Angels are Just Around

ANGELS ARE JUST AROUND

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

 

Yes, angels are just around. I have encountered many of them who in their subtle way extend a hand to others, or to put it simply, unselfishly share the blessings they earned the fair way. While some do not hesitate to share with others what they also need to survive to the point of sacrifice or deprivation, others share their excess but still given with sincerity.

 

The latest angel I encountered surprised me with an amount that she easily pulled out of her purse when we met. She had been reading my blogs about children who do errands to earn, the latest of whom were “Pango” and “Macmac”. The money she handed to me was for them and the rest of children whom I have been regularly visiting.

 

She vehemently asked me not to write about what she did but I insisted that what I would be sharing with viewers is her “good act”, with a firm promise that her name will not be mentioned, though I added that I would refer to her as “Ms. Di”. I explained that she and the late British princess Princess Diana had a profound similarity in character. Just like Princess Di, the angel I just met also has a strong character, an almost flawless face that stands out in a crowd. Like Princess Di, she also has a penetrating and soulful stare.

 

My new angel, as found out, also has scholars, for whom she found part-time jobs. She told me that she has done her best in helping her siblings and that, it is now time for her to focus on the plight of others who are deserving of her help for as long she can afford it. Aside from the working students, she has also been helping unfortunate families. Not only is her heart full of soft spots for others, but she also speaks with softness that can put even a stranger at ease to which I can attest. Before we parted ways, all she asked me are prayers to keep her going…

 

From what “Ms. Di” gave, both Macmac and Pango got 2 new sets of school uniform, several pairs of underwear, and a folding umbrella each. As both are also saving money in their “piggy bank”, they also were given a little cash. The rest of the money was spent for the purchase of folding umbrellas to be given to other kids due to the onset of the rainy season.

 

A Filipina in America also sent two boxes of children’s wear, food items, shoes, medicines, several new clinical instruments, and 6 New American Standard (NAS) Bible.  The medicines, food supplements and clinical instruments are for a patient. The boxes arrived several weeks after “Perla” sent several boxes, too, which contained reading materials, food items and clothes. A Filipina in London and another in Canada sent money for the boat fare of a family back to their province in Cagayan de Oro when their shack got demolished, with the excess amount to be used as a seed money for their business so that they would never think of going back to Manila. Many others are extending help and though I cannot mention them here, in the future, definitely I will, as an update on my RAS (random acts of sharing).

 

I do not encourage the giving of donations by my viewers. Those who have been sending help are old-time friends who I trust and who trust me. I am sharing this information so that others will know what we are doing for which I ask for their prayers….

Living in the Midst of Various Faiths and Ethics

LIVING IN THE MIDST OF VARIOUS FAITHS AND ETHICS

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Personally, I believe that there can be harmony in diversity for as long as the relationship is founded on tolerance, understanding and compassion. One manifestation of this harmony is the celebration of Christmas even by non-Christians, and I have observed this in the Islamic Center in Quiapo (Manila) where many Muslim homes display Christmas tree during December. When I was in high school, many non-Christians students were proudly sporting the school uniform of our parochial Catholic school.

 

Tolerance begets respect and understanding. Such attitude is devoid of selfishness and egoism. A feeling of superiority is also not harbored in the heart. With tolerance, members of the community do not pay attention to which church their neighbors go on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Respect, though, should be shown to the utmost, especially, on the aspect of diet, so that in a culturally and religiously diversified community, restaurant owners take the pain of gluing on conspicuous space of the wall a notice about their food being “halal”.

 

A former classmate based in our province intoned during our cellphone conversation about his having a “personal God” which he claims does not drive him away from the faith of his birth. It is just that, by maintaining this kind of belief, he can be more tolerant about others’ faith. It is like saying, “leave me alone with my God and I will leave you with yours”. According to him, what spoils religions and sects is their being “institutionalized” which makes each of them competitive, as they vie for expanded membership. Along that line, it cannot be avoided that religions and sects would be compared with each other, so that prospective members can “choose” which is “better” or “best”…..and that is when trouble develops. An unsolicited advice is for these groups not to be too loud about their faith and just show their best “angle” by being tolerant and being nice to others.

 

On the other hand, if the government is not too conscious of the issue on separation between the State and the Church, somehow, there will be harmony. It is true that it is provided in the Law of the Land, the Constitution, but why not give a chance to the “unwritten rules” dictated by the heart and common sense?  For instance, as the various religious communities have more viability as regards morality which goes with spirituality, their strength can prop up the effort of the government in building up the welfare of the Filipino youth.

 

As regards the youth, there are many “homes” administered by the religious groups and most of them are in dire need of financial and material support. Meanwhile, the social workers who work in the government facilities are limited on what they learned from books. If molding of the youth is the issue, there is a need to inject a spiritual element in this effort and the lay social workers cannot do that, but only the religious people. The youth cannot be considered successfully developed if their spiritual foundation which has got to do with morality is weak and crumbling that may eventually result to their becoming disgraceful citizens of the nation.

 

There was a time when the miserable situation of the young detainees in a local government rehabilitation facility was exposed. Such disclosure was underscored by the misuse of budget as it was found out that the detainees were not fed properly. In this regard, lay administrators do not give a damn if they are found to be irresponsible as they have ways to avoid prosecution of the earthly court. On the other hand, the religious people may think twice before misbehaving as part of their guidance is about suffering in hell if they exploit their fellow creatures!

Discipline as Essence of Life

DISCIPLINE AS ESSENCE OF LIFE

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Man can never do away with discipline for as long he lives in this world. Nobody lacks discipline, but just vary in degree accordingly. Those who grew up in strict homes, as expected are more disciplined than those whose parents are lax. The people with whom we are associated with also counts a lot in the development of discipline. An offshoot of discipline is the so-called, “good manners” which goes with the sayings, “tell me who your friends are and I will know what kind of a person you are”, as well as, “your manners indicate the kind of parents you have”.

 

A “happy go lucky guy” does not necessarily mean that he lacks discipline, otherwise, he could have been dead years before his adolescence. Discipline is an important element for one’s survival so that even a pampered guy’s instinct has a bit of it. The big or little bit of discipline determines the lifestyle of people. Those who have no regards for their health, for instance, may suffer from an off-balanced discipline resulting to their lack of control in their diet, as well as, their development of vices. They know that what they are doing is bad, but what can a bit of discipline do to stop them?

 

Success in life depends a lot on discipline. For students with weak discipline, graduation could just be a wish if their life veers away from the right track. Those who fail in their studies have more likely given priority to short-term pleasures that resulted to their long-term regret. Finding a job could also be difficult for those whose discipline in the simple waking up early to be in time for interview, is wanting. Many graduates thought that the name of a high-end university scribbled on top of their diploma is a guarantee for a job. What establishment for instance, would want to hire a guy who has no respect for time, despite his having graduated from a high-end university?

 

Discipline is life…. as it makes us breathe in regular cadence for oxygen to enter our system that makes our heart beat and our brain to function properly. Most importantly, discipline makes us control our life, as well as, make us realize whatever wrong we have done, though how late such realization may have occurred, as we tread the path towards that “light”….

 

Ang Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) at ang Buhay

ANG GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM (GMO)

AT ANG BUHAY

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Malinaw ang sinasabing alamat sa Bibiliya na pinaniniwalaan naman ng marami na kung ilang beses ang pagsubok na ginawa ng Diyos bago tuluyang nakagawa siya ng tao ayon sa mga gusto niyang katangian nito. Sa ganang ito, ang hindi napansin ng mga taong may adbokasiya sa kalikasan ay ang katotohanang noon pa man ay ginagawa na ang mga pagbabago sa mga halaman na ang bunga ay pinapakinabangan ng tao hanggang ngayon. Ang hitsura ng mais noon ay hindi katulad ng mais ngayon dahil noon ito ay may iilang butil lang at maliit pa, samantalang ngayon, ito ay malalaki at puno ng butil. Ang mga kahoy na dating namumunga ng maliliit, mapakla o maasim, ay nagawang ma-modify upang lumaki, maging  mabango at matamis. Ang pakwan noon, bukod sa maliit ay malaki rin ang guwang o espasyo sa gitna at maraming buto, pero ngayon mayroon nang seedless. Ang kamote at patatas noon ay maliit at maraming hibla o fibers, pero ngayon ay malalaki na at halos walang hibla. Etc.

 

Dahil sa mga peste at pagbago ng panahon na hindi na umaayon sa dating cycle nito, maraming pananim ang nasisira at mga hayop na namamatay. Kung hindi man masalanta ng balang (locust), virus, at iba pa, marami rin ang nanguluntoy nang itanim sa nakagawiang panahon pero dahil sa sinasabing hindi inaasahang “climate change”, sa halip na ulan ang dumating ay matinding init ang nagpatigang sa lupa. At, dahil diyan ay nadanasan ang gutom sa lahat ng panig ng mundo.

 

Upang malabanan ang epekto ng “climate change” at upang lalong maging kapaki-pakinabang ang mga punong kahoy at hayop na pinanggagalingan ng pagkain ay gumagawa ng paraan ang mga siyentipiko na nilalabanan naman ng mga maka-kalikasan kuno. Ang sabi nila, baka daw ang mga gagamiting elemento o gamot sa pag-modify ng mga gulay, prutas at hayop ay makakasama sa tao. Ang tinutukoy nila ay ang pagbago kuno ng ugali ng tao dahil sa paghalo sa dugo nito ng mga katangiang galing sa hayop at halaman. At, dahil diyan ay magkakaroon kuno ng ugaling hayop ang tao. Hindi man lang inisip ng mga taong ito na noong unang panahon pa man ay iniinom na ng tao ang gatas ng mga hayop at ang ibang tribu ay umiinom din ng dugo ng alaga nilang hayop upang may panlaban sila sa sakit at maibsan ang gutom at uhaw! Kung sa Pilipinas ang pagkaing “dinuguan” ay galing sa dugo ng kinatay na hayop, sa ibang bansa naman ang pinanghahalo sa lugaw na trigo ay galing sa buhay pang hayop na alaga nila, na pinakakawalan pagkatapos masipsipan ng dugo.

 

Bakit ngayon lang umaalma ang grupong maka-kalikasan kuno? Bakit hindi sila mag-picket sa mga pagawaan ng plastic dahil ang produktong ito ang isa sa mga dahilan ng pinsala sa mundo, lalo’t hindi sila nalulusaw? Sa halip na kung anu-anong kabalbalan ang ginagawa nila, dapat ay isulong na lang nila ang tama at napapanahong pagputol ng kahoy man lang upang hindi agad nakakalbo ang mga kagubatan. Dapat isulong nila ang adbokasiya sa pagtatanim ng kahoy sa mga nakalbong kabundukan. Dapat unawain nila na ang tanging layunin ng mga siyentipiko ay patibayin ang panlaban ng mga halaman at hayop sa mga peste, sobrang init ng panahon at matagal na pagkalublob sa tubig tuwing panahon ng baha…isang layunin para sa kapakanan naman ng sangkatauhan.

 

May nagawa na ba ang grupong ito upang maiwasan ang mga kamatayang sanhi ng gutom ng mga tao na bahagi rin ng kalikasan? Sa kakitiran ng kanilang pag-iisip, akala nila ang kalikasan ay sumasaklaw lang sa gubat, dagat, ilog, kalawakan, kahanginan, kahayupan….nakalimutan nila ang tao na may karapatan ding mabuhay at napakalaking bahagi ng kalikasan.

 

Ang mga pagbabago sa ibabaw ng mundo ay hindi mapipigilan at ang tanging magagawa lamang para sa kapakanan ng pangkalahatang kabutihan ay pagpapalumanay ng epekto ng mga pagbabagong ito sa sangkatauhan at kapaligiran…at higit sa lahat ay dapat bigyan ng bigat ang layunin para sa nakararami, at hindi ang kapakanan ng iilan lang na mga maka-kalikasan kuno!

Hindi Dapat Binabalewala ang mga “Maliliit” na Bagay

Hindi Dapat Binabalewala ang mga “Maliliit” na Bagay

ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Sa panahon ngayon, marami ang nababalewalang mga bagay na akala natin ay katiting lang ang kabuluhan. Marami rin ang nakakalimot tungkol dito pagdating sa kaperahan, ganoong ang piso ay nagsisimula sa isang sentimo. Ang mga sumusunod ay ilan lang sa mga hindi masyadong  nabibigyan ng pansin dahil sa hi-tech na pag-unlad ng mundo…at, ang pagpapaalala ay idinaan ko sa tanong:

 

Paano kaya kung hindi naimbento ang aspile, perdible , sinulid, karayom, zipper, butones, tela…may mga maaayos kayang damit ang tao? Subali’t mapapansin ang walang pakundangang pagtapon ng mga bagay na ito. Idagdag pa diyan ang mga lumang damit na ang mga hindi naido-donate ay basta na lang itinatapon sa basurahan o ginagawang basahan o trapo kahit maayos pa. Sana bago gawing basahan ang pantalon, tanggalin ang zipper nito upang magamit pa, ganoon din ang mga butones sa mga damit upang hindi na bumili kung isa o dalawa lang naman ang kailangan. Sa patahian, ang bayad sa pagpapalit ng zipper ay hindi bababa sa singkuwenta pesos.

 

Paano kaya kung hindi naimbento ang garapon, bote, at iba pang lagayan ng maliliit na bagay, gawa man sila sa plastic, bubog o kristal? Sa halip na ang mga basyo ay pahalagahan at i-recycle, itinatapon na lang sila kaya nakakadagdag sa mga bara ng imburnal at kanal. Pero, kapag nangailangan na ng kahit isang garapon, nagkakatarantahan na sa paghanap.

 

Paano kung hindi naimbento ang besagra, pako, turnilyo…maayos pa rin kaya ang mga bahay sa kasalukuyang panahon? Walang pakundangan din ang pagtapon ng mga itinuturing na sobra o di kaya ay makitaan kahit kaunting kalawang lang, sa halip na ipunin at gamitin uli.  May mga pagkakataong nangangailangan tayo ng kahit isa o dalawang pako lang na pwedeng gamiting sabitan, pero dahil wala naitatabi, kailangang bumilit pa sa hardware.

 

Paano kung hindi naimbento ang tissue paper, toothpaste, sabon? Marami sa mga mayayabag ay walang pakundangan kung gumamit ng tissue paper na dahil hindi nari-recycle ay lalong dapat tipirin. Dapat ding alalahanin na galing sila sa kahoy, kaya kung balahura ang gumagamit, kailangang gumawa ng maraming ganito at dahil diyan ay marami ring kahoy ang puputulin na magiging dahilan naman sa mabilis na pagkakalbo ng mga gubat. Ang iba namang balahura, kahit may natitira pang toothpaste sa tube ay itinatapon na ito. Ang sabon naman, kahit hindi masyadong lusaw ay itinatapon na dahil mahirap daw hawakan kung maliit.

 

Paano kaya kung hindi naimbento ang lapis at papel? Siguro hanggang ngayon ay sa dahon, kahoy, basag na palayok, at kawayan pa sumusulat ang mga tao. Subalit, maraming pasaway na mga batang nag-aaral na kinukunsinti rin ng mga pasaway na mga magulang sa kanilang kabulagsakan sa paggamit ng mga nabanggit na bagay. Ang mga lumang notebook na may natitira pang mga malinis na pahina ay itinatapon na, pati mga lapis na nangangalahati pa lang ang pagkapudpod dahil sa katamarang magtasa. Ang nakakalungkot, para sa mga batang kapos subalit nagpupursigeng mag-aral, ang mga ito ay itinuturing na “kayamanan”. Sa mga liblib na lugar, halos ayaw idiin ng mga mag-aaral ang lapis nila upang hindi mapudpod agad. Ang mga papel naman ay sinisinop upang ang likod na hindi nasulatan ay magamit pa.

 

Ang ginagawa kong pagpapaalala ay maaaaring ituturing ng walang halaga dahil tungkol sila maliit na bagay din. Ang dahilan nila ay….”kung may magagastos naman, bakit kailangan pang magpakahirap sa pagtipid?”.

 

Subali’t ang pinakamalahalagang tanong…hindi ba ang tao ay galing sa dalawang maliliit na “bagay” na pinag-isa ng kalikasan upang magkaroon ng buhay?

Helping the Tagbanuas of Northern Palawan

Color My World (charly's blog)

The Tagbanuas are considered one of the oldest tribes in the Philippines. Mainly found in northern and central Palawan, the dark-skinned Tagbanuas are possible descendants of the Tabon Man, one of the earliest humans recorded in the Philippines.

tag3 The Tagbanuas, an old indigenous tribe in the Philippines, scattered along the areas of central to northern Palawan. (courtesy of thejoysofjourneying.wordpress.com)

The Tagbanuas are a simple, yet fiercely independent lot. They were never conquered by the Spanish, and the establishment of a Leper Colony in Culion during the American regime would only serve to isolate the island’s native inhabitants all the more. It was only after the intense evangelization efforts of foreign missionaries in the early 60s that development would start to set in for the Tagbanuas of Culion.

tag4 Educating the Tagbanuas in far-away Culion. (courtesy of choosephilippines.com)

The leper colony would later be phased out with the onset of advanced treatment methods…

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