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It’s Nanay’s 90th! 

31 Jan

It’s our Nanay’s 90th! On February 1 to be exact.

This, I believe, is our first picture together. It was the end of the first grade and this was minutes before we went up the stage for the recognition rites. The multi-layered sampaguita garland around my neck was care of Nanay. I was only 5th Honor but I smelled the grandest among them all! As in you could really smell me from three rows back! Haha!

That’s how Nanay really is to the family. She wants everyone to feel special and her method is largely based on how she thinks of you. Different strokes. Still, in my case, there was this time that she carried me piggyback through three Barangays just to bring me to the municipal health center because I couldn’t walk. I was on the 3rd grade then and the mountains of San Pedro were still thick with trees and since pavement was a luxury, we walked on mud.

She badgered me with “kailan ka ba mag-aasawa” the last time I visited her. I tried to talk her out of it but we went back to the same question every time. I gave up. And then I realized that it’s just Nanay being Nanay. I suppose that she doesn’t want me na magmukhang kawawa without a family of my own because she might not be there anymore when I’d “need” assurance that someone still cares.

Yes, the caring never stops. A mother through and through. For that and everything else, we are endlessly grateful.

Happy 90th, Nanay!

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2013 is a time to JUMP!

2 Jan

Happy new year! Wow! It’s already 2013! How was your 2012? And how has it been so far into the new year?

As for me, my 2012 rocked! In many things and in many good ways! I know I haven’t posted about the places where I’ve been or the new things that I was blessed enough to have or the new people I have met or worked with but I PROMISE to slowly write about them in the next days. I also owe this to Paz, one of my best friends who is now based in New Zealand with her beautiful family, who, in one of her email asked me to tell her the highlights of the new places I have been to so she can live vicariously through me. Paz, when she was still single, used to travel a lot so I know she’d appreciate my stories. And I hope you would, too!

Speaking of promises for the new year, I have to admit that I am one who also creates a list of resolutions and wishes for the new year. And while I was reflecting on my list for 2013, I thought it serendipitous to have opened a tweet from @Maria_Ressa this morning. It said:

2013 is a time to JUMP!

With the Tweet was a link to an article by Ms. Arianne Serafico of posturaproject.com. She wrote about her TEDxKatipunanAve experience where she was invited to talk about Using Creativity for Nation-Building, along with other Modern Day Revolutionaries. Her main point wasn’t about tips and tricks on how to become a revolutionary because as she said, Revolutions are not no one-size-fits-all. What she spoke about instead were 5 Things You Should Stop Worrying About If You Want to Start a Revolution (in parentheses are my notes from the lecture). The list goes:

1. I am not the best in my field. Who am I to start a revolution? (Anybody can start a revolution. It all starts with the thing that you are most passionate about. Do something about it. See it through to the end.)

2. I don’t think my idea is big enough yet. (Small revolutions are as important as the big ones. Start with personal choices. Commit to it until it evolves into convictions.)

3. Can I actually change the world? (Revolutions are not about YOU. It is not about power but of empowering others.)

4. There are many problems to solve–where do i even start? (Many problems mean many opportunities to become changemakers.)

5. How do I start a revolution? What’s the best way to go about it? (No step-by-step guide. No manuals. JUST JUMP! DO IT!)

Needless to say this but Arianne was a joy to watch and listen to. Moreover, what she shared stirred something in me and spoke to me on a personal level. For example, when I was my turn to meet and greet The Maria Ressa during her book launch, I let it slip to her that I’ve always wanted to join Rappler.com as an intern. She said, “Why not?” I scrambled for a good reply but all I was able to come up with was, “Naah. I am already old.” She looked at me and said, “Contact me.” I never did. I have worries.

Anyway, for 2013, I pledged to claim and start my own revolution. Like the 400 or so audience of that particualr TEDx I clenched my fist, raised my arm, and recited:

IMG_0144 IMG_0145 IMG_0147 IMG_0148

At the end of the Arianne’s article was a hope for the readers to find her talk a good and empowering use of their. For me it was. And I hope for you too.

Four-ty shades of Butch

17 Sep

Mayroon akong lihim na itinatangi.

Nakikita ko siya pagbaba ko ng LRT papasok sa opisina. Di naman madalas, tiyempuhan lang din. Simple, matamis ang ngiti, at mukhang mabait. Alam kong may pagtangi rin sya sa akin dahil sa paglipas ng panahon ay nasusuklian na ng kusang pagngiti ang aking mga panakaw na sulyap sa kanyang gawi. Dumating pa nga sa puntong naibigay ko sa kanya ang binili kong kakanin sa isang malapit na kainan para kahit saglit ay magtagal ang isang pambihirang sandali.

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Huli ko siyang nakita mahigit isang buwan na ang nakalilipas. Medyo naging abala kasi kami sa opisina at napadalas ang aking mga miting sa labas.

Kaya naman nagulat ako nang makita ko siya kanina. Wala siya sa kanyang puwesto, nawala na ang matamis na ngiti, at di na maayos ang dating simpleng gawi, wala na rin ang kislap sa kanyang mata nang magtama ang aming paningin.

Di ko alam kung ano at paano nangyari. Hindi napalukso, hindi napangiti.

Kanina ay gusto kong tumakbo papalapit sa kanya at siya’y hagkan hanggang ang kanyang pagal ay unti-unting mapawi.

Gusto kong iparamdam sa kanya ang pintig sa aking dibdib habang aking sinasambit, “Shhhh… Tahan na. Wag nang matakot. Narito na ako… Magkikita na tayo muli.”

Wetness Protection Program

8 Aug

Kasasakay ko lang sa tren. Hindi ito ang hitsura ng “usual crowd” na nakikita ko sa araw-araw na pagpasok. Manipis at hindi siksikan. Basa ang sahig at parang ganon din ang mood ng karamihan: basa at mabigat.

Kunsabagay. Kahit naman ako ay nagdadalawang isip pa kung babangon na sa kama. Bed weather. Sarap humilata lang.

Nagtatalo rin ang isip ko kung itetext ko ang boss ko kung may pasok o wala. Kahapon kasi ay ala-sais ako nakatanggap ng text. Alas-siyete na kanina pero wala pang advisory.

Nagtext ako. May pasok daw. Siguro next time Don’t Ask na lang para she won’t tell. Hehe.

Kakayanin ko ito, ang sabi kong pilit sa sarili ko. Kung nakayanan kong maligo ng walang heater noong nasa Baguio ako at bumabagyo, lahat na ay kaya ko.

Nagustuhan ko ang wording ng announcement ng Malacañang tungkol sa resumption of work in the private sector. Lalo na yung last paragraph na sinimulan ng “As we emerge from this emergency, let us bear in mind the many thousands of our countrymen who will continue to need our assistance and support.”

Emerge from this emergency.

Tama nga naman. Kung 50-80% ng Metro Manila ay nalubog sa baha. May natitira pang 20-50% na kayang gumawa at simulan ang pagbangon.

Emerging from the emergency.

Papasok na sa trabaho para may kitain at matulungan ang sarili at pamilya. Babalik na sa dati para makatulong din sa iba.

Natuwa ako sa nabasa ko sa Twitter kagabi.

“Everytime I see evacuees waving, smiling at the cameras, natutuwa ako. Ito ang lamang natin sa buong mundo: Baha ka lang, PILIPINO AKO.”

Nagpasa-pasa na ang tweet na iyan kaya di ko na sigurado kung kanino nanggaling. Cute. Ito yung sinasabing resiliency ng mga Pinoy. Yung kahit anong pagsubok ay kinakaya, with a smile.

Pero kapag pinag-isipang mabuti, pwede ring matanong, ilang ulit ba tayo dapat umabot sa ganito kapag may malakas na pag-ulan? Yung natabunan ng landslide sa Quezon City, di ba yun pwedeng naiwasan sana? Ang mga biktima sa Marikina, Cainta, at kung saan saan pa, sila na naman?

Alam kong maliit lang ang magagawa ng tao versus the forces of nature. Fact of life yun. Pero sa konting margin na may pwedeng gawin, sapat na nga ba ang ginagawa natin?

Tamang urban planning at zoning, appropriate infrastructure lalo na sa ating flood control at drainage system, tamang pagtatapon ng basura, muling pagtatanim ng mga puno sa paligid, atbp.

Pwedeng masabi na madali lang magsalita nang magsalita pero ano nga ba dapat ang sabihin? At paano ba DAPAT gawin?

May mga little successes naman at nakatutuwang isipin na mas handa tayo ngayon kaysa sa Ondoy noon. Pero may magagawa pa rin. Hindi lang ang 20-50% na bumangon ngayon para magtrabaho kundi lahat tayo.

Ngayong umaga ang dasal ko ay para sa mga kababayan kong naapektuhan ng pagbaha. Sa mga kaibigang sa mga evacuation center nagpalipas ng magdamag. Sa mga batang nangangatal ang labi sa ginaw. At sa kanilang di napangalanan pero nasa frontline ng rescue and relief operations.

I’m pretty… I’m pretty sure… I’m pretty sure that we can rise above this situation.

Emerging victorious from this emergency.

Speaking of emerging, as I emerged from our house kanina ay nakita ko ulit ang butas butas na kalye sa amin. Mukhang ang napabayaang project ng city hall ang naging susi para di magkaroon ng emergency sa aming Barangay.

Biro lang. Fun intended.

Biro lang ulit. I just made fun of pun.

O siya. Paano? Roosevelt station na. End of the line na raw sabi ng piloto. Kailangan ko nang mag-emerge from the tren.

Link

A Guide to Arguments FOR and AGAINST the Reproductive Health Bill

4 Aug

A Guide to Arguments FOR and AGAINST the Reproductive Health Bill

I highly recommend this guide (click the title) created by the John J. Caroll Institute on Church and Social Issues, especially to those who see themselves at a loss when asked whether they are PRO or AGAINST the Reproductive Health Bill.

By the way, just for information, the subject of the current raucous in the Lower House is HB 4244 or “Act Providing for a Comprehensive Policy on Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population and Development.” There will be a plenary voting on 07 August 2012 to decide whether to terminate or continue the floor interpellation and debate on the said Bill. A copy of the bill may be obtained from the House of Representatives website (congress.gov.ph).

As always: be informed, check the label.

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This matrix has been prepared by a group of Catholics who feel that a systematic comparison of the arguments for and against the reproductive health (RH) bill may still serve some purpose at this juncture. It may help to bring the debate from the emotional temper which has characterized it thus far, to a more rational temper in which both sides attempt to comprehend each other’s perspectives. It is hoped that this presentation will allow each side to view the other’s argumentation as the legitimate offering of reasons in good faith which ought to characterize a democratic process of deliberation. Such a process must be valued equally by all who are committed to living together in a democracy, be they Catholic or non-Catholic, pro- or anti-contraception. Questions in the final column are provided to aid further reflection, with a view to clarifying positions and, perhaps, to building compromises that are morally and politically acceptable to both sides.

Eleanor R. Dionisio

Of color wheels in daily living

2 Aug

I took Art in Daily Living (CTRA 13) in 1998, under Dean Lydia B. Arribas, former Dean of the UP College of Home Economics. It’s a foundational class required in the BS Home Economics Ed curriculum.

CTRA Classes then were held in a decrepit one-story building. The building was so infirm that its foundations would come down should a significant quake come upon us. And I’m not making that up. Dean Arribas told us so on Day 1. But then again, it’s as if we had a choice. The building’s foundation may be weak but Dean Arribas was anything but.

It was in her class that I finally understood the color wheel. I’m not joking. And by understanding I meant not just knowing primary and secondary colours and how they complement but more importantly making sense of it in real life. From it I became conscious of composition, that you don’t just juxtapose two things randomly, and when you have too many of one thing beauty can still be achieved through hues.

Her constant reminder for us to be aware of our surroundings and to create and seek beauty in the lines and patterns around us were also indelible. Honestly, after I heard her talk about the building’s condition it wasn’t really hard for me to be conscious of the things found in the room, especially those that could increase my chances of survival should the building crumble: exits, strong beams, etc.

That class also started my penchant for collecting anything for the sake of arts and crafts: stones, twigs, bookmarks, coasters, plastic bottles, and even things not fit to be mentioned here. I was this close to having a career as a junk-ie but then again when my board mates started asking me why I kept a pile of trash in our room, I found it hard to explain my method to non-believers. Sorry, Dean.

Nothing better proved my enjoyment in her class than having my art projects stowed in a box in my room as long as I could (until termites saw practical use for them in 2008–subject of a previous blog entry). My obras are really comparable to a grade schooler’s work but they bore her signature, some comments, and  grades that only went to as low as 2.5, never a 3.0 (pasang awa). These led me to believe that she was one of the few that really understood my method (to madness).

I had so much fun in the class and  I survived the building’s imminent threat of reducing us to rubble. But most of all, the blessing was Dean Arribas handling the class. I will always remember her as that small, gentle lady with a big smile and burning passion for her profession as she nurtured generations of graduates of the UP College of Home Economics.

Former UP CHE Dean, Dean Adelaida V. Mayo, together with Dean Lydia B. Arribas.
(photo was reprinted with permission from Dean Mayo)

Together with Fr. Nudas, please greet me at the pearly gates when my time to go there has come. I am not sure if I can bring any of my existing collections but I have stories of how you helped enrich my life while living… and I am sure that the place where we’ll sit there is waaay better than the ones we had back then in UP.

Maligayang Pasko!

8 Apr

Ang sabi ng pari sa TV, “Ang pag-ibig ay di nasusukat. Ito ay tama o mali lang.”

Hala. Mali ba ang manunula nang kanyang sambitin ang pag-ibig na ‘sing lawak ng langit at ‘sing lalim ng tubig?

Di ako pari at di rin manunula ngunit heto ang alam kong tama: ang bumati ng maligayang Pasko! Si Kristo ay nabuhay nang muli!