Friday, January 24, 2014

Richard Diaz Alorro


July-August 2013

Kumusta mga kababayan? I had a little break from our Jeepney Press and it’s nice to be back! I’m glad that you are still there giving your solid support to JP.

Summer na naman! For sure, fully booked na naman ang inyong mga weekends for summer get aways with the family at mga kaibigan. Mountain resorts, lake or river side camping sites, beaches, and swimming pools are common destinations ngayong panahon ng tag-araw. Minsan, we need to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life and renew our communion with nature. Isang magandang paraan ng de-stressing ang pagpunta and to spend time with nature. Even a simple picnic under the canopy of trees or an early morning walk in the woods ay nakakatulong para ma refresh tayo after a week long of tiring work. Nakakabuti din sa ating mga mata ang pagtingin-tingin sa mga bagay na green or blue (trees, grasses, sky, or sea), after hours of spending in front of computer or long hours of reading. Ang maganda dito sa Japan, sometimes we do not need to go out of the city to experience nature. Maraming mga parks and leisure areas within the city na madaling puntahan at libre pa! So take a packed lunch with you in the park, take a leisure walk, or grab that bicycle, feel the heat of the sun and enjoy time with your family and friends.

In this issue, I would like to share some thoughts about life and it is about the story of a pencil.

Before I left Sapporo almost 3 years ago, my dear friends, Ped and Jelyn, gave me “Like the Flowing River”, a book by Paulo Coelho. The book is a 2006 story collections of the Brazilian author who is well known for his novel, The Alchemist. Thanks to this book, for at some point, it served as my source of hope and a reminder that life will be fine and everything will be alright when I was down and felt alone. There is one story that has struck me and inspired me a lot and that is the story of a pencil. Thanks Ped and Jelyn for the wonderful gift.

Who would forget the yellow instrument we used for writing when we were in elementary school? Naaalala mo pa ba ang Mongol 1 and 2? Naalala mo pa ba na kapag paubos na and kulay pink na pambura ng iyong lapis, kinakagat mo ito para umusli ang parteng natatakpan ng metal case? Who would forget the pencil which guided us to learn how to write? Who would forget the pencil which played a significant role in cultivating our literacy? Isang napakalaking bahagi ang ginampanan ng lapis sa ating pagtamo ng karunungan at paghubog ng ating buhay. Ngunit higit pa sa edukasyong ating nakamtan, ang lapis ay may iba pang mahalagang bagay na isinisimbolo. The pencil symbolizes each one us and how we see life.

Here is the story and I hope you will be inspired. May each one us be like a pencil and find our way to happiness.

The Story of a Pencil
(“Like the Flowing River”, Paulo Coelho, 2006)

A boy was watching his grandmother write a letter. At one point he asked: ‘Are you writing a story about what we’ve done? Is it a story about me?’

His grandmother stopped writing her letter and said to her grandson: I am writing about you, actually, but more important than the words is the pencil I’m using. I hope you will be like this pencil when you grow up.’

Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil. It didn’t seem very special.‘ But it’s just like any other pencil I’ve ever seen!’

‘That depends on how you look at things. It has five qualities which, if you manage to hang on them, will make you a person who is always at peace with the world.’

‘First quality: you are capable of great things, but you must never forget that there is a hand guiding your steps. We call that hand God, and He always guides us according to His will.’

‘Second quality: now and then, I have to stop writing and use a sharpener. That makes the pencil suffer a little, but afterwards, he’s much sharper. So you, too, must learn to bear certain pains and sorrows, because they will make you a better person.

‘Third quality: the pencil always allows us to use an eraser to rub out any mistakes. This means that correcting something we did is not necessarily a bad thing; it helps to keep us on the road to justice.’

‘Fourth quality: what really matters in a pencil is not its wooden exterior, but the graphite inside. So always pay attention to what is happening inside you.’

‘Finally, the pencil’s fifth quality: it always leaves a mark. in just the same way, you should know that everything you do in life will leave a mark, so try to be conscious of that in your every action.’

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