Monday, July 22, 2013


A poem I stumbled upon,
On a leaf inscribed short verses;
whoosh, the wind,
One here, two there,
On a string the letters flew,
all but the leaf;
The sun rose,
higher, higher;
till my leaf sizzled,
till the green is no more,
dry and crumpled;
The sun sets,

The stars twinkled,
One here, two there;
Gold, silver,
forming letters,
dashed on a crimson sky;
I rose to reach out,
When a leaf fell,
green and fresh;
Embossed like a velvet,
Some poem,
some manuscript;
When the sun rose,
and whoosh the wind...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Death March

Second World War, Philippines.  Many stories were told of the heroism of Filipinos around the time when Filipino combatants were marching their way from Bataan to Capas, Tarlac.  Tired and weary of the long walk under the blazing summer heat, soldiers are seen falling from the ranks and shot by Japanese occupation troops.  Filipino civilians by the road could not resist giving water to these poor brave warriors.  A risky act which cause some their life as the enemies sometimes shoot civilians point blank.  One touching story was told of how an old woman risked her life in trying to help one Filipino trooper.  As civilians helplessly watched the soldiers marched to their death, one fell down by the road.  Instinctively, people came to the rescue of the poor fighter when a Japanese officer \saw them and fired his rifle to the air.  The Filipinos backed out of fear for their life, but one courageous old woman came down quickly to the aid of the fallen soldier.  So daring was her act that even the Japanese officer stood stunned while everyone watched silently as the old woman poured water from a pitcher and gave it to the Filipino combatant.  Then slowly, she helped the militiaman to his feet and smiled at him.  Not yet satisfied, she poured another glass of water but this time, she handed it over to the Japanese officer and gave him a deep and rather long bow bestowed only to a man of honor.  The old woman left unharmed.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On A Lake One Day

The spot was majestic, serene, and bright;
The trees and its shade,
The wind and the birds.
Fishes wrangling free from the bait,
The still pond disturbed by its ripples.

An exquisite smell of jasmine,
And a woman’s laughter,
Melodious, sweet, and charming,
Disturbed my reverie somehow.
And as I looked at a grassy corner yonder,
A smile escaped my lips,
Piercing look burns into my soul,
As my heart skips a moment of infamy.
For there by the edge of the lake,
Stands a nymph glowing like the moon. 
Inviting and seducing,
Smiling and enticing.

Oh, I do not know what caused me to ignore
So suddenly, and so unusual,
Such beauty;
Such passion.
But as I look at the pond again,
My worried face reflects bright and clear;
Of not so young a man, long and grey haired.
Echoes of raging youth, of romance and extravagance;
Of passion and pride,
Leaving only marks of anguish, 
of traces of guilt, and struggle.

Yet, as I stood up to leave finally,
A soft little hand clutches mine.
A daughter by my side
Who looks up to me as someone strong and wise,
A guide, a teacher, a father.

And as we started treading our steps back home
Together, happy, singing, and oh, even dancing;
I looked back as though by instinct,
To the lady of the lake,
Who stared confused and bewildered;
With a merry mirth,
I managed a wink,
“Farewell, beautiful one.”

Saturday, December 29, 2012

What Feminism Is Really All About

With the cross-cultural and deeply encompassing presence of feminism in most of our life, advocated mainly by most civil society group, feminism has managed to mold our minds towards how the new world order should evolve.  Following are some of the most famous quotes from very well known feminist leaders.

1. "The simple fact is that every woman must be willing to be identified

as a lesbian to be fully feminist." (National NOW Times, Jan.1988).

2. "Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the
women's movement must concentrate on attacking this institution. Freedom
for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage." (radical
feminist leader Sheila Cronan).

3. "Being a housewife is an illegitimate profession... The choice to
serve and be protected and plan towards being a family-maker is a choice
that shouldn't be. The heart of radical feminism is to change that."
(Vivian Gornick, feminist author, University of Illinois, "The Daily
Illini," April 
25, 1981).

4. The most merciful thing a large family can do to one of its infant
members is to kill it." (Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood,
in "Women and the New Rage," p.67).

5. "In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from
families and communally raise them." (Dr. Mary Jo Bane, feminist and
assistant professor of education at Wellesley College and associate
director of the school's Center for Research on Woman).

6. "Marriage has existed for the benefit of men; and has been a legally
sanctioned method of control over women... We must work to destroy it.
The end of the institution of marriage is a necessary condition for the
liberation of women. Therefore it is important for us to encourage women
to leave their husbands and not to live individually with men... All of
history must be re-written in terms of oppression of women. We must go
back to ancient female religions like witchcraft." (from "The Declaration
of Feminism," November 1971).

7. "Overthrowing capitalism is too small for us. We must overthrow the
whole... patriarch!" (Gloria Steinhem, radical feminist leader, editor of
'MS' magazine).

8. In response to a question concerning China's policy of compulsory
abortion after the first child, Molly Yard responded, "I consider the
Chinese government's policy among the most intelligent in the world."
(Gary Bauer, "Abetting Coercion in China," The Washington Times", October
10, 1989).

9. "Let's forget about the mythical Jesus and look for encouragement,
solace and inspiration from real women... Two thousand years of
patriarchal rule under the shadow of the cross ought to be enough to turn
women toward the feminist 'salvation' of this world." (Annie Laurie
Gaylor, "Feminist Salvation," "The Humanist", July/August 1988, p.37.

10. "By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in
human potential, not God." (Gloria Steinhem, editor of 'MS' magazine.)

If feminists truly work for the good of women, and children, as well as advocate a just and humane society, they have to do so with the principle of respect for the rights of others, that is husbands, fathers, children, and women who believe in traditional society rather than antagonize them.  It will make it hard for them to solicit the cooperation of men who may advocate their work if they keep on portraying them as monsters and threatening their roles in society as husbands, fathers, and men of good will.  Are we not all here to play unique roles for the betterment of everyone, and the world in general?  The feminists may have suffered much under the hands of cruel men, but they have to remember, life is a two-way process.  Are there not many men who suffer from the hands of their wives as well?  Are not women themselves contributors to some of the ills of society?  What about those many unborn children who were denied of their rights to live because their mothers are so preoccupied with their rights to be free of the burden of motherhood?  Are women who work as sex workers free of guilt for every damaged family as a result of their work?  True, husbands are themselves to blame also, but maybe their wives maybe as guilty as everyone is?  So, are social problems mainly confined to gender inequality alone, or are there some deeper issues involved that need to be addressed?  Socio-economic issues maybe, or deeply spiritual concerns?

Source: Center for Children's Justice in Denver, CO (Robert Muchnick - )

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Made in Germany

Two cultures set apart by distance.  So far apart yet fused into one.  Bonded, merged, joined.   Nena und Nena.  One  from the Philippines, the other aus Deutschland.  The former, a very dear friend of mine; the latter, a part of my growing years, an idol.  

My day would have been just another of the many boring days I had, had it not for the coming of my dear friend Nena who at work we fondly called Anne, many, many years before.  And why not?  Her real name is Antonina.  So you either call her Nena, or Anne; Anto or Tony, but never Ant, never Ton, not even Ina.  Just don't call her those, please. 

Nena has just arrived home from Germany for vacation. And vacation it is.  After a week of visiting friends and neighbors, she decided to invite me to a dinner with another friend of her's (Gee,  I thought I would be left out).  It was a simple dinner at Mang Inasal, where you get to eat chicken that looks more like an electrocuted duck.   Not sumptuous, nothing pompous.  Oh, but, we had a great time together with so much laughter, and teasing.   That's what friends are for, right?.  You don't eat much, but you get a lot of fun together.  I guess, that's how they do it in Germany.   And so, after another hour of jesting around with another group of friends in another place, we parted.   Just like that.  My dear Anne, however gave me a copy of Nena's concert just as I thought to myself, "That's it?".  No, that isn't all there is to it, Meister.  It's Nena's concert video.  Anne's concert?  Not her concert stupid, for our very own Nena can't sing pure note.  She listens to good music 'though, and has a sophisticated ear for the best.  And so, she gave me this concert CD of Nena called, 'Made in Germany' with a smile, and with a look in her eyes only I can discern the meaning of.  Made in Germany?  Oh no, nothing of that sort.  Its just simply Nena.  My Nena.  Philippine made. 

Back at home, my room is bustling with Nena's music video courtesy of my good friend Nena.   And as I watch her sing and dance, my heart can't help but leap and jump too.  Never mind if I don't understand most of the German lyrics.  That isn't so important.  It is not the lyrics that makes the music, after all.  Its the melody, rather; rhythm, and tunes.  Simple pure note.   Made in Germany. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Semper Fidelis

A long, long time ago during our High School days in St. Vincent, a rule was observed that once the lights are turned off after night prayers at quarter to nine, "magnum silentium" starts; meaning, absolute silence.  One night, a few minutes after lights off, we heard partying on the other side of the fence.  Excitedly, my friends and I went out to the veranda to watch the shindig, whereupon the prefect of discipline happened to pass by and flashed a beam of light to the direction of the noise.  As if by Pavlovian instinct, my friends scampered back to their bunks leaving me to face the angel of death.  The high priest, mighty and supreme, gave me the ulitmatum of having me to sleep alone in a classroom downstairs unless I identify the names of my friends.  "Semper fidelis" and not one to squeal, I stood my ground and gallantly faced father superior with the seal of confession.  Wow, impressive, heroic, absolutely priestly!  Only that, I got to sleep alone in one of the old and dark, cobweb filled classrooms; praying hard to God not to allow ghosts of dead priests play a joke on me.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Me, My Daughter, and Her Cat

When I was sent to Thailand for over a month, I missed my daughter so much that when I heard her voice over the phone, I just wanted to listen to her and get mesmerized by her sweet little voice. On another occasion, I was so eager to bring home an exciting news that I talked, and talked my heart out all throughout dinner that I didn't realize, I was the only one speaking.  Before we retired to bed that night, I checked on my daughter to see if everything was okay with her.  I was deeply disturbed when I saw her lying on her back wiping a tear on her face.  When I asked her what was wrong, she got up and took me outside the house.  Pointing to a tiny spot in the backyard, she told me in tears,  "That's where we buried my kitten this afternoon, dad.  She was bitten by a stray dog."  My heart sunk and almost melted.