March 28, 2023

Jesus got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but He was asleep. They came and woke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then He got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.” (Matthew 8:23-26)
Ending the month of June and looking forward to July and the coming months seem to be confronted by uncertainty and fear due to the Covid-19 and the increasing number of Covid cases at more than 36,000 in the country.
Many frontliners, especially doctors and health workers, are expressing their brokenness and exhaustion. Many government officials too realized their limitations over the battle and are groping as well. Many people are living in fear. Still some are taking things for granted. In short, we are all groping.
We try to ponder on the gospel and look into ourselves in their shoes.
We are like the apostles who were overcome by fear because of the violent storm. They failed to recognize the presence of Jesus. They failed to recognize the power of Jesus. They failed to recognize that they were sailing with Jesus. They were focused on the wind and the waves.
The wind and the waves that troubled the apostles then can be the virus we are experiencing today. Mental health, physical health, emotional health, and the economy of the country are gravely affected. The government and science admit its limitation on how to overcome the virus.
As participants of the battle against the virus, we continue to spread optimism.
Our humble contribution here in the hinterlands may not be noble in the eyes of the government but at least positivity is spreading hope to the helpless.
We ended June with the first online PAP concert. PAP, which stands for PNP, AFP, and Padi, initiated the first online PAP song fest that inspired people who are on quarantine, through creativity and music.
The first PAP song fest had 17 entries over Mountain Province. It was a successful one, evidenced by the participation of the youth and the joy it gave to the parents and communities.
On June 30, the three groups staged the first PAP online concert to advocate peace. The concert was punctuated by beautiful messages of Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, Sagada Mayor James Pooten, Mountain Province Police Provincial Director Homer Penecilla, Sagada Chief of Police Basilio Hopdayan, and Charlie Company Commander Keith Paquibot.
The messages revolved on the need to be in solidarity against the evil forces that disturb peace and our collective effort to overcome the virus.
The winners of the PAP songfest performed during the concert while some guests performed their expertise, like Nellie Pitog with her harmonica and Gerry Fatiig with his folk and country songs. The PNP voices hovered the church to tell our responsibility, to work for peace, and to encourage the rebels to come home.
Jomarick Felina of PMFC launched the second PAP songfest with the contest piece “Come Home.” The song was written from the testimony of a rebel returnee, from peace advocates, and from Jomarick and his company. The second PAP song fest invites the whole Cordillera.
The first online concert was successful because it met its objective to promote peace and to make us aware of our responsibility.
God is in charge and He will always be in charge even in times of fear. We keep our faith in Him. Let our fear bring us closer to Jesus. Let our fear be a healthy fear.
Reach me at [email protected] or at 0905-165-3669.