Sunday, March 26, 2006

Two done, two to go!

four in a row Posted by Picasa

Working in the same school where my kids are enrolled, i always believed that they are not growing up like any other normal kid. I've always wondered what it would have been like had my father been in school with me, always breathing on my back.

There are advantages and disadvantages, of course. One of the advantages is that they would never fear of losing their transportation fare. I always did when I was growing up. i would lose track of my expenditures and before I knew it, had to walk my way home. That was when I was in elementary school. During my high school days, I couldn't do that anymore as the school I was going to was very far from home. So, I learned to either borrow from classmates or take a cab and have my mother pay for it.

The disadvantage I can think of is that they do not learn how to be on their own. With me around, I'm sure they are cautious of the things they do in school as I will surely know what goes on everytime. Well, in fairness to myself, I knew this was the case and always tried to be out of their way. They always eat alone with their classmates, for example. I let them experience school on their own, in their own time. Should they need me, they know where to find me.

the proud parents with graduate boy Posted by Picasa

white toga! a picture of innocence? Posted by Picasa

It's now official! My son, Mickey has finally graduated from high school. This means he is practically out of my wings. Being with him everyday for thirteen years can never be a long time. As the old cliche goes: It's just like yesterday! when he first came with me to school. I remember his first day when I almost panicked because he was nowhere to be found, only to be relieved that he was up a tree. Or the time when I was furious during his Grade 7 days because his teacher complained that he was misbehaving in class.

He has matured a lot since then. Never received any violation reports. I always want to believe that he has always been a gentleman to his female friends just like we tell him to.

I have no doubts that he will be fine like his older sister. He is very independent. He knows how to commute and find his way using very minimal instructions. he even goes to the doctor alone armed only with his HMO card, joins art contests, without our knowledge, just for the experience of joining one. Decided to try to take a scholarship test of his chosen career (help us pray for this one, please) on his own. He'll do fine.

dinner time with lola Posted by Picasa

Aside from the dinner treat we gave the family in a restaurant, my wife and I plan to give him a gift later, I do not have one that comes from me alone. However, here's a poem I wrote several months ago which I am dedicating to him on his graduation day. (That is the least a man of insufficient monetary endowments can do, hehe)


Ode to Endings (or should it be "beginnings"?)

Never have I dreamt that it would stop
but even the deepest well runs dry
reams of bond paper are eventually used up
the longest journey ends with the last step.

Infinite numbers could not be counted
try hard if you must… end I know not where
but end it will, no matter what.
Who can count after a trillion

Or even a hundred million?

Strongest despots end their rule
either by them or for them;
whether a pound of flesh
or a trickle of blood have been spared--
if the dictatorship ends
out of a gnawing conscience
it, too, shall stop.

Even God’s emissary, the Pope dies.
Everything shall cease--
just like your breaking away
from what my house can offer,
leaving behind a limitless
protection that I so willingly give.

Yes, the time has come
for you to open your wings:
feel the gale and glide to where it will take you
open your eyes wide like I told you

crossing the street is not as easy as it looks.
There are roads without stoplights
even stoplights are being ignored..
Soon, my work is finally done
there’s nothing left to do
but watch you from afar.



My apologies to the two commenters on this poem, Transience and Jet for failing to respond to your gracious, and kind words. I never got to see the messages as I thought nobody reads my poetry blog much more leave a comment anyway. Thank you very much. It has always been an honor receiving feedback from writers I admire very much.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Let's talk about relationships

Now that I am in my middle years (I believe I will reach the ripe old age of 80), I think I can talk about friendship and relationship like a pro. Of course, I've "been there, done that" during my years here on earth. Believe me when I say that you cannot live a happy life without friends. These are the people who you can count on when you need companionship. The people you can turn to when you are lonely, the people who will help you when you are in trouble and in need. They are more like brothers and sisters to you.

How does one make friends? I think this was addressed by the fox in the Little Prince. He told the prince how to befriend someone. He told him to meet him every three o'clock without fail and soon enough, the fox would miss him once he fails to show up.

During my growing up years, I have had more female friends who were really close to me than I had male friends. Of course, neither am I gay, nor were they love interests of mine. They were all platonic. I knew back then if the woman would be a friend or a girlfriend. I don't think there was a time when I have interchanged the two.

The reason for this is because I enjoy the company of women more than I enjoy the company of men. When I am with men, there is this competitive thing I have to overcome. And almost always, I end up in trouble. Play rough games, win! Basketball? My team had to win! Swimming, I have to swim faster! Drink alcohol? I have to make sure to see them all on the ground bathe in their own retch. (Well, that can be an exaggeration but I never went home more drunk than the next guy. I know how to carry my booze) Lastly, there had been a number of occasions when I got into a brawl with my male friends. I can't forget that time when I celebrated my 16th birthday in San Miguel, Bulacan when me and my friends got into a fight with unknown older guys who were as drunk as we were on the street. My guitar which was given to me by my brother, who bought it in Spain, landed on somebody's head. Or was it at another time? I was drunk, remember? All I remember was that I woke up with a very heavy headache than was normal when nursing a hangover and when I looked at my face in the mirror, my head was swollen. I learned later that they took me to the hospital as I was unconscious for a long time. This is the reason why I drink very seldomly and only with people I am comfortable with.

Anyway, the reasons why I'd rather go out on gimmicks with women are: they smell nicer, more pleasant to look at and the conversation has always been interesting. In short, it is easier for me to feel at ease with women than with men. Maybe that is because I have more sisters and only one brother. Besides, I practically grew up alone. Being the youngest of five siblings, I was born when my youngest sister was already 13 years old. I have always longed for a younger sister.

I feel lonely right now that most of my friends in school, the friends with whom I have shared my joy and my angst with work have either gone abroad or has resigned. My bestfriend in college had died of cancer, and one of my closest friends is fighting for her life with the same disease. Worse, not only are the new batch of teachers coming in are much younger than I am, they see me as an administrator rather than as a friend. Now I know that the saying "it is lonely at the top" is true. And I am not even at the top! At best, my position is what we call "primus inter pares" or first among equals. Mot really top of the line, is it? Nothing to brag about. At any rate, I have this feeling that I am intruding everytime I try to join them during their light moments. I try reaching out but sometimes I feel estranged.

This is the reason why I value my blogging friends. They are always there no matter what time of day and that is not an exaggeration. Wake up in the wee hours of the morning and there will be someone online. We all come from different parts of the globe, you see. All i have to do is turn on the computer, go to my gmail account and somebody is sure to be there. I am talking about my friends in Blogkadahan. We are celebrating our first year anniversary this month and to celebrate it, we decided we would talk about poverty. Check it out! The posts are very interesting. If you care to look at mine, here check this out.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

too much politics?

Never had the country been divided as today. Ultra rightists, right, left-leaning, ultra-leftists... name it we have it. The recent events in the country divided the people into, at least, three main categories. Pro-administration but not necessarily being pro-GMA, the anti-administration, which is very synonymous to being anti-GMA, and the supposedly "silent" majority. Who the silent majority is rooting for is actually unknown. Are these the apathetic? Or are they the "wait-and-see" population who will jump and join the bandwagon once a sure winner is evolving?

I have received several messages forwarded to me by friends. One is that which is allegedly written by a middle-class citizen expressing disgust over practically everybody there is to blame. Other anti-PP 1017 and anti-administration messages usually coming from the younger set of friends. They all have lucid points which led me to think, where do I stand?

Honestly, I am undecided on the issues. I do not and will never condone cheating during elections. As a matter of, I abhor the idea that the leader of the country is there because she cheated. However, I still have to wait for the resolution of the case in its proper forum. Not on the streets swayed by people crying foul not based on actual solid evidence but only on the allegations of politicians who have a separate agenda (like putting themselves in power). If that is the case, then what is the assurance that what we will have is something better? So, if the courts decided that the President cheated in the last elections, I will go out in the streets to help throw her out. If I have an inkling that the courts is biased and not being objective, I will go out of the streets like I did when the senators tried to suppress the opening of the envelope that was crucial during the Erap hearing.

Again, to my simple mind, what we have is a dilemma with the presidency. I am not interested in becoming President. As long as the President serving in Malacanang uses his/her power to advance our economy, keep the streets safe, does not suppress my civil liberties (which she almost did with the now lifted PP 1017), but try to win me over by the power of persuasion, I have no quarrel with that president.

If I was the President, I would not have minded criticisms on my policies. I will let my actions speak for themselves and let history be my judge. But of course, I am not the President.

What I have observed is that we, as a people, have been too political. I can see people of different persuasions out in the streets ready to fight a war simply because their "bet" is losing. I saw this during the ouster of Erap. Somehow, it became personal. There are countless people in the lower brackets braving a storm for their leader. Instead of trying to make their lot better, or even earn a living, they are out on the streets thinking that should their leader be placed in power, their lives would improve. Or is this a regular job to some of them? I am sorry, but they are just being used by these so-called leaders to shield themselves from harm under the guise of patriotism. I have seen the effects of EDSA and believe me, these same people will go out in the streets again no matter who is in power simply because they are discontented.

Politicians act the way they do because we treat them as stars. I say, let's leave politics to the politicians and work to make our own lives better. You may disagree with me, but these are my thoughts. Period!