Love is

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Today is the morrow. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Lovers of the world, unite. Color-me-red is the catch-cry. To catch a falling star and put it in the beloved’s pocket. Or a red rose for the beloved. To be in red is to the passionate. Courageous. As to love, according to C.S. Lewis, is to be vulnerable.

Zaniah means beautiful in Arabic. Caye means pure in Greek. Daug is an acronym for Danger Area Users Group. Creamer is Middle English meaning trader or merchant. Zaniah is beautiful and pure. As a soldier, she lived dangerously in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Zaniah and her dog Jofa were ready for anything, anytime, anywhere to sweep buildings safe for her comrades. She created fleeting space of peace just like the calm in the eye of a raging storm. Zaniah is a star on the left arm of Virgo which has the zodiac attribute to care for others over herself.

Zaniah Caye Daug Creamer in purpled haze is Fil-Am who returned home last week to Siquijor kissing the sky. She was blown to death by an improvised bomb in Afghanistan. She returned home to Maria, Siquijor given the full military honors by the USA government. Her funeral procession Friday was witnessed by Siquijodnons and Dumaguete media persons who covered the solemn event.

Among those who covered it was photojournalist Judy Flores Partlow who called her photo coverage posted on Facebook as “The Final Journey of a Hero.” Judy reported Zaniah was awarded meritorious medals by the USA and NATO for dedicating herself to love of country and freedom.

Zaniah wove and chased a dream from a country of want to one that is flowing with milk and honey, then to a battle-ridden Afghanistan. Living and dying for it was Zaniah’s reality.

As an overseas Filipino, I am proud of her. Just the way I am proud of Manny Pacquiao, Leah Salonga, Charice Pempengco, Ariel Pineda, Cory Aquino, Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, and Lapulapu.

Zaniah’s death though is a grim reminder of living and dying by the sword, she lived to give. She gave up her life so that others may live in peace and freedom.

In this sense, she becomes a universal soldier as defined by lyricist Sainte Marie Buffy. The universal soldier exists ever since time began. He fights for his country against an enemy who is fighting for his own. He may be a believer or an atheist. But he knows he shouldn’t kill but sadly knows he always kills. He decides who is to live and who is to die. He never sees the writing on the wall as he gives his body as a weapon of war.

Angelo means the messenger. Angelo “Angie” Reyes was a President-maker. He was Armed Forces chief of staff when the AFP withdrew its support from President Estrada in EDSA II — one of three Filipino people power revolutions. The AFP’s withdrawal of support for the incumbent catapulted GMA to the Presidency. His effort was wasted on the way. In GMA’s reign, the two cultures of corruption and impunity were widely perceived by most Filipinos to have recklessly rioted.

Angie was a well-respected man. After he retired as AFP chief, he served in various capacities in GMA’s cabinet–Transport, Energy, to DENR secretary.

Just last week, he was publicly humiliated in a congressional investigation looking into the AFP’s slush fund. The stench of corruption from the previous regime was quite demeaning. It stained Angie’s impeccable public record. As it threatened to drag the good family name into the sewers, he took his own life. His message — a Filipino national catharsis.

Love is. Love for self, love for country, love God. Love is “I am”. God is Love. That is the greatest of them all. Even suffering is turned into something good because God’s love is always and forever transformational.

Happy Valentine!

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