The Trying Hard “Has-beens” and “Wannabes” of the Philippine Politics

The Trying Hard “Has-beens” and “Wannabes”

Of the Philippine Politics

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The Philippine politics is hideously polluted by “has-beens” and “wannabes” who try to do anything, just anything to catch the attention of the media. What is revolting about these nincompoops is that, for the “has-beens”, they have none to prove their worth as elected officials, and for the incumbent “wannabes”, they pretend to be intelligent but in reality, are pea-brained who cannot even distinguish a criminal from a victim!

 

Some of the “has-beens” were boot-lickers of Marcos, and who served as agency heads while the rest were either senators or congressmen. And, of course, the “wannabes” are sitting congressmen and senators who try to impress the nation with their “views” on prevailing situations that just make them butts of joke. One of the incumbent senators is dubbed “Trilliling” an allusion that sounds like “Tililing” or crazy. The woman senator who does not deserve to be called “lady” is a “blabbermouth” who loves to look cute in front of TV cameras.

 

Then there’s the “has-been” elected highest official of the land who criticize Duterte as if, he was that competent during his time. It was during his term that government properties were sold left and right. He was suspected to have pocketed huge amount of commissions stashed in the banks of a small nation. They elude the probing eyes of their critics by shutting their mouth, especially, the wife, but the husband sometimes cannot help himself from puffing off smokes of irrelevant remarks.

 

Duterte, in his utmost honest gesture extended a hand for the sake of friendship, reconciliation and even a humble plea for assistance. But his calls fell on their deaf ears, so how can one blame the poor president for becoming harsh at times by bombarding his critics with biting retorts?

The Philippine Brassware

The Philippine Brassware

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The Maranaos of Lanao find brass as a good object on which they express themselves artistically. Be it on lampstands, “gong”, plant holders, jars, ash trays, and food trays, the Maranao brass artist whose deft hands have been made sensitive by years of experience, imprint his personal expression of the “okir” and “naga” art forms.

 

Synonymous to the southern culture which in itself is exotic, the brassware is usually considered as an object that could enliven any living room, office, restaurant corners, or hotel lobby. Those who visit Marawi City, Jolo, Zamboanga City or Cotabato City, always see to it that they have purchased a brass item to be brought home as a souvenir. Not only are the brassware kept for their decorative value, but also for their cultural significance.

 

While brass handicraft is a waning source of income for some families in other Muslim provinces that have become outlets and showcases, in southern Lanao, particularly, Tugaya, locals still consider it their source of income. Here, some of the artisans still use the crude centuries-old foundry and casting methods. Despite the crudeness of the craft in Tugaya, the cottage industry is struggling for its perpetuation.

 

It is said that the craft was brought to Tugaya by a local trader, Maruhom Maulia, who got the knowledge from his trading trips to Tampasok, Sabah, where brass and bronze items were manufactured. Eventually, while at Tugaya, he fell in love and married the Sultan’s daughter.

 

According to Dr. Manitua Saber, an authority on Islamic arts, the techniques used by the artisans of Tugaya are similar to those being used in Bali, Sumatra and Brunei. Furthermore, he said that the technology could have found its way to Southeast Asia by way of China or India, in 1,000 A.D.

 

There are two processes practiced by the Maranao artisans, such as, the stamping and drip wax techniques. It is interesting to note that the tools which the artisans use are also made by them, usually out of the local materials.

 

In the stamping technique, brass plates are incised using a home-made “compass” to determine the size of the expected design.  Several plain plate tied together are etched or punched with intricate designs of “naga” or “okir”, or both, before they are formed into the desired item. Brassware produced out of this method, are cheaper compared to the drip wax technique which is more tedious, as it involves more time and processes. The latter, actually, revolves around the “mold” technique, and being crude, needs several phases to complete the process.

 

The brassware comes in many forms and uses. Those who are not familiar with the use of the items, would resort to just one thing – use them as decorative accessories in homes and offices. It is not surprising therefore, to find homes whose tables in the living room are accented with brass betel nut containers, open flat iron, small gongs or kulintang set and urns.

In Pasay City, brass and bronze items from the small ash trays and betel nut containers to big jars and urns can be found at the Philtrade Center, beside the World Trade Center, along Roxas Boulevard. Similar items can also be found in the Ermita district of Manila and the Islamic Center in Quiapo.

 

Mindanao

Mindanao

By Apolinario B Villalobos

 

Itinuring na lupang ipinangako –

Ng mga Pilipinong dito ay napadako

Mga naglakas -loob na makipagsapalaran

Hindi inalintana panganib na madadatnan.

 

Maraming kuwento ang aking nalaman –

May mga kulay ng lungkot at kaligayahan

Nguni’t lahat ay puno ng hangarin, ng pag-asa

Sa lupang ipinangako, magigisnan, bagong umaga.

 

May mga Pangasinense, Kapampangan, Ilocano

Mayroong Bicolano, Bulakeño, Caviteño, Batangueño

Mga taga-Luzon silang dala ay lakas ng loob, kasipagan

Hindi ininda ang init sa  pagbungkal ng tigang na kabukiran.

 

Mayroon ding galing sa Antique, Negros, isla ng Cebu

Sumunod ang mga taga-Leyte, Antique, Guimaras at Iloilo

Ano pa nga ba’t sa malawak, mayaman at luntiang Mindanao

Iba’t iba man ang salita,  pagkakaisa pa rin, pilit na nangibabaw.

 

Hitik sa kwentong makulay ang buong isla ng Mindanao

Unang tumira’y mga kapatid nating sa relihiyon, iba ang pananaw

Silang mga  taal na katutubo, makukulay, matatapang at mahinahon

Tanging hangad ay mabuhay ng matiwasay, tahimik, sa lahat ng panahon.

 

Ang mga  Kristiyano, Muslim, Lumad – lahat sila ay nagkakaisa

Nagtutulungan, nagbibigayan, mga paniwala man nila ay magkaiba

Nguni’t dahil sa makasariling hangad ng ilang gahaman sa kapangyarihan

Animo kristal na nabasag, iningatang magandang samahan at katahimikan.

 

Nguni’t tayo ay Pilipino, iba tayo – lumalaban na may masidhing pag-asa

Sa harap ng masalimuot na mga problema, matatatag na kalasag ay nakaamba

Ito’y ang masidhing paniniwala sa Maykapal, malalim at marubdob na kapatiran

Ugaling nagbuklod sa mga taga-Mindanao, magkaiba man ang pananaw at kaugalian.

 

Ating isigaw-

Mabuhay ang Mindanaw!

Tillah: Badjao woman who works with dignity

Tillah: Badjao woman who works with dignity

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

On my way to the bus terminal of Tacurong city where I was to take a van for Davao, I saw a Badjao woman who was carefully covering the seat of a motorbike with a piece of corrugated cartoon, supposedly to protect it from the scorching heat of the sun and a sudden downpour. I talked to the woman and asked for her name which she gave as “Tillah”. She told me that she has four children who has the same “job” and that they are positioned in strategic corners of the city. By strategic, it means where motorbikes park. Even car owners concede to have the hood of their cars covered with a piece of cartoon.

 

The cartoons are the dismantled corrugated boxes that the Badjaos ask from store owners and had seen good old days as containers of milk, sachets of instant noodles, etc. The collection of dismantled boxes become precious belongings of these boat and stilt house-dwelling Filipinos. They are paid Php5 for their “service”. In the evening, the cartons become their sleeping mats that cover the cold pavement of a sidewalk where they could spend the night.

 

Further asked about her family, she told me that she is a widow with four children. Having no source of income in Zamboanga, except begging, they ventured inland, trying their luck in any town along the way, as they seek a “greener pasture”. They are lucky to have stayed longer in Tacurong because of the benevolence of the residents.

 

Hopefully, I would be able to meet the children of Tillah….perhaps, when I come back to the City of Goodwill.

The “Hemp” Vegetable

The “Hemp” Vegetable

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The “hemp” vegetable is popularly known in the Philippines as “saluyot” among the Tagalogs and “tagabang” among the Visayans. I swear to its preventive values against diabetes. For several years now that I have been eating plenty of the vegetable the sugar in my blood has been consistently maintained in its normal level. The fibers of the vegetable also make it easy for me to move my bowels.

 

Foremost reason why many Filipinos do not want to eat the vegetable is its slimy broth that results when cooked. The remedy is by adding a little vinegar or several drops of lemon or kalamansi, as the acidity prevents the juice of the vegetable to become slimy.

 

There is a big market for the vegetable, especially, in Japan. Big tracks of land are planted with saluyot for its leaves that are processed for the juice that is mixed with flavors to become a delightful medicinal bottled drink, just like the aloe vera juice.

 

The vegetable can be cooked simply as “paksiw” in which a little vinegar and slices of ginger are added, the way “fish paksiw” is cooked. It can also be stir-fried and flavored with canned sardines, flaked smoked fish, or just tomatoes and onions. Other optional culinary use of the vegetable are:

  • Sauce thickener for kare-kare
  • Extender for the Visayan “laswa” and “law-uy” dishes
  • Important ingredient for the veggie combo that includes thin slivers of bamboo shoots, corn, okra, fresh shrimp or crab and cooked optionally in coconut milk
  • Essential ingredient for the “pinakbet” and “dinengdeng”
  • Steamed and dipped in fish sauce it becomes appetizer best eaten with fried or grilled fish or fried dried fish.

 

The vegetable is of various varieties with the most popular being the short one, barely two feet in height and widely sold in the local market. But left to grow further, it could reach the height of a shrub. In the Middle East, it is popularly used to thicken the sauce of chicken casserole.

 

Hemp is the generic name of the vegetable because a sturdy variety is being used in making “hemp rope” characterized by twined strong fibers, akin to the “abaca hemp”, the source of which is related to banana plant.

 

With the onslaught of diabetes today due to the proliferation of unhealthy western foods, simply called “junk food”, and which is considered as harbinger of other diseases, my advice is the inclusion of the vegetable in the daily diet. Forget the slimy juice…just think of it as another kind of medicine, some of which are even bitter. One has a choice between the cheap prevention from the lowly “saluyot” or the development of the dreadful diabetes that could result to other diseases resulting further, to the devastation of budget. Remember: prevention is better than cure.

MALAYA KA BA?

MALAYA KA BA?

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Ang KALAYAAN ay maraming saklaw at ibig sabihin, hindi lang tungkol sa pagiging malaya mula sa kamay ng mga kaaway.

 

KUNG IKAW AY TAMAD….HINDI KA MALAYA!

KUNG IKAW AY INGGITERO O INGGITERA….HINDI KA MALAYA!

KUNG IKAW AY KORAP….HINDI KA MALAYA!

KUNG IKAW AY IPOKRITO….HINDI KA MALAYA!

KUNG IKAW AY PUMIPIGIL SA PAG-ASENSO NG BANSA….HINDI KA MALAYA!

KUNG IKAW AY TERORISTA….HINDI KA MALAYA!

KUNG IKAW AY CARELESS O BURARA…HINDI KA MALAYA!

KUNG IKAW AY NAG-AAKSAYA NG PAGKAIN….HINDI KA MALAYA!

ETC…..

ETC…..

 

ANG IBIG KONG SABIHIN, KUNG MASAMA ANG IYONG UGALI, IKAW AY NAKATALI PA RIN SA MAKAMUNDONG KASALANAN…NAKA-KADENA KA PA RIN.

 

KUNG HINDI KA MAGBABAGO, MARAMI KANG MADADAMAY – MGA KAIBIGAN, MGA KASAMA SA BAHAY, MGA KAPITBAHAY, MGA KASAMA SA TRABAHO, AT IBA PANG MGA INSOSENTENG TAO NA NAGPIPILIT MABUHAY NG MAAYOS.

 

KUNG SA BUONG PILIPINAS AY MARAMING TAO NA ANG MGA UGALI AY TULAD NG BINANGGIT KO, O DI KAYA AY HINDI KO NABANGGIT, PERO MASAMA PA RIN…….MAHIHIRAPANG UMUNLAD ANG BANSA!….SUBALI’T ANG KAHIRAPANG YAN AY MAGSISIMULA SA LOOB NG TAHANAN MISMO!

 

MAGBAGO KA!!!!!

Mga Kaartehan ng mga Pilipino

Mga Kaartehan ng mga Pilipino

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Walang masama o problema kung mag-iinarte man ang isang Pilipino….kung kaya niya dahil super rich siya o di kaya ay may kakayahan man lang. Pero kung wala naman…siya ay isang mapagkunwaring wala sa ayos, kaya wala siyang karapatan. Ang mga maarte na wala namang karapatan ang sumisira sa magandang imahe ng Pilipino sa mata ng mga dayuhan, dahil unang-una, karamihan ng mga Pilipino ay mahirap kaya dapat sana, kung ano ang kaya ng bulsa ay siyang ipakita….huwag magmaang-maangang super rich ganoong sa iskwater nakatira, o di kaya ay huwag mag-iinarteng hindi kumakain ng tuyô ganoong, isang beses lang sa isang araw ang kayang kainin sa bahay.

 

Ang mga sumusunod ay ilan lamang sa mga kaartehang napansin ko, pero binubulag-bulagan naman ng karamihan….ANG TAMAAN AY HUWAG MAGALIT:

  • Ayaw kumain ng NFA rice ang karamihan ng mga Pilipino dahil hindi puting-puti ang mga butil at hindi pa mabango…. ganoong halos wala na ngang pambili kahit isang kilo man lang na ordinaryong bigas! May amoy daw ang NFA rice…isang katarantaduhang dahilan…bakit? wala bang tubig na panghugas? Kung isang kahig-isang tuka ang kalagayan sa buhay, bakit hindi mag-adjust tulad ng pinahihiwatig ng kasabihang, “matutong mamaluktot kung maikli ang kumot”?

 

  • Ayaw mamili ang ibang Pilipino sa ukay-ukay dahil nakakahiya daw kapag nakita ng kapitbahay o kaibigan kaya dapat ay sa mga boutique ng branded na damit sa mga malls lang upang hindi masabing “naghihirap” na! Ang mga isinusuot sa katawan ay may binabagayan, at ang mga nasasalubong ay hindi sumisilip sa brand tag na nasa kuwelyo ng damit. Kung ang isang tao ay kilalang talagang mahirap, pagsuutin man siya ng tig-sampung libong pisong damit, tingin sa kanya ay nakasuot pa rin ng tig-20pesos ang halaga! Subalit meron talagang maski hindi natin kilala, hindi nababagayan ng damit na alam nating galling sa mall. ANG KATOTOHANAN AY, ANG MGA ORIGINAL NA BRANDED NA DAMIT AY SA MGA UKAY-UKAY LANG MATATAGPUAN, MALIBAN SA AUTHENTIC AT AUTHORIZED NA MGA OUTLET.

 

  • Maraming Pilipino ang ayaw kumain ng gulay dahil hindi daw sila “natutunawan”. Kung di ba naman mga tanga at bobo! Ang mga hibla o fibers ng gulay ay talagang hindi natutunaw kaya nagsisilbi silang “walis” sa loob ng bituka upang tayo ay makadumi o makatae nang maluwag tuwing umaga! Ang katotohanan ay ayaw nilang magkaroon ng impression ang kapwa nila na sila ay mahirap kaya gulay lang ang kayang kainin! Ang katarantaduhang ugaling yan ng mga hangal na mga magulang ay ginagaya tuloy ng mga anak na naii-spoil sa pagkain ng hotdog, tocino, spaghetti, etc…kaya pagtanda nila, nag-uunahan ang kanser, diabetes, at sakit sa bato sa pag-develop sa katawan nila.

 

  • Ang gusto ng ilang magulang ay sa kilalang mga unibersidad o kolehiyo mag-aral ang mga anak sukdulan mang ipangutang nila ng pang-matrikula upang sigurado daw na makapagtrabaho agad pagka-graduate. Tanga ang mga magulang na may ganitong pananaw. Kahit sa mga ganoong uri pa ng paaralan nagtapos ang mga anak nila, KUNG LIKAS ANG KABOBOHAN, O TALAGANG BOBO hindi pa rin sila matatanggap sa mga inaaplayan dahil sa IQ tests na ibinibigay ng mga kumpanya. Hindi nakakatulong ang pangalan ng unibersidad o kolehiyo na nakalagay sa diploma kapag nag-aaplay ng trabaho, lalo pa’t pagdating sa interview ay bulol sa Ingles. Bistado ang ginagawa ng maraming estudyante na pag-plagiarize ng nire-research nila sa internet upang makapag-submit lang ng thesis. Alam ko yan dahil nag-eedit ako ng mga thesis ng mga estudyanteng nag-aaral sa mga prestigious universities na hindi ko na lang babanggitin dahil nakakahiya sa mga kaibigan kong nag-aral sa mga iyon.

 

  • Ang ilang Pilipino ay ayaw kumain ng tuyô o sardinas dahil allergic daw….pero pamasahe nga lang sa pagpasok sa trabaho ay inuutang pa o di kaya ang ATM ng pension o suweldo ay nakasangla!

 

  • Ang isang kaartehan ng maraming Pilipino na hindi maintindihan ay ang pagtitira ng pagkain sa pinggan kahit dalawang kutsara na lang, kanin man o ulam…..BAKEEETT?!…FOR THE GODS BA? O TALAGANG KAYABANGAN LANG!….ISA YAN SA MGA DAHILAN KUNG BAKIT NAGHIHIRAP ANG PILIPINAS….DAHIL SA “GABĂ”, O “BAD KARMA”.” Ang hindi alam ng mga hinayupak na ito ay apektado ang buong populasyon ng Pilipinas ng maaksaya nilang ugali dahil kung iipunin ang mga inaksaya nilang kanin ay aabot sa kung ilang libong toneladang sa loob ng isang taon!

 

  • Karamihan pa rin ng mga Pilipino ay pinipili ang “makinis” o “makintab” na gulay sa palengke tulad ng talong at kamatis. Ang hindi nila alam, kaya nagkikintaban at nagkikinisan ang mga iyan ay dahil inilublob sa kemikal upang magmukhang sariwa kahit sa loob ng isang linggo, pero ang laman ay bulok na! ….yan ang ginagawa sa Maynila, pero sa mga probinsiya ang modus ay pag-ispray ng chemical sa bagong naaning gulay upang magmukhang NAPAKASARIWA kapag ibenenta sa palengke. Ang mga hindi hindi inilublob sa kemikal o inispreyhan ay nagmumukhang lanta pagkalipas ng isang araw, subalit may sustansiya pa rin….subalit iniisnab naman ng mga maraming Pilipino.

 

  • Ayaw kumain ang maraming Pilipino ng maliliit na isda tulad ng tamban, dilis, galunggong, at iba pa dahil pang-mahirap lang daw….ugali yan ng mga mahihirap na ipokrito. Bibili sila ng malalaking isda na pang-isang beses na kainan, at sa mga susunod na araw ay nakanganga dahil wala nang pera!

 

Napakarami pang kaartehan ang napakaraming Pilipino kaya hindi sila umaangat mula sa mahirap nilang kalagayan….na isang kahig-isang tukâ. Pero, ang nakakatawa ay nagtataka pa sila kung bakit hanggang sa katandaan ay mahirap pa rin sila. AYAW KASI NILANG MAGPAKATOTOO!…palibhasa ay mga tanga at bobo!…kapag hindi pa sila nagising sa mga sundot ko na yan, ibig sabihin ay manhid din sila….wala nang pakiramdam dahil sa kasanayan sa pagkukunwari!