[Exile Adventures is my way of chronicling my trip to America with the purpose of finding what I want to do with my life and what it is about.]

I was standing waiting in the bus stop when a middle aged African American man was handing out fliers with a smile on his which contain information of a Catholic Church group get together for bible study and whatnot.

He was handing it to everyone, Even to an Arab wearing a kurta shirt. The Arab man glanced at the flier and crumpled it.

I was standing there frozen at the situation that unfolded before my very eyes.

Seeing that I witnessed the situation, the Arab man approached me and said: "If you only knew what the Koran said about Jesus"

I was still frozen.

Certain questions are now running in my head.

Should I have defended my faith? Should I have responded with what I know the Koran tell about Jesus? Should I have engaged in conversation and discussion about religion and cultural differences?

I always just follow what I learned from my theology professor, Fr. Latorre, said: (This isn’t the exact quote but it goes something like this) “You can never prove which religion is the best because religion is faith and philosophy shown through a supernatural revelation. The only way you can prove your religion is if you live it.”

There is actually another question that is a wee bit controversial but it is bugging me— (see next para.)

If I was an Atheist, would I have been angry that the African American Man is peddling salvation while the Islam man is imposing opinion on my choice?

Atheists I’ve met here, in the Philippines, and those I see on the interwebs are Atheists by rebellion and not by reason.

What I mean is that they have rejected religion because of the actions of the members of the institution that go against the teachings of the Church and/or that there is no God because of the many evil things that happen to them, to earth, and to humanity, and/or the lack of physical evidence for the existence of a God.

Atheists, to me at least, always complain about religion when how I understood life so far is that the ultimate form of rejection is indifference.

That is why I had the impression that an Atheist would complain and defend his faith (or lack thereof) to the Muslim man or the African American man distributing the flier.

(post script:

I mean no offense to Atheists. It’s something that have been fascinated me for years now. Not that I am turning to Atheism but the culture and the life that Atheists live has always been a curiosity to me. These questions and observations about Atheism arise from the curiosity. So curious in fact, that I have been considering doing a documentary project on the lives of Atheists but I have no idea what images should I show and how am I going to do it.

And yes, I have friends who have rejected religion and even follow people on tumblr who openly talk against Catholicism.

I am also tagging this not to argue or flame but to engage in discussion in a civil manner. Religions and cultures might be different but at the end of the day, we all have something in common and that is we are human.

Thanks, now off to another exile adventure

- A.g. )

I admire parents.

Cousins from Canada arrived over the weekend.

They were in their late teens.

We went to 6 Flags Great America theme park.

How we got there was pester power. My cousins persuaded their parents to give us money to buy tickets to Six Flags but the parents defenses were giving a good fight. Eventually they were defeated saying this to my cousins: “Sige na, para hindi naman kayo ma-disappoint” (Ok, we will do this so as not to disappoint you.)

Boom. It just hit me like a flash. A sort of slideshow happened in my brain of all the things my parents did so as I would not be disappointed. (With the ultimate thing of them sending me here). And despite all the things they do to make me happy, I continue to disappoint them but they still love me. Thinking about it teared me up a little.

I don’t know if I would have the courage, patience, and perseverance to become a parent and to not disappoint my children. Maybe not now but perhaps I need to be more mature and eventually prepare for the day that I become a father.

All I am saying is, give your parents a hug. Thank them for everything. Even if they disappoint you. It builds your character and makes you self reliant. :) Parents are just great.

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