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Commentary: A driven life

By Bong Pedalino

Maasin City (29 March) -- It might be not so much of a small coincidence that the Holy Week falls smack right into the campaign period both for national and local posts.

You see, all the candidates are driven by the desire to serve, to be catalysts of reforms, so much so that their aspirations sometimes can take the better of them, beating hectic schedules just to be where they should be expected to be.

This week provides a much-needed respite, though, and a great occasion for spiritual retreat in a hotly-charged political atmosphere.

What's more, this is the best time to give quality time and reflect on one's soul in an idyllic location, a vacation spot far from the hustle and bustle of a hurry world -- and those who can afford to divert some campaign funds may as well enjoy the week in a rather unholy fashion of letting go, or whatever legitimate version of it, for the long-deserved rest in choice hideaways.


A very harried life a politician does have, but hey, anybody driven to achieve something -- businessmen, career-conscious professionals, quota-breaking traders, etc. -- are similarly situated.

The Holy Week for this genre of people is the best time to be laid back in a rural countryside, where one can literally pass the hours away doing nothing but feeling the soothing summer breeze caressing the spine, where breathing fresh air is as natural as exhaling it.

And everybody will be in a philosophical mood these days, and this piece is intended to enhance your experience as you sit back, relax, and read on.


There was this story of a pencil-maker and a pencil, with the maker so pleased with his finished product he left five lessons to remember.

"As you go through life," the pencil-maker told the pencil, "bear in mind that number one: you will leave a mark, and whether it's a good or bad mark depends on you. Number two: you have the ability to erase and correct any wrong you may have done, for you to move on.

"Number three: what is more important is what is inside you, for there lies your inner strength. Number four: in all your waking life you will always be sharpened, the sharpening process necessary for you to be more pointed and focused.

"And number five: be guided by the hands that use you."


We are like pencils, candidates or ordinary folks, always driven, at times useful, sometimes useless, depending on how we are used, or not used, how we make life, or unmake life, with or without meaning, with or without purpose.

For candidates, especially for President, how they wished they will be used to effect positive changes in a country that has potentials for greatness; we are curious, though, why a nation such as the Philippines, which is way smaller it fits into the State of Texas, has ten presidential candidates, while USA, a country with three time zones, has only two candidates for President.

And the people at large, the voters, will their hands be guided properly by their conscience as they use the Smartmatic pen -- substitute for pencils -- on May 10?

This is Holy Week, the last lap of the Lenten season, and we are in a relaxing and philosophical mood, alright.

It was no small coincidence, indeed, that this Holy Week falls smack right into the campaign period for both local and national positions.


LOCAL FRONT: The campaign period for local posts began with a bang, each in their own way, on March 26. Both warring camps at the political extremes started the day with a Holy Mass. So, on they go. But of course, they will stop campaigning, at least for this Holy Week, too. For whom will the Heavens hear? Anyway, good luck to all!

ODDLY YOURS: Whether you are religious or not, consider this. The shortest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 117. The longest, Psalm 119. At the center of the Bible is Psalm 118. There are 594 chapters before Psalm 118, and there are 594 chapters after Psalm 118. Add these numbers, 594 and 594, equal 1,188. The center verse in the Bible is Psalm 118:8 -- "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man." How did this happen, or was God in the center of it? And please I beg your indulgence, here is a take two, from a text message: "Many people are now obsessed with the letter C -- cellphone, computer, cash, car, credit card, crush, chick, career, corruption -- this day let us reflect on the real meaning of C ? Christ!" (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]

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