Copenhagen Sakura Festival

 

In my previous post, “Cherry Blossoms in the Cemetery” I mentioned that I love Cherry Blossoms, right? I was not kidding. I really love cherry blossoms and I will never ever grow tired of seeing them.

Last time, my ever supportive and sweet husband went with me to Bispebjerg Kirkegård. So this time we decided to check out Langelinie. It is a park/ pier here in Copenhagen made famous by “The Little Mermaid Statue”. Our timing could not be any more perfect because that same day, they are having their annual Sakura Festival.

It is a festival that honors its roots from the beautiful country of Japan. In Japan, once a year, under a Sakura families and friends gathers and reconnect. And this is also the main idea behind the Sakura Festival in Copenhagen, bonding people under the Sakura tree and have a great time.

It was my first time to attend the festival because for some weird reason I keep on missing it the previous years. And I was in for a treat. It was beyond my expectations. People from Japanese descent wore their Kimonos and other traditional Japanese costume. Others were in their cosplay outfits. It was so fun and indeed very festive.

There were also a lot of stalls selling Japanese food and delicacies but I was s fixated with the cherry blossoms and people in their costumes that I forgot to take pictures of them. lol

Sakura Festival, I am so not over you! I’ll see you again next year! 🙂

Beauty in Discourse

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It is time for Presidential election again in the Philippines. But unlike any other election, this election gathers too much attention from everyone. Don’t get me wrong, it is but right that people are informed and are taking their stand in this national event. However, the power of social media and democracy has given people the notion that they can say WHATEVER they want and HOWEVER they please since it is their account.

Let me start by saying, yes, I respect and acknowledge the fact that you have the right to say whatever you want in your social media accounts. I will never deprive you of that right because I fully understand that social media accounts are important for this millennial generation. What I am trying to point out here is, try to be more “gentle and sensitive” in your posts.

All of us has a varied opinion on different subject matters, especially on who we are rooting for as president. Let us therefore just respect everybody’s opinion. I was born in the Municipality of T’boli, a Municipality filled with our T’boli brothers and sisters. When I was 4 years old, my parents decided to bring me to General Santos City, a city that is a melting pot of culture. A city where Muslims, Christians and Indigenous People live in harmony.

I am currently based here in Europe but if there is one dogma that I learned from my younger years in those humble Municipality and City, it is, “Unity in Diversity not in Uniformity.” We do not have the same culture and tradition, but that is not a reason for us to be divided. Our diversity made us unique. Our diversity made us more accepting and respectful for everyone in spite and despite the differences.

That is why it hurts me every single time I check my social media account. I see people lambasting others because of their opinion. I see people class-jabbing others because of their choice. Why don’t we just respect everyone’s opinion and MOVE-ON? If you do not agree on whom you are rooting for, then state your case PROPERLY—without name callings, without class jabs, without the need to curse the other. Stop calling people “bobotante, Dutertard, Maruhas, Trapoe, Dudirty and etc.” I believe in intellectual discourse, so by all means, constructively state your cases and talk about it.

Our opinion differs from each other and I think that is a good thing. It is good because it means that we are being critical on this issue and really study on whom we think is the best to serve our country. There is beauty in discourse, so long as people are rational about it.

Take this lesson from a little girl from Mindanao. Nothing good will come out from judging people based on their opinion, their social class, and their ethnicity. Accept and respect people no matter the differences.

I am rooting for the Mindanaoan of course. But beyond my hope of him winning, I am hoping for a peaceful and honest election.

Photo credit: samantha celera via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Choose Forgiveness

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Photo credit: Keoni Cabral via Foter.com / CC BY

In our everyday life, we always come to a point where we are deeply hurt that we feel like crushing and shattering beyond repair. The pain might be caused by our terrible bosses, friends, lovers, strangers or even just self-inflicted. Point is, we are deeply hurt and pain is something that is very inevitable. We will certainly come across it.

But how do we react towards pain? Ah! Most of the time, we give the same amount of pain to whoever hurts us. Its very normal for us to act that way because we feel like they deserve it. As Newton puts it, In every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Like if someone push you, you’d push that person as well using equal force, thus making you stay in the same place and making you even. But it is non sequitur, that what is normal is right. It is not always about getting even nor inflicting even greater pain. It is about Forgiveness.

True it is much easier to hate or to get your vengeance but, see it in this way. If all of us will not forgive, if all of us will take our vengeance, what will happen to our dear planet? We will certainly be living in a world filled with chaos, hate and suffering. We must never let this happen. It may not be easy to forgive but try to look for it in your heart. We always have a room for forgiveness just as God has forgiven us. Open your heart for other people and try to see beyond the faults and mistakes.

God never wants us to suffer. God never wants us to hate. God wants us to forgive.

When we suffer, we hate. When we hate we never forgive. So before this happens, pray. Pray even before pain or suffering starts. In the same way, even before we will be hurt, we have already forgiven.

Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.- Matthew 18:22

 

 

Writer’s Note: This is an article I wrote when I was in College. I didn’t know what I was going through then but I think this article is very much timely.