Monday, January 01, 2007


According to a Philippine Daily Inquirer front page article on its December 28th edition, an overwhelming majority of Americans, regardless of backgrounds and religious convictions, think angels are real, as revealed by the recent AP-AOL News poll on current attitudes about Santa Claus, angels and more.

The poll further illustrated that no matter how one may define an angel — a kind stranger, an anonymous benefactor, a certain presence felt, an auspicious hunch, an artistic muse, and etc. — belief in angels is highest even among people with no religious affiliation, though the belief declined slightly with advanced education, from 87 percent of those with high school education or less to 73 percent of those with college degrees. Nonetheless, overall, 81 percent of Americans believe that angels exist.

Belief in angels is not exclusively an American experience, but universal; transcending various cultural and religious borders. It is just as popular in the Philippines as it is in America.

I do believe in angels. The very first experience I had, which I surmised as an angelic intervention, was when I was about five or six years old. It happened in Subic, Zambales one summer. Our entire family went up to the mountain with my aunts, uncles, their children and other barrio friends to enjoy a grand picnic by the lagoon near my grandfather’s mango orchard. While everyone was enjoying a hearty lunch — with the kids sharing a huge banana leaf as a plate and eating off it with bare hands — I decided to walk around instead since I wasn’t all that hungry.

I was fascinated by the waterfall that cascaded down the lagoon. It wasn’t at all that huge and powerful, but it was nonetheless a pretty and inviting sight. And without telling anyone, I foolishly started to walk down along the side of the lagoon with the intention to stand right next to the waterfall. I was wearing a pair of rubber sandals which made the moss on the rocks even more slippery. Alas! Before I knew it, I slipped and fell right into the water. I didn’t know how to swim; worse, no one knew I had gone underwater.

Everything happened so quickly yet, I felt no sense of panic. The thought of imminent death didn’t even come to mind. I merely stared at the light from the water’s surface as it continued to appear higher while I kept going under.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, I sensed someone below me whose hands grabbed both my feet and with a powerful thrust, pushed me upwards until I reached the surface and able to hold on to the smaller rocks that paved the side of the lagoon. The noise of people chattering and laughing once again filled my ears as I held on for safety. I then quickly looked behind me to see who that person was that rescued me, but no one surfaced from the water.

I was too rattled and also puzzled by the whole experience to cry out for help so I struggled on my own to pull myself out of the water altogether. As I rejoined the picnic, everyone seemed too involved in their animated conversations to notice that I was soaking wet. I took off my shirt and wrapped my towel around me and sat next to my mother and leaned against her warm body. It was only then I realized that this festive family picnic could have turned into a prelude to my funeral had it not been for that someone who came to my aid.

I never told anyone about this incident while growing up although its memory remained vivid in my consciousness. And it wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I started to share it — first with my brother Taba and then with some close friends. At that age, I had already gained enough inner strength and confidence to nonchalantly claim that it was indeed my guardian angel, when asked who it might have been that saved my life on that particular day.

There were other unexplainable experiences I had gone through since then, but this near-drowning incident was the very first that I can recall. But of greater interest is my realization that as much as each and every one of us had benefited in one way or another from the guidance of a powerful hunch, or kindness of a complete stranger, that we have also acted and had been an angel to another, though surprisingly, under spontaneous circumstances. If we were to ponder on this a bit more, we’ll come to acknowledge that we are all inherently God’s hands and feet here on earth — much like those angels who are highly-evolved spiritual entities whose fulltime job is to assuage the pitfalls of our human experience.


posted by Señor Enrique at 4:48 PM


Anonymous bugsybee said...

Hi Eric! Happy new year! I have my own "angel" stories - though not as wonderful as yours - but let me tell you about the time when I believed again in angels. I guess many of us start believing in angels in childhood when we're taught the prayer "Angel of God, my guardian dear ..." but when I was a teenager, somehow I forgot about angels. When I was in my early 20s, somebody - who has her own treasure trove of angel experiences - gave me a book about angels. I read the book but remained skeptical until one time, I badly needed to encash a check (no ATMs yet and the banks were closing for a long holiday) but also had to do it fast since it was exams time in the school where I was teaching. There was a long, long queue to the lone teller (the rest were out for lunch) and I knew there was no way I could encash and return to school in time for the exams. Then I remembered my friend who said she even calls on her angel to wake her up or when she needs something very simple like hailing a taxicab. So, perhaps out of desperation, I whispered, "c'mon angel, prove to me that you exist ... help me to do this fast." I wasn't even done with that statement when a bank officer suddenly turned, looked at me and motioned for me to come to his desk. In short, I was able to encash my check and get back to school in time to give the exams. I've been a steadfast believer since then.

January 01, 2007 8:14 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I just let out a hearty laugh, Bugsybee, right after reading your comment. It was a joyous laugh to celebrate that "they" do exist, though in unexpected manifestations!

I had written this entry (and on the first day of the new year as well), as an exercise and reminder to from now on develop more my inner strength, for it shall be called upon lots as I continue on this journey of being human :)

Thanks, Bugsybee and Happy New Year!

January 01, 2007 8:38 PM  

Anonymous bingskee said...

angels exist, i believe that, too. even the Bible tells about them. but i believe, too, that they should not be venerated like gods or like God.some people are swayed with their beliefs that they are, and that they are to be venerated, owing them the things (positive and successful) around them.

happy new year to you and to your family, eric!!!

January 01, 2007 10:41 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes, Bing, though highly-evolved souls, they ought not be idolized as gods; though they may demonstrate god-like qualities and intentions, it is only because much like us, they, too, are a creation of God.

Continued joy, success, and perfect health I wish for you and your loved ones, Bing!

January 02, 2007 6:15 AM  

Anonymous jhay said...

I also believe in angels, sort of. I'm not sure if you have heard of this before but we were shocked by our theology professor back in my sophomore year when he gave a lecture that all angels are male. We asked if this was true, he told us that if we read the Bible from first page to last page, we would never see an account, mention or name of an angel who is a female. Unbelievable isn't it?

January 02, 2007 8:13 AM  

Anonymous rhodora said...

All angels are male? Now, that is sexist.. LOL. Sa akin naman, ang pag-visualize ko ng angel ay yung mahaba ang buhok, may hawak na trumpet, nakangiti, nakakalipad, nakaputing damit... in other words - female. hehehe.

I do believe in angels. I taught my children to call on their guardian angels before going to sleep, when going on trips or taking exams. But the prayer goes something like : "Lord Jesus, please send my guardian angel to be by my side to watch, protect and guide me through this journey, Amen."

January 02, 2007 10:43 AM  

Anonymous JM said...

Wow...... i'm having goosebumps. We almost have the same experience, at approximately the same age of yours.

The Water, the mystical feeling & look of the place... curiously, i looked inside a well...and I'm in some sort of trance, (i don't know). Then I fell...

Same as you, there was no sense of panic, but as I grab the rocks to take me upwards I was slipping. Because of the green moss...those green things.. I can even see those small particles floating in the water. Greenish water...and then some light, perhaps, and then I got unconscious.
When I woke up, I was lying beside the well. And then I went home.

My mother saw me really wet, (pinagalitan pa nga ako)but I never told her what happened to me, for I found it confusing. I'm so sure that I should be dead by that time.

This story is vivid in my mind, but as I grow up, somehow blurred by the thought that maybe it was a dream...

After 10 yrs or so, I told this story to a friend, and then he said I have a guardian angel. That explains my like of painting angels. (Back then, I always draw angels for the reason I can't think of, swear!) Mejo astigin kc ako, so drawing angels made me look soft. =), and despite that image, I would still draw angels.

Angels are sinless spiritual beings to be God's servants and messengers.

About angels being MALE, I BELIEVE IT's TRUE.

They say angels are sexless, but all angel appearance in the Bible when sent to earth is in Male Form.

There is also this theory, found in Genesis 6, that the SONS OF GOD (the FALLEN ANGELS) took wives the Daughters of Men (mga babaeng tao).

So there was corruption in human genes, because angels and men were not designed to have such relationship...

so the corrupted earth was destroyed through the Great Flood. Noah remained clean (meaning, pure human genes) and Noah believes in God, kaya he chosen him.

Uy! Ang theory na ito... Additional Info.. hahaha!
Happy New Year!

January 02, 2007 11:58 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I'd like to think that angels are more androgynous, Jhay. But then again, most of those books were written by men and the mindset at that time were not too kind to women.

January 02, 2007 7:15 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes ... some of the paintings I've seen depict angels with such feminine features, Rhodora. But as I've mentioned, most of our books were written by men.

BTW, I'm still unable to post a comment on your site.

January 02, 2007 7:17 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Firstly, JM, many thanks for sharing your experience.

I knew it! My gut feel has always told me that I am not the ony one who experience if not exactly the same near-drowning acident, or at least, similar unexplainable event.

One of the reasons I had decided to blog about this is essentially to reveal the other aspect of me -- someone who had experienced mind-boggling experiences which are too fantastic or unbelieveable that if I didn't handle it well could have easily pushed me to the deep end.

So my attitude now, JM, is that I experienced it and heck, I'll talk about it now ... hehehe.

Again, thank you for sharing your angel experience with us!

January 02, 2007 7:24 PM  

Anonymous Major Tom said...

I certainly believe in angels. In fact they have become the subject of many of my dreams, ever since I was a child and I do feel their presence often. I have even some sightings of them that had initiated in me a kind of spiritual awakening and since then, they had become more real than ever.

January 03, 2007 12:48 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I was indeed fascinated by your mention of angels in some of you entries, Major Tom. However, I don't remember reading about your sighting of them. Now I'm very intrigued :) Was there a previous entry of yours about it?


January 03, 2007 7:12 AM  

Anonymous JM said...

That's ok...

if you do have ESP experiences too, blurt it all out!!!


be aware also of those 'angel sightings', coz I believe, more often than not, those are fallen angels manifest.
I would have post my site here, but it's some sort of 're-posting' cuz I moved site...
Hmm, I think I'l write a post about my angel and ESp thingy experiences too, sometime...

January 03, 2007 8:08 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

ESP and/or powerful hunches I think we'll all hear about or experience more ourselves or by those close to us, especially during this year.

It'll be interesting to read about your other experiences, JM :)

January 03, 2007 8:47 AM  

Blogger Rey said...

I think most of us, if not all, have unexplained experiences some times in our lives. some are life-defining, and some even have significance as we go through our everyday routines. I guess as long as we have faith, and we firmly believe with our deepest intentions, there's no wrong whatever we beleive in as long as it's good.

A blessed New Year, Eric.

January 03, 2007 5:12 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Very well said, Rey.

Thank you :)

January 03, 2007 5:22 PM  

Blogger ipanema said...

It's true that angels manifests in many ways. I too believe in them. They could be manifested in human and other forms. Yet it needs faith to identify or feel them. Whereas some needs more than physical reassurance that they're real.

January 03, 2007 7:18 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Right you are, Ipanema!

Let us not also forget that we, too, though unplanned, at times perform angelic tasks for the benefit of someone we don't even know personally. So if I may add, an angel could be a healing, compassionate spirit that is already within us and drives us to help out our fellowman.

January 03, 2007 7:54 PM  

Anonymous ia said...

it's just great we still have angels to believe in, that they unite us somehow in that belief. no malice, no ulterior motives, no commercialization in having faith in them.

this is a great piece for the holidays. :)

p.s. re: your note--i'd be honored sir! i do hope i can live up to your fancy, especially since i'm much more a wordpress person now. ;)

January 03, 2007 9:07 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi IA!

Please drop the sir. I'm totally resigned to the idea that the Queen will never knight me; even if she did, I won't be allowed to be addressed as "sir" anyway because I am not a British subject ... hahaha!

Please email me your email address and will send you my basic ideas/specs. And yes, let's explore WP!

Many thanks! You're an angel :)

January 03, 2007 9:36 PM  

Anonymous dave said...

Thanks for leaving a comment in my recent post on the supernatural. Blogging about the unknown seems to be a trend lately.

As for angels, I have not yet experienced any dramatic manifestation of their presence. Perhaps my encounter with them is through whispered wisdom or admonitions that come once in a while.

I have read though in the newspaper 10 years ago of a press photographer who was then working in a conflict zone. He accidentally snapped a picture of his guardian angel in the act of saving him from a stray bullet. Guess we have to search the archives for this one. I remember it created a stir in its time.

January 03, 2007 9:45 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Either you had set off the tone, Dave, or chuck it off to the theory of synchronicity :)

Yes, for most artists and writers, they may often come as harbingers of those sometimes elusive inspirations.

That would be something else if we could somehow dig up that newspaper article about the press photographer, but then again, having faith and trust that it actually happened is good enough for me :)

January 03, 2007 10:42 PM  

Anonymous Corsarius said...

that is quite a touching experience. i believe in angels, and even now more so, with your narration of your personal experience. you are a fortunate soul, indeed!

happy new year, senor enrique! :)

January 04, 2007 2:36 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Fortunate, indeed, for having escaped death, Corsarius, but not fortunate as to be uniquely "chosen" to experience such things, because I think such divine interventions are more common than realized. It may be because most are not comfortable to talk about their respective experience(s); afraid to be regarded a loony.

Love your newly-organized and -designed blogs. Will send Ia my ideas tomorrow and you're welcome to throw in your critiques/thoughts, ok?

Many thanks, Corsarius, and wish you continued success in your endeavors for the new year!

January 04, 2007 7:39 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Folks, check out this New York Times' article, "Man is Rescued by Stranger on Subway Tracks:"

This proves my point about regular folks performing angelic feats!

January 04, 2007 8:59 AM  

Anonymous Major Tom said...

I will send you some links bro...

January 06, 2007 11:29 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks, Major Tom. Appreciate it. I may have to do a follow-up entry because more good things happened since my initial post.

January 06, 2007 9:35 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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