Today, I woke up, finished my devo, and checked my phone. I saw that three people were asking me about my opinion regarding the Fallen 44, the heroes of Mamasapano. Pero tapatan na, hindi naman opinion ko tungkol sa kawalan ng mga bagong bayaning ito at ng kanilang mga pamilya ang tinatanong kung hindi ang pananaw ko sa kawalan ng koordinasyon sa pagpapadala sa kanila roon at sa kawalan ng Pangulo sa pagsalubong sa mga labi nila kahapon. As much as I love those people who asked me and as flattered as I was that they sought my opinion, I didn’t respond because of two reasons:

  1. I am not the right person to say anything about this. I don’t think I know enough to make a fair judgment on the matter.
  2. This is not the right TIME to talk about this.

Malacanang declared this day, January 30, 2015, as a National Day of Mourning and I think that’s what we should focus on. There’s just one thing that I feel the need to talk about today and that’s mourning. Paano ba magluksa? How do we mourn as a nation? What is your personal contribution? Here are my suggestions.

The Bible gives us multiple examples of how to mourn as a nation. I believe we should look at them and how they did it and apply the spirit of those acts to our modern setting.

1. They fasted.  (Jonah 3:5) Now, I know how fasting isn’t something that we can impose on our entire nation, so let me suggest an alternative. Don’t post pictures of your food. Tiisin na natin kahit isang araw lang. Think about the families of our brave soldiers. Do you think they care if you ate a perfect fillet mignon? Bukas niyo nalang ipost.

2. They wore sackcloth. (Jonah 3:5) Hindi ko naman sinasabing maghanap kayo ng sako ng harina (makati yun) o sako ng bigas (mas makati yun) at yun ang isuot ninyo, pero may magagawa naman tayo bilang alternative nito. Wear something you would when someone you loved and knew died. Unless may uniform kayo sa opisina, iwasan ang pagsusuot ng nuknukan ng sayang kulay gaya ng fuchsia pink o canary yellow. Kung lalabas ka, stick to black, gray, white. At hindi lang yan tungkol sa kung ano ang isusuot mo. This is not a good “D” for an “OOTD.” Wag na. Bukas mo nalang irampa ang bago mong H&M na leggings. Hindi mo ikamamatay kung sisimplehan mo ang suot mo ngayon.

3. The King himself tore his clothes and sat in the dirt. (Jonah 3:6-9) O, hindi ako tatalon sa mahabang tirada tungkol kay Pangulong Arroyo, ha? Iba ang focus ko rito. My focus is on the fact that the King, or in our case, the President, should make a personal decision to mourn. The people did not go to the king’s chambers to strip him of his clothes and force him to mourn. No. Each person, each household, made a decision to mourn. In the case of the Ninevites in the book of Jonah, the people’s mourning reached the king and that’s what got him to mourn, too. Only then did he make a decree ordering everyone to participate. Pamilyar ba? I strongly believe that this is what we should do as a nation. Let’s mourn deeply as a nation and let the depth of our sorrow reach the palace. 

4. Pray. This is the one thing that doesn’t change throughout history. Let’s pray as our forefathers did. Let’s pray for:

  • Comfort for the grieving (Matt. 5:4)
  • Wisdom for our leaders
  • Strength for our soldiers, and
  • Peace for our nation

Maybe, then, we can find favor in God’s eyes as the Ninevites and, on multiple occasions, the Israelietes did.

This day is all about remembering each of them as individuals and as a unit. This is the day to hear their stories of courage and weep for them and with their families. Let’s use social media as a tool to comfort the grieving. Ipagpabukas na natin ang ating mga angst, sama ng loob, kuro-kuro, at self-indulgent showing off.

And that’s my two cents on that.