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!

Religion, Christian Faith, and Immorality

Religion, Christian Faith, and Immorality

By Apolinario Villalobos


I am wondering whether those who profess religiosity based on what they practice really “understand” what they are doing. They claim that the bible contributes a lot to their spiritual development. The problem with these people though, is that, while some stick to just the New Testament, others devote their time more to the Old Testament, when the two sections of the bible are supposed to complement each other. So what happens is that, while some of them learn about the teachings of Jesus which are in the New Testament, they do not have a slight idea that the religion that they follow can be traced back to Abraham who is in the Old Testament, and whom they hear only as a name when mentioned in sermons. The ignorance came to light when I asked one Catholic Lay Minister if he has an idea on who the eldest son of Abraham is. I found out that all he knew was that Abraham has a son and that, he was Isaac. When I told him that Ishmael was his eldest son bore to him by Hagar, the handmaid of Sarah, he was surprised! He even asked, how can it be possible when the name Ishmael is a Muslim?


From the desert, the Abrahamaic faith, also called Mosaic faith that also hinges on the belief on the coming of a “redeemer” spread. When Jesus came, he followed a new path along which he spread his teachings that filled the pages of the New Testament. When he died on the cross, his followers insisted that he was the sacrificial lamb for the sins of mankind – the redeemer who have finally come and did the act of redemption. But many refused to accept this, as they even keep on questioning his identity if he, indeed, belongs to the House of David from where, the redeemer should come from, more so with the allegation of his being the son of God.


If Jesus was the result of a “virgin birth” that gives credence to the “annunciation” as one of the “mysteries”, then, he does not belong to the House of David, because Mary, herself, as his biological mother does not, but only Joseph, who is his “foster father”, therefore, not his “biological father”. In other words, he is not the prophesied “redeemer” as insisted by his followers. Such question is one of the so many asked since the medieval period when the pagan Romans were converted into Christianity, and overdid their religiosity by incorporating pagan practices into what was supposed to be a simplistic way of spirituality. Instead of giving enlightenment on the issue, the early church leaders added problems, one of which is the question on “Trinity” that even widened the “schism”. Is it not immoral to keep the truth from the people who thought they are following the right path?


The “extensions” of the Church of Rome distributed throughout Europe as the 15th century was ending, was purported to be the largest “landholders” during the time. That was also the time when Christianity was forced into the inhabitants of the islands that came to be known as Philippines, so named by Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, in honor of the Spanish king, Philip II. But before the Spaniards came to the shores of the archipelagic islands, they had already sacked the long- thriving Inca and other highly developed cities that they converted into their colonies, and they called the natives “Indios”. For the Spaniards, the natives that they suppressed and made to kneel in front of the cross are called “Indios” who, for them are ignorant… this is how the natives of the Philippines and America were first called, and not by their real indigenous names.


The Spanish Christian missionaries who were also fond of shouting “punyeta”, “sin verguenza”, and “hijo de puta” to the natives, did the same hideous conduct of conversion they used in South America, when they came to the Philippines, as they went into the frenzy of burning cultural and intellectual treasures, because for them those were “demonic” and did not conform with “Christianity” which for them still, was the “righteous way”. They even went to the extent of executing “babaylans” or native priestesses.


During the closing of the 15th century, the Roman Church owned practically, almost half of France and Germany, and two-fifths of Sweden and England, not to mention Mexico and other South American colonies and the Philippines where, the early haciendas were located in Cavite, Batangas, Bulacan, Pampanga, Rizal, as well as, the islands of Negros, Panay and Cebu. While the colonies in Europe were not so productive, in the Philippines, the vast tracts of land that were literally grabbed from the natives were planted to sugar cane, rice, and coconut. Today, a few Filipino families who are also into politics are “hold-over owners” of these haciendas. And, they are so much devoted Roman Catholics!…and so, exploitation goes on!


Because of  her exploitation disguised by evangelization, Rome grew splendidly and gloriously. To maintain such splendor and glory, the papacy resorted to requiring all ecclesiastical appointees to remit their revenues to the “papal curia” in Vatican. A scandal that gave birth to the Reformation movement and also widened further the “schism” is about the pope’s selling of indulgences. Imagine the pope selling “tickets” to heaven! The large sum of money that flowed into the Vatican’s coffer led to more corruption, most prominent of which were committed by:


  • Sixtus IV (reign: 1471-84), who spent enormous sum of money in building the “chapel” that he named after himself, the “Sistine”, aside from causing the enrichment of his nephews and nieces;
  • Alexander VI, a.ka., Rodrigo Borgia (reign: 1492-1503) who allegedly, openly acknowledged and afforded financial opportunities to his illegitimate children;
  • Julius II (reign: 153-13), nephew of Sixtus IV, and who was said to be warlike, notorious politician, and who also spent lavishly on art, but failed in his duties as Head of the Roman Church.


During the time, the papacy did not monopolize immorality, as there was a popular adage then, that said, “if you want your son to be corrupted, make him decide to become a priest”.

It was alleged that confessors solicited sexual favors from female penitents, and thousands of priests were said to maintain concubines. Reformists were making a mockery of the church by saying that for Jesus’ ministers, it’s always money – from baptism, marriage, till death, with such greed and perversion spreading to Hispanic colonies.


Today, in the Philippines, so many Christian ministries have sprung up in almost every corner of big cities, sporting different names and congregate in inauspicious apartment units, former offices, multi-purpose halls of subdivisions, former movie theaters, and for the richy…Cultural Center of the Philippines and Folk Arts Theater which are the projects of Imelda Marcos within the Cultural Center of the Philippines.


There is a joke today about the unemployed, but with an oratorical gift to just put up a “ministry” in order to survive out of the tithes or “love offering” from members. These followers attend the gatherings and listen to the same never changing themes about love that they fail to put into practice, as they go back to their old “selfish” ways when they go home by keeping to themselves – within the security of their homes and company of select friends. Still, some enterprising bible-toting ministers even go to the extent of using the religious book in soliciting money from commuters by hopping on to buses and jeepneys to “share” the words from the bible in exchange for money to be put in envelops that they patiently distribute. As this kind of undertaking is some kind of a money-making enterprise, those who conduct such should be taxed!


The pope, himself, acknowledges the proliferation of immorality and corruption in the Roman Catholic Church that is why lately, an external auditing firm has been contracted to check on the Vatican records. He even apologized for the abuse committed by some members of the clergy. In other words, nobody among the members of the Vatican-based church is free from the stain of immorality. Still, in the Philippines, the Iglesia ni Cristo, biggest Christian church next to the Roman Catholic, is rocked with a scandal that is undergoing an investigation. There could still be other religious scandals going around, but just get to be contained due to their insignificance, compared to the cursing of Duterte who is running for presidency during the 2016 election.


The world today is full of “habitual” sinners – “immorals” in the eyes of the “moralists”, just because these people that they despise do not attend religious services or utter curses habitually, or just simply, polygamous. Can they be compared with those who attend these so-called religious services but got no slightest idea what compassion means? Can they be compared with husbands who fool their wives by playing around with their “queridas”, or wives who squander the wage hard- earned by their husband abroad, on their kept “lovers”?


Worst, these “moralists” are emboldened by the thought that it is alright for them to commit sin because they can go to confession, afterwards anyway! ….or worse, eat the host, bread or biscuit that symbolize the body of Christ, the better for them to get “cleansed” immediately! (I read stories about pagan tribes who eat the body of their brave opponents so that such character can be made part of them).


Some of these “good” people do not even know the name of their neighbors, so how can they say they love God that they cannot see, but cannot love their neighbors who are just a few steps away from them? Is it not sheer hypocrisy which is just another form of immorality?  Some of them still, who have become more financially stable than the rest, act like horses pulling indigenous “calesas”, that are allowed to look just straight ahead, which is a manifestation of selfishness.


By the way, I do not deny that I am a sinner through and through!…please pray for me!

The Filipino Language and its Conversational and Scholarly Characteristics

The Filipino Language and its Conversational

and Scholarly Characteristics

By Apolinario Villalobos


The Filipino as a language is injected with many influences from the different traders who frequented the archipelago during the pre-colonial days. The Spanish and American colonizers who stayed for a long time, practically, impregnated the Filipino culture with their own, that made the latter richer, especially, the language. The result is what today, are being spoken and used in writing by the Filipinos – the language that underwent several stages of transformations.


The unique Filipino language is originally what the Tagalogs of southern Luzon exclusively spoke as their dialect. Aside from Tagalog, other major dialects in the country are Hiligaynon and Karay-a in the provinces of Panay island, the Cebuano in the island of Cebu and other islands of the region as far down south in Davao, Bikol in the Bicol Peninsula,  Ilocano and Pangasinense in the north. The Moroland in Mindanao has its Maguindanaoan, Iranon, Tausug, and Maranao.


To unite the Filipinos, Manuel L. Quezon declared Tagalog as the “common” language, but to give it a bonding character and to remove the exclusive reference to the Tagalogs, it was called “Pilipino”, and still later, “Filipino” which is what it is called until today.


There are Filipino words that are better written than spoken, and vice versa. As a scholarly language, there are also words that are better read in “tula” (poetry), and heard in songs, as well as, part of a formal dissertation. Still, there are words that have better use in speeches, as well as, in swearing. That is what confronts the current generation of Filipinos. Most find difficulty in comprehending some Filipino words that is why, the sympathizing writer has to enclose the English equivalent in parenthesis right after them. Some words that are immoral are translated into English before they can be spoken, too.


The Filipino language further evolved into what is called “Taglish” (Tagalog/English) and is proved to have manifold benefits. The natives of the Cordillera Region who are more exposed to the English language of the missionaries use it, as well as those of the Visayas , who sound awkward when speaking in straight Tagalog, due to their regional accent.


The fast metamorphosis of the Filipino as a language is a manifestation of its steady growth. An outgrowth that many Filipinos did not notice, however, is the “gay lingo” that has become acceptable among the youth. Even the international Aldub TV series employ the “gay lingo” to the delight of its followers. One word worth mentioning is “bey” which is the corrupted form of “baby” and which means “dear”, “love”, “friend”, “sweetheart”, or just anything that connotes closeness. The “pambansang bey” is dearly tagged to Alden Richard, and it means “national love, heartthrob, heart, sweetheart, etc.”


Bloggers are doing their best in spreading the appreciation for the highly- alive Filipino language by using regional words or gay words, at times. The blogs that come in different forms such as free-versed “tula” and free-style essays are in the forms which are not found in any corrupted textbooks used in school. The viewers are then, incited to freely ask for verifications as to what they stand for or what they mean.

Ang Dahil kung bakit Pinagpapatay ang mga Kristiyano sa Japan noong Unang Panahon – tsismis!

Ang Dahilan kung bakit PInagpapatay

ang mga Kristiyano sa Japan noong Unang Panahon – tsismis!

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Noong panahon ng mga Kastila, ang mga misyonaryo nilang dinala sa Pilipinas ay nakarating sa Japan. Maganda ang relasyon nga mga Jesuits at Dominicans sa mga namumuno sa Japan, lalo pa at masigla din ang pakikipagkalakalan ng mga Hapon sa mga galleon na dumadayo sa kanila. Hindi pinapansin noon ang pagdami ng mga Kastila sa Japan, lalo na ng mga misyonaryo.

Subalit, minsan ay nagyabang ang isang piloto ng galleon na San Felipe sa pagkuwento tungkol sa kung paanong lumawak ang mga nasasakupan ng mga Kastila sabay pakita pa ng mapa. Ang paraan ng mga Kastila na pinagyabang niya ay ang pagpapadala muna ng mga misyonaryo upang mang-convert ng mga tao. Kapag dumami na ang mga converts ay saka darating ang mga sundalo, kaya walang kahirap-hirap ang ginagawa nilang pananakop. Nakarating ang kwento sa mga lider ng Japan na nabahala, lalo pa at napansin nila ang pagdami nga ng mga misyonaryo sa kanilang bansa. May mga ordinaryong sibilyang Kastila rin pero ang pagkaalam nila ay interasado lamang ang mga ito sa pangangalakal.

Ang sumunod na pangyayari ay ang pagpapalayas o  pagpatay ng mga misyonaryong Kastila. Ang mga Kristiyano naman ay pinagpapatay, at isa sa mga ito na naging santo, ay ang Tsinoy na si San Lorenzo Ruiz.

Mga Historical Trivia tungkol sa Pilipinas (part 1)

Mga Historical Trivia tungkol sa Pilipinas (part 1)

ni Apolinario Villalobos)

-Bago dumating ang mga Kastila, partikular, si Magellan, malakas na ang pakikipagkalakalan ng ating mga ninuno sa mga Hapon, Tsino, Cambodians, Indians, Malaysians, Borneans, Moluccans, Javans, at Sumatrans. Balita sa Espanya at iba pang kaharian sa Yuropa ang mga sangkap-panluto na tulad ng pamenta, sili, cinnamon, at iba pa na matatagpuan lamang sa Asya lalo na sa Malacca o Moluccas, at nagpapahaba din ng “buhay” ng hilaw na karne bilang preservative. Ang pakay talaga ng grupo ni Magellan ay ang Moluccas na madaling marating mula sa Pilipinas. Ibig sabihin, itinuring na “transit point” lamang ang Pilipinas. Pangalawang biyahe ni Magellan papunta sana sa Moluccas ang ginawang pagdaong sa mga isla ng Pilipinas, kung saan siya minalas na mapatay ni Lapu-lapu sa Mactan.

-Ang tunay na pangalan ni Magellan na isang Portuguese ay “Fernậo de Magalhậes”. Ang pangalan niya sa Kastila ay “Fernando de Magallanes”, at ang “Ferdinand Magellan” ay sa Ingles naman. Lumipat siya sa pagkiling ng Espanya kahit siya ay Portuguese dahil hindi kinilala ang kanyang naiambag sa mga paglalayag na nagpatanyag sa Portugal. Ininsulto pa siya ng hari noon ng Portugal na si Dom Manuel (the Fortunate) nang humingi siya ng kaunting dagdag na pension. May alipin siyang Asyano na si Enrique, o Henry, na nakatulong ng malaki nang makarating ang grupo niya sa Visayas dahil nakakausap nito ang mga katutubo ng mga isla ng Limasawa, Homonhon at Cebu na una nilang dinaungan. Dalawa ang bersiyon ng kuwento tungkol sa pagkatao ni Enrique. Ang una, siya daw ay anak ng sultan ng Malacca at sa edad na 13 ay sumama sa isang grupong sumalakay sa isang barko ng mga Portuguese at nahuli, pero “sinalo” siya ni Magellan na nagkataong nasa Malacca noon, at dinala siya sa Portugal. Ang pangalawa, siya daw ay isang Visayan na nabihag ng mga pirata at binenta bilang alipin sa Sumatra, hanggang makarating siya sa Malacca. Ang dalawang tawag sa kanya ng mga historian ay, “Henry of Malacca” at “Black Henry”.

-Hindi nagkakaisa ang mga katutubo sa ilalim ng iisang pinuno nang datnan ni Magellan dahil bawa’t isla ay may sariling pinuno o “datu”, at ang may pinakamaraming sakop ay kilala sa tawag na “raha”. Ang unang na-convert sa Kristiyanismo sa Cebu na nakipag-blood compact pa kay Magellan ay si Raha Humabon, pamilya niya at mga sakop. Si Lapu-lapu naman na pinuno ng Mactan ay hindi pumayag at nagbanta pa ng laban kay Magellan kung hindi sila aalis agad. Hindi nakipagtulungan ang mga Kastilang tripulante ng mga galleon na may hinanakit kay Magellan dahil sa pagka-Portuguese nito, sa planong pagsalakay sa Mactan. Hindi sila bumaba ng mga galleon upang lumusob sa mga naghihintay na tropang katutubo sa dalampasigan ng Mactan. Pinanood lamang nila si Magellan at mga kababayan nitong mga Portuguese habang nakikipagbakbakan sa mga katutubo sa dalampasigan hanggang sa siya ay mapatay.

– Nagkaroon ng “peace negotiation” sa pagitan ng mga katutubo at natirang mga Kastilang tauhan ni Magellan pagkatapos ng labanan. Pinagpalagay ng ilang historian na bilang ganti ay nakipagsabwatan si Enrique kay Raha Humabon na “blood brother” ni Magellan, na nagplano kasama si Lapu-lapu, ng isang salu-salo bilang pamamaalam sa mga Kastila. Sa salu-salong naganap, minasaker ang mga Kastila, subalit may iilang maswerteng nakatakas at nakabalik sa mga galleon na agad naglayag. Ang mga buhay na mga Kastilang naiwan ay binihag at ibinenta bilang alipin sa mga mangangalakal na Tsino. Si Enrique naman ay pinagpalagay na bumalik sa kanyang pamilya.

-Ang pakay talaga ng mga Kastila sa pagsakop ng mga isla dahil napasubo na sila, ay upang pagkitaan ito batay sa paniwalang mayaman ang mga ito sa ginto at mga sangkap sa pagluto o spices. Upang magtagumpay sila sa pananakop, pinauna muna ang mga misyonaryo, na bandang huli ay nakipagpaligsahan na rin sa mga opisyal, sa pagpayaman. Ang mga misyonaryo ay mga Jesuits o Hesuwita na kinabibilangan ni St. Francis Xavier o St. Francis of Assissi, at mga Dominikano o Dominicans.

-Ang mistulang tatsulok na kapirasong lupain na ngayon ay ang tinatawag na Intramuros ang tinutukoy noon ng mga Kastila na Manila, at ang Pilipinas naman ay tumutukoy sa iilang isla ng Luzon at Visayas, hindi sakop ang buong Mindanao, kahit na may maliit silang kampo noon sa Zamboanga. Ang “Islas Felipinas” na naging “Filipinas” ay hango sa pangalan ng hari ng Espanya noon na si Philip II.

-Ang mga Kastilang hinakot lamang ng galleon mula sa Espanya upang tumira sa Manila ang tinawag na “Manileῆo” o “Filipino” – mga nakatira sa loob ng Intramuros o “Walled City” na ayon sa mga historian ay tumalo sa kagandahan ng ibang mga siyudad sa Yuropa. Ang tawag sa mga nakatira sa kabilang pampang ng Ilog Pasig (ngayon ay Quiapo at Sta. Cruz) ay mga “Tagalog” (taga-ilog), pero dahil hindi binyagan sa Kristiyano ay tinukoy ding mga “Moro” bilang paghalintulad sa mga “Moors”, mga Moslem na pinalayas mula sa Espanya ng mga Christian Crusaders. Ang iba pang mga nakatira sa kabila ng Ilog Pasig ay mga Intsik na tinawag na “Sangley” isang salitang Amoy na ibig sabihin ay “trader”, at pinilit tumira sa iisang lugar upang makontrol – ang “Parian”, na ngayon ay Chinatown. Ang mga Hapon naman ay pinatira sa hindi kalayuang lugar na ang sentro ay tinatawag ngayong Plaza Dilao. Ang mga nakatira sa mga karatig- lugar ay tinawag na mga “Indio” o “Indian” dahil inihanlintulad naman sila sa mga katutubo ng mga lugar sa South America tulad ng Peru at Mexico na unang sinakop ng mga Kastila.

Malinaw dito na ang mga ninuno natin ay inalipin sa sariling bayan. At, ang “Filipino” bilang katawagan ay hindi talaga laan para sa kanila noong panahon ng mananakop na mga Kastila!