Ang Pagbatikos

Ang Pagbatikos
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Ang pagbatikos ay hindi nangangahulugang galit ang nambabatikos sa kanyang binabatikos, kung malinis ang kanyang hangarin o layunin. Ang hindi maganda ay ang pagbatikos na ang dahilan ay mababaw lamang at pansarili tulad ng inggit. Ang malinis na layunin ng pagbatikos ay ang pagpamukha sa taong binabatikos tungkol sa kanyang pagkakamali na maaaring hindi niya alam.

Madalas mangyari ang pagbatikos sa larangan ng pulitika tulad ng nangyayari sa mga Binay. Sa kabila ng lampas-taong batikos na natatanggap ngayon ng pamilyang ito, pinipilit pa rin nila na sila ay pinupulitika lamang. In fairness na lang sa kanila, siguro naman, ayon sa standard of morality ng kanilang pamilya ay wala talaga silang ginawang masama. Naalala ko tuloy ang isa kong kaibigan na sinabihan kong may bahid ng lipstick ang kanyang pisngi. Sinagot niya ako ng, “ah, yan ba? biniro lang ako sa opisina”, pero umaalingasaw din siya ng pabangong pambabae na dumikit sa kanyang damit. Kahit halata namang dumaan siya sa bahay ng kanyang kerida na alam ng mga kaibigan niyang ibinabahay niya, todo palusot pa rin siya.

Binabatikos din si Pangulong Pinoy na dahil sa hindi malamang kadahilanan ay bihirang sumagot at kung mangyari man ay idinadaan na lang sa paulit-ulit na pagsabi ng mga pangako niya noong panahon ng kampanyahan na sumentro sa “matuwid na daan” at pagmamalaki ng mga report tungkol sa pag-asenso daw ng bansa na hindi naman pinaniniwalaan . Yon nga lang sinasabayan naman niya ng pagbatikos sa isang babaeng pasyente na may brace sa leeg, na dahilan daw kung bakit naghihirap ngayon ang Pilipinas. Dahil sa ginawa ni Pnoy, biglang nalusaw ang good breeding, na inakala ng mga taong meron siya. Teacher din pala niya ito noong siya ay nag-aaral pa sa Ateneo kaya lalong hindi maganda ang ginagawa niya…batikusin ba naman ang mahal niyang teacher! Dapat ay magpasalamat siya dahil very obvious na may natutunan siya sa kanyang teacher….nakikita naman ng mga tao kung ano ang mga ito.

Sa isyu kay Purisima, ang gusto lamang siguro ni Pnoy ay tumanaw ng utang na loob dito dahil iniligtas daw siya nito mula sa bingit ng kamatayan . Ang pag-apura naman sa pagpasa ng BBL na ngayon ay BL na lang ay dahil siguro sa tangka sanang pagtulong ni Iqbal sa kanyang ama kung hindi ito pinaslang sa NAIA. Ang ganitong pagtanaw ng loob din siguro ang gusto niyang ipakita sa mga taong sinasandalan niya tulad ng mga tagapagsalita niya, lalo na si Abad na itinuturing niyang matalino sa “paghawak” ng budget….marami pa sila sa kanyang gabinete. Siguro para sa presidente, hindi masama ang tumanaw ng utang na loob sa mga best friends. Kaya dahil best friend siya ng mga ito, sinasalag na lang niya ang mga kaliwa’t kanang batikos ng mga tao na gustong pumalit sa kanya. Isa siyang maituturing na best friend na martir na handang sumalag ng mga batikos!…siya ay maituturing na isang rare na species ng tao.

Ang mga mambabatas naman, binabatikos dahil marami daw sa kanila ay mukhang pera, mga korap, mga magnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan, nagbebenta ng budget sa mga taong ang negosyo ay pekeng NGO. Subalit may napatunayan ba? …yan ang tanong nila! Dahil sa fair kuno na justice system, sila ay “innocent until proven guilty”, kaya lahat sila ay matamis pa rin ang ngiti kung humarap sa tao. Meron ngang gusto pa ring tumakbo sa susunod na eleksiyon kahit nasa kulungan na siya. Masama nga namang batikusin ang halos himatayin na sa pagsabing inosente sila, kahit nagsusumigaw ang mga ebidensiyang biglang pagkaroon nila ng mala-palasyong bahay, maraming mamahaling sasakyan, malalawak na lupain, nagkikislapang alahas sa katawan, at maya’t mayang weekend outing sa ibang bansa. Pero ang iba ay wise dahil gumagamit ng mga kaibigang dummy.

May mga nagsabi pang naiinggit lang daw ang mga nambabatikos sa kanila, kasama na diyan ang mga pari dahil hindi nakakagawa ng gusto nila. Dagdag pa nitong mga malilinis kuno, kung gusto daw ng mga nambabatikos, pumasok na rin sila sa pulitika upang madanasan nila kung paanong maipit sa trapik sa pagpunta sa Malakanyang upang maki-tsika sa Pangulo; makipaggitgitan sa elevator sa pagpunta sa opisina ng NGO upang makipag-business talk tungkol sa mga “projects”; makipaghalakhakan sa mga sosyalan after office hours na umaabot hanggang madaling araw kaya nagkakaroon sila ng sore throat; matulog nang nakaupo sa session hall habang ang mga kasamang mambabatas ay nagbibigay ng walang katurya-turyang talumpati; lumamon ng nakakasawang pagkain sa mga 5-star restaurants at hotels; sumakay sa eroplano ng kung ilang beses sa isang linggo dahil ayaw sumakay sa walang class na barko kung umuwi sa kanilang bayan; piliting pangitiin ang mga labi habang ang talukap ng mga mata ay lumalaylay sa sobrang antok, o hindi kaya ay nanlilisik dahil nakipag-away sila sa asawang nahuli nilang may kabit. Ganoon pala kahirap ang maging mambabatas! Kawawa naman pala sila!

Siguro ang maganda ay hayaan na lang dumami ang dumi nila sa kanilang mukha upang lalo pang kumapal at upang lalong hindi nila maramdaman ang kahihiyan dahil sa mga karumaldumal nilang ginagawa!

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Ang Kapangyarihan ng Pera

Ang Kapangyarihan ng Pera
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Ang buhay ni Hesus ay tinapatan ng tatlumpong pirasong pilak. Sa halagang yon, siya ay namatay sa krus na paraan niya sa pagligtas sa sangkatauhan. Ibig sabihin, kung hindi dahil sa tatlumpong pilak ay nakasadlak pa rin tayo sa ating kasalanan hanggang ngayon.

Ang kapangyarihan ng pera ay hindi matatawaran. Maraming pamilya ang nabuwag at magkaibigang nagpatayan dahil dito. Mayroon ding napariwara dahil pinagpalit ang kanilang dangal sa kinang nito. Mayroon pang nagsugal ng buhay, makahawak lamang ng ilang bungkos ng salapi. May mga taong dahil nasilaw sa pera ay bumigay kaya nalaman ang tunay na layunin kahit anong pilit nilang pagtatakip dito.

Ang mga bansa ay pinapatakbo ng pera, kaya kung alin sa kanila ang may pinakamarami nito ay itinuturing na makapangyarihan. Sa pamamagitan ng pautang ay natatali nila ang utang na loob ng mahihirap na bansa upang maging kaalyado nila.

Pera ang pinapakilos upang magkaroon ng mga nakamamatay na imbensiyon ng tao. Ito rin ang ginagamit upang masira ang buhay ng dating matitino na nalulong sa bawal na gamot, lalo na ng mga kabataan sa nagsimula ang bisyo sa alak at sigarilyo. Ito rin ang dahilan ng pagiging suwail ng mga anak na dahil hindi masunod ang luho ay natutong maging tampalasan sa kanilang mga magulang.

Subali’t kung iisiping mabuti, ang layunin ng pera ay upang mapagaan ang buhay ng tao, dahil nang nagkaroon siya nito ay hindi na niya kailangan pang magbitbit ng kanyang kayamanan tulad ng bulto-bultong ginto, pilak, alahas, at mga hayop gaya ng ginagawa noong unang panahon. Ngayon, ang kailangan ng tao ay ilang pirasong papel at barya na pera, tseke o credit card, at maaari na siyang mamili o maglakbay.

Hindi dapat isisi sa pera ang mga hindi magandang nangyari sa buhay ng tao. Ang hindi magandang paggamit sa pera ang dahilan kung bakit nasira ang tao.

The Struggle of Man to Survive…a personal view

The Struggle of Man to Survive
…a personal view
By Apolinario Villalobos

Man has for long, exploited the earth’s fossil residues – oil, coal, and natural gas. As estimated by experts, their years are numbered, so that there is a scramble now in finding ways to utilize the sources of renewable energy, such as water, wind, and sun. Even motion will eventually be harnessed for this purpose, as it has been used successfully in small gadgets like flashlight and wristwatch. Many years from now, the battery with different capacity for storage, forms and sizes shall take the center stage in this endeavor. As of now, there are efforts being exerted to make the battery with stored solar energy as an acceptable option, but unfortunately, with few takers.

Moving contraptions such as cars, ships, aircrafts, etc. may later be operated by batteries that shall store energy from wind and motion, as the one from the sun is being used now, though, on a small scale. Homes may utilize batteries that shall store energy from the sun and wind. The batteries for cellphones and cameras may be recharged by motion and body heat. Such batteries may form part of the gadget’s structure, hence, cannot be detached for replacement.

Nature cannot take so much abuse such as denuding of forests, unscrupulous mining, slash and burn farming, fishing with the use of poison, dynamites, and fine meshed trawls. It yields to such onslaught by way of floods, erosions, landslides, and depletion of marine life. With its loss of balance, deprivations, especially, hunger shall definitely get worst.

In this view, time will come that even leaves of trees may be made edible through a meticulous process in which, their fibers shall be softened and flavored to make them palatable. So there may come a time when future generations shall be munching biscuits made from coconut leaves or fill their sandwich with jam made from grape leaves or delight in crunchies made from twigs and tree barks, or wafers made from wood shavings and dust. Practically, the whole tree may become edible! We are leading to that, as in virtual preparation, we are partaking today of “ground” or “powdered” cinnamon bark and other “woody” spices, even powdered roots as herbal drug.

With high-tech process, even poisonous fruits may already be safe to eat, after their deadly substance has been removed. It should be noted that some of the drugs that are used today come from poisonous plants, such as the “tuba-tuba” that yields castor oil. Some poisonous tubers become safe to eat after having been soaked in the running water of river for several days. Further to this, antidotes against some poison come from the same source such as cobra. Even the potent poisonous saliva of komodo lizard is being developed as a powerful drug.

The crossbreeding of vegetables to make them resistant to long drought and flood are being done now. In this regard, new varieties of rice and corn are being developed for the aforementioned situations. Presently, genetically-modified vegetables with remarkable increase in size and slight change in appearance and taste are already in the market, although, opposed by the conservatives who fear their effect to the human genes. But how can that be, when genes of animals are already used today in therapies to prolong the life of man?

Insects as part of exotic cuisine are becoming a fad in many countries. So, now there are pizzas topped with crickets and grasshoppers, sandwiches filled with wormburger, jellies made from giant black ants, baby scorpions as appetizer, etc. Even some kind of starfish may be made into crunchy barbecues. To avert extreme hunger, all kinds of insects may eventually find their way to the dining table. Even crocodile and elephant skin as with all other animals may become crunchy snacks, just like the water buffalo and pig skin which in the Philippines is called “chicharon”.

Subdivision and condo developers may be required in the future to have recycling facilities to make their projects self-sufficient in water. They may also be required to install facilities for the harnessing of sources of renewable energy. The same requirements may also be imposed on factories, commercial buildings and supermarkets, as well as, restaurants. The keyword here is “require”, because to date, what prevails is just the option.

In many years to come, homes, entire subdivisions, and clustered villages may be covered with protective green fiberglass to minimize the deadly effect of long exposure to sun rays. New cities may be developed in this manner. High-end and exclusive subdivisions may even be totally covered to protect the occupants from the excessive polluted air. Such green cover may eventually become part of political promises for a healthy and better life during electoral campaigns. Governments may set aside budgets for this, too.

Though morbid as it may sound, some remote villages in poor countries may revive the practice of cannibalism due to extreme poverty, though, discreetly this time. As a last resort, warring neighboring states may forget their differences and instead, merge to pool their effort in fighting hunger. Water may become the most important and expensive commodity on earth, more expensive than life, as in some remote villages, parents may trade their children for jugs of water. This is actually done now, though indirectly, through adoption of children by foreigners, whereby, parents of adopted children are given monetary consolation.

Politics may be replaced by religion as a driving force and unifying factor of humanity. The struggle could be between the united Islamic States and progressive Christians which had ever been since the Biblical time. It should be noted that politics came into the picture only centuries later, with the spread of the Greek philosophies that somehow classified the different schools of thought. The classification that eventually defined the different thoughts gave man an option to deviate from the path laid down by Godly faith.

Finally, because both Islam and Christianity are God-centered, eventually, they may reach a compromise which shall mark another stage of man’s struggle for survival…the beginning of a new cycle of life on earth.

Life and its Trimmings

Life and its Trimmings
by Apolinario Villalobos

Life
Life is a blessing from God and manifested in many forms generally called “creations”, with man as one of them – intelligent and all. Some men are happy to be alive, while some blame God for such blessing.

Man
He is the premier creation of God with free will and intelligence. In his veins flows the blood of life where the DNA floats – story book of what he is and will be. His intelligence made him think that he can be another God. And, because of this pride and greed, he is committing a self-destruction that he deserves.

Misery
It is the result of man’s greed suffered by the weaker of his kind. The world is overflowing with it.

Civilization
It is the manifestation of man’s struggle to live decently by covering his body, tame the wild creatures and utilize the earth for his subsistence, produce tools for protection and domestic use, kill others for the expansion of his domain, and defy God that he cannot see.

Religion
Foremost, it is an invisible line that separates the peoples of the world. More potent than culture in setting differences, it is also the garden from where sprouts various devotions with hideous faces. Man’s desire for power and insatiable greed created it.

Progress
It is the fruit of man’s struggle for a better life. It is a beautifully-designed scheme for man’s self-annihilation, with all its modern synthetic drugs and food, bombs and guns, and most specially, craving for endless comfort with its deadly undertone.

Corruption
It is the essence of politics and government systems. It gives impetus to the ambitious people with a “noble aspiration to serve”. It also gives zest to those who are already in position and with power to “serve the people”.

Opportunity
It glitters with a promise of wealth for the strong with evil mind, but burdens the weak to the extent of death.

Politics
It is the breeding ground for corruption where intellectuals become expert in sowing miseries among helpless constituents.

Government
It is the extensive umbrella that gives shade of comfort and security to the corrupt who profess to protect the welfare of the people.

Law
It is the legal tool of the vicious and learned people in their practice of corruption and exploitation.

Education
It provides knowledge to man based on historic principles and guidance designed by well-intent intellectuals of the old. But, abused by modern-day hypocrite agencies and abusive institutions, that pledge their never-ending exploitation of the youth.

Poverty
It is the state of being deprived of the basic necessities of life, resulting from exploitation or choice.

Wealth
It refers to either the spiritual or material gain of man. When used in the right way, it makes the man benevolent, but if used otherwise, it makes him evil…the world has more of the latter.

The Status Symbol

The Status Symbol

By Apolinario Villalobos

To be a standout is nice. It makes people see you, as being head and shoulders above those around you. Some people are born with this mark, while others have to buy it, earn it honestly, or move heaven and earth to have it.

People who are born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouth need not exert effort to be noticed or to have a swarm of friends around them. Their person glitters with the monetary symbol that attracts different kinds of friends. There are people who practically work their way up the ladder of the society to be recognized, and these are the ones who deserve emulation. There are people who try their best to amass wealth that they can use in buying attention that will put them on a pedestal of short-lived recognition.

Here is a story of a woman who was not satisfied with her hard-earned money despite the comfort that it has given her. She wanted more, as she was raring to get back at those who talked behind her back when she was still a struggling vendor of local sausage and ham. Finally, her patience paid off when she successfully opened six specialty stores that sold sausages and ham from Cebu and Ilocos, as well as, exotic fruits from Davao.

At the age of fifty plus, she began dressing up grossly with expensive apparels and regularly went to a derma clinic for a series of physical make-over. She underwent bust and butt augmentations which did not look nice on her because of her age. She had gotten rid of her real eyebrows in favor of tattooed ones. She had her lips operated on to assume a pouting look. She even had her wrinkled and furrowed face injected with butox. She also underwent the grueling hair transplant. She did everything for her transformation to look beautiful and successful, so that she can effectively flaunt her new status in life, especially, to those whom she considered her detractors in the past.

Today, at the age of almost seventy, her face looks strange. Her tattooed eyebrows somewhat distanced themselves from her eyes, giving her a permanent astonished look; her once butox-smoothed face is pockmarked with red spots and the deep wrinkles are back; her once proud breasts are horribly sagged unevenly; she could not sit for a long time because of the pain in her butt that got peppered with allergies; her once proud pouting lips have assumed a slight grimace, that looks like a crooked smile. The only intact transplant in her, are the hair.

Sadly, she is back to her senses with much regret, as her young boyfriend ran off with her money when she shared her bank accounts with him. She was my former landlady more than two decades ago. I learned from a fellow boarder who I met accidentally about her mild stroke from which she was recuperating in a hospital. I immediately visited her several days ago in the hospital and found out that only one, out of her four children is left with her. The rest are with their father, living separately from her, and who are still harboring ill-feelings when they failed to restrain her revengeful acts of getting back at her detractors that resulted to her senseless spending to “overhaul” her body. That time, she socialized with new-found friends whose pastime was spent at the casino and bars where she met her young boyfriend.

I told her to believe in the power of prayer…and believe in miracles. In my mind, though, I am hoping for a miracle that she will be spared from cancer that may result from the synthetic substances injected into her body. The lesson here, is that we should be contented with God gave us.