Strong Faith in God and the Resilience of the Filipino

Strong Faith in God

And the Resilience of the Filipino

By Apolinario Villalobos


In the face of adversities, the Filipino has always been strong, steely- willed and resilient. It is this supple character that makes him adjust to any condition after a catastrophe. His unquestionable faith in God is the vigor that makes him move on and hurdle the rest of hindrances along the way.


No man-made or natural catastrophe can ever make the Filipino turn his back from God. For him, all these are just trials that make his faith stronger. He knows that God will never give him a challenge that he cannot muster. He knows that all these are the proverbial litters of stones and thorns along the way of his journey to the waiting arms of the Lord.


Life is beautiful. But everything in the universe has its end. To prepare himself for this, the Filipino has even shown greater faith in God by becoming more aware of His presence. Religious movements are on the rise. Humble prayers for mercy have grown louder. The Filipino can be likened to Tobit and  Job, Biblical characters whose lives were full of challenges that put their faith to an acid test.


God manifests His consolations in mysterious and unexpected ways. It could be His way of showing His love to the Filipinos as a people. The Philippines is profusely endowed with natural resources. The Filipino has an easy smile and has the habit of taking a scandal lightly and make it worthy of a good laugh, without losing its serious color.


God has chosen a people in the past – the Israelites, as the Bible says….they, who had to roam around the desert for forty years. Today, He must have chosen a new one – the Filipinos who are engulfed in controversies and series of misfortunes…but for how long will the Filipinos be tested by the Him?



Ode to Mother Earth

Ode to Mother Earth

by Apolinario Villalobos


Looking back when time began

God said the words

Giving life to all

That He desired,

The endless expanse of the void

Was filled with motley specks

That moved with harmony –

A prodigious task

Of the Almighty.


A tiny dot in the universe

Mother Earth throbbed with life

As God made her a living sphere

Covered with green and blue

All part of God’s grandiose plan

Done in a few days of divine toil,

Though, He rested finally,

Being satisfied at last

On the seventh day.


Out of a handful dust from her womb

God made Adam, by such name he was called

And with God’s breathe of life

What was once a lump with limbs

Has become like Him in image

And let to roam the Garden of Eden.

But then, loneliness soon had its toll

Which when God has perceived –

From Adam’s rib, He made Eve.


Alas! Mother Earth now nurtured

Not only lesser creatures

But the pair that God made

In His own image;

A paradise, Eden was supposed to be

But to it, a serpent found its way

Tempting Eve to have a taste of ecstasy

And, no sooner than she did have a bite

She made Adam commit the same apostasy!


The blunder made by Adam and Eve

Instigated the misery of Mother Earth

As they opened the floodgate of afflictions

That soon blemished her once pristine face;

Greed and selfishness, for long led lives –

Cain putting to death his own brother Abel

And many others whose names are written

On the sacred pages of the age-old Book

And all it needs is for us is to take a serious look.


And it is so sad,

As warnings that Mother Earth belched

In her effort to wake man up with a jolt

Did not budge him even just a bit…



Ms. Judith P. Bernardo: Lending Respectability and Sophistication to Housekeeping and Caregiving as Decent Jobs

Ms. Judith P. Bernardo: Lending Respectability

and Sophistication to Housekeeping and Caregiving as Decent Jobs

by Apolinario Villalobos


When Ms. Judith P. Bernardo shared with me how she managed her life while in the United States, she proudly mentioned how she tried her best to be respectable as a Filipino while doing housekeeping, garden maintenance, and caregiving jobs. She used to her advantage, the American culture which is founded on fairness for all who are willing to flex their muscles in order to earn a living while in the shadow of Uncle Sam. Another advantage of Ms. Bernardo up her sleeve is her social adequacy which enabled her to meld with the locals, be they Americans or immigrants from various nations who have been able to have a secure foothold and who belonged to the higher rung of the American society.


Without any qualm, she grabbed every opportunity to earn that came her way which enabled her to establish connections with clients, soonest as she was able to adjust herself to the environment. Her courage and determination were fueled by her former social status in the Philippines and her former job as a young member of the American diplomatic corps based in Southeast Asia, and which bolstered her self-confidence.


After a few years of doing the various jobs single-handedly, she was able to form a group of trusted house cleaners and gardeners, with her as the coordinator. Requests from clients were channeled through her, an arrangement which helped many immigrants. A little later still, she ventured into catering which was very much appreciated by her clients. Later, some of them requested that she also attend to their elders whom they prefer to be taken cared at home, rather than being sent to the home for the aged.


Social graces have always been part of Ms. Bernardo’ life while growing up and moving around her circles of cliques. This plus factor made her a sought after housekeeper and caregiver, as she was also trusted by her clients with the finances allotted for the homes that she maintained and elders under her care. She was also appreciated for her culinary expertise, always ready with suggestions about what food could go well with red or white wine and any liquor.


According to Ms. Bermardo, Filipinos who work as caregiver and housekeeper abroad need not be ashamed of their job. All that they need is try their best to project a respectable image. She added that teachers and other professionals who happen to land on such jobs should not be despised or belittled as they are in fact, well- equipped. She is right, for how can an ignoramus who has no knowledge on the proper housekeeping that deals with handling of fragile household furnishings, be trusted by a client? Or, how can one who can barely speak English be hired by a family that speaks such language only?


With her exposure to housekeeping as a job and social graces that have been part of her life, I asked if she is willing to be contacted as resource speaker for trainings and seminars that may require such, to which she replied in the affirmative, adding that she can also be consulted on banquet preparations.


Ang Dalawang Uri ng Tao

Ang Dalawang Uri ng Tao

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Sa aking palagay at opinion, dalawang uri ng tao mayroon sa ibabaw ng mundo:


  • Abnormal- taong nakapag-aral at matino ang pag-iisip, pero hindi ginagamit ang mga ito upang mabuhay o maituring siyang normal….choice niya ang pagiging abnormal.
  • Normal- taong may diperensiya ang isip kaya ang kilos at takbo ng isip ay ayon sa kanyang kalagayan, at dahil hindi niya alam ang ginagawa, wala siyang choice.


Ang mga taong abnormal ang itinuturing kong mga salot ng lipunan dahil kahit alam nilang mali ang paggamit ng droga ay ginagawa pa rin nila. Kahit alam nilang mali ang pagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan ay ginagawa pa rin nila. Kahit alam nilang masama ang manlamang at manloko ng kapwa ay ginagawa pa rin nila. Kahit alam nilang kaya sila nag-aral upang makatapos ay upang makatulong sa sarili at kapwa, nagpapabaya pa rin sia.



Holding on to Dear Faith

Holding On to Dear Faith

By Apolinario Villalobos


Tears may fall in anguish

Hearts may break in sorrow

Dignity may be lost in hunger

But always, despite all these –

Something is left of our faith.

Questions may be mumbled

Doubts may raise eyebrows

Whimpers may lessen the pain

Despair may block our sight

But always, faith gives us light!

Manalig nang Walang Pag-alinlangan at Huwag Pairalin ang Kayabangan

Manalig nang Walang Pag-alinlangan

At Huwag Pairalin ang Kayabangan

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Hindi madali ang basta na lang maniwala sa mga bagay na hindi nakikita. Lalong hindi madaling gawin ito  ng isang tao na ang palagay sa sarili ay “napakatalino” na dahil sa maraming kaalamang nakuha sa mga sa mga libro at mga ibinahagi sa kanya ng mga guro. Subali’t paano na kung may mga katanungang hindi kayang sagutin maski ng agham o siyensiya? Basta na lamang ba itong ipagkibit-balikat at isasantabi?


Hangga’t may bahid ng pag-alinlangan, halimbawa,  ang pananalig ng isang tao sa Pinakamakapangyarihan sa lahat, hindi mamamayani ang takot sa kanyang puso sa paggawa ng masama dahil sa kanyang kaisipan, walang nagbabantay sa kanya, walang manunumbat, at siya lamang ang tanging nakakaalam kung ano ang tama o mali. Mas gugustuhin pa niyang mamayani ang kanyang pananalig sa mga batas ng pamahalaan.


Hindi maikakaila ang tibay ng mga bagay na tinatakan ng mga simbolo at kasulatan na may kinalaman sa Manlilikha. Sa kabila ng kung ilang libong taon na ang lumipas, may mga bahagi pa ring natira upang patunayan na ang mga nakasaad sa Bibliya ay totoo. Dahil sa tuluy-tuloy na pananaliksik, tuloy din ang pagtambad sa mata ng tao ang mga katunayan na noong unang panahon pa man ay nandiyan na Siya at pilit nagpapahiwatig ng di-masukat Niyang kapangyarihan. Maraming mga nadiskubre ang hindi maipaliwanag hanggang ngayon na sa halip na pagtuunan ng pansin, ay mas pinili ng taong laktawan at pagtuunan ng pansin ang paghalughog sa napakalawak na kalangitan gamit ang sarili niyang kaalaman. Nag-aalinlangan ang taong umamin na may Isang napakamakapangyarihan sa lahat na siyang dahilan ng mga hindi maipaliwanag na mga bagay sa sanlibutan at sa kalawakan.


Gusto ng taong mas kilalanin ang kanyang kakayahan at kaalaman kaya kung anu-ano na lang ang kanyang ginagawa tulad ng pagbuhay ng isang patay sa pamamagitan ng pagpapatibok ng puso nito gamit ang isang makina, pagpupunla ng isang buhay gamit ang isang bahagi ng tao na matagal nang namayapa, pagbabago ng mga likas na katangian ng mga tanim at hayop, paggawa ng mga sasakyang nakakarating sa ibang planeta, at iba upang maihalintulad siya sa Diyos.


Subali’t sa kabila ng mga kaalaman ng tao para ipakita na siya man ay maaaring umaktong Diyos, bakit hindi pa rin niya mapigilan ang mga dilubyo na dulot ng  mga mapaminsalang baha, bagyo at lindol? Bakit hindi  niya mapigilan ang pag-alburuto ng mga bulkan sa pagpakawala ng kanilang kinukuyom na lakas na pinaghalong abo, mga bato at apoy? Bakit hindi niya  maawat ang pagtigang ng lupa sa ibang kontinente upang magresulta sa malawakang gutom dahil sa pagkalanta ng mga pananim? Bakit hindi niya mapigilan ang pagsibol ng mga bagong sakit na nagdudulot ng pinsala sa iba’t ibang dako ng mundo?


Saan hahantong ang kayabangan ng tao? Bakit hindi na lang niya pairalin ang pananalig na walang pag-alinlangan nang sa gayon, kahi’t papaano ay matanggap niya na ang mga nangyayari sa kanyang kapaligiran ay hindi saklaw ng kaalaman niyang may hangganan?


Dahil nananaig ang kayabangan kaysa pananalig, ang tao ay hindi magkakaroon ng takot sa puso , kaya siya ay makakagawa ng masama sa kapwa. At lalong hangga’t  nasa kaisipan niya ang magdiyus-diyosan, ang mundo ay hindi magkakaroon ng katahimikan …dahil hindi lang iisang tao ang may ganitong paniniwala…marami – silang  gustong umangat sa pamamagitan ng pagtapak sa karapatan ng iba…silang mga lango sa kapangyarihang dulot ng pera, kaalaman, at katungkulan!



Sighs for Lost Opportunities due to Wasted Time and Arrogance

Sighs for Lost Opportunities

Due to Wasted Time and Arrogance

By Apolinario Villalobos



It is always the sigh of regret that one can only heave out of his chest every time he losses an opportunity. Wasted opportunities may result from wasted time as some are just careless in managing their lives. They seem to or deliberately forget that time is a very important element that affects man’s daily life. Many forgot the adage about the hands of time that cannot be moved back. Man is no match to the infinity of time. So many also forgot that nowadays, in order to survive, discipline and resourcefulness are very important factors, and both are affected by time.


Those who slave it out from 8 to 5 every day, lost precious hours deducted from their take home pay every time they report to work late. They always blame the traffic. I cannot understand why they cannot leave home hours before the onset of the traffic which is normally at 7AM.


For those who are looking for jobs, stories are true about intelligent guys who graduated cum laude but oftentimes fail to land a job. These humbugs wonder how other job hunters could ever get a job despite poor scholastic marks for courses earned from unheard of provincial colleges and vocational schools. The cum laudes forgot that the “early birds get the seeds”. Because of pride and overconfidence, they thought that they can always make it because of high marks on their transcript of records with letterheads of prestigious universities. They forgot that nowadays, employers prefer applicants who show interest in the job, and this interest is initially indicated by being the first in the line on the day of interview. Of course, scholastic marks earned from memorizing lessons can help, but job hunting is a different thing. Respect for time and adeptness in reasoning are two most important measures used to know if a person is ready to take responsibilities.


Those who finish high-end courses from universities thought that the job they prefer must fit their course to a “T”. In this regard,  “management course” graduates, expect to be “managers” right away. They do not want to start from the lowest rung as an office staff. As computer engineering graduates, they expect an “engineer” tagged in the position they are applying for. They do not want to start with a job as computer technician or programmer. These losers only have their pride to blame.


As regards the parents who are crying their hearts out because of growing undisciplined children, they should not ask themselves how this could have happened. In the first place, they forgot to implant in the minds of their children the values that should have been the foundation for their developments. They allowed the children to spend precious time with their peers outside their home even during unholy hours. They give their children hard-earned or borrowed money so they can go to internet cafes to play games instead of studying their lessons at home. They give in to the whims of their children for gadgets that are not necessary. These parents had all the opportunities and time to nurture their children properly but wasted them. They equated love with “pampering”!


Children of well-to-do families have more opportunity to prepare for their future. They have money for every thing that they need, especially for education. But they spend more time with barkadas than with their parents, even skipping classes to be with them to play games in internet cafes or hang out in parks and mall. When they grow old, they realize that they have been left behind by friends who have been serious with their studies.


Lawmakers are losing time and opportunity in bringing out relevant issues beneficial to the government and the people, because they waste precious time lambasting each other for the selfish motive of gaining publicity mileage. They pretend to be immaculately clean in person and heroic in their effort as they besmear each other’s image. In the process, they forgot that they are supposed to formulate laws instead of broadcasting intrigues which should be left to the rumor mongering writers and columnists of showbiz magazines and tabloids. Before they know it, no more time is left of sessions that should have been devoted to their basic mission as lawmakers.


Finally, every worship day should have been spent by people who belong to the various religious leanings for the atonement of their wrongdoings. Unfortunately, their effort is thickly coated with insincerity and hypocrisy. Deep in their mind, they believe in God, but deep in their heart, they believe that He is blind and dumb, so that when they come out of their temples of worship, they are back to their old selfish and arrogant characters.