Posts Tagged ‘belief’

It is a matter of believing.

March 25, 2015

WWe are back from our trip and I am back at University of Chicago hospital for tests: CT scan, blood test, and EKG.  These test are needed for me to start the new critical trial on Monday, March 30.  It will establish a baseline for me before I start the trial, a new immuno-therapy trial.

New trial, new hope.  That is all I can ask for: hope that this next treatment works.  The optimistic way is to say; I believe this next treatment is going to work.  After all it is a matter of believing.

Back in Jerusalem and Rome, there is a lot of that — believing.  At the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, I placed my hands on the stone where Jesus was said to have laid after being brought down from the cross.  Is that really the stone?  Similarly, Golgotha, the biblical name where Jesus was crucified, has three locations depending on which you believe is the true site.  Most believe that the true site is where the Holy Sepulcher church lies, and that is where most people flock and worship.  It is a matter of believing.

In Rome, where the city is replete with history and artifacts even before the time of Jesus, you need every ounce of belief to accept all the things you see.  It was mind boggling.  I was in awe of the magnificence of St. Peter’s Basilica.  I experienced hair-raising moments when I saw the Pope, attended mass at the Basilica, viewed the Sistine Chapel, and when I climbed the Scala Santa on my knees.

All the sights, statues, obelisks, churches, etc., tells the story of man’s tribute to God and his belief.  There is not enough buildings and basilicas to compensate man’s insecurities in his quest for perfection as reflected in the beautiful artworks and paintings. I carry the same inadequacy, that’s why I pray.

Right now I pray, not for lofty offerings or perfection, but the courage to fully believe I will be cured.  It is a matter of believing.  Now, let see what my doctors will tell me.


P.S.  I gave my Jerusalem medal to my friend and PT, JamieM.  I told her she deserve the medal for helping me get back, while I got the memory of running Jerusalem.  Then she asks “so what’s next?”  Huh?

Jerusalem medal

My Jerusalem finisher medal

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Rome:  The Eternal City

March 20, 2015


TThis is my first time to Rome but not to Italy.  They call it the Eternal City because there is so much history behind it.  It was the center of the western civilization and at its peak the Roman empire conquered most of Europe.  At that time, it is either you are a Roman or a Greek or a barbarian.

The rise and fall of the Roman empire is well documented and this city has all the evidence of its glory and scars of its past as well.  I came to Rome to continue my spiritual journey and I was not disappointed.  Upon arriving, our hotel managed to get us tickets to the Papal Audience ahead of time.  So I was very excited.

The Papal Audience.

Every Wednesday is the Papal Audience held at St. Peter’s Square.  The morning we attended there were several thousands of people gathered at the square.  The mood was festive.  There were country flags, welcome banners, kids on tour, and many pilgrims.  Before the Pope arrive, they announced all the groups present or were represented in the audience.  There were schools and religious groups from all over the world, and each time when their name was called they cheered.  We sat among high schoolers from Toronto, Canada led by their teacher.

At the appointed time the Pope came out riding in his Pope-mobile.  The crowd surged and stood on their chairs to get a glimpse of him.  I was among them.  Then, I saw him and felt a surge of excitement.  Wow.  I felt like a teenager seeing my idol and I was on the verge of tears.  I could not believe I am in the presence of the Pope.  Everybody was reaching out to him.  He would stop and his security would bring babies or kids to be blessed or kissed.  His path was lined with kids and adults on wheelchairs, all seeking for blessing.

(Note:  I took this video of the Pope giving his blessings.  I was close.)

I am among those seeking his blessings.  I asked for guidance and strength to face all my challenges.  Seeing him gave me comfort.  It was an unbelievable experience.  I was mesmerized in his presence.  He message was about the importance of family.  At the end, he led the prayer for the Our Father (Pater Noster) prayer in Latin.

Rome is full of Christian monuments and statues.  They all reflect tributes of greatness or adoration to God.  There are churches, castles, and symbols that some how relate to a higher being one way or another.  They show the dedication of man to his God.  The statues of saints and angels provide a way to relate our true feelings and confess our inner doubts.  Being among these beautiful masterpieces has given me a way to reflect and appreciate all the blessings I have.  It can be overwhelming.




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Sayings we live by.

Sayings we live by.
January 25, 2014

Have you notice all the sayings or beliefs we live by consciously and unconsciously.  Some of them borders on superstitions or myths.  Growing up in the Philippines I remember many of them, for example:

Nasa Diyos awa, nasa tao ang gawa (God is merciful, but man still has to do the work).

Kung may tiyaga, may nilaga (If you have patience, you will will be rewarded).

It sounds better in the vernacular because it rhymes.  These are a few of the sayings I grew up with.  I normally hear these things from elders who wishes to drive home a point to my stubborn head.  There are some truths to them.

Marathon runners have a few of their own (that’s an understatement).

No pain no gain.

Pain is only temporary.

Needless to say, these sayings, mantras, or beliefs only matters if you believe in them.  If you don’t believe in them you will not be able to embrace the fundamental foundation of its teaching: You will not change, be patient, or endure the challenges.

You got to believe that there is a cure for cancer, as much as the sun will shine tomorrow. That’s a tough one.  In my case, my belief fluctuates no matter what I believe in.  It comes in cycle; it is strong when tested during chemo and weak when I am off.

Life always gets harder near the summit – Chinese fortune cookie.

I think you need every kind of motivation when you are down.  It is the ability to connect with yourself and you believe…(fill in the blank).

Songs make you connect, that’s why we love music.  Images and pictures (religious one’s included) connects us where we are at peace.  There is my grandson, Ethan, who always puts a smile in my face.  He makes me believe.  I know the place where I need to be when I am in doubt.  That place is here with you.  It makes me believe that:

“I can walk that mile, until the end starts.” – Adele 21, One and Only.


P.S.  Fourth cycle tomorrow and I am now bald again (see related post “The bald truth“).  Then there is this unforgettable date when I given a bad prognosis, January 25, 2013.  Believe me when I tell you the “bald” truth: I am grateful for the day, tomorrow, etc.

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