August 29, 2005

Dream Series No. 4: THE POND

One night in 2001, some months after my last job in the government was terminated, I was stuck in bed gazing at the ceiling and was in deep thought on what to do then with my life. I had a job offer from a friend but the pay was way too low compared with my last paycheck that I much rather tried some other options then, like taking the bar examinations the following year. It was hard turning down that job offer especially when the offer came from someone I knew too well. What if he had needed my services that badly? But then, I had a future to take care of and so I had to inform him quite honestly that I was preparing for the bar that summer and it wouldn’t be in my best interest to have my hands full on an accounting/marketing job. I had to take some risk I had decided then and go for the farsighted plan that could offer me probable long-term benefits than be stuck with a dead-end job.

Perhaps it was too much of youthful diffidence in me that at some nights I had shivered just thinking how the realities of existence is not what many of us had supposed to be when we were much younger, that the world is at times a dog-eat-dog existence where one must claw up the ladder just about every time, even to the point of elbowing others and stepping on their shoes just in order to find a semblance of meaningful existence.

That particular night, the weather was so warm that even when the electric fan hummed at its fullest, I had perspired so monstrously that I could almost hear my sweat dripping from my skin. Drip…drip…drip…I turned on my stereo and listened to an aria of Andrea Bocelli and the coolness of his voice made me feel a little better. Conte le partira, Paesi che non ho mai…Vel dutto ver sutto conti….Conte le partira…

And then I fell into a sleep that wasn’t like sleep at all for it felt so much like I have just glided from one dimension of existence to another. Unbelievable as it may seem and yet those who believe in parallel existence may just sympathize with me on this. Perhaps you’d start to think that I have become so much of an inexhaustible dreamer that I started to live more of my life in dreams than in the real world. I won’t blame you for that for sometimes I feel that way already.

In that dream, I found myself suddenly bursting into a barren landscape where the ground was red all over and the air was smoky as yellow smog floated like grimes on the atmosphere. I gazed around and I could see a nearby hill gradually rose from the ground and I could see wide plains and gray mountains from afar. The sky was red, like a bleeding wall to my sight. I could see no bushes or any form of greeneries around and if you’d seen some photographs of Mars, then you might have the best of idea of how the place appeared to be. The air was so still that I could hear no sound whatsoever that every step I made I could clearly hear. I felt my feet a little harassed by the crackling ground below me, those plates of mud solidified by too much dryness. I decided to walk further until I reach a point where the smog cleared and in a sudden I saw a small pond just in front of me, with a leafless tree standing along its shoreline. The tree reminded me of the guava tree that I used to climb when I was a child. I could remember that guava tree only too well because I had fallen from it twice before and it was there that I saw a strange creature of the night, a huge manlike being with the head of a horse, with some burning object flickering from its mouth, perhaps a giant cigar, just like what our elders had always said about kapres.

I stared into the pond and saw that the water was a familiar blend of yellow and green, like dew, and it was so calm that its surface didn’t moved at all. That was how I reckoned that it was a very deep pond by just looking at it. Shallower waters are always fragile to the eyes.

The water in the pond looked so inviting and it seemed to have spoken to me like it had a life of its own. I went to my knees and smelled the water. The scent that it evoked gave me a mild exhilaration of emotions that it became all the more tempting for me to dive into the water. I touched the water again and a small amount of it in my hands was enough to quench the waterlessness of my body. Still, I was hesitant to go into the water as its depth intimidated me so much and I wasn’t a good swimmer. Suddenly I heard some rustling noise behind me and I immediately turned to look at the direction of the sound. As the smog cleared, a women in a white gown appeared and she initially smiled at me. It was a little unusual that I never felt any kind of fear the very moment that I saw that floating woman even though as I write this particular passage, I have goosebumps all over me. I stared at her and wondered what’s the purpose of her calling me into this dream. I wanted to ask her why she wanted to meet me but spoke nothing instead. In that dream, I did not remember uttering any words; in fact not a single word was spoken by anyone in that dream. I really had initially felt that it was the woman who had called me to that dream and that she had some important message for me.

I wanted to express so many things to the woman hovering just in front of me but I struggled to mumble even a single word. After a while, the woman stared at me so intently and it was a little strange for me to realize that she could actually speak to me by just merely looking at me. And slowly I had also realized that I could get all my thoughts across to her even without uttering any word. She told me through mind talk that there was something that I should know and some person had called me into the dream and not her. Then she moved slowly towards me but as I thought that she was coming closer to me, she actually went farther and farther from me until she disappeared from my view. It was a completely spellbinding distortion of distance and space.

Then my gaze was turned towards the nearby hill that I had mentioned earlier and there appeared another person that was also in white gown, just like the woman had worn. I thought at first that the woman and the person floating above the hill was one and the same person but as I examined more carefully, the person on the top of the hill was actually an old man with a white flowing hair that was too long; too long in fact that I had mistaken him for a woman in a glance. He had the face of a very old man and to tell you quite honestly, the old man looked like Leonardo da Vinci, the one most of us had seen in many self-portraits of the legendary Italian artist.

The old man caught my eye and without saying a word, he ordered me to dive into the water. I hesitated at first but the old man was too insistent that he kept on pointing towards the pond. Again, it was sort of a distortion of space and distance that despite of the distance of the hill from where I stood, I could see the old man quite so clearly like he was just nearby.

As if the old man had suddenly gained control of my body and mind---even from a distance---I slowly took steps towards the tree and climb it, this despite my clear wavering. My climb was swift like I was a trained scaler of trees. As a child, many of my playmates teasingly dubbed me as “Monkey!” for I had always loved climbing trees when afternoon came. On a period of the day when most kids in the neighborhood took their catnaps, I go play by my lonesome instead and climb trees. My favorite tree to climb then was the Datiles beside a small fishpond that bore so many ripe fruit that I picked and gobbled in my mouth. I have grown to like the sweet nectar coming from the Datiles fruit. The guava tree on the one hand does not bore any fruit that we kids rarely climbed it. There was also a Chico tree about five thousand feet farther from the Datiles and it is where most of us kids love to climb the most and where we play catch-me-if-you-can games atop that huge tree, would you believe. It was so dangerous to play games while hanging on branches because a simple mistake or a broken branch would surely send the unfortunate kid plummeting down to the hard ground. It was so risky but as kids, we did not realize that.

Let’s go back to the dream. And so I was finally atop the leafless tree looking downward to the small but deep pond below me. I had gained enough balance on top of it that I virtually stood upright like I was standing on a diving platform. The height of the tree was a little mesmerizing to me, about the same height of a two-story house and this had made me more hesitant of jumping into the water. The particular inhibition I felt when I was atop the leafless tree always gets back to me as a familiar memory every time I was in the same circumstances in the real world, even when I was still a child. This dream of the pond happened only about four years ago but some scenes in that dream came to me as a form of déjà vu even when I was still so young and fond of bathing in many rivers and oceans that are found in Zamboanga. Perhaps just like any locality in the Philippines, Zamboanga has just too many places where one could enjoy the water, from the beaches in Cawa-Cawa (its so polluted now that bathing there is prohibited) to the gushing riverways in Pasonanca, far deep into the forest. It’s sort of a strange distortion of time and space when the scenes in a more recent dream came as déjà vu in my childhood days.

It took me some moments in deciding whether to finally jump into the water or not; until that final moment I held my breath so steadily and immediately dived into the water. I felt those moments while I was on the air, as if in a slow motion, as my body plunged right into the water. I felt those feeling of free falling again, like falling from cliffs and beds in my other childhood dreams. Finally, I hit the water and heard the water splashing just as I was entering it. I found myself inside the pond looking upward to the surface. Above me I could see a ray of light while down below was complete darkness. The water was so cool to my body that I felt a sudden elation and regretted for a while why It took me a while to decide to jump into the water. I felt a general happy feeling, an indescribable feeling that made me forget all those previous fears and hesitations I had earlier. The water was solid and thick like it wasn’t any ordinary water at all and I could feel them strongly on my skin. I did not sway my arms or shuffle my feet in order to stifle my fall into the pond for mostly, I had enjoyed being inside the water that as I fell deeper, while I just let my body gradually settle into its depth, the more feeling of elation I had felt. My body went deeper and deeper into the pond and I did not fight my fall even though there was some moment that I realized that the pond may be a bottomless pit that even while I was getting deeper and deeper into it, I could see nor feel any ground below it. Worry started to descend upon me when I could not still see the bottom of the pond. I started to panic but before panic had taken hold of me, I felt some hands grabbing my shoulders and suddenly I saw two persons pulling at me and steering me towards the surface of the water. The three of us swiftly returned to the surface of the water and once I came out from it, I paddled my legs so furiously to stay afloat and see for myself who were the two persons that pulled me out of the water. The two led me to the shore and I climb towards a drier area and stared back into the pond. I examined the two men who remained afloat in the pond as I realized how strong they were for they had pulled me out of the water in such a swift manner; they must have been learned swimmers. They remained afloat the water and yet I could not see them move their hands or feet. It was a cunning way to swim I thought then and I concluded that they were not just ordinary swimmers, but extraordinary ones. I gazed at the faces of the two men in the pond and then I started to realize that they both looked alike and that they may as well be twins and that they both looked like me although they had longer and much muscular body. I mistrusted them for a while for they seem to be mocking me by pretending to look like me and my distrust had become more emphasized when the two men maintained stern faces all throughout, like they were soldiers, like it was illegal for them to smile or show a gentler countenance. I turned my gaze towards the hill and wanted to ask the old man what was going on and I saw him still hovering and his white dress flowing steadily from a passing wind that I did not feel or see, as my immediate surroundings remained so very still and not a single sound could be heard.

The old man stared at me so meaningfully and then I could see how he had the gentlest of faces, one that evoked great love and adoration that I immediately felt assured that he won’t lead me to any harm or injury. He had seemed to be so fatherly and I could feel his great warmth even from a distance. He signaled with his hands to me once more and urged me to dive into the water. This time, my earlier hesitation and uncertainties had already vanished and I climbed the tree with great confidence. I dived once more into the water. I heard the water made the splashing sound again, a noise that was refreshing to my ears and once again, I felt the elation that remained indescribable; a certain feeling of sudden joy, like a narcotic perhaps if one could actually know how this element works.

I floated again inside the water and all around me was the thick yellowish-green hue of the pond and I could see no walls nor bottom but the water was clearly refreshing and my soul was lifted again. I still did not fight the gravitational pull of the bottom of the pond, which actually appeared to be without end, as if it goes on and on until forever. I had wondered what the bottom of the pond looked like and what it had to offer me. Maybe there was a lost kingdom down there or a secret hideaway that could give me more joy and elation. The feeling of elation was so addictive that I wanted to go deeper and deeper but the two men who looked like me appeared again in the scene and pulled me out of the water. This time, they did not have to grab me as I rose with them towards the surface of the water and I had risen on my own accord---they just had to notify me this time that I was already getting too deep into the water. I remade and remade my dive into the pond and clearly I had grown ponder of it all the more that with every splashing of the water---as I break into them by a nose dive---the feeling of elation gets more and more emphasized. The last time I went into the depth of the pond, the two men did not have to grab me anymore for I have already decided on my own to rise to the surface of the water when I had reckoned on my own that I was already so deep into the pond. I was left alone the moment I finally gained enough discipline and patience not to go too deep into the water.

The last scene of this particular dream was me standing on the edge of the pond and watching the old man swaying his arms to and fro, from east to west, from north to south, like he was dancing some sort of an exotic dance that was completely unique and never heard of. It was a ceremonial dance it had seemed. As he swayed his arms from side to side, the wind move more dynamically and the yellowish tint of the atmosphere vanished gradually but swiftly and became clear like the atmosphere that we have now. And clouds in the horizon suddenly appeared and moved like there was a swirling storm until they settled over the hills and mountains. The old man was apparently controlling the weather and he was making the environment more and more pleasant to the sight. The brown hills became green and grasses and bushes started to grow from the ground until all around me was thick with lush greeneries and there was a forest just nearby. Then the sky became blue from its former hazy shade of red and I could see winged creatures gliding through it and everything became brighter and sunnier.

That is why I have said once before that when I saw an angel dance in the Manila sky in the year 2002, while I was there preparing for the bar examinations, the dance of the angel was so familiar to me like I have seen them once before. Now I can now point only too well that it was in the dream of the pond that I had seen the dance first. Nights after I saw that dancing angel in the sky, I was alone in the boarding house where I stayed in Manila (the boarding house was named BH Boarding House, a former office building that was turned into a students’ lodge, and it is just right beside a catholic center named after St. Lorenzo along Legarda St. in Sampaloc, Manila) as the other occupants went for a weekend getaway. It was nearly midnight and I was still awake reading law books. I felt the urge to drink some coffee so I went to the kitchen to prepare hot water. As I entered my room, I felt that someone was following me and I turned immediately to examine my back and for a split second, I saw the image of the old man hanging just above the air, right at my back and he looked so much like the old man in one of my dreams, which is this dream of the pond, and no matter how I saw that apparition, the old man looked like Leonardo da Vinci with a very long white hair, sharp noses and a very old face. I should have scurried away out of fear of the apparition but it was strange that I had felt no fear whatsoever in that particular moment. It was a span of days in my life that angels started to appear in my view, whenever I stared at the night sky and shadows on the wall and a bearded man on a huge throne that perhaps, the sight of the old man hovering just above me was not that surprising to me anymore, that I just disregarded it and proceeded to read my law books that night.

In the morning right after I had dreamt of the pond, I immediately went to search for a pen and paper so that I could write down the details of this vivid dream. At that time, I hadn’t still an inkling that I would be seeing angels in the future but I had felt so strongly then that the dream was too real for comfort like it was a story by itself, complete with plot and characters. I had in fact written down the details of that dream that morning and even typed it in several coupon bonds in order that I may be able to keep and preserved it. The way I wrote down the tale of the dream was in the form of a short story that in fact when I finished writing it, I had mailed a copy of it to the popular magazine Free Press hoping that it would be published as a literary piece. But after waiting and watching out for over one-too-many many issues, I have given up expecting that it would be published. Maybe, if one has connections in the Free Press organization, you could confirm the veracity of my story by looking for that submitted piece titled “The Pond” which I sent through mail in 2001. I lost the only copy of that written narrative about that pond and so I have to reconstitute it this way, remembering the details even without any aid of past writings, and completely writing from spontaneous memory.

What did the dream meant to me? Perhaps you might ask this question. For me, it was a dream that foretold to me so eerily of the things that I have to encounter in the future and how every dream of mine has a certain singular thread in them that every one of it evokes important messages to me and to humanity as a whole. I’d elaborate more in the coming entries about these messages because this entry has gotten too long and long entries often go unread. So I hope you’d be watching out for my next entries.

August 22, 2005


This is a poem that I wrote when I was a sophomore college student in Ateneo de Zamboanga back in 1993. Like my other love poems, this work speaks of longing and desire. For a complete collection of my poetry,visit THE WANDERING SOUL.

I want to be with you always
While I continue to live for you,
Your innocent eyes strike me
Like warm lightning from the sky.

The sea is now a landless scenery
But your wind is present and I am comforted,
Further much to go,
I want you by my side.

If the sky hides the sun
This darkness abhors the wind,
When every sight becomes near
Each sound I hear is deafening.

I am afloat this wooden raft my sweet child,
I want to sail but I move slowly
The water that carries me
Contains a huge fearful creature.

When the sky is in thick gray oil paint,
The sea is icy solid water.
How I want you near me;
I want to be with you always.

August 15, 2005

Dream Series 3: The Boy With The Swirling Ship


What do you know; I’ve got another vivid dream last night. No angels though yet I feel it’s worth elucidating if only for reason that it is such a lucid chunk of visions in my head while I slept so deeply and it may evoke some meanings for me or for the lives we all live.

The dream started on a steep hill in a place I have never been to in my entire life but it felt like I was in Antipolo, because the rolling hills reminded me of the place called Cherry Hill, the site of a famous landslide disaster some years back and which I was able to have a glimpse of in television and newspapers. I asked in my mind what was going on since there were a lot of people outdoors watching some neighborhood event, out in the open field while the sun was shining so brightly and the wind was warm as the summer breeze.

Some bystanders answered me: “A boy from Japan was showing some flying ship.”

I stretched my neck out and see for myself what the whole fuzz was all about. As I heard the whirling sound that went “whrrrrrrrrrrrr….whrrrrrrrrrrr…….whrrrrrrrrrrr……….”, like that of a motorized toy, I saw then what was to my eye was a colorful contraption the size of a small-sized passenger car, say a Kia Pride, lunging directly towards the sky like a rocketship although it didn’t look like a rocketship at all, at least not the specific way it had looked to me. The flying contraption look like a very small version of the Columbus---the Nasa space shuttle.

I observed the flying motion of the “thing” and the viewer could actually see the boy inside it, probably doing some navigation through some control dashboard. But with the manner it moves from one side to another, up and down, in steep trajectory and then changing directions so sharply, you wouldn’t think that it is being driven by someone, it moves more like a remote-controlled toy helicopter, so unstable and without a clear direction. I felt a lot of concern for the safety of the boy.

Yet, despite the queerness of the flying contraption, it actually earned my amazement and glorification. When the boy alighted from it, I was among the throng of men and women who trooped to him like he was a hero or someone famous. I said to him in a loud voice: “ What you got there is a landmark invention!” The boy probably did not hear my declarations that he turned towards another direction without a hint that he noticed me.

I was slighted by the boy’s disregard but I really felt that the thing was such an important discovery and it may be the prototype of a transport that would change the way we travel forever. In fact, the way it was designed earned my fancy for it looked like a very huge toy that every boy or every man with a child’s heart would like to have from the downtown toy store. The color was also my favorite---blue, yellow and red.

I will describe to you how the thing probably works. The flying contraption would lunge towards the heights by a turbo on its below, just like any rocketship, and when it is up in the air, it’s outer core would swirl so fast in circular movement that you could hear its sort of annoying, but mild whirling sound. This motion of its outer core probably was the main mechanism that keeps the thing above ground, and it has a couple of protruding wings that are also attached to smaller turbo engines. These wings probably control the direction of the thing aside from helping it stay afloat. The flying contraption moves in a speed that I have never seen before and that made me a little doubtful of the thing’s design credibility, for the safety of the passenger may not be secured.

Yet again, despite its flawed functionality, I truly believed that the invention by the Japanese boy could be build up further if only he meets the right persons that could help him find some technology companies willing to put money for its development. If the thing could work, we may finally welcome age of flying cars and finally say goodbye to the monumental cruelty of traffic jams in our streets and highways.

The boy went to see some persons in a nearby building that looked like the station of the Armstrongs in the old anime series “Voltes V”, in short it was a science building with an ultra-modern look and hi-tech facilities with a very high-ceiling. Buildings in the anime world seems all have extraordinarily high ceilings. I followed him of course and went into the building myself which I found to be completely empty although the mainframes and other electronic equipment were running since the lights on them were blinking and some sounds are whirling, a sign that some automated machines were on. I reckoned that the boy was inside some highly secured rooms busy discussing with some important personalities in the tech world. So I went upstairs but I still find the place empty as a dune. I took the elevator and went down to the ground floor and as I headed towards the main exit door, I saw the Japanese boy coming out of a room that I was not able to notice before. His face was full of distraught and I could see that he was disappointed. I knew then that the talks did not go well.

I watched him tiptoed through the tiled floor and could hear the sound of his footsteps reverberating throughout the building, the heaviness of his emotions were easily felt. I approached him thinking that I might desire to shake the hands of someone who invented what perhaps may be the future of transportation. He shook my hands so briefly and went on with his heavy walk without even looking at my face. I followed this boy who was so young and yet so arrogant and said in a loud voice, “You should bring it to the attention of NASA.” At this, he turned back and I could see that he wanted to cry. He said, “I will try.” And he went on walking, now in a hurried manner, as if he wanted to get rid of me. I just reckoned that a genius boy like him could afford some bad manners so I did not took it so badly that he doesn’t respond well to my engagements towards him. I just wanted to help him.

That same afternoon, as the day approached twilight, the boy was in the field again with the onlookers still on hand. I went to see the show again. He was with his mother this time around and they were in stiff argument as to how the thing should be launched into the air. This was in stark contrast to the smooth and confident launching he had earlier in the day. After some words, both mother and son agreed on the manner the flying contraption should be placed on the ground, and the boy step into the thing and soon the machine hummed again in a whirling sound.

The flying contraption indeed went steeply into the air that my heart leaped a bit as I see what a wondrous thing it was that such a small machine could actually fly into the air---like seeing a flying car for the first time. Yet, after a while, the thing kept on lunging downward and it was a little painful to see it struggling to keep itself afloat. The boy might be horrendously dizzy by then as the flying contraption went up and down in the air. I myself became a little bit dizzy just watching the thing fly in the strangest of manner.

Soon, the boy alighted from the flying contraption and he was sweating all over. I wanted to ask him if the ship had some appropriate ventilations but I decided against it. I approach the boy again without any inhibition that he might utterly disregard me again. He did not. I meant that he finally talked to me more graciously than before.

“It was hard,” the boy said.

“Yeah. I could see that” I said meaning to console him.

I asked the boy “Why did the thing fly so bad the second time around?”

“ I was flying on a manual mode this time.” The boy said in a sad tone. It turned out that the boy run out of hydrogen fuel and it was too costly for him to source them in a huge volume, in order to keep the thing flying for a longer period.

As we walked together towards a more shadowy area, I could feel the sadness in his breath. He confided to me that that the scientists he was negotiating earlier wasn’t sold out about his invention mainly because they said that the thing could not retain enough fuel in order for it to reach enough distance. The scientists instead advised him to find out the solution for this major flaw of his invention.

I suggested to him to use nuclear fusion instead because this kind of fuel is light and with a small amount aboard, the thing could go far. I also advised him to go to America because in the Philippines, even our own inventors do not get much support from the Government. He just nodded to my suggestions and we shook hands as we bade goodbye.

At this point, I woke up to a cloudy morning where rain was threatening. The weather made me a bit heavy inside as I remember the predicament of the boy with the swirling rocketship in my dream. I hope he would listen to all my advices and go to America where everything is possible it seems. I hope his dreams would all come true. I laugh a little inside thinking how could I wish well someone who doesn’t exist at all but only a creature of my dreams. But I remember the boy well, and if there is some sort of a police line-up, I could point to him always.

After I took my breakfast, while sipping hot chocolate, I pondered what the dream meant to me. There were no angels in it but I felt that the dream wanted to impart something to me. As I analyze the visions I had that night in my sleep, I now believe that sometimes we all have some idea that could really fly but could not fly so high at first due to some major flaws and yet, if only we try a little harder and knowing where to go and what to find and whom to approach, that idea could go a long, long way and may even change the way we live forever. Amen.

August 08, 2005

DREAM SERIES 2: Ogden Kronengekel. A Wanted Murderer.

OGDEN KRONENGEKEL---such is the name of the main protagonists inside my dream, other than myself of course. Have you had yourself a vivid dream? In my childhood days, I had numerous dreams of these sorts, the kind that are so crystalline in clarity that some of them I could still recall until now. I usually dream about angels in the past, flying with them into tree-lined outfields, and falling off from cliffs if I lose some footings while in the act of flying. Every time I fall from the air in those dreams, as I lose control of my body movements, I also fall from my beds that the falling sensation felt so real and everyone in the house could hear me scream.

My dream about Ms. Kronengekel (yes, she was a woman sporting jet-black hair falling down towards her knees) about three nights ago wasn’t purely about angels although some parts of it were about them cherubim. Unlike my other dreams, this one involves a narrator who whispers to me some facts that I need to know as the story progresses within that dream.

The visions in my sleep started as the narrator introduces me to the beginning scenarios (the narrator’s face does not appear throughout the dream and whispers only to my right ear as if he was afloat above ground just behind me and moves accordingly as I moved forward or backward or to any direction. He also has no name but in my mind he wears a huge black hood, just like the one wore by Death.). He introduced to me the people in the story. There was H. a friend who I knew in real life and the narrator also informed me that H.’s father was Mr. P. Mr. P. is a bailer of those arrested for crimes.

And then there was Ms. Ogden Kronengekel, a beautiful lad who always wears white t-shirts and fading jeans. When I was in Silliman University for about a year nearly two decades ago, I could recall that most students there wear this kind of generic outfit---white shirt on the top and faded or tattered jeans down below. It was known to be hip to dress so casually, a coy on pretending like a poor man when one looks so rich. I didn’t dress the same when I was in Dumaguete City because that kind of outfit needed a bunch of Levi’s 501’s which I only have one at that time. So I just was hip in few instances. The white shirt and jeans needed another garment and that was the bandana. In those years (somewhere between 1989 and 1991), to wear a bandana is to bring tribute to rock music, especially glam-rock music and since Axl Rose of the band Guns and Roses wear them always, a hip rocker ain’t hip at all without the head accessory. In those years, riffing guitars and bamboozling drumbeats emanates from every nook and corner of Dumaguete City and as freshmen students, we became so involved in the glam rock movement that spurned notable bands like Bon Jovi and Poison. In those pre-grunge days, new wave bands still had major clamp on the radio listeners and it was the times when the great Irish band U2 reached its artistic peak with a couple of great albums titled “The Joshua Tree” and “Rattle and Hum”. Making the “Joshua Tree” album for them was such an achievement already and yet within a year, they were able to released “Rattle and Hum”—how good can they get?”

So the dream was centered on a murder that I have got to know for reason that I was acting as an investigating officer in it and my work companion was H. All along H. wore a casual striped t-shirt, walking short and sporty beach sandals that I wasn’t really certain if he was toddling along with me in the investigation as a police officer himself, like I was, or just an ordinary companion. We went on scurrying up the whole facts of the case and proceeded on unraveling the mysterious death of a certain C., a fairly known rice trader in the city. If he was fairly known in the town despite his being merely a businessman (you know, as differentiated from high profile professionals like doctors and lawyers), it only means that he wasn’t just an ordinary businessman but a very successful one.

The main scene that really stuck vividly in my mind was the one in a downtown store that the victim Mr. C. owned. Me and H. went there to question some people about the murder. In actual times, the store really existed somewhere in San Jose Road within the city limits and it really sells rice, lots of them. When we got there, we saw Ms. Ogden Kronengekel walk by us and entered a small doorway just beside the rice store of Mr. C. and proceeded to the second level of the building. Throughout the story, I never really seen her face yet I knew she had a foreign-looking countenance. She was pretty, so pretty that she was familiar almost to every one we knew.

H. remarked to me: “ That’s Ms. Ogden Kronengekel. Ain’t she pretty?” I said,

“ Yeah, I am familiar with her. You know, from school.” I then asked: “What she’s doing here?”

To this question, H. just smiled and shrugged off his shoulders meaning that he does not have an idea. The way he smiled was a little insidious as if he knew something interesting that I do not know.

Then the scenes went into a cornucopia of various images. Just like any dream, the scenes in my mind change without lead ups or preludes and images and happenstances there intertwine like a spider web or a twirling spiral, at times without rhyme and reason, and they interlope upon each other like layers upon layers of sand.

The next memorable scene was the narrator telling me all the bits of information about the mysterious persona of Mr. Ogden Kronengekel. I bet I must have all the information I needed in order to solve the crime inside that dream—and Mr. Narrator helped a lot on this. Mr. Narrator said that Ms. Kronengekel grew up in Norway until the age of 5, and came to Zamboanga in the year 1986, the year when millions of Filipinos marched into the main highways of Metro Manila to overthrow The Strongman former President Mr. Marcos. Her father was of course Norwegian who married a Zamboangueña nurse then working in one of the big hospitals in Oslo, the most popular city in Norway. On the first time that Mr. Kronengekel went to visit the city, when he and Mrs. Kronengekel was still planning to tie their marital knot, he immediately fell in love with the local weather and particularly the beaches in the islands farther up north, and one just nearby town which is known as Sta. Cruz Islands. He decided then that he would not spend the rest of his life freezing among frozen lakes and icy boulevards in the Baltic Region and planned a scheme on how to make Zamboanga as the Kronengekel’s domicile. After five years of saving every penny they gained in Norway, they packed all their worthwhile things and settled here in 1986. It was rough times in the Philippines at that particular time yet Mr. Kronengekel did not allow any political disturbances to stifle his long-awaited journey to a land which according to him where the sun always smiled.

For quite sometime since they came here, the Kronengekel’s enjoyed a buoyant life full of travels around the country. You could really see for yourself how a man craves for seawater and sunshine in the way Mr. Kronengekel would stay in the water for hours and hours without getting ashore, snorkeling even in places when corrals where not all abound. In most of the beaches of Zamboanga, there are exactly no corrals or sea life to snorkel about except if one gets too deep into ten feet high seawater which would be a little risky with the sea currents so strong around here. There was even a story of some amateur boaters who went toddling in the night water in one of the resorts here while being a little drunk from alcohol. They paddled too far into the sea and apparently lost control of their boat due to the swirling currents that twirls and swirls like giant spirals in the span of both the Sulu Sea and the Celebes Sea. They found themselves in Indonesia a day after.

Mr. Kronengekel applied as an English Instructor in a nearby college and was hired initially as a part-timer. Yes, he had professional trainings in the languages, especially in English from a fairly known American University and worked before as a professor in the English Department of a known university in Norway. He became an instant celebrity in the local college and became instantly popular with the students. A blond-haired lean man nearly six foot tall walking along the walkways of a school in Zamboanga was not exactly an everyday occurrence but with Mr. Kronengekel around, it was a daily sight for the students who could not help snickering and making some hush-hush and whispers, every time he passes by.

One day, Mr. Kronengekel caused a minor rumpus inside the campus when he just walked away one afternoon from a class he was tutoring and shouted along the hallways, “I can’t take it anymore!!!” Apparently, he was having a nervous breakdown and never entered the campus again, not even once. The talk about him in school did not die down as easily and went own like a legend being told and retold.

The day that he found a certain man was the day that started his slide into the downward spiral of a doggoned life. This certain man was a student he befriended in school for reason mainly because this certain man had easy access to a drug seller in one of the mean streets of this town. Everyday, he would take in some puff of marijuana like it was his staple food---morning, noon and night. He was introduced to this illicit item in one of their travels to the islands farther up north in Visayas by a German tourist who took him for a couple of drink one cold night in the beach. He knew it was improper to take the item but he was too pretentious to let the German guy know that he is such a snob. In person, he is naturally a shy and introspective person but he was always inclined to hide this shyness when among a crowd, which he considered as his major weakness, and tend to overdo his show of coy extroversion by a mile.

So he smoked that illicit item just to do away with the German but it instead became the moment of his future desperation. At first, the stuff made him extraordinarily full of jest, snickered with the German to no end and laugh so hard even at the most humorless joke. His appetite for food became gregarious but what finally made him got hooked was the fact that the grass gave him a feeling of lightness that he never had before.

As his new habit progresses, Mr. Kronengekel had developed a general indolence that made him lose more focus in his daily tasks especially in his vocation as a teacher and soon started to miss on his own classes. He had been called twice to the Dean’s office until that one fateful day when he just stepped out of the classroom and never to return.

Mr. Kronengekel regressed so steeply into a man of unkempt behavior and soon Mrs. Kronengekel left home and went abroad again to earn when the finances of the family dwindled. Ogden Kronengekel became a “motherless” child at the age 9 and lived with aunts and cousins except when Mrs. Kronengekel was here for very brief annual or bi-annual visits. Mr. Kronengekel just wandered around the city drinking with by-standers from every mean streets there is in the city and huffed the prohibited item almost always until one day his body was found lifeless and stiffed as a rock near a city creek; probably by self-infliction as no contusion or bruises were marked on the corpse, and every possession in his body was intact, including a very expensive wristwatch. He just perhaps jumped into the shallow river and drowned himself by having so much alcohol to drink.

At the age of 12, Ogden Kronengekel goes home to a parentless shelter except for aunts and cousins she could bully around and whom she does not solicit for advises. The lack of sufficient moral guidance and the tragedy in her lives had affected Ogden so much that she became a wanderer herself, nearly like her father, taking drugs and alcohol in the night streets often than we breathe, never finishing college and running around with a lot of different men, even in illicit affairs. She became a creature of the night, as we know the term, hanging among many groupies in the city and creating troubles in the night streets as well as the streets of their own lives and of other lives.

I asked my friend H. about the person of Ms. Ogden Kronengekel for I could not forget his strange smirk the last time we saw her within the vicinity of the murder scene of Mr. C. At this moment of questioning, we were in the office of Mr. P., H.’s father and the owner of the bail company.

My friend H. told me: “ There is no more need to ask questions. The murderer of Mr. C. has been arrested and he is out on bail, care of our bailing company.”

He handed me the folder of the murder suspect and saw for myself the front-view, left-view, and right-view pictures of some youth with browning hair and dark oily skin, with eyes protruding from perhaps lack of sleep or extreme tiredness. It seems all petty criminals looked like the guy on the folder in my hands, except the case in hand was not petty at all.

I asked in my mind why H. remarked immediately that the murderer was already apprehended when I only asked him about Ms. Ogden Kronengekel’s person. I smelled something fishy and wanted to create a line of thought from this unusual answer of H.. I wondered of course, since I was the investigating officer in the case, how come I didn’t know the arrest of some suspect on the case I am handling myself. In the Philippines maybe, this sort of things happens and since we were inside a dream, everything could happen indeed without explanation.

The narrator made the story short and since Mr. Narrator seems to know everything, he saved me a lot of police work.

It turned out that Mr. P., the owner of the bail company, with connections in the police and in the Hall of Justice nearby, created a scenario where the murder has already been solved by the arrest of a pretending murder suspect, the skinny guy on the folder.

Mr. P. was able to convince some fish vendor from Rio Hondo to pose as the murderer on the agreement that he would be bailed out after a couple of days of detention and then he could disappear to wherever he wants to go. The guy needed the money so much and the offer was hard to refuse.

We asked perhaps why Mr. P. was interested in undermining the truth behind the murder Mr. C.. It turned out that the real murderer was none other than Ms. Ogden Kronengekel, the half-Norwegian wanderer and spoiled brat and Mr. P. was Ogden’s new paramour.

Ogden Kronengekel was still then involved with Mr. C. and Mr. P. wanted her to get rid of him. Ogden got rid of Mr. C. in the cruelest of manner, the details of which could not even be spoken here for decency measures. You say, Ogden Kronengekel developed psychotic tendencies as she progressed through a life full of desperate measures.

It was H. unusual answers that gave me the lead to the final resolution of the case and at the end of the dream, the murder of Mr. C, the well-known rice trader in the city, was finally a case resolved.

Now, I have said earlier that this dream of mine, which happened about two or three nights ago, was in some part about angels. Where are the angels? This is where the angels come in.

When Mr. Narrator elucidated to me on the true persona of Ogden Kronengekel, I forgot to mention to you that she was also a singer with a local rock band and that explains her rock-and-roll attitude. While telling me this particular fact, Mr. Narrator gave me a view of one of her performances (the narrator seem to have the power to go back and forth in time and view some happenstances in a three dimensional screen where the viewers are in it although unseen by the people inside the screen, like in Hollywood movies where there are repetitions of past events, like for example Bill and Ted’s adventures of years ago.)

So Ogden sang a song that was unlike any other song. In fact, despite the catchiness of the song, it was not a song that exists in real time. It was a song I have heard only in that dream. As she sang the song, heavenly choruses were backing her up. As the song progresses, I was taken through a time warp to a place where there was a low hill with trees lined up together like they were planted with great planning in mind and the air was so breezy and the sun was so radiant. It gave me a feeling of great joy like it was Paradise. And the place just faded after the song.

Ogden Kronengekel’s voice reminded me so much of Tori Amos. In fact, her voice was a beautiful combination of Tori Amos’s and of Fiona Apple’s. In real time, I doubt it if there is a woman living with this kind of vocal prowess. But the choral backing in the song of Ogden Kronengekel lifted me above air and gave me a gladness of powerful elation. Cherubim (with trumpets in each hand) sang the choral rendition behind Ogden Kronengekel’s main vocalization. What beautiful angels they were and what beautiful voices.

At the end of this post, we can now ask what did the dream meant to me and what message it tried to invoke? I do not know. Some dreams of mine, even as vivid as they were, just do not mean anything except that they were about angels and the angels remind me always of places and times that gives me fond memories and great joy. In my childhood, my dreams of angels were just about flying and nothing much else. No message. No declarations. Their declarations came not by dreams but through other manners instead, which of course if you are a constant reader of my works, you should already know by now.

Some characters in the dream above narrated may resemble some people I know in actual time but the resemblance was unintentional and does not portray their true persons’ character. Dreams are just dreams.

August 05, 2005


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I didn’t know what the dream meant exactly and what it tried to convey to me. My dream last night was as surreal as the paintings of Picasso, full of abstract images, those surprising angles and unexpected curves. Wait, I may be speaking to soon. I think there’s a clear story in that dream of mine and I can remember too well how the story in that dream went. I may be able to relate to you that story, if only you’d be patient enough with my narration, which at times struggles for the right words to use.

At the beginning of that dream, I was walking through a dark alley, along an unpaved road and muddied ground where banana trees and huge plants lined the passageway. I knew immediately that I was in some faraway barrio when I could not see any electric post that usually decorates every urban street. At the start of the dream, the afternoon was becoming darker and darker but it wasn’t so dark yet like nighttime but a shade of darkness whenever twilight is fast nearing its end. I went on walking as my surrounding became darker and darker and all I could hear was deep silence and the crooning of crickets in the foreground; the gentle slap of the wind against the bushes along the road reminded me that the weather was a little hazy then. I was completely alone and the dimness had stirred some fear in me that I started to take hurried steps, as my feet felt the stony hard ground below. After some brisk walking, I finally reached a wooden house with bamboo fences and for some reason; I knocked on the sliding wooden door. The house was of fair size and a little bit aged, the sort of dwelling place many wealthier farmers have in the barrios.

A middle-aged man wearing no shirt on him came to meet me and opened the door. He threw a squinting look at me as if he knew that I was arriving at exactly the time that he went to open the door and that he had indeed expected me to come. “She is not here,” the man said while he held a plow in one of his soiled hands. Apparently in the dream, I was looking for a certain woman.

“It couldn’t be,” I told the man. “She should be here”.

“You are wasting your time,” the man retorted although his tone was not at all dire but a little welcoming, as if to console me for not meeting the person I was looking for. “Better yet, you just have to buy this,” the man continued as he handed me a small plastic package that contains some matter that I have no knowledge of. I examined the object that the man tried to sell to me and I said I am not interested in them and I do not have any use for it. The man said “Come on. Buy it and I’ll tell you where she is,” the man insisted as I could see his face frown from the initial setback of his sales pitch. That seems to be a good deal I had reckoned then because I had the feeling that I would even give away my house just to see that woman. Before I could ask how much the plastic object was, I saw the woman appeared through the main door of the wooden house and I was jolted suddenly. Perhaps she had noticed me so she hurried towards the back of the house by passing through a narrow passageway. All I saw was her back and her long black hair bobbing up and down as I tried to run after her. When I reached the back of the house, she wasn’t there anymore. The house was actually standing beside a flowing river with water that was brown as mud.

“She just took the boat with the boy,” the man with the plow informed me and I was a little infuriated at him for not telling me the truth of her being in the house all along.

“Who was the boy that went with him?” I asked.

“He is one among many of her companions,” the man said. “She needs more companion nowadays. At times she had three and at some other time she had seven. Nobody knows exactly but there is no moment that she is alone.”

“How can I reach her?” I asked the man again almost shouting at him.

“You have to ride the boat of course,” the man said in a hushed tone, like he was a murderer running away from his captors.

“How much for a boat,” I pleaded to him and I could feel that time was running out on me and that she might go farther and farther away that I wouldn’t be able to reach her.

“You do not have to pay,” said the man with a crazy grin now pasted on her oily dark skin. He had narrow eyes like he was a Chinese man but his skin is dark as the soil we see on the ground. He continued, “I’ll give you the boat if you agree to swim in that river”. And he pointed towards the area of the river where the water was deeper and the flow of water was continuously moving in a circling motion. As I watch the water more closely, I noticed that alligators started to appear one by one until they dotted the river to the hilt.

Since I was so desperate to find that woman, I agreed to dive into the river and the man brought out a wooden raft from where I would be jumping off. I took a very long pole and started to paddle the raft into the middle of the river. When I reached the point where the water was at its deepest, I closed my eyes and jumped into the river while some people appeared out of nowhere in order to watch me swim in that alligator-infested waters. To my amazement, none of the alligators harmed me as they proceeded to swim away from me and I could even notice some that were biting and wrestling at each other instead of going after me. I felt the coolness of the waters and as I rose from it, I felt so refreshed and invigorated like a newborn child. The middle-aged man offered me a white towel and I hurriedly dried myself. The man said, “The alligators have accepted you as a kindred soul and so therefore, you will gain now the boat that will bring you to her.” I was a little ecstatic but as I tried to board the boat, my wife suddenly appeared in that dream and called upon me. She said to me: “Do not go after that woman! There might be danger. Don’t go now! The waters have dangers!” My wife repeatedly shouted at me and I called back at her and told her in a loud voice as the boat was slowly heading towards the deeper area of the waters, that: “It is in the dream! I have to go after her! The dream said I must find her! I’ll come back soon!”

The wooden boat that the man gave me to ride upon was so large that there were wide spaces between the navigator and me. It was a motorized banca and as we threaded through the snaking contours of the river, I could hear almost nothing except the sound of the motor and the heavy silence of the forest that lies at both side of the flowing river. As we floated along, I could feel the warm breeze hitting my face as I briefly reexamined the journey I had taken just in order to find her. Was it worth it? Is she worth fighting and struggling for? What form of malady that had ensconced upon me that she had taken a clamping hold on my person; a hold so tight that I could not flee from it. Down below, I could feel the river breathing and heaving like a giant monster, carrying me through it while my mind was heavy with worry and anxiety.

The motor of the banca hummed steadily and the humming sound had calmed my early worries and I was almost lulled to sleep. Farther down the river, I soon notice from afar a cornucopia of wooden houses and the navigator said that it was the place where we were heading for. We reached the place and many had come to meet us as if once more, they knew that was I coming at exactly the right time. There was a commotion when finally I asked in a loud voice “Where is she?!!!”. Nobody answered my query but everyone was pointing at each other. I started to plead to them one by one until someone presented to me a woman whom at first I thought was the woman that I was looking for. I examined her features slowly, from head to foot, touching her hair and viewing in close range the color of the irises of her eyes. I said to them, “This is not her. This woman is an impostor! I want to see her!” Someone insisted that the woman they presented to me was really the woman I have come looking for. I stomped my feet and there was even more commotions and everyone seemed to be afraid of me and scurried towards different direction.

Finally, a group of men appeared through a wide entrance and one of them was holding a woman by the arms. My heart stopped a bit and a sudden gush of excitement came into me. I tried to meet the group of men headway but they started to turn away. “I wanted to see her,” I said to them as they tried to get away from me. I insisted in following them and they stopped suddenly, including the woman that they were clutching by the arms. As she turned around, I finally saw her face, a face that I could not forget even for a second and never had forgotten even for a single moment in the past. I had known her so well, even the contours of her face, all the angles right to the minutest of details, the very cleavage of her chin and the very shade of her teeth; even though the last time I saw her was three years ago. Tears flowed from my eyes, tears that came perhaps from so much joy upon seeing her for the first time after a very long while. But later I am to be tearful for the cause of sadness and desperation.

I said to the woman: “You have to go with me. Come with me now.”

The woman shook her head and started crying also and told me that she could not come with me. “You have to come back later,” the woman kept on telling me. “Go away now” she continued. “I could not go with you right now”.

I said “You have to come with me now for there may be no next time for us”. I pleaded to her again and again until the dream was starting to fade away. I was so aware that the dream was fading away as I was being slowly siphoned off into some form of darkness. The dream went away while I was shouting at her, pleading again and again for her to come with me. “Come with me!” were my last words to her as I saw her gradually fading away from me and then I saw her face for the very last time in that dream; ever beautiful and gentle, like a calm sea under a bleeding moon, the way that I had always remembered her.

I woke up suddenly and then soon I realized that I just had a vivid dream once more. I felt some immediate sadness upon waking up for the dream had some kind of an unfinished and gloomy ending. I wanted the dream to continue and so I tried my best to gain sleep but sleep would not come anymore. I went down and prepared myself some black tea and sipped the hot condiment beside the window and I saw the stars in the night and wondered if they are so far away that no man could ever reach them, and wondered out loud if ever I’d be seeing her again.

August 01, 2005

The Moral Safe Zone

There is an extent of devotion that men of many words today call in no flattering manner as “zealotry”. It has become a mark that men desist with utmost effort, avoiding being called a zealot by all means and at all times.

When you pray too hard and become too pious and hence trying to be righteous overeagerly, the eyes of men looks at you in stranger circumstances as if to be holy is one mortal sin and a mud in the face. Take no heed to these culprits for they know not the way to the Kingdom of the Lord.

Pray in the means and manner that you find the most convenient and expedient. It is the first step towards finding the “Moral Safe Zone”. Call upon the Lord in the churches or in the confine of your shelters and surely your spirit will be lifted out of the quagmire of doubt and faithlessness. Pray while you eat or while you are aboard a jitney—there is no difference in the eyes of the Lord for wherever you may be, He is present.

In the days of old, a scribe had once asked our Lord Jesus Christ on the subject of faith. The scribe wanted to know what are the greatest of the commandments and the Lord Jesus told him that most of all, the faithful should always remember “to love the lord God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind” and “to love thy neighbors as you love thy selves”. Easily said, the two commandments call upon us to pray and to have charity. These two commandments are the foundations of our faith, basic instructions from the Divine One that we must not fail to remember at all times. When we pray, we become strong in faith and with acts of charity, we are closer to accomplishing what Christ the Lord had advised us as to be, to be Good Samaritans to the needy around us.

When we begin to know the foundation of our faith, we could never go wayward in our path towards salvation and to the road that leads us to Eternal Life. When we are schooled and educated as to the meanings of our devotions, we are in good hands and we are safe in the company of the faithful.

Let us find our “moral safe zones” my brothers and sisters so that we may not be led astray. We must always be mindful and not be forgetful of these things that makes us stronger in spirit and lively in soul. Let us no gamble with our salvation and risk the damnation of hell. If we are told to pray, we pray at times that we apportioned in our daily lives, as we awake to a new morning and after the day’s labor. If we are told to become “Good Samaritans”, then we must strive to do our best to be always a helping hand. These burdens are light for the Lord carries us upon His shoulder and He lightens the weight of our troubles. For those who lighten the load of others, the Lord lightens their toil in return and the rewards of the Kingdom of God shall be theirs.

We live in such an imperfect world that we live mortal lives that are left fragile and unprotected against the many temptations of evil that hounds this present world that we are living in. Living the life we live is already such a burden for many of us that there are times we ask ourselves, “have I become rightful to the rewards of the Lord?”. Not a few times that we become silent in the stillness of the night thinking if we have indeed live the kind of life that the Lord had advised us to be. What are the things have I done? Have I committed them so wrongly? Shall the Lord forgive me for the many transgressions that I have committed already? What are the things that I shall do so that my faith to the Lord becomes worthy again?

As a fellow faithful, it is enough that I must tell you that we must be reminded always that the time of reckoning is near to come and that we must strive to strengthen our faith again. We must always be heedful to the call of the times. We must strive to do good deeds always and avoid evil things whenever possible. As each day passes, we must be constrained enough to evaluate the things that we do commonly. Are they of goodness or are they of sin? To be sure, not one of us could be perfect by having not to have done anything wrong---that is impossible to attain---but to be always mindful of the common things we do everyday would surely help us become nearly perfect in the eyes of the Lord. If we are not sure if the things we do is right or wrong, then we must stop for a while and ponder upon it very well.

The booby traps of our sins are all abound as we walk through our lives. We must be heedful always that we do not fall to these traps that lay hidden in the path ahead. Our sins are also like the serpents in the fields that could smell their prey many miles away. If the snakes are farther down the road, we must change our directions.

To be in the moral safe zone, we must develop a life that may not verge on zealotry, but on the other hand we go through our daily lives without committing the grievous sins that the Lord had imbibed us to dispel. Meaning, we may not be overly pious in the eyes of men, but when we live lives that are simple and without the stains of grievous transgressions, then we are closer to the Lord.

We do not steal nor murder nor commit adultery in this safe zone. As we go along the righteous path, we must only remember that we may not be overly religious and yet we go along our lives contented with the things we attain and with the purposes we are driven with. The ways of the divinity renders that patience and discipline is a wondrous virtue that whomsoever suffers now shall be redeemed in the end, that whomsoever is patient and discipline at present, his or hers is the reward of salvation when the day of reckoning shall come. In this zone, when we are not sure if the things we are about to do is right or wrong, we must always ponder upon it very well before pursuing such idea. We must always stay safe and away from the temptations of evil.

The Moral Safe Zone could also be called as “the middle way”, one that never borders on the extremes but conforms towards moderation in all things that we do. Not to become too perfect in our devotion to the Lord for that is a mission nearly impossible to attain but at the same time not to become excessively sinful by avoiding the grave sins of murder, stealing and fornication---among many other all-too-serious wrongdoings.

To attain the balance in our faith is easier if we do not become too overarching in our objectives. If zealotry instills fear and distaste in your mouth, do not easily be led astray away from the Lord for it is enough that we become faithful to Him through the observance of the “Moral Safe Zone”, the moderate life. St. James once reminded the faithful by asking: “what good does it do to you to have faith and yet you have no works?” It is not merely to have faith by prayerful devotion alone that matters but we must reflect it through our deeds, and having deeds includes leading the moderate life, aside from acts of charity and service to the community. It is good deed to lead simple lives that are not stained by evil things.

We all begin our good deeds by going through our daily lives evading evil deeds then after that, we can begin our works through devotions and acts of kindness. In this manner, we avoid becoming hypocrites where we are too pious in the eyes of men and yet in the confines of our hearts are many evil deeds and the unwillingness to help the downtrodden amongst us despite the excessive wealth in our hands.