Friday, December 30, 2011

Building Bridges to Freedom

"Without that sorrowful yet victorious event that fateful day of December 30, 1896, we would not be here today in glorious celebration of what he had done for our motherland," opened City Councilor Karen Aguirre in her message for Rizal's 115th death anniversary today here in the public plaza of La Carlota City.

Karen Aguirre and her mother
She pointed out that most of the Filipinos would just be contented on reliving the memory of Rizal has done, and would not go to the extent of doing a heroic deed.

Giving a bit of advice, she said, "In our own little ways we can do worthy acts for others like sharing a bit of our resources to those in need like our fellowmen in Cagayan and Iligan, or in a form of service to mankind."

She elaborated her message by citing a story entitled, "Building Bridges."

This story is about two brothers who had a conflict of interest with each other, instead of "reaching out and reconciling" their relationship got worsened.

These two brothers after 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods fell into conflict.

It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

A carpenter knocked on John's door looking for a few day's work. John wanted to build a fence, an 8-foot fence to block or prevent himself of seeing his brother's place, other side of the creek.

John left the carpenter alone for he had to go to town. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter finished his job. To John's dismay, there was no fence, but a bridge, stretching from one side of the creek to the other.

It was a fine piece of work, handrails and all. His younger brother with his neighbor was coming through the bridge with outstretched hand.

"You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done," said the younger brother remorsefully.

The carpenter who was preparing to leave was stopped by John for he'd a lot of other projects for him to do. "I've to go for I have many bridges to build," the carpenter replied.

With such analogy of reconciliation, Karen connected it with today's national celebration. "We are grateful to Dr. Jose Rizal for building the bridge for us to enjoy our freedom today," told Karen.

On the other hand, however, another bit of advice as 2011 about to end, she said, "Let us reflect on how we spent the outgoing year. Was it productive? Did we invest on the temporal things of this world or on things that are essential and that truly matter and are eternal?

Relating temporal things over spiritual, she asked these questions:

"Isn't it strange how endless an hour seems when we are serving God, but how short it is when we watch a football or basketball game for 60 minutes?

"Isn't it strange that you can't find things to say when you're praying, but you have no trouble in thinking what to talk about with a friend in gossip?

"Isn't it strange how we believe everything that magazines and newspapers say, but we question the words in the holy books like the Bible?

"Isn't it strange how everyone wants a place in heaven, but they don't want to believe, do or say anything to get there?"

She pointed out that everything fails, but only God remains the same yesterday, today and forever.

"Never be afraid to entrust the unknown future to the all-knowing GOD!" concluded Karen.

[To Ma'm Rose Aguirre, mother of Karen Aguirre, thanks for the hearty breakfast]

Related link: 115th Jose Rizal's Maratyrdom Observed


  1. I am a fan of Rizal. His works are my inspirations being a Filipino. I just can say that the message of Miss Karen was really moving. Hope the youth and all the Filipinos will forever honor Rizal and his sacrifices to free our country.

  2. very nice message, many people burn bridge only a few build the...let's start 2012 with an open mind...


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