YOUR mantra for the week: “My new choices create a new life.”
Why do we give much importance to symbols and images of God like the Black Nazarene and the many likenesses of the Sto. Niño, not to mention all the saints that people pray to, when in the bible, the name of God is, “I AM THAT I AM”—which would place God within each man.
Let us be reminded that, metaphysically, the “I” in the “I AM” stands for our thoughts, and “AM” represents our feelings. In oriental spirituality, it is referred to as the “Yang” (male) and “Yin” (female) energies, as in the conscious and subconscious mind in modern psychology. When these two energies get together and are qualified, a manifestation occurs accordingly.
Similarly, when we act on our thoughts and feelings, they produce the kind of lives we live.
When a large number of people move together with the same intention to express their deep devotion to a particular cause, it produces a January 9th event in the Philippines—the Black Nazarene procession with millions of Filipinos marching barefoot from the Quiapo Church to the Quirino Grandstand and back.
This year’s grand display of faith had casualties—two deaths and 128 injured, making it look like some form of sacrifice as in ancient times.
I am not discrediting those who have gotten answered prayers through their devotion to the Black Nazarene. But let me emphasize that when one follows the principle of the “I AM” by using it for positive intentions, one derives a greater number of answered prayers. One can check this out: If used negatively, it will get results of the same kind.
IAMISM teaches about the God within, which a lot of people find difficult to accept despite Jesus the Christ saying in Luke 17:21, “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
So, does one have to risk life and limb and join a life threatening procession to get in touch with God? I wonder where else in the world is there another place like Quiapo with a corresponding Black Nazarene procession. Clearly, there is none, or it would not be such a tourist attraction.
We have been labeled as practicing “folk” Catholicism which, to me, is so ironical because the word “Catholic” means universal. Leave it to us to reconcile such obvious contradictions.
A tribute to my mother
This week, I would like to make known my choices for “Epitome 2015: Dressing At Its Best,” which I do every year as a tribute to my mother Priscilla, whose birth anniversary is January 16th. She was considered an icon of style and a hall of famer in fashion in her lifetime—along with Elvira Manahan and Chona Kasten, who also happened to be her close friends.
National Artist for Fashion Design Ramon Valera always had these three ladies on his list of the Best-Dressed Women of the Philippines. Valera used the following as his criteria in making his choices: “They are meticulous in their clothes from cloth materials to the smallest stitch in the hemline; all are endowed with good looks and a trim figure; they instinctively know what to pick out and wear with what from their hairstyle, shoes, bags and jewelry.”
The chosen 8
From a list of 50 fashionable ladies, I have chosen eight who epitomize intelligent dressing, carriage and gentility—she has style without being “styled”; she is graceful and dresses without trying to make a statement; she knows how to accentuate her best body features; her clothes become part of her and not vice versa; she dresses for the occasion and is never over-accessorized, leaving a large part of her jewelry collection in the bank where it belongs.
My choices last year are not included in this year’s list because once you have received a Priscilla statuette, it is assumed that you understand and live by the concept of “dressing at its best” and will do so for the rest of your life.
And the awardees for 2015 are: Beng Dee, Bianca Araneta-Elizalde, Heart Evangelista-Escudero, Zelda Keinle, Kai Lim, Marivic Vazquez, Mariquita Yeung and Kit Zobel, who sent me a message: “I would like to thank you deeply for considering me as one awardee for the Priscilla award for style, but may I be honest enough to express that I feel I am a very simple and casual everyday dresser and not what one would consider to be a symbol of style. Another woman would be more deserving than me.”
I beg to disagree, Kit. Your so-called “everyday dressing” makes you definitely my choice as an awardee.
The Priscilla statuette
The “Epitome” awardees receive a Priscilla statuette which is an adaptation of National Artist for Sculpture Napoleon “Billy” Abueva’s sculpture of a woman, which became a frontispiece in my mother’s Forbes Park residence. This was a birthday gift I gave my mother, which I acquired through an exchange deal with Billy for one of my own painting-poems that he fancied which appears on the cover of my book, “In Words, In Color.”
To those who have made my list, thank you for making our social scene shine brighter with your presence.
E-mail the columnist: [email protected]; visit his website at www.GeorgeSison.com; listen to his “Positive Session” radio program on DWIZ 882 AM every Saturday, 9-10 p.m.