Sometimes Life is Pain and Sacrifice

By Vic Odarve

She was one of my best math performers last year. That’s why after every school exams and quizzes, I always checked her papers first over the others. It gives me the thrill to scan over her solutions; watches the steps involved, and the way she presented her mathematical manipulations until arriving her final answer.  Except for a few cases, she always got a perfect score. So I thought that I am one of the lucky professors to have this student under my course. Her performance becomes a barometer on how effective my teaching strategy is!

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A Math Professor

That’s it. I am comfortable on her way she acted as a student taking up an engineering course…a course where some stupid ones failed to graduate because of math. In one of my visit to the university library to read some local newspaper, she requested me to have some explanation on the math solutions previously discussed in the classroom. “Okay, what part of the topic?” I told her. She opened her notes and showed the steps where she got the problems. After some explanation and discussion, she was contented. Feeling satisfied, she said, “Thank you, Sir, I understand already”, she said. Then I said,” What was the result of your last quiz?” “I got 90 % score, Sir”, she smiled. “Good, and on next quiz, you must get a perfect score”, I replied. Then she slowly walked and slipped away out of my sight. I paid little attention. She got a good score. So nothing to worry!  She may just serious enough and want to do more on her study every day.

Then, the next quiz came. Only 2 out of 54 students in a class got a perfect score. And she was one of them!

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After pain and sacrifices, life is beautiful

It was then that I gave her an attention. I noticed that during the class session, she sat at the end of the last row of the seats in a packed and overcrowded room. She listened intently and focused on my discussion. No friend, no talking even on her seatmates as if she knew none of her classmates! “She must be too shy”, I guessed.

The semester math course was about to finish. I gave a quiz before the final exam. “This would be the last quiz”, I told the students. Then what was the result? She got perfect score again! She had done it! “She is a good performing student”, I told myself.

The next meeting I returned the quiz papers/scripts. She was absent. For almost two weeks, I could no longer see her. Then I inquired her classmates what happened to this girl. To my surprise, none of her classmates knew her. She vanished and I received no word from her and her whereabouts! I was completely pushed to the wall blank!

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An African setting. My class in Math usually consists of 300-400 students.

After two weeks my phone rang. The girl informed me that she does a part-time job in an instrumentation company to support her schooling financially and thus, she failed to attend the class. I was dumbfounded and could not believe it. Lately, I also found out another student who often absent during my class lectures is also doing a part-time job in a food chain restaurant.

Sometimes we feel that life is a pain but for these two students who did sacrifices mark that they are really great. Students engaging in this task will reap in joy and bountifully. The Bible puts it,

Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” – Psalms 126:5-6 (NKJV).

So be it! Sometimes we feel life is a pain but in the end shall reap in joy.

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THE SIMPLEST WAY TO LEARN MATH

By Vic Odarve

Good mood and positive thinking! These are the basic requirements. Now join me in the simplest way to learn mathematics! It is enjoyable and fun! Follow me and let’s explore!

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Math textbooks- a legacy for the next generation of students

At classroom, you listen intently to your teacher or lecturer. Every word he speaks gathers important information. Observe how he does the steps in solving the problems or exercises. Relax. Take note and ask questions if necessary.

Then at home, it is your turn! Open your notes. Review and study the steps. Recall the reasons why he does it.

Finally, test your understanding! This is the moment! Close the notes and get an extra sheet of paper and solve by yourself. Solve it! If you fail to get the correct answer, open your notes and see where in your way you get wrong. Repeat if you get wrong! Don’t stop doing it until you get it right! It is just like playing the game of “hide and seek”. You hide the solutions of the problems in your notes and seek its answer by solving it by yourself. That’s it!

blog study math

Madonna University, Nigeria, Africa

It’s as simple as that. It is just a pleasure! Practice makes perfect as the saying goes. It holds true!
This simple technique develops a positive thinking. If the final answer is the same as your notes, it gives you confidence. And getting the correct answer raises your adrenalin to a certain level of excitement and joy. Confidence is building up!

Then go out in your study room and relax. See the world outside. It pictures well. It sounds good. You will be in a good mood as if the world is joining your excitements. Happiness for getting the correct answer! That is without seeing the solution from your notes! And you get it right! It is like medicine. It alleviates depression! It fosters positive mood!

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Outside the study room, see this beautiful Mayana ricefields.

One of my friends was doing this before our final exam. I met him outside in his house while seeing the beautiful pictures of Chocolate hills of the Philippines, famous Boracay beach, and National Pilgrimage Center of Nigeria managed by Father Edeh at Elele, River State, Nigeria. My friend was singing as if in harmony with the bird’s sweet song on the bough of the trees as sunset faded in the African sky. I told him “Why are you look so happy and smiling, my friend?” What was his answer? “I know now how to derive the famous equation of Einstein, E= mc2 by following the steps from our lecturer. I solve it by myself, without looking my notes” That was his reply. So astonishing was his reply! It caught me by surprise. Indeed, he had learned mathematics in the simplest way! And enjoyed it!

Learning mathematics is a fun-filled activity. It makes the lives of the students better and we, too, the lecturers, are enjoying! Even this simple technique is interesting! I love students come to see me with toothy smiles saying,” Sir, you make our study of mathematics in this university simple and easy. And we enjoy it”.

Why Ordinary Filipinos Love President Duterte?

By Vic Odarve

For almost three decades, the Philippines is struggling in pain over the crippling culture of corruption, illegal drug trades, and crimes that bankrupted an already poor country which appears impossible to remedy. They are very much tired of the sweet talking politicians who often promise heavens and earth for an exchange of government elected positions yet failed to perform. To many ordinary Filipinos, they are looking for a man who can give hope to leap the country to a better tomorrow. Duterte, whose unorthodox behaviour and outrageous statements are often highlighted in media forum, appeared to be their only hope to challenge and can deliver result!

     Thousands of OFW at the Dubai Airport

It is common knowledge that the country is mired by graft and corruption, illegal drug trades, and street criminals. There are rampant graft and corruptions in almost all government offices. Diversion of budgets, awarding of contracts, and various government transactions from ordinary people such as getting a medical card, passport, drivers licence, etc., take several weeks are among the few.  For several decades, the same political clans have dominated Filipino politics and businesses; worst, some of these oligarchs did not pay proper taxes amounting to significant billions of pesos. Illegal drugs are spiralling and out of control. The success of De Lima in politics and accumulation of wealth of the Espinosas in the province of Leyte were associated with the illegal drugs network.  The mayor of Ozamis city, despite the history of crime, had gained trust and admiration by the residents for sharing the loot from illegal drugs. For several decades, the elected presidents are always after popularity. They want to be seen in a good light and they don’t want to affect the relationships with the oligarchs who control the country’s economy.

    Poor neighborhood in Metro Manila

Unlike any sweet talking politicians, Duterte promises a change is definitely coming during his term. Ordinary Filipinos feel that Duterte will stand his ground when oligarchs try to influence him. That is, after a few months at Malacanang office and because of his political will, the government earned around P 6B from Lucio Tan from tax evasion, 1.7B w/o Tax from Mile Long Property, and 25B from Mighty Cigarettes.  Senator De Lima, once the most sought-after lawyers and powerful government officials, is now imprisoned for alleged involvement in illegal drugs. Several cabinet secretaries and government officers’ were fired out after found enriching themselves while holding a position. Such were the case of Peter Lavina, former National Irrigation Administration chief, Ismael Sueno, former interior secretary, and the several others. Nowadays, medical card, passport, business permits, etc., that takes several weeks before can be available within three days or less.  Enforcement agencies are more active in monitoring and in implementing rules; hence, drug lords and users are afraid of resulting to a safer environment.

Demonstrations and rallies are the same old songs as in past regimes

To many ordinary Filipinos, they are looking for a man who can give hope to leap the country to a better tomorrow. They feel that Duterte will not be swayed by the oligarchs for what is best for the Filipinos. His sincerity to fight graft and corruption rises investor confidence. People think they are now safer due to illegal drugs. Street crimes related to drugs are now reduced. Despite all the shortcomings of his unorthodox behaviour, ordinary Filipinos welcomed the development as shown by his high-performance rating. Although it provokes outrage in some quarters, most ordinary Filipinos are unfazed but love Duterte!

For several decades the past presidents have tried almost all possible strategies to improve our country but failed. Filipinos feel they have been voting for liars and cheaters and for political dynasties for too long. Because of the poor job opportunity at home, most able bodied Filipinos have to work abroad as OFW. The outrage in the American and European media over the extrajudicial killings or Duterte’s more inflammatory statements on the Catholic church about God still keep the Filipinos unfazed on their faith in his leadership. They believed that the time for a change has come. The Bible puts it;

1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 

2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 

3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 

6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 

7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 

8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV

 That is why the ordinary Filipinos love Duterte for the time to change has come.

 

 

Duterte’s Iron-fisted Rule

             By Vic Odarve

Simply, there are those who criticized and appreciated this brand of leadership. Supporters consider this style as strong and decisive leadership…an effective response to rising number of street crimes, illegal drug trade, and rampant corruptions. While on the opposite flank, critics claimed that the authoritarian rule is a recipe to a dictatorship form of governance. But whether we like it or not, historian reminds us that the iron-fisted rule has its positive as well as negative impact. So, who would like the iron-fisted rule by Duterte?

Duterte as one of the world’s strongman

Supporters of the president consider the Philippines as a sick man in Asia. This country needs to be overhauled. Graft and corruptions blanketed any government transactions, bureaucracy in most government posts, and monopoly in some of our businesses are rampant in almost all sectors of our society. Worst, politicians and some government officials are involved in drug trade. The Philippines is becoming a trans-shipment point for the global illegal drug trade, where a high number of approximately 1.8 million are drug users.  Majority of the people live in poverty coupled with a poor peace and order situation. Hence, they consider Duterte’s fisted rule style as an effective response.

People who also supported this governance are really fed up with the sweet talking politicians. They also think that the previous presidents have turned a blind eye to these problems. In a country where politicians attain a position of authority after the election, they tend to be blinded by power and intoxicated by the perks and privileges attached to the position. Typical examples are the recent issue of the diversion of P10.6 billion fund for PhilHealth intended for the benefits of senior citizens for CY 2015 to the DOH. To most senior citizens, it is a heinous act three times cruel than the Dengvaxia fiasco. It is an act that is utterly heartless and insensitive to the condition of our senior citizens. Lately, Duterte replaces PhilHealth chief mired in travel and leadership issues.  COA flagged Dela Serna for spending P627, 000 for travels and hotels in 2017 despite Phil health’s loss of P8.92 billion. In addition, there were several government heads that were fired and replaced due to ineffective in office. Hence, these citizens favor the iron-fisted rule.

              Leading oppositions

On the other hand, critics claimed that this type of leadership is killing democracy. It is a dictator in the making.The war on illegal drugs which they described as brutal has claimed lives of thousands, mostly urban-poor dwellers. The suspects were killed rather than jailed, sometimes with very little supporting evidence of their involvement in the drug trade…alleged crimes against humanity according to ICC. Allegations of planted evidence are rife so it is not surprising that there is growing concern that the war on drugs may be used as a political tool. That is what happened to Ozamis city mayor Parojinog and Leyte’s Espinosa. Then there were tax evasion cases; the Mighty cigarettes, Lucio Tan, and other oligarchs who run big businesses. Human rights, leftists, and some religious groups described Duterte as a dictator. Even the leaders of the Catholic Church joined the condemnation. They sponsor rallies decrying the death of democracy.

 With all these condemnations and rhetoric from the various critics and well supported by the opposition, one thing is clear… the president is gaining support from the people. “Except in September 2017, Pres. Duterte’s net trust rating has been excellent since he became President,” SWS said. The First Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey, conducted from March 23-27, 2018, found 70% of adult Filipinos satisfied, 17% undecided, and 14% dissatisfied.

       A picture of unbecoming a statesman

But when it comes to his behavior, people come to terms and agreement that the president lacks refinement in his attire and his manners. His English is colorful and far from cultured. He talks without carefully considering the consequences. He tends to over-talk and has a big mouth. In his visit to South Korea, he kissed an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) on the lips – a move that drew cheers from the audience but disgust from some netizens… manner which many folks don’t like.

This country has been ruled for a long time by people with their own interests at heart, not to mention pocketing government money into their own pockets. It is the failure of democracy. It is a nation broken by failed democratic policies, mismanagement, and corruption. The people have spoken, and this is their last cards. The majority have shown that iron-fisted rule offers the alternative towards the fulfillment of their aspirations for better life. It is a painful process but must be done.

Walking in the Footsteps of our Ancestral Homes

By Vic Odarve

A visit to our ancestral homes enables us to trace our roots, remind our past, and provide a thrill to learn how our great-grandparents lived in their heydays. This gives us a unique opportunity to connect our relatives and friends that for many years we have not seen face to face. It also allows us to see what have had happened to some of the places where we once considered as a playground when we were still young and carefree. Further, if this is a land of our birth, we are stepping back in time; the land where your life had started and a visit provide a thrill on how are things going on. A visit to our ancestral homes maybe a journey of our lifetime… before we travel to another universe and see our Maker.

Some are gone while others are still living.

A timely visit is usually done during fiesta celebration and reunion activities where relatives and friends are also around. This gives us a unique opportunity to connect our relatives and friends that for one reason or another, could not make a visit. Our old folks at home welcome us with big smiles, treated us like kings and queens, and huge open arms extending a mile out of their sleeves. Here, plenty of stories were told with a bottle of beer, singing and dancing, and tracing the roots from the grandparents. The best part could be listening to our grandma and grandpa reminisce about the people and events from their past. Here we learned that some of our relatives and friends are already gone while some are still living.

Mayana rice fields

A tour of our hometown also allows us to see what have had happened to some of the places filled with memories during our younger days. For most of us, we consider a visit as an awesome adventure. In our last visit, for example, we came to a path that leads off down a sloping mountain near the river where I had played with my kite before. The trees had grown up a lot in some areas and the once nicely kept rice fields were overgrown and were nearly filled with tall grass after a massive landslide happened a decade ago. It is still clear in my mind how I keep running on this mountain slope before.

As a speaker in one of the international intellectual convention.

Going back to the old trail, I can feel like walking through mists and clouds along the mountain ranges, meet all the fairies and magical creatures, and watch the birds doing orchestra along with the canopies. Thus, we remembered our good old childhood days, where we spent much time playing with our neighbors and assisting our parents in keeping our rice fields. It is sort of feeling that cannot be captured on camera and more than the old pictures hanging on the wall.It is an exhilarating feeling to walk in the footsteps of your ancestors. Sometimes a visit gives me a feeling that had I not studied in a university and became an engineer, I might still be working in the rice fields, instead of doing lectures in the fields of engineering here and abroad.

Our ancestral homes also provide us a glimpse of how things are changed where today’s technology is far more advanced. The old house standing could serve as powerful reminders for the current and future generations about how life once was, back in the days when smartphones, videokes, and other gadgets were all still unheard of.

There really is no place like home. Our ancestral home reminds me the place and events where I come from; the land of my birth, and with all its diversity, the good and the bad, I would like to go there first over anywhere else in the world.

The Challenges That a Senior Citizen are Facing

By  Vic Odarve

Physically and mentally slowing down, health problems, and financial woes describe the inner world of a senior citizen. Grey haired, slightly stooped, and memory lapses indicate physical and mental slowing down. Swelling and pain in joints, medication maintenance, and body aches and pains are the common health problems. Above all, it is the financial problem that gives the senior citizens a gruesome picture that troubled them most. Except on untimely demise, no matter who we are — man, woman, rich or poor — we all grow old and become a senior citizen.

Moment with grandchildren

Physical and mental activities appear to slow down upon entering the portals of being a senior citizen at age 60. Some seniors wanted to do same activities done during their heydays but could not do it anymore. Physical and mental faculties seem to slow down. As we age, doing some normal physical work becomes too difficult. We could see and feel the restrictions of our movements and affects our body as a whole. The bones get weak, eyes don’t see clearly. For instance, playing tennis, basketball, and even dancing seems to lose their excitement because of physical constraints. The world seems to be slowing down.

Swelling and pain in joints, maintaining a medication, and various aches and pains are common of the health problems. Most seniors experience more aches and pains that didn’t use to be there before.  Diseases that include genetic disorders and chronic conditions linked to old age began to appear. There are also diseases like osteoporosis, muscular degeneration, and cataracts that threaten the life of an individual and also affect functioning capabilities. As we grow older, it seems that our brain gets old along with the rest of our body. That is why memory lapses are common among seniors.

Above all, it is the financial problems that give the elderly persons a gruesome picture that troubled them most. The financial status often determines the quality of life the elderly persons have. Those without pensions from the government will be greatly affected when it comes to cash flow needed for medication. Medication eats up way too much of the monthly budget. If your savings is not enough, a major illness can wipe your savings in a flash of time.

Senior citizens enjoy a free cinema movie given by one of the malls in Davao city

Unknown to the many seniors the effect of aging can be slowed down by keeping healthy. Making healthy lifestyle choices, like quitting smoking and losing weight, exercising, and eating a healthful diet will help them disease free. Having a body mass index less than 25 will also lower the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Enjoy life with your loved ones, spend more time to travel, visit, and attend get together parties/reunions will slow down the aging process.  Changing lifestyle for a better!

Although we heard of seniors as an age of golden years, those living in them often do not see much gold. However, somebody is willing to help you to find that treasure!

“Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years, I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you, And I will bear you and I will deliver you.” Isaiah 46:4

Except on untimely demise, whether we like it or not, we all grow old. We all become seniors and face these challenges.

No Cheating,Please!

                    By Vic Odarve

His head seems to turn at 360 degrees, eyes wandering a mile from his own paper, and scribbled mnemonics/writings on his hands or crib sheets hidden somewhere on the body before entering the examination rooms. This is truly an act of cheating during quizzes and examinations … a headache to all college and university professors! No cheating, please!

An institution with a strong Christian foundation

Like a player on the basketball court, the student turns his head looking for an opening where he could copy for any answers for the exam. When the watcher/proctor attention is on the other students he quickly twisted his head for the opportunity. With a sort of connivance /understanding from his neighbors, he can receive a piece of papers containing exam answers/information. But when caught by the watchers, he had plenty of alibis/allegation for why he does so despite that there can be serious consequences to cheating if caught.

But there are students do not twist their heads; instead, keep their eyes staring at the other sheets from their neighbors. Like a hovering eagle, their eyes are sharp and moving like a drone. Still, other students are looking at the wall or eyes on the ceiling appearing to recall something. Because students have nothing to write they are eyeing their neighbor’s answers. By all indications, these are cheating.

Majority of the students employed the old methods of cheating. Scribbled mnemonics/writings on her hands or crib sheets hidden somewhere on the body before entering the examination rooms are prevalent. These handwritings appear to contain a cryptic message that they themselves could only understand and interpret. Moreover, these writings are somewhat invisible unless you’re very, very close.

Observing how students behave during an examination

Lately, we found that some students are ‘extremely inventive’, with the use of their mobile /smartphones devices, and different types of electronics to help them prosper. These devices have memory cards that can store formulas, charts, and solutions. But, at any rate, these can be easily checked and usually not allowed during the exams.

Almost all schools do not relax and always reminding their students that there can be serious consequences to cheating if caught. Some universities even took an extra measure to ensure that no cheating would occur during the exam. They used a drone to supervise the students during the exam; while others employed various cameras placed inside the exam hall to capture every movement of the students even when they whispered to each other.

Learning a lot from an African university on how their examinations are carried out.

Whether cheating is resorted to because of the pressure to pass the exams and too much to memorize for the coverage to study, it still a venture not pleasing to our Creator. The first chapter of Malachi says God was disappointed in the priests because they were cheating on their job. God goes on to tell the cheating priests, “My name shall be great among the nations. But you dishonor it, saying that my altar is not important, and encouraging people to bring cheap, sick animals to offer to me on it.” Malachi 1:6-14

Whatever the forms of cheating that one may be involved, be it in the classroom or in the government offices, it is not pleasing to the eyes of the Creator.

This practice — along with our country’s all-pervasive culture of corruption — have been largely blamed for the cheating practices. Even the Supreme Court justices, the pillars of right and wrong, is not spared from this cheating by not paying proper taxes and not declaring their true Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SAL).

For my students, no cheating, please!

Being With Mother Nature is Relaxing

              BY Vic Odarve

Everyone knows why spending time with our Mother Nature is beneficial – it can reduce stress levels, rejuvenate mind and body, and be more productive. Thus, we can relax and feel the earth rotating its axis!

A math class of 345 students requires patience and preparation in one of the African university

Nature is a great reducer on our stress levels arising from the stressors of daily city life…traffic, financial woes, and life events that pound us down — like a death, family tragedy, natural disaster, etc. These events are out of our control and can cause tremendous struggle and pain for a period of time. But God, the creator of heaven and earth, endowed us the works of thy hands…the great Mother Nature where a simple visit and meditation for a moment gives us the feeling of bliss that will unplug the burden in our mind and body from performing our repetitive tasks. It really helps unwind upon seeing the beautiful sceneries that beholden our eyes… pristine rivers and lakes, beaches, mountains, birds and wild animals! By appreciating the works of thy great hands and relaxing our mind and body it lowers stress hormone levels.

Moreover, spending time with nature will rejuvenate our mind and body. Since our body is at rest, it gives our brain the downtime it needs to recharge- something more easily achieved in nature’s serene environment. Research showed that the fresh air we breathe improves blood pressure and act as a natural antidepressant by increasing the release and metabolism of serotonin in parts of the brain that control cognitive function and mood. Thus a feeling of rejuvenation…relieving the stressors that look like a buffalo pulling at our back in our daily activities!

An awesome and majestic Mayana ricefields scenery

It is surprising for us to know that the connections with our Mother Nature will keep us more productive, live longer, and keep us healthy. Studies showed that when people reported for work after spending some time in nature from vacation, they return with more creativity and are able to deal the problems about the family and the daily work effectively.

Living on this planet is beautiful but when we are involved in activities that feel like we are struggling in pain, it is wise to give some ample time to unwind with our Mother Nature. It is free of charge. The psalmist and the prophets invite us to spend some time with Nature. The Bible puts it,

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12.

No wonder that spending time with the Great Nature is relaxing. Visit and relax, please!

 

Visit Your Old Folks …Please!

By Vic Odarve

Few people learned that a visit to our old aged parents will keep the elderly physically young, emotionally happy, and create new memories in our lifetime.

Years ago we visited them. Now, they are gone.

If we are living in a far-flung area or across the continent it is wise to visit our elderly at least once a year.  A visit may give a chance to evaluate their health and well – being. You can check your loved ones if they need the extra help of medications as well as finances. In this way we know their physical well-being, making sure that nothing has changed since your last visit.

A visit to our elderly at home also keeps them emotionally happy. Your physical presence is something else engaging and more satisfying than mere words and greeting cards can offer. This is a valuable reminder that you love and thinking of them even you are living far away. This makes them smile more than words can tell. A visit will remind them that you love them before they left on this planet. Your presence and the presence of your children bring light and life into their home and dispels their loneliness. Obviously, a feeling of contentment and the boost of the sensation of joy they get from the visit keep them emotionally happy.

During our heydays. Today, some are living, others are gone.

Most of our old folks live alone since most of the children have all grown-ups, moved out, and have their own families. Thus, some may have experienced depression which is detrimental to their health. A visit can make them feel less lonely and can ward off any depression, social isolation or stress. During our visit, our grandparents sometimes retold old stories about their life and favorite photographs during their heydays. Family history and genealogy of your grandparents and ancestors and the real-life stories and experiences are also often told to the children. These connections brought forth a lot of happy times for both of us and our old aged parents. A sweet and refreshing memory!

Though a visit for our parents in their old age can be seen as burdens and is not an obligation that the youngest generations tried to point out, these youngsters are quick to forget the sacrifices their parents made while they are on their fold. They do not know that their presence keeps the elderly feeling young, makes them happy, and create memories.

Fun and get together during their heydays

Regular visits help maintain existing connections…emotionally, mentally and physically, something more precious than gold. Your visit will brighten their day and yours.  The Bible puts it;

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12

Who knows? Your visit may be the last magical moments you got in touch with your elderly parents because one day before you know it, your grandparents or parents are gone.

Religion and Salvation

                  By Vic Odarve

Nearly almost all religious leaders in all eras of history claimed that by following their religion would mean your salvation. That is why followers have advised their adherence to their rites and customs that go along with their teachings, inculcate a strong belief that their denominations profess to be “the only true way to God, and build to believe that outside the flock has no salvation. Thus, whether the holy books have been twisted, misinterpreted, and perverted the real message, they have one thing in common; their own denomination would save their soul and lead to the eternal life.

Salvation and mathematics must be taught in school

As always in our observations, these religious rituals and customs develop the lives of the followers’ greater depth of understanding and direction toward spiritual perfection. And since we have various denominations around the globe, each group differs on their own beliefs and practices. With these practices, it is believed that followers understand the ultimate purpose of life. With the greater understanding of what they live for, significant numbers of followers embraced their religious teachings. Thus, customs and rituals become the significant features of religion and on salvation.

With the latest trends of teachings around the globe, religious leaders often inculcate to their followers the strong belief that their denominations profess to be “the only true way to God”. They lead the flocks to believe that their salvation is being sourced from heavenly teachings with all sorts of heavenly grace. This belief gives rise to a follower with extreme behavior or extremists, irrespective of religions… Hinduism, New Age, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. Today, these extremists vowed to fight people that do not belong to their group. Worse, they often have a belief that killing people who opposed their religion is a statement of their martyrdom. But we must think it over that with many religions around the world, they can’t all be right, and more likely the only one serves God.

Jagna Cathedral, Jagna, Bohol

What is ironic is that almost all of them claimed that outside their own religion, there is no salvation. They have on their minds that God favors their denomination over the others. What is more intriguing is that each of these religions has sects with differing beliefs and wants to save during the judgment day. Protestant and Islam religions, for instance, take in different denominations claiming to be the genuine followers of their God. Because of these differences, religious wars break out. Nowadays, in the Middle East, Islam religion is fighting with each other due to misconceptions of the teaching from their holy book. Each one claimed to be the favored ones.

Whatever the beliefs and differences might be brought about by these different religions, one matter is clear; that, that everyone must serve their Lord, your Lord, and my Lord. It is a matter of being one with your Lord and Saviour, the Maker and Redeemer of all matters.  There are good people in all sorts of religions, and it is a matter of being one with whom you believe your God and Saviour by following the true teachings of the holy book.

This beautiful scenery is the work of thy hands

There are complexities along the interpretations and understanding of the word of God breeding confusion among the people. The books of God can be interpreted either directly or indirectly by the different religions and may still result in salvation. Just like in mathematics, there are many methods in finding the roots of an equation, but draw different steps to draw the similar answer. God’s infinite wisdom cannot be fully understood by mankind that like mathematics, different religious beliefs may end with the same result…salvation to the believers. Bible verses explain to us by the Apostle John.

John says (2:24) that Jesus “knew all men,” and then adds (2:25), “and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.” 

 Romans 10:9-13.

 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Today, we live in a society that has many cultures and many religions and denominations, and we are to treat each with respect. It is good to be tolerant, but that does not mean that we have to agree with everyone in their religious belief.Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10.

Then, can religion save us? The belief is ours when it is the time to meet the One sitting on the throne.