Ode to Mother Earth

Ode to Mother Earth

by Apolinario Villalobos


Looking back when time began

God said the words

Giving life to all

That He desired,

The endless expanse of the void

Was filled with motley specks

That moved with harmony –

A prodigious task

Of the Almighty.


A tiny dot in the universe

Mother Earth throbbed with life

As God made her a living sphere

Covered with green and blue

All part of God’s grandiose plan

Done in a few days of divine toil,

Though, He rested finally,

Being satisfied at last

On the seventh day.


Out of a handful dust from her womb

God made Adam, by such name he was called

And with God’s breathe of life

What was once a lump with limbs

Has become like Him in image

And let to roam the Garden of Eden.

But then, loneliness soon had its toll

Which when God has perceived –

From Adam’s rib, He made Eve.


Alas! Mother Earth now nurtured

Not only lesser creatures

But the pair that God made

In His own image;

A paradise, Eden was supposed to be

But to it, a serpent found its way

Tempting Eve to have a taste of ecstasy

And, no sooner than she did have a bite

She made Adam commit the same apostasy!


The blunder made by Adam and Eve

Instigated the misery of Mother Earth

As they opened the floodgate of afflictions

That soon blemished her once pristine face;

Greed and selfishness, for long led lives –

Cain putting to death his own brother Abel

And many others whose names are written

On the sacred pages of the age-old Book

And all it needs is for us is to take a serious look.


And it is so sad,

As warnings that Mother Earth belched

In her effort to wake man up with a jolt

Did not budge him even just a bit…



Ms. Judith P. Bernardo: Lending Respectability and Sophistication to Housekeeping and Caregiving as Decent Jobs

Ms. Judith P. Bernardo: Lending Respectability

and Sophistication to Housekeeping and Caregiving as Decent Jobs

by Apolinario Villalobos


When Ms. Judith P. Bernardo shared with me how she managed her life while in the United States, she proudly mentioned how she tried her best to be respectable as a Filipino while doing housekeeping, garden maintenance, and caregiving jobs. She used to her advantage, the American culture which is founded on fairness for all who are willing to flex their muscles in order to earn a living while in the shadow of Uncle Sam. Another advantage of Ms. Bernardo up her sleeve is her social adequacy which enabled her to meld with the locals, be they Americans or immigrants from various nations who have been able to have a secure foothold and who belonged to the higher rung of the American society.


Without any qualm, she grabbed every opportunity to earn that came her way which enabled her to establish connections with clients, soonest as she was able to adjust herself to the environment. Her courage and determination were fueled by her former social status in the Philippines and her former job as a young member of the American diplomatic corps based in Southeast Asia, and which bolstered her self-confidence.


After a few years of doing the various jobs single-handedly, she was able to form a group of trusted house cleaners and gardeners, with her as the coordinator. Requests from clients were channeled through her, an arrangement which helped many immigrants. A little later still, she ventured into catering which was very much appreciated by her clients. Later, some of them requested that she also attend to their elders whom they prefer to be taken cared at home, rather than being sent to the home for the aged.


Social graces have always been part of Ms. Bernardo’ life while growing up and moving around her circles of cliques. This plus factor made her a sought after housekeeper and caregiver, as she was also trusted by her clients with the finances allotted for the homes that she maintained and elders under her care. She was also appreciated for her culinary expertise, always ready with suggestions about what food could go well with red or white wine and any liquor.


According to Ms. Bermardo, Filipinos who work as caregiver and housekeeper abroad need not be ashamed of their job. All that they need is try their best to project a respectable image. She added that teachers and other professionals who happen to land on such jobs should not be despised or belittled as they are in fact, well- equipped. She is right, for how can an ignoramus who has no knowledge on the proper housekeeping that deals with handling of fragile household furnishings, be trusted by a client? Or, how can one who can barely speak English be hired by a family that speaks such language only?


With her exposure to housekeeping as a job and social graces that have been part of her life, I asked if she is willing to be contacted as resource speaker for trainings and seminars that may require such, to which she replied in the affirmative, adding that she can also be consulted on banquet preparations.