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Saturday, 26 March 2016


I remember the conversation I had with one good teacher several years ago. We were both waiting for our pre-school daughters, who were spending the morning at the school day care center. 

The national election was just a few weeks from that morning and an interesting mix of candidates were running against the  sitting president. Running for office was an icon of Philippine cinema, a respected senator of the republic and a well-known crime fighter.

The teacher asked me who I shall vote for and I said that I have only the senator in my mind. While I am not at all beguiled by wit and eloquence especially with politicians, I was in awe  with the senator's demeanor in the impeachment trial where he defended a neophyte lawyer  who was being bullied by his fellow senator. I know then that he is someone who will stand by what is right and just.

The teacher was adamant in voting for the sitting president. It was not that she believed that the president was the best among all the candidates, given certain allegations on corruption done by close relatives. She is revolted with the thought that another actor, inexperienced at that,  may once again lead the country, that is why she chose to vote for the candidate who was the closest  to the actor in survey rankings.  I asked her then, why not do all she can to vote someone who has the competence, the leadership and the vision to lead the country? Why not vote for Senator Raul Roco? I do not remember her reply to me then.

I remember that  conversation with the teacher now that I hear talks, even from progressives, to vote for the closest rival of Senator Bongbong Marcos in the vice-presidential race, the person who is statistically tied with him in survey rankings,  just so that he will not win. It will be hard for me to vote for someone I do not believe in.

Why not do all that is possible  to help honest people like Rep. Leni Robredo win? 

And yes, why not advocate and vote people like Rep.Neri Colmenares and former Rep. Walden Bello in the Senate, who have worked so hard through the years, to uplift the conditions of  people in the margins and to craft laws that would benefit the people? 

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Paano mo Ilalarawan ang Puso ng Isang Ina?

I first wrote this poem for a mother bravely looking for her son who up to now is a "desaparecido." I am dedicating this poem for mothers healing from the loss of their sons and daughters - from Amy Muga)

Paano mo ilalarawan ang puso ng isang ina?

Isang pusong kayang maghintay
sa panahong maligalig,
Isang pusong tumatangis
sa anak na piniling lumisan.
Isang pusong handang magpatawad
sa sarili at sa iba pa.

Kay Muriel, na pinilit hanapin ang sagot
Kung bakit namaalam ang kanyang anak,
sa mga pangarap na binuo mula pagkabata,
Hindi kayang tapatan ng mga mga pangako,
Ang himutok ng iyong damdamin.
Sisikaping unawain at magtiwala
Sa sariling paghilom at pananampalataya.

Kay Editha, na hindi sumuko sa paghahanap;
'Di masukat ang lungkot sa patuloy niyang pagkawala; 
hindi mapanatag sa  araw na walang katiyakan  
hindi mabilang ang mga gabing pinuno ng 
panalangin at pagsumamo sa Lumikha,
humuhugot ng lakas sa paninindigan at pananampalataya.

Paano mo ilalarawan ang puso ng isang ina?

Isang pusong nangungulila,
Isang pusong nananalangin, 
Isang pusong nanindigan,
Isang pusong paghuhugutan ng lakas at tapang
sa panahong kailangan;
Isang pusong bibigkis sa  marami pang pusong 
naniniwala at sumasampalataya.

Saturday, 12 March 2016


It's almost the start of a new day. I have a full counseling schedule this Saturday and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve.

Thank you, dear Lord,

for the kindness and compassion I've witnessed in people,
for the commitment and determination to serve from the people I work with,
for the enduring love I witnessed from a mother and a father for their son,
for the hope and determination I shall always pray for this passionate and wonderful teenager,
for the love given to me by my best friend and my daughters,
for the opporutnity to write, to hope, to pray, to dream, to write once more,

Maraming salamat, Panginoon.
Salamat sa araw na ito.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Remembering Nanay

It was the time of disquiet then; the protest movement against the dictatorship intensified in many parts of the country after the death of Ninoy Aquino. I know during that time that I shall be taking a different path from the ones chosen by many, including my siblings and friends, who graduated from La Salle. I left the comfort and familiarity of my home, became an organizer in the youth and student movement, preparing myself to working with people in the margins in the countryside. I left home, one day in October, leaving a letter of thanks and expressing my gratefulness to my parents for being there for my siblings and me from the very beginning. I know, in my heart, that one day my parents would be able to accept me, their activist daughter.

So many things happened after I left home.I learned the value of hard work, sacrifice and commitment during those days. I realized how much I missed them when I watched the stars at night and wonder how they are, praying that they know in their hearts that I love them so much.

It was when I saw my mother in Morayta right before a protest rally held in Mendiola, that I learned the depth of my mother's love. I learned that she tried to look for me at protest marches, watching from the streets, going to the places I have been to, praying and hoping that we may see each other again.

We both cried after seeing each other.

I am writing this to remember a woman, who gave me the love that she could give, who went with me at a protest concert at St. Theresa's College,who decided to look for me one day at Morayta, knowing that she may possibly see me in the protest march.

I am writing this to pay homage to a woman, who may not be the perfect mother for me, but who I've learned what grit and determination is.

I love you, Nanay and know that I am sharing the lessons of the memories you left with your grandchildren. Praying for you on your birthday.


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