Sunday, December 24, 2006


I met her when Ella and I were still dating about five years back. She was an adorable person. She was my friend. She was Ella's grandma.

I would always hear her usual greeting "Hi, Jay!" whenever she sees me especially when I pick Ella at mid-morning for a date. In a way, I have always enjoyed in the company of grandmas and that makes me feel normal all the time. I just like to talk to them and listen to their life stories and laugh. Feel like I'm still a kid listening to Lola Basyang's stories in the afternoon.

One time, I made her a bracelet out of swarovski (not sure of the spelling) jewels that Ella and I bought at Divisoria. I asked her not to lose it. The days following, I would always see her wearing it especially when she goes to church. I knew she cherished the simple gift that I gave her... and that alone makes me feel so good. Seldom that I see people cherish the simple tokens that I share... and I found it in lola Jovita.

Months ago, my mother-in-law told me that lola lost the bracelet when she alighted from the jeep in Bicol. I was told that she was saddened and kept on asking her son to find it because it was from me...

All the while I thought of giving her one... I never had the chance.

She left for Bicol about four years ago and I never saw her until three weeks ago in her hospital bed. She was in pain. She can't move her left arm. She can barely open her eyes. But she tried to be responsive whenever someone pays a visit. It was so heart wrenching. And I saw Ella for the first time so hurt and broken that she cried and cried.

She never saw me since and the feeling of guilt pains me in a way that I didn't take the opportunity to see her when she was still awake. I only thought of wanting to take rest after a long day trip. I should have paid her a visit. I would have been at peace.

She never saw me since. I never heard her usual greeting to me again.

Yesterday at 4am, Lola Jovita left.

She was 85.

Salamat lola. Paalam.

Incredibly not credible

The other night, justice secretary Gonzales was complaining about Smith's continued stay at the Makati City Jail citing that the Philippines has lost its credibility in the face of the international community.

He also blamed (and sarcastically thanked) Judge Gozon for the US' decision to withdraw VFA with the AFP and the US humanitarian mission in the Bicol region. He cited a ceratin provision of the treary that makes Smith under the custody of the US Embassy.

Hell no! Why should the Governement sign a treaty that is basically unfair to civilians anyway? I am not sure if the treaty says so in the event our own soldier is condemned by a US court. However, whether or not we are intitled to the same provision as the US soldiers would, it is for the fact that the US soldiers are basically notorious in such crimes all over the world. This may be one reason why they posted such provision in the treaty "to protect its soldiers..."
What about the protection of the civilians? What about the protection of the very people that the government should protect?

What if one of secretary Gonzales' relatives is being raped by an american soldier? Would he still be singing such "thankful" tune?

The fear of the US leaving the Philippines is generally the signal that the government is sending to its constituents and I am not sure the real reason for that. And may I ask, why are some countries excel without US indirect intervention? Mind if I may ask, Mr. secretary?

My mother would always tell me before that dependence is almost identical as cruelty to oneself. "You will never learn..." That is one of the best lessons I learned from her.

And until we keep on making excuses to the US on the way we practice our own Justice system here, we will never learn. Until we keep on seeling our own countrymen to the benefit of the US, we will never learn. Until we keep on bowing our heads to the US so that we look like crap in the face of the international community, we will never learn. NEVER!

But I may say so, Mr. Secretary. Isn't your boss lost its credibility to the Filipino people? And so are you.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

On power and responsibility

I was watching the Spider-Man sequel in the bus on my way to Manila from Clark yesterday. I haven't watched the second sequel so I didn't sleep. At the end of the first sequel, these words strucked me...

"With great power comes great responsibility. This is my gift. This is my curse. Who am I?..."

No, I wasn't thinking of being powerful because I am not. Neither that I am a superhero or something. Neither that I hold great power nor have control over certain things. I wasn't thinking about being gifted because I am just as normal as the most of us.

I was just thinking about the current Philippine political scene. Of the so-called leaders who's obsession with power is unsurmountable. Like vampires obsessed with blood.

I am just concerned as most of us Filipinos out there. I have kids and they still innocent. I am concerned that someday if not soon, there will be nothing left in this country for them to live and fight for. Just nothing.


It's just that Philippine political system is just super conjusive to something that shouldn't be the norm in a civilized society; corruption.... and it seems to be a norm now.

It's just that the system is simply telling us that it is okay to lie and turn around and lie again... and it's getting to the point that it is a norm. The system is simply telling us that it is okay to trick the minds of the Filipinos and then try another trickshot if it's not working until the 'power of the sun' is in the hands of the 'powerful' and stay as long as they wish in power.

It's just that the system is simply making these politicians to be hungrier and hungrier of power until they become bloated and smelly. That it is okay to think and live like leeches, sucking all bloods and nutrients of the host.

It's just that the system is telling us that it is okay to go to Church, pray earnestly, and corrupt the people's wealth later.... and pray again for forgiveness and suck again.

Unlike Spider-Man, a politician's power doens't come from any spiders or bugs, nor from any form of ghosts, and spirits. These powers were provided by the very people who voted for them, to serve. A congressman doesn't even have the right to shout at the gallery telling the people they are just guests...

Unlike Spider-Man, a politician's power isn't even a gift. It is a previledge provided for them by the people who voted for them. They can't even boast that they have it. Like the way Rep. Prospero Nogarales did, singing his tune on cha-cha on news cameras.

Like Spider-man, they should be thinking like the way crawler thinks. Thinking about how grateful he is to have the gift and all the power it can due him. But on the other hand, he is thinking about the curse that the power could bring him.

But it's not the way it is. Unlike Spider-man, their heads are like empty coconuts.

And who are they? They are suckers!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ang pang-aapi ni Jose at ang ganti ni Juan

Si Jose, habang tinatakot si Juan… “Kita mo tong tattoo ko sa kanang braso? Tigre to!” Napailing si Juan habang di nya pinapansin si Jose.

Makaraan ang isang buwan, nagkaharap na naman si Jose at si Juan.. “Kita mo tong tattoo ko sa kaliwang braso? Agila to!” patuloy na pananakot ni Jose. Medjo naiinis na si Juan pero tuloy pa rin na pinagbibiyan nya si Jose…

Makaraan ang isang linggo, eto na naman si Jose… “Kita mo tong tattoo ko sa dibdib? Anaconda ‘to!” Ako ang astig ditto, walang kung sino mang pwedeng maghari ditto kundi ako!” Tuloy ang patutsada ni Jose.

Nainis si Juan at tinawag ngayon ang mga kabaranggay para labanan si Jose. Dala-dalahan ang mga itak, kris, kutsilyo, tinidor, rake, palako, batuta, ice pick, at kung anu-anong armas at kinumpronta si Jose….

“Ano kamo pinagsasabi mo?” Galit na tinanong ni Juan si Jose. “Tarantado ka a! porket pinagbibgyan ka lang namin sa mga kalokohan mo at umaabuso ka na!” Kasabay ang isang palo sa ulo gamit ang martilyong gawa sa corrugated steel.

Binugbog ng taong bayan si Jose at magdesisyong ilibing na lamang na buhay para hindi na makapagtangkang maging siga ulit…

“Joke lang po yun…” umiiyak si Jose. Nagmamakaawa….

“Hindi na mauulit…” patuloy na pagsusumamo ni Jose…

“Talagang hindi na yan mauulit kahit na magmamakaawa ka pa!” sabay sagot ng ka-alyansa ni Juan.

“Hindi ka nababagay sa lipunang ito!” sagot naman nung isa pang ka-alyansa ni Juan.

“Humanda ka na! Magkikita na kayo ni satanas!!!” sigaw ni Juan habang ang taong bayan ay naghukay ng libingan ni Jose… “Isama mo pa mga alalay mong mga hayop!”

“Ito bang mga ‘to?” Sabay turo sa mga tattoo nya. “Nagmamakaawa ako, pakiusap…”

“Itong sa kanan ko, hindi to tigre…” paliwanag ni Jose… “Kuting lang po ‘to…”

“Itong sa kaliwang braso ko, hindi naman talaga agila to… ipis lang po talaga to.” Umiiyak ng malaks si Jose na nakaluhod at nagsusumamo sa mga tao…

“Itong sa dibdib ko, hindi naman talaga to anaconda… uod lang po to…” Sabay halik sa mga paa ni Juan at nagmamakaawa sa buhay nya… “Joke lang po talaga yun e…”

“Hindi pwede!” tugon no Juan. “Wala kang kwentang tao! Ito na ang katapusan mo!”

Sabay itinulak nag mga tao si jose sa butas at inilibing nang buhay…

Naalala ko ang kwentong ito habang pinapanood ko si JDV sa TV nung Lunes. Napapailing na lang ako at natatawa ako sa kanila.

Hindi nyo kami maloloko! Hindi nyo rin kami makukuha sa mga pagsusumamo nyo, JDV!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sarap sarap ng first!

Tumunog telepono ko kahapon... si Ella...

"Hello?!" Sagot ko... nasa isip ko lang kukumustahin lang nya ako sa naging araw ko. O di kaya'y naisip lang nyang i-check kung ano ginagawa ko... as usual baga..

"Hon, tinawagan ka na?" tanong sa kabilang linya.

"Hindi, kanino?" Sagot ko na may halong pagkamangha. Sino ba naman tatawag sa akin sa mga kakilala nya? Hindi naman tumatawag sa kin mga byenan ko kung wala sya unless emergency. Wala lang ako hinihintay na tawag maliban sa mga katrabaho ko sa Malaysia.

"Nanalo ka daw sa raffle!" Aniya. Pero hindi masyado excited sa pagkakasabi ni Ella. Parang wala lang.

"Huh? Raffle? San raffle?" Naku, ni minsan wala akong naalala na nanalo ako sa raffle maliban sa isang set-up. Yung lahat panalo baga....

Naalala ko yung sa Philips Semicon dati. May raffle daw sa Christmas party. Syempre, excited ako. Tapos electronic raffle pa thru time-in system. Kinagabihan, nabunot pangalan ko. Nanalo ako ng grocery basket. Mga de-lata ng Purefoods ata yun, spaghetti, at keso. Pucha, ang saya ko nun, first time nga.

Anak ng tipaklong na bakla, nalaman ko na lang kinabukasan na lahat pala ng empleyado ay nanalo sa raffle. OA naman ng organizer ng paraffle na yun....
Ilang beses na rin ako tumaya sa lotto. Pero, napanalunan ko lang ay balik-taya. Tatatlong beses pa lang ata nangyari yun...

Pero eto iba. Sino ba naman magbibiro sa asawa ko ng ganun? At isa pa, hindi naman talaga pumapatol si ella sa mga nagtatawag o nagtetext na nanalo kamo kami sa raffle.
"Sa appliance center! Nanalo ka daw ng Sony DVD!" Sagot ni ella.
"Huh?" Ano daw? DVD ba kamo?

O nga pala, bumili pala kami ng appliance nung Oktubre sa tindahan na yun. di ko pa nga pinansin yung raffle stub at sa dinami-dami nang pa-raffle na sinalihan ko lalo sa mga mall e ni minsan ay hindi ako nanalo kahit isang lata ng sardinas man lang na premyo.

"Forward ko sa 'yo text ng appliance center. Punta ka na dun at dalhin mo yung raffle stub at yung resibo para ma-claim mo na." sabay binaba ni ella ang telepono.

Segundo lang pagitan natanggap ko text ni Ella...

"Ma'am, sa appliance center to.nanalo si ardel jay lagat ng sony dvd sa raffle. punta sya dito dla ID at rsibo. thanks!"

Okay! totoo na to! Dali-dali kong hinanap yung resibo at sa tagal na ay hindi ko na matandaan kung saan ko itinabi yun. Nagkalat muna ako sa bahay at voila! nakita ko na ang katumbas ng isang DVD player!
'Di ko talaga to malilimutan. Ito'y isang una. Ito'y isang makabuluhang parte sa kasaysayan ng buhay ko.

At ang karanasan na yun ay nagsasabi sa kin... "Jay, tumaya ka ulit sa lotto..."

Sarap ng first!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

For Josh

It's been two years, Josh. You were just perfect for us, just perfect...

Two years ago, we could only wonder how good God is and how you have brought so much joy to our heart, how much you have brought so much laughter and happiness to all of us. You are such a blessing...

Two years ago, we could only wonder how much you have changed our views in life, how much you have made us a little bit mature, and how much you have made us believe how wonderful life is...

Two years ago, we could only wonder how much we cried out to God, thanking Him for you...

Two years ago, we could only wonder how your cries sounds so sweet to our ears, how your smiles soothes our mind and spirit, and how much you bring us more reason be alive...

We could only wonder how much you broke our hearts when you were sick. We could only wonder how much we felt your pain... and how much you have told us that it was going to be fine, that everything is going to be alright... and how much you have shown us how to be strong despite...

It's been two years, Josh, and you are just as amazing as you were two years ago. You just simply remind us to take each milestones one step at a time and how to keep a smile while taking it...

We love you, Josh, and we want to take you for the smiles that brought us so much relief. Thank you for just being there... for just simply helping us put things together when life's getting harder.

Thank you for making us realize how good this life is by just calling us "Daddy! Mommy!" and for how much faithfulness you have when you say "Love you daddy! love you mommy!" and for how much you appreciate us when you hug us, and when you say sorry for your naughtiness...

Thank you, Josh. We promise to walk the faith with you.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A congress of clowns

Now I understand more about Philippine democracy. It's all about numbers and just numbers. And with the majority of freaks and buttheads, Philippine democracy is sickening. It sucks!

Speaker De Venecia was in defensive mode after the midnight madness. What he was saying that this is democracy all about. They had debated on this, matindi daw. The minority were heard. The majority had it. So what's the problem daw. The rift between the senate and the President, gusto daw natin maalis yun. Mga kudeta daw dapat mawala na. Fine, Mr. Speaker! Fine!

The proceeding was a classic example on what garapalan really means. The lower house shutting down the senate, in which I understand and as I was always taught in college, is part of the congress. Ginawang parang Bibliya ang constitution na kung sino ang babasa e iba ang interpretasyon.

What's more sickening was that the lower house seemed like house of clowns.

Salapudin looks like one and Jaraula? I am so ashamed that I am from Cagayan de Oro. And how the hell was he elected anyway???

Clowns! Jerks!