Pilipinas

This poem is dedicated to those who are exerting effort to maintain peace, unity, and understanding among the Filipino people, as well as, the sanctity of their heritage as one nation, despite diversities in religion and culture and in the face of the current adversities.

 

Pilipinas

By Apolinario B Villalobos

 

 

Mga luntiang islang magkakahiwalay

Mga katutubong iba-ibang pananalita

Iyan ang Pilipinas, watak-watak sa paningin

Subali’t iisa ang adhikain, iisa ang damdamin.

 

Halos gutayin ng pabago-bagong panahon

Kasama na diyan ang mga pag-uga ng lindol

Nguni’t buong tapang na iniinda ng mga Pilipino

Animo’y kawayan, sumasaliw sa hagupit ng bagyo.

 

Mula sa Batanes, hanggang Tawi-tawi

Mga katutubo’y nagbubuklod- iisang lipi

May isang kulay, matingkad, hinog sa panahon

Nagkaisa-  magkaiba man ang damit, salita at relihiyon.

 

Mayabong na sining at mayamang kultura

Taas-noong maipamamalaki, saan mang bansa

Hindi nagpapahuli, lumalaban, hindi nagpapaiwan

Sa ano mang uri ng patas na paligsahan o tunggalian.

 

Inang Pilipinas, mahal nating bayan

Huwag nating hayaang siya’y tapak-tapakan

Huwag hayaang mayurakan, iniingatang dangal –

Nang kung sino – Pilipino man o banyagang hangal!

 

Mga Pilipino tayo, kailangang magbuklod

Nang sa unos ng buhay matatag, ating pagsugod

Walang kinikiling na pag-imbot sa puso ng bawa’t isa

Nag-uunawaan, nagkakaisa – sa buong mundo, ating ipakita.

 

Mapalad tayo sa pagkakaroon nitong bansa

Na kung wariin, mahirap pag-ugnayin at mapag-isa

Subali’t ito ang itinadhana sa atin ng Poong Maykapal

Kaya’t buong puso nating arugain ng masidhing pagmamahal.

 

 

Francis Lama Torres…blazing his way to the top

FRANCIS LAMA TORRES…blazing his way to the top

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Here’s the story of a country boy, born of a big family at the foot of the Dagoma mountain range and raised by struggling parents who depended on the earnings of their father as a photographer. He is practically blazing his way to the top without let up.

 

I had my first glimpse of Francis Lama Torres, the guy whom many Notre Dameans and Tacurongnons have been mentioning as an excellent event host. That was during the first institutional reunion of the Notre Dame of Tacurong College several years ago, during which I was the “voice” of the college alumni, Carlo Romero for the high school, and City Mayor Lina Montilla, for the elementary. I was very much impressed by his fluency in English and local version of Hiligaynon.

 

Several months ago, during the birthday party of a cousin, Hazel, her close friend, Bing told me that she found somebody whom she found to be an excellent host. The guy whom I mentioned earlier and the one whom Bing mentioned were, I found out, to be the same.

 

The next time our paths crossed was when I visited a restaurant known for its indigenous dishes, the FUDZ RESTO, along the highway fronting the Notre Dame of Tacurong College. He was manning the cashier’s drawer. I learned from Cathy, the supervisor of the food outlet that Francis and her son Daryll are business partners and the resto is their first venture. I learned later still, from Cathy that some of their offerings are cooked at home by Francis, himself, early in the morning and which he brings to the restaurants on his way to his nearby office, the Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SUKELCO). And, most admirable is his lending a hand at the FUDZ Resto during his lunch break!

 

Francis currently holds the position of Manager of Area 2 Services Department, but previously, was the entity’s Administrative Services Manager. Still, previous to those jobs, he also taught at the NDTC for 4 years. As an Area 2 Manager of SUKELCO, Francis covers Bagumbayan, Isulan, Esperanza, as well as, Lambayong and its 4 barangays, Matiompong, Katitisan, Kapingkong, and Tambak.

 

 

He shared that he is from the beautiful barangay of Masiag, Babumbayan, having been born there in September 18, 1978. He finished his elementary  at the Masiag Central School and high school at the Notre Dame of Masiag, but finished his college at the Notre Dame of Tacurong College.  His father, Francisco E. Torres, Sr., is a photographer who started his craft as a teen-ager while his mother, Candelaria Dapitan Lama, is a typical housewife and a doting mother to him and his 8 siblings. He is next to the eldest, a priest  assigned in Thailand,  while their youngest is taking up Social Work at the Notre Dame of Tacurong College. Francis and his brothers fittingly accorded their parents with a special gift by jointly hosting their Ruby wedding anniversary.

 

While in high school, he has developed his skill in public speaking and when he studied at the Notre Dame of Tacurong College, it was further honed by Felizardo Lazado, one of the faculties who used to administer the school museum and a writer in his own right who continues to express himself through blogs in the internet today. From then on, he has been tapped to host events and his popularity as such spread even after his graduation. While with the SUKELCO, he kept on hosting various events, both of local and national level.

 

Our short conversation revealed his long-ranged vision for Tacurong, his adopted home. He shared his bright ideas on how the tourism industry of the city could be further developed by utilizing what are already on hand, hence, all doable. His vision goes beyond his course, Bachelor of Science in Commerce (Banking and Finance) enhanced by his Masters in Business Administration, as clearly, his mind is also set on community development, as well.

 

I could surmise that the guy could go further, having proved that one need not graduate from a big university to be an achiever, especially, because he loves challenges, as he admitted that he prefers field work to that of an office-confined one.

 

Kabuluhan ng Buhay (para kay Teddy Lapuz)

Kabuluhan ng Buhay

(…para kay Teddy Lapuz)

Ni Apolinario B. Villalobos

 

Nang tayo ay ginawa ng Diyos

Mula sa lupang kanyang hinubog

Sa palad nati’y ginuhit ang kapalaran –

Nakatalagang tuparin, mula sa sinapupunan.

 

Landas ng buhay, ating tinatahak

Batbat ng pagsubok, Kanyang itinadhana

Dahil  Kanyang layunin at gustong makita

Kung bawa’t  isa, karapat-dapat sa Kanyang biyaya.

 

Bawa’t buhay ay may kabuluhan

May landas na tinatahak at sinusundan

Habang binabagtas, nakatuon tayo sa layunin –

Layuning bigay Niya, kailangang nating tuparin.

 

Lahat tayong nilalang, dapat sumunod

Ano mang sa atin, itinadhana dito sa mundo

Iyan ang kabuluhan ng buhay, guhit sa ating palad –

Na buong mapagpakumbaba, dapat nating matupad.

 

Kasiyahan ang dapat nating madama

Kung bago natin marating ang dulo ng landas

Marami tayong nagawa, kabutihan sa ating kapwa –

Kaya sa mga pagkakataon, magpasalamat tayo sa Kanya.

 

Tayo’y dapat maging handa sa paglisan –

Sa mundong ginagalawan, sa ano mang panahon

Kung narating na natin ang dulo, landas ng ating buhay

Malugod na harapin, lalo’t sa mundo’y nagkaroon ng saysay.