Grief is such an irony, a double edged sword

We all react to rainy days differently. Some stands tall, others run, others hide. The point that matters is that you got through it, not how

So I write…

I was packing up this evening, ready to get off work. As I ordered my ride home, there popped up a group Facebook messenger saying that our friend has passed away. My first thought was, “is it real, is it some kind of prank, what is this sudden news?” But it is the truth, yes my friend has just passed away and it was just surreal. Things quickly escalated and it hit home hard, it feels so personal that you may wonder why.

Was she a good friend? Yes

Was she an intimate / close friend? No I have more intimate / closer friends.

Is it a loss? Yes, she is young and I really hope she got a chance to use her potential and live life.

It did not help when I looked back to our photos together and I relieved our happy moments, I felt more sorrow towards her. I was also reminded of the about-to-come-true idea few weeks ago to revisit her country which has been in my holiday bucket list for a while. I tried to express it through a little bit of writing but the feeling continues dreading me. It gets to the point where I realised just how terrible I am at handling loss. If I were to choose to losing me or others, I honestly will choose losing myself because I lived every single day fully alert and aware. I always tried to minimise any regret that has anything to do with my own everyday life, so I may have more regrets towards others than towards myself. Such a dreadful thought you said? No, not so dreadful when it rings true.

If I were to fall into big depressing phase, it is all not for this. Unfortunate things has been piling up these days, being fully indulged in this grief topic will only enlighten me some more. It taught me that grief is a double edged sword, and how life is just so fluid no one will ever know what is there around the corner and there is an ironic beauty there.

Being a Christian

I am not a very devoted Christian, but when people passed away and there are already two people I know passed away this month, I truly believe they are leaving for good. They are free from physical pain / worldly agony and moving on to better things. I also believe that people who passed away will eventually be happy together with God. However, what a beautiful contradiction there is, when I can feel the sorrow, the loss itself that really affects me physically be it shedding tears or the painful stab at my heart. In addition, it is also beautiful how grief can hit me fast that make me break in tears at once or very slow hitting you just when the Father let every family member to say some words by the corpse before the casket is closed during the mourning mass.

I am who I am

This momentum also taught me that it is also ironic being me. It reminded me of all my loved ones, and whether or not I have treated them wrong, I could have just drown in regrets if they suddenly passed away. It also relates to the previous paragraph that I believe people are better off going away with God. What if God Himself decides that He needs them more soon, sooner than I think I need them around me. That thought itself terrifies me, I was struggling to understand such irony. Especially since I always keep my circle close, they are those people who are also my family no matter if we are blood related or not, or even if we could call our relationship a certain title or not. Once they are in, they are there for long, they are part of the family. Also, the fact that I will gain some more members of the family soon is just throwing me into deep deep reflection. Have you ever felt something so exciting but so so terrifying at the same time? That is exactly how I feel, very excited, but also terrified that I am about to add few more people to worry about, few more people I need to cope about when I lost them someday. Deadly serious stuff. I am overwhelmed, it looks like something I need therapy for the rest of my life.

Again, I’ve heard a devoted Christian advised me not to worry much and how God knows what is best for you. He got you a guardian angel to keep you safe. If you ask me whether I believe him or not? I admitted yes I believe in what he said about God. But let’s all be honest, we are all human and it is as humane as possible to feel fear and worry. There is no way around it, I embrace the contradiction, the irony, but come to terms with them. I now say, grief is a double edged sword.

 

In memory of Stella / Li Chen Chang,

Rest in peace. I believe you are in a good place now. Thank you for sharing our happy moments together, and for inspiring me right to the very end. You are missed, and I promise to visit you soon.

That viral funny BBC interview : Why no one asked Jung-a Kim’s point of view about the viral video?

On March 10, an interview video of a professor resided in South Korea with BBC News became viral of various reasons. The video is starring an interviewee called Professor Robert Kelly, a woman called Jung-a Kim, a daughter called Marion (4 y.o.) and a son called James (9 months). Have you seen the video?

Most people initial reaction of the video are funny at how refreshingly candid the children are during the professional setting of the BBC interview. When I first saw the video, the caption already said the woman is the wife so I never assumed she’s the nanny ever. I do wonder a bit of the resemblance of the kids to both parents, that’s my first thought. Then I thought the kids are adorably innocent compares to the serious setting of the interview. I did wince a bit at how cold the father is towards the goofy children, he does not look like a warm father to me, but I gave him benefit of doubt, yea he may be flustered as well and just trying to control the smooth continuity of the serious interview. I also noticed how frantic the woman’s manner is, she looks panic and guilty, which gives a stark difference to the interviewee. I believe she can be calmer in handling the situation despite the serious talk. Still I gave her another benefit of doubt, thinking that she might just express involuntarily at how unfamiliar she is in this serious situation caused by her children.

Setting benefit of doubt aside, few hours after the video published and comments flooding in, an article came up saying how the writer notices many people assumed the woman who dragged the children away is the nanny instead of the wife. Interesting is my first thought because I did not even skim through all the comments of the video. It only seemed real once I saw another reaction of my Facebook friend who also identify her as nanny despite the video caption mention wife. So I decide to look into it a bit more detailed.

Few days since the video went viral, there are only more and more people notices how so many people identify her as nanny instead of wife. These are the contrasting reasonings about the identification I’ve read so far:

The negatives said that people assumed she is the nanny because of the racial inequality or white supremacy that make people think Asians are more likely to be a nanny than a wife to a white professionals. Asians are also more likely to just work there with the sole responsibility to take care of the children away when the interview was proceeding.

The positives said they assumed so firstly because of her manner, she did not seem calm enough as their mother to shove away the children, she behaves more like a nanny who is doing horrible mistake in her work and about to be penalised or fired in her job. Secondly, it’s the husband’s manner who looked like he is an angry employer who is about to penalise / fire the woman who is supposed to keep the children away from the important interview.The positives basically saying that no matter what her race is, it’s her mannerism that fuels the assumption.

My conclusion is it is fair enough to say that both the parents’ mannerism may look like they are in employee-employer relations instead of husband-wife relationship. But it does seem wrong to still assume so when the video you saw clearly stated that she’s the wife. It makes me question further, is it again the racial issue? mannerism issue? or simply ignorance of the clear caption when watching a video?

As an Asian woman myself, I do want to believe the world is becoming a more equal place where there’s no racial assumption impaled on each race, so we can co-exist without racial prejudice and really getting to know each other as an individual. However after watching this video trends unfold, I honestly can’t help to re-surface this racial issue, currently simply observing how people / writers’ opinion toward this interesting case.

My second and my last question is “Why no one asked Jung-a Kim’s point of view about the viral video?”

It bothers me for days now that no one has not thought to give her a voice and publish them (of course) to express her opinion as the wife / woman who shove away the children towards this phenomena. Here I will give a elaborate explanation on why it is important, just in case anyone think I am just winding things up bigger than it should be.

  1. The professor/the husband is already contacted afterwards about writing this phenomenon on Twitter. Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 22.11.57
  2. Even the professor’s mother got asked of her response towards the video of her son’s family going viral as published first by Daily Mail. Ellen Kelly interviewed by Daily Mail. Well I know she is the mother of the infamous professor-who-keep-his-cool during the interview, but she is not even on the video, why interview her instead of the other character aka the wife who is clearly seen in the video.

Now, why there’s no media / article give the wife some space for her opinion? I could only think of three reasons :

  1. It’s racial and sexist issues that women of colour is rarely given a voice in the world’s talk.
  2. It’s her privacy as in she does not want to be contacted for any interview.
  3. It’s language barrier which means she does not speak good English so the media which mainly uses English as its language of communication fails to communicate with her.
  4. She is just oblivious / indifferent to any media attention and gladly to be out of it.

Any other way, I think if I got the all the resources I need, I would gladly interview her and see what she thinks of the phenomena about that video of her family going viral. Even if she is actually indifferent of the result, I think it’s a good outlet to give woman of colour some voice they need and to serve as an implicit support that woman of colour’s voice matters and should be given more room in the world’s talk. On the other hand, woman of colour themselves should again be encourage to actively express her voice more in the world’s talk despite the lack of room. In the context of Jung-a Kim, I want to emphasise that her voice matters even though she may be a simple housewife / yoga teacher who wants to keep her life simple, and despite being a wife of a professional / professor.

In terms of language barrier I would comment no more than it’s just a menial matters in my opinion. If I got the chance to interview her, I would gladly find an interpreter / Korean friend who can help me through the interview in order to listen to her opinion.

Lastly, if she was indifferent to the media attention or to protect her privacy as most Koreans seemingly believes in, it’s all her own rights to do so. No one should do otherwise but again her voice could serve a lot more purposes as stated above than she realised.

As a final remark, this article is just a result of curious inexperienced / resourceless graduate who sincerely eager to read the article of other experienced / resourceful journalists of respected media who will give Jung-a Kim a voice and cover her opinions about the video. I believe her response is most likely to be interesting than boring.

Ed Sheeran Came Back with Two New Singles

Welcome back, Ed!

After two years hiatus from the music industry, Ed Sheeran finally made a strong comeback releasing not only one single but two at once. Ever since the announcement last week on his twitter account (@EdSheeran) that he will release new song on Friday, Ed also tweeted some seconds-long sneak peek of his newest music videos which built up the excitement. The new singles has been released for 10 hours now and the response has been amazing.

On Twittersphere, #EdSheeran has placed on the top five most used hashtag of the day. On Youtube, the two new music videos has reached more than 1 million views within this short time.

The first single is called “Shape of You” , check the music for free here : Ed Sheeran – Shape of You The song tells the story of budding romance in a blunt but passionate way. Unlike the previous genre, Ed has expanded his music to electronic genre which features more upbeat tune than ever. The lyrics and the tune are both the catch here!

The second single is called “Castle on the Hill”, check the music for free here : Ed Sheeran – Castle on the Hill The song’s lyrics vibe is similar with Photograph. It tells the story of reminiscing the past and the longing for it. The music is more upbeat similar to pop rock than the acoustic Photograph. This song feels more like the familiar Ed style than the previous one.

Having been received very well, it’s no question that these songs will soon be placed in the top ten chart soon!

Pendaftaran SIM Internasional

Jauh berbeda dari perkiraan orang kebanyakan, pendaftaran SIM International adalah proses legal termudah dan tercepat dari semua proses mendapatkan dokumen legal yang lainnya seperti SIM nasional, paspor, E-KTP, dll.

SYARAT

Dokumen untuk pendaftaran SIM International adalah sbb:

  1. KTP asli & 1 lb foto copy KTP (WNI), atau KITAP (Kartu Izin Tinggal Tetap) asli & 1 lb foto copy KITAP (WNA), KITAS tidak berlaku untuk pengajuan SIM International.
  2. Paspor asli & 1 lb foto copy halaman profile saja.
  3. SIM yang masih berlaku
  4. 1 lb Materai 6000 rupiah
  5. 3 lb Pas foto 4×6 terbaru (Pria berdasi dan wanita memakai blazer/jas, latar belakang biru)

Masa berlaku semua dokumen harus lebih dari 6 bulan sebelum tanggal kadaluwarsa.

HARGA / FEE

Berdasarkan PP Tahun 2010, pendaftaran SIM International baru adalah Rp. 250,000 dan perpanjangan adalah Rp. 225,000

MASA BERLAKU

3 tahun

LOKASI

Korlantas Polri
Jl. Letjen Haryono MT Kav 37-38
Jakarta 12770
Telp: 021-7989702a

Buka hari Senin-Jumat jam 08:30 – 15:00

Terminal TransJakarta terdekat adalah Tebet BPKM plus jalan 6 menit sudah sampai di tempat.

Hanya ada satu lokasi untuk mendaftar SIM Internasional di seluruh Indonesia.

GOLONGAN SIM INTERNASIONAL
A. Sepeda motor dengan atau tanpa gandengan, kendaraan khusus untuk orang cacat dan kendaraan bermotor roda tiga dengan berat kosong tidak lebih dari 400 kg (900 lbs).

B. Kendaraan bermotor selain kategori A, dengan massa maksimum yang diperbolehkan 3.500 kg. Memiliki tidak lebih dari delapan kursi penumpang selain kursi pengemudi.

C. Kendaraan bermotor yang digunakan untuk mengangkut barang dengan massa maksimum yang diizinkan lebih dari 3.500 kg (7.700 lbs). Kendaraan jenis ini boleh menarik trailer ringan.

D. Kendaraan bermotor yang digunakan untuk mengangkut penumpang dengan memiliki tidak lebih dari delapan kursi selain kursi pengemudi.

E. Kombinasi dari kendaraan yang kendaraan utamanya ada di dalam kategori-kategori yang pengemudi diberikan izin mengemudi (B dan / atau C dan / atau D), tetapi tidak termasuk dalam kategori yang telah ditentukan.

LIST NEGARA YANG MENGAKUI PENGGUNAAN SIM INTERNASIONAL

Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Andorra
Angola
Antigua
Argentina
Armenia
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Bhutan
Bolivia
Brazil
Botswana
Brunei
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
C.I.S.
Cameroon
Canada
Cape Verde Island
Cayman Islands
Central African Republic
Chad
Chile
China
Colombia
Comoros
Congo
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Curacao
Cyprus
Czech Rep.
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominican Rep.
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Estonia
Fiji
Finland
France (include French overseas)
French Polynesia
Gabon
Gambia
Germany
Georgia
Ghana
Gibraltar
Greece
Grenada
Guatemala
Guernsey
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Iran
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Japan**
Jersey
Jordan
Kampuchea
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Korea (Rep.)
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Latvia
Lebanon
Leone
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macao
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Mali
Malta
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mexico
Monaco
Moldova
Morocco
Montserrat
Mozambique
Myanmar
Namibia
Nepal
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Guinea
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Niger
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Polynesia
Portugal (includes Madeira & Azores)
Principe
Qatar
Romania
Rwanda
Russia
San Marion
Sao Tome
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
South Africa
Sri Lanka
St.Christopher, Nevis & Anguilla
Surinam
Swaziland
Sweden
Switzerland
Sudan
Syria
Taiwan
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Thailand
Togo
Trinidad & Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Uruguay
Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States of America
Uzbekistan
Vatican City
Venezuela
Verde Islands
Vietnam
Western Samoa
Windward Islands
Yemen (Rep.)
Yugoslavia
Zaire
Zambia
Zimbabwe

** Menurut review pemakai SIM Internasional di Jepang, SIM Internasional tidak bisa digunakan di Jepang walaupun SIM Internasional umumnya bisa dipakai selama 6 bulan disana.

INFORMASI TAMBAHAN

Silakan dipersiapkan dokumen lengkap sebelum datang ke Korlantas, karena tempat fotokopi terdekat cukup jauh dan tidak di dalam komplek Korlantas. Terlihat ada satu gedung di sebelah kiri masjid di pojok jalan lurus masuk Korlantas untuk mengurus SIM Internasional. Di sebelah kanan pintu masuk gedung ada mesin tiket, tekan saja salah satu tombolnya dan masuk ke ruangan khusus SIM Internasional persis di sebelah mesin tiket tersebut sambil menunggu nonor Anda dipanggil. Panggilan nomor tiket Anda hanya terdengar di dalan ruangan, jadi harus menunggu di dalam walaupun ada tempat duduk di luar.

HASIL SIM INTERNASIONAL

Surat-Izin-Mengemudi-Internasional-Aupair1

Seperti terlihat di gambar diatas, SIM Internasional tidak berbentuk kartu seperti SIM nasional pada umumnya tapi berupa 3 bagian seperti buku notes berukuran sedikit lebih besar dari ukuran paspor. Gambar tersebut menunjukkan bagian paling kiri dan paling kanan dari SIM Internasional. Bagian tengah berupa keterangan untuk bagian paling kanan.

P.S. Sementara foto ini berdasar info resmi dari Kepolisian, untuk foto koleksi pribadi akan ditambahkan nanti.

Semoga berguna.

How to enjoy Valentine’s Day without a date

Ooh I love any celebration day! Tick-tock, few hours until date night times for couples.

How long has it been? 6 consecutive years without a date on Valentine’s Day. That’s a quarter of my life, mind you.

How would I feel getting through them all as a romantic? I used to feel pretty miserable but not now. Let me share some ways to fully enjoy this day without straying away from its meaning.

1.Expressing love to family and friends

I once gave them all chocolates and wish a happy Valentine’s Day, just so they won’t feel left out during this festive day. Or bring them all to eat out together, spending some quality time.

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via GIPHY

or just have casual night out with the girls

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via GIPHY

2. Pamper yourself = Love yourself

If you have a period when you’re away from all family and old friends like me, it’s time to invest this day for yourself. Have a nice long bath and soak up the warmth.

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via GIPHY

Add a bath bomb to make it fun!

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via GIPHY

Pour yourself some wine for Valentine’s day treat.

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via GIPHY

3. Submerge in your hobby

For me, it means cooking fancy stuff. I did love to cook for every celebration, I think good food is the key to enjoy everything. What’s yours?

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via GIPHY

4. Stay away from social media

Social media are tools to show people’s highlight reel and Valentine’s Day celebration is usually one of them. Thus if you can’t stand watching them without being jealous, just shut all media down and save yourself unnecessary negative emotion. Focus on what you can do by yourself on this beautiful day.

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via GIPHY

There you go.

What would I choose to do this year? *mind wandering off 7,600 miles away*

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via GIPHY

So what would YOU do on this Valentine’s Day without a date?
Wish you a happy Valentine’s Day anyway!

P.S. Please like, comment, or share if you enjoy reading this post. Love, Ayu 😉

What stopped me writing

I love writing, it’s out of question.

I think writing is therapeutical indeed, it’s the best channel for all of my ideas.

But… I cannot get myself write everything I wanted to write because of these three concerns :

1.My lack of confidence

My anxiety always reminds me of all my insecurities. She always ask “Do you think someone wants to read your post? Do you think the public can receive your topic? Do you think you use good English for your writing? Do you think you can use Bahasa Indonesia properly? Isn’t it written weird?

2. The pressure of being a Journalism graduates

I studied Journalism at a top university along with other experienced journalists, ranging from casual experience to decades of working in the media. I feel like nothing among them. Can my writing represent the quality of my education properly? Have I learnt enough? Have I learnt and abled to practice them properly? What can my writing contribute to the world among the better projects that my peers made?

3. The readers

Been living both in the opposite ‘western’ and ‘eastern’ countries made me socially confused. All of these experiences have folded me into someone with hybrid values by adopting both worlds’ values. Things I wanted to write are not very common here in Indonesia such as body positivity, freedom of self, etc. I am not even sure myself if I can write good enough about these topics. I used to think long and hard even before deciding on a topic to write. I asked myself these questions : Can the readers receive it well? Will it be useful for them? Will it bring negative effect socially to me and my loved ones?

Too many questions, it’s overwhelming even before I begin writing my first word. Need to strike some healthy balance to start writing again 🙂

Our Lady of Guadalupe (Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe) Relic Exhibition

When I went to the cathedral last weekend, instead of attending mass like I previously planned, I discovered the banner about the relic of Our Lady of Guadalupe one-week visit all the way from Mexico. The relic is exhibited from July 8 – July 14. The veneration / display of the relic will last until 12 AM on July 14th and made its exit at 1 PM.

Our Lady of Guadalupe or Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is one of Mother Mary nickname in Mexico as she appeared before Saint Juan Diego. Bear in mind that there are a lot of Mother Mary appearances around the world, and I barely knew some of them. I haven’t heard of this one before, but the other nickname piqued my interest which is the Protectress of the Unborn. I got the rationale at once because in the relic she is depicted as pregnant with baby Jesus symbolised by the black band around her waist.

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I got a short briefing upon my entrance to the church about Mother Mary appearances in Mexico leading to this relic. I was also given the brochures containing the background information, and the prayers to read.  A small piece of paper was also made available to write my personal intention.

I read all the history and the prayers when I was touched by this saying

Am I not here, your mother?

That is what Mother Mary said as she consoled Saint Juan Diego at her first appearance in 1531. I felt the saying is indeed comforting, it is always feel good to know someone got your back, that you are not alone. Especially as I struggled with my dissertation these days, I can totally relate to this. I felt good 🙂

I  finished reading and praying then I walked toward the relic. I was confused and nervous at that moment, I did not quite know what to do and I was sure looked awkward af. I was told to grab some rose petal midway and  I stood before the relic. After I said my prayer, I pressed my intention paper and the petals against the glass surface of the relic to be blessed. I walked away putting the paper in the basket nearby.

As an addition, I’d like to write my opinion towards this matter : abortion. I realised the Church has been active in supporting the unborn, pro-life, and refused the growing concept of legal healthy abortion in this modern world.

Speaking of the unborn, even though I am a Catholic I honestly cannot quite decide where I should stand, I have always been standing at the junction. On one side, I understand the rationale of the Church teaching to pro-life, to respect every living being who has been created by our God as early as conception. Abortion clearly defies the Ten Commandments because “Thou shalt not kill” Thus abortion is seen as murder in the eye of the Church.

On the other hand, as a modern woman, I also understand the point of view of pro-choice. In modern world, women deserved equal rights, one of which is the right to choose anything ranging from personal choice as in abortion to right to vote politically. We also demand more power where we got to decide our own fate based on our choice instead of letting others decide for you. I myself would prefer to keep my right to choose, and would love to feel empowered in general.

But if I were in a situation of unplanned pregnancy, I did not think I would do abortion simply because it defies my personal morale. I believe when conception happened a living being is created already, and as a pure tiny living being, I have no reason to end its life. What has it done wrong? Nothing actually. Looking for someone to blame for the situation? I’d rather blame myself for my recklessness, because even before the tiny living being is created, I kinda made this happen. At least, I had the eggs before the conception, and it was also happen in my body anyway.

In a worse case, if the living being is created by forced accident such as rape, I did not think I will abort it either if I were in that position. Because again, it has done nothing wrong, it may be an unwanted product of some tragedy, but it did not choose to be created that way on the first place. I’d say if this situation is seen as criminal acts in the law court, abortion seems like the judges’ decision to kill the victim instead of handling the crime doers. Sounds like an empty and frivolous solution for me.

Those are my mere personal thoughts if I were to be put in others’ shoes. At the end of the day, speaking of others, I wanted to judge no one. I believe in humans’ free will similar as what the Church has taught me. Everyone is free to do whatever they want, though in reality you also need to bear the responsibilities of your every actions.

Did you choose not to do the abortion and gave birth to the baby? Fine, there are going to be a lot of social pressures (especially in Eastern culture, like mine) and you also need to decide to put it up for adoption, raising it by yourself, etc.

Did you choose to do the abortion? Fine as well. Do your research and find a good legal clinic to do the procedure. Brace yourself for some health and psychological consequences that might occur during/after the procedure as commonly happen.

Wrapping up, is it worth it to visit the exhibition? Yes! Do visit if you had some time, as you got the chance to see the relic which has come a long way from Mexico. Do pray for the unborn as Our Lady of Guadalupe relic suggests, especially if you believe in life right after conception. I also felt comforted after coming there, and got some chance to reflect on this abortion issue.

Pretty good experience for me so I’d give this event 3 out of 5 rating.

Check the official event page on St. David’s Cathedral website

Check the official information hub on Our Lady of Guadalupe Relic website

Cheers