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The Tree of Life

Spiritual Story by Peter M. Espina Jr.

Somewhere in time, in the farthest region of Southeast Asia there was a small village where an old farmer lives. His name was Ripat. He was a virtuous man. Ripat used to plant vegetables, corns, bananas, pineapples, and coconut trees in his farm.

One day, Ripat left his house and went to a neighboring village to help plant trees following the municipal order of the mayor. Before he left his place he took the seed of "lo-ve" (the dialect word for coconut in the province) and went on his journey. After two days, Ripat arrived at the village and meet the council of elders. The wisest elder of the village asked Ripat why he brought with him the seed of coconut tree to the village. Ripat answered by telling a story:

When God created Paradise he also planted with it the tree of knowledge and the tree of life. Before God created the tree of life he took 3 cups of water from the river of life and protected it with a pure white edible flesh inside. Then, he put the edible flesh with life water inside a thick hard shell and protected it with fibrous husk yields coir. Then, it was called the seed of life.

After God made the seed of life he planted it in paradise where it grows and becomes the tree of life. The tree of life bears many fruits of its own kind just like the seed of life. Then, Ripat continues: The seed of life that I'm referring to is the same as the seed of "lo-ve" (also known as coconut fruit) that I brought with you. "God send his "love" to us in the form of flesh and blood and planted it on Mt. Calvary where it grows and bears fruits of millions around the world."
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Peter grew up in the island of Lao-ang, the Northern part of Samar, Philippines. He was born on February 17, 1976 in Manila. His father is a retired overseas contract worker while his mother is a retired teacher. He has two siblings and he is the only Son in the family. He was educated in the college of San Beda where he earned a double major degree in Philosophy and Human Resources Development. A year later he went into Law School but he was appalled to the horrifying condition of the legal profession in the country and decided not to pursue his law education. In 2001, he entered the Catholic religious seminary of the Augustinian Recollects in Bagiuo City until he got ill and decided to leave the seminary to get medical attention. In 2005, he studied at the Graduate School of the University of Santo Tomas, the first Catholic university in Asia. After leaving his job as technical solutions specialist at Siemens, today he's looking forward to find a new job.

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