In the name of Love….

In the name of Love…

By Apolinario Villalobos


In the name of love…

Kilometric lines of praise can be uttered

Mountains of words can be piled

Tsunamic throbs can be sighed

And stones can come to life.


In the name of love…

Chilling nights can simmer with warmth

Swaying leaves can turn to fairies

That dance with delightful grace

And undulate with the breeze.


In the name of love…

Even the scrawny twigs can bear flowers

Grass made brown by searing sun

Can turn into cool green, so calm –

Under the sky’s cerulean expanse.

images (5)



Pag-ibig sa Dulo ng Bahag-hari…natagpuan ni Thelma

Pag-ibig sa Dulo ng Bahag-Hari

…natagpuan ni Thelma

(para kay Thelma Pama- Arcallo)

ni Apolinario Villalobos


Makulay ang pag-ibig na kanyang natagpuan

Pangakong ligaya ay tila walang katapusan

Pangako na kanya nang nararamdaman

At pati ginhawang hindi matatawaran.


Sa paraisong animo ay dulo na ng bahag-hari

At sa piling ng mga katutubo – mga T’boli

Landas nila ay nagtagpo, animo’y hinabi

Pinatatag ng pagsubok, lalong sumidhi.


Parang t’nalak na hinabi ang kanilang buhay

Masinsin ang pagkahabi, ‘di basta bibigay

Dahil subok, t’nalak ay talagang matibay

Tulad ng sumpaan nilang ‘di mabuway!

Thelma Pama





Bahag-hari – rainbow

T’boli- natives of South Cotabato

T’nalak – T’boli cloth made from abaca fibers

lalong sumidhi – became stronger

masinsin –  finely and delicately woven

mabuway – soft and easily bends; weak


The World is a Maze of Confusion and Conflict

The World is a Maze of Confusion

And Conflict

By Apolinario Villalobos


Here are some of my personal observations:


  1. The only “order” that can be felt and experienced in the world is the 24-hour cycle divided into night and day that further accumulates into seven days in a week, further accumulating into the 28/30/31 days in a month and finally into 12 months in a year – according to the Roman Catholic calendar, however, the Chinese, the Jews, and the Muslims have their own calendar in this regard.


  1. The long-respected Bible is now being touted as a source of various confusions, especially, because many religions have allegedly thwarted the original contents written in the original language, to serve their own purpose which is to prove their having the “true religion”. So, today, instead of being enlightened, many people became confused that they have gone to the extent of leaving the religion of their birth to become Atheist, Agnostic, or Satanic. They should not be blamed because they followed their own judgment, and nobody can rightly say that they are wrong, after having gone through the harrowing confusion.


  1. Due to survival instinct, countries have become hypocrites. Openly, leaders deal amiably with each other despite differences in ideology, and proof to this are photos splashed on the different social media where they are shown smiling at each other and shaking hands, but days after, the same leaders make pronouncements that run counter to their friendly stance shown earlier to the world. Citizens are confused which of the two “expressions” should be believed.


  1. Drugs are invented to prevent the onset of diseases and cure people of ailments but most of these drugs have contra-indications when used at the same time due to simultaneous inceptions of disorders. Even the long-traditionally used drugs, one of which is aspirin, are deemed to have negative effects on some organs. Most antibiotics today are also declared as ineffective and can harm many organs if used unabatedly, especially, without prescription. This confusion resulted to the loss of confidence to physicians by skeptic patients who have resorted to herbals, instead.


  1. Confusion did not spare the foods, as many of them are not just fit for anybody. Some people get sick when they drink milk, eat seafood, beans, and even peanut. Some people vomit when they eat any fibrous vegetable or get a sniff of banana. The list of foods that are not supposed to be eaten by some people is still getting longer by the day. This deprivation is confusing, for how can sources of nutrients for the body become poison to others? Explanations are offered by experts, but the question still remains because life is supposed to be viewed as full of promises, including health and happiness. But how can it be possible if one is deprived of things needed to live happily and glowing with health?


  1. Universities and colleges are supposed to breed intelligent graduates who are expected to be part of the effort in the development of their nation and betterment of society. But why are there corrupt government officials and even leaders who are supposed to have even earned Masters and Doctorates from these institutions of learning? Why are there evil-minded scientists, whose intellect and moral values have been bred in these institutions where only what’s good for mankind is supposed to be taught?


The confusion is compounded by greed that has muddled man’s mind making the upshots of his intellect become tools for his self-annihilation!

The Indefatigable Esperanza (Inday) Hilado …friend, sister, mother, secretary, Sales Executive

The Indefatigable Esperanza (Inday) Hilado

…friend, sister, mother, secretary, Sales Executive

By Apolinario Villalobos


For most people who know her, she was “Inday”, although, her other nickname was “Pancing”. She was a centenarian, having reached the age of 100 years last July 22, 2015, for which she was honored with a certificate given by the Quezon City government.  She died peacefully just when 2015 was bidding 2016 goodbye, particularly on January 14, at exactly, 11:15 AM. The tragic information that I received came from Gel Lagman and Mona Caburian-Pecson, former colleagues in Philippine Airlines.


Inday came from the well-to-do clans of Fontanilla and Hilado of Negros Occidental in the Visayas region of the Philippines. Her parents were Paz Fontanillla and Ignacio Hilado, and she came third in a brood of seven, such as, Clarita, Florita, Hermenia, Gloria, Enrique and Godofredo. Inday chose to stay single her whole life.


According to Tessie, Inday’s niece, who at 74, looks more like a little more than 50, she immediately came home when informed about the demise of her aunt, as she knew that with her were only her trusted caretakers, Rudy Lopez and his wife,  Muding (Modesta). Rudy was her loyal driver since 1975, and got married in 1992 to Muding who in no time treated the former like her own mother. Since the first day of her arrival, Tessie practically did everything with the help of her assistants that she brought from America, as well as, Rudy and Muding.


My fondest memory of Inday was our working together as part of the International Sales-Philippines (ISP) Team of Philippine Airlines (PAL) based at the S&L Building along Roxas Boulevard, in Ermita, Manila. We were under Rene Ocampo and later, Archie Lacson, as the Regional Vice-President of the Philippines and Guam Region. However, due to our well-defined function as members of the Sales Team, we were directly under Dave Lim, Assistant Vice-President of the ISP. Inday was handling the special account of manning agencies for seafarers and despite her age, being the most senior in the team, she proved to be just very effective. She reported to the office before eight in the morning, prepared her itinerary for the day and persistently made follow ups on previously requested bookings for her clients. I also used to help her with her weekly and monthly sales reports by typing them for her. She even stayed late when there were social functions to fete our clients, particularly, the travel agents and manning agencies.


The job of Inday was very critical as PAL fares were comparably higher than those offered by the other airlines for the seafaring segment of the airline industry. But motherly insistence and affectionate cajoling of travel agents worked almost all the time. To show her gratitude to her clients, during Christmas she would give them her own personally-purchased gifts, aside from the standard “give-away” items from our office that included calendars. Being in-charge of the Region’s administration, I would give her extra calendars and “give-away” items.


We were close to each other, such that we sat side by side during most of our Monday Sales Meeting. It was this literal closeness that gave her the opportunity to offer me her share of snacks served during the meeting. She was also very conscious about her health, as she ate only small portions of food during mealtime at the canteen. One time, however, during a party, I admonished her for eating plenty of “lechon” (roasted pig).


A terpsichorean in her own right, she would sashay with graceful cha-cha and tango moves around the dance floor during our parties. She admitted to me though, that she was really fond of ballroom dancing, and even confided the information about the pre-war public dances that she attended at Luneta (Rizal Park) every December, when she was young. Her love for life could have given her the vigor that kept her going even at an age beyond seventy which was the last time I saw her when I left Philippine Airlines.


Inday may no longer be around, but she left a legacy founded on love, as well as, diligence and dedication to job. She was unquestionably unselfish and indefatigable in many ways. She also proved that goodwill indeed works, as her staying “single” did not deprive her of families because of her altruistic ways. She had her colleagues in PAL, and who gave her love in return for her motherly and sisterly affection….they, who have become her family until she left the company. Rudy Kong whom she served with utmost loyalty as secretary in PAL, took her in as part of his own company when she finally left the airline. She also had Rudy Lopez, her loyal driver, and his wife, Muding, who stood by her side till she drew her last breathe. She loved them all, and they all loved her… and, just as what the popular adage says… love begets love.



Perla…(para kay Perla Buhay)


(para kay Perla Buhay)

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Ang karangyaang naipagkait sa murang gulang

Ay nagsilbing lakas upang si Perla’y magsikap

Para sa kanya, ang buhay ay puno ng pag-asa

Na sa tamang panaho’y magdudulot ng biyaya.


Mga pangarap ang humubog ng kanyang buhay

Natanim sa isip habang kinakaya ang pagsubok

Dasal sa Panginoon sa kanya’y nagbigay ng lakas

Habang tinatahak niya ang bulubunduking landas.


Mga pagsisikap niya’y hindi binigo ng Panginoon

Dahil pangarap niya ay nagkaroon ng katuparan

Napatunayan niyang may kapalit ang pagtitiyaga

Lalo’t gagawin itong hindi nanlalamang ng kapwa.


Angkop ang pangalang Perla sa kanyang pagkatao

Na hango sa perlas, maselang yaman ng karagatan

Nagdadagdag -akit, sinuman ang magsuot na dilag

Kaya ang lalaking ‘di sumulyap at humanga ay bulag!


Perlas siya ng buhay…siya ay isang pamukaw-sigla

Inspirasyon at lakas ng iba upang maging masigasig

Dahil napatunayan niyang mahalaga ang magsikap

Upang magkaroon ng katuparan ang mga pangarap!


(Si Perla ay nakatapos ng pag-aaral sa pamamagitan ng pagsikap…naging

self-supporting. Nagkaroon ng trabaho, hanggang ang swerte sa ibayong

dagat ay kumaway sa kanya. Siya ay nakapag-asawa ng isang Amerikano

na todo ang pag-unawa sa adbokasiya niyang pagtulong sa mga maralitang

Pilipino at mga kamag-anak na naiwan sa Pilipinas.)



Evelyn Borromeo: Buhay at Sigla ng mga Pagtitipon

Evelyn Borromeo: Buhay at Sigla ng mga Pagtitipon

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Belen ang palayaw niya at kilala siya sa subdivision nila dahil sa likas na ugaling matulungin. May marinig lang siyang kuwento tungkol sa isang taong hirap sa pag-submit ng mga papeles sa ano mang ahensiya ng gobyerno, siya na mismo ang nagkukusa ng kanyang tulong. Kung mayaman ang nagpapatulong, binibigyan siya ng pamasahe at pang-miryenda, pero kung kapos sa pera, tinatanggihan niya ang inaabot sa kanya. Nakakarating siya sa Quezon City, Cubao, Pasay, Maynila, Trece Martirez at humaharap din sa Mayor ng Bacoor City o kung sino pang opisyal ng lungsod kung kailangan. Kung hindi nga lang siya anemic ay baka regular din siyang nagdo-donate ng dugo sa mga nangangailangan.


Kahit babae siya, pinagkatiwala sa kanya ng Perpetual Village 5 Homeowners’ Association ang pag-asikaso sa basketball court at mga palaruang pambata sa magkabilang dulo nito. Officially, siya ang Administrator ng area na yon ng subdivision, kaya kapag may gagamit ng ilaw sa gabi sa paglaro ng basketball court, siya ang nilalapitan. Dahil saklaw din niya ang “cluster” na sumasakop sa tatlong kalyeng nakapalibot sa basketball court, kung may gulo, siya pa rin ang tinatawag. Matapang siya at walang pinangingilagan, palibhasa ay dating “batang Pasay”. Tawag ng iba sa kanya sa lugar nila ay “amasona”…subalit ibang pagka-amasona, dahil ang tapang niya ay ginagamit niya para sa kapakanan ng iba. Hindi siya ang tipong matapang na bara-bara ang dating.


Naging presidente din siya ng subdivision nila at noong kanyang kapanuhanan ay marami siyang nagawa upang mapaganda pa ang kanilang lugar. May mga nag-uudyok sa kanyang tumakbo sa Barangay, pero ang mga malalapit sa kanya ay nagpayo na huwag na dahil baka magkasakit lang siya lalo pa at inaasikaso din niya ang kanyang asawang si Nelson na nagpapagaling sa ‘stroke”. Sa totoo lang siguro, ayaw nilang mawala si Belen sa kanilang subdivision bilang Administrator ng basketball court at Cluster Leader.


Tuwing umaga, ang unang ginagawa niya ay i-check kung saan nagwo-walking upang mag-exercise ang kanyang asawa, na malimit ay sa basketball court lang naman. Pagkatapos ay bibili na siya ng pan de sal at sopas para sa mahal niyang asawa. Sinusubuan din niya ito, subalit hindi niya pinapakita sa iba (nahuli ko lang siya minsan), dahil hindi siya “showy” o pakitang-tao sa kanyang pagmamahal dito. Kahit nakakapagtiyaga siya sa mga simpleng ulam lalo na gulay, pino-problema pa rin niya ang uulamin ng mga kasama niya sa bahay kaya kung minsan ay napapahiwalay ang ulam niya mapagbigyan lang iba na ang gusto ay karne.


Maganda ang pagkahubog ng pagkatao ni Belen dahil ang mga magulang niya ay huwaran sa sipag at pagpapasensiya. Lumaki siya sa palengke ng Pasay (Libertad market) kaya batak ang katawan niya sa hirap. Noong nag-aaral pa siya, maaga siyang gumigising upang makatulong muna sa paglatag ng paninda nila bago siya papasok sa eskwela. Pagkagaling naman sa eskwela diretso uli siya sa puwesto nila upang tumulong sa pagtinda. Magaling sa diskarte at sales talk si Belen…madali siyang paniwalaan. Kung nagkataong nakatapos siya ng pag-aaral, malamang ay maski hanggang puwestong Vice-President sa isang kumpanya ay kaya niyang pangatawanan. Subalit dahil sa kakapusan ng pera, nauwi siya sa maagang pag-asawa…kaya parang naka-jackpot ang asawa niya sa kanya.


Buhay at sigla si Belen sa mga pagtitipon dahil kapag nahalata niyang medyo nagkakahiyaan sa pagsayaw ay pinapangunahan niya at may halo pang pa-kenkoy na sayaw upang makapagsimula lang ng kasiyahan. Hindi rin siya maramot dahil ang mga tanim niya sa bakuran ay libre para sa lahat na makagusto – may kalamansi, kung minsan ay talong at ampalayang ligaw. Magaling din siyang magluto ng mga kakanin lalo na ng maja blanca at piche-piche, kaya kung may okasyon sa lugar nila, sa kanya umoorder ng mga ganito.


Tatlo ang anak ni Belen. Ang panganay na babae ay nasa Gitnang Silangan kasama ang kanyang asawa at tatlong anak. Ang pangalawang lalaki naman ay nasa bahay lang at nangangasiwa ng home-based internet shopping, at ang bunso ay magtatapos na ilang taon na lang mula ngayon.

Wala nang hinihiling pa si Belen sa Diyos dahil ayon sa kanya, halos lahat ng pangangailangan niya ay ibinigay na sa kanya….at ayaw na rin niyang humiling pa para mabigyan naman daw ng pagkakataon ang iba.

Belen Borromeo

Baguhin ang mga Ugaling Hindi Maipagmamalaki

Baguhin ang mga Ugaling Hindi Maipagmamalaki

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Taun-taon na lang ay may New Year’s Resolution ang bawa’t isa. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit malakas ang loob ng karamihan sa atin na lumihis ng landas mula unang araw ng Enero hanggang huling araw ng Disyembre…dahil pwede naman daw magsisi bago matapos ang taon.


Hindi madaling magbago ng ugaling malalim na ang pagkaugat sa ating pagkatao. Kailangan ang pambihirang disiplina upang magawa ito o di kaya ay isang milagro. Ang masisisi sa ganitong bagay ay mga magulang na nagpabaya dahil hindi nila nadisiplina ang kanilang mga anak habang maliit pa lang sila upang magkaroon ng mga ugaling maipagmamalaki. Ang mga sumusunod ay ilan lamang sa mga ugaling sumisira ng pagkatao:


  • Ang pagiging batugan na nagreresulta sa katamaran. Nakaugalian ng karamihan na tuwing weekend ay gumising ng tanghali. Ang dahilan ay bumabawi lang dahil buong linggo naman daw ay kayod-kalabaw sila. Dahil sa ganoong pananaw, nahawa sa ganitong ugali ang mga anak na paglaki ay magpapasa rin ng ganitong maling pananaw sa kanilang mga anak. May iba diyan na dahil sa pagkabatugan, tapos nang magluto ng tanghalian ang kapitbahay, sila ay humahagok pa rin sa pagkakatulog.


  • Ang pagiging abusado sa mga taong tumutulong. Dapat unawain na hindi lahat ng nakakatulong lalo na yong katamtaman lang naman ang uri ng pamumuhay ay palaging nakakaluwag. Ang mga kusa nilang naibabahagi ay ekstra lamang kaya hindi palaging meron sila nito. Ang hirap lang sa ibang naabutan minsan ng tulong, ang gusto ay araw-arawin na ito ng nakatulong, kaya kapag hindi nangyari ang inaasahan nila, sasama na ang loob. Kung ang mga mayayaman nga, maliban na lang ang may mga Foundation, ay minsanan lang kung tumulong, paano pa kaya ang mga nasa “middle class” o yong mga nasa “lower class” subalit may pambihirang ugaling matulungin?


  • Ang pagiging “sipsip” sa boss. May mga taong sagad-buto na yata ang pagkamakasarili kaya gumagawa ng lahat ng paraan upang umangat lang, kahit pa marami silang natatapakan o nasasagasaan. Ang mga taong ito ay yong klaseng wala naman talagang ibubuga sa trabaho kaya “sumisipsip” na lang sa boss, na halos umabot sa paghimod sa puwet nito, ma-promote lang. Unfair ito sa mga kasama nila sa trabaho na karapat-dapat umangat dahil sa talino at kakayahan.


  • Ang pagiging pekeng makatao at maka-Diyos. Ang isa pang tawag dito ay kaipukrituhan. Ito ang mga taong umaasa ng “bayad” o “balik” o “sukli”, kapag nag-abot ng tulong sa kapwa. Ito ang mga taong palaging may kamera kapag pumunta sa mga evacuation center o mga lugar na sinalanta ng kalamidad at may mga dala rin namang relief goods. Okey lang kung malakihang operasyon na tulad ng ginagawa ng DSW o di kaya ay mga NGOs dahil dapat may maipakita silang patunay na pinamigay nila ang mga donasyon. Subalit kung kusang “tulong-kaibigan” na hindi naman big-time o malakihan, bakit kailangan pang magkodakan? Ang mga gumagawa nito ay yong may ambisyon sa larangan ng pulitika o nangangarap na maging santo o santa.


  • Ang pagiging abusado sa katawan. Ang pag-aabuso sa katawan ay nagiging sanhi ng pagkasira ng kalusugan. Ang mga taong abusado sa ganitong bagay ay yong may mga bisyo na kahit alam nang nakakasama ay tuloy pa rin sila sa ginagawa. Nagpapabaya rin sila pagdating sa mga bagay na may kinalaman sa tamang pagkain. Ito ang mga maaarte na ayaw kumain ng gulay halimbawa, dahil hindi nila gusto ang lasa kahit alam nilang mahalaga sa kalusugan, kaya sila ay ginagaya ng mga anak na lumaki na lang sa pagkain ng hot dog at hamburger o piniritong itlog.


  • Ang pagiging bulagsak sa pera. Ito yong mga taong kung gumastos ay parang wala nang susunod pang mga araw na paggagastusan, kaya kung suwelduhan sila, ang natatanggap tuwing 15/30 ay sandail lang nilang nahahawakan….ang resulta – kung may mga emergency na pangangailangan, hanggang nganga na lang sila!


  • Ang pagiging palamura. Ang pagmumura ay talagang masama….pagsabihan ba naman halimbawa ang isang tao ng “puta ang ina mo”, o di kaya ay “anak ka ng puta”. Dapat ay baguhin na itong ugali. Kung hindi maiiwasan, putulin na lang ang mga linya…halimbawa, sa halip na “puta ang ina mo” ay sabihin na lang na “…ina mo”, at ang “anak ka ng puta” ay “….anak ka”. Huwag murahin sa Ingles ang mga walang alam sa wikang ito…huwag gawing dahilan ang kawalang kaalaman nila sa Ingles upang paliguan sila ng mga pagmumurang tulad ng, “shit”, “damn it”, “son of a bitch”, etc., dahil baka murahin ka rin sa dialect na hindi mo alam!



John Awatin Walks 1 Kilometer to Serve as Lay Minister

John Awatin Walks 1 kilometer

to Serve as Lay Minister

by Apolinario Villalobos


John Awatin lives one kilometer away from the parish church of the Saint Martin de Porres located at Panapaan, Bacoor, and he walks to and from the said church as a Lay Minister. He has been doing the said sacrifice when he was taken in as such in June 6, 2014. But before that, he has been jobless for one year. He did not pursue his seafaring career that gave him ample monthly wage for eight years, due to seizures. Until today, he suffers from ticking of left eye. Fortunately, his seizures are already under control.


He was a hardworking guy since he was young, helping their mother do household chores and even going to the market on weekends. He learned how to cook and took charge of the laundry, too…all these he did, being the eldest among the brood of four. Unfortunately, both their parents left them while they were still young.


His parents were from Camiguin Island in Mindanao. Both of them were hardworking, a trait which he and his siblings inherited. At a young age, he settled down with Sheena who is now working with the YMCA-Manila. They are happy today with their four “angels” – Sheen, Sean, Nash, and Hans.


When John was rejected by manning agencies for seafarers due to his ailment, he was, as expected, so downhearted that he became reclusive. His seizures worsened so that there were times that he would just fall during attacks, despite which he persisted in attending Sunday Mass with his wife. The drugs he took did not help much as he was also emotionally affected. It was at this instance that Jun Kamatoy, a Lay Minister serving at the Saint Martin de Porres parish, thought of convincing him to become a Lay Minister to keep his mind busy.


Neighbors were sort of curious how such a guy who suffers from seizures and with a very minimal “exposure” to religious activities could possibly assist the priest during Mass. Practically, Jun Kamatoy risked his credibility when he assured the parish priest that John would be a good Lay Minister. True enough, after passing his orientations with flying colors, he proved his worth for such a religious obligation.


As he had no “decent” clothes to wear, Jun Kamatoy also gave him several pairs of pants and undershirts, as well as, a pair of shoes, while Emma Duragos, a crusader of the Holy Face, gave him white long-sleeved shirts, courtesy of her son. A neighbor also gave him another pair of shoes and two more pairs of pants.


Since the first day of his service as a Lay Minister, nobody among his neighbors knew that he was walking his way to the church, as well as, in going back home, except when the weather is so bad that he had to take a jeepney. The distance he covers both ways are two kilometers. I found this out myself when I saw him trekking one early morning to the church, while I was on a jeepney on my way to Baclaran. One time, too, I saw him walking under the sun still in his white long sleeved shirt on his way home.


When I had the chance to talk to him, I asked about his seizures and he told me that his condition has been fast improving and he feels that he would finally overcome it, although, I have observed that the ticking of his left eye is still very evident. He also keeps himself busy by attending to the needs of their children, humbly accepting his role as a “houseband”. He cooks for them and does the rest of the chores at home. We never mention God or Jesus in our conversations, although, deep in my mind and heart, I know that John is a manifestation of another miracle. At 43, John is a picture of contentment and happiness….

 Awatin Family John Sheena


Volunteerism is in the Heart of my Neighbors, Angie and Hector Garcia

Volunteerism is in the Heart of my Neighbors,

Angie and Hector Garcia

By Apolinario Villalobos


Just like the rest of the pioneers in our subdivision, the couple, Angie and Hector Garcia went through the expected hardship of living in an unfamiliar new-found home, which in our case is Cavite, used to be known for notoriety – unsafe as many alleged. Add to that the difficulty of commuting to Manila because the only way was via the Aguinaldo highway that passes through buzzling public market of Zapote. The Coastal Road during the time was not yet even in the drawing board of the Department of Public Highways. That was during the early part of the 80’s.


A “short cut” to our subdivision from the Aguinaldo highway is traversed by a creek, deep and wide enough to be classified as a river. Several bamboo poles that were laid across the creek served as the early bridge, that was later “upgraded” to a safer one made of two electric poles floored with planks. During the early years the creek did not overflow, however, the constant reclamation of both banks constricted the flow of water that resulted to flash floods which did not spare our subdivision. These instances brought out the innate character of our neighbors that hinged on volunteerism.


As the home of Angie and Hector Garcia is situated right at the western entrance of the subdivision where the creek is situated, the homeowners’ association’s heavy duty rope was used to be left in their custody. They would bring it out when flood occurred so that those who would like to take the risk of crossing the bridge would have something to hold on to as they gingered their way through waist-deep flood. A heavy rain for three to four hours would put every homeowner on the alert as the heavy downpour usually triggered a flood. Angie and Hector would miss precious sleeping hours as they waited for the right moment to bring out the long heavy rope, one end of which would be tied to the post of the bridge while the other end would be entwined around the iron grill of their fence or gate. If the flood occurred at night till dawn, we would wake up in the morning with the rope already in place to serve as our “life line” to the other side of the overflowing creek.


The couple also took pains in cleaning the vacant area behind the subdivision’s Multi-purpose Hall and planted it to medicinal plants and mango tree which also provided shade. Vegetables were planted, too, aside from medicinal herbs for everybody’s taking in time of their need. The early morning as the sun rises would also see them sweeping the street in front of their house.


The leadership qualities of the couple, made their neighbors trust them. Hector had a stint as the president of the Homeowners’ Association, while Angie kept in her custody whatever meager earnings of the association from renting out the Multi-purpose Hall and monthly dues, aside from the collected Mass offerings, until clear-cut procedures were finally established during which she turned over the responsibility to the Homeowners’ Association’s Treasurer.


Angie is a cancer survivor having had a mastectomy, but despite her situation, she patiently endured the rigorous travel to Naujan, Mindoro with Hector to regularly check their “farm” which they planted to fruit-bearing trees. When I asked them one time why they take pains in maintaining such far-off farm instead of purchasing another either in Silang or Alfonso, both in Cavite, they confided that they have already “fallen in love” with their investment. Their love for the farm truly shows in their robust physique despite their age of sixtyish. I just imagine that perhaps, if they stop commuting to and from Naujan, Mindoro, weed their farm, and take care of the growing saplings,  their health would deteriorate as usually happens to people who cannot stand being idle.


The couple has three daughters, all successful in their chosen fields of endeavor. And, one of them is serving the Homeowners’ Association as Treasurer.


Ang Pamilyang Pilipino: Misyonaryong Alagad ng Eyukarista

Ang Pamilyang Pilipino: Misyonaryong Alagad ng Eyukarista

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Isang matatag na hibla ng pananampalatayang Kristiyano…ito ang pamilyang Pilipino. At, ang panata ay marubdob na pagpapalaganap ng Eyukarista, simbolo ni Hesus na nagligtas sa sangkatauhan mula sa mga minanang kasalanan. Ang malalim na pagkaugat ng pananampalataya sa bawat tahanan, payak man o nakakariwasa ay bunga ng halos limampung siglong paghubog ng mga Kastilang prayle sa kanilang mga ninuno. May sangkot mang karahasan, inunawa na lang dahil sa layuning maka-Diyos, at dahil na rin sa paniniwala na ang mga nabulagang prayle ang nagkamali noon at hindi ang simbahan.


Hindi lang Pilipinas ang sinasaklaw ng taimtim na pananampalataya dahil kahit sa ibayong dagat, saan man nakakarating ang mga anak, ina, o ama ng isang Pilipinong pamilya bilang dumadayong manggagawa, kipkip pa rin nila ang Bibliyang pilit pinalulusot sa mga paliparan at daungan. Sa mga bansang iba ang umiiral na pananampalataya, nagagawa pa rin nilang magtipon-tipon nang palihim upang ipadama sa isa’t isa na buo ang katatagan nila bilang mga Kristiyano na hindi nagsasawa sa mga salita ni Hesus. Marami nang naparusahan, subalit hindi hadlang ang kanilang kamatayan upang ang pagsamba nila sa Diyos ay mapigilan.


Ang Eyukarista na maituturing na isang pagtitipon, kung saan ay nasa gitna si Hesus… ay lalong tumatatag at lumalawak pa ang nilalambungan ng biyaya nito dahil sa pambihirang katangian ng pamilyang Pilipino. Marami nang hadlang ang kanilang nalampasan sa pag-usad ng panahon na lalo pang nagpalakas ng kanilang pananampalataya dahil sa paniniwalang walang makakatalo sa kapangyarihan ng Diyos na siyang naglalang ng lahat sa ibabaw ng mundo. Hindi sila mahirap akayin dahil sa paniniwala na kung tungo sa kabutihan ang landas na tatahakin lalo pa at ang gabay ay si Hesus, walang pasubaling sila ay susunod.


Hindi maiwasan kung may ibang pamilyang napapalihis ng daan dahil sa umiiral na makabagong panahon, subali’t may mga pangyayari at pagkakataon na nagpapakita ng pagbabago…at ito ang hangad sa kanila ng ibang pamilya na sa kanila ay maigting na kumakapit upang hindi tuluyang maligaw. Ang damayan ay bahagi na ng kultura ng mga Pilipino na nagpapatatag ng bawat tahanan, at isa rin itong katangian na ginagamit sa paggabay sa kanilang kapwa upang mapanatili ang katatagan ng pananampalataya. Nagsisilbi din itong lakas na ginagamit ng bawa’t pamilyang Pilipino upang maakay pabalik sa tamang landas ang mga naligaw.


Mapalad ako dahil ako ay bahagi ng isang pamilyang Pilipino na may matatag na pananampalataya sa Panginoon at bahagi ng pagtitipong Eyukarista… na ang kahalagahan ay pilit kong pinamamahagi sa abot ng aking makakaya. Hindi man nakakariwasa sa anumang materyal na bagay, hitik naman ang pagkatao ko ng mga bagay na buong puso kong inaalay sa Kanya. Ang puso ko ay pinatitibok ng taos kong pananampalataya, at ang aking payak na karunungan ay umaapaw sa paniniwala sa Kanyang kapangyarihan.


Nagpapasalamat ako dahil itinuring ako ni Hesus bilang kapatid niya…at sa pagturing na yan ay kasama ang aking pamilya. Sumasama ang aking kalooban kapag nakakarinig ako ng panlalait kay Hesus ng mga hindi nakakaunawa sa Kanya. Halos magutay ang aking puso kapag ako ay nakakakita ng mga sinasadyang paglihis mula sa itinuro niyang tamang daan. Tinatanong ko ang aking sarili kung bakit sa kabila ng paghirap at kamatayan Niya sa burol ng Golgota, ay nagagawa pa rin ng ibang siya ay itakwil.


Ganoon pa man,  dahil sa nakagisnan ko nang katatagan bilang katangiang bahagi ng pamilyang Pilipino, naniniwala akong sa abot ng makakaya ko… namin….at nating lahat, matatamo din ang matagal nang inaasam na kapayapaan at pagkakaisa na siyang layunin ng Banal na Eyukarista – simbolo ng pagmamahal ni Hesus sa sangkatauhan at buong mundo!