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How Big Are Our Problems?


While he works every day almost breaking his neck by carrying heavy vegetable loads for a measly amount not even enough for a decent meal, we complain about not having a grand party or fashionable clothes or the latest gadget. We complain about our hairstyle, our mismatched lingerie, our waistline, and our pimples.

Posted 3 years, 10 months ago at 3:09 pm.

23 comments

Kadang-Kadang: Walking on Stilts

Walking in the countryside always has its rewards. Like today, my reward came from meeting two children who reminded me of something I have long forgotten to do: walk on stilts.
1 kadang-kadang

This outdoor game is popularly known in the Visayas and Mindanao as kadang or kadang-kadang. In the Tagalog regions, this is known as tiyakad.
2 kadang-kadang
3 kadang-kadang

Usually, a pair of bamboo poles with equals lengths is used. Each pole should have a stepladder to serve as platform for each foot.
4 kadang-kadang
5 kadang-kadang

The kadang-kadang player has to keep moving at all times. Otherwise, he or she will loose balance and fall.
6 kadang-kadang
7 kadang-kadang

Kadang-kadang is usually played as a game of race. But it could also be played during leisure time with family and friends.
8 kadang-kadang
9 kadang-kadang

But with today’s children playing in tablets and computers, I wonder if they’d ever be interested to play kadang-kadang, a game they may not even know yet.

Posted 4 years ago at 12:29 pm.

18 comments

Bisperas ng Pasko ng Batang Lansangan


madalas, mahimbing ang mundo at hindi pansin ang sipag ng isang musmos sa lansangan.

hindi pa man isinisilang ang araw,
gising na siya’t nilalambat na ng kanyang mga daliri
ang kanina pa makukulit na langaw.

ang kanyang mga butuhang daliri
paminsan-minsang sinasapo
ang sikmurang umuungol sa hapdi.

agahan: sinimulan na niyang kumayod—
nag-usisa sa mga kalawanging basurahan,
munting minerong sabik sa mailap ng yaman.

tanghalian: sa palengke tumakbo
nag-alok ng serbisyo,
“ale, mama, ako na po ang magbubuhat ng bayong ninyo.”

hapunan: tinungo ang karinderya,
sa amoy ng pagkain nagdiwang ang ilong niya, at nilunod pansamantala
ng mabangong amoy ang ungol ng kanyang sikmura.

sumilip sa loob, inaninag ang mga aninong busog ang tiyan
at pinangarap na sana’y tumagos ang sarili sa salamin
na nasa pagitan niya at ng mesang hitik sa laman.

bigo at walang nakuha ni latak ng pinagkainan,
kaya’t balik basurahan
nanimot ng mga mumo at buto na kung di panis ay pinagsawaan

gabi, bisperas ng pasko, bago matapos ang misa de gallo,
muli ay inangkin niya ang munting espasyo;
muli ay itinayo niya ang kanyang bahay sa malamig na semento—
langit ang bubungan
at ang mga dingding, walang hangganan.

abalang-abala sa pangangaroling ang ibang bata,
ang hangin, kung hindi amoy hamon ay amoy pulbura,
inilatag ng musmos ang pagal na katawan sa malamig na kalsada.

sa di kalayuan, may mga bahay na pinagpala—
may nagkikindatang mga ilaw na nagpapanggap na mga tala
at may mga mesang sa dami ng noche buena ay di magkanda-ugaga.

ngumiti ang musmos at masayang ipinikit ang mga mata.
bukas, araw ng pasko, tiyak nang may pagkain siya:
nasa loob ito ng itim na bag ni santa.

Posted 6 years, 6 months ago at 11:53 am.

53 comments

A Lesson Learned On the Road

I love to travel not only for the chance to bask in nature’s blessings or to have some peace and quiet. I love to travel because most of the time I’m on the road, I experience life-changing moments and learn lessons from people I meet along the way…

Like when I met this man. Let’s call him R. He sells arm warmers for bikers and jeepney drivers.

Like most of us, Filipino workers, he works with enthusiasm. He is already out in the streets early in the morning.

Like most Filipino laborers, he toils under the searing heat of the sun, tulo-pawis, halos magliyab na ang anit sa init.

Like many Filipino vendors, after a day’s tiring work he often goes home with an amount that’s barely enough for two decent meals.

Like many Filipino workers in the streets, he risks his life and limb chasing jeepneys and passing bikers.

But UNLIKE most of us, Filipino workers, R does his work diligently every day even if he has no hands and legs. He was born without them.

(Pictures taken with permission from the subject. Before I took the pictures he asked for two things. In his own words, he said, “Wag niyo ho sanang pagkakakitaan ang litrato ko at wag ho sana na mapagtawanan.” I’m keeping that promise, R.)

Posted 6 years, 7 months ago at 6:34 pm.

42 comments

And The Journey Begins #6


Too often, we are very quick off the mark to complain about things. We complain about not having a birthday party, about our clothes not being fashionable, our car not having the latest audio equipment, our phone not being the latest model, our hair not styled the way we wanted it…

This boy doesn’t complain. Even if he has bigger problem than ours. Even if his problem is the uncertainty of his future.

Posted 6 years, 8 months ago at 7:49 pm.

64 comments