Emma (tula para kay Emma P. Jamorabon)

EMMA

(para kay Emma P. Jamorabon)

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Sa mga mata niyang animo ay nangungusap

Walang katapat na kasiyahan ang mababanaag

At sa matinis niyang boses, ang kausap na nagagalit

Huhupa, sa damdami’y nag-uumapaw na pagngangalit.

 

Mapagmahal na kabiyak, inang walang katulad

Sa mga kaibigan ay mapagbigay, kahit siya’y kapos

At handang magsakripisyo sa abot ng makakaya niya

Kapalit na pagtitiis ay buong puso niyang hindi alintana.

 

Mga huling yugto ng kanyang buhay na nauupos

Inalay sa mapagmahal na Inang Mariang sinandalan

Kaya kahit sa pagkaratay, hirap man siya sa paghinga

Katiwasayan ay maaaninag sa mala-birhen niyang mukha. 

 

Sa kanyang maaliwalas na pamamaalam sa mundo

Ipinahiwatig niyang sa Diyos tayo ay dapat magtiwala

Dahil sa buhay nati’y Siya lang ang nakakaalam ng lahat

Lalo na ang mitsa nito’t sinding may taning ….

Kung hanggang kaylan lamang sapat.

 

(Alay ng nagmamahal na pamilya, mga kaibigan at naging estudyante, lalo na ang NDTC Boys’ High School Batch ’70.)

 

 

Respect for Time, Discipline, and Death

Respect for Time, Discipline and Death

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Practically, everybody is familiar with the adage, “we cannot turn back the hands of time”. But still, many do not have a full understanding of what it means and its effect to our life. They may also appreciate such adage that serves as a reminder, but they are not serious about it.

 

Time is the most important factor that can affect life as the world is at its mercy. Regretting for the lost time is like crying over spilled milk or precious water. We may cry our eyes dry and punch our chest with clinched fist while uttering hundreds of mea culpa, but what have been spilled can no longer be recovered. We cry over lost opportunities because we were late for appointments. We lost a prospective job because we were late for the interview. We missed our flight because we did not wake up early, etc.

 

Anything that is not respected is disregarded or taken for granted, and that is what many people do to time most often. Many forgot that time is used to reckon our physical and mental development, how we fare as we trudge along the road of life, and in giving us a chance to change for the better. We always say, “…give me time” which simply means, “…give me a chance”.

 

Time is so much a part of our life that many people become uneasy if they do not glance at a watch every hour of the day. Everything that we do is controlled by time, from waking up until we go back to bed. Time controls our job, our meals, even our use of the toilet. We even use it to warn others about their misdoings by telling them, “how many times did I tell you….”. Even our pulse and heartbeat are timed to check if we are physically fit.

 

If time controls us, discipline compels us to abide by its ticking, such that husbands must be home before midnight, employees must be at their post at certain designated time, minors must be home not later than ten in the evening, meals should be taken at certain times of the day till evening, medicines should be taken at certain times, etc. Respect for time and utmost discipline cannot be separated as without the other, our life and the world will be in a topsy-turvy state.

 

We should also be thankful to the guy who discovered time and those who invented gadgets that we need to measure the extent of our life in this world. Time tells us when we should “depart” from this world, unless it is cut short by unexpected events resulting to what we call as as “untimely” death.

 

 

Farewell…Eboy (for Eboy Jovida)

Farewell…Eboy

(for Eboy Jovida)

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

In this world you’ve ceased to live

But in our heart and mind

You shall linger with a smile –

And, it shall never fade in time.

 

You’ve tried to be the best you could –

Husband, father… friend

In songs you have crooned

Even the calm you well feigned.

 

Farewell…to the best father, farewell!

Friend, you’re a delight

Ride on the glory of our love

As you journey towards that Light!

Eboy Jovida

 

 

 

On Life, Love, Faith, and Death

On Life, Love, Faith, and Death

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Nobody chose to be born. The new life developed in the womb of the woman is the result of her copulation with a man, done either with love or just plain lust. That is why there are so-called “bundle of love or joy” of married couple some of whom sign divorce papers after five years or a little more of companionship, or “unwanted child” of a rape victim. When the fetus is delivered into the world as an infant, its innocence and fragility make it helpless in the hands of the people who take care of it. Lucky are those who are born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouth, but, woe to those born of impoverished mother whose dry and wrinkled breast cannot provide even a single drop of milk.

 

There is a very popular counsel from the religious conscience groups which says, “…thank the Lord for the life He gave, and that He alone can also take back…” which implies that He is responsible for all the life on earth. They add that man should do the rest to survive as God also gave him intelligence. If this is so, can man be blamed if he decides to do the easiest-to-do crimes?  If a criminal committed rape and murder resulting to the distress of the victim’s loved ones, why can’t he be penalized justly, instead of being “rehabilitated”  which the God-fearing human rights groups are insisting, when there is no guarantee that he will not repeat such vicious acts and eventually claim more victims? As the choice to commit crimes is man’s decision, God has nothing to do with it, hence, His will is not being violated, so that whatever corporal penalty imposed on the criminal is just appropriate. On the other hand, if man is pre-destined, why work hard, if everybody is destined for his or her place in this world as willed by God?

 

I have heard stories of people struggling for a better life and even witnessed some of them doing all the best they can to provide decent meals to their families three times a day. The desperate are pushed by circumstances to commit crime. The weak who cannot bear the suffering commit suicide. Along this line, many valedictorians and summa cum laudes are beaten to better and best opportunities by those who have barely earned passing grades in college…proof that “being at the right place, at the right time” really works and not the “God-given intelligence”. In other words, shall we go back again to the presumption that God willed man to live according to His plan?

 

On the other hand, many disease-ridden patients who are suffering for long are not given the choice to “rest” for good. It is against the law of the land, governments would say. It is against God’s will, the religious groups would say. In the first place, if it is not the choice of man to be born, why not give him the option to end his life if he finds that the world is not for him or if he feels that he is already exhausted or burned out…having done everything even for the sake of others? Most especially, why burden for instance, the family of a dying man with mounting hospital and drug bills just because choosing to die translates to committing a sin? Why wait until the hopelessly sick man has become comatose before a doctor may give consent to the family to unplug the machine that makes his heart beat, as he is already brain-dead?

 

I would like to make it clear that I am thankful for my life, though I did not choose to be born, and this dissertation is not meant to influence others to leave their religious communities. I know that so many humans have the same confusing questions that I have stated earlier. I am just being loud about them, while they may have chosen to be quiet. What I ask is of them at this juncture, is to do what is universally accepted as good, based especially, on the simple Golden Rule…be they, are atheist or religiously zealot human beings who believe every word uttered by their preacher. Just do good and nothing shall definitely go awry…

 

Take Note of the Signs and Reminders About Diseases

Take Note of the Signs and Reminders

About Diseases

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

What we do normally is to take the necessary steps only when we are already feeling the effect of a disease or sickness. What most people forget is that signs and reminders are also manifested by other bodies, especially, the first-degree relatives. Their suffering from a certain disease or sickness should remind us that the same can happen to us. If for instance, our mother, or father, or brother, or sister, or first cousin, or uncle, or aunt, are suffering from or worse, died of cancer, hypertension, or complications triggered by diabetes, then most likely, we can have the same fate because the same diseases are in our blood. The signs pointing to them should immediately caution us to be very extra careful…at least, to delay the effect if we want to live longer…or, at least minimize the pain of the effect upon their occurrence.

 

All kinds of diseases are inherited, although, the “amount” varies according to the genes. It is for this reason that prevention for the onset or worsening is very necessary. This is also the reason why blood sample is taken from the newly-born infant to determine the stages of its life when certain diseases may occur and the parents are counseled what precautionary measures to take or when they should go back to the pediatrician so that necessary prescriptions could be made.

 

Those who were born before the blood sampling for newly-born has been popularly practiced, rely on the time when diseases occur. When a member of the family succumbs to the heart attack, for instance, he is brought to the hospital which could  already be late.  Of course “maintenance medicines” are prescribed after check- ups done usually at the age of 50 or 60. But such may be considered late, as the disease could have fully developed to become well-entrenched in the person’s system….arteries have been clogged, diabetes has reached uncontrolled level, inflammations in the organs have occurred and developed into cysts, kidneys have been damaged, etc.

 

What I am trying to say here is that parents themselves should remind their children about “family diseases” as shown by deaths in the family. At a young age, the children should be counseled on what food to avoid or at least eat in moderation. Each one of us should also open our mind for inputs from other people and what are gathered from the media, especially, the internet. WE SHOULD NOT ONLY READ BUT ACT ON WHAT ARE BEING SHARED. The inputs should not only be appreciated but put into practice. They should not only be made as “conversation pieces”, but emulated.

 

There is always resistance every time chili, garlic, ginger, ampalaya, turmeric, saluyot, okra are mentioned- foods that are beneficial. They would say, it is hot, slimy, bitter, etc. And, those who have read or heard testimonies about their healing effects, express their appreciation …and it ends there, nothing else is done by the person who appreciates.

 

When an acquaintance died of cancer or complications brought about by diabetes or stroke, friends ask questions….but I doubt if the unfortunate incident has ever made them think if their lifestyle, especially, their diet, will also lead to such, or it made them curious about deaths in their family which necessitates asking their elders about their family history, so that preventions can already be taken.

 

Again, I say…regrets comes always at the end.

Ang Tao, Kalinisan, Pagkain, at Iba Pa

Ang Tao, Kalinisan, Pagkain, at Iba Pa

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Hindi maganda sa isang tao ang sobra-sobrang pagiging malinis, kaya makakita lang ng pagala-galang inosenteng ipis ay animo naholdap na kung magsisigaw. Hindi masama ang maging malinis sa paligid, lalo na sa tahanan at katawan. Dapat lang nating alalahanin na lahat ng bagay, mabuti man, ay may limitasyon, tulad ng pag-inom ng gamot at pagkain. Ang binabakuna sa katawan ng tao upang magkaroon ito ng panlaban sa virus na nagiging sanhi ng iba’t ibang uri ng sakit ay virus din, kaya ang unang epekto nito ay pagkakaroon ng lagnat hanggang “masanay” ang katawan sa pagkakaroon nito. Ibig sabihin, may mga mikrobyo ding napapakinabangan ng tao, kahit ang mga ito ay itinuturing na marumi at salot.

 

May isa akong kaibigan na sa sobrang kalinisan sa bahay ay palaging pinapansin ang nalulugas na buhok ng kanyang misis kaya tuwing magsusuklay ito ay sinusundan niya at pinupulot ang mga buhok na nalalaglag sa sahig. Isang beses sinabihan uli niya ang kanyang misis ng, “o, marami na namang buhok ang nalugas mula sa ulo mo”. Napuno na yata ang misis kaya sinagot niya ang mister ng, “mabuti…ipunin mo para maihalo sa scrambled eggs bukas!”. Pinayuhan ko ang kaibigan ko na hindi tinatanggap sa korte ang nalulugas na buhok ng asawa na kumakalat sa sahig bilang dahilan ng annulment ng kasal, nang minsang humingi siya sa akin ng payo. Sa halip ay sinabihan ko siyang kumbinsihin ang asawang magpakalbo upang maibili niya ng maraming wig na iba’t iba ang pagkaayos at kulay para umayon sa kanyang mood! Hindi ko na nakita ang kaibigan ko… sana hindi sinaksak ng misis!

 

May mag-asawa naman akong kilala na dati ay bugnutin pero hinayaan ko na lang dahil parehong mahigit 70 na ang edad. Pero nang makita ko uli ay sila pa ang unang bumati sa akin. Nang tanungin ko kung ano ang pagbabago sa buhay nila, ang sabi nila, “hindi na kami madalas maglinis ng bahay”. Noon kasi habang naglilinis sila ng bahay ay minumura nila ang alikabok, at maghapon silang nakasimangot lalo pa at nakikita nila ang pagkakalat ng dalawang apo. Nadiskubre din nila na mula noong hindi na sila madalas maglinis, tuwing umaga ay may dalawa hanggang tatlong ipis silang nakikita na nagkikisay. Sabi ko sa kanila ay malamang na-“suffocate” o nalason ng naipong alikabok sa sahig ang mga ipis na ginagapangan nila. Dagdag- paliwanag ko pa ay, kaya siguro mas gustong manirahan ng ipis sa cabinet at mga sulok ay dahil wala halos alikabok sa mga ito. Bilang payo, sinabihan ko silang mag-ball room dancing na rin.

 

Maraming ospital na hi-tech ang naglilipana ngayon saan mang panig ng mundo, kasama na diyan ang Pilipinas at nagpapataasan pa ng singil. Dahil sa kamahalan ng kanilang singil, ang nakakakaya lang magpa-admit ay mayayaman, na ang kadalasang sakit ay sa puso, kanser at iba pang sakit na pangmayaman.  Subali’t hindi maipagkakaila na ang mga sakit na nabanggit ay nakukuha rin sa mga “maruming pagkain”. Ito yong mga pagkaing ipinagbawal na nga ng doctor ay patuloy pa ring kinakain. Alam na ng lahat kung ano ang mga “maruming” pagkain kaya kalabisan na kung babanggitin ko pa. Upang pabalik-balik sa mga doktor ang mga pasyente, siyempre dahil sa kikitain mula sa mahal na konsultasyon, sinasabihan na lang nila ang mga ito na kumain ng mga dapat ay bawal na pagkain “in moderation”, o hinay-hinay, o paunti-unti. Obviously, ay upang hindi bigla ang pag-goodbye sa mundo….at tulad ng nabanggit na, tuloy pa rin ang mahal na konsultasyon!

 

Ang industriya sa paggawa ng mga pagkaing dapat ay “moderate” lang daw kung kainin ay tuloy sa paglago at pagkita ng limpak-limpak upang  masupurtahan naman ang gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng buwis na binabayad nila. Ang ilang mababanggit na produkto ay processed foods na may salitre o preservative, maraming asin, food coloring, na tulad ng hot dog, corned beef,  bacon, ham, smoked fish, at mga inuming may kulay at artipisyal na lasa.

 

Sa puntong ito, gustong ipakita ng mga Tsino na nangunguna sila sa lahat ng bagay kaya pati ang paggawa ng nakalalasong artificial na bigas, sotanghon, alak, at pati ang itinanim na ngang bawang ay inaabunuhan din ng isang uri ng fertilizer na nakakalason sa tao, upang maging “matibay” at hindi mabulok agad sa imbakan. Ang masama lang, artificial at nilason na nga ang mga pagkain ay nakikipagsabwatan pa ang mga Tsino sa mga walang puso at konsiyensiyang mangangalakal sa Pilipinas upang maipuslit ang mga ito kaya hindi napapatawan ng karampatang buwis. Kung sa bagay, paano nga namang maipapadaan sa legal na proseso ang mga produktong bawal?  Maliban lang siyempre…. kung palulusutin naman ng mga buwaya at buwitre sa Customs!

 

Ang legal namang buwis na nalilikom ay ginagamit ng gobyerno sa mga proyektong kailangan ng bansa at mga mamamayan sa pangkalahatan. Kaya masasabing may pakinabang din pala ang paggawa ng pagkaing unti-unting pumapatay sa tao…. isang paraan nga lang ng pagsi-self annihilate o pagpapakamatay…. upang makontrol ang paglobo ng populasyon…na ang ibang paraan ay giyera, kalamidad tulad ng bagyo, baha, lindol, at matinding tag-tuyot!

 

Kung hindi dahil sa nabanggit na mga paraan, baka pati sa tuktok ng mga bulkan ay may mga condominium at subdivision dahil sa dami ng mga taong aabutin ng mahigit 100 taong gulang bago mamatay…at  baka biglang mawala ang wildlife na magiging delicacy na rin dahil sa kakulangan ng pagkain…at baka magiging bahagi na rin ng pagkain ng tao ang minatamis na mga dahon at balat ng kahoy!

 

Sa Tsina ay delicacy ang talampakan ng oso o bear. Sana ang magagaling na Tsinong chef ay makadiskubre ng masasarap na recipe para sa buwaya, buwitre, at hunyango…marami kasi nito sa Pilipinas para mapandagdag sa pagkain ng mga Pilipinong nagugutom dahil ninanakaw ng mga walang kaluluwa ang pera ng bayan!

 

We Can Minimize, Delay, or Prevent the Devastating Effect of Diseases…discipline and patience are the keys

We Can Minimize, Delay, or Prevent the Devastating Effect of Diseases

…discipline and patience are the keys

By Apolinario Villalobos

Caring for our physical make up is our responsibility in the first place, and not somebody else’s. We can prevent diseases from pestering our body by espousing discipline and patience. We must be disciplined as regards our diet and vices. And, we must be disciplined in being consistent with the preparation of remedies not prescribed by doctors. We must not wait until a disease has set in before we toe the line in clinics for a costly diagnosis. Unfortunately for others, before they know that what they “feel” is a disease, and not just a fatigue or temporary pain, it is already beyond cure, so that the last resort for the doctor is to prescribe pain killing drugs, and loads of antibiotics and other strange sounding-named tablets and capsules.

Drugs are basically sourced from plants and enhanced with chemicals to preserve them as capsules, tables, suspensions, and injectibles. Curative properties of plants are “cloned” in laboratories to come up with their synthetic equivalent. But not all curative properties of plants can be cloned as in the case of guyabano (soursop), the information about which has been suppressed by drug laboratories for so many years. Due to their failure in cloning its curative properties, they finally let go of the information to confirm what have already been circulating anyway, about its anti-cancer substance.

Man since birth is already doomed with diseases that can manifest at certain points of his life. Fortunately, there is now a medical technique of predetermining the diseases that may befall infants by “reading” their genes at the time of birth with the use of their blood. At certain points of their life, diseases are already detected, thus, medications are already prescribed to prevent the onset. This is possible for those who will be born in hospitals and clinics, but for those in villages, this medical effort is not heard of, as in third-world countries like the Philippines. These children then grow without knowing that at a certain point of their life, they are bound to develop diabetes, rheumatism, heart failure, cancer, etc.

There’s again the problem with poor parents in urban areas who are told about the diseases that may befall their newly-born infants, because they cannot afford the prescribed drugs. Consequently, their children, though born in hospitals, grow just like those in the villages, without taking the preventive drugs for the detected diseases that may manifest at a certain age. Prescriptions are just set aside to be thrown later on.

The Philippines and the rest of countries in Asia and South America are profuse in herbal “medicines”.  Long before the western colonizers came, the natives were already thriving on these. The folk medicine men who are unfairly called “quack doctors” have been prescribing leaves, barks and roots of trees, vines and shrubs to dispel diseases. For instance, guyabano or soursop was first used by the South American Indians, particularly, those living in the jungles of the Amazon, while the use of tanglad or lemon grass was first used in Asia. In every country of these regions, there are always nooks and corners occupied by herbal vendors. In Manila, these can be found in Quiapo, while in the provinces, one can find them in public markets. But most of all, these curative plants are found in neighborhoods, or if not, can be planted just anywhere, even in pots.

Discipline is needed if one is really interested in preventing the onset of a disease. A ritual is involved, because every morning, all the necessary leaves, seeds or barks have to be boiled in a kettle dedicated for this purpose, followed by the preparation of the concoction to be drunk with coffee or as is. Most often, this simple effort is abhorred by most, as they would rather take synthetic drugs in capsule or tablet form which is a very convenient way. But then, the danger with such “convenience” is the latest finding that not all components of these drugs are dissolved, thus, turning into sediments that get deposited in the liver and kidney, eventually resulting to a disease that destroy the said organs.

Those without discipline in their diet are also easy victims of diseases. They are not satisfied with having tasted certain unhealthy foods and should have told themselves “enough”. Unfortunately, they want these to be part of their daily fare on the dining table. Parents who have this kind of attitude pass it on to their children, who will later on pass it on to their own, and so forth. And, when members of the family develop and die of diseases, they blame their ancestor!