Ang Pasko at Bagong Taon

ANG PASKO AT BAGONG TAON

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Paulit-ulit…paulit-ulit, tuwing sasapit ang pasko at bagong taon ang pagsabi na, “tayo ay magmahalan, magbigayan, magpatawaran, at tumulong sa kapwa”. Ni wala man lang masambit na “alang-alang kay Hesus dahil birthday niya”. Para sa KARAMIHAN, ang lahat na dapat gawin ay dahil sa nakasanayan nang bahagi ng espiritwal na kultura. Ganyan din ang nangyayari pagsapit ng bagong taon na hinihintay pa para gawin ang  pagbabago. At, ang nakakalungkot, para sa KARAMIHAN, ang pasko ay kasingkahulugan ng bonus, regalo, pagkain, caroling, party, bagong damit, bagong laruan, atbp. Marami ang dumadalo sa Misa de Gallo na animo ay nagpa-fashion show…nagpapakita ng legs at cleavage.

 

Sa Pilipinas kung saan ay may pinakamahabang pasko dahil nagsisimula  na Setyembre pa lang, ang gawi ng mga taong masama ay ganoon pa rin. Ang mga kurakot sa gobyerno ay kurakot pa rin. Ang mga adik at pusher ay ganoon pa rin. Ang mga mandurukot at akyat-bahay ay nagnanakaw pa rin. Ang napapansin lang ay ang pagsigla ng mga negosyo ng mga kalakal lalo na ng mararangyang pagkain at laruan para sa mga bata. Ang mga may pambayad sa kuryente ay halos maglagablab ang bahay dahil sa dami ng Christmas lights.

 

At, nagkakaroon pa ng countdown, pati Misa de Gallo hanggang sa pagsapit ng pasko. Pero habang nagka-countdown, ang KARAMIHAN naman ay tuloy pa rin ang paggawa ng hindi maganda at hihintayin na lang daw nila ang katapusan ng Disyembre para maisama sa listahan ng New Year’s Resolution ang dapat baguhin. Ang nakalista naman, kalimitan ay nasusunod hanggang ikatlo o ikaapat na buwan lamang ng sumunod  na taon.  Ang masaklap, ILAN sa mga kabataan ay ginagamit na dahilan ang Misa de Gallo upang magkita silang magbabarkada at makapagdi-display ng bagong damit, sapatos, at iba pa. Nag-iingay sila sa pamamagitan ng malakas na halakhakan upang makakuha ng atension sa halip na pumasok sa simbahan.

 

Pagkalipas ng bagong taon, hindi nasunod ang pagdidiyeta…masarap kasi ang adobo, menudo, atbp. Hindi nasunod ang pagtitipid…sayang kasi kung hindi bilhin ang na-sale na handbag, damit, ang promo na tiket para sa Boracay o Hongkong. Hindi nasunod ang pagtigil sa pag-inom ng alak….nakakahiya kasi sa mga barkada kung hindi pagbigyan. Hindi nasunod ang pagtigil sa paghitit ng sigarilyo….nakakapanginig kasi at nakakalagnat kapag walang matikmang usok sa maghapon. Hindi hiniwalayan ang kabit dahil kawawa ang dalawang anak at mas masarap kasi ang luto ng kaysa tunay na asawa. Tuloy pa rin ang pangungurakot dahil ang iba ay hindi rin tumigil. At, napakarami pang ibang “nabali” na pangako!

 

Kung maging bahagi lang sana ng ating pagkatao ang paggawa ng kabutihan sa kapwa, hindi na kailangang maghintay pa ng pasko at bagong taon para gawin ito. Magiging “routine” na lang sa isang tao ang paggawa ng kabutihan kung mula sa paggising niya sa umaga hanggang sa nakatulog siya sa gabi ay walang bahid ng kasamaan ang kanyang mga sasabihin at ikikilos. Kung walang perang pantulong sa iba, halimbawa, huwag na lang mang- alipusta o magyabang, o di kaya manglamang ng kapwa. Huwag ding maging ganid o kamkam upang walang maapi at maghirap dahil sa epekto ng ginawa.

Ang mga binabalak na gawin tuwing pasko at bagong taon ay pwedeng gawin araw-araw. Ang regalong ibibigay, halimbawa, ay hindi kailangang materyal na bagay.  Ang pagpapakita ng pagmamahal sa kapwa ay walang katumbas na anumang salapi at hindi na kailangang bilhin pa…maging totoo lang sa pagmahal ay okey na. At ang pinakamahalaga, kung araw-araw ay maganda naman ang ginagawa, ibig sabihin ay wala nang dapat baguhin pagdating ng bagong taon….hindi na kailangan pang ipunin ang mga masamang ginawa sa loob ng isang taon upang ilista sa New Year’s Resolution na dapat baguhin KUNO dahil pakitang tao lang pala! Pero dapat isipin na hindi tayo ligtas sa pagmamasid ng ISANG PINAKA-MAKAPANGYARIHAN SA LAHAT na tinatawag sa iba’t ibang pangalan!

Mga Tanong tungkol sa mga Pangyayari sa Buhay ng Tao at Droga

MGA TANONG TUNGKOL SA MGA PANGYAYARI

SA BUHAY NG TAO AT DROGA

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

  • Kung mangati ang balat natin, hindi ba kinakamot ang bahaging nangangati, dahil ito ang unang nararamdaman bago tayo pumunta sa derma doctor upang magpasuri?

 

  • Kung nagkaroon tayo ng sugat na maliit, hindi ba tinatapalan ng “band aid” o pinapatakan ng gamot upang maampat muna ang pagdugo, at saka magpa-ineksiyon kung kailangan?

 

  • Kung sumakit ang gilagid dahil sa ngiping may butas, hindi ba umiinom muna ng pain killer upang mawala ang pamamaga ng gilagid at pananakit bago tayo pumunta sa dentista para ipabunot ang sirang ngipin?

 

  • Kung nagagalit ang mga magulang sa maliliit pang mga anak na ayaw pasaway, hindi ba pinapalo muna sila bago pinapaliwanagan ng dahilan?

 

  • Hindi ba kung may sunog, pinapatay muna ang apoy na tumutupok sa bahay, bago iniimbistigahan ang dahilan ng sunog?

 

  • HINDI BA ANG DROGANG NAKASIRA SA BUHAY NG MGA KABATAAN AY DIREKTANG GALING SA MGA DRUG PUSHER?…NA IBIG SABIHIN, ANG MGA DRUG PUSHER ANG MGA DIREKTANG SUMISIRA NG LIPUNAN?

 

KUNG ANG SAGOT AY OO, BAKIT MARAMI ANG NAGAGALIT KUNG MAY MGA DRUG PUSHER NA NAPAPATAY, GANOONG SILA ANG DIREKTANG DAHILAN KUNG BAKIT KUMALAT ANG DROGA? BAKIT HINDI SILA “KAMUTIN” UPANG MATANGGAL AGAD ANG “PANGANGATING” DULOT NILA SA LIPUNAN, NA TALAGA NAMANG SUSUNDAN NG TULUYANG “PAGGAMOT SA SAKIT SA PAMAMAGITAN NG PAGLIPOL NG MGA SUPPLIER AT DRUG LORDS?”

 

KILALA ANG MGA DRUG PUSHER NA DIREKTANG DAHILAN NG PAGKASIRA NG MGA KOMUNIDAD, BAKIT SILA HAHAYAANG PAKALAT-KALAT LANG NA PARA PANG NAGYAYABANG?

 

MAY MGA DRUG PUSHER NA HINDI NAMAN ADDICT AT TALAGANG PERA LANG ANG HABOL AT ALAM NILANG MASAMA ANG KANILANG GINAGAWA NA MAY KARAMPATANG PARUSA KUNG SILA AY MAHUHULI. YAN AY DAHIL MAY TALINO SILA AT HINDI NAMAN MGA BALIW NA WALANG KATINUAN ANG PAG-IISIP. DAHIL ALAM NG MGA SALOT NA ITO NG LIPUNAN ANG KANILANG GINAGAWA, BAKIT SILA KAAAWAAN? BAKIT HINDI IBIGAY ANG AWA SA KANILANG MGA BIKTIMA?

 

Ang ISANG drug pusher ay NAKAKAPAMINSALA NG DAAN-DAANG KABATAANG ESTUDYANTE MAN O HINDI, AT DAAN-DAAN DING PAMILYA. Kung ikumpara ang mga numero, alin ang mas malaki? At dahil hindi lang isa ang drug pusher sa buong bansa, hindi ba nakakabahala ang milyon-milyong buhay na sinisira nila?

 

 

Sincere Friendship

SINCERE FRIENDSHIP

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The best way to realize or put into practice our purpose in life is by befriending the needy…reaching out to them. The needy do not need millions or thousands or hundreds of pesos. All they need are handfuls of rice, few pieces of coins, old but still wearable clothes, slippers, and so many other things that most of us just throw away or leave to rot in the backyard or stockroom.

 

But many people WOULD RATHER befriend affluent or influential people who are friends of their friends, friends of these friends, still friends of these friends, and so on. They exert all efforts to find connections that they can use to realize their selfish motive of riding on the fame or worse, benefit from the financial affluence of other people. Sometimes this happens during the christening of children. Some parents endeavor to include influential people in the long list of godparents, for obvious reasons already mentioned, other than what is expected of them as “second parents” of the godchildren. Along this line, some couples, also, ask friends who know mayors or barangay chairmen or other local officials to stand as sponsors during their wedding, for the same aforementioned reason. In other words, many would like to befriend people for selfish motives, most especially, for prestige and financial security.

 

In this regard, even the mass weddings sponsored by mayors, and which are viewed by many as done with sincerity, are in fact used as a political tool. For delicadeza’s sake, the mayor could have just spent for the snacks and pay the honorarium of the conducting priest or pastor or minister, AND ASSIGN ANY OF HIS NON-POLITICAL STAFF TO STAND AS SPONSOR, PERHAPS, THE REGISTER OF DEEDS, CHIEF OF THE REVENUE OFFICE, ETC. What happens is that, when election time comes, these “inaanak” become the campaigners for their “ninong mayor”…a puking reality! Truth is, there is not even a slight trace of sincere friendship out of the said “connection”, as several days after the ceremony, the “ninong mayor” may not even remember the names of those for whom he stood as “ninong”. This is about “mass wedding”, not the wedding of people who are personal acquaintances of the mayor. This happens most often in slum areas and barangays or remote villages and towns. So, there’s your “friendly” mayor just because he is sponsoring “mass wedding” using people’s money!

 

Prestige and security in life can be possibly achieved even without employing make-believe friendship with prominent personalities. True friendship with a REAL PURPOSE should be initiated by a person with utmost sincerity without any taint of selfishness. On the other hand, those who belong to the lower stratum of society should never dream of gaining the friendship of people who belong to the upper, and whom they do not know personally. One should endeavor to earn recognition instead of gaining it through connections. To call people who do not know you personally as “friends” is embarrassing enough. In plain language it is “name dropping”. It should also be noted that friendship is supposed to be a “two-way” relationship…with sincerity from both sides.

 

 

The San Pedro Calungsod Parish Church of Tacurong City

The San Pedro Calungsod Parish Church of Tacurong City

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

My curiosity about the new San Pedro Calungsod parish was triggered by the information about it from Bogz Jamorabon last year. Then I came across the photo-posts of Ruoma “Amor” Maluyo Taganas in his facebook. The photos from exactly a year ago, as it was taken during December, too, showed kids waking up and preparing for the Misa de Gallo and their unguarded moments while resting and taking catnaps. For me, their recorded unguarded moments were manifestations of heartfelt sacrifice. They are the members of the Knights of the Altar of San Pedro Calungsod Parish.

 

To date, the San Pedro Calungsod parish church is yet, a structure of massive and imposing concrete circular wall within which is the worship area with an altar, several chairs and benches, and covered with rubberized tarpaulin. Though frugally initiated, the effort to put up the foundation can be considered monumental, as the parish has just been established only in October 23, 2014 to serve the faithful who live far from the city, and in barangays such as Montilla, Lachica, the Upper and Lower Katungal, Baras, New Passi, and New Isabela. The parish is politically within the jurisdiction of Barangay New Isabela.

 

Admirably, the church leader, Amor lives “on the other side” of the city, San Emmanuel which is part of the parish of Our Lady of the Holy Candle, and far from the San Pedro Calungsod. I learned that he patiently motors his way to the parish from his home using a “single” motorcycle. Sometimes, we cannot really tell when the call of devotion would come as it did to Amor and to answer such call, he might be scrimping on some personal needs to save for the fuel of his motorcycle.

 

The land on which the church stands has been donated by the Notre Dame Educational Association Foundation-Tacurong. The area covered by the parish is partly agricultural, being filled with pockets of African palm, corn, rice, plots of vegetables, as well as, residential, shown by newly-developed subdivisions sliced from lands that saw good old days as rice and corn fields. Not far from it is Tacurong’s famous wildlife sanctuary for migratory birds, the Baras Bird Sanctuary operated by Rey Malana with the financial assistance of the city government. A little farther still, is another tourist landmark of the city, the Vicenteaux International Resort in New Passi, operated by Roger Bernardo, a self-made barrio guy who, through dint of hard work and frugality was able to etch his name in the city’s political landmark and contributed a lot to its economic development.

 

The parish provides a “short cut” passage to Banga and Surallah, towns of South Cotabato. Surallah is the gateway to T’boli, a tribal community which is among the country’s touristic come-ons for culture enthusiasts. Providing the natural western boundary with Isulan, site of the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Capitol, is the Kapingkong River which many locals prefer to call Katungal River. It connects with the Rio Grande de Cotabato and used to teem with crocodiles, but today, only their cousins, the “bayawak” can be found along the banks dense with tall tropical grass and occasional trees. But they may not last for long because they are being hunted for food.

 

When I visited the parish church with only Amor aware of my arrival, I found volunteers decorating the Mass area for the Misa de Gallo with the bemoustached Fr. Diosdado A. Esguerra, DCC, himself, who was simply clad in t-shirt, denims and slippers. He was a picture of humility and whose fatherly affection to his volunteers was obvious. He melded with them well, as I even thought that he was not the parish priest, had not Amor told me. On the other hand, Amor exudes similar humility duplicated by his prudence, as he does not talk if not spoken to.

 

The parish is aptly named after the young Filipino saint, San Pedro Calungsod who only had a palm leaf with him to symbolize the coming of the Christian Faith to a Pacific island that he and other Catholic missionaries visited. The faithful of the new parish on the other hand, are one in singing the “Hallelujah” for the realization of their dream…to have a church not far from their home.

 

I am calling on balikbayan Tacurongnongs to include in their itinerary a visit to the San Pedro Calungsod Church, if they plan to visit T’boli, birdwatch at the Baras Bird Sanctuary and later proceed to the Vicenteaux International Resort in New Passi for a refreshing dip in the pools of spring water. A visit would give them an idea on what to sincerely offer to San Pedro Calungsod. The church is on the left side, after the traditionally called “Crossing Rajah Muda”, if one takes the “short cut” to Banga and Surallah.