Investments in Life

Investments in Life

By Apolinario B Villalobos

 

 

Investments in life are made in stages:

 

1. When a man and a woman meet, they invest TRUST and LOVE to each other with a hope that these shall develop into a wise decision to get married, hence, give them a reason to settle down as a couple.

 

2.  As a couple, they invest PATIENCE and DILIGENCE into their lives in order to earn money and raise a family.

 

3.  The couple invests the MONEY in a home of their own and things for their coming offspring.

 

4.  The couple invests MONEY for the food, supplements and medicines for their offspring so that they will grow healthy. As they grow, more MONEY is invested for their education with a hope that they will have a bright future later on. When the offspring leave home to make their own investments, the couple is left alone. This is the last stage of their investment. They are back to each other’s arms – alone.

 

Unfortunately, SOME couples forgot to invest for their COMFORTABLE retirement. It is only later they learned that social security retirement (in the Philippines), is not enough to cover supplements, medicines, regular medical check ups, and salary for caregiver – expenses  that come with old age.

 

Worse, SOME very unfortunate couples found out that their children whom they nurtured with love since birth and already have families of their own, develop amnesia, causing them forget that somewhere in a province or a depressed residential area in a city, are two aging persons, living in a crumbling house…aging persons who could not even help themselves in going to the toilet or in taking a bath.

 

Not ALL offspring are kind enough to SHOW love to their parents who smothered them with love when they came into this world. SHOWING love to the parents is not paying them back for what they have done. SHOWING love to a person is a SPIRITUAL obligation, be he or she is a kin or a stranger.

 

LOVING parents do not bother themselves with a seemingly wasted investment such as mentioned above. They know, it is their obligation to raise their children decently, properly, complete with love…with affection.

 

Indeed, investment is always shaded with risks that should be accepted what they may be.

 

   

Ang Bugbog Saradong Gobyerno

Ang Bugbog-saradong Gobyerno

 

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

 

Bugbog-sarado na ang gobyerno. Walang epekto ang balitang umuunlad na ang bansa dahil sa pagtaas ng investment ratio na pinagdududahan na rin. Sa mga nangyayari, wala nang nakikitang matinong ginawa ang gobyerno. Ang inabangang pagbulgar ni Panfilo Lacson ng mga anomalya sa paggawa ng bunkhouses para sa mga biktima ng bagyong Yolanda sa silangang Visayas ay nagdulot lamang ng pagkadismaya. Sinabi niyang wala naman daw overpricing na nangyari kundi underdelivery ng mga substandard na mga materyales. Sa mga nakakaunawa, pareho lang yon dahil malinaw na may kumita.

 

Ang inaabangang pagpirma ng Framework Agreement sa pagitan ng gobyerno at MILF, hindi pa man nakakarating sa kamara ay may mga puna na, at ang masahol, may mga nagbanta pa ng mga pagsiklab ng kaguluhan sa Mindanao na pasisimunuan ng mga hindi nakasali sa usapan – ang mga BIFF at MNLF. At, ano ang garantiyang maipapatupad ang panukala paglipas ng 2016, pagtatapos ng katungkulan ni Aquino? Hindi kaya ito matulad sa napagkasunduan noon sa pagitan ng gobyerno at MNLF na hindi lubusang naipatupad?

 

Lumulutang ang kahinaan ng puwersa ng kapulisan dahil sa kaliwa’t kanang panggagahasa at patayan, mga kakulangan sa kaalaman ng ilang mga pulis sa paghawak ng mga kaso, mga pag-abuso ng mga pulis sa mga detinadong suspek ng krimen, at marami pang iba. Ni minsan, hindi man lang lumabas ang namumuno ng buong kapulisang nasyonal para magpaliwanag. Ang “nakakamangha”, nang pumutok ang kaso sa pambubugbog kay Vhong Navarro, ang Secretary of Justice mismo, si Gng. De Lima ang nagsasalita at hindi si Purisima. Ganoon na ba ka-cheap ang gobyerno, na pati showbiz issues ay gustong duhapangin? Naalala ko noon ang holdapan sa isang jewelry shop sa isang mall, ang bumulaga sa eksena ay Secretary ng DILG, si Mar Roxas! Tindi!

 

Hindi pa man nakakahugot ng buntong-hininga ang mga motorista dahil sa nakaambang pagtaas ng langis, may banta na namang pagtaas ng gas panluto. Matagal na palang sarado ang sinasabing Shell depot sa Batangas na sinasabing responsable sa 65% na supply ng gas panluto, ay bakit hindi man lang napagtuunan ng pansin ng gobyerno? Kung hindi pa nagsalita ang isang tao tungkol dito sa TV ay hindi nabulgar ang nakaambang malaking problema na naman dahil sa inaasahang pagsirit ng halaga ng mga tangke ng gas. Hindi na sana nagsalita ang Secretary ng Energy na si Petilla, na ginigiit ang hindi pagtaas ng presyo ng gas panluto dahil kung hindi mangyayari ang sinabi niya, dagdag kahihiyan na naman ito ng gobyerno.

 

Ano na nga ba ang nangyari sa mga iniibestigahang illegal na pag-angkat ng bigas? Maliwanag na ang sistema ng katiwalian, bakit hindi tumbukin ang ugat o mga ugat? Pagkatapos ng ilang araw na pagsasayang ng oras sa imbestigasyon sa Senado, bigla na lang sinabi ng committee na ok na, may magagamit na sa paggawa ng batas. Investigation dismissed! Hanggang doon na lang. Samantala, tuloy ang press release tungkol sa listahan kuno ng mga ismagler. Hanggang doon na lang din yata.

 

Puro press-release ang mga nangyayari, pati ang paglipat na dapat kay Napoles sa regular na bilangguan ay idinaan din sa press-release at hindi rin narinig pagkatapos makodakan ang mga “matatalinong” namumuno. Puro ngawa ng ngawa, wala namang gawa! Gusto lang makakuha ng media footage! Puro pakyut sa camera!

 

Pinagtatawanan na ng ibang bansa ang Pilipinas. Mabuti na lang at meron tayong magagaling na boksingero, mang-aawit, at beauty queens, na pilit nagtatayo at nagwawagayway ng ating bandila. Iba pa rin sana ang dating kung nakakadikta tayo ng respeto, subali’t paano nating magagawa ito kung ang ilan sa mga namumuno ay nagpapabaya sa katungkulan, sa halip ay pinapairal ang pagkagahaman sa pera kaya ang imahe natin ay nahahatak upang malublob sa putikan ng kahihiyan?

 

Matindi ang kapit sa poder ng mga taong dapat magbitiw. Nagkikibit-balikat lamang  yong nakatira sa palasyo sa tabi ng Ilog-Pasig. Hindi man lang niya naisip na pagdating ng panahon, malalathala sa mga pahina ng kasaysayan ang pagkakaroon ng bansa ng isang pangulo na walang ginawa sa harap ng mga nakakabahalang pangyayari na naglalagay sa mga Pilipino sa balag ng alanganin.

Sana Forever Tayong Sanggol

Sana Forever Tayong Sanggol

 

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

 

Sana nga, forever tayong sanggol

Puso ay wagas at isipa’y malinis-

Walang bahid na dumi maski small

Ang tingin ay walang malisya

At puno ng saya ang pagtawa.

 

Iniluwal siya sabay ng pag-iri

Halos isigaw ng inang sa sakit

Mukhang pinawisa’y napangiwi

Parang badya na siya’y humanda

Sa mga pasakit, kanyang madarama!

 

Sa paglanghap ng hanging polluted

Sabay ang pag-uha na walang patid

Ingay sa paligid ay hindi niya alintana

Pinipilit na dibdib ng ina’y mahagilap –

Nang masuso’y natahimik sa isang iglap.

 

Walang kamuwang-muwang at inosenti

Di alam kung ano, sa kanya’y mangyayari

Ganyan ang nangyari sa mga nagsitanda na –

Sama ng loob, idinaan sa iyak, sa paghagulhol

At ang wish na sana: forever tayong sanggol!

 

 

 

 

The Taxi Drivers of Davao City

The Taxi Drivers of Davao City

By Apolinario Villalobos

Davao for a long time was notorious as a city where rebels had the gall to challenge the authorities even at daytime, especially, in the Agdao district. Just like any other cities, it had its own share of dishonest taxi drivers, sex workers who cruised Recto, San Pedro, and Boulevard. But those now belong to the past with the emergence of the Dutertes at the city’s helm.

Davao today is the only destination city whose no-smoking regulation is announced during the taxiing in of commercial flights, as they approach the city’s airport. As one goes out of the terminal, he can find taxis in a neat queue waiting to be approached by passengers. Drivers just ask the passenger for the destination without any complaint even if it is just a few hundred meters from the airport.

As a frequent traveler to Davao, myself, I have experienced first- hand, the kind of courtesy the taxi drivers of the city extend to their passengers. With courtesy enhanced with cordiality, one cannot help but sincerely give a generous tip. The drivers are not allowed to give hints for tips. And, they feel it an honest obligation to return fare change to their passengers, to the last centavo. But how can one take back thirty pesos from a taxi driver who joined the long line of queue and patiently wait for incoming flights and finally get a passenger after six hours, and whose destination is sometimes just a couple of kilometers away? For one who understands, he should add a few pesos more to that change, to make the tip realistic, instead.

If one asks the taxi driver for the most affordable hotel in the city, the latter obliges by bringing the former to suggested accommodation facilities from pension to small hotels until the right choice has been made. It happened to me, when I took a last flight to Davao and arrived in the city at the height of a heavy downpour and despite the unholiness of the hour when I finally set foot on the city, taking a taxi did not give me any qualm at all.

I know that there are issues on how the peace and quiet of the city has finally been painstakingly achieved. But the proof of change is very evident. If only for the sake of the natives of Davao city who, for long, had been longing for a quiet life, and the visitors who are beginning to appreciate the “home of durian fruit”, the detractors are asked to take a boat or flight or bus and visit the city for a first- hand appreciation or just keep their mouth shut.

The Learning Process Called Life

The Learning Process Called Life

 

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

 

Debates about life – where it starts, are never ending, especially on the issue of family planning. If the sperm and egg cells, in their sole state are considered living minute components of the body, then the learning process starts from the stage of sexual intercourse. It is the stage where millions of sperm cells learn how to compete among each other, while the lone egg cell, learns how to wait for the victorious one to bond with “her”. The two cells use their innate “consciousness” to develop what those belonging to another group of debaters, consider as life.

 

The developing fetus learns to adapt itself to the environment inside the mother’s womb. When the time for him/her to come into this world arrives, he/she learns how to exert effort, helped by the groans, swearing and the contractions of the mother, until he/she finally lets out a cry after gasping for his/her first lungful of air.  Instinctively, he/she learns how to suck – he/she is now a baby!

 

In time, the baby learns how to make different sounds aside from the cry. With those are the learned facial expressions as his/her effort to communicate with the world. Then, there’s the clap, the crawl, the laughter – all learned as the baby grows up.

 

Eventually, the baby learns how to say some words and somehow identify objects. The baby  says “mama” when he/she smells the mother who just came in from the kitchen, and says “papa” when he/she smells the father who just came in from the smoggy street.  The baby  learns to do more tricks and acts to the delight of the family.

 

A little later, the baby grows into a child who goes to school and learns how to love and fear the teacher. The child learns the ABC’s of all levels of the educational system. This the child does as he/she metamorphoses into adolescent and adulthood into a  man/woman. So, if financially capable, the man/woman graduates from college and furthers his/her studies by proceeding towards a Masters degree. After graduation, the man/woman learns that it is not easy to get a job.

 

As time goes by, the man/woman learns to fall in love. At this time, his/her emotion is dictated by the heart more than his/her brain. If lucky, the man/woman gets the right lifetime partner. The two, man and woman, learn that they should sign a contract in order to live together under one roof.

 

The partners learn that to survive, they have to be wise in spending their money. They learn more lessons as their family grow. They learn how to adjust the way they deal with each of their children who, though siblings are different in so many ways.

 

Finally, the partners are at the threshold of their lives. They realized that life is an uphill trek and involves rock climbing ( in times of grave problems), crawling on all fours (in times of almost quitting), walking (temporary relief from headaches), picking of wild fruits and flowers along easy trails (laughter during light moments with children) and finally, a long sigh (fulfillment of God’s plan), as the summit is finally reached. Life, indeed, is a long process of learning…it is a syllabus of learning that only He can make.

 

Nelia

Nelia

(para kay Nelia Gumiit)

 

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

 

Mga hakbang na halos ay kanyang bilangin

At wari sa kanya’y nagpapalutang sa hangin

Kampante at nagtitiwala sa kanyang paligid

Kaya’t di na niya kailangan pang magmasid.

 

Di tulad ng ibang babaeng maraming dahilan

Upang pantanggal ng bagot ay mapagbigyan

Si Nelia ay iba, walang luho, simple’t mabait –

Kapiraso mang kahilingan ay di niya iginigiit.

 

Araw –araw ay hindi nawawalan ng panahon

Upang kanyang magamit, maglingkod sa Poon

Inuunawa naman ng mahal na asawa’t mga anak

Kabaitang di talaga matatawaran at  mahahamak.

 

Sa paglipas ng mahigit nang dalawampung taon

Pagliban ay di ginawa masama man ang panahon

Yan si Nelia, pambihirang babae na katula-tularan

Na maski minsang pagsimangot ay hindi nakitaan.

 

 

 

(Nelia is a Mother Butler of the St. Martin de Porres parish church

in Bacoor, Cavite for more than twenty years now. Not even a burning

fever can prevent her from diligently fulfilling her spiritual duties

almost every day.)