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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dengue Scare the Second Time Around

Two years ago, and the memory is still fresh, when my daughter was confined in the hospital due to that pest called dengue...  it scared me a lot back then since my daughter’s platelet count dropped and my wife was telling me that it wasn’t good. Things went worse when  my daughter continued to vomit her food and fluid intakes.  I was already pleading to my daughter to help herself and I made all efforts to make her understand what threatens her life.  She already reached a critical point where she needed to be transmitted with plasma... and more; a medicine  was dripped through her IV to increase her blood pressure because it was consistently low.It even came to a point when her doctor had to check her pulse every hour. I new then that her condition was getting worse. I was praying and asking Yahweh for His mercy, to give her the strength she needs and to make her well again... I also prayed that He will give us the needed strength to show our daughter that everything will be alright...  He heard us ,she slowly regained her strength, her vital signs slowly became stable, and she didn't have any bleeding episodes. Our daughter fought bravely and she got well.

And now, I’m again faced with the same dilemma... my daughter had a fever since last Saturday.  We had her checked last Monday just to make sure but the result wasn’t good... her platelet count was 190.  So the doctor recommended for another test by Tuesday, to our dismay it dropped to 150.  We talked to the doctor, he said that it’s the characteristic of a dengue case or possible systemic viral infection.  So we were advised by our pedia to admit our daughter in the hospital.  Double the trauma, the doctor told us that a second dengue infection would be a lot worse than the first one, though our daughter is already 8 years old... we just can’t help ourselves but worry.  We are again faced in this situation, but I know that Yahweh is with us... and He won’t give us something we can’t handle... We just hope and pray that her condition and lab results won’t worsen and we could already go back home knowing everything is all fine... Please help us pray for our daughter... thank you and Yahweh bless

Friday, July 22, 2011

My PMA Cadet Years (Fourth Class)... Beast Barracks (1st Plebe Detail)

From my previous post “April Fools’ Reception Day”, I’ve imparted to you my first day as a cadet in PMA.  I will be sharing to you now my life inside the cadet general.  Some of my experiences, corps practices, traditions and teachings... more of the good stuff.

1st year – Plebe hood (4th Class)

This is the part of my cadet years I remembered the most... As cadets jokingly say “plebes are the lowest life form in the corps”.  I was a member of the PMA class of 1999 (we still didn’t have our class name “Masikhay” back then).  I was assigned to the 1st battalion of the “beast barracks” or summer camp, bearing the serial number C-10425.  The Navy and Air Force group of 2nd classmen were handling us, being the first plebe detail.

As a plebe, we were tasked to memorize plebe knowledge, mess hall (dining area) menus, guard details, upperclassmen details, especially our squad leader and yearling “3rd class” buddies and a lot more.  We were also taught by our upperclassmen to do the basic things and techniques in how to properly shine our shoes and metal parts, ironing our uniforms and clothing, washing our clothes, cleaning the hallway in simultaneous rhythm and a lot more.

The first few weeks were mostly about the “get to know” and “get the feel” period.  We were 7 plebes in our squad, with 2 yearlings and a squad leader.  A day after the “rotting” reception (April 01, 2005), we had our very first Sunday mass at St. Ignatius Church inside the PMA compound.  Even just for a moment we had again silence and peace... since after that, it’ll be one whole day of strenuous exercise or as we termed it “masi-masi”.  Many quitted on this day, as expected, due to the extreme pressure and sudden change of environment.  For me, after what I’ve been through and after losing all of my hair (just kidding), I told myself there’s no turning back.

Revelry Road Run.  On Day 3, we had our very first road run, 4 rounds around the Borromeo field.  This is usually done very early in the morning.  The Corps run by platoon and chanting was made to synchronize movement and pacing.  The distance progressed as the weeks passed by... to the gasoline station (about 3.2 km), then the PMA entrance gate or the “check point” (about 5 km), then the Loakan airport (about 5.7 km) and the whole stretch of the Loakan Airport (about 8.5 km).

Basic Information, Skills and Tasks.  The first week was allotted to teach and provide us the basic information we needed to know... History and Organization of CCAFP and PMA, the Honor Code and Cadet Pay and Allowances.  On Day 4, we were taught the basic drills and marches and on Day 5 we were already tasked to memorize basic plebe knowledge and the menu for the day. And on Day 6, we started our military classes.

Cadet’s Welfare.  It’s quite cold in Baguio City, so since we were still adapting to the climate.  After a few days of our stay, many of us suffered from cracked lips, so we received lip balms which we were hesitant to use since it resembled a woman’s lipstick.

Though it’s cold, noon time were also quite hot.  Maybe because in high altitudes, we were also nearer to the sun (lol).  Masi-masi was usually done in outside, in the asphalt area, but due to the growing cases of plebes having wounds in their palms, it was transferred inside barracks.

Saturday Inspection.  We were asked to prepare the night before this day... we shined our combat boots, ironed our uniforms and cleaned our room.  Day 8 came and as expected, we had gained a lot of demerits but it was from this “laxities” that we learned to improve and correct our previous mistakes.

Physical Fitness.  Aside from the “masi-masi” conducted by squad or platoon, we had our first “circuit training exercise” and “grass drill” (composed of different exercises) on Day 11. Onwards a series of road runs were also made in preparation for our very first foot march.

Our squad... taken during our stop at
Malboro Country: 1st Administrative Foot March
Administrative Foot March.  Day 15, our destination was Malboro Country, more or less 12 km from PMA.  Here we passed by different terrains such as hills, plantation fields and cliffs (in Apugan trail).  Actually, what we were looking forward to was the “boodles” or food our squad leader had prepared for us.  It had been days since we had our taste of softdrinks (soda) and other goodies .It may not be a feast but for an underprivileged plebe... it’s heaven. (LOL).  We also returned that day, we were all very glad that we completed our very first foot march.

Athletics and Sports.  Not always did we have serious stuff... simultaneous with the other activities, we had our fun and recreation.  We had sports competition which started in Day 16.  It was between the 4 battalions and whoever won that time got a reward through merits or additional dessert in the mess hall... and we did have our share of victories as well as defeats.

Birthday.  Day 21, I celebrated my 18th birthday in PMA.  They said it would be a relaxing day for me.  No usual “head-up and chin-ins”.  I was also given the “load and load” (eat everything in your plate) privilege... I’m just not sure if it’s really a privilege or a punishment.  But still, I was able to eat without fixing my plate and following the proper decorum... if you’re lucky, sometimes your squad leader would allow you to stoop down and tell you not to attend to any of their needs for the mean time.  But that’s their prerogative and should never be assumed.

M14 A-1 US Rifle.  I received my rifle in Day 25.  Good thing its serial number was easy to recall C-494967 since we were told to memorize it.  It’s not that hard though, since we would be with our rifle for almost our whole cadet life in PMA as it’ll be part of most activities we will be having in the cadet corps... that’s the primary reason why this rifle was termed as our wife or girlfriend... we took good care of it, always by its company and we never left it out of our sight... not until we’re sure that it’s safe.

Resignation and Confinement.  On day 27, a squad mate resigned due to family call and another was confined in the hospital due to muscle weakness.  No one’s really sure of their stay in the academy.  There were a lot of possible things and twist of events that change the path we’re going to.  Today you’re there... the following day, you’re gone.

Boodle Fight.  A military tradition where the viand and rice are served together in a long table, using banana leaves as table mat, as everyone eat side by side using their bare hands.  In the academy, it was “Day 28” when our company had a boodle fight.  We usually did it on special occasions.  That time, it was for the birthday of an upperclassman and a farewell present from the 1st plebe detail (navy and airforce group).  The presentation had slight modification, instead of banana leaves and tables, food is served in the hallway at the top of old newspapers... nevertheless, it just taste the same for a plebe.

Letters and Thoughts.  I never expected to receive any letters since I thought it’s never a plebe’s privilege.  Yet, when an officer asked me to do some push-ups, then I knew something good was about to come. It was also in Day 28 when I received my first letter in PMA.  It was from my parents and brothers for my birthday.  Pictures and thoughts along with it, this simple things means a lot for someone so far from home... it gave me strength and encouragement to go on with what I started.

Turned-over.  Day 29, the last Saturday inspection with the first plebe detail, at the same time, we were turned-over to the 2nd plebe detail... the 2nd classmen army group.  New squad leader and yearlings... another adjustments and new expectations.  They told us that the army group would give us tougher and rougher trainings... we just crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.  I guess it’s just the way it was and always will be... create fear and gain instant control.

Yahweh bless...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Philippine Military Academy Alma Mater Song

My next posts will be all about my life as a cadet in PMA.  Let me first share to you one of the Academy song that always made me proud when I sing it along with the Corps.  When it is sang, every cadet and cavaliers stood still and expected not only to memorize the lyrics but also sing it at the right tune.  But nevertheless, what's far more important is what the song embodies... PMAers must take pride of all their accomplishments as cadets, which they did through hardship and sacrifices... through our Lord's guidance, by the Honor Code and to what PMA stands for.  That each one, as they leave the PMA portal, can only continue this "PRIDE" if they serve their country honestly and truthfully and take courage not to tolerate anyone who does otherwise.  I just hope that each and every one who graduated and even those who have not, still keep the message of the song in their hearts...and lives with it. Yahweh bless. 

Oh, proud and bold you stand!
Bright beacon of the land
Let loyal sons proclaim
Thy glorious name

Wherever we may be
O'er land or deep blue sea,
We'll raise a song to Thee,
Academy, Oh, Hail to Thee!

At every end of day
We hope and fervent pray
The honor you instill
Doth guide our will!
May Thy sons ever be
PMA, Oh, Hail to Thee!

When bells for us are rung
And our last "taps" is sung
Let generations see
Our country free

Oh, lead to righteous way
Those solid ranks of gray
Thy virtues to display
Academy, Oh, Hail to Thee!
Music by: Quirico P. Evangelista (PMA '40)
Lyrics by: Reynaldo A. Mendoza (PMA '40)


Monday, July 18, 2011

A Blink of an Eye

That's how to describe accidents in the road.  Just hours ago, while I'm on my way home from work, a "habal-habal" (a motorcycle for hire) with 3 people on-board overtake me at a speed more or less 80 km/hr.  Just as reaching them as they slowed down in an intersection, and turned to the same direction as I'm going to... with just running a few meters, their rear tire blow up and I saw the motorcycle wiggled and slammed to the cemented road... as it skid along with the driver and his 2 passengers.  Good thing I was following them in a safe distance and moving in a slow speed, otherwise it would be a different story.  I easily avoided collision and went to halt to check if they were okay.  Each one of them got up quickly and folks from the houses nearby already went to check on them, so I continued to my travel.

That time, I was already extra cautious in my driving towards home.  I just can't help thinking, that Yahweh just  cleared my mind with thoughts and urges to speed up and saved me from a possible accident.  It's a reminder from Him and it's noted.  When driving, be in a safe distance from the vehicle you are following and being in a speed where you can still react when something goes wrong.  Also, always check your vehicle if it is at its best condition... And never ever forget to pray for His protection and guidance because you definitely don't know whats ahead of you.  Thank you, my Lord... to Yours be all the praises and glory... 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I am Amazed...

I was looking at my old stuffs and found this heartwarming poem written by my wife for me... I want to share it with you guys... Yahweh bless.

for Father's Day... June 21, 2009

I am Amazed...
            with how you manage to stay silent when you’re
     feeling a bit uneasy... and how you constantly secure
     me with your love...

I am Amazed...
            with how you look so serene when you’re sleeping,
     and how I ache to stay cuddled by the warmth of your

I am Amazed...
            with the strength of your faith... and how you stay
     standing in times of uncertainties...

I am Amazed...
            with how you comfort me with sincere words,
     and how you cheer me up with funny thoughts.

I am Amazed...
            with how I fit well around your arms... and how
     I fell calm by just being there.

I am more than Amazed...
            with how my love has grown with you... and how
     I long all the more to stay beside you to face this life
     and after...

For all these and More...
            I thank you, my FRIEND... my PARTNER...
     my FOREVER LOVE...

                        Happy Father’s Day Daddy
                                    I love you...


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Part VI – Queen Stephanie Rodriguez Tuason (In Filipino "Tagalog" dialect)


Paglabas ni Steph sa eroplano ay nasa likuran na nya agad si Juaquin at Chito. Sila ang mga bodyguards ni Steph na pasikretong nagbabantay sa kanya sa Maynila.

“Kuya naman, alam nyo namang ayaw na ayaw kong may nakabuntot sa aking bodyguard diba?” reklamo nito.
“Pasensya na po ma’am, mahigpit po na iniutos ni Señora na on close watch po kayo pag nandito na tayo sa Davao.” Sagot ni Chito.

Walang nagawa si Steph kundi magpatuloy nalang sa paglakad. Gusto nya nang makauwi agad. She missed her home, her mom, her kuya David at malaki man ang kanyang tampo, she had to admit, she missed her dad the most.

 Dalawa lang silang magkapatid at walong taon ang tanda ng kanyang kuya sa kanya. Sa kasalukuyan ay ang kanyang kuya ang namamahala ng kanilang mga negosyo sa Davao, katuwang ng kanilang ama.

Galing sa angkan ng mga Tuason si Stephanie. Ang kanyang mga magulang ang nagmamay ari ng 12 beach resorts all over Mindanao at sila ang nasa likod ng Antonio Tuason Management Corporation (ATMC), isang group of companies na kung saan ang kanyang kuya ang kasalukuyang CEO. Nasa larangan sila ng agriculture, banking, hotels and malls sa buong Mindanao.

Her father is a well known businessman. This is the reason why she had to go to school in disguise sa isang paaralang malayo sa kanyang nakagisnang tahanan. Gusto ng kanyang ama na pag aralin sya sa States dahil kabila-kabila ang death and kidnapping threats ng kanyang pamilya at sa kadahilanang sya na lamang ang nag aaral sa kanilang dalawa ng kuya David nya ay sya ang pinaka vulnerable sa lahat ng banta.Tumutol ito sa kagustuhan ng kanyang ama, but she still had to leave Davao for her safety so they just made a compromise. Since ayaw nyang lumabas ng bansa, her dad agreed that she went to school somewhere in Manila provided that she will have to disguise herself and she will have two bodyguards who will watch over her discreetly. Pumayag ito ngunit ngdulot ng .malaking tampo sa kanyang ama.

She dreaded every single day in school dahil hindi nya maisuot ang gusto nyang mga damit, she had to wear fake big eyeglasses and her beautiful long and straight black hair had to be permed para lang mag-iba ng kanyang itsura.

Queen Stephanie Rodriguez Tuason was then changed to Stephanie Martinez, thanks to her dad’s connections. She didn’t feel good about herself. Her classmates often throw glances of disgust towards her. She was branded a geek, nerd, aloof, name it. She didn’t have friends coz’ her family didn’t want any complications. She had to comply with the terms otherwise, sa States ang bagsak nya which she didn’t want to happen dahil sa hindi nya malamang dahilan, hindi nya talaga feel ang manirahan sa ibang bansa. Besides, she would miss her family terribly if that happens.

It was like hell every day in school until that fateful day when she accidentally bumped with a sinfully dropdead gorgeous guy who smelled like heaven. That day changed her life forever. She for the first time fell in love. Pero sadya yatang mailap ang langit sa kanya, fate perhaps had other plans for her. Damon met an accident and had to undergo surgery in the U.S. and she had to go back to Davao.
Pakiramdam nya ay panaginig lang ang lahat. How she wished it was, but it’s not. Her tears threatened to fall again but she wiped it instinctively with her fingers, good thing she had her shades on.

From the airport, she had to travel for another 40 mins. to reach her home in Villa Carmella. It was located in Davao Highlands kung saan magkakatabing villa ng pinakamayayamang pamilya ng Davao ang naroon. Ang Villa Carmella ay ang kanilang Ancestral home, ipinangalan ito ng kanyang ama sa kayang mama.

The moment she got out of the car, she totally forgot all her hurtfeelings towards her dad that all she could think of was to run to them and hug them. Oh how she missed her family especially her dad. Bakit nga ba hindi, she was her dad’s unica hija, she was provided with almost everything she ever wanted. Her dad no doubt, loves her and she knows that for a fact.She suddenly felt like such a bratt at nakuha nya pang magtampo dito when all he wanted obviously was her safety.

Tumuloy si Steph sa kwarto ng kanyang magulang, kapansin pansin na malungkot at tahimik ang paligid, tila walang buhay. Naabutan nyang naka upo sa may sofa malapit sa kama ng kanyang ama ang kanyang mama. Yumakap sya rito.

“Mama, I’m home” pabulong nito.
“Stephanie anak, I’m so happy you’re here.” Napaluha ang kanyang ina.
“Mama, im here to stay, please say yes, I missed you so much, I can’t stand to be away from you anymore”
“Yes hija, yan din sana ang sasabihin ko sa iyo, don’t cry sweetie, we missed you too, every single day. Now go to your dad, he’s been waiting for you.”

Lumapit si Steph sa kama at naupo ito sa tabi ng kanyang papa. Hinawakan nito ang kanyang kamay.
“Papa, im here” Hindi na napigilan ni Steph ang yumakap sa kanyang ama.
“Papa, I’m so sorry, I missed you so much”
“Stephie? Nandito ka na anak? I’m so sorry honey galit ka pa ba sa papa?” Tanging ang kanyang ama lamang ang tumatawag sa kanya ng Stephie.
“No papa, ako ang may mali, I’m so sorry po”
“I’m so sorry for sending you away anak, I only meant to keep you safe.” Mahinang pagpapaliwanag ng kanyang ama.
“Shhh...don’t say sorry papa, ako po ang may mali, I should be the one to say sorry for being childish”
“I’m so happy you’re home anak, papa is sick honey,I might not make it to your birthday.” Halos pabulong nalang ang boses ng ama.
“Papa......” Napahagulgul nalang si Steph.

Stephanie’s father was diagnosed of Stage 4 liver cancer which already metastasized to his lungs, intestines, kidneys and bones. Her father opted to go home against medical advice and decided to spend his remaining days with his loved ones.

Her Brother David arrived after two weeks of emergency meetings with their different companies all over Mindanao. Her brother projects an aura of strength and calmness but Stephanie knows how his brother feels deep inside. Ang kanyang kuya David ay parang kapatid kung ituring ng kanilang ama. Their father valued his opinions. They have the same hobby-golf and the same passion-business. Kahit madalas yayaing sumabak sa pulitika ang kanyang ama ay hindi ito pumayag dahil alam ng kanilang ama na tutol dito si David. Dahil dito, hanggang langit ang respeto at pag hanga ng kanyang kuya sa kanilang ama.

Stephanie took care of his Father with the help of her mother and two private nurses.
They would spend hours outside the villa just staring at the ocean outlined by mountains. It was a breathtaking view which oftentimes brings her back to a place somewhere far from where she is right now.

Everytime she gets struck by loneliness, she would immediately wipe the feeling off. She didn’t want her attention to be drawn someplace. But loneliness is so stubborn and would creep into her everynight; she couldn’t help but cry herself to sleep.
After a month and a half, their father, the president of ATMC passed away at the age of 70.

It was a painful time for their family especially her mom. After the burial, she and her mom went to their hacienda in bikidnon para makapagpahinga from all the pain they went through during her father’s last days until his death. In all those days, kahit masakit na masakit ng makita ang kanyang amang unti unting nilalamon ng kanyang karamdaman, not a single day did her mind fail to think about Damon. Especially at night when she’s already in bed, she would stare blankly on the ceiling just thinking about him.Kumusta na kaya sya? Did his operation went well? Is he up and about now? It’s been months, but it’s just like yesterday when she last saw him. Her memories of him are still so vivid.

Her mom has slowly coped with being alone. She spends time with her friends more often now. Her kuya David assumed the position of his dad, president and CEO of Antonio Tuason Management Corporation.

Stephanie continued her studies in Davao City because she had to supervise all their beach resorts in Mindanao. She had to joggle her time between her studies and frequent out of town visits to different resorts na pagmamay ari ng kanyang pamilya... She lost tract of time but she kept her sweet memories of him kahit kokonte lang iyon. Those were the most precious ones she ever had, her moments with her first love and probably the only man she would ever love.

In her spare time, she would scribble letters to him on a journal. Yon ang naging outlet nya sa lahat ng pressure nya sa school and work. Yon din ang naging inspirasyon nya upang tapusin ang kanyang kursong medisina. Sa librong iyon mararamdaman ang kanyang pangungulila at pagmamahal sa isang taong halos limang taon na nyang hindi nakikita.

“Miss Tuason?” Tanong ng isang lalaking my hawak hawak na boquet.
“Yes? ang ganda naman ng bulaklak... Bigla nyang naalala ang bouquet of flowers na iniwan ni Damon noon sa bed ng guest room katabi ng mga two piece na binili nito para sa kanya.

“Pinabibigay po sa inyo ma’am”..
“Thank you, galing kanino?”
“Naku, sorry hindi ko po alam, pero my card po dyan sa loob”
“Ok, thank you”

By just looking at it, mamahalin ang mga bulaklak na iyon. Binuksan nya ang isang maliit na card.

For the love of my life

Nagulat sya at hindi nagpakilala ang nagpadala ng boquet.. Well baka galing ito sa isa sa mga manliligaw nya. Aba at my pa mysterious effect pa. Ok narin, at least my taste sya sa flowers.

Dear Damon, today I received a boquet... 24 roses with lilies too. How I wish it’s from you. Wish ko lang (lol) I will be graduating soon, thanks for being my inspiration. I wonder what are you doing right now, I bet you don’t have the slightest idea that someone here thinks about you every single day. Take care. Im so longing to see you. Sana mahanap ka na ni Mark...

Every Sunday for two months now, walang paltos, she would receive a beautiful boquet, but until now ayaw paring umamin ng kanyang secret admirer. Naasiwa na sya kaya since then she had every boquet returned to the flower shop.

“Pakisabi sa nagpadala nyan that I wont accept any flowers until he finally gathers his balls to introduce himself to me.ok?” mataray na sambit nito sa delivery boy.
“Yes, ma’am”... sagot ng boy saka umalis.

It was her 24th birthday and her graduation at the same time. She graduated cum laude sa kursong medisina. Her mother was so proud and organized a thanksgiving party at Villa Carmella na dinaluhan ng kanilang family friends including some of her classmates.

Her kuya David gave her a month vacation to wherever place she would decide to go. It was a perfect gift for someone who got so stressed with school and work at the same time. But she decided to postpone it till after the board exam.

Fate was kind, Stephanie passed the board exams with flying colors ranking 3rd place which made her family so proud of her. Her mom threw a party again, this time nasa penthouse ng Carmella Hotel, ang pinakabagong hotel na itinayo ng ATMC.

Nakadungaw si Steph sa langit,at napapikit  how I wish you’re here with me Damon.

Lumapit si Doña Carmella.” Im really so proud of you anak”... yumakap ito sa anak.
“Thank you mama, and thank you again for this party”...humalik ito sa ina.
“Wow... Dr. Queen Stephanie Rodriguez Tuason, that’s my daughter”...
“I love you mom.”
“By the way sweetie, about the vacation your kuya gave you, where do you plan to spend it? You know Paris is a perfect place, baka dun mo na ma meet si Mr. right guy, you know, it’s about time you go and look for love honey, you’re not getting any younger.” Nakangiting lambing ni Señora Carmella.
“I’m planning to go to the States this time ma”... patay mali nito sa huling sinabi ng kanyang ina.
“Ok, but I thought you didn’t like the States?” pagtataka nag kanyang ina.
Tumingin si Steph sa malayo. “I just want to visit someone I met when I was still in manila”....
“Very well then, when do you plan to go?”
“As soon as I can arrange it ma”...
“Ok hija, goodluck..!”
Matatapos na ang kanyang kaarawan and she’s already in bed, ng magring ang kanyang telepono.
“Yes, Mark”
“Happy Birthday ma’am, I found him”
 It was her best gift ever.....
“ Thank you mark, really appreciate it a lot.”
Matapos silang mag usap ni Mark, ay agad nyang tinawagan ang kanyang secretary.
“ Bell, please book me the earliest flight to Los Angeles tomorrow.”

To be continued...

Next: Part VII - False Impressions 

Previous: Part V - The Tragedy

Friday, July 8, 2011

“Yeshua” or “Jesus”

I first knew Jesus’ original Aramaic proper name “Yeshua” when we were visited by my wife’s cousin.  Honestly, I’m quite bothered by this information.  Since I was a child, I was taught Jesus to be my savior.  So I did some research on the net and these are what I got so far:

Yeshua in Hebrew characters is יֵשׁוּעַ which literally means The LORD's Salvation, or Salvation from the LORD. So, how is it transliterated to Yeshua?
The name begins with a י (yud/yod), which carries with it the sound of our English "Y".  The vowel point associated with the yud is the ֵ (tsere), which makes the vowel sound "eh" in sephardic/modern Hebrew ("ey" in Ashkenaz). So the first sound is יֵ "yeh".
The second letter is the שׁ (shin), which makes the "sh" sound.
The שׁ is followed by a ו (vav) with the וּ (shuruk) pointing, which makes an "oo" sound. (The ו alone makes a "v" sound, but when it appears as וּ the ו functions as a vowel.)
Together, יֵשׁוּ makes the sound "yeh-shoo". The final letter is the ע (ayin).
By itself, the ע is a silent letter, however, it appears as עַ with the ַ (patakh) vowel pointing, which adds the "ah" sound to the letter.
Together, the three syllables of יֵשׁוּעַ are pronounced "yeh-shoo-ah".  We transliterate this in English as "Yeshua."

And this is how Yeshua became Jesus:

The first letter in the name Yeshua is the yod. Yod represents the "Y" sound in Hebrew. Many names in the Bible that begin with yod was transliterated in English Bibles with the letter "J" rather than "Y". This came about because in early English the letter "J" was pronounced the way we pronounce "Y" today.  Thus, such Hebrew place names as ye-ru-sha-LA-yim, ye-ri-HO, and yar-DEN have become known to us as Jerusalem, Jericho, and Jordan; and Hebrew personal names such as yo-NA, yi-SHAI, and ye-SHU-a have become known to us as Jonah, Jesse, and Jesus.

The second sound in Yeshua's name is called tse-RE, and is pronounced almost like the letter "eh" in the word "net".  The translators of the earliest versions of the English Bible transliterated the tse-RE in Yeshua with an "e". Unfortunately, later English speakers guessed wrongly that this "e" should be pronounced as in "me," and thus the first syllable of the English version of Yeshua came to be pronounced "Jee" instead of "Yeh".

The first sound of the second syllable of Yeshua is the Hebrew letter shin with the "sh" sound.  However Greek, has no "sh" sound so the Greek sigma was used in transcribing "Yeshua" as "Iesus".  The Greek transcription was transliterated in English, instead of returning it first to its original Hebrew.  Thus the "s" sound was never returned to its "sh" sound and in English the "s" sound can shift to the "z" sound, which is what happened in the case of the pronunciation of "Jesus".

The fourth sound one hears in the name Yeshua is the "oo" sound, as in the word "true". Like the first three sounds, this also has come to be mispronounced but in this case it is not the fault of the translators. They transcribed this sound accurately, but English is not a phonetic language and "u" can be pronounced in more than one way. At some point the "u" in "Jesus" came to be pronounced as in "cut," and so we say "Jee-zuhs."
The fifth and last sound is "ah" that represents the Hebrew letter "ayin" with "patakh".  There was no letter to represent them in Greek transcription of "Yeshua," so it was dropped -the transcription from which the English "Jesus" is derived.

So we have “Jesu” so far, the final "s" of "Jesus" came from the masculine names in Greek which ordinarily end with a consonant, usually with an "s" sound, so as used to close the name of Jesus.

So what do I think?  In my opinion, I think it does not really matter if we call our Savior as Yeshua or Jesus.  If the Greeks or Romans had His name mis-transliterated or they made used of letters to which they were comfortable of calling Yeshua, then so be it.  What’s important is not the name but to whom we believe in.  Jesus has many names; Prince of Peace, Lamb of God, Hesus, Sto. Niño, Jehovah, Messiah,  and Christ to name a few.  So, Yeshua or Jesus, it doesn’t have difference to me.  As long as He is the Son of Yahweh, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born by Virgin Mary; He who suffered, crucified and died on the cross for our salvation from sin; He who rose from the dead and now seated at the right hand of the Father; He who will return at the end of time to be the judge of the living and the dead.  Then, He is whom I believe to be my personal Savior and my God.

Monday, July 4, 2011

After the Tragic Flood of Pangi River

A destructive trail of the flood...
It was a Wednesday morning of June 29, 2011 when I encountered a heavy traffic in an intersection just before the Pangi Bridge.  During a stop, I asked a local resident of what seemed to be the problem.  He just had one answer “baha (flood)”.  I then realized as I passed by the ruins left by the flood that the Pangi River overflowed.  For the Pangi River to overflow there must had been a massive amount of water considering the length and height of the bridge from the river.  And it would spell disaster...

Upon reaching the office, I searched the net for any news of the incident and my suspicion was confirmed, a flashflood hit the villages in Matina Crossing and Matina Pangi Tuesday night, more or less at 11 o’clock  in the evening, leaving a couple of people dead which were mostly children.  I just can’t imagine the horror, a flood came rushing at a moment when everyone’s asleep, with total darkness (since the power was shutdown and rainclouds covering the skies)... and everyone was in shock, nothing of this happened as far as I remember being here in Davao.  It would be not that easy to say, don’t panic or have a presence of mind... though definitely, your instincts will come in to work... but you just can only do so much.

It’s been days since the tragedy happened.  As I passed again by the bridge, I see people slowly returning to their usual activities and rebuilding their houses.  A great thing about a disaster is after it, you’ll see people helping the affected ones.  Institutions and groups facilitate fund raising activities and accumulate donations for those who suffered losses and in need.
The Pangi River runs calmly now but the ruins it created is evident around the place.

There was also this incident where a local public official was reported punching a sheriff a couple of times in the face for not granting her request to delay a court order.  We can understand that there are government officials who are in a lot of stress especially with the problem faced by the city due to the flooding and they might had every right to be angry with their employees or colleagues for not following them (considering their authority or jurisdiction) or not doing good or did something wrong in the performance of their job, but with due respect, it does not give them the right to hurt and humiliate anyone.  If the person made a mistake, then he must be reprimanded of what was due to him.

It’s a tough time, and the least we need is being carried away by our emotions.  Let’s stretch our patience and understanding.  Easy for me to say, yes, it’s not easy, but it’s the proper thing to do.  People must concentrate in rebuilding their homes and accepting what was lost... Even more, we need to focus in helping those greatly affected.  Christian as we are, we should follow the ways of our Savior as humanly possible, not just in the time of crisis but in our daily lives.  May Yahweh always bless us with the strength to do so.