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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An Atheist Dying

A non-believer lays dying in bed.

"You are a very brilliant man. You don't accept things as truths without absolute proof. Thus, you don't believe in God. What happens when you die and at the after-life you discover there indeed is a Supreme Being?"

"If your God is half as good as what you say he is, he will forgive me for not believing and will embrace me lovingly and take me among his flock."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Birds

Just how many people in the world wake up to the chirping of the birds perched on the branches of a huge mango tree just outside their windows? Blessed earth!

It is Easter Sunday. I am still writing that paper for the conference. But how can one write when birds sing? when the sun softly shines with warmth on your skin? when small ripples of smoke gently block the horizon? when the smell of frying rice joins nature's symphony of beauty?

When the world worries about tomorrow, comes the new day holding us in delicious embrace.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Over-rated Classroom Education

"The wisest man I ever knew in my whole life could not read or write," said Jose Saramago, 1998 Nobel awardee for literature. In his Nobel lecture, Saramago talked about his grandparents, both illiterate farmers, who during winter nights when the cold grew to freezing point, would go out into the sty and fetch the weakling among the piglets to take them into their bed. "Under the coarse blankets, the warmth from the humans saved the little animals from freezing and rescued them from certain death." His folks were kind people, but the act of taking the piglets into their bed was not an act borne of compassion but more of protecting their livelihood. When one is poor, sentimentalism has no place on the table.

He saw his grandfather as master of all knowledge when each night, the old man would tell him stories - legends, apparitions, terrors, unique episodes, old deaths, the words of his forefathers - all these keeping him awake and at the same time lulling him to sleep while his grandfather repeated the stories to himself so as not to forget them or else to enrich them by adding new details.

In the morning, his grandmother would set a big bowl of coffee with pieces of bread for him and ask if he slept well. If he told her he had some bad dream from the stories his grandfather told him, she would reassure him saying, "Don't make much of it, in dreams there's nothing solid." Saramago, at that time, would decide that his grandmother was also a very wise woman.

Many years later when Saramago was already a grown-up, his grandmother staring at the biggest and smallest stars overhead, told him, "The world is so beautiful and it is such a pity that I have to die." The difficult life had diminished the fear of death into the unknown. It was not even something one looked forward to after the long battle with want, lack and hardship. Acceptance of all what life had given turned everything into a constant beautiful routine. Truly, it is a pity to die and leave the world as beautiful as it has always been.

When one thinks about it, a lot of the brilliant minds never got to march to "Pomp and Circumstance" to get their degree diplomas. I, too, remember my parents. And Saramago, Bill Gates, Einstein, Michael Dell, Henry Ford, Andrew Jackson, Rockefeller, Spielberg, Shakespeare. And Bruno Mars.

These people had taken education in their hands and invited the best teachers in the world: hardship, failure and everyday people.

Monday, April 18, 2011


You need a man right there beside you. Someone that's concrete with flesh and blood. Someone who listens and talks back. Someone who holds your gaze when you stare at him. Someone who holds your hands and squeezes them when you cry like that. Someone who sings to you at night. Someone whose lyrics and melody have you in their core. Someone who tells the world his poems are written just for you. Someone who knows exactly what you feel through your eyes. Someone who is out of this world but makes the earth his paradise because you are in it. Someone who has you first before anything else. Yes, you need someone like that! It is about time the universe gave you what you deserve.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"Media do not invent the news, they merely report it..." Yeah, right!

A letter from two representatives of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) gets published today via PDI letters to the editor which PDI labeled "P-Noy whining about media again."

Guess what? I'm glad the president and I have something in common. I, too, have tons against Philippine media since the day they made spectacle of human sorrows and tragedy, since the day they turned criminals into heroes, since the day they made corrupt cowards into saints.

NUJP told P-Noy how to run this country: "You want good news? Deliver on your promise of good governance. You want no controversy? Clean up your act." This is what you get from media when they are told to shape up.

Again, a classic example of a kettle calling the teapot black.