February 24, 2024

Listening is not synonymous with hearing.
When we listen, we allow the heart and the soul to participate. When we hear, the impact is fleeting.
Our young people today need teachers but they need teachers as witnesses, not just teachers who transmit the book into the mind. Teachers usually talk to teach. But in this generation, teachers need to listen to learn more and to communicate with the hearts of their students.
We hear. We allow sound to enter our system but does it make an effect? We can hear the noise of the world. We can hear the ticking of the clock. We can hear the rushing river. We can hear the drunkards at midnight. We can hear the dogs howl.
We can hear heavy equipment hauling sand at the Chico River everyday. We can hear the siren of the fire trucks and ambulances. We can hear almost everything. Do we know the meaning of the sounds?
Jesus’ way of teaching is moving the heart and the soul to impact his word and his deed.
This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. (Matthew 13:13)
I remember Nati Dauz who had been reiterating the play of the word “heart.” Remove the letter “T” from the heart and it is the verb “hear”. Remove the letters “H” and “T” in the word heart and it is the noun “ear”. In short, we hear with our hearts in order to listen.
In our life as pilgrims, we need not only hear the word but we need to listen. Listening involves honesty and humility.
In a conversation, we can just fold our hands and pretend to be listening but inside our heart we actually meant, “Stop talking. I don’t need your explanation.”
During our visits in Betwagan, Sadanga, Mountain Province, I learned to be patient. I learned to see the value and values of listening. I realized that we don’t have the monopoly of knowledge. We need to listen and allow our soul and heart to participate.
The old dictum says, “We need to listen in order to know. Knowing is maturing our perspective.”
The past visits in Betwagan taught me to sit with the community at the ator and simply listen. If given the chance to talk, I talk. Indeed, dialogue will always give people the chance to talk.
I listened to the testimonies of the people despite the repetition. I listened to the elders and others folk. I wish to mention former Bet-wagan Punong Barangay Mathew Fanao and Jacinto Yassan whom I spent many hours listening. I was actually struggling to keep my mind from dozing but I learned a lot because I listened.
I took the chance, though, to invite them to attend the mass for all of us to listen as well to the Lord. I also took the chance to invite everyone at the ator to attend mass on Sunday. It was applauded and I felt God touching every heart.
When I visited the church last Oct. 15, the place was full with children, youth, women, men, elders, and government officials. The mass was indeed a celebration of Jesus penetrating our soul and our heart.

The consecutive malfunctioning of the provincial siren is a public nuisance and has given rise to many questions.
I was awakened from deep slumber at midnight and panicked. I was distressed by the loud and disturbing alarm lasting almost 10 minutes. I was not able to return to sleep.
What a pity. If I was disturbed by the sound, my neighbors with babies, the sick at home and in the hospital, and the elderly must have been bothered as well. Blessed are the deaf because they were not disturbed.
Here are some questions which can help the public: Is the provincial siren helping the communities? Was there a public consultation held for the installation of the siren? Is it necessary to sound the alarm at 10 p.m.? It is a public concern so I am opening up on social media.
We need to say something so we can inform the provincial government to help them discern and act prudently on this social issue.
Reach me at [email protected].