Paying it Right!

Paying it Right!
By Danny Tariman

“The wages of a hired laborer are not to remain in your possession until morning.” (Leviticus 19:13)

I am consultant for a big company in a business district in the Metro. I am just so amazed that this company is spending a lot of money for a payroll system that will enable them to process the employees pay promptly.

I had seen this company do the rigorous work of defining the requirements for their payroll system. And I had noted that one of the objectives is to be able to pay their employees accurately and on time. True enough, because the Bible says that we should not hold the wages of our workers

“You shall give him his wages on the same day, before the sun sets.” (Deut 24:15)

I believe the action of the management is very Biblical. I believe too that the management practices Christian principles in the way they manage this business. I have this belief because I observe them having a Bible-based Christian teaching once a month, with no less than the managing director giving an inspirational talk interspersed with sound Biblical principles.

As we go through a project, I noted that its top management wanted to ensure that they follow government statutes on paying its employees. I believe that they want to give their employees the wages that is commensurate to their work.

“A worker deserves his pay.” (1Timothy 5:18)

And as this company continue to follow the Lord in its dealings, I believe the Lord will bless them.

“Indeed, if you diligently obey the Lord your God to carry out all his commands that I’m giving you today, then the Lord your God will set you high above…” (Deuteronomy 28:1)

I pray that the Lord will prosper your business, and that you too will be a channel of God’s blessings to your employees!

Visit to Kamay ni Hesus Shrine

Visit to Kamay ni Hesus Shrine
by Danny Tariman

I had been to Lucban, Quezon over a decade ago in one of my missionary trips. A missionary-friend, drove through this town going to Lucena City down to Bicol, because he believes that the travel time is shorter than via the usual San Pablo City route. That was an experience for me because I haven’t passed by this route before.

A short stop at Caliraya: a lake on top of a mountain.
A short stop at Caliraya: a lake on top of a mountain.

Recently, I visited this place again. But this time I was with my family for our usual long week-end family out-of-town trips.

I enjoyed the drive. We passed by Pagsanjan town in Laguna (which is famous for its falls), passing also the Caliraya Lake atop a mountain. Wow, it was really a great family drive on long, winding roads lined with every conceivable greens. Refreshing view of the countryside!

We had a night stop- or sleep-over at a family friend’s weekend home in Luisiana, Laguna where we had a wonderful time reconnecting with each other. Yeah, parents and parents, children and children. This was a bonding time between two families; we had been going out on family trips a number of times in the past.

The Kamay ni Hesus shrine on top of the hill.
The Kamay ni Hesus shrine on top of the hill.

On to Lucban.

My friend drove his Montero with his family, while I drove with my family, on our travel workhorse — our Crosswind, until we reached the town of Lucban. We passed through secondary roads which my friend knew very well, as he is from this place.

The town proper of Lucban has a bit heavy traffic, with narrow roads, especially at the town center. But it was worth the trip.

We reached the “Kamay Ni Hesus” (Hand of Jesus) shrine in no time. From the road, you can see the big statue of the Risen Lord. I understand it stands at 50 feet tall, above a hill overlooking the rice fields and the town.

Our children and family friends at the foot of the shrine.
Our children and family friends at the foot of the shrine.

At the foot of the hill is a chapel – or church – where Masses are regularly celebrated. Surrounding the chapel are buildings with function rooms for retreats and recollections, and dormitories where pilgrims or retreatants may stay overnight.

The ascend to the hill of Kamay Ni Hesus, starts in a Bible-themed park – where you can see a statues of Adam & Eve, a Noah’s arc and all sorts of animals “entering” the arc, and others.

A Noah's arc replica at the park below the shrine.
A Noah’s arc replica at the park below the shrine.

The stairs going up is a good way to meditate the Stations of the Cross. Each station is strategically spaced where you can pray and at the same time rest from the uphill climb [good for those with weak knees!].

And once you reach the top, wow, really good view of the surrounding fields and communities! The cool draft of wind soothes your tiredness!

A refreshing  view from the top.
A refreshing view from the top.

On our way back from the hill, we checked the line of stores offering novelty and souvenir items. One thing you should not miss – taste the local stir-fried noodle served in banana leaf, locally called “pansit hab-hab”. The outlet won’t offer you kalamasi (local lemon) as condiment but rather a bottle of vinegar. It also does not come with spoon or fork, but of course, you can request one. You have it eat it direct from the leaf! This is a “food-trip” experience for most of us!

With the couple family-friend in front of the chapel.
With the couple family-friend in front of the chapel.

Back to the town proper, don’t miss with bring home Lucban sausage (locally known as Lucban longganisa) – a spicy, “garlicy” short sausages. Of course, do taste the “yema cake” – sponge cake topped with a mix of caramel and milk. Check-out Buddy’s (a popular casual restaurant in Makati) which started in this town.

I forgot to tell you, the first time I came here, I and my friend ate at a native restaurant where the freshly caught tilapia is charcoal-grilled and lavished with thick coconut cream. We ate in the middle of a fish pond where the tilapia are grown. The name of the place? “Palaisdaan”, native word for “fishpen”.

Great time, great family, with a great family friend!

The Pieta
The Pieta
My family at the foot of the 50-feet statue of the Risen Christ.
My family at the foot of the 50-feet statue of the Risen Christ.
The pancit hab-hab: a local stir-fried noodles served in banana leaf
The pancit hab-hab: a local stir-fried noodles served in banana leaf. Inset shows how the “hab-hab” is traditionally eaten.

Visiting Our Elderly

Visiting Our Elderly
by Danny Tariman

“Honor widows…” (1Tim 5:3)

The word “honor” has these meanings in the Webster dictionary: [noun] “any expression of respect or of high estimation by words or actions”; [verb] “to revere; to respect.”

I believe one of the many ways to show respect to an elderly is to visit her and spend some time with her just to chat with her and share stories. This is one family value that I wanted to impart to my grown-up children: to visit once-in-a-while our relatives and to re-connect with them, because “relationship” for me is very important.

Over the weekend, my family had the opportunity to visit two elderly widows in our family. We wanted to show our love for these elderly women. We wanted to be God’s channel of His love for them.

“Tia Glor”

My Aunt Glor or “Tiya Glor” as we fondly call her, is from my family’s lineage. She is 86 years old. She is still very strong, can go to the market by herself, has sharp memory, and can still see clearly.

My family had a wonderful time with her one Sunday. She was alone in her nice home, watching TV to pass the time. We had so many stories shared, in between sharings we held hands and even hugged each other. She is a sweet old lady.

I remember when she was still young, she was a dress-maker. She was very industrious, sewing dresses and curtains to earn a living for her big family. I am so happy that she and my deceased uncle were able to raise up their children who are now well-established with their own families too.

We were joined later by her daughter and her family. They had brought in food for our afternoon snacks. While we were enjoying the bonding time, my cousin-in-law asked that he be prayed over. (Wow, another opportunity to bring God’s healing touch!) And yes, the entire family indeed prayed for him, my cousin said she felt the Spirit moving!

“Mama Ling”

Aunt Ling or “Mama Ling” is my wife’s aunt. She is now 91 years old. At her age, she is still well-composed, can carry a good conversation. Although a bit weak now, she still got the charm she used to have in her younger years.

When we visited her one Sunday, my family just popped-in into her room at our cousin’s very nice house. She was surprised and very happy to see my family. She was so gracious to offer us to seat beside her on her bed as she saw me and my son just standing.

In the past, we would visit her at her home in San Juan, in Metro-Manila. She was very hospitable and full of stories. She loves my family, and I felt I was her “favorite”. Haha! I know some will disagree! This is how she loves her ‘children’, you really will feel you are her favorite.

It was indeed a wonderful weekend, capped with visits to our relatives. It was a good time to re-connect with them, and to share our love, specially with our old aunts.

I remember this passage in the Bible —

“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment accompanied by a promise, namely, “that it may go well with you and that you will live a long time on the earth.” (Eph 6:2-3)

We consider these two elderly ladies as our “second mother”. And I believe the promised blessings in Ephesians 6:2-3 are on us, and will be with us in the years to come!

Reflection: when was the last time you had visited an elderly in your life?

Nayong Pilipino: A Miniature Philippines

Nayong Pilipino: A Miniature Philippines
by Danny Tariman

It was a hot morning in Pampanga. We were in the area of Clark Air Base, beside the international airport. We decided that since we are already in Pampanga, we might as well visit the Nayong Pilipino.

The entrance of the park
Family in jump shot at the entrance of the park.

The term “Nayong Pilipino” is the vernacular for “Philippine Village”. The park is clustered into various regions depicting the different regions of the Philippines. It used to be located just near the Manila International Airport but about a decade ago, but the government transferred the park to accommodate the expansion of the airport.

Once inside park, you will see a fountain with live fish at the pond. This is a good place to start your photo shoot.

Shops selling all sorts of souvenir items line the paths. Specially-printed shirts, bracelets, handicrafts, paintings, toys are the more common of these items.

A number of tribes are represented in the village-park. One of them is the Kalinga Village from the mountain province. You will see the ‘village’ with traditional native huts. You can actually climb up the hut to see the inside. There is also a replica of the rice terraces although not really a good copy.

At the Kalinga village
At Kalinga village

We were able to observe a young lady dressed in traditional tribal dress, weaving a cloth. She explained to us how to insert the pin through the yarn. The finished hand-woven cloth can be made into bags, shawl, or as a wrap-around cloth.

A local lady in traditional dress hand-weaving a cloth.
A local lady in traditional dress hand-weaving a cloth.

Near the administration building is a pond with live golden tilapia. We were fortunate to have a brief chat with the Park Director himself who treated us like “special guests”. He toured us around the pond and told us some stories and his plan for the park.

Some more walk and you will find yourself to a place like a town square. The structures are like stone/brick houses that mimics perhaps the old Tagalog houses. I has also some museum artifacts. The park also had an “old” church, well just replica.

At the Tagalog town square
At the Tagalog town square

We had a photo shoot in an old caretela – a horse-drawn cart – which is the popular mode of transportation in Manila during the Spanish era. There is also an old train, I believe this is an old locomotive transferred from the Philippine National Railways in Manila.

My family with the park's dance company
My family with the park’s dance company

The highlight of our afternoon tour was a cultural show of rondalla (stringed instrument like a small guitar with 12 strings, I think), and folk dance. We watched several traditional Pilipino dances: the tinikling, the pandango sa ilaw, the singkil, and many more! It was really a treat for my family to watch this show.

An educational tour for all!

A church replica large enough to be a parish church.
Inside a traditional hut
Inside a traditional hut
Another family picture in the park
Another family picture in the park

Obedience: A Key to Blessings

Obedience: A Key to Blessings
by Danny Tariman

“All these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God” (Deut 28:2)

The word “all” in the verse above explodes like a mega-atomic bomb to me!

It appears to me that this is deluge of blessings! It is flood of blessings! Overwhelming!

The verse further says that these blessings “overtake you”. I looked in the dictionary and it also means “overpower”.

It is all in superlatives – the blessings galore!

But there is one condition: obedience to the LORD.

This is where most of us find ourselves struggling.

In workplace, in ministry, in organizations or even in informal groupings, there is always an appointed or selected leader. I had noticed many times, a lot of people stumble in the area of obeying their leaders.

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed” (Rom 13:1-2)

Do you realize that when you disobey your leader, you are disobeying God?

Another area that I had noted many people falter is giving our best in our work – be it in the office, in church, or in organizations. We tend to give a mediocre work. We do our jobs with a “just passing” mark instead of a “well done” job.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men (Col 3:23)

We are commanded in the Word that we have to give our all – heartily – that is, working with all our heart.

At times, we tend to be short-sighted. We do our work for our earthly boss, when we should set our eyes to our Heavenly Boss. The verse (Col 3:23) is clear about it: we work as for the Lord.

There are many areas in our lives that we need to obey the Lord’s commands. I cannot put them all in this short blog. I hope you can regularly read the Bible – because it is here that His Words are written – so that you will know how to live a life that is pleasing to God.

And as you please the LORD in all areas of your life, obeying His voice, I pray you will experience God’s bountiful blessings pouring into your life.