Monday, November 30, 2009

Kaisa Ako Laban Sa HIV at AIDS

Facts & Figures - Oct 2009:

33 Million infections worldwide
4,218 Filipinos infected since 1984
629 Filipinos infected in 2009
80 Filipinos infected in October 2009
- 18 were OFWs
- 11 were males
- 7 were females
- 12 heterosexual cases
- 5 homosexual cases
- 1 bisexual case

As we await the Advent celebration on the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; we as His disciplies prepare ourselves on the Spiritual Values of love and charity, to strive for justice and respect the dignity of every human being.

Today, December 1, 2009, I invite you to join the world in the observance of the World AIDS Day under its international theme - "Universal Access and Human Rights.

Let us pray for our world and our country the Philippines, for all those whose human rights have been violated, for those living with HIV at this time.

Take a stand wherever you are, there's so much that can be done to prevent HIV, raise HIV/AIDS awareness or lessen the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS.

World AIDS Day is the perfect time to find out what it's like to live an HIV-positive life. More than 25 years into the AIDS pandemic, ignorance about HIV/AIDS is still rampant. Let us get involved in the issues sorrounding HIV/AIDS, let us join community events on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention programs sponsored by NGOs, religious organizations and local government units.

As I leave you with a prayer for World Aids Day, take a look once again on the above facts and figures and contemplate on our kababayans who are living with HIV/AIDS - maaring sila ay kaibigan mo, kapitbahay, kabarangay, kababayan at kapatid kay Kristo. Higit silang nangangailangan ng iyong pangunawa. Our society need passionate advocates for the rights of our kababayan for better laws, services and civil rights in treatment and prevention. You may visit Youth AIDS Alliance, Inc. and AIDS Society of the Philippines for WAD 2009 events.

A Prayer for World AIDS Day

God of all the nations, so many of your children are crying out to you
worn down by injustice and suffering.
Help us to fulfil our goal of helping to make real the vision
that Christ spoke of as ‘the kingdom of God’
where justice reigns.
Help us to foster compassion one for another,
tolerating damage to no one and oppression by no system.
As we remember those living with HIV at this time
may we use all our energy and imagination
and trusting in your steadfast love
be united in conquering disease and fear.

Facts and Figures from Department of Health

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Where Heroes Are Made

On November 30, exactly 146 years ago; a freemason, the Supremo, Andres Bonifacio seen the first day of his life. Regarded as the Father of Philippine Revolution when he founded Katipunan to fight the Spaniards. A national holiday to remember the contributions of Bonifacio in shaping this country and legacy as hero as we are starving to find another hero to redeem our country from poverty.

Now that our country is in crisis, Filipinos have always needed heroes as our nation is gripped with poverty as the rich and the powerful rules our nation that has brought us to an economic perdition, we look forward for gallant figures to be inspired. But where are the heroes in my midst? What does it takes to become a hero?

"Sagutin ko na lang ung huling tanong mo pre, PUSO, mabuting PUSO... " Lord CM
"the quality magpakatotoo sila. walang bahid na pulitika kundi sincere sa kanilang tungkulin... " Life Moto
"Bayani ka kapag nadadarama mo ang puso ng ibang tao, at marunong kang gamitin ang iyong kamay sa pagtulong na higit sa iyong sarili" DRAKE
"to be a have to have time,love,and understanding...easy as 1,2,3." iya_khin

"Paano ba maging bayani? Help the least of our brothers. I think biblically and in reality that should make a hero in us." isladenebz
These are the inspiring comments from my blogging friends in my hanging question' "What does it really takes to be a hero?" from my previous post "Paano Ba Maging Bayani?".

We as Filipinos have penchant for heroes, immortalizing the bravery of Gat Jose Rizal and Supremo Andres Bonifacio and the modern day heroes Manny Pacquiao. and Efren Penaflorida, CNN's New Hero.

What is a hero except a person who gives their life away for something greater than themselves. But what does the Bible says about heroes? Heroes have at least these four characteristics based on the following Bible passages:

1. Heroes have special abilities, not extra strength, not x-ray vision, it have empathy, the ability to understand, be aware of, or feel the emotions of another being. "As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." (1 Peter 4:10).

Exceed expectations, when Jesus spoke of going the second mile, He was speaking of exceeding expectations as real heroes strive hard to make a difference beyond the normal expectations of mankind. Grace defies expectations. And in particular, God’s grace! And by His grace, so can we."If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles." (Matthew 5:41).

A hero hold to God’s unchanging hand and count his blessings as his heart fill with compassion to rescue the perishing, while normal people look from a distance as they continue to live with their everyday lives ignoring the cry of the poor and the helpless."The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

4. Overcome adversity, the hero and coward feel exactly the same fear, however only the hero confronts his fears and converts it into fire. "because everyone who is born from God has overcome the world. Our faith is the victory that overcomes the world." (1 John 5:4)

Heroes are real people, not perfect, not infallible, not immortal, but nevertheless constructive role models. We have been inspired by the 12 million Global Filipinos as New Generation heroes in battling a modern age war against poverty in our native land.

Each one of us has the potential to be a hero, let us try to become something bigger than ourselves by using our God given abilities to make a difference.

If you're looking for a place to belong; a place that will love, encourage and challenge you, then Philippines is the place - where heroes are made.

On December 27, 2009, at Philam Life Theater, Malate, Metro Manila, 37 storytellers from 21 countries coming from the rank of New Generation Heroes commonly called OFWs; will be honored by Pinoy Expats/OFWs Blog Awards Inc. (PEBA) for their best and inspiring blog around the world.

As Noah Blumenthal says in his book Be The Hero, "We all create the stories of our lives and live them accordingly. If you master your stories, if you tell hero stories, they can make you feel happy and relaxed and even make you more effective and successful. It's up to us to rewrite our stories and position ourselves as the hero. Hero stories open up new possibilities and spur us to action."

Photograbbed from
Uploaded by [2]rokbot[2]y

Friday, November 27, 2009

Naniniwala Ka Pa Ba Sa Himala?

Sa pagwawakas ng teleseryeng May Bukas Pa ngayong gabi, ito ay nag-iwan sa mga tagasubaybay ng katanungan na "Naniniwala Ka Pa Ba Sa Himala"?, katanungang hindi ko maiwasang mai-ugnay sa kasalukuyang kaguluhan sa Maguindanao, sa mga naulilang pamilya ng 57 taong nagbuwis ng buhay na tila mga piping sumisigaw ng hustisya sa kasalukuyang Administrasyon na tila isang himala na lamang ang kanilang inaasahan upang mabigyan katarungan ang pagdadalmhati ng buong sambayanang Pilipino.

Naniniwala ako sa himala, nainiwala ako na pakikinggan ng Panginoon ang ating hinaing at panalangin. Naniniwala ako kung ipararating natin ang ating liham sa Maykapal...

Naniniwala ako sa himala, sa tulong ng Panginoon sa Kanyang sariling panahon na itinakda ay mapaparusahan ang may sala sa Maguindanao Masaker upang matugunan ang sigaw ng hustisya.

Naniniwala ako sa himala, sa tulong ng ating mga panalangin, ay pakikinggan tayo ng Panginoon upang makakamit natin ang tunay na pagbabago sa ating bansa laban sa kasamaan kung sama-sama tayong magiging mapagmatyag sa mga taong mapag-abuso sa kapangyarihan at hindi na natin hahayaan na mamayani ang kasamaan upang yurakan ang ating dangal, dignidad at sariling buhay.

Naniniwala ako sa himala, na ang bawa't Pilipino ay matututunan ang halaga ng tunay na pakikisama at utang na loob sa konteksto ng tunay na pakikipag kapwa tao at pagtulong sa kapwa na hindi humihingi ng kapalit, hindi upang magbulagbulagan at pagpikit sa katotohanan, pagdakip sa may kasalanan kahit ito man ay isang matalik na kaibigan o kaalyado sa partido alang-alang sa katarungan.

Sa tuwing nawawalan ako ng pag-asa sa hinahangad na katarungan sa aking Inang Bayan, nagsusumamo ako sa Maykapal para sa isang himala.

Ikaw kaibigan, naniniwala ka pa ba sa himala?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hustisya Sa Mga Biktima Ng Maguindanao Masaker

Sa kabila ng pamamayagpag ng ating kababayang si Efren Penaflorida kung saan kinilala ang kabayanihan ng isang simpleng Pilipino na pumukaw sa bawat damdamin at tiningala ang Lahing Kayumanggi sa buong daigdig ay simbilis rin ng kidlat at tila nilamon ng kadiliman ang liwanang ng pag-asa ng pagbubukang liwayway sa ating mga Pilipino sa karumaldumal na Maguindanano Masaker. Nagun, ang Pilipinas ay nangunguna sa listahan ng pinakadelikadong bansa sa buong mundo sa mataas na antas mamamahayag na pinapaslang sa isang malayang pagpapahayg sa n.isang deokratikong bansang Pilipinas. Karumaldumal ang mga video na inyong masasaksihan.

Ginimbal ang aking kamalayan sa 52 biktima na kinabibilangan ng mga kababaihan, mga mamamahayag at mga abogado na nagnanais na makibahagi sa proseso ng halalan na ipinagkakaloob ng ating malayang bansa. Ang mga pinaslang ay mula sa pamilya ni Esmael Mangudadatu na nagnanais maghain ng kandidatura bilang Gobernor bilang katunggali ni Gob. Zaldy Ampatuan sa halalan 2010.

Isang halimaw na nilalang ang tanging may kapasidad na kumitil ng ganito karaming buhay. Mga nilalang na walang kinikilalang Dyos at nabubuhay sa kapangyarihan ng baril ang walang awang kinitil ang buhay ng mga walang kalaban-labang mamamayan. ang malagim na kaganapan sa kasalukuyan ay hindi ko maiwasang iugnay sa kasaysayan ng kabaliwan ni Hitler kung saan walang awang pinapatay ang mga inoosenteng mamamayan dahil sa kasakiman sa kapangyarihan.

Kasakiman sa kapangyarihan, sa katanyagan at sa kayamanan ang ilang dahilan upang magtulak sa isang tao na kumitil ng buhay ng kapwa tao.

Ang Maguindanao ay pinamamayanihan ng 'guns and goons' sa ilalim ng kapangyarihan ng mga pamilya Ampatuan na pinamumunuan ni ARMM Gobernor Datu Zaldy Ampatuan na kilala rin na kaalyado sa partido at kaibigan ni Pang. Gloria Arroyo.

Aking idinadalangin sa Panginoon na dinggin ang pagtangis at pagluluksa ng mamamayang Pilipino at ng mga pamilyang naulila sa Maguindanao Masaker at nawa'y makamtan ng mga naulila ang tunay at mabilis na hustisya sa Administrasyon Arroyo.

Katarungan sa mga biktima ng Maguindanao Masaker.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Paano Ba Maging Bayani?

As I was watching GMA7's Presidential Forum's Eleksyon 2010: Isang Tanong, the last single queston comes from no less than CNN Hero Winner Efren Penaflorida as he addressed his question to the Presidential hopefuls, and the question is 'Paano ba maging bayani (how to become a hero)?"

Manny Villar: "Pag naiahon natin ang ating mga kababayan sa kahirapan yan ang tunay na bayani.."
Bro. Eddie Villanueva: Unang-una kailangan meron kang pasisonate love for our country and our people, at ipaglaban natin ang katotohanan at katwiran...."
Gibo Teodoro: Ang tunay na bayani ay pag-i-excert at paggagamit ng regalo ng Diyos sa isang nilalang. Pagagait nyan sa tamang paraan at sa tamang pag-iisip at pagsisilbi sa kapwa beyond the call of duty..."
Nicanor Perlas: "Lahat tayo's may pagkakataong magng bayani. Ang pinakamahalagang bagay ay tunay tayong naniniwala sa ating mga prisipyo sa ating konsyensya at hindi natin ito binibitawan kahit mairap ang ating dinadaanan...."
Bayani Fernando: "Pangalanan ka ng tatay mo (audience clapping), gawin mo lang ang iyong katungkulan, pagbutihin mo bayani ka na nun..."

Erap Estrada: "Para sa akin kahit na isang basurero, isang jeepney driver puedeng maging bayani, kung sya'y may malasakit sa kapakanan ng taong bayan..."
JC delos Reyes: "Nagiging bayani tayo sa mga ginagawa natin sa mga nabiyayaan ng Panginoon para makapagaral sa pinakamagagaling na eskwelahan sa Pilipinas magsakripisyo po at pasukin ang maduming politika ngaun..."
Noynoy Aquino: "Palagay ko sa paggagawa sa tuwi-tuwina sa lahat ng panahon yung pag-aasikaso sa kapwa tulad ng nagawa Nya... yung si Kristo ang ehemplo siguro natin dito dumating dito sinapo ang kasalanan ng lahat, ganun siguro ang hinihiling sa lahat ipinakita Nya ang pakikipagtungo sa kapwa na tama parati yun ho siguro ang magiging susi na isang pagiging bayani lalo na sa panahon na talangang matindi ang pangangailangan ng pag-aaruga sa kapwa ..."

While I was generally satisfied with their intelligent answer despite the fact that I know that they are not talking from their heart, it will be a shame if they will fail such elementary question, except for hmmmm, forget it... I wonder who among them has the making of a hero?

I keep on thinking who among these Presidentiables was able to touch the lives of the poor Filipino children who have been deprived of education because of poverty brought by corruption and greed for power of the few, the elites and the powerful politicians.

It takes an ordinary Filipino like Efren Penaflorida to recognize the need to provide free education to the street children and it takes an ordinary person to introduce education through his own initiative with the aid of "kariton". Hindi sa pamamagitan ng dyipni o depadyak, sa pamamagitan ng kariton power.

What does it really takes to be a hero? What qualities does Efren have that most of these Presidentiables doesn't have?

Political Prostitute, Chameleons and Romanticism

The upcoming 2010 elections promises a colorful circus compared with the previous Philippine elections in our history.

The search for a winning formula in chasing their political ambition that will catapult them in power has crossed the borders of moral boundaries of a just man.

Party mergers and alliances is at its highest activity level in our current political atmosphere in its hope to increase it membership across the country regardless of both parties’ principles like the alliances between Manny Villar’s NP and Bongbong Marcos’ KBL, and to provide more complication to this merger was Satur Ocampo’s Bayan Muna Party's interest in its political alignment with NP, a political ambiguity of the three blind mice.

I agree with Sen. Jambi Madrigal calling Sen. Loren Legarda a political prostitute on her most desperate move to further her political career as she agreed to be the VP running mate of Manny Villar. I can recall that both Senators Legarda and Madrigal are calling for the Senate investigation against Sen. Villar on the C-5 controversy, but now it seems Sen. Jambi is alone in her fight against the Senator Villar.

And how can I forget Sen. Loren as she weeps during the hearing against former President Erap when the sealed envelope was not allowed to be opened during the impeachment hearing. And it was ironic indeed when Sen. Loren later visited Pres. Erap in his lavish detention cell for his political endorsement as FPJ's running mate on her quest as VP during the 2004 election, an anointment of the sick.

The political romanticism of former NEDA Sec. Recto together with his wife Gov. Vilma Santos shifting their allegiances from the Lakas-Kampi-CMD to Sen. Noynoy’s LP has caused a major setback on the Administration’s party. I view this as an advantage to LP who is lacking the political machinery in other areas particularly the province of Batangas.

Former President Erap Estrada is now accusing Sen. Villar of pirating his present and prospective party members.

The fiesta has just begun; watch their lips as they promise heaven and earth, do not attempt to wink - you will witness before your eyes how these political chameleons change the color of their skin from blue to yellow or green to orange to satisfy their thirst for power as they race towards the door of Malacaá¹…ang palace.

While you are too busy identifying the evil and the lesser evil or probably the good Presidential candidate, please take time to see your favorite bets as they face the Presidential Forum "Eleksyon 2010: Isang Tanong" sponsored by GMA7 TV which was posted by Reynz of Barrio Siete. Watch it and hear your candidate speaks!

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Unfriend" Word of Year 2009

Do you have a social networking website account? Facebook? Multiply? This year, the social networking has proven that it has a huge cultural force.

"Unfriend" has been named the word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary, chosen from a list of finalists with a tech-savvy bent.
Unfriend was defined as a verb that means to remove someone as a "friend" on a social networking side such as Facebook.
"It has both currency and potential longevity," said Christine Lindberg, senior lexicographer for Oxford's U.S. dictionary program, in a statement.
"In the online social networking context, its meaning is understood, so its adoption as a modern verb form makes this an interesting choice for Word of the Year." (Source: Reuters)

unfriend – verb – To remove someone as a 'friend' on a social networking site such as Facebook.

Example, "I decided to unfriend my roommate on Facebook after we had a fight."

Each year Oxford University Press tracks how the English language is changing and chooses a word that best reflects the mood of the year.

Oxford lexicographer Christine Lindberg says unfriend has "real lex appeal."

Finalists for 2009 also included netbook, which is a small laptop, and sexting, which is sending sexually explicit texts and pictures by cell phone.

This announcement will surely be applauded by Facebook, Myspace and other social networking users.

I am not a wordsmith nor a lexicon or scrabble expert; after you have read this post, I'll appreciate if you could enlighten me on the words defriend and refriend? Now I am more confused, the important thing is that you are my friend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Pope's Invitation To Run

"Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it." Oprah Winfrey

I will RUN to meet my personal goal to get back in shape and run extra miles. I am a runner and I invite you to run with me - for fun, for health and for faith.

Would you like to join me in and let's continue running? We can start with a walk if you like. We know that there are no short-cuts in this walks, so let us let us try to go slow. Basically we'll take the bay walk area, walking along the shore in the early morning, you will marvel the beauty of the majestic sun shining from the East as it rises from the horizon filling its shining rays the great blue sky. Fill your lungs with the fresh morning air blowing to your face as we passes the beautiful colored flowers swaying in the morning mist as they stood with grace in the green manicured grass where little birds feeding themselves on the seeds that that have fallen from the trees. Have you ever thought that you are lucky enough to see such beautiful creations while others don't even have a minute to live to witness the wonderful colors of nature, while others are in places where rain and vegetation does not exists.
I guess we can now increase our pace and start with our run. The end of the road is not always far away as it seems, just keep on moving and running in the right direction with inner peace and tranquility in our heart. Let’s seduce our mind with the vision of self-worth and be armed with courage to face change. As we run for 20 minutes, you could feel your feet hit the solid ground and the adrenaline rush as you feel the pounding of your heart, we feel more empowered than exhausted. As we run uphill and downhill and now down the curve , we realized that life is not a straight path. Sometimes we bounce between them and sometimes we need to fall apart to become anew in faith with Him.
Each kilometers are separated with new challenges, we should be grateful of these trials, problems and issues which brought us to connect to our Coach and Trainer in Heaven for the renewal of our energy and the new direction we must walk and run. We must always walk by faith to be able to make it through the challenges of life, but be prepared to lose and leave some battles behind. Life has thorns to make us better and not bitter - an extra luggage we do not need to carry on our run.
Let us take a rest now, this is the end of our run for today. Thank you so much for keeping me company, it was an amazing run, an amazing walk; an amazing experience walking with you. I hope together we can do it more often by running with Christ.
Running has been a part of my life, I have completed two 42K and a couple of 21K Marathons in Manila during the late 80s. My favorite first runs were the 10K Adidas Marathon, that was my first marathon which was held in Marikina City; the 20K Milo Marathon and the 42K Manila International Marathon. I did not win any trophy or medal, but I did not fail, rather I succeeded in my goals in completing the race with the rest of the competitors and it was a learning experience. After 2 decades, with 'baby fats' around my belly, I still run once on weekdays and every weekends and holidays. I invite you to run as we acknowledge our Lord as the source of our everything, our strength, speed, endurance and motivation that may we become great runners for Christ and enjoy the great benefits of being physically fit and active.

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize (Jesus is the Only prize)." 1 Corinthians 9:24

Photo grabbed from
Uploaded by Kelly Angard - kreativekell

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pacquiao: Symbol of Possibility

The historic boxing bout which ended on a TKO stripping Puerto Rican boxer Miguel Cotto off his WBO welterweight title last Nov. 15, Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao has made a new world record in boxing history winning seven crowns in as many different weight classes.

The state of euphoria is high as we celebrate the glory of his victory, we jump, raise our fist and shout for joy as Pacman captured Filipinos' imagination and became one with national identity, for 36 minutes, we are united as a country.

We acknowledge Manny Pacquiao as as the hope for our battered nation. Press Undersecretary Golez said "his (Pacquiao) victory symbolizes that there is nothing a Filipino cannot do”. And President Arroyo greeted Pacquiao’s win over Cotto would show the Filipino youths that there is no limit to their capacity to succeed as long as they work hard and put their hearts and minds to achieve their goals.

His triumph has taught us to be a good fighter, to rise from the ruins of poverty we must endure pain and agony and learn from our mistakes and accept that there is no shortcut to victory.

It teaches us to learn the virtue of humility, to listen to our trusted Mentor and Counsel. To use our head, to think, to analyze and to train without any hesitation.

To recognize that the lack of height and reach is not always a disadvantage, to turn a disadvantage into an advantage, to be wise and take advantages of all the opportunities presented to us without being greedy.

And as we enter the arena of life's challenges, we will receive many punches as we embark on our slow journey to success, don't lose hope - through faith and determination we can win against all odds like what Manny did, let us set the tempo of our lives and not be underdogs anymore.

Let us show to the world that we are a nation of heroes, like Manny, he is not just a fighter, he is a symbol of possibility; and collectively, we can pull ourselves together to achieve as a Filipino people, may every one of us be granted the courage, the faith and the vision to give the best that is in us to make our country One Great Nation in the eyes of the world.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Shall Not Pass This Way Again

I expect to pass through this world, but once;

Any good thing therefore that I can do,
or any kindness that I can show
to my fellow "kababayan", let me do it now;

Let me not defer or neglect it,
for I shall not pass this way again.

Friday, November 13, 2009

PBB's Thrill of Victory And Agony of Defeat

This week's Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) Double Up Edition's Weekly Challenge becomes fiercer as the competition heats up between two groups with a weekly budget is at stake.

The competition was powerfully evocative and emotional experience between the players and its TV viewers have witnessed the emotional waves of each players, the inappropriate behavior and emotional outbursts of the and appropriate reactions of hard losers. And tonight, the game ends with a thrill of victory to House B Team and a crushing agony of defeat to the losing House A Team.

My mind was riveted on the powerful feelings shown by the losing PBB housemates, their emotional outbursts and violent reaction in facing their failure.

I admit that losing is not merely as fun as winning, it is frustrating, disappointing and downright discouraging. If your ego or self-worth is tied up with the outcome of a competition, then losing can be big-time threatening to your sense of self. In these situations, losing can trigger feelings of inadequacy followed by protective surges of anger and even rage.

Failing is nothing more than an important part of the overall learning process in life. Keep in mind, you don't have to like losing. You can even hate it with a passion. However, you can't really get better in any competition or anything else you do unless you fail or lose enough times and then look to these failures for their valuable learning.

It’s absolutely critical that we learn to handle anger and intense emotions that get stimulated by tough losses and failures. Remember, when you let your anger steer your ship, you’ll end up on the rocks!

To achieve excellence you must learn to harness the success-generating power of your failures!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ikaw Ang Mahalaga Tuwing Pasko

Muling nagliwanag ang mga lansangan sa buong Kamaynilaan, sa kahabaan ng mga kalye sa EDSA, Cubao hanggang Ayala, mga kumukuti-kutitap na parol at Christmas lights, mga gayak na nagsasabing Maligayang Pasko sa bawa’t Pilipino, nagbibigay pag-asa sa puso ng bawa’t nananampalataya.

Subalit sa Doha ang kapaskuhan ay isang ordinaryong araw, walang parol o Christmas Tree, at sa ibang karatig bansa ng Gitnang Silangan ay ipinagbabawal sa mga banyaga ang hayagang pagdiriwang ng kapaskuhan sa mga pampublikong lugar.

Pero hindi ito hadlang sa aming mga OFW, tulad ng mga mamimili sa Divisorya, kami ay abala rin sa paglilista ng mga pamimilihing regalo, pasalubong o isasama sa balikbayan box na ipapadala bilang package sa aming pamilya sa Pilipinas.

"Hello Inay, magpapadala po ako ng package sa inyo bago sumapit ang Pasko, ano po ba ang mga ipagbibilin ninyo para maipasama ko sa kahon? Ano po ba ang sukat ng paa ni Kuya? Magpapadala rin ako ng pera para sa inyong pang Noche Buena. Huwag po kayong mag-alala, ayos po naman ako dito, kayo po ang mahalaga tuwing Pasko."

Pamilyar ba ang linyang ito sa inyo?

Hindi talaga mababayaran ang kasiyahan ng Paskong Pilipino, kaya nga ang bawa’t OFW na tulad ko ay taun-taon na lang na nangangarap na makauwi ng Pilipinas, pero tulad ng nakararaming OFW, hanggang pangarap lang rin ako ngayon dahil may mga bagay na dapat isakripisyo alang alang sa katuparan ng aming mga munting pangarap sa buhay, at pinili ko pansamantala na sa kapaskuhang darating ako’y mamamalagi sa bansang banyaga. At muling makakasama ko ang di mabilang na OFW na magkakasya na lamang sa internet at telepono sa pagbati sa inyo ng Maligayang Pasko.

Pero sa haba ng panahong iginugol ko bilang OFW, aking nasaksihan ang mga mapapalad na OFW na umuuwi tuwing Pasko. Nakakainggit pagmasdan ang di masukat na kaligayahan at kalituhan sa pamimili ng pasalubong, mula laruan, toothpaste, kape, fruit cocktails at TV na kanilang iniuuwing pasalubong sa kanilang mga mahal sa buhay.

Lalong nakatutuwa ang kanilang pagbabalik makatapos ang mahabang bakasyon mula Pasko at Bagong Taon sa Pilipinas at tiyak mamamangha ka sa kanilang palagiang kinukwento:

“Ayoko ng umuwi ng Pasko, grabe ang gastos, naubos lahat ng dala kong pera, nasaid ang ipon ko at nagkautang pa ako. Ayoko na talagang ng umuwi ng Pasko.”
Pero pagmasdan mo, yung narinigan mo ng mga salitang iyan nung nakaraang taon ngayu'y heto na naman sila at di na naman magkandatuto sa pamimili ng pasalubong dahil muli na naman silang uuwi sa Pilipinas para ipagdiwang ang kapaskuhan sa piling ng kanilang mga mahal sa buhay.

Iba kasi ang Paskong Pinoy, nakaka-adik! Makatotohanan nga ang nilalamang pasakalye sa awiting Manila ng bandang Hotdog:

“Maraming beses na kitang nilayasan, iniwanan na at ibang pinuntahan.

Parang babaeng kay hirap mo namang malimutan,
ikaw lamang ang aking binabalik-balikan.”

Sino nga bang di maaadik sa puto bumbong at bibingka. Isama mo pa ang karoling ng mga bata sa lansangan na kadalasan kasama pa ang iyong anak na bitbit ang pinitpit na tansan. Idagdag pa natin ang Simbang Gabi at ang mga mapanuksong Tiangge at Xmas Bazaar. Ang peryahan sa bayan lalo pa’t ngaun gaganapin ang patimplalak ng PEBA kung saan di mabilang na sorpresa’t regalong naghihintay sa mga dadalo.

At higit sa lahat ang pagbibigay ng mga aginaldo sa mga inaanak, kay Lolo at Lola, kay Ama at Ina, kay Kuya at Ate, at sa inyong mahal na asawa, kung ika’y binata o dalaga’y maghahanap ka na ng syota na reregaluhan sa Kapaskuhan.

Sa katulad naming maiiwan sa Gitnang Silangan, makikibahagi na lamang kami sa inyong mga kwento at larawan, pipilitin na lang naming maging abala sa mga araw ng Kapaskuhan upang maiwasan ang kalungkutang magbibigay daan sa muling pagpatak ng mga luha sa aming mga mata sa tuwing naalala ang kapaskuhan, at minsan ay di sinasadya kapag nakaririnig ng awiting Pamasko mula sa kalapit kwarto o mula sa radyo ay biglang naalala ko kayo, dahil miss ko kayo tuwing Pasko.

Sana miss mo rin ako…

Photo grabbed from
Uploaded by Kris Carlos

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Longest Journey Home

8.30 pm, November 28; “Mrs. Rowena? This is an emergency call from Qatar, I am so sorry to inform you that your husband passed away this afternoon, Mrs. Rowena? Are you still there? Hello??? Hello???".

12.30 pm, November 29; "I'll be leaving Doha now and will be in Manila tomorrow afternoon. November 30th I'll be arriving in Tacloban Airport".

2002, less than month before Christmas, the 9 ½ hours flight from Doha to Manila which covers approximately 4,500 miles seemed to be an endless journey of my life. I am a frequent flyer of Qatar Airways but now I am restless and in tears, I wish I am not coming home, I wish it is not Christmas, my head is heavy, I am going into a deep slumber...

Nov. 14, 2002, “Manong Bay, is your January flight schedule confirmed already? I will miss you Bay, at least you’re going home for good to be with your family and start a new life with them.”

Manong Bay is my roommate; we share the same room since we arrived in Doha in 1992. I used to call him “Manong” out of respect because he is 10 years senior to me. I have enjoyed his company, he is like a father to me, we are both “Waray” and we both came from Civil Aviation industry that’s why we have a lot of common things to share.

After 11 years of working as Aircraft Mechanic, Manong Bay decided not to renew his contract which ends on January 21, 2003 to be reunited with his family in Leyte and start a fresh life with the copra and coffee plantation he recently bought in preparation for his retirement.

28th November, it was one of Manong Bay’s casual windows shopping in the mall checking his lists for the pasalubong while I decided to take my usual siesta lazing in the bed.

It was 6:00 pm when I was awaken by the incessant ringing of our telephone, I grabbed the handset and I recognize the voice on the other line, it was my boss, my ear seems to refuse every word he says as tears start running down my face.

“I am sorry to inform you about the loss of your friend, now I am assigning you to accompany the remains of Mr. Sarino to his hometown and you have to leave tomorrow.”

As I stood beside him, the Catholic priest gives his final rites, I cannot remember if I was able to sleep last night or if what time I woke up that morning. I cannot feel anything as the priest shakes my hand as a sign of condolences. I was staring at the cold body of Manong Bay as he was being shifted into the aluminum casket, and I was in pain losing a father-figure like him, we shared joyful moments and difficult days and at that moment for 11 years as OFWs and I was consumed by grief as the casket was finally sealed and was put into a wooden crate. I was viewing death as if it is some kind of ending, when in actuality it is merely a new experience in the life of one’s soul.

I signed the last documents from the Phil. Embassy officials as they bid their final words to a “kababayan” – a departed OFW. I feel tired but my body is numb, I do not know if I still have tears to cry.

As Qatar Airways lift-off from Doha, I ask myself why would a man of great faith who has devoted half of his life chasing his vision in the foreign land to fulfill his promise for a better life to his family was cut short of his dream? We arrived in NAIA and I was met by PAL personnel for other documentation requirements.

I was met by my family in the airport's arrival area. My wife was in tears as she tries to console me on the passing of my friend.

The following morning, I was bound to Tacloban Airport, I have only an hour of sleep and my body is aching as if I was a wounded soldier duty bound to escort a fallen hero, my mentor and a Gladiator to bring him home to his homeland, to his final resting place.

As I step out of the airport, a young girl carried a piece of cardboard with inscriptions "Kuya George", then as I come near her I realized that its her 9 year old daughter, tears starts to blind my eyes. And I cannot remember the words that followed; all I knew was that we're all in tears as I was embracing Manong Bay's family.

Manong Bay has departed from this world with a good name and in peace. Perhaps he was done, fulfilled his purpose, and was called Home.

"The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death." (Isaiah 57:1-2)

May the Lord bless Manong Bay on his walk with Him.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Capture An OFW Without Borders

In parallel to its forthcoming 2009 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards, PEBA, Inc. launches a photo contest focused on the Global Filipinos which encourages the Filipinos abroad to show their passion for photography and their ability to see more than the ordinary Filipino Migrant Workers.

The contest encourages photos with spontaneity, clarity, composition and your ability to capture a distinctive moment of a Filipino abroad.

Entrants. The competition is open to all amateur Filipino photographers (above 18 years old) presently working as OFW in any part of the world. Participants can submit 3 entires but not more than 5 photos.

Entries. Photographs must be original images taken by the entrant and may not have been previously published.

Content. The photos shall be color or b/w photographs that represent or typify heroism, love, labor and courage of OFWs abroad (using the host country as part of their subject/s).

Digital image submissions. Image quality must be at least 8" x 10" at 300 DPI or a photo taken with a minimum of 3.2 megapixel camera at the largest image setting submitted through email using JPEG format.

Images that do not meet these criteria will not be considered. Photographs should be submitted without any borders or frames.

Each photo entry should have a file name of the photographer/owner, plus information, location, profession/work and small interpretation comes along in the email.

Example: Fred_santos1.jpg

Location: California, USA

Profession/Job: Computer Engineer

Interpretations/Short explanation: Filipinos love beaches, California has great beaches.

Other Uses. All entries will become part of PEBA. Photographs submitted to PEBA Photo Contest but any photos not selected to be included in the Photo Exhibit may be chosen for use elsewhere in PEBA related publication with full credit given to the photographer.

SUBMIT TO: Email to

Winners will receive a trophy and gift packs from PEBA and 'Best Photo Entry'.

Deadline of submission will be 01 December 2009. Please note that your entries will be printed/blow up for exhibit during the awarding ceremony. Join now!

This is a repost from PEBA.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gen. MacArthur Invades Nokia OVI Historical Tweet

With a secured beachhead, the coast was cleared for the arrival of General Douglas MacArthur as he fulfilled his promise to liberate the Filipino people – in his own words, “I Shall Return” has now invaded the pages of Palipasan as they marches towards Nokia's OVI Historical Tweet.

Memorial of former Philippine President Osmena and then Pacific Theatre World War II Commander, Gen. MacArthur, and their staff, wading in the shores of Palo, Leyte in the closing months of the second world war.

This landing preceded one of MacArthur's famous lines: "People of the Philippines, I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil consecrated in the blood of our two people..."

With the memorial (and the original Leyte Landing Photo below), is then President Sergio Osmena(Quezon's vice president, became president when Quezon died in the US), and Carlos Romulo, the rest are their and MacArthur's staff.

The return of General MacArthur in Leyte was a turning point of the Philippine liberation campaign during the Second World War primarily because it marked the first decisive win of the combined Allied forces against their Japanese counterparts, and secondly, it gave hope to the millions of Filipino people and the thousands of POWs as they await their freedom in the hands of the Imperial Army of Japan.

The Leyte Landing Memorial Park, formerly known as the MacArthur Park, in Red Beach Palo, Leyte was built to memorialize the “Leyte Landing” event which is celebrated annually in the Philippines on October 20.


MacArthur had no middle name, though some Internet sources variously ascribe him a middle initial of "A", "B", "C", "D", "M", or "S". An archivist at the MacArthur Memorial asserts that MacArthur did wear a monogrammed handkerchief with a middle initial of "A", possibly chosen to indicate his father, but the general had no official middle name.

MacArthur's height was 5'10".

While MacArthur was famous for smoking a corncob pipe, he also smoked cigars and cigarettes.

MacArthur had a particular attachment to the Philippines. This began with his father's tenure as the military governor of the nation and later his own. His "I shall return" declaration as Allied troops left it to the conquering Japanese is famous. MacArthur appeared to have a genuine affection for the nation, having spent a good deal of his life there; his mother had died there. It was the only country he visited after his dismissal.

Two towns were named after him namely MacArthur, Leyte and General MacArthur, Eastern Samar.

Other landmarks named after Gen. macArthur were:

The MacArthur Bridge in Manila, Philippines runs across the Pasig River;

The highway that spans from Kalookan, Metro Manila to as far as La Union in the Philippines is named after General MacArthur. It is now aptly called "MacArthur Highway;"

MacArthur Highway in Davao region in Southern Philippines.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Contests And Giveaways Galore

Bloggers will love the spectacular Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards (PEBA) 2009, while the 37 nominees from 21 countries will be under the spectacles of PEBA judges for the next 45 days or so, PEBA had lined up spectacular contests to all its bloggers as the countdown begins to PEBA Event night on December 26, 2009.

What would a contest be without some awesome prizes as well? PEBA is giving away Nokia mobile phones and a chance to stay on a luxurious family suite in a 5-Star hotel at the heart of financial district of Makati City plus T-Shirts, and several souvenir items.

The mechanics is so simple...

"Kelangan po namin ng 50 Blogs na gustong maglink ng sponsor namin. Walang banner ad, at walang picture. Text lang, tapos linking. Tatlo hanggang limang ganyan lang sa sidebar niyo for six months, and you're in for a chance to win mobile phones, family suites stay in a five star hotel, t-shirts and many others."


Just register your Name, e-mail and URL addresses at the side bar gadgets "Win Nokia Mobile Phone and Stay in 5-Star Hotel, etc!" at any of the following host sites - Kablogs, Thoughtskoto and Dungeon Lord and you will received a confirmation e-mail from PEBA with text and links to be displayed in your respective blogsites accordingly which will entitles you to a raffle ticket and a chance to win those fabulous prizes.

This is open to all bloggers!!!

Visit the Host sites, Register and Join Now!!!
(Kablogs, Thoughtskoto and Dungeon Lord )

Experience PEBA 2009's unending treat.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Set No Limitations

You have powers you never dreamed of.
You can do things you never thought you could do.

There are no limitations in what you can do..
Except the limitations of your own mind.

As PEBA, Inc. concludes its nomination for its forthcoming 2nd International Pinoy Expats/Blog Awards (PEBA), 37 stories have officially gathered from 21 countries across the globe, converged and united in one vision and one voice in exhibiting their pioneering spirit in their passion for blogging in bringing inspirations to the 12 million Global Filipinos around the world.

Despite our diversity and multiplicity, we have conquered the world and proudly brought into the foreign lands not only our talents and skills as Migrant Workers but we have established a community of Filipino people, made it known to the whole world that we exists because we came from a country where everyone is a hero.

This is an affirmation of our courageous diaspora decision and the worthy causes fought for and of the right, albeit unpopular options taken of being separated from our family.

And a challenge to do more, to better, and be the best for our family, for our community, for the Filipino people and for our country the Philippines.

Let us not just dream, live our dream. Let us keep moving towards it.

Congratulations to PEBA for this opportunity to let the OFW bloggers shine amidst the trials and pains of being away from Home and good luck to the 37 hopeful nominees, you already have won the hearts of your readers around the globe.

Photo grabbed from
Uploaded by Leon B. Dista


Related Posts with Thumbnails