Of Waters, Floods, Travels

            The next time you travel to where Frank Sinatra left his heart that is in San Francisco, be sure that your drinking water will be in a refillable aluminum thermos or recyclable glass, certified compostable water bottles, or boxed water.

            Be sure to empty before security check, however. Anyway, filtered water is provided for free at 100 “hydration stations” as they call it, where flyers can top up reusable bottles.

Effective August 20 this year, SFO/San Francisco International Airport, one of the largest in USA will become the first major airports to ban the sale of plastic water bottles. Hence, will be removed from SFO tenant vendors, airport restaurants, cafes and vending machines. The new rule is a part of the 5-year plan to lower landfill waste, net carbon emissions and net energy use to zero as per SFO airport spokesman Doug Yakel, press released.

Each year, it is said that “a million birds and more than 100,000 marine mammals worldwide are injured or killed by being entangled in plastic or ingesting through the food chain.”   

It is expected and is added that the ban will apply to purified water, mineral water, carbonated water and electrolyte-enhanced water. Exempt of flavored water.

Oops! Is this a drive against plastics, a sequel to the California State ban of plastic straws? If so, why flavored water is exempted?

Fellowship of Christian Athletes

It has been said that NBA superstar Stephen Curry of Golden State Warriors is an active member of the FCA or Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Well, this writer is proud to say that our very own Dagupeno, Coach Nes Nanoy Duque, a self-proclaimed Knicks fan and a Michael Jordan NBA’s GOAT believer is here. He travels around the USA for his training as Area Director in the Philippines of the said Christian Athletes association. Working full time with FCA, Nanoy resigned as LNU Athletic Director and from his roles with their family owned Lyceum Northwestern University last April 30 of this year. His resignation extends to his presidency of the decades old Private Schools Principals League (PSPL) of Dagupan.  

Accordingly, a pastor shared to Nanoy the Gospel of Grace and from there, he developed a fiery passion for evangelizing for the lost. The passion of evangelizing and coaching clashed head-on with one another. Nanoy quit head coaching and gave up his love of basketball coaching with a heavy heart thinking it was God what was telling him to sacrifice.

One faithful day, in God’s perfect time, said Nanoy, the Lord led him to discover a pre-owned FCA resource book titled “Excellence” at a local book sale. It was through this book that he heard of sports ministry for the first time in his life and how one can actually combine the passion for sports and passion for Jesus Christ. And so began his FCA adventure of pursuing Excellence from an old life of obsessively winning basketball games and becoming champions, to a new life of passionately winning souls and championing the Gospel for God’s glory in sports.

Nanoy’s coming brought me to the memory of his dad former Vice Governor Atty. Gonzalo T. Duque, who is now the Administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority. As VG, Gonzalo then appointed me as his Information Officer and a Trustee/Speaker’s Bureau of his pet project Pangasinan Anti-Drug Abuse Foundation, Inc. We were the first to fight drug abuse without the “tokhang” however. The supposed first Drug Rehab Center in Pangasinan was aborted due to political filibustering and opposition.

PADAFI president was Dr. Vivencio Villaflor of Villaflor hospital, while Dr. Edmundo Exconde of Nazareth hospital was among the Trustees. Lina Tan was our Speakers’ Bureau chairperson working with mostly members of the then Dagupan Toastmasters’ Club.

Yes, together with Robert Erfe-Mejia and the English Department head, Ms. Francisco, we hosted, as Toastmasters, the induction ceremonies of then Dagupan Jaycees Inc president Dr. Francisco ‘Pincoy’ Duque 111, uncle of Nanoy, who is now Duterte’s Secretary of Health.  

In that third Sunday meeting of the Filipino-American Society, Inc of North California, Nes Nanoy Duque of FCA was our guest speaker and he talked about Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

It is our prayer that God will continue to bless and use you Nes Nanoy Duque in drawing men unto Him.   

Flood Committee

A new Flood Committee has been formed in Dagupan City by the new Mayor Bryan Chua Lim. Proving his serious intention, he even went to the DPWH Manila office of Secretary Mark Villar who allegedly has given his commitment to help the city of my birth resolve its flood problems.

 It would have been better, perhaps, if the recently retired NIA Regional Director and Project Manager Engr. John Celeste, a long-time resident of the city, for decades, well-schooled in flood control, locally and internationally, has been included to Dagupan’s Flood Committee.  One of his Hydrology trainings was sponsored by UNESCO-IHE, Delft, Neitherlands. Hydrology, by the way, is the branch of science concerned with the properties of the earth’s water, and especially its movement in relation to land. John Celeste would be interested to help for sure as he has manifested in Facebook comments and advises during the previous Dagupan City floods. As a civic minded Dagupan citizen, He is the president of the Pangasinan Philippine Institute of Civil engineers (PICE) and was a past president of a Kiwanis Club in Dagupan during my term as Division 1 Lt. Governor of the Philippine Luzon District of Kiwanis International. He too is a past president of the famous Rotary Club of Downtown Dagupan. This proves Celeste’s willingness to serve Dagupan, a chartered city of the province Pangasinan.   

Inviting an expert in waters and floods in relation to land as part of the Dagupan Flood Committee would be a smart and wise decision, I believe.  

Biblical Water from the Rock

“Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shall smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.” (Exodus 17:6).

This biblical amazing provision of drinking water for the Israelites, in the midst, of a barren wilderness, after their escape from Egypt, is surely one of the remarkable miracles of creation recorded in Scriptures. It was not a one-time event but somehow continued to provide water for them during the entire 40 years they spent in the desert. God provided daily water just as He provided them daily bread.  “Our fathers…did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them and that Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:1, 3-4).

“Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to Me. Anyone who believes in Me may come and drink. For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of “living water will flow from His heart.” When Jesus said of the living water, He was speaking of the Spirit who would be given to everyone believing in Him.”  

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Ricardo V. Avelino

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