Noeleen’s Gift Shop…a historic commercial landmark in Tacurong City

Noeleen’s Gift Shop

…a historic commercial landmark in Tacurong City

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Noeleen’s Gift Shop had its soft opening in October 1968 just when Tacurong was beginning to metamorphose into a progressive junction with protrusions that led towards Cotabato (today, divided into Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao), South Cotabato, North Cotabato, and Davao. Tacurong is politically within the scope of the Sultan Kudarat province.

 

According to Mrs. Nenita Lao Bernardo, the proprietess, she opened the boutique with just a   capitalization of Php2,800 but by dint of hard work and astute management, she was able to develop it into what it is now…delightfully crammed with affordable novelty items. One can find neatly stacked blankets, towels, branded t-shirts, fashionable apparels, shoes, sandals, home decors, perfumes, colognes, jewelries, watches, trinkets, and various gifts for special occasions.

 

It is interesting to note that the shop today, serves even the third generation of early patrons, as their grandchildren have kept the tradition of trekking to it for anything that they need for various occasions, be they party dress, shoes, or gifts for birthdays and weddings. The boutique is frequented by customers from as far as Esperanza, Tantangan, Isulan, and of course, Buluan. One time, I chanced upon a family of 6 with the mother in colorful malong directing her children to the stacks of items where they should choose what they needed.

 

Noeleen’s is open from Monday to Saturday, as early as 8AM to accommodate customers who would come all the way from surrounding towns.

5 Things to Do as a Backpacker in HongKong

TravellingPeoples.com

‘If you are courageous to travel solo, then you are adventurous’

I got this free airline ticket from a credit card promo and I just can’t resist it. I will be flying thru Cathay Pacific airlines. Unfortunately, I could no longer buy any cheaper economy tickets for my girlfriend nor for my little siblings. So I have to travel solo. And as a backpacker! (this was unplanned and not included to my normally expensive travels).

So what to do on a solo travel? Many would mesmerise that it is the best time to be naughty. Go for one-night stands. Meet random people in the best bars of Hong Kong. Great! But remembering that I have a girlfriend, well well..I just have to forget about that. Anyways, trying those stuffs is not really me. I’m an introvert, loyal, and loving future-husband. I hope no one laughs.

I was given five days…

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Hindi Dapat Ikahiya ang mga Trabahong Housekeeper, Domestic Helper, at Caregiver sa Abroad

Hindi Dapat Ikahiya Ang Mga

Trabahong Housekeeper, Domestic Helper at Caregiver sa Abroad

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Hindi dapat mahiya ang mga titulado o professional o mga galing sa mayamang pamilya sa Pilipinas na naging housekeeper sa ibang bansa dahil ang kaalaman nila sa pagsalita ng Ingles at pag-asikaso ng bahay upang maging maayos, pati pagluto ng iba’t ibang pagkain ang tama at angkop na kaalaman sa trabahong nabanggit. Bago naging sikat ang mga Pilipino sa pag-asikaso ng mga elders at pag-manage ng mga bahay at gardens sa Amerika, ang palaging hinahanap ng mga kliyente ay mga Britons o British. Sila ang mga kinukuha bilang “mayordomo”, “butler” at “nanny” dahil mga edukado sila.

 

Sa Amerika, ang mga anak ng mayayamanng business moguls ay nagtatrabaho bilang receptionists, food attendants, dishwashers, hotel staff, at iba pa, pagtuntong nila sa edad na 18 taon. Ang mga nabanggit din ang ginagawa ng mga artista sa Amerika na nagsisimula pa lang, kung wala silang available na assignment.

 

Ang pamilya ng mag-asawang artistang Pilipino na sina Eddie Guttierez at Annabel Rama ay nagtinda ng mga kaldero sa Amerika, mamahaling klase nga lang. Nagtiyaga silang kumatok sa mga bahay upang mag-alok ng kanilang mga paninda….at hindi nila ikinahiya ito dahi palagi nilang binabanggit ito sa mga interbyu nila nang magbalik-pelikula sila sa Pilipinas.

 

Ang mga pinagmamalupitang mga domestic helper sa Middle East ay mga Pilipinong kulang ang kaalaman sa pagluto at paglinis ng mga bahay dahil hindi sila familiar sa mga kasangkapan ng kanilang amo. Yan ang dahilan kung bakit pumasok sa eksena ang TESDA na nagti-train at nagsi-certify ng mga domestic helpers na pupunta sa Middle East at ibang bansa. Samantala, noon pa man ay marami nang mga Filipino professionals na nagtatrabaho sa Amerika at Europe bilang caregiver, nagmama-mange ng bahay at gardens at personal secretary at cook ng mga kilalang tao.

 

DAPAT TANDAANG HINDI NAKAKAHIYA ANG ANUMANG TRABAHO BASTA HINDI NAKAKALAMANG SA KAPWA, LALO NA ANG PAGNANAKAW AT PAGBEBENTA NG DROGA! HANGAL AT UNGAS ANG MGA PILIPINONG IKINAHIHIYA ANG MGA KAANAK NA NAGTATRABAHO SA ABROAD BILANG DOMESTIC HELPER, WAITER, CAREGIVER, DRIVER, ETC! ANG HINDI NARARAMDAMAN NG MGA UGOK NA ITO AY ANG SAKRIPISYO NG MGA NANDOON NA NAGTITIIS SA LUNGKOT DAHIL NAPALAYO SILA SA MGA MAHAL NILA SA BUHAY! MAKAPAL ANG MUKHA NG MGA HANGAL, UGOK AT UNGAS NA ITO DAHIL UMAASA DIN NAMAN SILA AT NAKIKINABANG SA PINAGPAGURAN NG MGA IKINAHIHIYA NILA!!!!!!

 

The Problem with the Hypocrites

THE PROBLEM WITH THE HYPOCRITES

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

  • Naging maayos lang ang buhay dahil ang asawa ay nakapagtrabaho sa Saudi o nakasakay sa barko bilang seaman, nakalimot nang noon ay halos hindi makatapos ng highs school dahil mahirap ang magulang….ibig sabihin, hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan, kaya pati lasa ng tuyo o dried fish ay nakalimutan na. At sa sobrang pagka-trying hard na mayaman, halos punuin ang bahay ng mga gamit na hindi naman alam gamitin kundi pinangdi-display lang dahil sa kayabangan.
  • Nakatapos lang college ay ikinahiya na ang magulang na nagtatrabaho sa abroad bilang domestic helper o di kaya tricycle driver o di kaya ay nagtitinda ng gulay sa palengke. Kahit sa bahay ay pa-ingles ingles pa at pinagtatawanan pa ang mga magulang na nakatulala dahil hindi makaunawa ng Ingles.
  • Nagkataon lang na naging apo ng kinikilalang pamilya, naging mayabang na ganoong ang yaman ng mga lolo at lola ay hindi naman pinaghirapan ng mga magulang kundi minana lang o mamanahin pa lang.
  • Nagkaroon lang ng mga kaibigang mayaman, kumikilos nang mayaman din kahit mahirap lang ang pamilya kaya ikinahihiya ang mga magulang.

 

MAGBAGO NA KAYO!

Ang Mga Taong Isinusulat ko ang Kuwento ng Buhay

Ang Mga Taong Isinusulat Ko ang Kuwento ng Buhay

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Kaya ako nagsusulat ng mga kuwento ng buhay ng mga tao ay upang magsilbi silang inspirasyon sa iba. Kung mapapansin, sila yong mga nagsimula sa “ibaba” hanggang umangat o umasenso. Sila rin yong mga hindi nahihiyang magtrabaho kahit galing sa may sinasabing pamilya o mayayaman. Sila yong mga nagsikap upang makatapos ng kolehiyo kaya pumasok na student assistants sa pinapasukan nilang unibersidad o kolehiyo. Sila rin ang mga naghahabol ng schedule ng klase mula sa mga pinapasukang food outlets tulad ng Jollibee at MacDonalds, at iba pa.

 

Ang iba pang mga naisulat ko na ay naging biktima ng pagkakataon kaya “kumapit sa patalim” upang mabuhay o di kaya ay nagsakripisyo para sa pamilya. Mayroon ding mga pari at pastor na MABABAIT at karapat-dapat na tawaging mga pastol na Itinalaga ng Diyos sa mundo upang gumabay sa mga Kristiyano.

 

Hindi ako basta-basta nagsusulat lang dahil PINIPILI ko ang mga taong bina-blog ko….mga karapat-dapat na nakaka-inspire ang buhay. Ang problema ay ang mga HYPOCRITE na kaanak ng mga taong dapat ay maging inspirasyon ng iba dahil sa pagsisikap nilang kumita para sa pamilya kaya nangibang bansa, at ang iba ay na-rape pa nga….IKINAHIHIYA KASI NG MGA WALANG UTANG NA LOOB NA ITO NA ANG MGA KAANAK NILA SA ABROAD AY HINDI MANAGER NG OPISINA KUNDI HOUSEKEEPER, YAYA, GARDEN CLEANER, CAREGIVER, ETC.  Ang mga nahihiyang magbanggit man lang ng uri ng trabaho ng mga kaanak sa abroad ay mga UGOK AT MAKAKAPAL ANG MUKHA dahil SOBRA-SOBRANG  umaasa din pala sa mga padala ng mga nasa abroad!

Taimtim na Dasal (para sa Ied Il Fitr)

Dasal para sa Eid Il Fitr…

 

Taimtim na Dasal

…bukod-tanging natira nating pag-asa

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Sa pabago-bagong panahong dulot ay pinsala

sa halip na biyaya…

Sa harap ng kagutumang ating nararanasan –

walang katapusan…

At, sa harap ng mga kinatatakutang krimen –

‘wag munang tapusin ang dasal ng “amen”.

 

Magdasal pa tayo ng marubdob at taimtim

‘wag maging sakim…

Sa panahong ang patayan ay kalat sa mundo

piliting ‘wag masiphayo…

basta’t  namumutawi ang dasal sa ating bibig –

sa pag-asa, tayo’y nakahilig!

Strong Faith in God and the Resilience of the Filipino

Strong Faith in God

And the Resilience of the Filipino

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

In the face of adversities, the Filipino has always been strong, steely- willed and resilient. It is this supple character that makes him adjust to any condition after a catastrophe. His unquestionable faith in God is the vigor that makes him move on and hurdle the rest of hindrances along the way.

 

No man-made or natural catastrophe can ever make the Filipino turn his back from God. For him, all these are just trials that make his faith stronger. He knows that God will never give him a challenge that he cannot muster. He knows that all these are the proverbial litters of stones and thorns along the way of his journey to the waiting arms of the Lord.

 

Life is beautiful. But everything in the universe has its end. To prepare himself for this, the Filipino has even shown greater faith in God by becoming more aware of His presence. Religious movements are on the rise. Humble prayers for mercy have grown louder. The Filipino can be likened to Tobit and  Job, Biblical characters whose lives were full of challenges that put their faith to an acid test.

 

God manifests His consolations in mysterious and unexpected ways. It could be His way of showing His love to the Filipinos as a people. The Philippines is profusely endowed with natural resources. The Filipino has an easy smile and has the habit of taking a scandal lightly and make it worthy of a good laugh, without losing its serious color.

 

God has chosen a people in the past – the Israelites, as the Bible says….they, who had to roam around the desert for forty years. Today, He must have chosen a new one – the Filipinos who are engulfed in controversies and series of misfortunes…but for how long will the Filipinos be tested by the Him?

 

 

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.

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Ang Dalawang Uri ng Tao

Ang Dalawang Uri ng Tao

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Sa aking palagay at opinion, dalawang uri ng tao mayroon sa ibabaw ng mundo:

 

  • Abnormal- taong nakapag-aral at matino ang pag-iisip, pero hindi ginagamit ang mga ito upang mabuhay o maituring siyang normal….choice niya ang pagiging abnormal.
  • Normal- taong may diperensiya ang isip kaya ang kilos at takbo ng isip ay ayon sa kanyang kalagayan, at dahil hindi niya alam ang ginagawa, wala siyang choice.

 

Ang mga taong abnormal ang itinuturing kong mga salot ng lipunan dahil kahit alam nilang mali ang paggamit ng droga ay ginagawa pa rin nila. Kahit alam nilang mali ang pagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan ay ginagawa pa rin nila. Kahit alam nilang masama ang manlamang at manloko ng kapwa ay ginagawa pa rin nila. Kahit alam nilang kaya sila nag-aral upang makatapos ay upang makatulong sa sarili at kapwa, nagpapabaya pa rin sia.

 

AT, DAHIL SA DAMI NG MGA ABNORMAL SA MUNDO AY NAHAWA NA RIN ANG KALIKASAN KAYA NAGING ABNORMAL NA RIN ANG PAGSAPIT NG MGA PANAHON. ANG MGA BAGYO AT BAHA AY NANGYAYARI SA MGA BUWANG DAPAT AY TAG-INIT. ANG MATINDING INIT AY NANGYAYARI SA MGA BUWANG DAPAT AY TAG-ULAN.