Volunteerism is in the Heart of my Neighbors, Angie and Hector Garcia

Volunteerism is in the Heart of my Neighbors,

Angie and Hector Garcia

By Apolinario Villalobos


Just like the rest of the pioneers in our subdivision, the couple, Angie and Hector Garcia went through the expected hardship of living in an unfamiliar new-found home, which in our case is Cavite, used to be known for notoriety – unsafe as many alleged. Add to that the difficulty of commuting to Manila because the only way was via the Aguinaldo highway that passes through buzzling public market of Zapote. The Coastal Road during the time was not yet even in the drawing board of the Department of Public Highways. That was during the early part of the 80’s.


A “short cut” to our subdivision from the Aguinaldo highway is traversed by a creek, deep and wide enough to be classified as a river. Several bamboo poles that were laid across the creek served as the early bridge, that was later “upgraded” to a safer one made of two electric poles floored with planks. During the early years the creek did not overflow, however, the constant reclamation of both banks constricted the flow of water that resulted to flash floods which did not spare our subdivision. These instances brought out the innate character of our neighbors that hinged on volunteerism.


As the home of Angie and Hector Garcia is situated right at the western entrance of the subdivision where the creek is situated, the homeowners’ association’s heavy duty rope was used to be left in their custody. They would bring it out when flood occurred so that those who would like to take the risk of crossing the bridge would have something to hold on to as they gingered their way through waist-deep flood. A heavy rain for three to four hours would put every homeowner on the alert as the heavy downpour usually triggered a flood. Angie and Hector would miss precious sleeping hours as they waited for the right moment to bring out the long heavy rope, one end of which would be tied to the post of the bridge while the other end would be entwined around the iron grill of their fence or gate. If the flood occurred at night till dawn, we would wake up in the morning with the rope already in place to serve as our “life line” to the other side of the overflowing creek.


The couple also took pains in cleaning the vacant area behind the subdivision’s Multi-purpose Hall and planted it to medicinal plants and mango tree which also provided shade. Vegetables were planted, too, aside from medicinal herbs for everybody’s taking in time of their need. The early morning as the sun rises would also see them sweeping the street in front of their house.


The leadership qualities of the couple, made their neighbors trust them. Hector had a stint as the president of the Homeowners’ Association, while Angie kept in her custody whatever meager earnings of the association from renting out the Multi-purpose Hall and monthly dues, aside from the collected Mass offerings, until clear-cut procedures were finally established during which she turned over the responsibility to the Homeowners’ Association’s Treasurer.


Angie is a cancer survivor having had a mastectomy, but despite her situation, she patiently endured the rigorous travel to Naujan, Mindoro with Hector to regularly check their “farm” which they planted to fruit-bearing trees. When I asked them one time why they take pains in maintaining such far-off farm instead of purchasing another either in Silang or Alfonso, both in Cavite, they confided that they have already “fallen in love” with their investment. Their love for the farm truly shows in their robust physique despite their age of sixtyish. I just imagine that perhaps, if they stop commuting to and from Naujan, Mindoro, weed their farm, and take care of the growing saplings,  their health would deteriorate as usually happens to people who cannot stand being idle.


The couple has three daughters, all successful in their chosen fields of endeavor. And, one of them is serving the Homeowners’ Association as Treasurer.


A Dinner of Sitao and Shrimp TEMPURA


The shrimp was fresh; they were transparent and plump, the heads firmly attached to the rest of the body. Time for a catch-of-the-day dinner, I decided.  Bought about two dozen pieces and a bunch of sitao, Asian long beans which Mark loves.

I prepared the shrimp tempura style, and he sautéed the sitao with garlic. Two glasses of white wine, and we were set.

What is tempura? Sounds like a Japanese word, right? It calls to mind terms like sakura, meaning “cherry blossom,” or the greeting konbanwa, meaning “good evening.”

Tempura is a method of cooking by which fish and vegetables are dipped into a batter and fried quickly in plenty of hot oil. Some sources say that Portuguese missionaries brought tempura to Japan in the 16th century. I say maybe not; people can independently develop methods of cooking; and frying batter-dipped fish or veggies isn’t…

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SITAW (Sitao) Everyday


I used to say I could live off sitaw everyday; it’s my favorite vegetable. Plus, I know MANY ways of preparing it: boiled, stir-fried with garlic,  blanched and slathered with oyster sauce, batter-fried, adobado, and included in dishes like sinigang, kare-kare, bulanglang.

Sitaw is known in many markets as yard-long beans.  Its scientific name, vigna unguiculata, subspecies sesquipedalis, means something else. Let’s break down that last Latin word: pedalis means “foot;” sesqui means “six.”

What it’s saying is that the yard-long bean is a foot and six inches long — 18 inches, give or take.  Certainly not a yard long!

 photo GardenPictures295.jpghttp://s114.photobucket.com/user/zeedman/media/GardenPictures295.jpg.html

The more appropriate monikers would be Chinese long beans, Asian beans, long podded cowpea and — here’s another name that seems inappropriate — asparagus bean. The plant that bears the sitaw is nowhere fern-like, as the asparagus is. Therefore, I have to dig further as to how that last name…

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11 Ways to Experience Bantayan to the Fullest

The Wanderlust Keeper

11 Ways to Experience Bantayan to the Fullest


          I am not a well- founded writer, I am not even good in translating my thoughts into words and to express myself correctly for I don’t have a rich vocabulary to aptly describe the ideas in my mind. Neither do I have profound ideas, great insight and creative concepts; but one thing is truly accurate, I love blogging.

          I am so fond of blogging that I just realized I have been sharing my perceptions by way of brief entries for almost a year and a quarter. This favorite pastime of mine has inspired me to live by the name of “The Wanderlust Keeper”. I have the desire to go places and experience the thrills along the way, learn something new and expand the keepings of my wanders.

          I love to visit other places but…

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Bakit Hindi Pwedeng Paghiwalayin ang Ispiritwal at Materyal na mga Bagay sa Tao

Bakt Hindi Pwedeng Paghiwalayin

Ang Ispiritwal at Materyal na mga Bagay sa Tao

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Kaipokrituhang sabihin na dapat paghiwalayin ang mga bagay na ispiritwal at materyal sa buhay ng tao. Ang dalawa ay mga bahagi ng tao. Sa isang banda, maaari lamang mangyari ito – ang paghiwalay ng ispiritu ng tao sa kanyang katawan kung siya ay patay na. Ang tinutumbok ko rito ay mahirap ipaunawa sa isang tao ang mga salita ng Diyos kung siya ay gutom. Ang taong kung ilang araw nang gutom ay kadalasang nawawala sa sarili o di kaya ay hinihimatay dahil sa kahinaan ng katawan, kaya paano niyang mapapakinggan ang mga salita ng Diyos? Paanong mapapalakad ang isang tao patungo sa simbahan o religious rally kung nanghihina ang kanyang mga tuhod dahil sa gutom at upang matiis ay namimilipit na lang sa isang tabi? Common sense lang…dapat busugin muna ang katawan ng tao bago siya magkaroon ng hinahon nang sa ganoon ay pwede na siyang makinig ng mga salita ng Diyos dahil hindi na maingay ang kanyang bituka!


Ang hihilig magsabi ng mga pastor o pari o kung sino mang hangal na “okey lang basta busog ang ispiritu ng tao ng mga salita ng Diyos kahit gutom ang katawan”. Sila kaya ang gutumin ng ilang araw? Masasabi pa kaya nila ang mga kahangalang linya na nabanggit?…o di kaya ay makakaya pa kaya nilang magbukas ng bibliya dahil nagkakanda-duling na sila sa gutom?


Hindi dapat ipangalandakan ng mga “spokespersons” ng mga simbahang Kristiyano ang ginawa ni Hesus na pag-aayuno ng 40 na araw sa disyerto. Sabihin mang totoo ito, dapat hindi i-encourage ng simbahan ang pag-aayuno nang ganoon na lang. Dapat ay may kasamang pasubali na ang gagawa nito ay mag-ingat o magpakunsulta muna sa doktor.


Ang pinagpipilitan ko dito ay: dapat hindi gutom ang katawan ng tao kung siya ay makikinig sa salita ng Diyos. Dagdag pa rito, dapat makialam ang mga simbahan sa mga isyu na magiging dahilan ng pagkagutom ng mga tao, tulad ng kapabayaan ng DSW na mas gusto pang mabulok ang mga inabuloy na pagkain para sa mga sinalanta ng kalamidad, kesa ipamahagi agad. Dapat din silang makialam sa pamamagitan ng pagpuna sa mga kurakot sa pamahalaan. Hindi sila dapat dumistansiya sa mga problema ng mga kasapi nila pagdating sa kahit isyu man lang ng pagkain. Kapag patuloy silang hindi makikialam ay para na rin silang buwitre na nakatanghod sa isang tao habang ito ay unti-unting namamatay dahil sa gutom!


Kung sasabihin ng mga pilosopo na bawal makialam ang mga simbahan sa mga bagay na nabanggit dahil ito ang nakasaad sa Saligang Batas….aba, eh di dapat ay wala na ring eleksiyon dahil ang pagboto sa mga kandidato ay isang paraan ng pakikialam ng mga simbahan sa pulitika sa  pamamagitan ng mga kasapi nila!


Dahil lahat ng mga kasapi at opisyal ng lahat ng simbahan maliban na lang sa mga sektang hindi naniniwala sa eleksiyon, ang nagluklok sa mga opisyal sa pamahalaan, may karapatan silang magreklamo kung ang mga ito ay nagkamali, lalo pa at naging korap. Ang ibang sekta ay may mga programa sa radio at TV. Bakit hindi gamitin ang mga ito sa pagpuna sa mga korap na mga opisyal upang sila ay “masindak”, sa halip na puro na lang mga linya sa bibliya ang inuulit ng kung ilang libong beses ng mga nagsasalita na may kasama pang sigaw at kumpas, at paninira ng ibang sekta?


Ang payak kong interpretasyon sa nakasaad sa Saligang Batas na bawal ay ang pagtakbo ng mga opisyal ng simbahan para sa anumang puwesto sa gobyerno. Dapat unawaing may obligasyon ang mga opisyal ng mga simbahan na tumulong sa mga tao upang sila ay iligtas mula sa anumang kapahamakan habang sila ay nabubuhay sa ibabaw ng mundo….hindi lang mula sa hatak ng demonyo!