Monthly Archives: March 2016

HOLY WEEK THOUGHTS

apostle

Come to think about it.  Faith is not what it is like to be.  That through faith one can be saved from danger and pain, from agony and discomfort, from suffering and death.  On the contrary, faith is when one is tested to the limits of his endurance,  of his fortitude, of his patience, of his grit.

Those who profess such magnitude of faith which common run of men wanted to proximate may not be able to withstand the consequence but there they were maintaining faith up to the very end.  It is something which ordinary men would be hard to comprehend.

We are oftentimes lured on the belief that our faith could save us from earthly difficulties, from sudden misfortune, from grave accidents, from any fortuitous event.  Faith has nothing to do with supernatural intervention neither it is an element to produce positive vibrations.

Let us take note of what history said of the apostles, they who were witnesses and whose faith cannot be questioned.

Peter was crucified upside down on an X-shaped cross. This was because, according to church tradition, he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way as Jesus Christ.

James the Just, leader of the church in Jerusalem, refused to deny his faith in Christ. He was thrown more than a hundred feet from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple (the same location where Satan had tried to tempt Jesus). Discovering that James survived the fall, his tormentors beat him to death with a fuller’s club.

James the Great, son of Zebedee, was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, he was ultimately beheaded at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded him watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.

Bartholomew, also known as Nathaniel, was a missionary to Asia, witnessing for Jesus in the region now under Turkey. He was martyred by whipping, for preaching in Armenia.

Andrew was crucified on an X-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers, his body was tied to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: “I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.” He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired.

Thomas was stabbed with a spear during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the Indian subcontinent.

Matthew, (namesake of?) the former tax collector, suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound.

Mark died after being dragged by horses through the streets of Alexandria, Egypt.

Luke was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous preaching to the lost.

John (the Evangelist, said to be different from “The Beloved,” the youngest Apostle) was condemned to boiling in a cauldron of oil, during a wave of persecution in Rome. Miraculously he was delivered from death. He was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos, where he wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation. Later freed, John returned to serve as Bishop of what is now Edessa in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only Apostle to pass away peacefully.

Jude was killed with arrows and stones when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.

Matthias, the Apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.

Barnabas, one of the seventy disciples mentioned in the Gospel of Luke, preached throughout Italy and Cyprus. Soon after writing the Epistle of Barnabas, he was stoned to death at Salonica, a seaport in what is now Turkey.

Paul was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. He endured lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, teaching many of the foundational doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

Faith has never solved a mystery; it has never even treated headaches, wounds or emotional problems.  Much more so, it has nothing to do with winning in lotteries or passing examinations.

It is more than anything else actually.  Faith is a grand lesson which every man should take to heart.  Not necessarily to save his skin for it will not but to fulfill a grander vision of what loyalty and eventually what love is all about.

After all, it is only through Love that lasting peace can be achieved.

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PAMBABASTOS IN THE PHILIPPINE SETTING

pambabastos

Ilang linggo ang nakaraan nang mabalitaan natin na isang estudyante ng UP Los Banos ay nagtatago ngayon sa takot.  Ito ay sa dahilan na habang nasa open forum ito, binastos niya ang kanilang guest speaker na si Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.  Matapos niyang tanungin ang Mayor kung ano ang importante, pondo ba sa edukasyon o pondo sa pagbili ng baril, habang nagpapaliwanag ang Mayor ay bigla na lang  niyang siningitan ng salitang, “deretsohin mo na sagot, para maka uwi ka na agad.”  Something to that effect.  Eh, hindi lang walang pag galang ang ganung salita,ito ay pambabara na.   Bukod sa naghahanap ito ng away, ito ay isang mariing pambabastos na.  Katumbas ito ng isang  paghahamon.

Sa kagustuhan siguro ng estudyanteng umepal at mag paandar, magmukhang aktibista at matapang, ang mambastos ang kanyang paraan para makilala.  Di ba’t binugbog kamakailan sa UP ang Budget Secretary Butch Abad nang ito ay maging guest speaker din?  Isa itong larawan ng kilos kabastusan.  Sa situation ng estudyante na nambara kay Mayor Duterte,  walang halong violence ang naganap pero masakit lang sa tenga.

Hindi ito naging maganda sa pandinig ng karamihan sa mga nakatutok lalo na ang mga netizens.  Karamihan ay nag-react ng negatibo laban sa estudyante.  Anjan ka na gawan siya ng nitso sa FB at ilang meme, bagay na ikinabahala niya kaya biglaan nyang binura ang  kanyang FB account ,sabay tago.

Gayun din ang ilan sa mga nakasubaybay sa ganung open forum ay pawang nabastusan sa inasal ng estudyante.   Ito daw ay walang modo, pangit ang asal at bastos.  Hindi maganda sa panlasa ang barahin ng isang teen-ager ang isang senior citizen na nagpapa unlak lang sa imbitasyon.

Andun na tayo sa reaksyon ng Mayor na madali nyang sinabi na “I may not agree with what he is saying but I will defend his right to say it.” Ala Voltaire ang mga kataga.   Pero sa karamihan, oo nga at may karapatan ang isang tao na sabihin nya ang gusto niyang ihayag, hindi naman ito papayagan o sasang-ayunan ninuman kung sa paraan ng pagsasabi, ito ay mambabastos.  Magka iba yun.

Tyak siguro yun estudyante baka mapa away din kung siya ay babastusin, o di kaya ang kanya mismong  kapamilya o kaibigan ang bastusin.

Diyan natin makikita ang Pinoy na hindi basta binabastos.  O hindi basta-basta pinapayagan ang pambabastos.

Sa Pinas, hindi pinapalagpas ang ganitong ugali.  Ewan ko nga ba kung bakit.  Pero kung susuriin mo ilang mga kaso ng pagpatay, karamihan dito ay sa kadahilanan ng pambabastos.  Ang expression na “parang nakakalalaki” ay dito nagmula sa isang galaw na tinuturing na pambabastos.  Galit ang Pinoy sa ganyang magaspang na kilos, maliban lang kung ito ay nagpapatawa lang.

Tumingin ka nga lang ng masama, o di kaya pagtawanan mo isang tao hindi mo kaano-ano, away na kasunod niyan.  Swerte na lang kung mauwi sa suntukan ang ganitong bagay.  Pag may dalang matalas ang isa, tyak may madadala sa emergency room sa ilang sandal lang.  Ganyan ang Pinoy kapag nabastos.

Sa isang probinsiya, merong magkapitbahay na hindi nagkasundo sa parada ng kanilang sasakyan.  Ipinarada yata nung isa ang kotse niya sa harap ng bahay ng katapat niya.  Lumabas ng bahay yun tao, parang nabastusan sa ginawang pagharang at ayun pinagbabaril si kapitbahay!

Kadugtong na rin itong kaugaliang ito ang madaling mapikon.  Sa isang pikon, ang isang kilos na hindi maganda ay pambabastos na.

Ang Pinoy ay mahaba ang pasensiya.  Pede siyang goyoin, estapahin o lokohin, matatawa din siya sa kanyang pagkakamali, natatawa din siya sa sarili niya, kaya naman siya ay lubhang mahiyain at maingat.  Miski na kamo makapal pa ang kanyang mukha, mahiyain pa rin siya.  Alam niya kung siya ay sumosobra na.  At kung sasadyain naman na sumobra o parang mag OA,  ito ay para magpa kengkoy lang.  Bihira, maliban lang kung may diperensiya sa ulo, ang hayagang mambastos.

Ang lipunang ginagalawan ng Pinoy ay sadyang disente at maunawain.  Ganyan ang gusto niyang kapaligiran.  Ganyang klaseng environment ang gusto nyang tirahan in the first place.  Gagawin nya lahat ng paraan para mapanatili ang kapayapaan.   Mahaba din ang kanyang pisi.  Matiisin, mapang unawa, mapag bigay, may kusa, mapag mahal, maalahanin, so on and so forth.  Mahirap man o mayaman, bata man o matanda, babae man o lalaki, edukado man o hindi, malusog man o sakitin, malakas man o mahina, lahat sila ay may gusto ng katahimikan at madaling maapektuhan ng pambabastos.

Kaya naman ilang bansa na sumakop sa Pinas at okay lang.  Pero haluan ito ng pambabastos, gera na!

Sa ibang bansa, iba ang kultura at iba din ang kaugalian.  Sa bansang Japan,  ang taong napahiya ay nagpapakamatay.  Tawag nila dito ay Harakiri o Sepuku.   Dito saten, yun napahiya pa gumagawa ng away!  Sa Amerika, bale wala ang pambabastos.  Doon pag isang bisita dumating ng alanganin, halimbawa oras ng pananghalian, si bisita ay pag-aantayin hanggang sa matapos kumain ang binibisita.  Dito mo gawin yun, ang dating niyan ay pambabastos na.  Sa Europa, maghubad sa kalye, walang papansin maliban lang sa mga alagad ng batas.  Dito saten, maghubad ka lang ng pangtaas na damit  pede ka ng ratratan ng mga sugo ng otoridad dahil sa kabastusan.

Ang salitang respeto o pag galang ay napaka halaga sa bayan ni Juan.  Tanggalin mo ito o sadyain mo lang itabi, meron ka ng PAGLALAGYAN.  Kung bagaman sa kumot, pede ka nang itiklop at madali nang ILIGPIT.

Yan si Juan, ganyan ang PINOY.

HOW GENIUSES DRESS THEMSELVES

steve jobs

Selecting the proper attire takes time to start with.  And those with busy minds would rather exclude such mundane or trivial selection of what fits them best.  It could even be the main reason, aside from distinction, why schools prefer its students in uniform rather than in casuals or any other type of clothing.

For a special class of people, those we oftentimes refer to as geniuses, their manner of dressing is not as complicated as how their minds work. Its simpler compared to the common run of men in the first place.   As a matter of fact, they only have one design of clothing they usually wear.

Karl Marx is oftentimes depicted with his overcoat, the only winter clothing he would wear all throughout his writing career because he seldom goes out of his room anyway.  Steve Jobs’ black turtle-neck sweater over a faded denim pants has been his “uniform” all throughout since his Apple pioneering days up until his dying days.   It was influenced by his over indulgence over the hype of Beatlemania that he decided to wear the same set over and over until he made it as his signature uniform in all his exposures whether formal or otherwise. Mark Zuckerberg, of Facebook fame, is stereotyped in his hooded gray shirt and demin pants too.

Albert Einstein went further by allowing his graying hair to grow full and freezy aside from his regular faculty uniform which would be his outfit whether at home or in school.  Mohandas Ghandi had the spookiest with only his loin cloth and shawl on his body up until his assassination.

When Mao Zedong, the Great Helmsman of China departed, the State handed over to his heirs no properties or anything of value at all except for a small cabinet where his gray flannel uniform was scrupulously folded.  It was this dress that the Great Mao was known to have donned all throughout the period of his Chairmanship which dated back since 1945 up until his death in 1976.

They are but a few outstanding geniuses who pursued greatness with their strengths and in their “uniform.”

And there are also geniuses, those whose names were below the bar of popularity but are exceptional just the same with fixation or rather with no fixation at all when it comes to habiliments.  I was reminded of our neighbor in my community orientation in Quezon City where Chess great, International Grandmaster Ruben Rodrigues during his prime.  He would prod me to accompany him in school (UE) where he competed in a simultaneous chess game with 50 chess aficionados.  And the game came with a prize for the loser.  And every time Ruben fights, I was the one in charge of collecting a big sum as winner’s pot.  Those were days also that I would remind Ruben belatedly though that he was wearing a different pair of shoes.  Once, I reminded him to wear socks, well, he did, but I discovered it lately that he wore the shoe first then the socks!  Geniuses had no sense of reality sometimes.

It has been said that Joma Sison, erstwhile rebel leader and icon of progressive activists may be acquainted in some respects to the allegorical forgetful professor.  While he can project social developments which could stretch through centuries, he could not re-assemble a stripped Armalite even if is dismounted in front of him.  He was likewise no sartorial guru as far as his projections were concerned.

There are a number of geniuses scattered around and spread out evenly on all fields of endeavor and one can only appreciate their presence either as nerds, geeks, non-conformists, belligerent, saintly, whathaveyou and most of the time, they can easily be spotted because they usually dress the same boring kind of material or style or design all over again in a span which one’s awareness can grasp.

 

 

AT ANG NAGWAGI SA PAGKA-PANGULO AY…………

presidential election

Kung tatanungin mo ang mga kandidato sa pagka pangulo kung sila ay lamang na, bawat isa ay magsasabi  na sila ang mananalo.  Pero kung tya-tyagain mo namang makinig sa taong bayan kung sino gusto nila, ang mga lumalabas sa survey ay parang magandang batayan.

Marami ang nagsasabi na lamang na ang Senadora  Grace Poe.  Ito ay galing sa mga taong mahilig makinig sa news.  Si Grace kasi ang palaging pinag-uusapan dahil sa kontrobersya ng kanyang kwalipikasyon.  Alam naman natin na ang Pinoy ay mahilig kumampi sa mga ina-api at idinidiin.  Bukod diyan, si Grace ay medyo malinis kung ikukumpara kay VP Binay, kung susuriin natin ang mga issues.  Lamang din sya kay Mayor Duterte kasi wala siyang yabang at wala ding maipagyabang.  Lalo na kung ikumpara siya kay Secretary Mar.  Tagilid nga lang si Grace kay Senadora Miriam at ito naman ay aminado siya.  Yun nga lang si Miriam ay naging talunan noong panahong nanalo si President Fidel Ramos, kaya ubos na bertud kung tutuusin.  Wala kasing nanalong Presidente na talunan noong araw pa.

Ganyan din ang kalagayan ni VP Binay.  Yun nga lang medyo madugo ang mga binibintang sa kanya.  Kung sisiraan ang isang tao, paratangan mo ng pagnanakaw at tyak, miski na mapatunayang malinis sya, ang bintang na masama ay nakadikit pa rin sa pangalan niya.  Mapagbintangan ka nang magulo at mahilig sa  basag ulo, lahat iyan makakalimutan, pero ang pagnanakaw, medyo mahirap depensahan.  Sa ganyang sitwasyon ang boto ng Binay ay malamang malusaw, maliban lang sa ilang nakinabang sa ilang programang kapaki-pakinabang naman nung sya ay mayor pa ng Makati.

Sa panig naman ng  Mayor Duterte, oks lang daw kung ano kaganapan.  Manalo siya, swerte daw ang bansa, matalo naman, eh di wow pa rin ang Davao, hindi maaagaw ang pansin sa pamamalakad sa Davao, kaya pirmis pa rin.  Oo nga at madaming bilib kay Duterte lalo na at inayos nya ang peace and order at ekonimiya ng Davao na kaya din niyang palawakin ito sa buong kapuluan.  Ito ay kung siya nga ang lalabas na panalo sa Picos machine.  Alam naman natin na ang gadget kapag biglaang nawalang ng power, tyak magluluko.  Ganyan ang sitwasyon sa buong bansa, laging may brown out.  Di umano may upgrade na gagawin, o di kaya may nagpasabog ng tower, o may distributor na nagloko, lahat yan ay eksena para mabago ang galaw ng makinaryang bumibilang ng boto.

At ang dating DILG Secretary Mar Roxas nga pala.  Nasa kanya na siguro lahat ng sangkap para makilala at mai-luklok ng boto.  Ang lolo niya, si Manuel Roxas, ay dating Pangulo ng ating bansa.  Ang tatay niya, si Senator Gerry Roxas, isa sa mga pinagpipitagang lider oposisyon at isa sa mga bantayog ng senado.  Ang nanay niya ay membro ng mga elitistang Araneta, na kung saan sila ang may ari ng kolosal na Araneta Coliseium sa Cubao, bukod sa libo-libong ektaryang lupain sa Visayas.  Dahil sa ganitong kuneksyon, siya laging naluluklok na pinuno ng departamento ng bawat halal na presidente ng ating bansa.  Hindi siya nawawalan ng katungkulan.  Maliban dito, sya ay nahalal pa sa senado at naging lider ng partido sa pulitika.  Kamakailan ay nasa news siya dahil sa kasal niya sa isang beteranong media personality, ang Korina Sanchez.  Nasa kanya na lahat, ika nga.  Pero pawang walang bilang ito sa ordinaryong mamamayan, silang nakararami sa botohan.

Ang kapalaran ng Mar Roxas ay nasa bituin nya.  Palibhasa natalo na siya sa pagtakbo bilang bise presidente noon nakaraang eleksyon, lalo na ang ambisyunin pa ang pagka pangulo.  Kung bagaman sa boxing, may panalo pa ba ang isang boksingero na natalo sa middle weight division, pero sa sumunod na pagkakataon gusto pang hamunin ang heavyweight crown?

Andyan pa ang matikas na Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.  Medyo nagulo lang ang balahibo ng ilang progresibong botante, karamihan sa mga unibersidad, dahil sa desisyon ng Madam Miriam na kunin niyang partner bilang bise president ang Bongbong Marcos.  Pamandin si Bongbong ang siyang kumakatawan sa isang kaso na kung saan pinipigil ang nakaw na yaman na maibahagi sa mga naging biktima ng martial law.

Palibhasa pawang mga senior citizen na lamang ang nakaka alam sa mga nangyari noong araw, kaya ang  pagkandidato sa bise ni Bongbong ay walang gaanong kumokontra.  Miski na ang pinaka malapit na katunggali nya na si Chiz Escudero ay pawang kakampi.  Ang ama ng Chiz ay dating tauhan ng tatay ng Bongbong noong araw.

Sa aking panaginip, ang nanalo sa pagka pangulo ay si Rodrigo Duterte.  Yun nga lang, nung ibinabalita ng Comelec ang kaganapan, biglang nawalan ng kuryente.  Dun ako nagising!

 

ON RENEWING PASSPORT

pasaporte

If a person intends to leave the country to work abroad, or simply plans to visit another country, the basic requirement is to get a passport.  Well, on top of that, to have one is equivalent to having a genuine identification document accepted by government and non-government organization alike.  To have a passport is to have the mother of all IDs in one’s pocket.

I had a passport of various colors.  When I went to Japan in 1985 to represent the country in UN for community based corrections conference, I had a red passport.  It means that I have a diplomatic passport.  When I represented the country in Australia in 2000, my diplomatic passport was color green. But when I attended a private conference in Kuala Lumpur, my passport was for the regular traveler, and it means color brown.

My recollection was poor in recalling how I applied for passport.  Considering the fact that my travel abroad was years apart and besides, I oftentimes would dodge any recommendation from my superior whenever they would require me to go abroad for a seminar or two.  Leaving for abroad for me was an expensive proposition.  Aside from the fact that my per diem was just enough to keep my neck out of the waters, the numerous requests from friends to buy them souvenir made me sick.  That means producing more dough, skipping meals, fellowships and haggling for items.

When my regular passport however was about to expire, I thought of renewing it for future travel or whatever its use especially if I have to transact business here or abroad.  And so, I checked internet on how to go about the renewal processes. The wonders of technology, everything you wanted to know about procedures and requirements on how to get a passport is there at the flick of the mouse.   At first, downloading the forms was easy.  But I relented for a while, call it laziness.

As soon as my passport was just a few weeks to go before it goes pffffft, I went to check the nearest DFA office for assistance.  Reaching the office was astounding.  I haven’t seen so much humanity standing several rows; shoulder to shoulder the length would cover almost 10 blocks.  According to the security officer maintaining sanity in the line, those at the head were there because they were there since the break of dawn.

I was prepared to test the waters, stand on hours much like the common people in the area.  My fellow Filipinos really wanted to go out of their country in search of greener pasture that they would sacrifice everything to reach their dreams.  I would join in their initial drive.  The first step however  is to get a passport.

I filled up the form, produced the requirements as directed and went straight to the staff at the entrance gate.  It was 10am and a number of people with brown envelopes had virtually surrounded the entrance door.  To reach the entrance, one must navigate several meters of compressed humanity.  I was one of those tossed on the waves of the crowd.

Prepared to be confront hunger and thirst, pushed around and shoved, even snubbed and scolded, I asked the officer where I could get my cue number.  He commanded that I fill up the form first, a blank form was shown.  I replied that I have filled up mine and showed it to the officer.  He took a glance, stamped it with a series of numbers and directed me to proceed to the teller.

I was surprised because in moving on, I would be immediately attended.  I looked at the humanity behind me who were probably there since the beginning of time, embarrassed at the thought that I have overtaken them.  The guard manning the post further egged me to proceed further at the first of the line.  “You’re priority, since you are a senior citizen” said the uniformed personnel.  I thought for a while that they won’t suspect me to be that old but there I was, even without showing my birth certificate, my looks betrayed me that day!

After a couple of minutes, the staff gave me a stub and a figure.  I was directed to another room to wait for my number to be called.  That’s right.  There was on my stub a priority tag.  After a few seconds, my number was called and another staffer reviewed my papers.  After a minute, I was given another stub to be shown to the cashier.  After paying the fees, it was P1,200.00 for express, which means, I could get my passport in 2 weeks, compared with regular pay, which meant 30 days, I settled in a vacant slot amid a select multitude of applicants waiting to be called.

Another minute passed  by and my number was called and there I was posing for the camera for my picture to be taken.  Thereafter, I was advised that I should make my follow up based on the indicated date on the receipt, which meant that I should be back at the releasing office 2 weeks there from.  It took me only a few minutes and it was that easy!

I thought for a while that I would be subjected to a number of indignities, wasted time, disrespect and everything stressful, but there was nothing of that sort.  Getting a passport was even cooler than ordering a breakfast meal in Jolibee!

Well, let us just call it, perks of a senior citizen.  For ordinary passport applicants, there is order, there is time management, and the process is not so complicated.

To DFA, Kudos to you and your officers!

FROM THEATER TO POLITICS

'There's a clown shortage.  I wonder why that is?'  'Because so many of us have went into politics.'

In the olden times, entertainers were called upon to draw crowds during  political rallies.  Now, it’s a different ball game.  The entertainers themselves are on the line this time seeking public office.  Let’s look at the list:

  1. Aga Muhlach (Unsuccessful congressional candidate 4th dist. Cam Sur)
  2. Aiko Melendez (Former Councilor of Quezon City)
  3. Alfred Vargas (incumbent Representative for the 5th District of Quezon City; Former Councilor for the 2nd District of Quezon City)
  4. Angelica Jones (incumbent Board Member 3rd district of Laguna)
  5. Anjo Yllana (Former Vice Mayor of Paranaque)
  6. Bong Revilla Jr. (Senator)
  7. Cesar Montano (Unsuccessful senatorial candidate)
  8. Cita Astals (Former Councillor of Manila)
  9. Dan Fernandez (Former Representative 1st District of Laguna)
  10. Daniel Fernando (incumbent Vice-Governor of Bulacan)
  11. Dennis Roldan (Former Representative of Quezon City)
  12. Edu Manzano (Former Vice-Mayor of Makati City)
  13. Fernando Poe Jr. (Unsuccessful presidential candidate)
  14. George Estregan, Jr. (former Governor of Laguna; former Mayor of Pagsanjan, Laguna)
  15. Herbert Bautista (incumbent Mayor of Quezon City; former Vice Mayor of Quezon City)
  16. Imelda Papin (Former Vice-Governor of Camarines Sur, Bicol)
  17. Isko Moreno (Vice Mayor of Manila)
  18. Jinggoy Estrada (Senator)
  19. Joey Marquez (Former Mayor of Paranaque)
  20. Joseph Estrada (13th President of the 2nd Republic; incumbent Mayor of Manila)
  21. Lito Lapid (Senator)
  22. Lou Veloso (former Councillor for the 6th District of Manila)
  23. Lucy Torres-Gomez (incumbent Representative Leyte 4th District)
  24. Manny Pacquiao (incumbent Representative Sarangani District)
  25. Nora Aunor (Unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate for Camarines Sur)
  26. Ramon Revilla Sr. (Senator)
  27. Richard Gomez (Unsuccessful senatorial candidate)
  28. Roderick Paulate (incumbent Councilor 2nd District QC)
  29. Rogelio de la Rosa (Former Senator)
  30. Rudy Fernandez (Unsuccessful mayoral candidate for Quezon City)
  31. Sonny Parsons (Former Councilor of Marikina City)
  32. Tito Sotto (Senator)
  33. Vilma Santos (incumbent and first female Governor of Batangas)

What now?

For those who never make it, they simply go back to where their stars shine—theater.  Aga Muhlach, aside from guesting, is a doting father to an adorable child actor, his son and look-alike when Aga was still starting.  Senator Bong Revilla, on the other hand, is presently detained along with fellow thespian, Senator Jinggoy Estrada for alleged plunder.

Ceasar Montano is back in the silver screen but for former Manila councilor Cita Astals, it was back on the street of her make believe world.  Dan Fernandez is in business while Edu Manzano is on contemplative mood.

Action King Fernando Poe, Jr., may have crossed over but his political potency simply passed on to his daughter Senator Grace Poe, a strong contender to the Presidency—a fate which eluded her father.  George Estregan Jr., was dispossessed of his governorship for election overspending but is contesting back his former post.

Senator Ramon Revilla is bed ridden while Roderick Paulatte has recently been dismissed from his councilor post by Ombudsman.  Rudy Fernandez did not make it as mayoral candidate in Quezon City and subsequently departed.  Sonny Parsons is back in commerce while Dennis Roldan is presently serving time in the National Penitentiary for a capital offense.

So what?

There is no contradiction actually when actors shift into politics.   The only quality demanded from somebody occupying the public post is the ability to choose the best people who will perform during his administration.  And entertainers may have the advantage since they know fully well the kind of cast that would make a perfect film.

The fact that actors have a fan base already, a good following, politics is an attractive proposition to perform directly and receive adulation from the people.  This, on top of perks, power and respect.

Ronald Reagan of USA was a B-actor before becoming Californa governor and subsequently the 40th US President.  Arnold Swazernegger was a health buff turned actor then governor of California.  The same is true with Clint Eastwood.

In Argentina, Evita Peron became a contender to the highest post also.

In Sri Lanka, thespian Mahinda Rajapaksa became the country’s 6th President.  He earned his law degree through acting in various cameo roles until he moved to politics.

Here, there was Rogelio de la Rosa who could have been President had he not pulled out from the race.  Erap Estrada eventually got the highest post and could have been succeeded by his bosom buddy Fernando Poe, Jr. had politics been fair at the tills.

Qualification for public post

There is no question actually when actors move over to public office.  All of them perform better with an audience.  But of course, not everything is according to script.  Others may find it shocking to realize that reality is different from a make-believe reel.

Comedy king Dolphy who once rooted to take a plunge into politics, to take a crack at the Presidency, once remarked. “What if I win???!!!”  Dolphy was a class act and he may have been funny but it was the most sacred quote ever.

 

EXPLORING LIFE IN OUTER SPACE

mars

If life becomes unbearable on earth, there is still hope if there is no life in heaven or in life hereafter but in outer space.  And why not?  Our space scientists have already designed vehicles that could reach the outer limits of our defined universe.  We have already reached the Moon and lately Mars.

We are becoming smarter every day that in time we will approximate the kind of alien intelligence which our planet has been visited constantly.  We can repay the same tack in the near future.

Lately, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is pursuing a research on what plant to introduce to a nearby planet.  It has been studied that the complex Martian atmosphere contains mostly carbon dioxide and extremely exposed to ultraviolet radiation.  Its atmosphere although fatal to normal earthly life still contains basic life sustaining components.

Accordingly, Mars has a thin atmosphere — too thin to easily support life as we know it. The extremely thin air on Mars can also become very dusty. Giant dust storms can blanket the entire planet and last for months.

The atmosphere of Mars is about 100 times thinner than Earth’s, and it is 95 percent carbon dioxide. Here’s a breakdown of its composition:

Carbon dioxide: 95.32 percent

Nitrogen: 2.7 percent

Argon: 1.6 percent

Oxygen: 0.13 percent

Carbon monoxide: 0.08 percent

Also, minor amounts of: water, nitrogen oxide, neon, hydrogen-deuterium-oxygen, krypton and xenon.

Mars’ thin atmosphere and its greater distance from the sun mean that Mars is much colder than Earth The average temperature is about minus 80 degrees F (minus 60 degrees C), although it can vary from minus 195 degrees F (minus 125 degrees C) near the poles during the winter to as much as a comfortable 70 degrees F (20 degrees C) at midday near the equator.

Considering the fact that there are available varieties of plants on Earth which could grow in harsh condition, sending it in Mars may as well promote life within its domain.  Astrobiologists are now deep into research and testing on some plants, especially selected potatoes which may not only grow well on Mars but also reproduce in large qualities.  The research would have also a positive impact on Earth since it could also address the scourges of hunger and malnutrition obtaining in some parts of our planet due to poverty and climate change.

The experiment is also forward looking since our planet faces climatic condition that eventually might lead to desertification, rising temperature and high salt content in the soil.  Dealing with outer planetary system like the Red Planet,  is likewise understanding the driest place on Earth and working on how it could further and support life and agriculture.

And while appreciating something which is outside of my competence, I accidentally discovered that there are also tropical plants in our midst which can qualify to be tested for possible introduction to outer space for growing and reproduction.  And I am biased on succulent plants.  I tried planting it in a highly controlled environment (to mimic harsh and unforgiving conditions), inside a sealed bottle (no air) with salty dried sand (no water) and exposed it to direct sunlight (ultraviolent radiation) and it is still growing after two weeks!  I have as yet to place it inside the fridge though to further simulate the cold atmosphere of the Red Planet.

The pseudo experiment is interesting since in my estimation, I have offered a brief attention on what our planet will be centuries from now (Mars like in the making) and how it can still promote life despite man’s tendency to abuse nature.

My generation may not be aware of the consequences of climate change but there are sectors, individuals like us, who try to push the limits of their imagination to live life for more centuries to come.  It is like living for a thousand years more and quite sincerely, it is somewhere between living here or in outer space.

OMG! MY BOOKS ARE NOW AVAILABLE AT AMAZON.COM

author vjt

To publish a book means to spend almost a fortune.  Publishing houses require so much from the author that to write something, that is to work on a book, is like draining one’s blood after a bloody surgery.

Out of the several manuscripts I have accumulated after years of writing, I only have a couple of works which passed through the printing process.  And I tell you, I almost skipped lunch for years just to save and appropriate a budget for publication alone.  No publisher worth his salt would ever gamble on a piece of shit unless it would easily give him a pornographic financial figure to ogle on.

Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book was for years considered a literary shit and was only recognized several decades since it was written.  Same is true of great writers before  and their respective obra maestras are concerned.  But now no more.  Well, at least for those who know.

In my case alone, I was introduced (convinced by a friend and tutored by my daughter Atern) on the vagaries of publishing in the net.  I thought that I must have to study the nuances of the digital world to attain literary in internet.  I thought that having an email and facebook account are in effect the sign of digital literacy, but no.  I was convinced to study how to publish on the net.  And it was damn easy.

And rightly so.  It was free, no charge and hassle free to register and upload one’s work as what I did.  There are a number of firms that would encourage writers to show their mettle and their products.  There is the iWriter, MangoBooks, Online publishing, so on and so forth, plenty to choose from.  Well, if only because it is the pioneer in its class, I chose Amazon.com. It has its own online circulation system through kindle.

And to publish online in Amazon is as simple as buying bread in your neighborhood bakery!  My daughter sent me this:

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing: Self-publish your book to Amazon’s Kindle Store

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is a fast, easy and free way for authors and publishers to keep control and publish their books worldwide on the Kindle and Kindle reading apps.

KDP.AMAZON.COM

And from there, I started to click registration.  After I have given my name and password, there I was, uploading my files, the same files I am submitting to the printing office.  But this time, instead of the printer telling me the costs and how it will bill me, Amazon on the other hand is telling me the worth of royalties I will receive once my book sells online.

I have published 9 books already and seeing it on the shelf of amazon (type Venancio Tesoro on the search engine of Amazon and in a flick, it would lay down the books I authored), on the corridor of digital book store of the world, is like receiving a medal from the universe already.  I felt like I belong to the Force already (remember Star Wars?).  The feeling that one has contributed to humanity his piece of mind, a fraction of idyllic significance based on his existence, that for once he existed, is enough accolade already that no amount of wealth could equal.  If only because of that, I felt accomplished and affluent.

The thought that someday my works will be read, browsed and perhaps appreciated is already an exciting proposition.  The thought that in all the works I have published, the names, shadows and narration of those I love—my family and friends, of those I respected most; and of those I sacredly reckon, they are all there and I have immortalized them.

Before, it was a costly affair to perpetuate an idea.  Now in the digital world, everything is made simple and free, and instantly available to be shared for the benefit of mankind.

THEM COWBOYS

qes66boys crop

I don’t know what happened to most of my elementary classmates among the boys but there we were,  out of eleven, on a designated day we called our 50th grand reunion (last January 22, 2016), we were only six standing on the ground.

I was wearing a black shirt (because my white uniform was stained as a consequence of biking) while the rest were meticulously in their whitened best.  To my left is Elmo Abad, still a practicing lawyer. He never left Project 2, our community of orientation.  He took up law in San Beda and passed the Bar on the year he graduated.  From then on, he virtually took the law into his own hand and practices it like a Firm.  Next is Sonny Salvador, a US resident but oftentimes would travel back to the country to visit his ancestral house in Project 2 and his farm in Bataan.  While he lamented leaving their ancestral house in Project 2, his stint in US however gave him enough resources to build his agro empire in Bataan.

Alfredo “Boy” Tabayoyong follows.  He is also a US resident and a retired federal worker in the US Postal service.  As soon as he retired, he took all the time in the world to travel and explore exotic places.  In US, he would literally drive himself and his kids to explore the outback and the countryside.  Over in the Philippines, Boy would likewise explore those lands in his province in Pangasinan and check their lands and resources as part of his heirloom.   Next to him is Oscar Carreon, a doting grandfather and an ideal husband.  Oca’s success was not attributed on his fondness for firearms or to his competence in the marketing field.  It was more on his being an adoring parent to his children who eventually became his trophies.   All his children are professionals and are making a name abroad.   To his left is Rod Espanol, a civil engineer and a resident of Singapore.  I have no other notes about him except that he is making good at the city-state as a consultant of government and private firms.

Those not in attendance and understandable are the following:  Gilbert Miranda, because he passed away two years ago and Edmundo Rebagay because he is in US and still active in the federal workforce.

Those who are still missing and could not be contacted are:  Efren Barba, Elmer Gloria, Renato Nuval, Edgar Javier, Ben Velaszuez.  There are those who have sighted Efren.  Accordingly, he was working in Bacoor, Cavite.  It was rumored that Efren belonged to a family related to the Marcoses of the North but during our elementary days, there were no signs of belligerence or highhandedness from him.  He was very meek and quiet all the time.  There was only one moment when I saw him boast but this was when he won the Soap Box Derby, a craze during our time.

I remember Elmer Gloria as cousin of my supervisor in AFP.  That’s right.  Once I was an enlisted Ranger and was trained under the baton of Elmer’s elder cousin.  Elmo’s reminiscence of Elmer’s youthful womanizing instinct was very vivid.  As a matter of fact, according to Elmo, every girl he would fancy on, Elmer was there courting behind.  Elmer was always there at the door step of those adjudged as the fairest girl in the school campus.  It is in effect the very antithesis of the rumor circulating that Elmer Gloria goes around the town as Gloria Elmer today!

I have no recollection about Renato Nuval. Before,  I oftentimes would mistake him with another schoolmate who happens to be in another section.  Anyway, Renato was one of those quiet kids and would prefer to sit at the back of the class.

Edgar Javier and Ben Velasquez, two soft spoken kids but they were literally big boys then.  From a distance, they look very physical, tough and intimidating.  Even school bullies would not like to mingle or engage them in any trouble.  However, in the course of meeting and inviting them for the reunion, Edgar and Ben are not in circulation and are not within my radar.

In five decades, (that means 50 years or 600 months) my classmates and I have changed and had engaged on different paths, got into varied directions and acquired experiences on diverse exposures then spread out from where we took off.  In five decades too, society has markedly changed from a slow, sleepy manual-based civilization to a culture that defines everything according to speed.  And in all those times, we were at the vortex of technical alterations and technological modifications.  We have been to Hell and back.

We are at times guilty of acting like we are still in a tribal community when in fact we are already within the digital embrace of galactic wisdom.

 We have been through partisan difficulties, although we have skipped Wars, but we belonged to a counter culture, the so called baby boomers, who believed in Love and Peace during our formative and juvenile years but on our way to our senior years, we are about to be conscripted, if not compromised, in a confused state of good and evil from the perspective of science, morals and humanism.

On the whole however, our generation has achieved so much and has been immersed in a wholesome universe.  As it were, we have personally known the past as we reminisce the good old days and we also have seen the future through instant knowledge in cyberspace. 

Now, we belong to the so- called “been there, done that” age group.

As the Western cavaliers sayWhoa! watchin ‘em ride cowboys!”

 

BROWN OUT

brown out

Weeks ago, I played host to a friend from Japan, a musician, one who played the saxophone so well that he got a fan base not only among his compatriots but also among long term Filipino residents in Japan.  He was some kind of a celebrity.

He brought his musical instrument and he would serenade me with classical music.  I felt heaven was within reach.

He spent a number of days in my place and he was instantly enamored at the sceneries and the tropical climate.  He would repeatedly chime “This is paradise!” over and over again.  It would likewise become a greeting whenever we find time to stretch out and visit the environs.

One day, an incident happened.  My visitor almost fainted.  There was no electricity and he was at that time charging his electronic devices.  He never knew what black out was all about.  We call it “brown out” over here, a political term to smooth the temper of the natives.  Who would curse the brown race in the place?

The brown out lasted for almost five hours.  We were lucky because I was informed that in some localities it went on for almost a day!  My Jap friend was almost disoriented.  He grew up in a country with enough energy that a failure in electric power was almost non-existent.  He was inconsolable for some time.  He was cursing government.

I have to mollify his sudden burst of anger.  I was shocked at his demeanor more than the failure of power since it was, for me and for most locals, a normal occurrence.

After a while, he was apologetic.  Whatever good impressions he may have accrued instantly vaporized with that single electrical incident.  He probably realized that he was not in Japan or in any developed country.  It dawned upon him that he was after all in a country with a struggling economy governed by incompetency and surprisingly, chosen by natives to fulfill their destiny, whatever it is.

It was a shortened vacation period which my Jap friend spent in my place.  He knew that he could not adjust anymore considering his dependency on technology.  Hampered by power failure, his gadgets would not amount to anything.  He was trained in modern world amenities and to live in a place almost 50 years behind his country was an invitation to backwardness.

He was very grateful though for the accommodation I gave and was very sad to leave hastily.  But of course I understand him.

A few days later, I received a note from him that he was back in harness in his home country and promised that next time he would be back; he will bring along a portable generator.

I suggested that he should take with him a group of civil and electronic engineers so that they could build towers too to increase the signals for his gadgets.

He never responded after that.

 

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