A Good Life Full of Treasures
Social Justice on Human Rights
She is a just human rights activist who does not want to see anyone being treated unfairly. Once visiting in Kalaca, there was a poor, young wife, around 15 years old, who was victimized with an attempted rape, one night while her husband went fishing. They live by the hut near the sea, so poor. The perpetrator was able to jump out of the window, however he was caught, the son of the local government official. They sought a good lawyer, while I represented the girl. Nobody wants to help her, when I came, I asked what happened. The judge said that on initial questioning, the girl would not speak, I exclaimed, “how can she talk? She’s still in shock!” And I made her speak up. We reached the higher court, without a lawyer, just the Truth and God, the case was won, and the defendant served eight years in prison. His lawyer was so embarrassed to meet the judge, he flew to America to save his face!
Even if you are poor and innocent, if you have God, you are blessed.
On further exploration I saw a place, an area looking so unique and different, there is only one road through the beautiful mountain peak of Batulao leading to it. I wrote Iglesia and sent them a map to ask them to come and visit the place. I spoke to Ka Erdie as I believed and felt that it needs a blessing, from somebody in the Iglesia to walk through it. Iglesia then bought the land overlooking the bay from the mountain side. The air is fresh, the view of the surrounding mountains is very uplifting and the beaches, I thought they will make a very nice beach, a tourist haven. And so, it was.
When I went home in 2017, I visited Calaca, once more and I was glad. The original families who built the church with me, all became millionaires.
Irene lived with God every day. If she can advocate for Christ in any way, she will do it. As she had helped built this church, she always invites friends to join her in Samba.
There was a rich executive from New York looking for a companion for her dying sick mother. While she is still in the hospital, they are looking for her companion to recover in the Hamptons. The interview included, “do you have any experience with homecare giving?” I answered, my husband is a doctor. I was warned by the son that the old woman is cranky and hard to please. When she saw me, she is in her good mood and greeted me, “How are you my friend?” With that, the son knew they are ready for me. They took me to the Hamptons. They are extremely rich, she has a nurse, housekeeper, and driver; and my job is to give her company. Our conversation lasted for x years, coming from two cultures, we had a lot to talk about. I took her to the best places she wants, fine dining in restaurants, shopping, and joy riding that I felt like a native in the hometown of the rich and famous. After some time, her daughter-in-law who is not fond of her, noticed that she looks happy and contented, death is not in the picture. My companionship worked for all our favors, as blessed by God.
In the serendipitous flow of life, Mike and Josie found themselves as friends, business partners, lovers, and then married couple, living with faith, love, and laughter, constantly streaming through community socials for causes they believe in and support, as they enjoy their golden years. Mike had been a widower for several years before he met Josie who was divorced at that time when they first met during a party of the Philippine Charities of America. On another occasion, when Mike received the Outstanding Father Award, seeing that all awardees were accompanied by their families on stage and Mike would be all alone, she quickly called all her friends present to come up to the stage to join him. It was a gesture that impressed Mike as Josie being “resourceful” and he felt so gratified with her spontaneous act of thoughtfulness and kindness.
With his personal situation, he had been looking for someone after he lost his wife while Josie had no plans. He was looking for a woman who is “intelligent, pretty, and easy to get along with.” Yes, there are differences between them, such as the 22-year gap in their ages, differences in careers and family, but he had to decide as he was running out of time. Mike has a master’s degree in Public Health at Columbia University (an Ivy league school) and a Master of Science degree at Long Island University. From his prestigious years as researcher and professor in Clinical Pathology at both Columbia University and Long Island University, Mike has concluded that, "Most illnesses are out of loneliness."
Their relationship developed seriously enough for Mike to trust her, saying “Without much thinking I gave Josie my life’s savings, which led us to do business.” Eventually Mike and Josie got married. As practical people with past marriages behind them, Mike arranged for a pre-nuptial agreement to cover his son and family, a move that Josie thinks is fair. During their life together, each has come to love, admire, and value certain qualities about the other. Mike found Josie to be very caring, loving, young and energetic, with “strong convincing power.” For Josie, Mike is “good looking, kind-hearted, thoughtful, supportive and successful.”
Like most relationships, there are people around who either approve or oppose it. Mike cites his friend and colleague, Deacon Gary Villanueva, MD, PhD, ScD, as most supportive who helped him to decide on going through with it. Josie’s six grown children were quite “ok” with it, and that support was important to her in making her feel more at ease and happy about pursuing the marriage. While no one among Josie’s family or friends opposed them, Mike observed that some of his family members and friends were silent about it and left all the decision to him.
The rapport and chemistry between Mike and Josie are palpable, real, and funny. Mike calls her “Sweetheart” and Josie calls him “Brother Mike.” Mike is the contented spouse as he listens to his favorite praise songs and pours over his endless professional credentials during our visit. Josie is the energetic busy body, assisting her husband while making guests as comfortable and well-fed as possible. When queried about what advice they would offer to people who find themselves in a similar situation as theirs, Mike quickly replies, “Ask God for guidance.” To which Josie says, “Age doesn’t matter so long as you get along and love each other.”
In retrospect, Mike, and Josie’s “million-dollar baby” turns out to be the priceless peace and contentment they have found in each other’s love. No better person to quote than Mike himself, upon his appointment as Ambassador for Peace by the global organization, Universal Peace Foundation – Office of Asian Affairs, in March 2015: “To me, being an ambassador for peace means being able to achieve my own personal peace and harmony. I live a life of kindness and understanding within myself, my wife, family, neighbors, and work environment. Being an ambassador for peace means also being facilitative in open dialogue in community of organizations to create a more supportive environment for our youth and older citizens.”
To such profound wisdom we say, “MANO PO, Brother Mike!”
Ludy Resurreccion, 09/23/2018