BEST


For the benefit of discriminating readers who prefer the more literary posts, I have separated stories which I personally feel are of a higher literary quality:

LIFE IS A BOOK

To those who ponder the meaning of life – ponder no more! Life is a book…

There are those for whom the story of the book will always be simple – like that of a seed, which knows it has no recourse but to grow into a plant and bear flowers that will color the field.

Or that of a garden snail, for which the trek across the grassy yard will always be a daily labor…  Read More...

THE BOTTOM LINE

Those who are wise, in reference to how DLSL grew from a tiny school to a large college inside 15 years, will ask the question, “How did they do it?” The wise will ask that question without malice, prejudice or suspicion; but instead, with the inquisitiveness of someone who genuinely wishes to learn something new that can be used to his or her own benefit.

In April 2005, just a few days after I went up to join the executive management team, an invited resource speaker who would subsequently become a member of the school’s Board of Trustees told a gathering of middle to executive level administrators in a seminar this famous line, “You must treat your school like it’s a business.” Read more...

THE JOY OF CLIMBING TREES

There is, in the yard, a couple of guava trees that in season bear fruits like there is no tomorrow. Passers-by, whether children or adults, invariably look up longingly at the tree which as fate would have it years ago one bird must have dropped a seed for it to grow and flourish right next to the front gate.

As I seem to have left behind my fondness for guava in childhood, the guavas inevitably ripen on their twigs and drop to litter the yard or the short driveway. The ants and other insects feast upon them; but there do not seem to be enough ants in the world to help clean up the litter because the falling guavas are just too many.  Read more...

THE SOUND OF THE SILENCE

A few colleagues and I visited the Carmelite church just outside the city yesterday for some personal reflection and meditation as well as a brief prayer service. My visits to this church are few and far between – it is a bit out of the way in comparison to other churches – but a visit never fails to touch me in a way only this church can.

There is just this unique feeling of serenity to the place that I just do not sense in most other churches. The Cathedral of St. Sebastian, for instance, for all its grandeur and glorious history also often exudes the feel of a public market; and I do not mean this in a disrespectful way. It is just the way things are.  Read more...

DEAR NOYNOY

I am not your admirer; neither was I an admirer of your mother’s Presidency. But I am a proud Filipino; and if for that alone, I watched your inauguration on television yesterday. I know, to you, I am a nobody who does not have a face. But I am a citizen; for that alone I am entitled to write to you and say that you have six years to make me admire you!

In fairness, you started winning me over by arriving early at the venue. I so hate tardiness because it is unprofessional and inconsiderate. Because of that, plus 5 ka na agad sa akin.  Read more...

THE FILIPINO AS A CHAMELEON

In the nineties, there used to play under me this young boy who was born and raised in Vienna, Austria. He belongs to a Batangueño family that, at the time, decided that it was best for this boy along with his two brothers to return to and live in the homeland with their father. The boys’ mother, a nurse, stayed behind to continue working in Vienna.

Now, apart from the circumstance of birth in a Central European country, this boy I refer to was no different from all the other boys that he was growing up with once they were all back here in this country. He was smallish, in fact, compared to other boys his age; even a bit darker-skinned than many.  Read more...

BEHIND THE SCENES OF PEOPLE POWER

And not to detract from the impact of the so-called EDSA People Power Revolution of 1986 – because the Iron Curtain fell as a consequence of the example our people showed the rest of the world – but the real revolution happened not so much on the pesky traffic-infested stretch of concrete road that we have learned to conveniently call EDSA but rather well behind the scenes among those who themselves were directly or indirectly responsible for keeping Ferdinand Marcos in power…

Indeed, priests and nuns with rosaries holding back the tanks from advancing further was the Time Magazine edition of the revolution; and their pleading with fellow Filipinos not to engage those who had defected in battle and, therefore, prevent the spill of blood and civil strife was sheer fodder for journalists and photographers alike.  Read more...

THINKING LIKE AMERICANS

That Asian-American consul who initially denied my first United States visa application, she got it all wrong! If I was the sort who wanted to sneak my way into an American citizenship, I would have done it much sooner in my life.

We Filipinos, we hardly even notice it, but we are so programmed subliminally to pine for life in the West – and, in particular, life in the United States. In basic education History classes, teachers taught us about more than three centuries of oppressive Spanish rule that were put to an end by the arrival of the forward-thinking Americans.    Read more...

DRUG MULE

Such is the plight of the overseas worker that Sally Ordinario-Villanueva, Ramon Credo and Elizabeth Batain – may their souls rest in peace – and many others like them from this country who still await what fate has in store for them in lands far away are referred to in the media in that most unfortunate of terms: drug mule. I cannot imagine a worse affront, particularly as the appellation – as appears from all indications – is totally undeserved.

Contemporary language has it that a mule is a person who smuggles contraband across national borders; and in fairness, the term is likewise used to connote those who are no more than unwitting couriers. However, I have always associated the verb “to smuggle” with intent; and if there is none, then technically the person carrying the contraband is not smuggling at all.  Read more...

OF LIFE AND SPORT

People who are not into sport often look upon us either with contempt or pity as we continue to sweat it out on the football field in the scorching heat of day or, perhaps, under the pouring rain. We are looked upon either as fools out to prove a moot point or maybe as people who brave the elements practicing something which, seemingly, has no practical application in life whatsoever. What, indeed, are we? And why do we bother to do the things that we do?

Life is, indeed, tough in any sport; but we football players seem to get more than our fair share of abuses. In a perfect world, opponents will play by the rules, avoid committing blatant and cynical fouls, behave like Victorian gentlemen and shake hands firmly at the end of each match. But where does this world exist?  Read more...

PERIPHERAL VISION

Unless there is something physically wrong with a person’s pair of eyes, his or her peripheral vision is – essentially – just about the same as everyone else’s. Yet we do refer to some people – especially in athletics – as having excellent peripheral vision. By inference, we deduce that there are those who do not.

Vision is, in its purest biological sense, the ability of these organs we call the eyes to detect forms before it that are essentially masses of atoms, whether these masses of atom are trees, human beings, edifices or other objects.  Read more...

THAR HE BLOWS

God, I used to hate those early morning matches! I never was a morning person to begin with; and I guess I never will be.

You would think, if just in the way of consideration of us coming all the way from where we did, league officials in Metro Manila would give us, at the very least, mid-morning matches. That was not always the case.

When we were scheduled to play early morning matches, it always meant – for everyone – getting up earlier than players from Metro Manila teams would for obvious reasons. We had more miles to cover. Granted, roads had become better in recent years; but since when did travel time to any destination in the big city become predictable? Read More...

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