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Captured in Photo!

In the middle of the news about the Maguindanao Massacre and the scandal it brought to the Ampatuan clan and their affiliates, it even brought more light to my kids how government people abuse their powers and authorities.

Earlier today, I decided to restore my computer because its performance is slowing. It might be infected by a virus or two, so I thought. While browsing through my files of pictures that I have to transfer and burn on my CDs, I saw this picture I took several months ago while we were on our way to my mother’s house in Tanza, Cavite. It called our attention because the owner-type jeepney in front of us does not have a vehicle plate. Considering that it is a government-issued vehicle, used for official purposes, the officials who use them it do not follow the law.

Another proof of abuse of power?

A government vehicle without a plate

Philippine politics is a tragedy of power, abuse and dirty game. When will it ever end?

It Pays To Be A Paranoid

I must admit I get paranoid at times, especially when it concerns my family’s safety. But it does pay to be one sometimes!

It happened to me one weekend while we were on our way to the birthday party of my friend’s mom. My husband went to the nearby mall with our 2 kids to buy some stuff while our eldest son and I had a haircut in a salon within the village. We were already done but my husband has not arrived yet. I called him but his phone cannot be reached, so we decided to go to the convenience store across the street while waiting for them.

I texted my husband our exact location and told him that we were already waiting for them outside the store. Then, I noticed that a guy (let’s call him Guy #1) behind me was walking back and forth. Thinking that he might snatch my cellphone, I stepped backward so that I can have a clearer view of his movements. I held my son tightly as I noticed there are two other guys standing on each corner of the store. Another thought came to me. The two guys might be conspirants of Guy #1, who was then roaming around the parking area, seems to be inspecting each parked car. It was then that I decided to move to the next store where there are more people waiting. In no less than 5 minutes, my husband and our 2 other kids arrived. I told him about the 3 suspicious-looking men and when I looked at the store, they were gone. Why gone so soon? And all at the same time? As far as I can remember it, they also arrived almost at the same time. Hmmm, looks fishy, isn’t it?

Well, better safe than sorry.

A Happy Death

I have 5 articles that is due today so I turned on the PC and started writing as soon as I woke up. I was already on my second article when my son Joma woke up and turned on the TV. It was then that I learned that our former president Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino passed away early this morning. I can’t concentrate on the article I am writing. I have to express my mourning over the passing of our former President Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino.

I do not have any personal experience with Tita Cory. We just have the same last name although my husband’s relatives say Ninoy, her husband, is their distant relative. My husband grew up in the same community in Quezon City where Tita Cory, as she is fondly called, lives. They also went to the same parish.

Tita Cory led the Philippines to regain its freedom. I was only in high school then. A teenager who was unaware of the country’s current events. I must admit that I was clueless what was happening then in EDSA. I only realized how important that EDSA People Power was when I reached college… a few years after the event itself.

former Pres. Corazon Aquino

For me, she was the best leader the Philippines could have, next to her husband who was shot dead in his arrival to the country. I was saddened by the news that she was diagnosed of colon cancer. Over the past month that she was confined in the hospital, I kept on praying that God will give her a peaceful death. I did not pray that she will recover from her illness anymore… to stand up and go back to her usual activities. No, not anymore. I am just being realistic. You see, I have seen a lot of cancer patients. I have friends, relatives and family members of my friends who have been victimized by cancer. They all succumbed to death. I knew all along this will come soon. So, I was just praying for her family to be prepared… for acceptance that she will soon pass away… for Tita Cory that she may have a peaceful death, less pain and agony because I understand how physically painful cancer is.

While watching the news and updates regarding her burial and interment, I heard somebody read this poem she wrote last 2004. I searched the Net for a copy of this poem and I found it here.

Prayer for a Happy Death
by: Corazon C. Aquino

Almighty God, most merciful Father
You alone know the time
You alone know the hour
You alone know the moment
When I shall breathe my last.

So, remind me each day,
most loving Father
To be the best that I can be.
To be humble, to be kind,
To be patient, to be true.
To embrace what is good,
To reject what is evil,
To adore only You.

When the final moment does come
Let not my loved ones grieve for long.
Let them comfort each other
And let them know
how much happiness
They brought into my life.
Let them pray for me,
As I will continue to pray for them,
Hoping that they will always pray
for each other.

Let them know that they made possible
Whatever good I offered to our world.
And let them realize that our separation
Is just for a short while
As we prepare for our reunion in eternity.

Our Father in heaven,
You alone are my hope.
You alone are my salvation.
Thank you for your unconditional love, Amen.

To you, Tita Cory, your battle is well-fought… from being a housewife to regaining our freedom and leading the country. You are a pillar of strength. No more pain, Tita Cory… no more pain. You are now at peace with our Creator. Iknow you left this world knowing that not only the Filipinos but the whole world loves you. Goodbye, Tita Cory!

Stranded!

Last  Saturday evening, my husband received an SMS message from her niece telling him that it was her son’s baptism-con-birthday the following day. She only learned of our new number that day so she was unable to inform us ahead of time.

The next morning, we went to MOA to buy some books and school supplies and, of course, gift for the birthday boy. I already have in mind what things I am going to buy and where to get them so I know shopping will not take us more than an hour. However, the clerk at the gift-wrapping service at Toy Kingdom was sooooo slow it took him half an hour to wrap one simple box. Yes, it may be large but it should not take him that long! I should know because I have wrapped a gift that big before and it only took me 10 minutes!

It was already 12PM when we went out of MOA. It was raining when we hit the road. But it got harder when reached Manila area. We even need to make a U-turn when we got to A. Bonifacio Avenue just near the North Cemetery gate. Water is all over the road and it is flowing like river. Retreat! We looked for another route going to North Luzon Expressway (NLEx). We took Espana Blvd., then straight to Quezon Avenue. Though there was water along Araneta Ave., cars can pass through it. From Quezon Ave. we made a turn going to West Ave. hitting EDSA then NLEX. Reaching the Valenzuela area, rain almost stopped, and not even a drop when we reached Bulacan. That was 2:30PM. A should-be hour drive took us 2.5 hours due to the rain!

Though there was drizzle in Bulacan, it was not even enough to get you wet so we forgot all about the rain in Manila as we enjoy the chats with relatives we have not seen for quite some time now. We saw the kids were also enjoying the party so we have to wait for them to tell us when to go home; otherwise, they will be cranky inside the car.

We left Bulacan before 5PM. Before reaching Tabang exit, I asked my husband to stop at one of the plant and garden shops. I want to see if they have the herbs I am planning to buy in Tagaytay. Unfortunately, they don’t have herbs. They only sell ornamental plants which I am not really interested with. I just purchased 2 small trees of calamansi for 50 pesos each, and a pot where I will plant the calamansi.

By 5:30PM, we are almost at the Malinta exit when we observed the temperature gauge going up. Car overheated just in time we reached the emergency bay. We wondered why because we added water when we gassed up, and it was also raining so who would expect the car to heat up? Just the same, we waited for the engine to cool down while waiting for the traffic to go lighter and the rain to stop. But as we waited, rain became harder and traffic became heavier. It took half an hour for the truck beside us to move forward for only a few meters! Whoa! I couldn’ t believe it. After adding water on radiator and seeing that cars are moving slowly, we decided to go on with the trip home as it was getting late as well. Unfortunately, we were only able to move about a hundred meters because we see that car temperature is going up again. So we have to stop by the shoulder on the road. We saw a wide shoulder area where other cars are parked. This is where we got stuck for almost the entire evening. The advantageous part was the other drivers and travelers who also parked beside us were friendly and helpful. It was through one of the drivers who checked the fan belt making us realize that it was broken. I felt the Filipino “Bayanihan” spirit alive once again. We had a temporary fix hoping that we could go out of the expressway, at the least.

Around 11:30PM, traffic started to lighten up. We started to drive home again. As soon as we passed by Balintawak tollgate, the car heated up again. This time, battery also got discharged. The tollgate personnel were courteous at first. They pushed the car to the side of the road, asked us what the problem was but they NEVER offered help aside from calling the towing service. We knew it! One of them even had the nerve to turn his back on us while we were still talking to him! Bitch! We told them we will try to fix it first but they were insistent and arrogant! I felt my blood rushed through my head. I tried to keep my cool though.

At exactly 1AM, the towing service arrived and pulled the car to the nearest-and-only-opened repair shop at that time. The towing service personnel were truly helpful and courteous. They referred us a repair shop so we do not have to wait until the morning to get the car running. They even pushed the car inside the repair shop so that it will be parked properly. Applause to them! The mechanic and his wife were also friendly. They even offered their place for the kids to have a comfortable sleep.Good thing he has a replacement part available, the car was fixed in two hours. We arrived home at exactly 5AM. Whew! What an exhausting evening!

“Anyway” by Mother Teresa

This poem was reported to be found in 1997 inscribed on the wall of Mother Teresa’s children home in Calcutta, India so it was widely attributed to her. Its association with  Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity has made it popular worldwide, the spirit in which they lived their lives.

Anyway
by Mother Teresa

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, is it between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

However, an article in the New York Times on March 8, 2002 wrote that the original version of this poem, The Paradoxical Commandments, was written by Dr. Kent M. Keith. The said poem is also shown below.

The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001