Directions

Directions

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

In the jungle, tribal communities help each other in getting to their destinations through signs using broken twigs, heaped rocks, seeds left along the trail, etc. Other telltale guiding signs come in the form of sounds such as those made by currents of rivers, waterfalls, as well as, direction of wind, position of the sun, etc.

 

In the highly civilized world, a person gets his direction from road signs and street names, aside from landmarks. In the not-so-civilized communities, pouted lips pointing to desired direction are used aside from the universal “finger pointing” if there is a language barrier. For the fortunate stranger whose language is understood in a strange community, there could be verbal exchanges.

 

Unfortunately, all of the above become useless when the forests are suddenly denuded by unscrupulous illegal logging activities resulting to floods, creating new rivulets that dry up in time. On the other hand, in the civilized communities of lowlands, vandals deface street names and road signs using spray paints. Some even go to the extent of changing the direction of sign posts.

 

Directions are important as they lead us to where we want to be at the most convenient and safest way. And, that is how a nation should be led by one who gives correct directional signs not tainted with selfish motives… as bungled directions can lead a nation to a disaster.

 

 

Ang Buhay at ang Karapatang Mabuhay

ANG BUHAY AT ANG KARAPATANG MABUHAY

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Sa ibabaw ng mundo lahat ng nilalang ay may karapatang mabuhay, subalit hindi lahat ng kabuluhan nila ay naangkop sa pangangailangan ng iba.  May kanya-kanya din silang talino at lakas upang magamit sa pagtanggol ng sarili. Ang prolema lang ay ang mga taong sadyang gahaman o makasarili, kaya hindi nila isinasaalang-alang ang karapatan ng iba.

 

Ang mga makasariling tao ay nanggaling sa mga pamilya na bahagi ng lipunan. Sa isang pamilya, hindi maiwasang magkaroon ng sutil o “black sheep”. Marami sila kapag naipon na, at ang dami ay depende rin sa laki ng lipunan na kinabibilangan ng mga pamilya. Sila ay mga problema na kung hindi masawata ay aalagwa o lalabas sa tahanan at mamiminsala na rin sa kabuuhan ng lipunan, kaya madadamay ang ibang miyembro. Ang katalinuhan ng tao ay nagdikta sa kanya upang gumawa ng mga kaparaanan upang mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga sutil sa lipunan- isang pagbabakasakaling sila ay magbago dahil sila ay may karapatan din sa buhay. At, ito ang ginagawa ng pamahalaan.

 

Samantala, ang karapatan ng isang tao sa isang bagay ay may hangganan at dapat na ginagamit sa mga makabuluhang bagay na nakakatulong sa lipunan sa halip na makapanira. Kung ipipilit na gamitin ng isang tao ang karapatang yan upang makapaminsala ng buhay ng kanyang kapwa o makapanira sa lipunan, lalabas na sinaklawan niya ang karapatan ng ibang taong may karapatang mabuhay ng matiwasay. Sa madaling sabi, ang karapatan ng isang tao ay nagwawakas sa hangganan kung saan ay nagsisimula ang karapatan ng iba.

 

Ang simpleng nakikitaan ng kalagayan tungkol sa usaping ito ay ang taniman ng gulay, kung saan ay may tumubong mga damo. At dahil damo, itinuturing silang salot na magdudulot ng pinsala sa mga itinanim na gulay. At dahil sila ay salot….dapat silang puksain upang hindi na makapanira pa…at ang katumbas nila sa lipunan ng tao ay mga kriminal!

 

Ang Isang Bansa ay parang Damit

ANG ISANG BANSA AY PARANG DAMIT

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Dahil sa namamayagpag na operasyon laban sa droga sa Pilipinas, naungkat na naman ang kahalagahan at katatagan ng pamilya na dapat ay nakaangkla sa tibay ng moralidad ng mga magulang. Hindi katanggap-tanggap ang dahilan ng ibang drug pusher na kaya sila napipilitang magbenta ng droga ay gusto nilang kumita para sa pamilya nilang nagugutom. Kung ang ibang kinakapos ay nabubuhay sa pamumulot ng mapapakinabangan sa basurahan, bakit silang malalaki ang katawan na tadtad ng tattoo ay hindi gumamit ng malinis na paraan upang kumita? Kung halos hindi nga nawawalan ng sigarilyo ang bibig nila, at tuwing hapon lalo na kung Sabado o Linggo ay nakakapaglaklak pa sila ng alak, bakit sasabihin nilang naghihirap sila? Samantala, ang mga asawa naman nilang halos hindi rin nawawalan ng umuusok na sigarilyo sa bibig habang nagtotong-its ay hindi rin nahiyang magsabi na wala raw silang pambili ng bigas!

 

Maraming mga pilosopong Pilipino ang baligtad ang takbo ng isip….silang idinaan sa pagpalipas ng kalibugan ang pagtatag ng pamilya….hindi ng tahanan. Hindi sila gumawa ng plano kaya nang maglabasan ang mga anak ay sa kalye pinalaki. Ang pagsikap nila ay ginawa sa kalagitnaan ng kanilang pamumuhay kung kaylan ay marami na silang anak. Dahil diyan, paanong magkakaroon ng katatagan ang kanilang pamumuhay na idinadaan sa paraang “isang kahig, isang tuka”?

 

Sa kaso naman naman ng mayayamang pamilya na ang mga anak ay napariwara dahil sa droga, nangangahulugan lamang ito na maaaring nagkulang sa pagtugaygay ang mga magulang sa kanilang mga anak. Ito ang mga magulang na sa halip na bigyang pansin ang mga anak, ay mas inusto pang nakababad sa sosyalan kasama ang mga best friends, o di kaya ay ginugugol ang panahon sa mga pagkikitaan upang lalo pang madagdagan ang kanilang yaman.

 

Ang mga pamilya ay maituturing na mga hibla (fibers) na bumubuo ng barangay. Ang mga barangay ay bumubuo ng bayan o lunsod… na bumubuo naman ng mga lalawigan… na bumubuo naman ng buong bansa. Kaya kung wawariin, ang isang bansa ay parang damit na ang ikinagaganda ng uri at tibay ay batay rin sa uri ng mga hibla (fibers). Kung mahina ang mga hibla, madali itong mapunit…at kung salaula o balahura sa paggamit ang may-ari, maaari rin itong mamantsahan.

 

May mga paraan upang mapaganda ang isang gusgusing tela dahil sa karupukan nito….tinatanggal ang gulanit na bahaging napunit at ang butas ay tinatagpian o tinatapalan ng bagong tela. Upang matanggal naman ang mantsa, ito ay binababad sa zonrox, suka, kalamansi, o ikinukula upang mawala ang makapit na dumi. Sila ay mga paraang nangangailangan ng tiyaga. Subalit para sa isang tao na ayaw magtapon ng gulanit na damit, pagtitiyagaan niyang gawin ang anumang paraan na angkop upang maging maayos uli ito.

 

At, bilang panghuli, kung ihahalintulad naman sa isang organisasyon ang isang bansa, ang pinaka-sentro nito ay pamilya dahil diyan nagsisimula o nanggagaling ang lahat upang mabuo ang lipunan…kung mahina at hindi matatag ang mga pamilya, ang bansa ay hihina rin.

No Virtuous Leader of a Nation can Stand Against a Corrupted Democracy

No Virtuous Leader of a Nation Can Stand

Against a Corrupted Democracy

By Apolinario Villalobos

Democracy was conceived with a noble purpose of providing a comfortable life for its adherents, and was given substance by freedom, free will, liberty, equality, and many other principles that stand for anything “free”. It is unfortunate, however, that the looseness brought by freedom has caused its decadence today. The systems of all democratic nations are practically loop-holed with omissions and defects giving corrupt government officials the chance to commit frauds at will. Democracy has been so abused lately, that its image has been deformed beyond recognition.

America which is considered by other nations as the cradle of world democracy is showing signs of decadence as abusive acts have practically become part of its citizens’ daily life. Guns can be easily purchased and even youngsters can carry them around. Muggings are prevalent making stringent laws seem useless. Parents are humbled by their children who talk back at them every time their attention is called for committed faults, and the former cannot do anything, as they will be reported to the police. These undisciplined children later grow up to become young single moms, muggers, gun-toting students, rapists, etc. It is true that similar crimes are committed in any democratic nation, but the degree of incidence in America is beyond expectation.

Nations that are internationally-acknowledged as strictly disciplined like Japan, South Korea, and Singapore are not free from the abuse committed by their supposedly, equally well-disciplined constituents, at the first sign of opportunity. Corruption in their government is also a ubiquitous happening just like in other countries of their level. Along this line, the onslaught of corruption is such that not even a spiritual nation like Vatican is free from it. No less than the new pope himself, Francis, has called the attention of the erring clerics to mend their ways. In other words, no amount of discipline and spirituality can match the evil of corruption that has become deeply-rooted in humanity.

It must be noted, however, that the uncontrollability of corruption even by a virtuous leader does not free him from the liability for any commission by his officials. On the contrary, as a leader, he is expected to exhaust all means and exert an extra effort in preventing the fraudulent acts, or make necessary corrective moves, and not just look the other way every time they are committed. Tolerance on his part makes him liable or a party to the act.  Not even his assertion of purported ignorance makes him innocent. Somehow, the preventive or corrective effort of the virtuous leader, though how futile they may seem, can at least, minimize the incidence or effect of corruption…a consolation that can appease the victims.

As for the seemingly “unblemished” constituents of the corrupted democratic nations, perhaps, they can exert an extra effort in persisting to be consistent in acting as expected of them… law-abiding citizens, an act that can somehow resuscitate Democracy as it grasps for precious breath.

Mother Earth and Man

Mother Earth and Man

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, at last satisfied –

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 breath 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.

 

Mother Earth now nurtures

Not only lesser creatures

But the pair that God made

In some aspects, 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 other stories that are written

On the sacred pages of the age-old Book-

All it needs is for us is to take a serious look.

 

Warnings that Mother Earth belched

In her effort to wake man up with a jolt

Did not budge him even a single bit

Instead, pride bloated him to the utmost

That into the fetid air, made him float

And, as he breaths in more turpitudes-

Would be no wonder, when he bursts!

 

That will be the day when not even time

Shall move its hands as they should be

That will be the day when not even rain

Shall fall with life giving sweet droplets

That will be the day when not even birds

Shall fill the air with their lilting tweets

And the cool breeze shall no longer blow-

Leaving Mother Earth cloaked in sorrow!