See with Our Heart, Feel with Our Kindness

See with Our Heart,
Feel with Our Kindness
By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Our eyes perceive the world
That’s all that they can do;
But there’s more beneath
The surface of everything
That only the heart can see –
If strengthened with fidelity.

 

Touching the lives of others
Some do with false charity
They, who think, food is enough
They, who think, money is fine
But given devoid of kindness
All effort becomes worthless.

 

Look around with our heart
Touch others with kindness
Those are what we should do
To realize our purposes in life –
Live and share, love sincerely
And thank the Lord as we pray!

 

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Pride and Mistakes

Pride and Mistakes

By Apolinario B Villalobos

 

Nobody is free from committing mistakes, be they petty or enormous.

 

Nobody shall ever learn how to improve his ways or do away with bad attitude unless there is an admission that a mistake has been committed, hence, the adage “learn from mistakes”.

 

While some are humble enough to admit their mistakes, the rest are overwhelmed by their pride… they just refuse to do it. The refusal is like a chain that holds them back from moving on.

 

The mistakes we made are among the steps we took towards our destiny. Refusing then, in admitting our mistakes would simply mean that we are stagnant. The arrogant cannot accept the fact that as a human being, he or she is not perfect.

 

Pride feeds on adoration of accumulated wealth, dizzying success, or plain appalling attitude. The arrogant filthy rich thinks, his money can buy anything, including power to hide mistakes. The success-intoxicated man thinks that he can do just anything better than anybody else, otherwise he could have not succeeded. And, there’s the simply conceited who sees himself as the only rightful- thinking creation of God, with the rest, wallowing in mistakes.

 

I think, the best thing to do, is evaluate what we have done and said at the end of each day as we live. It is important to know if we have done anything that could have displeased others, hence, displeased Him, too. That is the reason why He gave us brains….so that we can analyze.

 

 

Ang Utang

Ang Utang

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Para sa akin, tatlong uri ang utang – ang may collateral, ang walang collateral, at ang utang na loob.  Ang may collateral ay talagang negosyo dahil may pirmahang nangyayari, subalit ang walang collateral ay maituturing na banal dahil nakasandal lang sa tiwala sa pagitan ng magkakaibigan. Ang pagkakaroon naman ng utang na loob ay nangyayari sa panahon ng pangangailangan ng inaabutan at nag-aabot.

 

Ang collateral ng SSS o GSIS loan ay ang naipong contribution ng umuutang na miyembro. Sa mga malakihang utang na ang pinapataw na interes ay kapareho na halos ng Bombay style na 5/6, and kalimitang collateral ay bahay at lupa, o di kaya ay kotse at alahas na mamahalin. Sa ganitong uri ng utangan, ang panalo ay ang nagpautang makapag-remata man o hindi dahil sa laki ng interes. Marami pang ibang utang na tulad ng nabanggit.

 

Sa mga walang collateral na utangan sa pagitan ng magkakaibigan, ang batayan ay ang magandang samahan, at ang iba ay “pay when able” pa. Masaya ang ganitong uri ng utangan dahil sa nangyayaring “taguan” kapag nakahalata ang nagpautang na ang kaibigang umutang ay walang intensiyong magbayad. Ibig sabihin, inabuso ng umutang ang magandang samahan. May umuutang pa na nanunumbat kapag siningil na kung ang nagpautang naman ang nangailangan. Sasabihin ng balasubas na kaibigan sa kawawang inutangan na, “ang yaman-yaman mo na nga naniningil ka pa”. Ugaling hudas ang ganitong uri ng kaibigan na sana ay tamaan ng kidlat!

 

Ang “utang na loob” ang pinakamatinding uri ng utang at maraming bansa ang nasira dahil diyan. Sa panahon ng kampanyahan para sa eleksiyon, namimigay ng pera ang mga tusong kandidato. Ang makakatatanggap ay automatic na nagkaroon ng utang na loob kapag tinanggap niya ang pera na sa katotohanan ay halaga ng boto niya. Kapag nanalo ang namili ng boto, ang mga taong naging biktima niya ay nagkaroon ng utang na loob. Wala na silang magawa kapag nangurakot ang nanalong kandidato sa kaban ng bayan upang mabawi ang nagastos na pinambili ng mga boto!….ganyan sa Pilipinas!…kaya hindi nakapagtataka kung bakit lugmok na lugmok ang mga Pilipino sa mahirap i-describe na pagdurusa. Marami pang ibang uri ng utang na loob na kung ililista lahat ay aabutin ng maraming pages.

 

Ang pinakamadaling bayarang  utang din SANA ay ang utang sa Panginoon dahil sa pagbigay Niya sa atin ng buhay. ANG MGA SIMPLENG KABAYARAN LANG SANA AY: MAGPAKABAIT TAYO, MAKISAMA NG MAAYOS SA ATING KAPWA, HUWAG MANLAMANG….AT HIGIT SA LAHAT MAGMAHAL AT MAGRESPETO SA KANYA….SUBALI’T ILAN SA ATIN ANG GUMAGAWA NITO?

Understanding the Muslim Filipinos

Understanding the Muslim Filipinos

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Christian Filipinos should not abhor their brother Muslims in view of the turmoil in Marawi perpetrated by the terroristic Maute Group. A terroristic group or any group with an intention of sowing destruction may arise from among the Christians, too. Unfortunately, many Christian Filipinos have yet to understand their brother Muslims beyond their porkless diet. By culture and religion, there are differences between the two, but they emanated from the same Malayan race, and by geography, they both belong to Asia.

 

Centuries before the Spanish arrival, Islam was well-entrenched in strategic islands of the archipelago, having been introduced in Sulu by Sharif Makdum, a Muslim missionary from Malacca. The first mosque which he built could still be found at Tubig-Indagan, on the island of Simunul. He died in Sibutu where a simple shrine was built in his honor. Makdum was followed by Raha Baginda who arrived in Sulu in 1390, and in 1450, Abu Bkr arrived from Johore who married Princess Paramisuli, daughter of Raha Baginda. Their marriage marked the founding of the Sulu Sultanate.

 

In Mindanao, the first Muslim leader to arrive was Sharif Kabungsuwan, who reached Cotabato (today, part of Maguindanao province) in 1475. He converted the natives into Islam and married the local princess, Putri Tuῆina. Eventually, he became the first Sultan of Maguindanao and his wife, the first Sultana.

 

At the time of the Spanish arrival, many parts of the archipelago were inhabited by Muslims, such as Batangas, Pampanga, Mindoro, Catanduanes and part of what is today, Metro Manila, particularly those along the Pasig River. When Legazpi arrived in 1571, the recognized Muslim “king” of Manila by the natives was Raha Sulayman, while in Tondo, it was Lakan Dula.

 

The Spaniards used the word “Moros” to refer to the fierce inhabitants who resisted their intrusion. The word is derived from the “Moors” who were their primary adversaries in Spain. It was the “fierceness” albeit, intended for the Spanish intruders, that unfortunately, had a negative impression in the mind of Filipino Christians. But, thanks to the later generations of Muslim Filipinos, for today, the reference which has been shortened to “Moro” connotes respectability. Contrary to what many non-Muslims believe, “Mohammedanism” is not a religion because Muhammad, himself, did not claim to have founded a religion. The counterpart of the Bible in Islam is the Koran or Qu’ran.

 

The Five Pillars of the Islamic Faith are: the profession of Faith; praying five times a day facing Mecca; giving alms called “zakah” to the poor; fasting during the month of Ramadan; and pilgrimage to Mecca. Polygamy is allowed, hence, a Muslim may have 4 wives for as long as he can afford to support them and divorce is also permitted.

 

Pigs are considered unclean, hence, pork is detested by Muslims. Alcoholic drinks are also not allowed. It is for this reason that prior to the arrival of Christians in Mindanao, vinegar was concocted from banana. When migrants from the Visayas and Luzon came, tuba (coconut wine) and basi (sugarcane wine) were introduced but only the Christian settlers imbibed them.

 

Many Biblical personages are also mentioned in Koran, the most popular of which are Jesus, Abraham and the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is interesting to note that during Christmastime, some Muslim stalls in Quiapo display Christmas lanterns and Christmas trees. They also practice gift giving to live up with the season.

 

Finally, in the Philippines, politics laced with greed ruined the good relationship between the Christians and Muslims to some extent…

Ang Mga Katagang, “enjoy life…matanda na tayo”…

Ang Mga Katagang, “enjoy life…matanda na tayo”

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Malimit marinig ang mga katagang, “enjoy life…matanda na tayo”. Ang ibig sabihin pa rin niyan ay i-enjoy ang perang pinaghirapan. Sa puntong ito, ang mga sumusunod ay pansarili kong pananaw…kung sa Ingles ay, “I am speaking for myself only”:

 

Para sa akin ay may hangganan ang lahat sa mundong ito, kasama na ang pagtamasa ng kasiyahan mula sa pinaghirapang pera. Hindi masama ang magkamal ng maraming pera basta huwag lang manamantala ng kapwa upang matupad ang hangaring ito.

 

Ang mga magpapaligaya sa tao na ginagamitan ng pera ay  pagkain, pagliliwaliw, alak, damit, pagpapaganda ng katawan, sex, sugal, bar-hopping, at marami pang ibang makamundong bagay. Okey lang ang mga nabanggit kung kaya pa ng katawan ang mga epekto nila at kung bagay pa rin ang mga seksing damit, o pagpapaganda ng katawan tulad ng liposuction, pagpapalagay ng kung anu-anong bagay sa katawan upang tumambok ang puwet o suso, etc. Paano kapag ang edad ay mahigit 60 taon na kaya bawal na ang mamantika at matatamis na pagkain?…kung bawal na ang pagpapatina ng buhok dahil sa epekto ng kemikal sa utak?….kung bawal na ang masyadong pagpupuyat?….kung masagwa nang tingnan ang bikini sa kulubot na katawan o ang malaking suso at matambok na puwet sa katawang kulubot ang balat at kuba na ang posture? Magpipilit pa rin ba ang isang may limpak-limpak na salapi?

 

Maraming tao ang nag-aakalang pera lang ang makakapagdulot ng kaligayahan hanggang sa katandaan. Para sa akin, dapat lang talagang maglaan ng pang-ospital, pambili ng gamot kung sakaling magkasakit, pati na ang pambayad sa punerarya at pambili ng kabaong. Ang lalabis pa sa mga pangangailangang nabanggit ay maaaring gamiting panghuling hirit – pamamasyal, kaunting luho…pero hindi na maganda ang maghangad pa ng karagdagang pera kahit nasa huling yugto ng buhay. Lalong hindi maganda kung kahit naghihingalo na ay inaalala pa rin ang perang maiiwanan!

 

May naging kaibigan ako noon na taga-Ermita, mayaman at ang negosyo ay mga antique. Noong kalakasan pa ng Ermita bilang kilalang “red district” ng Manila, tatlo ang antique shops  at dalawa ang coffee shops niya na parehong high-end. Malawak din ang lupain niya sa kanilang probinsiya na ang tanim ay niyog. Ang edad niya ay mahigit nang 70 at naging kaibigan niya ako nang gawan ko siya ng biography. Madalas siyang mag-sponsor ng mga proyekto ko bilang kapalit ng bayad sa ginawa kong biography. Bilib na sana ako sa kanya, subalit nang minsang mag-usap kami ay sinabi niyang, “ang problema ko ay kung ano ang mangyayari sa pinaghirapan ko kung mamatay na ako”. Ang kaibigan ko ay maraming kamag-anak sa naghihirap sa probinsiya at ang iba ay nakilala ko pa nang umatend ako ng Christmas party nila. Ang hindi ko maintindihan ay kung bakit hindi naisip ng kaibigan ko ang mga kamag-anak niyang naghihirap na dapat sana ay babahagihan niya ng kanyang yaman.

 

 

Ang Makasarili at Mapagbigay

Ang Makasarili at Mapagbigay

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Mahahalata ang taong makasarili at mapagbigay sa pamamagitan ng isang halimbawang sumusunod: ….sa hapag-kainan, ang pinipiling saging ng makasarili ay ang may pinakamagandang balat at malaki; ang mapagbigay naman ay pinipili ang maliit at may halos nangingitim nang balat dahil nanghihinayang siya kung tuluyang mabulok. Kung piniritong isda o manok ang ulam, ang pinipili ng makasarili ay ang pinakamalaki; ang mapagbigay ay hindi namimili.

 

Walang masama sa pagpili ng pinakamagandang bagay kung ito ay iyong binili. Subalit kung nakalatag sa harap ng isang pamilya kung saan ay kasama ang magulang at mga kapatid, dapat ay kailangang maging mapagbigay lalo na sa magulang at nakababatang kapatid. Kadalasan, ang mga nakatatanda pang mga kapatid ang nag-aagawan ng pinakamaganda habang nakatunganga ang mga nakababatang kapatid at magulang.

 

Ang pagkamakasarili ay nagbibigay-buhay sa kasabihan sa Ingles na, “what are we in power for”…na nagpapairal ng lakas laban sa mahihina. Nangyayari yan sa lahat ng sitwasyon, sa loob man ng tahanan o sa komunidad na maliit hanggang sa kabuuhan ng isang bansa. Dahil diyan ay may korapsyon sa mga pamahalaan at sa loob ng ILANG tahanan ay may magkakapatid na palaging nag-aaway.

 

Sa mga pamilyang mayayaman, ang pagkamakasarili din ang dahilan ng awayan ng magkakapatid dahil sa mga minana mula sa mga namayapang magulang.

Vices and Gainful Destruction are Conceived by the Selfish and Evil-Minded

VICES AND GAINFUL DESTRUCTION
ARE CONCEIVED BY THE SELFISH AND EVIL- MINDED
By Apolinario Villalobos

 

People travel to places after being told by friends that they are worth visiting, aside from reading about them in magazines, both printed and televised…so they spend for it. Their need to see places have been conceived by other people and various forms of media that practically, entice them to embark on an adventure. Without the encouragement, people will not even think of leaving their home because they have no idea that beautiful places exist somewhere.

 

It is in this manner that the evil-minded have conceived vices for their unsuspecting victims to enjoy, such that, they will attain a euphoric state of satisfaction when they indulge themselves in them. Later, these vices which could be alcohol, cigarette, gambling, and drugs would develop into some sort of necessities of their victims. At the end, the evil-minded have become successful in creating the needs for their victims.

 

There has been no need for bombs and guns until such need was created by people who thought of gainful destruction. Along with what have been made to attain a selfish motive, the manner, with which they could be used have been conceived, so there are wars and terrorism. Had the evil-minded not brought forth into the world such instrumentalities of destruction, people would have thought of just reaping the grains in the field as they get ripe, hunt for food needed for a day or two, enjoy the moon when it is in its fullest, and worship Nature as a manifestation of a powerful Force….in other words, just lead a simple life, until today.

 

The tendency of man to abuse has underlined his evil-mindedness. And, because of that, practically, everything that has got to do with life has been abused, such as, kindness, authority, trust, love, Nature, food, water, medicine, animals, plants, mental faculty, etc. His disdainful selfishness has eventually, led him to a gainful destruction that likewise, leads him along the path of self-destruction!