The Day Father Died By Apolinario B. Villalobos Too young

The Day Father Died

By Apolinario B. Villalobos

 

Too young to understand death

Though I cried, it did not take long

For me to be consoled

Not knowing what will happen

On the days to come

What I knew was that father died

And all we had, then was mother

Who looked composed, strong

And if she cried, too

I did not know…

 

 

(I was barely past my eleven years when father died. I was in grade six. Until now, I do not know how we were able to make both ends met with only our mother working to support four children- two in elementary and two in high school. What I could vividly recall was how the two of us in elementary would bring home rationed bulgur wheat, sometimes oat meal or yellow corn grits given in school by the American Peace Corp volunteers. We cooked them for breakfast and dinner. To be able to buy pencil and papers, I would sell in school, fallen ripe tamarind fruits picked up from the yard of our neighbor. Early mornings before going to school, I would go around the town selling pan de sal (favorite breakfast bread of Filipinos). Weekends were for selling popsicles. Sometimes I would go to school in slippers with mismatched colors having been salvaged from my favorite dump which I would visit every afternoon from school to pick up recyclable plastic bags for my books and other things….. Our mother taught us how to be tough and to never compare our situation with that of others. She told us to accept what comes our way.)

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Life By Apolinario B Villalobos

Life

By Apolinario B Villalobos

Life is like a woven tapestry

Intertwining threads make the whole

The threads are values that make us up

So that the strength and beauty of the tapestry

Will show on  how we live our life every day.

Waking up in the morning

Let us be glad, another day has come

The Lord must be fairly, profusely thanked

That again, we savor the warmth of the sun

Breath the air and enjoy life as best as we can.

The beauty of life we live

Will show on how we love and give

For us to say, we love the Lord is not enough

Still not, even in strings of prayers it is said

If our heart void of love – of stone it’s made!

A loosely woven tapestry is fragile

More so if threads are weak, thin and flimsy

A sorry sight, also it will be, drab or dreary

Just like life that’s lived without purpose

Drifting, whirling with the wind as it blows!

Alexter (the blind singer of Quiapo church) By

Alexter

(the blind singer of Quiapo church)

By Apolinario B Villalobos

On TV he was seen one day,

Winner of a noontime show’s contest

That draws a cellphone number to be called

Then visited by hosts who try to find

Where he lives – by all means;

Alexter took time to answer the call

That made the home studio’s host

Threaten to draw another number

Making the audience gasp

So the host persevered and waited.

When finally, Alexter answered

His voice sounded distant, unclear

Prompting the home studio host

To tell his colleagues  in the vicinity –

Find the guy, wherever he may be.

Held by a friend, they found Alexter

With closed eyes waiting in the throng

The hosts thought the glare of the sun

He can’t take for long, but why look up?

Till they found he’s blind, this pathetic man!

Left by his wife when he lost his sight

He got no choice but face life on his own

So with a young son, Christian, nine years of age

Braved the labyrinth of Quiapo in Manila’s heart

Where they found a room, they call home.

Oblivious to the noise and utter confusion

The two tried to live typically on their own

Gifted with good voice, Alexter sang the liturgies

Earning though a pittance, he thanks the Lord

That He is around to shield them from adversaries.

Cris “Kesz” Valdez…epitome of struggle

Cris “Kesz” Valdez

…epitome of struggle

 

By Apolinario B Villalobos

 

An innocent smile

Gives radiance to his face –

Kesz, as friends call the lad

Is a picture of exhilaration

When all eyes turned to him

And palms are clapped

For a thunderous jubilation.

 

The thirteen years of struggle

Put his enduring will to a test

As he lived away from family

Who thought him to be a jinx

And to a dump he was left

But lucky to have been saved

And given another chance to live.

 

Devoting his life in helping others

This he does, though at such an age –

Pushing carts filled with books

He and his buddies scour the roads

For children with want for knowledge

Nothing can slow them down, not rain

Not thirst, not hunger, aches and pain.

 

The International Children Peace Prize

For the year 2012 he got, truly deserved

Has shown that God has plans for us all

And that the best life that man can live

Is one that is patiently driven with guts

And nurtured with determination to succeed

Just like what this sweetly smiling lad, Kesz did!

 

(Kesz Valdez has been awarded the 2012 International Children’s Peace Prize at The Hague for his effort in helping around 10,000 children in Cavite City, 30 kilometers from Manila City. He is with a group who pushes pushcarts filled with books, toys, sweets, slippers, etc. for the needy children of the city. They share with the children knowledge on health, values and love of God.)

Jaime Mayor…honest kutsero of Luneta By Apolinario B Villalobos At

Jaime Mayor

…honest kutsero of Luneta

 

By Apolinario B Villalobos

 

 

At dawn, from his humble home in Caloocan

He diligently pedals his way to Luneta

The same he does when he goes home at night

But all these he does with unpretentious delight.

 

In Luneta, for years, he worked as kutsero

Guiding his tame horse, he fondly calls Rapido

Both of them braving the rain and searing sun

Even  pangs of hunger as best as they can.

 

A typical Filipino, this guy – Jaime Mayor

For earning honestly, he could not ask for more

With perpetual smile on his sun-burned face

He and Rapido, in Luneta, strollers can’t miss.

 

One day, his honesty was put to a test

When a purse was left behind by a tourist

Whom he pursued just before she was gone

And who was amazed by such an honest man.

 

Tightly he was hugged and praised to heavens

In a language that sounded strange to him

But just the same, these he took in stride

Though, his appreciation, he could not hide.

 

He said, he is proud to be a Filipino

And proud that he lives in a beautiful country

His modest knowledge of English, then…

Is always ended with –

“It’s more fun to be in the Philippines”!

 

 

(Jaime Mayor is a driver (kutsero) of a horse-driven rig (kalesa) in Luneta (Rizal Park) of Manila. His average daily earning is Php200.00. This is carefully budgeted to suffice for the needs of his wife and four children. One day he drove around the park four French ladies, one of whom left her purse in the back seat of the rig. After noticing it, he practically ran after the group. The ladies were amazed. The owner of the purse gave him a tight hug. On September 13, 2012, the Rizal Park administration gave him a plaque of appreciation.)

Failures Can Push You

Failures Can Push You

 

By Apolinario B Villalobos

 

Yes, it’s true…

Failures can push you

Even further if you bear in mind

Your aspirations in life;

All you need is check

What mistakes were made;

Do not blame others, too

For it’s only you

And you alone

Who directs your life

Though others could inspire you

In some ways they can help

But just the same

Always think that success

Can be attained

If only you will do your part

The best you can, and

Think positive –

For it can be done!

Ruby(Young Hooker of Manila) By Apolinario B Villalobos A star

Ruby

(Young Hooker of Manila)

 

By Apolinario B Villalobos

 

A star sapphire glitters in the dark

just when your first cry tore the silence apart

and two faces smile with no word said

but a heartfelt thanks to the God above.

 

Into this world comes forth

another flower for their eyes and bundle of joy

who there lies for every body to behold

and now your story’s being told.

 

You’ve trodden enough

roads of stones and thorns so rough

for a woman but you are strong in heart

and full of hope that even the searing sun

could not wilt your will

melt your strength as you go on still

just like the fire

I find in your name.