February will always be a special month for me for two simple reasons: on February 1990, the person who has influenced and touched my life more than anyone could (with the exception of my mother) was born *hint* *hint*; and on the 12th of February 2010, I received the news that I got into UP Law, which I consider to be the first step towards realizing my goals in life.
Today, February 8 2011, the Philippines woke up to experience the truth about life: It is precious, live it fully. First, our incumbent president, President Noynoy Aquino was born on this day, several years ago. Birth is always commemorated by celebrating birthdays, and declaring national heroes' birthdays as national holidays. Bonifacio Day is, in fact, the date of birth of the Filipino hero, Andres Bonifacio. Second, today, former Secretary Angelo Reyes committed suicide in front of the tomb of his mother in Loyola Heights, Marikina City. We, Filipinos, view death not with the same candor as we have dealt with birthdays. Shouldn't we be happy that a person died having lived his life to the fullest? Or do we readily assume that death of a person is an unfortunate thing? What does Rizal Day, which falls on the day our national hero Dr Jose Rizal died, imply then?
On a less nationally relevant (and more personal) note, I went to work today, relatively earlier than usual. I rode the jeep to Philcoa at around 7:15, and rode another jeep to San Mateo, Maly at around 7:30pm. When we were near Ever Gotesco, the driver said to another close-by driver who was blocking his way, "Walang preno, walang preno. Na-loose brake ako." Knowing that the jeep was not at full speed, I did not panic, and got off the jeep as soon as the driver successfully "parked" the jeep near the side of the road. I rode another jeep, and arrived at the office safely.
Upon hearing of Angelo Reyes' death on the news that same morning, my mind drifted off to my jeep mishap. Questions started crossing my mind. "What if" this, "what if" that. But I choose not to dwell on the negative (aka near-death experience part two?) but on the positive side of today's events.
To put things simply, I thank God for guiding the hand (and the foot?) of the driver of the jeep, and for steering the jeep to safety despite the lack of brakes. Commonwealth Ave. is a risky place to be in, without brakes, but surprisingly no one was hurt.
Life is precious. God is doing his best to make us realize the joys of life and keep us from harm. He gave us life--a gift so precious no one should end but Him. The best we could do to show gratitude for this gift of life is to live it fully and right.