Saturday, February 16, 2008

Continuously Surviving the Storm of My Life

It has been a windy day and though windows were tightly closed cold still seeped through my body. I then seek warmth from the thick comforter on the bed in the cozy room while reading a book.

Later on, my mobile phone beside me caught my attention. It has been quite a while since I checked on it so I decided to delete some messages. What I read in the folders and archives pinched my heart with evocative memories.

I was overwhelmed with messages from people close to my heart since the very day my affliction started because of my illness. They were words of motivation, wisdom and love.

There were moments in my life that I was plagued with thoughts that I was alone in my malady. I was very wrong. Reading those messages made me realized that I have never fought my battle alone.

Family and friends wept and prayed for me. They flooded me with comfort in ways they could. What did I do to deserve overflowing love from them?

Most of the messages still dated back about nine months ago. I was amazed with the transformation- from grief when I first found out I was sick, prayers and encouragement when I was in the hospital, inspiration while I was recuperating, joy as slowly I have surpassed the trials and jubilance as my heart found the answer to all my sufferings.

Soon, I would face another facet of my life…

It has been a long journey but I know that the end is not yet in sight. After all, life is an endless channel of wonderful discoveries, trials and tribulations.

However, before I continue my trek towards the future I would like to remember some of the people who had been special part in my travel especially those who steered me with loving hands while I was in the dark tunnel.

Perhaps, the person who inspired me the most aside from my family was Teacher Charie. She was like a sister who never failed to make me feel better after I finished my laboratory tests.

She would send me long messages explaining that there’s a purpose for everything. She did not hesitate to be with me during the time I was admitted in the hospital for my operation, held my hand and wiped my tears after enduring painful injections and examinations.

She told me that she would be willing to endure the difficulty on my behalf if only it were possible. She and her daughter Pao told me with strong conviction that soon they would see me back in Naga healthy and free from infirmity.

Teacher Alpe, touched me in unimaginable ways. It was with her that I would send long emails explaining in details how my spirit was being torn apart and my hope was collapsing. She wept bitter tears and told me many times to hold on.

Since the day I left school, she never failed to send me messages urging me to be brave and continue fighting. She would update me of school activities to make me feel that I will always be part of the NPS family.

My best friend, Tintin, called me many times saying over and over again, “Kaya mo yan, ika pa”. It was her daughter’s singing voice which cheered me while I was alone outside of the house crying on the night of my birthday that I was told I might die in the OR.

My coordinator, Teacher Tess, assured me that they were storming heaven with prayers for my recovery. It was her message that brought tears to my eyes a day after my surgery telling me she just offered the Sunday mass for me.

Joy, Rica, Shiela, Joanne, Aiz, Jazz, Dolly, Bem, Jannie, Jean, Jinky, Ning, Jun, Jay, Eds, Trece, Mam Fati, Teacher Susan, Teacher Nancy, Teacher Agnes, Teacher Hazel, Teacher Ignas, Nangnang, Sir Mars, Teacher Ditas and the rest of my co teachers and former pupils (specially Krysostom, Marc and Thomas) who all sent me words of comfort, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I have chosen to trail a different path this time but I know that there would always be a special corner in my heart that all of you will occupy. I am very thankful that I became part for many years of the NPS Family where I have experienced many changes.

From that shy young lady fresh from college, I have emerged into a confident woman ready to embark in another step of ladder of success. I know it won’t be easy…but the memories are enough to keep me going…

…away from my second home but memoirs are close to my heart…ad infinitum.

Filed under: 
Inspirational Articles/ Daily Blog

More Articles:
Thoughts/ Opinions

Monday, February 11, 2008

Conspiracy in ZTE Deal

After several days of ignoring the latest controversy that shook the Filipinos, I finally decided to partake with the nerve- wracking and mind- blowing hullabaloos involving Jun Lozada and other bigwigs of the country by watching the Senate hearing aired live today.

It was a long day of debate and heart- rending moments when many times, Lozada was not able to control himself and ended up sobbing uncontrollably for the whole nation to witness.

Jun Lozada is considered as the most crucial witness in the contentious ZTE broadband deal. As Joey De Venecia put it, he can shed light in the mystery surrounding the over-priced 329 million dollar transaction which might place the administration in a hot seat and implicate the first gentleman.

In the course of Senate inquiry, Lozada was said to be sent abroad for government function. However, this created guttural reaction from media and opposition for the obvious reason that he or whoever will be affected with his testimony was just trying to avoid the inevitable.

Last February 5, Lozada arrived from Hongkong as ZTE flares anew and allegedly was abducted by mysterious men. It was his weeping wife and sister appealing to whoever was holding him that created turbulent response from different groups of the country.

How did he go out of the airport without the usual protocol such as passing immigrant officers? Why was he taken without the knowledge of his family? Who ordered those men to take custody of him? These and many more questions plagued the nation as the matter heated up.

It was crying Lozada surrounded by nuns who faced the media several days ago claiming he was taken against his will that added fuel to the anger of the whole nation. He was trembling and pointing accusations to big personalities in the government for detaining him and supposedly convincing him to tell the rest of the country he wasn’t abducted.

If Jun Lozada was to believe, bribery and kickbacks involved high officials in the scrapped National Broadband deal. As usual, if it was pushed through the debt will be paid using the money of pitiful Juan Dela Cruz.

While Jun Lozada was being interrogated, it was as if I was watching the game show, “1 vs. 100”. It was his words without evidence against generals and other high- government officials. I pity the man.

Some Senators made a plea to stop the inquiry because important jobs of the Senate are being affected like passing of some laws. In addition, stock market plunged down and peso weakened because of the threat for umpteenth times in the Arroyo administration.

It makes me wonder though, if ever Lozada is telling the truth how many people like that man I wrote in “The Story of Compassion” are dying while these high officials enjoy their multi- million kickbacks?

After watching the whole day of the Senate hearing, my sister ended up swearing those in government for thriving in power while enjoying the hard- earned money of ordinary people like her.

I tried to avoid watching television or reading news about this for many days for the simple reason that same controversies are just being repeated everyday. The names of those involved changed but the problems are the same- bribery and corruption.

However, I am a Filipino. Any connivance that would affect my country will also affect me. I’m glad their conspiracy screwed up this time. It lessens the debt I need to pay through my tax when I go back working.

Jun Lozada will be in my prayers tonight. May he be strong enough to see this through…Filipinos owe him big time.

Filed under: 

Friday, February 08, 2008

Quo Vadis, Young Princess?

Her face was alight with resilience. She carries herself with ease and confidence. The trace of smile on her face illumines faith, happiness, courage and vulnerability…

Shayne, our baby… our young princess…

It was 15 years ago when an angel was given to us. An angel who became the family’s source of joy and hope…

She made us laugh in spite of hard life and lit up our home for many years. An adorable baby many years ago and now a beautiful princess set to launch men’s thousand ships to woo her elusive heart.

Inside that confident demeanor however, I still see the tiny being sent by above on that fateful night of December 5, 1992. The one who gave color to our life and flourish our home with sanguinity.

She was the baby who celebrated her first birthday while a super typhoon was wreaking havoc to the whole country. It was that big grin on her bubbly face while we were about to evacuate in the mayhem that threatened our lives which I would always remember.

We were frantic trying to flee the big flood amidst the painful drops of rain on our skin whilst Shayne, dressed in red jumpsuit and wrapped in cover-all’s was busy dipping her feet in the flood.

She was the toddler who had the trademark in the whole town seated on the shoulders of my brothers with that ever ready smile radiating optimism and happiness as if broadcasting to everybody she owned the whole world.

She was the one who would surprise my father by jumping and hugging him at his back…the girl who would pose incessantly in front of the camera to amuse us with her good shots.

Our chin chin, the one who sings, who dances, and who blabbers incoherently just to entertain us. She amused many times my classmates and teachers and became the constant visitor of our high school classroom whenever her nanny was not around.

It was that tiny body attached with IV’s on her feet lying helplessly in the hospital bed which would always remind me of the first time I felt so sad.

After several years of joy, sadness and laughter, the baby is a young princess now. Her world revolves not anymore with playstation, dream cast, game boy, Lego, coloring books, pastel colors, flash cards, fairy tale books and dolls.

Though her interest with stuff toys remains she’s more concerned now with latest cell phones, IPOD, computer and latest fashion. Gone were the days we cuddled our Shayne when she felt lonely…or let her sleep on our stomach when she’s grouchy.

Last night was an affirmation that she’s no longer our baby. Our Shayne just experienced the world of grown ups with her first prom. The night of partying with her friends without worrying of the next day…wearing the most beautiful gown suited only for a princess.

She walked with grace and beauty…unsure of what the future would bring her but confident she won’t walk through it alone.

Her future offers limitless pathways but that she won’t embark alone.

Quo Vadis, young princess?

Fear naught. 

Filed under: 
Inspirational Articles/ Daily Blog

More Articles:
Thoughts/ Opinions

Monday, February 04, 2008

Why Debt of Gratitude is Bad for Politics

After whole day of sleeping peacefully without the aid of my vitamins, I woke up with the powerful voice of Speaker of the House Jose De Venecia in the TV. He was obviously emotional and his voice was quivering.

Then I remember that for several days, it’s been brewing in the news something big was about to happen in the House of Representative. The worst fear of JDV came true. A motion to make the seat vacant was filed. That means he’s on the verge of losing the highest position of the house.

The matter was more complicated than an ordinary transfer of power. JDV was known for being one of the closest to the President of the Republic and he was in position for many years.

President Gloria Arroyo and Cong. De Venecia were more than just a close alliance. They shared friendship for many years and as JDV put it, in one way or another he was instrumental for the current position of President Arroyo.

He was the one who convinced former Pres. Ramos to make Arroyo his running mate as Vice- President and then later on as head of Department of Social Welfare and Development. When she was put in power as president of the Philippines, he became one of her loyal supporters.

As a matter of fact, JDV was one of those people who immediately bolstered her morale when several archbishops called for her resignation. What happened then to his influence in the palace?

Their friendship was tainted when JDV’s son became the whistle blower of the multi-million dollar ZTE deal involving the first gentleman. His son exposed that the government was about to burden again Filipinos with over two hundred million dollars with the China broadband contract.

The President because of too much pressure from the public later on cancelled the said deal. The speaker of the house was obviously torn that time between loyalty and blood when he bared in his privilege speech tonight that he tried to stop his son from being the witness in the Senate.

“I am a sinner. Just like the rest of you who are sinners in the country.” This he stated with trembling voice.

With all the things he revealed tonight, it was obvious that he’s blaming the palace for the motion to remove him in his position. He also blamed the president for the ethics case filed against him.

Sometimes politics is simply pain in the head. You see the giants in the political arena one day posing for news paper front page or magazine cover. Then, you hear them the next day talking about dirt and accusing each other of having no debt of gratitude.

Our country is in big trouble again…the battle has just started tonight. I won’t be surprised if the next days would mean staring in the newspaper headlines with JDV and the president’s pictures as the media play and relish their good old times. It would surely stop only when the next whistleblower comes out in public…to expose dirt and endless dirt in politics and government.

According to Gina De Venecia (wife of JDV), the president threatened the Congressmen to vote "YES" approving the motion to declare the seat of speakership vacant. She further stated that the president should teach Congressmen Mike and Datu, her sons, to respect the elderly especially that JDV is their godfather.

The palace stated that they were expecting already these accusations and also she advised the De Venecia couple to teach also their son, Joey De Venecia (the whistleblower) to respect the first gentleman.

JDV: (During his privilege speech in the House of Representative)
"I am a sinner. Just like the rest of you who are sinners in the country."

First Gentleman: (Allegedly he told this to Joey De Venecia, the speaker's son with regard to multi-million dollar ZTE deal)
"Back off!!!"

Filed under: 

Saturday, February 02, 2008

A Day as a Teacher

By next week, I’ll be making a big decision that’ll affect greatly my future. So, allow me to make musings before my fingers hit the keyboard putting into words that pronouncement. After that, no more turning back…whatever that means…

The ringing sound from the clock awakened me from a deep slumber. It was 4:00 A.M. I called all the saints I could remember and implored their mercy to stop the time. Not yet, please…my eyes felt like it was filled with sand being in front of the computer the whole night. I slept with the usual time at past 1:00 A.M. beating all the deadlines and preparing Powerpoint presentation for the next day’s lessons.

Immediately, I went back to sleep with all the aching cells of my body. It seemed like seconds only when the alarm shrilled again. It’s 5:00 A.M. No more turning back! I threw the comforter and scrambled on my feet. The dogs having been awake the whole night waiting for me to finish in front of the computer couldn’t even open their eyes. 

Exactly 6:15 A.M., I left the house to go to school. On my way, I was welcomed with familiar scenarios every morning. There was the garbage truck that always blocked my way, Manoy Boy in his bicycle roaming around the village with his usual tease “Mayo pa din boyfriend?”, Tyong Abe preparing his car, neighborhood kids waiting candies from me, and early morning joggers who greeted me with warm smiles.

The travel until the church where I dropped by every morning took 20 minutes. There in the church I uttered my morning prayer of guidance and strength to meet all my responsibilities.

By 6:40, I was in school ready for another day. My pupils would greet me with beaming smiles and in chorus they would utter, “Good Morning, Teacher Buena”. While they were cleaning, I would stay in the office and worked with the school paper and other documents in my computer. Most of the times, I needed to use the two computers to make the work faster. By 7:15 A.M., my pupils were ready in the covered court for the flag ceremony.

I would wait for my first class while working again in front of the computer. My first subject was at 8:15 and ends at 10:15. Then I would try to nibble snacks while working again. If I needed some approval from school officials that means I have to forget snacks because my break time was not enough. Lunch would be at 12:00 in the canteen with my friends or most of the times in front of the computer in the office.

In class no matter how tired a teacher is, she needs to pretend everything’s right. She should act as a clown to those who are bored, a genius to those who are gifted with wit, a mother to those who have problems, a nurse to those who are sick, a friend to those who need inspiration, and a savior to those who feel weak…all these while thinking of the discipline, lessons and deadlines to meet. 

Classes continued in the afternoon and ends at 4:30 P.M. Break times were spent in printing press for editing of the school’s publication. At 5:00 P.M. my pupils were done cleaning the room. Every part of my body was already aching that time. But it wasn’t yet the end of the day…training for contests, preparing for programs, writing articles, and other deadlines would usually occupy my time until around 6:00 P.M. or beyond. More often than not, the guard would remind us that it’s past curfew time already. 

All these while wearing high-heeled shoes the whole day. By the time I reached home, I could hardly move my muscles. Dead tired won’t even suffice to describe my feeling. No, it isn’t yet the end of the day. After I have my shower, dinner and stress work out (target wheel or dumbbell), I would sit again in front of the computer to continue working with the aid of my ever reliant USB. 

When the clock hit 1:00 A.M. that would be the signal to end my torment. I would then allow myself to loaf around in the comfort of my bed…until the next day where I got to face again another day full of challenge, laughter and frustrations…

It’s almost a year now since I’ve decided to take a rest from that kind of life. I miss a lot of things specially the idiosyncratic situations where I’ve found myself laughing hilariously with my pupils’ frolics.

Everyday was a meaningful discovery…every chuckle was a massage to my aching body…a placate to frustrations that accompanied my position…an assurance that I was doing something right…

But, there is also a part of our life that we must learn to let go. That is the time you come to realize that you need to move on in another facet of your existence. With this, I remember what Og Mandino says, “If I walk away from any challenge today my self-esteem will be scared, and if I cease to grow even a little I will become smaller.”

I take my choice as a challenge- a challenge to prove that wherever my decision would bring me I will not shrink into the ground but I will continue to nurture my chosen profession.

Now, I feel better for I know that anywhere fate takes me the stars would be there to guide me…I just need to look up and utter, “I can do this…” the number is endless so no matter how many times I fall, I can stand and gaze up again and again until I find my place in the vast sky.

The world is a looking glass and gives me back the reflection of my own soul. I want to look intently someday in the mirror and see not a lost soul but a fulfilled face of a woman who embrace with open arms the dare for change…

Filed under: 
Inspirational Articles/ Daily Blog

More Articles:
Thoughts/ Opinions


Click to Subscribe to My YouTube Channel

Click to Subscribe to My YouTube Channel
Free English tutorial videos.

Free Worksheets, Flashcards, and Other Educational Materials

Free Worksheets, Flashcards, and Other Educational Materials
Visit my educational website and download English worksheets, lesson plans, spelling flashcards, writing prompts and others.