“The enemy of the good is the better.” So they say, and often times I would be corrected by some perfectionist to say “The enemy of the best is the better.”  But I beg to disagree… they miss the point… and so I dare even say “the enemy of the good is the better and the best…” 


What do this saying implies? 


Well, I was scrawling through the books trying to find ideas and theme for the almost a year delay of write up regarding my meeting with Myla C. Recinto-Napiza.  Yes, it is almost a year now since we first met and plus two months from the second time we met.  Yet despite having seen her for the second time after a year, it remains that a write up did not come to be, simply because I was seeking the best words, idea and theme.  That is what this saying implies, sometimes we are set to inaction because we wait for the better or the best.  But the truth is, “there are no straight lines in the universe.  Life does not travel in perfect straight lines. It moves more like a winding river.  More often than not, you can only see to the next bend and only when you reach that next turn can you see more.  The idea is to get in the game with whatever you’ve got from wherever you are… then make corrections and adjust the sails along the way.”( derived from Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker) Hence, I dropped down all my books and begin to write.


Part 1:  Provoking the Invitation


Although, I had already notified Judith Mendoza-Torda that I will be attending the town fiesta, after the consequential get-together during the birthday celebration of Alvin Matulac’s son, I texted Myla Recinto Napiza and Victor Morada with a greeting “Happy Fiesta!”  This is with hopes to get invited to their place had they decided to celebrate.  True enough Myla replied “I’m preparing a little something for the 20th.  Do come to my place if you find time for lunch.  God Bless.  My heart could not help but beat faster for what follows after this text is the answer to what I have been hoping for… to have another get-together not only with a classmate but with another MT90.  More so, since I haven’t written anything about my first meeting with Myla, this is a chance to renew the timeliness of an article.  Yet still, I also wish to meet other MT90 batch mates who are based in Lipa or is in a town near it.  Hence, I texted RJ David, Nixon Cabo Chanpongco and once again Vic Morada for a possible get-together either in Judith Mendoza-Torda’s house or in Myla Napiza’s place.  Soon enough they all replied: Nixon gave a definite No because of the possible heavy traffic; Vic Morada gave a possible No also due to the traffic; and RJ gave a possible Yes.  With those replies, I put my mobile phone to rest, only to make it active again on the day of the fiesta.


Part 2:  Despite the Traffic


The day came, I took the jeepney bound to lipa at 10:00AM.  The trip is light but slow.  By 11:15 AM the sky is drizzling, but the Jeep drop us off in front of Mt. Carmel Church because they are no longer allowed to get in the city.  Hence, I started walking from there until I got a tricycle to bring me to the address texted by Judith Mendoza-Torda.  Soon under the searing heat of the sun the tricycle stopped in front of a house with a closed gate.  After paying my fare, I stepped right in front of the gate and found Batanggas folks crowding the garage.  I then flashed my sweet smile and asked for Judith, a few seconds later, they let them in.  I pass through a crowd speaking a thick Batanggas accent, then I was lead to a living room where Judith’s kids who from time to time are my chatmates welcome me.  They had me seated first, so I texted Myla:


“Hi! Am here in Lipa now, may I know your address so we can drop by later?”


She then gave me a call and gave me direction.  After which I texted RJ if he is coming, he responded that he will give it a try.  By 12:00 PM, Judith suggested that I go in the afternoon instead because she is coming with me.  So I texted Myla that we be going in the afternoon.  Shortly afterwards, Judith called for me for lunch.  I took a very hefty meal while I watch Judith and her kids caressing each other from time to time.  A little later, Judith joined me and had a few chit chats.  After I finished my meals, I went back to the coach where I once sat and watched TV to kill time.  Once in a while Judith’s son would come near and he kept me from dozing off through his mischievous moves of climbing up the furniture.  By three, Judith after wiping of her son’s tears managed to convinced him to be left in the house with their grandparents and aunt while we go to visit Myla.  At 3:30PM we are out in the street hailing a tricycle.  When we have reached the road in front of the hospital where Judith works however, we were jammed in traffic.  After fifteen minutes of waiting for it to move, we decided to get out of the tricycle and walk.  Soon we saw the signage landmark that Myla mentioned.  We then crossed the street and peered through the gate of a house that seems to be the one.  The house looks as if there is no one inside.  Nonetheless, I rang the bell and soon a woman came and let us in.  We then walked in until we reached a living room furnished with paintings, antique furniture and a Baby Grand Piano.  In that room, Myla is still speaking to a guest, so we took a seat on one of the old set.  The aura is resembling one of the resident house of a mentor that I have in common with Myla.  For a time, Judith and I simply scan around the place while I try to recall how I first met Myla.


Part 2a:  A different Nova


It was an ordinary free day of March 2009 when out of the blue my sister and her kids decided to go to SM lipa.  Bored, I decided to go along hoping to surprise any of my batch-mate around.  Hence, I did not text anyone.  When we arrived SM, I immediately parted with my sister, boarded a tricycle to go to Mediatrix Hospital.  A few meters afterwards, the sky brake into a down pour, crying heavily that had wet my sandals and pants.  I then arrived the hospital partly damped.  But upon inquiring, I was told that neither Myla nor Vic is around, yet was advised to try to catch Myla in another hospital.  I then took another tricycle and rolled through the rain.  But when the concierge called on the medical secretary, I was told that she already left.  Frustrated, I decided to text Myla:


“Hoping to surprise you at the hospital but failed to catch you.”


In a few seconds while already in the jeep, Myla called and so we arranged to see each other in SM.  At an agreed time and place, I then sat comfortably wondering at how am going to recognize a batch-mate I never met.  Soon enough, I spotted an unfamiliar lean lady in a pink corporate suite scanning the faces of the customer.  I stood up, hoping that she recognize my curly hair like how other batch mates who even if I have not personally met would.  Unluckily, however, my curly hair failed, and she left in a jiff.  I then immediately got hold of my cellphone to call.  While still two meters apart, Myla answered the phone and asked me where I am.  I then answered “ a few steps away, in front of you.”  Then she replied, “is that you? Wait, let me come near you.”  We then walk towards each other but the fazed Myla said “No, it is not you.”  As quick as I could, I uttered “You must be looking for Nova Asana of section B… am Nova Alcantara from section A, MT90.”  Those words dispel the what was thought of impostor and changes the alarmed face of Myla into an accommodating batch mate. 


Part2b: Mortification


Myla then invited me to a pretzel hub and ordered her favorite flavor.  Generously she offered to foot the bill of my order to which I gladly welcome (hehehe).  Immediately after we seated we started to get to know each other, as well as updates.  As the conversation progresses, she uttered a word in a phrase that caught my attention: “Let that simply serve as a mortification.”  The last words, brings back the memories of my fourteen years of ascetical life… and so I asked her why she knows that vocabulary, and she answered, she read it somewhere.  I then took the initiative to say that I was once receiving and giving spiritual formation in the study centers of Philippine Foundation (which I will later refer to as study center) which uses and applies that word generously.  She then admitted to be presently attending the same.  From hence, we started to talk about the spiritual matters and only then did she realize the reason behind the my zeal for organizing MT90 get-togethers or meeting a batch-mate… it is all is about prayer… specifically encountering God in each one.  That answer seemed to have put a conclusion on our conversation as well, that we bid each other farewell with the hope to meet again.


Part 3: Back to the Present


Time indeed is fleeting, that a year had already past since the last we met.  Soon enough, Myla’s guest departed, we were then called to the dining table to take some snacks.  As soon as we finished dishing out our share, we sat and talk.  Once again the update topics took the lead of the conversation and some few briefings to Judith on how me and Myla met.  Later, we realized that Myla and me springs from the same Mayo clan.  It is a delight to know that we are kins in someway.  Then, like any other diligent students of a study center, more so that the husband is the same, Myla cannot help but include spiritual practices in the conversation.  From time to time I have to brief Judith of what we are talking about so she won’t be left out.  In a few that I have to explain is the concept of mortification…. some practices like delaying of drinking water for a few minutes, or that of not using a back rest when seated or not using a pillow or sleeping on the floor or anything that will cost you only a teardrop are simple forms of mortification.  It is the practice of denying the body of some comfort to convert it into prayer… in this case it is the prayer of the body.  Hence, with the two latter forms of mortification… we learned to pray  even while sleeping.  When finally we had our “unmortified” tummies filled, I grabbed my favorite mobile phone-camera for a group picture.  Myla called for her daughter then to take our photos in front of the last supper that she painted.  After that lone single shot was made, Myla then elucidated us on how she learned to paint.  That time Judith is the one to brief me a little, because Myla’s painting mentor happens to be one of the owners of the hospital she is working for.  Nevertheless, it is not surprising for me to know that Myla took painting lessons because in the same study center we learn never to stop acquiring new knowledge or skills, because maximizing one’s ability is an act of participation to God’s creative act, which therefore it gives Him glory… and again, it is another form of prayer.


With that we bring our get-together to a close… and so I joined Judith back to her house hoping that RJ could still follow.  By 5:45 PM however, RJ called it off because he is not yet finish with another errand.  Hence, I decided to go back to Tiaong.  Judith accompanied me to walk to the street until I boarded a jeep.


Part 4:  Angels


At the end of  this narration, an hour has already past the midnight.  After that grueling self torture to fight off perfectionism, I feel very tired.   Yet, happiness resurfaced anew because of something I have accomplished despite the imperfection…of having written about an event of that has a tinge of something heavenly… I was with Judith who remains to be an angel catching teardrops but this time of her kids (Judith was in our drama fest who played a role of an angel chasing teardrops)… as well as to have met once again Myla who has a touch of an angel that can turn everything even tears into prayer.

7 Responses to “Teardrops”

  1. WILLY Says:



  2. karl Says:

    si rj talaga..tsk tsk tsk……


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