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.”