The Phenomenon called “growing old”…its benefits and disadvantages

The Phenomenon called “Growing Old”

…its benefits and disadvantages

By Apolinario Villalobos

Nobody should be afraid of growing old. It is among the many normal human processes that are part of existence. Simply put, growing old means, one continues to live, for if he does not…he is dead. Among Filipinos, there is a joke about unhealthy foods that make one not grow old which means that they will make him die at a young age.

The people of the Bible, especially, the Patriarchs were known to have lived beyond a century. Nowadays, if ever there are people who are still alive at the age of 100 or more, they are esteemed, treated with respect and showered with admiration. In some countries the centenarians are honored like heroes, subjected to interviews to extract information about the food that they eat and their daily habits. Those who belong to prominent families admit that they take “maintenance drugs” and their foods are strictly chosen. But for the poverty-stricken, they consider growing old as just some kind of luck, as they have no money for regular medical check-ups, supplemental drugs and healthy food…add to that their exposure to the elements, as some of them live on sidewalks and makeshift huts.

In the Philippines as in some other countries, the most cherished benefits of the senior citizens are the “discount” on basic necessities and privilege of not falling in the regular long line of customers in malls, supermarkets and banks. The government extends the much-deserved benefits in recognition of their contribution in propping up the stability of their nation.

Unfortunately, along with growing old is the degeneration of the ageing body parts. The rich try to remedy this unavoidable occurrence with the expensive stem cell therapy, aside from facial makeover that involves the traditional plastic surgery. Others take the risk of undergoing implant or transplant procedure. We then, see photos of celebrities with almost unreal faces – smooth like a plastic sheet without any tell-tale trace of a single wrinkle at an age when their faces are supposed to be furrowed with the dreaded lines.

There are some people who cannot accept the fact that everything on earth has its end. Boulders crumble, rivers and lakes go dry, forest gets denuded….how much more for the living? Aside from the reduction of population caused by natural death, there’s the so-called survival of the fittest among the lesser creatures with the strong consuming the weak, but in the case of man, just simply the killing of the weak by the strong during wars. Then, there’s the wrath of nature that devastates thousands of lives with a single stroke, and, of course, the plague of diseases.

We cannot stop ageing. Instead of dreading it, the process should prepare us for the day when we finally call it quits and bid goodbye to the world. It should instead, prepare us by making amends with our enemies, paying our debts, and of course, thank whoever gave us life. I found out that planning comes naturally for those who are positive about this ageing process, as they no longer regard with importance their amassed worldly gains, but instead find ways to dispose them, one of which is by distributing them among charitable institutions. Common sense dictates that “travel” is more pleasant if there is no “heavy baggage” to burden us. This realization comes only if we accept growing old as part of our life that cannot be shaken off by scientific interventions.

One of my friends told me that she gave instructions to her heirs that when she die, she wants a smiling face, not a serious one, for her friends to view inside the box of final solace, so they better find an embalmer who can do the best job. That is what I call the best preparation for the “day” which growing old cannot deter.

Man’s Life Revolves around Reasons

Man’s Life Revolves around Reasons

By Apolinario Villalobos

Everything that man does is founded on reason. There is always a reason for everything he does, and the following are just some of them:

For stealing- to save the family from starving to death, or for those in the government, just

for the heck of it because colleagues  do it.

For saving – to purchase a car, house, food, or gun to avenge the death of a loved one,

or hold others up for their money and become rich.

For committing suicide – to end the agony of depression and bid goodbye to the cruel world.

For making love – to consummate marriage or close relationship (even of same sex),

or sometimes to procreate, or more simply, to enjoy life.

For killing- to defend life and property, or just for fun, while under the influence of illegal drugs and liquor.

For drinking liquor- to drown sorrow and float on euphoric bliss.

For indulging in Bacchanalian splurges (uncontrolled eating and drinking)- to divert attention from loneliness, and for those in the government, while there is money left in the coffer.

For becoming a religious evangelist- to achieve a triple indulgence, such as money, spiritual fulfillment and fame, the better to attract candidates who want sure votes during elections in the Philippines.

For becoming a teacher- to show the world that even an average or below average guy can mold a future president, congressman, senator, lawyer, physician, priest, dictators, robbers, drug dealers, etc.

For becoming a Certified Public Accountant- to manifest love for numbers that can be juggled when keeping the book of earnings of businessmen, and of course, earn more numbers with monetary sign for keeping their two books – sure way to get rich quick.

For becoming a policeman- to arrest criminals, thefts, as well as, drug dealers, and confiscate their “goods” for “safekeeping” and “appropriate action” later on. Not all does the last reason…many are still straight.

Finally, the reasons why man is born are: LOVE that binds honest, sincere, and faithful couples; and LUST…of the rapist, adventurous teen-aged sweethearts, and irresponsible parents.

There is no Permanent Status in the World

There is no Permanent Status in this World

By Apolinario Villalobos

Good or bad fortune is not the same for all men. Some are born rich, while some are born poor. In some cases, some who were born rich become poor due to extravagance and negative circumstances beyond their control. On the other hand, some who were born poor have become rich by dint of hard work and frugality, still some, by virtue of “resourcefulness”, especially, those who entered politics.

Nobody wants to suffer from poverty. It is just that some people have a very low level of satisfaction that what appears to some people as poverty, is to the former, already a satisfactory life. Meanwhile, other aspects of life such as poverty and satisfaction have different degrees and rungs.

There is one thing, however, that most of us already know, as an important factor that can affect life – exploitation of the weak by the strong. Since time immemorial, this has been going on. For the lesser creatures, it is just for mere survival, as in the case of the animals in the jungle that kill for food. But for the civilized man, the ultimate reason is subjugation of the weak.

Nevertheless, as man by nature, is a struggling creature, along the way, there could be a reversal of fortune. Along the corridor of time, the vanquished sometimes become the victor and vice versa. There are also cases wherein dominating rich families encounter financial catastrophe and find themselves without a single centavo. Also, countries that used to be prosperous suddenly become impoverished due to badly managed national coffer and topsy-turvy financial system resulting from corruption.

Back to man, there are stories about rags-to-riches success. One is about Nora Aunor, touted as the “Filipina with a Golden Voice”, who as a teen-age girl, sold cold drinking water in a train station in Naga City. Another successful show business personality is German Moreno, the comedian turned broadcaster who used to be a cigarette vendor and janitor at Grand Opera House. There is also the story of Vice-President Binay who used to augment their family income by raising hogs in their backyard…but, now – just looking great with “hard and wisely-earned” money! Another story is about a guy, a former neighbor, who was the janitor-messenger of their office, but due to his business acumen and right connections, amassed millions from his real estate ventures. I am not saying here, that all ventures to earn riches are done the “right way”.

As for the downfall of the once great men, there are a lot of stories that can be told. One is that of the former Shah of Iran, who although, not very impoverished, is said to have no permanent residence today. A former Filipino world champion boxer, suddenly found himself without friends and money after squandering painfully- earned dollars. He is said to be begging in the wet market of General Santos City today. Many Filipino movie actors and actresses who used to be famous, failed to invest their talent fee and died paupers, while some are languishing with terminal diseases, surviving on daily financial dole-out from friends for their medicine.

The world is replete with success and downfall stories, giving substance to the adage: “what goes up, must come down”. These are lessons that should be learned as they are written in books or told, but only few are taking note, for as what a line in the song, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” says: “when will we ever learn?…yes, when will we ever learn?”.

The very positive-minded have the answer: “que sera sera…whatever will be, will be”…which may be okay, for as long as no regret will be felt at the end!…and for as long as they do not blame others and God!

We should not forget that “regrets always come at the end”….

Kung Hindi dahil sa Kasakiman ng Tao, wala sanang Passport, Visa at iba’t ibang Simbahan ngayon

Kung Hindi Dahil sa Kasakiman ng Tao

Wala sanang Passport, Visa

at Iba’t ibang Simbahan Ngayon

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Kung paniniwalaan ang alamat na nakasaad sa Bibliya tungkol sa pagkawatak-watak ng sangkatauhan na ang dahilan ay ang pagguho ng tore ng Babel, sana ang sangkatauhan ay nagkakabuklod na ayon sa unang kagustuhan ng Diyos. Subalit dahil sa sobrang kasakiman ng mga tao noong unang panahon, minabuti ng Diyos na ikalat sila pagkatapos Niyang wasakin ang nasabing tore.

Dahil sa kasakiman ng tao, walang gustong magpatalo at lahat ay nag-aakalang sila ay matalino, kaya pati ang kaalaman ng Diyos ay gusto pang saklawan o talunin. Maganda na sana kung ang mga natutunan ay ginagamit ng tao sa mabuting paraan, subalit taliwas ang gusto niyang mangyari – ang siya ay maghari o mangibabaw sa iba. Dahil diyan, nagkakaroon ng patayan at malakihang digmaan dahil nagsasaklawan o nagkakalampasan ng mga hangganan o boundary ng teritoryo. Isama pa ang mga inaadhikang ideyolohiya at ispirituwal ng mga nagmimithing mangingibabaw kaya hindi na nagkaroon ng katapusan ang mga bangayan ng mga bansa at iba’t ibang grupo, at sa isa’t isa.

Upang hindi na madagdagan ang kaguluhan, nagkanya-kanya na ang iba’t ibang lahi sa pagtakda ng mga alituntunin tungkol sa mga hangganan, kaya ngayon ay hiwa-hiwalay ang mga tao na ang mga pagkakaiba maliban sa kultura ay nadagdagan pa ng relihiyon.

Nagkaroon ng passport at visa. Ang mga simbahan ay nagkaroon ng kanya-kanyang palatandaan upang kahit sa kilos, pananamit at pananalita ay makilala nila ang kani-kanilang kasapi. Sa kabila ng mga nabanggit, nakakalungkot na talagang may mga taong sagad sa buto ang kasakiman kaya nakakapanakit pa rin ng iba sa pamamagitan ng salita at mga mararahas na pagkilos.

May mga simbahan na sa halip magpairal ng pagmamahal sa kapwa ay nagtuturo pa sa mga miyembro nila kung paanong siraan ang ibang simbahan na hindi naman nakikialam sa kanila, dahil lang gusto nilang palabasin na sila ang pinakamagaling. May mga bansa namang sa halip na tutukan kung paano silang umunlad pa upang lalong makatulong sa kanilang mga mamamayan ay nang-eespiya at nangangantiyaw pa sa ibang bansa. May mga bansa ring hindi na nakuntento sa kung ano meron sila, kaya nangangamkam pa ng teritoryo ng ibang bansa. Ilan lang yan sa mga kasakima ng taong umiiral sa panahon ngayon.

Ang pakikipagkapwa ay maganda sana kung walang kinikilalang kulay at lahi. Mas lalong magaling din sana kung, kahit iba’t ibang simbahan ang kinabibilangan ng mga tao, isipin nila na iisa lang ang Diyos, subalit iba’t iba nga lang ang pangalan, kaya hindi dapat pairalin ang paligsahan kung sino ang mas magaling magsamba at magdasal!

The Dismal Failure of the “Resettlement” Program for Informal Settlers in Manila

The Dismal Failure of the “Resettlement” Program

for Informal Settlers in Manila

By Apolinario Villalobos

While the effort of the government to “save” Manila’s informal settlers from the danger of their abodes on the banks of esteros, underneath the bridge and unhealthy, as well as, filthy slums, is commendable, the sincerity is questionable. Where is sincerity in the promise about comfort in these resettlement areas that have no water facilities, lighted roads, public transportation, and electricity? To give a raw impression of these projects, footages of “comfortable” life in these areas are shown on TV, though it is purported that they consist just a very minimal percentage of completed units. The resettled families have no choice, but be resourceful to make the “shell” that the government call “house”, comfortable, rather than wait for the agency people to tell them that that at least, they need not worry about any demolition.

The resettled people worked in Manila business centers such as Divisoria, Sta. Cruz, Quiapo, Intramuros, Port Area, Malate, and Ermita, as well as airport terminals in Pasay City, and Makati. Some were paid the minimum wage. The rest were on daily contracted rates which were way below the minimum such as those working in stores and mall shops, in restaurants as waiters, cooks and waitresses. Some were junk collectors that rummage city dumps. Some were porters in piers and airport terminals, and still some were janitors, street sweepers, and part-time housekeepers. Their children went to schools which were walking distance away from their makeshift homes. Before the resettlement, the working members of the family already had barely enough daily fare, so that some walked to their job sites, making do with just biscuits for lunch. And then, they were forcefully resettled in the middle of school year, cutting short the studies of their children. Resettlement areas are in far off Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and even Batangas. After the resettlement, most working members of the family quit their job for lack of daily fare to work.

Where is sanity in this supposedly “humane” program of the government? At times, even the rain could not stop the demolition of the makeshift homes, leaving the hapless families shivering, soaked to the bone, wet and hungry, crying their heart out while witnessing the tearing apart of their home that they painstakingly built out of salvaged tins and boards.

Cleared areas give way to malls and condos put up by foreign investors. Some are left as is – vacant, and just fenced in with barbed wire. The esteros or waterways that get cleared of shanties become clogged again by the waste from the upper portion of the Pasig river… floating on the stinking and murky water that flows out to Manila Bay, And the reason?… inconsistent cleaning and monitoring by authorities!  Yet, the government blames only the squatters for the perennial overflowing of these esteros! How about the factories and “legal” homes along the rivers which are also responsible for the waste and garbage that clog these waterways?

Meanwhile, the families in the pathetic resettlement areas try to survive on sweet potato leaves, kangkong, malunggay and wild indigenous vegetables, to go with their daily gruel of NFA rice. Some teen-aged daughters whose studies were cut short, try to help their family by trekking to nearby towns to work in market stalls and small eateries at Php100 a day. Mothers who used to gather vegetable trimmings in Divisoria to be sold on sidewalks or as part-time laundress near their former shanties in the city are left with nothing to do. Their husbands on the other hand cannot afford the more than three hundred pesos fare to their former jobs as porters at the port area and busy city wet markets.

As a last resort, desperate families sell the rights to their “home” and go back to where they came from to start another stage of survival. The government and the agency concerned seem blind to this vicious cycle as a result of their program that lack long-ranged planning. They thought that the solution to the urban squatting problem ends in the resettlement of the families. They forgot that the roof over the head is not just the basic need of man in order to survive. They forgot that such man has to work and earn in order to eat and do other endeavors to better his life, such as go to school.

What the government obviously wants are the numbers that they can print on reports about “rehabilitated” indigent Filipinos! Something for the world to see, that, indeed, poverty in the Philippines has been reduced!

Ang Pagbaba ng Standards ng Moralidad at Values…dahil naging subjective o pangsarili na ang mga ito

Ang Pagbaba ng Standards ng Moralidad at Values
…dahil naging subjective, o pangsarili na ang mga ito
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Malaki na talaga ang ipinagbago sa ugali ng mga tao dahil sa mga makabagong pangyayari sa kanyang paligid. Katulad na lamang ng pagbaba ng standards ng moralidad at values. Kung noon, ang umiiral ay todo-todong pagmamalasakit sa kapwa, ngayon ay kawalan ng pakialam ang madalas mangyari. Ang sabi ng iba, mas maganda na daw yong hindi nakikialam upang hindi masangkot sa problema kung sakali. Subalit kung sa mga taong ito naman mangyari ang hindi maganda at walang makialam, nagagalit naman sila. Kaya masasabing ang moralidad at values ngayon ay naging “one way”, kabaligtaran ng mga dating nangyayari na nagpapakialaman upang maipairal ang tulungan o bayanihan.

Ang isang halimbawa ay mga problema na dulot ng droga. Marami nang nababalitaan tungkol dito. Pero may isa akong kaibigan na kibit-balikat lamang dahil ang mga anak daw niya ay mababait kaya walang problema sa droga. Subalit minsan ay nabugbog ang anak niyang binatilyo ng mga nangingikil na kilala sa lugar nila na mga adik. Naospital ang kanyang anak. Dahil sa pangyayari, “naramdaman” ng kaibigan ko ang masamang epekto ng droga, na kahit hindi binibisyo ng kanyang anak ay nakakaapekto din pala sa kanilang pamilya. Dahil sa nangyari sa kanyang anak, ang kaibigan ko ay galit na sa mundo!

May isang pamilya naman na lahat ng miyembro ay kumpleto sa mga bisyo, tulad ng sugal, sigarilyo, at droga. Ang katwiran ng ina, basta hindi naman sila nananakit o nakikialam sa kanilang mga kapitbahay, okey lang. Nakakaraos sila sa pakikisama sa mga katulad nilang ganoon din ang mga bisyo. May pansarili silang standards ng moralidad na pinaiiral, hindi na yong sinusunod na dapat ay may dulot na kabutihan para sa lahat.

Ang pagbaba ng moralidad ay nakikita rin sa buhay ng mga pulitiko. Ang mga pulitikong pamilya na bistado namang may ginagawang hindi maganda ay walang pakialam kahit binabatikos na. Baka sa harap ng hapunan kung magkita sila ay nagpapalakihan pa ng nakurakot sa kaban ng bayan! Kaya sa panahon ngayon, ang kasabihan sa Ingles na “it runs in the family” ay hindi lang tumutukoy sa ganda, talino, sipag, atbp…kundi pati sa pagka-corrupt!

Sa isang banda, mayroon pa rin namang iilang pulitiko na nagpipilit na magpairal ng mataas at katanggap-tanggap na antas ng moralidad at values sa trabaho nila. Mahirap man, kailangan nilang gawin ito upang hindi tuluyang mawala ang batayan ng mga nararapat na gawin ng isang tao…saludo ako sa kanila!

The Two Jungles: Jungle of Nature (marine and terrestial), and the Jungle of Civilized Man

The Two Jungles : Jungle of Nature (marine and terrestrial),
and the Jungle of Civilized Man
By Apolinario Villalobos

In a jungle, the rule is survival of the fittest, based on the two main players – the predator and the prey. The strong is the predator and the weak is the prey. While in the marine and terrestrial jungles, the relationships are multi-layered depending literally on the size of the creatures, in the jungle of the civilized man, there are just two layers – the strong and the weak.

In a way, the aforementioned relationship checks overpopulation of both jungles. This is aside from the death caused by occurrence of diseases and natural disasters. Without deaths, the world should have been overpopulated long time ago yet, bursting to the seam, as they say.

Unlike the marine and terrestrial jungles where inhabitants have no choice, in the jungle of civilized man, there is a choice for the furtherance or extension of existence, by man himself, despite the mentioned occurrence of natural disasters, thanks to the wonder drugs and medical technology.

In the jungle of the civilized man, war ensues when the strong tries to overrun the weak who somehow tries to fight back. Some unfortunately, are devastated by natural calamities such as drought, flood, typhoon, and earthquake. And worst, is when man chooses to self-annihilate himself by his unscrupulous throwing of refuse to the oceans and rivers, as well as, ruthlessly cutting down of trees and digging down in search of minerals and oil.

In the jungle of the civilized man, those with unsatiated desire for enrichment, just go on with their business, thinking that for as long as they have the money amassed by all means –exploitation, graft, corruption, drug deals, plain robbery, etc., they can live on as they want. Those with less of the monetary potency coupled with a damned attitude, leave everything to God as regard to what the days to come will give them. But those who are conscious of their limited stay on earth, be they moneyed or not, exert effort in preparing themselves – this is when the wise choice is put to the fore.

The Desire to have a longer life

The Desire to have a Longer Life

By Apolinario Villalobos

The desire to live longer in this world is a manifestation of satisfaction felt about what are being experienced in this world. There is no regret for having been brought forth into the chaos that characterized the world. In other words, whoever has this feeling is happy.

The aforementioned feeling is the opposite of what is felt by a person who is never satisfied, one who always finds fault in others and in just anything that God created. He feels that he cannot tolerate such imperfections, hence, better for him to call it quits and say goodbye to life!

Man is given the choice, either to live in happiness or misery, based on how he conducts himself in this world. Some of us, who wallow in poverty, can still declare sincerely- felt happiness. While others who are neck-deep in luxury still have the heart to express sadness. Such differing feelings determine the desire to live life longer.

Every day should be viewed as a happy moment in life that occurs because we want it to happen. This attitude is the driving force that sustains the desire in us to live longer than expected. This force should not be affected by numbers such as age and time, and possible only by making ourselves oblivious to such. Again, this can be made possible by making ourselves busy in doing something – good, of course.

On board a jeepney one day, I found myself sitting beside a senior citizen, a lady clad in white dress, obviously a devotee of the Virgin Mary. As the jeepney that I took was plying the route of Pasay-Baclaran, I presumed that she was on her way to the Baclaran Church, especially, because it was a Wednesday. Baclaran is the national shrine of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help with Wednesday being the devotion day.

As I could not contain my curiosity, I asked for her age to which she gladly replied, ninety-six! I was almost floored by her answer. I thought she was just past sixty. She told me that she has been a devotee of the Virgin Mary for more than fifty years. Every Wednesday, she wakes up early to take a jeepney to Baclaran, and every Friday she takes her time in going to Quiapo to fulfill her devotion to the Black Nazarene.

I compared the senior lady whom I befriended to another one I knew who devoted her time at bingo hall of her favorite shopping mall, from Monday to Thursday, as Friday to Sunday are for mahjong socials with her friends. At age sixty-three, she looked haggard with her face heavily made up, so that she looked more than eighty. She died last year, 2014, just four months before her sixty-third birthday.

The Act of Kindness…a message to parents

The Act of Kindness

…a message to parents

By Apolinario Villalobos

The act of kindness should not be a means to an end, but the reason, in itself. In other words, we should not be kind to others, just because we want to go to heaven, but because we want to do it to for the sake of others. Acting kindly should be spontaneous. The act should form part of our habit. By acting this way, we will forget to count our indulgences which others are prone in doing. The act of kindness should end when the action is done, so that any return for such act is not considered.

In this regard, parents should stop telling their kids to be kind to others so that Jesus will love them. Children should be told to be kind, because by being so they are helping others. Of course, there is always Jesus or God or heaven as reasons every time we do kind acts. But, foremost, as our reason to be kind should be the expectation of us, as human beings, intelligent creatures, who should be kind to others. The clever guys may ask, what happens then to the Ten Commandments?

For the question above, I also ask, how about the aborigines who do not know God?… those in the hinterlands and jungles who have not seen a missionary, much more a Bible or a cross? Don’t they have the right to go to heaven even if they have done acts of kindness, just because nobody told them about such an eternal paradise? The unconscious dispensing of kind acts by these people who, in the eyes of others are uncivilized, deserve more heavenly recognition that what some evil-minded, though, college or university-educated and church-going humans are doing!

Parents should tell their children that they should be kind to others because the latter deserve respect due them as human beings. And, blessings should be shared with them because they need the help to be able to survive. We should do only those, and just leave to God the judgment if our acts are worthy of a place in heaven. Again, we should not count our acts of kindness.

Every Christmas, some parents are even going farther, by warning their kids not to be bad because Santa Claus will not give them gifts. Christianity or any religion that observes Christmas never teaches that! Santa Claus is not even mentioned in the Bible or whatever book of any religion. Santa Claus just like the Christmas tree, is just a symbol of the pagan way of celebrating Christmas, to have a semblance of festivity. Christmas is all about the humble birth of Jesus Christ. And, what has been originally celebrated was the baptism of Jesus Christ. It was only one of the early popes who thought of giving importance to the birthday of Jesus Christ, with the exact date not yet even officially established, and to give it a facade of joyful celebration for the sake of the converted pagans, used their early practices that are still being observed today.

A mother confided to me that when she told her child that Santa Claus is a missionary, the child in all innocence, asked her mother why he does not wear a cross, or carry a Bible! The mother was caught flat-footed, and she told me that she felt so ashamed of what she told her child, vowing never to tell her lies again.

The erroneous way of developing kindness in the personality of a child has done its toll. The wrong notion about kindness has become an integral part of the obnoxious attitude of some children which they will pass on to their own children when they become parents, themselves. The world is so full of children with this kind of attitude, with the parents themselves, to be blamed for their “spoiled” upbringing. This is a general observation. If some parents are doing the right thing, they need not react defensively. Unfortunately, I may be pessimistic, by sharing that I see no end to this vicious cycle. Only voluntary contrition of parents may help. But how many parents are willing?

Ang Common Sense Na Hindi naman Common

Ang Common Sense

Na Hindi naman Common

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Hindi maintindihan kung minsan ang takbo ng isip ng tao. Kung ano ang bawal, halimbawa, ay siya niyang gustong gawin. Kung ano ang dapat gawin, ay siya namang pinakaiiwasang gawin. Ang katinuan kadalasan ay wala sa ayos, dahil ang tinatawag na common sense, na dapat ay palasak at dapat palaging nandiyan lang sa kanyang katauhan, ay siya namang palaging wala.

May isa akong kaibigan na mabilis ang pagkahulog ng katawan kaya bukod sa namumutla na ay namamayat pa, yon pala ay may diabetes at may diperensiya na ang bato o kidney. Ilang beses ko na siyang pinayuhan noon pa mang malusog pa siya, tungkol sa mga halamang gamot o mga herbal medicines. Hindi pala sinusunod ang payo ko lalo na ang mga tungkol sa pagkain at mga bawal na bisyo, kaya natuluyang gumastos sa pagpapadoktor at pagbili ng mga mahal na gamot. Isang araw ay sinabi niya na “magpapabulong” daw siya sa isang arbularyo sa isang karatig na lalawigan. Sa ganoong gamutan, binubulungan daw ng arbularyo ang bahagi ng katawang may diperensiya.

Tinapat ko siya na pang-doktor ang sakit niya dahil hindi naman siya kinukulam. Dagdag ko pa, kung ano mang gamot ang “ibubulong” ng arbularyo ay siguradong mga halaman din na alam na ng lahat, kaya walang bago sa aasahan niyang gamutan. Ayaw pa ring paawat, itinuloy ang biyahe nila ng nakilala niyang “magpapabulong” din. Nang makauwi, binalitaan ako na ganoon nga ang nangyari – sinabihan siya ng arbularyo na itigil ang mga pagkaing bawal, at ang mga halamang sinabi sa kanya ay kapareho ng mga sinabi ko na sa kanya noon pa! Nagpagod na siya, gumastos pa!

Ang isa namang kaibigan ay walang inaasahan, maliban sa pagtinda sa palengke. Dalawa ang anak na suhod ang luho tulad ng mamahaling cellphone at mga damit. Pati sa pagkain ay pihikan ang mga ito, dahil ayaw kumain ng gulay at mumurahing isda – kinunsinti kasi ng kaibigan ko, maliit pa lang sila. Nang payuhan ko ang kaibigan kong maghinay-hinay sa pagsunod sa luho ng mga anak, ang sagot niya ay “sige lang…ngayon lang naman nila matitikman, eh…”. Halos isang kahig, isang tuka ang pamumuhay nila dahil ang perang ginagamit ay regular na inuutang sa ilang tao na nagtiwala sa kanya, at pinapaikot-ikot lamang niya upang makasambot sa pagbayad. Ang maling uri ng pagpapakita ng pagmamahal na ito ang halata nang nakakasira sa pag-uugali ng mga anak niya.

Ang uri ng buhay na meron tayo sa mundo ay batay sa takbo ng ating katinuan at common sense. May tinatawag na maluhong pamumuhay, may pabayang pamumuhay, may maingat na pamumuhay, may malusog na pamumuhay…marami pang iba. Ang talino natin ay nakokontrol ng katinuan at common sense, dahil kung hindi, ang talinong ito ay hindi magagamit ng maayos. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit sa ibabaw ng mundo ay may naglilipanang kriminal at mapagsamantala, ganoong ang iba sa kanila ay nagtapos sa mga de-kalidad na mga pamantasan at kolehiyo. Yong iba sa kanilang humantong sa mga opisina ng gobyerno ay mga corrupt. Yong iba na dapat ay tagapagpatupad ng batas ay naging bayaran.

Walang katumbas na halaga ng pera ang common sense o katinuan. May mga taong matino o may common sense na makikita sa mga kabundukan at nabubuhay sa pagkaing gubat. Mayroon ding mga namumulot ng basura at natutulog sa bangketa. Talo nila ang mga may diploma o master’s degree or doctorate na ang mga tanging laman ng isip ay kung paano kumita ng pera sa anumang paraan at manglamang ng kapwa.