The “Forty-four”…policemen heroes of Mamasapano

The “Forty-Four”
…policemen heroes of Mamasapano
By Apolinario Villalobos

At Mamasapano…there at Maguindanao
the “forty-four” met their fate,
Pawned by one whose selfish desire,
Led them to the fatal mire.

Wasted youth …..
but never their courage,
Wasted strength ….
But never their ideals,
That like the wind ……
shall blow without end.

(The “forty-four” policemen, mostly young, were massacred at Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015. They were members of the Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police who tried to serve the warrant of arrest to two notorious terrorists, Abdulbasit Usman and Zulkipli Bin Hir alias Abu Marwan. Unfortunately, the contingent was surprised by an ambush staged by the BIFF, and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that claimed “misencounter” due to the lack of coordination, but which most Filipinos did not believe.)

I Am A Filipino…Proud of My Country, But Sad for Its Trampled Democracy

I Am A Filipino… Proud of my Country

But Sad for Its Trampled Democracy

By Apolinario Villalobos

The Philippines is suffering from the mischiefs of wrongdoers who have for long, adulterated democracy with their corrupt and vicious manipulations in the government. These are the brazen people who masquerade as Filipinos – hideous and vicious in all their selfish ways. These are the soulless people whose brains are infested with worms of hellish evil.

From the northernmost islands of Luzon to the southernmost islets of Mindanao, my beloved country, though wanting in the blessings of modern technology, proudly sparkles under the scorching sun. No disastrous trouncing of Mother Nature can ever make its resilient people succumb in grief.

I am proud of my freedom…bloodily earned by my ancestors who did not stop till the last invaders left my country’s shores. It is the freedom gained that made me walk with a proud gait, while holding my head up high. It is the freedom that gave me reason to dream for a better life… vibrant and full of hope.

I am a proud Filipino, yes, proud of my country, but now, pitifully reels in pain…pain from the stabs of the vicious impostor Filipinos who delight in seeing the trickle of blood that issue from the wounds. I feel the pain, though not in despair, for it just gave me strength to fight back in any way that I can. I will not let these fiends snort in victory…never!

The voice may call, but the pen may prod. And, with words spelled with courage, shall my ideals be spread. But all the efforts will just go to naught if others whose hearts palpitate with hate will not think as one, move as one, while on their shoulders, courageous ideals are borne. It is time that the feeling of hopelessness is tossed aside, and let the hearts be kindled by the fire of audacity. Let all of us with the same advocacy be united as “real” Filipinos!

I am a Filipino, proud of my country and I will not be daunted by monstrous betrayals of trust and dreadful collusion to trample the hard-gained democracy. And, just like our forefathers who laid the foundation of our democracy, let us not allow the so-called “leaders” taint it further with their selfish motives. For now, there is no other way but me and you, beloved countrymen to be united and move on, towards that elusive quest for a new Philippines…let us fight for our ideals and democracy!

Ode To Nelson Mandela

Ode to Nelson Mandela

…Sublime Rolihlahla of South Africa

 

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

July 18, 1918 – lucky day for South Africa

For this day saw the birth of Rolihlahla

Later given a Christian name, Nelson

When he began his studies, as a custom.

Toiling  for survival as a fatherless child

He dreamed of one day, be part of struggle –

For freedom… aspired, desired by his people

Though he knew that such wish is not simple.

His journey through the portals of knowledge

Were not as fortunate, for despite two attempts

To have a college degree, he failed to achieve

But for such dream, he fearlessly persevered.

Graduated with Ll.B, although in absentia –

In 1989, thanks to University of South Africa

Making it on his last months of imprisonment

That filled his heart with intense sentiment.

Life in a country of strife far from being free

Is not what Nelson wanted, but one with unity

His effort brought him to prison not only once

But he vowed to fight on, whatever the chance.

Never did he accept the bribe of three offers-

Setting him free but with binding conditions

Such an insincere gesture, for him is just trash –

That only a man without honor may readily grasp.

1991 saw him as ANC President that he deserved

And in 1993, given Nobel Prize with de Klerk jointly

A year after, 27th of April, casting his first vote ever –

Such achievements, no longer made Nelson wonder.

Inaugurated as South Africa’s first elected President

It was in May 10, 1992, under the shadow of democracy

And true to his promise, stepped down after his term

It was in 1999, feeling fulfilled in achieving his dream.

A humble inspiration to the trampled and exploited

Nelson Mandela exemplified honesty and sincerity

With which he fought for equal opportunity and unity –

He succeed…

And, the achieved harmony for his people

Will always be his priceless legacy. 

Jess Robredo…To Die A Hero

by Apolinario B Villalobos

 

1

At a young age –

Showed the world

He’s that strong;

Used to the fullest

What God gave him

As the stairs of knowledge

He took one rung at a time-

Carefully, not to miss the steps…

2

Strong leader as a student –

Many tried to emulate his ways

Some did try but failed

To be Jess is not that easy

His friends proudly said

Simple ways he had

But hard to be copied

A really rare breed, that lad…

3

His intellectual thirst was such

That even three educational degrees

Seemed not enough to accomplish;

Took a wife, equally strong

And like him is intelligent;

The two  built a home

With a foundation of love

And pillars of determination…

4

Alas! Not long afterwards

The couple thanked the Lord

For the three beautiful girls He gave;

Their joy was such that they did their best

To mold the three into the same ways

Into which they grew –

Respect for others, and love, too

Respect for time, and money, too…

5

At the helm of Naga City, at twenty –nine

Jess showed that when called to serve others

Age is just a number, and skill matters;

Unfazed by responsibilities, he did his best

By just being him –

As he checked busted city street lights every night

As he scraped mud from streets after the floods

As he helped garbage collectors fill their trucks

A he patted the back of those who sought his counsel

As he handed coins to the destitute he met

As he smiled his way through days of problems

As he wore the same office uniform just like others

As he took the bus to Manila and tricycle to functions

And many more Jess ways…

Hence, the Magsaysay Award at so young an age!

6

Though unfortunate to see high brows

This was when chosen by P-Noy to head DILG

Many, as usual tried to block his way

But just as when he was in Naga,

He was unfazed, and just worked his best;

No meetings and official ceremonies

Stopped Jess from skipping at least one meal –

One meal with his family, his precious family

Not even that distant meeting in Cebu one day

That was the fateful 18th of August 2012

When he took a Cessna flight for home

But as nearing Masbate, was distressed…

7

For three days, people cried and hoped

That he was just carried by waves to nearby islets

Or that a fisherman took him home to recuperate;

Alarmed but praying to the Lord

People patiently waited ….

Until, finally on the 21st of August 2012

Jess has been brought to shore…

8

A hero?…more than a hero I say!

Politicians who gave him a hard time

In getting the more than deserved confirmation

Are now cringing in guilt… suddenly silent

Alibis are said, but no amount of such

Could make a cover up for their misdeed;

They refused to see what Jess had been doing

For us, his countrymen who for long

The dirty air of politics we were breathing;

Politicians whose schedules are filled with investigations

That did not give much result, but limelight grabbing

They who played “intelligent”, “hero of the people”

Are so eerily silent……………………………

Yes… so silent………….!

9

To be a hero is to die with a purpose

It is only at death

That others accept what he did for others

It is a sacrifice for the man and his loved ones

But what can he do?

It is God’s will and plan –

The only way to make others  acknowledge him

The only way to open their eyes to see him

And open their mind to finally make them think

That, indeed, he is unselfish, hardworking, etc…

10

To die a hero  should not be seen as late in coming

God has a way as to when this should happen

His acts are done at the right time

And we, His creatures, His instruments

Can just wait, most often caught unprepared

But Jess was not –

For even as a child, his ways

Led to his being that –

A hero, and he died for it….

Though for others, hard to accept.

(The wife of the pilot of the Cessna plane said that she and her husband were planning to go to their resort for the weekend, but that night of Friday, they received a call for the Secretary Robredo who wanted to be flown to Naga, the following day, Saturday, and that her husband was specially requested to fly the plane. Her husband consented. The following day, his wife already discouraged him from chartering a flight as he would not be able to catch up with the awarding ceremony anyway. Their youngest daughter was to receive a medal for swimming. Just the same, Secretary Robredo went on with his plan, so right after his commitment, he rushed to the hangar of the Cessna operator. In his haste, too, the pilot failed to kiss his wife as he used to do before he would fly. While inflight, the Secretary was still able to call his wife to say that he was on his way which prompted his wife to proceed to Naga airport to meet him. Unfortunately, the pilot tried to make an emergency landing in Masbate, but failed……

Jesse Robredo was the Philippines’ Secretary of the Department of the  Interior and Local Government.)