xmenllet’s go watch X-Men!” I excitingly asked my wife. My wristwatch read 10:15 AM. “What showtimes’ available?”  “Wait,” I replied and checked my mobile. Movie scheds were 12:30 PM,  3:40 PM, and 6:50 PM. “It’s still early we can catch the 12:30 show.” “Ok, I’ll take a bath first and prepare.” she said.

Now, when she says that she’ll take a bath and prepare, two hours is the least so as usual I had to make adjustments. I thought to myself, “Instead of catching the 12:30 noon sched, we’ll have lunch somewhere and catch the 3:00 PM showtime.” So being a very understanding hubby, you have to take into consideration the slow-mo that comes with age. My wife during her prime was always on her toes actively employed with the Department of Information under the Office of the President and sent to different parts of the country as her job called for, and of course her other functions  as mangaawit, diakonesa, and  pananalapi ng lokal.

But, that was a long time ago and now she is retired. We both have come a long way. Endured so many trials in life, personal and otherwise. Life in this little planet of ours just happens to be that way. We embrace it the best way we can. I see her preparing, choosing the right blouse and slacks. And having difficulty choosing her shoes. Before, I would usually nag at her saying we would be late if she wouldn’t hurry up. But after a while your senses catch up and you look at her and see how beautiful she has aged. Maybe a few more wrinkles, grey hair, and noticeable limp in her walk. But otherwise she was still the woman you courted and the mother of your wonderful children.  It hits you smack in your face. All this time she would never complain of your nagging nor answer back. She would just continue with whatever she would be doing.  That’s why I have come to understand that the only thing we men are strong when compared to women is physical strength. Nothing more. Women are stronger in all other aspects. They are better emotionally, weigh things better, and have patience we men should envy.

So now, I adjust. When I ask her to accompany me to an event at 1:00 PM, it’s actually 3:00 PM and if it’s for 3:00 PM it’s 5:00 PM. I give her time.  I owe her that much.  I already had plans that we’d have lunch before watching X-Men.  As anticipated we left home around 12:00 noon and reached Ayala Fairview Terraces after 15 minutes. The place is not so crowded compared to SM Fairview and just  a stone’s throw from where we live.  We parked and I opened my wife’s side and assisted her getting out of the car. “Matanda na tayo,” she quipped. I answered, “Ikaw lang.” “Gago, matanda ka na rin, ayaw mo pang aminin, puro puti na buhok mo!” she blurted out. We both laughed and walked into the mall with her holding on to my arm. We had lunch at Max’s. Sinigang na bangus with fried chicken. Price was reasonable with the senior citizen perks. After a slow lunch, we proceeded to the cinema area, got the tickets and sat down in the lobby. We were an hour early. I told my wife to relax while I go get some potato chips and drinks for the show.  When I returned, I found her chatting with an old lady seated beside her. She was a close friend, deaconess, and pananalapi who we had somehow lost in touch with when we transferred to another locale.

“Kamusta na po?” I asked. “Ok lang ako, ito may diabetes, malapit ng mamatay” she jokingly quipped. “Anong ginagawa mo rito, sino kasama niyo?” “Wala, ako lang, manonood. Nagliliwaliw.” she replied.

Well, after some introductions, the subject turned to the Church. I asked her, “Balita ko wala na pera  Iglesia..”

She immediately answered, “Wala naaaa, ubos naaa ….Ninakaw na nilaaaa.” There was no stopping her after that.

“Ano  tingin nila sa atin, bobo?  Palingap sila ng palingap tapos yong mga kapilya hindi nagagawa. Papatanging handugan tapos papagawa sila ng mga barangay chapel. Kahit pagdikit dikitin ang pitong barangay chapel hindi magkakasya sa lahat ng sasamba. Pinahihirapang lang nila ang mga maytungkulin. Ano? Tutupad ng tatlong Miyerkoles, tatlong Huwebes, tatlong Sabado, tatlong Linggo? Kaya ako, pasya ng puso ko sa abuluyan ay dalawang piso na lang. Bat ako magbibigay ng malaki? Nagkakasala ka nga, naging kasangkapan ka pa sa pagnanakaw nila. Wag na!”

“Paano pala ang mga taga 36 Tandang Sora?” I asked. Her reply was something I hadn’t thought of before.

“Pabayaan mo na sila. Ngayon lang sila nagtitiis. Tayo mula ng maging Iglesia tayo, nagtitiis na tayo. Hindi sila pababayaan ng Diyos.  Isang tawag lang nila sa Diyos, siguradong papakinggan sila. Tayo, mejo kelangan matagal ang tawagan. At isa pa, pagdating ng araw lahat ng Sanggunian matutulad sa mga unang lumaban sa Diyos, kung hindi namatay nasiraan ng ulo. Mga yan kapag niloob ng Diyos na mamatay ang Ka Eduardo at Ka Jun Santos, biglang magbabaligtaran mga demonyong yan.”

The movie was now about to start so we said our goodbyes. She went inside another theater – a local movie, while we proceeded to X-Men. The movie was great. In fact I love all superhero movies though I feel it’s becoming a little overkill. The story revolves around a powerful mutant named En Sabah Nur destined to destroy the world.  It also stresses the importance of family (the main reason why Magneto turned when his daughter and family were killed). And of course the main story lies around the end of the world as we know it.

Well, after watching the movie, something crossed my mind regarding the end of the world. I became curious how many prophets actually predicted the end of the world. So I made a few queries and this is what I learned. No predicted apocalyptic events have occurred so far. Here are a few worth mentioning and some rather amusing.

Pope Sylvester II

1000 Jan 1: Pope Sylvester II : The Millennium Apocalypse at the end of the Christian Millennium. Various Christian clerics predicted the end of the world on this date, including Pope Sylvester II. Riots occurred in Europe and pilgrims headed east to Jerusalem.

1284: Pope Innocent III: Pope Innocent III (d. 1216) predicted that the world would end 666 years after the rise of Islam.

Martin Luther

1600: Martin Luther:  Predicted the end of the world would occur no later than 1600.

1656: Christopher Columbus:  In his Book of Prophecies (1501), Columbus predicted that the world would end during 1656.

1806: Mary Bateman: In Leeds, England in 1806 a hen began laying eggs on which the phrase “Christ is coming” was written. Eventually it was discovered to be a hoax. The owner, Mary Bateman, had written on the eggs in a corrosive ink so as to etch the eggs, and reinserted the eggs back into the hen’s oviduct.

1901: Catholic Apostolic Church: This church, founded in 1831, claimed that Jesus would return by the time the last of its 12 founding members died. The last member died in 1901.

1925: Feb 13 Margaret Rowen: According to this Seventh-day Adventist the angel Gabriel appeared before her in a vision and told her that the world would end at midnight on this date.

Herbert Armstrong

1936: Herbert W. Armstrong: The founder of the Worldwide Church of God told members of his church that the Rapture was to take place in 1936, and that only they would saved. After the prophecy failed, he changed the date three more times.

1941: Jehovah’s Witnesses:  A prediction of the end from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a group which branched from the Bible Student movement.

Jean Dixon

1962: Feb 4: Jeane Dixon, various Indian astrologers:  Jeane Dixon predicted a planetary alignment on this day was to bring destruction to the world. Mass prayer meetings were reported from India.

1982: Pat Robertson: In late 1976 Robertson predicted that the end of the world would come in 1982.

Hon-Ming Chen

1998: Mar 31 Chen Tao: Hon-Ming Chen, leader of the Taiwanese cult God’s Salvation Church, or Chen Tao – “The True Way” – claimed that God would come to Earth in a flying saucer at 10:00 am on this date. Moreover, God would have the same physical appearance as Chen himself. Chen chose to base his cult in Garland, Texas, because he thought it sounded like “God’s Land.” On March 25, God was to appear on Channel 18 on every TV set in the US.

Now if you wish to look for a complete list on the apocalypse predicted by no less than one hundred well-known personalities, check this site. A very interesting read.