TONDO

TONDO

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Tambakan daw ng mga patapon

Pugad ng mga kapuspalad

Hangganan ng pangarap –

Ng mga taong

Madilim ang hinaharap.

 

Marami na ang sumumpa

Na sa Tondo’y hindi babalik

Nguni’t iba ang tawag

At hila ng ugat

Pilit nagpapaliwanag.

 

Tondo, oh, bakit ba?

Naturingan ka

Na pugad ng dalamhati

Pinagkaitan ng saya

Ng ngiti at ng ganda.

 

Ang lahat ay may pagbabago

Kung may araw, mayroon ding gabi.

Kung may lamig, mayroon ding init

Tulad ng Tondo

Gumaganda, dati’y pangit.

 

Ngayon, iba na siya

Unti-unting nagbabago

Nasisinagan ng pag-asa

Na ang dulot

Ay bagong buhay

At may ligaya!

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Hagdan Tungo sa Pangarap

Hagdan Tungo sa Pangarap

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Pangarap –

Pangarap na hinahabi

Hinahabi at sana ay mangyari

Mangyari at matupad na mga inaasam

Inaasam at tinatanaw nang may agam-agam

Agam-agam na nagbibigay din ng mga alalahanin

Alalahaning baka hindi mapagtagumpayang mga mithiin

Mga mithiin ito na nagbibigay ng lakas at sa atin ay nagtutulak

Nagtutulak sa ating likuran at lakas na sa harap pa rin ay humahatak!

I am a Filipino, proud…yet, suffer, too

I am a Filipino, proud

…yet suffer, too

By Apolinario B Villalobos

 

“Let us not lose hope…”

This I have to say first

For if I won’t, but instead

Put that line at the end

I will be stirring your anger

That I will just regret later.

 

When foreign people

Set foot on our sacred shore

Our ancestors welcomed them –

Not just with smile

But warm embrace

Showed them kindness

Showed them love –

The way of Filipinos

As the whole world know.

 

The Chinese brought pots and silk

Gave names to our islands and islets,

The Japanese brought their skill

And goods of steel,

Spain sent forth Christianity

Tainted with gracious civility,

The Americans brought more-

More than what we could muster

And  all of these-

Supposed to enrich our culture

But instead, defiled our identity

Stained much of it with sheer gravity!

 

I hear Filipinos speak English with a twang

But should not be, when they speak our language –

Filipino, the rich language of every Juan.

 

I see Filipinos enjoy foreign food, every bit of it

But should not be, when they push aside

Our own sinigang and pinakbet.

 

I hear Filipinos sing foreign songs so soulfully

It’s just nice, but not when they despise

Our own that should be sung with dignity.

 

Deep inside, I suffer as I see and hear them

I know that just like me, others out there

Are gritting their teeth but can’t do anything;

Proud as a Filipino, yes I am

But so many things are left undone –

Things that our heroes in the past have begun

They who put color

To the vivid pages of our history;

Things that should have been done

By our heroes of today

But who died just when a new light

Started to shine on our democracy.

 

Leaders, policy makers, lawmakers…

Are they…really?

They who warble promises

And steal the people’s money?

Paid with lofty sum from the coffer

Where money for those who suffer

Should have come

But only the few – these warblers

Enjoyed no end, they who are supposed

To be brimming with wisdom!

 

After the father, comes the wife

Then the daughter, and the son

Not contented, the cousins and in-laws

All in the family, to power they strut

With a taunt in their face that says:

“What are we in power for,

And you with money has none

Eat your heart out, here we come!”

 

Rain that used to bless the earth

Filipinos now desist

Especially those who live

Along the river banks of the cities

For with it comes the flood

A curse that only the Bible says

Shall wipe out sinners

From the face of the earth;

But why…the floods?

Simple: the money for saving projects

The conscienceless –

Unscrupulously pocketed!

 

Innocent lengths of asphalted roads

That for long defied the trash of nature

Helplessly wrecked by greedy contractors

So that low-grade fresh overlay can be spread

Later giving up to rain’s patters

And treading of cars, trucks, and all…

 

Even the precious school books are not spared

By purported educators blinded with greed

Seeing to it that new ones, yearly will be printed

Exam questions, at the end of every chapter

Are cleverly printed!

So then, closing school years would also see

These books so dear, become useless –

Thrown to the garbage, not to be used

By aspiring younger brood of the family.

 

I am pained by the sight

Of plates at restaurants

and food stations of the malls –

Half –finished food left with pride

By those who seem to say

“I am rich, I can squander money”

And who never thought

That out there in the dumps

Some brethrens try to salvage morsels –

Precious food that could be stuffed

Into their guts so they can live

Better than nothing, or they’re dead.

 

I said in the beginning of this:

Let us not lose hope…

But wish for the best

If we strive together

And do what is right

Then new life for us

Will be in sight!

Ang Buhay sa Lansangan

Ang Buhay sa Lansangan

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Kung pagmasdan silang pinagkaitan ng rangya

Di maiwasang may maramdaman tayong awa

Nakapaa at nagtutulak ng kariton kung minsan

Basang sisiw naman sila, kapag inabutan ng ulan.

 

Abala palagi sa pangangalakal o sa  pamamasura

Wala sa isip nila ang sumilong upang magpahinga

Habol ay makarami ng mga mapupulot  at maiipon

Hindi alintana pagbabadya ng masamang panahon.

 

Sa mga nadadampot na styrophor galing sa Jollibee

Bigay ay saya dahil may matitikmang tirang ispageti

Kahit iilang hibla lamang na may kulapol pang ketsap

Sa maingat na pagsubo, dama’y  abot-langit na sarap.

 

Gula-gulanit ang suot na kamiseta at nanggigitata pa

Ang damit, kung hindi masikip ay maluwag sa kanila

Kung pantalon naman, walang zipper, at butas –butas

Subali’t hindi alintana, may maisuot lang, kahi’t kupas.

 

Kapos sa mga ginhawa na dulot ay  materyal na pera

Puso namang may nakakasilaw na busilak ay meron sila

Walang hiling kundi matiwasay na umaga sa paggising –

Kahi’t mahapdi ang tiyan dahil sa gutom, di dumadaing.

 

May mga bagay, dapat nating mapulot sa mga ugali nila

Pampitik sa atin upang gumising at magbubukas ng mata

Gaya ng hindi maging sakim at mapag-imbot sa kapwa

Bagkus, maghintay at magpasalamat sa bigay na biyaya!

 

 

 

 

 

Ang Buhay sa Lansangan

Ang Buhay sa Lansangan

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Kung pagmasdan silang pinagkaitan ng rangya

Di maiwasang may maramdaman tayong awa

Nakapaa at nagtutulak ng kariton kung minsan

Basang sisiw naman sila, kapag inabutan ng ulan.

 

Abala palagi sa pangangalakal o sa  pamamasura

Wala sa isip nila ang sumilong upang magpahinga

Habol ay makarami ng mga mapupulot  at maiipon

Hindi alintana pagbabadya ng masamang panahon.

 

Sa mga nadadampot na styrophor galing sa Jollibee

Bigay ay saya dahil may matitikmang tirang ispageti

Kahit iilang hibla lamang na may kulapol pang ketsap

Sa maingat na pagsubo, dama’y  abot-langit na sarap.

 

Gula-gulanit ang suot na kamiseta at nanggigitata pa

Ang damit, kung hindi masikip ay maluwag sa kanila

Kung pantalon naman, walang zipper, at butas –butas

Subali’t hindi alintana, may maisuot lang, kahi’t kupas.

 

Kapos sa mga ginhawa na dulot ay  materyal na pera

Puso namang may nakakasilaw na busilak ay meron sila

Walang hiling kundi matiwasay na umaga sa paggising –

Kahi’t mahapdi ang tiyan dahil sa gutom, di dumadaing.

 

May mga bagay, dapat nating mapulot sa mga ugali nila

Pampitik sa atin upang gumising at magbubukas ng mata

Gaya ng hindi maging sakim at mapag-imbot sa kapwa

Bagkus, maghintay at magpasalamat sa bigay na biyaya!

 

 

 

 

 

Footprints of a Friend…

Footprints of a Friend….

(Tribute to Ruel Lucentales)

By: Apolinario B Villalobos

 

When we were young

He said, “I will be great someday”

I said, “I have the same dream.”

He was diligent in his studies

And even excelled in other fields

Despite odds that limited our quest

That we hurdled to satisfy our needs.

 

After graduation in college

He said, “I want to raise a family”

I said, “Go ahead, get a wife oozing with beauty and sanity.”

He got a beauty and both raised two children

Who grew to be caring and responsible

Making them both happy and they did not ask for more.

 

When we met again

He said, “Somehow, I will try my best to help others”.

I said, “That, I hope to see”.

He was braving the danger along the way

As he visited settlements of evacuees.

With him was a jolly entourage clad in blue chalico –

Brave men and women, pride of then Region XI’s DSW.

 

When he was to be promoted

He said, “Friend, I will be transferred to Manila, what do you say?”

I said, “Go ahead, consider it as part of your destiny”.

Then I saw him on TV braving the thick ashfall of Mt. Pinatubo.

Skipping meals and being away from his family for days

Became just part of daily routine enjoyed by him –

And all these he did without a single complaint.

 

When told about our class reunion in August 21, 2010

He said to a classmate, “Ed, I will surely be part of our homecoming in Notre Dame.”

Ed said, “You must, as the rest are expecting you to be there.”

Others were told and were elated that at last, he could make it, come what may.

He was excited, of course, to meet classmates last seen more than twenty years ago.

 

But, a slight twist of his destiny changed all these

When on a fateful day he breathed his last

The day that bore his final footprint on the sands of life

That bore witness to his greatness –

As a struggling youth with a dream

As a patient brother to his siblings

As a loving husband to a beautiful wife

As a doting father to two caring children

As a worker who cares for his colleagues and those in need

As a man who did not fail to look back

To his footprints while on his way to greatness

To fulfill his destiny…

 

To you Ruel, our friend, our brod, we say:

YOU ARE, INDEED, GREAT!

A Chirp in the Wilderness

A Chirp in the Wilderness

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

As the sun rays break the stillness of dawn

And as the horizon slowly brightens the early morn

So do I open my eyes to a world beset with wants…

Another day.

 

Here I am

Just a dot in the universe of humanities

Trying to give warmth with a curled smile in my lips

Though I know that with my songs

I’m just like a chirp in the wilderness.