Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Teacher's Letter (My Dear NPS Graduates of 2008)

A few hours from now, your life in Naga Parochial School will be over. Another facet of your existence will be unwrapped.

As you leave the portals of dear NPS, you will find yourself amidst the valley of limitless pathways. In making decisions what road to trek, bear in mind the lessons imparted by your teachers. Use not only your mind but also your heart in weathering the complexities of life.

Amidst the trials that will definitely beseech your ways it is with hope that you’ll go through it the way you were molded by Naga Parochial School. You are already there in the threshold of becoming great men someday, don’t waste your opportunity.

I may be far on your special day but you are all in my heart. As your graduation song plays tomorrow, my heart utters a silent prayer of gratitude that I became part of the lives of young gentlemen destined to become great someday.

You made my last year of stay in NPS very memorable. You will always be the most unforgettable batch for me.

Enjoy your graduation and cherish the last days of your stay in your alma mater. Be like a shooting star that teases mortals to the ground- shine with your innate power.

I wish each one of you a brilliant future. Congratulations!!!

Teacher Nins

(NPS Batch 2008 was the last classes I have handled in Naga Parochial School. They play a vital part in my life as a teacher because it was in their batch that I came into realization that indeed I made a difference. I'd like to make special mention to my advisory class the St. Dominic section. Thanks for many recognitions you have given to me. You were great!) 


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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Conversation with a Six- Year Old

The best wisdom can only be gleaned from an ingenuous mind. This is what I have realized from an hour of talking with Trisha, my six-year-old niece. In between her giggles showing tooth-gap mouth, she aired her opinions about different matters as wittingly as she can.

On President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
“Sya ang presidente natin. Mabait sya kasi kapag pangulo dapat hindi masungit. Kumukuha sya ng pera sa Pilipinas para ibigay sa mga pulis. Di yong mga pulis hindi na magagalit sa kanya.”

“She’s the president of the Philippines. She’s kind because if you are a leader you should not be ill-tempered. She gets money from the Philippines to be given to the police. Then, they don’t get mad at her anymore.”

On former President Joseph Ejercito- Estrada
“President din natin sya pero di sya mabait. Kasi pag lalaki hindi mabait. Si Gloria nagtatrabaho pero sya hindi. Kasi tingnan mo ang tyan nya ang laki. (giggles). Laro lang sya ng laro tapos ang dami pa nyang bahay hindi nangbibigay. Ang bad nya sobra. Buti nga nakulong sya.”

“He’s also our president but he’s not kind. Because if you are a male you are not kind. (She didn't learn this from me. She's being bullied by her male classmates in school, that's why.) Gloria is working but he doesn’t. Look at his stomach it’s very big. He just keeps on playing and he has many houses but he doesn’t give it to others. He’s very bad. It’s a good thing he was imprisoned.”

On Jun Lozada
“Ang arte arte nya. Umiiyak pa sya pero hindi ako naniniwala sa kanya. Ang bad nya din pareho ni Estrada. Ayaw ko sa kanila. Hindi naman bad ang presidente eh.”

“He’s very dramatic. He even cried but I don’t believe him. He’s so bad just like Estrada. I don’t like them. The president is not bad”.

On Jesus Christ
“Sa heaven sya nakatira. Pag andito sya sa bahay hindi sya gumagalaw. Tingnan mo oh. (Points to the statue of Jesus on the altar). Pag nasa heaven sya gumagalaw na sya. Naglalakad sya. Yong makukulit na bata ay pinaparusahan nya. Pinapalo nya sa puwet. Dapat lang naman na pinapalo ang makukulit na bata. Buti nga sa kanila”

“He lives in heaven. When he’s here in the house he doesn’t move. Look at Him. When He’s in heaven, He moves. He walks. He punishes the naughty kids. He spanks them on their butts. The naughty kids should really be spanked. Serves them right.”

On her future
“Gusto ko maging God para ako na ang papalo sa makukulit na bata. Gusto ko din maging doktor para yong mamamatay na pasyente sa sasakyan na tumutunog (ambulansya) ay matulungan ko. Takot ako sa dugo pero okay lang yon. Minsan gusto ko din maging teacher para tuturuan kong magbasa yong mga bata katulad ng ginawa ng teacher ko sakin.”

“I want to be God so that I will just be the one to spank the naughty kids. I also want to be a doctor so that I can help those patients who are about to die in the car with siren (ambulance). I am afraid with blood but it is okay. Sometimes I want also to be a teacher so that I can teach the other kids how to read just like what my teacher did to me.”

On becoming president of the Philippines
“Pag naging presidente ako ng Pilipinas ay papahuli ko sa mga pulis ang masasama. Tutulungan ko yong mahihirap. Papabilhan ko sila ng mga damit sa mga pulis. Yong pera ay galing sa Pilipinas katulad ni Gloria na kumukuha ng pera sa atin. Papakainin ko sila sa Jollibee para wag na silang magutom. Meron don chicken saka spaghetti. Pag presidente na ako at naging mayaman ako tulad ni Gloria ay bibili ako ng playstation, Dora doll saka yong Bratz sa Jollibee.”

“If I become president of the Philippines I will command the police to arrest bad people. I will help the poor. I will ask the police to buy them clothes. The money will come from the Philippines just like Goria who get her money from us. I will feed the poor in Jollibee so that they will not be hungry anymore. There are chicken and spaghetti there. If I’m already a president and I am already rich just like Gloria I will buy playstation, Dora doll and Bratz collection in Jollibee.”

On learning English
“Dapat matuto tayo ng English para pag nanonood tayo ng news ay maintindihan natin. Makikita natin yong mga bad na lalaki. ”

“We should learn English so that whenever we watch news we can understand it. We will also see the bad men.”

On her lovelife
“Pag 25 years old na ako saka na ako magbo-boyfriend. Pero habang bata pa ako si Razzel na ang boyfriend ko. Okay lang yon kasi bata pa naman ako. Dapat meron tayong boyfriend para may kasama tayo. Halimbawa pag naging doctor ako ay kasama ko sya habang gumagamot ako. Pero dapat wag mo akong isumbong kay mommy na may boyfriend na ako habang bata pa ako”.

“When I turn 25 that’s the time that I will have my boyfriend. But since I’m still a kid, Razzel is my boyfriend. It’s okay coz I am still a kid. We should have a boyfriend so that we will have companion. For example, if I become a doctor he should be with me while I take care of my patients. But, you should not tell mommy that I already have a boyfriend.”

(Trisha is 1st in the class achievers of their class (Senior Kinder) this school year)

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008


She said with face ablaze, “It is okay”. 
The heart writhed with twinge 
Each beat a clout of pain 
The heart drifted in silent throbbing.

With friends she laughed heartily 
In reality the beleaguered soul bears misery 
The mêlée of uncertainties so ruthless 
Each cell in the body whimpered in agony. 

To everybody she talked merrily 
In truth she cringed in wretchedness 
The hammer of loneliness pound relentlessly 
In darkness, she comforts her small body. 

To the world her face alight with joy and resilience 
A perfect fighter in the world of anguish 
Yet, her worn out spirit hid in camouflage 
The abysmal abyss of pain resides. 

Monday, March 17, 2008

Welcome to the Christian World, Jessica Elle

You’re taking this step of faith 
In obedience to the Lord 
To be baptized in His precious name 
And heed the Master’s call. 

To rise up with faith in God 
And go where He may lead 
To share God’s love to everyone 
And touch them in their need. 

May God pour out His blessings 
Upon your life today 
So you may walk in His abundance 
As you commit to Him your way. 

Keep on trusting in the Lord 
No matter what you face 
And keep your eyes on Jesus Christ 
And live in His sweet grace. 

© By M.S.Lowndes 


Jessica Elle 

Big sister, Marcia Amelie. 

I'm a Christian now. 

With family and friends in Ireland. 

Mom and M.A. 

Jessica Elle with Tita Dith. 

Jessica Elle, M.A. Mom, and Tita Dith. 

M.A., Jessica Elle, Mom and Dad. 

Big sister, M.A. 

A Moment of Silence for Holy Week

The paroxysm of childhood memories spent with my father hit me yesterday when I saw the palm branches being waved by church goers.

Apparently, my father has a very big influence to me with regard to Religious practices. As the whole country commemorated yesterday the Palm Sunday, I was reminded of the many times I spent with him going to church every Sunday. He would hold my tiny hands while I waved the palm branches for blessings of the holy water.

Palm Sunday as I remember it was the beginning of a quiet time at home. We were not allowed to play or even talk with loud voices- laughing was a big no. He would reiterate constantly the importance of silence because as he put it, “Jesus was already in agony”.

More than the reminder of peace was the story telling about sufferings of Jesus Christ. He would patiently answer my questions about God. Then, the daily masses would follow which my father attended conscientiously.

I vividly remember joining long processions which usually ended up at night time already. As a young girl, it was a very sad time for me. No playing, no laughing, and no running.

The family custom of observing Lenten Season starts with our annual “Pabasa” on its 3rd Saturday. This is a Filipino tradition of singing the book of birth, suffering and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

My father and mother started that practice for as long as I could remember. It became a yearly occurrence at home. Coincidently, it was also the time we celebrated the recognitions received by me and my siblings for being honor pupils of the school year.

The party was usually held in the morning then the start of “Pabasa” was around 4 in the afternoon. When my siblings and I grew up, that became our time of reunion since most of us live in far places already.

Generally, the group comprising the “singers” of our “Pabasa” was not really family members. They were old folks who have been paid to partake in the event and trained to last until 4 or 5 in the morning. They would munch “gugo” and drink “salabat” so that they would last till the next day.

Not all family observes this kind of practice so I guess in a way I was lucky for the reason that I truly enjoyed my childhood memories during our “Pabasa”.

The Holy Week was a different story though. It was a poignant memory of extreme sadness because there was this sudden shift with T.V. and radio programs. They only showed and aired nothing but lonely stories and slow music. It was a moment of solitude for me which I carried on until the time I grew up.

As the long week dragged on, I would start to anticipate the coming of Easter Sunday. I knew that my father would cook something special for us and we got to drop by in the house of our grandparents to receive some pesos from them.

Conversely, Saturday night before Easter is also the blessing of candles and water. Then early the following day would be the presentation of Easter angels. All the daughters of my eldest sister experienced being hanged as one of the angels. It was scary watching them being dropped from up above attached in a long bamboo.

After the Easter Sunday mass, my father would then prepare delicious food for us. Finally, the loud raucous at home was finally back.

My father was gone for more that five years already. Yet, the memories live on in my heart. That little girl being guided by his loving hands is now fully grown up. My beliefs may be different from what I was brought up but the values he imparted remains inside.

As I observe the Holy Week this year, I remember and pray in a moment of silence the man who stirred not only faith but the kindness in a young girl’s heart...Papa.

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