Monthly Archives: December 2014



“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.”

YOU were all beside the family during bereavement, even during those dark times when a terminal verdict was handed down by the medics.  It was an excruciating period.  It was an epic marked with confusion and dilemma.  My immediate family were all in Heaven.  I am the only one left to fend for myself, orphaned and left to witness the events as it unfolds without parents and sibling.

I, along with my kids,  could only sigh and express relief having shared memories and moments with those whom our loved one cared and sacrificed for.

  1. Aiko and kids, Kraig and Kley (they were there at the break of dawn waiting for the casket bearing a loved one.)
  2. Michi and buddy Spocky, both lawyers and advocates (they were also there daily during the wake, ignoring fatigue in work, maintaining the strength of the family.)
  3. Hanako, youngest girl in the brood of my sister (she braved the metropolis, the congested streets of Binondo during the hospital watch and was there at the break of dawn on the wake even if her respiratory allergies bother her.)
  4. RJ, the youngest and only son of my sister, together with wife and newly born son (he would be at the wake even if he was in trouble in his career in the call center).
  5. Iday, my sister in law, sister side, together with her two children, outstanding professionals both (she was there joining the family attending to the needs of visitors during the wake). Her daughter’s beautiful voice would lend heavenly melody during the Mass.
  6. Cousin Cecil together with husband Earl and three children (one of them Aileen with a good voice). She would be at the wake almost daily, participating in prayers and upkeep of the chapel.
  7. Cousin Grace with beau and Gab, , who would lend her vehicle for whatever errands there is to make.
  8. Cousin Matet, who would also be a regular attendee during the wake.
  9. Cousin Joju, who would also be there at the wake, overseeing visitors.
  10. Atty Cyril Ramos, Deputy Ombudsman for MOLEO, who is a close friend and bridge during NDCP days. He would regularly visit the wake and would contribute groceries.  He was joined by his children.
  11. Civil Service Officers, personnel and staff
    1. Commissioner Valmonte who shared times with the departed, and as superior, he had nothing but praises for the outstanding work attitude shown during their days in office.
    2. Director Hena, who fainted after a brief prayer made. She was there almost daily during the wake.
    3. Director Salazar of NCR, who immediately travelled from Legaspi, Albay just to attend the necro services prior to the cremation rites. Her travelling bag was still with her as she hurried to attend the final rites.  She was also one of the first to visit the departed while she was confined in the hospital.
    4. Director Agnes Padilla, came in alone during the wake despite her disability in her movement.
    5. A number of Commissioners, Directors, Division chiefs, staffs and fellow employee whose names I could not recall but whose faces are very familiar. They were there in group, almost occupying the entire chapel.
  12. Religious group from the religious community of Decalced Carmelites. They number around 30, mostly elder women who were all ordained Carmelites and donning a brown nun uniform, the same dress the departed wore during her final rites.  They gave a religious rite prior to the celebration of the last Mass for the departed on the final day.
  13. Ritsu’s close friends were there including her mountain climbing group.
  14. Ritsu’s husband, Aaron, was almost a permanent fixture; including Ritsu’s in laws who assisted in serving visitors.  He barely had an hour’s sleep during the entire stretch of the wake.
  15. Babyruth’s friends were also there.   She would be comforted with their present standing in their respective jobs.
  16. Karlo’s confederates were also there.  They would lend an air of celebrity to the wake because of their modelling looks and projections.
  17. VJT’s close associates were also in attendance. There was Ong and wife; Yetbo and family; Mel and Dra. Merly, the medical director of JASMC where the departed virtually was maintained and attended to wholesomely.  There was also Edgar and wife, Romy, my driver, Tony Florido my former driver and confidant together with his youngest daughter, Patty.  There was also Ate Zen, my former mentor at Bucor during the early days in the prison service.  Arlene, my NBP secretary and Imelda Lapitan (with her brother) were also in attendance.  My RDC friends were there also, Randy and wife, Dra Cynthia Andrada and Vhot.  Ka sosing Berroya and son arrived too.  PG Allan Dimen, my security mainstay came with my service van also.  CIW Superintendent Rachel Ruelo with her staff before enplaning to an inspection tour dropped by in the dead of night just to pay respect.  Retired prison officer and now journeyman Manny de Guzman, erstwhile former leader of prison union, came in to offer condolences.
  18. Crown of Flowers were sent by:
    1. Congressman Anton Lagdameo, Davao representative
    2. TADECO
    3. Romeo dela Cueva (in charge of my transport services)
    4. Department of National Defense
    5. Neighbor Lagman
    6. Civil Service Commission Offices
    7. Office of the President CSC Field Office
  19. A hundred mass cards were also offered by a number of friends and fellow CSC officers.
  20. Lagro group:
    1. Jane and sister and Roy Asturias (ever dependable friend and overseer) were there.
    2. Neighor Cita was also there to comfort us.
    3. A number of neighbourhood religious friends were in attendance reminiscing days with the departed.
  21. Paete Group:  They came by a jeep-load from the province.
    1. Headed by Kang Jose, eldest in the Cagayat siblings, a bit weakened by ailments and slow turn out of orders in his furniture and carpentry business.
    2. Solly was there with daughter Sarah, apologetic why husband Henry could not make it since their vehicle could only accommodate so much.
    3. Marina and Efren (although the latter did not feel well because of high blood pressure.  Our bilas, Joe, had a spare maintenance medicine to stabilize the BP of Efren.).
    4. Sabel, husband Elbert and kids (they were constant visitors since Fely was confined up to the final rites.)
    5. Terry with husband Joe and kids (they were always there beside the family. Joe would be the indefatigable host for every visitor.
    6. Auring, husband Willy and kids (she fainted during the final Mass and would assume the task of holding on to family after the rites have been performed.)
    7. Vivian (was there at the hospital but has to leave for US). Mar, once visited but left due to a contract as OFW.
    8. Odet, the youngest was there too with Oliver’s widow.
    9. Francisco “Ismo” and another classmate of Fely during elementary days.  Ismo was once a suitor of Fely and up to the last minute was there paying respect.
    10. Amor and party, all school chums of Fely during student days.  Amor would animate us with their adventure and juvenile explorations.
  22. Carmelite group (Some 50 members of them), all middle-aged women who were sworn to adhere to a life of prayers. Fely was once an initiate and after retirement, has joined formally the cloister.
  23. There were more in attendance but which this writer could no longer record. All of them are as important and significant to the family.
  24. There are more which distance and belated information delayed their presence but their prayers made it on time.





IRR signing

On December 12, 2014 at Hyatt Hotel, Secretary of Justice Leila M. Delima during the launching of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 10575 (otherwise known as the Bureau of Corrections Modernization Act of 2013) declared in the last sentence of her speech that the IRR signals “the rebirth of BuCor.”

It is indeed a daunting task ahead.  Prison Director Franklin Bucayo shared the challenge by predicating his mandated task as Director General by addressing a no non-sense stand against institutional problems which have piled one top of the other “through years of neglect.”

Rebirth presupposes a process that would highlight a period to start all over again.  To be reborn.  To start anew.  To begin with a clean slate.  That is to say that prison administration must have to begin and start correctly from hereon.  The IRR simply provides prison management with a tool, and not just a panacea, to deal with that ailment that bedevils the prison service.  It is equipped with the proper policy direction, a brand-new vehicle if you may, to traverse the sensitive blind corners of corrections.  It intends to modernize not only the physical requirements of rehabilitating prisoners but also the mindset of officers dealing on daily basis with the challenges and disputes manifesting within the prison community.

And it is not a walk in the park.  Years and years of prison leadership changes, of varying and conflicting styles, of learning and relearning, of ascertaining and understanding, of organizing and reorganizing, of restricting and tolerating, aggravated by incompetence on one hand and less political or legislative concern on the other, the prison community, already overcrowded and spilling at the reams, has turned into its own devise if only to survive.  Control eventually slipped away from authorities and in a matter of time, the prison community has grown into an enclave where subdued and illegal activities dominate its landscape.  Prison rules had been replaced with a set of guidelines based on human desperation.

For long term prisoners, where the wait for freedom is nil, violence is almost given in a congested facility.  Congestion assaults the senses and dehumanizes anyone who trespasses.  There is no other way to breathe a cleaner air but procure the necessary wherewithal to make survival a matter intended for convenience.  The climate invites no longer an environment for reform but rather an atmosphere for deformation.  Either an inmate becomes disabled and mangled for life or he meets his Creator in a matter of time.  For these inmates, it is better to ruin the surroundings than become mentally imbalanced.  For these inmates, government neglect does not mean resigning towards subservience and instant insanity when they could make things work for their advantage.  Gangs took over and their reign virtually turned upside down the ideal disciplinary regime of custodial management.  The prison community eventually became a den of vices and individual discretions.

The disparity of life in prison has become a marked consideration and a challenging proposition for every prison administration.  The Prison Law of 1917 could no longer restrain the difficulties in running the affairs of the penal establishments.  Prison leaders appointed at the helm would bow out in desperation, haunted by charges and failure in undermining the effects of dehumanization obtaining in prison camps.  Cruelty could no longer solve an abusive regime of incarceration.  Every corner invited a litany of temptations.  Prison administration could no longer contain their sworn mandate according to public expectation.  Careers of officers were not only demeaned but devastated.

Congress finally deliberated what it failed to complete in the 60s on penal reform and in 2013, the President signed RA 10575.  After a prolonged legislative drought, almost a century of struggle, 97 years to be exact, finally, prison administration got the necessary apparatus to intervene and restore prison into a facility devoted for rehabilitation.

The time has come.



I am always at your side, well, spiritually. I may not be physically around most of the time but it pains me to see you in such a helpless situation. It deflects upon me as helpless too. I have to excuse myself if only to breathe. I have seen so much suffering in the past.  And to witness a loved one undergoing such an episode is like requesting an assault team to invade my turf. I could only express a prayerful sigh to give you strength of mind to overcome sadness and sorrow.   My only sister Doris whom you have seen during her struggling days may have given you an idea of how hurting it is to stay around while she was grimacing in tenderness. I could only whisper that someday I will join her in heaven.

You have likewise seen up close mother, Inang Juling and father, Amang Totoy. You are no longer a stranger to sickness that leads to bereavement. Your office mate and former superior in CSC went through the same painful stage also. And there were a number of our peers who passed through a similar path. We can only offer our prayers and our deep respect for them for giving us the privilege of becoming, once upon a time, a part of their lives.

We have reached the final stage of reckoning, the final chapter, the ending of a lifetime of accomplishment. It varies though. There are those relatively longer to reach finality, others a bit shorter. And we bow to the will of our Creator, ever willing to enter His gates once our performance has been completed. Life has been good and we are all lucky to have passed all challenges with flying colors. We may not have achieved so much, we may not have accumulated and earned a lot, we may not have attained higher goals but through it all, we have never been a burden to humanity and were very respectful to all creations.

In your case, you led a very peaceful and serene life. You never abused your body. You are a friend and a doting comrade, a responsible child to your elders, a conscientious parent to your children, an active player in your parish. Humanity must be proud of your presence.

But all of us must have to go; from dust unto dust, so to speak.   The greatest among Kings, the most powerful Emperors, the best and the brightest in mankind have come and gone; and the world has been greatly improved and developed with their existence. And nothing in this world is perpetual; no one is immortal, except the deeds that we have made, the acts that we have conveyed, the good things that we have conducted.

We have few differences and these were all mended always. We have never argued without agreeing eventually. We have never been at odds and always we find time to blend our minds and hearts, our ideas and thoughts, our plans with our acts.

We have embraced a career in government and our children were virtually oriented on ways of public service and sacrifice. We have spent our youth, our strength, even our time for each other running after the proverbial mandate of our respective agencies. We may not be on top, we may not be the appointed leader, we may not be the firebrand, but we are nonetheless a face of servitude for the welfare of our clientele.

At the end of the day, we pass on our shadow to a bigger silhouette which our children must create. They are after all the extension of that imprint we are leaving behind. They would carry on our names, our character, our standing and at times would suffer too from the errors we have committed. Yet they must continue from where we left or perhaps commence an act based on the very character we have moulded them to be.

That’s right, at the end of the day is another day waiting. And we surely will never miss a thing. Like our loved ones before us, we will all be residing in the hearts of those close and around us. We will be alive in their expression, in their very thoughts, in their very voices and manners.

Rejoice.   And let those lips be sealed with a smile.


congestion in prison

Prisons are facilities constructed by government as confinement areas for those convicted by law.  It s climate is restricted and everything spells routine.  It is designed to hold on, maintain and closely supervise a community.  As far as practicable, it is administered to approximate a normal society with an assembly of activity centres from workshops to hospital, from classrooms to recreation halls.  Every movement is calibrated towards a time-bound schedule and must reckon if not be respectful of basic human rights, inmates are ideally therefore to be governed without force or any cruel intervention.

Government spends a fortune to extract from the offender that cancerous mass of behavioural flaw to restore him to normalcy and return him back in the mainstream of society completely healed.  That is what rehabilitation process ought to facilitate.  Otherwise, the State has no other option except to send offenders to the nearest cemetery.

Given this condition, government through correctional administration must oversee the entire spectrum of human activity as it unfolds on a daily basis.  While structures and solid physical barriers that define mobility and may bring forth such psychological symptoms like depressive moments for the denizens, it nevertheless promote communal cooperation.  Walls and partitions remind inmates the iconic projection of authority.  And the implication on internal learning compels the resident to be law abiding.

That is the ideal.  But in reality, the human mind despite cooptation by rules, walls and patrols, despite the fact that it is held and herded, it reinvents the environment.  While animals and beasts may be subdued and overpowered by enclosures and conditioned by captors, inmates, the human being overindulge.  By this is meant, that any amount of pain and suffering can be resolved by transference to something light and favourable.  Inmates formulate a diversion which may look from a distance as gambling to while away boredom.  They can feign disability to project hopelessness and gain privileges.  They bargain a lot not only with their fellow inmates but with authorities as well.  It reminds them that they are still human.

Unless prisons are mandated to destroy the mind and soul of an inmate, rehabilitation and education remain the hallmark of prison administration; to study, to learn, to realize the pain of segregation is at the core of penance, hence the term penal.

Congestion further complicates the matter.  It adulterates not only prison administration but also those rules that promote the proper fulfilment of programs in the handling of human beings under the regime of incarceration.  Congestion leads to gross deprivation and it virtually dehumanizes a person.  Unlike in slum areas where dwellers, congested as it were, could easily move out at a moment’s notice or upon individual preference, in an overcrowded facility a person is left on his own, to devise a way out of such enforced insanity.  There is a psychological crutch, almost like an instinct, a person can resort to.  He must overindulge.

As the commonplace expression goes “one-day millionaires.”  This is what happens when a person is deprived.  Give him something or anything he receives, he immediately, most likely instantly, splurge “as if there is no tomorrow.”  In prisons, like slum areas, people live day by day.  Whatever it is that they have would be spent without control, without mercy, without consideration of the future.  The calendar is of no value in prison.  Time in said places stands still.  If there is anything that would make a person human, it is not his environment, his teeming environment, it is more on how he can control and overindulge.

If overindulgence among prisoners confined in congested facilities is prohibited, then we might as well take a leaf from an empirical note that says, those who never overindulge, or not consented to over indulge are most likely candidates highly inclined to commit offenses that would involve serial or heinous crimes.

In a highly dangerous and treacherous world we live in, we cannot even entertain the view that there are agencies that would promote more danger by exposing persons who will eventually be reintegrated into the mainstream as additional threat to our future.

Therefore, prisons must decongest or let prisoners overindulge.



Criminal justice authorities, backed up by tomes of studies conducted abroad, mostly in western countries, believe that radical elements should be confined in a separate facility and should never be mixed with common felons.  This is the very essence of what “deradicalization” means for them.  Radicals are simply to be segregated from the rest of the prison population.  The presumption why this arrangement should be made as a matter of course is the suspicion that radical elements tend to persuade if not convince their fellow inmates, specially those convicted of common crimes, to swing their point of view and commence action according to their beliefs.  And their beliefs are aimed at destroying government if not society as a whole.

Philippine Prison Setting

In the Philippine setting, there is no segregation system strictly speaking when it comes to a group identified as radicals.  Depending on penalties, convicts are classified accordingly.  If their penalty is more than 20 years, they are brought to the maximum security camp.  If their penalty is below 20 years, medium security status; if only a year or two is left for the penalty to be served out, prisoners become minimum security inmates.  That is the general rule in the segregation scheme of prisoners.  Whether a prisoner has committed a high crime, simple offense or a heinous one as a result of his political affiliations or rebellious inclination, he would be brought to a specific camp depending on his penalty.

There are numerous cases where inmates who were categorized as confirmed rebels were integrated into the mainstream of a regular prison setting.  And under the air of the usual prison climate, rebels eventually become regular faces in the community.  If at all they are different from the rest, it is not their beliefs system that sets them apart, it is more of their skills, personal skills that matter.  Their ideologies are completely ignored by the prison population.  Their persuasion and faith are also not a factor for their adjustment and acceptance.  It is more of their demeanour and projections.

Rebel Prisoners

A lot of ideologues who were incarcerated subsequently became active participants and a mainstay among the regular hierarchy of gangs.  Their previous leanings and political biases were completely eradicated from their sworn and brain washed vocabularies.  Be they guerrillas or military mutineers.   If at all they have some measure of influence, it is more on how they would carry themselves in the face of prison restrictions.  Institutional life, the regular routine and round-the-clock considerations virtually “deradicalizes” an ideologue during the service of his penalty.  What happens after a prescribed period is more telling.  The prison community psychologically and sociologically disrobes anyone with pretentious thoughts or even with deep seated philosophical orientation into an ordinary sinner.  Prison, the congested type, is a vast levelling field.

Sometime ago, convicted dreaded Marxist ideologues, the hardened and difficult to contain ones, were hauled in batches and mixed with common criminals in the National Penitentiary.  Years of rubbing elbows in the prison community replaced their idealism in favour of pragmatism.  While they were referred to as “comrades” before, they were eventually more at ease to be called as “ka-kosa” (a prison language for co-accused).  Majority even would swear hatred on their former company which never shared their institutional struggles and instead, gangs have instantly replaced their significance.

They even have gang marks to proudly showcase their new found loyalty!

Prisoners with Terror Links

Recent cases where feared terror extremists epitomized by elements of Abu Sayaf, with international connection with Al Qaeda and Jeemaah Islamiyah were convicted, were whisked inside the national penitentiary and collectively confined within the maximum security camp along with common felons.  After a few months, they were all conscripted into a regional gang.  Those who did not become gang members were alienated and made as toilet cleaners.

It would not take longer than a semester when those considered as pariah would later become active gang collectors!

Prisoners with confirmed international terror linkages

Another case involved a confirmed international terrorist, an Indonesian national who was on record a highly trained  bomb specialist with direct lines with a terror network of Jeemaah Islamiyah.  When the military intel group swooped down on the terror lair, the Indonesian was captured.  After his prosecution and subsequent conviction, he was immediately sent to serve time in the maximum security camp of the National Penitentiary.

In a highly congested facility, he was expected to lead a faction of the local terror group serving time also in the same camp because of his connections and resources.  Months went by, nothing happened with the anticipated collaboration.

The Indonesian merely shed his terror orientation, courted a local lady who joined a prison visitor, got enamoured until he got married.  He did not stop from there.  With his association and resources, he was able to organize a local store supplying food and other merchandize to his fellow prisoners.  He became a local grocer in a short period of time.

On top of that, he was able to master the spoken dialect of his wife and became proficient in the prevailing vernacular.  When he received his release papers, he almost collapsed as a consequence of sadness.  He does not want to be expatriated.  He wanted to remain in the country, live a simple life as storekeeper and see his children to school.

He was eventually deported.  To date, it has been deduced that he left Indonesia and returned to the country secretly through the back door, the same route he made as a rebel, but this time,  joining his local family and leading a normal anonymous life.

That is how “deradicalization” works in the Philippine prison.


vjt close up C

ALL my children, ten years from now, would have been grown up already.  I would definitely look my age, my biological age already—wintered complexion, stooping posture, bewildered look when confronted with a new gadget, easily to take a nap even during soiree, effortlessly dehydrated, given to impromptu irritation, almost impatient, automatically pontificating, so on and so forth.  By then, my peers would have similarly duplicated our physical attributes specifically on how we would look up-close.  Although I have seen a handful of them already looking more advanced than most of us.

We are actually in that interlude already conferred by nature as survivors.  After 60, every single second in time is considered a bonus. Age 60 is the new 40, it has been claimed.   It is something which has been deprived from many mortals who perished without reaching the period.  While most are assisted by pharmaceutical formula, we have nonetheless safely (or luckily) carried to the next level the genes of our ancestors who were likewise gifted with longevity.  Whether it is a curse or not, it definitely makes sense for those with keen minds, never mind the heart.  It is for the nonce some kind of destiny too.

There are just so much threats in this living and ailing world, from virus to violence, no one, even with excellent genealogical history at that, can virtually escape danger and death.  To reach a decade past the half century mark is already an accomplishment of sort.  And I have known and rubbed elbows with persons who are in their late 80s and even in their 90s.  Looking at them closely and assuming that I would likewise reach their age, I could not ascertain if I could still continue, on my own, with my scrupulous nature in sustaining hygienic discipline.  I might look like a worm by then!

For sure, despite failing eye sight, I would still read books.  There are just so many reading materials and so little time.  I don’t know if I could still write or could still maintain the discipline of the craft.  I think the books I have authored in the past could sustain my name for the next generation of readers, never mind if the succeeding ones would rather partake of the digital form of literacy.  By then, it would never be a concern since I am already forgotten anyway.

How I wish to be ambulant even if I reached a terribly long life.  I have an advantage over the immortals because one day after so much waiting and adventure, I would pass away—a gift which the undead are denied.

A decade from now could spring surprises in the field of health and medicine despite the ruling lunacy of world dominance by political nitwits.  Science has already overtaken the mystery of religion in terms of expanding life and its meanings.  It has changed its own configuration.  Technology is even more daring.  It has challenged and reformulated classic theories on physics and general knowledge.  Science and technology would eventually rule the world and save mankind, including me perhaps and those lucky enough to hang on, for another breath of life in the future.  A decade would just be a whiff and another decade after another would just be a breeze.  Barring the effects of conflicts, diseases and related social defects, life would still continue for those who have maintained their sanity in an otherwise insane environment.

And life goes on as if there is no end.



Artists, the real ones, are never governed by rules.  They have their own.  They live in their own chosen world and everything around them is simply their creations.  Creativity is their very soul.  They live apart from the human race since they are a different race coexisting with the ordinary.  While they may project as commonplace and act in a regular manner, their perception of reality goes about above the average decibel and most often, along unusual lines.  Only artists can determine a fellow artist.

As a child, I felt like I was having the same vein until it was suppressed by long years of routine scholarship.  My parents never wanted me to be craftsman.  I was cajoled, obliged, compelled to be just like anyone in the neighborhood Artists are easily moulded by superior force.  And they succeeded to reinvent nature.  I became a government functionary, more of a visionary because of my artistic inclination, but a regular worker just the same.  I will retire from the service a few summers from now, reduced to a pensioner more than someone with creative impulse.

But not my son.  He was nurtured under an air of independence.  He virtually has to court the muses and seek solace personally under the guidance of autonomy.  He was planted in an environment where artists are prone to bloom.  It may be a little lonely.  It may be strictly friendless and forlorn, but that exactly are elements where the arts manifest.  Although he grew up in a regular family atmosphere, he would, most of the time, rather submit himself under the tutelage of books and the scent of the library.  The school was merely a plaything, an exposed appendage for social gathering.  It was for him never a zone to learn.  Learning is a personal advocacy intended to develop philosophy, the basis of his interest, the foundation of his ideal, the central nervous system of his arts.

And I, as a parent, must pay the price, a costly one if you may, for allowing his son to be an artist.  I must offer him to the altar of humanity, much like what Abraham did when compelled by God to sacrifice his son, Isaac.  I must sustain his artistic impulse, his creative requirements, his yen for non conformism, his rebellious streaks, even his extraordinary expenses.  He must see the world.  Capture it in his perceptions.

Artists have difficulties in ascertaining the proximate result since their intellects are profuse with distant calculations.  They seldom care about their gender.  They seldom give a damn to anything spiritual.  They only pray because it is a habit not because they are religious.  They know they have the same gift with that of their Creator.  They are demigods whose works are perpetual and beyond the sphere of mortality.

I know that my son is having the same syndrome.  He is constantly battling with his own demons.  He knows that winning means creating a master piece.

He must experiment on life, traverse the impossible, blend history and current events;  he even encourages himself to peek at the future.  It is no small feat.  It is a leap of faith.  An artist must have to taste the bitter gourd of deprivation, the pain of insult if only to bring about a realistic production of genuine arts.

No parent would allow his child to encounter hardship but that is how arts, real and authentic ones, are made.  The artist must produce something which the world must reckon.  Heroes and artists grow from the same tree.

It has been said that to have an artist as one’s child is a cross between a blessing and a curse.  But for me, it is more of a blessing disguised as a curse.


(Karlo Ernesto Tesoro would change his name to Kermit, a character from a TV Children’s Educational Program, to make himself anonymous among his boyhood peers.  Subsequently, he was adjudged as one of the country’s top ten designers and whose works have been displayed in international galleries.)


tesoro santos nuptial

RIZALINE, my eldest child, may have resigned to her fate to face life under single blessedness.  After all, on both maternal and fraternal side, there are spinsters and bachelors.  She may be at ease on which side she would prefer.  After all, I have prepared her intellect to subdue every philosophical concern she may encounter.

She is beautiful and only morons would ignore her.  She is an A-lister in her student days and a very responsible worker in any employment she may take fancy on.  On top of that, she is an ardent advocate of nature, always atop the mountains, exploring the bounties of innate resources.  Matrimony may have its attractions but she would rather concentrate on her beliefs.  She was busy with her peers, all naturalists on the side and professionals in their upbringing.  All of them are also unattached.

Then the unusual happened.  Her mother, a health buff and a very conservative person, very religious and almost scrupulous on cleanliness contracted the big C—-an ailment only for those who embraced lifestyle abuse.  It was an impossible ailment for the lady but in a world that changes every now and then, include climate change for that matter, everything probable can only become possible.  And there it was, medical science has diagnosed the mother as such and from there, the mother was at the centre of wishful instructions.

The mother decreed that the eldest should already tie the knot.  She wanted to see her first born already settled.  It was deaths wish which must be reckoned and reckon my dear child must have done.

She was engaged to Aaron Paul Santos, a dashing gentleman, about her age, in their 30s and still determining if marriage would be their convenient decision.  They have as yet to fully understand a life away from their respective neutral family.  Living on their own is still a matter to analyze.  Both are gainfully employed though, both are eldest in their respective broods and both are responsible elders in their own families.  Marriage is a perfect decision.

The day it was decided was one of dilemma.  They may have wished to carry it out on a later period, after a protracted friendship but they were torn on a date on which it must be conducted.  The mother of the soon to be bride wishes to have the nuptial in two weeks.  For serious workers like the couple who never wanted to have absences, this would mean sleepless nights to work on.

And they did.  After two weeks, the arrangement was fulfilled.  Announcements, organized trips, involvement of friends, busy as they were, church requirements, clothing, invitation, reception, all were taken cared of.  The venue was the historic St. James Church, the oldest Spanish Church of Laguna, situated at the foot of Paete.  It was the hometown of the mother and every maternal relative were up and about.  The parents of the groom could only accede with the arrangement and gamely trek, along with all relatives from both families, in that remote town famous for its world class wood sculptures.

November 29, 2014, Saturday at 2pm came to be as the matrimonial fulfilment of a mother’s wish and an emblem of a future relationship only my dear child and her beloved would be able to jointly comprehend.

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