August 2007

Here’s Pete Lacaba’s translation of Desiderata, one of my fave inspirational poems.

Salin: Pete Lacaba

Lumakad nang mahinahon
Sa gitna ng ingay at pagkukumahog, at alalahanin
Ang kapayapaang maaaring makuha sa katahimikan.

Walang isinusuko hanggat maaari,
Pakitunguhan nang mabuti ang lahat ng tao.

Sabihin ang iyong katotohanan nang tahimik at malinaw;
At makinig sa iba, kahit sa nakayayamot at mangmang;
Sila man ay may kasaysayan.

Iwasan ang mga taong mabunganga at palaaway,
Sila’y ikinaiinis ng kalooban.

Kung ihahambing mo ang sarili sa iba,
Baka yumabang ka o maghinanakit; sapagkat laging
May lilitaw na mas mahusay o mas mahina sa iyo.


Sent by my sister, Nancy, this made my day yesterday…. 🙂

That’s her, Mernalot, in the center. Hahahaha! Tambok ibok ibok, ka cute! Couldn’t quite believe how maunod she’s become. She’s put on a lot of weight since she left for a vacation in the US last February. My sisters must be feeding her real well! 😛

In the pic: Benjie the family dog, Yaya Ason, Manong Glen and Manang Cookie, Adrian, Christine, Manong Rudy and Manang Nancy. (Adrian and Christine are Rudy and Nancy’s kids.)

by Jeannette Andrade
Last updated 05:49pm (Mla time) 08/28/2007

MANILA, Philippines — Mystery shrouds the death of a 20-year-old graduating University of the Philippines (UP) student who was rushed to a hospital in Quezon City, where he was declared dead on arrival.

All the mother of graduating UP Bachelor of Science major in Public Administration student Chris Anthony Mendez received in Tiaong, Quezon was a phone call at around 6:30 p.m. Monday that her first born was at a morgue.

Cristina Garcia Mendez initially thought that the landlady of the apartment where her son Chris was a boarder had been telling her a bad joke. The landlady had said that Chris was brought to the Veteran’s Memorial Hospital and had died there. He was subsequently brought to the St. Peter’s Memorial Chapels in Quezon Avenue, Quezon City.

But when she saw his body at the St. Peter’s Memorial Chapels in Quezon Avenue, Tuesday morning, the truth of it all dawned upon her.


Nosi Balasi

Spent five days in Victoria, Oriental Mindoro for the human rights training our office organized for local government staff and community leaders. In between sessions, had brief talks with our very chatty and hard-working local coordinator whose enthusiasm and convictions about his many activities and advocacies I found truly uplifting. He talked about his group’s many initiatives to promote sustainable agriculture, organic farming and waste management. He made us watch a documentary on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), gave us a tour of Naujan Lake, briefed us on the land titling issue in the area and shared with us their farm-produced organic “bukayo”.

But what I liked the most was his story about how he organized the youth – tambays, out-of-school and former habitual drug users — to form an environmental group. “Mahirap din,” he says, “kailangan mong sabayan para maintindihan mo sila”. So now he sports cargo shorts, plus a cap over his do of short with a strip of long “buntot” hair. He neither drinks nor smokes but he screams along the videoke’s rock tunes. “Idol” was how he was called by the boys he brought to attend our training.


if time were to take a pause, i’d like it at five thirty

doesn’t matter whether AM or PM

time can freeze just after the hen chuckles

and Indang from next door sprinkles the daisies

or while a schoolboy waits for the jeepney ride home

fingers loosely twined with his beloved’s

five thirty is as delectable at the first yawn

and as fragrant at the last sigh before night

if an hour should linger, let it be at five thirty

i like to be still in its abiding secret.

When Eula phoned last week and said she caught a glimpse of Cutie, I shrieked: “Chet! Chet!”. For one full minute, “Chet” was the only word I knew.

I would have wanted to see him, you know. I heard he was coming to Manila. But then, it slipped my mind exactly when. Dumbordore me. So it happened that when he disembarked from the car, Eula was there. And I wasn’t.

I was kilig for Chester Eula. I helped spread the word of her accidental eyewitness moment. I wish I were there. But I wasn’t. Life goes on…


I was tagged by Arnold, so here are 8 random things about me:

1. In my youth, I stole stuff. I once led a handful of orgmates steal a huge billboard (unsuccessfully :P). It was late in the evening and we were going around campus posting propaganda materials in bulletin boards. When I spotted the billboard of an elite and coño sorority standing proud and pretty by a college building, I thought how awesome it would be if our student party had one of those. So, I egged on our company: “Nakawin natin to!” They were probably having the same fantasy because seconds later, we were taking down the humongous thing while giggling to our hearts content. Like the Sesame Street ants (or were they bugs?) carrying the family car to the zoo, we looked quite ridiculous lugging around that giant rectangular wood. We had already plodded a block and were about to turn a corner when a security guard suddenly screamed at us to stop. And stop we did. In our most composed nonchalant manner. But then, even if we did manage to act like carting billboards in the middle of the night was regular student fanfare, we were too amateur to quickly offer a reasonable explanation. (To this day, I still can’t think of any). So instead of fumbling through some lousy, flimsy excuse, we readily conceded: “Ibabalik na.”


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