A WINDOW has just been opened in Japan by President Duterte, letting in sunshine and fresh air into his chamber where hangs the scent of Chinese joss sticks.
His Tokyo trip, we said on Twitter, should wake Duterte to the pleasant fact that Manila has friends other than Beijing, friends that don’t lay debt traps or eye territorial grabs while offering aid and loans. It seems the working visit did rouse him.
President Duterte thanked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for Japan’s continuing development assistance. The premier has pledged 25-billion yen ($230 million) for various projects, including Mindanao’s road network, vocational training facilities and equipment.
While China occupies strategic areas in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and insists on controlling South China Sea navigation, Japan, according to Ambassador Jose Laurel V, wants to help Manila upgrade its military capability to keep its sea lanes secured and open for global trade.
Before concluding his four-day visit, Duterte met his kababayan working in Japan. He told them to behave, be devoted to their jobs, and be grateful to Japan, which he noted treats Filipinos with respect.
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez announced earlier that the working visit was fruitful, garnering the signing of seven business agreement and 19 letters of intent that are expected to create some 82,730 jobs for Filipinos.
Having opened more options, President Duterte’s visit to a friend and neighbor is expected to allow him more flexibility and better leverage in bilateral dealings with nations offering loans and aid with an eye to exacting undue advantage.
• Opening windows on the personal level
IT WAS just another tweet by one Justin about his Grab driver getting to talk about his having been a drug addict. His post drew varied reactions, one of them from a Michaeljohnu. And here we are, on this day of rest, asking you to follow the ride.
Justin @justingftw tweets: Got stuck with a Grab driver who admitted he used to be addicted to shabu. It was scary and I wanted to leave. Then he told me how he fought his addiction and painstaking the process was. He’s 2 years clean and just started a family. So do we really need to kill them? Nope.
Reacting, Michaeljohnu @michaeljohnu tweets about his own reawakening:
I was a lost sheep for so many years before I relocated here. I was heavily into worldly pleasures then. I was a drunkard. I could last drinking even until the following evening.
Fun was what I thought I could ever have then. Deep inside, I was very lonely. My idea of happiness then was for someone to come into my life and love me.
The last few years of my stay back where I was saw us experiencing hardships.
I saw the health and condition of my auntie deteriorated and I took care of her until she died on May 27, 2014.
I told each person of the Blessed Trinity to not leave me at a time when I need Them most.
I rose above those difficult situations I found myself in, because God sent me those instruments of His love and mercy for me which then filled my heart with gratitude.
It is the gratitude I have for God and Christ that made me promise them that there never will be a day here that I will make THEM feel unimportant to me. But it was only in 2015 that I started hearing the Mass regularly and praying the Rosary daily.
I am able to keep such religious habits to this day.
The graces I received as I continually responded to God’s call changed the way I view and treat people and lessened or even killed my love for worldly pleasures and material things.
There were things that I often did then than I seldom do now. I easily lost my temper, raised my voice and I even hit people in anger then. To be honest, I still do but only when I am really angry and hurt.
Christ said that His kingdom is not of this world. He offers also the kind of peace that the world cannot give. I found joy, peace, and contentment in God and Christ.
God has made me see what He has blessed me with. He has opened my eyes to what each person of the Blessed Trinity has done for me.
I’ve known too the purpose of my existence and being able to do that even without monetary consideration gives me joy and fulfillment.
I no longer feel the need to tell God not to make me feel the most pathetic person in the whole world. I may not be so blessed financially and materially, but for me to realize the fleetingness of the things found here on earth and seek things eternal, I feel loved by God.
Saint Paul and Saint Augustine are just two best examples of sinners turned into saints.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son presents God as very merciful, loving, and forgiving. Christ not condemning that woman who was CAUGHT in the act of adultery will show us that He IS, TOO.
We are in no position to deprive anyone a chance for redemption. Those who have wandered away from God and Christ do not need any of our CONDEMNATION for it is our COMPASSION that can actually aid them in their CONVERSION.
Courts, jails, and rehabilitation centers should serve their respective functions.
God did not send Christ to the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.
We cannot claim to be His disciples and adhere to certain beliefs and practices that are contrary to His teachings and examples.
(Postscript: We checked and traced michaeljohnu in Mindanao where his mother traces her roots. The “u” in his username stands for Uy. He was born on April 20, 1977, in Cebu City and lived in Leyte until 2014.)