"Appreciation represents the 'A' in the word HAPPY" according to Bishop Honesto Ongtioco who officated the mass this morning for the first death anniversary of Gig Robles who passed away exactly a year ago at age 17.
Bishop Ongtioco started his sermon with a quote from Gig's poem [that appeared in Mandy Navasero's column last Saturday]:
Thank you, Lord
For my home
For the Philippines
It's a wonderful country.
I hope I live it properly.
Thank you for this earth,
This uninverse, this dimension.
For the air I breathe, the water I drink,
For the people around me,
And for the rest of the world.
Thank you, Lord
For the Pope and the Dalai Lama,
And all those who advocate peace.
I met Gig and his mom Marissa last year at Mandy's Batanes Photo Safari. He struck me as one of those renaissance man, well-traveled, well-mannered, has good grades and involved in music, poetry and sports. The poem which appears in the book Read to Bridge Oceans shows his sensitivity at a tender age of 17. I'm trying to recall what I was up to at that age... Nope, I was more like frivolous and selfish definitely not concerned about peace or thanking God. We do take things for granted - even today, who would think of appreciating the minutest of everday existence like the air we breathe and the water we drink? And to go beyond planet earth and 'this dimension'?
Even Kabalist Yehuda Berg advises to "begin the day with gratitude and realize life itself is a miracle. Recognize the precision and wonder of nature." A 17-year old recognized this. I guess today is a wake up call for me to be mindful and thankful each day for everything life has to offer and I'd like to start by being thankful for giving me the opportunity to meet Gig at this lifetime.