Verdant Beauties

here’s something to remind us about our responsibility – nature preservation….

emulong

IMG_20150508_120852 The trees are God’s great alphabet: With them He writes in shining green Across the world His thoughts serene. ~Leonora Speyer (Ayala Triangle, Makati. May 2015)

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

image The true measure of love is to love without measure. – Alamada Countryside. North Cotabato. March 2015.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

Trees. Tanay, Rizal, Philippines. March 22, 2015. Trees. Tanay, Rizal, Philippines…

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From the Kitchen of Pat Sulleza…gurayan sandwich filling and rice topping

From the kitchen of Pat Sulleza: (based on her comment to my blog about food…)

*Gurayan sandwich filling and rice topping

Ingredients:

1 kilo of anchovy (white variety, and small ones are preferred)
1 cup chopped kamyas (if not available, use young crushed tamarind, calamansi and vinegar, or the sour variety of green mango)
½ cup vinegar
thumb-sized ginger, crushed
salt to taste
pork oil
Optional: chili, bell pepper, and laurel leaves

Direction:
Wash the anchovy thoroughly to reduce the fishy smell.
Cook in vinegar, kamyas, ginger and salt. Allow to boil for 15 to 20 minutes to eliminate some of the liquid. Add estimated amount of pork oil. Reduce fire and simmer for 5 minutes more. Allow ample amount of sauce to remain.

Notes:
Best cooked in native earthen pot (palayok); if using ordinary stainless or steel cooking pot, line the bottom with fresh banana leaves, if available.
Another option is wrapping the anchovies in banana leaves and arranged inside the pot. If banana leaves are not available, pechay may be used.
The vinegar shall serve as preservative, so there is no worry for spoilage.
Young okra or eggplant may be added on top of the preparation while cooking, and they can be used later as garnishing to rice.
As filling for sandwich, white onion rings may be added.
As rice topping, chopped spring onion (sibuyas-dahon) may be sprinkled as garnishing.
The sauce with added few mashed anchovies and chopped white onion may be used as dip for Skyflakes biscuit, pan de sal, or biscucho.
The green mango loses some of its acidity when it is cooked, so it goes well with rice, okra or eggplant.

*Gurayan- Bisayan/ Karay-a for anchovy
*Dilis- Bisayan/ Cebuano and Tagalog for anchovy

The Insecurity of the President is Intensified with the onset of Election 2016

The Insecurity of the President is
Intensified with the onset of Election 2016
By Apolinario Villalobos

The early manifestation of the President’s insecurity in his refusal to fire unproductive cabinet secretaries was tolerated. But the irritation of the Filipinos went out of hand when they clamored for the removal of Allan Purisima from his post as Chief of the Philippine National Police.

With the onset of elections, another manifestation of insecurity of the highest official of the land is again showing, and this time, even loudly expressed, when he refused to give instruction to his Cabinet secretaries who plan to run in the coming election, to resign. The reason for the popular call to for these government officials is obvious – there is a great possibility for them to use their respective agency in campaigns.

Unlike the senators who can return to their jobs if they lost in the election, the cabinet secretaries do not have this option. This could be the reason why the president is in a quandary because he cannot just seem to trust others than those who are now in his “stable”. What insecurity, indeed!…no wonder he is called by some parties as “weakling”.

Harmonizing Life with Time…by virtue of Discipline

Harmonizing Life with Time
…by virtue of Discipline
By Apolinario Villalobos

We cannot control time, much more, go against its ticking hands. But we can live in harmony with it by virtue of discipline. We cannot turn back the hands of time, as the song says, so we have to synchronize our life with it for our own advantage.

Synchronizing with time and the degree that calls for it differs according to culture and environment. In Spain, siesta time after lunch till early afternoon is a very part of its people’s culture. Their “nighttime” is also long, lasting till the wee hours of the morning. Meanwhile, in other countries, the people are not conscious of time.

In a well- disciplined country like Japan, time is treated with respect. And, so is in the United States, where time is followed to the last second, in which at the strike of five, everything is dropped. In European countries, the same treatment of time is observed – with strictness, hinged on discipline.

The standard work period is eight hours. But to date, because of the many factors that affect the day to day lives of the people, especially, traffic, “broken time” is applied by some companies, for as long as the eight-hour period is completed. Adjustment is made on the work period of employees in consideration of the traffic and distance that needs to be covered by commuting from their home.

On the other hand, regardless of whether we are in a workplace, at home or just anywhere, time is very much part of our activity…our life. Practically, since the first day that life is developed in the womb of the mother, time element is already involved, such as the number of days until the fetus finally breaths the fresh air as it comes out into the world. And, the development of the growing child is reckoned by phases of time– physically, mentally, and emotionally.

In wrapping up, the besting thing to do, if we do not want to be hassled then, is by being always ahead of time. Whatever time is “earned” can always be used for some other things that we need to make our life comfortable. We should, however, remember always, that living in harmony with time should be tempered with discipline so that we can use it to live a comfortable life.

Felizardo Lazado: Katangi-tanging kaibigan…at nakakabilib na Notre Damian

Isa itong tulaysay, sarili kong style sa pagsulat na pantanggal ng umay….hybrid ito ng tula at salaysay, kaya tinawag kong “tulaysay”…

Felizardo Lazado: katangi-tanging kaibigan
…at nakakabilib na Notre Damian
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Ang una kong napansin sa kanya
Noong una ko siyang makita
Ay ang kanyang pagkamaka-totoo
Palatawa siya, at napaka-maginoo.

Isa si Felizardo sa mga student leaders ng Notre Dame of Tacurong, high school student pa lamang siya. Hindi nawawala sa Dean’s List ang pangalan niya bilang isa sa mga topnotcher. Dahil mahina ang katawan at payatin, hindi nabigyan ng pagkakataon ni G. Ric Jamorabon (istriktong in-charge sa PMT at ROTC), na maging Corp Commandeer ng PMT, kaya ang gamit sa drills ay kahoy na riple, sa halip na tansong sable. Magaling siyang debater at orator, kaya maraming bilib sa kanya, campus personality, wika nga, subali’t among the boys lang dahil nasa kabilang bakod ang mga babaeng Notre Damians at nasa istriktang pagsubaybay ng mga Dominican (O.P.) sisters. Ang amin naman – Boys’ Department ay mga Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) namang mga pari ang nagsusubaybay.

Ding, ang palayaw niya…matunog
At mataginting din kung bibigkasin
Tunog ay kinalembang na batingaw
Na abot sa malayo ang alingawngaw.

Katunog ng pangalan niyang mataginting kung bigkasin ay ang alingawngaw ng batingaw, lalo na ang kanyang halakhak na bigay-todo para hindi mapahiya ang nagkukuwento ng nakakatawa, kahit may pagka-corny ang dating. Simple lang siya kung magsingit ng jokes subali’t may dating dahil mapapa-ihi ka sa pantalon kung mahina ang kontrol mo sa iyong pantog. Malayo ang inaabot ng kanyang halakhak na wari ba ay nagpapahiwatig na nais niyang makapagpasaya ng kapwa, kahit sa pamamagitan man lamang ng kanyang halakhak na hinugot niya ng buong tiyaga mula sa kaibuturan ng kanyang puso – at para ring batingaw na umaalingawngaw.

Malikhain si Ding, magaling sumulat
Kung siya’y nasa mood, tatahimik bigla
At parang nawawala sa sariling nakayuko –
Sandali lang, may naisulat na sa kwaderno!

Normal siyang tao dahil may mga mood tulad ng iba. Sa mga pagkakataong masaya siya, no holds barred kung magbiro siya. Kung bigla namang may maisip na isulat, tatabi na lamang at maglalabas ng notebook at ballpen, sabay sulat, animo ay sinaniban ng ispiritu ng isang namayapang manunulat, kaya hinahayaan na lamang siya ng mga nakakaunawa sa kanya. Nangyari ito nang kami noon ay nasiraan ng sasakyan, galing sa ekskursiyon at pauwi na. Bigla siyang humiwalay at nawala…akala namin ay sumagot siya sa tawag ng kalikasan, pero sabi ng iba, wala naman daw dalang toilet paper. Yon pala, nasa isang sulok ng highway, natatabingan ng mga talahib mula sa init ng papalubog na araw, at nagsusulat.

Hindi niya alam ang salitang maramot
Dahil kapos man ang pamilya nila noon
Itinanim sa isip nila ang salitang “tulong”-
Kailangang ibahagi, ano mang pagkakataon.

Hindi ikinahihiya ni Ding ang kakapusan nila noong bata pa siya, kaya natuto silang magkapatid na magsumikap upang makatapos ng pag-aaral. Naging student assistant siya sa Notre Dame of Tacurong hanggang makatapos siya ng kursong Bachelor of Arts (English/History). Sa kabila ng kakapusan, matulungin si Ding sa abot ng kanyang makakaya. Hindi lang sa pamamagitan ng pera ang ginawa niyang pagtulong sa iba. Marami rin siyang nabigyan ng payo – mga estudyante na hirap din sa buhay, lalo na noong siya ay nagturo na rin, sa Notre Dame din mismo kung saan siya nagtapos. Malaking bagay ang ginawa niyang paggabay, na maliban sa payo ay ang pagpakita ng sarili niya mismo bilang isang halimbawa ng pagsisikap.

Mga salitang umaalagwa sa kanyang utak
Ang nababalangkas ay mga kuwento at tula
Adhikaing hindi titigilan ano mang mangyari
Dahil bigay ng Diyos at kailangang ipamahagi!

Alam ni Ding na ang kakayahan niya sa pagsulat ay galing sa Diyos at siya ay may pakay sa mundo. Hindi niya kailangang pumunta sa Africa upang tumulong sa mga biktima ng ebola virus, lalo pa at sakitin siya, kaya baka siya pa ang i-stretcher bigla at isakay sa ambulansiya, o di kaya ay makipagbakbakan sa mga hinayupak na miyembro ng ISIS sa Syria, o di kaya ay makipagbrilan sa mga buragwit na miyembro ng Abu Sayyaf sa Basilan at Jolo. Alam niyang ang mga linyang kinapapalooban ng mga salitang lumalabas sa kanyang utak ay may ibig sabihin. Kaya saan man siyang dako ng mundo…pinipilit niyang gawin ang sa kanya ay nai-atang noon pa man…kapalarang nakaguhit sa kanyang mga palad. At yan ay hindi mahirap unawain…ang magpakalat ng mga mensahe tungkol sa pagkakaisa at pagmamahalan gamit ang power of the pen.