Our songs that serenade us with bravery, our words that speak of honesty, and our history that depicts a culture as rich as our lands, and of people who gave life by dying—are gushing out of our memory like sand poured in an open palm. Our forebears fought wars. They lost and they won. Now the victory they entrusted to our hands has been lost again in another war—one so insidious that it made us adore our conquerors.
It would seem there is good reason to believe the Filipinos are now constantly conscious of their patriotic concerns for their country. And there is good reason to appreciate the passion of most everyone in trying to excel in the field of endeavor she finds herself in. In the arena of this world’s dog-eat-dog competitiveness, it is heartening to note how Filipinos individually shines—be it in sports or in performance activities. And even in beauty pageants!
Lito ! Willie! My true and loyal friends, come! Let us celebrate! Today is Freedom Day! INDEPENDENCE…! Let us laugh out loud! Let us burst out to our utmost hilarious laughter until the whole planet earth rocks to the beat of our rejoicing!
Late in afternoon yesterday, as I went out to buy some RTE (ready-to-eat) viand for my dinner in the little Coop Eatery in my purok, I overheard this conversation among village folks –
Encountered mess and damage we did. We had barely caught our breaths after the hike from Nasilaban to the neighboring village of Sambulungan when some of the Talaingod Manobos started approaching us. Their houses had been ransacked, items were missing, one kitchen’s GI roofing had been ripped off.
Nobody wants to be dominated. The natural disposition of anyone is to be free—free to steer the direction of one’s own life, free to seek one’s own well-being and happiness. But the other side of this mold of thought is the desire to control—to control everything that figures in one’s drive for freedom. It is as much an irony as a mystery. But it is an undeniable fact of human existence and history.
Damgo sa matag Pilipino ang makalingkawas gikan sa kuko sa kawad-on, ug edukasyon ang labing halangdong agianan padulong sa maong damgo.
[It is every Filipino’s dream to extricate ones’ self from the clutches of poverty and education is the most honorable way towards that dream.]
Again my former student and friend from the Davao School for the Blind, Willie G, gave me a surprise visit the other day. This time he brought along a short but interesting anecdote about animals— a fable, we call it— purportedly to prick my mind into a critical discussion about its allegorical meaning. Immediately after he finished retelling the fable, he asked, “Sir Don, unsa may pagtulun-ang atong makuha aning istoryaha?” [Sir Don what lesson can we get from this story?]
Homecomings are joyous occasions. They mark the end of journeys, of settling in to comfort and familiarity, of leaving behind uncertainty and loss of security.
The usual question asked to someone who is in the midst of an unspeakably trying situation but who has somehow admirably survived the tribulation or ordeal sounds like this: “Where do you draw strength during this fateful moment in your life?”.