A blissful weekend at the Canaan camp and thoughts of a farm wedding

The Ilocana Bride

Canaan Camp is a Filipiniana-themed camp site in the far-flung area of Cavite that offers you an excellent opportunity to worship the Lord close to nature. For more adventurous couples wanting a ‘mountain elopement-feel’ ceremony, this is not bad for a try.

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Emma…single Mom na mapagpaubaya at may malasakit sa kapwa

Emma…Single Mom na Mapagpaubaya

At may Malasakit sa Kapwa

(para kay Emma Mendoza-Duragos)

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Palangiti si Emma at masayahin, hindi dahil kinukubli niya ang mabigat na pasanin bilang single mom, kundi dahil likas na siyang ganyan noon pa man daw na bata siya. Maliban sa aura niyang masaya, maayos din siya sa sarili. Noong na-confine siya sa ospital upang operahan sa matris, animo ay bisita siya sa ospital sa halip na pasyente dahil, bukod sa pakikipag-usap sa ibang pasyente, ay kuntodo make-up din siya at nakabihis pa. Ngayong meron siyang maliit na karinderya, kung mamalengke at humarap sa mga kostumer, ganoon pa rin siya – maayos ang sarili at naka-make-up. Hindi siya tulad ng ibang carinderista na nanlilimahid at amoy suka dahil sa pawis.

Single mom si Emma, pero hindi biyuda. Nagkaroon lang ng kaunting hindi pagkakaunawaan silang mag- asawa. Ganoon pa man, pinilit ni Emmang magpakumbaba sa pagsunod sa probinsiya ng asawa na nakausap naman niya ng maayos. Naiwan sa kalinga ni Emma ang bunsong anak na nasa Grade 7, at sa kabila ng nangyari sa kanila ng kanyang asawa, malapit sa kanya ang mga kamag-anak nito sa kanya. Hindi rin siya nagtanim ng sama ng loob sa asawa, at lalong hindi niya isinara ang pinto ng bahay nila sa pag-uwi nito.

Noong unang mga araw na naiwan siya, wala siyang pinagkitaang permanente hanggang maisipan niyang magbukas ng maliit na karinderya dahil dati na rin naman silang pumasok na mag-asawa sa ganitong negosyo. Sa awa ng Diyos ay tinangkilik ang mga niluluto ni Emma na ang puwesto ay nasa bakuran lang bahay nila.

Malaki ang kailangang kitain ni Emma upang matustusan ang pag-aaral ng anak, pati na ang ibang gastusin sa bahay. Subalit sa kabila nito, ay nagawa pa rin niyang kumalinga ng isang batang babaeng hirap paaralin ng mga magulang. Tumutulong ito sa kanya at tinutulungan din niya sa pag-aaral. Anak din ang turing niya dito. Pinapasa-Diyos niya ang lahat, yan ang sabi niya sa akin nang minsang mag-usap kami habang namumungay pa ang mga mata sa antok. Gumigising siya, kasama ang kapatid na si Baby, bandang alas-tres ng madaling araw upang simulan ang pagluluto dahil alas-sais pa lamang ay dagsa na ang mamimili.

Ni minsan ay hindi ko nakitang nakasimangot ang may lipstick na mga labi ni Emma…palagi siyang nakangiti sa pagharap sa ibang tao. Ang umaapaw na kasiyahan sa puso ay ipinamamahagi niya tuwing may kausap siyang may problema. Ang palagi niyang payo na ginawa na rin niya sa akin ay, huwag pansinin ang problema, dahil magkakaroon din daw ito ng lunas pagdating ng panahon. Subalit hindi ito nangangahulugang magpapabaya na ang isang taong may problema.

Bukod sa kanyang karinderya, abala din si Emma sa mga gawain bilang opisyal ng religious group na Holy Face of Jesus, at bilang Presidente ng sangay sa Barangay Real Dos ng St. Martin de Porres Pastoral Council. Ang mga regular na gawain ng Holy Face ay ang pagdasal ng nobena at rosary, at sa mga pinaglalamayang namayapa.

Ang pinaka-utang na loob ko kay Emma pati sa kanyang kapatid na si Baby ay ang pagsita nila sa akin tuwing ako ay nawawala sa porma, o yung hindi ko alam ay nagtataas na pala ako ng boses kapag naiinis o nagagalit. Ayaw siguro nila akong mamatay agad dahil sa high blood pressure, kaya nahalata kong iniiwasan nila kung minsan na makibahagi ng mga kuwentong alam nilang ikatataas ng presyon ko. Ang nabanggit ay isa sa mga bagay na gusto ng mga kaibigan ni Emma sa kanya…may taos-pusong pagmamalasakit sa mga kaibigan, sa halip na siya ang pagmalasakitan o kaawaan na ayaw niyang mangyari. Buo ang kanyang loob na isa sa mga katangian ng mga taga-Maragondon isang makasaysayang bayan ng Cavite.

Who is Ninoy Aquino?…some revealing notes about the guy who gave Marcos a headache

Who is Ninoy Aquino?

…some revealing notes about the guy

who gave Marcos a headache

Apolinario Villalobos

For political observers, Benigno Simeon Aquino, Jr. was the impediment that stood in the way of Ferdinand Marcos in the latter’s quest for ultimate power which he eventually got, when he declared Martial Law. When it was declared in September 21, 1972, a Thursday, Aquino was the first “casualty”, with no other than Col. Romeo Gatan, a personal friend from way back when the latter was the head of the Constabulary in Tarlac, serving the warrant of arrest.  Senator Aquino was then, attending a meeting on tariff concerns at Room 1701 of Manila Hilton. The arrest was so timed minutes after the “ambush” of Juan Ponce Enrile, one of the planners of Martial Law which was translated into Presidential Decree 1081. Later, it was revealed that the ambush was “staged” to finally give Marcos the green light to declare Martial Law.

As a flashback, Ninoy Aquino was among the “escorts” of Imelda Romualdez who was three years older than him, when she came to Manila from Tacloban. During the time, Imelda was employed by the P.E. Domingo Music Store along Escolta, singing and playing for potential customers. Later, she was employed by the Central Bank as a clerk. Aquino would fetch her from the music store for strolls in Luneta, or to enjoy the sunset from Manila Bay promenade while sharing sandwiches. In time, however, their intimacy stopped, as according to stories, Aquino said that Imelda was too tall for him. In 1954, Ninoy married Corazon Cojuangco.

Born on November 27, 1932, Ninoy Aquino had no outstanding scholastic accomplishment. He even admitted that during his college days, he would skip classes to participate in political campaigns and worked as a copywriter at the Manila Times. At the outbreak of the Korean War, he volunteered for a field assignment in that country – at the age of eighteen. As a young correspondent, he became close to Marguerite Higgins, a popular journalist of the New York Herald Tribune, and who was known for her anti-Communist views. He earned such special friendship with Higgins when he volunteered to drive for her at times.

Aquino was a typical intrepid and adventurous journalist who took every opportunity that came his way. He was able to interview Chiang Kai-shek who told him that, “the internal problems of Asia can never be solved until the root causes – the Kremlin and Peiping are crushed” (today, becoming true). He covered nationalistic uprisings in Europe that were crushed by prevailing powers. He was also in Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. Out of his observations from these travels, he expressed that:

To the Asian, the western argument that “if communism wins, Asians stand to lose their

Liberties”, is meaningless. To the Asian now jailed by the French in the numerous prisons of Vietnam for being “too nationalistic”, civil liberties have no meaning. To the Asian jailed on St. John’s Island in Singapore, for possessing intelligence and nationalistic spirit above the average, civil liberties are likewise meaningless. The Filipino is aware of and has enjoyed America’s benevolence; but to the rest of Asia, the American looks like the Frenchman, the Britisher and the Dutchman. To Asians, these people are the symbols of oppressions. And, many Asians would prefer Communism to western oppression.

Aquino had fervent personal quests driven perhaps by the political blood that flowed through his veins. His grandfather had been a general during the revolution against the Spanish colonists and later, against the Americans. His father served as a senator, speaker of the Assembly and a cabinet Minister. On the other hand, Ninoy who was dubbed “perpetual talking machine”, was elected Mayor at the age of twenty-two, the youngest ever. He also became the youngest vice-governor in 1957, and later, youngest governor at the age of twenty-eight. At the age of thirty-two, he became the youngest senator of the Philippines.

The greyish side of Ninoy’s life casts a gloomy shadow over the story on the “Taruc surrender”. He was an adviser of President Ramon Magsaysay, then, and as such he was involved in the preparation of “position papers”. According to Aquino’s version of the “Taruc surrender” story, he sought the approval of Magsaysay to meet with the Huk Supremo, which he successfully did after trekking over mountain trails and through dense forests. Months later, Taruc surrendered.

Unfortunately, Taruc himself, revealed the true story behind his surrender which was caused by fear for his life inside the Communist party due to internal squabble for leadership. This has been corroborated by Ed Lansdale of CIA, who said that the surrender of Taruc was already settled, but when Aquino learned about it, he “rushed into the hills to grab some glory”. Most importantly, Lansdale also insisted that contrary to what Aquino claimed and boasted, he never worked with the CIA.

The CIA story that floated around the life of Aquino came about when in 1954, he was sent to the United States by Magsaysay to observe “training methods in American spy schools”. Although denying that he had a “contract” with the CIA, Aquino was steadfast in his claim of “working” with its people, which the agency vehemently denied, especially, its Manila officials. Aquino, however, voluntarily provided the agency with information, as claimed by the officials. There was also a story on his working with the CIA to overthrow President Sukarno, which was also denied by Joseph Smith, who at the time was the CIA official in Indonesia.

When Marcos tried a tough stance in taking back Sabah from Malaysia, Aquino exposed the plan, part of which was the secret training of “commandos” in Corregidor, but who were not told about their secret mission. Expectedly, when the issue exploded, there was a furor that led to the so-called “Jabidah massacre”.

A story also came out about the “other” plan of Aquino to come home from exile in the US, via Malaysia with the help of Iqbal, moving spirit behind the Bangsamoro autonomy. Unfortunately, this did not materialize, because Ninoy flew straight to Manila where he met the fatal end of his political career – on the tarmac of the Manila International Airport 1, now named after him, to honor his “martyrdom”. Because of that story, observers on the issue of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), now, Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BL-BAR), are one in saying that Pnoy has a reason for insisting the passing of the Law before he comes down in 2016.

Both Ferdinand Marcos and Ninoy Aquino had many things in common: both were charismatic, gifted orators, dashing and popular, and great “prevaricators” as put in by observers, especially, the Americans who knew them well.