The Benefits of Titanium

THE BENEFITS OF TITANIUM

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The first time I encountered the word “titanium” was when a friend told me that he was saving money for a titanium implant for his son whose thigh was due for an operation. His son figured in an accident and has injured his thigh. The amount he mentioned was staggering.

 

When I checked on titanium, I found out that space and aircrafts use it due to its lightness and durability. It has also become a fad as a jewelry, but commands a high price. On the other hand, the light gray/ blackish metal also has benefits which offset its unglamorous color which is lacking of sparkle and sheen.

 

Worn as a bracelet, ring, necklace, or wristwatch, the metal transfers the oxygen that it absorbs to the skin of the wearer. Wearing a titanium accessory near an inflamed area also reduces its swelling. This is the reason why many people prefer to wear jewelries made of titanium than any other kind of metal, especially gold, to alleviate the irritation that result from the onset of arthritis. And, as an implant, it has better and more comfortable effect than stainless steel because it is affected by the change in temperature.

 

Titanium jewelries can be purchased at high-end jewelry shops. A watch made of titanium would cost between Php10-15,000, a ring costs not less than Php3,000, and a bracelet is between Php5-10,000 depending on the design.

 

I got my first titanium bracelet from a junk collector in appreciation for a tarpaulin, several packs of diaper for his baby and a thermos. He told me that he found it while rummaging in a garbage dump and after washing the muddy bracelet, took the fancy of wearing it. I refused to accept the gift but he insisted and to show my appreciation, I wore it on the spot.

 

When I washed it at home, I read the word etched on the lock and discovered the finely etched “Titanium”. My friend was not aware that he gave me a “treasure” so that when I had a chance, I went back to where he was sorting his junks and told him what I discovered. He did not believe me while looking at the light gray/blackish jewelry and just laughed for he thought that I was joking. Obviously, he was only familiar with silver and stainless jewelries that glisten. Also, he told me that he has no habit of getting back what he has given, so I just thanked him again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dragon Stories and My Antique Bracelet

Dragon Stories and My Antique Dragon Bracelet

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The reason, perhaps, why the armadillo scales command the highest price among the considered medicinal wildlife is their resemblance to the scales of the dragon. I thought about this while looking at the dragon bracelet just given to me by a Chinese friend. Without asking any information about it, except being told that it is antique and got health benefits, I presumed that it is made from “copperized” antique Chinese silver wires intricately woven into round “scales” and intertwined to resemble the dragon, complete with a head whose extended tongue locks with a small loop that serves as its tail.

 

From among the pages of a hundred year old book about the history of nations, I came across an item about how an early Chinese empress paid for the expense in the laying down of a railroad track by Russia, across a portion of the vast Chinese territory, tore it up and dumped the iron segments into the sea, because it offended the earth dragon. Eclipse according to the Chinese legend occurs when the dragon swallows the moon or the sun. Among the Christians, the mention of St. George is never complete without the dragon.  Practically, many cultures around the world are made intriguing and colorful by the dragon. Legends are replete with heroic stories that revolve around them, although, some had to be subdued in order to be transformed from being bad to good. Even popular motifs and designs are tainted with dragon form such as the “sarimanok” and “naga” of Southeast Asia.

 

In reality, modern relatives of the dragon are thriving around us. The gecko is among them, as well as, the innocently-looking house lizards that with extended tongue can put the bigger cockroach to flight. Their bigger relatives are the crocodiles (crocs) and alligators (gators), the strength of which earned respect from the early Egyptians who revere them very much. By contrast, in the Philippines, they represent greedy government officials and politicians voted to their positions in the halls of the Senate and Congress.

 

On the Caramoan Peninsula of the Philippines’ Bicol Region, can be found the “caramoan dragon”, which in time has become rare. And, on an island of Indonesia can be found the “komodo dragons” which are being taken cared of because of the discovered medicinal value of their saliva.

 

Back to my dragon bracelet, I almost relegated it to the drawer because it seems too vulgar and eye-catching, until the day I wore it. While strolling along Roxas Boulevard, a tourist stopped me, pointed at my wrist with the bracelet and asked if I would like to part with it. To check its value, I asked the guy, how much he was willing to shell out for my bracelet just in case I decided to part with it. He asked me if USD100 was okey but if wanted more, we could haggle. He looked at it closely and asked, “is it 10k?”. Surprised by his comment, I realized the bracelet’s dull golden luster. I did not part with my bracelet. My Chinese friend who gave it to me is the nephew of the old Chinese gentleman who gave me his tourmaline bracelet when I brought him home from Luneta, after losing his way many months ago. To maintain its antique look, I never had it cleaned, since the day I got it.

Ang Mga Alahas na Gawa ni Jenny

Ang Mga Alahas na Gawa ni Jenny

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Napansin ko agad ang puwesto ni Jenny (Jennifer Piana), sa idinaos na Trade Fair sa SM Bacoor dahil namumukod-tangi ang kanyang mga produkto. Ito ay mga alahas na yari sa tanso o copper, semi-precious stones at crystals – mga singsing, bracelet, kuwentas, at hikaw. Maganda at pulido o malinis ang pagkakagawa kaya naakit agad akong magpagawa ayon sa naisip kong disenyo para sa isang bracelet na ginamitan ng “Indian jade eye”. Ito ngayon ay ginagamit ko araw-araw, kahit nasa bahay ako.

 

Ang tanso ay kinikilala dahil sa health benefits nito, mula pa noong panahong hindi pa pinapanganak si Hesus. Ito ay itinuturing na gamot laban sa rayuma at arthritis. Ang elementong tanso ay bahagi ng ating katawan dahil kasama ito sa mga dumadaloy sa ating dugo, at iba pa tulad ng zinc, silver, manganese, etc. Katulad ng tanso, ang mga batong matitingkad ang disenyo at kulay ay hindi lang pampalamuti sa katawan bilang alahas ang gamit, dahil nagbabalanse din sila ng enerhiya sa ating katawan. Dahil diyan, ang mga nadiskubreng libingan ng mga tao noong unang panahon, lalo na nang mga namumuno sa kanila, tulad ng pharaoh ng Ehipto ay palaging may mga iba’t –ibang uri ng bato tulad ng jade, agate, quartz, opal, onyx, tektite at mga metal na bagay.

 

Hindi tumatagal ang buhay ng mga mikrobyo sa tanso, kaya noong unang panahon pa rin, ang mga ginagamit na lagayan ng tubig at lutuan, pati ng pagkain ay gawa sa tanso. Dahil dito, marami na ring mga ospital ngayon ang gumagamit ng tansong material na ginawang stainless para hindi mahirap linisin, tulad ng mesa at lababo.

 

Ayon kay Jenny, dati ay taga-benta lang daw siya ng nagawa nang mga alahas na tanso, subalit dahil curious, nanood din daw siya kung paanong gawin ang mga ito. Bandang huli ay nagdesisyon siyang gumawa ng sarili niyang mga alahas upang ibenta sa mga kaibigan at tuwing may mga trade fairs. Umabot sa 12,000 pesos ang una niyang ipinundar para makabili ng mga gamit sa paggawa, pati na ang mga tansong kawad, mga semi-precious stones at kristal.

 

Sa awa naman daw ng Diyos ay nakakaraos siya tuwing sumali sa mga trade fair, kahit medyo may kamahalan ang upa sa isang puwestong maliit na sa tantiya ko ay 3feet by 3feet. Nangangarap si Jenny na sana ay magkaroon ng sariling puwesto dahil tuwing walang trade fair ay home-based lang siya at umaasa sa mga order na papasok sa pamamagitan ng facebook. Ito lang ang pinagkikitaan niya bilang isang single mom ng kanyang lalaking anak na pitong taong gulang.

 

Sa mga oorder ng alahas, makokontak si Jenny sa cellphone number 09064857384. May facebook din siya para sa kanyang mga produkto, i-google search lang ang “faceboo.com/coperasso”.  Pwedeng magpagawa sa kanya ng alahas batay sa sariling design. Pero, sana naman, kung oorder ay damihan na para hindi talo si Jenny kung ide-deliver niya.

Rose

Rose

(para kay Rosita Segala)

Ni Apolinario B Villalobos

 

Kung siya’y iyong pagmasdan

Mababanaag mo sa mga mata niyang malamlam

Bigat ng pinapasang katungkulan

Hindi lang para sa mga mahal sa buhay

Kung hindi, pati na rin sa malalapit na kaibigan.

 

Mayroon man siyang kinikimkim

Hindi kayang isiwalat ng maninipis na labi

Ang matagal nang pinipigil na damdamin

Nakapaloob sa nagpupumiglas na tanong

“May kaligayahan kaya para sa akin sa dako pa roon”?

 

Marami na rin siyang inasam sa buhay

Nguni’t maramot ang kapalaran at pagkakataon

Kabutihang kanyang pinamamahagi sa iba

Kalimitan ay palaging may katumbas na luha

Pati na pag-abuso na nagbibigay ng matinding pagdurusa.

 

Sa kabila ng lahat, marubdob pa rin ang paniniwala niya sa Diyos

Na siyang tanging nakakabatid ng lahat ng kanyang paghihirap

At alam niyang darating ang panahon na kanyang makakamit

Pagmamahal at katiwasayan ng kalooban na sa kanya’y pinagkait

Samantala, kanya na lang iindahin, mga darating na siphayo at pasakit.

 

(Si Rose ay taga-Quezon at nang mapadpad sa Maynila noong 1972 ay kumuha ng maliit na puwesto sa Recto, sa bahaging kung tagurian ay “Arranque”. Sa bahaging ito ng Maynila makakakita ng mga alahas na binebenta ng mura dahil karamihan ay nabili ng bultuhan o maramihan sa mga bahay-sanglaan o pawnshop. At, sa ganitong uri ng negosyo sumabak si Rose, subalit hindi sa pagbenta, kundi sa paglinis na kasama ang pagtubog upang lalong tumingkad mga alahas. Ang puwesto niya ay nasa ilalim ng hagdan patungo sa ikalawang palapag ng lumang gusali, kung saan ay may inuupahan siyang kuwarto, kasama ang kanyang pamangkin na si Marivic.

 

 

Marami siyang kakumpetensiya sa uri ng kanyang trabaho – mga lalaki, kaya napabilib ako sa kanya nang malaman ko ang kanyang trabaho. Ayon sa kanya, pinipilit niyang makaipon upang may magamit sa mga emergency na pangangailangan kaya alas- siyete pa lamang ng umaga ay nag-aabang na siya ng mga kostumer na gustong magpalinis ng alahas, at inaabot siya ng gabi dahil sa kanyang pagtitiyaga.

 

Sa probinsiya pa lang nila ay marami nang natulungan si Rose, subalit hindi siya naghangad ng kapalit. Nakakaramdam siya ng kasiyahan sa pagtulong sa iba upang hindi sila makaranas ng mga kahirapang napagdaanan niya. Ayaw niyang umasa sa mga kamag-anak, kahit na yong mga natulungan niya, kaya nagsisikap, at pinapasa-Diyos na lamang niya kung ano man ang mangyari sa kanya, subalit kahit papaano ay nag-iingat pa rin siya.)