Use the God-given Talent Properly and for the Benefit of Others



By Apolinario Villalobos


If God gave you the talent to invent gadgets, come up with what are useful to make life comfortable. If He gave you the talent to sing…make others happy, instead of singing to yourself inside the bathroom. If He gave you the talent to write and which you have discovered, perhaps, inadvertently, help others to discover theirs, and write what are relevant and helpful….do not foment misunderstanding among readers by coming up with lopsided information or exposes.


Today, the counterpart of the print media journalists are the so-called “bloggers”, those who write on the cyberspace sites, most particularly, on facebook which is the most popular. Unfortunately, many of the so-called “bloggers” use their talent for purely bashing intent. They post photos and short write-ups which most often contain or imply negative messages about a person, entity, or the government. Blogging, especially, visuals of untoward crime-related incidents could help in solving cases, but not the photos with short captions that present only one side. There is nothing wrong with posting negative comments, but such should be “balanced” with the blogger’s suggestions on how what he observed to be bad can be transformed into something good… an opinion for which he is entitled.


Many so-called bloggers have obviously are abusing the free opportunity offered by the IT sites purportedly for the benefit of humanity. Many of them feel great just because they have posted just anything to solicit attention to their site. Blogging should be viewed as an advocacy to share the good that others have done to inspire others, as well as, the bad to caution others but with accompanying precautions on how to avoid them or at the very least, suggestions based on the writer’s opinion.


If the blogger is from a small community, in all probability, there is a chance that he could get in touch personally with people who are the subject of his blogs. There is nothing wrong with introducing himself as a blogger followed by expressing his intention to help to correct what he views as wrong. If the blogger believes that he has a “mission” that is why God gave him such kind of talent, by all means, he should be serious about it. But if his intention is just to become known by bashing others, then he should be reminded by the “Golden Rule” – do not do to others what you do not want others would do to you.

My Great Friend, Jimmy…altruistic to the end

My Great Friend, Jimmy…altruistic to the end

By Apolinario Villalobos


When we are at the lowest ebb of our life that include days we spend in bed due to an ailment, the natural thing to do is for us to exert an effort  to show our best. But there are some who make cover-ups, apprehensive that others will know their situation. By being honest, however, does not mean that help is being solicited. We can even gain respect and admiration, by showing others our endurance during such trying times. The respect and admiration, as the fruits of our effort are sweeter, than the casual reaction from others whose view of our real situation is obstructed by hypocrisy.


Jimmy was a friend who used to hold a high executive position in a trading company. Even before I started blogging, he was well-informed about my small projects in Tondo and Divisoria as he was a regular donor. We met at the Mary Johnson Hospital in Tondo many years back, where he visited a staff of his office, while I visited the daughter of a friend from Baseco compound who was confined due to dengue. His sincere friendship punctuated by his giving me his business card made me divulge to him my real identity, but implored him to keep it to himself. I explained that I do not reveal my identity to those whom I extend a little help that I could afford, so that I had been known to them by another name.


He failed to save much needed cash for his retirement because much of what he earned went to friends who sought his financial help.  To make the story short, when he resigned due to a prolonged ailment, he was left with an almost depleted savings. Every time I visited him, we would talk about his friends who became successful in their jobs. His statements were always ended with “ I am thankful that they made it…”. Truth is, he had been instrumental for their success. Some were his subordinates whom he pushed with deserved promotions and guaranteed referrals. Some were given financial assistance as a start-up for a small business.


The cancer in his bones resulted to his losing weight considerably which practically changed his physical appearance. Despite the transformation, he could still muster a smile, as if nothing had changed. He was financially handicap, but he did not cover it up.  When he became bedridden, the first to go was his car, followed by his studio-type condo, after which his nephew accommodated him in his home in Malabon. His wife with whom he had no child, left him for a Chinese boyfriend she met in a casino.


Jimmy gained much respect because of what he showed, aside from reaping admiration from neighbors and friends who visited him daily. The disease that physically emaciated him did not change his image that had been exuding an aura of contentment.  He passed away two months ago (January 2017). After his cremation, I was invited by his nephew and his wife for a dinner at their home after which an envelope was handed to me. It contained PHP3,730.00, balance of his savings and with it was his passbook. Outside the envelope was his simply handwritten note, “God be with you always in all you do”.

Companionship and Marriage

Companionship and Marriage

By Apolinario Villalobos


“Marriage” for the Roman Catholic Church is founded on the principle surrounding the opposite sexes and this should be respected. Those who do not agree should join other religious communities that have a different belief, But for me, the ceremony is not even a guarantee that the relationship of heterosexual couple pledging, “till death do us part” could really last that long. In this regard, legal separation and divorce have been conceived. I believe that love is the essence of the lifetime companionship that applies even to those with same sex. Marriage is man-made and sometimes, even performed for convenience. On the other hand, commitment resulting from companionship with mutual respect and understanding, is naturally developed and gets “ripe” in time between partners, hence, become deeply-imbedded in their emotion.


If the Philippine government will not legalize “same- sex marriage”, the LGBT community should not feel dejected as the members can just go on living together…nobody can stop them from doing so. Meanwhile, they have the choice to cover themselves with legal documents as regards their common properties and other expectations. It should be noted that even affluent heterosexual couples sign documents that stipulate conditions about their properties before their wedding ceremony. As regards their family that would include children later on, they can resort to adoption of blood relations, such as nephews or nieces, or even offspring of strangers, and this is where orphanages and state welfare agency, such as the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) come in.


Members of the LGBT community should open their mind to the hurting fact that not all nations understand their situation. This is the reason why same-sex couples resort to living in countries where their relationship is legally recognized. Fortunately, to date, many Filipinos recognize same-sex relationship that gave rise to many Christian Churches in the country, and which are extending utmost compassion and understanding to it.


Ceremony that would bind the relationship may still be performed to formalize the commitments of the same- sex couple, but should not include or imply anything that got to do with that of the traditional Roman Catholic Church’s, though, the Universal Lord may still be invoked, as witness.


Finally, for couples, respect to each other is most vital for a lasting relationship….love is born out of respect. LUST manifests the absence of such.


Dalawang Masikap na Single Moms, Masaya at Kuntento sa Buhay…sina Hilda Ibayne at Tess Quintance

Happy Women’s Month!


Dalawang Masikap na Single Moms, Masaya at Kuntento sa Buhay

…sina Hilda Ibayne at Tess Quintance

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Maraming single moms ang naninirahan sa Maynila kung saan ay maraming oportunidad kaya nakakaraos sila kahit papaano basta masipag lang, tulad nina Hilda Ibayne at Tess Quintance.


Si HILDA ay nakapuwesto sa isang sulok ng Avenida (Sta. Cruz) at ang pinagkikitaan ay paglilinis ng mga kuko sa kamay at paa, bilang manikurista. Suki niya ang mga “Avenida cruisers”, mga nagtitinda ng aliw (prostitute) na nasa mga puwesto na nila sa kahabaan ng Avenida 7AM pala.  Php50 ang singil niya sa pedicure o manicure at kung “set” o manicure at pedicure ang gagawin ay pwedeng tawaran. Kung walang nagpapalinis ng mga kuko, nagre-repair naman siya ng mga sandal at sapatos, at nagtitinda ng kendi at sigarilyo.


Nang kausapin ko siya isang umaga ay nagre-repair siya ng isang pares na sandal. Taong 2000 pa daw siya “sapatera” halos katitin-edyer pa lang niya at tatay niya ang nagtiyagang magturo sa kanya. Nang makipag-live siya sa isang sapatero din, pinaubaya sa kanila ng kanyang tatay ang puwesto. Subalit pagkatapos siyang maanakan ng tatlo ay iniwan na daw siya ng kinasama niya at umuwi na ito sa Cebu. Sa halip na mapanghinaan ng loob, nag-aral siyang maglinis nang kuko at bumili ng mga gamit. Kalaunan ay nagkaroon na siya ng mga suki. Upang madagdagan ang kinikita sa paglilinis ng mga kuko, nagre-repair pa rin siya ng mga sapatos at sandal, at nagtinda na rin ng sigarilyo at kendi.


Ang mga anak niyang nasa hustong gulang na upang mag-aral ay pumapasok. Ang panganay niya ay 11 na taong gulang, sinundan ng 9 na taong gulang, at ang bunso ay 6 na taong gulang naman. Sa awa daw ng Diyos ay nakakaraos silang mag-iina, yon nga lang, dahil sa K-12 program ng DECS ay nadagdagan ang kanyang pasanin. Ayon kay Hilda, pinipilit niyang umuwi sa barung-barong nila sa Baseco Compound (Tondo) bago kumagat ang dilim upang makapaghanda ng hapunan nila. Kuntento siya sa buhay at walang sinisisi sa kanyang kalagayan. Ang mahalaga sa kanya ngayon ay makatapos ang kanyang mga anak maski senior high school man lang.


Si TESS naman ay nakapuwesto sa Quiapo, labasan ng shrine o luklukan ng Black Nazarene. Nakausap ko siya nang bumili ako ng underwear na napag-alaman kong sarili pala nilang gawa, subalit nilagyan lang ng etekita ng isang kilalang brand. Dahil kaunti lang nakalatag ay nagtanong ako kung sapat ang kanyang kinikita niya na sinagot naman niya ng okey lang daw. Mga tira daw ang inilatag niya mula sa mga dinileber niya sa mga kostumer na may mga puwesto. Tulad ni Hilda, iniwan din si Tess ng kanyang kinakasamang pulis pagkatapos nilang magkaroon ng 7 anak. Taong 2013 nang iwanan silang mag-iina ng kanyang asawa upang makisama sa ibang babae.


Sa simula ay hindi niya alam ang gagawin nang iwanan sila ng pulis. Mabuti na lang daw ay may nagyaya sa kanyang pumasok sa isang patahian na malapit lang sa kanila. Todong pagtitipid ang ginawa nilang mag-iina kaya pati pag-aaral ng mga anak ay naapektuhan dahil mas binigyan niya ng halaga ang mga gastos para sa pagkain at upa sa tinitirhang kuwarto. Nang maging bihasa o esksperto na sa pagtabas at pagtahi ay naglakas-loob siyang umutang upang may maipambili ng makina. Tumulong sa kanya ang apat niyang nakakatandang mga anak sa pagtahi ng mga simpleng damit pambata at kalaunan pati mga underwear ay sinubukan na rin nilang gawin. Ang mga nakakabatang anak naman ay nagpatuloy sa pag-aral.


Ang panganay niyang anak na tumutulong din sa pagtabas ay nagtitinda na rin ng mga alahas na pilak na sinasabay ang pagbenta tuwing mag-deliver siya ng mga ino-order na mga underwear. Nakakapag-deliver daw sila sa Baclaran, Pasig, Bulacan at Caloocan. Pabulong niyang sinabi na ngayong maysakit daw ang dati niyang asawa ay lumalapit ito sa kanya upang humingi ng pambili ng gamot, at binibigyan daw naman niya. Nang tanungin ko kung saan siya humugot ng lakas upang makaraos silang mag-iina, itinuro niya ang simbahan ng Quiapo. Nakatira silang mag-iina sa Taguig (Rizal).


Sina Hilda at Tess ay mga halimbawa ng tunay na pagsisikap ng tao…nagtitiyaga at hindi umasa kahit kanino, at ang bukod-tanging hiningi sa Diyos ay madagdagan pa ang lakas ng kalooban at katawan…hindi pera. Wala rin silang kinimkim na galit sa dati nilang asawa. Kabaligtaran sila ng ibang babae na kahit nakahiga na sa salapi ay hindi pa rin kuntento sa buhay, kaya upang lumago pa ang kanilang yaman ay nagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan o nanloloko ng kapwa. May isa ngang babae na bukod sa nang-agaw ng asawa ay nagkanlong (protect) pa ng mga drug lord kaya sagana siya sa sustento hanggang sa maikulong. Yong iba pa ay hindi alam ang gagawin sa sobra-sobrang pera kaya kung anu-ano ang mga pinaggagawa sa katawan upang mabago ang ginawa ng Diyos, kinarma naman kaya ang iba ay tumabingi ang ilong, nagkaroon ng nana (pus) ang suso at puwet dahil sa inilagay na silicone, o nagkaroon pa ng kanser!


The Prayer

The Prayer

By Apolinario Villalobos


First of all, it must be known that there are many forms of prayers or ways by which a prayer can be expressed, such as, silently, loudly, and by sign language. But generally, the prayer can be classified into just three, such as, memorized, read, and extemporaneously expressed straight from the heart.


The Roman Catholic Church has hundreds of prepared or printed prayers with specific intentions, such as, those for the dead, for Christening, for the wedding, for the sick, for job hunting, for wooing a woman, for damning an enemy, etc. One will just have to go to Quiapo to see piles of printed prayer books sold like candies outside the cathedral. These prayers become more effective according to the vendors if candles are being burned while specific prayers are mumbled, till the candle completely melts. Some “faithful” even hire a “praying professional”- a person who prays for a fee. Each candle is distinguished for a particular intention by their color.


The voodooistic practices are being done right under the very nose of the Catholic priests, and while the amplified Mass is going on inside the massive historic structure where the Black Nazarene is enshrined.  If these are wrong, why can’t the Church authorities put a stop to them? Why can’t announcements be made during the Mass so that even those outside the church will hear them? Why can’t this simple act of correcting a wrong right within their community is not being done, while Catholic bishops are against and very vocal about the killing of drug personalities who are criminals?


Many Roman Catholic prayers are outright funny, especially, those which have not been “updated”, having been written during the heyday of fanaticism, particularly during the later part of the Spanish colonization. The prayers are full of outright ignorance as regards to what prayers are supposed to be about. For this, one just has to check the “marathon prayer” or “chant” used during the “pabasa” of the Lenten season. These supposedly solemn prayers are “updated” using hip-hop tunes, to purportedly encourage the youth to participate. Also, for other interesting discoveries, one may check the prayer being chanted by sleepy “faithful” Roman Catholics during the “pasiyam” of the dead brethren in which the “tower of David” is mentioned. Every night it is done for the duration of the nine-day wake. I would like to make it clear that I have nothing against these prayers of the Roman Catholic Church…I am just sharing what I know about them.


For me, the best prayers are those that are extemporaneously said by New Christians as they are obviously coming from their heart….not read from “prayer books”….that is my personal opinion and nobody should question that.



The Enduring Love of Linda (Salvacion) and Gil Carolino…a lesson for Valentine’s Day

A Lesson for Valentine’s Day…


The Enduring Love

of Linda (Salvacion) and Gil Carolino

By Apolinario Villalobos


In marital companion ship, compatibility is crucial to make it enduring, in order for it to resist the threat of various temptations that could erode the relationship. Following the Chinese feng shui of relationships, both parties cannot be positive or negative. Either should be positive and the other, negative so that continuous motion is assured. The companionship should not be stagnant and this is is possible if the two “forces” are pushing or pulling each other. The forces are necessary for the couple to move on. But, it does not necessarily mean, that while one of them is good, the other one should be bad. What is meant here is the aspect of “giving way” to the other every time there is an uncalled for clash.


The test for the endurance of relationship also comes in times of needs – financially and physically. Some couples call it quits when they find difficulties in maintaining their affluent ways if one, or worst, both of them lost their job. There are also stories of abandonment when one of the parties got sick with incurable disease.


What happened to Linda and Gil is one for the record of marital relationship. Both seem to be on the right path as they reaped success after success since the time they started to build a home for their happy family. Gil began his career as a young CPA in Philippine Airlines, to become the youngest manager of the said airline. Linda was also a CPA but did not stop as such for she pursued her other love – Law. Despite their having three children, she endeavored to finish the course and being intelligent, passed the Bar with resounding success. Her feat gave her a a distinct mark when she worked for the Supreme Court where she was given an award, “Outstanding Award in the Practice of Law” for having won cases three in a row. A researched material that she completed was also used by the Philippine Senate against the former Chief Justice Renato Corona that led to the latter’s impeachment.


On the other hand, Gil was having a heyday with his smooth sailing along his airline career. From being a Manager of a Division that handled planning and marketing, and later product development, he moved up to become a Regional Vice-President, particularly, of Southeast Asia. It was at this point when Linda was already showing signs of weakness that was thought to be just an ordinary ailment. Meanwhile, their children grew to become successful in their own chosen career.


Millicent (Miyen), a successful CPA, married to Elmer Lobusta, and both blessed with children: John David, 15; Anna Therese, 13; Mary Catherine, 10. Miyen and Elmer are chapter Heads of Singapore Couples for Christ, while their children are members of Youth for Christ and Kids for Christ….the whole family serves during the Mass.


Kristine, married to Joseph Eric Mendiola, a computer technologist and team member of Japan’s hybrid car program, and blessed with children, Karmina, 16, who can read and write the Japanese Hiragana and Kanji alphabet; and, Jose Enzo, 12, an American citizen for being born in America.


April Ann, married to an Indonesian, Denny Han. April is a product of the Philippine Science High School and Ateneo from where she graduated with the course, Management Engineering and had an initial stint in Indonesia where she met her husband during one of the assemblies of the Singles for Christ. Their children are Tala Elizabeth, 5, considered a miracle baby being born prematurely at six months, thereby spending almost 3 months in the Neo Natal ICU…now a bubbly child, she attends nursery in Singapore with no trace of the harrowing experience as an infant. The youngest is Yumi Gabrielle, 17 months.


Despite her deteriorating health, Linda, did not show any trace of discouragement, especially, with the constant encouragement from the family. It came to a point, however, that she had to stay in bed more often, and during such crucial moments, Gil showed his resolve to stay by her side to attend to her needs. He finally resigned in 1998 as trips to the hospital had become frequent. In October 2009, Linda became totally bedridden after being diagnosed of degenerative nerve syndrome that affected her other organs.


Hospitalizations and medicines practically depleted the financial resources of the couple. Whatever savings they had were spent for the frantic desire to save Linda whose days were cheered by their children and their grandchildren. Unfortunately, as fate would have it, Linda gave up her struggle on October 10. Despite her emaciated state, her face is still a picture of graceful beauty without any sign of pain. Both Linda and Gil endured the challenges by hurdling the obstacles that they encountered along the way, as witnessed by their children and their husbands…lessons that they have surely learned.


Worth quoting from Gil is his life’s guiding inspiration as it makes him believe that …”we draw strength from everyone…and what keeps us going is also our strong and unwavering faith in the Lord….that we keep the trust, knowing that HE knows best….that we might be beset with problems and trials almost endlessly, but we never should never despair because we know that God loves us…we should try our best to fend off anxieties…as, God is our shield”.


Asked how he would like to be remembered, he said, “I would like to be remembered as someone who will sacrifice my own comfort to be able to give happiness to others”. He further added, “… people see me as “kuripot” (tightwad), but they just don’t know that I try to save every centavo I can because I want to give something to anyone whenever they come to our house for help. I don’t want to see them unhappy – poor relatives, poor neighbors, poor parishioners, poor countrymen, who got struck with calamities year-round.  Had I not sacrificed my own comfort, I would not have had anything to give them. And, I could not have managed my beloved Linda’s monstrous medical needs – as I would not want our children sacrifice for us…for as long as I can still manage it.”




In the Name of Love (poem)

Happy Hearts Day!



In the name of Love…

By Apolinario Villalobos


In the name of love…

Kilometric lines of praise can be uttered

Mountains of words can be piled

Tsunamic throbs can be sighed

And stones can come to life.


In the name of love…

Chilling nights can simmer with warmth

Swaying leaves can turn to fairies

That dance with delightful grace

And undulate with the breeze.


In the name of love…

Even the scrawny twigs can bear flowers

Grass made brown by searing sun

Can turn into cool green, so calm –

Under the sky’s cerulean expanse.