The Origin of the Story, Si Malakas at Si Maganda

I believe stories don’t just pop out of nowhere. It has to come from something. Someone must be inspired by an actual event for him/her to create something. In the beginning, for example, God was lonely so he decided to create things to end his solitude. Similarly, we each have our own reason to make something to improve our lives. [Read more…]

The Cinderella Complex

I love the story of Cinderella, I always have! It contains an important message that every little girl must know before they reach puberty. Until the day I read about the negative effects of the fairytale on modern youth, I idolized Cinderella: the way she smiles, how she treats the animals, how she respects her Stepmother and sister, and how she moves with so much grace.

Until I read that article by that writer (I don’t remember the name, sorry!), I strived to be like Cinderella. It never occured to me that Cinderella can provide false hopes for young women who yearn for their prince charming, who yearn for a happy ending. It never occured to me how serious the matter becomes when young women believed that letting cruel and envious people to intimidate them and doing whatever it is demanded of them despite the treatment, they will be given godly reward for their patience, tolerance, and hard work. It never occured to me that with these beliefs based on the tale of Cinderella, there poor young women can become the victim of their own hopes.

And I thought to myself, maybe they did not understand the true moral story of Cinderella. Just because you sacrifice yourself, doesn’t mean you’ll be rewarded because that thought in itself is selfish. It is selfish!

My mother taught me one most important lesson on how to catch a man: love thy parents for it is by filial piety that a man would judge a woman’s heart. She warned me that when a son is serious about a girl, the first question that every decent mother would ask him is, “Is your girlfriend good to her parents?” If the son says “yes”, then the mother would advice him to keep the girl for as long as he can, or even marry her. If the son says “no”, then the mother would do everything in her power to convince him to give up the girl. Mothers know that if a girl does not respect her parents, she can’t possibly be able to take care of their son(s). Some people might say that it is common knowledge, but, for me it is not so common. I still needed to be taught that and I am sure many would, too!

Going back to the tale of Cinderella, I believe people got the wrong message. It’s not about dreaming for a prince that made her wish come true. It’s about her being able to respect her elders no matter who they are, that made her a lovable maiden.

Men do not need to know you respect your parents. It just shows on your face and in the way you carry yourself. After all this time, I misread the story of Cinderella and I am sure a lot of women and that writer did, too!

Sugar on Trees and a Cat in the Snow

Golden lights shinning in the east
excite all creature, man, and beast
a beautiful blue with a bright yellow brooch
gives a smile on young faces at noon

Well six days slipping, get the crackers and toots
the dogs are all howling, and the children are too
Round the fire and hearth, dance and sing in delight
Young and old men and women and child

Sugar on trees and a cat in the snow
beckoning me with her eyes all aglow
leaping bulls freeze with the stars in the vault
the red bags all ready to go

Oh, it’ll be a wonderful season
a season for you
a season for families, too.

Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas! and a Happy New Year!

[audio:http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=101496199&release=101847014]

While Waiting for You

As usual, I woke with a start. It’s 3 a.m. and she’s still not home. Tomie must have told her about me leaving. I bet she went off drinking with her friends again to gulp down her loneliness. I can’t help it. I have to leave. I know how much she loves me and that she really want me to stay, but I feel that I am only adding stress to her. I did mean to tell her about it tonight, but she never came home. Tomie must have told her.

Fina, my dear aunt, she gave me hospitality, allowed me to stay in her house while I find myself a stable job to afford my own apartment. While grateful, I couldn’t help but notice several imperfection in her humble abode and constantly tried to make amends.

I now know that you can’t fix things people don’t want touched. They want it to stay broken. I should just let it be, but sometimes I can’t help myself. I just had to fix it. I should know better than to meddle in other people’s business. How can you not, though? Especially when you live under the same roof, eat the same food, and sleep at the same time?

Tomie… she gave me a job at her place. While grateful, I really didn’t like it when her friends would tattle to her about my working habits, particularly of the bad days when everyone is under pressure. What about their working habits? I never even said a word about them to anyone, why would they do that to me? It’s not nice because then Tomie would tell Fina, who would in turn use it to silence me when I try to help around her house.

I felt trapped.

I felt grateful, but trapped.

It’s one thing to live comfortably, and it’s another to live under the mercy of your benefactor. It’s a stress that’s probably not all that healthy.

It’s time to move on. Besides, it’s better to practice cooking alone that way, Tomie and Yuuro wouldn’t complain about the food tasting weird or funny or just plain “edible”. Yeah, I tried to cook but it takes a while for me to perfect one dish. I haven’t gone past Chaahan.

Folding the clothes, washing the dishes and clearing the center table at 4:15 a.m., I humbly admit that I am to blame. If only I can master my own emotion and let the people who can’t, rant on and on about their miserable lives, I probably wouldn’t have to feel this way: guilty and worrisome. She’s really late. This is probably the first time since that night when she came home this late.

Doesn’t she have work today? I wonder.

I bet she really feels lonely that I am leaving. I feel very responsible for that feeling. I don’t mean to make her feel lonelier than ever before, but I would rather that she feels lonely that I leave than give both of us unnecessary stress for another year.

I am really sorry that you felt I give you stress, Tita Fina. And I am sorry that I made you hate me enough to yell the words the other night. Ah, if only it weren’t this hard to say the words of apology, of love, perhaps things would be easier.

Crying as I type this journal, I wonder if you knew.

Ang Tao

  • Ang tao ay hindi dapat pinakikinabangan. Kapamilya mo man o hindi, hindi ka dapat umaasa na makakatulong sayo ang taong nangangailangan ng tulong dahil tulong nga ang hinahanap nila sayo. Ano  ka, hello? Pagkatapos eh, magre-reklamo ka. Baka na man hindi mo lang makita ang kapira-pirasong pagtutulong at galang ng taong tinutulungan mo, sayo. Ang nakikita mo lang ay ang kulang sa kanyang pagkatao. Magpa-eye check ka nga. Baka kailangan mo lang ng bagong salamin.
  • Ang tao ay hindi dapat humahanap ng kaibigan upang siya’y mabigyan ng regalo. Aba’y napaka-babaw naman ng ugali mo. Napaka-babaw ng kaligayahan mo. Ano ka ba? Hari ng kanyang mundo? Eh, tao ka nga eh — hindi ka si Jesus.
  • Ang tao ay hindi dapat naghihintay na maglasing para lang ilabas ang galit na itinatago niya sa puso. Aba, eh, marupok yata ang pagiisip mo. Kung may galit ka, ilabas mo na bago gumawa ka ng kalokohan. Hindi ka hayop, no! Tao ka! Binigyan ka ng utak! Gamitin mo naman, no!
  • Ang tao ay hindi dapat nagsasalita ng masama tungkol sa iba hangang hindi nakikita ng iba ang tunay niyang pagkatao. Ano ka ba? Demonyo? Demonyo lang ang bumubulong sa iba kung sino sino dapat ang kanyang maging kaibigan. Hello? Marupok yata ang pagiisip mo.
  • Ang tao ay hindi dapat nagtatanim ng galit dahil hindi nangyari ang gusto niyang mangyari. Eh, tao ka nga eh, hindi ka si Jesus. Wala kang kapangyarihan, dalawang kamay lang para magtanim ng magandang puno ng manga: manamis-namis ang lasa. Hala sige- mag-majick-majick ka d’yan, ikaw lang ang madadamay sa kapalpakan mo.
  • Ang tao ay hindi dapat nagsasalita ng mga bagay-bagay na hindi naman totoo. Wala ka namang alam, eh, bakit ka nag-iimbento ng kung-ano ano? Lalu na kung ang mga sinasabi mo ay tungkol sa taong hindi mo gusto. Hello? Ano ka ba? Wala ka atang utak o puso. Puro na lang “Ako, ako, ako, ako, ako!” Eh, ikaw lang naman ang gumagawa ng problema. Kung ayaw mo ng problema magpakamatay ka na lang. Mabuti pa, huwag ka na lang sumambat lalo na kung ang taong kinagagalitan mo ay lasingera/ro.

 

Oks ba?

Sa Lagoon

Sa lagoon, ah …
dito tayo magkikita
ni Enki siya ang aking panginoon
Sa lagoon, ah …
dito tayo nagsimula
at dito rin tayo natutong
magmahal

Nuong una tayo’y taong
walang utak o puso
sumusunod sa utos
ni Enlil
‘kung ‘di dahil kay Enki

Sa lagoon, ah…
Dito tayo magkikita, muli
ni Enki
Siya ang aking panginoon

Siya lagi ang tumutulong
sa damay, hirap at kirot
na nangyayari sa bawat uri ng tao
Siya lagi, si Enki
Siya lamang ang tunay na panginoon

Sa lagoon, ah…
dito natin maaalala
kung paano nga tayo nagsimula

Sa lagoon, ah…
dito tayo magkikita
ni Enki
Siya ay ating panginoon
Siya ay ating panginoon.

[audio:http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/12/10/2682935/enkito2.mp3]

God Cried Through Me

I was inspired to write a song about God using the name of our band, “Sa Lagoon” in Tagalog and as I wrote that song, I suddenly felt like crying. It was so strange and a bit frightening. For about a minute or two, I sobbed and cried, all the while wondering why. Why am I crying?

After crying, I felt an impulse to look out the window and see the sun shining in the blue sky.
And I wondered if it were God, crying through me.

And then a voice asked in my head, “Why were you crying?” This voice is not at all strange to me. I talk to this voice often, believing that it is just my own voice inside my head. In reply I whispered to this voice of mine, “I don’t know.”

Then it told me to continue. The voice inside my head told me to finish the song.

And then I grew afraid and angry. I said to the voice, “I’ll finish it if you don’t make me cry.” It was a strange moment, so strange that I felt like writing about it, fearing that I might be insane. Or going there.

Do I believe in God? I can’t answer that anymore, but whenever I try to break away from the belief of the existence of God(s), there are moments when strange things happen and I am thrown back into that belief. Perhaps I am meant to believe in God. Just not the God we’ve been taught about in elementary.

Ampatuan Jr and Mangudadatu are PAWNS

I was reading a recent article concerning the Maguindanao Massacre by GMA News and in reading it, I thought of several things. To make it easier for everyone to follow, I will quote segments of the article and write beneath it, what runs in my mind.

Aside from killing their ‘hostages,’ the assailants behind the gruesome massacre in Maguindanao also reportedly sped off with their victims’ belongings.

Courtesy of Supt. Siegfredo Ramos of the ARMM-PRO

My reactions: That’s what real soldiers do. They think, “He’s dead anyway what use are these things to him?” I would have probably done the same. Unless, of course we have a kind and tyrannous leader to teach us to leave the dead with a sense of dignity, I wouldn’t miss the chance of getting a new watch or a few cash from my killings. It’s part of the job’s reward.

Fearing that he would lose his life if he tried to file his certificate of candidacy in Shariff Aguak, a known bailiwick of the Ampatuans, Toto Mangudadatu sent his wife Genalyn and two sisters instead, accompanied by two lawyers with the National Union of People’s Lawyers and the group of journalists. Their belief was that fellow Muslims would not harm the Mangudadatu women.

My reactions: No wonder they were pissed off and ruthlessly killed them. You don’t do that sort of thing. These men are soldiers. What part of the Iraq, the Holocaust, the Afghanistan war have you not seen? What kind of a leader are you, Mangudadatu? You’re too soft. In war, killing women and children are a part of the strategy. Religion has nothing to do with it. This is war! Stop mixing war with religion! Sending your wife and her sisters to Shariff Aguak is a cowardly act no matter how you try to justify it. You should have died, instead.

The four survivors reportedly pointed to senior members of the Ampatuan clan as the brains behind the killings, having overheard Andal Ampatuan Jr., allegedly the leader of the armed men, say that he was acting on the orders of his father, Andal Ampatuan Sr., and his older brother, Zaldy Ampatuan, governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

My reactions: What kind of an idiot would talk about his father and say his father’s name during a massacre? And after having killed all, why would there still be four survivors? There should only be one. This is all a little suspicious. If I were Ampatuan Jr., and I was sent on a mission to kill, I will make sure that I am not seen, that they are all dead and to never say anything about the masters behind this killing because that would defeat the purpose. After all, the mission was to kill Mangudadatu, right?

At this point, I wonder if Ampatuan is really the culprit and if Mangudadatu really know what he’s doing. Am thinking both are pawns of this incident. Someone else is pulling the strings.

—-UPDATES—-

I read another article from Scoop: Independent News, released by the Asian Human Rights Commission:

There were indications that the massacre was premeditated and thoroughly planned; for example, the graves where the 57 dead bodies had been buried had already been excavated using a government-owned backhoe.

My Reactions: If it were thoroughly planned, they wouldn’t have buried the bodies in shallow graves; there wouldnt’ve have been any survivors, and that backhoe wouldn’t have been left naked in the eyes of the enemy.

Its engine was still running when the soldiers arrived at the scene of the massacre after they had received reports of the incident.

My Reaction: So, who reported the incident to the soldiers?

Before the massacre happened, some journalists had already received information that should they persist in covering the filing of Certificates of Candidacy of (CoC) of Esmael Mangudadatu, they would be killed and buried. However, because they were given assurance by Alfredo Cayton, commanding general of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, that they could push through telling them that area is safe, the group decided to proceed.

My Reaction: What kind of a general would say, “It’s safe enough!” to a bunch of valuable persons? You don’t make that type of decision. Alfredo Cayton is suspicious if you ask me!

It was unfortunate though that organisers and the group of journalists may have underestimated the situation. Threats of this nature are common in this part of the country.

My Reaction: Why is it even up to the journalist to decide if it’s safe or not? It’s reckless of even the general Cayton to let them walk into a trap. I was right after all. These people were asking for it. This is so pathetic.

Oh, and Oh, my god!!!! Colonel Medardo Geslani? Why is it that local news don’t tell you everything? They only give you bits and pieces???

Colonel Romeo Brawner said the military has received reports that the army in Maguindanao refused to provide security to the victims who were on their way to file the certificate of candidacy of Vice Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu for provincial governor in next year’s elections.

Yeah, and now they’re questioning Geslani and Cayton for it. Ha! Stupid world.

War For Life

A clarion hailed to the sky.

Another day for men to fight,

women waving flags upright

upon the mounds of love and pride.

The little children with their pipes,

their drums and voices harmonize.

In this there’s beauty, there is life,

no death can wrong what seems so right.

Let spirits of each citizen,

the actions wrought through innocence,

in shadows, lay and let it stem–

the cross of promises on ‘hem.

And on the cornice scribe the end

of jubilations– merriment,

‘pulchritude in combat mends

each penance in the souls of men.

[audio:http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/12/10/2682935/warforlifeTrial3.mp3]

How to deal with people who are stressed out.


How do you deal with people who are stressed out? I really would love to know. For the past few months I’ve been hankering for information online and in bookstores but none of them seem to give me the answer. And just now, I finished reading an article from Smart Stress Management: Tools for Coping in a Stressful World and I didn’t find it all that helpful.I mean, I already know two major types of behavior people develop when they are under stress:

1. Anger

2. Hopelessness

I really didn’t find the article I read from the said site, Smart Stress Management, all that helpful and I mean, even the way the article is written is questionable. Somehow the title, “How to deal with Stressed-Out People” seem so amateurish, I can’t trust a word he/she says.

So, what I’m gonna do to relieve myself of the stress vented out on me by someone I’d rather not mention, is to try to see if I can think of a way to deal with such behavior, myself, as I write this blog.

Perhaps there really is no other way of dealing with such behavior other than letting them vent on until they’re satisfied, but on this end of the rope, there’s gunpowder. So, if you let that fire to reach this other end then expect an explosion! What shall we do? Ropes can’t move by itself to a spot where there isn’t a sprinkle of gunpowder. It’s not alive!

But, we, as people are alive and we can use our dormant senses to blow away those gunpowder, if not the fire. So, should that fire reach the other end, it’ll all just be smoke and ashes, which is rather pleasant, don’t you think?

I would think so.

The question is, how do you do that? First, you have to read the air. Feel through the atmosphere and understand where the person is coming from. Sometimes, even if you do understand where that person is coming from, their mood swings are so unpredictable you wonder what the hell happened to them during the hours that you aren’t together.

“Dude, what is your problem?” you’d wonder.

In the article that I’ve linked to this blog, if you haven’t read it already, it introduces us to two types of behavior stressed people are impelled to assume:

1. Vulnero Populus Per Lacuna quod Vis: Saying negative things, often insulting things to people all of a sudden. Some might even use violence due to anger.

2. Is est Terminus mei: Wallowing in self-pity

(pardon my attempts at Latin. I don’t really know how to use it.)

But. like I said, it failed to actually give advice on how to deal with them. I have a better idea, I believe.

——————————————–

To deal with people who picks up behavior number 1, do the following in the order that they’ve come:

1. When they start bickering about you, saying how useless you are, ask them, “What happened to you today?”

2. If they say, “NOTHING. Am just tired!!” it means something is up. Accept that the problem isn’t centered around you and try not to absorb their negative energy!!! You will end up lashing back at them and fighting for hours on end.

3. Leave the room; put on your headphones and listen to happy songs; pretend to be sleeping; or, say your friend called you up for an emergency and that you’ll be back soon. Add, “Would you like me to get some groceries on my way back home?” And then leave. Stay away from the house or apartment or whatever, for at least half an hour.

Usually, when people turn their stress into anger, they say stuff that they don’t mean. Have a little bit of dignity and save yourself from falling into the trap that they’ve uncunningly laid out for you.

To deal with people who picks up behavior number 2, do the following in the order that they’ve come:

1. If they enter the room with a long face, pretend that you’re interested in what they have to whine about and say, “What’s wrong, honey?”

2. Listen to them for at least fifteen minutes and then find your way out as fast as you can before you become them. Tell them,”Aww, don’t worry. Things will turn out all right,” check your watch and say,  “Whoops, I gotta go! It’s work related, but, if you want to talk some more, call me up, all right?” Wink and run the hell out.

3. Try not to contact them for at least a month. Or, if that is not an option for you, make yourself so busy you have no time to be caught sitting around idle. They will never suspect that you’re trying to avoid them, but if they do, well, just say with a sweetest smile you can ever pull with your muscles, “I will always listen to your problems over a cup of coffee.” Believe me, coffee does miracles! They actually help you to block those depressing tentacles that reaches out to you from behind those depresssed and stressed individuals.

I agree that people who turn their stress into depression cannot be saved unless they themselves open their own eyes. They don’t know this, but, out of stress, they’ve closed their eyes to the good things that surrounds them and have gotten used to the feeling of pain and remorse. So, just spend as little time with them as possible unless you want to be emo with them, that’s up to you.

I don’t know if it will work out for you, the suggestion I’ve bulleted. For me they sometimes work. Best of luck!

————— FIN —————

Thanksgiving Day

Blown in the wind are the Puritan hats!
Let feathers of turkeys be flustered and plucked
for gatherers of friends and families, too;
employers and bosses from each avenue
and feast on this beast of reptilian ilk
with stuffings no red necks can honorably bilk
in smiles and in kisses; in tender embrace,
this is the day that all nation say, “Grace!”

I am SWAMPED!!! (A repost)

I posted this blog yesterday and if I remember correctly, it was published and yet, when I checked it this morning it was gone from the list of published works. Then I get this message saying, “We’re deleting old draft works so if you have any old drafts, please either publish them or save them before we eliminate them.”

Durr … You should have warned us of it before committing to that task and make sure you delete the actual old drafts and not new posts! Or is there something weird happening in the world of nets?

Not that it matters.

Any way, I wrote the following paragraph yesterday:

Grammar studies are what’s been keeping me away from blogging and writing
poetry: if poetry is a label worth my amateuristic pieces of writing, so it
will be given by me until someone cares to rebuke. I have recently realized I
have been committing to errors of tremendous irritant with my use of the
language and will atone for the literal crime.

Now that I’ve read it again, it sounds odd to me. Ah well, I can always rewrite that again one of these days!

Tululu!

A Paladin’s Rue

.

.

.

Sprinkle miracles on this seed;

I planted a rose amongst the weeds

growing on a garden left for good,

behind a towering house – right where we’ve stood.

Seen from the cupola the patches form

around the emblem of the Word:

“Rise thee valiant, ardent soul”

once spoke the grave below

and abandoned — wild it has become

in time it will be broken.

.

In time it will be broken …

.

.

.

.

Desperate Fathers

Previously I wrote about this Filipino couple I befriended at work. Their desperate need to marry off their son to a girl with a permanent visa compels the innocent to comply. Ruthlessly I will say these:

Offices are NOT suitable for Match-Making services!!! Please do not slip pictures of your son/daughter(s) on the top of the folders and papers where everyone can see it, at a meeting! It’s embarassing!!!

Please have the decency to either 1.) GET.THE.PICTURE: I am not interested in marrying for your own advantage! I am not that nice nor am I that stupid! You want a permanent visa? Get it the hard way! 2.) SHOW SOME RESPECT: If you really want me to appreciate your son to want to marry him, don’t  disgrace me in public! Now look what you’ve done! You make me look like am whoring for men at work!3.)LEAVE ME ALONE! I am only nice because I have to keep working at this horrible atmosphere called the office! Throw in some low-class drama and I become the butt of every joke!4.) FIND SOMEONE ELSE!!!! Do I have to say it straight? I am not interested and I am not attracted to your son. PERIOD!!!!

Dear Fellow Filipinos,

Please learn from this. Do not do what that poor man did to me. It’s unsophisticated, degrading,  and disgraceful. If you want to give our country a good image, start by not being such a desperate crab.

I tried my best to support people like them– I even backed them up when my elite friends made fun of them. And that is how they return my support? It hurts when I become a scapegoat for these people. It’s not nice. It’s sad. It makes me sad.

Sincerely,

Paleam