Why?….(haiku)

Haiku

 

Why?….

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Must life be sacrificed

To let others see what is right…?

Can’t others open their eyes –

To see hunger in the faces

With tearless cries?

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From Birth to his Death, Money Reigns Supreme in the Life of Man

From Birth to His Death, Money Reigns Supreme

In the Life of Man

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Since the time he was born and while cruising the avenue of life, up to the time he is buried in the ground, man is either gripped by financial pressure or wallowing in riches. Man did not choose to be born. He is the result of copulating couples as they vent out their lust in the name of love or maniacal desire. Man has no choice when he begins his journey on Earth, making do with what may be on hand – either the cold sidewalk to sleep on while writhing with pangs of hunger if he belongs to a homeless poor family…or the sweet luxurious life if he is born to a filthy rich family!

 

If somebody will tell me that money is not everything in this world, I challenge him to go out without a single coin in his pocket and sleep on sidewalks for several nights without dinner. And, it is not right also to say that money is the root of all evils. It is the abusive exploitation resulting to the deprivation of others that makes money viewed as evil.  If there is only fairness in this world, there will be no problem on the issue of wage and the constant soaring of prices of basic commodities, as everything would be affordably fair.

 

Civilization brought about pollution, so that there is a need for money to counter its effect – medicines, protective clothing, hospitals, healthy food, even the simple surgical mask to somehow block the dirty air from entering our body in vast quantity as we breathe. Civilization created many desires and wants for man. While there was no need for flavor enhancers before, today, for food to taste savory, it must be enhanced with chemicals. While there was no need to travel somewhere before, today, it has become a necessity to satisfy the curiosity about a certain white beach, for instance. While there was no need for frivolous trappings, as simple cotton garments were enough before, today, man has developed a conceited desire to look better than the rest, in his expensive wardrobe and glittering jewelries.

 

In high-tech first-world countries, governments slap their citizens with sky-high taxes and almost nothing is left with them when they receive their wage, but in exchange for such, there are hospitalization benefit, medical care, etc. , although, controlled by the system. While working hard for the money, the citizens of these nations cannot enjoy its benefit on his free will. In some countries, big savings are questioned and if you are found to be carrying around big amounts, you become suspect of illegal activities. Citizens are forced to use “plastic money” for their “convenience” – the credit cards. In these countries, working parents deposit their children in Day Care centers while they work for the money, a big slice of which goes to the government.

 

Civilization brought havoc to the once docile life of man. Its onset created competition for food that affected even the so-called “uncivilized” humans living in the vastness of African deserts. Animals that they used to hunt occasionally for food have become scarce and brought to the brink of extinction due to drought that resulted from the destruction of the ozone layer…all because of unabated pollution. Animals hunted for food have become targets for “game hunting” and left to rot after they are felled by bullets from high-powered long-arms intended for such purpose. Big preys have become targets of bounty hunters for medicine and amulets. Those are just a few of the acts of exploitation committed by the moneyed for which the exploited poor persevere.

 

In the Philippines, there is a custom that calls for the throwing of coins on the path of the mourners as they bring the remains of the departed to the cemetery. Some archaeological diggings brought to light mummified remains with gold coins that cover their eyes. The practice of “changing money” has its roots from the brisk business of the shrewd money changers at the gate of the temples during the Biblical time. These money changers converted various foreign coins into the local tender that could be used as temple offering. Jesus died on the cross because of betrayal by Judas in exchange of several pieces of silver coins.

 

Money cannot be done away with even by all churches. How can edifices for worship be built without money? How can the evangelists preach on empty stomach? How can they go on shepherding their flocks if they get sick and got no money for medicine? How can a Mass be held early in the morning or evening if the lights are out because of unpaid electric bill?…etc.

 

There is nothing wrong with money for as long as it is respected and not abused. Most importantly, it should be acknowledged as payment for earthly necessities. Hypocrisy should be done away with in the treatment of money, because it is clearly the fair payment to the priest, for instance, who blessed the remains of the dead person or when he did other acts as required by his vocation, and again…nothing is wrong with that. My unsolicited advice in this regard is…RESPECT MONEY BY USING IT THE PROPER WAY. MOST IMPORTANTLY, DO NOT BE SELFISH BY GRABBING FROM OTHERS WHAT ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THEIRS!

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.