Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Birthday, Lola Tina

Today would have been her 76th birthday. 

Lola Tina, my maternal grandmother, left us four years ago, and I must say it was the first profound sorrow I felt in my life. I always spent my summer vacations with her in the province. She, together with my granpa, had a share of taking good care of my childhood life. 

I have a lot of simple but fond memories of her. I always remember her expressions and reactions when would tend our garden under the sweet smelling rosal, when we would feed our chickens in the backyard, when we would pick sweet pomelo that bore many fruits during the season, when we would walk down the poblacion to buy bread.

And though she has this tendency to hit the ceiling when she's in bad mood, my Lola Tina was a hard coated candy outside but a soft marsh mallow inside. She would come into my bed at dawn and hug me with her loving arms when she would hear me cry baby because I miss home. Now I still seem would want to cry, this time, because I miss her.

Yet every time I miss her nowadays, I think she has ways in which she makes her presence felt, comforting and loving. It must be her playing this old song over the radio sometimes. I don't know but it strikes a chord in me and I have this sudden remembrance of her when I happen to hear it.
Must be her own way of saying... It's not how long we held each other's hand / What matters is how well we loved each other / It's not how far we traveled on our way / Of what we found to say / It's not the spring you see, but all the shades of green...

It's not how long I held you in my arms / What matters is how sweet the years together / It's not how many summer times we had to give to fall / The early morning smiles we tearfully recall / What matters most is that we loved at all...

It's not how many summer times we had to give to fall / The early morning smiles we tearfully recall / What matters most is that we loved at all... / What matters most is that we loved at all.

Sometimes I wonder, too, if there is a way she would ever know how I am doing today - if she is also beaming with pride every time I excelled or she misses me too like the way I do to her. I am sure she is happy in the hands of the Grand Seigneur up there and with our other loved ones who have gone before us all here.

Thank you for all the memories, Lola Tina. We love you and we always will. Please do know that you are remembered not only on this special day, but always in our lives.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Boarding House of Ate Lily

I miss this place like hell. 

What brings me into this introspection is that I'm here since last night in my flat - a place that I have learned to call my second home since my college days in MSU GenSan.

Everything just seem so nostalgic... the distinct smell of atmosphere, the chlorinated taste of water, and the familiar faces of neighbors, the fading silence of the night... I miss the combination of  rural and urban lifestyle I had here.

All my things are still intact; thanks to my kind landlady who cleans my stuffs in the room at least twice a month. I virtually have everything in it - from bedsheets to shoes and from undies to toiletries. It's really a place I love to call a home.

And though I am the only man in our batch of boarders who kept coming back recently and all the rest of the new occupants now seem strangers, this place remains a living grand stand of beautiful memories of companionship amidst nostalgia and achievement over struggles.

These things hold me back from totally leaving this place behind. It will always surely be a sweet piece that completes the puzzle of my life.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Glowing Because I am Truly Happy with Everything Going on my Life

I met an old acquaintance while I was strolling in the mall this afternoon. It was a nodding meeting, so we made the most of each minute by talking about everything quickly. The first thing she noticed was my tanner look. She said that my "glow" is different.

"Maybe because you look more tan?" she asked.

"Must be my hair color?" I guessed.

"Or your weight gain perhaps?" she wondered.

Until she concluded and decided that I am in a different "glow" because I am truly happy with everything going on my life. Later I looked at myself on a large mirror twice. I couldn't help but agree with her.

I remember Alfred Tennyson who said: The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Go To Inferno!

Five words. I am having second thoughts.

After his international blockbusters, the thriller master Dan Brown is back for another story fusing history, science and literature in his fifth novel entitled INFERNO. 

This latest novel is based on the first of the triumvirate parts of the classic epic Divine Comedy composed by the famous medieval writer Dante Alighieri.

The novel would surely be an educational trip again to museums and galleries with an exciting dash of riddles and intrigues along the way.

However, it seems that most of the online reviews point out that Inferno is pretty much molded from its predecessor novels: hero in distress, a damsel in toe, a chase sequence, a group trying to kill, an international intrigue  - a formula that Dan Brown had used across his past novels, which I have all read.

Alright, enough of spoiling my own fun and yours. I haven't grabbed a copy and I am taking with a grain of salt about buying this expensive book. I think a borrow of this book from my friends would be enough to stop my doubts about it.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

War Of Our Fathers

One of the few things that piqued my attention during my recent wanderlust at SM City GenSan was the ongoing exhibit of Philippine Veterans Bank at the 2nd floor.

Dubbed as "War of our Fathers", the exhibit shows different artifacts and photographs from the American and Japanese occupations of the country. Looking at the exhibit panels and stands is one of the best ways to walk down the lane of our history and appreciate the sacrifices of the great freedom fighters.

The words that follow below were printed in a banner displayed at the facade of the exhibit. Funny, I typed with might and main all these in my phone since I didn't have a pen or camera when I dropped by.

A Tribute to the Freedom Fighters

When those of us, who lived through those days, die... the world will forget. -James Reuter, S.J.

In darker days, one can easily forget to live. But in the brighter days, one would not easily forget how during the dark times, not everyone forgot to live.

As Filipino guerillas fought for freedom, doctors, nurses and volunteers healed the wounded. As priests, nuns and lay ministers provided refuge, men, women and children from all walks of life struggled to reclaim a nation that fell into darkness.

They are the freedom fighters, the bearers of light, the dreamers and redeemers of the Filipino soul, our fathers who knew how to live and when to die for country and for its people...

And for us, the sons and daughters, and grandchildren of those who suffered and fought valiantly in that infamous war, we, who now live in brighter days, enjoying the freedom they so dearly paid for with life and limb.

Six decades or a lifetime is never enough to forget, and we remember with gratitude and pride... The War of our Fathers.

Just how many of us can look back with thankful hearts to our forefathers who gave us this freedom that we all now enjoy, and some even abuse? It's about time to. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Nancy Binay and Irresponsible Sharing

Whether we like it or not, Nancy Binay is winning.

I feel bad last night with people circulating this link around the internet. My blood pressure rose a bit again this morning after listening over the radioIt's the same issue: Philippines being ranked by Times Magazine as the most stupid country after electing Nancy Binay as a senator. I am not a supporter of anyone, but I believe that some people are just so insensitive and irresponsible.

First, to the social site users. I can sense that many of those who seriously shared the link and subsequently made others believe were completely unaware that it is only a satirical and fictional news website where the articles were just written with the intention to poke fun on rather unfavored news. Any critical reader can notice that note on the right side widget of the blog where that article was published. Go, find it.

Second, to the radio commentary host of a certain local station. What annoyed me so much was the host sounding factual in telling the issue without giving any hint to the listeners of the understanding that the information given is just for entertainment because he himself as a commentator in the first place was unaware of it. You claim to defend freedom but you do not stand to assume responsibility.

"It's true," a misled reader shared the article in a social network, affirming the rather fictional title he read regarding Nancy Binay and our country in effect as a fact. The modern adage says: Google before you tweet, which means be sensitive and responsible enough of what you write or say.

And even if we say we all know it is just a satirical and fictional write up, Nancy Binay does not deserve to be bashed like anyone else this way. For the record, I personally did not vote for her and I have a heap of other political dislikes but I never came to the idea of turning into a troll.

Some might say we live in a democratic country, but for the sake of democracy do not throw grenade at your own people and country. If the aim of satire is to inject humor into news to provide respite to the readers, know how to draw the line between entertaining an audience and hurting a person.

Just my two cents. Move on, people.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Behind The Bars

Everytime the word "jail" slithers in conversations, I personally feel something anxious. I have never been to jail in my whole life until yesterday to facilitate the special election process. Looking at the two storey building with our incarcerated brothers in orange shirt behind the bars is really an intimidating event.

I couldn't wholly imagine if I will be imprisoned inside one of those cells. Limited spaces. Frozen wishes. Clipped opportunities. Unabbreviated dreams. I couldn't afford to lose this most prized freedom of being an autarchic human unless I go nutty like a fruit cake and blow an innocent brain out.

But I realized that at some point I am in fact long been a captive of my own self. I think that I am to an extent the damn engineer of our my imprisonment. I have been building those bars around myself to set limits to otherwise beautiful things.  

There are times when I deliberately ignore people and shut them all out of my life. It feels being distant and I start to become a hater in a claustrophobic world that I myself make. But thanks to my acknowledgement of hate as an unworthy emotion and I know I am not the imprisoned person I want to be.

Sometimes I deny to myself the things that I deserve and I handcuff myself in hypocrite humility. It is like trapping myself when I know I've got to believe myself. Would have it not been for defense mechanism called sublimation, I would have been suffocated to simplism without placing cushion of laughter between praises and pressures.

My own self, and nobody else, is the instrument of captivity or freedom. To some degree I am jailed in my own irrational self but most of the time the choice to be free is always mine with the divinity that shapes me.

Share with compassion for life is really meant to be shared. Love again because it is lovelier the second time around. And expand because the world outside is an endless opportunity.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Renew PRC ID at SM GenSan

Expired PRC identification card and want to renew? You don't have to go far and wide like me because here is a nearer center. If you are from SOCSKSARGEN area, you can drop by the Business Services, 3rd Floor, SM City GenSan.

As printed in the small piece of paper I got from the center, the requirements in order to renew are the following:

1 piece 1 X 1 ID Picture in white background with name tag
Passport Size ID Picture in white background with name tag
Php 50.00 Service Fee
Renewal Payment depending on profession
Application Form

There is also a bit drama for you need to wear polo or blouse with collar upon processing the renewal because they will take a picture of you right at the center to probably validate further your authorization.

Moreover, in double harness with SSS, PhilHealth, PAG IBIG, NSO, and Department of Trade and Industry, the Business Services also caters bill payment, currency exchange, remittance, and government services.

P.S. Thank you, Melvin Calixton, an MSU batchmate.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Summer Is Over And So Are We

Things change like leaves of tree
Young swallows learn to be free
Left summer skin I shed off me
Summer is over, and so are we.

Daylight hours seem don't agree
Wind whispers the cold decree
Warmer feelings I used to be
Summer is over, and so are we.

Lost is nature's outside spree
Fading is chant of the laboring bee
In my room a sea of ceiling I see
Summer is over, and so are we.

Monday, May 6, 2013

I'm Left Handed

Recently we had a meeting. I was editing the manuscript of school background when our head teacher noticed my way of writing.

"I never noticed you are a left handed, good at numbers" he commented, looking amused that I am.

"Oh, nope, I am ambidextrous!" I reacted jokingly as I shifted my pen grip on right hand and pretended to be writing.

I take pride on being a left handed and I haven't just discovered my mathematical intelligence yet... Lmao.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Just Give Me A Reason

I've never seen Pink steal a scene until last night when I happened to hear the new chart topper "Just Give Me A Reason". Rather than the usual single perspective song, it features band singer Nate Ruess along with Pink herself.

Many songs play metaphoric lyrics but this one has simple and direct that conveys deep emotions. Holding on when everything else appear to fall apart seems to be the general theme of the song.

The music is appealing and fascinating. For instance, I love the twist in rhythm at the chorus line "and we can learn to love again". It is sensational, and it tells the dash of ardor that the kind of people in the song are feeling.

Compared to the other hit of Pink entitled "Pill" which is the only song I know of her, "Just Give Me A Reason does not have swear word and mean reputation. It is more wholesome and emotional.

However, sometimes I can hear Nate singing in higher notes than Pink. Since it's a love tale shared by a man and a woman, I think it would be better if there should be a distinct voice of each, not a duet that seem homogeneous when they sing together.

Moreover, the music video is well crafted. Emotional separation was best depicted through an allegory where Pink kept tossing alone in bed with a stuffed bear amidst the night, water and fog that served as her world.

As a whole, this song is pleasing. It is living forward to what it wants to convey and enjoying a widespread favor among the listening crowd.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Annoying Epals

I am awakened every morning by these loud campaign jingles and I can see posters of politicians virtually in every nook and cranny around the village. It seems that the politicians are going crazier as the "judgement day" is lurking around.

On the other side of things, I would like to feature another infamous slang in politics - EPAL. According to Jocelyn R. Uy of Philippine Daily Inquirer, the term is a play on the words "mapapel" which is a Filipino slang for a scene stealer, and "kapal" or someone who is thick skinned.

How EPAL these attention seeking politicians can get? Let me count the ways...

Pictures in giveaways like bags and shirts, and even relief good packages, subliminally telling that they personally provide... So epal.

Appearances and suggestive speeches in public events like school graduation and barangay programs now more often than the usual... So epal.

Names affixed in signages to claim credit on government projects and accomplishments that are otherwise bankrolled by taxpayer money... So epal.

Documentary shows televised specifically this period to portray the drama of their biographies and draw the emotions of the public... So epal.

Premature advertisements as early as three months before the campaign period, reminding the public of what they have done for... So epal.

Epal - remember their faces and forget their names.

Unfortunately, there is no law at the present that prohibits these ugly practices, and these epals are just so annoying they offend and hurt my taste!

COMELEC Chairman Sixto Brilliantes advised: “The best way to deal with these epals is to remember their faces now and forget their names come election day.”