December 9, 2022

“Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all the evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:19
We often hear people ventilating injustice. “How come that the evildoers and corrupt officials reap well while the people striving to do good are having misfortunes in life?”
We express ourselves because of the sufferings we unreasonably carry and confront. People cause our sufferings and yet those making our life a mess seemingly are untouched by the law and by misfortunes. Where is justice? Where is the law? Sometimes we hear heavily burdened people say, “Where is God?”
I was invited to give a seminar on spirituality of mental health in Belwang, Sadanga, Mountain Province on Nov. 11.
Reaching the place is pure sacrifice and love. It is a two-hour-walk from Sadanga. Hence, a wise walker must start early morning to evade the burning heat of the sun and the steep stairs that doubles breathing to inhale energy to climb.
Unfortunately, I was an unwise walker. We started the hike at 9 a.m. to mean the real difficulty, physical tiredness, and thirst.
My legs were challenged but the youthful and kind company of Jordan Chalapas and Marina Ciano overcame the challenge. We reached Belwang at 11 a.m. The barangay officials, teachers, parents, youth, and children welcomed us with smiles and happy greetings. I felt stronger to see and talk with them.
Before, the villagers get tired for one reason. They go to the field and work. Eventually their bodies get tired. But today, it is different.
Due to the impact of social media that electronic gadgets provide, despite the remoteness from the city, they are forced to live the urban life. They are stressed not from the physical work but from what they read, see, and hear in the social media.
They share the same stress with the city girls and boys. The simple life and needs are complicated. It is very ironical that despite the inaccessibility of roads to reach the place, the cyberspace has penetrated their hearts and souls.
The first question I threw to the participants was, “Why are you stressed when your life in the village is simple?” The social media brought complexities in the village. Hence, we need to help one another manage the stress, anxiety, and depression. We cannot escape because it is an added aspect of reality. We must face the complexities and manage them properly.
Managing stress, anxiety, and depression is not sheer psychological. We need to build the approach from the spirituality where we need to recognize our human constitution as body and soul.
Medical healing is scientific. We thank our doctors, nurses, and all health workers for our health. But we have to consider the holistic healing of a person. Hence, we do not discredit those gifted with supernatural healing in our culture and in the church. The bottom line is, Jesus is the ultimate healer because he heals the soul, the mind, and the body.
Second point, one of the major problems of the villagers is the construction of a road to connect them to economy and to people easier.
The Belwang people are deprived of a basic need.
The barangay officials narrated their plight and their desire for a road but troubled by many factors.
As of now, the Kalahi project is helping the Belwang community construct a road with an initial fund of P2 million. Where will P2M go? They need more.
I drove along Anabel Road, also in Sadanga and noticed three sections of the mountain slope with ongoing rock netting. I let my companions do their arithmetic with the millions of fund posted on the billboard signages. It is amounting to almost P500M.
My conscience and common sense were shaken by the fund for the rock netting project. Is rock netting a need? Is the road a need? The rock netting is a public scandal.
Blessed Christ the King Sunday!
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