Highly spiritual is what they say I am.
So many have called me that. The spiritual in you, that is other people's perception of me.
I pray I am.
Or connected, always connected to the spirit that gives life, radiates energy, links you to the power that moves you, makes you see life in its pulsing, beating, breaking-free stage.
It is prayer in action, this uncertainty and you are acknowledging it, and certainly so, certain that in this uncertainty, you are certain of one thing:
THAT THE GOD OF ALL THAT IS POSSIBLE IS NOT GOING TO DISAPPOINT YOU.
THAT THE GOD OF LIFE WILL BLESS YOU MORE WITH LIFE.
THAT THE GOD OF YOUR DREAMS WILL FIND A WAY TO MAKE YOU REALIZE YOUR DREAMS, PURSUE THEM FIERCELY AND GUARD THEM AS WELL FROM THE ONSLAUGHT OF THE DREAM ROBBER THAT COMES IN MANY GUISES AND RUSES.
It pays that I had gone through a spiritual formation in the seminary for the Catholic priesthood, the seminary in the midst of all the din and chaos of the big city and yet remaining self-contained, a peaceful place unto itself if we understand this to mean the 'material' peace that we so desire, the one that erases all the tricycle brum-brum-brum or the honking of cars or the shrieking cry of family members.
Or many other distractions.
But there is more to this 'material' peace, and the inner solitude and quiet matters more.
It is that coming to terms with life and its energies.
In the seminary, you hear the tweeting of birds, offering their prayer to the God of all that which is possible this way, which, during the more illumined days that I spent some novitiate in that hill on Road One in Quezon Hill in Baguio, I could see as some kind of a laud or matin or vesper or compline.
Some days you go Ayta/Agta/Ita--and their concept of the Divine: Apo Namalyari, the god of all that which is possible--of all possibilities.
It is a beautiful name of a God.
And it is a full name, full in its ways, not the European that is so ensconced with the duty and phobia and obsession to name all things according to the dictates of sex, gender, and all these other terminologies that try to correct all the political incorrectness of the language that dominated and colonized and imprisoned many cultures in the Orient.
Apo Namalyari.The God of all possibilities.
The Ilocanos have the same name for their God:
Apo a Mannakabalin-Amin, the God who has all the power, who can make all things possible.
When I wake up each morning, I listen to my heart, its beatings.
I listen to my soul, its stirrings.
I listen to my mind, its urgings.
I go near my small altar I reclaimed from my bookshelf and offer a bowl of fresh water to the Apo Namalyari, to the Apo a Mannakabalin-amin.
This is one ceremony I cannot do without to begin my day.
I light a vigil candle, sometimes with the Virgen de Guadalupe, the lady of Guadalupe that has helped so many Mexican migrants come to terms with their exile and migrancy and diaspora.
When there is incense, I light one as well, offering the aroma of sandalwood or baby powder, or summer rose to the Apo Namalyari.
Or this time around, like last night, I bought Black Love from the 99 cents store close by.
I utter a silent prayer to the God of all possibilities.
I ask for understanding.
I ask for calm, peace, quiet.
I ask that my children will grow up to be good people: kind, caring, ever-giving.
I ask that the missus will understand the difficulties of scratching a life whether in the home country or here.
Well, she has had this virtue of understanding for a long long while.
So I keep praying.
For sustenance of the spirit.
And now I offer a bowl of fresh water to the God of all possibilities.
I am certain of this God of all possibilities despite--and because of--these many uncertainties.
I know we can get by.
This I am certain.
A. S. Agcaoili
May 26, 2006