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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fork in the Road


My blog title today is inspired by a well-known documentarist and famous blogger (whose posts I don't fail to read), Mr. Howie Severino of GMA News and Current Affairs.

Howie Severino's Sidetrip attempts to find relevance in the exotic and the commonplace, value the undervalued, and satisfy Howie's personal curiosity about all things that have anything to do with being Filipino.

One of his posts last January 08 is a personal invitation to watch Sine Totoo, featuring Raffy Tima's The Doctor Is Out Of Town- a documentary featuring Dr. Julius Cidro, a Barrio Doctor who endures the long and tedious boat ride to the community, lack of facilities and medical supply, low wages and uncomfortable lodgings at the municipal clinic – in order to serve the people.

Well, the blog, and of course the documentary, seeks to tell all of us that there still are Filipinos who choose not to go abroad, but stay and serve the country and the people.

Parang bigla ko tuloy naalala yung political ad ng gma na "sa isa kong boto".It's a pity really that pinoys (professional if i must emphasize) should go to other lands because there goes the greener pastures that they couldn't find here in the Philippines.Nakakalungkot pero totoo.
#2 hector olympus on 2008-08-28 17:59 (Reply)

Hector, In our lives we come to a fork in the road -- do we go to greener pastures... or do we try to nourish and water the pasture where we were born so it one day turns green?
#2.1 howie on 2008-08-28 19:08 (Reply)

agree with you, howie.

the topmost important is to be where God has placed you to be.

I, for one, as an accountant, had been through that "fork in the road", because our country does not offer much opportunities in our field.

However, I never regret staying in the Philippines because I know deep in my heart that this is my place. God has placed me here and this is where He will bless me.

Kayong mga nasa media nawa ang syang patuloy na magmulat sa aming mga mamamayan sa mga kakulangan ng bansa na dapat nating pagtulung-tulungang diligan at alagaan para maging maunlad ang bayan.
#3 hector olympus on 2008-08-29 09:39 (Reply)

Fork in the Road. Indeed it is a pity why most Filipinos should choose to leave and work in a foreign land in search for better opportunities which our country could not provide.

Yes, there are opportunities-however, the pay are always undervalued. Or maybe because our government is taking much percentage of taxes from our income?

There are those who commend OFWs and even call them "Mga Bagong Bayani" for their dollar remittances.

But there are some who condemn and accuse the OFWs of leaving the country, and being self-seeking, never thinking of giving service to our nation.

But the truth is seen by the naked eye. Scarcity of good opportunities in our nation compel us to be on the "FORK IN THE ROAD" and decide whether to stay in the Philippines, or to go to other country where the pastures are greener.

Can't blame the OFWs. And in reality, I salute them for taking the courage to leave the comfort of being in our own land. It is hard being in a foreign territory. But the most hard part is leaving your beloved family and abstain from seeing them from say, 1 or 2 years.

For us who choose to stay, I will leave Howie's response with emphasis on his last phrase:

"In our lives we come to a fork in the road -- do we go to greener pastures... or do we try to nourish and water the pasture where we were born so it one day turns green?"

The choice is ours.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ang Alamat ng Sinumpang "Bird"


Malaki ang problema ni Pedro.

Ga-higante ang kanyang ... kuwan...... 25 inches.

Dahil dito, ayaw siyang pakasalan ni Maria.

Naisip niyang humingi ng tulong kay Manang Belen, ang arbolaryo sa kanilang lugar. "Naku Pedro", wika ni Manang Belen, "iisa lang ang remedyo sa problema mo. Kailangan hanapin mo ang mahiwagang loro sa tuktok ng bundok at hilingin mo na pakasalan ka niya. Tuwing tatanggihan ka ng loro, liliit ng 5 inches ang kuwan mo."

Umakyat si Pedro sa bundok. Nang narating niya ang tuktok, nakita niya ang mahiwagang loro.

"Mahiwagang loro, pakasalan mo ako", halos binulong lang ni Pedro sa kaba.

"Ayoko!", sagot ng loro.

Pag silip ni Pedro, 20 inches na lang siya!

"Mahiwagang loro, pakasalan mo ako", mas malakas niyang binigkas.

"Ayoko!", sagot ng loro.

Pag silip ni Pedro, 15 inches na lang siya!

Minsan na lang para matuwa si Maria.

"Mahiwagang loro, pakasalan mo ako", halos napasigaw siya sa galak.

"Ang kulit mo naman!" sumbat ng loro,
"Sinabing Ayoko! Ayoko! Ayoko!"

Ito ang nangyari sa kuwan ni Pedro! (scroll down pls.....)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bakit Nagsisinungaling ang mga Lalake

Karpintero itong si Jojo at isang araw eh gumagawa siya ng isang bahay sa tabi ng ilog. Sa lakas ng pagma-martilyo niya eh nalaglag ang martilyo niya sa ilog.

Umiyak siya at lumitaw yung guardian angel niya,

"tutulungan kita, Jojo"

...sabay lundag sa ilog.

Lumabas ito na me hawak na gold hammer,

"ito ba ang martilyo mo?"

"hindi po"...

Lundag uli ang anghel at lumitaw na me silver hammer,

"ito ba?"...

"hindi po"...

Lundag uli sa ilog ang anghel at lumitaw na me ordinary hammer,

"ito ba?"...

" Opo" ...

natuwa ang anghel.

"Dahil honest ka, bukod sa martilyo mo, sa'yo na rin ang gold and silver hammer"...

Makaraan ang ilang araw, naglalakad si Jojo sa ilog at kasama ang misis niya. Eh sa katangahan, nalaglag si misis sa ilog...iyak si Jojo.

Litaw si guardian angel, "tutulungan kita"...

sabay lundag sa ilog at ng lumitaw eh kasama si Diana Zubiri,

"ito ba ang misis mo?"

...sagot si Jojo, "opo"

...nagalit si anghel,

"sinungaling ka. Akala ko pa naman mabait ka"...

Nag- reason-out si Jojo,

"sorry po, angel...kasi kapag sinabi kong 'Hindi', eh lulundag ka uli sa tubig at pag-litaw mo eh kasama mo si Katrina Halili. At pag sinabi ko uli na hindi siya ang asawa ko, eh lulundag ka uli at ang tunay na misis ko na ang kasama mo.

At dahil sa kabaitan ko, eh ibibigay mo din sa akin sina Diana at Katrina.

Mahirap lang po ako at hindi ko kaya ang me tatlong asawa, kaya 'Yes' na lang ang sinagot ko nung una."


Kaya lang naman nagsi-sinungaling ang mga lalaki eh for a good and noble reason.

Bob Ong Updates and Other Trivia

Bakit Baliktad Magbasa ng Libro ang mga Pilipino?
Ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas
Alamat ng Gubat
Stainless Longganisa

Credit these no-nonsense, pinoy na pinoy pieces of literary genius to the man named
BOB ONG, the famous author nobody really knows.

Now, I wouldn't dwell much on the facts and details about the identity of our beloved writer as I know that so many articles in print and even in the internet have already been made for him and about him.

Ruel De Vera, in his Sunday Inquirer Magazine titled,
The mystery begins with his name-Bob Ong (not his real name) on July 2006, describes Bob Ong as, "the mass-market mystery man, a publishing phenomenon whose blockbuster book sales are equaled only by the anonymity he maintains. He is Bob Ong—not his real name—the most unusual best-selling Filipino author you’ve never met."
here to read De Vera's complete article

The phenomenon that is
Bob Ong may very well be attributed to where it all began- the now inexisting bobongpinoy.com.

The following
FAQs provide details about bobongpinoy:

Q: Ano ang Bobong Pinoy?
A: Ang Bobong Pinoy ay website ni BO, itinatag pagkaupo ng ikalabing-tatlong presidente ng Pilipinas, at binuwag matapos ang pagbaba ng nasabing pinuno sa trono. Kasalukuyan ito ngayong pinagkukutaan ng mga kapaki-pakinabang na tambay ng Pilipinas sa pamumuno ni Osama Bin Laden.

Q: Wala na ba kayong archive o mga natatagong articles ng BP na maaaring mabasa?
A: Meron. "Bakit Baliktad Magbasa ng Libro ang mga Pilipino?"

Q: Bakit ayaw mong... este, ni BO pala, ibalik ang website na Bobong Pinoy?
A: Napakaraming dahilan.

Q: Bakit isinama mo pa sa FAQ na 'to ang tanong sa itaas e hindi mo rin naman pala sasagutin?A: Pamparami

10 years after bobongpinoy was birthed out; and after six successful books, all selling like hot pan de sal, Bob Ong followers are now craving for book seven (and maybe by now, stakes are high as to what would book 7's cover page color be).

A credible source confirmed that Book 7, another Fiction, will soon be released hopefully by October 2008. And if plans will push thru, Books 8 & 9 will still be Fiction, then the 10th may be non-fiction.

As previously stated, as much as followers are craving for the latest BO book, they are also on the watch as to what would be the color of the cover page this time.

And just in case some don't know about this color-coding schemes on BO's books, some pieces of trivia are posted at
visprint's (BO books' publisher), website:

Galing sa mga mambabasa ang nickname ng mga libro: Green book ang ABNKKBSNPLAko?! (book1); Yellow book ang Bakit Baliktad Magbasa ng Libro ang mga Pilipino? (book2); Black book ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas (book3); Orange book ang Alamat ng Gubat (book4); at White book ang Stainless Longganisa (book5).

Dilaw ang Bakit Baliktad Magbasa ng Libro ang mga Pilipino? dahil spoof sana ng "For Dummies" book series ang cover nito. Pero nag-evolve ang konsepto kalaunan hanggang sa nagmukha na lang itong...um, dilaw na libro.

Peksman! Talagang sina Dan Brown at JK Rowling ang nagsabi ng review na nasa likuran ng ikalimang libro.

Ipinasa ni BO sa editor ang unang libro bilang "ABNKKBSNPLAko!?" pero naipasa ito ng editor sa publisher bilang "ABNKKBSNPLAko?!". (Spot the difference.)

Isinulat ni BO ang ikalawang libro at ilan pang mga tula habang nasa piitan s'ya noong taong 1962 hanggang 2001. (Halata bang nauubusan na tayo ng trivia?)

the complete trivia

10 years and counting.

The then bobongpinoy.com might have, for some reasons, failed to resurrect in this time when we are again faced with the same situation when it first began-the nation in political crisis, with the highest person in-charge in question as to her capability to drive the course of the nation in its proper destiny, but Bob Ong's books will continually inspire the Filipino to prove the fact that the Pinoy is not bobo after all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Filipino is Worth Dying For

Sometimes I wish I have lived in the time of Marcos; that I have lived in the time of Ninoy...

I was a very young child when these two brilliant gentlemen dominated the philippine politics; and so now, I could only hear and read their names in the internet and in those history books way back in school.

Well, now most of us know the history that was then.

Martial Law
Ninoy Assasination
EDSA People Power
And the rest is what we are now.

But perhaps some might think of the what ifs...

What would have happened if Ninoy have not been killed?
What would have occured if Martial Law was stopped and an election was helld pitting Marcos and Ninoy?
Will the Philippines become better if Ninoy became the president?

Well, as I have said, the rest is history.


-the supposed speech that Ninoy should have delivered upon his arrival at the Airport where he was shot to death on August 21, 1983.

I have returned on my free will to join the ranks of those struggling to restore our rights and freedoms through non-violence.

I seek no confrontation. I only pray and will strive for a genuine national reconciliation founded on justice.

I am prepared for the worst, and have decided against the advice of my mother, my spiritual adviser, many of my tested friends and a few of my most valued political mentors.

A death sentence awaits me. Two more subversion charges, both calling for death penalties, have been filed since I left three years ago and are now pending with the courts.

I could have opted to seek political asylum in America, but I feel it is my duty, as it is the duty of every Filipino, to suffer with his people especially in time of crisis.

I never sought not have I been given any assurances, or promise of leniency by the regime. I return voluntarily armed only with a clear conscience and fortified in the faith that in the end, justice will emerge triumphant.

According to Gandhi, the willing sacrifice of the innocent is the most powerful answer to insolent tyranny that has yet been conceived by God and man.

Three years ago when I left for an emergency heart bypass operation, I hoped and prayed that the rights and freedoms of our people would soon be restored, that living conditions would improve and that blood-letting would stop.

Rather than move forward we have moved backward. The killings have increased, the economy has taken a turn for the worse and the human rights situation has deteriorated.

During the martial law period, the Supreme Court heard petitions for habeas corpus. It is most ironic after martial law has allegedly been lifted, that the Supreme Court last April ruled it can longer entertain petitions for habeas corpus for person detained under the Presidential Commitment Order, which covers all so-called national security cases and which under present circumstances can cover almost anything.

The country is far advanced in her times of trouble. Economic, social and political problems bedevil the Filipino. These problems may be surmounted if we are united. But we can be united only if all the rights and freedoms enjoyed before September 21, 1972 are fully restored.

The Filipino asked for nothing more, but will surely accept nothing less, than all the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the 1935 constitution – the most sacred legacies from the founding fathers.

Yes, the Filipino is patient, but there is a limit to his patience. Must we wait until that patience snaps?

The nationwide rebellion is escalating and threatens to explode into a bloody revolution. There is a growing cadre of young Filipinos who have finally come to realize that freedom is never granted, it is taken. Must we relive the agonies and the blood-letting of the past that brought forth our republic or can we sit down as brothers and sisters and discuss our differences with reason and goodwill?

I have often wondered how many disputes could have been settled easily had the disputants only dared to define their terms.

So as to leave no room for misunderstanding, I shall define my terms:

Six years ago, I was sentenced to die before a firing squad by a military tribunal whose jurisdiction I steadfastly refused to recognize. It is now time for the regime to decide. Order my immediate execution or set me free.I was sentenced to die for allegedly being the leading communist leader. I am not a communist, never was and never will be.

National reconciliation and unity can be achieved, but only with justice, including justice for our Muslim and Ifugao brothers. There can be no deal with a dictator. No compromise with dictatorship.

In a revolution there can really be no victors, only victims. We do not have to destroy in order to build.

Subversion stems from economic, social, and political causes and will not be solved by purely military solution: It can be curbed not with ever increasing repression but with a more equitable distribution of wealth, more democracy and more freedom.

For the economy to get going once again, the working man must be given his just and rightful share or his labor, and to the owners and managers must be restored the hope where there is so must uncertainty if not despair.

On one of the long corridors of Harvard University are carved in granite the words of Archibald Macleish: ‘How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms; by truth when it is attacked by lies; by democratic faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always and in the final act, by determination and faith.’

I return from exile and an uncertain future with only determination and faith to offer – faith in our people and faith in God."


"The Filipino is Worth Dying for", said Ninoy. The Filipino to whom Ninoy has offered his dreams and aspirations of a better nation.

25 years after Ninoy's tragic death on August 21, we are again faced with the uncertainty of becoming a great nation. The odds are up. An unstable political scenery, economic turmoil, disasters, graft, corruption, and the continuous battle over Mindanao.

Uncertainty. As was before in the days of Ninoy.

And now, we hope that there is a Ninoy who will defy the odds and will challenge the country's political leadership.


But someday, somehow, in God's perfect will, the nation will rise and be great again.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Dark Knight Syndrome

News have it that The Dark Knight movie starring Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, and Heath Ledger is continuously breaking box office records.

Anyway, much have been said about the movie on my review, however, as I have already stated, one of my very few comments was Bale's voice whenever he wears the Batman suit. Many more articles have also circulated concerning this so I think the producers really have to adjust on this one on their next sequel.

Another thing of significance is whoever will be the most fit replacement for Heath Ledger. As we know, Ledger gave a very stunning performance for his Joker portrayal.

Now, talks have it that this mysterious artist will gonna be taking on the Joker role on the next Batman sequel.

Negotiations are already underway. And as to how much would be the asking price, maybe a couple of fishes will do :)

Thanks, myke, for sharing this one :)

Have a good laugh everyone!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Our Land Will Dance Again

I can see better days ahead
Our land will dance again
Because of You

Voices will be heard with shouts of joy
You've done mighty things
Let the nations sing
You gave me love


Today, I am reminded by this song (You Gave Me Love) from Hillsong Music by Reuben Morgan.

With all the negative things that are happening in our country today, a lot of people are asking if there will still be a better future awaiting us. Amidst the many problems and crisis that we keep on hearing in the news and seeing in our own naked eyes, yet, we can still hope because we have a God who cares for the nation of the Philippines.

Early this week, I have received this EMAIL BRIGADE entitled, THE ONLY HOPE FOR THE PHILIPPINES by Father James Reuter, S.J.

And while we do differ in our own religious beliefs, I personally would want to encourage all of us to read and take heed of this email. Feel free to also pass this on and/or post in our blogs and have faith that God shall make known His promise on our beloved Philippines.

by Father James Reuter, S.J.

By her own admission, GMA (Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) lightfully assessed that 'over the last decades, our republic has become one of the weakest, steadily left behind by its more progressive neighbors.'

Forty years ago, we were only second to Japan in economic stature, and way ahead of Singapore , Hong Kong , Malaysia , and Thailand . Today, at our present growth rate, it will take us 30 years to get to where Thailand is.

1. A population of 160 Million;
2. Of those, 70 to 90 million (equivalent to our current population) will live below the poverty line;
3. Our national debt is estimated to be at US$200B (compared to US$28B when Marcos fled, and US$53B today);
4. We will be competing, not against Thailand or even Vietnam , but against Bangladesh ;
5. We will be the most corrupt nation in Asia , if not in the world (we're already ranked 11th most corrupt nation by Transparency International) .

The signs are clear.

Our nation is headed towards an irreversible path of economic decline and moral decadence.
It is not for lack of effort. We've seen many men and women of integrity in and out of government, NGOs, church groups & people's organization devote themselves to the task of nation-building, often times against insurmountable odds. But not even two people's revolutions, bloodless as they may be, have made a dent in reversing this trend. At best, we have moved one step forward, but three steps backward.

We need a force far greater than our collective efforts, as a people, can ever hope to muster.

It is time to move the battle to the spiritual realm.
It's time to claim GOD's promise of healing of the land for His people.
It's time to gather GOD's people on its knees to pray for the economic recovery and moral reformation of our nation.

Is prayer really the answer?

Before you dismiss this as just another rambling of a religious fanatic, I'd like you to consider some lessons we can glean from history.

England 's ascendancy to world power was preceded by the Reformation, a spiritual revival fueled by intense prayers.

The early American settlers built the foundation that would make it the most powerful nation today - a strong faith in GOD and a disciplined prayer life. Throughout its history, and especially at its major turning points, waves of revival and prayer movement swept across the land.

In recent times, we see Korea as a nation experiencing revival and in the process producing the largest Christian church in the world today, led by Rev. Paul Yongi Cho. No wonder it has emerged as a strong nation when other economies around it are faltering.

Even from a purely secular viewpoint, it makes a lot of sense. For here there is genuine humbling & seeking of GOD through prayer, moral reformation necessarily follows. And this, in turn, will lead to general prosperity. YES, we believe prayer can make a difference. It's our only hope.

Today, we launch this email brigade, to inform Filipinos from all over the world to pray, as a people, for the economic recovery and moral reformation of our nation. We do not ask for much. We only ask for 5 minutes of your time in a day, to forward this email to your close friends and relatives.

This is the kind of unity which can make a big difference. Of course, if you feel strongly, as I do, about the power of prayer, you can be more involved by starting your own prayer group or prayer center.

We have tried people power twice; in both cases, it fell short. Maybe it's time to try prayer power. GOD never fails.

Is there hope? YES!

We can rely on GOD's promise, but we have to do our part. If we humble ourselves and pray as a people, GOD will heal our land. By GOD's grace, we may yet see a better future for our children.

'If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.'(2 Chronicles 7:14).



"Prayer moves the hand that moves the world"

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sandosenang Sapatos

This story won First Prize, Maikling Kathang Pambata in the 2001 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature

Sandosenang Sapatos
Dr. Luis Gatmaitan

Sapatero si Tatay.

Kilalang-kilala ang mga likha niyang sapatos dito sa aming bayan. Marami ang pumupunta sa amin para magpasadya. Ayon sa mga sabi-sabi, tatalunin pa raw ng mga sapatos ni Tatay ang mga sapatos na gawang Marikina. Matibay, pulido, at malikhain ang mga disenyo ng kanyang mga sapatos.

"Paano mo ba naiisip ang ganyang istilo? Kay ganda!"

"Siguro, dinadalaw ka ng musa ng mga sapatos at suwelas?"

"Parang may madyik ang iyong kamay!?"

Sa lahat ng papuri, matipid na ngingiti lamang si Tatay. Tahimik na tao siTatay. Bihirang magsalita.

Lumaki akong piling ang mga sapatos na gawa ni Tatay. Madalas aykinaiinggitan ako ng mga kalaro at kaklase ko. Buti raw at sapatero angTatay ko. Lagi tuloy bago ang sapatos ko kapag pasukan, kapag pasko, kapag bertdey ko, o kung nakatanggap ako ng honors sa klase. Ginagawan pa niya ako ng ekstrang sapatos kapag may mga tira-tirang balat at tela.

"Buti ka pa Karina, laging bago ang sapatos mo. Ako, lagi na lang pamana ng ate ko. Sa 'kin napupunta lahat ng pinagkaliitan n'ya," himutok ng isang kaklase.

Nasa Grade II na ako nang muling magbuntis si Nanay. Kay tagal naming hinintay na magkaroon ako ng kapatid. Sabi ng Lola ko, sinagot na raw ang matagal nilang dasal na masundan ako. "Naku, magkakaroon na pala ako ng kahati sa mga sapatos! Pero di bale, dalawa na kaming igagawa ni Tatay ng sapatos ngayon."

Habang nasa tiyan pa si baby, narinig kong nag-uusap sina Tatay at Nanay. "Nagpa-check up ako kanina. Sabi ng doktora, babae raw ang magiging anaknatin!"

"Talaga! Kung babae nga, pag-aralin natin ng ballet. Gusto kong magkaanak ng ballet dancer! Ngayon pa lang ay pag-aaralan ko nang gumawa ng mga sapatos na pang-ballet."

Pero hindi lahat ng pangarap ni Tatay ay natupad. Nagulat kaming lahat nang makita ang bago kong kapatid. Wala itong paa. Ipinanganak na putol angdalawang paa! Nakarinig kami ng kung ano-anong tsismis dahil sa kapansanan ng kapatid ko. Siguro raw ay binalak na ipalaglag ni Nanay ang kapatid ko kaya kulang-kulang ang parte ng katawan. Nilusaw raw ng mga mapinsalang gamot ang kanyang mga paa. Isinumpa raw ng mga diwata ng sapatos si Tatay dahil mahal na itong sumingil sa mga pasadyang sapatos. O baka raw ipinaglihi siSusie sa manika.

"Nanay, bakit po ba walang paa si Susie?"

"Nagkaroon kasi ako ng impeksyon anak. Nahawa ako ng German measles habang ipinagbubuntis ko pa lang ang kapatid mo. At iyon ang naging epekto," malungkot na kuwento ni Nanay.

Hindi na magiging ballet dancer ang kapatid ko. Malulungkot si Tatay. Araw-araw, ganu'n ang naiisip ko kapag nakikita ko ang mga paa ni Susie.

Kaya pinilit ko si Nanay na muling pag-aralin ako sa isang ballet school(dati kasi, ayaw kong mag-ballet). Pero "Misis, bakit hindi n'yo po subukang i-enrol si Karina sa piano, o sa painting, o sa banduria class? Hindi yata talagang para sa kanya ang pagsasayaw," sabi ng titser ko sa Nanay ko.

Nalungkot ako. Hindi para sa aking sarili, kundi para kina Tatay at Susie, at sa mga pangarap na masyadong mailap.

Saksi ako kung paanong minahal siya nina Tatay at Nanay. Walang puwedeng manloko kay Bunso. Minsan, habang kami ay nagpipiknik sa parke, may isang mama na nakakita kay
Susie. "Tingnan n'yo o, puwedeng pang-karnabal 'yung bata!" turo nito kay Susie.

Biglang namula si Tatay sa narinig. Tumikom ang mga kamao. Noon ko lang nakitang nagsalubong ang mga kilay ni Tatay. Muntik na niyang suntukin ito.

"Ano'ng problema mo, ha?"

Mabuti't napigilan siya ni Nanay.

Isang gabi, habang nakahiga kami sa kama, narinig kong kinakausap ni Tatay si Susie. "Anak, hindi baleng kulang ang mga paa mo. Mas mahalaga sa amin ng Nanay mo na lumaki kang mabuting tao at buo ang tiwala sa sarili." Masuyo niya itong hinalikan.

Hindi tumigil si Tatay sa paglikha ng sapatos para sa akin. Pero napansin ko, kapag sinusukatan niya ang paa ko, napapabuntung-hininga siya. Pagkatapos ay titingin sa kuna. "Sayang, Bunso, di mo mararanasang isuot ang magagarang sapatos na gawa niTatay" bulong ko sa kanya.

Lumaki kami ni Susie na malapit ang loob sa isa't-isa. Hindi naging hadlang ang
kawalan niya ng paa para makapaglaro kami. Marami namang laro na di nangangailangan ng paa. Lagi nga niya akong tinatalo sa sungka, jackstone, scrabble, at pitik-bulag. Ako ang tagapagtanggol niya kapag may nanghaharot sa kanya. Ako ang tagatulak ng wheelchair niya. Ako ang ate na alalay!

Noon ko natuklasan na marami kaming pagkakatulad. Parehong magaling ang aming kamay kaysa aming mga paa. Ako, sa pagpipinta. Siya, sa pagsusulat ng mga kuwento. At oo nga pala, si Tatay, kamay rin ang magaling sa kanya!

Minsan, ginising ako ni Susie. Sabi niya, nanaginip siya ng isang pambihirang sapatos. Napakaganda raw nito sa kanyang mga paa. "May paa siya sa panaginip?" gulat na tanong ko sa sarili. "Maniwala ka, Ate, kay ganda ng sapatos sa panaginip ko. Kulay dilaw na tsarol na may dekorasyong sunflower sa harap!"

Magbebertdey siya noon. At napansin ko, tuwing nalalapit na ang kanyang kaarawan, nananaginip siya ng mga sapatos. "Ate, nanaginip na naman ako ng sapatos. Kulay pula ito na velvet at may malaking buckle sa tagiliran." Binanggit din niya sa akin ang sapatos na kulay asul na bukas ang dulo at litaw ang mga daliri niya. Ang sapatos na puti na may kaunting takong at may ribbon na pula. Ang sapatos na yari sa maong na may burdang buwan at mga bituin. Ang sandalyas na parang lambat. Ang kulay lilang sapatos na may nakadikit na bilog na kristal sa harap. Manghang-mangha ako sa kung paanong natatandaan niya maski ang pinakamaliliit na detalye ng mga sapatos - ang disenyong bulaklak, ribbon, butones, sequins, beads, o buckle.

Inaangkin niya ang mga sapatos na 'yon. "Ate, paglaki ko, susulat ako ng mga kuwento tungkol sa mga sapatos na napapanaginipan ko. Ikaw ang magdodrowing, ha?"

Paglipas pa ng ilang taon, namahinga na si Tatay sa paglikha ng mga sapatos. Gumagawa na lamang siya ng sapatos para sa mga suking
di matanggihan.

Noong nagdaos siya ng kaarawan, niregaluhan ko siya ng isa kong painting na may nakapintang isang pares ng maugat na kamay na lumilikha ng sapatos. Binigyan naman siya ni Susie ng isang music box na may sumasayaw na ballet dancer. "Pinasaya nyo ang Tatay nyo," sabi ni Nanay.

Pagkatapos noon, naging masasakitin na siya. Labindalawang taon si Susie nang pumanaw si Tatay.

Isang Araw, hindi sinasadya'y napagawi ako sa bodega. Naghahalungkat ako ng mga lumang sapatos na puwedeng ipamigay sa mga bata sa bahay-ampunan. Sa paghahalughog, nabuksan ko ang isang kahong mukhang matagal nang hindi nagagalaw. Naglalaman ito ng maliliit na kahon. Mga kahon ng sapatos na maingat na nakasalansan! "Para kanino ang mga sapatos? May umorder ba na hindi nai-deliver?" tanongko sa sarili.

Pero nang masdan ko ang mga pares ng sapatos na 'yon, nagulat ako. Taglay ng mga sapatos ang pinakamahuhusay na disenyo ni Tatay. Iba-iba ang sukat nito. May sapatos na pang-baby. May sapatos na pambinyag. May pang-first communion. May pangpasyal. May pamasok sa eskuwelahan. May pangsimba. May sapatos na pang-dalagita.

Lalo akong nagulat nang mabasa ang kanyang dedication sa nakasabit na papel:

Para sa pinakamamahal kong si Susie,
Alay sa kanyang unang kaarawan

Inisa-isa ko ang mga kahon. Lahat ng sapatos na nandoon ay para kay Susie. Diyata't iginagawa ni Tatay si Susie ng mga sapatos?

Para kay Susie, lugod ng aking buhay
Sa pagsapit niya ng ikapitong kaarawan

Taon-taon, hindi pumalya si Tatay sa paglikha ng sapatos sa tuwing magdaraos ng kaarawan si Susie!

Sandosenang sapatos lahat-lahat.

Handog sa mahal kong bunso
Sa kanyang ika-12 kaarawan

Napaiyak ako nang makita ang mga sapatos. Hindi ko akalaing ganu'n pala kalalim magmahal si Tatay. Binitbit ko ang sandosenang sapatos at ipinakita ko kina Nanay at Susie. "H-Hindi ko alam na may ginawa siyang sapatos para sa'yo, Susie." Namuo ang luha sa mga mata ni Nanay. "Inilihim niya sa akin ang mga sapatos?"

"A-Ate, ito ang mga sapatos na na panaginipan ko" Hindi makapaniwalang sabi ni Susie habang isa-isang hinahaplos ang mga sapatos.

"Ha?" Noon ko lang naalala ang mga sapatos na ikinukuwento ni Susie. Dilaw na tsarol na may dekorasyong sunflower sa harap. Kulay pulang velvet na may malaking buckle sa tagiliran. Asul na sapatos na bukas ang dulo at litaw ang mga daliri. Kulay puti na may kaunting takong at may ribbon na pula. Sapatos na yari sa maong na may burdang buwan at mga bituin. Sandalyas na parang lambat. Kulay lilang sapatos na may nakadikit na bilog na kristal sa harap. Naisip ko, tinawid kaya ng pag-ibig ni Tatay ang mga panaginip ni Susie para maipasuot sa kanya ang mga sapatos?

Hindi ko tiyak.

Ang tiyak ko lang, hindi perpekto ang buhay na ito. Gaya ng hindi perpekto ang pagkakalikha sa kapatid ko. Pero may mga perpektong sandali.

Gaya ng mga sandaling nilikha ni Tatay ang pinakamagagarang sapatos para kay Susie.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Vote Wisely

A nice story on making the right choices during elections.

While walking down the street one day, a Philippine senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "

Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the senator.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from the higher ups. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who is having a good time dancing and telling jokes.

They are all having such a good time that before the senator realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises...

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens in heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him, "Now it's time to visit heaven."

So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing.

They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."

The senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulders."I don't understand," stammers the senator. "The other day I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"

The devil smiles at him and says, "The other day we were campaigning ...Today, you voted."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Grandma Goes to Court

In a trial, a prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know me?'

She responded, 'Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.'The lawyer was stunned.

Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?'She again replied, 'Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.'

The defense attorney nearly died.

The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said, 'If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you both to the electric chair.'

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Invading Tinig.com

Hey, it's my first time to submit an article in a web-based environment, and quite surprised that they did accept my contribution.

About Tinig.com

Isang e-zine para sa mga kabataang Pilipino ang Tinig.com. Naglalaman ito ng personal essays, lathalain, tula, dula, maikling kuwento, at komentaryo tungkol pambansang usapin na isinulat ng mga kabataang Pilipino.

The site also explains that while they have their regular columnists, they also invite free-lance writers to contribute their articles.

Anyway, I have already posted this article in my previous blog, Dekada-The Article That Could Have Been, so I wouldn't be posting this again.

Dekada @ Tinig.com may be accessed at this link: http://www.tinig.com/dekada/

This is the first, and hopefully more to come.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Eheads Reunion Concert

The Eheads Reunion Concert-What Lies Beneath?

Absolutely no joke about it.

The Eraserheads, one of the most prominent Pinoy rock bands of the 1990s, formed by Ely Buendia, Raimund Marasigan, Buddy Zabala and Marcus Adoro, will be having their reunion concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on August 30, 2008.

Flashback: In the 90's, Eraserheads, or Eheads, took the OPM by storm; releasing super-hit songs like Harana, Ang Huling El Bimbo, Ligaya, Magasin and Toyang. The band is just phenomenal, they were even called the Beatles of Philippine Music.

In 2002, rumors have been speculating that the band members are not in good terms. And in March of 2002, the Eheads disbanded. Since then, Ely Buendia, had formed two bands, the Mongols (which also disbanded later), and the Pupil. The other Eheads members, Raimund, Buddy and Marcus, recruited a new female vocalist, Kris Dancel. However, a few months after, Marcus had also quit the band.

End of the Story.

But not quite.

Ricky Lo, in his Philippine Star Column in July 2008, confirmed that the Eraserheads will be reuniting for a one-night concert at the CCP open grounds on August 30, 2008, and that

"It took one big company to bring the former band members together,’ said the source who is keeping the company’s identity ‘confidential’ for the time being."

The "BIG COMPANY" was later on identified as Philip Morris, the company which produces Marlboro cigarettes. And a hefty 10 Million php each-member is actually at stake. Some people who are in the music business-know-how, disputed the figure and stated otherwise that the 10M might have been for the whole band, thereby giving the members a 2.5M each payback for the 45minute show. Ely Buendia, however, said that they are doing it not for the money, but for the loyal Eraserheads fans who have been with them through all the years.

End of the Story.

But not quite.

And what lies beneath?

On July 1, 2008, a new law that bans tobacco sponsorships and all forms of tobacco advertising in mass media, including the Internet, took effect in the Philippines.

Howie Severino, in his blog, entitled, An example for the Eraserheads? , states,

"In the Philippines, those seeking tickets to an August 30 reunion concert of the famous Filipino band Eraserheads are being directed to www.marlboro.ph, a web site run by Philip Morris International's Philippines subsidiary. The Eraserheads have been called the "Beatles of the Philippines" and the reunion concert has generated enormous online buzz that often mentions the Marlboro web site, generating positive publicity for the world'sbest-selling cigarette brand. Philippines authorities should investigate whether marketing for this concert violates a national law that, as of July 1, 2008, bans tobacco sponsorships and all forms of tobacco advertising in mass media, including the Internet."

The buzz on this issue has since circulated in the Internet media, and a lot of debates and discussions are still on-going. Howie Severino even created a special documentary, Boses Upos, in connection with the new law on Cigar Ad Ban, and the effects of smoking in people's health.

This thing about cigarettes is actually a lengthy discussion, considering that a lot of people in the Philippines are into smoking, and that it has been a fact, especially these days, that more and more young people are seen smoking in broad daylight.


Howie shared that one colleague even took the documentary as an ear-opener:

Dear Howie, Medyo nagulo ako coz it's the first time i've heard about the term "ear-opener".would you please expound?
#3.1.1 hector (Homepage) on 2008-07-31 15:48

hector, a colleague commented on how the unusual audio, and not video, kept him glued to the documentary. He said it was not an eye-opener, but an ear-opener. ; >
# howie on 2008-07-31 16:33

yeah, got it na. kasi it's the voice (robotics) that's the issue of the documentary.i hope that the government will also try to look into these issues. parang the advisories posted on the boxes "cigarettes can kill, or cigarettes are addictive, or dangerous to your health" are not working anymore.siguro nga, it is much better if we have those "sin taxes" implemented already.
# hector (Homepage) on 2008-07-31 17:05

@hector. I think "sin taxes" would definitely help. Well basically, only those who can afford pay the hospital bills that chain smoking results to should have access to smoke (if they dare). I think people, especially those in poverty, have better things to spend on than their daily dose of cigarette boxes. @howie: again sir, a very nice documentary. If i heard it right, are cigarette companies not allowed to advertise starting this month?
# Ronin on 2008-08-01 19:21

Ronin, that's true, the ad ban on cigarette companies started July 1. They are not allowed to sponsor events either, including the upcoming Eraserheads reunion concert.
# howie on 2008-08-02 08:02


The Eraserheads concert is actually making news-not only because of their much-awaited reunion. But because of what lies beneath the BIG COMPANY's sponsorship issue.

It's about time for our governing bodies-the lawmakers and the law enforcers-to take a serious look of this scenario.

Now it's the government's turn to complete the story.

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