Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Long Road From Dumaguete to America

Early morning at South Seas Resort, Dumaguete(Above: Perhaps not our most photogenic moment, but what do you expect at 7am? ;) This was taken as the sun was rising over a still sleepy Dumaguete)

I would like to append this primarily "touristy" blog with details from a journey which Marilyn and I recently commenced. It is a journey that is sure to test the depths of our patience, and one that will forever alter our lives...assuming, of course, that our intended destination is indeed reached.

Okay, enough with the ceremonious prelude. Marilyn and I will soon petition the U.S. government for a fiancee visa. It is an idea we have seriously discussed many times before, but the circumstances have always prevented us from acting on it. The process is currently in its most infantile stages, but moving forward with much vigor.

I would request your prayers on our behalf as we lay this decision squarely in God's capable hands. Salamat!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dumaguete's Vigilante Virus

The promenade along Rizal Boulevard in DumagueteAdmittedly, this particular entry is more of an editorial piece on the current state of affairs in Dumaguete, as opposed to a descriptive passage about snorkeling at Apo Island or relaxing in the cool spring-fed pools at The Forest Camp.

My memories of Dumaguete are of a charming and resilient seaside town—where the natives display permanently fixed smiles and the way of life is both difficult and easy at the same time. As I read over the seemingly daily accounts of turmoil here I can not help but sense that the lifestyle of the average Dumagueteño has been drastically altered as of late. Even from my perch halfway across the globe I can perceive a certain degree of alienation as the locals struggle to recognize what has become of their Dumaguete. One day it was a place that reflected their values and welcomed all who visited with open arms. The next day it was a "killing field", as one writer had put it, where fear and violence ruled. Much of this chaos (though not all of it) has been instigated by the so-called "Roving Vigilantes", whose aim is to rid Dumaguete of all criminal elements "until the cause is clear". While the public appears to be divided on the issue of justifiable homicide, it is obvious that Dumaguete has lost its image as the "City of Gentle People". Or has it? Those of us who have been privileged enough to visit this place can speak volumes on the resolve of these people and their penchant for finding hope in the most horrific circumstances. Tragedy has befallen the people of Dumaguete, but I suspect triumph will soon follow.

O, Lord, may you walk beside these lovely people of Dumaguete, healing their wounds and removing the grief from their hearts. Amen.