Donald Trump, Rodrigo Duterte and Cielito Avanceno are pictured. | AP Photo

DIFFERENT

 

LIFE ON EARTH PRESENTS:

LESS THAN ⥷GREAT HEADS OF STATE

(A fictional look into the hearts and minds of our more colorful Heads of State)

 

EPISODE 4

RODRIGO DUTERTE: Your Order Sir

 Carabao ‘tapa’ flakes, ‘mongo at pata’

 

 
 

 

"Oh no! We're out of carabeef ! I can't make the tapa or the soup"


"We're out? I thought you ordered some last week."

 

"I thought you ordered it last week. You know it's one of his favorite meals."

 

"Well, I'll just have someone go to the grocery store."

 

"You know that you can't do that!"

 

"And why not?"

 

"You know that he's afraid of someone poisoning him."

 

"Well, if he wasn't such an evil man, he wouldn't have to worry about someone poisoning him."

 

"Esmeralda! Someone will hear you! Do you want to be fired, or, you and your whole family put in jail or killed?!"

 

"Some days I pray I am fired so that I don't have to work for this...this godless man...this heathen!"

 

"Esmeralda!"

 

"I don't care! My church friends snub their noses at me and wonder how I can continue working here, as if I'm working for Satan himself. I keep telling them that even an imbecile needs to eat. But, now, now that he's announced his heresy and atheism to the world, I think that it's time for me to get a better job."

 

"You're insane! Where are you going to get a job in the Philippines, better than working here for the president?"

 

"I'm beginning to think that any place is better than here and if you were a good Catholic, you would want to leave too."

 

"What do you mean, if I was a good Catholic?"

 

"When was the last time that you went to mass, Bayani? Or confession?"

 

"Well..."

 

"Well, you have compromised your faith and I feel that I have, too."

 

"But, I still believe in God."

 

"Then, don't tolerate a man who says there is no God."

 

"Esmeralda, didn't you tell me that God will punish the wicked? There are millions of people who don't believe as we do. We can't run from them all."

 

"I don't intend to run. I'm taking a stand."

 

"But, can't you stand where you are and perhaps God will work a miracle through you?"

 

Esmeralda stood looking at her friend, speechless. Unable to reply, she sat down at the table to think.

 

"Perhaps, I'm the one who is not a good Catholic. You're right. I shouldn't run away. We can take a stand here. Help me, Bayani."

 

"Wh-What can I do to help? I can't afford to get into trouble. I don't have someone to help me pay my bills or feed my children."

 

"You can pray. We can pray. We're going to pray over all of his food. When the food comes in and when the food goes out. We will pray everyday over each meal and morsel that goes into his mouth. We will even pray for the working of the food within his body."

 

"But, why? What will we pray for and how will that help him believe in God?"

 

"That is up to God, Bayani. It may not happen until he dies and meets his Creator, but, our job will be to pray everyday and to get others to pray with us on one accord. Each day that he lives, this food we have prepared for him will give glory to God and move throughout his body. God will know that we have not turned our back on Him. He will know that we do not hate our enemy, but, we are feeding him food we have given thanks for and asked Him to bless. Each bite of food he takes is in the name of God."

 

"But, it sounds like an evil trick, Esmeralda."

 

"No, Bayani, no. Not an evil trick. A blessing. There can be no hatred or animosity within our heart. We bless the food for the sake of the people who are under his rule. We meet the darkness within him with God's Holiness and Light. We pray that God will restrain him from evil doing; tame his tongue; and help him to see beyond the hardness and pride within his heart."

 

"Do you really think prayer can help such a man, Esmeralda?"

 

"You must believe that prayer changes things, Bayani. However, the prayer is not only for him, Bayani. The prayer is for us, also. For certainly, God will guide us, strengthen us, and help us to hold out until our change comes. This will become a house of prayer and we will pray for our people.

 

This man's reign cannot last forever. What can we say we did during this time? Complained? Whined? Cried? No, Bayani! I believe in the Philippine people. We will turn our eyes and hearts to God.

 

This is proof that God exists! Those who are proud and blind are incapable of praying for their enemies and those who spitefully misuse and abuse them.  They return insult for insult and injury for injury. It is beyond them to love unconditionally. So, let us pray for those who do not believe in God and have no faith. We are the proof that God lives, for He lives in us.

 

"What if we are caught praying at work? Then, what will we do? It...it is a risks that I...I don't think I am able to take. I mean, like I said..."

 

"Bayani, you cannot see the line, but, the line has been drawn. You must choose who you will serve. You cannot serve two masters for you will love the one and despise the other. To believe in God is to love and obey Him."

 

"Surely God doesn't want me to lose my job and risk being killed."

 

"God sacrificed His only begotten Son, Bayani; for you and me!"

 

"Stop! I'll pray, but, I don't want anyone else to know. I'll do it by myself, in my head. No praying out loud, touching, holding hands, or folding hands and bowing heads."

 

"Would you deny Christ, Bayani?"

 

"How is protecting myself denying Christ? I said that I'll pray. I'm simply not being foolish or stupid. I need my job."

 

"When you deny your faith, you deny Christ; for He is our faith. Christ is the author and finisher of our faith. Everything that you have is because of Christ. We're nothing without Him and Our Father.

 

Christ said that if you deny Him, He will deny you before His Father."

 

"If you want me to pray, then, you do it your way and I'll do it my way."

 

"Don't do it just because I asked you to. Do it for God and Christ. Do it for our people. Remember that only what you do for Christ will last and be counted at the end."

 

"I'm tired of you criticizing me with your Sunday School verses, Esmeralda. If my way of praying isn't good enough for you, then, I won't pray at all. You see, this is why I stopped going to church. Everything has to be done a certain way or you're not good enough. That's why people don't want to believe in God."

 

Esmeralda was quiet for a while and went back to thinking and preparing food. After a while, she turned and spoke to Bayani.

 

"I'm sorry I made you feel that way, Bayani. You've helped me to understand a lot. I see why the president doesn't believe in God. If a person has never seen or experienced unconditional love, they can never identify the counterfeit and they can never see God."

 

Those of the Abrahamic Faith (Jews, Muslims, and Christians) really don't have a good reputation when it comes to accepting others outside of their beliefs. Our relationship with one another, reflects our relationship with God. Yet, how many people are able to see that? Yes, our relationship with one another reflects our relationship with God. Fear and pride keep us apart. None of us is right in our beliefs, until we see ourselves as brothers and sisters, and children of God, each having grown from a different experience.

 

Because I couldn't relate to your experience, I put demands upon you that you weren't ready for. Just because I realize that we don't have options and choices and tomorrow isn't promised to us, doesn't mean that you and others are ready to see that truth. Our president isn't ready to see that truth. He has lived a life where he has always had options or made options for himself. Until those options and choices run out, he is at the mercy of darkness. This gives us something to pray about in hope of his salvation.

 

Bayani, if I could enter his dreams, I would remove his options and choices and there he would be--alone, alone, but, not truly alone; for God is everywhere. And there the president would be in this dream, night after night, alone with God, but, refusing to acknowledge Him. Until, one day, when he is a frail and sickly old man, so lonely and afraid of dying alone, that he cries out to the only One who can hear him--God."

 

"Esmeralda, you are a dreamer, but, what you said was right. My pride was hurt by it, but, you were right. I must decide who I will serve, before it is too late. Tomorrow isn't promised to me.

 

I'll pray with you, Esmeralda, today and everyday. I realize that if I'm going to live what I believe, I can't be afraid. We will make this a house of prayer and the president will see that God exists, everyday...in us."

 

Once again, Esmeralda was speechless, but, this time, she held her friend's hands and began to pray. Within a far off room, sat the president, obstinate in his beliefs and opinions, and hardhearted, without compassion, in his treatment of others. Little did he know that there were two cooks sitting, praying for him, in agreement, and God was in their midst.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by Mishael T