Of Divine Providence and Burning the Midnight Oil

By: Rainier Palad – HR

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

There is so much reckoning on that morning: halls filled with laughter, of nostalgia, and memento. Yet, of all the hundred voices buzzing around in stories there is one resounding echo: GRATITUDE.

Gratitude is heart’s memory. It is more than saying "thank you" for our year’s toil. Gratitude is a way to experience the world, a way to perceive and a way to be surprised. It is the shortest distance between the eyes and the heart.

On that day, we looked back in gratitude for everything that came upon us. S’ JJ Alano took us back in remembering the first days of Mang Inasal. He cited examples and comparisons which most of the people present agreed. Remembrance is one of the greatest virtues of gratitude. Our minds remember in humility the hardships and laughter of the past years. We are continuously cleansed by our highest moments and also by our tears. Admittedly, most of us remember God during our victories but we think of his absence during our lowest moments.

As a newly hired employee in Mang Inasal, I cannot help but feel immensely blessed by simply listening to his talk. Personally, while everyone is in revelry of the past year’s toil, I am celebrating to be part of this company. Memory by memory, I am thanking God for leading me here.

There were many things abounding in me during that day but let me share my reflection to you through a prayer which I learned during my boyhood:

"Lord, teach me to be generous; to give and not to count the cost…"

Work as an act of magnanimity. More than the countless overtime rendered or the endless hours of after work thinking, this focuses on the human-relational level. Generosity is giving more in work, others and to yourself. When we become generous, we transcend as humans capable of giving the best we could on a particular focus. I, then, asked myself: "Am I being generous to other people when I work?"

Being generous is synonymous to love. We take care of someone when we truly love them. Mang Inasal loves being a Filipino but it did not stop at being patriotic alone. It desired and still desires to help others dream; it flourishes when we ourselves shine.

As we passionately desire of the things we wanted to achieve, we continue to cherish the ground that gives us comfort, of light and life. I would always characterize love as a mother. Unconditionally, a mother gives her all to let her children grow and develop. Similarly, we love purely until it becomes part of our being and finally let that love influence how we interact with others. I remember a quote from Simone de Beauvoir, a French writer, "…that’s what I consider true generosity: you give your all, and yet you feel you always feel as if it costs you nothing."

"To toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and not ask for reward…"

It is fundamental in human rationale to seek the finest things in life. It is the point of human strife which is basic but hard to reach. We, then, become lost in life’s obliviousness and temporary indulgence. Life begins to matter as long as the meter runs forward. During our Thanksgiving, we were once again reminded of just being in the moment, thanking one another and thanking this grace we call Mang Inasal.

When we allow ourselves to feel truly grateful, it blooms in our being. The toil becomes an expression of gratuity, respect and happiness.

"Teach me to serve You as I should."

Work as a vocation. God does not call us to an otherworldly pedestal of being. Instead our vocation calls us to a deeper sense of self – to become fully human in sharing ourselves by our natural gifts and talents. Our invitation is to make us fully ourselves.

I’d like to share what my mentor told me before, "You may not be the grandest tree in the forest; you may be just a lowly bush but become the most beautiful bush in the forest." Truly, each of us carries our individuality that we share to make this community great. We fill each other’s void to make us whole. God will never demand so much from us but to be just us and we share this with others.

We look back in nostalgia not just to relieve the years in passing but to help us ground on our future. Our Thanksgiving was not only an event in gratitude for our many accomplishments but it is also a celebration of ourselves, intimately ourselves as Filipinos. We strive as one family to achieve greater excellence and we also allow ourselves to be touched by the people who are supporting us. Above all, we continuously and are profoundly humbled by His inspiration who led us where He wants us to be. God truly meets us where we are and gave us talents, gifts, aspirations and passionate creativity to touch each other’s lives in our most intimate way. Finally, we continue to set our eyes to our Mang Inasal as a canvass to paint our personal infinity.

Team Mang Inasal. Puso.