which is perpetually sufficient, good for his life.[6] To this answer, in which the will of God is revealed, Paul submits. He welcomes it, “most gladly”, with full existential eagerness.[7]
“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”[8] This is the summit of the epistle, the lofty peak from which the whole is viewed in true proportion. From this vantage-point the entire range of Paul’s apostleship is seen in focus—his calling, his conversion, his weakness, his trials, and his labors, his conquest and his exaltation—all fall into place.[9] All is grace (1 Cor. 15: 10); the glory belongs to God alone (10:17).
Now, in the last verse, the apostle summed up all that had gone before by explaining that, because the divine power is made perfect in human weakness, he is well pleased with weaknesses, insults and afflictions of every kind. Human weakness provides the opportunity for divine power.[10]

[1] Cf. Acts 18:12
[2] Michael J. Taylor S.J., Paul: His Letter, Message and Heritage, (Makati City: St Paul’s, 2007), 103-104.
[3] Dr. Sebastian Kizhakkeyil, The Pauline Epistles: Exegetical Study, (Bandara, Mumbai: St Paul Press Training School, 2008), 141.
[4] Tertullian, De Pudic, xiii, 16
[5] Sydney H. T. Page, "Satan: God's Servant," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 50:3 (September 2007):449-65.
[6] Paul’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 449.
[7] Paul’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 451.
[8] NAB, 2 Cor. 12:9
[9] Paul’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 451.
[10] Rev. Alfred Plummer, M.A.,D.D., A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Second Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, (Great Britain: Morrison and Gibb, 1960) 354. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Beggar in NAIA

A few minutes after 4 o’clock in the morning, I was standing in one of the corners of terminal 3, NAIA. I did have checked already my roller bag in in the counter of Cebu Pacific Airline. Now, I supposed to be going to a station for paying my terminal fee but I did not or “could not” to be more accurate. I realized I no longer had enough money to pay for it. I had paid much for my excess baggage.

So my standing there in the corner was a “do or die” thing. It wasn’t all for savouring the excitement and joy being the first time in an airport nor was I looking for some hot chicks. In fact, it was all the total reverse. I was sweating in that big air-conditioned building and was eyeing for an old compassionate-looking woman to seek for help. I waited there. I waited for almost an hour. Alas! I saw one with a teenage girl (probably her daughter) going toward the terminal fee station. I had the second thought at first to approach them. But I finally did. I wore the best smile I had as I was going near them then greeted them with the good manner I was taught in my family. Quickly, I confided to the old woman my problem but she just simply rejected me and went on. I looked at them with embarrassment on my face then headed back to the corner, head bow and with heavy heart. Again, I waited.
It was just the first heart-aching rejection I encountered. There was another with a lone woman with her late forty who just simply ignored me while hurrying toward the terminal fee station. I almost dropped my tears in shame but I determined myself not to.
Back in the corner, I was thinking deeply with the instances I was rejected. Perhaps, I looked unbelievable and was mere kidding them since I was smiling talking to them. Maybe I better present myself otherwise, serious and pitiful so they would believe in me. I began to pity myself and lose my hope. It was already more or less 30 minutes before my scheduled flight. I began to panic. My fear of rejection grew intensely. I had the temptation of not begging anymore but I persisted over it.
I walked around inside the building observing my fellow passengers I came across and those in the corners until I saw a nun at a distance. I hurried towards her and cried, “Sister!”, as she was about to enter into the other terminal fee station. She turned and saw me heading towards her. I directly introduced myself without timidity and confessed to her what troubled me and my urgent need. She then asked for my ID. I presented to her my school ID card. She examined it, looked at me, and back to my ID card. I wished to banish quickly while she was doing that. I sensed another kind of rejection. But she took out her wallet and reached out to me a two hundred bill, the exact money I was asking for. I never knew exactly how to thank her then. Because of much joy, I asked for her name and number so I could extend more of my gratitude to her in the future through texts or another meeting. But she refused and chose to be an unnamed person to me, though I insisted.
I intently looked at her hoping that I could remember her in the course of time. But her face simply faded gradually in my memory and the only thing which remained was my conviction that she is sent by God, someone to save me from my misery.
Though I never thought of a bible passage at that time—one thing for sure I know—I now better understand the salvific act of Jesus—“to give his life in ransom for many” (Mark: 10:45).