To say that I had an awesome weekend is an understatement.
Being part of a chorale + mass choir + Open Mic Night opening production number + SELAH worship band, our preparations for the World Singles’ Congress 2014 started a few weeks back. My schedule was crazy. School in the morning, work in the afternoon, singing/practice every single night, a little bit of house chores in between. I barely had time for anything else (like eating or getting my nails done)!
Aside from giving all of my time for it, I also gave all of my money for it – literally every single penny I had was dedicated to pay for: accommodation fee, transportation fee, my fare to and from practice (I also had to take cabs a few times for the last 2 weeks because we went home so late already), all the eating out and stuff. To top it all of, we were required to buy a few pieces of “coordinated” clothing for our production numbers, so that cost me a lot, too. I was so broke. (Side kwento: you all know what I/my family had gone through. We are just starting to recover financially from our loss, so having to pay for so much is a huge thing for me).
So, two nights before the conference, I had this emotional moment. This is different from all the other emotional moments (that I undergo almost every day; sometimes twice or thrice a day). I cried and cried and cried and cried – because of a sheer, long-sleeve, mustard yellow top. I badly needed it at that time, but I did not have the means to buy it. I felt so hopeless and helpless of my situation. I did not want to spend so much just for a top, did not want to ask for money from my parents so as not to burden them (more than I am already bothering them), but I did not want to wear something that our wardrobe coach did not approve of. So I just cried and cried because I did not know what else to do.
To cut the long story short, my mom had no choice but to buy me the top (thanks, Mom!). I was able to go to the conference. I was able to sing during the production number wearing that sheer, long-sleeve, yellow top. But it wasn’t that simple. Nothing is ever that simple with God. During that number, a few of our brothers and sisters from Singles for Family and Life Tacloban went up on stage with lit candles. They did not pay for anything just to get there. Few kind-hearted people paid P4,000 each for their food, accommodation, air fare and other transportation and conference shirt. We had the chance to really talk to them back stage, joke around and laughed a lot. We prayed together just before the production number. A guy even told me, “Ate, mukha kang kinakabahan. Relax ka lang!”
We all know what Tacloban went through last November 2013 (Super Typhoon Yolanda reference). But seeing them there, joking around, laughing a lot, smiling all the time like nothing happened; their presence there made my crying-over-a-top moment seem like a very, very shallow moment. Kuko lang ng hinliliit ‘yung problema ko kumpara sa pinagdaanan nila; marahil dumi lang ng kuko, pero kung maka-iyak ako, ang OA. Surely they have lost a lot more than the money we may have lost. Some lost people dear to them and will never get them back while my dad only lost his ability to walk only for a few months, but regained it.
That number is a reminder that nothing is impossible with God. He made everything happen. They lit their candles as a sign of hope for Tacloban (they had been very vocal about their desire and mission to rebuild Tacloban), a sign of thank you for all those who helped them during the time of their great weakness, and the ultimate sign of love.
To cap off my weekend, I went to mass with my family last night. Just after the priest gave his final blessing, he said, “Go and tell everyone of God’s providence.” The message couldn’t have been more clear. I get by every day because of God’s grace. I am here because of God’s providence.
PS: Photos soon!