Today is a devastating day for the world.
My favorite place (next to the Philippines) has been struck by Mother Nature’s powerful sleight of hand. In minutes, one of the most orderly countries on earth has been reduced into an intricate picture of disarray. Just. Like. That.
Three days ago, our Japanese board mate approached us, saying he was going to give us his cooking utensils because he was going back to Japan. If I remember it right, he had been living in Cebu for roughly a year. When he first came, he was with his wife. But after a month or two, his wife probably returned to Japan because we no longer saw her.
We weren’t friends with this Japanese man. Just like acquaintances, we would nod or smile whenever we saw each other, but that’s that. Perhaps because we were hesitant he might not understand English that well, so it was also due to the language barrier. In fact, we only knew his name that day he gave us the cooking utensils.
Right there and then, we felt compelled to give him something in return–a parting gift that he could bring to his homeland. We wanted it to be something Filipino, something for him to remember the Philippines.
Coincidentally, earlier that day, we bought some FMCC (Francis Magalona Clothing Company) shirts. I bought my second FMCC shirt while Redh bought his first. We were very happy with our finds.
Needless to say, right off the bat, Redh told me he would give his newly bought shirt to Konnichiwa. (By the way, since we didn’t know his name yet, we just referred to him as Konnichiwa, a Japanese word for hello.) We finally got his real name and even his Facebook e-mail address after that. But in respect for his privacy, let’s just call him Konnichiwa.
I couldn’t be more proud of Redh after what he did.
The latest news we gathered on Konnichiwa is he is in Korea and was going to get a ticket to Japan hours before the quake happened.
My heart and prayers go out to him and to all our Japanese brothers and sisters who are hurting and trying to will their way through this horrendous tragedy. It surely is hard to move on past this with the many lives lost and properties damaged. But we shouldn’t lose faith in God. No matter how rough the road is, he is there to walk through it with us. Let’s continue to pray for Japan.
Here’s the design of the shirt Redh gave to Konnichiwa.
We told him the word kababayan means fellow man in English. Never did we think the shirt would sooner serve its purpose. I hope that when he looks at it, he would realize Japan is not alone. They have brothers and sisters in the Philippines and in other parts of the world who are praying for their well-being.
(This blog entry is my response to the news about the massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake that caused a tsunami and devastated Japan early today, March 11, 2011.)