Ang Lansang (Visayan/Hiligaynon dialect version)

Ang Lansang (Visayan/Hiligaynon dialect version)
ni Apolinario Villalobos

Kon tan-awon isa lang ini nga salsalon, may ulo ang isa ka punta, kag ang pihak mataliwis. Lain-lain ang takus sini: may daw palito sang posporo ka daku, may daw barbecue stick ka daku, asta sa daw kamalugko. Kon sadto salsalon lang ang lansang, subong may saway na para indi madunot sang tuktok, kag may stainless pa, para kon gamiton sa manipis nga plywood, indi delikado kon itum-ok.

Sadto indi pa gawa mabug-at ang mga materyales nga ginagamit sa pagpatindog sang mga balay paryas sang sanga kag hilamon. Amo nga pwede maskin higtan lang sang lanot. Pero, subong kinanlan na gid nga gamitan sang lansang para nga indi magkarabungkag ang mga dingding, salog, baralayan asta hagdan. Kon sa aton pa, lansang ang nagapahunit sang balay para indi ini basta maguba maskin sa hanot sang bagyo.

Ang malain lang kay subong ginagamit man ang lansang nga sangkap sang mga bomba nga ginapawasaag sang mga hurong nga terorista kag ekstursiyunista. Ginagamit man ini nga talom sang pana nga una ginkilala sa Tondo, bilang “Indian pana” (Indian arrow). Ang indi mapatihan nga gamit sang lansang, amo ang sa panghiwit nga kuno ginasulod sang manughiwit sa tiyan sang tawo kag para mapagwa, kinanlan ipamus-on pa nga nagaresulta sa pagkapilas sang tinai kag ariputan.

Masakit man pamatyagon, daku ang partisipasyon sang lansang sa pagluwas ni Hesus sa katawhan. Ginlansang siya sa krus. Lansang ang naghatag sa iya sang pasakit sa krus nga gin-antos Niya para lang maluwas sa sala ang mga tawo. Nalipatan lang siguro sang simbahan nga Kristiyano ang pagmitlang sa lansang, kay ang naandan nila nga gamiton bilang simbulo sang pasakit ni Hesus, krus lang. Kon indi tungod sa lansang, makumpleto ayhan ni Hesus ang sakripisyo Niya sa krus para sa katawhan? Kon ang krus, amo ang sala sang mga tawo nga ginpas-an ni Hesus, ang lansang naman ang pagkabugalon nila….naghatag sang sakit nga nagapanalupsop sa Iya nga mga kaunuran!

Translations:
salsalon -bakal/iron
pihak -kabila/other end
takus -sukat/size
tuktok -kalawang/rust
lanot -baging, damong pantali/vine, hemp
mabug-at -mabigat/heavy
higtan -talian/to tie
hurong -masamang tao/villain
ginapawasaag -pinapasabog/being exploded
panghiwit -pangkulam/witchcraft, sorcery
nagapahunit -nagpapatibay/strengthen
ariputan -puwet/anus
pagmitlang -pagbanggit/to mention
pagkabugalon –kayabangan/being proud
katawhan -mankind

Note: The Hiligaynon as a dialect is widely spoken on the island of Panay, one of the islands in Visayas (Philippines).

The Nail

The Nail
By Apolinario Villalobos

It is just a simple piece of iron with a head, and its other end is terrifyingly pointed. It comes in different sizes. Some come in the size of a match stick, some in the size of a barbecue stick, with the biggest that come as big as a thumb. Before, the nail was just made from crudely cast iron, but later, copper and brass were used so it won’t get deteriorated by rust, and today, even stainless steel is used so that it can puncture delicate materials such as thin plywood.

Our ancestors before were contented in securing their homes with fibrous tall grass and vines due to the lightness of materials that they used branches, twigs and grass. But today, due to the use of heavy materials, the nail is very important in putting together the roof, wall, floor and stairs, to come up with a house. Obviously, the nail is among the primary components in providing strength to the whole structure.

Nowadays, the nail is unfortunately being used as one of the components in making improvised bombs, and which extortionists and terrorists use in sowing dread throughout the world. In the Philippines, it is also being used as arrowhead for the “Indian pana” (Indian arrow) which hoodlums in Tondo use against their rival gangs. Still another use of the nail, though unbelievably, is in witchcraft. It is purportedly planted in the guts of victims, who claim to painfully and bloodily eliminate them through bowel movement.

The nail is part of Jesus Christ’s suffering on the cross which Christians believe as His ultimate act in saving mankind from sin. He was nailed on the cross. The nail caused Him pain. The Christian church may have just inadvertently failed to mention the nail every time the saving act of Christ on the cross is mentioned. Without the nail, would His suffering for mankind been completed on the cross? If the cross that He carried is mankind’s sin, the nail is its arrogance, the pain from which penetrated even the last sinew of His muscle!

The Lesson from the Consistent Humility of Jesus…that man never ever learns!

The Lesson from the Consistent Humility of Jesus
….that man never ever learns!
By Apolinario Villalobos

The birth of Jesus is the greatest manifestation of his humility. Unfortunately, instead of emulating such virtue, Christians celebrate his questionable birthday every December with so much pomp and unrestrained festivity. To justify the scandalous celebration, “Christians” reason out that they are just “happily celebrating”. Can’t happiness be celebrated in simple ways? Why spend the whole year savings for just a few days of spending all “in the name of Jesus”? Also, it is during such seemingly paganistic manifestation for the “love” of Christ that the hurting difference between the rich and the poor is very much defined…still, we pay no heed to such scandalously unchristian practice.

Bible readers come across parables about Christ’s humility, but instead of emulating them, what they read remain just that – stories from the pages of a book. And yet, they even unabashedly boast that they have read the Bible…and that, they are Christians, too!

When Jesus entered the place of his prophesied judgment and death, he was on a donkey. Today, many church dignitaries cannot go to a certain place without taking a chauffeured luxury car. While some priests are furnished with expensive car by their rich parents, why can’t they refuse such for the sake of their vow of poverty? However, for convenience of mobility when they do their “job”, perhaps, they can opt for a less expensive one so as not to trigger curiosity. Pope Francis has always been calling on his fellow priests to observe utmost humility and simplicity while shepherding their flocks. Unfortunately, only few seemed to have answered his incessant call. Some bishops and priests still drive around in Benzes and cars whose prices are enough to feed a thousand children in one month.

Jesus showed his paramount humility by washing the feet of his disciples. On the other hand, some avowed Christians squirm at the sight of street children and beggars clothed in rags. One morning, while waiting for a ride in front of a big mall, I saw a lady in white churchly dress give a sandwich to a beggar using her fully extended hand to keep her distance, while covering her nose with a handkerchief. When I approached the beggar, I did not smell any revolting odor at all, although he was grimy. The lady obviously attended a morning Mass in the mall as it was a Sunday, and giving a sandwich to a grimy beggar with an fully extended hand while covering her nose, after attending a Mass, was perhaps her “way” to show her being a Christian!

While dying on the cross, Jesus invoked his Father with full humility by asking why he was forsaken. Today, government officials and politicians who are being tried for robbing the government coffer of people’s money, swear to God that they are honest…adding that, they be struck by lightning where they stand if they are telling a lie!…humble, indeed!

Jesus was consistently humble since birth until the time of his death, but we refuse to acknowledge this manifestation….and, today we are paying for such arrogance…by suffering from the onslaught of natural calamities and man-made hostilities!…we just never learn!

Si Hesukristo…

Si Hesukristo…

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Kapayakan ng buhay ang kanyang ipinamalas

Sa sabsaban pa lang kung saan siya’y inihimlay ni Maria

Walang trumpetang hinipan upang ihudyat ang pagdating niya

Bagkus, isang nakasisilaw na bituin ang nakita – liwanag ng pag-asa.

Sa murang gulang ay nagpakita ng katalinuhan

Sa templo kung saan siya’y di nagpatalo sa mga Pariseyo

Maraming namangha’t nagulat sa ipinamalas na angking talino

Ang hindi nila alam, siya’y anak ng Diyos, Tagapagligtas, isang Sugo.

Buong pagpakumbabang nagpabasbas kay Juan

Santong itinuring, isinugo rin upang tumulong sa paghanda

Paghanda na kay Kristo ay nakalaan sa pagtubos ng sangkatauhan –

Na ayon sa Bibliya… pagtubos mula sa batik at bigat ng unang kasalanan.

Sakay ng buriko, hindi kamelyo, kabayo o karwahe

Sinalubong ng isinigaw na pagbati at wagayway ng palmera

Ganyan kababaang loob ang sa sambayanan ay kanyang ipinakita

Kahit na turing sa kanya ay magiting na manunubos kaya dinadakila!

Payak na hapunang tinapay, tubig, matamis na alak

Pinagsaluhan upang ipahiwatig, sa mundo’y natirang sandali

Naghugas din ng paa ng mga disipulo niya, pati kanilang mga binti

Pinakadakilang pagpakumbaba ni Kristo, na dapat gayahin nating gawi!

Sa Getsemani kung saan siya ay pinawisan ng dugo

Nakipag-usap siya sa Amang nagbigay ng mabigat na pasanin

Dito, sa tatlumpong pilak siya’y isinuplong ni Hudas na disipulo rin

Pagpapakita na minsan, nabubulag ang kaibigan ng masamang hangarin!

Hindi inalintana ang baku-bako at mabatong landas

Ilang beses na nagkandaluhod, bumagsak, mukha ay duguan

Nilibak at kinutya, hinagupit ng latigo, at walang sawang dinuraan

Subali’t di niya inalintana, dahil buong pusong tinanggap ang kamatayan!

At sa ibabaw ng Kalbaryo’y nasaksihan ang pagtubos

Isang magiting na pagtupad ng mabigat at banal na misyon

Ng isang Hesukristo, na ang pagkilala’y walang hinihinging panahon…

Ng isang Hesukristo, takbuhan at hinihingan ng tulong hanggang ngayon!

MAGBAGO NA TAYO…ALANG-ALANG KAY HESUKRISTO!!!! 

Christlike People Around Us

Christlike People Around Us

by Apolinario Villalobos

Without their knowing it, some people around us are Christlike – they who act like Christ but do not belong to the Christian fold. Some do not even belong to any religion. The Christlike way is my own gauge in measuring the extent of kindness one extends to others, while being Christian is belonging to the group that is supposed to advocate the teachings of Christ. Unfortunately, some or most members are only Christian in name but not in action.

When the typhoon Yolanda devastated Leyte and its neighboring Visayan provinces, some Aeta tribes in Zambales went down with bunches of bananas and sweet potatoes in answer to the call for donations. A girl donated her month’s savings that amounted to a little more than a hundred pesos. Two cigarette vendors I met in Sta. Cruz, Manila, donated the money each of them saved. While one vendor’s savings was supposed to be for his wife who was to give birth within the month, the other one’s savings was supposed to be for the purchase of tarpaulin for the pushcart which he considered as his family’s home.

In our neighborhood, “Ester”, a housewife who operates a beauty parlor sponsors free haircut at least once a month in depressed areas. A retired couple in a nearby neighborhood, “Gene” and “Maggie”, crams their old van with goodies for deserving street children who they would encounter every time they hit the road, aside from doing weekend visit to depressed areas with a small group. Still, a couple in another neighborhood, “Sam” and “Ness”, regularly visit on weekends a shelter for elderlies where they spend their whole day as volunteers. A retired couple in their 80’s, “Lando” and “Cora” are foster parents to a former child prostitute who will graduate from high school next year.

Even distance does not hinder others to act like Christ. “Perla” who lives in the United States regularly calls friends, schools, and stores for books to be discarded, even tarpaulins and emergency home tools which she patiently packs to be sent to the Philippines for street children. “Doring”, brought out her carefully saved money, an extra amount during her last visit to the Philippines, and which she sent to be spent for a needy person and street children.

There are more of these Christlike people around us, who do not even know that they are manifesting the image of Christ through their acts. Some do not even know how to pray the Rosary and Novena. Some do not kneel in front of the altar and implore God for blessings. Some have not tried joining a religious procession. Some do not say repetitive prayers akin to pagan chanting. Some do not offer flowers and candles to the images of saints. But these Christlike people, do what are supposed to be done right away for others, acts which are along what Christ said: “what you do to others, you do to me”, and “love they neighbor”…which could mean, who they may be.

Appreciating the Bible and Other Books

Appreciating the Bible

And Other Books

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The first religious book I had was given to me as a prize for beating the rest of the contestants who were my senior in an extemporaneous writing contest in English. I was in first year high school and the book was the freshly circulated “Imitations of Christ”, which today is one of the best sellers. I just kept it, forgetting even the name of the author.  A friend borrowed it and decided to keep it for good. Then, a lay minister whom we fondly called, “papa Joe” gave me a King James Version Bible which he fondly marked with a dedication. It occupies a space together with the Koran, two other versions of the Bible, Apokalipses of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and a book about mankind’s search for God.

 

When a friend saw my collection, he asked what I will do with them. Despite the silliness of the question, I told him that I need to know what I am supposed to know. He used to be a staunch Roman Catholic but when he joined the Masonic Temple, he seemed to have drifted away and sounded different. I told him that for me, all books contain information that everyone must learn, especially, those “special” ones that discourse on religion, cult, God, church, Christian movement, Marian devotion, archaeology, astronomy,etc. I could have told him more, but noticed his irritation. So I closed my statement with the short, “knowledge is power” with a tone of jest. I just did not want to embarrass him with a remark that he is the only “Mason” I know who does not believe in God. I pitied him for his choice to be ignorant.

 

Had not my curiosity made me interested in religious books, I may not have known that:

 

-the eldest son of Abraham was Ismael, and whose mother was Hagar, the handmaid of Sarah;

-in the Old Testament, the Israelites were told to always have a trowel as a household

tool so that they can use it to dig the ground when they move their bowel;

-in the Old Testament, one of the Lord’s instruction was not for the wife to join in a fight in which her husband figured, and most especially, not for her to grab the testicles of her husband’s foe as her effort to help her husband;

-in the New Testament, it says how Jesus lost his temper and cursed a fig that did not bear fruits that he could have eaten that day;

-in the New Testament, it says that the chosen people of God were also partaking of dried fish as a staple food;

-the legend of the flood was universal, meaning, practically, every race has a knowledge about it, but with their own different version;

-the “Mother and Child” devotion is not limited among the Catholics but also prevalent in other religions and cults;

-there is also universality in the belief about end of the world.

 

Those are just a few of what I have gained from browsing the pages of the books which others abhor because doing so would mean that they already “believe” in God or rather, develop in them an attachment to a religion, a church or worse, God. I cannot understand such attitude, because, how can you hate something that you do not understand well enough?

 

Going through the pages of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, which is the basis of other religious books is like browsing through the pages of National Geographic. Its historicity interspersed with “legends” made it some sort of a mini-library. I have the same interest when browsing through the pages of other similar books. There is a popular allegation that getting seriously immersed in these books would result to confusion and eventually, alienation from God. It did not happen to me. In fact, it developed in me more respect for others who are so dedicated to their own kind of evangelism to the point of fanaticism. 

 

In the Philippines, despite the deeply- rooted Catholicism among the majority of the Filipinos, there is enough space left for ecumenism that is why, in every activity of the national government wherein there is a need for invocations, different religious sectors are represented. This atmosphere is a great consolation among Filipinos who have diversified culture, yet united in their view as a race about the universality of God.