Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Satur Ocampo: Prinsipyo Paninindigan Puso

Satur C. Ocampo was born on April 7, 1939 in Sta. Rita, Pampanga to a family of landless tenant farmers.

He is married to Carolina “Bobbie” Malay, a writer and professor of journalism. He has four children and three grandchildren.

Ocampo has been Pesident of Bayan Muna since 1999, and led the party in the elections for party-list in 2001, 2004, and 2007.

Bayan Muna consistently topped the party-list race. Three Bayan Muna-sponsored bills, the Overseas Voting Act, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, and Strengthening the Public Attorney’s Office Act have been enacted into law.

In 2005, the progressive bloc of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela Women’s Party broke away from the House majority. Ocapo has since been elected as a Deputy Minority Leader, and remains the acknowledged leader of the progressive bloc.

He is a principal author of the law abolishing the death penalty. He has authored bills penalizing torture and enforced disappearances, the Marcos human rights victims compensation bill, command responsibility bill, and measures controlling oil prces, developing the rice industry and many others.

As a key opposition figure, Ocampo has survived thus far a sustained government campaign of political repression against his party and himself.

In 2007, he won the dismissal by the Supreme Court of a trumped-up rebellion charge, and bail also by the Supreme Court on trumped-up charges of multiple murder. The Inter-Parliamentary Union and parliamentarians worldwide have taken cognizance of these cases, and have urged the Philippine government to stop the campaign of brutal repression against Ocampo and the legal Left.

More on Satur Ocampo at: http://www.satur4senator.com/

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A Challenge of Conscience - Yahoo! Philippines News

The brutal, indiscriminate mass murder on Monday in Ampatuan town, in Maguindanao province, raises the ultimate challenge of conscience. It carries the culture of impunity at work in this country to such levels of horror that, if it remains unpunished for long, can send the nation into an inexorable descent into absolute dehumanization.

The crime thus calls for swift justice, which can only be achieved through a credible and independent process, which in turn can only be achieved without the hand of this government – a government justly mistrusted generally and openly friendly precisely to the very members of the clan accused in the massacre.

We, ourselves colleagues of the more than a score journalists who were killed, demand the following:

One, the creation of a commission outside the government to investigate the crime;

Two, the arrest and prosecution of all the people involved in it in any way, as murderers themselves or their protectors;

Three, the formation of a special court to try the case;

Four, fully guaranteed protection for the witnesses;

Five, the disarming and dismantling of all private armies, such as those evidently employed in the massacre.

Six, the enlistment of persons of unquestioned probity in the whole process;

And finally, the resignation of the government if it fails to deliver such basic satisfaction – indeed, the very same government that has encouraged, by partisanship and conspiracy, the culture of impunity of which the massacre has been the most abominable manifestation.

Signed: Business World Center for Community Journalism and Development (CCJD) Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists (FFFJ) National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) Philippine Human Rights Reporting Project (PHRRP) Philippine Press Institute (PPI)

Arroyo Guns for Congress, Draws Barrage of Criticism

The decision of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to run for the 2nd Congressional District of Pampanga drew fiery criticisms from several sectors. 

I'm amused by the decision of the president, but well, The Madame from Malacañang has always been amusing, or I should say - annoying.

I compiled several flowery criticisms that were hurled against her. Here they are:

Roman Catholic Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz: “addiction to power.”

Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo: "I wholeheartedly suggest she give others a chance to serve and not give in to the temptation of power.”

Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II: "Her ultimate goal is to become House Speaker and ram through her burning desire to change the Constitution."

Sen. Francis Escudero: “it surely leaves a bad taste in the mouth.”

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr: “sets a horrible example for politicians to follow,”

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo : “The main burden there would be on the voters.”

Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño: “She is drunk with power and can’t get enough. I think she needs professional help.”

Rep Casiño may have hit the nail right smack on the head!

Read more about this issue at:
Arroyo bid sparks outrage - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos
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Monday, November 30, 2009

ScribeFire Naman

I dumped post2blog and I'll try ScribeFire. It's a browser based blogging tool. Will see how it performs.

Getting Started With ScribeFire - Scribefire: Fire up your blogging

It's Final: Arroyo Will Run for Congress

Arroyo formally announces bid for Congress seat in Pampanga - Nation - GMANews.TV - Official Website of GMA News and Public Affairs - Latest Philippine News_1259563328456

This just come in: President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will formally seek a congressional seat for Pampanga’s 2nd District. Such greed for power has been displayed once again by Madame Gloria.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block – this is probably the biggest enemy of all the writers in the world. Writer’s block is simply a condition wherein you can’t put any of your thoughts into words. It’s a horrible condition. It comes at the worst possible times like when you have to submit before the due date. They can happen any time. They can happen before you even start, or smack in the middle of your work, or worse, in the ending. Also, it’s so hard to get over a writer’s block. Some writer’s blocks last for only a few minutes but the worst ones last for days, even months. There have even been cases of writer’s blocks lasting for decades.

Causes of Writer’s Block
Writer’s block is primarily caused by lack of inspiration. Of course, if you’re not inspired, it’s so hard to write anything. For example, you’re supposed to write about how ‘good’ the government is. But you know quite well that the government isn’t good. So, you’re not inspired to write about it. It may also be caused by lack of creativity. Let’s just face it. Some people have the talent, and some people simply don’t.

Sometimes, we experience writer’s block because we simply don’t know what to write or how to write it. Some people can put their thoughts into words better than other people. Some people have to struggle with their thoughts before they can put it into words, and these people are usually the ones who suffer writer’s block. Depression can also be a cause. If you’re depressed, you usually have no motivation to do anything. It is also extremely hard to concentrate on what you’re writing if you’re depressed.

Overcoming Writer’s Block
Overcoming writer’s block can be hard. But it is not impossible. There are actually a lot of things which you can try so that you can overcome writer’s block.

Nature is the creative soul’s haven. This is why most writers love living near lakes, forests, or beaches. Nature is a great source of inspiration for writers. It can also invigorate the spirit. So, when you’re having writer’s block, you can try taking a walk or a swim.

You can also try to write whatever comes into your mind in a piece of paper. Don’t worry about form, creativity, grammar, or even spelling. Just let your hand and your mind loose. Just write whatever enters your brain. It’s a great way to let your thoughts out.

A story is one of the hardest things to write. Writers often forget what they are supposed to write next. Sometimes, they can veer away from the plot and completely ruin the story. So, it would be helpful if you write an outline of the plot first so that you won’t get sidetracked.

If nothing works, and your writer’s block is still there, don’t fret. Maybe you’re worrying too much and you just need to relax. Don’t force yourself to write. This will only worsen your writer’s block. Take a break. Maybe your brain just needs to rest.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Using Post2Blog

Im trying Post2Blog as my new desktop blog client. Im still not familiar with its interface but I pretty interested with its nifty features. Hope I can update this blog more often. This is a test post, I hope this software works better than Windows Live Writer.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Who is Teddy Casiño?

Here's a blogpost about Congressman Teddy Casiño. Together with Rep. Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna and Rep. Liza Maza of Gabriela Party, Teddy will run for Senator in 2010 Philippine national elections.

Follow this link to know more about Teddy Casiño and why he is more than qualified to become a Philippine senator.

Teddy Casiño for Senator Movement: About Teddy Casiño

Teddy Casino for Senator

Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casino is going to run for a Senate seat.  It is a good thing and it's about time.

Watch a cool video here:

Monday, August 17, 2009

May Araw Din Kayo o Patapos na ang Araw Ninyo!

Conrado De Quiros, the ever brilliant and prolific writer-journalist, captures, in very simple words, the anguish and hatred felt by the Filipino masses against the insensitivity of the government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Read his full op-ed piece at Inquirer.net or follow the link below.

May Araw Din Kayo or I would say "papatapos na ang araw ninyo, humanda kayo!"

May araw din kayo - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Legacy of Cory Aquino: An In-depth View

Today is the interment of former President Corazon C. Aquino.  Here is a fitting article that analyzed her legacy as a president and as a symbol of protest among Filipinos. You can read the full article HERE.

According to Kenneth Roland A. Guda of Pinoy Weekly Online:

Sa kabila ng malinaw na mga limitasyon ng kanyang panunungkulan, kinatawan ni Aquino ang ideya ng demokrasya na ito (sic). Sa pagsuporta niya sa sinupil na asawang si Ninoy Aquino noong Batas Militar, nahasa ang katapangan ni Aquino na humarap sa tiraniya. Sabi sa mga kuwento, sinabi ni Aquino sa bangkay ng kanyang pinaslang na asawa: “Ipagpapatuloy ko ang laban mo.”

Ipinagpatuloy nga niya, at napagwagian. Magmula noon, naging simbolo na siya ng katapangan (sic) ito. Higit sa lahat, pinakamaningning na ambag ni Aquino sa kasaysayan ng sambayanang Pilipino ang pagkatawan sa paglabang ito.

Higit sa pamumuno sa gobyerno ng bansa, naging simbolo siya ng lumalabang sambayanan. Naging mukha ng paglaban sa diktadura—at pagharap sa lahat ng pagsubok sa gitna ng paglabang ito.

Ito marahil ang mas matimbang na maaaring maging pamana ng isang lider ng bayan tulad ni Cory Aquino.

You can read the full article at Pinoy Weekly Online.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

SONA 2009: The Real State of the Nation

Professor Roland Simbulan of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) has provided an overview of the 9-year Arroyo presidency.

Professor Simbulan compared Mrs. Macapagal-Arroyo with the LOTR character Gollum, who will do everything just to keep the Ring of Power.

Prof. Simbulan's article, "GOLLUM IS HERE! Keeping Power at the Expense of the People and our Institutions", outlined the 5 major points that characterize the regime of Pres. Arroyo.

1. The military which is supposed to be an institution for the defense of the nation and the Filipino people, has become an institution for the preservation of personal power by the president. There is no distinction made between national security and personal security of the president.

2. Corruption at the highest levels of power has even become more entrenched, with the head of state and political allies leading/governing by negative example.

3. Manipulation and undermining of Philippine political and economic institutions in the quest for maintaining power.

4. Extrajudicial killings, disappearances, abductions and other crimes against the people have been perpetrated by minions of the state against critics and the democratic opposition, and sadly, it continues with impunity.

5. Foreign policy has been plunged into the abyss for getting international support to an unpopular regime.

You can read the full text of the article HERE.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Photos of Bukidnon

I recently scraped some photos of Valencia City and other places in Bukidnon at WikiMedia Commons.  Thanks to KleoMarlo who took these pictures.

Anyway, my story is this.  The photos of KleoMarlo are the same places I frequent.  Because I'm too preoccupied thinking about my (monkey) businesses, I seldom pay attention to these sites.

When I saw these pictures, I told myself I'll always bring my cam from now on so I can also capture the beauty of this province.  Well, here are the photos, I hope you'll like them:


This is the Alalum Falls in Sumilao, Bukidnon.  When you travel to Cagayan de Oro from Bukidnon, this falls can be seen as you traverse the national highway.


This is Musuan Peak in Maramag, Bukidnon. This mountain is very near our place, about a few kilometers away.  We can clearly see it from our house. 

This is also an active volcano so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  My son once asked if we can go hiking to Musuan. I doubt if I still have the energy to trek mountain trails. Maybe someday...


This is Valencia City Public Market. Did you notice the Durian? It's aplenty here.  I got the courage to taste it 2 days ago and it nearly knocked me off.

I wonder why they called it Food of the Gods.  I like the Durian candies though but spare me from the fresh ones.



This is the Pulanggui River in Valencia City.  It is one of the biggest river systems in the province. I only see it from afar. Maybe someday I could take time to swim here.


This is Sayre Highway in Valencia City viewed from an overpass. Did you notice the tree lined streets? Well, that is a common sight in Valencia. 

More photos soon. And it will be my own rendition.  I just hope I can still squeeze my photographic juices. ;-)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Action Packed Short Story

I was browsing the web looking for materials for my articles when I stumbled upon an old blog of mine.  I created it sometime in 2007 and it only has 3 posts. 

It is one of my blogs that I neglected and it is just there sitting helpless in the blogosphere.  Well, to make a long story short, I found one of my short stories there.  That was my action packed 'ala' Robin Padilla narrative.

I copied it (because I lost my hard copy and electronic file) and I will paste it here (I hope the Google Gods will not penalize me for duplicate content; hey, guys, that story was mine too.)

So here it is, my Robin Padilla story. Take note that this story is just a figment of my imagination.  Any similarities to actual events, names, etc, are unintended. (Sounds like a movie disclaimer, haha). 

I hope you will like this:



It was a dawn to remember. That fateful day started just another ordinary early morning in the hinterlands somewhere in the Visayas.

A cold northern wind caressed my slightly shivering body, awakening my still drowsy senses. Fog covered the landscape and gave an eerie sight to the moonlit surroundings.

The well-trodden grass and leaves of trees were damp from the morning dew. Everything was silent; the barrio-folks were still slumbering and savoring the peace of the countryside.

Only the melancholy chorus of crickets and the sweet singing of morning birds can be heard. It was peaceful and frightful at the same time.

We spent the night in a peasant hut. It was owned by a certain Mang Karlo of Barrio Magtugas in Capiz. I and my four companions were on a mercy mission and social integration with the farmers of that barrio.

Our group was part of an NGO that was conducting literacy and numeracy campaign in Magtugas and its neighboring sitios and barangays.

We were volunteers, idealistic university students from Iloilo, who believed that educating the poor farmers can help improve their lives.

We wanted to give hope to men and women who were often victims of unscrupulous traders and middlemen who, almost always, cheat them because the farmers can’t read the numbers on their weighing scales and the letters on their log-books.

I went out of the house to pee. Damp grasses greeted my weary feet for we were always barefoot in going around the barrio to avoid slipping and tumbling into the rice paddies.

I inhaled deeply and savored the sweet smell of countryside breeze; it tasted like newly cooked rice.

I took a leak beside a mahogany tree and imagined that its branches will swiftly whack me in the head for disturbing his sleep. I smiled and waited but no tree branch came.

As I was coming back into the hut, the unthinkable happened. I heard two blasts, much like the sound of firecrackers, followed by another pair of blasts.

I thought: who the hell dared disturb the peace, and at that time when everyone just wanted to cuddle with his sweetheart or a nearby pillow?

I turned into the direction of the blasts, which was in front of the hut. I saw flashes of lights, like numerous flashlights going on and off.

Just then I heard it. Volleys of gunfire, thunder-like staccato of deadly burst. What’s worst, it was directed at the hut, towards us!

I dived towards the pigsty which was at the back of the small hut, away from the gunfire. I felt the onrush of the wind, but this time it reeks of gunpowder, sour and bitter, grainy and revolting. It immediately dried my throat.

I saw bullets, ember-like, glowing in the air, coming at us. The rain from hell kept on pouring; I felt its force, its brute power seeking our body, wanting to invade our physical presence.

Throat parched, I willed to shout at my companions inside the hut. “Guwa, guwa!” It means get out of the hut and save your sorry asses.

Bong, my buddy and the eldest among our group, came tumbling beside me. He was panting hard, disoriented and incoherent. I can hear his heartbeat, thudding hoof beats much like those of a horse gone mad.

We rolled away from the hut and jumped in a shallow ravine of about six feet. This saved us from the bullets. It whizzed overhead.

We ran away from the area and dived into the rice paddies, trampling newly-planted palay. Someone among the gunmen must have seen us for immediately, three successive whistling sounds wailed amidst the continuous barrage of automatic weapons.

It reminded me of my favorite firecracker from Bocaue, it sounded just like the “crying-cow” variety. But those are not “crying-cows” because after the dreaded whistle were three consecutive explosions that you can only see in Robin Padilla movies. The land rocked and trembled. Mud, water, and pebbles flew in the air.

Was this real? This was the maddening question that my mind begged to be answered. We were just boys, barely out of our teens and we were there running helter and skelter away from death. It was a scene reminiscent of “Platoon”.

Unfortunately all of it were real. Real people, real bullets, real guns, real explosives, everything was real, too real in fact that it borders on the surreal. Where everything was like suspended animation, where time was warped and in slow motion. I couldn’t believe it, much less accept that it was happening.

A splash of water on my face interrupted my panic-induced questions. Bong was pulling me from the rice paddies into a concealed creek.

We came to a bend where the creek ended and following its winding course we were able to reach higher grounds and thicker vegetation.

It was the forest and it became our hiding place, a place of refuge from the rampaging damnation a few minutes ago. The shooting continued without let-up. We rested for a while in between two boulders. We scooped water from a puddle to quench our thirst. We didn’t care anymore if it was laced with carabao dung. We just drank and drank.

At the crack of light, the shooting ended. We continued to trek deep inside the forest. We climbed an almost 90 degree slope, clinging only to tree roots and rocks.

We crawled under huge boulders barring our path. By mid-morning, we were able to find a very secluded place. We decided to hide there and wait for help, for surely the barrio-folks will come looking for us.

We started to worry about our other three companions. We were not sure if they managed to get out of the hut. A pang of solitude bit into my heart. We were alone in that god-forsaken place and we feared that our friends have died in the attack. Sitting there, I realized how hunted animals felt.

After almost five-hours of waiting, we heard shouting from below us. I knew then that we will survive that ordeal. I recognized the voice of our barrio-coordinator and he was calling our names. It was the sweetest voice I will remember for the rest of my life.


The men who attacked us were elements of the Philippine Army based in the province of Capiz. We were victims of mistaken identity.

They thought we were members of the New People’s Army. They were on a pursuit operations and we happened to be at the wrong place in the wrong time.

Our three companions survived the nightmare. They managed to flee in the opposite direction. We were reunited that afternoon at the barrio center. We were all bruised and battered but sustained no serious injuries.

It was very unfortunate, though, to learn that there were two casualties in that attack. It was Kumander Puti and Kumander Taba: Mang Karlo’s white-haired goat and five months old pig.

They were our dinner that night.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Southern Shores...

Amidst the din of bombs and the fiery staccato of gunfire, they cannot silence the poetry of dawn on these southern shores...


Hope lingers for a place as beautiful as this...


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ode to a Naked Beauty by Pablo Neruda

With chaste heart, and pure
I celebrate you, my beauty,
restraining my blood
so that the line
surges and follows
your contour,
and you bed yourself in my verse,
as in woodland, or wave-spume:
earth’s perfume,
sea’s music.

Nakedly beautiful,
whether it is your feet, arching
at a primal touch
of sound or breeze,
or your ears,
tiny spiral shells
from the splendor of America’s oceans.
Your breasts also,
of equal fullness, overflowing
with the living light
and, yes,
your eyelids of silken corn
that disclose
or enclose
the deep twin landscapes of your eyes.

The line of your back
separating you
falls away into paler regions
then surges
to the smooth hemispheres
of an apple,
and goes splitting
your loveliness
into two pillars
of burnt gold, pure alabaster,
to be lost in the twin clusters of your feet,
from which, once more, lifts and takes fire
the double tree of your symmetry:
flower of fire, open circle of candles,
swollen fruit raised
over the meeting of earth and ocean.

Your body – from what substances
agate, quartz, ears of wheat,
did it flow, was it gathered,
rising like bread
in the warmth,
and signaling hills
valleys of a single petal, sweetness
of velvet depth,
until the pure, fine, form of woman
and rested there?

It is not so much light that falls
over the world
extended by your body
its suffocating snow,
as brightness, pouring itself out of you,
as if you were
burning inside.

Under your skin the moon is alive.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Son: The Aspiring Photo Artist

Img00096 My son's name is Kahlil Ross. I named him after my favorite poet Kahlil Gibran.  The Ross was derived from his grandfather's name, Rosello.  So he became Kahlil Ross.

Last Christmas, Kahlil got an MP5 from his Tita Mia, who works in Florida.  His new toy is a combo game console, MP3 player, MiniDV, and a 10-megapixel digicam.

At first, Kahlil was fascinated by the built-in games of his MP5. He calls it "PSP" but it was far from that expensive gaming console. 

Then he discovered the camera features of his toy.  He immediately went amok shooting everything in his path.  Well I hope he can sustain his shooting-spree passion.  By the way, here are some of the pictures he took while running gung-ho with his toy-cam.






More on his pictures in my future posts. :-)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Paghehele ng Isang Makata: Pagsusuri sa Uyayi ng Himagsik

Noong Marso 29, 2009, ipinakilala sa publiko ni George T. Calaor ang kaniyang unang aklat: Ang Uyayi ng Himagsik.
Ang Uyayi ng Himagsik ay kalipunan ng mga makabayang tula na nagsasalamin ng mga karanasan ng may-akda bilang isang aktibong kalahok sa Pambansa Demokratikong pakikibaka. 

Si G. Calaor ang kasalukuyang Tagapangulo ng Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) sa lalawigan ng Aklan.  Bago siya manungkulan sa Bayan, si George ay matagal na naging lider kabataan sa Kalibo at aktibong kasapi ng College Editor's Guild of the Philippines.

Bakas na bakas ang diwang palaban ng may-akda sa kaniyang panulaan.  Bunsod marahil ito ng kaniyang malawak na karanasan sa larangan ng legal na pakikibaka sa Isla ng Panay.

Hindi rin maikakaila ang taglay na optimismo ng may-akda para sa kaniyang ipinaglalaban.  Sa di iilang mga tula sa Uyayi ng Himagsik, lagi at lagi itong tinatapos ni G. Calaor sa pananagumpay ng kaniyang adhikain.

Ang Uyayi ng Himagsik

Ang Uyayi ng Himagsik ay nahahati sa tatlong bahagi:

I. Uyayi ng Pag-ibig

II. Uyayi ng Himagsik

III. Ele-ele Ku Pagpakigsukoe

Ang unang bahagi, ang Uyayi ng Pag-ibig, ay nagsasalamin ng mga himutok ng damdamin ng may-akda sa konteksto ng kaniyang pakikibaka.

Ang mga naunsyaming pag-ibig, ang kaniyang marubdob na pananaw sa mga damdamin ng nakikibaka, ang paglalarawan ng makabuluhang pag-niniig sa gitna ng digma, ay naisalin ng may-akda sa kaniyang panulat.

Bakas sa mga tula ng may-akda ang kaniyang pagnanais na magmahal.  Subalit siya ay bigo rito.  Magkagayunman, humuhugot ng lakas ang may-akda sa kaniyang pinaninindigang adhikain upang ibangon ang sarili sa pagkabigo.

Nais buwagin ng mga tula sa Uyayi ng Pag-ibig ang karaniwang sanhi ng demoralisasyon ng nakikibaka.  Pinagtitibay ng mga tula ni G. Calaor ang tumpak na paghawak sa kabiguan at paano ito gagamitin upang magpalakas ng sarili.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Sa mukha ng kawalang ngalang pag-ibig

This poem was written by my friend George T. Calaor.  George is the current Secretary General of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance)in Aklan.

George has a very colorful life, and not all of them are bright.  We shared many glooms and dark moments. I am reprinting this poem coz I find it lyrically beautiful.

I'm going to translate this to English and post it later.  I hope you enjoy this poem:

Sa mukha ng kawalang ngalang pag-ibig

Ni: George T. Calaor

Makiulayaw ka sa tibok ng puso
    ng mga tagapaglikha ng kasaysayan...

naroon lang ako’t naghihintay sa init ng iyong pag-anib
Usalin mo ang bawat pintig sa dibdib
    na kay laon nang iginapos sa tanikala ng pagkadukha

    ako’y naro’n lang... dasal ay kalayaan

Isatinig mo ang mga hiyaw ng damdaming
    hitik sa pag-asam lubusang maangkin
    ang dalisay-na-laya ng pagkatimawa

sabay sa pagbaybay sa iilang hakbang na lang tagumpay


sa bawat pintig ng pagtibok ng aking puso—ako’y kakambal mo

ako ang himig sa bawat saknong ng liriko sa iyong awitin

talinhaga sa bawat katagang ipinapatak
ng tintang idinaloy ng iyong diwang malikhain

anino ko’y salamin ng mga magigiting... naro’n lang ako...


kaaway buong tapang nang gapiin!

(Note: George T. Calaor owns the copyright to this work.  If you are going to republish it, please acknowledge the author.)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Remembering Jesusa Teodoro Martin (My beloved Lola Nena...)

Today is the 106th birthday of my favorite Lola, Lola Nena.  I am posting here a reprint from our Martin Clan Book about Lola Nena.

Lola Nena died when I was in 4th grade, that was way back in 1984.  But I always have vivid memories of her (Lola Nena always cooked sweet delights for us) 

Here's the reprint I'm talking about.  I think this was written by my cousin Mayo Uno and his Tatay, my favorite Tito Boy.

(Excerpts from the Martin-Teodoro Aklat Angkan...):


Jesusa was born on January 19, 1903 in Tondo, Manila . Like Dominador, she was the youngest of two children by Santiago Naguit Teodoro ("Iliong") of Bulacan and Elena dela Cruz ("Enang") of Tondo. The eldest was Sergio ("Ikong").

Jesusa was only six when her mother passed away so her aunt Petra ("Pitang"), sister of her father, brought up the two children up. Santiago 's second wife, Leonora Pantanilla ("Nena"), produced six more children:  Andrea ("Andring"), Juliana ("Julita"), Antolina ("Antoling") , Albino ("Binoy"), Fidela ("Dely") and Gregorio ("Gorio").

Unlike Dominador, she had gotten her name from the calendar (she was born during the Feast of the Sto. Niño) although no one knows why she was nicknamed "Nena."

She finished her primary studies in Bulacan Central School in 1920 and secondary studies at Bulacan High School in 1924.

Because a high school graduate was allowed to be a teacher in elementary schools, Jesusa was able to teach in the town of Bigaa (now Balagtas).

It's not clear as to what year she studied at Philippine Women's University, where Jesusa had mentioned befriending the first wife of Carlos P. Romulo, Virginia Llamas.

Her teaching stint was brief as a year after she had finished high school, her love affair with Dominador brought them to the church, and wedding bells beckoned.


Almost facing each other across the street in Bambang, Bulacan, Bulacan, were the old houses of the Teodoros and Perfecto Sanchez.

Like what has been said, it was in the old house of the Teodoros (which later became the home of sisters Petra and Anita) where Jesusa grew up after being orphaned.

Meanwhile, Dominador, together with his brother Tiburcio, grew up in the house of Perfecto Meneses Sanchez ("Pecto"), a widow who had married the boys' grandmother Andrea de Jesus ("Andring"), a widower.

The couple had a comfortable house--with fishponds and ricefield--and so were able to send the two boys to school. They both finished medicine.

No one really knows how Dominador and Jesusa started their courtship years. What can be gleaned, though, was that it was the proximity that made it easy for them to fall for each other.

They were married a mere one month after Dominador finished his AA and their first two children were born while he was studying medicine at UST.


Their eldest child, Ricardo, was born in 1926 in Paniqui, Tarlac, where Dominador's father, after whom the child was named, lived.

But because Dominador was still studying, the new family moved to Tondo and within a year came Elena (who was named after Jesusa's mother).

Jesusa then finally decided to leave teaching and take care of the kids. And because their only means was coming from Lolo Pecto's subsidy for Dominador's studies, Jesusa had to sell different food items for additional income.

When Dominador finally became a doctor in 1929, his first job was as a municipal doctor in Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac. It was in this town where their third child, Encarnacion, was born the year after.

From Sta. Ignacia, Dominador was once more detailed to La Paz where six of their eleven kids were born: Andrea (1932), Petrona (1934), Wilfredo (1936), Celia (1939), Santiago (1944), and Estrella (1947).

The remaining children who weren't born in Tarlac and Tondo, were Dominador Jr. (in Malolos, Bulacan; 1941) and the youngest, Perfecto (in Bulakan, Bulacan; 1951).

So how did they find themselves in Malolos? When Dominador took up a postgraduate course in public health at the University of the Philippines in 1940-41, the Martins moved to Malolos, Bulacan, where Dominador Jr. was born.

During the brink of World War II in 1944, the family moved back to La Paz where Santiago and Estrella were born.

In 1947, after the war and in preparation for Dominador's next assignment, which was in Bulakan, Bulacan, the four children--Elena, Encarnacion, Andrea, and Dominador Jr.--temporarily lived in the old Teodoro house under the care of  Lola Pitang. Meanwhile, Ricardo was taken care of by the couple Amalia and Francisco Talag of Obando.

In 1948, the whole family was reunited in the house of Perfecto Sanchez who had left the house to them (and in the end went to Domindor Sr.).

Perfecto has the distinction of being the only child born there, a year after the couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary (or boda de plata) in the Bambang chapel.


Within the span of 35 years, Dominador served as the municipal doctor of various towns in Tarlac and Bulacan.

Government doctors earn very little so it's a wonder how he was able to rear and put to school so many children.

His older children have interesting stories of how despite the financial constraints, the family was rich in vegetables, fruit, poultry and other products from the barrio--courtesy of the townsfolk who would give him these in return for his services.

This could very well be the reason why Jesusa (who was often called "Doktora") became active in women's groups both in Tarlac and Bulacan.

In these groups, "Doktora" would often teach her fellow members different skills wives and mothers could use, such as cooking sweets, creating household décor from local and cheap materials, and other means of livelihood for the family.

In other words, the lack of a comfortable salary did not deter Dominador and Jesusa from becoming active in local organizations that dealt with social development projects.

Dominador was active in organizations such as the local PTA, a doctors' association and other civic groups. He was also an active Mason (like his father Ricardo, and brothers Tiburcio and Horacio).

Jesusa often told her children Dominador was strict when it came to time. Whenever he would organize an excursion, they would leave on the dot for fears of being left behind. ("If  Doctor says we leave at five in the morning, we leave at five in the morning.")

Jesusa, meanwhile, was a leader of groups such as the 4H Club, homemakers club, rural improvement club, and the like, which explains her vast knowledge in making sweetened pickled (santol, guava, kamias, etc.) and vegetables (papaya, dampalit), and other dishes that's reserved only for family and guests, such as kamote and potato salad with coconut milk  dressing, and kinchay and bell pepper.

She also launched livelihood projects for women, married or otherwise. Such, it seems, comes naturally to someone who strives to augment her husband's meager earnings for a growing brood.


What was surprising to everyone was Jesusa's health of body and mind. In spite of bringing to the world 11 children, she remained strong and alert for 81 long years.

She rarely fell sick and the only time anyone remembers of her being in a hospital was when she accidentally fractured her hands after falling from bed early one morning.

Another amazing thing to note was that she had given birth to all her children in the house with the help of her doctor husband!

A health-conscious woman, she would always remind her children about the nutritional value of each fruit and vegetable at every mealtime.

Her only weakness was ice cream--she can finish a half-gallon in one sitting!