Squabble and hypocrisy at Philippine election

Even if the formal campaign period for the May 2022 presidential elections has not started, bickering between and among rival followers of the candidates are already heating up.
Charges and counter charges flood the social media, some below the belt, some outrageous, some repetitive, some funny, and some pure none sense.
There are even posts by people feeling authoritative, maligning others of their choices. This blatant display of hypocrisy erodes the value of democracy. Are they not aware that if they say that those who favor candidate other than their choice are stupid, that argument also applies to them?
Nobody, not even those who belong to the top social ladder nor the highly educated and intelligent individuals, has the monopoly and the authority to define and determine who is the best among the candidates.
Election is a democratic process that allows the people to vote who they prefer. Maligning others on their choice is disdainful.

Nobel Peace memories, ironies, and fun

The recent #Nobel Peace Award extended to journalist #Maria Ressa took me back to the time when I covered the 2008 awarding of #Martti Ahtisaari, considered the father of #Kosovo. Mr. Ahtisaari was recognized for brokering peace between Kosovo and Serbia. He also contributed to peace talks in Namibia, Indonesia, and Iraq.
This brought more ironies to Ms. Ressa’s winning because nowhere I can find in my research that she has brokered peace either locally or abroad. #Rappler, the news agency which she heads, spews news reports that cause more confusion rather than peace and divisiveness rather than unity.
Rappler has also no qualm in exposing its biases. It recently launched an online survey asking the people who they will vote for president in the coming May 2022 elections. It immediately withdrew the survey when its result favored a candidate other than it is rooting for.
If the Nobel Peace Award is true to its title, I do not think Ms. Ressa deserves the award. She has also the propensity to paint the Philippines to the world as an unruly state without press freedom. She is not promoting peace; she is ruining instead the reputation of the country and its people.
So much to its ironies, that 2008 coverage was one of those great experiences I had when I was in Oslo. It was also here where I learned that even if you are in the toughest phase in your life, good things still happen.
Covering the awarding ceremonies was a humbling experience. I was with the group of reporters from all over the world who I presumed must be the best from their respective publications and media organizations.
I met a lady reporter from New York, whose name I could not remember. We became buddies during the coverage, we had our lunch together. We were both excited witnessing the event that was graced by the king and the queen of Norway. We were there close with the royalties.
After the ceremonies, we played like children, we sat on the chairs occupied by the royal couple. To have a feel how to sit on a royal chair, she said. We also alternately stood on the lectern pretending we were awardees.
Such a funny way to end the coverage of a prestigious event…innocent acts void of ironies.

The year that was…who we are and how we have become

The year 2020, if taken literally, means perfect vision. However, contrary to its ophthalmologic connotation, it was blurry, opaque, and myopic. To many, if not all, it was a period of shattered hopes, broken dreams, and boundless uncertainties.

News of heart-breaking stories due to COVID19, storms, earthquake, and volcanic eruption flooded the social media. The devastating effect of the virus almost pushed to the limit people’s faith and resolved, both in God and in the government.

It was hard to hurdle the challenges of fighting an unforeseen enemy just as it was hard to contain nature’s wrath. Keeping our sanity during the year was also tough. Much as we need to remain positive, the dreary circumstances around us are depleting our energy.

Meanwhile, amid the horrific pandemic and calamities, the world found a respite on the zarzuela led by President Trump. Though annoying, it geared us away from the sorry news of deaths and frustrations.

Mr. Trump and his loyal allies’ refusal to concede and accept the defeat was a smack on the face of America’s democracy. His charges of rigged election depicted Filipinos’ dirty political jargon: pag nanalo, nandaya, pag natalo, dinaya. (when you win, you cheated__when you lose, you were cheated.)

Grace too is not a virtue among many politicians.  I still look forward though for the time when Filipinos learn how to wisely exercise their right to vote and when they finally realize that they have the power to effect political change in the country.

Moving on, the bleak year, meanwhile, opened to may realizations and opportunities that somewhat got lost due to our busy lives. The quarantine imposed to curtail the spread of the virus made families closer. The absence of immediate remedy strengthened our faith and belief to the Holy Ghost. Survival was high, pompous living style was sidelined; we all went back to basic needs.

And personally, this year brought out so many realities in my life that I either refused or ignored during the past years. It was also a remarkable year, I reaped my ROI, I became a grandma.

It was a tumultuous year but nonetheless, we pulled through.  We hurdled the battle unscathed. While our hearts are bleeding for the families whose loved ones perished, we still have more to be thankful for.

We thank God for the gift of life, for the experiences that made us stronger, and for the countless blessings that helped us know who we are and what we have become.

A blessed New Year to everyone.

A short story: it was over before it started

“We got to start somewhere,” he said. They were inside his hotel room; it was their first meeting since their friendship started nearly three years ago. Theirs was an unusual friendship. They met on the net and after some exchanges of communications, they became friends. They can talk about anything, from personal to universal and even sensual (as he called it).

She knows him as the person who values his independence and who enjoys his single-blessedness. He inspires her with his very positive outlook in life. He is aware of her current situation, she could cry to him whenever she is down and lonely.

Tall, blue-eyed and with neatly shaven silver gray hair, she met him at the central train station one weekend when he visited her. She found no difficulty in recognizing him as he walked towards her.  He looks exactly the same as his projection on the computer screen though he is bigger in real life. He too confided that he immediately recognized her thinking there was no other woman around to meet him.

They proceeded to his hotel room which was just a stone throw away from the station. They stayed there until the wee hours in the morning. At first, he was seated on a chair at the right foot side of the bed while she snuggled comfortably on a couch on the left side of the head board. They talked about the calamity that recently hit Japan, the uprising in the Middle East and the African countries and their country’s involvement in Afghanistan.

The exchange of their ideas became too heavy, she felt they have to change topic. She suggested that they draw a plan how he is going to enjoy his short visit. Though it was not his first time to the city, he said that he has not explored the place and had been only there on business trips.

Meanwhile, she felt a little discomfort when he rose from his chair, decided to occupy the right side of the twin-sized bed saying “I am tired.” She could not understand whether the discomfort came as he took off his shoes which emitted some smell or because he will lie in bed. She was engulfed with mixed feelings she asked herself; shall I leave now, shall I remain on my seat or shall I join him in bed?

She decided to sit still but it did not take too long, she joined him in bed.  Whether for comfort or anything, she did not care to understand. The bed has enough room for two; she laid the hardbound coffee table book and continued reading.  She was impressed by his rich knowledge on their culture and history and the current events. He provided more information on almost every place, people and event she read to him. He seems to have ideas on almost about anything. He even knows how to make clear, crystal ice cubes.

Their nearness allowed him to hold her hand which looked like a child’s hand on his big palm. “You are feeling cold” he blurted as he touched her cold hand. He gently whisks her hand, rises up and adjusted the control of the room temperature. “It will be warmer, you’ll feel comfortable now,” he said as he returned to bed.

She remained seated while reading until he gently pulled her towards him. They soon lie side by side and their conversation shifted to a more personal topic. She asked why he decided to see her. Couldn’t think of any good reason perhaps, to explain his sudden interest to meet her, he answered “because of curiosity.” He added that it was probably the same reason why she was there. They remained in their intimate position, his arms wrapped around her with their fingers crossed together. And as silence engulfed them, she decided to leave.

She jumped off the bed, pulled her creased woollen long-sleeve blouse and combed her hair. He then stood behind her and helped her with her coat. They were in front of a full-length mirror which reflected their contrasting personalities, tall and petite, fair and brown.  He said during their meeting the following day that he could have undressed her on that moment to stop her from leaving but he did not “out of respect” knowing she’s going home.

He sent her off to the train station. While waiting for her ride, she was trying to think of the reason why she indeed consented to meet him. Was it really plain curiosity? Curious on why he remains single despite his age? Has their friendship weighed on her? Should there be a special reason why she went to meet him, stayed with him and promised to meet him again the next day?

Despite some apprehensions, she was, however, happy meeting him. To her it was a significant meeting. It rekindled lost feelings that were not necessarily related to him. She was like a lost child, she found comfort inside his arms as she snuggled her head in his chest. It was a short, swift moment of happiness that allowed her to be herself again…sweet, happy, conversational and carefree.

Their closeness did not stop when he went back to his place….they talk whenever it was possible, exchange short sweet messages and dream together of meeting again, sometime, anywhere.

But things have become different. ….the sweet notes became scarce, there were less talk and there were days of no talk and no notes at all… She feels that just as she is beginning to become closer to him, he is starting to go farther.

“We got to start somewhere…” whatever he means when he said it will remain a puzzle. Will there be a next meeting? Time can only tell….She strongly feels that whatever there is or will be between them was over even before it formally started…as to why, she can never say….

A note to self

Hi Gloria, felicitations on your half-century and five years of existence. You know you are tough, after having been to the door of death twice, you are still there enjoying the gift of life.

You have gone through many difficult and some extreme challenges but you remain unperturbed. Your face shows no traces of pain nor failure. You have perfected the act of smiling even under duress. No one will expect that beyond your smiley face, streams of tears have cascaded.

As you add another year to your lifeline, it is about time you focus on living your life; see more places, visit more flea markets, accomplish your dream of writing your memoir, and publish your book of poems.

I know you have a hard time getting over the idea that your working life is over, but do not fret. Be happy that you do not have the need to get up early and join the long queue at LRT/MRT to go to work on time. From a weary commuter, you now fly conveniently onboard a jumbo bird seeing places. You should realize that beyond your hard life, you are more blessed than unfortunate.

By this time, you should have also learned how to be a bit selfish, do things that will give you joy without feeling guilty. Being conscientious to your needs is not a crime, this you should always keep in your mind. And always remember that happiness depends solely on your own choices.

Continue to be what you are and not others want you to be.

There are so many things that I want to tell you but I will keep them for the next time. For now, enjoy the moment with your children. I know they are the jewels in your crown, your citadel of strength and hope.

You are lucky and privileged to be more than their mom; you are their friend, their buddy, and their obscure critic. You may not be a successful wife but surely you have done great being a mother.

Have a happy birthday and continue living your life!

Are women better off to be a mistress than a wife?

For so many years, this question keeps ringing in my ears. This always reminds me of the time when I was trying to find the reason why my marriage failed.

And though my children told me my only mistake was being selfless, I keep on thinking what does it take to be a mistress. Why there are men who will leave their wives for other women.

What does the mistress has that she can make an egoist, a cruel, and a stingy man change? Isn’t it that people change only through their own will and volition?

A question that until now I haven’t find the answer.

Morning thoughts

Our life is full of ironies we tend to crave for what we don’t have and disregard what we already have. And often times, we wish for things that are impossible instead of being realistic and work on and improve on the resources we have.  On the other hand, it is good to dream big so we can have greater accomplishment.  Very ironic that in the end we become confused and lost in out thoughts.

The world needs respectful people to attain peace

Wonder why there are people who capitalize on the lives of others to advance their cause? It is so depressing to watch people die due to the reckless and the egoistic acts of some people; they seem to take pleasure from sowing terror.
And London has become their favorite stage to show their heinous deeds. The city has been battered for several times now, the one act done simultaneously, and just today, one dies when a van rammed into a mosque were Muslim brothers are holding their prayers.
If only everyone will learn and practice the values of respect, no one will dare to hurt each other.