Ego

Ego

Feeling wronged does not give,

You a reason to point out,

Everyone’s flaws,

Saying, “I am great, you ain’t.”

A delusion it is, opposing,

your very core,

Human you are solely,

So negate complexes of superiority,

Instead, let go and make peace,

Thinking outside yourself,

could have,

Made you a better being,

Instead of screaming hatred,

Look at those who suffer and give.

The Hierarchic Existence of Society

The Bread of Salt by N.V.M. Gonzales  

            The  Bread of Salt is an enlightening short story written by Nestor Vicente Madali Gonzales, a Filipino National Artist. The story revolves around the narrator, a young boy who learns about the realistic prevalence of social classes in a hard way. In short, it is a story that represents the boy’s innocent infatuation and his epiphany from his encounters regarding the ideals of his own society.

            From the start of the story, you can already see the presence of the detachment between the two classes—the rich and the poor. The boy is the grandson of a former coconut plantation overseer while Aida was the niece of their Spanish employer. “I often wondered whether I was being depended upon to spend the years ahead in the service of this great house. One day I learned that Aida, a classmate in high school, was the old Spaniard’s niece.” This already created a wall due to their separate class relations.

            However, he seems oblivious of this fact as he daydreams of a possible reality in which Aida will express her equal longing for him—right after he finds a job, buy a box of linen stationary, writes a love letter, and buy her a brooch as a token of his love for her. “At night when the house was quiet I would fill the sheets with words that would tell Aida how much l adored her. One of these mornings, perhaps before school closed for the holidays, I would borrow her algebra book and there, upon a good pageful of equations, there l would slip my message, tenderly pressing the leaves of the book.”

He has created a plan in order to acquire Aida’s love and he believed that is by changing himself and being capable of providing or buying her things. This already creates a disillusion given that 1) He is not rich enough to desire or acquire expensive things, 2) He believes that he needs to use material things and social status to gain Aida’s loving approval, and 3) He can never change the division between their classes through enacting this mentality. This fallacy was shown in his effective desire to be good in his academics, musicals, and work. He has this nagging belief that in order to be adequate for her he has to be very accomplished. Hence, this becomes a struggle for his own identity.

            There were several factors in which his indigency shows: the fact that he aspires to have more money along with his present lineage. Another scene that I noticed this judgement was when he was looking at the brooch he plans to buy. The owners in effect looked pissed given that he is still a child, “I searched the downtown shops. The Chinese clerks, seeing me so young, were annoyed when I inquired about prices.”

However, I ponder whether the reason that the Chinese clerks were agitated at him was due to seeming poor—he was dark-skinned, puny, and Filipino, thus, he is incapable of buying expensive commodities.

            Another event that distinguished his class was when he decided to be a musician.

Most musicians at that time were not seen as prominent in this country. Instead, they are seen as employees—an inexpensive means of entertainment. As his Aunt comments, “What do you want to be a musician for? At parties, musicians always eat last.” There is also a presence of hierarchy from within his family. I noticed that the grandmother dictates as she demanded the boy to give her his earnings. She is the head of their family and she enacts the role of a capitalist as she takes the hard-earned money of the boy as rightfully hers. I would also like to comment on his change of status when he was not given the responsibility to buy and fetch the morning pandesals anymore. It seems to be reinstated that when he started working, his class or worth went higher from within the family.

            There were two symbols that I noticed in the story. The first one was pan-de-sal. While the boy was giving out a distinct description of the bread, I pondered on the metaphorical similarity between the bread and him. The bread was dark-skinned and little, “nut-brown and the size of my little fist.” Was it possible to be a reflective indication? “I could feel my body glow in the sun as though it had been instantly cast in bronze.” For me, the pandesal could be a possible symbolism of his category as a Filipino. The other eventful symbol that called attention to me was his getting a violin. Violin can be a status symbol of being rich in the Philippines and his acquiring one can be an expression of the desire to be a part of the bourgeoisie. For me, it is his symbol of aspiration—on becoming someone better (in his point of view, that is), richer, and accepted by both the society and Aida.

            As much as the boy tried his best in becoming a part of the higher class, he was unsuccessful. This becomes the turning point of the story as he gained the realization that Aida did not see him in a romantic way. This happened when she caught him sneaking food and offered to give him more after the party, “If you wait a little while till they’ve gone, I’ll wrap up a big package for you,” she added. This was the part in which he realized the difference between their classes—Aida’s remark displays charity and concern as he behaved in an uncivil way by stealing food from the party. “I could not quite believe that she had seen me, and yet l was sure that she knew what I had done, and I felt all ardor for her gone from me entirely.” This shattered his fantasy of being with Aida as he cowers, mortified, from his own actions. “I walked away to the nearest door, praying that the damask curtains might hide me in my shame.” The story ends with him leaving the party, greatly disappointed upon the realization of the invisible barrier between him and Aida. He returns to his own bitter reality as he walks towards the bakery.

In the last part, to reiterate, the writer’s message, he uses his own earnings to buy his personified comfort food: pandesal for a meal.

Story Review: The Bread of Salt by N.V.M. Gonzalez | The Short ...

Note: Written on March 2017

You can read the short story from this link: http://malacanang.gov.ph/75494-the-bread-of-salt-by-nvm-gonzalez/

Modernism over Colonialism

Ananta Pramoedya Toer’s “This Earth of Mankind”

            “This Earth of Mankind” is a story that speaks of the conflict between modernism and colonialism amongst the Dutch and Indonesian relations. A story consisting of  both the rapid change and the stagnant ideals of the characters, it is a story that conflicts on the issues of power: gender, sex, and humanitarian rights between the Natives and their Colonizers. The protagonist, Minke, becomes the narrator of this inequality as he becomes a victim of an unjust constitution that favors the Dutch over the Natives. He becomes a vigorous character as he notices not only the faults of his oppressors but also the ineffective demeanor of his own people, including himself. “I am sure that everyone will know how I felt at that moment: angry, furious, annoyed, but not knowing what I had to do. In such matters I was still a snotty-nosed little boy” (328). In the end, even with his integrity in writing, noble Javanese ancestry, and adequate education he was powerless over the Dutch just like the rest of the Natives.

            In the first part of the novel, Minke admires the Europeans and Americans. There is the notable education, machinery, zincography, and the many latest discoveries that they have to offer him. He is in awe of the technologies and other conveniences that are being created for the humanity. Here, he ponders on the meaning of what it means to be modern. “Modern! How quickly that word had surged forward and multiplied itself like bacteria throughout the world. (At least, that is what people are saying) So allow me also to use this word, though I still don’t fully understand its meaning” (18). This excerpt shows the naïvety of the protagonist as he has yet to understand that these benefits have their drastic drawbacks: that the colonizers offer these commodities in exchange of taking over them, getting more capital, and acquiring power.

            This favourable tendency of Minke towards the Europeans instantly changes upon his meeting the Native Nyai Ontosoroh and her beautiful half-breed daughter Annalies Mellema. From here, his change of perception evolves into a tripartite perspective: The Natives, The Dutch, and himself as an individual who depends on both parties. He began to have a change of understanding on gender as he observes the superiority of the Nyai. “She was amazing this nyai: The people and everything around her were indeed in her grip, and I, myself, too. From what school had she graduated that she appeared so educated, intelligent? And she was able to look to the needs of several people at once, with a different manner for each” (49). Minke observes the magnificence of Nyai Ontosoroh as her demeanor contrasts her identity as a female Native concubine. She debunks his ideology that women, especially Native women, are illiterate and dependent.

As Niekerk observes, To some extent, the novel develops its own vision of gender, tries to conceive of the role of women in society differently, and eventually seeks to translate its findings into an ideology” (86). Nyai becomes an antithesis of such weakness as she does her best to overcome Dutch Indonesian’s system of discrimination and inequality through her hard work, grace, and intellect. Modernity becomes imminent in this part of the story as Minke’s ideals change into a more feminist approach. “I could not restrain my curiosity to know who this extraordinary Nyai Ontosoroh really was” (74). Nyai’s distinctive characteristic even stimulated him to write about such a phenomena in his newspaper article work.

However, contrasting the ideals of her own actions, Nyai Ontosoroh refuses to let go of her identity as a concubine and a slave believing that it is for her own betterment to accept her place in the society. “The wounds to my pride and self-respect still haven’t healed. If I remember how I was so humiliatingly sold . . . In this, let me be the only victim; I’ve already accepted my fate as a slave” (94). Nyai Ontosoroh, tries her best to defy the society’s negative label towards her yet she also fails to perceive herself as a person who is worthy of everyone’s respect and acknowledgement. She becomes an example of modernity’s ineffectiveness towards colonialism. Niekerk asserts, “Eventually the reality of being the property of a colonialist, of being primarily a sexual object, will catch up with her” (84). Her own sense of modernism did not guide her to strongly reinforce herself against the colonialist’s power of labeling her as a concubine.

Religion will always play a big factor on one’s strong sense of idealism. It is one’s faith, one’s belief on how things should be done, as dictated by a higher calling or God. Therefore, most deem that it is one’s main duty to follow this. Modernity can become a futile thing besides such a belief. A scene that I found most appalling in this novel was the scene when Herman Mellema’s legitimate son Maurits Mellema confronted his father with harsh criticisms about his preferred life in Indonesia:

  “Even if you married this nyai, this concubine, in a legal marriage, she is still not Christian, you, sir, are still more rotten than Amelia-Mellema-Hammers, more rotten than all the rottenness you accused my mother of. You, sir, have committed a blood sin, a crime against blood! Mixing Christian European blood with colored, Native, unbeliever’s blood! A sin never to be forgiven!” (99).

Herman Mellema’s reaction to this accusation towards him was to become stupefied, speechless, and numb. Defenseless to his son’s insults, he followed after him, and left Nyai’s home. After this scene, he withdrew himself away from Nyai, who in his eyes is now a reminder of his shame of being unacceptable and wrong. Because of this scene, I believe that one’s religion can become a contradiction to one’s sense of modernity or ability to change one’s perspective. Herman Mellema was unable to change his views about the nyai as she is never considered pure in his own religion. This powerful belief was harshly reinstated to him by his oldest legitimate son.

The unprejudiced law becomes another barrier of modernism in the novel given that the laws were made out of greed, solely benefitting the colonizers. During the ending, the novel bends towards an agonizing twist, as Maurits continues to haunt Nyai, claiming his ownership over her property after Herman Mellema’s death. Given that he is of pure European blood, unlike the Indo Native Nyai Ontoseroh, the Dutch government resided all of the possessions to him. During the hearing Nyai fought not only for the ownership of her land but also for her ownership to her only daughter, Annalies. Nyai refutes the Dutch with her sentimental but accurate argument:

 “Nobody ever challenged my relationship with Herman Mellema. Why? For the simple reason he was a Pure-Blooded European. But now people are trying to make an issue of Mr. Minke’s relationship with Annelies. Why? Only because Mr. Minke is a Native? Why then isn’t something said about the parents of all Indos? Between Mr. Mellema and me there were only the ties of slavery and they were never challenged by the law. Between Mr. Minke and my daughter there is a mutual and pure love…. Europeans are able to purchase Native women just as I was purchased. Are such purchases truer than pure love? If Europeans can act in these ways because of their superior wealth and power, why is it that a Native must become the target of scorn and insults because of pure love?” (287).

However, her arguments became futile for several reasons: She is a female native concubine asking the seats of Dutch power to change their laws for the sake of equality. The Colonial Power shows its dominance to the Natives by silencing them with threats. This was also shown in the novel. “We’ve been defeated, Mama,” I whispered. “We fought back, child, Nyo, as well and honorably as possible” (359). Colonialism and its law wins over righteousness. Modernity becomes pointless in this perspective.

However, in the end of the novel, Minke has revolted against the Europeans. This is unlike the former Minke who once admired the Europeans with innate excessiveness:

“Is this how weak a Native is in the face of Europeans? Europe, you, my teacher, is this the manner of your deeds? So that even my wife, who knows so little about you, lost all belief in her… This Earth of Mankind little world—a world incapable of providing security even for her. Just one person” (358-359).

            Because of this understanding, a recognition of liberty appears before the future of the Native Indonesians. Minke’s renewed sense of nationalism becomes heightened due to the inequality that he went through. The succeeding sequel of this novel emphasizes on revolutionary ideas and motives. Colonialism, only then, becomes a fragile idealism, as people with strong character and reason voices out the many wrongs of Colonialism towards the entire wronged population. This becomes the efficiency of modernity. “…modernity is the result of a process of modernization” (81). Modernity  becomes a new way of thinking towards independence.

This Earth of Mankind by Pramoedya Ananta Toer - Reading Guide ...
This Earth of Mankind

Note: Written on July 2017

A Letter to Ki no Tsurayuki

Dear Tsurayuki,

I wonder what it’s like to be like you, an author, a poet, and a courtier of the Heian period in Japan. I always wonder what it’s like to be like you—still famous after more than a thousand years because of your literary works. To be honest, I want to be like you, and I want to learn from your craft. How can my works last as long as yours? How can my works be inspiring like yours? How can I express my thoughts as well as you? Oh well, I wish that I can develop my writing voice the way that you were able to.

Envy is not the word I feel towards you. In contrast, I admire your capacities for being such a literary genius. You are a poet of waka, short poems composed in Japanese, it is now included as one of the most important Japanese poetry anthologies. Did you know? You are admired by many people! You are quite famous for being the compiler of the Kokin Wakash–known as the first imperially-sponsored anthology and for being the possible author of the Tosa Diary. Did you really wrote that Diary? Please tell me if you did. Dozo! (Please in Japanse) I will not tell a living soul if you do so.

            I have already actually read Japanese poetry and each of them gave me a resonant emotion filled with natural imagery and spiritual meaning. I will now give you an account of my favourite ones with my own recollections if you do not mind.

            Your poetry about Spring was lovely, it said that it was composed on the first day of spring: “sode Fidite/musubisi mizu no/koForeru wo/Faru tatu keFu no/kaze ya tokuran” or “Once I wet my sleeves/Scooping water/It’s frozen now/On this first day of spring,/Will the wind melt it, I wonder?” (KKS I: 2). It seems to me that your poem is more than just about the arrival of spring. For me, it has a metaphorical view, that it speaks of new beginnings as you question the upcoming change of the elements through time. Change, yes, that is what pops in my mind upon reading this poetry of yours. Time comes to my mind as well, and how each passing season creates a different story.

Michel Lara on Twitter: "Ki no Tsurayuki (872-945) was a Japanese ...

            The Japanese poetry about summer all seemed sorrowful to me. One poetry in particular made me reflect on my observation: “natu yama ni/naku Fototogisu/kokoro araba/mono’omoFu ware ni/kowe nakikaseso” or “In these summer mountains,/Oh, singing cuckoo,/Take pity on me-/So melancholy-/And shut up!” (KKS III: 145). At first, to be honest, I was confused as to why the cuckoo was mentioned in almost all of the summer poems. It just became clear to me when I found out that the cuckoo was a Japanese symbol associated with the coming of the summer months. I also learned that it is associated with the longing of the spirits of the dead to return to their loved ones. This is when I understand why I felt the mourning, longing, and melancholy in this summer passage, “Take pity on me/So melancholy” was a line that made me imagine on being alone on a summer mountain as I await for a lover who will never come back. Oh, how desolating!

            For the Autumn poetry I noticed the theme of maidenflowers and hunting. Animals such as the goose, deer, and stag became imminent as I read selected passages.“akiFagi wo/sigaramiFusete/naku sika no/me ni Fa miezute/woto no sayakesa” or “In Autumn bush clover/Entangled and trampling,/The bugling stag/Is out of sight;/How clear the sound, though.” (KKS IV: 217). I understand that Autumn is the season for hunting. To be frank, I am a vegetarian, and this poem made me feel disturbed, if not depressed. However, I choose this poem for its precise imagery captures the horror of a helpless creature in captivity.

            Winter, ah winter! I always wanted to know what winter feels like as I have never experienced it myself. As I read aloud several passages, I found the poetry by Minamoto no Muneyuki, it is the one that appeals most to my imaginary senses: “yamazato Fa/Fuyu zo sabisisa/Masarikeru/Fitome mo kusa mo/karenu to omoFeba” or “In a mountain home/Winter is when loneliness/Overwhelms me;/The bustle of/folk and the grasses, too,/Have withered away, I feel.” (KKS VI: 315). This one was particularly composed as a Winter poem, and it gives out the essence of everything slowing down. It seems like a Eulogy as one says its good bye to the bustle of life and natural pleasures such as plants. It is a time of partings, a time of saying farewells to some good things. For me, the poem also alludes the temporal elements in this world.

            The poems for Felicitations I find very lively and expressive. Each speaks of boundless time or prolonged years as they praise someone who is worthy of such lasting devotion. I choose this poem because it speaks of good wishes and eternal life. It gives out a positive vibe.“wata tu umi no/Fama no masago wo/kazoFetutu/kimi ga ti tose no/arigazu ni semu” or “By the great sea’s/Shore, grains of sand/I tally constantly./May my Lord a thousand years/Live for each and every one!” (KKS VII: 344).

            The poems for Partings all spoke of arduous and indecisive emotions linked to being separated from a beloved. My favorite Parting Kokinshu is this one: “Kagirinaki/kumowi no yoso ni/wakaru to mo/Fito wo kokoro ni/wokurasamu ya Fa” or “Beyond beyond,/The clouds’ far side/May part us, yet/Within my heart,/Shall I carry you?” (KKS VIII: 367). It sounded bittersweet as the speaker suffers from the parting while pondering the effectiveness of bringing the memory of the beloved. This, I found beautiful and melancholic.        

The poems about Travel were all colourful and exciting as I envisioned the experiences of the authors. However, my favourite is the one by Ariwara no Narihira, as he writes about his encounter with the capital bird in Sumira River as he asks a question about what matters to him: “na ni si oFaba/iza koto toFamu/miyakodori/wa ga omoFu Fito Fa/ari ya nasi ya to” or “If your name fits you,/There’s something I would ask,/O, Capital bird:/Is the lady in my thoughts/Still quite safe?” (KKS IX: 411).

Ki no Tsurayuki Poems > My poetic side

The poems for Love are my favourite. Ah love. Why is it so beautifully burdening? Why does some find it renewing and destructing at the same time? I was able to see this sense of contradiction in this poem: “ture mo naki/Fito wo ya netaku/siratuyu no/oku to Fa nageki/nu to Fa sinobamu” or “For a cold and heartless/Love, should I long:/With the white dew/Fall arising with a sigh,/Lying down to sleep with her in my thoughts?” (KKS XI: 486). This is evocative poetry as it brings strong imagery and memory to me.

The poems about Laments were full of grief, sadness, and sorrow. The one that gripped me the most was written by you, Tsurayuki. They said you wrote it when someone you knew well died. ‘‘Tis but a dream,’/I should say; yet/In the world of men/There is reality/I feel.” (KKS XVI: 834). I almost cried upon reading this because it brings me back to the time when a beloved passed away. It does indeed feel unreal when faced with the tragedy of such a great loss. This is one of your best works. You really are an amazing poet.

Michel Lara on Twitter: "In this evocative poem, the unseen ...

~ End

Ki no Tsurayuki was a poet as well as a prose writer, well versed in Chinese. He was the chief compiler of the first Anthology of Japanese poetry Kokinshu (905), and the writer of its preface. The Kokinshu consisted of approximately 1,111 poems.

Sa Aking Panalangin

A Concept of what it means to be a Filipino…

              For my great Southeast Asian novel, I choose Philippines as my designated country. I want to write about my own country through the lenses of the Filipinos who are struggling with poverty, crime, and injustice. I hope to exhibit these problems in a way that is profound yet ambivalent at the same time. I will immerse the characters of my novel into dealing with the realization that it is only within themselves that they can start changing. I also want to show the behaviors of Filipinos that currently affects the country in a positive and a negative way.

              The title of my novel is Sa aking panalangin”  It is translated as “In my prayers” in English. I selected this religious phrase given that religion is a huge aspect for most Filipinos. The title becomes an argument throughout the story given that the characters would choose to pray for their own problems to go away instead of finding a solution for it themselves. The problem was always directed towards an external cause.

                The main protagonist is  Mahal, a young woman of nineteen who deals with poverty, discontentment, and unachievable dreams. She aims to change her nationality. She hates that she is a Filipino for she believes that it hinders her success. “Kung sana lang ako ay pinanganak sa Amerika o kahit sa Japan. Mas maganda sana ang aking kinabukasan. Kahit saan mas mabuti na, basta hindi dito.” The novel tells the life story of the protagonist and yet it is mainly congruent to the state of the Philippines as it reflects on its inability to change and improve for the better.

             The first chapter talks about the protagonist Mahal. She was named Mahal or ‘expensive’ by her parents because she was born in a hospital, an costly unavoidable situation given that she was born a premature. She grew up usually hearing her parents complain, “Puros gastos ka na lang simula nung pinanganak ka….” Growing up, she recounts the depressing situation of living in Lanao del Sur. Food was not a problem but education and proper employment were scarce. At the age of sixteen, she ran away with her paramour, Ian to Manila. They aspired to work and save enough money so they can work abroad. As Ian passionately said, “Alam mo naman di ka magiging masaya dito. Puro gulo at away na walang solusyon ang nagaganap dito. Walang pag-unlad, pati ikaw mahihila pababa!”

               However, hating your own country becomes a reflection of your identity. This hate indicates the inability of accepting oneself. Mahal was able to experience this dilemma upon talking to a white girl from Sweden during her work as a cashier. She said, “Pagtingin ko sa salamin, nakita ko ang katotohanan: ang aking pagkatao ay walang sinabi sa kanyang kagandahan.” She started to excessively use beauty products. She aims to change her appearance to match the desired Western or European beauty. In my novel, this also becomes a metaphor for the present state of the Philippines as we depend on external support from other countries.

                   The plot of the story, starts when Mahal catches Ian selling drugs in Tondo. He argues that this will help them earn enough money to migrate. Things got worse when Ian was caught and shot during a drug raid. Arrested and taken in as a prisoner, Ian was given a chance to redeem himself from less years in jail if he can name his comrades. An act of pure betrayal, Ian names Mahal as part of his illegal drug trafficking operation.

               Spending time in jails is a terrible experience—but the impact is emphasized in the Philippines. I have been inside Muntinlupa Bilibid Prison before. This experience changed me as I realized how hopeless everything seems from the inside. Some men were even shackled with neck braces, while their limbs were chained as well. Their eyes were casted downwards while staring into empty spaces. This inspired me to write something about the situation of most Filipinos, the disregarded tales that no one bothers to look into.

               Mahal’s ability to change her perspective towards hating her country becomes a challenging possibility for me. Unfortunate countless events seem to follow her in her own country. However, she seems to remember her identity as a Filipino during her stay in prison. As she reflected on her childhood, “Marinig ko lang ang tunog ng motorsiklo, masaya na ako. Naiisip ko pauwi na ako sa aking tahanan, si Papa humihilik at si Mama nagluluto.” The familial loving trait of Filipinos is widely portrayed in this scene, as she reminisces and appreciates the memory of her parents back home.

              The core of my novel is the essence of acceptance, of seeing the ceaseless beauty amidst the despairing reality of the Philippines. Her name, Mahal, morphs into ‘Love’ over its supposed ‘Expensive’ connotation. As Mahal celebrates after her three year release from jail, “Kung alam ko lang dati, na lahat naman ng bagay ay may ganda at gulo.” She decides to go back to her homeland as she positively brings change to her community. This novel is a story of nationalism, family, and redemption. It also tackles issues of politics, religion, and relationships. The character Mahal becomes a metaphorical symbol of the Philippines. In the end, her country is her home— a place that she needs to nurture and grow with.

File:PHILIPPINE FLAG WITH SKY BACKGROUND.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Written on August 2017

Aspects of Faith

God and What it means to have Faith

Undoubtedly, Faith is a belief that is worthwhile to living a better life. It is a power, a sense of awareness that makes everything better—the world becomes comprehensible. Faith pushes us to be better, faith makes us want to do better. Connected to this, when we start having faith, hope and love becomes easy to access from within us. Faith is what brings us there. This is the power of faith. Given its importance, it is only of significant to know the true essence of it.

My understanding of faith throughout the reading is getting a grip, it is staying strong with the belief despite everything—any challenge that can complicate circumstances. In the Scriptures, the stories, and the people believed in God even when they underwent trials. Same goes for our present situations, one should keep on believing for the better good, a tornado, a suffering, a painful event that makes you want to give up on everything—unless you have faith. Faith is believing against all odds.

A great example would be the story of Job. He devoted himself to God due to his gratitude on God giving him the gift of life. His faith was tested further when he underwent poverty and lost his children. However, he continued having faith to God, praying while placing his hands on the ground with the equal devotion that he had when he was in his best condition. His wife rejected her own faith when he became sickly. She asked Job to do the same yet he stood firm and stayed faithful. (794-795). He stayed firm and believed in God, thus showing faith.

Having faith in God means that one has faith in the existence of the good, the scriptures, and the value of actions related to this. It is apprehending divinity with an acute trust and confidence. Such as from Jonah’s story from the Quran: He left Nineveh with his inclination to be irascible on humanity’s obstinate characteristic. He was induced by a large fish but with faith, he believed that he can escape (73-78). His confidence and faith is what saved him.

Having faith is believing whether you are in a good or a bad situation. Yet there is more to that, faith is celebrating and cherishing this belief as well. Praying and singing praises to God is of great significance. Job displayed such trait when he prayed to the Lord after hearing the death of his children and animals, “May the name of the Lord be blessed” (798). Asking for guidance and forgiveness through prayer is also important, such as the Quran, in which Faith is known and shown through those who are humble (126). Being devoted to God is faith in itself as it requires a constant respect through means of communication and action.

Faith is as faith does. To say that one has faith and yet does not follow God’s word would be ersatz. It is not the righteous way to achieving faith. Having faith means one believes and outlives the righteous beliefs. It may be hard, such as the commandments, one needs to have discipline and understand that a violation of such would result to being a disloyal devotee to God. It is our duty to follow such even amidst trials and errors. Jonas tried to run away from God himself but this does not allude to him being a disloyal servant to God. There are circumstances in which shows the faithful and the unfaithful.

To have faith is to understand the existence of a Higher Being than yourself. To be able to grasp this truth nourished one’s well-being towards the greater good. It is our duty to understand, follow, and trust the God of our religion, while respecting the goodness of each. Faith is a well renowned gift that one has to cherish with care. It is a bond that creates Hope, Love, and many other beautiful perspectives in Life. Faith can make everything good and worthwhile. Amidst the trials of life, to have faith means that you are strong and unbreakable—God’s believer is the benefactor of the good.

Saint Augustine Quote: “Faith is to believe what you do not see ...

Note: Written on March 2017