February 28, 2024

Is longevity a blessing or a curse? For some, longevity is a blessing but for some, it is a curse.
I recall a visit where I had a long communication with an elderly suffering from illness for quite a long time. She was honest to say, “Why am still alive? God seems to have forgotten. I am suffering for many years now. I had been praying that God may dismiss me now in this world and yet I am still here.”
Of course, those who are healthy enjoy their long life and always consider it as a blessing.
When people greet you in your senior citizen age, “You look young!” How do you react or respond? How do you react to the question, “How old are you?”
Why are senior citizens thriving until today? Because we need them to generate values and virtues in this generation. The humility and honesty of senior citizens are indeed worth emulating by millennials.
The First Senior Citizen Hymn Fest ever held in Mountain Province on Oct. 3 was successful. After the awarding of consolation prizes and winners, two women senior citizens approached me with a token and appreciated the music and lyrics of the song. Of course, Fr. Daniel Cariño who set the four parts of the song deserved to be thanked and congratulated as well.
The senior women who were participants of the hymn fest ventilated their sentiment, “Padi, mas koma na inikan mi ay nang-interpret sinan song because we did most of the parts in four voices. Sagada seemingly did well but with limited harmonized parts. We sang more harmonized parts ya second place kami koma a?”
I appreciated these two seniors who honestly and humbly expressed themselves. I appreciated how they approached me and prudently ventilated. Of course, they were not actually complaining but just ventilating their point.
After expressing their sentiment, I prayed over my explanation and hoped for peaceful settlement. Commenting and reacting to competition results is sensitive. So, I first composed myself and set a more peaceful atmosphere for both parties.
“Well, aunties, kagtuna ngamin, we are three judges. We have our own way of judging from the mechanics and criteria. I trust my fellow judges (Rev. Daniel Cariño and Maybel Changat) because they are credible musicians with a lot of experience and studies. I tried my best too to be attentive, focused on the criteria, and just. With all honesty, your group did not do much in the dynamics. Your volume from the start was constant until the end. You were not so conscious of the dynamics of the hymn. Though generally, you did well. Leave the judgment to the judges and let us respect the final decision.”
I was elated to hear the two admirable seniors who remarked, “Padi, iyaman. If we did not approach you and expressed ourselves, we could have brought home our heavy hearts. But at least with your explanation as the chairperson of the board of judges, we learned more and we feel better and happier.”
I admire the two seniors who ventilated their sentiments in a very prudent way. At least they dared to come. They expressed themselves discreetly. They were so humble to listen to my explanation. They appreciated the explanation and encouraged to become better, if not best. I wish when there are competitions like this, every participant will have the same heart. Posting sentiments on social media will not help solve and clarify issues.
Congratulations to all those who participated in the hymn fest to honor elders of the community.
Congratulations to the senior citizens of Bontoc for being the first champion in the hymn fest with Sagada in second place, and Tadian in third place.
Congratulations to the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office under the bation of Miguel Angwani, personnel, for organizing, and the support and cooperation of Mountain Province senior citizens headed by Atty. Florence Taguiba.
The hymn fest was indeed a win-win to all because everybody enjoyed. Everybody was inspired by the activity, and everybody praised God through songs.
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