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Philippines the Beautiful

God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Genesis 1:31.

the Philippines, in spite of its multifarious problems, is a beautiful country whose emeralds isles virtually coruscate like so many jewels in the the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea. No wonder Rizal referred to her as “perla del mar de oriente,“ the pearl of the Orientseas.

Dr. Gregorio F. Zaide, one of our prolific Filipino historians, rhapzodized the charm of the Philippines thus:

“Like glamorous Hawaii, she has velvety beaches where the surges of the seas murmur their eternal monotones; like pictureque New Zeland, she has rippling seas of crystalline waters where multi-colored fishes of fantastic shapes gambol in and out among emaraldine weeds and rainbow corals; like majestic Java, she has cool, towering highlands garlanded with gossamer-white mists of the morning; and like sunny Spain, she has roling vales basking redolently within the shadow of church belfries.“

The historian leaves the domain of objective history and enters the realm of poetry as he enumerates some of the wonders of nature in the Philippines: The famous Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna. The enchanting Crystal Caves in Baguio. The awe-inspiring Caluptinan Caves in Camarines Sur. The thrilling Montalban Caves in Rizal. The palm-fringed Atimonan beach in Quezon. The magnificent Maria Cristina falls in Iligan. The Incomparable Mayon Volcano in Albay. The Inland Sampaloc Lake in San Pablo, Laguna. The Hundred Isles of Lingayen Gulf in Pangasinan. The famed Underground river in Palawan. And the lovely Manila Bay sunset, the memory of which lingers long in the beholder‘s heart like the spell of Hawaii‘sbewitching twilight.

Dr. Zaide practically exhausts a long list of adjectives as he names some of our flowers: the gorgeous gumamela, the majestic morning glory , the queenly rose, the stately camia, the romantic cadena de amor, the fire-red dapdap, the lovely gardenia, the fragrant kamuning, the radiant pointsettia, the oderiferous ilang-ilang.

And speaking of the sampaguita, our national flower, he continues: “Possesing the regal grace of America‘s wild rose, the creamy purity of France‘s fleur-de-lis, the scented effulgence of Japan‘s crysanthemum, the majestic beauty of China‘s sacred lady, and the tropic charm of Hawaii‘s hibiscus, it is a dainty flower, shaped like a star, snowy white, and lingeringly sweet.“

This recitation of nature‘s beauty in our country takes our thought way, way back to the creation week. At the end of each day, God looked at His creative work and pronunced it good. Then at the end of the sixth day, looking at the total result of His creative acts, including man, the crowing glory of the Lord‘s handiwork, He described the whole thing as indeed very good. As we look at nature around us today, the marks of sin are everywhere, but in spite of it all, there are still telltale evidence that a God who is a lover of beauty created everything on land, sea, sky. Indeed, “this is my father‘s world.“ and someday soon, it will be restored back to its pristine beauty and majesty.

Reference: Gleanings Daily Devotion for Adults by Gil G. Fernandez

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